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Had in her sober liv'ry all things clad;
Silence accompany'd; for beast and bird, боо
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale ;
She all night long her am'rous descant sung :
Silence was pleas’d. Now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led 605
The starry host, rode brightest, till the Moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
When Adam thus to Eve: Fair Consort,
th' hour

610
Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest,
Mind us of like repose, since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive; and the timely dew of sleep
Now falling, with soft slumb'rous weight inclines
Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long 616
Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest;
Man hath his daily work of body' or mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Heav'n on all his ways; 620
While other animals unactive range ;
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be ris'n,
And at our pleasant labour, to reform

625 Yon flow'ry arbours, yonder alleys green, Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,

That mock our scant manuring, and require More hands than ours to lop their wanton

growth. Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, That lie bestrown unsightly and unsmooth, 631 Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease; Mean while, as Nature wills, Night bids us rest. To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty'

adorn'd: My Author and Disposer, what thou bidst, 635 Unargu'd, I obey ; so God ordains; God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise. With thee conversing I forget all time; All seasons and their change, all please alike. 640 Sweet is the breath of Morn, her rising sweet, With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the Sun, When first on this delightful land he spreads His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r, Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth After soft show'rs; and sweet the coming on 646 Of grateful ev'ning mild; then silent Night With this her solemn bird, and this fair Moon, And these the gems of Heav'n, her starry train : But neither breath of Morn, when she ascends With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising Sun 651 On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flow'r, Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after show'rs; Nor grateful ev'ning mild; nor silent Night 654 With this her solemn bird, nor walk by Moon,

Or glitt'ring star-light without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these? For

whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?

To whom our gen’ral ancestor reply'd: 659
Daughter of God and Man, accomplish'd Eve,
These have their course to finish round the earth
By morrow ev’ning, and from land to land
In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Minist'ring light prepar’d, they set and rise;
Lest total darkness should by night regain 665
Her old possession, and extinguish life
In nature and all things, which these soft fires
Not only' enlighten, but with kindly heat
Of various influence, foment and warm,
Temper or nourish, or in part shed down 670
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that

grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the Sun's more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
Shine not in vain; nor think, tho' men were none,
That Heav'n would want spectators, God want

praise :
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold,
Both day and night. How often from the steep
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note,

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Singing their great Creator? Oft in bands 684
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk
With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heav’n.

Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bow'r: it was a place 690
Chos'n by the Sov’reign Planter, when he fram'd
All things to Man's delightful use. The roof
Of thickest covert was inwoven shade
Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew,
Of firm and fragrant leaf : on either side 695
Acanthus, and each od'rous bushy shrub
Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flow'r,
Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine
Rear’d high their flourish'd heads between, and

wrought Mosaic: underfoot the violet, Crocus, and hyacinth with rich inlay Broider'dtheground, morecolour'd thanwith stone Of costliest emblem. Other creature here, Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none: Such was their awe of Man. In shadier bow'r More sacred and sequester'd, though but feign'd, Pan or Sylvanus never slept, nor Nymph Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in close recess With flow'rs, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs, Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed, 710 And heav'nly choirs the hymenean sung, What day the genial Angel to our sire

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Brought her in naked beauty more adorn'd,
More lovely than Pandora, whom the Gods
Endow'd with all their gifts: and O too like 715
In sad event, when to th' unwiser son
Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'd
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire.

Thus at their shady lodge arriv'd, both stood,
Both turn'd, and under open sky ador’d 721
TheGod that made both sky, air, earth, and heav'n,
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole: Thou also mad'st the night,
Maker omnipotent, and thou the day, 725
Which we in our appointed work employ'd
Have finish’d, happy in our mutual help
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place
For us too large, where thy abundance wants
Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground. 731
But thou hast promis’d from us two a race
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake
And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.
This said unanimous, and other rites

736
Observing none, but adoration pure
Which God likes best, into their inmost bow'r
Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off
These troublesome disguises which we wear, 740
Straight side by side were laid ; nor turn'd I ween
Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites

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