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His blessed count'nance. Here I could frequent
With worship place by place where he vouchsaf'd
Presence divine, and to my sons relate,
On this mount he appear'd; under this tree 320
Stood visible; among these pines his voice
I heard; here with him at this fountain talk'd.
So many grateful altars I would rear
Of grassy turf, and pile up ev'ry stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory 325
Or monument to ages, and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flow'rs.
In yonder nether world, where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or foot-step trace?
For though I fled him angry, yet recall’d
To life prolong'd and promis'd race, I now
Gladly behold, though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his steps adore.
To whom thus Michael, with regard benign:
Adam, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth,
Not this rock only'. His omnipresence fills 336
Land, sea, and air, and ev'ry kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual pow'r and warm’d.
All th' earth he
gave thee to possess and rule:
No despicable gift; surmise not then
His presence to these narrow bounds confin’d
Of Paradise or Eden. This had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations, and had hither come
From all the ends of th' earth, to celebrate 345
And rev'rence thee, their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou'st lost; brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons.
Yet doubt not, but in valley and in plain
God is as here, and will be found alike
Present, and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine:
Which, that thou may'st believe and be confirm'd
Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
To shew thee what shall come in future days
To thee and to thy offspring. Good with bad
Expect to hear, supernal grace contending
With sinfulness of men ; thereby to learn 360
True patience, and to temper joy with fear
And pious sorrow, equally inur'd
By moderation either state to bear,
Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and, best prepar'd, endure 365
Thy mortal passage when it comes. . Ascend
This hill. Let Eve (for I have drench'd her eyes)
Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wak’st ;
As once thou slept, while she to life was form’d.
To whom thus Adam gratefully reply'd: 370 Ascend; I follow thee, safe Guide, the path Thou lead'st me', and to the hand of Heav'n
submit, However chast'ning, to the evil turn My obvious breast, arming to overcome
By sufføring, and earn rest from labour won,
If so I may attain. So both ascend
In the visions of God. It was a hill
Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
The hemisphere of earth in clearest ken
Stretch'd out to th’amplest reach of prospect lay.
Not higher that hill or wider, looking round,
Whereon for diff'rent cause the Tempter set
Our second Adam in the wilderness,
To shew him all earth's kingdoms and their glory.
eye might there command wherever stood
City of old or modern fame, the seat 386
Of mightiest empire, from the destin'd walls
Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can,
And Samarcand by Oxus, Temir's throne,
To Paquin of Sinæan kings, and thence 390
To Agra and Lahore of great Mogul,
Down to the golden Chersonese, or where
The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since
In Hispahan, or where the Russian Czar
In Moscow, or the Sultan in Bizance, 395
Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken
Th'empire of Negus to his utmost port
Ercoco, and the less maritime kings,
Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
And Sofala, thought Ophir, to the realm
400 Of Congo, and Angola farthest south; Or thence from Niger flood to Atlas mount, The kingdoms of Almansor, Fez, and Sus, Morocco, and Algiers, and Tremisen;
On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway
The world. In sp’rit perhaps he also saw 406
Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume,
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil'd
Guiana, whose great city Geryon's sons
Call El Dorado : but to nobler sights
Michael from Adam's eyes the film remov’d,
Which that false fruit, that promis'd clearer sight,
Had bred; then purg'd with euphrasy and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see; 415
And from the well of life three drops instill’d.
So deep the pow'r of these ingredients pierc'd,
E'en to the inmost seat of mental sight,
That Adam, now enforc'd to close his eyes,
Sunk down, and all his sp’rits became entranc'd:
But him the gentle Angel by the hand
421 Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall’d: Adam, now ope
and first behold Th'effects which thy original crime hath wrought In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd Th’excepted tree, nor with the Snake conspir’d, Nor sinn'd thy sin; yet from that sin derive Corruption, to bring forth more violent deeds.
eyes he open’d, and beheld a field, Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves 430 New reap'd, the other part sheep-walks and folds; I'th' midst an altar as the land-mark stood, Rustic, of grassy sord. Thither anon A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought
First fruits; the green ear and the yellow sheaf,
Uncull'd, as came to hand. A shepherd next,
More meek, came with the firstlings of his flock
Choicest and best ; then sacrificing, laid
The inwards and their fat, with incense strow'd,
On the cleft wood, and all due rites perform’d.
His off’ring soon propitious fire from Heav'n
Consum’d, with nimble glance and gratefulsteam:
The other's not, for his was not sincere;
Whereat he (inly rag'd, and as they talk’d)
Smote him into the midriff with a stone 445
That beat out life. He fell, and, deadly pale,
Groan'd out his soul with gushing blood effus'd.
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
Dismay’d; and thus in haste to th’Angel cry'd:
O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall’n
To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd !
Is piety thus and
T' whom Michael thus (he also mov'd) reply'd:
These two are brethren, Adam, and to come
Out of thy loins. Th' unjust the just hath slain,
envy that his brother's offoring found 456
From Heav'n acceptance: but the bloody fact
Will be aveng'd, and th' other's faith approv'd,
Lose no reward, though here thou see him die,
Rolling in dust and gore. To which our sire :
Alas! both for the deed and for the cause !
But have I now scen Death?
I must return to native dust ? O sight
Of terror, foul and ugly to behold!