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More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell, So spake the Fiend; and with necessity,
Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs (The tyrant's plea) excus'd his devilish deeds :
Yielded them, side-long as they sat reclined Then from his lofty stand on that high tree,
On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers: Down he alights among the sportful herd
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind Of those four-footed kinds; himself now one,
Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream; Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end
Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles

Nearer to view his prey, and unespy'd,
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems To mark what of their state he more might learn,
Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league,

By word, or action mark'd: about them round, Alone as they. About them frisking play'd

A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;
All beasts of th' earth, since wild, and of all chase Then, as a tiger, who by chance hath spied,
In wood or wilderness, forest or den;

In some purlieu, two gentle fawns at play,
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw

Strait couches close, then rising changes oft Dandled the kid: bears, tigers, ounces, pards, His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground, Gambol'd before them; th' unwieldy elephant, Whence rushing, he might surest seize them both, To make them mirth, us'd all his might, and wreath'd Grip'd in each paw: when Adam, first of men, His lithe proboscis; close the serpent sly

To first of women, Eve, thus moving speech, Insinuating wove with Gordian twine

Turn'd him, all ear, to hear new utterance flow. His braided train, and of his fatal guile

Sole partner, and sole part of all these joys! Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass

Dearer thyself than all! needs must the Pow'r Couch'd, and now fill'd with pasture, gazing sat, That made us, and for us this ample world, Or bedward ruminating; for the sun

Be infinitely good, and of his good Declin'd was hasting now with prone career

As liberal and free, as infinite, To th' ocean isles, and in th' ascending scale That rais'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here Of Heav'n the stars that usher evening rose :

In all this happiness, who at his hand When Satan, still in gaze, as first he stood,

Have nothing merited, nor can perform Scarce thus at length fail'd speech recover'd sad. Aught whereof he hath need: He! who requires O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold!

From us no other service than to keep Into our room of bliss thus high advanc'd

This this easy charge, of all the trees Creatures of other mould; earth-born perhaps,

In Paradise, that bear delicious fruit Not spirits; yet to heav'nly spirits bright

So various, not to taste that only tree Little inferior ; whom my thoughts pursue

Of knowledge, planted by the tree of life; With wonder, and could love, so lively shines So near grows death to life, whate'er death is, In them divine resemblance, and such grace

Some dreadful thing no doubt; for wellthou know'st, The hand that form’d'em on their shape hath pour’d.

God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that tree, Ah gentle pair! ye little think how nigh

The only sign of our obedience left Your change approaches; when all these delights Among so many signs of pow'r and rule Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe;


upon us, and dominion given More woe, the more your taste is now of joy:

Over all other creatures that possess Happy! but for so happy ill secur'd

Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard Long to continue ; and this high seat your Heav'n,

One easy prohibition, who enjoy Il-fenc'd for Heav'n, to keep out such a foe

Free leave so large to all things else, and choice As now is enter'd: yet no purpos’d foe

Unlimited of manifold delights: To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn,

But let us ever praise him, and extol Though I unpitied. League with you I seek, His bounty, following our delightful task, [flowers, And mutual amity, so strait, so close,

To prune these growing plants, and tend these That I with you must dwell, or you with me Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet. Henceforth : my dwelling haply may not please,

To whom thus Eve replied. Othou for whom Like this fair Paradise, your sense; yet such

And from whom I was form’d, flesh of thy flesh, Accept, your Maker's work; he gave it me,

And without whom am to no end, my guide Which I as freely give: Hell shall unfold,

And head, what thou hast said is just and right: To entertain you two, her widest gates,

For we to him indeed all praises owe, And send forth all her kings: there will be room, And daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy (Not like these narrow limits,) to receive

So far the happier lot, enjoying thee
Your numerous offspring; if no better place, Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou
Thank him who puts me loth to this revenge Like consort to thyself canst no where find.
On you, who wrong me not, for him who wrong'd, That day I oft remember, when from sleep
And should I at your harmless innocence

I first awak’d, and found myself repos'd
Melt, (as I do) yet public reason just,

Under a shade on flow'rs, much wond'ring where Honour and empire with revenge enlarg'd, And what I was; whence thither brought, and how: By conqu’ring this new world, compels me now Not distant far from thence a murm'ring sound To do, what else (though damn'd) I should abhor. Of waters issued from a cave, and spread


Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd

Envy them that? Can it be sin to know? Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went Can it be death ? And do they only stand With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down By ignorance? Is that their happy state, On the green bank, to look into the clear

The proof of their obedience and their faith? Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky.

O fair foundation laid whereon to build As I bent down to look, just opposite

Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds A shape within the wat’ry gleam appear'd,

With mere desire to know, and to reject Bending to look on me: I started back,

Envious commands, invented with design It started back; but pleas'd I soon return'd; To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt Pleas'd it return'd as soon, with answ'ring looks Equal with Gods: aspiring to be such, Of sympathy and love; there I had fix'd

They taste and die: what likelier can ensue? Mine eyes till now, and pin’d with vain desire, But first with narrow search I must walk round Had not a voice thus warn'd me: What thou seest, This garden, and no corner leave unspy'd; What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself; A chance, but chance may lead where I may meet With thee it came and goes : but follow me, Some wand'ring spirit of Heav'n by fountain side, And I will bring thee where no shadow stays Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw Thy coming and thy soft embraces, he

What further would be learn'd. Live while you Whose image thou art; him thou shalt enjoy Yet happy pair; enjoy, till I return, (may, Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear

Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed. Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd Mother of human race. What could I do, But follow strait, invisibly thus led ?

THE CONVERSATION OF ADAM AND Till I espied thee, fair indeed and tall,

EVE. Under a platane; yet methought less fair,

So promis'd he; and Uriel to his charge Less winning soft, less amiably mild,

Return'd on that bright beam, whose point now rais'd Than that smooth wat’ry image: back I turn'd; Bore him slope downward to the sua now fallin Thou following criedst aloud, Return, fair Eve; Beneath th' Azores; whether the prime orb, Whom fly'st thou ? whom thou fly’st, of him thou art, Incredible how swift, had thither roll'd His flesh, his bone; to give thee being, I lent Diurnal, or this less voluble earth, Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,

By shorter flight to th' east, had left him there Substantial life, to have thee by my side

Arraying with reflected purple and gold Henceforth an individual solace dear;

The clouds that on his western throne attend. Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee claim

Now came still evening on, and twilight grey My other half; with that thy gentle hand

Had in her sober livery all things clad; Seiz'd mine; I yielded, and from that time see Silence accompanied; for beast and bird, How beauty is excell’d by manly grace

They to their grassy couch, these to their nests And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale; So spake our general mother, and with eyes She all night long her amorous descant sung; Of conjugal attraction unreprov’d,

Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the firmament And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led On our first father; half her swelling breast The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon Naked met his under the flowing gold

Rising in clouded majesty, at length Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight

Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light, Both of her beauty and submissive charms

And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw. Smild with superior love, as Jupiter

When Adam thus to Eve. Fair consort, the hour On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest, That shed May flow'rs; and press'd her matron lip Mind us of like repose, since God hath set With kisses pure: aside the Devil turn'd

Labour and rest, as day and night to men For envy; yet with jealous leer malign

Successive; and the timely dew of sleep Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plain’d. Now falling with soft slumbrous weight inclines Sight hateful, sight tormenting ! thus these two Our eye-lids : other creatures all day long Imparadis'd in one another's arms,

Rove idly unemploy'd, and less need rest; The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill

Man hath his daily work of body or mind Of bliss on bliss; while I to Hell am thrust, Appointed, which declares his dignity, Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire, And the regard of Heav'n on all his ways, Among our other torments not the least,

While other animals unactive range, Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines.

And of their doings God takes no account. Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd

To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east From their own mouths: all is not theirs, it seems; With first approach of light, we must be risen, One fatal tree there stands, of knowledge callid, And at our pleasant labour to reform Forbidden them to taste. Knowledge forbidden ? Yon flow'ry arbors, yonder alleys green, Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,

That mock our scant manuring, and require On to their blissful bow'r; it was a place
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth: Chos'n by the sov'reign Planter, when he fram'd
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, All things to man's delightful use; the roof
That lie bestrown unsightly and unsmooth,

Of thickest covert was inwoven shade
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease; Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew
Meanwhile, as Nature wills, night bids us rest. Of firm and fragrant leaf on either side

To whom thus Eve with perfect beauty adorn'd. Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub
My author and disposer, what thou bid'st

Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flower, Unargued I obey; so God ordains;

Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine, God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise. Mosaic; under foot the violet,

(wrought With thee conversing, I forget all time;

Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay All seasons and their change, all please alike. Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, Of costliest emblem: other creature here, With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun, Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none; When first on this delightful land he spreads Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, More sacred and sequester’d, though but feign’d, Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth Pan or Sylvanus never slept, nor Nymph, After soft showers; and sweet the coming on Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess Of grateful evening mild; then silent night With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs, With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon, Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed, And these the gems of Heav'n, her starry train: And heav'nly choirs the hymenæan sung, Bat neither breath of morn, when she ascends What day the genial angel to our sire With charın of earliest birds; nor rising sun Brought her in naked beauty more adorn'd, On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower, More lovely than Pandora, whom the Gods Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after showers; Endow'd with all their gifts, and 0 too like Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night

In sad event, when to th' unwiser son With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon, Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'd Or glittering star-light, without there is sweet. Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd But wherefore all night long shine these ? For whom On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire. This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes? Thus at their shady lodge arriv’d, both stood, To whom our general ancestor reply'd.

Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd Daughter of God and Man, accomplish'd Eve, The God that made both sky, air, earth, and Heaven, These have their course to finish round the earth, Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe, By morrow evening, and from land to land

And starry pole: Thou also mad’st the night, In order, though to nations yet unborn,

Maker omnipotent, and thou the day, Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Which we in our appointed work employ'd Lest total darkness should by night regain

Have finish’d, happy in our mutual help Her old possession, and extinguish life

And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss In nature and all things, which these soft fires Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place, Not only enlighten, but with kindly heat

For us too large, where thy abundance wants Of various influence foment and warm,

Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground. Temper or nourish, or in part shed down

But thou hast promis'd from us two a race Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow

To fill the earth, who shall with us extol On earth, made hereby apter to receive

Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.

And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep. These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, This said unanimous, and other rites Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none, Observing none, but adoration pure, That Heav'nwould wantspectators,God want praise: Which God likes best, into their inmost bower Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off L'nseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep: These troublesome disguises which we wear, All these with ceaseless praise his works behold Straight side by side were laid; nor turn'd I ween Both day and night: how often from the steep Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard

Mysterious of connubial love refus'd; Celestial voices to the midnight air,

Whatever hypocrites austerely talk Sole, or responsive each to other's note,

Of purity, and place, and innocence, Singiog their great Creator? Oft in bands

Defaming as impure what God declares While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk, Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all. With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds Our Maker bids increase ; who bids abstain In full harmonic number join'd, their songs But our destroyer, foe to God and man? Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heav'n. Hail wedded love, mysterious law, true source

Thus talking, hand in hand, alone they pass'd Of human offspring, sole propriety

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my walk;

In Paradise of all things common else.

Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk By thee adult'rous lust was driv’n from men

With gentle voice, I thought it thine; it said, Among the bestial herds to range; by thee, Why sleep'st thou, Eve? Now is the pleasant time, Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure,

The cool, the silent, save where silence yields Relations dear and all the charities

To the night-warbling bird, that now awake Of father, son, and brother, first were known. Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song; now reigns Far be it, that I should write thee sin or blame, Full orb'd the moon, and with more pleasing light Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,

Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain, Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets,

If none regard; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes, Whose bed is undefil'd and chaste pronounc'd, Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire ? Present, or past, as saints and patriarchs us’d. In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment Here love his golden shafts employs, here lights

Attracted by thy beauty suill to gaze. His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings, I rose as at thy call, but found thee not ; Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile

To find thee I directed then Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear’d,

And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways Casual fruition; nor in court amours,

That brought me on a sudden to the tree Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball, Of interdicted knowledge: fair it seem'd, Or serenade, which the starved lover sings

Much fairer to my fancy than by day: To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain. And as I wond'ring look’d, beside it stood (ven These lull'd by nightingales embracing slept, One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from HeaAnd on their naked limbs the flow'ry roof

By us oft seen; his dewy locks distillid Shower'd roses which the morn repair'd. Sleep on,

Ambrosia; on that tree he also gaz'd; Blest pair; and O yet happiest, if ye seek

And, O fair plant! said he, with fruit surcharg'd, No happier state, and know to know no more. Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet,

Nor God, nor man? Is knowledge so despis'd?

Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste?

Forbid who will, none shall from me withbold Now morn her rosy steps in th' eastern clime Longer thy offer'd good; why else set here? Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, Thus said, he paus'd not, but, with vent'rous arm, When Adam wak'd, so custom'd; for his sleep He pluck’d, he tasted; me damp horror chill'd Was airy light, from pure digestion bred,

At such bold words, vouch'd with a deed so bold: And temp'rate vapours bland, which th' only sound But he thus, overjoy'd; O fruit divine ! Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,

Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt, Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin song Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit Of birds on every bough; so much the more For Gods, yet able to make Gods of men: His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve,

And why not Gods of men, since good, the more With tresses discompos’d, and glowing cheek, Communicated, more abundant grows, As through unquiet rest: he on his side

The Author not impair'd, but honour'd more? Leaning, half-rais’d, with looks of cordial love Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve, Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld

Partake thou also, happy tho' thou art, Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,

Happier thou may’st be, worthier canst not be: Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice

Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods, Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,

Thyself a Goddess, not to earth confin'd, Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: Awake, But sometimes in the air, as we sometimes My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,

Ascend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and see Heav'ns last best gift, my ever new delight,

What life the Gods live there, and such live thou. Awake; the morning shines and the fresh field So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held, Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring Ev'n to my mouth of that same fruit held part, Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove, Which he had pluck’d; the pleasant savoury smell What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed, So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought, Mow Nature paints her colours, how the bee

Could not but taste. Forth with up to the clouds Sits on the bloom, extracting liquid sweet.

With him I flew, and underneath beheld Such whisp'ring wak'd her, but with startled eye

The earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake. And various: wond'ring at my flight and change O sole, in whom my thoughts find all repose,

To this high exaltation; suddenly My glory, my perfection, glad I see

My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down, Thy face, and morn return'd; for I this night And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd, (Such night till this I never pass’d) have dream'd, To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her night If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee,

Related, and thus Adam answer'd sad. Works of day past, or morrow's next design,

Best image of myself, and dearer half, But of offence and trouble, which my mind

The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Knew never till this irksome night:. Methought Affects me equally; nor can I like.

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This uncooth dream, of evil sprung I fear;

Speak ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, Yet evil whence? In thee can harbour none, Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs Created pure. But know that in the soul

And choral symphonies, day without night, Are many lesser faculties, that serve

Circle his throne, rejoicing; ye in Heaven, Reason as chief: among these fancy next

On earth join all ye creatures to extol Her office holds; of all external things

Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. Which the five watchful senses represent,

Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, She forms imaginations, airy shapes,

If better thou belong not to the dawn, Which reason joining or disjoining, frames

Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn All that we afirm or what deny, and call

With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, Our knowledge or opinion; then retires

While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Into her private cell when Nature rests.

Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Oft in her absence mimic fancy wakes

Acknowledge him thy greater, sound his praise To imitate her; but misjoining shapes,

In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, Wild works produces oft, and most in dreams, And when high noon hast gain’d, and when thou Il matching words and deeds long past or late.

fall’st. Some such resemblances, methinks, I find

Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st, Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream, With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies, But with addition strange; yet be not sad.

And ye five other wand'ring fires that move Evil into the mind of God or man

In mystic dance, not without song, resound May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave

His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light. No spot or blame behind: which gives me hope Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream, Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run Waking thou never wilt consent to do.

Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix Be not dishearten'd then, nor cloud those looks, And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change That wont to be more cheerful and serene,

Vary to our great Maker still new praise. Than when fair morning first smiles on the world; Ye mists and exhalations that now rise And let us to our fresh employments rise

From hill or steaming lake, dusky or grey, Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers

Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, That open now their choicest bosom'd smells, In honour to the world's great Author rise, Reserv'd from night, and kept for thee in store. Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,

So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd, Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers, But silently a gentle tear let fall

Rising or falling, still advance his praise. From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair; His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow, Two other precious drops that ready stood,

Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines, Each in their chrystal sluice, he, ere they fell, With every plant, in sign of worship wave. Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow, And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended. Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste. Join voices, all ye living souls: ye birds, But first, from under shady arb'rous roof,

That, singing, up to Heaven gate ascend, Soon as they forth were come to open sight Bear on your wings, and in your notes his praise. Of day-spring, and the sun, who scarce up risen, Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean brim, The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep; Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,

Witness if I be silent, morn, or even, Discovering in wide landskip all the east

To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade, Of Paradise, and Eden's happy plains,

Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise. Lowly they bow'd, adoring, and began

Hail! universal Lord, be bounteous still Their orisons, each morning duly paid

To give us only good; and if the night la various stile; for neither various stile

Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceal'd,
Nor boly rapture wanted they to praise

Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
Their Maker, in fit strains pronounc'd or sung
Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence
Flow'd from their lips, in prose or númerous verse,

THE ANGEL RAPHAEL SENT TO WARN More taneable than needed lute or harp

To add more sweetness; and they thus began. So spake th' eternal Father, and fulfill'd

These are thy glorious works, Parent of Good, All justice: nor delay'd the winged Saint
Almighty; thine this universal frame,

After his charge receiv'd; but from among
Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then! Thousand celestial Ardors, where he stood
L'nspeakable, who sit'st above these Heavens Veild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light,
To us invisible, or dimly seen

Flew thro’ the midst of Heav'n; th’angelic choirs, In these thy lowest works; yet these declare On each hand parting, to his speed gave way Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine. Through all th’empyreal road; till at the gate

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