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Tell me, how may I know Him, how adore,
From whom I have that thus I move and live,
And feel that I am happier than I know.

While thus I call'd, and stray'd I knew not whither,
From where I first drew air, and first beheld
This happy light, when answer none return'd,
On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers,
Pensive I sat me down; there gentle sleep
First found me; and with soft oppression seiz'd
My drowsed sense, untroubled, though I thought
I then was passing to my former state,
Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
When suddenly stood at my head a dream,
Whose inward apparition gently mov'd

My fancy to believe I yet had being,

And liv'd: One came, methought, of shape divine,
And said, Thy mansion wants thee, Adam, rise,
First man, of men innumerable ordain'd
First father; call'd by thee, I come thy guide
To the garden of bliss, thy seat prepar❜d.
So saying, by the hand He took me rais'd,
And over fields and waters, as in air,
Smooth sliding without step, last led me up
A woody mountain whose high top was plain;
A circuit wide, inclos'd with goodliest trees
Planted, with walks and bowers, that what I saw
Of earth before scarce pleasant seem'd. Each tree

Loaden with fairest fruit, that hung to th' eye
Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite

To pluck and eat: whereat, I wak'd, and found
Before mine eyes all real, as the dream
Had lively shadow'd; here had new begun
My wand'ring, had not He who was my guide
Up hither, from among the trees appear'd,
Presence Divine. Rejoicing, but with awe,
In adoration at His feet I fell

Submiss; He rear'd me, and, Whom thou sought'st,

Said mildly, Author of all this thou seest
Above, or round about thee, or beneath;
This paradise I give thee, count it thine.




O MISERABLE of happy! is this the end
Of this new glorious world, and me so late
The glory of that glory, who now become
Accurs'd of blessed? Hide me from the face

Of GOD, Whom to behold was then my height
Of happiness! yet well, if here would end
The misery; I deserv'd it, and would bear
My own deservings; but this will not serve:
All that I eat or drink, or shall beget,

Is propagated curse. O voice once heard
Delightfully, Increase and multiply,

Now death to hear! for what can I increase

Or multiply, but curses on my


Who, of all ages to succeed, but feeling

The evil on him brought by me,

will curse

My head? Ill fare our ancestor impure,

For this we may thank Adam: but his thanks
Shall be the execration; so besides

Mine own that bide upon me, all from me
Shall with a fierce reflux on me redound,
On me as on their natural centre, light
Heavy, though in their place. O fleeting joys
Of paradise, dear bought with lasting woes!
Did I request Thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me man? Did I solicit Thee
From darkness to promote me, or here place
In this delicious garden? As my will
Concurr'd not to my being, it were but right
And equal to reduce me to my dust,
Desirous to resign and render back
All I receiv'd, unable to perform

Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
The good I sought not. To the loss of that,
Sufficient penalty, why hast thou added
The sense of endless woes? Inexplicable
Thy justice seems: yet, to say truth, too late
I thus contest; then should have been refus'd
Those terms whatever, when they were propos'd:
Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good,
Then cavil the conditions? and though GOD
Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son
Prove disobedient, and reprov'd, retort,
Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not:
Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee,
That proud excuse? yet him, not thy election,
But natural necessity begot.

GOD made thee of choice his own, and of his own
To serve him; thy reward was of his grace,
Thy punishment then justly is at his will.
Be it so, for I submit; his doom is fair,
That dust I am, and shall to dust return:
O welcome hour whenever! why delays
His hand to execute what his decree

Fix'd on this day? why do I overlive,

Why am I mock'd with death, and lengthen'd out To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet Mortality my sentence, and be earth

Insensible! how glad would lay me down


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As in my mother's lap! there I should rest
And sleep secure! His dreadful voice no more
Would thunder in my ears, no fear of worse
To me and to my offspring would torment me
With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
Pursues me still, lest all I cannot die,
Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of man
Which GOD inspir'd, cannot together perish
With this corporeal clod; then in the grave,

Or in some other dismal, place, who knows
But I shall die a living death? O thought

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Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath
Of life that sinn'd; what dies but what had life.
And sin? the body properly had neither.

All of me then shall die : let this appease

The doubt, since human reach no further knows.
For though the Lord of all be infinite,

Is his wrath also be it, man is not so,
But mortal doom'd. How can he exercise

Wrath without end on man whom death must end ?
Can he make deathless death? that were to make
Strange contradiction, which to GOD himself.
Impossible is held, as argument

Of weakness, not of power. Will he draw out
For anger's sake, finite to infinite

In punish'd man, to satisfy his rigour
Satisfied never? that were to extend

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