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With kisses pure: aside the devil turn'd
For envy, yet with jealous leer malign
Eyed them askance, and to himself thus plain’d.

Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two
Imparadised in one another's arms,
The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill
Of bliss on bliss, while I to hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Among our other torments not the least,
Still unfulfill’d with pain of longing pines.
Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
From their own mouths: all is not theirs it seems;
One fatal tree there stands of Knowledge call’d
Forbidden them to taste: knowledge forbidden ?
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord
Envy them that? can it be sin to know?
Can it be death ? and do they only stand
By ignorance ? is that their happy state,
The proof of their obedience and their faith ?
O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Their ruin ! hence I will excite their minds
With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with design
To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt
Equal with Gods; aspiring to be such,
They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?
But first with narrow search I must walk round
This garden, and no corner leave unspied;
A chance but chance may lead where I may meet
Some wand'ring spirit of heav'n, by fountain side,
Or in thick shade retired, from him to draw
What further would be learn’d. Live while ye may,
Yet happy pair; enjoy, till I return,
Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.

So saying, his proud step he scornful turn’d,
But with sly circumspection, and began
Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er dale, his roam.
Meanwhile in utmost longitude, where heav'n
With earth and ocean meets, the setitng sun
Slowly descended, and with right aspect

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Against the eastern gate of paradise
Levell’d his ev'ning rays: it was a rock
Of alabaster, piled up to the clouds,
Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent
Accessible from earth, one entrance high;
The rest was craggy cliff, that overhung
Still as it rose, impossible to climb.
Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel sat,
Chief of the angelic guards, awaiting night;
About him exercised heroic games
Th' unarmed youth of heav'n; but nigh at hand
Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears,
Hung high with diamond flaming and with gold.
Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even
On a sunbeam, swift as a shooting star
In autumn thwarts the night, when vapours fired
Impress the air, and show the mariner
From what point of his compass to beware
Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste.

Gabriel, to thee thy course by lot hath given
Charge and strict watch, that to this happy place
No evil thing approach or enter in:
This day at highth of noon came to my sphere
A spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know
More of the Almighty's works, and chiefly man
God's latest image: I descried his way
Bent all on speed, and mark'd his aery gait:
But in the mount that lies from Eden north,
Where he first lighted, soon discern’d his looks
Alien from heav'n, with passions foul obscured:
Mine

eye pursued him still, but under shade 'Lost sight of him; one of the banish'd crew, I fear, hath ventured from the deep to raise New troubles; him thy care must be to find.

To whom the wingèd warrior thus return'd: Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect sight, Amid the sun's bright circle where thou sitt'st,

1 The angel sent to Daniel (Dan. ix. 21), and to the Virgin Mary and to 2% charias (see Luke i. 19 and 26).

:

See far and wide: in at this gate none pass
The vigilance here placed, but such as come
Well known from heav'n; and since meridian hour
No creature thence. If spirit of other sort,
So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds
On purpose, hard thou know'st it to exclude
Spiritual substance with corporeal bar.
But if within the circuit of these walks
In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom
Thou tell'st, by morrow dawning I shall know.

So promised he, and Uriel to his charge
Return'd on that bright beam, whose point now raised
Bore him slope downward to the sun, now fall’n
Beneath th' Azores; whether the prime orb,
Incredible how swift, had hither rollid
Diurnal, or this less volubil earth,
By shorter flight to th' east, had left him there,
Arraying with reflected purple and gold
The clouds that on his western throne attend.
Now came still evening on, and twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad;
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;
She all night long her amorous descant sung;
Silence was pleased : now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires ; Hesperus that led
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, the hour Of night and all things now retired 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 slumbrous weight inclines Our eyelids: other creatures all day long 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 heaven on all his ways;
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 risen,
And at our pleasant labour, to reform
Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,' ; ;
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown, si
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,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease:
Meanwhile, as nature wills, night bids us rest.

To whom thus Eve with perfect beauty adorn’d.
My author and disposer, what thou bidd'st,
Unargued 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:
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 flower,
Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
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
On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glist’ring with dew, nor fragrance after showers;
Nor grateful evening mild, nor silent night.
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon,
Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these ? for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes ?

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01.-4. To whom our general ancestor replied.

Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve,

Those have their course to finish, round the earth,
6. By morrow ev’ning, and from land to land

In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Minist'ring light prepared, they set and rise;
Lest total darkness should by night regain
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
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, though 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,
Singing their great Creator ? oft in bands
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 heaven.

Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bower; it was a place
Chosen by the sov'reign planter, when he framed
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
Acanthus and each odorous bushy shrub
Fenced up the verdant wall, each beauteous flower,
Iris all hues, roses, and jessamin

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