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Of heaven's high seated top, th' imperial throne
Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Power arrived, and sat Him down
With His great Father; for He also went
Invisible, yet stay'd, such privilege
Hath Omnipresence, and the work ordain'd,
Author and end of all things, and from work
Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the seventh day,
As resting on that day from all His work,
But not in silence holy kept; the harp
Had work, and rested not; the solemn pipe
And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,
All sounds on fret by string or golden wire,
Temper'd soft tunings, intermix'd with voice
Choral or unison : of incense, clouds
Fuming from golden censers hid the mount.
Creation and the six days' acts they sung;
Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite
Thy power; what thought can measure thee, or tongue
Relate thee? greater now in thy return
Than from the giant angels; thee that day
Thy thunders magnified; but to create
Is greater than created to destroy.
Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy empire P easily the proud attempt
Of spirits apostate and their counsels vain
Thoa hast repell’d, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks
To lessen thee, against his purpose serves
To manifest the more thy might: his evil
Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
Witness this new-made world, another heav'n
From heaven gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea;
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destined habitation; but thou know'st
Their seasons: among these the seat of men,
Earth, with her nether ocean circumfused,

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Their pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happy men,
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanced,
Created in His image, there to dwell
And worship Him; and in reward to rule
Over His works, on earth, in sea, or air,
And multiply a race of worshippers
Holy and just: thrice happy, if they know
Their happiness, and persevere upright.

So sung they, and the empyrean rung
With Hallelujahs: thus was Sabbath kept.
And thy request think now fulfill’d, that ask'd
How first this world and face of things began,
And what before thy memory was done
From the beginning, that posterity
Inform'd by thee might know. If else thou seek'st
Aught, not surpassing human rneasure, say.

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Adam Inquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully answer'd, and exhorted to search rather things mre worthy of knowledge. Adam assents; and still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to bim what he remember'd since his own creation, bis placing in Paradise ; bis talk with Good concerning sulitude and tit society; bis first weeting and nuptials with Eve; his discourse with the angel thereupun; who, afte adinouitions repeated, departs.

The angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charming left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hears
Then, as new waked, thus gratefully replied.

What thanks sufficient, or what recompence
Equal, have I to render thee, divine
Historian ? who thus largely hast allay'd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsafed
This friendly condescension to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator: something yet of doubt remains
Which only thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly frame, this world,
Of heav'n and earth consisting, and computo
Their magnitudes, this earth a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compared
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible, for such
Their distance argues, and their swift return
Diurnal, merely to officiate light
Round this opacous earth, this punctual' spot,
One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides; reasoning I oft admire,
How nature wise and frugal could commit

Small as a point in punctuation.

1

Sach disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold, to this one use,
For aught appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Served by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives,

1
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails

So spake our sire, and by his count'nance seem'd
Entering on studious thoughts abstruse ; which Eve
Perceiving where she sat retired in sight,
With lowliness majestic from her seat,
And

grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flow'rs,
To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom,
Her nursery ; they'at her coming sprung,
And touch'd by her fair tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she net, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear
Of what was high: such pleasure she resery

erved,
Adam relating, she sole auditress;
Her husband the relater she preferr'd
Before the angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal caresses ; from his lip
Not words alone plea ed her. O when meet now
Such pairs, in love an l mutual honour join'd ?
With Goddess-like deineanour forth she went;
Not unattended, for on her as queen
A pomp of winning graces waited still,
And from about her shot darts of desire
Into all eyes to wish her still in sight.

1 One is here reminded of the fact that Milton had held communion with

Galileo, whose " Eppure si muove historical

And Raphael now to Adam's doubt proposed
Benevolent and facile thus replied.

To ask or search I blame thee not, for heav'n
Is as the book of God before thee set,
Wherein to read His wondrous works, and learn
His seasons,

hours, or days, or months, or years. This to attain, whether hear'n move or earth, Imports not, if thou reckon right;' the rest From man or angel the great architect Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge His secrets to be scann'd by them who ought Rather admire; or if they list to try Conjecture, He his fabric of the heav'ns Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move His laughter at their quaint opinions wide Hereafter, when they come to model heav'n And calculate the stars, how they will wield The mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive, To save appearances ; how gird the sphere With centric and eccentric scribbled o'er, Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb. Already by thy reasoning this I guess, Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest, That bodies bright and greater should not serve The less not bright, nor heav'n such journeys run, Earth sitting still, when she alone receives The benefit. Consider first, that great Or bright infers not excellence : the earth Though, in comparison of heav'n, co small, Nor glistering, may of solid good contain More plenty than the sun, that barren shines, Whose virtue on itself works no effect, But in the fruitful earth: there first received His beams, unactive else, their vigour find.

I The subject was then matter of dismission, and, in the Roman Church, of persecution. The Ptolemaic system made the earth the centre of the system, and the sun and stary nove round it; the Copernican made the sun the centre, and the earth move, as Galileo asserted.

2 These terms were used by Ptolemaio astronomers to explain their system. Centric means a sphere whose centre is the same as that of the earth; eccentric, a sphere whose centre is quite different to that of the earth. Cycle is a circle; epicycle, a circle on another circle.

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