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Mysterious of connubial love refus'd :
Whatever hypocrites austerely talk
Of purity, and place, and innocence, 745
Defaming as impure what God declares
Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all.
Our Maker bids increase ; who bids abstain
But our Destroyer, foe to God and Man?
Hail wedded Love, mysterious law, true source
Of human offspring, sole propriety
In Paradise of all things common else.
By thee adult'rous lust was driven from men,
Among the bestial herds to range ; by thee,
Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure, 755
Relations dear, and all the charities
Of father, son, and brother first were known.
Far be't, that I should write thee sin or blame,
Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets, 760
Whose bed is undefil'd and chaste pronounc'd,
Present, or past, as saints and patriarchs us’d.
Here Love his golden shafts employs, here lights
His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings,
Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile
Of harlots loveless, joyless, unendear’d,
Casual fruition ; nor in court-amours,
Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight hall,
Or serenade, which the starv'd lover sings
To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain. 770
These, lull’d by nightingales, embracing, slept,
And on their naked limbs the flow'ry roof
Show'r'd roses, which the morn repair’d. Sleepon,
Blest pair; and O yet happiest, if ye seek
No happier state, and know to know no more.
Now had Night measur'd with her shadowy
776 Half way up
hill this vast sublunar vault, And from their iv'ry port the Cherubim Forth issuing at th'accustom'd hour, stood arm'd To their night-watches in warlike parade, 780 When Gabriel to his next in pow'r thus spake:
Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south With strictest watch; these other wheel the north; Our circuit meets full west. As flame they part: Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear. 785 From these, two strong and subtle Sp’rits he call’d That near him stood, and gave them thus in
charge : Ithuriel and Zephon, with wing'd speed Search thro’this garden; leave unsearch’dnonook; But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge, Now laid perhaps asleep, secure of harm. 791 This ev’ning from the Sun's decline arriv’d Who tells of some infernal Spirit seen, Hitherward bent (who could have thought ?)
escap'd The bars of Hell, on errand bad no doubt : 795 Such where
find, seize fast, and hither bring. So saying, on he led his radiant files, Dazzling the moon; these to the bow'r direct, In search of whom they sought : him there they
To iemere, there I am come,,, brot send thee from the Garden (orth, to till The ground when thou ma táken,
Printre for I. Parsons, Paternoster Row VW 2.7795
Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve, 800
Afsaying by his dev'lish art to reach
The organs of her fancy', and with them forge
Illusions as he list, phantasms and dreams;
Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
Th' animal spirits that from pure blood arise, 805
Like gentle breaths from rivers pure, thence raise
At least distemper'd, discontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires,
with high conceits ingend'ring pride. Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
Touch'd lightly; for no falsehood can endure
Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likeness. Up he starts,
Discover'd and surpriz’d. As when a spark
Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid
Fit for the tun some magazine to store
Against a rumour'd war, the smutty grain
With sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the air;
So started up in his own shape the Fiend.
Back stept those two fair Angels, half amaz’d 820
So sudden to behold the grisly king;
Yet thus, unmov’d with fear, accost him soon:
Which of those rebel Sp'rits, adjudg’d to Hell,
Com'st thou, escap'd thy prison? and transform’d,
Why sat’st thou like an enemy in wait, 825
Here watching at the head of these that sleep ?
Know ye not then, said Satan, fill’d with scorn, Know ye not me? Ye knew me once no mate For
you; there sitting where ye durst not soar.