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Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid;
Leave them to God above; him serve and fear:
Of other creatures, as him pleases best,
Wherever plac'd, let him dispose: joy thou 170
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
And thy fair Eve. Heav'n is for thee too high
To know what passes there. Be lowly wise:
Think only what concerns thee and thy being;
Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there
Live, in what state, condition, or degree, 176
Contented that thus far hath been reveal'd
Not of Earth only, but of highest Heav'n.

To whom thus Adam, clear'd of doubt, reply'd:
How fully hast thou satisfy'd me, pure
Intelligence of Heav'n, Angel serene,
And freed from intricacies, taught to live,
The easiest way; nor with perplexing thoughts
To interrupt the sweet of life, from which
God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares, 185
And not molest us, unless we ourselves
Seek them with wand'ring thoughts, and notions

vain !
But apt the mind or fancy is to rove
Uncheck’d, and of her roving is no end;
Till warn’d, or by experience taught, she learn,
That not to know at large of things remote 191
From use, obscure and subtle, but to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom: what is more is fume,
Or emptiness, or fond impertinence, 195

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And renders us in things that most concern
Unpractis'd, unprepar’d, and still to seek.
Therefore from this high pitch let us descend
A lower flight, and speak of things at hand
C'seful, whence haply mention may

arise
Of something not unseasonable to ask
By suffrance, and thy wonted favour deign’d.
Thee I have heard relating what was done
Ere my remembrance: now hear me relate
My story, which perhaps thou hast not heard; 205
And day is yet not spent; till then thou seest
How subtly to detain thee I devise,
Inviting thee to hear while I relate,
Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply:
For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heav'n;
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
Than fruits of palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both, from labour, at the hour
Of sweet repast: they satiate and soon fill,
Tho' pleasant, but thy words, with grace

divine Imbu’d, bring to their sweetness no satiety. 216

To whom thus Raphael answer'd heav'nly meek: Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men, Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd Inward and outward both, his image fair: Speaking or mute, all comeliness and grace Attends thee, and each word, each motion forms: Nor less think we in Heav'n of thee on Earth Than of our fellow-servant, and enquire 225

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Gladly into the ways of God with Man :
For God, we see, hath honour'd thee, and set
On Man his equal love: say therefore on;
For I that day was absent, as befel,
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure, 230
Far on excursion tow'rd the gates of Hell ;
Squar'd in full legion (such command we had)
To see that none thence issu'd forth a spy,
Or enemy, while God was in his work,
Lest he, incens'd at such eruption bold, 235
Destruction with creation might have mix'd.
Not that they durst without his leave attempt,
But as he sends upon his high behests
For state, as Sov’reign King, and to inure
Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut
The dismal gates, and barricado'd strong; 241
But long ere our approaching, heard within
Noise, other than the sound of dance or song;
Torment, and loud lament, and furious

rage.
Glad we return'd up to the coasts of light 245
Ere Sabbath ev'ning: so we had in charge.
But thy relation now; for I attend,
Pleas’d with thy words no less than thou with mine.

So spake the Godlike Pow'r, and thus our sire: For Man to tell how human life began 250 Is hard; for who himself beginning knew? Desire with thee still longer to converse Induc'd me. As new wak'd from soundest sleep, Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun

Soon dry'd, and on the reeking moisture fed.
Straight toward Heav'n my wond'ringeyes Iturn'd,
And gaz'd a while the ample sky, till rais'd
By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung,
As thitherward endeav'ring, and upright 260
Stood on my feet. About me round I saw
Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains,
And liquid lapse of murm’ring streams: by these,
Creatures that liv’d, and mov’d, and walk’d, orflew:
Birds on the branches warbling: all things smil'd.
With fragrance and with joy my heart o’erflow’d.
Myself 1 then perus’d, and limb by limb
Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
With supple joints, as lively vigour led :
But who I was, or where, or from what cause, 270
Knew not. To speak I try'd, and forthwith spake;
My tongue obey'd, and readily could name
Whate'er I saw. Thou sun, said I, fair light,
And thou enlighten’d Earth, so fresh and gay;
Ye Hills and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plains,
And ye that live and move, fair Creatures tell, 276
Tell if ye saw, how came I thus? how here?
Not of myself; by some great Maker then,
In goodness and in pow'r pre-eminent !

how
may

I know him, how adore, 280
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

Tell me,

This happy light, when answer none return'd,
On a green shady bank profuse of flow'rs,
Pensive I sat me down; there gentle sleep
First found me, and with soft oppression seiz'd
My droused sense, untroubl’d, though I thought
I then was passing to my former state 290
Insensible, and forth with to dissolve:
When suddenly stood at my head a dream,
Whose inward apparition gently mov'd
My fancy to believe I yet had being, 294
And liv’d. One came, methought, of shape divine,
And said, Thy mansion wants thee Adam; rise,
First Man, of men innum'rable 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, 300
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 304
Planted, with walks and bow'rs, 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

310
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

315

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