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I led her blushing like the morn: all heaven,
Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought My story to the sum of earthly bliss, Which I enjoy; and must confess to find In all things else delight indeed, but such As, used or not, works in the mind no change, Nor vehement desire; these delicacies I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and
flowers, Walks, and the melody of birds: but here Far otherwise, transported I behold, Transported touch; here passion first I felt, Commotion strangel in all enjoyments else Superior and unmoved; here only weak Against the charm of beauty's powerful glanco. Or nature fail'd in me, and left some part Not proof enough such object to sustain; Or, from my side subducting, took perhaps More than enough; at least on her bestow'd Too much of ornament, in outward show Elaborate, of inward less exact. For well I understand in the prime end Of nature her the inferior, in the mind And inward faculties, which most excel : In outward also her resembling less His image who made both, and less expressing The character of that dominion given O'er other creatures: yet, when I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
To whom the angel with contracted brow :
so? An outside; fair, no doubt, and worthy well Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy. love; Not thy subjection: weigh with her thyself; Then value: oft-times nothing profits more Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right, Well managed; of that skill the more thou
know'st, The more she will acknowledge thee her head, And to realities yield all her shows: Made so adorn for thy delight the more, So awful, that with honour thou mayst love Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least
wise. But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind ls propagated, seem such dear delight
Beyond all other; think the same vouchsafed
To whom thus, half abash'd, Adam replied:
sayst, Leads up to heaven, is both the way and guide; Bear with me then, if awful what I ask: Love not the heavenly spirits, and how their
love Express they? by looks only? or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?
To whom the angel, with a smile that glow'd Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue, Ånswered: Let it suffice thee that thou know 'st Us happy; and without love no happiness. Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy’st, (And pure thou wert created,) we enjoy In eminence; and obstacle find none Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars: Easier than air with air, if spirits embrace, Total they mix, union of pure with pure Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need, As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul. But I can now no more; the parting sun, Beyond the earth's green cape and verdant isles Hesperian, sets; my signal to depart. Be strong, live happy, and love! but, first of all, Him, whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command: take heed, lest passion sway Thy judgment to do anght, which else free will Would not admit: thine, and of all thy sons, The weal or woe in thee is placed; beware! I in thy persevering shall rejoice, And all the blest: stand fast; to stand or fall Free in thine own arbitrement it lies. Perfect within, no outward aid require; And all temptation to transgress repel.
So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus Follow'd with benediction: Since to part, Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger, Sent from whose sovereign goodness I adore! Gentle to me and affable hath been Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd erer With grateful memory: thou to mankind Be good and friendly still, and oft return!
So parted they; the angel up to heaven From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.
SATAN having encompassed the earth, with meditated
guile returns, as a mist, by night into Paradise; enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone: Eve, loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength: Adam at last yields; the serpent finds her alone: his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking; with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures, Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech, and such understanding, not till now: the serpent answers, that by tast. ing of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden; the serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she, pleased with the taste, deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not: at last brings him of the fruit; re. lates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam, at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her; and, extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.