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For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground whence he was taken, fitter soil.

Michaël, this my behest have thou in charge ;
Take to thee from among the Cherubim. 100
Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the Fiend,
Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise :
Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair ; 105
From hallow'd ground the unholy; and denounce
To them, and to their progeny, from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urged
(For I behold them soften'd, and with tears
Bewailing their excess,) all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate ; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten; intermix
My covenant in the Woman's seed renew'd;
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace;
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
Cherubic watch ; and of a sword the flame

120 Wide-waving; all approach far off to fright, And guard all pr 'sage to the tree of life : , Lest Paradise a receptacle prove . To Spirits foul, and all my trees their prey : With whose stolen fruit Man once more to delude. 123

He ceased ; and the archangelic Power prepared For swift descent; with him the cohort bright Of watchful Cherubim : four faces each Had, like a double Janus; all their shape Spangled with eyes more numerous than those 130 Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse, Charm'd with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed Of Hermes, or his opiąte rod. Meanwhile,

115

To rosalute the world with sacred light,
Leucothea waked ; and with fresh dews embalm'd 135
The earth; when Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above ; new hope to spring
Out of despair ; joy, but with fear yet link'd;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd: 140

Eve, easily may faith admit, that all
The good which we enjoy from Heaven descends;
But, that from us aught should ascend to Heaven
So prevalent as to concern the mind
Of God high-bless'd, or to incline his will, 145
Hard to belief may seem ; yet this will prayer
Or one short sight of human breath, upborne
Even to the seat of God. For since I sought
By prayer the offended Deity to appease;
Kneeld, and before him humbled all my heart; 130
Methought I saw him placable and mild,
Bending his ear; persuasion in me grew
That I was heard with favour; peace return'd
Home to my breast, and to my memory
His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe; 155
Which, then not minded in dismay, yet now
Assures me that the bitterness of death
Is pass'd, and we shall live. Whence hail to thee,
Eve rightly calld, mother of all mankind,
Mother of all things living, since by hee . 160
Man is to live ; and all things live for Man.

To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek: Ill worthy I such title should belong To me transgressor ; who, for thee ordain'd A help, became thy snare ; to me reproach 163 Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise ; But infinite in pardon was my Judge, That I, who first brought death on all, am graced The source of life ; next favourable thou, Who highly thus to entitle me vouchsafest, 170 For other name deserving. But the field

To labour calls us, now with sweat imposed,
Though after sleepless night ; for see! the morn,
All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins
Her rosy progress smiling : let us forth;

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I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
Where'er our day's work lies, though now onjoin'd .
Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks ?
Here let us live, though in fallen state, content. 150

So spake, so wish'd much humbled Eve; but Fate Subscribed not: Nature first gave signs, impress'd On bird, beast, air ; air suddenly eclipsed, After short blush of morn; nigh in her sight The bird of Jove, stoop'd from his aery tour, 185 Two birds of gayest plume before him drove ; Down from a hill the beast that reigns in woods, First hunter then, pursued a gentle brace, Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind; Direct to the eastern gate was bent their flight. 190 Adam observed, and with his eye the chase Pursuing, not unmoved, to Eve thus spake :

O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh, Which Heaven, by these mute signs in Nature, shows Forerunners of his purpose ; or to warn : 195 Us, haply too secure of our discharge From penalty, because from death released Some days: how long, and what till then our life, Who knows? or more than this, that we are dust, And thither must return, and be no more ? 200 Why else this double object in our sight Of flight pursued in the air, and o'er the ground, One way the selfsame hour? why in the east Darkness ere day's mid-course, and morning-light More orient in yon western cloud, that draws 205 O'er the blue firmament a radiant white, ' And slow descends with something heavenly fraught

He err'd not; for by this the heavenly bands Hown from a sky of jasper lighted noty

In Paradise, and on a hill made halt;

210 A glorious apparition, had not doubt And carnal fear that day dimmd Adam's eye. Not that more glorious, when the Angels met Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw The field pavilion'd with his guardians bright : 215 Nor that, which on the flaming mount appear'd In Dothan, cover'd with a camp of fire, Against the Syrian king, who to surprise One man, assassin-like, had levied war, War unproclaim'd. The princely Hierarch 220 In their bright stand there left his Powers, to seize Possession of the garden; he alone, To find where Adam shelter'd, took his way, Not unperceived of Adam : who to Eve, While the great visitant approach'd, thus spake : 225

Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps Of us will soon determine, or impose New laws to be observed; for I descry, From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill, One of the heavenly host! and, hg his gait, 230 None of the meanest; some great Potentate Or of the Thrones above ; such majesty Invests him coming ! yet not terrible, That I should fear; nor sociably mild, As Raphaël, that I should much confide; " 235 But solemn and sublime ; whom not to offend, With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.

He ended : and the Archangel soon drew nigh, Not in his shape celestial, but as man Clad to meet man ; over his lucid arms A military vest of purple flow'd, Livelier than Melibean, or the grain Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old In time of truce ; Iris had dipp'd the woof; His starry helm unbuckled show'd himn prime 245 In manhood where youth ended; by his side, As in a glistering zodiac, hung the sword,

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Satan's dire dread; and in his hand the spear.
Adam bow'd low; he, kingly, from his state
Inclined not, but his coming thus declared : 250

Adam! Heaven's high behest no preface needs.
Sufficient that thy prayers are heard ; and Death,
Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
Defeated of his seizure many days
Given thee of grace; wherein thou mayst repent, 255
And one bad act with many deeds well done
Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord, appeased,
Redeem thee quite from Death's rapacious claim;
But longer in this Paradise to dwell.
Permits not : to remove thee I am come,
And send thee from the garden forth to till
The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil.

He added not ; for Adam at the news : Heart-struck with chilling gripe of sorrow stood, That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen 265 Yet all had heard, with audible lament Discover'd soon the place of her retire.

O unexpected stroke, worse than of Death! Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave Thee, native soil! these happy walks and shades, 270 Fit haunt of Gods ? where I had hope to spend, Quiet though sad, the respite of that day That must be mortal to us both. O flowers, That never will in other climate grow, My early visitation, and my last

. 275 At even, which I bred up with tender hand From the first opening bud, and gave ye names! Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount? Thee lastly, nuptial bower ! by me adorn'd 280 With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee How shall I part, and whither wander down * Into a lower world ; to this obscure And wild ? how shall we breathe in other air Less pure, accustom'd to immortal fruits ? 285

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