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For ever, to remove him I decree,
Michaël, this my behest have thou in charge ;
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,
To rosalute the world with sacred light,
Eve, easily may faith admit, that all
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,
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,
Satan's dire dread; and in his hand the spear.
Adam! Heaven's high behest no preface needs.
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