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Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
Before thee shall appear ; that thou may’st know 475
What misery the inabstinence of Eve
Shall bring on Men. Immediately a place
Before his eyes appear'd, sad, noisome, dark;
A lazar-house it seem'd; wherein were laid
Numbers of all diseased; all maladies
Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms
Of heartsick agony, all feverous kinds,
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs,
Intestine stone and ulcer, colic-pangs,
Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy,

And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans ; Despair
Tended the sick busiest from couch to couch ; 490
And over them triunphant Death his dart
Shook, but delay'd to strike, though oft invoked
With vows, as their chief good and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of rock could long
Dry eyed behold? Adam could not, but wept,

495 Though not of woman born ; compassion quell'd His best of man, and gave him up to tears A space, till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess; And, scarce recovering words, his plaint renew'd : O miserable mankind, to what fall

500 Degraded, to what wretched state reserved ! Better end here unborn. Why is life given To be thus wrested from us? rather, why Obtruded on us thus? who, if we knew What we receive, would either not accept 505 Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down ; Glad to be so dismiss'd in peace. Can thus The image of God in Man, created once So goodly and erect, though faulty since, To such unsightly sufferings be debased

510 Under inhuman pains ? Why should not Man,

Retaining still divine similitude
In part, from such deformities be free,
And, for his Maker's image sake, exempt ?

Their Maker's image, answer'd Michaël, then 515
Forsook them, when themselves they vilified
To serve ungovern'd Appetite ; and took
His image whom they served, a brutish vice,
Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve.
Therefore so abject is their punishment,

Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own;
Or if his likeness, by themselves defaced ;
While they pervert pure Nature's healthful rules
To loathsome sickness; worthily since they
God's image did not reverence in themselves. 525

I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.
But is there yet no other way, besides
These painful passages, how we may come
To death, and mix with our connatural dust?

There is, said Michaël, if thou well observe 530
The rule of Not too much ; by temperance taught,
In what thou eat’st and drink’st ; seeking from thence
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
Till many years over thy head return:
So mayst thou live ; till, like ripe fruit, thou drop 535
Into thy mother's lap; or be with ease
Gather'd, not harshly pluck'd ; for death mature:
This is Old Age ; but then thou must outlive [change
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty ; which will
To wither’d, weak, and gray; thy senses then, 540
Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego,
To what thou hast; and, for the air of youth,
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign
A melancholy damp of cold and dry
To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume 545
The balm of life. To whom our ancestor :

Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong Life much; bent rather, how I may be quit, Fairest and easiest, of this cumbrous charge ;

Which I must keep till my appointed day

550 Of rendering up, and patiently attend My disselution. Michaël replied :

Nor love thy life, nor hate ; but what thou livest Live well ; how long, or short, permit to Heaven: And now prepare thee for another sight.

555 He look'd, and saw a spacious plain, whereon Were tents of various hue ; by some were herds Of cattle grazing ; others, whence the sound Of instruments, that made melodious chime, Was heard, of harp and organ; and, who moved 560 Their stops and chords, was seen; his volant touch, Instinct through all proportions, low and high, Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue. In other part stood one who, at the forge Labouring, two massy clods of iron and brass 565 Had melted (whether found where casual fire Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale, Down to the veins of earth ; thence gliding hot To some cave's mouth ; or whether wash'd by stream From underground ;) the liquid ore he drainid 570 Into fit moulds prepared; from which he form'd First his own tools ; then, what might else be wrought Fusil or graven in metal. After these, But on the hither side, a different sort

[seat From the high neighbouring hills, which was their Down to the plain descended ; by their guise 576 Just men they seemd, and all their study bent To worship God aright, and know his works Not hid; nor those things last, which might preserve Freedom and peace to Men ; they on the plain 580 Long had not walk d, when from the tents, behold! A bevy of fair women, richly gay, In gems and wanton dress; to the harp they sung Soft amorous ditties, and in dance came on: The sien, though grave, eyed them; and let their eyes Rove without rein ; till, in the amorous net 586 Fast caught, they liked; and each his liking chose ;

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And now of love they treat, till the evening star,
Love's harbinger, appear'd; then, all in heat
They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke
Hymen, then first to marriage rites invoked :
With feast and music all the tents resound.
Such happy interview, and fair event
Of love and youth not lost, sungs, garlands, flowers,
And charming symphonies, attach'd the heart 595
Of Adam, soon inclined to admit delight,
The bent of nature; which he thus expressid: .

True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blessid;
Much better seems this vision, and more hope
Of peaceful days portends, than those two pass'd; 600
Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse;
Here Nature seems fulfill'd in all her ends.

To whom thus Michaël: Judge not what is best By pleasure, though to nature seeming meet; Created, as thou art, to nobler end

605 Holy and pure, conformity divine. Those tents thou saw'st so pleasant were the tents Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his race Who slew his brother; studious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare; Unmindful of their Maker, though his Spirit Taught them; but they his gifts acknowledged none. Yet they a beauteous offspring shall beget ; For that fair female troop thou sawst, that seem'd Of Goddesses so blithe, so smooth, so gay,

615 Yet empty of all good wherein consists Woman's domestic honour and chief praise ; Bred only and completed to the taste Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance, To dress, and troll the tongue, and roll the eye: 620 To these that sober race of men, whose lives Religious titled them the sons of God, Shall yield up all their virtue, all their fame . Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles Of these fair atheists; and now swim in joy, 625

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Erelong to swiin at large ; and laugh for which
The world erelong a world of tears must weep.

To whom thus Adam, of short joy bereft:
O pity and shame, that they, who to live well
Enter'd so fair, should turn aside to tread
Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint !
But still I see the tenor of Man's woe
Holds on the same, from Woman to begin

From Man's effeminate slackness it begins,
Said the Angel, who should better hold his place 635
By wisdom, and superior gifts received.
But now prepare thee for another scene.

He look’d, and saw wide territory spread Before him, towns, and rural works between; Cities of Men with lofty gates and towers, 640 Concourse in arms, fierce faces threatening war, Giants of mighty bone and bold emprise ; Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed, Single or in array of battle ranged Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood; 645 One way a band select from forage drives A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine, From a fat meadow ground; or fleecy flock, Ewes and their bleating lambs over the plain, Their booty ; scarce with life the shepherds fly, 650 But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray; With cruel tournament the squadrons join; Where cattle pastured late, now scatter'd lies With carcasses and arīns the ensanguined field, Deserted : Others to a city strong

655 Lay siege, encamp'd ; by battery, scale, and mine, Assaulting : others from the wail defend With dart and javelin, stones, and sulphurous fire ; On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds. In other part the sceptred heralds call

660 To council, in the city-gates; anon Gray-headed men and grave, with warriors mix'd Assomble, and harangues are heard ; but soon,

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