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“Gabriel, thou hadst in Heaven the esteem of
wise,
And such I held thee; but this question asked
Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain?
Who would not, finding way, break loose from
hell,
Though thither doomed? Thou wouldst thyself
no doubt,
And boldly venture to whatever place
Farthest from pain, where thou mightest hope to
change
Torment with ease, and soonest recompense
Dale with delight, which in this place I sought;
To thee no reason, who knowest only good,
But evil hast not tried: and wilt object
His will who bounds us? let him surer bar
His iron gates, if he intends our stay
In that dark durance: thus much what was asked.
The rest is true, they found me where they say;
But that implies not violence or harm.”
Thus he in scorn. The warlike angel, moved,
Disdainfully half smiling, thus replied.
“O loss of one in Heaven to judge of wise,
Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,
And now returns him from his prison 'scaped,
Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither,
Unlicensed, from his bounds in hell prescribed;
So wise he judges it to fly from pain,
However, and to escape his punishment!
So judge thou still, presumptuous ! till the wrath
Which thou incurrest by flying, meet thy flight
Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to hell,
Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain
Can equal anger infinite provoked.
But wherefore thou alone 7 wherefore with thee
Came not all hell broke loose? is pain to them
Less pain, less to be fled? or thou than they
Less hardy to endure? Courageous chief!
The first in flight from pain! hadst thou alleged
To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.”
To which the fiend thus answered, frowning
stern,
“Not that I less endure or shrink from pain,
insulting angel! well thou knowest I stood
Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid
The blasting vollied thunder made all speed,
And seconded thy else not dreaded spear.
But still thy words at random, as before,
Argue thy inexperience what behooves,
From hard assays and ill successes past,
A faithful leader, not to hazard all
Through ways of danger by himself untried:
I therefore, I alone first undertook
To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
This new created world, whereof in hell
Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
Better abode, gol my afflicted ro
F -

To settle here on earth, or in mid air;
Though for possession put to try once more
What thou and thy gay legions dare against;
Whose easier business were to serve their Lord
High up in Heaven, with songs to hymn his throne
And practised distances to cringe, not fight.”
To whom the warrior angel soon replied.
“To say and straight unsay, pretending first
Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy,
Argues no leader but a liar traced,
Satan, and could'st thou faithful add 2 O name,
O sacred name of faithfulness profaned."
Faithful to whom ? to thy rebellious crew 3
Army of fiends, fit body to fit head.
Was this your discipline and faith engaged,
Your military obedience, to dissolve
Allegiance to the acknowledged Power supreme?
And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawned, and cringed, and servilely adored
Heaven's awful Monarch? whrerefore, but in hope
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign
But mark what I arreed thee now, avaunt;
Fly thither whence thou fledst! if from this hour
Within these hallowed limits thou appear,
Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained,
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn
The facile gates of hell too slightly barred.”
So threatened he: but Satan to no threats
Gave heed, but waxing more in rage, replied.
“Then when I am thy captive talk of chains,
Proud limitary cherub! but ere then
Far heavier load thyself expect to feel
From my prevailing arm, though Heaven's King
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers,
Used to the yoke, drawest his triumphant wheels
In progress through the road of Heaven star-paved."
While thus he spake, the angelic squadron
bright
Turned fiery red, sharpening in mooned horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
Sways them; the careful ploughman doubting
stands,
Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarmed,
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremoved:
His stature reached the sky, and on his crest
Sat horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp
What seemed both spear and shield: now dread-
ful deeds
Might have ensued, not only Paradise
In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements
At least had gone to wrack, disturbed and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon

The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weighed,
The pendulous round earth with balanced air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles and realms: in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up flew, and kicked the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend.
“Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowest
mine,
Neither our own, but given; what folly then
To boast what arms can do! since thine no more
Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled
now
To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
Where thou art weighed, and shown how light,
how weak,
If thou resist.” The fiend looked up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft; nor more; but fled
Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

BOOK V.

THE ARGUMENT.

Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her; they come forth to their day labours; their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise; his appearance described; his coming discerned by Adam afar off sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table; Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions aster him to the parts of the north, and there incited thern to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

Now morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime
Advancing, sowed the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam waked, so customed; for his sleep
Was airy light, from pure digestion bred,
And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song
Of birds on every bough; so much the more
His wonder was to find unwakened Eve
With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek
As through unquiet rest; he on his side
Leaning half raised, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamoured, and beheld

Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whispered thus. “Awake,
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight!
Awake: the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.”
Such whispering waked her, but with startled eye
On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake.
“O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection glad I see
Thy face, and morn returned; for I this night
(Such night till this I never passed) have dreamed,
If dreamed, not, as I oft am wont, of thee,
Works of day past, or morrow's next design,
But of offence and trouble, which my mind
Knew never till this irksome night: methought
Close at mine ear one called me forth to walk
With gentle voice; I thought it thine: it said,
‘Why sleepest thou, Eve? now is the pleasant time,
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-laboured song: now reigns
Full orbed the moon, and with more pleasing light
Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain,
If none regard; Heaven wakes with all his eyes,
Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire?
In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.
I rose as at thy call, but found thee not;
To find thee I directed then my walk;
And on, methought, alone I passed through ways
That brought me on a sudden to the tree
Of interdicted knowledge: fair it seemed,
Much fairer to my fancy than by day:
And, as I wondering looked, beside it stood
One shaped and winged like one of those from
Heaven
By us oft seen; his dewy locks distilled
Ambrosia; on that tree he also gazed;
And ‘O fair plant,' said he, “with fruit surcharged,
Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet,
Nor God, nor man? is knowledge so despised?
Or envy, or what reserve forbids us taste?
Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold
Longer thy offered good; why else set here?'
This said, he paused not, but with venturous arm
He plucked, he tasted; me damp horror chilled
At such bold words, vouched with a deed so bold:
But he thus, overjoyed. ‘O fruit divine,
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt,
Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit
For gods, yet able to make gods of ment
And why not gods of men, since good, the more

Communicated, more abundant grows,
The author not impaired, but honoured more!
Here happy creature, fair angelic Eve,
Partake thus also; happy though thou art,
Happier thou mayest be, worthier canst not be:
Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods
Thyself a goddess, not to earth confined,
But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes
Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see
What life the gods live there, and such live thou.’
So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
Which he had plucked; the pleasant savoury
smell
So quickened appetite, that I, methought,
Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds
With him I flew, and underneath beheld
The earth outstretched immense, a prospect wide
And various: wondering at my flight and change
To this high exaltation; suddenly
My guide was gone, and I, methought sunk down,
And fell asleep; but O how glad I waked
To find this but a dream!” Thus Eve her night
Related, and thus Adam answered sad.
“Best image of myself, and dearer half,
The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep
Affects me equally; nor can I like
This uncouth dream, of evil sprung, I fear;
Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none,
Created pure. But know, that in the soul
Are many lesser faculties, that serve
Reason as chief; among these fancy next
Her office holds; of all external things,
Which the five watchful senses represent,
She forms imaginations, airy shapes,
Which reason, joining or disjoining, frames
All what we affirm or what deny, and call
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
Into her private cell when nature rests.
Oft in her absence mimic fancy wakes
To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes,
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams,
Ill matching words and deeds long past or late.
Some such resemblances, methinks, I find
Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream,
But with addition strange; yet be not sad.
Evil into the mind of God or man
May come and go, so unapproved, and leave
No spot or blame behind: which gives me hope,
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream,
Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
Be not disheartened then, nor cloud those looks,
That wont to be more cheerful and serene,
Than when fair morning first smiles on the world;
And let us to our fresh employments rise
Amon the groves, the fountains, and the flowers,
That open now their choicest bosomed smells,
Reserved from night, and kept for thee in store.”

So cheered he his fair spouse, and she was cheerd;

But silently a gentle tear let fall
From either eye, and wiped them with her hair;
Two other precious drops that ready stood,
Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell
Kissed, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
And pious awe, that feared to have offended.

So all was cleared, and to the field they haste,
But first, from under shady arborous roof,
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of dayspring, and the sun, who scarce uprisen,
With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean brim,
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Discovering in wide landscape all the east
Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains,
Lowly they bowed adoring, and began
Their orisons, each morning duly paid
In various style; for neither various style
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
Their Maker, in fit strains pronounced, or sung
Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence
Flowed from their lips, in prose or numerous verse
More tuneable than needed lute or harp
To add more sweetness; and they thus began.

“These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Almighty! thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair: thyself how wondrous then! Unspeakable, who sitst above these Heavens, To us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night. Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in Heaven, On earth join all ye creatures to extol Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, If better thou belong not to the dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater, sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climbest, And when high noon has gained, and when thou

fallest.

Moon, that now meetest the orient sun, now fliest,
With the fixed stars, fixed in their orb that flies.
And ye five other wandering fires, that move
In mystic dance, not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness called up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.

Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rise;
Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling, still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye
pines,
With every plant in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices all ye living souls: ye birds,
That singing up to Heaven gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep,
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail! universal Lord, be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.”
So prayed they innocent, and to their thoughts
Firm peace recovered soon and wonted calm.
On to their morning's rural work they haste,
Among sweet dews and flowers, where any row
Of fruit trees over-woody reached too far
Their pampered boughs, and needed hands to
check
Fruitless embraces: or they led the vine
To wed her elm; she, spoused about him twines
Her marriageable arms, and with her brings
Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn
His barren leaves. Them thus employed beheld
With pity Heaven's high King, and to him called
Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deigned
To travel with Tobias, and secured
His marriage with the seven-times wedded maid.
“Raphael,” said he, “thou hearest what stir on
earth
Satan from hell escaped through the darksome
gulf,
Hath raised in Paradise, and how disturbed
This night the human pair; how he designs
In them at once to ruin all mankind.
Go, therefore, half this day as friend with friend
Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade
Thou findest him from the heat of noon retired,
To respite his day labour with repast,
Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
As may advise him of his happy state,
Happiness in his power left free to will,
Left to his own free will, his will though free,
Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not, too secure; tell him withal
His danger, and from whom; what enemy,

Late fallen himself from Heaven, is plotting now
The fall of others from like state of bliss;
By violence? no, for that shall he withstood;
But by deceit and lies: this let him know,
Lest wilfully trangressing he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonished, unforewarned.”
So spake the eternal Father and fulfilled
All justice: nor delayed the winged saint
After his charge received; but from among
Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood
Weiled with his gorgeous winds, up springing
light,
Flew through the midst of Heaven; th’ angelic
choirs,
On each hand parting, to his speed gave way
Through all the empyreal road; till at the gate
Of Heaven arrived, the gate self-opened wide,
On golden hinges turning, as by work
Divine the sovereign architect had framed.
From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
Star interposed, however small he sees,
Not unconform to other shining globes,
Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crowned
Above all hills. As when by night the glass
Of Galileo, less assured, observes
Imagined lands and regions in the moon;
Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades
Delos or Samos first appearing, kens
A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady
wing
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar
Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phoenix, gazed by all as that sole bird,
When, to enshrine his reliques in the sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise
He lights, and to his proper shape returns
A seraph winged: six wings he wore, to shade
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament; the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold
And colours diptin Heaven; the third his feet
Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail,
Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood.
And shook his plumes, that Heavenly fragrance
filled
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the
bands
Of angels under watch; and to his state,
And to his message high, in honour rise;
For on some message they guessed him bound.
Their glittering tents he passed, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm;

A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
Wantoned as in her prime, and played at will
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet
Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss.
Him, through the spicy forest onward come,
Adam discerned, as in the door he sat
Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun
Shot down direct his servid rays to warm
Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam
needs
And Eve within, due at her hour prepared
For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst
Ofnectarous draughts between, from milky stream,
Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam called.
“Haste hither, Eve, and, worth thy sight, behold
Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape

Comes this way moving; seems another morn Risen on mid-noon; some great behest from heaven

To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe
This day to be our guest. But go with speed,
And what thy stores contain bring forth and pour
Abundance, fit to honour and receive
Our heavenly stranger: well we may afford
Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow
From large bestowed, where nature multiplies
Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows
More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.”
To whom thus Eve. “Adam, earth's hallowed
mould,
Of God inspired, small store will serve, where store,
All seasons, ripe for us hangs on the stalk;
Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes:
But I will haste, and from each bough and brake,
Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such
choice
To entertain our angel guest, as he
Beholding shall confess, that here on earth
God hath dispensed his bounties as in Heaven.”
So saying, with despatchful looks in haste
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent
What choice to choose for delicacy best,
What order so contrived as not to mix
Tastes, not well joined, inelegant, but bring
Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change;
Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk
Whatever earth, all bearing mother, yields
In India East or West, or middle shore
In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where
Alcinous reigned, fruit of all kinds, in coat
Rough or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell,
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board
Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape
She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths.
From many a berry; and from sweet kernels press'd
She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold

Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train Accompanied than with his own complete Perfections; in himself was all his state, More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits On princes, when their rich retinue long Of horses led, and grooms besmeared with gold, Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape. Nearer his presence Adam, though not awed, Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek, As to a superior nature bowing low Thus said. “Native of Heaven, for other place None can than Heaven such glorious shape contain; Since, by descending from the thrones above, Those happy places thou hast deigned a while To want, and honour these, vouchsafe with us Two only, who yet by sovereign gift possess This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower To rest, and what the garden choicest bears To sit and taste till this meridian heat Be over and the sun more cool decline.”

Whom thus the angelic virtue answered mild, “Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such Created, or such place hast here to dwell, As may not oft invite, though spirits of Heaven, To visit thee: lead on then where thy bower O'ershades; for these mid-hours, till evening rise, I have at will.” So to the sylvan lodge They came, that like Pomona's arbour smiled, With flowerets decked, and fragrant smells; but

Eve,

Undecked, save with herself, more lovely fair
Than wood nymph, or the fairest goddess, feigned
Of three that in mount Ida naked strove,
Stood to entertain her guest from heaven: no veil
She needed, virtue proof; no thought infirm
Altered her cheek. On whom the angel “Hail”
Bestowed, the holy salutation used
Long after to blest Mary, second Eve.

“Hail! mother of mankind, whose fruitful womb
Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons
Than with these various fruits the trees of God
Have heaped this table!” Raised of grassy turf
Their table was, and mossy seats had round,
And on her ample square from side to side
All autumn piled, though spring and autumn here
Danced hand in hand. Awhile discourse they hold:
No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began
Our Author. “Heavenly stranger, please to taste
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom
All perfect good, unmeasured out, descends,
To us for food, and for delight hath caused
The earth to yield; unsavoury food perhaps
To spiritual natures; only this I know,
That one celestial Father gives to all.”
To whom the Angel. “Therefore what he gives
(Whose praise be ever sung) to man, in part

Wants her fit vessels pure; then strews the ground With rose and odours from the shrub unfumed.

Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found
No ingrateful food: and food alike those pure

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