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I led her blushing like the morn: all heaven,
And happy constellations, on that hour
Shed their selectest influence; the earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
Whispered it to the woods, and from their

wings
Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub,
Disporting, till the amorous bird of night
Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening star
On his hill top, to light the bridal lamp.

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,
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best:
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded; wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discountenanced, and like folly shows:
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and, to consummate all,
Greatness of mind, and nobleness, their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic placed.

To whom the angel with contracted brow :
Accuse not nature; she hath done her part,
Do thou but thine; and be not diffident
Of wisdom; she deserts thee not, if thou
Dismiss not her, when most thou need'st

nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things
Less excellent, as thou thyself perceivest.
For, what admirest thou, what transports thee

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 cattle and each beast; which would not be
To them made common and divulged, if aught
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue
The soul of man, or passion in him move.
What higher in her society thou find'st
Attractive, human, rational, love still;
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
Wherein true love consists not: love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his seat
In reason, and is judicious; is the scale
By which to heavenly love thou mayst ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure; for which cause,
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.

To whom thus, half abash'd, Adam replied:
Neither her outside form’d so fair, nor aught
In procreation common to all kinds,
(Though higher of the genial bed by far,
And with mysterious reverence I deem,)
So much delights me, as those graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies, that daily flow
From all her words and actions, mix'd with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one soul;
Harmony to behold in wedded pair
More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear.
Yet these subject not: I to thee disclose
What inward thence I feel, not therefore foil'd ;
Who meet with various objects, from the sense
Variously representing; yet, still free,
Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
To love, thou blamest me not; for love, thou

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

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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.

PARADISE LOST

BOOK IX.

THE ARGUMENT.

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.

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