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The ARGUMENT. The Son of God presents to bis Father the

Prayers of our first Parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise; sends Michael with a Band of Cherubim to difpoless them ; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michael's coming down. Adam hews to Eve certain ominous signs; be discerns Michael's approach, goes out to meet him : the Angel denounces their departure. Eve's Lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits : The Angel leads him up to a high Hill, sets before him in vision what Shall happen till the Flood,

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HUS they in lowlieft plight repentant stood

Praying, for from the Mercy-seat above Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath'd s Unutterable, whiich the Spirit of prayer Inspir’d, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight Than loudest Oratory: yet their pore Not of mean suitors, nor important less Scen'd their Petition, than when th'ancient Pair 10 In Fables old, less ancient yet than these, Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore The Race of Mankind drown'd, before the Shrine Of Themis stood devout. To Heav'n their pray’rs Flew up, nor miss’d the way, by envious winds is Blown vagabond or frustrate : in they pass'd Dimentionless thro' Heav'niy dores; then clad With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd, By their great Intercessor, came in fight Before the Father's Throne: Them the glad Son 20 Presenting, thus to intercede began.

See, Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixo With Incense, I thy friest before thee bring, 25. Fruits of more pleasing favour from thy seed Sown with contrition in his heart, than those which his own hand manuring all the Trees Of Paradise could have produc'd, e'er fallina


From innocence. Now therefore bend thine ear
To supplication, hear his fighs though mute ;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him, me his Advocate
And propitiation, all his works on me
Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those 35
Shall perfect, and for these my Death Mall pay.
Accept me, and in me from these receive
The smell of peace toward Mankind, let him live
Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
Number'd, tho' sad, till Death, his doom (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)

To better life thall yield him, where with me
All my redeem'd may dwell in joy and bliss,
Made one with me as I with thee am one.

To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene. 45
All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
Obtain, all thy request was my Decree :
But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The Law I gave to Nature him forbids :


immortal Elements that know
No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule,
Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
As a difemper, gross to aire as gross,
And mortal food, as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first

Diftemper'd all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts
Created him endow'd, with Happiness
And Immortality : that fondly lost,

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