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Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air ; till within foar
Of tow'ring eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phenix, gaz'd by all, as that fole bird,
When to inthrine his reliques in the sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise

He lights, and to his proper shape returns,
A seraph wing'd: six wings he wore, to shade
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breat
With regal ornament; the middle pair

280 Girt like a larry zone his waist, and round Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold, And colours dipt in heaven ; the third his feet Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail, Sky-tiretur'd grain. Like Maia's son he food, 285 And fhook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd The circuit wide. Strait 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 high they guess'd him bound. 290 Their glitt'ring tents he pass’d, and now is come Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh, And flow'ring odours, cassia, nard, and balm ; A wilderness of sweets ; for nature here Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will 295 Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss. Him through the spicy forest onward come Adam discern?d, as in the door he fat Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun 300 Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam needs; And Eve within, due at her hour, prepar'd I. 4


For dinner favoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst

305 Of necta'rous draughts between, from milky stream, Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam call'd.

Haste bither Eve, and, worth thy fight, behold, Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving ; seems another morn 310 Ris'n on mid-noon; some great beheft from heaven To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchfafe This day to be our guest. But go with fpeed, And what thy fitores contain, bring forth, and pour Abundance, fit to honour and receive

315 Our heavenly stranger: well we may afford Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow From large bektow'd, where Natare multiplies Her fertile growth, and by disburd'ning grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. 320

To whom thus Eve. Adam, earth's hallow'd mould, Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where lore, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and fuperfluous moilt consumes:

325 But I will hafte, and from each bough and brake, Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice To entertain our angel guest, as he Beholding thall confefs, that here on earth God hath dispens'd his bounties as in heaven. 330

So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste She turns, on bospitable thoughts intent What choice to chuse for delicacy best, What order, fo contriv'd as not to mix Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring

335 Talte after taste upheld with kindliest change; Bestirs her then, and from each tender Italk Whatever Earth, all-bearing mother, yields

In India East or West, or middle shore,
In Pontus, or the Punic coast, or where 340
Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat
Rough or smooth rin'd, or bearded hulk, or shell,
She gathers, tribute largo, and on the board.
Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape
She crushes; inoffensive mult, and meaths 345
From many a berry', and from sweet kernels press'd
She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold
Wants her fit vefsels pure;. then Itrows the ground
With rose and odours from the shrub unfum'd.

Meanwhile our primitive great fire, to meet 850
His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train
Accompaniod than with his own complete
Perfections ; in himself was all his state,
More folemn than the tedious pomp that waits
On princes, when their rich retinue long 355
of horses led, and grooms besmear’d with gold,
Dazzles the croud, and sets them all agape.
Nearer his presence Adam, though not asid,
Yet with fubmiss approach and reverence meek,
As to'a superior nature, bowing low,

360 Thus faid. Native of heaven, for other place None can than heaven such glorious shape contain ; Since by defeending from the thrones above, Those happy places thou hast deign’d a while To want; and honour these, vouchsafe with us 365 Two'only, who yet by sovereign gift poffefs This fpacious ground, in yonder shady bower To reft, and what the garden choicelt bears To fit and taste, till this meridian heat Be over, and the sun more cool decline:

370 Whom thus th'angelic Virtue answer'd mild. Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such Created, or such place haft here to dwell, IS



As may not oft invite, though fpi'rits of heaven,
To visit thee: lead on then where thy bower 375
O'ershades; for these mid hours, tilhevening rise,
I have at will. So to the sylvan lodge
They came, that like Pomona's arbour smil'd,
With flow'rets deck'd, and fragrant smells; but Eve
Undeck'd save with herself, more lovely fair

Than.wood-nymph, or the fairelt goddess feign'd
Of three that in mount. Ida naked Itrove,
Stood to’entertain her guest from heaven; no veil
She needed, virtue proof; no thought infirm
Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail.

385 Bestow'd, the holy falutation us'd Long after to bless'd Mary, second Eve.

Hail, mother of mankind! whose fruitful womb. Shall fill the world more numerous with thy fons, Than with these various fruits the trees of God 392 Have heap'd this table. Rais'd of graffy turf Their table was, and mossy seats had round, And on her ample square from side to side. All autumn pil'd, though spring and autumn here Danc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold; No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began 396 Our author. Heav'nly Atranger, please to taste These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom. All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, descends, To us for food and for delight hath caus'd 400 The earth to yield; unfavoury food perhaps To fpiritual 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 405 Spiritual, may of pureft fpi'rits be found No'ingrateful food : and food alike those pure Intelligential fubftances require,


As doth your rational; and both contain
Within them every lower faculty

Of sense, whereby they hear, fee, sinell, touch, talte,
Tasting concoct, digest, alimilate,
And corporeal to incorporeal turn.
For know, whatever was created, needs
To be sustain'd and fed; of elements,

415 The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea, Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires Ethereal, and as lowest, first the moon; Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd Vapours not yet into her subtance turn'd.

420 Nor doth the moon no nourishment exhale From her moilt continent to higher orbs. The sun, that light imparts to all, receives From all his alimental recompense In humid exhalations, and at ev'n

425 Sups with the ocean. Though in heav'n the trees Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines Yield near; though from off the boughs each morn We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground Cover'd with pearly grain : yet God hath here: 430 Váried his bounty so with new delights, As may compare with heav'n; and to taste Think not I shall be nice. So down they fat, And to their viands fell; nor seemingly The angel, nor in mist, the common glofs 435 Of theologians; but wich keen dispatch Of real hunger, and concoctive heat To transubstantiate: what redounds, transpires Through spi'rits with ease ; nor wonder; if by fire Of sooty coal th’empiric alchemist

440 Can turn, or holds it poflible to turn, Métals of droffieft ore to perfect gold As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve



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