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Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
280 Girt like a farrý 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 ffood, 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 blåsful field, through groves of myrrh, And fow'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 forelt 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
For dinner favoury fruits, of taste to please
305 Of necta'rous draughts between, from milky stream, Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam call'd.
Hafte hither 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 behest from heaven To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchfafe This day to be our guest. But go with fpeed, And wbat thy ftores 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 beftow'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 store, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and fuperfluous moist 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 shall confess, that here on earth God hath dispens'd his bounties as in heaven.
330 So saying, with dispatchful looks in hafte She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent What choice to chuse for delicacy best, What order, fo contriv'd as not to mix Taftes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring 335 Tafte after tafte upheld with kindliest change ; Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Whatever Earth, all-bearing mother, yields
In India East or Welt, or middle shore,
many a berry', and from sweet kernels press'd She
tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold Wants her fit vefsels pure; then Arows 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 Accompanied 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 Cf horses led, and grooins besmear'd with gold, Dazzles the croud, and sets them all.agape. Nearer bis presence Adam, though not awa, Yet with fubmiss approach and reverence meek, As to’a fuperior nature, bowing low;
360 Thus faid. Native of heaven, for other place None can than heaven such glorious shape contain ; Since by defoending 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 rest, 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,
As may not ost invite, though fpi'rits of heaven,
Hail, mother of mankind! whose fruitful womb.
396 Our author. Heav'nly ftranger, 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, (Whofe praise be ever sung) to man in part 405 Spiritual, inay of pureft fpi'rits be found No'ingrateful food: and food alike those pure Intelligential substances require,
As doth your rational; and both contain
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 subftance turn'd. Nor doth the moon no nourishment exhale From her moist continent to higher orbs. The sun, that light imparts to all, receives From all his alimental recompense In humid exhalations, and at ev'n
423 Seps with the ocean. Though in heav'n the trees Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines Yield nedar; 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 Väried 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 with keen dispatch Of real hunger, and concoctive heat To tranfubftantiate: what redounds, transpires Through fpi'rits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire Of sooty coal th’empiric alchemist Can turn, or holds it pollble to turn, Métals of droffieft ore to perfect gold As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve