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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 feems
A phoenix, gaz'd by all, as that fole bird,
When to infhrine his reliques in the fun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on th' eaftern cliff of Paradife
He lights, and to his proper fhape returns,

A feraph wing'd: fix wings he wore, to fhade
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad



Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breat 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 dipt in heaven; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail,
Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's fon 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 meffage high, in honour rife;

For on fome meffage high they guefs'd him bound. 290
Their glittring tents he pafs'd, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flow'ring odours, caffia, nard, and balm;
A wilderness of fweets; for nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more fweet,
Wild above rule or art; enormous blifs.
Him through the spicy foreft onward come


Adam difcern'd, as in the door he fat

Of his cool bower, while now the mounted fun


Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm

Earth's inmoft womb, more warmth than Adam needs;

And Eve within, due at her hour, prepar'd

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For dinner favoury fruits, of tafte to please

True appetite, and not disrelish thirst


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

Hafte hither Eve, and, worth thy fight, behold, Eastward among thofe trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving; feems another morn 310 Ris'n on mid-noon; fome great beheft from heaven To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe This day to be our gueft. But go with fpeed, And what thy ftores contain, bring forth, and pour Abundance, fit to honour and receive


Our heavenly ftranger: well we may afford
Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow
From large beftow'd, where Nature multiplies
Her fertile growth, and by difburd'ning grows
More fruitful, which inftructs us not to spare. 320
To whom thus Eve. Adam, earth's hallow'd mould,
Of God infpir'd, fmall ftore will ferve, where ftore,
All feafons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk;
Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
To nourish, and fuperfluous moist confumes:



But I will hafte, and from each bough and brake,
Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck fuch choice
To entertain our angel gueft, as he
Beholding fhall confefs, that here on earth
God hath difpens'd his bounties as in heaven.
So faying, with dispatchful looks in hafte
She turns, on hofpitable thoughts intent
What choice to chufe for delicacy best,
What order, fo contriv'd as not to mix
Taftes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring
Tafte after tafte upheld with kindlieft change;
Beftirs 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 reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat
Rough or fmooth rin'd, or bearded hufk, or fhell,
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board.
Heaps with unfparing hand; for drink the grape
She crushes, inoffenfive muft, and meaths 345
From many a berry', and from fweet kernels prefs'd
She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold
Wants her fit veffels pure; then ftrows the ground
With rofe and odours from the fhrub unfum'd.

Meanwhile our primitive great fire, to meet 850 His godlike gueft, walks forth, without more train Accompanied than with his own complete Perfections; in himself was all his ftate,



More folemn than the tedious pomp that waits
On princes, when their rich retinue long
Of horfes led, and grooms befmear'd with gold,
Dazzles the croud, and fets them all agape.
Nearer his presence Adam, though not aw'd,
Yet with fubmifs approach and reverence meek,
As to' a fuperior nature, bowing low;
Thus faid. Native of heaven, for other place
None can than heaven fuch glorious fhape contain ;
Since by defeending from the thrones above,
Thofe happy places thou haft deign'd a while
To want, and honour these, vouchsafe with us 365
Two' only, who yet by fovereign gift poffefs
This fpacious ground, in yonder fhady bower
To reft, and what the garden choicest bears
To fit and tafte, till this meridian heat
Be over, and the fun more cool decline:

Whom thus th' angelic Virtue answer'd mild.
Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou fuch
Created, or fuch place haft here to dwell,
I. 5




As may not oft invite, though fpi'rits of heaven,
To vifit thee: lead on then where thy bower
O'erfhades; for thefe mid hours, till evening rife,
I have at will. So to the fylvan lodge.

They came, that like Pomona's arbour smil'd,
With flow'rets deck'd, and fragrant fmells; but Eve
Undeck'd fave with herself, more lovely fair
Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign'd
Of three that in mount Ida naked ftrove,


Stood to' entertain her guest from heaven; no veil
She needed, virtue proof; no thought infirmi
Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail 3855
Beftow'd, the holy falutation us'd

Long after to blefs'd Mary, fecond Eve.

Hail, mother of mankind! whofe fruitful womb Shall fill the world more numerous with thy fons, Than with these various fruits the trees of God 390 Have heap'd this table. Rais'd of graffy turf. Their table was, and moffy feats had round,. And on her ample fquare from fide to fide.

All autumn pil'd, though spring and autumn here Danc'd hand in hand. A while difcourfe they hold; No fear left dinner cool; when thus began

396 Our author. Heav'nly ftranger, please to taste. These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, defcends, To us for food and for delight hath caus'd The earth to yield; unfavoury food perhaps


To fpiritual natures; only this I know,

That one celeftial Father gives to all.

To whom the angel. Therefore what he gives,

(Whofe praise be ever fung,) to man in part


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 fenfe, whereby they hear, fee, finell, touch, talte, Tafting concoct, digeft, affimilate,

And corporeal to incorporeal turn.

For know, whatever was created, needs-
To be fuftain'd and fed; of elements,


The groffer feeds the purer, earth the fea,
Earth and the fea feed air, the air thofe fires
Ethereal, and as lowest, first the moon;
Whence in her vifage round thofe fpots, unpurg'd
Vapours not yet into her fubftance turn'd.
Nor doth the moon no nourishment exhale
From her moift continent, to higher orbs.
The fun, that light imparts to all, receives
From all his alimental recompenfe

In humid exhalations, and at ev'n'



Sups with the ocean. Though in heav'n the trees
Of life ambrofial fruitage bear, and vines

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Yield nectar; 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
Varied his bounty fo with new delights,
As may compare with heav'n; and to tafte
Think not I fhall be nice. So down they fat,
And to their viands fell; nor feemingly
The angel, nor in mift, the common glofs
Of theologians; but with keen dispatch
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat



To tranfubftantiate what redounds, tranfpires
Through fpirits with eafe; nor wonder; if by fire:
Of footy coal th' empiric alchemist
Can turn, or holds it poffible to turn,
Metals of droffieft ore to perfect gold
As from the mine,

Meanwhile at table Eve



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