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Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups
With pleasant liquors crown'd. O innocence 445
Deserving Paradise ! if ever, then,
Then had the sons of God excuse to have been
Enamour'd at that fight; but in those hearts
Love unfibidinous reign’d, nor jealousy
Was understood, the injur'd lover's helt.

Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffic'd,
Not burden'd nature, sudden mind arofe
In Adam, not to let th’occafion pass
Giv'n him by this great conference, to know
Of things above his world, and of their being 455
Who dwell in heaven, whose excellence he faw
Transcend his own so far, whose radiant forms,
Divine effulgence, whose high power so far
Exceeded human; and his wary speech
Thus to th'empyreal minister he fram'd.

Inhabitant with God, now know I well Thy favour, in this honour done to man, Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsaf'd To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste, Food not of angels, yet accepted fo,

465 As that more willingly tbou couldst not seem At heaven's high feasts to' have fed: yet what com

To whom the winged hierarch reply'd.
O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom
All things proceed. and up to him return,

If not deprav'd from good, created all
Such to perfection, one first matter all,
Endu'd with various forms, various degrees,
Of substance, and in things that live, of life ;
But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure, 475
As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending,
Each in their several active spheres aflign'd,
Till body up to spirit work, in bounds



Proportion'd to each kind. So from the root
Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
More aery, last the bright consuremate flower 481
Spirits odorous breathes: flow'rs and their fruit,
Man's nourishment, by gradual scale fublim'd,
To vital spi'rits aspire, to animal,
To intellectual; give both life and sense, 485
Fancy and understanding; whence the soul
Reason receives, and reason is her being,
Discursive or intuitive ; discourse
is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
Diff'ring but in degree, of kind the same.
Wonder not then, what God for you saw good
If I refuse not, but convert, as you,
To proper substance: time may come, when men
With angels may participate, and find
No inconvenient di'et, nor too light fare;

And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
Your bodies may at last turn all to fpirit,
Improv'd by tract of time, and wing'd ascend
Ethereal, as we, or may at choice
Here or in heav'nly Paradises dwell;

seo If ye

be found obedient, and retain Unalterably firm his love entire, Whose progeny you are.

Mean while enjoy
Your fill what happiness this happy ftaté
Can comprehend, incapable of more.

To whom the patriarch of mankind reply'd.
O favourable fpi'rit, propitious guest,
Well halt thou taught the way that might direct
Our knowledge, and the scale of nature fet
From centre to circumference, whereon,

510 In contemplation of created things, By steps we may ascend to God. But say, What meant that caution join'd, If ye be found


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Obedient? Can we want obedience then
To him, or possibly his love desert,

Who form'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here
Full to the utmost measure of what bliss
Human desires can seek or apprehend ?

To whom the angel. Son of heaven and earth,
Attend : That thou art happy, owe to God; 520
That thou continues such, owe to thyself,
That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd.
God made thee perfect, not immutable;
And good he made thee, but to persevere

He left it in thy power; ordain'd thy will
By nature free, not over-ruld by fate
Inextricable, or strict necessity:
Our voluntary service he requires;
Not our necellitated; such with him
Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how
Can hearts not free be try'd whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By destiny, and'can no other chufe?
Myself, and all th' angelic hoft, that stand

In fight of God'enthron'd, our happy ftate
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other. (urety none: freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
And some are fall'n, to disobedience fallin,
And so from heav'n to deepest hell; O fall
From what high state of bliss into what woe!..

To whom our great progenitor. Thy words
Attentive, and with more delighted ear, 545
Divine instructor, I have heard, than when
Cherubic songs by night from neighb'ring hills
Aereal music fend: nor knew I not





To be both will and deed created free ;
Yet that we never shall forget to love
Our Maker, and obey him whofe command
Single is yet fo just, my constant thoughts
Assur'd me', and still assure: tho' what thou tell'st
Hath pass’d in heaven, fome doubt within me more,
But more delire to hear, if thou consent,

The full relation, which must needs be strange,
Worthy of facred filence to be heard;
And we have yet large day, for scarce the sun
Hath finish’d. half his journey, and scarce begins
His other half in the great zone of heaven.,

Thus Adam made request; and Raphaël, After short pause assenting, thus began.

High matter thou injoin'st me', O prime of men, Sad task and hard ; for how shall I relate To human sense th’ invisible exploits

505 Of warring spirits ? how without remorse The ruin of so many glorious once And perfect while they stood ? how laft unfold The secrets of another world, perhaps Not lawful to reveal ? Yet for thy good

570 This is dispens’d; and what surmounts the reach Of human sense, I fhall delineate so, By likening spiritual to corporal forms, As may express them beit; tho' what if earthi Be but the shadow of heaven, and things therein 575 Each to other like, more than on earth is thought?.

As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild Reign'd where these heavens now roll, where earth now Upon her centre pois’d; when on a day [rests (For time, though in eternity, apply'd

580 To motion, measures all things durable By present, past, and future), on such day As heav'n's great year brings forth, th’empyreal host



Of angels, by imperial summons callid,
Innumerable before th' Almighty's throne 585
Forth with from all the ends of heav'n appear'd
Under their hierarchs in orders bright:
Ten thousand thousand enligns high advanc'd,
Standards and gonfalon's 'twixt van and rear
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees;
Or in their glitt'ring tissues bear imblaz'd
Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love
Recorded eminent. Thus when in orbs
Of circuit inexprellible they stood,

Orb within orb, the Father infinite,
By, whom in bliss imborom'd sat the Son,
Amidst as from a flaming mount, whose top
Brightness had made invisible, thus fpake.
Hear all ye angels, progeny of light,

Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers,
Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand.
This day I have begot whom I declare
My only Son, and on this holy bill
Him have anointed, whom ye now behold 605
At my right hand; your head I him appoint;
And by myself have sworn to him shall bow
All knees in heaven, and shall confess him Lord:
Under his great vicegerent reign abide
United as one individual foul

For ever happy : him who disobeys,
Me disobeys, breaks union, and that day
Cast out from God and blessed vifion, falls
Into' utter darkness, deep ingulf'd, his place
Ordain'd without redemption, without end.

So spake th’Omnipotent, and with his words
All seem'd well pleas’d; all seem'd, but were not all.
That day, as other solemn days, they spent

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