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Minifter'd naked, and their flowing cups

With pleafant liquors crown'd. O innocence
Deferving Paradife! if ever, then,

Then had the fons of God excufe 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 hell.



Thus when with meats and drinks they had fuffic'd,
Not burden'd nature, fudden 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 be'ing 455
Who dwell in heaven, whofe excellence he faw
Tranfcend his own fo far, whofe radiant forms,
Divine effulgence, whofe high power fo far
Exceeded human; and his wary speech
Thus to th' empyreal minifter he fram'd.
Inhabitant with God, now know I well
Thy favour, in this honour done to man,
Under whofe lowly roof thou hast vouchsaf'd
To enter, and thefe earthly fruits to tafte,
Food not of angels, yet accepted fo,



As that more willingly thou 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 fpiritous, and pure,
As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending,
Each in their feveral active fpheres affign'd,
Till body up to fpirit work, in bounds





Proportion'd to each kind. So from the root
Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
More aery, laft the bright confummate flower
Spirits odorous breathes: flow'rs and their fruit,
Man's nourishment, by gradual fcale fublim'd,
To vital fpi'rits afpire, to animal,

To intellectual; give both life and fenfe,
Fancy and understanding; whence the foul
Reafon receives, and reafon is her being,
Difcurfive or intuitive; discourse


Is ofteft yours, the latter most is ours,
Diff'ring but in degree, of kind the fame.

Wonder not then, what God for you saw good


If I refufe 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 thefe corporal nutriments perhaps
Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,
Improv'd by tract of time, and wing'd afcend
Ethereal, as we, or may at choice



Here or in heav'nly Paradifes dwell;
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 state

Can comprehend, incapable of more.


To whom the patriarch of mankind reply'd.

O favourable fpi'rit, propitious guest,

Well haft thou taught the way that might direct
Our knowledge, and the scale of nature fet
From centre to circumference, whereon,
In contemplation of created things,
By steps we may afcend to God. But fay,
What meant that caution join'd, If ye be found



Obedient? Can we want obedience then

To him, or poffibly his love defert,


Who form'd us from the duft, and plac'd us here
Full to the utmost measure of what blifs

Human defires can seek or apprehend?


To whom the angel. Son of heaven and earth, Attend: That thou art happy, owe to God; That thou continueft fuch, 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-rul'd by fate Inextricable, or strict neceffity: Our voluntary fervice he requires, Not our neceffitated; fuch with him



Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how

Can hearts not free be try'd whether they ferve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By destiny, and 'can no other chufe?

Myfelf, and all th' angelic hoft, that stand
In fight of God'enthron'd, our happy flate


Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other furety none: freely we ferve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we ftand or fall:
And fome are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
And fo 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,



Divine inftructor, I have heard, than when

Cherubic fongs by night from neighb'ring hills

"Aereal mufic 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 juft, my conftant thoughts

Affur'd me', and still affüre: tho' what thou tell'st
Hath pafs'd in heaven, fome doubt within me move,.
But more defire to hear, if thou confent,

The full relation, which muft needs be ftrange,
Worthy of facred filence to be heard;

And we have yet large day, for fcarce the fun
Hath finish'd half his journey', and fearce begins
His other half in the great zone of heaven..
Thus Adam made requeft; and Raphaël,
After fhort paufe affenting, thus began.



High matter thou injoin'st me', O prime of men, Sad task and hard; for how shall I relate

To human fenfe th' invifible exploits


Of warring fpirits? how without remorfe

The ruin of fo many glorious once

And perfect while they ftood? how laft unfold
The fecrets of another world, perhaps

Not lawful to reveal? Yet for thy good


This is difpens'd; and what furmounts the reach
Of human sense, I fhall delineate fo,
By likening spiritual to corporal forms,
As may exprefs them beft; tho' what if earth
Be but the fhadow' 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
(For time, though in eternity, apply'd

To motion, measures all things durable

By present, paft, and future), on fuch day



As heav'n's great year brings forth, th' empyreal hoft


Of angels, by imperial fummons call'd,
Innumerable before th' Almighty's throne
Forthwith from all the ends of heav'n appear'd
Under their hierarchs in orders bright:
Ten thoufand thousand enfigns high advanc'd,
Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear
Stream in the air, and for distinction serve
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees;
Or in their glitt'ring tiffues bear imblaz'd
Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love
Recorded eminent. Thus when in orbs
Of circuit inexpreffible they ftood,
Orb within orb, the Father infinite,

By whom in blifs imbofom'd fat the Son,

Amidst as from a flaming mount, whose top
Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.
Hear all ye angels, progeny of light,

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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 hill

Him have anointed, whom ye now behold


At my right hand; your head I him appoint;

And by myself have fworn to him fhall bow

All knees in heaven, and fhall confefs him Lord:
Under his great vicegerent reign abide


United as one individual foul

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


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

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