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The foul of man, or paffion in him move.
What high'er in her fociety thou find'st
Attractive, human, rational, love ftill;
In loving thou doft well, in paffion not,
Wherein true love confifts not: love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his feat 590
In reafon, and is judicious; is the fcale
By which to heav'nly love thou may'ft afcend,
Not funk in carnal pleafure; for which caufe
Among the beafts no mate for thee was found.
To whom thus half abash'd Adam reply'd.
Neither her outfide form'd fo fair, nor ought
In procreation common to all kinds
(Though higher of the genial bed by far
And with mysterious reverence I deem),

So much delights me, as thofe graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and actions mix'd with love
And fweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one foul;
Harmony to behold in wedded pair

More grateful than harmonious found to th' ear.
Yet thefe fubject not; I to thee disclose
What inward thence I feel; not therefore foil'd,
Who meet with various objects, from the fenfe
Variously reprefenting; yet ftill free





Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
To love thou blam'st me not; for love thou fay'st
Leads up to heaven, is both the way and guide:
Bear with me then, if lawful what I afk;
Love not the heavenly fpi'rits, and how their love 615
Exprefs they, by looks only', or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the angel, with a fmile that glow'd
Celestial rofy red, love's proper hue,

Anfwer'd. Let it fuffice thee that thou know'ft 620


Us happy', and without love no happiness. Whatever pure thou in thy body' enjoy'ft, (And pure thou wert created), we enjoy

In eminence, and obstacle find none

Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclufive bars;
Eafier than air with air, if fpi'rits embrace,
Total they mix, union of pure with pure
Defiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need,
As flesh to mix with flesh, or foul with foul.
But I can now no more; the parting fun
Beyond the earth's green cape and verdant ifles
Hefperian fets, my fignal to depart.

Be ftrong, live happy', and love; but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep



His great command; take heed left paffion fway 635
Thy judgment to do ought which elfe free-will
Would not admit; thine, and of all thy fons,
The weal or woe in thee is plac'd; beware.
I in thy perfevering fhall rejoice,

And all the blefs'd: ftand faft; to stand or fall 640
Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.
Perfect within, no outward aid require;
And all temptation to tranfgrefs repel.
So faying, he arofe; whom Adam thus
Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,
Go heav'nly guest, ethereal meffenger,
Sent from whose fov'reign goodness I adore.
Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condefcenfion, and shall be honour'd ever
With grateful memory: thou to mankind
Be good and friendly ftill, and oft return.

So parted they; the angel up to heaven
From the thick fhade, and Adam to his bower.





Satan having compassed the earth, with meditated guild returns as a mift by night into Paradife, and enters into the ferpent fleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning® go forth to their labours; which Eve proposes to divide in feveral places, each labouring apart: Adam confents not, alleging the danger, left that enemy, of whom they were forwarned, fhould attempt her, found alone : « Eve, loath to be thought not circumfpe& or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather defirous to make trial of her ftrength: Adam at laf yields. The ferpent finds her alone; his fubtle approach, firft gazing, then Speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all' other creatures.

Eve, wondering to hear the ferpent" Speak, asks how be attained to human speech and such understanding not till now; the ferpent answers, that by tafting of a certain tree in the garden be attained both to speech and reafon, till then void of both: Eve` requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden: the ferpent now1 grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; fhe, pleased with the tafte, deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not; at laft brings him of the fruit, relates what perfuaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amazed but perceiving her loft, resolves through vehemence of love to perish with her; and extenuating the trespass, eats alfo of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they' feek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance, and accufation of one another.




Rural repast, permitting him the while


O more of talk where God or angel guest With man, as with his friend, familiar us'd' To fit indulgent, and with him partake

Venial difcourfe unblam'd: I now must change


Those notes to tragic; foul distruft, and breach
Difloyal on the part of man, revolt

And difobedience; on the part of heaven

Now alienated, diftance and diftafte,

Anger and juft rebuke, and judgment giv'n


That brought into this world a world of woe,
Sin, and her fhadow Death, and Misery
Death's harbinger: Sad tafk, yet argument
Not lefs, but more heroic than the wrath
Of ftern Achilles on his foe purfu'd
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia difefpous'd;
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's fon;
If answerable ftyle I can obtain



Of my celestial patronefs, who deigns

Her nightly vifitation unimplor'd,

And dictates to me flumb'ring, or infpires

Eafy my unpremeditated verse :

Since first this fubject for heroic fong

Pleas'd me, long chufing, and beginning late;
Not fedulous by nature to indite

Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroic deem'd, chief maft'ry to diffe

With long and tedious havock fabled knights
In battles feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Unfung; or to describe races and games
Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd fhields,
Impreffes quaint, caparifons, and steeds;
Bafes and tinfel trappings, gorgeous knights
At jouft and tournament; then marfhall'd feaft
Serv'd up in hall, with fewers and seneshals;
The fkill of artifice or office mean,

Nor that which juftly gives heroic name
To perfon or to poem. Me of thefe
Nor fkill'd nor ftudious, higher argument
Remains, fufficient of itfelf to raife

That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years damp my intended wing
Deprefs'd; and much they may if all be mine,
Not hers who brings it nightly to my ear.

The fun was funk, and after him the star
Of Hefperus, whofe office is to bring
Twilight upon the earth, fhort arbiter

'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end
Night's hemifphere had veil'd th' horizon round:
When Satan, who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
In meditated fraud and malice, bent







On man's destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
By night he fled, and at midnight return'd

From compaffing the earth, cautious of day,

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