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Under a shade on flowers, much wond'ring where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
Not distant far from thence a murm'ring sound
Of waters issu'd from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd

Pure as th'expanse of heav'n; I thither went
With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the clear
Smooth lake, that to me feem'd another sky.
As I bent down to look, juft opposite
A shape within the wat'ry gleam appear'd,
Bending to look on me: I started back,
It started back; but pleas'd I foon return'd,

; , Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answ'ring looks Of fympathy and love: there I had fix'd 465 Mine eyes till now, and pind with vain defire, Had not a voice thus warn'd me, What thou feeft, What there thou feelt, fair creature, is thyself; With thee it came and goes: but follow me, And I will bring thee where no fhadow stays 470 Thy coming, and thy soft enibraces, he Whose image thou art; him thou shalt enjoy Inseparably thine, to him thalt bear Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd Mother of human race. What could I do, 475 But follow ftrait, invisibly thus led ? Till I espy'd thee, fair indeed and tall, Under a platan; yet methought lefs fair, Less winning foft, less amiably mild, Than that smooth wat'ry image: back I turn'd; 480 Thou following cry'dit aloud, Return fair Eve, Whom fly'st thou? whom thou fly’st, of him thou art, His flesh, his bone; to give thee be’ing I lent Out of my fide to thee, nearest my heart, Subltantial life, to have thee by my side 485 Henceforth an individual solace dear;


Part of my foul I feck thee, and thee claim
My other half: with that thy gentle hand
Seiz'd mine ; I yielded, and from that time fee
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace

490 And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

So spake our general mother, and with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
And meek surrender, half-embracing lean'd
On our first father; half her swelling brealt 495
Naked met his, under the flowing gold
Of her loose treffes hid: he in delight,
Both of her beauty and submissive charms,
Smild with superior love, as Jupiter
On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds 500
That shed Mày-flow'rs; and press'd her matron lip
With kiffes pure

Afide the Devil turn'd
For envy ; yet with jealous leer malign
Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plain'd.

Sight hateful, fight tormenting! thus these two, 505
Imparadis'd in one another's arms,
The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill
Of bliss on bliss; while I to hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Among our other torments not the least,

510 Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines. Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd From their own mouths: all is not theirs it seems; One fatal tree there stands, of knowledge callid, Forbidden them to taste. Knowledge forbidden? 515 Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord Envy them that? can it be sin to know? Can it be death? and do they only stand By ignorance? is that their happy state, The proof of their obedience and their faith? 520 O fair foundation laid whereon to build Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds



With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with defign
To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt 525
Equal.with gods: aspiring to be fuch,
They taste and die : what likelier can enfue?
But first with narrow search I must walk round
This garden, and no corner leave unfpy'd;
A chance but chance may lead where I may meet 530
Some wand'ring fpi'rit of heav'n by fountain-fide,
Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
What further would be learn'd. Live while ge may,
Yet happy pair ; enjoy, till I return,
Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed. 535

So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
But with fly circumspection, and began
Throwood, thro' wafte, o'er hill, o'er dale, his roam.
Mean while in utmost longitude, where heav'n
With earth and ocean meets, the setting fun 549
Slowly descended, and with right afpéét
Against the eastern gate of Paradise
Levellid his ev’ning rays: it was a rock
Of alabaster, pild up to the clouds,
Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent $45
Accessible from earth, one entrance high;
The rest w35 craggy cliff that overhung
Still as it rose, imposible to climb.
Betwixt thefe rocky pillars Gabriel fat,
Chief of th’angelic guards, awaiting niglit; 350
About him exercis'd heroic games
Th'unarmed youth of heav'n, but nigh at hand
Celestial armoury, fhields, helms, and spears,
Hung high, with diamond flaming and with gold.
Thither came Uriel, gliding thro' the even 555
On a sunbeam, {wift as a shooting star
In Autum thwarts the night, when vapours fir'd
Impress the air, and shoirs the mariner


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From what point of lis coinpafs to beware
Impetuous winds: He thus began in hale.

Gabriel, to thee thy course by lot hath given
Charge and strict watch, that to this happy place
No evil thing approach or enter in.
This day at height of roon.came to my sphere
A fpirit zealous, as he feem'd, to know

More of th' Almighty's works, and chiefly min,
God's latest image : I describ'd his way,
Bent all on speed, and mark'd his airy gate ;
But in the mount that lies froin Eden north,
Where he first lighted, foon discern'd his looks 570
Alien from heav'n, with pawions foul cbfcur’d:
Mine eye pursu'd him ftill, but under shade
Lof light of him: one of the banifh'd crew,
bfear, bath ventur'd from the decp, to raise
New troubles ; him thy care must be to find. 1575

To whom the winged warrior thus return'd. Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect sight, Amid the sun's bright circle where thou fitti, See far and wide: in at this gate none pass The vigilance here plac'd, but such as come 580 Well known from heav'n; and since meridian hour No creature thence: if spirit of other fort, So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds On purpose, hard thou know'st it to exclude: Spiritual subliance with corporeal bir.

583 But if within the circuit of these walks, In whatsoever shape he lurk; of whom Thou tell'it, by.morrow dawning I shall know.'

So promis'd he; and Uriel to his charge Return'd, on that bright beam whose point 10w raise Bore him slope downward to the sun now fall's 591 Beneath th' Azores; whether the prime orb, locredible how swift, had thither roll'd Diurnal, or this lefs volubile earth,

By shorter flight to th' eaft, had left him there 595
Arraying with reflected purple' and gold
The clouds that on his western throne attend.

Now came ftill ev'ning on, and twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad;
Silence accompany'd; for beast and bird, 600
They to their grasly couch, thefe to their nefts
Were flunk, all but the wakeful nightingale ;
She all night long her amorous descant sung;
Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires: Hefperus, that led 605
The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon
Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,
And o’er the dark her filver mantle threw.

When Adam thus to Eve. Fair confort, th' hour Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest, 611 Mind us of like repose, since God hath set Labour and rest, as day and night, to men Succellive; and the timely dew of fleep Now falling with soft flumb'rous weight, inclines 615 Our eye-lids: other creatures all day long Rove idly unemploy'd, and leis need reft; Man hath his daily work of body' or mind Appointed, which declares his dignity, And the regard of heav'n on all his ways; 620 While other animals unactive

range, And of their doings God takes no account. To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east With first approach of light, we must be risen, And at our present labour, to reform Yon flow'ry arbours, yonder alleys green, Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown, That mock our fcant manuring, and require More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth: Those blofsoms allo, and those dropping gums, 630



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