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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

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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 pin'd with vain defire, Had not a voice thus warn'd me, What thou feeft, What there thou seelt, 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 callid Mother of human race, What could I do, 475 But follow strait, invisibly thus led ? Till I espy'd thee, fair indeed and tall, Under a platan; yet methought less fair, Less winning soft, less amiably mild, Than that smooth wat'ry image: back I turn'd; 480 Thou following cry'dit aloud, Return fair Eve, Whom fly'lt 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, Substantial life, to have thee by my side 485 Henceforth an individual folace dear;

Part

Part of my soul I seck 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'a by manly grace

490 And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

So spake our general mother, and with eyes Of conjugal attragion unreprov'd, And meek furrender, half-embracing lean'd On our first father; half her swelling breast 495 Naked met his, under the flowing gold Of her loose treffes hid: he in delight, Both of her beauty and submiflive 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 kisses pure

Aside the Devil turn'd
For envy ; yet with jealous leer malign
Ey'd chem a kance, 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 leait,

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 H 4

With

With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with design
To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt 525
Equal with gods: aspiring to be such,
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 ye may,
Yet happy pair ; enjoy, till I return,
Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.

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So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
But with fly circumspection, and began
Thro' wood, 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 aspect
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 afcent

545 Accessible from earth, one entrance high; The rest was craggy cliff that overhung Still as it rose, imposible to climb. Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel fat, Chief of th’angelic guards, awaiting night; 550 About hiin exercis'd heroic games Th' unarmed youth of heav'n, but nigh at hand Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and fpears, Hung high, with diamond flaming and with gold. Thither came Uriel, gliding thro' the even 555 On a sumbeam, {wift as a shooting star In Autum thwarts the night, when vapours

fir'd Impress the air, and shows the mariner

From

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From what point of his coinpaís 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 spirit zealous, as he seem'd, to know 595
More of th' Almighty's works, and chiefly min,
God's latest image: I describd his way,
Bent all on speed, and mark'd his airy gate ;
But in the mount that lies fro:n Eden north,
Where he first lighted, suon discern'd his looks 570
Alien from heav'n, with pallons foul cblourd:
Mine eye pursu'd him ftill, but under shade
Loft light of him: one of the banith'd crew,
I fear, bath ventur'd from the deep, to raise
New troubles; him thy care nuit be to find. 575

To whom the winged warrior thus return'd.
Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect fight,
Amid the sun's bright circle where thou fittit,
See far and wide: in at this gate none pass
The vigilance here plac'd, but such as come

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Well known from heav'n; and since meridian hour
No creature thence: if fpi'rit of other fort,
So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds
On purpose, hard thou know' t it to exclude
Spiritual substance with corporeal bir.

585 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 now rais'd Bore him slope downward to the sun now fall's 5y! Beneath th' Azores; whether the prime orb, locredible how swift, had thither roll'd Diurnal, or this lefs volubile earth,

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By shorter flight to th' east, 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 elad;
Silence accompany'd; for beast and bird, 600
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests
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 fapphires: Hefperus, that led
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 lets 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 scant manuring, and require More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth: Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, 630

That

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