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That lie bestrown, unfightly and unsinooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease :
Mean while, as Nature wills, night bids us reft.

To whom thus Eve, with perfe& beauty'adorn'd,
My author and disposer, what thou bid'at 635
Unargu'd I obey; fo God ordains;
God is thy law, thou mine : to know no more
Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise.
With thee converfing I forget all time;
All seasons and their change, all please alike. 640
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet
With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r,
Glift'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth 645
After soft show'rs; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful ev’ning mild; then silent night
With this her folemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train :
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends 650
With charm of earliest birds.; nor rising fun
On this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, flow'r,
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after show'rs;
Nor grateful ev'ning mild; nor filent night,
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon, 655
Or glitt'ring star-light without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom
This glorious fight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?

To whom our general ancestor reply'd. Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve, 660 There have their course to finish round the earth By morrow ev’ning, and from land to land In order, though to nations yet unborn, Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Left total darkness should by night regain 665 H6.

Her

Her old poffeflion, and extinguish life
In nature and all things; which these soft fires
Not only' enlighten, but with kindly heat
Of various iniluence foment and warm,
Temper or nourish, or in part fhed down 670
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.
Thefe then, tho' urbe held in deep of night,

674
Shine not in vain; nor think, tho' men were none;
That heav'n would want fpectators, God want praise;
Millions of spiritual ereatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep:
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night: how often, from the fteep 680
Of echoing hill or thicket, have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole or refponfive to each others note,
Singing their great Creator oft in bands
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds 686
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heav'n.

Thus talking, hand in hand alone they pass’d On to their blissful bow'r; it was a place 690 Chos'n by the fov’reign Planter, when he fram'd All things to man's delightful use; the roof Of thickest covert was in woven shade Lanrel and myrtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side Acanthus, and each odorous bashy shrub, Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flow'r, Iris all hues, roles and jessamine, Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and wrought Mosaic; undercoct the violet,

700 Crocus

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Crocus and hyacinth, with rich inlay
Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone
Of collieft emblem: other creature here,
Bealt, bird, infect, or worm, durst enter none,
Such was their awe of man. In ihadier bow'r

705
More facred and fequefter'd, tho' but feign'd,
Pan or Sylvanus never flept, nor nymph
Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in clofs recess,
With flowers, garlands, and sweet-fmelling herbs
Efpoufed Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed,
And heav'nly quires the hymentan fung,
What day the genial angel to our fire,
Brought her, in naked beauty mre adorn'd;
More lovely than Pandora, whom the gods
Endow'd with all their gifts, and I too like 715
In fad event, when to th' unwiser son
Of Japhet brought by Hermes, the infnar'd
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire.

Thus at their shady lodge arriv'd, both ftood, 720 Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd The God that made both sky, air, earth and heav'n, Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe, And starry pole: Thou also mad'st the night, Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day,

725 Which we in our appointed work employ'd Have finish’d, happy in our mutual help, And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss Ordain'd by thee; and this delicious place, For us too large, where thy abundance wants 730 Partaker's, and uncropt falls to the ground. But thou hast promis'd from us two a race To fill the earth, who shall wich us extol Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, And when we leek, as now, thy gift of ficep. 735

This said unanimous, and other rites Observing none, but adoration pure, Which God likes best, into their inmost bow'r Handed chey went; and eas'd the putting off These troublesome disguises which we wear, 740 Strait side by side were laid; nor turn'd, I ween, Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites Mysterious of connubial love refus'd : Whatever hypocrites austerely talk Of purity, and place, and innocence,

745 Defaming as impure what God declares Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all. Our Maker bids increase ; who bids abstain But our destroyer, foe to God and man? Hail, wedded love! mysterious law, true source 750 Of human offspring, fole propriety In Paradise of all things common else. By thee adult'rous luft was driv'n from men Among the bestial herds to range; by thee Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure, 755 Relations dear, and all the charities Of father, son, and brother, firit were known. Far be' it, that I should write thee sin or blame, Or think thee unbefitting holiest place, Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets,

760 Whofe bed is undefil'd and chalte pronounc'd, Presept, or past, as faints and patriarchs us’d. Here Love his golden shafts employs, here lights His conftant lamp, and waves his purple wings, Reigos here and revels; not in the bought smile 765 Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear’d, Casual fruition; nor in court-amours, Mix'd dance, or wanton masque, or midnight ball, Or serenate, which the farv'd lover fings To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain, 770

There

780

These, lall'd by nightingales, embracing slept,
And on their naked limbs the flow'ry roof
Shower'd roses, which the morp repair’d. Sleep on,
Blest pair; and O yet happielt, if ye feek
No happier state, and know to know no more.

775
Now had night measur'd with her shadowy cone
Half way up hill this vast fublunar vault,
And from their ivory port the cherubim,
Forth issuing at th' accustom'd hour, stood arm'd
To their night-watches in warlike parade,
When Gabriel to his next in power thus fpake.

Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south With strictest watch; these other wheel the north; Our circuit meets full weft.

As flame they part, Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear. 785 From these two strong and subtle spi'rits he call'd That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge.

Ithuriel and Zephon, with wing'd speed Search thro' this garden, leave unsearch'd no nook; But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge, 790 Now laid perhaps asleep, secure of harm. This evening from the sun's decline arriv'd Who tells of some infernal fpirit seen Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'd The bars of hell, on errand bad no doubt : 795 Such where ye find seize fast. and hither bring.

So saying, on he led his radiant files, Dazzling the moon; these to the bow'r direct In search of whom they fought: him there they found Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve,

800 Affaying by his devilish art to reach The organs of her fancy', and with them forge Illusions as he lift, phantafms and dreams; Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint Th’animal fpirits, that from pure blood arise 805

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