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Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air ; till within foar

Of tow'ring eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phenix, gazd by all, as that fole bird,
When to inthrine his reliques in the sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on th'eastern cliff of Paradise

275 He lights, and to his proper shape returns, A seraph wing'd: six wings he wore, to shade His lineaments divine; the pair that clad Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breat With regal ornament; the middle pair

280 Girt like a farrý zone his waist, and round Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold, And colours dipt in heaven ; the third his feet Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail, Sky-tiretur'd grain. Like Maia's son be food, 285 And fhook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd The circuit wide. Strait knew him all the bands Of angels under watch; and to his state, And to his message high, in honour rise ; For on some message high they guess’d him bound. 290 Their glitt'ring tents he pass’d, and now is come Into the blitsful field, through groves of myrrh, And fow'ring odours, cassia, nard, and balm; A wilderness of sweets'; for nature here Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will 295 Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss. Him through the spicy forest onward come Adam discern'd, as in the door he fat Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun 300 Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam needs; And Eve within, due at her hour, prepar'd

For dinner favoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not difrelish thirst

305 Of necta'rous draughts between, from milky stream, Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam call'd.

Hafte hither Eve, and, worth thy fight, behold, Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving; seems another morn 310 Ris'n on mid-noon; some great behest from heaven To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchfafe This day to be our guest. But go with fpeed, And what thy ftores contain, bring forth, and pour Abundance, fit to honour and receive

315 Our heavenly stranger: well we may afford Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow From large beltow'd, where Natare multiplies Her fertile growth, and by disburd'ning grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. 320

To whom thus Eve. Adam, earth's hallow'd mould, Of God inspir'd, fmall store will serve, where ftore, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and fuperfluous moist consumes: 325 But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice To entertain our angel guest, as he Beholding shall confess, that here on earth God hath dispens'd his bounties as in heaven. 330

So saying, with dispatchful looks in halte She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent What choice to chuse for delicacy best, What order, fo contriv'd as not to mix Taftes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring

335 Talte after tafte upheld with kindliest change ; Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Whatever Earth, all-bearing mother, yields

In India East or Welt, or middle shore,
In Pontus, or the Punic coast, or where

Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat
Rough or smooth rin'd, or bearded hulk, or shell,
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board
Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape
She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths 345
From many a berry', and from sweet kernels press'd
She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold
Wants her fit vefsels pure;. then Arows the ground
With rose and odours from the shrub unfum'd.

Meanwhile our primitive great fire, to meet 850 His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train Accompanied than with his own complete Perfections; in himself was all his state, More folemn than the tedious pomp that waits On princes, when their rich retinue long

355 Cf horses led, and grooms besmear'd with gold, Dazzles the croud, and sets them all agape. Nearer bis presence Adam, though not aw'd, Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek, As to’a superior nature, bowing low, Thus said. Native of heaven, for other place None can than heaven such glorious shape contain ; Since by descending from the thrones above, Those happy places thou haft deign'd a while To want, and honour these, vouchsafe with us 365 Two'only, who yet by sovereign gift possess This fpacious ground, in yonder shady bower To rest, and what the garden choicest bears To fit and taste, till this meridian heat Be over, and the sun more cool decline:

370 Whom thus th'angelic Virtue answer'd mild. Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such Created, or such place haft here to dwell,


As may not oft invite, though fpi'rits of heaven,
To visit thee: lead on then where thy bower 375
O’ershades; for these mid hours, tillievening rise,
I have at will. So to the fylvan lodge
They came, that like Pomona's arbour smild,
With flow'rets deck'd, and fragrant smells; but Eve
Undeck'd save with herself, more lovely fair 380
Than wood-nymph, or the fairelt goddess feign'd
Of three that in mount. Ida naked strove,
Stood to entertain her guest from heaven; no veil
She needed, virtue proof;. no thought infirmi
Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail 385
Bestow'd, the holy falutation us'd
Long after to bless'd Mary, second Eve.

Hail, mother of mankind! whose fruitful womb.
Shall fill the world more numerous with thy fons,
Than with these various fruits the trees of God 399
Have heap'd this table. Rais'd of graffy turf
Their table was, and mossy seats had round, :
And on her ample square from side to side.
All autumn pil'd, though spring and autumn here
Danc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold;
No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began

Our author. Heav'nly stranger, please to taste
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom.
All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, descends,
To us for food and for delight hath caus'd 400
The earth to yield; unfavoury food perhaps
To fpiritual natures; only this I know,
That one celestial Father gives to all.

To whom the angel. Therefore what he gives,
(Whose' praise be ever fung,) to man in part 405
Spiritual, may of pureft fpi'rits be found
No'ingrateful food : and food alike those pure
Intelligential substances require,


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As doth your rational; and both contain
Within them every lower faculty

Of sense, whereby they hear, fee, finell, touch, talle,
Tasting concoct, digest, allimilate,
And corporeal to incorporeal turn.
For know, whatever was created, needs
To be sustain'd and fed; of elements,

415 The groffer feeds the purer, earth the fea, Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires Ethereal, and as lowest, first the moon; Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd Vapours not yet into her subftance turn'd. Nor doth the moon no nourishment exhale From her moist continent to higher orbs. The sun, that light imparts to all, receives From all his alimental recompenfe In humid exhalations, and at ev'n

423 Seps with the ocean. Though in heav'n the trees Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines Yield near; though from off the boughs each morn We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground Cover'd with pearly grain : yet God hath here: 430 Väried his bounty so with new delights, As may compare with heav'n; and to taste Think not I shall be nice. So down they fat, And to their viands fell; nor seemingly The angel, nor in mist, the common glofs 435 Of theologians; but with keen dispatch Of real hunger, and concoctive heat To tranfubftantiate: what redounds, transpires Through fpi'rits with ease ; nor wonder; if by fire. Of sooty coal th’empiric alchemist Can turn, or holds it pollble to turn, Metals of droffieft ore to perfect gold As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve




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