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Borders on Egypt and the Arabian shore ; What wonder then if fields and regions here
So wide the opening seem'd, where bounds were set Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run
To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave. Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch
Satan from hence, now on the lower stair, The arch-chymic Sun, so far from us remote,
That scal'd by steps of gold to Heaven-gate, Produces, with terrestrial humor mix'd,
Looks down with wonder at the sudden view Here in the dark so many precious things
Of all this world at once. As when a scout, Of color glorious, and effect so rare ?
Through dark and desert ways with peril gone Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn Undazzled ; far and wide his eye commands;
Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill, For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
Which to his eye discovers unaware

But all sun-shine, as when his beams at noon
The goodly prospect of some foreign land Culminate from the equator, as they now
First seen, or some renown'd metropolis Shot upward still direct, whence no way round
With glistering spires and pinnacles adom'd, Shadow from body opaque can fall: and the air,
Which now the rising Sun gilds with his beams : Nowhere so clear, sharpen'd his visual ray
Such wonder seiz'd, though after Heaven seen, To objects distant far, whereby he soon
The spirit malign, but much more envy seiz'd, Saw within ken a glorious angel stand,
At sight of all this world beheld so fair. The same whom John saw also in the Sun:
Round he surveys (and well might, where he stood His back was turn'd, but not his brightness hid;
So high above the circling canopy

Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar
Of night's extended shade) from eastern point Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears

Illustrious on his shoulders, fledge with wings, Andromeda far off Atlantic seas

Lay waving round ; on some great charge employ'd Beyond the horizon; then from pole to pole He seem'd, or fix'd in cogitation deep. He views in breadth, and without longer pause Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope Down right into the world's first region throws To find who might direct his wandering flight His flight precipitant, and winds with ease To Paradise, the happy seat of Man, Through the pure marble air his oblique way His journey's end and our beginning woe. Amongst innumerable stars, that shone

But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Stars distant, but nigh hand seern'd other worlds; Which else might work him danger or delay :
Or other worlds they seem'd, or happy isles, And now a stripling cherub he appears,
Like those Hesperian gardens fam'd of old, Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales, Youth smild celestial, and to every limb

Thrice happy isles ; but who dwelt happy there Suitable grace diffus'd, so well he reign'd:
He staid not to inquire : above them all Under a coronet his flowing hair
The golden Sun, in splendor likest Heaven, In curls on either cheek play'd ; wings he wore,
Allur'd his eye; thither his course he bends Of many a color'd plume, sprinkled with gold;
Through the calm firmament, (but up or down, His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
By centre or eccentric, hard to tell,

Before his decent steps a silver wand.
Or longitude,) where the great luminary He drew not nigh unheard; the angel bright,
Aloof the vulgar constellations thick,

Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd. That from his lordly eye keep distance due, Admonish'd by his ear, and straight was known Dispenses light from far; they, as they move The arch-angel Uriel, one of the seven Their starry dance in numbers that compute Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne, Days, months and years, towards his all-cheering Stand ready at command, and are his eyes lamp

That run through all the Heavens, or down to the Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd

Earth
By his magnetic beam, that gently warms Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,
The universe, and to each inward part

O'er sea and land: him Satan thus accosts.
With gentle penetration, though unseen,

“Uriel, for thou of those seven spirits that stand Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep; In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright, So wondrously was set his station bright. The first art wont his great authentic will There lands the fiend, a spot like which perhaps Interpreter through highest Heaven to bring, Astronomer in the Sun's lucent orb

Where all his sons thy embassy attend ; Through his glaz'd optic tube yet never saw. And here art likeliest by supreme decree The place he found beyond expression bright, Like honor to obtain, and as his eye Compar'd with aught on Earth, metal or stone ; To visit oft this new creation round; Not all parts like, but all alike inform'd Unspeakable desire to see, and know With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire ; All these his wonderous works, but chiefly Man, If metal, part seem'd gold, part silver clear ; His chief delight and favor, him for whom If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite,

All these his works so wonderous he ordain'd, Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone Hath brought me from the quires of cherubim In Aaron's breast-plate, and a stone besides Alone thus wandering. Brightest seraph, tell Imagin'd rather oft than elsewhere seen, In which of all these shining orbs hath Man That stone, or like to that, which here below His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none, Philosophers in vain so long have sought, But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell, In vain, though by their powerful art they bind That I may find him, and with secret gaze Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound

Or open admiration him behold, In various shapes old Proteus from the sea, On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd Drain'd through a limbec to his native form. Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces pour'd

That both in him and all things, as is meet,
The universal Maker we may praise ;

BOOK IV.
Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes

THE ARGUMENT.
To deepest Hell, and, to repair that loss,
Created this new happy race of Men

Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place To serve him better: wise are all his ways." where he must now attempt the bold enterprise

So spake the false dissembler unperceiv'd; which he undertook alone against God and Man, For neither man nor angel can discern

falls into many doubts with himself, and many Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks

passions, fear, envy, and despair; but at length Invisible, except to God alone,

confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, By his permissive will, through Heaven and Earth: whose outward prospect and situation is described; And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps overleaps the bounds ; sits in the shape of a cor At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity

morant on the tree of life, as highest in the garResigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill den, to look about him. The garden described ; Where no ill seems : which now for once beguil'd Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder Uriel, though regent of the Sun, and held

at their excellent form and happy state, but with The sharpest-sighted spirit of all in Heaven; resolution to work their fall; overhears their disWho to the fraudulent impostor foul,

course, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge In his uprightness, answer thus return'd.

was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of “Fair angel, thy desire, which tends to know death ; and thereon intends to found his templaThe works of God, thereby to glorify

tion, by seducing them to transgress : then leaves The great Work-master, leads to no excess.

them a while to know further of their state by That reaches blame, but rather merits praise some other means. Meanwhile Uriel descending The more it seems excess, that led thee hither on a sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge From thy empyreal mansion thus alone,

the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps, escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his Contented with report, hear only in Heaven: sphere in the shape of a good angel down 10 For wonderful indeed are all his works,

Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all

in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere Had in remembrance always with delight;

morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve But what created mind can comprehend

discourse of going to their rest : their bower Their number, or the wisdom infinite

described; their evening worship. Gabriel, drawThat brought them forth, but hid their causes deep? ing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the I saw when at his word the formless mass,

round of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to This world's material mould, came to a heap: Adam's bower, lest the evil spirit should be there Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar

doing some harm to Adam or Eve, sleeping; Stood ruld, stood vast infinitude confin'd;

there they find him at the ear of Eve tempting her Till at his second bidding Darkness fled,

in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Light shone, and order from disorder sprung: Gabriel ; by whom questioned, he scornfully anSwift to their several quarters hasted then swers; prepares resistance; but, hindered by a The cumbrous elements, earth, food, air, fire ; sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise. And this ethereal quintessence of Heaven Flew upward, spirited with various forms, O for that warning voice, which he, who saw That rollid orbicular, and turn'd to stars Th’ Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud, Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move ; Then when the Dragon, put to second rout, Each had his place appointed, each his course; Came furious down to be reveng'd on men, The rest in circuit walls this universe.

Woe to the inhabitants on Earth! that now, Look downward on that globe, whose hither side While time was, our first parents had been warn'd With light from hence, though but reflected, shines : The coming of their secret foe, and 'scap'd, That place is Earth, the seat of Man; that light Haply so 'scap'd his mortal snare: for now His day, which else, as the other hemisphere, Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down, Night would invade ; but there the neighboring The tempter ere the accuser of mankind, Moon

To wreak on innocent frail man his loss (Su call that opposite fair star) her aid

Of that first baule, and his flight to Hell: Timely interposes, and her monthly round Yet, not rejoicing in his speed, though bold Still ending, still renewing, through mid Heaven, Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast, With borrow'd light her countenance triform Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth, Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast, And in her pale dominion checks the night. And like a devilish engine back recoils That spot, to which I point, is Paradise,

Upon himself; horror and doubt distract Adam's abode; those lofty shades, his bower. His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires." The Hell within him ; for within him Hell

Thus suid, he turnd; and Satan, bowing low, He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell As to superior spirits is wont in Heaven, One step, no more than from himself, can fly Where honor due and reverence none neglects, By change of place : now conscience wakes despair Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth beneath, That slumber'd; wakes the bitter memory Down from the ecliptic, sped with hop'd success, Of what he was, what is, and what must be Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel ; Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensuo Nor staid, will on Niphates' top he lights. Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixed sad; Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay Sometimes towards Heaven, and the full-blazing What feign d submission swore? Ease would recant Sun,

Vows made in pain, as violent and void. Which now sat high in his meridian tower: For never can true reconcilement grow, Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began. Where wounds of deadly hate have piere'd so deep

“O) thou, that, with surpassing glory crown'd, Which would but lead me to a worse relapse Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear Or this new world ; at whose sight all the stars Short intermission bought with double smart. Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, This knows my punisher; therefore as far But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, From granting he, as I from begging peace: O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, All hope excluded thus, behold, instead That bring to my remembrance from what state Of us outcast, exil'd, his new delight, I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere; Mankind created, and for him this world. Till pride and worse ambition threw me down, So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear, Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless Farewell remorse : all good to me is lost; King :

Evil, be thou my good : by thee at least Ah, wherefore! he deserv'd no such return Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold, From me, whom he created what I was

By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign; In that bright eminence, and with his good As Man ere long, and this new world, shall know" Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.

Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his What could be less than to afford him praise,

face, The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks, Thrice chang’d with pale, ire, envy, and despair How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me, Which marr'd his borrow'd visage, and betray'd And wrought but malice; lified up so high Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld. I'sdain'd subjection, and thought one step higher For heavenly minds from such distempers foul Would set me highest, and in a moment quit Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware, The debt immense of endless gratitude,

Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, So burthensome still paying, still to owe,

Artificer of fraud; and was the first Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd, That practis'd falsehood under saintly show, And understood not that a grateful mind Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge: By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive Indebted and discharg'd; what burthen then? Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursued him down O had his powerful destiny ordain'd

The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount Me some inferior angel, I had stood

Saw him disfigur'd, more than could befall Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce Ambition. Yet why not? some other power

He mark'd and mad demeanor, then alone, As great might have aspir'd, and me, though mean, As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen. Drawn to his part; but other powers as great So on he fares, and to the border comes Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within

Of Eden, where delicious Paradise Or from without, to all temptations arm’d.

Now nearer, crowns with her inclosure green, Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ? As with a rural mound, the champaign head Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to ac- Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides cuse,

With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild, But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all ? Access denied ; and over-head up-grew Be then his love accurs'd, since love or hate, Insuperable height of loftiest shade, To me alike, it deals eternal woe.

Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm, Nay, curs'd be thou; since against his thy will A sylvan scene; and, as the ranks ascend Chose freely what it now so justly rues. Shade above shade, a woody theatre Me miserable! which way shall I fly

Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ?

The verdurous wall of Paradise up-sprung: Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell; Which to our general sire gave prospect large And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep

Into his nether empire neighboring round. Still threatening to devour me opens wide, And higher than that wall a circling row To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven. Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit, 0. then, at last relent: is there no place

Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue, Left for repentance, none for pardon left? Appear'd, with gay enamellid colors mix'd : None left but by submission; and that word On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beams Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow, Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd When God hath shower'd the earth ; so lovely With other promises and other vaunts

seem'd Than to submit, boasting I could subdue That landscape : and of pure, now purer air The Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires How dearly I abide that boast so vain;

Vernal delight and joy, able to drive Under what torments inwardly I groan,

All sadness but despair: now gentle gales, While they adore me on the throne of Hell. Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,

Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole T'he lower still I fall, only supreme

Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail In misery : such joy ambition finds.

Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past But say I could repent, and could obtain,

Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow By act of grace, my former state; how soon Sabean odors from the spicy shore

Of Araby the blest; with such delay (league Which from his darksome passage now appears,
Well pleas'd they slack their course, and many a And now, divided into four main streams,
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles: Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the fiend, And country, whereof here needs no account ;
Who came their bane: though with them better But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
pleas'd

How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks, Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume

Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold, That drove him, though enamor'd, from the spouse With mazy error under pendent shades Or Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound. Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art

Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow; Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain, But further way found none, so thick entwin'd, Both where the morning Sun first warmly smote As one continued brake, the undergrowth The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd Imbrown'd the noontide bowers: thus was this place All path of man or beast that pass'd that way. A happy rural seat of various view ; One gate there only was, and that look'd east Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and On the other side: which when the arch-felon saw,

balm, Due entrance he disdain’d; and, in contempt, Others whose fruit burnish'd with golden rind, At one slight bound high over-leap'd all bound Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true, Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within If true, here only, and of delicious taste : Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf, Betwixt them lawns, or level dowris, and flockWhom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey, Grazing the tender herb, were interpos d, Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,

Of some irriguous valley spread her store, Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold : Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash

Another side, umbrageous grots and caves Oi some rich burgher, whose substantial doors, Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault, Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles : Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring walers fall So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold; Down the slope hills, dispers'd, or in a lake, So since into his church lewd hirelings climb. That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life, Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams. The middle tree and highest there that grew, The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs, Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life

Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune Thereby regain'd, but sat devising death The trembling leaves, while universal Pan, To them who liv'd; nor on the virtue thought Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance, Of that life-giving plant, but only us’d

Led on the eternal Spring. Not that fair field For prospect, what well us'd had been the pledge Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers, Of immortality. So little knows

Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis Any, but God alone, to value right

Was gather’d, which cost Ceres all that pain The good before him, but perverts best things To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove To worst abuse, or to their meanest use. Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspir'd Beneath him with new wonder now he views, Castalian spring, might with this Paradise To all delight of human sense expos'd,

Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle In narrow room, Nature's whole wealth, yea more, Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham, A Heaven on Earth: for blissful Paradise Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Lybian Jove, Of God the garden was, by him in the east Hid Amalthea, and her florid son, Of Eden planted : Eden stretch'd her line Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea's eye From Auran eastward to the royal towers

Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard, Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings, Mount Amara, though this by some suppos'd Or where the sons of Eden long before True Paradise under the Ethiop line Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soil By Nilus' head, inclos'd with shining rock, His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd; A whole day's journey high, but wide remote Out of the fertile ground he caus'd to grow From this Assyrian garden, where the fiend All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste ; Saw, undelighted, all delight, all kind And all amid them stood the tree of life, Of living creatures, new to sight, and strange. High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit

Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall, Of vegetable gold ; and next to life,

Godlike erect, with native honor clad Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by, In naked majesty, seem'd lords of all: Knowledge of good, bought dear by knowing ill. And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine Southward through Eden went a river large, The image of their glorious Maker shone, Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggy hill Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure, Pass'd underneath ingulf'd; for God had thrown (Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd,) That mountain as his garden-mould high rais'd Whence true authority in men; though both Upon the rapid current, which through veins Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd ; of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn, For contemplation he and valor form'd; Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill For sofiness she and sweet a‘lractive grace Water'd the garden ; thence united fell

He for God only, she for and in him : Down the steep glade, and met the nether food, Ilis fuir large front and eye sublime declar'd

Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks

More woe, the more your taste is now of joy ; Round from his parted forelock manly hung Happy, but for so happy ill secur'd Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad; Long to continue, and this high seat your Heaven, She, as a veil, down to the slender waist

Ill fenc'd for Heaven to keep out such a foe Her unadorned golden tresses wore

As now is enter'd ; yet no purpos'd foe Dishevelld, but in wanton ringlets war'd, To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied Though I unpitied : league with you I seek, Subjection, but requir’d with gentle sway, And mutual amity, so strait, so close, And by her yielded, by him best receivid, That I with you must dwell, or you with me Yielded with coy submission, modest pride, Henceforth ; my dwelling håply may not please, And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.

Like this fair Paradise, your sense : yet such Nor those mysterious parts were then conceal’d; Accept your Maker's work; he gave it me, Then was not guilty shame: dishonest shame Which I as freely give: Hell shall unfold, Of Nature's works, honor dishonorable,

To entertain you two, her widest gates, Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind And send forth all her kings; there will be room With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure, Not like these narrow limits, to receive And banish'd from man's life his happiest life, Your numerous offspring ; if no better place, Simplicity and spotless innocence!

Thank him who puts me loth to this revenge So passid they naked on, nor shunn'd the sight On you, who wrong me not, for him who wrong'd. Of God or angel ; for they thought no ill: And should I at your harmless innocence So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair, Melt, as I do, yet public reason just, That ever since in love's embraces met: Honor and empire with revenge enlarg'd, Adam the goodliest man of men since born By conquering this new world, cornpels me now His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve. To do what else, though damn'd, I should abhor.' Under a tust of shade that on a green

So spake the fiend, and with necessity, Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side The tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds They sat them down: and, after no more toil Then from his lofty stand on that high tree Of their sweet gardening labor than suffic'd Down he alights among the sportful herd To recommend cool Zephyr, and made ease Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one, More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell, Nearer to view his prey, and, unespied, Nectarine fruits which the compliant boughs To mark what of their state he more might learn Yielded them, sidelong as they sat recline By word or action mark'd : about them round On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers : A lion now he stalks with fiery glare; The savory pulp they chew, and in the rind, Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spied Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream; In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play, Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles Straight couches close, then rising, changes oft Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground, Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league, Whence rushing he might surest seize them both, Alone as they. About them frisking play'd Grip'd in each paw: when Adam first of men All beasts of the Earth, since wild, and of all chase To first of women Eve thus moving speech, In wood or wilderness, forest or den;

Turn'd him all ear to hear new utterance flow. Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw

“Sole partner, and sole part, of all these joye, Dandled the kid; bears, tigers, ounces, pards, Dearer thyself than all ; needs must the Power Gamboll'd before them; the unwieldy elephant, That made us, and for us this ample world, To make them mirth, us'd all his might, and Be infinitely good, and of his good wreath'd

As liberal and free as infinite; His lithe proboscis; close the serpent sly, That rais'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine

In all this happiness, who at his hand His braided train, and of his fatal guile

Have nothing merited, nor can perform Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass Aught whereof he hath need; he who requires Couch'd, and now fill'd with pasture gazing sat, From us no other service than to keep Or bedward ruminating; for the Sun,

This one, this easy charge, of all the trees Declin'd, was hastening now with prone career In Paradise that bear delicious fruit To the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale So various, not to taste that only tree Of Heaven the stars that usher evening rose : Of knowledge, planted by the tree of life; When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood, So near grows death to life, whate'er death is, Scarce thus at length fail'd speech recover'd sad. Some dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou “O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold!

know'st Into our room of bliss thus high advanc'd

God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that tree, Creatures of other mould, Earth-born perhaps, The only sign of our obedience left, Not spirits, yet to heavenly spirits bright Among so many signs of power and rule Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue Conferr'd upon us, and dominion given With wonder, and could love, so lively shines Over all other creatures that possess In them divine resemblance, and such grace Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard The hand that form'd them on their shape hath One easy prohibition, who enjoy pour’d.

Free leave so large to all things else, and choice Ah! gentle pair, ye little think how nigh Unlimited of manifold delights: Your change approaches, when all these delights But let us ever praise him and extol Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe;

His bounty, following our delightful task,

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