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“Gabriel, thou hadst in Heaven the esteem of To settle here on earth, or in mid air; wise,
Though for possession put to try once more And such I held thee; but this question asked What thou and thy gay legions dare against; Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain? Whose easier business were to serve their Lord Who would not, finding way, break loose from High up in Heaven, with songs to hymn his throne hell,
And practised distances to cringe, not fight.” Though thither doomed? Thou wouldst thyself To whom the warrior angel soon replied. no doubt,
“ To say and straight unsay, pretending first And boldly venture to whatever place
Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy, Farthest from pain, where thou mightest hope to Argues no leader but a liar traced, change
Satan, and could'st thou faithful add ? O name,
Was this your discipline and faith engaged,
Allegiance to the acknowledged Power supreme?
Once fawned, and cringed, and servilely adored Thus he in scorn. The warlike angel, moved, Heaven's awful Monarch? whrerefore, but in hope Disdainfully half smiling, thus replied.
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign? "O loss of one in Heaven to judge of wise, But mark what I arreed thee now, avaunt; Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew, Fly thither whence thou fledst! if from this hour And now returns him from his prison 'scaped, Within these hallowed limits thou appear, Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained, Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither, And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn Unlicensed, from his bounds in hell prescribed; The facile gates of hell too slightly barred." So wise he judges it to fly from pain,
So threatened he: but Satan to no threats However, and to escape his punishment! Gave heed, but waxing more in rage, replied. So judge thou still, presumptuous ! till the wrath “ Then when I am thy captive talk of chains, Which thou incurrest by flying, meet thy flight Proud limitary cherub! but ere then Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to hell, Far heavier load thyself expect to feel Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain From my prevailing arm, though Heaven's King Can equal anger infinite provoked.
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers, But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee Used to the yoke, drawest his triumphant wheels Came not all hell broke loose? is pain to them In progress through the road of Heaven star-paved." Less pain, less to be fled ? or thou than they While thus he spake, the angelic squadron Less hardy to endure ? Courageous chief !
bright The first in fiight from pain! hadst thou alleged Turned fiery red, sharpening in mooned horns To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive." With ported spears, as thick as when a field To which the fiend thus answered, frowning of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends stern,
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind "Not that I less endure or shrink from pain, Sways them; the careful ploughman doubting Insulting angel! well thou knowest I stood
stands, Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid
Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves The blasting vollied thunder made all speed, Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarmed, And seconded thy else not dreaded spear. Collecting all his might, dilated stood, But still thy words at random, as before, Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremoved : Argue thy inexperience what behooves, His stature reached the sky, and on his crest From hard assays and ill successes past, Sat horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp A faithful leader, not to hazard all
What seemed both spear and shield: now dreadThrough ways of danger by himself untried:
ful deeds I therefore, I alone first undertook
Might have ensued, not only Paradise To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
In this commotion, but the starry cope This new created world, whereof in hell Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
At least had gone to wrack, disturbed and torn Better abode, and my afflicted powers
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
'The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray, Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep, Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice Betwixt Astrea and the scorpion sign,
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, Wherein all things created first he weighed, Her hand soft touching, whispered thus." Awake, The pendulous round earth with balanced air My fairest, my espoused, my latest found, In counterpoise, now ponders all events, Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight ! Battles and realms : in these he put two weights, Awake: the morning shines, and the fresh field The sequel each of parting and of fight; Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring The latter quick up flew, and kicked the beam; Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove, Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend. What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed, Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowest How nature paints her colours, how the bee mine,
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet." Neither our own, but given; what folly then Such whispering waked her, but with startled eye To boast what arms can do! since thine no more On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake. Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled “O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection! glad I see To trample thee as mire: for proof look up, Thy face, and morn returned; for I this night And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
(s night till this I never passed) have dreamed, Where thou art weighed, and shown how light, If dreamed, not, as I oft am wont, of thee, how weak,
Works of day past, or morrow's next design, If thou resist.” The fiend looked up, and knew But of offence and trouble, which my mind His mounted scale aloft; nor more; but fled Knew never till this irksome night: methought Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night. Close at mine ear one called me forth to walk
With gentle voice; I thought it thine: it said,
Why sleepest thou, Eve? now is the pleasant time, BOOK V.
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake THE ARGUMENT.
Tunes sweetest his love-laboured song: now reigns Morning approached, Eve relates to Adanı her troublesome Full orbed the moon, and with more pleasing light dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her; they come forth to Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain, their day labours; their morning hymn at the door of their If none regard; Heaven wakes with all his eyes, bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire ? admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and what. In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment ever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze. Paradise ; his appearance described; his coming discerned by I rose as at thy call, but found thee not; Adam afar off sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to To find thee I directed then my walk; meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve ; their discourse And on, methought, alone I passed through ways at table ; Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his That brought me on a sudden to the tree state and of his enemy; relates at Adam's request, who that of interdicted knowledge : fair it seemed, enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first Much fairer to my fancy than by day:
Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his And, as I wondering looked, beside it stood legiong after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a se.
One shaped and winged like one of those from raph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then for.
And 'O fair plant,' said he, 'with fruit surcharged,
And why not gods of men, since good, the more
Communicated, more abundant grows,
So cheered he his fair spouse, and she was The author not impaired, but honoured more! cheerd; Here happy creature, fair angelic Eve,
But silently a gentle tear let fall Partake thus also; happy though thou art, From either eye, and wiped them with her hair; Happier thou mayest be, worthier canst not be: Two other precious drops that ready stood, Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell Thyself a goddess, not to earth confined, Kissed, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes And pious awe, that feared to have offended. Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see So all was cleared, and to the field they haste. What life the gods live there, and such live thou.' But first, from under shady arborous roof,
o saying, he drew nigh, and to me held, Soon as they forth were come to open sight Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part Of dayspring, and the sun, who scarce uprisen, Which he had plucked; the pleasant savoury With wheels yet hovering o’er the ocean brim, smell
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
More tuneable than needed lute or harp “Best image of myself, and dearer half, To add more sweetness; and they thus began. The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep “These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Affects me equally; nor can I like
Almighty! thine this universal frame, This uncouth dream, of evil sprung, I fear; Thus wondrous fair: thyself how wondrous then! Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none, Unspeakable, who sitst above these Heavens, Created pure. But know, that in the soul To us invisible, or dimly seen Are many lesser faculties, that serve
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare Reason as chief; among these fancy next Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. Her office holds; of all external things, Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, Which the five watchful senses represent, Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs She forms imaginations, airy shapes,
And choral symphonies, day without night. Which reason, joining or disjoining, frames Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in Heaven, All what we affirm or what deny, and call On earth join all ye creatures to extol Our knowledge or opinion; then retires Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. Into her private cell when nature rests. Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, Oft in her absence mimic fancy wakes
If better thou belong not to the dawn, To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams, With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, Il matching words and deeds long past or late. While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Some such resemblances, methinks, I find Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream, Acknowledge him thy greater, sound his praise But with addition strange; yet be not sad. In thy eternal course, both when thou climbest, Evil into the mind of God or man
And when high noon has gained, and when thou May come and go, so unapproved, and leave
fallest. No spot or blame behind: which gives me hope, Moon, that now meetest the orient sun, now fliest, That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream, With the fixed stars, fixed in their orb that flies. Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
And ye five other wandering fires, that move Be not disheartened then, nor cloud those looks, In mystic dance, not without song, resound That wont to be more cheerful and serene, His praise, who out of darkness called up light. Than when fair morning first smiles on the world; Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth And let us to our fresh employments rise Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run Amon the groves, the fountains, and the flowers, Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix That open now their choicest kosomed smells, And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change Reserved from night, and kept for thee in store.” Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise
Late fallen himself from Heaven, is plotting now From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray The fall of others from like state of bliss; Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, By violence? no, for that shall he withstood; In honour to the world's great Author rise; But by deceit and lies: this let him know, Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky, Lest wilfully trangressing he pretend Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers, Surprisal, unadmonished, unforewarned.” Rising or falling, still advance his praise.
So spake the eternal Father and fulfilled His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow, All justice: nor delayed the winged saint Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye After his charge received; but from among pines,
Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood With every plant in sign of worship wave. Veiled with his gorgeous winds, up springing Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
light, Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. Flew through the midst of Heaven; th' angelic Join voices all ye living souls: ye birds,
choirs, That singing up to Heaven gate ascend, On each hand parting, to his speed gave way Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise. Through all the empyreal road; till at the gate Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk Of Heaven arrived, the gate self-opened wide, The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep, On golden hinges turning, as by work Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
Divine the sovereign architect had framed. To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade, From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise. Star interposed, however small he sees, Hail! universal Lord, be bounteous still Not unconform to other shining globes, To give us only good; and if the night
Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crowned Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed, Above all hills. As when by night the glass Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.” Of Galileo, less assured, observes
So prayed they innocent, and to their thoughts Imagined lands and regions in the moon; Firm peace recovered soon and wonted calm. Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades On to their morning's rural work they haste, Delos or Samos first appearing, kens Among sweet dews and flowers, where any row A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight Of fruit trees over-woody reached too far He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky Their pampered boughs, and needed hands to Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady check
wing Fruitless embraces: or they led the vine Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan To wed her elm; she, spoused about him twines Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar Her marriageable arms, and with her brings Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn A phænix, gazed by all as that sole bird, His barren leaves. Thern thus employed beheld When, to enshrine his reliques in the sun's With pity Heaven's high King, and to him called Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies. Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deigned At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise To travel with Tobias, and secured
He lights, and to his proper shape returns His marriage with the seven-times wedded maid. A seraph winged: six wings he wore, to shade “Raphael,” said he, “thou hearest what stir on His lineaments divine; the pair that clad earth
Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast Satan from hell escaped through the darksome With regal ornament; the middle pair gulf,
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Hath raised in Paradise, and how disturbed Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold This night the human pair; how he designs And colours dipt in Heaven; the third his feet In them at once to ruin all mankind.
Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail, Go, therefore, half this day as friend with friend Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood. Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade And shook his plumes, that Heavenly fragrance Thou findest him from the heat of noon retired, filled To respite his day labour with repast,
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
bands As may advise him of his happy state,
Ofangels under watch; and to his state, Happiness in his power left free to will,
And to his message high, in honour rise; Left to his own free will, his will though free, For on some message they guessed him bound. Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware Their glittering tents he passed, and now is come He swerve not, too secure; tell him withal Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh, His danger, and from whom; what enemy, And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm;
A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet Wantoned as in her prime, and played at will His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet Accompanied than with his own complete Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss. Perfections; in himself was all his state, Him, through the spicy forest onward come, More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits Adam discerned, as in the door he sat
On princes, when their rich retinue long Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun Of horses led, and grooms besmeared with gold, Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape. Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam Nearer his presence Adam, though not awed, needs
Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek, And Eve within, due at her hour prepared As to a superior nature bowing low For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please Thus said. “Native of Heaven, for other place True appetite, and not disrelish thirst
None can than Heaven such glorious shape contain; Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream, Since, by descending from the thrones above, Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam called. Those happy places thou hast deigned a while
"Haste hither, Eve, and, worth thy sight, behold To want, and honour these, vouchsafe with us Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape Two only, who yet by sovereign gift possess Comes this way moving; seems another morn This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower Risen on mid-noon; some great behest from heaven To rest, and what the garden choicest bears To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe To sit and taste till this meridian heat This day to be our guest. But go with speed, Be over and the sun more cool decline." And what thy stores contain bring forth and pour Whom thus the angelic virtue answered mild, Abundance, fit to honour and receive
“ Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such Our heavenly stranger: well we may afford Created, or such place hast here to dwell, Onr givers their own gifts, and large beslow As may not oft invite, though spirits of Heaven, From large bestowed, where nature multiplies To visit thee: lead on then where thy bower Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows O'ershades; for these mid-hours, till evening rise, More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.” I have at will." So to the sylvan lodge To whom thus Eve. Adam, earth's hallowed They came, that like Pomona's arbour smiled, mould,
With flowerets decked, and fragrant smells; but Of God inspired, small store will serve, where store, Eve, All seasons, ripe for us hangs on the stalk; Undecked, save with herself, more lovely fair Save what by frugal storing firmness gains Than wood nymph, or the fairest goddess, feigned To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes: Of three that in mount Ida naked strove, But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Stood to entertain her guest from heaven: no veil Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such She needed, virtue proof; no thought infirm choice
Altered her cheek. On whom the angel " Hail" To entertain our angel guest, as he
Bestowed, the holy salutation used Beholding shall confess, that here on earth Long after to blest Mary, second Eve. God hath dispensed his bounties as in Heaven." “Hail! mother of mankind, whose fruitful womb
So saying, with despatchful looks in haste Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent
Than with these various fruits the trees of God What choice to choose for delicacy best, Have heaped this table!” Raised of grassy turf What order so contrived as not to mix
Their table was, and mossy seats had round, Tastes, not well joined, inelegant, but bring And on her ample square from side to side Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change; All autumn piled, though spring and autumn here Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Danced hand in hand. Awhile discourse they hold: Whatever earth, all bearing mother, yields No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began In India East or West, or middle shore Our Author. “Heavenly stranger, please to taste In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom Alcinous reigned, fruit of all kinds, in coat All perfect good, unmeasured out, descends, Rough or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell, To us for food, and for delight hath caused She gathers, tribute large, and on the board The earth to yield; unsavoury food perhaps Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape To spiritual natures; only this I know, She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths That one celestial Father gives to all." From many a berry; and from sweet kernels press'a To whom the Angel. “Therefore what he gives She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold (Whose praise be ever sung) to man, in part Wants her fit vessels pure; then strews the ground Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found With rose and odours from the shrub unfumed. No ingrateful food: and food alike those pure