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Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask ;
Love not the heavinly Spi'rits, and how their love
Express they, by looks only', or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch ?

To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd
Celestial rosy red, Love's proper hue,
Answer'd : Let it suffice thee that thou know'st
Us happy', and without love no happiness. 621
Whatever pure thou in the body' enjoy'st
(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence, and obstacle find none
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars;
Easier than air with air, if Spi'rits embrace.
Total they mix, union of pure with pure
Desiring ; nor restrain'd conveyance need
As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.
But I can now no more; the parring sun 630
Beyond the Earth's green cape and verdant isles
Hesperian sets, my signal to depart.
Be strong, live happy', and love, but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep
His great command, take heed lest passion sway
Thy judgment to do aught, which else free-will
Would not admit; thine and of all thy sons
The weal or woe in thee is plac'd; beware,
I in thy persevering shall rejoice,
And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or fall
Free in thine own arbitrement it lies, 641
Perfect within, no outward aid require;
And à ll temptation to transgress repel.'

So saying, he arose ; whom Adam thus Follow'd with benediction : Şince to part, Go heav'nly guest, ethereal messenger, Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore. Gentle to me and affable hath been Thy condescension, and shall be honor'd ever With grateful memory: thou to mankind 650 Be good and friendly still, and oft return.

So parted they, the Angel up to Heav'n From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower,

THE END OF THE EIGHTH BOOK.

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Che argument. SATAN having compassed the Earth, with meditated guile re

turns as a mist by night into Paradise, enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their 14bors, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each laboring apart : Adam consents not, alledging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone : Eve, loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields. The serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve wondering to hear the 'serpent 'speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding not till now? the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both : Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the Tree of knowledge forbidden. The serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat: she, pleased with the taste, deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof. Adam at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, re solves through vehemence of love to perish with her : and extenuating the trespass eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another,

No more of talk where God or Angel guest
With man, as with his friend, familiar us'd
To sit indulgent, and with bim partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam'd; I now must change

20

Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach Disloyal on the part of man, revolt, And disobedience : on the part of Heav'n Now alienated, distance and distaste, Anger and just rebuke, and judgment giv'n, 10 That brought into this world, a world of woe, Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery, Death's harbinger : sad task, yet argument Not less but more heroic than the wrath Of stern Achilles on his foe pursu'd Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd, Or Neptune's ire or Juno's, that so long Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's son ; If answerable style I can obtain Of my celestial Patroness, who deigns Her nightly visitation unimplor'd, And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires, Easy my unpremeditated verse : Since first this subject for heroic song Pleas'd me long chusing, and beginning late ; Not sedulous by nature to indite Wars, hitherto the only argument Heroic deem'd, chief mast’ry to dissect With long and tedious havoc fabled knights 30 In battles feign'd; the better fortitude Of Patience and heroic Martyrdom Unsung; or to describe races and games, Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields, Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds ;

Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshal'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with sewers, and seneschals ;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroic name
To person or to poem. Me of these
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Remains, sufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years damp my intended wing
Depress'd, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not her who brings it nightly to my ear.

The sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the Earth, short arbiter
'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end
Night's hemisphere had veil'd th' horizon round:
When Satan who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
In meditated fraud and malice, bent
On man's destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless return’d.
By night he fled, and at midnight return'd
From compassing the Earth, cautious of day,
Since Uriel, regent of the sun, descry'd 60
His entrance, and forewarn’d the cherubim
That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driven,
The space of sev’n continued nights he rode
With Darkness, thrice the equinoctial line
He circled, four times cross’d the car of Night

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