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“ To cattle and each beast! which would not be
“To them made common, and divulged, if aught
“ Therein enjoyed were worthy to subdue
“ The soul of man, or passion in him move.
What higher in her society thou findst
Attractive, human, rational, love still ;
“ In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
“ Wherein true love consists not: love refines
“ The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his seat
In reason, and is judicious; is the scale

By which to heavenly love thou mayst ascend, “ Not sunk in carnal pleasure; for which cause,

Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.”

To whom thus, half abashed, Adam replied : “ Neither her outside formed so fair, nor aught “ In procreation common to all kinds, (Though higher of the genial bed by far, “ And with mysterious reverence I deem,) “ So much delights me, as those graceful acts, “ Those thousand decencies, that daily flow “From all her words and actions, mixed with love And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned “ Union of mind, or in us both one soul; “ Harmony to behold in wedded pair “ More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear. “ Yet these subject not: I to thee disclose “ What inward thence I feel, not therefore foiled ; “ Who meet with various objects, from the sense

Variously representing; yet, still free,

Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
“ To love, thou blamest me not; for love, thou sayst,
“ Leads up to Heaven-is both the way and guide;
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask:
“ Love not the heavenly spirits, 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 glowed
Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue,
Answered : “Let it suffice thee that thou know'st
Us happy; and without love no happiness.




" Whatever pure

thou in the body enjoyst, “ 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 Spirits embrace, Total they mix, union of pure with pure “ Desiring; nor restrained conveyance need, As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.

“But I can now no more: the parting Sun, “ 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 placed; beware! “I in thy persevering shall rejoice, “ And all the blest. Stand fast! to stand, or fall, “ Free in thine own arbitrement it lies. “ Perfect within, no outward aid require; “And all temptation to transgress repel.”

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus Followed with benediction : “Since to part, Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger, “ Sent from whose soyran goodness I adore! “ Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condescension, and shall be honoured ever “With grateful memory: thou to mankind “ Be good and friendly still, and oft return!”

So parted they; the Angel up to Heaven From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.



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SATAN having encompassed the Earth, with meditated guile returns, as a

mist, by night into Paradise ; enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone. Eve, loth 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 awhile 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, resolves, 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 used
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast; permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblamed. I now must change
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal, on the part of Man; revolt,
And disobedience: on the part of Heaven
Now alienated, distance and distaste;




Anger, and just rebuke, and judgment given,
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 pursued
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespoused ;
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
Perplexed the Greek, and Cytherea's son ;
If answerable style I can obtain
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplored,
And dictates to me slumbering, or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse,
Since first this subject for heroic song
Pleased me, long choosing and beginning late;
Not sedulous by nature to indite
Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroic deemed ; chief mastery to dissect
With long and tedious havoc fabled knights,
In battles feigned ; (the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Unsung;) or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, emblazoned shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds,
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshalled feast
Served 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 skilled 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
Depressed ; and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.

The Sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring


40 60

Twilight upon the Earth, short arbiter

50 'Twixt day and night; and now, from end to end, Night's hemisphere had veiled the horizon round; When Satan, who late fled before the threats Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improved In meditated fraud and malice,-bent

man's destruction, maugre what might hap Of heavier on himself,-fearless returned. By night he fled, and at midnight returned From compassing the Earth; cautious of day, Since Uriel, regent of the Sun, descried His entrance, and forewarned the Cherubim That kept their watch; thence, full of anguish, driven, The space of seven continued nights he rode With darkness; thrice the equinoctial line He circled; four times crossed the car of Night From pole to pole, travérsing each colúre ; On the eighth returned ; and, on the coast averse From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth Found unsuspected way. There was a place, Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the change, 70 Where Tigris, at the foot of Paradise, Into a gulf shot under ground; till part Rose up a fountain by the tree of life : In with the river sunk, and with it rose, Satan, involved in rising mist; then sought Where to lie hid: sea he had searched, and land, From Eden over Pontus, and the pool Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob; Downward as far antarctic; and in length, West from Orontes to the Ocean barred

So At Darien; thence to the land where flows Ganges and Indus: thus the orb he roamed With narrow search ; and with inspection deep Considered every creature, which of all Most opportune might serve his wiles; and found The serpent subtlest beast of all the field. Him, after long debate, irresolute, Of thoughts revolved, his final sentence chose; Fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom


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