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"Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth,
"That would be wooed, and not unsought be won,
"Not obvious, not obtrusive, but, retired,
"The more desirable; or, to say all,

"Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought,—
"Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turned :
"I followed her; she what was honour knew,
"And, with obsequious majesty, approved
"My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower
"I led her blushing like the Morn: all Heaven,
"And happy constellations, on that hour
"Shed their selectest influence; the Earth
"Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
"Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
66 Whispered it to the woods, and from their wings
"Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub,
66 Disporting, till the amorous bird of night
"Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening star
"On his hill top to light the bridal lamp.

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"Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought

My story to the sum of earthly bliss,



"Which I enjoy; and must confess to find

"In all things else delight indeed, but such

"As, used or not, works in the mind no change,

"Nor vehement desire; these delicacies

"I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers,

"Walks, and the melody of birds: but here

"Far otherwise! transported I behold,


Transported touch-here passion first I felt, "Commotion strange! in all enjoyments else

Superior and unmoved-here only weak

Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance. "Or nature failed in me, and left some part "Not proof enough such object to sustain; "Or, from my side subducting, took perhaps "More than enough; at least on her bestowed "Too much of ornament, in outward show "Elaborate, of inward less exact.


"For well I understand, in the prime end


"Of nature, her the inferior, in the mind

"And inward faculties, which most excel;

"In outward also her resembling less

"His image who made both, and less expressing
"The character of that dominion given

"O'er other creatures: yet, when I approach
"Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
"And in herself complete, so well to know
"Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
"Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best:
"All higher knowledge in her presence falls
'Degraded; wisdom in discourse with her


"Loses discountenanced, and like folly shows: 'Authority and reason on her wait,


"As one intended first, not after made


'Occasionally; and, to consummate all, "Greatness of mind, and nobleness, their seat "Build in her loveliest, and create an awe "About her, as a guard angelic placed."


To whom the Angel, with contracted brow: 66 Accuse not nature; she hath done her part: "Do thou but thine; and be not diffident "Of wisdom; she deserts thee not, if thou


"Dismiss not her, when most thou need'st her nigh,




'By attribúting overmuch to things

Less excellent, as thou thyself perceivest.

For, what admirest thou, what transports thee so?

"An outside! fair, no doubt, and worthy well


Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love; "Not thy subjection: weigh with her thyself; "Then value: oft-times nothing profits more "Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right, "Well managed; of that skill the more thou knowst, "The more she will acknowledge thee her head, "And to realities yield all her shows:

"Made so adorn for thy delight the more,

"So awful, that with honour thou mayst love

Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise. "But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind

"Is propagated, seem such dear delight


Beyond all other; think the same vouchsafed



"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 knowst
"Us happy; and without love no happiness.





"Whatever pure thou in the body enjoyst,

-we enjoy

"And pure thou wert created,—

"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



66 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;

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