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Satan ; who, in the serpent, hath contriv'd 1034
Against us this deceit: To crush his head
Would be revenge indeed which will be lost
By death brought on ourselves, or childless days
Resolv’d, as thou proposest ; so our foe
Shall 'scape his punishment ordain'd, and we
Instead shall double ours upon our heads. 1040
No more be mention'd, then, of violence
Against ourselves; and wilful barrenness,
That cuts us off from hope; and savours only
Rancour and pride, impatience and despite,
Reluctance against God and his just yoke
Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild
And gracious temper He both heard and judg’d,
Without wrath or reviling : we expected
Immediate dissolution, which we thought
Was meant by death that day; when lo! to thee 1050
Pains only in childbearing were foretold,
And bringing forth ; soon recompens'd with joy,
Fruit of thy womb : On me the curse aslope
Glanced on the ground; with labour I must earn
My bread; what harm Idleness had been worse;
My labour will sustain me; and, lest cold
Or heat should injure us, His timely care
Hath, unbesought, provided; and His hands
Cloth'd us unworthy, pitying while He judg’d;
How much more, if we pray Him, will His ear 1060
Be open, and His heart to pity incline,
And teach us further by what means to shun
The inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow !
Which now the sky, with various face, begins
To show us in this mountain ; while the winds
Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
Of these fair-spreading trees; which bids us seek

Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish 1088
Our limbs benumm’d, ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night, how we his gather'd beams
Reflected may with matter sere foment;
Or, by collision of two bodies, grind
The air attrite to fire; as late the clouds
Justling, or push'd with winds, rude in their shock,
Tine" the slant lightning; whose thwart flame, driven down.
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine,
And sends a comfortable heat from far,
Which might supply the sun : Such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure
To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought, 1080
He will instruct us praying, and of grace
Beseeching Him ; so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
By Him with many comforts, till we end
In dust, our final rest and native home.
What better can we do, than, to the place
Repairing where He judg’d us, prostrate fall
Before Him reverent ; and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg; with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air 1990
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek?
Undoubtedly He will relent, and turn
From His displeasure ; in whose look serene,
When angry most He seem'd and most severe,
What else but favour, grace, and mercy, shone
So spake our father penitent: nor Eve
Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
Repairing, where He judg’d them, prostrate fell

* “Tine: ' kindle.

Before Him reverent ; and both confess'd 1100
Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd ; with tears
Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.

BOOK XI.

THE ARGUMENT.

The Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise; sends Michael with a band of cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach; goes out to meet him: the angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits: the angel leads him up to a high hill; sets before him in vision what shall happen till the Flood.

THUS they, in lowliest plight, repentant stood
Praying; for, from the mercy-seat above,
Prevenient grace descending had remov’d
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead; that sighs now breath'd
Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heaven with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: Yet their port
Not of mean suitors; nor important less
Seem'd their petition, than when the ancient pair 10
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis' stood devout. To Heaven their prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate : in they pass'd
Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then, clad
With incense, where the golden altar fum'd
By their great Intercessour, came in sight

* “Themis:’ the goddess of justice.

Before the Father's throne: them the glad Son 20
Presenting, thus to intercede began.
See, Father, what first-fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in Man; these sighs
And prayers, which in this golden censer, mix’d
With incense, I thy priest before thee bring;
Fruits of more pleasing savour, from thy seed
Sown with contrition in his heart, than those
Which, his own hand manuring, all the trees
Of Paradise could have produced, ere fallen
From innocence. Now, therefore, bend thine ear 30
To supplication; hear his sighs, though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him; me, his advocate
And propitiation ; all his works on me,
Good, or not good, ingraft; my merit those
Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay.
Accept me; and, in me, from these receive
The smell of peace toward mankind: let him live
Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
Number'd, though sad ; till death, his doom (which I 40
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse),
To better life shall yield him : where, with me,
All my redeem'd may dwell in joy, and bliss ;
Made one with me, as I with thee am one.
To whom the Father, without cloud, serene.
All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
Obtain; all thy request was my decree :
But, longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The law I gave to Nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal elements that know
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,
Eject him, tainted now ; and purge him off.
As a distemper, gross, to air as gross,

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