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To execute fierce vengeance on his foes,
Not so on man: him, through their malice fall'n,
Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom
So strictly, but much more to pity incline:
No sooner did thy dear and only Son
Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man
So strictly, but much more to pity inclin'd,
He to appease thy wrath, and end the strife
Of mercy and justice in thy face discern'd,
Regardless of the bliss wherein he sat
Second to thee, offer'd himself to die
For Man's offence. O unexampled love,
Love nowhere to be found less than divine!
Hail, Son of God, Savior of Men! Thy name
Shall be the copious matter of my song
Henceforth, and never shall my harp thy praise
Forget, nor from thy Father's praise disjoin.

Thus they in Heaven, above the starry sphere,
Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent.
Meanwhile upon the firm opacous globe
Of this round world, whose first convex divides
The luminous inferior orbs, inclos'd
From Chaos, and the inroad of Darkness old,
Satan alighted walks: a globe far off
It seem'd, now seems a boundless continent
Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night
Starless expos'd, and ever-threatening storms
Of Chaos blustering round, inclement sky;
Save on that side which from the wall of Heaven,
Though distant far, some small reflection gains
Of glimmering air, less vex'd with tempest loud:
Here walk'd the fiend at large in spacious field.
As when a vulture on Imaus bred,

Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,
Dislodging from a region scarce of prey,
To gorge the flesh of lambs or ycanling kids,
On hills where flocks are fed, flies toward
springs

Of Sennaar, and still with vain design
New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build.
Others came single; he, who to be deem'd
A god, leap'd fondly into Etna flames,
Empedocles; and he, who to enjoy
Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the sea,
Cleombrotus; and many more too long,
Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars
White, black, and grey, with all their trumpery.
Here pilgrims roam, that stray'd so far to seek
In Golgotha him dead, who lives in Heaven;
And they, who to be sure of Paradise,
Dying, put on the weeds of Dominic,
Or in Franciscan think to pass disguis'd;
They pass the planets seven, and pass the fix'd,
And that crystalline sphere whose balance weighs
The trepidation talk'd, and that first mov'd:
And now Saint Peter at Heaven's wicket seems
To wait them with his keys, and now at foot
Of Heaven's ascent they lift their feet, when lo
A violent cross wind from either coast
Blows them transverse, ten thousand leagues awry
Into the devious air: then might ye see
Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost
And flutter'd into rags; then reliques, beads,
Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls,
The sport of winds: all these, upwhirl'd aloft,
Fly o'er the backside of the world far off,
Into a Limbo large and broad, since call'd
The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown
Long after, now unpeopled and untrod.
All this dark globe the fiend found as he pass'd,
And long he wander'd, till at last a gleam
Of dawning light turn'd thitherward in haste
His travell'd steps: far distant he descries
Ascending by degrees magnificent

the

Up to the wall of Heaven a structure high;
At top whereof, but far more rich appear'd
The work as of a kingly palace-gate,
With frontispiece of diamond and gold
Embellish'd; thick with sparkling orient gems
The portal shone, inimitable on Earth
By model, or by shading pencil, drawn.
The stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw
Angels ascending and descending, bands
Of guardians bright, when he from Esau fled
To Padan-Aram, in the field of Luz
Dreaming by night under the open sky,
And waking cried, "This is the gate of Heaven
Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood
There always, but drawn up to Heaven sometimes
Viewless; and underneath a bright sea flow'd
Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon
Who after came from Earth, sailing arriv'd,
Wafted by angels, or flew o'er the lake
Rapt in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.
The stairs were then let down, whether to dare
The fiend by easy ascent, or aggravate
His sad exclusion from the doors of bliss:
Direct against which open'd from beneath,
Just o'er the blissful seat of Paradise,
have A passage down to the Earth, a passage wide,
Wider by far than that of after-times

Over mount Sion, and, though that were large,
Over the Promis'd Land, to God so dear;
By which, to visit oft those happy tribes,
On high behests his angels to and fro
Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard
From Paneas, the fount of Jordan's flood,
To Beersaba, where the Holy Land

Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams;
But in his way lights on the barren plains
Of Sericana, where Chineses drive
With sails and wind their cany wagons light:
So, on this windy sea of land, the fiend
Walk'd up and down alone, bent on his prey;
Alone, for other creature in this place,
Living or lifeless, to be found was none,
None yet, but store hereafter from the Earth
Up hither like aereal vapors flew

Of all things transitory and vain, when sin
With vanity had fill'd the works of men;
Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
Built their fond hopes of glory or lasting fame,
Or happiness in this or the other life;
All who have their reward on Earth, the fruits
Of painful superstition and blind zeal,
Nought seeking but the praise of men, here find
Fit retribution, empty as their deeds;
All the unaccomplish'd works of Nature's hand,
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mix'd,
Dissolv'd on Earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
Fill final dissolution, wander here;
Not in the neighboring Moon, as
dream'd;

some

Those argent fields more likely habitants,
Translated saints, or middle spirits hold
Betwixt the angelical and human kind.
Hither of ill-join'd sons and daughters born
First from the ancient world those giants came
With many a vain exploit, though then renown'd:
The builders next of Babel on the plain

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Borders on Egypt and the Arabian shore;

What wonder then if fields and regions here
So wide the opening seem'd, where bounds were set Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run
To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave. Potable gold, when with one virtuous touch
Satan from hence, now on the lower stair, The arch-chymic Sun, so far from us remote,
That scald by steps of gold to Heaven-gate, Produces, with terrestrial humor mix'd,
Looks down with wonder at the sudden view Here in the dark so many precious things
Of all this world at once. As when a scout, Of color glorious, and effect so rare?
Through dark and desert ways with peril gone Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn Undazzled ; far and wide his eye commands;
Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill, For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
Which to his eye discovers unaware

But all sun-shine, as when his beams at noon
The goodly prospect of some foreign land Culminate from the equator, as they now
First seen, or some renown'd metropolis

Shot upward still direct, whence no way round
With glistering spires and pinnacles adorn'd, Shadow from body opaque can fall: and the air,
Which now the rising Sun gilds with his beams : Nowhere so clear, sharpen'd his visual ray
Such wonder seiz'd, though after Heaven seen, To objects distant far, whereby he soon
The spirit malign, but much more envy seiz'd, Saw within ken a glorious angel stand,
At sight of all this world beheld so fair.

The same whom John saw also in the Sun:
Round he surveys (and well might, where he stood His back was turn'd, but not his brightness hid;
So high above the circling canopy

Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar
Of night's extended shade) from eastern point Circled his head, nor less his locks behind
Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears

Ilustrious on his shoulders, fledge with wings,
Andromeda far off Atlantic seas

Lay waving round; on some great charge employ'd
Beyond the horizon; then from pole to pole He seem'd, or fix'd in cogitation deep.
le views in breadth, and without longer pause Glad was the spirit impure, as now in hope
Down right into the world's first region throws To find who might direct his wandering flight
Ilis flight precipitant, and winds with ease To Paradise, the happy seat of Man,
Through the pure marble air his oblique way His journey's end and our beginning woe.
Amongst innumerable stars, that shone

But first he casts to change his proper shape,
Stars distant, but nigh hand seem'd other worlds; Which else might work him danger or delay :
Or other worlds they seem'd, or happy isles, And now a stripling cherub he appears,
Like those Hesperian gardens fam'd of old, Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales, Youth smil'd celestial, and to every limb
Thrice happy isles; but who dwell happy there Suitable grace diffus'd, so well he feign'd:
He staid not to inquire: above them all

Under a coronet his flowing hair
The golden Sun, in splendor likest Heaven, In curls on either cheek play'd ; wings he wore,
Allur'd his eye; thither liis course he bends Of many a color'd plume, sprinkled with gold;
Through the calm firmament, (but up or down, liis habit fit for speed succinct, and held
By centre or eccentric, hard to tell,

Before his decent steps a silver wand.
Or longitude,) where the great luminary

He drew not nigh unheard; the angel bright,
Aloof the vulgar constellations thick,

Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turn'd,
That from his lordly eye keep distance due, Admonish'd by his ear, and straight was known
Dispenses light from far; they, as they move The arch-angel Uriel, one of the seven
Their starry dance in numbers that compute Who in God's presence, nearest to his throne,
Days, months and years, towards his all-cheering Stand ready at command, and are his eyes
lamp

That run through all the Heavens, or down to the
Turn swift their various motions, or are turn'd

Earth
By his magnetic beam, that gently warms Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,
The universe, and to each inward part

O'er sea and land : him Satan thus accosts.
With gentle penetration, though unseen,

“Uriel, for thou of those seven spirits that stand Shoots invisible virtue even to the deep;

In sight of God's high throne, gloriously bright,
So wondrously was set his station bright. The first art wont his great authentic will
There lands the fiend, a spot like which perhaps Interpreter through highest Heaven to bring,
Astronomer in the Sun's lucent orb

Where all his sons thy embassy attend;
Through his glaz'd optic tube yet never saw. And here art likeliest by supreme decree
The place he found beyond expression bright, Like honor to obtain, and as his eye
Compar'd with aught on Earth, metal or stone; To visit oft this new creation round;
Not all parts like, but all alike inform'd Unspeakable desire to see, and know
With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire ; All these his wonderous works, but chiefly Man,
If metal, part seem'd gold, part silver clear; His chief delight and favor, him for whom
If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite,

All these his works so wonderous he ordain'd,
Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shone Hath brought me from the quires of cherubim
In Aaron's breast-plate, and a stone besides Alone thus wandering. Brightest seraph, tell
Imagin'd rather oft than elsewhere seen,

In which of all these shining orbs hath Man
That stone, or like to that, which here below His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
Philosophers in vain so long have sought, But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell;
In vain, though by their powerful art they bind That I may find him, and with secret gaze
Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound

Or open admiration him behold,
In various shapes old Proteus from the sea, On whom the great Creator hath bestow'd
Drain'd through a limbec to his native form. Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces pour'd

That both in him and all things, as is meet,
The universal Maker we may praise;
Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes
To deepest Hell, and. to repair that loss,
Created this new happy race of Men
To serve him better: wise are all his ways."
So spake the false dissembler unperceiv'd;
For neither man nor angel can discern
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks
Invisible, except to God alone,

By his permissive will, through Heaven and Earth:
And oft, though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity

Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems: which now for once beguil'd
Uriel, though regent of the Sun, and held
The sharpest-sighted spirit of all in Heaven;
Who to the fraudulent impostor foul,

In his uprightness, answer thus return'd.

"Fair angel, thy desire, which tends to know The works of God, thereby to glorify The great Work-master, leads to no excess That reaches blame, but rather merits praise The more it seems excess, that led thee hither From thy empyreal mansion thus alone, To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps, Contented with report, hear only in Heaven: For wonderful indeed are all his works, Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all Had in remembrance always with delight; But what created mind can comprehend Their number, or the wisdom infinite That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep? I saw when at his word the formless mass, This world's material mould, came to a heap: Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd; Till at his second bidding Darkness fled, Light shone, and order from disorder sprung: Swift to their several quarters hasted then The cumbrous elements, earth, flood, air, fire; And this ethereal quintessence of Heaven Flew upward, spirited with various forms, That roll'd orbicular, and turn'd to stars Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move; Each had his place appointed, each his course; The rest in circuit walls this universe. Look downward on that globe, whose hither side With light from hence, though but reflected, shines: That place is Earth, the seat of Man; that light His day, which else, as the other hemisphere, Night would invade; but there the neighboring Moon

(So call that opposite fair star) her aid
Timely interposes, and her monthly round
Still ending, still renewing, through mid Heaven,
With borrow'd light her countenance triform
Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth,
And in her pale dominion checks the night.
That spot, to which I point, is Paradise,
Adam's abode; those lofty shades, his bower.
Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires."

Thus said, he turn'd; and Satan, bowing low, As to superior spirits is wont in Heaven, Where honor due and reverence none neglects, Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth beneath, Down from the ecliptic, sped with hop'd, success, Throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel; Nor staid, till on Niphates' top he lights.

BOOK IV.

THE ARGUMENT.

Satan, now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprise which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despair; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and situation is described; overleaps the bounds; sits in the shape of a cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the garden, to look about him. The garden described; Satan's first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at their excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work their fall; overhears their discourse, thence gathers that the tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his tempta. tion, by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them a while to know further of their state by some other means. Meanwhile Uriel descending on a sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escaped the deep, and passed at noon by his sphere in the shape of a good angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the mount. Gabriel promises to find him ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to their rest: their bower described; their evening worship. Gabriel, drawing forth his bands of night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong angels to Adam's bower, lest the evil spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve, sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel; by whom questioned, he scornfully answers; prepares resistance; but, hindered by a sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise.

O FOR that warning voice, which he, who saw
Th' Apocalypse, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
Woe to the inhabitants on Earth! that now,
While time was, our first parents had been warn'd
The coming of their secret foe, and 'scap'd,
Haply so 'scap'd his mortal snare: for now
Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
The tempter ere the accuser of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell:
Yet, not rejoicing in his speed, though bold
Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
Begins his dire attempt; which nigh the birth
Now rolling boils in his tumultuous breast,
And like a devilish engine back recoils
Upon himself; horror and doubt distract
His troubled thoughts, and from the bottom stir
The Hell within him; for within him Hell
He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
One step, no more than from himself, can fly
By change of place: now conscience wakes despair,
That slumber'd; wakes the bitter memory
Of what he was, what is, and what must be
Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensuo
Sometimes towards Eden, which now in his view

Lay pleasant, his griev'd look he fixed sad; Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay Sometimes towards Heaven, and the full-blazing What feign'd submission swore ? Ease would recant Sun,

Vows made in pain, as violent and void. Which now sat high in his meridian tower: For never can true reconcilement grow, Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began. Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep •

“O) thou, that, with surpassing glory crown'd, Which would but lead me to a worse relapse Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars Short intermission bought with double smart. Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, This knows my punisher; therefore as far But with no friendly voice, and add thy name, From granting he, as I from begging peace: O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, All hope excluded thus, behold, instead Tha: bring to my remembrance from what state Of us outcast, exil'd, his new delight, I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere ; Mankind created, and for him this world. Till pride and worse ambition threw me down, So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear, Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless Farewell remorse : all good to me is lost; King :

Evil, be thou my good : by thee at least Ah, wherefore! he deserv'd no such return Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold, From me, whom he created what I was

By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign; In that bright eminence, and with his good As Man ere long, and this new world, shall know." Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.

Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his What could be less than to afford him praise,

face, The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks, Thrice chang’d with pale, ire, envy, and despair; How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me, Which marr'd his borrow'd visage, and betray'd And wrought but malice; lifted up so high Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld. I’sdain’d subjection, and thought one step higher For heavenly minds from such distempers foul Would set me highest, and in a moment quit Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware, The debt immense of endless gratitude,

Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, So burthensome still paying, still to owe,

Artificer of fraud; and was the first Forgetful what from him I still receiv’d, That practis'd falsehood under saintly show, And understood not that a grateful mind

Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge: By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive Indebted and discharg'd; what burthen then ? Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursued him down O had his powerful destiny ordain'd

The way he went, and on the Assyrian mount Me some inferior angel, I had stood

Saw him disfigur'd, more than could befall Then happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce Ambition. Yet why not? some other power He mark'd and mad demeanor, then alone, As great might have aspir’d, and me, though mean, As he suppos’d, all unobserv'd, unseen. Drawn to his part; but other powers as great So on he fares, and to the border comes Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within

Of Eden, where delicious Paradise Or from without, to all temptations arm’d.

Now nearer, crowns with her inclosure green, Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ? As with a rural mound, the champaign head Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to ac- Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides

With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild, But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all ? Access denied ; and over-head up-grew Be then his love accurs’d, since love or hate, Insuperable height of loftiest shade, To me alike, it deals eternal woe.

Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm, Nay, curs'd be thou; since against his thy will A sylvan scene; and, as the ranks ascend Chose freely what it now so justly rues.

Shade above shade, a woody theatre Me miserable! which way shall I fly

Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ?

The verdurous wall of Paradise up-sprung : Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell; Which to our general sire gave prospect large And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep

Into his nether empire neighboring round. Still threatening to devour me opens wide, And higher than that wall a circling row To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven. Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit, 0, then, at last relent: is there no place

Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue, Left for repentance, none for pardon left?

Appear'd, with gay enamellid colors mix'd : None left but by submission; and that word On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beams Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow, Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd When God hath shower'd the earth ; so lovely With other promises and other vaunts

seem'd
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue That landscape : and of pure, now purer air
The Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
How dearly I abide that boast so vain;

Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
Under what torments inwardly I groan, All sadness but despair: now gentle gales,
While they adore me on the ihrone of Hell. Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,

Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole The lower still I fall, only supreme

Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail In misery : such joy ambition finds.

Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past But say I could repent, and could obtain, Mozambic, off at sca north-east winds blow By act of grace, my former state; how soon Sabean odors from the spicy shore

cuse,

Of Araby the blest; with such delay [league Which from his darksome passage now appears,
Well pleas'd they slack their course, and many a And now, divided into four main streams,
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles: Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the fiend, And country, whereof here needs no account;
Who came their bane: though with them better But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
pleas'd
How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks,
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
With mazy error under pendent shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art
In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon
Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,
Both where the morning Sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade
Imbrown'd the noontide bowers: thus was this place
A happy rural seat of various view;
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and

balm,

Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamor'd, from the spouse
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent
From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.

Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill
Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick entwin'd,
As one continued brake, the undergrowth
Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd
All path of man or beast that pass'd that way.
One gate there only was, and that look'd east
On the other side: which when the arch-felon saw,
Due entrance he disdain'd; and, in contempt,
At one slight bound high over-leap'd all bound
Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,
Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold:
Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault,
In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles:
So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold;
So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.
Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life,
'The middle tree and highest there that grew,
Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
Thereby regain'd, but sat devising death
To them who liv'd; nor on the virtue thought
Of that life-giving plant, but only us'd

Others whose fruit burnish'd with golden rind,
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste:
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interpos'd,
Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store,
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose :
Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring waters fall
Down the slope hills, dispers'd, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on the eternal Spring. Not that fair field

For prospect, what well us'd had been the pledge Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Of immortality. So little knows

Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis

Any, but God alone, to value right

more,

The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use.
Beneath him with new wonder now he views,
To all delight of human sense expos'd,
In narrow room, Nature's whole wealth, yea
A Heaven on Earth: for blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in the east
Of Eden planted: Eden stretch'd her line
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Or where the sons of Eden long before
Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd;
Out of the fertile ground he caus'd to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the tree of life,
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to life,

Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by,
Knowledge of good, bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a river large,
Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggy hill
Pass'd underneath ingulf'd; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden-mould high rais'd
Upon the rapid current, which through veins
Of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn,
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
Water'd the garden; thence united fell
Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,

Was gather'd, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspir'd
Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle
Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Lybian Jove,
Hid Amalthea, and her florid son,

Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea's eye;
Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard,
Mount Amara, though this by some suppos'd
True Paradise under the Ethiop line

By Nilus' head, inclos'd with shining rock,
A whole day's journey high, but wide remote
From this Assyrian garden, where the fiend
Saw, undelighted, all delight, all kind
Of living creatures, new to sight, and strange.
Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native honor clad
in naked majesty, seem'd lords of all:
And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd,)
Whence true authority in men; though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd;
For contemplation he and valor form'd;
For softness she and sweet attractive grace
He for God only, she for God in him:
His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd

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