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النشر الإلكتروني

Against the eastern gale of Paradise
Leveli'd his evening rays.

It was a rock
Of alabaster, pild up to the clouds,
Conspicuous far; winding with one ascent
Accessible from earth, one entrance bigh:
The rest was shaggy cliff, that overhung
Still as it rose, impossible to climb.
Betwixe these rocky pillars Gabriel sat,
Chief of th' avgelic guards, awaiting night..
About him exercis'd heroic games
Th' unarmed youth of heaven; but nigh at hand
Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears,
Ilung high with diamond flaming, and with gold.
Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even
On a sunbeam, swift as a shooting star
In autumn thwarts the night, when vapours fir'd
Impress the air, and shows the mariner
From what point of his compass to beware
Impetuous winds: be thus began in haste :

* Gabriel! to thee thy course by lot hath given Charge, and strict charge, that to this happy place No evil thing approach, or enter in. This day, at height of noon came to my spbere A spirit; zealous, as he seem'd, in know More of th' Almighty's works: and chiefly man, God's latest image. I describ'd his way, Bent all on speed, and mark'd his airy gait : But, in the mount that lies from Eden north, Where be first lighted, soon discern'd his looks Alien from heaven, with passions foui obscur’d; Mine eye pursued him still, but under shade Lost sight of him. One of the banish'd crew, I lear, bath ventur'd from the deep, to raise New troubles; him thy care must be io fiod."

To a hom the winged warrior thus return'd : “ Criel! No wonder if thy perfect sight, Amid the sun's bright circle, where thou site'st See far and wide : iv at this gate pone pass The vigilance here plac'd, but such as come Well known fron beaven; and since meridian bour No creature thevce : if spirit of otber sort,

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Beneath th' Azores; whether the prime orb,

Incredible how swift, had thither rollid
and with gold By shorter flight to th' east, had left him there,

The clouds that on his western throne attend.
Jlad in ber sober livery all things clad:
Silence accompanied; for beast, and bird,
Were slunk; all but the wakeful nightingale;
They to their grassy coucli, these to their nests,
She all night long her amorous descant sung ;
With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led
The starry bost, rode brightest; till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.

So minded, have o'erleap'd these eartby bounds
on purpose, hard thou know'st it 10 exclude
Spiritual substance with corporeal bar.
But, if within the circuit of these walks,
In whatsoever shape, he lurk, of whom
Thou tell’st, by morrow dawning I shall know."

So promis'd he ; and Uriel to his charge (rais'd,
Return’d

, on that bright beam, whose point now
night

Bore him slope downward to the sun, now fallen
Arraying with reflected purple’ and gold

Now came still evening on, and twilight grey
Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the firmament

When Adam thus to Eve: “ Fair consort! th' hour
Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest,
Mind us of like repose; since God bath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive; and the timely dew of sleep,
Now falling with soft slumb'rous weight, inclines
Our eyelids.

Other creatures all day long
Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest;
Man hath his daily work of body, or mind,
Appointed, which declares his diguity,
And the regard of beaven on all his ways;
While other animals linactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, cre fresh morning streak the east

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en noi d his loty vl obscure er shade ish'l crew, 10 raise ve to fuc is relumili sight thou sit: nove pas

29 come memerland er son!

With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour to reform
Yon Rowery arbours; yonder alleys green
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That inock our scant manuring, and require
More lands than ours to lop their wanton growth :
Those biossoms also, and those dropping gums,
That lie bestrewn, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease :
Meanwhile, as nature wills, night bids us rest.”

To whom ihus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd:
“ My author and disposer! what thou bidd'st
Unargued I obey; so God ordains:
God is thy law, ihou mine: to know no more
Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise,
With thee conversing I forget all time;
All seasons, and their cbange, all please alike:
Sweet is the breath of mori, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glistring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers: and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then, silent night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train:
But neither breaid of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor berb, fruit, flower,
Glisering with dew; nor fragrance after showers;
Nor grateful evening mild; nur silent night,
With this her solemo bird; nor walk by moon
Or glitt'ring starlight, without thee is sweet.
But wlierefore all niglit long shine these? For whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath sbut all eyes?"

To whom the general ancestor replied : Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve, These bave their course to finish round the eartha By morrow evening, and from land to land To order, though to nations yet unborn, Minist'ring light prepar'd, they set and rise;

Lest total darkness should by night regain
Her old possession, and extirguish life
In pature and all things, which these soft fires
Not only' enlighten, but with kindly lieat
Of various influence foment and warm,
Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the suu's more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
Shine not in vain; nor think ibo' men were none,
That heaven would want spectators, God want praise.
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:.
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night. How often, from the steep
Of echoing hill, or thicket, have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note.
Singing their great Creator? oft in bands
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to beaven."

Thus talking, hand in hand, alone they pass’d
On to their blissful bower : it was a place
Chosen by the sov'reign Planter, when he fram’d
All things to mau's delightful use: the roof,
Of thickest covert, was inwoven shade,
Laurel and myrtle; and what bigher grew,
Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub,
Fenc'd up the verdant wall: each beauteous flower,
Iris all bues, roses and jessamine,
Rear'd ligh their flourish'd beads between, and
Mosaic : underfoot the violet,

[wrought Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay Broider'd the ground; more colour'd than with stone Of costliest emblem: other creatures here, Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none; Such was their awe of man!

In shadicr bower

More sacred, and sequester'd, though but feign'd,
Pan, or Sylvanus, never slept; nor nymph,
Nor Faunus, haunted. Here, in close recess,
With flowers, garlands, and sweet-sinelling herbs,
Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed,
And heavenly choirs the hymenean sung,
What day the genial angel to our sire
Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn'd,
More lovely than Pandora; whom the gods
Eodow'd with all their gists, (and 0, too like
In sad event !) when to th' unwiser son
Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she insnar’d
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
On hin who had stole Jove's authentic fire,

Thus, at their shady lodge arriv'd, both stood,
Both turn'd, and unrler open sky ador'd
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaven,
Which they bebeld; the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole: “ Thou also mad'st the night,
Maker Omnipotent! and thou the day,
Which we in our appointed work employ'd
Have finish’d, happy in our mutual help,
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
Ordain'd by thee; and this delicious place,
For us too large, where they abundance wants
Partakers, and uncropp'd falls to the ground.
But thou hast promis'd from us two a race
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep."

This said unanimous, and other rites Observing none, but adoration pure, Which God likes best, into their inmost bower Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off These troublesome disguises which we wear, Straight side by side were laid: nor turn’d, I ween, Adam from his fair spouse; nor Eve the rites Mysterious of connubial love refus'd : Whatever hypocrites austerely talk Of purity, and place, and innocence Defaming as impure what God declares

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