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Stood visible, among these pines his voice
I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd :
So many grateful altars I would rear
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory
Or monument to ages, and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers.
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or footstep trace?
For though I fled him angry, yet, recall’d
To life prolong’d and promised race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his steps adore.

To whom thus Michael, with regard benign:
Adam, thou know'st heaven his, and all the earth,
Not this rock only; his omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual power, and warm’d:
All the earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
No despicable gift ; surmise not then
His presence to these narrow bounds confined
Of Paradise or Eden; this had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations, and had hither come
From all the ends of the earth, to celebrate
And reverence thee, their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons :
Yet doubt not but in valley and in plain
God is as here, and will be found alike
Present, and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine.
Which that thou mayst believe, and be confirm'd
Ere thou from hence depart, know, I am sent
To show thee what shall come in future days
To thee and to thy offspring ; good with bad
Expect to hear, supernal grace contending
With sinfulness of men ; thereby to learn
True patience, and to temper joy with fear
And pious sorrow, equally inured
By moderation either state to bear,
Prosperous or adverse : so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and best prepared endure
Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
This hill ; let Eve, for I have drench'd her eyes,
Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wakest,
As once thou slept'st, while she to life was form'd.

To whom thus Adam gratefully replied : Ascend, I follow thee, safe guide, the path Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heaven submit,

However chastening, to the evil turn
My obvious breast, arming to overcome
By suffering, and earn rest from labour won,
If so I may attain. So both ascend
In the visions of God. It was a hill,
Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
The hemisphere of earth, in clearest ken,
Stretch'd out to the amplest reach of prospect, lay
Not higher that hill, nor wider looking round,
Whereon, for different cause, the tempter set
Our second Adam in the wilderness,
To show him all earth's kingdoms and their glory.
His eye might there command wherever stood
City of old or modern fame, the seat
Of mightiest empire, from the destined walls
Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can,
And Samarcand by Oxus, Temir's throne,
To Paquin of Sinæan kings, and thence
To Agra and Lahor of great Mogul,
Down to the golden Chersonese, or where
The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since
In Hispahan, or where the Russian Czar
In Moscow, or the Sultan in Bizance,
Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken
The empire of Negus to his utmost port
Ercoco, and the less maritime kings,
Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
And Sofala, thought Ophir, to the realm
Of Congo, and Angola farthest south ;
Or thence from Niger flood to Atlas mount,
The kingdoms of Almanzor, Fez, and Sus,
Morocco, and Algiers, and Tremisen ;
Or Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway
The world : in spirit perhaps he also saw
Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume,
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil'd
Guiana, whose great city Geryon's sons
Call El Dorado. But to nobler sights
Michael from Adam's eyes the film removed,
Which that false fruit, that promised clearer sight,
Had bred; then purged with euphrasy and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see ;
And from the well of life three drops instill’d.
So deep the power of these ingredients pierced,
Even to the inmost seat of mental sight,
That Adam, now enforced to close his eyes,
Sunk down, and all his spirits became entranced ;
But him the gentle angel by the hand
Soon raised, and his attention thus recall'd :

Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold
The effects which thy original crime hath wrought
In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd
The excepted tree, nor with the snake conspired,
Nor sinn'd thy sin ; yet from that sin derive
Corruption, to bring forth more violent deeds.

His eyes he open'd, and beheld a 'field,
Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves
New-reap'd ; the other part, sheep-walks and folds ;
In the midst an altar as the land-mark stood,
Rustic, of grassy sward ; thither anon
A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought
First-fruits, the green ear, and the yellow sheaf,
Uncull’d, as came to hand ; a shepherd next
More meek came with the firstlings of his flock,
Choicest and best ; then sacrificing laid
The inwards and their fat, with incense strew'd,
On the cleft wood, and all due rites perform'd :
His offering soon propitious fire from heaven
Consumed with nimble glance, and grateful steam ;
The other's not, for his was not sincere :
Whereat he inly raged, and, as they talk'd,
Smote him into the midriff with a stone
That beat out life ; he fell, and deadly pale
Groan'd out his soul with gushing blood effused.
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
Dismay'd, and thus in haste to the angel cried :

O teacher, some great mischief hath befallen
To that meek man, who well had sacrificed ;
Is piety thus and pure devotion paid ?

To whom Michael thus, he also moved, replied :
These two are brethren, Adam, and to come
Out of thy loins; the unjust the just hath slain,
For envy that his brother's offering found
From Heaven acceptance ; but the bloody fact
Will be avenged, and the other's faith approved
Lose no reward, though here thou see him die,
Rolling in dust and gore. To which our sire :
Alas, both for the

deed and for the cause ! But have I now seen death? Is this the way I must return to native dust?

O sight Of terror, foul and ugly to behold, Horrid to think, how horrible to feel !

To whom thus Michael : Death thou hast seen In his first shape on man; but many shapes Of death, and many are the ways that lead To his grim cave, all dismal ; yet to sense More terrible at the entrance than within Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die, By fire, flood, famine, by intemperance more In meats and drinks, which on the earth shall bring Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know What misery the inabstinence of Eve

Shall bring on men. Immediately a place
Before his eyes appear'd, sad, noisome, dark,
A lazar-house it seem'd, wherein were laid
Numbers of all diseased, all maladies
Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds,
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs,
Intestine stone and ulcer, colic pangs,
Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans; Despair
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch ;
And over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook, but delay'd to strike, though oft invoked
With vows, as their chief good, and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of rock could long
Dry-eyed behold? Adam could not, but wept,
Though not of woman born; compassion quell’d
His best man, and gave him up to tears
A space, till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess,
And, scarce recovering words, his plaint renew'd :

O miserable mankind, to what fall
Degraded, to what wretched state reserved !
Better end here unborn. Why is life given
To be thus wrested from us? rather why
Obtruded on us thus ? who, if we knew
What we receive, would either not accept
Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down,
Glad to be so dismiss’d in peace. Can thus
The image of God in man, created once
So goodly and erect, though faulty since,
To such unsightly sufferings be debased
Under inhuman pains ? Why should not

man,
Retaining still Divine similitude
In part, from such deformities be free,
And for his Maker's image sake exempt ?

Their Maker's image, answer'd Michael, then
Forsook them, when themselves they vilified
To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took
His image whom they served, a brutish vice,
Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve.
Therefore so abject is their punishment,
Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own,
Or, if his likeness, by themselves defaced,
While they pervert pure nature's healthful rules
To loathsome sickness, worthily, since they
God's image did not reverence in themselves.

I yield it just, said Adam, and submit. But is there yet no other way, besides

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These painful passages, how we may come
To death, and mix with our connatural dust?

There is, said Michael, if thou well observe
The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
In what thou eat'st and drink'st, seeking from thence
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
Till many years over thy head return :
So mayst thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop
Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease
Gather'd, not harshly pluck’d, for death mature.
This is old age; but then thou must outlive
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
To wither’d, weak, and gray; thy senses then
Obtuse all taste of pleasure must forego
To what thou hast, and for the air of youth
Hopeful and cheerful in thy blood will reign
A melancholy damp of cold and dry,
To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume
The balm of life. To whom our ancestor :

Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong
Life much, bent rather how I may be quit
Fairest and easiest of this cumbrous charge,
Which I must keep till my appointed day
Of rendering up, and patiently attend
My dissolution. Michael replied :
Nor love thy life, nor hate ; but what thou livest
Live well, how long or short permit to Heaven :
And now prepare thee for another sight.

He look’d, and saw a spacious plain, whereon
Were tents of various hue ; by some were herds
Of cattle grazing ; others, whence the sound
Of instruments that made melodious chime
Was heard, of harp and organ; and who moved
Their stops and chords was seen; his volant touch,
Instinct through all proportions low and high,
Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue.
In other part stood one who, at the forge
Labouring, two massy clods of iron and brass
Had melted, whether found where casual fire
Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale,
Down to the veins of earth, thence gliding hot
To some cave's mouth, or whether wash'd by stream
From underground ; the liquid ore he drain'd

i;
Into fit moulds prepared ; from which he form’d
First his own tools; then, what might else be wrought
Fusil or graven in metal.

After these,
But on the hither side, a different sort
From the high neighbouring hills, which was their seat
Down to the plain descended; hy their guise
Just men they seem'd, and all their study bent
To worship God aright, and know his works
Not hid, nor those things last, which might preserve

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