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النشر الإلكتروني

Or Paradise and Eden's happy plams,
Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began
Their orisons, each morning duly paid
In various style; for neither various style
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
Their Maker, in fit strains pronounc'd or sung
Unmedilated, such prompt eloquence
Flow'd fro
their lips,

prose or numerous verse, More tuneable than needed lute or harp To add more sweetness; and they thus began.

These are thy glorious works, Parent of good. Almighty, thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair ; thyself how wondrous theu ! Unspeakable, who sit'st above these heavens, On us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine. Speak ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, Angels; for

ye

behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night, Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in heaven, On earth join all ye creatures to extol Him first, him last, him midst, and withiut end. Fairesi of stars, last in the train oi nigni, If better thou belong not to the dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the snuiling morn With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater, sound his praise In thy eternal course, both wlien thou climb'st, And when high noon hait gain'd, and when thou

fallisi. Mooil, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st, With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that fiies And ye five other wand'ring (res that mova In mystic dance not without song, resound His praise, who out of darkness call'd up ligat air, and ye elements, the eldest birth

Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix
And nourish all things ; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or grey,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,

n honour to the world's great Author rise,
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that froin four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines;
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all
ye living souls ;

ye

birds, That singing up to heaven gale ascend, Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise. Ye that in waters olide, and ye that walk The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep; Witness if I be silent, morn or even, To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade Made vocal by niy song, and taught his praise. Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still To give us only good; and if the night Have gather'd ought of evil, or conceald, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.

So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts Firm peace recover'd soon, and wonted calm. On to their morning's rural work they haste Among sweet dews and flow'rs; where any row Of fruit-trees over-woody reach'd too far Cheir pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check Fruitless embraces : or they led the vine Co wed her elm ; she 'spous'd about him twines Her marriageable arms, and with her brings Her dow'r th' adopted clusters, to adorn His barren laves. Them thus employ'd beheld

With pity heav n's high King, and to him callid
Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deign'd
To travel with Tobias, and securd
His inarriage with the sev'ntimes-wedded maid.

Raphael, said he, thou hear'st what stir on earth
Satan from hell 'scap'd through the dark some gulf
Hath rais'd in Paradise, and how disturb'd
This night the human pair, how he designs
In them at once to ruin all mankind.
Go therefore, half this day, as friend with friend.
Converse with Adam, in what bow'f or shade
Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retir'd
To respite his day-labour with repast,
Or with repose ; and such discourse bring on.
As may advise him of his happy state,
Happiness in his pow'r left free to will,
Left to his own free will, his will though free,
Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not too secure : tell him withal
His danger, and from whom; what enemy,
Late fall’n himself from heav'n, is plotting now
The fall of others from like state of bliss ;
By violence ? no, for that shall be withstood ,
But by deceit and lies; this let him know,
Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonish’d, unforewarn'd.

So spake th' eternal Father, and fulfillid All justice ; nor delay'd the winged saint After his charge receiv'd; but from among Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood Veild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light Flew through the midst of heav'n; th'angelic choira On each hand parting, to his speed gave way Through all th' empyreal road; till at the gate Of heav'n arriv’d, the gate self-open'd wid: On golden hinges turning, as by work Divine the sov’reign architect had fram'd. From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, bilor interpos'd, however small he sees,

Not unconform to other shining globes,
Earth and the gard’n of God, with cedars crown'd
Above all hills. As when by night the glass
Of Galileo, less assurd, observes
Imagin'd lands and regions in the moon :
Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades,
Delos or Samos first appearing, kens
A cloudy spot. Down thither, prone in flight
He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Sail'd between worlds and worlds, with steady wing
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air ; till within soar
Of tow'ring eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phænix, gaz'd by all, as that sole bird,
When to enshrine his reliques in the sun's
• Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
di once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise
He lights, and to his proper shape returns
A seraph wing'd; six wings he wore, to shade
His lineaments divine ; the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament; the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold
And colours dipt in heav'n ; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail,
Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood,
And shook his plumes, that heav'nly fragrance fill'd
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands
Of angels under watch; and to his statc,
And to his inessage high in honour rise ;
For on some message high they guess'd him boun
i'heir glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come
nto the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flow'ring odours, cassia, nard, and balm ;
A wilderness of sweets : for nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet
Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss.

1

Him through the spicy forest onward come,
Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat
Of his cool bow'r, while now the mounted sun
Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm
Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Ajan

needs :
An Eve within, due at her hour prepard
For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst
Of nect'rous draughts between, from milky stream,
Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam calid:

Håste hither Eve, and worth thy sight behold. Eastward

among those trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving ; seems another morn Ris'n on mid-noon; some great behest from heav'n To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe This day to be our guest. But go with speed, And what thy stores contain, bring forth, and pour Abundance, fit to honour and receive Our heav'nly stranger: well we may afford Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow From large beste:v'd, where nature multiplies Her fertile growth, and by disburd'ning grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.

To whom thus Eve: Adam, earth's hallow'd mould Of God inspir’d, small store will serve, where store. All seasons ripe for use, hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes: But I will haste, and from each boughi and brake, Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice To entertain our angel guest, as he Beholding shall confess, that here on earth God hath dispens’d his bounties as in heav'r,

Sc saying, with dispatchful looks in haste She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent What choice to choose for delicacy best, What order, so contriv'd as not to mix

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