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Into all eyes to wish her still' in sight.
And Raphael now to Adam doubt propos'd
Benevolent and facile ihus reply'd :
To ask or search I blame thee not, for heav'na
is as the book of God before thee set
Vherein to read his wondrous works, and learn
Plis seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years.
This to attain, whether heav'n move, or earth,
Imports not, if thou reckon right; the rest
From man or angel the great Architect
Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge
His secrets to be scann'd by them who ought
Kather admire; or if they list to try
Conjecture, he his fabric of the heav'ns
Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide.
Hereafter, when they come to moulel heav'n
And calculate the stars, how they will wield
The mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive
To save appearances, how gird the sphere
With centric and cccentric scribbled o'er,
Cycle and epicle, orb in orb:
Already by thy reasoning this I guess,
Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest
That bodies bright and greater should not serve
The less not bright, nor heav'n such journeys ring
Earth sitting still, when she alone receives
The benefit: consider first, that grea!
Or bright infers not excellence: the earth
Though, in comparison of heav'n, so small,
Nor glist'ring, may of solid good contain
More plenty than the sun that barren shines,
Whose virtue on itself works no effect,
But in the fruitful earth ; there first receiv'd
His beams, unactive else, their vigour find.
Yet not to earth are those bright luminaries
Officious, but to thee, earth's habitant.
And for the heav'n's wide circuit, let it speak
The Maker's high magnificence, who built
So spacious, and his line stretch'd out so far;
That man may know he dwells not in his own;
An edifice too large for him to fill,
Loilg'd in a small partition, and the rest
Ordain'd for uses to his Lord best known.
The swiftness of those circles attribute,
Though numberless, to his omnipotence
That to corporeal substances could add
Speed almost spiritual ; me thou think'st not slow,
Who since the morning hour set out froin heav'n
Where God resides, and ere mid-day arriv'd
In Eden, distance inexpressible
By numbers that have name.
But this I urge.
Admitting motion in the heav'ns, to show,
Invalid that which thee to doubt is mov'd :
Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
To thee who hast thy dwelling here on earth.
God to remove his ways from human sense,
Plac'd heav'n from earth so far, that earthly sight.
If it presume, might err in things too high,
And no advantage gain. What if the sun
Be centre to the world, and other stars
By his attractive virtue and their own
Incited, dance about him various rounds?
Their wand'ring course now high, now low, then hid
Progressive, retrogade, or standing still,
In six thou seest, and what if sev'nth to these
The planet earth, so steadfast though she seem,
Insensibly three different motions move ?
Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe,
Mov'd contrary with thwart obliquities,
Or save the sun his labour, and that swift
Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb suppos’d
Invisible else above all stars, the wheel
Of day and night; which needs not thy belief
If earth industrious of herself fetch day
Travelling east, and with her part averse
From the sun's beam meet night, her other part
Still luminous by his ray.
What is that light
Sent from her through the wide transpicuous sir.
To the terrestrial moon be as a star
Enlight'ning her by day, as she by night
This earth? reciprocal, if land be there,
Pields and inhabitants; her spots thou seest
As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
fruits in her soften’d soil, for some to eat
Allotied there : and other suns perhaps
With their attendant moons thou wilt descry,
Communicating male and female light,
Which two great sexes animate the world,
Stord in each orb perhaps with some that live.
For such vast room in nature unpossess'd
By living soul, desert and desolate,
Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute
Each orb a glimpse of light, convey'd so far
Down to this habitable, which returns
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
But whether thus these things, or whether not,
Whether the sun predominant in heav'n,
Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun,
He from the east his flaming road begin,
Or she from west her silent course advance
With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps
On her soft axle, while she paces even,
And bears thee soft with the smooth air along,
Solicit noi thy thougits with matters hid,
Leave them is God above, himn serve and fear;
Of other creatures, as him pleases best,
Wherever plac'd, let him dispose : joy thou
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
And thy fair Eve; heav'n is for thee too high
To know what passes ihere ; be lowly wise:
Think only what concerns thee and thy being;
Dream noi of other worlds, what creatures there
Live, in what state, condition or degree,
Contented tha: thus far hath been reveal'd
Not of car'h only, but of highest heav')).
To whom thus Adam, clear'd of doubt, reply'd : How fully nast thou salissy'd me, pure Intelligence of heav'n, angel serene, And freed froin intricacies, taught to live The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts To interrupt the sweet of life, from which God liath bid dwell far off all anxious cares, And not molest us, unless we ourselves Seek them with wand'ring tho'ts, and notions vain. But apt the mind or fancy is to rove Uncheck'd, and of her roving is no end; Till warn’d or by experience taught, she learn, That not to know at large of things remote From use, obscure and subtle, but to know That which before us lies in daily life, Is the prime wisdom; what is more, is fume, Or emptiness, or fond impertinence, And renders us in things that most concern Unpractis’d, unprepar'd, and still to seek. Therefore from this high pitch let us descend A lower flight, and speak of things at hand Useful, whence haply mention may arise Of something not unseasonable to ask By sufferance, and thy wonted favour deign'd. Thee have I heard relating what was done Ere my remembrance: now hear me relate My story, which perhaps thou hast not heard; And day is not yet spent; till then thou seest How subtly to detain thee I devise, Inviting thee to hear while I relate, Fond, where it not in hope of thy reply: For while I sit with thee, I seem in heav'n, And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear Than fruits of palm-tree, pleasantest to thirst And hunger both, from labour, at the hour Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill Though pleasant, but thy words with grace divine Imbued, bring to their sweetness no sariety.
To whom thus Raphael answer'd heav'aly meek Nor are thy lips ungrateful, sire of men, Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd, Inward and outward both, his image fair : Speaking, or inute, all comeliness and grace Aitends thee, and each word, each motion forms ; Nor less think we in heav'n, of thee on earth Tiau of our fellow-servant, and inquire Criady into the ways of God with inan: For God we see hath honour'd thee, and set On man bis equal love : say therefore on: For I that day was absent, as befel, Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure, Far on excursion toward the gates of hell ; Squar'd in full legion (such command we had) To see that none thence issued forth a spy, Or
enemy, while God was in his wo k, Lest he incens'd at such eruption bo. l, Destruction with creation inight have mix'd. Not that they durst without his leave itempt, But us he sends upon his high behests For state, as Sou'reign King, and to in re Our prompt obedience. Fast we found fast shut The dismal gates, and barricado'd stron ; But long ere our approaching, heard wi in Noise, other than the sound of dance or : ng, Torment, and loud lament, and furious ra.e. Glad we return’d up to the coast of light Ere sabbath evening: so we had in charg'. But thy relation now; for I attend, Pleas'd with thy words no less than thou vith mina.
So spake the God-like pow'r, and thus jur sire : For man to tell how human life bega: Is hard ; for who himself beginning kne . ? Desire with thee still longer 11) converse Induc'd me. As new wak'd trom sound st sleep, Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid In balıny sweat, which with his beams th: = sun