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النشر الإلكتروني

Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Into his nether empire neighb’ring round.
And higher than that wall, a circling row
Of goodliest trees loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue,
Appear’d, with gay enammeld colours mix’d:
On which the sun more glad impress'd his beams
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,
When God hath show'r'd the earth; so lovely seen id
That landscape : And of pure, now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
All sadness but despair : now gentle gales
Fanning their odoriferous wings dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blew
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the blest, with such delay
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a

league
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles:
So entertain'd these odorous sweets the fiend
Who came their bane, though with them better pleas'd
Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamour’d, from the spouse
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent
From Media post to Egypt. there fast bound.

Now to th’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 cast On th' other side : which when th' arch-felon saw, Due entrance he disdain'd, and in contempt, At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound

Or hill or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
Whoin 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
For prospect, what well us’d, had been the pledge.
Of immortality. So little knows
Any but God alone, to value right
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 mcre
A heav'n on earth: for blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in th' 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 undernea h 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,
Which from his darksome passage now appears,
And now divided into four main streams,
Runs diverse, wand'ring many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account;
But rather to tell how, if art could tell,
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
Flow'is, worthy of Paradise, which not nice-art
In beds and curious knots, but nature boon
Pourd 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 noon-tide bow'rs: thus was this place
A happy rural seat of various view ;
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and

balm ;
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 flow'ry lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store,
Flow'rs 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 ge-tly creeps
Luxuriant meanwhile murm’ring 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 choir apply. airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the sinell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on th' eternal spring. Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairer flow'r by gloomy Dis
Was gather'd, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world ; nor that sweet grov
Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' 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 step-dame 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, enclos'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 honour 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 and men; though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd :
For contemplation he, and valour formid;

For softness she, and sweet attractive grace;
He.for God only, she for God in him :
Iis fair large front and

eye

sublime declar'd Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks Round from his parted forelock manly hung Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad : She as a veil duwn to the slender waist Her unadorned golden tresses wore Disheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'd As the vine curls her tendrils, which imply'd Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway, And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd, Yielded with coy submission, modest pride, And sweet reluctant amorous delay. Nor those mysterious parts were then conceal'd; Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame Of nature's works; honour dishonourable, Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure And banish'd from man's life his happiest life, Simplicity and spotless innocence ! So pass'd they naked on, nor shunn'd the sight Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill : So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair That ever since in love's embraces met; Adam the goodliest man of men since born His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve. Under a tuft of shade that on a green Stood whisp’ring soft, by a fresh fountain side They sat them down; and after no more toil Of their sweet gard’ning labour, than suffic'd To recommend cool zephyr, and made ease ore easy, wholesome thirst and appetite More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell, Nectarine fruits which the compliant boughs Yielded them, side-long as they sat recline On the soft downy bank damask'd with flow'rs The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream

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