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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 exposed,
In narrow room, Nature's whole wealth, yea, more,
A heaven on earth: for blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in the 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 caused 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 changed his course, but through the shaggy hill
Pass'd underneath ingulf'd; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden mould, high raised
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, wandering 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 errour under pendent shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flowers worthy of Paradise; which not nice art
In beds and curious knots, but nature boon
Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain;

210. Eden stretch'd her line. Auran, or Haran, was a city of Mesopotamia, about due east of the head of the gulf of Issus. Seleucia was a city on the Tigris, built by Seleucus, one of Alexander's successors. There is no question in ancient geography upon which more ink and paper have been wasted, than upon the situation of Eden. One places it in Armenia, another at the junction of the Euphrates and Tigris, another in the vale of Cashunere, while the country around the sources of

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the Amazon has had its advocates: all seeming to forget that Moses describes it as it was before the flood, and that that catastrophe must have altered the whole face of nature. True, Moses mentions the Euphrates. But what was more natural than for the family of Noah, as they came from the ark, to call this first river they met with by the name of one they had known before the flood?-Telassar was in Babylonia, upon the common streams of Tigris and Euphrates.

Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierced shade
Imbrown'd the noontide bowers. 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 interposed;
Or palmy hillock, or the flowery lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store;
Flowers 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 gently creeps
Luxuriant: meanwhile murmuring waters fall
Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
Her crystal mirrour holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves; while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on the eternal spring. Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis
Was gather'd, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired
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 Libyan Jove,
Hid Amalthea, and her florid son,

Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea's eye;
Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard,
Mount Amara, though this by some supposed
True Paradise, under the Ethiop line
By Nilus' head, enclosed with shining rock,
A whole day's journey high, but wide remote

266. While universal Pan. “While universal Nature, linked with the graceful Seasons, danced a perpetual round, and throughout the earth, yet unpolluted, led an eternal Spring."-HUME.

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in Lybia. He became enamoured of Amalthea, which caused the jealousy of Rhea.

281. Mount Amara. This was a ridge of hills in Ethiopia, under the Equator. 269. Enna, a field of Sicily, from whence Between two of these hills there is a Proserpine was carried away by Dis, or plain abounding with the rich and beautiPluto. There is great diversity of opi-ful productions of nature, and highly nion as to the situation of some of these ornamented with the various operations places in ancient geography. Tritom is of art. In this place the kings of Abys thought to be a river that emptied into sinia kept their children continually the Syrtis Minor, east of Carthage. Cham, confined; and when a king dies, he that or Ham, a son of Noah, was a name given is to succeed him is brought thence, and to Jupiter Ammon, who was worshipped | set upon the throne.--MASSEY.

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 placed;
Whence true authority in men: though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal, seem'd;
For contemplation he and valour form'd,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him.

His fair large front and eye sublime declared ·
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Disshevell'd, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils; which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received,
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 whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side
They sat them down; and, after no more toil
Of their sweet gardening labour than sufficed
To recommend cool zephyr, and made ease

299. For God in him. See 1 Cor. xi. 7. 314. Honour dishonourable. He alludes to 1 Cor. xii. 24. "But that honour is really a dishonour; a token of our fall and an indication of our guilt. Innocent nature made no such distinction." NEWTON.

315. Fe. Should we not read you?

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For what is he speaking to but to

323. Adam the goodliest. This idiom, though strictly incorrect, is supported by high authority in the ancient poets. The meaning is clear enough,--that Adam was goodlier than any of his sons, &c.

More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite
More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell,
Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, sidelong as they sat recline
On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers.
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind,
Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream:
Nor gentle purpose nor endearing smiles
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as bescems
Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league,
Alone as they. About them frisking play'd
All beasts of the earth, since wild, and of all chase
In wood or wilderness, forest or den:
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw
Dandled the kid; bears, tigers, ounces, pards,
Gamboll'd before them; the unwieldy elephant,
To make them mirth, used all his might, and wreathed
His lithe proboscis; close the serpent sly
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
His braided train, and of his fatal guile
Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass
Couch'd, and now fill'd with pasture gazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating; for the sun,
Declined, was hasting now with prone career
To the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale
Of heaven the stars that usher evening rose:
When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length fail'd speech recover'd sad:-
O hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold?
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
Not spirits, yet to heavenly spirits bright
Little inferiour; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love; so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace

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More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;
Happy, but for so happy ill secured

Long to continue; and this high seat your heaven
Ill fenced for heaven to keep out such a foe
As now is enter'd; yet no purposed foe
To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn,
Though I unpitied. League with you I seek,
And mutual amity, so strait, so close,
That I with you must dwell, or you with me
Henceforth: my dwelling haply may not please,

352. Bedward ruminating. Chewing the cud before going to rest.-HUME.

The hand that form'd them on their shape hath pour'd! 365
Ah! gentle pair, ye little think how nigh

Your change approaches, when all these delights
Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe;

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362. Little inferiour. Ps. viii. 5; Heb ii. 7.

Like this fair Paradise, your sense; yet such
Accept, your Maker's work; he gave it me,
Which I as freely give: hell shall unfold,
To entertain you two, her widest gates,
And send forth all her kings: there will be room,
Not like these narrow limits, to receive
Your numerous offspring; if no better place,
Thank him who puts me loth to this revenge
On you, who wrong me not, for him who wrong'd.
And should I at your harmless innocence
Melt, as I do; yet public reason just,
Honour and empire with revenge enlarged,
By conquering this new world, compels me now
To do, what else, though damn'd, I should abhor.
So spake the fiend, and with necessity,
The tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds.
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those four-footed kinds; himself now one,
Now other, as their shape served best his end
Nearer to view his prey, and, unespied,
To mark what of their state he more might learn,
By word or action mark'd: about them round,
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spied
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
Straight couches close; then, rising, changes oft
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might surest seize them both,
Griped in each paw: when, Adam first of men
To first of women Eve thus moving speech,
Turn'd him, all ear to hear new utterance flow:

Sole partner and sole part of all these joys,
Dearer thyself than all; needs must the Power
That made us, and for us this ample world,
Be infinitely good, and of his good
As liberal and free as infinite;

That raised us from the dust, and placed us here
In all this happiness; who at his hand
Have nothing merited, nor can perform
Aught whereof he hath need; he who requires
From us no other service than to keep
This one, this easy charge; of all the trees
In Paradise that bear delicious fruit

So various, not to taste that only Tree
Of Knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life;
So near grows death to life, whate'er death is;
Some dreadful thing no doubt: for well thou know'st
God hath pronounced it death to taste that tree:

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410. Turn'd him. That is, he, meaning | was "moving speech" to Eve. Adam is Satan, turn'd him to hear, while Adam in the nominative absolute with moving.

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