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With eharm of earliest birds; nor rising sun

On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower,

Glistering with dew; nor fragranee after showers;

Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night,

With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon, 050

Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet.

But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom

This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?

To whom our general aneestor replied: Daughter of God and man, aeeomplish'd Eve, eoo Those have their eourse to finish, round the earth. By morrow evening; and from land to land In order, though to nations yet unborn, Ministering light prepared, they set and rise; Lest total darkness should by night regain ees Her old possession, and extinguish life In nature and all things; whieh these soft fires Not only enlighten, but with kindly heat Of various influenee foment and warm, Temper or nourish, or in part shed down 070 Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow On earth, made hereby apter to reeeive Perfeetion from the sun's more potent ray. These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none, 070 That heaven would want speetators, God want praise: Millions of spiritual ereatures walk the earth Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep: All these with eoaseless praise his works behold Both day and night. How often from the steep 080 Of eehoing hill or thieket have we heard Celestial voiees to the midnight air, Sole, or responsive eaeh to other's note, Singing their great Creator! oft in bands While they keep wateh, or nightly rounding walk, 080 With heavenly toueh of instrumental sounds, In full harmonie number join'd, their songs Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven.

Thus talking, hand in hand alone they pass'd On to their blissful bowor: it was a plaee oao Chosen by the sovran Planter, when he framed All things to man's delightful use: the roof Of thiekest eovert was inwoven shade, Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf: on either side 008 Aeanthus and eaeh odorous bushy shrub Feneed up the verdant wall; eaeh beauteous flower, Iris all hues, roses, and jessamin,

Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and wrought Mosaie; under-foot the violet, 700

003. Inwoven shade of laurel: so l008) 1rit of aii huet.

Croeus, and hyaeinth, with rieh inlay

Broider'd the ground, more eolour'd than with stone

Of eostliest emblem: other ereature here,

Bird, beast., inseet, or worm, durst enter none;

Sueh was their awe of man. In shadier bower 7C4

More saered and sequester'd, though but feign'd,

Pan or Sylvanus never slept; nor nymph

Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in elose reeess,

With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs,

Espoused Eve deek'd first her nuptial bed; 710

And heavenly quires the hymeneean sung,

What day the genial angel to our sire

Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn'd,

More lovely, than Pandora, whom the gods

Endow'd with all their gifts; and, O! too like 715

In sad event, when to the unwiser son

Of Japhet brought by Hermes she ensnared

Mankind with her fair looks, to be avenged

On him who had stole Jove's authentie fire.

Thus, at thoir shady lodge arrived, both stood, 7»
Both turn'd, and under open sky adored
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaven,
Whieh they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole. Thou also madest the night,
Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day, 72s
Whieh we, in our appointed work employ'd,
Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help
And mutual love, the erown of all our bliss
Ordain'd by thee; and this delieious plaee,
For us too large, where thy abundanee wants 730
Partakers, ana uneropt falls to the ground.
But thou hast promised from us two a raee
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite; both when we wake,
And when we seek, as now, thv gift of sleep. 735

This said unanimous, and other rites
Observing none, but adoration pure,
Whieh God likes best, into their inmost bower
Handed they went; and, eased the putting off
These troublesome disguises whinh wo wear 740
Straight side by side were laid; nor turn'd, I weon,
Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites
Mysterious of eonnubial love refused:
Whatever hypoerites austerely talk

Of purity, and plaee, and iunoeenee, 745
Defaming as impure what God deelares

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Pure, and eommands to some, leaves free to all,

Our Maker bids inerease; who bids abstain

But our destroyer, foe to God and man?

Hail, wedded love, mysterious law, true souree 750

Of human offspring, sole propriety

In Paradise of all things eommon elsel

By thee adulterous lust was driven from men

Among the bestial herds to range: by thee,

Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure, 74s

Relations dear, and all the eharities

Of father, son, and brother, first were known.

Far be it that I should write thee sin or blame,

Or think thee unbefitting holiest plaee;

Perpetual fountain of domestie sweets, 7ao

Whose bed is undefiled and ehaste pronouneed, .

Present, or past, as saints and patriarehs us'd.

Here Love his golden shafts employs, here lights

His eonstant lamp, and waves his purple wings,

Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile 7«

Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear'd,

Casual fruition; nor in eourt-amours,

Mix'd danee, or wanton mask, or midnight ball,

Or sorenate, whieh the starved lover sings

To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain. 770

These, lull'd by nightingales, embraeing slept,

And on their naked limbs the flowery roof

Shower'd roses, whieh the morn repair'd. Sleep on,

Blest pair; and 0! yet happiest; if ye seek

No happier state, and know to know no more! 775

Now had night measured with her shadowy eom
Half way up hill this vast sublunar vault;
And from their ivory port the eherubim,
Forth issuing at the aeeustom'd hour, stood arm'*"
To their night-watehes in warlike parade; fso
When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake:

Uzziel, half these draw off, and eoast the south
With strietest wateh; these other wheel the north:
Our eireuit meets full west. As flame they part,
Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear, 784
From these two strong and subtle spirits he eall'd
That near him stood, and gave them thus in eharge:

Ithuriel and Zophon, with wing'd speed
Seareh through this garden, leave unseareh'd no nook;
But ehiefly where those two fair ereatures lodge, 700
Now laid perhaps asleep, seeure of harm.

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This evening from the sun's deeline arrived,

Who tells of some infernal spirit seen

Hitherward bent lwho eould have thought?) eseapod

The bars of hell, on errand bad no doubt: 7ftJ

Sueh, where ye find, seize fast, and hither bring.

So saying, on he led his radiant files,
Dazzling the moon; these to the bower direet
In seareh of whom they sought: him there they found
Squat like a toad, elose at the ear of Eve, 8oe
Assaying by his devilish art to reaeh
The organs of her faney, and with them forge
Illusions as he list, phantasms, and dreams;
Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
The animal spirits, that from pure blood arise 800
Like gentle breaths from rivers pure; thenee raise
At least distemper'd, diseontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires,
Blown up with high eoneeits ingendering pride.
Him thus intent, Ithuriel with his spear 810
Toueh'd lightly; for no falsehood ean endure
Toueh of eelestial temper, but returns
Of foree to its own likeness: up he starts
Diseover'd and surprised. As when a spark
Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid 810
Fit for the tun, some magazine to store
Against a rumour'd war; the smutty grain,
With sudden blaze diffusod, inflames the air;
So started up in his own shape the fiend.
Baek stepp'u those two fair angels, half amazed 820
So sudden to behold the grisly king;
Yet thus, unmoved with tear, aeeost him soon:

Whieh of those rebel spirits adjudged to hell
Comest thou, eseaped thy prison? and, transform'd,
Why sat'st thou like au enemy in wait, 820
Here watehing at the head of these that sleep?

Know ye not then, said Satan, fill'd with seorn,
Know ye not me? ye knew nio onee no mate
For you, there sitting where ye durst not soar:
Not to know me argues yourselves unknown, 830
The lowest of your throng; or, if ye know,
Why ask ye, and superflnous begin
Your message, like to end as mueh in vain?

To whom thus Zephon, answering seorn with seorn-
Think not, revolted spirit, thy shape the same, 830
Or undiminish'd brightuess to be known
As when thou stood'st in heaven upright and pure:
That glory then, when thou no more wast good.
Departed from thee; and thou reseinblust now
Thy sin and plaee, of doom obseure and foul, e40

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But eome; for thou, bo sure, shalt give aeeount
To him who sent us, whose eharge is to keep
This plaee inviolable, and these from harm.

So spake the eherub; and his grave rebuke,
Severe in youthful beauty, added graee 8*5
Invineible: abash'd the devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
Virtue in her shape how lovely; saw, and pined
His loss; but ehiefly to find hero observed
His lustre visibly impair'd; yet seem'd 850
Undaunted. If I must eontend, said he,
Best with the best, the sender not the sent,
Or all at onee; more glory will bo won,
Or less be lost. Thy fear, said Zephon bold,
Will save us trial what the least ean do 805
Single against thee, wieked and thenee weak.

The fiend replied not, overeome with rage; But, like a proud steed rein'd, went haughty on, Champing his iron eurb: to strive or fly He held it vain; awe from above had quell'd imo His heart, not else dismay'd. Now drew they nigh The western point, where those half-rounding guards Just met, and elosing stood in squadron join'd, Awaiting next eommand. To whom their ehief, Gabriel, from the front thus eall'd aloud:— 805

O friends! I hear the tread of nimble feet Hasting this way, and now by glimpse diseern lthurieiand Zephon through the shade; And with them eomes a third of regal port, But faded splendour wan; who by his gait 870 And fieree demeanour seems the prinee of hell, Nor likely to part henee without eontest: Stand firm; for in his look defianee lours.

He searee had ended, when those two approaeh'd, And brief related whom they brought, where found, 875 How busied, in what form and posture eoueh'd.

To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake: Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds preseribed To thy transgressions? and disturb'd the eharge Of others, who approve not to trangress 880 By thy example? but have power and right To question thy bold entranee on this plaee; Employ'd, it sceras, to violate sleep, and those Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss.

To whom thus Satan, with eontemptnous brow: 885 Gabriel, thou hadst in heaven the esteem of wise, And sueh I held thee; but this question ask'd Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain? Who would not, finding way, break loose from hell, Though thither doom'd'? thou wouldst thyself, no doubt, 800 And boldly venture to whatever plaee Farthest from pain, where thou mighUit hope to ehange

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