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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
Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing:
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar
Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phoenix, gazed by all as that sole bird,
When, to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on the 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 dipp'd in heaven; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail,
Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood,
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands
Of angels under watch; and to his state,
And to his message high, in honour rise:
For on some message high they guess'd him bound.
Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flowering 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.
Him through the spicy forest onward come
Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat
Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun
Shot down direct his fervid rays, to warm
Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam needs:
And Eve within, due at her hour prepared
For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst

Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream,
Berry, or grape: to whom thus Adam call'd:

Haste hither, Eve, and worth thy sight behold,
Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape

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277. A Seraph wing'd. He seemed again | sweet for being mild and above rule or what he really was. a seraph wing'd; whereas, in his flight, he appeared what he was not, a phoenix. See Isa. vi. 2.

285. Maia's son. Mercury. 296. Pouring forth. That is, pouring forth enormous bliss, which was the more

298. Raphael's reception by the guar dian angels; his passing through the wilderness of sweets; his distant appear ance to Adam, have all the graces that poetry is capable of bestowing.-ADDISON.

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

To whom thus Eve: Adam, earth's hallow'd mould,
Of God inspired; small store will serve, where store,
Ail 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 bough 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 dispensed his bounties as in heaven.
So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent
What choice to choose for delicacy best;
What order, so contrived as not to mix
Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant; but bring
Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change:
Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk,
Whatever earth, all-bearing mother, yields
In India East or West, or middle shore,
In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where
Alcinous reign'd; fruit of all kinds, in coat
Rough, or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell,
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board
Heaps with unsparing hand. For drink the grape
She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths

From many a berry, and from sweet kernels press'd
She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold
Wants her fit vessels pure; then strows the ground
With rose and odours from the shrub unfumed.

Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet
His godlike guest, walks forth; without more train
Accompanied than with his own complete
Perfections: in himself was all his state;
More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits
On princes, when their rich retinue long
Of horses led, and grooms besmeared with gold,
Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape.
Nearer his presence Adam, though not awed,
Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek,

345. Inoffensive. That is, had not intoxicating qualities. Must: new Mouths: sweet drinks, like mead.








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As to a superiour nature bowing low,
Thus said: Native of heaven, for other place
None can than heaven such glorious shape contain;
Since, by descending from the thrones above,
Those happy places thou hast deign'd awhile
To want, and honour these; vouchsafe with us
Two only, who yet by sovran gift possess
This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower
To rest; and what the garden choicest bears
To sit and taste, till this meridian heat
Be over, and the sun more cool decline.

Whom thus the angelic Virtue answer'd mild:
Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such
Created, or such place hast here to dwell,
As may not oft invite, though spirits of heaven,
To visit thee: lead on then where thy bower
O'ershades; for these mid-hours, till evening rise,
I have at will. So to the sylvan lodge
They came, that like Pomona's arbour smiled
With flowerets deck'd and fragrant smells; but Eve,
Undeck'd save with herself, more lovely fair
Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign'd
Of three that in mount Ida naked strove,
Stood to entertain her guest from heaven; no veil
She needed, virtue-proof; no thought infirm
Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail
Bestow'd; the holy salutation used
Long after to blest Mary, second Eve:

Hail, mother of mankind, whose fruitful womb
Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons,
Than with these various fruits the trees of God
Have heap'd this table! Raised of grassy turf
Their table was, and mossy seats had round,
And on her ample square from side to side
All autumn piled; though spring and autumn here
Danced hand in hand. Awhile discourse they hold;
No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began
Our authour: Heavenly stranger, please to taste
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom
All perfect good, unmeasured out descends,
To us for food and for delight hath caused
The earth to yield; unsavoury food, perhaps,
To spiritual natures: only this I know,
That one celestial Father gives to all.

To whom the angel: Therefore what he gives
(Whose praise be ever sung) to man in part
Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found
No ingrateful food: and food alike those pure

382. Of three that in Mount Ida; referring to the judgment of Paris.

384. No thought, &c. There is a dignifed simplicity, a chasteness of expres sion here, that has the finest effect, and

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I believe never was exceeded. Such language is the essence of true poetry.DUNSTER.

385. Hail. Luke i. 28.

407. There being mention made of an

Intelligential substances require,

As doth your rational; and both contain
Within them every lower faculty
Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste,
Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,
And corporeal to incorporeal turn.
For know, whatever was created needs
To be sustain'd and fed: of elements

The grosser feeds the purer; earth the sea;
Earth and the sea feed air; the air those fires
Ethereal; and as lowest first the moon;
Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurged
Vapours not yet into her substance turn'd.
Nor doth the moon no nourishment exhale
From her moist continent to higher orbs.
The sun, that light imparts to all, receives
From all his alimental recompense

In humid exhalations, and at even

Sups with the ocean. Though in heaven the trees
Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines
Yield nectar; though from off the boughs each morn
We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground
Cover'd with pearly grain; yet God hath here
Varied his bounty so with new delights,
As may compare with heaven; and to taste
Think not I shall be nice. So down they sat,
And to their viands fell; nor seemingly
The angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
Of theologians; but with keen dispatch
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat
To transubstantiate: what redounds, transpires
Through spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire
Of sooty coal the empiric alchemist
Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold,

As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve
Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups
With pleasant liquours crown'd. Ŏ innocence
Deserving Paradise! if ever, then,

Then had the sons of God excuse to have been
Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts
Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousy
Was understood, the injured lover's hell.

Thus when with meats and drinks they had sufficed,
Not burdened nature, sudden mind arose
In Adam, not to let the occasion pass,
Given him by this great conference, to know

gels' food in Ps. lxxviii. 25, is foundation enough for a poet to build upon, and to advance these notions of the angels eating.-NEWTON.

438. To transubstantiate. That is, to turn their food and nourishment into










their own substance.

What redounds,

&c. "This gives a delicacy to these Spirits, which finely distinguishes them from us, in one of the most humbling circumstances relating to our bodies."-RICHARD


Of things above his world, and of their being
Who dwell in heaven, whose excellence he saw
Transcend his own so far; whose radiant forms,
Divine effulgence, whose high power, so far
Exceeded human; and his wary speech
Thus to the empyreal minister he framed:

Inhabitant with God, now know I well
Thy favour, in this honour done to man:
Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafed
To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,
Food not of angels, yet accepted so,

As that more willingly thou couldst not seem
At heaven's high feasts to have fed; yet what compare?
To whom the winged Hierarch replied:
O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom
All things proceed, and up to him return,
If not depraved from good; created all
Such to perfection, one first matter all,
Endued with various forms, various degrees
Of substance, and, in things that live, of life;
But more refined, more spiritous, and pure,
As nearer to him placed, or nearer tending
Each in their several active spheres assign'd,
Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
Proportion'd to each kind. So from the root
Springs lighter the green stalk; from thence the leaves 480
More aery; last the bright consummate flower
Spirits odorous breathes: flowers and their fruit,
Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublimed,
To vital spirits aspire, to animal,
To intellectual; give both life and sense,
Fancy and understanding: whence the soul
Reason receives, and reason is her being,
Discursive or intuitive: discourse

Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
Wonder not then, what God for you saw good
If I refuse not, but convert, as you,

To proper substance. Time may come, when men
With angels may participate, and find
No inconvenient diet nor too light fare:
And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,
Improved by tract of time, and, wing'd, ascend
Ethereal, as we; or may, at choice,
Here or in heavenly Paradises dwell;
If ye be found obedient, and retain
Unalterably firm his love entire,










458. Divine effulgence, in apposition to the doctrine that if Adam had not sinned, radiant forms. he would never have died, but would have 498. Ascend ethereal. This alludes to been translated from earth to heaven.

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