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النشر الإلكتروني

TIE ARGUMENT.

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The Son of God presents to his father the prayers of our first

parents, now repenting, and intercedes for them. God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise : sends Michael with a band of Cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things. Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous sigas; he discerns Michael's approach, goes out to ineet bim : the Angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pieads, but submits. The Angel leads him up to a high hill, Bets before him in vision what shall happen till the Jood.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK XI.

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Thus they, in lowliest plight repentant, stood
Praying, for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace, descending, had removed
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh,
Regenerate, grow instead; that sighs now breath d
Unutterable, which the spirit of prayer
Inspired, and wing'd for Heaven with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory : yet their port,
Not of mean suitors; nor important less
Seem'd their petition, than when the ancient pair
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To heaven their prayers
Flew up; nor miss'd the way by envious winds
Blown vagabond, or frustrate in they pass'd,
Dimensionless, through heavenly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fumed,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne : them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began.

“ See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung',
From thy implanted grace in Man; these sighs
And

prayers, which in this golden censer mix'd With incense, I thy Priest, before thee bring; Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed, Sown with contrition in his heart than those Which his own hand, manuring all the trees Of Paradise, could have produced, ere fallen From innocence. Now, therefore, bend thine ear To supplication, hear his sighs, though mute; Unskilful with what words to

pray,

let
Interpret for him, me his Advocate,
And Propitiation; all his works on me,
Good or not good, ingraft; my merit those
Shall perfect; and for these, my death shall pay.
Accept me, and in me, from these receive

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me

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The smell of peace towara mankind: let him live
Before thee, reconciled, at least his days
Number'd, though sad, till death his doom which I 40
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,
To better life shall yield him; where with me
All my redeem'd may dwell, in joy and bliss; ,
Made one with me, as I with thee am one.”

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene.
“All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
Obtain; all thy request, was my decree :
But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The law I gave to nature him forbids.
Those pure immortal elements, that know

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gross, no inharmonious mixture foul, Eject him, tainted now, and purge him off As a distemper, gross to air as gross, And mortal food, as may dispose him best For dissolution, wrought by sin, that first

55 Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt Corrupted. I, at first, with two fair gifts Created him endow'd with happiness And immortality: that fondly lost, This other served but to eternize woe;

60 Till I provided death : so death becomes His final remedy; and after life Tried in sharp tribulation, and refined, By faith and faithful works, to second life, Waked in the renovation of the just,

65 Resigns him up, with Heaven and Earth renew'd. But let us call to synod all the bless'd, Through Heaven's wide bounds; from them I will not hide My judgments, how with mankind I proceed; As how with peccant angels late they saw,

70 And in their state, though firm, stood more confirm'd."

He ended; and the Son gave signal high To the bright minister that watch'd : he blew His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps, When God descended; and perhaps once more

75 To sound, at general doom. The angelic blast Filld all the regions : from their blissful bowers, Of amarantine shade, fountain or spring, By the waters of life, where'er they sat In fellowships of joy, the sons of light Hasted, resorting to the summons high, And took their seats ; till from his throne supreme, The Almighty thus pronounced his sovereign will.

“O Sons, like one of us Man is become,

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To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got;
Happier, had it sufficed him, to have known
Good by itself and evil not at all.
He sorrows now, repents and prays contrite,
My motions in him; longer than they move
His heart I know, how variable and vain,
Self-left. Lest therefore, his now bolder hand
Reach also of the tree of life and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live
For ever; to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground, whence he was taken, fitter soil.

Michael, this my behest have thou in charge;
Take to thee, from among the Cherubim,
Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the Fiend,
Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise :
Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God,
Without remorse, drive out the sinful pair,
From hallow'd ground the unholy; & denounce
To them and to their progeny from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urged,
For I behold them soften'd, and with tears
Bewailing their excess, all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them, not disconsolate; reveal
To Adam, what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten; intermix
My covenant in the woman's seed renewill:
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace.
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
Cherubic watch; and of a sword the flame
Wide-waving, all approach far off to fright,
And guard all passage to the tree of life :
Lest Paradise à receptacle prove
To spirits foul; and all my trees their prey,
With whose stolen fruit Man once more to delude.”

He ceased : and the archangelic power prepared,
For swift descent, with him the cohort bright
Of watchful cherubim ; four faces each
Had, like a double Janus; all their shape
Spangled with eyes, more numerous than those
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse,

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Charm'd with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed
Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Meanwhile,
To re-saiute the world, with sacred light,
Leucothea waked, & with fresh dews embalm'd
The earth, when Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above, new hope to spring
Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet link id;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd.

Eve, easily my faith admit, that all
The good which we enjoy, from Heaven descends:
But that from us aught should ascend to Heaven,
So prevalent, as to concern the mind
Of God, high-bless'd, or to incline his will,
Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer,
Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne
Even to the seat of God. For since I sought,
By prayer the offended Deity to appease,
Kneeld, and before him humbled all my heart,
Methought I saw him placable and mild,
Bending his ear; persuasion in me grew,
That I was heard with favour; peace return'd
Home to my breast, and to my memory
His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe :
Which then not minded, in dismay, yet now
Assures me, that the bitterness of death
Is pass'd, & we shall live. Whence, hail to thee,
Eve rightly callid, mother of all mankind,
Mother of all things living ! since by thee
Man is to live, and all things live for man."

To whom thus Eve, with sad demeanour meek.
“Ill worthy I, such title should belong
To me, transgressor, who, for thee ordain'd
A help, became thy snare; to me reproach
Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise :
But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
That I, who first brought death on all, am graced
The source of life: next favourable thou,
Who highly thus to entitle me vouchsafest.
Far other name deserving. But the field
To labour calls us now, with sweat imposed,
Though after sleepless night; for see, the morn,
All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins
Her rosy progress smiling; let us forth ;
I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
Where'er our day's work lies, though now enjoin'd
Laborious, till day droop. While here we dwell,

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