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النشر الإلكتروني

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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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What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks ?
Here let us live, though in fallen state, content.”

So spake, so wish’d, much-humbled Eve; but fate
Subscribed not. Nature first gave signs, impress'd
On bird, beast, air; air suddenly eclipsed,
After short blush of morn; nigh, in her sight,
The bird of Jove stoop'd from his airy tour,
Two birds of gayest plume before him drove ;
Down from a hill, the beast that reigns in woods,
First hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace,
Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind ;
Direct to the eastern gate was bent their flight.
Adam observed, and, with his eye. the chase
Pursuing, not unmoved, to Eve thus spake.

“O Eve! some further change awaits us nigh,
Which Heaven, by these mute signs in nature, shows,
Forerunners of his purpose; or to warn
Us, haply too secure of our discharge
From penalty, because from death released
Some days: how long, and what till then our life,
Who knows? or, more than this, that we are dust,
And thither must return, and be no more.
Why else this double object, in our sight,
Of flight pursued in the air, and o'er the ground,
One

way the self-same hour? why in the east
Darkness, ere day's mid-course, and morning light,
More orient in yon western cloud, that draws
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
And slow descends, with something heavenly fraught?"

He err'd not ; for by this the heavenly bands,
Down from a sky of jasper, lighted now
In Paradise, and on a bill made halt;
A glorious apparition, had not doubt,
And carnal fear, that day dimm'd Adam's eye.
Not that more glorious, when the angels met
Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw
The field pavilion'd with his guardians bright;
Nor that, which on the flaming mount appear'd
In Dothan, cover'd with a camp of fire,
Against the Syrian king; who, to surprise
One man, assassin-like, had levied war,
War unproclaim'd. The princely Hierarch,
In their bright stand, there left his powers, to seize
Possession of the garden; he alone,
To find where Adam shelter'd, took his way;
Not unperceived of Adam; who to Eve,
While the great visitant approach'd, thus spake.

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'Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps
Of us will soon determine, or impose
New laws to be observed; for I descry,
From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill,
One of the heavenly host, and, by his gait,
None of the meanest; some great potentate,
Or of the thrones above, such majesty
Invests him coming; yet not terrible,
That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
As Raphael, that I should as much confide;
But solemn and sublime; whom, not to offend,
With reverence I must meet, and thou retire."

He ended; and the Archangel soon drew nigh;
Not in his shape celestial, but as man,
Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms
A military vest of purple flow'd,
Livelier than Meliboean, or the grain
Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old
In time of truce; Iris had dipp'd the woof;
His starry helm unbuckled, show'd him prime
In manhood, where youth ended; by his side,
As in a glistering zodiac, hung the sword,
Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the spear:
Adam bow'd low; he, kingly, from his state
Inclined not; but his coming thus declared.

"Adam, Heaven's high behest no preface needs:
Sufficient that thy prayers are heard, and Death,
Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
Defeated of his seizure, many days
Given thee of grace, wherein thou mayst repent,
And one bad act, with many deeds well done,
Mayst cover well may then thy Lord, appeased,
Redeem thee quite from Death's rapacious claim:
But longer in this Paradise to dwell
Permits not; to remove thee I am come,
And send thee from the garden forth to till
The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil."
He added not; for Adam at the news
Heart-struck, with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen,
Yet all had heard, with audible lament
Discover'd soon the place of her retire.

"O unexpected stroke, worse than of death!
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave
Thee, native soil, these happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet, though sad, the respite of that day

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my last

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That must be mortal to us both. O flowers !
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and
At even, which I bred up with tender hand,
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names;
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, & water from the ambrosial fount ?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower, by me adorn'd,
With what to sight or smell was sweet, from thee
How shall I part? and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure
And wild ? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure accustom’d to immortal fruits ?"

Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild,
“ Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign
What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
Thus overfond, on that which is not thine :
Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes
Thy husband ; him to follow thou art bound;
Where he abides, think there thy native soil.”

Adam by this from the cold sudden damp
Recovering, and his scatter'd spirits return'd,
To Michael thug his humble words adress'd

“Celestial, whether among the thrones, or nam'd
Of them the highest, for of such shape may seem
Prince above princes, gently hast thou told
Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
And, in performing, end us; what besides
Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair,
Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring
Departure from that happy place, our sweet
Recess, and only consolation left,
Familiar to our eyes; all places else
Inhospitable appear, and desolate,
Nor knowing us, nor known. And if, by prayer
Incessant, I could hope to change the will
Of him who all things can, I would not cease
To weary him with my assiduous cries :
But prayer, against his absolute decree,
No more avails than breath against the wind,
Blown stilling back on him that breathes it forth :
Therefore to his great bidding I submit

.
This most afflicts me, that departing hence,
As from his face I shall be hid, deprived
His blessed countenance; here I could frequent
With worship, place by place, where he vouchsafed
Presence divine ; and to my sons relate,

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On this mount he appear d; under this tree
Stood visible; among these pines, his voice
I heard; here with him, at this fountain, talked :
So many grateful altars I would rear
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory,
Or monument to ages, and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling gums, & fruits, & flowers.
In yonder nether world, where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or footstep trace ?
For though I Aed him, angry, yet recallid
To life prolong'd, and promis'd race, I now
Gladly behold, though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his steps adore."

To whom thus Michael, with regard benign.
“Adam, thou know'st Heaven his, & all the Earth;
Not this rock only; his omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual power and warm’d:
All the earth he gave thee to possess, and rule,
No despicable gift; surmise not then
His presence to these narrow bounds confined
Of Paradise or Eden: this had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations, ard had hither come
From all the ends of the earth, to celebrate
And reverence thee, their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons :
Yet doubt not, but in valley and in plain
God is as here, and will be found alike
Present, and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine.
Which that thou mayst believe, & be confirm’d,
Ere thou from hence depart, know, I am seni
To show thee what shall come, in future days,
To thee and to thy offspring : good with bad
Expect to hear; supernal grace contending
With sinfulness of men; thereby to learn
True patience, and to temper joy with fear,
And pious sorrow, equally inured,
By moderation either state to bear,
Prosperous or adverse : so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and best prepared, endure
Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend

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