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Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.

To whom the Angel with contracted brow. 560 Accuse not nature,

she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
Of wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thou
Dismiss not her, when most thou need’st her nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things

Less excellent, as thou thyself perceiv'st.
For what admir'st thou, what transports thee so,
An outside ? fair no douht, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love,
Not thy subjection : weigh with her thyself;

570 Then value: Oft-times nothing profits more Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right Well-manag'd; of that skill the more thou know'st, The more she will acknowledge thee her head, And to realities yield all her shows :

575 Made so adorn for thy delight the more, So awful, that with honour thou may'st love Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise. But if the sense of touch whereby mankind Is propagated seem such dear delight Beyond all other, think the same vouchsaf'd To cattle and each beast; which would not be To them made common and divulg'd, if ought Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue The soul of man, or passion in him move. 585 What high’er in her society thou find'st


Attractive, human, rational, love still;
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
Wherein true love consists not; love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat

In reas’on, and is judicious, is the scale
By which to heav'nly love thou may'st ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.

To whom thus half abash'd Adam reply'd. 995 Neither her outside form’d so fair, nor ought In procreation common to all kinds (Though higher of the genial bed by far, And with mysterious reverence I deem) So much delights me, as those graceful acts, 600 Those thousand decencies that daily flow From all her words and actions mix'd with love And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd Union of mind, or in us both one soul; Harmony to behold in wedded pair More grateful than harmonious sound to th' ear. Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose. What inward thence I feel, not therefore foil'd, Who meet with various objects, from the sense Variously representing ; yet still free

610 Approve the best, and follow what I approve. To love thou blam'st me not, for love thou say'st Leads up to Heav'n, is both the way and guide; Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask; Love not the heav'nly Spi'rits, and how their love 615 Express they, by looks only', or do they mix



with pure

Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd
Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue,
Answer'd. Let it suffice thee that thou know'st

620 Us happy', and without love no happiness. 'Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy In eminence, and obstacle find none Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars, Easier than air with air, if Spi'rits embrace, Total they mix, union of pure Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul. But I can now no more; the parting sun

630 Beyond the earth's green Cape and verdant Isles Hesperian sets, my signal to depart. Be strong, live happy', and love, but first of all Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command; take heed lest passion sway 635 Thy judgment to do ought, which else free-will Would not admit: thine and of all thy sons The weal or woe in thee is plac'd; beware. I in thy persevering shall rejoice, And all the blest : stand fast; to stand or fall 640 Free in thine own arbitrement it lies. Perfect within, no outward aid require ; And all temptation to transgress repel.

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus Follow'd with benediction. Since to part, Go heav'nly Guest, ethereal Messenger,


Sent from whose sov’reign goodness I adore.
Gentle to me, and affable hath been
Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever
With grateful memory: thou to mankind
Be good and friendly still, and oft return.

So parted they, the Angel up to Heaven
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.


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