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Invincible : abash'd the Devil stood,
Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,
Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain
Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them
The first in flight from pain! hadst thou alleg'd
Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive."
The fiend replied not, overcome with rage; “Not that I less endure or shrink from pain,
Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid
A faithful leader, not to hazard all
To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
To settle here on Earth, or in mid air;
He scarce had ended, when those two approach d, What thou and thy gay legions dare against ;
To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake. And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight."
Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy,
To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow. Army of fiends, fit body to fit head.
Once fawn'd, and cring’d, and servilely ador'd And boldly venture to whatever place
Heaven's awful Monarch? wherefore, but in hopo
But mark what I aread thee now: Avaunt!
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn
So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats
Proud limitary cherub! but ere then
From my prevailing arm, though Heaven's King “O loss of one in Heaven to judge of wise Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy coinpeers, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,
Us’d to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves And temperate vapors bland, which the only sound Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarm'd, of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan, Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin song Like Teneriffe or Atlas, unremov'd:
Of birds on every bough; so much the more His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve Sat Horror plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp With tresses discompos'd, and glowing cheek, What seem'd both spear and shield : now dreadful As through unquiet rest : he, on his side, deeds
Leaning half rais’d, with looks of cordial love Might have ensued, nor only Paradise
Hung over her enamor'd, and beheld In this commotion, but the starry cope
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep, Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice At least had gone to wrack, disturbid and torn Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, With violence of this conflict, had not soon Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: “Awake, The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found, Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet soen Heaven's last best gift, my ever-new delight! Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Awake: the morning shines, and the fresh field Wherein all things created first he weigh'd, Calls us ; we lose the prime, to mark how spring The pendulous round Earth with balanc'd air Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove, In counterpoise, now ponders all events, What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed, Battles and realms: in these he put two weights, How Nature paints her colors, how the bee The sequel each of parting and of fight: Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet." The latter quick up-flew, and kick'd the beam; Such whispering wak'd her, but with startled eye Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend. On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake. “Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st “O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection! glad I see Neither our own, but given : what folly then Thy face, and morn return'd; for I this night To boast what arms can do! since thine no more (Such night ull this I never pass'd) have dream'd, Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled If dream'd, not, as I oft am wont, of thee,
Works of day past, or morrow's next design, To trample thee as mire : for proof look up, But of offence and trouble, which my mind And read thy lot in yon celestial sign;
Knew never till this irksome night: methought Where thou art weigh’d, and shown how light, how Close at mine ear one call’d me forth to walk weak
Woth gentle voice; I thought it thine : it said, If thou resist." The fiend look'd up, and knew • Why sleep'st thou, Eve? now is the pleasant time, His mounted scale aloft: nor more ; but fled The cool, the silent, save where silence yields Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night. To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-labor'd song : now reigns
Full-orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing light BOOK V.
Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain,
If none regard : Heaven wakes with all his eyes, THE ARGUMENT.
Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire ? Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.' her: they come forth to their day-labors : their I rose as at ihy call, but found thee not; morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, To find thee I directed then my walk; to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, That brought me on a sudden to the tree of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why of interdicted knowledge: fair seem'd, his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to Much fairer to my fancy than by day : know. Raphael comes down to Paradise ; his And, as I wondering look'd, beside it stood appearance described ; his coming discerned by One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Adam afar off sitting at the door of his bower;
Heaven he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, By us oft seen: his dewy locks distillid entertains him with the choicest fruits of Para- Ambrosia ; on that tree he also gaz'd; dise got together by Eve; their discourse at And O fair plant,' said he, 'with fruit surcharg'a, table: Raphael performs his message, minds Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet, Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Nor God, nor Man? Is knowledge so despis'd ? Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste ? came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew Longer thy offer'd good ; why else set here? his legions after him to the parts of the north, This said, he paus'd not, but with venturous arm and there incited them to rebel with him, per- He pluck’d, he tasted ; me damp horror chill'd suading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold: argument dissuades and opposes him, then for. But he thus, overjoy'd ; O fruit divine, sakes him.
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt
Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime For gods, yet able to make gods of men : Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, And why not gods of men ; since good, the more When Adam wak'd, so custom'd; for his sleep Communicated, more abundant grows, Was aery-light, from pure digestion bred,
The author not impair'd, but honor'd more?
Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve!
Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began Partake thou also; happy though thou art, Their orisons, each morning duly paid Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be : In various style; for neither various style Taste this, and be benceforth among the gods Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise Thyself a goddess, not to Earth confin'd,
Their Maker, in fit strains pronounc'd, or sung But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes Unmeditated ; such prompt eloquence Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see Flow'd from their lips, in prose or numerous verse, What life the gods live there, and such live thou.' More tunable than needed lute or harp So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held, To add more sweetness; and they thus began. Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part “These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Which he had pluck'd: the pleasant savory smell Almighty! Thine this universal frame, So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought,
Thus wondrous fair! Thyself how wondrous then: Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds Unspeakable, who sitst above these Heavens With him I flew, and underneath beheld
To us invisible, or dimly seen The Earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide In these thy lowest works; yet these declare And various : wondering at my flight and change Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. To this high exaltation : suddenly
Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down, Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs And fell asleep; but O, how glad I wak'd And choral symphonies, day without night, To find this but a dream!” Thus Eve her night Circle his throne rejoicing ; ye in Heaven. Related, and thus Adam answer'd sad.
On Earth join, all ye creatures, to extol “Best image of myself, and dearer half, Him first, him last, him midst, and without end, The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, Affects me equally; nor can I like
If better thou belong not to the dawn, This uncouth dream, of evil sprung, I fear; Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn Yet evil whence? in thee can harbor none, With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, Created pure. But know, that in the soul While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Are many lesser faculties, that serve
Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Reason as chief, among these Fancy next
Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise Her office holds; of all external things,
In thy eternal course, both when thou climbist, Which the five watchful senses represent,
And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou She forms imaginations, aery shapes,
fall'st. Which Reason, joining or disjoining, frames Moon, that now meet'st the orient Sun, now My’st, All what we affirm or what deny, and call With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies; Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
And ye five other wandering fires, that move Into her private cell, when nature rests.
In mystic dance not without song, resound Oft in her absence mimic Fancy wakes
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light. To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes,
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
And nourish all things ; let your ceaseless change
From hill or streaming lake, dusky, or grey, May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave Till the Sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, No spot or blame behind : which gives me hope In honor to the World's great Author rise ; That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream, Whether to deck with clouds the uncolor'd sky, Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
Or wet the thirsty Earth with falling showers, Be not dishearten'd then, nor cloud those looks, Rising or falling still advance his praise. That wont to be more cheerful and serene, His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow, Than when fair morning first smiles on the world; Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines. And let us to our fresh employments rise
With every plant, in sign of worship wave. Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow, That open now their choicest bosom'd smells, Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. Reserv'd from night, and kept for thee in store." Join voices, all ye living souls : ye birds,
So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd; That singing up to Heaven-gate ascend, But silently a gentle tear let fall
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair; Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk Two other precious drops that ready stood, The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep; Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell Witness if I be silent, morn or even, Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade, And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended. Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste. Hail, universal Lord, be bounteous still But first, from under shady arborous roof To give us only good ; and if the night Soon as they forth were come to open sight Have gather'd aught of evil or conceal'd, Of day-spring, and the Sun, who, scarce up-risen, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark!" With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean brim, So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts Shot parallel to the Earth his dewy ray, Firm peace recover'd soon, and wonted calm. Discovering in wide landscape all the east On to their morning's rural work they haste, Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains,
Among sweet ders and flowers; where any row
Of fruit-trees over-woody reach'd too far Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold Fruitless embraces: or they led the vine
And colors dipt in Heaven, the third his feet To wed her elm; she, spous'd, about him twines Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail, Her marriageable arms, and with her brings Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood, Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands With pity Heaven's high King, and to him callid Of angels under watch; and to his state, Raphaël, the sociable spirit, that deign'd
And his message high, in honor rise; To travel with Tobias, and secur'd
For on some message high they guess'd him bound His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid. Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come “Raphaël,” said he, “thou hear'st what stir on Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh, Earth
And flowering odors, cassia, nard, and balm; Satan, from Hell 'scap'd through the darksome gulf, A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here Hath rais'd in Paradise ; and how disturb’d Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will This night the human pair; how he designs Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, In them at once to ruin all mankind.
Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss. Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend Him through the spicy forest onward come Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retir'd, Of his cool bower, while now the mounted Sun To respite his day-labor with repast,
Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm Or with repose: and such discourse bring on, Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam As may advise him of his happy state,
needs : Happiness in his power left free to will,
And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd Left to his own free will, his will though free, For dinner savory fruits, of taste to please Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware True appetite, and not disrelish thirst He swerve not, too secure : tell him withal Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream, His danger, and from whom; what enemy, Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam call'a. Late fallin himself from Heaven, is plotting now · Haste hither, Eve, and worth thy sight behold The fall of others from like state of bliss ; Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape By violence? no, for that shall be withstood ; Comes this way moving ; seems another morn But by deceit and lies: this let him know, Ris'n on mid-noon; some great behest from Heaven Lest, wilfully transgressing, he pretend
To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe Surprisal, unadmonish'd, unforewarn'd."
This day to be our guest. But go with speed, So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfill'd And, what thy stores contain, bring forth and pour All justice: nor delay'd the winged saint
Abundance, fit to honor and receive After his charge receiv'd; but from among Our heavenly stranger; well we may afford Thousand celestial ardors, where he stood Our givers their own gists, and large bestow Veild with his gorgeous wings up springing light From large bestow'd, where Nature multiplies Flew through the midst of Heaven; the angelic Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows quires,
More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare." On each hand parting, to his speed gave way
To whom thus Eve. "Adam, Earth's hallow'd Through all the empyreal road; till, at the gate
mould, Of Heaven arriv'd, the gate self-open'd wide Of God inspir'd! small store will serve, where store, On golden hinges turning, as by work
All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Divine the sovran Architect had fram'd.
Save what by frugal storing firmness gains From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes : Star interpos'd, however small, he sees,
But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Not unconform to other shining globes,
Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd
choice Above all hills. As when by night the glass To entertain our angel-guest, as he of Galileo, less assur'd, observes
Beholding shall confess, that here on Earth Imagin’d lands and regions in the Moon : God hath dispens’d his bounties as in Heaven." Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades
So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste Delos or Samos first appearing, kens
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight What choice to choose for delicacy best, He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky What order so contriv'd as not to mix Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing, Tastes, not well join'u, inelegant, but bring Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change ; Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems Whatever Earth, all-bearing mother, yields A phanix, gaz'd by all, as that sole bird,
In India East or West, or middle shore When, to enshrine his relics in the Sun's
In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies. Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise
Rough, or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell He lights, and to his proper shape returns
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board A seraph wing'd: six wings he wore, to shade Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape His lineaments divine ; the pair that clad
She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast From many a berry, and from sweet kernels press'd With regal ornament; the middle pair
She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold
Wants her fit vessels pure; then strows the ground Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires With rose and odors from the shrub unfum'd. Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon ;
Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train Vapors not yet into her substance turn'd. Accompanied than with his own complete Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale Perfections; in himself was all his state,
From her moist continent to higher orbs. More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits The Sun, that light imparts to all, receives On princes, when their rich retinue long
From all his alimental recompense Of horses led, and grooms besmear'd with gold, In humid exhalations, and at even Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all aga pe. Sups with the Ocean. Though in Heaven the trees Nearer his presence Adam, though not aw'd, Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek, Yield nectar; though from off the boughs each morn As to a superior nature, bowing low,
We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground
The angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
To transubstantiate : what redounds, transpires Be over, and the Sun more cool decline."
Through spirits with ease ; nor wonder; if by fire Whom thus the angelic virtue answer'd mild. Of sooly coal the empiric alchymist "Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such Can turn, or holds it possible to turn, Created, or such place hast here to dwell, Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold, As may not oft invite, though spirits of Heaven, As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve To visit thee; lead on then where thy bower Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups O'ershades; for these mid-hours, till evening rise, With pleasant liquors crown'd: 0 innocence I have at will.” So to the sylvan lodge
Deserving Paradise ! if ever, then, They came, that like Pomona's arbor smild, Then had the sons of God excuse to have been With flowerets deck'd, and fragrant smells; but Enamor'd at that sight; but in those hearts Eve,
Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousy Undeck'd save with herself more fair Was understood, the injur'd lover's Hell. Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign'd Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffic'd, Of three that in mount Ida naked strove,
Not burthen'd nature, sudden mind arose Stood to entertain her guest from Heaven; no veil In Adam, not to let the occasion pass She needed, virtue-proof; no thought infirm Given him by this great conference to know Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail Of things above his world, and of their being Bestow'd, the holy salutation us'd
Who dwell in Heaven, whose excellence he saw Long after to blest Mary, second Eve.
Transcend his own so far; whose radiant forms, “Hail, Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful womb Divine effulgence, whose high power, so far Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons, Exceeded human: and his wary speech Than with these various fruits the trees of God Thus to the empyreal minister he fram'd. Have heap'd this table.”—Rais'd of grassy turf “Inhabitant with God, now know I well Their table was, and mossy seats had round, Thy favor, in this honor done to man; And on her ample square from side to side Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafd All autumn, pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste, Danc'd hand in hand. Awhile discourse they hold; Food not of angels, yet accepted so, No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began As that more willingly thou couldst not seem Our author. “Heavenly stranger, please to taste At Heaven's high feasts to have fed : yet wha“ These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom
compare ?" All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, descends,
To whom the winged hierarch replied. To us for food and for delight hath caus'd “O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom The Earth to yield ; unsavory food perhaps All things proceed, and up to him return, To spiritual natures; only this I know,
If not deprav'd from good, created all That one celestial Father gives to all.”
Such to perfection, one first matter all, To whom the angel. “Therefore what he gives Endued with various forms, various degree (Whose praise be ever sung) to Man in part Of substance, and, in things that live, of life; Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found
But more refin’d, more spirituous, and pure, No ingrateful food; and food alike those pure As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending Intelligential substances require,
Each in their several active spheres assign'd, As doth your rational; and both contain Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Within them every lower faculty
Proportion'd to each kind. So from the root Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste, Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,
leaves And corporeal to incorporeal turn.
More aery, last the bright consummate flower For know, whatever was created, needs
Spirits odórous breathes: flowers and their fruit, To be sustain'd and fed : of elements
Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd, The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea, To vital spirits aspire, to animal,