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From all his alimental recompenfe,

In humid exhalations; and at ev'n

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Sups with the ocean. Though in Heav'n the trees
Of life ambrofial fruitage bear, and vines

Yield Nectar; though from off the boughs each morn
We bruh mellifluous dews, and find the ground
Cover'd with pearly grain: yet God hath here 430
Varied his bounty fo with new delights,

As may compare with Heaven; and to tafte
Think not I fhall be nice. So down theyt,
And to their viands fell, nor feemingly
The Angel, nor in mift, (the common glofs
Of Theologians) but with keen difpatch
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat

To tranfubftantiate: what redounds, tranfpires
Through fpirits with cafe, nor wonder; if by fire
Of footy coal the empiric alchymift

Can turn, or holds it poffible to turn,
Metals of droffieft ore to perfect Gold,

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As from the mine. Mean while at table EVE

Minifter'd naked, and their flowing cups
With pleafant liquors crown'd. O innocence
Deferving Paradife! if ever, then,

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Then had the fons of GoD excufe t'have been
Enamor'd at that fight: but in those hearts
Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealoufie
Was understood, the injur'd lover's hell.
Thus when with meats and drinks they had fuffic'd,
Not burden'd nature, fudden mind arose
In ADAM, not to let th' occafion pass,
Giv'n him by this great conference, to know
Of things above this world, and of their being 455
Who dwell in Heav'n: whofe excellence he faw
Tranfcend his own fo far, whose radiant forms,
Divine effulgence! whofe high pow'r, fo far
Exceeded human; and his wary fpeech
Thus to th' empyreal minifter he fram'd.

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Inhabitant with Gop! now know I well Thy favor, in this honor done to man; Under whofe lowly roof thou haft vouchsaf'd To enter, and thefe earthly fruits to tafte, Food not of Angels, yet accepted fo,

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As that more willingly thou couldst not feem
At Heav'n's high feafts t' have fed: yet what compare?

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To whom the winged Hierarch reply'd.
O ADAM! one Almighty is, from whom
All things proceed, and up to him return,
If not deprav'd from good, created all
Such to perfection, one firft matter all,
Indu'd with various forms, various degrees
Of substance, and in things that live, of life;
But more refin'd, more fpiritous, and pure,
As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending,
Each in their feveral active sphears affign'd;
Till body up to fpirit work, in bounds
Proportion'd to each kind. So, from the root
Springs lighter the green ftalk; from thence the leaves
More aery; laft, the bright confummate flow'r 48£
Spirits odorous breathes; flow'rs, and their fruit,
(Man's nourishment) by gradual scale fublim'd,
To vital fpirits afpire, to animal,

To intellectual; give both life and fenfe,
Fancy and understanding; whence the foul
Reafon receives; and reafon is her being,
Difcourfive, or intuitive; discourse

Is ofteft yours, the latter moft is ours;
Diff'ring but in degree, of kind the fame.
Wonder not then, what Go D for you faw good
If I refuse not, but convert, as you,

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To proper fubftance. Time may come, when men
With Angels may participate, and find
No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare:
And from thefe corporal nutriments, perhaps,
Your bodies may at laft turn all to spirit,

H 3

495

Improv'd

Improv'd by tract of time; and wing'd afcend
Ethereal, as we; or may at choice,
Here, or in heav'nly Paradifes dwell;

IF YE
RE FOUND OBEDIENT, and retain
Unalterably firm his love entire,

Whofe progeny you are. Mean while, enjoy
Your fill what happiness this happy state
Can comprehend, incapable of more.

To whom the patriarch of mankind reply'd:
O favorable fpirit, propitious guest!
Well haft thou taught the way that might direct
Our knowledge, and the fcale of nature fet
From center to circumference; whereon,
In contemplation of created things,

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By fteps we may afcend to God. But fay,
What meant that caution join'd, IF YE BE FOUND
OBEDIENT? Can we want obedience then
To him, or poffibly his love defert

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Who form'd us from the duft, and plac'd us here,
Full to the utmost measure of what blifs
Human defires can feek, or apprehend?

To whom the Angel. Son of heav'n and earth, Attend That thou art happy, owe to GoD: 520 That thou continu'ft fuch, owe to thy felf," That is, to thy obedience; therein stand. This was that caution giv'n thee; he advis'd. Gop made thee perfect, not immutable ; And good he made thee; but to perfevere He left it in thy pow'r, ordain'd thy will By nature free, not over-rul'd by fate Inextricable, or ftrict neceffity.

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Our voluntary fervice he requires,

Not our neceffitated; fuch with him

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Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how

Can hearts, not free, be try'd whether they ferve

Willing or no, who will but what they must

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