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Or emptiness, or fond impertinence;
And renders us in things that most concern
Unpractis'd, unprepar'd, and ftill to feek.
Therefore from this high pitch let us defcend
A lower flight; and fpeak of things at hand
Useful, whence happy mention may arife
Of fomething not unfeafonable to ask,
By fuff'rance, and thy wonted favor deign'd.
Thee I have heard relating what was done
E're my remembrance: now, hear me relate
My ftory, which perhaps thou haft not heard: 205
And day is yet not fpent, 'till then thou feeft
How fubtly to detain thee I devife,
Inviting thee to hear while I relate;
Fond! were it not in hope of thy reply.
For while I fit with thee, I feem in Heav'n,
And fweeter thy difcourfe is to my ear
Than fruits of Palm-tree (pleafanteft to thirft,
And hunger both, from labor) at the hour
Of sweet repaft: they fatiate, and foon fill,
Tho' pleafant; but thy words with grace divine 215
Imbu'd, bring to their fweetnefs no fatiety.

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To whom thus RAPHAEL anfwer'd heav'nly meek. Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men! Nor tongue ineloquent: for GoD on thee Abundantly his gifts hath alfo pour'd, Inward and outward both, his image fair, Speaking, or mute, all comliness and grace Attends thee, and each word, each motion, forms: Nor lefs think we in Heav'n of thee on earth, Than of our fellow-fervant; and inquire Gladly into the ways of GoD with Man: For GoD we fee hath honor'd thee, and fet On Man his equal love. Say therefore on; For I that day was abfent, as befel, Bound on a voyage uncouth and obfcure, Far on excurfion toward the gates of Hell, M 2

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Squar'd

Squar'd in full legion, (fuch command we had}
To fee that none thence iffu'd forth a spy,
Or enemy, while 'Gob was in his work,
Left he (incens'd at fuch eruption bold)
Deftruction with creation might have mix'd.
Not that they durft without his leave attempt;
But us he fends upon his high behefts
For ftate, as Sov'reign King; and to inure

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Our prompt obedience. Faft we found, faft shut 240
The difmal gates, and barricado'd ftrong!
But long e're our approaching heard within
Noife, other than the found of dance or fong!
Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage:
Glad we return'd up to the coaft of light
E're fabbath-ev'ning: fo we had in charge.
But thy relation now! for I attend,

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Pleas'd with thy words no less than thou with mine.

--

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So fpake the God-like Pow'r, and thus our fire. For Man to tell how human life began Is hard; for who himself beginning knew? Defire with thee ftill longer to converfe Induc'd me. As new wak'd from foundest fleep, Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid, In balmy fweat; which with his beams the Sun 255 Soon dry'd, and on the reaking moisture fed. Straight toward heav'n my wondring eyes I And gaz'd a while the ample sky; 'till rais'd By quick inftinctive motion, up I fprung, As thitherward indeavouring, and upright Stood on my feet. About me round I faw Hill, dale, and fhady woods, and funny plains, And liquid lapfe of murm'ring ftreams: by these, Creatures that liv'd, and mov'd, and walk'd, or flew; Birds on the branches warbling; all things fmil'd: 265 With fragrance, and with joy, my heart o'erflow'd. My felf I then perus'd, and limb by limb Survey'd, and fometimes went, and fometimes ran

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