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Already by thy reasoning this I guess,
Who art to lead thy offspring : and supposest,
That bodies bright and greater should not serve
The less not bright, nor heav'n such journies run,
Farth fitting still, when she alone receives
The benefit. Confider first, that Great, ,
Or Bright, infers not excellence : the earth
(Though, in comparison of heav'n, so small,
Nor gliftering,) may of solid good contain
More plenty than the sun, that barren shines ;
Whose virtue on itself works no effect,
But in the fruitful earth : there first receiv'd
His beams (unactive elft) their vigor find.
Yet, not to earth are those bright luminaries
Officious, but to Thee, earth's habitant.
And for the heav'ns wide circuit, let it seek 100
The Maker's high magnificence; who built
So spacious, and his line stretch'd out so far ;
That man may know he dwells not in his own ;
An edifice too large for him to fill,
Lodg’d in a small partition ; and the rest
Ordain'd for uses to his Lord best known.
The swiftnes of those circles attribute,
(Though numberless) to His Omnipotence ;
That to corporeal fubitances could add
Speed almost spiritual. Me thou think it not slow,
Who since the morning-hour set out from heav'n,
Where God resides ; and ere mid-day arriv'd
In Eden : diftance inexpreffible
By numbers that have name! But this I urge,
Admitting motion in the heav'ns ; to shew
Invalid, that which thee to doubt it moy'd:
Not that I fo affirm, though so it seem
To thee who hast thy dwelling here on earth.
God, to remove His ways from human fenfe,
Plac'd heav'n from earth so far, that earthly sight,
If it presume, might err in things too high,
And no advantage gain. What
if the sun
Be centre to the world; and other stars
his attractive virtue and their own,
Incited) dance about him various rounds ?
125 Their wandring course now high, now low, then hid, Progressive, retrograde, or standing still, In fix thou seeft: and what if sev'nth to these The planet earth (so ftedfast though she seem) Insensibly three different motions move?
130 Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe, Mov'd contrary with thwart obliquities; Or fave the sun his labour, and that swift Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb suppos'd, Invisible else above all stars, the wheel
135 Of day and night: which needs not thy belief, If earth, industrious of herself, fetch day
Travelling eaft; and with her part averse
From the sun's beam, meet night; her other part
Still luminous by his ray. What if that light, 140
(Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air)
To the terrestrial moon be as a star,
Inlightning her by day, as she by night
This earth? reciprocal, if land be there,
Fields and inhabitants. Her spots thou seest 145
As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
Fruits in her soften'a soil, for some to eat
Allotted there : and other suns perhaps,
With their attendant moons, thou wilt descry,
Communicating male and female light :
Which two great Sexes animate the world ;
Stord in each orb, perhaps, with some that live.
For such vast room in nature unpofsefs'd
By living soul, desert and defolate,
Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute
Each orb a glimpse of light, convey'd so far
Down to this habitable, which returns
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
But whether thus these things, or whether not ;
Whether the sun, predominant in heav'n
160 Rise on the earth ; or earth rise on the sun : He, from the east his flaming road begin. Or fhe, from west her filent course advance, With inoffensive pace, (that spinning siteps
On her soft axle, while she paces ev'n,
And bears thee soft with the smooth air alongi
Sollicit not thy thoughts with: matters hid ;
Leave them to God above; Him serve and fear!
Of other creatures, as Him pleases best,
Where-ever plac'd, let Him dispose : joy thou 170
In what He gives to thee, this Paradise,
And thy fair Eve: heav'n is for thee too high
To know what passes there ; be lowly wise:
Think only what concerns thee, and thy Being ;
Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there 175
Live, in what state, condition, or degree ;
Contented that thus far hath been reveald,
Not of earth only, but of highest heav'n.
To whom thus Adam, clear'd of doubt reply'd. How fully haft thou satisfy'd me, pure
Intelligence of heav'n, Angel serene !
And freed from intricacies, taught to live
The easiest way; nor with perplexing thoughts
To interrupt the sweet of life ; from which
God hath bid dwell far-off all anxious cares,
And not moleft us ; unless we our selves
Seek them with wandring thoughts, and notions vain.
apt the mind, 'or fancy, is to rove
Uncheck'd, and of her roving is no end :
'Till warn'd, or by experience taught, she learn, 190
That, not to know at large of things remote
From use, obscure and subtle ; but to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom : what is more, is fume
Or emptiness, or fond impertinence;
And renders us, in things that most concern,
Unpractis'd, unprepard, and still to seek.
Therefore from this high pitch let us descend
A lower Alight; and speak of things at hand
Useful; whence happy mention may
200 Of something not unseasonable to ask, By suffrince, and thy wonted favour deign'd.
Thee I have heard relating what was done
my remembrance; now, hear me relate
My story, which perhaps thou hast not heard :
And day is yet not spent : 'till then thou seeft
How subtly to detain thee I devise ;
Inviting thee to hear, while I relate :
Fond! were it not in hope of thy reply:
For, while I fit with thee, I scem in heav'n:
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
Than fruits of palm-tree (pleasantest to thirst,
And hunger both, from labour) at the hour
Of sweet repast: they satiate, and soon fill,
Tho' pleasant ; but thy words, with grace divine
Imbud, bring to their sweetness no satiety.
To whom thus RAPHAEL answer'd heav'nly meek.
Nor are thy lips ungraceful, fire of men !
Nor tongue uneloquent: for God on thee
Abundantly His gifts hath also pour’d;
Inward and outward both, His image fair.
Speaking or mute, all comeliness and grace
Attends thee ; and each word, each motion, forms.
Nor less think we in heav'n of thee on earth,
Than of our fellow-servant; and inquire
Gladly into the ways of God with man:
For God we see hath honour'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 excursion toward the gates of hell,
Squar'd in full legion, (such command we had)
To fee that none thence iffu'd forth a spy,
Or enemy, while God was in His work;
Left he fincens'd at such eruption bold)
235 Destruction with creation might have mix'd. Not that they durft without His leave attempt; But us He sends upon His high behests For ftate, as Sov’reign King; and to inure Our
prompt obedience. Faitwe found, fast shut 240 The dismal gates, and barricado'd strong!
But, long ere our approaching, heard within
Noise, other than the sound of dance or fong!
Torment, and loud lament, and furious
rage, Glad we return'd up to the coasts of light
Ere fabbath ev'ning : so we hd in charge.
But thy relation now! for I attend,
Pleas'd with thy words, no less than thou with mine.
So spake the God-like Pow'r, and thus our Sirea
For man to tell how human life began
Is hard ; for who himself beginning knew?
Desire with thee still longer to converse
Induc'd me. -As new-wak’d from soundeft sleep,
Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid,
In balmy sweat ; which with his beams the sun
Soon dry'd, and on the reeking moisture fed.
Straight toward heav'n my wondring eyes I turn'd,
And gaz'd a while the ample sky: 'till rais'd
By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung,
As thitherward endeavouring; and upright
Stood on my feet. About me round I saw
Hill, dale, and shady woods, and funny plains,
And liquid lapse of murm’ring streams: by these,
Creatures that liv'd, and mov'd, and walk’d, or flew ;
Birds on the branches warbling: all things smild 265
With fragrance : and with joy my heart o'er-flow'd
My self I then perus'd, and limb by limb
Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
With supple joints, as lively vigour led.
But who I was, where, or from what cause, 270
Knew not: to speak I try'd, and forthwith spake ;
My tongue obey'd, and readily could name
Whate'er I saw. Thou sun, said I, fair light !
And thou enlighten'd earth, fo fresh and gay!
Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods and plains ! 275
And ye that live and move, fair creatures ! tell,
Tell (if ye faw) how came I thus, how here.-
Not of myself- -By some Great Maker then,
In goudness, and in pow's, preeminent.
Tell me, how may I know Him, how adore, 280