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Our limbs benumb’d, ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night; how we his gather'd beams
Reflected may with matter sere foment,
Or by collision of two bodies grind
The air attrite i to fire, as late the clouds

Justling or push'd with winds rude in their shock
Tine 3 the slant lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n down
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine,
And sends a comfortable heat from far,
Which might supply the sun. Such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure
To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought;
He will instruct us praying, and of grace
Beseeching Him, so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
By Him with many comforts, till we end
In dust, our final rest and native home.
What better can we do, than, to the place
Repairing where He judged us, prostrate fall
Before Him reverent, and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign’d and humiliation meek ?
Undoubtedly He will relent and turn
From His displeasure, in whose look serene,
When angry most He seem'd and most severe,
What else but favour, grace, and mercy shone ?

So spake our father penitent, nor Eve
Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
Repairing where He judged them prostrate fell
Before Him reverent, and both confess'd
Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd, with tears
Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting,» sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign’d and humiliation meek.


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? To kindle.

3 Beating the air.

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The Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in paradise ; sends Michael with a band of cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things : Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach ; goes out to meet him : the angel denounces their approaching departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits : the angel leads him up to a high hill; sets before him in vision what shall happen till the Flood.

Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood,
Praying, for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace descending had removed
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breathed
Unutterable,' which the spirit of prayer
Inspired, and wing’d for heav'n with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: yet their port
Not of mean suitors, nor important less
Seem'd their petition, than when the ancient pair
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To heav'n their prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate : in they pass'd
Dimensionless through heav'nly doors; then clad
With incense,» where the golden altar fumed,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne; them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began.

See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in man, these sighs

1 Romans viii. 26,

2 Themis, the goddess of justice. The fable of Deucalion and Pyrrha, evidently

founded on a heathen tradition of Noah's flood, is told by Ovid, Met. I. fab, 8.

3 Psalm cxli. 2.


And prayers, which in this golden censer mix’d
With incense, I thy priest before thee bring,
Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
Sown with contrition in his heart, than those
Which his own hand manuring all the trees
Of paradise could have produced, ere fallin
From innocence. Now ther bend thine ear
To supplication, hear his sighs though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him, me his advocate'
And propitiation; all his works on me
Good or not good ingraft, my merit those
Shall perfect, and for these

death shall

pay. Accept me, and in me from these receive The smell of peace toward mankind, let him live Before thee reconciled, at least his days Number'd, though sad, till death his doom, (which I To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse) To better life shall yield him, where with me All my redeem'd

may dwell in joy and bliss; Made one with me as I with thee am one.?

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene;
All thy request for man, accepted Son,
Obtain ; all thy request was my decree :
But longer in that Paradise to dwell
The law I gave to nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal elements, that know
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,
Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
As a distemper gross, to air as gross,
And mortal food, as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by sin, that first
Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted. I, at first, with two fair gifts
Created him endow'd, with happiness
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other served but to eternize woe,
Till I provided death; so death becomes

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1 1 John ii. 1, 2.

2 John xvii, 21, 22.

His final remedy, and after life
Tried in sharp tribulation, and refine1
By faith and faithful works, to second life,
Waked in the renovation of the just,
Resigns him up with heav'n and earth renew'd.
But let us call to synod all the blest
Through heav'n's wide bounds; from them I will not hide
My judgment; how with mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant angels late they saw;
And in their state, though firm, stood more confirm'd.

He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watch'd; he blew
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom. The angelic blast
Fill'd all the regions: from their blissful bow'rs
Of Amaranthine shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where e'er they sat
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light
Hasted, resorting to the summons high,
And took their seats ; till from His throne supreme
The Almighty thus pronounced His sov’reign will.

O Sons, like one of us man is become
To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended' fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got;
Happier, had it sufficed him to have known
Good by itself, and evil not at all
He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite,
My motions in him, longer than they move,
His heart I know how variable and vain
Self-left. Lest therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live
For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground whence he was taken, fitter soil.
Michael, this my behest have thou in charge,

1 Forbidden,

Take to thee from among the Cherubim
Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the fiend,
Or in behalf of man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise :
Haste thee, and from the Paradise of GOD
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair,
From hallow'd ground the unholy, and denounce
To them and to their progeny from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urged,
For I behold them soften'd and with tears
Bewailing their excess, all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten; intermix
My cov’nant in the woman's seed renew’d;
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace :
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
Cherubic watch, and of a sword the flame
Wide waving, all approach far off to fright,
And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:
Lest paradise a receptacle prove
To spirits foul, and all my trees their prey,
With whose stol'n fruit man once more to delude.

He ceased; and the archangelic pow'r prepared
For swift descent, with him the cohort bright
Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each
Had, like a double Janus;? all their shape
Spangled with eyes more numerous than those
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse,
Charm’d with Arcadian Pipe, the pastoral reed
Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Meanwhile,
To resalute the world with sacred light
Leucothea : waked, and with fresh dews imbalm'd




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