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“Her rosy progress smiling: let us forth;
“ I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
“ Where'er our day's work lies, though now enjoin'd
“ Laborious till day droop: while here we dwell,

“ What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks ? 180 “Here let us live, though in fall’n state, content!"

So spake, so wish'd, much-humbled Eve; but fate
Subscrib'd not : nature first gave signs, impress'd
On bird, beast, air: air suddenly eclipsed,

After short blush of morn; nigh in her sight 185 The bird of Jove, stoop'd from his aery tour,

Two birds of gayest plume before him drove;
Down from a hill the beast that reigns in woods,
First hunter then, pursued a gentle brace,

Goodliest of all the forest-hart and hind;
190 Direct to the eastern gate was bent their flight.

Adam observ'd, and with his eye the chase
Pursuing, not unmov'd, to Eve thus spake:

“O Eve! some further change awaits us nigh,

“ Which Heaven, by these mute signs in nature, shows 195 “ Forerunners of his purpose; or to warn

Us, haply too secure of our discharge
“ From penalty, because from death releas'd
“Some days: how long, and what till then our life,

“ Who knows? or more than this, that we are dust, 200 “ And thither must return, and be no more?

Why else this double object in our sight
“Of flight pursued in the air, and o'er the ground,
“One way the self-same hour ? why in the East

“Darkness ere day's mid-course, and morning-light 205 “More orient in yon western cloud, that draws

“O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
“ And slow descends with something heavenly fraught?”

He err'd not; for by this the heavenly bands

Down from a sky of jasper lighted now 210 In Paradise, and on a hill made halt;

A glorious apparition ! had not doubt,
And carnal fear, that day dimmd Adam's eye.

Not that more glorious, when the angels met

Jacob in Mahanaïm, where he saw
215 The field pavilion'd with his guardians bright;

Nor that, which on the flaming mount appear'd
In Dothan, cover'd with a camp of fire,
Against the Syrian king; who, to surprise

One man, assassin like, had levied war220 War unproclaim'd. The princely hierarch

In their bright stand there left his powers, to seize
Possession of the garden: he alone,
To find where Adam shelter'd, took his way;

Not unperceiv'd of Adam, who, to Eve, 225 While the great visitant approach'd, thus spake :

“Eve! now expect great tidings, which perhaps “Of us will soon determine, or impose “ New laws to be observ'd; for I descry,

“ From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill, 230 “ One of the heavenly host, and, by his gait,

“ None of the meanest—some great Potentate,
“ Or of the Thrones above ; such majesty
“ Invests him coming ! yet not terrible,

“ That I should fear; nor sociably mild, 235 “ As Raphaël, that I should much confide;

“ But solemn and sublime; whom, not to offend, “With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.”

He ended : and the archangel soon drew nigh,

Not in his shape celestial, but as man 240 Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms

A military vest of purple flow'd,
Livelier than Meliboean, or the grain
Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old

In time of truce; Iris had dipt the woof:
245 His starry helm unbuckled show'd him prime

In manhood where youth ended: by his side,
As in a glistering zodiac, hung the sword,
Satan's dire dread; and in his hand the spear.

Adam bow'd low: he, kingly, from his state 250 Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd:

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Adam! Heaven's high behest no preface needs: “Sufficient that thy prayers are heard; and death, “ Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,

“ Defeated of his seizure; many days 255 “Given thee of grace, wherein thou mayst repent,

“ And one bad act with many deeds well done
“Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord, appeas'd,
“Redeem thee quite from death's rapacious claim;

“But longer in this Paradise to dwell
260 - Permits not: to remove thee I am come,

“ And send thee from the garden forth, to till
“ The ground whence thou wast taken-fitter soil."

He added not; for Adam at the news

Heart-struck with chilling gripe of sorrow stood, 265 That all his senses bound: Eve, who unseen

Yet all had heard, with audible lament
Discover'd soon the place of her retire.

“O unexpected stroke, worse than of death!

“ Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave 270 “ Thee, native soil! these happy walks and shades,

“Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend

Quiet, though sad, the respite of that day
“ That must be mortal to us both. O flowers,

“ That never will in other climate grow; 275 “My early visitation, and my last

“ At even; which I bred up with tender hand
“From the first opening bud, and gave ye names !
“ Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
“Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
“ Thee lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorn'd
“ With what to sight or smell was sweet! from

“How shall I part, and whither wander down
• Into a lower world ?-to this, obscure

“ And wild! How shall we breathe in other air 285 “Less pure, accustom'd to immortal fruits ?"

Whom thus the angel interrupted mild: “ Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign





“ What justly thou hast lost ; nor set thy heart,
“ Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine:

Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes

Thy husband; him to follow thou art bound; “ Where he abides, think there thy native soil.”

Adam, by this from the cold sudden damp

Recovering, and his scatter'd spirits return'd, 295 To Michael thus his humble words address'd :

“ Celestial! whether among the Thrones, or nam’d « Of them the highest; for such of shape may seem Prince above princes! gently hast thou told

Thy message, which might else in telling wound, And in performing end us : what besides “Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair, “Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring,

Departure from this happy place, our sweet

Recess, and only consolation left
305 “ Familiar to our eyes! All places else

“ Inhospitable appear, and desolate ;
“ Nor knowing us, nor known : and, if by prayer
“ Incessant I could hope to change the will

“Of him who all things can, I would not cease 310 To weary him with my assiduous cries :

“But prayer against his absolute decree
“No more avails than breath against the wind,
“ Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth :

“ Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
315 “ This most afflicts me, that, departing hence,

“ As from his face I shall be hid, depriv'd
“ His blessed countenance : here I could frequent
“With worship place by place where he vouchsaf'd
“ Presence Divine; and to my sons relate,
“« On this mount he appear'd—under this tree
“ • Stood visible—among these pines his voice
“I heard-here with him at this fountain talk':'
“So many grateful altars I would rear

“Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone 325 “ Of lustre from the brook, in memory




“ Or monument to ages; and thereon
“Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers.
“In yonder nether world where shall I seek

“ His bright appearances, or foot-step trace? 330 “For though I fled him angry, yet, recallid

“ To life prolong'd and promis'd race, I now

Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts “ Of glory; and far off his steps adore.”

To whom thus Michael with regard benign: Adam! thou knowest heaven his, and all the earth, “ Not this rock only; his omnipresence fills “ Land, sea, and air, and ev'ry kind that lives, “ Fomented by his virtual power, and warm’d. “ All the earth he gave thee to possess, and rule, “ No despicable gift! surmise not then His

presence to these narrow bounds confin'd “Of Paradise, or Eden : this had been

Perhaps thy capital seat; from whence had spread All generations, and had hither come “From all the ends of the earth, to celebrate “ And reverence thee, their great progenitor. “But this pre-eminence thou hast lost ; brought down “ To dwell on even ground now with thy sons.

Yet doubt not but in valley, and in plain, 350 “God is, as here, and will be found alike

“ Present; and of his presence many a sign
“Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face

Express, and of his steps the track divine.
“ Which that thou mayst believe, and be confirm'd
“Ere thou from hence depart, know, I am sent
“ To show thee what shall come in future days
To thee, and to thy offspring: good with bad

“Expect to hear; supernal grace contending 360 “ With sinfulness of men; thereby to learn

“ True patience, and to temper joy with fear
“ And pious sorrow; equally inured
" By moderation either state to bear,



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