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Variously representing; yet still free


Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
To love thou blam'st me not, for love thou say'st
Leads up to heav'n, is both the way and guide;
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask:
Love not the heav'nly spirits, and how their love
Express they, by looks only, or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the angel with a smile that glow'd Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue,

Answer'd. Let it suffice thee that thou know'st 620
Us happy, and without love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st,
And pure thou wert created, we enjoy
In eminence, and obstacle find none

Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars: 625
Easier than air with air, if spirits embrace,
Total they mix, union of pure with pure
Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need
As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.
But I can now no more; the parting sun
Beyond the earth's green Cape and Verdant Isles,
Hesperean sets, my signal to depart.


Be strong, live happy, and love, but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep
His great command; take heed lest passion sway
Thy judgment to do aught, which else free will 636

621 green Cape] See Lisle's Dubartas, p. 94.

Thrusts out the Cape of Fesse, the green Cape and the white.

Would not admit; thine and of all thy sons
The weal or woe in thee is plac'd; beware.
I in thy persevering shall rejoice,

And all the blest: stand fast; to stand or fall 640
Free in thine own arbitrement it lies;
Perfect within, no outward aid require,
And all temptation to transgress repel.

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,
Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger,
Sent from whose sov'reign goodness I adore.
Gentle to me and affable hath been
Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever
With grateful memory: thou to mankind.
Be good and friendly still, and oft return.
So parted they, the angel up to heav'n
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.



637 admit] Used in the Latin sense, as in Ter. Heaut. act v. sc. ii.Quid ego tantum sceleris admisi miser?

641 Free] See Dante Il Purgat. c. xxvii. v. 127. • Non aspettar mio dir più, nè mio cenno. Libero, dritto, e sano è tuo arbitrio ;

E fallo fora non fare a suo senno.'


553 bower] Compare the parting of Jupiter and Thetis in

Hom. Il. i. 532.

--ἡ μὲν ἔπειτα

Εις ἅλα άλτο βαθεῖαν ἀπ' αἰγλήεντος Ολύμπου,
Ζεὺς δὲ ἑὸν πρὸς τῶμα.






SATAN having compassed the earth, with meditated guile returns as a mist by night into Paradise, and enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alleging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone: Eve, loth to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength: Adam at last yields : the serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding not till now; the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden; the serpent, now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat: she, pleased with the taste, deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam, or not; at last brings him of the fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her, and extenuating the trespass eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both: they seek to cover their nakedness: then fall to variance and accusation of onc another.


No more of talk where GoD or Angel guest
With man, as with his friend, familiar us'd
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of man, revolt,

And disobedience: on the part of heav'n
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger, and just rebuke, and judgment giv'n,
That brought into this world a world of woe;
Sin and her shadow death, and misery
Death's harbinger: sad task, yet argument.
Not less but more heroic than the wrath
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursu'd
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous❜d,
Or Neptune's ire or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's son:
If answerable style I can obtain

Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,

And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires

world] Atterbury proposed reading

'That brought into this world (a world of woe),'

but such is not Milton's manner.




11 a world of woe] See Davison's Poetical Rhapsody, ii. 178. ed. 1826.

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Easy my unpremeditated verse:

Since first this subject for heroic song

Pleas'd me, long choosing and beginning late; Not sedulous by nature to indite

Wars, hitherto the only argument

Heroic deem'd, chief mast'ry to dissect



With long and tedious havock fabled knights 30
In battels feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, emblazon'd shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds;
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshal'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with sewers, and seneshals;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroic name
To person or to poem. Me of these
Nor skill'd nor studious higher argument
Remains, sufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing
Depress'd, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers who brings it nightly to my ear.

The sun was sunk, and after him the star



41 of these] The construction adopted by Milton occurs in Harrington's Ariosto, c. iv. st. 42.

'As holy men of humane manners skill'd. Todd. 45 years] Grief, want, wars, clime, or say, years. Bentl. MS.

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