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430)

From all his alimental recompense
In humid exhalations; and at ev'n

425,
Sups with the ocean. Though in heav'n the Trees
Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines
Yield Nectar ; though from off the boughs each morn
We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground
Cover'd with pearly grain : yet God hath here.
Varied his bounty so with new delights
As may compare with heaven; and to taste
Think not I shall be nice.So down they fat,
And to their viands fell: nor seemingly
The Angel, nor in mist, (the common gloss 435 :
Of theologians) but with keen dispatch
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat
To transubstantiate : what redounds, transpires
Through Spirits with ease; nor wonder if by fire
Of footy coal, the empiric alchymist

440 Can turn, or holds it possible to turn, Metals of drossielt ore to perfect gold, As from the Mine. Mean while at table Eve. Ministred naked, and their flowing cups With pleasant liquors crown'd. O innocence

445 Deserving Paradise ! if ever, then, Then had the sons of Go'd excuse t'have been Enamour'd at that fight: but in those hearts Love unlibidinous reign’d, nor jealousie Was understood, the injur'd lover's hell.

450

Thus when with meats, and drinks, they had suffic'd, , Not burden'd nature, sudden mind arose In ADAM, not to let th' occasion pafs, Giv’n him by this great conference, to know Of things above this world, and of their Being. 455 Who dwell in heav'n: whole excellence he saw Transcend his own so far ; whose radiant forms, Divine effulgence! whose high pow'r, so far Exceedad human ; and his wary speech Thus to th’empyreal minister he fram’d.

4603

Inhabitant with God! -now know I well ..

M 3

Thy

Thy favour, in this honour done to man;
Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsafd.
To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste ; .
Food not of Angels, yet accepted so,

465 As that more willingly thou couldst not seem At heav'n's high fealts t have fed: yet what compare ?

To whom the winged Hierarch reply'd. O Adam! One Almighty is, from Whom All things proceed, and up to him return,

470 If not deprav'd from good; created all Such to perfection, one first matter all, Indu'd with various forms, various degrees Of substance, and in things that live, of life: But more refin’d, more spiritous, and pure,

475 As nearer to Him plac'd, or nearer tending, Each in their several active spheres assign'd: Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Proportion’d to each kind. So, from the root Springs lighter the green stalk; from thence the leaves More aery ; last, the bright consummate flow'r. Spirits odorous breathes ; flow'rs, and their fiuit, (Man's nourishment) by gradual scale sublim'd, To vital spirits aspire, to animal, 'To intellectual; give both life, and sense, 485 Fancy, and underitanding; whence the foul Reason receives; and reason is her Being, Discursive or intuitive; discourse Is ofteit yours, the latter most is ours; Diffring but in degree, of kind the same,

490 Wonder not then, what God for you

saw good
If I refusę not, but convert, as you,
To proper substance. Time may come, when men
With Angels may participate, and find
No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare :

495
And from these corporal nutriments, perhaps,
Your bodies may at last turn all to fpirit,
Improv'd by tract of time ;. and wingid ascend
Echereal, as we; or may at choice,
Here, or in heav'nly Paradises, dwell;

500

481

If ye be found obedient, and retain
Unalterably firm His love entire,
Whose progeny you are. Mean while, enjoy.
Your fill what happiness this stappy state
Can comprehend, incapable of more.

505..
To whom the patriarch of mankind reply'd :
O favourable spirit, propitious guest!
Well haft thou taught the way that might direct
Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set
From centre to circumference; whereon,

510 In contemplation of created things, By steps we may ascend to God. But say, What meant the caution join'd, IF Yë BE FOUND OBEDIENT? Can we want obedience then To Him? or poflibly His love desert

515 Who form'd us from the duft, and plac'd us here, Full to the utmost measure of what bliss Human desires can seek, or apprehend ?

To whom the Angel. Son of heav'n and earth, . Attend! That thou art happy, owe to Gon: 520 That thou contiąu'st such, owe to thy self, That is, to thy obedience; therein stand. This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd ! God made thee perfect, not immutable; And good He made thee ; but to persevere

525 He left it in thy pow'r; ordain'd thy will By nature free, not over-ruld by fate Inextricable, or strict necessity. Our voluntary service He requires, Not our neceffitated; such with Him

530 Finds no acceptance, nor can find : for how, Can hearts, not free, be try'd, whether they serve Willing or no, who will but what they must By destiny, and can no other chuse? My self, and all th'angelic họft, that stand. 535 In fight of God inthron’d, our happy state Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds ; On other surety none : freely we serve,

Becaule

Because we freely love ; as in our will
To love, or not, in this we stand, or fall.

540
And some are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n;
And so, from heav'n to deepest hell: O fall
From what high state of bliss, into what woe?.

550

To whom our great progenitor. Thy words Attentive, and with more delighted ear,

545 Divine instructor! I have heard, than when Cherubic songs by night from neighbouring hills Aereal music send. Nor knew I not To be both will and deed, created free: Yet, that we never shall forget to love Our Maker, and obey Him, whose command Single, is yet so just, my constant thoughts Afsur'd me, and still assure; though what thou tell'It Hath past in heav'n, fome doubt within me move, But more desire to hear (if thou consent)

5553 The full relation : which must needs be strange, Worthy of sacred filence to be heard : And we have yet large day; for, scarce the fun Hath finish'd half his journey, and scarce begins His other half in the great zone of heav'n.

560

Thus Adam made request; and RAPHAEL, After short pause afsenting, thus began.

High matter thou injoin'st me, O prime of men!
Sad task, and hard! For how shall I relate
To human sense th' invisible exploits

565
Of warring spirits? How, without remorse,
The ruin of so many, glorious once,
And perfect, while they stood ? how last, unfold
The secrets of another world, perhaps
Not lawful to reveal ? . Yet, for thy good,

570 'This is dispens'd: and what surmounts the reach Of human sense, I shall delineate so, By lik’ning spiritual to corporeal forms, As may express them beft : though, what if earth Pa but the shadow of heav'n ; and things therein. 575

Each

Each t'other like, more than on earth is thought ?

As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild (rests Reign'd where these heav'ns now rowl, where earth now." Upon her centre poisd; when on a day (For time, though in eternity, apply'd

580 To motion, measures all things durable By present, past, and future) on such day As heav'n's great year brings forth, th'empyreal host Of Angels, by imperial fummons call'd, Innumerable before th'Almighty's throne

585 Forthwith, from all th' ends of heav'n, appear’d Under their hierarchs in orders bright: Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanc’d, (Standards, and gonfalons, twixt van and rear) Stream in the air, and for distinction serve

590 Of Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees : Or in their glittering tissues bear imblaz'd Holy Memorials, acts of zeal, and love, Recorded eminent. Thus when in orbs Of circuit inexpresfible they stood,

595 Orb within orb, the Father Infinite, By whom in bliss imbofom'd sat the Son, Amidit (as from a faming mount, whose top Brightness had made invisible) thus fpake. Hear, all ye Angels, progeny of light,

600 Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Pow'rs! Hear My decree, which unrevok'd Shall stand. This day I have begot whom I declare My only Son, and on this holy hill Him have anointed, whom ye now behold At my right hand : your Head I Him appoint: And by my self have sworn, to Him shall bow All knees in heav'n, and shall confess Him Lord Under His great Vicegerent's reign abide United, as one individual soul,

610 For ever happy : Him who disobeys, Me disobeys, breaks union, and that day Caft out from God, and blessed vision, falls

605

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