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THE

EIGHTH BOOK

OF

PARADISE LOST.

The ARGUMENT.

Adam inquires concerning cæleftial motions; is doubtfully an

fwer'd, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge. Adam afsents: ain Atill desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remember'd fince his own creation ; his placing in Paradise ; his talk with God concerning solitude, and fit fociety ; his firft meeting and nuptials with EnE ; his discourse with the Angel thereupon ; who, after admonitions repeated, departs.

HE Angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charming left his voice, that he a-

while
Thought him ftill speaking, ftill stood fix d

to hear :

Then as new wak'd, thus gratefully replied. What thanks sufficient, or what Recompense S Equal, have I to render thee, divine Historian? who thus largely hast allay'd R

The

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*The thirft I had of knowledge, and vouchsafd
This friendly condescension to relate
Chings, else by me unsearchable ; now heard
With wonder, but delight ; and, as is due,
With Glory attributed to the High
Creator. Something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.

When I behold this goodly frame, this world, 15
Of heav'n and earth confisting; and compute
*Their Magnitudes; this earth a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compar'd,
And all her number'd stars ; that seem to rowl
Spaces incomprehensible, (for such

20
Their distance argues, and their swift return
Diurnal) merely to officiate light
Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night ; in all their vast survey
Useless besides : reasoning I oft admire,

25
How nature, wise and frugal, could commit
Such disproportions ; with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold, to this one use ;
(For ought appears) and on their orbs impose 30
Such restless revolution, day by day
Repeated : while the sedentary earth,
(That better might with far less compass move)
Serv’d by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without le ft motion ; and receives

35
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed! to describe whose swiftness number fails.

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So fpake our fire, and by his count'nance seem'd
Entring on studiou thoughts abstruse : which Eve
Perceiving, where the fat retir’d in fight,
With lowiiness majestic from her feat,
And grace, that won who saw to with her stay,
Roses and went forth among her fruits and fow'ss,
To vift how they prosper'd, bud, and bloom,

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Her nursery : they at her coming sprung,
And touch'd by her fiir tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear
Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv'd,
Adam relating, the sole auditress :
Her husband the re!ater she prefer'd
Before the Angel ; and of him to isk
Chose rather: he, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digreflions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal caresses.; from his lip
Not words alone pleased her. (0! when meet now
Such pairs, in love, and mutual honour join'd :)
With Goddess-like demeanor forth she went ;
Not unattended ! for on her, as queen,
A pomp of winning graces waited ftill ;
And from about her shot darts of desire
Into all eyes, to wish her still in sight.
And Raphael now, to Adam's doubt proposed,
Benevolent, and facil, thus reply'd.

60

6

To ask or search, I blame thee not ; for heav'n Is as the book of God before thee set : Wherein to read his wond'rous works, and learn His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years. This to attain, whether heav'n move, or earth. 70 Imports not, if thou reckon right : the rift, From man or angel, the great architect Did wisely to conceal ; and not divulge His secrets to be scan’d by them who ought Rather admire. Or, if they list to try

75 Conjecture. He His fabric of the heav'ns Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move His laughter at their quaint opinions wide Hereafter ; when they come to model heav'n And calculate the stars, how they will wield

80 The mighty frame! haw build, unbuild, contrive, To save

appearances ; how gird the sphere With centric, and eccentric, scribļd o'er, Cycle, and epicycle, orb in orb.

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