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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
And pray’rs, 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 produc'd, ere fall'n
From innocence. Now therefore bend thine ear
To supplication ; hear his sighs though mute. 31
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 35
Shall perfect, and for these my

death shall pay. Accept me, and in me from these receive The smell of peace tow’rd mankind. Let him live Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days Number'd, tho' sad, till death, his doom (which I To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse) 41 To better life shall yield him ; where with me All my redeen’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,

46

The law I gave to nature him forbids :
Those pure immortal elements that know

50 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 55
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 serv'd but to eternize woe; 60
Till I provided death; so death becomes
His final remedy, and after life
Try'd in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
By faith and faithful works to second life,
Wak'd 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 judgments, how with mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant Angels late they saw, 70
And in their state, tho'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 gen’ral doom): Th'angelic blast
Fill'd all the regions. From their blissful bow'rs

65

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Of amarantine shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where'er they sat
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light 80
Hasted, resorting to the summons high,
And took their seats ; till from his throne supreme
Th’Almighty thus pronounc'd his Sov’reign will:

O Sons ! like one of us Man is become,
To know both good and evil, since his taste 85
Of that defended fruit! but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got :
Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known
Good by itself, and evil not at all.
He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite, 90
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 95
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 : Take to thee from among the Cherubim

100
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, 105
(From hallow'd ground th’unholy) and denounce
To them and to their progeny, from thence

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Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urg'd,
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

115
My cov’nant in the Woman's seed renew'd;
So send them forth, tho’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 I 20
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, 124
With whose stol'n fruit Man once more to delude.

He ceas’d; and th’Archangelic Pow'r prepar'd For swift descent, with him the cohort bright Of watchful Cherubim. Four faces each Had, like a double Janus : all their shape I 29 Spangled with eyes, more numerous than those Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse; Charm'd with Arcadian pipe, the past'ral reed Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Mean while To re-salute the world with sacred light, Leucothea wak’d, and with fresh dews imbalm'd The earth ; when Adam and (first matron) Eve Had ended now their orisons, and found

Strength added from above, new hope to spring Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet link'd : Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd:

Eve, easily may faith admit, that all 141 The good which we enjoy, from Heav'n descends; But that from us aught should ascend to Heav'n So prevalent as to concern the mind Of God high-blest, or to incline his will,

145 Hard to belief may seem; yet this will pray'r, Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne Ev’n to the seat of God! For since I sought By pray’r th' offended Deity to' appease, Kneeld, and before him humbl’d all my heart, Methought I saw him placable and mild,

151 Bending his ear! Persuasion in me grew That I was heard with favour! Peace return'd Home to my breast, and to my memory His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe; Which then not minded in dismay, yet now Assures me that the bitterness of death Is past, and we shall live! Whence hail to thee, Eve (rightly call’d) mother of all mankind, Mother of all things living; since by thee 160 Man is to live, and all things live for Man!

To whom thus Eve, with sad demeanour meek: Ill worthy I such title should belong To me, transgressor, who, for thee ordain'd A help, became thy snare! To me reproach 165 Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise ! But infinite in pardon was my Judge,

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