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Invincible : abash'd the Devil stood,

Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain And felt how awful goodness is, and saw

Can equal anger infinite provok’d. Virtue in her shape how lovely; saw, and pin'd But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee His loss; but chiefly to find here observ'd

Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain them His lustre visibly impair'd; yet seem'd

Less pain, less to be fled; or thou than they Undaunted. “If I must contend,” said he, Less hardy to endure ; courageous chief ! “ Best with the best, the sender not the sent, The first in flight from pain! hadst thou allega Or all at once; more glory will be won,

To thy deserted host this cause of flight, Or less be lost.” “ Thy fear,” said Zephon bold, Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive." " Will save us trial what the least can do

To which the fiend thus answer'd, frowning stern Single against thee wicked, and thence weak." “ Not that I less endure or shrink from pain,

The fiend replied not, overcome with rage; Insulting angel ! well thou know'st I stood
But, like a proud steed rein’d, went haughty on, Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid
Champing his iron curb: to strive or fly

The blasting vollied thunder made all speed,
He held it vain ; awe from above had quell'a And seconded thy else not dreaded spear.
His heart, not else dismay’d. Now drew they nigh But still thy words at random, as before,
The western point, where those half-rounding guards Argue thy inexperience what behoves
Just met, and closing stood in squadron join'd, From hard assays and ill successes past
Awaiting next command. To whom their chief, A faithful leader, not to hazard all
Gabriël, from the front thus call'd aloud.

Through ways of danger by himself untried :
“ O friends! I hear the tread of nimble feet I therefore, I alone first undertook
Hasting this way, and now by glimpse discern To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade;

This new created world, whereof in Hell
And with them comes a third of regal port, Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
But faded splendour wan ; who by his gait Better abode, and my afflicted powers
And fierce demeanour seems the prince of Hell, To settle here on Earth, or in mid air ;
Not likely to part hence without contest;

Though for possession put to try once more Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.' What thou and thy gay legions dare against ;

He scarce had ended, when those two approach'd, Whose easier business were to serve their Lord
And brief related whom they brought, where found, High up in Heaven, with songs to hymn his throne,
How busied, in what form and posture couch'd. And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight."

To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake. To whom the warrior-angel soon replied.
“ Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib'd“ To say and straight unsay, pretending first
To thy transgressions, and disturb'd the charge Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy,
Of others, who approve not to transgress

Argues no leader but a liar trac'd,
By thy example, but have power and right

Satan, and couldst thou faithful add ? O name, To question thy bold entrance on this place ; O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd! Employ'd, it seems, to violate sleep, and those Faithful to whom ? to thy rebellious crew ? Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ?" Army of fiends, fit body to fit head.

To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow. Was this your discipline and faith engag'd, “ Gabriel ! thou hadst in Heaven the esteem of wise, Your military obedience, to dissolve And such I held thee; but this question ask'd Allegiance to the acknowledged Power supreme? Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain? And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell, Patron of liberty, who more than thou Though thither doom'd? Thou wouldst thyself, no Once fawn'd, and cring’d, and servilely ador’d doubt,

Heaven's awful Monarch? wherefore, but in hope And boldly venture to whatever place (change To dispossess him, and thyself to reign ? Farthest froin pain, where thou mightst hope to But mark what I areed thee now: avant ! Torment with ease, and soonest recompense Fly thither whence thou fledst! If from this hour Dole with delight, which in this place I sought; Within these hallow'd limits thou appear, To thee no reason, who know'st only good, Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chain'd, But evil hast not tried : and wilt object

And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn His will who bounds us ? Let him surer bar The facile gates of Hell too slightly barr'd." His iron gates, if he intends our stay

So threaten’d he ; but Satan to no threats In that dark durance: thus much what was ask'd. Gave heed, but waxing more in rage replied. The rest is true, they found me where they say ; “ Then when I am thy captive talk of chains, But that implies not violence or harm.”

Proud limitary cherub ! but ere then Thus he in scorn. The warlike angel moved, Far heavier load thyself expect to feel Disdainfully half smiling, thus replied.

From my prevailing arm, though Heaven's King “ O loss of one in Heaven to judge of wise Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,

Us’d to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels And now returns him from his prison 'scap'd, In progress through the road of Heaven star-pav’d." Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise

While thus he spake, the angelic squadron bright Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither Turn'd fiery red, sharpening in mooned horns Unlicens'd from his bounds in Hell prescrib'd; Their phalanx, and began to hem him round So wise he judges it to fly from pain

With ported spears, as thick as when a field However, and to 'scape his punishment !

Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends So judge thou still, presumptuous ! till the wrath, Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind Which thou incurr'st by Aying, meet thy flight Sways them; the careful ploughman doubting Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,




Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound
Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarm'd, Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
Collocting all his might, dilated stood,

Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin song
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremov’d:

Of birds on every bough; so much the more His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest His wonder was to find unwaken’d Eve Sat Horrour plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek, What seem'd both spear and shield : now dreadful As through unquiet rest: he, on his side, deeds

Leaning half rais'd, with looks of cordial love Might have ensued, nor only Paradise

Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld In this commotion, but the starry cope

Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep, Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements

Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice At least had gone to wrack, disturb'd and torn Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, With violence of this conflict, had not soon

Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus. “ Awake, The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,

My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found, Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight ! Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,

Awake: the morning shines, and the fresh field Wherein all things created first he weigh'd, Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring The pendulous round Earth with balanc'd air Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove, In counterpoise, now ponders all events,

What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed, Battles and realms : in these he put two weights, How Nature paints her colours, how the bee The sequel each of parting and of fight :

Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.” The latter quick up few, and kick'd

the beam; Such whispering wak'd her, but with startled eye Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend. On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake. “ Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st “ O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,

My glory, my perfection! glad I see Neither our own, but given : what folly then Thy face, and morn return'd; for I this night To boast what arms can do ! since thine no more (Such night till this I never pass'd) have dream'd, Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled If dream'd, not, as I oft am wont, of thee,

Works of day past, or morrow's next design,
To trample thee as mire : for proof look up, But of offence and trouble, which my mind
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign; (weak Knew never till this irksome night : methought
Where thou art weigh’d, and shown how light, how Close at mine ear one callid me forth to walk
If thou resist.” The fiend look'd up, and knew With gentle voice; I thought it thine : it said,
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled Why sleep'st thou, Eve ? now is the pleasant time,
Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night. The cool, the silent, save where silence yields

To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song; now reigns

Full-orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing light
Book V.

Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain,
The Argument.

If none regard ; Heaven wakes with all his eyes,

Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire ? Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment

troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.' her : they come forth to their day-labours : their I rose as at thy call, but found thee not; morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, To find thee I directed then my walk; to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, That brought me on a sudden to the tree of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why Of interdicted knowledge : fair it seem'd, his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to Much fairer to my fancy than by day : know. Raphael comes down to Paradise ; his And, as I wondering look'd, beside it stood appearance described ; his coming discerned by One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Adam afar off sitting at the door of his bower;

Heaven he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, By us oft seen : his dewy locks distillid entertains him with the choicest fruits of Para- Ambrosia ; on that tree he also gaz'd; dise got together by Eve; their discourse at And O fair plant,' said he, with fruit surcharg’d, table : Raphael performs his message, minds Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet, Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Nor God, nor Man? Is knowledge so despis'd ? Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste ? came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew Longer thy offer'd good; why else set here?' Itis legions after him to the parts of the north, This said, he paus'd not, but with venturous arm and there incited them to rebel with him, per- He pluck'd, he tasted; me damp horrour chill'd suading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold : argument dissuades and opposes him, then for. But he thus, overjoy'd; “O fruit divine, sakes him.

Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt,

Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime For gods, yet able to make gods of men : Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, And why not gods of men ; since good, the more When Adam wak'd, so custom'd; for his sleep Communicated, more abundant grows, Was aery-light, from pure digestion bred,

The author not impair'd but honour'd more?

Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve!

Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began Partake thou also; happy though thou art,

Their orisons, each morning duly prid Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be : In various style ; for neither various style Taste this and be heneeforth among the gods Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise Thyself a goddess, not to Earth confin’d,

Their Maker, in fit strains pronounc'd, or sung But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see

Flow'd from their lips, in prose or numerous verse, What life the gods live there, and such live thou.' More tuneable than needed lute or harp So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,

To add more sweetness; and they thus began. Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part “ These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Which he had pluck’d: the pleasant savoury smell Almighty! Thine this universal frame, So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought,

Thus wondrous fair; Thyself how wondrous then! Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds Unspeakable, who sitst above these heavens With him I few, and underneath beheld

To us invisible, or dimly seen The Earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide In these thy lowest works; yet these declare And various : wondering at my flight and change Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. To this high exaltation : suddenly

Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down, Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs And fell asleep; but O, how glad I wak’d And choral symphonies, day without night, To find this but a dream !" Thus Eve her night Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in Heaven. Related, and thus Adam answer'd sad.

On Earth join, all ye creatures, to extol “ Best image of myself, and dearer hall, Him first, lim last, him midst, and without end. The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, Affects me equally; nor can I like

If better thou belong not to the dawn, This uncouth dream, of evil sprung, I fear ; Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none, With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, Created pure. But know, that in the soul

While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Are many lesser faculties, that serve

Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Reason as chief; among these Fancy next Acknowledge him thy greater ; sound his praise Her office holds ; of all external things,

In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, Which the five watchful senses represent,

And when high noon hast gain’d, and when thou She forms imaginations, aery shapes,

fall'st. Which Reason, joining or disjoining, frames Moon, that now meet’st the orient Sun, now fly'st, All what we affirm or what deny, and call

With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flics; Our knowledge or opinion; then retires

And ye five other wandering fires, that more Into her private cell, when nature rests.

In mystic dance not without song, resound Oft in her absence mimic Fancy wakes

His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light. To imitate her ; but, misjoining shapes,

Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams; Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Ill matching words and deeds long past or latc. Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix
Some such resemblances, methinks, I find

And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream, Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
But with addition strange; yet be not sad.

Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise Evil into the mind of God or Man

From hill or streaming lake, dusky, or gray, May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave Till the Sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, No spot or blame behind : which gives me hope In honour to the World's great Author rise ; That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream, Whether to deck with clouds the uncolour'd sky, Waking thou never wilt consent to do.

Or wet the thirsty Earth with falling showers, Be not dishearten'd then, nor cloud those looks, Rising or falling still advance his praise. That wont to be more cheerful and serene,

His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow, Than when fair morning first smiles on the world; Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines, And let us to our fresh employments rise

With every plant, in sign of worship wave. Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow, That open now their choicest bosom'd smells, Melodious murinurs, warbling tune his praise. Reserv'd from night, and kept for thee in store." Join voices, all ye living souls: ye birds,

So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd; That singing up to Heaven-gate ascend, But silently a gentle tear let fall

Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise. From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair ; Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk Two other precious drops that ready stood, The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep ; Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell Witness if I be silent, morn or even, Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade, And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended. Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.

So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste. Hail, universal Lord, be bounteous still But first, from under shady arborous roof

To give us only good ; and if the night Soon as they forth were come to open sight Have gather'd aught of evil or conceal'd, Of day-spring, and the Sun, who, scarce up-risen, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark !" With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean brim, So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts Shot parallel to the Earth his dewy ray,

Firm peace recover'd soon, and wonted calm. Discovering in wide landscape all the east On to their morning's rural work they haste, Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains,

Among sweet dews and flowers; where any row

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Of fruit-trees over-woody reach'd too far

Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold Fruitless embraces : or they led the vine

And colours dipt in Heaven; the third his feet To wed her elm; she, spous'd, about him twines Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail, Her marriageable arms, and with her brings Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood, Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn

And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands With pity Heaven's high King, and to him callid Of angels under watch ; and to his state, Raphaël, the sociable spirit, that deign'd

And to his message high, in honour rise ; To travel with Tobias, and secur'd

For on some message high they guess'd him bound. His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid. Their glittering tents he pass’d, and now is come Raphaël," said he, “thou hear'st what stir on Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh, Earth

And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm; Satan, from Hell 'scap'd through the darksome gulf, A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here Hath rais'd in Paradise ; and how disturb'd Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will This night the human pair; how he designs Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, In them at once to ruin all mankind.

Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss. Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend Him through the spicy forest onward come Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retir’d, Of his cool bower, while now the mounted Sun To respite his day-labour with repast,

Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm Or with repose : and such discourse bring on, Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam As may advise him of his happy state,

needs : Happiness in his power left free to will,

And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd Left to his own free will, his will though free, For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware

True appetite, and not disrelish thirst He swerve not, too secure : tell him withal Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream, His danger, and from whom; what enemy, Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam call'd. Late fall’n himself from Heaven, is plotting now “ Haste hither, Eve, and worth thy sight behold The fall of others from like state of bliss;

Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape By violence ? no, for that shall be withstood; Comes this way moving; seems another morn But by deceit and lies : this let him know,

Ris'n on mid-noon; some great behest from Heaven Lest, wilfully transgressing, he pretend

To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe Surprisal, unadmonish’d, unforewarn'd."

This day to be our guest. But go with speed,
So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfill’d And, what thy stores contain, bring forth and pour
All justice: nor delay'd the winged saint

Abundance, fit to honour and receive
After his charge receiv'd; but from among Our heavenly stranger ; well we may afford
Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood

Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow Veild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light From large bestow'd, where Nature multiplies Flew through the midst of Heaven; the angelic Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows quires,

More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. On each hand parting, to his speed gave way

To whom thus Eve. “ Adam, Earth's hallow'd Through all the empyreal road ; till, at the gate

mould, Of Heaven arriv'd, the gate self-open'd wide Of God inspir'd ! small store will serve, where store, On golden hinges turning, as by work

All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk ; Divine the sovran Architect had fram’d.

Save what by frugal storing firmness gains From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct bus sight, To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes : Star interpus'd, however small he sees,

But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Not unconform to other shining globes,

Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd

choice Above all hills. As when by night the glass To entertain our angel-guest, as he Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes

Beholding shall confess, that here on Earth (magin’d lands and regions in the Moon:

God hath dispens'd his bounties as in Heaven." Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades

So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste Delos or Samos first appearing, kens

She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight What choice to choose for delicacy best, He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky What order so contriv'd as not to mix Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing, Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change; Winnows the buxom air ; till, within soar

Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems Whatever Earth, all-bearing mother, yields A phenix, gaz'd by all, as that sole bird,

In India East or West, or middle shore When, to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he fies. Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise

Rough, or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell, He lights, and to his proper shape returns

She gathers, tribute large, and on the board A seraph wing'd: six wings he wore, to shade Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape Jis lineaments divine ; the pair that clad

She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths Each shoulc'er broad, came mantling o'er his breast From many a berry, and from sweet kernels press'd With red winent; the middle pair

She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold

Wants her fit vessels pure ; then strows the ground | Earth and the sea feed air, the air those fires With rose and odours from the shrub unfum'd. Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon;

Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd His God-like guest, walks forth, without more train Vapours not yet into her substance turn'd. Accompanied than with his own complete

Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale Perfections; in himself was all his state,

From her moist continent to higher orbs. More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits The Sun, that light imparts to all, receives On princes when their rich retinue long

From all his alimental recompense Of horses led, and grooms besmear'd with gold, In humid exhalations, and at even Dazzles the croud, and sets them all agape.

Sups with the Ocean. Though in Heaven the tres Nearer his presence Adam, though not aw'd, Of life ambrosial fruitage bear, and vines Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek, Yield nectar; though from off the boughs each mora As to a superior nature bowing low,

We brush mellifluous dews, and find the ground
Thus said. “ Native of Heaven, for other place Cover'd with pearly grain : yet God hath here
None can than Heaven such glorious shape contain; Varied his bounty so with new delights,
Since, by descending from the thrones above, As may compare with Heaven; and to taste
Those happy places thou hast deign'd a while Think not I shall be nice." So down they sat,
To want, and honour these, vouchsafe with us And to their viands fell; nor seemingly
Two only, who yet by sovran gift possess

The angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower Of theologians; but with keen dispatch
To rest, and what the garden choicest bears Of real bunger, and concoctive heat
To sit and taste, till this meridian heat

To transubstantiate : what redounds, transpires Be over, and the Sun morc cool decline."

Through spirits with ease ; nor wonder; if by fire Whom thus the angelic virtue answer'd mild. Of sooty coal the empiric alchymist " Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such Can turn, or holds it possible to turn, Created, or such place hast here to dwell,

Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold, As may not oft invite, though spirits of Heaven, As from the mine. Meanwhile at table Eve 'To visit thee; lead on then where thy bower Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups O'ershades; for these mid-hours, till evening rise, With pleasant liquors crown'd: O innocence I have at will." So to the sylvan lodge

Deserving Paradise ! if ever, then, They came, that like Pomona's arbour smil'd, Then had the sons of God excuse to have been With flowerets deck'd, and fragrant smells; but Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts Eve,

Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousy Undeck'd save with herself more lovely fair Was understood, the injur'd lover's Hell. Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign’d Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffie'de Of three that in mount Ida naked strove,

Not burthen'd nature, sudden mind arose Stood to entertain her guest from Heaven; no veil | In Adam, not to let the occasion pass She needed, virtue proof; no thought infirm Given him by this great conference to know Alter'd her cheek: On whom the angel Hail Of things above his world, and of their being Bestow'd, the holy salutation us’d

Who dwell in Heaven, whose excellence he saw Long after to blest Mary, second Eve.

Transcend his own so far ; whose radiant forms, “ Hail, Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful womb Divine effulgence, whose high power, so far Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons, Exceeded human : and his wary speech Than with these various fruits the trees of God Thus to the empyreal minister he fram'd. Have heap'd this table.” — Rais'd of grassy turf “ Inhabitant with God, now know I well Their table was, and mossy seats had round, Thy favour, in this honour done to man; And on her ample square from side to side

Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsaf'd All autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste, Danc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold; Food not of angels, yet accepted so, No fear lest dinner cool ; when thus began As that more willingly thou couldst not seem Our author. “ Heavenly stranger, please to taste At Heaven's high feasts to have fed : yet what These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom

compare ?" All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, descends,

To whom the winged hierarch replied. To us for food and for delight hath caus'd

O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom The Earth to yield; unsavoury food perhaps All things proceed, and up to him return, To spiritual natures; only this I know,

If not deprav'd from good, created all That one celestial Father gives to all.”

Such to perfection, one first matter all, To whom the angel. " Therefore what he gives Endued with various forms, various degree (Whose praise be ever sung) to Man in part Of substance, and, in things that live, of life ; Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found

But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure, No ingrateful food : and food alike those pure As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending Intelligential substances require,

Each in their several active spheres assign'd, As doth your rational ; and both contain

Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Within them every lower faculty

Proportion'd to each kind. So from the root Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste, Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,

leaves And corporeal to incorporeal turn.

More aery, last the bright consummate flower For know, whatever was created, needs

Spirits odórous breathes : flowers and their fruit, To be sustain's and fed ; of elements

Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd, The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea,

To vital spirits aspire, to animal,

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