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Hung nigh, with diamond flaming, and with gold.
Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even,
On a sun-beam, swift as a shooting star

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In autumn thwarts the night, when vapours fired
Impress the air, and shows the mariner,
From what point of his compass, to beware
Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste.

“Gabriel, to thee thy course by lot hath given 560 Charge and strict watch, that to this happy place, No evil thing approach or enter in. This day, at highth of noon, came to my sphere A spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know More of the Almighty's works, and chiefly man, 565 God's latest image: I described his way, Bent all on speed, and mark'd his airy gait; But on the mount, that lies from Eden north, Where he first lighted, soon discern’d his looks, Alien from Heaven, with passions foul obscured: 570 Mine eye pursued him still, but under shade Lost sight of him. One of the banish'd crew, I fear, hath ventured from the deep, to raise New troubles; him thy care must be to find.” To whom the winged warrior thus return'd.

575 “Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect sight, Amid the sun's bright circle, where thou sitt'st, See far and wide. In at this gate none pass The vigilance here placed, but such as come Well known from heaven; and since meridian hour 580 No creature thence: if spirit of other sort, So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds On purpose; hard thou know'st it, to exclude Spiritual substance with corporeal bar. But if within the circuit of these walks,

585 In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom Thou tellist, by morrow dawning I shall know.”

So promised he; and Uriel to his charge Return'd, on that bright beam, whose point, now raised Bore him slope downward to the sun, now fallen

590 Peneath the Azores; whether the prime orb, Incredible how swift, had thither rollid Diurnal, or this less voluble earth, By shorter flight to the east, had left him there, Arraying, with reflected purple and gold

595 The clouds, that on his western throne attend. Now came still evening on, and twilight gray Had in her sober livery all things clad ; Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,

They to their grassy couch, these to their nests, 600
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;
She, all night long, her amorous descant sung ;
Silence was pleased. Now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires : Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,

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Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.

When Adam thus to Eve. “Fair consort, the hour Of night, and all things now retired to rest,

610 Mind us of like repose ; since God hath set Labour and rest, as day and night, to men Successive; and the timely dew of sleep, Now falling with soft slumberous weight, inclines Our eye-lids : other creatures, all day long,

615 Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest; Man hath his daily work of body or mind Appointed, which declares his dignity, And the regard of Heaven on all his ways; While other animals inactive range,

620 And of their doings God takes no account. To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east, With first approach of light, we must be risen, And at our pleasant labour, to reform Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,

625 Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown, That mock our scant manuring, and require More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth : Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, That lie bestrown, unsightly, and unsmooth,

630 Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease ::: Mean while, as nature wills, night bids us rest.'

To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd,

My author and disposer ! what thou bid'st, Unargued, I obey ; so God ordains :

635 God is thy law, thou mine : to know no more Is woman's happiest knowledge, and her praise. With thee conversing, I forget all time; All seasons, and their change, all please alike. Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,

610 With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the sun, When first, on this delightful land, he spreads His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, Glistering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth, After soft showers; and sweet the coming on

645 Of grateful evening mild ; then silent night,

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With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of Heaven, her starry train :
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun
On this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glistering with dew; nor fragrance after showers ;
Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night,
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon,
Or glittering star-light, without thee, is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes ?"
To whom our general ancestor replied.
“Daughter of God and man, accomplish'a Eve,
These have their course to finish, round the earth,
By morrow - evening; and from land to land,
In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Ministering light prepared, they set and rise :
Lest total darkness should, by night, regain
Her old possession, and extinguish life
In nature and all things ; which these soft fires,
Not only enlighten, but with kindly heat,
of various influence, foment and warm,
Temper or nourish; or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue, on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection, from the sun's more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none,
That Heaven would want spectators, God want praise:
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:
All these, with ceaseless praise, his works behold
Both day and night. How often, from the steep
Of echoing hill, or thicket, have we heard
Celestial voices, to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to others note,
Singing their great Creator? Oft in bands,
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven.”

Thus talking, hand in hand alone, they pass’d
On to their blissful bower; it was a place
Chosen by the sovereign Planter, when he framed
All things to man's delightful use; the roof,
Of thickest covert, was inwoven shade,
Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew

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Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shruh,

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Fenced up the verdant wall; each beauteous flower,
Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine,
Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and wrought
Mosaic; underfoot the violet,
Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay,

700 Broider'd the ground, more color'd than with stone Of costliest emblem: other creature here, Bird, beast, insect, or worm, durst enter none, Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower, More sacred and sequester'd, though but feign'd, 705 Pan nor Sylvanus never slept, nor Nymph, Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in close recess, With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs, Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed ; And heavenly quires the hymenean sung,

710 What day, the genial angel to our sire Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn'd; More lovely than Pandora, whom the gods Endow'd with all their gifts, and O too like In sad event, when, to the unwiser son

715 Of Japhet, brought by Hermes, she insnared Mankind, with her fair looks, to be avenged On him, who had stolen Jove's authentic fire.

Thus at their shady lodge arrived, both stood, Both turn'd ; and under open sky adored

720 The God that made both sky, air, earth, & heaven, Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe, And starry pole: “ Thou also madest the night, Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day; Which we, in our appointed work employ'd,

725 Have finish’d, happy in our mutual help, And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss, Ordain’d by thee; and this delicious place, For us too large, where thy abundance wants Partakers, and uncropp'd falls to the ground.

730 But thou hast promised from us two a race, To fill the earth, who shall with us extol Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep." This said unanimous, and other rites

735 Observing none, but adoration pure, Which God likes best, into their inmost bower Handed they went; and, eased the putting-off These troublesome disguises which we wear, Straight side by side were laid : nor turn d, I ween, 740

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Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites
Mysterious of connubial love refused :
Whatever hypocrites austerely talk,
Of purity, and place, and innocence;
Defaming as impure, what God declares
Pure, and commands to some ; leaves free to all.
Our Maker bids increase ; who bids abstain,
But our destroyer, foe to God and man?
Hail wedded love, mysterous law, true source
Of human offspring, sole propriety
In Paradise, of all things common else.
By thee adulterous lust was driven from men,
Among the bestial herds to range; by thee,
Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure,
Relations dear, and all the charities
Of father, son, and brother, first were known.
Far be it, that I should write thee sin or blame,
Or think thee unbefitting holiest place;
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets;
Whose bed is undefiled, and chaste pronounced,
Present, or past, as saints and patriarchs used.
Here, love his golden shaft employs, here, lights
His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings,
Reigns here, and revels; not in the bought smile
Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear'd,
Casual fruition; nor in court-amours,
Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball,
Or serenate, which the starved lover sings
To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.
These, lull'd by nightingales, embracing slept,
And on their naked limbs, the flowery roof
Shower'd roses, which the morn repair'd. Sleep on,
Bless'd pair ; and yet happiest, if ye seek
No happier state, and know to know no more.

Now had night measured, with her shadowy cone,
Half way up hill, this vast sublunar vault;
And, from their ivory port the cherubim
Forth issuing, at the accustom'd hour, stood arm’d
To their night-watches, in warlike parade ;
When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake.

“ Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south,
With strictest watch ; these other wheel the north ;
Our circuit meets full west.” As Aame they part,
Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear.
From these, two strong and subtle spirits he call’d,
That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge.

“ Ithuriel and Zephon, with wing'd speed,

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