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Religion satisfy'd; truth shall retire
Bestuck with sland'rous darts, and works of faith
Rarely be found : so shall the world go on,
To good malignant, to bad men benign,
Under her own weight groaning, till the day
Appear of respiration to the just,
And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid
The Woman's Seed, obscurely then foretold,
Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
Last in the clouds from Heav'n to be revealid
In glory of the Father, to dissolve
Satan with his perverted world, then raise
From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,
New Heav'ns, new Earth, ages of endless date
Founded in righteousness and peace and love,
To bring forth fruits, joy, and eternal bliss.

He ended ; and thus Adam last reply'd :
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
Measur'd this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fix’d? Beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
Of knowledge, what this vessel can contain ;
Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
And love with fear the only God, to walk
As in his presence, ever to observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,

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Merciful over all his works, with good

565 Still overcoming evil, and by small Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise By simply meek; that suffering for truth's sake Is fortitude to highest victory, And to the faithful death the gate of life; Taught this by his example whom I now Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.

To whom thus also th’Angel last reply'd: This having learn'd, thou hast attaind the sum 575 Of wisdom ; hope no higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by name, and all th' ethereal pow'rs, All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works, Or works of God in Heav'n, air, earth, or sea, And all the riches of this world enjoy'dst,

580 And all the rule, one empire; only add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith, Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love, By name to come call'd charity, the soul of all the rest : then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A Paradise within thee, happier far. Let us descend now therefore from this top Of speculation; for the hour precise Exacts our parting hence; and see the guards,

590 By me encamp'd on yonder hill, expect Their motion, at whose front a flaming sword, In signal of remove, waves fiercely round; We may no longer stay: go waken Eve :

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Her also I with gentle dreams have calmid 595
Portending good, and all her spi'rits compos'd
To meck submission : thou at season fit
Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,
Chiefly what may concern her faith to know,
The great deliverance by her seed to come

600 (For by the Woman's seed) on all mankind : 'l hat ye may live, which will be many days, Both in one faith unanimous though sad, With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'd With meditation on the happy end.

.He ended, and they both descend the hill;
Descended, Adam to the bow'r where Eve
Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak'd;
And thus with words not sad she him receiv'd :

Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st, I know;
For God is also' in sleep, and dreams advise, 611
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
Fresaging, since with sorrow' and heart's distress
Wearied I fell asleep : but now lead on;
In me is no delay; with thee to go,
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling ; thou to me
Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.
This further consolation yet secure
I carry hence ; though all by me is lost,
Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf'd,
By me the promis'd Seed shall all restore.

So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard,

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Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too high 626
Th’Arch-Angel stood, and from the other hill
To their fix'd station, all in bright array
The Cherubim descended; on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as evening mist
Ris’n from a river o'er the marish glides,

630 And gathers ground fast at the lab’rer's heel Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd "The brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat, And vapour as the Libyan air adust,

635 Began to parch that temp'rate clime; whereat In either hand the hast'ning Angel'caught Our ling’ring parents, and to th'eastern gate Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast To the subjected plain; then disappear'd. They looking back, all th' eastern side beheld Of Paradise, so late their happy seat, Wav'd over by that flaming brand, the gate With dreadful faces throng'd and fiery arms : Some natural tears they dropt, but wip'd them soon; The world was all before them, where to choose 646 Their place of rest, and Providence their guide : They hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way.

640

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