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New reap'd; the other part sheep-walks and folds;
['the midst an altar as the land-mark stood,
Rustick, of grassy sord; thither anon
A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought
First fruits, the green ear, and the yellow sheaf,
Uncull'd, as came to hand; a shepherd next,
More meek, came with the firstlings of his flock,
Choicest and best; then, sacrificing, laid
The inwards and their fat, with incense strow'd:
On the cleft wood, and all due rites perform’d:
His offering soon propitious fire from Heaven
Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful stream;
The other's not, for his was not sincere;
Whereat he inly rag'd, and, as they talk'd,
Smote him into the midriff with a stone
That beat out life; he fell ; and, deadly pale,
Groan'd out his soul with gushing blood effus'd.
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
Dismay'd, and thus in haste to the Angel cried.

O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n
To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd;
Is piety thus and pure devotion paid ?

To whom Michael thus, he also mov'd, replied.
These two are brethren, Adam, and to come
Out of thy loins; the unjust the just hath slain,
For envy that his brother's offering found
From Heaven acceptance; but the bloody fact
Will be aveng’d; and the other's faith, approv*d,

Lose no reward; thouglı here thou see him die,
Rolling in dust and gore. To which our sire.

Alas! both for the deed, and for the cause !
But have I now seen Death ? Is this the

way
I must return to native dust ? O sight
Of terrour, foul and ugly to behold,
Horrid to think, how horrible to feel !

To whom thus Michaël. Death thou hast seen
In his first shape on Man; but many shapes
Of Death, and many are the ways that lead
To his grim cave, all dismal ; yet to sense
More terrible at the entrance, than within.
Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die;
By fire, flood, famine, by intemperance more
In meats and drinks, which on the earth shall bring
Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
Before thee shall appear ; that thou may'st know
What misery the inabstinence of Eve
Shall bring on Men. Immediately a place
Before his eyes appear'd, sad, noisome, dark;
A lazar-house it seem'd; wherein were laid
Numbers of all diseas'd; all maladies
Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds,
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs,
Intestine stone and ulcer, colick-pangs,
Demoniack phrenzy, moaping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,

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Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums,
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans; Despair
Tended the sick busiest from couch to couch;
And over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook, but delay'd to strike, though oft invok'd
With vows, as their chief good, and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of rock could long
Dry-ey'd behold ? Adam could not, but wept,
Though not of woman born; compassion quell'd
His best of

man,
and
gave
him

up to tears A space, till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess; · And, scarce recovering words, his plaint renew'd.

O miserable mankind, to what fall Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd ! Better end here unborn. Why is life given To be thus wrested from us? rather, why Obtruded on us thus ? who, if we knew What we receive, would either not accept Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down ; Glad to be so dismiss’d in peace.

Can thus The image of God in Man, created once So goodly and erect, though faulty since, To such unsightly sufferings be debas’d Under inhuman pains ? Why should not Man, Retaining still divine similitude In part, from such deformities be free, And, for his Maker's image sake, exempt?

Their Maker's image, answer'd Michael, then Forsook them, when themselves they vilified To serve ungovern'd Appetite; and took His image whom they serv'd, a brutish vice, Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve. Therefore so abject is their punishment, Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own ; Or if his likeness, by themselves defac'd; While they pervert pure Nature's healthful rules To loathsome sickness; worthily, since they God's image did not reverence in themselves.

I yield it just, said Adam, and submit But is there yet no other way

besides These painful passages, how we may come To death, and mix with our connatural dust?

There is, said Michael, if thou well observe The rule of Not too much ; by temperance taught, In what thou eat'st and drink'st; seeking from thence Due nourishment, rot gluttonous delight, Till many years over thy head return : So may'st thou live; till, like ripe fruit, thou drop Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease Gather’d, not harshly pluck'd; for death mature : This is Old Age; but then, thou must outlive Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty; which will

change To wither'd, weak, and gray; thy senses then Obtuse, all taste of pleasure ngust forego,

To what thou tast; and, for the air of youth,
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign
A melancholy damp of cold and dry
To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume
The balm of life. To whom our ancestor.

Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong
Life much; bent rather, how I may be quit,
Fairest and easiest, of this cumbrous charge;
Which I must keep till my appointed day
Of rendering up, and patiently attend
My dissolution. Michaël replied.

Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv'st Live well; how long, or short, permit to Heaven: And now prepare thee for another sight.

He look’d: and saw a spacious plain, whereon Were tents of various hue; by some, were herds Of cattle grazing; others, whence the sound Of instruments, that made melodious chime, Was heard, of harp and organ; and, who mov'd Their stops and chords, was seen; his volant touch, Instinct through all proportions, low and high, Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue. In other part stood one who, at the forge Labouring, two massy clods of iron and brass Had melted, (whether found where casual fire Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale, Down to the veins of earth; thence gliding hot To some cave's mouth; or whether wash'd by

stream

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