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“ Prosperous or advérse: so shalt thou lead 365 “ Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure

“ Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
“ This hill: let Eve (for I have drench'd her eyes)
“Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wak'st;

As once thou slep'st, while she to life was form’d.” 370 To whom thus Adam gratefully replied:

Ascend; I follow thee, safe guide! the path
“ Thou lead'st me; and to the hand of Heaven submit,
“However chastening; to the evil turn

My obvious breast; arming to overcome
375 By suffering, and earn rest from labour won,
“If so I may attain.”

So both ascend,
In the visions of God. It was a hill,
Of Paradise the highest; from whose top

The hemisphere of earth, in clearest ken,
380 Stretch'd out to the amplest reach of prospect lay.

Not higher that hill, nor wider looking round,
Whereon, for different cause, the tempter set
Our second Adam, in the wilderness,

To show him all earth's kingdoms, and their glory. 385 His eye might there command wherever stood

City, of old or modern fame; the seat
Of mightiest empire, from the destin'd walls
Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can,

And Samarchand by Oxus, Temir's throne, 390 To Paquin of Sinæan kings; and thence

To Agra and Lahor of Great Mogul,
Down to the golden Chersonese; or where
The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since

In Hispahan; or where the Russian Kzar 395 In Mosco; or the Sultan in Bizance,

Turchestan-born: nor could his eye not ken
Th' empire of Negus, to his utmost port
Ercoco, and the less maritime kings

Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
400 And Sofala, thought Ophir, to the realm

Of Congo, and Angola, farthest south ;
Or thence, from Niger flood to Atlas mount,
The kingdoms of Almansor, Fez, and Sus,

Morocco, and Algiers, and Tremisen;
405 On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway

The world : in spirit perhaps he also saw
Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume,
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat

Of Atabalipa; and yet unspoil'd
410 Guiana, whose great city Geryon's sons

Call El Dorado. But to nobler sights
Michael from Adam's eyes the film remov'd,
Which that false fruit that promis'd clearer sight

Had bred; then purg'd with euphrasy and rue 415 The visual nerve, for he had much to see,

And from the well of life three drops instill’d.
So deep the power of these ingredients pierc'd,
Even to the inmost seat of mental sight,

That Adam, now enforc'd to close his eyes,
420 Sunk down, and all his spirits became entranc'd;

But him the gentle angel by the hand
Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recallid:
Adam, now ope

thine
eyes;

and first behold
“ The effects, which thy original crime hath wrought
“In some to spring from thee; who never touch'd
“ The excepted tree; nor with the snake conspir’d;
“ Nor sinn'd thy sin ; yet from that sin derive
“ Corruption, to bring forth more violent deeds.”

His eyes he open'd, and beheld a field, 430 Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves

New-reaped; the other part sheep-walks and folds;
I'the midst an altar as the land-mark stood,
Rustic, of grassy sward : thither anon

A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought
435 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

425

The inwards and their fat, with incense strew'd, 440 On the cleft wood, and all due rites perform’d:

His offering soon propitious fire from heaven
Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steam;
The other's not, for his was not sincere;

Whereat he inly rag'd, and, as they talk’d, 445 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 : 450 “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
455 “ 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 ; though here thou see him die, 460 “ 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 terror, foul and ugly to behold!
465 “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 bis grim cave; all dismal ! yet to sense 470“ More terrible at the entrance, than within.

“Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die;
“By fire, flood, famine; by intemp’rance more
“In meats and drinks, which on the earth shall bring

“ Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew 475

“ Before thee shall appear, that thou mayst 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 480 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, colic pangs, 485 Demoniac phrensy, moping melancholy,

And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.

Dire was the tossing, deep the groans! Despair 490 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 495 Dry-eyed 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, 510

“ To such unsightly sufferings be debas'd
“ Under inhuman pains ? Why should not man,
“ Retaining still divine similitude

500

505

525

530

“ In part, from such deformities be free,

“ And, for his Maker's image' sake, exempt ?" 515 “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 served—a brutish vice;

“ Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve.
520 “ 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, not gluttonous delight,

“ Till many years over thy head return: 535 “ So mayst 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 540 “ To wither’d, weak, and gray; thy senses, then

“ Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego,
To what thou hast; and, for the air of youth
“Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign

“A melancholy damp of cold and dry,
545 “ 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;

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