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From my prevailing arm, though Heaven's King
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers,
Used to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels
In progress through the road of Heaven star-paved.”

While thus he spake, the angelic squadron bright
Turned fiery red, sharpening in moonèd horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears which way the wind
Sways them; the careful ploughman doubting stands
Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarmed,
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremoved :
His stature reached the sky, and on his crest
Sat Horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp
What seemed both spear and shield. Now dreadful

deeds Might have ensued ; nor only Paradise,

991 In this commotion, but the starry cope Of Heaven perhaps, or all the Elements At least, had gone to wrack, disturbed and torn With violence of this conflict, had not soon The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray, Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen Betwixt Astræa and the Scorpion sign, Wherein all things created first he weighed, The pendulous round Earth with balanced air In counterpoise, now ponders all events, Battles and realms. In these he put two weights, The sequel each of parting and of fight : The latter quick up flew, and kicked the beam ; Which Gabriel spying thus bespake the Fiend :

“ Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine, Neither our own, but given ; what folly then

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To boast what arms can do! since thine no more
Than Heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire. For proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
Where thou art weighed, and shown how light, how weak
If thou resist.” The Fiend looked up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft : nor more; but fled
Murmuring ; and with him fled the shades of Night.





NMorin, her rosy steps in the eastern clime

Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream ; he likes it not, yet comforts her : they come forth to their day labours : their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render Man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise ; his appearance described; his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise, got together by Eve; their discourse at table. Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the North, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel, a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.


Advancing, sowed the earth with orient pearl, When Adam waked, so customed ; for his sleep Was aery light, from pure digestion bred, And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan, Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song Of birds on every bough. So much the more His wonder was to find unwakened Eve, With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek, As through unquiet rest. He, on his side Leaning half raised, with looks of cordial love Hung over her enamoured, and beheld

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Beauty which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then, with voice
Mild as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whispered thus :—" Awake,
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heaven's last, best gift, my ever-new delight !
Awake! the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us; we lose the prime to mark how spring
Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet."

Such whispering waked her, but with startled eye On Adam ; whom embracing, thus she spake :

“O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose, My glory, my perfection! glad I see Thy face, and morn returned ; for I this night 30 (Such night till this I never passed) have dreamed, If dreamed, not, as I oft am wont, of thee, Works of day past, or morrow's next design, But of offence and trouble, which my mind Knew never till this irksome night. Methought Close at mine ear one called me forth to walk With gentle voice; I thought it thine. It said, • Why sleep'st thou, Eve? now is the pleasant time, The cool, the silent, save where silence yields To the night-warbling bird, that now awake Tunes sweetest his love-laboured song; now reigns Full-orbed the moon, and, with more pleasing light, Shadowy sets off the face of things--in vain, If none regard. Heaven wakes with all his eyes ; Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire, In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze ?' I rose as at thy call, but found thee not : To find thee I directed then my walk;


And on, methought, alone I passed through ways 50
That brought me on a sudden to the tree
Of interdicted knowledge. Fair it seemed,
Much fairer to my fancy than by day;
And, as I wondering looked, beside it stood
One shaped and winged like one of those from Heaven
By us oft seen : his dewy locks distilled
Ambrosia. On that tree he also gazed ;
And, 'O fair plant,' said he, 'with fruit surcharged,
Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet,
Nor God nor Man? Is knowledge so despised ? 60
Or envy, or what reserve, forbids to taste ?
Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold
Longer thy offered good, why else set here?'
This said, he paused not, but with venturous arm
He plucked, he tasted. Me damp horror chilled
At such bold words vouched with a deed so bold;
But he thus overjoyed : O fruit divine,
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt,
Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit
For gods, yet able to make gods of men !

And why not gods of men, since good, the more
Communicated, more abundant grows,
The author not impaired, but honoured more?
Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve!
Partake thou also : happy though thou art,
Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be.
Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods
Thyself a goddess; not to Earth confined,
But sometimes in the Air, as we ; sometimes
Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see 80
What life the gods live there, and such live thou.'
So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
Which he had plucked : the pleasant savoury smell
So quickened appetite that I, methought,

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