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And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in Heaven,
On Earth join, all ye creatures, to extol
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. 165
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling moin
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.

170
Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul,
Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
And when high noon hast gain’d,and when thou fall'st.
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fiest, 175
With the fixed Stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And, ye five other wandering Fires, that move
In mystic dance not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call’d up light.
Air, and ye Elements, the eldest birth

180 Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change Vary to our great maker still new praise. Ye Mists and Exhalations, that now rise

185 From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray, Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, In honor to the world's great Author rise; Whether to deck with clouds the uncolour'd sky, Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers, 190 Rising or falling still advance his praise. His praise, ye Winds, that from four quarters blow, Breathe soft or loud; and, wave your tops, ye Pines, With every plant, in sign of worship wave. Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow, 195 Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. Join voices all ye living Souls; Ye Birds,

That singing up to Heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk

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The earth, and stately tread or lowly creep:
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail universal Lord! be bounteous still

205 To give us only good; and if the night Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceald, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark! So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts Firm peace recover'd soon, and wonted calm. 210 On to their morning's rural work they haste, Among sweet dews and flowers; where any row Of fruit trees over-woody reach'd too far Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check Fruitless embraces: or they led the vine

215 To wed her elm; she, spoused, about him twines Her marriageable arms, and with her brings Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld With pity Heaven's high King, and to him ca!ld 220 Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deign'd To travel with Tobias, and secured His marriage with the seven times wedded maid.

Raphael, said he, thou hear’st what stir on Earth Satan from Hell, scaped through the darksome gulf, Hath raised in Paradise, and how disturb'd 226 This night the human pair; how he designs In them at once to ruin all mankind. Go, therefore, half this day as friend with friend Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade 230 Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retired, To respite his day-labor with repast, Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,

As may advise him of his happy state,
Happiness in his power left free to will,

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Left to his own free will, his will though free,
Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not, too secure: Tell him withal
His danger, and from whom; what enemy,
Late fallen himself from Heaven, is plotting now 240
The fall of others from like state of bliss;
By violence? no, for that shall be withstood;
But by deceit and lies: This let him know,
Lest, wilfully transgressing, he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonish'd, unforewarn'd.

245 So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfillid All justice: Nor delay'd the winged Saint After his charge received; but from among Thousand celestial Ardours, where he stood Veild with his gorgeous wings, upspringing light, 250 Flew through the midst of heaven; the angelic choirs, On each hand parting, to his speed gave way Through all the empyreal road; till, at the gate Of Heaven arrived, the gate self-open'd wide On Golden hinges turning, as by work

255 Divine the sov’reign Architect had framed. From hence no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, Star interposed, however small, he sees, Not unconform’d to other shining globes, Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd Above all hills. As when by night the glass 261 Of Galileo, less assured, observes Imagined lands and regions in the moon: Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades Delos or Samos first appearing, kens

265 A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan

Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar

270 Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems A phenix, gazed by all as that sole bird, When, to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies. At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise

275 He lights, and to his proper shape returns, A seraph wing'd: Six wings he wore to shade His lineaments divine; the pair that clad Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast With regal ornament! the middle pair

280 Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Skirted his loins and.thighs with downy gold And colors dipp'd in Heaven; the third his feet Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail, Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood, 285 And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill’d The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands Of Angels under watch; and to his state And to his message high, in honor rise; For on some message high they guess'd him bound. Their glittering tents he pass’d, and now is come 291 Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh, And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm; A wilderness of sweets: for Nature here Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will 295 Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet, Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss. Him through the spicy forest onward come Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun

300 Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam needs: And Eve within, due at her hour, prepared For dinner savory fruits, of taste to please True appetite, and not disrelish thirst

305

Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream, Berry or grape: To whom thus Adam call’d:

Haste hither, Eve, and worth thy sight behold Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving; seems another morn 310 Risen on midnoon; some great behest from Heaven To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe This day to be our guest. But go with speed, And, what thy stores contain, bring forth, and pour Abundance, fit to honor and receive

315 Our heavenly stranger: Well may we afford Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow From large bestow'd, where nature multiplies Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. 320

To whom thus Eve: Adam, earth's hallow'd mould, Of God inspired! small store will serve, where store, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes:

325 But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice To entertain our Angel guest, as he Beholding shall confess, that here on Earth God hath dispensed his bounties as in Heaven. 330

So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent: What choice to choose for delicacy best, What order, so contrived as not to mix Tastes not well join'd, inelegant, but bring 335 Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change; Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Whatever Earth, all bearing mother, yields In India East or West, or middle shore In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where

340 Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat

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