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All sadness but despair: Now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are pass'd 160
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the bless'd; with such de
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles: 165
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the Fiend,
Who came their bane; though with them better pleased
Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamor’d, from the spouse
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent

170
From Media post 'to Egypt, there fast bound.
Now to the ascent of that steep savage hill
Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick entwined
As one continued brake, the undergrowth

175 Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex’d All path of man or beast that pass’d that way. One gate there only was, and that look'd east On the other side: which when the archfelon saw Due entrance he disdain'd: and, in contempt, 180 At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf, Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey, Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve 185 In hurdled cotes amid the field secure, Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold: Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash Of some rich burgher whose substantial doors, Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault, 190 In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles;

So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold;
So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.
Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life,
The middle tree and highest there that grew,. 195
Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
Thereby regain’d, but sat devising death
To them who lived; nor on the virtue thought
Of that life-giving plant, but only used
For prospect, what well used had been the pledge 200
Of immortality. So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse or to their meanest use.
Beneath him with new wonder now he views, 205
To all delight of human sense exposed,
In narrow room, Nature's whole wealth, yea, more,
A Heaven on Earth: For blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in the east
Of Eden planted: Eden stretch'd her line

210
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Or where the sons of Eden long before
Dwelt in Telassar: In this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordain’d; 215
Out of the fertile ground he caused to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the tree of life,
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to life,

220 Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by, Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill. Southward through Eden went a river large, Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill Pass'd underneath ingulf'd, for God had thrown 225 That mountain as 'his garden mound high raised Upon the rapid current, which through veins

Of porous earth with kindly thirst updrawn,
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
Water'd the garden; thence united fell

230
Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,
Which from his darksome passage now appears,
And now divided into four main streams,
Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account; 235
But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
With mazy error under pendent shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed

240 Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain, Both where the morning sun first warmly smote The open field, and where the unpierced shade 245 Imbrown'd the noontide bowers. Thus was this place A happy rural seat of various view; Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm, Others whose fruit, burnish'd with golden rind, Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,

250 If true, here only, and of delicious taste: Betwixt them lawns or level downs, and flocks Grazing the tender herb, were interposed, Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap Of some irriguous valley spread her store,

255 Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose: Another side umbrageous grots and caves Of cool recess, o’er which the mantling vine Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring waters fall 260 Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake, That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.

The birds their choir apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune 265
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on the eternal Spring. Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairy flower, by gloomy Dis

270
Was gather'd, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired
Castalian spring might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle

275 Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove, Hid Amalthea, and her florid son, Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea's eye; Nor where Abassian kings their issue guard, 280 Mount Amara, though this by some supposed True Paradise under the Ethiop line By Nilus' head, enclosed with shining rock, A whole day's journey high, but wide remote From this Assyrian garden; where the Fiend 285 Saw, undelighted, all delight, all kind Of living creatures new to sight, and strange. Two of far noble shape, erect and tall, Godlike erect, with native honor clad In naked majesty, seem'd lords of all;

290 And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine The image of their glorious Maker shone, Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure, (Severe but in true filial freedom placed,) Whence true authority in men; though both

295 Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd; For contemplation he and valor form’d, For softness she and sweet attractive grace; He for God only, she for God in him:

His fair large front and eye sublime declared 300
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore

305
Disheveld, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received;
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride, 310
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald;
Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame
Of nature's works, honor dishonorable,
Sin-bred: how have ye troubled all mankind 315
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banish'd from man's life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence!
So pass'd they naked on, nor shun'd the sight
Of God or Angel; for they thought no ill;

320 So hand in hand they, pass'd, the loveliest pair That ever since in love's embraces met; Adam the goodliest man of men since born His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve. Under a tuft of shade that on a green

325 Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side They sat them down; and after no more toil Of their sweet gardening labor than sufficed To recommend cool Zephyr, and made ease More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite

330 More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell; Nectarine fruits which the compliant boughs Yielded them, sidelong as they sat recline On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers; The savory pulp they chew, and in the rind, 335

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