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Hung nigh, with diamond flaming, and with gold.
“Gabriel, to thee thy course by lot hath given 560 Charge and strict watch, that to this happy place, No evil thing approach or enter in. This day, at highth of noon, came to my sphere A spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know More of the Almighty's works, and chiefly man, 565 God's latest image: I described his way, Bent all on speed, and mark'd his airy gait; But on the mount, that lies from Eden north, Where he first lighted, soon discern’d his looks, Alien from Heaven, with passions foul obscured: 570 Mine eye pursued him still, but under shade Lost sight of him. One of the banish'd crew, I fear, hath ventured from the deep, to raise New troubles; him thy care must be to find.” To whom the winged warrior thus return'd.
575 “Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect sight, Amid the sun's bright circle, where thou sitt'st, See far and wide. In at this gate none pass The vigilance here placed, but such as come Well known from heaven; and since meridian hour 580 No creature thence: if spirit of other sort, So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds On purpose; hard thou know'st it, to exclude Spiritual substance with corporeal bar. But if within the circuit of these walks,
585 In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom Thou tellist, by morrow dawning I shall know.”
So promised he; and Uriel to his charge Return'd, on that bright beam, whose point, now raised Bore him slope downward to the sun, now fallen
590 Peneath the Azores; whether the prime orb, Incredible how swift, had thither rollid Diurnal, or this less voluble earth, By shorter flight to the east, had left him there, Arraying, with reflected purple and gold
595 The clouds, that on his western throne attend. Now came still evening on, and twilight gray Had in her sober livery all things clad ; Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests, 600
When Adam thus to Eve. “Fair consort, the hour Of night, and all things now retired to rest,
610 Mind us of like repose ; since God hath set Labour and rest, as day and night, to men Successive; and the timely dew of sleep, Now falling with soft slumberous weight, inclines Our eye-lids : other creatures, all day long,
615 Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest; Man hath his daily work of body or mind Appointed, which declares his dignity, And the regard of Heaven on all his ways; While other animals inactive range,
620 And of their doings God takes no account. To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east, With first approach of light, we must be risen, And at our pleasant labour, to reform Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,
625 Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown, That mock our scant manuring, and require More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth : Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, That lie bestrown, unsightly, and unsmooth,
630 Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease ::: Mean while, as nature wills, night bids us rest.'
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd,
My author and disposer ! what thou bid'st, Unargued, I obey ; so God ordains :
635 God is thy law, thou mine : to know no more Is woman's happiest knowledge, and her praise. With thee conversing, I forget all time; All seasons, and their change, all please alike. Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
610 With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the sun, When first, on this delightful land, he spreads His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, Glistering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth, After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
645 Of grateful evening mild ; then silent night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
Thus talking, hand in hand alone, they pass’d
Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
700 Broider'd the ground, more color'd than with stone Of costliest emblem: other creature here, Bird, beast, insect, or worm, durst enter none, Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower, More sacred and sequester'd, though but feign'd, 705 Pan nor Sylvanus never slept, nor Nymph, Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in close recess, With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs, Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed ; And heavenly quires the hymenean sung,
710 What day, the genial angel to our sire Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn'd; More lovely than Pandora, whom the gods Endow'd with all their gifts, and O too like In sad event, when, to the unwiser son
715 Of Japhet, brought by Hermes, she insnared Mankind, with her fair looks, to be avenged On him, who had stolen Jove's authentic fire.
Thus at their shady lodge arrived, both stood, Both turn'd ; and under open sky adored
720 The God that made both sky, air, earth, & heaven, Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe, And starry pole: “ Thou also madest the night, Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day; Which we, in our appointed work employ'd,
725 Have finish’d, happy in our mutual help, And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss, Ordain’d by thee; and this delicious place, For us too large, where thy abundance wants Partakers, and uncropp'd falls to the ground.
730 But thou hast promised from us two a race, To fill the earth, who shall with us extol Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep." This said unanimous, and other rites
735 Observing none, but adoration pure, Which God likes best, into their inmost bower Handed they went; and, eased the putting-off These troublesome disguises which we wear, Straight side by side were laid : nor turn d, I ween, 740
Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites
Now had night measured, with her shadowy cone,
“ Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south,
“ Ithuriel and Zephon, with wing'd speed,