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That must be mortal to us both. O flowers !
That never will in other climatė grow,
My early visitation, and my last
At even, which I bred up with tender hand,
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names;
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, & water from the ambrosial fount ?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower, by me adorn'd,
With what to sight or smell was sweet, from thee
How shall I part? and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure
And wild ? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure accustom'd to immortal fruits ?”
Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild. “ Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart, Thus overfond, on that which is not thine : Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes Thy husband; him to follow thou art bound; Where he abides, think there thy native soil.”
Adam by this from the cold sudden damp Recovering, and his scatter'd spirits return'd, To Michael thus his humble words adress'd
"Celestial, whether among the thrones, or nam'd Of them the highest, for of such shape may seem Prince above princes, gently hast thou told Thy message, which might else in telling wound, And, in performing, end us; what besides Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair, Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring Departure from that happy place, our sweet Recess, and only consolation left, Familiar to our eyes ; all places else Inhospitable appear, and desolate, Nor knowing us, nor known. And if, by prayer Incessant, I could hope to change the will Of him who all things can, I would not cease To weary him with my assiduous cries : But prayer, against his absolute decree, No more avails than breath against the wind, Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth : Therefore to his great bidding I submit. This most afflicts me, that departing hence, As from his face I shall be hid, deprived His blessed countenance; here I could frequent With worship, place by place, where he vouchsafed Presence divine ; and to my sons relate,
On this mount he appear'd; under this tree
Stood visible; among these pines, his voice
I heard; here with him, at this fountain, talked :
So many grateful altars I would rear
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory,
Or monument to ages, and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling gums, & fruits, & flowers.
In yonder nether world, where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or footstep trace?
For though I fled him, angry, yet recall’d
To life prolong'd, and promis'd race, I now
Gladly behold, though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his steps adore."
To whom thus Michael, with regard benign.
Adam, thou know'st Heaven his, & all the Earth ;
Not this rock only; his omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual power and warm's :
All the earth he gave thee to possess, and rule,
No despicable gift; surmise not then
His presence to these narrow bounds confined
Of Paradise or Eden: this had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations, and had hither come
From all the ends of the earth, to celebrate
And reverence thee, their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons :
Yet doubt not, but in valley and in plain
God is as here, and will be found alike
Present, and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine.
Which that thou mayst believe, & be confirm’d,
Ere thou from hence depart, know, I am sent
To show thee what shall come, in future days,
To thee and to thy offspring : good with bad
Expect to hear; supernal grace contending
With sinfulness of men; thereby to learn
True patience, and to temper joy with fear,
And pious sorrow, equally inured,
By moderation either state to bear,
Prosperous or adverse : so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and best prepared, 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 wakest; As once thou slept’st, while she to life was form’d.
To whom thus Adam gratefully replied. “ Ascend, I follow thee, safe guide, the path Thou leadst me, & to the hand of Heaven submit, However chastening, to the evil turn My obvious breast, arming to overcome 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 [lay. Stretch'd out to the amplest reach of prospect, 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, & their glory. His eye might there command, wherever stood City, of old or modern fame, the seat Of mightiest empire, from the destined walls Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can, And Samarcand by Oxus, Temir's throne, To Paquin of Sinæan kings, and thence To Agra and Lahor of great Mogul, Down to the golden Chersonese, or where The Persian in Ecbaten sat, or since In Hispahan, or where the Russian Ksar In Moscow, or the Sultan in Bizance, Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken The empire of Negus, to his utmost port Ercoco, and the less maritime kings Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind, 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 ; Or Europe thence, & 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 Guaina, whose great city Geryon's sons Call El Dorado. But to nobler sights, Michael from Adam's eyes the film removed, Which that false fruit, that promised clearer sight,
Had bred; then purged with euphrasy and rue
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 pierced
E'en to the inmost seat of mental sight,
That Adam, now enforced to close his eyes,
Sunk down, & all his spirits became entranced :
But him the gentle Angel by the hand
Soon raised, and his attention thus recall’d.
“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,
Part arable and tilth, whereon where sheaves
New reap'd ; the other part sheepwalks & folds ;
In the midst an altar, as the landmark, stood,
Rustic, of grassy sod : thither anon
A sweaty reaper, from his tillage, brought
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
The inwards and their fat, with incense strow'd,
On the cleft wood, and all due rites perform'd.
His offering soon propitious fire from Heaven
Consumed with nimble glance, & grateful steam:
The other's not; for his was not sincere ;
Whereat he inly raged ; and, as they talk’d,
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 effused.
Much, at the sight, was Adam in his heart
Dismay'd, & thus in haste to the Angel cried.
“O teacher, some great mischief hath befallen
To that meek man, who well had sacrificed ;
Is piety thus, and pure devotion, paid ?"
To whom Michael thus, he also moved, replied. “ These two are brethren, Adam, and to come 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 avenged, and the other's faith, approved, Lose no reward, though here thou see him die, 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, Horrid to think, how horrible to feel !"
To whom thus Michael. “ Death thou hast seen,
In his first shape, on man: but many shapes
Of death, and many are the ways that lead
To his grim cave, all dismal ; yet, to sense,
More terrible at the entrance than within.
Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die,
By fire, flood, famine, by intemperance more
In meats & drinks, which on the earth shall bring
Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
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
Numbers of all diseased; all maladies
Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds,
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs,
Intestine stone and ulcer, cholic pangs,
Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,
Merasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies, & asthmas, & joint-racking rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans; Despair
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
Dry-eyed behold? Adam could not; but wept,
Though not of woman born : compassion quell'd
His best of man,
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 reserved ! 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