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Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord
So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
540 Slowly descended, and with right aspect Against the eastern gate of paradise Levelled his evening rays: It was a rock Of alabaster, piled up to the clouds Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent
545 Accessible from earth, one entrance high; The rest was craggy cliff, that overhung Still as it rose, impossible to climb. Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel sát, Chief of the angelic guards awaiting night; 550 About him exercised heroic games
The unarmed youth of Heaven, but nigh at hand
Gabriel, to thee thy course by lot hath given
To whom the winged warrior thus return'd; 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 580 Well known from Heaven; and since meridian hour No creature thence: If Spirit of other sort, So minded, has o’erleap'd these earthly bounds On purpose, hard thou know'st it to exclude Spiritual substance with corporeal bar.
585 But if within the circuit of these walks, In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom
Thou tell'st, 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 591 Beneath the Azores; whether the prime orb, Incredible how swift, had thither roll'd Diurnal; or this less voluble earth, By shorter flight to the east, had left him there, 595 Arraying with reflected purple and gold 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,
600 They to their grassy couch, these to their nests, Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale; She all night long her amorous descant sung; Silence was pleased: Now glow'd the firmament With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led
605 The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon, Rising in clouded majesty, at length Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light, And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
When Adam thus to Eve: Fair Consort, the hour Of night, and all things now retired to rest, 611 Mind us of like repose; since God hath set Labor and rest, as day and night to men Successive; and the timely dew of sleep, Now falling with soft amb’rous weight, inclines 615 Our eyelids: Other creatures all day long Rove idle, unemployed, 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; 620 While other animals inactive range, 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,
630 That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth, Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease; Meanwhile, as Nature wills, night bids us rest.
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn’d: My Author and Disposer, what thou bidd'st 635 Unargued I obey: so God ordains: 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. 640 Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, 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 645 After soft showers; and sweet the coming on Of grateful Evening mild; then silent Night, With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon, And these the gems of Heaven, her starry train: But neither breath of Morn, when she ascends 650 With charm of earliest birds: nor rising sun On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower, Glistering with dew; nor fragrance after showers; Nor grateful Evening mild; nor silent Night, With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon,
655 Or glittering starlight, without thee, is sweet. But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes? To whom our general ancestor replied:
Daughter of God and Man, accomplish'd Eve, 660
Thus talking, hand in hand alone they pass'd On to their blissful bower: it was a place
690 Chosen by the sovoreign Planter, when he framed All things to Man's delightful use: the roof Of thickest covert was inwoven shade Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side