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Into a lower world, to this obscure
Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild:
Adam by this from the cold sudden damp Recov'ring, and his scatter'd spirits return'd, To Michael thus his humble words address'd : 295
Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or named Of them the high'st, for such of 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 300 Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair, Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring, Departure from this happy place, our sweet Recess, and only consolation left Familiar to our eyes, all places else
305 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.
310 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, 315 As from his face I shall be hid, deprived His blessed count'nance. 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 320 Stood visible; among these pines his voice I heard ; here with him at tbis fountain talk'd. 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
To whom thus Michael, with regard benign :
340 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 th' earth, to celebrate 3-45 And rev’rence thee, their great progenitor. But this pre-eminence thou 'st 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
350 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 may'st believe, and be confirm'd Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent 356 To shew 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 360 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 30 Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend This hill. Let Eve (for I have drench'd her eyes)
332. Exod. xxxiii. 22, 23.
Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wak'st; As once thou sleptst, while she to life was form'd.
To whom thus Adam gratefully reply'd : 37C Ascend , I follow thee, safe Guide, the path Thou lead'st me', and to the hand of Heav'n submit, However chast'ning, to the evil turn My obvious breast, arming to overcome By suff'ring, and earn rest from labour won, 375 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 Stretch'd out tu th' amplest reach of prospect lay. Not higher that hill nor wider, looking round, 381 Whereon for diff'rent cause the Tempter set Our second Adam in the wilderness, To shew him all earth's kingdoms and their glory. His eye might there command wherever stood 383 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
396 To Agra and Lahore of great Mogul, Down to the golden Chersonese, or where The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since In Hispaban, or where the Russian Czar In Moscow, or the Sultan in Bizance,
395 Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken Th’enipire of Negus to his utmost port Ercoco, and the less maritime kings, Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
381. Matt. iv. 8. 387. There is here another instance of Milton's supposed affectation of learning. I do not conceive either this, or any of the other passages mentioned, to be so. To a mere cursory or idle reader it may seem a dry geographical catalogue, but it should be observed, that the countries mentioned recall by their names some of the most brilliant passages of history, and thus fill the page with the gorgeousness and magnificence of olden tradition. An observation hence occurs, which must at once strike the reader, that fully to enjoy Milton in all his excellences, much various knowledge is necessary. The simplest account we could here give of the several countries mentioned in these lines would occupy too large a space for the size of the work, and would certainly not aid the reader in understanding better than at first the various allusions the passage presents.
Choicest and best ; then sacrificing, laid
O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall’n 450 To that meek man, who well had sacrificed! Is piety thus and pure devotion paid ?
T' whom Michael thus (he also moved) reply'd :
Alas! both for the deed and for the cause !
476 Shall bring on men. Immediately a place
458. Heb. xi. 4.
circumstances of this vision.