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Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilely ador'd
Heaven's awful monarch? wherefore, but in hope
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?

But mark what I arreed thee now : avaunt,

Fly thither whence thou fled'st! If from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chain'd
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn
The facile gates of hell, too slightly barr'd. »

So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats Gave heed, but waxing more in rage replied:

« Then, when I am thy captive, talk of chains, Proud limitary cherub! but ere then

Far heavier load thyself expect to feel
From my prevailing arm, though heaven's king
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers,
Us'd to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels
In progress through the road of heaven, star-pav'd. »
While thus he spake, the angelic squadron bright
Turn'd fiery red, sharpening in mooned horns
Their phalanx ; and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres, ripe for harvest, waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
Sways them; the careful plowman doubting stands,
Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaff. On the other side, Satan, alarm'd,
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremov'd:

His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest

Sat horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp

What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dreadful deeds

Might have ensued, nor only paradise
In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of heaven perhaps, or all the elements
At least had gone to wreck, disturb'd and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in heaven his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh'd,
The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles and realms : in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight:
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend.

<< Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine; Neither our own, but given : what folly then

To boast what arms can do? since thine no more Than heaven permits, nor mine, though doubled now To trample thee as mire : for proof look up,

And read thy lot in yon celestial sign;

Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how weak,
If thou resist. >> The fiend look'd up; and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.



Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her: they come forth to their daylabours: their morning-hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand; who he is, and why his enemy; and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Kaphael comes down to paradise; his appearance described; his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in heaven and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel, a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, When Adam wak'd, so custom'd; for his sleep Was aery-light, from pure digestion bred, And temperate vapours bland, which th' only sound Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,

Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin-song
Of birds on every bough.

So much the more

His wonder was, to find unwaken'd Eve
With tresses discompos'd, and glowing cheek,
As through unquiet rest: he, on his side
Leaning half rais'd with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whispered thus:

« Awake,

My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight!
Awake: the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tender plants, how blows the citron-grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet. »
Such whispering wak'd her, but with startled eye
On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake :
O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection! glad I see

Thy face, and morn return'd; for I this night (Such night till this I never pass'd) have dream'd, (If dream'd) not, as I oft am wont, of thee, Works of day past, or morrow's next design But of offence and trouble, which my mind Knew never till this irksome night: methought, Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk

With gentle voice; I thought it thine: it said,

- Why sleep'st thou, Eve! now is the pleasant time,

The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song; now reigns
Full-orb'd the moon, and with more pleasing light
Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain,
If none regard; heaven wakes with all his eyes,
Whom to behold but thee, nature's desire?
In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
Attracted by thy beauty, still to gaze—.

<< I rose as at thy call, but found thee not:
To find thee I directed then my walk;
And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways
That brought me on a sudden to the tree
Of interdicted knowledge: fair it seem'd,
Much fairer to my fancy than by day:
And, as I wondering look'd, beside it stood
One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from heaven
By us oft seen; his dewy locks distill'd
Ambrosia; on that tree he also gaz'd;

And, O fair plant, (said he ) with fruit surcharg'd, Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet; Nor God, nor man? Is knowledge so despis'd? Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste? Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold Longer thy offer'd good; why else set here? This said; he paus'd not, but with venturous arm He pluck'd, he tasted; me damp horror chill'd, At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold : But he thus, overjoy'd: - O fruit divine! Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt,

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