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In dust, our final rest and native home,
What better can we do, than, to the place
Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall
Before him reverent; and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg; with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humilation meek?
Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn
From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
When angry most he seem'd and most severe,
What else but favour, grace, and mercy, shone? »
So spake our father penitent; nor Eve
Felt less remorse : they, forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judg'd them, prostrate fell
Before him reverent; and both confess'd
Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd; with tears
Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.



The Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in paradise; sends Michael with a band of cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things. Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach; goes out to meet him; the angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits. The angel leads him up to a high hill, and sets before him in vision what shall happen till the flood.

Thus they, in lowliest plight, repentant stood
Praying; for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace descending had remov'd
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
Unutterable; which the Spirit of prayer

Inspir'd, and wing'd for heaven with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: yet their port

Not of mean suitors; nor important less

Seem'd their petition, than when the ancient pair
In fables old, (less ancient yet than these, )
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To heaven their prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds

Blown vagabond or frustrate; in they pass'd
Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fum'd,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne; them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began:

See, Father, what first-fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in man: these sighs
And prayers, which in this golden censer, mix'd
With incense, I thy priest before thee bring;
Fruits of more pleasing savour, from thy seed
Sown with contrition in his heart, than those
Which, his own hand manuring, all the trees
Of paradise could have produc'd, ere fall'n
From innocence. Now therefore, bend thine ear
To supplication; hear his sighs, though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him; me, his advocate
And propitiation; all his works on me,
Good, or not good, ingraft; my merit those
Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay.
Accept me; and in me, from these receive

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The smell of peace toward mankind: let him live
Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
Number'd, though sad; till death, his doom, (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,)

To better life shall yield him; where with me
All my redeem'd may dwell in joy and bliss;
Made one with me, as I with thee am one. »>

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene:
« All thy request for man, accepted son,
Obtain all thy request was
my decree.

But, longer in that paradise to dwell,
The law I gave to nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal elements, that know
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,
Eject him, tainted now; and purge him off,
As a distemper, gross, to air as gross,
And mortal food, as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by sin; that first
Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted. I, at first, with two fair gifts
Created him endow'd; with happiness,
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other serv'd but to eternize woe;
Till I provided death: so death becomes
His final remedy; and (after life,
Tried in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
By faith and faithful works,) to second life,
Wak'd in the renovation of the just,
Resigns him
with heaven and earth renew'd..
But let us call to synod all the blest,

Through heaven's wide bounds: from them I will not hide

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My judgments; how with mankind I proceed,

As how with peccant angels late they saw;

And in their state, though firm, stood more confirm'd. » He ended, and the Son gave signal high

To the bright minister that watch'd : he blew
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom. The angelic blast
Fill'd all the regions: from their blissful bowers
Of amaranthine shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where'er they sat

In fellowships of joy, the sons of light

Hasted, resorting to the summons high;
And took their seats; till from his throne supreme
The Almighty thus pronounc'd his sovran will:
« O sons! like one of us man is become.
To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got;
Happier! had it suffic'd him to have known.
Good by itself, and evil not at all.

He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite,
My motions in him; longer than they move,
His heart I know, how variable and vain,
Self-left. Lest therefore now his bolder hand
Reach also of the tree of life, and eat,
And live for ever, ( dream at least to live
For ever,) to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground whence he was taken; fitter soil.

« Michael, this my behest have thou in charge;
Take to thee from among the cherubim
Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the fiend,
Or in behalf of man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise :
Haste thee, and from the paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair;
From hallow'd ground the unholy; and denounce
To them, and to their progeny, from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urg'd,
(For I behold them soften'd, and with tears
Bewailing their excess, ) all terror hide.

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