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Gave thee; all sorts are here that all th' earth yields,
Variety without end; but of the tree,

Which, tasted, works knowledge of good and evil,

Thou may'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou dy'st;
Death is the penalty imposed; beware,


And govern well thy appetite, lest Sin

Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death.
Here finish'd he, and all that he had made
View'd, and behold all was entirely good;
So even and morn accomplish'd the sixth day:
Yet not till the Creator from his work
Desisting, though unweary'd, up return'd,
Up to the Heav'n of Heav'ns, his high abode,
Thence to behold this new-created world,
Th' addition of his empire, how it show'd



In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair,

Answ'ring his great idea. Up he rode,

Follow'd with acclamation, and the sound

Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tuned
Angelic harmonies. The earth, the air


Resounded (thou remember'st, for thou heard'st);
The Heav'ns, and all the constellations rung;
The planets in their station list'ning stood,
While the bright pomp ascended jubilant.
Open ye everlasting gates, they sung;
Open, ye Heav'ns, your living doors: let in
The great Creator from his work return'd
Magnificent, his six days' work, a world;
Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deign
To visit oft the dwellings of just men
Delighted, and with frequent intercourse
Thither will send his winged messengers
On errands of supernal grace. So sung



The glorious train ascending. He through Heav'n,
That open'd wide her blazing portals, led


To God's eternal house direct the way:

A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,

And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear,

Seen in the galaxy, that milky way,

Which nightly as a circling zone thou seest


Powder'd with stars. And now on earth the seventh

Ev'ning arose in Eden, for the sun

Was set, and twilight from the east came on,

Forerunning night; when at the holy mount

Of Heav'n's high-seated top, th' imperial throne
Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Pow'r arrived, and sat him down
With his great Father (for he also went


Invisible) yet stay'd (such privilege

Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd


Author and End of all things, and from work

Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the sev'nth day,

As resting on that day from all his work,

But not in silence holy kept: the harp

Had work and rested not, the solemn pipe,
And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,


All sounds on fret by string or golden wire,
Temper'd soft tunings, intermix'd with voice
Choral or unison: of incense clouds

Fuming from golden censers hid the mount.


Creation and the six days' acts they sung:

Great are thy works, Jehovah! infinite

Thy pow'r! What thought can measure thee, or tongue

Relate thee! Greater now in thy return

Than from the giant Angels! thee that day


Thy thunders magnify'd! but to create,

Is greater than created to destroy.

Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy empire! Easily the proud attempt

Of Spirits apostate and their counsels vain


Thou hast repell'd, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks
To lessen thee, against his
purpose serves

To manifest the more thy might: his evil

Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
Witness this new-made world, another Heav'n
From Heav'n-gate not far, founded in view
On the clear Hyaline, the glassy sea:
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Num'rous, and ev'ry star perhaps a world
Of destined habitation; but thou know'st
Their seasons: among these the seat of Men,
Earth with her nether ocean circumfused,



Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy Men,


And sons of Men, whom God hath thus advanced,
Created in his image, there to dwell

And worship him, and in reward to rule
Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air,
And multiply a race of worshippers
Holy and just! thrice happy if they know
Their happiness, and persevere upright!
So sung they, and the empyréan rung
With Halleluiahs. Thus was Sabbath kept.
And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd
How first this world and face of things began,
And what before thy memory was done
From the beginning, that posterity



Inform'd by thee might know; if else thou seek'st
Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.




Adam inquires concerning celestial motions; is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge: Adam assents: and, still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society, his first meeting and nuptials with Eve, his discourse with the Angel thereupon; who, after admonitions repeated, departs.

THE Angel ended, and in Adam's ear

So charming left his voice, that he awhile

Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hear;

Then, as new waked, thus gratefully reply'd:

What thanks sufficient, or what recompense

Equal have I to render thee, divine
Historian, who thus largely hast allay'd

The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsafed
This friendly condescension to relate

Things else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the High
Creator? Something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.

When I behold this goodly frame, this world,
Of Heav'n and Earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes; this earth, a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compared

And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible (for such

Their distance argues, and their swift return
Diurnal) merely to officiate light

Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,







One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides; reasoning I oft admire
How Nature, wise and frugal, could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
many nobler bodies to create,


Greater, so manifold to this one use,

For aught appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution, day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Served by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.
So spake our sire, and by his count'nance seem'd
Ent'ring on studious thoughts abstruse; which Eve
Perceiving where she sat retired in sight,
With lowliness majestic from her seat,

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And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flow'rs,
To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom,
Her nursery: they at her coming sprung,


And, touch'd by her fair tendence, gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear

Of what was high: such pleasure she reserved,
Adam relating, she sole auditress;
Her husband, the relator, she preferr'd
Before the Angel, and of him to ask

Chose rather. He, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal caresses; from his lip

Not words alone pleased her. O when meet now
Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'd!
With Goddess-like demeanour forth she went,
Not unattended, for on her, as queen,

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