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But first with narrow search I must walk round
This garden, and no corner leave unspy'd:
A chance but chance may lead where I may meet
Some wand'ring Spirit of Heav'n by fountain side,
Or in thick shade retired, from him to draw

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What further would be learn'd. Live while ye may,
Yet happy pair; enjoy, till I return,

Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.

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So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,

But with sly circumspection, and began

Thro' wood, thro' waste, o'er hill, o'er dale, his roam.

Meanwhile in utmost longitude, where Heav'n

With earth and ocean meets, the setting Sun

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Slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise
Levell❜d his ev'ning rays: it was a rock
Of alabaster, piled up to the clouds,
Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent
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 sat,
Chief of th' angelic guards, awaiting night;
About him exercised heroic games

Th' unarmed youth of Heav'n, but nigh at hand
Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears,
Hung high with diamond flaming, and with gold.
Thither came Uriel, gliding through th' even
On a sun-beam, swift as a shooting star

In autumn thwarts the night, when vapours fired
Impress the air, and shows the mariner

From what point of his compass to beware
Impetuous winds. He thus began in haste:
Gabriel, to thee thy course by lot hath giv'n
Charge and strict watch, that to this happy place
No evil thing approach or enter in.

This day at highth of noon came to my sphere

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A Spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know

More of th' Almighty's works, and chiefly Man,
God's latest image: I described his way
Bent all on speed, and mark'd his aery gait;
But in the mount that lies from Eden north,
Where he first lighted, soon discern'd his looks
Alien from Heav'n, with passions far obscured:
Mine eye pursued him still, but under shade
Lost sight of him. One of the banish'd crew,
I fear, hath ventured from the deep, to raise
New troubles: him thy care must be to find.

To whom the winged warrior thus return'd:
Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect sight,

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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

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Well known from Heav'n; and since meridian hour
No creature thence: if Spirit of other sort

So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds

On purpose, hard thou know'st it to exclude
Spiritual substance with corporeal bar.

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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,

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Bore him slope downward to the Sun, now fall'n

Beneath th' Azores; whether the prime orb,

Incredible how swift, had thither roll'd
Diurnal, or this less volúble earth,

By shorter flight to th' east, had left him there

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Arraying with reflected purple and gold

The clouds that on his western throne attend.
Now came still ev'ning on, and twilight grey
Had in her sober liv'ry all things clad;
Silence accompanied: for beast and bird,

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They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,

Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale:
She all night long her am'rous descant sung:
Silence was pleased. Now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led

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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, th' hour

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Of night, and all things now retired to rest,

Mind us of like repose, since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive; and the timely dew of sleep

Now falling, with soft slumb'rous weight inclines
Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long

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Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest;
Man hath his daily work of body or mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Heav'n on all his ways;
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 ris'n,
And at our pleasant labour, to reform
Yon flow'ry arbours, yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our scant manuring, and require

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More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth:
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,

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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 bidst,
Unargued, I obey; so God ordains;

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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.
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,
Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft show'rs; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful ev'ning mild; then silent Night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair Moon,
And these the gems of Heav'n, her starry train;
But neither breath of Morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising Sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after showers;
Nor grateful ev'ning mild; nor silent Night
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by Moon,

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Or glitt❜ring star-light, 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 reply'd:

Daughter of God and Man, accomplish'd Eve,
These have their course to finish round the earth
By morrow ev'ning, and from land to land
In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Minist'ring light prepared, they set and rise;
Lest total darkness should by night regain
Her old possession, and extinguish life

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In nature and all things, which these soft fires
Not only enlighten, but with kindly heat
Of various influence, foment and warm,
Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the Sun's more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,

Shine not in vain; nor think, tho' men were none,

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That Heav'n would want spectators, God want praise:
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold,
Both day and night. How often from the steep
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
Singing their great Creator! Oft in bands
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk
With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heav'n.
Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bow'r; it was a place
Chosen by the Sov'reign Planter, when he framed
All things to Man's delightful use.

Of thickest covert was inwoven shade

The roof

Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew
Of firm and fragrant leaf: on either side

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Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub

Fenced up the verdant wall; each beauteous flow'r,

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Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none:
Such was their awe of Man. In shadier bower

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More sacred and sequester'd, though but feign'd,
Pan or Sylvanus never slept, nor Nymph
Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in close recess,

With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs,
Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed,
And heav'nly choirs the hymenean sung,
What day the genial Angel to our sire

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