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Manlike, but different sex so lovely fair,

That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contain'd

And in her looks, which from that time infus'd
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,

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And into all things from her air inspir'd
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
She disappear'd, and left me dark; I wak'd
To find her, or for ever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure:
When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I saw her in my dream, adorn'd
With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable. On she came,
Led by her heav'nly Maker, though unseen,
And guided by his voice, nor uninform'd

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Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites:

Grace was in all her steps, Heav'n in her eye,

In every gesture dignity and love.

I overjoy'd could not forbear aloud.

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'This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfill'd

Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,

Giver of all things fair, but fairest this

Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see

Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself
Before me; Woman is her name, of Man
Extracted for this cause he shall forego
Father and mother, and to' his wife adhere;

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And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.'

"She heard me thus, and though divinely brought,

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Yet innocence and virgin modesty,

Her virtue and the conscience of her worth,

That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won,

Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retir'd,
The more desirable, or, to say all,

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Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought,
Wrought in her so, that seeing me,

she turn❜d;

I follow'd her; she what was honour knew,
And with obsequious majesty approv'd
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bow'r
I led her blushing like the morn: all Heaven

And happy constellations on that hour
Shed their selectest influence; the earth

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Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill ;

Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs

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Flang rose,

Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings flung odours from the spicy shrub,

Disporting, till the amorous bird of night

Sung spousal, and hid haste the evening star

On his hill top, to light the bridal lamp.

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"Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought

My story to the sum of earthly bliss

Which I enjoy, and must confess to find

In all things else delight indeed, but such

As, us'd or not, works in the mind no change,

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Nor vehement desire, these delicacies

I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers,

Walks, and the melody of birds; but here

Far otherwise, transported I behold,

Transported touch; here passion first I felt,

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Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else

Superior and unmov'd, here only weak

Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance.
Or nature fail'd in me, and left some part
Not proof enough such object to sustain,
Or from my side subducting, took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestow'd
Too much of ornament, in outward show
Elaborate, of inward less exact.

For well I understand in the prime end
Of nature her th' inferior, in the mind
And inward faculties, which most excel,
In outward also her resembling less

Ilis image who made both, and less expressing

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The character of that dominion given
O'er other creatures; yet when I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best;
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded, wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discount'nanc'd, and like folly shows;
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and, to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic plac'd."

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To whom the Angel with contracted brow.
"Accuse not nature, she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
Of wisdom; she deserts thee not, if thou

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Dismiss not her, when most thou need'st her nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things

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Less excellent, as thou thyself perceiv'st,

For what admir'st thou, what transports thee so,

An outside? fair, no doubt, and worthy well

Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love,

Not thy subjection: weigh with her thyself;

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Then value. Oft-times nothing profits more,

Than self esteem, grounded on just and right

Well manag'd; of that skill the more thou know'st,

The more she will acknowledge thee her head,

And to realities yield all her shows:

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Made so adorn for thy delight the more,

So awful, that with honour thou may'st love

Thy mate, who sees when thou are seen least wise.

But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind

Is propagated, seem such dear delight

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Beyond all other, think the same youchsaf'd

To cattle and each beast; which would not be

The soul of man, or passion in him mově.
What high'er in her society thou find'st
Attractive, human, rational, love still;
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
Wherein true love consists not: love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat
In reas'on, and is judicious, is the scale

To them made common and divulg'd, if ought
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue

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By which to heav'nly love thou may'st ascend;
Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found."

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To whom thus, half-abash'd, Adam reply'd. "Neither her outside form'd so fair, nor ought In procreation common to all kinds (Though higher of the genial bed by far, And with mysterious reverence I deem)

So much delights me, as those grateful acts,

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Those thousand decencies that daily flow

From all her words and actions, mix'd with love

And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one soul;

Harmony to behold in wedded pair

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More grateful than harmonious sound to th' ear.
Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose

What inward thence I feel, not therefore foil'd,

Who meet with various objects, from the sense

Variously representing; yet still free,

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Approve the best, and follow what I approve.

To love thou blam'st me not, for love thou say'st
Leads up to Heaven, is both the way and guide:
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask ;
Love not the heav'nly Spi'rits, and how their love
Express they, by looks only', or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?"

To whom the Angel, with a smile that glow'd

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Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue,
Answer'd. "Let it suffice thee that thou know'st
Us happy', and without love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body' enjoy'st
(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy

In eminence, and obstacle find none

Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars;

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Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace,

Total they mix, union of pure with pure

Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need

As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.
But I can now no more; the parting sun
Beyond the earth's green Cape and verdant Isles
Hesperian sets, my signal to depart.

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Be strong, live happy', and love, but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep

His great command: take heed lest passion sway

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Thy judgment to do ought, which else free will
Would not admit: thine and of all thy sons

The weal or woe in thee is plac'd; beware.

I in thy persevering shall rejoice,

And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or fall

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Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.

Perfect within, no outward aid require;
And all temptation to transgress repel."
So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus

Follow'd with benediction.

"Since to part,

Go, heav'nly Guest, ethereal Messenger,

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Sent from whose sov'reign goodness I adore.

Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condescension, and shall be' honour'd ever

With grateful memory: thou to mankind

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Be good and friendly still, and oft return."
So parted they; the Angel up to Heaven
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.

END OF THE EIGHTH BOOK.

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