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More lovely than PANDORA, whom the Gods
Endow'd with all their gifts, (and O, too like 715
In fad event!) when to th' unwifer fon
Of JAPHET brought by HERME9, fhe infnar'd
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
On him who had ftole JovE's authentic fire.
Thus at their fhady Lodge arriv'd, both ftood, 720 Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd The GOD that made both sky, air, earth and heav'n, Which they beheld, the moon's refplendent globe, And ftarry pole: Thou alfo mad'ft the night, Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day Which we in our appointed work employ'd Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help, And mutual love, the crown of all our blifs Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place For us too large, where thy abundance wants Partakers, and uncrop'd falls to the ground. But thou haft promis'd from us two a race To fill the earth, who fhall with us extol Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, And when we feek, as now, thy gift of fleep. 735
This faid unanimous, and other rites
Obferving none, but adoration pure,
Which GOD likes beft, into their inmoft bow'r
Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off
Thefe troublesome difguifes which we wear,
Straight fide by fide were laid: nor turn'd I ween
ADAM from his fair spouse, nor EvE the rites
Myfterious of connubial love refus'd:
Whatever hypocrites aufterely talk
Of purity and place and innocence,
Defaming as impure what God declares
Pure, and commands to fome, leaves free to all.
Our maker bids increafe, who bids abftain
But our destroyer, foe to GoD and man?
Hail wedded love! myfterious law, true fource 750
Of human offspring, fole propriety
In Paradife, of all things common else.
By thee adult'rous luft was driv'n from men,
Among the beftial herds to range; by thee,
(Founded in reafon, loyal, juft, and pure)
Relations dear, and all the charities
Of father, fon, and brother firft were known.
Far be it, that I fhould write thee fin or blame;
Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,
Perpetual, fountain of domeftic sweets!
Whofe bed is undefil'd and chafte pronounc'd,
Prefent, or paft, as Saints and Patriarchs us'd.
Here Love his golden thafts employs, here lights
His conftant lamp, and waves his purple wings;
Reigns here and revels: not in the bought fmile 765
Of harlots, lovelefs, joyless, unendear'd,
Cafual fruition; nor in Court-amours
Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball,
Or ferenade, which the ftarv'd lover fings
To his proud fair, beft quitted with disdain.
Thefe, lull'd by nightingales, embracing flept,
And on their naked limbs the flow'ry roof
Shower'd rofes, which the morn repair'd. Sleep on
Bleft pair; and O! yet happieft, if ye seek
No happier state, and know to know no more. 775
Now had night measur'd with her shadowy cone Half way up hill this vaft fublunar vault, And from their ivory port the Cherubim Forth iffuing at th' accuftom'd hour, ftood arm'd To their night. watches in warlike parade, When GABRIEL to his next in pow'r thus fpake.
UZZIEL, half thefe draw off, and coaft the fouth With strictest watch: these other wheel the north, Our circuit meets full weft. As flame they part Half wheeling to the fhield, half to the fpear. 785