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Her son.
So fail not thou, who thee implores :
For thou art heav'nly, she an empty dream.
Say, Goddess, what ensu'd when Raphael,
The affable arch-angel, had forewarn'd
Adam by dire example to beware
Apostasy, by what befell in heav'n

To those apostates, lest the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his race,

Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree,



If they transgress, and slight that sole command, So easily obey'd, amid the choice

Of all tastes else to please their appetite,

Though wand'ring. He with his consorted Eve 50
The story heard attentive, and was fill'd
With admiration and deep muse, to hear

Of things so high and strange, things to their thought

So unimaginable as hate in heav'n,


And war so near the peace of God in bliss
With such confusion: but the evil soon
Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those
From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd
The doubts that in his heart arose and now 60
Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
What nearer might concern him, how this world
Of heav'n and earth conspicuous first began,
When, and whereof, created, for what cause,
What within Eden, or without, was done
Before his memory, as one whose drouth


Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current stream, Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites, Proceeded thus to ask his heav'nly guest.

Great things, and full of wonder in our ears, 70 Far differing from this world, thou hast reveal'd, Divine interpreter, by favour sent

Down from the empyrean to forewarn

Us timely of what might else have been our loss, Unknown, which human knowledge could not


For which to the infinitely Good we owe
Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receive with solemn purpose to observe
Immutably his sovereign will, the end

Of what we are.


But since thou hast vouchsaf'd 80 Gently for our instruction to impart

Things above earthly thought, which yet concern'd

Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seem'd,

Deign to descend now lower, and relate

What may no less perhaps avail us known,
How first began this heav'n which we behold
Distant so high, with moving fires adorn'd


72 interpreter] So Mercury is called in Virgil. pres Divûm.' En. iv. 378. Newton.


84 relate] So in the Adamus Exul of Grotius, p. 16. Adam says to the angel :

'Age, si vacabit, (scire nam perfectius

Quæ facta fuerint, ante me factum, potes)
Narra petenti, quomodo, quoque ordine
Tam magna numeris machina impieta est suis.'

Innumerable, and this which yields or fills




the ambient air wide interfus'd Embracing round this florid earth, what cause 90 Mov'd the Creator in his holy rest Through all eternity so late to build In chaos, and the work begun, how soon Absolv'd, if unforbid thou may'st unfold What we not to explore the secrets ask Of his eternal empire, but the more To magnify his works, the more we know. And the great light of day yet wants to run Much of his race though steep, suspense in heav'n Held by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears, 100 And longer will delay to hear thee tell His generation, and the rising birth Of nature from the unapparent deep: Or if the star of ev'ning and the moon Haste to thy audience, night with her will bring Silence, and sleep list'ning to thee will watch; Or we can bid his absence, till thy song End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine. Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought; And thus the Godlike Angel answer'd mild. 110 This also thy request with caution ask'd

"florid] Globous. Bentl. MS.


heaven] In the first edition there was no comma after 'heaven;' Pearce altered the punctuation.

103 unapparent] ãoparoç. Bentl. MS.

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108 End] for ending, dismiss thee;' so ii. 917, Stood, and look'd' for 'standing look'd.' Todd.

Obtain: though to recount almighty works
What words or tongue of seraph can suffice,
Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve 1:5
To glorify the Maker, and infer

Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
Thy hearing, such commission from above
I have receiv'd, to answer thy desire


Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain 120
To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King,
Only omniscient, hath supprest in night,
To none communicable in earth or heaven :
Enough is left besides to search and know.
But knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her temperance over appetite, to know
In measure what the mind may well contain,
Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns
Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind.

Know then, that after Lucifer from heav'n,
So call him, brighter once amidst the host
Of angels, than that star the stars among,

123 night] Hor. Od. iii. 29. 29.

• Prudens futuri temporis exitum

Caliginosa nocte premit Deus.' Thyer.

120 surfeit] See Davenant's Gondibert, c. viii. st. 22.

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For though books serve as diet of the mind,

If knowledge early got, self-value breeds,

By false digestion it is turn'd to wind,
And what should nourish on the eater feeds.'


Fell with his flaming legions through the deep
Into his place, and the great Son return'd
Victorious with his saints, th' omnipotent
Eternal Father from his throne beheld


Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake.
At least our envious foe hath fail'd, who thought
All like himself rebellious, by whose aid
This inaccessible high strength, the seat
Of deity supreme, us dispossest,

He trusted to have seiz'd, and into fraud

Drew many, whom their place knows here no


Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,
Their station, heav'n yet populous retains
Number sufficient to possess her realms
Though wide, and this high temple to frequent
With ministeries due and solemn rites.
But least his heart exalt him in the harm
Already done, to have dispeopled heav'n,
My damage fondly deem'd, I can repair
That detriment, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create
Another world, out of one man a race
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd,
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience try'd,





150 least] Mr. Thyer saith, 'That I do not like taking liberties with the text, or I should read " at last."?

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