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Infeparably thine, to him shalt bear
Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd

Mother of human race. What could I do,
But follow strait, invisibly thus led ?
Till I efpy'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
Under a platan; yet methought lefs fair,
Lefs winning foft, lefs amiably mild,

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Than that smooth watry image back I turn'd; 489
Thou following cry'dft aloud, Return fair Eve, L'I
Whom fly'st thou? whom thou fly'ft, of him thou art,
His flesh, his bone; to give thee be'ing I lent
Out of my fide to thee, nearest my heart
Subftantial life, to have thee by my fide
Henceforth an individual folace dear;
Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee clame
My other half; with that thy gentle hand

Seis'd mine; I yielded, and from that time fee
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace


And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

So fpake our general mother, and with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
And meek furrender, half embracing lean'd
On our first father; half her fwelling breast
Naked met his under the flowing gold
Of her loose treffes hid: he in delight
Both of her beauty and fubmiffive charms
Smil'd with fuperior love, as Jupiter


On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds
That shed May flow'rs; and prefs'd her matron lip
With kiffes.
pure: afide the Devil turn'd


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The happier Luen, hal my her f
Of this on this; while I fui an truf,
Where better by ur et, ut ferce dire,
Ancng ou cier acuments not the sezf,
Bell vehicle d with pain cé longing procs.
Yet let me not forget wist I have gua'd
From their own mouth : ai is not theirs it feems;
One fatal tree there hands of knowledge call'd,
Forbidden them to take: Kaoxiedge forbidden? 515
Sulpicious, reaftales. Way fould their Lord
Envy them that? can it be fa to know ?
Can it be death? and do they only stand
By ignorance? is that their happy ftate,

The proof of their obedience and their faith ? 520
O fair foundation laid whereon to build

Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds

With more defire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with design

To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt 525
Equal with Gods: afpiring to be such

They taste and die: what likelier can enfue?

But firft with narrow fearch I must walk round

This garden, and no corner leave unspy'd;

A chance but chance may lead where I may meet 530
Some wand'ring Spi'rit of Heav'n by fountain fide,
Or in thick fhade retir'd, from him to draw


What further would be learn'd. Live while you may,

Yet happy pair; enjoy, till I return,

Short pleasures, for long woes are to fucceed.


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

But with fly circumfpection, and began

Through wood, through wafte,o'er hill,o'er dale, his roam. Mean while in utmost longitude, where Heaven

With earth and ocean meets, the setting fun


Slowly defcended, and with right aspéct
Against the eastern gate of Paradise
Levell'd his evening rays: it was a rock
Of alabafter, pil'd up to the clouds,
Confpicuous far, winding with one afcent
Acceffible from earth, one entrance high;
The reft was craggy cliff, that overhung
Still as it rofe, impoffible to climb.
Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel fat,
Chief of th' angelic guards, awaiting night;
About him exercis'd heroic games

Th' unarmed youth of Heav'n, but nigh at hand
Celestial armoury, fhields, helms, and spears,
Hung high with diamond flaming, and with gold.
Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even
On a fun beam, fwift as a shooting star
In autumn thwarts the night, when vapors fir'd
Imprefs 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 courfe by lot hath given
Charge and strict watch, that to this happy place





Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance
Led on th' eternal spring. Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proferpin gathering flowers,
Herfelf a fairer flow'r by gloomy Dis

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Was gather'd, which coft Ceres all that pain



To feek her through the world; nor that sweet grove

Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' infpir'd

Caftalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden ftrive; nor that Nyseian ile
Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove,
Hid Amalthea and her florid fon

Young Bacchus from his stepdame Rhea's eye;
Nor where Abaffin kings their issue guard,
Mount Amara, though this by some suppos'd
True Paradise under the Ethiop line

By Nilus head, inclos'd with fhining rock,
A whole day's journey high, but wide remote
From this Affyrian garden, where the Fiend
Saw undelighted all delight, all kind

Of living creatures new to fight and strange.
Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native honor clad
In naked majefty feem'd lords of all,





And worthy feem'd; for in their looks divine,
The image of their glorious Maker fhone,


Truth, wisdom, fanctitude fevere and pure,
(Severe but in true filial freedom plac'd)
Whence true authority in men; though both
Not equal, as their fex not equal seem'd;
For contemplation he and valor form'd,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace,
He for God only, the for God in him:
His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd
Abfolute rule; and hyacinthin locks



Round from his parted forelock manly hung

Cluftring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She as a veil down to the flender wafte

Her unadorned golden treffes wore


Dishevel'd, but in wanton ringlets wav'd

As the vine curls her tendrils, which imply'd

Subjection, but requir'd with gentle fway,

And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd,

Yielded with coy fubmiffion, modest pride,
And sweet reluctant amorous delay.


Nor those mysterious parts were then conceal'd,
Then was not guilty fhame, dishonest shame
Of nature's works, honor difhonorable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere fhows of feeming pure,
And banish'd from man's life his happiest life,


Simplicity and fpotlefs innocence !

So pafs'd they naked on, nor fhunn'd the fight

Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill :
So hand in hand they pafs'd, the loveliest pair
That ever fince in love's embraces met;



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