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Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides; reasoning I oft admire,

How nature wife and frugal could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold to this one use,
For ought appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the fedentary earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Serv'd by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives, 35
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.

So spake our fire, and by his count’nance seem'd
Entring on studious thoughts abstruse, which Eve
Perceiving where the fat retir'd in fight,
With lowliness majestic from her seat,

grace that won who saw to with her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers,
To visit how they prosper’d, bud and bloom, 45
Her nursery; they at her coming sprung,
And touch'd by her fair tendence gladlier grew.
Yet went ihe not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear
Of what was high : such pleasure she reservid,
Adam relating, she fole auditress :
Her husband the relator she preferr'd





Before the Angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute 55
With conjugal caresses; from his lip
Not words alone pleas’d her. O when meet now
Such pairs, in love and mutual honor join'd?
With Goddess-like demeanour forth she went,
Not unattended, for on her as queen

A pomp of winning graces waited still,
And from about her shot darts of desire
Into all eyes to wish her still in sight.
And Raphael now to Adam's doubt propos’d
Benevolent and facil thus reply'd.

To ask or search I blame thee not, for Heaven
Is as the book of God before thee fet,
Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learn
His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years :
This to attain, whether Heav'n move or Earth,
Imports not, if thou reckon right; the rest
From Man or Angel the great Architect
Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge
His secrets to be scann’d by them who ought
Rather admire; or, if they lift to try

Conjecture, he his fabric of the Heavens
Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide
Hereafter, when they come to model Heaven
And calculate the stars, how they will wield 80
The mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive
To save appearances, how gird the sphere



With centric and eccentric fcribled o'er,
Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb :
Already by thy reasoning this I guess,
Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposeft
That bodies bright and greater should not serve
The less not bright, nor Heav'n such journeys run,
Earth sitting still, when she alone receives
The benefit: consider first, that great

Or bright infers not excellence: the earth
Though, in comparifon of Hear'n, fo small, -
Nor glistring, máy of solid good contain
More plenty than the sun that barren shines,
Whose virtue on itself works no effect,

95 But in the fruitful earth; there first receiv'd His beams, unactive elfe, their vigor find. Yet not to earth are those bright luninaries Oficious, but to thee earth's habitant. And for the Heav'n's wide circuit, let it speak 'The Maker's high magnificence, who built So fpacious, and his line stretch'd out so far; That Man may know he dwells not in his own ; An edifice too large for him to fill, Lodg’d in a sinall partition, and the rest 105 Ordain'd for uses to his Lord best known. The swiftness of those circles attribúte, Though numberless, to his omnipotence, That to corporeal substances could add Speed almost fpiritual; me thou think'st not slow, 110 Who since the morning hour set out froin Heaven Where God resides, and ere mid-day arriv'd


In Eden, distance inexpressible
By numbers that have name. But this I

Admitting motion in the Heav'ns, to show IIS
Invalid that which thee to doubt it mov'd;
Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
To thee who haft thy dwelling here on earth.
God to remove his ways from human sense,
Plac’d Heav'n from Earth so far, that earthly sight,
If it presume, might err in things too high,
And no advantage gain. What if the sun
Be center to the world, and other stars
By his attractive virtue and their own
Incited, dance about him various rounds ?

125 Their wand'ring course now high, now low, then hid, Progressive, retrograde, or ftanding still, In fix thou feeft, and what if sev’nth to these The planet earth, so stedfast though she seem, Insensibly three different motions move ?

130 Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe, Mov'd contrary with thwart obliquities, Or save the sun his labor, and that swift Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb suppos’d, Invisible else above all stars, the wheel Of day and night; which needs not thy belief, If earth industrious of herself fetch day Traveling east, and with her part averse From the sun's beam meet night, her other part Still luminous by his ray. What if that light 140 Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air, To the terrestrial moon be as a star



Inlightning her by day, as the by night
This earth ? reciprocal, if land be there,
Fields and inhabitants : Her spots thou seest

As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
Fruits in her soften'd soil, for some to eat
Allotted there; and other suns perhaps
With their attendent moons thou wilt descry
Communicating male and female light,

150 Which two great sexes animate the world, Stor’d in each orb perhaps with some that live, For such vast room in nature unpossess’d By living soul, desert and defolate, Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute

155 Each orb a glimpse of light, convey'd so far Down to this habitable, which returns Light back to them, is obvious to dispute. But whether thus these things, or whether not, Whether the sun predominant in Heaven

169 Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun, He from the east his flaming road begin, Or she from west her filent course advance With inoffensive


that spinning sleeps On her soft axle, while she paces even,

165 And bears thee soft with the smooth air along, Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid, Leave them to God above, him serve and fear; Of other creatures, as him pleases best, Wherever plac'd, let him difpofe : joy thou 170 In what he gives to thee, this Paradise And thy fair Eve; Heav'n is for thee too high


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