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Of a steep wilderness; whose hairy sides
With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wilů,
Access denied : and overbead up-grew
Iosuperable height of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and for, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene! And, as the ranks ascend,
Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
'The verduous wall of Paradise up.sprung;
Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Jato his nether empire, neighb'ring round.
And higher than that wall a circling row
Oi goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms, and fruits at once of golden hue,
Appear'd with gay enamellid colours mix'd;
On which the sun more glad impress'd his beams,
Than in fair evening cloud or humid bow,
When God hath shower'd the earth: so lovely seem'd
That landscape! And of pure now purer air
Meets his approach; and to the heart inspires
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
All sadness but despair: now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours, from the spicy shore
Of Araby the bless’d, with such delay (league
Well pleas'd, they slack their course, and many a
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles.
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the tiend,
Who came their bane; tho' with them better pleas'd
Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamour'd, from the spouse
Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent
l'rom Medea post to Egypt, there fast bound.

Now to th' ascent of that steep savage bill
Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow;
But further way found none, so thick intwin'd,
As one continued brake, the undergrowth

Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex’d
All path of man or beast that pass'd that way.
One gate there only was, and that look'd east
On th' other side: which when tli' arch-felon saw,
Due entrance he disdain'd, and in contempt,
At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound
Of bill, or highest wall, and sheer within
Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
Watching where shepherds pen their focks at eve,
In hurdled cotes amid the field secure,
Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold :
Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault
In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles :
So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold ;
So since into his cburch lewd hirelings climb.
Thence up be few, and on the tree of life,
(The middle tree, and highest there that grew)
Sat like a cormorant ; yet not true life
Thereby regained, but sat devising death
To them who liv'd: nor on the virtue thought
Of that life-giving plant, but only us’d
For prospect, what well us'd had been the pledge
Of immortality. So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use.
Beneath him, with new wonder, now be views,
To all delight of human sense expos'd
In narrow room, nalure's whole wealth, yea more,
A heaven on earth! For blissful Paradise,
Of God the garden was, by bim in thi' east
Of Eden planted ; Eden stretch'd her line
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Or where the sons of Eden, long before
Dwelt in Telassar, In this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd,
Out of the fertile ground be caus'd to grow

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All trees of noblest kind, for sight, smell, taste ;
And all amid them stood the tree of life,
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold : and next 10 life,
Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by;
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ijl;
Southward, through Eden wunt a river large,
Nor chang'd his course, hut through the sbaggy hill
Pass'd underneath ingulf'd; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden mould, high rais'd
Upon the rapid current, which through veins
Of porous earth, with kindly thirst up-drawn,
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
Water'd the garden; thence united fell
Down the steep glade, and met the nether food,
Which from his darksome apssage now appears;
And now divided into four main streams,
Runs diverse, wand'ring many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account:
But rather to tell how, (if art could tell
llow) from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks
Rolling on orient pearls, and sands of gold,
With mazy error under pendent shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not vice art
In beds and curious knots, but nature boon
Pour'd forth profure on hill, and dale, and plain,
Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade
Inbrown’d the noon-tide bowers. Thus was this place,
I happy rural seat of various view :
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm;
(ibers whose fruit burnish'd with golden rird,
Ilung amiable : Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste.
Berwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interposid,
Or palmy hillock, or the flowery lap
Of some irriguons valley Spread her store;
Flowers of all bue, and without thorn the rose.
Another side, umbrageous gro!s, and care's

.

Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
Lays fortb ber purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant: meanwhile murm'ring waters fall
Down the slope bills. dispers’d, or in a lake,
That to the fringed ounk with myrtle crown'd
Her crystal mirrors holds, unite their streams.
The birds their choir apply : airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, atiune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan
Knit with the Graces, and the hours in dance,
Led on the eterval spring. Noi that fair field
Of Enna, ubere Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself a fairer flower, by glooiny Dis
Was gather’d; which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek ber thro' the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspir'd
Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle
Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
Whom Gentiles Ammon call, and Lybian Jove,
Hid Amalthea, and her forid son,
Young Bacchus, from bis stepdame Rhea's eye;
Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard
Mount Amara, though this by some suppos'd
True Paradise, under the Ethiop line
By Nilus' head, enclos'd with shining rock,
A whole day's journey bigh, but wide remote
From this Assyrian garden, where the fiend,
Saw undelighted all delight, all kind
Of living creatures, new to sight and strange.

Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native bonour clad,
lo naked majesty seem'd lords of all,
And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd)
Whence true authority in men; though botla
Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd ;
For contemplation be and valour form’d,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;

Ile for God only, she for God in him.
His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd
Absolute rule; hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Dishevell’d, but in wanton ringlets wav’d,
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but requirid with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious part were then conceal'd ;
Thien was not guilty shame, dishonest shame
Of Nature's works, honour dishonourable !
Sin-bred ! how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banish'd from man's life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence !
So pass'd they'naked on, nor shunn'd the sighs
Of God or angel, for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair
That ever since in love's erbraces met ;
Adam, the goodliest man of men since born
His sons; the fairest of her daughters, Eve.
Under a tuft of shade, that on a green
Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side,
They sat them down: and, after no more toil
Of their sweet gard’ning-labour than suffic’d
To recommend cool Zephyr, and make ease
More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite
More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell,
Nectarine fruits which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, sidelong as they sat recline
On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers :
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind
Still as they thirsted scoop the brimining stream ;
Nor genıle purpose nor endearing smiles
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems
Fuir couple, link'd in bippy nuptial league,

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