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Breathe soft or loud ; and wave your tops ye Pincs, With every plant, in sign of worship wave. Fountains, and ye that warble as ye flow,

195 Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. Join voices all ye living Souls; ye Birds, That singing up to Heav'n gate ascend, Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise. Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep; Witness if I be silent, morn or even, To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise. Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still

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To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd ought of evil or conceald,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.

So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts
Firm peace recover'd soon and wonted calm.
On to their morning's rural work they haste
Among sweet dews and flow'rs; where any row
Of fruit-trees over-woody reach'd too far
Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check
Fruitless embraces: or they led the vine

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To wed her elm; she spous'd about him twines
Her marriageable arms, and with her brings
Her dow'r th' adopted clusters, to adorn
His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld
With pity Heav'n's high king, and to him call's 220
Raphael, the sociable Spi'rit, that deign'd
To travel with Tobias, and secur'd

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His marriage with the sev’ntimes-wedded maid.

RAPHALL, said he, thou hear'st what stir on earth Satan from Hell scap'd through the darksome gulf 225 Hath rais'd in Paradise, and how disturb'd This night the human pair, how he designs In them at once to ruin all mankind. Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend Converse with Adam, in what bow'r or shade 23 Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retir'd, To respite his day labour with repast, Or with repose ; and such discourse bring on, As may advise him of his happy state, Happiness in his pow'r left free to will,

235 Left to his own free will, his will though frec, Yet mutable : whence warn him to beware He swerve not too secure : tell him withal His danger, and from whom; what enemy, Late fall’n himself from Heav'n, is plotting now 240 The fall of others from like state of bliss; By violence ? No, for that shall be withstood; But by deceit and lies; this let him know, Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend Surprisal, unadmonish’d, unforewarn’d.

245 So spake th' eternal Father, and fulfil'd All justice: nor delay'd the winged Saint After his charge receiv'd; but from among Thousand celestial Ardors, where he stood Veild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light 250 Flew through the midst of Heav'n; th' angelic quires, On each hand parting, to his speed gave way

Through all thempyreal road; till at the gate
Of Heav'n arriv'd, the gate self-open'd wide

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On golden hinges turning, as by work
Divine the sov'reign Architect had fram'd.
From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
Star interpos'd, however small he sees,
Not unconform to other shining globes,
Earth and the gard'n of God, with cedars crown'd
Above all hills. As when by night the glass 261
Of Galileo, less assur’d, observes
Imagin'd lands and regions in the moon :
Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades
Delos or Samos first appearing, kens

265 A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan Winnows the buxom air: till within soar Of tow'ring eagles, to all the fowls he seems A Phænix, gaz'd by all; as that sole bird, When to inshrine his reliques in the sun's Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he fies. At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise

275 He lights, and to his proper shape returns A Seraph wing'd; six wings he wore, to shade His lineaments divine; the pair that clad Each shoulder broad, came mantling o'er his breast With regal ornament: the middle pair

280 Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold

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And colours dipt in Heav'n; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail,
Sky-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood, 285
And shook his plumes, that heav'nly fragrance fill'd
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands
Of Angels under watch ; and to his state,
And to his message high in honour rise;
For on some message high they guess'd him bound.
Their glittering tents he pass’d, and now is come 291
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flow'ring odours, cassia, nard, and balm ;
A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will 295
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more-sweet,
Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss.
Him through the spicy forest onward come
Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat
Of his cool bow'r, while now the mounted sun 300
Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm
Earth's inmost womb, more warmth than Adam needs :
And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd
For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetitgnand not disrelish thirst

305 Of necta'toys ddaughts between, from milky stream, Berry or grape: to whom thus Adam call’d.

Haste hither Eve, and worth thy sight behold Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving ; seems another morn 310 Ris'n on mid noon; some great behest from Heaven To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe

This day to be our guest. But go with speed,
And what thy stores contain, bring forth and pour
Abundance, fit to honour and receive

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Our heav'nly stranger : well we may afford
Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow
From large bestow'd, where Nature multiplies
Her fertile growth, and by disburd’ning grows
More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. 320

To whom thus Eve. Adam, earth's hallow'd mould, Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes : 325 But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice To entertain our Angel guest, as he Beholding shall confess, that here on Earth God hath dispens'd his bounties as in Heaven. 330

So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent What choice to choose for delicacy best, What order, so contriv'd as not to mix wet184 Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bringtisgy 335 Taste after taste upheld with kindliest chango: Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Whatever Earth all-bearing mother yields In India East or West, or middle shore In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where

340 Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat Rough or smooth rin’d, or bearded husk, or shell,

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