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In fellowships of joy, the sons of light
O Sons, like one of us Man is become
95 For ever, to remove him I decree, And send him from the garden forth to till The ground whence he was taken, fitter soil.
MICHAEL, this my behest have thou in charge, Take to thee from among the Cherubim
100 Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the Fiend, Or in behalf of Man, or to invade Vacant possession, some new trouble raise : Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God Without remorse drive out the sinful pair,
105 From hallow'd ground th' unholy,' and denounce To them and to their progeny from thence Perpetual banishment. Yet lest they faint At the sad sentence rigorously urg'd, For I behold them soften'd and with tears
Bewailing their excess, all terror hide.
He ceas’d; and the angelic Pow'r prepar'd For swift descent, with him the cohort bright Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each Had, like a double Janus, all their shape Spangled with eyes, more numerous than those 130 Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse, Charm’d with Arcadian pipe, the past'ral reed Of Hermes, or his opiaté rod. Meanwhile To re-salute the world with sacred light Leucothea wak’d, and with fresh dews imbalm'd 135 The earth, when Adam and first matron Eve Had ended now their orisons, and found Strength added from above, new hopes to spring Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet link'd; Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd. 140
Eve, easily may faith admit, that all
The good which we enjoy, from Heav'n descends;
150 Methought I saw him placable and mild, Bending his ear ; persuasion in me grew That I was heard with favour; peace return'd Home to my breast, and to my memory His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe; 153 Which then not minded in dismay, yet now Assures me that the bitterness of death Is past, and we shall live. Whence hail to thee, Eve rightly call’d, mother of all mankind, Mother of all things living, since by thee
160 Man is to live, and all things live for Man.
To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek, Ill worthy I such title should belong To me transgressor, who for thee ordain'd A help, became thy snare; to me reproach 165 Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise : But infinite in pardon was my Judge, That I who first brought death on all, am grac'd The source of life; next favourable thou, Who highly thus to' intitle me vouchsaf 'st, 170 Far other name deserving. But the field To labour calls us now with sweat impos'd,
Though after sleepless night; for see the morn,
So spake, so wish'd much-humbled Eve, but fate Subscrib'd not; Nature first gave signs, impressid On bird, beast, air, air suddenly eclips'd After short blush of morn; nigh in her sight The bird of Jove, stoop'd from his airy tour, 185 Two birds of gayest plume before him drove : Down from a hill the beast that reigns in woods, First hunter, then pursu'd a gentle brace, Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind; Direct to th'eastern gate was bent their flight. 190 Adam observ’d, and with his eye the chase Pursuing, not unmov'd to Eve thus spake.
O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh, Which Heav'n by these mute signs in nature shews, Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn
195 Us haply too secure of our discharge From penalty, because from death releas'd Some days; how long, and what till then our life, Who knows, or more than this, that we are dust, And thither must return and be no more? Why else this double object in our sight Of flight pursu'd in th' air, and o'er the ground, One way the self-same hour? why in the east
Darkness ere day's mid-course, and morning light
205 O'er the blue firmament a radiant white, And slow descends, with something heav'nly fraught?
He err'd not, for by this the heavenly bands
230 None of the meanest, some great Potentate Or of the Thrones above, such majesty Invests him coming; yet not terrible, That I should fear, nor sociably mild,