Descend from Heav'n Urania, by that Name
If rightly thou art call'd, whose Voice divine

Following, above th' OLYMPIAN Hill I soare,

Above the flight of PEGASEAN wing.

The meaning, not the Name I call: for thou

Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top

Of old OLYMPUS dwell'st, but Heav'nlie borne,

Before the Hills appeerd, or Fountain flow'd,

Thou with Eternal wisdom didst converse,

Wisdom thy Sister, and with her didst play

In presence of th' Almightie Father, pleas'd

With thy Celestial Song. Up led by thee

Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd,

An Earthlie Guest, and drawn Empyreal Aire,

Thy tempring; with like safetie guided down

Return me to my Native Element:

Least from this flying Steed unrein'd, (as once

BELLEROPHON, though from a lower Clime)

Dismounted, on th' ALEIAN Field I fall

Erroneous, there to wander and forlorne.

Half yet remaines unsung, but narrower bound

Within the visible Diurnal Spheare;

Standing on Earth, not rapt above the Pole,

More safe I Sing with mortal voice, unchang'd

To hoarce or mute, though fall'n on evil dayes,

On evil dayes though fall'n, and evil tongues;

In darkness, and with dangers compast rouud,

And solitude; yet not alone, while thou

Visit'st my slumbers Nightly, or when Morn

Purples the East: still govern thou my Song,

URANIA, and fit audience find, though few.

But drive farr off the barbarous dissonance

Of BACCHUS and his Revellers, the Race

Of that wilde Rout that tore the THRACIAN Bard

In RHODOPE, where Woods and Rocks had Eares

To rapture, till the savage clamor dround

Both Harp and Voice; nor could the Muse defend

Her Son. So fail not thou, who thee implores:

For thou art Heav'nlie, shee an empty dreame.

Say Goddess, what ensu'd when RAPHAEL,

The affable Arch-angel, had forewarn'd

ADAM by dire example to beware

Apostasie, by what befell in Heaven

To those Apostates, least the like befall

In Paradise to ADAM or his Race,

Charg'd not to touch the interdicted Tree,

If they transgress, and slight that sole command,

So easily obeyd amid the choice

Of all tasts else to please thir appetite,

Though wandring. He with his consorted EVE

The storie heard attentive, and was fill'd

With admiration, and deep Muse to heare

Of things so high and strange, things to thir thought

So unimaginable as hate in Heav'n,

And Warr so neer the Peace of God in bliss

With such confusion: but the evil soon

Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those

From whom it sprung, impossible to mix

With Blessedness. Whence ADAM soon repeal'd

The doubts that in his heart arose: and now

Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know

What neerer might concern him, how this World

Of Heav'n and Earth conspicuous first began,

When, and whereof created, for what cause,

What within EDEN or without was done

Before his memorie, as one whose drouth

Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current streame,

Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,

Proceeded thus to ask his Heav'nly Guest.

Great things, and full of wonder in our eares,

Farr differing from this World, thou hast reveal'd

Divine Interpreter, by favour sent

Down from the Empyrean to forewarne

Us timely of what might else have bin our loss,

Unknown, which human knowledg could not reach:

For which to the infinitly Good we owe

Immortal thanks, and his admonishment

Receave with solemne purpose to observe

Immutably his sovran will, the end

Of what we are. But since thou hast voutsaf't

Gently for our instruction to impart

Things above Earthly thought, which yet concernd

Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemd,

Deign to descend now lower, and relate

What may no less perhaps availe us known,

How first began this Heav'n which we behold

Distant so high, with moving Fires adornd

Innumerable, and this which yeelds or fills

All space, the ambient Aire wide interfus'd

Imbracing round this florid Earth, what cause

Mov'd the Creator in his holy Rest

Through all Eternitie so late to build

In CHAOS, and the work begun, how soon

Absolv'd, if unforbid thou maist unfould

What wee, not to explore the secrets aske

Of his Eternal Empire, but the more

To magnifie his works, the more we know.

And the great Light of Day yet wants to run

Much of his Race though steep, suspens in Heav'n

Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he heares,

And longer will delay to heare thee tell

His Generation, and the rising Birth

Of Nature from the unapparent Deep:

Or if the Starr of Eevning and the Moon

Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring

Silence, and Sleep listning to thee will watch,

Or we can bid his absence, till thy Song

End, and dismiss thee ere the Morning shine.

Thus ADAM his illustrous Guest besought:

And thus the Godlike Angel answerd milde.

This also thy request with caution askt

Obtaine: though to recount Almightie works

What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice,

Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?

Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve

To glorifie the Maker, and inferr

Thee also happier, shall not be withheld

Thy hearing, such Commission from above

I have receav'd, to answer thy desire

Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain

To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope

Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King,

Onely Omniscient, hath supprest in Night,

To none communicable in Earth or Heaven:

Anough is left besides to search and know.

But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less

Her Temperance over Appetite, to know

In measure what the mind may well contain,

Oppresses else with Surfet, and soon turns

Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Winde.

Know then, that after LUCIFER from Heav'n

(So call him, brighter once amidst the Host

Of Angels, then that Starr the Starrs among)

Fell with his flaming Legions through the Deep

Into his place, and the great Son returnd

Victorious with his Saints, th' Omnipotent

Eternal Father from his Throne beheld

Thir multitude, and to his Son thus spake.

At least our envious Foe hath fail'd, who thought

All like himself rebellious, by whose aid

This inaccessible high strength, the seat

Of Deitie supream, us dispossest,

He trusted to have seis'd, and into fraud

Drew many, whom thir place knows here no more;

Yet farr the greater part have kept, I see,

Thir station, Heav'n yet populous retaines

Number sufficient to possess her Realmes

Though wide, and this high Temple to frequent

With Ministeries due and solemn Rites:

But least his heart exalt him in the harme

Already done, to have dispeopl'd Heav'n,

My damage fondly deem'd, I can repaire

That detriment, if such it be to lose

Self-lost, and in a moment will create

Another World, out of one man a Race

Of men innumerable, there to dwell,

Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd

They open to themselves at length the way

Up hither, under long obedience tri'd,

And Earth be chang'd to Heavn, Heav'n to Earth,

One Kingdom, Joy and Union without end.

Mean while inhabit laxe, ye Powers of Heav'n,

And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee

This I perform, speak thou, and be it don:

My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee

I send along, ride forth, and bid the Deep

Within appointed bounds be Heav'n and Earth,

Boundless the Deep, because I am who fill

Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.

Though I uncircumscrib'd my self retire,

And put not forth my goodness, which is free

To act or not, Necessitie and Chance

Approach not mee, and what I will is Fate.

So spake th' Almightie, and to what he spake

His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect.

Immediate are the Acts of God, more swift

Then time or motion, but to human ears

Cannot without process of speech be told,

So told as earthly notion can receave.

Great triumph and rejoycing was in Heav'n

When such was heard declar'd the Almightie's will;

Glorie they sung to the most High, good will

To future men, and in thir dwellings peace:

Glorie to him whose just avenging ire

Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight

And th' habitations of the just; to him

Glorie and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd

Good out of evil to create, in stead

Of Spirits maligne a better Race to bring

Into thir vacant room, and thence diffuse

His good to Worlds and Ages infinite.

So sang the Hierarchies: Mean while the Son

On his great Expedition now appeer'd,

Girt with Omnipotence, with Radiance crown'd

Of Majestie Divine, Sapience and Love

Immense, and all his Father in him shon.

About his Chariot numberless were pour'd

Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,

And Vertues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing'd,

From the Armoury of God, where stand of old

Myriads between two brazen Mountains lodg'd

Against a solemn day, harnest at hand,

Celestial Equipage; and now came forth

Spontaneous, for within them Spirit livd,

Attendant on thir Lord: Heav'n op'nd wide

Her ever during Gates, Harmonious sound

On golden Hinges moving, to let forth

The King of Glorie in his powerful Word

And Spirit coming to create new Worlds.

On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore

They view'd the vast immeasurable Abyss

Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde,

Up from the bottom turn'd by furious windes

And surging waves, as Mountains to assault

Heav'ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole.

Silence, ye troubl'd waves, and thou Deep, peace,

Said then th' Omnific Word, your discord end:

Nor staid, but on the Wings of Cherubim

Uplifted, in Paternal Glorie rode

Farr into CHAOS, and the World unborn;

For CHAOS heard his voice: him all his Traine

Follow'd in bright procession to behold

Creation, and the wonders of his might.

Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand

He took the golden Compasses, prepar'd

In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe

This Universe, and all created things:

One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd

Round through the vast profunditie obscure,

And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy bounds,

This be thy just Circumference, O World.

Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth,

Matter unform'd and void: Darkness profound

Cover'd th' Abyss: but on the watrie calme

His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspred,

And vital vertue infus'd, and vital warmth

Throughout the fluid Mass, but downward purg'd

The black tartareous cold infernal dregs

Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd

Like things to like, the rest to several place

Disparted, and between spun out the Air,

And Earth self-ballanc't on her Center hung.

Let ther be Light, said God, and forthwith Light

Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure

Sprung from the Deep, and from her Native East

To journie through the airie gloom began,

Sphear'd in a radiant Cloud, for yet the Sun

Was not; shee in a cloudie Tabernacle

Sojourn'd the while. God saw the Light was good;

And light from darkness by the Hemisphere

Divided: Light the Day, and Darkness Night

He nam'd. Thus was the first Day Eev'n and Morn:

Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung

By the Celestial Quires, when Orient Light

Exhaling first from Darkness they beheld;

Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and shout

The hollow Universal Orb they fill'd,

And touch't thir Golden Harps, hymning prais'd

God and his works, Creatour him they sung,

Both when first Eevning was, and when first Morn.

Again, God said, let ther be Firmament

Amid the Waters, and let it divide

The Waters from the Waters: and God made

The Firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,

Transparent, Elemental Air, diffus'd

In circuit to the uttermost convex

Of this great Round: partition firm and sure,

The Waters underneath from those above

Dividing: for as Earth, so hee the World

Built on circumfluous Waters calme, in wide

Crystallin Ocean, and the loud misrule

Of CHAOS farr remov'd, least fierce extreames

Contiguous might distemper the whole frame:

And Heav'n he nam'd the Firmament: So Eev'n

And Morning CHORUS sung the second Day.

The Earth was form'd, but in the Womb as yet

Of Waters, Embryon immature involv'd,

Appeer'd not: over all the face of Earth

Main Ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warme

Prolific humour soft'ning all her Globe,

Fermented the great Mother to conceave,

Satiate with genial moisture, when God said

Be gather'd now ye Waters under Heav'n

Into one place, and let dry Land appeer.

Immediately the Mountains huge appeer

Emergent, and thir broad bare backs upheave

Into the Clouds, thir tops ascend the Skie:

So high as heav'd the tumid Hills, so low

Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,

Capacious bed of Waters: thither they

Hasted with glad precipitance, uprowld

As drops on dust conglobing from the drie;

Part rise in crystal Wall, or ridge direct,

For haste; such flight the great command impress'd

On the swift flouds: as Armies at the call

Of Trumpet (for of Armies thou hast heard)

Troop to thir Standard, so the watrie throng,

Wave rowling after Wave, where way they found,

If steep, with torrent rapture, if through Plaine,

Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them Rock or Hill,

But they, or under ground, or circuit wide

With Serpent errour wandring, found thir way,

And on the washie Oose deep Channels wore;

Easie, e're God had bid the ground be drie,

All but within those banks, where Rivers now

Stream, and perpetual draw thir humid traine.

The dry Land, Earth, and the great receptacle

Of congregated Waters he call'd Seas:

And saw that it was good, and said, Let th' Earth

Put forth the verdant Grass, Herb yeilding Seed,

And Fruit Tree yeilding Fruit after her kind;

Whose Seed is in her self upon the Earth.

He scarce had said, when the bare Earth, till then

Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd,

Brought forth the tender Grass, whose verdure clad

Her Universal Face with pleasant green,

Then Herbs of every leaf, that sudden flour'd

Op'ning thir various colours, and made gay

Her bosom smelling sweet: and these scarce blown,

Forth flourish't thick the clustring Vine, forth crept

The smelling Gourd, up stood the cornie Reed

Embattell'd in her field: add the humble Shrub,

And Bush with frizl'd hair implicit: last

Rose as in Dance the stately Trees, and spred

Thir branches hung with copious Fruit; or gemm'd

Thir Blossoms: with high Woods the Hills were crownd,

With tufts the vallies each fountain side,

With borders long the Rivers. That Earth now

Seemd like to Heav'n, a seat where Gods might dwell,

Or wander with delight, and love to haunt

Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rain'd

Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground

None was, but from the Earth a dewie Mist

Went up and waterd all the ground, and each

Plant of the field, which e're it was in the Earth

God made, and every Herb, before it grew

On the green stemm; God saw that it was good:

So Eev'n and Morn recorded the Third Day.

Again th' Almightie spake: Let there be Lights

High in th' expanse of Heaven to divide

The Day from Night; and let them be for Signes,

For Seasons, and for Dayes, and circling Years,

And let them be for Lights as I ordaine

Thir Office in the Firmament of Heav'n

To give Light on the Earth; and it was so.

And God made two great Lights, great for thir use

To Man, the greater to have rule by Day,

The less by Night alterne: and made the Starrs,

And set them in the Firmament of Heav'n

To illuminate the Earth, and rule the Day

In thir vicissitude, and rule the Night,

And Light from Darkness to divide. God saw,

Surveying his great Work, that it was good:

For of Celestial Bodies first the Sun

A mightie Spheare he fram'd, unlightsom first,

Though of Ethereal Mould: then form'd the Moon

Globose, and everie magnitude of Starrs,

And sowd with Starrs the Heav'n thick as a field:

Of Light by farr the greater part he took,

Transplanted from her cloudie Shrine, and plac'd

In the Suns Orb, made porous to receive

And drink the liquid Light, firm to retaine

Her gather'd beams, great Palace now of Light.

Hither as to thir Fountain other Starrs

Repairing, in thir gold'n Urns draw Light,

And hence the Morning Planet guilds his horns;

By tincture or reflection they augment

Thir small peculiar, though from human sight

So farr remote, with diminution seen.

First in his East the glorious Lamp was seen,

Regent of Day, and all th' Horizon round

Invested with bright Rayes, jocond to run

His Longitude through Heav'ns high rode: the gray

Dawn, and the PLEIADES before him danc'd

Shedding sweet influence: less bright the Moon,

But opposite in leveld West was set

His mirror, with full face borrowing her Light

From him, for other light she needed none

In that aspect, and still that distance keepes

Till night, then in the East her turn she shines,

Revolvd on Heav'ns great Axle, and her Reign

With thousand lesser Lights dividual holds,

With thousand thousand Starres, that then appeer'd

Spangling the Hemisphere: then first adornd

With thir bright Luminaries that Set and Rose,

Glad Eevning glad Morn crownd the fourth day.

And God said, let the Waters generate

Reptil with Spawn abundant, living Soule:

And let Fowle flie above the Earth, with wings

Displayd on the op'n Firmament of Heav'n.

And God created the great Whales, and each

Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously

The waters generated by thir kindes,

And every Bird of wing after his kinde;

And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying,

Be fruitful, multiply, and in the Seas

And Lakes and running Streams the waters fill;

And let the Fowle be multiply'd on the Earth.

Forthwith the Sounds and Seas, each Creek Bay

With Frie innumerable swarme, and Shoales

Of Fish that with thir Finns and shining Scales

Glide under the green Wave, in Sculles that oft

Bank the mid Sea: part single or with mate

Graze the Sea weed thir pasture, through Groves

Of Coral stray, or sporting with quick glance

Show to the Sun thir wav'd coats dropt with Gold,

Or in thir Pearlie shells at ease, attend

Moist nutriment, or under Rocks thir food

In jointed Armour watch: on smooth the Seale,

And bended Dolphins play: part huge of bulk

Wallowing unweildie, enormous in thir Gate

Tempest the Ocean: there Leviathan

Hugest of living Creatures, on the Deep

Stretcht like a Promontorie sleeps or swimmes,

And seems a moving Land, and at his Gilles

Draws in, and at his Trunck spouts out a Sea.

Mean while the tepid Caves, and Fens and shoares

Thir Brood as numerous hatch, from the Egg that soon

Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos'd

Thir callow young, but featherd soon and fledge

They summ'd thir Penns, and soaring th' air sublime

With clang despis'd the ground, under a cloud

In prospect; there the Eagle and the Stork

On Cliffs and Cedar tops thir Eyries build:

Part loosly wing the Region, part more wise

In common, rang'd in figure wedge thir way,

Intelligent of seasons, and set forth

Thir Aierie Caravan high over Sea's

Flying, and over Lands with mutual wing

Easing thir flight; so stears the prudent Crane

Her annual Voiage, born on Windes; the Aire

Floats, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes:

From Branch to Branch the smaller Birds with song

Solac'd the Woods, and spred thir painted wings

Till Ev'n, nor then the solemn Nightingal

Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft layes:

Others on Silver Lakes and Rivers Bath'd

Thir downie Brest; the Swan with Arched neck

Between her white wings mantling proudly, Rowes

Her state with Oarie feet: yet oft they quit

The Dank, and rising on stiff Pennons, towre

The mid Aereal Skie: Others on ground

Walk'd firm; the crested Cock whose clarion sounds

The silent hours, and th' other whose gay Traine

Adorns him, colour'd with the Florid hue

Of Rainbows and Starrie Eyes. The Waters thus

With Fish replenisht, and the Aire with Fowle,

Ev'ning and Morn solemniz'd the Fift day.

The Sixt, and of Creation last arose

With Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said,

Let th' Earth bring forth Fowle living in her kinde,

Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,

Each in their kinde. The Earth obey'd, and strait

Op'ning her fertil Woomb teem'd at a Birth

Innumerous living Creatures, perfet formes,

Limb'd and full grown: out of the ground up-rose

As from his Laire the wilde Beast where he wonns

In Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den;

Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk'd:

The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green:

Those rare and solitarie, these in flocks

Pasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung:

The grassie Clods now Calv'd, now half appeer'd

The Tawnie Lion, pawing to get free

His hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds,

And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; the Ounce,

The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the Moale

Rising, the crumbl'd Earth above them threw

In Hillocks; the swift Stag from under ground

Bore up his branching head: scarse from his mould

BEHEMOTH biggest born of Earth upheav'd

His vastness: Fleec't the Flocks and bleating rose,

As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and Land

The River Horse and scalie Crocodile.

At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,

Insect or Worme; those wav'd thir limber fans

For wings, and smallest Lineaments exact

In all the Liveries dect of Summers pride

With spots of Gold and Purple, azure and green:

These as a line thir long dimension drew,

Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all

Minims of Nature; some of Serpent kinde

Wondrous in length and corpulence involv'd

Thir Snakie foulds, and added wings. First crept

The Parsimonious Emmet, provident

Of future, in small room large heart enclos'd,

Pattern of just equalitie perhaps

Hereafter, join'd in her popular Tribes

Of Commonaltie: swarming next appeer'd

The Femal Bee that feeds her Husband Drone

Deliciously, and builds her waxen Cells

With Honey stor'd: the rest are numberless,

And thou thir Natures know'st, and gav'st them Names,

Needlest to thee repeaed; nor unknown

The Serpent suttl'st Beast of all the field,

Of huge extent somtimes, with brazen Eyes

And hairie Main terrific, though to thee

Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.

Now Heav'n in all her Glorie shon, and rowld

Her motions, as the great first-Movers hand

First wheeld thir course; Earth in her rich attire

Consummate lovly smil'd; Aire, Water, Earth,

By Fowl, Fish, Beast, was flown, was swum, was walkt

Frequent; and of the Sixt day yet remain'd;

There wanted yet the Master work, the end

Of all yet don; a Creature who not prone

And Brute as other Creatures, but endu'd

With Sanctitie of Reason, might erect

His Stature, and upright with Front serene

Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence

Magnanimous to correspond with Heav'n,

But grateful to acknowledge whence his good

Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyes

Directed in Devotion, to adore

And worship God Supream, who made him chief

Of all his works: therefore the Omnipotent

Eternal Father (For where is not hee

Present) thus to his Son audibly spake.

Let us make now Man in our image, Man

In our similitude, and let them rule

Over the Fish and Fowle of Sea and Aire,

Beast of the Field, and over all the Earth,

And every creeping thing that creeps the ground.

This said, he formd thee, ADAM, thee O Man

Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd

The breath of Life; in his own Image hee

Created thee, in the Image of God

Express, and thou becam'st a living Soul.

Male he created thee, but thy consort

Femal for Race; then bless'd Mankinde, and said,

Be fruitful, multiplie, and fill the Earth,

Subdue it, and throughout Dominion hold

Over Fish of the Sea, and Fowle of the Aire,

And every living thing that moves on the Earth.

Wherever thus created, for no place

Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know'st

He brought thee into this delicious Grove,

This Garden, planted with the Trees of God,

Delectable both to behold and taste;

And freely all thir pleasant fruit for food

Gave thee, all sorts are here that all th' Earth yeelds,

Varietie without end; but of the Tree

Which tasted works knowledge of Good and Evil,

Thou mai'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou di'st;

Death is the penaltie impos'd, beware,

And govern well thy appetite, least sin

Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death.

Here finish'd hee, and all that he had made

View'd, and behold all was entirely good;

So Ev'n and Morn accomplish'd the Sixt day:

Yet not till the Creator from his work

Desisting, though unwearied, up returnd

Up to the Heav'n of Heav'ns his high abode,

Thence to behold this new created World

Th' addition of his Empire, how it shew'd

In prospect from his Throne, how good, how faire,

Answering his great Idea. Up he rode

Followd with acclamation and the sound

Symphonious of ten thousand Harpes that tun'd

Angelic harmonies: the Earth, the Aire

Resounded, (thou remember'st, for thou heardst)

The Heav'ns and all the Constellations rung,

The Planets in thir stations list'ning stood,

While the bright Pomp ascended jubilant.

Open, ye everlasting Gates, they sung,

Open, ye Heav'ns, your living dores; let in

The great Creator from his work returnd

Magnificent, his Six days work, a World;

Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deigne

To visit oft the dwellings of just Men

Delighted, and with frequent intercourse

Thither will send his winged Messengers

On errands of supernal Grace. So sung

The glorious Train ascending: He through Heav'n,

That open'd wide her blazing Portals, led

To Gods Eternal house direct the way,

A broad and ample rode, whose dust is Gold

And pavement Starrs, as Starrs to thee appeer,

Seen in the Galaxie, that Milkie way

Which nightly as a circling Zone thou seest

Pouderd with Starrs. And now on Earth the Seaventh

Eev'ning arose in EDEN, for the Sun

Was set, and twilight from the East came on,

Forerunning Night; when at the holy mount

Of Heav'ns high-seated top, th' Impereal Throne

Of Godhead, fixt for ever firm and sure,

The Filial Power arriv'd, and sate him down

With his great Father (for he also went

Invisible, yet staid (such priviledge

Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd,

Author and end of all things, and from work

Now resting, bless'd and hallowd the Seav'nth day,

As resting on that day from all his work,

But not in silence holy kept; the Harp

Had work and rested not, the solemn Pipe,

And Dulcimer, all Organs of sweet stop,

All sounds on Fret by String or Golden Wire

Temper'd soft Tunings, intermixt with Voice

Choral or Unison: of incense Clouds

Fuming from Golden Censers hid the Mount.

Creation and the Six dayes acts they sung,

Great are thy works, JEHOVAH, infinite

Thy power; what thought can measure thee or tongue

Relate thee; greater now in thy return

Then from the Giant Angels; thee that day

Thy Thunders magnifi'd; but to create

Is greater then created to destroy.

Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound

Thy Empire? easily the proud attempt

Of Spirits apostat and thir Counsels vaine

Thou hast repeld, while impiously they thought

Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw

The number of thy worshippers. Who seekes

To lessen thee, against his purpose serves

To manifest the more thy might: his evil

Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.

Witness this new-made World, another Heav'n

From Heaven Gate not farr, founded in view

On the cleer HYALINE, the Glassie Sea;

Of amplitude almost immense, with Starr's

Numerous, and every Starr perhaps a World

Of destind habitation; but thou know'st

Thir seasons: among these the seat of men,

Earth with her nether Ocean circumfus'd,

Thir pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happie men,

And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanc't,

Created in his Image, there to dwell

And worship him, and in reward to rule

Over his Works, on Earth, in Sea, or Air,

And multiply a Race of Worshippers

Holy and just: thrice happie if they know

Thir happiness, and persevere upright.

So sung they, and the Empyrean rung,

With HALLELUIAHS: Thus was Sabbath kept.

And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd

How first this World and face of things began,

And what before thy memorie was don

From the beginning, that posteritie

Informd by thee might know; if else thou seekst

Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.

To whom thus ADAM gratefully repli'd.

What thanks sufficient, or what recompence

Equal have I to render thee, Divine

Hystorian, who thus largely hast allayd

The thirst I had of knowledge, and voutsaf't

This friendly condescention to relate

Things else by me unsearchable, now heard

VVith wonder, but delight, and, as is due,

With glorie attributed to the high

Creator; some thing yet of doubt remaines,

VVhich onely thy solution can resolve.

VVhen I behold this goodly Frame, this VVorld

Of Heav'n and Earth consisting, and compute,

Thir magnitudes, this Earth a spot, a graine,

An Atom, with the Firmament compar'd

And all her numberd Starrs, that seem to rowle

Spaces incomprehensible (for such

Thir distance argues and thir swift return

Diurnal) meerly to officiate light

Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot,

One day and night; in all thir vast survey

Useless besides, reasoning I oft admire,

How Nature wise and frugal could commit

Such disproportions, with superfluous hand

So many nobler Bodies to create,

Greater so manifold to this one use,

For aught appeers, and on thir Orbs impose

Such restless revolution day by day

Repeated, while the sedentarie Earth,

That better might with farr less compass move,

Serv'd by more noble then her self, attaines

Her end without least motion, and receaves,

As Tribute such a sumless journey brought

Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;

Speed, to describe whose swiftness Number failes.

So spake our Sire, and by his count'nance seemd

Entring on studious thoughts abstruse, which EVE

Perceaving where she sat retir'd in sight,

With lowliness Majestic from her seat,

And Grace that won who saw to wish her stay,

Rose, and went forth among her Fruits and Flours,

To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom,

Her Nurserie; they at her coming sprung

And toucht by her fair tendance gladlier grew.

Yet went she not, as not with such discourse

Delighted, or not capable her eare

Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv'd,

ADAM relating, she sole Auditress;

Her Husband the Relater she preferr'd

Before the Angel, and of him to ask

Chose rather; hee, she knew would intermix

Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute

With conjugal Caresses, from his Lip

Not Words alone pleas'd her. O when meet now

Such pairs, in Love and mutual Honour joyn'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 repli'd.

To ask or search I blame thee not, for Heav'n

Is as the Book of God before thee set,

Wherein to read his wondrous Works, and learne

His Seasons, Hours, or Days, or Months, or Yeares:

This to attain, whether Heav'n move or Earth,

Imports not, if thou reck'n 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 list to try

Conjecture, he his Fabric of the Heav'ns

Hath left to thir disputes, perhaps to move

His laughter at thir quaint Opinions wide

Hereafter, when they come to model Heav'n

And calculate the Starrs, how they will weild

The mightie frame, how build, unbuild, contrive

To save appeerances, how gird the Sphear

With Centric and Eccentric scribl'd o're,

Cycle and Epicycle, Orb in Orb:

Alreadie by thy reasoning this I guess,

Who art to lead thy ofspring, and supposest

That Bodies bright and greater should not serve

The less not bright, nor Heav'n such journies run,

Earth sitting still, when she alone receaves

The benefit: consider first, that Great

Or Bright inferrs not Excellence: the Earth

Though, in comparison of Heav'n, so small,

Nor glistering, may of solid good containe

More plenty then the Sun that barren shines,

Whose vertue on it self workes no effect,

But in the fruitful Earth; there first receavd

His beams, unactive else, thir vigor find.

Yet not to Earth are those bright Luminaries

Officious, but to thee Earths habitant.

And for the Heav'ns wide Circuit, let it speak

The Makers high magnificence, who built

So spacious, and his Line stretcht out so farr;

That Man may know he dwells not in his own;

An Edifice too large for him to fill,

Lodg'd in a small partition, and the rest

Ordain'd for uses to his Lord best known.

The swiftness of those Circles attribute,

Though numberless, to his Omnipotence,

That to corporeal substances could adde

Speed almost Spiritual; mee thou thinkst not slow,

Who since the Morning hour set out from Heav'n

Where God resides, and ere mid-day arriv'd

In EDEN, distance inexpressible

By Numbers that have name. But this I urge,

Admitting Motion in the Heav'ns, to shew

Invalid that which thee to doubt it mov'd;

Not that I so affirm, though so it seem

To thee who hast thy dwelling here on Earth.

God to remove his wayes from human sense,

Plac'd Heav'n from Earth so farr, that earthly sight,

If it presume, might erre in things too high,

And no advantage gaine. What if the Sun

Be Center to the World, and other Starrs

By his attractive vertue and thir own

Incited, dance about him various rounds?

Thir wandring course now high, now low, then hid,

Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,

In six thou seest, and what if sev'nth to these

The Planet Earth, so stedfast though she seem,

Insensibly three different Motions move?

Which else to several Sphears thou must ascribe,

Mov'd contrarie with thwart obliquities,

Or save the Sun his labour, and that swift

Nocturnal and Diurnal rhomb suppos'd,

Invisible else above all Starrs, the Wheele

Of Day and Night; which needs not thy beleefe,

If Earth industrious of her self fetch Day

Travelling East, and with her part averse

From the Suns beam meet Night, her other part

Still luminous by his ray. What if that light

Sent from her through the wide transpicuous aire,

To the terrestrial Moon be as a Starr

Enlightning her by Day, as she by Night

This Earth? reciprocal, if Land be there,

Feilds and Inhabitants: Her spots thou seest

As Clouds, and Clouds may rain, and Rain produce

Fruits in her soft'nd Soile, for some to eate

Allotted there; and other Suns perhaps

With thir attendant Moons thou wilt descrie

Communicating Male and Femal Light,

Which two great Sexes animate the World,

Stor'd in each Orb perhaps with some that live.

For such vast room in Nature unpossest

By living Soule, desert and desolate,

Onely to shine, yet scarce to contribute

Each Orb a glimps of Light, conveyd so farr

Down to this habitable, which returnes

Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.

But whether thus these things, or whether not,

Whether the Sun predominant in Heav'n

Rise on the Earth, or Earth rise on the Sun,

Hee from the East his flaming rode begin,

Or Shee from West her silent course advance

With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps

On her soft Axle, while she paces Eev'n,

And bears thee soft with the smooth Air along,

Sollicit not thy thoughts with matters hid,

Leave them to God above, him serve and feare;

Of other Creatures, as him pleases best,

Wherever plac't, let him dispose: joy thou

In what he gives to thee, this Paradise

And thy faire EVE; Heav'n is for thee too high

To know what passes there; be lowlie wise:

Think onely what concernes thee and thy being;

Dream not of other Worlds, what Creatures there

Live, in what state, condition or degree,

Contented that thus farr hath been reveal'd

Not of Earth onely but of highest Heav'n.

To whom thus ADAM cleerd of doubt, repli'd.

How fully hast thou satisfi'd mee, pure

Intelligence of Heav'n, Angel serene,

And freed from intricacies, taught to live,

The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts

To interrupt the sweet of Life, from which

God hath bid dwell farr off all anxious cares,

And not molest us, unless we our selves

Seek them with wandring thoughts, and notions vaine.

But apt the Mind or Fancie is to roave

Uncheckt, and of her roaving is no end;

Till warn'd, or by experience taught, she learne,

That not to know at large of things remote

From use, obscure and suttle, but to know

That which before us lies in daily life,

Is the prime Wisdom, what is more, is fume,

Or emptiness, or fond impertinence,

And renders us in things that most concerne

Unpractis'd, unprepar'd, and still to seek.

Therefore from this high pitch let us descend

A lower flight, and speak of things at hand

Useful, whence haply mention may arise

Of somthing not unseasonable to ask

By sufferance, and thy wonted favour deign'd.

Thee I have heard relating what was don

Ere my remembrance: now hear mee relate

My Storie, which perhaps thou hast not heard;

And Day is yet not spent; till then thou seest

How suttly to detaine thee I devise,

Inviting thee to hear while I relate,

Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply:

For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heav'n,

And sweeter thy discourse is to my eare

Then Fruits of Palm-tree pleasantest to thirst

And hunger both, from labour, at the houre

Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill,

Though pleasant, but thy words with Grace Divine

Imbu'd, bring to thir sweetness no satietie.

To whom thus RAPHAEL answer'd heav'nly meek.

Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men,

Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee

Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd,

Inward and outward both, his image faire:

Speaking or mute all comliness and grace

Attends thee, and each word, each motion formes.

Nor less think wee in Heav'n of thee on Earth

Then of our fellow servant, and inquire

Gladly into the wayes of God with Man:

For God we see hath honour'd thee, and set

On Man his equal Love: say therefore on;

For I that Day was absent, as befell,

Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,

Farr on excursion toward the Gates of Hell;

Squar'd in full Legion (such command we had)

To see that none thence issu'd forth a spie,

Or enemie, while God was in his work,

Least hee incenst at such eruption bold,

Destruction with Creation might have mixt.

Not that they durst without his leave attempt,

But us he sends upon his high behests

For state, as Sovran King, and to enure

Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut

The dismal Gates, and barricado'd strong;

But long ere our approaching heard within

Noise, other then the sound of Dance or Song,

Torment, and lowd lament, and furious rage.

Glad we return'd up to the coasts of Light

Ere Sabbath Eev'ning: so we had in charge.

But thy relation now; for I attend,

Pleas'd with thy words no less then thou with mine.

So spake the Godlike Power, and thus our Sire.

For Man to tell how human Life began

Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?

Desire with thee still longer to converse

Induc'd me. As new wak't from soundest sleep

Soft on the flourie herb I found me laid

In Balmie Sweat, which with his Beames the Sun

Soon dri'd, and on the reaking moisture fed.

Strait toward Heav'n my wondring Eyes I turnd,

And gaz'd a while the ample Skie, till rais'd

By quick instinctive motion up I sprung,

As thitherward endevoring, and upright

Stood on my feet; about me round I saw

Hill, Dale, and shadie Woods, and sunnie Plaines,

And liquid Lapse of murmuring Streams; by these,

Creatures that livd, and movd, and walk'd, or flew,

Birds on the branches warbling; all things smil'd,

With fragrance and with joy my heart oreflow'd.

My self I then perus'd, and Limb by Limb

Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran

With supple joints, as lively vigour led:

But who I was, or where, or from what cause,

Knew not; to speak I tri'd, and forthwith spake,

My Tongue obey'd and readily could name

What e're I saw. Thou Sun, said I, faire Light,

And thou enlight'nd Earth, so fresh and gay,

Ye Hills and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plaines,

And ye that live and move, fair Creatures, tell,

Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here?

Not of my self; by some great Maker then,

In goodness and in power praeeminent;

Tell me, how may I know him, how adore,

From whom I have that thus I move and live,

And feel that I am happier then I know.

While thus I call'd, and stray'd I knew not whither,

From where I first drew Aire, and first beheld

This happie Light, when answer none return'd,

On a green shadie Bank profuse of Flours

Pensive I sate me down; there gentle sleep

First found me, and with soft oppression seis'd

My droused sense, untroubl'd, though I thought

I then was passing to my former state

Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:

When suddenly stood at my Head a dream,

Whose inward apparition gently mov'd

My Fancy to believe I yet had being,

And livd: One came, methought, of shape Divine,

And said, thy Mansion wants thee, ADAM, rise,

First Man, of Men innumerable ordain'd

First Father, call'd by thee I come thy Guide

To the Garden of bliss, thy seat prepar'd.

So saying, by the hand he took me rais'd,

And over Fields and Waters, as in Aire

Smooth sliding without step, last led me up

A woodie Mountain; whose high top was plaine,

A Circuit wide, enclos'd, with goodliest Trees

Planted, with Walks, and Bowers, that what I saw

Of Earth before scarse pleasant seemd. Each Tree

Load'n with fairest Fruit, that hung to the Eye

Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite

To pluck and eate; whereat I wak'd, and found

Before mine Eyes all real, as the dream

Had lively shadowd: Here had new begun

My wandring, had not hee who was my Guide

Up hither, from among the Trees appeer'd,

Presence Divine. Rejoycing, but with aw

In adoration at his feet I fell

Submiss: he rear'd me, Whom thou soughtst I am,

Said mildely, Author of all this thou seest

Above, or round about thee or beneath.

This Paradise I give thee, count it thine

To Till and keep, and of the Fruit to eate:

Of every Tree that in the Garden growes

Eate freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth:

But of the Tree whose operation brings

Knowledg of good and ill, which I have set

The Pledge of thy Obedience and thy Faith,

Amid the Garden by the Tree of Life,

Remember what I warne thee, shun to taste,

And shun the bitter consequence: for know,

The day thou eat'st thereof, my sole command

Transgrest, inevitably thou shalt dye;

From that day mortal, and this happie State

Shalt loose, expell'd from hence into a World

Of woe and sorrow. Sternly he pronounc'd

The rigid interdiction, which resounds

Yet dreadful in mine eare, though in my choice

Not to incur; but soon his cleer aspect

Return'd and gratious purpose thus renew'd.

Not onely these fair bounds, but all the Earth

To thee and to thy Race I give; as Lords

Possess it, and all things that therein live,

Or live in Sea, or Aire, Beast, Fish, and Fowle.

In signe whereof each Bird and Beast behold

After thir kindes; I bring them to receave

From thee thir Names, and pay thee fealtie

With low subjection; understand the same

Of Fish within thir watry residence,

Not hither summond, since they cannot change

Thir Element to draw the thinner Aire.

As thus he spake, each Bird and Beast behold

Approaching two and two, These cowring low

With blandishment, each Bird stoop'd on his wing.

I nam'd them, as they pass'd, and understood

Thir Nature, with such knowledg God endu'd

My sudden apprehension: but in these

I found not what me thought I wanted still;

And to the Heav'nly vision thus presum'd.

O by what Name, for thou above all these,

Above mankinde, or aught then mankinde higher,

Surpassest farr my naming, how may I

Adore thee, Author of this Universe,

And all this good to man, for whose well being

So amply, and with hands so liberal

Thou hast provided all things: but with mee

I see not who partakes. In solitude

What happiness, who can enjoy alone,

Or all enjoying, what contentment find?

Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright,

As with a smile more bright'nd, thus repli'd.

What call'st thou solitude, is not the Earth

With various living creatures, and the Aire

Replenisht, and all these at thy command

To come and play before thee, know'st thou not

Thir language and thir wayes, they also know,

And reason not contemptibly; with these

Find pastime, and beare rule; thy Realm is large.

So spake the Universal Lord, and seem'd

So ordering. I with leave of speech implor'd,

And humble deprecation thus repli'd.

Let not my words offend thee, Heav'nly Power,

My Maker, be propitious while I speak.

Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,

And these inferiour farr beneath me set?

Among unequals what societie

Can sort, what harmonie or true delight?

Which must be mutual, in proportion due

Giv'n and receiv'd; but in disparitie

The one intense, the other still remiss

Cannot well suite with either, but soon prove

Tedious alike: Of fellowship I speak

Such as I seek, fit to participate

All rational delight, wherein the brute

Cannot be human consort; they rejoyce

Each with thir kinde, Lion with Lioness;

So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin'd;

Much less can Bird with Beast, or Fish with Fowle

So well converse, nor with the Ox the Ape;

Wors then can Man with Beast, and least of all.

Whereto th' Almighty answer'd, not displeas'd.

A nice and suttle happiness I see

Thou to thy self proposest, in the choice

Of thy Associates, ADAM, and wilt taste

No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitarie.

What thinkst thou then of mee, and this my State,

Seem I to thee sufficiently possest

Of happiness, or not? who am alone

From all Eternitie, for none I know

Second to mee or like, equal much less.

How have I then with whom to hold converse

Save with the Creatures which I made, and those

To me inferiour, infinite descents

Beneath what other Creatures are to thee?

He ceas'd, I lowly answer'd. To attaine

The highth and depth of thy Eternal wayes

All human thoughts come short, Supream of things;

Thou in thy self art perfet, and in thee

Is no deficience found; not so is Man,

But in degree, the cause of his desire

By conversation with his like to help,

Or solace his defects. No need that thou

Shouldst propagat, already infinite;

And through all numbers absolute, though One;

But Man by number is to manifest

His single imperfection, and beget

Like of his like, his Image multipli'd,

In unitie defective, which requires

Collateral love, and deerest amitie.

Thou in thy secresie although alone,

Best with thy self accompanied, seek'st not

Social communication, yet so pleas'd,

Canst raise thy Creature to what highth thou wilt

Of Union or Communion, deifi'd;

I by conversing cannot these erect

From prone, nor in thir wayes complacence find.

Thus I embold'nd spake, and freedom us'd

Permissive, and acceptance found, which gain'd

This answer from the gratious voice Divine.

Thus farr to try thee, ADAM, I was pleas'd,

And finde thee knowing not of Beasts alone,

Which thou hast rightly nam'd, but of thy self,

Expressing well the spirit within thee free,

My Image, not imparted to the Brute,

Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee

Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike,

And be so minded still; I, ere thou spak'st,

Knew it not good for Man to be alone,

And no such companie as then thou saw'st

Intended thee, for trial onely brought,

To see how thou could'st judge of fit and meet:

What next I bring shall please thee, be assur'd,

Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,

Thy wish, exactly to thy hearts desire.

Hee ended, or I heard no more, for now

My earthly by his Heav'nly overpowerd,

Which it had long stood under, streind to the highth

In that celestial Colloquie sublime,

As with an object that excels the sense,

Dazl'd and spent, sunk down, and sought repair

Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call'd

By Nature as in aide, and clos'd mine eyes.

Mine eyes he clos'd, but op'n left the Cell

Of Fancie my internal sight, by which

Abstract as in a transe methought I saw,

Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape

Still glorious before whom awake I stood;

Who stooping op'nd my left side, and took

From thence a Rib, with cordial spirits warme,

And Life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound,

But suddenly with flesh fill'd up heal'd:

The Rib he formd and fashond with his hands;

Under his forming hands a Creature grew,

Manlike, but different sex, so lovly faire,

That what seemd fair in all the World, seemd now

Mean, or in her summd up, in her containd

And in her looks, which from that time infus'd

Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,

And into all things from her Aire inspir'd

The spirit of love and amorous delight.

She disappeerd, and left me dark, I wak'd

To find her, or for ever to deplore

Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure:

When out of hope, behold her, not farr off,

Such as I saw her in my dream, adornd

With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow

To make her amiable: On she came,

Led by her Heav'nly Maker, though unseen,

And guided by his voice, nor uninformd

Of nuptial Sanctitie and marriage Rites:

Grace was in all her steps, Heav'n in her Eye,

In every gesture dignitie and love.

I overjoyd could not forbear aloud.

This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfill'd

Thy words, Creator bounteous and benigne,

Giver of all things faire, but fairest this

Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see

Bone of my Bone, Flesh of my Flesh, my Self

Before me; Woman is her Name, of Man

Extracted; for this cause he shall forgoe

Father and Mother, and to his Wife adhere;

And they shall be one Flesh, one Heart, one Soule.

She heard me thus, and though divinely brought,

Yet Innocence and Virgin Modestie,

Her vertue and the conscience of her worth,

That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won,

Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retir'd,

The more desirable, or to say all,

Nature her self, though pure of sinful thought,

Wrought in her so, that seeing me, she turn'd;

I follow'd her, she what was Honour knew,

And with obsequious Majestie approv'd

My pleaded reason. To the Nuptial Bowre

I led her blushing like the Morn: all Heav'n,

And happie Constellations on that houre

Shed thir selectest influence; the Earth

Gave sign of gratulation, and each Hill;

Joyous the Birds; fresh Gales and gentle Aires

Whisper'd it to the Woods, and from thir wings

Flung Rose, flung Odours from the spicie Shrub,

Disporting, till the amorous Bird of Night

Sung Spousal, and bid haste the Eevning Starr

On his Hill top, to light the bridal Lamp.

Thus I have told thee all my State, and brought

My Storie to the sum of earthly bliss

Which I enjoy, and must confess to find

In all things else delight indeed, but such

As us'd or not, works in the mind no change,

Nor vehement desire, these delicacies

I mean of Taste, Sight, Smell, Herbs, Fruits, Flours,

Walks, and the melodie of Birds; but here

Farr otherwise, transported I behold,

Transported touch; here passion first I felt,

Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else

Superiour and unmov'd, here onely weake

Against the charm of Beauties powerful glance.

Or Nature faild in mee, and left some part

Not proof enough such Object to sustain,

Or from my side subducting, took perhaps

More then enough; at least on her bestow'd

Too much of Ornament, in outward shew

Elaborate, of inward less exact.

For well I understand in the prime end

Of Nature her th' inferiour, in the mind

And inward Faculties, which most excell,

In outward also her resembling less

His Image who made both, and less expressing

The character of that Dominion giv'n

O're other Creatures; yet when I approach

Her loveliness, so absolute she seems

And in her self compleat, so well to know

Her own, that what she wills to do or say,

Seems wisest, vertuousest, discreetest, best;

All higher knowledge in her presence falls

Degraded, Wisdom in discourse with her

Looses discount'nanc't, and like folly shewes;

Authoritie and Reason on her waite,

As one intended first, not after made

Occasionally; and to consummate all,

Greatness of mind and nobleness thir seat

Build in her loveliest, and create an awe

About her, as a guard Angelic plac't.

To whom the Angel with contracted brow.

Accuse not Nature, she hath don her part;

Do thou but thine, and be not diffident

Of Wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thou

Dismiss not her, when most thou needst her nigh,

By attributing overmuch to things

Less excellent, as thou thy self perceav'st.

For what admir'st thou, what transports thee so,

An outside? fair no doubt, and worthy well

Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love,

Not thy subjection: weigh with her thy self;

Then value: Oft times nothing profits more

Then self-esteem, grounded on just and right

Well manag'd; of that skill the more thou know'st,

The more she will acknowledge thee her Head,

And to realities yeild all her shows;

Made so adorn for thy delight the more,

So awful, that with honour thou maist love

Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise.

But if the sense of touch whereby mankind

Is propagated seem such dear delight

Beyond all other, think the same voutsaf't

To Cattel and each Beast; which would not be

To them made common divulg'd, if aught

Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue

The Soule of Man, or passion in him move.

What higher in her societie thou findst

Attractive, human, rational, love still;

In loving thou dost well, in passion not,

Wherein true Love consists not; love refines

The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat

In Reason, and is judicious, is the scale

By which to heav'nly Love thou maist ascend,

Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause

Among the Beasts no Mate for thee was found.

To whom thus half abash't ADAM repli'd.

Neither her out-side formd so fair, nor aught

In procreation common to all kindes

(Though higher of the genial Bed by far,

And with mysterious reverence I deem)

So much delights me, as those graceful acts,

Those thousand decencies that daily flow

From all her words and actions, mixt with Love

And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd

Union of Mind, or in us both one Soule;

Harmonie to behold in wedded pair

More grateful then harmonious sound to the eare.

Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose

What inward thence I feel, not therefore foild,

Who meet with various objects, from the sense

Variously representing; yet still free

Approve the best, and follow what I approve.

To love thou blam'st me not, for love thou saist

Leads up to Heav'n, is both the way and guide;

Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask;

Love not the heav'nly Spirits, and how thir Love

Express they, by looks onely, or do they mix

Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd

Celestial rosie red, Loves proper hue,

Answer'd. Let it suffice thee that thou know'st

Us happie, and without Love no happiness.

Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st

(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy

In eminence, and obstacle find none

Of membrane, joynt, or limb, exclusive barrs:

Easier then Air with Air, if Spirits embrace,

Total they mix, Union of Pure with Pure

Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need

As Flesh to mix with Flesh, or Soul with Soul.

But I can now no more; the parting Sun

Beyond the Earths green Cape and verdant Isles

HESPEREAN sets, my Signal to depart.

Be strong, live happie, and love, but first of all

Him whom to love is to obey, and keep

His great command; take heed least Passion sway

Thy Judgement to do aught, which else free Will

Would not admit; thine and of all thy Sons

The weal or woe in thee is plac't; beware.

I in thy persevering shall rejoyce,

And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or fall

Free in thine own Arbitrement it lies.

Perfet within, no outward aid require;

And all temptation to transgress repel.

So saying, he arose; whom ADAM thus

Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,

Go heavenly Guest, Ethereal Messenger,

Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore.

Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever

With grateful Memorie: thou to mankind

Be good and friendly still, and oft return.

So parted they, the Angel up to Heav'n

From the thick shade, and ADAM to his Bowre.


all night the dreadless angel
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