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Satan with his perverted world, then raise
From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refind,
New heav'ns, new earth, ages of endless date
Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love, 550
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.
He ended; and thus Adam last reply'd.
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer bless'd,
Measur'd this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fix'd ? beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach :
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
Of knowledge, what this vessel can contain ;
Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
Henceforth I learn that to obey is best,
And love with fear the only God, to walk
As in his presence, ever to observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,
Merciful over all his works, with good
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simply meek; that suffering for truth's sake
Is fortitude to highest victory,
And to the faithful death the gate of life ;
Taught this by his example, whom I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever bless'd.
To whom thus also th' angel last reply'd. This having learn'd, thou hast attaind the sum 575
Of wisdom ; hope no higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by name, and all th’ ethereal
powers, All secrets of the deep, all nature's works, Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea, And all the riches of this world enjoy’dst, And all the rule, one empire; only add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith, Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love, By name to come call?d charity, the soul Of all the rest; then wilt thou not be loath To leave this paradise, but shalt possess A paradise within thee, happier far. Let us descend now therefore from this top Of speculation ; for the hour precise Exacts our parting hence; and see the guards, 590 By me encamp'd on yonder hill, expect Their motion, at whose front a flaming sword, In signal of remove, waves fiercely round; We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve; Her also I with gentle dreams have calm’d Portending good, and all her spirits compos’d To meek submission : thou at season fit Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard, Chiefly what may concern her faith to know, The great deliverance by her seed to come, (For by the woman's seed,) on all mankind :
589 speculation] So in Par. Reg. iv. 236.
this specular mount.' Richardson.
That ye may live, which will be many days,
Both in one faith unanimous, though sad
With cause for evils past; yet much more cheer'd
With meditation on the happy end.
He ended, and they both descend the hill;
Descended, Adam to the bower, where Eve
Lay sleeping, ran before, but found her wak'd;
And thus with words not sad she him receiv'd.
Whence thou return'st, and whither went’st, I
For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise,
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress
Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
In me is no delay; with thee to go
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me
Art all things under heaven, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.
This further consolation yet secure
I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf?d,
By me the promis'd seed shall all restore.
So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard
Well pleas’d, but answer'd not; for now too nigh 625
Th’ archangel stood, and from the other hill
To their fix'd station all in bright array
615 In me] Virg. Eclog. iii. 52.
In me mora non erit ulla.' Newton.
The cherubim descended; on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as evening mist
Risen from a river o'er the marish glides,
And gathers ground fast at the labourer's heel
Homeward returning. High in front advanc’d
The brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd
Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat,
And vapour as the Libyan air adust,
Began to parch that temperate clime : whereat
In either hand th' hast’ning angel caught
Our ling’ring parents, and to the eastern gate
Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast
To the subjected plain ; then disappear’d.
They looking back, all th’ eastern side beheld
Of paradise, so late their happy seat,
Wav'd over by that flaming brand, the gate
With dreadful faces throngd and fiery arms :
Some natural tears they dropp’d, but wip'd them
630 glides] See Dante Il Purgat. c. v. 37.
• Vapori accesi non vidio sì tosto
Di prima notte mai fender sereno,
Nè sol calando in nuvole d’Agosto.' 635 vapour] Hor. Epod. iii. 15.
· Nec tantus unquam siderum insedit vapor
Richardson. 635 air adust] Tasso Gier. Lib. vii. 52.
“Qual con le chiome sanguinose horrende
Splendor cometa suol per l'aria adusta. Boule. 643 brand] Sword. Gen. i. 24. Blade, xi. 12. Bentl. MS.
The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide. They, hand in hand, with wand’ring steps and slow, Through Eden took their solitary way.
646 world] Shakesp. Rich. II. act i. sc. 3.
all the world's my way.' Johnson.
• A small but artful paradise they walk’d,
And hand in hand sad gentle things they talk’d.' See Cowley's Davideis, p. 20.
648 wand'ring) Wearied. Careful. Social. Bentl. MS.