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Delighted, and with frequent intercourse
Thither will send his winged messengers

On errands of supernal grace. So sung

The glorious train ascending: He through Heaven,
That open'd wide her blazing portals, led
To God's eternal house direct the way,


A broad and ample road whose dust is gold
And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear,
Seen in the galaxy, that milky way,

Which nightly as a circling zone thou seest
Powder'd with stars.

And now on earth the seventh

in Eden, for the sun

Evening arose in E
Was set, and twilight from the east came on,
Forerunning night; when at the holy mount
Of Heaven's high seated top, th' imperial throne
Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Power arriv'd, and sat him down



With his great Father, for he also went
Invisible, yet stay'd, (such privilege

Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd,


Author and end of all things, and from work

Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the seventh 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 intermix'd with voice
Choral or unison: Of ineense clouds


Fuming from golden censers hid the mount.


Creation and the six days acts they sung,

Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite

Thy power; what thought can measure thee or tongue

Relate thee? Greator now in thy return

Than from the giant Angels; thee that day


Thy thunders magnify'd; but to create
Is greater than created to destroy.

Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy empire? Easily the proud attempt
Of Spi'rits apostate and their counsels vain


Thou hast repell'd, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw

The number of thy worshippers.

Who seeks

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 Heaven
From Heaven gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea:
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destin'd habitation; but thou know'st

Their seasons: Among these the seat of Men,
Earth with her nether ocean circumfus'd,



Their pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happy Men, 625

And sons of Men, whom God hath thus advanc'd,

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 happy if they know
Their 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 memory was done


From the beginning, that posterity

Inform'd by thee might know; if else thou seek'st
Ought, not surpassing human measure, say.







Adam inquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge: Adam assents, and still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society, his first meeting and nuptials with Eve, his discourse with the Angel thereupon: Who after admonitions repeated, departs.


HE Angel ended, and in Adam's ear

So charming left his voice, that he a while
Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hear;
Then as new wak'd thus gratefully reply'd.

What thanks sufficient, or what recompense
Equal have I to render thee, divine
Historian, who thus largely hast allay'd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and rouchsaf'd
This friendly condescension to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high

Creator? Something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.

When I behold this goodly frame, this world
Of Heaven and Earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes, this earth a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compar'd

And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible (for such




Their distance argues and their swift return
Diurnal) merely to officiate light

Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night, in all their 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 ought appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary earth,

That better might with far less compass move,
Serv'd by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives,
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.
So spake our sire, and by his count'nance seem'd
Ent'ring on studioas thoughts abstruse, which Eve
Perceiving 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 flowers,


To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom,
Her nursery; they at her coming sprung,
And touch'd by her fair tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear

Of what was high: Such pleasure she reserv'd,
Adam relating, she sole auditress;
Her husband the relator she preferr'd
Before the Angel, and of him to ask


Chose rather; he, 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 honor join'd?
With Goddess like demeanor 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 facile thus reply'd.


To ask or search I blame thee not, for Heaven

Is as the book of God before thee set,

Wherein to read his wond'rous works, and learn
His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years;
This to attain, whether Heav'n move or Earth
Imports not, if thou reckon 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 Heavens
Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide
Hereafter, when they come to model Heaven
And calculate the stars, how they will wield
The mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive
To save appearances, how gird the sphere
With centric and eccentric scribbled o'er,
Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb:




Already by thy reasoning this I guess,


Who art to lead thy offspring, 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 receives


The benefit: Consider first, that great
Or bright infers not excellence: The earth
Though, in comparison of Heav'n, so small,
Nor glist'ring, may of solid good contain
More plenty than the sun that barren shines,
Whose virtue on itself works no effect,
But in the fruitful earth; there first receiv'd
His beams, unactive else, their vigor find.
Yet not to earth are those bright luminaries
Officious, but to thee earth's habitant.

And for the Heaven's wide circuit, let it speak
The maker's high magnificence, who built
So spacious, and his line stretch'd out so far ;
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 add




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