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Transported touch; here passion first I felt,
Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else
Superior and unmov'd, here only weak
Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance.
Or nature fail'd in me, and left some part
Not proof enough such object to sustain,
Or from my side subducting took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestow'd
Too much of ornament, in outward show
Elaborate, of inward less exact.


For well I understand in the prime end
Ofnature her th' inferior, in the mind
And inward faculties, which most excel,
In outward also her resembling less


His image who made both, and less expressing

The character of that dominion given


O'er other creatures; yet when I appproach

Her loveliness, so absolute she seems
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best;
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded, wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discount'nanc'd, and like folly shows;
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.



To whom the Angel with contracted brow. Accuse not nature, she hath done her part;


Do thou but thine, and be not diffident

Of wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thou

Dismiss not her, when most thou need'st her nigh,

By attributing overmuch to things


Less excellent, as thou thyself perceiv'st.

For what admir'st thou, what transports thee so,
An outside? Fair no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honoring, and thy love,
Not thy subjection: Weigh with her thyself;
Then value: Oft times nothing profits more


Than 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 yield all her shows :

Made so adorn for thy delight the more,

So awful, that with honor thou may'st love


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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 vouchsaf'd
To eattle and each beast; which would not be
To them made common and divulg'd, if ought
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue
The soul of man, or passion in him move.
What high'er in her society thou find'st
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 reas'on, and is judicious, is the scale
By which to heav'nly love thou may'st ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.
To whom thus half abash'd Adam reply'd.
Neither her outside form'd so fair, nor ought
In procreation common to all kinds
(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 mix'd with love

And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one soul:
Harmony to behold in wedded pair


More grateful than harmonious sound to th' ear.
Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose
What inward thence I feel, not therefore foil'd,
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 say❜st
Leads up to Heaven, is both the way and guide;

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Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask ;
Love not the heav'nly Spi'rits, and how their love
Express they, by looks only,' or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd
Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue,
Answer'd. Let it suffice thee that thou know'st
Us happy,' 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, joint, or limb, exclusive bars;
Easier than 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 earth's green Cape and verdant Isles
Hesperian sets, my signal to depart.





Be strong, live happy,' and love, but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep

His great command; take heed lest passion sway


Thy judgment to do ought, which else free will
Would not admit: Thine and of all thy sons
The weal or woe in thee is plac'd; beware.
I in thy persevering shall rejoice,
stand fast; to stand or fall
Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.
Perfect within, no outward aid require;
And all temptation to transgress repel.

And all the Blest

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,
Go heavenly Guest, ethereal Messenger,
Sent from whose sov❜reign goodness I adore,
Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condescension and shall be' honor'd ever
With grateful memory: Thou to mankind
Be good and friendly still, and oft return.

So parted they, the Angel up to Heaven
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.








Satan having compass'd the Earth, with meditated guile returns ag a mist by night into Paradise, enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labors, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each laboring apart : Adam consents not, alledging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should attempt her found alone: Eve, loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields; The serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve, above all other creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the Serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding not till now; the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden: The Serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she pleas'd with the taste deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amaz'd, but perceiving her lost, resolves through vehcmence of love to perish with her; and extenuating the tresspass eats also of the fruit: The effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.

O more of talk where God or Angel guest

With Man, as with his friend, familiar us'd

To sit indulgent, and with him partake

Rural repast, permitting him the while

Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revelt,

And disobedience; on the part of Heaven
Now alienated, distance and distaste,

Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given,


That brought into this world a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow death, and Misery
Death's harbinger: Sad task, yet argument
Not less but more heroic than the wrath
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursu'd
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd,
Or Neptune's ire or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's Son;
If answerable style I can obtain

Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,

And dictates to me slumbʼring, or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse:

Since first this subject for heroic song

Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late ;,
Not sedulous by nature to indite

Wars, hitherto the only argument

Heroic deem'd, chief mast'ry to dissect

With long and tedious havoc fabled knights
In battles feign'd; the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe races and games,
Or tilting furniture, emblazon'd shields,
Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshal'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with sewers, and seneshals;
The skill of artifice or office mean,

Not that which justly gives heroic name
To person or to poem.. Me of these
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Remains, sufficient of itself to raise

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That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years damp my intended wing
Depress'd, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not her's who brings it nightly to my ear.
The sun was sunk, and after him the star


Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring

Twilight upon the earth, short arbiter


'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end

Night's hemisphere had veil'd th' horizon round ;

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