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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,
All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins
Her
rosy progress smiling: let us forth,

175
I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
Where'er our day's work lies, tho' now enjoin'd
Laborious, till day droop. While here we dwell,
What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks ?
Here let us live, tho' in fall’n state, content. 180

So spake, so wish'd much-humbl’d Eve, but Fate
Subscrib'd not. Nature first gave signs, impress'd
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 aery tour,
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.
Adam observ'd, and with his eye

the chace 191 Pursuing, not unmov'd, to Eve thus spake:

O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh,
Which Heav'n by these mutesignsin natureshews,
Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn 195
Us haply, too secure of our discharge
From penalty, because from death releas'd

VOL. II.

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210

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 ? 200
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 More orient in yon western cloud, that draws O'er the blue firmament a radiant white, 206 And slow descends, with something heav'nly

fraught? He err'd not; for by this the heav'nly bands Down from a sky of jasper lighted now In Paradise, and on a hill made halt, A glorious apparition, had not doubt And carnal fear that day dimm'd Adam's eye. Not that more glorious, when the Angels met Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw The field pavilion'd with his guardians bright; Nor that which on the flaming mount appear'd In Dothan, cover'd with a camp of fire, Against the Syrian king, who, to surprize One man, assassin-like, had levy'd war, War unproclaim'd. The princely Hierarch 220 In their bright stand there left his Pow'rs to seize Possession of the garden : he alone, To find where Adam shelter'd, took his way, Not unperceiv'd of Adam, who to Eve, While the great visitant approach'd, thus spake :

Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps

Of us will soon determine, or impose
New laws to be observ’d; for I descry
From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill,
One of the heav'nly host, and by his gait 230
None of the meanest, some great Potentate
Or of the Thrones above, such majesty
Invests his coming; yet not terrible,
That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
As Raphael, that I should much confide, 235
But solemn and sublime; whom not to' offend,
With rev’rence I must meet, and thou retire.

He ended : and th’Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
Not in his shape celestial, but as man
Clad to meet man. Over his lucid arms

240 A military vest of purple flow'd, Livelier than Meliboan, or the grain Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old In time of truce; Iris had dipt the woof; His starry helm unbuckled, show'd him prime In manhood where youth ended. By his side, As in a glistering zodiac, hung the sword, Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the spear. Adam bow'd low: He, kingly, from his state Inclin’d not, but his coming thus declar'd: 250

Adam, Heav'n's high behest no preface needs : Sufficient that thy pray’rs are heard, and Death, Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress, Defeated of his seizure, many days Giv'n thee of

wherein thou may’st repent, And one bad act, with many deeds well done,

grace,

206

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 ? 200
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
More orient in yon western cloud, that draws
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
And slow descends, with something heav'nly

fraught?
He err'd not; for by this the heav'nly bands
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt,

210
A glorious apparition, had not doubt
And carnal fear that day dimm'd Adam's eye.
Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw
The field pavilion'd with his guardians bright;
Nor that which on the flaming mount appear'd
In Dothan, cover'd with a camp of fire,
Against the Syrian king, who, to surprize
One man, assassin-like, had levy'd war,
War unproclaim'd. The princely Hierarch 220
In their bright stand there left his Pow’rs to seize
Possession of the garden : he alone,
To find where Adam shelter'd, took his way,
Not unperceiv’d of Adam, who to Eve,
While the great visitant approach'd, thus spake :

Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps

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Of us will soon determine, or impose
New laws to be observ’d; for I descry
From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill,
One of the heav'nly host, and by his gait 230
None of the meanest, some great Potentate
Or of the Thrones above, such majesty
Invests his coming; yet not terrible,
That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
As Raphael, that I should much confide,

235 But solemn and sublime; whom not to' offend, With rev'rence 1 must meet, and thou retire.

He ended: and th’Arch-Angel soon drew nigh, Not in his shape celestial, but as man Clad to meet man. Over his lucid arms

240 A military vest of purple flow'd, Livelier than Meliboan, or the grain Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old In time of truce; Iris had dipt the woof; His starry helm unbuckled, show'd him prime In manhood where youth ended. By his side, As in a glistering zodiac, hung the sword, Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the Adam bow'd low: He, kingly, from his state Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd: 250

Adam, Heav'n's high behest no preface needs: Sufficient that thy pray’rs are heard, and Death, Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress, Defeated of his seizure, many days Giy'n thee of

wherein thou may’st repent, And one bad act, with many deeds well done,

grace,

spear.

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