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Redeem thee quite from Death's rapacious claim;
But longer in this Paradise to dwell
Permits not; to remove thee I am come,
And send thee from the garden forth to till
The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil."
He added not, for Adam at the news
Heart-struck with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen
Yet all had heard, with audible lament
Discover'd soon the place of her retire.
“O unexpected stroke, worse than of Death!
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave
Thee, native soil, these happy walks and shades, 270
Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet though sad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both. O flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
At even, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names,
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from th' ambrosial fount?
Thee, lastly, nuptial how'r, by me adorn'd
With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure
And wild? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, accustom'd to immortal fruits?"
Whom thus the angel interrupted mild.
"Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign
What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine:
Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes
Thy husband; him to follow thou art bound;
Where he abides, think there thy native soil."
Adam, by this from the cold sudden damp
Recovering, and his scatter'd spi'rits return'd,
To Michael thus his humble words address'd.
"Celestial, whether among the thrones, or nam'd
Of them the high'st, for such of shape may seem
Prince above princes! gently hast thou told
Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
And in performing end us; what besides
Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair
Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings brings
Departure from this happy place, our sweet
Recess, and only consolation left
Familiar to our eyes! all places else
Inhospitable' appear, and desolate,
Nor knowing us nor known: and, if by prayer
Incessant I could hope to change the will
Of him who all things can, I would not cease
To weary him with my assiduous cries:
But pray'r against his absolute decree
No more avails than breath against the wind,
Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth:
Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
This most afflicts me, that, departing hence,
As from his face I shall be hid, depriv'd
His blessed count'nance: here I could frequent
With worship place by place where he vouchsaf'd
Presence divine; and to my sons relate,
'On this mount he appear'd; under this tree
Stood visible; among these pines his voice
I heard ;
here with him at this fountain talk'd:"
So many grateful altars I would rear
Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory,
Or monument to ages, and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers:
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or foot-step trace?
For though I fled him angry, yet, recall'd
To life prolong'd and promis'd race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his steps adore."
To whom thus Michael with regard benign. "Adam, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth,
Not this rock only'; his omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual pow'r and warm'd:
All th' earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
No despicable gift; surmise not then
His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd
Of Paradise or Eden: this had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations, and had hither come
From all the ends of th' earth, to celebrate
And reverence thee, their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou' hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons:
Yet doubt not but in valley, and in plain,
God is, as here, and will be found alike
Present, and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine.
Which that thou may'st believe, and be confirm'd 355
Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
To show thee what shall come in future days
To thee and to thy offspring; good with bad
Expect to hear; supernal grace contending
With sinfulness of men; thereby to learn
True patience, and to temper joy with fear
And pious sorrow, equally inur'd
By moderation either state to bear,
Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure
Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
This hill; let Eve (for I have drench'd her eyes)
Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wak'st;
As once thou slept'st, while she to life was form'd."
To whom thus Adam gratefully reply'd.
66 Ascend, I follow thee, safe guide, the path Thou lead'st me', and to the hand of Heav'n submit, However chast'ning; to the evil turn
My obvious breast, arming to overcome
On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway 405
The world: in spi'rit perhaps he also saw
Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume,
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
Of Atabalipa; and yet unspoil'd
Guiana, whose great city Geryon's sons
Call El Dorado: but to nobler sights
Michael from Adam's eyes the film remov'd,
Which that false fruit that promis'd clearer sight.
Had bred; then purg'd with euphrasy and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see;
And from the well of life three drops instill'd.
So deep the pow'r of these ingredients pierc❜d,
E'en to the inmost seat of mental sight,
That Adam, now enforc'd to close his eyes,
Sunk down, and all his spirits became entranc'd; 420
But him the gentle angel by the hand
Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall'd.
"Adam, now ope thine eyes; and first behold
Th' effects which thy original crime hath wrought
In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd
Th' excepted tree, nor with the snake conspir'd,
Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive
Corruption, to bring forth more violent deeds."
His eyes he open'd, and beheld a field,
Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves
New reap'd, the other part sheep-walks and folds;
I' th' midst an altar as the land-mark stood,
Rustic, of grassy sord; thither anon
A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought
First fruits, the green ear, and the yellow sheaf,
Uncull'd, as came to hand; a shepherd next,
More meek, came with the firstlings of his flock
Choicest and best; then, sacrificing, laid
The inwards and their fat, with incense strow'd,
On the cleft wood, and all due rites perform'd.
His offering soon propitious fire from Heav'n
Consum❜d with nimble glance, and grateful steam;
The other's not, for his was not sincere:
Whereat he inly rag'd, and, as they talk'd,
Smote him into the midriff with a stone
That beat out life; he fell; and, deadly pale,
Groan'd out his soul with gushing blood effus'd.
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
Dismay'd, and thus in haste to th' angel cry'd.
O teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n
To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd;
Is pięty thus and pure devotion paid?”