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On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway
The world. In sp’rit perhaps he also saw 406
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 410
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; 415
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 sp'rits became entranc’d:
But him the gentle Angel by the hand 421
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 430
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

VOL. II.

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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 off'ring soon propitious fire from Heav'n
Consum'd, with nimble glance and gratefulsteam:
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

445 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 piety thus and pure devotion paid ?

T' whom Michael thus (he also mov’d) reply'd: These two are brethren, Adam, and to come Out of thy loins. Th’unjust the just hath slain, For envy

that his brother's offoring found 456 From Heav'n acceptance: but the bloody fact Will be aveng'd, and th' other's faith approv'd, Lose no reward, though here thou see him die, Rolling in dust and gore. To which our sire :

Alas! both for the deed and for the cause ! But have I now seen Death? Is this the way I must return to native dust ? O sight Of terror, foul and ugly to behold!

476

Horrid to think! how horrible to feel ! 465

To whom thus Michael : Death thou hast seen In his first shape on Man; but many shapes Of Death, and many are the ways that lead To his grim cave, all dismal : yet to sense More terrible at th' entrance than within.

470 Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die, By fire, flood, famine, by intemp'rance more In meats and drinks, which on the earth shall bring Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew Before thee shall appear; that thou may'st know What misery th’inabstinence of Eve Shall bring on men. Immediately a place Before his eyes appear'd, sad, noisome, dark, A lazar-house it seem’d, wherein were laid Numbers of all diseas'd, all maladies 480 Of ghastly spasm or racking torture, qualms Of heart-sick agony, all fev'rous kinds, Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs, Intestine stone and ulcer, colic

pangs, Demoniac phrenzy, moping melancholy,

485 And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy, Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence, Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums. Dire was the tossing, deep the groans; Despair Tended the sick, busiest, from couch to couch; And over them triumphant Death his dart 491Shook, but delay'd to strike, though oft invok'd With vows, as their chief good and final hope. Sight so deform, what heart of rock could long

Dry-ey'd behold! Adam could not, but wept,
Tho'not of woman born. Compassion quell’d
His best of man, and

gave
him

up to tears
A space, till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess;
And, scarce recov’ring words, his plaint renew'd.
O miserable mankind ! to what fall

500 Degraded ! to what wretched state reserv'd ! Better end here unborn. Why is life given To be thus wrested from us? Rather, why Obtruded on us thus ? who, if we knew What we receive, would either not accept 505 Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down, Glad to be so dismiss'd in peace. Can thus The image of God, in man created once So goodly and erect, though faulty since, To such unsightly suff'rings be debas'd 510 Under inhuman pains ? Why should not man, Retaining still divine similitude In part, from such deformities be free, And for his Maker's image sake exempt? 514

Their Maker's image, answer'd Michael, then Forsook them when themselves they vilify'd To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took His image whom they serv'd (a brutish vice) Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve. Therefore, so abject is their punishment, 520 Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own, Or, if his likeness, by themselves defac'd, While they pervert pure Nature's healthful rules To loathsome sickness, worthily, since they

526

536

God's image did not rev’rence in themselves.

I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.
But is there yet no other way, besides
These painful passages, how we may come
To death, and mix with our connat'ral dust?

There is, said Michael, if thou well observe The rule of not too much, by Temp’rance taught, In what thou eat'st and drink'st, seeking from

thence Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight, Till many years over thy head return: So may'st thou live till, like ripe fruit, thou drop Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease Gather'd, not harshly pluck’d, for death mature. This is old age; but then thou must outlive Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will

change To wither'd, weak, and gray. Thy senses then Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego, 541 To what thou hast; and for the air of youth, Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign A melancholy damp of cold and dry, To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume The balm of life. To whom our ancestor: 546

Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong Life much, bent rather how I may be quit, Fairest and easiest, of this cumb'rous charge, Which I must keep till my appointed day 550 Of rend'ring up, and patiently attend My dissolution. Michael reply'd:

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