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Magnanimous to correspond with heaven;
But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends; thither with heart, and voice, and eyes
Directed in devotion, to adore
And worship God supreme, who made him chief
Of all his works: therefore the Omnipotent
Eternal Father, for where is not he
Present? thus to his Son audibly spake:

Let us make now man in our image, man
In our similitude, and let them rule
Over the fish and fowl of sea and air,
Beast of the field, and over all the earth,
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground.
This said, he form'd thee, Adam, thee, O man,
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd
The breath of life; in his own image he
Created thee, in the image of God
Express, and thou becamest a living soul.
Male he created thee, but thy consort
Female for race; then bless'd mankind, and said,
Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth,
Subdue it, and throughout dominion hold
Over fish of the sea, and fowl of the air,
And every living thing that moves on the earth.
Wherever thus created, for no place
Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know'st,
He brought thee into this delicious grove,
This garden, planted with the trees of God,
Delectable both to behold and taste;
And freely all their pleasant fruit for food
Gave thee ; all sorts are here that all the earth yields,
Variety without end; but of the tree,
Which tasted works knowledge of good and evil,
Thou mayest not; in the day thou eatst thou diest;
Death is the penalty imposed, beware,
And govern well thy appetite, lest Sin
Surprise thee, and her black attendant, Death.

Here finish'd he, and all that he had made
View'd, and behold all was entirely good;
So even and morn accomplish'd the sixth day:
Yet not, till the Creator from his work
Desisting, though unwearied, up return'd,
Up to the heaven of heavens, his high abode,
Thence to behold this new-created world,
The addition of his empire, how it show'd
In prospect from his throne, how good, how fair,
Answering his great idea. Up he rode,
Follow'd with acclamation and the sound
Symphonious of ten thousand harps, that tuned
Angelic harmonies: the earth, the air
Resounded, thou rememberest, for thou heardst,
The heavens and all the constellations rung,

The planets in their station listening stood,

While the bright pomp ascended jubilant.

Open, ye everlasting gates, they sung,

Open, ye heavens, your living doors ; let in

The great Creator, from his work return'd

Magnificent, his six days' work, a world:

Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deign

To visit oft the dwellings of just men

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

Evening arose in Eden, for the sun

Was set, and twilight from the east came on,

Forerunning night; when at the holy mount

Of heaven's high-seated top, the imperial throne

Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure,

The Filial Power arrived, 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 incense 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? greater now in thy return

Than from the giant angels; thee that day

Thy thunders magnified; but to create

Is greater than created to destroy.

Who can impair thee, Mighty King, or bound

Thy empire? easily the proud attempt

Of spirits 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 createst 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 destined habitation; but thou knowest
Their seasons: among these the seat of men,
Earth, with her nether ocean circumfused,
Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy men,
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanced,
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, it they know
Their happiness, and persevere upright.
So sung they, and the empyrean rung
With hallelujahs: 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
Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.

BOOK VIII.

THE ARGUMENT.

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.

The angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charming left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hear;
Then, as new-waked, thus gratefully replied:
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 vouchsafed
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 compared

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 aught 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,

Served 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 countenance seem'd Entering on studious thoughts abtruse; which Eve Perceiving where she sat retired 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 reserved, Adam relating, she sole auditress; Her husband the relater 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 pleased her. Oh, when meet now Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'd? With goddess-like demeanour 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 proposed, Benevolent and facile thus replied:

To ask or search I blame thee not, for heaven Is as the book of God before thee set, Wherein to read his wondrous works, and leam His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years. This to attain, whether heaven 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 heaven such journeys 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 heaven, so small, Nor glistering, 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 received, His beams, inactive else, their vigour 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, Lodged 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 Speed almost spiritual: me thou thinkst not slow, Who since the morning hour set out from heaven Where God resides, and ere mid-day arrived In Eden, distance inexpressible By numbers that have name. But this I urge, Admitting motion in the heavens, to show Invalid that which thee to doubt it moved; Not that I so affirm, though so it seem

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