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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,

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

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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

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

Jay'st cover: well mar then thy Lord, appeas'd,
Redeem thee quite from Death's rapacious claim;
But longer in this Paradise to dwell
Permits not. To remove thee I am come, 260
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, 266
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, 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 flow’rs, That never will in other climate grow, My early visitation, and my last

275 At e'en, which I bred up with tender hand From the first op'ning 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 bow's, by me adorn’d 280 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 ! 285

Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild :

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Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign
What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
Thus overfond, on that which is not thine:
Thy going is not lonely: with thee


290 Thy husband: him to follow thou art bound. Where he abides, think there thy native soil.

Adam by this from the cold sudden damp
Recov'ring, and his scatter'd sp’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 300
Of sorrow, and dejection, and despair,
Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring,
Departure from this happy place, our sweet
Recess, and only consolation left
Familiar to our eyes, all places else 305
Inhospitable' appear and desolate;
Nor knowing us nor known: and if by pray'r
Incessant I could hope to change the will
Of Him who all things can, I would not cease
him with

assiduous cries.

But pray’r against his absolute decree
No more avails than breath against the wind,
Blown stifing back on him that breathes it forth:
Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
This most afflicts me, that departing hence, 315
As from his face I shall be hid, depriv’d

To weary

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