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New reap'd; the other part sheep-walks and folds;
O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n
To whom Michael thus, he also mov'd, replied.
Lose no reward; thouglı here thou see him die,
Alas! both for the deed, and for the cause !
To whom thus Michaël. Death thou hast seen
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
up to tears A space, till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess; · And, scarce recovering words, his plaint renew'd.
O miserable mankind, to what fall 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 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 sufferings be debas’d 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?
Their Maker's image, answer'd Michael, then Forsook them, when themselves they vilified 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, 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 God's image did not reverence 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 connatural dust?
There is, said Michael, if thou well observe The rule of Not too much ; by temperance taught, In what thou eat'st and drink'st; seeking from thence Due nourishment, rot 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 ngust forego,
To what thou tast; and, for the air of youth,
Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong
Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv'st Live well; how long, or short, permit to Heaven: And now prepare thee for another sight.
He look’d: and saw a spacious plain, whereon Were tents of various hue; by some, were herds Of cattle grazing; others, whence the sound Of instruments, that made melodious chime, Was heard, of harp and organ; and, who mov'd Their stops and chords, was seen; his volant touch, Instinct through all proportions, low and high, Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue. In other part stood one who, at the forge Labouring, two massy clods of iron and brass Had melted, (whether found where casual fire Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale, Down to the veins of earth; thence gliding hot To some cave's mouth; or whether wash'd by