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Unutterable; which the spirit of prayer

Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heaven with speedier flight Than loudest oratory: yet their port

Not of mean suitors; nor important less

Seem'd their petition, than when the ancient pair
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To Heaven their prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate: in they pass'd
Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fum'd,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne: them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began.

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"See, Father, what first-fruits on Earth are
From thy implanted grace in Man; these sighs
And prayers, which in this golden censer, mix'd
With incense, I thy priest before thee bring;
Fruits of more pleasing savour, from thy seed
Sown with contrition his heart, than those
Which, his own hand manuring, all the trees
Of Paradise could have produc'd ere fall'n
From innocence. Now, therefore, bend thine ear
To supplication; hear his sighs, though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him; me, his advocate
And propitiation; all his works on me,
Good, or not good, ingraft; my merit those
Shall perfect, and for these
death shall pay.
my
Accept me; and, in me, from these receive

The smell of peace toward mankind: let him live
Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
Number'd though sad; till death, his doom, (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,)

To better life shall yield him: where with me
All my redeem'd may dwell in joy and bliss;
Made one with me, as I with thee am one."

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene.
"All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
Obtain; all thy request was my decree :
But, longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The law I gave to Nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal elements, that know
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,
Eject him, tainted now; and purge him off,
As a distemper, gross, to air as gross,
And mortal food; as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by sin, that first
Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted. I, at first, with two fair gifts
Created him endow'd; with happiness,
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other serv'd but to eternize woe;
Till I provided death: so death becomes
His final remedy; and, after life,
Tried in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
By faith and faithful works, to second life,
Wak'd in the renovation of the just,

Resigns him up with Heaven and Earth renew'd.
But let us call to synod all the blest,
[not hide
Through Heaven's wide bounds: from them I will
My judgments; how with mankind I proceed,

As how with peccant angels late they saw,

And in their state, though firm, stood more con

firm'd."

He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watch'd; he blew
His trumpet, heard in Qreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom. The angelic blast
Fill'd all the regions: from their blissful bowers
Of amarantine shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where'er they sat

In fellowships of joy, the sons of light
Hasted, resorting to the summons high :
And took their seats: till from his throne supreme
The Almighty thus pronounc'd his sovran will.
"O sons, like one of us Man is become
To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got;
Happier! had it suffic'd him to have known
Good by itself, and evil not at all.

He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite,
My motions in him; longer than they move,
His heart I know, how variable and vain,
Self-left. Lest therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the tree of life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live
For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till

The ground whence he was taken, fitter soil.

"Michael, this my behest have thou in charge: Take to thee from among the cherubim

Thy choice of flaming warriours, lest the fiend,
Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise;
Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair;
From hallow'd ground the unholy; and denounce
To them, and to their progeny, from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urg'd,
(For I behold them soften'd, and with tears
Bewailing their excess,) all terrour hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten; intermix

My covenant in the woman's seed renew'd:
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
Cherubic watch; and of a sword the flame
Wide-waving; all approach far off to fright,
And guard all passage to the tree of life:
Lest Paradise a receptacle prove

To spirits foul, and all my trees their prey;
With whose stol'n fruit man once more to delude."

He ceas'd; and the arch-angelic power prepar'd
For swift descent; with him the cohort bright
Of watchful cherubim: four faces each
Had, like a double Janus; all their shape
Spangled with eyes more numerous than those
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drouse,
Charm'd with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed

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Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Meanwhile,
To re-salute the world with sacred light,
Leucothea wak'd; and with fresh dews embalm'd
The Earth; when Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above; new hope to spring
Out of despair; joy, but with fear yet link'd;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd.

"Eve, easily may faith admit, that all The good which we enjoy, from Heaven descends; But, that from us aught should ascend to Heaven So prevalent as to concern the mind

Of God high-blest, or to incline his will,
Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer
Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne
Even to the seat of God. For since I sought
By prayer the offended Deity to appease ;
Kneel'd, and before him humbled all my heart;
Methought I saw him placable and mild,
Bending his ear; persuasion in me grew
That I was heard with favour; peace return'd
Home to my breast, and to my memory
His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe;
Which, then not minded in dismay, yet now
Assures me that the bitterness of death

Is past, and we shall live. Whence hail to thee,
Eve rightly call'd, mother of all mankind,
Mother of all things living, since by thee
Man is to live; and all things live for Man."

To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek. "Ill-worthy I such title should belong

To me transgressor; who, for thee ordain'd

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