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Of theologians, but with keen dispatch
Of real hunger, and concoctive heat

To transubstantiate: what redounds, transpires
Through spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire
Of sooty coal the empyric alchymist

Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold

As from the mine. Mean while at table Eve
Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups
With pleasant liquors crown'd. O innocence
Deserving paradise! if ever, then,

Then had the sons of GOD excuse to have been
Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts
Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousy
Was understood, the injur'd lover's hell.
Thus when with meats and drinks they had


Not burden'd nature, sudden mind arose
In Adam, not to let th' occasion pass,

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Given him by this great conference, to know
Of things above his world, and of their being 455
Who dwell in heaven, whose excellence he saw
Transcend his own so far; whose radiant forms,
Divine effulgence, whose high power so far
Exceeded human; and his wary speech
Thus to th' empyreal minister he fram'd.
Inhabitant with GOD, now know I well
Thy favour, in this honour done to man,
448 mine]Mint.' Bentl. MS.

455 his] Tickell, Fenton, Bently, read 'this' corruptly.


Under whose lowly roof thou hast vouchsaf'd
To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,
Food not of angels, yet accepted so,

As that more willingly thou could'st not seem
At heaven's high feasts to have fed: yet what

To whom the winged Hierarch reply'd. O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom All things proceed, and up to him return, If not deprav'd from good, created all Such to perfection, one first matter all, Indu'd with various forms, various degrees Of substance, and, in things that live, of life.: But more refin'd, more spirituous, and pure, As nearer to him plac'd, or nearer tending, Each in their several active spheres assign'd, Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Proportion'd to each kind. So from the root Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves





More aery, last the bright consummate flower
Spirits odorous breathes; flowers and their fruit,
Man's nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd,
To vital spirits aspire, to animal,

To intellectual, give both life and sense,
Fancy and understanding; whence the soul
Reason receives, and reason is her being,
Discursive or intuitive; discourse


482 odorous] So Marino's Sl. of the Inn. by T. R. p. 60. 'The hills, and dales that plants odorous bore.' Todd.

Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,

Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
Wonder not then, what GOD for you saw good
If I refuse not, but convert, as you,



To proper substance: time may come, when men
With angels may participate, and find
No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare:
And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,
Improv'd by tract of time, and wing'd ascend
Ethereal, as we, or may at choice

Here or in heavenly paradises dwell;


ye be found obedient, and retain Unalterably firm his love entire,

Whose progeny you are.

Mean while enjoy

Your fill what happiness this happy state
Can comprehend, incapable of more.

To whom the patriarch of mankind reply'd.

O favourable spirit, propitious guest,

Well hast thou taught the way that might direct Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set

From center to circumference, whereon

In contemplation of created things

By steps we may ascend to GOD.

But say,

What meant that caution join'd, if ye be found Obedient? Can we want obedience then

To him, or possibly his love desert,

Who form'd us from the dust and plac'd us here Full to the utmost measure of what bliss Human desires can seek or apprehend?






To whom the angel. Son of heav'n and earth Attend that thou art happy, owe to GOD; That thou continu'st such, owe to thyself, That is, to thy obedience; therein stand. This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd. GOD made thee perfect, not immutable; And good he made thee, but to persevere He left it in thy power, ordain'd thy will By nature free, not over-rul'd by fate Inextricable, or strict necessity: Our voluntary service he requires, Not our necessitated, such with him




Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how
Can hearts, not free, be try'd whether they serve
Willing or no, who will but what they must
By destiny, and can no other choose?
My self and all th' angelic host, that stand
In sight of GOD enthron'd, our happy state
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
On other surety none; freely we serve,
Because we freely love, as in our will
To love or not; in this we stand or fall.
And some are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
And so from heaven to deepest hell: O fall
From what high state of bliss into what woe!

To whom our great progenitor. Thy words
Attentive, and with more delighted ear,
Divine instructor, I have heard, than when



Cherubic songs by night from neighbouring hills Aereal music send: nor knew I not



To be both will and deed created free;
Yet that we never shall forget to love
Our maker, and obey him whose command
Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts
Assur'd me, and still assure: though what thou tell'st
Hath past in heav'n, some doubt within me move,
But more desire to hear, if thou consent,
The full relation, which must needs be strange,
Worthy of sacred silence to be heard;
And we have yet large day, for scarce the sun
Hath finish'd half his journey, and scarce begins
His other half in the great zone of heaven.
Thus Adam made request, and Raphael,

After short pause, assenting thus began.



High matter thou enjoin'st me, O prime of men,
Sad task and hard; for how shall I relate
To human sense th' invisible exploits
Of warring spirits? how without remorse
The ruin of so many, glorious once

And perfect while they stood? how last unfold
The secrets of another world, perhaps
Not lawful to reveal? yet for thy good,


This is dispens'd, and what surmounts the reach
Of human sense I shall delineate so,
By lik'ning spiritual to corporal forms,
As may express them best; though what if earth
Be but the shadow of heaven; and things therein
Each to other like, more than on earth is thought?

557 sacred] Hor. Od. ii. 13. 29.

'Utrumque sacro digna silentio.' Richardson.

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