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As Raphael, that I should much confide,
235 But solemn and sublime, whom not to' offend, With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.
He ended; and the Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
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, 255 And one bad act with many deeds well donc May'st cover : well may 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
That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen
O Unexpected stroke, worse than of Death !
Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild.
ADAM by this from the cold sudden damp
To Michael thus his humble words address'd. 295
CELESTIAL, whether among the Thrones, or nam'd Of them the high'est, 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 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 prayer Incessant I could hope to change the will Of him who all things can, I would not cease To weary him with my assiduous cries :
310 But pray'r against his absolute decree No more avails than breath against the wind, Blown stifling 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 His blessed count’nance; here I could frequent With worship place by place where he vouchsaf'd. Presence divine, and to my sons relate, On this mount he appear’d, under this tree Stood visible, among these pines his voice I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd: So many grateful altars I would rear Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memory,
To whom thus Michael with regard benign.
Which that thou may’st believe, and be confirm'd 355
365 Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend This hill; let Eve (for I have drench'd her eyes) Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wak'st; As once thou slept’st, while she to life was form’d.
To whom thus Adam gratefully reply'd. 370 Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path Thou lead'st me', and to the hand of Heav'n submit, However chasť’ning, to the evil turn My obvious breast, arming to overcome By suffering, and earn rest from labour won, 375 'If so I may attain. So both ascend In the visions of God: it was a hill Of Paradise the highest, from whose top The hemisphere of earth in clearest ken Stretch'd out to th’amplest reach of prospect lay. 380 Not high'er that hill, or wider looking round, Whereon for diff'rent cause the Tempter set Our second Adam in the wilderness, To shew him all earth's kingdoms and their glory.