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From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill,
One of the heavenly host; and, by his gait,
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 confide;
But solemn and sublime : whom, not to offend,
With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.'
He ended; and the archangel 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 Melibaan, 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,
and in his hand the spear. Adam bow'd low; he, kingly, from his state Inclined not, but his coming thus declared.
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
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 botb. O flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
At even, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names !
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorn'd
With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee
How shall I part, and whither down
lnto a lower world ; to this obscure
And wild ? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, accustom'd to immortal fruits ?'
Who thus the angel interrupted mild:
Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign
What justly thou hast lost, nor set thy heart,
Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine :
Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes
Thy husband; him to follow thou art bound:
Where he abides, think there thy native svil.'-id.
But prayer against his absolute decree
No more avails than breath against the wind,
Blown stilling back on him that breathes it forth;
Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
This most afflicts me, that, departing hence,
As from his face I shall be hid, deprived
His blessed countenance: here I could frequent
With worship place by place where he vouchsafed
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
Or monument to ages : and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers :
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or footstep trace ?
For though I fled him angry, yet, recallid
To life prolong’d and promised race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory; and far off his steps adore.'
To whom thus Michael with regard benign:
* Adam, thou know'st heaven his, and all the earth :
Not this rock only; his omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual power
and warm’d.-id. 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, not 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.-id.
The bent of nature.-id.
The brazen throat of war had ceased to roar.-id.
God attributes to place
No sanctity, if none be thither brought
By men who there frequent, or therein dwell.-id.
Day and night,
Seed-time and harvest, heat and hoary frost,
Shall hold their course; till fire purge all things new,
Both heaven and earth, wherein the just shall dwell.-id.
'Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
And love with fear the only God; to walk
As in his presence, ever to observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,
Merciful over his works, with good
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simply meek: that suffering for truth's sake
Is fortitude to highest victory,
And to the faithful, death the gate of life :
Taught this by his example, whom I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.'
To whom thus also the angel last replied:
* This having learn'd, thou hast attain’d the sum
Of wisdom : hope no higher, though all the stars
Thou knew'st by name, and all the ethereal powers,
All secrets of the deep, all nature's works,
Or works of God in heaven, air, earth, or sea,
And all the riches of the world enjoy'dst,
And all the rule, one empire : only add
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable ; add faith,
And virtue, patience, temperance; add love
By name to come call’d Charity, the soul
of all the rest; then wilt thou not be loth
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
A paradise within thee, happier far.
Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon :
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
They hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.-Book XII.
The childhood shows the man,
As morning shows the day.-Book IV.
On the Ægean shore a city stands,
Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil;
Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
And eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
Thence to the famous orators repair,
Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democratic,
Shook the arsenal, and fulmined over Greece
To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne:
To sage philosophy next lend thine ear,
From heaven descended to the low-roofed house
Of Socrates; see there his tenement,
Whom well-inspired the oracle pronounced
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth
Melliffluous streams, that water'd all the schools.--id.
Thus passed the night so foul, till morning fair
Came forth with pilgrim steps, in amice grey.-id.
SAMSON AGONISTES. Samson.
What is strength without a double share Of wisdom ? vast, unwieldy, burdensome, Proudly secure, yet liable to fall By weakest subtilities, not made to rule, But to subserve where wisdom bears command. God, when he gave me strength, to show withal How slight the gift was, hung it in my hair.
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble minds)
To scorn delights and live laborious days ;
But the fair guerdon when we hope find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind fury with the abhorred shears, And slits the thin-spun life. “But not the praise,”
Phæbus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears :
“ Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies :
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes,
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.”
Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more,
For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor;
So sinks the day-star in the ocean-bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
Through the dear might of Him that walk'd the waves ;
Where other groves and other streams along,
With nectar pure
locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the saints above,
In solemn troops and sweet societies, That sing, and, singing, in their glory move, And wipe the tears for ever from his
HENCE, loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest midnight born,
In Stygian cave forlorn,
Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy ! Find out some uncouth cell
Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings,
And the night raven sings;
There under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks,
As rugged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But come, thou goddess fair and free,
In heaven yclep'd Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing mirth;
Whom lovely Venus, at a birth,
With two sister Graces more,
To ivy-crown'd Bacchus bore:
Or whether (as some sages sing)