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Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
Witness this new-made world, another Heaven
From Heaven-gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea;
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destin'd habitation ; but thou know'st
Their seasons : among these the seat of Men,
Earth with her nether ocean circumfus'd,
Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy Men, 625
And sons of Men, whom God hath thus advanc'd,
Created in his image, there to dwell
And worship him, and in reward to rule
Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air,
And multiply a race of worshippers
630 Holy and just : thrice happy if they know Their happiness, and persevere upright.
So sung they, and the empyréan rung With Halleluiahs: Thus was sabbath kept. And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd How first this world and face of things began, And what before thy memory was done I rom the beginning, that posterity Inform’d by thee might know, if else thou seck'st Ought, not surpassing human measure, say. 640
THE END OF THE SEVENTH BOOK.
THE ARGUMENT. Adam enquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully answered, and ex
horted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge : Adam assents, and still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society, his first meeting and nuptials with Eve, his discourse with the Angel thereupon ; who after admonitions repeated departs.
The Angel ended, and in Adam's car
So charming left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him still speaking, still stood fix'd to hear;
Then as new wak'd thus gratefully reply'd.
What thanks sufficient, or what recompence 5
Equal have I to render thee, divine
Historian, who thus largely, hast allay'd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsaf'd
This friendly condescension to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator ? Something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly frame, this world 15
Of Heav'n and Earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes, this earth a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compar'd
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible (for such
1 heir distance argues and their swift return
Diurnal) merely to officiate light
Round this opacous earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides; reasoning I oft admire,
How nature wise and frugal could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold to this one use,
For ought appears, and on their orbs impose 30
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Serv'd by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives,
35 As tribute, such a sumless journey brought Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light; Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.
So spake our Sire, and by his count'nance seem'd Ent’ring on studious thoughts abstruse, which Eve Perceiving where she sat retir’d in sight,
41 With lowliness majestic from her seat, And grace
that won who saw to wish her stay, Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers, To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom, 45 Her nursery ; they at her coming sprung, And touch'd by her fair tendence gladlier grew. Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her ear
Of what was high : such pleasure she reserv'd,
Adam relating, she sole auditress;
Her husband the relator she preferr'd
Before the Angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute 55
With conjugal caresses ; from his lip
Not words alone pleas'd her. O when meet now
Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'd ?
With Goddess-like demeanour forth she went,
Not unattended, for on her as queen
A ponip of winning graces waited still,
And from about her shot darts of desire
Into all eyes to wish her still in sight.
And Raphael now to Adam's doubt propos'd
Benevolent and facile thus reply'd.
65 To ask or search I blame thee not, for Heaven Is as the book of God before thee set, Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learn His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years; This to attain, whether Heav'n move or Earth 79 Imports not, if thou reckon right; the rest From Man or Angel the great Architect Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge His secrets to be scann'd by them who ought Rather admire; or if they list to try Conjecture, he his fabric of the Heavens Hach left to their disputes, perhaps to move His laughter at their quaint opinions wide
Hereafter, when they come to model Heaven
And calculate the stars, how they will wield
The mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive
To save appearances, how gird the sphere
With centric and eccentric scribbled o'er,
Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb :
Already by thy reasoning this I guess,
Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest
That bodies bright and greater should not serve
The less not bright, nor Heav'n such journies run,
Earth sitting still, when she alone receives
1 he benefit : consider first, that great
Or bright infers not excellence : the earth
'Though, in comparison of Heav'n, so small,
Nor glist'ring, may of solid good contain
More plenty than the sun that barren shines,
Whose virtue on itself works no effect,
But in the fruitful earth; there first receiv'd
His beams unactive else, their vigour find.
Yet not to earth are those bright luminaries
Officious, but to thee, earth’s habitant.
And for the Heav'n's wide circuit, let it speak
The Maker's high magnificence, who built
So spacious, and kis line stretch'd out so far;
That man may know he dwells not in his own;
An edifice too large for him to fill,
Lodg'd in a small partition, and the rest
Ordain'd for uses to his Lord best known.
The swiftness of those circles attribute,
Though numberiess, to his omnipotence,