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DESCRIPTION OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN.
- In this pleasant soil His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd; Out of the fertile ground he caus’d to grow All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste ; And all amid them stood the tree of life, High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit Of vegetable gold; and next to life, Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by, Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing iil. Southward through Eden went a river large, Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggy hill Pass'd underneath ingulf’d: for God had thrown That mountain as his garden-mould high rais’d Upon the rapid current, which, through veins Of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn, Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill Water'd the garden: thence united fell Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood, Which from his darksome passage now appears, And now divided into four main streams, Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm And country, whereof here needs no account; But rather to tell how, if Art could tell, How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks, Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold, With mazy error under pendant shades Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon Pour'd forth profuse, on hill, and dale, and plain, Both where the morning sun first warmly smote The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade Imbrown'd the noontide bowers: thus was this place A happy rural seat of various view; Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm, Others whose fruit, burnish'd with golden rind, Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true, If true, here only, and of delicious taste : Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks Grazing the tender herb, were interpos'd, Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap Of some irriguous valley spread her store, Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose: Another side, umbrageous grots and caves Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring waters fall Down the slope hills, dispers’d, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
EVENING CONVERSATION BETWEEN ADAM AND EVE.
Now came still Evening on, and Twilight gray
When Adam thus to Eve: “Fair Consort, th’ hour
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty' adorn'd: My author and Disposer, what thou bid'st
Unargued I obey ; so God ordains:
To whom our general ancestor replied:
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
Thus talking, hand in hand alone they pass'd On to their blissful bower: it was a place Chos'n by the sov'ran Planter, when he fram'd All things to man's delightful use; the roof Of thickest covert was inwoven shade Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub, Fenc'd up the verdant wall; cach beauteous flower, Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine, Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and wrought Mosaic ; under foot the violet, Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay Broider'd the ground, more color'd than with stone Of costliest emblem: other crealures herc, Bird, beast, insect, or worm, durst enter none, Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower More sacred and sequester’d, though but seign’d, Pan or Sylvanus never slept, nor Nymph Nor Faunus haunted.
THE REBEL ANGELS DRIVEN OUT FROM HEAVEN BY
“ So said, he, o'er his sceptre bowing, rose From the right hand of glory where he sat ; And the third sacred morn began to shine, Dawning through heaven: forth rush'd with whirlwind round The chariot of paternal Deity, Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn, Itself instinct with spirii, but convoy'd By four cherubic shapes; four faces cach Had wondrous; as with stars their bodies all And wings were set with eyes, with eyes the wheels Of beryl, and careering fires between; Over their heads a crystal firinament, Whereon a sapphire throne inlaid with pure Amber, and colours of the showery arch. He in celestial panoply all arın'd Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought, Ascended; at his right hand Victory Sat eagle wing’d; beside him hung his bow And quiver with three-bolted thunder stor’d, And from about him fierce effusion rold Of smoke and bickering flanie and sparkles dire:
Attended with ten thousand thousand saints
“ So spake the Son, and into terror chang'd His count'nance too severe to be beheld. And full of wrath bent on his enemies. At once the Four spread out their starry wings With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs Of his fierce chariot roll'd, as with the sound Of torrent floods, or of a numerous host. He on his impious foes right onward drove, Gloomy as night; under his burning wheels T'he steadfast empyrean shook throughout, All but the throne itself of God. Full soor. Among them he arriv'd, in his right hand Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent Before himn, such as in their souls intix’d Plagues ; they, astonish’d, all resistance lost, All courage; down their idle weapons dropt; O'er shields and helms, and helmed heads he rude Of thrones and mighty Seraphim prostate, That wish'd the mountains now might be again Thrown on them as a shelter from his ire. Nor less on either side tempestuous fell His arrow:, from the four-föld visay'd Four Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels Distinct alike with multitude of eyes; One spirit in them rul'd, and every eye Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire. Among the accurs'd, that wither'd all their strength, And of their wonted vigor left them drain’d, Exhausted, sp.ritless, afflicted, fall’n. ) et half his strength he put not forth, but check'd His thunder in inid volley; for he meant