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And for the Heav'n's wide circuit let it speak
The Maker's high magnificence, who built
So spacious, and his 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 numberless, to his omnipotence,
That to corporeal substances could add
Speed almost spiritual : me thou think'st not slow,
Who since the morning-hour set out from heav'n,
Where God resides, and ere mid-day arriv'd
In Eden; distance inexpressible
By numbers that have name.
But this I urge,
Admitting motion in the heav'ns, to show
Invalid that which thee to doubt it mov'd;
Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
To thee who hast thy dwelling here on earth.
God, to remove his ways from human sense
Plac'd Heav'n from Earth so far, that earthly sight,
If it presume, might err in things too high,
And no advantage gain. What if the sun
Be centre to the world, and other stars
By his attractive virtue and their own
Incited, dance about him various rounds ?
Their wand'ring course now high, now low, then hid
Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,
In six thou see'st; and what if sev'nth to these
The planet earth, so stedfast though she seem,
Insensibly three different motions move?
Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe,
Mov'd contrary with thwart obliquities;
Or save the sun his labour, and that swift
Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb suppos'd,
Invisible else above all stars, the wheel
Of day and night; which needs not thy belief,
If earth industrious of herself fetch day
Travelling cast, and with her part averse
From the sun's beams meet night, her other part
Still luminous by his ray. What if that light
Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air,
To the terrestrial moon be as a star
Enlightning her by day, as she by night
This earth; reciprocal, if land be there,
Fields and inhabitants : her spots thou seest
As clouds, and clouds inay rain, and rain produce
Fraits in her soften’d soil, for some to eat
Allotted there; and other suns perhaps,
With their attendant moons, thou wilt descry
Communicating male and female light;.
Which two great sexes aniinate the world,
Stor’d in each orb perhaps with soine that live.
For such vast room in nature unpossess'
By living soul, desert and desolate,
Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute
Each orb a glimpse of light, convey'd so far
Down to this habitable, which returns
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
But whether thus these things, or whether not;
Whether the sun predominant in heav'n
Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun;
He from the east his faining road begin,
Or she from west her silent course advance.
With inoffensive pace, that spinning sleeps
On her soft axle, while she paces even,
And bears the soft with the smooth air along,
Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid;
Leave them to God above, himn serve and fear!
of other creatures, as him pleases best,
Wherever plac'd, let hin dispose : joy thou
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
And thy fair Eve; Heav'n is for thee too high
To know what passes there; be lowly wise:
Think only what concerns thee and thy being;
Dream 'not of other worlds, what creatures there
Live, in what state, condition, or degree,
Contented that thus far hath been reveald,
Not of earth only, but of highest Ileavin.
To whom thus Adam, cleard of doubt, reply'd: How fully hast thou satisfy'd me, pure Intelligence of Heav'n, Angel serene, And freed from intricacies, taught to live The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts To interrupt the sweet of life, from which God hath bid dwell far off all anxious careş, And not molest us, unless we ourselves Seek them with wand'ring thoughts, and notions vaia. But apt the mind or fancy is to rove Uncheck'd, and of her roving is no end ; - 7 Till warn'd, or by experience taught, she learn, That not to know at large of things remote From use, obscure and subtle, but to know That which before us lies in daily life, Is the prine wisdom': wliat is inore, is fume, Or emptiness, or fond impertinence, And renders us in things that most concern Unpractis'd, unprepard, and still to seek. Therefore from this high pitch let us descend A lower fight, and speak of things at hand Useful, whence haply mention inay arise Of something not unseasonable to ask, By suff'rance, and thy wonted favour deign d. Thee I have heard relating what was done Ere my remembrance: now hear ine relate My story, which perhaps thou hast not heard, And day is yet not spent; till then thou seest How subily to detain thee I devise, . Inviting thee to hear while I relate, Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply: For while I sit with thee, I seein in Heav'n, And sweeter thy discourse is to mine ear Than fruits of palm-tree, pleasantest to thirst And hunger both, from labour at the hour Of sweet repast: they satiate, and soon fill, Though pleasant; but thy words with grace divine Imbu’d, bring to their sweetness no satiety.
To whom thus Raphael answer'd heavenly ineck: Nor are thy lips. ungraceful, Sire of men,
Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee
Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'dy
Inward and outward both, his image fair
Speaking or mute, all comeliness and grace
- Attend thee, and each word each motion forms's
Nor less think we in Heav'n of thee on Earth
Than of our fellow-servant, and inquire
Gladly into the ways of God with Man:
For God we see liath honour'd thee; and set
On man his equal love. Say therefore on;
For I that day was absent, as befel,
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,
Far on excursion tow'rd the gates of hell:
Squar'd in full legion (such command we had)
To see that none thence issu'd forth a spy,
Or enemy, while God was in his work;
Lest he, incens'd at such eruption bold,
Destruction with creation might have mix'd.
Not that they durst without his leave attempts
But as he sends upon his high behests!
For state, as Sov'reign King, and to inure
Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut
The dismal gates, and barricado'r strong ;
But long ere our approaching heard within
Noise, other than the sound of dance or song,
Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.
Glad we return'd up to the coasts of light
Ere Sabbath-ev’ning: so we had in charge.
But thy relation now; for I attend,
Pleaş'd with thy words no less than thou with mine.
So spake the godlike Pow'r, and thus our sire ;
For man to tell how human life began
Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?
Desire with thee still longer to converse
As new wak'd from soundest sleep,
Soft on the flow'ry herb) I found me laid
In balmy sweat, which with his beains the sun
Soon dry'd, and on the reaking moisture fed.
Straight toward Heav'n my wond'ring eyes I turn'd,
And gaz'd awhile the ample sky, till rais'd By quick instinctive motion up I sprung, As thitherward endeavouring, and upright Stood on my feet: about me round I saw Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains, And liquid lapse of murm?ring streams: by these Creatures that liv’d, and mov'd, and walk'd or flew, Birds on the branches warbling; all things smild With fragrance, and with joy my heart o'erflow'd. Myself I then perus'd, and limb by limb · Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran With supple joints, as lively vigour led: But who I was, or where, or from what cause, Knew not; to speak I try'd, and forthwith spake: My tongue obey'd, and readily could name Whate'er I saw. Thou sun, said I, fair light, And thou enlighten'd earth, so fresh and gay, Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains, And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tell, Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here? Not of myself; by some great Maker then, In goodness and in pow'r pre-eminent; 'Tell me, how may I know him, how adore, From whom I have that thus I move and live, And feel that I am happier than I know. While thus I call’d, and stray'd I knew not whither, From where I first drew air, and first beheld This happy light; when answer none return'd, On a green shady bank, profuse of flow'rs, . Pensive I sat me down: there gentle sleep First found me, and with soft oppression seiz'd My drowsed sense, untroubled, though I thought I then was passing to my former state Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve: When suddenly stood at my head a dream, Whose inward apparition gently mov'd My fancy to believe I get had being, And liv'd. One came, methought, of shape divine, And said, Thy mansion wants thee, Adam, rise,