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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

Not this rock only ; his omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual power and warmed.
All the Earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
No despicable gift ; surmise not, then,

His presence to these narrow bounds confined
Of Paradise or Eden. This had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations, and had hither come,
From all the ends of the Earth, to celebrate
And reverence thee their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons:
Yet doubt not but in valley and in plain
God as here, and will be found alike

350 Present, and of his presence many a sign Still following thee, still compassing thee round With goodness and paternal love, his face Express, and of his steps the track divine. Which that thou may'st believe, and be confirmed Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent To show thee what shall come in future days To thee and to thy offspring. Good with bad Expect to hear, supernal grace contending With sinfulness of men- -thereby to learn True patience, and to temper joy with fear And pious sorrow, equally inured By moderation either state to bear, Prosperous or adverse : so shalt thou lead Safest thy life, and best prepared endure Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend This hill ; let Eve (for I have drenched her eyes) Here sleep below while thou to foresight wak'st, As once thou slept'st while she to life was formed."

360 To whom thus Adam gratefully replied :- 370 Ascend ; I follow thee, safe guide, the path Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heaven submit, However chastening-to the evil turn My obvious breast, arming to overcome By suffering, and earn rest from labour won, 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 Stretched out to the amplest reach of prospect lay. 380 Not higher that hill, nor wider looking round, Whereon for different cause the Tempter set Our second Adam, in the wilderness, To show him all Earth's kingdoms and their glory. His eye might there command wherever stood City of old or modern fame, the seat Of mightiest empire, from the destined walls Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can, And Samarchand by Oxus, Temir's throne, To Paquin, of Sinæan kings, and thence

390 To Agra and Lahor of Great Mogul, Down to the golden Chersonese, or where The Persian in Ecbatan sat, or since In Hispahan, or where the Russian Ksar In Mosco, or the Sultan in Bizance, Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken The empire of Negus to his utmost port Ercoco, and the less maritime kings, Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind, And Sofala (thought Ophir), to the realm

400 Of Congo, and Angola farthest south, Or thence from Niger flood to Atlas mount, The kingdoms of Almansor, Fez and Sus, Marocco, and Algiers, and Tremisen ; On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway The world : in spirit perhaps he also saw Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezume, And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat

Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoiled
Guiana, whose great city Geryon's sons

Call El Dorado. But to nobler sights
Michael from Adam's eyes the film removed
Which that false fruit that promised clearer sight
Had bred; then purged with euphrasy and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see,
And from the well of life three drops instilled.
So deep the power of these ingredients pierced,
Even to the inmost seat of mental sight,
That Adam, now enforced to close his eyes,
Sunk down, and all his spirits became entranced. 420
But him the gentle Angel by the hand
Soon raised, and his attention thus recalled :-

“Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold The effects which thy original crime hath wrought In some to spring from thee, who never touched The excepted tree, nor with the Snake conspired, Nor sinned thy sin, yet from that sin derive Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds."

His eyes he opened, and beheld a field, Part arable and tilth, whereon were sheaves 430 New-reaped, the other part sheep-walks and folds; l' the midst an altar as the landmark stood, Rustic, of grassy sord. Thither anon A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought First-fruits, the green ear and the yellow sheaf, Unculled, as came to hand. A shepherd next, More meek, came with the firstlings of his flock, Choicest and best; then, sacrificing, laid The inwards and their fat, with incense strewed, On the cleft wood, and all due rites performed. 440 His offering soon propitious fire from heaven Consumed, with nimble glance and grateful steam; The other's not, for his was not sincere: Whereat he inly raged, and, as they talked, Smote him into the midriff with a stone That beat out life ; he fell, and, deadly pale, Groaned out his soul, with gushing blood effused.

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Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
Dismayed, and thus in haste to the Angel cried :-

“O Teacher, some great mischief hath befallen 450 To that meek man, who well had sacrificed: Is piety thus and pure devotion paid ?”

To whom Michael thus, he also moved, replied
“These two are brethren, Adam, and to come
Out of thy loins. The unjust the just hath slain,
For envy that his brother's offering found
From Heaven acceptance; but the bloody fact
Will be avenged, and the other's faith approved
Lose no reward, though here thou see him die,
Rolling in dust and gore.” To which our Sire : - 460

“ Alas, both for the deed and for the cause !
But have I now seen Death? Is this the way
I must return to native dust ? O sight
Of terror, foul and ugly to behold !
Horrid to think, how horrible to feel !”

To whom thus Michael :-“Death thou hast seen
In his first shape on Man; but many shapes
Of Death, and many are the ways that lead
To his grim cave- -all dismal, yet to sense
More terrible at the entrance than within.

470 Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die By fire, flood, famine; by intemperance more In meats and drinks, which on the Earth shall bring Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew Before thee shall appear, that thou may'st know What misery the inabstinence of Eve Shall bring on men.” Immediately a place Before his eyes appeared, sad, noisome, dark ; A lazar-house it seemed, wherein were laid Numbers of all diseased-all maladies

480 Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds, Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs, Intestine stone and ulcer, colic pangs, Demoniac phrenzy, moping melancholy, And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy

Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans; Despair
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch; 490
And over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook, but delayed to strike, though oft invoked
With vows, as their chief good and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of rock could long
Dry-eyed behold? Adam could not, but wept,
Though not of woman born : compassion quelled
His best of man, and gave him up to tears
A space, till firmer thoughts restrained excess,
And, scarce recovering words, his plaint renewed :-
“O miserable Mankind, to what fall

Degraded, to what wretched state reserved !
Better end here unborn. Why is life given
To be thus wrested from us? rather why
Obtruded on us thus ? who, if we knew
What we receive, would either not accept
Life offered, or soon beg to lay it down,
Glad to be so dismissed in peace. Can thus
The image of God in Man, created once
So goodly and erect, though faulty since,
To such unsightly sufferings be debased

510 Under inhuman pains ? Why should not Man, Retaining still divine similitude In part, from such deformities be free, And for his Maker's image' sake exempt?”

“Their Maker's image," answered Michael, “then Forsook them, when themselves they vilified To serve ungoverned Appetite, and took His image whom they served-a brutish vice, Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve. Therefore so abject is their punishment,

520 Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own; Or, if his likeness, by themselves defaced While they pervert pure Nature's healthful rules To loathsome sickness-worthily, since they God's image did not reverence in themselves.”

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