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BOOK THE FIFTH.
THE ARGUMENT. Morning approach'd, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream ; he likes it
not, yet comforts her: They come forth to their day-labours : Their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Ra. phael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise, his appearance described, his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to megt him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table : Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a Seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.
morn her rosy steps in th'eastern clime Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, When Adam wak'd, so custom’d, for his sleep Was airy light from pure digestion bred, And temp’rate vapours bland, which th' only sound 5 Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan, Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin song Of birds on every bough ; so much the more His wonder was to find unwaken's Eve With tresses discompos'd, and glowing cheek, As through unquiet rest : he on his side Leaning half rais'd, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
25 Such whisp’ring wak'd her, but with startled eye On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake.
O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose, My glory, my perfection, glad I see Thy face, and morn return'd; for I this night 30 (Such night till this I never pass’d) have dream'd, If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee, Works of day past, or morrow's next design, But of offence and trouble, which my mind Kpew never till this irksome night : methought 35 Close at mine car one callid me forth to walk With gentle voice, I thought it thine ; it said, Why sleep'st thou, Eve ? Now is the pleasant time, The cool, the silent, save where silence yields To the night-warbling bird, that now awake Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song ; now reigns Full orb'd the moon, and with more pleasing light
Shadowy sets off the face of things ; in vain,
50 That brought me on a sudden to the tree Of interdicted knowledge : fair it seem'd, Much fairer to my fancy than by day : And as I wond'ring look’d, beside it stood One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Heaven By'us oft seen; his dewy locks distillid Ambrosia ; on that tree he also gaz'd; And O fair plant, said he, with fruit surcharg'd, Deigns none to case thy load, and taste thy sweets Nor God, nor man? Is knowledge so despis'd ? 60 Or envy', or what reserve forbids to taste ? Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold Longer thy offer'd good, why else set here? This said, he paus'd not, but with vent'rous arm He pluck’d, he tasted; me damp horror chill'd 65 At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold : But he thus overjoy'd, O fruit divine, Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt, Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit. For Gods, yet able to make Gods of Men : And why not Gods of Men, since good, the more Communicated, more abundant grows,
The author not impair’d, but honour'd more!
85 Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds With him I few, and underneath beheld The earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide And various : wond'ring at my flight and change To this high exaltation ; suddenly
90 My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down, And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her night Related, and thus Adam answer'd sad. Best image of myself and dearer half,
95 The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Affects me equally : nor can I like This uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear; Yet evil whence? In thee can harbour none, Created pure.. But know that in the soul Are many lesser faculties, that serve Reason as chief : among these fancy next