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Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask ;
To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd
pure Desiring ; nor restrain'd conveyance need As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul. But I can now no more ; the parting sun 630 Beyond the Earth's green cape and verdant isles Hesperian sets, my signal to depart. Be strong, live happy', and love, but first of all Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command ; take heed lest passion sway Thy judgment to do aught, which else free-will Would not admit; thine and of all thy sons The weal or woe in thee is plac’d; beware, I in thy persevering shall rejoice, And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or fall Free in thine own arbitrement it lies, 641 Perfect within, no outward aid require ; And all temptation to transgress repel.'
So saying, he arose ; whom Adam thus Follow'd with benediction : Şince to part, Go heav'nly guest, ethereal messenger, Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore. Gentle to me and affable hath been Thy condescension, and shall be honor'd ever With grateful memory: thou to mankind 650 Be good and friendly still, and oft return.
So parted they, the Angel up to Heav'n From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower,
THE END OF THE EIGHTH BOOK.
Che argument. SATAN having compassed the Earth, with meditated guile re
turns as a mist by night into Paradise, enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labors, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each laboring apart : Adam consents not, alledging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should at tempt her found alone : Eve, loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields. The serpent finds her alone; his subtle approachi, first gazing, then speaking, with much fattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding not till now? the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both : Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden. The serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat: she, pleased with the taste, deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof. Adam at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves through vehemence of love to perish with her : and extenuating the trespass eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another,
No more of talk where God or Angel guest
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
song Pleas'd me long chusing, and beginning late ; Not sedulous by nature to indite -Wars, hitherto the only argument Heroic deem'd, chief mast’ry to dissect With long and tedious havoc fabled knights 30 In battles feign'd; the better fortitude Of Patience and heroic Martyrdom
Insung ; or to describe races and games, Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields, Impresses' quaint, caparisons and steeds ;
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
person or to poem. Me of these
The sun was sunk, and after him the star
60 His entrance, and forewarn'd the cherubim That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driven, The
space of sev’n continued nights he rode With Darkness, thrice the equinoctial line He circled, four times cross'd the car of Night