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When to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise
He lights, and to his proper shape returns,
A seraph winged : six wings he wore to shade
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament; the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold
And colors dipped in heaven; the third his feet
Shadowed from either heel with feathered mail,
Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stoon, 285
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance filled
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands
Of angels under watch, and to his state
And to his message high in honor rise,

289
For on some message high they guessed him bound.
Their glittering tents he passed, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flowering odors, cassia, nard, and balm,
A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
Wantoned as in her prime, and played at will 295
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss.
Him, through the spicy forest onward come,
Adam discerned, as in the door he sat

bird that, after having lived five 278. lineaments, formas de. hundred years, built for itself a scribed or marked by lines. funeral pile of cinnamon, spike- 281. zone, girdle. nard, and myrrh. As it drew 284. with feathered mail, cov. its last breath, a young Phoenix ering with feathers overlapping sprang from its ashes, to live an- each other like plates of armor. other five hundred years, and 285. Sky-tinctured grain, tinged then die in like manner. Thus with the grain or color of the sky. it was that sole bird. The young – Maia's son, Mercury, the mesbird carried the nest which con- senger of the gods, whose feet tained the ashes of its parent, his were winged. See III. 603. reliques, to Egypt, there to in 289. in, in sign of. shrine it in the Temple of the Sun. 297. enormous, beyond or with. 277-285. See line 250.

out measure.

Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun 300
Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm
Earth’s inmost womb, more warmth than Adam

needs;
And Eve within due at her hour prepared
For dinner savory fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst

305 Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream, Berry or grape ; to whom thus Adam called :

“ Haste hither, Eve, and, worth thy sight, behold Eastward among those trees what glorious shape Comes this way moving, seems another morn 310 Risen on mid-noon; some great behest from Heaven To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe This day to be our guest. But go with speed, And what thy stores contain bring forth, and pour Abundance, fit to honor and receive Our heavenly stranger: well we may afford Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow From large bestowed, where Nature multiplies Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.” · 320

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To whom thus Eve: “ Adam, earth's hallowed

mould, Of God inspired ! small store will serve where store All seasons ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes. But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice To entertain our angel guest, as he Beholding shall confess, that here on Earth God hath dispensed his bounties as in Heaven.” 330 303. due, punctual.

321. See Genesis ii. 7. 310. seems that seems.

328. as, that.

311. behest, command.

· So saying, with despatchful looks in haste
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent
What choice to choose for delicacy best,
What order so contrived as not to mix
Tastes, not well joined, inelegant, but bring 335
Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change ;
Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk
Whatever Earth, all bearing mother, yields
In India East or West, or middle shore,
In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where

340
Alcinõus reigned, fruit of all kinds, in coat
Rough or smooth rined, or bearded husk, or shell,
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board
Heaps with unsparing hand : for drink the grape
She crushes, inoffensive must, and meathes 345
From many a berry, and from sweet kernels pressed
She tempers dulcet creams ; nor these to hold
Wants her fit vessels pure : then strews the ground
With rose and odors from the shrub unfumed.

350

Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train Accompanied than with his own complete Perfections ; in himself was all his state,

333. What choice, her thought the scanning of this line, see note was, what choice.

on III. 36. Here the second foot 335. not well joined, inelegant, consists of three syllables. if not well joined or mixed after 312. Rough or smooth rined or careful selection, then not pleas- rinded, having a rough or smooth ing.

rind. 339. middle shore, what lies be- 345. must, new wine pressed tween.

from the grape, but not fer340. Pontus was in the north- mented; therefore inoffensive, ern part of Asia Minor. - the without intoxicating qualities.Punic coast was the coast of meathes, meads. Carthage, in the north of Africa. 347. tempers, suitably prepares.

341. where Alcinous reigned. 348. Wants her, has she any Alcinous was the ruler of the lack of. Phæacians, who entertained 349. unfumed, giving forth its Ulysses in his island of Scheria, fragrance without being burned on the west of Greece, as related like incense. by Homer in the Odyssey. For

More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits
On princes, when their rich retinue long

355
Of horses led and grooms besmeared with gold
Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape.
Nearer his presence Adam, though not awed,
Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek,
As to a superior nature, bowing low,

360 Thus said : 6 Native of Heaven ! for other place None can than Heaven such glorious shape contain, Since, by descending from the thrones above, Those happy places thou hast deigned awhile To want and honor these, vouchsafe with us 365 Two only, who yet by sovran gift possess This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower To rest, and what the garden choicest bears To sit and taste, till this meridian heat Be over, and the sun more cool decline.”

370

Whom thus the angelic Virtue answered mild : “ Adam, I therefore came; nor art thou such Created, or such place hast here to dwell, As may not oft invite, though spirits of Heaven, To visit thee: lead on then where thy bower 375 O'ershades; for these midhours, till evening rise, I have at will.” So to the sylvan lodge They came, that like Pomona's arbor smiled With flowerets decked and fragrant smells; but Eve Undecked save with herself, more lovely fair 380 Than wood-nymph or the fairest goddess feigned Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove,

358. Nearer, when nearer to. 382. three Juno, Minerva, and 359. submiss, submissive. Venus each claimed the prize of

365. To want, to be without; beauty. Jupiter sent them to to leave.

Mount [da, where Paris, son of 371. Virtue. See II. 311. Priam king of Troy, was tending 374. though spirits, even spir his flocks. He adjudged the prize

to Venus, the fairest goddess 378. Pomona presided over feigned. His decision was called fruit and its culture.

the Judgment of Paris.

its.

Stood to entertain her guest from Heaven : no veil
She needed, virtue-proof; no thought infirm
Altered her cheek. On whom the angel Hail ! 385
Bestowed, the holy salutation used
Long after to blest Mary, second Eve :
“ Hail, mother of mankind, whose fruitful womb
Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons,
Than with these various fruits the trees of God 390
Have heaped this table !” Raised of grassy turf
Their table was, and mossy seats had round,
And on her ample square from side to side
All autumn piled, though spring and autumn here
Danced hand in hand. Awhile discourse they hold
(No fear lest dinner cool), when thus began 396
Our author : “ Heavenly stranger, please to taste
These bounties, which our nourisher, from whom
All perfect good unmeasured out descends
To us for food and for delight, hath caused 400
The earth to yield ; unsavory food perhaps
To spiritual natures; only this I know,
That one celestial Father gives to all.”

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To whom the angel : “ Therefore what he gives (Whose praise be ever sung!) to man in part 405 Spiritual, may of purest spirits be found No ingrateful food : and food alike those pure Intelligential substances require, As doth your rational ; and both contain Within them every lower faculty Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste;

384. virtue-proof, strong or safe 394. piled, had all autumn, the in virtue.

fruits of autumn, piled. 386. the holy salutation. “And 397. Our author, him from the angel came in unto her, and whom we derive our origin ; our Baid, Hail, thou that art highly first ancestor. favored."' Luke i. 28.

406. of, by. 392. round is an adverb.

407. ingrateful, unpleasing. 393. her, its.

409. rational, rational substance.

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