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His sentence beyond dust and nature's law,
On me, me oply, as the source and spring
ADAM AND EVE EXPELLED
The hour precise Exacts our parting hence; and see the guards, By me encamp'd on yonder hill, expect Their motion, at whose front a flaming sword, In single of remove, waves fiercely round: We may no longer stay-go, waken Eve: Her also I with gentle dreams have calm’d, Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd To meek submission: thou at season fit, Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard, Chiefly what may concern her faith to know, The great deliverance by her seed to come (For by the woman's seed) on all mankind: That ye may live, which will be many days, Both in one faith unanimous, though sad, With cause for evils past, yet much more cheerd With meditation on the happy end.
He ended, and they both descend the hill; Descended, Adam to the bow'r, where Eve Lay sleeping, ran before, but found her wak’d; And thus with words not sad, she him receiv’d: “ Whence thou return'st, and whither went’st,
I know; For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise, Which he liath sent propitious, some great good Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on; In me is no delay; with thee to go, Is to stay here; without thee here to stay, Is to go hence unwilling; thou with me Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou, Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence. This further consolation yet secure I carry hence; though all by me is lost, Such favour I unworthy am vouchsafd, By me the promis’d Seed shall all restore.”
So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard Well pleas’d, but answer'd not; for now too nigh Th’ Arch-Angel stood, and from the other hill To their fix'd station, all in bright array The Cherubim descended; on the ground Gliding meteorous, as evening mist Ris'n from a river o'er the marish glides, i And gathers ground fast at the lab'rer's heel Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd
The brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd
How is our reason to the future blind,
What sense suggests, how fondly we believe,
Frail is our state, (th' ungodly cry) how few
frame, Nor know we how, or why, or whence we came: Smoke is our breath, a spark our vital part, That warms, and moves, and animates our heart, Which once extinguish’d, we no more are seen ; Then shall we be, as if we ne'er had been. Our works shall all in dark oblivion lie, And with ourselves our very names shall die; Silent, forgot, to nothing we repair, To dust our bodies, and our souls to air.
We vanish like a cloud, that owes its birth To exhalations from the glowing earth, Drawn up, and painted by the solar rays, A beauteous being it awhile displays; But soon dissolv'd, its short-liv'd glory mourns, And to its parent earth in tears returns: View all the heavens around, nor can you find The path it pass'd, or mark its trace behind.