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530

His confort liberty? what, but unbuild
His living temples, built by faith to stand,
Their own faith not another's? for on earth
Who against faith and conscience can be heard
Infallible? yet many will presume:
Whence heavy persecution shall arise
On all who in the worship persevere
Of Spi rit and truth; the rest, far greater part,
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms
Religion satisfy'd; truth shall retire

535 Bestuck with sland'rous darts, and works of faith Rarely be found: so shall the world

go on, To good malignant, to bad men benign, Under her own weight groaning, till the day Appear of respiration to the just,

540 And vengeance to the wicked, at return Of him so fately promis'd to thy aid The Woman's Seed, obscurely then foretold, Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord, Last in the clouds from Heav'n to be reveal'd,

54 In glory of the Father, to dissolve Satan with his perverted world, then raise From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd, New Heav'ns, new Earth, ages of endless date, Founded in righteousness, and peace and love, 5 To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss.

He ended; and thus Adam laft reply'd. How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,

Measu

560

565

Measur'd this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fix’d? beyond is all abyss, 555
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
Greatly in peace of thought, and have

my

fill
Of knowledge, what this vessel can contain;
Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
And love with fear the only God, to walk
As in his presence, ever to observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,
Merciful over all his works, with good
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simply meek; that suffering for truth's sake
Is fortitude to highest victory,

570
And to the faithful death the gate of life;
Taught this by his example whom I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever bleft.

To whom thus also th’Angel last reply'd.
This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum 575
Of wisdom; hope no high er, though all the stars
Thou knew'st by name, and all th'ethereal powers,
All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works,
Or works of God in Heav'n, air, earth, or fea,
And all the riches of this world enjoy'dit,
And all the rule, one empire; only add

Deeds

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580

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585

Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith,
Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love,
By name to come call’d charity, the soul
Of all the relt: then wilt thou not be loath
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
A Paradise within thee, happier far.
Let us descend now therefore from this top
Of speculation; «for the hour precise
Exacts our parting hence; and see the guards, 590
By me incamp'd on yonder hill, expect
Their motion; at whose front a flaming sword,
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;
We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
Her also I with gentle dreams have calm’d 595
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 600 (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 chear'd With meditation on the happy end.

60; 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 fad she him receiv’d.

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Whence thou return'ft, and whither went'st, I know;
For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise, 611
Which he hath sent propitious, fome 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,

615
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me
Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.
This further consolation yet

secure

620
I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
Such favor I,unworthy,am vouchfaf’d,
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 nigh625
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, 630
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
Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat,
And vapor as the Lybian air aduft,

635
Began to parch that temp’rate clime; whereat
In either hand the hall’ning Angel caught

Our

Our ling'ring parents, and to th'eastern gate
Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast
To the subjected plain; then disappear’d. 640
They looking back, all th'eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Wav'd over by that flaming brand, the gate
With dreadful faces throng'd and fiery arms:
Some natural tears they dropt, but wip'd them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose 646
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They, hand in hand, with wand'ring steps and flow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.

T HE E N D.

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