1    The Angel ended, and in Adam's ear
2    So charming left his voice, that he a while
3    Thought him still speaking, still stood fixed to hear;
4    Then, as new waked, thus gratefully replied.
5    What thanks sufficient, or what recompence
6    Equal, have I to render thee, divine
7    Historian, who thus largely hast allayed
8    The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsafed
9    This friendly condescension to relate
10     Things, else by me unsearchable; now heard
11     With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
12     With glory attributed to the high
13     Creator!  Something yet of doubt remains,
14     Which only thy solution can resolve.
15     When I behold this goodly frame, this world,
16     Of Heaven and Earth consisting; and compute
17     Their magnitudes; this Earth, a spot, a grain,
18     An atom, with the firmament compared
19     And all her numbered stars, that seem to roll
20     Spaces incomprehensible, (for such
21     Their distance argues, and their swift return
22     Diurnal,) merely to officiate light
23     Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot,
24     One day and night; in all her vast survey
25     Useless besides; reasoning I oft admire,
26     How Nature wise and frugal could commit
27     Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
28     So many nobler bodies to create,
29     Greater so manifold, to this one use,
30     For aught appears, and on their orbs impose
31     Such restless revolution day by day
32     Repeated; while the sedentary Earth,
33     That better might with far less compass move,
34     Served by more noble than herself, attains
35     Her end without least motion, and receives,
36     As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
37     Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
38     Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.
39     So spake our sire, and by his countenance seemed
40     Entering on studious thoughts abstruse; which Eve
41     Perceiving, where she sat retired in sight,
42     With lowliness majestick from her seat,
43     And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
44     Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers,
45     To visit how they prospered, bud and bloom,
46     Her nursery; they at her coming sprung,
47     And, touched by her fair tendance, gladlier grew.
48     Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
49     Delighted, or not capable her ear
50     Of what was high: such pleasure she reserved,
51     Adam relating, she sole auditress;
52     Her husband the relater she preferred
53     Before the Angel, and of him to ask
54     Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix
55     Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
56     With conjugal caresses: from his lip
57     Not words alone pleased her.  O! when meet now
58     Such pairs, in love and mutual honour joined?
59     With Goddess-like demeanour forth she went,
60     Not unattended; for on her, as Queen,
61     A pomp of winning Graces waited still,
62     And from about her shot darts of desire
63     Into all eyes, to wish her still in sight.
64     And Raphael now, to Adam's doubt proposed,
65     Benevolent and facile thus replied.
66     To ask or search, I blame thee not; for Heaven
67     Is as the book of God before thee set,
68     Wherein to read his wonderous works, and learn
69     His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years:
70     This to attain, whether Heaven move or Earth,
71     Imports not, if thou reckon right; the rest
72     From Man or Angel the great Architect
73     Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge
74     His secrets to be scanned by them who ought
75     Rather admire; or, if they list to try
76     Conjecture, he his fabrick of the Heavens
77     Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move
78     His laughter at their quaint opinions wide
79     Hereafter; when they come to model Heaven
80     And calculate the stars, how they will wield
81     The mighty frame; how build, unbuild, contrive
82     To save appearances; how gird the sphere
83     With centrick and eccentrick scribbled o'er,
84     Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb:
85     Already by thy reasoning this I guess,
86     Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest
87     That bodies bright and greater should not serve
88     The less not bright, nor Heaven such journeys run,
89     Earth sitting still, when she alone receives
90     The benefit:  Consider first, that great
91     Or bright infers not excellence: the Earth
92     Though, in comparison of Heaven, so small,
93     Nor glistering, may of solid good contain
94     More plenty than the sun that barren shines;
95     Whose virtue on itself works no effect,
96     But in the fruitful Earth; there first received,
97     His beams, unactive else, their vigour find.
98     Yet not to Earth are those bright luminaries
99     Officious; but to thee, Earth's habitant.
100     And for the Heaven's wide circuit, let it speak
101     The Maker's high magnificence, who built
102     So spacious, and his line stretched out so far;
103     That Man may know he dwells not in his own;
104     An edifice too large for him to fill,
105     Lodged in a small partition; and the rest
106     Ordained for uses to his Lord best known.
107     The swiftness of those circles attribute,
108     Though numberless, to his Omnipotence,
109     That to corporeal substances could add
110     Speed almost spiritual:  Me thou thinkest not slow,
111     Who since the morning-hour set out from Heaven
112     Where God resides, and ere mid-day arrived
113     In Eden; distance inexpressible
114     By numbers that have name.  But this I urge,
115     Admitting motion in the Heavens, to show
116     Invalid that which thee to doubt it moved;
117     Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
118     To thee who hast thy dwelling here on Earth.
119     God, to remove his ways from human sense,
120     Placed Heaven from Earth so far, that earthly sight,
121     If it presume, might err in things too high,
122     And no advantage gain.  What if the sun
123     Be center to the world; and other stars,
124     By his attractive virtue and their own
125     Incited, dance about him various rounds?
126     Their wandering course now high, now low, then hid,
127     Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,
128     In six thou seest; and what if seventh to these
129     The planet earth, so stedfast though she seem,
130     Insensibly three different motions move?
131     Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe,
132     Moved contrary with thwart obliquities;
133     Or save the sun his labour, and that swift
134     Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb supposed,
135     Invisible else above all stars, the wheel
136     Of day and night; which needs not thy belief,
137     If earth, industrious of herself, fetch day
138     Travelling east, and with her part averse
139     From the sun's beam meet night, her other part
140     Still luminous by his ray.  What if that light,
141     Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air,
142     To the terrestrial moon be as a star,
143     Enlightening her by day, as she by night
144     This earth? reciprocal, if land be there,
145     Fields and inhabitants:  Her spots thou seest
146     As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
147     Fruits in her softened soil for some to eat
148     Allotted there; and other suns perhaps,
149     With their attendant moons, thou wilt descry,
150     Communicating male and female light;
151     Which two great sexes animate the world,
152     Stored in each orb perhaps with some that live.
153     For such vast room in Nature unpossessed
154     By living soul, desart and desolate,
155     Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute
156     Each orb a glimpse of light, conveyed so far
157     Down to this habitable, which returns
158     Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
159     But whether thus these things, or whether not;
160     But whether the sun, predominant in Heaven,
161     Rise on the earth; or earth rise on the sun;
162     He from the east his flaming road begin;
163     Or she from west her silent course advance,
164     With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps
165     On her soft axle, while she paces even,
166     And bears thee soft with the smooth hair along;
167     Sollicit not thy thoughts with matters hid;
168     Leave them to God above; him serve, and fear!
169     Of other creatures, as him pleases best,
170     Wherever placed, let him dispose; joy thou
171     In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
172     And thy fair Eve; Heaven is for thee too high
173     To know what passes there; be lowly wise:
174     Think only what concerns thee, and thy being;
175     Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there
176     Live, in what state, condition, or degree;
177     Contented that thus far hath been revealed
178     Not of Earth only, but of highest Heaven.
179     To whom thus Adam, cleared of doubt, replied.
180     How fully hast thou satisfied me, pure
181     Intelligence of Heaven, Angel serene!
182     And, freed from intricacies, taught to live
183     The easiest way; nor with perplexing thoughts
184     To interrupt the sweet of life, from which
185     God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares,
186     And not molest us; unless we ourselves
187     Seek them with wandering thoughts, and notions vain.
188     But apt the mind or fancy is to rove
189     Unchecked, and of her roving is no end;
190     Till warned, or by experience taught, she learn,
191     That, not to know at large of things remote
192     From use, obscure and subtle; but, to know
193     That which before us lies in daily life,
194     Is the prime wisdom:  What is more, is fume,
195     Or emptiness, or fond impertinence:
196     And renders us, in things that most concern,
197     Unpractised, unprepared, and still to seek.
198     Therefore from this high pitch let us descend
199     A lower flight, and speak of things at hand
200     Useful; whence, haply, mention may arise
201     Of something not unseasonable to ask,
202     By sufferance, and thy wonted favour, deigned.
203     Thee I have heard relating what was done
204     Ere my remembrance: now, hear me relate
205     My story, which perhaps thou hast not heard;
206     And day is not yet spent; till then thou seest
207     How subtly to detain thee I devise;
208     Inviting thee to hear while I relate;
209     Fond! were it not in hope of thy reply:
210     For, while I sit with thee, I seem in Heaven;
211     And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
212     Than fruits of palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
213     And hunger both, from labour, at the hour
214     Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill,
215     Though pleasant; but thy words, with grace divine
216     Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety.
217     To whom thus Raphael answered heavenly meek.
218     Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men,
219     Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee
220     Abundantly his gifts hath also poured
221     Inward and outward both, his image fair:
222     Speaking, or mute, all comeliness and grace
223     Attends thee; and each word, each motion, forms;
224     Nor less think we in Heaven of thee on Earth
225     Than of our fellow-servant, and inquire
226     Gladly into the ways of God with Man:
227     For God, we see, hath honoured thee, and set
228     On Man his equal love:  Say therefore on;
229     For I that day was absent, as befel,
230     Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,
231     Far on excursion toward the gates of Hell;
232     Squared in full legion (such command we had)
233     To see that none thence issued forth a spy,
234     Or enemy, while God was in his work;
235     Lest he, incensed at such eruption bold,
236     Destruction with creation might have mixed.
237     Not that they durst without his leave attempt;
238     But us he sends upon his high behests
239     For state, as Sovran King; and to inure
240     Our prompt obedience.  Fast we found, fast shut,
241     The dismal gates, and barricadoed strong;
242     But long ere our approaching heard within
243     Noise, other than the sound of dance or song,
244     Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.
245     Glad we returned up to the coasts of light
246     Ere sabbath-evening: so we had in charge.
247     But thy relation now; for I attend,
248     Pleased with thy words no less than thou with mine.
249     So spake the Godlike Power, and thus our Sire.
250     For Man to tell how human life began
251     Is hard; for who himself beginning knew
252     Desire with thee still longer to converse
253     Induced me.  As new waked from soundest sleep,
254     Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid,
255     In balmy sweat; which with his beams the sun
256     Soon dried, and on the reeking moisture fed.
257     Straight toward Heaven my wondering eyes I turned,
258     And gazed a while the ample sky; till, raised
259     By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung,
260     As thitherward endeavouring, and upright
261     Stood on my feet: about me round I saw
262     Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains,
263     And liquid lapse of murmuring streams; by these,
264     Creatures that lived and moved, and walked, or flew;
265     Birds on the branches warbling; all things smiled;
266     With fragrance and with joy my heart o'erflowed.
267     Myself I then perused, and limb by limb
268     Surveyed, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
269     With supple joints, as lively vigour led:
270     But who I was, or where, or from what cause,
271     Knew not; to speak I tried, and forthwith spake;
272     My tongue obeyed, and readily could name
273     Whate'er I saw.  Thou Sun, said I, fair light,
274     And thou enlightened Earth, so fresh and gay,
275     Ye Hills, and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plains,
276     And ye that live and move, fair Creatures, tell,
277     Tell, if ye saw, how I came thus, how here?--
278     Not of myself;--by some great Maker then,
279     In goodness and in power pre-eminent:
280     Tell me, how may I know him, how adore,
281     From whom I have that thus I move and live,
282     And feel that I am happier than I know.--
283     While thus I called, and strayed I knew not whither,
284     From where I first drew air, and first beheld
285     This happy light; when, answer none returned,
286     On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers,
287     Pensive I sat me down:  There gentle sleep
288     First found me, and with soft oppression seised
289     My droused sense, untroubled, though I thought
290     I then was passing to my former state
291     Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
292     When suddenly stood at my head a dream,
293     Whose inward apparition gently moved
294     My fancy to believe I yet had being,
295     And lived:  One came, methought, of shape divine,
296     And said, 'Thy mansion wants thee, Adam; rise,
297     'First Man, of men innumerable ordained
298     'First Father! called by thee, I come thy guide
299     'To the garden of bliss, thy seat prepared.'
300     So saying, by the hand he took me raised,
301     And over fields and waters, as in air
302     Smooth-sliding without step, last led me up
303     A woody mountain; whose high top was plain,
304     A circuit wide, enclosed, with goodliest trees
305     Planted, with walks, and bowers; that what I saw
306     Of Earth before scarce pleasant seemed.  Each tree,
307     Loaden with fairest fruit that hung to the eye
308     Tempting, stirred in me sudden appetite
309     To pluck and eat; whereat I waked, and found
310     Before mine eyes all real, as the dream
311     Had lively shadowed:  Here had new begun
312     My wandering, had not he, who was my guide
313     Up hither, from among the trees appeared,
314     Presence Divine.  Rejoicing, but with awe,
315     In adoration at his feet I fell
316     Submiss:  He reared me, and 'Whom thou soughtest I am,'
317     Said mildly, 'Author of all this thou seest
318     'Above, or round about thee, or beneath.
319     'This Paradise I give thee, count it thine
320     'To till and keep, and of the fruit to eat:
321     'Of every tree that in the garden grows
322     'Eat freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth:
323     'But of the tree whose operation brings
324     'Knowledge of good and ill, which I have set
325     'The pledge of thy obedience and thy faith,
326     'Amid the garden by the tree of life,
327     'Remember what I warn thee, shun to taste,
328     'And shun the bitter consequence: for know,
329     'The day thou eatest thereof, my sole command
330     'Transgressed, inevitably thou shalt die,
331     'From that day mortal; and this happy state
332     'Shalt lose, expelled from hence into a world
333     'Of woe and sorrow.'  Sternly he pronounced
334     The rigid interdiction, which resounds
335     Yet dreadful in mine ear, though in my choice
336     Not to incur; but soon his clear aspect
337     Returned, and gracious purpose thus renewed.
338     'Not only these fair bounds, but all the Earth
339     'To thee and to thy race I give; as lords
340     'Possess it, and all things that therein live,
341     'Or live in sea, or air; beast, fish, and fowl.
342     'In sign whereof, each bird and beast behold
343     'After their kinds; I bring them to receive
344     'From thee their names, and pay thee fealty
345     'With low subjection; understand the same
346     'Of fish within their watery residence,
347     'Not hither summoned, since they cannot change
348     'Their element, to draw the thinner air.'
349     As thus he spake, each bird and beast behold
350     Approaching two and two; these cowering low
351     With blandishment; each bird stooped on his wing.
352     I named them, as they passed, and understood
353     Their nature, with such knowledge God endued
354     My sudden apprehension:  But in these
355     I found not what methought I wanted still;
356     And to the heavenly Vision thus presumed.
357     O, by what name, for thou above all these,
358     Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher,
359     Surpassest far my naming; how may I
360     Adore thee, Author of this universe,
361     And all this good to man? for whose well being
362     So amply, and with hands so liberal,
363     Thou hast provided all things:  But with me
364     I see not who partakes.  In solitude
365     What happiness, who can enjoy alone,
366     Or, all enjoying, what contentment find?
367     Thus I presumptuous; and the Vision bright,
368     As with a smile more brightened, thus replied.
369     What callest thou solitude?  Is not the Earth
370     With various living creatures, and the air
371     Replenished, and all these at thy command
372     To come and play before thee?  Knowest thou not
373     Their language and their ways?  They also know,
374     And reason not contemptibly:  With these
375     Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realm is large.
376     So spake the Universal Lord, and seemed
377     So ordering:  I, with leave of speech implored,
378     And humble deprecation, thus replied.
379     Let not my words offend thee, Heavenly Power;
380     My Maker, be propitious while I speak.
381     Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,
382     And these inferiour far beneath me set?
383     Among unequals what society
384     Can sort, what harmony, or true delight?
385     Which must be mutual, in proportion due
386     Given and received; but, in disparity
387     The one intense, the other still remiss,
388     Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove
389     Tedious alike:  Of fellowship I speak
390     Such as I seek, fit to participate
391     All rational delight: wherein the brute
392     Cannot be human consort:  They rejoice
393     Each with their kind, lion with lioness;
394     So fitly them in pairs thou hast combined:
395     Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl
396     So well converse, nor with the ox the ape;
397     Worse then can man with beast, and least of all.
398     Whereto the Almighty answered, not displeased.
399     A nice and subtle happiness, I see,
400     Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice
401     Of thy associates, Adam! and wilt taste
402     No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary.
403     What thinkest thou then of me, and this my state?
404     Seem I to thee sufficiently possessed
405     Of happiness, or not? who am alone
406     From all eternity; for none I know
407     Second to me or like, equal much less.
408     How have I then with whom to hold converse,
409     Save with the creatures which I made, and those
410     To me inferiour, infinite descents
411     Beneath what other creatures are to thee?
412     He ceased; I lowly answered.  To attain
413     The highth and depth of thy eternal ways
414     All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things!
415     Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee
416     Is no deficience found:  Not so is Man,
417     But in degree; the cause of his desire
418     By conversation with his like to help
419     Or solace his defects.  No need that thou
420     Shouldst propagate, already Infinite;
421     And through all numbers absolute, though One:
422     But Man by number is to manifest
423     His single imperfection, and beget
424     Like of his like, his image multiplied,
425     In unity defective; which requires
426     Collateral love, and dearest amity.
427     Thou in thy secresy although alone,
428     Best with thyself accompanied, seekest not
429     Social communication; yet, so pleased,
430     Canst raise thy creature to what highth thou wilt
431     Of union or communion, deified:
432     I, by conversing, cannot these erect
433     From prone; nor in their ways complacence find.
434     Thus I emboldened spake, and freedom used
435     Permissive, and acceptance found; which gained
436     This answer from the gracious Voice Divine.
437     Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased;
438     And find thee knowing, not of beasts alone,
439     Which thou hast rightly named, but of thyself;
440     Expressing well the spirit within thee free,
441     My image, not imparted to the brute;
442     Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee
443     Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike;
444     And be so minded still:  I, ere thou spakest,
445     Knew it not good for Man to be alone;
446     And no such company as then thou sawest
447     Intended thee; for trial only brought,
448     To see how thou couldest judge of fit and meet:
449     What next I bring shall please thee, be assured,
450     Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
451     Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.
452     He ended, or I heard no more; for now
453     My earthly by his heavenly overpowered,
454     Which it had long stood under, strained to the highth
455     In that celestial colloquy sublime,
456     As with an object that excels the sense
457     Dazzled and spent, sunk down; and sought repair
458     Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, called
459     By Nature as in aid, and closed mine eyes.
460     Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell
461     Of fancy, my internal sight; by which,
462     Abstract as in a trance, methought I saw,
463     Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
464     Still glorious before whom awake I stood:
465     Who stooping opened my left side, and took
466     From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
467     And life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound,
468     But suddenly with flesh filled up and healed:
469     The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands;
470     Under his forming hands a creature grew,
471     Man-like, but different sex; so lovely fair,
472     That what seemed fair in all the world, seemed now
473     Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained
474     And in her looks; which from that time infused
475     Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
476     And into all things from her air inspired
477     The spirit of love and amorous delight.
478     She disappeared, and left me dark; I waked
479     To find her, or for ever to deplore
480     Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure:
481     When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
482     Such as I saw her in my dream, adorned
483     With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
484     To make her amiable:  On she came,
485     Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen,
486     And guided by his voice; nor uninformed
487     Of nuptial sanctity, and marriage rites:
488     Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye,
489     In every gesture dignity and love.
490     I, overjoyed, could not forbear aloud.
491     This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfilled
492     Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
493     Giver of all things fair! but fairest this
494     Of all thy gifts! nor enviest.  I now see
495     Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself
496     Before me:  Woman is her name;of Man
497     Extracted: for this cause he shall forego
498     Father and mother, and to his wife adhere;
499     And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.
500     She heard me thus; and though divinely brought,
501     Yet innocence, and virgin modesty,
502     Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth,
503     That would be wooed, and not unsought be won,
504     Not obvious, not obtrusive, but, retired,
505     The more desirable; or, to say all,
506     Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought,
507     Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turned:
508     I followed her; she what was honour knew,
509     And with obsequious majesty approved
510     My pleaded reason.  To the nuptial bower
511     I led her blushing like the morn: All Heaven,
512     And happy constellations, on that hour
513     Shed their selectest influence; the Earth
514     Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
515     Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
516     Whispered it to the woods, and from their wings
517     Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub,
518     Disporting, till the amorous bird of night
519     Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening-star
520     On his hill top, to light the bridal lamp.
521     Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought
522     My story to the sum of earthly bliss,
523     Which I enjoy; and must confess to find
524     In all things else delight indeed, but such
525     As, used or not, works in the mind no change,
526     Nor vehement desire; these delicacies
527     I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers,
528     Walks, and the melody of birds: but here
529     Far otherwise, transported I behold,
530     Transported touch; here passion first I felt,
531     Commotion strange! in all enjoyments else
532     Superiour and unmoved; here only weak
533     Against the charm of Beauty's powerful glance.
534     Or Nature failed in me, and left some part
535     Not proof enough such object to sustain;
536     Or, from my side subducting, took perhaps
537     More than enough; at least on her bestowed
538     Too much of ornament, in outward show
539     Elaborate, of inward less exact.
540     For well I understand in the prime end
541     Of Nature her the inferiour, in the mind
542     And inward faculties, which most excel;
543     In outward also her resembling less
544     His image who made both, and less expressing
545     The character of that dominion given
546     O'er other creatures:  Yet when I approach
547     Her loveliness, so absolute she seems
548     And in herself complete, so well to know
549     Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
550     Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best:
551     All higher knowledge in her presence falls
552     Degraded;  Wisdom in discourse with her
553     Loses discountenanced, and like Folly shows;
554     Authority and Reason on her wait,
555     As one intended first, not after made
556     Occasionally; and, to consummate all,
557     Greatness of mind and Nobleness their seat
558     Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
559     About her, as a guard angelick placed.
560     To whom the Angel with contracted brow.
561     Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part;
562     Do thou but thine; and be not diffident
563     Of Wisdom; she deserts thee not, if thou
564     Dismiss not her, when most thou needest her nigh,
565     By attributing overmuch to things
566     Less excellent, as thou thyself perceivest.
567     For, what admirest thou, what transports thee so,
568     An outside? fair, no doubt, and worthy well
569     Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love;
570     Not thy subjection:  Weigh with her thyself;
571     Then value:  Oft-times nothing profits more
572     Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right
573     Well managed; of that skill the more thou knowest,
574     The more she will acknowledge thee her head,
575     And to realities yield all her shows:
576     Made so adorn for thy delight the more,
577     So awful, that with honour thou mayest love
578     Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise.
579     But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind
580     Is propagated, seem such dear delight
581     Beyond all other; think the same vouchsafed
582     To cattle and each beast; which would not be
583     To them made common and divulged, if aught
584     Therein enjoyed were worthy to subdue
585     The soul of man, or passion in him move.
586     What higher in her society thou findest
587     Attractive, human, rational, love still;
588     In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
589     Wherein true love consists not:  Love refines
590     The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his seat
591     In reason, and is judicious; is the scale
592     By which to heavenly love thou mayest ascend,
593     Not sunk in carnal pleasure; for which cause,
594     Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.
595     To whom thus, half abashed, Adam replied.
596     Neither her outside formed so fair, nor aught
597     In procreation common to all kinds,
598     (Though higher of the genial bed by far,
599     And with mysterious reverence I deem,)
600     So much delights me, as those graceful acts,
601     Those thousand decencies, that daily flow
602     From all her words and actions mixed with love
603     And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned
604     Union of mind, or in us both one soul;
605     Harmony to behold in wedded pair
606     More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear.
607     Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose
608     What inward thence I feel, not therefore foiled,
609     Who meet with various objects, from the sense
610     Variously representing; yet, still free,
611     Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
612     To love, thou blamest me not; for Love, thou sayest,
613     Leads up to Heaven, is both the way and guide;
614     Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask:
615     Love not the heavenly Spirits, and how their love
616     Express they? by looks only? or do they mix
617     Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?
618     To whom the Angel, with a smile that glowed
619     Celestial rosy red, Love's proper hue,
620     Answered.  Let it suffice thee that thou knowest
621     Us happy, and without love no happiness.
622     Whatever pure thou in the body enjoyest,
623     (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
624     In eminence; and obstacle find none
625     Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars;
626     Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace,
627     Total they mix, union of pure with pure
628     Desiring, nor restrained conveyance need,
629     As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.
630     But I can now no more; the parting sun
631     Beyond the Earth's green Cape and verdant Isles
632     Hesperian sets, my signal to depart.
633     Be strong, live happy, and love!  But, first of all,
634     Him, whom to love is to obey, and keep
635     His great command; take heed lest passion sway
636     Thy judgement to do aught, which else free will
637     Would not admit: thine, and of all thy sons,
638     The weal or woe in thee is placed; beware!
639     I in thy persevering shall rejoice,
640     And all the Blest:  Stand fast;to stand or fall
641     Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.
642     Perfect within, no outward aid require;
643     And all temptation to transgress repel.
644     So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
645     Followed with benediction.  Since to part,
646     Go, heavenly guest, ethereal Messenger,
647     Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore!
648     Gentle to me and affable hath been
649     Thy condescension, and shall be honoured ever
650     With grateful memory:  Thou to mankind
651     Be good and friendly still, and oft return!
652     So parted they; the Angel up to Heaven
653     From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.