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PARADISE LOST.

BOOK XI.

THE ARGUMENT.

THE Son of God presents to his Father the prayers o

our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in paradise ; sends Michael with a band of cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach; goes out to meet him: the angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits : the angel leads him up to a high hill ; sets before him in vision what shall happen till the flood.

Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood Praying, for from the mercy-seat above Prevenient grace descending had remov'd The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath'd 5 Unutterable, which the spirit of prayer Inspir’d, and wing’d for heav'n with speedier flight Than loudest oratory: yet their port Not of mean suitors, nor important less Seem'd their petition, than when th' ancient pair 10 In fables old, less ancient yet than these,

11 in fables old] Fables told this. Bentl. MS.

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Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To heav'n their prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate: in they pass’d
Dimensionless through heav'nly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fum’d,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne : them the glad Son
Presenting thus to intercede began.

See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in man, these sighs
And prayers, which, in this golden censer mix'd
With incense, I thy priest before thee bring,
Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
Sown with contrition in his heart, than those
Which his own hand manuring all the trees
Of paradise could have produc'd, ere fall’n
From innocence. Now therefore bend thine ear
To supplication, hear his sighs though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him, me his advocate
And propitiation ; all his works on me
Good or not good ingraft, my merit those
Shall perfect, and for these my

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35 41

death shall

pay. Accept me, and in me from these receive The smell of peace toward mankind, let him live Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days

15 envious] Ov. Met. x. 642.

Detulit aura preces ad me non invida blandas.'

6

All my

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Number'd, though sad, till death his doom, (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,)
To better life shall yield him, where with me
redeem'd

may dwell in joy and bliss; Made one with me as I with thee am one.

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene.
All thy request for man, accepted Son,
Obtain; all thy request was my decree:
But longer in that paradise to dwell
The law I gave to nature him forbids :
Those pure immortal elements, that know
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,
Eject him tainted now,

and
purge

him off
As a distemper, gross to air as gross,
And mortal food, as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by sin, that first
Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts
Created him endow'd, with happiness
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other serv'd but to eternize woe,
Till I provided death; so death becomes
His final remedy, and after life
Try'd in sharp tribulation, and refind
By faith and faithful works, to second life,
Wak'd in the renovation of the just,
Resigns him up with heav'n and earth renew'd.
But let us call to synod all the blest
Thro' heav'n's wide bounds ; from them I will not

hide

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My judgments, how with mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant angels late they saw;
And in their state, tho' firm, stood more confirm’d.

He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watch'd; he blew
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom. Th’angelic blast
Filld all the regions: from their blissful bow'rs
Of Amarantin shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where ere they sat
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light
Hasted, resorting to the summons high,
And took their seats; till from his throne supreme
Th’ Almighty thus pronounc'd his sov’reign will.

O Sons, like one of us man is become
To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got ;
Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known
Good by it self, and evil not at all.
He sorrows now, repents,

and
My motions in him, longer than they move,
His heart I know how variable and vain
Self-left. Lest therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live
For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground whence he was taken, fitter soil.

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prays contrite,

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Michael, this my behest have thou in charge;
Take to thee from among the Cherubim
Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the fiend,
Or in behalf of man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise :
Haste thee, and from the paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair,
From hallow'd ground th’ unholy, and denounce
To them and to their progeny from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urg'd,
(For I behold them softend and with tears
Bewailing their excess,) all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten ; intermix
My cov’nant in the woman's seed renew'd ;
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,

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105 drive out] See Adamus Exsul of Grotii, p. 72.

· Vos ergo, Cherubi Cælites! mihi quos ego

Legi Ministros, ite! et horto pellite
Par istud hominum! Sacra deliciis loca
Miseri relinquant! alia telluris sola

Glebasque quærant, et parentem exerceant ! 111 excess] Eve's intemperance. Spens. ii. 12. Bentl. MS. 118 And on the east) See Adamus Exsul of Grotius, p. 72.

Vos state in aditu nemoris, ortivam ad plagam,
Et impedite flammeo versatilis
Mucrone teli, ne quis infigat pedem!

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