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A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold,
And pavement stars, as stars to thee appear,
Seen in the galaxy, that milky way,

Which nightly, as a circling zone thou seest,
Powder'd with stars. And now on earth the
Evening arose in Eden, for the sun [seventh
Was set, and twilight from the east came on
Forerunning night; when, at the holy mount
Of heaven's high-seated top, the imperial throne
Of Godhead, fix'd for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Power arrived, and sat him down
With his great Father; for he also went
Invisible, yet stay'd, (such privilege
Hath Omnipresence,) and the work ordain'd,
Author and end of all things; and from work
Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the seventh day,
As resting on that day from all his work;
But not in silence holy kept; the harp
Had work, and rested not, the solemn pipe,
And dulcimer, all organs of sweet stop,
All sounds on fret, by string or golden wire,
Temper'd soft tunings, intermix'd with voice,
Choral or unison: of incense clouds,
Fuming from golden censers, hid the mount.
Creation, and the six days' acts, they sung:

"Great are thy works, Jehovah! infinite
Thy pow'r! what thought can measure thee, or
Relate thee? greater now in thy return, [tongue
Than from the giant angels; thee that day
Thy thunders magnified; but to create

Is greater than created to destroy.

Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy empire? easily the proud attempt
Of spirits apostate, and their counsels vain,
Thou hast repell'd, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshippers. Who seeks
To lessen thee, against his purpose, serves
To manifest the more thy might: his evil
Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
Witness this new-made world, another heaven,
From heaven-gate not far, founded in view
On the clear hyaline, the glassy sea;
Of amplitude almost immense, with stars
Numerous, and every star perhaps a world
Of destined habitation; but thou know'st
Their seasons: among these the seat of men,
Earth with her nether ocean circumfused,
Their pleasant dwelling-place. Thrice happy men,
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanced,
Created in his image, there to dwell,
And worship him, and in reward to rule
Over his works, on earth, in sea, or air,
And multiply a race of worshippers,
Holy and just: thrice happy, if they know
Their happiness, and persevere upright.'

"So sung they, and the empyrean rung
With hallelujahs: Thus was sabbath kept.
And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd
How first this world and face of things began,

And what before thy memory was done
From the beginning; that posterity,
Inform'd by thee, might know; if else thou seek'st
Aught, not surpassing human measure, say."

END OF BOOK VIL

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK VIII.

THE ARGUMENT.

Adam inquires concerning celestial motions; is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge: Adam assents; and, still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation; his placing in Paradise; his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society; his first meeting and nuptials with Eve; his discourse with the angel thereupon; who, after admonitions repeated, departs.

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