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Greater so manifold, to this one use,
For ought appears, and on their orbs impose 30
Such restless re: olution, day by day
Repeated ; while the sedentary earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Served by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives, 35
As tribute, such a somless journey brought
of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails."

So spake our sire, and by his count'nance seem'd
Ent'ring on studious thoughts abstruse ; which Eve 40
Perceiving, where she sat retir'd in sight,
With lowliness majestic from her seat,
And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers,
To visit how they prosperid, bud and bloom,

45 Her nursery; they at her coming sprung, And, touch'd by her fair tendence, gladlier grew. Yet went she not, as not with such discourse Delighted, or not capable her ear Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv'd, 50 Adam relating, she sole auditress; Her husband the relator she perferråd Before the angel, and of him to ask Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute 55 With conjugal caresses; from his lip Not words alone pleasd her. O when meet now Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'd? With goddess-like demeanour forth she went, Not unattended, for on her, as queen,

60 A pomp of winning graces waited still, And from about her shot darts of desire Into all eyes to wish her still in sight. And Raphael now, to Adam's doubt propos'd, Benevolent and facile thus reply'd.

65 "To ask or search I blame thee not; for Heav'n Is as the book of God before thee sety

Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learn
His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years :
This to attain, whether Heav'n move or Earth, 70
Imports not, if thou reckon right; the rest
From man or angel the great Architect
Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge
His secrets to be scann'd by them who ought
Rather admire; or, if they list to try
Conjecture, he his fabric of the Heav'ns
Hath left to their disputes, perhaps to move
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide
Hereafter, when they come to model Heav'n
And calculate the stars, how they will wield

80
The mighty frame, how build, unbuild, contrive
To save appearances, how gird the sphere
With centric and eccentric seribpled o'er,
Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb:
Already by thy reasoning this I guess,

85 Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest That bodies bright and greater should not serve The less not bright, nor Heav'n such journeys run, Earth sitting still, when she alone receives The benefit: consider first, that great

90 Or bright infers not excellence: the earth, Thoug!), in comparison of Heav'n, so small, Nor glist'ring, may of solid good contain More plenty than the sun that barren shines, Whose virtue on itself works no effect,

95 But in the fruitful earth; there first receiv'd, His beams, unactive else, their vigour find. Yet not to earth are those bright luminaries Officious, but to thee, earth's habitant, And for the Heav'n's wide circuit, let it speak 100 The Maker's high magnificence, who built So spacious, and his line stretch'd out so far; That man may know he dwells not in his own; An edifice too large for him to fill, Lodg'd in a small partition, and the rest

105 Ordain'd for uses to his Lord best known.

The swiftness of thosc circles attribute,
Though numberless, to his omnipotence,
That to corporeal substances could add

109
Speed almost spiritual: me thou think'st not slow,
Who since the morning hour set out from Hearin
Where God resides, and erë mid-day arrivid
In Eden, distance inexpressible
By numbers that have name. Bat this I urge,
Admitting motion in the Heavens, to show 115
Invalid that wliich thee to doubt it mov'd:
Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
To thee who hast thy dwelling here on earth.
God, to remove his ways front human sense,
Plac'd Heav'n from Earth so far, that earthly sight,
If it presume, might err in tijngs too high, 121
And no advantage gain. What if the sun
Be centre to the world, and other stars,
By his attractive virtue and their own
Incited, dance about him various rounds ? 125
Their wand'ring course now high, now low, then lid,
Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,
In six thou seest ; and what if serinth to these
The planet earth, so stedfast though she seem,
Insensibly three different motionis move? 130
Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe,
Mov'd contrary with thrwart obliquities;
Or save the sun his labour, and that swift
Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb suppos'd,
Invisible else above all stars, the wheel

135 of day and night, which needs not thy belief, If earth, industrious of herself, fetch day Travelling east, and with her part averse From the sun's beam meet night, her other part Still luminous by his ray. What if that light, 140 Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air, To the terrestrial muou be as a star Enlightning her by day, as she by night This earth? reciprocal, if land be there, Fields and inhabitants: her spots thou seest 245

As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
Fruits in her soften'd soil, for some to eat
Allotted there, and other suns perhaps,
With their attendant moons, thou wilt descry,
Communicating male and female light,

150
Which two great sexes animate the world,
Stord in each orb perhaps with some that live.
For such vast room in nature unpossess'd
By living soul, dtsert and desolate,
Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute

165 Each orb a glimpse of light, convey'd so far Down to this habitable, which returns Light back to them, is obvious to dispute. But whether thus these things, or whether not; Whether the sun, predominant in Heav'n, 160 Rise on the earth ; or earth rise on the sun ; He from the east his flaming road begin; Or she from west her silent course advance With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps On her soft axle, while she paces even,

165 And bears thee soft with the smooth air along'; Solicit not tly thoughts with matters hid ; Leave them to God above; him serve and fear; of other creatures, as him pleases best, Wherever plac'd, let him dispose: joy thou In what he gives to thee, this Paradise And thy fair Eve; Heay'n is for thee too liigti To know what passes there; be lowly wise : Think only what concerns thée and thy being; Dreain not of other worlds, what creatures there 175 Live, in what state, condition, or degree ; Contented that thus far hath been reveald, Not of Earth only, but of highest Heav'n.”

To whom thus Adam, cleard of doubt, reply'd. " How fully hast thou satisfy'd me, pure

180 Intelligence of Heav'n, angel serene! And, freed from intricaries, taught to live The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts To interrupt chę sweet of life, from which

176

God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares, 185
And not molest us, unless we ourselves
Seek them with wand'ring thoughts, and notions rain.
But apt the mind or fancy is to rove
Uncheck'd, and of her roving is no end;
Till warn'd, or by experience taught, she learn, 190
That not to know at large of things remote
From use, obscure and subtle, but to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom: what is more, is fume,
Or emptiness, or fond impertinence,

195
And renders as, in things that most concern,
Unpractis'd, unprepar'd, and still to seek.
Therefore from this high pitch let us descend
A lower flight, and speak of things at hand
Useful; whence haply mention may arise 200
Of something not unseasonable to ask,
By sufferance, and thy wonted favour, deign'd.
Thee I have heard relating what was done
Ere my remembrance: now hear me relate
My story, which perhaps thou hast not heard ; 205
And day is not yet spent; till then thou seest
How subtly to detain thee I devise,
Inviting thee to hear while I relate,
Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply:
For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heav'n; 210
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
Than fruits of palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both, from labour, at the hour
Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill,
Though pleasant; but thy words, with grace divine
Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety.” 216

To whom thus Raphael answer'd heav'nly meek. "Nor are thy lips ungraceful, sire of men, Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd

220 Inward and outward both, his image fair: Speaking or mute, all comeliness and grace Attends thee, and ea word, each motion forms;

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