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Svirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce
He mark’d and mad demeanour, then alone,
As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen. 130
So on he fares, and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
Now nearer, crowns with her inclosure green,
As with a rural mound, the champain head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,
Access deny'd; and over head upgrew
Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene, and as the ranks ascend

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Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
The verd'rous wall of Paradise up sprung:
Which to our general sire gave prospect large
Into his nether empire neighb’ring round.
And higher than that wall a circling row
Of goodliest trees loaden with fairest fruit,
Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue,
Appear'd with gay enamel'd colours mix'd :
On which the sun more glad impress'd his beanas
Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,
When God hath show'r'd the earth; so lovely seem'd
That landskip: and of pure now purer air
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
All sadness but despair : now gentle gales
Fanning their odoriferous wings dispense

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Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils. As wlien to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are pasť 160
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours from the spicy shore
Of Araby the blest; with such delay
Well pleas'd they slack their course, and many a

league
Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles:
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the Fiend
Who came their bane, though with them better

pleas'd Than Asmodë us with the fishy fume That drove him, though enamour'd, from the

spouse Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent 170 From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.

Now to th' ascent of that steep savage hill Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow; But further way found none, so thick intwin'd As one continued brake, the undergrowth Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd All path of man or beast that pass'd that way : One gate there only was, and that look'd east On th’ other side: which when th' arch-felon saw, Due entrance he disdain’d, and in contempt, 180 At one slight bound high overleap d ail bound Of hill or highest wall, and slicer within Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf, Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,

Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve
In burdiet cotes annid the field secure,
Leaps o’er the fence with ease into t'ie fold:
Or as a thief bent to unhoard the cash
Of some rich burgber, whose substantial doors,
Cross-barr'd and belted fist, fear no assault, 390
In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles :
So ciomb this first grand thief into God's fold;
So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.
Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life,
The middle tree and highest there that grew,
Sat like a corinorant; yet not true life
Thereby regain’d, but sat devising death
To them who liv'd; nor on the virtue thought
Of that life-giving plant, but only us'd
For prospect, what well us'd had been the pledge
Of immortality. So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use.
Beneath him with new wonder now he views
To all delight of human sense expos’d
In narrow room Nature's whole wealth, yea more,
A Heav'n on Earth: for blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in th' east
Of Eden planted; Eden stretch'd her line
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Or where the sons of Edea long before
Dwelt in Telassar : in this pleasant soil

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His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd;
Out of the fertile ground he caus’d to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all anid their stood the tree of life,
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to life,
Our death the tree of knowledge grew fast by,
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a river lirge,
Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggy hill
Pass’d underneath ingulf'd; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden mould high ris'd
Upon the rapid current, which through veins
Of porous earth with kindly thirst np drawn,
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a vill
Water'd the garden; thence unitel tell 230
Down the steep glade, and met the nether food,
Which from his darksome passage now appears,
And now divided into four main strears,
Runs diverse, wand'ring many a famous realmı
And couitry, whereof here needs no account;
But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
How from that saphire fount the crisped brooks,
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
With mazy error under pendent shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed

240 Flow'rs, worthy' of Paradise, which not nice Art In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon Pour'd fort's profusc on hill and dale and plain, Buth whicie tlie morning sun first warmly smote

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The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade I:nbrown'd the noontide bow'rs: Thus was this

place A lappy rural seat of various view ; Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and

balin, Others whose fruit burnish'd with golden rind Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true, 250 If true, here only', and of delicious taste: Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and Alocks Grazing the tender herb, were interpos’d, Or palmy hilloc; or the flow'ry lap Of some irriguous valley spread her store, Flow'rs of all hue, and without thorn the rose: Another side, umbrageous grots and caves Of cool recess, o’er which the mantling vine Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps Luxuriant; mean while murm’ring waters fall 260 Down the slope hilis, dispers’d or in a lake, That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams. The birds their quire apply ; airs, vernal airs, Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune The trembling leaves, while universal Pan Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance Led on th' eternal spring. Not that fair field Of Enna, where Prosérpine gathering flowers Herself a fairer flow'r by gloomy Dis 270 Was gather’d, which cost Ceres all that pain To seek her through the world; nor that sweetgrove

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