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Those have their course to finish, round the earth,
By morrow ev’ning, and from land to land
In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Minist'ring light prepar'd, they set and rise ;
Lest total darkness should by night regain
Her old possession, and extinguish life
In nature and all things, which these soft fires
Not only enlighten, but with kindly heat
Of various influence foment and warm,
Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, 674
Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none,
That heav'n would want spectators, God want

praise :
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep.
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night: how often from the steep 680
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
Singing their great Creator? oft in bands

661 Those] “ These” is Tonson's and Newton’s alteration. Milton's reading is . Those.'

877 walk the earth] The same expression occurs in P. J.. vii. 477. Creep the ground.' Cicero de Finibus, ii. c. 34. • Maria ambulavisset.' See Wakef. Lucret. ï. v. 206.

While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk, With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds 680 In full harmonic number join'd, their songs Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven.

Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd On to their blissful bower; it was'a place 690 Chosen by the sov'reign planter, when he fram'd All things to man's delightful use: the roof Of thickest covert was inwoven shade, Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side 695 Acanthus and each odorous bushy shrub Fenc'd

up

the verdant wall, each beauteous flow'r, Iris all hues, roses, and jessamin Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and

wrought Mosaic; under foot the violet, Crocus, and hyacinth with rich inlay Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone Of costliest emblem: other creature here, Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none; Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower 706 More sacred and sequester'd, though but feign’d, Pan or Sylvanus never slept; nor nymph,

700

688 Divide] Sil. Ital. vii. 154.

• Cum buccina noctem
Divideret.'

Richardson. 703 emblem] Inlay. “Arte pavimenti, atque emblemati ver. miculato. Bentley.

705 shadier) shadie, 2nd ed.

710

715

Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess
With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs,
Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed,
And heav'nly choirs the Hymenæan sung,
What day the genial angel to our sire
Brought her in-naked beauty more adorn'd,
More lovely than Pandora, whom the Gods
Endow'd with all their gifts, and 0 too like
In sad event, when to the unwiser son
Of Japhet brought by Hermes she ensnar'd
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire.

Thus at their shady lodge arriv'd, both' stood,
Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heav'n
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole. Thou also mad'st the night,
Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day,
Which we in our appointed work employ'd
Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place
For us too large, where thy abundance wants 7:30
Partakers, and uncrop'd falls to the ground.
But thou hast promis'd from us two a race
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol

725

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719 authentic fire] Or him who stole from Jove narthecal fire.' Bentl. MS. 723 moon) Virg. Æn. vi. 725.' Lucentemque globum lune.

Hume.

740

l'hy goodness infinite, both when we wake, And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep. 735

This said unanimous, and other rites Observing none, but adoration pure Which God likes best, into their inmost bower Handed they went; and, eas'd the putting off These troublesome disguises which we wear, Straight side by side were laid; nor turn'd, I

ween, Adam from his fair spouse; nor Eve the rites Mysterious of connubial love refus'd: Whatever hypocrites austerely talk Of purity, and place, and innocence, Defaming as impure what God declares Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all. Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain But our destroyer, foe to God and man? Hail wedded love, mysterious law, true source 750 Of human offspring, sole propriety In paradise of all things common else. By thee adulterous lust was driv’n from men Among the bestial herds to range; by thee

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750 Hail wedded love] Mr. Dyce compares Middleton •

• Reverend and honourable matrimony,
Mother of lawfull sweetes, unshamed mornings,
Dangerlesse pleasures; thou that mak’st the bed
Both pleasant, and legitimately fruitful. without thee,
All the whole world were soyled bastardy:
Thou art the onely and the greatest forme,
That put'st a difference betweene our desires
And the disordered appetites of beastes.'

The Phænir, 1607. Sig. 1) 4.

755

Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure,
Relations dear, and all the charities
Of father, son, and brother, first were known.
Far be it, that I should write thee sin or blame,
Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets, 700
Whose bed is undefild and chaste pronounc'd,
Present, or past, as saints and patriarchs us'd.
Here Love his golden shafts employs, here lights
His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings,
Reigns here, and revels; not in the bought smile 465
Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear'd,
Casual fruition ; nor in court amours,
Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball,
Or serenate, which the starv'd lover sings
To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.
These, lulld by nightingales, embracing slept,
And on their naked limbs the flow'ry roof
Shower'd roses, which the morn repair'd. Sleep on,
Blest pair, and O! yet happiest if ye seek
No happier state, and know to know no more. 775

Now had night measur'd with her shadowy cone Half way up

hill this vast sublunar vault, And from their ivory port the Cherubim Forth issuing at th' accustom'd hour stood arm'd To their night watches in warlike parade, When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake.

Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south 778 ivory] Ov. Met. iv. 185. *Lemnius extemplo valvas patefecit eburnas. Newton.

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