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ARGUMENT OF BOOK VII.

RAPHAEL, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his angels out of heaven, declared his pleasure to create another world, and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory, and attendance of angels, to perform the work of creation in six days; the angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into heaven.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK VII.

DESCEND from heaven,' Urania,' by that name
If rightly thou art call'd, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing.

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The meaning, not the name, I call: for thou
Nor of the. Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell'st; but, heavenly-born,
Before the hills appear'd,' or fountain flow'd,
Thou with Eternal Wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
With thy celestial song. Up-led by thee,
Into the heaven of heavens I have presumed,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy tempering: with like safety guided down, 15
Return me to my native element;

Lest from this flying steed unrein'd, (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime)
Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,
Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.
Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible diurnal sphere:

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Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole,
More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchanged
To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days,
On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues; 26
In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round,
And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
Visit'st my slumbers nightly, or when morn
Purples the east: still govern thou my song,
Urania, and fit audience find, though few:
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race

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Of that vile rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears 35
To rapture, till the savage clamour drown'd
Both harp and voice; nor could the Muse defend
Her son.
So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream.
Say, goddess, what ensued, when Raphaël, 40
The affable archangel, had forewarn'd

Adam, by dire example, to beware
Apostasy, by what befell in heaven
To those apostates; lest the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his race,
Charged not to touch the interdicted tree,

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If they transgress, and slight that sole command, So easily obey'd amid the choice

Of all tastes else to please their appetite,
Though wandering. He, with his consorted Eve,
The story heard attentive, and was fill'd
With admiration and deep muse, to hear

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Of things so high and strange; things, to their thought

So unimaginable, as hate in heaven,

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And war so near the peace of God in bliss,
With such confusion: but the evil, soon
Driven back, redounded as a flood on those
From whom it sprung; impossible to mix
With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd
The doubts that in his heart arose; and now
Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
What nearer might concern him; how this world
Of heaven and earth conspicuous first began;
When, and whereof created; for what cause;
What within Eden, or without, was done
Before his memory: as one, whose drouth
Yet scarce allay'd, still eyes the current stream,
Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his heavenly guest:

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Great things and full of wonder in our ears, 70 Far differing from this world, thou hast reveal'd, Divine interpreter! by favour sent

Down from the empyrean, to forewarn

Us timely of what might else have been our loss, Unknown, which human knowledge could not

reach;

For which to the infinitely Good we owe
Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receive, with solemn purpose to observe

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