Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/169

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163
BOOK V.

God hath dispensed bounties as in Heaven."
So saying, with despatchful looks in haste
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent,
What choice to choose for delicacy best,
What order, so contrived as not to mix
Tastes, not well joined, inelegant, but bring
Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change;
Bestirs her then, and, from each tender stalk
Whatever earth, all-bearing mother, yields,
In India East or West, or middle shore
In Pontus, or the Punic coast, or where
Alcinoüs reigned, fruit of all kinds, in coat
Rough or smooth-rined, or bearded husk, or shell,
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board
Heaps with unsparing hand. For drink the grape
She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths
From many a berry, and from sweet kernels pressed
She tempers dulcet creams; nor these to hold
Wants her fit vessels pure; then strows the ground
With rose and odors from the shrub unfumed.
Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet
His godlike guest, walks forth, without more train
Accompanied than with his own complete
Perfections; in himself was all his state,
More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits
On princes, when their rich retinue long
Of horses led, and grooms besmeared with gold,