Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/275

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269
BOOK VIII.

O'er other creatures; yet when I approach
Her loveliness, so abolute she seems
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best.550
All higher Knowledge in her presence falls,
Degraded; Wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discountenanced, and like Folly shews;
Authority and Reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and, to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and Nobleness their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe.
About her, as a guard angelic placed."
To whom the Angel with contracted brow:560
"Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
Of Wisdom; she deserts thee not, if thou
Dismiss not her, when most thou needest her nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things
Less excellent, as thou thyself perceivest.
For what admirest thou? what transports thee so?
An outside; fair, no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honoring, and thy love,
Not thy subjection. Weigh with her thyself;570
Then value. Oft-times nothing profits more
Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right,
Well managed; of that skill the more thou knowest,