Imágenes de página

And day is not yet spent ; till then thou seest With supple joints, as lively rigour led :
How subtly to detain thee I devise ;

But who I was, or where, or from what cause, Inviting thee to hear while I relate;

Knew not; to speak I tried, and forthwith Fond, wereit not in hope of thy reply:

spake; For, while I sit with thee, I seem in Heaven; My tongue obey'd, and readily could name And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear

Whate'er I saw. • Thou Sun,' said ], "fair Than fruits of palm-tree pleasantest to thirst

light, And hunger both, from labour at the bour And thou enlighten'd uth, so fresh and gay, Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill, Ye hills, and dales, ye rivers, woods, and Though pleasant; but thy words, with grace

plajns, divine

And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tell, Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety.” Tell, if ye saw, how I came thus, how here? To whom thus Raphael answer'd heavenly Not of myself ;-by some great Maker then, meek.

In goodness and in power pre-eminent : “ Nor are thy lips ungraceful, sire of men, Tell me, how may I know him, how adare, Nor tongue ineloquent ; for God on thee From whom I have that thus I move and live, Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd

And feel that I am happier than I know.'Inward and outward both, his image fair : While thus I call’d, and stray'd I knew not Speaking, or mute, all comeliness and grace

whither, Attends thee, and each word, each motion, from where I first drew air, and first beheld forms;

This happy light; when answer none return’d, Nor less think we in Heaven of thee on Earth On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers, Than of our fellow-servant, and inquire

Pensive I sat me down: there gentle sleep Gladly into the ways of God with Man: First found me, and with soft oppression seiz'd For God, we see, hath honour'd thee, and set My drowsed sense, untroubled, though I thought On Man his equal love : say therefore on; I then was passing to my former state For I that day was absent, as befel,

Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve: Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure, When suddenly stwod at my head a dream, Far on excursion toward the gates of Hell; Whose inward apparition gently mov'd Squar'd in full legion (sach command we had) My fancy to believe I yet had being, [divine, To see that none thence issued forth a spy, And lir'd: one came, methought, of shape Prenemy, while God was in his work ;

And said, “Thy mansion wants thee, Adam; Lest he, incens'd at such eruption bold,

rise, Destruction with creation might have mix'd. First man, of men innumerable ordain'd Not that they durst without his leave attempt; First father! call'd by thee, I come thy guide Bụt us be sends upon his high behests

To the Garden of Bliss, thy seat prepar'd.' For state, as Sovran King; and to inure So saying, by the hand he took me rais'd, Qur prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shot, And over fields and waters, as in air The dismal gates, and barricado'd strong; Smooth-sliding without step, last led me up But long ere our approaching heard within A woody mountain; whose high top was plaio, Noise, other than the sound of dauce or song, A circuit wide, enclos'd, with good liest trees Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage. Planted, with walks, and bowers; that what I Glad we retum'd up to the coasts of light


(tree, Ere sabbath-evening : so we had in charge. Of Earth before scarce pleasant seem!d. Each But thy relation now; for I attend,

Loaden with fairest fruit that hung to the eye Pleas'd with thy words no less than thou with Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite mine,"

To pluck and eat; whereat I wak'd, and found So spake the godlike power, and thus qur sire. Before mine eyes all real, as the dream « For Man to tell how human life began

Had lively shadow'd: here had new begun Is hard; for who himself beginning knew? My wandering, had not he, who was my guide Desire with thee still longer to converse

Up hither, from among the trees appearld, Induc'd nie. As new wak'd from soundest sleep, Presence Divine. Rejoicing, but with awe, Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid,

In adoration at his feet I fell la balmy sweat ; which with his beams the Sun Submiss: he rear'd me, and • Whom thos Soon dried, and on the reeking moisture fed.

sought'st I am, Straight toward Heaven my wondering eyes i Said mildly, Author of all this thou seest turn'd,

Above, or round about thee, or beneath. And gaz'd a while the ample sky; till, rais'd This Paradise I give thee, count it thine By quick instinctive motion, up 1 sprung, To till and keep, and of the fruit to eat : As thitherward endeavouring, and upright Of every tree that in the garden grows Stood on my feet : about me round I saw

Eat freely with glad heart; fear here so dearth: Hill, dale, and sbady woods, and sunny plains, But of the tree whose operation brings And liquid lapse of murmuring streams; by these, Knowledge of good and il, which I have set Creatures that liv'd and mov'd, and walk'd, or The pledge of thy obedience and thy faith, flew;

Amid the garden by the tree of life, Birds on the branehes warbling; all things smil?d; Remember what I warn thee, shun to taste, With fragrance and with joy my heart o'erflow'd. And shun the bitter consequence: for know, Myself I then perus’d, and limb by limb The day thou eat'st thereof, my sole command Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes Transgress'd, inevitably thou shalt die,

From that day mortal; and this happy state


Shalt lose, expell?d from hence into a world “Whereto the Almighty answer'd not displeas'd.
Of woe and sorrow.' Sternly he pronounc'd A nice and subtle happiness, I see,
The rigid interdiction, which resounds

Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice
Yet dreadful in mine ear, though in my choice Of thy associates, Adam ! and wilt taste
Not to incur; but soon his clear aspect

No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary. Return'd, and gracious purpose thus renew'd. What think'st thou then of me, and this my state? • Not only these fair bounds, but all the Earth Seem I to thee sufficiently possess'd To thee and to thy race I give; as lords

Of happiness, or not? who am alone Possess it, and all things that therein live, From all eternity ; for none I know Or live in sea, or air; beast, fish, and fowl. Second to me or like, equal much less. In sign wbereof, each bird and beast behold How have I then with whom to hold convérse, After their kinds; I bring them to receive Save with the creatures which I made, and those From thee their names, and pay thee feälty To me inferior, infinite descents With low subjection; understand the same Beneath what other creatures are to thee?? Of fish within their watery residence,

He ceas'd; I lowly answer'd. ,' To attain Not hither summon'd, since they cannot change The height and depth of thy eternal ways Their element, to draw the thinner air.'

All human thoughts come short, Supreme of As thus he spake, each bird and beast bebold

things !
Approaching two and two; these cowering low Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee
With blandishment ; each bird stoop'd on his Is no deficience found: not so is Man,

But in degree; the cause of his desire
I nam'd them, as they pass’d, and understood By conversation with his like to help,
Their nature, with such knowledge God endued Or solace his defects. No need that thou
My sudden apprehension : but in these

Shouldst propagate, already infinite;
I found not what methought I wanted still ; And through all numbers absolute, though one:
And to the heavenly vision thus presum'd. But Man by number is to manifest

"O, by what name, for thou above all these, His single imperfection, and beget Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher, Like of his like, his image multiplied, Surpassest far my naming ; how may I

In unity defective; which requires Adore thee, Author of this universe,

Collateral love, and dearest amity. And all this good to Man? for whose well being Thou in thy secresy although alone, So amply, and with hands so liberal,

Best with thyself accompanied, 'seek'st not Thou hast provided all things : but with me Social communication; yet, so pleas'd, I see not who partaķes. In solitude

Canst raise thy creature to what height thou What happiness, who can enjoy alone,

Of union or communion, deified: [wilt Or, all enjoying, what contentment find ?' I, by conversing, cannot these erect Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright, From prone; nor in their ways complacence find." As with a smile more brightened, thus replied. Thus i embolden'd spake, and freedom us'd

“"What call'st thou solitude? Is not the Earth Permissive, and acceptance found ; which gain'd With various living creatures, and the air This answer from the gracious voice divine. Replenish'd, and all these at thy command " Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleas'd; To come and play before thee? Know'st thou not and find thee knowing, not of beasts alone, Their language and their ways? They also Which thou hast rightly nam’d, but of thyself; know,

Expressing well the spirit within thee free, And reason not contemptibly: with these My image, not imparted to the brute: Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realnı is large.' Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee So spake the Universal Lord, and seem'd Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike; So ordering: -1, with leave of speech implord, And be so minded still : I, ere thou spak'st, And humble deprecation, thus replied.

Knew it not good for Man to be alone; "Let not my words offend thee, Heavenly And no such company as then thou saw'st Power,

Intended thee; for trial only brought, My Maker, be propitious while I speak. To see how thou could'st judge of fit and meet : Hast thou not made me here thy substitute, What next I bring shall please thee, be assur'd, And these inferior far beneath me set?

Thy likeness, thy fit help, tby other self, Among unequals what society

Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.' Can sort, what harmony, or true delight? • He ended, or I heard no more; for now Which must be mutual, in proportion due My earthly by his heavenly overpower'd, Given and receiv'd; but in disparity

Which it had long stood under, strain'd to the The one intense, the other still remiss

In that celestial colloquy sublime, [height Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove As with an object that excels the sense Tedious alike: of fellowship I speak

Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought reSuch as I seek, fit to participate

pair All rational delight: wherein the brute

Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call'd Cannot be human consort: they rejoice

By Nature as in aid, and clos'd mine eyes. Each with their kind, lion with lioness;

Mine eyes he clos’d, but open left the cell So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin'd: Of fancy, my internal sight; by which, Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl Abstract as in a trance, methought I saw, So well converse, nor with the ox the ape; Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape Worse then can man with beast, and least of Still glorious before whom awake I stood : all.'

Who stooping open'd my left side, and took TOL, VII,



From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm, Commotion strange! in all enjoyments else And life-blood streaming fresh: wide was the Superior and unmov'd; here only weak wound,

Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance. But suddenly with flesh filld up and heald: Or Nature fail'd in me, and left some part The rib he form’d and fashiond with his hands; Not proof enough such object to sustain ; Under his forming hands a creature grew, Or, from my side subducting, took perhaps Man-like, but different sex ; so lovely fair, More than enough; at least on her bestod That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd Too much of omament, in outward show

Elaborate, of inward less exact.
Mean, or in her surnm'd up, in her contain'd For well I understand in the prime end
And in her looks; which from that time infus'd Of Nature her the inferior, in the mind
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,

And inward faculties, which most excel;
And into all things from her air inspird

In outward also her resembling less The spirit of love and amorous delight.

His image who made both, and less expressing She disappear'd, and left me dark; I wak'd The character of that dominion given To find her, or for ever to deplore

O'er other creatures : yet when I approach Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure : Her loveliness, so absolute she seems When out of hope, behold her, not far off, And in herself complete, so well to know Such as I saw her in my dream, adorn'd Her own, that what she wills to do or say With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best : To make her amiable: on she came,

All higher knowledge in her presence falls Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen, Degraded ; Wisdom in discourse with her And guided by his voice; nor uninform’d Loses discountenanc'd, and like Folly shows; Of nuptial sanctity, and marriage rites : Authority and Reason on her wait, Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye, As one intended first, not after made In every gesture dignity and love,

Occasionally; and, to consummate all, 1, overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud.

Greatness of mind, and Nobleness, their seat " "This turn hath made amends; thou hast Build in her loveliest, and create an awe fufilla

About her, as a guard angelic plac'd." Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign, To whom the angel with contracted brow. Giver of all things fair! but fairest this

“ Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part; Of all thy gifts! nor enviest. I now see Do thou but thine; and be not diffident Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself Of Wisdom; she deserts thee not, if thou Before me: woman is her name; of man Dismiss not her,when most thou need'st her nigh, Extracted : for this cause he shall forego By attributing overmuch to things Father and mother, and to bis wife adhere; Less excellent, as thou thyself perceirst. And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul. For, what admirst thou, what transports thee so, “She heard tne thus; and though divinely An outside ? fair, no doubt, and worthy well brought,

Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love; Yet innocence, and virgin modesty,

Not thy subjection : weigh with her thyself; Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth, Then value : oft-times nothing profits more That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won, Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right Not obvious, not obtrusive, but, retird,

Well manag‘d; of that skill the more thon The more desirable ; or, to say all,

know'st, Nature herself, though pare of sinful thought, The more she will acknowledge thee her head, Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turn'd: And to realities yield all her shows : I follow'd her; she what was honour knew, Made so adorn for thy delight the more, And with obsequious majesty approv'd

So awful, that with honour thou may'st love My pleaded reason. "To the nuptial bower Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least I led her blushing like the morn: all Heaven,

wise. And bappy constellations, on that hour

But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind Shed their selectest influence; the Earth Is propagated, seem such dear delight Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;

Beyond all other ; think the same vouchsafd Joyous the birds ; fresh gales and gentle airs To cattle and each beast; wbich would not be Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings To them made common and divulg'd, if aught Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub, Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue Disporting, till the amorous bird of night The sout of man, or passion in him more, Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening-star What higher in her society thou find'st On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp.

Attractive, human, rational, love still ; Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought In loving thou dost well, in passion not, My story to the sam of earthly bliss,

Wherein true love consists not : Love refines Which I enjoy; and must confess to find The thoughts, and heart enlarges ; bath his seat In all things else delight indeed, hut such In reason, and is judicious; is the scale As, usd or not, works in the mind no change, By which to Heavenly love thou may'st ascend, Nor vehement desire; these delicacies [Aowers, Not sunk in carnal pleasure ; for which cause, I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and Among the beasts no mate for thee was found. Walks, and the melody of birds : but here

To whom thus, half abash’d, Adain replied. Far otherwise, transported I behold,

“ Neither her outside furt'd so fair, oor auzbt Transported touch ; here passion first I felt, In procreation common to all kinds,

(l'hough higher of the genial bed by far,

Paradise; enters into the serpent sleeping. And with mysterious reverence I deem,)

Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their So much delights me, as those graceful acts, labours, which Eve proposes to divide in seThose thousand decencies, that daily fow

veral places, each labouring apart : Adam conFrom all her words and actions mix'd with love sents not, alleging the danger, lest that eneAnd sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd iny, of whom they were forewarned, should atUnion of mind, or in us both one soul;

tempt her found alone : Eve, loth to be thought Harmony to behold in wedded pair

not circumspect or firm enough, urges her More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear. going apart, the rather desirous to make trial, Yet these subject not : I to thee disclose

of her strength ; Adam at last yields : the What inward thence I feel, not therefore foild,

serpent finds her alone ; his subtle approach, Who meet with various objects, from the sense first gazing, then speaking ; with much flatVariously represegting : yet, still free,

tery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Approve the best, and follow what I approve.

Eve, wondering to hear the serpent speak, To love, thou blam'st me not; for Love, thou asks how he attained to human speech, and say'st,

such understanding, not till now ; the serpent Leads up to Heaven, is both the way and guide ; answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask :

the garden he attained both to speech and reaLove not the heavenly spirits, and how their love son, till then void of both : Eve requires him Express they? by looks only? or do they mix to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch ?»

tree of knowledge forbidden; the serpent now To whom the angel, with a smile that glow'd grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments, Celestial rosy red, Love's proper hue,

induces her at length to eat; she, pleased Answerd. “ Let it suffice thee that thou know'st with the taste, deliberates a while whether to Us happy, and without love no happiness.

impart thereof to Adam or not; at last brings Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st,

him of the fruit; relates what persuaded her (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy

to eat thereof: Adam, at first amazed, but in eminence ; and obstacle find none

perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars ; of love, to perish with her: and, extenuating Easier than air with air, if spirits embrace,

the trespass, eats also of the fruit : the effects Total they mix, union of pure with pure

thereof in them both; they seek to cover their Desiring ; not restrain’d conveyance need,

nakedness; then fall to variance and accusaAs flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.

tion of one another.
But I can now no more ; the parting Sun
Beyond the Earth's green cape and verdant isles No more of talk where God or angel guest
Hesperian sets, my signal to depart.

With Man, as with his friend, familiar us'd
Be strong, live happy, and love ! but, first of all, To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Him, whom to love is to obey, and keep

Rural repast; permitting him the while
His great command : take heed lest passion sway Venial discourse unblam'd. I now must change
Thy judgment to do aught, which else free will

Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and Would not admit: thine, and of all thy sons,

breach The weal or woe in thee is plac'd ; beware! Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt I in thy persevering shall rejoice,

And disobedience: on the part of Heaven And all the blest : stand fast ; to stand or fall

Now alienated, distance and distaste, Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.

Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given, Perfect within, no outward aid require ;

That brought into this world a world of woe, And all temptation to transgress repel.”

Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery So saying, he arose ; whom Adam thus Death's harbinger : sad task, yet argument Follow'd with benediction.

“ Since to part,

Not less but more heroic than the wrath Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger,

Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore !

Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Gentle to me and affable hath been

Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd;
Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long
With grateful memory: thou to mankind Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son;
Be good and friendly still, and oft return !" If answerable style I can obtain

So parted they ; the angel up to Heaven Of my celestial patroness, who deigas
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower. Her nightly visitation unimplor’d, .

And dictates to me slumbe ing; or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse :

Since first this subject for heroic song

Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late;

Not sedulous by nature to indite

Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroic deem'd; chief mastery to dissect

With long and tedious havoc fabled knights

In battles feign'd; the better fortitude

Of patience and heroic martyrdom
Satan, having compassed the Eartb, with medi- Uosong; or to describe races and games,

tated guile returns, as a mist, by aight into Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields,


Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds, With second thoughts, reforming what wa Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights

old? At joust and tournament; then marshalld feast For what god, after better, worse would build? Serv'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals; Terrestrial Heaven, danc'd round by other Hea. The skill of artifice or office mean, Not that which justly gives heroic name

That shine, yet bear their bright officions lamps, To person or to poem. Me, of these

Light above light, for thee alone as seems, Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument In thee concentring all their precious beams Remains; sufficient of itself to raise

Of sacred influence! As God in Heaven That name, unless an age too late, or cold Is centre, yet extends to all ; so thou, Climate, or years, damp my intended wing Centring, receiv'st from all those orbs : in thee, Depress'd ; and much they may, if all be mine, Not in themselves, all their known virtue apNot hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.

pears The Sun was sunk, and after him the star Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring

Of creatures animate with gradual life Twilight upon the Earth, short arbiter

Of growth, sense, reason, all summ'd up in Man "Twixt day and night, and now from end to end

With what delight could I have walk'd thee Night's hemisphere had veild the horizon

round, round :

If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange When Satan, who late fled before the threats Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains, Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd

Now land, now sea, and shores with forest In meditated fraud and malice, bent

crown'd, On Man's destruction, maugre what might hap Rocks, dens, and caves! But I in none of these Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.

Find place or refuge; and the more I see By night he fled, and at midnight return'd

Pleasures about me, so much more I feel From compassing the Earth ; cautious of day, Torment within me, as from the hateful siege Since Uriel, regent of the Sun, descried

Of contraries: all good to me becoines His entrance, and forewarnd the cherubim

Bane, and in Heaven much worse would be my That kept their watch; thence full of anguish

state. driven,

But neither here seek I, no nor in Heaven The space of seven continued nights he rode

To dwell, unless by mastering Heaven's Supreme; With darkness thrice the equinoctial line Nor hope to be myself less miserable He circled; four times cross'd the car of night By what I seek, but others to make such From pole to pole travérsing each colure; As I, though thereby worse to me redound: On the eighth returnd; and on the coast averse For only in destroying I find ease From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth To my relentless thoughts; and, him destroyed, Found unsuspected way. There was a place, Or won to what may work his utter loss, Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the For whom all this was made, all this will soon change,

Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe; Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise,

In woe then; that destruction wide may range: Into a gulf shot under ground, till part To me shall be the glory sole among Rose up a fountaju by the tree of life:

The infernal powers, in one day to have marr'd In with the river sunk, and with it rose

What he, Almighty styl'd, six nights and days Satan, involv'd in rising mist; then sought Continued making; and who knows how long Where to lie hid; sea he had search’d, and land, Before had been contriving? though perhaps From Eden over Pontus and the pool

Not longer than since I, in one night, freed Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob;

From servitude inglorious well nigh half Downward as far antarctic ; and in length, The angelic name, and thinner left the throng West from Orontes to the ocean barr'd

Of his adorers : he, to be aveng'd, At Darien ; thence to the land where flows And to repair his nunibers thus impair'd, Ganges and Indus: thus the orb he roam'd Whether such virtue spent af old now faild With narrow search; and with inspection deep More angels to create, if they at least Consider'd every creature, which of all

Are his created, or, to spite us more, Most opportune might serve his wiles; and found Determin'd to advance into our room The serpent subtlest beast of all the field. A creature form'd of earth, and him endos, Him after long debate, irresolute

Exalted from so base origiual, Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose With heavenly spoils, our spoils : what he do Fit vessel, fittest inip of fraud, in whom

He effected; Man he made, and for him built To enter, and his dark suggestions bide

Magnificent this world, and Earth bis seat, From sharpest sight : for, in the wily snake Him lord pronounc'd; and, O indignity ! Whatever sleights, none would suspicious mark, Subjected to his service angel-wings, As from his wit and native subtlety

And Alaming ministers to watch and tend Proceeding ; which, in other beasts observ'd, Their earthy charge : of these the vigilance Doubt might beget of diabolic power

I dread; and, to elude, thus wrapt in mist Active within, beyond the sense of brute. Of midnight vapour glide obscure, and pry Thus be resolv'd, but first from inward grief In every bush and brake, where hap may find His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd. The serpent sleeping ; in whose mazy folds

O Earth, how like to Heaven, if not preferr'd To hide me, and the dark intent I bring. More justly, seat worthier of Gods, as built O foul descent! that I, who erst contended


« AnteriorContinuar »