Pagina-afbeeldingen
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And day is not yet spent ; till then thou seest
How subtly to detain thee I devise;
Inviting thee to hear while I relate;
Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply:
For, while I sit with thee, I seem in Heaven;
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
Than fruits of palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both, from labour at the bour
Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill,
Though pleasant; but thy words, with grace
divine

Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety."
To whom thus Raphael answer'd heavenly
meek.

"Nor are thy lips ungraceful, sire of men, Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd Inward and outward both, his image fair: Speaking, or mute, all comeliness and grace Attends thee; and each word, each motion, forms;

Nor less think we in Heaven of thee on Earth
Than of our fellow-servant, and inquire
Gladly into the ways of God with Man:
For God, we see, hath honour'd thee, and set
On Man his equal love: say therefore on;
For I that day was absent, as befel,
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,
Far on excursion toward the gates of Hell;
Squar'd in full legion (sach command we had)
To see that none thence issued forth a spy,
Or enemy, while God was in his work;
Lest he, incens'd at such eruption bold,
Destruction with creation might have mix'd.
Not that they durst without his leave attempt;
But us he sends upon his high behests
For state, as Sovran King; and to inure
Qur prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut,
The dismal gates, and barricado'd strong;
But long ere our approaching heard within
Noise, other than the sound of dance or song,
Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.
Glad we return'd up to the coasts of light
Ere sabbath-evening: so we had in charge.
But thy relation now; for I attend,
Pleas'd with thy words no less than thou with
mine."

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And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tell,
Tell, if ye saw, how I came thus, how here?—
Not of myself;-by some great Maker then,
In goodness and in power pre-eminent :
Tell me, how may I know him, how adore,
From whom I have that thus I move and live,
And feel that I am happier than I know.'-
While thus I call'd, and stray'd I knew not
whither,

From where I first drew air, and first beheld
This happy light; when answer none return'd,
On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers,
Pensive I sat me down: there gentle sleep
First found me, and with soft oppression seiz'd
My drowsed sense, untroubled, though I thought
I then was passing to my former state
Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
When suddenly stood at my head a dream,
Whose inward apparition gently mov'd
My fancy to believe I yet had being, [divine,
And liv'd: one came, methought, of shape
And said, "Thy mansion wants thee, Adam;
rise,

saw

First man, of men innumerable ordain'd
First father! call'd by thee, I come thy guide
To the Garden of Bliss, thy seat prepar'd.'
So saying, by the hand he took me rais'd,
And over fields and waters, as in air
Smooth-sliding without step, last led me up
A woody mountain; whose high top was plain,
A circuit wide, enclos'd, with good liest trees
Planted, with walks, and bowers; that what I
[tree,
Of Earth before scarce pleasant seem'd. Each
Loaden with fairest fruit that hung to the eye
Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite
To pluck and eat; whereat I wak'd, and found
Before mine eyes all real, as the dream
Had lively shadow'd: here had new begun
My wandering, had not he, who was my guide
Up hither, from among the trees appear'd,
Presence Divine. Rejoicing, but with awe,
In adoration at his feet I fell
Submiss: he rear'd me, and
sought'st I am,'
Said mildly, Author of all this thou seest
Above, or round about thee, or beneath.
This Paradise I give thee, count it thine
To till and keep, and of the fruit to eat:
Of every tree that in the garden grows
Eat freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth:
But of the tree whose operation brings
Knowledge of good and ill, which I have set
The pledge of thy obedience and thy faith,
Amid the garden by the tree of life,
Remember what I warn thee, shun to taste,
And shun the bitter consequence: for know,
The day thou eat'st thereof, my sole command
Transgress'd, inevitably thou shalt die,
From that day mortal; and this happy state

Whom thes

Shalt lose, expell'd from hence into a world
Of woe and sorrow.' Sternly he pronounc'd
The rigid interdiction, which resounds
Yet dreadful in mine ear, though in my choice
Not to incur; but soon his clear aspect
Return'd, and gracious purpose thus renew'd.
'Not only these fair bounds, but all the Earth
To thee and to thy race I give; as lords
Possess it, and all things that therein live,
Or live in sea, or air; beast, fish, and fowl.
In sign whereof, each bird and beast behold
After their kinds; I bring them to receive
From thee their names, and pay thee feälty
With low subjection; understand the same
of fish within their watery residence,
Not hither summon'd, since they cannot change
Their element, to draw the thinner air.'
As thus he spake, each bird and beast behold
Approaching two and two; these cowering low
With blandishment; each bird stoop'd on his
wing.

I nam'd them, as they pass'd, and understood
Their nature, with such knowledge God endued
My sudden apprehension: but in these

I found not what methought I wanted still;
And to the heavenly vision thus presum'd.

"O, by what name, for thou above all these,
Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher,
Surpassest far my naming; how may I
Adore thee, Author of this universe,

31

And all this good to Man? for whose well being
So amply, and with hands so liberal,
Thou hast provided all things: but with me
I see not who partakes. In solitude
What happiness, who can enjoy alone,
Or, all enjoying, what contentment find?'
Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright,
As with a smile more brightened, thus replied.
"What call'st thou solitude? Is not the Earth
With various living creatures, and the air
Replenish'd, and all these at thy command
To come and play before thee? Know'st thou not
Their language and their ways? They also
know,

And reason not contemptibly: with these
Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realm is large.'
So spake the Universal Lord, and seem'd
So ordering: I, with leave of speech implor'd,
And humble deprecation, thus replied.
"Let not my words offend thee, Heavenly
Power,

"Whereto the Almighty answer'd,not displeas'd.
'A nice and subtle happiness, I see,
Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice
Of thy associates, Adam! and wilt taste
No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary.
What think'st thou then of me, and this my state?
Seem I to thee sufficiently possess'd
Of happiness, or not? who am alone
From all eternity; for none I know
Second to me or like, equal much less.
How have I then with whom to hold converse,
Save with the creatures which I made, and those
To me inferior, înfinite descents

Beneath what other creatures are to thee?'
He ceas'd; I lowly answer'd.'To attain
The height and depth of thy eternal ways
All human thoughts come short, Supreme of
things!

Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee
Is no deficience found: not so is Man,
But in degree; the cause of his desire
By conversation with his like to help,
Or solace his defects. No need that thou
Shouldst propagate, already infinite;
And through all numbers absolute, though one:
But Man by number is to manifest
His single imperfection, and beget
Like of his like, his image multiplied,
In unity defective; which requires
Collateral love, and dearest amity.
Thou in thy secresy although alone,
Best with thyself accompanied, seek'st not
Social communication; yet, so pleas'd,
Canst raise thy creature to what height thou
Of union or communion, deified:
[wilt
I, by conversing, cannot these erect
From prone; nor in their ways complacence find.
Thus I embolden'd spake, and freedom us'd
Permissive, and acceptance found; which gain'd
This answer from the gracious voice divine.

"Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleas'd;
And find thee knowing, not of beasts alone,
Which thou hast rightly nam'd, but of thyself;
Expressing well the spirit within thee free,
My image, not imparted to the brute:
Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee
Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike;
And be so minded still: I, ere thou spak'st,
Knew it not good for Man to be alone;
And no such company as then thou saw'st
Intended thee; for trial only brought,

My Maker, be propitious while I speak.
Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,
And these inferior far beneath me set?
Among unequals what society

To see how thou could'st judge of fit and meet:
What next I bring shall please thee, be assur'd,
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.'

Can sort, what harmony, or true delight?
Which must be mutual, in proportion due
Given and receiv'd; but in disparity
The one intense, the other still remiss
Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove
Tedious alike: of fellowship I speak
Such as I seek, fit to participate
All rational delight: wherein the brute
Cannot be human consort: they rejoice
Each with their kind, lion with lioness;
So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin'd:
Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl
So well converse, nor with the ox the ape;
Worse then can man with beast, and least of Still glorious before whom awake I stood:

"He ended, or I heard no more; for now
My earthly by his heavenly overpower'd,
Which it had long stood under, strain'd to the
In that celestial colloquy sublime, [height
As with an object that excels the sense
Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought re-
pair

Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call'd
By Nature as in aid, and clos'd mine eyes.
Mine eyes he clos'd, but open left the cell
Of fancy, my internal sight; by which,
Abstract as in a trance, methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape

all.' VOL. VII.

Who stooping open'd my left side, and took

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From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm, And life-blood streaming fresh: wide was the wound,

But suddenly with flesh fill'd up and heal'd:
The rib he form'd and fashion'd with his hands;
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Man-like, but different sex; so lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd

now

Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contain'd
And in her looks; which from that time infus'd
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
And into all things from her air inspir'd
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
She disappear'd, and left me dark; I wak'd
To find her, or for ever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure:
When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I saw her in my dream, adorn'd
With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable: on she came,
Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen,
And guided by his voice; nor uninform'd
Of nuptial sanctity, and marriage rites:
Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love.
1, overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud.
"This turn hath made amends; thou hast
fufilla

Commotion strange ! in all enjoyments else
Superior and unmov'd; here only weak
Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance.
Or Nature fail'd in me, and left some part
Not proof enough such object to sustain ;
Or, from my side subducting, took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestow'd
Too much of ornament, in outward show
Elaborate, of inward less exact.
For well I understand in the prime end
Of Nature her the inferior, in the mind
And inward faculties, which most excel;
In outward also her resembling less
His image who made both, and less expressing
The character of that dominion given
O'er other creatures: yet when I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute 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:
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded; Wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discountenanc'd, and like Folly shows;
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 plac'd."

To whom the angel with contracted brow.
"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 need'st her nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things
Less excellent, as thou thyself perceiv'st.
For, what admir'st thou, what transports thee so,
An outside? fair, no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love;
Not thy subjection: weigh with her thyself;
Then value: oft-times nothing profits more
Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right
Well manag'd; of that skill the more thon
know'st,

Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
Giver of all things fair! but fairest this
Of all thy gifts! nor enviest. I now see
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself
Before me: woman is her name; of man
Extracted for this cause he shall forego
Father and mother, and to his wife adhere;
And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.'
"She heard me thus; and though divinely
brought,
Yet innocence, and virgin modesty,

Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth,
That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but, retir'd,
The more desirable; or, to say all,

Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought,
Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turn'd:
I follow'd her; she what was honour knew,
And with obsequious majesty approv'd
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower
I led her blushing like the morn: all Heaven,
And happy constellations, on that hour
Shed their selectest influence; the Earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings
Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub,
Disporting, till the amorous bird of night
Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening-star
On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp.
Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought
My story to the sum of earthly bliss,
Which I enjoy; and must confess to find
In all things else delight indeed, but such
As, us'd or not, works in the mind no change,
Nor vehement desire; these delicacies [flowers,
I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and
Walks, and the melody of birds: but here
Far otherwise, transported I behold,
Transported touch; here passion first I felt,

The more she will acknowledge thee her head,
And to realities yield all her shows:
Made so adorn for thy delight the more,
So awful, that with honour thou may'st love
Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least
wise.

But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind
Is propagated, seem such dear delight
Beyond all other; think the same vouchsaf'd
To cattle and each beast; which would not be
To them made common and divulg’d, if aught
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue
The soul of man, or passion in him move.
What higher in her society thou find'st
Attractive, human, rational, love still;
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
Wherein true love consists not: Love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges ; hath his seat
In reason, and is judicious; is the scale
By which to Heavenly love thou mayʼst ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure; for which cause,
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found."

To whom thus, half abash'd, Adam replied. "Neither her outside form'd so fair, nor aught 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
PARADISE LOST.

Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late;

Not sedulous by nature to indite
BOOK IX.

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

With long and tedious havoc fabled knights
THE ARGUMENT.

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,
Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshall'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroic name
To person or to poem. Me, of these
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Remains; sufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing
Depress'd; and much they may, if all be mine,
Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.

The Sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the Earth, short arbiter
"Twixt day and night, and now from end to end
Night's hemisphere had veil'd the horizon
round:

When Satan, who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
In meditated fraud and malice, bent
On Man's destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
By night he fled, and at midnight return'd
From compassing the Earth; cautious of day,
Since Uriel, regent of the Sun, descried
His entrance, and forewarn'd the cherubim
That kept their watch; thence full of anguish
driven,

The space of seven continued nights he rode
With darkness thrice the equinoctial line
He circled; four times cross'd the car of night
From pole to pole traversing each colure;
On the eighth return'd; and on the coast averse
From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth
Found unsuspected way. There was a place,
Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the
change,

With second thoughts, reforming what was
old?

For what god, after better, worse would build ?
Terrestrial Heaven, danc'd round by other Hea-

vens

That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps,
Light above light, for thee alone as seems,
In thee concentring all their precious beams
Of sacred influence! As God in Heaven
Is centre, yet extends to all; so thou,
Centring, receiv'st from all those orbs: in thee,
Not in themselves, all their known virtue ap-

pears

Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth
Of creatures animate with gradual life
Of growth, sense, reason, all summ'd up in Man.
With what delight could I have walk'd thee
round,

If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange
Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains,
Now land, now sea, and shores with forest
crown'd,

Rocks, dens, and caves! But I in none of these
Find place or refuge; and the more I see
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel
Torment within me, as from the hateful siege
Of contraries: all good to me becomes
Bane, and in Heaven much worse would be my
state.

Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise,
Into a gulf shot under ground, till part
Rose up a fountain by the tree of life:
In with the river sunk, and with it rose
Satan, involv'd in rising mist; then sought
Where to lie hid; sea he had search'd, and land,
From Eden over Pontus and the pool
Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob;
Downward as far antarctic; and in length,
West from Orontes to the ocean barr'd
At Darien; thence to the land where flows
Ganges and Indus: thus the orb he roam'd
With narrow search; and with inspection deep
Consider'd every creature, which of all
Most opportune might serve his wiles; and found
The serpent subtlest beast of all the field.
Him after long debate, irresolute

Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose
Fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom
To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
From sharpest sight: for, in the wily snake
Whatever sleights, none would suspicious mark,
As from his wit and native subtlety
Proceeding; which, in other beasts observ'd,
Doubt might beget of diabolic power
Active within, beyond the sense of brute.
Thus he resolv'd, but first from inward grief
His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd.

"O Earth, how like to Heaven, if not preferr'd More justly, seat worthier of Gods, as built

But neither here seek I, no nor in Heaven
To dwell, unless by mastering Heaven's Supreme;
Nor hope to be myself less miserable
By what I seek, but others to make such
As I, though thereby worse to me redound:
For only in destroying I find ease
To my relentless thoughts; and, him destroyed,
Or won to what may work his utter loss,
For whom all this was made, all this will soon
Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe;
In woe then; that destruction wide may range:
To me shall be the glory sole among
The infernal powers, in one day to have marr'd
What he, Almighty styl'd, six nights and days
Continued making; and who knows how long
Before had been contriving? though perhaps
Not longer than since I, in one night, freed
From servitude inglorious well nigh half
The angelic name, and thinner left the throng
Of his adorers: he, to be aveng'd,
And to repair his numbers thus impair'd,
Whether such virtue spent of old now fail'd
More angels to create, if they at least
Are his created, or, to spite us more,
Determin'd to advance into our room
A creature form'd of earth, and him endow,
Exalted from so base origiual,
[creed,
With heavenly spoils, our spoils: what he de
He effected; Man he made, and for him built
Magnificent this world, Earth his seat,
Him lord pronounc'd; and, O indignity!
Subjected to his service angel-wings,
And flaming ministers to watch and tend
Their earthy charge of these the vigilance
I dread; and, to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight vapour glide obscure, and pry
In every bush and brake, where hap may find
The serpent sleeping; in whose mazy folds
To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
O foul descent! that I, who erst contended

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