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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 secrecy, although alone,
Best with thyself accompanied, seek'st not
Social communication; yet, so pleased,
Canst raise thy creature to what height thou wilt
Of union or communion, deified:
I, by conversing, cannot these erect
From prone; nor in their ways complacence find!
Thus I, embolden'd, spake, and freedom used
Permissive, and acceptance found; which gain'd
This answer from the gracious voice divine:

“Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased;
And find thee knowing, not of beasts alone,
Which thou hast rightly named, 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 spakest,
Knew it not good for man to be alone;
And no such company as then thou saw'st
Intended thee; for trial only brought,
To see how thou couldst judge of fit and meet:
What next I bring shall please thee, be assured,
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.'

“ 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 height
In that celestial colloquy sublime,
As with an object that excels the sense,
Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair

By Nature as in aid, and closed mine eyes.
Mine eyes he closed, 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
Still glorious before whom awake I stood;
Who, stooping, open'd my left side, and took
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, infused
Sweetness into my heart unfelt before,
And into all things, from her air, inspired
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
She disappear’d, and left me dark; I waked
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.
I, overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud:

- This turn hath made amends: thou hast fulfill'd
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 wooed, and not unsought be won, Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retired, 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 approved 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 signs 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, used or not, works in the mind no change,
Nor vehement desire; these delicacies
I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and

flowers, Walks, and the melody of birds: but here Far otherwise, transported I behold, Transported touch; here passion first I felt, Commotion strange! in all enjoyments else Superior and unmoved; 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, discountenanced, 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 placed.”

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 perceivest.
For, what admirest 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 managed; of that skill, the more thou know'st,
The more she will acknowledge thee her head,
And to realities yield all her shows:

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