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Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike ; I led her blushing like the morn: all Heaven,
Shed their selectest influence; the Earth
Joyous the birds ; fresh gales and gentle airs To see how thou could’st judge of fit and meet : Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings What next I bring shall please thee, be assurd, Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub, Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Disporting, till the amorous bird of night Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.'
Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening-star “ He ended, or I heard no more; for now On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp. My earthly by his heavenly overpower'd,
Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought Which it had long stood under, strain’d to the height My story to the sum of earthly bliss, In that celestial colloquy sublime,
Which I enjoy ; and must confess to find As with an object that excels the sense
In all things else delight indeed, but such Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair As, us'd or not, works in the mind no change Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call’d
Nor vehement desire : these delicacies (flowers, By Nature as in aid, and clos'd mine eyes.
I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and he clos'd, but open left the cell
Walks, and the melody of birds : but here Of fancy, my internal sight ; by which,
Far otherwise, transported I behold, Abstract as in a trance, methought I saw,
Transported touch ; here passion first I felt, Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape Commotion strange! in all enjoyments else Still glorious before whom awake I stood : Superior and unmov'd; here only weak Who stooping open'd my left side, and took Against the chai of beauty's powerful glance. From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
Or Nature fail'd in me, and left some part And life-blood streaming fresh: wide was the Not proof enough such object to sustain ; wound,
Or, from my side subducting, took perhaps But suddenly with flesh fill'd up and heal'd: More than enough ; at least on her bestow'd The rib he form’d and fashion'd with his hands : Too much of ornament, in outward show Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Elaborate, of inward less exact. Man-bike, but different sex; so lovely fair,
For well I understand in the prime end That what seem'd fair in all the world, scem'd now Of Nature her the inferior, in the mind Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contain'd And inward faculties, which most excel; And in her looks; which from that time infus'd In outward also her resembling less Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
His image who made both, and less expressing And into all things from her air inspir'd
The character of that dominion given
O'er other creatures : yet when I approach
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best : Such as I saw her in my dream, adorn'd
All higher knowledge in her presence falls With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow Degraded ; Wisdom in discourse with her To make lier amiable: on she came,
Loses discountenanc'd, and like Folly shows; Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen, Authority and reason on her wait, And guided by his voice; nor uninform’d As one intended first, not after made Of nuptial sanctity, and marriage rites :
Occasionally; and, to consummate all, Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye, Greatness of mind, and Nobleness, their seat every gesture dignity and love.
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe I, overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud. (fillid About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.
* * This turn hath made amends; thou hast ful To whom the angel with contracted brow. The words, Creator bounteous and benign, “ Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part; Giver of all things fair! but fairest this
Do thou but thine ; and be not diffident Of all thy gifts! nor enviest. I now see
Of Wisdom ; she deserts thee not, if thou Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself Dismiss not her, when most thou need’st her nigh, Before me: woman is her name ; of man
By attributing overmuch to things Extracted : for this cause he shall forego
Less excellent, as thou thyself perceiv'st. Father and mother, and to his wife adhere ; For, what admir’st thou, what transports thee so, And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.' An outside ? fair, no doubt, and worthy well She heard me thus ; and though divinely Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love; brought,
Not thy subjection ; weigh with her thyself ; Yet innocence, and virgin modesty,
Then value: oft-times nothing profits more Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth, Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won, Well manag'd; of that skill the more thou know'st, Not obvious, not obtrusive, but, retir’d,
The more she will acknowledge thee her head, The more desirable ; or, to say all
And to realities yield all her shows : Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought, Made so adorn for thy delight the more, Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turn’d: So awful, that with honour thou may’st love I followed her ; she what was honour knew, Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise, And with obsequious majesty approv'd
But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind My pleaded reason.
To the nuptial bower Is propagated, seem such dear delight
Beyond all other ; think the same vouchsafid With grateful memory: thou to mankind
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.
Satan, having compassed the Earth, with mediBy which to Heavenly love thou may'st ascend, tated guile returns, as a mist, by night into Not sunk in carnal pleasure ; for which cause, Paradise; enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.” and Eve in the morning go forth to their labours,
To whom thus, half abash'd, Adam replied. which Eve proposes to divide in several places, “ Neither her outside form’d so fair, nor aught each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alIn procreation common to all kinds,
leging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they (Though higher of the genial bed by far,
were forewarned, should attempt her found And with mysterious reverence I deem,)
alone: Eve, loth to be thought not circumSo much delights me, as those graceful acts,
spect or firm enough, urges her going apart, Those thousand decencies, that daily flow
the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; From all her words and actions mix'd with love Adam at last yields : the serpent finds her alone; And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking ; Union of mind, or in us both one soul;
with much flattery extolling Eve above all other Harmony to behold in wedded pair
creatures. Eve, wondering to hear the serpent More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear. speak, asks how he attained to human speech, Yet these subject not : I to thec disclose
and such understanding, not till now; the ser. What inward thence I feel, not therefore foil'd pent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in Who meet with various objects, from the sense the garden he attained both to speech and reason, Variously representing : yet, still free,
till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of To love, thou blam'st me not; for Love, thou say'st, knowledge forbidden: the serpent now grown Leads up to Heaven, is both the way and guide ; bolder, with many wiles and arguments, induces Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask:
her at length to eat ; she, pleased with the taste, Love not the heavenly spirits, and how their love deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Express they? by looks only? or do they mix Adam or not; at last brings him of the fruit; Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch ?"
relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam, To whom the angel, with a smile that glow'd at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, Celestial rosy red, Love's proper hue,
through vehemence of love, to perish with her : Answered : “ Let it suffice thee that thou know'st and, extenuating the trespass, eats also of the Us happy, and without love no happiness.
fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they seek Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st,
to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
and accusation of one another.
With Man, as with his friend, familiar us'd
To sit indulgent, and with him partake Desiring; nor restrain’d conveyance need, Rural repast; permitting him the while As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul. Venial discourse unblam'd. I now must change But I can now no more; the parting Sun
Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
And disobedience : on the part of Heaven
Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given,
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursued
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd ;
Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long And all temptation to transgress repel.”
Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son ; So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
If answerable style I can obtain Follow'd with benediction. “ Since to part,
Of my celestial patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,
Easy my unpremeditated verse :
Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late ;
Not sedulous by nature to indite
Doubt might beget of diabolic power Wars, hitherto the only argument
Active within, beyond the sense of brute. Heroic deem'd; chief mastery to dissect
Thus he resolvid, but first from inward grief With long and tedious havoc fabled knights His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'a. In battles feign'd; the better fortitude
“ O Earth, how like to Heaven, if not preferr'd Of patience and heroic martyrdom
More justly, seat worthier of Gods, as built Unsung; or to describe races and games,
With second thoughts, reforming what was old! Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields,
For what god, after better, worse would build ? Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds,
Terrestrial Heaven, danc'd round by other Heavens Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps, At joust and tournament ; then marshall’d feast Light above light, for thee alone as seems, Serv'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals; In thee concentring all their precious beams The skill of artifice or office mean,
Of sacred influence! As God in Heaven Not that which justly gives heroic name
Is centre, yet extends to all ; so thou, To person or to poem. Me, of these
Centring, receiv'st from all those orbs : in thee, Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Not in themselves, all their known virtue appears Remains; sufficient of itself to raise
Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Of creatures animate with gradual life Climate, or years, damp my intended wing Of growth, sense, reason, all summ'd up in Man. Depressid ; and much they may, if all be mine, With what delight could I have walk'd thee round, Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.
If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange The Sun was sunk, and after him the star Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains, Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Now land, now sea, and shores with forest crown'd, Twilight upon the Earth, short arbiter
Rocks, dens, and caves! But I in none of these 'Twist day and night, and now from end to end Find place or refuge; and the more I see Night's hemisphere had veil'd the horizon round : Pleasures about me, so much more I feel When Satan, who late fied before the threats Torment within me, as from the hateful siege Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
Of contraries : all good to me becomes (state. In melitated fraud and malice, bent
Bane, and in Heaven much worse would be my On Man's destruction, maugre what might hap But neither here seek I, no nor in Heaven Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
To dwell, unless by mastering Heaven's Supreme; By night he fled, and at midnight return'd Nor hope to be myself less miserable From compassing the Earth ; cautious of day, By what I seek, but others to make such Since Uriel, regent of the Sun, descried
As I, though thereby worse to me redound: His entrance, and forewarn'd the cherubim For only in destroying I find case That kept their watch; thence full of anguish | To my relentless thoughts; and, him destroyed, driven,
Or won to what may work his utter loss, The space of seven continued nights he rode For whom all this was made, all this will soon With darkness, thrice the equinoctial line
Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe; He circled; four times cross'd the car of night In woe then ; that destruction wide may range : From pole to pole traversing each colúre;
To me shall be the glory sole among On the eighth return'd; and on the coast averse The infernal powers, in one day to have marr’d From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth What he, Almighty styl’d, six nights and days Found unsuspected way. There was a place, Continued making; and who knows how long Nos not, though sin, not time, first wrought the Before had been contriving? though perhaps change,
Not longer than since I, in one night, freed Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise,
From servitude inglorious well nigh half Into a gulf shot under ground, till part
The angelic name, and thinner left the throng Rose up a fountain by the tree of life:
Of his adorers : he, to be aveng'd,
And to repair his numbers thus impair’d,
Are his created, or, to spite us more,
Determin’d to advance into our room Downward as far antarctic; and in length, A creature form'd of earth, and him endow, West from Orontes to the ocean barr'd
Exalted from so base original,
Him lord pronounc'd; and, O indignity!
And flaming ministers to watch and tend
Their earthy charge: of these the vigilance Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose I dread : and, to elude, thus wrapt in mist Fit vessel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom
Of midnight vapour glide obscure, and pry To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
In every bush and brake, where hap may find Proto sharpest sight: for, in the wily snake The serpent sleeping ; in whose mazy folds Whatever sleights, none would suspicious mark, To hide me, and the dark intent I bring. As from his wit and native subtlety
O foul descent! that I, who erst contended Proceeding; which, in other beasts observ'd, With Gods to sit the highest, am now constrain'd
Into a beast; and, mix'd with bestial slime, Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd
Labour, as to debar us when we need
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between, But what will not ambition and revenge
Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse Descend to? Who aspires, must down as low Of looks and smiles ; for smiles from reason flow, As high he soar'd ; obnoxious, first or last,
To brute denied, and are of love the food ; To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet, Love, not the lowest end of human life. Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils :
For not to irksome toil, but to delight, Let it ; I reck not, so it light well aim'd,
He made us, and delight to reason join'd. (hands Since higher I fall short, on him who next
These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint Provokes my envy, this new favourite
Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide
So saying, through each thicket dank or dry, For solitude sometimes is best society,
And short retirement urges sweet return.
What hath been warn'd us, what malicious foe
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and share
By sly assault; and somewhere nigh at hand Fearless unfear'd he slept: in at his mouth
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find The Devil enter'd; and his brutal sense,
His wish and best advantage, us asunder; In heart or head, possessing, soon inspir'd
Hopeless to circumvent us join’d, where each With act intelligential ; but his sleep
To other speedy aid might lend at need :
Our feälty from God, or to disturb
That gave thee being, still shades thee, and protects
As in a shady nook I stood behind,
Just then return'd at shut of evening flowers. Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, But that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt One night or two with wanton growth derides To God or thee, because we have a foe Tending to wild. Thou therefore now advise, May tempt it, I expected not to hear. Or bear what to my mind first thoughts present : His violence thou fear’st not, being such Let us divide our labours; thou, where choice As we, not capable of death or pain, Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind Can either not receive, or can repel. The woodbine round this arbour, or direct
His fraud is then thy fear; which plain infers The clasping ivy where to climb; while I,
Thy equal fear, that my firm faith and love In yonder spring of roses interinix'd
Can by his fraud be shaken or seduc'd ; With myrtle, find what to redress till noon : Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy For, while so near each other thus all day
Adam, mis-thought of her to thee so dear?” Our task we choose, what wonder if so near
To whom with healing words Adam replied. Looks intervene and smiles, or object new
“ Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve! Casual discourse draw on; which interinits
For such thou art; froin sin and blame entire :
To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd. The attempt itself, intended by our foe. “ Sole Eve, associate sole, to me beyond
For he who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses Compare above all living creatures dear!
The tempted with dishonour foul ; suppos'd
If such aflront I labour to avert
l'rom thee alone, wluch on us both at once
The enery, though bold, will hardly dare ; On what thou hast of virtue; summon all!
“ With thy permission then, and thus forewarn'd I from the influence of thy looks receive
Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words Aa'ess in every virtue ; in thy sight
Touchi'd only; that our trial, when least sought, More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were May find us both perhaps far less prepar'd, Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on, The willinger I go, nor much expect Starne to be overcome or over-reach'd,
A foe so proud will first the weaker seek; Would utmost vigour raise, and rais'd unite. So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse." Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand When I am present, and thy trial choose
Soft she withdrew; and, like a wood-nymph light, With me, best witness of thy virtue tried ?” Oread or Dryad, or of Delia's train, So spake domestic Adam in his care
Betook her to the groves ; but Delia's self And matrimonial love ; but Eve, who thought In gait surpass'd, and goddess-like deport, Less attributed to her faith sincere,
Though not as she with bow and quiver arm'd, Thus her reply with accent sweet renew'd. But with such gardening tools as art yet rude, “ If this be our condition, thus to dwell
Guiltless of fire, had form’d, or angels brought In narrow circuit straiten’d by a foe,
To Pales, or Pomona, thus adorn’d, Subtle or violent, we not endued
Likest she seem'd, Pomona when she fled Single with like defence, wherever met;
Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her prime, How are we happy, still in fear of harm?
Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove. But harm precedes not sin : only our foe,
Her long with ardent look his eye pursued Tempting, affronts us with his foul esteem
Delighted, but desiring more her stay.
Oft he to her his charge of quick return
And all things in best order to invite
Of thy presum'd return ! event perverse !
Thou never from that hour in Paradise Let us not then suspect our happy state
Found'st either sweet repast, or sound repose ; Left so imperfect by the Maker wise,
Such ambush, hid among sweet flowers and shades, As not secure to single or combin’d.
Waited with hellish rancour imminent Frail is our happiness, if this be so,
To intercept thy way, or send thee back And Eden were no Eden, thus expos’d."
Despoil'd of innocence, of faith, of bliss ! To whom thus Adam fervently replied.
For now, and since first break of dawn, the fiend, * O Woman, best are all things as the will Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come; Of God ordain'd them : his creating hand
And on his quest, where likeliest he might find Nothing imperfect or deficient left
The only two of mankind, but in them Of all that he created, much less Man,
The whole included race, his purpos'd prey. Or auglit that might his happy state secure, In bower and field he sought where any tuft Secure from outward force; within himself Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay, The danger lies, yet lies within his power : Their tendance, or plantation for delight; izainst his will he can receive no harm.
By fountain or by shady rivulet But God left free the will; for what obeys He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find Reason, is free; and reason he made right, Eve separate ; he wish’d, but not with hope But bid her well beware, and still erect;
Of what so seldom chanc'd; when to his wish, Lest, by some fair-appearing good surpris’d, Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies, She dictate false ; and mis-inform the will Veild in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood, To do what God expressly hath forbid.
Half spied, so thick the roses blushing round Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins, About her glow'd, oft stooping to support That I should mind thee oft : and mind thou me. Each flower of slender stalk, whose head, though gay Fimm we subsist, yet possible to swerve;
Carnation, purple, azure, or speck'd with gold, Siace reason not impossibly may meet
Hung drooping unsustain'd; them she upstays Sunne specious object by the foe suborn'd,
Gently with myrtle band, mindless the while Asd fall into deception unaware,
Herself, though fairest unsupported flower, ce kceping strictest watch, as she was warn’d. From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh. Seek not temptation then, which to avoid
Nearer he drew, and many a walk travérs'd Were better, and most likely if from me
Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm ; Thou sever not : trial will come unsought.
Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen, Wouidst thou approve thy constancy, approve Among thick-woven arborets, and flowers First thry obedience; the other who can know, Imborder'd on each bank, the hand of Eve: Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
Spot more delicious than those gardens feign'd But, if thou think, trial unsought may find Or of reviv'd Adonis, or renown'd Is both securer than thus warn'd thou seem'st, Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son ; Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more; Or that, not mystic, where the sapient king Go in thy native innocence, rely
Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.