Page images


Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realm is large. 375
So fpake the universal Lord, and feem'd
So ord'ring. I, with leave of speech implor'd,
And humble deprecation, thus reply'd.

Let not my words offend thee, heav'nily power,
My Maker, be propitious while I speak.
Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,
And these inferiour far beneath me fet?
Among unequals what fociety
Can fort, what harmony or true delight?
Which must be mutual, in proportion due 385
Giv'n and receiv'd; but in difparity
The one intense, the other still remiss,
Cannot well suit with either, but foon prove
Tedious alike. Of fellowship I speak
Such as I seek, fit to participate

390 All rational delight, wherein the brute Cannot be human confort: 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 395 So well converse, nor with the ox the ape; Worse then can man with beast, and least of all.

Whereto th' Almighty answer'd, not displeas'd, A nice and subtle happiness I fee Thou to thyself propofest, in the choice

400 Of thy associates, Adam, and wilt taste No pleasure, though in pleasure, folitary. What think'st thou then of me, and this state? Seem I to thee fufficiently poffefs'd Of happiness, or not? who am alone From all eternity; for none I know Second to me, or like ; equal much lefs. How have I then with whom to hold converse, Save with the creatures which I made, and those





[ocr errors]

To me inferiour, 'infinite defcents
Beneath what other créatures are to thee?

He ceas'd; I lowly answer'd.. To attain
The height and depth of thy eternal ways
All hunian thoughts come short; Supreme of things !
Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee

Is no deficience found : not fo is man,
But in degree ; the cause of his desire
By conversation with Iris like to help,
Or solace his defects. No need that thou
Shouldit propagate; already infinite,
And through all numbers absolute, though one:
But man by.number is to manifest
His fingle imperfection, and beget
Like of his like, his image multiply'd,
In unity defective, which requires

Collateral love, and dearest amity.
Thou in thy secrecy although alone,
Best with thyself accompanied, feek'st not
Social communication ; yet so pleas'd,
Canst raise thy creature to what height thou wilt 430
Of union or communion, deify'd :
I by converfing cannot thefe erect
From prone, nor in their ways complacence find.
Thus I embolden'd spake, and freedom us’d
Permillive, and acceptance found; which gain d 435
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 fpi'rit 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: 1, ere thou spakit,

[ocr errors]



Mine eyes


Knew it not good for man to be alone;

445 And no such company as then thou saw'st Intended thee, for trial only brought, To see how ihou couldst judge of fit and meet : What next I bring shall please thee, be affur'd, Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self, Thy with 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, ftrain’d to th' height In that celestial colloquy lublime,

As with an object that excels the sense
Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair
Of fleep, which instantly fell on me, callid
By nature as in aid ; and clos'd mine eyes,

he clos’d, but open left the cell
Of fancy, my internal fight, by which
Abstract as in a trance methought I faw,
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 fieth fill’d up, and healid :
The rib he form’d and fashion'd with his hands;
Under liis forming hands a creature grew,
Manlike, but different sex, fo lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her suinm’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 spi'rit of love, and amorous delight.
She disappear’d, and left me dark; I wak'd
To find her, or for ever to deplore







Her lofs, 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 fee
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself
Before me : woman is her. name,

Extracted ; for this cause he thall 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,

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

Nature herself, though pure of finful 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 hil;

Joyous the birds ; fresh gales and gentle airs 515
Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings
Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy fhrub,
Difporting, till the amorous bird of night
Sung spousal, and bid halte the ev'ning-star
On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp.

Thus I have 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, 525
Nor vehement defire; these delicacies
I mean, of taste, fight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers;
Walks, and the melody of birds : but here
Far otherwise, transported I behold,
Transported touch ; here paflion first I felt,

5.30 Commotion strange, in all enjoyments elle Superiour and unmov'd, -here only weak Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance. Or nature fail'd in me, and left fomne part Not proof enough such object to sustain ;

535 Or from my fide fubducting, 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

540 Of nature her th' inferiour ; 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

545 O'er other creatures : yet when I approach Her loveliness, so absolute she seems, And in herself compleat, so well to know Her own, that what she wills to do or fay,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »