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«« No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary.
16. What think'st thou then of me, and this my state?

- Seem I to thee sufficiently possess'd 405 “Of happiness, or not, who am alone

From all eternity ? for none I know
“. Second to me, or like; equal much less.
"6How have I then with whom to hold converse,

“"Save with the creatures which I made, and those 410 . To me inferior, infinite 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! 415 “ • Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee

66 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
420 “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;
425 “In unity defective; which requires
« • Collat'ral love, and dearest amity.

Thou, in thy secrecy although alone,
“• Best with thyself accompanied, seek'st not

“Social communication; yet, so pleas'd, 430 “. 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 us'd 435 “ 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;

445

for now

455

440 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,
“ • To see how thou couldst judge of fit and meet.

“What next I bring shall please thee, be assur'd; 450 “* Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,

Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.'
“ He ended, or I heard no more;

My earthly by his heavenly overpowered,
“ 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
“Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call’d

By nature as in aid, and clos'd mine eyes. 460“ 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

“Still glorious, before whom awake I stood; 465 “ 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 filled up and heal’d:

“ The rib he form'd and fashion'd with his hands : 470 “ 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.

475

“She disappear'd, and left me dark: I wak'd

“ To find her, or for ever to deplore
480 “ 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 all that earth or heaven could bestow

“ To make her amiable! On she came,
485 “ 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! 490

“I, overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud:

" . This turn hath made amends: Thou hast fulfillid “Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign, "• Giver of all things fair! but fairest this

“Of all thy gifts; nor enviest. I now see 495 566 Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself

66. Before me: Woman is her name; of man
6.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, 505 “ (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 ;
515 “ Joyous the birds ; fresh gales and gentle airs

500

510 66

520

“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 ev’ning-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
525 As, us’d 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,
530 “ Transported touch-here passion first I felt,

“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 535 “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.
540 “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 545 “ The character of that dominion giv'n

“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, 550 “Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best :

“ All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded; wisdom in discourse with her
“Loses discount'nanc'd, and like folly shows:

560

Authority and reason on her wait, 555 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, 565 “ 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; 570 “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 thou know'st,

“ The more she will acknowledge thee her head, 575 “ 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 580“ 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
590 “The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his seat

“ In reason, and is judicious; is the scale

585

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