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Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds,
With second thoughts, rcforming what was Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
old? At joust and tournament; then marshall'd feast for what god, after better, worse would build? Sery'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals; Terrestrial Heaven, danc'd round by other HeaThe skill of artifice or office mean,
vens Not that which justly gives heroic name
That shine, yet bear their bright officious lamps, To person or to poem. Me, of these
Light above light, for thee alone as seems, Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
In thee concentring all their precious beams Remains ; sufficient of itself to raise
Of sacred influence ! As God in Heaven That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Is centre, yet extends to all; so thou, Climate, or years, damp my intended wing Centring, receiv'st from all those orbs : in thee, Depressid ; and much they may, if all be mine, Not in themselves, all their known virtue apNot hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.
pears The Sun was sunk, and after him the star Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Of creatures animate with gradual life Twilight upon the Earth, short arbiter
Of growth, sense, reason, all summ'd up in Man. 'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end With what delight could I have walk'd thee Night's hemisphere had veild the horizon
round, round :
If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange When Satan, who late fled before the threats Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plaips, Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
Now land, now sea, and shores with forest In meditated fraud and malice, bent
crown'd, On Man's destruction, maugre what might hap Rocks, dens, and caves ! But I in pone of these Of heavier on himself, fearless return’d.
Find place or refuge; and the more I see By night he fled, and at midnight return'd Pleasures about me, so much more I feel From compassing the Earth; cautious of day, Torment within me, as from the hateful siege Since Uriel, regent of the Sun, descried
Of contraries : all good to me becomes His entrance, and forewarn'd the cherubim Bane, and in Heaven much worse would be my That kept their watch; thence full of anguish
But neither here seek I, no nor in Heaven The space of seven continued nights he rode To dwell, unless by mastering Heaven's Supreme; With darkness thrice the equinoctial line
Nor hope to be myself less miserable He circled ; four times cross'd the car of night By what I seek, but others to make such From pole to pole travérsing each colúre; As I, though thereby worse to me redound: On the eighth return'd; and on the coast averse | For only in destroying I find ease From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth To my relentless thoughts; and, bim destroyed, Found unsuspected way. There was a place, Or wou to what may work his utter loss, Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought tbe For whom all this was made, all this will soon change,
Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe; Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise,
In woe then; that destruction wide may range: Into a gulf shot under ground, till part
To me shall be the glory sole among Rose up a fountain by the tree of life :
The infernal powers, in one day to have marr'd In with the river sunk, and with it rose
What he, Almighty styld, six nights and days Satan, involv'd in rising mist; then sought Continued making; and who knows how long Where to lie hid; sea he had search'd, and land, Before had been contriving? though perhaps From Eden over Pontus and the pool
Not longer than since I, in one night, freed Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob ;
From servitude inglorious well nigh half Downward as far antarctic ; and in length, The angelic name, and thinner left the throng West from Orontes to the ocean barr'd
Of his adorers : he, to be aveng'd, At Darien ; thence to the land where flows And to repair his nanibers thus impair'd, Ganges and Indus: thus the orb he roam'd Whether such virtue spent of old now fail'd With narrow search; and with inspection deep More angels to create, if they at least Consider'd every creature, which of all
| Are his created, or, to spite us more, Most opportune might serve his wiles; and found Determin'd to advance into our room The serpent subtlest beast of all the field. A creature form'd of earth, and him endow, Him after long debate, irresolute
Exalted from so base origiual,
(creed, Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose With heavenly spoils, our spoils : wbat be deFit vessel, fittest inip of fraud, in whom
He effected; Man he made, and for him built To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
Magnificent this world, and Earth his seat, From sharpest sight: for, in the wily snake Him lord pronounc'd; and, O indignity! Whatever sleights, none would suspicious mark, Subjected to his service angel-wings, As from his wit and native subtlety
And flaming ministers to watch and tend Proceeding ; which, in other beasts observ'd, Their earthy charge : of these the vigilance Doubt might beget of diabolic power
I dread; and, to elude, thus wrapt in mist Active within, beyond the sense of brute. Of midnight vapour glide obscure, and pry Thus he resolv'd, but first from inward grief In every bush and brake, where hap may find His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd. The serpent sleeping ; in whose mazy folds
“O Farth, how like to Heaven, if not preferr'd To hide me, and the dark intent I bring. More justly, seat worthier of Gods, as built 10 foul descent! that I, who erst contended
With Gods to sit the highest, am now con- "Sole Eve, associate sole, to me beyond strain'd
Compare above all living creatures dear! Into a beast; and, mix'd with bestial slime, Well hast thou motion'd, well thy thoughts emá This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
ploy'd, That to the height of deity aspir'd!
How we might best fulfil the work which here But what will not ambition and revenge
God hath assign'd us; nor of me shalt pass Descend to? Who aspires, must down as low Unprais'd: for nothing lovelier can be found As high he soar'd; obnoxious, first or last, In woman, than to study household good, To basest things. Revenge, at first though And good works in her husband to promote. .'. sweet,
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils :
Labour, as to debar us when we need Let it ; I reck not, so it light well aim'd,
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between, Since higher I fall short, on him who next Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse Provokes my enzy, this new favourite
Of looks and smiles; for smiles from reason flow, Of Heaven, this man of clay, son of despite, To brute denied, and are of love the food; Whom, us the more to spite, his Maker rais'd Love, not the lowest end of human life. From dust : spite then with spite is best repaid.” For not to irksome toil, but to delight,
So saying, through each thicket dank or dry, "He made us, and delight to reason join'd. Like a black mist low-creeping, he held on These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint His midnight-search, where soonest he might
Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide The serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found As we need walk, till younger hands ere long. In labyrinth of inany a round self-rollid,
Assist us: but, if much converse perhaps His head the midst, well stor'd with subtle wiles : Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield : ' Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den,
For solitude sometimes is best society, Nor nocent yet ; but, on the grassy herb,. And short retirement urges sweet return. Fearless unfear'd he slept : in at his mouth But other doubt possesses me, lest harm The Devil enter'd; and his brutal sense,
Befall thee sever'd froin me; for thou know'st. In heart or head, possessing, soon inspir'd What hath been warn'd us, what malicious foe With act intelligential; but his sleep
Envying our happiness, and of his own Disturb'd not, waiting close the approach of morn. Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame 1 Now, when as sacred light began to dawn
By sly assault; and somewhere nigh at hand In Eden on the humid flowers, that breath'd Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find Their morning 'incense, when all things, that His wish and best advantage, us asunder ; breathe,
Hopeless to circumvent us join'd, where each From the Earth's great altar send up silent praise To other speedy aid might lend at need : To the Creator, and his nostrils fill
Whether his first design be to withdraw With grateful smell, forth came the human pair, | Our feälty from God, or to disturb And join'd their vocal worship to the quire | Conjugal love, than which perhaps no bliss Of creatures wanting voice ; that done, partake Enjoy'd by us excites his envy more ; The season, prime for sweetest scents and airs : Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side Then commune, how that day they best may ply That gave thee being, still shades thee, and Their growing work: for much their work out
The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks, The hands' despatch of two gardening so wide, Safest and seemliest by her husband stays, And Eve first to her husband thus began.
Who guards her, or with her the worst endures." “ Adam, well may we labour still to dress
To whom the virgin majesty of Eve, This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flower, As one who loves, and some unkindness meets, Our pleasant task enjoin'd; but till more bands With sweet austere composure thus replied. Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
“Offspring of Heaven and Earth, and all Luxurious by restraint; what we by dav
His violence thou fear'st not, being such
Thy equal fear, that my firm faith and love Casual discourse draw on ; which intermits Can by his fraud be shaken or seduc'd; Our day's work, brought to little, though began Thoughts, which how found they harbour in Early, and the hour of supper comes unearn'd ?”
thy breast, To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd. Adam, mis-thought of her to thee so dear ?"
To whom with healing words Adam replied. | Lest, by some fair-appearing good surpris'd, " Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve! She dictate false; and mis-inform the will For such thou art; from sin and blame entire : To do what God expressly hath forbid. Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins, Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid
That I should mind thee oft; and mind thou me.
Some specious object by the foe suborn'd,
Not keeping strictest watch, as she was wam'da
Wouldst thou approve thy constancy, approve From thee alone, which on us both at once First thy obedience; the other who can know, The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare; Not seeing thee attempted, who attest? Or daring, first on me the assault shall light. But, if thou think, trial unsought may find Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn; Us both securer than thus warn'd thou seem'st, Şubtle he needs must be, who could seduce Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more; Angels; nor think superfluous others aid. Go in thy native innocence, rely I, from the influence of thy looks, receive
On what thou hast of virtue; summon all ! Access in every virtue ; in thy sight
For God towards thee hath done his part, do More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were
thine," Of outward strength ; while shame, thou look So spake the patriarch of mankind; but Eve ing on,
Persisted ; yet submiss, though last, replied. Shame to be overcome or over-reach'd,
“ With thy permission then, and thus foreWould utmost vigour raise, and rais'd unite.
warn'd Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words feel
Touch'd only ; that our trial, wben least sought, When I am present, and thy trial choose May find us both perhaps far less prepard, With me, best witness of thy virtue tried ?” The willinger I go, nor much expect So spake domestic Adam in his care
A foe so proud will first the weaker seck ; And matrimonial love; but Eve, who thought So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse." Less attributed to her faith sincere,
Thus saying, from her husband's hand her Thys her reply with accent sweet renew'd.
[light, “ If this be our condition, thus to dwell Soft she withdrew; and, like a wood-nymph In narrow circuit straiten'd by a foe,
Oread or Dryad, or of Delia's train, Subtle or violent, we not endued
Betook her to the groves; but Delia's self Single with like defence, wherever met ;
In gait surpass'd, and yoddess-like deport, How are we happy, still in fear of harm? Though not as she with bow and quiver arm’d, But harm precedes not sin : only our foe, But with such gardening tools as art yet rude, Tempting, affronts us with his foul esteem
Guiltless of fire, had formd, or angels brought Of ourintegrity: his foul esteem
To Pales, or Pomona, thus adorn'd,
| Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove,
[event. Oft he to her his charge of quick return Favour from Heaven, our witness, from the Repeated; she to him as oft engag'd And what is faith, love, virtue, unassay'd To be return'd by noon amid the bower, Alone, without exterior belp sustain'd?
And all things in best order to invite Let us not then suspect our happy state
Noontide repast, or afternoon's repose. Left so imperfect by the Maker wise,
O much deceiv'd, much failing, hapless Eve, As not secure to single or combin'd.
Of thy presum'd return ! event perverse ! Frail is our happiness, if this be so,
Thou never from that hour in Paradise And Eden were no Eden, thus expos'd.”
Found'st either sweet repast, or sound repose; To whom thus Adam Arvently replied.
Such ambush, hid among sweet flowers and " () Woman, best are all things as the will
shades, . Of God ordain'd them: bis creating hand
Waited with bellish rancour imminent Nothing imperfect or deficient left
To intercept thy way, or send thee back Of all that he created, much less Man,
Despoil'd of innocence, of faith, of bliss ! Or aught that might his happy state secure, For now, and since first break of dawn, the Secure from outward force ; within himself
fiend, The danger lies, yet lies within his power: Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come; Against his will he can receive no harm.
And on his quest, where likeliest he might find But God left free the will; for what obeys The only two of mankind, but in them Reason, is free; and reason he made right, The whole included race, his purpos'd prey, But bid her well beware, and still erect; In bower and field he sought where any tuft
Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay, Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould ;
Foe not informidable! exempt from wound, By fountain or by shady rivulet
[find | I not; so much hath Hell debas'd, and pain He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might Enfeebled me, to what I was in Heaven. Eve separate; he wish'd, but not with hope She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods! Of what so seldom chanc'd; when to his wish, Not terrible, though terrour be in love Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
And beauty, not approach'd by stronger hate, Veil'd in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood, Hate stronger, under show of love well feign'd; Half spied, so thick the roses blushing round The way which to her ruin now I tend." About her glow'd, oft stooping to support
So spake the enemy of mankind, enclos'd Each flower of slender stalk, whose head, though | In serpent, inmate bad! and toward Eve · gay . .
Address'd his way: not with indented wave,
Lovelier, not those that in Illyria chang'd
Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen;
He with Olympias ; this with her who bore Or that, not mystic, where the sapient king Scipio, the height of Rome. With tract oblique Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spous e. At first, as one who sought access, but fear'd Much he the place admir'd, the person more. To interrupt, side-long he works his way. As one who long in populous city pent,
As when a ship, by skilful steersman wrought Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air, Nigh river's mouth or foreland, where the wind Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe Veers oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her sail : Among the pleasant villages and farms
So varied be, and of his tortuous train Adjoin'd, from each thing met conceives delight; Curl'd many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve, The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine, To lure her eye; she, busied, heard the sound Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound; Ofrusling leaves, but minded not, as us'd If chance, with nymph-like step, fair virgin pass, To such disport before her through the field, What pleasing seem'd, for her now pleases more ; From every beast ; more duteons at her call, She most, and in her look sums all delight: Than at Circean call the herd disguis'd. Such pleasure took the serpent to behold He, bolder now, uncall'd before her stood, This flowery plat, the sweet recess of Eve
But as in gaze admiring : oft he bow'd Thus early, thus alone: her heavenly form His turret crest, and sleek enamell'd neck, Angelic, but more soft, and feminine,
Fawning ; and lick'd the ground whereon she Her graceful innocence, her every air
trod. Of gesture, or least action, overaw'd
His gentle dumb expression turn’d at length His malice, and with rapine sweet bereav'd The eye of Eve, to mark his play ; he, glad His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought: Of her attention gain'd, with serpent-tongue That space the evil-one abstracted stood
Organic, or impulse of vocal air,
“ Wonder not, sovran mistress, if perhaps Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge.
Thou canst who art sole wonder ! much less arm But the hot Hell that always in him burns, Thy looks, the Heaven of mildness, with disdain, Though in mid Heaven, soon ended his delight, Displeas'd that I approach thee thus, and gaze And tortures bini now more, the more he sees Insatiate ; I thus single ; nor have fear'd Of pleasure, not for him ordain'd: then soon T hy awful brow, more awful thus retir'de Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts | Fairest resemblance of thy Maker fair, Of inischief, gratulating, thus excites.
Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine " Thoughts, whither have ye led me! what| By gift, and thy celestial beauty adore sweet
With ravishment beheld ! there best beheld, Compulsion thus transported, to forget
Where universally admir'd ; but here
Beholders rude, and shallow to discern
Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who should To me is lost. Then, iet me not let pass
. be seen Occasion which now smiles; behold alone A goddess among gods, ador'd and serv'd The woman, opportune to all attempts,
By angels numberless, thy daily train." Her husband, for I view far round, not nigb, So gloz'd the tempter, and his prvem tun'd : Whose nigher intellectual more I shun,
Into the heart of Eve his words made way, And strength, of courage haughty, and of limb Though at the voice much marvelling ; at length, hither,
Not unamaz'd, she thus in answer spake.
To us; in such abundance lies our choice, "What may this mean language of man As leaves a greater store of fruit untouchd, pronounc'd
Still hanging incorruptible, till men By tongue of brute, and human sense express'd? | Grow up to their provision, and more hands The first, at least, of these I thought denied Help to disburden Nature of her birth.” To beasts, whom God, on their creation-day, To whom the wily adder, blithe and glad. Created mute to all articulate sound:
“Empress, the way is ready, and not long ; The latter I demur; for in their looks
Beyond a row of myrtles, on a flat, Much reason, and in their actions, oft appears. Fast by a fountain, one small thicket past Thee, serpent, subtlest beast of all the field Of blowing myrrh and balm: if thou accept I knew, but not with human voice endued ; My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon." Redouble then this miracle, and say,
“ Lead then,” said Eve. He, leading, swiftly How cam’st thou speakable of mute, and how
rollid To me so friendly grown above the rest
In tangles, and made intricate seem straight, Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight?
To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy . Say, for such wonder claims attention due.” Brightens bis crest; as when a wandering fire,
To whom the guilefu) tempter thus replied.' Compact of unctuous vapour, which the night “Empress of this fair world, resplendent Eve! Condenses, and the cold enviruns round, Easy to me it is to tell thee all [be obey'd : Kindled through agitation to a fiame, What thou command'st; and right thou shouldst Which oft, they say, some evil spirit attends,, I was a first as other beasts that graze
Hovering and blazing with delusive light, The trodden herb, of abject thoughts and low, Misleads the amaz'd right-wanderer from his As was my food; nor aught but food discern'd
(pooli Or sex, and apprehended nothing high :
To bogs and mires, and oft through pond or Till, on a day roving the field, I chanc'd
There swallow'd up and lost, from succour far: A goodly tree far distant to behold
So glister'd the dire snake, and into fraud Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mix'd, i Led Eve, our credulous mother, to the tree Rudily and gold: I nearer drew to gaze; Of prohibition, root of all our woe; When frum the boughs a savoury odour blown, Which when she saw, thus to her guide she Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd ny sense
spake. T'han smell of sweetest fenel, or the teats
“ Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming Of cwe or goat dropping with milk at even, Unsuck'd of lamb or kid, that tend their play, Fruitless to me, though fruit be here to excess, To satisfy the sharp desire I had
The credit of whose virtue rest with thee; Of tasting those fair apples, I resolvid
Wonderous indeed, if cause of such effects. Not to defer; hunger and thirst at once,
But of this tree we may not taste nor touch; Powerful persuaders, quicken'd at the scent God so commanded, and left that command Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keen.
Sole daughter of his voice; the rest, we live About the mossy trunk I wound me soon; Law to ourselves; our reason is our law.” For, high from ground, the branches would re I To whom the tempter guilefully replied. quire
“ Indeed! hath God then said that of the fruit Thy utmost reach or Adam's : round the tree Of all these gardep-trees ye shall not eat, All other beasts that saw, with like desire Yet lords declar'd of all in Earth or air?" Longing and envying stood, but could not reach. To whom thus Eve, yet sinless. “Of the fruit Amid the tree now got, where plenty hung
Of each tree in the garden we may eat; Tempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill But of the fruit of this fair tree amidst I spar'd not; for, such pleasure till that hour, The garden, God hath said, “Ye shall not eat At feed or fountain, never had I found.
Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, lest ye die.'” Sated at length, ere long I might perceive
She scarce bad said, though brief, when now Strange alteration in me, to degree
Rais'd, as of some great matter to begin.
lo Athens or free Rome, where eloquence Semblance, and in thy beauty's heavenly ray, Flourish'd, since mute! to some great cause ad. United I beheld; no fair to thine
dress'd, Equivalent or second! which compellid
Stood in himself collected; while each part, Me thus, though importune perhaps, to come Motion, each act, won audience ere the tongue; And gaze, and worship thee of right declar'd Sometimes in he'ght began, as no delay Sovran of creatures, universal dame !"
Of preface brooking, through his zeal of right: So talk'd the spirited sly snake ; and Eve, So standing, moving, or to height up grown, Yet more amaz'd, unwary thus replied.. The tempter, all impassion'd, thus began.
“ Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt "O sacred, wise, and wisdom-giving plant,. The virtue of that fruit, in thee first prov'd : Mother of science! now I feel thy power But say, where grows the tree? from hence how Within me clear; not only to discern For many are the trees of God that grow [far: Things in their causes, but to trace the ways In Paradise, and various, yet unknown ! Of bighest agents, deein'd however wise.