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MORNING approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesomo
dream; be likes it not, yet comforts her : they come forth to their day labours : their morning hymn at the door of their bower. Gód to render man inexcusable sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise, his appearance described, his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out, to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise, got together by Eve; their discourse at table : Raphael performs his mossage, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him. then forsakes him.
Now morn her rosy steps in th' eastern clime
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, .
When Adam wak’d, so custom’d, for his sleep
Was airy light from pure digestion bred,
And temp'rate vapours bland, which th' only sound
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan
Lightly disper'd, and the shrill matin song
Of birds on every bough; so much the mores ,
His wonder was to find unwakend Eve
With tresses discompos'd, and glowing cheek,
As through unquiet rest : he on his side .
Leaning half rais'd, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, .
Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus : Awake
My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
Heav'n's last, best gift, my ever new delight,
Awake; the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom, extracting liquid swest.
Such whisp'ring wak'd her, but with startled eye On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake :
O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose, My glory, my perfection, glad I see Thy face, and morn return'd; for I this night (Such night till this I never pass'd) have dream'd, If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee, Works of day past, or morrow's next design, But of offence and trouble, which my mind Knew never till this irksome night : methought, Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk With gentle voice, I thought it thine ; it said, Why sleep'st thou Eve? now is the pleasant time, The cool, the silent, save where silence yields To the night-warbling bird, that now awake Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song; now reigns Full orb'd the moon, and with more pleasing light Shadowy sets off the face of things : in vain, If none regard; heav'n wakes with all his eyes, Whom to behold but thee, nature's desire ? In whose sight all things joy with ravishment, Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze. I rose as at thy call, but found thee not; To find thee I directed then my walk; And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways That brought me on a sudden to the tree Of interdicted knowledge : fair it seem'd, Much fairer to my fancy than by day: And as I wond'ring look’d, beside it stood One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from heav'n By us oft seen: his dewy locks distillid Ambrosia ; on that tree he also gaz'd; : And O fair plant, said he, with fruit surcharg'd, Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet, Nor God, nor man? is knowledge so despis'd ? Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste ? Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold Longer thy offer'd good, why else set here? This said, he paus'd not, but with vent'rous arm
He pluck’d, he tasted; me damp horror chill'd.
At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold :
But he thus overjoy'd, O fruit divine,
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt,
Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit
For gods, yet able to make gods of men !
And why not gods of men, since good the more
Communicated, more abundant grows,
The author not impair'd, but honour'd more ?
Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve,
Partake thon also ; happy though thou art,
Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be ;
Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods
Thyself a goddess, not to earth confin’d,
But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes
Ascend to heav'n, by merit thine, and see
What life the gods live there, and such live thou.
So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
Ev'n to my mouth of that same fruit held part
Which he had pluck'd; the pleasant savoury smell
So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought,
Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds
With him I few, and underneath beheld
The earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide
And various : wond'ring at my flight and change
To this high exaltation; suddenly
My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down,
And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd
To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her night
Related, and thus Adam answer'd sad :
Best image of myself, and dearer half,
The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep,
Affects me equally ; nor can I like
This uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear;
Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none,
Created pure. But know, that in the soul
Are many lesser faculties, that serve
Reason as chief: among these fancy next
Her office holds : of all external thing,
Which the five watchful senses represent,
She forins imaginations, airy shapes,
Which reason joining, or disjoining, frames
All what we affirm or what deny, and call ,
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
into her private cell when nature rests.
Oft in her absence mimic fancy wakes.
To imitate her ; but misjoining shapes,
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams,
Ill matching words and deeds long past or late.
Some such resemblances methinks I find
Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream,
But with addition strange; yet be not sad.
Evil in the mind of God or man
May come and go, so unapprov'd and leave
No spot or blame behind: which gives me hope
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream,
Waking thou never wilt consent to do
Be not dishearten'd then, nor cloud those looks
That wont to be more cheerful and serene,
Than when fair morning first smiles on the world;
And let us to our fresh employments rise
Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers
That open now their choicest boson d smells,
Reservd from night, and kept for thee in store.
So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd
But silently a gentle tear let fall
From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair ;
Two other precious drops that ready stood,
Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell
Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended.
So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste.
But first, from under shady arb'rous roof
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of day-spring, and the sun, who scarce uprisen,
With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean brim,
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Discovering in wide landscape all the east