Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds,
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs,
Intestine stone and ulcer, colic pangs,
Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies, and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans; Despair
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch ;
And over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook, but delay'd to strike, though oft invok'd
With vows, as their chief good, and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of rock could long
Dry-eyed behold ? Adam could not, but wept,
Though not of woman born ; compassion quell'd
His best of man, and gave him up to tears
A space, till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess ;
And scarce recovering words, his plaint renew'd:

“O miserable mankind, to what fall
Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd!
Better end here unborn. Why is life given
To be thus wrested from us? rather, why
Obtruded on us thus? who, if we knew
What we receive, would either not accept
Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down ;
Glad to be so dismiss'd in peace. Can thus
The image of God in man, created once
So goodly and erect, though faulty since,
To such unsightly sufferings be debas'd
Under inhuman pains ? Why should not man,
Retaining still divine similitude
In part, from such deformities be free,
And, for his Maker's image sake, exempt ?"
“ Their Maker's image," answer'd' Michaus

" then Forsook them, when themselves they vilified To serve ungovern'd appetite ; and took His image whom they sery'd, a brutish vice, anductive mainly to the sin of Eve.

serve

Therefore s.) atvject is their punishment,
Distiguring not God's likeness, but their own;
Or if his likeness, by themse ves defac'd :
While they pervert pure nature's healthful rules
To loathsome sickness ; worthily since they
God's image did not reverence in themselves."

I yield it just," said Adam, “and submit. But is there yet no other way, besides These painful passages, how we may come *o death, and inix with our connatural dust ?" " There is," said Michael, “ if thou well ob.

(taughty The rule of • Not too much ;' by temperance In what thou eat’st and drink'st ; seeking from

thence Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight, Till many years over thy head return: So mayst thou live; till, like ripe fruit, thou drop onto thy mother's lap; or be with ease Gather'd, not harshly pluck'd; for death mature : This is old age ; but then, thon must outlive Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty ; which will

change To wither’d, weak, and grey; thy senses then, Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forego, 'To what thou hast ; and for the air of youth Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reign A melancholy damp of cold and dry, To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume The balm of life." To whom our ancestor :

« Henceforth I fly not death, nor would prolong Life much; bent rather, how I may be quit, Fairest and easiest, of this cumbirous charge : Which I must keep till my appointed day ?,f rendering up, and patiently attend My dissolution." Michael replied :

[livest • Nor love thy life, nor hate ; but what thou Lire pell; how long, or short, permit to Heaven :

KE wpare thee for another sight."

He look'd, and saw a spacious plain, whereof Were tents of various hue; by some, were herus Of cattle grazing; others, whence the sound Oi instruments, that made melodious chime, Was heard, of harp and organ; and, who mor'd Their stops and chords, was seen; his volant toucı Instinct through all proportions, low and higli, Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue. In other part stood one who, at the forge Labouring, two massy clods of iron and brass Had melted, (whether found where casual tire Had wasted woods on mountain or in vale, Down to the veins of earth; thence gliding furt Tosome cave's mouth; or whether wash'd by streans From under ground ;) the liquid ore he drain' Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he forni'! First his own tools; then, what might else le Fusil or graven in metal. After these, (wronglie But on the hicher side, a different sort (seai, From the high neighbouring hills, which was their Down to the plain descended; by their guise Just men they seem'd, and all their study lent To worship Gud aright, and know his works Not hid; nor those things last, which might prea. Freedom and peace to men: they on the plain Long bad not walk'd, when from the tents, behold ! A bevy of fair women, richly gay In gems and wanton dress ; to the harp they sung Soft amorous diities, and in dance came on: The men, though grave, eyed them; and let their

eyes Rove without rein; till, in the amorous net Fast caught, they liked ; and each his liking chose And now of love they treat, till the evening statin Love's harbinger, appear'd; tben, all in heal, They light the nuptial torch, and bid invoke Hymen, then first to marriage rites invok'd : With feast and music all the tenis resound

serve

Such happy interview, and fair event
Of love and youth not lost, songs, garlands, fiowers,
And charming symphonies, attach'd the heart
Of Adam, soon inclin'd to admit delight,
The bent of nature; which he thus express'd :

“ True opener of mine eyes, prime angel blest;
Aluch letter seems this vision, and more hope
Of peaceful days portends, thau those two past ;
Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse;
Here nature seemns fulfill'd in all her ends."
To whom thus Alic nel : “ Judge nut what is

best By pleasure, though tu nature seeming meet; Created, as thou art, to nobler end Huly and pure, conformity divine. Those leninihou saw'st 80 pleasant, were the terou Of wickedne: s, wherein shall dwell bis race Who slew his brother ; studious they appear Of arts that polish life, inventors rare ; Uumindful of their Maker, though his Spirit Taught them ; but they his gifts acknowledg'd Yet they a krauteous offspring shall beget ; For that fair female troop thou saw'st, that seeni'a Of goddess+s, so blithe, so smooth, s gay, Yet empty of all good, wherein consists Woman's domestic honour and chief praise ; Bred only and completed to the taste Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance, To dress, and troll the congue, and roll the eye. To these that sober race of men, whose lives Religious titled them the Sons of God, Sball yield up all their virtue, all their fame Ignolly, to the trains and to the smiles Of these fair atheists; and cow swim in joy, Ere long to swim at large; and laugh, for which The world ere long a world of tears must weep."

To wboy thus Adam, of short joy bereft: " () pity and shame, ehnt they, who to live well Eirier'd sa dir, should turn aside in tread

none.

Paths indirect, or in the midway faint !
But still I see the tenor of man's woe
Holds on the same, from woman to begin."

“ From man's effeminate slackness it begins,"
Said the angel, " who should better hold his place
By wisdom, and superior gifts receiv'd.
But now prepare the: for another scene."

He look'd, and saw wide territory spread Before him, towns, and rural works between ; Cities of men with lofty gates and towers, Concourse in arms, fierce faces threatening war Giants of mighty bone, and bold emprise ; Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steedy Single or in array of battle rang'd Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood : One way a band select from forage drives A herd of heeves, fair oxen and fair kine, From a fat meadow.ground; or fleecy Aock, Ewes and their bleating lambs over the plain, Their booty; scarce with life the shepherds tly But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray ; With cruel tournament the squadrons join ; Where cattle pastur'd late, now scatter'd lies With carcasses and arms the ensanguin'd field, Deserted : others to a city strong Lay siege, encamp'd ; by battery, scale, and mins, Assaulting: others from the wall defena With dart and javelin, stones, and sulphurous fires On each hand slaughter, and gigantic deeds. In other part the sceptred heralds call To council, in the city-gates ; anon Grey-headed men and grave, with warriors mixida Assemble, and harangues are heard ; but soon, In factious opposition ; till at lasty Of middle age one rising, eminent In wise deport, spake much of right and wrong, Of justice, of religion, truth, and peace, And judgment from above ; him old and young Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent lands, Had not id cloud descending snatch'd him thence,

« AnteriorContinuar »