Page images
PDF
EPUB

Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems
Fair couple, linkt in happie nuptial league,
Alone as they. About them frisking play'd
All beasts of the earth, since wilde, and of all chase
In wood or wilderness, forrest or den ;
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw
Dandld the kid; bears, tygers, ounces, pards
Gambol'd before them, th’unwieldy elephant
To make them mirth us'd all his might, and wreath'd
His lithe proboscis ; close the serpent fly
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
His breaded train, and of his fatal guile
Gave proof unheaded ; others on the grass
Coucht, and now fill'd with pasture gazing fat,
Or bedward ruminating : for the sun
Declin'd was hasting now with prone career
To th’ocean isles, and in the ascending scale
Of heav'n the starrs that usher evening rose:
When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length fail'd speech recover'd fad.

O hell ! whát do mine eyes with grief behold,
Into our room of bliss thus high advanc't
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
Not spirits, yet to heav'nly spirits bright
Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that form’d them on their shape hath pour'd,
Ah gentle pair, ye little think how nigh
Your change-approaches, when all these delights

Will vanish and deliver ye to woe,
More woe, the more your taste is now of joy ;
Happie, but for so happie ill secur'd
Long to continue; and this high seat your heav'n
Ill fenc't for heav'n to keep out such a foe
As now is enter'd; yet no purpos’d for
To you whom I could pitie thus forlorn
Though I unpitied': league with you I seek,
And mutual amitie so streight, so close,
That I with you must dwell, or you with me,
Henceforth ; my dwelling haply may not please
Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such
Accept your maker's work ; he gave it me,
Which I as freely give ; hell shall unfold,
To entertain you two, her widert gates,
And send forth all her kings ; there will be room,
Not like these narrow limits, to receive
Your numerous offspring; if no better place,
Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge
On you who wrong me not for him who wrong'd,
And Thould I at your harmless innocence
Melt, as I doe, yet public reason just,
Honour and empire with revenge enlarg'd,
By conquering this new world, compells me now
To do what else though damn'd I mould abhorr:
So spake the fiend, and with necessitie,
The tyrants plea, excus'd his devilish deeds,
Then from his loftie stand on that high tree
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those fourfooted kindes, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape serv'd beft his end

Nearer to view his prey, and unespi’d
To mark what of their state he more might learn
By word or action markt : about them round
A lion now he stalkes with fierie glare,
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spi’d
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
Strait couches close, then riling.changes oft
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground
Whence rushing he might surest seise them both
Grip't in each paw : when Adam first of men
To first of women Eve thus moving speech,
Turn'd him all ear to hear new utterance flow,

Sole partner and sole part of all these joyes,
Dearer thyself then all, needs must the power
That made us, and for us this ample world
Be infinitely good, and of his good
As liberal and free as infinite,
That rais'd us from the dust and plac't us here
In all this happiness, who at his hand ·
Have nothing merited, nor can perform
Aught whereof he hath need, he who requires
From us no other service then to keep
This one, this easy charge, of all the trees
In Paradise that bear delicious fruit
So various, not to taste that onely tree
Of knowledge, planted by the tree of life,
So neer grows death to life, whatere death is,
Some dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou knowit
God hath pronounc't it death to taste that tree,
The only sign of our obedience left
Among so many signes of power and rule

[ocr errors]

Conferr'd upon us, and dominion giv'n
Over all other creatures that possess
Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard'
One easie prohibition, who enjoy
Free leave so large to all things else, and choice
Unlimited of manifold delights :
But let us ever praise him, and extoll
His bountie, following our delightfül talk
To prune these growing plants, and tend these flours,
Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet.
To whom thus Eve repli'd. O thou for whom
And from whom I was form'd flesh of thy flesh,
And without whom am to no end, my guide
And head, what thou hast said is just and right..
For we to him indeed all praises owe,
And daily thanks, I chicfly who enjoy
So far the happier lot, enjoying thee?
Preeminent by so much odds, while thou'
Like confor to thyself canst no where find:
That day I oft remember, when from Neep
I first awak't, and found myself repos’d
Under a Made on fiours, much wondring where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how,
Not distant far from thence a murmuring round
Of waters isfu'd from a cave and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd
Pure as t'expanse of heav'n; I thither went
With unexperienc't thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the cleer
Smooth lake, that to me seein'd another skie.
As I bent dowir to look, just oppofite;

A shape within the watry gleam appeer'd
Bending to look on me, I started back,
It started back, but pleas'd I foon return d.
Pleas’d it return'd as soon with answering looks
Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt
Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain defire,
Had not a voice thus warn’d me, what thcu feeit,
What there thou seeit, fair creature, is thyself,
With thee it came and goes : but follow me,
And I will bring thee where no shadow Raies
Thy coming, and thy fost embraces, he
Whore image thou art, him thou shalt enjoy
Inseparably chine to him fall beare
Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call’d,
Mother of human race: what could I doe,
But follow strait, invisilly thus led ?

Till I espi'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
, Under a platan, yet methought less fair,
Less winning foft, less amiablie milde,
Then that smooth watry image ; back I turn'd,
Thou following cry'dit aloud, Return fair Eve,
Whom fi'lt thou ? whom thou fi'it, of him thou art,
His ferh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
Cut of my side to thee, neerest my hcart
Substantial life, to have thee by my side
Henceforth an individual solace dear;
Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee claim
My other half: with that thy gentle hand
Seiz'd mine, I yielded, and from that time fee
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace
And wisdom, which alone is, truly fair

« PreviousContinue »