« PreviousContinue »
Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
Sabean odours, from the spicy shore ,
Of Araby the blest: with such delay
Well pleas'd they slack their course, and many a league :
Cheard with the grateful smell, old Ocean smiles.
Satan's first Sight of Adam and Eve.
Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native honour clad
In naked Majesty, seem'd lords of all :
And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
(Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd)
Whence true authority in men: though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd;
For contemplation he and valour formd,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace ;
He for God only, she for Gud in him.
His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd
Absolute rule; and hyacinthin locks
Round from his parted forelock, manly hung
Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil, down to the slender waist
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Disheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'd,
As the vine curls her tendrils, which imply'd
Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
Eve gires an Account of what first befel her after
Trat day I oft remember, when from sleep
I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd
Under a shade on flowers, much wond'ring where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
Not distant far, from thence a murm'ring sound
Of waters issued from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov’d
Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n ; I thither went
With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the clear
Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky.
As I bent down to look, just opposite
A shape within the wat'ry gleam appear'd,
Bending to look on me : I started back,
It started back; but pleas'd I soon return'd,
Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answering looks
Of sympathy and love; there I had fix'd
Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warn’d me, What thou seest,
'What there thou seest, fair Creature, is thyself;
With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
And I will bring thee where no shadow stays
Thy.coming, and thy soft embraces; he
Whose image thou art, him thou shalt enjoy
Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear
Niultitudes like thyself, and thence be callid
Mother of human race. What could I do,
But follow strait, invisibly thus led ?
Till I espy'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
Under a platan ; yet methought less fair,
Less winning soft, less amiably mild,
Than that smooth wat’ry image: back I turn'd;
Thou following cry'dst aloud, Return, fair Eve,
Whom fly'st thou ? whom thou fly'st, of him thou art.
His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,
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 see
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.
A DESCRIPTION of Nicht.
(MILTON.) Now came still evening on, and twilight grey Had in her sober livery all things clad:
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk; all but the wakeful nightingale ;
She all night long her amorous descant sung;
Silence was pleas'd : now glow'd the firmament
With living saphirs ; Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver imantle threw.
Eve describes her HAPPINESS in ADAM'S COMPANY.
With thee conversing I forget all time;
All seasons, and their change, all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beamas, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glistring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train:
But neither breath of morn, wlien she ascends
With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after showers ;
Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon,
Or glittering star-light, without thee is sweet.
RENCOUNTER belween GABRIEL and SATAN in Paradise,
WHILE thus he spake, th' angelic squadron bright
Turn'd fiery red, sharp’ning in mooned horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears which way the wind
Sways them; the careful plowman doubting stands,
Lest on the threshing floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaił. On th' other side Satan aların'd,
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas unremov'd :
His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
Sat horror plum'd ; nor wanted in his grasp
What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dreadful deeds-
Might have ensued, nor only Paradise
In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the elements,
At least had gone to wrack, disturb’d and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
Th’ Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in Heav'n his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh’d,
The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles and realms; in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend :
Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine ;
Neither our own, but giv'n ; 'what folly then-
To boast what arms can do ? since thine no more
Than Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire : for proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
Where thou art weigh’d, and shown how light, how weak,
If thou resist. The Fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft : nor more; but fed
Murm'ring, and with him fled the shades of night.
The MORNING Hymn of Adam and Eve.
These are thy glorious works, Parent of good!
Almighty, thine this universal frame,
Thus wond'rous fais; thyself how wondrous' then!
Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these Heavens,
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine.
Speak ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels ; for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing ; ye in Heaven,
On Earth join all ye creatures, to extol
Him first, him last; him midst, and without end.
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night.
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smilis morn
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sp. ere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou Sun, of this great world both eye and soul, ,
Acknowledge him thy greater ; sound his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
And when high noon hast gain’d, and when thou fall'st,
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st,
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies ;
fave other wand'ring fires that move
In mystic dance, not without song resound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, and ye Elements, the eldest birth
Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix
And nourish all things ; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye Mists and Exhalations that now rise
From hill or streaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the son paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rise,
Whether to deck with clouds th' ancolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye Winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud ; and wave yoar tops, ye Pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices all ye living Souls ; ye Birds,
That singing up to Heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, universal Lord ! be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceald,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.