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And shun the bitter consequence : for know,
0, by what name (for thou above all these, Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher,
Surpassest far my naming) how may I
What call'st thou solitude ? . Is not the Earth
So spake the Universal Lord, and seemed So ordering : 1, with leave of speech implored,,, And humble deprecation, thus replied.
Let not my words offend thee, Heavenly Power! My Maker, be propitious while I speak ! Hast thou not made me here thy substitute, And these inferior far beneath me set ? Among unequals what society Can sort, what harmony, or true delight? Which must be mutual, in proportion due Given and received; but, in disparity (The one intense, the other still remiss) Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove Tedious alike : of fellowship I speak
Such as I seek, fit to participate
Whereto the Almighty answered, not displeased.
He ceased; I lowly answered. To attain The heighth and depth of thy eternal ways All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things! Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee Is no deficience found : not so is Man, But in degree; the cause of his desire By conversation with his like to help, Or' solace his defects. No need that thou Shouldst propagate, already Infinite;
And through all numbers absolute, though One:
Thus I emboldened spake, and freedom used Permissive, and acceptance found; which gained This answer from the gracious Voice Divine.
Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased, And find thee knowing, not of beasts alone, Which thou hast rightly named, but of thyself; Expressing well the spirit within thee free, My image, not imparted to the brute; Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee, Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike ; And be so minded still : I, ere thou spak’st, Knew it not good for Man to be alone; And no such company as then thou saw'st Intended thee; for trial only brought, To see how thou couldst judge of fit and meet : What next I bring shall please thee, be assured; Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self, Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.
He ended, or I heard no more ; for now My earthly by his heavenly overpowered, Which it had long stood under, strained to the
heighth In that celestial colloquy sublime, (As with an object that excels the sense Dazzled and spent) sunk down; and sought repair Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, called By Nature as in aid, and closed mine eyes. Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell Of fancy, my internal sight; by which (Abstract as in a trance) methought I saw, Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape Still glorious before whom awake I stood : Who stooping opened my left side, and took From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm, And life-blood streaming fresh: wide was the
wound, But suddenly with flesh filled up and healed : The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands : Under his forming hands a creature grew, Man-like, but different sex; so lovely fair, That what seemed fair in all the world, seemed now Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained, And in her looks; which from that time infused Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before; And into all things from her air inspired The spirit of love and amorous delight. She disappeared, and left me dark ; I waked To find her, or for ever to deplore Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure :