Billeder på siden


That lie beltrown, unsightly and unfiooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease :
Mean while, as Nature wills, night bids us reft.

To whom thus Eve, with perfe& beauty'adorn'd,
My author and disposer, what thou bid'It
Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains;
God is thy law, thou mine : to know no more
Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise.
With thee converfing I forget all time;
All seasons and their change, all please alike. 640
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 beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r,
Glift'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth 645
After soft fhow'rs; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful ev'ning mild; then filent 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, when she ascends 650
With charm of earliest birds.; nor rising sun
On this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, flow'r,
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after show'rs;
Nor grateful ev’ning mild; nor silent night,
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon, 655
Or glitt'ring ítar-light without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom
This glorious fight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?

To whom our general ancestor reply'd. Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve, 660 These have their course to finish round the earth By morrow ev’ning, and from land to land In order, though to nations yet unborn, Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Left total darkness should by night regain 665 H6


Her old poffeflion, and extinguish life
In nature and all things; which these foft fires
Not only enlighten, but with kindly heat
Of various influence foment and warm,
Temper or nourish, or in part fhed down

Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.
These then, tho' unbeheld in deep of night,

67+ Shine not in vain; nor think, tho' men were none; That heav'n would want spectators, God want praise ; Millions of spiritual ereatures walk the earth Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep: All these with ceaseless praise his works behold Both day and night: how often, from the steep 680 Of echoing hill or thicket, have we heard Celestial voices to the midnight air, Sole or responsive to each others nore, Singing their great Creator oft in bands

? While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk, With heav'nly touch of instrumental founds 686 In full harmonic number join'd, their songs Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heav'n.

Thus talking, hand in hand alone they pass'd On to their blissful bow'r; it was a place 690 Chos'n by the fov’reign Planter, when he fram'd All things to man's delightful use; the roof Of thickest covert was in woven shade Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub, Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flow'r, Iris all hues, roles and jefamine, Reard high their flourish'd heads between, and wrought Moraic; underfoot the violet,

700 Crocus



Crocus and hyacinth, with rich inlay
Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone
Of cofliest emblem: other creature here,
Bealt, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none,
Such was their awe of man. In ihadier bow'r

More facred and fequefter'd, tho' but feign'd,
Pan or Sylvanus never flept, nor nymph
Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in closs recess,
With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs
Efpoufed Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed,
And heav'nly quires the hymenzan fung,
What day the genial angel to our fire,
Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn'd;
More lovely than Pandora, whom the gods
Endow'd with all their gifts, and 0 too like 715
In sad event, when to th' unwiser son
Of Japhet brought by Hermes, the infnar'd
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire.

Thus at their shady lodge arrivd, both ftood, 720 Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd The God that made both sky, air, earth and heav'n, Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe, And starry pole: Thou also mad'st the night, Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day,

725 Which we in our appointed work employ'd Have finishid, happy in our mutual help, And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss Ordain'd by thee; and this delicious place, For us too large, where thy abundance wants

730 Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground. But thou hast promis'd from us two a race To fill the earth, who shall with us extol Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, And when we feek, as low, thy gift of licep. 735

This said unanimous, and other rites
Observing none, but adoration pure,
Which God likes belt, into their inmost bow'r
Handed they went; and eas’d the putting off
These troublesome disguises which we wear, 740
Strait side by side were laid; nor turn'd, I ween,
Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites
Mysterious of connubial love refus'd :
Whatever hypocrites austerely talk
Of purity, and place, and incocence,

Defaming as impure what God declares
Pure, and commands to fome, leaves free to all.
Our Maker bids increase ; who bids abstain
But our destroyer, foe to God and man?
Hail, wedded love! mysterious law, true source 750
Of human offspring, fole propriety
In Paradise of all things common else.
By thee adult'rous luft was driv'n from men
Among the bestial herds to range; by thee
Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure, 755
Relations dear, and all the charities
Of father, son, and brother, first were known.
Far be' it, that I should write thee fin or blame,
Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets,

Whofe bed is undefil'd and chalte pronounc'd,
Present, or past, as saints and patriarchs us'd.
Here Love his golden Thafts employs, here lights
His conftant lamp, and waves his purple wings,
Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile 765
Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear'd,
Casual fruition; nor in court-amours,
Mird dance, or wanton masque, or midnight ball,
Or serenate, which the farv'd lover fings
To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain. 770



Thefe, lulld by nightingales, embracing slept,
And on their naked limbs the flow'ry roof
Shower'd roses, which the morp repair'd. Sleep on,
Blest pair; and yet happielt, if ye feek
No happier state, and know to know no more.

Now had night measur'd with her shadowy cone
Half way up hill this vast fublunar vault,
And from their ivory port the cherubim,
Forth issuing at th' accustom'd hour, stood arm'd
To their night-watches in warlike parade, 780
When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake.

Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south With strictest watch; these other wheel the north; Our circuit meets full weft.

As fame they part, Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear. 785 From these strong and subtle spi'rits he callid That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge.

Ithuriel and Zephon, with wing'd speed Search thro' this garden, leave unfearch'd no nook ; But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge, 790 Now laid perhaps asleep, secure of harm. This evening from the sun's decline arriv'd Who tells of some infernal spirit seen Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'd The bars of hell, on errand bad no doubt : 795 Such where ye find seize faft. and hither bring.

So saying, on he led his radiant files, Dazzling the moon; these to the bow'r direct In search of whom they fought: him there they found Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve,

800 Affaying by his devilish art to reach The organs of her fancy', and with them forge Illusions as he lift, phantasms and dreams; Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint Th'animal fpirits, that from pure blood arise 805

« ForrigeFortsæt »