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To me inferior, infinite defcents

Beneath what other creatures are to thee?

He ceas'd; I lowly answer'd. To attain The height and depth of thy eternal ways



All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things!
Thou in thyfelf art perfect, and in thee
Is no deficience found; not so is man,
But in degree; the caufe of his defire
By converfation with his like to help,

Or folace his defects. No need that thou
Shouldft propagate, already infinite,


And through all numbers abfolute, though one :
But man by number is to manifest
His fingle imperfection, and beget
Like of his like, his image multiply'd,
In unity defective, which requires
Collateral love, and deareft amity..
Thou in thy fecrecy although alone,
Beft with thyself accompanied, feek'ft not
Social communication; yet fo pleas'd,


Canft raife thy creature to what height thou wilt 430 Of union or communion, deify'd;

I by converfing cannot thefe erect

From prone, nor in their ways complacence find.
Thus I embolden'd spake, and freedom us'd
Permiffive, and acceptance found; which gain'd 435
This anfwer from the gracious voice divine.
Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleas'd,
And find thee knowing, not of beasts alone,
Which thou haft rightly nam'd, but of thyfelf,
Expreffing well the fpi'rit within thee free,
My image, not imparted to the brute;
Whofe fellowship therefore unmeet for thee,
Good reafon was thou freely fhouldst dislike;
And be fo minded ftil!; I, ere thou spak'st,



Knew it not good for man to be alone,

And no fuch company as then thou faw'ft
Intended thee, for trial only brought,

To fee how thou couldst judge of fit and meet:
What next I bring fhall please thee, be affur'd,
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Thy with exactly to thy heart's defire.

He ended, or I heard no more; for now
My earthly by his heav'nly overpower'd,



Which it had long ftood under, ftrain'd to th"height: In that celestial colloquy fublime,

As with an object that excels the fenfe



Dazzled and spent, funk down, and fought repair
Of fleep, which inftantly fell on me, call'd
By nature as in aid, and clos'd mine eyes.
Mine eyes he clos'd, but open left the cell
Of fancy, my internal fight, by which
Abstract as in a trance methought I faw,
Though fleeping, where I lay, and faw the fhape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood;

Who ftooping open'd my left fide, and took 465
From thence a rib. with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood ftreaming fresh; wide was the wound,
But fuddenly with flesh fill'd up and heal'd:
The rib he form'd and fashion'd with his hands;
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Man-like, but diff'rent fex, fo lovely fair,


That what feem'd fair in all the world, feem'd now

Mean, or in her fumm'd up, in her contain'd,

And in her looks; which from that time infus'd
Sweetnefs into my heart, unfelt before,


And into all things from her air infpir'd

The fpi'rit of love, and amorous delight.

She disappear'd, and left me dark; I wak'd
To find her, or for ever to deplore


Her lofs, and other pleafures all abjure:
When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I faw her in my dream, adorn'd
With what all earth or heaven could bestow
To make her amiable: on she came,
Led by her heav'nly Maker, though unfeen,
And guided by his voice, nor uninform'd



Of nuptial fanctity and marriage-rites:

Grace was in all her steps, heav'n in her eye,
In every gefture dignity and love.


I overjoy'd could not forbear aloud.

This turn hath made amends; thou haft fulfill'd


Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
Giver of all things fair, but faireft this
Of all thy gifts, nor envieft. I now fee
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself
Before me: Woman is her name, of man
Extracted; for this caufe he fhall forego
Father and mother, and to' his wife adhere;
And they shall be one fiefh, one heart, one foul.
She heard me thus; and though divinely brought,
Yet innocence, and virgin modefty,

Her virtue, and the confcience of her worth,
That would be woo'd, and not unfought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrufive, but retir'd,

The more defirable, or, to fay all,

Nature herself, though pure of finful thought,
Wrought in her fo, that, feeing me, she turn'd:
I follow'd her; fhe what was honour knew,
And with obfequious majesty approv'd
My pleaded reafon. To the nuptial bower
I led her blufhing like the morn: all heav'n,
And happy conftellations, on that hour
Shed their felecteft influence; the earth
Gave fign of gratulation, and each hill;





Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings
Flung rofe, flung odours from the spicy fhrub,
Difporting, till the amorous bird of night
Sung fpoufal, and bid haste the ev❜ning-star
On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp.



Thus have I told thee all my ftate, and brought My story to the fum of earthly blifs Which I enjoy; and must confess to find

In all things elfe delight indeed, but fuch,

As us'd or not, works in the mind no change, 525
Nor vehement defire; thefe delicacies,

I mean, of taste, fight, fmell, herbs, fruits, and flow'rs,
Walks, and the melody of birds: but here
Far otherwife, tranfported I behold,
Tranfported touch; here paffion first I felt,

Commotion ftrange, in all enjoyments elfe
Superior and unmov'd, here only weak
Againft the charm of beauty's powerful glance.
Or nature fail'd in me, and left fome part
Not proof enough fuch object to fuftain;
Or from my fide fubducting, took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestow'd
Too much of ornament, in outward fhow
Elaborate, of inward less exact.



For well I understand in the prime end
Of nature her th' inferior, in the mind


And inward faculties, which most excel;

In outward also her resembling less

His image who made both, and less expreffing
The character of that dominion giv'n


O'er other creatures; yet when I approach

Her loveliness, fo abfolute she seems,

And in herself compleat, fo well to know

Her own, that what she wills to do or fay,


Seems wifeft, virtuoufeft, difcreeteft, beft;
All higher knowledge in her prefence falls
Degraded; wisdom in difcourfe with her
Lofes difcount'nanc'd, and like folly fhows;
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended firft, not after made
Occafionally; and to confummate all,
Greatness of mind, and nobleness, their feat
Build in her lovelieft, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.




To whom the angel, with contracted brow. Accufe not nature, fhe hath done her part; Do thou but thine; and be not diffident Of Wisdom; fhe deferts thee not, if thou Difmifs not her, when moft thou need'ft her nigh, By attribúting overmuch to things



Lefs excellent, as thou thyfelf perceiv't.
For what admir' thou, what tranfports thee fo,
An outfide fair no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love,
Not thy fubjection. Weigh with her thyself;
Then value: oft-times nothing profits more
Than felf-esteem, grounded on juft and right
Well manag'd; of that skill the more thou know'st,
The more the will acknowledge thee her head,
And to realities yield all her thows:

Made fo adorn for thy delight the more,
So awful, that with honour thou may'ft love
Thy mate, who fees when thou art feen least wife.
But if the fenfe of touch whereby mankind
Is propagated feem fuch dear delight
Beyond all other, think the fame vouchfaf'd
To cattle and each beaft; which would not be
To them made common and divulg'd, if ought
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to fubdue




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