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To me inferior, infinite defcents

410 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 thyself art perfect, and in thee

415 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 Shouldīt propagate, already infinite,

420 And through all numbers absolute, though one : But man by number is to manifest His single imperfection, and beget Like of his like, his iniage multiply'd, In unity defective, which requires

425 Collateral love, and dearest amity. , Thou in thy fecrecy although alone, Best with thyself accompanied, feek'lt not Social communication ; yet so pleas'd, Cantt raise thy creature to what height thou wilt 43.0 Of union or communion, deify'd; I by converfing cannot these erect From prone, nor in their ways complacence findo Thus I embolden'd spake, and freedom us'd Permissive, and acceptance found; which gain’d 435 This answer 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 thyself, Expressing well the fpi'rit within thee free, 440 My image, not imparted to the brute; Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee, Good reafon was thou freely shouldlft disike; And be to minded Aill; I, ere thou spak't,

Knew 450

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. 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 couldit judge of fit and meet:
What next I bring fhall please thee, be assur’d,
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other felf,
Thy wish 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 stood under, ftraind to th' height
In that celestial colloquy sublime,

As with an object that excels the sense
Dazzled and spent, funk down, and fought repair
Of sleep, which instantly felt on me, call'd
By nature as in-aid, and clos'd mine eyes.
Mine eyes he clos'd, but open left the celli 4605
Of fancy, my internal fight, by which
Abstract as in a trance methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the fhape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood;
Who stooping open'd my left fide, and took 465
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound,
But suddenly with flesh fill'd up and heald:
The rib he form’d and fashion’d with his hands;
Under his forming hands a creature grew, 470
Man-like, but diff'rent sex, so lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her summ’d up, in her contain'd,
And in her looks; which from that time infus'd
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,

And into all things from her air inspir'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


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Her lofs, and other pleasures all abjure:

When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I faw ber 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 unseen,
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 gesture dignity and love.
I overjoy'd could not forbear aloud.

This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfillid
Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,
Giver of all things fair, but faires this
Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
Bone of day bone, flesh of my flesh, myself 495
Before me : Woman is her name, of man
Extracted; for this cause he shall forego
Father and mother, and to’his wife adhere;
And they shall be one fiesh, one heart, one soul.

She heard me thus; and though divinely brought,
Yet innocence, and virgin modesty,

Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth,
That would be wood, and not unfought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retir'd,
The more desirable, or, to say all,

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


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Joyous the birds ; fresh gales and gentle airs 315
Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings
Flung rose, Aung odours from the spicy fhrub,
Difporting, till the amorous bird of night
Sung spousal, and bid haste the ev'ning-star
On his hil-top, to light the bridal lamp.

Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought
My story to the sum of earthly bliss
Which I enjoy; and must confess to find
In all things else delight indeed, but such,
As us'd or not, works in the mind no change, 525
Nor vehement defire; these delicacies,
I mean, of taste, fight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flow'rs,
Walks, and the melody of birds: but here
Far otherwise, transported I behold,
Transported touch; here pallion forft I felt, 530
Commotion ftrange, in all enjoyments else
Superior and unmov'd, here only weak
Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance.
Or nature fail'd in me, and left fome part
Not proof enough fuch object to fukain; 535
Or from my side subducting, took perhaps
More than enough;. at least on her bestow'd
Too much of ornament, in outward thow
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

545 O'er other creatures; yet when I approach Her loveliness, so absolute she seems, And in herself compleat, so well to know Her own, that what she wills to do or say,



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Seems wifeft, virtuouseft, discreeteft, best; 550
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded; wisdom in discourse with her
Loses difcount'nanc'd, and like folly shows;
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended firit, not after made

Occasionally; and to consummate all,
Greatness of mind, and noblenefs, their feat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.
To whom the angel, with contracted brow.

Accuse not nature, she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine ; and be not diffident
Of Wisdom; she deserts thee not, if thou
Dismiss not her, when most thou need's her nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things

Less excellent, as thou thyself perceiv'it.
For what admire thuu, what transports thee fo,
An outfide? fair no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love,
Not thy subjection. Weigh with her thyself; 570
Then value : oft-times nothing profits more
Than self-esteem, grounded on just 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'st lore
Thy mate, who fees when thou art feen least wise.
But if the sense of touch whereby mankind
Is propagated seem such dear delight
Beyond all other, think the fame vouchsaf'd
To cattle and each beast; which would not be
To them made common and divulg'd, if ought
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue



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