Billeder på siden

Since Uriel, regent of the sun, descry'd

60 His entrance,

and forewarn'd the cherubim That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driv'n, The space of fev'n continu'd nights he rode . With darkness, thrice the equinoctial line He circled, four tines cross'd the car of night

65 From pole to pole, travérling each colúre ; On th' eighth return'd, and, on the coast averse From entrance or cherubic watch, by ltealth Found unsuspected way. There was a place, 69 Now not, though fin, not time, first wrought the Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise [change, Into a gulf shot under ground, till part Rose up'a fountain by the tree of life: In with the river sunk, and with it rose Satan, involv'd in rifing mist; then fought 75 Where to lie hid: sea he had search’d, and land, From Eden over Pontus, and the pool Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob; Downward as far antarctic; and in length West from Orontes to the ocean barr'd At Darien, thence to the land where flows Ganges and Indus: thus the orb he roam'd With narrow search, and with inspection deep Consider'd ev'ry creature, which of all Most opportune might serve his wiles, and found 85 The ferpent subtlelt beast of all the field. Him after long debate, irrefolute Of thoughts revolv’d, his final sentence chose Fit veffel, fittest imp of fraud, in whom To enter, and his dark suggestions hide

go From sarpest fight: for in the wily snake, Whatever Neights none would suspicious mark, As from his wit and native subtlety Proceeding, which in other beasts obferv'd





[ocr errors]

Doubt might beget of diabolic power
Adlive within beyond the sense of brute.
7 hus he refolvid, but first from inward grief
His bursting pallion into plaints, thus pour’d.

O earth, how like to heav'n, if not preferr'd More jully, feat worthier of gods, as built 100 With fecond thoughts, reforming what was old! For what God after better worse would build ? Terrestrial heav'n, danc'd round by other heav'ns, That line, yet bear their bright officious lamps, Light above light, for thee alone, as seems,

105 In thee concent'ring all their precious beams Of sacred influence! As God in heay'a Is centre, yet extends to all; so thou Cent'ring receiv'it from all those orbs: in thee, Not in themselves, all their known virtue' appears Productive in herb, plant, and nobler birth Of creatures animate with gradual life Of growth, sense, reason, all summ'd up in man. With what delight could I have walk'd thee, round, If I could joy in ought, sweet interchange 115 Of hill, and valley, rivers, woods, and plains, Now land, now fea, and fores with forest crown'd, ' Rocks, dens, and caves! But I in none of these Find place or refuge; and the more I see Pleasures about me, so much more I feel Torment within me', as from the hatcful siege. Of contraries; all good to me becomes Bane, and in heav'n much worse would be my late. But neither here seek I, no nor in heay'n To dwell, unless by mast'ring heav'n's Supreme; 125 Nor hope to be myself less miserable By what I feek, but others to make such As I, though thereby worfe to me redound : For only in destroying I find ease


1 20

[ocr errors]

To my relentless thoughts; and him destroy'd, 130
Or won to what may work his utter loss,
For whom all this was made ; all this will soon
Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe:
In woe then, that destruction wide niay range:
To me shall be the glory role among

Th’infernal powers, in one day to have marr'd
What he Almighty Atylid, fix nights and days
Continu'd making, and who knows how long
Before had been contriving, though perhaps
Net longer than fince I in one night freed 140
From servitude inglorious well nigh half
Th'angelic name, and thinner left the throng
Of his adorers : he, to be aveng'd,
And to repair his numbers thus impair'd,
Whether fuch virtue fpeut of old now faild 145
More angels to create,-if they, at leaft
Are his created, or, to spite us more,
Determin'd to advance into our room
A creature form’d of earth, and him endow,
Exalted from so bafe original,

190 With heav'nly fpoils, our fpoils: what he decreed, He'effected ; man he made, and for him built Magnificent this world, and earth his feat, Him Lord pronounc'd, and, O indignity! Subjected to his service angel-wings,

155 And flaming ministers to watch and tend Their carthly charge : Of these the vigilance I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mift Of midnight-vapour glide obscure, and pry In every

bula and brake, where hap may find 160 The serpent sleeping, in whose mazy folds To hide me, and the dark intent I bring, O foul defcent! that I who erft contended With gods to fit the high'elt, am now constrain'd


[ocr errors]

N 2


Into a beast, and mix'd with bestial sime, 165
This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the height of deity aspir'd :
But what will not ambition and revenge
Descend to ? Who aspires, muft down as low
As high he soar'd, obnoxious, first or last, 170
To bafest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,
Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils :
Let it: I reck not, so it light well aim'd,
Since higher I fall short, on him who next
Provokes my envy, this new favourite

Of heav'n, this man of clay, son of despite,
Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais'd
From dust: spite then with spite is best repaid.

So saying, through each thicket, dank or dry, Like a black mist low creeping, he held on His mid-night search, where soonest he might find The serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found, In labyrinth of many a round self-roll'd, His head the midit, well stor'd with fubtle wiles: Nor yet in horrid shade or dismal den,

185 Nor nocent yet, but on the grassy herb Fearless unfear'd he slept: in at his mouth The Devil enter'd, and his brutal fense, In heart or head, poffefling, foon inspir'd With ac intelligential, but his sleep

190 Disturbid not, waiting close th’approach of morn.

Now when as facred fight began to dawn In Eden on the humid flow'rs, that breath'd Their morning incense, when all things that breathe, From th' earth's great altar send up filent praise 195 To the Creator, and his nostrils fill With grateful smell, forth came the human pair, And join'd their vocal worship to the quire Of creatures wanting voice ; that done, partake


The season, prime for sweetest scents and airs: 200
Then commune how that day they best may ply
Their growing work; for much their work outgrew
The hands dispatch of two gard'ning so wide.
And Eve first to her husband thus began.

Adam, well may we labour still to dress 205
This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flower,
Our pleasant task injoin'd; but till more hands
Aid us, the work under our labour grows
Luxurious by restraint ; what we by day
Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, 210
One night or two with wanton growth derides,
Tending to wild. Thou therefore now advile,
Or bear what to my mind first thoughts present :
Let us divide our labours; thou where choice
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind 215
The woodbine round this arbour, or direct
The clafping ivy where to climb; while I
In yonder spring of roses intermix'd
With myrtle, find what to redress till noon:
For while so near each other thus all day
Our talk we chuse, what wonder if so near
Looks intervene, and smiles, or object new
Casual discourse draw on, which intermits
Our day's work, brought to little, though begun
Early, and th' hour of lupper comes unearn’d. 225

To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd. Sole Eve, associate folė, to me beyond Compare, above all living creatures dear, Well halt thou motion'd, well thy thoughts employ'd, How we might best fulfil the work which here 230 God hath aflign'd us; nor of me shalt pass Unprais'd; for nothing lovelier can be found In woman, than to study household-gond, And good works in her husband to promote.


« ForrigeFortsæt »