Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]

Created him endow'd, with happiness
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other ferv'd but to eternize woe;

Till I provided Death; so Death becomes
His final remedy, and after life
Try'd in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
By faith and faithful works, to second life,
Wak'd in the renovation of the just,

Resigns him up with heaven and earth renew'd.
But let us call to fynod all the bless'd
Thro'heaven's wide bounds; from them I will not hide
My judgments, how with mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant angels late they faw, 70
And in their state, tho' firm, stood more confirm'd.

He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watch'd; he blew
His trumpet, heard in Oreb fince perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more

To found at general doom. Th' angelic blast
Fill'd all the regions : from their blissful bowers
Of amarantine shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where'er they fat
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light

80 Hasted, resorting to the fummons high, And took their seats; till from his throne fupreme Th' Almighty thus pronounc'd his fovereign will.

O Sons, like one of us man is become To know both good and evil, since his taste 85 Of that defended fruit ; but let him boalt His knowledge of good loft, and evil got; Happier, had it fuffic'd him to have known Good by itself, and evil not at all. He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite; go My motions in him : longer than they move, His heart I know, how variable and vain


Self-left. Leit therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live

For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground whence he was taken, fitter foil.

Michael, this my behelt have thou in charge,
Take to thee from among the cherubim

Thy choice of flaming warriors, left the fiend,
Or in behalf of man, or to invade
Vacant poilellion, fome new trouble raise :
Hase thee, and from the Paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the finful pair, 105
From hallow'd ground th’unholy, and denounce
To them and to their progeny from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet left they faint
At the fad sentence rigorously urg'd,
For I behold them foften'd, and with tears
Bewailing their excess, all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconfolate ; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten; intermix

My covenant in the woman's feed renew'd;
So send them forth, tho' forrowing, yet in peace:
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
Cherubic watch, and of a sword the flame
Wide waving, all approach far off to fright,
And guard all paffage to the Tree of Life :
Lelt Paradise, a receptacle prove
To fpirits fout, and all my trees their prey,
With whose Atoll'n fruit man once more to delude. 125

He ceas'd; and th' archangelic power prepar'd
For swift descent; with him the cohort bright



1 20


Of watchful cherubim ; fnur faces each
Had, like a double Janus, all their shape
Spangled with eges, more numerous than those Izo
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse,
Charm'd with Arcadian pipe, the past'ral reed
Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Mean while,
To refalute the world with facred light,
Leucothea wak’d, and with fresh dews imbalm’d 135
The earth, when Adam, and firit matron Eve,
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above, new hope to fpring
Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet link'd;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd. 140

Eve, easily may faith admit, that all
The good which we enjoy from heav'n descends;
But that from us ought should afcend to heav'n,
So prevalent as to concern the mind
Of God high-bless'd, or to incline his will,

Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer,
Or one short figh of human breath, upborne
Ev'n to the seat of God. For since I fought
By prayer th' offended Deity to' appease,
Kneelid, and before him humbled all my heart, 150
Methought I faw him placable and mild,
Bending his ear; perfuafion in me grew
That I was heard with favour ; peace return'd
Home to my breast, and to my memory
His promise, that thy feed fhall bruise our foe; 155
Which then not minded in dismay, yet now
Allures me that the bitterness of death
Is past, and


shall live. Whence hail to thee, Eve rightly call'd, mother of all mankind, Mother of all things living, fince by thee 1бо Man is to live, and all things live for man. To whom thus Eve with fad demeanour meek. Q Q


11l worthy I such title should belong
To me tranfgreffor, who for thee ordain'd
A help, became thy fnare ; to me reproach 165
kather belongs, distrust, and all diipraise :
But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
That I who first brought death on all, am grac'd
The source of life; next favourable thou,
Wbo highly thus to' entitle me vouchsaf'A,

Far other name deserving, but the field
To labour calls us now with sweat impos'd,
Tho' after fleepless night ; for see the morn,
All unconcern'd vith our unreft, begins
Her rosy progress smiling; let us forth, 175
I never from thy fide henceforth to stray,
Where'er our day's work lies, tho' now injoin'd
Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
What can be toilsome in these pleasant walks ?
Here let us live, tho' in fall’n state, content. 180

So fpake, fo wilh'd much-humbled Eve; but fate Subscrib'd not: Nature first gave signs, impress'd On bird, beast, air, air suddenly eclips'd After short blush of morn; nigh in her fight, The bird of Jove, stoop'd from his airy' tour, 185 Two birds of gayeft plume before him drove ; Down from a hill the beast that reigns in woods, First hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace, Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind; Direct to th' eastern gate was bent their flight. 190 Adam observ'd, and with his eye

the chace Pursuing, not unmov'd to Eve thus fpake.

O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh, Which heav'n by these mute ligas in nature shows, Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn

195 Us, haply too secure of our discharge From penalty, because from death releas'd




Some days; how long, and what till then our life,
Who knows, or more than this, that we are dust,
And thither must return, and be no more?
Why else this double object in our sight,
Of flight pursu'd in th’air, and o'er the ground,
One way the self-fame hour? why in the east
Darkness e'er day's mid-course, and morning-light
More orient in yon western cloud, that draws 205
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
And flow descends, with something heavily fraught?

He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly bands
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt;
A glorious apparition, had not doubt
And carnal fear that day dimm'd Adam's eye.
Not that more glorious, when the angels met
Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw
The field pavilion'd with his guardians bright; 215
Nor that which on the flaming mount appear'd
In Dothan, cover'd with a camp of fire,
Against the Syrian king, who to surprise
One man, assassin-like, had levy'd war,
War unproclaim’d. The princely hierarch 2 20
In their bright stand there left his pow'rs to seize
Poffeffion of the garden; he alone,
To find where Adam fhelter'd, took his way,
Not unperceiv'd of Adam, who to Eve,
While the great visitant approach'd, thus fpake. 225

Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps
Of us will soon determine, or impose
New laws to be observ'd; for I desery,
From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill,
One of the heav'nly host, and by his gait

23 None of the meanest, some great potentate Or of the Thrones above, such majesty



« ForrigeFortsæt »