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Ais stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
Sat horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp (deeds
What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dreadful
Might have ensued, nor only Paradise

In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the elements
At least had gone to wrack, disturb’d and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon 995
Th’ Eternal to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in Heav'n his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh’d,
The pendulous round earth with balanced air 1000
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles, and realms : in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend : 1005

Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine; Neither our own, but giv'n. What folly then To boast what arms can do? since thine no more Than Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now To trample thee as mire: for proof look up, 1010 And read thy lot in yon celestial sign, (weak, Where thou art weigh'd, and shewn how light, how If thou resist. The Fiend look'd up, and knew His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled Murm'ring, and with him fled the shades of night.

989. A powerful personification of horror. 1002. The same allegory is employed by both Homer and Virgil, and in Scripture we find Daniel informing Belshazzar that he was weighed in the balancos: for illustrations of this passage, see Job xxviii. xxxvii. Isa. xl. 1. Sam. ii. 3. Proverbs xvi. 2. and Dan. .

1003. Bentley proposes to read signal instead of sequel, but the latter is preferable, see Hom. II. viii. 69. also Virgil, Æn. xli. 728.

1012. Milton follows Scripture and not the poets in making the scale ascend in token of victory.

THE ARGUMENT. Morning approacher, Eve relates to Adam ber troubleson dream; he likes it not, yet comforts ber: They come forth to their day labours : Their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admunish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise, his appearance described, his coniing discerned by Adam afar oil, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at t.ble : Raphael performs his message, minds Adain of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a Seraph; who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him. Now morn her rosy steps in th' eastern cline Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, When Adam waked, so custom'd, for his sleep Was aery light from pure digestion bred, And temp'rate vapours bland, which tn'only suund 5 Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan, Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song Of birds on ev'ry bough ; so much the more His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek, 10 As through inquiet rest; he on his side Leaning, half raised, with looks of cordial love Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld Beauty, which whether waking or asleep, Shot forth peculiar graces ; then with voice 15 Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: Awake, My fairest, my espoused, my latest found, Heav'n's last best gift, my ever new delight, Awake; the morning shines, and the fresh field 20

1. This is a lovely description of morning, and the more beautiful because not separated from the consideration of the actors in the poem.-I think it will be generally found that poets of great eminence seldom indulge themselves in pure description, or rather, that their descriptions are almost always mixed up with circumstance and detail. 5. Which refers to sleep, not to vapours.


Calls us ; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How Nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.

25 Such whisp'ring waked her, but with startled eye On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake :

O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose, My glory, my perfection, glad I see Thy face, and morn return'd ; for I this night 30 (Such night till this I never pass'd) have dream'd, If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee, Works of day past, or morrow's next design, But of offence and trouble, which my mind Knew never till this irksome night. Methought, 35 Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk, With gentle voice ; I thought it thine: it said, Why sleep'st thou, Eve? now is the pleasant time, The cool, the silent, save where silence yields To the night-warbling bird, that now awake 40 Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song; now reigns Full orb d the moon, and with more pleasing light Shadowy sets off the face of things ; in vain, If none regard ; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes, Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire ? 45 In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze. I rose as at thy call, but found thee not; To find thee I directed then my walk; And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways 50 That brought me on a sudden to the tree Of interdicted knowledge: fair it seem'd, Much fairer to my fancy than by day : And as I woud'ring look'd, beside it stood


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24. I am inclined to think that this mention of nature is the only blemish in the passage: none of Adam's curious questionings which have been reprobated by writers, were unnatural in a being continually contemplating the universe with an undimmed eye; but it is very inconsistent to suppose he would personify the principle of things, and separate its operation from the immediate action of the divine hand.-Nature was a noble and splendid conception in the mind of the heathen poets and philosophers, but it is a puerile contradiction after the thoughts have been long fixed on a personal Deity. 41. His and her are applied by Milton to the nightingale


One shaped and wing'd, like one of those from Heav'a
By us oft seen. His dewy locks distill'd
Ambrosia : on that tree he also gazed ;
And O fair plant, said he, with fruit surcharged,
Deigps none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet
Nor God, nor Man? is knowledge so despised ? 60
Or envy', or what reserve forbids to taste ?
Forbid who will, none shall from me with hold
Longer thy offer'd good : why else set here?
This said, he pansed not, but with vent'rous arm
He pluck’d, he tasted ! Me damp horror chill'd 65
At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold :
But he thus overjoy'd, O fruit divine,
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt,
Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit
For Gods, yet able to make Gods of Men : 70
And why not Gods of Men, since good, the more
Communicated, more abundant grows,
The Author not impair'd, but honour'd more?
Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve,
Partake thou also ; happy though thou art, 75
Happier thuu may'st be, worthier canst not be :
Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods
Thyself a Goddess, not to earth confined,
But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes
Ascend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and see 80
What life the Gods live there, and such live thou.
So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
Ev'n to my mouth, of that same fruit held part
Which he had pluck'd. The pleasant sav'ry smell
So quicken’d appetite, that I, methought,

Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds
With him I flew, and underneath beheld
The earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide
And various ; wond'ring at my flight and change
To this high exaltation ; suddenly

90 My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down, And fell asleep; but O how glad I waked To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her night Related ; and thus Adam answer'd sad : Best image of myself and dearer half,

95 The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Affects me equally; nor can I like

This uncoutb dream, of evil sprung I fear;
Yet evil whence? In thee can harbour none,
Created pure. But know, that in the soul 100
Are many lesser faculties, that serve
Reason as chief: among these Fancy next
Her office holds. Of all external things
Which the five watchful senses represent,
She forms imaginations, aery shapes;

Which Reason joining or disjoining, frames
All what we' affirm or what deny, and call
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
Into her private cell when Nature rests.
Oft in her absence mimic Fancy wakes

110 To imitate her; but misjoining shapes, Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams, Ill matching words and deeds long past or late. Some such resemblances methinks I find Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream, 115 But with addition strange; yet be not sad. Evil into the mind of God or Man May come and go, so unapproved, and leave No spot or blame behind : Which gives me hope That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream 120 Waking thou never wilt consent to do. Be not dishearten'd then, nor cloud those looks That wont to be more cheerful and serene Than when fair morning first smiles on the world ; And let us to our fresh employments rise

125 Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers That open now their choicest bosom'd smells, Reserved from night, and kept for thee in store.

So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd ; But silently a gentle tear let fall

130 From either eye, and wiped them with her hair. Two other precious drops that ready stood, Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended. 135 So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste. But first, from under shady arborons roof Soon as they forth were come to open sight

117. God in this line means angel; the word is so applied la Scripture sometimes : see also John X. 35. and refer to line 60

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