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As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
Fruits in her soften'd soil, for some to eat
Allotted there; and other suns perhaps
With their attendant moons thou wilt descry,
Communicating male and female light,
Which two great sexes animate the world,
Stored in each orb perhaps with some that live.
For such vast room in nature unpossess'd
By living soul, desert and desolate,
Only to shine, yet scarce to contribúte
Each orb a glimpse of light, convey'd so far
Down to this habitable, which returns
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
But whether thus these things, or whether not;
Whether the sun predominant in Heav'n
Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun,
He from the east his flaming road begin,
Or she from west her silent course advance
With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps
On her soft axle, while she paces even,
And bears thee soft with the smooth air along,
Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid;
Leave them to God above; him serve and fear!
Of other creatures, as him pleases best,
Wherever placed, let him dispose: joy thou
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
And thy fair Eve. Heav'n is for thee too high
To know what passes there. Be lowly wise :
Think only what concerns thee and thy being;
Dream not of other worlds, what creatures there 175
Live, in what state, condition, or degree,
Contented that thus far hath been reveal'd
Not of Earth only, but of highest Heav'n.
To whom thus Adam, clear'd of doubt, reply'd:
How fully hast thou satisfy'd me, pure
Intelligence of Heav'n, Angel serene,
And freed from intricacies, taught to live,
The easiest way; nor with perplexing thoughts
To interrupt the sweet of life, from which
150. The conceit in this line is very old, the sun being said to communicate male, the moon female light.
158. Nought, or like, is proposed instead of light in this verse, but the reasons alleged are hardly sufficient to authorize the change.
God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares,
And not molest us, unless we ourselves
Seek them with wand'ring thoughts, and notions
But apt the mind or fancy is to rove
Uncheck'd, and of her roving is no end;
Till warn'd, or by experience taught, she learn, 190
That not to know at large of things remote
From use, obscure and subtle, but to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom; what is more is fume,
Or emptiness, or fond impertinence,
And renders us in things that most concern
Unpractised, unprepared, and still to seek.
Therefore from this high pitch let us descend
A lower flight, and speak of things at hand
Useful, whence haply mention may arise
Of something not unseasonable to ask
By suffrance, and thy wonted favour deign'd.
Thee I have heard relating what was done
Ere my remembrance: now hear me relate
My story, which perhaps thou hast not heard;
And day is yet not spent; till then thou seest
How subtly to detain thee I devise,
Inviting thee to hear while I relate,
Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply:
For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heav'n;
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
Than fruits of palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both, from labour, at the hour
Of sweet repast: they satiate and soon fill,
Though pleasant, but thy words, with grace divine
Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety.
To whom thus Raphael answer'd heav'nly meek: Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men, Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd Inward and outward both, his image fair: Speaking or mute, all comeliness and grace
204. There are few passages in the poem which will be read with more pleasing sensations, than the relation Adam gives of his first sensations on his becoming conscious of existence. The same idea of describing a human being wakening into life in the full maturity of his powers, has been made the subject of a beantiful little piece ir Buffon.
Attends thee, and each word, each motion forms:
Nor less think we in Heav'n of thee on Earth
Than of our fellow-servant, and inquire
Gladly into the ways of God with Man:
For God, we see, hath honour'd thee, and set
On Man his equal love: say therefore on;
For I that day was absent, as befel,
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,
Far on excursion tow'rd the gates of Hell;
Squared in full legion (such command we had)
To see that none thence issued forth a spy,
Or enemy, while God was in his work,
Lest he, incensed at such eruption bold,
Destruction with creation might have mix'd.
Not that they durst without his leave attempt,
But us he sends upon his high behests
For state, as Sov'reign King, and to inure
Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut
The dismal gates, and barricado'd strong;
But long ere our approaching, heard within
Noise, other than the sound of dance or song;
Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.
Glad we return'd up to the coasts of light
Ere Sabbath ev'ning: so we had in charge.
But thy relation now; for I attend,
Pleased with thy words, no less than thou with mine.
So spake the God-like Pow'r, and thus our sire:
For Man to tell how human life began
Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?
Desire with thee still longer to converse
Induced me. As new waked from soundest sleep,
Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun
Soon dry'd, and on the reeking moisture fed.
Straight toward Heav'n my wond'ring eyes I turn'd,
And gazed a while the ample sky, till raised
By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung,
As thitherward endeav'ring, and upright
Stood on my feet. About me round I saw
Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains,
225. So the angel addresses John, Rev. xxii. 9. 229 The absence of Raphae was invented to give Adam a At reason for his narrative. 240. Virgil, En. vi. 557.
And liquid lapse of murm'ring streams: by these, Creatures that lived, and moved, and walk'd, or flew: Birds on the branches warbling: all things smiled; With fragrance and with joy my heart s'erflow'd. Myself I then perused, and limb by limb
Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
With supple joints, as lively vigour led:
But who I was, or where, or from what cause,
Knew not. To speak I try'd, and forthwith spake ;
My tongue obey'd, and readily could name
Whate'er I saw. Thou Sun, said I, fair light,
And thou enlighten'd Earth, so fresh and gay;
Ye Hills and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plains,
And ye that live and move, fair Creatures, tell, 276
Tell if ye saw, how came I thus? how here?
Not of myself: by some great Maker then,
In goodness and in pow'r pre-eminent !
how may I know him, how adore, - 280
From whom I have that thus I move and live,
And feel that I am happier than I know.
While thus I call'd, and stray'd I knew not whither,
From where I first drew air, and first beheld
This happy light, when answer none return'd, 285
On a green shady bank profuse of flow'rs,
Pensive I sat me down; there gentle sleep
First found me, and with soft oppression seized
My droused sense, untroubled, though I thought
I then was passing to my former state
Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
When suddenly stood at my head a dream,
Whose inward apparition gently moved
My fancy to believe I yet had being,
And lived. One came, methought, of shape divine,
And said, Thy mansion wants thee Adam; rise,
First man, of men innumerable ordain'd
First Father; call'd by thee, I come thy guide
266. With fragrance, with a joy like that of nature in spring time.
272. There is no contradiction between this line and line 352, &c. as Warburton asserts: Adam was able to name things generally, that is, according to their several kinds of being, as soon as he beheld them, but it was by a more immediate inspiration, Milton intimates, that he was taught to give names to the several species of animals, &c.
To the garden of bliss, thy seat prepared.
So saying, by the hand he took me raised,
And over fields and waters, as in air
Smooth sliding without step, last led me up
A woody mountain, whose high top was plain;
A circuit wide, inclosed, with goodliest trees
Planted, with walks and bow'rs, that what I saw
Of earth before scarce pleasant seem'd.
Loaden with fairest fruit, that hung to th' eye
Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite
To pluck and eat; whereat I waked, and found
Before mine eyes all real, as the dream
Had lively shadow'd. Here had new begun
My wand'ring, had not he who was my guide
Up hither, from among the trees appear'd,
Presence divine. Rejoicing, but with awe,
In adoration at his feet I fell
Submiss he rear'd me', and Whom thou sought'st
Said mildly; Author of all this thou seest
Above, or round about thee, or beneath.
This Paradise I give thee: count it thine
To till and keep, and of the fruit to eat.
Of every tree that in the garden grows
Eat freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth;
But of the tree whose operation brings
Knowledge of good and ill, which I have set
The pledge of thy obedience and thy faith,
Amid the garden, by the tree of life,
Remember what I warn thee: Shun to taste.
And shun the bitter consequence; for know
The day thou eat'st thereof, my sole command
Transgress'd, inevitably thou shalt die;
From that day mortal, and this happy state
Shalt lose; expell'd from hence into a world
Of woe and sorrow. Sternly he pronounced
The rigid interdiction, which resounds
Yet dreadful in mine ear, though in my choice 335
300. Gen. iii. 15. It is supposed by a great number of commen tators that Adam was not formed in Paradise, but in some othe. part of the earth, without the inclosure of the sacred garden, inte which he was carried by God after his creation.
220. To till; to cultivate in any way which the nature of a country, or its productions, may require.