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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 heaven
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 plac'd, let him dispose: joy thou
In what he gives to thee, this paradise
And thy fair Eve; heaven 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 heaven, angel serene,
And freed from intricacies, taught to live
The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts
162 flaming] Perhaps Milton had in mind the vτolas ploɣõnas Moorßes in the Prometheus of Eschylus, verse 816. A. Dyce.
To interrupt the sweet of life, from which
GOD hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares,
And not molest us, unless we our selves
Seek them with wand'ring thoughts, and notions vain. 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
Unpractis'd, unprepar'd, 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 sufferance, 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 not yet 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 heaven,
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
211 sweeter] Stilling fleet refers to Homer's Od. iv. 694, and Newton
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
Imbu❜d, bring to their sweetness no satiety.
To whom thus Raphael answer'd heavenly 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
Attends thee, and each word, each motion forms.
Nor less think we in heaven 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 befell,
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,
Far on excursion toward the gates of hell,
Squar'd in full legion, (such command we had,)
To see that none thence issu'd forth a spy,
Or enemy, while GOD was in his work,
Lest he, incens'd at such eruption bold,
Destruction with creation might have mix'd.
Not that they durst without his leave attempt,
216 bring] See Dante Il Purgator. c. xxxi. v. 128. 'L' anima mia gustava di quel cibo,
Che saziando di se di se asseta.'
229 For I] How then could he relate the creation? Bentl. MS.
But us he sends upon his high behests
For state, as Sov'reign King, and to enure
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 coast of light
Ere sabbath evening: so we had in charge.
But thy relation now; for I attend,
Pleas'd with thy words, no less than thou with mine.
So spake the godlike power, 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
Induc'd me. As new wak'd from soundest sleep
Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid,
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun 255
Soon dry'd, and on the reeking moisture fed.
Straight toward heaven my wond'ring eyes I turn'd,
And gaz'd a while the ample sky, till rais'd
By quick instinctive motion up I sprung,
As thitherward endeavouring, and upright
Stood on my feet about me round I saw
| Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains, And liquid lapse of murmuring streams; by these Creatures that liv'd, and mov'd, and walk'd, or flew ;
258 ample] at th' azure. Bentl. MS.
263 liquid lapse] 'Prope fontis adlapsum.' v. Apulei Metam. v. p. 141. ed. Delph.
Birds on the branches warbling; all things smil'd, With fragrance and with joy my heart o'erflow'd. 266 Myself I then perus'd, 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
Thou sun, said I, fair light,
And thou enlighten'd earth, so fresh and gay,
Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains, 275
And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tell,
Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here?
Not of my self, by some great Maker then,
In goodness and in power præeminent :
Tell me, how may I know him, how adore,
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,
265 smil'd] Tonson's ed. 1727, prints the passage thus,
all things smil'd
With fragrance; and with joy my heart o'erflow'd.' Bentley's edition and others followed the same punctuation: but Milton's own edition does not support it.
269 as] the second edition reads ' and lively,' which Newton conceives to be an error of the press.
272 name] Warburton has pointed out a contradiction between this passage and ver. 352. In the first, Adam says he could name what he saw before he got into Paradise; in the latter, that God gave him the ability when the beasts came to him in Paradise.