Page images






ADAM inquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully answer. ed, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of know. ledge: Adam assents, and still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society. his first meeting and nuptials with Eve, his discourse with toe angel thereupon. who after admonitions repeated, departs.



THE angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charining left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him still speaking, still stood fixt to hear
Then as new wak'd thus gratefully reply'd:
What thanks sufficient, or what recompense
Equal have I to render thee, divine
Historian, who thus largely hast allay'd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsaf'd
This friendly condescension to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator? something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly frame, this world.
Of heav'n and earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes, this earth, a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compar'd
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible (for such

Their distance argues and their swift return
Diurnal,) merely to officiate light

Round this opacious earth, this punctual spot,**

"This punctual spot:" no bigger than a point

One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides; reasoning, I oft admire
How nature wise and frugal, could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,

Greater so manifold to this one use,
For ought appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary earth,

That better might with far less compass move,
Serv'd by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives,
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.

So spake our sire, and by his count'nance seem'd
Ent'ring or studious thoughts abstruse, which Eve
Perceiving where she sat retir'd in sight,
With lowliness majestic from her seat,

And grace that won who saw to wish her stay.
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flow 'rs
To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom,
Her nursery they at her coming sprung,
And touch'd by her fir tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, cr not capable her car

Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv'd,
Adam relating, she sole auditress :
Her husband the relator she preferr'd

Before the angel, and of him to ask

Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal caresses; from his lip

Not words alone pleas'd her. O wher meet now
Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'd
With goddess-like demeanour forth she went
Not unattended, for on her as queen


pomp of winning graces waited still, And from about her shot darts of desire

« PreviousContinue »