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Or from my side subducting took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestow'd
Too much of ornament, in outward show
Elaborate, of inward less exact.
For well I understand in the prime end
Of nature her th' inferior, in the mind
And inward faculties, which most excel,
In outward also her resembling less

His image who made both, and less expressing
The character of that dominion giv'n
O'er other creatures: yet when I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say
Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best:
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded, wisdom in discourse with her
Loses discountenanc'd, and like folly shows:
Authority and reason on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occasionally; and, to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard angelic plac'd.

To whom the angel with contracted brow.






553 Loses discountenanc'd] 'Looks disconcerted.' Bentl. MS. 560 contracted brow]

'To whom the angel, whose severer brow

Sent forth a frown.'

See Quarles' Divine Poems, p. 250; and Shepherd's Oracle, p. 60.

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Accuse not nature, she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
Of wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thou
Dismiss not her, when most thou need'st her nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things


Less excellent, as thou thyself perceiv'st.
For what admir'st thou, what transports thee so?
An outside? fair no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love,
Not thy subjection: weigh with her thyself;
Then value oft times nothing profits more
Than self esteem, grounded on just and right
Well manag'd: of that skill the more thou know'st,
The more she will acknowledge thee her head,
And to realities yield all her shows;
Made so adorn for thy delight the more,

So awful, that with honour thou may'st love
Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise.
But if the sense of touch whereby mankind
Is propagated seem such dear delight
Beyond all other, think the same vouchsaf'd
To cattel and each beast; which would not be
To them made common and divulg'd, if aught
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue
The soul of man, or passion in him move.
What higher in her society thou find'st
Attractive, human, rational, love still :
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,

576 adorn] v. Spens. F. Qu. iii. xii. 20.

"Without adorne of gold, or silver bright.' Bowle.






Wherein true love consists not: love refines

The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his seat 590
In reason, and is judicious; is the scale

By which to heav'nly love thou may'st ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure; for which cause
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.
To whom thus half abash'd Adam reply'd.
Neither her outside form'd so fair, nor aught
In procreation common to all kinds,
(Though higher of the genial bed by far
And with mysterious reverence I deem,)
So much delights me, as those graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and actions, mix'd with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one soul;
Harmony to behold in wedded pair

More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear.
Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose
What inward thence I feel, not therefore foil'd,
Who meet with various objects, from the sense
Variously representing; yet still free
Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
To love thou blam'st me not, for love thou say'st
Leads up to heav'n, is both the way and guide;
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask :
Love not the heav'nly spirits, and how their love 615





598 genial bed] Genialis Lectuli.' Arnob. lib. iv. c. 20. Apuleius de Asino. 'Fœdus thori genialis.' v. Orellium ad Arnob. vol. ii. p. 219.

Express they? by looks only? or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the angel with a smile that glow'd
Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue,
Answer'd. Let it suffice thee that thou know'st 620
Us happy, and without love no happiness.

Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st,
(And pure
thou wert created,) we enjoy
In eminence, and obstacle find none
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars:
Easier than air with air, if spirits embrace,
Total they mix, union of pure with pure
Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need
As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.
But I can now no more; the parting sun
Beyond the earth's green Cape and Verdant Isles,
Hesperean sets, my signal to depart.

Be strong, live happy, and love! but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep



His great command; take heed lest passion sway Thy judgment to do aught, which else free will 636 Would not admit; thine and of all thy sons

The weal or woe in thee is plac'd; beware!

I in thy persevering shall rejoice,

And all the blest: stand fast; to stand or fall 640

631 green Cape] See Lisle's Du Bartas, p. 94.

'Thrusts out the Cape of Fesse, the green Cape and the white.'

637 admit] Used in the Latin sense, as in Ter. Heaut. act v. sc. ii. 'Quid ego tantum sceleris admisi miser?" Newton.

Free in thine own arbitrement it lies;
Perfect within, no outward aid require,
And all temptation to transgress repel.

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,
Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger,
Sent from whose sov'reign goodness I adore.
Gentle to me and affable hath been

Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever
With grateful memory: thou to mankind
Be good and friendly still, and oft return.

So parted they, the angel up to heav'n
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.

641 Free] See Dante Il Purgat. c. xxvii. v. 127.

'Non aspettar mio dir più, nè mio cenno.

Libero, dritto, e sano è tuo arbitrio ;
E fallo fora non fare a suo senno.'


—ἡ μὲν ἔπειτα

̓Εις ἅλα ἆλτο βαθεῖαν ἀπ' αἰγλήεντος ̓Ολύμπου,
Ζεὺς δὲ ἑὸν πρὸς δῶμα.


653 bower] Compare the parting of Jupiter and Thetis in Hom. Il. i. 532.


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