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Not to incur; but soon his clear aspect
Return'd, and gracious purpose thus renew'd :

Not only these fair bounds, but all the earth
To thee and to thy race I give: as lords
Possess it, and all things that therein live, 340
Or live in sea, or air; beast, fish, and fowl.
In sign whereof each bird and beast behold
After their kinds: I bring them to receive
From thee their names, and pay thee fealty
With low subjection. Understand the same 345
Of fish within their wat’ry residence,
Not hither summon'd, since they cannot change
Their element to draw the thinner air.
As thus he spake, each bird and beast behold
Approaching two and two; these cow'ring low 350
With blandishment, each bird stoop'd on his wing.
I named them as they pass'd, and understood
Their nature; with such knowledge God indued
My sudden apprehension : but in these
I found not what methought I wanted still, 355
And to the heav'nly Vision thus presumed :

O by what name, for thou above all these,
Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher,
Surpassest far my naming, how may I
Adore thee, Author of this universe,

And all this good to man? for whose well being
So amply, and with hands so liberal
Thou hast provided all things ! but with me
I see not who partakes. In solitude
What happiness? Who can enjoy alone,

365 Or all enjoying, what contentment find 3 Thus I presumptuous; and the Vision bright, As with a smile more brighten'd, thus reply'd:

What call'st thou solitude ? Is not the earth With various living creatures, and the air 370 Replenish'd ? and all these at thy command To come and play before thee? Know'st thou not Their language and their ways? They also know, And reason not contemptibly. With these Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realm is large. So spake the l'niversal Lord, and seem'd 376 So ordering. I with leave of speech implored,

342. Gen. ii. 19, 20.

And humble deprecation, thus reply'd :

Let not my words offend thee, Heav'nly Pow'r! My Maker, ba propitious while I speak! 380 Hast thou not made me here thy substitute, And these inferior far beneath me set ? Among unequals what society Can sort? what harmony or true delight? Which must be mutual, in proportion due 383 Giv'n and received; but in disparity, The one intense, the other still remiss Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove Tedious alike: Of fellowship I speak Such as I seek, fit to participate

All rational delight, wherein the brute
Cannot be human consort: they rejoice
Each with their kind; lion with lioness;
So fitly them in pairs thou hast combined ;
Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl 395
So well converse ; nor with the ox the ape :
Worse then can man with beast, and least of all.

Whereto th’ Almighty answer'd not displeased :
A nice and subtle bappiness I see
Thou to thyself proposest in the choice

Of thy associates, Adam, and wilt taste
No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary.
What think'st thou then of me, and this my state?
Seem I to thee sufficiently possess'd
Of happiness, or not, who am alone

405 From all eternity? for nune I know Second to me, or like, equal much less. How have I then with whom to hold converse Save with the creatures which I made ? and those To me inferior! infinite descents

410 Beneath what other creatures are to thee.

He ceased; I lowly answer'd: To attain The height and depth of thy eternal ways, All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things! Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee

415 Is no deficience found. Not so is Man, But in degree; the cause of his desire By conversation with his like to help, Or solace his defects. No need that thou

418. Rom. xi. 33

Should’st propagate, already infinite,

420 And through all numbers absolute, though one , But Man by number is to manifest His single imperfection, and beget Like of his like, his image multiply'd In unity defective, which requires

425 Collat'ral love, and dearest amity. Thou in thy secrecy, although alone, Best with thyself accompany'd, seek'st not Social communication; yet so pleased, Canst raise thy creature to what height thou wilt 430 Of union or communion, deify'd: I by conversing cannot these erect From prone, nor in their ways complacence find. Thus I embolden'd spake, and freedom used Permissive, and acceptance found; which gainid 435 This answer from the gracious voice divine:

Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased; And find thee knowing not of beasts alone, Which thou hast rightly named, but of thyself; Expressing well the spirit within thee free, 440 My image not imparted to the brute, Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee, Good reason was thou freely should’st dislike : And be so minded still. I, ere thou spak'st, Knew it not good for Man to be alone;

445 And no such company as then thou saw'st Intended thee; for trial only brought, To see how thou could st judge of fit and meet. What next I bring shall please thee, be assured ; Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self, 450 Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.

He ended, or I heard no more, for now My earthly by his heav'nly overpower'd, Which it had long stood under, strain'd to th' highth In that celestial colloquy sublime,

455 As with an object that excels the sense Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call'd By nature as in aid, and closed mine eyes. Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell 460

421. And through, &c. perfect, complete in all its parts. 453. A beautiful idea to express the cause of Adam'e deep s.eep.

Of fancy, my internal sight; by which
Abstract, as in a trance, methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood;
Who, stooping, open'd my left side, and took 486
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound;
But suddenly with fiesh fill'd up, and heal'd,
The rib he form'd and fasbion'd with his hands :
Under his forming hands a creature grew, 470
Manlike, but different sex; so lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her samm'd up, in her contain’d,
And in her looks; which from that time infused
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before;

And into all things from her air inspired
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
She disappear'd, and left me dark. I waked
To find her, or for ever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure : 480
When, out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I saw her in my dream, adorn'd
With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable ! On she came,
Led by her Heav'nly Maker, though unseen 485
And guided by his voice; nor uninform'd
Of nuptial sanctity and marriage riteş.
Grace was in all her steps ! Heav'n in her eye!
In ev'ry gesture dignity and love!
I overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud :

490 This turn hath made amends! Thou hast fulfill'd Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign, Giver of all things fair, but fairest this Of all thy gifts, nor enviest! I now see Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself 495 Before me! Woman is her name ; of Man Extracted. For this cause he shall forego Father and mother, and to' bis wife adhere: And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.

She heard me thus; and tho' divinely brought; 500 462. Alstract; that is, the spirit was so separated from the body that it did not see things as before with its material organs of vision. 485. Gen. ii. 22.

498. Gen. xxiii, 24.

Yet innocence and virgiu modesty,
Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth,
That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retired,
The more desirable; or to say all,

Nature berself, though pure of sinful thought,
Wrought in her so, that seeing me, she turu'd.
I follow'd her: she what was honour knew,
And with obsequious majesty approved
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower 510
I led her, blushing like the morn. All Heav'n,
And happy constellations on that hour
Shed their selectest influence! The earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill !
Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs 515
Whisper'a it to the woods, and from their wings
Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub,
Disporting, till the amorous bird of night
Sung spousal, and bid haste the ev'ning star
On his hill-top, to light the bridal lamp.

520 Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought My story to the sum of earthly bliss Which I enjoy; and must confess to find In all things else delight indeed, but such As used or not, works in the mind no change,

525 Nor vehement desire ; these delicacies I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flow'rs, Walks, and the melody of birds; but here Far otherwise, transported I behold, Transported touch. Here passion first I felt, 530 Commution strange, in all enjoyments else Superior and unmoved ; here only weak Against the charm of beauty's pow'rful glance. Or nature fail'd in me, and left some part Not proof enough such object to sustain; 535 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.

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302. The conscience; the knowledge of.

613. Taken from Homer, Il. xiv. 347. 520. It was the custom of the ancients to light their bridal lamp3

when the evening star appeared.


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