« AnteriorContinuar »
pent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the tree of knowledge forbidden: the serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments, induces her at length to eat; she, pleased with the taste, deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not; at last brings him of the fruit ; relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam, at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves, through vehemence of love, to perish with her : and, extenuating the trespass, eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.
No more of talk where God or angel guest
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; 'or rage Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous’d; Or Neptune's ire, or Juno's, that so long Perplex'd the Greek, and Cytherea's son; If answerable style I can obtain Of my celestial patroness, who deigns Her nightly visitation unimplor'd, And dictates to me slumbering; or inspires Easy my unpremeditated verse : Since first this subject for heroic song Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late ; Not sedulous by nature to indite Wars, hitherto the only argument Heroic deem'd; chief mastery to dissect With long and tedious havoc fabled knights In battles feign'd; the better fortitude Of patience and heroic martyrdom Unsung; or to describe races and games, Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields, Impresses quaint, caparisons and steeds, Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights At joust and tournament; then marshall’d feast Serv'd up in hall with sewers and seneshals; The skill of artifice or office mean, Not that which justly gives heroic name To person or to poem. Me, of these Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument Remains; sufficient of itself to raise That name, unless an age too late, or cold Climate, or years, damp my intended wing Depress'd; and much they may, if all be mine, Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.
The Sun was sunk, and after him the star Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring Twilight upon the Earth, short arbiter 'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end Night's hemisphere had veil'd the horizon round: When Satan, who late fled before the threats Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd In meditated fraud and malice, bent On Man's destruction, maugre what might hap Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd. By night he fled, and at midnight return'd From compassing the Earth ; cautious of day, Since Uriel, regent of the Sun, descried His entrance, and forewarn'd the cherubim That kept their watch; thence full of anguish
driven, The space of seven continued nights he rode With darkness, thrice the equinoctial line He circled ; four times cross'd the car of night From pole to pole traversing each colúre; On the eighth return'd; and on the coast averse From entrance or cherubic watch, by stealth Found unsuspected way. There was a place, Now not, though sin, not time, first wrought the
change, Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise, Into a gulf shot under ground, till part Rose up a fountain by the tree of life: In with the river sunk, and with it rose Satan, involv'd in rising mist; then sought Where to lie hid ; sea he had search’d, and land, From Eden over Pontus and the pool
Mæotis, up beyond the river Ob;
“ O Earth, how like to Heaven, if not preferr’d
Not in themselves, all their known virtue appears