Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

How dearly I abide that boast so vain,

And higher than that wall a circling row Under what torments inwardly I groan,

Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit, While they adore me on the throne of Hell, Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue, With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,

Appear'd, with gay enamel'd colours mix’d: The lower still I fall, only supreme

On which the sun more glad impress’d his beams In misery; such joy ambition finds.

Than in fair eveuing cloud, or humid bow, But say I could repent, and could obtain

When God hath show'r'd the earth ; so lovely seem'd By act of grace my former state ; how soon

That landskip: and of pure, now purer air
Would height recal high thoughts, how soon unsay Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
What seign'd submission swore? ease would recant Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.

All sadness but despair: now gentle gales,
For never can true reconcilement grow,

Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep; Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole Which would but lead me to a worse relapse Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past Short intermission bought with double smart. Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow This knows my punisher; therefore as far

Sabean odours from the spicy shore From granting he, as I from begging peace:

Of Araby the blest ; with such delay (league, All hope excluded thus, behold instead

Well pleas’d they slack their course, and many a Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight,

Cheer'd with the grateful smell, old Ocean smiles : Mankind created, and for him this world.

So entertain'd those odorous sweets the Fiend So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,

Who came their bane, though with them better Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost;

Than Asmodëus with the fishy fume Cpleas'd Evil be thou my good; by thee at least

That drove him, tho' enamour'd, from the spouse Divided empire with Heav'n's King I hold,

Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign; From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.
As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.

Now to th' ascent of that steep savage hill
Satan had journey'd on, pensive and slow;

But further way found none, so thick intwin'd, SATAN'S ENTRANCE INTO PARADISE. As one continued brake, the undergrowth

Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd Thrice chang’d with pale, ire, envy, and despair ; All path of man or beast that pass'd that way: Which marr'd his borrow'd visage, and betray'd One gate there only was, and that look'd east, Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld:

On th' other side: which, when th' arch-felon saw, For heav'nly minds from such distempers foul Due entrance he disdain'd, and in contempt, Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware,

At one slight bound, high over-leap'd all bound Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm, Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within Artificer of fraud, and was the first

Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf, That practis'd falsehood under saintly shew, Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey, Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge: Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve Yet not enough had practis’d to deceive

In hurdled cots amid the fields secure,
Uriel once warn'd; whose eye pursu'd him down Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold;'
The way he went, and on th’ Assyrian mount Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash
Saw him disfigur’d, more than could befal

Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors, Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce

Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault, He mark'd, and mad demeanour, then alone, In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles : As he suppos’d, all unobserv’d, unseen.

So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold; So on he fares, and to the border comes

So since into his church lewd hirelings climb. Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,

Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life, Now nearer, crowns with her inclosure green, The middle tree, and highest there that grew, As with a rural mound, the champain head

Sat like a cormorant: yet not true life Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides

Thereby regain'd, but sat devising death With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild, To them who liv'd; nor on the virtue thought Access deny’d; and over-head up grew

Of that life-giving plant, but only us’d Insuperable height of loftiest shade,

For prospect, what, well us’d, had been the pledge Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm, Of immortality. So little knows A sylvan scene; and as the ranks ascend

Any, but God alone, to value right Shade above shade, a woody theatre

The good before him, but perverts best things Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops To worst abuse, or to their meanest use, The verd'rous wall of Paradise up sprung:

Beneath him with new wonder now he views, Which to our general sire gave prospect large To all delight of human sense expos'd Into his nether empire neighb'ring round.

In narrow room, Nature's whole wealth, yea more,

A Heav'n on Earth: for blissful Paradise

Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flow'rs, Of God the garden was, by him in th' east

Herself a fairer flow'r, by gloomy Dis Of Eden planted; Eden stretch'd her line

Was gather’d; which cost Ceres all that pain From Auran eastward to the royal towers

To seek her through the world: nor that sweet grove Of Great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,

Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' inspir'd Or where the sons of Eden long before

Castalian spring, might with this Paradise Dwelt in Telassar; in this pleasant soil

Of Eden strive: nor that Nyseian isle His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd.

Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham, Out of the fertile ground he caus’d to grow

(Whom Gentiles Ammon call, and Libyan Jove) All trees of noblest kind, for sight, smell, taste ; Hid Amalthea, and her florid son And all amid them stood the tree of life,

Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea's eye: High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit

Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard, Of vegetable gold; and next to life,

Mount Amara (though this by some suppos'd Our death, the tree of knowledge grew fast by, True Paradise) under the Æthiop line Knowledge of good, bought dear by knowing ill. By Nilus head, inclos'd with shining rock, Southward through Eden went a river large, A whole day's journey high; but wide remote Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggy hill From this Assyrian garden : where the Fiend Pass'd underneath ingulf’d; for God had thrown Saw undelighted all delight, all kind That mountain as his garden mould high rais'd Of living creatures, new to sight, and strange. Upon the rapid current, which through veins

Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall, of porous earth with kindly thirst up drawn, Godlike erect! with native honour clad Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill

In naked majesty, seem'd lords of all : Water'd the garden ; thence united fell

And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood, The image of their glorious Maker shone, Which from his darksome passage now appears

Truth, wisdom, sanctitude, severe and pure ;
And now divided into four main streams,

Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd,
Runs diverse, wand'ring many a famous realm Whence true authority in men: though both
And country, whereof here needs no account; Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd:
But rather to tell how, if art could tell,

For contemplation he, and valour form’d;
How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks, For softness she, and sweet attractive grace ;
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold

He, for God only; she for God in him. With mazy error under pendent shades,

His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed

Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks Flow'rs worthy of Paradise, which not nice art Round from his parted forelock manly hung In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon

Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad :
Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain, She as a veil, down to the slender waist
Both where the morning sun first warmly smote Her unadorned golden tresses wore,
The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade Disheveld; but in wanton ringlets wavid,
Inbrown'd the noon-tide bow'rs: Thus was this As the vine curls her tendrils, which imply'd
A happy rural seat of various view; [place Subjection, but required with gentle sway;
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd:
balm;

Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
Others, whose fruit burnished with golden rind And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,

Nor those mysterious parts were then conceal'd; If true, here only, and of delicious taste.

Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks Of Nature's works: honour dishonourable! Grazing the tender herb, were interpos’d:

Sin-bred ! how have ye troubled all mankind Or palmy hilloc, or the flow'ry lap

With shews instead, mere shews of seeming pure, Of some irriguous valley spread her store :

And banish'd from man's life his happiest life, Flow'rs of all hue, and without thorn the rose. Simplicity and spotless innocence? Another side, umbrageous grots, and caves

So pass'd they naked on, nor shunn'd the sight Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine of God or angel, for they thought no ill. Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps So hand in hand they pass’d, the loveliest pair Luxuriant: mean while murm'ring waters fall That ever since in love's embraces met; Down the slope hills, dispers'd or in a lake, Adam the goodliest man of men since born (That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd His sons; the fairest of her daughters Eve. Her crystal mirror holds) unite their streams. Under a tuft of shade, that on a green The birds their choir apply: airs, vernal airs, Stood whisp'ring soft, by a fresh fountain side Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune They sat them down ; and after no more toil The trembling leaves, while universal Pan, Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,

of their sweet gard’ning labour than suffic'd

To recommend cool zephyr, and made ease Led on th' eternal spring. Not that fair field More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite

More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell, So spake the Fiend; and with necessity,
Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs (The tyrant's plea) excus'd his devilish deeds :
Yielded them, side-long as they sat reclined Then from his lofty stand on that high tree,
On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers: Down he alights among the sportful herd
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind Of those four-footed kinds; himself now one,
Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream; Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end
Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles

Nearer to view his prey, and unespy'd,
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems To mark what of their state he more might learn,
Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league,

By word, or action mark’d: about them round, Alone as they. About them frisking play'd

A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;
All beasts of th' earth, since wild, and of all chase Then, as a tiger, who by chance hath spied,
In wood or wilderness, forest or den ;

In some purlieu, two gentle fawns at play,
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw

Strait couches close, then rising changes oft Dandled the kid: bears, tigers, ounces, pards, His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground, Gambol'd before them; th' unwieldy elephant, Whence rushing, he might surest seize them both, To make them mirth, us'd all his might, and wreath'd Grip'd in each paw: when Adam, first of men, His lithe proboscis; close the serpent sly

To first of women, Eve, thus moving speech, Iosinuating wove with Gordian twine

Turn'd him, all ear, to hear new utterance flow. His braided train, and of his fatal guile

Sole partner, and sole part of all these joys! Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass

Dearer thyself than all! needs must the Pow'r Couch'd, and now fill'd with pasture, gazing sat,

That made us, and for us this ample world, Or bedward ruminating; for the sun

Be infinitely good, and of his good Declin'd was hasting now with prone career

As liberal and free, as infinite, To th’ocean isles, and in th' ascending scale

That rais'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here Of Heav'n the stars that usher evening rose : In all this happiness, who at his hand When Satan, still in gaze, as first he stood,

Have nothing merited, nor can perform Scarce thus at length fail'd speech recover'd sad. Aught whereof he hath need: He! who requires O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold!

From us no other service than to keep Into our room of bliss thus high advanc'd

This one, this easy charge, of all the trees Creatures of other mould; earth-born perhaps,

In Paradise, that bear delicious fruit Not spirits; yet to heav'nly spirits bright

So various, not to taste that only tree Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue

Of knowledge, planted by the tree of life; With wonder, and could love, so lively shines So near grows death to life, whate'er death is, In them divine resemblance, and such grace

Some dreadful thing no doubt; for wellthou know'st, The hand that form’d'em on their shape hath pour’d.

God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that tree, Ah genule pair! ye little think how nigh

The only sign of our obedience left Your change approaches; when all these delights Among so many signs of pow'r and rule Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe;

Conferr'd upon us,

and dominion given More woe, the more your taste is now of joy:

Over all other creatures that possess Happy! but for so happy ill secur'd

Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard Long to continue; and this high seat your Heav'n,

One easy prohibition, who enjoy m-fenc'd for Heav'n, to keep out such a foe

Free leave so large to all things else, and choice As now is enter'd: yet no purpos'd foe

Unlimited of manifold delights: To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn,

But let us ever praise him, and extol Though I unpitied. League with you I seek, His bounty, following our delightful task, (flowers, And mutual amity, so strait, so close,

To prune these growing plants, and tend these That I with you must dwell, or you with me

Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet. Henceforth : my dwelling haply may not please,

To whom thus Eve replied. Othou for whom Like this fair Paradise, your sense ; yet such

And from whom I was form’d, flesh of thy flesh, Accept, your Maker's work; he gave it me,

And without whom am to no end, my guide Which I as freely give: Hell shall unfold,

And head, what thou hast said is just and right: To entertain you two, her widest gates,

For we to him indeed all praises owe, And send forth all her kings: there will be room, And daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy (Not like these narrow limits,) to receive

So far the happier lot, enjoying thee
Your numerous offspring; if no better place, Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou
Thank him who puts me loth to this revenge Like consort to thyself canst no where find.
On you, who wrong me not, for him who wrong'd, That day I oft remember, when from sleep
And should I at your harmless innocence

I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd
Melt, (as I do) yet public reason just,

Under a shade on flow'rs, much wond'ring where Honour and empire with revenge enlarg'd, And what I was ; whence thither brought, and how: By conqu’ring this new world, compels me now Not distant far from thence a murm'ring sound To do, what else (though damn'd) I should abhor. Of waters issued from a cave, and spread

Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd

Envy them that? Can it be sin to know? Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went Can it be death ? And do they only stand With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down By ignorance? Is that their happy state, On the green bank, to look into the clear

The proof of their obedience and their faith? Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky.

O fair foundation laid whereon to build As I bent down to look, just opposite

Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds A shape within the wat’ry gleam appear'd,

With mere desire to know, and to reject Bending to look on me: I started back,

Envious commands, invented with design It started back; but pleas'd I soon return'd; To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt Pleas'd it return'd as soon, with answ'ring looks Equal with Gods: aspiring to be such, Of sympathy and love; there I had fix'd

They taste and die: what likelier can ensue? Mine eyes till now, and pin’d with vain desire, But first with narrow search I must walk round Had not a voice thus warn'd me: What thou seest, This garden, and no corner leave unspy'd; What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself; A chance, but chance may lead where I may meet With thee it came and goes : but follow me, Some wand'ring spirit of Heav'n by fountain side, And I will bring thee where no shadow stays Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw Thy coming and thy soft embraces, he

What further would be learn'd. Live while you Whose image thou art; him thou shalt enjoy Yet happy pair; enjoy, till I return, (may, Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear

Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed. Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd Mother of human race. What could I do, But follow strait, invisibly thus led ?

THE CONVERSATION OF ADAM AND Till I espied thee, fair indeed and tall,

EVE. Under a platane; yet methought less fair,

So promis'd he; and Uriel to his charge Less winning soft, less amiably mild,

Return'd on that bright beam, whose point now rais'd Than that smooth wat’ry image: back I turn'd; Bore him slope downward to the sua now fallin Thou following criedst aloud, Return, fair Eve; Beneath th' Azores; whether the prime orb, Whom fly'st thou ? whom thou fly’st, of him thou art, Incredible how swift, had thither roll'd His flesh, his bone; to give thee being, I lent Diurnal, or this less voluble earth, Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,

By shorter flight to th' east, had left him there Substantial life, to have thee by my side

Arraying with reflected purple and gold Henceforth an individual solace dear;

The clouds that on his western throne attend. Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee claim

Now came still evening on, and twilight grey My other half; with that thy gentle hand

Had in her sober livery all things clad; Seiz'd mine; I yielded, and from that time see Silence accompanied; for beast and bird, How beauty is excell’d by manly grace

They to their grassy couch, these to their nests And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale; So spake our general mother, and with eyes She all night long her amorous descant sung; Of conjugal attraction unreprov’d,

Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the firmament And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led On our first father; half her swelling breast The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon Naked met his under the flowing gold

Rising in clouded majesty, at length Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight

Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light, Both of her beauty and submissive charms

And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw. Smild with superior love, as Jupiter

When Adam thus to Eve. Fair consort, the hour On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest, That shed May flow'rs; and press'd her matron lip Mind us of like repose, since God hath set With kisses pure: aside the Devil turn'd

Labour and rest, as day and night to men For envy; yet with jealous leer malign

Successive; and the timely dew of sleep Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plain’d. Now falling with soft slumbrous weight inclines Sight hateful, sight tormenting ! thus these two Our eye-lids : other creatures all day long Imparadis'd in one another's arms,

Rove idly unemploy'd, and less need rest; The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill

Man hath his daily work of body or mind Of bliss on bliss; while I to Hell am thrust, Appointed, which declares his dignity, Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire, And the regard of Heav'n on all his ways, Among our other torments not the least,

While other animals unactive range, Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines.

And of their doings God takes no account. Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd

To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east From their own mouths: all is not theirs, it seems; With first approach of light, we must be risen, One fatal tree there stands, of knowledge callid, And at our pleasant labour to reform Forbidden them to taste. Knowledge forbidden ? Yon flow'ry arbors, yonder alleys green, Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,

That mock our scant manuring, and require On to their blissful bow'r; it was a place
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth: Chos'n by the sov'reign Planter, when he fram'd
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, All things to man's delightful use; the roof
That lie bestrown unsightly and unsmooth,

Of thickest covert was inwoven shade
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease; Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew
Meanwhile, as Nature wills, night bids us rest. Of firm and fragrant leaf on either side

To whom thus Eve with perfect beauty adorn'd. Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub
My author and disposer, what thou bid'st

Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flower, Unargued I obey; so God ordains;

Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine, God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise. Mosaic; under foot the violet,

(wrought With thee conversing, I forget all time;

Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay All seasons and their change, all please alike. Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, Of costliest emblem: other creature here, With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun, Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none; When first on this delightful land he spreads Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, More sacred and sequester’d, though but feign’d, Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth Pan or Sylvanus never slept, nor Nymph, After soft showers; and sweet the coming on Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess Of grateful evening mild; then silent night With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs, With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon, Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed, And these the gems of Heav'n, her starry train: And heav'nly choirs the hymenæan sung, Bat neither breath of morn, when she ascends What day the genial angel to our sire With charın of earliest birds; nor rising sun Brought her in naked beauty more adorn'd, On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower, More lovely than Pandora, whom the Gods Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after showers; Endow'd with all their gifts, and 0 too like Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night

In sad event, when to th' unwiser son With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon, Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'd Or glittering star-light, without there is sweet. Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd But wherefore all night long shine these ? For whom On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire. This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes? Thus at their shady lodge arriv’d, both stood, To whom our general ancestor reply'd.

Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd Daughter of God and Man, accomplish'd Eve, The God that made both sky, air, earth, and Heaven, These have their course to finish round the earth, Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe, By morrow evening, and from land to land

And starry pole: Thou also mad’st the night, In order, though to nations yet unborn,

Maker omnipotent, and thou the day, Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Which we in our appointed work employ'd Lest total darkness should by night regain

Have finish’d, happy in our mutual help Her old possession, and extinguish life

And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss In nature and all things, which these soft fires Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place, Not only enlighten, but with kindly heat

For us too large, where thy abundance wants Of various influence foment and warm,

Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground. Temper or nourish, or in part shed down

But thou hast promis'd from us two a race Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow

To fill the earth, who shall with us extol On earth, made hereby apter to receive

Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.

And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep. These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, This said unanimous, and other rites Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none, Observing none, but adoration pure, That Heav'nwould wantspectators,God want praise: Which God likes best, into their inmost bower Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off L'nseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep: These troublesome disguises which we wear, All these with ceaseless praise his works behold Straight side by side were laid; nor turn'd I ween Both day and night: how often from the steep Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard

Mysterious of connubial love refus'd; Celestial voices to the midnight air,

Whatever hypocrites austerely talk Sole, or responsive each to other's note,

Of purity, and place, and innocence, Singiog their great Creator? Oft in bands

Defaming as impure what God declares While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk, Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all. With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds Our Maker bids increase ; who bids abstain In full harmonic number join'd, their songs But our destroyer, foe to God and man? Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heav'n. Hail wedded love, mysterious law, true source

Thus talking, hand in hand, alone they pass'd Of human offspring, sole propriety

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »