« AnteriorContinuar »
Incessant I could hope to change the will
ADAM AND EVE DRIVEN OUT OF Of him who all things can, I would not cease
PARADISE. To weary him with my assiduous cries:
He ended, and thus Adam last reply'd : But pray’r against his absolute decree
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest, No more avails than breath against the wind, Measur'd this transient world, the race of time, Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth: Till time stand fix'd ? beyond is all abyss, Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach. This most afflicts me, that departing hence,
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart, As from his face I shall be hid, depriv'd
Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent Of knowledge, what this vessel can contain; With worship place by place where he vouchsaf’d
Beyond which was my folly to aspire. Presence divine, and to my sons relate,
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best, On this mount he appear'd, under this tree
And love with fear the only God, to walk Stood visible, among these pines his voice
As in his presence, ever to observe I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd:
His providence, and on him sole depend, So many grateful altars I would rear
Merciful over all his works, with good Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone
Still overcoming evil, and by small Of lustre from the brook, in memory,
Accomplishing great things, by things deem'd weak Or monument to ages, and thereon
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise Offer sweet-smelling gums, and fruits, and flowers: By simply meek: that suffering for truth's sake In yonder nether world where shall I seek
Is fortitude to highest victory, His bright appearances, or footsteps trace ?
And to the faithful death the gate of life; For though I fled him angry, yet recall'd
Taught this by his example whom I now To life prolong'd and promis'd race, I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest. Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
To whom thus also th' angel last reply'd: Of glory, and far off his steps adore.
Thus having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum To whom thus Michael, with regard benign: Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars Adam, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the earth, Thou knew'st by name, and all th'ethereal powers, Not this rock only; his omnipresence fills
All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works, Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives, Or works of God in Heav'n, air, earth, or sea, Fomented by his virtual pow'r, and warm’d: And all the riches of this world enjoyʻdst, All th' earth he gave thee to possess and rule, And all the rule, one empire; only add No despicable gift; surmise not then
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith, His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd
Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love, Of Paradise or Eden: this had been
By name to come call's Charity, the soul Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loth All generations, and had hither come
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess From all the ends of th' earth, to celebrate
A paradise within thee, happier far. And reverence thee, their great progenitor. Let us descend now therefore from this top But this pre-eminence thou hast lost, brought down Of speculation; for the hour precise To dwell on even ground now with thy sons: Exacts our parting hence; and see the guards, Yet doubt not but in valley and in plain
By me incamp'd on yonder hill, expect God is as here, and will be found alike
Their motion, at whose front a flaming sword, Present, and of his presence many a sign
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round; Still following thee, still compassing thee round
We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve; With goodness and paternal love, his face
Her also I with gentle dreams have calm'd Express, and of bis steps the track divine.
Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd Which that thou may'st believe, and be confirm'd To meek submission: thou at season fit Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard, To shew thee what shall come in future days
Chiefly what may concern her faith to know, To thee and to thy offspring; good with bad
The great deliverance by her seed to come Expect to hear, supernal grace contending
(For by the woman's seed) on all mankind: With sinfulness of man; thereby to learn
That ye may live, which will be many days, True patience, and to temper joy with fear
Both in one faith unanimous though sad, And pious sorrow, equally inur'd
With cause, for evils past, yet much more cheer'd By moderation either state to bear,
With meditation on the happy end. Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead
He ended; and they both descend the hill: Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure
Descended, Adam to the bower where Eve Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak’d; This hill; let Eve (for I have drench'd her eyes) And thus with words not sad she him receiv'd. Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wak'st; Whence thou return'st, and whither went'st I As once thou slept'st, while she to life was form'd. For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise, [know;
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good Belial, in much uneven scale thou weigh'st
Thou thyself doat'st on womankind, admiring
Their shape, their colour, and attractive grace, Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
None are, thou think'st, but taken with such toys. Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me
Before the flood, thou with thy lusty crew, Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou, False titled sons of God, roaming the earth, Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence. Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men, This further consolation yet secure
And coupled with them, and begot a race. I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
Have we not seen, or by relation heard, Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf'd,
In courts and regal chambers how thou lurk'st, By me the promis'd seed shall all restore.
In wood or grove, by mossy fountain side,
Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more,
Too long; then lay'st thy scapes on names ador'd, Gliding meteorous, as evening mist
Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan, Ris'n from a river o'er the marish glides,
Satyr, or Faun, or Sylvan? But these haunts And gathers ground fast at the lab'rer's heel Delight not all; among the sons of men, Homeward returning. High in front advanc'd, How many have with a smile made small account The brandish'd sword of God before them blaz'd Of beauty and her lures, easily scorn'd Fierce as a comet; which with torrid heat,
All her assaults, on worthier things intent?
Remember that Pellean conqueror,
He slightly view'd, and slightly overpass'd;
How he surnam'd of Africa dismiss'd Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast
In his prime youth the fair Iberian maid; To the subjected plain; then disappear'd.
For Solomon, he liv'd at ease, and full They looking back, all th' eastern side beheld Of honour, wealth, high fare, aim'd not beyond Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Higher design than to enjoy his state; Wav'd over by that flaming brand, the gate Thence to the bait of women lay expos'd: With dreadful faces throng'd and fiery arms: But he whom we attempt is wiser far Some natural tears they dropt, but wip'd them soon;
Than Solomon, of more exalted mind,
On whom his leisure will vouchsafe an eye
As sitting queen ador'd on Beauty's throne, FROM PARADISE REGAINED.-THE Descend with all her winning charms begirt POWER OF BEAUTY.
T enamour, as the zone of Venus once Set women in his eye, and in his walk,
Wrought that effect on Jove, so fables tell; Among the daughters of men the fairest found; How would one look from his majestic brow, Many are in each region passing fair
Seated as on the top of Virtue's hill, As the noon sky; more like to goddesses
Discount'nance her despis'd, and put to rout Than mortal creatures, graceful and discreet, All her array; her female pride deject, Expert in amorous arts, enchanting tongues
Or turn to reverent awe; for Beauty stands Persuasive, virgin majesty with mild
In th' admiration only of weak minds And sweet allay'd, yet terrible t' approach, Led captive; cease t admire, and all her plumes Skill'd to retire, and in retiring draw
Fall flat and shrink into a trivial toy, Hearts after them, tangled in amorous nets. At every sudden slighting quite abash'd: Such object hath the power to soft'n and tame Therefore with manlier objects we must try Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow, His constancy, with such as have more shew Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve, Of worth, of honour, glory, and popular praise ; Draw out with credulous desire, and lead
Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd. At will the manliest, resolutest breast, As the magnetic hardest iron draws. Women, when nothing else, beguil'd the heart
DESCRIPTION OF GREECE. Of wisest Solomon, and made him build,
To whom the Fiend with fear abash'd reply'd: And made him bow to the gods of his wives. Be not so sore offended, Son of God,
To whom quick answer Satan thus return’d: Though sons of God both angels are and men,
THE FIRST SCENE DISCOVERS A WILD WOOD.
If I to try whether in higher sort
Whose poem Phæbus challeng’d for his own. Than these thou bear'st that title, have propos'd Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught What both from men and angels I receive,
In Chorus or lambic, teachers best Tetrarchs of fire, air, flood, and on the earth Of moral prudence, with delight receiv'd Nations besides from all the quarter'd winds, In brief sententious precepts, while they treat God of this world invok'd and world beneath; Of fate, and chance, and change in human life ; Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold High actions, and high passions best describing : To me so fatal, me it most concerns.
Thence to the famous orators repair, The trial hath indamag'd thee no way;
Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democratie,
To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne:
Of Socrates; see there his tenement, Than to a worldly crown', addicted more
Whom well inspir'd the oracle pronounc'd To contemplation and profound dispute,
Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth As by that early action may be judg’d,
Melifluous streams that water'd all the schools When slipping from thy mother's eye thou went'st Of Academics old and new, with those Alone into the temple; there wast found
Surnam’d Peripatetics, and the sect Among the gravest Rabbies disputant
Epicurean, and the Stoic severe; On points and questions fitting Moses' chair, These here revolve, or, as thou lik’st, at home, Teaching, not taught; the childhood shews the man, Till time mature thee to a kingdom's weight; As morning shews the day. Be famous then These rules will render thee a king complete By wisdom; as thy empire must extend,
Within thyself, much more with empire join'd.
COMUS, A MASK.
The attendant Spirit descends or enters.
Before the starry threshold of Jove's court, Without their learning, how wilt thou with them, My mansion is, where those immortal shapes Or they with thee hold conversation meet?
Of bright aerial spirits live inspher'd How wilt thou reason with them, how refute In regions mild of calm and serene air, Their idolisms, traditions, paradoxes ?
Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot, Error by his own arms is best evinc'd.
Which men call earth, and with low thoughted care Look once more, ere we leave this specular mount, Confin’d, and pester'd in this pin-fold here, Westward, much nearer by south west, behold Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being, Where on the Ægean shore a city stands
Unmindful of the crown that virtue gives Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil,
After this mortal change to her true servants Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
Amongst the enthron'd gods on sainted seats, And eloquence, native to famous wits
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key
To such my errand is; and but for such,
I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long; With the rank vapors of this sin-worn mould. There flowery hill Hymettus with the sound
But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway Of bees' industrious murmur oft invites
Of every salt-flood, and each ebbing stream,
Took in by lot 'twixt high and nether Jove
That like to rich and various gems inlay
The unadorned bosom of the deep, Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:
Which he to grace his tributary Gods There shalt thou hear and learn the secret power By course commits to several government, Of harmony in tones and numbers hit
And gives them leave to wear their sapphire crowns, By voice or hand, and various-measured verse, And wield their little tridents: but this isle, Æolian charms and Dorian lyric odes,
The greatest and the best of all the main, And his who gave them breath, but higher sung, He quarters to his blue-hair'd deities ; Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer call’d,
And all this track that fronts the falling sun
A noble peer of mickle trust and power
Comus enters with a charming-rod in one hand, his Has in his charge, with temper’d awe to guide glass in the other; with him a rout of monsters, An old and haughty nation proud in arms :
headed like sundry sorts of wild beasts, but otherWhere his fair offspring nurs’d in princely lore wise like men and women, their apparel glittering ; Are coming to attend their father's state,
they come in making a riotous and unruly noise, And new-entrusted sceptre; but their way
bearing torches in their hands. Lies through the perplex'd paths of this drear wood, Comus. The star that bids the shepherd fold, The nodding horror of whose shady brows
Now the top of Heav'n doth hold,
His glowing axle doth allay
And the slope sun his upward beam And listen why, for I will tell you now
Shoots against the dusky pole, What never yet was heard in tale or song,
Pacing toward the other goal
Of his chamber in the east;
Midnight shout and revelry,
Tipsy Dance, and Jollity. Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed,
Braid your locks with rosy twine, On Circe's island fell: (Who knows not Circe
Dropping odours, dropping wine. The daughter of the Sun ? whose charmed cup
Rigour now is gone to bed,
And Advice with scrupulous head,
With their grave saws in slumber lie.
We that are of purer fire Had by him, ere he parted thence, a son
Imitate the starry quire, Much like his father, but his mother more,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres, Whom therefore she brought up, and Comus nam’d, Lead in swift round the months and years. Who ripe, and frolic of his full grown age,
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove, Roving the Celtic and Iberian fields,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move; At last betakes him to this ominous wood,
And on the tawny sands and shelves And in thick shelter of black shades imbower'd
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves. Excels his mother at her mighty art,
By dimpled brook and fountain brim, Offering to every weary traveller
The wood-nymphs deck'd with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
Tis only day-light that makes sin,
Which these dun shades will ne'er report. All other parts remaining as they were;
Hail goddess of nocturnal sport, And they, so perfect is their misery,
Dark-veil'd Cotytto, ť' whom the secret flame Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
Of midnight-torches burns; mysterious dame, But boast themselves more comely than before, That ne'er art call'd, but when the dragon womb And all their friends and native home forget, Of Stygian darkness spits her thickest gloom, To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.
And makes one blot of all the air, Therefore, when any favour'd of high Jove
Stay thy cloudy ebon chair.
Us thy vow'd priests, till utmost end
Ere the babbling eastern scout,
The nice morn on the Indian steep And take the weeds and likeness of a swain,
From her cabin'd loophole peep,
And to the tell-tale sun descry
Break off, break off, I feel the different pace Of hateful steps. I must be viewless now. Of some chaste footing near about this ground.
May sit i' th' centre, and enjoy bright day : Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow, But he that hides a dark soul, and foul thoughts, Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste, Benighted walks under the mid-day sun :
Wherewith she tam’d the brinded lioness Ilimself is his own dungeon.
And spotted mountain pard, but set at nought Y. Bro. "Tis most true,
The frivolous bolt of Cupid; Gods and men That musing meditation most affects
Fear'd her stern frown, and she was Queen of th' The pensive secresy of desert cell,
Whatwas that snaky-headed Gorgon shield (Woods. Far from the cheerful haunt of men and herds, That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin, And sits as safe as in a senate-house;
Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone, For who would rob a hermit of his weeds,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity, His few books, or his beads, or maple dish,
And noble grace that dash'd brute violence Or do his grey hairs any violence ?
With sudden adoration, and blank awe? But beauty, like the fair Hesperian tree
So dear to Heav'n is saintly chastity, Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard That when a soul is found sincerely so, Of dragon-watch, with uninchanted eye,
A thousand liveried angels lackey her, To save her blossoms, and defend her fruit
Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt, From the rash hand of bold incontinence.
And in clear dream, and solemn vision, You may as well spread out the unsunn'd heaps Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear, Of misers' treasure by an outlaw's den,
Till oft converse with heav'nly habitants And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope
Begin to cast a beam on th' outward shape, Danger will wink on opportunity,
The unpolluted temple of the mind, And let a single helpless maiden pass
And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence, Uninjur’d in this wild surrounding waste.
Till all be made immortal : but when lust, Of night or loneliness it recks me not ;
By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk, I fear the dread events that dog them both,
But most by lewd and lavish act of sin, Lest some ill-greeting touch attempt the person Lets in defilement to the inward parts, Of our unowned sister.
The soul grows clotted by contagion, E. Bro. I do not, brother,
Imbodies and imbrutes, till she quite lose Infer, as if I thought my sister's state
The divine property of her first being. Secure without all doubt, or controversy.
Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp, Yet where an equal poise of hope and fear
Oft seen in charnel vaults and sepulchres, Does arbitrate th' event, my nature is
Ling’ring and sitting by a new-made grave, That I incline to hope rather than fear,
As loth to leave the body that it lov’d, And gladly banish squint suspicion.
And link'd itself by carnal sensuality My sister is not so defenceless left
To a degenerate and degraded state. As you imagine; she has a hidden strength
Y. Bro. How charming is divine philosophy! Which you remember not.
Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose, Y. Bro. What hidden strength,
But musical as is Apollo's lute.
Where no crude surfeit reigns.
E. Bro. List, list, I hear 'Tis chastity, my brother, chastity :
Some far off halloo break the silent air. She that has that, is clad in complete steel,
Y. Bro. Methought so too; what should it be? And like a quiver'd nymph with arrows keen
E. Bro. For certain, May trace hugh forests, and unharbour'd heaths, Either some one like us night-founder'd here, Infamous hills and sandy perilous wilds,
Or else some neighbour woodman, or at worst Where, through the sacred rays of chastity, Some roving robber calling to his fellows. No savage fierce, bandit, or mountaineer
Y.Bro. Heav'n keep my sister. Again, again, and Will dare to soil her virgin purity:
Best draw, and stand upon our guard. [near; Yea there, where very desolation dwells,
E. Bro. I'll halloo;
Defence is a good cause, and Heav'n be for us. Be it not done in pride, or in presumption.
The attendant Spirit, habited like a Shepherd. Some say no evil thing that walks by night, In fog or fire, by lake or moorish fen,
That halloo I should know ; what are you? speak; Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost,
Come not too near, you fall on iron stakes else. That breaks his magic chains at curfeu time,
Spi. What voice is that? My young lord ? Speak No goblin, or swart fairy of the mine
again. Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity.
Y. Bro. O brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure, Do ye believe me yet, or shall I call
E. Bro. Thyrsis? whose artful strains have oft Antiquity from the old schools of Greece
The huddling brook to hear his madrigal, [delay'd To testify the arms of chastity ?
And sweeten'd every muskrose of the dale.