« AnteriorContinuar »
Two birds of gayest plume before him drove; As in a glist'ring zodiac, hung the sword, Down from a hill the beast that reigns in woods, Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the spear. First hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace,
Adam bow'd low; he kingly from his state Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind;
Inclin'd not; but his coming thus declar'd: Direct to th' eastern gate was bent their flight. Adam, Heav'n's high behest no preface needs: Adam observ'd, and with his eyes the chace
Sufficient that thy pray’rs are heard, and Death, Pursuing, not unmov’d, to Eve thus spake:
Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress, O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh, Defeated of his seizure many days Which Heav'n by these mute signs in Nature shews, Giv'n thee of grace, wherein thou may'st repent, Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn
And one bad act with many deeds well done Us haply too secure of our discharge
May'st cover; well may then thy Lord appeas'd From penalty because from death releas'd
Redeem thee quite from Death's rapacious claim; Some days; how long, and what till then our life, But longer in this paradise to dwell Who knows, or more than this, that we are dust, Permits not; to remove thee I am come, And thither must return, and be no more?
And send thee from the garden forth to till Why else this double object in our sight
The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil. Of flight pursu'd in th' air, and o'er the ground, He added not, for Adam at the news One way the self-same hour? why in the east Heart-struck with chilling gripe of sorrow stood, Darkness ere day's mid-course, and morning-light That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen More orient in yon western cloud that draws Yet all had heard, with audible lament O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
Discover'd soon the place of her retire. And slow descends with something heav'nlyfraught? O unexpected stroke, worse than of death!
He err'd not; for by this the heav'nly bands Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave Down from a sky of jasper lighted now
Thee, native soil, these happy walks and shades, In paradise, and on a hill made halt,
Fit haunt of Gods ? where I had hope to spend, A glorious apparition, had not doubt
Quiet though sad, the respite of that day And carnal fear that day dimm'd Adam's eye.
That must be mortal to us both. O flowers, Not that more glorious, when the angels met
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
From the first opening bud, and give ye names, In Dothan, cover'd with a camp of fire,
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank Against the Syrian king, who, to surprise
Your tribes, and water from th' ambrosial fount? One man, assassin-like had levied war,
Thee lastly, nuptial bow'r, by me adorn'd War unproclaim'd. The princely Hierarch
With what to sight or smell was sweet, from thee In their bright stand there left his pow'rs to seize How shall I part, and whither wander down Possession of the garden; be alone,
Into a lower world, to this obscure To find where Adam shelter'd took his way,
And wild? how shall we breathe in other air Not unperceir'd of Adam, who to Eve,
Less pure, accustom'd to immortal fruits ?
Whom thus the angel interrupted mild:
What justly thou hast lost: nor set thy heart, New laws to be observ'd; for I descry
Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine; From yonder blazing cloud that veils the hill, Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes One of the heav'nly host, and by his gait
Thy husband; him to follow thou art bound; None of the meanest, some great potentate,
Where he abides, think there thy native soil. Or of the thrones above, such majesty
Adam by this from the cold sudden damp Invests him coming ; yet not terrible,
Recovering, and his scatter'd spirits return'd, That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
To Michael thus his humble words address'd. As Raphael, that I should much confide,
Celestial, whether among the thrones, or nam'd But solemn and sublime, whom not t' offend, of them the highest, for such of shape may seem With reverence I must meet, and thou retire. Prince above princes, gently hast thou told
He ended; and th’ Archangel soon drew nigh, Thy message, which might else in telling wound, Not in his shape celestial, but as man
And in performing end us; what besides Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms
Of sorrow and dejection and despair A military vest of purple flow'd
Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring, Livelier than Melibaan, or the grain
Departure from this happy place, our sweet Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old
Recess, and only consolation left In time of truce; Iris had dipt the woof,
Familiar to our eyes, all places else His starry helm unbuckled shew'd him prime Inhospitable appear, and desolate, In manhood, where youth ended; by his side, Nor knowing us nor known; and if by pray'r
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 stilling 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 countnance; 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 talkod:
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 enjoy’dst, 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 In me is no delay; with thee to go,
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? And vapour as the Lybian air adust,
Remember that Pellean conqueror, Began to parch that temp’rate clime; whereat A youth, how all the beauties of the East In either hand the hast’ning angel caught
He slightly view'd, and slightly overpass’d; Our ling’ring parents, and to the eastern gate
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:
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, beguild 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,
May sit i' th' centre, and enjoy bright day :
Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow,
Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste, Benighted walks under the mid-day sun :
Wherewith she tam'd the brinded lioness
And spotted mountain pard, but set at nought
The frivolous bolt of Cupid; Gods and men
Fear'd her stern frown, and she was Queen o' 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,
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 ber, To save her blossoms, and defend her fruit
Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
And in clear dream, and solemn vision,
Till oft converse with heav'nly habitants
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,
But musical as is Apollo's lute.
Where no crude surfeit reigns.
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?
E. Bro. For certain,
Or else some neighbour woodman, or at worst
Y. Bro. Heav'n keep my sister. Again, again, and
Best draw, and stand upon our guard. [near;
E. Bro. I'll halloo;
Defence is a good cause, and Heav'n be for us.
The attendant Spirit, habited like a Shepherd.
That halloo I should know; what are you ? speak;
Spi. What voice is that? My young lord ? Speak
again. No goblin, or swart fairy of the mine Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity.
V. 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.
How cain'st thou here, good swain? hath any ram Was took ere she was ware, and wish'd she might
Deny her nature, and be never more
Still to be so displac'd. I was all ear,
Spi. O my lov'd master's heir, and his next joy, Under the ribs of death: but o ere long
Too well I did perceive it was the voice
Of my most honour'd lady, your dear sister.
Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear,
Then down the lawns I ran with headlong haste,
Through paths and turnings often trod by day,
The aidless innocent lady, his wish'd prey,
Ye were the two she meant: with that I sprung
Into swift flight, till I had found you here,
Y. Bro. O night and shades,
How are ye join’d with Hell in triple knot,
You gave me, brother!
E. Bro. Yes, and keep it still;
Lean on it safely; not a period
Which erring men call chance; this I hold firm,
Surpris'd by unjust force, but not inthrall’d;
And mix no more with goodness, when at last
Gather'd like scum, and settled to itself,
It shall be in eternal restless change,
The pillar'd firmament is rottenness,
And earth's base builton stubble. Butcome, let'son;
May never this just sword be lifted up;
But for that damn’d magician, let him be girt
With all the grisly legions that troop
Under the sooty flag of Acheron,
Harpies and hydras, or all the monstrous forms
"Twixt Africa and Ind, I'll find him out, To meditate my rural minstrelsy,
And force him to restore his purchase back, Till fancy had her fill, but ere a close
Or drag him by the curls to a foul death,
Curs'd as his life,
Spi, Alas! good vent'rous youth,
I love thy courage yet, and bold emprise ;
But here thy sword can do thee little stead;
Far other arms, and other weapons must
Be those that quell the might of hellish charms:
He with his bare wand can unthread thy joints,
And crumble all thy sinews.
E. Bro. Why, prythee, shepherd,