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النشر الإلكتروني

BOOK W.

THE ARGUMENT.

Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her: they come forth to their day-labours: their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise; his appearance described; his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, When Adam wak'd, so custom'd ; for his sleep Was aery-light, from pure digestion bred, And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan, Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin song Of birds on every bough; so much the more His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve With tresses discompos'd, and glowing cheek, 10 As through unquiet rest: He, on his side Leaning half raised, with looks of cordial love Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep, Shot forth peculiar graces; then, with voice

Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, 16
Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: Awake,
My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight !
Awake: The morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet. o
Such whispering wak'd her, but with startled eye
On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake.
0 sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection glad I see
Thy face, and morn return'd : for I this night 30
(Such night till this I never pass'd) have dream’d, o
If dream’d, not, as I oft am wont, of thee,
Works of day past, or morrow's next design,
But of offence and trouble, which my mind -
Knew never till this irksome night: Methought |
Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk
With gentle voice; I thought it thine: it said,
“Why sleep'st thou, Eve 2 now is the pleasant time,
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake 40
Tunes sweetest his love-labour’d song; now reigns
Full-orb’d the moon, and with more pleasing light s
Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain, |
If none regard; Heaven wakes with all his eyes,
Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire?
In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.” |
I rose as at thy call, but found thee not ;
To find thee I directed then my walk;

And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways 50 That brought me on a sudden to the tree Of interdicted knowledge : fair it seem’d, Much fairer to my fancy than by day: And, as I wondering look'd, beside it stood One shap’d and wing'd like one of those from Heaven By us oft seen; his dewy locks distill'd Ambrosia; on that tree he also gaz'd ; And “O fair plant,” said he, “with fruit surcharg’d, “Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet, “Nor god, nor man : Is knowledge so despis'd : * “Or envy, or what reserve forbids to taste? “Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold “Longer thy offer'd good: why else set here 4” This said, he paus’d not, but with venturous arm He pluck'd, he tasted; me damp horrour chill'd At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold: But he thus, overjoy'd ; “O fruit divine, “Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt, “Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit “For gods, yet able to make gods of men : 70 “And why not gods of men since good, the more “Communicated, more abundant grows, “The author not impair'd, but honour'd more ? “Here, happy creature, fair angelick Eve 1 “Partake thou also ; happy though thou art, “Happier thou may'st be, worthier can'st not be : “Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods “Thyself a goddess, not to earth confin'd, “But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes “Ascend to Heaven, by merit thine, and see 80 “What life the gods live there, and such live thou!” So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held, Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part

Which he had pluck'd : the pleasant savoury smell st
So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought,
Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds
With him I flew, and underneath beheld
The earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide
And various : Wondering at my flight and change
To this high exaltation; suddenly 90
My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down,
And fell asleep; but 0, how glad I wak'd
To find this but a dreaml Thus Eve her night
Related, and thus Adam answer'd sad.
Best image of myself, and dearer half,
The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep
Affects me equally; nor can I like
This uncouth dream, of evil sprung, I fear;
Yet evil whence 2 in thee can harbour none,
Created pure. But know that in the soul 100 * -
Are many lesser faculties, that serve ;
Reason as chief; among these Fancy next
Her office holds; of all external things,
Which the five watchful senses represent,
She forms imaginations, aery shapes,
Which Reason, joining or disjoining, frames
All what we affirm or what deny, and call
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
Into her private cell, when Nature rests.
Oft in her absence mimick Fancy wakes 110
To imitate her; but, misjoining shapes,
Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams;
Ill matching words and deeds, long past or late.
Some such resemblances, methinks, I find
Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream,
But with addition strange; yet be not sad.
Evil into the mind of God or man

[graphic]

May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave 118
No spot or blame behind: Which gives me hope
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream,
Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
Be not dishearten’d then, nor cloud those looks,
That wont to be more cheerful and serene
Than when fair morning first smiles on the world;
And let us to our fresh employments rise,
Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers,
That open now their choicest bosom'd smells,
Reserv'd from night, and kept for thee in store.
So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd ;
But silently a gentle tear let fall 130
From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair;
Two other precious drops that ready stood,
Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell
Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended.
So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste.
But first, from under shady arborous roof
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of day-spring, and the sun, who, scarce uprisen,
With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean-brim, 140
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Discovering in wide landskip all the east
Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains,
Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began
Their orisons, each morning duly paid
In various style; for neither various style
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
Their Maker, in fit strains pronounc'd, or sung
Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence
Flow'd from their lips, in prose or numerous verse,

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