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Than Heav'n permits, normine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire: for proof look up, 1010
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
Where thou art weighi’d, and shewn how light, how
If thou resist. The Fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
Murm'ring, and with him fed the shades of night.
THE ARGUMENT. Morning approach'd, 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 band, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avai! Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Pa. radise, his appearance described, his coming discerned by Adam afar off sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet hiin, brings him to his lodge, entertains bim 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 th’ eastern clime
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam wak’d, so custom'd, for his sleep
Was airy light from pure digestion bred,
And temp?rate vapours bland, which th' 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 slowing cheek, 10
As through unquiet rest: he on his side
Leaning half rais’d, 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,
Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus. Awake
My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
Heav'n's last best gift, my ever new delight,
Awake; the morning shines, and the fresh field 20
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.
Sach whisp’ring wak'd her, but with startled eye On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake.
O 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, 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, Eye? Now is the pleasant time, The cool, the silent, save where silence yields To the night-warbling bird, that now awake Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song ; now reigns Full orb'd the moon, and with more pleasing light
Shadowy sets off the face of things ; in vain,
If none regard; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes,
Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire ?
In whose sight all things joy, with ravishinent
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 wond'ring 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 despisid ? 60
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?
This said, he paus'd not, but with vent'rous arm
He pluck'd, he tasted ; me damp horror 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 : 7
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 angelic Eve,
Partake thou also; happy though thou art,
Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be :
Take 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 Heav'n, 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,
Ev'n to my mouth of that same fruit held part
Which he had pluck’d; the pleasant savoury smell
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 : wond'ring at my flight and change
To this high exaltation ; suddenly
My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down,
And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd
To find this but a dream! 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 į
Yet evil whence? In thee can harbour none,
Created pure. But know that in the soul
Are many lesser faculties, that serve
Reason as chief; among these fancy next