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Her penfile house the feather'd artist builds-
The rocking winds moleft her not; for see,
With such due poize the wond'rous fabrick's hung,
That, like the compass in the bark, it keeps
True to itself and stedfast even in storms.
Thou ideot, that afferts there is no God,
View, and be dumb for ever.
Innumerable are the beauties of this agreeable kind that might be drawn from the poets, both ancient and modern. Those who would see more of these descriptive beauties, may abundantly gratify their curiosity in our volume of Rhetoric, where many are inserted to illustrate the figures in that science. It is to be observed, however, that those where the tender passions are concern'd, are not only more affecting, but often more pleasing than others, as may be seen by this speech of Eve to Adam, in Milton's Paradise Loft.; and by other passages which we shall insert from that ever to be admired poem.
With thee converfing, I forget all time,
All seasons and their change, all please alike:
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet
With charm of earliest birds, pleasant the sun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r,
Glift'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers, and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild: then silent night
With this her solemn bird, and this fair
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train.
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising sun
On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, fow'r,
Glift'ring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
Nor grateful evening mild, nor filent night
With this her solemn bird ; nor walk by moon,
Or glittering star-light, without thee is sweet.
Adam on seeing Eve asleep with unusual discomposure in her looks, regards her, as Mr. Addison obferves, with a tenderness not to be expressed, and awakens her with the-lofteft whisper that ever was conveyed to a lover's ear, a
His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
With treffes discompos'd, and glowing cheek
As though unquiet rest: he on his fide
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 faireft, my espoused, my latest found,
Heav'ns 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 myrtle, what the balmy reed ;
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom, extracting liquid sweet.
Such whisp'ring wak'd her, but with startled eye
On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spoke-
O sole, in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection, glad I fee
Thy face, and morn return'd. The passage relating to Eve's dream, where the fancies herself awakened by Adam, is extremely beautiful; and will
appear the more so, when we consider that it was a dream in which the devil is supposed to have tainted her imagination by instilling into her mind those high conceits engendering pride.
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? now is the pleasant time,
The cool, the filent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd fong ; 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 fight all things joy, with ravishment
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze !
cheared and instructed Eve, is amazingly beautiful ; and the effect his admonition produced in her, and his behavi. our on that occasion, is finely conceived, and most exqui. fitely described.
So cheard he his fair spouse, and she was chear'd,
But filently a gentle tear let fall
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. In that part of the Episode where Adam relates to the angel the circumstances he found himself in upon his creation, the author has raised our curiosity, and he has abundantly gratified it ; for nothing could on that occasion have been better conceived, or better exprefled, especially the account Adam gives of the posture he found himself in, the landscape round him, his address to the sun, and of the dream in which he beheld the formation of Eve.
As new wak’d from soundeft sleep,
Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun
Soon dry'd, and on the reaking moisture fed.
Strait toward heav'n my wand'ring eyes I turnd,
And gaz'd a while the ample sky, till rais'd
By quick instinctive motion up I sprung,
As thitherward endeavouring, and upright
Stood on my feet : about me round I saw
Hill, dale, and shady woods, and funny plains,
And liquid lapse of murm'sing streams; by these,
Creatures that liv’d, and mov'd, and walk'd, or few,
Birds on the branches warbling; all things smil'd :
With fragrance and with joy my heart o'erfiow'd,
-Thou sun, said I, fair light,
And thou enlighten'd earth, so fresh and gay,
Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains,
that live and move, fair creatures tell,
Tell if you saw, how came I thus, how here?
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Man like, but different sex: So lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her fumm'd up, in her contain'd,
And in her looks, which from that time infus'd
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
And into all things from her air inspir’d
The spirit of love and amorous delight. After receiving some admonitions from the angel, Adam explains himself on the subject of his love for Eve, in order to prove that his passion was founded on reason, and therefore, though violent, not improper for Paradise.
Neither her out fide form fo fair, nor ought
In procreation common to all kinds
(Though higher of the genial bed by far,
And with mysterious reverence I deem)
So much delights me as those graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and actions mixt with love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one soul. The force of Adam's love, which we have already been describing, is exemplify'd towards the latter end of the work in many beautiful passages; and the dispute that arises between our two first parents, proceeds, as Mr. Addison juftly observes, from a difference of judgment, not of pafion; it is managed with reason, not with heat; and is such a dispute as we may suppose might have happened in Paradise, when man was happy and innocent. His parting with Eve is remark. ably natural and affectionate.
Her long with ardent look his eye purfued
Delighted, but defiring more her stay.
Oft he to her his charge of quick return
Repeated ; she to him as oft engagd
To be return'd by noon amid the bow'r. His impatience for her return, and his employment dur. ing her absence, are most beautifully expressed.
-Adam the while
Waiting desirous her return, had wove
Of choicest flow"rs a garland to adorn
Her tresses, and her royal labours crown,
As reapers oft are wont their harvest queen.
Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay'd. But his affection is more particularly and emphatically expressed in the speech he makes on seeing her irrecover. ably loft.
Some cursed fraud
Of enemy hath beguild thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee
Certain my resolution is to die;
How can I live without thee, how forego
'Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn ?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart : no, no, I feel
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe. After this determination, Adam is represented as partak. ing of the forbidden fruit, the effects of which rash action are thus described ; though rather in the Jublime than the agreeable.
He scrupled not to eat
Against his better knowledge, not deceiv'd,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again
In pangs, and nature gave a second groan,
Sky lour'd, and muttering thunder, some sad drops
Wept at compleating of the mortal fin. Adam, whose passions had now gained the dominion over him, is represented as upbraiding Eve for the loss of Para. dise, whom he spurns from him with indignation. This paf. fage, in which she renews her addresses to him, is, in the opi. nion of the best judges, extremely pathetic and affecting.
He added not, and from her turn'd; but Eve
Not so repuls’d, with tears that ceas'd not flowing,
And treffes all disorder'd, at his feet
Fell humble ; and embracing them, besought
His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.
Forsake me not thus, Adam! Witness heav'n