صور الصفحة
PDF

113

That to corporeal substances could add
Speed almost spiritual : me thou think'st not slow, 110
Who since the morning hour set out from Heaven
Where God resides, and ere mid-day arriv'd
In Eden, distance inexpressible
By numbers that have name.' But this I urge,
Admitting motion in the Heav'ns, to show
Invalid that which thee to doubt it mov'd;
Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
To thee who hast thy dwelling here on earth.
God to remove his ways from human sense,
Plac'd Heav'n from Earth so far, that earthly sight,
If it presume, might err in things too high, 121
And no advantage gain. What if the sun
Be centre to the world, and other stars
By his attractive virtue and their own
Incited, dance about him various rounds ?

125 'Their wand'ring course now high, now low, then hid, Progressive, retrograde, or standing still, In six thou seest, and what if sev’nth to these The planet earth, so stedfast though she seem, Insensibly three different motions move?

130 Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe, Mov'd contrary with thwart obliquities, Or save the sun his labour, and that swift Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb suppos’d, Invisible else above all stars, the wheel

135 Of day and night; which needs not thy belief, If earth industrious of herself fetch day Travelling east, and with her part averse

140

145

150

From the sun's beam meet night, her other part
Still luminous by his ray. What if that light
Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air,
To the terrestrial moon be as a star
Enlight’ning her by day, as she by night
This earth? reciprocal, if land be there,
Fields and inhabitants : Her spots thou seest
As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce
Fruits in her soften’d soil, for some to cat
Allotted there ; and other suns perhaps
With their attendant moons thou wilt descry
Communicating male and female light,
Which two great sexes animate the world,
Stor'd in each orb perhaps with some that live,
For such vast room in nature unpossess'd
By living soul, desert and desolate,
Only to shine, yet scarce to contribute
Each orb a glimpse of light convey'd so far
Down to this habitable, which returns
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
But whether thus these things, or whether not,
Whether the sun predominant in Heaven
Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun,
He from the east his flaming road begin,
Or she from west her silent course advance
With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps
On her soft axle, while she paces even,
And bears thee soft with the smooth air along,
Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid,
Leave them to God above, him serve and fear ;

[blocks in formation]

170

Of other creatures, as him pleases best,
Wherever plac'd, let him dispose : joy thou
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
And thy fair Eve; Heav'n is for thee too high
To know what passes there ; be lowly wise : .
Think only what concerns thee and thy being;
Dream not of other world, what creatures there 175
Live, in what state, condition or degree,
Contented that thus far hath been reveal'd
Not of Earth only but of highest Heaven.

To whom thus Adam, clear'd of doubt, reply'd.
How fully hast thou satisfy'd me, pure 180
Intelligence of Heav'n, Angel serene,
And freed from intricacies, taught to live,
The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts
To interrupt the sweet of life, from which
God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares, 185
And not molest us, unless we ourselves
Seek them with wand'ring thoughts, and notions vain.
But apt the mind or fancy is to rove
Uncheck’d, and of her roving is no end ;
Till warn’d, or by experience taught, she learn, 190
That not to know at large of things remote
From use, obscure and subtle, but to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom ; what is more, is fume,
Or emptiness, or fond impertinence,

193 And renders us in things that most concern Unpractis'd, unprepar'd, and still to seek. Therefore from this high pitch let us descend

200

210

A lower flight, and speak of things at hand
Useful, whence haply mention may arise 200
Of something not unseasonable to ask
By sufferance, and thy wonted favour deign'd.
Thee 1 have heard relating what was done
Ere my remembrance : now hear me relate
My story, which perhaps thou hast not heard; 205
And day is yet not spent; till then thou seest
How subtly to detain thee I devise,
Inviting thee to hear while I relate,
Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply:
For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heaven,
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear
Than fruits of palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both, from labour, at the hour
Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill
Though pleasant, but thy words with grace divinç
Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety. 216

To whom thus Raphael answer'd heav'nly meek.
Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men,
Nor tongue ineloquent, for God on thee
Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd
Inward and outward both, his image fair :
Speaking or mute all comeliness and grace
Attends thee, and each word, each motion forms;
Nor less think we in Heav'n of thee on Earth
Than of our fellow servant, and enquire

225
Gladly into the ways of (od with Nian :
For God we see hath honour'd thee, and set
On Man his equal love : say therefore on;

220

330

241

For I that day was absent, as befel,
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,
Far on excursion tow’ard the gates of Hell;
Squar'd in full legion (such command we had)
To see that none thence issued forth a spy,
Or enemy, while God was in his work,
Lest he incens'd at such eruption bold,

235
Destruction with creation might have mix'd.
Not that they durst without his leave attempt,
But us he sends upon his high behests
For state, as Sov'reign King, and to inure
Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut
The dismal gates, and barricado'd strong;
But long ere our approaching heard within
Noise, other than the sound of dance or song,
Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.
Glad we return'd up to the coasts of light 245
Ere sabbath evening : so we had in charge.
But thy relation now; for I attend,
Pleas'd with thy words no less than thou with mine.

So spake the Godlike Pow'r, and thus our Sire. For Man to tell how human life began Is hard; for who himself beginning knew? Desire with thee still longer to converse Induc'd me. As new wak'd from soundest sleep Soft on the flow'ry herb I found me laid In balmy sweat, which with his beams the sun 255 Soon dry'd, and on the reeking moisture fed. Straight toward Heav'n my wond’ring eyes I turn'd And gaz'd awhile the ample sky, till rais'd.

250

« السابقةمتابعة »