صور الصفحة
PDF

His trumpet, heard in Oreb sinee perhaps

When God deseended, and perhaps onee more 7S

To sound at general doom. The angelie blast

Fill'd all the regions: from their blissful bowers

Of amaranthine shade, fountain or spring,

By the waters of life, where'er they sat

In fellowships of joy, the sons of light so

Hasted, resorting to the summons high;

And took their seats: till from his throne supreme

The Almighty thus pronouneed his sovran will:

O sons, like one of us man is beeome,
To know both good and evil, sinee his taste H
Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got;
Happier, had it suffieed him to have known
Good by itself, and evil not at all,

He sorrows now, repents, and prays eontrite, so

My motions in him; longer than they move,

His heart I know how variable and vain,

Self-left. Lest therefore his now bolder hand

Reaeh also of the tree of life, and eat,

And live for ever, dream at least to live M

For ever, to remove him I deeree,

And send him from the garden forth to till

The ground whenee he was taken, fitter soil,

Miehael, this my behest have thou in eharge:

Take to thee from among the eherubim loo

Thy ehoiee of flaming warriours, lest the fiend,

Or in behalf of man, or to invade

Vaeant possession, some new trouble raise:

Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God

Without remorse drive out the sinful pair; 105

From hallow'd ground the unholy; and denounee

To them, and to their progeny, from thenee

Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint

At the sad sentenee rigorously urged,

lFor I behold them soften'd, and with tears no

Bewailing their exeess,) all terrour hide.

If patiently thy bidding they obey,

Dismiss them not diseonsolate; reveal

To Adam what shall eome in future days,

As I shall thee enlighten; intermix lis

My eovenant in the woman's seed renew'd;

So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peaee:

And on the east side of the garden plaee,

Where entranee up from Eden easiest elimbs,

Cherubie wateh: and of a sword the flame l2o

Wide-waving; all approaeh far off to fright,

74. Perbaps, refers not to the events 70. See Rev. xxii. 1, and vii. 17. mentioned, but to the identily of the 01. L:nger, ke. That is. efter my mo

trumpet.

[graphic]

And guard all passage to the tree of life;

Lest Paradise a reeeptaele prove

To spirits foul, and all my trees their prey;

With whose stolen fruit man onee more to delude. 128

He eeased; and the arehangelie power prepared
For swift deseent; with him the eohort bright
Of watehful eherubim: four faees eaeh
Had, like a double Janus; all their shape
Spangled with eyes more numerous than those no
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse,
Charm'd with Areadian pipe, the pastoral reed
Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Meanwhile,
To resalute the world with saered light,
Leneothea waked, and with fresh dews embalm'd 138
The earth; when Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above; new hope to spring
Out of despair; joy, but with fear yet link d;
Whieh thus to Eve his weleome words renew'd: 140

Eve, easilv may faith admit, that all
The good whieh we enjoy from heaven deseends;
But that from us aught should aseend to Heaven
So prevalent, as to eoneern the mind

Of God high-blest, or to ineline his will, 14£

Hard to belief may seem; yet this will prayer,

Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne

Ev'n to the seat of God: for sinee I sought

By prayer the offended Deity to appease,

Kneel'd, and before him humbled all mv heart, 100

Methought I saw him plaeable and mild,

Bending his ear; persuasion in me grew

That I was heard with favour; peaee return'd

Home to my breast, and to my memory

His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe; 105

Whieh, then not minded in dismay, yet now

Assures me that the bitterness of death

Is past, and we shall live. Whenee hail to thee,

Eve, rightly eall'd mother of all mankind,

Mother of all things living, sinee bv thee 100

Man is to live; and all things live for man.

To whom thus Eve, with sad demeanour, meek:
Ill-worthy I, sueh title should belong
To me transgressour; who, for thee ordain'd
A help, beeame thy snare; to me reproaeh 180
Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise:
But infinite in pardon was my Judge,

128. Fbur foas. 8ee Ezek. x. 12. 14.

133. The opiate red of Mereury is his eorfueeux, with whieh he eould give sleep to whomsoever he pleased.

135. Leueatkea: The white peddett, as the Greek name imports. This is the

last morning in the poem,—the morning of that fatal day when our first parents were expelled out of Pnradise. \eeord' lng to Addison, the time of the poem oeeupies ten days. Newton makes it eleven.

That I, who first brought death on all, am graeed

The souree of life; next favourable thou,

Who highly thus to entitle me vouehsaf'st, 170

Far other name deserving. But the field

To labour ealls us, now with sweat imposed,

Though after sleepless night: for see! the morn,

All uneoneern'd with our uurest, begins

Her rosy progress smiling: let us forth; 178

I never from thy side heneeforth to stray,

Where'er our day's work lies, though now enjoin'd

Laborious, till day droop; while hero we dwell,

What ean be toilsome in these pleasant walks?

Here let us live, though in fallen state, eontent. lfo

So spake, so wish'd, mueh-huinbled Eve; but fate
Subseribed not: nature first gave signs, impress'd
On bird, beast, air; air suddenly eelipsed,
After short blush of morn: nigh in her sight
The bird of Jove, stoop'd from his aery tour, iss
Two birds of gayest plume before him drove;
Down from a hill the beast that reigns in woods,
First hunter then, pursued a gentle braee,
Goodliest of all the forest, hart and hind:
Direet to the eastern gate was bent their flight. nxi
Adam observed; and with his eye the ehase
Pursuing, not unmoved,to Eve thus spake:

O Eve, some further ehange awaits us nigh,
Whieh Heaven by these mute signs in nature shows
Foreruuners of his purpose; or to warn 100
Us, haply too seeure of our diseharge
From penalty, beeause from death released
Some days: how long, and what till then our life,
Who knows? or more than this, that we are dust,
And thither must return, and be no more? 200
Why else this double objeet in our sight,
Of flight pursued in the air, and o'er the ground,
One way the self-same hour? why in the east
Darkness ere day's mid-eourse, and morning-light
More orient in yon western eloud, that draws 205
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
And slow deseends with something heavenly fraught?

He err'd not; for by this the heavenly bands
Down from a sky of jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a hill made halt; 210
A glorious apparition, had not doubt
And earnal fear that day dimm'd Adam's eye.
Not that more glorious, when the angels met
Jaeob in Mahanaim, where he saw

The field pavilion'd with his guardians bright; 215
Nor that, whieh on the flaming mount appear'd

185. 8toop'd. A partieiple, meaning l 214-217. 8ee dna. xxxii. 1, 2, and eoming Jown. 1 2 Kings ri. 13.

In Dothan, eover' d with a eamp of firo,

Against the Syrian king, who to surprise

One man, assassin-like, had levied war,

War unproelaim'd. The prineely hierareh 230

In their bright stand there left his powers, to seiie

Possession of the garden: he alone,

To find where Adam shelter'd, took his way,

Not unpereeived of Adam; who to Eve,

While the great visitant approaeh'd, thus spake: 225

Eve, now expeet great tidings, whieh perhaps Of us will soon determine, or impose New laws to be observed: for I desery. From yonder blazing eloud that veils the hill, One of tho heavenly host; and, by his gait, 230 None of the meanest: some great potentate, Or of the thrones above; sueh majesty Invests him eoming: yet not terrible, That I should fear: nor soeiably mild, As Raphael, that I should mueh eonfide; 235 But solemn and sublime; whom not to offend, With reverenee I must meet, and thou retire.

He ended; and the arehangel soon drew nigh, Not in his shape eelestial, but as man Clad to meet man: over his lueid arms 240 A military vest of purple flow'd, Livelier than Meliboean, or the grain Of Sarra, worn by kings and heroes old In time of truee; Iris had dipt the woof: His starry helm unbuekled show'd him prime 245 In manhood where youth ended: by his side, As in a glistering zodiae, hung the sword, Satan's dire dread; and in his hand the spear, Adam bow'd low: he, kingly, from his state Inelined not, but his eoming thus deelared: 250

Adam, Heaven's high behest no prefaee needs:
Suffieient that thy prayers are heard; and Death,
Then due by sentenee when thou didst transgress,
Defeated of his seizure many days,

Given thee of graee, wherein thou mayst repent, 255
And one bad aet with many deeds well done
Mayst eover: well may then thy Lord, appeased,
Redeem thee quite from Death's rapaeious elaim;
But longer in this Paradise to dwell

Permits not: to remove thee I am eome, 200
And send thee from the garden forth, to till
The ground whenee thou wast taken, fitter soil,

He added not; for Adam, at the news
Heart-struek, with ehilling gripe of sorrow stood,
That all his senses bound: Eve, who unseen, 205

[ocr errors]

Yet all had heard, with audible lament
Diseover'd soon the plaee of her retire:

O unexpeeted stroke, worse than of death!
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave
Thee, native soil, these happy walks and shades, 270
Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet though sad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both. 0 flowers,
That never will in other elimate grow,
My early visitation, and my last 275
At even, whieh I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names!
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorn'd »w
With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obseure
And wild? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, aeeustom'd to immortal fruits? 2*5

Whom thus the angel interrupted mild:
Lament not, Eve; but patiently resign
What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
Thus over-fond, on that whieh is not thine:
Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes 200
Thy husband; him to follow thou art bound:
Where he abides, think there thy native soil,

Adam, by this from the eold sudden damp
Reeovering, and his seatter'd spirits return'd,
To Miehael thus his humble words address'd: 2ns

Celestial, whether among the thrones, or named
Of them the highest; for sueh of shape may seem
Prinee above prinees! gently hast thou told
Thy message, whieh might else in telling wound,
And in performing end us; what besides 300
Of sorrow, and dejeetion, and despair,
Our frailty ean sustain, thy tidings bring;
Departure from this happy plaee, our sweet
Reeess, and only eonsolation left

Familiar to our eyes; all plaees elso 305

Inhospitable appoar, and desolate,

Nor knowing us, nor known: and, if by prayer

Ineessant I eould hope to ehange the will

Of Him who all things ean, I would not eease

To weary him with my assidnous eries: Sio

But prayer against his absolute deeree

No more avails than breath against the wind,

Blown stifling baek on him that breathes it forth:

Therefore to his great bidding I submit.

208. There is nothing in all poetry more beautiful and affeeting than this paetage.—Bktdo£s.

« السابقةمتابعة »