« ПретходнаНастави »
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.
OW Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime
Advancing, sowed the earth with orient pearl, When Adam waked, so customed ; 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 dispersed, and the shrill matin song Of birds on every bough. So much the more His wonder was to find unwakened Eve, With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek, IO As through unquiet rest. He, on his side Leaning half raised, with looks of cordial love Hung over her enamoured, 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, whispered thus :—“Awake, My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heaven's last, best gift, my ever-new delight !
Such whispering waked 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 returned ; for I this night
30 (Such night till this I never passed) have dreamed, If dreamed, 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 called 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 silent, save where silence yields To the night-warbling bird, that now awake Tunes sweetest his love-laboured song ; now reigns Full-orbed the moon, and, with more pleasing light, 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 passed through ways 50 That brought me on a sudden to the tree Of interdicted knowledge. Fair it seemed, Much fairer to my fancy than by day; And, as I wondering looked, beside it stood One shaped and winged like one of those from Heaven By us oft seen : his dewy locks distilled Ambrosia. On that tree he also gazed ;
And, 'O fair plant,' said he, with fruit surcharged,
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 plucked : the pleasant savoury smell So quickened appetite that I, methought, Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds With him I flew, and underneath beheld The Earth outstretched 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 waked To find this but a dream !” Thus Eve her night Related, and thus Adam answered sad :
“ Best image of myself, and dearer half, The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep
Affects me equally; nor can I like
So cheered he his fair spouse; and she was cheered, But silently a gentle tear let fall
130 From either eye, and wiped them with her hair : Two other precious drops that ready stood, Each in their crystal sluice, he, ere they fell, Kissed as the gracious signs of sweet remorse And pious awe, that feared to have offended.
So all was cleared, 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 plainsLowly they bowed, 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 pronounced, or sung Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence Flowed from their lips, in prose or numerous verse, More tuneable than needed lute or harp
151 To add more sweetness : And they thus began :
“ These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Almighty ! thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair : Thyself how wondrous then ! Unspeakable ! who sitt'st above these heavens To us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works ; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. Speak, ye who best can tell, ye Sons of Light,
160 Angels—for ye behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night, Circle his throne rejoicing--ye in Heaven; On Earth join, all ye creatures, to extol Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. Fairest of Stars, last in the train of Night, If better thou belong not to the Dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
170 Thou Sun, of this great World both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high noon hast gained, and when thou fallst.