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And temp?rate vapours bland, which th' 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 unwaken’d Eve,
With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek,
As through unquiet rest: he on his side
Leaning, half raised, 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 espoused, my latest found,
Heav'n's 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 tended 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.
Such whisp'ring waked her, but with startled eye On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake.
Oh 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 (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 pass'd, 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, 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-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 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 pass'd through ways
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 shaped and wing'd like one of those from heaven
By us oft seen; his dewy locks distillid
Ambrosia; on that tree he also gazed;
And, Oh fair plant! said he, with fruit surcharged,
Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet,
Nor God, nor man? Is knowledge so despised?
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?
Thus said, he paused 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; Oh fruit divine!
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropp'd,
Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit
For gods, yet able to make gods of men:
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 mayst be, worthier canst not be:
Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods,
Thyself a goddess, not to earth confined,
But sometimes in the air, as we sometimes
Ascend to heav'n, by merit thine, and see
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 oh how glad I waked,
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;
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
Her office holds; of all external things
Which the five watchful senses represent,
She forms imaginations, airy shapes,
Which reason joining or disjoining, frames
All that we affirm or what deny, and call
Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
Into her private cell when Nature rests.
Oft in her absence mimic fancy wakes
To imitate her; but misjoining shapes,
Wild works produces oft, and most in dreams,
Ill matching words and deeds long past or late.
Some such resemblances, methinks, I find
Of our last evening's talk, in this thy dream,
But with addition strange ; yet be not sad.
Evil into the mind of God or man
May come and go, so unapproved, and leave
No spot or blame behind : which gives me hope
That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream,
Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
Be not disheartend then, nor cloud those looks,
That wont to be more cheerful and serene,
Than when fair morning first smiles on the world;
And let us to our fresh employments rise
Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers
That open now their choicest bosom'd smells,
Reserved from night, and kept for thee in store.
So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd,
But silently a gentle tear let fall
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,
Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
And pious awe, that feard to have offended.
So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste.
But first, from under shady arb'rous roof,
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of day-spring, and the sun, who scarce up-risen,
With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean brim,
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Dicovering in wide landskip all the east
Of Paradise, and Eden's happy plains,
Lowly they bow'd, 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
Flow'd from their lips, in prose or numerous verse,
More tuneable than needed lute or harp
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 sit'st above these heavens, To us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine. Speak ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
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 morz
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
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 gain'd, and when thou
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st,
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies,
And ye five other wand'ring fires that move
In mystic dance, not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change,
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rise,
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling, still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every, plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls : ye birds,
That, singing, up to heaven-gate ascend,