Imatges de pÓgina
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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.

So all was clear'd, 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,
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Discovering in wide landscape 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 sitt'st above these heavens,
To us invisible, or dimly scen

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,
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.
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 fall'st.
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fliest,
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies,
And ye five other wandering 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 the 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,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise ;
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep ;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, universal Lord, be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceal’d,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.

So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts
Firm peace recover'd soon, and wonted calm.
On to their morning's rural work thcy haste,
Among sweet dews and flowers, where any row
Of fruit-trees overwoody reach'd too far
Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check
Fruitless embraces ; or they led the vine
To wed her elm; she spoused about him twines
Her marriageable arms, and with her brings
Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn
His barren leaves. Them, thus employ'd, beheld
With pity heaven's high King, and to him call’d
Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deign'd
To travel with Tobias, and secured
His marriage with the seven-times-wedded maid.

Raphael, said he, thou hear'st what stir on earth Satan, from hell 'scaped through the darksome gulf, Hath raised in Paradise ; and how disturb'd This night the human pair; how he designs In them at once to ruin all mankind. Go, therefore, half this day as friend with friend Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade Thou find'st him from the heat of noon retired, To respite his day-labour with repast, Or with repose ; and such discourse bring on As may advise him of his happy state ; Happiness in his power left free to will, Left to his own free will, his will though free,

Yet mutable; whence warn him to beware
He swerve not too secure : tell him withal
His danger, and from whom ; what enemy,
Late fallen himself from heaven, is plotting now
The fall of others from like state of bliss;
By violence? no; for that shall be withstood,
But by deceit and lies ; this let him know,
Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend
Surprisal, unadmonish'd, unforewarn'd.

So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfillid
All justice : nor delay'd the winged saint
After his charge received ; but from among
Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood
Veild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light
Flew through the midst of heaven; the angelic choirs,
On each hand parting, to his speed gave way
Through all the empyreal road ; till, at the gate
Of heaven arrived, the gate self-opend wide
On golden hinges turning, as by work
Divine the sovereign Architect had framed.
From hence no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
Star interposed, however small he sees,
Not unconform to other shining globes,
Earth and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd
Above all hills. As when by night the glass
Of Galileo, less assured, observes
Imagined lands and regions in the moon :
Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades,
Delos, or Samos, íirst appearing, kens
A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing,
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar
Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phoenix, gazed by all, as that sole bird,
When, to enshrine his relics in the sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise
He lights; and to his proper shape returns
A seraph wing'd : six wings he wore, to shade
His lineaments divine; the pair that clad.
Each shoulder broad came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament; the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold,
And colours dipp'd in heaven; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail
Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood,
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill'd
The circuit wide. Straight knew him alĩ the bands
Of angels under watch ; and to his state,

And to his message high, in honour rise ;
For on some message high they guess'd him bound
Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm ;
A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss.
Him through the spicy forest onward come
Adam discern'd, as in the door he sat
Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun
Shot down direct his fervid rays, to warm
Earth’s inmost womb, more warmth than Adam needs;
And Eve within, due at her hour prepared
For dinner savoury fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst
Of nectarous draughts between, from milky stream,
Berry, or grape, to whom thus Adam call's :

Haste hither, Eve, and worth tby sight behold
Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape
Comes this way moving, seems another morn
Risen on mid-noon

n; some great behest from lieaven
To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe
This day to be our guest. But go with speed,
And what thy stores contain bring forth, and pour
Abundance, fit to honour and receive
Our heavenly stranger ; well we may afford
Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow
From large bestow'd, where nature multiplies
Her fertile growth, and by disburdening grows
More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.

To whom thus Eve: Adam, earth's hallow'd mould,
Of God inspired, small store will serve, where store
All seasons ripe for use hangs on the stalk ;
Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes.
But I will haste, and from each bough and brake,
Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck such choice
To entertain our angel-guest, as he
Beholding shall confess, that here on earth
God hath dispensed his bounties as in heaven.

So saying, with despatchful looks in haste
She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent
What choice to choose for delicacy best,
What order, so contrived as not to mix
Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring
Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change ;
Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk
Whatever earth, all-bearing mother, yields
In India east or west, or middle shore,
In Pontus, or the Punic coast, or where

Alcinöus reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat,
Rough, or smooth rind, or bearded husk, or shell,
She gathers, tribute large, and on the board
Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape
She crushes, innoffensive must, and meaths
From many a berry, and from sweet kernels press'd
She tempers dulcet creams, nor these to hold
Wants her fit vessels pure; then strews the ground
With rose and odours from the shrub unfumed.
Meanwhile our primitive great sire, to meet

His god-like guest, walks forth, without more train
Accompanied than with his own complete
Perfections; in himself was all his state,
More solemn than the tedious pomp that waits
On princes, when their rich retinue long
Of horses led, and grooms besmear'd with gold,
Dazzles the crowd, and sets them all agape.
Nearer his presence Adam, though not awed,
Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek,
As to a superior nature, bowing low,
Thus said Native of heaven, for other place
None can than heaven such glorious shape contain ;
Since by descending from the thrones above,
Those happy places thou hast deign'd a while
To want, and honour these, vouchsafe with us
Two only, who yet by sovereign gift possess
This spacious ground, in yonder shady bower
To rest, and what the garden choicest bears
To sit and taste, till this meridian heat
Be over, and the sun more cool decline.

Whom thus the angelic Virtue answer'd mild : Adam, I therefore came, nor art thou such Created, or such place hast here to dwell, As may not oft invite, though spirits of heaven, To visit thee; lead on then where thy bower O'ershades; for these mid-hours, till evening rise, I have at will. So to the sylvan lodge They came, that like Pomona's arbour smiled With flowerets deck'd and fragrant smells; but Eve Undeck'd, save with herself, more lovely fair Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign'd Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove,

Stood to entertain her guest from heaven; no veil
She needed, virtue-proof; no thought infirm
Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail
Bestow'd, the holy salutation used
Long after to bless'd Mary, second Eve.

Hail, mother of mankind, whose fruitful womb Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons, Than with these various fruits the trees of God Have heap'd this table. Raised of grassy turf Their table was, and mossy seats had round,

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