« PreviousContinue »
“ And hunger both, from labour,-at the hour
“Of sweet repast: they satiate, and soon fill, 215 “Though pleasant; but thy words, with grace divine
“ Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety."
To whom thus Raphael answer'd heav'nly meek:
“Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee 220 “ Abundantly his gifts hath also poured;
“Inward and outward both, his image fair:
Gladly into the ways of God with man:
“For I that day was absent, as befel,
“ Far on excursion toward 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; 235 “ Lest he, incensed at such eruption bold,
“ Destruction with creation might have mix'd.
“For state, as Sou'reign King; and to inure 240 “ Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut,
“ The dismal gates, and barricadoed strong;
“ Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage ! 245 “Glad we return'd up to the coasts of light
“ Ere sabbath ev’ning: so we had in charge.
So spake the godlike Power; and thus our sire :
“ Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?
“ As new wak'd from soundest sleep, “ Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid 255 “In balmy sweat; which with his beams the sun
“Soon dried, and on the reeking moisture fed.
“ By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung, 260 “ As thitherward endeav'ring, and upright
“ Stood on my feet. About me round I saw
“ Creatures that liv'd and mov'd, and walk'd, or flew; 265 “ Birds on the branches warbling: all things smild
“ With fragrance, and with joy my heart o'erflow'd.
Myself I then perus’d, and limb by limb
Survey'd ; and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
“With supple joints, as lively vigour led: 270 “But who I was, or where, or from what cause,
“Knew not: to speak I tried, and forthwith spake;
My tongue obey'd, and readily could name
“. And thou enlighten'd earth, so fresh and gay! 275 “Ye hills, and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains,
“And ye that live and move, fair creatures ! tell,
“While thus I call’d, and stray'd I knew not whither
“From where I first drew air, and first beheld 285 “ This happy light; when, answer none return'd,
“On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers,
“First found me, and with soft oppression seized
Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
My fancy to believe I yet had being,
“So saying, by the hand he took me, raisd, “ And, over fields and waters, as in air, “ Smooth sliding without step, last led me up “A woody mountain, whose high top was plain“ A circuit wide, enclos'd with goodliest trees, “ Planted with walks and bowers; that what I saw “Of earth before, scarce pleasant seem'd. Each tree, “ Loaden with fairest fruit, that hung to th' eye
Tempting, stirred in me sudden appetite
“ To pluck and eat; whereat I wak'd, and found 310 “Before mine eyes all real, as the dream
“ Had lively shadow'd. Here had new begun
My wand'ring, had not he, who was my guide
Up hither, from among the trees appear'd
“ Presence Divine! Rejoicing, but with awe, 315 “ In adoration at his feet I fell
“Submiss: he rear'd me, and, 'Whom thou sought'st I am,'
Knowledge of good and ill, which I have set
“Amid the garden by the tree of life,
(Remember what I warn thee !) shun to taste, “And shun the bitter consequence: for know,
“The day thou eat'st thereof,—my sole command 330 Transgress'd,-inevitably thou shalt die;
“From that day mortal ; and this happy state
“ The rigid interdiction, which resounds
“ Not to incur: but soon his clear aspect
«• To thee and to thy race I give; as lords 340 “. Possess it, and all things that therein live,
“Or live in sea, or air-beast, fish, and fowl.
“ From thee their names, and pay thee feälty 345 “. With low subjection: understand the same
". Of fish within their wat’ry residence ;
“ As thus he spake, each bird, and beast, behold
My sudden apprehension. But in these 355 “I found not what methought I wanted still ;
“ And to the heavenly Vision thus presum'd:
"O, by what name,—for thou above all these, “. Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher,
Surpassest far my naming !-how may I 360
“Adore thee, Author of this universe,
"I see not who partakes. In solitude 365
"• What happiness? who can enjoy alone ?
“ Thus I presumptuous; and the Vision bright,
6. What call'st thou solitude? Is not the earth 370 “With various living creatures, and the air,
Replenish’d, and all these at thy command "• To come and play before thee? Know'st thou not . “ • Their language and their ways? They also know,
“. And reason not contemptibly: with these
“So spake the Universal Lord, and seem'd
“Let not my words offend thee, Heavenly Power !
My Maker, be propitious while I speak!
". Can sort, what harmony, or true delight ? 385 " • Which must be mutual, in proportion due
"Giv'n and receiv'd; but, in disparity,
". Tedious alike. Of fellowship I speak, 390 « « Such as I seek, fit to participate
". All rational delight; wherein the brute
“So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin’d;
“So well converse; nor with the ox the ape :
A nice and subtile happiness, I see,
“Of thy associates, Adam! and wilt taste