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Returned, and gracious purpose thus renewed :
• Not only these fair bounds, but all the earth
To thee and to thy race I give; as lords
Possess it, and all things that therein live, 340
Or live in sea or air, beast, fish, and fowl.
In sign whereof each bird and beast behold
After their kinds ; I bring them to receive
From thee their names, and pay thee feälty
With low subjection ; understand the same
Of fish within their watery residence,
Not hither summoned, since they cannot change
Their element to draw the thinner air.'
As thus he spake, each bird and beast behold
Approaching two and two; these cowering low 350
With blandishment, each bird stooped on his wing.
I named them as they passed, and understood
Their nature, with such knowledge God endued
My sudden apprehension ; but in these
I found not what methought I wanted still ; 355
And to the heavenly vision thus presumed :

360

660 by what name, for thou above all these,
Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher,
Surpassest far my naming, how may I
Adore thee, Author of this universe,
And all this good to man, for whose well-being
So amply, and with hands so liberal,
Thou hast provided all things ? but with me
I see not who partakes. In solitude
What happiness, who can enjoy alone,
Or all enjoying what contentment find ?'
Thus I presumptuous ; and the Vision bright,
As with a smile more brightened, thus replicd :

365

337. purpose, speech ; conversation ; the French “ propos."

350. these refers to beast.

351. stooped is here a participle.

356. presumed to speak.

6. What call'st thou solitude ? Is not the earth With various living creatures, and the air 370 Replenished, 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 Find pastime, and bear rule ; thy realm is large.' 375 So spake the universal Lord, and seemed So ordering. I, with leave of speech implored, And humble deprecation, thus replied:

66 Let not my words offend thee, heavenly Power, My Maker, be propitious while I speak.

380 Hast thou not made me here thy substitute, And these inferior far beneath me set ? Among unequals what society Can sort, what harmony or true delight ? Which must be mutual, in proportion due 335 Given and received ; but in disparity, The one intense, the other still remiss, Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove Tedious alike. Of fellowship I speak Such as I seek, fit to participate

390 All rational delight, wherein the brute Cannot be human consort : they rejoice Each with their kind, lion with lioness ; So fitly them in pairs thou hast combined ; Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl 595 So well converse, nor with the ox the ape; Worse then can man with beast, and least of all.'

- Whereto the Almighty answered, not displeased : • A nice and subtle happiness I see Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice

378. deprecation, entreaty f or strings of a musical instrument. pardon or forbearance.

The one being intense. 384. sort, consort; unite.

388. Cannot. The nominative 387. intense, strained, and is which, as in line 385. remiss, slack or loose, like the 396. Converse, associate.

400 Of thy associates, Adam, and wilt taste No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary. What think'st thou then of me, and this my state ?

Seem I to thee sufficiently possessed 1 Of happiness, or not? who am alone

405 From all eternity, for none I know Second to me or like, equal much less. How have I then with whom to hold converse, Save with the creatures which I made, and those To me inferior, infinite descents

410 Beneath what other creatures are to thee?'

420

“He ceased; I lowly answered: To attain The height and depth of thy eternal ways All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things ! Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee

415 Is no deficience found; not so is man, But in degree, the cause of his desire By conversation with his like to help Or solace his defects. No need that thou Shouldst propagate, already infinite, And through all numbers absolute though one; But man by number is to manifest His single imperfection, and beget Like of his like, his image multiplied, In unity defective, which requires

425 Collateral love and dearest amity.

413-415. "O the depth of the 421. through all numbers absoriches both of the wisdom and lute. This is a Latinism, meanknowledge of God! How un- ing absolutely perfect. There searchable are his judgments, seems to be here a play upon the and his ways past finding out!" words all numbers and one. Romans xi. 33.

423. single imperfection, im per417. in degree, in his degree ; fection while single. comparatively.--the cause, which 125. In unity defective, defiis the cause.

cient if but one. 418. Cond ersation. See lines 396, 408, 432.

Thou in thy secrecy although alone,
Best with thyself accompanied, seek’st not
Social communication, yet, so pleased,
Canst raise thy creatures to what height thou wilt 430
Of union or communion, deified ;
I by conversing cannot these erect
From prone, nor in their ways complacence find.'
Thus I emboldened spake, and freedom used
Permissive, and acceptance found, which gained 435
This answer from the gracious voice divine :

440

16. Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased,
And find thee knowing not of beasts alone,
Which thou hast rightly named, but of thyself,
Expressing well the spirit within thee free,
My image, not imparted to the brute,
Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee
Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike ;
And be so minded still. I, ere thou spak’st,
Knew it not good for man to be alone,
And no such company as then thou saw'st
Intended thee, for trial only brought,
To see how thou couldst judge of fit and meet.
What next I bring shall please thee, be assured,
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.'

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“He ended, or I heard no more ; for now My earthly by his heavenly overpowered, Which it had long stood under, strained to the height In that celestial colloquy sublime,

455

427. Secrecy. See I. 6.

435. Permissive, granted ; al429. so pleased, if thou art so lowed. pleased.

445. "And the Lord God said, these. See lines 369-375. It is not good that man should - erect, make upright

be alone." Genesis ii. 18. 433. From prone, from being 454. strained. See line 387. prone, with the head or face downwards.

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As with an object that excels the sense
Dazzled and spent sunk down, and sought repair
Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, called
By nature as in aid, and closed mine eyes.
Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell
Of fancy, my internal sight, by which
Abstract as in a trance methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lav, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood ;
Who stooping opened my left side, and took 465
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,
And life-blood streaming fresh ; wide was the wound,
But suddenly with flesh filled up and healed.
The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands ;
Under his forming hands a creature grew, 470
Manlike, but different sex, so lovely fair
That what seemed fair in all the world seemed now
Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained,
And in her looks, which from that time infused
Sweetness into my heart unfelt before,

475
And into all things from her air inspired
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
She disappeared, and left me dark; I waked
To find her, or forever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure :

480 When, out of hope, behold her not far off, Such as I saw her in my dream, adorned With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow To make her amiable. On she came, Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen, 485 And guided by his voice, nor uninformed Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites :

461. fancy, my internal sight. 466. cordial, from the heart. Compare V. 100-111.

481. out of hope, beyond my 462. Abstract, drawn away ; out hope ; more than I hoped. of myself. - Saw, verb neuter. 484. amiable, lovely.

465-471. See Genesis ii. 21, 22.

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