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420

Save with the creatures which I made, and those
To me inferior, infinite descents,

410 Beneath what other creatures are to thee?

He ccas’d, I lowly answer'd. To attain
The height and depth of thy internal ways
All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things;
Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee

415
Is no deficiency 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
Should'st 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 multiply'd,
In unity defective, which requires

425 Collateral love, and dearest amity. Thou in thy secrecy although alone, Best with thyself accompanied, scek’st not Social communication, yet so pleas’d, Canst raise thy creature to what height thou wilt Of union or communion, deify'd;

431 I by conversing cannot these erect From prone, nor in their ways complacence find, Thus I embolden'd spake, and freedom us’d Permissive, and acceptance found, which gain'd 435 This answer from the gracious voice divine.

Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleas’d, And find thce knowing not of beasts alone,

Which thou hast rightly nam’d, but of thyself,
Expressing well the spi'rit within thee free,

440
My image, not imparted to the brute,
Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee
Good reason was thou freely should'st dislike,
And be so minded still ; I, ere thou spak'st,
Knew it not good for man to be alone,

445 And no such company as then thou saw'st Intended thee, for trial only brought, To see how thou could’st judge of fit and meet : What next I bring shall please thee, be assur’d, Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self, Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.

He ended, or I heard no more, for now My earthly by his heav'nly overpower'd, Which it had long stood under, strain'd to th' height In that celestial colloquy sublime,

455 As with an object that excels the sense Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and songht repair Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call'd By nature as in aid, and clos'd mine eyes. Mine eyes he clos’d, but open left the cell Of fancy my internal sight, by which Abstract as in a trance methought I saw, Though slecping, where I lay, and saw the shape Still glorious before whom awake I stood; Who stooping opend my left side, and took

46; From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm, And life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound, But suddenly with flesh fill'd up and heal'd :

460 480

The rib he form'd and fashion'd with his hands;
Under his forming hands a creature grew, 470
Manlike, but different sex so lovely fair,
That what seem'd fair in all the world, seem'd now
Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contain'd
And in her looks, which from that time infus'd
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,

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And into all things from her air inspir'd
The spi'rit of love and amorous delight.
She disappear'd, and left me dark; I wak'd
To find her, or for ever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure :
When out of hope, behold her, not far off,
Such as I saw her in my dream, adorn'd
With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable: On she came,
Led by her heav'nly Maker, though unseen, 485
And guided by his voice, nor uninform’d
Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites:
Grace was in all her steps, Heav'n in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love.
I overjoy'd could not forbear aloud.

490 This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfillid Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign, Giver of all things fair, but fairest this Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself 495 Before me; Woman is her name, of Man Extracted; for this cause he shall forego

say all,

Father and mother, and to' his wife adhere;
And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.

She heard me thus, and though divinely brought, 500
Yet innocence and virgin modesty,
Her virtue and the conscience of her worth,
That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retir'd,
The more desirable, or

505 Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought, Wrought in her so, that seeing me, she turn'd; I follow'd her, she what was honour knew, And with obsequious majesty approv'd My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower

510 I led her blushing like the morn: all Heaven, And happy constellations on that hour Shed their selectest influence; the earth Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill; Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle air 515 Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings Flung rose, Aung odours from the spicy shrub, Disporting, till the amorous bird of night Sung spousal, and bid haste the evening star On his hill top, to light the bridal lamp.

Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought My story to the sum of earthly bliss Which I enjoy, and must confess to find In all things else delight indeed, but such As us'd or not, works in the mind no change, 525 Nor vehement desire, these delicacies

520

530

I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers,
Walks, and the melody of birds; but here
Far otherwise, transported I behold,
Transported touch; here passion first I felt,
Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else
Superior and unmov'd, here only weak
Against the charm of beauty's pow'rful glance.
Or nature fail'd in me, and left some part
Not proof enough such object to sustain,

535
Or from my side subducting, took perhaps
More than enough; at least on her bestow'd
Too much of ornament, in outward show
Elaborate, of inward less exact.
For well I understand in the prime end

540 Of nature her th' inferior, in the mind And inward faculties, which most excel, In outward also her resembling less His image who made both, and less expressing The character of that dominion given

545 O’er other creatures; yet when I approach Her loveliness, so absolute she seems And in herself complete, so well to know Her own, that what she wills to do or say, Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best ;

550 All higher knowledge in her presence falls Degraded, wisdom in discourse with her Loses discount'nanc'd, and like folly shows; Authority and reason on her wait, As one intended first, not after made

$55 Occasionally; and to consummate all,

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