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Said mildly, author of all this thou seest
choice Not to incur; but soon his clear aspect Return'd, and gracious purpose thus renewd: Not only these fair bounds, but all the Earth To thee and to thy race I give; as lords Possessit, and all things that therein live, 340 Or live in sea, or air, beast, fish, and fowl. In sign whereof cach 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 wat'ry residence,
Not hither summon'd, since they cannot change
O by what name, for thou above all these,
What call'st thou Solitude ? is not the Earth With various living creatures, and the air 370 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 Find pastime, and bear rule ; thy realm is large. So spake the universal Lord, and seem'd
So ord'ring. I with leave of speech implor'd,
my words offend thee, heav'nly Power;
590 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 combin'd; Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl So well converse, nor with the ox the ape ; Worse then can man with beast, and least of all.
Whereto th' Almighty answer'd not displeas'd: A nice and subtle happiness I see Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice Ofthy associates, Adam, and wilt taste No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary. What think'st thou then of me,
state? Seem I to thee sufficiently possess’d Of happiness, or not? who am alone From all eternity, for none I know
Second to me or like, equal much less.
410 Beneath what other creatures are to thee?
He ceas’d, I lowly answer'd: to attain The heighth and depth of thy eternal ways All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things; Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee 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, 420 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 Collateral love, and dearest amity. Thou in thy secrecy although alone, Best with thyself accompanied, seek'st not Social coinmunication, yet so pleas'd, Canst raise thy creature to what heighth 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 This answer from the gracious voice divine :
Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleas’d, And find thee knowing not of beasts alone, Which thou had 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'si, Knew it not good for mun to be alone, 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, 450 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'
heighth In that celestial colloquy sublime, As with an object that excels the sense Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair Of Sleep, which instantly fell on me, callid By Nature
in aid, and clos'd mine eyes. Mine eyes he clos’d, but open
left the cell 460 Of fancy, my internal sight, by which Abstract as in a trance methought I saw, Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape Still glorious before whom awake I stood: Who stooping open'd my left side, and cook