תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask ;
Love not the heav'nly Spirits, and how their love
Express they, by looks only', or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd
Celestial rosy red, Love's proper hue,
Answer'd : Let it suffice thee that thou know'st
Us happy', and without love no happiness. 621
Whatever pure thou in the body' enjoy’st
(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence, and obstacle find none
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars;
Easier than air with air, if Spi'rits embrace.
Total they mix, union of pure. with

pure Desiring ; nor restrain'd conveyance need As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul. But I can now no more ; the parting sun 630 Beyond the Earth's green cape and verdant isles Hesperian sets, my signal to depart. Be strong, live happy', and love, but first of all Him whom to love is to obey, and keep His great command ; take heed lest passion sway Thy judgment to do aught, which else free-will Would not admit; thine and of all thy sons The weal or woe in thee is plac’d; beware, I in thy persevering shall rejoice, And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or fall Free in thine own arbitrement it lies, 641 Perfect within, no outward aid require ; And all temptation to transgress repel.'

So saying, he arose ; whom Adam thus Follow'd with benediction : Şince to part, Go heav'nly guest, ethereal messenger, Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore. Gentle to me and affable hath been Thy condescension, and shall be honor'd ever With grateful memory: thou to mankind 650 Be good and friendly still, and oft return.

So parted they, the Angel up to Heav'n From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower,

THE END OF THE EIGHTH BOOK.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK IX.

Che argument. SATAN having compassed the Earth, with meditated guile re

turns as a mist by night into Paradise, enters into the serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the morning go forth to their labors, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each laboring apart : Adam consents not, alledging the danger, lest that enemy, of whom they were forewarned, should at tempt her found alone : Eve, loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make trial of her strength; Adam at last yields. The serpent finds her alone; his subtle approachi, first gazing, then speaking, with much fattery extolling Eve above all other creatures. Eve wondering to hear the serpent speak, asks how he attained to human speech and such understanding not till now? the serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain tree in the garden he attained both to speech and reason, till then void of both : Eve requires him to bring her to that tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden. The serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat: she, pleased with the taste, deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof. Adam at first amazed, but perceiving her lost, resolves through vehemence of love to perish with her : and extenuating the trespass eats also of the fruit: the effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover their nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another,

[ocr errors]

No more of talk where God or Angel guest
With man, as with his friend, familiar usd
To'sit indulgent, and with bim partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam'd; I now must change

Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of man, revolt,
And disobedience : on the part of Heav'n
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgment giv'n, 10
That brought into this world, a world of woe,
Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery,
Death's harbinger : sad task, yet argument
Not less but more heroic than the wrath
Of stern Achilles on his foe pursu'd
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd,
Or Neptune's ire or Juno's, that so long
Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's son ;
If answerable style I can obtain

20
Of my celestial Patroness, who deigns
Her nightly visitation unimplorid,
And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires
Easy my unpremeditated verse :
Since first this subject for heroic

song Pleas'd me long chusing, and beginning late ; Not sedulous by nature to indite -Wars, hitherto the only argument Heroic deem'd, chief mast’ry to dissect With long and tedious havoc fabled knights 30 In battles feign'd; the better fortitude Of Patience and heroic Martyrdom

Insung ; or to describe races and games, Or tilting furniture, imblazon'd shields, Impresses' quaint, caparisons and steeds ;

Bases and tinsel trappings, gorgeous knights
At joust and tournament; then marshal'd feast
Serv'd up in hall with sewers, and seneschals ;
The skill of artifice or office mean,
Not that which justly gives heroic name 40
To

person or to poem. Me of these
Nor skill'd nor studious, higher argument
Remains, sufficient of itself to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climate, or years damp my intended wing
Depress'd, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not her who brings it nightly to my ear.

The sun was sunk, and after him the star
Of Hesperus, whose office is to bring
Twilight upon the Earth, short arbiter 50
'Twixt day and night, and now from end to end
Night's hemisphere had veil'd th'horizon round:
When Satan who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
In meditated fraud and malice, bent
On man's destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
By night he fled, and at midnight return'd
From compassing the Earth, cautious of day,
Since Uriel, regent of the sun, descry'd

60 His entrance, and forewarn'd the cherubim That kept their watch; thence full of anguish driven, The

space of sev’n continued nights he rode With Darkness, thrice the equinoctial line He circled, four times cross'd the car of Night

« הקודםהמשך »