Imagens da página

And thou inlighten’d Earth, so fresh and gay,
Ye Hills and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plains, 275
And ye that live and move, Fair Creatures, tell,
Tell, if ye faw, how came I thus, how here?
Not of myself; by some great maker then,
In goodness and in pow'r præeminent;
Tell me, how may I know him, how adore, 280
From whom I have that thus I move and live,
And feel that I am happier than I know.
While thus I call’d, and stray’d, I knew not whither,
From where I first drew air, and first beheld
This happy light, when answer none return'd, 285
On a green shady bank,profuse of flowers,
Pensive I sat me down; there gentle sleep
First found me, and with soft oppression seis'd
My droused sense, untroubled, though I thought
I then was passing to my former state

Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
When suddenly stood at my head a dream,
Whose inward apparition gently mov'd
My fancy to believe I yet had being, .
And liv’d: One came, methought, of shape divine, 295
And said, Thy mansion wants thee, Adam, rise,
First Man, of men innumerable ordain'd
First Father, call’d by thee I come thy guide
To the garden of bliss, thy seat prepar’d.
So saying, by the hand he took me rais’d, 300
And over fields and waters, as in air



[ocr errors]

Smooth sliding without step, last led me up
A woody mountain; whose high top was plain,
A circuit wide, inclos’d, with goodliest trees
Planted, with walks, and bow'rs, that what I saw 305
Of earth before scarce pleasant seem'd. Each tree
Loaden with fairest fruit, that hung to th' eye
Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite
To pluck and eat; whereat I wak’d, and found
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,
In adoration at his feet I fell

315 Submiss: he rear'd me , and Whom thou sought'st I am, Said mildly, Author of all this thou seest Above, or round about thee, or beneath. This Paradise I give thee, count it thine To till and keep, and of the fruit to eat: Of every tree that in the garden grows Eat freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth: But of the tree whose operation brings Knowledge of good and ill, which I have set The pledge of thy obedience and thy faith,

- 325 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's thereof, my sole command



Transgress’d, inevitably thou shalt die; 330
From that day mortal, and this happy state
Shalt lose, expell’d from hence into a world
Of woe and sorrow. Sternly he pronounc'd ..
The rigid interdiction, which resounds
Yet dreadful in mine ear, though in my choice 335
Not to incur; but soon his clear aspect
Return'd, and gracious purpofe thus renew'd.
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 fign 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 345
Of fish, within their watry residence;
Not hither summon'd, 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 cowring low 350
With blandishment, each bird stoop'd on his wing.
I nam'd them, as they pass’d, and understood
Their nature, with such knowledge God indued
My sudden apprehension: but in these .
I found not what methought I wanted still; 355
And to the heav'nly vision thus presum'd.
O by what name, for thou above all these,
Kk 2.


Above mankind, or ought than mankind higher,
Surpasseft 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, 365
Or all enjoying, what contentment find?
Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright,
As with a smile more brighten'd, thus reply'd.

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. 375 So spake the universal Lord, and seem'd So ord'ring. I with leave of speech implor'd, And humble deprecation thus reply'd.

Let not my words offend thee, heav'nly Power, My Maker, be propitious while I speak 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 38;



Giv'n and receiv’d; but in disparity,
The one intense, the other still remifs,
Cannot well suit with either; but soon prove
Tedious alike: Of fellowship I speak
Such as I seek, fit to participate
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 395
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 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 possess'd
Of happiness, or not? who am alone
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
Beneath what other creatures are to thee?

He ceas’d; I lowly answer’d. To attain The highth and depth of thy eternal ways




« AnteriorContinuar »