Page images
PDF
EPUB

41

45

50

Number'd, though sad, till death his doom, (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse,)
To better life shall yield him, where with me
All

my redeem'd may dwell in joy and bliss; Made one with me as I with thee am one.

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene. All thy request for man, accepted Son, Obtain; all thy request was my decree: But longer in that paradise to dwell The law I gave to nature him forbids : Those pure immortal elements, that know No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul, Eject him tainted now, and purge him off As a distemper, gross to air as gross, And mortal food, as may dispose him best For dissolution wrought by sin, that first Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts Created him endow'd, with happiness And immortality: that fondly lost, This other serv'd but to eternize woe, Till I provided death; so death becomes His final remedy, and after life Try'd in sharp tribulation, and refind By faith and faithful works, to second life, Wak'd in the renovation of the just, Resigns him up with heaven and earth renew'd. But let us call to synod all the blest Thro’ heaven's wide bounds; from them I will not

hide

55

60

65 70

75

80

My judgments, how with mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant angels late they saw ;
And in their state, tho’ firm, stood more confirm’d.

He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watch’d; he blew
His trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom. Th'angelic blast
Filld all the regions : from their blissful bow'rs
Of amarantin shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where'er they sat
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light
Hasted, resorting to the summons high,
And took their seats; till from his throne supreme
Th’ Almighty thus pronounc'd his sov'reign will.

O Sons, like one of us man is become
To know both good and evil, since his taste
Of that defended fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of good lost, and evil got ;
Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known
Good by it self, and evil not at all.
He sorrows now, repents, and prays contrite,
My motions in him, longer than they move,
His heart I know how variable and vain
Self-left. Lest therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live
For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the garden forth to till
The ground whence he was taken, fitter soil.

85

90

95 100

105

Michael, this my behest have thou in charge;
Take to thee from among the cherubim
Thy choice of flaming warriors, lest the fiend,
Or in behalf of man, or to invade
Vacant possession, some new trouble raise:
Haste thee, and from the paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair,
From hallow'd ground th' unholy, and denounce
To them and to their progeny from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet lest they faint
At the sad sentence rigorously urg'd,
(For I behold them soften' and with tears
Bewailing their excess,) all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate ; reveal
To Adam what shall come in future days,
As I shall thee enlighten ; intermix
My covenant in the woman's seed renew'd;
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace :
And on the east side of the garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,

110

115

105 drive out] See Adamus Exsul of Grotius, p. 72.

· Vos ergo, Cherubi Cælites! mihi quos ego

Legi Ministros, ite! et horto pellite
Par istud hominum! Sacra deliciis loca
Miseri relinquant! alia telluris sola

Glebasque quærant, et parentem exerceant !
Il excess) Eve's intemperance. Spens. ii. 12. Bentl. MS.
118 And on the east] See Adamus Exsul of Grotius, p. 72.

Vos state in aditu nemoris, ortivam ad plagam,
Et impedite flammeo versatilis
Mucrone teli, ne quis infigat pedem!'

6

120

130

Cherubic watch, and of a sword the flame
Wide waving, all approach far off to fright,
And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:
Lest paradise a receptacle prove
To spirits foul, and all my trees their prey,
With whose stol'n fruit man once more to delude. 125

He ceas'd; and th' archangelic power prepar’d
For swift descent, with him the cohort bright
Of watchful cherubim ; four faces each
Had, like a double Janus; all their shape
Spangled with eyes more numerous than those
Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drowse,
Charm'd with Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed
Of Hermes, or his opiate rod. Mean while,
To resalute the world with sacred light
Leucothea wak’d, and with fresh dews imbalm’d 135
The earth, when Adam and first matron Eve
Had ended now their orisons, and found
Strength added from above, new hope to spring
Out of despair, joy, but with fear yet link’d;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renew'd. 140

Eve, easily may faith admit, that all The good which we enjoy from heaven descends ; But that from us aught should ascend to heaven So prevalent as to concern the mind Of God high-bless'd, or to incline his will, Hard to belief may seem ; yet this will prayer, Or one short sigh of human breath, upborne Even to the seat of God. For since I sought

145 150

131 OS] Of fabled Argus, wakeful not to drouze.'

Bentl. MS.

160

By prayer th’ offended Deity to appease,
Kneel'd and before him humbled all my heart,
Methought I saw him placable and mild,
Bending his ear: persuasion in me grew
That I was heard with favour; peace return'd
Home to my breast, and to my memory
His promise, that thy seed shall bruise our foe; 155
Which, then not minded in dismay, yet now
Assures me that the bitterness of death
Is past, and we shall live. Whence hail to thee,
Eve rightly call’d, mother of all mankind,
Mother of all things living, since by thee
Man is to live, and all things live for man.

To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek.
Ill worthy I such title should belong
To me transgressor, who, for thee ordain'd
A help, became thy snare: to me reproach
Rather belongs, distrust, and all dispraise :
But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
That I, who first brought death on all, am grac’d
The source of life; next favourable thou,
Who highly thus to entitle me vouchsaf'st,
Far other name deserving. But the field
To labour calls us now with sweat impos’d,
Though after sleepless night; for see, the morn,
All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins
Her rosy progress smiling ; let us forth,

165

170

175

174 begins] Shakesp. Hen. IV. p. i. act iii. sc. 1.

• The heavenly-harness'd team Begins his golden progress in the east.' VOL. II.

2

Newton.

« PreviousContinue »