Imatges de pàgina

Of immortality. So little knows
Any but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worse abuse, or to their meanest use.
Beneath him with new wonder now he views 205
To all delight of human sense expos'd
In narrow room Nature's whole wealth, yea more,
A heav'n on earth: for blissful Paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in th' east
Of Eden planted; Eden stretch'd her line 210
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Or where the fons of Eden long before
Dwelt in Telaslar: in this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordaind; 215
Out of the fertil ground he caus’d to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the tree of Life,
High éminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to Life,
Our death the tree of Knowledge grew fast by,
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a river large,
Nor chang'd his course, but through the Nhaggy hill
Pass'd underneath ingolf'd; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden mould high rais'd 226
Upon the rapid current, which through veins
Of porous earth with kindly thirst up drawn,


Rose a frelh fountain, and with many a rill
Water'd the garden; thence united fell 230
Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,
Which from his dark fome pallage now appears,
And now divided into four main Atreams,
Runs diverse, wand'ring many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account; 235
But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
How from that saphir fount the crisped brooks,
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
With mazy error under pendent Mades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed 240
Flow'rs, worthy' of Paradise, which not nice Art
In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon
Pour'd forth profuse on hill and dale and plain,
Both where the morning fun first warmly imote
The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade

Imbrown'd the noontide bow'rs: thus was this place
A happy rural seat of various view;
Groves whofe rich trees wept odorous gums and balm,
Others whose fruit burnish'd with golden rind
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,

250 If true, here only', and of delicious talte: Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and Socks Grazing the tender herb, were interposid, Or palmy hilloc; or the flow'ry lap Of fome irriguous valley spread her store,

255 Flow'rs of all hue, and without thorn the rose :

Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o'er which the martling vine
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant; mean while murm'ring waters fall 260
Down the slope hills, dispers'd, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune 265
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance
Led on th' eternal Spring. Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpin gathering flowers,
Herself a fairer flow'r by gloomy Dis

Was gather'd, which coft Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' inspired
Castalian spring, might with this paradise
Of Eden trive: nor that Nyseian ile

275 Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham, Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Lybian Jove, Hid Amalthea and her forid son Young Bacchus from his stepdame Rhea's eye; Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard, 280 Mount Amara, though this by fome supposid True Paradise under the Ethiop line By Nilus' head, inclos'd with Nining rock, A whole day's journey high, but wide remote


From this Assyrian garden, where the Fiend

285 Saw undelighted all delight, all kind Of living creatures new to fight and strange. Two of far nobler shape erect and tall, Godlike erect, with native honor clad In naked majesty seem'd lords of all,

290 And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine The image of their glorious Maker Ihone, Truth, wisdom, fanctitude severe and pure, (Severe but in true filial freedom plac'd) Whence true authority in men; though both Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd; For contemplation he and valor form’d, For foftness she and sweet attractive grace; He for God only, she for God in him : His fair large front and eye sublime declar'd 300 Absolute rule; and hyacinthin locks Round from his parted forelock manly hung Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad : She as a veil down to the slender waist Her unadorned golden tresses wore

305 Dilhevell’d, but in wanton ringlets war'd As the vine curls her tendrils, which imply'd Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway, And by her yielded, by him beft receiv'd, Yielded with coy submission, modeft pride, And sweet reluctant amorous delay. Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald,

Volume I.



Then was not guilty Ihame, dishoneft fhame
of Nature's works, honor dishonourable,
Şin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind 315
With shows instead, mere Ahows of feeming pure,
And banish'd from man's life his happieft life,
Simplicity and spotless

, innocence!
So pass'd they naked an, nor hunn'd the fight
Of God or angel, for they thought ao ill:
So hand in hand they pass'd, the lovelieft pair
That ever since in Love's embraces met;
Adam the goodliest man of men fince born
His sons, the faireft of her daughters Eve.
Under a tuft of fhade that on a green

Stood whisp’ring foft, by a fresh fountain fide
They sát them down, and after no more toit
Of their sweet gard'ning labor then fuffic'd
To recommend cool Zephyr, and made eafe
More cafy, wholsome third and appetite
More grateful, to their fupper fruits they fell,
Nectarin fruits which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, side-long as they fat recline
On the soft downy bank damak'd with fowers:
The favorý pulp they chew, and in the rind 335
Still as they thirsted fcoop the brimming stream;
Nor gentle porpose, nor end caring smiles
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as befeems.
Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league,
Along as they, About them frikking play'd 340

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »