Imatges de pàgina
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Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades
Delos or Samos first appearing, kens

265
A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
He specds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Sails between worlds and worlds, with steddy wing
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air; till within foar 270
Of tow'ring eagles, to' all the fowls be seems
A phenix, gaz'd by all, as that fole bird,
When to inshrine his reliques in the Sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he lies.
At once on th' eastern cliff of Paradise

275 He lights, and to his proper shape returns A seraph wing’d; six wings he wore, to shade His lineaments divine; the pair that clad Each shoulder broad came mantling o'er his breast With regal ornament; the middle pair 280 Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold And colors dipt in Heav'n; the third his feet Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail, Sky-tin&tur'd grain, Like Maia's fon he stood, 285 And shook his plumes, that heav'nly fragrance fillid The circuit wide. Strait knew him all the bands Of angels under watch; and to his state, And to his message high in honor rise; For on some message high they guess'd him bound 290 Their glittering tents he pass’d, and now is come

Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flow'ring odors, cassia, nard, and balm;
A wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and play'd at will 295
Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
Wild above rule or art; enormous bliss.
Him through the spicy forest onward come
Adam discern'd, as in the door he fat
Of his cool bower, while now the mounted sun 300
Shot down direct his fervid rays to warm
Earth's inmoftwomb,more warmth than Adam needs :
And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd
For dinner favory fruits, of taste to please
True appetite, and not disrelish thirst

305 Of necta'rous draughts between, from milky stream, "Berry or grape : to whom thus Adam callid.

Haste hither Eve, and worth thy sight behold Eastward among those trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving; seems another morn 310 Ris'n on mid-noon; some great behest from Heav'n To us perhaps he brings, and will vouchsafe This day to be our guest. But go with speed, And what thy stores contain, bring forth, and pour Abundance, fit to honor and receive

315 Our heav'nly stranger : well we may afford Our givers their own gifts, and large bestow From large bestow'd, where Nature multiplies Her fertil growth, and by disburd’ning grows

More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. 320

To whom thus Eve. Adam, Earth's hallow'd mould, Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and fuperfluous moist consumes : 325 But I will haste, and from each bough and brake, Each plant and juiciest gourd, will pluck fuch choice To entertain our angel guest, as he Beholding Mall confess, that here on earth God hath difpens'd his bounties as in heav'n. 330

So saying, with dispatchful looks in hafte She turns, on hospitable thoughts intént What choice to chuse for delicacy best, What order, so contriv'd as not to mix Tastes, not well join'd, inelegant, but bring 335 Taste after tafte upheld with kindliest change; Bestirs her then, and from cach tender stalk Whatever Earth all-bearing mother yields In India East or West, or middle shore In Pontus or the Punic coast, or where

340 Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kinds, in coat Rough or smooth rin'd, or bearded hulk, or shell, She gathers, tribute large, and on the board Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the grape She crushes, inoffensive must, and meaths 345 From many a berry', and from sweet kernels press'd She tempers dulcet creams, nor these to hold

Wants her fit vessels pure, then strows the ground
With rose and odors from the shrub unfum'd.

Mean while our primitive great Sire, to meet 350
His god-like guest, walks forth, without more train
Accompanied than with his own complete
Perfections; in himself was all his state,
More folemn than the tedious pomp that waits
On princes, when their rich retínue long 355
Of horses led, and grooms besmear'd with gold,
Dazzles the croud, and fets them all a-gape.
Nearer his presence Adam though not aw'd,
Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek,
As to' a superior nature, bowing low,

360 Thus faid. Native of Heav'n, for other place None can than Heav'n such glorious shape contain; Since by descending from the thrones above, Those happy places thou hast deign'd a while To want, and honor thefe, vouchsafe with us 365 Two' only, who yet by sovran gift possess This spacious ground, in yonder lady bower To rest, and what the garden choicest bears To sit and taste, till this meridian heat Be over, and the sun more cool decline.

370 Whom thus th' angelic Virtue answer'd mild. Adam, I therefore came, nor art thou such Created, or such place hast here to dwell, As may not oft invite, though spi'rits of Heav'n To visit thee; lead on then where thy bower 375

O’ershades; for these mid-hours, till evening rise,
I have at will. So to the fylvan lodge
They came, that like Pomona's arbor smil'd
With flow'rets deck'd and fragrant smells; but Eve
Undeck'd save with herself, more lovely fair 380
Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feign'd
Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove,
Stood to entertain her guest from Heav'n; no veil
She needed, Virtue-proof; no thought infirm
Alter'd her cheek. On whom the angel Hail 385
Bestow'd, the holy falutation ys'd
Long after to blest Mary, second Eye.

Hail Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful womb
Shall fill the world more numerous with thy sons,
Than with these various fruits the trees of God 390
Have heap'd this table. Rais'd of grassy turf
Their table was, and mofly seats had round,
And on her ample square from side to side
All Autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn herę
Danc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold;
No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began 396
Our Author. Heav'nly stranger, please to taste
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom
All perfect good, unmeasur'd out, descends,
To us for food and for delight hath caus'd 400
The earth to yield; unsavory food perhaps
To spiritual natures; only this I know,
That one celestial Father gives to all,

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