Imagens das páginas
PDF

Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field goo
Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
Sways them; the careful ploughman doubting stands.
Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan alarm'd, 985
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas unremov'd:
His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
Sat horror plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp
What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dread-
ful deeds 990
Might have ensued, nor only Paradise
In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the elements,
At least, had gone to wrack, disturb'd and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon 995
Th' Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in Heav'n his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh'd.
The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air 1000
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles and realms: in these he put two weights.
The sequel each of parting and of fight:
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend. 1005
"Sat an,I know thy strength, and thou know'stmine,
Neither our own but giv'n; what folly then
To boast what arms can do? since thine no more
Than Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire: for proof look up, 1010
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
Where thou art weigh'd, and shewn how light, how weak,

If thou resist." The Fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled 1014
Murm'ring, and with him fled the shades of night.

END OF THE FOURTH BOOK.

BOOK V. ARGUMENT.

Morning approached, Ere relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her. They come forth to their day-labours: their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience; of his free estate; of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy; and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise; his appearance described; his coming discerned by Adam afar off sitting at the door of his bower: he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table, Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel, a Seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

[ocr errors][merged small]

'VTOW morn her rosy steps in th' eastern clime

-^ Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,

When Adam'wak'd, so custom'd, for his sleep

Was airy light from pure digestion bred,

And temp'rate vapours bland, which th' only sound

Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan, 6

Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin song

Of birds on ev'ry bough; so much the more

His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve ,

With tresses discompos'd, and glowing cheek, 10

As through unquiet rest: he on his side

Leaning half rais'd, with looks of cordial love,

Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld

Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,

Shot forth peculiar graces; then, with voice 15

Mild' as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes.

Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus. "Awake,

My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,

HeavVs last best gift, my ever new delight.

Awake; the morning shines, and the fresh field 20

Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring

Our tender plants, how blows the citron grove,

What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,

How nature paints her colours, how the bee

Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet. 25

Such whisp'ring wak'd her, but with startled eye On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake.

"O sole, in whom my thoughts find alj repose,
My glory, my perfection, glad I see
Thy face and morn return'd; for I this night 30
(Such night till this I never pass'd) have dream'd,
If dream'd, not as I oft am wont of thee,
Works of day past, or morrow's next design,
But of offence and trouble, which my mind
Knew never till this irksome night. Methought 35
Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk
With gentle voice, I thought it thine; it said,
Why sleep'st thou. Eve? now is the pleasant time,
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake 40

Tunes sweetest her love-labour'd song; now reigns
Full orb'd the moon, and with more pleasing light
Shadowy sets off" the face of things; in vain
If none regard; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes.
Whom to behold but thee, Nature's desire? 45

In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.
I rose as at thy call, but found thee not:
To find thee I directed then my walk;
And on, methought alone I pass'd thro' ways 50
That brought me on a sudden to the tree
Of interdicted knowledge: fair it seem'd,
Much fairer to my fancy than by day;
And, as I wond'ring look'd, beside it stood
One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Heaven
By us oft seen; his dewy locks distill'd 56

Ambrosia; on that tree he also gaz'd;
'And O fair plant/ said he, 'with fruit surcharg'd,
Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet.
Nor God, nor man? is knowledge so despis'd? 60
Or envy', or what reserve, forbids to taste?
Forbid who will none shall from me withhold
linger thy offer'd good, why else set here?'
This said he paus'd not, but with vent'rous arm

« AnteriorContinuar »