Page images





Adam inquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully aris we!

ed, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of know. ledge : Adam assents, and still desirous to detain Raphael

, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society. his first meeting and nuptials with Eve, his discourse with tua engel thereupon. who after admonitions repeated, departa.



The angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charining left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him skill speaking, still stood fixt to hou
Then as new wak'd thus gratefully reply'd :

What thanks sufficient, or what recompense
Equal have I to render thee, divine
Historian, who thus largely hast allay'd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsaf'd
This friendly condescension to relate
Thinys else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator ? something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly frame, this world
Of heav'n and earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes, this earth, a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compar'd
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible (for such
Their distance argues and their swift return
Diurnal,) merely to officiate light
Round this opacious earth, this punctual spot,**

*"This punctual spot :" no bigger than a point

One day and night, in all their vast survey
Useless besides ; reasoning, I oft admire
How nature wise and frugal, could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold to this one use,
For ought appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary earth,
That better might with far less compass move,
Serv'd by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives,
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.

So spake our sire, and by his count'nance seem'd
Ent'ring er studious thoughts abstruse, which Eve
Perceiving where she sat retir'd in sight,
With lowlinoss majestic from her seat,

that won who saw to wish her stay, Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flow 'rs To visit how thcy prosper'd, bud and bloom, Her nursery : they ut her coming sprung, , And touch'd by her fair tendance gladlier grew. Yet went she not, as not with such discourse Delighted, cr not capable her ear Of what was high: such nleasure she reserv’d, Adam relating, she sole anditress : Her husband the relator she preferr'd Before the angel, and of him to ask Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute With conjugal caresses; froin his lip Not words alone pleas'd her. O whep mcet non Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'de With goddess-like demeanour forth she weni Not unattended, for on her as queen A pomp of winning graces waited still, And from about her shot darts of desire

« PreviousContinue »