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450

To whom thus Eve reply'd. Othou, for whom And from whom I was form’d flesh of thy flesh, And without whom am to no end, my guide And head, what thou hast said is just and right: For we to him indeed all praises owe, And daily thanks; I chiefly, who' enjoy So far the happier lot, enjoying thee Preeminent by so much odds, while thou Like consort to thyself canst no where find. That day I oft remember, when from sleep I first awak'd, and found my self repos'd Under a shade on flow'rs, much wond'ring where And what I was, whence thither brought, and how. Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound Of waters issu'd from a cave, and spread Into a liquid plain, then stood unmovid, Pure as th' expanse of heaven ; I thither went With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down On the green bank, to look into the clear Smooth lake, that to me seem’d another sky. As I bent down to look, just opposite A shape within the watry gleam appear’d Bending to look on me: I started back,

451 on] The second ed. reads of flowers,' but Tickell, Fenton, Bentley, and Newton, read and after the first edition.

459 lake] Compare Ov. Met. iii. 457. Newton.

461 A shape] Compare the Sarcotis of Masenius, lib. iii. p. 130, ed. Barbou, describing Sarcothea:

stetit obvia fonti
Virgo, novasque freto miratur crescere silvas.
Ipsa etiam propriæ spectans ab imagine formæ
Luditur, et niveum veneratur in ore decorem, etc.'

455

460 465

470

475

It started back ; but pleas'd I soon return'd,
Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answering looks
Of sympathy and love: there I had fix'd
Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,

,
Had not a voice thus warn’d me, What thou seest,
What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself;
With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
And I will bring thee where no shadow stays
Thy coming, and thy soft embraces ; he
Whose image thou art, him thou shalt enjoy
Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear
Multitudes like thyself, and thence be callid
Mother of human race. What could I do,
But follow straight, invisibly thus led ?
Till I espy'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
Under a platane ; yet, methought, less fair,
Less winning soft, less amiably mild,
Than that smooth watry image; back I turn’d,
Thou following cry'dst aloud, Return, fair Eve,
Whom fly'st thou? whom thou fly’st, of him thou art,
His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,
Substantial life, to have thee by my side
Henceforth an individual solace dear:
Part of my soul, I seek thee, and thee claim,
My other half. With that thy gentle hand
Seiz’d mine; I yielded, and from that time see

479

485

479 Under a platane) See Grotii Adamus Exsul. p. 36.

Adamus, platani sappositus comäe.' Tickell and Fenton read a 'plantan.'

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490

495

How beauty is excell'd by manly grace
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

So spake our general mother, and, with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd
And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd
On our first father; half her swelling breast
Naked met his under the flowing gold
Of her loose tresses hid: he, in delight
Both of her beauty and submissive charms,
Smil'd with superior love, as Jupiter
On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds 500
That shed May flowers, and press’d her matron lip
With kisses pure: aside the devil turn'd
For envy, yet with jealous leer malign
Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plain’d.

Sight hateful, sight tormenting ! thus these two Imparadis'd in one another's arms, The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill Of bliss on bliss, while I to hell am thrust, Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire, Among our other torments not the least, Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines.

505

510

500 impregns! See Dante Il Purgat. c. xxiv.

L'aura di Maggio muovesi, et olezza

Tutta impregnata dall'erba, e da' fiori.' 501 matron] Meeting. Bentl. MS. 504 Ey'd them askance] See Dante Inferno, c. vi.

Gli diritti occhi torse allora in biechi.' 509 Where) Bentley would read, 'Where's' forWhere is,' but Pearce observes that Milton often leaves out ‘is,' as B. viii. 621.

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520

Yet let me not forget what I have gain’d
From their own mouths : all is not theirs it seems;
One fatal tree there stands of Knowledge call’d
Forbidden them to taste : knowledge forbidden:
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord
Envy them that? can it be sin to know ?
Can it be death ? and do they only stand
By ignorance? is that their happy state,
The proof of their obedience and their faith?
O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Their ruin ! hence I will excite their minds.
With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with design
To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt
Equal with gods; aspiring to be such,
They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?
But first with narrow search I must walk round
This garden, and no corner leave unspy'd;
A chance but chance may lead where I may meet 530
Some wandering spirit of heaven, by fountain side,
Or in thick shade retir'd from him to draw
What further would be learn'd. Live while ye may,
Yet happy pair ; enjoy, till I return,
Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed. 535

So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
But with sly circumspection, and began
Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er dale,

his roam.

630 A chance] This line, I think, should be thus read: A chance but chance may lead where I may meet.

540

545

Mean while in utmost longitude, where heaven
With earth and ocean meets, the setting sun
Slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of paradise
Leveld his ev'ning rays; it was a rock
Of alablaster, pild up to the clouds,
Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent
Accessible from earth, one entrance high ;
The rest was craggy cliff, that overhung
Still as it rose, impossible to climb.
Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel sat,
Chief of the angelic guards, awaiting night;
About him exercis'd heroic games
Th' unarmed youth of heaven; but nigh at hand
Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears, ,
Hung high with diamond flaming and with gold.
Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even
On a sunbeam, swift as a shooting star
In autumn thwarts the night, when vapours fir’d
Impress the air, and show the mariner
From what point of his compass to beware
Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste.

550

555

560

542 eastern] “The sun setting shined on the eastern gate; 'tis well it was higher than all the rest of Paradise.'

Bentl. MS. 544 alablaster] Thus spelt in both Milton's own editions.

554 with diamond] See Prose Works, l. 232. (Apol. for Smectymnus.) “Their zeal, whose substance is ethereal, arming in complete diamond.' as a shooting] See Dante Il Paradiso, c. xv. 16.

E pare stella, che tramuti loco.'

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