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My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
Such whisp'ring wak'd her, but with startled eye On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake.
O sole in whom my thoughts find all 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 pass’d, 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 Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song; now reigns Full orb’d the moon, and with more pleasing light
28 balmy reed] ευόδμου καλάμοιο. V Dionysii Geog. ver. 937.
41 his] In the other passages, where the song of the nightingale is described, the bird is of the feminine gender; v. iii. 40. iv. 602. vii. 436. Newton.
Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain,
44 wakes] G. Fletcher's Christ's Victorie, p. 1. st. 78.
"Heaven awakened all his eyes. Todd. 67 Ambrosia] Virg. Æn. i. 403.
*Ambrosiæque comæ divinum vertice odorem
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus
cropp’d, Forbidden here, it seems, as only fit For gods, yet able to make gods of men: And why not gods of men, since good, the more Communicated, more abundant grows, The author not impair’d, but honour'd more? Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve, Partake thou also; happy though thou art, Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be : Taste this, and be henceforth among the gods Thyself a goddess, not to earth confin’d, But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes Ascend to heaven, by merit thine, and see What life the gods live there, and such live thou. So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held, Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part Which he had pluck’d; the pleasant savoury smell So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought, Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds With him I flew, and underneath beheld The earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide And various : wond'ring at my flight and change To this high exaltation, suddenly My guide was gone, and I, methought, sunk down, And fell asleep: but O how glad I wak'd
* Ista natura est boni,
Grotii Adamus Exsul. p. 23. 98 night] for the “dreams of night.” v. S. Ital. iii. 216.
To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her night
Best image of myself and dearer half,
But know that in the soul
lesser faculties that serve Reason as chief: among these fancy next Her office holds; of all external things, Which the five watchful senses represent, She forms imaginations, aery shapes, Which reason joining, or disjoining, frames All what we affirm, or what deny, and call Our knowledge or opinion; then retires Into her private cell when nature rests. Oft in her absence mimic fancy wakes To imitate her ; but, misjoining shapes, Wild work produces oft, and most in dreams, Ill matching words and deeds long past or late. Some such resemblances methinks I find Of our last evening's talk in this thy dream, But with addition strange; yet be not sad: Evil into the mind of god or man May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave
'Promissa evolvit somni, noctemque retractat.' Hume. 117 god] God here signifies 'angel.' See ver. 59 and 70.
No spot or blame behind; which gives me hope
So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd ;
So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste. But first, from under shady arborous roof Soon as they forth were come to open sight Of dayspring and the sun, who, scarce uprisen With wheels yet hov’ring o'er the ocean brim, 140 Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray, Discovering in wide landscape all the east Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains, Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began
127 bosom'd] ‘Bosom.' Bentl. MS. 137 roof) In Milton's own edition, a comma stands after roof,' which Tickell, Fenton, Bentley followed. Pearce properly corrected it.