網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

240

As Raphael, that I should much confide,

235 But solemn and sublime, whom not to' offend, With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.

He ended; and the Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
Not in his shape celestial, but as man
Clad to meet man; over his lucid arms
A military vest of purple flow'd,
Livelier than Melibean, or the grain
Of Sarrah, worn by kings and heroes old
In time of truce; Iris had dipt the woof;
His starry helm unbuckled shew'd him prime

245
In manhood where youth ended ; by his side
As in a glist'ring zodiac hung the sword,
Satan's dire dread, and in his hand the spear.
Adam bow'd low; he kingly from his state
Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd.

250 Adam, Heav'n's high behest no preface needs : Sufficient that thy pray’rs are heard, and Death, Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress, Defeated of his seizure many days Giv'n thee of grace, wherein thou may'st repent, 255 And one bad act with many deeds well donc May'st cover : well may then thy Lord appeas'd Redeem thee quite from Death's rapacious claim ; But longer in this Paradise to dwell Permits not; to remove thee I am come,

260 And send thee from the garden forth to till 'The ground whence thou wast taken, fitter soil,

He added not, for Adam at the news
Heart-struck with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,

[ocr errors]

263

270

273

That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen
Yet all had heard, with audible lament
Discover'd soon the place of her retire.

O Unexpected stroke, worse than of Death !
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise thus leave
Thee, native soil, these happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of God? Where I had hope to spend,
Quiet though sad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both. O flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
At ev'n, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names,
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from th'ambrosial fount?
Thee lastly, nuptial bow'r, by me adorn’d
With what to sight or smell was sweet, from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure
And wild? How shall we breathe in other air
Less purc, accustom'd to immortal fruits ?

Whom thus the Angel interrupted mild.
Lament not, Eve, but patiently resign
What justly thou hast lost ; nor set thy heart,
Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine;
Thy going is not lonely; with thee goes
Thy husband; him to follow thou art bound;
Where he abides, think there thy native soil.

ADAM by this from the cold sudden damp
Recovering, and his scatter'd spi'rits return'd,

280

285

290 us;

To Michael thus his humble words address'd. 295

CELESTIAL, whether among the Thrones, or nam'd Of them the high'est, for such of shape may seem Prince above princes, gently hast thou told Thy message, which might else in telling wound, And in performing end what besides

300 Of sorrow and dejection and despair Our frailty can sustain, thy tidings bring, Departure from this happy place, our sweet Recess, and only consolation left Familiar to our eyes, all places else

305 Inhospitable’ appear and desolate, Nor knowing us nor known; and if by prayer Incessant I could hope to change the will Of him who all things can, I would not cease To weary him with my assiduous cries :

310 But pray'r against his absolute decree No more avails than breath against the wind, Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth : Therefore to his great bidding I submit. This most afflicts me, that departing hence, 315 As from his face I shall be hid, depriv'd His blessed count’nance; here I could frequent With worship place by place where he vouchsaf'd. Presence divine, and to my sons relate, On this mount he appear’d, under this tree Stood visible, among these pines his voice I heard, here with him at this fountain talk'd: So many grateful altars I would rear Of grassy turf, and pile up every stone

320

325

336

Of lustre from the brook, in memory,
Or monument to ages, and thereon
Offer sweet-smelling gums and fruits and flowers :
In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or foot-step trace ?
For though ! fled him angry, yet recall'd

330
To life prolong'd and promis'd race, I now
Gladly hehold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and far off his steps adore.

To whom thus Michael with regard benign.
Adam, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth,
Not this rock only'; his omnipresence fills
Land, sea, and air, and every kind that lives,
Fomented by his virtual pow'r and warm'd:
All th' earth he gave thee to possess and rulc,
No despicable gift; surmise not then
His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd
Of Paradise or Eden : this had been
Perhaps thy capital seat, from whence had spread
All generations, and had hither come
From all the ends of th' earth to celebrate
And reverence thee their great progenitor.
But this pre-eminence thou' hast lost, brought down
To dwell on even ground now with thy sons :
Yet doubt not but in valley and in plain
God is as here, and will be found alike
Present, and of his presence many a sign
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal love, his face
Express, and of his steps the track divine,

349

343

350

Which that thou may’st believe, and be confirm'd 355
Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
To shew thee what shall come in future days
To thee and to thy offspring ; good with bad
Expect to hear, supernal grace contending
With sinfulness of men; thereby to learn

360
True patience, and to temper joy with fear
And pious sorrow, equally inur'd
By moderation either state to bear,
Prosperous or adverse : so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure

365 Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend This hill; let Eve (for I have drench'd her eyes) Here sleep below, while thou to foresight wak'st; As once thou slept’st, while she to life was form’d.

To whom thus Adam gratefully reply'd. 370 Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path Thou lead'st me', and to the hand of Heav'n submit, However chasť’ning, to the evil turn My obvious breast, arming to overcome By suffering, and earn rest from labour won, 375 'If so I may attain. So both ascend In the visions of God: it was a hill Of Paradise the highest, from whose top The hemisphere of earth in clearest ken Stretch'd out to th’amplest reach of prospect lay. 380 Not high'er that hill, or wider looking round, Whereon for diff'rent cause the Tempter set Our second Adam in the wilderness, To shew him all earth's kingdoms and their glory.

« 上一頁繼續 »