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On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds
That shed May flowers; and press’d her matron lip
With kisses pure.

Id

XVI.

VESPER ADEST,

Now came still evening on, and twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad :
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;
She all night long her amorous descant sung ;
Silence was pleased: now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires : Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveild her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.

:

Id.

XVII.

NATURE'S CHARMS.

(Eve loq.).

SWEET is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glistering with dew ; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night,

With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train.
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising sun
On this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glistering with dew; nor fragrance after showers;
Nor grateful evening mild ; nor silent night,
With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon,
Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these ? for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes ?

Id.

XVIII.

EVE'S BOWER.

Hand in hand alone they pass'd On to their blissful bower: it was a place Chosen by the sovereign Planter, when he framed All things to man's delightful use: the roof Of thickest covert was inwoven shade, Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf : on either side Acanthus and each odorous bushy shrub Fenced up the verdant wall; each beauteous flower, Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine, Reard high their flourish'd heads between, and wrought Mosaic; under-foot the violet, Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone Of costliest emblem: other creature here, Bird, beast, insect, or worm, durst enter none; Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower

More sacred and sequester'd, though but feign’d,
Pan or Sylvanus never slept; nor nymph
Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in close recess,
With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs,
Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed ;
And heavenly quires the hymenäan sung,
What day the genial angel to our sire
Brought her, in naked beauty more adornd,
More lovely, than Pandora, whom the gods
Endow'd with all their gifts; and, O! too like
In sad event, when to the unwiser son
Of Japhet brought by Hermes she ensnared
Mankind with her fair looks, to be avenged
On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire.

Id.

XIX.

THE FIRST AWAKENING.

Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam waked, so custom'd; for his sleep
Was airy-light, from pure digestion bred,
And temperate vapours bland, which the only sound
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song
Of birds on every bough: so much the more
His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
With tresses discomposed and glowing cheek,
As through unquiet rest : he, on his side
Leaning half-raised, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,

N

Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her band soft touching, whisper'd thus : Awake,
My fairest, my espoused, my latest found,
Heaven's last, best gift, my ever new delight!
Awake; the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us ; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tended 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.

Book V.

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Nor delay'd the winged saint After his charge received ; but from among Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood Veild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light, Flew through the midst of heaven : the angelic quires, On each hand parting, to his speed gave way Through all the empyreal road; till, at the gate Of heaven arrived, the gate self-open'd wide On golden hinges turning, as by work Divine the sovereign architect had framed. From hence no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, Star interposed, however small; he sees, Not unconform to other shining globes, Earth, and the garden of God, with cedars crown'd Above all hills : as when by night the glass

* See the description of the Homeric angel, Hermes, on his mission to che isle of Kalypso, Od. V.

Of Galileo, less assured, observes
Imagined lands and regions in the moon :
Or pilot, from amidst the Cyclades
Delos or Samos first appearing, kens
A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
He speeds, and through the vast ethereal sky
Sails between worlds and worlds, with steady wing:
Now on the polar winds, then with quick fan
Winnows the buxom air; till, within soar
Of towering eagles, to all the fowls he seems
A phenix, gazed by all as that sole bird,
When, to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's
Bright temple, to Egyptian Thebes he flies.
At once on the eastern cliff of Paradise
He lights, and to his proper shape returns
A seraph wing'd : six wings he wore, to shade
His lineaments divine : the pair that clad
Each shoulder broad came mantling o'er his breast
With regal ornament; the middle pair
Girt like a starry zone his waist, and round
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold
And colours dipp'd in heaven; the third his feet
Shadow'd from either heel with feather'd mail,
Sky-tinctured grain. Like Maia's son he stood,
And shook his plumes, that heavenly fragrance fill’d
The circuit wide. Straight knew him all the bands
Of angels under watch; and to his state,
And to his message high, in honour rise :
For on some message high they guess'd him bound.
Their glittering tents he pass'd, and now is come
Into the blissful field, through groves of myrrh,
And flowering odours, cassia, nard, and balm ;
A wilderness of sweets : for nature here
Wanton'd as in her prime, and played at will

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