Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK V.

THE ARGUMENT.

Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream: he likes it not, yet comforts her. They come forth to their day labours: their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy; and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise: his appearance described: his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower: he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table. Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state ans of us enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK V.

Now morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl, When Adam waked, so customed; 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, Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, Her hand 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."

Such whispering waked 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
(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 past, or morrow's next design;
But of offence and trouble, which my mind
Knew never, till this irksome night. Methought
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
Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain,
If none regard: Heaven wakes with all his eyes,
Whom to behold but thee, nature's desire?
In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment,
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.'

I rose as at thy call, but found thee not;

To find thee I directed then my walk;
And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways
That brought me on a sudden to the tree
Of interdicted knowledge: fair it seem'd,

Much fairer to my fancy than by day:
And, as I wondering look'd, beside it stood
One shaped and wing'd like one of those from
By us oft seen; his dewy locks distill'd [Heaven
Ambrosia; on that tree he also gazed:

'And, O fair plant,' said he, 'with fruit surcharged,
Deigns none to ease thy load, and taste thy sweet,
Nor God, nor man? is knowledge so despised?
Or
envy, or what reserve forbids to taste?
Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold
Longer thy offer'd good; why else set here?"
This said, he paused not, but with venturous arm
He pluck'd, he tasted; me damp horror chill'd,
At such bold words vouch'd with a deed so bold:
But he thus, overjoy'd; 'O fruit divine!
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt;
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 confined,
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

« PředchozíPokračovat »