I love this poem- It’s more like Paradise Found!
Now Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime Advancing, sowed the earth with orient pearl, When Adam waked, so customed; for his sleep Was aerie 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 unwakened 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 enamoured, 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, whispered 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 imbracing, thus she spake:
“O sole in whom my thoughts find all repose, My glory, my perfection! glad I see Thy face, and morn returned; for I this night (Such night till this I never passed) have dreamed, If dreamed, 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 called 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-laboured song; now reigns Full-orbed 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 passed through ways That brought me on a sudden to the Tree Of interdicted Knowledge. Fair it seemed, Much fairer to my fancy than by day; And, as I wondering looked, beside it stood One shaped and winged like one of those from Heaven By us oft seen: his dewy locks distilled 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 offered good, why else set here? This said, he paused not, but with ventrous arm He plucked, he tasted. Me damp horror chilled At such bold words vouched with a deed so bold; But he thus, overjoyed: ‘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 impaired, but honoured 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 Which he had plucked: the pleasant savoury smell So quickened appetite that I, methought, Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds With him I flew, and underneath beheld The Earth outstretched immense, a prospect wide And various. Wondering 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 waked To find this but a dream!” Thus Eve her night Related, and thus Adam answered sad:
“Best image of myself, and dearer half, The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Affects me equally; nor can I like This uncouth dream—of evil sprung, I fear; Yet evil whence? In thee can harbour none, Created pure. But know that in the soul Are many 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, aerie 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 unapproved, and leave No spot or blame behind; which gives me hope That what in sleep thou didst abhor to dream Waking thou never wilt consent to do. Be not disheartened, then, nor cloud those looks, That wont to be more cheerful and serene Than when fair Morning first smiles on the world; And let us to our fresh imployments rise Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers, That open now their choicest bosomed smells, Reserved from night, and kept for thee in store.”
So cheered he his fair spouse; and she was cheered, But silently a gentle tear let fall From either eye, and wiped them with her hair: Two other precious drops that ready stood, Each in their crystal sluice, he, ere they fell, Kissed as the gracious signs of sweet remorse And pious awe, that feared to have offended.
So all was cleared, and to the field they haste. But first, from under shady arborous roof Soon as they forth were come to open sight Of day-spring, and the Sun—who, scarce uprisen, With wheels yet hovering o’er the ocean-brim, Shot parallel to the Earth his dewy ray, Discovering in wide lantskip all the east Of Paradise and Eden’s happy plains— Lowly they bowed, adoring, and began Their orisons, each morning duly paid In various style; for neither various style Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise Their Maker, in fit strains pronounced, or sung Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence Flowed from their lips, in prose or numerous verse, More tuneable than needed lute or harp To add more sweetness. And they thus began:
“These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Almighty! thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair: Thyself how wondrous then! Unspeakable! who sitt’st above these heavens To us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. Speak, ye who best can tell, ye Sons of Light, Angels—for ye behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night, Circle his throne rejoicing—ye in Heaven; On Earth join, all ye creatures, to extol Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. Fairest of Stars, last in the train of Night, If better thou belong not to the Dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crown’st the smiling morn With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou Sun, of this great World both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy Greater; sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb’st, And when high noon hast gained, and when thou fall’st. Moon, that now meet’st the orient Sun, now fliest, With the fixed Stars, fixed in their orb that flies; And ye five other wandering Fires, that move In mystic dance, not without song, reasound His praise who out of Darkness called up Light. Air, and ye Elements, the eldest birth Of Nature’s womb, that in quaternion run Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix And nourish all things, let your ceaseless change Vary to our great Maker still new praise. Ye Mists and Exhalations, that now rise From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray, Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, In honour to the World’s great Author rise; Whether to deck with clouds the uncoloured sky, Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers, Rising or falling, still advance his praise. His praise, ye Winds, that from four quarters blow, Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines, With every Plant, in sign of worship wave. Fountains, and ye, that warble, as ye flow, Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. Join voices, all ye living Souls. Ye Birds, That, singing, up to Heaven-gate ascend, Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise. Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep, Witness if I be silent, morn or even, To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade, Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise. Hail, universal Lord! Be bounteous still To give us only good; and, if the night Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.”
So prayed they innocent, and to their thoughts Firm peace recovered soon, and wonted calm. On to their morning’s rural work they haste, Among sweet dews and flowers, where any row Of fruit-trees, over-woody, reached too far Their pampered boughs, and needed hands to check Fruitless imbraces; or they led the vine To wed her elm; she, spoused, about him twines Her marriageable arms, and with her brings Her dower, the adopted clusters, to adorn His barren leaves. Them thus imployed beheld With pity Heaven’s high King, and to him called Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deigned To travel with Tobias, and secured His marriage with the seven-times-wedded maid.
“Raphael,” said he, “thou hear’st what stir on Earth Satan, from Hell scaped through the darksome Gulf, Hath raised in Paradise, and how disturbed This night the human pair; now he designs In them at once to ruin all mankind. Go, therefore; half this day, as friend with friend, Converse with Adam, in what bower or shade Thou find’st him from the heat of noon retired To respite his day-labour with repast Or with repose; and such discourse bring on As may advise him of his happy state— Happiness in his power left free to will, Left to his own free will, his will though free Yet mutable. Whence warn him to beware He swerve not, too secure: tell him withal His danger, and from whom; what enemy, Late fallen himself from Heaven, is plotting now The fall of others from like state of bliss. By violence? no, for that shall be withstood; But by deceit and lies. This let him know, Lest, wilfully transgressing, he pretend Surprisal, unadmonished, unforewarned.”
So spake the Eternal Father, and fulfilled All justice. Nor delayed the winged Saint After his charge received; but from among Thousand celestial Ardours, where he stood Veiled with his gorgeous wings, upspringing 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-opened wide, On golden hinges turning, as by work Divine the sovran 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 crowned Above all hills; as when by night the glass 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 phoenix, gazed by all, as that sole bird, When, to enshrine his relics in the Sun’s Bright temple, to