Page images
PDF

THE

EIGHTH BOOK

OF

PARADISE LOST.

THE ARZUMENT.

Adam inquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully aris we!.

ed, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy (of know ledge: Adam assents, and still desirous to detain Raphael, related to him what he remembered since his own creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit eociety, his first meeting and nuptials with Eve, his discourse with 106 engel thereupon. who after admonitions repeated, departa.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK VIII.

The angel ended, and in Adam's ear
So charining left his voice, that he awhile
Thought him scill speaking, still stood fixt to honor
Then as new wak’d thus gratefully reply'd:

What thanks sufficient, or what recompense
Equal have I to render thee, divine
Historian, who thus largely hast allay'd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and vouchsaf'd
This friendly condescension to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glory attributed to the high
Creator ? something yet of doubt remains,
Which only thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly frame, this world
Of heav'n and earth consisting, and compute
Their magnitudes, this earth, a spot, a grain,
An atom, with the firmament compar'd
And all her number'd stars, that seem to roll
Spaces incomprehensible (for such
Their distance argues and their swift return
Diurnal,) merely to officiate light
Round this opacious earth, this punctual spot,**

*"This punctual spot :" no bigger than a point

One day and night, in all their vast survey.
Useless besides ; reasoning, I oft admire
How nature wise and frugal, could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler bodies to create,
Greater so manifold to this one use,
For ought appears, and on their orbs impose
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentary earth,
That better might with far less com puss move,
Serv'd by more noble than herself, attains
Her end without least motion, and receives,
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought
Of incornoreal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.

So sppke our sire, and by his count'nance seem'a
Ent'ring me studious thoughts abstruse, which Eve
Perceiving where she sat retir'd in sight,
With lowliness majestic from her seat,
And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her fruits and low 'rs
To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom,
Her nursery : thcy at her coming sprung,
And touch'd by her fair tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she noi, as not with such discourse
Delighted, cr not capable her car
Of what was high : such nleasure she reserv'd,
Adam relating, she sole audiiress :
Her husband the relator she preferr'd
Before the angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather; he, she knew, world intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal caresses; froin his lip
Not words alone pleas'd her. O wher mcet non
Such pairs, in love and mutual honour join'dē
With goddess-like demeanour forth she went
Not unattended, for on her as queen
A pomp of winning graces waited still,
And from about her shot darts of desire

« PreviousContinue »