« PredošláPokračovať »
"As high he soared;
"To basest things.
obnoxious, first or last,
"Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils :
His head the midst, well stored with subtle wiles:
In heart or head, possessing, soon inspired
"Adam, well may we labour still to dress
“Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,
Compare above all living creatures dear!
"Well hast thou motioned, well thy thoughts employed
"How we might best fulfil the work which here
"God hath assigned us; nor of me shalt pass
Unpraised; for nothing lovelier can be found "In woman, than to study household good, "And good works in her husband to promote. "Yet not so strictly hath our Lord imposed "Labour as to debar us, when we need, "Refreshment, whether food, or talk between"Food of the mind-or this sweet intercourse "Of looks or smiles; for smiles from reason flow, "To brute denied, and are of love the food"Love, not the lowest end of human life.
"For not to irksome toil, but to delight,
"He made us, and delight to reason joined.
"These paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands
"Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide
"As we need walk; till younger hands ere long
"Assist us: but if much converse perhaps
"For solitude sometimes is best society,
"And short retirement urges sweet return.
"Befall thee severed from me; for thou knowst
'Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame "By sly assault; and somewhere nigh at hand Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find "His wish and best advantage-us asunder; 'Hopeless to circumvent us joined, where each "To other speedy aid might lend at need: "Whether his first design be to withdraw "Our feälty from God; or to disturb
Conjugal love, than which perhaps no bliss 66 'Enjoyed by us excites his envy more;
"Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side
"That gave thee being, still shades thee, and protects. "The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
"Safest and seemliest by her husband stays,
"Who guards her, or with her the worst endures."
To whom the virgin majesty of Eve,
As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,
With sweet austere composure thus replied:
Offspring of Heaven and Earth, and all Earth's lord!
"That such an enemy we have, who seeks
"Our ruin, both by thee informed I learn, "And from the parting Angel overheard, "As in a shady nook I stood behind,
Just then returned at shut of evening flowers. "But that thou shouldst my firmness doubt
"To God, or thee, because we have a foe
May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
"His violence thou fearest not, being such
"His fraud is then thy fear; which plain infers
Thy equal fear, that my firm faith and love
"Can by his fraud be shaken, or seduced:
Thoughts, which, how found they harbour in thy breast, 'Adam, misthought of her to thee so dear?"
To whom with healing words Adam replied: "Daughter of God and man, immortal Eve! "For such thou art, from sin and blame entire: "Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
Thy absence from my sight; but to avoid "The attempt itself, intended by our foe.
"For he who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses "The tempted with dishonour foul, supposed
"Not incorruptible of faith, not proof
Against temptation: thou thyself with scorn "And anger wouldst resent the offered wrong, Though ineffectual found: misdeem not, then, "If such affront I labour to avert
"From thee alone, which on us both at once
"I, from the influence of thy looks, receive
"Access in every virtue; in thy sight
"More wise, more watchful; stronger, if need were
"Of outward strength: while shame, thou looking on,
"Shame to be overcome or overreached,
"Would utmost vigour raise, and raised unite.
"Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel
So spake domestic Adam, in his care
Single with like defence wherever met; "How are we happy, still in fear of harm?
"But harm precedes not sin: only our foe,
Tempting, affronts us with his foul esteem "Of our integrity: his foul esteem
"Sticks no dishonour on our front, but turns
"Foul on himself: then wherefore shunned or feared
"By us? who rather double honour gain
"From his surmise proved false; find peace within,
"Alone, without exterior help sustained?
"Of all that he created: much less Man,
"Or aught that might his happy state secure-
Against his will he can receive no harm:
"But God left free the will; for what obeys
'Reason, is free; and reason he made right, "But bid her well be ware, and still erect; "Lest, by some fair-appearing good surprised, "She dictate false, and misinform the will "To do what God expressly hath forbid.
"Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins
"That I should mind thee oft; and mind thou me. "Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve;
"Since reason not impossibly may meet
"Some specious object by the foe suborned,
"And fall into deception unaware,
"Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warned.
"Seek not temptation then, which to avoid