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Such ambush, hid among sweet flow'rs and shades,
Waited with hellish rancour imminent
To intercept thy way, or send thee back
Despoil'd of innocence, of faith, of bliss.
For now, and since first break of dawn, the Fiend,
Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come,
And on his quest, where likeliest he might find
The only two of mankind, but in them
The whole included race, his purpos'd prey.
In bow'r and field he sought, where any tuft
Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay,
Their tendance, or plantation for delight;
By fountain or by shady rivulet
He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find
Eve separate ; he wish d, but not with hope
Of what so seldom chanc'd: when to his wish,
Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
Veild in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood,
Half spy'd, so thick the roses bushing round.
About her glow'd; oft stooping to support
Each flower of slender stalk, whose head though gay
Carnation, purple, azure, or speck'd with gold,
Hung drooping unsustain'd; them she upstays
Gently with myrtle band, mindless the while
Herself, though fairest unsupported flower,
From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh.
Nearer he drew, and many a walk travers’d
Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm ;
Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen
Among thick-woven arborets and flowers
Imborder'd on each bank, the hand of Eve :
Spot more delicious than those gardens feign'd
Or of reviv'd Adonis, or renown'd
Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son;
Or that, not mystic, where the sapient king,
Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.
Much he the place admir'd, the person more.
As one who long in populous city pent,
Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air,
Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe
Anong the pleasant villages and farms
Adjoin'd, from each thing met conceives delight,
The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine,
Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound;
If chance with nymph-like step fair virgin pass,
What pleasing seem'd, for her now pleases more,
She most, and in her look sums all delight:
Such pleasure took the Serpent to behold
This flow'ry plat, the sweet recess of Eve
Thus early, thus alone ; her heav'nly form
Angelic, but more soft and feminine,
Her graceful innocence, her every air
Of gesture, or least action, overaw'd
His malice, and with rapine sweet bereav'd
His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought.
ADAM's LAMENTATION OVER EVE,
Upon her eating the forbidden Fruit ;
AND HIS RESOLUTION TO SHARE THE SAME FATE
O FAIREST of creation, last and best
Of all God's works, Creature in whom excell'd
Whatever can to sight or thought be formd,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
Defaced, deflow'r'd, and now to death devote!
Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress
'The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred fruit forbidden? Some cursed fraud
Of enemy beguild thee, yet unknown;
And me with thee hath ruin'd; for with thee
my resolution is to die :
How can I live without thee, how forego
Thy sweet converse and love so dearly join'd
To live again in these wild woods forlorn?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart; no, no, I fech
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy stata
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
Eve's LAMENTATION UPON HER BEING DOOMED
TO QUIT PARADISE.
O UNEXPECTED stroke, worse than of Death!
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave
Thec, native soil, these happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet though sad, the respite of that day
That must be mortal to us both. O flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
At ev'n, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names,
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from th' ambrosial fount?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower, by me adorn'd
With what to sight or smell was sweet, from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure
And wild ? how shall we breathe in other air
pure, accustom'd to immortal fruits ?
A HYMN to CONTENTMENT
LOVELY, lasting peace of mind !
Sweet delight of human-kind !
Heav'nly born, and bred on high,
To crown the fay'rites of the sky
With more of happiness below.
Than victors in a triumph know!
Whither, O whither art thou fled,
To lay thy meek contented head!
What happy,regions dost thou please
To make the seat of calnas and ease. ?
Ambition searches all its sphere
Of pomp and state, to meet thee there.
Increasing avarice would find
Thy presence in its gold inshrin'd.
The bold advent'rer plows his way.
Thro' rocks amidst the foamy sea,
To gain thy love: and then perceives
Thou wert not in the rocks and waves.
The silent heart which grief assails,
Treads soft and lonesome o'er the vales,
And seeks (as I have vainly done)
Amusing thought; but learns to know
That solitude's the nurse of woe.
No real happiness is found
In trailing purple o'er the ground:
Or in a soul exalted high,
To range the circuit of the sky,
Converse with stars above, and know
All nature in its form below;
The rest it seeks, in seeking dies,
And doubts at last for knowledge rise.
Lovely, lasting peace, appear!
This world itself, if thou art here,
Is once again with Eden bless'd,
And man contains it in his breast.
'Twas thus, as under shade I stood,
And sung my wishes to the wood,
And lost in thought, no more perceiv'd
The branches whisper as they wav'd:
It seem'd, as all the quiet place
Confess'd the presence of the grace.
When thus she spoke-Go, rule thy will,
Bid thy wild passions all be still,
Know God—and bring thy heart to know
The joys which from religion flow:
Then every grace
its guest, And I'll be there to crown the rest.
Oh! by yonder mossy seat,
In my hours of sweet retreat,
Might I thus my soul employ,
With sense of gratitude and joy;
Rais'd as ancient prophets were,
In beav'nly vision, praise, and pray'r;
Pleasing all men, hurting none,
Pleas'd and bless'd with God alone :
Then while the gardens take my sight
With all the colours of delight;
While silver waters glide along,
To please iny ear and court my song:
I'll lift my voice, and tune my string,
And Thee, Great Source of Nature, sing.
The sun that walks his airy way,
To light the world, and give the day :
The moon that shines with borrow'd light;
The stars that gild the gloomy night;
The seas that roll onnumber'd waves;
The wood that spreads its shady leaves;
The field whose ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treasure of the plain;
All of these, and all I see,
Should be sung, and sung by me:
They speak their Maker as they can,
But want and ask the tongue of Man.
Go, search among your idle dreams,
Your busy, or your rain extremes;
And find a life of equal bliss,
Or own the next began in This.
A NIGHT-PIECE ON DEATH.
By the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er:
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.
How deep yon azure dyes the sky!
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie,
While thro' their ranks in silver pride
The nether crescent seems to glide..
The slumb ring breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds which on the right aspire,
In dimness from the view retire:
The left presents a place of graves,
Whose wall the silent water laves.
That steeple guides thy doubtful sight
Among the livid gleams of night.