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That wont to be more cheerful and serene
Than when fair morning first smiles on the world;
And let us to our fresh employments rise,
Among the groves, the fountains, and the flowers,
That open now their choicest bosom'd smells,
Reserv'd from night, and kept for thee in store.
So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheer'd;
But silently a gentle tear let fall
From either eye, and wip'd them with her hair:
Two other precious drops that ready stood,
Each in their crystal sluice, he ere they fell
Kiss'd as the gracious signs of sweet remorse,
And pious awe that fear'd to have offended.
So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste.
But first, from under shady arborous roof
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of dayspring and the sun, who, scarce uprisen
With wheels yet hov'ring o'er the ocean brim,
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Discovering in wide landscape all the east
Of paradise and Eden's happy plains,
Lowly they bow'd 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 pronounc'd or sung
127 bosom'd] Bosom.' Bentl. MS.
137 roof] In Milton's own edition, a comma stands after 'roof,' which Tickell, Fenton, Bentley followed.
Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence
Flow'd 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! 155
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. 165 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 gain'd, and when thou
150 numerous] 'To enter David's numerous fane.'
166 Fairest] Hom. Il. xxii. 318. and Ov. Met. ii. 114. Newton.
Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly'st,
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies,
And ye five other wand'ring fires that move
In mystic dance not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light.
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 grey,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great author rise,
Whether to deck with clouds the uncolour'd 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,
177 five] Verum etiam quinque stellas, quæ vulgo vaga nuncupantur.'
v. Apul. de Deo Socratis, ed. Delph. vol. ii. p. 666.
181 quaternion] Heywood's Hier. p. 193.
'What ternions and classes be
In the cælestial hierarchie.'
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 gather'd aught of evil, or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
So pray'd they innocent, and to their thoughts
Firm peace recover'd soon and wonted calm.
On to their morning's rural work they haste,
Among sweet dews and flowers, where any row
Of fruit-trees overwoody reach'd too far
Their pamper'd boughs, and needed hands to check
Fruitless embraces; or they led the vine
To wed her elm; she spous'd about him twines
Her marriageable arms, and with her brings
Her dow'r, th' adopted clusters, to adorn
His barren leaves. Them thus employ'd beheld With pity heaven's high King, and to him call'd 220 Raphael, the sociable spirit, that deign'd
198 heaven gate] So in Cymbeline, act ii. sc. 3.
'Hark! hark, the lark at heaven's gate sings.' Newton.
200 Ye that] How could the fish witness? Bentl. MS.
206 give] Not unlike the Prayer of Clytemnestra in Soph. Elect. 646.
217 marriageable] See Apulei Apolog. p. 540. ed. Delph.
To travel with Tobias, and secur'd
His marriage with the seventimes-wedded maid.
Raphael, said he, thou hear'st what stir on earth Satan, from hell scap'd through the darksome gulf, Hath rais'd in paradise, and how disturb'd This night the human pair; how 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 retir'd, To respit 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 fall'n himself from heaven, is plotting now 240
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, unadmonish'd, unforewarn'd.
So spake th' eternal Father, and fulfill'd
All justice nor delay'd the winged saint
After his charge receiv'd; but from among
Thousand celestial ardours, where he stood
249 ardours] ardours' mean the 'seraphim.' It is one of the words used by Dante for angels. Todd.