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I mean of tafte, fight, fmell, herbs, fruits, and flow'rs,
Walks, and the melody of birds: but here
Far otherwife, transported I behold,
Transported touch: here paffion first I felt,
Commotion ftrange! in all enjoyments elfe
Superior, and unmov'd; here only weak,
Against the charm of beauty's powerful glance.
Or Nature fail'd in me, and left fome part
Not proof enough fuch object to fuftain;
Or from my fide fubducting, took perhaps
More than enough: at least, on her bestow'd
Too much of ornament; in outward fhew
Elaborate, of inward lefs exact,
For well I understand in the prime end
Of Nature, her th' inferior, in the mind
And inward faculties, which moft excel:
In outward alfo her refembling lefs
His image who made both; and less expreffing
The character of that dominion giv'n
O'er other creatures. Yet, when I approach
Her loveliness, fo abfolute the feems
And in her felf complete, fo well to know
Her own; that what the wills to do or fay,
Seems wifeft, virtuoufeft, difcreteft, beft:
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded; wifdom in difcourfe with her
Loles difcount'nanc'd, and like folly fhews:
Authority and reafon on her wait,
As one intended first, not after made
Occafionally and (to confummate all)
Greatness of mind, and nobleness, their feat
Build in her lovelieft, and create an awe
About her, as a guard Angelic plac'd.
To whom the Angel with contracted brow. 560
Accufe not Nature, fhe hath done her part; Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
Of wisdom: fhe deferts thee not, if thou
Difmifs not her, when moft thou need'ft her nigh;
By attributing over-much to things
Lefs excellent, as thou thy felf perceiv'ft.
For what admir'ft thou, what tranfports thee fo?
An outfide? fair no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishng, thy honoring, and thy love;
Not thy fubjection. Weigh with her thy felf;
Then value: oft-times nothing profits more
Than felf-esteem, grounded on juft and right,
Well manag'd: of that skill the more thou know'ft;
The more he will acknowledge thee her Head,
And to realities yield all her fhews:
Made fo adorn for thy delight the more;
So awful, that with honor thou may'ft love
Thy mate; who fees, when thou art feen leaft wife.
But if the sense of touch, whereby mankind
Is propagated, feem fuch dear delight.
Beyond all other; think the fame vouchfaf'd
To cattel, and each beast; which would not be
To them made common, and divulg'd, if ought
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to fubdue
The foul of man, or paffion in him move.
What higher in her fociety thou findft
Attractive, human, rational, love ftill:
In loving thou doft well, in paffion not;
Wherein true love confifts not. Love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges; hath his feat 590
In reason, and is judicious; is the scale
By which to heav'nly love thou may'ft afcend;
Not funk in carnal pleafure; for which caufe,
Among the beafts no mate for thee was found.
To whom thus, half abafh'd, ADAM reply'd. 595 Neither her out-fide form'd fo fair, nor ought In procreation common to all kinds, (Though higher of the genial bed by far, And with myfterious reverence I deem)
So much delights me, as thofe graceful acts,
Thofe thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words, and actions, mix'd with love,
And fweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of mind, or in us both one foul;
Harmony to behold in wedded pair,
More grateful than harmonious found to th' ear.
Yet thefe fubject not: I to thee disclose
What inward thence I feel; not therefore foil'd;
Who meet with various objects, from the fense
Variously reprefenting; yet ftill free,
Approve the beft, and follow what I approve.
To love thou blam'ft me not; for love thou fay'st
Leads up to Heav'n, is both the way and guide;
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask:
Love not the heav'nly spirits? And how their love
Exprefs they? By looks only? Or do they mix 616
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?
To whom the Angel, (with a smile that glow'd Cœleftial rofy-red, love's proper hue) Anfwer'd. Let it fuffice thee that thou know'ft 620 Us happy, and without love no happiness. Whatever pure thou in thy body enjoy'st, (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy In eminence: and obftacle find none
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclufive bars: 625
Eafier than air with air, if fpirits embrace,
Total they mix; union of pure with pure
Defiring: nor reftrain'd conveyance need,
As flesh to mix with flesh, or foul with foul.
But I can now no more: the parting Sun
Beyond the earth's green cape, and verdant ifles,
HESPEREAN fets, my fignal to depart.
Be ftrong, live happy, and love! But, first of all,
HIM, whom to love is to obey, and keep
His great command: take heed left paffion fway 635
Thy judgment to do ought, which elfe free will