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"With indignation I survey
Such skill and judgment thrown away :
The time profusely squander'd there,
On vulgar arts beneath thy care,
If well employ'd, at less expense,
Had taught thee honour, virtue, sense;
And rais'd thee from a coachman's fate
To govern men, and guide the state."
Discourse between ADAM and EVE, retiring to rest.
Now came still ev'ning on, and twilight gray
Had in her sober liv'ry all things clad.
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk; all but the wakeful nightingale.
She all night long her am'rous descant sung:
Silence was pleas'd. Now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
When Adam thus to Eve: "Fair consort, th' hour -
Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest,
Mind us of like repose; since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive and the timely dew of sleep,
Now falling with soft slumb'rous weight, inclines
Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long
Rove idle unemploy'd, and less need rest:
Man hath his daily work of body or mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Heav'n on all his ways;
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour; to reform
You flow'ry arbours, yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our scant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
That li bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease.
Meanwhile, as nature wills, night bids us rest.
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd:
My author and disposer, what thou bidst
Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains.
With thee conversing I forget all time;
All seasons and their change, all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit and flow'r,
Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft show'rs; and sweet the coming on
O grateful evening mild; then silent night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train:
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flow'r,
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after show'rs;
Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night
With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon,
Or glitt'ring star light, without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes :*
To whom our gen'ral ancestor reply'd :
"Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve, These have their course to finish round the earth,
By morrow ev'ning; and from land to land,
In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Minist'ring light prepar'd, they set and rise;
Lest total darkness should by night regain
Her old possession, and extinguish life
In nature and all things: which these soft fires
Not only enlighten, but, with kindly heat
O various influence, foment and warm,
Temper or nourish; or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On Earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none,
That heav'n would want spectators, God wani praise:
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep.
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold,
Both day and night. How often, from the steep
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to others' note,
Singing their great Creator? Oft in bands,
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk
With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heav'n."
Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bow'r.-
There arriv'd, both stood,
Both turn'd; and under open sky ador'd
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heav'n,
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole. "Thou also mad'st the night,
Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day,
Which we, in our appointed work employed,
Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help,
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss:
Qrdain'd by thee; and this delicious place
For us too large, where thy abundance wants
Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.
But thou hast promis'd from us two a race,
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep."
Lo! a form divinely bright
Descends, and bursts upon my sight;
A seraph of illustrious birth!
(Religion was her name on earth;)
Supremely sweet her radiant face,
And blooming with celestial grace!
Three shining cherubs form'd her train,
Wav'd their light wings, and reach'd the plain :
Faith, with sublime and piercing eye,
And pinions flutt'ring for the sky;
Here Hope, that smiling angel stands,
And golden anchors grace her hands;
There Charity in robes of white,
Fairest and fav'rite maid of light.
The seraph spoke Tis reason's part
To govern and to guard the heart;
To lull the wayward soul to rest,
When hopes and fears distract the breast.
Reason may calm this doubtful strife,
And steer thy bark through various life:
But when the storms of death are nigh,
And midnight darkness veils the sky,
Shall Reason then direct thy sail,
Disperse the clouds, or sink the gale?
Stranger, this skill alone is mine,
Skill that transcends his
scanty line." "Revere thyself-thou'rt near allied To angels on thy better side,
How various e'er their ranks or kinds,
Angels are but unbodied minds :
When the partition walls decay,
Men emerge angels from their clay.
Yes, when the frailer body dies,
The soul asserts her kindred skies.
But minds, though sprung from heav'nly race,
Must first be tutor'd for the place:
The joys above are understood,
And relish'd only by the good.
Who shall assume this guardian care ;
Who shall secure their birth right there?
Souls are my charg -to me 'tis giv'n
To train them for their native heav'n."
"Know then-who bow the early knee,
And give the willing heart to me;
Who wisely, when Temptation waits,
Elude her frauds, and spurn her baits:
Who dare to own my injur'd cause,
Though fools deride my sacred laws;
Or scorn to deviate to the wrong,
Though persecution lifts her thong;
Though all the sons of hell conspire
To raise the stake and light the fire;
Know, that for such superior souls,
There lies a bliss beyond the poles:
Where spirits shine with purer ray,
And brighten to meridian day;
Where love, where boundless friendship rules; (No friends that change, no love that cools ;) Where rising floods of knowledge roll,
And pour, and pour upon
"But where's the passage to the skies?— The road through death's black valley lies,