« PreviousContinue »
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of day-spring, and the Sun, who scarce upris'n, Daughter of God and man, immortal Eve!
With wheels yet hov'ring o'er the ocean brim, For such thou art, from sin and blame entire:
Shot parallel to the Earth his dewy ray, Nor diffident of thee, do I dissuade
Discov'ring, in wide circuit, all the bounds Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid
Of Paradise and Eden's happy plains, Th'attempt, which thou thyself with virtuous scorn
Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began And anger would'st resent. Misdeem not then,
Their orisons, each morning duly paid, If such affront I labour to avert
In various style: for neither various style From thee alone, which on us both at once
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
Their Maker in fit strains, pronounc'd, or sung, The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare, Or daring, first on me th' assault shall light.
Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence Nor thou bis malice and false guile contemn.
Flow'd from their lips, in prose, or num'rous verse, Subtle he needs must be, who could seduce
More tuneable than needed lute, or harp Angels; nor think superfluous others' aid.
To add more sweetness : and they thus began. “ I, from the influence of thy looks, receive
MORNING HYMN. Access in ev'ry virtue ; in thy sight, More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were, “ These are thy glorious works, parent of good, Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on,
Almighty! thine this universal frame! Shame to be overcome, or over-reach'd!
Thus wondrous fair! thyself how wondrous then! Would utmost vigour raise, and rais'd unite." Why should'st not thou like sense within thee feel, To us invisible; or dimly seen
Unspeakable! who sit'st above these Heav'ns, When I am present, and thy trial choose
In these thy lowest works : yet these declare With me, best witness of thy virtue tried?
Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine. EVE.
“ Speak ye, who best can tell, ye sons of light!
Angels, for ye behold him, and, with songs, If this be our condition, thus to dwell
And choral symphonies, day without night, In narrow circuit straiten'd by a foe,
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in Heav'n, Subtle, or violent, we not endued,
On Earth join all ye creatures to extol Single, with like defence, wherever met,
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. How are we happy, still in fear of arm?
“ Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn, “ Frail is our happiness, if this be so,
Sure pledge of day! that crowu'st the smiling mora
With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, And Eden were no Eden thus expos'd.”
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
“Thou Sun, both eye and soul of this great world!
Acknowledge him thy greater, sound his praise ADAM.
Ir thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, O, woman! best are all things as the will
And when high noon hast gain'd, and wben hast fall'n, Of God ordain'd them. His creating hand
“Moon! that now meet'st the orient Sun, now fly'st Nothing imperfect or deficient left
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies, Of all that he created, much less man,
And ye five other wand'ring fires, that move Or aught that might his happy state secure:
In mystic dance, not without song, resound Secure from outward force. Within himself His praise, who out of darkness call'd up light. The danger lies, yet lies within his pow'r.
“ Air! and ye elements, th' eldest birth Against his will he can receive no harm;
Of Nature's womb, that, in quaternion, run But God left free the will, for what obeys
Perpetual circle multiform, and mix, Reason is free, and reason he made right,
And nourish all things, let your ceaseless change And bid her still beware, and still erect,
Vary to your great Maker still new praise, Lest by some fair, appearing good surpris'd,
“ Ye mists and exhalations that now rise She dictate false, and misinform the will
From hill, or steaming lake, dusky, or grey, To do what God expressly hath forbid.
Till the Sun paint your feecy skirts with gold, Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoins
In honour to the world's great Maker rise, That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me,
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky, Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve.
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling show'rs,
“ His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters “ But if thou think'st trial unsought may find
Breathe soft, or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines, Us both securer than thus warnd thou seem'st;
With ev'ry plant, in sign of honour wave. Go! for thy stay, not free, absents thee more.
“ Fountains ! and ye that warble, as ye flow, Go in thy native innocence. Rely
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. On what thou hast of virtue : summon all,
“ Join voices, all ye living souls! ye birds ! For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine." That singing up to Heav'n's bright gates ascend,
Bear on your wings, and in your notes his praise. SCENE III.
“ Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk The earth; and stately tread, or lowly creep,
Witness if I be silent morn, or ev'n,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
“ Hail, universal Lord! he bounteous still Both good and evil, good lost, and evil got, To give is only good ; and, if the night
Bad fruit of knowledge!
.“ How shall I behold.
Henceforth or God, or angel, erst with joy, So pray'd they innocent ; then to their task And rapture oft beheld ? O! might I here They diff'rent ways repair--he, where his choice In solitude live savage, in some glade Leads him, or where most needs, whether to wind Obscurd, where highest woods, impenetrable The woodbine round his arbour, or direct
To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad, The clasping ivy where to twine ; while she And brown as evening. Cover me, ye pines, In yonder spring of roses, intermix'd
Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs With myrtle, seeks what to redress till noon. Hide me, where I may never see them more." Her long, with ardent look, his eye pursu'd
RECITATIVE. Delighted, but desiring more her stay. She, like a wood-nymph light of Delia's train, Would thou had'st hearken'd to my words, and stay'd Betook her to the groves, but Delia's self
With me, as I besought thee, when that strange
Remain'd still happy ; not as now despoil'd
“ Grace was in all her steps, Heav'n in her eye; In ev'ry gesture dignity and love."
“Let none henceforth, seek needless cause t'ap
prove The faith they owe; when earnestly they seek Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail.”
ACT III. SCENE I.
THE GUARDIAN ANGELS.
Imput'st thou that to my desire, or will
But might as ill have happen'd thou being by,
Had'st thou been firm, and fix'd in thy dissent,
.“ Thus it shall befall
Him, who to worth in woman overtrusting, “ Righteous art thou, O Lord! and just are thy Lets her will rule; restraint she will not brook, judgments.
And left therself, if evil thence ensue,
She first his weak indulgence will accuse."
But see! with visage discompos'd, and dim'd
ADAM AND EVE.
O mis'rable of happy! Is this the end
Heavy! though in their place? O fleeting joys Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere, but strive
Then to the place repairing, where our judge From darkness to promote me, or to place
Pronounc'd our doom, there let us both confess In this delicious garden? As my will
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears Concurr'd not to my being, 't were but right Wat'ring the ground, and with our sighs the air And equal to reduce me to my dust,
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Desirous to resign, and render back
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation week.
So spake our father penitent, nor Eve
Before him reverent, and both confess'd
Humbly their faults, and pardon beg'd, with tears ADAM
Wat’ring the ground, and with their sighs the air Out of my sight, thou serpent! that name best
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
What tidings bring'st thou, Adam! from this new
For far less mild me thought his aspect seem'd Creator wise! that peopled highest Heav'n
Than Raphael's, social spirit! who wont so oft With spirits masculine, create at last
To sit indulgent with us, and partake This novelty on Earth, this fair defect
Rural repast, permitting us the while Of Nature! and not fill the world at once
Venial discourse unblam'd. What tidings?-say. With men, as angels without feminine ?"
Our pray’rs are heard in Heav'n, and death our due Forsake me not thus, Adam! Witness Heav'n !
By sentence then, when first we did transgress, What love sincere, and rev'rence in my heart
Is of his prey defeated many days
Giv'n us of grace, wherein we may repent.
So God appeas'd, from his rapacious claim
Will quite redeem us, and to life restore.
But longer in this Paradise to dwell,
As not befitting creatures stain'd with sin,
He suffers not, but sends us forth to till Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?”
The ground from whence he took us, fitter soil ! While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps, Between us two let there be peace, both joining, As join'd in injuries, one enmity Against a foe, by doom express assign'd us,
“ O! unexpected stroke, worse than of death! That cruel serpent. On me exercise not
Must I then leave thee, Paradise, thus leave Thy hatred for this misery befallen,
Thee, native soil! these happy walks, and sbades, On me already lost, me than thyself
Fit haunt of gods! where I had hope to spend More miserable: both have sinn'd, but thou Quiet, though sad, the respite of that day, Against God only, I against God and thee: That must be mortal to us both. O flow'rs! And to the place of judgment will return,
That never will in other climate grow,
From the first op'ning bud, and gave you names, Me! me! just object only of his ire.
Who now shall rear ydu to the Sun, and rank
Your tribes, and water from th' ambrosial fount? ADAM.
Thee lastly, nuptial bow'r! by me adorn'd Alas! ill able art thou to sustain
With what to sight or smell was sweet; from thee His full wrath, whose thou feelst as yet least part, How shall I part, and whither wander down And my displeasure bear'st so ill. If pray'rs Into a lower world, to this obscure, Could alter high decrees, I to that place
And wild; how shall we breathe in other air
Lament not, Eve! but patiently resign
Thus overfond on that which is not ours.
or the introductory narrative, will admit of a different Thy going is not lonely-I will guard
kind of recitative from the conversation part; the Thy steps from harm, and all thy wants supply. one being like painting in still life, the other re
sembling the portraits of living manners.
Perhaps he will wish that the dialogue contained Adam ! I feel within new life, new hopes
less of the recitative, and more of the air and choBy Heav'n and thee inspir'd. Then now lead on,
rus. The compiler, however, is of opinion that In me is no delay. “With thee to go,
there is a due proportion of each. And if there is Is to stay here. Without thee here to stay,
Jess opportunity for flourishes and repetitions, there Is to go hence unwilling. Thou to me
is more room for spirited and sensible expression,
to assist the effect of the dialogue upon the pasArt all things under Heav'n, all places thou! Who for my wilful crime art banish'd hence.”
sions of the hearers, by means of an animated and This further consolation yet secure
pathetic recitative, as well as by a full exertion
of the force of musical language in the airs, where I carry hence-though all by me is lost, Such favour I unworthy am vouchsaf'd,
the length of the performance will but seldom ad
mit of dwelling for a long time together in a disBy me the promis'd seed shall all restore.
play of the minute excellencies of this art. So spake our mother Eve. And Adam heard Well pleas'd, but answer'd not. For now too nigh the recitative
is continued too long without the in
If the composer should think that in some places
tervention of airs, in this case he will find fit places
for airs, besides what his own judgment will suggest Fierce as a comet, which, with torrid heat,
to him, marked in this manner, page 323, Sc. Smote on that clime so late their bless'd abode! Some nat'ral tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon:
“ I, from the influence of thy looks, receive.”
Again, if he should think the parts assigned for
shortened, as in the Morning Hymn, from • The world was all before them, where to choose
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.”
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
TO THE COMPOSER.
The compiler is sensible that he ought to make
an apology to a composer, for presuming to interThe form of this piece is an historical drama, for this fere so much in his province, and he hopes the reason amongst others, viz. the better to preserve true reason will be accepted as such, viz. that the very words and manner of Milton, which must having bestowed more attention upon this work have been frequently altered, and in many in- than it was likely any other person would, he stances greatly injured, by any other method. The thought himself capable of pointing out the divirecitative consequently is of two kinds, narrative sion of it into its several parts of act, scene, reciand interlocutory. Again, the narrative is either tative, air, song, chorus, and the like; and of sugdescriptive, as in Act 1. Scene I. and other places, gesting some few hints concerning the musical exor else introductory to the dialogue, as Scene II. pression in general, thongh he confesses himself and elsewhere. The composer will do well to have incapable, at the same time, of executing the most an eye to these distinctious, as mere description, minute article of it.