Page images



Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault,
In at the window climbs, ot o'er the tiles :
So clomb this first grand thief into God's fold;
So since into his church lewd hirelings climb.
Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life,
The middle tree and highest there that grew, 195
Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
Thereby regain'd, but sat devising death
To them who liv'd; nor on the virtue thought
Of that life-giving plant, but only usd
For prospect, what well us'd had been the pledge
Of immortality. So little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use.
Beneath him with new wonder now he views
To all delight of human sense expos'd
In narrow room nature's whole wealth, yea more,
A heav'n on earth : for blissful paradise
Of God the garden was, by him in the east
Of Eden planted; Eden stretch'd her line
From Auran eastward to the royal tow'rs
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Or where the sons of Eden long before
160 Cross-barr'd] · Cross-barr'd and double lockt.'

Heywood's Hierarchie, p. 510, folio, (1635). 191 In at the window] v. Spenser's Fairy Queen, lib. i. c. 3. ver. 17.

• He was to weet a slout and sturdy thief,



Then hu by cunning slights in at the window crept.'



Dwelt in Telassar. In this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd;
Out of the fertile ground he caus’d to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,
High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold, and next to Life
Our death the Tree of Knowledge grew fast by,
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a river large,
Norchang’d his course, but through the shaggy hill
Pass'd underneath ingulf’d; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden mould, high rais'd
Upon the rapid current, which, through veins
Of porous earth with kindly thirst up drawn,
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
Water'd the garden; thence united fell
Down the steep glade, and met the neather flood,
Which from his darksome passage now appears ;
And now divided into four main streams
Runs diverse,wand'ring many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account ; 233
But rather to tell how, if art could tell,
Ilow from that saphire fount the crisped brooks,
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
7 crisped brooks]

Tremuloque alarum remige crispat
Fluctusque fluviosque maris.'
A. Rumsæi Puem. Sacr. ed. Lauder, i.


3. 233 orient pearl] See Sir D. Lindsay, ed. Chalmers, ii. 327.

Lyke orient perlis.'



[ocr errors]

With mazy error under pendant shades
Ran Nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flow'rs worthy of paradise, which not nice art
In beds and curious knots, but nature boon
Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain
Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade 245
Imbrown'd the noontide bow'rs. Thus was this
A happy rural seat of various view : [place
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and

Others whose fruit burnish'd with golden rind
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste.
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interpos'd,
Or palmy hillock, or the flow'ry lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store,
Flow'rs of all hue, and without thorn the rose.


[ocr errors]

And Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, i. 5. ' He kissed the last of many doubled kisses, this orient pearl.'

Orient pearl was esteemed the most valuable. See Don Quixote (Shelton's Transl. vol. iv. p. 64). She wept not tears, but seed pearl, or morning dew: and he thought higher, that they were like oriental pearls.'

244 smote] Val. Flacc. I. 496. “Percussaque sole scuta! Orl. Fur. c. viii, st. xx. Percote il sol ardente il vicin colle. And Psalm (Old Transl.) cxxi. 6. •The sun shall not smile thee by day. Todd.

250 fables] Apples. Bentl. Ms.

255 irriguous] Hor. Sat. ii. 4. 16. Irriguo nihil est elutius horlo.' Hume.

[ocr errors]



Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant: mean while murmuring waters fall 260
Down the slope hills, dispers’d, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune 205
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on th' eternal spring. Not that fair field
Of Enna, where Proserpine gathering flow'rs,
Herself a fairer flow'r, by gloomy Dis
Was gather'd, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes and th' inspir'd
Castalian spring might with this paradise
Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle
fringed] See Carew's Poems, p. 204.

· Silver floods,

From your channels fring'd with flowers.' And


119. • With various trees we fringe the waters' brink.' 250 apply] Spens. F. Q. iii. 1. 40.

• Sweet birds thereto applide

Their dainty layes,' &c. Bowle. 339 Proserpine] With the same accent in F. Queen, 1. ii. ?.

. And sad Prosérpine's wrath. Newton. 213 Daphne) See Wernsdorf. Poet. Minor. vol. vii. p. 1105. v. Capitolini vitam M. Antonini Philos. c. viii. p. 44, ed. Putman.

[ocr errors]





Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove,
Hid Amalthea and her florid son
Young Bacchus from his stepdame Rhea's eye;
Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard,
Mount Amara, though this by some suppos'd
True paradise, under the Ethiop line
By Nilus head, enclos'd with shining rock,
A whole day's journey high, but wide remote
From this Assyrian garden, where the fiend
Saw undelighted all delight, all kind
Of living creatures new to sight and strange.

Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,
Godlike erect, with native honour clad
In naked majesty, seem'd lords of all,
And worthy seem'd: for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd,
Whence true authority in men: though both 2:45
Not equal, as their sex not equal, seem'd;
For contemplation he and valour form’d,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him.

281 Amara] See Bancroft's Epigrams (1639), 4to. p. 35 (200). “Of the Æthiopian mountain Amara,' and Stradling's Divine Poems (1625), p. 27.

· The famous hill Amara to this clime

Is but a muddie moore of dirt and slime.' 29 He] See St. Paul, 1 Corinth. xi. 7. He is the iinage and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of the man.


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »