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Said mildly, author of all this thou seest
Sternly he pronounc'd
Not hither summon'd, since they cannot change
O by what name, for thou above all these,
What call'st thou Solitude ? is not the Earth With various living creatures, and the air 370 Replenish’d, and all these at thy command To come and play before thee ? know'st thou not Their language and their ways ? they also know, And reason not contemptibly; with these Find pastime, and bear rule ; thy realm is large. So spake the universal Lord, and seem'd
So ord'ring. I with leave of speech implor'd,
Let not my words offend thee, heav'nly Power;
390 All rational delight, wherein the brute Cannot be human consort; they rejoice Each with their kind, lion with lioness; So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin'd; Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl So well converse, nor with the ox the ape ; Worse then can man with beast, and least of all.
Whereto th’ Almighty answer'd not displeas'd : A nice and subtle happiness I see Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice 400 Ofthy associates, Adam, and wilt taste No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary. What think'st thou then of me, and this my
state? Seem I to thee sufficiently possess’d Of happiness, or not? who am alone From all eternity, for none I know
Second to me or like, equal much less.
410 Beneath what other creatures are to thee ?
He ceas’d, I lowly answer’d : to attain The heighth and depth of thy eternal ways All human thoughts come short, Supreme of things; Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee Is no deficience found : not so is man, But in degree the cause of his desire By conversation with his like to help, Or solace his defects. No need that thou Shouldst propagate, already infinite,
420 And through all numbers absolute, though one ; But man by number is to manifest His single imperfection, and beget Like of his like, his image multiply'd, In unity defective, which requires Collateral love, and dearest amity. Thou in thy secrecy although alone, Best with thyself accompanied, seek'st not Social communication, yet so pleas’d, Canst raise thy creature to what heighth thou wilt Of union or communion, deify'd;
431 I by conversing cannot these erect From prone, nor in their ways complacence find. Thus I embolden'd spake, and freedom us’d Permissive, and acceptance found, which gain’d This answer from the gracious voice divine :
Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleas’d, And find thee knowing not of beasts alone, Which thou had rightly nam’d, bur of thyself, Expressing well the spi'rit within thee free, 440 My image, not imparted to the brute, Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee Good reason was thou freely should'st dislike And be so minded still; I, ere thou spak’st, Knew it not good for min to be alone, And no such company as then thou saw'st Intended thee, for trial only brought, To see how thou could'st judge of fit and meet ; What next I bring shall please thee, be assurd, Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self, 450 Thy wish exactly to thy heart's desire.
He ended, or I heard no more, My earthly by his heav'nly overpower’d, Which it had long stood under, strain’d to th'
hcighth In that celestial colloquy sublime, As with an object that excels the sense Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair Of Sleep, which instantly fell on me, callid By Nature as in aid, and clos'd mine eyes. Mine eyes he clos'd, but
left the cell 460 Of fancy, my internal sight, by which Abstract as in a trance methought I saw, Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape Still glorious before whom awake I stood: Who stooping open'd ny left side, and took