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By quick instinctive motion up 1 sprung, As thitherward endeavouring, and upright 260 Stood on my feet; about me round I saw Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains, And liquid lapse of murm’ring streams; by these, Creatures that liv'd and mov'd, and walk'd, or flew, Birds on the branches warbling; all things smild, 265 With fragrance and with joy my heart o'erflow’d. Myself I then perus’d, and limb by limb Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran With supple joints, as lively vigour led : But who I was, or where, or from what cause, Knew not; to speak I try'd, and forthwith spake; My tongue obey'd, and readily could name Whate'er I saw. Thou Sun, said
fair light, And thou enlighten'd Earth, so fresh and gay, Ye Hills, and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plains, 275 Ani ye that live and move, fair Creatures tell, Tell, if ye saw, how came 1 thus, how here? Not of myself; by some great Maker then, In goodness and in pow'r pre-eminent; Tell me how may I know him, how adore, 280 From whom I have that thus I move and live, And feel that I am happier than I know. While thus I call'd, and stray'd I knew not whither, From where I first drew air, and first beheld This happy light, when answer none return'd, 285 On a green shady bank profuse of flow'rs Pensive I sat me down ; there gentle sleep First found me, and with soft oppression seiz'd
My droused sense, untroubled, though I thought
315 Submiss : he rear'd me, and whom thou sought'st I am, Said mildly, Author of all this thou seest Above, or round about thee, or beneath.
This Paradise I give thee, count it thine
As thus he spake, each bird and beast behold
O by what name, for thou above all these,
I Adore thee, Author of this universe,
360 And all this good to man? for whose well being So amply, and with hands so liberal Thou hast provided all things : but with me I see not who partakes. In solitude What happiness, who can enjoy alone,
365 Or all enjoying what contentment find? Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright, As with a smile more brighten'd, thus reply'd.
What call'st thou solitude ? s 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? , now'st thou not Their language and their ways? They also know, And reason not contemptibiy; with these Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realm is large.
375 So spake the universal Lord, and seem'd So ord'ring. I with leave of speech implor'd, And humble deprecation thus reply'd.
Let not my words offend thee, heav'nly Power, My Maker, be propitious while I speak. Hast thou not made me here thy substitute, And these inferior far beneath me set ? Among unequals what society Can sort, what harmony and true delight? Which must be mutual, in proportion duc 385 Giv'n and receiv'd ; but in disparity The one intense, the other still remiss Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove Tedious alike : Of fellowship I speak Such as I seek, fit to participate
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 395 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 Of thy 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
405 From all eternity, for none I know Second to me or like, equal much less. Who have I then with whom to hold converse