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Humility anıl pride,
Together reign in me?
Adam. Can Adam so delay?
Lucifer. I'll tell thee ; ah, it seems a thing unfit
That a celestial knee
Should bend to this vile earth.
Adam. Thou hast already told me,
That in the high celestial plains above
Thou must no longer dwell,
But here with me enjoy delightful days,
Amid these sunny spots ;
Let it not then displease thee
With earthly habitudes
To have thy breast, 0 Adam ! fraught like mine!
Well dost thou speak, O Adam! I am ready
To pay thee prompt obedience.
Lucifer. And I will also show,
This fáir one's pleasure shall my pleasure be.
Adam. Behold I bow myself! behold me bend !
Now let united hands be raised to heaven.
Lucifer. To make palm meet with palm, in vain we
strive. Adam. In truth there seems much pain.
Lucifer. Perhaps you wish Our hands united thus ?
Adam. No! what, -do you not see That both united form a knot together, Finger entwisting finger?
Perhaps you choose them thus ?
Adam. Alas! the example,
That with my hands before your eyes I show you,
Serves it so little ? heavens! what do I see?
So destitute of sense
Are heavenly creatures ?
Now behold them joined.
In truth I cannot tell,
If Hell this day more tries the strength of Adam,
Or Adam more torments the powers of Hell.
Lucifer. Vigour, soul ! animation !
For in proportion as our strife is bloody
So will our palm of conquest rise in glory.
Adam. Why do you thus apart
In such confusion speak?
Now raise your eyes to heaven,
And with delight contemplate
Of all those starry sapphires
The pure resplendent rays,
And those fair blessed seats !
Alas, thou shutt'st thine eyes,
That stream upon the ground.
Lucifer. O Adam, cease at length !
Those rays so splendid dazzle us too much.
Adam. This is my foe : I now discern him well.
The eagle of the sun
Is used with pleasure on the sun to gaze ;
And thou, a heavenly eagle,
Accustomed to the brightest rays of heaven,
Dost thou disdain, or shun them
Dazzled, and in confusion ?
Who knows what splendours in high heaven are kindled ?
He, who surveys them ost,
Is satiated at last ;
There's nought created so divine and dear,
That in long intercourse becomes not tiresome.
Adam. Celestial good ne'er satiates, but delights,
And magnifies itself in God's perfection ;
As the fair landscape's beauty
(Though 'tis a low example)
Becomes more perfect, and more flowery seems,
When the sun gilds the valleys and the hills.
But as I wish what ye too both desire,
Now let your eyes be closed
And with your opening lips pronounce these words :
"Thee I adore.
Lucifer. Go on!
Adam. Say then, “Thee I adore.”
Lucifer. Go on! for such a memory have I,
That by a single effort
I will repeat thy words.
I am contented ;
Yet thou observe my words ! Thee I adore,
Thus with my knees to earth, and streaming eyes,
Lord of the empyrean!
Great sovereign of the heavens, and only God !
Holy, firm, formidable, just, and pious ?
And still dost thou delay?
Lucifer. I meditate thy speech,
Which to me seems so long,
I doubt my power to speak it.
Adam. Shall I again pronounce it?
Lucifer. This I cannot desire
But find a great defect
In this imploring speech.
Pray tell me what ?
Lucifer. No humble worshipper, not the adorer,
But the adored, 'tis just that I should be.
Alas! I can no longer
Such outrages endure:
No! who I am, I must at length reveal.
Alas! the same thing even I must do.
Adam, Alas! what do I see?
What horrid form, amidst the clustering trees,
Does this false denizen of heaven assume?
And his immodest partner?
Alas! their winged feet
The false ones move to me,
And from their pomp and gold,
Breathe forth infuriate flame!
Succour me! help, O God !
Take pity on my failing !
Lucifer. Fly, as thou canst, from these my rapid wings
Thy flying must be vain.
Alas! to my great grief, this day I see
Who has the prize of conquest,
Who soonest yields, and from his rival fies.
So that I well can say
To the eternal gulf,
That in this hard and perilous contention,
The toil belongs to Hell; to man the glory.
I lose, alas ! I lose : now with what face
Can this my foot be turned again to hell?
Ah! sad and dire event! al strife! ah death!
Lucifer. Yes, yes, 'tis just, that my infernal rage
Should all now turn on me,
Since I have vainly tried
To work the condemnation of this man.
But can this be? ah ! (hard is my belief,)
Exalted providence !
Cherubim. Thou canst not mount, fierce monster!
I affirm it,
By this high brandished dart of penal fire.
Lucifer. Ah, for the seats of hell
I spread my rapid wings.
Cherubim. And I these happier wings lucid and light,
Will exercise around
For man's protection, and in scorn of hell.
How fine I now appear ! no more I seem
A monster now of horror,
But of a lofty spot
The blissful habitant, and called The World;
That so adorned and splendid,
Amidst thy prime delights,
Laughter, and songs, and amorous affections,
My snares of silver, and my nets of gold
I may extend for man,
'That he may slide and fall, to rise no more ;
And try in vain to heaven
Again to rise upon the wings of zeal.
And should he seem for ever
Bent to survey the lovely azure heaven,
The sun's bright lustre, and the lunar ray,
And trembling stellar fires,
I will delude him so
With other lovely skies, that from the first
Quick he shall turn his view.
I will, that my fair heaven
Shall be of living sapphire ; there shall shine
A siin of bright pyropus, and a moon
Formed of the beamy diamond's spotless light.
A thousand and a thousand sparkling stars,
Of jewels rich and rare ;
And if amidst this lightning it may thunder,
And burning bolts may seem to dart around,
My lightning be the ruby,
My thunder sounding silver,
With thunderbolts of gold, and storms of pearl !
As a proud sovereign of so rich a heaven,
The World shall still exult,
And this new man shall bend to me in worship;
And thus of these my pomps,
My luxuries, and joys,
The numerous sons of man, become enamoured,
Shall never know repose ;
But with destructive force
Each shall endeavour of his wretched brother
To gain the envied finery and wealth.
Man I behold already for this gold,
And for the workl's delights,
In horrid mansion full of smoke and fire,
Tempering the deadly steel ;
Now at the anvil, see !
How striking frequent with his iron mace,
He forms his coat of mail ; makes it his vest,
And for destruction draws the blade of steel.
Another, see! converting
Cold iron into fire,
Tapers, and twists it round;
And now a hatchet forms ; now see him eager
To level trees and woods,
And now, with numerous planks,
Behold him raise a work
Fit to sustain the fury of the sea.
Others I see toiling to pass o'er alps, To pass o'er mountains, and the riven rock : Leeches that prey on ore, And from earth's bosom suck great veins of gold. Lo! others in the deep Trying the fertile sea, plunge through the waves, Fearless encountering its tempestuous pride, If they from crusty shell, or craggy rock May coral draw, or pearl. Ah, labour as thou wilt, and sigh, or sweat In this pursuit of gold, Thy cares and woes shall gather in proportion To all thy gathered wealth. Lo! to preserve thy jewels and thy wealth, Thou hidest them under earth, And gold forbids thee to enjoy thy gold, Hence treacherous we see The servant to his lord, And through his breast and heart He thrusts the faithless sword, Through eagerness of gold. Hence on the table of a royal house There stands the statue of a unicorn, As if in scorn of man; Since, giving safety to a mighty lord, The beast exposes human cruelty. Hence is it that the son, Greedy of gold, becomes his father's foe, Wishes him short existence, Flies him, and steals his wealth, So that to make him glad, his sire may pine. Hence is it, that for gold, Brothers, becoming frantic, Brandish the hostile steel, And deem this gold more precious than their blood. Here by the blaze of gold The eyes of woman dazzled See not her husband, nor regard her children, While on the wings of passion, She with the adulterer Aies, nor yet perceives That for this gold (vile dust!) She has resolved to quit her very flesh. What more? what more? not only By gold's possession thou shalt prove the foe Of wife, of father, brother, and of friend, But rebel even to God; Since with intemperate zeal Mere idols formed of gold, Thou shalt proclaim the only powers of heaven. But what do I behold ? blest that I am ! I see fair Eve approach ! on her soft back Bearing a load of many leafy boughs :