In solitude, what happiness? asks Adam,
with all of Paradise before him, for him.
The birds of the air, the beasts of the field,
he sees them in their pairs, like with like,
yet sees no one like him, and so complains.
And God responds, though not with Eve at first,
not her, but with a question of His own.
What thinkst thou then of mee, and this my State?
Seem I to thee sufficiently possest
Of happiness, or not? who am alone
From all Eternitie, for none I know
Second to mee or like, equal much less.
Who is like God but God? And who exists
for God to love? No one, for God is One.
Milton imagines the infinite loneliness
of an infinite being. But God relents.
And in the creation of Eve, Milton
reveals the blessing of our finitude.
Adam first sees her in the dream that ends
with her leaving, with him in the dark. I wak’d
To find her, or for ever to deplore
Her loss. Not all of Paradise for her.
And God, alone in Himself, knows this.
And God, in His beneficence, allows this.
Eve hands the forbidden fruit to Adam.
Thou therefore also taste, that equal Lot
May joyn us, equal Joy, as equal Love.
And both, in equal love, fall together.
—Eric LeMay, “The Loneliness of God”
Art Credit John Martin