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Much he the place admir'd, the person more. As when a ship, by skilful steersman wrought
Nigh river's mouth or foreland, where the wind
Curl'd many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve. Adjoin'd, from each thing met conceives delight; To lure her eye; she, busied, heard the sound The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine, Of rustling leaves, but minded not, as us'd Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound; To such disport before her through the field, If chance, with nymph-like step, fair virgin pass, From every beast ; more duteous at her call, What pleasing seem'd, for her now pleases more, Than at Circean call the herd disguis'd. She most, and in her look sums all delight: He, bolder now, uncall'd before her stood, Such pleasure took the serpent to behold
But as in gaze admiring: oft he bow'd This flowery plat, the sweet recess of Eve
His turret crest, and sleek enamellid neck, Thus early, thus alone: her heavenly form
Fawning; and lick'd the ground whereon she irox Angelic, but more soft, and feminine,
His gentle dumb expression tum'd at length Her graceful innocence, her every air
The eye of Eve, to mark his play; he, glad
Of her attention gain'd, with serpent-tongue
“Wonder not, sovran mistress, if perhaps From his own evil, and for the time remaind Thou canst who art sole wonder! much less arm Stupidly good ; of enmity disarm’d,
Thy looks, the Heaven of mildness, with disdain, Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge.
Displeas'd that I approach thee thus, and gaze But the hot Hell that always in him burns,
Insatiate; I thus single ; nor have fear'd Though in mid Heaven, soon ended his delight, Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir'd. And tortures him now more, the more he sees Fairest resemblance of thy Maker fair, Of pleasure, not for him ordain'd: then soon Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts By gift, and thy celestial beauty adore Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites.
With ravishment beheld! there best beheld, “ Thoughts, whither have ye led me! with what Where universally admir'd; but here sweet
In this inclosure wild, these beasts among, Compulsion thus transported, to forget
Beholders rude, and shallow to discern What hither brought us! hate, not love; nor hope Half what in thee is fair, one man except, (seen Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste
Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who should be Of pleasure ; but all pleasure to destroy,
A goddess among gods, ador'd and servd Save what is in destroying; other joy
By angels numberless, thy daily train." To me is lost. Then, let me not let pass
So gloz'd the tempter, and his proem tun'd: Occasion which now smiles; behold alone
Into the heart of Eve his words made way The woman, opportune to all attempts,
Though at the voice much marvelling; at length, Her husband, for I view far round, not nigh, Not unamaz’d, she thus in answer spake. (nounce Whose higher intellectual more I shun,
“What may this mean? language of man pro And strength, of courage haughty, and of limb By tongue of brute, and human sense expressd ? Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould;
The first, at least, of these I thought denied Foe not informidable! exempt from wound, To beasts; whom God, on their creation-day, I not; so much hath Hell debas'd, and pain
Created mute to all articulate sound : Enfeebled me, to what I was in Heaven.
The latter I demur; for in their looks She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods !
Much reason, and in their actions, oft appears Not terrible, though terror be in love
Thee, serpent, subtlest beast of all the field
How cam'st thou speakable of mute, and how
Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight? Address'd his way: not with indented wave, Say, for such wonder claims attention due." Prone on the ground, as since; but on his rear, To whom the guileful tempter thus replied. Circular base of rising folds, that tower'd
- Empress of this fair world, resplendent Eve! Fold above fold, a surging maze! his head
Easy to me it is to tell thee all
obey 8 Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes;
What thou command'st; and right thou shouldal be With burnish'd neck of verdant gold, erect
I was at first as other beasts that graze Amidst his circling spires, that on the grass
The trodden herb, of abject thoughts and low, Floated redundant: pleasing was his shape
As was my food; nor aught but food discern' And lovely; never since of serpent-kind
Or sex, and apprehended nothing high : Lovelier, not those that in Illyria chang'd
Till, on a day roving the field, I chanc'd Hermione and Cadmus, or the god
A goodly tree far distant to behold In Epidaurus; nor to which transform'd
Loaden with fruit of fairest colors mix'd,
Ruddy and gold: I nearer drew to gaze;
of ewe or goat, dropping with milk at even
Unsuck'd of lamb or kid; that tend their play God so commanded, and left that command
Sole daughter of his voice; the rest, we live
Law to ourselves; our reason is our law." Not to defer; hunger and thirst at once,
To whom the tempter guilefully replied. Powerful persuaders, quicken'd at the scent “ Indeed! hath God then said that of the fruit Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keen.
Of all these garden-trees ye shall not eat, About the mossy trunk I wound me soon ;
Yet lords declar'd of all in Earth or Air ?" For, high from ground, the branches would require To whom thus Eve, yet sinless. “Of the fruit Thy utmost reach or Adam's: round the tree Of each tree in the garden we may eat; All other beasts that saw, with like desire
But of the fruit of this fair tree amidst Longing and envying stood, but could not reach. The garden, God hath said, “Ye shall not eat Amid the tree now got, where plenty hung
Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, lest ye die.'" lempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill
She scarce had said, though brief, when nowy more I spard not; for, such pleasure till that hour,
bold At feed or fountain, never had I found.
| The tempter, but with show of zeal and love Sated at length, ere long I might perceive
To Man, and indignation at his wrong, Strange alteration in me, to degree
New part puts on ; and, as to passion mov’d, Of reason in my inward powers; and speech Fluctuates disturb’d, yet comely and in act Wanted not long; though to this shape retain'd. Rais'd, as of some great matter to begin. Thenceforth to speculations high or deep
As when of old some orator renown'd, i turn'd my thoughts, and with capacious mind In Athens or free Rome, where eloquence Consider'd all things visible in Heaven,
Flourish'd, since mute! to some great cause ad Or Earth, or Middle; all things fair and good :
dress'd, But all that fair and good in thy divine
Stood in himself collected; while each part, Semblance, and in thy beauty's heavenly ray, Motion, each act, won audience ere the tongue ; Cnited I beheld; no fair to thine
Sometimes in height began, as no delay Equivalent or second : which compellid
Of preface brooking, through his zeal of right: Me thus, though importune perhaps, to come So standing, moving, or to height up grown, And gaze, and worship thee of right declar'd The tempter, all impassion'd, thus began.. Sovran of creatures, universal dame!"
“O sacred, wise, and wisdom-giving plant, So talk'd the spirited sly snake; and Eve, Mother of science! now I feel thy power Yet more amaz’d, unwary thus replied.
Within me clear; not only to discern * Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt Things in their causes, but to trace the ways The virtue of that fruit, in thee first prov'd: Of highest agents, deem'd however wise. But say, where grows the tree? from hence how far? Queen of this universe! do not believe For many are the trees of God that grow
Those rigid threats of death: ye shall not die: In Paradise, and various, yet unknown
How should you? by the fruit? it gives you life To us; in such abundance lies our choice,
To knowledge ; by the threatener? look on me As leaves a greater store of fruit untouch'd, Me, who have touch'd and tasted ; yet both live, Still hanging incorruptible, till men
And life more perfect have attain'd than Fate Grow up to their provision, and more hands Meant me, by venturing higher than my lot. Help to disburden Nature of her birth."
Shall that be shut to man, which to the beast To whom the wily adder, blithe and glad Is open? or will God incense his ire - Empress, the way is ready, and not long;
For such a petty trespass ? and not praise Beyond a row of myrtles, on a flat,
Rather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain Fast by a fountain, one small thicket past
Of death denounc'd, whatever thing death be, Of blowing myrrh and balm : if thou accept Deterr'd not from achieving what might lead My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon."
To happier life, knowledge of good and evil; * Lead then," said Eve. He, leading, swiftly rolld Of good, how just ? of evil, if what is evil In tangles, and made intricate seem straight, Be real, why not known, since easier shunn'd? To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just; Brightens his crest; as when a wandering fire Not just, not God: not fear'd then, nor obey'd : Compact of unctuous vapor, which the night Your fear itself of death removes the fear. Condenses, and the cold environs round,
Why then was this forbid? Why, but to awe; Kindled through agilation to a flame,
Why, but to keep ye low and ignorant, Which oft, they say, some evil spirit attends, His worshippers? He knows that in the day Hovering and blazing with delusive light,
Ye eat thereof, your eyes, that seem so clear, Misleads the amaz'd night-wanderer from his way Yet are but dim, shall perfectly be then To bogs and mires, and oft through pond or pool; Open'd and clear'd, and ye shall be as gods. There swallow'd up and lost, from succor far: Knowing both good and evil, as they know. So glister'd the dire snake, and into fraud
That ye shall be as gods, since I as Man, Led Eve, our credulous mother, to the tree
Internal Man, is but proportion meet; Of prohibition, root of all our woe;
I, of brute, human; ye, of human, gods. Which when she saw, thus to her guide she spake. So ye shall die, perhaps, by putting off * Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming Human, to put on gods; death to be wish'd,
Though threaten'd, which no worse than this ca Fruitless to me, though fruit be here to excess,
bring. The credit of whose virtue rest with thee; And what are gods, that man may not become Wondrous indeed if cause of such effects. As they, participating godlike food ? But of this tree we may not taste nor touch; | The gods are first, and that advantage use
On our belief, that all from them proceeds: Or fancied so, through expectation high
Of knowledge; nor was godhead from her thought Warm'd by the Sun, producing every kind ; Greedily she engorg'd without restraint,
Them, nothing: if they all things, who inclos'd And knew not eating death ; satiate at length, Knowledge of good and evil in this tree,
And heighten'd as with wine, jocund and boon, That whoso eats thereof forthwith attains
Thus to herself she pleasingly began.
And thy fair fruit let hang, as to no end
Created; but henceforth my early care, In heavenly breasts ?—These, these, and many more Not without song, each morning, and due praise Causęs import your need of this fair fruit.
Shall tend thee, and the fertile burden ease Goddess humane, reach then, and freely taste.” of thy full branches offer'd free to all;
He ended ; and his words, replete with guile, Till, dieted by thee, I grow mature Into her heart too easy entrance won :
In knowledge, as the gods, who all things know; Fix'd on the fruit she gaz'd, which to behold Though others envy what they cannot give. Might tempt alone; and in her ears the sound For, had the gift been theirs, it had not here Yet rung of his persuasive words, impregn'd . Thus grown. Experience, next, to thee I owe. With reason, to her seeming, and with truth; Best guide: not following thee, I had remain'd Meanwhile the hour of noon drew on, and wak'd In ignorance; thou open'st wisdom's way, An eager appetite, rais'd by the smell
And giv'st access, though secret she retire. So savory of that fruit, which with desire,
And I perhaps am secret Heaven is high, Inclinable now grown to touch or taste,
Iligh, and remote to see from thence distinct Solicited her longing eye; yet first
Each thing on Earth ; and other care perhaps Pausing awhile, thus to herself she mus'd. May have diverted from continual watch
“Great are thy virtues, doubtless, best of fruits, Our great Forbidder, safe with all his spies
As yet my change, and give him to partake
But keep the odds of knowledge in my power Conceals not from us, naming thee the tree
Without copartner? so to add what wants
And render me more equal; and perhaps,
Superior: for, inferior, who is free?
And death ensue? then I shall be no more!
Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct ;
A death to think! Confirm'd then I resolve, Bind us with after-bands, what profits then
Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe: Our inward freedom? In the day we eat
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths Of this fair fruit, our doom is, we shall die! I could endure, without him live no life." Ilow dies the serpent? he hath eat'n and lives. So saying, from the tree her step she turn'd; And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns, But first low reverence done, as to the Power Irrational, till then. For us alone
That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd Was death invented ? or to us denied
Into the plant sciential sap, deriv’d This intellectual food, for beasts resery'd ?
From nectar, drink of gods. Adam the while For beasts it seems: yet that one beast which first Waiting desirous her return, had wove Hath tasted envies not, but brings with joy Of choicest flowers a garland, to adorn The good befall'n him, author unsuspect,
Her tresses, and her rural labors crown; Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile.
As reapers oft are wont their harvest-queen. . What fear I then? rather, what know to fear Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new Under this ignorance of good and evil,
Solace in her return, so long delay'd: Of God or death, of law or penalty ?
Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill, Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine, Misgave him; he the faltering measure felt; Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste,
And forth to meet her went, the way she took Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then | 'That morn when first they parted: by the tree To reach, and feed at once both body and mind ?" Of knowledge he must pass; there he her mei, So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Scarce from the tree returning; in her hand Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck'd, she eat! A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smil'd, Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat, New gather'd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd. Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe, To him she hasted ; in her face excuse That all was lost. Back to the thicket slunk Came prologue, and apology too prompt; The guilty serpent; and well might; for Eve, Which, with bland words at will, she thus address'd Intent now wholly on her taste, nought else
“ Hast thou not wonder'd, Adam, at my stay? Regarded ; such delight till then, as seemd, Thee I have miss'd, and thought it long, depriv'd In fruit she never tasted. whether true
| Thy presence; agony of love till now
Not felt, nor shall be twice ; for never more Is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit,
Profan'd first by the serpent, by him first
Lives, as thou saidst, and gains to live, as Man, Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown
| Higher degree of life: inducement strong Opening the way, but of divine effect
To us, as likely tasting to attain
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threatening, will in earnest so destroy Not dead, as we are threaten'd, but thenceforth Us his prime creatures, dignified so high, Endued with human voice and human sense. Set over all his works; which in our fall, Reasoning to admiration; and with me
For us created, needs with us must fail, Persuasively hath so prevail'd, that I
Dependent made; so God shall uncreate, Have also tasted, and have also found
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labor lose ; The effects to correspond; opener mine eyes Not well conceiv'd of God, who, though his power Dim erst, dilated spirits, ampler heart,
Creation could repeat, yet would he loth And growing up to godhead; which for thee Us to abolish, lest the adversary Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise. Triumph, and say ; •Fickle their state whom God For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss ;
Most favors; who can please him long? Me first Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon. He ruin'd, now Mankind; whom will he next ?' Thou therefore also taste, that equal lot
Matter of scorn, not to be given the foe. May join us, equal joy, as equal love;
However I with thee have fix'd my lot, Lest, thou not tasting, different degree
Certain to undergo like doom: if death Disjoin us, and I then too late renounce
Consort with thee, death is to me as life;
So forcible within my heart I feel
Our state cannot be sever'd; we are one,
One flesh: to lose thee were to lose myself."
Engaging me to emulate ; but, short
Adam ? from whose dear side I boast me sprung, "O fuirest of creation, last and best
And gladly of our union hear thee speak, Of all God's works, creature in whom excell'd One heart, one soul in both; whereof good proof Whatever can to sight or thought be form’d, This day affords, declaring thee resolvid, Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
Rather than death, or aught than death more dread How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost,
Shall separate us, link'd in love so dear, Defac'd, deflower'd, and now to death devote! To undergo with me one
quilt, one crime. Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress If any be, of tasting this fair fruit; The strici forbiddance, how to violate
Whose virtue, (for of good still good proceeds ; The sacred fruit forbidden! Some cursed fraud Direct, or by occasion.) hath presented 01 enemy hath beguild thee, yet unknown, This happy trial of thy love, which else And me with thee hath ruin'd; for with thee So eminently never had been known. Certain my resolution is to die :
Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue llow can I live without thee! how forego
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact
Pernicious to thy peace; chiefly, assur'd Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Remarkably so late of thy so true, ould never from my heart: no, no! I feel So faithful, love unequallid: but I feel The link of Nature draw me: flesh of flesh, Far otherwise the event; not death, but life Sone of my bone thou art, and from thy state Augmented, open'd eyes, new hopes, new jovs, he never shall be parted, bliss or woe."
Tasie so divine, that what of sweet before $ having said, as one from sad dismay
Hath touch'd my sense, nat seems to this, and harsh Recomforted, and after thoughts disturb'd
On my experience, Adam, freely taste, Submitting to what seem'd remediless,
And fear of death deliver to the winds." Thus in nus in calm mood his words to Eve he turn'd. | So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy
Bold deed thou hast presum'd, adventurous Eve, Tenderly wept; much won, that he his love ind peril great provok'd, who thus hast dar'd, Had so ennobled, as of choice to incur 133 it been only coveting to eye
Divine displeasure for her sake, or death. That sacred fruit, sacred to abstinence,
In recompense (for such compliance bad uch more to taste it under han to touch.
Such recompense best merits) from the bough But past who can recall, or done, undo?
She gave him of that fair enticing fruit Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate; yet so
With liberal hand: he scrupled not to cat. l'erhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact | Against his better knowledge; not deceiv'd
But fondly overcome with female charın.
To counterfeit man's voice; true in our fall, Earth trembled from her entrails, as again . False in our promis d rising; since our eyes In pangs; and Nature gave a second groan; Open'd we find indeed, and find we know Sky lourd ; and, muttering thunder, some sad drops Both good and evil; good lost, and evil got; Wept at completing of the mortal sin
Bad fruit of knowledge; if this be to know ; Original: while Adam took no thought,
Which leaves us naked thus, of honor void.
Of innocence, of faith, of purity,
And in our faces evident the signs
Of foul concupiscence. whence evil store They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel Even shame, the last of evils; of the first Divinity within them breeding wings,
Be sure then-How shall I behold the face Wherewith to scorn :he earth: but that false fruit Henceforth of God or angel, erst with joy Far other operation first display'd,
And rapture so oft beheld ? Those heavenly shapes Carnal desire inflaming: he on Eve
Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze Began to cast lascivious eyes ; she him
Insufferably bright. 0! might I here As wantonly repaid ; in !ust they burn:
In solitude live savage; in some glade Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move. Obscur’d, where highest woods, impenetrable "Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste,
To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad And elegant, of sapience no small part;
And brown as evening: cover me, ye pines! Since to each meaning savor we apply
Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs
Hide me, where I may never see them more!
To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen;
And girded on our loins, may cover round But come, so well refresh’d, now let us play, | Those middle parts; that this new comer, Shame, As meet is, after such delicious fare ;
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean." For never did thy beauty, since the day
So counsell’d he, and both together went I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd
Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose With all.perfections, so inflame my sense
The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renowns, With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now
But such as at this day, to Indians known, Than ever: bounty of this virtuous tree !"
In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground Of amorous intent: well understood
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire. About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade TIer hand he seiz'd; and to a shady bank,
High over-arch'd, and echoing walks between Thick over-head with verdant roof embower'd, There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat, He led her nothing loth; flowers were the couch, Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds Pansies, and violets, and asphodel,
At loop-holes cut through thickest shade : three And hyacinths ; Earth's freshest softest lap.
leaves There they their fill of love and love's disport They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe; Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal, And, with what skill they had, together sew'd, The solace of their sin: till dewy sleep
To gird their waist ; vain covering, if to nide Oppress'd them, wearied with their amorous play. Their guilt and dreaded shame! O, how unlike Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit,
To that first naked glory! Such of late That with exhilarating vapor bland
Columbus found the American, so girt About their spirits had play'd, and inmost powers With feather'd cincture, naked else, and wild Made err, was now exhald ; and grosser sleep, Among the trees on isles and woody shores. Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams Thus fenc'd, and, as they thought, their shame in art Encumber'd, now had left them; up they rose Cover'd, but not at rest or ease of mind, As from unrest; and each the other viewing, They sat them down to weep; nor only tears Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their minds Rain'd at their eyes, but high winds worse withir How darken'd: innocence, that as a veil
Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate, Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone; Mistrust, suspicion, discord ; and shook sore Just confidence, and native righteousness,
Their inward state of mind calm region once And honor, from about them, naked left
And full of peace, now tost and turbulent: To guilty shame; he cover'd, but his robe
For Understanding ruld not, and the Will Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong, Heard not her lore; both in subjection now Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap
To Sensual Appetite, who from beneath
Usurping over sovran Reason claim'd
Adam, estrang'd in look and alter'd style, Confounded, long they sat, as strucken mute : Speech intermitted thus to Eve renet'd. istuid Till Adam, though not less than Eve abashid,
“Would thou hadst hearkened to my words, and At length gave utterance to these words constrain'd. With me, as I besought thee, when that strange “() Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear
Desire of wandering, this unhappy morn, To that false worm, of whomsoever taught
I know not whence possess'd thee; we had then