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Thy love, the sole contentment of
heart Living or dying, from thee 'I will not hide What thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen, 975 Tending to some relief of our extremes, Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable, As in our evils, and of easier choice. If care of our descent perplex us most, Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd 980 By Death at last; and miserable it is To be to others cause of misery, Our own begott'en, and of our loins to bring Into this cursed world a woful race, That after wretched life must be at last
985 Food for fo foul a monster; in thy power It lies, yet ere conception to prevent The race unblest, to bei'ng yet unbegot. Childless thou art, childless remain : so Death
978. As in our evils,] That is 989. Childless thou art, childless reconfidering the excess of evil to main :) It is a strange mistake in which we are reduc'd ; an elegant some editions, and especially in MilLatin use of the word As. Cic. Epist
. ton's own, where this imperfect verse Fam. IV.9. Nam adhuc, et factum is printed as a whole verse, and the tuum probatur, et. ut in tali re, etiam words fo Death wanting to complete fortuna laudatur XII. 2. Non nihil, the line are added to the next line, ut in tantis malis, eft profectum, that which is thereby made as much too is, considering our ill situation. long as this is too short. So Death fall Richardfor. be deceiv'd his glut, and with us two.
Shall be deceiv'd his glut, and with us two
990 Be forc'd to satisfy his ravenous maw. But if thou judge it hard and difficult, Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain From love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet, And with desire to languish without hope, 995 Before the present object languishing With like desire, which would be misery And torment less than none of what we dread; Then both ourselves and feed at once to free From what we fear for both, let us make short, Let us seek Death, or he not found, supply 1001 With our own hands his office on ourselves : Why stand we longer shivering under fears, That show no end but death, and have the power, Of many ways to die the shortest choosing, 1005 Destruction with destruction to destroy?
Dr. Bentley have taken away the Of many ways to die the poortest comma after power, and have put choosing
the one a comma, and the other a Destruction with defiruction to de- semicolon after to die : but of many
Stroy??] So these verses are ways to die is not to be join'd in pointed in Milton's original editions ; construction with the power, and and the construction is this, and have have the power of many ways to die ; the power to destroy destruction with but is to be join'd in construction de fruction, choosing the foorteft of with the fortes, choosing the forteft many ways to die. Mr. Fenton and of many ways to dic: and this makes
She ended here, or vehement despair Broke off the rest; so much of death her thoughts Had entertain'd, as dy'd her cheeks with pale. But Adam with such counsel nothing sway'd, 1010 To better hopes his more attentive mind Lab’ring had rais'd, and thus to Eve reply'd.
Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems To
argue in thee something more sublime And excellent than what thy mind contemns; 1015 But self-destruction therefore sought; refutes That excellence thought in thee, and implies, Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret For loss of life and pleasure overlov'd. Or if thou covet death, as utmost end 1020 Of misery, so thinking to evade The penalty pronounc’d, doubt not but God Hath wiselier arm’d his vengeful ire than so
To be forestallid; much more I fear lest death So snatch'd will not exempt us from the pain 1025 We are by doom to pay ; rather such acts Of contumacy will provoke the Highest To make death in us live: Then let us seek Some safer resolution, which methinks I have in view, calling to mind with heed Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise The Serpent's head; piteous amends, unless Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe Satan, who in the serpent hath contriv'd Against us this deceit: to crush his head Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost By death brought on ourselves, or childless days Resolv'd as thou proposest; so our foe Shall 'scape his punishment ordain’d, and we. Instead shall double ours upon our heads. 1040 No more be mention’d then of violence Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness,
calling to mind with heed their fen- poetry : it might not be so trite and tence, as it is ver. 1030.
vulgar formerly ; for Fairfax like1024. To be forestall'd;] This wile uses it in his Jerusalem, Cant, word appears too low for heroic 15. St. 47.
That cuts us off from hope, and favors only
if pray him, will his ear 1060 Be open, and his heart to pity' incline,
But forth there crept (from whence
I cannot say)
1054. Glanc'don the ground;] The quibble here is insufferable.
1066. – skats