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May have diverted from continual watch
Our great Forbidder, safe with all his spies
About him. But to Adam in what sort
Shall I appear? shall I to him make known
As yet my change, and give him to partake
Full happiness with me, or rather not,
But keep the odds of knowledge in my power
Without copartner? so to add what wants
In female sex, the more to draw his love,
And render me more equal; and perhaps,
A thing not undesirable, sometime
Superior; for, inferior, who is free?
This may be well: but what if God have seen,
And death ensue? then I shall be no more!
And Adam, wedded to another Eve,
Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct;
A death to think! Confirm'd then I resolve,
Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe:
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could endure, without him live no life."
So saying, from the tree her step she turn'd;
But first low reverence done, as to the Power
That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd
Into the plant sciential sap, deriv'd
From nectar, drink of gods. Adam the while
Waiting desirous her return, had wove
Of choicest flowers a garland, to adorn
Her tresses, and her rural labours crown ;
As reapers oft are wont their harvest-queen.
Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay'd:
Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill,
Misgave him; he the faltering measure felt;
And forth to meet her went, the way she took
That morn when first they parted: by the tree
Of knowledge he must pass; there he her met,
Scarce from the tree returning; in her hand
A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smil'd,
New gather'd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd.
To him she hasted; in her face excuse
Came prologue, and apology too prompt;
Which, with bland words at will, she thus ad-
Thou therefore also taste, that equal lot
May join us, equal joy, as equal love;
Lest, thou not tasting, different degree
Disjoin us, and I then too late renounce
Deity for thee when Fate will not permit."
Thus Eve with countenance blithe her story
"Hast thou not wonder'd, Adam, at my stay?
Thee I have miss'd, and thought it long, depriv'd
Thy presence; agony of love till now
Not felt, nor shall be twice; for never more
Mean I to try, what rash untried I sought,
The pain of absence from thy sight.
Hath been the cause, and wonderful to hear :
This tree is not, as we are told, a tree
Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown
Opening the way, but of divine effect
To open eyes, and make them gods who taste;
And hath been tasted such: the serpent wise,
Or not restrain'd as we, or not obeying,
Hath eaten of the fruit; and is become,
Not dead, as we are threaten'd, but thenceforth
Endued with human voice and human sense,
Reasoning to admiration; and with me
Persuasively hath so prevail'd, that I
Have also tasted, and have also found
The effects to correspond; opener mine eyes,
Dim erst, dilated spirits, ampler heart,
And growing up to godhead; which for thee
Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise.
For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss;
Tedious, unsbar'd with thee, and odious soon.
But in her cheek distemper flushing glow'd.
On the other side, Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amaz'd,
Astonied stood and blank, while horrour chill
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relax'd;
From his slack hand the garland wreath'd for
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed:
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
First to himself he inward silence broke,
"O fairest of creation, last and best
Of all God's works, creature in whom excell'd
Whatever can to sight or thought be form'd,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost,
Defac'd, deflower'd, and now to death devote?
Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred fruit forbidden! Some cursed fraud
Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin'd; for with thee
Certain my resolution is to die:
How can I live without thee! how forego
Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn!
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart: no, no! I feel
The link of Nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe."
So having said, as one from sad dismay
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturb'd
Submitting to what seem'd remediless,
Thus in calm mood his words to Eve he tum'd.
"Bold deed thou hast presum'd, adventurous
And peril great provok'd, who thus hast dar'd,
Had it been only coveting to eye
That sacred fruit, sacred to abstinence,
Much more to taste it under ban to touch.
But But past who can recall, or done undo?
Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate; yet so
Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact
Is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit,
Profan'd first by the serpent, by him first
Made common, and unhallow'd, ere our taste:
Nor yet on him found deadly; he yet lives;
Lives, as thou saidst, and gains to live, as Man,
Higher degree of life: inducement strong
To us, as likely tasting to attain
Proportional ascent; which cannot he
But to be gods, or angels, demi-gods.
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threatening, will in earnest so destroy
Us his prime creatures, dignified so high,
Set over all his works; which in our fall,
For us created, needs with us must fail,
Dependant made; so God shall uncreate,
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour lose;
Not well conceiv'd of God, who, though his
Creation could repeat, yet would be loth
Us to abolish, lest the adversary
Triumph, and say; "Fickle their state whom
Most favours; who can please him long? Me
He ruin'd, now Mankind; whom will he next?”
Matter of scorn, not to be given the foe.
However I with thec have fix'd my lot,
Certain to undergo like doom: if death
Consort with thee, death is to me as life;
So forcible within my heart I feel
The bond of Nature draw me to my own;
My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
Our state cannot be sever'd; we are one,
One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself."
So Adam; and thus Eve to him replied.
"O glorious trial of exceeding love,
Illustrious evidence, example high!
Engaging me to emulate; but, short
Of thy perfection, how shall I attain,
Adam? from whose dear side I boast me sprung,
And gladly of our union hear thee speak,
One heart, one soul in both; whereof good proof
This day affords, declaring thee resolv'd,
Rather than death, or aught than death more
Shall separate us, link'd in love so dear,
To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
If any be, of tasting this fair fruit;
Whose virtue (for of good still good proceeds,
Direct, or by occasion,) hath presented
This happy trial of thy love, which else
So eminently never had been known.
Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die
Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact
Pernicious to thy peace; chiefly, assur'd
Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful, love unequall'd: but I feel
Far otherwise the event; not death, but life
Augmented, open'd eyes, new hopes, new joys,
Taste so divine, that what of sweet before
Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this, and
On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
And fear of death deliver to the winds."
Far other operation first display'd,
Carnal desire inflaming; he on Eve
Began to cast lascivious eyes; she him
As wantonly repaid; in lust they burn:
Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move.
"Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste,
And elegant, of sapience no small part;
Since to each meaning savour we apply,
And palate call judicious; I the praise
Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey❜d.
Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd
From this delightful fruit, nor known till now
True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be
In things to us forbidd'n, it might be wish'd,
For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
But come, so well refresh'd, now let us play,
As meet is, after such delicious fare;
For never did thy beauty, since the day
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd
With all perfections, so inflame my sense
With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever; bounty of this virtuous tree !"
So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
Of amorous intent; well understood
Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire.
Her hand he seiz'd; and to a shady bank,
Thick over-head with verdant roof imbower'd,
He led her nothing loth; flowers were the couch,
Pansies, and violets, and asphodel,
And hyacinths; Earth's freshest softest lap.
There they their fill of love and love's disport
Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal,
The solace of their sin; till dewy sleep
Oppress'd them, wearied with their amorous
Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit,
That with exhilarating vapour bland
About their spirits had play'd, and inmost powers
Made err, was now exhal'd; and grosser sleep,
Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams
Encumber'd, now had left them; up they rose
As from unrest; and, each the other viewing,
Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their
How darken'd; innocence, that as a veil
Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was
Just confidence, and native righteousness,
And honour, from about them, naked left
To guilty shame; he cover'd, but his robe
Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong,
Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap
Of Philistean Dalilah, and wak'd
Shorn of his strength, they destitute and bare
Of all their virtue: silent, and in face
Confounded, long they sat, as strucken mute:
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd,
At length gave utterance to these words con-
So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy Tenderly wept; much won, that he his love Had so ennobled, as of choice to incur Divine displeasure for her sake, or death. In recompense (for such compliance bad Such recompense best merits) from the bough She gave him of that fair enticing fruit With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat, Against his better knowledge; not deceiv'd, But fondly overcome with female charm. Earth trembled from her entrails, as again In pangs; and Nature gave a second groan; Sky lour'd; and, muttering thunder, some sad Wept at completing of the mortal sin [drops Original: while Adam took no thought, Eating his fill; nor Eve to iterate Her former trespass fear'd, the more to sooth Him with her lov'd society; that now, As with new wine intoxicated both, They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel Divinity within them breeding wings, Wherewith to scorn the Earth: but that false fruit Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd,
"O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear
To that false worm, of whomsoever taught
To counterfeit man's voice; true in our fall,
False in our promis'd rising; since our eyes
Open'd we find indeed, and find we know
Both good and evil; good lost, and evil got;
Bad fruit of knowledge; if this be to know;
Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void,
Of innocence, of faith, of purity,
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean."
So counsell'd he, and both together went
Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose
The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renown'd,
But such as at this day, to Indians known,
In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade
High over-arch'd, and echoing walks between:
There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds
At loop-holes cut through thickest shade: those
They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe;
And, with what skill they had, together sew'd,
To gird their waist; vain covering, if to hide
Their, guilt and dreaded shame! O, how unlike
To that first naked glory! Such of late
Columbus found the American, so girt
With feather'd cincture; naked else, and wild
Among the trees on isles and woody shores.
Thus fenc'd, and, as they thought, their shame
Cover'd, but not at rest or ease of mind,
They sat them down to weep; nor only tears
Rain'd at their eyes, but high winds worse
Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate,
Mistrust, suspicion, discord; and shook sore
Their inward state of mind, calm region once
And full of peace, now tost and turbulent :
For Understanding rul'd not, and the Will
Heard not her lore; both in subjection now
To Sensual Appetite, who from beneath
Usurping over sovran Reason claim'd
Superior sway: from thus distemper'd breast,
Adam, estrang'd in look and alter'd style,
Speech intermitted thus to Eve renew'd.
"Would thou hadst hearken'd to my words, and staid
With me, as I besought thee, when that strange
Desire of wandering, this unhappy morn,
I know not whence possess'd thee; we had then
Remain'd still happy; not as now, despoil'd Of all our good; sham'd, naked, miserable! Let none henceforth seek needless cause to ap prove
The faith they owe; when earnestly they seek Such proof, conclude, they then begin to fail."
To whom, soon mov'd with touch of blame, thus Eve.
"What words have pass'd thy lips, Adam severe! Imput'st thou that to my default, or will Of wandering, as thou call'st it, which who knows
But might as ill have happen'd thou being by, Or to thyself perhaps? Hadst thou been there, Or here the attempt, thou couldst not have dis cern'd
Fraud in the serpent, speaking as he spake;
No ground of enmity between us known,
Why he should mean me ill, or seek to harm.
Was I to have never parted from thy side?
As good have grown there still a lifeless rib.
Being as I am, why didst not thou, the head,
Command me absolutely not to go,
Going into such danger, as thou saidst?
Too facile then, thou didst not much gainsay;
Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent,
Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with me."
To whom, then first incens'd, Adam replied. "Is this the love, is this the recompense Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve! Express'd Immutable, when thou wert lost, not I; Who might have liv'd, and joy'd immortal bliss, Yet willingly chose rather death with thee? And am I now upbraided as the cause Of thy transgressing? Not enough severe, It seems, in thy restraint: what could I more? I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold The danger, and the lurking enemy That lay in wait; beyond this, had been force; And force upon free will hath here no place. But confidence then bore thee on; secure Either to meet no danger, or to find Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps I also err'd, in overmuch admiring What seem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought No evil durst attempt thee; but 1: 1 rue That errour now, which is become my crime, And thou the accuser. Thus it shall befall Him, who, to worth in women overtrusting, Lets her will rule: restraint she will not brook; And, left to herself, if evil thence ensue, She first his weak indulgence will accuse."
Thus they in mutual accusation spent The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning; And of their vain contést appear'd no end,
Man's transgression known, the guardian-angels forsake Paradise, and return up to Heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved
God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors; who descends and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes them both, and reascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by wonderous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by Man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in Hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of Man to make the way easier from Hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad highway or bridge over Chaos, accord-Nor ing to the track that Satan first made; then, preparing for Earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to Hell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against Man; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss. by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into serpents according to his doom given in Paradise; then, deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death; God foretels the final vic-| tory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but for the present, commands his angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails, rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him: then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not; but, conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the serpent; and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arriv'd in multitudes
The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel: they towards the throne su
MEAN while the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan done in Paradise; and how
He, in the serpent, had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in Heaven; for what can 'scape the
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart [eye
Omniscient? who, in all things wise and just,
Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind [arm'd;
Of Man, with strength entire, and free will,
Complete to have discover'd and repuls'd
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still re-
The high injunction, not to taste that fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying
Incurr'd (what could they less?) the penalty;
And, manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.
Up into Heaven from Paradise in haste
The angelic guards ascend, mute, and sad,
For Man; for of his state by this they knew,
Much wondering how the subtle fiend had
Entrance unseen. Soon as the unwelcome news
From Earth arriv'd at Heaven-gate, displeas'd
All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet, mix'd
Accountable, made haste, to make appear
With righteous plea, their utmost vigilance,
And easily approv'd; when the Most High
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud
Amidst, in thunder utter'd thus his voice.
"Assembled angels, and ye powers return'd
From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd,
troubled at these tidings from the Earth, Which your sincerest care could not prevent, Foretold so lately what would come to pass, When first this tempter cross'd the gulf from Hell.
I told ye then he should prevail, and speed
On his bad errand; Man should be seduc'd,
And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker; no decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
His free will, to her own inclining left
In even scale. But fall'n he is; and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On bis transgression,—death denounc'd that
Which he presumes already vain and void,
Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd
By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find
Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end.
Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd.
But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee
Vicegerent Son? To thee I have transferr'd
All judgment, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or
Easy it may be seen that I intend [Hell
Mercy colleague with justice, sending the e
Man's friend, his Mediator, his design'd
Both ransom and Redeemer voluntary,
And destin'd Man himself to judge Man fall'n."
So spake the Father; and, unfolding bright
Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son
Blaz'd forth unclouded deity: he full
Resplendent all his Father manifest
Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd mild.
Father Eternal, thine is to decree;
Mine, both in Heaven and Earth, to do thy will
Supreme; that thou in me, thy Son belov'd,
May'st ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge
On Earth these thy transgressors; but thou
Whoever judg'd, the worst on me must light,
When time shall be; for so I undertook
Before thee; and, not repenting, this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
On me deriv'd; yet I shall temper so
Justice with mercy, as may illustrate most
Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where
Are to behold the judgment, but the judg'd,
Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law :
Conviction to the serpent none belongs."
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose
Of high collateral glory. Him thrones, and
Princedoms, and dominations ministrant,
Accompanied to Heaven-gate; from whence
Eden, and all the coast, in prospect lay.
Down he descended straight; the speed of gods
Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes
Now was the Sun in western cadence low
From noon, and gentle airs, due at their hour,
To fan the Earth now wak'd, and usher in
The evening ool; when he, from wrath more
Came the mild judge, and intercessor both,
To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard
Now walking in the garden, by soft winds
Brought to their ears, while day declin'd; they
And from his presence hid themselves among The thickest trees, both man and wife; till God, Approaching, thus to Adam call'd aloud.
"Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to
My coming seen far off? I miss thee here,
Not pleas'd, thus entertain'd with solitude,
Where obvious duty ere while appear'd unsought:
Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
Absents thee, or what chance detains?-Come
He came; and with him Eve, more loth,
To offend; discountenanc'd both, and discom-
Love was not in their looks, either to God,
Or to each other; but apparent guilt,
And shame, and perturbation, and despair,
Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile.
Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answer'd
"I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice Afraid, being naked, hid myself." To whom The gracious Judge without revile replied.
"My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd,
But still rejoic'd; how is it now become
So dreadful to thee? That thou art naked, who
Hath told thee? Hast thou eaten of the tree,
Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not
To whom thus Adam sore beset replied. "O Heaven! in evil strait this day I stand Before my judge; either to undergo Myself the total crime, or to accuse My other self, the partner of my life; Whose failing, while her faith to me remains, I should conceal, and not expose to blame By my complaint: but strict necessity Subdues me, and calamitous constraint; Lest on my head both sin and punishment, However insupportable, be all [thou Devolv'd; though should I hold my peace, yet Wouldst easily detect what I conceal.— This woman, whom thou mad'st to be my help, And gav'st me as thy perfect gift, so good, So fit, so acceptable, so divine, That from her hand I could suspect no ill, And what she did, whatever in itself, Her doing seem'd to justify the deed; She gave me of the tree, and I did eat."
To whom the sovran Presence thus replied. "Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey Before his voice? or was she made thy guide, Superior, or but equal, that to her Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place
Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,
And for thee, whose perfection far excell'd
Hers in all real dignity? Adorn'd
She was indeed, and lovely, to attract
Thy love, not thy subjection; and her gifts
Were such, as under government well seem'd
Unseemly to bear rule; which was thy part
And person, hadst thou known thyself aright."
So having said, he thus to Eve in few. "Say woman, what is this which thou hast done?"
To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelm'd,
Confessing soon, yet not before her judge Bold or loquacious, thus abash'd replied. "The serpent me beguil'd, and I did eat." Which when the Lord God heard, without delay
To judgment he proceeded on the accus'd
Serpent, though brute; unable to transfer
The guilt on him, who made him instrument
Of mischief, and polluted from the end
Of his creation; justly then accurs'd,
As vitiated in nature: more to know
Concern'd not Man, (since he no further knew)
Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last
To Satan first in sin his doom applied,
Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best:
And on the serpent thus his curse let fall.
"Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd
Above all cattle, each beast of the field;
Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go,
And dust shall eat all the days of thy life.
Between thee and the woman I will put
Enmity, and between thine and her seed;
Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his
So spake this oracle, then verified When Jesus, son of Mary, second Eve, (ven, Saw Satan fall, like lightning, down from Hea Prince of the air; then, rising from his grave Spoil'd principalities and powers, triumph'd In open show; and, with ascension bright, Captivity led captive through the air, The realm itself of Satan, long usurp'd; Whom he shall tread at last under our feet; Ev'n he, who now foretold his fatal bruise: And to the woman thus his sentence turn'd.
"Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
By thy conception; children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth; and to thy husband's will
Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule."
On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd. "Because thou hast hearken'd to the voice of thy wife,
And eaten of the tree, concerning which
I charg'd thee, saying, 'Thou shalt not eat thereof :'
Curs'd is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow
Shalt eat thereof, all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth,
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return."
So judg'd he Man, both judge and saviour sent; [day, And the instant stroke of death, denounc'd that