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On our belief, that all from them proceeds : Or fancied so, through expectation high
Of knowledge ; nor was godhead from her thougt
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
(more Created ; but henceforth my early care, In heavenly breasts? These, these, and many Not without song, each morning, and due praise, Causes import your need of this fair fruit.
Shall tend thee, and the fertile burden ease Goddess huinane, 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 savoury of that fruit, which with desire, And I perhaps am secret : Heaven is high, Inclinable now grown to touch or taste,
High, and remote to see from thence distinct Solicited her longing eye; yet first
Each thing on Earth ; and other care perhaps Pausing a while, thus to herself she mus'd.
May have diverted from continual watch
But keep the odds of knowledge in my power
And render me more equal ; and perhaps,
Superior : for, inferior, who is free?
And death ensue? then I shall be no more! In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
And Adam, wedded to another Eve, Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise ?
Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct; Such prohibitions bind not. But, if death
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." How 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 reserv'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 labours 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 soinething 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 met, 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 seem'd, 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
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
Dependant made ; so God shall uncreate, Have also tasted, and have also found
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour lose ;
Creation could repeat, yet would be loth
Triumph, and • Fickle their state whom God For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss ;
Most favours; 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; Deity for thee when Fate will not permit." So forcible within my heart I feel
Thus Eve with countenance blithe her story told; The bond of Nature draw me to my own; But in her cheek distemper flushing glow'd. My own in thee, for what thou art is mine; On the other side, Adam, soon as he heard
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 fairest 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 resolv'd, 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,
Whose virtue, (for of good still good proceeds;
Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue How can I live without thee ! how forego
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
Pernicious to thy peace; chiefly, assur'd
Remarkably so late of thy so true, Would never from my heart : no, no! I feel So faithful, love unequall'd: but I feel The link of Nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Far otherwise the event; not death, but life Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state Augmented, open'd eyes, new hopes, new joys, Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.'
Taste so divine, that what of sweet before So having said, as one from sad dismay
Hath touch'd my sense, flat 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.”
“ Bold deed thou hast presum’d, adventurous Eve, Tenderly wept; much won, that he his love
Divine displeasure for her sake, or death.
In recompense (for such compliance bad Much more to taste it under ban 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 eat, Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact Against his better knowledge ; not deceiv'd,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
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 honour void, Eating his fill: nor Eve to iterate
Of innocence, of faith, of purity, Her former trespass fear'd, the more to sooth Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd. Him with her lov'd society ; that now,
And in our faces evident the signs As with new wine intoxicated both,
Of foul concupiscence ; whence evil store
Be sure then. - How shall I behold the face
And rapture so oft beheld? Those heavenly shape Carnal desire inflaming: he on Eve
Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze Began to cast lascivious eyes; she him
Insufferably bright. O! might I here
In solitude live savage ; in some glade
“ 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 savour we apply
Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs And palate call judicious; I the praise
Hide me, where I may never see them more! Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd. But let us now, as in bad plight, devise Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd What best may for the present serve to hide From this delightful fruit, nor known till now The parts of each from other, that seem most True relish, tasting ; if such pleasure be
To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen; In things to us forbidd'n, it might be wish'd, Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd, For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
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 counsellid 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 renown'd, With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now
But such as at this day, to Indians known, Than ever : bounty of this virtuous trce !".
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 Her hand he seiz'd; and to a shady bank,
High over-arch'd, and echoing walks between : Thick over-head with verdant roof imbower'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: those 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 hide 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 vapour 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 exhal’d; and grosser sleep, Among the trees on isles and woody shores. (part Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams Thus fenc'd, and, as they thought, their shame in 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 within 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 honour, from about them, naked left
And full of peace, now tost and turbulent : To guilty shame; he cover'd, but his robe
For Understanding rul'd 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 Of Philistéan Dalilah, and wak'd
Usurping over sovran Reason claim'd Shorn of his strength, they destitute and bare Superior sway: from thus distemper'd breast, Of all their virtue: silent, and in face
Adam, estrang'd in look and alter'd style Confounded, long they sat, as strucken mute : Speech intermitted thus to Eve renew'd. (staid Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd, • 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
Remain'd still happy; not, as now, despoil'd committed, resolve to sit no longer confined Of all our good ; sham'd, naked, miserable !
in Hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve place of Man : to make the way easier from The faith they owe; when earnestly they seek Hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad Such proof, conclude, they then begin to fail." highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the To whom, soon mov'd with touch of blame, thus track that Satan first made; then, preparing for Eve.
Earth, they meet him, proud of his success, reWhat words bave pass'd thy lips, Adam severe ! turning to Hell ; their mutual gratulation. Satan Imput'st thou that to my default, or will
arrives at Pandemonium, in full assembly relates Of wandering, as thou call'st it, which who knows with boasting his success against Man; instead But might as ill have happen'd thou being by, of applause is entertained with a general hiss by Or to thyself perhaps ? Hadst thou been there, all his audience, transformed with himself also Or here the attempt, thou couldst not have discern'd suddenly into serpents according to his doom Fraud in the serpent, speaking as he spake ;
given in Paradise ; then, deluded with a show of No ground of enmity between us known,
the forbidden tree springing up before them, they, Why he should mean me ill, or seek to harm. greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust Was I to have never parted from thy side ?
and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and As good have grown there still a lifeless rib.
Death; God foretels the final victory of his Son Being as I am, why didst not thou, the head, over them, and the renewing of all things; but Command me absolutely not to go,
for the present, commands his angels to make Going into such danger, as thou saidst ?
several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Too facile then, thou didst not much gainsay ; Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen conNay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
dition, heavily bewails, rejects the condolement Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent, of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him: Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with me." then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their off
To whom, then first incens’d, Adam replied. spring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which “ Is this the love, is this the recompense
he approves not; but, conceiving better hope, Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve! Express'd
puts her in mind of the late promise made them, Immutable, when thou wert lost, not I;
that her seed should be revenged on the serpent ; Who might have liv'd, and joy'd immortal bliss, and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the Yet willingly chose rather death with thee ?
offended Deity, by repentance and supplication. And am I now upbraided as the cause Of thy transgressing? Not enough severe, MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act It seems, in thy restraint : what could I more ? Of Satan done in Paradise ; and how I warn’d thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold
He, in the serpent, had perverted Eve, The danger, and the lurking enemy
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit, That lay in wait; beyond this had been force ; Was known in Heaven ; for what can ’scape the eye And force upon free-will hath here no place. Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart But confidence then bore thee on; secure
Omniscient? who, in all things wise and just, Either to meet no danger, or to find
Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps
Of Man, with strength entire, and free-will, arm'd; I also err'd, in overmuch admiring
Complete to have discover'd and repuls'd What seem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend. No evil durst attempt thee; but I rue
For still they knew, and ought to have still reThat errour now, which is become my crime,
member'd, And thou the accuser. Thus it shall befall The high injunction, not to taste that fruit, Him, who, to worth in women overtrusting, Whoever tempted ; which they not obeying Lets her will rule : restraint she will not brook ; Incurr’d (what could they less ?) the penalty ; And, left to herself, if evil thence ensue,
And, manifold in sin, desery'd to fall. She first his weak indulgence will accuse.”
Up into Heaven from Paradise in haste Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The angelic guards ascend, mute, and sad,
Entrance unseen. Soon as the unwelcome news
All were who heard ; dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet, mix'd
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes Man's transgression known; the guardian-angels The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
forsake Paradise, and return up to Heaven to How all befell : they towards the throne supreme, approve their vigilance, and are approved ; God Accountable, made haste, to make appear declaring that the entrance of Satan could With righteous plea their utmost vigilance, not be by them prevented. He sends his Son And easily approv'd; when the Most High to judge the transgressors, who descends and Eternal Father, from his secret cloud gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes : Amidst, in thunder utter'd thus his voice. them both, and re-ascends. Sin and Death, “ Assembled angels, and ye powers return'd sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by won-From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd, derous sympathy feeling the success of Satan Nor troubled at these tidings from the Earth in this new world, and the Sin by Man there which your sincerest care could not prevent,
Forelold so lately what would come to pass, Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
forth!" On his bad errand ; Man should be seduc'd,
He came ; and with him Eve, more loth, though And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
To offend ; discountenanc'd both, and discompos'd; Against his Maker; no decree of mine
Love was not in their looks, either to God, Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Or to each other ; but apparent guilt, Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
And shame, and perturbation, and despair, His free-will, to her own inclining left
Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile. In even scale. But fall'n he is; and now
Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answer'd brief. What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
“ I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice On his transgression, — death denounc'd that day? Afraid, being naked, hid myself." To whom Which he presumes already vain and void,
The gracious Judge without revile replied. [fear'd, Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd,
“ My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find But still rejoic'd; how is it now become Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end.
So dreadful to thee? That thou art naked, who Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd.
Hath told thee? Hast thou eaten of the tree, But whom send I to judge them ? whom but thee, Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?" Vicegerent Son ? To thee I have transferr'd
To whom thus Adam sore beset replied. All judgment, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or Hell. “ ( Heaven! in evil strait this day I stand Easy it may be seen that I intend
Before my judge; either to undergo Mercy colleague with justice, sending theo
Myself the total crime, or to accuse Man's friend, his Mediator, his design'd
My other self, the partner of my life; Both ransom and Redeemer voluntary,
Whose failing, while her faith to me remains, And destin’d Man himself to judge Man fall’n." I should conceal, and not expose to blame
So spake the Father ; and, unfolding bright By my complaint : but strict necessity Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son Subdues me, and calamitous constraint ; Blaz'd forth unclouded deity: he full
Lest on my head both sin and punishment, Resplendent all his Father manifest
However insupportable, be all Express’d, and thus divinely answer'd mild. Devolv’d; though should I hold my peace, yet thou * Father Eternal, thine is to decree;
Wouldst easily detect what I conceal. Mine, both in Heaven and Earth, to do thy will This woman, whom thou mad'st to be my help, Supreme; that thou in me, thy Son belov’d, And gav’st me as thy perfect gift, so good, May'st ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge So fit, so acceptable, so divine, On Earth these thy transgressors; but thou know'st, That from her hand I could suspect no ill, Whoever judg'd, the worst on me must light, And what she did, whatever in itself, When time shall be ; for so I undertook
Her doing seem'd to justify the deed; Before thee; and, not repenting, this obtain She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.' Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
To whom the Sovran Presence thus replied. On me deriv'd; yet I shall temper so
“ Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey Justice with mercy, as may illustrate most
Before his voice? or was she made thy guide,
Superior, or but equal, that to her
Hers in all real dignity? Adorn'd
She was indeed, and lovely, to attract
Unseemly to bear rule ; which was thy part
So having said, he thus to Eve in few. Down he descended straight; the speed of gods “ Say,woman, what is this which thou hast done?" Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelmid, wing'd.
Confessing soon, yet not before her judge Now was the Sun in western cadence low
Bold or loquacious, thus abash'd replied. From noon, and gentle airs, due at their hour, “ The serpent me beguil'd, and I did eat.” To fan the Earth now wak’d, and usher in
Which when the Lord God heard, without delay The evening cool ; when he, from wrath more cool, To judgment he proceeded on the accus'd Came the mild judge, and intercessor both,
Serpent, though brute; unable to transfer To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard The guilt on him, who made him instrument Now walking in the garden, hy soft winds [heard, Of mischief, and polluted from the end Brought to their ears, while day declin'd; they of his creation ; justly then accurs'd, And from his presence hid themselves among As vitiated in nature : more to know The thickest trees, both man and wife ; till God, Concern'd not Man, (since he no further knew,) Approaching, thus to Adarn call'd aloud.
Nor alter'd his offence ; yet God at last “Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to meet To Satan first in sin his doom applied, My coming seen far off? I miss thee here, Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best : Not pleas'd, thus entertain'd with solitude,
And on the serpent thus his curse let fall. Where obvious duty ere while appear'd unsought : “ Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd