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Much he the place admir'd, the person more. As when a ship, by skilful steersman wrought As one who long in populous city pent,
Nigh river's mouth or foreland, where the wind Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air, Veers oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her sail : Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe So varied he, and of his tortuous train Among the pleasant villages and farms
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 enamell'd neck, Thus early, thus alone : her heavenly form Fawning; and lick'd the ground whereon she trod Angelic, but more soft, and feminine,
His gentle dumb expression turn'd at length Her graceful innocence, her every air
The eye of Eve, to mark his play ; he, glad Of gesture, or least action, overaw'd
Of her attention gain'd, with serpent-tongue His malice, and with rapine sweet bereav'd Organic, or impulse of vocal air, liis fierceness of the fierce intent it brought : His fraudulent temptation thus began. That space the evil-one abstracted stood
“ Wonder not, sovran mistress, if perhaps From his own evil, and for the time remain'd 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.
Dispieas'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 enclosure wild, these beasts among, Coinpulsion 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, 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 serv'd 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,
Thougli at the voice much marvelling; at length, Her husband, for I view far round, not nigh, Not unamaz'd), she thus in answer spake. (nounc'd Whose higher intellectual more I shun,
“ What may this mean? language of man proAnd strength, of courage haughty, and of lim! By tongue of brute, and human sense express'd? Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould;
The first, at least, of these I thought denied Foe not informidable ! exeinpt from wound, To beasts ; whom God, on their creation-day, I not ; so much hath Hell debas'd, and pain Created mute to ali 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 terrour 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 Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes;
What thou command'st; and right thou should 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'd 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 colours mixid, Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen ;
Ruddy and gold ; I nearer drew to gaze ; He with Olympias ; this with her who bore When from the boughs a savoury odour blownl, Seipio, the height of Rome. With tract oblique Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd my sense At first, as one who sought access, but fear'd Than smell of sweetest fennel, or the teats To interrupt, side long he works his way.
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 Langing and envying stood, but could not reach. The garden, God hath said, “ Ye shall not cat Amid the tree now got, where plenty hung Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, lest ye die.' Tempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill
She scarce had said, though brief, when now I spar'd not ; for, such pleasure till that hour,
more 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, leuro'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 adOr 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; L'nited I beheld; no fair to thine
Sometimes in height began, as no delay Equivalent or second! which compell’d
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
Within me clear; not only to discern
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, Scill 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
Rather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain lai 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. [roll's To happier life, knowledge of good and evil ;
“ Lead then,” said Eve. He, leading, swiftly 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 : Counpact of unctuous vapour, 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 agitation to a flame,
Why, but to keep ye low and ignorant,
Ye eat thereof, your eyes that seem so clear,
That ye shall be as gods, since I as Man,
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, hither,
Though threaten'd, which no worse than this can 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 Wondronis indeed, if cause of such effects.
As they, participating god-like food ?
On our belief, that all from them proceeds : Or fancied so, through expectation high
Of knowledge ; nor was godhead from her thought.
And heightend 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
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. Miglit tempt alone; and in her ears the sound For, lad 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
Shall I appear? shall I to him make known
But keep the odds of knowledge in my power
Superior : for, inferior, who is free? For good unknown sure is not had ; or, had This may be well : but what if God have seen, And yet unknown, is as not had at all.
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 cat
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 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 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 tiil 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,
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 ; 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 be loth
Triumph, and say;
• 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 1:adergo like doom: if death Di-join 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.”
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 whoin 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, Hoiy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
Rather than deatlı, 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 thouglit death inenac'd would ensue How can I live without thee ! how forego This my attempt, I would sustain alone Thy sweet convérse, and love so dearly join’d, The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die To live again in these wild woods forlorn! Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact Should God create another Eve, and I
Pernicious to thy peace; chiefly, assur'd Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Remarkably so late of thy so true, Would never from my heart : nó, 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. Recornforted, 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 Bat 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, Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact Against his better knowledge; not decciv’d,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
To counterfeit man's voice; true in our fall,
False in our promis'd rising ; since our eyes
Bad fruit of knowledge; if this be to know;
Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void,
Of innocence, of faith, of purity,
And in our faces evident the signs
Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store
Be sure then. — How shall I behold the face
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
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 wishid, 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 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 renown'd, With ardour 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 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 berdsman, 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! 0, 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' 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
Usurping over sovran Reason claim'd
Adam, estrang'd in look and alter'd style
Desire of wandering, this unhappy morn, To that false worm, of whomsoever taught
I know not whence possess’d thee; we had then