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our evils, and of easier choice. If care of our descent perplex us most, Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd By death at last; and miserable it is To be to others cause of misery Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring Into this cursed world a woful race, That after wretched life, must be, at last, Food for so foul a monster ; in thy power It lies, yet ere conception, to prevent The race unblest, to being yet unbegot. Childless thou art, childless remain : so death Shall be deceived his glut, and with us two Be forced 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, 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 seed at once to free From what we fear for both, let us make short, Let us seek death, or, he not found, supply, With our own hands, his office on ourselves. Why stand we longer shivering under fears, That show no end but death, & have the power Of many ways to die, the shortest choosing, Destruction with destruction to destroy ?"
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 To better hopes his more attentive mind, Labouring, had raised ; and thus to Eve replied.
“Eve, thy contempt of life, & pleasure, seems To argue in thee something more sublime, And excellent, than what thy mind contemns ; 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, overloved. Or if thou covet death, as utmost end Of misery, so thinking to evade The penalty pronounced, doubt not but God Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful
than so To be forestall’d; much more I fear lest death,
So snatch'd, will not exempt us from the pain
Or by collision of two bodies, grind
So spake our father penitent, nor Eve Felt less remorse. They forthwith, to the place Repairing where he judged them, prostrate fell Before him, reverent, and both confess'd Humbly their faults, & pardon begg'd, with tears Watering the ground, & with their sighs the air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.
THE END OF ROOK X.
The Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first
parents, now repenting, and intercedes for them. God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise : sends Michael with a band of Cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things. Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach, goes out to meet him ; the Angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits. The Angel leads him up to a high hill, sets before him in vision what shall happen till the food.