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Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd
He added not, and from her turn'd. But Eve, Not so repulsed, with tears that ceased not flowing, And tresses all disorder'd, at his feet
911 Fell humble, and embracing them, besought His peace; and thus proceeded in her plaint:
Forsake me not thus, Adam ! Witness, Hear'n, What love sincere, and rey'rence in my heart 015 I bear thee, and unweeting have offended, Unhaj.pıly deceived! Thy suppliant I beg, and clasp thy knees. Bereave me not,
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
925 Against a foe by doom express assign'd us, Tha: cruel Serpent.
On me exercise not Thy hatred for this misery befall'n, On me already lost, me than thyself More miserable. Both have sinn'd; but thou 930 Against God only'; I against God and thee, And to the place of judginent will return, There with my cries importune Heav'n, that all The sentence, from thy head removed, may light On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe!
935 Me, me only, just object of his ire.
She ended weeping ; and her lowly plight, Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault Acknowledged and deplored, in Adam wrought Commiseration. Soon his heart relented
940 Tow'rds her, his life so late and sole delight, Now at his feet submissive in distress, Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking, His counsel, whom she had displeased, his aid ; As one disarni’d, his anger all he lost,
945 And thus with peaceful words upraised her soon :
Unwary' and too desirous, as before,
055 Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven, To me committed, and by me exposed. But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
940. It is said that Milton had a personal feeling in writing this passage, and described his meeting and reconciliation with his wife who had been for some time separated from lum.
Each other, blamed enough elsewhere, but strive In offices of love, how we may lighten
To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, reply'd :
985 Food for so foul a monster! In thy pow'r 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 990 Be forced to satisfy his rav'nous 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 seed at once to free From what we fear for both let us make short; 1000 Let us seek Death, or he not found, supply
With our own hands his office on ourselves.
1005 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 dyed her cheeks with pale. But Adam with such counsel nothing sway'd: 1010 To better hopes his more attentive mind Labouring had raised, and thus to Eve replied :
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 overloved. Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
1020 Of misery, so thinking to evade The penalty pronounced, doubt not but God Hath wiselier arın'd his vengeful ire than so To be forestall’d: 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
1030 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 contrived Against us this deceit. To crush his head 1035 Would be revenge indeed : which will be lost By death brought on ourselves, or childless days Resolved, 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, That cuts us off from hope, and savours only Rancour and pride, impatience and despite, Reluctance against God and his just yoke
Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild
Such fire to use,
1085 What better can we do, than to the place Repairing where he judged us, prostrate fall
1069. Diurnal star, the sun.
10-5. Tine, to light or kindle.