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Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd
Not to be trusted, longing to be seen
Though by the Devil himself, him overweening
To o'er-reach, but with the Serpent meeting
Fool'd and beguiled, by him thou, I by thee, 880
To trust thee from my side, imagined wise,
Constant, mature, proof against all assaults,
And understood not all was but a show
Rather than solid virtue'; all but a rib
Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears, 885
More to the part sinister, from me drawn,
Well if thrown out, as supernumerary
To my just number found. () why did God,
Creator wise, that peopled highest Heav'n
With Spirits masculine, create at last

This novelty on earth, this fair defect
Of nature, and not fill the world at once
With Men, as Angels, without feminine,
Or find some other way to generate
Mankind ? This mischief had not then befall'n, 895
And more that shall befall, innumerable
Disturbances on earth, through female snares,
And straight conjunction with this sex : for either
He never shall find out fit mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake; 900
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain,
Through her perverseness, but shall see her gain'd
By a far worse ; or if she love, withheld
By parents; or his happiest choice too late
Shall meet, already link'd and wedlock-bound 905
To a fell adversary', his hate or shame :
Which infinite calamity shall cause
To human life, and household-peace confound.

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,
Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,

My only strength and stay. Forlorn of thee,
Whither shall I betake me ? where subsist?
While yet we live, scarce one sbort hour perhaps,
Between us two let there be peace ; both joining,
As join'd in injuries, one enmity

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,
So now of what thou know'st not, who desir'st
The punishment all on thyself ; alas,
Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain

His full wrath, whose thou feel'st as yet least part,
And my displeasure bear'st so ill. If pray’rs
Could alter high decrees, I to that place
Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,
That on my head all might be visited ;

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

Each other's burden, in our share of woe;
Since this day's th denounced, if aught I sce,
Will prove no sudden, but a slow-paced evil,
A long day's dying to augment our pain,
And to our seed (O hapless seed!) derived. 965

To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, reply'd :
Adam, by sad experiment, I know
How little weight my words with thee can find,
Found so erroneous, thence by just event
Found so unfortunate! nevertheless,

Restored by thee, vile as I am, to place
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain
Thy love, the sole contentment of my heart
Living or dying, from thee I will not hide
What thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen, 975
Tending to some relief of our extremes,
Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,
As in our evils, and of easier choice.
If care of our descent perplex us most,
Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd 980
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 woeful race !
That after wretched life, must be at last

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.
Why stand we longer shivering under fears,
That shew no end but death, and have the pow'r
Of many ways to die, the shortest choosing,

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
And gracious temper he both heard and judged,
Without wrath or reviling! We expected
Immediate dissolution, which we thought
Was meant by death that day; when lo ! to thee 1050
Pains only in child-bearing were foretold,
And bringing forth; soon recompensed with joy,
Fruit of thy womb. On me the curse aslope
Glanced on the ground. With labour I must earn
My bread. What harm ? Idleness had been worse :
My labour will sustain me. And lest cold 1056
Or heat should injure uis, his timely care
Hath unbesought provided, and his hands
Cloth'd us, unworthy, pitying while he judged ;
How much more, if we pray him, will his ear 1060
Be open, and his heart to pity'incline,
And teach us farther by what means to shun
Th'inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow !
Which now the sky with various face begins
To shew us in this mountain, while the winds 1065
Blow moist and keen, shatt'ring the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading trees; which bids us seek
Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish
Our limbs benumb'd, ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night, how we his gather'd beams 1070
Reflected, may with matter sere foment,
Or, by collision of two bodies, grind
The air attrite to fire, as late the clouds
Justling, or push'd with winds, rude in their shock,
Tine the slant lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine, [down
And sends a comfortable heat from far,
Which might supply the sun.

Such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure
To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought, 1080
He will instruct us praying, and of grace
Beseeching him, so as we need not fear
Tu pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
By him with many comforts, till we end
In dust : our final rest and native home.

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.

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