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Taste so divine that what of sweet before

985 Hath touch'd my sense flat seems to this, and harsh. On my experience, Adam, freely taste, And fear of death deliver to the winds.

So saying, she embraced him, and for joy Tenderly wept; much won, that he his love 990 Had so ennobled, as of choice to incur Divine displeasure for her sake, or death. In recompense (for such compliance bad Such recompense best merits) from the bough She gave him of that fair enticing fruit.

995 With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat, Against his better knowledge; not deceived, But fondly overcome with female charm. Earth trembled from her entrails, as again In pangs; and Nature gave a second groan; 1000 Sky lour'd; and, muttering thunder, some sad drops Wept at completing of the mortal sin Original: while Adam took no thought, Eating his fill; nor Eve to iterate Her former trespass fear'd, the more to soothe 1005 Him with her loved society; that now, As with new wine intoxicated both, They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel Divinity within them breeding wings, Wherewith to scorn the earth: But that false fruit Far other operation first display'd,

1010 Carnal desire inflaming; he on Eve Began to cast lascivious eyes; she him As wantonly repaid; in lust they burn: Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move: 1015

Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste And elegant, of sapience no small part; Since to each meaning savor we apply, And palate call judicious; I the praise Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey’d. 1020

Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd
From this delightful fruit, nor known till now
True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be
In things to us forbidden, it might be wish'd
For this one tree had been forbidden ten.

1025
But come, so well refresh’d, now let us play,
As meet is, after such delicious fare;
For never did thy beauty, since the day.
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd
With all perfections, so inflame my sense 1030
With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever; bounty of this virtuous tree!

So said he, and forebore not glance or toy Of amorous intent; well understood Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire. 1035 Her hand he seized; and to a shady bank Thick overhead with verdant roof imbower’d, He led her nothing loath: flowers were the couch, Pansies, and violets, and asphodel, And hyacinth; Earth's freshest, softest lap. 1040 There they their fill of love and love's disport Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal, Thé solace of their sin; till dewy sleep Oppress’d them, wearied with their amorous play. Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit,

1045 That with exhilarating vapor bland About their spirits had play'd, and inmost powers Made err, was now exhaled; and grosser sleep, Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams Incumber'd, now had left them: up they rose 1050 As from unrest; and each the other viewing, Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their minds How darken'd; innocence, that as a veil Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone: Just confidence, and native righteousness, 1055 And honor, from about them, naked left

To guilty Shame; he cover'd, but his robe
Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong,
Herculean Samson, from the harlot lap of
Philistean Dalilah, and waked

1060
Shorn of his strength; they destitute and bare
Of all their virtue: Silent, and in face
Confounded, long they sat, as stricken mute:
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash’d,
At length gave utterance to these words constrain’d:

O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear 1066 To that false worm, of whomsoever taught To counterfeit Man's voice; true in our fall, False in our promised rising; since our eyes Open'd we find indeed, and find we know 1070 Both good and evil: good lost, and evil got; Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know; Which leaves us naked thus, of honor void, Of innocence, of faith, of purity, Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd, 1075 And in our faces evident the signs Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store; Even shame, the last of evils; of the first Be sure then.-How shall I behold the face Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy 1080 And rapture so oft beheld? Those heavenly shapes Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze Insufferably bright. O! might I here In solitude live savage; in some glade Obscured, where highest woods, impenetrable 1085 To star or sunlight, spread their umbrage broad And brown as evening: Cover me, ye Pines! Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs Hide me, where I may never see them more!But let us now, as in bad plight, devise

1090 What best may for the present serve to hide The parts of each from other, that seem most

To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen;

Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd, 5. And girded on our loins, may cover round 1095

Those middle parts; that this new comer, Shame,
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.

So counseld he, and both together went
Into the thicket wood; there soon they chose
The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renown'd, 1100
But such as at this day, to Indians known,
In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade

1105 High overarch'd, and echoing walks between: There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat, Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds At loopholes cut through thickest shade: Those leaves They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe; 1110 And, with what skill they had, together sew'd, To gird their waist; vain covering, if to hide Their guilt and dreaded shame! O, how unlike To that first naked glory! Such of late Columbus found the American, so girt

1115 With feather'd cincture; naked else, and wild Among the trees on isles and woody shores. Thus fenced, and, as they thought, their shame in part Cover’d, but not at rest or ease of mind, They sat them do

to weep; nor only tears 1120 Rain'd at their eyes, but high winds worse within Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate, Mistrust, suspicion, discord; and shook sore Their inward state of mind, calm region once And full of peace, now toss’d and turbulent: 1125 For Understanding ruled not, and the Will Heard not her lore; both in subjection now To sensual appetite, who from beneath

Usurping over sov'reign Reason claim'd
Superior sway: From thus distemper'd breast, 1130
Adam, estranged in look and alter'd style,
Speech intermitted thus to Eve renew'd:

Would thou hadst hearken'd to my words, and staid With me, as I besought thee, when that strange Desire of wandering, this unhappy morn,

1135 I know not whence possess’d thee; we had then Remain'd still happy; not as now, despoil'd Of all our good; shamed, naked, miserable! Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve The faith they owe; when earnestly they seek 1140 Such proof, conclude, they then begin to fail. [Eve:

To whom, soon moved with touch of blame, thus What words have pass'd thy lips, Adam, severe! Imputest thou that to my default, or will Of wandering as thou call'st it, which who knows 1145 But might as ill have happen'd thou being by, Or to thyself perhaps? Hadst thou been there, Or here the attempt, thou couldst not have discern'd Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake; No ground of enmity between us known, 1150 Why he should mean an ill, or seek to harm. Was I to have ne'er parted from thy side? As good have grown there still a lifeless rib! Being as I am, why didst not thou, the head, Command me absolutely not to go,

1155
Going into such danger, as thou saidst?
Too facile then, thou didst not much gainsay;
Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent,
Neither had I transgress’d, nor thou with me. 1160

To whom, then first incensed, Adam replied:
Is this the love, is this the recompense
Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve! express'd
Immutable, when thou wert lost, not I;

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