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My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd, But still rejoiced; how is it now become
120 So dreadful to thee! That thou art naked, who Hath told thee? Hast thou eaten of the tree Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat!
To whom thus Adam sore beset replied: O Heaven! in evil strait this day I stand
125 Before my Judge; either to undergo Myself the total crime, or to accuse My other self, the partner of my life; Whose failing, while her faith to me remains, I should conceal, and not expose to blame 130 By my complaint: but strict necessity Subdues me, and calamitous constraint; Lest on my head both sin and punishment However insupportable, be all Devolved; though should I hold my peace, yet thou Wouldst easily detect what I conceal.
136 This Woman, whom thou madest to be my help, And gavest me as thy perfect gift, so good, So fit, so acceptable, so divine, That from her hand I could suspect no ill,
140 And what she did, whatever in itself, Her doing seem’d to justify the deed; She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
To whom the Sov’reign Presence thus replied: Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey 145 Be re his voice? or was she made thy guide, Superior, or but equal, that to her Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place Wherein God set thee above her made of thee, And for thee, whose perfection far excell'd 150 Hers in all real dignity? Adorn'd, She was indeed, and lovely, to attract Thy love, not thy subjection; and her gifts Were such, as under government well seem'd;
Unseemly to bear rule; which was thy part
155 And person, hadst thou known thyself aright. So having said, he thus to Eve in few: Say, Woman, what is this which thou hast done?
To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelm’d, Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge
160 Bold or loquacions, thus abash'd replied: The Serpent me beguiled, and I did eat.
Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To judgment he proceeded on the accused Serpent, though brute; unable to transfer
165 The guilt on him who made him instrument Of mischief, and polluted from the end Of his creation; justly then accursed, As vitiated in nature: More to know Concern’d not man (since he no further knew,) 170 Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last To Satan first in sin his doom applied, Though in mysterious terms, judged as then best: And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall:
Because thou hast done this thou art accursed 175 Above all cattle, each beast of the field; Upon thy belly grovelling thou thalt go, And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life. Between thee and the woman I will put Enmity, and between thine and her seed;
180 Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.
spake this oracle, then verified When Jesus, Son of Mary, second Eve, Saw Satan fall like lightning down from Heaven, Prince of the air, then, rising from his grave, 185 Spoil'd Principalities and Powers, triumph'd In open show; and, with ascension bright, Captivity led captive through the air, The realm itself of Satan, long usurp’d; Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
Even he, who now foretold his fatal bruise:
Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
On Adam last thus judgment he pronounced: Because thou hast hearken’d to the voice of thy wife, And eaten of the tree, concerning which I charged thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat thereof; 200 Cursed is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow Shalt eat thereof, all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth Unbid; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, 205 Till thou return unto the ground; for thou Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth, For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.
So judged he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent; And the instant stroke of death, denounced that day, Removed far off; then, pitying how they stood 511 Before him naked to the air, that now Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin Thenceforth the form of servant to assume; As when he wash'd his servant's feet; so now 215 As father of his family, he clad Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain, Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid; And thought not much to clothe his enemies: Nor he their outward only with the skins
220 Of beasts, but inward nakedness much more Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness Arraying, cover'd from his Father's sight. To him with swift ascent he up return’d, Into his blissful bosom reassumed
225 In glory, as of old; to him appeased
All, though all-knowing, what had pass'd with Man Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Meanwhile, ere thus was sinn'd and judged on Earth, Within the gates of Hell sat Sin and Death, 230 In counterview within the gates, that now Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame Far into Chaos, since the Fiend pass'd through, Sin opening; who thus now to Death began:
O Son, why sit we here each other viewing 235 Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives In other worlds, and happier seat provides For us, his offspring dear? It cannot be But that success attends him; if mishap, Ere this he had return'd, with fury driven 240 By his avengers; since no place like this Can fit his punishment, or their revenge. Methinks I feel new strength within me rise, Wings growing, and dominion given me large Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on, 245 Or sympathy, or some connatural force, Powerful at greatest distance to unite, With secret amity things of like kind, By secretest conveyance. Thou, my shade „nseparable, must with me along:
250 For Death from Sin no power can separate. But, lest the difficulty of passing back Stay his return perhaps over this gulf Impassable, impervious; let us try Adventurous work, yet to thy power and mine 255 Not unagreeable, to found a path Over this main from Hell to that new world, Where Satan now prevails: a monument Of merit high to all the infernal host, Easing their passage hence, for intercourse, 260 Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead. Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
By this new-felt attraction and instinct.
Whom thus the meagre shadow answer'd soon: Go, whither Fate and inclination strong
265 Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err The way, thou leading; such a scent I draw Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste The savour of death from all things there that live: Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest
270 Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.
So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell
290 Mountains of ice, that stop the imagined way Beyond Petsora eastward, to the rich Cathaian coast.. The aggregated soil Death with his mace petrific, cold and dry, As with a trident, smote; and fix'd as firm 295 As Delos, floating once; the rest his look Bound with Gorgonian rigor not to move; And with Asphaltic slime, broad as the gate,