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Restored by thee, vile as I am, to place
She ended here, or vehement despair Broke off the rest ; so much of death her thoughts Had entertained as dyed her cheeks with pale. But Adam, with such counsel nothing swayed, 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 : 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 armed his vengeful ire than so To be forestalled. Much more I fear lest death So snatched will not exempt us from the pain 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 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 ordained, and we Instead shall double ours upon our heads. 1040 No more be mentioned, then, of violence Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness
That cuts us off from hope, and savours only
Which might supply the Sun.
Such fire to use, And what may else be remedy or cure To evils which our own inisdeeds have wrought, 1080 He will instruct us praying, and of grace Beseeching him ; so as we need not fe To pass commodiously this life, sustained By him with many comforts, till we end In dust, our final rest and native home. What better can we do than, to the place Repairing where he judged us, prostrate fall Before him reverent, and there confess Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air 1090 Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeigned and humiliation meek ? Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn From his displeasure, in whose look serene, When angry most he seemed and most severe, What else but favour, grace, and mercy shone ?"
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 confessed Humbly their faults, and pardon begged, with tears Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeigned and humiliation meek.
THE END OF THE TENTH BOOK.
THE ARGUMENT. 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 Flood.
Praying ; for from the mercy-seat above
Yet their port Not of mean suitors ; nor important less Seemed their petition than when the ancient pair In fables old, less ancient yet than these, Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore The race of mankind drowned, before the shrine Of Themis stood devout. To Heaven their prayers Flew up, nor missed the
by envious winds Blown vagabond or frustrate : in they passed Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then, clad With incense, where the golden altar fumed,