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Occasion which now smiles. Behold alone.
490 And beauty, not approach'd by stronger hate, Hate stronger, under show of love well feign'd, The way
which to her ruin now I tend.
505 Hermione and Cadmus, or the god In Epidaurus; nor to which transformid Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen ; He with Olympias, this with her who bore Scipio the height of Rome. With tract oblique 510 At first, as one who fought access, but fear'd To interrupt, fide-long he works his way. As when a ship by skilful steerfman wrought Nigh river's mouth or foreland, where the wind
Veers oft, as oft so steers, and fhifts her fail :
515 So varied he, and of his tortuous train Curld many a wanton wreath in fight of Ere, To lure her eye. She busied heard the found Of rulling icaves; but minded not, as us'd To such disport before her through the field, 520 From every beast, more duteous at her call, Than at Circean call the herd dilguis'd. He bolder now, uncall'd before her stood, But as in gaze admiring : oft he bow'd His turret crest, and fleek enameli'd neck,
Wonder not, fov'reign mistress, if perhaps
So gloz'd the tempter, and his proem tun'd;
Into the heart of Eve his words made way, 550 Though at the voice much marvelling; at length, Not unamaz'd, she thus in answer fpake.
What may this mean? language of man pronounce'd By tongue of brute, and buman fenfe express'd ? The first at least of these I thought deny'd 555 To beasts, whom God on their creation-day Created mute to.all articulate found : The latter I demur; for in their looks Much reas'on, and in their actions, oft appears. Thee, ferpent, subtleft beast of all the field
560 I knew, but not with haman voice endu'd; Redouble then this miracle, and say, How cam'st thou speakable of mute, and how To me so friendly grown above the rest Of brutal kind that daily are in fight :
563 Say, for such wonder claims attention due ?
To whom the guileful tempter thus reply'd. Empress of this fair world, resplendent Eve, Easy it is to me to tell thee all
[obey'd, What thou command'st, and right thou shouldst be I was at first as other beast that graze
571 The trodden herb, of abject thoughts and low, As was my food ; nor aught but food discern'd Or fex, and apprehended nothing high : Till on a day roving the field, I chanced A goodly tree far distant to behold, Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mix'd, Ruddy and gold : I nearer drew to gaze ; When from the boughs a favoury odour blown, Grateful to appetite, more pleås’d my sense
sso Than smell of sweetest fennel, or the teats Of ewe or goat dropping with milk at ev’n, 'Unfuck'd of lamb or kid, that tend their play.To satisfy the tharp desire I had
Of tasting those fair apples, I refolv'd
610 And gaze, and worship thee, of right declar'd Sov'reign of creatures, universal dame.
So talk'd the spirited fly fake ; and Eve, Yet more amaz'd, unwary thus reply'd. Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt 615 The vircue of that fruit, in thee first prov'd. But say, where grows the tree, from hence- how far? For many are the trees of God that grow In Paradise, and various, yet unknown
To us; in such abundance lies our choice, 620
To whom the wily adder, blithe and glad.
Lead then, said Eve. He leading swiftly roll'd In tangles, and made intricate seem strait, To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy Brightens his creft; as when a wand'ring fire, Compact of unctuous vapour, which the night 635 Condenses, and the cold environs round, Kindled ihrough agitation to a flame, Which oft, they say, fome evil spi'rit attends; Hovering, and blazing with delusive light, Misleads th’amaz'd night-wand'rer from his way, 640 To bogs and mires, and oft through pond or pool, There fwallow'd
and lost, from fuccour far.
Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming hither,