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Occasion which now smiles. Behold alone.
The woman, opportune to all attempts ;
Her husband, for I view far round, not nigh,
Whofe higher intellectual more I fun,
And strength, of courage haughty, and of limb
Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould ;

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Foe not informidable, exempt from wound;
I not; so much hath hell debas'd, and pain
Infeebled me, to what I was in heaven.
She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods,
Not terrible, though terrour be in love

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.
So fpake the enemy' of mankind, inclos'd
In ferpent, inmate bad, and toward Eve
Address'd his way, not with indented wave,
Prone on the ground, as since, but on his rear,
Circular base of rising folds, that tower'd
Fold above fold, a surging maze ; his head
Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes ;

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With burnish'd neck of verdant gold, erect
Amidst his circling spires, that on the grass
Flotted redundant': pleasing was his shape
And lovely: never since of ferpent kind
Lovelier; not those that in Illyria change'd

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

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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,

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Fawning, and lick'd the ground whereon the trod.
His gentle dumb expreslion turn'd at length
The eye of Eve to mark his play; he glad
Of her attention gain’d, with ferpent tongue
Organic, er impulse of vocal air,
His fraudulent temptation thus began,

Wonder not, fov'reign mistress, if perhaps
Thou canst, who art fole wonder ; much less arm
Thy looks, the heaven of mildness, with disdain,
Displeas’d that I approach thee thus, and gaze
Insatiate ; I thus fingley nor have fear'd
Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir’d.
Fairest resemblance of thy Maker fair,
Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine
By gift, and thy celestial beauty'adore,
With ravishment beheld, there beft beheld
Where universally admir'd ; but here
In this inclofure wild, these bealts among,
Beholders rude, and shallow to difcern
Half what in thee is fair, one man except,

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Who sees thee'? (and what is one?) who should't be
A goddess among gods, ador'd and serv'd
By angels numberless, thy daily train.

So gloz'd the tempter, and his proem tun'd;

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[feen

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

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Of tasting those fair apples, I refolv'd
Not to defer; hunger and thirst at once,
Pow'rful perfuaders, quicken'd' at the fcent
Of that alluring fruit, urge'd me fo keen.
About the mosfy trunk I wound me foon ;
For high from ground the branches would require 590
Thy utmost reach, or Adam's: round the tree
All other beasts that saw, with like defire
Longing and envying stood, but could not reach.
Amid the tree now got, where plenty hung
Tempting fo nigh, to pluck and eat my fill 395
I fpar'd not ; for such pleasure till that hour
At feed or fountain never had I found.
Şated at length, ere long I might perceive
Strange alteration in me, to degree
Of reafon in my inward powers, and speech 600
Wanted not long, though to this shape retain'd.
Thenceforth to speculations high or deep
I turn'd my thoughts; and, with capacious mind..
Consider'd all things visible in heaven,
Or earth, or middle, all things fair and good ; 605
But all that fair and good in thy divine
Semblance, and in thy beauty's heavenly ray,
United I beheld; no fair to thine
Equivalent or second, which compellid
Me thus, though importune perhaps, to come

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

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To us; in such abundance lies our choice, 620
As leaves a greater store of fruit untouch'd,
Still hanging incorruptible, till men
Grow up to their provision, and more hands
Help to disburden Nature of her birth.

To whom the wily adder, blithe and glad.
Empress, the way is ready, and not long;
Beyond a row of myrtles, on a flat,
Fast by a fountain, one small thicket past
Of blowing myrrh and balm; if thou acceps
My conduct, I can bring thee thither foon. 630

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

up

and lost, from fuccour far.
So glifter'd the dire snake, and mto fraud
Led Eve, our credulous mother, to the tree
Of prohibition, root of all our woe :
Which when she faw, thas to her guide fhe fpake.

Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming hither,
Fruitless to me, though fruit be here to excess;
The credit of whose virtue rest with thee,
Wond'rous indeed, if cause of such effects. 650
But of this tree we may not taste nor touch ;
God fo commanded, and left that command
Sole daughter of his voice; the rest, we live
Law to ourselves, our reason is our law,

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