Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]

Yet not fo ftri&tly hath our Lord impos'd 235
Labour, as to debar us when we need
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,
Food of the mind, or this fweet intercourse
Of looks and smiles; for smiles from reason flow,
To brute deny d, and are of love the food, 240
Love not the lowest end of human life:
For not to irksome toil, but to delight,
He made us, and delight to reason joind.
These paths and bow'rs doubt not but our joint hands
Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide 245
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long
Allt us. But, if much converse perhaps
Thee fatiate, to short absence I could yield;
For folitude fometimes is best fociety,
And short retirement urges sweet return. 2go
But other doubt poffefses me, fest harm
Befall thee fever'd from me; for thou know'st
What hath been warn'd us, what malicious foe
Envying our happiness, and of his own
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame 255
By fly assault, and somewhere nigh at hand
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
His wish and best advantage, us afunder;
Hopeless to circumvent us join'd, where each
To other speedy aid might lend at need: 260
Whether his first delign be to withdraw
Our feälty from God, or to difturb
Conjugal love, than which perhaps no blifs
Enjoy'd by us excites his envy niore ;
Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful fide

That gave thee be'ing, ftill shades thee, and protects,
The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
Safest and feemliest by her husband stays,
Who guards her, or with her the worlt endures.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


To whom the virgin majesty of Eve,

As one who loves, and soine unkindness meets,
With sweet auftere compofure thus reply'd.

Offspring of heav'n and earth, and all earth's iord,
That such an enemy we have, who seeks
Our ruin, both by thee inform'd I learn, 275
And from the parting angel overheard,
As in a sady nook I food behind,
Just then return’d at shut of ev’ning-flowers :
But that thou should it iny firmness therefore doubt.
To God or thee, because we have a fos

- May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
His violence thou fear'ít not, being such
As we, not capable of death or pain,
Can either not receive, or can repel.
His fraud is then thy fear, which plain infers 285
Thy equal fear, that my firm faith and love
Can by his fraud be shaken or seduc'd ; [breast :
Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy
Adam, mifthought of her to thee so dear?

To whom with healing words Adam reply'd. 290
Daughter of God and man, immortal Eve,
For fuch thou art, from sin and blame entire;
Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid
Th’attempt itself, intended by our foe.

For he who tempts, tho' in vain, at least asperses
The tempted with disbonour foul, fuppos’d
Not incorruptible of faith, not proof
Againit temptation : thou thyself with scorn
And anger wouldit resent the offer'd wrong,

Though ineffe&ual found: misdeem not then,
lf such affront I labour to avert
From thee alone, which on us both at once
The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare,
N 4


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Or daring, first on me th' assault shall light. 305
Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn;
Subtle he needs must be, who could seduce
Angels; nor think fuperfluous others aid.
I from the influence of thy looks receive
Accefs in every virtue, in thy fight

More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were
Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on,
Shame to be overcome, or over-reach'd,
Would utmost vigour raise, and rais'd unite.
Why should not thou like fense within thee feel 315
When I am present, and thy trial chuse
With me, beft witness of thy virtue try'd ?

So fpake domestic Adana in his care
And matrimonial love; but Eve, who thought
Lefs attributed to her faith sincere,

320 Thus her reply with accent sweet renewid.

If this be our condition, thus to dwell In narrow circuit Itraiten'd by a foe, Subtle or violent, we not endu'd Single with like defence, where-ever met, 325 How are we happy, ftill in fear of harm? But harm precedes not sin: only our foe Tempting affronts us with his foul elteem Of our integrity: his foul esteem Sticks no dishonour on our front, but turns 330 Foul on himself; then wherefore shunn'd or fear'd By us? who rather double honour gain From his surmise prov'd false, find peace within, Favour from heav'n, our witness from th'event. And what is faith, love, virtue unaffay'd 335 Alone, without exterior help sustain’d? Let us not then suspect our happy Itate, Left so imperfect by the Maker wise, As not secure to single or combin'd,

Frail is our happinefs, if this be so,

310 And Eden were no Eden thus expos'd.

To whom thus Adam fervently reply'd.
O woman, belt are all things as the will
Of God ordain'd them; his creating hand
Nothing imperfect or deficient left

Of all that he created ; much less man,
Or ought that might his happy ftate secure, -
Secure from outward force ; within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
Against his will he can receive no harm. 350
Bat God left free the will; for what obeys
Reason, is free; and reason he made right,
But bid her well be ware, and still erect,
Left by some fair appearing good surpris'd
She dictate falfe, and misinform the will

To do what God expressly hath forbid.
Not then mistrust, but tender love, injoins,
That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me.
Firm we subit, yet poffible to swerve ;
Since reason not impoflibly may meet
Some specious obje&t by the foe fuborn'd,
And fall into deception unaware,
Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warn'd.
Seek not temptation then, which to avoid
Were better, and most likely, if from me 365
Thou fever not: trial will come unsought.
Wouldlt thou approve thy constancy? approve
First thy obedience; th other who can know,
Not seeing thee attempted ? who attest ?
But if thou think, trial unfought may find
Us both securer than thus warn'd thou seem'st,
Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more ;
Go in thy native innocence, rely
On wbat thou haft of virtue, fummon all,


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine.

So spake the patriarch of mankind; but Eve 376 Perfifted, yet submiss, though last, reply'd.

With thy permission then, and thus forewarn'd, Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words Touch'd only, that our trial, when least sought, 380 May find us both perhaps far less prepar'd, The willinger I go ; nor much expect A foe so proud will first the weaker seek; So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse.

384 Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand Soft the withdrew, and like a wood-nymph light, Oread or Dryad, or of Delia's train, Betook her to the groves ; but Delia's self In gait surpass'd, and goddess-like deport; Though not, as she, with bow and quiver arm’d, 390 But with such gard'ning tools as art yet rude, Guiltless of fire, had form’d, or angels brought. To Pales, or Pomona, thus adorn'd, Likest she seem d, Pomona when she fled Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her prime,

395 Yet virgin of Proferpina froin Jove. Her long with ardent look his eye pursu'd Delighted, but defiring more her stay. Oft he to her his charge of quick return Repeated; she to him as oft engag'd To be return'd by noon amid the bow'r, And all things in best order to invite Noontide repast, or afternoon's repose. O much deceiv'd, much failing, hapless Eve, Of thy preluin'd return! event perverse ! 405 Thou never from that hour in Paradise Found'it either sweet repast, or found repofe ; Such ambush hid among sweet flow'rs and shades, Waited with hellila rancour imminent



« ForrigeFortsæt »