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To us, as likely tafting to attain
Proportional afcent, which cannot be
But to be gods, or angels, demigods.
Nor can I think, that God, Creator wife,
Though threat'ning, will in earnest fo destroy
Us his prime creatures, dignify'd fo high,
Set over all his works, which in our fall,
For us created, needs with us must fail,
Dependent made; fo God fhall uncreate,
Be fruftrate, do, undo, and labour lose;
Not well conceiv'd of God, who, though his power
Creation could repeat, yet would be loath
Us to abolith, left the adverfary
Triumph and fay; Fickle their ftate whom God
Moft favours; who can please him long? Me first
He ruin'd, now mankind; whom will he next? 950
Matter of fcorn, not to be giv'n the foe.
However, I with thee have fix'd my lot,
Certain to undergo like doom: if death
Confort with thee, death is to me as life;
So forcible within my heart I feel
The bond of nature draw me to my own,
hly own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
Our state cannot be fever'd, we are one,
One flesh; to lofe thee were to lose myself.
So Adam; and thus Eve to him reply'd.
O glorious trial of exceeding love,
Illuftrious evidence, example high!
Engaging me to emulate, but short
Of thy perfection, how fhall I attain,
Adam from whofe dear fide I boaft me fprung.965 And gladly of our union hear thee speak,
One heart, one foul in both, whereof good proof
This day affords, declaring thee refolv'd,
Rather than death, or ought than death more dread,
Shall feparate us, link'd in love so dear,
To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
If any be, of tafting this fair fruit;
Whofe virtue (for of good till good proceeds,
Direct, or by occafion,) hath presented
This happy trial of thy love, which elfe
So eminently never had been known.
Were it I thought death menac'd would enfue
This iny attempt, I would fuftain alone
The worst, and not perfuade thee; rather die
Deferted, than oblige thee with a fact
Pernicious to thy peace, chiefly assur'd
Remarkably fo late of thy fo true,
So faithful love unequall'd; but I feel
Far otherwife th' event, not death, but life
Augmented, open'd eyes, new hopes, new joys, 985
Taste so divine, that what of fweet before
Hath touch'd my fenfe, flat feems to this, and harsh.
On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
And fear of death deliver to the winds.
So faying, the embrac'd him, and for joy
Tenderly wept; much won that he his love
Had fo ennobled, as of choice to' incur
Divine displeasure for her fake, or death.
In recompenfe (for fuch compliance bad
Such recompenfe beft merits,) from the bough 995
She gave him of that fair enticing fruit
With lib'ral hand: He fcrupled not to eat,
Against his better knowledge; not deceiv'd,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
Earth trembled from her intrails, as again
In pangs, and nature gave a fecond groan;
Sky lour'd, and, muttering thunder, fome fad drops
Wept at completing of the mortal fin
Original, while Adam took no thought,
Eating his fill; nor Eve to iterate
Her former trespass fear'd, the more to foothe
Him with her lov'd fociety; that now,
As with new wine intoxicated both,
They fwim in mirth, and fancy that they feel
Divinity within them breeding wings
Wherewith to fcorn the earth.
Far other operation firft difplay'd,
Carnal defire inflaming; he on Eve.
Began to caft lafcivious eyes, the him
As wantonly repaid; in luft they burn:
Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move.
Eve, now I fee thou art exact of tafte,
And elegant, of fapience no fmall part,
Since to each meaning favour we apply,
And palate call judicious; I the praise
Yield thee, fo well this day thou hast purvey'd.
Much pleasure we have loft, while we abftain'd
From this delightful fruit, nor known till now
True relifh, tafting; if fuch pleasure be
In things to us forbidd'n, it might be wifh'd,
For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
But come, fo well refresh'd, now let us play,
As meet is, after fuch delicious fare;
For never did thy beauty fince the day
I faw thee first, and wedded thee, adorn'd
With all perfections, fo inflame my sense
With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever, bounty of this virtuous tree.
So faid he, and forbore not glance or toy
Of amorous intent, well understood
Of Eve, whofe eye darted contagious fire.
Her hand he feiz'd, and to a fhady bank,
Thick overhead with verdant roof imbower'd,
He led her nothing loath; flowers were the couch,
Panfies, and violets, and afphodel,
And hyacinth, earth's fresheft, fofteft lap.
There they their fill of love, and love's disport
Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal,
The folace of their fin; till dewy fleep
Opprefs'd them, wearied with their amorous play. Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit,
That with exhilarating vapour bland
About their fpi'rits had play'd, and inmost powers
Made err, was now exhal'd; and groffer sleep,
Bred of unkindly fumes, with confcious dreams 1050
Incumber'd, now had left them; up they rofe
As from unreft, and, each the other viewing,
Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their minds
How darken'd; innocence, that as a veil 1954
Had fhadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone,
Just confidence, and native righteousness,
And honour from about them, naked left
To guilty fhame; he cover'd, but his robe
Uncover'd more. So rofe the Danite strong,
Herculean Samfon, from the harlot-lap
Of Philiftéan Dalilah, and wak'd
Shorn of his ftrength; they deftitute and bare
Of all their virtue: filent, and in face
Confounded, long they fat, as strucken mute,
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd, 1065
At length gave utterance to these words conftrain'd.
O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear
To that falfe worm, of whomfoever taught.
To counterfeit man's voice; true in our fall,
False in our promis'd rifing, fince our eyes
Open'd we find indeed, and find we know
Both good and ev'il, good loft, and evil got,
Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know,
Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void,,
Of innocence, of faith, of purity,
Our wonted ornaments now foil'd and flain'd,
And in our faces evident the figns
Of foul concupifcence; whence evil ftore,
Ev'n fhame, the laft of evils; of the first
Be fure then. How fhall I behold the face
Henceforth of God or angel, erit with joy
And rapture fo' oft beheld? thofe heav'nly fhapes
Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze
Infufferably bright. O might I here
In folitude live favage, in fome glade
Obfcur'd, where highet woods, impenetrable
To far or fun-light, spread their umbrage broad
And brown as ev'ning! Cover me, ye pines,
Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs
Hide me, where I may never fee them more !
But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
What beft may for the present serve to hide
The parts of each from other, that seem most
To fhame obnoxious, and unfeemliest seen;
Some tree, whofe broad fmooth leaves together few'd,
And girded on our loins, may cover round 1096
Thofe middle parts, that this new comer, fhame,
There fit not, and reproach us as unclean.
So counfell'd he, and both together went
Into the thickest wood; there foon they chose 1100
The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renown'd,
But fuch as, at this day to Indians known
In Malabar or Decan, fpreads her arms
Branching fo broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother-tree, a pillar'd fhade
High overarch'd, and echoing walks between ;
There oft the Indian herdfman, thunning heat,
Shelters in cool, and tends his pafturing herds