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Creator wife, that peopled highest heav'n
With fpirits masculine, create at last
This novelty on earth, this fair defect
Of nature, and not fill the world at once
With men as angels without feininine,
Or find fome other way to generate
Mankind? This mifchief had not then befall'n, 895
And more that fhall befall; innumerable
Disturbances on earth through female fnares,
And ftrait conjunction with this fex: for either
He never fhall find out fit mate, but such
As fome misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain
Through her perverfenefs; but fhall fee her gain'd
By a far worse; or if the love, witheld
By parents; or his happiest choice too late.
Shall meet, already link'd and wedlock-bound 905,
To a fell adversary', his hate or shame e;
Which infinite calamity hall caufe
To human life, and household-peace confound.
He added not, and from her turn'd; but Eve
Not fo repuls'd, with tears that ceas'd not flowing,
And treffes all diforder'd, at his feet
Fell humble, and embracing them, befought
His peace; and thus proceeded in her plaint.
Forfake me not thus, Adam, witness Heaven.
What love fincere, and reverence in my heart
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappily deceiv'd; thy fuppliant
I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
Thy counfel, in this uttermoft diftrefs,
My only ftrength and ftay: forlorn of thee,
Whether fhall I betake me, where fubfift?
While yet we live, fcarce one short hour perhaps,
Between us two let there be peace, both joining,
As join'd in injuries, one enmity
Against a foe by doom exprefs affign'd us,
That cruel ferpent. On me exercise not
Thy hatred for this mifery befallen,
On me already loft, me than myself
More miferable: both have finn'd, but thou
Against God only, I 'gainft God and thee;
And to the place of judgment will return,
There with my cries importune heaven, that all
The fentence from thy head remov'd, may light
On me, fole caufe to thee of all this woe,.
Me, me only, just object of his ire!
She ended weeping; and her lowly plight,
Immoveable, till peace obtain'd from fault.
Acknowledg'd and deplor'd, in Adam wrought
Commiferation: foon his heart relented
Tow'ards her, his life fo late and fole delight,
Now at his feet fubmiffive in distress,
Creature fo fair his reconcilement feeking,
His counfel, whom she had difpleas'd, his aid`;
As one disarm'd, his anger all he loft,
And thus with peaceful words uprais'd her foon.
Unwary', and too defirous, as before,
So now of what thou know't not, who defir'st
The punishment all on thyfelf; alas,
Bear thine own first, ill able to suñain
His full wrath, whofe thou feel'ft as yet lèaft part,.
And my displeasure bear'st so ill. If pray'rs
Could alter high decrees, I to that place
Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,
That on my head all might be vifited,
Thy frailty and infirmer fex forgiven,
To me committed, and by me expos'd."
But rife, let us no more contend, nor blame
Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere; but frive
In offices of love, how we may lighten
Each other's burthen, in our fhare of woe;
Since this day's death denounc'd, if ought I fee; *
Will prove no fudden, but a flow-pac'd evil,
A long day's dying, to augment our pain,
And to our feed (O haplefs feed!) deriv'd.
To whom thus Eve, recov'ring heart, reply'd.
Adam, by fad experiment I know
How little weight my words with thee can find,.
Found fo erroneous, thence by just event
Found fo unfortunate: nevertheless,
Reftor'd by thee, vile as I am, to place
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain
Thy love, the fole contentment of my heart,
Living or dying, from thee I will not hide:
What thoughts in my unquiet breast are rifen, 975. Tending to fome relief of our extremes,
Or end, though fharp and fad, yet tolerable,
As in our evils, and of eafier choice.
If care of our defcent perplex us moft,
Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd. 980
By death at last; and iniferable it is
To be to others caufe of mifery,
Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring.
Into this curfed world a woeful race,
That after wretched life must be at last
Food for fo foul a monster; in thy pow'r
It lies. yet ere conception, to prevent
The race unbleis'd, to be'ing yet unbegot.
Childless thou art, childless remain: fo Death
Shall be deceiv'd his glut, and with us two
Be forc'd to fatisfy his ravenous maw.
But ifthou judge it hard and difficult,
Converfing, looking, loving, to abstain
From love's due rites, nuptial embraces fweet,
And with defire to languifh without hope,
Before the prefent object languishing
With like defire, which would be mifery
And torment lefs than none of what we dread;
Then both ourselves and feed at once to free
From what we fear for both, let us make fhort, 1000
Let us feek Death; or he not found, fupply
With our own hands his office on ourselves!
Why ftand we longer fhivering under fears,
That show no end but death, and have the pow'r
Of many ways to die the shortest chufing,
Destruction with deftruction to defroy?
She ended here, or vehement defpair
Broke off the rest; fo much of death her thoughts
Had entertain'd, as dy'd her cheeks with pale.
But Adam, with fuch counsel nothing fway'd, 1010
To better hopes his more attentive mind
Lab'ring had rais'd, and thus to Eve reply'd.
Eve, thy contempt of life and pleafure feems
To argue in thee fomething more fublime
And excellent than what thy mind contemns; 1015
But self-destruction therefore fought, refutes
That excellence thought in thee, and implies.
Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
For lofs of life and pleasure overlov'd.
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
Of mifery, fo thinking to evade
The penalty pronounc'd, doubt not but God
Hath wifelier arm'd his vengeful ire than fo
To be foreftall'd; much more I fear left death
So fnatch'd will not exempt us from the pain
We are by doom to pay; rather fuch acts
Of contumacy will provoke the Highest
To make death in us live: then let us feek
Some fafer refolution, which methinks
I have in view, calling to mind with heed
Part of our sentence, that thy feed fhall bruife
The ferpent's head; piteous amends, unless
Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe
Satan, who in the ferpent hath contriv'd
Against us this deceit : to cruth his head
Would be revenge indeed; which will be loft
By death brought on ourfelves, or childless days
Refolv'd, as thou propofeft; fo our foe
Shall 'fcape his punishment ordain'd, and we
Inftead fhall double ours upon our heads.
No more be mention'd then of violence
Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness,
That cuts us off from hope, and favours only
Rancour and pride, impatience and despite,
Reluctance against God, and his just yoke 1045
Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild
And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd,
Without wrath or reviling; we expected
Immediate diffolution, which we thought
Was meant by death that day, when lo, to thee 1050
Pains only in child-bearing were foretold,
And bringing forth, foon recompens'd with joy,
Fruit of thy womb on me the curfe aflope
Glanc'd on the ground; with labour I must earn
My bread; what harm? Idlenefs had been worfe;
My labour will fuftain me; and left cold
Or heat thould injure us, his timely care
Hath unbefought provided, and his hands
Cloth'd us unworthy, pitying while he judg'd:
How much more, if we pray him, will his ear 1c60.
Be open, and his heart to pity' incline.