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To intercept thy way, or send thee back

Despoild of innocence, of faith, of blits.
For now, and since first break of dawn, the fiend,
Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come,
And on his quelt, where likeliest he might find
The only two of mankind, but in them

The whole included race, his purpos'd prey.
In bow'r and field he sought, where any tuft
Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay,
Their tendance, or plantation for delight;
By fountain or by shady rivulet

He fought them both, but wilh'd his hap might find!
Eve separate; he wilh’d, but not with hope
Of what so feldom chanc'd, when to his wilh,
Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
Veil'd in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood 425.
Half-spy'd, so thick the roses bushing round.
About her glow'd'; oft stooping to support
Each flower of lender ftalk, whose head though gay
Carnation, purple', azure, or fpeck'd with gold,
Hung drooping unsustain’d; them she upstays

Gently with myrtle-band, mindless the while
Herself, though fairelt unsupported flower,
From her best prop so far, and storm fo nighi:
Nearer he drew, and many. a. walk travérs’d.
Of fatelieit covert, cedar, pine, or palm ;. 435
Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen.
Among thick-woven arborets and flowers
Imborder'd on each bank, the hand of Eve:
Spot more delicious than those gardens feign'd
Or of reviv'd Adonis, or renown'd.

Alcinous, host of old Laertes' fon;
Or that; not mystic, where the fapient king
Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.
Much he the place admir’d, the person more.

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As one who long in populous city pent,

445 Where houses thick and fewers annoy the air, Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe Among the pleasant villages and farms Adjoin'd, from each thing met conceives delight; The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine, 450 Or dairy', each rural fight, each rural found; If chance, with nymphlike step, fair virgin pass, What pleasing feem'd, for her now pleases more, She most, and in her look sums all delight: Such pleasure took the ferpent to behold

455 This flow'ry plat, the fweet recefs of Eve Thus early, thus alone ; her heav'nly form Angelic, but more foft, and feminine, Her graceful innocence, her ev'ry air Of gesturė, or least action, overaw'd

460 His malice, and with rapine sweet-bereav'd His fierceness of the fierce intent it brooght: That space the evil one abstracted stood From his own ev'il, and for the time remain'd Stupidly good, of enmity difarm'd,

465 Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge; But the hot hell that always in him burns, Though in mid heav'n, foon ended his delight, And tortures him now more, the more he sees Of pleasure not for him ordain'd: then foon

470 Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites,

Thoughts, whither have ye led me! with what fweet Compulsion thus transported, to forget What hither brought us! hate, not love, nor hope Of Paradise for hell, hope here to taste Of pleafure, but all pleasure to destroy, Save what is in destroying; other joy To me is loft. Then let me not let pass



Occasion which now smiles : bebold alone 480
The woman, opportune to all attenipts ;
Her husband, for I view far round, not nigh,
Whose higher intelle&ual more I fhun,
And strength, of courage haughty, and of limb
Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould ; 485
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 terror be in love

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

495 Address'd his way, not with indented wave, Prone on the ground, as fince, but on his rear, Circular base of rising folds, that to wer'd Fold above fold, a surging maze ; his head Crefted aloft, and carbuncle his eyes;

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

505 Hermione and Cadmus, or the god In Epidaurus; nor to which transform'd 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 steersian wrought Nigh river's mouth or foreland, where the wind


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Veers oft, as oft steers, and shifts her fail :

5.15 So varied he, and of his tortuous train Curl'd many a wanton wreath in fight of Eve, To lure her eye : She busied heard the found Of ruftling leaves, but minded not, as us'd To such disport before her through the field, 526 From every bealt, more duteous at her call, Than at Circean call the herd disguis'di

. He bobler now, uncall'd before her stood, But as in gaze admiring: oft he bow'd His turret crest, and fleek enameli'd neck, 525 Fawning, and lick'd the ground whereon she trod. His gentle dumb expression turn’d at length The eye of Eve to mark his play; he glad Of her attention: gain'd, with ferpent tongue Organic, or impulse of vocal air, His fraudulent temptation thus began:

Wonder not, sov'reign mistress, it perhaps Thou canst, who art fole wonder ; much less arm Thy looks, the heav'n of inildness, with disdain, Displeas'd that I approach. thee thus, and gaze 535 Insatiate, I thus.single; nor have fear’d: Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir'di 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. beit beheld. Where univerfally admir'd; but here In this inclosure wild, these beasts.amongo. Beholders rude, and shallow. to discern Half what in thee is fair, one man except,

545 Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who should'st be A goddess among gods, ador'd and ferv'd [leen By angels numberlels, thy daily train. So gloz'd the tempter, and his proem tund;



Into the heart of Eve his words made way, 550 Though at the voice much marvelling; at length, Not unamaz'd, the thus in anfwer fpake.

What may this mean language of man pronounc'd By tongue of brute, and human sense exprefs'd ? The firit at least of there I thought deny'd 555 To beakts, whom God on their creation-day Created mute to all articulate found:: The latter I demur; for in their looks, Much reason, and in their action, oft appears. Thee, ferpent, subtlelt beast of all the field 360 I knew, but not with human voice endu'd; Redouble then this miracle, and say, How cam't thou speakable of mute, and how To me so friendly grown above the rest Of brutal kind that daily are in light: Say, for such wonder claims attention due !

To whom the guileful tempter thus reply'd. Empress of this fair world, resplendent Eve, Easy to me it is to tell thee all

[obey'd, What thou command'st, and right thou shouldlt be! I was at first as other beasts that graze

571 The trodden herb, of abject thoughts and low, As was my food ; nor ought but food discern'd Or fer, and apprehended nothing high : Till on a day roving the field, I chanc'd

575 A goodly tree far diftant 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 pleas'd my sense

580 Than smell of sweetest fennel, or the teats Of ewe or goat dropping with milk at even, Unfuck'd of lamb or kid, that tend their play. To satisfy the sharp desire I had


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