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Such prohibitions bind not. But if death 760
So saying, her rash hand in evil hour 780 Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck'd, the eat: Earth felt the wound; and Nature from her feat, Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe, That all was lost. Back to the thicket sunk The guilty ferpent; and well might, for Eve
785 Intent now wholly on her taste, nought else Regarded, such delight till then, as feem'd, In fruit she never tasted, whether true Or fancy'd so, through expectation high Of knowledge; nor was godhead from her thought, Greedily she ingorg'd without restraint,
791 And knew not eating death. Satiate at length, And heighten'd as with wine, jocund and boco, Thus to herself she pleasingly began.
O sov'reign, virtuous, precious of all trees 795 In Paradise, of operation bless'd To fapience, hitherto obscur'd, infam'd, And thy fair fruit let hang, as to no end Created ; but henceforth my early care, Not without song, each morning, and due praise, 860 Shall tend thee, and thy fertile burden ease Of thy full branches, offer'd free to all; Till dieted by thee I grow mature In knowledge, as the gods, who all things know; Though others envy what they cannot give; 805 For had the gift been theirs, it had not here Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe, Best guide; not following thee, I had remain'd In ignorance; thou open'k wisdom's way, And giv'lt access; though secret the retire. And I perhaps am fecret; heaven is high, High, and remote to see from thence distinct Each thing on earth; and other care perhaps May have diverted from continual watch Our great forbidder, fafe with all his fpies About him. But to Adam in what fort Shall I appear? Shall I to him make known As yet my change, and give him to partake Full happiness with me; or rather not, But keep the odds of knowledge in my power
820 Without copartner? fo to add what wants In female sex, the more to draw his love, And render me more equal, and perhaps, A thing not undesirable, sometime Superior ; for inferior who is free? This may be well: but what if God have seen, And death ensue? then I shall be no more, And Adam, wedded to another Eve, Shall live with her enjoying, I extind;
A death to think. Confirm'd then I resolve, 830
So saying, from the tree her step the turn'd;
reapers oft are wont their harveft-queen.
Halt thou not wonder'd, Adam, at my ftay?
nor shall be twice ; for never more
Opining the way; but of divine effect
Thus Eve with count'nance blithe her story told;
O fairelt of cțeation, lalt and best
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lort,
goo Defac'd, deflower'd, and now to death devote? Rather, how halt thou yielded to tranfgress The strict forbiddance, how to violate The sacred fruit forbidd's? Some cursed fraud Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown; 905 And me with thee hath ruin'd; for with thee, Certain my resolution is to die: How can I live without thee, how forego Thy sweet converse and love, so dearly join'd, To live again in these wild woods forlorn?
910 Should God create another Eve, and I Another rib afford, yet loss of thee Would never from my heart; no, no, I feel The link of nature draw me: Alesh of Aesh, Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state 915 Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
So having said, as one from fad dismay Recomforted, and, after thoughts disturbid, Submitting to what seem'd remediless, Thus in calm mood his words to Eve he turn'd. 920
Bold deed thou hast presum'd, advent'rous Eve, And peril great provok’d, who thus hast dar'd, Had it been only coveting to eye That sacred fruit, facred to abstinence, Much more to taste it, under ban to touch.
925 But past who can recal, or done undo? Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate: yet so Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact Is not fo heinouş-now, foretalted fruit, Profan'd first by the ferpent, by him first 930 Made common and unhallow'd ere our taste : Nor yet on him found deadly; he yet lives, Lives, as thou saidít, and gains to live, as man, Higher degree of life; inducement trong