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Such prohibitions bind not. But if death 760
Binds us with after-bands, what profits then
Our inward freedom ? In the day we eat
Of this fair fruit, our doom is, we shall die.
How dies the serpent ? he hath eat'n and lives,
And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns, 765
Irrational till then, For us alone
Was death invented ? or to us deny'd
This intellectual food, for beasts reserv'd ?
For beasts it seems: yet that one beast which first
Hath tasted, envies not, but brings with joy 770
The good befall’n him, author unsuspect,
Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile.
What fear I then, rather what know to fear
Under this ignorance of good and evil
Of God or death, of law or penalty ?

Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine,
Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste,
Of virtue to make wise : what hinders then
To reach, and feed at once both body' and mind?

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.

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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
Adam shall share with me in blifs or woe :
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could endure, without him live no life.

So saying, from the tree her step the turn'd;
Biit first low reverence done, as to the pow'r 835
That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd
Into the plant sciential fap, deriv'd
From nectar, drink of gods. Adam the while,
Waiting desirous her return, had wave
Of choiceft flowers a garland to adorn
Her tresses, and her rural labours crown,

reapers oft are wont their harveft-queen.
Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay'd :
Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill,
Misgave him; he the faltring measure felt;
And forth to meet her went, the way she took
That morn when first they parted. By the tree
Of knowledge he must pass; there he her met,
Scarce from the tree returning; in her hand
A bough of fairelt fruit, that doway smil'd,
New gather'd, and ambrofial smell diffus'd.
To him fhe halted ; in her face excuse
Came prologue, and apology too prompt, 854
Which with bland words at will the thus address'd.

Halt thou not wonder'd, Adam, at my ftay?
Thee I have miss'd, and thought it long, depriv'd
Thy presence, agony of love till now

nor shall be twice ; for never more
Mean I to try, what rasa untry'd I fought, 860
The pain of absence from thy fight. But ftrange
Hath been the cause, and wonderful to hear ;
This tree is not, as we are told, a tree
Of danger tasted, nor to' evil unknown


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Opining the way; but of divine effect
To open eyes, and make them gods who taste;
And hath been talted fuch: the serpent wise,
Or not restrain'd as we, or not obeying,
Hath eaten of the fruit, and is become,
Not dead, as we are threaten'd, but thenceforth 870
Endu'd with human voice and human sense,
Reasoning to admiration, and with me
Persuasively hath fo prevail'd, that I
Have also tasted, and have also found
Th’ effects to correspond; op'ner mine eyes,
Dim erst, dilated fpirits, ampler heart,
And growing up to godhead; which for thee
Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise.
For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss;
Tedious unshar'd with thee, and odious soon. 886
Thou therefore also taste, that equal lot
May join us, equal joy as equal love ;
Left thou not tafting, different degree
Disjoin us, and I then too late renounce
Dtity for thee, when fate will not permit. 885

Thus Eve with count'nance blithe her story told;
But in her cheek dilemper flushing glow'd.
On th' other side, Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amaz'd,
Aftonied stood, and blank, while horror chill 890
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relax'd ;
From his slack hand the garland wreath'd for Eve
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed :.
Speechless he stood, and pale; till thus at length
First to himself he inward silence broke.

O fairelt of cțeation, lalt and best
Of all God's works, creature in whom excell'd
Whatever can to fight or thought be form'd,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!



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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


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