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Paradise Lost in Plain English

Paradise Lost


  1. No more of talk where God or Angel Guest
  2. With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us'd
  3. To sit indulgent, and with him partake
  4. Rural repast, permitting him the while
  5. Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change
  6. Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and breach
  7. Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
  8. And disobedience: On the part of Heav'n
  9. Now alienated, distance and distaste,
  10. Anger and just rebuke, and judgement giv'n,
  11. That brought into this World a world of woe,
  12. Sinne and her shadow Death, and Miserie
  13. Deaths Harbinger: Sad task, yet argument
  14. Not less but more Heroic then the wrauth
  15. Of stern Achilles on his Foe pursu'd
  16. Thrice Fugitive about Troy Wall; or rage
  17. Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd,
  18. Or Neptun's ire or Juno's, that so long
  19. Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's Son;
  20. If answerable style I can obtaine
  21. Of my Celestial Patroness, who deignes
  22. Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,
  23. And dictates to me slumb'ring, or inspires
  24. Easie my unpremeditated Verse:
  25. Since first this Subject for Heroic Song
  26. Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late;
  27. Not sedulous by Nature to indite
  28. Warrs, hitherto the onely Argument
  29. Heroic deem'd, chief maistrie to dissect
  30. With long and tedious havoc fabl'd Knights
  31. In Battels feign'd; the better fortitude
  32. Of Patience and Heroic Martyrdom
  33. Unsung; or to describe Races and Games,
  34. Or tilting Furniture, emblazon'd Shields,
  35. Impreses quaint, Caparisons and Steeds;
  36. Bases and tinsel Trappings, gorgious Knights
  37. At Joust and Torneament; then marshal'd Feast
  38. Serv'd up in Hall with Sewers, and Seneshals;
  39. The skill of Artifice or Office mean,
  40. Not that which justly gives Heroic name
  41. To Person or to Poem. Mee of these
  42. Nor skilld nor studious, higher Argument
  43. Remaines, sufficient of it self to raise
  44. That name, unless an age too late, or cold
  45. Climat, or Years damp my intended wing
  46. Deprest, and much they may, if all be mine,
  47. Not Hers who brings it nightly to my Ear.



  1. So much for the angel's friendly visit with Adam.

  2. Now we're going to talk about sadder things--like when man lost faith and became disobedient to God.
  3. And about how God got angry and passed judgment that brought suffering into the world.
  4. And about Sin and Death, and about Misery, who tells us when Death is coming.

  5. It's a sad story, but it's more impressive and inspiring than all those stories about anger and vengeance in the Iliad or the Aeneid or the Odyssey.

  6. At least, it will be, if my heavenly muse keeps coming to me every night in my sleep and inspires me to write this poetry.

  7. It took me a long time to get around to writing this epic.
  8. It seemed like war was the only subject epics could ever be about.
  9. All this tiresome stuff about brave knights in battles, while nobody talks about patience or sacrifice--things more worth admiring.

  10. Or else they go on about these sports heroes and tournaments and their favorite teams and all the overblown celebrations. It's not my thing.

  11. I prefer a different subject--one which is important enough to be truly called heroic.

  12. Maybe I'm too old to write in a way that does that subject justice, but Urania visits me each night and gives me the inspiration I need.
  1. The Sun was sunk, and after him the Starr
  2. Of Hesperus, whose Office is to bring
  3. Twilight upon the Earth, short Arbiter
  4. Twixt Day and Night, and now from end to end
  5. Nights Hemisphere had veild the Horizon round:
  6. When Satan who late fled before the threats
  7. Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
  8. In meditated fraud and malice, bent
  9. On mans destruction, maugre what might hap
  10. Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
  11. By Night he fled, and at Midnight return'd.
  12. From compassing the Earth, cautious of day,
  13. Since Uriel Regent of the Sun descri'd
  14. His entrance, and forewarnd the Cherubim
  15. That kept thir watch; thence full of anguish driv'n,
  16. The space of seven continu'd Nights he rode
  17. With darkness, thrice the Equinoctial Line
  18. He circl'd, four times cross'd the Carr of Night
  19. From Pole to Pole, traversing each Colure;
  20. On the eighth return'd, and on the Coast averse
  21. From entrance or Cherubic Watch, by stealth
  22. Found unsuspected way. There was a place,
  23. Now not, though Sin, not Time, first wraught the change,
  24. Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise
  25. Into a Gulf shot under ground, till part
  26. Rose up a Fountain by the Tree of Life;
  27. In with the River sunk, and with it rose
  28. Satan involv'd in rising Mist, then sought
  29. Where to lie hid; Sea he had searcht and Land
  30. From Eden over Pontus, and the Poole
  31. Motis, up beyond the River Ob;
  32. Downward as farr Antartic; and in length
  33. West from Orontes to the Ocean barr'd
  34. At Darien, thence to the Land where flowes
  35. Ganges and Indus: thus the Orb he roam'd
  36. With narrow search; and with inspection deep
  37. Consider'd every Creature, which of all
  38. Most opportune might serve his Wiles, and found
  39. The Serpent suttlest Beast of all the Field.
  40. Him after long debate, irresolute
  41. Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose
  42. Fit Vessel, fittest Imp of fraud, in whom
  43. To enter, and his dark suggestions hide
  44. From sharpest sight: for in the wilie Snake,
  45. Whatever sleights none would suspicious mark,
  46. As from his wit and native suttletie
  47. Proceeding, which in other Beasts observ'd
  48. Doubt might beget of Diabolic pow'r
  49. Active within beyond the sense of brute.
  1. The Sun had set and Venus, the twilight star, was gone also.
  2. Night covered the entire horizon.

  3. Gabriel had thrown Satan out of Eden, but he was coming back now.

  4. He had worked out his plan for man's destruction and he was so determined he didn't care how risky it was.
  5. He returned in the middle of the night, the same as he had fled, when Uriel had spotted him and alerted the angel guards.
  6. He had circled the Earth for seven continuous nights, staying on the dark side of the Earth, and came down on the eighth.
  7. He found a secret way into the garden.

  8. There was a place (not there anymore, not because of time, but because sin destroyed it)--a place where the Tigris river went underground at the foot of the mountain and eventually came up as a stream in the garden, near the Tree of Life.
  9. He swam through this tunnel and came up in the garden, surrounded by mist.
  10. He had been searching for a good way to hide his presence here.
  11. He had searched land and sea, from the Black Sea up as far as Siberia and down to Antarctica, then from Syria west to Panama and India.
  12. He roamed the whole world and carefully studied every kind of creature and decided that the snake was the best one for him to sneak around in.
  13. He figured that it was such a sneaky looking creature already that nobody would suspect anything unusual about his strange behavior once he was inside the snake.
  1. Thus he resolv'd, but first from inward griefe
  2. His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd:
  3. O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferr'd
  4. More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built
  5. With second thoughts, reforming what was old!
  6. For what God after better worse would build?
  7. Terrestrial Heav'n, danc't round by other Heav'ns
  8. That shine, yet bear thir bright officious Lamps,
  9. Light above Light, for thee alone, as seems,
  10. In thee concentring all thir precious beams
  11. Of sacred influence: As God in Heav'n
  12. Is Center, yet extends to all, so thou
  13. Centring receav'st from all those Orbs; in thee,
  14. Not in themselves, all thir known vertue appeers
  15. Productive in Herb, Plant, and nobler birth
  16. Of Creatures animate with gradual life
  17. Of Growth, Sense, Reason, all summ'd up in Man.
  18. With what delight could I have walkt thee round,
  19. If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange
  20. Of Hill, and Vallie, Rivers, Woods and Plaines,
  21. Now Land, now Sea, and Shores with Forrest crownd,
  22. Rocks, Dens, and Caves; but I in none of these
  23. Find place or refuge; and the more I see
  24. Pleasures about me, so much more I feel
  25. Torment within me, as from the hateful siege
  26. Of contraries; all good to me becomes
  27. Bane, and in Heav'n much worse would be my state.
  28. But neither here seek I, no nor in Heav'n
  29. To dwell, unless by maistring Heav'ns Supreame;
  30. Nor hope to be my self less miserable
  31. By what I seek, but others to make such
  32. As I, though thereby worse to me redound:
  33. For onely in destroying I find ease
  34. To my relentless thoughts; and him destroyd,
  35. Or won to what may work his utter loss,
  36. For whom all this was made, all this will soon
  37. Follow, as to him linkt in weal or woe,
  38. In wo then: that destruction wide may range:
  39. To mee shall be the glorie sole among
  40. The infernal Powers, in one day to have marr'd
  41. What he Almightie styl'd, six Nights and Days
  42. Continu'd making, and who knows how long
  43. Before had bin contriving, though perhaps
  44. Not longer then since I in one Night freed
  45. From servitude inglorious welnigh half
  46. Th' Angelic Name, and thinner left the throng
  47. Of his adorers: hee to be aveng'd,
  48. And to repaire his numbers thus impair'd,
  49. Whether such vertue spent of old now faild
  50. More Angels to Create, if they at least
  51. Are his Created, or to spite us more,
  52. Determin'd to advance into our room
  53. A Creature form'd of Earth, and him endow,
  54. Exalted from so base original,
  55. With Heav'nly spoils, our spoils: What he decreed
  56. He effected; Man he made, and for him built
  57. Magnificent this World, and Earth his seat,
  58. Him Lord pronounc'd, and, O indignitie!
  59. Subjected to his service Angel wings,
  60. And flaming Ministers to watch and tend
  61. Thir earthy Charge: Of these the vigilance
  62. I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist
  63. Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and prie
  64. In every Bush and Brake, where hap may finde
  65. The Serpent sleeping, in whose mazie foulds
  66. To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
  67. O foul descent! that I who erst contended
  68. With Gods to sit the highest, am now constraind
  69. Into a Beast, and mixt with bestial slime,
  70. This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
  71. That to the hight of Deitie aspir'd;
  72. But what will not Ambition and Revenge
  73. Descend to? who aspires must down as low
  74. As high he soard, obnoxious first or last
  75. To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,
  76. Bitter ere long back on it self recoiles;
  77. Let it; I reck not, so it light well aim'd,
  78. Since higher I fall short, on him who next
  79. Provokes my envie, this new Favorite
  80. Of Heav'n, this Man of Clay, Son of despite,
  81. Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais'd
  82. From dust: spite then with spite is best repaid.
  83. So saying, through each Thicket Danck or Drie,
  84. Like a black mist low creeping, he held on
  85. His midnight search, where soonest he might finde
  86. The Serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found
  87. In Labyrinth of many a round self-rowld,
  88. His head the midst, well stor'd with suttle wiles:
  89. Not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den,
  90. Nor nocent yet, but on the grassie Herbe
  91. Fearless unfeard he slept: in at his Mouth
  92. The Devil enterd, and his brutal sense,
  93. In heart or head, possessing soon inspir'd
  94. With act intelligential; but his sleep
  95. Disturbd not, waiting close th' approach of Morn.
  96. Now when as sacred Light began to dawne
  97. In Eden on the humid Flours, that breathd
  98. Thir morning incense, when all things that breath,
  99. From th' Earths great Altar send up silent praise
  100. To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill
  101. With grateful Smell, forth came the human pair
  102. And joind thir vocal Worship to the Quire
  103. Of Creatures wanting voice, that done, partake
  104. The season, prime for sweetest Sents and Aires:
  105. Then commune how that day they best may ply
  106. Thir growing work: for much thir work outgrew
  107. The hands dispatch of two Gardning so wide.
  108. And Eve first to her Husband thus began.
  109. Adam, well may we labour still to dress
  110. This Garden, still to tend Plant, Herb and Flour,
  111. Our pleasant task enjoyn'd, but till more hands
  112. Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
  113. Luxurious by restraint; what we by day
  114. Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,
  115. One night or two with wanton growth derides
  116. Tending to wilde. Thou therefore now advise
  117. Or hear what to my minde first thoughts present,
  118. Let us divide our labours, thou where choice
  119. Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind
  120. The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct
  121. The clasping Ivie where to climb, while I
  122. In yonder Spring of Roses intermixt
  123. With Myrtle, find what to redress till Noon:
  124. For while so near each other thus all day
  125. Our taske we choose, what wonder if so near
  126. Looks intervene and smiles, or object new
  127. Casual discourse draw on, which intermits
  128. Our dayes work brought to little, though begun
  129. Early, and th' hour of Supper comes unearn'd.
  130. To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd.
  131. Sole Eve, Associate sole, to me beyond
  132. Compare above all living Creatures deare,
  133. Well hast thou motion'd, well thy thoughts imployd
  134. How we might best fulfill the work which here
  135. God hath assign'd us, nor of me shalt pass
  136. Unprais'd: for nothing lovelier can be found
  137. In Woman, then to studie houshold good,
  138. And good workes in her Husband to promote.
  139. Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd
  140. Labour, as to debarr us when we need
  141. Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,
  142. Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse
  143. Of looks and smiles, for smiles from Reason flow,
  144. To brute deni'd, and are of Love the food,
  145. Love not the lowest end of human life.
  146. For not to irksom toile, but to delight
  147. He made us, and delight to Reason joyn'd.
  148. These paths & Bowers doubt not but our joynt hands
  149. Will keep from Wilderness with ease, as wide
  150. As we need walk, till younger hands ere long
  151. Assist us: But if much converse perhaps
  152. Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield.
  153. For solitude somtimes is best societie,
  154. And short retirement urges sweet returne.
  155. But other doubt possesses me, least harm
  156. Befall thee sever'd from me; for thou knowst
  157. What hath bin warn'd us, what malicious Foe
  158. Envying our happiness, and of his own
  159. Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame
  160. By sly assault; and somwhere nigh at hand
  161. Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
  162. His wish and best advantage, us asunder,
  163. Hopeless to circumvent us joynd, where each
  164. To other speedie aide might lend at need;
  165. Whether his first design be to withdraw
  166. Our fealtie from God, or to disturb
  167. Conjugal Love, then which perhaps no bliss
  168. Enjoy'd by us excites his envie more;
  169. Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side
  170. That gave thee being, still shades thee and protects.
  171. The Wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
  172. Safest and seemliest by her Husband staies,
  173. Who guards her, or with her the worst endures.
  174. To whom the Virgin Majestie of Eve,
  175. As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,
  176. With sweet austeer composure thus reply'd,
  177. Ofspring of Heav'n and Earth, and all Earths Lord,
  178. That such an Enemie we have, who seeks
  179. Our ruin, both by thee informd I learne,
  180. And from the parting Angel over-heard
  181. As in a shadie nook I stood behind,
  182. Just then returnd at shut of Evening Flours.
  183. But that thou shouldst my firmness therfore doubt
  184. To God or thee, because we have a foe
  185. May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
  186. His violence thou fear'st not, being such,
  187. As wee, not capable of death or paine,
  188. Can either not receave, or can repell.
  189. His fraud is then thy fear, which plain inferrs
  190. Thy equal fear that my firm Faith and Love
  191. Can by his fraud be shak'n or seduc't;
  192. Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy brest
  193. Adam, misthought of her to thee so dear?
  194. To whom with healing words Adam replyd.
  195. Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve,
  196. For such thou art, from sin and blame entire:
  197. Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
  198. Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid
  199. Th' attempt itself, intended by our Foe.
  200. For hee who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses
  201. The tempted with dishonour foul, suppos'd
  202. Not incorruptible of Faith, not prooff
  203. Against temptation: thou thy self with scorne
  204. And anger wouldst resent the offer'd wrong,
  205. Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then,
  206. If such affront I labour to avert
  207. From thee alone, which on us both at once
  208. The Enemie, though bold, will hardly dare,
  209. Or daring, first on mee th' assault shall light.
  210. Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn;
  211. Suttle he needs must be, who could seduce
  212. Angels nor think superfluous others aid.
  213. I from the influence of thy looks receave
  214. Access in every Vertue, in thy sight
  215. More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were
  216. Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on,
  217. Shame to be overcome or over-reacht
  218. Would utmost vigor raise, and rais'd unite.
  219. Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel
  220. When I am present, and thy trial choose
  221. With me, best witness of thy Vertue tri'd.
  222. So spake domestick Adam in his care
  223. And Matrimonial Love; but Eve, who thought
  224. Less attributed to her Faith sincere,
  225. Thus her reply with accent sweet renewd.
  226. If this be our condition, thus to dwell
  227. In narrow circuit strait'nd by a Foe,
  228. Suttle or violent, we not endu'd
  229. Single with like defence, wherever met,
  230. How are we happie, still in fear of harm?
  231. But harm precedes not sin: onely our Foe
  232. Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem
  233. Of our integritie: his foul esteeme
  234. Sticks no dishonor on our Front, but turns
  235. Foul on himself; then wherefore shund or feard
  236. By us? who rather double honour gaine
  237. From his surmise prov'd false, find peace within,
  238. Favour from Heav'n, our witness from th' event.
  239. And what is Faith, Love, Vertue unassaid
  240. Alone, without exterior help sustaind?
  241. Let us not then suspect our happie State
  242. Left so imperfet by the Maker wise,
  243. As not secure to single or combin'd.
  244. Fraile is our happiness, if this be so,
  245. And Eden were no Eden thus expos'd.
  246. To whom thus Adam fervently repli'd.
  247. O Woman, best are all things as the will
  248. Of God ordain'd them, his creating hand
  249. Nothing imperfet or deficient left
  250. Of all that he Created, much less Man,
  251. Or aught that might his happie State secure,
  252. Secure from outward force; within himself
  253. The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
  254. Against his will he can receave no harme.
  255. But God left free the Will, for what obeyes
  256. Reason, is free, and Reason he made right
  257. But bid her well beware, and still erect,
  258. Least by some faire appeering good surpris'd
  259. She dictate false, and misinforme the Will
  260. To do what God expresly hath forbid,
  261. Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoynes,
  262. That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me.
  263. Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve,
  264. Since Reason not impossibly may meet
  265. Some specious object by the Foe subornd,
  266. And fall into deception unaware,
  267. Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warnd.
  268. Seek not temptation then, which to avoide
  269. Were better, and most likelie if from mee
  270. Thou sever not: Trial will come unsought.
  271. Wouldst thou approve thy constancie, approve
  272. First thy obedience; th' other who can know,
  273. Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
  274. But if thou think, trial unsought may finde
  275. Us both securer then thus warnd thou seemst,
  276. Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more;
  277. Go in thy native innocence, relie
  278. On what thou hast of vertue, summon all,
  279. For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine.
  280. So spake the Patriarch of Mankinde, but Eve
  281. Persisted, yet submiss, though last, repli'd.
  282. With thy permission then, and thus forewarnd
  283. Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words
  284. Touchd onely, that our trial, when least sought,
  285. May finde us both perhaps farr less prepar'd,
  286. The willinger I goe, nor much expect
  287. A Foe so proud will first the weaker seek,
  288. So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse.
  289. Thus saying, from her Husbands hand her hand
  290. Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light
  291. Oread or Dryad, or of Delia's Traine,
  292. Betook her to the Groves, but Delia's self
  293. In gate surpass'd and Goddess-like deport,
  294. Though not as shee with Bow and Quiver armd,
  295. But with such Gardning Tools as Art yet rude,
  296. Guiltless of fire had formd, or Angels brought.
  297. To Pales, or Pomona, thus adornd,
  298. Likeliest she seemd, Pomona when she fled
  299. Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her Prime,
  300. Yet Virgin of Proserpina from Jove.
  301. Her long with ardent look his Eye pursu'd
  302. Delighted, but desiring more her stay.
  303. Oft he to her his charge of quick returne
  304. Repeated, shee to him as oft engag'd
  305. To be returnd by Noon amid the Bowre,
  306. And all things in best order to invite
  307. Noontide repast, or Afternoons repose.
  308. O much deceav'd, much failing, hapless Eve,
  309. Of thy presum'd return! event perverse!
  310. Thou never from that houre in Paradise
  311. Foundst either sweet repast, or sound repose;
  312. Such ambush hid among sweet Flours and Shades
  313. Waited with hellish rancour imminent
  314. To intercept thy way, or send thee back
  315. Despoild of Innocence, of Faith, of Bliss.
  316. For now, and since first break of dawne the Fiend,
  317. Meer Serpent in appearance, forth was come,
  318. And on his Quest, where likeliest he might finde
  319. The onely two of Mankinde, but in them
  320. The whole included Race, his purposd prey.
  321. In Bowre and Field he sought, where any tuft
  322. Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay,
  323. Thir tendance or Plantation for delight,
  324. By Fountain or by shadie Rivulet
  325. He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find
  326. Eve separate, he wish'd, but not with hope
  327. Of what so seldom chanc'd, when to his wish,
  328. Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
  329. Veild in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood,
  330. Half spi'd, so thick the Roses bushing round
  331. About her glowd, oft stooping to support
  332. Each Flour of slender stalk, whose head though gay
  333. Carnation, Purple, Azure, or spect with Gold,
  334. Hung drooping unsustaind, them she upstaies
  335. Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while,
  336. Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour,
  337. From her best prop so farr, and storm so nigh.
  338. Neerer he drew, and many a walk travers'd
  339. Of stateliest Covert, Cedar, Pine, or Palme,
  340. Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen
  341. Among thick-wov'n Arborets and Flours
  342. Imborderd on each Bank, the hand of Eve:
  343. Spot more delicious then those Gardens feign'd
  344. Or of reviv'd Adonis, or renownd
  345. Alcinous, host of old Laertes Son,
  346. Or that, not Mystic, where the Sapient King
  347. Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian Spouse.
  348. Much hee the Place admir'd, the Person more.
  349. As one who long in populous City pent,
  350. Where Houses thick and Sewers annoy the Aire,
  351. Forth issuing on a Summers Morn to breathe
  352. Among the pleasant Villages and Farmes
  353. Adjoynd, from each thing met conceaves delight,
  354. The smell of Grain, or tedded Grass, or Kine,
  355. Or Dairie, each rural sight, each rural sound;
  356. If chance with Nymphlike step fair Virgin pass,
  357. What pleasing seemd, for her now pleases more,
  358. She most, and in her look summs all Delight.
  359. Such Pleasure took the Serpent to behold
  360. This Flourie Plat, the sweet recess of Eve
  361. Thus earlie, thus alone; her Heav'nly forme
  362. Angelic, but more soft, and Feminine,
  363. Her graceful Innocence, her every Aire
  364. Of gesture or lest action overawd
  365. His Malice, and with rapine sweet bereav'd
  366. His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought:
  367. That space the Evil one abstracted stood
  368. From his own evil, and for the time remaind
  369. Stupidly good, of enmitie disarm'd,
  370. Of guile, of hate, of envie, of revenge;
  371. But the hot Hell that alwayes in him burnes,
  372. Though in mid Heav'n, soon ended his delight,
  373. And tortures him now more, the more he sees
  374. Of pleasure not for him ordain'd: then soon
  375. Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts
  376. Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites.
  377. Thoughts, whither have ye led me, with what sweet
  378. Compulsion thus transported to forget
  379. What hither brought us, hate, not love, nor hope
  380. Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste
  381. Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy,
  382. Save what is in destroying, other joy
  383. To me is lost. Then let me not let pass
  384. Occasion which now smiles, behold alone
  385. The Woman, opportune to all attempts,
  386. Her Husband, for I view far round, not nigh,
  387. Whose higher intellectual more I shun,
  388. And strength, of courage hautie, and of limb
  389. Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould,
  390. Foe not informidable, exempt from wound,
  391. I not; so much hath Hell debas'd, and paine
  392. Infeebl'd me, to what I was in Heav'n.
  393. Shee fair, divinely fair, fit Love for Gods,
  394. Not terrible, though terrour be in Love
  395. And beautie, not approacht by stronger hate,
  396. Hate stronger, under shew of Love well feign'd,
  397. The way which to her ruin now I tend.
  398. So spake the Enemie of Mankind, enclos'd
  399. In Serpent, Inmate bad, and toward Eve
  400. Address'd his way, not with indented wave,
  401. Prone on the ground, as since, but on his reare,
  402. Circular base of rising foulds, that tour'd
  403. Fould above fould a surging Maze, his Head
  404. Crested aloft, and Carbuncle his Eyes;
  405. With burnisht Neck of verdant Gold, erect
  406. Amidst his circling Spires, that on the grass
  407. Floted redundant: pleasing was his shape,
  408. And lovely, never since of Serpent kind
  409. Lovelier, not those that in Illyria chang'd
  410. Hermione and Cadmus, or the God
  411. In Epidaurus; nor to which transformd
  412. Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen,
  413. Hee with Olympias, this with her who bore
  414. Scipio the highth of Rome . With tract oblique
  415. At first, as one who sought access, but feard
  416. To interrupt, side-long he works his way.
  417. As when a Ship by skilful Stearsman wrought
  418. Nigh Rivers mouth or Foreland, where the Wind
  419. Veres oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her Saile;
  420. So varied hee, and of his tortuous Traine
  421. Curld many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve,
  422. To lure her Eye; shee busied heard the sound
  423. Of rusling Leaves, but minded not, as us'd
  424. To such disport before her through the Field,
  425. From every Beast, more duteous at her call,
  426. Then at Circean call the Herd disguis'd.
  427. Hee boulder now, uncall'd before her stood;
  428. But as in gaze admiring: Oft he bowd
  429. His turret Crest, and sleek enamel'd Neck,
  430. Fawning, and lick'd the ground whereon she trod.
  431. His gentle dumb expression turnd at length
  432. The Eye of Eve to mark his play; he glad
  433. Of her attention gaind, with Serpent Tongue
  434. Organic, or impulse of vocal Air,
  435. His fraudulent temptation thus began.
  436. Wonder not, sovran Mistress, if perhaps
  437. Thou canst, who art sole Wonder, much less arm
  438. Thy looks, the Heav'n of mildness, with disdain,
  439. Displeas'd that I approach thee thus, and gaze
  440. Insatiate, I thus single, nor have feard
  441. Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir'd.
  442. Fairest resemblance of thy Maker faire,
  443. Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine
  444. By gift, and thy Celestial Beautie adore
  445. With ravishment beheld, there best beheld
  446. Where universally admir'd; but here
  447. In this enclosure wild, these Beasts among,
  448. Beholders rude, and shallow to discerne
  449. Half what in thee is fair, one man except,
  450. Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who shouldst be seen
  451. A Goddess among Gods, ador'd and serv'd
  452. By Angels numberless, thy daily Train.
  453. So gloz'd the Tempter, and his Proem tun'd;
  454. Into the Heart of Eve his words made way,
  455. Though at the voice much marveling; at length
  456. Not unamaz'd she thus in answer spake.
  457. What may this mean? Language of Man pronounc't
  458. By Tongue of Brute, and human sense exprest?
  459. The first at lest of these I thought deni'd
  460. To Beasts, whom God on thir Creation-Day
  461. Created mute to all articulat sound;
  462. The latter I demurre, for in thir looks
  463. Much reason, and in thir actions oft appeers.
  464. Thee, Serpent, suttlest beast of all the field
  465. I knew, but not with human voice endu'd;
  466. Redouble then this miracle, and say,
  467. How cam'st thou speakable of mute, and how
  468. To me so friendly grown above the rest
  469. Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight?
  470. Say, for such wonder claims attention due.
  471. To whom the guileful Tempter thus reply'd.
  472. Empress of this fair World, resplendent Eve,
  473. Easie to mee it is to tell thee all
  474. What thou commandst and right thou shouldst be obeyd:
  475. I was at first as other Beasts that graze
  476. The trodden Herb, of abject thoughts and low,
  477. As was my food, nor aught but food discern'd
  478. Or Sex, and apprehended nothing high:
  479. Till on a day roaving the field, I chanc'd
  480. A goodly Tree farr distant to behold
  481. Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mixt,
  482. Ruddie and Gold: I nearer drew to gaze;
  483. When from the boughes a savorie odour blow'n,
  484. Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd my sense,
  485. Then smell of sweetest Fenel or the Teats
  486. Of Ewe or Goat dropping with Milk at Eevn,
  487. Unsuckt of Lamb or Kid, that tend thir play.
  488. To satisfie the sharp desire I had
  489. Of tasting those fair Apples, I resolv'd
  490. Not to deferr; hunger and thirst at once,
  491. Powerful perswaders, quick'nd at the scent
  492. Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keene.
  493. About the mossie Trunk I wound me soon,
  494. For high from ground the branches would require
  495. Thy utmost reach or Adams: Round the Tree
  496. All other Beasts that saw, with like desire
  497. Longing and envying stood, but could not reach.
  498. Amid the Tree now got, where plenty hung
  499. Tempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill
  500. I spar'd not, for such pleasure till that hour
  501. At Feed or Fountain never had I found.
  502. Sated at length, ere long I might perceave
  503. Strange alteration in me, to degree
  504. Of Reason in my inward Powers, and Speech
  505. Wanted not long, though to this shape retain'd.
  506. Thenceforth to Speculations high or deep
  507. I turnd my thoughts, and with capacious mind
  508. Considerd all things visible in Heav'n,
  509. Or Earth, or Middle, all things fair and good;
  510. But all that fair and good in thy Divine
  511. Semblance, and in thy Beauties heav'nly Ray
  512. United I beheld; no Fair to thine
  513. Equivalent or second, which compel'd
  514. Mee thus, though importune perhaps, to come
  515. And gaze, and worship thee of right declar'd
  516. Sovran of Creatures, universal Dame.
  517. So talk'd the spirited sly Snake; and Eve
  518. Yet more amaz'd unwarie thus reply'd.
  519. Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt
  520. The vertue of that Fruit, in thee first prov'd:
  521. But say, where grows the Tree, from hence how far?
  522. For many are the Trees of God that grow
  523. In Paradise, and various, yet unknown
  524. To us, in such abundance lies our choice,
  525. As leaves a greater store of Fruit untoucht,
  526. Still hanging incorruptible, till men
  527. Grow up to thir provision, and more hands
  528. Help to disburden Nature of her Bearth.
  529. To whom the wilie Adder, blithe and glad.
  530. Empress, the way is readie, and not long,
  531. Beyond a row of Myrtles, on a Flat,
  532. Fast by a Fountain, one small Thicket past
  533. Of blowing Myrrh and Balme; if thou accept
  534. My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon.
  535. Lead then, said Eve. Hee leading swiftly rowld
  536. In tangles, and made intricate seem strait,
  537. To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy
  538. Bright'ns his Crest, as when a wandring Fire
  539. Compact of unctuous vapor, which the Night
  540. Condenses, and the cold invirons round,
  541. Kindl'd through agitation to a Flame,
  542. Which oft, they say, some evil Spirit attends
  543. Hovering and blazing with delusive Light,
  544. Misleads th' amaz'd Night-wanderer from his way
  545. To Boggs and Mires, and oft through Pond or Poole,
  546. There swallow'd up and lost, from succour farr.
  547. So glister'd the dire Snake, and into fraud
  548. Led Eve our credulous Mother, to the Tree
  549. Of prohibition, root of all our woe;
  550. Which when she saw, thus to her guide she spake.
  551. Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming hither,
  552. Fruitless to mee, though Fruit be here to excess,
  553. The credit of whose vertue rest with thee,
  554. Wondrous indeed, if cause of such effects.
  555. But of this Tree we may not taste nor touch;
  556. God so commanded, and left that Command
  557. Sole Daughter of his voice; the rest, we live
  558. Law to our selves, our Reason is our Law.
  559. To whom the Tempter guilefully repli'd.
  560. Indeed? hath God then said that of the Fruit
  561. Of all these Garden Trees ye shall not eate,
  562. Yet Lords declar'd of all in Earth or Aire?
  563. To whom thus Eve yet sinless. Of the Fruit
  564. Of each Tree in the Garden we may eate,
  565. But of the Fruit of this fair Tree amidst
  566. The Garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eate
  567. Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, least ye die.
  568. She scarse had said, though brief, when now more bold
  569. The Tempter, but with shew of Zeale and Love
  570. To Man, and indignation at his wrong,
  571. New part puts on, and as to passion mov'd,
  572. Fluctuats disturbd, yet comely and in act
  573. Rais'd, as of som great matter to begin.
  574. As when of old som Orator renound
  575. In Athens or free Rome, where Eloquence
  576. Flourishd, since mute, to som great cause addrest,
  577. Stood in himself collected, while each part,
  578. Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue,
  579. Somtimes in highth began, as no delay
  580. Of Preface brooking through his Zeal of Right.
  581. So standing, moving, or to highth upgrown
  582. The Tempter all impassiond thus began.
  583. O Sacred, Wise, and Wisdom-giving Plant,
  584. Mother of Science, Now I feel thy Power
  585. Within me cleere, not onely to discerne
  586. Things in thir Causes, but to trace the wayes
  587. Of highest Agents, deemd however wise.
  588. Queen of this Universe, doe not believe
  589. Those rigid threats of Death; ye shall not Die:
  590. How should ye? by the Fruit? it gives you Life
  591. To Knowledge, By the Threatner, look on mee,
  592. Mee who have touch'd and tasted, yet both live,
  593. And life more perfet have attaind then Fate
  594. Meant mee, by ventring higher then my Lot.
  595. Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast
  596. Is open? or will God incense his ire
  597. For such a petty Trespass, and not praise
  598. Rather your dauntless vertue, whom the pain
  599. Of Death denounc't, whatever thing Death be,
  600. Deterrd not from atchieving what might leade
  601. To happier life, knowledge of Good and Evil;
  602. Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil
  603. Be real, why not known, since easier shunnd?
  604. God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just;
  605. Not just, not God; not feard then, nor obeyd:
  606. Your feare it self of Death removes the feare.
  607. Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe,
  608. Why but to keep ye low and ignorant,
  609. His worshippers; he knows that in the day
  610. Ye Eate thereof, your Eyes that seem so cleere,
  611. Yet are but dim, shall perfetly be then
  612. Op'nd and cleerd, and ye shall be as Gods,
  613. Knowing both Good and Evil as they know.
  614. That ye should be as Gods, since I as Man,
  615. Internal Man, is but proportion meet,
  616. I of brute human, yee of human Gods.
  617. So ye shall die perhaps, by putting off
  618. Human, to put on Gods, death to be wisht,
  619. Though threat'nd, which no worse then this can bring.
  620. And what are Gods that Man may not become
  621. As they, participating God-like food?
  622. The Gods are first, and that advantage use
  623. On our belief, that all from them proceeds;
  624. I question it, for this fair Earth I see,
  625. Warm'd by the Sun, producing every kind,
  626. Them nothing: If they all things, who enclos'd
  627. Knowledge of Good and Evil in this Tree,
  628. That whoso eats thereof, forthwith attains
  629. Wisdom without their leave? and wherein lies
  630. Th' offence, that Man should thus attain to know?
  631. What can your knowledge hurt him, or this Tree
  632. Impart against his will if all be his?
  633. Or is it envie, and can envie dwell
  634. In Heav'nly brests? these, these and many more
  635. Causes import your need of this fair Fruit.
  636. Goddess humane, reach then, and freely taste.
  637. He ended, and his words replete with guile
  638. Into her heart too easie entrance won:
  639. Fixt on the Fruit she gaz'd, which to behold
  640. Might tempt alone, and in her ears the sound
  641. Yet rung of his perswasive words, impregn'd
  642. With Reason, to her seeming, and with Truth;
  643. Mean while the hour of Noon drew on, and wak'd
  644. An eager appetite, rais'd by the smell
  645. So savorie of that Fruit, which with desire,
  646. Inclinable now grown to touch or taste,
  647. Sollicited her longing eye; yet first
  648. Pausing a while, thus to her self she mus'd.
  649. Great are thy Vertues, doubtless, best of Fruits.
  650. Though kept from Man, and worthy to be admir'd,
  651. Whose taste, too long forborn, at first assay
  652. Gave elocution to the mute, and taught
  653. The Tongue not made for Speech to speak thy praise:
  654. Thy praise hee also who forbids thy use,
  655. Conceales not from us, naming thee the Tree
  656. Of Knowledge, knowledge both of good and evil;
  657. Forbids us then to taste, but his forbidding
  658. Commends thee more, while it inferrs the good
  659. By thee communicated, and our want:
  660. For good unknown, sure is not had, or had
  661. And yet unknown, is as not had at all.
  662. In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
  663. Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?
  664. Such prohibitions binde not. But if Death
  665. Bind us with after-bands, what profits then
  666. Our inward freedom? In the day we eate
  667. Of this fair Fruit, our doom is, we shall die.
  668. How dies the Serpent? hee hath eat'n and lives,
  669. And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns,
  670. Irrational till then. For us alone
  671. Was death invented? or to us deni'd
  672. This intellectual food, for beasts reserv'd?
  673. For Beasts it seems: yet that one Beast which first
  674. Hath tasted, envies not, but brings with joy
  675. The good befall'n him, Author unsuspect,
  676. Friendly to man, farr from deceit or guile.
  677. What fear I then, rather what know to feare
  678. Under this ignorance of good and Evil,
  679. Of God or Death, of Law or Penaltie?
  680. Here grows the Cure of all, this Fruit Divine,
  681. Fair to the Eye, inviting to the Taste,
  682. Of vertue to make wise: what hinders then
  683. To reach, and feed at once both Bodie and Mind?
  684. So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
  685. Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck'd, she eat:
  686. Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
  687. Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,
  688. That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk
  689. The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve
  690. Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else
  691. Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd,
  692. In Fruit she never tasted, whether true
  693. Or fansied so, through expectation high
  694. Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought.
  695. Greedily she ingorg'd without restraint,
  696. And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,
  697. And hight'nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,
  698. Thus to her self she pleasingly began.
  699. O Sovran, vertuous, precious of all Trees
  700. In Paradise, of operation blest
  701. To Sapience, hitherto obscur'd, infam'd,
  702. And thy fair Fruit let hang, as to no end
  703. Created; but henceforth my early care,
  704. Not without Song, each Morning, and due praise
  705. Shall tend thee, and the fertil burden ease
  706. Of thy full branches offer'd free to all;
  707. Till dieted by thee I grow mature
  708. In knowledge, as the Gods who all things know;
  709. Though others envie what they cannot give;
  710. For had the gift bin theirs, it had not here
  711. Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe,
  712. Best guide; not following thee, I had remaind
  713. In ignorance, thou op'nst Wisdoms way,
  714. And giv'st access, though secret she retire.
  715. And I perhaps am secret; Heav'n is high,
  716. High and remote to see from thence distinct
  717. Each thing on Earth; and other care perhaps
  718. May have diverted from continual watch
  719. Our great Forbidder, safe with all his Spies
  720. About him. But to Adam in what sort
  721. Shall I appeer? shall I to him make known
  722. As yet my change, and give him to partake
  723. Full happiness with mee, or rather not,
  724. But keep the odds of Knowledge in my power
  725. Without Copartner? so to add what wants
  726. In Femal Sex, the more to draw his Love,
  727. And render me more equal, and perhaps,
  728. A thing not undesireable, somtime
  729. Superior: for inferior who is free?
  730. This may be well: but what if God have seen
  731. And Death ensue? then I shall be no more,
  732. And Adam wedded to another Eve,
  733. Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct;
  734. A death to think. Confirm'd then I resolve,
  735. Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe:
  736. So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
  737. I could endure, without him live no life.
  738. So saying, from the Tree her step she turnd,
  739. But first low Reverence don, as to the power
  740. That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd
  741. Into the plant sciential sap, deriv'd
  742. From Nectar, drink of Gods. Adam the while
  743. Waiting desirous her return, had wove
  744. Of choicest Flours a Garland to adorne
  745. Her Tresses, and her rural labours crown,
  746. As Reapers oft are wont thir Harvest Queen.
  747. Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
  748. Solace in her return, so long delay'd;
  749. Yet oft his heart, divine of somthing ill,
  750. Misgave him; hee the faultring measure felt;
  751. And forth to meet her went, the way she took
  752. That Morn when first they parted; by the Tree
  753. Of Knowledge he must pass, there he her met,
  754. Scarse from the Tree returning; in her hand
  755. A bough of fairest fruit that downie smil'd,
  756. New gatherd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd.
  757. To him she hasted, in her face excuse
  758. Came Prologue, and Apologie to prompt,
  759. Which with bland words at will she thus addrest.
  760. Hast thou not wonderd, Adam, at my stay?
  761. Thee I have misst, and thought it long, depriv'd
  762. Thy presence, agonie of love till now
  763. Not felt, nor shall be twice, for never more
  764. Mean I to trie, what rash untri'd I sought,
  765. The pain of absence from thy sight. But strange
  766. Hath bin the cause, and wonderful to heare:
  767. This Tree is not as we are told, a Tree
  768. Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown
  769. Op'ning the way, but of Divine effect
  770. To open Eyes, and make them Gods who taste;
  771. And hath bin tasted such: the Serpent wise,
  772. Or not restraind as wee, or not obeying,
  773. Hath eat'n of the fruit, and is become,
  774. Not dead, as we are threatn'd, but thenceforth
  775. Endu'd with human voice and human sense,
  776. Reasoning to admiration, and with mee
  777. Perswasively hath so prevaild, that I
  778. Have also tasted, and have also found
  779. Th' effects to correspond, opener mine Eyes
  780. Dimm erst, dilated Spirits, ampler Heart,
  781. And growing up to Godhead; which for thee
  782. Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise.
  783. For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss,
  784. Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon.
  785. Thou therefore also taste, that equal Lot
  786. May joyne us, equal Joy, as equal Love;
  787. Least thou not tasting, different degree
  788. Disjoyne us, and I then too late renounce
  789. Deitie for thee, when Fate will not permit.
  790. Thus Eve with Countnance blithe her storie told;
  791. But in her Cheek distemper flushing glowd.
  792. On th' other side, Adam, soon as he heard
  793. The fatal Trespass don by Eve, amaz'd,
  794. Astonied stood and Blank, while horror chill
  795. Ran through his veins, and all his joynts relax'd;
  796. From his slack hand the Garland wreath'd for Eve
  797. Down drop'd, and all the faded Roses shed:
  798. Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
  799. First to himself he inward silence broke.
  800. O fairest of Creation, last and best
  801. Of all Gods works, Creature in whom excell'd
  802. Whatever can to sight or thought be formd,
  803. Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
  804. How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
  805. Defac't, deflourd, and now to Death devote?
  806. Rather how hast thou yeelded to transgress
  807. The strict forbiddance, how to violate
  808. The sacred Fruit forbidd'n! som cursed fraud
  809. Of Enemie hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
  810. And mee with thee hath ruind, for with thee
  811. Certain my resolution is to Die;
  812. How can I live without thee, how forgoe
  813. Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly joyn'd,
  814. To live again in these wilde Woods forlorn?
  815. Should God create another Eve, and I
  816. Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee
  817. Would never from my heart; no no, I feel
  818. The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh,
  819. Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State
  820. Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
  821. So having said, as one from sad dismay
  822. Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbd
  823. Submitting to what seemd remediless,
  824. Thus in calm mood his Words to Eve he turnd.
  825. Bold deed thou hast presum'd, adventrous Eve
  826. And peril great provok't, who thus hath dar'd
  827. Had it been onely coveting to Eye
  828. That sacred Fruit, sacred to abstinence,
  829. Much more to taste it under banne to touch.
  830. But past who can recall, or don undoe?
  831. Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate, yet so
  832. Perhaps thou shalt not Die, perhaps the Fact
  833. Is not so hainous now, foretasted Fruit,
  834. Profan'd first by the Serpent, by him first
  835. Made common and unhallowd ere our taste;
  836. Nor yet on him found deadly, he yet lives,
  837. Lives, as thou saidst, and gaines to live as Man
  838. Higher degree of Life, inducement strong
  839. To us, as likely tasting to attaine
  840. Proportional ascent, which cannot be
  841. But to be Gods, or Angels Demi-gods.
  842. Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
  843. Though threatning, will in earnest so destroy
  844. Us his prime Creatures, dignifi'd so high,
  845. Set over all his Works, which in our Fall,
  846. For us created, needs with us must faile,
  847. Dependent made; so God shall uncreate,
  848. Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour loose,
  849. Not well conceav'd of God, who though his Power
  850. Creation could repeate, yet would be loath
  851. Us to abolish, least the Adversary
  852. Triumph and say; Fickle their State whom God
  853. Most Favors, who can please him long; Mee first
  854. He ruind, now Mankind; whom will he next?
  855. Matter of scorne, not to be given the Foe,
  856. However I with thee have fixt my Lot,
  857. Certain to undergoe like doom, if Death
  858. Consort with thee, Death is to mee as Life;
  859. So forcible within my heart I feel
  860. The Bond of Nature draw me to my owne,
  861. My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
  862. Our State cannot be severd, we are one,
  863. One Flesh; to loose thee were to loose my self.
  864. So Adam, and thus Eve to him repli'd.
  865. O glorious trial of exceeding Love,
  866. Illustrious evidence, example high!
  867. Ingaging me to emulate, but short
  868. Of thy perfection, how shall I attaine,
  869. Adam, from whose deare side I boast me sprung,
  870. And gladly of our Union heare thee speak,
  871. One Heart, one Soul in both; whereof good prooff
  872. This day affords, declaring thee resolvd,
  873. Rather then Death or aught then Death more dread
  874. Shall separate us, linkt in Love so deare,
  875. To undergoe with mee one Guilt, one Crime,
  876. If any be, of tasting this fair Fruit,
  877. Whose vertue, for of good still good proceeds,
  878. Direct, or by occasion hath presented
  879. This happie trial of thy Love, which else
  880. So eminently never had bin known.
  881. Were it I thought Death menac't would ensue
  882. This my attempt, I would sustain alone
  883. The worst, and not perswade thee, rather die
  884. Deserted, then oblige thee with a fact
  885. Pernicious to thy Peace, chiefly assur'd
  886. Remarkably so late of thy so true,
  887. So faithful Love unequald; but I feel
  888. Farr otherwise th' event, not Death, but Life
  889. Augmented, op'nd Eyes, new Hopes, new Joyes,
  890. Taste so Divine, that what of sweet before
  891. Hath toucht my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
  892. On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
  893. And fear of Death deliver to the Windes.
  894. So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy
  895. Tenderly wept, much won that he his Love
  896. Had so enobl'd, as of choice to incurr
  897. Divine displeasure for her sake, or Death.
  898. In recompence (for such compliance bad
  899. Such recompence best merits) from the bough
  900. She gave him of that fair enticing Fruit
  901. With liberal hand: he scrupl'd not to eat
  902. Against his better knowledge, not deceav'd,
  903. But fondly overcome with Femal charm.
  904. Earth trembl'd from her entrails, as again
  905. In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan,
  906. Skie lowr'd, and muttering Thunder, som sad drops
  907. Wept at compleating of the mortal Sin
  908. Original; while Adam took no thought,
  909. Eating his fill, nor Eve to iterate
  910. Her former trespass fear'd, the more to soothe
  911. Him with her lov'd societie, that now
  912. As with new Wine intoxicated both
  913. They swim in mirth, and fansie that they feel
  914. Divinitie within them breeding wings
  915. Wherewith to scorne the Earth: but that false Fruit
  916. Farr other operation first displaid,
  917. Carnal desire enflaming, hee on Eve
  918. Began to cast lascivious Eyes, she him
  919. As wantonly repaid; in Lust they burne:
  920. Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move,
  921. Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste,
  922. And elegant, of Sapience no small part,
  923. Since to each meaning savour we apply,
  924. And Palate call judicious; I the praise
  925. Yeild thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd.
  926. Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd
  927. From this delightful Fruit, nor known till now
  928. True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be
  929. In things to us forbidden, it might be wish'd,
  930. For this one Tree had bin forbidden ten.
  931. But come, so well refresh't, now let us play,
  932. As meet is, after such delicious Fare;
  933. For never did thy Beautie since the day
  934. I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd
  935. With all perfections, so enflame my sense
  936. With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now
  937. Then ever, bountie of this vertuous Tree.
  938. So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
  939. Of amorous intent, well understood
  940. Of Eve, whose Eye darted contagious Fire.
  941. Her hand he seis'd, and to a shadie bank,
  942. Thick overhead with verdant roof imbowr'd
  943. He led her nothing loath; Flours were the Couch,
  944. Pansies, and Violets, and Asphodel,
  945. And Hyacinth, Earths freshest softest lap.
  946. There they thir fill of Love and Loves disport
  947. Took largely, of thir mutual guilt the Seale,
  948. The solace of thir sin, till dewie sleep
  949. Oppress'd them, wearied with thir amorous play.
  950. Soon as the force of that fallacious Fruit,
  951. That with exhilerating vapour bland
  952. About thir spirits had plaid, and inmost powers
  953. Made erre, was now exhal'd, and grosser sleep
  954. Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams
  955. Encumberd, now had left them, up they rose
  956. As from unrest, and each the other viewing,
  957. Soon found thir Eyes how op'nd, and thir minds
  958. How dark'nd; innocence, that as a veile
  959. Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gon,
  960. Just confidence, and native righteousness
  961. And honour from about them, naked left
  962. To guiltie shame hee cover'd, but his Robe
  963. Uncover'd more, so rose the Danite strong
  964. Herculean Samson from the Harlot-lap
  965. Of Philistean Dalilah, and wak'd
  966. Shorn of his strength, They destitute and bare
  967. Of all thir vertue: silent, and in face
  968. Confounded long they sate, as struck'n mute,
  969. Till Adam, though not less then Eve abasht,
  970. At length gave utterance to these words constraind.
  971. O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give eare
  972. To that false Worm, of whomsoever taught
  973. To counterfet Mans voice, true in our Fall,
  974. False in our promis'd Rising; since our Eyes
  975. Op'nd we find indeed, and find we know
  976. Both Good and Evil, Good lost, and Evil got,
  977. Bad Fruit of Knowledge, if this be to know,
  978. Which leaves us naked thus, of Honour void,
  979. Of Innocence, of Faith, of Puritie,
  980. Our wonted Ornaments now soild and staind,
  981. And in our Faces evident the signes
  982. Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store;
  983. Even shame, the last of evils; of the first
  984. Be sure then. How shall I behold the face
  985. Henceforth of God or Angel, earst with joy
  986. And rapture so oft beheld? those heav'nly shapes
  987. Will dazle now this earthly, with thir blaze
  988. Insufferably bright. O might I here
  989. In solitude live savage, in some glade
  990. Obscur'd, where highest Woods impenetrable
  991. To Starr or Sun-light, spread thir umbrage broad,
  992. And brown as Evening: Cover me ye Pines,
  993. Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs
  994. Hide me, where I may never see them more.
  995. But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
  996. What best may for the present serve to hide
  997. The Parts of each from other, that seem most
  998. To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen,
  999. Some Tree whose broad smooth Leaves together sowd,
  1000. And girded on our loyns, may cover round
  1001. Those middle parts, that this new commer, Shame,
  1002. There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.
  1003. So counsel'd hee, and both together went
  1004. Into the thickest Wood, there soon they chose
  1005. The Figtree, not that kind for Fruit renown'd,
  1006. But such as at this day to Indians known
  1007. In Malabar or Decan spreds her Armes
  1008. Braunching so broad and long, that in the ground
  1009. The bended Twigs take root, and Daughters grow
  1010. About the Mother Tree, a Pillard shade
  1011. High overarch't, and echoing Walks between;
  1012. There oft the Indian Herdsman shunning heate
  1013. Shelters in coole, and tends his pasturing Herds
  1014. At Loopholes cut through thickest shade: Those Leaves
  1015. They gatherd, broad as Amazonian Targe,
  1016. And with what skill they had, together sowd,
  1017. To gird thir waste, vain Covering if to hide
  1018. Thir guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike
  1019. To that first naked Glorie. Such of late
  1020. Columbus found th' American so girt
  1021. With featherd Cincture, naked else and wilde
  1022. Among the Trees on Iles and woodie Shores.
  1023. Thus fenc't, and as they thought, thir shame in part
  1024. Coverd, but not at rest or ease of Mind,
  1025. They sate them down to weep, nor onely Teares
  1026. Raind at thir Eyes, but high Winds worse within
  1027. Began to rise, high Passions, Anger, Hate,
  1028. Mistrust, Suspicion, Discord, and shook sore
  1029. Thir inward State of Mind, calm Region once
  1030. And full of Peace, now tost and turbulent:
  1031. For Understanding rul'd not, and the Will
  1032. Heard not her lore, both in subjection now
  1033. To sensual Appetite, who from beneathe
  1034. Usurping over sovran Reason claimd
  1035. Superior sway: From thus distemperd brest,
  1036. Adam, estrang'd in look and alterd stile,
  1037. Speech intermitted thus to Eve renewd.
  1038. Would thou hadst heark'nd to my words, and stai'd
  1039. With me, as I besought thee, when that strange
  1040. Desire of wandring this unhappie Morn,
  1041. I know not whence possessd thee; we had then
  1042. Remaind still happie, not as now, despoild
  1043. Of all our good, sham'd, naked, miserable.
  1044. Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve
  1045. The Faith they owe; when earnestly they seek
  1046. Such proof, conclude, they then begin to faile.
  1047. To whom soon mov'd with touch of blame thus Eve.
  1048. What words have past thy Lips, Adam severe,
  1049. Imput'st thou that to my default, or will
  1050. Of wandring, as thou call'st it, which who knows
  1051. But might as ill have happ'nd thou being by,
  1052. Or to thy self perhaps: hadst thou been there,
  1053. Or here th' attempt, thou couldst not have discernd
  1054. Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake;
  1055. No ground of enmitie between us known,
  1056. Why hee should mean me ill, or seek to harme.
  1057. Was I to have never parted from thy side?
  1058. As good have grown there still a liveless Rib.
  1059. Being as I am, why didst not thou the Head
  1060. Command me absolutely not to go,
  1061. Going into such danger as thou saidst?
  1062. Too facil then thou didst not much gainsay,
  1063. Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
  1064. Hadst thou bin firm and fixt in thy dissent,
  1065. Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with mee.
  1066. To whom then first incenst Adam repli'd,
  1067. Is this the Love, is this the recompence
  1068. Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, exprest
  1069. Immutable when thou wert lost, not I,
  1070. Who might have liv'd and joyd immortal bliss,
  1071. Yet willingly chose rather Death with thee:
  1072. And am I now upbraided, as the cause
  1073. Of thy transgressing? not enough severe,
  1074. It seems, in thy restraint: what could I more?
  1075. I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold
  1076. The danger, and the lurking Enemie
  1077. That lay in wait; beyond this had bin force,
  1078. And force upon free Will hath here no place.
  1079. But confidence then bore thee on, secure
  1080. Either to meet no danger, or to finde
  1081. Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps
  1082. I also err'd in overmuch admiring
  1083. What seemd in thee so perfet, that I thought
  1084. No evil durst attempt thee, but I rue
  1085. That errour now, which is become my crime,
  1086. And thou th' accuser. Thus it shall befall
  1087. Him who to worth in Women overtrusting
  1088. Lets her Will rule; restraint she will not brook,
  1089. And left to her self, if evil thence ensue,
  1090. Shee first his weak indulgence will accuse.
  1091. Thus they in mutual accusation spent
  1092. The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,
  1093. And of thir vain contest appeer'd no end.

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