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Some safer resolution, which methinks




I have in view, calling to mind with heed. Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise The serpent's head: piteous amends, unless Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe Satan, who in the serpent hath contriv'd Against us this deceit. To crush his head Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost By death brought on our selves, or childless days Resolv'd, as thou proposest; so our foe Shall scape his punishment ordain'd, and we Instead shall double ours upon our heads. No more be mention'd then of violence Against our selves, and wilful barrenness, That cuts us off from hope, and savours only Rancour and pride, impatience and despite, Reluctance against God and his just yoke Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd Without wrath or reviling; we expected Immediate dissolution, which we thought Was meant by death that day, when, lo! to thee Pains only in child-bearing were foretold, And bringing forth, soon recompens'd with joy, Fruit of thy womb: on me the curse aslope Glanc'd on the ground, with labour I must earn My bread; what harm? idleness had been worse; My labour will sustain me; and lest cold Or heat should injure us, his timely care Hath unbesought provided, and his hands



Cloth'd us unworthy, pitying while he judg'd. How much more, if we pray him, will his ear 1060 and his heart to pity incline,

Be open,

And teach us further by what means to shun
Th' inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow,
Which now the sky with various face begins
To show us in this mountain, while the winds 1065
Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading trees, which bids us seek
Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish
Our limbs benumb'd, ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night, how we his gather'd beams
Reflected may with matter sere foment,
Or by collision of two bodies grind
The air attrite to fire, as late the clouds
Justling or push'd with winds rude in their shock
Tine the slant lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine,



Such fire to use,

And sends a comfortable heat from far,

Which might supply the sun.

And what may else be remedy or cure

To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought; He will instruct us praying, and of grace

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Suscepitque ignem foliis, atque arida circum
Nutrimenta dedit, rapuitque in fomite flammam.'



1073 fire] Be tired with holy fire.' Quarles' Emblems,

p. 293.


or pine] Fenton and Bentley read and pine.'


Beseeching him, so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
By him with many comforts, till we end
In dust, our final rest and native home.
What better can we do, than, to the place
Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall
Before him reverent, and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd and humiliation meek?
Undoubtedly he will relent and turn
From his displeasure, in whose look serene,
When angry most he seem'd and most severe, 1095
What else but favour, grace, and mercy shone?
So spake our father penitent, nor Eve
Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judg'd them prostrate fell
Before him reverent, and both confess'd
Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd, with tears
Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd and humiliation meek.


1001 Frequenting] Tempesting. Bentl. MS. so in line 1103.





THE Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in paradise; sends Michael with a band of cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach; goes out to meet him the angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits: the angel leads him up to a high hill; sets before him in vision what shall happen till the flood.

THUS they in lowliest plight repentant stood
Praying, for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace descending had remov'd

The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
Unutterable, which the spirit of prayer

Inspir'd, and wing'd for heav'n with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: yet their port

Not of mean suitors, nor important less
Seem'd their petition, than when th' ancient pair 10
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,

11 In fables old] Fables told this. Bentl. MS.

Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore

The race of mankind drown'd before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To heav'n their prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds 15
Blown vagabond or frustrate: in they pass'd
Dimensionless through heav'nly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fum'd,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne: them the glad Son 20
Presenting thus to intercede began.


See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung From thy implanted grace in man, these sighs And prayers, which, in this golden censer mix'd With incense, I thy priest before thee bring, Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed Sown with contrition in his heart, than those Which his own hand manuring all the trees Of paradise could have produc'd, ere fall'n From innocence. Now therefore bend thine ear 30 To supplication, hear his sighs though mute; Unskilful with what words to pray, let me. Interpret for him, me his advocate


And propitiation; all his works on me
Good or not good ingraft, my merit those
Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay.
Accept me, and in me from these receive
The smell of peace toward mankind, let him live

15 envious] Ov. Met. x. 642.

Detulit aura preces ad me non invida blandas.

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