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And, in a troubled sea of passion tost,
Thus to disburden sought with sad complaint :—
"O miserable of happy! Is this the end
Of this new glorious World, and me so late
The glory of that glory? who now, become
Accursed of blessed, hide me from the face
Of God, whom to behold was then my highth
Of happiness! Yet well, if here would end
The misery! I deserved it, and would bear
My own deservings. But this will not serve:
All that I eat or drink, or shall beget,
Is propagated curse. O voice, once heard
Delightfully, Increase and multiply;'

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Now death to hear! for what can I increase
Or multiply but curses on my head?

Who, of all ages to succeed, but, feeling

The evil on him brought by me, will curse

My head? Ill fare our Ancestor impure!

For this we may thank Adam!' but his thanks
Shall be the execration. So, besides
Mine own that bide upon me, all from me
Shall with a fierce reflux on me redound-
On me, as on their natural centre, light;
Heavy, though in their place. O fleeting joys
Of Paradise, dear bought with lasting woes!
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me, or here place
In this delicious Garden? As my will

Concurred not to my being, it were but right
And equal to reduce me to my dust,
Desirous to resign and render back

All I received, unable to perform



Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
The good I sought not. To the loss of that,

Sufficient penalty, why hast thou added

The sense of endless woes? Inexplicable

Thy justice seems. Yet, to say truth, too late

I thus contest; then should have been refused

Those terms, whatever, when they were proposed.

Thou didst accept them: wilt thou enjoy the good,
Then cavil the conditions? And, though God
Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son
Prove disobedient, and, reproved, retort,


'Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not!'
Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee
That proud excuse? yet him not thy election,

But natural necessity, begot.

God made thee of choice his own, and of his own
To serve him; thy reward was of his grace;

Thy punishment, then, justly is at his will.
Be it so, for I submit; his doom is fair,
That dust I am, and shall to dust return.
O welcome hour whenever! Why delays
His hand to execute what his decree
Fixed on this day? Why do I overlive?

Why am I mocked with death, and lengthened out
To deathless pain? How gladly would I meet
Mortality, my sentence, and be earth
Insensible! how glad would lay me down
As in my mother's lap! There I should rest,
And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
Would thunder in my ears; no fear of worse
To me and to my offspring would torment me
With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
Pursues me still-lest all I cannot die ;
Lest that pure breath of life, the Spirit of Man
Which God inspired, cannot together perish
With this corporeal clod. Then, in the grave,
Or in some other dismal place, who knows
But I shall die a living death? O thought
Horrid, if true! Yet why? It was but breath
Of life that sinned: what dies but what had life
And sin? The body properly hath neither.
All of me, then, shall die: let this appease




The doubt, since human reach no further knows.
For, though the Lord of all be infinite,

Is his wrath also? Be it, Man is not so,

But mortal doomed. How can he exercise

Wrath without end on Man, whom death must end?

Can he make deathless death? That were to make

Strange contradiction; which to God himself

Impossible is held, as argument

For anger's sake, finite to infinite

In punished Man, to satisfy his rigour

Satisfied never? That were to extend


Of weakness, not of power. Will he draw out,

His sentence beyond dust and Nature's law;

By which all causes else according still

To the reception of their matter act,

Not to the extent of their own sphere. But say

That death be not one stroke, as I supposed,
Bereaving sense, but endless misery


From this day onward, which I feel begun

Both in me and without me, and so last
To perpetuity-Ay me! that fear

Comes thundering back with dreadful revolution
On my defenceless head! Both Death and I
Am found eternal, and incorporate both :
Nor I on my part single; in me all
Posterity stands cursed. Fair patrimony

That I must leave ye, sons! Oh, were I able
To waste it all myself, and leave ye none !

So disinherited, how would ye bless

Me, now your curse! Ah, why should all Mankind,

For one man's fault, thus guiltless be condemned?

If guiltless! But from me what can proceed

But all corrupt-both mind and will depraved

Not to do only, but to will the same


With me? How can they, then, acquitted stand

In sight of God? Him, after all disputes,
Forced I absolve. All my evasions vain

And reasonings, though through mazes, lead me still


But to my own conviction: first and last

On me, me only, as the source and spring
Of all corruption, all the blame lights due.

So might the wrath! Fond wish! couldst thou support
That burden, heavier than the Earth to bear-

Than all the world much heavier, though divided

With that bad Woman? Thus, what thou desir'st,

And what thou fear'st, alike destroys all hope
Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable
Beyond all past example and future—

To Satan only like, both crime and doom.
O Conscience! into what abyss of fears

And horrors hast thou driven me; out of which
I find no way, from deep to deeper plunged!"
Thus Adam to himself lamented loud

Through the still night-not now, as ere Man fell,
Wholesome and cool and mild, but with black air
Accompanied, with damps and dreadful gloom;
Which to his evil conscience represented
All things with double terror. On the ground
Outstretched he lay, on the cold ground, and oft
Cursed his creation; Death as oft accused
Of tardy execution, since denounced

The day of his offence. "Why comes not Death,"
Said he, "with one thrice-acceptable stroke

To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word,
Justice divine not hasten to be just?

But Death comes not at call; Justice divine



Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries.

O woods, O fountains, hillocks, dales, and bowers!
With other echo late I taught your shades
To answer, and resound far other song.”
Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld,
Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh,
Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed ;
But her, with stern regard, he thus repelled
"Out of my sight, thou serpent! That name best
Befits thee, with him leagued, thyself as false
And hateful: nothing wants, but that thy shape
Like his, and colour serpentine, may show


Thy inward fraud, to warn all creatures from thee
Henceforth, lest that too heavenly form, pretended
To hellish falsehood, snare them. But for thee
I had persisted happy, had not thy pride
And wandering vanity, when least was safe,
Rejected my forewarning, and disdained.
Not to be trusted--longing to be seen,
Though by the Devil himself; him overweening
To overreach; but, with the Serpent meeting,
Fooled and beguiled; by him thou, I by thee,
To trust thee from my side, imagined wise,
Constant, mature, proof against all assaults,
And understood not all was but a show,
Rather than solid virtue, all but a rib
Crooked by nature-bent, as now appears,
More to the part sinister-from me drawn ;
Well if thrown out, as supernumerary




To my just number found! Oh, why did God,


Creator wise, that peopled highest Heaven
With Spirits masculine, create at last
This novelty on Earth, this fair defect
Of Nature, and not fill the World at once
With men as Angels, without feminine;
Or find some other way to generate

This mischief had not then befallen,
And more that shall befall-innumerable
Disturbances on Earth through female snares,
And strait conjunction with this sex. For either
He never shall find out fit mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain,

Through her perverseness, but shall see her gained
By a far worse, or, if she love, withheld
By parents; or his happiest choice too late
Shall meet, already linked and wedlock-bound

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To a fell adversary, his hate or shame:
Which infinite calamity shall cause

To human life, and household peace confound."
He added not, and from her turned; but Eve,
Not so repulsed, with tears that ceased not flowing,
And tresses all disordered, at his feet
Fell humble, and, embracing them, besought
His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint:-
"Forsake me not thus, Adam! witness Heaven
What love sincere and reverence in my heart
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappily deceived! Thy suppliant

I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,
My only strength and stay. Forlorn of thee,
Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?



While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps,

Between us two let there be peace; both joining,
As joined in injuries, one enmity

Against a foe by doom express assigned us,
That cruel Serpent. On me exercise not
Thy hatred for this misery befallen-
On me already lost, me than thyself

More miserable. Both have sinned; but thou
Against God only; I against God and thee,
And to the place of judgment will return,

There with my cries importune Heaven, that all
The sentence, from thy head removed, may light
On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe,
Me, me only, just object of His ire."


She ended, weeping; and her lowly plight, Immovable till peace obtained from fault Acknowledged and deplored, in Adam wrought Commiseration. Soon his heart relented Towards her, his life so late, and sole delight, Now at his feet submissive in distressCreature so fair his reconcilement seeking,


His counsel whom she had displeased, his aid.
As one disarmed, his anger all he lost,

And thus with peaceful words upraised her soon:


Unwary, and too desirous, as before

So now, of what thou know'st not, who desir'st

The punishment all on thyself! Alas!

Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain


His full wrath whose thou feel'st as yet least part,
And my, displeasure bear'st so ill. If prayers

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