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“ And gladly of our union hear thee speak,
“ One heart, one soul in both; whereof good proof
“ This day affords, declaring thee resolv'd

“Rather than death, or aught than death more dread, 970 “Shall separate us, link'd in love so dear,

“ To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
If any be, of tasting this fair fruit;
“ Whose virtue (for of good still good proceeds,

“ Direct, or by occasion) hath presented 975 “ This happy trial of thy love, which else

So eminently never had been known.
Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue
“ This my attempt, I would sustain alone

The worst, and not persuade thee,-rather die 980 “Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact

“Pernicious to thy peace; chiefly, assur'd
“Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful, love unequall’d: but I feel

“ Far otherwise the event; not death, but life 985 “ Augmented-open'd eyes-new hopes-new joys

Taste so divine, that what of sweet before
“ Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
“On my experience, Adam, freely taste,

“ And fear of death deliver to the winds." 990 So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy

Tenderly wept; much won, that he his love
Had so ennobled, as of choice to incur
Divine displeasure for her sake, or death.

In recompense, (for such compliance bad
995 Such recompense best merits,) from the bough

gave him of that fair enticing fruit With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat, Against his better knowledge ; not deceiv’d,

But fondly overcome with female charm. 1000 Earth trembled from her entrails, as again


pangs; and nature gave a second groan; Sky low'r'd, and, muttering thunder, some sad drops Wept at completing of the mortal sin

Original! while Adam took no thought, 1005 Eating his fill; nor Eve to iterate

Her former trespass fear'd, the more to soothe
Him with her lov'd society, that now,
As with new wine intoxicated both,

They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel 1010 Divinity within them, breeding wings

Wherewith to scorn the earth. But that false fruit
Far other operation first display'd,
Carnal desire inflaming: he on Eve

Began to cast lascivious eyes; she him 1015 As wantonly repaid : in lust they burn :

Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move:

“ Eve! now I see thou art exact of taste, And elegant; of sapience no small part,

(Since to each meaning savour we apply, 1020 " And palate call judicious :) I the praise

“ Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd. “Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd “From this delightful fruit, nor know till now

“ True relish, tasting: if such pleasure be
1025“ In things to us forbidden, it might be wish'd

“ For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
“ But come, so well refresh’d, now let us play,
“ As meet is, after such delicious fare;

“ For never did thy beauty, since the day 1030“ I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd

“ With all perfections, so inflame my sense
“ With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now
“ Than ever; bounty of this virtuous tree !"

So said he, and forbore not glance or toy 1035 Of amorous intent, well understood

Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire.
Her hand he seiz'd; and to a shady bank,
Thick over-head with verdant roof imbower'd,

He led her nothing loth: flowers were the couch, 1040 Pansies, and violets, and asphodel,

And hyacinths—earth's freshest, softest lap.

There they their fill of love and love's disport
Took largely—of their mutual guilt the seal-

The solace of their sin; till dewy sleep 1045 Oppress'd them, wearied with their amorous play.

Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit,
That with exhilarating vapour bland
About their spirits had play'd, and inmost powers

Made err, was now exhal'd; and grosser sleep, 1050 Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams

Encumber'd, now had left them, up they rose
As from unrest; and, each the other viewing,
Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their minds

How darken'd! Innocence, that, as a veil,
1055 Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone;

Just confidence, and native righteousness,
And honour, from about them naked left
To guilty shame; he cover'd, but his robe

Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong, 1060 Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap

Of Philistéan Dalilah, and wak'd
Shorn of his strength; they, destitute and bare
Of all their virtue. Silent, and in face

Confounded, long they sat, as strucken mute; 1065 Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd,

At length gave utterance to these words constrain'd:

“O Eve! in evil hour thou didst give ear “To that false worm, of whomsoever taught

“ To counterfeit man's voice; true in our fall, 1070 " False in our promis'd rising; since our eyes

Open'd we find indeed, and find we know

Both good and evil-good lost, and evil got ! “ Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know,

“ Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void, 1075“ Of innocence, of faith, of purity

“ Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd;
And in our faces evident the signs
“Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store-
“Even shame, the last of evils: of the first


1080“ Be sure then. How shall I behold the face

“ Henceforth of God, or angel, erst with joy
“ And rapture so oft beheld? Those heavenly shapes
“ Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze,
“Insufferably bright. O! might I here
“ In solitude live savage ; in some glade
“Obscur’d, where highest woods, impenetrable
“ To star, or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad,
And brown as ev'ning! Cover me, ye pines !

“Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs
1090“ Hide me, where I may never see them more!

“But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
“What best may for the present serve to hide
“ The parts of each from other, that seem most

“ To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen; 1095“ Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd,

And girded on our loins, may cover round
“ Those middle parts; that this new-comer, shame,
“ There sit not, and reproach us as unclean."

So counsell'd he, and both together went 1100 Into the thickest wood: there soon they chose

The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renown'd,
But such as at this day, to Indians known
In Malabar, or Decan, spreads her arms,

Branching so broad and long, that in the ground 1105 The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow

About the mother-tree, a pillar'd shade
High over-arch’d, and echoing walks between ;
There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,

Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds, 1110 At loop-holes cut through thickest shade: those leaves

They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe;
And, with what skill they had, together sew'd,
To gird their waist; vain covering, if to hide

Their guilt and dreaded shame! O, how unlike 1115 To that first naked glory! (Such of late

Columbus found the American, so girt
With feather'd cincture; naked else, and wild

Among the trees, on isles and woody shores.)

Thus fenc'd, and, as they thought, their shame in part 1120 Cover'd, but not at rest or ease of mind,

They sat them down to weep. Not only tears
Rain'd at their eyes; but high winds worse within
Began to rise-high passions, anger, hate,

Mistrust, suspicion, discord; and shook sore 1125 Their inward state of mind-calm region once

And full of peace—now tost and turbulent !
For understanding ruld not, and the will
Heard not her lore; both in subjection now

To sensual appetite, who, from beneath, 1130 Usurping, over sov'reign reason claim'd

Superior sway. From thus distemper'd breast,
Adam, estrang'd in look and alter'd style,
Speech intermitted thus to Eve renew'd:

6. Would thou hadst hearken'd to my words, and staid 1135 “ With me, as I besought thee, when that strange

“ Desire of wand'ring, this unhappy morn,
“I know not whence, possess'd thee! we had then
“ Remain'd still happy; not, as now, despoil'd

“Of all our good-sham’d, naked, miserable! 1140 “ Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve

“ The faith they owe: when earnestly they seek
“ Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail."

To whom, soon mov'd with touch of blame, thus Eve:

“ What words have pass'd thy lips, Adam severe ! 1145 “ Imput'st thou that to my default, or will

Of wand'ring, as thou call'st it, which who knows
“But might as ill have happen'd, thou being by,
“Or to thyself, perhaps ? Hadst thou been there,

“ Or here the attempt, thou couldst not have discern'd 1150 “ Fraud in the serpent, speaking as he spake ;

“No ground of enmity between us known,

Why he should mean me ill, or seek to harm. “ Was I to have never parted from thy side?

As good have grown there still a lifeless rib. 1155“ Being as I am, why didst not thou, the head,

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