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Simplicity and spotless innocence !
So pass'd they naked on, nor shunn'd the sight
Of God or angel; for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair
That ever since in love's embraces met :
Adam the goodliest man of men since horn
His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.
Under a tuft of shade' that on a green
Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain side
They sat them down ; and, after no more toil
Of their sweet gardening labour than suffic'd
To recommend cool zephyr, and made ease
More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite
More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell,
Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, side-long as they sat recline
On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind,
Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream
Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles,
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems
Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league,
Alone as they, Abolit them frisking played
All beasts of the earth, "since wild, and of all chaso
In wood or wilderness, forest or den ;
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw
Dandled the kid ; bears, tigers, ounces, pards,
Gambollid before them; the unwieldy elephairt,
To make them mirth, us'd all his might, and

His lithe proboscis ; close the serpent sly,
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
His braided train, and of his fatal guile
Gave proof unbeeded ; others on the grass
Couch'd, and now fill'd with pasture grazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating ; for the sun,
Declin'd, was hasting now with prone career
To the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale
Of heaven the stars that usher evening rose •

When Satan spill in gaze, as first he stood, Scarce thus at length faild speech recover'd sad .

"O hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold ? Into our room of bliss thus high advanc'd Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps, Not spirits, yet to heavenly spirits bright Little inferior ; whom my thoughts pursue With wonder, and could love, so lively shines În them divine resemblance, and such grace The band that form'd them on their shape hath

pour'd. Ah! gentle pair, ye little think how nigh Your change approaches, when all these delights Will vanish, and deliver ye to woe ; More woe, the more your taste is now of joy ; Happy, but for so happy ill socur'd Long to continue, and this high seat your heaven IlI fenc'd for heaven to keep out such a foe As now is enter'd ; yet no purpos'd foe To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn, Though I unpitied : league with you I seek, And mutual amity, so straight, so close, That I with you must dwell, or you with me, Henceforab: my dwelling haply may not please. Like this fair Paradise, your sense : yet such ocept your Maker's work ; he gave it me, Which I as freely give; hell shall unfold, To entertain you two, her widest gates, And send forth all her kings; there will be room Not like these narrow limits, to receive Your numerous offspring ; if no better place, Thank him who puts me loth to this revenge On you, who wrong me not, for him who wrong'd.. And should I at your harmless innocence Melt, as I do, yet public reason just, Honour and empire with revenge enlarg'd, By conquering this new world, compels

me now To do what else, though damn'd, I should abbor.

So spake the Fiend, and with necessity,

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The Ayrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree
Down he alights among the sportful berd:
Of those four-footed kinds ; himself now one,
Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end
Nearer to view his prey, and, unespied,
To mark what of their state he'more might learn,
By word or action mark'd : about them round
A lion now be stalks with fiery glare ;
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spied
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
Straight couches close, then rising, changes oft
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might surest seize them both,
Grip'd in each paw: when Adam, first of men,
To first of women, Eve, thus moving speech,
Turn'd him, all ear to hear new utterance flow

“ Sole partner, and sole part of all these joys,
Dearer thyself than all : needs must the Power
That made us, and for us this ample world,
Be infinitely good, and of his good
As liberal and free as infinite ;
That rais'd us from the dust, and plac'd us bers
In all this happiness, who at his hand
Have nothing merited, nor can perform
Aught whereof he hath need; he who requires
From us no other service than to keep
This one, this easy charge, of all the trees
In Paradise that bear delicious fruit
So various, not to taste that only tree
Of knowledge, planted by the tree of life;
So near grows death to life, whate'er death is,
Some dreadful thing no doubt ; for well thou

know'st God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that tree, The only sign of our obedience left Among so many signs of power and rule Conferr'd upon us, and dominion given O'er al other creatures that pousest

Earth, air, and sea. Then let is not tliiuk hari
One etsy prohibition, who enjoy
Free leare so large to all things else, and choice
Unlimited of manifold delights ;
But let us ever praise him, and extol
His bounty, following our delightful task,
To prune these growing plants, and tend these

flowers, Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweer.

To whom thus Eve replied: “O thou for whoin And from whom I was form’d, flesh of thy flesh, And without whom am to no end, my guide And head ! what thou hast said is just and right, For we w him indeed all praises owe, And daily thanks : I chiefly, who enjoy So far the happier lot, enjoying thee Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou Like consort to thyself canst no where find. That day I oft remember, when from sleep I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd Under a shade on flowers, much wondering where And what I was, whence thither brought, and huw. Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound Of waters issued from a cave, and spread Into a liquid plain, then stood unmou'd Pure as the expanse of heaven; I thither went With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down On the green bank, to look into the clear Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky. As I bent down to louk, just opposite A shape within the watery gleam appear'd, Bending to look on me: I started back, It started back : but pleas'd I soon return'd, Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answering locks Of sympathy and love: there I had fix'd Mine eyes till now, and pin’d with vain desire, Had not a voice thus warn'd me: “What thou neest, What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself • With thee it came and goes :. but follow me

And I will bring thee where no shadow stays
Thy coming, and thy soft embraces, he
Whose image thou art ; him thou shalt enjoy
Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear
Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call d
Mother of Human Race.” What could I do,
But follow straight, invisibly thus led ?
Till I espied thee, fair indeed and tall,
Under a platane, yet methought less fair,
Less winning soft, less amiably mild,
Than that smooth watery image : back I turbo1;
Thou following cry'dst aloud, “ Return, fair Eve;
Whom fly'st thou? whom thou fly’st, of him thou
His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent [art,
Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,
Substantial life, to have thee by my side
Henceforth an individual solace dear;
Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee claim
My other half.” With that thy gentle hand
Seiz'd mine : I yielded ; and from that time ste
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace,
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair."

So spake our general mother, and with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
And meek surrender, half-embracing lean'd
On our first father : half her swelling breast
Naked met his, under the flowing goid
Of her loose tresses hid : he in delight
Both of her beauty and submissive charms,
Smil'd with superior love, as Jupiter
On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds
That shed May flowers; and press'd her matron
With kisses pure : aside the Devil turn'd [lips
For envy ; yet with jealous leer malign
Eyed them askance, and to himself thus 'plain'd .

“ Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these Impas adis'd in one another's arms, {two The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill Of bliss on bliss ; while I hell am thrust,

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