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O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold! Into our room of bliss thus high advanc'd Creatures of other mold, earth-born perhaps, 360 Not Spirits, yet to heav’nly Spirits bright Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue With wonder, and could love, so lively shines In them divine resemblance, and such grace The hand that formd them on their shape hath pour'd. Ah gentle pair, ye little think how nigh 366 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 secur’d
370 Long to continue; and this high seat, your Heaven,, Ill fenc'd for Heav'n 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, 375 And mutual amity, so strait, so close, That I with you must dwell, or you with me Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please, Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such Accept your Maker's work; he gave it me, 380 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 ofspring; if no better place, 385
Thank him who puts me loath 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,
Honor and empire with revenge inlarg’d, 390
By conqu’ring this new world, compels me now
To do what else, though damn’d,I should abhor.
So spake the Fiend, and with necessity,
The tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree - 395
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end,
Nearer to view his prey; and unespy'd
To mark what of their state he more might learn 400
By word or action mark’d: about them round
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spy'd
In some purlieu,two gentle fawns at play,
Strait couches close, then rising,changes oft 405
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might surest seise 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. 410
Sole partner, and fole part, of all these joys,
Dearer thyself than all; needs must the Power
That made us, and for us this ample world,
.. . Be
Be infinitely good, and of his good
As liberal and free' as infinite;
That rais'd us from the dust and plac'd us here
In all this happiness, who at his hand
Have nothing merited, nor can perform
Ought whereof he hath need; he who requires
From us no other service than to keep 420
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, 425
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 pow'r and rule
Conferr'd upon us, and dominion given
Over all other creatures that possess
Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard
One easy prohibition, who enjoy
Free leave 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
Toprune these growing plants, and tend these flowers,
Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet.
To whom thus Eve reply'd. O thou for whom 440 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 to him indeed all praises owe,
And daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy
So far the happier lot, enjoying thee
Præeminent by so much odds, while thou
Like confort to thyself canst no where find.
That day I oft remember, when from sleep
I first awak'd, and found myself repos’d 450
Under a shade on flow’rs, much wond'ring where,
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
Not distant far from thence a murm’ring sound
Of waters issued from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd : 455
Pure as th’expanse of Heav'n; 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 look, just opposit
A shape within the watry 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 answ'ring looks
Of sympathy and love: there I had fix'd 465
Mine eyes till now, and pin’d with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warn'd me, What thou seest,
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 470
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 callid
Mother of human race. What could I do,
But follow strait, invisibly thus led?
Till I espy'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
Under a platan; yet methought less fair,.
Less winning soft, less amiably mild,
Than that smooth watry image: back I turn’d; 480
Thou, following,cry'dft aloud, Return fair Eve,
Whom fly'st thou? whom thou fly'ft, of him thou art,
His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,
Substantial life, to have thee by my side 485
Henceforth an individual solace dear;
Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee clame
My other half: with that thy gentle hand
Seis'd mine; I yielded, and from that time see
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace 490
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.
So-fpake our general mother, and with eyes Of conjugal attraction, unreprov’d, And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd On our first father; half her fwelling breast 495 Naked met his under the flowing gold Of her loose trelles hid: he in delight