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May’st ever rest well pleased. I go to judge
On earth these thy transgressors; but thou know'st,
Whoever judged, the worst on me must light,
When time shall be ; for so I undertook
Before thee; and, not repenting, this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
On me derived; yet I shall temper so
Justice with mercy, as may' illustrate most
Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none
Are to behold the judgment, but the judged,
Those two! the third best absent is condemn'd,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law:
Conviction to the serpent none belongs.”

Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose
Of high collateral glory: Him Thrones, and Pow-
Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant, [ers,
Accompanied to heaven-gate ; from whence
Eden, and all the coast, in prospect lay.
Down he descended straight; the speed of gods
Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes

wing'd. Now was the sun in western cadence low From noon, and gentle airs, due at their hour, To fan the earth now waked, and usher in The evening cool; when he, from wrath more cool, Came, the mild judge, and intercessor both, To sentence man, The voice of God they heard Now walking in the garden, by soft winds Brought to their ears, while day declined; they

heard, And from his presence hid themselves among The thickest trees, both man and wife; till God, Approaching, thus to Adam call'd aloud:

“Where art thou, Adam! wont with joy to meet My coming seen far off? I miss thee here, Not pleased, thus entertain'd with solitude, Where obvious duty'ere while appear'd unsought: Or come I less conspicuous, or what change Absents thee, or what chance detains ?- Come forth !”

(first He came; and with him Eve, more loth, though To' offend ; discountenanced both, and discomLove was not in their looks, either to God, [posed: Or to each other ; but apparent guilt, And shame, and perturbation, and despair, Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile. Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answer'd brief:

I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice Afraid, being naked, hid myself.” To whom The gracious Judge without revile replied:

My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not But still rejoiced; how is it now become [fear'd, So dreadful to thee? That thou art naked, who Hath told thee? Hast thou eaten of the tree Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?”

To whom thus Adam sore beset replied: O Heaven! in evil straight this day I stand Before my Judge ; either to undergo Myself the total crime, or to accuse My other self, the partner of my life ; Whose failing, while her faith to me remains, I should conceal, and not expose to blame By my complaint : but strict necessity Subdues me, and calamitous constraint ; Lest on my head both sin and punishment, However insupportable, be all Devolved; though should I hold my peace, yet thou

Wouldst easily detect what I conceal.-
This woman, whom thou madest to be

my help
And gavest me as thy perfect gift, so good,
So fit, so acceptable, so divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill ;
And what she did, whatever in itself,
Her doing seem'd to justify the deed;
She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”

To whom the Sovran Presence thus replied : “. Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey Before his voice? or was she made thy guide, Superior, or but equal, that to her Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place Wherein God set thee' above her made of thee, And for thee, whose perfection far excell'd Hers in all real dignity ? Adorn'd She was indeed, and lovely, to attract Thy love, not thy subjection; and her gifts Were such, as under government well seem'd; Unseemly to bear rule; which was thy part And person, badst thou known thyself aright.”

So having said, he thus to Eve in few: [done?” Say, Woman! what is this which thou hast

To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelm’d, Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge Bold or loquacious, thus abash'd replied : The serpent me beguiled, and I did eat.”

Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To judgment he proceeded on the accused Serpent, though brute ; unable to transfer The guilt on him, who made him instrument Of mischief, and polluted from the end Of his creation ; justly then accursed, As vitiated in nature: more to know


Concern'd not man (since he no further knew),
Nor alter'd his offence: yet God at last
To Satan, first in sin, his doom applied,
Though in mysterious terms, judged as then best :
And on the serpent thus his curse let fall:

“ Because thou hast done this, thou art accursed
Above all cattle, each beast of the field;
Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go,
And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life.
Between thee and the woman I will put
Enmity, and between thine and her seed:
Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his

So spake this oracle, then verified
When Jesus, Son of Mary, second Eve,
Saw Satan fall, like lightning, down from heaven,
Prince of the air: then, rising from his grave,
Spoil'd Principalities and Powers, triumph'd
In open show; and, with ascension bright,
Captivity led captive through the air,
The realm itself of Satan, long usurp'd :
Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
Even he, who now foretold his fatal bruise ;
And to the woman thus his sentence turn’d:

“ Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
By thy conception : children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth ; and to thy husband's will
Thine shall submit: he over thee shall rule.”

On Adam last thus judgment he pronounced :
“ Because thou' hast hearken'd to the’ voice of thy
And eaten of the tree, concerning which [wife,
I charged thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat thereof;'
Cursed is the ground for thy sake : thou in sorrow
Shalt eat thereof, all the days of thy life:
Thorns also' and thistles it shall bring thee forth

Unbid; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field:
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth,
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.”

So judged he man, both judge and saviour sent; And the instant stroke of death, denounced that

day, Removed far off ; then, pitying how they stood Before him naked to the air, that now Must suffer change, disdain’d not to begin Thenceforth the form of servant to assume ; As when he wash'd his servants' feet: so now, As father of his family, he clad Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain, Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid; And thought not much to clothe his enemies : Nor he their outward only with the skins Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness, Arraying, cover'd from his Father's sight. To him with swift ascent he up return'd, Into bis blissful bosom reassumed In glory, as of old : to him appeased All, though all-knowing, what had pass'd with man Recounted, mixing intercession sweet. [earth,

Meanwhile, ere thus was sinn'd and judged on Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death, In counterview within the gates; that now Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame Far into Chaos, since the Fiend pass'd through, Sin opening; who thus now to Death began :

“O Son! why sit we here each other viewing Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives

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