תמונות בעמוד


Consort with thee, death is to me as life;
So forcible within my heart I feel

The bond of nature draw me to my own,
My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
Qur state cannot be sever'd, we are one,
One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.”.

So Adam, and thus Eve to liim reply'd.
O glorious trial of exceeding love,
Illustrious evidence, example high!
Engaging me to emulate, but short
Of thy perfection, how shall I attain,
Adam? from whose dear side I hoast me sprung,
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 ought than death more dread,
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
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
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 th' event, not death, but life
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."

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
Such recompense best merits) from the bough - 995
She 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.
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again
In pangs, and Nature gave a secoud groan;
Sky low'r’d, and muttering thunder, some sad drops
Wept at completing of the mortal sin
Original; while Adam took no thought,
Eating his fill, nor Eve to iterate

· 1005
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
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
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,
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 known till now
True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be
In things to us forbidd’n, it might be wish'd;
For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
But come, so well refresh’d, now let us play,,




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As meet is, after such delicious fare ;
For never did thy beauty, since the day
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
Of amorous intent, well understood
Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire.
Her hand he seiz'd, and to a shady bank,
Thick overhead with verdant roof imbow'r’d,
He led her nothing loth ; flow'rs were the couch,
Pansies, and violets, and asphodel,
And hyacinth, 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
Oppress'd them, wearied with their amorous play.
Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit,
That with exhilarating vapour bland
About their spi'rits had play'd, and inmost powers
Made err, was now exhald; and grosser sleep,
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
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,
Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap
Of Philistéan Dalilah, and wak'a
Shorn of his strength. They destitute and bare
Of all their virtue: silent, and in face
Confounded long they sat, as strucken mute,







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,
False in our promis'd rising; since our eyes

1070 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, Of innocence, of faith, of purity, Our wanted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd, And in our faces evident the signs Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store; Ev'n shame, the last of evils: of the first Be sure then. How shall I behold the face

1080 Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy And rapture so oft beheld? those heav'nly shapes Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze Insufferably bright. O might I here In solitude live savage, in some glade

1085 Obscur'd, where highest woods, impenetrable To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad And brown as evening. Cover me, ye Pines, Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs Hide me, where I may never see them more.

1090 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; Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd, 1095 And girded on our loius, 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 Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose The fig-tree, not that kind for fruit renown'd,

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But such as at this day to Indians kņown
In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow 1105,
About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade
High overarch'd, and echoing walks between; .,
There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds
At loop-holes cut thro’ thickest shade. Those leaves 1110
They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe,
And with what skill they had, together send,
To gird their waist, vain covering if to hide
Their guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike
To that first naked glory! Such of late
Columbus found th’ 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 partim
Cover'd, but, not at rest or ease of mind,

They sat them down to weep; nor 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
Their inward state of mind, calm region once.
And full of peace, now tost and turbulent :
For understanding rul'd not, and the will
Heard not her lore, both in subjection now
To sensual appetite, who from beneath,
Usurping over sov’reign reason, claim'd

' 1230 Superior sway: from thus distemper'd breast, Adam, estrang'd in look and alter'd style, Speech intermitted thus to Eve renew’d.

“Would thou hadst hearken'd to my words, and stay'd 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



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