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140

So fit, so acceptable, so divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill,
And what she did, whatever in itself,
Her doing seemed to justify the deed, —
She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”

145

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 excelled
Hers in all real dignity ? Adorned
She was indeed, and lovely to attract
Thy love, not thy subjection; and her gifts
Were such as under government well seemed,
Unseemly to bear rule, which was thy part
And person, hadst thou known thyself aright.”

150

155

So having said, he thus to Eve in few : “ Say, woman, what is this which thou hast done?

To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelmed, Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge

160 Bold or loquacious, thus abashed replied : “ The serpent me beguiled, and I did eat.”

Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To judgment he proceeded on the accused

141. whatever in itself, whatever it might be in itself, in its own character.

143. She gare. “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." Genesis iii. 12.

147. but, only ; even.

154. well seemned, showed well; were well becoming.

156. person, character, as in a play; the Latin “ persona."

157. in few, in few words.

162. beguiled. See Genesis iii. 13.

Serpent, though brute, unable to transfer

165 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 Concerned not man (since he no further knew) 170 Nor altered 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 175 Above all cattle, each beast of the field; Upon thy belly grovelling 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;

180 Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.”

185

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 Spoiled principalities and powers, triúmphed In open show, and with ascension bright Captivity led captive through the air, The realm itself of Satan long usurped, Whom he shall tread at last under our feet; 190 Even he who now foretold his fatal bruise, And to the woman thus his sentence turned : “ Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply By thy conception; children thou shalt bring

167. end, purpose, object. 184. Saw Satan fall. “ And

169. More to know, that is, that he said unto them, I beheld Satan was the real tempter. Satan as lightning fall from 171. at last, finally.

heaven." Luke x. 18. 173. judged as then best, con- 188. Captivity led captive. See sidered to be best at that time. Ephesians iv. 8.

175. See Genesis iii. 14, 15. 192. See Genesis iii. 16.

| In sorrow forth, and to thy husband's will

Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule.”

195

199

On Adam last thus judgment he pronounced : “ Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy

wife, And eaten of the tree concerning which [ 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, 205 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 211 Before him naked to the air that now Must suffer change, disdained not to begin Thenceforth the form of servant to assume ; As when he washed his servants' feet, so now, 215 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

220

197. On Adam last. See Gen. 219. not much, it not too much. esis iii. 17-19.

220-224. And he not only cov210. instant, immediate.

ered from his Father's sight their 214. the form of servant. See outward nakedness with the skins Philippians ii. 7.

of beasts, but he also covered 215. As when. See John xiii. their inward nakedness, which 1-16.

was much more shameful, array217. or, whether.

ing it with his robe of righteous218. Or anew provided, like the ness. See Isaiah lxi. 10. snake, with youthful coat.

Of beasts, but inward nakedness much more
Opprobrious with his robe of righteousness
Arraying, covered from his Father's sight.
To him with swift ascent he up returned,
Into his blissful bosom reassumed

225
In glory as of old; to him appeased
All, though all-knowing, what had passed with man
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.

230

Meanwhile, ere thus was sinned and judged on

earth,
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 passed through,
Sin opening, who thus now to Death began :

235

240

“O son, why sit we here each other viewing
Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives
In other worlds and happier seat provides
For us his offspring dear? It cannot be
But that success attends him; if mishap,
Ere this he had returned with fury driven
By his avengers, since no place like this
Can fit his punishment or their revenge.
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
Wings growing, and dominion given me large
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on,
Or sympathy, or some connatural force,
Powerful at greatest distance to unite
With secret amity things of like kind

245 250

226. as of old. See John xvii. 231. In counterview, opposite 5.

to each other; face to face. 229. was sinned and judged. 234. Sin opening. See II. These verbs are impersonal, the 871-883. meaning being, ere thus there 240. had, would have. were on earth sin and judgment. 246. Or, whether. - connatu

ral, of a common nature.

255

By secretest conveyance. Thou, my shade
Inseparable, must with me along;
For Death from Sin no power can separate.
But lest the difficulty of passing back
Stay his return perhaps over this gulf
Impassable, impervious, let us try
Adventurous work, yet to thy power and mine
Not unagreeable, to found a path
Over this main from Hell to that new world
Where Satan now prevails, a monument
Of merit high to all the infernal host,
Easing their passage hence for intercourse
Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead.
Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
By this new-felt attraction and instínct."

260

265

Whom thus the meagre Shadow answered soon: “ Go whither fate and inclination strong 265 Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err The way, thou leading, such a scent I draw Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste The savor of death from all things there that live: Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.”

270

So saying, with delight he snuffed the smell i Of mortal change on earth. As when a flock Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote, Against the day of battle to a field

275 Where armies lie encamped come flying, lured With scent of living carcasses designed 250. must, must go.

migration, either for passing to 254. impervious, without way and fro, or for removing altothrough.

gether. — as their lot shall lead, 256. unagreeable, unsuitable. as shall be determined for them.

257. this main. See 245 ; also 266. err, mistake. II. 890-910.

270. enterprisest, undertakest. 260, 261. for intercourse or trans

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