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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
Devolvd; though should I hold my peace, yet

thou
Wouldst easily detect what I conceal.-
This Woman, whom thou mad'st to be my help,
And gav'st 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
Superiour, or but equal, that to her
Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place
Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,

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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, hadst thou known thyself aright.

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 overwhelmid,
Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge
Bold or loquacious, thus abash'd replied.
The Serpent me beguild, and I did eat.

Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To judgment he proceeded on the accus'd 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 accurs'd, 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, judg'd as then best: And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.

Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd 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 heel.

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,
Spoild 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;
Ev'n 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 judgement be pronounc'd.
Because thou hast hearken'd to the voice of thy wife,
And eaten of the tree, concerning which
I charg'd thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat thereof :
Curs'd 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 :
Me In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,

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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 judg'd he. Man, both Judge and Saviour sent;
And the instant stroke of death, denounc'd that day,
Remov’d 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 servant's 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 his blissful bosom reassum'd
In glory, as of old ; to him appeas'd
All, though all-knowing, what had pass'd with Man
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Mean while, ere thus was sinn'd and judg'd 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 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 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 return'd, 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, 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,

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