Paradise Lost, by John Milton

Book IX

The Argument

Satan having compast the Earth, with meditated guile returns as a mist by Night into Paradise, enters into the Serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the Morning go forth to thir labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alledging the danger, lest that Enemy, of whom they were forewarn’d, should attempt her found alone: Eve loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make tryal of her strength; Adam at last yields: The Serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other Creatures. Eve wondring to hear the Serpent speak, asks how he attain’d to human speech and such understanding not till now; the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain Tree in the Garden he attain’d both to Speech and Reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that Tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden: The Serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she pleas’d with the taste deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the Fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amaz’d, but perceiving her lost, resolves through vehemence of love to perish with her; and extenuating the trespass, eats also of the Fruit: The effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover thir nakedness, then fall to variance and accusation of one another.

No more of talk where God or Angel Guest

With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us’d

To sit indulgent, and with him partake

Rural repast, permitting him the while

Venial discourse unblam’d: I now must change

Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and breach

Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,

And disobedience: On the part of Heav’n

Now alienated, distance and distaste,

Anger and just rebuke, and judgement giv’n

That brought into this World a world of woe,

Sinne and her shadow Death, and Miserie

Deaths Harbinger: Sad task, yet argument

Not less but more Heroic then the wrauth

Of stern Achilles on his Foe pursu’d

Thrice Fugitive about Troy Wall; or rage

Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous’d,

Or Neptun’s ire or Juno’s, that so long

Perplex’d the Greek and Cytherea’s Son;

If answerable style I can obtaine

Of my Celestial Patroness, who deignes

Her nightly visitation unimplor’d,

And dictates to me slumbring, or inspires

Easie my unpremeditated Verse:

Since first this Subject for Heroic Song

Pleas’d me long choosing, and beginning late

Not sedulous by Nature to indite

Warrs, hitherto the onely Argument

Heroic deem’d, chief maistrie to dissect

With long and tedious havoc fabl’d Knights

In Battels feign’d; the better fortitude

Of Patience and Heroic Martyrdom

Unsung; or to describe Races and Games,

Or tilting Furniture, emblazon’d Shields,

Impreses quaint, Caparisons and Steeds

Bases and tinsel Trappings, gorgious Knights

At joust and Torneament; then marshal’d Feast

Serv’d up in Hall with Sewers, and Seneshals;

The skill of Artifice or Office mean,

Not that which justly gives Heroic name

To Person or to Poem. Mee of these

Nor skilld nor studious, higher Argument

Remaines, sufficient of it self to raise

That name, unless an age too late, or cold

Climat, or Years damp may intended wing

Deprest, and much they may, if all be mine,

Not Hers who brings it nightly to my Ear.

The Sun was sunk, and after him the Starr

Of Hesperus, whose Office is to bring

Twilight upon the Earth, short Arbiter

Twixt Day and Night, and now from end to end

Nights Hemisphere had veild the Horizon round:

When Satan who late fled before the threats

Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv’d

In meditated fraud and malice, bent

On mans destruction, maugre what might hap

Of heavier on himself, fearless return’d.

By Night he fled, and at Midnight return’d

From compassing the Earth, cautious of day,

Since Uriel Regent of the Sun descri’d

His entrance, and forewarnd the Cherubim

That kept thir watch; thence full of anguish driv’n,

The space of of seven continu’d Nights he rode

With darkness, thrice the Equinoctial Line

He circl’d, four times cross’d the Carr of Night

From Pole to Pole, traversing each Colure;

On the eighth return’d, and on the Coast averse

From entrance or Cherubic Watch, by stealth

Found unsuspected way. There was a place,

Now not, though Sin, not Time, first wraught the change,

Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise

Into a Gulf shot under ground, till part

Rose up a Fountain by the Tree of Life;

In with the River sunk, and with it rose

Satan involv’d in rising Mist, then sought

Where to lie hid; Sea he had searcht and Land

From Eden over Pontus, and the Poole

Maeotis, up beyond the River Ob;

Downward as farr Antartic; and in length

West from Orontes to the Ocean barr’d

At Darien, thence to the Land where flowes

Ganges and Indus: thus the Orb he roam’d

With narrow search; and with inspection deep

Consider’d every Creature, which of all

Most opportune might serve his Wiles, and found

The Serpent suttlest Beast of all the Field.

Him after long debate, irresolute.

Of thoughts revolv’d, his final sentance chose

Fit Vessel, fittest Imp of fraud, in whom

To enter, and his dark suggestions hide

From sharpest sight: for in the wilie Snake,

Whatever sleights none would suspicious mark,

As from his wit and native suttletie

Proceeding, which in other Beasts observ’d

Doubt might beget of Diabolic pow’r

Active within beyond the sense of brute.

Thus he resolv’d, but first from inward griefe

His bursting passion into plaints thus pour’d:

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In with the River sunk, and with it rose
Satan.

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O Earth, how like to Heav’n, if not preferr’d
More justly.

O Earth, how like to Heav’n, if not preferr’d

More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built

With second thoughts, reforming what was old!

For what God after better worse would build?

Terrestrial Heav’n, danc’t round by other Heav’ns

That shine, yet bear thir bright officious Lamps,

Light above Light, for thee alone, as seems,

In thee concentring all thir precious beams

Of sacred influence: As God in Heav’n

Is Center yet extends to all, so thou

Centring receav’st from all those Orbs; in thee,

Not in Themselves, all thir known vertue appeers

Productive in Herb, Plant, and nobler birth

Of Creatures animate with gradual life

Of Growth, Sense, Reason, all summ’d up in Man.

With what delight could I have walk’t thee round

If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange

Of Hill and Vallie, Rivers, Woods and Plaines,

Now Land, now Sea, & Shores with Forrest crownd,

Rocks, Dens, and Caves; but I in none of these

Find place or refuge; and the more I see

Pleasures about me, so much more I feel

Torment within me, as from the hateful siege

Of contraries; all good to me becomes

Bane, and in Heav’n much worse would be my state.

But neither here seek I, no nor in Heav’n

To dwell, unless by maistring Heav’ns Supreame;

Nor hope to be my self less miserable

By what I seek, but others to make such

As I, though thereby worse to me redound:

For onely in destroying I finde ease

To my relentless thoughts; and him destroyd,

Or won to what may work his utter loss,

For whom all this was made, all this will soon

Follow, as to him linkt in weal or woe,

In wo then; that destruction wide may range:

To mee shall be the glorie sole among

The infernal Powers, in one day to have marr’d

What he Almightie styl’d, six Nights and Days

Continu’d making, and who knows how long

Before had bin contriving, though perhaps

Not longer then since I in one Night freed

From servitude inglorious welnigh half

Th’ Angelic Name, and thinner left the throng

Of his adorers: hee to be aveng’d,

And to repaire his numbers thus impair’d,

Whether such vertue spent of old now faild

More Angels to Create, if they at least

Are his Created or to spite us more,

Determin’d to advance into our room

A Creature form’d of Earth, and him endow,

Exalted from so base original,

With Heav’nly spoils, our spoils; What he decreed

He effected; Man he made, and for him built

Magnificent this World, and Earth his seat,

Him Lord pronounc’d, and, O indignitie!

Subjected to his service Angel wings,

And flaming Ministers to watch and tend

Thir earthie Charge: Of these the vigilance

I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist

Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and prie

In every Bush and Brake, where hap may finde

The Serpent sleeping, in whose mazie foulds

To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.

O foul descent! that I who erst contended

With Gods to sit the highest, am now constraind

Into a Beast, and mixt with bestial slime,

This essence to incarnate and imbrute,

That to the hight of Deitie aspir’d;

But what will not Ambition and Revenge

Descend to? who aspires must down as low

As high he soard, obnoxious first or last

To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,

Bitter ere long back on it self recoiles;

Let it; I reck not, so it light well aim’d,

Since higher I fall short, on him who next

Provokes my envie, this new Favorite

Of Heav’n, this Man of Clay, Son of despite,

Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais’d

From dust: spite then with spite is best repaid.

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Him fast sleeping soon he found
In Labyrinth of many a round self-rowld.

So saying, through each Thicket Danck or Drie,

Like a black mist low creeping, he held on

His midnight search, where soonest he might finde

The Serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found

In Labyrinth of many a round self-rowld,

His head the midst, well stor’d with suttle wiles:

Not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den,

Not nocent yet, but on the grassie Herbe

Fearless unfeard he slept: in at his Mouth

The Devil enterd, and his brutal sense,

In heart or head, possessing soon inspir’d

With act intelligential; but his sleep

Disturb’d not, waiting close th’ approach of Morn.

Now whenas sacred Light began to dawne

In Eden on the humid Flours, that breathd

Thir morning Incense, when all things that breath,

From th’ Earths great Altar send up silent praise

To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill

With, gratefull Smell, forth came the human pair

And joynd thir vocal Worship to the Quire

Of Creatures wanting voice, that done, partake

The season, prime for sweetest Sents and Aires:

Then commune how that day they best may ply

Thir growing work: for much thir work outgrew

The hands dispatch of two Gardning so wide.

And Eve first to her Husband thus began.

Adam, well may we labour still to dress

This Garden, still to tend Plant, Herb and Flour.

Our pleasant task enjoyn’d, but till more hands

Aid us, the work under our labour grows,

Luxurious by restraint; what we by day

Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,

One night or two with wanton growth derides

Tending to wilde. Thou therefore now advise

Or hear what to my mind first thoughts present,

Let us divide our labours, thou where choice

Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind

The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct

The clasping Ivie where to climb, while I

In yonder Spring of Roses intermixt

With Myrtle, find what to redress till Noon:

For while so near each other thus all day

Our task we choose, what wonder if so near

Looks intervene and smiles, or object new

Casual discourse draw on, which intermits

Our dayes work brought to little, though begun

Early, and th’ hour of Supper comes unearn’d.

To whom mild answer Adam thus return’d.

Sole Eve, Associate sole, to me beyond

Compare above an living Creatures deare,

Well hast thou motion’d, wel thy thoughts imployd

How we might best fulfill the work which here

God hath assign’d us, nor of me shalt pass

Unprais’d: for nothing lovelier can be found

In woman, then to studie houshold good,

And good workes in her Husband to promote.

Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos’d

Labour, as to debarr us when we need

Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,

Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse

Of looks and smiles, for smiles from Reason flow,

To brute deni’d, and are of Love the food,

Love not the lowest end of human life.

For not to irksom toile, but to delight

He made us, and delight to Reason joyn’d.

These paths and Bowers doubt not but our joynt hands

Will keep from Wilderness with ease, as wide

As we need walk, till younger hands ere long

Assist us: But if much converse perhaps

Thee satiate, to short absence I could yeild.

For solitude somtimes is best societie,

And short retirement urges sweet returne.

But other doubt possesses me, least harm

Befall thee severd from me; for thou knowst

What hath bin warn’d us, what malicious Foe

Envying our happiness, and of his own

Despairing, and to work us woe and shame

By sly assault; and somwhere nigh at hand

Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find

His wish and best advantage, us asunder,

Hopeless to circumvent us joynd, where each

To other speedie aide might lend at need;

Whether his first design be to withdraw

Our fealtie from God, or to disturb

Conjugal Love, then which perhaps no bliss

Enjoy’d by us excites his envie more;

Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side

That gave thee being, stil shades thee and protects.

The Wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,

Safest and seemliest by her Husband staies,

Who guards her, or with her the worst endures.

To whom the Virgin Majestie of Eve,

As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,

With sweet austeer composure thus reply’d.

Ofspring of Heav’n and Earth, and all Earths Lord,

That such an Enemie we have, who seeks

Our ruin, both by thee informd I learne,

And from the parting Angel over-heard

As in a shadie nook I stood behind,

Just then return’d at shut of Evening Flours.

But that thou shouldst my firmness therfore doubt

To God or thee, because we have a foe

May tempt it, I expected not to hear.

His violence thou fearst not, being such,

As wee, not capable of death or paine,

Can either not receave, or can repell.

His fraud is then thy fear, which-plain inferrs

Thy equal fear that my firm Faith and Love

Can by his fraud be shak’n or seduc’t;

Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy brest,

Adam, missthought of her to thee so dear?

To whom with healing words Adam reply’d.

Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve,

For such thou art, from sin and blame entire:

Not diffident of thee do I dissuade

Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid

Th’ attempt it self, intended by our Foe.

For hee who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses

The tempted with dishonour foul, suppos’d

Not incorruptible of Faith, not prooff

Against temptation: thou thy self with scorne

And anger wouldst resent the offer’d wrong,

Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then,

If such affront I labour to avert

From thee alone, which on us both at once

The Enemie, though bold, will hardly dare,

Or daring, first on mee th’ assault shall light.

Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn;

Suttle he needs must be, who could seduce

Angels, nor think superfluous others aid.

I from the influence of thy looks receave

Access in every Vertue, in thy sight

More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were

Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on,

Shame to be overcome or over-reacht

Would utmost vigor raise, and rais’d unite.

Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel

When I am present, and thy trial choose

With me, best witness of thy Vertue tri’d.

So spake domestick Adam in his care

And Matrimonial Love, but Eve, who thought

Less attributed to her Faith sincere,

Thus her reply with accent sweet renewd.

If this be our condition, thus to dwell

In narrow circuit strait’nd by a Foe,

Suttle or violent, we not endu’d

Single with like defence, wherever met,

How are we happie, still in fear of harm?

But harm precedes not sin: onely our Foe

Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem

Of our integritie: his foul esteeme

Sticks no dishonor on our Front, but turns

Foul on himself; then wherfore shund or feard

By us? who rather double honour gaine

From his surmise prov’d false, finde peace within,

Favour from Heav’n, our witness from th’ event.

And what is Faith, Love, Vertue unassaid

Alone, without exterior help sustaind?

Let us not then suspect our happie State

Left so imperfet by the Maker wise,

As not secure to single or combin’d.

Fraile is our happiness, if this be so,

And Eden were no Eden thus expos’d.

To whom thus Adam fervently repli’d.

O Woman, best are all things as the will

Of God ordaind them, his creating hand

Nothing imperfet or deficient left

Of all that he Created, much less Man,

Or ought that might his happie State secure,

Secure from outward force; within himself

The danger lies, yet lies within his power:

Against his will he can receave no harme.

But God left free the Will, for what obeyes

Reason, is free, and Reason he made right

But bid her well beware, and still erect,

Least by some faire appeering good surpris’d

She dictate false, and misinformed the Will

To do what God expressly hath forbid.

Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoynes,

That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me.

Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve,

Since Reason not impossibly may meet

Some specious object by the Foe subornd,

And fall into deception unaware,

Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warnd

Seek not temptation then, which to avoide

Were better, and most likelie if from mee

Thou sever not: Trial will come unsought.

Wouldst thou approve thy constancie, approve

First thy obedience; th’ other who can know,

Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?

But if thou think, trial unsought may finde

Us both securer then thus warnd thou seemst,

Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more;

Go in thy native innocence, relie

On what thou hast of vertue, summon all,

For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine.

So spake the Patriarch of Mankinde, but Eve

Persisted, yet submiss, though last, repli’d.

With thy permission then, and thus forewarnd

Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words

Touchd onely, that our trial, when least sought,

May finde us both perhaps farr less prepar’d,

The willinger I goe, nor much expect

A Foe so will first the weaker seek;

So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse.

Thus saying, from her Husbands hand her hand

Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light

Oread or Dryad, or of Delia’s Traine,

Betook her to the Groves, but Delia’s self

In gate surpass’d and Goddess-like deport,

Though not as shee with Bow and Quiver armd,

But with such Gardning Tools as Art yet rude,

Guiltless of fire had formd, or Angels brought.

To Pales, or Pomona, thus adornd,

Likest she seemd, Pomona when she fled

Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her Prime,

Yet Virgin of Proserpina from Jove.

Her long with ardent look his Eye pursu’d

Delighted, but desiring more her stay.

Oft he to her his charge of quick returne

Repeated, shee to him as oft engag’d

To be returnd by Noon amid the Bowre,

And all things in best order to invite

Noontide repast, or Afternoons repose.

O much deceav much failing, hapless Eve,

Of thy presum’d return! event perverse!

Thou never from that houre in Paradise

Foundst either sweet repast, or sound repose;

Such ambush hid among sweet Flours and Shades

Waited with hellish rancor imminent

To intercept thy way, or send thee back

Despoild of Innocence, of Faith, of Bliss.

For now, and since first break of dawne the Fiend.

Meer Serpent in appearance, forth was come,

And on his Quest, Where likeliest he might finde

The onely two of Mankinde, but in them

The whole included Race, his purposd prey.

In Bowre and Field he sought, where any tuft

Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay,

Thir tendance or Plantation for delight,

By Fountain or by shadie Rivulet

He sought them both, but wish’d his hap might find

Eve separate, he wish’d, but not with hope

Of what so seldom chanc’d, when to his wish,

Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,

Veil’d in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood,

Half spi’d, so thick the Roses bushing round

About her glowd, oft stooping to support

Each Flour slender stalk, whose head though gay

Carnation, Purple, Azure, or spect with Gold,

Hung drooping unsustained, them she upstaies

Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while,

Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour,

From her best prop so farr, and storm so nigh.

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Neerer he drew, and many a walk traversd
Of stateliest Covert, Cedar, Pine, or Palme.

Neerer he drew, and many a walk traversd

Of stateliest Covert, Cedar, Pine, or Palme,

Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen

Among thick-wov’n Arborets and Flours

Imborderd on each Bank, the hand of Eve:

Spot more delicious then those Gardens feign’d

Or of reviv’d Adonis, or renownd

Alcinous, host of old Laertes Son,

Or that, not Mystic, where the Sapient King

Held dalliance with his faire Egyptian Spouse.

Much hee the Place admir’d, the Person more.

As one who long in populous City pent,

Where Houses thick and Sewers annoy the Aire,

Forth issuing on a Summers Morn to breathe

Among the pleasant Villages and Farmes

Adjoynd, from each thing met conceaves delight,

The smell of Grain, or tedded Grass, or Kine.

Or Dairie, each rural sight, each rural sound;

If chance with Nymphlike step fair Virgin pass,

What pleasing seemd, for her now pleases more,

She most, and her looks summs all Delight.

Such Pleasure took the Serpent to behold

This Flourie Plat, the sweet recess of Eve

Thus earlie, thus alone; her Heav’nly forme

Angelic, but more soft, and Feminine,

Her graceful Innocence, her every Aire

Of gesture or lest action overawd

His Malice, and with rapine sweet bereav’d

His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought:

That space the Evil one abstracted stood

From his own evil and for the time remaind

Stupidly good, of enmitie disarm’d,

Of guile, of hate, of envie, of revenge;

But the hot Hell that alwayes in him burnes,

Though in mid Heav’n, soon ended his delight,

And tortures him now more, the more he sees

Of pleasure not for him ordain’d: then soon

Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts

Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites.

Thoughts, whither have ye led me, with what sweet

Compulsion thus transported to forget

What hither brought us, hate, nor love, nor hope

Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste

Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy,

Save what is in destroying, other joy

To me is lost. Then let me not let pass

Occasion which now smiles, behold alone

The Woman, opportune to all attempts,

Her Husband, for I view far round, not nigh,

Whose higher intellectual more I shun,

And strength, of courage hautie, and of limb

Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould,

Foe not informidable, exempt from wound,

I not; so much hath Hell debas’d, and paine

Infeebl’d me, to what I was in Heav’n.

Shee fair, divinely fair, fit Love for Gods,

Not terrible, though terrour be in Love

And beautie, not approacht by stronger hate,

Hate stronger, under shew of Love well feign’d,

The way which to her ruin now I tend.

So spake the Enemie of Mankind, enclos’d

In Serpent, Inmate bad, and toward Eve

Address’d his way, not with indented wave,

Prone on the ground, as since, but on his reare,

Circular base of rising foulds, that tour’d

Fould above fould a surging Maze, his Head

Crested aloft, and Carbuncle his Eyes;

With burnisht Neck of verdant Gold, erect

Amidst his circling Spires, that on the grass

Floted redundant: pleasing was his shape,

And lovely, never since of Serpent kind

Lovelier, not those that in Illyria chang’d

Hermione and Cadmus, or the God

In Epidaurus; nor to which transformd

Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen,

Hee with Olympias, this with her who bore

Scipio the highth of Rome. With tract oblique

At first, as one who sought access, but feard

To interrupt, side-long he works his way.

As when a Ship by skilful Stearsman wrought

Nigh Rivers mouth or Foreland, where the Wind

Veres oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her Saile;

So varied hee, and of his tortuous Traine

Curld many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve,

To lure her Eye; shee busied heard the sound

Of rusling Leaves, but minded not, as us’d

To such disport before her through the Field,

From every Beast, more duteous at her call,

Then at Circean call the Herd disguis’d.

Hee boulder now, uncall’d before her stood;

But as in gaze admiring: Oft he bowd

His turret Crest, and sleek enamel’d Neck,

Fawning, and lick’d the ground whereon she trod.

His gentle dumb expression turn’d at length

The Eye of Eve to mark his play; he glad

Of her attention gaind, with Serpent Tongue

Organic, or impulse of vocal Air,

His fraudulent temptation thus began.

Wonder not, sovran Mistress, if perhaps

Thou canst, who art sole Wonder, much less arm

Thy looks, the Heav’n of mildness, with disdain,

Displeas’d that I approach thee thus, and gaze

Insatiate, I thus single, nor have feard

Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir’d.

Fairest resemblance of thy Maker faire,

Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine

By gift, and thy Celestial Beautie adore

With ravishment beheld, there best beheld

Where universally admir’d: but here

In this enclosure wild, these Beasts among,

Beholders rude, and shallow to discerne

Half what in thee is fair, one man except,

Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who shouldst be seen

A Goddess among Gods, ador’d and serv’d

By Angels numberless, thy daily Train.

So gloz’d the Tempter, and his Proem tun’d;

Into the Heart of Eve his words made way,

Though at the voice much marveling; at length

Not unamaz’d she thus in answer spake.

What may this mean? Language of Man pronounc’t

By Tongue of Brute, and human sense exprest?

The first at lest of these I thought deni’d

To Beasts, whom God on thir Creation-Day

Created mute to all articulat sound;

The latter I demurre, for in thir looks

Much reason, and in thir actions oft appeers.

Thee, Serpent, suttlest beast of all the field

I knew, but not with human voice endu’d;

Redouble then this miracle, and say,

How cam’st thou speakable of mute, and how

To me so friendly grown above the rest

Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight?

Say, for such wonder claims attention due.

To whom the guileful Tempter thus reply’d.

Empress of this fair World, resplendent Eve,

Easie to mee it is to tell thee all

What thou commandst and right thou shouldst be obeyd:

I was at first as other Beasts that graze

The trodden Herb, of abject thoughts and low,

As was my food, nor aught but food discern’d

Or Sex, and apprehended nothing high:

Till on a day roaving the field, I chanc’d

A goodly Tree farr distant to behold

Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mixt,

Ruddie and Gold: I nearer drew to gaze;

When from the boughes a savorie odour blow’n,

Grateful to appetite, more pleas’d my sense

Then smell of sweetest Fenel, or the Teats

Of Ewe or Goat dropping with Milk at Eevn,

Unsuckt of Lamb or Kid, that tend thir play.

To satisfie the sharp desire I had

Of tasting those fair Apples, I resolv’d

Not to deferr; hunger and thirst at once,

Powerful perswaders, quick’nd at the scent

Of that alluring fruit, urg’d me so keene.

About the Mossie Trunk I wound me soon,

For high from ground the branches would require

Thy utmost reach or Adams: Round the Tree

All other Beasts that saw, with like desire

Longing and envying stood, but could not reach.

Amid the Tree now got, where plentie hung

Tempting eat my to pluck and eat my fill

I spar’d not, for such pleasure till that hour

At Feed or Fountain never had I found.

Sated at length, ere long I might perceave

Strange alteration in me, to degree

Of Reason in my inward Powers, and Speech

Wanted not long, though to this shape retaind.

Thenceforth to Speculations high or deep

I turnd my thoughts, and with capacious mind

Considerd all things visible in Heav’n,

Or Earth, or Middle, all things fair and good;

But all that fair and good in thy Divine

Semblance, and in thy Beauties heav’nly Ray

United I beheld; no Fair to thine

Equivalent or second, which compel’d

Mee thus, though importune perhaps, to come

And gaze, and worship thee of right declar’d

Sovran of Creatures, universal Dame.

So talk’d the spirited sly Snake; and Eve

Yet more amaz’d unwarie thus reply’d.

Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt

The vertue of that Fruit, in thee first prov’d:

But say, where grows the Tree, from hence how far?

For many are the Trees of God that grow

In Paradise, and various, yet unknown

To us, in such abundance lies our choice,

As leaves a greater store of Fruit untoucht,

Still more incorruptible, till men

Grow up to thir provision, and more hands

Help to disburden Nature of her Bearth.

To whom the wilie Adder, blithe and glad.

Empress, the way is readie, and not long,

Beyond a row of Myrtles, on a Flat,

Fast by a Fountain, one small Thicket past

Of blowing Myrrh and Balme; if thou accept

My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon.

Lead then, said Eve. Hee leading swiftly rowld

In tangles, and made intricate seem strait,

To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy

Bright’ns his Crest, as when a wandring Fire

Compact of unctuous vapor, which the Night

Condenses, and the cold invirons round,

Kindl’d through agitation to a Flame,

Which oft, they say, some evil Spirit attends,

Hovering and blazing with delusive Light,

Misleads th’ amaz’d Night-wanderer from his way

To Boggs and Mires, & oft through Pond or Poole,

There swallow’d up and lost, from succour farr.

So glister’d the dire Snake, and into fraud

Led Eve our credulous Mother, to the Tree

Of prohibition, root of all our woe;

Which when she saw, thus to her guide she spake.

Serpent, we might have spar’d our coming hither,

Fruitless to me, though Fruit be here to excess,

The credit of whose vertue rest with thee,

Wondrous indeed, if cause of such effects.

But of this Tree we may not taste nor touch;

God so commanded, and left that Command

Sole Daughter of his voice; the rest, we live

Law to our selves, our Reason is our Law.

To whom the Tempter guilefully repli’d.

Indeed? hath God then said that of the Fruit

Of all these Garden Trees ye shall not eate,

Yet Lords declar’d of all in Earth or Aire?

To whom thus Eve yet sinless. Of the Fruit

Of each Tree in the Garden we may eate,

But of the Fruit of this fair Tree amidst

The Garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eate

Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, least ye die.

She scarse had said, though brief, when now more bold

The Tempter, but with shew of Zeale and Love

To Man, and indignation at his wrong,

New part puts on, and as to passion mov’d,

Fluctuats disturbd, yet comely, and in act

Rais’d, as of som great matter to begin.

As when of old som Orator renound

In Athens or free Rome, where Eloquence

Flourishd, since mute, to som great cause addrest,

Stood in himself collected, while each part,

Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue,

Somtimes in highth began, as no delay

Of Preface brooking through his Zeal of Right.

So standing, moving, or to highth upgrown

The Tempter all impassiond thus began.

O Sacred, Wise, and Wisdom-giving Plant,

Mother of Science, Now I feel thy Power

Within me cleere, not onely to discerne

Things in thir Causes, but to trace the wayes

Of highest Agents, deemd however wise.

Queen of this Universe, doe not believe

Those rigid threats of Death; ye shall not Die:

How should ye? by the Fruit? it gives you Life

To Knowledge: By the Threatner? look on mee,

Mee who have touch’d and tasted, yet both live,

And life more perfet have attaind then Fate

Meant mee, by ventring higher then my Lot.

Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast

Is open? or will God incense his ire

For such a petty Trespass, and not praise

Rather your dauntless vertue, whom the pain

Of Death denounc’t, whatever thing Death be,

Deterrd not from atchieving what might leade

To happier life, knowledge of Good and Evil;

Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil

Be real, why not known, since easier shunnd?

God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just;

Not just, not God; not feard then, nor obeid:

Your feare it self of Death removes the feare.

Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe,

Why but to keep ye low and ignorant,

His worshippers; he knows that in the day

Ye Eate thereof, your Eyes that seem so cleere,

Yet are but dim, shall perfetly be then

Op’nd and cleerd, and ye shall be as Gods,

Knowing both Good and Evil as they know.

That ye should be as Gods, since I as Man,

Internal Man, is but proportion meet,

I of brute human, yee of human Gods.

So ye shall die perhaps, by putting off

Human, to put on Gods, death to be wisht,

Though threat’nd, which no worse then this can bring.

And what are Gods that Man may not become

As they, participating God-like food?

The Gods are first, and that advantage use

On our belief, that all from them proceeds;

I question it, for this fair Earth I see,

Warm’d by the Sun, producing every kind,

Them nothing: If they all things, who enclos’d

Knowledge of Good and Evil in this Tree,

That whoso eats thereof, forthwith attains

Wisdom without their leave? and wherein lies

Th’ offence, that Man should thus attain to know?

What can your knowledge hurt him, or this Tree

Impart against his will if all be his?

Or is it envie, and can envie dwell

In heav’nly brests? these, these and many more

Causes import your need of this fair Fruit.

Goddess humane, reach then, and freely taste.

He ended, and his words replete with guile

Into her heart too easie entrance won:

Fixt on the Fruit she gaz’d, which to behold

Might tempt alone, and in her ears the sound

Yet rung of his perswasive words, impregn’d

With Reason, to her seeming, and with Truth;

Meanwhile the hour of Noon drew on, and wak’d

An eager appetite, rais’d by the smell

So savorie of that Fruit, which with desire,

Inclinable now grown to touch or taste,

Sollicited her longing eye; yet first

Pausing a while, thus to her self she mus’d.

Great are thy Vertues, doubtless, best of Fruits,

Though kept from Man, & worthy to be admir’d,

Whose taste, too long forborn, at first assay

Gave elocution to the mute, and taught

The Tongue not made for Speech to speak thy praise:

Thy praise hee also who forbids thy use,

Conceales not from us, naming thee the Tree

Of Knowledge, knowledge both of good and evil;

Forbids us then to taste, but his forbidding

Commends thee more, while it inferrs the good

By thee communicated, and our want:

For good unknown, sure is not had, or had

And yet unknown, is as not had at all.

In plain then, what forbids he but to know,

Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?

Such prohibitions binde not. But if Death

Bind us with after-bands, what profits then

Our inward freedom? In the day we eate

Of this fair Fruit, our doom is, shall die.

How dies the Serpent? hee hath eat’n and lives,

And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discernes,

Irrational till then. For us alone

Was death invented? or to us deni’d

This intellectual food, for beasts reserv’d?

For Beasts it seems: yet that one Beast which first

Hath tasted, envies not, but brings with joy

The good befall’n him, Author unsuspect,

Friendly to man, farr from deceit or guile.

What fear I then, rather what know to feare

Under this ignorance of Good and Evil,

Of God or Death, of Law or Penaltie?

Here grows the Cure of all, this Fruit Divine,

Fair to the Eye, inviting to the Taste,

Of vertue to make wise: what hinders then

To reach, and feed at once both Bodie and Mind?

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Back to the Thicket slunk
The guiltie Serpent.

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour

Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat:

Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat

Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk

The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve

Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else

Regarded, such dilight till then, as seemd,

In Fruit she never tasted, whether true

Or fansied so, through expectation high

Of knowledge, nor was God-head from her thought.

Greedily she ingore’d without restraint,

And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,

And hight’nd as with Wine, jocond’and boon,

Thus to her self she pleasingly began.

O Sovran, vertuous, precious of all Trees

In Paradise, of operation blest

To Sapience, hitherto obscur’d, infam’d,

And thy fair Fruit let hang, as to no end

Created; but henceforth my early care,

Not without Song, each Morning, and due praise

Shall tend thee, and the fertil burden ease

Of thy full branches offer’d free to all;

Till dieted by thee I grow mature

In knowledge, as the Gods who all things know;

Though others envie what they cannot give;

For had the gift bin theirs, it had not here

Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe,

Best guide; not following thee, I had remaind

In ignorance, thou op’nst Wisdoms way,

And giv’st access, though secret she retire.

And I perhaps am secret; Heav’n is high,

High and remote to see from thence distinct

Each thing on Earth; and other care perhaps

May have diverted from continual watch

Our great Forbidder, safe with all his Spies

About him. But to Adam in what sort

Shall I appeer? shall I to him make known

As yet my change, and give him to partake

Full happiness with mee, or rather not,

But keep the odds of Knowledge in my power

Without Copartner? so to add what wants

In Femal Sex, the more to draw his Love,

And render me more equal, and perhaps,

A thing not undesirable, somtime

Superior: for inferior who is free?

This may be well: but what if God have seen

And Death ensue? then I shall be no more,

And Adam wedded to another Eve,

Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct;

A death to think. Confirm’d then I resolve,

Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe:

So dear I love him, that with him all deaths

I could endure, Without him live no life.

So saying, from the Tree her step she turnd,

But first low Reverence don, as to the power

That dwelt within, whose presence had infus’d

Into the plant sciential sap, deriv’d

From Nectar, drink of Gods. Adam the while

Waiting desirous her return, had wove

Of choicest Flours a Garland to adorne

Her Tresses, and her rural labours crown

As Reapers oft are wont thir Harvest Queen.

Great joy he promis’d to his thoughts, and new

Solace in her return, so long delay’d;

Yet oft his heart, divine of somthing ill,

Misgave him; hee the faultring measure felt;

And forth to meet her went, the way she took

That Morn when first they parted; by the Tree

Of Knowledge he must pass, there he her met,

Scarse from the Tree returning; in her hand

A bough of fairest fruit that downie smil’d,

New gatherd, and ambrosial smell diffus’d.

To him she hasted, in her face excuse

Came Prologue, and Apologie to prompt,

Which with bland words at will she thus addrest.

Hast thou not wonderd, Adam, at my stay?

Thee I have misst, and thought it long, depriv’d

Thy presence, agonie of love till now

Not felt, nor shall be twice, for never more

Mean I to trie, what rash untri’d I sought,

The paine of absence from thy sight. But strange

Hath the cause, and wonderful to heare:

This Tree is not as we are told, a Tree

Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown

Op’ning the way, but of Divine effect

To open Eyes, and make them Gods who taste;

And hath bin tasted such: the Serpent wise,

Or not restraind as wee, or not obeying,

Hath eat’n of the fruit, and is become,

Not dead, as we are threatn’d, but thenceforth

Endu’d with human voice and human sense,

Reasoning to admiration, and with me

Perswasively hath so prevaild, that I

Have also tasted, and have also found

Th’ effects to correspond, opener mine Eyes

Dimm erst, dilated Spirits, ampler Heart,

And growing up to Godhead; which for thee

Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise.

For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss,

Tedious, unshar’d with thee, and odious soon.

Thou therfore also taste, that equal Lot

May joyne us, equal Joy, as equal Love;

Least thou not tasting, different degree

Disjoyne us, and I then too late renounce

Deitie for thee, when Fate will not permit.

Thus Eve with Countnance blithe her storie told;

But in her Cheek distemper flushing glowd.

On th’ other side, Adam, soon as he heard

The fatal Trespass done by Eve, amaz’d,

Astonied stood and Blank, while horror chill

Ran through his veins, and all his joynts relax’d;

From his slack hand the Garland wreath’ d for Eve

Down drop’d, and all the faded Roses shed:

Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length

First to himself he inward silence broke.

O fairest of Creation, last and best

Of all Gods Works, Creature in whom excell’d

Whatever can to sight or thought be formd,

Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!

How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,

Defac’t, deflourd, and now to Death devote?

Rather how hast thou yeelded to transgress

The strict forbiddance, how to violate

The sacred Fruit forbidd’n! som cursed fraud

Of Enemie hath beguil’d thee, yet unknown,

And mee with thee hath ruind, for with thee

Certain my resolution is to Die;

How can I live without thee, how forgoe

Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly joyn’d,

To live again in these wilde Woods forlorn?

Should God create another Eve, and I

Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee

Would never from my heart; no no, I feel

The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh,

Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State

Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

So having said, as one from sad dismay

Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbd

Submitting to what seemd remediless,

Thus in calme mood his Words to Eve he turnd.

Bold deed thou hast presum’d, adventrous Eve

And peril great provok’t, who thus hast dar’d

Had it bin onely coveting to Eye

That sacred Fruit, sacred to abstinence,

Much more to taste it under banne to touch.

But past who can recall, or don undoe?

Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate, yet so

Perhaps thou shalt not Die, perhaps the Fact

Is not so hainous now, foretasted Fruit,

Profan’d first by the Serpent, by him first

Made common and unhallowd ere our taste;

Nor yet on him found deadly, he yet lives,

Lives, as thou saidst, and gaines to live as Man

Higher degree of Life, inducement strong

To us, as likely tasting to attaine

Proportional ascent, which cannot be

But to be Gods, or Angels Demi-gods.

Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,

Though threatning, will in earnest so destroy

Us his prime Creatures, dignifi’d so high,

Set over all his Works, which in our Fall,

For us created, needs with us must faile,

Dependent made; so God shall uncreate,

Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour loose,

Not well conceav’d of God, who though his Power

Creation could repeate, yet would be loath

Us to abolish, least the Adversary

Triumph and say; Fickle their State whom God

Most Favors, who can please him long? Mee first

He ruind, now Mankind; whom will he next?

Matter of scorne, not to be given the Foe.

However I with thee have fixt my Lot,

Certain to undergoe like doom, if Death

Consort with thee, Death is to mee as Life;

So forcible within my heart I feel

The Bond of Nature draw me to my owne,

My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;

Our State cannot be severd, we are one,

One Flesh; to loose thee were to loose my self.

So Adam, and thus Eve to him repli’d.

O glorious trial of exceeding Love,

Illustrious evidence, example high!

Ingaging me to emulate, but short

Of thy perfection, how shall I attaine,

Adam, from whose deare side I boast me sprung,

And gladly of our Union heare thee speak,

One Heart, one Soul in both; whereof good proof

This day affords, declaring thee resolvd,

Rather then Death or aught then Death more dread

Shall separate us, linkt in Love so deare,

To undergoe with mee one Guilt, one Crime,

If any be, of tasting this fair Fruit,

Whose vertue, for of good still good proceeds,

Direct, or by occasion hath presented

This happie trial of thy Love, which else

So eminently never had bin known.

Were it I thought Death menac’t would ensue

This my attempt, I would sustain alone

The worst, and not perswade thee, rather die

Deserted, then oblige thee with a fact

Pernicious to thy Peace, chiefly assur’d

Remarkably so late of thy so true,

So faithful Love unequald; but feel

Farr otherwise th’ event, not Death, but Life

Augmented, op’nd Eyes, new Hopes, new Joyes,

Taste so Divine, that what of sweet before

Hath toucht my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.

On my experience, Adam, freely taste,

And fear of Death deliver to the Windes.

So saying, she embrac’d him, and for joy

Tenderly wept, much won that he his Love

Had so enobl’d, as of choice to incur

Divine displeasure for her sake, or Death.

In recompence (for such compliance bad

Such recompence best merits) from the bough

She gave him of that fair enticing Fruit

With liberal hand: he scrupl’d not to eat

Against his better knowledge, not deceav’d,

But fondly overcome with Femal charm.

Earth trembl’d from her entrails, as again

In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan,

Skie lowr’d, and muttering Thunder, som sad drops

Wept at compleating of the mortal Sin

Original; while Adam took no thought,

Eating his fill, nor Eve to iterate

Her former trespass fear’d, the more to soothe

Him with her lov’d societie, that now

As with new Wine intoxicated both

They swim in mirth, and fansie that they feel

Divinitie within them breeding wings

Wherewith to scorn the Earth: but that false Fruit

Farr other operation first displaid,

Carnal desire enflaming, hee on Eve

Began to cast lascivious Eyes, she him

As wantonly repaid; in Lust they burne:

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

Yeild 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 forbidden, it might be wish’d,

For this one Tree had bin forbidden ten.

But come, so well refresh’t, now let us play,

As meet is, after such delicious Fare;

For never did thy Beautie since the day

I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn’d

With all perfections, so enflame my sense

With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now

Than ever, bountie of this vertuous 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 seis’d, and to a shadie bank,

Thick overhead with verdant roof imbowr’d

He led her nothing loath; Flours were the Couch,

Pansies, and Violets, and Asphodel,

And Hyacinth, Earths freshest softest lap.

There they thir fill of Love and Loves disport

Took largely, of thir mutual guilt the Seale,

The solace of thir sin, till dewie sleep

Oppress’d them, wearied with thir amorous play.

Soon as the force of that fallacious Fruit,

That with exhilerating vapour bland

About thir spirits had plaid, and inmost powers

Made erre, was now exhal’d, and grosser sleep

Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams

Encumberd, now had left them, up they rose

As from unrest, and each the other viewing,

Soon found thir Eyes how op’nd, and thir minds

How dark’nd; innocence, that as a veile

Had shadow’d them from knowing ill, was gon,

Just confidence, and native righteousness,

And honour from about them, naked left

To guiltie shame hee cover’d, but his Robe

Uncover’d more. So rose the Danite strong

Herculean Samson from the Harlot-lap

Of Philistean Dalilah, and wak’d

Shorn of his strength, They destitute and bare

Of all thir vertue: silent, and in face

Confounded long they sate, as struck’n mute,

Till Adam, though not less then Eve abasht,

At length gave utterance to these words constraind.

O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give eare

To that false Worm, of whomsoever taught

To counterfet Mans voice, true in our Fall,

False in our promis’d Rising; since our Eyes

Op’nd 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 Puritie,

Our wonted Ornaments now soild and staind,

And in our Faces evident the signes

Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store;

Even shame, the last of evils; of the first

Be sure then. How shall I behold the face

Henceforth of God or Angel, earst with joy

And rapture so oft beheld? those heav’nly shapes

Will dazle now this earthly, with thir blaze

Insufferably bright. O might I here

In solitude live, savage, in some glade

Obscur’d, where highest Woods impenetrable

To Starr or Sun-light, spread thir umbrage broad,

And brown as Evening: Cover me ye Pines,

Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs

Hide me, where I may never see them more.

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 sowd,

And girded on our loyns, may cover round

Those midde parts, that this new commer, Shame,

There sit not and reproach us as unclean.

So counsel’d hee, and both together went

Into the thickest Wood, there soon they chose

The Figtree, not that kind for Fruit renown’d,

But such as at this day to Indians known

In Malabar or Decan spreds her Armes

Braunching so broad and long, that in the ground

The bended Twigs take root, and Daughters grow

About the Mother Tree, a Pillard shade

High overarch’t, and echoing Walks between;

There oft the Indian Herdsman shunning heate

Shelters in coole, and tends his pasturing Herds

At Loopholes cut through thickest shade: Those Leaves

They gatherd, broad as Amazonian Targe,

And with what skill they had, together sowd,

To gird thir waste, vain Covering if to hide

Thir guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike

To that first naked Glorie. Such of late

Columbus found th’ American so girt

With featherd Cincture, naked else and wilde

Among the Trees on Iles and woodie Shores.

Thus fenc’t, and as they thought, thir shame in part

Coverd, but not at rest or ease of Mind,

They sate them down to weep, nor onely Teares

Raind at thir Eyes, but high Winds worse within

Began to rise, high Passions, Anger, Hate,

Mistrust, Suspicion, Discord, and shook sore

Thir inward State of Mind, calme 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 beneathe

Usurping over sovran Reason claimd

Superior sway: From thus distemperd brest,

Adam, estrang’d in look and alterd stile,

Speech intermitted thus to Eve renewd.

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Nor onely Teares
Raind at thir Eyes, but high Winds worse within
Began to rise

Would thou hadst heark’nd to my words, & stai’d

With me, as I besought thee, when that strange

Desire of wandring this unhappie Morn,

I know not whence possessd thee; we had then

Remaind still happie, not as now, despoild

Of all our good, sham’d, naked, miserable.

Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve

The Faith they owe; when earnestly they seek

Such proof, conclude, they then begin to faile.

To whom soon mov’d with touch of blame thus Eve.

What words have past thy Lips, Adam severe,

Imput’st thou that to my default, or will

Of wandering, as thou call’st it, which who knows

But might as ill have happ’nd thou being by,

Or to thy self perhaps: hadst thou bin there,

Or here th’ attempt, thou could’st not have discernd

Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake;

No ground of enmitie between us known,

Why hee should mean me ill, or seek to harme.

Was I to have never parted from thy side?

As good have grown there still a liveless Rib.

Being as I am, why didst not thou the Head

Command me absolutely not to go,

Going into such danger as thou saidst?

Too facil then thou didst not much gainsay,

Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.

Hadst thou bin firm and fixt in thy dissent,

Neither had I transgress’d, nor thou with mee.

To whom then first incenst Adam repli’d.

Is this the Love, is this the recompence

Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, exprest

Immutable when thou wert lost, not I,

Who might have liv’d and joyd immortal bliss,

Yet willingly chose rather Death with thee:

And am I now upbraided, as the cause

Of thy transgressing? not enough severe,

It seems, in thy restraint: what could I more?

I warn’d thee, I admonish’d thee, foretold

The danger, and the lurking Enemie

That had in wait; beyond this had bin force,

And force upon free Will hath here no place.

But confidence then bore thee on, secure

Either to meet no danger, or to finde

Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps

I also err’d in overmuch admiring

What seemd in thee so perfet, that I thought

No evil durst attempt thee, but I rue

That errour now, which is become my crime,

And thou th’ accuser. Thus it shall befall

Him who to worth in Women overtrusting

Lets her Will rule; restraint she will not brook,

And left to her self, if evil thence ensue,

Shee first his weak indulgence will accuse.

Thus they in mutual accusation spent

The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,

And of thir vain contest appeer’d no end.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/milton/john/paradise/book9.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 23:09