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But come, so well refresh'd, now let us play,
So said he; and forbore not glance or toy
1035 Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire. Her hand he seized, and to a shady bank, Thick overhead with verdant roof imbower'd, He led her, nothing loth. Flow'rs were the couch, Pansies, and violets, and asphodel,
1040 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, 1046 That with exhilarating vapour bland About their spirits had play'd, and inmost pow'rs Made err, was now exhaled, and grosser sleep Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams 1050 Incumber'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,
1056 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
1060 Of Philistéan Dalilah, and waked Shorn of his strength. They destitute and bare Of all their virtue : silent, and in face Confounded ong they sa as strucken mute,
1029. The passage following is principally copied from Homer. and would be exceptionable did it not form part of the moral of the poem: what a contrast, it has been weil observed, is the love scene here described to that in the eighth book.
1058. He, refers to shame, which is personified.
1059. Samson was of the tribe of Dan.
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd, 1085 At length gave utt'rance to these words, constrain'd:
O Eve! in evil hour thou didst give ear To that false worin, of whomsoever taught To counterfeit Man's voice, true in our fall, False in our promised 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,
1075 Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd, And in our faces evident the signs Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store ; E'en 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 Obscured, where highest woods impenetrable To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad, And brown as ev'ning! 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, And girded on our loins, may cover round 1096 Those middle parts, that this new comer, Shame, There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.
So counsel'd he ; and both together went Into the thickest wood ; there soon they chose 1100 The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renown'd, But such as at this day, to Indians known In Malabar or Deccan, 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
1103. Malabar, a part of the East Indies, in which is the king dom of Deccan.
High over-arch'd, and echoing walks between :
Would thou hadst hearken'd' to my words, and With me, as I besought thee, when that strange 1135 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 Of all our good, shamed, naked, miserable. Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve The faith they owe : when earnestly they seek 1141 Such proof, conclude, they then begin to fail. (Eve:
To whom, soon moved with touch of blame, thus What words have pass'd thy lips, Adam, severe ! Imput'st thou that to my default, or will 1145 Of wand'ring, as thou call'st it, which who knows But might as ill have happen'd thou being by, Or to thyself perhaps ? Hadst thou been there,
1112. Together sew'd; this, which is laken from our translation of the passage in Genesis, means in the original, wove or plaited.
Or here th' attempt, thou couldst not have discern'd
To whom then, first incensed, Adam reply'd :
1176 Either to meet no danger, or to find Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps I also err'd in overmuch admiring What seem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought No evil durst attempt thee; but I rue
1180 That error 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' herself, if evil thence ensue,
1185 She first his weak indulgence will accuse.
Thus they in mutual accusation spent The fruitless honrs, but neither self-condemning: And of their vain contest appear'd no end.
1170. My restraint is found in some editions. 1183. Bentley reads, woman, but the transition from the singular to the plural, as in this passage, is not a sufficient reason for the change.
THE ARGUMENT. Man's transgression known, the guardian Angels forsake Pe radise, and return up to Heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved, God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors, who descends and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes them both, and re-ascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by Mau there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in Hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of Man. To make the way easier from Hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made ; then, preparing for Earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to Hell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against Man: instead of applause, is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise ; then deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death : God foretells the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but for the present commands his Angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, beavily bewails, rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him : then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not; but, conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her Seed should be revenged on the Serpent; and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication. Meanwhile the hainous and despiteful act Of Satan done in Paradise, and how He in the serpent had perverted Eve, Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit, Was known in Heav'n : for what can 'scape the eye Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
6 Omniscient! who in all things wise and just, Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind Of Man, with strength entire, and free-will arm'd, Complete to have discov
'd and repulsed $10 Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend. (ber'd For still they knew, and ought to' have still remem. The high injunction not to taste that fruit Whoever tempted : which they not obeying,
1. There is more of action, as Addison has well observed, in this book than in any other, and all the characters of the poem are made to paus in quick succession before the reader.