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But come, so well refresh'd, now let us play,
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 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,


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 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,
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 waked

Shorn of his strength. They destitute and bare
Of all their virtue: silent, and in face
Confounded long they sat, 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,
At length gave utt'rance 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 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,


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
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
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
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:
There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds
At loop-holes cut through thickest shade. Those leaves
They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe,
And with what skill they had together sew'd,
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 fenced, and as they thought, their shame in part 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 1125
And full of peace, now tost and turbulent;
For understanding ruled 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
Superior sway. From thus distemper'd breast,
Adam, estranged in look and alter'd style,
Speech intermitted thus to Eve renew'd:



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 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 taken 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
Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake;
No ground of enmity between us known,
Why he should mean me ill, or seek to harm.
Was I to have ne'er parted from thy side?
As good have grown there still, a lifeless 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 facile then thou didst not much gainsay,
Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent,
Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with me.
To whom then, first incensed, Adam reply'd :
Is this the love, is this the recompense
Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, express'd
Immutable when thou wert lost, not I,

Who might have lived and joy'd 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? 1170

I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold

The danger, and the lurking enemy

That lay in wait. Beyond this had been force;

And force upon free-will hath here no place.

But confidence then bore thee on, secure

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


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,
She first his weak indulgence will accuse.
Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, 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.



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 Man 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, returnSatan arrives at Pandeing to Hell; their mutual gratulation. monium, 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, heavily 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
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 discover'd and repulsed
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.



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 pass in quick succession before the reader.

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