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But come, so well refresh'd, now let us play,
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,
Oppress'd them, wearied with their amorous play.
About their spirits had play'd, and inmost pow'rs
Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone;
Just confidence, and native righteousness,
To guilty shame; he cover'd, but his robe
Of Philistéan Dalilah, and waked
Shorn of his strength. They destitute and bare
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.
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd,
False in our promised rising! Since our eyes 1070
Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd,
of foul concupiscence; whence evil store;
In solitude live savage, in some glade
Hide me, where I may never see them more. 1090
What best may for the present serve to hide
Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd,
So counsel'd he; and both together went
Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose 1100
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:
To that first naked glory! Such of late
With feather'd cincture, naked else and wild
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
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
Of all our good, shamed, naked, miserable.
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
Who might have lived and joy'd immortal bliss,
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;
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
Was known in Heav'n: for what can 'scape the eye
Of Man, with strength entire, and free-will arm'd,
For still they knew, and ought to' have still remem.
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.