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The doubt, since human reach no further knows ;
800 Of weakness, not of pow'r. Will he draw out, For anger's sake, finite to infinite In punish'd Man, to satisfy his rigour, Satisfy'd never ? That were to extend His sentence beyond dust and Nature's law, 805 By which all causes else, according still To the reception of their matter, act ; Not to th' extent of their own sphere. But say That death be not one stroke, as I supposed, Bereaving sense, but endless misery
810 From this day onward, which I feel begun Both in me and without me, and so last To perpetuity! Ah nel that fear Comes thund'ring back with dreadful revolution On my desenceles, head! Both Death and I 815 Am found eternal, and incorporate both! Nor I on my part single: in me all Posterity stands cursed ! Fair Patrimony That I must leave ye, Sons ! O were I able To waste it all myself, and leave ye none! 820 So disinherited, how would ye bless Me, now your curse! Ah, why should all mankind For one man's fault thus guiltless be condemn'd, If guiltless ? But from me what can proceed But all corrupt, both mind and will depraved ; Not to do only, but to will the same
826 With me! How can they then acquitted stand In sight of God ? Him, after all disputes Forced, I absolve. Al my evasions vain, And reasonings, tho' through mazes, lead me still 830 But to my own conviction. First and last On me, me only, as the source and spring Of all corruption, all the blame lights due : 805. Just is proposed instead of dust, in this line.
806. An incessant affectat of school learning may be re marked in every part of this pasauge. 816. Rom. vii, 20.
025. Rom. xiv. 4.
So might the wrath. Fond wish I couldst thou support
845 Through the still night, not now, as ere Man fell, Wholesome, and cool, and mild, but with black air Accompany'd, with damps and dreadful gloom, Which to his evil conscience represented All things with double terror. On the ground 850 Outstretch'd he lay, on the cold ground, and oft Cursed his creation ; Death as oft accused Of tardy execution, since denounced The day of his offence. Why comes not Death, Said he, with one thrice-acceptable stroke, 855 To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word ! Justice divine not hasten to be just! But Death comes not at call; Justice divine Mends not her slowest pace for pray’rs or cries ! O woods, O fountains, hillocs, dales, and bow'rs, 860 With other echo, late I taught your shades To answer, and resound far other song!
Whom thus afflicted, when sad Eve beheld, Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh, Soft words to his fierce passion she assay'd : 865 But her with stern regard he thus repellid :
Out of my sight, thou Serpent! that name best Befits thee with him leagued, thyself as false And bateful! nothing wants, but that thy shape Like his, and colour serpentine, may shew 870 Thy inward fraud, to warn all creatures from thee Henceforth, lest that too heav'nly form, pretended To hellish false hood, snare them. But for thee I had persisted happy', had not thy pride And wand'ring vanity, when least was safe, $75
872. Pretended; in the Latin sense, keld before.
Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd
890 This novelty on earth, this fair defect Of nature, and not fill the world at once With Men, as Angels, without feminine, Or find some other way to generate Mankind ? This mischief had not then befall'n, 895 And more that shall befall, innumerable Disturbances on earth, through female snares, And straight conjunction with this sex : for either He never shall find out fit mate, but such As some misfortune brings him, or mistake; 900 Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain, Through her perverseness, but shall see her gain'd By a far worse ; or if she love, withheld By parents; or his happiest choice too late Shall meet, already link'd and wedlock-bound 905 To a fell adversary', his hate or shame : Which infinite calamity shall cause To human life, and household-peace confound.
He added not, and from her turn'd. But Eve, Not so repulsed, with tears that ceased not flowing, And tresses all disorder'd, at his feet
911 Fell humble, and embracing them, besought His peace; and thus proceeded in her plaint:
Forsake me not thus, Adam! Witness, Hear'n, What love sincere, and rev'rence in my heart 91 I bear thee, and unweeting have offended, Unuaj,pıly deceived! Thy suppliant I beg, and clasp thy knees. Bereave me not,
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
923 Against a foe by doom express assign'd us, Tha: cruel Serpent. On me exercise not Thy hatred for this misery befall'n, On me already lost, me than thyself More miserable. Both have sinn'd; but thou 930 Against God only'; I against God and thee, And to the place of judgment will return, There with my cries importune Heav'n, that all The sentence, from thy head removed, may light On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe! 935 Me, me only, just object of his ire.
She ended weeping; and her lowly plight, Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault Acknowledged and deplored, in Adam wrought Commiseration. Soon his heart relented
940 Tow'rds her, his life so late and sole delight, Now at his feet submissive in distress, Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking, His counsel, whom she had displeased, his aid ; As one disarm’d, his anger all he lost,
945 And thus with peaceful words upraised her soon :
Unwary' and too desirous, as before,
055 Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven, To me committed, and by me exposed. But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
940. It is said that Milton had a personal feeling in writing this passage, and described his meeting and reconciliation with his wife who had been for some time separated from him.
Each other, blained enough elsewhere, but strive In offices of love, how we may lighten
To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, reply'd :
985 Food for so foul a monster! In thy pow'r It lies, yet ere conception, to prevent The race unblest, to being yet unbegot. Childless thou art, childless remain ; so Death Shall be deceived his glut, and with us two 990 Be forced to satisfy his rav'nous maw. But if thou judge it hard and difficult, Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain Prom love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet, And with desire to languish without hope, 995 Before the present object languishing With like desire, which would be misery And torment less than none of what we dreads Then both ourselves and seed at once to free From what we fear for both let us make short; 1000 Let us seek Death, or he not found, supply