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With our own hands his office on ourselves.
Why stand we longer shivering under fears,
That shew no end but death, and have the pow'r
Of many ways to die, the shortest choosing,
Destruction with destruction to destroy?

She ended here, or vehement despair





Broke off the rest; so much of death her thoughts
Had entertain'd, as dyed her cheeks with pale.
But Adam with such counsel nothing sway'd: 1010
To better hopes his more attentive mind
Labouring had raised, and thus to Eve replied:
Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
To argue in thee something more sublime
And excellent than what thy mind contemns;
But self-destruction therefore sought, refutes
That excellence thought in thee, and implies,
Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
For loss of life and pleasure overloved.
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
Of misery, so thinking to evade
The penalty pronounced, doubt not but God
Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire than so
To be forestall'd: much more I fear lest death
So snatch'd will not exempt us from the pain
We are by doom to pay: rather such acts
Of contumacy' will provoke the Highest
To make death in us live. Then let us seek
Some safer resolution, which methinks
I have in view, calling to mind with heed
Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise
The Serpent's head. Piteous amends! unless
Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe
Satan, who in the serpent hath contrived
Against us this deceit. To crush his head
Would be revenge indeed: which will be lost
By death brought on ourselves, or childless days
Resolved, as thou proposest; so our foe
Shall 'scape his punishment ordain'd, and we
Instead, shall double ours upon our heads.
No more be mention'd then of violence
Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness,
That cuts us off from hope, and savours only
Rancour and pride, impatience and despite,
Reluctance against God and his just yoke





Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild
And gracious temper he both heard and judged,
Without wrath or reviling! We expected

Immediate dissolution, which we thought

Was meant by death that day; when lo! to thee 1050 Pains only in child-bearing were foretold,


And bringing forth; soon recompensed with joy,
Fruit of thy womb. On me the curse aslope
Glanced on the ground. With labour I must earn
My bread. What harm? Idleness had been worse:
My labour will sustain me. And lest cold
Or heat should injure us, his timely care
Hath unbesought provided, and his hands
Cloth'd us, unworthy, pitying while he judged ;
How much more, if we pray him, will his ear
and his heart to pity' incline,



Be open,
And teach us farther by what means to shun
Th' inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow!
Which now the sky with various face begins
To shew us in this mountain, while the winds
Blow moist and keen, shatt'ring the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading trees; which bids us seek
Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish
Our limbs benumb'd, ere this diurnal star

Leave cold the night, how we his gather'd beams 1070
Reflected, may with matter sere foment,

Or, by collision of two bodies, grind

The air attrite to fire, as late the clouds

Justling, or push'd with winds, rude in their shock,
Tine the slant lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine,
And sends a comfortable heat from far,


Which might supply the sun. Such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure

To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought, 1080
He will instruct us praying, and of grace
Beseeching him, so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
By him with many comforts, till we end
In dust our final rest and native home.
What better can we do, than to the place
Repairing where he judged us, prostrate fall


1069. Diurnal star, the sun. 1075. Tine, to light or kindle.

Before him, reverent, and there confess

Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air 1090
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow' unfeign'd, and humiliation meek?
Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn

From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
When angry most he seem'd, and most severe, 1095
What else but favour, grace, and mercy shone?
So spake our father penitent: nor Eve
Felt less remorse. They forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judged them, prostrate fell
Before him, reverent, and both confess'd
Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd, with tears
Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow' unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.



The Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first parents, now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise; sends Michael with a band of Cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michael's coming down. Adam shews to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerus Michael's approach; goes out to meet him: the Angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits: The Angel leads him up to a high hill; sets before him in vision what shall happen till the flood.

THUS they in lowliest plight, repentant, stood
Praying; for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace descending, had removed
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breathed 5
Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer

Inspired, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: yet their port

Not of mean suitors, nor important less

Seem'd their petition, than when th' ancient pair 10 In fables old, less ancient yet than these,

1092. Humiliation, the act of humbling, not humility. 4. A verbal critic might think find fault with this and the fol lowing line, in which there are three words used to express one Idea, new, regenerate, and instead.

Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore

The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To Heav'n their pray'rs
Flew up; nor miss'd the way, by envious winds 15
Blown vagabond or frustrate. In they pass'd
Dimensionless, through heav'nly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fumed,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight

Before the Father's throne: then the glad Son 20
Presenting, thus to intercede began:


See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in Man! these sighs
And pray'rs, which in this golden censer, mix'd
With incense, I thy priest before thee bring:
Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
Sown with contrition in his heart, than those
Which his own hand manuring, all the trees
Of Paradise could have produced, ere fallen
From innocence. Now therefore bend thine ear 30
To supplication; hear his sighs though mute.
Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
Interpret for him, me his Advocate

And propitiation. All his werks on me,
Good or not good, ingraft; my merit those

Shall perfect, and for these my death shall pay.
Accept me, and in me from these receive

The smell of peace tow'rd mankind. Let him live
Before thee reconciled, at least his days



Number'd, tho' sad, till death, his doom (which I 40 To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)

To better life shall yield him; where with me

All my redeem'd may dwell in joy and bliss;

Made one with me as I with thee am one.

To whom the Father, without cloud, serene : 45 All thy request for Man, accepted Son,


Obtain all thy request was my decree.
But longer in that Paradise to dwell,

12. Deucalion ard his wife, it is said by the poets, were the only remains of the human race left after the flood, which hap pened in their time. This fable had evidently its origin in a trationary account of the great deluge.-Themis was the goddes of justice. See Ovid, Met. i. 318.

16. Vagabond, from the Latin vago, to wander.

33. 1 John ii. 1, 2,

44. John xvii. 21, 22.

38. Levit. iil. S

The law I gave to nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal elements that know
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul,
Eject him, tainted now, and purge him off
As a distemper, gross to air as gross;
And mortal food, as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by sin, that first
Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts
Created him endow'd; with happiness
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other served but to eternize woe;
Till I provided death; so death becomes
His final remedy, and after life,
Tried in sharp tribulation, and refined




By faith and faithful works to second life,
Waked in the renovation of the just


Resigns him up with Heav'n and Earth renew'd. But let us call to synod all the Blest

Through Heav'n's wide bounds; from them I will not hide

My judgments, how with mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant Angels late they saw,
And in their state, tho' firm, stood more confirm'd.
He ended; and the Son gave signal high
To the bright minister that watch'd. He blew
His trumpet (heard in Oreb since, perhaps,
When Gcd descended, and perhaps once more
To sound at general doom): th' angelic blast
Fill'd all the regions. From their blissful bow'rs
Of amarantine shade, fountain or spring,
By the waters of life, where'er they sat
In fellowships of joy, the sons of light
Hasted, resorting to the summons high,

And took their seats; till from his throne supreme
Th' Almighty thus pronounced his Sov'reign will:

O Sons! like one of us Man is become, To know both good and evil, since his taste Of that defended fruit! but let him boast His knowledge of good lost, and evil got:





74. Exod. xx. 18. 1 Thess. iv. 16. 62. Rev. iv. 4. xi. 16. Matt. xix. 28. 84. Gen. iii. 23-24. 86. Defended, like the French defendre, to forbid.

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