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Adam's To argue in thee something more sublime
soberer 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 armed his vengeful ire than so
To be forestalled. Much more I fear lest death
So snatched 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 1030
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 ordained, and we
Instead shall double ours upon our heads.
No more be mentioned, 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!




Pains only in child-bearing were foretold,
And bringing forth, soon recompensed with joy,
Fruit of thy womb.
Glanced on the ground.

On me the curse aslope

With labour I must

My bread;

what harm?

Idleness had been


'Let us provide for our



My labour will sustain me; and, lest cold
Or heat should injure us, his timely care
Hath, unbesought, provided, and his hands
Clothed us unworthy, pitying while he judged.
How much more, if we pray him, will his ear
Be open, and his heart to pity incline,


And teach us further by what means to shun
The inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow!
Which now the sky, with various face, begins
To show us in this mountain, while the winds
Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading trees; which bids us seek
Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish
Our limbs benumbed-ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night, how we his gathered beams
Reflected may with matter sere foment,
Or by collision of two bodies grind
The air attrite to fire; as late the clouds,
Justling, or pushed with winds, rude in their


Tine the slant lightning, whose thwart flame, driven down,

Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine,

sion of



The And sends a comfortable heat from far,
confes- 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,
He will instruct us praying, and of grace
Beseeching him; so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustained
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
Before him reverent, and there confess

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

From his displeasure, in whose look serene,
When angry most he seemed and most severe,
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 confessed
Humbly their faults, and pardon begged, with



Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeigned and humiliation meek.





THE Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of Repent-
our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them. ant
God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer prayers
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 shows to Eve
certain ominous signs: he discerns Michael's approach;
goes out to meet him: the Angel denounces their
departure. Eve's lamentation.
Adam pleads, but sub-
mits 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
Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
Inspired, and winged for Heaven with speedier

Than loudest oratory. Yet their port

Not of mean suitors; nor important less
Seemed their petition, than when the ancient

In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore



The The race of mankind drowned, befor the shrine Inter- Of Themis stood devout. To Heaven their


pleads prayers

Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate in they passed
Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then, clad
With incense, where the golden altar fumed,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne. Them the glad


Presenting thus to intercede began :


See, Father, what first-fruits on Earth are


From thy implanted grace in Man-these sighs
And prayers, which in this golden censer, mixed
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



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 works 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 toward Mankind; let him

Before thee reconciled, at least his days
Numbered, though sad, till death, his doom
(which I


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