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As meet is, after such delicious fare;
So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire.
Her hand he seiz'd, and to a shady bank,
Thick overhead with verdant roof imbow'r'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 powers
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
Of Philistéan Dalilah, and wak'd
Shorn of his strength. They destitute and bare
Confounded long they sat, as strucken mute,
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd,
At length gave utterance 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 promis'd rising; since our eyes 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 wanted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd,
And in our faces evident the signs
Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store;
Ev'n 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
In solitude live savage, in some glade
Obscur'd, where highest woods, impenetrable
To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad
Hide me, where I may never see them more.
To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen;
Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd, 1095
So counsell'd he, and both together, went
But such as at this day to Indians known
Their guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike
With feather'd cincture, naked else and wild
Thus fenc'd, and as they thought, their shame in part
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
And full of peace, now tost and turbulent:
Speech intermitted thus to Eve renew'd.
"Would thou hadst hearken'd to my words, and stay'd With me, as I besought thee, when that strange Desire of wand'ring this unhappy morn
I know not whence possess'd thee; we had then
Of all our good, sham'd, naked, miserable.
Let none henceforth seek needless cause to' approve 1140 The faith they owe; when earnestly they seek
Such proof, conclude, they then begin to fail."
To whom, soon mov'd with touch of blame, thus Eve. "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
Or to thyself perhaps? Hadst thou been there,
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.
Who might have liv'd and joy'd'immortal bliss,
And am I now upbraided as the cause
Of thy transgressing? not enough severe,
It seems, in thy restraint: what could I more?
I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee; foretold
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
I also err'd in overmuch admiring
What seem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought
That error now, which is become my crime,
And thou th' accuser. Thus it shall befall
Lets her will rule; restraint she will not brook,
She first his weak indulgence will accuse."
END OF THE NINTH BOOK.