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As meet is, after such delicious fare;
For never did thy beauty, since the day
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd
With all perfections, so inflame my sense
With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever, bounty of this virtuous tree."

So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
Of amorous intent, well understood



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
Made err, was now exhal'd; and grosser sleep,
Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams
Encumber'd, now had left them; up they rose
As from unrest, and, each the other viewing,
Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their minds.
How darken'd; innocence, that as a veil


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
Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong,
Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap

Of Philistéan Dalilah, and wak'd

Shorn of his strength. They destitute and bare
Of all their virtue: silent, and in face

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
Insufferably bright. O might I here

In solitude live savage, in some glade


Obscur'd, where highest woods, impenetrable

To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad
And brown as evening. Cover me, ye Pines,
Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs

Hide me, where I may never see them more.
But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
What best may for the present serve to hide
The parts of each from other, that seem most


To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen;

Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd, 1095
And girded on our loius, may cover round
Those middle parts, that this new comer, shame,
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean."

So counsell'd he, and both together, went
Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose
The fig-tree, not that kind for fruit renown'd,


But such as at this day to Indians known
In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade
High overarch❜d, and echoing walks between;
There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds
At loop-holes cut thro' thickest shade. Those leaves
They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe,
And with what skill they had, together sew'd,
To gird their waist, vain covering if to hide

Their guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike
To that first naked glory! Such of late
Columbus found th' American, so girt




With feather'd cincture, naked else and wild
Among the trees on isles and woody shores,

Thus fenc'd, 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.


And full of peace, now tost and turbulent:
For understanding rul'd not, and the will
Heard not her lore, both in subjection, now
To sensual appetite, who from beneath,
Usurping over sov'reign reason, claim'd
Superior sway from thus distemper'd breast,
Adam, estrang'd in look and alter'd style,

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
Remain'd still happy, not, as now, despoil'd

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
But might as ill have happen'd thou being by,


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.
Was I to' have never parted from thy side?
As good have grown there still a lifeless rib.
Being as I am, why didst not thou, the head,
Command me absolutely not to go,
Going into such danger as thou saidst?*
Too facile then thou didst not much gainsay,
Nay didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent,
Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with me."
To whom then, first incens'd, Adam reply'd.
"Is this the love, is this the recompense
Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, express'd
Immutable when thou wert lost, not I,




Who might have liv'd and joy'd'immortal bliss,
Yet willingly chose rather death with thee?

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
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,
And left to' herself, if evil thence ensue,



She first his weak indulgence will accuse."
Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,
And of their vain contest appear'd no end.


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