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Reasoning to admiration, and with me
Persuasively hath so prevail'd, that I
Have also tasted, and have also found
Th' effects to correspond; opener mine eyes,
Dim erst, dilated spirits, ampler heart,
And growing up to Godhead; which for thee
Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise.
For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss,
Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon.
Thou therefore also taste, that equal lot
May join us, equal joy, as equal love;
Lest thou not tasting, different degree
Disjoin us, and I then too late renounce
Deity for thee, when fate will not permit.
Thus Eve with countenance blithe her story told;
But in her cheek distemper flushing glow'd.
On th' other side, Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amaz'd,
Astonied stood and blank, while horror chill
880 unshar'd with thee] A. Ramsæi P. Sacr. vol. i. p. 32. sed te sine cœlum;
Te sine, dulce nihil! Terrisne, inglorius erro?
890 horror chill] So in Grotii Adamus Exsul, p. 48.
'Gelidus per artus vadit excussos tremor:
Exsanguis adsto: Crinis erectus riget.
Vix ipse valido spiritus gemitu viam
890 blank] Virg. Æn. ii. 120.
'Obstupuere animis, gelidusque per ima cucurrit
and xii. 951. 'Illi solvuntur frigore membra.' Hume.
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relax'd; From his slack hand the garland wreath'd for Eve Down dropp'd, and all the faded roses shed: Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length First to himself he inward silence broke.
O fairest of creation, last and best
Of all God's works, creature in whom excell'd
Whatever can to sight or thought be form'd,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost,
Defac'd, deflower'd, and now to death devote !
Rather how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred fruit forbidd'n! some cursed fraud
Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee
Certain my resolution is to die:
How can I live without thee! how forego
Thy sweet converse and love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn!
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart: no no! I feel
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
893 dropp'd] Mr. Bowle refers to Propert. El. iv. 9. and Pers. Sat. iii. 100.
901 devote] Hor. Od. iv. xiv. 18.
'Devota morti pectora liberæ.' Todd.
So having said, as one from sad dismay
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturb'd
Submitting to what seem'd remediless,
Thus in calm mood his words to Eve he turn'd.
Bold deed thou hast presum'd, advent'rous Eve,
And peril great provok'd, who thus hast dar'd
Had it been only coveting to eye
That sacred fruit, sacred to abstinence,
Much more to taste it under ban to touch.
But past who can recal, or done undo?
Not God omnipotent, nor Fate; yet so
Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact
Is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit,
Profan'd first by the serpent, by him first
Made common and unhallow'd ere our taste;
Not yet on him found deadly; he yet lives,
Lives, as thou said'st, and gains to live as man
Higher degree of life, inducement strong
To us, as likely tasting to attain
Proportional ascent, which cannot be
But to be gods, or angels demigods.
Nor can I think that GOD, creator wise,
Though threat'ning, will in earnest so destroy
Us his prime creatures, dignify'd so high,
Set over all his works, which in our fall,
922 hast] So it is in the first edition; in the second it is printed by mistake hath dar'd;' and that is followed by some others. Newton. 926 past] See Pind. Olymp. ii. 29; and Sophocles Trach. 745.
φανθὲν τίς ἄν δυναιτ' αγέννητον ποιεῖν.
For us created, needs with us must fail,
Dependent made; so GoD shall uncreate,
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour lose,
Not well conceiv'd of GOD; who, though his power
Creation could repeat, yet would be loth
Us to abolish, lest the adversary
Triumph and say; Fickle their state whom GOD
Most favours; who can please him long? Me first
He ruin'd, now mankind; whom will he next?
Matter of scorn, not to be given the foe.
However I with thee have fix'd my lot,
Certain to undergo like doom; if death
Consort with thee, death is to me as life ;
So forcible within my heart I feel
The bond of nature draw me to my own;
My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
Our state cannot be sever'd; we are one,
One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.
So Adam, and thus Eve to him reply'd.
O glorious trial of exceeding love,
Illustrious evidence, example high!
Engaging me to emulate, but, short
Of thy perfection, how shall I attain,
Adam? from whose dear side I boast me sprung,
And gladly of our union hear thee speak,
One heart, one soul in both; whereof good proof
This day affords, declaring thee resolv'd,
Rather than death or aught than death more dread
Shall separate us link'd in love so dear,
To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
If any be, of tasting this fair fruit,
Whose virtue, (for of good still good proceeds,
Direct, or by occasion,) hath presented
This happy trial of thy love, which else
So eminently never had been known.
Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die
Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact
Pernicious to thy peace, chiefly assur'd
Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful love unequall'd; but I feel
Far otherwise th' event, not death, but life
Augmented, open'd eyes, new hopes, new joys, 985
Taste so divine, that what of sweet before
Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this and harsh.
On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
And fear of death deliver to the winds.
So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy Tenderly wept, much won that he his love Had so ennobled, as of choice to incur
978 alone] Eve says in the Adam. Exs. of Grotius, p. 54.
Si quod futurum est. Parcat! O parcat viro!'
980 oblige] Newton has observed the force of 'oblige,' to render obnoxious to guilt or punishment. Cic. pro domo suâ, viii. populum Romanum scelere obligâsses.' Fin. i. 14. and Hor. Od. ii. 8. 5.
'sed tu simul obligâsti Perfidum votis caput.'
989 winds] A sort of proverbial expression. Hor. Od. i. xxvi. i.