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late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the serpent, and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despightful act
Of Satan done in paradise, and how
He in the serpent had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in heav'n; for what can scape the eye
Of GoD all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? who, in all things wise and just,
Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind
Of man, with strength entire, and freewill arm'd,
Complete to have discover'd and repuls'd
Whatever wiles of foe or seeming friend!
For still they knew, and ought to have still remem-
The high injunction not to taste that fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying
Incurr'd, (what could they less?) the penalty,
And, manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.
Up into heav'n from paradise in haste
Th' angelic guards ascended, mute and sad
For man; for of his state by this they knew,
Much wondering how the subtle fiend had stol'n 20
Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome news
From earth arriv'd at heaven gate, displeas'd
All were who heard; dim sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet mix'd
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arriv'd in multitudes
Th' ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befell: they towards the throne supreme
Accountable, made haste to make appear
With righteous plea their utmost vigilance,
And easily approv'd; when the most high
Eternal Father from his secret cloud
Amidst in thunder utter'd thus his voice.
Assembled angels, and ye powers return'd From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd, Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth, Which your sincerest care could not prevent; Foretold so lately what would come to pass, When first this tempter cross'd the gulf from hell. I told ye then he should prevail and speed On his bad errand; man should be seduc'd And flatter'd out of all, believing lies Against his Maker; no decree of mine Concurring to necessitate his fall, Or touch with lightest moment of impulse His free will, to her own inclining left In even scale. But fall'n he is; and now What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass On his transgression, death denounc'd that day? Which he presumes already vain and void, Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd, By some immediate stroke; but soon shall find Forbearance no acquittance ere day end. Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd.
But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee 55 Vicegerent Son; to thee I have transferr'd
All judgment, whether in heav'n, or earth, or hell. Easy it may be seen that I intend
Mercy colleague with justice, sending thee
Man's friend, his mediator, his design'd
Both ransom and redeemer voluntary,
And destin❜d man himself to judge man fall'n
So spake the Father, and, unfolding bright
Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son
Blaz'd forth unclouded Deity; he full
Resplendent all his Father manifest
Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd mild.
Father eternal, thine is to decree;
Mine both in heav'n and earth to do thy will
Supreme, that thou in me thy Son belov'd
May'st ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge
On earth these thy transgressors; but thou know'st,
Whoever judg'd, the worst on me must light,
When time shall be, for so I undertook
Before thee, and not repenting this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
On me deriv'd; yet I shall temper so
Justice with mercy, as may illustrate most
Them fully satisfy'd, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none
Are to behold the judgment, but the judg'd,
Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law,
Conviction to the serpent none belongs.
58 may] The second edition, and others, give, Easy it might be seen.'
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose Of high collateral glory: him thrones and powers, Princedoms and dominations ministrant
Accompany'd to heaven gate, from whence
Eden and all the coast in prospect lay.
Down he descended straight; the speed of gods 90
Time counts not, tho' with swiftest minutes wing'd.
Now was the sun in western cadence low
From noon, and gentle airs due at their hour
To fan the earth now wak'd, and usher in
The ev'ning cool, when he from wrath more cool 95
Came, the mild judge and intercessor both,
To sentence man: the voice of God they heard
Now walking in the garden; by soft winds
Brought to their ears, while day declin'd, they heard,
And from his presence hid themselves among
The thickest trees, both man and wife, till GOD
Approaching thus to Adam call'd aloud.
Where art thou Adam, wont with joy to meet My coming seen far off? I miss thee here, Not pleas'd, thus entertain❜d with solitude, Where obvious duty erewhile appear'd unsought:
86 collateral] Shakesp. All's Well that Ends Well, act i. scene i. ‘In his bright radiance and collateral light,
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.' Steevens.
103 Where art thou] See A. Ramsæi Poem. Sacr. vol. i. p. 35.
vocisque volutat imago,
Per nemus ingeminans, Adam! Adam! quæ loca, quæ te
Terrarumque tenent sedes? Commercia nostra
Congressusque fugis? Silvis quid te abdis opacis ?'
Or come I less conspicuous? or what change Absents thee, or what chance detains? Come forth. He came, and with him Eve, more loth, though first
To offend, discountenanc'd both, and discompos'd.
Love was not in their looks, either to GoD
Or to each other, but apparent guilt,
And shame, and perturbation, and despair,
Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile.
Whence Adam, falt'ring long, thus answer'd brief.
I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice
Afraid, being naked, hid myself. To whom
The gracious Judge without revile reply'd.
My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd, But still rejoic'd; how is it now become
So dreadful to thee? that thou art naked, who
Hath told thee? hast thou eaten of the tree
Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?
To whom thus Adam sore beset reply'd.
O heav'n! in evil strait this day I stand
Before my Judge, either to undergo
Myself the total crime, or to accuse
My other self, the partner of my life;
Whose failing, while her faith to me remains,
I should conceal, and not expose to blame
116 I heard] So in Grotii Adamus Exsul, p. 67. 'Audivi truces,
Metuende rector! per nemus sacrum sonos'
membra concussit pavor