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Be forc'd to satisfy his ravenous maw.
But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
From love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet,
And with desire to languish without hope,
Before the present object, languishing
With like desire, which would be misery
And torment less than none of what we dread:
Then, both ourselves and seed at once to free
From what we fear for both, let us make short,
Let us seek Death, or he not found, supply
With our own bands his office on ourselves.
Why stand we longer shivering under fears,
That show no end but death, and have the power,
Of many ways to die, the shortest choosing,
Destruction with destruction to destroy?"
She ended here, or vehement despair

Broke off the rest; so much of death her thoughts
Had entertain'd, as dy'd her cheeks with pale.
But Adam with such counsel nothing sway'd
To better hopes his more attentive mind
Lab'ring had rais'd, and thus to Eve replied:
"Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
To argue in thee something more sublime
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 overlov'd.
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
Of misery, so thinking to evade

The penalty pronounc'd, doubt not but God
Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire than so
To be forestall'd; much more I fear lest death
So snatch'd, 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
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 co ntriv'd
Against us this deceit.

To crush his head Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost By death brought on ourselves, or childless days Resolv'd as thou proposest; so our foe Shall 'scape his punishment ordain'd, and we Instead shall double ours upon our heads. No more be mention'd 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 judg'd, Without wrath or reviling; we expected Immediate dissolution, which we thought Was meant by death that day, when lo! to thee Pains only in child-bearing were foretold, And bringing forth, soon recompens'd with joy, Fruit of thy womb: on me the curse aslope Glanc'd on the ground; with labour I must earn My bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse; My labour will sustain me; and lest cold Or heat should injure us, his timely care Hath unbesought provided, and his hands Cloth'd us unworthy, pitying while he judg'd. 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 Th' inclement seasons, rain, ice, bail, 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 benumb'd, ere this diurnal star Leave cold the night, how we, his gather'd 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 push'd with winds rude in their shock
Tine the slant lightning, whose thwart flame, driven
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine, [down,

And sends a comfortable heat from far,
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, sustain'd
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 judg'd 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
Of sorrow' unfeign'd, and humiliation meek?
Undoubtedly he will relent and turn

From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
When angry most he seem'd 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 judg'd them, prostrate fell
Before him reverent, and both confess'd

Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd, with tears
Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.




The Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them. God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer 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 submits. 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 remov'd
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
Unutterable, which the spirit of prayer

Inspir'd, and wing'd for heaven with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: yet their port

Not of mean suitors, nor important less
Seem'd their petition, than when th' ancient pair
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore,

The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To heaven their prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate: in they pass'd
Dimensionless through heavenly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fum'd,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne: them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began:

"See, Father, what first-fruits on earth are sprung From thy implanted grace in man, these sighs And prayers, which in this golden censer, mix'd

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 produc'd, ere fallen
From innocence. Now therefore bend thine ear
To supplication, hear his sigh 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 tow'rd mankind; let him live
Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
Number'd, though sad, till death, his doom, (which I
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)

To better life shall yield him, where with me
All my redeem'd may dwell in joy and bliss
Made one with me, as I with thee am one."
To whom the Father, without cloud, serene;
"All thy request for man, accepted Son,
Obtain; all thy request was my decree.
But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The law I gave to nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal elements that know
No gross, no unharmonious mixture foul.
Eject him tainted now and purge him off
As a distemper, gross, to air as gross,
And mortal food, as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by sin, that first
Distemper'd all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted. I at first, with two fair gifts,
Created him, endow'd with happiness
And immortality: that fondly lost,
This other serv'd but to eternize woe;
Till I provided death; so death becomes
His final remedy, and after life
Tried in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
By faith and faithful works, to second life,
Wak'd in the renovation of the just,

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