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To gird their waist; vain covering, if to hide 1113
Their guilt and dreaded shame! 0 how unlike
To that first naked glory! Such of late
Columbus found the 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, 1120
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 sovran Reason claim'd 1130
Superiour 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 wandering 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
The faith they owe: when earnestly they seek 1141
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 !
Imputest thou that to my default, or will
Of wandering, as thou call'st it, which who knows
But might as ill have happened, thou being by, 1147
Or to thyself perhaps? Hadst thou been there,
Or here the 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, 1160
Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with me.
To whom, then first incens'd, Adam replied.
Is this the love, is this the recompence
Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve! express'd
Immutable, when thou wert lost, not I;
Who might have lived, and 'joyed 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? 1170
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 errour now, which is become my crime, 1181
And thou the 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 contést appeared no end.
Man's trangression known, the guardian angels forsake Paradise, and return up
to heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved; God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors; who descends and gives sentence accordingly; then in pity clothes them both, and reascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of man: to make the way easier from hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the track that Satan first made; then preparing for earth, they meet him, proud of his success, returning to hell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium; in full assembly relates with boasting his success against man; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise; then, deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death; God foretells the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but, for the present, commands his angels to make several alterations in the heavens and elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily bewails, rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him; then to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not; but conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the 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 despiteful 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 Heaven; 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 t
Of man, with strength entire and free-will 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 remember'd,
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, deserved to fall.
Up into Heaven, from Paradise, in haste
The Angelick guards ascended, mute, and sad
For Man; for of his state by this they knew,
Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stolen 20
Entrance unseen. Soon as the unwelcome news
From Earth arrived 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
The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel: They towards the throne supreme,
Accountable, made haste, to make appear,
With righteous plea, their utmost vigilance, 30
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 40
On his bad errand; Man should be seduc’d,