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Against God only, I against God and thee;
And to the place of judgment will return,
There with my cries, importune Heaven, that all
The sentence, from thy head removed, may light
On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe,
Me, me only, just object of his ire."

She ended weeping; and her lowly plight,
Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault
Acknowledged & deplored, in Adam wrought
Commiseration; soon his heart relented
Towards her, his life so late and sole delight,
Now at his feet submissive, in distress,
Creature so fair, his reconcilement seeking,
His counsel, whom she had displeased, his aid;
As one disarm’d, his anger all he lost,
And thus, with peaceful words, upraised her soon.

“ Unwary, and too desirous, as before,
So now, of what thou know'st not, thou desirest
The punishment all on thyself; alas,
Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain
His full wrath, whose thou feel'st as yet least part,
And my displeasure bear'st so ill. If prayers
Could alter high decrees, I to that place
Would speed before thee, & be louder heard,
That on my head all might be visited,
Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven,
To me committed, and by me exposed.
But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
Each other, blamed enough elsewhere ; but strive,
In offices of love, how we may lighten
Each other's burden, in our share of woe;
Since this day's death dengunced, if aught I see,
Will prove no sudden, but a slow-paced evil,
A long day's dying to augment our pain,
And to our seed, 0 hapless seed ! deriv’d."

To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, replied.
“ Adam, by sad experiment, I know
How little weight my words with thee can find,
Found so erroneous, thence, by just event,
Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,
Restored by thee, vile as I am, to place
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain
Thy love, the sole contentment of my heart,
Living or dying, from thee I will 'not hide
What thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen,
Tending to some relief of our extremes,
Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,












As in our evils, and of easier choice.
If care of our descent perplex us most,
Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd
By death at last; and miserable it is
To be to others cause of misery
Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring
Into this cursed world a woful race,
That after wretched life, must be, at last,
Food for so foul a monster; in thy power
It lies, yet ere conception, to prevent
The race unblest, to being yet unbegot.
Childless thou art, childless remain: so death
Shall be deceived his glut, and with us two
Be forced 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 hands, his office on ourselves.
Why stand we longer shivering under fears,
That show no end but death, & 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,
Labouring, had raised; and thus to Eve replied.

“ Eve, thy contempt of life, & 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, overloved.
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
Of misery, so thinking to evade
The penalty pronounced, doubt not but God
Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire, than so
To be forestall’d; much more I fear lest death,

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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 contrived
Against us this deceit : to crush his head
Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost,
By death brought on ourselves, or childless days,
Resolved 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. Remeinber, with what mild
And gracious temper he both heard and judged,
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 recompensed with joy
Fruit of thy womb: on me, the curse aslope
Glanced 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
Clothed us unworthy, pitying while he judged,
How much more, if we pray him, will his ear
Be open, and his heart to pity incline,
And teach us farther, by what means to shun
The inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow?
Which now the sky, with various face, begins
To show us in this mountain, while the winds
Blow moist & 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 1074
Tine the slant lightning, whose thwart flame, driven down
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine,
And sends a comfortable heat from far,
Which might supply the sun : such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or
To evils, which our own misdeeds have wrought, 1080
He will instruct us, praying, and of grace
Beseeching him; so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustained
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 judged 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 1090
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, 1095
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 judged them, prostrate fell Before him, reverent, and both confess'd

1100 Humbly their faults, & pardon begg’d, with tears Watering the ground, & with their sighs the air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.




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