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But that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt
To whom with healing words Adam reply'd. 290 Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve, For such thou art, from sin and blame entire: Not diffident of thee do I dissuade Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid Th'attempt itself, intended by our foe.
295 For he who tempts, though' in vain, at least asperses The tempted with dishonour foul, suppos'd Not incorruptible of faith, not proof Against temptation : thou thyself with scorn And anger would'st resent the offer'd wrong, Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then, If such affront I labour to avert From thee alone, which on us both at once The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare, Or daring, first on me th' assault shall light. Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn, Subtle he needs must be, who could seduce Angels; nor think superfluous others' aid,
1 from the influence of thy looks receive Access in every virtue, in thy sight
310 More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on, Shame to be overcome or over-reach'd, Would utmost vigour raise, and rais'd unite. Why should'st not thou like sense within thee feel When I am present, and thy trial choose
316 With me, best witness of thy virtue try'd ?
So spake domestic Adam in his care
If this be our condition, thus to dwell
As not secure to single or combin’d.
To whom thus Adam fervently reply'd.
Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
So spake the patriarch of markind; but Eve
With thy permission then, and thus forewarn'd Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words Touch'd only, that our trial, when least sought, 380 May find us both perhaps far less prepar'd, The willinger i go, nor much expect A foe so proud will first the weaker seek; So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse 384
Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light, Oread or Lryad, or of Delia's train, Betook her to the groves, but Delia's self In gait surpass'd, and Goddess-like deport, Though not as she with bow and quiver arm’d, 390 But with such gard'ning tools as art yet rude, Guiltless of fire, had form’d, or Angels brought. To Pales, or Pomona, thus adorn’d, Likest she seem'd, Pomona when she fed Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her prime,
395 Yet Virgin of Froserpina from Jove. Her long with ardent look his eyc pursu'd Delighted, but desiring more her stay,
Oft he to her his charge of į ick return
415 The whole included race, his purpos'd prcy. In bow'r and field he sought, where any tuft Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay, Their tendence or plantation for delight; By fountain or by shady rivulet
420 He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find Eve separate, he wish’d, but not with hope Of what so seldom chanc'd, when to his wish, Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies, Veil'd in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood, 429 Half spy'd, so thick the roses bushing round About her glow'd, oft stooping to support Bach flow'r of slender stalk, whose head though gay