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For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss,
Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon.
Thou therefore also taste, that equal lot
May join us, equal joy, as equal love;
Lest thou not tasting, different degree
Disjoin us, and I then too late renounce
Deity for thee, when fate will not permit. 885
Thus Eve with count'nance blithe her story told;
But in her cheek distemper Aushing glow'd.
On th' other side, Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amaz’d,
Astonied stood and blank, while horror chill 890
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relax’d; :
From his slack hand the garland wreath'd for Eve
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed :
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
First to himself he inward silence broke.
895 O Fairest of creation, last and best Of all God's works, Creature in whom excell'd Whatever can to sight or thought be form’d, Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet! How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
900 Defac’d, deflow'r'd, and now to death devote? Rather how hast thou yielded to transgress The strict forbiddance, how to violate The sacred fruit forbidd'n? Some cursed fraud Of enemy hath beguild thee, yet unknown, 905 And me with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee Certain my resolution is to die; How can I live without thee, how forego
Thy sweet converse and love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn!
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart; no no, I feel
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state 915
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
So having said, as one from sad dismay
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturb’d
Submitting to what seem'd remediless,
Thus in calm mood his words to Eve he turn'd. 920
Bold deed thou hast presum'd, advent'rous Eve,
And peril great provok’d, who thus hast dar'd,
Had it been only coveting to eye
That sacred fruit, sacred to abstinence,
Much more to taste it under ban to touch.
But past who can recall, or done undo?
Not God omnipotent, nor Fate; yet so
Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact
Is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit,
Profan'd first by the serpent, by him first
Made common and unhallow'd ere our taste;
Nor yet on him found deadly, he yet lives,
Lives as thou saidst, and gains to live as Man
Higher degree of life, inducement strong
To us, as likely tasting to attain
Proportional ascent, which cannot be
But to be Gods, or Angels Demi-Gods.
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threat'ning, will in earnest so destroy
Us his prime creatures, dignify'd so high, 940
Set over all his works, which in our fall,
For us created, needs with us must fail,
Dependent made; so God shall uncreate,
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour lose,
Not well conceiv'd of God, who though his power
Creation could repeat, yet would be loath
Us to abolish, lest the Adversary
Triumph and say ; Fickle their state whom God
Most favours; who can please him long? Me first
He ruin’d, now Mankind; whom will he next ? 950
Matter of scorn, not to be giv’n the Foe.
However I with thee have fix'd my lot,
Certain to undergo like doom; if death
Consort with thee, death is to me as life;
So forcible within my heart I feel
955 The bond of nature draw me to my own, My own in thee, for what thou art is mine; Our state cannot be sever'd, we are one, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.
So Adam, and thus Eve to him reply'd. O glorious trial of exceeding love, Illustrious evidence, example high! Ingaging me to emulate, but short Of thy perfection, how shall I attain, Adam ? from whose dear side I boast me sprung, 965 And gladly of our union hear thee speak, One heart, one soul in both ; whereof good proof This day affords, declaring thee resolv’d,
Rather than death or ought than death more dread
Shall separate us, link'd in love so dear,
To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
If any be, of tasting this fair fruit,
Whose virtue (for of good still good proceeds,
Direct, or by occasion) hath presented
This happy trial of thy love, which else
So eminently never had been known. .
Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue
This my attempt; I would sustain alone
The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die
Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact
Pernicious to thy peace, chiefly assur'd
Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful love unequall'd; but I feel
Far otherwise th'event, not death, but life
Augmented, open's eyes, new hopes, new joys, 985
Taste so divine, that what of sweet before
Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
And fear of death deliver to the winds.
So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy Tenderly wept, much won that he his love Had so ennobled, as of choice to’ incur Divine displeasure for her sake, or death. In recompense (for such compliance bad Such recompense best merits) from the bough 99 She gave him of that fair enticing fruit With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat Against his better knowledge, not deceiv'd,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again 1000
In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan,
Sky low'r'd, and muttering thunder, some sad drops
Wept at completing of the mortal sin
Original; while Adam took no thought,
Eating his fill, nor Eve to iterate
Her former trespass fear'd, the more to sooth
Him with her lov’d society, that now
As with new wine intoxicated both
They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel
Divinity within them breeding wings
1010 Wherewith to scorn the earth : but that false fruit Far other operation first display'd, Carnal desire inflaming: he on Eve Began to cast lascivious eyes, she him As wantonly repaid ; in lust they burn :
1015 Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move.
Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste, And elegant, of sapience no small part, Since to each meaning savour we apply, And palate call judicious ; I the praise Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd. Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd From this delightful fruit, nor known till now True relish, tasting ; if such pleasure be In things to us forbidd'n, it might be wish'd, 1025 For this one tree had been forbidden ten. But come, so well refresh'd, now let us play, As meet is, after such delicious fare ;