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For never did thy beauty since the day
So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
1035 Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire. Her hand he seiz’d, and to a shady bank, Thick overhead with verdant roof imbow'r'd, He led her nothing loath ; flow'rs were the couch, Pansies, and violets, and asphodel,
1040 And hyacinth, earth's freshest softest lap. There they their fill of love and love’s disport Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal, The solace of their sin, till dewy sleep Oppressed them, wearied with their amorous play. Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit,
1046 That with exhilarating vapour bland About their spi'rits had play'd, and inmost powers Made err, was now exhald; and grosser sleep Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams 1050 Incumber'd, now had left them; up they rose As from unrest, and each the other viewing, Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their minds How darken'd; innocence, that as a veil Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone, 1055 Just confidence, and native righteousness, And honour from about them, naked left To guilty shame; he cover'd, but his robe
Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong
O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear
1075 Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd, And in our faces evident the signs Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store; Ev’n shame, the last of evils : of the first Be sure then. How shall I behold the face 1080 Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy And rapture so' oft beheld ? those heav'nly shapes Will dazzle now this carthly with their blaze Insufferably bright. O might I here In solitude live savage, in some glade
1085 Obscur’d, where highest woods impenetrable To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad And brown as evening : Cover me ye Pines,
Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs
So counsel'd he, and both together went
1115 Columbus found th' 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 sov’reign reason claim'd Superior 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 1135 Desire of wand'ring 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; Imput’st thou that to my default, or will 1145 Of wand'ring, as thou call'st it, which who knows. But might as ill have happen'd thou being by, Or to thyself perhaps ? Hadst thou been there,
Or here th'attempt, thou could'st not have discern'd
To whom then first incens'd Adam reply'd.
1175 Either to meet no danger, or to find Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps
also err'd in overmuch admiring