صور الصفحة
PDF

Should God ereate 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: llesh of llesh,

Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state 0is

Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

So having said, as one from sad dismay
Reeomforted, and after thoughts disturb'd
Submitting to what seem'd remediless,
Thus in ealm mood his words to Eve he turn'd: wo

Bold deed thou hast presumed, adventurous Eve,
And peril great provok d, who thus hast dared,
Had it been only eoveting to eye
That saered fruit, saered to abstinenee;
Mueh more to taste it, under ban to toueh. 025
But past who ean reeall, or done undo?
Not God omnipotent, nor fate: yet so
Perhaps thou shalt not die; perhaps the faet
Is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit,
Profaned first by the serpent, by him first 030
Made eommon, and unhallow'd, ere our taste;
Nor yet on him found deadly; he yet lives;
Lives, as thou said'st, and gains to live, as man,
Higher degree of life: indueement strong
To us, as likely tasting to attain 030
Proportional aseent; whieh eannot be
But to be gods, or angels, demigods.
Nor ean I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threatening, will in earnest so destroy
Us his prime ereatures, dignified so high, 0*
Set over all his works; whieh in our fall,
For us ereated, needs with us must fail,
Dependent made; so God shall unereate,
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour lose;
Not well eoneeived of God, who, though his power M8
Creation eould repeat, yet would be loth
Us to abolish, lest the adversary
Triumph, and say,—Fiekle their state, whom God
Most favours; who ean please him long? Me first
He ruin'd, now mankind; whom will he next?— 0so
Matter of seorn, not to be given 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 foreible within my heart I feel 050
The bond of nature draw me to my own;
My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;

028. Perhaps thnu thal l not die. How ndnd, and its aptuem to bo warped lnto jnat a pieture does Miiton here givo na false jndgments and reasonings by pasof th* natural imbeeiiity of the human elon and ineiination)—Turin.

Our state eaunot be sever'd; we are one,
One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.

So Adam; and thus Eve to him replied: wo
0 glorious trial of exeeeding love,
Illustrious evidenee, example high!
Engaging me to emulate; but, short
Of thy perfeetion, how shall I attain,
Adam, from whose dear side I boast me sprung, Ms
And gladly of our union hear thee speak,
One heart, one soul in both; whereof good proof
This day affords, deelaring thee resolved,
Rather than death, or aught than death more dread,
Shall separate us, link'd in love so dear, 970
To undergo with me one guilt, one erime,
If any be, of tasting this fair fruit;
Whose virtue (for of good still good proeeeds,
Direet, or by oeeasion) hath presented
This happy trial of thy love, whieh else 075
So eminently never had been known?
Were it I thought death menaeed would ensua
This my attempt, 1 would sustain alone
The worst, and not persuade thee; rather die
Deserted than oblige thee with a faet 9so
Pernieious to thy peaee; ehiefly, assured
Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful, love unequall'd: but 1 feel
Far otherwise the event; not death, but life
Augmented, open'd eyes, new hopes, new joys, 085
Taste so divine, that what of sweet before
Hath toueh'd my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
On my experienee, Adam, freely taste,
And fear of death deliver to the winds.

So saying, she embraeed him, and for joy 000
Tenderly wont; mueh won, that he his love
Had so ennobled, as of ehoiee to ineur
Divine displeasure for her sake, or death.
In reeompense, lfor sueh eomplianee bad
Sueh reeompense best merits) from the bough W5
She gave him of that fair entieing fruit
With liberal hand: he serupled not to eat,
Against his better knowledge; not deeeived,
But fondly overeome with female eharm.
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again looo
In pangs; and Nature gave a seeond groan;
Sky lour'd, and, muttering thunder, some sad drops
Wept at eompleting of the mortal sin
Original: while Adam took no thought,
Eating his fill; nor Eve to iterate 1005
Her former trespass fear'd, the more to soothe

08)1. Oblige is here used ln the sense of the Latin obUge, "to render obnoxious to guiit and punishment."

Him with her loved soeiety; that now,

As with new wine intoxieated both,

They swim in mirth, and faney that they feel

Divinity within them breeding wings,' 1010

Wherewith to seorn the earth: but that false fruit

Far other operation first display'd,

Carnal desire inflaming: he on Eve

Began to east laseivious eyes; she him

As wantonly repaid; in lust they burn: 1015

Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dallianee move:

Eve, now I see thou art exaet of taste,
And elegant, of sapienee no small part;
Sinee to eaeh meaning savour we apply,
And palate eall judieious: I the praise 1020
Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd.
Mueh pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd
From this delightful fruit, nor known till now
True relish, tasting: if sueh pleasure be
In things to us forbidden, it might be wish'd, 1025
For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
But eome, so well refresh'd, now let us play,
As meet is, after sueh delieious fare;
For never did thy beauty, sinee the day
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd 1030
With all perfeetions, so inflame my sense
With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever; bounty of this virtnous tree!

So said he, and forlmro not glanee or toy
Of amorous intent; well understood 1035
Of Eve, whose eye darted eontagious fire.
Her hand he seized; and to a shady bank,
Thiek over-head with verdant roof embower'd,
He led her nothing loth; flowers were the eoueh,
Pansies, and violets, and asphodel, 1040
And hyaeinth; earth's freshest, softest lap.
There they their fill of love and love's disport
Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal,
The solaee of their sin; till dewy sleep
Oppress'd them, wearied with tlioir amorous play. 1045

Soon as the foree of that fallaeious fruit,
That with exhilarating vapour bland
About their spirits had play'd, and inmost powers
Made err, was now exhaled, and grosser sleep,
Bred of unkindly fumes, with eonseious dreams 1050
Eneumber'd, now had left them, up they rose
As from uurest; and, eaeh the other viewing,
Soon found their eyes how opon'd, and their minds
How darken'd; innoeenee, that as a veil

1034. What a line eontrast does this deseription of the amorous foliies of onr first parents after the Fall make, to that

loyely pieture of the Mine passion in it* state of iunoeenee, deseribed at line 510 of the preeeding book)—Ti,tks.

Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone; loss

Just eonfidenee, and native righteousness,

And honour, from about them, naked left

To guilty Shame: he eover'd, but his robe

Uneover d more. So rose the Danite strong,

Hereulean Samson, from the harlot-lap low

Of Philistean Dalilah, and waked

Shorn of his strength; they destitute and bare

Of all their virtue: silent, and in faee

Confounded, long they sat, as strieken mute:

Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd, loss

At length gave utteranee to these words eonstrain'd:

0 Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear
To that false worm, of whomsoever taught
To eounterfeit man's voiee; true in our fall,
False in our promised rising; sinee our eyes low
Open'd we find indeed, and find we know
Both good and evil; good lost, and evil got:
Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know;
Whieh leaves us naked thus, of honour void,
Of innoeenee, of faith, of purity, 1075
Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd,
And in our faees evident the signs
Of foul eoneupiseenee; whenee evil store,
Ev'n shame, the last of evils; of the first
Be sure then. How shall I behold the faee 1080
Heneeforth of God or angels, erst with joy
And rapture so oft beheld? Those heavenly shapes
Will dazzle now this earthly, with their blaze
Insufferably bright. 0, might I here
In solitude live savage, in some glade loss
Obseured; where highest woods, impenetrable
To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad
And brown as evening! eover me, ye pines!
Ye eedars, with iunumerable boughs
Hide me, where I may never see them more! 1000
But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
What best may for the present serve to hide
The parts of eaeh froril other, that seem most
To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen;
Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd, loos
And girded on our loins, may eover round
Those middle parts; that this new-eomer, Shame,
There sit not, and reproaeh us as unelean.

So eounsell'd he, and both together went
Into the thiekest wood; there soon they ehose 1100
The fig-tree, not that kind for fruit renown'd;
But sueh as at this day, to Indians known,

[ocr errors]

In Malabar or Deean spreads her arms
Branehing so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother-tree, a pillar' d shade
High over-areh'd, and eehoing walks between:
There oft the Indian herdsman, shuuning heat,
Shelters in eool, and tends his pasturing herds
At loop-holes eut through thiekest shade: those leaves
They gathor'd, broad as Amazonian targe;
And, with what skill they had, together sew'd,
To gird their waist; vain eovering, if to hide
Their guilt and dreaded shamel 0, how unlike
To that first naked glory! Sueh of late
Columbus found the Ameriean, so girt
With feather'd eineture; naked else, and wild
Among the trees on isles and woody shores.
Thus feneed, and, as they thought, their shame in part
Cover'd, but not at rest or ease of mind,
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, suspieion, diseord; and shook sore
Their inward state of mind, ealm region onee
And full of peaee, now tost and turbulent:
For understanding ruled not, and the will
Heard not her lore; both in subjeetion now
To sensual appetite, who from beneath
Usurping over sovran reason elaim'd
Superiour sway: from thus distemper' d breast,
Adam, estranged in look and alter'd style,
Speeeh 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 whenee possess'd thee; we had then
Remain'd still happy: not, as now, despoil'd
Of all our good; shamed, naked, miserable!
Let none heneeforth seek needless eause to approve 1140
The faith they owe; when earnestly they seek
Sueh proof, eonelude they then begin to fail,

To whom, soon moved with toueh of blame, thus Eve: What words have pass'd thy lips, Adam, severe? Imputest thou that to my default, or will 1145 Of wandering, as thou eall'st it, whieh who knows But might as ill have happen'd, thou being by, Or to thyself perhaps? Hadst thou been there, Or here the attempt, thou eouldst not have diseern'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.

« السابقةمتابعة »