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For never did thy beauty since the day
I saw thee first, and wedded thee, adorn'd 1030
With all perfections, so inflame my sense
With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now
Than ever, bounty of this virtuous tree.

So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
Of amorous intent, well understood

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
Herculean Samson from the harlot-lap

Of Philistéan Dalilah, and wak'd
Shorn of his strength. They destitute and bare
Of all their virtue : silent, and in face
Confounded long they sat, as strucken mute,
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd, 1065
At length gave utterance to these words constrain'd.

O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give ear To that false worm, of whomsoever taught To counterfeit Man's voice, true in our fall, False in our promis'd rising ; since our eyes 1070 Open'd we find indeed, and find we know Both good and ev'il, good lost, and evil got, Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know, Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void, Of innocence, of faith, of purity,

1075 Our wonted ornaments now soild 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 earthly 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
Hide me, where I may never see them more.

But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
What best may for the present serve to hide
The parts of each from other, that seem most
To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen;
Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sew'd,
And girded on our loins, may cover round 1096
Those middle parts, that this new comer, shame,
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.

So counsel'd he, and both together went Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose I 100 The fig-tree, not that kind for fruit renown'd, But such as at this day to Indians known In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms Branching so broad and long, that in the ground The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade

1106 High overarch'd, and echoing walks between ; There oft the Indian herdsman shunning heat Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds At loop-holes cut through thickest shade : Those leaves They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe, And with what skill they had, together sew'd, To gird their waist, vain covering if to hide Their guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike To that first naked glory! Such of late

1115 Columbus found th’American, so girt With feather'd cincture, naked else and wild Among the trees on isles and woody shores.

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Thus fenc'd, and as they thought, their shame in part Cover'd, but not at rest or ease of mind,

I 120 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 1125 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

1130 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

I141 Such proof, conclude, they then begin to fáil.

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"
Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake;
No ground of enmity between us known,
Why he shonld 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.
Being as I am, why didst not thou the head
Command me absolutely not to go,
Going into such danger as thou saidst ?
Too facile then thou didst not much gainsay,
Nay didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss
Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent, Info
Neither had I transgress’d, nor thou with me.

To whom then first incens’d Adam reply'd.
Is this the love, is this the recompense
Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, express'd
Immutable when thou wert lost, not I,
Who might have liv'd and joy'd immortal bliss,
Yet willingly chose rather death with thee?
And am I now upbraided as the cause
Of thy transgressing ? not enough severe,
It seems, in thy restraint : what could I more? 119
I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold
The danger, and the lurking enemy
That lay in wait ; beyond this had been force,
And force upon free-will hath here no place.
But confidence then bore thee on, secure
Either to meet no danger, or to find
Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps
also err'd in overmuch admiring

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