Obrazy na stronie

To whom with healing words Adam replied. “Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve 1 For such thou art; from sin and blame entire: Not diffident of thee do I dissuade Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid The attempt itself, intended by our foe, 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 wouldst resent the offer'd wrong, Though ineffectual found: misdeen 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; Ordaring, first on me the assault shall light. Northou his malice and false guile contemn; Subtle he needs must be, who could seduce Angels; nor think superfluous others aid. I, from the influence of thy looks, receive Access in every virtue; in thy sight 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 shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel

When I am present, and thy trial choose
With me, best witness of thy virtue tried ?”
So spake domestic Adam in his care
And matrimonial love; but Eve, who thought
Less attribúted to her faith sincere,
Thus her reply with accent sweet renew’d.
“If this be our condition, thus to dwell
In narrow circuit straiten’d by a foe,
Subtle or violent, we not endued
Single with like defence, wherever met;
How are we happy, still in fear of harm 3
But harm precedes not sin: only our foe,
Tempting, affronts us with his foul esteem
Of ourintegrity: his foul esteem
Sticks no dishonour on our front, but turns
Foul on himself; then wherefore shunn'd or
By us? who rather double honour gain

From his surmise prev'd false; find peace within, - [event. Favour from Heaven, our witness, from the

And what is faith, love, virtue, unassay’d
Alone, without exterior help sustain'd?
Let us not then suspect our happy state
Left so imperfect by the Maker wise,
As not secure to single or combin'd.
Frail is our happiness, if this be so,
And Eden were no Eden, thus expos'd.”
To whom thus Adam fervently replied,
“O Woman, best are all things as the will
Of God ordain'd them: his creating hand
Nothing imperfect or deficient left
Of all that he created, much less Man,
Oraught that might his happy state secure,
Secure from outward force; within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
Against his will he can receive no harm.
But God left free the will; for what obeys
Reason, is free; and reason he made right,
But bid her well beware, and still erect;

Lest, by some fair-appearing good surpris'd, She dictate false; and mis-inform the will To do what God expressly hath forbid. Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins, That I should mind thee oft; and mind thoume. Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve; Since reason not impossibly may meet Some specious object by the foe subprin'd, And fall into deception unaware, Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warm’d, Seek not temptation then, which to avoid Were better, and most likely if from me Thou sever not: trial will come unsought. Wouldst thou approve thy constancy, approve First thy obedience; the other who can know, Not seeing thee attempted, who attest? But, if thou think, trial unsought may find Us both securer than thus warm'd thou seem'st, Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more; Go in thy native innocence, rely On what thou hast of virtue; summon all! For God towards thee hath done his part, da thine.” So spake the patriarch of mankind; but Eve Persisted; yet submiss, though last, replied. “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, May find us both perhaps far less prepard, 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.” Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand [light, Soft she withdrew; and, like a wood-nymph Oread or Dryad, 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, But with such gardening tools as art yet rude, Guiltless of fire, had form’d, orangels brought. To Pales, or Pomona, thus adorn'd, Likest she seem’d, Pomona when she fled Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her prime, Yet virgin of Proserpina from Jove. Her long with ardent look his eye pursued Delighted, but desiring more her stay. Oft he to her his charge of quick return Repeated; she to him as oftengag'd To be return'd by moon amid the bower, And all things in best order to invite Noontide repast, or afternoon's repose. O much deceiv'd, much failing, hapless Eve, Of thy presum’d return event perverse: Thou never from that hour in Paradise Found'st either sweet repast, or sound repose; Such ambush, hid among sweet flowers and shades, Waited with hellish rancour imminent To intercept thy way, or send thee back Despoil'd of innocence, of faith, of bliss: For now, and since first break of dawn, the fiend, Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come;

| And on his quest, where likeliest he might find

The only two of mankind, but in them
The whole included race, his purpos'd prey,
In bower and field he sought where any tuft

of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay,
Their tendance, or plantation for delight;
By fountain or by shady rivulet [find
He sought them both, but wish’d his hap might
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,
Half spied, so thick the roses blushing round
About her glow'd, oftstooping to support
Each flower of slender stalk, whose head, though

gay Carnation, purple, azure, or speck'd with gold, Hung drooping unsustain’d ; them she upstays Gently with myrtle band, mindless the while Herself, though fairest unsupported flower, From her best prop sofar, and storm so nigh. Nearer he drew, and many a walk travérs'd Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm; Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen, Among thick-woven arborets, and flowers Imborder'd on each bank, the hand of Eve: Spot more delicious than those gardens feign'd Or of reviv'd Adonis, or renown'd Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son; Or that, not mystic, where the sapient king Held dalliance with his fair Egyptianspouse. Much he the place admir'd, the person more. As one who long in populous city pent, Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air, Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe Among the pleasantvillages and farms Adjoin'd, from each thing met conceives delight; The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine, Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound; If chance, with nymph-like step, fair virgin pass, What pleasing seem’d, for her now pleases more; She most, and in her look sums all delight: Such pleasure took the serpent to behold This flowery plat, the sweet recess of Eve Thus early, thus alone: her heavenly form Angelic, but more soft, and feminine, Her graceful innocence, her every air Of gesture, or least action, overaw'd His malice, and with rapinesweet bereav'd His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought: That space the evil-one abstracted stood From his own evil, and for the time remain'd Stupidly good; of enmity disarm'd, Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge. But the hot Hell that always in him burns, Though in mid Heaven, soon ended his delight, And tortures him now more, the more he sees Of pleasure, not for him ordain'd: them soon Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites. “Thoughts, whither have ye led me! what sweet Compulsion thus transported, to forget What hither brought us! hate, not love; nor hope Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste Of pleasure; but all pleasure to destroy, Save what is in destroying; otherjoy To me is lost. Then, let me not let pass Occasion which now smiles; behold alone The woman, opportune to all attempts, Her husband, for I view far round, not nigh, Whose higher intellectual more I shun, And strength, of courage haughty, and of limb

Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould; Foe not informidable! exempt from wound, I not; so much hath Hell debas'd, and pain Enfeebled me, to what I was in Heaven. She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods! Not terrible, though terrour bein love And beauty, not approach'd by stronger hate, Hate stronger, under show of love well feign'd; The way which to her ruin now I tend.” So spake the enemy of mankind, enclos'd In serpent, inmate bad! and toward Eve Address'd his way: not with indented wave, Prone on the ground, as since; but on his rear, Circular base of rising folds, that tower'd Fold above fold, a surging maze his head Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes; With burnish'd neck of verdant gold, erect Amidst his circling spires, that on the grass Floated redundant: pleasing was his shape And lovely; never since of serpent-kind Lovelier, not those that in Illyria chang'd Hermione and Cadmus, or the god In Epidaurus; nor to which transform'd Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen; He with Olympias; this with her who bore Scipio, the height of Rome. With tract oblique At first, as one who sought access, but fear'd To interrupt, side-long he works his way. As when a ship, by skilful steersman wrought Nigh river's mouth or foreland, where the wind Veers oft, asoft so steers, and shifts her sail: So varied he, and of histortuous train Curl’d many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve, To lure her eye; she, busied, heard the sound Of rusling leaves, but minded not, as us’d To such disport before her through the field, From every beast; more duteons at her call, Than at Circean call the herd disguis’d. He, bolder now, uncall'd before her stood, But as in gaze admiring ; oft he bow’d His turret crest, and sleekenamell'd neck, Fawning; and lick'd the ground whereon she trod

His gentle dumb expression turn'd at length The eye of Eve, to mark his play; he, glad Of her attention gain'd, with serpent-tongue Organic, or impulse of vocal air, His fraudulent temptation thus began. “Wonder not, sovran mistress, if perhaps Thou canst who art sole wonder' much less arm Thy looks, the Heaven of mildness, with disdain, Displeas'd that I approach thee thus, and gaze Insatiate; I thus single; nor have fear'd Thy awful brow, more awful thus retird. Fairest resemblance of thy Maker fair, Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine By gift, and thy celestial beauty adore With ravishment beheld there best beheld, Where universally admir’d ; but here In this enclosure wild, these beasts among, Beholders rude, and shallow to discern Half what in thee is fair, one man except, Who sees thee? (and what is one *) who should be seen A goddess among gods, ador'd and serv'd By angels numberless, thy daily train.” So gloz'd the tempter, and his proem tun'd : Into the heart of Eve his words made way, Though at the voice much marvelling; at length,

Not unamaz'd, she thus in answer spake.

“What may this mean? language of man


By tongue of brute, and human sense express'd
The first, at least, of these I thought denied
To beasts; whom God, on their creation-day,
Created mute to all articulate sound: *s
The latter I demur ; for in their looks
Much reason, and in their actions, oftappears.
Thee, serpent, subtlest beast of all the field
I knew, but not with human voice endued;
Redouble then this miracle, and say,
How cam'st thou speakable of mute, and how
To me so friendly grown above the rest
Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight?
Say, for such wonder claims attention due.”

To whom the guileful tempter thus replied.
“Empress of this fair world, resplendent Eve!
Easy to me it is to tell thee all [be obey'd :
What thou command'st ; and right thou shouldst
I was at first as other beasts that graze
The trodden herb, of abject thoughts and low,
As was my food; nor aught but food discern'd
Or sex, and apprehended nothing high:
Till, on a day roving the field, I chanc'd ,
A goodly tree far distant to behold
Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mix’d,
Ruddy and gold: I nearer drew to gaze;
When from the boughs a savoury odour blown,
Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd my sense
Than smell of sweetest fenel, or the teats
Of ewe or goat dropping with milk at even,

Insuck'd of lamb or kid, that tend their play.
To satisfy the sharp desire I had
Cf tasting those fair apples, I resolv'd
Not to defer; hunger and thirst at once,
Powerful persuaders, quicken'd at the scent
Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keen.
About the mossy trumk I wound me soon;
For, high from ground, the branches would re-

Thy utmost reach or Adam's : round the tree
All other beasts that saw, with like desire
Longing and envying stood, but could not reach.
Amid the tree now got, where plenty hung
Tempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill
I spar'd not; for, such pleasure till that hour,
At feed or fountain, never had I found.
Sated at length, ere long I might perceive
Strange alteration in me, to degree
Of reason in my inward powers; and speech
Wanted not long; though to this shape retain'd.
Thenceforth to speculations high or deep
1 turn'd my thoughts, and with capacious mind
Consider'd all things visible in Heaven,
Or Earth, or Middle; all things fair and good:
But all that fair and good in thy divine
Semblance, and in thy beauty's heavenly ray,
United I beheld; no fair to thine
Equivalent or second which compell'd
Methus, though importune perhaps, to come
And gaze, and worship thee of right declar'd
Sovran of creatures, universal dame !”

So talk'd the spirited sly snake; and Eve,
Yet more amaz'd, unwary thus replied.

“Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt The virtue of that fruit, in thee first prov'd : But say, where grows the tree? from hence how For many are the trees of God that grow [far? In Paradise, and various, yet unknown

To us; in such abundance lies our choice, As leaves a greater store of fruit untouch'd, Still hanging incorruptible, till men Grow up to their provision, and more hands Help to disburden Nature of her birth.” To whom the wily adder, blithe and glad. “Empress, the way is ready, and not long ; Beyond a row of myrtles, on a flat, Fast by a fountain, one small thicket past Of blowing myrrh and balm; if thou accept My conduct, 1 can bring theethither soon.” “Lead then,” said Eve. He, leading, swiftly roll'd In tangles, and made intricate seem straight, To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy Brightens his crest; as when a wandering fire, Compact of unctuous vapour, which the night Condenses, and the cold environs round, Rindled through agitation to a flaume, Which oft, they say, some evil spirit attends, Hovering and blazing with delusive light, Misleads the amaz'd right-wanderer from his way [pool; To bogs and mires, and oft through pond or There swallow’d up and lost, from succour far: So glister'd the dire snake, and into fraud Led Eve, our credulous mother, to the tree Of prohibition, root of all our woe; Which when she saw, thus to her guide she spake. “Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming hither, Fruitless to me, though fruit be here to excess, The credit of whose virtue rest with thee; Wonderous indeed, if cause of such effects. But of this tree we may not taste nor touch; God so commanded, and left that command Sole daughter of his voice; the rest, we live Law to ourselves; our reason is our law.” To whom the tempter guilefully replied. “Indeed! hath God then said that of the fruit Of all these garden-trees ye shall not eat, Yet lords declar'd of all in Earth or air 2" To whom thus Eve, yet sinless. “Of the fruit Of each tree in the garden we may eat; But of the fruit of this fair tree amidst The garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” She scarce had said, though brief, when now more bold The tempter, but with show of zeal and love To Man, and indignation at his wrong, New part puts on; and, as to passion mov’d, Fluctuates disturb’d, yet comely and in act Rais'd, as of some great matter to begin. As when of old some orator renown'd, In Athens or free Rome, where eloquence Flourish'd, since mute 1 to some greateausead. dress'd Stood in himself collected; while each part, Motion, each act, won audience ere the tongue; Sometimes in be ght began, as no delay Of preface brooking, through his zeal of right: So standing, moving, or to height up grown, The tempter, allimpassion'd, thus began. “O sacred, wise, and wisdom-giving plant, Mother of sciences now I feel thy power Within me clear; not only to discern Things in their causes, but to trace the ways

of highest agents, deem'd however wise

lucen of this universe! do not believe hose rigid threats of death: yeshall not die: low should you? by the fruit? it gives you life oknowledge; by the threatener? look on me, se, who have touch'd and tasted; yet both live, ind life more perfect have attain'd than Fate seant me, by venturing higher than my lot. hall that be shut to man, which to the beast s open? or will God incense his ire or such a petty trespass? and not praise. ather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain if death denounc'd, whatever thing death be, leterr'd not from achieving what might lead o happier life, knowledge of good and evil; of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil e real, why not known, since easier shunn'd? lod therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just; otjust, not God: not fear'd then, nor obey'd: our fear itself of death removes the fear. Why then was this forbid? Why, but to awe; Why, but to keep ye low and ignorant, lis worshippers? He knows that in the day e eat thereof, your eyes that seem so clear, et are but dim, shall perfectly be then pen'dand clear'd, and ye shall be as gods, nowing both good and evil, as they know. 'hat ye shall be as gods, since I as Man, nternal Man, is but proportion meet; of brute, human; ye, of human, gods. o ye shall die perhaps, by putting off luman, to put on gods; death to be wish'd, hough threaten'd, which no worse than this can bring. nd what are gods, that Man may not become is they, participating god-like food he gods are first, and that advantage use on our belief, that all from them proceeds: question it; for this fair Earth I see, Farm’d by the Sun, producing every kind; hem, nothing: if they all things, who enclos'd nowledge of good and evil in this tree, hat whoso eats thereof, forthwith attains Wisdom without their leave? and wherein lies he offence, that man should thus attain to know * What can your knowledge hurt him, or this tree npart against his will, if all be his? r is it envy and can envy dwell [more I heavenly breasts 2–These, these, and many auses import your need of this fair fruit. oddess humane, reach then, and freely taste.” He ended; and his words, replete with guile, rto her heart too easy entrance won: ix'd on the fruit she gaz'd, which to behold sight tempt alone; and in her ears the sound etrung of his persuasive words, impregn'd 7th reason, to her seeming, and with truth: sean while the hour of noon drew on, and wak'd neager appetite, rais'd by the smell savoury of that fruit, which with desire, lesinable now grown to touch or taste, olicited her longing eye; yet first ausing a while, thus to herself she mus'd. “Great are thy virtues, doubtless,best of fruits, hough kept from man, and worthy to be admir’d; Those taste, too long forborn, at first assay ave clocution to the mute, and taught

The tongue not made for speech, to speak thy
praise :
Thy praise he also, who forbids thy use,
Conceals not from us, naming thee the tree
Of knowledge, knowledge both of good and evil ;
Forbids us then to taste!, but his forbidding
Commends thee more, while it infers the good
By thee communicated, and our waut:
For good urknown sure is not had; or, had
And yet unknown, is as not had at all.
In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?
Such prohibitions bind not. But, if death
Bindus with after-bands, what profits then
Our inward freedom? In the day we eat
Of this fair fruit, our doom is, we shall die!
How dies the serpent? he hath eat'n and lives, .
And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and dis-
Irrational, till then. For us alone [cerns,
Was death invented 2 or to us denied -
This intellectual food, for beasts reserv'd?
For beasts it seems : yet that one beast which
Hath tasted envies not, but brings with joy
The good befall'n him, author unsuspect,
Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile.
What fear I then rather, what know to fear
Under this ignorance of good and evil,
Of God or death, of law or penalty?
Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine,
Fair to the eye, inviting to the taste,
Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then
To reach, and feed at once both body and mind?”
So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck'd, she eat?
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat.
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of

That all was lost. Back to the thicket slunk
The guilty serpent; and well might; for Eve,
Intent now wholly on her taste, nought else
Regarded; such delighttill then, as seem’d,
In fruit she never tasted, whether true
Or fancied so, through expectation high
Of knowledge; nor was godhead from her
thought. *

Greedily she engorg’d without restraint,
And knew not eating death: satiate at length,
And heighten’d as with wine, jocund and boom,
Thus to herself she pleasingly began.

“O sovran, virtuous, precious of all trees
In Paradise! of operation blest
To sapience, hitherto obscur'd, infam’d,
And thy fair fruit lethang, as to no end
Created; but henceforth my early care,
Not without song, each morning, and due praise,
Shall tend thee, and the fertile burden ease
Of thy full branches offer'd free to all;
Till, dieted by thee, I grow mature
In knowledge, as the gods, who all thingsknow;
Though others envy what they cannot give.
For, had the gift been theirs, it had not here
Thus grown. Experience, next, to thee I owe,
Best guide: not following thee, I had remain'd
In ignorance; thou open'st wisdom's way,
And giv'st access, though secret she retire.
And I perhaps am secret: Heaven is high,
High, and remote to see from thence distinct
Each thing on Earth; and other care perhaps

May have diverted from continual watch
Our great Forbidder, safe with all his spies
About him. But to Adam in what sort
Shall I appear 2 shall I to him make known
As yet my change, and give him to partake
Full happiness with me, or rather not,
But keep the odds of knowledge in my power
Without copartner * so to add what wants
In female sex, the more to draw his love,
And render me more equal; and perhaps,
A thing not undesirable, sometime
Superior; for, inferior, who is free ?
This may be well: but what if God have seen,
And death ensue 2 then I shall be no more
And Adam, wedded to another Eve,
Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct;
A death to think! Confirm'd then I resolve,
Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe:
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could endure, without him live no life.”
So saying, from the tree her step she turn'd;
But first low reverence done, as to the Power
That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd
Into the plant sciential sap, deriv'd
From nectar, drink of gods. Adam the while
Waiting desirous her return, had wove
Of choicest flowers a garland, to adorm
Her tresses, and her rural labours crown;
As reapers oft are wont their harvest-queen.
Greatjoy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay'd :
Yet ofthis heart, divine of something ill,
Misgave him; he the faltering measure felt;
And forth to meet her went, the way she took
That morn when first they parted: by the tree
Of knowledge he must pass; there he her met,
Scarce from the tree returning; in her hand
A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smil’d,
New gather'd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd.
To him she hasted; in her face excuse
Came prologue, and apology too prompt;
Which, with bland words at will, she thus ad-
“Hast thou not wonder'd, Adam, at my stay?
Thee I have miss'd, and thought it long, depriv'd
Thy presence; agony of love till now
Not felt, nor shall be twice; for never more
Mean I to try, what rash untried Isought,
The pain of absence from thy sight.
Hath been the cause, and wonderful to hear :
This tree is not, as we are told, a tree
Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown
Opening the way, but of divine effect
To open eyes, and make them gods who taste;
And hath been tasted such: the serpent wise,
Or not restrain’d as we, or not obeying,
Hath eaten of the fruit; and is become,
Not dead, as we are threaten'd, but thenceforth
Fndued with human voice and human sense,
Reasoning to admiration; and with me
Persuasively hath so prevail'd, that I
Have also tasted, and have also found
The effects to correspond; opener mine eyes,
Dim erst, dilated spirits, ampler heart,
And growing up to godhead; which for thee
Chic fly I sought, without thee can despise.
For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss;
Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon.

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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.”
Thus Eve with countenance blithe her story
But in her cheek distemper flushing glow’d.
On the other side, Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amaz'd,
Astonied stood and blank, while horrour chill
Ranthrough his veins, and all his joints relax'd;
From his slack hand the garland wreath'd for
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed:
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
First to himself he inward silence broke,
“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,
Defac'd, deflower'd, and now to death devote?
Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred fruit forbidden | Some cursed fraud
Of enemy hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
And me with thee hath ruin’d j 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
Mine nevershall 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 mcod his words to Eve he turn'd.
“Bold deed thou hast presum’d, adventurous
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
Butto be gods, or angels, demi-gods.
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threatening, will in earnest so destroy
Us his prime creatures, dignified so high,
Set over all his works; which in our fall,
For us created, needs with us must fail,
Dependant made; so God shall uncreate,
Be frustrate, do, unde, and labour lose;
Not well conceiv'd of God, who, though his


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