Obrazy na stronie
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Over the vex'd abyss, following the track
Of Satan to the self-same place where he
First lighted from his wing, and landed safe
From out of Chaos, to the outside bare
Of this round world: with pins of adamant
And chains they made all fast, too fast they made
And durable! And now in little space
The confines met of empyréan Heaven,
And of this world; and, on the left hand, Hell
With long reach interpos'd; three several ways
In sight, to each of these three places led.
And now their way to Earth they had descried,
To Paradise first tending; when, behold!
Satan, in likeness of an angel bright,
Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion steering
His zenith, while the Sun in Aries rose :
Disguis'd he came; but those his children dear
Their parent soon discern'd, though in disguise.
He, after Eve seduc'd, unminded slunk
Into the wood fast by; and, changing shape,
To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded
Upon her husband; saw their shame that sought
Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
The Son of God to judge them, terrified
He fled; not hoping to escape, but shun
The present; fearing, guilty, what his wrath
Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd
By night, and listening where the hapless pair
Sat in their sad discourse, and various plaint,
Thence gather'd his own doom; which understood
Not instant, but of future time, with joy
And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return'd;
And at the brink of Chaos, near the foot
Of this new wondrous pontifice, unhop'd
Met, who to meet him came, his offspring dear.
Great joy was at their meeting, and at sight
Of that stupendous bridge his joy increas'd.
Long he admiring stood, till Sin, his fair
Enchanting daughter, thus the silence broke.
O parent, these are thy magnific deeds,
Thy trophies! which thou view'st as not thine own;
Thou art their author, and prime architect:
For I no sooner in my heart divin'd,
My heart, which by a secret harmony
Still moves with thine, join'd in connexion sweet,
That thou on Earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks
Now also evidence, but straight I felt,
Though distant from thee worlds between, yet felt
That I must after thee, with this thy son;
Such fatal consequence unites us three;
Hell could no longer hold us in our bounds,
Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscure
Detain from following thy illustrious track:
Thou hast achiev'd our liberty, confin'd
Within Hell-gates till now; thou us empower'd
To fortify thus far, and overlay,

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Fair daughter, and thou son and grand-child both; High proof ye now have given to be the race Of Satan, (for I glory in the name, Antagonist of Heaven's Almighty King.) Amply have merited of me, of all

With this portentous bridge, the dark abyss.
Thine now is all this world; thy virtue hath won
What thy hands builded not; thy wisdom gain'd
With odds what war hath lost, and fully aveng'd
Our foil in Heaven; here thou shalt monarch reign,
There didst not; there let him still victor sway,
As battle hath adjudg'd; from this new world
Retiring, by his own doom alienated;
And henceforth monarchy with thee divide
Of all things, parted by the empyreal bounds,
His quadrature, from thy orbicular world;
Or try thee now more dangerous to his throne."
Whom thus the prince of darkness answer'd glad.

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The infernal empire, that so near Heaven's door
Triumphal with triumphal act have met,

Mine, with this glorious work; and made one realm,
Hell and this world, one realm, one continent
Of easy thoroughfare. Therefore, while I
Descend through darkness, on your road with ease,
To my associate powers, them to acquaint
With these successes, and with them rejoice;
You two this way, among these numerous orbs,
All yours, right down to Paradise descend;
There dwell, and reign in bliss; thence on the Earth
Dominion exercise and in the air,

Chiefly on Man, sole lord of all declar'd;
Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.
My substitutes I send ye, and create
Plenipotent on Earth, of matchless might
Issuing from me: on your joint vigor now
My hold of this new kingdom all depends,
Through Sin to Death expos'd by my exploit.
If your joint power prevail, the affairs of Hell
No detriment need fear; go, and be strong!"

So saying, he dismiss'd them; they with speed Their course through thickest constellations held, Spreading their bane; the blasted stars look'd wan And planets, planet-struck, real eclipse Then suffer'd. The other way Satan went down The causey to Hell-gate: on either side Disparted Chaos over-built exclaim'd, And with rebounding surge the bars assail'd, That scorn'd his indignation: through the gate, Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass'd, And all about found desolate; for those, Appointed to sit there, had left their charge, Flown to the upper world; the rest were all Far to the inland retir'd, about the walls Of Pandemonium; city and proud seat Of Lucifer, so by allusion call'd

Of that bright star to Satan paragon'd;

There kept their watch the legions, while the grand
In council sat, solicitous what chance
Might intercept their emperor sent; so he
Departing gave command, and they observ'd.
As when the Tartar from his Russian foe,
By Astracan, over the snowy plains,
Retires; or Bactrian Sophi, from the horns
Of Turkish crescent, leaves all waste beyond
The realm of Aladule, in his retreat

To Tauris or Casbeen: so these, the late
Heaven-banish'd host, left desert utmost Hell
Many a dark league, reduc'd in careful watch
Round their metropolis; and now expecting
Each hour their great adventurer, from the search
Of foreign worlds; he through the midst unmark'd,
In show plebeian angel militant

Of lowest order, pass'd; and from the door
Of that Plutonian hall, invisible
Ascended his high throne; which, under state
Of richest texture spread, at the upper end
Was plac'd in regal lustre. Down awhile
He sat, and round about him saw, unseen:
At last, as from a cloud, his fulgent head
And shape star-bright appear'd, or brighter; clad
With what permissive glory since his fall
Was left him, or false glitter: all amaz'd
At that so sudden blaze, the Stygian throng

Bent their aspéct, and whom they wish'd beheld, Their mighty chief return'd: loud was the acclaim: Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting peers, Rais'd from their dark divan, and with like joy Congratulant approach'd him; who with hand Silence, and with these words, attention won. Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues,

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powers;

For in possession such, not only of right,
I call ye, and declare ye now; return'd
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth
Triumphant out of this infernal pit
Abominable, accurs'd, the house of woe,
And dungeon of our tyrant: now possess,
As lords, a spacious world, to our native Heaven
Little inferior, by my adventure hard
With peril great achiev'd. Long were to tell
What I have done; what suffer'd; with what pain
Voyag'd th' unreal, vast, unbounded deep
Of horrible confusion; over which

By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav'd
To expedite your glorious march; but 1
Toil'd out my uncouth passage, forc'd to ride
The untractable abyss, plung'd in the womb
Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wild;
That, jealous of their secrets, fiercely oppos'd
My journey strange, with clamorous uproar
Protesting Fate supreme; thence how I found
The new created world, which fame in Heaven
Long had foretold, a fabric wonderful
Of absolute perfection! therein Man
Plac'd in a Paradise, by our exíle

Made happy him by fraud I have seduc'd
From his Creator; and, the more to increase
Your wonder, with an apple; he, thereat
Offended, worth your laughter! hath given up
Both his beloved Man and all his world,
To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,
Without our hazard, labor, or alarm;
To range in, and to dwell, and over Man
To rule, as over all he should have rul'd.
True is, me also he hath judg'd, or rather
Me not, but the brute serpent in whose shape
Man I deceiv'd: that which to me belongs
Is enmity, which he will put between
Me and mankind; I am to bruise his heel;
His seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head:
A world who would not purchase with a bruise,
Or much more grievous pain?-Ye have the account
Of my performance: what remains, ye gods,
But up, and enter now into full bliss?"

So having said, awhile he stood, expecting
Their universal shout and high applause,
To fill his ear; when, contrary, he hears
On all sides, from innumerable tongues,
A dismal universal hiss, the sound

Of public scorn; he wonder'd, but not long
Had leisure, wondering at himself now more;
His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare;
His arms clung to his ribs; his legs entwining
Each other, till supplanted down he fell
A monstrous serpent on his belly prone,
Reluctant, but in vain; a greater power
Now ruled him, punish'd in the shape he sinn'd,
According to his doom: he would have spoke,
But hiss for hiss return'd with forked tongue
To forked tongue; for now were all transform'd
Alike, to serpents all, as accessories

To his bold riot: dreadful was the din
Of hissing through the hall, thick swarming now

With complicated monsters head and tail,
Scorpion, and asp, and amphisbæna dire,
Cerastes horn'd, hydrus, and elops drear,
And dipsas; (not so thick swarm'd once the soil
Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the isle
Ophiusa,) but still greatest he the midst,
Now dragon grown, larger than whom the Sun
Engender'd in the Pythian vale or slime,
Huge Python, and his power no less he seem'd
Above the rest still to retain; they all
Him follow'd, issuing forth to the open field,
Where all yet left of that revolted rout,
Heaven-fall'n, in station stood or just array;
Sublime with expectation when to see
In triumph issuing forth their glorious chief;
They saw, but other sight instead! a crowd
Of ugly serpents; horror on them fell,
And horrid sympathy; for, what they saw,
They felt themselves, now changing; down their arms,
Down fell both spear and shield; down they as fast;
And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire form
Catch'd, by contagion; like in punishment.
As in their crime. Thus was the applause they meant,
Turn'd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame
Cast on themselves from their own mouths. There
stood

A grove hard by, sprung up with this their change,
His will who reigns above, to aggravate
Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like that
Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve
Us'd by the tempter: on that prospect strange
Their earnest eyes they fix'd, imagining
For one forbidden tree a multitude

Now ris'n, to work them further woe or shame;
Yet, parch'd with scalding thirst and hunger fierce,
Though to delude them sent, could not abstain;
But on they roll'd in heaps, and up the trees
Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks
That curl'd Megara: greedily they pluck'd
The fruitage fair to sight, like that which grew
Near that bituminous lake where Sodom flam'd:
This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
Deceiv'd: they, fondly thinking to allay
Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit
Chew'd bitter ashes, which the offended taste
With spattering noise rejected: oft they assay'd,
Hunger and thirst constraining; drugg'd as oft,
With hatefullest disrelish writh'd their jaws,
With soot and cinders fill'd; so oft they fell
Into the same illusion, not as Man
[plagu'd
Whom they triumph'd once laps'd. Thus were they
And worn with famine, long and ceaseless hiss,
Till their lost shape, permitted, they resum'd;
Yearly enjoin'd, some say, to undergo
This annual humbling certain number'd days,
To dash their pride, and joy, for Man seduc'd.
However, some tradition they dispers'd
Among the Heathen, of their purchase got,
And fabled how the serpent, whom they call'd
Ophion, with Eurynome, the wide-
Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule
Of high Olympus; thence by Saturn driven
And Ops, ere yet Dictman Jove was born.

Meanwhile in Paradise the hellish pair
Too soon arriv'd; Sin, there in power before,
Once actual; now in body, and to dwell
Habitual habitant; behind her Death,
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
On his pale horse: to whom Sin thus began.
"Second of Satan sprung, all-conquering Death

What think'st thou of our empire now, though earn'd In sextile, square, and trine, and opposite,
With travel difficult, not better far
Of noxious efficacy, and when to join
In synod unbenign; and taught the fix'd
Their influence malignant when to shower,
Which of them rising with the Sun, or falling,
Should prove tempestuous; to the winds they set
Their corners, when with bluster to confound
Sea, air, and shore; the thunder when to roll
With terror through the dark aëreal hall.
Some say he bid his angels turn askance
The poles of Earth, twice ten degrees and more
From the Sun's axle; they with labor push'd
Oblique the centric globe: some say, the Sun

This said, they both betook them several ways,
Both to destroy, or unimmortal make
All kinds, and for destruction to mature
Sooner or later; which the Almighty seeing.
From his transcendent seat the saints among
To those bright orders uttered thus his voice.

"See, with what heat these dogs of Hell advance
To waste and havoc yonder world, which I
So fair and good created; and had still
Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man
Let in these wasteful furies, who impute
Folly to me; so doth the prince of Hell
And his adherents, that with so much ease
I suffer them to enter and possess

Feed first; on each beast next, and fish and fowl; Was bid turn reins from the equinoctial road
INo homely morsels! and whatever thing
Like distant breadth to Taurus with the seven
The scythe of Time mows down, devour unspar'd; Atlantic Sisters, and the Spartan Twins,
Till I, in Man residing, through the race,
Up to the tropic Crab: thence down amain
His thoughts, his looks, words, actions, all infect; By Leo, and the Virgin, and the Scales,
And season him thy last and sweetest prey."
As deep as Capricorn; to bring in change
Of seasons to each clime; else had the spring
Perpetual smil'd on Earth with vernant flow'rs,
Equal in days and nights, except to those
Beyond the polar circles; to them day
Had unbenighted shone, while the low Sun,
To recompense his distance, in their sight
Had rounded still the horizon, and not known
Or east or west; which had forbid the snow
From cold Estotiland, and south as far
Beneath Magellan. At that tasted fruit
The Sun, as from Thyéstean banquet, turn'd
His course intended; else, how had the world
Inhabited, though sinless, more than now.
Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat?
These changes in the Heavens, though slow, produc'd
Like change on sea and land; sideral blast,
Vapor, and mist, and exhalation hot,
Corrupt and pestilent: now, from the north
Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shore,
Bursting their brazen dungeon, arm'd with ice,
And snow, and hail, and stormy gust and flaw,
Boreas, and Cæcias, and Argestes loud,

A place so heavenly: and, conniving, seem
To gratify my scornful enemies,

That laugh, as if, transported with some fit
Of passion, I to them had quitted all,

At random yielded up to their misrule;
And know not that I call'd, and drew them, thither,
My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth
Which Man's polluting sin with taint hath shed
On what was pure; till cramm'd and gorg'd, nigh
burst

With suck'd and glutted offal, at one sling
Of thy victorious arm, well pleasing Son,

And Thrascias, rend the woods, and seas upturn,
With adverse blast upturns them from the south
Notus, and Afer black with thunderous clouds
From Serraliona; thwart of these, as fierce,
Forth rush the Lévant and the Ponent winds,
Eurus and Zephyr, with their lateral noise,
Sirocco and Libecchio. Thus began

Both Sin, and Death, and yawning Grave, at last,
Through Chaos hurl'd, obstruct the mouth of Hell
For ever, and seal up his ravenous jaws.
'Then Heaven and Earth renew'd shall be made pure Outrage from lifeless things; but Discord first,
To sanctity, that shall receive no stain:
Till then, the curse pronounc'd on both precedes."

He ended, and the heavenly audience loud
Sung Halleluiah, as the sound of seas,
Through multitude that sung: "Just are thy ways,
Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works;
Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son,
Destin'd Restorer of mankind, by whom
New Heaven and Earth shall to the ages rise,
Or down from Heaven descend."-Such was their
song;

Daughter of Sin, among the irrational
Death introduc'd, through fierce antipathy:
Beast now with beast 'gan war, and fowl with fowl,
And fish with fish: to graze the herb all leaving,
Devour'd each other; nor stood much in awe
Of man, but fled him: or, with countenance grim,
Glar'd on him passing. These were from without
The growing miseries, which Adam saw
Already in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,
To sorrow abandon'd, but worse felt within;
And, in a troubled sea of passion tost,
Thus to disburden sought with sad complaint.

"O miserable of happy! Is this the end
Of this new glorious world, and me so late
The glory of that glory, who now become
Accurs'd, of blessed? hide me from the face
Of God, whom to behold was then my height
Of happiness!-Yet well, if here would end
The misery; I deserv'd it, and would bear
My own deservings; but this will not serve:
All that I eat or drink, or shall beget,

Than still at Hell's dark threshold to have sat watch,
Unnam'd, undreaded, and thyself half-starv'd?”
Whom thus the Sin-born monster answer'd soon.
"To me, who with eternal famine pine,
Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven;
There best, where most with ravine I may meet;
Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems
To stuff this maw, this vast unhide-bound corps."

To whom the incestuous mother thus replied. "Thou therefore on these herbs, and fruits, and flowers,

While the Creator, calling forth by name
His mighty angels, gave them several charge,
As sorted best with present things. The Sun
Had first his precept so to move, so shine,
As might affect the Earth with cold and heat
Scarce tolerable, and from the north to call
Decrepit winter; from the south to bring
Solstitial summer's heat. To the blanc Moon
Her office they prescribed; to the other five
Their planetary motions, and aspécts,

Is propagated curse. O voice, once heard
Delightfully, Increase and multiply ;
Now death to hear! for what can I increase,
Or multiply, but curses on my head?
Who of all ages to succeed, but, feeling
The evil on him brought by me, will curse
My head? Ill fare our ancestor impure,
For this we may thank Adam! but his thanks
Shall be the execration: so, besides
Mine own that bide upon me, all from me
Shall with a fierce reflux on me rebound;
On me, as on their natural centre, light
Heavy, though in their place. O fleeting joys
Of Paradise, dear bought with lasting woes!
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me Man? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me, or here place
In this delicious garden? As my will
Concurr'd not to my being, it were but right
And equal to reduce me to my dust;

Desirous to resign and render back
All I receiv'd; unable to perform
Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
The good I sought not. To the loss of that,
Sufficient penalty, why hast thou added
The sense of endless woes? Inexplicable
Thy justice seems; yet, to say truth, too late
I thus contest; then should have been refus'd
Those terms, whatever, when they were propos'd:
Thou didst accept them: wilt thou enjoy the good,
Then cavil the conditions? and, though God
Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son
Prove disobedient; and, reprov'd, retort,
"Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not:'
Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee
That proud excuse? yet him not thy election,
But natural necessity, begot.

God made thee of choice his own, and of his own
To serve him; thy reward was of his grace;
Thy punishment then justly is at his will.
Be it so, for I submit; his doom is fair,
That dust I am, and shall to dust return:
O welcome hour whenever! Why delays
His hand to execute what his decree
Fix'd on this day? Why do I overlive?
Why am I mock'd with death, and lengthen'd out
To deathless pain? How gladly would I meet
Mortality my sentence, and be earth
Insensible! How glad would lay me down
As in my mother's lap! There I should rest
And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
Would thunder in my ears; no fear of worse
To me, and to my offspring, would torment me
With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
Pursues me still, lest all I cannot die;
Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of Man
Which God inspir'd, cannot together perish
With this corporeal clod; then, in the grave,
Or in some other dismal place, who knows
But I shall die a living death? O thought
Horrid, if true! Yet why? It was but breath
Of life that sinn'd; what dies but what had life
And sin? The body properly hath neither.
All of me then shall die: let this appease
The doubt, since human reach no further knows.
For though the Lord of all be infinite,
Is his wrath also? Be it, Man is not so,
But mortal doom'd. How can he exercise
Wrath without end on Man, whom death must end?
Can he make deathless death? That were to make

Will he draw out,

Strange contradiction, which to God himself
Impossible is held; as argument
Of weakness, not of power.
For anger's sake, finite to infinite,
In punish'd Man, to satisfy his rigor,
Satisfied never? That were to extend
His sentence beyond dust and Nature's law:
By which all causes else, according still
To the reception of their matter, act;
Not to the extent of their own sphere. But say
That death be not one stroke, as I suppos'd,
Bereaving sense, but endless misery
From this day onward; which I feel begun
Both in me, and without me: and so last
To perpetuity:-Ay me! that fear
Comes thundering back with dreadful revolution
On my defenceless head; both Death and I
Are found eternal, and incorporate both;
Nor I on my part single; in me all
Posterity stands curs'd: fair patrimony
That I must leave ye, sons! O, were I able
To waste it all myself, and leave ye none!
So disinherited, how would you bless
Me, now your curse! Ah, why should all mankind
For one man's fault, thus guiltless be condemn'd,
If guiltless? But from me what can proceed,
But all corrupt; both mind and will deprav'd
Not to do only, but to will the same

With me? How can they then acquitted stand
In sight of God? Him, after all disputes,
Forc'd I absolve: all my evasions vain,

And reasonings, though through mazes, lead me still
But to my own conviction: first and last
On me, me only, as the source and spring
Of all corruption, all the blame lights due;

So might the wrath! fond wish! couldst thou support
That burden, heavier than the Earth to bear;
Than all the world much heavier, though divided
With that bad woman? Thus, what thou desir'st,
And what thou fear'st, alike destroys all hope
Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable
Beyond all past example and future;

To Satan only like both crime and doom.
O Conscience! into what abyss of fears
And horrors hast thou driven me; out of which
I find no way, from deep to deeper plung'd!"
Thus Adam to himself lamented loud,

Through the still night; not now, as ere Man fell,
Wholesome, and cool, and mild, but with black air
Accompanied; with damps, and dreadful gloom;
Which to his evil conscience represented
All things with double terror: on the ground
Outstretch'd he lay, on the cold ground; and oft
Curs'd his creation; Death as oft accus'd
Of tardy execution since denounc'd

The day of his offence. Why comes not Death,"
Said he, "with one thrice-acceptable stroke
To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word,
Justice Divine not hasten to be just?
But Death comes not at call; Justice Divine
Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries.
O woods, O fountains, hillocks, dales, and bowers!
With other echo late I taught your shades
To answer, and resound far other song."-
Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld
Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh,
Soft words to his fierce passion she assay'd:
But her with stern regard he thus repell'd.

"Out of my sight, thou serpent! That name best Befits thee with him leagu'd, thyself as false

And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,
Like his, and color serpentine, may show

Thy inward fraud; to warn all creatures from thee
Henceforth; lest that too heavenly form, pretended
To hellish falsehood, snare them! But for thee
I had persisted happy; had not thy pride
And wandering vanity, when least was safe,
Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd
Not to be trusted; longing to be seen,
Though by the Devil himself; him overweening
To over-reach; but, with the serpent meeting,
Fool'd and beguil'd; by him thou, I by thee,
To trust thee from my side; imagin'd wise,
Constant, mature, proof against all assaults;
And understood not all was but a show,
Rather than solid virtue; all but a rib
Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears,
More to the part sinister, from me drawn ;
Well if thrown out, as supernumerary
To my just number found. O! why did God,
Creator wise, that peopled highest Heaven
With spirits masculine, create at last
This novelty on Earth, this fair defect
Of Nature, and not fill the world at once
With men, as angels, without feminine;
Or find some other way to generate
Mankind? This mischief had not then befall'n,
And more that shall befall; innumerable
Disturbances on Earth through female snares,
And straight conjunction with this sex: for either
He never shall find out fit mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain
Through her perverseness, but shall see her gain'd
By a far worse; or, if she love, withheld
By parents; or his happiest choice too late
Shall meet, already link'd and wedlock-bound
To a fell adversary, his hate or shame;
Which infinite calamity shall cause

To human life, and household peace confound."

He added not, and from her turn'd; but Eve, Not so repuls'd, with tears that ceas'd not flowing And tresses all disorder'd, at his feet Fell humble; and, embracing them, besought His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.

"Forsake me not thus, Adam! witness Heaven
What love sincere, and reverence in my heart
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappily deceiv'd! Thy suppliant

I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
Thy counsel, in this uttermost distress,
My only strength and stay: forlorn of thee,
Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps,
Between us two let there be peace; both joining,
As join'd in injuries, one enmity
Against a foe by doom express assign'd us,
That cruel serpent: on me exercise not
Thy hatred for this misery befall'n;
On me already lost, me than myself
More miserable! Both have sinn'd; but thou
Against God only; I against God and thee;
And to the place of judgment will return,
There with my crimes impórtune Heaven; that all
The sentence, from thy head remov'd, may light
On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe;
Me, me only, just object of his ire!"

She ended weeping; and her lowly plight,
Immovable, till peace obtain'd from fault

Acknowledg'd and deplor'd in Adam wrought
Commiseration: soon his heart relented
Towards her, his life so late, and sole delight,
Now at his feet submissive in distress;
Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking,
His counsel, whom she had displeas'd, his aid:
As one disarm'd, his anger all he lost,
And thus with peaceful words uprais'd her soon.
"Unwary, and too desirous, as before,

So now of what thou know'st not, who desir'st

The punishment all on thyself; alas!
Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain

His full wrath, whose thou feel'st as yet least part,
And my displeasure bear'st so ill. If prayers
Could alter high decrees, I to that place
Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,
That on my head all might be visited;
Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven,
To me committed, and by me expos'd.
But rise-let us no more contend, nor blame
Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere; but strive
In offices of love, how we may lighten
Each other's burthen, in our share of woe;
Since this day's death denounc'd, if aught I see,
Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac'd, evil;
A long day's dying to augment our pain,
And to our seed (O hapless seed!) deriv'd."

To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, replied.
"Adam, by sad experiment I know
How little weight my words with thee can find,
Found so erroneous; thence by just event
Found so unfortunate: nevertheless,
Restor'd by thee, vile as I am, to place
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain
Thy love, the sole contentment of my heart
Living or dying, from thee I will not hide
What thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen,
Tending to some relief of our extremes,
Or end; though sharp and sad, yet tolerable.
As in our evils, and of easier choice.
If care of our descent perplex us most,
Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd
By Death at last; and miserable it is,
To be to others cause of misery,

Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring Into this cursed world a woful race,

That after wretched life must be at last
Food for so foul a monster; in thy power
It lies, yet ere conception, to prevent
The race unblest, to being yet unbegot.
Childless thou art, childless remain: so Death
Shall be deceiv'd his glut, and with us two
Be forc'd to satisfy his ravenous maw.
But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
From love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet,
And with desire to languish without hope,
Before the present object languishing
With like desire; which would be misery
And torment less than none of what we dread:
Then, both ourselves and seed at once to free
From what we fear for both, let us make short,
Let us seek Death;-or, he not found, supply
With our own hands his office on ourselves:
Why stand we longer shivering under fears,
That show no end but death, and have the power
Of many ways to die the shortest choosing,
Destruction with destruction to destroy?"-
She ended here, or vehement despair
Broke off the rest: so much of death her thoughts

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