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Engaging me to emulate, but short
Of thy perfection how shall I attain,
Adam ? from whose dear side I boast me sprung,
And gladly of our union hear thee speak,
One heart, one soul in both; whereof good proof
This day affords, declaring thee resolvid,
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 crime,
If any be, of tasting this fair fruit,
Whose virtue (for of good still good proceeds,
Direct, or by occasion) hath presented
This happy trial of thy love, which else
So eminently never had been known.
Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die
Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact 980
Pernicious to thy peace, chiefly assur'd
Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful love unequallid; but I feel
Far otherwise th' event, not death, but life
Augmented, open'd eyes, new hopes, new joys,
Taste so divine, that what of sweet before
Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
On my experience, Adam! freely taste,
And fear of death deliver to the winds.

So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy 990
Tenderly wept, much won that he his love
Had so ennobled, as of choice to' incur

Divine displeasure for her sake, or death.
In recompense (for such compliance bad
Such recompense best merits) from the bough
She
gave

him of that fair enticing fruit
With lib'ral hand: he, scrupled not to cat
Against his better knowledge, not deceiv'd,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again 1000
In

pangs, and Nature gave a second groan, Sky lourd, and, muttering thunder, some sad drops Wept at completing of the mortal sin Original; while Adam took no thought, Eating his fill, nor Eve to iterate Her former trespass fear'd, the more to sooth Him with her lov'd society, that now As with new wine intoxicated both They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel Divinity within them breeding wings, 1010 Wherewith to scorn the Earth: but that false fruit Far other operation first display'd, Carnal desire. inflaming; he' on Eve · Bagan to cast lascivious eyes, she him As wantonly repaid; in lust they burn: Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move :

Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste, And elegant, of sapience no small part, Since to each meaning savor we apply, And palate call judicious; I the praise 1020 Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd. Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd

From this delightful fruit, nor known till now
True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be
In things to us forbidd'n, it might be wishid,
For this one tree, had been forbidden ten.
But come, so well refresh'd, now let us play,
As meet is, after such delicious fare ;
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 ardor 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
Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire.
Her hand he seiz'd, and to a shady bank,
Thick overhead with verdant roof imbower'd,
He led her nothing loath; flowers 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 Oppress'd them, wearied with their amorous play. Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit, That with exhilarating vapor 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 vicwing,

Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their mind
How darken'd; Innocence, that as a veil
Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone,
Just confidence, and native righteousness,
And honor from about them, naked left
To guilty shame, he coverd, but his robe
Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong
Herculcan Samson from the harlot lap

1060
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 abashid,
At length gave utt'rance 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 honor void, Of innocence, of faith, of purity, Our wonted ornaments now soil'd and stain'd, And in our faces evident the signs Of foul concupiscence; whence the 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 ? thoş heav’nly shapes

Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze
Insufferably bright. O might I here
In solitude live

savage, in some glade
Obscur’d, where highest woods impenetrable
To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad
And brown as ev'ning: cover me, ye pines,
Ye cedars, with innumerable boughs
Hide me, where I may never see them more. 1090
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 unseem liest seen;
Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together sow'd,
And girded on our loins, may cover round
Those middle parts, that this new comer, Shame,
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.

So counsel'd he, and both together went 1099 Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose 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 High overarch’d, and echoing walks between : There oft the Indian herdsman şhunning heat Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds At loop-holes cut through thickest shade : those leaves

1110 They gatherd, broad as Amazonian targe,

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