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Her unadornèd golden tresses wore
Dishevell’d, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then conceal'd;
Then was not guilty shame; dishonest shame
Of nature's works, honour dishonourable,
Sin-bred, how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banish'd from man's life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence !
So pass'd they naked on, nor shunn'd the sight
Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they pass’d, the loveliest pair
That ever since in love's embraces met;
Adam the goodliest man of men since born
His sons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.
Under a tuft of shade, that on a green
Stood whisp'ring soft, by a fresh fountain side
They sat them down; and after no more toil
Of their sweet gard'ning labour than sufficed
To recommend cool Zephyr, and made ease
More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite
More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell,
Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, side-long as they sat recline
On the soft downy bank damask'd with flow'rs.
The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind,
Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream;
Nor gentle purpose nor endearing smiles
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems
Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league
Alone as they. About them frisking play'd
All beasts of th' earth, since wild, and of all chase
In wood or wilderness, forest or den ;
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw
Dandled the kid; bears, tigers, ounces, pards,

Gamboll'd before them; th’ un ieldly elephant
To make them mirth used all hij might, and wreath'd
His lithe proboscis; close the serpent sly
Insinuating wove with Gordian twine
His braided train, and of his fatal guile
Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass
Couch’d, and now fill’d with pasture gazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating: for the sun
Declined was hasting now with prone career
To th' ocean isles, and in th' ascending scale
Of heav’n the stars that usher evening rose :
When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length fail'd speech recover'd sad.

O hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold,
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
Not spirits, yet to heav'nly spirits bright
Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that form’d them on their shape hath pour'd !
Ah gentle pair, ye little think how nigh
Your change approaches, when all these delights
Will vanish and deliver ye to woe;
More woe, the more your taste is now of joy:
Happy, but for so happy ill secured
Long to continue; and this high seat your heav'n
Ill fenced for heav'n to keep out such a foe
As now is enter'd : yet no purposed foe
To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn,
Though I unpitied. League with you I seek,
And mutual amity, so straight, so close,
That I with you must dwell, or you with me
Henceforth : my dwelling haply may not please,
Like this fair paradise, your sense; yet such
Accept, your Maker's work; He gave it me.
Which I as freely give: hell shall unfold

1 Isaiah xiv. 9.

To entertain you two, her widest gates,
And send forth all her kings : there will be room,
Not like these narrow limits, to receive
Your numerous offspring; if no better place,
Thank him who puts me loth to this revenge
On
you,
who

wrong me not, for Him who wrong'd. And should I at

your

harmless innocence
Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
Honour and empire with revenge enlarged,
By conquering this new world, compels me now
To do, what else, though damn’d, I should abhor.

So spake the fiend, and with necessity,
The tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds.
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those fourfooted kinds, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape served best his end
Nearer to view his prey, and unespied
To mark what of their state he more might learn
By word or action mark'd : about them round
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare,
Then as a tiger, who by chance had spied
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
Strait couches close, then rising changes oft
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might surest seize them both
Griped in each paw: when Adam first of men,
To first of women Eve thus moving speech,
Turn'd him all ear to hear new utterance flow.

Sole partner and sole part of all those joys,
Dearer thyself than all, needs must the Power
That made us, and for us this ample world,
Be infinitely good, and of His good
As liberal and free as infinite,
That raised us from the dust and placed us here
In all this happiness, who at His hand
Have nothing merited, nor can perform
Aught whereof He hath need, He who requires
From us no other service than to keep
This one, this easy charge, of all the trees

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In paradise that bear delicious fruit
So various, not to taste that only Tree
Of Knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life;
So near grows death to life; whate'er death is,
Some dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou know'st
God hath pronounced it death to taste that trec,
The only sign of our obedience left
Among so many signs of power and rule
Conferr'd upon us, and dominion given
Over all other creatures that

possess
Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard
One easy prohibition, who enjoy
Free leave so large to all things else, and choice
Unlimited of manifold delights:
But let us ever praise him and extol
His bounty, following our delightful task
To prune these growing plants, and tend these flowers;
Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet.

To whom thus Eve replied. O thou, for whom
And from whom I was form’d, flesh of thy flesh,
And without whom am to no end, my guide
And head, what thou hast said is just and right:
For we to him indeed all praises owe,
And daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy
So far the happier lot, enjoying thee
Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou
Like consort to thyself canst no where find.
That day I oft remember, when from sleep
I first awaked, and found myself reposed
Under a shade on flowers, much wond'ring where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how
Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound
Of waters issued from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoved,
Pure as th' expanse of heav'n; I thither went
With unexperienced thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the clear
Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky.
As I bent down to look, just opposite
A shape within the wat’ry gleam appeai U

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Bending to look on me: I started back,
It started back; but pleased I soon return'd,
Pleased it return'd as soon with answering looks
Of sympathy and love: there I had fix'd
Mine
eyes

till now, and pined with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warn’d me, What thou seest,
What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself;
With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
And I will bring thee where no shadow stays
Thy coming, and thy soft embraces; he
Whose image thou art, him thou shalt enjoy
Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear
Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd
Mother of human race. What could I do,
But follow straight, invisibly thus led ?
Till I espied thee, fair indeed and tall,
Under a platain; yet, methought, less fair,
Less winning soft, less amiably mild,
Than that smooth wat’ry image; back I turn’d,
Thou following criedst aloud, Return, fair Eve,
Whom fliest thou ? whom thou fliest, of him thou art,
His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
Out of my side to thee, nearest my

heart,
Substantial life, to have thee by my side
Henceforth an individual solace dear:
Part of my soul, I seek thee, and thee claim,
My other half. With that thy gentle hand
Seized mine; I yielded, and from that time see
How beauty is excell’d by manly grace,
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

So spake our general mother, and, with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreproved
And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd
On our first father; half her swelling breast
Naked met his under the flowing gold
Of her loose tresses hid: he, in delight
Both of her beauty and submissive charms,
Smiled with superior love, as Jupiter
On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds
That shed May flowers, and press'd her matron lip

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