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And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,
Like his, and colour serpentine may show
Thy inward fraud, to warn all creatures from thee
Henceforth; lest that too heav'nly form, pretended
To hellish falsehood, snare them. But for thee
I had persisted happy, had not thy pride
And wand'ring vanity, when least was safe,
Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'a
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 beguiled, by him thou, I by thee,
To trust thee from my side, imagined 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. Oh! why did God,
Creator wise, that peopled highest heav'n
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 buman life, and household peace confound.


He added not, and from her turn'd; but Eve Not so repulsed, with tears that ceased 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 heav'n What love sincere and reverence in


heart I bear thee, and unweeting have offended, Unhappily deceived; 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 thyself 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 cries importune heaven, that all The sentence, from thy head removed, 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,
Immoveable till

peace obtain'd from fault
Acknowledged and deplored, 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 displeased, his aid;

one disarm’d, his anger all he lost, And thus with peaceful words upraised her soon.

Unwary and too desirous as before,
So now of what thou know'st not, who desir’st

That on my

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,

head all might be visited,
Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiv'n,
To me committed, and by me exposed.
But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
Each other, blamed enough elsewhere, but strive
In offices of love how we may lighten
Each other's burden in our share of woe;
Since this day's death denounced, if aught I see,
Will prove no sudden, but a slow-paced evil,
A long day's dying to augment our pain,
And to our seed, 0 hapless seed! derived.

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,
Restored by thee, vile as I am, to place
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain
Thy love, the sole contentment of heart
Living or dying, from thee I will not hide
What thoughts in my unquiet breast are ris'n,
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.


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Childless thou art, childless remain: so Death
Shall be đeceived his glut, and with us two
Be forced to satisfy his rav’nous 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 languishi
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,

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 Had entertain'd, as dyed her cheeks with pale. But Adam, with such counsel nothing sway'd, To better hopes his more attentive mind Labouring had raised, and thus to Eve replied.

Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
To argue

in thee something more sublime
And excellent than what thy mind contemns;
But self-destruction therefore sought refutes
That excellence thought in thee, and implies,
Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
For loss of life and pleasure overloved.
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
Of misery, so thinking to evade
The penalty pronounced, doubt not but God
Hath wiselier arm’d his vengeful ire than so
To be forestall'd: much more I fear lest death
So snatch'd will not exempt us

the pain
We are by doom to pay: rather such acts
Of contumacy will provoke the Highest
To make death in us live: then let us seek

Some safer resolution, which methinks
I have in view, calling to mind with heed
Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise
The serpent's head: piteous amends, unless
Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand fo3
Satan, who in the serpent hath contrived
Against us this deceit. To crush his head
Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost
By death brought on ourselves, or childless days
Resolved, as thou proposest; so our foe
Shall scape his punishment ordain'd, and we
Instead shall double ours upon our heads.
No more be mention'd then of violence
Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness,
That cuts us off from hope, and savours only
Rancour and pride, impatience and despite,
Reluctance against God and His just yoke
Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild
And gracious temper He both heard and judged
Without wrath or reviling; we expected
Immediate dissolution, which we thought
Was meant by death that day, when, lo ! to thee
Pains only in child-bearing were foretold,
And bringing forth ; soon recompensed with joy,
Fruit of thy womb: on me the curse aslope
Glanced on the ground, with labour I must earn
My bread; what harm ? idleness had been worse;
My labour will sustain me; and lest cold
Or heat should injure us, His timely care
Hath unbesought provided, and His hands
Clothed us unworthy, pitying while He judged.
How much more, if we pray Him, will His ear
Be open, and His heart to pity incline,
And teach us further by what means to shun
Th’ inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow,
Which now the sky with various face begins
To show us in this mountain, while the winds
Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading trees, which bids us seek
Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish

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