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The punishment all on thyself; alas,
Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain
His full wrath, whose thou feel'st as yet least party
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 forgiv'n,
To me committed, and by me exposed.
But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
Each other, blamed enough elsewhere, but strivo
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 seo,
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 my

heart
Living or dying, from thee I will not hide
What thonghts 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.

Childless thou art, childless remain : 80 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 sweety
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 shorts
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
Had entertain'd, as dyed her cheeks with pale.
But Adam, with such counsel nothing sway'd,
To better bopes his more attentive mind
Labouring had raised, and thus to Eve replied.

Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seenis
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 forestallid: much more I fear lest death
So snatch'd will not exempt us from 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

Y

Some safer resolution, which methinks
I have in view, calling to mind with heed
Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruiso
The serpent's head : piteous amends, unless
Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foa
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 P idleness had been worsos
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 wings
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
Our limbs benumb'd, ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night, how we his gather'd beams
Reflected may with matter sere foment,
Or by collision of two bodies grind
The air attrite 'to fire, as late the clouds
Justling or push'd with winds rude in their shock
Tine : the slant lightning, whose thwart fiame driv'n dowa
Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine
And sends a comfortable heat from far,
Which might supply the sun.

Such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure
To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought;
He will instruct us praying, and of grace
Beseeching Him, so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
By Him with many comforts, till we end
In dust, our final rest and native home.
What better can we do, than, to the place
Repairing where He judged us, prostrate fall
Before Him reverent, and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd and humiliation meek ?
Undoubtedly He will relent and turn
From His displeasure, in whose look serene,
When angry most He seem'd and most severe,
What else but favour, grace, and mercy

shone P
So spake our father penitent, nor Eve
Felt less remorse : they forth with to the place
Repairing where He judged them prostrate feli
Before Him reverent, and both confess'd
Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd, with tears
Watering the grou and with their sighs the air
Frequenting,' sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd and humiliation meek.

I Worn by rubbing or friction

To kindla

* Beating tho alt.

BOOK XL

THE ABOUYET

Tho Son of God prose to to his Father the prayers of our first parents nou repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they mus no longer abido in paradise ; sends Michael with a band of cherubim to dispusrest thein; but first to reveal to Adam future things : Michael's coming down. Adan shows to Eve certain ominous signs ; he discerns Michael's approach : goes out to meet him : the angel denounces their approaching ceparture. Eve's lamentation Adam pleads, but submits : the angel leads him up to a high hill; seta before him in vision what shall happen till the Flood.

Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood,
Praying, for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace descending had removed
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
Unutterable,' which the spirit of prayer
Inspired, and wing'd for heav'n with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: yet their port
Not of mean suitors, nor important less
Seem'd their petition, than when the ancient pair
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To heav'n their prayers
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate : in they pass'd
Dimensionless through heav'nly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fumed,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne; them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began.

See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung
From thy implanted grace in man, these sighs

1 Roinang vill. 26.

? Thernis, the goddess of justice. The tablo of Douculion and Pyrrha, evidently

founded on a heathen tradition of Yosht flood, is told by Ovid, Met. I. fab. &

* Psalm axli. 2.

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