« AnteriorContinuar »
May have diverted from continual watch Thou therefore also taste; that equal lot
Lest, thou not tasting, different degree
Thus Eve with countenance blithe her story But keep the odds of knowledge in my power
told; Without copartner ? so to add what want But in her cheek distemper flushing glow'd. In female sex, the more to draw his love,
On the other side, Adam, soon as be heard And render me more equal; and perhaps, The fatal trespass done by Eve, amaz'd, A thing not undesirable, sometime
Astonied stood and blank, while horrour chill Superior ; for, inferior, who is free?
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relar'd; This may be well: but what if God have seen, From his slack hand the garland wreath'd few And death ensue? then I shall be no more!
Eve And Adam, wedded to another Eve,
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed: Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct;
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length! A death to think ! Confirmı'd then I resolve, First to himself he inward silence broke, Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe :
“O fairest of creation, last and best So dear I love him, that with him all deaths Ofall God's works, creature in whom excell'd I could endare, without him live no life.” Whatever can to sight or thought be form'd,
So saying, from the tree her step she turn'd; Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet! But first low reverence done, as to the Power How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost, That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd Defac'd, deflower'd, and now to death devote? Into the plant sciential sap, deriv'd
Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress From nectar, drink of gods. Adam the while The strict forbiddance, how to violate Waiting desirous her return, had wove
The sacred fruit forbidden! Some cursed fraud Of choicest flowers a garland, to adorn
Of enemy hath beguild thee, yet ankuowa, Her tresses, and her rural labours crown; And me with thee bath ruin'd; for with thee As reapers oft are wont their harvest-queen. Certain my resolution is to die: Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new How can I live without thee! bow forego Solate in her return, so long delay'd :
Thy sweet convérse, and love so dearly join'd, Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill, To live again in these wild woods forlorn ! Misgave him; he the faltering measure felt; Should God create another Eve, and I And forth to meet her went, the way she took Another rib afford, yet loss of thee That morn when first they parted: by the tree Would never from my heart: no, no! I feel Of knowledge he must pass ; there he her met, The liuk of Nature draw me: flesh of flesh, Scarce from the tree returning; in her hand Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smil'd, Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.'' New gather'd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd. So having said, as one from sad dismay To him she hasted; in her face excuse
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbid Came prologue, and apology too prompt ; Submitting to what seem'd remediless, Which,' with bland words at will, she thus ad- 'Thus in calm miod his words to Eve be turn'd. dress'd.
“ Bold deed thou hast presum'd, adventurous “ Hast thou not wonder'd, Adam, at my stay?
Eve, Thee I have miss'd, and thougiit it long, depriv'd And peril great provok'd, who thus bast dar'd, Thy presence; agony of love till now
Had it been only coveting to eye Not felt, nor shall be twice ; for never more That sacred fruit, sacred to abstinence, Mean I to try, what rash untried I sought, Much more to taste it under ban to touch. The pain of absence from thy sight. But But past who can recall, or done undo? strange
Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate; yet so Hath been the cause, and wonderful to hear : Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact This tree is not, as we are told, a tree
is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit, Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown
Profan’d first by the serpent, by bim first Opening the way, but of divine effect
Made common, and onhallow'd, ere our taste : To open eyes, and make them gods who taste; Nor yet on bim found deadly ; he yet lives; And hath been tasted such : the serpent wise, Lives, as thou saidst, and gains to live, as Man, Or not restrain'd as we, or not obeying,
Higher degree of life: inducement strong
To us, as likely tasting to attain
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threatenivg, will in earnest so destroy Have also tasted, and have also found
Us his prime creatures, dignified so high, The effects to correspond; opener mine eyes, Set over all his works; which in our fall, Dim erst, dilated spirits, ampler heart,
For us created, needs with us must fail, And growing up to godhead, which for thee Dependant made ; so God sball uncreate, Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise. Be frustrate, do, unde, and labour lose; For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss ; Not well conceis d of God, who, though his Tedious, unsbar'd with thee, and odious soon.
Creation could repeat, yet would be loth Par other operation first display'd,
[God Camal desire inflaming; he on Eve Triumph, and say ; “ Fickle their state whom Began to cast lascivious eyes ; she him Most favours; who can please him long? Me As wantonly repaid ; in lust they burn: first
Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move. He ruin'd, now Mankind; whom will he next ?" “Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste, Matter of scorn, not to be given the foe.
And elegant, of sapience no small part; However I with thee have fix'd my lot,
Since to each meaning savour we apply, Certain to undergo like doom : if death
And palate call judicious; I the praise Consort with thee, death is to me as life; Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd. So forcible within my heart I feel
Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd The bond of Nature draw me to my own; From this delightful fruit, nor known till now My own in thee, for what thou art is mine; True relish, tasting ; if such pleasure be Our state cannot be sever'd; we are one, In things to us forbidd’n, it might be wish'd, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.” For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
So Adam; and thus Eve to him replied. But come, so well rofresh'd, now let us play, "O glorious trial of exceeding love,
As meet is, after such delicious fare ; Illustrious evidence, example high !
For never did thy beauty, since the day Engaging me to emulate ; but, short
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd Of thy perfection, how shall I attain,
With all perfections, so inflame my sense Adam ? from whose dear side I boast me sprung, With ardour to enjoy thee, fairer now And gladly of our union hear thee speak, Than ever; bounty of this virtuous tree !" One heart, one soul in both; whereof good proof So said he, and forbore not glance or toy This day affords, declaring thee resulv'd, Of amorous intent; well understood Rather than death, or aught than death more Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire. dread,
Her hand he seiz'd; and to a shady bank, Shall separate us, link'd in love so dear, Thick over-head with verdant roof imbower'd, To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
He led her nothing loth ; flowers were the couch, If any be, of tasting this fair fruit ;
Papsies, and violets, and asphodel, Whose virtue (for of good still good proceeds, And hyacinths ; Earth's freshest softest lap. Direct, or by occasion,) hath presented
There they their fill of love and love's disport This happy trial of thy love, which else
Took fargely, of their mutual guilt the seal, So eminently never had been known.
The solace of their sin ; till dewy sleep Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue Oppress'd them, wearied with their amorous This my attempt, I would sustain alone
play. The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit, Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact
That with exhilarating vapour bland Pernicious to thy peace; chiefly, assur'd About their spirits had play'd, and inmost powers Remarkably so late of thy so true,
Made err, was now exbald ; and grosser sleep, So faithful, love unequall'd : but I feel
Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams Par otherwise the event ; not death, but life Encumber'd, now had left them; up they rose Augmented, opend eyes, new hopes, new joys, As from unrest ; and, each the other viewing, Taste so divine, that what of sweet before Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this, and
How darken'd; innocence, that as a veil On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
Had shadow'd them froin knowing ill, was And fear of death deliver to the winds."
gone ; So saying, sbe embrac'd him, and for joy Just confidence, and native righteousness, Tenderly wept; much won, that he his love And honour, from about them, naked left Had so ennobled, as of choice to incur
To guilty shame; he coverd, but his robe Divine displeasure for her sake, or death. Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong, In recompense (for such compliance bad Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap Such recompense best merits) from the bough Of Philistéan Dalilah, and wak'd She gave him of that fair enticing fruit
Shorn of his strength, they destitute and bare With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat, Of all their virtue: silent, and in face Against his better knowledge; not deceiv'd, Confounded, long they sat, as strucken mute: But fondly overcome with female charm.
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash'd, Earth trembled from her entrails, as again At length gave utterance to these words conIn pangs ; and Nature gave a second groan;
strain'd. Sky lourd; and, muttering thunder, some sad “ O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give éar Wept at completing of the mortal sin [drops To that false worm, of whomsoever taught Original : while Adam took no thought,
To counterfeit inan's voice ; true in our fall, Eating his fill ; nor Eve to iterate
False in our promis'd rising ; since our eyes Her former trespass fear'd, the more to sooth Open'd we find indeed, and find we know Hiin with her lov'd society; that now,
Both good and evil; good lost, and evil got; As with new wine intoxicated both,
Bad fruit of knowledge; if this be to know; They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void, Divinity within them breeding wings,
Of innocence, of faith, of purity, Wherewith to scora the Earth: but that false fruit Our wonted ornaments now soild and stain'd,
And in our faces evident the signs
Remain'd still happy; not as now, despoild Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store ; Of all our good ; sham'd, naked, miserable! Even shame, the last of evils; of the first Let none henceforth seek needless cause to apo Be sure then.-How shall I behold the face
prove Henceforth of God or angel, erst with joy The faith they owe;. when earnestly they seek And rapture so oft beheld ? Those heavenly Such proof, conclude, they then begin to fail.” shapes
To whom, soon mov'd with touch of blame, Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze
thus Eve. Insufferably bright. O! might I here
“What words have pass'd thy lips, Adam serere! Io solitude live savage; in some glade
Imput'st thou that to my default, or will Obscur'd, where highest woods, impenetrable Of wandering, as thou callst it, which who To star or sun-light, spread their umbrage
But might as ill have happen'd thou being by, And brown as evening: cover me, ye pines ! Or lo thyself perhaps ? Hadst thou been there, Yecedars, with innumerable boughs
Or here the attempt, thou couldst not have diso Hide me, where I may never see them more !
cern'd But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
Fraud in the serpent, speaking as he spake; What best may for the present serve to hide No ground of enmity between us known, The parts of each from other, that seem most Why he should mean me ill, or seek to harm. To shame obzoxious, and unseemliest seen ; Was I to have never parted from thy side ? Some tree, whose broad smooth leaves together As good have grown there still a lifeless rib. sew'd,
Being as I am, why didst not thou, the head, And girded on our loins, may cover round Command me absolutely not to go, Those middle parts; that this new comer, | Going into such danger, as thou saidst? Shame,
Too facile then, thou didst not much gainsay; There sit not, and reproach us as unclean." Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
So counsell'd he, and both together went Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent, Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with me." The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renown'd, To whom, then first incens'd, Adam replied But such as at this day, to Indians known, " Is this the love, is this the recompense In Malabar or Decan spreads her arms
Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve! Express'd Branching so broad and long, that in the ground Immutable, when thou wert lost, not I; The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow Who might have liv'd, and joy'd immortal bliss, About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade
Yet willingly chose rather death with thee? High over-arch’d, and echoing walks between : And am I now upbraided as the cause There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat, Of thy transgressing? Not enough severe, Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds It seems, in thy restraint : what could I more? Ai loop-holes cut through thickest shade: those I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold leaves
The danger, and the lurking enemy They gather'd, broad as Amazonian targe; That lay in wait ; beyond this, had been force; And, with what skill they had, together sew'd, And force upon free will bath here no place. To gird their waist ; vain covering, if to hide But confidence then bore thee on; secure Their, guilt and dreaded shame! O, how unlike Either to meet no danger, or to find To that first naked glory! Such of late
Matter of glorious trial ; and perhaps Columbus found the American, so girt
I also errd, in overmuch admiring With feather'd cincture; naked else, and wild What seem'd in thee so perfect, that I thought Among the trees on isles and woody shores. No evil durst attempt thee; but I rue Thus fenc'd, and, as they thought, their shame That errour now, which is become my crime,
And thou the acciiser. Thus it shall befall Cover'd, but not at rest or ease of mind,
Him, who, to worth in women overtrusting, They sat them down to weep; nor only tears Lets her will rule : restraint she will not brook; Rain'd at their eyes, but high winds worse And, left to herself, if evil thence ensue, within
She first his weak indulgence will accuse." Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate,
Thus they in mutual accusation spent
THE ARGUMENT. and staid With me, as I besought thee, when that strange Man's transgression known, the guardian-angels Desire of wandering, this unhappy morn, forsake Paradise, and return up to Heaven to I know not whence possess'd thee; we had then approve their vigilance, and are approved ;
God declaring that the entrance of Satan could With pity, violated not their bliss.
Hell. in full assembly relates with boasting his suc- I told ye then he should prevail, and speed cess against Man; instead of applause is en- On his bad errand; Man should be seduc'd, tertained with a general hiss. by all his audi- And flatter'd out of all, believing lies ence, transformed with himself also suddenly Against his Maker; no decree of mine into serpents according to his doom given in Concurring to necessitate his fall, Paradise ; then, deluded with a show of the Or touch with lightest moment of impulse forbidden tree springing up before them, His free will, to her own inclining left they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, In even scale. But fall’n he is; and now chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass of Sin and Death ; God foretels the final vic- On bis transgression,-death denounc'd that tory of his Son over them, and the renewing
day? of all things; but for the present, commands which he presumes already vain and coid, . his angels to make several alterations in the
Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd Heavens and elements. Adam, more and | By some immediate stroke ; but soon shall find more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end. bewails, rejects the condolement of Eve; she Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd. persists, and at length appeases him : then, But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee to evade the curse likely to fall on their off- Vicegerent Son ? To thee I have transferrd spring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which all judgınent, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or he approves not ; but, conceiving better hope, Easy it may be seen that I intend [Hell puts her in mind of the late promise made Mercy coileague with justice, sending the e them, that her seed should be revenged on the Man's friend, his Mediator, his design'd serpent; and exhorts ber with him to seek Both ransom and Redeemer voluntary, peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and And destiu'd Man himself to judge Man fall’n." supplication,
So spake the Father; and, unfolding bright
Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son
Resplendent all his father manifest
Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd mild.
á Father Eternal, thine is to decree;
When time shall be; for so I undertook
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where
Are to behold the judgment, but the judg'd,
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose
powers, All were who heard ; dim sadness did not spare Princedoms, and dominations ministrant, Tbat time celestial visages, yet, mix'd
Accompanied to Heaven-gate; from whenice
Eden, and all the coast, in prospect lay. Wherein God set the above her made of thee,
She was indeed, and lovely, to attract
So having said, he thus to Eve in few. Came the mild judge, and intercessor both, “Say woman, what is this which thou hast To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard
done ?" Now walking in the garden, by soft winds
To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overBrought to their ears, while day declin'd; they
Confessing soon, yet not before her judge And from his presence hid themselves among Bold or loquacious, thus abash'd replied. The thickest trees, both man and wife ; till God, “The serpent me beguild, and I did eat." Approaching, thus to Adam call'd aloud.
Which when the Lord God heard, without * Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to
To judgment he proceeded on the accus'd My coming seen far off? I miss thee here, Serpent, though brute; unable to transfer Not pleas'd, thus entertain'd with solitude, The guilt on him, who made him instrument Where obvious duty ere wbile appeard unsought: Of mischief, and polluted from the end Or come I less conspicuous, or what change Of his creation ; justly tben accurs’d, Absents thee, or what chance detains ? - Come As vitiated in nature : more to know forth !”
Concern'd not Man, (since he no further knew) He came; and with him Eve, more loth, Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last though first
[pos'd; To Satan first in sin his doom applied, To offend; discountenanc'd both, and discom- Though in mysterious terins, judg'd as then best: Love was not in their looks, either to God, And on the serpent thus his curse let fall. Or to each other; but apparent guilt,
“Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd And shame, and perturbation, and despair, Above all cattle, each beast of the field ; Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile. Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go, Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answer'd And dust shall eat all the days of thy life. brief.
Between thee and the woman I will put “ I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice Enmity, and between thine and her seed; Afraid, being naked, hid myself.” To whom Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise bis The gracious Judge without revile replied.
heel." “ My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not So spake this oracle, then verified fear'd,
When Jesus, son of Mary, second Eve, (ven, But still rejoic'd; how is it now become Saw Satan fall, like lightning, down from HeaSo dreadful to thee? That thou art naked, who Prince of the air; then, rising from his grave Hath told thee? Hast thou eaten of the tree, Spoil'd principalities and powers, triumph'd Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not In open show; and, with ascension bright, eat ?"
Captivity led captive through the air, To whom thus Adam sore beset replied. The realm itself of Satan, lung usurp'd; “ O Heaven ! in evil strait this day I stand Whom he shall tread at last under our feet; Before my judge; either to undergo
Ev'n he, who now foretold his fatal bruise : Myself the total crime, or to accuse
And to the woman thus his sentence turr'd. My other self, the partner of my life;
“ Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply Whose failing, while her faith to me remains, By thy conception ; children thou shalt bring I should conceal, and not expose to blame In sorrow forth; and to thy husband's will By my complaint : but strict necessity
Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule." Subdues me, and calamitous constraint;
On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd. Lest on my head both sin and punishment, “ Because thou hast bearken'd to the voice of However ipsupportable, be all
thy wife, Devolv'd ; though should I hold my peace, yet And eaten of the tree, concerning wbich Wouldst easily detect what I conceal.
I charg'd thee, saying, “Thou sbalt not eat This woman, whom thou mad'st to be my help,
thereof :' And gav'st me as thy perfect gift, so good, Curs'd is the ground for tby sake; thou in sorrow So fit, so acceptable, so divine,
Shalt eat thereof, all the days of thy life; That from her hand I could suspect no ill, Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth And what she did, whatever in itself,
Unbid ; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; Her doing seem'd to justify the deed;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
To whom the sovran Presence tbus replied. Out of the ground wast taken, know thy birth, “ Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey For dust thou art, and shalt to dust reture." Before his voice? or was she made thy guide, So judy'd he Man, both judge and saviour Superior, or but equal, that to her
[day, Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place And the instant stroke of death, denonne'd that