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Adam the goodliest man of men fince born
His fons, the fairest of her daughters Eve.
Under a tuft of fade that on a green
325 Stood whisp'ring soft, by a fresh fountain side They sat them down; and after no more toil of their sweet gard’ning labor than suffic'd To recommend cool Zephyr, and made ease More easy, wholsome thirst and appetite
330 More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell, Ne&tarin fruits which the compliant boughs Yielded them, side-long as they sat recline On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers : The savory pulp they chew, and in the rind
335 Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream ; Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing fmilcs Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league, Alone as they. About them frisking play'd 340 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 Dandled the kid; bears, tigers, ounces, pards, Gambol'd before them; th’ unwieldy elephant 345 To make them mirth us’d all his might, and wreath'd His lithe proboscis; close the serpent lly Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine His breaded train, and of his fatal guile Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass
350 Couch'd, and now fill’d with pasture gazing fat, Or bedward ruminating; for the sun
Declin'd was hasting now with prone carreer
To th' ocean iles, and in th' afcending scale
Of Heav'n the stars that usher evening rose: 355
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 advanc'd
Creatures of other mold, earth-born perhaps,
Not Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits bright
Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, fo 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 secur'd
Long to continue, and this high feat
Ill fenc'd for Heav'n to keep out such a foe
As now is enter'd; yet no purpos’d foe
To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn,
Though I unpitied: League with you I seek,
And mutual amity so strait, fo 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
Which I as freely give ; Hell fall unfold,
To entertain you two, her widest gates,
And send forth all her kings; there will be room,
Not like theie narrow limits, to receive
Your numerous offspring; if no better place, 385
Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge
On you who wrong me not for him who wrong d.
And fhould I at your harmless innocence
Melt, as I do, yet public reason juít,
Honor and empire with revenge inlarg’d,
By congu'ring this new world, compels me now
To do what else though damnd I should abhor.
So spake the Fiend, and with neceility,
The tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
Then from his lofty stand on that high tree 395
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end
Nearer to view his prey, and unespy'd
To mark what of their state he more might learn 400
By word or action mark’d: about them round
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare ;
Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spy'd
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
Strait couches close, then rising changes oft 405
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might fureft feise them both
Grip'd 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, 410
Sole partner, and sole part, of all these 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 rais'd us from the dust and plac'd us here
In all this happiness, who at his hand 4514
Have nothing merited, nor can perform
Ought whereof he hath need, he who requires
From us no other service than to keep
This one, this easy charge, of all the trees
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'ft
God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that tree,
The only sign of our obedience left
Among so many signs of pow'r and rule
Conferr'd upon us, and dominion given
Over all other creatures that possess.
Earth, air, and fea. 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 talk
prune these growing plants, and tend these flowers, Which were it toilfome, yet with thee were sweet.
To whom. thus Eve reply'd. O thou for whom 440
And from whom I was form'd flesh of thy fiesh,...
And without whom am to no end, my guide het
And head, what thou haft 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
Præeminent by so much odds, while thou
Like confort to thyself canst no where find.
That day I oft remember, when from sleep
I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd
450 Under a shade on flow'rs, much wond'ring where And what I was, whence thither brought and how. Not distant far from thence a murm'ring found Of waters issued from a cave, and spread Into a liquid plain, then stood unmoy'd
455 Pure as th’ expanfe of Heav'n ; I thither went With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down On the green bank, to look into the clear Smooth lake, that to me feem'd another sky. As I bent down to look, just opposite A shape within the watry gleam appear'd, Bending to look on me: I started back, It started back ; but pleas'd I foon return'd; Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answ'ring looks Of fympathy and love : there I had fix'd 465 Mine eyes till now, and pind with vain defire, Had not a voice thus warn’d me, What thou feeft, What there thou feeft, fair Creature, is thyself; With thee it came and goes : but follow me, And I will bring thee where no fhadow stays 470 Thy coming, and thy soft embraces, he Whose image thou art; him thou shalt enjoy