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And knew not eating death. Satiate at length, And heighten’d as with wine, jocund and boon, Thus to herself she pleasingly began :

“O sov'reign, virtuous, precious of all trees In Paradise, of operation bless'd To sapience, hitherto obscur'd, infam'd And thy fair fruit let hang as to no end Created; but henceforth my early care, Not without song, each morning, and due praise, Shall tend thee, and the fertile burden ease Of thy full branches, offer'd free to all; Till dieted by thee I grow mature In knowledge, as the gods who all things know; Though others envy what they cannot give; For had the gift been theirs, it had not here Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe, Best guide: not following thee I had remain'd In ignorance; thou open’st wisdom's way, And givest access, though secret she retire. And I perhaps am secret; heaven is high, High and remote to see from thence distinct Each thing on earth; and other care perhaps May have diverted from continual watch Our great Forbidder, safe with all his spies About him. But to Adam in what sort Shall I appear: shall I to him make known As yet my change, and give him to partake Full happiness with me, or rather not, But keep the odds of knowledge in my power Without copartner ? so to add what wants In female sex, the more to draw his love, And render me more equal: and perhaps, A thing not undesirable, sometime Superior; for inferior who is free? This may be well: but what if God have seen, And death ensue? then I shall be no more, And Adam, wedded to another Eve, Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct; A death to think. Confirm'd then I resolve, Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe : So dear I love him, that with him all deaths

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I could endure, without him live no life."

So saying from the tree her step she turn'd; But first low reverence done, as to the power That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd Into the plant sciential sap, deriv'd From nectar, drink of gods. Adam the while Waiting desirous her return, bad wove Of choicest flowers a garland to adorn Her tresses, and her rural labours crown, As reapers oft are wont their harvest queen. Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new Solace in her return, so long delay'd; Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill, Misgave himn; he the falt'ring measure felt; And forth to meet her went, the way she took That morn when first they parted. By the tree Of koowledge he must pass; there he her met, Scarce from the tree returning; in her hand A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smild, New gather'd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd. To him she basted; in her face excuse Came prologue, and apology too prompt, Which with bland words at will she thus addressd:

“ Hast thou not wonder'd, Adam, at my stay? Thee I have miss'd, and thought it long depriv'd Thy presence, agony of love vill now Not felt, nor shall be twice; for never more Mean I to try, wbat rash untried I sought, The pain of absence from thy sight. But strange Hath been the cause, and wonderful to hear. This tree is not, as we are told, a tree Of danger tasted, nor tu' evil unknown Opening the way, but of divine effect To open eyes, and make them gods who taste ; And hạth been tasted such : the serpent wise, Or not restrain'd as we, or not obeying, Hath eaten of the fruit, and is become, Not dead, as we are threaten'd, but henceforth Endued with human voice and human sense, Reasoning to adiniration, and with me Persuasively hatle so prevail'd that I

Have also tasted, and have also found
Th'effects to correspond; opener mine eyes,
Diin erst, dilated spirits, ampler heart,
and growing up to godhead; which for thee
Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise.
For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss ;
Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon.
Tbou therefore also taste, that equal lot
May join us, equal joy, as equal love;
Lest thou not tastiog, different degree
Disjoin us, and I then too late renounce
Deity for thee, when fate will not permit."

Thus Eve with count'nance blithe her story told;
But in her cheek distemper flushing glow'd.
On th' other side, Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amaz’d,
Astonied stood and blank, while horror chill
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relax'd;
From bis slack hand the garland wreath'd for Evé
Down dropp'd, and all the faded roses shed :
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
First to himself be inward silence broke:

“O fairest of creation, last and best Of all God's works! creature in whom excell'd Whatever can to sight or thought be form’d Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet! How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost, Defac'd, deflower'd, and how to death devote! Rather bow hast thou yielded to transgress The strict forbiddance, how to viulate The sacred fruit forbidden ? some cursed fraud Of enemy hath beguild thee, yet unknown, And me with thee bath ruin'd; for with thee Certain my resolution is to die. How can I live without thee? how forego Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly join'd To live again in these wild woods furloru ? Should God create another Eve, and I Another rib afford, yet loss of thee Would never from my heart; no, no, I feel The link of nature draw me: flesh of Aesli,

Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.”

So having said, as one from sad dismay
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbid,
Submitting to what seem'd remediless,
Thus in calm mood his words to Eve he turn'd:
“ Bold deed thou hast presum’d, advent'rous

Eve, And peril great provok’d, who thus hast dar'd, Had it been ouly coveting, to eye That sacred fruit, sacred to abstinence, Much more to taste it, under ban to touch. But past who can recall, or done undo? Not God omnipotent, nor Fate: yet so Perhaps thou shalt not die, perhaps the fact Is not so heinous now, foretasted fruit, Profan'd first by the serpent, by him first Made common and wnhallow'd ere our taste; Nor yet on him found deadly; he yet lives, Lives, as thou said'st, and gains to live as man, Higher degree of life ; inducement strong To us, as likely tasting to attain Proportional ascent, which cannot be But to be gods, or angels, demi.gods. Nor can I think that God, Creator wise, Though threatning, will in earnest so destroy Us his prime creatures, dignitied so high, Set over all his works, which in our fall, For us created, needs with us must fall, Dependent made; so God shall uncreate, Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour lose. Not well conceiv'd of God, who though his power Creation could repeat, yet would be loath Us to abolish, lest the adversary Triumph and say, • Fickle their state whom God Most favours; who can please him long? Me first He ruin'd, now mankind; whom will he next?' Matter of scorn, not to be given the foe. However I with thee have fix'd my lot, Certain to undergo like doom; if death Consort with thee, dealb is to me as life ;

So forcible within my heart I feel
The bond of nature draw me to my own,
My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
Our state cannot be sever'd, we are one,
One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself."

So Adam, and thus Eve to him replied:
* O glorious trial of exceeding love,
Illustrious evidence, example high!'
Engaging me to emulate, but short
Of thy perfeetion, how shall I attain,
Adam? from whose dear side I boast me sprung;
And gladly of our union hear thee speak,
One heart, one soul in both ; whereof good proof
This day affords, declaring thee resolv’d,
Rather than death, or ought than death more dread,
Shall separate us, link'd in love so dear,
To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
If any be, of tasting this fair fruit,
Whose virtue (for of good still good proceeds,
Direct, or by occasion) bath presented
This happy trial of thy love, which else
So eminently never had been known.
Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die
Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact
Pernicious to thy peace; chiefly assurd
Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful love unequallid: but I feel
Far otherwise tb' event; not death but life
Augmented, open'd eyes, new hopes, new joys,
Taste so divine, that what of sweet before
Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this, and harsbo
On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
And fear of death deliver to the winds."

So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy
Tenderly wept, much won that he his love
Had so ennobled, as of choice to’ incur
Divine displeasure for her sake, or death.
In recompense (for such compliance bad
Such recompense best merits) from the bough

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