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But hiss for hiss returned with forked tongue | And worn with famine, long and ceaseless hiss, To forked tongue; for now were all transformed Till their lost shape, permitted, they resumed; Alike, to serpents all, as accessories

Yearly enjoined, some say, to undergo To this bold riot: dreadful was the din

This annual humbling certain numbered days, Of hissing through the hall, thick swarming now To dash their pride, and joy for man seduced With complicated monsters head and tail, However, some tradition they dispersed Scorpion, and asp, and amphisbæna dire, Among the heathen of their purchase got, Cerastes horned, Hydrus and Elops drear, And fabled how the serpent, whom they called And Dipsas (not so thick swarmed once the soil Ophion, with Eurynome, the wide Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the isle Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule Ophiusa,) but still greatest he the midst, Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driven Now dragon grown, larger than whom the sun And Ops, cre yet Dictæan Jove was born. Engendered in the Pythian vale on slime,

Meanwhile in Paradise the hellish pair Huge Python, and his power no less he seemed Too soon arrived ; Sin, there in power before, Above the rest still to retain; they all

Once actual, now in body, and to dwell Him followed, issuing forth to the open field, Habitual habitant; behind her Death, Where all yet left of that revolted rout,

Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet Heaven fallen, in station stood or just array, On his pale horse: to whom Sin thus began. Sublime with expectation when to see

“Second of Satan sprung, all-conquering Death! In triumph issuing forth their glorious chief: What thinkest thou of our empire now, though They saw, but other sight instead ! a crowd

earned Of ugly serpents; horror on them fell,

With travel difficult, not better far And horrid sympathy; for what they saw Than still at hell's dark threshold t' have sat watch, Thev felt themselves now changing; down their Unnamed, undreaded, and thyself half starved ?" arms,

Whom thus the sin-born monster answered soon: Down fell both spear and shield, down they as fast," To me, who with eternal famine pine, And the dire hiss renewed, and the dire form, Alike is hell, or Paradise, or Heaven; Catched by contagion, like in punishment, There best, where most with ravin I may meet; As in their crime. Thus was the applause they Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems meant,

To stuff this maw, this vast unhidebound corpse.” Turned to exploding hiss, triumph to shame, To whom the incestuous mother thus replied. Cast on themselves from their own mouths. There “ Thou therefore on these herbs, and fruits and stood

flowers A grove hard by, sprung up with this their change, Feed first ; on each beast next, and fish, and fowl; His will who reigns above, to aggravate No homely morsels! and whatever thing Their penance, laden with fair fruit, like that The scythe of Time mows down, devour unspared; Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve Till I, in man residing, through the race, Used by the tempter; on that prospect strange His thoughts, his looks, words, actions all infect, Their earnest eyes they fixed, imagining And season him thy last and sweetest prey." For one forbidden tree a multitude

This said, they both betook them several ways, Now risen, to work them further wo or shame; Both to destroy, or unimmortal make Yet, parched with scalding thirst and hunger fierce, All kinds, and for destruction to mature Though to delude them sent, could not abstain; Sooner or later: which the Almighty seeing, But on they rolled in heaps, and, up the trees From his transcendent seat the saints among, Climbing, sat thicker than the snaky locks To those bright orders uttered thus his voice. That curled Megæra : greedily they plucked “See with what heat these dogs of hell advance The fruitage fair to sight, like that which grew To waste and havoc yonder world, which I Near that bituminous lake where Sodom flamed; So fair and good created, and had still This more delusive, not the touch, but taste Kept in that state, had not the folly of man Deceived; they, fondly thinking to allay Let in these wasteful furies, who impute Their appetite with gust, instead of fruit Folly to me; so doth the prince of hell Chewed bitter ashes, which the offended taste And his adherents, that with so much ease With spattering noise rejected : oft they assayed, I suffer them to enter and possess Hunger and thirst constraining; drugged as oft, A place so heavenly, and, conniving, seem With hatefullest disrelish writhed their jaws, To gratify my scornful enemies, With soot and cinders filled ; so oft they fell That laugh, as if, transported with some fit Into the same illusion, not as man

Of passion, I to them had quitted all, Whom they triumphed once lapsed. Thus were At random yielded up to their misrule; they plagued

And know not that I called, and drew them thither,

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My hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth From cold Estotiland, and south as far
Which man's polluting sin with taint hath shed Beneath Magellan. At that tasted fruit
On what was pure; till, crammed and gorged, nigh The sun, as from Thyestian banquet, turned

His course intended; else, how had the world
With sucked and glutted offal, at one sling Inhabited, though sinless, more than now,
Of thy victorious arm, well-pleasing Son, Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat?
Both Sin, and Death, and yawning grave, at last, These changes in the Heavens, though slow, pro-
Through Chaos hurled, obstruct the mouth of hell duced
For ever, and seal up his ravenous jaws. Like change on sea and land; sideral blast,
Then Heaven and earth renewed shall be made Vapour, and mist, and exhalation hot,

Corrupt and pestilent: now from the north To sanctity, that shall receive no stain:

Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shore, Till then, the curse pronounced on both precedes.” Bursting their brazen dungeon, armed with ice,

He ended and the Heavenly audience loud And snow, and hail, and stormy gust and flaw, Sung hallelujah, as the sound of seas,

Boreas, and Cæcias, and Argestes loud, Through multitude that sung: “ Just are thy ways, And Thrascias, rend the woods, and seas upturn: Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works; With adverse blast upturns them from the south Who can extenuate thee ?" Next, to the Son, Notus, and Afer black with thunderous clouds " Destined Restorer of mankind, by whom From Serraliona; thwart of these, as fierce New Heaven and earth shall to the ages rise, Forth rush the Levant and Ponent winds, Or down from Heaven descend.” Such was their Eurus and Zephyr, with their lateral noise, song;

Sirocco, and Libecchio. Thus began While the Creator, calling forth by name Outrage from lifeless things; but Discord first, His mighty angels, gave them several charge, Daughter of Sin, among th' irrational As sorted best with present things. The sun Death introduced, through fierce antipathy; Had first his precept so to move, so shine, Beast now with beast 'gan war, and fowl with As might affect the earth with cold and heat

fowl, Scarce tolerable, and from the north to call And fish with fish; to graze the herb all leaving, Decrepit winter, from the south to bring Devoured each other; nor stood much in awe Solstitial summer's heat. To the blank moon Of man, but fled him, or, with countenance grim Her office they prescribed; to th’ other five Glared on him passing. These were from withous Their planetary motions and aspects,

The growing miseries, which Adam saw In sextile, square, and trine, and opposite, Already in part, though hid in gloomiest shade, Of noxious efficacy, and when to join

To sorrow abandoned, but worse felt within; In synod unbenign; and taught the fixed And, in a troubled sea of passion tossed, Their influence malignant when to shower, Thus to disburden sought with sad complaint. Which of them rising with the sun, or falling, “O miserable of happy! is this the end Should prove tempestuous: to the winds they set of this new glorious world, and me so late Their corners, when with bluster to confound

The glory of that glory, who now become Sea, air, and shore; the thunder when to roll Accursed of blessed! hide me from the face With terror through the dark aerial hall. Of God, whom to behold was then my height Some say he bid his angels turn askance Of happiness! yet well, if here would end The poles of earth twice ten degrees and more The misery; I deserved it, and would bear From the sun's axle; they with labour pushed My own deservings; but this will not serve: Oblique the centric globe: some say the sun All that I eat or drink, or shall beget, Was bid turn reins from th' equinoctial road Is propagated curse. O voice, once heard Like distant breadth to Taurus with the seven Delightfully, Increase and multiply, Atlantic Sisters, and the Spartan Twins, Now death to hear! for what can I increaso Up to the Tropic Crab; thence down amain

Or multiply, but curses on my head ? By Leo, and the Virgin, and the Scales, Who of all ages to succeed, but, feeling As deep as Capricorn, to bring in change The evil on him brought by me, will curse Of seasons to each clime; else had the spring My head ? Ill fare our ancestor impure, Perpetual smiled on earth with vernant flowers, For this we may thank Adam! but his thanks Equal in days and nights, except to those Shall be the execration : so, besides Beyond the polar circles ; to them day

Mine own that bide upon me, all from me Had unbenighted shone, while the low sun, Shall with a fierce reflux on me rebound, To recompense his distance, in their sight On me, as on their natural centre light Had rounded still the horizon, and not known Heavy, though in their place. O fleeting joys Or east or west; which had forbid the snow Of Paradise, dear bought with lasting woes!


Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay Impossible is held, as argument
To mould me man? did I solicit thee

Of weakness, not of power. Will he draw out,
From darkness to promote me, or here place For anger's sake, finite to infinite
In this delicious garden ? as my will

In punished man, to satisfy his rigour, Concurred not to my being, it were but right Satisfied never ? that were to extend And equal to reduce me to my dust;

His sentence beyond dust and nature's law, Desirous to resign and render back

By which all causes else, according still All I received; unable to perform

To the reception of their matter, act,
Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold Not to the extent of their own sphere. But say
The good I sought not. To the loss of that, That death be not one stroke, as I supposed,
Sufficient penalty, why hast thou added Bereaving sense, but endless misery
The sense of endless woes? inexplicable From this day onward, which I feel begun
Thy justice seems; yet, to say truth, too late Both in me, and without me, and so last
I thus contest; then should have been refused To perpetuity; ay me! that fear
Those terms, whatever, when they were proposed : Comes thundering back with dreadful revolution
Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good, On my defenceless head; both death and I
Then cavil the conditions? and, though God Am found eternal, and incorporate both;
Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son Nor I on my part single; in me all
Prove disobedient, and, reproved, retort, Posterity stands cursed : fair patrimony

Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not.' That I must leave ye, sons! O were I able
Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee To waste it all myself, and leave ye none !
That proud excuse ? yet him not thy election, So disinherited, how would ye bless
But natural necessity, begot.

Me, now your curse! Ah, why should all mankind,
God made thee of choice his own, and of his own For one man's fault, thus guiltless be condemned,
To serve him; thy reward was of his grace, If guiltless ? But from me what can proceed,
Thy punishment then justly is at his will. But all corrupt; both mind and will depraved,
Be it so, for 1 submit; his doom is fair, Not to do only, but to will the same
That dust I am, and shall to dust return: With me? how can they then acquitted stand
O welcome hour whenever! why delays In sight of God? Him, after all disputes,
His hand to execute what his decree

Forced I absolve: all my evasions vain, Fixed on this day? who do I overlive?

And reasonings, though through mazes, lead me Why am I mocked with death, and lengthened still out

But to my own conviction: first and last To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet On me, me only, as the source and spring Mortality my sentence, and be earth

Of all corruption, all the blame lights due. Insensible ! how glad would lay me down So might the wrath! Fond wish! couldst thou As in my mother's lap! there I should rest

support And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more That burden, heavier than the earth to bear; Would thunder in my ears; no fear of worse Than all the world much heavier, though divided To me and to my offspring would torment me With that bad woman? Thus, what thou deWith cruel expectation. Yet one doubt

sirest, Pursues me still, lest all I can not die;

And what thou fear'st, alike destroys all hope Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of man Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable Which God inspired can not together perish Beyond all past example and future; With this corporeal clod; then in the grave, To Satan only like both crime and doom. Or in some other dismal place, who knows O conscience! into what abyss of fears But I shall die a living death? O thought And horrors hast thou driven me; out of which Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath I find no way, from deep to deeper plunged !" Of life that sinned; what dies but what had life Thus Adam to himself lamented loud And sin ? the body properly hath neither. Through the still night, not now, as ere man fell All of me then shall die: let this appease Wholesome, and cool, and mild, but with black air The doubt, since human reach no further knows. Accompanied; with damps and dreadful gloom; For though the Lord of all be infinite,

Which to his evil conscience represented Is his wrath also ? be it, man is not so,

All things with double terror: on the ground But mortal doomed. How can he exercise Outstretched he lay, on the cold ground, and oft Wrath without end on man, whom death must Cursed his creation; death as oft accused end ?

Of tardy execution, since denounced Can he make deathless death ? that were to make The day of his offence. “Why comes not death," Strange contradiction, which to God himself Said he," with one thrice-acceptable stroke

To end me ? shall truth fail to keep her word, "Forsake me not thus, Adam! witness Heaven Justice divine not hasten to be just ?

What love sincere, and reverence in my heart But Death comes not at call, Justice divine I bear thee, and unweeting have offended, Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries. Unhappily deceived! thy suppliant O woods, O fountains, hillocks, dales, and bowers 1 beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not, With other echo late I taught your shades Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid, To answer, and resound far other song." Thy counsel in this uttermost distress, Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld, My only strength and stay: forlorn of thee, Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh, Whither shall I betake me, where subsist? Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed: While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps, But her with stern regard he thus repelled. Between us two let there be peace, both joining,

"Out of my sight, thou serpent! that name best As joined in injuries, one enmity Befits thee with him leagued, thyself as false Against a foe by doom express assigned us, And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape, That cruel serpent: on me exercise not Like his, and colour serpentine, may show Thy hatred for this misery befallen: Thy inward fraud, to warn all creatures from thee On me already lost, me than thyself Henceforth; lest that too heavenly form, pretended More miserable; both have sinned; but thou To hellish falsehood, snare them. But for thee Against God only, I against God and thee; I had persisted happy; had not thy pride, And to the place of judgment will return, And wandering vanity, when least was safe, There with my cries importune Heaven, that all Rejected my forewarning, and disdained The sentence, from thy head removed, may light Not to be trusted; longing to be seen,

On me, sole cause to thee of all this wo, Though by the devil himself; him overweening Me, me only, just object of his ire!" To overreach; but with the serpent meeting, She ended weeping; and her lowly plight, Fooled and beguiled; by him thou, I by thee, Immoveable, till peace obtained from fault To trust thee from my side, imagined wise, Acknowledged and deplored, in Adam wrought Constant, mature, proof against all assaults, Commiseration : soon his heart relented And understood not all was but a show

Towards her, his life so late and sole delight, Rather than solid virtue; all but a rib

Now at his feet submissive in distress; Crooked, by nature, bent, as now appears, Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking, More to the part sinister, from me drawn; His counsel, whom she had displeased, his aid: Well if thrown out, as supernumerary

As one disarmed, his anger all he lost, To my just number found. O! why did God, And thus with peaceful words upraised her soon. Creator wise, that peopled highest Heaven

Unwary, and too desirous, as before, With spirits masculine, create at last

So now of what thou know'st not, who desir'st This novelty on earth, this fair defect

The punishment all on thyself; alas ! Of nature, and not fill the world at once Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain With men, as angels, without feminine, His full wrath, whose thou feel’st as yet least Or find some other way to generate

part, Mankind ? This mischief had not then befallen, And my displeasure bear'st so ill. If prayer And more that shall befall; innumerable Could altar high decrees, I to that place Disturbances on earth through female snares, Would speed before thee, and be louder heard, And straight conjunction with this sex: for either That on my head all might be visited; He never shall find out fit mate, but such Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven, As some misfortune brings him, or mistake; To me committed, and by me exposed. Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain But rise ; let us no more contend, nor blame, Through her perverseness, but shall see her gained Each other, blamed enough elsewhere; but strive By a far worse; or, if she love, withheld In offices of love, how me may lighten By parents; or his happiest choice too late Each other's burden, in our share of wo; Shall meet, already linked and wedlock-bound Since this day's death denounced, if ought I see, To a fell adversary, his hate or shame:

Will prove no sudden, but a slow paced evil, Which infinite calumny shall cause

A long day's dying, to augment our pain, To human life, and household peace confound.” And to our seed (O hapless seed!) derived."

He added not, and from her turned; but Eve, To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, replied. Not so repulsed, with tears that ceased not flow-“Adam, by sad experiment I know ing,

How little weight my words with thee can find, And tresses all disordered, at his feet,

Found so erroneous; thence, by just event,
Fell humble; and, embracing them, besought Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,
His peace and thus proceeded in her plaint. Restored by thee, vile as I am, to place

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Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain

Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise Thy love, the sole contentment of my heart The serpent's head; piteous amends! unless Living or dying, from thee I will not hide Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe, What thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen, Satan, who, in the serpent, hath contrived Tending to some relief of our extremes,

Against us this deceit: to crush his head Or end; though sharp and sad, yet tolerable, Would be revenge indeed! which will be lost As in our evils, and of easier choice.

By death brought on ourselves, or childless days If care of our descent perplex us most,

Resolved, as thou proposest; so our foe Which must be born to certain wo, devoured Shall 'scape his punishment ordained, and we By Death at last ; and miserable it is

Instead shall double ours upon our heads. To be to others cause of misery,

No more be mentioned then of violence Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring Against ourselves, and wilful barrenness, Into this cursed world a woful race,

That cuts us off from hope, and savours only That after wretched life must be at last Rancour and pride, impatience and despite, Food for so foul a monster; in thy power Reluctance against God and his just yoke It lies, yet ere conception to prevent

Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild The race unblest, to being yet unbegot.

And gracious temper he both heard and judged Childless thou art, childless remain: so Death Without wrath or reviling; we expected Shall be deceived his glut, and with us two Immediate dissolution, which we thought Be forced to satisfy his ravenous maw.

Was meant by death that day; when lo, to thee But if thou judge it hard and difficult,

Pains only in child-bearing were foretold, Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain

And bringing forth; soon recompensed with joy From love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet; Fruit of thy womb: on me the curse aslope And with desire to languish without hope, Glanced on the ground: with labour I must earn Before the present object languishing

My bread; what harm ? Idleness had been worse; With like desire; which would be misery My labour will sustain me; and, lest cold And torment less than none of what we dread; Or heat should injure us, his timely care Then both ourselves and seed at once to free Hath, unbesought, provided, and his hands From what we fear for both, let us make short, Clothed us unworthy, pitying while he judged; Let us seek Death, or, he not found, supply How much more, if we pray him, will his ear With our own hands his office on ourselves; Be open, and his heart to pity incline, Why stand we longer shivering under fears, And teach us further by what means to shun That show no end but death, and have the power, Th’ inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow! Of many ways to die the shortest choosing, Which now the sky with various face begins Destruction with destruction to destroy ?" To show us in this mountain, while the winds She ended here, or vehement despair

Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks Broke off the rest ; so much of death her thoughts of these fair spreading trees: which bids us seek Had entertained, as dyed her cheeks with pale. Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish But Adam, with such counsel nothing swayed, Our limbs benumbed, ero this diurnal star To better hopes his more attentive mind Leave cold the night, how we his gathered beams Labouring had raised, and thus to Eve replied. Reflected may with matter sere foment;

“ Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems Or, by collision of two bodies grind To argue in thee something more sublime The air attrite to fire: as late the clouds And excellent, than what thy mind contemns: Justling or pushed with winds, rude in their shock But self-destruction therefore sought, refutes Tine the slant lightning; whose thwart flame, That excellence thought in thee, and implies. driven down Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine For loss of life and pleasure overloved.

And sends a comfortable heat from far, Or if thou covet death, as utmost end

Which might supply the sun: such fire to use, Of misery, so thinking to evade

And what may else be remedy or cure The penalty pronounced ; doubt not but God To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought, Hath wiselier armed his vengeful ire, than so He will instruct us praying, and of grace To be forestalled; much more I fear lest death, Beseeching him, so as we need not fear So snatched, will not exempt us from the pain To pass commodiously this life, sustained We are by doom to pay; rather such acts By him with many comforts, till we end Of contumacy will provoke the Highest In dust, our final rest and native home. To make death in us live: then let us seek What better can we do, than to the place Some safer resolution, which methinks Repairing where he judged us, prostrate fall I have in view, calling to mind with heed Before him reverent; and there confess

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