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If true, here only,) and of delicious taste :
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interpos'd;

Or palmy hillock, or the flowery lap
255 Of some irriguous valley spread her store-

Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose :
Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine

Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps 260 Luxuriant: meanwhile murmuring waters fall

Down the slope hills, dispers’d; or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.

The birds their quire apply; airs—vernal airs, 265 Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune

The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on the eternal Spring. Not that fair field

Of Enna, where Prosérpine gathering flowers270 Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis

Was gather'd, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspir’d

Castalian spring, might with this Paradise 275 Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle

Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
(Whom Gentiles Ammon call, and Libyan Jove,)
Hid Amalthëa, and her florid son

Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhëa's eye; 280 Nor where Abassin Kings their issue guard,

Mount Amara (though this by some suppos'd
True Paradise) under the Ethiop line
By Nilus' head, enclos'd with shining rock,

A whole day's journey high ; but wide remote 285 From this Assyrian garden, where the fiend

Saw, undelighted, all delight—all kind
Of living creatures, new to sight, and strange.

Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,


Godlike erect, with native honour clad, 290 In naked majesty seem'd lords of all;

And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure-

Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd ;
295 Whence true authority in men. Though both

Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd:
For contemplation he, and valour form'd;
For softness she, and sweet attractive grace;

He, for God only; she, for God in him.
300 His fair large front, and eye sublime, declar'd

Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad :

She, as a veil, down to the slender waist, 305 Her unadorned golden tresses wore

Dishevell’d; but in wanton ringlets wav'd,
As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied
Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,

And by her yielded—by him best receiv'd, 310 Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,

And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay :
Nor those mysterious parts were then conceal'd;
Then was not guilty shame, dishonest shame

Of nature's works-honour dishonourable, 315 Sin-bred! how have ye troubled all mankind

With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banish'd from man's life his happiest life,
Simplicity, and spotless innocence !

So pass'd they naked on, nor shunn'd the sight 320 Of God, or angel; for they thought no ill:

So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair
That ever since in love's embraces met;
Adam the goodliest man of men since born

His sons; the fairest of her daughters Eve. 325 Under a tuft of shade, that on a green

Stood whispering soft, by a fresh fountain-side

They sat them down; and, after no more toil
Of their sweet gardening labour than suffic'd

To recommend cool zephyr, and made ease 330 More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite

More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell-
Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs
Yielded them, sidelong as they sat recline

On the soft downy bank damask'd with flowers : 335 The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind,

Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream:
Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles,
Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems

Fair couple, link'd in happy nuptial league, 340 Alone as they. About them frisking play'd

All beasts of the earth, since wild, and of all chace
In wood, or wilderness, forest, or den :
Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw

Dandled the kid: bears, tigers, ounces, pards, 345 Gamboll'd before them: the unwieldy elephant,

To make them mirth, us'd all his might, and wreath'd
His lithe proboscis: close the serpent sly,
Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine

His braided train, and of his fatal guile
350 Gave proof unheeded: others on the grass

Couch'd, and, now fill'd with pasture, gazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating; for the sun,
Declin'd, was hasting now with prone career

To th' ocean isles, and in th' ascending scale 355 Of heaven the stars that usher evening rose:

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 360

“ Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
“ Not spirits; yet to heavenly spirits bright
“ Little inferior ; whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
“ In them divine resemblance, and such grace

365 “ 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! 370 “ Happy, but for so happy ill secur'd

Long to continue; and this high seat your heaven, “ Ill fenc'd for heaven, to keep out such a foe “ As now is enter'd! yet no purpos'd foe To you, whom I could pity thus forlorn,

375 “ Though I unpitied. League with you I seek,

“And mutual amity, so strait, so 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 380 “ Accept your Maker's work; he gave it me,

“Which I as freely give: Hell shall unfold,
“ To entertain you two, her widest gates,
“ And send forth all her kings; there will be room,
“ Not like these narrow limits, to receive
“Your numerous offspring; if no better place,
“ Thank him who puts me loth to this revenge
“On you who wrong me not, for him who wrong’d.
And should I at your harmless innocence

“ Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
390 “Honour and empire with revenge enlarg’d,

By conquering this new world, compels me now “ To do what else, though damn'd, I should abhor.”

So spake the fiend, and with necessity, The tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds. 395 Then, from his lofty stand on that high tree,

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, unespied,
400 To mark what of their state he more might learn,

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 spied

In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
405 Straight couches close; then rising, changes oft

His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might surest seize them both,
Grip'd in each paw: when Adam, first of men,

To first of women, Eve, thus moving speech, 410 Turn'd him, all ear, to hear new utterance flow.

“ 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 415 “ 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
“Have nothing merited, nor can perform
Aught 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:
425 “ So near grows death to life! whate'er death is;

“Some dreadful thing no doubt: for well thou know'st
“God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that tree,
“ The only sign of our obedience left,

Among so many signs of power and rule 430

“ Conferr'd upon us, and dominion given
Over all other creatures that possess
“ Earth, air, and sea. 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 task,
“ To prune these growing plants, and tend these flowers ;

“ Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet.” 440 To whom thus Eve replied : “O thou, for whom,


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