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1005 Of many ways to die?—the shortest choosing,

“ Destruction with destruction to destroy ?"

She ended here; or vehement despair
Broke off the rest: so much of death her thoughts

Had entertain'd, as dyed her cheeks with pale. 1010 But Adam, with such counsel nothing sway'd,

To better hopes his more attentive mind
Labouring had rais’d; and thus to Eve replied :

“ Eve! thy contempt of life and pleasure seems

To argue in thee something more sublime 1015 “ And excellent, than what thy mind contemns:

“ But self-destruction, therefore sought, refutes “ That excellence thought in thee; and implies, “ Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret

“For loss of life and pleasure overlov’d. 1020“ Or if thou covet death, as utmost end

“ Of misery, so thinking to evade
“ The penalty pronounc'd, doubt not but God
“ Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire, than so

To be forestallid : much more I fear lest death, 1025“ So snatch'd, will not exempt us from the pain

“We are by doom to pay ; rather, such acts
“Of contumacy will provoke the Highest
« To make death in us live. Then let us seek

“ Some safer resolution ; which methinks 1030 “ I have in view, calling to mind with heed

“ Part of our sentence, that . Thy seed shall bruise
“ • The serpent's head.' Piteous amends! unless
“ Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe,

“Satan ; who, in the serpent, hath contriv’d 1035 “ Against us this deceit: to crush his head

“Would be revenge indeed! which will be lost

By death brought on ourselves, or childless days “ Resolv'd, as thou proposest; so our foe

“Shall 'scape his punishment ordain'd, and we 1040 “ Instead shall double ours upon our heads.

“ No more be mention'd then of violence

Against ourselves; and wilful barrenness

“ That cuts us off from hope; and savours only

“Rancour and pride, impatience and despite, 1045 “ Reluctance against God and his just yoke

“ Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild
And gracious temper he both heard, and judg’d,
“ Without wrath, or reviling: we expected

“ Immediate dissolution, which we thought
1050 “ Was meant by death that day; when, lo! to thee

“ Pains only in childbearing were foretold,
“And bringing forth; soon recompens'd with joy,
“ Fruit of thy womb: on me the curse aslope

“ Glanc'd on the ground; with labour I must earn 1055 " My bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse :

“My labour will sustain me. And, lest cold
Or heat should injure us, his timely care
“ Hath, unbesought, provided ; and his hands

“ Cloth'd us unworthy, pitying while he judg'd: 1060 “ How much more, if we pray him, will his ear

“ Be open, and his heart to pity incline?
“ And teach us further by what means to shun
“ The inclement seasons—rain, ice, hail, and snow?

“ Which now the sky, with various face, begins 1065 “ To show us in this mountain ; while the winds

“ Blow moist and keen, shatt'ring the graceful locks
Of these fair-spreading trees : which bids us seek
“Some better shroud, some better warmth, to cherish

“Our limbs benumb’d; ere this diurnal star
1070 “ Leave cold the night, how we his gather'd beams

“Reflected may with matter sere foment;
“Or, by collision of two bodies, grind
“ The air attrite to fire ; as late the clouds

"Justling, or push'd with winds, rude in their shock, 1075 " Tine the slant lightning; whose thwart flame driv'n

“ down,
“ Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine,
" And sends a comfortable heat from far
Which might supply the sun.

Such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure


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1080“ To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought,

“ He will instruct us praying, and of grace
“Beseeching him ; so as we need not fear
“ To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
“By him with many comforts, till we end
“ In dust-our final rest and native home!
“ What better can we do, than, to the place
“Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall
“Before him reverent; and there confess

“Humbly our faults, and pardon beg? with tears 1090“ Wat'ring the ground, and with our sighs the air

Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
“Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.
“ Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn

“ From his displeasure ; in whose look serene, 1095 “ When angry most he seem'd and most severe,

“What else but favour, grace, and mercy, shone ?"

So spake our father penitent; nor Eve
Felt less remorse : they, forthwith to the place

Repairing where he judg’d them, prostrate fell 1100 Before him reverent; and both confess'd

Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd ; with tears
Wat’ring the ground, and with their sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.


The Son of God presents to his father the prayers of our first parents

now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise; sends Michael with a band of Cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future thivgs: Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach ; goes out to meet him: the angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits : the angel leads him up to a high hill; sets before him in vision what shall happen till the flood.

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