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Alone as they.

About them frisking play'd

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 paw

Dandled the kid; bears, tigers, ounces, pards,
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
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
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 said:


"O hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold? Into our room of bliss thus high advanced

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
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 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,
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
Accept your Maker's work; IIe 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 loath to this revenge
On you, who wrong'd me not, for him who wrong'd.
And should I at your harmless innocence
Melt, (as I do,) yet public reason just,
Honour and empire with revenge enlarg'd,
By conqu'ring 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.
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

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,
Stra 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,
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

As liberal, an2 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
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

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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'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,
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

Ilis bounty, following our delightful task,

Το prune these growing plants and tend these flowers, Which were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet.

To whom thus Eve replied: "O. thou for whom, And from whom, I was form'd; flesh of thy flesh; And without whom am to no end; my guide And bead! what thou hast 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 Pre-eminent by so much odds; while thou Like consort to thyself canst no where find. That day I oft remember, when from sleep 1 first awak'd, and found myself repos'd Under a shade on flowers; much wond'ring where And what I was, whence thither brought and how. Not distant far from thence a murm'ring sound Of waters issued from a cave, and spread Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd, Pure as th' expanse of heaven: 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 seem'd another sky. As I bent down to look, just opposite A shape within the wat'ry glean appear'd,

Bending to look on me: I started back ;
It started back: but pleas'd I soon return'd;
Pleas'd it return'd as soon; with answering looks
Of sympathy' and love. There I had fix'd
Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warn'd me: What thou seest,
What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself;
With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
And I will bring thee where no shadow stays
Thy coming, and thy soft embraces; be
Whose image thou art: him thou shalt enjoy,
Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear

Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd
Mother of human race.' What could I do
But follow straight, invisibly thus led?
Till I espied thee, fair indeed, and tall
Under a platane; yet, methought, less fair,
Less winning soft, less amiably mild,

Than that smooth wat'ry image: back I turn'd;
Thou following cried'st aloud, Return, fair Eve,
Whom fliest thou? Whom thou fliest, of him thou art,
His flesh, his bone; to give thee being 1 lent
Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,
Substantial life, to have thee by my side
Henceforth an individual solace dear;
Part of my soul, I seek thee; and thee claim,
My other half.'-With that, thy gentle hand
Seiz'd mine; I yielded; and from that time see
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace,
And wisdom which alone is truly fair."

So spake our general mother; and with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd
On our first father: half her swelling breast
Naked met his, under the flowing gold
Of her loose tresses bid. He in delight
Both of her beauty and submissive charms,
Smil'd with superior love; as Jupiter

On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds,
That shed May flowers; and press'd ber matron lip

With kisses pure: aside the Devil turn'd
For envy, yet with jealous leer malign


Eyed them askance; and to himself thus plain'd: Sight hateful, sight tormenting! Thus these two Imparadis'd in one another's arms,

(The happier Eden!) shall enjoy their fill

Of bliss on bliss: while I to hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Among our other torments not the least,
Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing, pines.
Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
From their own mouths: all is not theirs it seems;
One fatal tree there stands, of knowledge call'd,
Forbidden them to taste. Knowledge forbidden?
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord
Envy them that? Can it be sin to know?
Can it be death? And do they only stand
By ignorance? Is that their happy state,
The proof of their obedience and their faith?
O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds
With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with design
To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt
Equal with gods. Aspiring to be such,
They taste and die; what likelier can ensue?
But first with narrow search I must walk round
This garden, and no corner leave unspied;
A chance but chance may lead where I may meet
Some wand'ring spirit of heaven, by fountain side
Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
What further would be learn'd. Live while ye may,
Yet happy pair! Enjoy, till I return,
Short pleasures; for long woes are to succeed!"
So saying his proud step he scornful turn'd,
But with sly circumspection, and began,

Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er dale, his roam.

Meanwhile in utmost longitude, where beaven
With earth and ocean meets, the setting sun

Slowly descended; and with right aspect

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