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But that thou shouldst my firmness therfore doubt To God or thee, because we have a foe May tempt it, I expected not to hear. His violence thou fearst not, being such, As wee, not capable of death or paine, Can either not receave, or can repell. Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn; Suttle he needs must be, who could seduce Angels, nor think superfluous others aid.
So spake domestick Adam in his care And Matrimonial Love, but Eve, who thought Less attributed to her Faith sincere, Thus her reply with accent sweet renewd. But harm precedes not sin: onely our Foe Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem Of our integritie: his foul esteeme Sticks no dishonor on our Front, but turns Foul on himself; then wherfore shund or feard By us? And what is Faith, Love, Vertue unassaid Alone, without exterior help sustaind? O Woman, best are all things as the will Of God ordaind them, his creating hand Nothing imperfet or deficient left Of all that he Created, much less Man, Or ought that might his happie State secure, Secure from outward force; within himself The danger lies, yet lies within his power: Against his will he can receave no harme.
Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoynes, That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me. Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve, Since Reason not impossibly may meet Some specious object by the Foe subornd, And fall into deception unaware, Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warnd Seek not temptation then, which to avoide Were better, and most likelie if from mee Thou sever not: Trial will come unsought. But if thou think, trial unsought may finde Us both securer then thus warnd thou seemst, Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more; Go in thy native innocence, relie On what thou hast of vertue, summon all, For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine.
Thou never from that houre in Paradise Foundst either sweet repast, or sound repose; Such ambush hid among sweet Flours and Shades Waited with hellish rancor imminent To intercept thy way, or send thee back Despoild of Innocence, of Faith, of Bliss. For now, and since first break of dawne the Fiend.
Meer Serpent in appearance, forth was come, And on his Quest, Where likeliest he might finde The onely two of Mankinde, but in them The whole included Race, his purposd prey. Or Dairie, each rural sight, each rural sound; If chance with Nymphlike step fair Virgin pass, What pleasing seemd, for her now pleases more, She most, and her looks summs all Delight. Thoughts, whither have ye led me, with what sweet Compulsion thus transported to forget What hither brought us, hate, nor love, nor hope Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy, Save what is in destroying, other joy To me is lost.
With tract oblique At first, as one who sought access, but feard To interrupt, side-long he works his way. What may this mean? Say, for such wonder claims attention due. About the Mossie Trunk I wound me soon, For high from ground the branches would require Thy utmost reach or Adams: Round the Tree All other Beasts that saw, with like desire Longing and envying stood, but could not reach.
Sated at length, ere long I might perceave Strange alteration in me, to degree Of Reason in my inward Powers, and Speech Wanted not long, though to this shape retaind. For many are the Trees of God that grow In Paradise, and various, yet unknown To us, in such abundance lies our choice, As leaves a greater store of Fruit untoucht, Still more incorruptible, till men Grow up to thir provision, and more hands Help to disburden Nature of her Bearth.
To whom the wilie Adder, blithe and glad. Empress, the way is readie, and not long, Beyond a row of Myrtles, on a Flat, Fast by a Fountain, one small Thicket past Of blowing Myrrh and Balme; if thou accept My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon.
Lead then, said Eve. Hee leading swiftly rowld In tangles, and made intricate seem strait, To mischief swift. But of this Tree we may not taste nor touch; God so commanded, and left that Command Sole Daughter of his voice; the rest, we live Law to our selves, our Reason is our Law. To whom thus Eve yet sinless. As when of old som Orator renound In Athens or free Rome, where Eloquence Flourishd, since mute, to som great cause addrest, Stood in himself collected, while each part, Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue, Somtimes in highth began, as no delay Of Preface brooking through his Zeal of Right.
So standing, moving, or to highth upgrown The Tempter all impassiond thus began. Queen of this Universe, doe not believe Those rigid threats of Death; ye shall not Die: How should ye? Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast Is open? God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just; Not just, not God; not feard then, nor obeid: Your feare it self of Death removes the feare. Why then was this forbid?
And what are Gods that Man may not become As they, participating God-like food?
What can your knowledge hurt him, or this Tree Impart against his will if all be his? Goddess humane, reach then, and freely taste. In plain then, what forbids he but to know, Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise? Such prohibitions binde not. But if Death Bind us with after-bands, what profits then Our inward freedom?
In the day we eate Of this fair Fruit, our doom is, shall die. How dies the Serpent? For us alone Was death invented?
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Back to the Thicket slunk The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else Regarded, such dilight till then, as seemd, In Fruit she never tasted, whether true Or fansied so, through expectation high Of knowledge, nor was God-head from her thought. But to Adam in what sort Shall I appeer? This may be well: but what if God have seen And Death ensue? To him she hasted, in her face excuse Came Prologue, and Apologie to prompt, Which with bland words at will she thus addrest.
Hast thou not wonderd, Adam, at my stay? Thou therfore also taste, that equal Lot May joyne us, equal Joy, as equal Love; Least thou not tasting, different degree Disjoyne us, and I then too late renounce Deitie for thee, when Fate will not permit.
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Thus Eve with Countnance blithe her storie told; But in her Cheek distemper flushing glowd. So having said, as one from sad dismay Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbd Submitting to what seemd remediless, Thus in calme mood his Words to Eve he turnd.
- Bats Fly at Dusk (Cool & Lam).
- Edmund Spenser: Faerie Queene. Book II. Canto IX..
- If I Was An Animal Which One Would I Be? A Childrens Nursery Rhyme about Animals (Imagination Series);
But past who can recall, or don undoe? Mee first He ruind, now Mankind; whom will he next? Matter of scorne, not to be given the Foe. However I with thee have fixt my Lot, Certain to undergoe like doom, if Death Consort with thee, Death is to mee as Life; So forcible within my heart I feel The Bond of Nature draw me to my owne, My own in thee, for what thou art is mine; Our State cannot be severd, we are one, One Flesh; to loose thee were to loose my self.
O glorious trial of exceeding Love, Illustrious evidence, example high!
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Ingaging me to emulate, but short Of thy perfection, how shall I attaine, Adam, from whose deare side I boast me sprung, And gladly of our Union heare thee speak, One Heart, one Soul in both; whereof good proof This day affords, declaring thee resolvd, Rather then Death or aught then Death more dread Shall separate us, linkt in Love so deare, To undergoe with mee one Guilt, one Crime, If any be, of tasting this fair Fruit, Whose vertue, for of good still good proceeds, Direct, or by occasion hath presented This happie trial of thy Love, which else So eminently never had bin known.
On my experience, Adam, freely taste, And fear of Death deliver to the Windes. So said he, and forbore not glance or toy Of amorous intent, well understood Of Eve, whose Eye darted contagious Fire. But let us now, as in bad plight, devise What best may for the present serve to hide The Parts of each from other, that seem most To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen, Some Tree whose broad smooth Leaves together sowd, And girded on our loyns, may cover round Those midde parts, that this new commer, Shame, There sit not and reproach us as unclean.
Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve The Faith they owe; when earnestly they seek Such proof, conclude, they then begin to faile. Was I to have never parted from thy side? As good have grown there still a liveless Rib. Being as I am, why didst not thou the Head Command me absolutely not to go, Going into such danger as thou saidst?