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I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn’d 1030
With all perfections, so inflame my sense
With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now.
Than ever, bounty of this virtuous tree.
So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
Of amorous intent, well understood
Of Eve, whose eye darted contagious fire.
Her hand he seis'd, and to a shady bank,
Thick overhead with verdant roof imbowr’d,
He led her nothing loath; flow’rs were the couch,
Pansies, and violets, and asphodel,
1040 · And hyacinth, earth's freshest softest lap.
There they their fill of love and love's disport
Took largely, of their mutual guilt the seal,
The solace of their sin, till dewy sleep
Oppress’d them, wearied with their amorous play.
Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit, 1046
That with exhilerating vapor bland
About their spi rits had play'd, and inmost powers
Made err, was now exhal’d; and grosser sleep
Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams 1050
Incumber'd, now had left them; up they rose
As from unrest; and each the other viewing,
Soon found their eyes how open'd, and their minds
How darken'd; innocence, that as a veil
Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gone, 1055
Just confidence, and native righteousness,
And honor from about them, naked left
To guilty shame; he cover’d, but his robe
Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong,
Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap
Of Philiftéan Dalilah, and wak'd
Shorn of his strength, They destitute and bare
Of all their virtue: silent, and in face
Confounded long they sat, as strucken mute;
Till Adam, though not less than Eve abash’d, 1065
At length gave utterance to these words constrain’d.
O Eve, in evil hour thou didit give ear To that false worm, of whomsoever taught To counterfeit Man's voice, true in our fall, False in our promis'd rising; since our eyes 1070 Open'd we find indeed, and find we know Both good and evil, good loft, and evil got; Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know, Which leaves us naked thus, of honor void, Of innocence, of faith, of purity,
1075 Our wonted ornaments, now soil'd and stain’d, And in our faces evident the signs Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store; Ev’n shame, the last of evils; of the first Be sure then. How shall I behold the face 1080 Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy. And rapture so oft beheld? those heav'nly shapes Will dazle now this earthly with their blaze Insufferably bright. O might I here In solitude live savage, in some glade
Obscur'd, where highest woods impenetrable
To far or sun-light, spread their umbrage broad
And brown as evening: Cover me ye Pines,
Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs
Hide me, where I may never see them more. 1090
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 sow'd,
And girded on our loins, may cover round 1096
Those middle parts; that this new comer, shame,
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.
So counseld he, and both together went
Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose 1100
The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renown'd,
But such as at this day, to Indians known
In Malabar or Decan, spreads her arms
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow 1105
About the mother tree, a pillar'd shade,
High overarch’d, and echoing walks between;
There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
Shelters in cool, and tends his pafturing herds 1109
At loopholes cut through thickest shade: Those leaves
They gather’d, broad as Amazonian targe;
And,with what skill they had, together fow'd,
To gird their waste; vain covering if to hide
Their guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike
To that first naked glory! Such of late
Columbus found th' American, so girt
With feather'd cincture, naked else, and wild
Among the trees, on iles and woody shores.
Thus fenc'd, and, as they thought, their shame in part
Cover’d, but not at rest or ease of mind, 1120
They sat them down to weep; nor only tears
Rain'd at their eyes, but high winds worse within
Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate,
Miftruft, suspicion, discord, and shook sore
Their inward state of mind, calm region once 1125
And full of peace, now tost and turbulent:
For understanding ruld.not, and the will
Heard not her lore; both in subjection now
To sensual appetite; who from beneath
Usurping over sovran reason clam’d
Superior sway: from thus distemper'd breast,
Adam, estrang'd in look and alter'd stile,
Speech intermitted thus to Eve renew’d.
Would thou hadft hearken’d to my words, and stay'd
With me, as I besought thee, when that strange 1135
Desire of wand'ring this unhappy morn,
I know not whence, possess'd thee; we had then
Remain'd fill happy; not as now, despoil'd
Of all our good, sham’d, naked, miserable.
Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve
The faith they owe; when earnestly they seek 1141
Such proof, conclude, they then begin to fail.
To whom soon mov'd with touch of blame thus Eve. What words have pass’d thy lips, Adam severe! Imput'st thou that to my default, or will 1145 Of wand'ring, as thou call's it, which who knows But might as ill have happen'd thou being by, Or to thyself perhaps? hadst thou been there, Or here th' attempt, thou couldft not have discern'd Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he fpake; 1150 No ground of enmity between us known, Why he should mean me ill, or seek to harm? Was I to have never parted from thy side? As good have grown there still a lifeless rib. Being as I am, why didft not thou, the head, 1155 Command me absolutely not to go, Going into such danger as thou saidh? Too facil then thou didft not much gainsay, Nay didît permit, approve, and fair dismiss. Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent, 1160 Neither had I transgress’d, nor thou with me.
To whom then first incens’d, Adam reply'd. Is this the love, is this the recompense Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, express’d Immutable when thou wert loft, not 1; 1165 Who might have liv'd and joy'd immortal bliss, Yet willingly chose rather death with thee? And am I now upbraided as the cause Of thy transgressing? not enough severe,