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Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
The birds their quire apply; airs,-vernal airs,
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 flowers,
Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis
Was gathered, which cost Ceres all that pain
To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
Of Daphne by Orontes, and the inspired
Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian isle
Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
(Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove),
Hid Amalthea, and her florid son,

Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea's cyc;
Nor where Abassin kings their issue guard,
Mount Amara, (though this by some supposed
True Paradise,) under the Ethiop line
By Nilus' head, inclosed with shining rock,
A whole day's journey high, but wide remote
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,
In naked majesty seemed lords of all:
And worthy seemed; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure,
Severe, but in true filial freedom placed;
Whence true authority in men: though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal, seemed;
For contemplation he and valour formed,
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He, for God only; she, for God in him.
His fair large front and eye sublime declared
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
Her unadorned golden tresses wore
Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils; which implied
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded,-by him best received,
Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
Nor those mysterious parts were then concealed;
Then was not guilty shame: dishonest shame
Of Nature's works,-honour dishonourable,
Sin-bred! how have ye troubled all mankind
With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
And banished from man's life his happiest life,
Simplicity and spotless innocence!












So passed they naked on, nor shunned the sight
Of God or angel, for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they passed, 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.
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 sufficed
To recommend cool zephyr, and made ease
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 damasked with flowers.
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, linked in happy nuptial league,
Alone as they. About them frisking played
All beasts of the earth, since wild, and of all chase
In wood or wilderness, forest or den:
Sporting the lion ramped, and in his paw
Dandled the kid: bears, tigers, ounces, pards,
Gambolled before them; the unwieldy elephant,
To make them mirth, used all his might, and wreathed
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
Couched, and, now filled with pasture, gazing sat,
Or bedward ruminating; for the Sun,
Declined, was hasting now with prone career
To the ocean isles, and in the ascending scale
Of Heaven the stars that usher evening rose:
When Satan, still in gaze, as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length failed speech recovered sad:
"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 formed them on their shape hath poured!


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 secured

"Long to continue; and this high seat, your Heaven,

"Ill fenced for Heaven to keep out such a foe
"As now is entered! yet no purposed 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; 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 wronged,
And should I at your harmless innocence
"Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
"Honour and empire, with revenge, enlarged,
"By conquering this new world, compels me now
"To do what else, though damned, I should abhor.”
So spake the fiend, and with necessity,
The tyrant's plea, excused 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 served best his end-
Nearer to view his prey, and, unespied,
To mark what of their state he more might learn,
By word or action marked: 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,
Straight couches close; then, rising, changes oft
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might surest seize them both,
Griped in each paw: when Adam, first of men,
To first of women, Eve, thus moving speech,
Turned 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 and free as infinite;

"That raised us from the dust, and placed 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
66 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 pronounced it death to taste that tree;
"The only sign of our obedience left
“Among so many signs of power and rule
"Conferred 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."
To whom thus Eve replied: "O thou, for whom,
"And from whom I was formed, flesh of thy flesh;
"And without whom am to no end; my guide


And head! 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 nowhere find. "That day I oft remember, when from sleep I first awaked, and found myself reposed, "Under a shade, on flowers; much wondering where "And what I was, whence thither brought, and how. "Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound "Of waters issued from a cave, and spread "Into a liquid plain; then stood unmoved,


Pure as the expanse of Heaven: I thither went "With unexperienced thought, and laid me down "On the green bank, to look into the clear "Smooth lake, that to me seemed another sky. "As I bent down to look, just opposite "A shape within the watery gleam appeared, "Bending to look on me: I started back: "It started back; but pleased I soon returned: "Pleased it returned as soon with answering looks "Of sympathy and love: there I had fixed "Mine eyes till now, and pined with vain desire, "Had not a voice thus warned 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;-he "Whose image thou art: him thou shalt enjoy Inseparably thine; to him shalt bear "Multitudes like thyself, and thence be called "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 watery image. Back I turned: "Thou following criedst aloud, Return, fair Eve! "Whom fliest thou? whom thou fliest, of him thou art, "His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent "Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart, "Substantial life; to have thee by my side "Henceforth an individual solace dear;

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"Part of my soul, I seek thee, and thee claim,


My other half!' With that thy gentle hand
"Seized mine: I yielded; and from that time see
"How beauty is excelled by manly grace

And wisdom, which alone is truly fair."
So spake our general mother; and, with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreproved,
And meek surrender, half-embracing leaned
On our first father; half her swelling breast
Naked met his, under the flowing gold
Of her loose tresses hid: he, in delight
Both of her beauty and submissive charms,
Smiled with superior love, as Jupiter
On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds
That shed May flowers; and pressed her matron lip
With kisses pure. Aside the devil turned
For envy; yet with jealous leer malign


Eyed them askance, and to himself thus plained: Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two, 'Imparadised 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 unfulfilled, with pain of longing pines. "Yet let me not forget what I have gained


"From their own mouths: all is not theirs, it seems:
"One fatal tree there stands, of Knowledge called,
"Forbidden them to taste: knowledge forbidden!
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord
66 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

66 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 wandering spirit of Heaven, by fountain side, "Or in thick shade retired, from him to draw

"What farther would be learned. 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 turned,
But with sly circumspection, and began
Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er dale, his roam.
Meanwhile, in utmost longitude, where Heaven
With Earth and Ocean meets, the setting sun
Slowly descended, and, with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise












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