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As good have grown there still a lifeless rib.
Being as I am, why didst not thou, the head,
Command me absolutely not to go,
Going into such danger, as thou saidst ?
Too facile then, thou didst not much gainsay;
Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
Hadst thou been firm and fix'd in thy dissent,
Neither had I transgressid, nor thou with me. 1160
To whom, then first incensed, Adam replied: Is this the love, is this the recompense Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve! express'd Immutable, when thou wert lost, not I; Who might have lived, and joy'd immortal bliss, 1165 Yet willingly chose rather death with thee? And am I now upbraided, as the cause Of thy transgressing ? Not enough severe, It seems, in thy restraint; What could I more? I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold 1170 The danger, and the lurking enemy That lay in wait; beyond this had been force; And force upon free will hath here no place. • But confidence then bore thee on ; secure Either to meet no danger, or to find
Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps
I also err’d, in overmuch admiring
What seeni'd in thee so perfect, that I thought
No evil durst attempt thee ; but I rue
The error now, which is become my crime, 1180
And thou the accuser. Thus it shall befal
Him, who, to worth in wonen overtrusting,
Lets her will rule : restraint she will not brook;
And, left to herself, if evil thence ensue,
She first his weak indalgence will accuse. 1185
Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning;
And of their vain contést appear'd no end.
Man's transgression known, the guardian Angels forsake Paradise,
and return up to Heaven to approve their vigilance, and are approved; God declaring that the entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the transgressors, who descends and gives sentence accordingly, then in pity clothes them both, and reascends. Sin and Death, sitting till then at the gates of Hell, by wondrous sympathy feeling the success of Satan in this new world, and the sin by Man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confined in Hell, but to follow Satan their sire up to the place of Man: To make the way easier from Hell to this world to and fro, they pave a broad highway or bridge over Chaos, according to the tract that Satan first made; then, preparing for Earth, they meet him, proud of his success, return ing to Hell; their mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pande monium, in full assembly relates with boasting his guccess against Man; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transformed with himself also suddenly into serpents, according to his doom given in Paradise; then, deluded with a show of the forbidden tree springing up before them, they, greedily reaching to take of the fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death: God foretels the final victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but, for the present, commands his Angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and elements. Adam, more and more perceiving his fallen condition, heavily be wails, rejects the condclement of Eve; she persists, and at length appeases him: then, to evade the curse likely to fall on their offspring, proposes to Adam violent ways, which he approves not; but, conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late promise made them, that her seed should be revenged on the Serpent; and exhorts her with him to seek peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.
MEANWHILE the heinous and despiteful act
Of Satan, done in Paradise ; and how
He, in the Serpent, had perverted Eve,
Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,
Was known in Heaven ; for what can scape the eye 5
Of God all-seeing, or deceive his heart
Omniscient? who, in all things wise and just,
Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the mind
Of Man, with strength entire and free will arm'd,
Complete to have discover'd and repulsed
Whatever wiles of fce or seeming friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remember'd,
The high injunction, not to taste that fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
Incurr'd (what could they less ?) the penalty; 15
And, manifold in sin, deserved to fall.
Up into Heaven from Paradise in haste
The Angelic guards ascended, mute and sad,
For Man ; for of his state by this they knew,
Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stolen 20
Entrance unseen. Soon as the unwelcome news
From Earth arrived at Heaven-gate, displeased
All were who heard; dim Sadness did not spare
That time celestial visages, yet, mnix'd
With pity, violated not their bliss.
About the new-arrived, in multitudes
The ethereal people ran, to hear and know
How all befel : They towards the throne supreme;
Accountable, made haste, to make appear,
With righteous plea, their utmost vigilance, 30
And easily approved : when the Most High
Eternal Father, from his secret cloud,
Amidst in thunder utter'd thus his voice :
Assembled Angels, and ye Powers return'd
From unsuccessful charge, be not dismay'd, 35
Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent;
Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
When first this Tempter cross'd the gulf from Hell.
I told ye then he should prevail, and speed 40
On his bad errand; Man should be sęduced,
And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker; no decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his fall,
Os touch with lightest moment of impulse 45
His free will, to her own inclining left
In even scale. But fallen he is ; and now
What rests, but that the mortal sentence pass
On his transgression, death denounced that day?
Which he presumes already vain and void, 50
Because not yet inflicted, as he fear’d,
By sone immediate stroke ; but soon shall find
Forbearance no acquittance, ere day end.
Justice shall not return as bounty scorn'd.
But whom send I to judge them ? whom but thee, 55
Vicegerent Son ? To thee I have transferr’d
All judgment, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or Hell.
Fasy it may be seen that I intend..
Mercy colleague with Justice, sending thee,
Man's friend, his Mediator, his design'd
Both ransom and Redeemer voluntary,
And destined Man himself to judge Man fallen.
So spake the Father; and, unfolding bright
Toward the right hand his glory, on the Son
Blazed forth unclouded Deity: He full
Resplendent all his Father manifest
Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd mild :-
Father Eternal, thine is to decree ;
Mine, both in Heaven and Earth, to do thy will
Supreme ; that thou in me, thy Son beloved, 90
Mayst ever rest well pleased. I go to judge
On earth these thy transgressors; but thou know'st,
Whoever judged, the worst on me must light,
When time shall be ; for so I undertook
Before thee ; and, not repenting, this obtain
Of right, that I may mitigate their doom
On me derived ; yet I shall temper so
Justice with mercy as may illustrate most,
Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor train, where none 80
Are to behold the judgment, but the judged,
Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd,
Convict by flight, and rebel to all law :
Conviction to the serpent none belongs.
Thus saying, from his radiant seat he rose 85 Of high collateral glory ; Him Thrones, and Powers, Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant,
Eden and all the coast in prospect lay.
Down he descended straight; the speed of Gods 90
Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing'd.
Now was the sun in western cadence low
From noon, and gentle airs, due at their hour,
To fan the earth now waked, and usher in
The evening cool; when he, from wrath more cool, 95
Came the mild judge, and Intercessor both,
To sentence Man: The voice of God they heard
Now walking in the garden, by soft winds
And from his presence hid themselves among 100 The thickest trees, both man and wife ; till God, Approaching, thus to Adam call'd aloud :
Where art thou, Adam wont with joy to meet My coming seen far off? I miss thee here, Not pleased, thus entertain'd with solitude, 105 Where obvious duty ere while appear'd unsought : Or come I less conspicuous, or what change Absents thee, or what chance detains ?-Come forth !
He came ; and with him Eve, more loath, though first To offend ; discountenanced both, and discomposed; Love was not in their looks, either to God, 111 Or to each other ; but apparent guilt, And shame, and perturbation, and despair, Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile. Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answer'd brief:
I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voice 116 Afraid, being naked, hid myself. To whom The gracious Judge without revile replied : My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd,