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With heav'nly spoils, our spoils : what he decreed
He effected; man he made, and for him built
Magnificent this world, and earth his seat,
Him lord pronounc'd, and, O indignitie !
Subjected to his service angel wings,
And Aaming ministers to watch and tend
Their earthie charge : of these the vigilance
I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mift
Of midnight vapour glide obscure, and prie
In every bush and brake, where hap may find
The serpent fleeping, in whofe mazie foulds
To hide me, and the dark intent I bring,
O foul descent ! that I who erft contended
With gods to fit the highest, am now constrain'd
Into a beast, and mixt with beftial Nime,
This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the highth of deitie aspir'd;
But what will not ambition and revenge
Descend to ? who afpires must down as low
As high he foar'd; obnoxious first or laft
To bafest things. Revenge, at firft though sweet;
Bitter ere long back on itself recoiles;..'.
Let it; I reck not, fo it light well aim'd;
Since higher I fall Mort, on him who next
Provokes my envie, this new favourite ..
Of heav'n, this man of clay, Son of despite,
Whom us the more to fpite his maker rais'do
From duft : fpite then with spite is best repaid.
So saying, through each thicket dank or drie,
Like a black mift low creeping, he held on
His midnight search, where-sooneft hie might find
The serpent : him faft sleeping soon he found
In labyrinth of many, a round self rowl'd,
His head the midst, well stor'd with suttle wiles :
Not yet in horrid Thade-or dismal den,
Nor nocent yet, but on the grassie herb
Fearless unfear'd he slept : in at his mouth
The devil enter'd, and his brutal sense,
In heart or head, poffesfing soon inspir'd
With act intelligential; but his neep
Disturb'd not, waiting close th’approach of morn.”
Now when as sacred light began to dawn
In Eden on the humid flours, that breath'd
Their morning incense, when all things that breathe,
From th'earth's great altar fend up filent praise
To the creator, and his nostrils fill
With grateful smell, forth came the human pair .
And join'd their vocal worship to the quire
Of creatures wanting voice, that done, partake
The season, prime for sweetest scents and aires :
Then commune how that day they best may ply
Their growing work : for much their work outgrew
The hands difpatch of two gardning fo wide.
And Eve first to her husband thus began.
Adam, well may we labour still to dress
This garden, ftill to tend plant, herb and Aour,
Our pleasant talk enjoyn'd, but till more hands
Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
Luxurious by restraint ; what we by day
Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,
One night or two with wanton growth derides
Tending to wilde. Thou therefore now advise •
Or hear what to my mind first thoughts present, .
Let us divide our labours, thou where choice
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind
The woodbine round this arbour, or direct
The clasping ivie where to climb, while I
In younder spring of roses intermixt
With myrtle, find what to redress till noon :
For while so near each other thus all day
Our talk we choose, what wonder if so near
Looks intervene and smiles, or object new
Casual discourse draw on, which intermits
Our days work brought to little, though begun
Early, and th’hour of supper comes unearn'd.
To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd.
Sole Eve, associate fole, to me beyond
Compare above all living creatures deare,
Well hast thou motion'd, well thy thoughts imploy'd
How we might beft fulfil the work which here
God hath assign'd us, nor of me Malt pals
Unprais'd : for nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, than to studie hourhold good,
And good works in her husband to promote.
Yet not fo ftri&tly hath our Lord impos’d
Labour, as to debar us when we need
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,
Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse
Of looks and smiles, for smiles from reason flow,
To brute deni'd, and are of love the food,
Love not the lowest end of human life.
For not to irksom toil, but to delight
He made us, and delight to reafon join'd.
Thefe paths and bowers doubt not but our joint hands
Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long
Alift us : but if much converse perhaps
Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield.
For solitude sometimes is best focietie,
And thort retirement urges sweet return.
But other doubt poffeffes me, least harm
Befall thee sever'd from me ; for thou know'ft
What hath been warn'd us, what malicious foe !
Envying our happiness, and of his own .
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame
By Ny assault; and somewhere nigh at hand
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
His with and best advantage, us asunder,
Hopeless to circumvent us join'd, where each.
To other speedie aid might lend at need ;
Whether his first design be to withdraw ·
Our fealtie from God, or to disturb .. .
Conjugal love, than which perhaps no bliss
Enjoy'd by us excites his envie more;
Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful fide
That gave thee being, still shades thee and protects.
The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
Safest and seeimlieft by her husband ftaies,
Who guards her, or with her the worst endures. .
To whom the virgin majestie of Eve,
As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,
With sweet austeer composure thus reply'd.
Off-spring of heav'n and earth, and all earth's lord, That such an enemie we have, who seeks t o
Our ruin, both by thee inform'd I learn,
And from the parting angel over-heard
As in a fhadie nook I stood behind,
Just then return'd at shut of evening ftours.
But that thou shouldft my firmness therefore doubt
To God or thee, becaufe we have a foe
May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
His violence thou fearft not, being such
As we, not capable of death or paine,
Can either not receave, or can repell.
His fraud is then thy fear, which plain inferrs.
Thy equal fear that my firm faith and love
Can by his fraud be shak'n or seduc't;
Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy breaft,
Adam, missthought of her to thee so dear?
To whom with healing words Adam repli'd;
Daughter of God and man, immortal Eve,
For such thou art, from sin and blame intire :
Not diffident of thee do I diffuade
Thy absence from my fight, but to avoid
Th’attempt itself, intended by our foc.
For he who tempts, though in vain, at least asperfes
The tempted with dishonour foul, fuppos'd
Not incorruptible of faith, not proof
Against temptation : thou thyself with scorn
And anger wouldīt resent the offer'd wrong,
Though ineffetual found : misdeem not then,
If such affront I labour to avert
From thee alone, which on us both at once.
The enemie, though bold, will hardly dare,
Or daring, first on me th'affault Mall light.