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To undergo with me one guilt, one crime,
(If any be) of tasting this fair fruit;
Whose virtue (for of good still good proceeds,
Direct, or by occasion) hath presented
This happy trial of thy love, which else
So eminently never had been known?
Were it I thought death menaced would ensue
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die
Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact
Pernicious to thy peace; chiefly assured
Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful, love unequalled : but I feel
Far otherwise the event; not death, but life
Augmented, opened eyes, new hopes, new joys,
Taste so divine, that what of sweet before
Hath touched my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
And fear of death deliver to the winds.

So saying, she embraced him, and for joy
Tenderly wept; much won, that he his love
Had so ennobled, as of choice to incur
Divine displeasure for her sake, or death.
In recompence (for such compliance bad
Such recompence best merits) from the bough
She gave him of that fair enticing fruit
With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat,
Against his better knowledge; not deceived,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
Earth trembled from her entrails, as again
In pangs; and Nature gave a second groan;

Sky loured ; and, muttering thunder, some sad drops
Wept at completing of the mortal sin
Original: while Adam took no thought,
Eating his fill; nor Eve to iterate
Her former trespass feared, the more to sooth
Him with her loved society; that now,
(As with new wine intoxicated both)
They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel
Divinity within them breeding wings,
Wherewith to scorn the earth : but that false fruit
Far other operation first displayed,
Carnal desire inflaming: he on Eve
Began to cast lascivious eyes; she him
As wantonly repaid; in lust they burn :
Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move.

Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste,
And elegant, of sapience no small part;
Since to each meaning savour we apply,
And palate call judicious; I the praise
Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purveyed.
Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstained
From this delightful fruit, nor known till now
True relish, tasting : if such pleasure be
In things to us forbidden, it might be wished,
For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
But come, so well refreshed, now let us play,
As meet is, after such delicious fare;
For never did thy beauty, since the day
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorned
With all perfections, so inflame my sense
With ardour 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 seized ; and to a shady bank, Thick over-head with verdant roof imbowered, He led her nothing loth: flowers were the couch, Pansies, and violets, and asphodel, 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 Oppressed them, wearied with their amorous play.

Soon as the force of that fallacious fruit, That with exhilarating vapour bland About their spirits had played, and inmost powers Made err, was now exhaled; and grosser sleep, Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams Incumbered, now had left them; up they rose As from unrest; and, each the other viewing, Soon found their eyes how opened, and their minds How darkened.; innocence, that as a veil Had shadowed them from knowing ill, was gone ; Just confidence, and native righteousness And honour, from about them, naked left To guilty Shame : he covered, but his robe Uncovered more. So rose the Danite strong, Herculean Samson, from the harlot-lap Of Philistéan Dalilah, and waked 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 abashed,
At length gave utterance to these words constrained.

O Eve! in evil hour thou didst give ear
To that false worm, of whomsoever taught
To counterfeit Man's voice; true in our fall,
False in our promised rising ; since our eyes
Opened we find indeed, and find we know
Both good and evil; good lost, and evil got:
Bad fruit of knowledge, if this be to know,
Which leaves us naked thus, of honour void,
Of innocence, of faith, of purity,
Our wonted ornaments, now soiled and stained,
And in our faces evident the signs
Of foul concupiscence ; whence evil store ;
Even shame, the last of evils; of the first
Be sure then.—How shall I behold the face
Henceforth of God or Angel, erst with joy
And rapture so oft beheld? Those heavenly shapes
Will dazzle now this earthly with their blaze
Insufferably bright. O! might I here
In solitude live savage; in some glade
· Obscured, where highest woods, impenetrable
To star 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!--
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

sewed,
And girded on our loins, may cover round
Those middle parts; that this new comer, Shame,
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.

So counselled he, and both together went
Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose
The fig-tree; not that kind for fruit renowned,
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
About the mother tree, a pillared shade
High over-arched, and echoing walks between :
There of the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds
At loop-holes cut through thickest shade : those leaves
They gathered, broad as Amazonian targe;
And, with what skill they had, together sewed,
To gird their waist; vain covering, if to hide
Their guilt and dreaded shame ! O, how unlike
To that first naked glory! Such of late
Columbus found the American, so girt
With feathered cincture; naked else, and wild
Among the trees on isles and woody shores.
Thus fenced, and, as they thought, their shame in part
Covered, but not at rest or ease of mind,
They sat them down to weep; nor only tears
Rained at their eyes, but high winds worse within
Began to rise, high passions, anger, hate,
Mistrust, suspicion, discord; and shook sore

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