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Desirous to resign, and render back
All I received; unable to perform
Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
The good I sought not. To the loss of that,
Sufficient penalty! why hast thou added
The sense of endless woes ? Inexplicable
Thy justice seems : yet, to say truth, too late
I thus contest; then should have been refused
Those terms, whatever, when they were proposed :
Thou didst accept them : wilt thou enjoy the good,
Then cavil the conditions ? and, though God
Made thee without thy leave, what if thy son
Prove disobedient; and, reproved, retort,
• Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not :'
Wouldst thou admit, for his contempt of thee,
That proud excuse? yet him not thy election,
But natural necessity, begot.
God made thee of choice his own, and of his own
To serve him; thy reward was of his grace;
Thy punishment then justly is at his will.
Be it so! for I submit; his doom is fair,
That dust I am, and shall to dust return :
O welcome hour whenever ! Why delays
His hand to execute what his decree
Fixed on this day? Why do I overlive?
Why am I mocked with death, and lengthened out
To deathless pain? How gladly would I meet
Mortality my sentence, and be earth
Insensible ! How glad would lay me down
As in my mother's lap ! There I should rest,
And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more

Would thunder in my ears: no fear of worse :
To me, and to my offspring, would torment me
With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
Pursues me still, lest all I cannot die; :
Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of Man,
Which God inspired, cannot together perish
With this corporeal clod: then, in the grave,
Or in some other dismal place, who knows
But I shall die a living death? O thought
Horrid, if true! Yet why? It was but breath
Of life that sinned; what dies but what had life
And sin? The body properly had neither.
All of me then shall die : let this appease
The doubt, since human reach no further knows.
For though the Lord of All be infinite,
Is his wrath also ? Be it! Man is not so,
But mortal doomed. How can he exercise
Wrath without end on Man, whom death must end?
Can he make deathless death! That were to make
Strange contradiction, which to God himself
Impossible is held; as argument
Of weakness, not of power. Will he draw out,
For anger's sake, finite to infinite,
In punished Man, to satisfy his rigour,
Satisfied never? That were to extend
His sentence beyond dust and Nature's law;
By which all causes else, according still
To the reception of their matter, act;
Not to the extent of their own sphere. But say
That death be not one stroke, as I supposed,
Bereaving sense, but endless misery

From this day onward ; which I feel begun
Both in me, and without me, and so last
To perpetuity !--Ah me! that fear
Comes thundering back with dreadful revolution
On my defenceless head : both Death and I
Am found eternal, and incorporate both :
Nor I on my part single ; in me all
Posterity stands cursed : fair patrimony
That I must leave ye, Sons ! O, were I able
To waste it all myself, and leave ye none !
So disinherited, how would ye bless
Me, now your curse! Ah, why should all mankind,
For one man's fault, thus guiltless be condemned,
If guiltless ? But from me what can proceed,
But all corrupt; both mind and will depraved
Not to do only, but to will the same
With me? How can they then acquitted stand
In sight of God ? Him, after all disputes,
Forced I absolve : all my evasions vain,
And reasonings, though through mazes, lead me still
But to my own conviction : first and last
On me, me only, as the source and spring
Of all corruption, all the blame lights due :
So might the wrath! Fond wish! couldst thou support
That burden, heavier than the earth to bear ;
Than all the world much heavier, though divided
With that bad Woman? Thus, what thou desir’st,
And what thou fear'st, alike destroys all hope
Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable
Beyond all past example and future;
To Satan only like, both crime and doom.

O Consience! into what abyss of fears
And horrours hast thou driven me out of which
I find no way, from deep to deeper plunged !

Thus Adam to himself lamented loud,
Through the still night; not now, as ere Man fell,
Wholesome, and cool, and mild, but with black air
Accompanied ; with damps, and dreadful gloom;
Which to his evil conscience represented
All things with double terrour : on the ground
Outstretched he lay, on the cold ground, and oft
Cursed his creation; Death as oft accused
Of tardy execution, since denounced
The day of his offence. Why comes not Death,
Said he, with one thrice-acceptable stroke
To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word,
Justice Divine not hasten to be just ?
But Death comes not at call; Justice Divine
Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries.
O woods, O fountains, hillocks, dales, and bowers !
With other echo late I taught your shades
To answer, and resound far other song.-
Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld,
Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh,
Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed :
But her with stern regard he thus repelled.

Out of my sight, thou Serpent! That name best Befits thee, with him leagued ; thyself as false And hateful: nothing wants but that thy shape, Like his, and colour serpentine, may show Thy inward fraud ; to warn all creatures from thee Henceforth; lest that too heavenly form, pretended

To hellish falsehood, snare them ! But for thee
I had persisted happy; had not thy pride
And wandering vanity, when least was safe,
Rejected my forewarning, and disdained
Not to be trusted ; longing to be seen,
Though by the Devil himself; him overweening
To over-reach: but, with the serpent meeting,
Fooled and beguiled; by him thou, I by thee
To trust thee from my side; imagined wise,
Constant, mature, proof against all assaults;
And understood not all was but a show,
Rather than solid virtue; all but a rib
Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears,
More to the part sinister, from me drawn;
Well if thrown out, as supernumerary
To my just number found. O! why did God,
Creator wise ! that peopled highest Heaven
With Spirits masculine, create at last
This novelty on earth, this fair defect
Of nature, and not fill the world at once
With Men, as Angels, without feminine ;
Or find some other way to generate
Mankind ? This mischief had not then befallen,
And more that shall befall ; innumerable
Disturbances on earth through female snares,
And straight conjunction with this sex : for either
He never shall find out fit mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain
Through her perverseness, but shall see her gained
By a far worse; or, if she love, withheld

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