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For only in destroying I find ease
150 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 indignity! Subjected to his service Angel wings,
I55 And flaming ministers to watch and tend Their earthly charge : Of these the vigilance I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight vapour glide obscure, and pry
175 Of Heav'n, this man of clay, son of despite, Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais’d From dust : spite then with spite is best repaid.
So saying, through each thicket dank or dry, Like a black mist low creeping, he held on 180 His midnight search, where soonest he might find The serpent: him fast sleeping oon he found In labyrinth of many a round self rollid, His head the midst, well stor'd with subtle wiles : Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den,
185 Nor nocent yet, but on the grassy herb Fearless unfear'd he slept : in at his mouth The Devil enter'd, and his brutal sense,
In heart or head, possessing soon inspir'd
205 This garden, still to tend plant, herb and flower, Our pleasant task enjoin'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 wild. 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 wina The woodbine round this arbour, or direct The clasping ivy where to climb, while I In yonder spring of roses intermix'd
With myrtle, find what to redress till noon :
To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd.
than to study household good, And good works in her husband to promote. Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos’d 235 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 deny'd, and are of love the food, 240 Love not the lowest end of human life. For not to irksome toil, but to delight He made us, and delight to reason join'd. These paths and bow'rs doubt not but our joint hands Will keep from wilderness with ease, as wide 245 As we need walk, till younger hands ere long Assist us: but if much converse perhaps Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield ;
For solitude sometimes is best society,
250 But other doubt possesses me,
260 Whether his first design be to withdraw Our feälty from God, or to disturb Conjugal love, than which perhaps no bliss Enjoy'd by us excites his envy more; Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side 265 That gave thee be'ing, still shades thee and protects: The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks, Safest and seemliest by her husband stays, Who guards her, or with her the worst endures. To whom the virgin majesty of Eve,
270 As one who loves, and some unkindness meets, With sweet austere composure thus reply'd.
OFFSPRING of Heav'n and Earth, and all Earth's Lord, That such an Enemy we have, who seeks Our ruin, both by thee inform'd I learn,
275 And from the parting Angel over-heard, As in a shady nook I stood behind, Just then return'd at shut of evening flowers.