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Lest on my head both sin and punishment,
However insupportable, be all
Devolv'd; tho', should I hold my peace, yet thou
Wouldst easily detect what I conceal. 136
This Woman, whom thou mad'st to be my help,
And gav'st me as thy perfect gift, so good,
So fit, so acceptable, so divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill; 140
And what she did, whatever in itself,
Her doing seem'd to justify the deed:
She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

To whom the Sov’reign Presence thus reply'd:
Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey 145
Before his voice? or was she made thy guide,
Superior, or but equal, that to her
Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place
Wherein God set thee 'bove her, made of thee,
And for thee, whose perfection far excell'd 150
Hers in all real dignity? Adorn'd
She was indeed, and lovely to attract
Thy love, not thy subjection ; and her gifts
Were such as, under government, well seemid, ,
Unseemly to bear rule, which was thy part 155
And
person,

hadst thou known thyself aright. So having said, he thus to Eve in few : Say, Woman, what is this which thou hast done?

To whom sadEve, with shamenigh overwhelm'd, Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge 160 Bold or loquacious, thus abashid, reply'd : The Serpent me beguild, and I did eat.

176

Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To judgment he proceeded on th'accus'd Serpent, though brute, unable to transfer 165 The guilt on him who made him instrument Of mischief, and polluted from the end Of his creation ; justly then accurs’d, As vitiated in nature : more to know Concern'd not Man (since he no further knew) Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last 171 To Satan, first in sin, his doom apply'd, Tho' in mysterious terms, judg’d as then best; And on the serpent thus his curse let fall : Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd Above all cattle, each beast of the field. Upon thy belly grov'ling thou shalt

go, And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life. Between thee and the Woman I will put Enmity, and between thine and her seed: 180 Her Seed shall bruise thyhead; thou bruise his heel.

So spake this Oracle, then verify'd When Jesus, Son of Mary, second Eve, Saw Satan fall like lightning down from Heav'n, Prince of the air ; then, rising from his grave, Spoil'd principalities and pow’rs, triumph'd 186 In

open show, and, with ascension bright, Captivity led captive through the air, The realm itself of Satan long usurp'd; Whom he shall tread at last under our feet; 190 E'en he who now foretold his fatal bruise, And to the Woman thus bis sentence turn'd:

Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
By thy conception : Children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth ; and to thy husband's will 195
Thine shall submit: he over thee shall rule.

On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd:
Because thou'st hearken'd to th'voice of thy wife,
And eaten of the tree, concerning which 199
I charg'd thee, say'ng, Thou shalt not eat thereof,
Curs’d is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow
Shalt eat thereof all the days of thy life:
Thorns also' and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid; and thou shalt eat th' herb of the field.
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, 20
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground was taken (know thy birth);
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.

So judg'd he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent, And th'instant stroke of death denounc'd, that day Remov'd far off; then pitying how they stood Before him naked to the air, that now Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin Thenceforth the form of servant to assume, As when he wash'd his servants feet, so now, 215 As Father of his family, he clad Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain, Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid; And thought not much to clothe his enemies : Nor he their outward only with the skins Of beasts, but inward nakedness, much more Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness,

220

Arraying, cover'd from his Father's sight.
To him with swift ascent he up return’d,
Into his blissful bosom re-assum'd

225
In glory, as of old; to him appeas’d
All, tho’all-knowing; what had pass'd with Man
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Mean while ere thus was sinn'd and judg’d on

Earth, Within the gates of Hell sat Sin and Death, 230 In counterview within the gates, that now Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame Far into Chaos, since the Fiend pass'd through, Sin op’ning, who thus now to Death began :

O Son, why sit we here each other viewing Idly, while Satan our great author thrives 236 In other worlds, and happier seat provides For us, his offspring dear? It cannot be But that success attends him; if mishap, Ere this he had return’d, with fury driv'n 240 By his avengers, since no place like this Can fit his punishment, or their revenge. Methinks I feel new strength within me rise, Wings growing, and dominion giv'n me large Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on, 245 Or sympathy, or some connat’ral force, Pow'rful at greatest distance, to unite With secret amity things of like kind By secretest conveyance. Thou

my

shade Inseparable, must with me along;.

250 For Death from Sin no pow'r can separate.

VOL. II.

M

But lest the difficulty of passing back
Stay his return perhaps over this gulf
Impassable, impervious, let us try
Advent’rous work, yet to thy pow'r and mine
Not unagreeable, to found a path

256
Over this main from Hell to that New World
Where Satan now prevails, a monument
Of merit high to all th' infernal host,
Easing their passage hence, for intercourse 260
Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead.
Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
By this new-felt attraction and instinct.

Whom thus the meagre Shadowanswer'd soon : Go whither Fate and inclination strong 265 Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err The

way, thou leading, such a scent I draw Of carnage, prey innum'rable, and taste The savour of Death from all things there that

live: Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest 270 Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.

So saying, with delight he snuff”d the smell Of mortal change on earth. As when a flock Of rav'nous fowl, though many a league remote, Against the day of battle, to a field,

275 Where armies lie encamp'd, come flying, lur'd With scent of living carcases design'd For death the following day, in bloody fight ; So scented the grim Feature, and upturn'd His nostril wide into the murky air, 280

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