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And from whom, I was form'd; flesh of thy flesh;
And without whom am to no end; my guide 442
And head! what thou hast said is just and right.
For we to him indeed all praises owe,
And daily thanks; I chiefly, who enjoy
So far the happier lot, enjoying thee
Pre-eminent by so much odds; while thou
Like consort to thyself canst no where find.
That day I oft remember, when from sleep
I first awak'd, and found myself repos'd
Under a shade on flowers; much wond'ring where
And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
Not distant far from thence a murm'ring sound
Of waters issued from a cave, and spread
Into a liquid plain, then stood unmov'd,
Pure as th' expanse of heaven: I thither went,
With unexperienc'd thought, and laid me down
On the green bank, to look into the clear
Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky.
As I bent down to look, just opposite

A shape within the wat'ry gleam appear'd,
Bending to look on me: I started back;





It started back: but pleas'd¡I soon return'd;
Pleas'd it return'd as soon; with answering looks
Of sympathy' and love: there I had fix'd
Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
Had not a voice thus warn'd me: What thou seest,
What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself;
With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
And I will bring thee where no shadow stays
Thy coming, and thy soft embraces; he
Whose image thou art: him thou shalt enjoy,
Inseparably thine, to him shalt bear
Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd
Mother of human race.' What could I do
But follow straight, invisibly thus led
Till I espied thee, fair indeed, and tall,
Under a platan; yet, methought, less fair,
Less winning soft, less amiably mild,



Than that smooth wat'ry image: back I turn'd; 480
Thou following cried'st aloud, Return, fair Eve,
Whom fliest thou? Whom thou fliest, of him thou
His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent [art,
Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,
Substantial life, to have thee by my side
Henceforth an individual solace dear:
Part of my soul, I seek thee; and thee claim,
My other half. With that, thy gentle hand
Seiz'd mine; I yielded; and from that time see
How beauty is excell'd by manly grace,
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair."

So spake our general mother; and with eyes
Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
And meek surrender, half embracing lean'd
On our first father: half her swelling breast
Naked met his, under the flowing gold
Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight
Beth of her beauty and submissive charms,
Smil'd with superior love; as Jupiter


Some wand'ring spirit of heaven, by fountain side
Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
What further would be learn'd. Live while ye may,
Yet happy pair! Enjoy, till I return,
Short pleasures; for long woes are to succeed!" 535

So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
But with sly circumspection, and began,
Through wood, through waste, o'er hill, o'er dale,
his roam,

Meanwhile in utmost longitude, where heaven
With earth and ocean meets, the setting sun
Slowly descended; and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise
Levell'd his evening rays: it was a rock
Of alabaster, pil'd up to the clouds,
Conspicuous far; winding with one ascent
Accessible from earth, one entrance high:
The rest was craggy cliff, that overhung
Still as it rose, impossible to climb.
Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel sat,
Chief of th' angelic guards, awaiting night:
About him exercis'd heroic games




Th' unarmed youth of heaven; but nigh at hand
Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears,
Hung high with diamond flaming, and with gold.
Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even 555
On a sun-beam, swift as a shooting star

In autumn thwarts the night, when vapours fir'd
Impress the air, and shows the mariner
From what point of his compass to beware
Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste:



"Gabriel! To thee thy course by lot hath given
Charge, and strict watch, that to this happy place
No evil thing approach, or enter in.
This day, at height of noon, came to my sphere
A spirit; zealous, as he seem'd, to know
More of th' Almighty's work; and chiefly man,
God's latest image: I describ'd his way,
Bent all on, speed, and mark'd his airy.gait:
But, in the mount that lies from Eden north,
Where he first lighted, soon discern'd his looks 570
Alien from heaven, with passions foul obscur'd:
Mine eye pursued him still, but under shade.
Lost sight of him. One of the banish'd crew,
I fear, hath ventur'd from the deep, to raise
New troubles; him thy care must be to find." 575

To whom the winged warrior thus return'd:
"Uriel! No wonder if thy perfect sight,
Amid the sun's bright circle, where thou sitt'st,
See far and wide: in at this gate none pass
The vigilance here plac'd, but such as come
Well known from heaven; and since meridian hour
495 No creature thence: if spirit of other sort,

On Juno smiles, when he impregns the clouds, 500
That shed May flowers; and press'd her matron lip
With kisses pure: aside the Devil turn'd
For envy, yet with jealous leer malign
Eyed them askance; and to himself thus plain'd:


So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds
On purpose, hard thou know'st it to exclude
Spiritual substance with corporeal bar.
But, if within the circuit of these walks,
In whatsoever shape, he lurk, of whom
Thou tell'st, by morrow dawning I shall know."



So promis'd he; and Uriel to his charge [rais'd,
Return'd, on that bright beam, whose point now
Bore him slope downward to the sun, now fallen
Beneath th' Azores: whither the prime orb,
Incredible how swift, had thither roll'd
Diurnal; or this less volúble earth,

By shorter flight to th' east, had left him there, 595
Arraying with reflected purple' and gold

510 The clouds that on his western throne attend.

"Sight hateful, sight tormenting! Thus these two,
Imparadis'd in one another's arms,
(The happier Eden!) shall enjoy their fill
Of bliss on bliss: while I to hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Amongst our other torments not the least,
Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing, pines.
Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
From their own mouths: all is not theirs it seems:
One fatal tree there stands, of knowledge call'd,
Forbidden them to taste. Knowledge forbidden?
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord 516
Envy them that? Can it be sin to know?
Can it be death? And do they only stand
By ignorance? Is that their happy state,
The proof of their obedience and their faith?
O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds
With mcre desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with design
To keep them low, whom knowledge might exalt
Equal with gods: aspiring to be such,
They taste and die: what likelier can ensue ?
But first, with narrow search I must walk round
This garden, and no corner leave unspied;




A chance but chance may lead where I may meet

Now came still evening on, and twilight grey
Had in her sober livery all things clad:
Silence accompanied; for beast, and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk; all but the wakeful nightingale;
She all night long her amorous descant sung;
Silence was pleas'd now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires; Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest; till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.

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616 Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none;
Such was their awe of man! In shadier bower 708
More sacred, and sequester'd, though but feign'd,
Pan, or Sylvanus, never slept; nor nymph,
Nor Faunus, haunted. Here, in close recess,
With flowers, garlands, and sweet smelling herbs,
Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed:
And heavenly choirs the hymenean sung,
What day the genial angel to our sire
Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn'd,
More lovely than Pandora; whom the gods
Endow'd with all their gifts, (and O, too like
In sad event!) when to th' unwiser son
Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she insnar'd
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire.

Our eyelids: Other creatures all day long
Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest:
Man hath his daily work of body, or mind,
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of heaven on all his ways:
While other animals unactive range.
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour, to reform
Yon flowery arbours; yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown:
That mock our scant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth:
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums, 630
That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease:
Meanwhile, as nature wills, night bids us rest."



To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty' adorn'd: "My author, and disposer? What thou bid'st 635 Unargued I obey; so God ordains: God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise. With thee conversing I forget all time; All seasons and their change, all please alike: Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, With charm of earliest birds: pleasant the sun, When first on this delightful land he spreads His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower, Glist'ring with dew: fragrant the fertile earth 645 After soft showers: and sweet the coming on Of grateful evening mild: then, silent night, With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon, And these the gems of heaven, her starry train: But neither breath of morn, when she ascends 650 With charm of earliest birds: nor rising sun On this delightful land: nor herb, fruit, flower, Glist'ring with dew: nor fragrance after showers: Nor grateful evening mild: nor silent night, With this her solemn bird: nor walk by moon, Or glitt'ring starlight, without thee is sweet. But wherefore all night long shine these? For whom This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes ?"


To whom our general ancestor replied: "Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve, 660 These have their course to finish round the earth By morrow evening, and from land to land In order, though to nations yet unborn, Minist'ring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Lest total darkness should by night regain Her old possession, and extinguish life



Thus, at their shady lodge arriv'd, both stood, Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd 721 The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaven, Which they beheld; the moon's resplendent globe, And starry pole: "Thou also mad'st the night, Maker Omnipotent! and thou the day, Which we in our appointed work employ'd Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help, And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss Ordain'd by thee; and this delicious place, For us too large; where thy abundance wants 730 Partakers, and uncropp'd falls to the ground. But thou hast promis'd from us two a race To fill the earth, who shall with us extol Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep." 735


This said unanimous, and other rites Observing none, but adoration pure, Which God likes best, into their inmost bower Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off These troublesome disguises which we wear, Straight side by side were laid: nor turn'd, I ween, Adam from his fair spouse; nor Eve the rites Mysterious of connubial love refus'd; Whatever hypocrites austerely talk Of purity, and place, and innocence; Defaming as impure what God declares Pure; and commands to some, leaves free to all. Our Maker bids increase; who bids abstain But our destroyer, foe to God and man?


Hail, wedded love! mysterious law, true source 750 Of human offspring, sole propriety

In Paradise! of all things common else.


By thee adulterous lust was driven from men, Among the bestial herds to range; by thee, Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure, Relations dear, and all the charities



In nature and all things, which these soft fires
Not only' enlighten, but with kindly heat
Of various influence foment and warm,
Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, 674
Shine not in vain; nor think, tho' men were none,
That heaven would want spectators, God want

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night. How often, from the steep 680
Of echoing hill, or thicket, have we heard
Celestial voices, to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
Singing their great Creator? oft in bands


While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven."



Thus talking, hand in hand, alone they pass'd On to their blissful bower: it was a place Chosen by the sov'reign Planter, when he fram'd All things to man's delightful use: the roof, Of thickest covert, was inwoven shade, Laurel and myrtle; and what higher grew, Of firm and fragrant leaf: on either side Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub, Fenc'd up the verdant wall: each beauteous flower, Iris all hues, roses and jessamine [wrought Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and Mosaic: underfoot the violet, 700 Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay Broider'd the ground; more colour'd than with Of costliest emblem: other creature here, [stone



Of father, son, and brother, first were known.
Far be' it, that I should write thee sin, or blame!
Or think thee unbefitting holiest place;
Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets!
Whose bed is undefil'd, and chaste, pronounc'd,
Present, or past; as saints and patriarchs us'd.
Here Love his golden shafts employs, here lights
His constant lamp; and waves his purple wings;
Reigns here, and revels: not in the bought smile
Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear'd;"
Casual fruition! nor in court-amours,
Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball,
Or serenade, which the starv'd lover sings
To his proud fair; best quitted with disdain.
These, lull'd by nightingales, embracing slept;
And on their naked limbs the flowery roof
Shower'd roses, which the morn repair'd. Sleep on,
Bless'd pair; and O yet happiest, if ye seek
No happier state, and know to know no more. 775


Now had night measur'd with her shadowy cone Half-way up hill this vast sublunar vault: And from their ivory port the cherubim, Forth issuing at th' accustom'd hour, stood arm'd 780 To their night watches in warlike parade, When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake :

"Uzziel! half these draw off, and coast the south With strictest watch: these other wheel the north; Our circuit meets full west." As flame they part, Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear. 785 From these, two strong and subtle spirits he call'd, That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge:

"Ithuriel, and Zephon! with wing'd speed Search thro' this garden, leave unsearch'd no nook


But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge
Now laid perhaps asleep, secure of harm.
This evening from the sun's decline arriv'd,
Who tells of some infernal spirit, seen
Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'd
The bars of hell; on errand bad, no doubt: 795
Such, where ye find, seize fast, and hither bring."

So saying, on he led his radiant files,
Dazzling the moon: these to the bower direct,
In search of whom they sought: him there they
Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve; [found,
Assaying, by his devilish art, to reach


The organs of her fancy', and with them forge
Illusions, as he list, phantoms, and dreams:
Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
Th' animal spirits, that from pure blood arise, 805
Like gentle breaths from rivers pure; thence raise
At least distemper'd, discontented thoughts;
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires,
Blown up with high conceits engend'ring pride.
Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
Touch'd lightly; for no falsehood can endure
Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likeness: up he starts,
Discover'd and surpris'd. As when a spark
Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid
Fit for the tun, some magazine to store
Against a rumour'd war, the smutty grain
With sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the air:
So started up in his own shape the fiend.
Back stepp'd those two fair angels, half amaz'd, 820
So sudden to behold the grisly king;
Yet thus, unmov'd with fear, accost him soon:


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The fiend replied not, overcome with rage; But like a proud steed rein'd, went haughty on, Champing his iron curb: to strive or fly He held it vain; awe from above had quell'd His heart, not else dismay'd. Now drew they nigh The western point, where those half-rounding guards

Just met, and closing stood in squadron join'd,
Awaiting next command. To whom their chief,
Gabriel, from the front thus call'd aloud:

"O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet
Hasting this way, and now by glimpse discern
Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade,
And with them comes a third of regal port,
But faded splendour wan; who, by his gait
And fierce demeanour, seems the prince of hell,



Not likely to part hence without contest; Stand firm, for in his look defiance lowers."

He scarce had ended, when those two approach'd, And brief related whom they brought, where found, How busied, in what form and posture couch'd. 876

To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake: "Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib'd


To thy transgressions, and disturb'd the charge
Of others, who approve not to transgress
By thy example, but have power and right
To question thy bold entrance on this place;
Employ'd it seems to violate sleep, and those
Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss?"

To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow "Gabriel, thou hadst in heaven th' esteem of wise, And such I held thee; but this question ask'd 887 Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain? Who would not, finding way, break loose from hell, Though thither doom'd? Thou wouldst thyself, no doubt,


And boldly venture to whatever place
Farthest from pain, where thou might'st hope to

Torment with ease, and soonest recompense
Dole with delight, which in this place I sought;
To thee no reason, who know'st only good,
But evil hast not tried; and wilt object
His will who bound us? let him surer bar
His iron gates, if he intends our stay


In that dark durance: thus much what was ask'd. The rest is true, they found me where they say; But that implies not violence or harm."



Thus he in scorn. The warlike angel mov'd, Disdainfully half-smiling, thus replied: "O loss of one in heaven to judge of wise, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew, And now returns him from his prison scap'd, Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither, Unlicens'd, from his bounds in hell prescrib'd; So wise he judges it to fly from pain However, and to scape his punishment. So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrath, Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to hell, Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain 915 Can equal anger infinite provok❜d.



But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee
Came not all hell broke loose? is pain to them
Less pain, less to be fled? or thou than they
Less hardy to endure? Courageous chief,
The first in flight from pain, hadst thou alleg'd
To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive."


To which the fiend thus answer'd, frowning stern: "Not that I less endure, or shrink from paín, 925 Insulting angel: well thou know'st I stood Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid The blasting vollied thunder made all speed, And seconded thy else not dreaded spear. But still thy words at random, as before, Argue thy inexperience what behoves, From hard assays and ill successes past, A faithful leader, not to hazard all Through ways of danger by himself untried: I therefore, I alone first undertook To wing the desolate abyss, and spy This new-created world, whereof in hell Fame is not silent, here in hope to find Better abode, and my afflicted powers To settle here on earth, or in mid-air; Though for possession put to try once more What thou and thy gay legions dare against; Whose easier business were to serve their Lord' High up in heaven, with songs to hymn his throne, And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight."

To whom the warrior angel soon replied: "To say and straight unsay, pretending first Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy, Argues no leader but a liar trac'd,




Satan, and couldst thou faithful add ? O name, 950
O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!

Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
Army of fiends, fit body to fit head.

Was this your discipline and faith engag'd,


Your military obedience, to dissolve
Allegiance to th' acknowledg'd power supreme?
And thou, sly hypocrite! who now wouldst seem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilely ador'd
Heaven's awful monarch? wherefore, but in hope
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
But mark what I areed thee now-Avaunt;
Fly thither whence thou fledst: if from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chain'd,
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn
The facile gates of hell too slightly barr'd."

So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats
Gave heed, but, waxing more in rage, replied:



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Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremov'd:
His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
Sat horror plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp
What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dread-
ful deeds
Might have ensu'd; nor only Paradise
In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of heaven perhaps, or all the elements,
At least had gone to wrack, disturb'd, and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon 995
Th' Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in heaven his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh'd,
The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air 1000
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles and realms: in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend: 1005

"Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st


Neither our own, but given; what folly then
To boast what arms can do ? since thine no more
Than heaven permits, nor mine, tho' doubled now
To trample thee as mire: for proof look up, 1010
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how

If thou resist." The fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled 1014
Murm'ring, and with him fled the shades of night.





Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her. They come forth to their day-labours: their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience; of his free estate; of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy; and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise his appearance described; his coming discerned by Adam afar off sitting at the door of his borver; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table. Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel, a seraph, who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

NOW Morn, her rosy steps in th' eastern clime
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam wak'd, so custom'd, for his sleep
Was airy-light, from pure digestion bred,




And temp'rate vapours bland, which th only sound
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill matin song
Of birds on every bough: so much the more
His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
With tresses discompos'd, and glowing cheek,
As through unquiet rest: he, on his side
Leaning half rais'd, with looks of cordial love,
Hung over her enamour'd; and beheld
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then, with voice
Mild as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: "Awake,
My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
Heaven's last best gift, my ever new delight!
Awake; the morning shines, and the fresh field 20
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet."


Such whisp'ring wak'd her, but with startled eye On Adam, whom embracing, thus she spake :


"O sole, in whom my thoughts find all repose,
My glory, my perfection! glad I see
Thy face and morn return'd; for I this night
(Such night till this I never pass'd) have dream'd,
If dream'd, not, as I oft am wont, of thee,
Works of day past, or morrow's next design,
But of offence and trouble, which my mind
Knew never till this irksome night. Methought 35
Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk
With gentle voice; I thought it thine: it said,
Why sleep'st thou, Eve? now is the pleasant time,
The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
To the night-warbling bird, that now awake
Tunes sweetest his love-labour'd song; now reigns
Full orb'd the moon, and with more pleasing light
Shadowy sets off the face of things; in vain,
If none regard; heaven wakes with all his eyes,
Whom to behold but thee, nature's desire?
In whose sight all things joy,, with ravishment
Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.



I rose as at thy call, but found thee not:
To find thee I directed then my walk;
And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways
That brought me on a sudden to the tree
Of interdicted knowledge: fair it seem'd,




Much fairer to my fancy than by day;
And, as I wond'ring look'd, beside it stood
One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from heaven
By us oft seen: his dewy locks distill'd
Ambrosia; on that tree he also gaz'd;
And, 'O fair plant,' said he, 'with fruit surcharg'd,
Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet?
Nor God, nor man? is knowledge so despis'd? 60
Or envy', or what reserve, forbids to taste?
Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold
Longer thy offer'd good; why else set here?"
This said he paus'd not, but with vent'rous arm
He pluck'd, he tasted; me damp horror chill'd 65
At such bold words, vouch'd with a deed so bold:
But he thus, overjoy'd: O fruit divine,
Sweet of thyself, but much more sweet thus cropt,
Forbidden here, it seems as only fit
For gods, yet able to make gods of men:
And why not gods of men, since good, the more
Communicated, more abundant grows,
The author not impair'd, but honour'd more?
Here, happy creature, fair angelic Eve,
Partake thou also; happy though thou art,
Happier thou may'st be, worthier canst not be:
Take this, and be henceforth among the gods,
Thyself a goddess, not to earth confin'd,
But sometimes in the air, as we, sometimes
Ascend to heaven, by merit thine, and see
What life the gods live there, and such live thou,'
So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
Which he had pluck'd; the pleasant savoury smell
So quicken'd appetite, that I, methought, 85
Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the clouds
With him I flew, and underneath beheld
The earth outstretch'd immense, a prospect wide
And various: wond'ring at my flight and change
To this high exaltation; suddenly


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