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Of what so seldom chanced ; when to his wish,
Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
Veil'd in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood,
Half spied, so thick the roses blushing round
About her glow'd, oft stooping to support
Each flower of tender stalk, whose head, though gay
Carnation, purple, azure, or speck'd with gold,
Hung drooping unsustain'd; them she upstays
Gently with myrtle band, mindless the while
Herself, though fairest unsupported flower,
From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh.
Nearer he drew, and many a walk traversed
Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm ;
Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen,
Among thick-woven arborets, and flowers
Imborder'd on each bank, the hand of Eve :
Spot more delicious than those gardens feign'd
Or of revived Adonis, or renown'd
Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son ;
Or that, not mystic, where the sapient king
Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse.
Much he the place admired, the person more.
As one who, long in populous city pent,
Where houses thick and sewers annoy the air,
Forth issuing on a summer's morn, to breathe
Among the pleasant villages and farms
Adjoin'd, from each thing met conceives delight,
The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine,
Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound ;
If chance, with nymph-like step, fair virgin pass,
What pleasing seem'd, for her now pleases more ;
She most, and in her look sums all delight:
Such pleasure took the serpent to behold
This flowery plat, the sweet recess of Eve


Thus early, thus alone : her heavenly form
Angelic, but more soft, and feminine,
Her graceful innocence, her every air
Of gesture, or least action, overawed
His malice, and with rapine sweet bereaved
His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought :

space the evil one abstracted stood
From his own evil, and for the time remain'd
Stupidly good; of enmity disarm’d,
Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge :
But the hot hell that always in him burns,
Though in mid heaven, soon ended his delight,
And tortures him now more, the more he sees
Of pleasure, not for him ordain'd: then soon
Fierce hate he recollects; and all his thoughts
Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites:

Thoughts, whither have ye led me? with what sweet
Compulsion thus transported, to forget
What hither brought us? hate, not love; nor hope
Of Paradise for hell, hope here to taste
Of pleasure; but all pleasure to destroy,
Save what is in destroying: other joy
To me is lost. Then, let me not let pass
Occasion which now smiles; behold alone
The woman, opportune to all attempts,
Her husband (for I view far round) not nigh,
Whose higher intellectual more I shun,
And strerrgth, of courage haughty, and of limb
Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould;
Foe not informidablel exempt from wound,
I not; so much hath hell debased, and pain
Enfeebled me, to what I was in heaven.
She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods !
Not terrible, though terror be in love

And beauty, not approach'd by stronger hate,
Hate stronger, under show of love well feign'd;

which to her ruin now I tend.

Wonder not, sovereign mistress, if perhaps
Thou canst, who art sole wonder! much less arm
Thy looks, the heaven of mildness, with disdain,
Displeased that I approach thee thus, and gaze
Insatiate; I thus single; nor have fear'd
Thy awful brow, more awful thus retired.
Fairest resemblance of thy Maker fair,
Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine
By gift, and thy celestial beauty adore
With ravishment beheld ! there best beheld,
Where universally admired; but here
In this enclosure wild, these beasts among,
Beholders rude, and shallow to discern
Half what in thee is fair, one man except,
Who sees thee ? (and what is one ?) who shouldst be seen
A goddess among gods, adored and served
By angels numberless, thy daily train.




O FAIREST of creation, last and best
Of all God's works! creature, in whom excell'd
Whatever can to sight or thought be form’d,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost! how on a sudden lost,
Defaced, deflower'd, and now to death devote!
Rather, how hast thou yielded to transgress
The strict forbiddance ? how to violate

The sacred fruit forbidden ? Some cursed fraud
Of enemy hath beguiled thee, yet unknown;
And me with thee hath ruin'd: for with thee


resolution is to die.
How can I live without thee? how forego
Thy sweet converse, and love so dearly join'd,
To live again in these wild woods forlorn ?
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another rib afford; yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart: no, no! I feel
The link of nature draw me: flesh of flesh,
Bone of my bone thou art, and from thy state
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or wue.

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(After sentence of death.)

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
Fix'd on this day? Why do I overlive ?
Why am I mock'd with death, and lengthen'd 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

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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!

But say

That death be not one stroke, as I supposed,
Bereaving sense, but endless misery
From this day onward; which I feel begin
Both in me, and without me; and so last
To perpetuity :-ay, 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 you bless
Me, now your curse! Ah, why should all mankind,
For one man's fault, thus guiltless be condemn'd,
If guiltless ?

Book X.



O UNEXPECTED stroke, worse than of death!
Must I thus leave thee, Paradise ? thus leave
Thee, native soill these happy walks and shades,
Fit haunt of gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet though sad, the respite of that day

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