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For only in destroying I find ease

To my relentless thoughts; and him destroy'd,
Or won to what may work his utter loss,
For whom all this was made, all this will soon
Follow, as to him link'd in weal or woe,
In woe then; that destruction wide may range :
To me shall be the glory sole among

Th' infernal Pow'rs, in one day to have marr'd
What he Almighty styl'd, six nights and days
Continued making, and who knows how long
Before had been contriving, though perhaps
Not longer than since I in one night freed
From servitude inglorious well nigh half
Th' angelic name, and thinner left the throng
Of his adorers; he to be aveng'd,




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A creature form'd of earth, and him endow,

Exalted from so base original,


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,


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
In every bush and brake, where hap may find
The serpent sleeping, in whose mazy folds


To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.

O foul descent! that I who erst contended

With Gods to sit the high'est, am now constrain'd

Into a beast, and mix'd with bestial slime,


This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the height of deity aspir'd;
But what will not ambition and revenge

Descend to? Who aspires must down as low
As high he soar'd, obnoxious first or last

To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,
Bitter ere long back on itself recoils;

Let it; I reck not, so it light well aim'd,
Since higher I fall short, on him who next
Provokes my envy, this new fav'rite

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
His midnight search, where soonest he might find
The serpent: him fast sleeping oon he found
In labyrinth of many a round self roll'd,

His head the midst, well stor'd with subtle wiles:

Not yet in horrid shade or dismal den,
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
With act intelligential; but his sleep

Disturb'd not, waiting close th' approach of morn.
Now when as sacred light began to dawn

In Eden on the humid flow'rs, that breath'd


Their morning incense, when all things that breathe,
From the earth's great altar send up silent praise 195
To the Creator, and his nostrils fill

With grateful smell, forth came the human pair,
And join'd their vocal worship to the quire
Of creatures wanting voice; that done, partake
The season, prime for sweetest scents and airs:
Then commune how that day they best may ply
Their growing work: for much their work outgrew
The hands dispatch of two gard'ning so wide,
And Eve first to her husband thus began.

ADAM, well may we labour still to dress
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 wind
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 :
For while so near each other thus all day
Our task we choose, what wonder if so near
Looks intervene and smiles, or object new
Casual discourse draw on, which intermits
Our day's work brought to little, though begun
Early, and th' hour of supper comes unearn'd,



To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd. Sole Eve, associate sole, to me beyond

Compare above all living creatures dear,

Well hast thou motion'd, well thy thoughts employ'd How we might best fulfil the work which here


God hath assign'd us, nor of me shalt pass
Unprais'd: for nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, than to study household good,
And good works in her husband to promote.
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd


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,


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
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,
And short retirement urges sweet return.
But other doubt possesses me, lest harm
Befal thee sever'd from me; for thou know'st
What hath been warn'd us, what malicious foe
Envying our happiness, and of his own
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame
By sly assault; and somewhere nigh at hand
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
His wish and best advantage, us asunder,
Hopeless to circumvent us join'd, where each
To other speedy aid might lend at need;
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





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,


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,

And from the parting Angel over-heard,

As in a shady nook I stood behind,

Just then return'd at shut of evening flowers.


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