Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

And horrors hast thou driv'n me; out of which
I find no way, from deep to deeper plung'd!
THUS Adam to himself lamented loud

Through the still night, not now, as ere Man fell,
Wholesome and cool, and mild, but with black air
Accompanied,, with damps and dreadful gloom,
Which to his evil conscience represented
All things with double terror: on the ground
Outstretch'd he lay, on the cold ground, and oft
Curs'd his creation, death as oft accus'd
Of tardy execution, since denounc'd

845

850

The day of his offence. Why comes not death,
Said he, with one thrice-acceptable stroke
To end me? Shall truth fail to keep her word,
Justice divine not hasten to be just?

But death comes not at call, justice divine

855

Mends not her slowest pace for pray'rs or cries.
O woods, O fountains, hillocs, dales and bowers,
With other echo late I taught your shades
To answer, and resound far other song.
Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld,
Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh,
Soft words to his fierce passion she assay'd:
But her with stern regard he thus repell'd.

Our of my sight, thou Serpent; that name best
Befits thee with him leagu'd, thyself as false
And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,
Like his, and colour serpentine may show
Thy inward fraud, to warn all creatures from thee
Henceforth; lest that too heav'nly form, pretended

860

865

870

To hellish falschood, snare them.

But for thee

875

I had persisted happy', had not thy pride

And wand'ring vanity, when least was safe
Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd

Not to be trusted, longing to be seen

Though by the Dev'il himself, him overweening
To over-reach, but with the Serpent meeting
Fool'd and beguil'd, by him thou, I by thee,
To trust thee from my side, imagin'd wise,
Constant, mature, proof against all assaults,
And understood not all was but a show
Rather than solid virtue', all but a rib
Crooked by nature, bent as now appears,

[ocr errors][merged small]

More to the part sinister, from me drawn,

Well if thrown out, as supernumerary

To my just number found. O why did God,

Creator wise, that peopled highest Heaven

With Spirits masculine, create at last

890

This novelty on earth, this fair defect

Of nature, and not fill the world at once

[blocks in formation]

He never shall find out fit mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake;
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain
Through her perverseness, but shall see her gain'd

900

By a far worse, or if she love, withheld
By parents; or his happiest choice too late
Shall meet, already link'd and wedlock-bound
To a fell adversary', his hate or shame :
Which infinite calamity shall cause

To human life, and household peace confound.

He added not, and from her turn'd; but Eve

905

Not so repuls'd, with tears that ceas'd not flowing, 910
And tresses all disorder'd, at his feet

Fell humble, and embracing them, besought
His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.

FORSAKE me not thus, Adam, witness Heaven
What love sincere, and reverence in my heart
I bear thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappily deceiv'd; thy suppliant

915

I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,
My only strength and stay: forlorn of thee,
Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?

920

While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps,
Between us two let there be peace, both joining,
As join'd in injuries, one enmity

Against a foe by doom express assign'd us,
That cruel Serpent: On me exercise not
Thy hatred for this misery befall'n,

On me already lost, me than myself

More miserable; both have sinn'd, but thou
Against God only', I against God and thee,
And to the place of judgment will return,

925

930

There with my cries importune Heav'n, that all
The sentence from thy head remov'd may light
On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe,
Me, me only, just object of his ire.

935

SHE ended weeping, and her lowly plight,
Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault
Acknowledg'd and deplor'd, in Adam wrought
Commiseration; soon his heart relented
Tow'ards her, his life so late and sole delight,
Now at his feet submissive in distress,
Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking,

940

His council whom she had displeas'd, his aid:
As one disarm'd, his anger all he lost,

945

And thus with peaceful words uprais'd her soon.
UNWARY', and too desirous, as before,

So now of what thou know'st not, who desir'st
The punishment all on thyself; alas,

Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain

950

His full wrath, whose thou feel'st as yet least part,

And my displeasure bear'st so ill. If prayers

Could alter high decrees, I to that place

Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,

That on my head all might be visited,

955

Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven,
To me committed and by me expos'd.

But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame

Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere, but strive
In offices of love, how we may lighten

960

Each other's burden, in our share of woe;

Since this day's death denounc'd, if ought I see,

Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac'd evil,
A long day's dying to augment our pain,
And to our seed (O hapless seed!) deriv'd.

965

To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, reply'd. Adam, by sad experiment I know

How little weight my words with thee can find,

Found so erroneous, thence by just event

Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,
Restor❜d by thee, vile as I am, to place
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regain
Thy love, the sole contentment of my heart
Living or dying, from thee I will not hide
What thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen,
Tending to some relief of our extremes,
Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,
As in our evils, and of easier choice.

970

975

If care of our descent perplex us most,

Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd

980

By Death at last; and miserable it is

To be to others cause of misery,

Our own begotten, and of our loins to bring

Into this cursed world a woful race,

That after wretched life must be at last

935

Food for so foul a monster; in thy power

It lies, yet ere conception to prevent

The race unblest, to be'ing yet unbegot.

Childless thou art, childless remain: so Death
Shall be deceiv'd his glut, and with us two

990

Be forc'd to satisfy his ravenous maw.
But if thon judge it hard and difficult,

« PředchozíPokračovat »