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To whom with healing words Adam replied: “ Daughter of God and man, immortal Eve! “For such thou art, from sin and blame entire: “ Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
Thy absence from my sight; but to avoid “ The attempt itself, intended by our foe. “ For he who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses “ The tempted with dishonour foul, supposed “ Not incorruptible of faith, not proof
Against temptation: thou thyself with scorn “ And anger wouldst resent the offered wrong,
Though ineffectual found: misdeem not, then, “ If such affront I labour to avert “ From thee alone, which on us both at once
The enemy, though bold, will hardly dare; “ Or daring, first on me the assault shall light, “ Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn,“ Subtle he needs must be, who could seduce Angels,-n
--nor think superfluous others' aid. “I, from the influence of thy looks, receive “ Access in every virtue; in thy sight “ More wise, more watchful; stronger, if need were “ Of outward strength: while shame, thou looking on, “ Shame to be overcome or overreached, “ Would utmost vigour raise, and raised unite.
Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel “ When I am present, and thy trial choose
With me, best witness of thy virtue tried?”
So spake domestic Adam, in his care
“If this be our condition, thus to dwell “ In narrow circuit, straitened by a foe,
Subtle, or violent, we not endued “ Single with like defence wherever met ; “ How are we happy, still in fear of harm? “ But harm precedes not sin : only our foe,
Tempting, affronts us with his foul esteem “ Of our integrity: his foul esteem
“ Sticks no dishonour on our front, but turns
To whom thus Adam fervently replied:
Against his will he can receive no harm: “ But God left free the will; for what obeys “Reason, is free; and reason he made right, " But bid her well be ware,
and still erect; Lest, by some fair-appearing good surprised, “ She dictate false, and misinform the will “ To do what God expressly hath forbid. “ Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins “ That I should mind thee oft; and mind thou me. » Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve ; “ Since reason not impossibly may meet “Some specious object by the foe suborned, “ And fall into deception unaware, “Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warned. “ Seek not temptation then, which to avoid “ Were better, and most likely if from me “ Thou sever not: trial will come unsought. “ Wouldst thou approve thy constancy? approve “ First thy obedience; the other who can know, “ Not seeing thee attempted? who attest?
“ But if thou think trial unsought may find
370 “ U's both securer than, thus warned, thou seemst, “Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more“ Go in thy native innocence, rely “ On what thou hast of virtue; summon all ! “ For God towards thee hath done his part : do thine."
So spake the patriarch of mankind; but Eve Persisted; yet submiss, though last, replied :
“With thy permission then, and thus forewarned,
Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words “ Touched only; but our trial, when least sought, “May find us both perhaps far less prepared ; “ The willinger I go, nor much expect “ A foe so proud will first the weaker seek: “ So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse.”
Thus saying, from her husband's hand her hand
Her long, with ardent look, his eye pursued
O, much deceived, much failing, hapless Eve,
To intercept thy way, or send thee back
and since first break of dawn, the fiend,
Much he the place admired, the person more.
The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine,
450 Or dairy-each rural sight-each rural sound; If chance, with nymph-like step, fair virgin pass, What pleasing seemed, 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 : That space the evil one abstracted stood From his own evil, and for the time remained Stupidly good; of enmity disarmedOf 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 ordained : then soon
470 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,
I “ And strength, of courage haughty, and of limb “ Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould ; “ Foe not informidable! 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!