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Ah, gentle pair, ye little think how nigh

Your change approaches, when all these delights
Will vanish and deliver
ye to woe,

More woe, the more your taste is now of joy!
Happy, but for so happy ill secur'd
370
Long to continue, and this high seat your Heav'n
Ill fenc'd for Heav'n to keep out such a foe
As now is enter'd; yet no purpos'd foe

Το

you, whom I could pity thus forlorn, Though I unpity'd: League with you I seek, 375 And mutual amity so strait, so close,

That I with you must dwell, or you with me
Henceforth. My dwelling haply may not please,
Like this fair Paradise, your sense; yet such
Accept your Maker's work; he gave it me, 380
Which I as freely give. Hell shall unfold,
To entertain you two, her widest gates,
And send forth all her kings; there will be room,
Not like these narrow limits, to receive
Your num'rous offspring; if no better place, 385
Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge
On you who wrong me not, for him who
wrong'd.

And should I at your harmless innocence
Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
Honour and empire with revenge enlarg'd, 390
By conqu❜ring this new world, compels me now
To do what else, tho' damn'd, I should abhor.
So spake the Fiend, and, with necessity,
The tyrant's plea, excus'd his dev'lish deeds.

Then from his lofty stand on that high tree 395
Down he alights among the sportful herd
Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one,
Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end
Nearer to view his prey, and unespy'd

To mark what of their state he more might learn
By word or action mark'd: about them round 401
A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;

Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spy'd
In some purlieu two gentle fawns at play,
Straight couches close, then rising changes oft 405
His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground,
Whence rushing he might surest seize them both
Grip'd in each paw: when Adam, first of men
To first of women Eve, thus moving speech,
Turn'd him all ear to hear new utt'rance flow:

Sole partner, and sole part of all these joys, 411
Dearer thyself than all; needs must the Pow'r
That made us, and for us this ample world,
Be infinitely good, and of his good

As liberal and free as infinite;

415

That rais'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here

In all this happiness, who at his hand

Have nothing merited, nor can perform

Aught whereof he hath need; he who requires From us no other service than to keep

This

one, this easy charge, of all the trees

In Paradise that bear delicious fruit

So various, not to taste that only tree
Of knowledge, planted by the tree of life;

420

So near grows death to life, whate'er death is, 425 Some dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou

know'st

God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that tree, The only sign of our obedience left

Among so many signs of pow'r and rule

Conferr'd upon us, and dominion giv'n
Over all other creatures that possess

430

Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard

One easy prohibition, who enjoy

Free leave so large to all things else, and choice Unlimited of manifold delights:

But let us ever praise him, and extol

His bounty, following our delightful task

435

To prune these growing plants, and tend these flow'rs;

Which, were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet.

445

To whom thus Eve reply'd: O thou for whom 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 flow'rs, much wond'ring where And what I was, whence thither brought, and

how.

450

Corbould del

As I bent down to look jusi opposite
A Shape within the warry Gleem appeare,
Bending to look

on me.

Printed for J Parsons, Paternoster Row. January 11795

Book IV, line 460.

Whire sulp!

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