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By my complaint; but strict necessity
Subdues me, and calamitous constraint;
Lest on my head both sin and punishment,
However insupportable, be all
Devolv'd; though should I hold my peace, yet thou
Wouldst easily detect what I conceal. –
This woman, whom thou madest to be my help,
And gav'st me as thy perfect gift, so good,
So fit, so acceptable, so divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill,
And what she did, whatever in itself,
Her doing seem'd to justify the deed;
She gave me of the tree, and I did eat. »

To whom the sovran presence thus replied :
a Was she thy God, that her thou didst obey
Before his voice? or was she made thy guide,
Superior, or but equal, that to her
Thou didst resign thy manhood, and the place
Wherein God set thee above her, made of thee,
And for thee, whose perfection far excell'd
Hers in all real dignity ? Adorn'd
She was indeed, and lovely, to attract
Thy love, not thy subjection; and her gifts
Were such, as under government well seem'd;
Unseemly to bear rule; which was thy part
And person, hadst thou known thyself aright. »

So having said, he thus to Eve in few :
Say woman, what is this which thou hast done ? »
To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelm’d,
Confessing soon, yet not before her judge
Bold or loquacious, thus abash'd replied :
« The serpent me beguild, and I did eat. »

And on

Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To judgment he proceeded on the, accus'd Serpent; though brute, unable to transfer The guilt on him, who made him instrument Of mischief, and polluted from the end Of his creation ; justly then accurs’d, As vitiated in nature : more to know Concern'd not man, ( since he no further knew) Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last To Satan, first in sin, his doom applied, Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best :


serpent thus his curse let fall : « Because thou hast done this, thou art accurs'd Above all cattle, each beast of the field; Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go, And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life. Between thee and the woman I will put Enınity, and between thine and her seed; Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel. »

So spake this oracle, then verified
When Jesus, son of Mary, second Eve,
Saw Satan fall, like lightning, down from heaven,
Prince of the air; then, rising from his grave,
Spoil'd principalities and powers, triumph'd
În open show; and, with ascension bright,
Captivity led captive through the air,
The realm itself of Satan, long usurp'd;
Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
Ev'n he, who now foretold his fatal bruise;
And to the woman thus his sentence turn'd:

Thy sorrow I will greatly multiply
By thy conception; children thou shalt bring

In sorrow forth; and to thy husband's will
Thine shall submit; he over thee shall rule. »

On Adam last thus judgment he pronounc'd :
« Because thou hast hearken’d to the voice of thy wife,
And eaten of the tree, concerning which
I charg'd thee, saying, thou shalt not eat thereof;
Curs’d is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrow
Shalt eat thereof, all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,
Till thou return unto the ground; for thou
Out of the ground wast taken, (know thy birth, )
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.»

So judg'd he man, both judge and saviour sent; And the instant stroke of death, denounc'd that day, Remov'd far off: then pitying how they stood Before him naked to the air, that now Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin Thenceforth the form of servant to assume; As when he wash'd his servants' feet; so now, As father of his family, he clad Their nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain, Or, as the snake, with youthful coat repaid ; And thought not much to clothe his enemies : Nor he their outward only with the skins Of beasts, but inward nakedness ( much more Opprobrious ) with his robe of righteousness Arraying, cover'd from his Father's sight. To him with swift ascent he up return'd, Into his blissful bosom reassum'd In glory, as of old; to him appeas’d,

All ( though all knowing ) what had pass'd with man Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.

Meanwhile, ere thus was sinn'd and judg’d on earth,
Within the gates of hell sat Sin and Death,
In counterview within the gates, that now
Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
Far into chaos, since the fiend pass'd through,
Sin opening; who thus now to Death began :

« O Son! why sit we here, each other viewing
Idly, while Satan, our great author, thrives
In other worlds, and happier seat provides
For us, his offspring dear? it cannot be
But that success attends him; if mishap,
Ere this he had return'd, with fury driven
By his avengers, since no place like this
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
Wings growing, and dominions given me large
Beyond this deep; whatever draws me on,
Or sympathy, or some connatural force,
Powerful at greatest distance to unite,
With secret amity, things of like kind,
By secretest conveyance. Thou, my shade
Inseparable, must with nie along :
For death from sin no power can separate
But, lest the difficulty of passing back
Stay his return perhaps over this gulf
Impassable, impervious ; let us try,
(Adventurous work ! yet to thy power and mine
Not unagreeable, ) to found a path
Over this main, from hell to that new world
Where Satan now prevails; a monument

Of merit high to all the infernal host,
Easing their passage hence, for intercourse,
Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead.
Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
By this new-felt attraction and instinct. »

Whom thus the meagre shadow answer'd soon :
« Go, whither fate, and inclination strong
Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor err
The way, thou leading; such a scent I draw
Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste
The savour of death from all things there that live :
Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest
Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid. »

So saying, with delight he snuff’d the smell
Of mortal change on earth. As when a flock
Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote,
Against the day of battle, to a field
Where armies lie encamp'd, come flying, lur'd
With scent of living carcasses, design'd
For death the following day, in bloody fight :
So scented the grim feature, and upturn'd
His nostrils wide into the murky air,
Sagacious of his quarry from so far.

Then both from out hell-gates, into the waste
Wide anarchy of chaos damp and dark,
Flew diyerse ; and with power (their power was great)
Hovering upon the waters, what they met
Solid or slimy, as in raging sea
Tost up and down, together crowded drove,
From each side shoaling towards the mouth of hell :
As when to polar winds, blowing adverse
Upon the Cronian sca, together drive

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