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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.

If care of our descent perplex us most,
Which must be born to certain woe, devour'd
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 woeful race,

That after wretched life must be at last
Food for so foul a monster; in thy power
It lies, yet ere conception to prevent
The race unblest, to being yet unbegot.
Childless thou art, childless remain: so Death
Shall be deceiv'd his glut, and with us two
Be forc'd to satisfy his ravenous maw.
But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
From love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet;
And with desire to languish without hope,
Before the present object languishing
With like desire; which would be misery
And torment less than none of what we dread:
Then, both ourselves and seed at once to free
From what we fear for both, let us make short,

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Let us seek Death;-or, he not found, supply
With our own hands his office on ourselves:
Why stand we longer shivering under fears,
That show no end but death, and have the power,
Of many ways to die the shortest choosing,
Destruction with destruction to destroy?".

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She ended here, or vehement despair Broke off the rest: so much of death her thoughts Had entertain'd, as dy'd her cheeks with pale. But Adam, with such counsel nothing sway'd, To better hopes his more attentive mind Labouring had rais'd; and thus to Eve replied.

"Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
To argue in thee something more sublime
And excellent, than what thy mind contemns ;
But self-destruction therefore sought, refutes
That excellence thought in thee; and implies,
Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
For loss of life and pleasure overlov'd.
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
Of misery, so thinking to evade

The penalty pronounc'd; doubt not but God
Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire, than so
To be forestall'd; much more I fear lest death,
So snatch'd, will not exempt us from the pain
We are by doom to pay; rather, such acts
Of contumacy will provoke the Highest
To make death in us live: then let us seek
Some safer resolution, which methinks
I have in view, calling to mind with heed
Part of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruise
The serpent's head; piteous amends! unless

VOL. II.

Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe,
Satan; who, in the serpent, hath contriv'd
Against us this deceit : to crush his head
Would be revenge indeed! which will be lost
By death brought on ourselves, or childless days
Resolv'd, as thou proposest; so our foe
Shall 'scape his punishment ordain'd, and we
Instead shall double ours upon our heads.
No more be mention'd then of violence
Against ourselves; and wilful barrenness,
That cuts us off from hope; and savours only
Rancour and pride, impatience and despite,
Reluctance against God and his just yoke
Laid on our necks. Remember with what mild
And gracious temper he both heard, and judg'd,
Without wrath or reviling; we expected
Immediate dissolution, which we thought

Was meant by death that day; when lo! to thee
Pains only in child-bearing were foretold,
And bringing forth; soon recompens❜d with joy,
Fruit of thy womb: on me the curse aslope
Glanc'd on the ground; with labour I must earn
My bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse;
My labour will sustain me; and, lest cold
Or heat should injure us, his timely care
Hath, unbesought, provided; and his hands
Cloth'd us unworthy, pitying while he judg'd;
How much more if we pray him, will his ear
Be open, and his heart to pity incline,
And teach us further by what means to shun
The inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow?
Which now the sky, with various face, begins
To show us in this mountain; while the winds

Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading trees; which bids us seek
Some better shroud, some better warmth to cherish
Our limbs benumm'd, ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night, how we his gather'd beams
Reflected may with matter sere foment;
Or, by collision of two bodies, grind
The air attrite to fire; as late the clouds
Justling, or push'd with winds, rude in their shock,
Tine the slant lightning; whose thwart flame,
driven down,

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Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine;
And sends a comfortable heat from far
Which might supply the Sun: such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure

To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought,
He will instruct us praying, and of grace
Beseeching him; so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
By him with many comforts, till we end
In dust, our final rest and native home.
What better can we do, than, to the place
Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall
Before him reverent; and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg; with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek?
Undoubtedly he will relent, and turn
From his displeasure; in whose looks serene,
When angry most he seem'd and most severe,
What else but favour, grace, and mercy, shone ?"

So spake our father penitent; nor Eve Felt less remorse: they, forthwith to the place Repairing where he judg'd them, prostrate fell Before him reverent; and both confess'd Humbly their faults, and pardon begg'd; with tears Watering the ground, and with their sighs the air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.

Book XI.

The Argument.

The Son of God presents to his Father the prayers of our first parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise; sends Michael with a band of cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michael's coming down. Adam shows to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michael's approach; goes out to meet him: the angel denounces their departure. Eve's lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits; the angel leads him up to a high hill; sets before him in vision what shall happen till the Flood.

THUS they, in lowliest plight, repentant stood
Praying; for from the mercy-seat above
Prevenient grace descending had remov'd
The stony from their hearts, and made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead; that sighs now breath'd

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