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For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss,
Thus Eve with count'nance blithe her story told;
895 O FAIREst of creation, last and best Of all God's works, Creature in whom excell'd Whatever can to sight or thought be form’d, Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet! How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
900 Defac’d, deflow'r'd, and now to death devote? Rather how hast thou yielded to transgress The strict forbiddance, how to violate The sacred fruit forbidd'n? Some cursed frand Of enemy hath beguild thee, yet unknown, 905 And me with thee hath ruin'd, for with thee
resolution is to die; How can I live without thee, how forego
Thy sweet converse and love so dearly join'd,
So having said, as one from sad dismay
Bold deed thou hast presum'd, advent'rous Eve,
935 Proportional ascent, which cannot be But to be Gods, or Angels Demi-Gods. Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threat'ning, will in earnest so destroy
955 The bond of nature draw me to my own, My own in thee, for what thou art is mine; Our state cannot be sever'd, we are one, One flesh; to lose thee were to lose myself.
So Adam, and thus Eve to him reply'd. O glorious trial of exceeding love, Illustrious evidence, example high! Engaging me to emulate, but short Of thy perfection, how shall I attain, Adam ? from whose dear side I boast me sprung, 965 And gladly of our union hear thee speak, One heart, one soul in both ; whereof good proof This day affords, declaring thee resolv'd,
Rather than death or ought than death more dread
975 So eminently never had been known. Were it I thought death menac'd would ensue This my attempt; I would sustain alone The worst, and not persuade thee, rather die Deserted, than oblige thee with a fact Pernicious to thy peace, chiefly assur'd Remarkably so late of thy so true, So faithful love unequallid; but I feel Far otherwise th'event, not death, but life Augmented, open’d eyes, new hopes, new joys, 985 Taste so divine, that what of sweet before Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh. On my experience, Adam, freely taste, And fear of death deliver to the winds. So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy
990 Tenderly wept, much won that he his love Had so ennobled, as of choice to' incur Divine displeasure for her sake, or death. In recompense (for such compliance bad Such
recompense best merits) from the bough 995 She gave him of that fair enticing fruit With liberal hand: he scrupled not to eat Against his better knowledge, not deceiv'd,
But fondly overcome with female charm.
1015 Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move.
EVE, now I see thou art exact of taste, And elegant, of sapience no small part, Since to each meaning savour we apply, And palate call judicious; I the praise
1020 Yield thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd. Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd From this delightful fruit, nor known till now True relish, tasting ; if such pleasure be In things to us forbidd’n, it might be wish'd, 1025 For this one tree had been forbidden ten. But come, so well refresh’d, now let us play, As meet is, after such delicious fare ;