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Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe,
Best guide; not following thee I had remain'd
In ignorance: thou open'st Wisdom's way,
And giv'st access, though secret she retire. 810
And I perhaps am secret: Heav'n is high,
High and remote, to see from thence distinct
Each thing on earth; and other care perhaps
May have diverted from continual watch
Our great Forbidder, safe with all his spies 815
About him. But to Adam, in what sort
Shall I appear? Shall I to him make known.
As yet my change, and give him to partake
Full happiness with me, or rather not,
But keep the odds of knowledge in my pow'r
Without copartner? so to add what wants 821
In female sex, the more to draw his love,
And render me more equal, and perhaps,
A thing not undesirable, sometime
Superior; for inferior, who is free?
This may be well: but what if God have seen, And death ensue? Then I shall be no more; And Adam, wedded to another Eve,
Shall live with her enjoying; I extinct.
A death to think! Confirm'd then, I resolve
Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe: 831
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could endure; without him live no life.
So saying, from the tree her step she turn'd; But first low rev'rence done, as to the Pow'r That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd
Into the plant sciential sap, deriv'd
From nectar, drink of Gods.
Waiting, desirous her return, had wove
Of choicest flow'rs a garland, to adorn
Her tresses, and her rural labours crown,
oft are wont their harvest-queen.
Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay'd;
Yet oft his heart, divine of something ill,
Misgave him he the falt'ring measure felt;
And forth to meet her went, the way she took
That morn when first they parted. By the tree
Of knowledge he must pass: there he her met,
Scarce from the tree returning: in her hand
A bough of fairest fruit, that downy smil'd, 851
New gather'd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd.
To him she hasted. In her face excuse
Came prologue, and apology too prompt, Which with bland words at will she thus address'd:
Hast thou not wonder'd, Adam, at my stay? Thee I have miss'd, and thought it long, depriv'd Thy presence; agony of love till now
Not felt! nor shall be twice; for never more
Mean I to try, what rash untry'd I sought, 860
The pain of absence from thy sight! But strange
Hath been the cause, and wonderful to hear.
This tree is not, as we are told, a tree
Of danger tasted, nor to' evil unknown
Op'ning the way, but of divine effect
From his slack hand, the garland wreathe for Evel,
Down droppid, and all the faded
Dinted for J. Parsons, 2, Paternoster Row. Aug 1. 1795
To open eyes, and make them Gods who taste!
And hath been tasted such. The serpent wise,
Or not restrain'd as we, or not obeying,
Hath eaten of the fruit, and is become,
Not dead, as we are threaten'd, but thenceforth
Endu'd with human voice and human sense,
Reas'ning to admiration; and with me
Persuasively hath so prevail'd, that I
Have also tasted, and have also found
Th' effects to correspond; op'ner mine eyes, 875
Dim erst, dilated spirits, ampler heart,
And growing up to Godhead; which for thee
Chiefly I sought; without thee can despise :
For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss;
Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon.
Thou therefore also taste, that equal lot
May join us, equal joy, as equal love;
Lest thou not tasting, different degree
Disjoin us, and I then too late renounce
Deity for thee, when Fate will not permit. 885 Thus Eve, with count'nance blithe, her story
But in her cheek distemper flushing glow'd.
On th' other side, Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal trespass done by Eve, amaz'd,
Astonied stood and blank, while horror chill
Ran through his veins, and all his joints relax'd.
From his slack hand the garland, wreath'd for Eve,
Down dropt, and all the faded roses shed.
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length,