The text comes from The State of Innocence and the Fall of Man (London, 1674).
—— Vtinam modo dicere possem
Carmina digna Deâ: certè est Dea Carmine digna,
To Mr. DRYDEN, on his Poem of Paradice.Forgive me, awful Poet, if a Muse,
Whom artless Nature did for plainness chuse,
In loose attire presents her humble thought,
Of this best POEM, that you ever wrought.
This fairest labor of your teeming brain
I wou'd embrace, but not with flatt'ry stain;
Something I wou'd to your vast Virtue raise,
But scorn to dawb it with a fulsome praise;
That wou'd but blot the Work I wou'd commend,
And shew a Court-Admirer, not a Friend. 
To the dead Bard, your fame a little owes,
For Milton did the Wealthy Mine disclose,
And rudely cast what you cou'd well dispose:
He roughly drew, on an old fashion'd ground,
A Chaos, for no perfect World was found,
Till through the heap, your mighty Genius shin'd;
His was the Golden Ore which you refin'd.
He first beheld the beauteous rustic Maid,
And to a place of strength the prize convey'd;
You took her thence: to Court this Virgin brought 
Drest her with gemms, new weav'd her hard spun thought
And softest language, sweetest manners taught.
Till from a Comet she a star did rise,
Not to affright, but please our wondring eyes.
Betwixt ye both is fram'd a nobler peice,
Than ere was drawn in Italie or Greece.
Thou from his source of thoughts ev'n Souls dost bring
As smileing gods, from sullen Saturn spring.
When nights dull Mask the face of Heav'n does wear,
'Tis doubtful light, but here and there a Star, 
Which serves the dreadful shadowes to display,
That vanish at the rising of the day;
But then bright robes the Meadows all adorn,
And the World looks as it were newly born.
So when your Sense his mystic reason clear'd,
The melancholy Scene all gay appear'd;
New light leapt up, and a new glory smil'd,
And all throughout was mighty, all was mild.
Before this Palace which thy wit did build
Which various fancy did so gawdy gild 
And judgment has with solid riches fill'd.
My humbler Muse begs she may centry stand,
Amongst the rest that guard this Eden Land.
But there's no need, for ev'n thy foes conspire
Thy praise, and hating thee, thy Work admire.
On then O mightiest of the inspir'd men,
Monarch of Verse; new Theams employ thy Pen.
The troubles of Majestick CHARLES set down,
Not David vanquish'd more to reach a Crown,
Praise him, as Cowly did that Hebrew King, 
Thy Theam's as great, do thou as greatly sing.
Then thou mayst boldly to his favor rise
Look down and the base serpent's hiss despise,
From thund'ring envy safe in Lawrel sit,
While clam'rous Critiques their vile heads submit
Condemn'd for Treason at the bar of Wit.
The first Scene represents a Chaos, or a confus'd Mass of Matter; the Stage is almost wholly dark: A symphony of Warlike Music is heard for some time; then from the Heavens, (which are opened) fall the rebellious Angels wheeling in the Air, and seeming transfix'd with Thunderbolts: The bottom of the Stage being open'd, receives the Angels, who fall out of sight. Tunes of Victory are play'd, and an Hymn sung; Angels discover'd above, brandishing their Swords: The Music ceasing, and the Heavens being closed, the Scene shifts, and on a sudden represents Hell: Part of the Scene is a Lake of Brimstone or rowling Fire; the Earth of a burnt colour: The fall'n Angels appear on the Lake, lying prostrate; a Tune of Horrour and Lamentation is heard.
Lucifer.Is this the Seat our Conqueror has given?
And this the Climate we must change for Heaven?
These Regions and this Realm my Wars have got;
This Mournful Empire is the Loser's Lot:
In Liquid Burnings or on Dry to dwell,
Is all the sad Variety of Hell.
But see, the Victor has recall'd, from far,
Th'Avenging Storms, his Ministers of War:
His Shafts are spent, and his tir'd Thunders sleep;
Nor longer bellow through the Boundless Deep. 
Best take th'occasion, and these Waves forsake,
While time is giv'n. Ho, Asmoday, awake,
If thou art he: but Ah! how chang'd from him,
Companion of my Arms! how wan! how dim!
How faded all thy Glories are! I see
My self too well, and my own change, in thee.
Asmoday.Prince of the Thrones, who, in the Fields of Light,
Led'st forth th'imbattel'd Seraphim to fight,
Who shook the Pow'r of Heavens Eternal State,
Had broke it too, if not upheld by Fate; 
But now those hopes are fled: thus low we lie,
Shut from his day, and that contended Skie,
And lost, as far as Heav'nly Forms can die;
Yet, not all perish'd: we defie him still,
And yet wage War, with our unconquer'd Will.
Lucif.Strength may return.
Asm.Already of thy Vertue I partake,
Erected by thy Voice.
Lucif.— See on the Lake
Our Troops like scatter'd Leaves in Autumn, lie: 
First let us raise our selves, and seek the drie,
Perhaps more easie dwelling.
Asm.— From the Beach,
Thy well-known Voice the sleeping Gods will reach,
And wake th'Immortal Sence with Thunders noise
Had quell'd, and Lightning, deep had driv'n within 'em.
Lucif.With Wings expanded wide, our selves we'll rear,
And fly incumbent on the dusky Air:
Hell thy new Lord receive.
Heaven cannot envy me an Empire here. 
[Both fly to dry Land.]
Asm.Thus far we have prevail'd; if that be gain
Which is but change of place, not change of pain.
Now summon we the rest.
Lucif.Dominions, Pow'rs, ye Chiefs of Heav'n's bright Host,
(Of Heav'n, once yours; but now, in Battel, lost)
Wake from your slumber: Are your Beds of Down?
Sleep you so easie there? or fear the frown
Of him who threw you thence, and joys to see
Your abject state confess his Victory?
Rise, rise, ere from his Battlements he view 
Your prostrate postures, and his Bolts renew,
To strike you deeper down.
Asm.— They wake, they hear,
Shake off their slumber first, and next their fear;
And only for th'appointed Signal stay.
Lucif.Rise from the Flood, and hither wing your way.
Moloch from the Lake.Thine to command; our part 'tis to obey.
[The rest of the Devils rise up and fly to the Land.]
Lucif.So, now we are our selves again, an Host
Fit to tempt Fate, once more, for what we lost.
T'o'erleap th'Etherial Fence, or if so high 
We cannot climb, to undermine his Skie,
And blow him up, who justly Rules us now,
Because more strong: should he be forc'd to bow,
The right were ours again: 'Tis just to win
The highest place; t'attempt, and fail, is sin.
Mol.Chang'd as we are, we 're yet from Homage free;
We have, by Hell, at least, gain'd liberty:
That's worth our fall; thus low tho' we are driven,
Better to Rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven.
Lucif.There spoke the better half of Lucifer! 
Asm.'Tis fit in frequent Senate we confer,
And then determine how to steer our course;
To wage new War by Fraud, or open Force.
The Doom's now past; Submission were in vain.
Mol.And, were it not, such baseness I disdain.
I would not stoop, to purchase all above;
And should contemn a Pow'r whom Pray'r could move,
As one unworthy to have conquer'd me.
Beelzebub.Moloch, in that, all are resolv'd like thee.
The means are unpropos'd; but 'tis not fit 
Our dark Divan in publick view should sit:
Or what we plot against the Thunderer,
Th'Ignoble Crowd of Vulgar Devils hear.
Lucif.A Golden Palace let be rais'd on high;
To imitate? No, to out-shine the Skie!
All Mines are ours, and Gold above the rest:
Let this be done; and quick as 'twas exprest.
[A Palace rises, where sit, as in Council,
From Heav'n, to rise States-General of Hell,
Nor yet repent, though ruin'd and undone, 
Our upper Provinces already won,
(Such pride there is in Souls created free,
Such hate of Universal Monarchy;)
Speak, (for we therefore meet) —
If Peace you chuse, your Suffrages declare;
Or means propound, to carry on the War.
Mol.My sentence is for War; that open too:
Unskill'd in Stratagems; plain Force I know:
Treaties are vain to Losers; nor would we,
Should Heav'n grant Peace, submit to Sovereignty. 
We can no caution give we will adore;
And He above is warn'd to trust no more.
What then remains but Battel?
With this brave Vote; and if in Hell there be
Ten more such Spirits, Heav'n is our own again:
We venture nothing, and may all obtain.
Yet who can hope but well, since ev'n Success
Makes Foes secure, and makes our danger less.
Seraph, and Cherub, careless of their charge, 
And wanton, in full ease now live at large,
Ungarded leave the passes of the Skie,
And all dissolv'd, in Hallelujahs lie.
Mol.Grant that our hazardous attempt prove vain;
We feel the worst; secur'd from greater pain:
Perhaps we may provoke the Conqu'ring Foe
To make us nothing; yet, ev'n then, we know
That not to be, is not to be in woe.
Belial.That knowledge which, as Spirits, we obtain,
Is to be valu'd in the midst of pain: 
Annihilation were to lose Heav'n more:
We are not quite exil'd where thought can soar.
Then cease from Arms; —
Tempt him not farther to pursue his blow;
And be content to bear those pains we know.
If what we had we could not keep, much less
Can we regain what those above possess.
Beelzebub.Heav'n sleeps not; from one wink a breach would be
In the full Circle of Eternity.
Long pains, with use of bearing, are half eas'd; 
Heav'n unprovok'd, at length may be appeas'd.
By War, we cannot scape our wretched lot;
And may, perhaps, not warring, be forgot.
Asm.Could we repent, or did not Heav'n well know
Rebellion once forgiv'n, would greater grow:
I should, with Belial, chuse ignoble ease;
But neither will the Conquerour give Peace,
Nor yet so lost in this low state we are,
As to despair of a well-manag'd War.
Nor need we tempt those heights which Angels keep, 
Who fear no force, or ambush from the Deep.
What if we find some easier Enterprize?
There is a place, if antient Prophecies
And Fame in Heav'n not err, the blest abode
Of some new Race, call'd Man, a Demy-God,
Whom, near this time, th'Almighty must create;
He swore it, shook the Heav'ns, and made it Fate.
Lucif.I heard it; through all Heav'n the rumour ran,
And much the talk of this intended Man:
Of form Divine; but less in excellence 
Than we; indu'd with Reason lodg'd in Sence:
The Soul pure Fire, like ours, of equal force;
But, pent in Flesh, must issue by discourse;
We see what is; to Man Truth must be brought
By Sence, and drawn by a long Chain of thought:
By that faint light, to will and understand;
For made less knowing, he's at more command.
Asm.Though Heav'n be shut, that World if it be made
As nearest Heav'n, lies open to invade:
Man therefore must be known, his Strength, his State, 
And by what Tenure he holds all of Fate.
Him let us then seduce or overthrow:
The first is easiest; and makes Heav'n his Foe.
Advise, if this attempt be worth our care.
Belial.Great is th'advantage, great the hazards are.
Some one (but who that task dares undertake?)
Of this new Creature must discovery make.
Hell's Brazen Gates he first must break, then far
Must wander through old Night, and through the War
Of antique Chaos; and, when these are past, 
Meet Heav'n's Out-guards who scout upon the waste:
At every Station must be bid to stand,
And forc'd to answer every strict demand.
Mol.This Glorious Enterprise —
Lucif.— Rash Angel, stay;
[Rising, and laying his Scepter on Moloch his head.]That Palm is mine, which none shall take away.
Hot Braves, like thee, may fight; but know not well
To manage this, the last great Stake of Hell.
Why am I rank'd in State above the rest,
If while I stand of Sovereign Pow'r possest, 
Another dares, in danger, farther go?
Kings are not made for ease, and Pageant-show.
Who would be Conquerour, must venture all:
He merits not to rise, who dares not fall.
Asm.The praise, and danger, then, be all your own.
Lucif.On this Foundation I erect my Throne:
Through Brazen Gates, vast Chaos, and old Night,
I'll force my way; and upwards steer my flight:
Discover this new World, and newer Man;
Make him my Foot-step to mount Heav'n again: 
Then, in the clemency of upward Air,
We'll scour our spots, and the dire Thunders scar,
With all the remnants of th'unlucky War,
And once again grow bright, and once again grow fair.
Asm.Mean time the Youth of Hell strict guard may keep,
And set their Centries to the utmost deep,
That no Etherial Parasite may come
To spie our ills, and tell glad tales at home.
Lucif.Before yon' Brimstone-Lake thrice ebb and flow,
(Alas, that we must measure Time by woe!) 
I shall return: (my mind presages well)
And outward lead the Colonies of Hell.
Your care I much approve; what time remains,
With Sports and Music, in the Vales and Fields,
And whate'er Joy so sad a Climate yields,
Seek to forget, at least divert your pains.
A Champaign Country.
Adam.What am I? or from whence? For that I am
I know, because I think; but whence I came,
Or how this Frame of mine began to be,
What other Being can disclose to me?
I move, I see; I speak, discourse, and know,
Though now I am, I was not always so.
Then that from which I was, must be before:
Whom, as my Spring of Being, I adore.
How full of Ornament is all I view
In all its parts! and seems as beautiful as new: 
O goodly order'd Work! O Pow'r Divine,
Of thee I am; and what I am is thine!
Raphael descends to Adam in a Cloud.
Raphael.First of Mankind, made o'er the World to Reign,
Whose Fruitful Loins an Unborn Kind contein,
Well hast thou reason'd; of himself is none
But that Eternal Infinite, and One,
Who never did begin, who ne'er can end;
On Him all Beings, as their Source, depend.
We first, who of his Image most partake,
Whom He all Spirit, Immortal, Pure, did make. 
Man next; whose Race exalted, must supply
The place of those who, falling, lost the Sky.
Adam.Bright Minister of Heav'n, sent here below
To me, who but begin to think and know,
If such could fall from bliss, who knew and saw
By near admission, their Creator's Law,
What hopes have I, from Heav'n remote so far,
To keep those Laws, unknowing when I err?
Raphael.Right Reason's Law to every humane heart
Th'Eternal, as his Image, will impart: 
This teaches to adore Heaven's Majesty:
In pray'r and praise, does all devotion lye:
So doing, thou and all thy race are blest.
Adam.Of every creeping thing, of Bird, and Beast,
I see the kinds: in pairs distinct they go;
The Males their loves, their lovers Females know.
Thou nam'dst a race which must proceed from me,
Yet my whole Species in my self I see:
A barren sex, and single, of no use;
But full of forms which I can ne'r produce. 
Raphael.Think not the pow'r, who made thee thus, can find
No way like theirs to propagate thy kind.
Mean time, live happy, in thy self alone;
Like him who, single, fills th'Etherial Throne.
To study Nature will thy time employ:
Knowledge and Innocence, are perfect Joy.
Adam.If solitude were best, th'allwise above
Had made no Creature for himself to love.
I add not to the pow'r he had before;
Yet to make me, extends his goodness more. 
He would not be alone, who all things can;
But peopled Heav'n with Angels, Earth with Man.
Raphael.As Man and Angels to the Deity,
So all inferiour creatures are to thee.
Heav'n's greatness no society can bear;
Servants he made, and those thou want'st not here.
Adam.Why did he Reason in my Soul implant,
And speech, th'effect of reason; to the mute
My speech is lost; my reason, to the Brute.
Love, and society, more blessings bring 
To them, the slaves, than pow'r to me their King.
Raphael.Thus far, to try thee; but, to Heav'n, 'twas known
It was not best for man to be alone;
An equal, yet thy subject, is design'd
For thy soft hours, and to unbend thy mind.
Thy stronger soul shall her weak reason sway;
And thou, through love, her beauty shalt obey:
Thou shalt secure her helpless sex from harms;
And she thy cares shall sweeten, with her charms.
Adam.What more can Heav'n bestow, or man require? 
Raphael.Yes; he can give, beyond thy own desire.
A mansion is provided thee, more fair
Than this; and worthy Heav'n's peculiar care:
Not fram'd of common Earth, nor fruits, nor flowers,
Of vulgar growth; but like Celestial Bowers:
The soil luxuriant, and the fruit divine,
Where golden Apples, on green branches shine,
And purple grapes dissolve into immortal wine.
For noon day's heat, are closer Arbors made;
And for fresh ev'ning Ayr, the op'ner glade. 
Ascend: and, as we go,
More wonders thou shalt know.
Adam.And, as we go, let Earth and Heav'n above
Sound our great Maker's pow'r and greater love.
They ascend to soft Musick and a Song is sung.
Lucifer.Am I become so monstrous? so disfigur'd,
That nature cannot suffer my approach,
Or look me in the face? but stands agast;
And that fair light which gilds this new made Orb,
Shorn of his beams, shrinks in, Accurst ambition!
And thou, black Empire of the neather World, 
How dearly have I bought you! But, 'tis past:
I have already gone too far to stop,
And must push on my dire revenge, in ruin
Of this gay frame, and Man, my upstart rival;
In scorn of me created. Down, my pride,
And all my swelling thoughts; I must forget,
A while, I am a Devil; and put on
A smooth, submissive face; else I, in vain
Have past through Night and Chaos to discover
Those envy'd skies again, which I have lost. 
But stay; far off; I see a Chariot driv'n,
Flaming with beams, and in it Uriel,
One of the seaven; (I know his hated face)
Who stands in presence of th'Eternal Throne.
And seems the Regent of that glorious light.
Uriel.Spirit, who art thou? and from whence arriv'd?
(For I remember not thy face, in Heav'n)
Or by command, or hither led by choice?
Or wander'st thou within this lucid Orb,
And stray'd from those fair fields of light above, 
Amidst this new creation want'st a guide,
To reconduct thy steps?
Lucifer.— Bright Uriel,
Chief of the seaven, thou flaming Minister,
Who guard'st this new created Orb of light,
(The world's eye that, and thou the eye of it)
Thy favor, and high Office, make thee known:
An humble Cherub I, and of less note,
Yet, bold, by thy permission, hither come,
On high discoveries bent. 
Uriel.— Speak thy design.
Lucifer.Urg'd by renown of what I heard above
Divulg'd by Angels nearest Heav'n's high King,
Concerning this new World, I came to view
(If worthy such a favor) and admire
This last effect of our great Maker's pow'r:
Thence, to my wond'ring fellows I shall turn,
Full fraught with joyful tidings of these works,
New matter of his Praise, and of our Songs.
Uriel.Thy business is not what deserves my blame, 
Nor thou, thy self, unwelcome; see, fair Spirit,
Below yon' Sphere, (of matter not unlike it,)
There hangs the ball of Earth and Water mixt,
Self-Center'd, and unmov'd.
Lucifer.— But where dwells Man?
Uriel.On yonder Mount; thou seest it fenc'd with Rocks,
And round th'ascent a Theatre of Trees,
A sylvane Scene, which rising by degrees,
Leads up the eye below, nor gluts the sight
With one full prospect, but invites by many, 
To view at last the whole: there his abode,
Thither direct thy flight.
Lucifer.— O blest be thou
Who, to my low converse, hast lent thy Ear,
And favour'd my request: hail, and farewel.
[Flies downward out of sight.
Uriel.Not unobserv'd thou goest, who e'r thou art;
Whether some Spirit, on Holy purpose bent,
Or some fall'n Angel from below broke loose,
Who com'st with envious eyes, and curst intent,
To view this World, and its created Lord: 
Here will I watch, and, while my Orb rouls on,
Pursue from hence, thy much suspected flight;
And, if disguis'd, pierce through with beams of light.
[The Chariot drives forward out of sight.
The Scene Paradise.
Adam.If this be dreaming, let me never wake;
But still the joyes of that sweet sleep partake.
Methought — but why do I my bliss delay
By thinking what I thought? Fair Vision, stay;
My better half, thou softer part of me,
To whom I yield my boasted Soveraignty,
I seek my self, and find not, wanting thee.
Eve.Tell me ye Hills and Dales, and thou fair Sun,
Who shin'st above, what am I? whence begun?
Like my self, I see nothing: from each Tree 
The feather'd kind peep down, to look on me;
And Beasts, with up-cast eyes, forsake their shade,
And gaze, as if I were to be obey'd.
Sure I am somewhat which they wish to be,
And cannot: I my self am proud of me.
What's here? another Firmament below,
Looks into a Fountain.Spread wide, and other trees that downward grow?
And now a Face peeps up, and now draws near,
With smiling looks, as pleas'd to see me here.
As I advance, so that advances too, 
And seems to imitate what e're I do:
When I begin to speak, the lips it moves;
Streams drown the voice, or it would say it loves.
Yet when I would embrace, it will not stay:
Stoops down to embrace.Lost e'r 'tis held; when nearest, far away.
Ah, fair, yet false; ah Being, form'd to cheat,
By seeming kindness, mixt with deep deceipt.
Adam.O Virgin, Heav'n begot, and born of Man,
Thou fairest of thy great Creator's Works;
Thee, Goddess, thee th'Eternal did ordain 
His softer Substitute on Earth to Reign:
And, wheresoe'r thy happy footsteps tread,
Nature, in triumph, after thee is led.
Angels, with pleasure, view thy matchless Grace,
And love their Maker's Image in thy Face.
Eve.O, only like my self, (for nothing here
So graceful, so majestick does appear:)
Art thou the Form my longing eyes did see,
Loos'd from thy Fountain, and come out to me?
Yet, sure thou art not, nor thy Face, the same; 
Nor thy Limbs moulded in so soft a frame:
Thou look'st more sternly, dost more strongly move;
And more of awe thou bear'st, and less of love.
Yet pleas'd I hear thee, and above the rest;
I, next my self, admire and love thee best.
Adam.Made to command, thus freely I obey,
And at thy feet the whole Creation lay.
Pity that love thy beauty does beget:
What more I shall desire, I know not yet.
First let us lock'd in close embraces be; 
Thence I, perhaps, may teach my self, and thee.
Eve.Somewhat forbids me, which I cannot name;
For ignorant of guilt, I fear not shame:
But some restraining thought, I know not why,
Tells me, you long should beg, I long deny.
Adam,In vain! my right to thee is seal'd above;
Look round and see where thou canst place thy Love:
All creatures else are much unworthy thee;
They match'd, and thou alone art left for me.
If not to love, we both were made in vain: 
I my new Empire would resign again,
And change, with my dumb slaves, my nobler mind;
Who, void of reason, more of pleasure find.
Methinks, for me they beg, each, silently,
Demands thy Grace, and seems to watch thy Eye.
Eve.I well fore-see, when e'r thy suit I grant,
That I my much-lov'd Soveraignty shall want:
Or like my self, some other may be made;
And her new Beauty may thy heart invade.
Adam.Could Heav'n some greater Master-piece devise, 
Set out with all the glories of the Skies:
That beauty yet in vain he should decree,
Unless he made another heart for me.
Eve.With how much ease I, whom I love, believe!
Giving my self, my want of worth I grieve.
Here, my inviolable Faith I plight,
So, thou be my defence, I, thy delight.
Exeunt he leading her.
Lucifer.Fair place; yet what is this to Heav'n, where I
Sate next, so almost equall'd the most high,
I doubted, measuring both, who was more strong;
Then, willing to forget time since so long,
Scarce thought I was created: vain desire
Of Empire, in my thoughts still shot me higher,
To mount above his sacred Head: ah why,
When he so kind, was so ungrateful I?
He bounteously bestow'd unenvy'd good
On me: in arbitrary Grace I stood: 
T'acknowledge this, was all he did exact;
Small Tribute, where the Will to pay was act.
I mourn it now, unable to repent,
As he, who knows my hatred to relent,
Jealous of pow'r once question'd: hope, farewel;
And with hope, fear; no depth below my Hell
Can be prepar'd: then, ill be thou my good;
And vast destruction, be my envy's food.
Thus I, with Heav'n, divided Empire gain;
Seducing Man, I make his project vain. 
And, in one hour, destroy his six days pain.
They come again; I must retire.
Enter Adam and Eve.
Adam.Thus shall we live in perfect bliss, and see,
Deathless our selves, our num'rous progeny.
Thou young and beauteous, my desires to bless;
I, still desiring, what I still possess.
Eve.Heav'n, from whence Love (our greatest Blessing came)
Can give no more, but still to be the same.
Thou more of pleasure may'st with me partake;
I, more of pride, because thy bliss I make. 
Adam.When to my Arms thou broughtst thy Virgin Love,
Fair Angels, sung our Bridal Hymn above:
Th'Eternal, nodding, shook the Firmament,
And conscious Nature gave her glad consent.
Roses unbid, and ev'ry fragrant Flow'r,
Flew from their stalks, to strow thy Nuptial Bower:
The furr'd and feather'd kind, the triumph-did pursue,
And Fishes leapt above the streams, the passing Pomp to view.
Eve.When your kind Eyes look'd languishing on mine,
And wreathing Arms did soft embraces joyn, 
A doubtful trembling seiz'd me first all o'r;
Then, wishes; and a warmth, unknown before:
What follow'd, was all extasie and trance;
Immortal pleasures round my swimming eyes did dance,
And speechless joys, in whose sweet tumult tost,
I thought my Breath, and my new Being lost.
Lucif.O Death to hear! and a worse Hell on Earth:
[Aside.What mad profusion on this clod-born Birth:
Abyss of joyes, as if Heav'n meant to shew
What, in base matters, such a hand could do: 
Or was his Virtue spent, and he no more
With Angels could supply th'exhausted store
Of which I swept the Sky? —
And wanting Subjects to his haughty Will,
On this mean Work, employ'd his trifling skill.
Eve.Blest in our selves, all pleasures else abound;
Without our care, behold th'unlabour'd Ground,
Bounteous of Fruit, above our shady Bowers
The creeping Jess'min thrusts her fragrant Flowers;
Thy Myrtle, Orange, and the blushing Rose, 
With bending heaps so nigh their blooms disclose,
Each seems to smell the flavor which the other blows:
By these the Peach, the Guava, and the Pine,
And creeping 'twixt 'em all, the mant'ling Vine,
Does round their trunks, her purple clusters twine.
Adam.All these are ours, all nature's excellence
Whose tast or smell can bless the feasted sence:
One only fruit, in the mid garden plac'd,
(The tree of knowledge,) is denys our tast;
(Our proof of duty to our Maker's will:) 
Of disobedience, death's the threatned ill.
Eve.Death is some harm, which though we know not yet
Since threatned, we must needs imagine great:
And sure he merits it, who disobeys
That one command, and one of so much ease.
Lucifer.Must they then dye, if they attempt to know
He sees they would rebel, and keeps them low.
On this foundation I their ruine lay.
Hope to know more shall tempt to disobey
I fell by this, and, since their strength is less, 
Why should not equal means give like success?
Adam.Come, my fair love, our mornings task we lose;
Some labor ev'n the easiest life would choose:
Ours is not great; the dangling boughs to crop,
Whose too luxuriant growth our Alleys stop,
And choak the paths: this our delight requires,
And Heav'n no more of daily work desires.
Eve.With thee to live is Paradise alone:
Without the pleasure of thy sight, is none.
I fear small progress will be made this day; 
So much our kisses will our task delay.
Lucifer.Why have not I like these, a body too,
Form'd for the same delights which they pursue?
I could (so variously my passions move)
Enjoy and blast her, in the act of love.
Unwillingly I hate such excellence;
She wrong'd me not; but I revenge th'offence
Through her, on Heav'n whose thunder took away
My birth-right-skyes! live happy whilst you may,
Blest pair, y'are not alow'd another day! 
Gabriel.Ithuriel, since we two Commission'd are
From Heav'n the Guardians of this new-made pair,
Each mind his charge, for, see, the night draws on,
And rising mists pursue the setting Sun.
Ithuriel.Blest is our lot to serve; our task we know:
To watch, least any, from th'Abyss below,
Broke loose, disturb their sleep with dreams; or worse,
Assault their beings with superior force.
Uriel flies down from the Sun.
Uriel.Gabriel, if now the watch be set, prepare
With strictest guard, to show thy utmost care. 
This morning came a spirit, fair he seem'd,
Whom, by his face, I some young Cherub deem'd,
Of Man he much inquir'd and where his place,
With shews of zeal to praise his maker's grace;
But I, with watchful eyes, observ'd his flight,
And saw him on yon steepy Mount alight,
There, as he thought unseen, he lay'd aside
His borrow'd masque, and reassum'd his pride:
I mark'd his looks, averse to Heav'n and good;
Dusky he grew, and long revolving stood 
On some deep, dark design; thence shot with hast,
And or'e the mounds of Paradise he past:
By his proud port, he seem'd the Prince of hell;
And here he lurcks, in shades, till night: search well
Each grove and thicket, pry in every shape,
Lest, hid in some, th'arch hypocrite escape.
Gabriel.If any spirit come t'invade, or scout
From hell, what earthy fence can keep him out?
But rest secure of this, he shall be found,
And taken, or proscrib'd this happy ground. 
Ithuriel.Thou to the East, I westward walk the round,
And meet we in the midst
(Uri.)Heav'n your design
Succeed your charge requires you, and me mine.
Lucifer.So, now they lye, secure in love, and steep
Their sated sences in full draughts of sleep.
By what sure means can I their bliss invade?
By violence? No; for they're immortal made.
Their Reason sleeps; but Mimic fancy wakes.
Supply's her parts, and wild Idea's takes 
From words and things, ill sorted, and misjoyn'd;
The Anarchie of thought and Chaos of the mind:
Hence dreams confus'd and various may arise;
These will I set before the Woman's eyes;
The weaker she, and made my easier prey;
Vain shows, and Pomp, the softer sex betray.
Lucifer sits down by Eve, and seems to whisper in her ear.
Angel, singing.Look up, look up, and see
What Heav'n prepares for thee;
Look up, and this fair fruit behold,
Ruddy it smiles, and rich with streaks of gold. 
The loaded branches downward bend,
Willing they stoop, and thy fair hand attend
Fair Mother of Mankind, make haste
And bless, and bless thy senses with the taste.
Woman.No; tis forbidden, I
In tasting it shall dye.
Angel.Say who injoyn'd this harsh command.
Woman.'Twas Heav'n; and who can Heav'n withstand?
Angel.Why was it made so fair, why plac'd in sight?
Heav'n is too good to envy man's delight. 
See, we before thy face will try,
What thou so fear'st and will not dye.
[The Angel takes the fruit and gives to the
Angels singing.Behold what a change on a sudden is here!
How glorious in beauty how bright they appear!
From spirits deform'd they are Deities made
Their pinions at pleasure, the clouds can invade,
[The Angel gives to the Woman who eats.Till equal in honor they rise
With him who commands in the skies:
Then taste without fear, and be happy and wise.
Woman.Ah, now I believe; such a pleasure I find 
As enlightens my eyes, and enlivens my mind.
[The spirits who are turn'd Angels
I deferr'd my content.
Angel.Now wiser experience has taught you to prove
What a folly it is,
Out of fear to shun bliss.
To the joy that's forbidden we eagerly move;
It inhances the price, and increases the love.
Chorus of both.To the joy, &c.
Enter Gabriel and Ithuriel to Lucifer who remains.
Gabriel.What art thou? speak thy name, and thy intent. 
Why here alone? and on what errand sent?
Not from above: no, thy wan looks betray
Diminish'd light, and eyes unus'd to day.
Lucifer.Not to know me, argues thy self unknown:
Time was when, shining next th'Imperial throne,
I sate in awful state; while such as thou
Did, in th'ignoble crowd at distance bow.
Gabriel.Think'st thou, vain spirit, thy glories are the same?
And seest not sin obscures thy God-like frame?
I know thee now, by thy ungrateful Pride; 
That shows me what thy faded looks did hide.
Traytor to him who made, and set thee high;
And fool, that pow'r which form'd thee to defie.
Lucifer.Go, slaves, return, and fawn in Heav'n again;
Seek thanks from him whose quarel you maintain.
Vile wretches! of your servitude to boast:
You basely keep the place I bravely lost.
Ithuriel.Freedome is choice of what we will and do:
Then blame not servants who are freely so.
'Tis base, not to acknowledge what we owe. 
Lucifer.Thanks, how er'e due, proclame subjection yet:
I fought for pow'r to quit th'upbraided debt.
Who er'e expects our thanks himself repaies;
And seems but little, who can want our praise.
Gabriel.What in us duty, shows not want in him:
Blest in himself alone —
To whom no praise we, by good deeds, can add;
Nor can his glory suffer from our bad.
Made for his use; yet he has form'd us so
We, unconstrain'd, what he commands us do. 
So praise we him and serve him freely best:
Thus thou, by choice, art fall'n, and we are blest.
Ithuriel.This, lest thou think thy plea unanswer'd, good;
Our question thou evad'st, how did'st thou dare
To break Hell bounds, and near this humane pair
In nightly ambush lye?
Lucifer.Lives there who would not seek to force his way
From pain, to ease; from darkness, to the day?
Should I, who found the means to scape, not dare
To change my sulphu'rous smoak, for upper Ayr? 
When I, in fight, sustain'd your Thunderer,
And Heav'n on me, alone spent half his war,
Think'st thou those wounds were light? should I not seek
The clemency of some more temp'rate Clime
To purge my gloom; and by the Sun refin'd,
Bask in his beams, and bleach me in the wind?
Gabriel.If pain to shun, be all thy business here,
Methinks, thy fellows the same course should steer.
Is their pain less who yet behind thee stay?
Or thou less hardy to endure than they? 
Lucifer.Nor one, nor t'other; but as leaders ought,
I ventur'd first alone; first danger sought;
And first explor'd this new created frame,
Which fill'd our dusky Regions with its fame:
In hopes my fainting Troops to settle here,
And to defend, against your Thunderer,
This spot of earth; or nearer Heav'n repair,
And forrage to his gates from Middle Ayr.
Ithuriel.Fool, to believe thou any part canst gain
From him, who could'st not thy first ground maintain. 
Gabriel.But whether that design, or one as vain,
T'attempt the lives of these, first drew thee here;
Avoid the place; and never more appear
Upon this Hallow'd earth else prove our might.
Lucifer.Not that I fear, do I decline the sight:
You I disdain; let me with him contend
On whom your limitary power's depend.
More honour from the sender than the sent:
Till then, I have accomplish'd my intent;
And leave this place, which but augments my pain 
Gazing to wish, yet hopeless to obtain.
[They following him.
Adam and Eve.
Adam.Strange was your dream, and full of sad portent;
Avert it, Heav'n, (if it from Heav'n were sent:)
Let on thy foes the dire presages fall;
To us be good and easy, when we call.
Eve.Behold, from far a breaking Cloud appears,
Which, in it, many winged wariours bears.
Their glory shoots upon my aking sense;
Thou stronger may'st endure the floud of light,
And while in shades I chear my fainting sight
Encounter the descending excellence. 
Raphael.First of mankind, that we, from Heav'n are sent
Is from Heav'n's care thy ruine to prevent.
Th'Apostate Angel has, by night, been here,
And whisper'd through thy sleeping consorts ear
Delusive dreams, thus warn'd by us, beware;
And guide her frailty, by thy timely care.
Gabriel.These, as thy guards from outward harms, are sent:
Ills, from within, thy reason must prevent.
Adam.Natives of Heav'n, who, in compassion deign
To want that place where joyes immortal reign, 
In care of me; what praises can I pay
Defended in obedience, taught t'obey?
Raphael.Praise him alone who, God-like, form'd thee free,
With will unbounded, as a Diety;
Who gave thee reason, as thy Aid, to chuse
Apparent good, and evil to refuse.
Obedience is that good; This Heav'n exacts
And Heav'n, all just, from man requires not acts
Which man wants pow'r to do: pow'r then is giv'n
Of doing good; but not compell'd by Heav'n. 
Gabriel.Made good; that thou dost to thy Maker owe:
But to thy self, if thou continu'st so.
Adam.Freedome of will, of all good things is best;
But can it be by finite man possest?
I know not how Heav'n can communicate
What equals man to his Creators state.
Raphael.Heav'n cannot give his boundless pow'r away;
But boundless libertie of choice he may.
So Orbs, from the first mover, motion take;
Yet each their proper revolutions make. 
Adam.Grant Heav'n could once have given us liberty;
Are we not bounded, now, by firm decree,
Since what so er'e is preordain'd, must be?
Else Heav'n, for man, events might preordain,
And man's free will might make those orders vain.
Gabriel.Th'Eternal, when he did the world create,
All other agents did necessitate:
So, what he order'd, they by nature do;
Thus light things mount, and heavy downward go.
Man only boasts an arbitrary state. 
Adam.Yet causes their effects necessitate
In willing agents: where is freedom then?
Or who can break the chain which limits men
To act what is unchangeably forecast,
Since the first cause gives motion to the last?
Raphael.Heav'n by fore-knowing what will surely be,
Does only, first, effects in causes see;
And finds, but does not make necessity.
Creation, is of pow'r and will th'effect,
Foreknowledge only of his Intellect; 
His prescience makes not, but supposes things;
Infers necessity to be; not brings.
Thus thou art not constrain'd to good or ill;
Causes which work th'effect, force not the will.
Adam.The force unseen, and distant I confess;
But the long chain makes not the bondage less.
Ev'n Man himself may to himself seem free,
And think that choice which is necessity.
Gabriel.And who but man should judge of man's free state?
Adam.I find that I can chuse to love, or hate; 
Obey, or disobey; do good, or ill:
Yet such a choice is but consent; not will.
I can but chuse what he has first design'd,
For he before that choice, my will confin'd.
Gabriel.Such impious fancies, where they entrance gain,
Make Heav'n, all pure, thy crimes to preordain.
Adam.Far, far from me be banish'd such a thought:
I argue only to be better taught.
Can there be freedom, when what now seems free
Was founded on some first necessity? 
For what ere cause can move the will t'elect
Must be sufficient to produce th'effect:
And what's sufficient must effectual be;
Then how is man, thus forc'd by causes free?
Raphael.Sufficient causes, only work th'effect
When necessary agents they respect.
Such is not man; who, though the cause suffice,
Yet often he his free assent denies.
Adam.What causes not, is not sufficient still.
Gabriel.Sufficient in it self; not in thy will. 
Raphael.When we see causes join'd t'effects at last,
The chain but shows necessity that's past.
That what's done, is: (ridiculous proof of fate!)
Tell me which part it does necessitate?
I'll chuse the other; there I'll link th'effect.
O chain, which fools, to catch themselves, project!
Adam.Though no constraint from Heav'n, or causes, be;
Heav'n may prevent that ill he does foresee:
And, not preventing, though he does not cause,
He seems to will that man should break his laws. 
Gabriel.Heav'n may permit, but not to ill consent;
For hind'ring ill, he would all choice prevent.
'Twere to unmake, to take away thy will.
Adam.Better constrain'd to good, than free to ill.
Raphael.But what reward or punishment could be
If man to neither good nor ill were free?
Th'Eternal justice could decree no pain
To him whose sins it self did first ordain;
And good compell'd, could no reward exact:
His pow'r would shine in goodness, not thy act. 
Our task is done: obey; and, in that choice,
Thou shalt be blest, and Angels shall rejoyce.
[Raphael and Gabriel fly up in the Cloud:
Adam.Hard state of life! since Heav'n fore-knows my will,
Why am I not ty'd up from doing ill?
Why am I trusted with my self at large,
When hee's more able to sustain the charge?
Since Angels fell, whose strength was more than mine,
'Twould show more grace my frailty to confine.
Fore-knowing the success, to leave me free,
Excuses him, and yet supports not me. 
[To him, Eve.
Eve.Behold my heart's dear Lord, how high the Sun
Is mounted, yet our labor not begun.
The ground, unbid, gives more than we can ask;
But work is pleasure when we chuse our task.
Nature, not bounteous now, but lavish growes;
Our paths with flow'rs, she prodigally strowes;
With pain we lift up our intangled feet,
While cross our walks the shooting branches meet.
Adam.Well has thy care advis'd; 'tis fit we hast;
Natur's too kind, and follows us too fast; 
Leaves us no room her treasures to possess
But mocks our industry with her excess;
And wildly wanton wears by night away
The sign of all our labors done by day.
Eve.Since, then, the work's so great, the hands so few,
This day let each a several task pursue.
By thee, my hands to labor will not move,
But round thy neck, employ themselves in love.
When thou would'st work, one tender touch, one smile
(How can I hold?) will all thy task beguile. 
Adam.So hard we are not to our labor ty'd
That smiles, and soft endearements, are deny'd.
Smiles, not allow'd to Beasts, from reason move,
And are the priviledge of humane love:
And if, sometimes, each others eyes we meet,
Those little vacancies, from toil, are sweet.
But you, by absence, would refresh your joyes,
Because perhaps my conversation cloyes.
Yet this, would prudence grant, I could permit.
Eve.What reason makes my small request unfit? 
Adam.The fall'n Archangel, envious of our state,
Pursues our Beings with immortal hate.
And hopeless to prevail by open force,
Seeks hid advantage to betray us worse:
Which when asunder, will not prove so hard;
For both together are each others guard.
Eve.Since he, by force, is hopeless to prevail
He can by fraud alone our minds assail:
And to believe his wiles my truth can move
Is to misdoubt my reason or my love. 
Adam.Call it my care, and not mistrust of thee;
Yet thou art weak, and full of Art is he;
Else how could he that Host seduce to sin
Whose fall has left the Heav'nly nation thin?
Eve.I grant him arm'd with subtility, and hate;
But why should we suspect our happy state?
Is our perfection of so frail a make;
As ev'ry plot can undermine or shake?
Think better both of Heav'n, thy self, and me:
Who always fears, at ease can never be. 
Poor state of bliss, where so much care is shown
As not to dare to trust our selves alone!
Adam.Such is our state, as not exempt from fall;
Yet firm, if reason to our ayd we call:
And that, in both, is stronger than in one;
I would not; why would'st thou, then, be alone?
Eve.Because thus warn'd, I know my self secure,
And long my little trial to endure:
T'approve my faith; thy needless fears remove;
Gain thy esteem, and so deserve thy love. 
If all this shake not thy obdurate will,
Know that, ev'n present, I am absent still:
And then what pleasure hop'st thou in my stay
When I'm constrain'd, and wish my self away.
Adam.Constraint does ill with love and beauty sute;
I would persuade; but not be absolute.
Better be much remiss than too severe;
If pleas'd in absence thou wilt still be here:
Go; in thy native innocence proceed,
And summon all thy reason at thy need. 
Eve.My Soul, my eyes delight; in this I find
Thou lov'st; because to love is to be kind.
[Embracing him.Seeking my trial, I am still on guard:
Tryals less sought, would find us less prepar'd.
Our foe's too proud the weaker to assail;
Or doubles his dishonour if he fail.
Adam.In love, what use of prudence can there be?
More perfect I, and yet more pow'rful she.
Blame me not, Heav'n if thou love's pow'r had'st try'd,
What could be so unjust to be deny'd? 
One look of hers my resolution breaks;
Reason it self turns folly when she speaks:
And aw'd by her whom it was made to sway,
Flatters her pow'r, and does its own betray.
Lucifer.Methinks the beauties of this place should mourn;
Th'immortal fruits, and Flow'rs at my return
Should hang their wither'd heads; for sure my breath
Is now more poys'nous, and has gather'd death
Enough, to blast the whole Creation's frame:
Swoln with despite, with sorrow, and with shame, 
Thrice have I beat the wing, and rid with night
About the world, behind the globe of light,
To shun the watch of Heav'n; such care I use:
(What pains will malice, rais'd like mine, refuse
Not the most abject form of Brutes to take.)
Hid in the spiry volumes of the snake,
I lurk'd within the covert of a Brake;
Not yet descry'd. But, see, the woman here
Alone! beyond my hopes! no guardian near.
Good Omen that: I must retire unseen, 
And, with my borrow'd shape, the work begin.
Eve.Thus far, at least, with leave; nor can it be
A sin to look on this Celestial tree:
I would not more; to touch a crime may prove:
Touching is a remoter tast in love.
Death may be there, or poyson in the smell,
(If death in any thing so fair can dwell:)
But Heav'n forbids: I could be satisfy'd
Were every tree but this, but this deny'd.
Strange sight! did then our great Creator grant 
That priviledge, which we their Masters want,
To these inferiour beings? or was it chance?
And was he blest with bolder ignorance?
I saw his curling crest the trunk infold:
The ruddy fruit, distinguish'd ore with gold,
And smiling in its native wealth, was torn
From the rich bough, and then in triumph born:
The vent'rous victor march'd unpunish'd hence,
And seem'd to boast his fortunate offence.
To her Lucifer in a humane shape.
Lucifer.Hail, Soveraign of this Orb! form'd to possess 
The world, and, with one look, all nature bless.
Nature is thine; thou, Empress, dost bestow
On fruits, to blossom; and on flowers, to blow.
They happy, yet insensible to boast
Their bliss: more happy they who know thee most.
Then happiest I, to humane reason rais'd,
And voice, with whose first accents thou art prais'd.
Eve.What art thou, or from whence? for on this ground,
Beside my Lord's, ne're heard I humane sound.
Art thou some other Adam, form'd from Earth, 
And com'st to claim an equal share, by birth,
In this fair field? or sprung of Heav'nly race?
Lucifer.An humble native of this happy place,
Thy vassal born, and late of lowest land,
Whom Heav'n neglecting made, and scarce design'd
But threw me in, for number to the rest,
Below the mounting bird, and grazing beast;
By chance not prudence, now superior grown.
Eve.To make thee such, what miracle was shown?
Lucifer.Who would not tell what thou vouch saf'st to hear: 
Saw'st thou not late a speckled serpent rear
His gilded spires to climb on yon fair tree?
Before this happy minute I was he.
Eve.Thou speak'st of wonders: make thy story plain.
Lucifer.Not wishing then, and thoughtless to obtain,
So great a bliss; but, led by sence of good,
Inborn to all, I sought my needful food:
Then, on that Heav'nly tree, my sight I cast;
The colour urg'd my eye, the scent my tast.
Not to detain thee long; I took, did eat: 
Scarce had my palate touch'd th'immortal meat,
But on a sudden, turn'd to what I am:
God-like, and, next to thee, I fair became:
Thought, spake, and reason'd; and, by reason found
Thee, Nature's Queen, with all her graces crown'd.
Eve.Happy thy lot; but far unlike is mine:
Forbidd to eat, not daring to repine.
'Twas Heav'n's command; and should we disobey,
What rais'd thy Being, ours must take away.
Lucifer.Sure you mistake the precept, or the tree: 
Heav'n cannot envious of his blessings be.
Some chance-born plant he might forbid your use,
As wild, or guilty of a deadly juice:
Not this, whose colour, scent divine, and tast,
Proclaim the thoughtful Maker not in hast.
Eve.By all these signs, too well I know the fruit,
And dread a pow'r severe, and absolute.
Lucifer.Severe, indeed; ev'n to injustice hard;
If death, for knowing more, be your reward:
Knowledge of good, is good; and therefore fit; 
And to know ill, is good; for shunning it.
Eve.What, but our good, could be design in this,
Who gave us all, and plac'd in perfect bliss?
Lucifer.Excuse my zeal, fair Soveraign in your cause,
Which dares to tax his arbitrary laws.
Tis all his aym to keep you blindly low,
That servile fear from ignorance may flow:
We scorn to worship whom too well we know.
He knows that eating you shall god-like be;
As wise, as fit to be ador'd, as he. 
For his own int'rest he this Law has giv'n;
Such Beauty may raise factions in his Heav'n.
By awing you, he does possession keep,
And is too wise to hazard partnership.
Eve.Alass who dares dispute with him that right?
The power which form'd us must be infinite.
Lucifer.Who told you how your form was first design'd?
The Sun and Earth, produce of every kind;
Grass, Flow'rs, and Fruits; nay, living creatures too:
Their mould was base; 'twas more refin'd in you: 
Where vital heat, in purer Organs wrought,
Produc'd a nobler kind rais'd up to thought;
And that perhaps, might his begining be:
Something was first; I question if 'twere he.
But grant him first, yet still suppose him good,
Not envying those he made, immortal food.
Eve.But death, our disobedience must pursue.
Lucifer.Behold, in me, what shall arrive to you.
I tasted; yet I live: nay, more; have got
A state more perfect than my native lot. 
Nor fear this petty fault his wrath should raise:
Heav'n rather will your dauntless virtue praise,
That sought, through threat'ned death, immortal good:
Gods are immortal only by their food.
Tast and remove
What diff'rence does 'twixt them and you remain:
As I gain'd reason, you shall God-head gain.
Eve, aside.He eats, and lives, in knowledge greater grown:
Was death invented then for us alone?
Is intellectual food to man deny'd 
Which Brutes have, with so much advantage try'd?
Nor only try'd themselves, but frankly, more,
To me have offer'd their unenvi'd store?
Lucifer.Be bold, and all your needless doubts remove:
View well this Tree, (the Queen of all the grove,)
How vast her bole, how wide her arms are spread,
How high above the rest she shoots her head,
Plac'd in the mid'st; would Heav'n his works disgrace,
By planting poyson in the happiest place?
Hast; you lose time and God-head by delay.
Plucking the Fruit.
Eve looking about her.'Tis done; I'll venture all and disobey. 
Perhaps, far hid in Heav'n, he does not spy,
And none of all his Hymning guards are nigh.
To my dear lord, the lovely fruit I'll bear;
He to partake my bliss, my crime shall share.
Lucifer.She flew, and thank'd me not, for hast: t'was hard
With no return such counsel to reward.
My work is done, or much the greater part;
She's now the tempter, to ensnare his heart.
He, whose firm faith no reason could remove, 
Will melt before that soft seducer, love.
Eve.Methinks, I tread more lightly on the ground;
My nimble feet, from unhurt flow'rs rebound:
I walk in Ayr, and scorn this Earthly seat;
Heav'n is my palace; this my base retreat.
Take me not Heav'n, too soon; 'twill be unkind
To leave the partner of my bed behind.
I love the wretch; but stay, shall I afford
Him part? already he's too much my Lord.
'Tis in my pow'r to be a Soveraign now;
And, knowing more, to make his manhood bow. 
Empire is sweet; but how if Heav'n has spy'd?
If I should dye, and he above provide
Some other Eve, and place her in my stead?
Shall she possess his love, when I am dead?
No; he shall eat, and dye with me, or live:
Our equal crimes shall equal fortune give.
Adam.What Joy, without your sight, has earth in store!
While you were absent, Eden was no more.
Winds murmur'd, through the leaves, your long delay;
And fountains, or'e their pebles, chid your stay. 
But with your presence cheer'd, they cease to mourn,
And walks wear fresher green, at your return.
Eve.Henceforth you never shall have cause to chide;
No future absence shall our joys divide:
'Twas a short death my love ne'r try'd before,
And therefore strange; but yet the cause was more.
Adam.My trembling heart forbodes some ill; I fear
To ask that cause which I desire to hear.
What means that lovely fruit? what means (alass!)
That blood, which flushes guilty in your face? 
Speak — do not — yet, at last, I must be told.
Eve.Have courage then: 'tis manly to be bold.
This fruit — why dost thou shake? no death is nigh:
'Tis what I tasted first; yet do not dye.
Adam.Is it — (I dare not ask it all at first;
Doubt is some ease to those who fear the worst:)
Say, 'tis not.
Eve.— 'Tis not what thou need'st to fear:
What danger does in this fair fruit appear?
We have been cozen'd; and had still been so, 
Had I not ventur'd boldly first to know.
Yet, not I first; I almost blush to say
The serpent eating taught me first the way.
The serpent tasted, and the god-like fruit
Gave the dumb voice; gave reason, to the Brute.
Adam.O fairest of all creatures, last, and best,
Of what Heav'n made, how art thou dispossest
Of all thy native Glories! faln! Decay'd!
(Pity so rare a frame so frail was made)
Now cause of thy own ruine; and with thine, 
(Ah, who can live without thee!) cause of mine.
Eve.Reserve thy pity, till I want it more:
I know my self much happier than before;
More wise, more perfect, all I wish to be,
Were I but sure Alass! of pleasing thee,
Adam.Y'have shown how much you my content design:
Yet ah! would Heav'n's displeasure pass like mine.
Must I without you, then, in wild woods dwell?
Think, and but think of what I lov'd so well
Condemn'd to live with subjects ever mute; 
A salvage Prince, unpleas'd though absolute.
Eve.Please then your self with me, and freely tast,
Lest I, without you, should to Godhead hast:
Lest diff'ring in degree, you claim too late
Unequal love, when 'tis deny'd by fate.
Adam.Cheat not your self, with dreams of Deity;
Too well, but yet too late, your crime I see:
Nor think the fruit your knowledge does improve;
But you have beauty still, and I have love.
Not cozen'd, I; with choice, my life resign: 
Imprudence was your sault, but love is mine,
[Takes the Fruit and eats it.
Eve embracing him.O wond'rous pow'r of matchless love exprest:
Why was this trial thine, of loving best?
I envy thee that lot; and could it be,
Would venture something more than death, for thee.
Not that I fear, that death th'event can prove;
W'are both immortal, while so well we love.
Adam.What e're shall be the event, the lot is cast:
Where appetites are giv'n, what sin to tast?
Or if a sin, 'tis but by precept such; 
Th'offence so small, the punishment's too much,
To seek so soon his new made world's decay:
Nor we, nor that, were fashion'd for a day.
Eve.Give to the winds thy fear of death, or ill;
And think us made but for each others will.
Adam.I will, at least, defer that anxious thought,
And death, by fear, shall not be nigher brought:
If he will come, let us to joyes make hast;
Then let him seize us when our pleasure's past,
We'll take up all before; and death shall find 
We have drain'd life, and left a void behind.
Sick nature, at that instant, trembled round;
And Mother Earth, sigh'd, as she felt the wound,
Of how short durance was this new-made state!
How far more mighty than Heav'ns love, Hells hate!
His project ruin'd, and his King of clay:
He form'd, an Empire for his foe to sway.
Heav'n let him rule, which by his arms he got;
I'm pleas'd to have obtain'd the second lot. 
This Earth is mine; whose Lord I made my thrall;
Annexing to my Crown, his conquer'd Ball
Loos'd from the lakes, my Legions I will lead,
And, o're the darkned Ayr, black Banners spread:
Contagious damps, from hence, shall mount above,
And force him to his inmost Heav'n's remove.
A Clap of thunder is heard.He hears already, and I boast too soon;
I dread that Engine which secur'd his Throne.
I'll dive below his wrath, into the deep,
And waste that Empire, which I cannot keep. 
Raphael and Gabriel descend.
Raphael.As much of grief as happiness admits
In Heav'n, on each Celestial forehead sits:
Kindness for man, and pity for his fate,
May mixt with bliss, and yet not violate.
Their Heav'nly harps a lower strain began;
And in soft Music, mourn'd the fall of man.
Gabriel.I saw th'Angelic guards, from earth ascend,
(Griev'd they must now no longer man attend:)
The beams about their Temples dimly shone;
One would have thought the crime had been their own. 
Th'Etherial people flock'd for news in hast,
Whom they, with down cast lookes, and scarce saluting past:
While each did, in his pensive brest, prepare
A sad accompt of their successess care.
Raphael.Th'Eternal yet, in Majesty severe,
And strictest justice, did mild pity bear:
Their deaths deferr'd; and banishment, (their doom)
In penitence forseen, leaves mercy room.
Gabriel.That message is thy charge: mine, leads me hence;
Plac'd at the garden's gate, for its defence, 
Lest, man, returning, the blest place pollute,
And scape from death, by life's immortal fruit.
Another Clap of Thunder.
Enter Adam and Eve, affrighted.
Adam.In what dark cavern shall I hide my head?
Where seek retreat, now innocence is fled?
Safe in that guard, I durst ev'n Hell defy;
Without it, tremble now, when Heav'n is nigh.
Eve.What shall we do? or where direct our flight
Eastward as far as I could cast my sight,
From op'ning Heavens, I saw descending light.
Its glitt'ring through the Trees, I still behold; 
The Cedar tops seem all to burn with gold.
Adam.Some shape divine, whose beams I cannot bear!
Would I were hid, where light could not appear.
Deep into some thick covert would I run,
Impenetrable to the Stars, or Sun,
And fenc'd from day, by night's eternal skreen;
Unknown to Heav'n, and to my self unseen.
Eve.In vain: what hope to shun his piercing sight
Who, from dark Chaos, stroke the sparks of light?
Adam.These should have been your thoughts when parting hence, 
You trusted to your guideless innocence.
See now th'effects of your own wilful mind:
Guilt walks before us; Death pursues behind.
So fatal 'twas to seek temptations out:
Most confidence has still most cause to doubt.
Eve.Such might have been thy hap, alone assail'd;
And so, together, might we both have fail'd.
Curs'd vassallage of all my future kind:
First Idolis'd, till loves hot fire be o're,
Then slaves to those who courted us before. 
Adam.I counsel'd you to stay; your pride refus'd:
By your own lawless will you stand accus'd.
Eve.Have you that priviledge of only wise,
And would you yield to her you so despise?
You should have shown th'Authority you boast,
And, Soveraign-like, my headlong will have crost:
Counsel was not enough to sway my heart;
An absolute restraint had been your part.
Adam.Ev'n such returns do they deserve to find,
When force is lawful, who are fondly kind. 
Unlike my love; for when thy guilt I knew,
I shar'd the curse which did that crime pursue.
Hard fate of love! which rigor did forbear,
And now 'tis tax'd, because 'twas not severe.
Eve.You have, your self, your kindness overpay'd:
He ceases to oblige, who can upbraid.
Adam.On womens virtue, who too much rely,
To boundless will, give boundless liberty.
Restraint you will not brook; but, think it hard
Your prudence is not trusted as your guard: 
And, to yourselves so left, if ill ensues,
You first our weak indulgence will accuse.
Curst be that hour —
When, sated with my single happiness,
I chose a partner, to controle my bliss,
Who wants that reason which her will should sway,
And knowes but just enough to disobey.
Eve.Better with Brutes my humble lot had gone;
Of reason void, accountable for none:
Th'unhappiest of creation is a wife, 
Made lowest, in the highest rank of life:
Her fellow's slave; to know and not to chuse:
Curst with that reason she must never use.
Adam.Add, that she's proud, fantastick, apt to change;
Restless at home; and ever prone to range;
With shows delighted, and so vain is she,
She'll meet the Devil; rather than not see.
Our wise Creator, for his Quires divine,
Peopled his Heav'n with Souls all masculine.
Ah: why must man from woman take his birth? 
Why was this sin of nature made on earth?
This fair defect; this helpless ayd call'd wife;
The bending crutch of a decrepit life.
Posterity no pairs, from you shall find,
But such, as by mistake of love are joyn'd:
The worthiest men, their wishes ne'r shall gain;
But see the slaves, they scorn, their loves obtain.
Blind appetite shall your wild fancies rule;
False to desert, and faithful to a fool.
[Turns in anger from her, and is going off.
Eve kneeling.Unkind! wilt thou forsake me, in distress, 
For that which now is past me to redress?
I have misdone; and I endure the smart:
Loath to acknowledge; but more loath to part.
The blame be mine; you warn'd, and I refus'd:
What would you more? I have my self accus'd.
Was plighted faith so weakly seal'd above
That, for one error, I must lose your love?
Had you so err'd, I should have been more kind,
Than to add pain to an afflicted mind.
Adam.Y'are grown much humbler than you were before: 
I pardon you; but see my face no more.
Eve.Vain pardon, which includes a greater ill:
Be still displeas'd; but let me see you still.
Without your much-lov'd sight, I cannot live:
You more than kill me if you so forgive.
The Beasts, since we are faln, their Lords despise;
And, passing, look at me, with glaring eyes:
Must I then wander helpless, and alone?
You'll pity me, too late, when I am gone.
Adam.Your penitence does my compassion move; 
As you deserve it, I may give my love.
Eve,On me, alone, let Heav'n's displeasure fall:
You merit none, and I deserve it all.
Adam.You all Heav'n's wrath! how could you bear a part,
Who bore not mine, but with a bleeding heart?
I was too stubborn, thus to make you sue:
Forgive me; I am more in fault, than you.
Return to me, and to my love return;
And, both offending, for each other mourn.
Raphael.Of sin to warn thee, I before was sent; 
For sin, I now pronounce thy punishment:
Yet that much lighter than thy crimes require;
Th'all-good does not his creatures death desire:
Justice must punish the rebellious deed:
Yet punish so, as pity shall exceed.
Adam.I neither can dispute his will, nor dare:
Death will dismiss me from my future care,
And lay me softly in my native dust,
To pay the forfeit of ill-manag'd trust.
Eve.Why seek you death? consider ere you speak: 
The laws were hard; the pow'r to keep 'em, weak.
Did we sollicite Heav'n to mould our clay,
From darkness, to produce us to the day?
Did we concur to life, or chuse to be,
Was it our will which form'd or was it he?
Since 'twas his choice, not ours, which plac'd us here;
The laws we did not chuse, why should we bear?
Adam.Seek not, in vain, our maker to accuse: 
Terms were propos'd; pow'r left us to refuse.
The good we have enjoy'd from Heav'n's free will;
And shall we murmur to endure the ill?
Should we a rebel-son's excuse receive,
Because he was begot without his leave?
Heav'n's right, in us, is more: first form'd to serve;
The good, we merit not; the ill, deserve.
Raphael.Death is defer'd, and penitence has room
To mitigate, if not reverse the doom:
But, for your crime, th'Eternal does ordain 
In Eden, you no longer shall remain.
Hence, to the lower world, you are exil'd:
This place, with crimes, shall be no more defil'd.
Eve.Must we this blissful Paradise forego?
Raphael.Your lot must be where Thorns and Thistles grow,
Unbid, as Balme and Spices did at first;
For man, the earth, of which he was is curst.
To Adam.By thy own toil procur'd, thou food shalt eat;
And know no plenty, but from painful sweat.
She, by a curse, of future wives abhorr'd, 
Shall pay obedience to her lawful Lord:
And he shall rule, and she in thraldome live;
Desiring more of love than man can give.
Adam.Heav'n is all mercy; labor I would chuse;
And could sustain this Paradise to lose:
The bliss; but not the place: here could I say
Heav'n's winged messenger did pass the day;
Under this Pine the glorious Angel stay'd:
Then, show my wondring progeny the shade.
In woods and lawnes, where er'e thou dist appear, 
Each place some Monument of thee should bear.
I, with green turfs, would grateful Altars raise,
And Heav'n, with Gums and offer'd Incense praise.
Raphael.Where er'e thou art; he is; th'Eternal mind
Acts through all places; is to none confin'd:
Fills Ocean, Earth, and Ayr, and all above,
And through the Universal Mass does move.
Thou canst be no where distant: yet this place
Had been thy Kingly seat, and here thy race,
From all the ends of peopled-Earth, had come 
To rev'rence thee, and see their native home.
Immortal, then; now sickness, care, and age,
And war, and luxury's more direful rage,
Thy crimes have brought, to shorten mortal breath,
With all the num'rous family of Death.
Eve.My spirits faint, while I these ills foreknow:
And find my self the sad occasion too.
But what is death?
Raphael.In vision, thou shalt see his griesly face,
The King of Terrors, raging in thy race. 
That, while in future fate thou shar'st thy part,
A kind remorse, for sin, may seize thy heart.
Adam.O wretched off-spring! O unhappy state
Of all mankind, by me betray'd to fate!
Born, through my crime, to be offenders first;
And, for those sins they could not shun, accurst.
Eve.Why is life forc'd on man; who might he choose,
Would not accept, what he, with pain, must lose?
Unknowing, he receives it, and, when known,
He thinks it his, and values it, 'tis gone. 
Raphael.Behold of ev'ry age; ripe manhood see,
Decrepit years, and helpless infancy:
Those who, by lingring sickness, lose their breath;
And those who, by despair, suborn their death:
See yon' mad fools who, for some trivial Right,
For love, or for mistaken honour fight:
See those, more mad, who throw their lives away
In needless wars; the Stakes which Monarchs lay,
When for each others Provinces they play.
Then as if earth too narrow were for fate, 
On open Seas their quarrels they debate;
In hollow wood they floating Armies bear;
And force imprison'd winds to bring 'em near.
Eve.Who would the miseries of man foreknow?
Not knowing, we but share our part of woe:
Now, we the fate of future Ages bear;
And, ere their birth, behold our dead appear.
Adam.The deaths, thou show'st, are forc'd and full of strife;
Cast headlong from the precipice of life.
Is there no smooth descent? no painless way 
Of kindly mixing with our native clay?
Raphael.There is; but rarely shall that path be trod
Which, without horror, leads to deaths abode.
Some few, by temp'rance taught, approaching slow,
To distant fate, by easy journeys, go:
Gently they lay 'em down, as ev'ning sheep
On their own woolly fleeces, softly sleep.
Adam.So noiseless would I live, such death to find,
Like timely fruit, not shaken by the wind,
But ripely dropping from the sapless bough 
And, dying, nothing to myself would owe.
Eve.Thus, daily changing, with a duller tast
Of less'ning joyes, I, by degrees, would wast:
Still quitting ground, by unperceiv'd decay,
And steal my self from life, and melt away.
Raphael.Death you have seen: now see your race revive,
How happy they in deathless pleasures live.
Far more than I can show, or you can see,
Shall crown the blest with immortality.
Adam.O goodness infinite! whose Heav'nly will 
Can so much good produce, from so much ill!
Happy their state!
Pure, and unchang'd, and needing no defence,
From sins, as did my frailer Innocence.
Their joy sincere, and with no sorrow mixt:
Eternity stands permanent, and fixt,
And wheels no longer on the Poles of time:
Secure from fate, and more secure from crime.
Eve.Ravish'd, with Joy, I can but half repent
The sin which Heav'n makes happy in th'event. 
Raphael.Thus arm'd, meet firmly your approaching ill:
For, see, the guards, from yon' far eastern hill,
Already move, nor longer stay afford;
High, in the Ayr, they wave the flaming sword,
Your signal to depart: Now, down amain
They drive, and glide, like meteors through the plain.
Adam.Then farewell all; I will indulgent be
To my own ease, and not look back to see.
When what we love we ne'r must meet again,
To lose the thought, is to remove the pain. 
Eve.Farewell, you happy shades!
Where Angels first should practice Hymns, and string.
Their tuneful Harps, when they to Heav'n wou'd sing.
Farewell, you flow'rs, whose buds, with early care,
I watch'd, and to the chearful sun did rear:
Who now shall bind your stems? or, when you fall,
With fountain streams, your fainting souls recall?
A long farewell to thee, my nuptial bow'r,
Adorn'd with ev'ry fair and flagrant flow'r.
And last, farewell, farewell my place of birth; 
I go to wander in the lower earth,
As distant as I can; for, disposest,
Farthest from what I once enjoy'd, is best.
Raphael.The rising winds urge the tempestuous Ayr;
And on their wings, deformed Winter bear:
The beasts already feel the change; and hence,
They fly, to deeper coverts, for defence:
The feebler herd, before the stronger run;
For now the war of nature is begun:
But, part you hence in peace, and having mourn'd your sin, 
For outward Eden lost, find Paradise within.