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On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe.
Me, me only, just object of his ire.

She ended weeping, and her lowly plight,
Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault
Acknowledg'd and deplor'd in Adam wrought
Commiseration; soon his heart relented
Tow'ards her, his life so late and sole delight,
Now at his feet submissive in distress,
Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking,
His counsel whom she had displeas'd, his aid :
As one disarm'd. his anger all he lost,

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And thus with peaceful words uprais'd her soon.
Unwary', and too desirous, as before,

So now of what thou know'st not, who desir'st
The punishment all on thyself; alas,

Bear thine own first, ill able to sustain

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His full wrath, whose thou feel'st as yet least part,
And my displeasure bear'st so ill.

If prayers

Could alter high decrees, I to that place

Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,

That on my head all might be visited,

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Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven,

To me committed and by me expos'd.

But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame

Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere, but strive

In offices of love, how we may lighten

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Each other's burden, in our share of woe;

Since this day's death denounc'd, if ought I see,

Will prove no sudden, but a slow pac'd evil,

A long day's dying to augment our pain,

And to our seed (O hapless seed !) deriv'd.

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To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, reply'd.

Adam, by sad experiment I know

How little weight my words with thee can find,

Found so erroneous, thence by just event

Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,

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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,

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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

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To be to others cause of misery,

Our own begott'en, and of our loins to bring
Into this cursed world a woful race,

That after wretched life must be at last

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Food for so foul a monster; in thy power

It lies, yet ere conception to prevent

The race unblest, to be'ing 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.

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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,
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 shew no end but death, and have the power,
Of many ways to die the shortest choosing,
Destruction with destruction to destroy?
She ended here, or vehement despair

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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,

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To better hopes his more attentive mind
Lab'ring had rais'd, and thus to Eve reply'd.
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

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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
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 savors only
Rancor and pride, impatience and despite,
Reluctance against God and his just yoke

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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,

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And bringing forth, soon recompens'd with joy,
Fruit of thy womb: On me the curse aslope
Glanc'd on the groud; with labor I must earn

My bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse;

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My labor 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,

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And teach us further by what means to shun

Th' inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail and snow ?

Which now the sky with various face begins
To shew 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 benumb'd, ere this diurnal star
Leave cold the night, how we his gather'd beams
Reflected, may with matter sere foment,

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Or by collision of two bodies grind

The air attire to fire, as late the clouds

Justling or push'd with winds rude in their shock

Tine the slant lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n down Kindles the gummy bark of fir or pine,

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And sends a comfortable heat from far,

Which might supply the sun : Such fire to use,
And what may else be remedy or cure

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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 look serene,
When angry most he seem'd and most severe,
What else but favor, 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.

END OF THE TENTH BOOK,

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PARADISE LOST.

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 Cherubims to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michael's coming down. Adam shews 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.

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HUS 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
Unutterable, which the Spi'rit of prayer

Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight
Than loudest oratory: Yet their port
Not of mean suitors, nor important less
Seem'd their petition, than when th' ancient pair
In fables old, less ancient yet than these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha, to restore
The race of mankind drown'd, before the shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To Heav'n their
Flew up, nor miss'd the way, by envious winds
Blown vagabond or frustrate: In they pass'd
Dimensionless through heav'nly doors; then clad
With incense, where the golden altar fum'd,
By their great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Father's throne: Them the glad Son
Presenting, thus to intercede began.

prayers

See, Father, what first fruits on earth are sprung

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