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Thus Adam liv'd, of every good possessid,

A perfect being and an honour'd guest.

But lo! what clouds-portentous clouds-arise;

An ambush'd foe in that fair garden lies!

As some fell tiger, prowling for his food,

Impelld by hunger or athirst for blood,

With scarcely-treading footstep softly steals

Along the covert, that his form conceals,

Lest haply he the conscious hind should wake

To fly the danger and his paths forsake;

So Satan glides the sacred bow'rs beneath,

Arm'd with the double shaft of Sin and Death!

T'wards the forbidden tree he bent his wing,

Its fruit to quicken with a mortal sting;

And viewing there the fairest form of man,

Leap'd into serpent-shape and thus began.

“ Hail! Beauteous Empress of this happy plain,

“ Where naught but happiness can ever reign,

" How blest is man to live on terms like these

“ A Heaven to prosper, and an Earth to please !

“ No hostile steps shall tread this sacred soil;

“ No rebel thoughts these holy shades defile;

“ No storms shall frown on Eden's peaceful

scene;

“ Fair are her prospects and her skies serene;

* Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made, &c. Gen. ch. iii. “ Pison and Gihon swell their tides to lave

“Her golden pastures with a silvery wave;*

“ All is harmonious; and every grove

“ Pours forth the songs of innocence and love;

“ Her balmy flowers their od'rous breath exhale,

“ Fill every breeze, and perfume every gale:

“ Behold this mystic Tree; its beauties view;

“ It blooms and bears a moral feast for you!

“ Fear not to eat; it perfects, not beguiles ;

“ Matures the judgment, not the heart defiles—

* And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison; and that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good, where is bdellium and the onyx-stone. The name of the second river is Gihon. Gen. ch. ii. v. 10.

“Ye shall not surely die, but live to know

“ The paths of Heaven from the ways

of

woe."*

Charm'd with the thought, Eve lent a rebel ear,

a

And ate the poison heedless of the snare.

Next Adam, with not less rebellious hand

The fruit receiv'd, and broke his God's command.+

O day of death! They tasted and they fell,

Deluded victims to the throne of Hell !

* And the serpent said unto the woman : Ye shall not surely die ; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. Gen. ch. iii. v. 4 and 5.

+ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat, v. 6.

Now were the banners of the grave unfurl'd,

And wav'd triumphant o'er a prostrate world.

Sin-hideous sin-and her apostate train,

Disease and all her progeny of pain,

Pour'd their fell plagues on Eden's hapless plain,

Filld the pure air with pestilential breath,

And stamp'd each creature with the seals of death!

Tempestuous storms the bending forest scour'd;

Wide-yawning earthquakes tottring bills devour'd;

Whilst blighting myriads flow'r and leaf destroy’d,

And render'd Paradise one desert void !

Mute to sad silence were the songs of joy,

And nought was heard but the appalling cry

Of brutal strife, the lion's savage roar,

And piercing groans from pangs unfelt before !

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