Book 9 Lines 750-779

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Thy praise hee also who forbids thy use, [750]
Conceals not from us, naming thee the Tree
Of Knowledge, knowledge both of good and evil;
Forbids us then to taste, but his forbidding
Commends thee more, while it inferrs the good
By thee communicated, and our want: [755]
For good unknown, sure is not had, or had
And yet unknown, is as not had at all.
In plain then what forbids he but to know,
Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?
Such prohibitions bind not.
[/] But if Death [760]
Bind us with after-bands, what profits then
Our inward freedom?
In the day we eat
Of this fair Fruit, our doom is, we shall die.
How dies the Serpent? hee hath eat’n and lives,
And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns,
Irrational till then. For us alone
Was death invented? or to us deni’d
This intellectual food, for beasts reserv’d?

For Beasts it seems: yet that one Beast which first
Hath tasted, envies not, but brings with joy [770]
The good befall’n him, author unsuspect,
Friendly to man, far from deceit or guile.
What fear I then, rather what know to fear
Under this ignorance of good and Evil,
Of God or Death, of Law or Penalty?  [775]
Here grows the Cure of all, this Fruit Divine,
Fair to the Eye, inviting to the Taste,
Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then
To reach, and feed at once both Body and Mind?

Passage read by Cayman Caven

Lines 750-1 Elliott Bell and Haley Holston
Lines 759-60 Matthew McGee and Steve Spellman
Lines 760-2 Nicole Cochran, Emma Dickerson and Baker Leyman
Lines 764-8 Jake Boyd and Courtney Fair
Line 774 Emma Pitts and Jourdan Thomas

Page coding:
David Ainsworth and Ryan Jackson