Book 9 Lines 404-433

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O much deceiv’d, much failing, hapless Eve,
Of thy presum’d return! event perverse!                                 [405]
Thou never from that hour in Paradise
Found’st either sweet repast, or sound repose;
Such ambush hid among sweet Flow’rs and Shades
Waited with hellish rancor imminent
To intercept thy way, or send thee back                                  [410]
Despoil’d of Innocence, of Faith, of Bliss.
For now, and since first break of dawn the Fiend,
Mere Serpent in appearance, forth was come,
And on  his Quest, where likeliest he might find
The only two of Mankind, but in them                                    [415]
The whole included Race, his purpos’d prey.
In Bow’r and Field he sought, where any tuft
Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay,
Thir tendance or Plantation for delight,
By Fountain or by shady Rivulet,                                             [420]
He sought them both, but wish’d his hap might find
Eve separate, he wish’d, but not with hope
Of what so seldom chanc’d, when to wish,
Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
Veil’d in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood,                 [425]
Half spi’d, so thick the Roses bushing round
About her glow’d, oft stooping to support
Each Flow’r of slender stalk, whose head though gay
Carnation, Purple, Azure, or speckt with Gold,
Hung drooping unsustain’d, them she upstays                   [430]
Gently with Myrtle band, mindless the while,
Herself, though fairest unsupported Flow’r,
From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh.

Passage read by Leah Garner


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David Ainsworth and Lori Upton