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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Adam and Eve
By John Milton (1608–1674)
 
From ‘Paradise Lost

TWO of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
God-like erect, with native honor clad
In naked majesty, seemed lords of all,
And worthy seemed; for in their looks divine
The image of their glorious Maker shone,        5
Truth, wisdom, sanctitude, severe and pure—
Severe, but in true filial freedom placed,
Whence true authority in men: though both
Not equal, as their sex not equal seemed;
For contemplation he and valor formed,        10
For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
He for God only, she for God in him.
His fair large front and eye sublime declared
Absolute rule; and hyacinthine locks
Round from his parted forelock manly hung        15
Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
She, as a veil down to the slender waist,
Her unadornèd golden tresses wore
Disheveled, but in wanton ringlets waved
As the vine curls her tendrils,—which implied        20
Subjection, but required with gentle sway,
And by her yielded, by him best received
Yielded, with coy submission, modest pride,
And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay….
So passed they naked on, nor shunned the sight        25
Of God or Angels; for they thought no ill:
So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair
That ever since in love’s embraces met—
Adam the goodliest man of men since born
His sons; the fairest of her daughters Eve.        30
 
 
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