1694 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

Matthew Prior, "To my Lady Dursley, on her reading Milton's Paradise Lost" The Annual Miscellany for the Year 1694 (1694) 110-11.



Here reading how fond Adam was betray'd,
And how by Sin Eve's blasted Charms decay'd;
Our common Loss unjustly you complain;
Small is that part of it which you sustain.

You still (fair Mother) in your Offspring trace
The Stock of Beauty destin'd for our Race:
Kind Nature, forming them, the Features took
From Heav'ns own Work, in Eve's original look.

You, happy Saint, the Serpent's pow'r controul,
Whilst scarce one actual Guilt defiles your Soul:
And Hell does o're your Mind vain Triumphs boast,
Which gains a Heaven, for Earthly Eden lost.

With equal Vertue had frail Eve been arm'd,
In vain the Fruit had blush'd, the Serpent charm'd:
Our Bliss by Penitence had neer been bought;
Adam had never faln, or Milton wrote.