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 The whole included race, his purpos’d prey. In bower and field he sought, where any tuft Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay, Their tendance or plantation for delight; By fountain or by shady rivulet He sought them both, but wish’d his hap might find Eve separate[.] (IX, 412–422)
Her graceful innocence, her every air Of gesture, or least action, overaw’d His malice, and with rapine sweet bereav’d His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought; That space the evil one abstracted stood From his own evil, and for the time remain’d Stupidly good, of enmity disarm’, Of guile, of hate, of envy, of revenge; But the hot hell that always in him burns[.] (IX, 459–468)
Through bogs and mires, and oft through pond or pool, There swallow’d up and lost, from succor far. So glister’d the dire snake, and into fraud Led Eve, our credulous mother, to the tree Of prohibition, root of all our woe; (IX, 641–646)