To The Lady Dursley

A poem by Matthew Prior

Here reading how fond Adam was betray'd,
And how by sin Eve's blasted charms decay'd,
Our common loss unjustly you complain,
So small that part of it which you sustain.

You still, fair mother, in your offspring trace
The stock of beauty destined for the race;
Kind Nature forming them, the pattern took
From heaven's first work, and Eve's original look.

You, happy saint, the serpent's power control;
Scarce any actual guilt defiles your soul;
And hell does o'er that mind vain triumphs boast
Which gains does o'er that mind vain triumphs boast

With virtue strong as yours had Eve been arm'd,
In vain the fruit had blush'd, or serpent charm'd;
Nor had our bliss by penitence been bought,
Nor had frail Adam fall'n, nor Milton wrote.

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