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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: H. Hastings Weld :: The Women of the Scriptures

H. Hastings Weld :: Eve

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Picture of Eve



For the first time, a fair and goodly scene
Earth saw, and smiled,-
A lovely form, with pallid mien.
Bending o'er her new‐born child.
The pang, the anguish, and the woe
That words have never told,
Fled, as the sun with noontide glow
Dissolves the snow‐wreath cold,
Leaving the bliss that none but mothers know,
While he, the partner of her heaven‐taught joy,
Knelt in adoring praise beside his beauteous boy.

She, first of all our mortal race
Learned the ecstasy to trace
The expanding form of infant grace
From her own life‐spring fed,
To mark, each radiant hour
Heaven's sculpture still more perfect growing,
More full of power,
The rounded foot, with timid tread,
Soon with elastic ardour glowing,
The fringed eye, with gladness flowing
As the pure, blue fountains roll,
And then, those lisping sounds to hear,
Unfolding to her thrilling ear
The strange, mysterious, never‐dying soul,-
And, with delight intense,
To watch the angel‐smile of sleeping innocence.

No more she mourned lost Eden's joy,
Or wept her cherished flowers
In their primeval bowers
By wrecking tempests riven,
The thorn and thistle of their exile's lot
She heeded not,
So all‐absorbing was the sweet employ
To rear the incipient man,* the gift her God had given.

But when his boyhood bold
A richer beauty caught,
Her kindling glance of pleasure told
The incense of her idol‐thought:-
Not for the born of clay
Is pride's exulting thrill,
Dark herald of the downward way,
And ominous of ill,
For even his cradled brother's smile
The haughty first‐born jealously surveyed,
And Envy marked the brow with hate and guile,
In God's own image made.

At the still, twilight hour,
When saddest images have power,
Musing Eve her fears exprest,-
"He loves me not! No more with fondness free
His clear eye looks on me,
Dark passions rankle there, and moody hate
Foretells some adverse fate,
Ah! is this he, whose waking eye,
Whose faint and helpless cry
With such unmingled rapture blest?
Alas! alas! the throes his life that bought,
Were naught to this wild agony of thought
That racks my boding breast!"

So mourned the mother, in her secret heart,
With presage all too true,
And often from her midnight dream would start,
Her forehead bathed in dew;
But say-what harp shall dare,
Unless by hand immortal strung,
What pencil reach the hue
Of that intense despair
Her inmost soul that wrung!
For Cain was wroth, and in the pastures green
Where Abel led his flock, 'mid waters cool and sheen,
With fratricidal hand that blameless shepherd slew.

Earth learned strong lessons in her morning prime,
More strange than Chaos taught
When o'er discordant elements the darkest veil was wrought;
Man's disobedience, and expulsion dire,-
The poison of the tempter's glozing tongue,-
The language of the sword of fire
At Eden's portal hung,-
Inferior creatures filled with savage hate,
No more at peace, no more subordinate,-
Man's birth in agony, man's death by crime,-
The taste of life‐blood, brother‐spilt,-
But that red stain of guilt
Sent through her inmost heart such sickening pain,
That in her path o'er Ether's plain
She hid her head, and mourned, amid the planet‐train.

* "And Eve said, I have gotten a man from the Lord."-Gen 4:1


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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