This short poem is three stanzas, each split into a line of iambic tetrameter (x/x/x/x/) followed by a line of iambic trimeter (x/x/x/), repeated. The rhyme scheme here is ABAB CDCD EFEF.
“Leaving Eden” explores the seduction of Eve by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, his questioning of God’s Word (“Hath God said?”), and her quick fall into temptation’s snare. Eve, in her surrender to the enticement of Eden’s most subtle creatures, sets a pattern into which each of us fall–knowing to do good, and doing it not. (“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17)
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field
which the Lord God had made. (Genesis 3:1)
To have it all, and then to doubt,
When rules seem made for breaking,
One “Hath God said?” One quick sell-out,
Sweet fellowship, idyllic love,
Abundance, life secure–
Just one rule: “Please abstain thereof
Or lose it all for sure.”
But that’s the one thing we must take
We cannot do without.
Angel of light, alluring snake
Who charts our wretched route.