The mythology surrounding the goddess Lilith has always been very interesting to me. There are many tales of her in multiple cultures, but I identify most with her damned role in early Christian myth. She is said to have been Adam’s first wife, but was cast out of Eden when she would not submit to him. She then mated with demons and produced a race of evil creatures. During the medieval times on she was compared to the serpent of Eden. The images below present a very Victorian representation of Lilith, the serpent temptress of Eden. There are also other interpretations of her demonic side.

Lilith, Collier, 1892

Lady Lilith, Rossetti, 1863

Rossetti also wrote a sonnet to accompany the painting:

Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
The rose and poppy are her flower; for where
Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent
And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?
Lo! As that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went
Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent
And round his heart one strangling golden hair.

Temptation and Fall, Michelangelo,1510

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