78

BOOK 10

THE ARGUMENT

Mans transgression known, the Guardian Angels forsake Paradise, and return up to Heaven to approve thir vigilance, and are approv’d, God declaring that The entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the Transgressors, who descends and gives Sentence accordingly; then in pity cloaths them both, and reascends. Sin and Death sitting till then at the Gates of Hell, by wondrous sympathie feeling the success of Satan in this new World, and the sin by Man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confin’d in Hell, but to follow Satan thir Sire up to the place of Man: To make the way easier from Hell to this World to and fro, they pave a broad Highway or Bridge over Chaos, according to the Track that Satan first made; then preparing for Earth, they meet him proud of his success returning to Hell; thir mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium, in full of assembly relates with boasting his success against Man; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transform’d with himself also suddenly into Serpents, according to his doom giv’n in Paradise; then deluded with a shew of the forbidden Tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the Fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes. The proceedings of Sin and Death; God foretels the final Victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but for the present commands his Angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and Elements. Adam more and more perceiving his fall’n condition heavily bewailes, rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists and at length appeases him: then to evade the Curse likely to fall on thir Ofspring, proposes to Adam violent wayes which he approves not, but conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late Promise made them, that her Seed should be reveng’d on the Serpent, and exhorts her with him to seek Peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.

MEanwhile the hainous and despightfull act
Of Satan done in Paradise, and how
Hee in the Serpent, had perverted Eve,
Her Husband shee, to taste the fatall fruit,
Was known in Heav’n; for what can scape the Eye [ 5 ]
Of God All-seeing, or deceave his Heart
Omniscient, who in all things wise and just,
Hinder’d not Satan to attempt the minde
Of Man, with strength entire, and free will arm’d,
Complete to have discover’d and repulst [ 10 ]
Whatever wiles of Foe or seeming Friend.
For still they knew, and ought to have still remember’d
The high Injunction not to taste that Fruit,
Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
Incurr’d, what could they less, the penaltie, [ 15 ]
And manifold in sin, deserv’d to fall.
Up into Heav’n from Paradise in haste
Th’ Angelic Guards ascended, mute and sad
For Man, for of his state by this they knew,
Much wondring how the suttle Fiend had stoln [ 20 ]
Entrance unseen. Soon as th’ unwelcome news
From Earth arriv’d at Heaven Gate, displeas’d
All were who heard, dim sadness did not spare
That time Celestial visages, yet mixt
With pitie, violated not thir bliss. [ 25 ]
About the new-arriv’d, in multitudes
Th’ ethereal People ran, to hear and know
How all befell: they towards the Throne Supream
Accountable made haste to make appear
With righteous plea, thir utmost vigilance, [ 30 ]
And easily approv’d; when the most High
Eternal Father from his secret Cloud,
Amidst in Thunder utter’d thus his voice.

Assembl’d Angels, and ye Powers return’d
From unsuccessful charge, be not dismaid, [ 35 ]
Nor troubl’d at these tidings from the Earth,
Which your sincerest care could not prevent,
Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
When first this Tempter cross’d the Gulf from Hell.
I told ye then he should prevail and speed [ 40 ]
On his bad Errand, Man should be seduc’t
And flatter’d out of all, believing lies
Against his Maker; no Decree of mine
Concurring to necessitate his Fall,
Or touch with lightest moment of impulse [ 45 ]
His free Will, to her own inclining left
In eevn scale. But fall’n he is, and now
What rests but that the mortal Sentence pass
On his transgression Death denounc’t that day,
Which he presumes already vain and void, [ 50 ]
Because not yet inflicted, as he fear’d,
By some immediate stroak; but soon shall find
Forbearance no acquittance ere day end.
Justice shall not return as bountie scorn’d.
But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee [ 55 ]
Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr’d
All Judgement whether in Heav’n, or Earth, or Hell.
Easie it might be seen that I intend
Mercie collegue with Justice, sending thee
Mans Friend his Mediator, his design’d [ 60 ]
Both Ransom and Redeemer voluntarie,
And destin’d Man himself to judge Man fall’n.

So spake the Father, and unfoulding bright
Toward the right hand his Glorie, on the Son
Blaz’d forth unclouded Deitie; he full [ 65 ]
Resplendent all his Father manifest
Express’d, and thus divinely answer’d milde.

Father Eternal, thine is to decree,
Mine both in Heav’n and Earth to do thy will
Supream, that thou in mee thy Son belov’d [ 70 ]
Mayst ever rest well pleas’d. I go to judge
On Earth these thy transgressors, but thou knowst,
Whoever judg’d, the worst on mee must light,
When time shall be, for so I undertook
Before thee; and not repenting, this obtaine [ 75 ]
Of right, that I may mitigate thir doom
On me deriv’d, yet I shall temper so
Justice with Mercie, as may illustrate most
Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
Attendance none shall need, nor Train, where none [ 80 ]
Are to behold the Judgement, but the judg’d,
Those two; the third best absent is condemn’d,
Convict by flight, and Rebel to all Law
Conviction to the Serpent none belongs.

Thus saying, from his radiant Seat he rose [ 85 ]
Of high collateral glorie: him Thrones and Powers,
Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant
Accompanied to Heaven Gate, from whence
Eden and all the Coast in prospect lay.
Down he descended strait; the speed of Gods [ 90 ]
Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing’d.
Now was the Sun in Western cadence low
From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour
To fan the Earth now wak’d, and usher in
The Eevning coole, when he from wrauth more coole [ 95 ]
Came the mild Judge and Intercessor both
To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard
Now walking in the Garden, by soft windes
Brought to thir Ears, while day declin’d, they heard,
And from his presence hid themselves among [ 100 ]
The thickest Trees, both Man and Wife, till God
Approaching, thus to Adam call’d aloud.

Where art thou Adam, wont with joy to meet
My coming seen far off? I miss thee here,
Not pleas’d, thus entertaind with solitude, [ 105 ]
Where obvious dutie erewhile appear’d unsaught:
Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
Absents thee, or what chance detains? Come forth.
He came, and with him Eve, more loth, though first
To offend, discount’nanc’t both, and discompos’d; [ 110 ]
Love was not in thir looks, either to God
Or to each other, but apparent guilt,
And shame, and perturbation, and despaire,
Anger, and obstinacie, and hate, and guile.
Whence Adam faultring long, thus answer’d brief. [ 115 ]

I heard thee in the Garden, and of thy voice
Affraid, being naked, hid my self. To whom
The gracious Judge without revile repli’d.

My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear’d,
But still rejoyc’t, how is it now become [ 120 ]
So dreadful to thee? that thou art naked, who
Hath told thee? hast thou eaten of the Tree
Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?

To whom thus Adam sore beset repli’d.
O Heav’n! in evil strait this day I stand [ 125 ]
Before my Judge, either to undergoe
My self the total Crime, or to accuse
My other self, the partner of my life;
Whose failing, while her Faith to me remaines,
I should conceal, and not expose to blame [ 130 ]
By my complaint; but strict necessitie
Subdues me, and calamitous constraint
Least on my head both sin and punishment,
However insupportable, be all
Devolv’d; though should I hold my peace, yet thou [ 135 ]
Wouldst easily detect what I conceale.
This Woman whom thou mad’st to be my help,
And gav’st me as thy perfet gift, so good,
So fit, so acceptable, so Divine,
That from her hand I could suspect no ill, [ 140 ]
And what she did, whatever in it self,
Her doing seem’d to justifie the deed;
Shee gave me of the Tree, and I did eate.

To whom the sovran Presence thus repli’d.
Was shee thy God, that her thou didst obey [ 145 ]
Before his voice, or was shee made thy guide,
Superior, or but equal, that to her
Thou did’st resigne thy Manhood, and the Place
Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,
And for thee, whose perfection farr excell’d [ 150 ]
Hers in all real dignitie: Adornd
She was indeed, and lovely to attract
Thy Love, not thy Subjection, and her Gifts
Were such as under Government well seem’d,
Unseemly to beare rule, which was thy part [ 155 ]
And person, hadst thou known thy self aright.

So having said, he thus to Eve in few:
Say Woman, what is this which thou hast done?

To whom sad Eve with shame nigh overwhelm’d,
Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge [ 160 ]
Bold or loquacious, thus abasht repli’d.

The Serpent me beguil’d and I did eate.

Which when the Lord God heard, without delay
To Judgement he proceeded on th’ accus’d
Serpent though brute, unable to transferre [ 165 ]
The Guilt on him who made him instrument
Of mischief, and polluted from the end
Of his Creation; justly then accurst,
As vitiated in Nature: more to know
Concern’d not Man (since he no further knew) [ 170 ]
Nor alter’d his offence; yet God at last
To Satan first in sin his doom apply’d
Though in mysterious terms, judg’d as then best:
And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.

Because thou hast done this, thou art accurst [ 175 ]
Above all Cattle, each Beast of the Field;
Upon thy Belly groveling thou shalt goe,
And dust shalt eat all the dayes of thy Life.
Between Thee and the Woman I will put
Enmitie, and between thine and her Seed; [ 180 ]
Her Seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.

So spake this Oracle, then verifi’d
When Jesus son of Mary second Eve,
Saw Satan fall like Lightning down from Heav’n,
Prince of the Aire; then rising from his Grave [ 185 ]
Spoild Principalities and Powers, triumpht
In open shew, and with ascention bright
Captivity led captive through the Aire,
The Realm it self of Satan long usurpt,
Whom he shall tread at last under our feet; [ 190 ]
Eevn hee who now foretold his fatal bruise,
And to the Woman thus his Sentence turn’d.

Thy sorrow I will greatly multiplie
By thy Conception; Children thou shalt bring
In sorrow forth, and to thy Husbands will [ 195 ]
Thine shall submit, hee over thee shall rule.

On Adam last thus judgement he pronounc’d.
Because thou hast heark’nd to the voice of thy Wife,
And eaten of the Tree concerning which
I charg’d thee, saying: Thou shalt not eate thereof, [ 200 ]
Curs’d is the ground for thy sake, thou in sorrow
Shalt eate thereof all the days of thy Life;
Thorns also and Thistles it shall bring thee forth
Unbid, and thou shalt eate th’ Herb of th’ Field,
In the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eat Bread, [ 205 ]
Till thou return unto the ground, for thou
Out of the ground wast taken, know thy Birth,
For dust thou art, and shalt to dust returne.

So judg’d he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent,
And th’ instant stroke of Death denounc’t that day [ 210 ]
Remov’d farr off; then pittying how they stood
Before him naked to the aire, that now
Must suffer change, disdain’d not to begin
Thenceforth the form of servant to assume,
As when he wash’d his servants feet so now [ 215 ]
As Father of his Familie he clad
Thir nakedness with Skins of Beasts, or slain,
Or as the Snake with youthful Coate repaid;
And thought not much to cloath his Enemies:
Nor hee thir outward onely with the Skins [ 220 ]
Of Beasts, but inward nakedness, much more
Opprobrious, with his Robe of righteousness,
Araying cover’d from his Fathers sight.
To him with swift ascent he up returnd,
Into his blissful bosom reassum’d [ 225 ]
In glory as of old, to him appeas’d
All, though all-knowing, what had past with Man
Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
Meanwhile ere thus was sin’d and judg’d on Earth,
Within the Gates of Hell sate Sin and Death, [ 230 ]
In counterview within the Gates, that now
Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
Farr into Chaos, since the Fiend pass’d through,
Sin opening, who thus now to Death began.

O Son, why sit we here each other viewing [ 235 ]
Idlely, while Satan our great Author thrives
In other Worlds, and happier Seat provides
For us his ofspring deare? It cannot be
But that success attends him; if mishap,
Ere this he had return’d, with fury driv’n [ 240 ]
By his Avengers, since no place like this
Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
Wings growing, and Dominion giv’n me large
Beyond this Deep; whatever drawes me on, [ 245 ]
Or sympathie, or som connatural force
Powerful at greatest distance to unite
With secret amity things of like kinde
By secretest conveyance. Thou my Shade
Inseparable must with mee along: [ 250 ]
For Death from Sin no power can separate.
But least the difficultie of passing back
Stay his return perhaps over this Gulfe
Impassable, Impervious, let us try
Adventrous work, yet to thy power and mine [ 255 ]
Not unagreeable, to found a path
Over this Maine from Hell to that new World
Where Satan now prevailes, a Monument
Of merit high to all th’ infernal Host,
Easing thir passage hence, for intercourse, [ 260 ]
Or transmigration, as thir lot shall lead.
Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
By this new felt attraction and instinct.

Whom thus the meager Shadow answerd soon.
Goe whither Fate and inclination strong [ 265 ]
Leads thee, I shall not lag behinde, nor erre
The way, thou leading, such a sent I draw
Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste
The savour of Death from all things there that live:
Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest [ 270 ]
Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid,

So saying, with delight he snuff’d the smell
Of mortal change on Earth. As when a flock
Of ravenous Fowl, though many a League remote,
Against the day of Battel, to a Field, [ 275 ]
Where Armies lie encampt, come flying, lur’d
With sent of living Carcasses design’d
For death, the following day, in bloodie fight.
So sented the grim Feature, and upturn’d
His Nostril wide into the murkie Air, [ 280 ]
Sagacious of his Quarry from so farr.
Then Both from out Hell Gates into the waste
Wide Anarchie of Chaos damp and dark
Flew divers, and with Power (thir Power was great)
Hovering upon the Waters; what they met [ 285 ]
Solid or slimie, as in raging Sea
Tost up and down, together crowded drove
From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell.
As when two Polar Winds blowing adverse
Upon the Cronian Sea, together drive [ 290 ]
Mountains of Ice, that stop th’ imagin’d way
Beyond Petsora Eastward, to the rich
Cathaian Coast. The aggregated Soyle
Death with his Mace petrific, cold and dry,
As with a Trident smote, and fix’t as firm [ 295 ]
As Delos floating once; the rest his look
Bound with Gorgonian rigor not to move,
And with Asphaltic slime; broad as the Gate,
Deep to the Roots of Hell the gather’d beach
They fasten’d, and the Mole immense wraught on [ 300 ]
Over the foaming deep high Archt, a Bridge
Of length prodigious joyning to the Wall
Immovable of this now fenceless world
Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,
Smooth, easie, inoffensive down to Hell. [ 305 ]
So, if great things to small may be compar’d,
Xerxes, the Libertie of Greece to yoke,
From Susa his Memnonian Palace high
Came to the Sea, and over Hellespont
Bridging his way, Europe with Asia joyn’d, [ 310 ]
And scourg’d with many a stroak th’ indignant waves.
Now had they brought the work by wondrous Art
Pontifical, a ridge of pendent Rock
Over the vext Abyss, following the track
Of Satan, to the self same place where hee [ 315 ]
First lighted from his Wing, and landed safe
From out of Chaos to the out side bare
Of this round World: with Pinns of Adamant
And Chains they made all fast, too fast they made
And durable; and now in little space [ 320 ]
The confines met of Empyrean Heav’n
And of this World, and on the left hand Hell
With long reach interpos’d; three sev’ral wayes
In sight, to each of these three places led.
And now thir way to Earth they had descri’d, [ 325 ]
To Paradise first tending, when behold
Satan in likeness of an Angel bright
Betwixt the Centaure and the Scorpion stearing
His Zenith, while the Sun in Aries rose:
Disguis’d he came, but those his Children dear [ 330 ]
Thir Parent soon discern’d, though in disguise.
Hee after Eve seduc’t, unminded slunk
Into the Wood fast by, and changing shape
To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded [ 335 ]
Upon her Husband, saw thir shame that sought
Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
The Son of God to judge them terrifi’d
Hee fled, not hoping to escape, but shun
The present, fearing guiltie what his wrauth [ 340 ]
Might suddenly inflict; that past, return’d
By Night, and listening where the hapless Paire
Sate in thir sad discourse, and various plaint,
Thence gatherd his own doom, which understood
Not instant, but of future time. With joy [ 345 ]
And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return’d,
And at the brink of Chaos, neer the foot
Of this new wondrous Pontifice, unhop’t
Met who to meet him came, his Ofspring dear.
Great joy was at thir meeting, and at sight [ 350 ]
Of that stupendious Bridge his joy encreas’d.
Long hee admiring stood, till Sin, his faire
Inchanting Daughter, thus the silence broke.

O Parent, these are thy magnific deeds,
Thy Trophies, which thou view’st as not thine own, [ 355 ]
Thou art thir Author and prime Architect:
For I no sooner in my Heart divin’d,
My Heart, which by a secret harmonie
Still moves with thine, join’d in connexion sweet,
That thou on Earth hadst prosper’d, which thy looks [ 360 ]
Now also evidence, but straight I felt
Though distant from thee Worlds between, yet felt
That I must after thee with this thy Son;
Such fatal consequence unites us three:
Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds, [ 365 ]
Nor this unvoyageable Gulf obscure
Detain from following thy illustrious track.
Thou hast atchiev’d our libertie, confin’d
Within Hell Gates till now, thou us impow’rd
To fortifie thus farr, and overlay [ 370 ]
With this portentous Bridge the dark Abyss.
Thine now is all this World, thy vertue hath won
What thy hands builded not, thy Wisdom gain’d
With odds what Warr hath lost, and fully aveng’d
Our foile in Heav’n; here thou shalt Monarch reign, [ 375 ]
There didst not; there let him still Victor sway,
As Battel hath adjudg’d, from this new World
Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
And henceforth Monarchie with thee divide
Of all things parted by th’ Empyreal bounds, [ 380 ]
His Quadrature, from thy Orbicular World,
Or trie thee now more dang’rous to his Throne.

Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answerd glad.
Fair Daughter, and thou Son and Grandchild both,
High proof ye now have giv’n to be the Race [ 385 ]
Of Satan (for I glorie in the name,
Antagonist of Heav’ns Almightie King)
Amply have merited of me, of all
Th’ Infernal Empire, that so neer Heav’ns dore
Triumphal with triumphal act have met, [ 390 ]
Mine with this glorious Work, and made one Realm
Hell and this World, one Realm, one Continent
Of easie thorough-fare. Therefore while I
Descend through Darkness, on your Rode with ease
To my associate Powers, them to acquaint [ 395 ]
With these successes, and with them rejoyce,
You two this way, among these numerous Orbs
All yours, right down to Paradise descend;
There dwell and Reign in bliss, thence on the Earth
Dominion exercise and in the Aire, [ 400 ]
Chiefly on Man, sole Lord of all declar’d,
Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.
My Substitutes I send ye, and Create
Plenipotent on Earth, of matchless might
Issuing from mee: on your joynt vigor now [ 405 ]
My hold of this new Kingdom all depends,
Through Sin to Death expos’d by my exploit.
If your joynt power prevailes, th’ affaires of Hell
No detriment need feare, goe and be strong.

So saying he dismiss’d them, they with speed [ 410 ]
Thir course through thickest Constellations held
Spreading thir bane; the blasted Starrs lookt wan,
And Planets, Planet-strook, real Eclips
Then sufferd. Th’ other way Satan went down
The Causey to Hell Gate; on either side [ 415 ]
Disparted Chaos over built exclaimd,
And with rebounding surge the barrs assaild,
That scorn’d his indignation: through the Gate,
Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass’d,
And all about found desolate; for those [ 420 ]
Appointed to sit there, had left thir charge,
Flown to the upper World; the rest were all
Farr to the inland retir’d, about the walls
Of Pandæmonium, Citie and proud seate
Of Lucifer, so by allusion calld, [ 425 ]
Of that bright Starr to Satan paragond.
There kept thir Watch the Legions, while the Grand
In Council sate, sollicitous what chance
Might intercept thir Emperour sent, so hee
Departing gave command, and they observ’d. [ 430 ]
As when the Tartar from his Russian Foe
By Astracan over the Snowie Plaines
Retires, or Bactrian Sophi from the hornes
Of Turkish Crescent, leaves all waste beyond
The Realm of Aladule, in his retreate [ 435 ]
To Tauris or Casbeen. So these the late
Heav’n-banisht Host, left desert utmost Hell
Many a dark League, reduc’t in careful Watch
Round thir Metropolis, and now expecting
Each hour thir great adventurer from the search [ 440 ]
Of Forrein Worlds: he through the midst unmarkt,
In shew Plebeian Angel militant
Of lowest order, past; and from the dore
Of that Plutonian Hall, invisible
Ascended his high Throne, which under state [ 445 ]
Of richest texture spred, at th’ upper end
Was plac’t in regal lustre. Down a while
He sate, and round about him saw unseen:
At last as from a Cloud his fulgent head
And shape Starr bright appeer’d, or brighter, clad [ 450 ]
With what permissive glory since his fall
Was left him, or false glitter: All amaz’d
At that so sudden blaze the Stygian throng
Bent thir aspect, and whom they wish’d beheld,
Thir mighty Chief returnd: loud was th’ acclaime: [ 455 ]
Forth rush’d in haste the great consulting Peers,
Rais’d from thir dark Divan, and with like joy
Congratulant approach’d him, who with hand
Silence, and with these words attention won.

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers, [ 460 ]
For in possession such, not onely of right,
I call ye and declare ye now, returnd
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth
Triumphant out of this infernal Pit
Abominable, accurst, the house of woe, [ 465 ]
And Dungeon of our Tyrant: Now possess,
As Lords, a spacious World, to our native Heaven
Little inferiour, by my adventure hard
With peril great atchiev’d. Long were to tell
What I have don, what sufferd, with what paine [ 470 ]
Voyag’d th’ unreal, vast, unbounded deep
Of horrible confusion, over which
By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav’d
To expedite your glorious march; but I
Toild out my uncouth passage, forc’t to ride [ 475 ]
Th’ untractable Abysse, plung’d in the womb
Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wilde,
That jealous of thir secrets fiercely oppos’d
My journey strange, with clamorous uproare
Protesting Fate supreame; thence how I found [ 480 ]
The new created World, which fame in Heav’n
Long had foretold, a Fabrick wonderful
Of absolute perfection, therein Man
Plac’t in a Paradise, by our exile
Made happie: Him by fraud I have seduc’d [ 485 ]
From his Creator, and the more to increase
Your wonder, with an Apple; he thereat
Offended, worth your laughter, hath giv’n up
Both his beloved Man and all his World,
To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us, [ 490 ]
Without our hazard, labour, or allarme,
To range in, and to dwell, and over Man
To rule, as over all he should have rul’d.
True is, mee also he hath judg’d, or rather
Mee not, but the brute Serpent in whose shape [ 495 ]
Man I deceav’d: that which to mee belongs,
Is enmity, which he will put between
Mee and Mankinde; I am to bruise his heel;
His Seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head:
A World who would not purchase with a bruise, [ 500 ]
Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th’ account
Of my performance: What remains, ye Gods,
But up and enter now into full bliss.

So having said, a while he stood, expecting
Thir universal shout and high applause [ 505 ]
To fill his eare, when contrary he hears
On all sides, from innumerable tongues
A dismal universal hiss, the sound
Of public scorn; he wonderd, but not long
Had leasure, wondring at himself now more; [ 510 ]
His Visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
His Armes clung to his Ribs, his Leggs entwining
Each other, till supplanted down he fell
A monstrous Serpent on his Belly prone,
Reluctant, but in vaine: a greater power [ 515 ]
Now rul’d him, punisht in the shape he sin’d,
According to his doom: he would have spoke,
But hiss for hiss returnd with forked tongue
To forked tongue, for now were all transform’d
Alike, to Serpents all as accessories [ 520 ]
To his bold Riot: dreadful was the din
Of hissing through the Hall, thick swarming now
With complicated monsters head and taile,
Scorpion and Asp, and Amphisbæna dire,
Cerastes hornd, Hydrus, and Ellops drear, [ 525 ]
And Dipsas (not so thick swarm’d once the Soil
Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the Isle
Ophiusa) but still greatest hee the midst,
Now Dragon grown, larger then whom the Sun
Ingenderd in the Pythian Vale on slime, [ 530 ]
Huge Python, and his Power no less he seem’d
Above the rest still to retain; they all
Him follow’d issuing forth to th’ open Field,
Where all yet left of that revolted Rout
Heav’n-fall’n, in station stood or just array, [ 535 ]
Sublime with expectation when to see
In Triumph issuing forth thir glorious Chief;
They saw, but other sight instead, a crowd
Of ugly Serpents; horror on them fell,
And horrid sympathie; for what they saw, [ 540 ]
They felt themselvs now changing; down thir arms,
Down fell both Spear and Shield, down they as fast,
And the dire hiss renew’d, and the dire form
Catcht by Contagion, like in punishment,
As in thir crime. Thus was th’ applause they meant, [ 545 ]
Turn’d to exploding hiss, triumph to shame
Cast on themselves from thir own mouths. There stood
A Grove hard by, sprung up with this thir change,
His will who reigns above, to aggravate
Thir penance, laden with Fruit like that [ 550 ]
Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve
Us’d by the Tempter: on that prospect strange
Thir earnest eyes they fix’d, imagining
For one forbidden Tree a multitude
Now ris’n, to work them furder woe or shame; [ 555 ]
Yet parcht with scalding thurst and hunger fierce,
Though to delude them sent, could not abstain,
But on they rould in heaps, and up the Trees
Climbing, sat thicker then the snakie locks
That curld Megæra: greedily they pluck’d [ 560 ]
The Frutage fair to sight, like that which grew
Neer that bituminous Lake where Sodom flam’d;
This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
Deceav’d; they fondly thinking to allay
Thir appetite with gust, instead of Fruit [ 565 ]
Chewd bitter Ashes, which th’ offended taste
With spattering noise rejected: oft they assayd,
Hunger and thirst constraining, drugd as oft,
With hatefullest disrelish writh’d thir jaws
With soot and cinders fill’d; so oft they fell [ 570 ]
Into the same illusion, not as Man
Whom they triumph’d once lapst. Thus were they plagu’d
And worn with Famin, long and ceasless hiss,
Till thir lost shape, permitted, they resum’d,
Yearly enjoynd, some say, to undergo [ 575 ]
This annual humbling certain number’d days,
To dash thir pride, and joy for Man seduc’t.
However some tradition they dispers’d
Among the Heathen of thir purchase got,
And Fabl’d how the Serpent, whom they calld [ 580 ]
Ophion with Eurynome, the wide-
Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule
Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driv’n
And Ops, ere yet Dictæan Jove was born.
Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair [ 585 ]
Too soon arriv’d, Sin there in power before,
Once actual, now in body, and to dwell
Habitual habitant; behind her Death
Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
On his pale Horse: to whom Sin thus began. [ 590 ]

Second of Satan sprung, all conquering Death,
What thinkst thou of our Empire now, though earnd
With travail difficult, not better farr
Then stil at Hels dark threshold to have sate watch,
Unnam’d, undreaded, and thy self half starv’d? [ 595 ]

Whom thus the Sin-born Monster answerd soon.
To mee, who with eternal Famin pine,
Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven,
There best, where most with ravin I may meet;
Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems [ 600 ]
To stuff this Maw, this vast unhide-bound Corps.

To whom th’ incestuous Mother thus repli’d.
Thou therefore on these Herbs, and Fruits, and Flours
Feed first, on each Beast next, and Fish, and Fowle,
No homely morsels, and whatever thing [ 605 ]
The Sithe of Time mowes down, devour unspar’d,
Till I in Man residing through the Race,
His thoughts, his looks, words, actions all infect,
And season him thy last and sweetest prey.

This said, they both betook them several wayes, [ 610 ]
Both to destroy, or unimmortal make
All kinds, and for destruction to mature
Sooner or later; which th’ Almightie seeing,
From his transcendent Seat the Saints among,
To those bright Orders utterd thus his voice. [ 615 ]

See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance
To waste and havoc yonder World, which I
So fair and good created, and had still
Kept in that State, had not the folly of Man
Let in these wastful Furies, who impute [ 620 ]
Folly to mee, so doth the Prince of Hell
And his Adherents, that with so much ease
I suffer them to enter and possess
A place so heav’nly, and conniving seem
To gratifie my scornful Enemies, [ 625 ]
That laugh, as if transported with some fit
Of Passion, I to them had quitted all,
At random yielded up to their misrule;
And know not that I call’d and drew them thither
My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth [ 630 ]
Which mans polluting Sin with taint hath shed
On what was pure, till cramm’d and gorg’d, nigh burst
With suckt and glutted offal, at one sling
Of thy victorious Arm, well-pleasing Son,
Both Sin, and Death, and yawning Grave at last [ 635 ]
Through Chaos hurld, obstruct the mouth of Hell
For ever, and seal up his ravenous Jawes.
Then Heav’n and Earth renewd shall be made pure
To sanctitie that shall receive no staine:
Till then the Curse pronounc’t on both precedes. [ 640 ]

He ended, and the Heav’nly Audience loud
Sung Halleluia, as the sound of Seas,
Through multitude that sung: Just are thy ways,
Righteous are thy Decrees on all thy Works;
Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son, [ 645 ]
Destin’d restorer of Mankind, by whom
New Heav’n and Earth shall to the Ages rise,
Or down from Heav’n descend. Such was thir song,
While the Creator calling forth by name
His mightie Angels gave them several charge, [ 650 ]
As sorted best with present things. The Sun
Had first his precept so to move, so shine,
As might affect the Earth with cold and heat
Scarce tollerable, and from the North to call
Decrepit Winter, from the South to bring [ 655 ]
Solstitial summers heat. To the blanc Moone
Her office they prescrib’d, to th’ other five
Thir planetarie motions and aspects
In Sextile, Square, and Trine, and Opposite,
Of noxious efficacie, and when to joyne [ 660 ]
In Synod unbenigne, and taught the fixt
Thir influence malignant when to showre,
Which of them rising with the Sun, or falling,
Should prove tempestuous: To the Winds they set
Thir corners, when with bluster to confound [ 665 ]
Sea, Aire, and Shoar, the Thunder when to rowle
With terror through the dark Aereal Hall.
Some say he bid his Angels turne ascanse
The Poles of Earth twice ten degrees and more
From the Suns Axle; they with labour push’d [ 670 ]
Oblique the Centric Globe: Som say the Sun
Was bid turn Reines from th’ Equinoctial Rode
Like distant breadth to Taurus with the Seav’n
Atlantick Sisters, and the Spartan Twins
Up to the Tropic Crab; thence down amaine [ 675 ]
By Leo and the Virgin and the Scales,
As deep as Capricorne, to bring in change
Of Seasons to each Clime; else had the Spring
Perpetual smil’d on Earth with vernant Flours,
Equal in Days and Nights, except to those [ 680 ]
Beyond the Polar Circles; to them Day
Had unbenighted shon, while the low Sun
To recompence his distance, in thir sight
Had rounded still th’ Horizon, and not known
Or East or West, which had forbid the Snow [ 685 ]
From cold Estotiland, and South as farr
Beneath Magellan. At that tasted Fruit
The Sun, as from Thyestean Banquet, turn’d
His course intended; else how had the World
Inhabited, though sinless, more then now, [ 690 ]
Avoided pinching cold and scorching heate?
These changes in the Heav’ns, though slow, produc’d
Like change on Sea and Land, sideral blast,
Vapour, and Mist, and Exhalation hot,
Corrupt and Pestilent: Now from the North [ 695 ]
Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shoar
Bursting thir brazen Dungeon, armd with ice
And snow and haile and stormie gust and flaw,
Boreas and Cæcias and Argestes loud
And Thrascias rend the Woods and Seas upturn; [ 700 ]
With adverse blast up-turns them from the South
Notus and Afer black with thundrous Clouds
From Serraliona; thwart of these as fierce
Forth rush the Levant and the Ponent Windes
Eurus and Zephir with thir lateral noise, [ 705 ]
Sirocco, and Libecchio. Thus began
Outrage from liveless things; but Discord first
Daughter of Sin, among th’ irrational,
Death introduc’d through fierce antipathie:
Beast now with Beast gan war, and Fowle with Fowle, [ 710 ]
And Fish with Fish; to graze the Herb all leaving,
Devourd each other; nor stood much in awe
Of Man, but fled him, or with count’nance grim
Glar’d on him passing: these were from without
The growing miseries, which Adam saw [ 715 ]
Alreadie in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,
To sorrow abandond, but worse felt within,
And in a troubl’d Sea of passion tost,
Thus to disburd’n sought with sad complaint.

O miserable of happie! is this the end [ 720 ]
Of this new glorious World, and mee so late
The Glory of that Glory, who now becom
Accurst of blessed, hide me from the face
Of God, whom to behold was then my highth
Of happiness: yet well, if here would end [ 725 ]
The miserie, I deserv’d it, and would beare
My own deservings; but this will not serve;
All that I eat or drink, or shall beget,
Is propagated curse. O voice once heard
Delightfully, Encrease and multiply, [ 730 ]
Now death to hear! for what can I encrease
Or multiplie, but curses on my head?
Who of all Ages to succeed, but feeling
The evil on him brought by me, will curse
My Head, Ill fare our Ancestor impure, [ 735 ]
For this we may thank Adam; but his thanks
Shall be the execration; so besides
Mine own that bide upon me, all from mee
Shall with a fierce reflux on mee redound,
On mee as on thir natural center light [ 740 ]
Heavie, though in thir place. O fleeting joyes
Of Paradise, deare bought with lasting woes!
Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay
To mould me Man, did I sollicite thee
From darkness to promote me, or here place [ 745 ]
In this delicious Garden? as my Will
Concurd not to my being, it were but right
And equal to reduce me to my dust,
Desirous to resigne, and render back
All I receav’d, unable to performe [ 750 ]
Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
The good I sought not. To the loss of that,
Sufficient penaltie, why hast thou added
The sense of endless woes? inexplicable
Thy Justice seems; yet to say truth, too late, [ 755 ]
I thus contest; then should have been refusd
Those terms whatever, when they were propos’d:
Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good,
Then cavil the conditions? and though God
Made thee without thy leave, what if thy Son [ 760 ]
Prove disobedient, and reprov’d, retort,
Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not
Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee
That proud excuse? yet him not thy election,
But Natural necessity begot. [ 765 ]
God made thee of choice his own, and of his own
To serve him, thy reward was of his grace,
Thy punishment then justly is at his Will.
Be it so, for I submit, his doom is fair,
That dust I am, and shall to dust returne: [ 770 ]
O welcom hour whenever! why delayes
His hand to execute what his Decree
Fixd on this day? why do I overlive,
Why am I mockt with death, and length’nd out
To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet [ 775 ]
Mortalitie my sentence, and be Earth
Insensible, how glad would lay me down
As in my Mothers lap! There I should rest
And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
Would Thunder in my ears, no fear of worse [ 780 ]
To mee and to my ofspring would torment me
With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
Pursues me still, least all I cannot die,
Least that pure breath of Life, the Spirit of Man
Which God inspir’d, cannot together perish [ 785 ]
With this corporeal Clod; then in the Grave,
Or in some other dismal place who knows
But I shall die a living Death? O thought
Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath
Of Life that sinn’d; what dies but what had life [ 790 ]
And sin? the Bodie properly hath neither.
All of me then shall die: let this appease
The doubt, since humane reach no further knows.
For though the Lord of all be infinite,
Is his wrauth also? be it, man is not so, [ 795 ]
But mortal doom’d. How can he exercise
Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end?
Can he make deathless Death? that were to make
Strange contradiction, which to God himself
Impossible is held, as Argument [ 800 ]
Of weakness, not of Power. Will he, draw out,
For angers sake, finite to infinite
In punisht man, to satisfie his rigour
Satisfi’d never; that were to extend
His Sentence beyond dust and Natures Law, [ 805 ]
By which all Causes else according still
To the reception of thir matter act,
Not to th’ extent of thir own Spheare. But say
That Death be not one stroak, as I suppos’d,
Bereaving sense, but endless miserie [ 810 ]
From this day onward, which I feel begun
Both in me, and without me, and so last
To perpetuitie; Ay me, that fear
Comes thundring back with dreadful revolution
On my defensless head; both Death and I [ 815 ]
Am found Eternal, and incorporate both,
Nor I on my part single, in mee all
Posteritie stands curst: Fair Patrimonie
That I must leave ye, Sons; O were I able
To waste it all my self, and leave ye none! [ 820 ]
So disinherited how would ye bless
Me now your curse! Ah, why should all mankind
For one mans fault thus guiltless be condemn’d,
If guiltless? But from mee what can proceed,
But all corrupt, both Mind and Will deprav’d, [ 825 ]
Not to do onely, but to will the same
With me? how can they then acquitted stand
In sight of God? Him after all Disputes
Forc’t I absolve: all my evasions vain
And reasonings, though through Mazes, lead me still [ 830 ]
But to my own conviction: first and last
On mee, mee onely, as the sourse and spring
Of all corruption, all the blame lights due;
So might the wrauth. Fond wish! couldst thou support
That burden heavier then the Earth to bear [ 835 ]
Then all the World much heavier, though divided
With that bad Woman? Thus what thou desir’st,
And what thou fearst, alike destroyes all hope
Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable
Beyond all past example and future, [ 840 ]
To Satan only like both crime and doom.
O Conscience, into what Abyss of fears
And horrors hast thou driv’n me; out of which
I find no way, from deep to deeper plung’d!

Thus Adam to himself lamented loud [ 845 ]
Through the still Night, not now, as ere man fell,
Wholsom and cool, and mild, but with black Air
Accompanied, with damps and dreadful gloom,
Which to his evil Conscience represented
All things with double terror: On the ground [ 850 ]
Outstretcht he lay, on the cold ground, and oft
Curs’d his Creation, Death as oft accus’d
Of tardie execution, since denounc’t
The day of his offence. Why comes not Death,
Said hee, with one thrice acceptable stroke [ 855 ]
To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word,
Justice Divine not hast’n to be just?
But Death comes not at call, Justice Divine
Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries.
O Woods, O Fountains, Hillocks, Dales and Bowrs, [ 860 ]
With other echo late I taught your Shades
To answer, and resound farr other Song.
Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld,
Desolate where she sate, approaching nigh,
Soft words to his fierce passion she assay’d: [ 865 ]
But her with stern regard he thus repell’d.

Out of my sight, thou Serpent, that name best
Befits thee with him leagu’d, thy self as false
And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,
Like his, and colour Serpentine may shew [ 870 ]
Thy inward fraud, to warn all Creatures from thee
Henceforth; least that too heav’nly form, pretended
To hellish falshood, snare them. But for thee
I had persisted happie, had not thy pride
And wandring vanitie, when lest was safe, [ 875 ]
Rejected my forewarning, and disdain’d
Not to be trusted, longing to be seen
Though by the Devil himself, him overweening
To over-reach, but with the Serpent meeting
Fool’d and beguil’d, by him thou, I by thee, [ 880 ]
To trust thee from my side, imagin’d wise,
Constant, mature, proof against all assaults,
And understood not all was but a shew
Rather then solid vertu, all but a Rib
Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears, [ 885 ]
More to the part sinister from me drawn,
Well if thrown out, as supernumerarie
To my just number found. O why did God,
Creator wise, that peopl’d highest Heav’n
With Spirits Masculine, create at last [ 890 ]
This noveltie on Earth, this fair defect
Of Nature, and not fill the World at once
With Men as Angels without Feminine,
Or find some other way to generate
Mankind? this mischief had not then befall’n, [ 895 ]
And more that shall befall, innumerable
Disturbances on Earth through Femal snares,
And straight conjunction with this Sex: for either
He never shall find out fit Mate, but such
As some misfortune brings him, or mistake, [ 900 ]
Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain
Through her perversness, but shall see her gaind
By a farr worse, or if she love, withheld
By Parents, or his happiest choice too late
Shall meet, alreadie linkt and Wedlock-bound [ 905 ]
To a fell Adversarie, his hate or shame:
Which infinite calamitie shall cause
To Humane life, and houshold peace confound.

He added not, and from her turn’d, but Eve
Not so repulst, with Tears that ceas’d not flowing, [ 910 ]
And tresses all disorderd, at his feet
Fell humble, and imbracing them, besaught
His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.

Forsake me not thus, Adam, witness Heav’n
What love sincere, and reverence in my heart [ 915 ]
I beare thee, and unweeting have offended,
Unhappilie deceav’d; thy suppliant
I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,
Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
Thy counsel in this uttermost distress, [ 920 ]
My onely strength and stay: forlorn of thee,
Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
While yet we live, scarse one short hour perhaps,
Between us two let there be peace, both joyning,
As joyn’d in injuries, one enmitie [ 925 ]
Against a Foe by doom express assign’d us,
That cruel Serpent: On me exercise not
Thy hatred for this miserie befall’n,
On me alreadie lost, mee then thy self
More miserable; both have sin’d, but thou [ 930 ]
Against God onely, I against God and thee,
And to the place of judgment will return,
There with my cries importune Heaven, that all
The sentence from thy head remov’d may light
On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe, [ 935 ]
Mee mee onely just object of his ire.

She ended weeping, and her lowlie plight,
Immovable till peace obtain’d from fault
Acknowledg’d and deplor’d, in Adam wraught
Commiseration; soon his heart relented [ 940 ]
Towards her, his life so late and sole delight,
Now at his feet submissive in distress,
Creature so faire his reconcilement seeking,
His counsel whom she had displeas’d, his aide;
As one disarm’d, his anger all he lost, [ 945 ]
And thus with peaceful words uprais’d her soon.

Unwarie, and too desirous, as before,
So now of what thou knowst not, who desir’st
The punishment all on thy self; alas,
Beare thine own first, ill able to sustaine [ 950 ]
His full wrauth whose thou feelst as yet lest part,
And my displeasure bearst so ill. If Prayers
Could alter high Decrees, I to that place
Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,
That on my head all might be visited, [ 955 ]
Thy frailtie and infirmer Sex forgiv’n,
To me committed and by me expos’d.
But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
Each other, blam’d enough elsewhere, but strive
In offices of Love, how we may light’n [ 960 ]
Each others burden in our share of woe;
Since this days Death denounc’t, if ought I see,
Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac’t evill,
A long days dying to augment our paine,
And to our Seed (O hapless Seed!) deriv’d. [ 965 ]

To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, repli’d.
Adam, by sad experiment I know
How little weight my words with thee can finde,
Found so erroneous, thence by just event
Found so unfortunate; nevertheless, [ 970 ]
Restor’d by thee, vile as I am, to place
Of new acceptance, hopeful to regaine
Thy Love, the sole contentment of my heart
Living or dying, from thee I will not hide
What thoughts in my unquiet brest are ris’n, [ 975 ]
Tending to some relief of our extremes,
Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,
As in our evils, and of easier choice.
If care of our descent perplex us most,
Which must be born to certain woe, devourd [ 980 ]
By Death at last, and miserable it is
To be to others cause of misery,
Our own begotten, and of our Loines to bring
Into this cursed World a woful Race,
That after wretched Life must be at last [ 985 ]
Food for so foule a Monster, in thy power
It lies, yet ere Conception to prevent
The Race unblest, to being yet unbegot.
Childless thou art, Childless remaine:
So Death shall be deceav’d his glut, and with us two [ 990 ]
Be forc’d to satisfie his Rav’nous Maw.
But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
From Loves due Rites, Nuptial imbraces sweet,
And with desire to languish without hope, [ 995 ]
Before the present object languishing
With like desire, which would be miserie
And torment less then none of what we dread,
Then both our selves and Seed at once to free
From what we fear for both, let us make short, [ 1000 ]
Let us seek Death, or he not found, supply
With our own hands his Office on our selves;
Why stand we longer shivering under feares,
That shew no end but Death, and have the power,
Of many ways to die the shortest choosing, [ 1005 ]
Destruction with destruction to destroy.

She ended heer, or vehement despaire
Broke off the rest; so much of Death her thoughts
Had entertaind, as di’d her Cheeks with pale.
But Adam with such counsel nothing sway’d, [ 1010 ]
To better hopes his more attentive minde
Labouring had rais’d, and thus to Eve repli’d.

Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
To argue in thee somthing more sublime
And excellent then what thy minde contemnes; [ 1015 ]
But self-destruction therefore saught, refutes
That excellence thought in thee, and implies,
Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
For loss of life and pleasure overlov’d.
Or if thou covet death, as utmost end [ 1020 ]
Of miserie, so thinking to evade
The penaltie pronounc’t, doubt not but God
Hath wiselier arm’d his vengeful ire then so
To be forestall’d; much more I fear least Death
So snatcht will not exempt us from the paine [ 1025 ]
We are by doom to pay; rather such acts
Of contumacie will provoke the highest
To make death in us live: Then let us seek
Some safer resolution, which methinks
I have in view, calling to minde with heed [ 1030 ]
Part of our Sentence, that thy Seed shall bruise
The Serpents head; piteous amends, unless
Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand Foe
Satan, who in the Serpent hath contriv’d
Against us this deceit: to crush his head [ 1035 ]
Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost
By death brought on our selves, or childless days
Resolv’d, as thou proposest; so our Foe
Shall scape his punishment ordain’d, and wee
Instead shall double ours upon our heads. [ 1040 ]
No more be mention’d then of violence
Against our selves, and wilful barrenness,
That cuts us off from hope, and savours onely
Rancor and pride, impatience and despite,
Reluctance against God and his just yoke [ 1045 ]
Laid on our Necks. Remember with what mild
And gracious temper he both heard and judg’d
Without wrauth or reviling; wee expected
Immediate dissolution, which we thought
Was meant by Death that day, when lo, to thee [ 1050 ]
Pains onely in Child-bearing were foretold,
And bringing forth, soon recompenc’t with joy,
Fruit of thy Womb: On mee the Curse aslope
Glanc’d on the ground, with labour I must earne
My bread; what harm? Idleness had bin worse; [ 1055 ]
My labour will sustain me; and least Cold
Or Heat should injure us, his timely care
Hath unbesaught provided, and his hands
Cloath’d us unworthie, pitying while he judg’d;
How much more, if we pray him, will his ear [ 1060 ]
Be open, and his heart to pitie incline,
And teach us further by what means to shun
Th’ inclement Seasons, Rain, Ice, Hail and Snow,
Which now the Skie with various Face begins
To shew us in this Mountain, while the Winds [ 1065 ]
Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
Of these fair spreading Trees; which bids us seek
Som better shroud, som better warmth to cherish
Our Limbs benumm’d, ere this diurnal Starr
Leave cold the Night, how we his gather’d beams [ 1070 ]
Reflected, may with matter sere foment,
Or by collision of two bodies grinde
The Air attrite to Fire, as late the Clouds
Justling or pusht with Winds rude in thir shock
Tine the slant Lightning, whose thwart flame driv’n down [ 1075 ]
Kindles the gummie bark of Firr or Pine,
And sends a comfortable heat from farr,
Which might supplie the Sun: such Fire to use,
And what may else be remedie or cure
To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought, [ 1080 ]
Hee will instruct us praying, and of Grace
Beseeching him, so as we need not fear
To pass commodiously this life, sustain’d
By him with many comforts, till we end
In dust, our final rest and native home. [ 1085 ]
What better can we do, then to the place
Repairing where he judg’d us, prostrate fall
Before him reverent, and there confess
Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
Watering the ground, and with our sighs the Air [ 1090 ]
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek.
Undoubtedly he will relent and turn
From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
When angry most he seem’d and most severe, [ 1095 ]
What else but favor, grace, and mercie shon?

So spake our Father penitent, nor Eve
Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
Repairing where he judg’d them prostrate fell
Before him reverent, and both confess’d [ 1100 ]
Humbly thir faults, and pardon beg’d, with tears
Watering the ground, and with thir sighs the Air
Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
Of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek.

BOOK 11

THE ARGUMENT

The Son of God presents to his Father the Prayers of our first Parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise; sends Michael with a Band of Cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michaels coming down. Adam shews to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michaels approach, goes out to meet him: the Angel denounces thir departure. Eve’s Lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits: The Angel leads him up to a high Hill, sets before him in vision what shall happ’n till the Flood.

THus they in lowliest plight repentant stood
Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above
Prevenient Grace descending had remov’d
The stonie from thir hearts, & made new flesh
Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath’d [ 5 ]
Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
Inspir’d, and wing’d for Heav’n with speedier flight
Then loudest Oratorie: yet thir port
Not of mean suiters, nor important less
Seem’d thir Petition, then when th’ ancient Pair [ 10 ]
In Fables old, less ancient yet then these,
Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore
The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine
Of Themis stood devout. To Heav’n thir prayers
Flew up, nor missd the way, by envious windes [ 15 ]
Blow’n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd
Dimentionless through Heav’nly dores; then clad
With incense, where the Golden Altar fum’d,
By thir great Intercessor, came in sight
Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son [ 20 ]
Presenting, thus to intercede began.

See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung
From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs
And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt
With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring, [ 25 ]
Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
Sow’n with contrition in his heart, then those
Which his own hand manuring all the Trees
Of Paradise could have produc’t, ere fall’n
From innocence. Now therefore bend thine eare [ 30 ]
To supplication, heare his sighs though mute;
Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee
Interpret for him, mee his Advocate
And propitiation, all his works on mee
Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those [ 35 ]
Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay.
Accept me, and in mee from these receave
The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live
Before thee reconcil’d, at least his days
Numberd, though sad, till Death, his doom (which I [ 40 ]
To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)
To better life shall yeeld him, where with mee
All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss,
Made one with me as I with thee am one.

To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene. [ 45 ]
All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
Obtain, all thy request was my Decree:
But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
The Law I gave to Nature him forbids:
Those pure immortal Elements that know [ 50 ]
No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule,
Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
As a distemper, gross to aire as gross,
And mortal food, as may dispose him best
For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first [ 55 ]
Distemperd all things, and of incorrupt
Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts
Created him endowd, with Happiness
And Immortalitie: that fondly lost,
This other serv’d but to eternize woe; [ 60 ]
Till I provided Death; so Death becomes
His final remedie, and after Life
Tri’d in sharp tribulation, and refin’d
By Faith and faithful works, to second Life,
Wak’t in the renovation of the just, [ 65 ]
Resignes him up with Heav’n and Earth renewd.
But let us call to Synod all the Blest
Through Heav’ns wide bounds; from them I will not hide
My judgments, how with Mankind I proceed,
As how with peccant Angels late they saw; [ 70 ]
And in thir state, though firm, stood more confirmd.

He ended, and the Son gave signal high
To the bright Minister that watchd, hee blew
His Trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
When God descended, and perhaps once more [ 75 ]
To sound at general Doom. Th’ Angelic blast
Filld all the Regions: from thir blissful Bowrs
Of Amarantin Shade, Fountain or Spring,
By the waters of Life, where ere they sate
In fellowships of joy: the Sons of Light [ 80 ]
Hasted, resorting to the Summons high,
And took thir Seats; till from his Throne supream
Th’ Almighty thus pronouncd his sovran Will.

O Sons, like one of us Man is become
To know both Good and Evil, since his taste [ 85 ]
Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast
His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got,
Happier, had suffic’d him to have known
Good by it self, and Evil not at all.
He sorrows now, repents, and prayes contrite, [ 90 ]
My motions in him, longer then they move,
His heart I know, how variable and vain
Self-left. Least therefore his now bolder hand
Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
And live for ever, dream at least to live [ 95 ]
For ever, to remove him I decree,
And send him from the Garden forth to Till
The Ground whence he was taken, fitter soile.

Michael, this my behest have thou in charge,
Take to thee from among the Cherubim [ 100 ]
Thy choice of flaming Warriours, least the Fiend
Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
Vacant possession som new trouble raise:
Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful Pair, [ 105 ]
From hallowd ground th’ unholie, and denounce
To them and to thir Progenie from thence
Perpetual banishment. Yet least they faint
At the sad Sentence rigorously urg’d,
For I behold them softn’d and with tears [ 110 ]
Bewailing thir excess, all terror hide.
If patiently thy bidding they obey,
Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveale
To Adam what shall come in future dayes,
As I shall thee enlighten, intermix [ 115 ]
My Cov’nant in the womans seed renewd;
So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
And on the East side of the Garden place,
Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbes,
Cherubic watch, and of a Sword the flame [ 120 ]
Wide waving, all approach farr off to fright,
And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:
Least Paradise a receptacle prove
To Spirits foule, and all my Trees thir prey,
With whose stol’n Fruit Man once more to delude. [ 125 ]

He ceas’d; and th’ Archangelic Power prepar’d
For swift descent, with him the Cohort bright
Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each
Had, like a double Janus, all thir shape
Spangl’d with eyes more numerous then those [ 130 ]
Of Argus, and more wakeful then to drouze,
Charm’d with Arcadian Pipe, the Pastoral Reed
Of Hermes, or his opiate Rod. Mean while
To resalute the World with sacred Light
Leucothea wak’d, and with fresh dews imbalmd [ 135 ]
The Earth, when Adam and first Matron Eve
Had ended now thir Orisons, and found,
Strength added from above, new hope to spring
Out of despaire, joy, but with fear yet linkt;
Which thus to Eve his welcome words renewd. [ 140 ]

Eve, easily may Faith admit, that all
The good which we enjoy, from Heav’n descends;
But that from us ought should ascend to Heav’n
So prevalent as to concerne the mind
Of God high-blest, or to incline his will, [ 145 ]
Hard to belief may seem; yet this will Prayer,
Or one short sigh of humane breath, up-borne
Ev’n to the Seat of God. For since I saught
By Prayer th’ offended Deitie to appease,
Kneel’d and before him humbl’d all my heart, [ 150 ]
Methought I saw him placable and mild,
Bending his eare; perswasion in me grew
That I was heard with favour; peace returnd
Home to my brest, and to my memorie
His promise, that thy Seed shall bruise our Foe; [ 155 ]
Which then not minded in dismay, yet now
Assures me that the bitterness of death
Is past, and we shall live. Whence Haile to thee,
Eve rightly call’d, Mother of all Mankind,
Mother of all things living, since by thee [ 160 ]
Man is to live, and all things live for Man.

To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek.
Ill worthie I such title should belong
To me transgressour, who for thee ordaind
A help, became thy snare; to mee reproach [ 165 ]
Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise:
But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
That I who first brought Death on all, am grac’t
The sourse of life; next favourable thou,
Who highly thus to entitle me voutsaf’st, [ 170 ]
Farr other name deserving. But the Field
To labour calls us now with sweat impos’d,
Though after sleepless Night; for see the Morn,
All unconcern’d with our unrest, begins
Her rosie progress smiling; let us forth, [ 175 ]
I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
Wherere our days work lies, though now enjoind
Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
What can be toilsom in these pleasant Walkes?
Here let us live, though in fall’n state, content. [ 180 ]

So spake, so wish’d much-humbl’d Eve, but Fate
Subscrib’d not; Nature first gave Signs, imprest
On Bird, Beast, Aire, Aire suddenly eclips’d
After short blush of Morn; nigh in her sight
The Bird of Jove, stoopt from his aerie tour, [ 185 ]
Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove:
Down from a Hill the Beast that reigns in Woods,
First hunter then, pursu’d a gentle brace,
Goodliest of all the Forrest, Hart and Hinde;
Direct to th’ Eastern Gate was bent thir flight. [ 190 ]
Adam observ’d, and with his Eye the chase
Pursuing, not unmov’d to Eve thus spake.

O Eve, some furder change awaits us nigh,
Which Heav’n by these mute signs in Nature shews
Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn [ 195 ]
Us haply too secure of our discharge
From penaltie, because from death releast
Some days; how long, and what till then our life,
Who knows, or more then this, that we are dust,
And thither must return and be no more. [ 200 ]
Why else this double object in our sight
Of flight pursu’d in th’ Air and ore the ground
One way the self-same hour? why in the East
Darkness ere Dayes mid-course, and Morning light
More orient in yon Western Cloud that draws [ 205 ]
O’re the blew Firmament a radiant white,
And slow descends, with somthing heav’nly fraught.

He err’d not, for by this the heav’nly Bands
Down from a Skie of Jasper lighted now
In Paradise, and on a Hill made alt, [ 210 ]
A glorious Apparition, had not doubt
And carnal fear that day dimm’d Adams eye.
Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw
The field Pavilion’d with his Guardians bright; [ 215 ]
Nor that which on the flaming Mount appeerd
In Dothan, cover’d with a Camp of Fire,
Against the Syrian King, who to surprize
One man, Assassin-like had levied Warr,
Warr unproclam’d. The Princely Hierarch [ 220 ]
In thir bright stand, there left his Powers to seise
Possession of the Garden; hee alone,
To find where Adam shelterd, took his way,
Not unperceav’d of Adam, who to Eve,
While the great Visitant approachd, thus spake. [ 225 ]

Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps
Of us will soon determin, or impose
New Laws to be observ’d; for I descrie
From yonder blazing Cloud that veils the Hill
One of the heav’nly Host, and by his Gate [ 230 ]
None of the meanest, some great Potentate
Or of the Thrones above, such Majestie
Invests him coming? yet not terrible,
That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
As Raphael, that I should much confide, [ 235 ]
But solemn and sublime, whom not to offend,
With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.
He ended; and th’ Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
Not in his shape Celestial, but as Man
Clad to meet Man; over his lucid Armes [ 240 ]
A militarie Vest of purple flowd
Livelier then Melibœan, or the graine
Of Sarra, worn by Kings and Hero’s old
In time of Truce; Iris had dipt the wooff;
His starrie Helme unbuckl’d shew’d him prime [ 245 ]
In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side
As in a glistering Zodiac hung the Sword,
Satans dire dread, and in his hand the Spear.
Adam bowd low, hee Kingly from his State
Inclin’d not, but his coming thus declar’d. [ 250 ]

Adam, Heav’ns high behest no Preface needs:
Sufficient that thy Prayers are heard, and Death,
Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
Defeated of his seisure many dayes
Giv’n thee of Grace, wherein thou may’st repent, [ 255 ]
And one bad act with many deeds well done
Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord appeas’d
Redeem thee quite from Deaths rapacious claime;
But longer in this Paradise to dwell
Permits not; to remove thee I am come, [ 260 ]
And send thee from the Garden forth to till
The ground whence thou wast tak’n, fitter Soile.

He added not, for Adam at the newes
Heart-strook with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen [ 265 ]
Yet all had heard, with audible lament
Discover’d soon the place of her retire.

O unexpected stroke, worse then of Death!
Must I thus leave thee Paradise? thus leave
Thee Native Soile, these happie Walks and Shades, [ 270 ]
Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,
Quiet though sad, the respit of that day
That must be mortal to us both. O flours,
That never will in other Climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last [ 275 ]
At Eev’n, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first op’ning bud, and gave ye Names,
Who now shall reare ye to the Sun, or ranke
Your Tribes, and water from th’ ambrosial Fount?
Thee lastly nuptial Bowre, by mee adornd [ 280 ]
With what to sight or smell was sweet; from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower World, to this obscure
And wilde, how shall we breath in other Aire
Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits? [ 285 ]

Whom thus the Angel interrupted milde.
Lament not Eve, but patiently resigne
What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine;
Thy going is not lonely, with thee goes [ 290 ]
Thy Husband, him to follow thou art bound;
Where he abides, think there thy native soile.

Adam by this from the cold sudden damp
Recovering, and his scatterd spirits returnd,
To Michael thus his humble words addressd. [ 295 ]

Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or nam’d
Of them the Highest, for such of shape may seem
Prince above Princes, gently hast thou tould
Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
And in performing end us; what besides [ 300 ]
Of sorrow and dejection and despair
Our frailtie can sustain, thy tidings bring,
Departure from this happy place, our sweet
Recess, and onely consolation left
Familiar to our eyes, all places else [ 305 ]
Inhospitable appeer and desolate,
Nor knowing us nor known: and if by prayer
Incessant I could hope to change the will
Of him who all things can, I would not cease
To wearie him with my assiduous cries: [ 310 ]
But prayer against his absolute Decree
No more availes then breath against the winde,
Blown stifling back on him that breaths it forth:
Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
This most afflicts me, that departing hence, [ 315 ]
As from his face I shall be hid, deprivd
His blessed count’nance; here I could frequent,
With worship, place by place where he voutsaf’d
Presence Divine, and to my Sons relate;
On this Mount he appeerd, under this Tree [ 320 ]
Stood visible, among these Pines his voice
I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk’d:
So many grateful Altars I would reare
Of grassie Terfe, and pile up every Stone
Of lustre from the brook, in memorie, [ 325 ]
Or monument to Ages, and thereon
Offer sweet smelling Gumms and Fruits and Flours:
In yonder nether World where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or foot step-trace?
For though I fled him angrie, yet recall’d [ 330 ]
To life prolongd and promisd Race, I now
Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
Of glory, and farr off his steps adore.

To whom thus Michael with regard benigne.
Adam, thou know’st Heav’n his, and all the Earth. [ 335 ]
Not this Rock onely; his Omnipresence fills
Land, Sea, and Aire, and every kinde that lives,
Fomented by his virtual power and warmd:
All th’ Earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
No despicable gift; surmise not then [ 340 ]
His presence to these narrow bounds confin’d
Of Paradise or Eden: this had been
Perhaps thy Capital Seate, from whence had spred
All generations, and had hither come
From all the ends of th’ Earth, to celebrate [ 345 ]
And reverence thee thir great Progenitor.
But this præeminence thou hast lost, brought down
To dwell on eeven ground now with thy Sons:
Yet doubt not but in Vallie and in Plaine
God is as here, and will be found alike [ 350 ]
Present, and of his presence many a signe
Still following thee, still compassing thee round
With goodness and paternal Love, his Face
Express, and of his steps the track Divine.
Which that thou mayst beleeve, and be confirmd [ 355 ]
Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
To shew thee what shall come in future dayes
To thee and to thy Ofspring; good with bad
Expect to hear, supernal Grace contending
With sinfulness of Men; thereby to learn [ 360 ]
True patience, and to temper joy with fear
And pious sorrow, equally enur’d
By moderation either state to beare,
Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead
Safest thy life, and best prepar’d endure [ 365 ]
Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
This Hill; let Eve (for I have drencht her eyes)
Here sleep below while thou to foresight wak’st,
As once thou slepst, while Shee to life was formd.

To whom thus Adam gratefully repli’d. [ 370 ]
Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path
Thou lead’st me, and to the hand of Heav’n submit,
However chast’ning, to the evil turne
My obvious breast, arming to overcom
By suffering, and earne rest from labour won, [ 375 ]
If so I may attain. So both ascend
In the Visions of God: It was a Hill
Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
The Hemisphere of Earth in cleerest Ken
Stretcht out to amplest reach of prospect lay. [ 380 ]
Not higher that Hill nor wider looking round,
Whereon for different cause the Tempter set
Our second Adam in the Wilderness,
To shew him all Earths Kingdomes and thir Glory.
His Eye might there command wherever stood [ 385 ]
City of old or modern Fame, the Seat
Of mightiest Empire, from the destind Walls
Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can
And Samarchand by Oxus, Temirs Throne,
To Paquin of Sinæan Kings, and thence [ 390 ]
To Agra and Lahor of great Mogul
Down to the golden Chersonese, or where
The Persian in Ecbatan sate, or since
In Hispahan, or where the Russian Ksar
In Mosco, or the Sultan in Bizance, [ 395 ]
Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken
Th’ Empire of Negus to his utmost Port
Ercoco and the less Maritim Kings
Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
And Sofala thought Ophir, to the Realme [ 400 ]
Of Congo, and Angola fardest South;
Or thence from Niger Flood to Atlas Mount
The Kingdoms of Almansor, Fez and Sus,
Marocco and Algiers, and Tremisen;
On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway [ 405 ]
The World: in Spirit perhaps he also saw
Rich Mexico the seat of Motezume,
And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil’d
Guiana, whose great Citie Geryons Sons [ 410 ]
Call El Dorado: but to nobler sights
Michael from Adams eyes the Filme remov’d
Which that false Fruit that promis’d clearer sight
Had bred; then purg’d with Euphrasie and Rue
The visual Nerve, for he had much to see; [ 415 ]
And from the Well of Life three drops instill’d.
So deep the power of these Ingredients pierc’d,
Eevn to the inmost seat of mental sight,
That Adam now enforc’t to close his eyes,
Sunk down and all his Spirits became intranst: [ 420 ]
But him the gentle Angel by the hand
Soon rais’d, and his attention thus recall’d.

Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold
Th’ effects which thy original crime hath wrought
In some to spring from thee, who never touch’d [ 425 ]
Th’ excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir’d,
Nor sinn’d thy sin, yet from that sin derive
Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds.

His eyes he op’nd, and beheld a field,
Part arable and tilth, whereon were Sheaves [ 430 ]
New reapt, the other part sheep-walks and foulds;
Ith’ midst an Altar as the Land-mark stood
Rustic, of grassie sord; thither anon
A sweatie Reaper from his Tillage brought
First Fruits, the green Eare, and the yellow Sheaf, [ 435 ]
Uncull’d, as came to hand; a Shepherd next
More meek came with the Firstlings of his Flock
Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid
The Inwards and thir Fat, with Incense strew’d,
On the cleft Wood, and all due Rites perform’d. [ 440 ]
His Offring soon propitious Fire from Heav’n
Consum’d with nimble glance, and grateful steame;
The others not, for his was not sincere;
Whereat hee inlie rag’d, and as they talk’d,
Smote him into the Midriff with a stone [ 445 ]
That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale
Groand out his Soul with gushing bloud effus’d.
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
Dismai’d, and thus in haste to th’ Angel cri’d.

O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall’n [ 450 ]
To that meek man, who well had sacrific’d;
Is Pietie thus and pure Devotion paid?

T’ whom Michael thus, hee also mov’d, repli’d.
These two are Brethren, Adam, and to come
Out of thy loyns; th’ unjust the just hath slain, [ 455 ]
For envie that his Brothers Offering found
From Heav’n acceptance; but the bloodie Fact
Will be aveng’d, and th’ others Faith approv’d
Loose no reward, though here thou see him die,
Rowling in dust and gore. To which our Sire. [ 460 ]

Alas, both for the deed and for the cause!
But have I now seen Death? Is this the way
I must return to native dust? O sight
Of terrour, foul and ugly to behold,
Horrid to think, how horrible to feel! [ 465 ]

To whom thus Michael. Death thou hast seen
In his first shape on man; but many shapes
Of Death, and many are the wayes that lead
To his grim Cave, all dismal; yet to sense
More terrible at th’ entrance then within. [ 470 ]
Some, as thou saw’st, by violent stroke shall die,
By Fire, Flood, Famin, by Intemperance more
In Meats and Drinks, which on the Earth shall bring
Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know [ 475 ]
What miserie th’ inabstinence of Eve
Shall bring on men. Immediately a place
Before his eyes appeard, sad, noysom, dark,
A Lazar-house it seemd, wherein were laid
Numbers of all diseas’d, all maladies [ 480 ]
Of gastly Spasm, or racking torture, qualmes
Of heart-sick Agonie, all feavorous kinds,
Convulsions, Epilepsies, fierce Catarrhs,
Intestin Stone and Ulcer, Colic pangs,
Dæmoniac Phrenzie, moaping Melancholie [ 485 ]
And Moon-struck madness, pining Atrophie
Marasmus and wide-wasting Pestilence,
Dropsies, and Asthma’s, and Joint-racking Rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, despair
Tended the sick busiest from Couch to Couch; [ 490 ]
And over them triumphant Death his Dart
Shook, but delaid to strike, though oft invokt
With vows, as thir chief good, and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of Rock could long
Drie-ey’d behold? Adam could not, but wept, [ 495 ]
Though not of Woman born; compassion quell’d
His best of Man, and gave him up to tears
A space, till firmer thoughts restraind excess,
And scarce recovering words his plaint renew’d.

O miserable Mankind, to what fall [ 500 ]
Degraded, to what wretched state reserv’d!
Better end heer unborn. Why is life giv’n
To be thus wrested from us? rather why
Obtruded on us thus? who if we knew
What we receive, would either not accept [ 505 ]
Life offer’d, or soon beg to lay it down,
Glad to be so dismist in peace. Can thus
Th’ Image of God in man created once
So goodly and erect, though faultie since,
To such unsightly sufferings be debas’t [ 510 ]
Under inhuman pains? Why should not Man,
Retaining still Divine similitude
In part, from such deformities be free,
And for his Makers Image sake exempt?

Thir Makers Image, answerd Michael, then [ 515 ]
Forsook them, when themselves they villifi’d
To serve ungovern’d appetite, and took
His Image whom they serv’d, a brutish vice,
Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve.
Therefore so abject is thir punishment, [ 520 ]
Disfiguring not Gods likeness, but thir own,
Or if his likeness, by themselves defac’t
While they pervert pure Natures healthful rules
To loathsom sickness, worthily, since they
Gods Image did not reverence in themselves. [ 525 ]

I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.
But is there yet no other way, besides
These painful passages, how we may come
To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?

There is, said Michael, if thou well observe [ 530 ]
The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
Till many years over thy head return:
So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop [ 535 ]
Into thy Mothers lap, or be with ease
Gatherd, not harshly pluckt, for death mature:
This is old age; but then thou must outlive
Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
To witherd weak and gray; thy Senses then [ 540 ]
Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forgoe,
To what thou hast, and for the Aire of youth
Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reigne
A melancholly damp of cold and dry
To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume [ 545 ]
The Balme of Life. To whom our Ancestor.

Henceforth I flie not Death, nor would prolong
Life much, bent rather how I may be quit
Fairest and easiest of this combrous charge,
Which I must keep till my appointed day [ 550 ]
Of rendring up, and patiently attend
My dissolution. Michael repli’d,

Nor love thy Life, nor hate; but what thou livst
Live well, how long or short permit to Heav’n:
And now prepare thee for another sight. [ 555 ]

He lookd and saw a spacious Plaine, whereon
Were Tents of various hue; by some were herds
Of Cattel grazing: others, whence the sound
Of Instruments that made melodious chime
Was heard, of Harp and Organ; and who moovd [ 560 ]
Thir stops and chords was seen: his volant touch
Instinct through all proportions low and high
Fled and pursu’d transverse the resonant fugue.
In other part stood one who at the Forge
Labouring, two massie clods of Iron and Brass [ 565 ]
Had melted (whether found where casual fire
Had wasted woods on Mountain or in Vale,
Down to the veins of Earth, thence gliding hot
To som Caves mouth, or whether washt by stream
From underground) the liquid Ore he dreind [ 570 ]
Into fit moulds prepar’d; from which he formd
First his own Tooles; then, what might else be wrought
Fusil or grav’n in mettle. After these,
But on the hether side a different sort
From the high neighbouring Hills, which was thir Seat, [ 575 ]
Down to the Plain descended: by thir guise
Just men they seemd, and all thir study bent
To worship God aright, and know his works
Not hid, nor those things last which might preserve
Freedom and Peace to men: they on the Plain [ 580 ]
Long had not walkt, when from the Tents behold
A Beavie of fair Women, richly gay
In Gems and wanton dress; to the Harp they sung
Soft amorous Ditties, and in dance came on:
The Men though grave, ey’d them, and let thir eyes [ 585 ]
Rove without rein, till in the amorous Net
Fast caught, they lik’d, and each his liking chose;
And now of love they treat till th’Eevning Star
Loves Harbinger appeerd; then all in heat
They light the Nuptial Torch, and bid invoke [ 590 ]
Hymen, then first to marriage Rites invok’t;
With Feast and Musick all the Tents resound.
Such happy interview and fair event
Of love and youth not lost, Songs, Garlands, Flours,
And charming Symphonies attach’d the heart [ 595 ]
Of Adam, soon enclin’d to admit delight,
The bent of Nature; which he thus express’d.

True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest,
Much better seems this Vision, and more hope
Of peaceful dayes portends, then those two past; [ 600 ]
Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse,
Here Nature seems fulfilld in all her ends.

To whom thus Michael. Judg not what is best
By pleasure, though to Nature seeming meet,
Created, as thou art, to nobler end [ 605 ]
Holie and pure, conformitie divine.
Those Tents thou sawst so pleasant, were the Tents
Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his Race
Who slew his Brother; studious they appere
Of Arts that polish Life, Inventers rare, [ 610 ]
Unmindful of thir Maker, though his Spirit
Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg’d none.
Yet they a beauteous ofspring shall beget;
For that fair femal Troop thou sawst, that seemd
Of Goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay, [ 615 ]
Yet empty of all good wherein consists
Womans domestic honour and chief praise;
Bred onely and completed to the taste
Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance,
To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roule the Eye. [ 620 ]
To these that sober Race of Men, whose lives
Religious titl’d them the Sons of God,
Shall yield up all thir vertue, all thir fame
Ignobly, to the traines and to the smiles
Of these fair Atheists, and now swim in joy, [ 625 ]
(Erelong to swim at large) and laugh; for which
The world erelong a world of tears must weepe.

To whom thus Adam of short joy bereft.
O pittie and shame, that they who to live well
Enterd so faire, should turn aside to tread [ 630 ]
Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint!
But still I see the tenor of Mans woe
Holds on the same, from Woman to begin.

From Mans effeminate slackness it begins,
Said th’ Angel, who should better hold his place [ 635 ]
By wisdome, and superiour gifts receav’d.
But now prepare thee for another Scene.

He lookd and saw wide Territorie spred
Before him, Towns, and rural works between,
Cities of Men with lofty Gates and Towrs, [ 640 ]
Concours in Arms, fierce Faces threatning Warr,
Giants of mightie Bone, and bould emprise;
Part wield thir Arms, part courb the foaming Steed,
Single or in Array of Battel rang’d
Both Horse and Foot, nor idely mustring stood; [ 645 ]
One way a Band select from forage drives
A herd of Beeves, faire Oxen and faire Kine
From a fat Meddow ground; or fleecy Flock,
Ewes and thir bleating Lambs over the Plaine,
Thir Bootie; scarce with Life the Shepherds flye, [ 650 ]
But call in aide, which makes a bloody Fray;
With cruel Tournament the Squadrons joine;
Where Cattle pastur’d late, now scatterd lies
With Carcasses and Arms th’ensanguind Field
Deserted: Others to a Citie strong [ 655 ]
Lay Seige, encampt; by Batterie, Scale, and Mine,
Assaulting; others from the Wall defend
With Dart and Jav’lin, Stones and sulfurous Fire;
On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds.
In other part the scepter’d Haralds call [ 660 ]
To Council in the Citie Gates: anon
Grey-headed men and grave, with Warriours mixt,
Assemble, and Harangues are heard, but soon
In factious opposition, till at last
Of middle Age one rising, eminent [ 665 ]
In wise deport, spake much of Right and Wrong,
Of Justice, of Religion, Truth and Peace,
And Judgment from above: him old and young
Exploded, and had seiz’d with violent hands,
Had not a Cloud descending snatch’d him thence [ 670 ]
Unseen amid the throng: so violence
Proceeded, and Oppression, and Sword-Law
Through all the Plain, and refuge none was found.
Adam was all in tears, and to his guide
Lamenting turnd full sad; O what are these, [ 675 ]
Deaths Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death
Inhumanly to men, and multiply
Ten thousandfould the sin of him who slew
His Brother; for of whom such massacher
Make they but of thir Brethren, men of men? [ 680 ]
But who was that Just Man, whom had not Heav’n
Rescu’d, had in his Righteousness bin lost?

To whom thus Michael. These are the product
Of those ill mated Marriages thou saw’st:
Where good with bad were matcht, who of themselves [ 685 ]
Abhor to joyn; and by imprudence mixt,
Produce prodigious Births of bodie or mind.
Such were these Giants, men of high renown;
For in those dayes Might onely shall be admir’d,
And Valour and Heroic Vertu call’d; [ 690 ]
To overcome in Battle, and subdue
Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite
Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
Of human Glorie, and for Glorie done
Of triumph, to be styl’d great Conquerours, [ 695 ]
Patrons of Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods,
Destroyers rightlier call’d and Plagues of men.
Thus Fame shall be atchiev’d, renown on Earth,
And what most merits fame in silence hid.
But hee the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldst [ 700 ]
The onely righteous in a World perverse,
And therefore hated, therefore so beset
With Foes for daring single to be just,
And utter odious Truth, that God would come
To judge them with his Saints: Him the most High [ 705 ]
Rapt in a balmie Cloud with winged Steeds
Did, as thou sawst, receave, to walk with God
High in Salvation and the Climes of bliss,
Exempt from Death; to shew thee what reward
Awaits the good, the rest what punishment? [ 710 ]
Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold.

He look’d, and saw the face of things quite chang’d;
The brazen Throat of Warr had ceast to roar,
All now was turn’d to jollitie and game,
To luxurie and riot, feast and dance, [ 715 ]
Marrying or prostituting, as befell,
Rape or Adulterie, where passing faire
Allurd them; thence from Cups to civil Broiles.
At length a Reverend Sire among them came,
And of thir doings great dislike declar’d, [ 720 ]
And testifi’d against thir wayes; hee oft
Frequented thir Assemblies, whereso met,
Triumphs or Festivals, and to them preachd
Conversion and Repentance, as to Souls
In prison under Judgments imminent: [ 725 ]
But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas’d
Contending, and remov’d his Tents farr off;
Then from the Mountain hewing Timber tall,
Began to build a Vessel of huge bulk,
Measur’d by Cubit, length, and breadth, and highth, [ 730 ]
Smeard round with Pitch, and in the side a dore
Contriv’d, and of provisions laid in large
For Man and Beast: when loe a wonder strange!
Of every Beast, and Bird, and Insect small
Came seavens, and pairs, and enterd in, as taught [ 735 ]
Thir order; last the Sire, and his three Sons
With thir four Wives; and God made fast the dore.
Meanwhile the Southwind rose, and with black wings
Wide hovering, all the Clouds together drove
From under Heav’n; the Hills to their supplie [ 740 ]
Vapour, and Exhalation dusk and moist,
Sent up amain; and now the thick’nd Skie
Like a dark Ceeling stood; down rush’d the Rain
Impetuous, and continu’d till the Earth
No more was seen; the floating Vessel swum [ 745 ]
Uplifted; and secure with beaked prow
Rode tilting o’re the Waves, all dwellings else
Flood overwhelmd, and them with all thir pomp
Deep under water rould; Sea cover’d Sea,
Sea without shoar; and in thir Palaces [ 750 ]
Where luxurie late reign’d, Sea-monsters whelp’d
And stabl’d; of Mankind, so numerous late,
All left, in one small bottom swum imbark’t.
How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
The end of all thy Ofspring, end so sad, [ 755 ]
Depopulation; thee another Floud,
Of tears and sorrow a Floud thee also drown’d,
And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently reard
By th’ Angel, on thy feet thou stoodst at last,
Though comfortless, as when a Father mourns [ 760 ]
His Children, all in view destroyd at once;
And scarce to th’ Angel utterdst thus thy plaint.

O Visions ill foreseen! better had I
Liv’d ignorant of future, so had borne
My part of evil onely, each dayes lot [ 765 ]
Anough to bear; those now, that were dispenst
The burd’n of many Ages, on me light
At once, by my foreknowledge gaining Birth
Abortive, to torment me ere thir being,
With thought that they must be. Let no man seek [ 770 ]
Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall
Him or his Childern, evil he may be sure,
Which neither his foreknowing can prevent,
And hee the future evil shall no less
In apprehension then in substance feel [ 775 ]
Grievous to bear: but that care now is past,
Man is not whom to warne: those few escapt
Famin and anguish will at last consume
Wandring that watrie Desert: I had hope
When violence was ceas’t, and Warr on Earth, [ 780 ]
All would have then gon well, peace would have crownd
With length of happy dayes the race of man;
But I was farr deceav’d; for now I see
Peace to corrupt no less then Warr to waste.
How comes it thus? unfould, Celestial Guide, [ 785 ]
And whether here the Race of man will end.
To whom thus Michael. Those whom last thou sawst
In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they
First seen in acts of prowess eminent
And great exploits, but of true vertu void; [ 790 ]
Who having spilt much blood, and don much waste
Subduing Nations, and achievd thereby
Fame in the World, high titles, and rich prey,
Shall change thir course to pleasure, ease, and sloth,
Surfet, and lust, till wantonness and pride [ 795 ]
Raise out of friendship hostil deeds in Peace.
The conquerd also, and enslav’d by Warr
Shall with thir freedom lost all vertu loose
And fear of God, from whom thir pietie feign’d
In sharp contest of Battel found no aide [ 800 ]
Against invaders; therefore coold in zeale
Thenceforth shall practice how to live secure,
Worldlie or dissolute, on what thir Lords
Shall leave them to enjoy; for th’ Earth shall bear
More then anough, that temperance may be tri’d: [ 805 ]
So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav’d,
Justice and Temperance, Truth and Faith forgot;
One Man except, the onely Son of light
In a dark Age, against example good,
Against allurement, custom, and a World [ 810 ]
Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,
Or violence, hee of wicked wayes
Shall them admonish, and before them set
The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,
And full of peace, denouncing wrauth to come [ 815 ]
On thir impenitence; and shall returne
Of them derided, but of God observd
The one just Man alive; by his command
Shall build a wondrous Ark, as thou beheldst,
To save himself and houshold from amidst [ 820 ]
A World devote to universal rack.
No sooner hee with them of Man and Beast
Select for life shall in the Ark be lodg’d,
And shelterd round, but all the Cataracts
Of Heav’n set open on the Earth shall powre [ 825 ]
Raine day and night, all fountains of the Deep
Broke up, shall heave the Ocean to usurp
Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise
Above the highest Hills: then shall this Mount
Of Paradise by might of Waves be moovd [ 830 ]
Out of his place, pushd by the horned floud,
With all his verdure spoil’d, and Trees adrift
Down the great River to the op’ning Gulf,
And there take root an Iland salt and bare,
The haunt of Seales and Orcs, and Sea-mews clang. [ 835 ]
To teach thee that God attributes to place
No sanctitie, if none be thither brought
By Men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
And now what further shall ensue, behold.

He lookd, and saw the Ark hull on the floud, [ 840 ]
Which now abated, for the Clouds were fled,
Drivn by a keen North- winde, that blowing drie
Wrinkl’d the face of Deluge, as decai’d;
And the cleer Sun on his wide watrie Glass
Gaz’d hot, and of the fresh Wave largely drew, [ 845 ]
As after thirst, which made thir flowing shrink
From standing lake to tripping ebbe, that stole
With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt
His Sluces, as the Heav’n his windows shut.
The Ark no more now flotes, but seems on ground [ 850 ]
Fast on the top of som high mountain fixt.
And now the tops of Hills as Rocks appeer;
With clamor thence the rapid Currents drive
Towards the retreating Sea thir furious tyde.
Forthwith from out the Arke a Raven flies, [ 855 ]
And after him, the surer messenger,
A Dove sent forth once and agen to spie
Green Tree or ground whereon his foot may light;
The second time returning, in his Bill
An Olive leafe he brings, pacific signe: [ 860 ]
Anon drie ground appeers, and from his Arke
The ancient Sire descends with all his Train;
Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout,
Grateful to Heav’n, over his head beholds
A dewie Cloud, and in the Cloud a Bow [ 865 ]
Conspicuous with three listed colours gay,
Betok’ning peace from God, and Cov’nant new.
Whereat the heart of Adam erst so sad
Greatly rejoyc’d, and thus his joy broke forth.

O thou that future things canst represent [ 870 ]
As present, Heav’nly instructer, I revive
At this last sight, assur’d that Man shall live
With all the Creatures, and thir seed preserve.
Farr less I now lament for one whole World
Of wicked Sons destroyd, then I rejoyce [ 875 ]
For one Man found so perfet and so just,
That God voutsafes to raise another World
From him, and all his anger to forget.
But say, what mean those colourd streaks in Heavn,
Distended as the Brow of God appeas’d, [ 880 ]
Or serve they as a flourie verge to binde
The fluid skirts of that same watrie Cloud,
Least it again dissolve and showr the Earth?

To whom th’ Archangel. Dextrously thou aim’st;
So willingly doth God remit his Ire, [ 885 ]
Though late repenting him of Man deprav’d,
Griev’d at his heart, when looking down he saw
The whole Earth fill’d with violence, and all flesh
Corrupting each thir way; yet those remoov’d,
Such grace shall one just Man find in his sight, [ 890 ]
That he relents, not to blot out mankind,
And makes a Covenant never to destroy
The Earth again by flood, nor let the Sea
Surpass his bounds, nor Rain to drown the World
With Man therein or Beast; but when he brings [ 895 ]
Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set
His triple-colour’d Bow, whereon to look
And call to mind his Cov’nant: Day and Night,
Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost
Shall hold thir course, till fire purge all things new, [ 900 ]
Both Heav’n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.

BOOK 12

THE ARGUMENT

The Angel Michael continues from the Flood to relate what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by degrees to explain, who that Seed of the Woman shall be, which was promised Adam and Eve in the Fall; his Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Ascention; the state of the Church till his second Coming. Adam greatly satisfied and recomforted by these Relations and Promises descends the Hill with Michael; wakens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with gentle dreams compos’d to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery Sword waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking thir Stations to guard the Place.

AS one who in his journey bates at Noone,
Though bent on speed, so heer the Archangel paus’d
Betwixt the world destroy’d and world restor’d,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
Then with transition sweet new Speech resumes. [ 5 ]

Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end;
And Man as from a second stock proceed.
Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceave
Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine
Must needs impaire and wearie human sense: [ 10 ]
Henceforth what is to com I will relate,
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
This second sours of Men, while yet but few;
And while the dread of judgement past remains
Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie, [ 15 ]
With some regard to what is just and right
Shall lead thir lives and multiplie apace,
Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop,
Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock,
Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid, [ 20 ]
With large Wine-offerings pour’d, and sacred Feast,
Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam’d, and dwell
Long time in peace by Families and Tribes
Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
Of proud ambitious heart, who not content [ 25 ]
With fair equalitie, fraternal state,
Will arrogate Dominion undeserv’d
Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
Concord and law of Nature from the Earth,
Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game) [ 30 ]
With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse
Subjection to his Empire tyrannous:
A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl’d
Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav’n,
Or from Heav’n claming second Sovrantie; [ 35 ]
And from Rebellion shall derive his name,
Though of Rebellion others he accuse.
Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns
With him or under him to tyrannize,
Marching from Eden towards the West, shall finde [ 40 ]
The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell;
Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build
A Citie and Towre, whose top may reach to Heav’n;
And get themselves a name, least far disperst [ 45 ]
In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost,
Regardless whether good or evil fame.
But God who oft descends to visit men
Unseen, and through thir habitations walks
To mark thir doings, them beholding soon, [ 50 ]
Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower
Obstruct Heav’n Towrs, and in derision sets
Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase
Quite out thir Native Language, and instead
To sow a jangling noise of words unknown: [ 55 ]
Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
Among the Builders; each to other calls
Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,
As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav’n
And looking down, to see the hubbub strange [ 60 ]
And hear the din; thus was the building left
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam’d.

Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas’d.
O execrable Son so to aspire
Above his Brethren, to himself assuming [ 65 ]
Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv’n:
He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but Man over men
He made not Lord; such title to himself [ 70 ]
Reserving, human left from human free.
But this Usurper his encroachment proud
Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends
Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food
Will he convey up thither to sustain [ 75 ]
Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire
Above the Clouds will pine his entrails gross,
And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread?

To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorr’st
That Son, who on the quiet state of men [ 80 ]
Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
Rational Libertie; yet know withall,
Since thy original lapse, true Libertie
Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells
Twinn’d, and from her hath no dividual being: [ 85 ]
Reason in man obscur’d, or not obeyd,
Immediately inordinate desires
And upstart Passions catch the Government
From Reason, and to servitude reduce
Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits [ 90 ]
Within himself unworthie Powers to reign
Over free Reason, God in Judgement just
Subjects him from without to violent Lords;
Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
His outward freedom: Tyrannie must be, [ 95 ]
Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet somtimes Nations will decline so low
From vertue, which is reason, that no wrong,
But Justice, and some fatal curse annext
Deprives them of thir outward libertie, [ 100 ]
Thir inward lost: Witness th’ irreverent Son
Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame
Don to his Father, heard this heavie curse,
Servant of Servants, on his vitious Race.
Thus will this latter, as the former World, [ 105 ]
Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last
Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
His presence from among them, and avert
His holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforth
To leave them to thir own polluted wayes; [ 110 ]
And one peculiar Nation to select
From all the rest, of whom to be invok’d,
A Nation from one faithful man to spring:
Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men [ 115 ]
(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
While yet the Patriark liv’d, who scap’d the Flood,
As to forsake the living God, and fall
To worship thir own work in Wood and Stone
For Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafes [ 120 ]
To call by Vision from his Fathers house,
His kindred and false Gods, into a Land
Which he will shew him, and from him will raise
A mightie Nation, and upon him showre
His benediction so, that in his Seed [ 125 ]
All Nations shall be blest; he straight obeys
Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes:
I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith
He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soile
Ur of Chaldæa, passing now the Ford [ 130 ]
To Haran, after a cumbrous Train
Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude;
Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealth
With God, who call’d him, in a land unknown.
Canaan he now attains, I see his Tents [ 135 ]
Pitcht about Sechem, and the neighbouring Plaine
Of Moreh; there by promise he receaves
Gift to his Progenie of all that Land;
From Hamath Northward to the Desert South
(Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam’d) [ 140 ]
From Hermon East to the great Western Sea,
Mount Hermon, yonder Sea, each place behold
In prospect, as I point them; on the shoare
Mount Carmel; here the double-founted stream
Jordan, true limit Eastward; but his Sons [ 145 ]
Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of Hills.
This ponder, that all Nations of the Earth
Shall in his Seed be blessed; by that Seed
Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise
The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon [ 150 ]
Plainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest,
Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,
A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves,
Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;
The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departs [ 155 ]
From Canaan, to a land hereafter call’d
Egypt, divided by the River Nile;
See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthes
Into the Sea: to sojourn in that Land
He comes invited by a yonger Son [ 160 ]
In time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deeds
Raise him to be the second in that Realme
Of Pharao: there he dies, and leaves his Race
Growing into a Nation, and now grown
Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks [ 165 ]
To stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guests
Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
Inhospitably, and kills thir infant Males:
Till by two brethren (those two brethren call
Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claime [ 170 ]
His people from enthralment, they return
With glory and spoile back to thir promis’d Land.
But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies
To know thir God, or message to regard,
Must be compelld by Signes and Judgements dire; [ 175 ]
To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd,
Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fill
With loath’d intrusion, and fill all the land;
His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die,
Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss, [ 180 ]
And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile,
Haile mixt with fire must rend th’ Egyptian Skie
And wheel on th’ Earth, devouring where it rouls;
What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine,
A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming down [ 185 ]
Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green:
Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes;
Last with one midnight stroke all the first-born
Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds [ 190 ]
The River-dragon tam’d at length submits
To let his sojourners depart, and oft
Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as Ice
More hard’nd after thaw, till in his rage
Pursuing whom he late dismissd, the Sea [ 195 ]
Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass
As on drie land between two christal walls,
Aw’d by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided, till his rescu’d gain thir shoar:
Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend, [ 200 ]
Though present in his Angel, who shall goe
Before them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire,
By day a Cloud, by night a Pillar of Fire,
To guide them in thir journey, and remove
Behinde them, while th’ obdurat King pursues: [ 205 ]
All night he will pursue, but his approach
Darkness defends between till morning Watch;
Then through the Firey Pillar and the Cloud
God looking forth will trouble all his Host
And craze thir Chariot wheels: when by command [ 210 ]
Moses once more his potent Rod extends
Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;
On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return,
And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race elect
Safe towards Canaan from the shoar advance [ 215 ]
Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,
Least entring on the Canaanite allarmd
Warr terrifie them inexpert, and feare
Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
Inglorious life with servitude; for life [ 220 ]
To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Untraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by thir delay
In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found
Thir government, and thir great Senate choose [ 225 ]
Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:
God from the Mount of Sinai, whose gray top
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
In Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets sound
Ordaine them Lawes; part such as appertaine [ 230 ]
To civil Justice, part religious Rites
Of sacrifice, informing them, by types
And shadowes, of that destind Seed to bruise
The Serpent, by what meanes he shall achieve
Mankinds deliverance. But the voice of God [ 235 ]
To mortal eare is dreadful; they beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terror cease; he grants what they besaught
Instructed that to God is no access
Without Mediator, whose high Office now [ 240 ]
Moses in figure beares, to introduce
One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,
And all the Prophets in thir Age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites
Establisht, such delight hath God in Men [ 245 ]
Obedient to his will, that he voutsafes
Among them to set up his Tabernacle,
The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram’d
Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein [ 250 ]
An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,
The Records of his Cov’nant, over these
A Mercie-seat of Gold between the wings
Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn
Seaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing [ 255 ]
The Heav’nly fires; over the Tent a Cloud
Shall rest by Day, a fiery gleame by Night,
Save when they journie, and at length they come,
Conducted by his Angel to the Land
Promisd to Abraham and his Seed: the rest [ 260 ]
Were long to tell, how many Battels fought,
How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won,
Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav’n stand still
A day entire, and Nights due course adjourne,
Mans voice commanding, Sun in Gibeon stand, [ 265 ]
And thou Moon in the vale of Aialon,
Till Israel overcome; so call the third
From Abraham, Son of Isaac, and from him
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.

Here Adam interpos’d. O sent from Heav’n, [ 270 ]
Enlightner of my darkness, gracious things
Thou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerne
Just Abraham and his Seed: now first I finde
Mine eyes true op’ning, and my heart much eas’d,
Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becom [ 275 ]
Of mee and all Mankind; but now I see
His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,
Favour unmerited by me, who sought
Forbidd’n knowledge by forbidd’n means.
This yet I apprehend not, why to those [ 280 ]
Among whom God will deigne to dwell on Earth
So many and so various Laws are giv’n;
So many Laws argue so many sins
Among them; how can God with such reside?

To whom thus Michael. Doubt not but that sin [ 285 ]
Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
And therefore was Law given them to evince
Thir natural pravitie, by stirring up
Sin against Law to fight; that when they see
Law can discover sin, but not remove, [ 290 ]
Save by those shadowie expiations weak,
The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may conclude
Some bloud more precious must be paid for Man,
Just for unjust, that in such righteousness
To them by Faith imputed, they may finde [ 295 ]
Justification towards God, and peace
Of Conscience, which the Law by Ceremonies
Cannot appease, nor Man the moral part
Perform, and not performing cannot live.
So Law appears imperfet, and but giv’n [ 300 ]
With purpose to resign them in full time
Up to a better Cov’nant, disciplin’d
From shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,
From imposition of strict Laws, to free
Acceptance of large Grace, from servil fear [ 305 ]
To filial, works of Law to works of Faith.
And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
Highly belov’d, being but the Minister
Of Law, his people into Canaan lead;
But Joshua whom the Gentiles Jesus call, [ 310 ]
His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell
The adversarie Serpent, and bring back
Through the worlds wilderness long wanderd man
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
Meanwhile they in thir earthly Canaan plac’t [ 315 ]
Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
National interrupt thir public peace,
Provoking God to raise them enemies:
From whom as oft he saves them penitent
By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom [ 320 ]
The second, both for pietie renownd
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne
For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
All Prophecie, That of the Royal Stock [ 325 ]
Of David (so I name this King) shall rise
A Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold,
Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings
The last, for of his Reign shall be no end. [ 330 ]
But first a long succession must ensue,
And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam’d,
The clouded Ark of God till then in Tents
Wandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine.
Such follow him, as shall be registerd [ 335 ]
Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle,
Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults
Heapt to the popular summe, will so incense
God, as to leave them, and expose thir Land,
Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy Ark [ 340 ]
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw’st
Left in confusion, Babylon thence call’d.
There in captivitie he lets them dwell
The space of seventie years, then brings them back, [ 345 ]
Remembring mercie, and his Cov’nant sworn
To David, stablisht as the dayes of Heav’n.
Returnd from Babylon by leave of Kings
Thir Lords, whom God dispos’d, the house of God
They first re-edifie, and for a while [ 350 ]
In mean estate live moderate, till grown
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
But first among the Priests dissension springs,
Men who attend the Altar, and should most
Endeavour Peace: thir strife pollution brings [ 355 ]
Upon the Temple it self: at last they seise
The Scepter, and regard not Davids Sons,
Then loose it to a stranger, that the true
Anointed King Messiah might be born
Barr’d of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr [ 360 ]
Unseen before in Heav’n proclaims him com,
And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire
His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;
His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night; [ 365 ]
They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire
Of squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung.
A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire
The Power of the most High; he shall ascend
The Throne hereditarie, and bound his Reign [ 370 ]
With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav’ns.

He ceas’d, discerning Adam with such joy
Surcharg’d, as had like grief bin dew’d in tears,
Without the vent of words, which these he breathd.

O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher [ 375 ]
Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,
Why our great expectation should be call’d
The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,
High in the love of Heav’n, yet from my Loynes [ 380 ]
Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son
Of God most High; So God with man unites.
Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise
Expect with mortal paine: say where and when
Thir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel [ 385 ].

To whom thus Michael. Dream not of thir fight,
As of a Duel, or the local wounds
Of head or heel: not therefore joynes the Son
Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil
Thy enemie; nor so is overcome [ 390 ]
Satan, whose fall from Heav’n, a deadlier bruise,
Disabl’d not to give thee thy deaths wound:
Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,
Not by destroying Satan, but his works
In thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be, [ 395 ]
But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
Obedience to the Law of God, impos’d
On penaltie of death, and suffering death,
The penaltie to thy transgression due,
And due to theirs which out of thine will grow: [ 400 ]
So onely can high Justice rest appaid.
The Law of God exact he shall fulfill
Both by obedience and by love, though love
Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment
He shall endure by coming in the Flesh [ 405 ]
To a reproachful life and cursed death,
Proclaiming Life to all who shall believe
In his redemption, and that his obedience
Imputed becomes theirs by Faith, his merits
To save them, not thir own, though legal works. [ 410 ]
For this he shall live hated, be blasphem’d,
Seis’d on by force, judg’d, and to death condemnd
A shameful and accurst, naild to the Cross
By his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life;
But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies, [ 415 ]
The Law that is against thee, and the sins
Of all mankinde, with him there crucifi’d,
Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
But soon revives, Death over him no power [ 420 ]
Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
Returne, the Starres of Morn shall see him rise
Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems,
His death for Man, as many as offerd Life [ 425 ]
Neglect not, and the benefit imbrace
By Faith not void of workes: this God-like act
Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy’d,
In sin for ever lost from life; this act
Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength [ 430 ]
Defeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes,
And fix farr deeper in his head thir stings
Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,
Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
A gentle wafting to immortal Life. [ 435 ]
Nor after resurrection shall he stay
Longer on Earth then certaine times to appeer
To his Disciples, Men who in his Life
Still follow’d him; to them shall leave in charge
To teach all nations what of him they learn’d [ 440 ]
And his Salvation, them who shall beleeve
Baptizing in the profluent streame, the signe
Of washing them from guilt of sin to Life
Pure, and in mind prepar’d, if so befall,
For death, like that which the redeemer dy’d. [ 445 ]
All Nations they shall teach; for from that day
Not onely to the Sons of Abrahams Loines
Salvation shall be Preacht, but to the Sons
Of Abrahams Faith wherever through the world;
So in his seed all Nations shall be blest. [ 450 ]
Then to the Heav’n of Heav’ns he shall ascend
With victory, triumphing through the aire
Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise
The Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in Chaines
Through all his Realme, and there confounded leave; [ 455 ]
Then enter into glory, and resume
His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high
Above all names in Heav’n; and thence shall come,
When this worlds dissolution shall be ripe,
With glory and power to judge both quick and dead [ 460 ]
To judge th’ unfaithful dead, but to reward
His faithful, and receave them into bliss,
Whether in Heav’n or Earth, for then the Earth
Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
Then this of Eden, and far happier daies. [ 465 ]

So spake th’ Archangel Michael, then paus’d,
As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire
Replete with joy and wonder thus repli’d.

O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
That all this good of evil shall produce, [ 470 ]
And evil turn to good; more wonderful
Then that which by creation first brought forth
Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
Whether I should repent me now of sin
By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce [ 475 ]
Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,
To God more glory, more good will to Men
From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound.
But say, if our deliverer up to Heav’n
Must reascend, what will betide the few [ 480 ]
His faithful, left among th’ unfaithful herd,
The enemies of truth; who then shall guide
His people, who defend? will they not deale
Wors with his followers then with him they dealt?

Be sure they will, said th’ Angel; but from Heav’n [ 485 ]
Hee to his own a Comforter will send,
The promise of the Father, who shall dwell
His Spirit within them, and the Law of Faith
Working through love, upon thir hearts shall write,
To guide them in all truth, and also arme [ 490 ]
With spiritual Armour, able to resist
Satans assaults, and quench his fierie darts,
What Man can do against them, not affraid,
Though to the death, against such cruelties
With inward consolations recompenc’t, [ 495 ]
And oft supported so as shall amaze
Thir proudest persecuters: for the Spirit
Powrd first on his Apostles, whom he sends
To evangelize the Nations, then on all
Baptiz’d, shall them with wondrous gifts endue [ 500 ]
To speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles,
As did thir Lord before them. Thus they win
Great numbers of each Nation to receave
With joy the tidings brought from Heav’n: at length
Thir Ministry perform’d, and race well run, [ 505 ]
Thir doctrine and thir story written left,
They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne,
Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves,
Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav’n
To thir own vile advantages shall turne [ 510 ]
Of lucre and ambition, and the truth
With superstitions and traditions taint,
Left onely in those written Records pure,
Though not but by the Spirit understood.
Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names, [ 515 ]
Places and titles, and with these to joine
Secular power, though feigning still to act
By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
The Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv’n
To all Beleevers; and from that pretense, [ 520 ]
Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall force
On every conscience; Laws which none shall finde
Left them inrould, or what the Spirit within
Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and binde [ 525 ]
His consort Libertie; what, but unbuild
His living Temples, built by Faith to stand,
Thir own Faith not anothers: for on Earth
Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard
Infallible? yet many will presume: [ 530 ]
Whence heavie persecution shall arise
On all who in the worship persevere
Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part,
Well deem in outward Rites and specious formes
Religion satisfi’d; Truth shall retire [ 535 ]
Bestuck with slandrous darts, and works of Faith
Rarely be found: so shall the World goe on,
To good malignant, to bad men benigne,
Under her own waight groaning till the day
Appeer of respiration to the just, [ 540 ]
And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of him so lately promiss’d to thy aid
The Womans seed, obscurely then foretold,
Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
Last in the Clouds from Heav’n to be reveald [ 545 ]
In glory of the Father, to dissolve
Satan with his perverted World, then raise
From the conflagrant mass, purg’d and refin’d,
New Heav’ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date
Founded in righteousness and peace and love [ 550 ]
To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.

He ended; and thus Adam last reply’d.
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
Measur’d this transient World, the Race of time,
Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss, [ 555 ]
Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.
Greatly instructed I shall hence depart.
Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
Of knowledge, what this Vessel can containe;
Beyond which was my folly to aspire. [ 560 ]
Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best,
And love with feare the onely God, to walk
As in his presence, ever to observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,
Merciful over all his works, with good [ 565 ]
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deemd weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simply meek; that suffering for Truths sake
Is fortitude to highest victorie, [ 570 ]
And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;
Taught this by his example whom I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.

To whom thus also th’ Angel last repli’d:
This having learnt, thou hast attained the summe [ 575 ]
Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs
Thou knewst by name, and all th’ ethereal Powers,
All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,
Or works of God in Heav’n, Aire, Earth, or Sea,
And all the riches of this World enjoydst, [ 580 ]
And all the rule, one Empire; onely add
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,
Add vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,
By name to come call’d Charitie, the soul
Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath [ 585 ]
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
A Paradise within thee, happier farr.
Let us descend now therefore from this top
Of Speculation; for the hour precise
Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards, [ 590 ]
By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expect
Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword,
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;
We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm’d [ 595 ]
Portending good, and all her spirits compos’d
To meek submission: thou at season fit
Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,
Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know,
The great deliverance by her Seed to come [ 600 ]
(For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind.
That ye may live, which will be many dayes,
Both in one Faith unanimous though sad,
With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer’d
With meditation on the happie end. [ 605 ]

He ended, and they both descend the Hill;
Descended, Adam to the Bowre where Eve
Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak’t;
And thus with words not sad she him receav’d.

Whence thou returnst, and whither wentst, I know; [ 610 ]
For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise,
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress
Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
In mee is no delay; with thee to goe, [ 615 ]
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to mee
Art all things under Heav’n, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banisht hence.
This further consolation yet secure [ 620 ]
I carry hence; though all by mee is lost,
Such favour I unworthie am voutsaft,
By mee the Promis’d Seed shall all restore.

So spake our Mother Eve, and Adam heard
Well pleas’d, but answer’d not; for now too nigh [ 625 ]
Th’ Archangel stood, and from the other Hill
To thir fixt Station, all in bright array
The Cherubim descended; on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as Ev’ning Mist
Ris’n from a River o’re the marish glides, [ 630 ]
And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heel
Homeward returning. High in Front advanc’t,
The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz’d
Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,
And vapour as the Libyan Air adust, [ 635 ]
Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat
In either hand the hastning Angel caught
Our lingring Parents, and to th’ Eastern Gate
Led them direct, and down the Cliff as fast
To the subjected Plaine; then disappeer’d. [ 640 ]
They looking back, all th’ Eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late thir happie seat,
Wav’d over by that flaming Brand, the Gate
With dreadful Faces throng’d and fierie Armes:
Som natural tears they drop’d, but wip’d them soon; [ 645 ]
The World was all before them, where to choose
Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
Through Eden took thir solitarie way.


Source Text

Milton, John. Paradise Lost, Project Gutenberg, 1991, is licensed under no known copyright.

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