77

BOOK 7

THE ARGUMENT

Raphael at the request of Adam relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, declar’d his pleasure to create another World and other Creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with Glory and attendance of Angels to perform the work of Creation in six dayes: the Angels celebrate with Hymns the performance thereof, and his reascention into Heaven.

DEscend from Heav’n Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art call’d, whose Voice divine
Following, above th’ Olympian Hill I soare,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing.
The meaning, not the Name I call: for thou [ 5 ]
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell’st, but Heav’nlie borne,
Before the Hills appeerd, or Fountain flow’d,
Thou with Eternal Wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy Sister, and with her didst play [ 10 ]
In presence of th’ Almightie Father, pleas’d
With thy Celestial Song. Up led by thee
Into the Heav’n of Heav’ns I have presum’d,
An Earthlie Guest, and drawn Empyreal Aire,
Thy tempring; with like safetie guided down [ 15 ]
Return me to my Native Element:
Least from this flying Steed unrein’d, (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower Clime)
Dismounted, on th’ Aleian Field I fall
Erroneous there to wander and forlorne. [ 20 ]
Half yet remaines unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible Diurnal Spheare;
Standing on Earth, not rapt above the Pole,
More safe I Sing with mortal voice, unchang’d
To hoarce or mute, though fall’n on evil dayes, [ 25 ]
On evil dayes though fall’n, and evil tongues;
In darkness, and with dangers compast round,
And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
Visit’st my slumbers Nightly, or when Morn
Purples the East: still govern thou my Song, [ 30 ]
Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive farr off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his Revellers, the Race
Of that wilde Rout that tore the Thracian Bard
In Rhodope, where Woods and Rocks had Eares [ 35 ]
To rapture, till the savage clamor dround
Both Harp and Voice; nor could the Muse defend
Her Son. So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art Heav’nlie, shee an empty dreame.

Say Goddess, what ensu’d when Raphael, [ 40 ]
The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn’d
Adam by dire example to beware
Apostasie, by what befell in Heaven
To those Apostates, least the like befall
In Paradise to Adam or his Race, [ 45 ]
Charg’d not to touch the interdicted Tree,
If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
So easily obeyd amid the choice
Of all tastes else to please thir appetite,
Though wandring. He with his consorted Eve [ 50 ]
The storie heard attentive, and was fill’d
With admiration, and deep Muse to heare
Of things so high and strange, things to thir thought
So unimaginable as hate in Heav’n,
And Warr so neer the Peace of God in bliss [ 55 ]
With such confusion: but the evil soon
Driv’n back redounded as a flood on those
From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With Blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal’d
The doubts that in his heart arose: and now [ 60 ]
Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
What neerer might concern him, how this World
Of Heav’n and Earth conspicious first began,
When, and whereof created, for what cause,
What within Eden or without was done [ 65 ]
Before his memorie, as one whose drouth
Yet scarce allay’d still eyes the current streame,
Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his Heav’nly Guest.

Great things, and full of wonder in our eares, [ 70 ]
Farr differing from this World, thou hast reveal’d
Divine interpreter, by favour sent
Down from the Empyrean to forewarne
Us timely of what might else have bin our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledg could not reach: [ 75 ]
For which to the infinitly Good we owe
Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receave with solemne purpose to observe
Immutably his sovran will, the end
Of what we are. But since thou hast voutsaf’t [ 80 ]
Gently for our instruction to impart
Things above Earthly thought, which yet concernd
Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemd,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate
What may no less perhaps availe us known, [ 85 ]
How first began this Heav’n which we behold
Distant so high, with moving Fires adornd
Innumerable, and this which yeelds or fills
All space, the ambient Aire, wide interfus’d
Imbracing round this florid Earth, what cause [ 90 ]
Mov’d the Creator in his holy Rest
Through all Eternitie so late to build
In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
Absolv’d, if unforbid thou maist unfould
What wee, not to explore the secrets aske [ 95 ]
Of his Eternal Empire, but the more
To magnifie his works, the more we know.
And the great Light of Day yet wants to run
Much of his Race though steep, suspens in Heav’n
Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he heares, [ 100 ]
And longer will delay to heare thee tell
His Generation, and the rising Birth
Of Nature from the unapparent Deep:
Or if the Starr of Eevning and the Moon
Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring [ 105 ]
Silence, and Sleep listning to thee will watch,
Or we can bid his absence, till thy Song
End, and dismiss thee ere the Morning shine.

Thus Adam his illustrious Guest besought:

And thus the Godlike Angel answerd milde. [ 110 ]
This also thy request with caution askt
Obtaine: though to recount Almightie works
What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice,
Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve [ 115 ]
To glorifie the Maker, and inferr
Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
Thy hearing, such Commission from above
I have receav’d, to answer thy desire
Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain [ 120 ]
To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
Things not reveal’d, which th’ invisible King,
Onely Omniscient hath supprest in Night,
To none communicable in Earth or Heaven:
Anough is left besides to search and know. [ 125 ]
But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her Temperance over Appetite, to know
In measure what the mind may well contain,
Oppresses else with Surfet, and soon turns
Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Winde. [ 130 ]

Know then, that after Lucifer from Heav’n
(So call him, brighter once amidst the Host
Of Angels, then that Starr the Starrs among)
Fell with his flaming Legions through the Deep
Into his place, and the great Son returnd [ 135 ]
Victorious with his Saints, th’ Omnipotent
Eternal Father from his Throne beheld
Thir multitude, and to his Son thus spake.

At least our envious Foe hath fail’d, who thought
All like himself rebellious, by whose aid [ 140 ]
This inaccessible high strength, the seat
Of Deitie supream, us dispossest,
He trusted to have seis’d, and into fraud
Drew many, whom thir place knows here no more;
Yet farr the greater part have kept, I see, [ 145 ]
Thir station, Heav’n yet populous retaines
Number sufficient to possess her Realmes
Though wide, and this high Temple to frequent
With Ministeries due and solemn Rites:
But least his heart exalt him in the harme [ 150 ]
Already done, to have dispeopl’d Heav’n
My damage fondly deem’d, I can repaire
That detriment, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create
Another World, out of one man a Race [ 155 ]
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here, till by degrees of merit rais’d
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience tri’d,
And Earth be chang’d to Heav’n, & Heav’n to Earth, [ 160 ]
One Kingdom, Joy and Union without end.
Mean while inhabit laxe, ye Powers of Heav’n,
And by my Word, begotten Son, by thee
This I perform, speak thou, and be it don:
My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee [ 165 ]
I send along, ride forth, and bid the Deep
Within appointed bounds be Heav’n and Earth,
Boundless the Deep, because I am who fill
Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
Though I uncircumscrib’d my self retire, [ 170 ]
And put not forth my goodness, which is free
To act or not, Necessitie and Chance
Approach not mee, and what I will is Fate.

So spake th’ Almightie, and to what he spake
His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect. [ 175 ]
Immediate are the Acts of God, more swift
Then time or motion, but to human ears
Cannot without process of speech be told,
So told as earthly notion can receave.
Great triumph and rejoycing was in Heav’n [ 180 ]
When such was heard declar’d the Almightie’s will;
Glorie they sung to the most High, good will
To future men, and in thir dwellings peace:
Glorie to him whose just avenging ire
Had driven out th’ ungodly from his sight [ 185 ]
And th’ habitations of the just; to him
Glorie and praise, whose wisdom had ordain’d
Good out of evil to create, in stead
Of Spirits maligne a better Race to bring
Into thir vacant room, and thence diffuse [ 190 ]
His good to Worlds and Ages infinite.
So sang the Hierarchies: Mean while the Son
On his great Expedition now appeer’d,
Girt with Omnipotence, with Radiance crown’d
Of Majestie Divine, Sapience and Love [ 195 ]
Immense, and all his Father in him shon.
About his Chariot numberless were pour’d
Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
And Vertues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing’d,
From the Armoury of God, where stand of old [ 200 ]
Myriads between two brazen Mountains lodg’d
Against a solemn day, harnest at hand,
Celestial Equipage; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them Spirit livd,
Attendant on thir Lord: Heav’n op’nd wide [ 205 ]
Her ever during Gates, Harmonious sound
On golden Hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glorie in his powerful Word
And Spirit coming to create new Worlds.
On heav’nly ground they stood, and from the shore [ 210 ]
They view’d the vast immeasurable Abyss
Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde,
Up from the bottom turn’d by furious windes
And surging waves, as Mountains to assault
Heav’ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole. [ 215 ]

Silence, ye troubl’d waves, and thou Deep, peace,
Said then th’ Omnific Word, your discord end:

Nor staid, but on the Wings of Cherubim
Uplifted, in Paternal Glorie rode
Farr into Chaos, and the World unborn; [ 220 ]
For Chaos heard his voice: him all his Traine
Follow’d in bright procession to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand
He took the golden Compasses, prepar’d [ 225 ]
In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe
This Universe, and all created things:
One foot he center’d, and the other turn’d
Round through the vast profunditie obscure,
And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy bounds, [ 230 ]
This be thy just Circumference, O World.
Thus God the Heav’n created, thus the Earth,
Matter unform’d and void: Darkness profound
Cover’d th’ Abyss: but on the watrie calme
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspred, [ 235 ]
And vital vertue infus’d, and vital warmth
Throughout the fluid Mass, but downward purg’d
The black tartareous cold Infernal dregs
Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob’d
Like things to like, the rest to several place [ 240 ]
Disparted, and between spun out the Air,
And Earth self ballanc’t on her Center hung.

Let ther be Light, said God, and forthwith Light
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure
Sprung from the Deep, and from her Native East [ 245 ]
To journie through the airie gloom began,
Sphear’d in a radiant Cloud, for yet the Sun
Was not; shee in a cloudie Tabernacle
Sojourn’d the while. God saw the Light was good;
And light from darkness by the Hemisphere [ 250 ]
Divided: Light the Day, and Darkness Night
He nam’d. Thus was the first Day Eev’n and Morn:
Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
By the Celestial Quires, when Orient Light
Exhaling first from Darkness they beheld; [ 255 ]
Birth-day of Heav’n and Earth; with joy and shout
The hollow Universal Orb they fill’d,
And touch’d thir Golden Harps, and hymning prais’d
God and his works, Creatour him they sung,
Both when first Eevning was, and when first Morn. [ 260 ]

Again, God said, let ther be Firmament
Amid the Waters, and let it divide
The Waters from the Waters: and God made
The Firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
Transparent, Elemental Air, diffus’d [ 265 ]
In circuit to the uttermost convex
Of this great Round: partition firm and sure,
The Waters underneath from those above
Dividing: for as Earth, so he the World
Built on circumfluous Waters calme, in wide [ 270 ]
Crystallin Ocean, and the loud misrule
Of Chaos farr remov’d, least fierce extreames
Contiguous might distemper the whole frame:
And Heav’n he nam’d the Firmament: So Eev’n
And Morning Chorus sung the second Day. [ 275 ]

The Earth was form’d, but in the Womb as yet
Of Waters, Embryon immature involv’d,
Appeer’d not: over all the face of Earth
Main Ocean flow’d, not idle, but with warme
Prolific humour soft’ning all her Globe, [ 280 ]
Fermented the great Mother to conceave,
Satiate with genial moisture, when God said
Be gather’d now ye Waters under Heav’n
Into one place, and let dry Land appeer.
Immediately the Mountains huge appeer [ 285 ]
Emergent, and thir broad bare backs upheave
Into the Clouds, thir tops ascend the Skie:
So high as heav’d the tumid Hills, so low
Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
Capacious bed of Waters: thither they [ 290 ]
Hasted with glad precipitance, uprowld
As drops on dust conglobing from the drie;
Part rise in crystal Wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such flight the great command impress’d
On the swift flouds: as Armies at the call [ 295 ]
Of Trumpet (for of Armies thou hast heard)
Troop to thir Standard, so the watrie throng,
Wave rowling after Wave, where way they found,
If steep, with torrent rapture, if through Plaine,
Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them Rock or Hill, [ 300 ]
But they, or under ground, or circuit wide
With Serpent errour wandring, found thir way,
And on the washie Oose deep Channels wore;
Easie, e’re God had bid the ground be drie,
All but within those banks, where Rivers now [ 305 ]
Stream, and perpetual draw thir humid traine.
The dry Land, Earth, and the great receptacle
Of congregated Waters he call’d Seas:
And saw that it was good, and said, Let th’ Earth
Put forth the verdant Grass, Herb yielding Seed, [ 310 ]
And Fruit Tree yielding Fruit after her kind;
Whose Seed is in her self upon the Earth.
He scarce had said, when the bare Earth, till then
Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn’d,
Brought forth the tender Grass, whose verdure clad [ 315 ]
Her Universal Face with pleasant green,
Then Herbs of every leaf, that sudden flour’d
Op’ning thir various colours, and made gay
Her bosom smelling sweet: and these scarce blown,
Forth flourish’t thick the clustring Vine, forth crept [ 320 ]
The smelling Gourd, up stood the cornie Reed
Embattell’d in her field: and the humble Shrub,
And Bush with frizl’d hair implicit: last
Rose as in Dance the stately Trees, and spred
Thir branches hung with copious Fruit; or gemm’d [ 325 ]
Thir blossoms: with high woods the hills were crownd,
With tufts the vallies and each fountain side,
With borders long the Rivers. That Earth now
Seemd like to Heav’n, a seat where Gods might dwell,
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt [ 330 ]
Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rain’d
Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground
None was, but from the Earth a dewie Mist
Went up and waterd all the ground, and each
Plant of the field, which e’re it was in the Earth [ 335 ]
God made, and every Herb, before it grew
On the green stemm; God saw that it was good.
So Eev’n and Morn recorded the Third Day.

Again th’ Almightie spake: Let there be Lights
High in th’ expanse of Heaven to divide [ 340 ]
The Day from Night; and let them be for Signes,
For Seasons, and for Dayes, and circling Years,
And let them be for Lights as I ordaine
Thir Office in the Firmament of Heav’n
To give Light on the Earth; and it was so. [ 345 ]
And God made two great Lights, great for thir use
To Man, the greater to have rule by Day,
The less by Night alterne: and made the Starrs,
And set them in the Firmament of Heav’n
To illuminate the Earth, and rule the Day [ 350 ]
In thir vicissitude, and rule the Night,
And Light from Darkness to divide. God saw,
Surveying his great Work, that it was good:
For of Celestial Bodies first the Sun
A mightie Spheare he fram’d, unlightsom first, [ 355 ]
Though of Ethereal Mould: then form’d the Moon
Globose, and every magnitude of Starrs,
And sowd with Starrs the Heav’n thick as a field:
Of Light by farr the greater part he took,
Transplanted from her cloudie Shrine, and plac’d [ 360 ]
In the Suns Orb, made porous to receive
And drink the liquid Light, firm to retaine
Her gather’d beams, great Palace now of Light.
Hither as to thir Fountain other Starrs
Repairing, in thir gold’n Urns draw Light, [ 365 ]
And hence the Morning Planet guilds her horns;
By tincture or reflection they augment
Thir small peculiar, though from human sight
So farr remote, with diminution seen.
First in his East the glorious Lamp was seen, [ 370 ]
Regent of Day, and all th’ Horizon round
Invested with bright Rayes, jocond to run
His Longitude through Heav’n’s high rode: the gray
Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc’d
Shedding sweet influence: less bright the Moon, [ 375 ]
But opposite in leveld West was set
His mirror, with full face borrowing her Light
From him, for other light she needed none
In that aspect, and still that distance keepes
Till night, then in the East her turn she shines, [ 380 ]
Revolvd on Heav’ns great Axle, and her Reign
With thousand lesser Lights dividual holds,
With thousand thousand Starres, that then appeer’d
Spangling the Hemisphere: then first adornd
With thir bright Luminaries that Set and Rose, [ 385 ]
Glad Eevning and glad Morn crownd the fourth day.

And God said, let the Waters generate
Reptil with Spawn abundant, living Soule:
And let Fowle flie above the Earth, with wings
Displayd on the op’n Firmament of Heav’n. [ 390 ]
And God created the great Whales, and each
Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously
The waters generated by thir kindes,
And every Bird of wing after his kinde;
And saw that it was good, and bless’d them, saying, [ 395 ]
Be fruitful, multiply, and in the Seas
And Lakes and running Streams the waters fill;
And let the Fowle be multiply’d on the Earth.
Forthwith the Sounds and Seas, each Creek and Bay
With Frie innumerable swarme, and Shoales [ 400 ]
Of Fish that with thir Finns and shining Scales
Glide under the green Wave, in Sculles that oft
Bank the mid Sea: part single or with mate
Graze the Sea weed thir pasture, and through Groves
Of Coral stray, or sporting with quick glance [ 405 ]
Show to the Sun thir wav’d coats dropt with Gold,
Or in thir Pearlie shells at ease, attend
Moist nutriment, or under Rocks thir food
In jointed Armour watch: on smooth the Seale,
And bended Dolphins play: part huge of bulk [ 410 ]
Wallowing unweildie, enormous in thir Gate
Tempest the Ocean: there Leviathan
Hugest of living Creatures, on the Deep
Stretcht like a Promontorie sleeps or swimmes,
And seems a moving Land, and at his Gilles [ 415 ]
Draws in, and at his Trunck spouts out a Sea.
Mean while the tepid Caves, and Fens and shoares
Thir Brood as numerous hatch, from the Egg that soon
Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos’d
Thir callow young, but featherd soon and fledge [ 420 ]
They summ’d thir Penns, and soaring th’ air sublime
With clang despis’d the ground, under a cloud
In prospect; there the Eagle and the Stork
On Cliffs and Cedar tops thir Eyries build:
Part loosly wing the Region, part more wise [ 425 ]
In common, rang’d in figure wedge thir way,
Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Thir Aierie Caravan high over Sea’s
Flying, and over Lands with mutual wing
Easing thir flight; so stears the prudent Crane [ 430 ]
Her annual Voiage, born on Windes; the Aire,
Floats, as they pass, fann’d with unnumber’d plumes:
From Branch to Branch the smaller Birds with song
Solac’d the Woods, and spred thir painted wings
Till Ev’n, nor then the solemn Nightingal [ 435 ]
Ceas’d warbling, but all night tun’d her soft layes:
Others on Silver Lakes and Rivers Bath’d
Thir downie Brest; the Swan with Arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, Rowes
Her state with Oarie feet: yet oft they quit [ 440 ]
The Dank, and rising on stiff Pennons, towre
The mid Aereal Skie: Others on ground
Walk’d firm; the crested Cock whose clarion sounds
The silent hours, and th’ other whose gay Traine
Adorns him, colour’d with the Florid hue [ 445 ]
Of Rainbows and Starrie Eyes. The Waters thus
With Fish replenisht, and the Aire with Fowle,
Ev’ning and Morn solemniz’d the Fift day.

The Sixt, and of Creation last arose
With Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said, [ 450 ]
Let th’ Earth bring forth Foul living in her kinde,
Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,
Each in their kinde. The Earth obey’d, and strait
Op’ning her fertile Woomb teem’d at a Birth
Innumerous living Creatures, perfet formes, [ 455 ]
Limb’d and full grown: out of the ground up rose
As from his Laire the wilde Beast where he wonns
In Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den;
Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk’d:
The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green: [ 460 ]
Those rare and solitarie, these in flocks
Pasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung.
The grassie Clods now Calv’d, now half appeer’d
The Tawnie Lion, pawing to get free
His hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds, [ 465 ]
And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; the Ounce,
The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the Moale
Rising, the crumbl’d Earth above them threw
In Hillocks; the swift Stag from under ground
Bore up his branching head: scarse from his mould [ 470 ]
Behemoth biggest born of Earth upheav’d
His vastness: Fleec’t the Flocks and bleating rose,
As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and Land
The River Horse and scalie Crocodile.
At once came forth whatever creeps the ground, [ 475 ]
Insect or Worme; those wav’d thir limber fans
For wings, and smallest Lineaments exact
In all the Liveries dect of Summers pride
With spots of Gold and Purple, azure and green:
These as a line thir long dimension drew, [ 480 ]
Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
Minims of Nature; some of Serpent kinde
Wondrous in length and corpulence involv’d
Thir Snakie foulds, and added wings. First crept
The Parsimonious Emmet, provident [ 485 ]
Of future, in small room large heart enclos’d,
Pattern of just equalitie perhaps
Hereafter, join’d in her popular Tribes
Of Commonaltie: swarming next appeer’d
The Female Bee that feeds her Husband Drone [ 490 ]
Deliciously, and builds her waxen Cells
With Honey stor’d: the rest are numberless,
And thou thir Natures know’st, & gav’st them Names,
Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
The Serpent suttl’st Beast of all the field, [ 495 ]
Of huge extent somtimes, with brazen Eyes
And hairie Main terrific, though to thee
Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.
Now Heav’n in all her Glorie shon, and rowld
Her motions, as the great first-Movers hand [ 500 ]
First wheeld thir course; Earth in her rich attire
Consummate lovly smil’d; Aire, Water, Earth,
By Fowl, Fish, Beast, was flown, was swum, was walkt
Frequent; and of the Sixt day yet remain’d;
There wanted yet the Master work, the end [ 505 ]
Of all yet don; a Creature who not prone
And Brute as other Creatures, but endu’d
With Sanctitie of Reason, might erect
His Stature, and upright with Front serene
Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence [ 510 ]
Magnanimous to correspond with Heav’n,
But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyes
Directed in Devotion, to adore
And worship God Supream, who made him chief [ 515 ]
Of all his works: therefore the Omnipotent
Eternal Father (For where is not hee
Present) thus to his Son audibly spake.

Let us make now Man in our image, Man
In our similitude, and let them rule [ 520 ]
Over the Fish and Fowle of Sea and Aire,
Beast of the Field, and over all the Earth,
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground.
This said, he formd thee, Adam, thee O Man
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath’d [ 525 ]
The breath of Life; in his own Image hee
Created thee, in the Image of God
Express, and thou becam’st a living Soul.
Male he created thee, but thy consort
Female for Race; then bless’d Mankinde, and said, [ 530 ]
Be fruitful, multiplie, and fill the Earth,
Subdue it, and throughout Dominion hold
Over Fish of the Sea, and Fowle of the Aire,
And every living thing that moves on the Earth.
Wherever thus created, for no place [ 535 ]
Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know’st
He brought thee into this delicious Grove,
This Garden, planted with the Trees of God,
Delectable both to behold and taste;
And freely all thir pleasant fruit for food [ 540 ]
Gave thee, all sorts are here that all th’ Earth yields,
Varietie without end; but of the Tree
Which tasted works knowledge of Good and Evil,
Thou mai’st not; in the day thou eat’st, thou di’st;
Death is the penaltie impos’d, beware, [ 545 ]
And govern well thy appetite, least sin
Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death.
Here finish’d hee, and all that he had made
View’d, and behold all was entirely good;
So Ev’n and Morn accomplish’t the Sixt day: [ 550 ]
Yet not till the Creator from his work
Desisting, though unwearied, up returnd
Up to the Heav’n of Heav’ns his high abode,
Thence to behold this new created World
Th’ addition of his Empire, how it shew’d [ 555 ]
In prospect from his Throne, how good, how faire,
Answering his great Idea. Up he rode
Followd with acclamation and the sound
Symphonious of ten thousand Harpes that tun’d
Angelic harmonies: the Earth, the Aire, [ 560 ]
Resounded, (thou remember’st for thou heardst)
The Heav’ns and all the Constellations rung,
The Planets in thir stations list’ning stood,
While the bright Pomp ascended jubilant.
Open, ye everlasting Gates, they sung, [ 565 ]
Open, ye Heav’ns, your living dores; let in
The great Creator from his work returnd
Magnificent, his Six days work, a World;
Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deigne
To visit oft the dwellings of just Men [ 570 ]
Delighted, and with frequent intercourse
Thither will send his winged Messengers
On errands of supernal Grace. So sung
The glorious Train ascending: He through Heav’n,
That open’d wide her blazing Portals, led [ 575 ]
To Gods Eternal house direct the way,
A broad and ample rode, whose dust is Gold
And pavement Starrs, as Starrs to thee appeer,
Seen in the Galaxie, that Milkie way
Which nightly as a circling Zone thou seest [ 580 ]
Pouderd with Starrs. And now on Earth the Seventh
Eev’ning arose in Eden, for the Sun
Was set, and twilight from the East came on,
Forerunning Night; when at the holy mount
Of Heav’ns high-seated top, th’ Impereal Throne [ 585 ]
Of Godhead, fixt for ever firm and sure,
The Filial Power arriv’d, and sate him down
With his great Father (for he also went
Invisible, yet staid, such priviledge
Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain’d, [ 590 ]
Author and end of all things, and from work
Now resting, bless’d and hallowd the Seav’nth day,
As resting on that day from all his work,
But not in silence holy kept; the Harp
Had work and rested not, the solemn Pipe, [ 595 ]
And Dulcimer, all Organs of sweet stop,
All sounds on Fret by String or Golden Wire
Temper’d soft Tunings, intermixt with Voice
Choral or Unison; of incense Clouds
Fuming from Golden Censers hid the Mount. [ 600 ]
Creation and the Six dayes acts they sung,
Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite
Thy power; what thought can measure thee or tongue
Relate thee; greater now in thy return
Then from the Giant Angels; thee that day [ 605 ]
Thy Thunders magnifi’d; but to create
Is greater then created to destroy.
Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
Thy Empire? easily the proud attempt
Of Spirits apostat and thir Counsels vaine [ 610 ]
Thou hast repeld, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
The number of thy worshippers. Who seekes
To lessen thee, against his purpose serves
To manifest the more thy might: his evil [ 615 ]
Thou usest, and from thence creat’st more good.
Witness this new-made World, another Heav’n
From Heaven Gate not farr, founded in view
On the cleer Hyaline, the Glassie Sea;
Of amplitude almost immense, with Starr’s [ 620 ]
Numerous, and every Starr perhaps a World
Of destind habitation; but thou know’st
Thir seasons: among these the seat of men,
Earth with her nether Ocean circumfus’d,
Thir pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happie men, [ 625 ]
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanc’t,
Created in his Image, there to dwell
And worship him, and in reward to rule
Over his Works, on Earth, in Sea, or Air,
And multiply a Race of Worshippers [ 630 ]
Holy and just: thrice happie if they know
Thir happiness, and persevere upright.

So sung they, and the Empyrean rung,
With Halleluiahs: Thus was Sabbath kept.
And thy request think now fulfill’d, that ask’d [ 635 ]
How first this World and face of things began,
And what before thy memorie was don
From the beginning, that posteritie
Informd by thee might know; if else thou seek’st
Aught, not surpassing human measure, say. [ 640 ]

BOOK 8

THE ARGUMENT

Adam inquires concerning celestial Motions, is doubtfully answer’d, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledg: Adam assents, and still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remember’d since his own Creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society, his first meeting and Nuptials with Eve, his discourse with the Angel thereupon; who after admonitions repeated departs.

THE Angel ended, and in Adams Eare
So Charming left his voice, that he a while
Thought him still speaking, still stood fixt to hear;
Then as new wak’t thus gratefully repli’d.
What thanks sufficient, or what recompence [ 5 ]
Equal have I to render thee, Divine
Hystorian, who thus largely hast allayd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and voutsaf’t
This friendly condescention to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard [ 10 ]
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glorie attributed to the high
Creator; something yet of doubt remaines,
Which onely thy solution can resolve.
When I behold this goodly Frame, this World [ 15 ]
Of Heav’n and Earth consisting, and compute,
Thir magnitudes, this Earth a spot, a graine,
An Atom, with the Firmament compar’d
And all her numberd Starrs, that seem to rowle
Spaces incomprehensible (for such [ 20 ]
Thir distance argues and thir swift return
Diurnal) meerly to officiate light
Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night; in all thir vast survey
Useless besides, reasoning I oft admire, [ 25 ]
How Nature wise and frugal could commit
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler Bodies to create,
Greater so manifold to this one use,
For aught appeers, and on thir Orbs impose [ 30 ]
Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentarie Earth,
That better might with farr less compass move,
Serv’d by more noble then her self, attaines
Her end without least motion, and receaves, [ 35 ]
As Tribute such a sumless journey brought
Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness Number failes.

So spake our Sire, and by his count’nance seemd
Entring on studious thoughts abstruse, which Eve [ 40 ]
Perceaving where she sat retir’d in sight,
With lowliness Majestic from her seat,
And Grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
Rose, and went forth among her Fruits and Flours,
To visit how they prosper’d, bud and bloom, [ 45 ]
Her Nurserie; they at her coming sprung
And toucht by her fair tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
Delighted, or not capable her eare
Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv’d, [ 50 ]
Adam relating, she sole Auditress;
Her Husband the Relater she preferr’d
Before the Angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather: hee, she knew would intermix
Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute [ 55 ]
With conjugal Caresses, from his Lip
Not Words alone pleas’d her. O when meet now
Such pairs, in Love and mutual Honour joyn’d?
With Goddess-like demeanour forth she went;
Not unattended, for on her as Queen [ 60 ]
A pomp of winning Graces waited still,
And from about her shot Darts of desire
Into all Eyes to wish her still in sight.
And Raphael now to Adam’s doubt propos’d
Benevolent and facil thus repli’d. [ 65 ]

To ask or search I blame thee not, for Heav’n
Is as the Book of God before thee set,
Wherein to read his wondrous Works, and learne
His Seasons, Hours, or Dayes, or Months, or Yeares:
This to attain, whether Heav’n move or Earth, [ 70 ]
Imports not, if thou reck’n right, the rest
From Man or Angel the great Architect
Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge
His secrets to be scann’d by them who ought
Rather admire; or if they list to try [ 75 ]
Conjecture, he his Fabric of the Heav’ns
Hath left to thir disputes, perhaps to move
His laughter at thir quaint Opinions wide
Hereafter, when they come to model Heav’n
And calculate the Starrs, how they will weild [ 80 ]
The mightie frame, how build, unbuild, contrive
To save appeerances, how gird the Sphear
With Centric and Eccentric scribl’d o’re,
Cycle and Epicycle, Orb in Orb:
Alreadie by thy reasoning this I guess, [ 85 ]
Who art to lead thy ofspring, and supposest
That bodies bright and greater should not serve
The less not bright, nor Heav’n such journies run,
Earth sitting still, when she alone receaves
The benefit: consider first, that Great [ 90 ]
Or Bright inferrs not Excellence: the Earth
Though, in comparison of Heav’n, so small,
Nor glistering, may of solid good containe
More plenty then the Sun that barren shines,
Whose vertue on it self workes no effect, [ 95 ]
But in the fruitful Earth; there first receavd
His beams, unactive else, thir vigour find.
Yet not to Earth are those bright Luminaries
Officious, but to thee Earths habitant.
And for the Heav’ns wide Circuit, let it speak [ 100 ]
The Makers high magnificence, who built
So spacious, and his Line stretcht out so farr;
That Man may know he dwells not in his own;
An Edifice too large for him to fill,
Lodg’d in a small partition, and the rest [ 105 ]
Ordain’d for uses to his Lord best known.
The swiftness of those Circles attribute,
Though numberless, to his Omnipotence,
That to corporeal substances could adde
Speed almost Spiritual; mee thou thinkst not slow, [ 110 ]
Who since the Morning hour set out from Heav’n
Where God resides, and ere mid-day arriv’d
In Eden, distance inexpressible
By Numbers that have name. But this I urge,
Admitting Motion in the Heav’ns, to shew [ 115 ]
Invalid that which thee to doubt it mov’d;
Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
To thee who hast thy dwelling here on Earth.
God to remove his wayes from human sense,
Plac’d Heav’n from Earth so farr, that earthly sight, [ 120 ]
If it presume, might erre in things too high,
And no advantage gaine. What if the Sun
Be Centre to the World, and other Starrs
By his attractive vertue and their own
Incited, dance about him various rounds? [ 125 ]
Thir wandring course now high, now low, then hid,
Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,
In six thou seest, and what if sev’nth to these
The Planet Earth, so stedfast though she seem,
Insensibly three different Motions move? [ 130 ]
Which else to several Spheres thou must ascribe,
Mov’d contrarie with thwart obliquities,
Or save the Sun his labour, and that swift
Nocturnal and Diurnal rhomb suppos’d,
Invisible else above all Starrs, the Wheele [ 135 ]
Of Day and Night; which needs not thy beleefe,
If Earth industrious of her self fetch Day
Travelling East, and with her part averse
From the Suns beam meet Night, her other part
Still luminous by his ray. What if that light [ 140 ]
Sent from her through the wide transpicuous aire,
To the terrestrial Moon be as a Starr
Enlightning her by Day, as she by Night
This Earth? reciprocal, if Land be there,
Fields and Inhabitants: Her spots thou seest [ 145 ]
As Clouds, and Clouds may rain, and Rain produce
Fruits in her soft’nd Soile, for some to eate
Allotted there; and other Suns perhaps
With thir attendant Moons thou wilt descrie
Communicating Male and Femal Light, [ 150 ]
Which two great Sexes animate the World,
Stor’d in each Orb perhaps with some that live.
For such vast room in Nature unpossest
By living Soule, desert and desolate,
Onely to shine, yet scarce to contribute [ 155 ]
Each Orb a glimps of Light, conveyd so farr
Down to this habitable, which returnes
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
But whether thus these things, or whether not,
Whether the Sun predominant in Heav’n [ 160 ]
Rise on the Earth, or Earth rise on the Sun,
Hee from the East his flaming rode begin,
Or Shee from West her silent course advance
With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps
On her soft Axle, while she paces Eev’n, [ 165 ]
And beares thee soft with the smooth Air along,
Sollicit not thy thoughts with matters hid,
Leave them to God above, him serve and feare;
Of other Creatures, as him pleases best,
Wherever plac’t, let him dispose: joy thou [ 170 ]
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
And thy faire Eve; Heav’n is for thee too high
To know what passes there; be lowlie wise:
Think onely what concernes thee and thy being;
Dream not of other Worlds, what Creatures there [ 175 ]
Live, in what state, condition or degree,
Contented that thus farr hath been reveal’d
Not of Earth onely but of highest Heav’n.

To whom thus Adam cleerd of doubt, repli’d.
How fully hast thou satisfi’d me, pure [ 180 ]
Intelligence of Heav’n, Angel serene,
And freed from intricacies, taught to live
The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts
To interrupt the sweet of Life, from which
God hath bid dwell farr off all anxious cares, [ 185 ]
And not molest us, unless we our selves
Seek them with wandring thoughts, and notions vain.
But apt the Mind or Fancy is to roave
Uncheckt, and of her roaving is no end;
Till warn’d, or by experience taught, she learne, [ 190 ]
That not to know at large of things remote
From use, obscure and suttle, but to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime Wisdom, what is more, is fume,
Or emptiness, or fond impertinence, [ 195 ]
And renders us in things that most concerne
Unpractis’d, unprepar’d, and still to seek.
Therefore from this high pitch let us descend
A lower flight, and speak of things at hand
Useful, whence haply mention may arise [ 200 ]
Of somthing not unseasonable to ask
By sufferance, and thy wonted favour deign’d.
Thee I have heard relating what was don
Ere my remembrance: now hear mee relate
My Storie, which perhaps thou hast not heard; [ 205 ]
And Day is yet not spent; till then thou seest
How suttly to detaine thee I devise,
Inviting thee to hear while I relate,
Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply:
For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heav’n, [ 210 ]
And sweeter thy discourse is to my eare
Then Fruits of Palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both, from labour, at the houre
Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill,
Though pleasant, but thy words with Grace Divine [ 215 ]
Imbu’d, bring to thir sweetness no satietie.

To whom thus Raphael answer’d heav’nly meek.
Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men,
Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee
Abundantly his gifts hath also pour’d [ 220 ]
Inward and outward both, his image faire:
Speaking or mute all comliness and grace
Attends thee, and each word, each motion formes.
Nor less think wee in Heav’n of thee on Earth
Then of our fellow servant, and inquire [ 225 ]
Gladly into the wayes of God with Man:
For God we see hath honour’d thee, and set
On Man his Equal Love: say therefore on;
For I that Day was absent, as befell,
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure, [ 230 ]
Farr on excursion toward the Gates of Hell;
Squar’d in full Legion (such command we had)
To see that none thence issu’d forth a spie,
Or enemie, while God was in his work,
Least hee incenst at such eruption bold, [ 235 ]
Destruction with Creation might have mixt.
Not that they durst without his leave attempt,
But us he sends upon his high behests
For state, as Sovran King, and to enure
Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut [ 240 ]
The dismal Gates, and barricado’d strong;
But long ere our approaching heard within
Noise, other then the sound of Dance or Song,
Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.
Glad we return’d up to the coasts of Light [ 245 ]
Ere Sabbath Eev’ning: so we had in charge.
But thy relation now; for I attend,
Pleas’d with thy words no less then thou with mine.

So spake the Godlike Power, and thus our Sire.
For Man to tell how human Life began [ 250 ]
Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?
Desire with thee still longer to converse
Induc’d me. As new wak’t from soundest sleep
Soft on the flourie herb I found me laid
In Balmie Sweat, which with his Beames the Sun [ 255 ]
Soon dri’d, and on the reaking moisture fed.
Strait toward Heav’n my wondring Eyes I turnd,
And gaz’d a while the ample Skie, till rais’d
By quick instinctive motion up I sprung,
As thitherward endevoring, and upright [ 260 ]
Stood on my feet; about me round I saw
Hill, Dale, and shadie Woods, and sunnie Plaines,
And liquid Lapse of murmuring Streams; by these,
Creatures that livd, and movd, and walk’d, or flew,
Birds on the branches warbling; all things smil’d, [ 265 ]
With fragrance and with joy my heart oreflow’d.
My self I then perus’d, and Limb by Limb
Survey’d, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
With supple joints, as lively vigour led:
But who I was, or where, or from what cause, [ 270 ]
Knew not; to speak I tri’d, and forthwith spake,
My Tongue obey’d and readily could name
What e’re I saw. Thou Sun, said I, faire Light,
And thou enlight’nd Earth, so fresh and gay,
Ye Hills and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plaines, [ 275 ]
And ye that live and move, fair Creatures, tell,
Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here?
Not of my self; by some great Maker then,
In goodness and in power præeminent;
Tell me, how may I know him, how adore, [ 280 ]
From whom I have that thus I move and live,
And feel that I am happier then I know.
While thus I call’d, and stray’d I knew not whither,
From where I first drew Aire, and first beheld
This happie Light, when answer none return’d, [ 285 ]
On a green shadie Bank profuse of Flours
Pensive I sate me down; there gentle sleep
First found me, and with soft oppression seis’d
My droused sense, untroubl’d, though I thought
I then was passing to my former state [ 290 ]
Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
When suddenly stood at my Head a dream,
Whose inward apparition gently mov’d
My Fancy to believe I yet had being,
And livd: One came, methought, of shape Divine, [ 295 ]
And said, thy Mansion wants thee, Adam, rise,
First Man, of Men innumerable ordain’d
First Father, call’d by thee I come thy Guide
To the Garden of bliss, thy seat prepar’d.
So saying, by the hand he took me rais’d, [ 300 ]
And over Fields and Waters, as in Aire
Smooth sliding without step, last led me up
A woodie Mountain; whose high top was plaine,
A Circuit wide, enclos’d, with goodliest Trees
Planted, with Walks, and Bowers, that what I saw [ 305 ]
Of Earth before scarce pleasant seemd. Each Tree
Load’n with fairest Fruit, that hung to the Eye
Tempting, stirr’d in me sudden appetite
To pluck and eate; whereat I wak’d, and found
Before mine Eyes all real, as the dream [ 310 ]
Had lively shadowd: Here had new begun
My wandring, had not hee who was my Guide
Up hither, from among the Trees appeer’d,
Presence Divine. Rejoycing, but with aw,
In adoration at his feet I fell [ 315 ]
Submiss: he rear’d me, and Whom thou soughtst I am,
Said mildely, Author of all this thou seest
Above, or round about thee or beneath.
This Paradise I give thee, count it thine
To Till and keep, and of the Fruit to eate: [ 320 ]
Of every Tree that in the Garden growes
Eate freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth:
But of the Tree whose operation brings
Knowledg of good and ill, which I have set
The Pledge of thy Obedience and thy Faith, [ 325 ]
Amid the Garden by the Tree of Life,
Remember what I warne thee, shun to taste,
And shun the bitter consequence: for know,
The day thou eat’st thereof, my sole command
Transgrest, inevitably thou shalt dye; [ 330 ]
From that day mortal, and this happie State
Shalt loose, expell’d from hence into a World
Of woe and sorrow. Sternly he pronounc’d
The rigid interdiction, which resounds
Yet dreadful in mine eare, though in my choice [ 335 ]
Not to incur; but soon his cleer aspect
Return’d and gracious purpose thus renew’d.
Not onely these fair bounds, but all the Earth
To thee and to thy Race I give; as Lords
Possess it, and all things that therein live, [ 340 ]
Or live in Sea, or Aire, Beast, Fish, and Fowle.
In signe whereof each Bird and Beast behold
After thir kindes; I bring them to receave
From thee thir Names, and pay thee fealtie
With low subjection; understand the same [ 345 ]
Of Fish within thir watry residence,
Not hither summon’d, since they cannot change
Thir Element to draw the thinner Aire.
As thus he spake, each Bird and Beast behold
Approaching two and two, These cowring low [ 350 ]
With blandishment, each Bird stoop’d on his wing.
I nam’d them, as they pass’d, and understood
Thir Nature, with such knowledg God endu’d
My sudden apprehension: but in these
I found not what me thought I wanted still; [ 355 ]
And to the Heav’nly vision thus presum’d.

O by what Name, for thou above all these,
Above mankinde, or aught then mankinde higher,
Surpassest farr my naming, how may I
Adore thee, Author of this Universe, [ 360 ]
And all this good to man, for whose well being
So amply, and with hands so liberal
Thou hast provided all things: but with mee
I see not who partakes. In solitude
What happiness, who can enjoy alone, [ 365 ]
Or all enjoying, what contentment find?
Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright,
As with a smile more bright’nd, thus repli’d.

What call’st thou solitude, is not the Earth
With various living creatures, and the Aire [ 370 ]
Replenisht, and all these at thy command
To come and play before thee; know’st thou not
Thir language and thir wayes? They also know,
And reason not contemptibly; with these
Find pastime, and beare rule; thy Realm is large. [ 375 ]
So spake the Universal Lord, and seem’d
So ordering. I with leave of speech implor’d,
And humble deprecation thus repli’d.

Let not my words offend thee, Heav’nly Power,
My Maker, be propitious while I speak. [ 380 ]
Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,
And these inferiour farr beneath me set?
Among unequals what societie
Can sort, what harmonie or true delight?
Which must be mutual, in proportion due [ 385 ]
Giv’n and receiv’d; but in disparitie
The one intense, the other still remiss
Cannot well suite with either, but soon prove
Tedious alike: Of fellowship I speak
Such as I seek, fit to participate [ 390 ]
All rational delight, wherein the brute
Cannot be human consort; they rejoyce
Each with thir kinde, Lion with Lioness;
So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin’d;
Much less can Bird with Beast, or Fish with Fowle [ 395 ]
So well converse, nor with the Ox the Ape;
Wors then can Man with Beast, and least of all.
Whereto th’ Almighty answer’d, not displeas’d.
A nice and suttle happiness I see
Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice [ 400 ]
Of thy Associates, Adam, and wilt taste
No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitarie.
What think’st thou then of mee, and this my State,
Seem I to thee sufficiently possest
Of happiness, or not? who am alone [ 405 ]
From all Eternitie, for none I know
Second to mee or like, equal much less.
How have I then with whom to hold converse
Save with the Creatures which I made, and those
To me inferiour, infinite descents [ 410 ]
Beneath what other Creatures are to thee?

He ceas’d, I lowly answer’d. To attaine
The highth and depth of thy Eternal wayes
All human thoughts come short, Supream of things;
Thou in thy self art perfet, and in thee [ 415 ]
Is no deficience found; not so is Man,
But in degree, the cause of his desire
By conversation with his like to help,
Or solace his defects. No need that thou
Shouldst propagat, already infinite; [ 420 ]
And through all numbers absolute, though One;
But Man by number is to manifest
His single imperfection, and beget
Like of his like, his Image multipli’d,
In unitie defective, which requires [ 425 ]
Collateral love, and deerest amitie.
Thou in thy secresie although alone,
Best with thy self accompanied, seek’st not
Social communication, yet so pleas’d,
Canst raise thy Creature to what highth thou wilt [ 430 ]
Of Union or Communion, deifi’d;
I by conversing cannot these erect
From prone, nor in thir wayes complacence find.
Thus I embold’nd spake, and freedom us’d
Permissive, and acceptance found, which gain’d [ 435 ]
This answer from the gratious voice Divine.

Thus farr to try thee, Adam, I was pleas’d,
And finde thee knowing not of Beasts alone,
Which thou hast rightly nam’d, but of thy self,
Expressing well the spirit within thee free, [ 440 ]
My Image, not imparted to the Brute,
Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee
Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike,
And be so minded still; I, ere thou spak’st,
Knew it not good for Man to be alone, [ 445 ]
And no such companie as then thou saw’st
Intended thee, for trial onely brought,
To see how thou could’st judge of fit and meet:
What next I bring shall please thee, be assur’d,
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self, [ 450 ]
Thy wish, exactly to thy hearts desire.

Hee ended, or I heard no more, for now
My earthly by his Heav’nly overpowerd,
Which it had long stood under, streind to the highth
In that celestial Colloquie sublime, [ 455 ]
As with an object that excels the sense,
Dazl’d and spent, sunk down, and sought repair
Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call’d
By Nature as in aide, and clos’d mine eyes.
Mine eyes he clos’d, but op’n left the Cell [ 460 ]
Of Fancie my internal sight, by which
Abstract as in a transe methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood;
Who stooping op’nd my left side, and took [ 465 ]
From thence a Rib, with cordial spirits warme,
And Life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound,
But suddenly with flesh fill’d up and heal’d:
The Rib he formd and fashond with his hands;
Under his forming hands a Creature grew, [ 470 ]
Manlike, but different sex, so lovly faire,
That what seemd fair in all the World, seemd now
Mean, or in her summ’d up, in her containd
And in her looks, which from that time infus’d
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before, [ 475 ]
And into all things from her Aire inspir’d
The spirit of love and amorous delight.
Shee disappeerd, and left me dark, I wak’d
To find her, or for ever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure: [ 480 ]
When out of hope, behold her, not farr off,
Such as I saw her in my dream, adornd
With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable: On she came,
Led by her Heav’nly Maker, though unseen, [ 485 ]
And guided by his voice, nor uninformd
Of nuptial Sanctitie and marriage Rites:
Grace was in all her steps, Heav’n in her Eye,
In every gesture dignitie and love.
I overjoyd could not forbear aloud. [ 490 ]

This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfill’d
Thy words, Creator bounteous and benigne,
Giver of all things faire, but fairest this
Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
Bone of my Bone, Flesh of my Flesh, my Self [ 495 ]
Before me; Woman is her Name, of Man
Extracted; for this cause he shall forgoe
Father and Mother, and to his Wife adhere;
And they shall be one Flesh, one Heart, one Soule.

She heard me thus, and though divinely brought, [ 500 ]
Yet Innocence and Virgin Modestie,
Her vertue and the conscience of her worth,
That would be woo’d, and not unsought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retir’d,
The more desirable, or to say all, [ 505 ]
Nature her self, though pure of sinful thought,
Wrought in her so, that seeing me, she turn’d;
I follow’d her, she what was Honour knew,
And with obsequious Majestie approv’d
My pleaded reason. To the Nuptial Bowre [ 510 ]
I led her blushing like the Morn: all Heav’n,
And happie Constellations on that houre
Shed thir selectest influence; the Earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each Hill;
Joyous the Birds; fresh Gales and gentle Aires [ 515 ]
Whisper’d it to the Woods, and from thir wings
Flung Rose, flung Odours from the spicie Shrub,
Disporting, till the amorous Bird of Night
Sung Spousal, and bid haste the Eevning Starr
On his Hill top, to light the bridal Lamp. [ 520 ]
Thus I have told thee all my State, and brought
My Storie to the sum of earthly bliss
Which I enjoy, and must confess to find
In all things else delight indeed, but such
As us’d or not, works in the mind no change, [ 525 ]
Nor vehement desire, these delicacies
I mean of Taste, Sight, Smell, Herbs, Fruits and Flours,
Walks, and the melodie of Birds; but here
Farr otherwise, transported I behold,
Transported touch; here passion first I felt, [ 530 ]
Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else
Superiour and unmov’d, here onely weake
Against the charm of Beauties powerful glance.
Or Nature faild in mee, and left some part
Not proof enough such Object to sustain, [ 535 ]
Or from my side subducting, took perhaps
More then enough; at least on her bestow’d
Too much of Ornament, in outward shew
Elaborate, of inward less exact.
For well I understand in the prime end [ 540 ]
Of Nature her th’ inferiour, in the mind
And inward Faculties, which most excell,
In outward also her resembling less
His Image who made both, and less expressing
The character of that Dominion giv’n [ 545 ]
O’re other Creatures; yet when I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems
And in her self compleat, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
Seems wisest, vertuousest, discreetest, best; [ 550 ]
All higher knowledge in her presence falls
Degraded, Wisdom in discourse with her
Looses discount’nanc’t, and like folly shewes;
Authority and Reason on her waite,
As one intended first, not after made [ 555 ]
Occasionally; and to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and nobleness thir seat
Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard Angelic plac’t.
To whom the Angel with contracted brow. [ 560 ]

Accuse not Nature, she hath don her part;
Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
Of Wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thou
Dismiss not her, when most thou needst her nigh,
By attributing overmuch to things [ 565 ]
Less excellent, as thou thy self perceav’st.
For what admir’st thou, what transports thee so,
An outside? fair no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love,
Not thy subjection: weigh with her thy self; [ 570 ]
Then value: Oft times nothing profits more
Then self esteem, grounded on just and right
Well manag’d; of that skill the more thou know’st,
The more she will acknowledge thee her Head,
And to realities yield all her shows: [ 575 ]
Made so adorn for thy delight the more,
So awful, that with honour thou maist love
Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise.
But if the sense of touch whereby mankind
Is propagated seem such dear delight [ 580 ]
Beyond all other, think the same voutsaf’t
To Cattel and each Beast; which would not be
To them made common and divulg’d, if aught
Therein enjoy’d were worthy to subdue
The Soule of Man, or passion in him move. [ 585 ]
What higher in her societie thou findst
Attractive, human, rational, love still;
In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
Wherein true Love consists not; love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat [ 590 ]
In Reason, and is judicious, is the scale
By which to heav’nly Love thou maist ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause
Among the Beasts no Mate for thee was found.

To whom thus half abash’t Adam repli’d. [ 595 ]
Neither her out-side formd so fair, nor aught
In procreation common to all kindes
(Though higher of the genial Bed by far,
And with mysterious reverence I deem)
So much delights me as those graceful acts, [ 600 ]
Those thousand decencies that daily flow
From all her words and actions mixt with Love
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign’d
Union of Mind, or in us both one Soule;
Harmonie to behold in wedded pair [ 605 ]
More grateful then harmonious sound to the eare.
Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose
What inward thence I feel, not therefore foild,
Who meet with various objects, from the sense
Variously representing; yet still free [ 610 ]
Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
To Love thou blam’st me not, for love thou saist
Leads up to Heav’n, is both the way and guide;
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask;
Love not the heav’nly Spirits, and how thir Love [ 615 ]
Express they, by looks onely, or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?

To whom the Angel with a smile that glow’d
Celestial rosie red, Loves proper hue,
Answer’d. Let it suffice thee that thou know’st [ 620 ]
Us happie, and without Love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy’st
(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence, and obstacle find none
Of membrane, joynt, or limb, exclusive barrs: [ 625 ]
Easier then Air with Air, if Spirits embrace,
Total they mix, Union of Pure with Pure
Desiring; nor restrain’d conveyance need
As Flesh to mix with Flesh, or Soul with Soul.
But I can now no more; the parting Sun [ 630 ]
Beyond the Earths green Cape and verdant Isles
Hesperean sets, my Signal to depart.
Be strong, live happie, and love, but first of all
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep
His great command; take heed lest Passion sway [ 635 ]
Thy Judgment to do aught, which else free Will
Would not admit; thine and of all thy Sons
The weal or woe in thee is plac’t; beware.
I in thy persevering shall rejoyce,
And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or fall [ 640 ]
Free in thine own Arbitrement it lies.
Perfet within, no outward aid require;
And all temptation to transgress repel.

So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
Follow’d with benediction. Since to part, [ 645 ]
Go heavenly Guest, Ethereal Messenger,
Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore.
Gentle to me and affable hath been
Thy condescension, and shall be honour’d ever
With grateful Memorie: thou to mankind [ 650 ]
Be good and friendly still, and oft return.

So parted they, the Angel up to Heav’n
From the thick shade, and Adam to his Bowre.

BOOK 9

THE ARGUMENT

Satan having compast the Earth, with meditated guile returns as a mist by Night into Paradise, enters into the Serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the Morning go forth to thir labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alledging the danger, lest that Enemy, of whom they were forewarn’d, should attempt her found alone: Eve loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make tryal of her strength; Adam at last yields: The Serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking, with much flattery extolling Eve above all other Creatures. Eve wondring to hear the Serpent speak, asks how he attain’d to human speech and such understanding not till now; the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain Tree in the Garden he attain’d both to Speech and Reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that Tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden: The Serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she pleas’d with the taste deliberates a while whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the Fruit, relates what perswaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amaz’d, but perceiving her lost, resolves through vehemence of love to perish with her; and extenuating the trespass, eats also of the Fruit: The Effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover thir nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.

NO more of talk where God or Angel Guest
With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us’d
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam’d: I now must change [ 5 ]
Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience: On the part of Heav’n
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgement giv’n, [ 10 ]
That brought into this World a world of woe,
Sinne and her shadow Death, and Miserie
Deaths Harbinger: Sad task, yet argument
Not less but more Heroic then the wrauth
Of stern Achilles on his Foe pursu’d [ 15 ]
Thrice Fugitive about Troy Wall; or rage
Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous’d,
Or Neptun’s ire or Juno’s, that so long
Perplex’d the Greek and Cytherea’s Son;
If answerable style I can obtaine [ 20 ]
Of my Celestial Patroness, who deignes
Her nightly visitation unimplor’d,
And dictates to me slumb’ring, or inspires
Easie my unpremeditated Verse:
Since first this Subject for Heroic Song [ 25 ]
Pleas’d me long choosing, and beginning late;
Not sedulous by Nature to indite
Warrs, hitherto the onely Argument
Heroic deem’d, chief maistrie to dissect
With long and tedious havoc fabl’d Knights [ 30 ]
In Battels feign’d; the better fortitude
Of Patience and Heroic Martyrdom
Unsung; or to describe Races and Games,
Or tilting Furniture, emblazon’d Shields,
Impreses quaint, Caparisons and Steeds; [ 35 ]
Bases and tinsel Trappings, gorgious Knights
At Joust and Torneament; then marshal’d Feast
Serv’d up in Hall with Sewers, and Seneshals;
The skill of Artifice or Office mean,
Not that which justly gives Heroic name [ 40 ]
To Person or to Poem. Mee of these
Nor skilld nor studious, higher Argument
Remaines, sufficient of it self to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold
Climat, or Years damp my intended wing [ 45 ]
Deprest, and much they may, if all be mine,
Not Hers who brings it nightly to my Ear.
The Sun was sunk, and after him the Starr
Of Hesperus, whose Office is to bring
Twilight upon the Earth, short Arbiter [ 50 ]
Twixt Day and Night, and now from end to end
Nights Hemisphere had veild the Horizon round:
When Satan who late fled before the threats
Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv’d
In meditated fraud and malice, bent [ 55 ]
On mans destruction, maugre what might hap
Of heavier on himself, fearless return’d.
By Night he fled, and at Midnight return’d.
From compassing the Earth, cautious of day,
Since Uriel Regent of the Sun descri’d [ 60 ]
His entrance, and forewarnd the Cherubim
That kept thir watch; thence full of anguish driv’n,
The space of seven continu’d Nights he rode
With darkness, thrice the Equinoctial Line
He circl’d, four times cross’d the Carr of Night [ 65 ]
From Pole to Pole, traversing each Colure;
On the eighth return’d, and on the Coast averse
From entrance or Cherubic Watch, by stealth
Found unsuspected way. There was a place,
Now not, though Sin, not Time, first wraught the change, [ 70 ]
Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise
Into a Gulf shot under ground, till part
Rose up a Fountain by the Tree of Life;
In with the River sunk, and with it rose
Satan involv’d in rising Mist, then sought [ 75 ]
Where to lie hid; Sea he had searcht and Land
From Eden over Pontus, and the Poole
Mæotis, up beyond the River Ob;
Downward as farr Antartic; and in length
West from Orontes to the Ocean barr’d [ 80 ]
At Darien, thence to the Land where flowes
Ganges and Indus: thus the Orb he roam’d
With narrow search; and with inspection deep
Consider’d every Creature, which of all
Most opportune might serve his Wiles, and found [ 85 ]
The Serpent suttlest Beast of all the Field.
Him after long debate, irresolute
Of thoughts revolv’d, his final sentence chose
Fit Vessel, fittest Imp of fraud, in whom
To enter, and his dark suggestions hide [ 90 ]
From sharpest sight: for in the wilie Snake,
Whatever sleights none would suspicious mark,
As from his wit and native suttletie
Proceeding, which in other Beasts observ’d
Doubt might beget of Diabolic pow’r [ 95 ]
Active within beyond the sense of brute.
Thus he resolv’d, but first from inward griefe
His bursting passion into plaints thus pour’d:

O Earth, how like to Heav’n, if not preferr’d
More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built [ 100 ]
With second thoughts, reforming what was old!
For what God after better worse would build?
Terrestrial Heav’n, danc’t round by other Heav’ns
That shine, yet bear thir bright officious Lamps,
Light above Light, for thee alone, as seems, [ 105 ]
In thee concentring all thir precious beams
Of sacred influence: As God in Heav’n
Is Center, yet extends to all, so thou
Centring receav’st from all those Orbs; in thee,
Not in themselves, all thir known vertue appeers [ 110 ]
Productive in Herb, Plant, and nobler birth
Of Creatures animate with gradual life
Of Growth, Sense, Reason, all summ’d up in Man.
With what delight could I have walkt thee round,
If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange [ 115 ]
Of Hill, and Vallie, Rivers, Woods and Plaines,
Now Land, now Sea, and Shores with Forrest crownd,
Rocks, Dens, and Caves; but I in none of these
Find place or refuge; and the more I see
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel [ 120 ]
Torment within me, as from the hateful siege
Of contraries; all good to me becomes
Bane, and in Heav’n much worse would be my state.
But neither here seek I, no nor in Heav’n
To dwell, unless by maistring Heav’ns Supreame; [ 125 ]
Nor hope to be my self less miserable
By what I seek, but others to make such
As I, though thereby worse to me redound:
For onely in destroying I find ease
To my relentless thoughts; and him destroyd, [ 130 ]
Or won to what may work his utter loss,
For whom all this was made, all this will soon
Follow, as to him linkt in weal or woe,
In wo then: that destruction wide may range:
To mee shall be the glorie sole among [ 135 ]
The infernal Powers, in one day to have marr’d
What he Almightie styl’d, six Nights and Days
Continu’d making, and who knows how long
Before had bin contriving, though perhaps
Not longer then since I in one Night freed [ 140 ]
From servitude inglorious welnigh half
Th’ Angelic Name, and thinner left the throng
Of his adorers: hee to be aveng’d,
And to repaire his numbers thus impair’d,
Whether such vertue spent of old now faild [ 145 ]
More Angels to Create, if they at least
Are his Created, or to spite us more,
Determin’d to advance into our room
A Creature form’d of Earth, and him endow,
Exalted from so base original, [ 150 ]
With Heav’nly spoils, our spoils: What he decreed
He effected; Man he made, and for him built
Magnificent this World, and Earth his seat,
Him Lord pronounc’d, and, O indignitie!
Subjected to his service Angel wings, [ 155 ]
And flaming Ministers to watch and tend
Thir earthy Charge: Of these the vigilance
I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and prie
In every Bush and Brake, where hap may finde [ 160 ]
The Serpent sleeping, in whose mazie foulds
To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
O foul descent! that I who erst contended
With Gods to sit the highest, am now constraind
Into a Beast, and mixt with bestial slime, [ 165 ]
This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the hight of Deitie aspir’d;
But what will not Ambition and Revenge
Descend to? who aspires must down as low
As high he soard, obnoxious first or last [ 170 ]
To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,
Bitter ere long back on it self recoiles;
Let it; I reck not, so it light well aim’d,
Since higher I fall short, on him who next
Provokes my envie, this new Favorite [ 175 ]
Of Heav’n, this Man of Clay, Son of despite,
Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais’d
From dust: spite then with spite is best repaid.

So saying, through each Thicket Danck or Drie,
Like a black mist low creeping, he held on [ 180 ]
His midnight search, where soonest he might finde
The Serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found
In Labyrinth of many a round self-rowld,
His head the midst, well stor’d with suttle wiles:
Not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den, [ 185 ]
Nor nocent yet, but on the grassie Herbe
Fearless unfeard he slept: in at his Mouth
The Devil enterd, and his brutal sense,
In heart or head, possessing soon inspir’d
With act intelligential; but his sleep [ 190 ]
Disturbd not, waiting close th’ approach of Morn.
Now when as sacred Light began to dawne
In Eden on the humid Flours, that breathd
Thir morning incense, when all things that breath,
From th’ Earths great Altar send up silent praise [ 195 ]
To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill
With grateful Smell, forth came the human pair
And joind thir vocal Worship to the Quire
Of Creatures wanting voice, that done, partake
The season, prime for sweetest Sents and Aires: [ 200 ]
Then commune how that day they best may ply
Thir growing work: for much thir work outgrew
The hands dispatch of two Gardning so wide.
And Eve first to her Husband thus began.

Adam, well may we labour still to dress [ 205 ]
This Garden, still to tend Plant, Herb and Flour,
Our pleasant task enjoyn’d, but till more hands
Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
Luxurious by restraint; what we by day
Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, [ 210 ]
One night or two with wanton growth derides
Tending to wilde. Thou therefore now advise
Or hear what to my minde first thoughts present,
Let us divide our labours, thou where choice
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind [ 215 ]
The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct
The clasping Ivie where to climb, while I
In yonder Spring of Roses intermixt
With Myrtle, find what to redress till Noon:
For while so near each other thus all day [ 220 ]
Our taske we choose, what wonder if so near
Looks intervene and smiles, or object new
Casual discourse draw on, which intermits
Our dayes work brought to little, though begun
Early, and th’ hour of Supper comes unearn’d. [ 225 ]

To whom mild answer Adam thus return’d.
Sole Eve, Associate sole, to me beyond
Compare above all living Creatures deare,
Well hast thou motion’d, well thy thoughts imployd
How we might best fulfill the work which here [ 230 ]
God hath assign’d us, nor of me shalt pass
Unprais’d: for nothing lovelier can be found
In Woman, then to studie houshold good,
And good workes in her Husband to promote.
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos’d [ 235 ]
Labour, as to debarr us when we need
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,
Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse
Of looks and smiles, for smiles from Reason flow,
To brute deni’d, and are of Love the food, [ 240 ]
Love not the lowest end of human life.
For not to irksom toile, but to delight
He made us, and delight to Reason joyn’d.
These paths & Bowers doubt not but our joynt hands
Will keep from Wilderness with ease, as wide [ 245 ]
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long
Assist us: But if much converse perhaps
Thee satiate, to short absence I could yield.
For solitude somtimes is best societie,
And short retirement urges sweet returne. [ 250 ]
But other doubt possesses me, least harm
Befall thee sever’d from me; for thou knowst
What hath bin warn’d us, what malicious Foe
Envying our happiness, and of his own
Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame [ 255 ]
By sly assault; and somwhere nigh at hand
Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
His wish and best advantage, us asunder,
Hopeless to circumvent us joynd, where each
To other speedie aide might lend at need; [ 260 ]
Whether his first design be to withdraw
Our fealtie from God, or to disturb
Conjugal Love, then which perhaps no bliss
Enjoy’d by us excites his envie more;
Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side [ 265 ]
That gave thee being, still shades thee and protects.
The Wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
Safest and seemliest by her Husband staies,
Who guards her, or with her the worst endures.

To whom the Virgin Majestie of Eve, [ 270 ]
As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,
With sweet austeer composure thus reply’d,

Ofspring of Heav’n and Earth, and all Earths Lord,
That such an Enemie we have, who seeks
Our ruin, both by thee informd I learne, [ 275 ]
And from the parting Angel over-heard
As in a shadie nook I stood behind,
Just then returnd at shut of Evening Flours.
But that thou shouldst my firmness therfore doubt
To God or thee, because we have a foe [ 280 ]
May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
His violence thou fear’st not, being such,
As wee, not capable of death or paine,
Can either not receave, or can repell.
His fraud is then thy fear, which plain inferrs [ 285 ]
Thy equal fear that my firm Faith and Love
Can by his fraud be shak’n or seduc’t;
Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy brest
Adam, misthought of her to thee so dear?

To whom with healing words Adam replyd. [ 290 ]
Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve,
For such thou art, from sin and blame entire:
Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid
Th’ attempt itself, intended by our Foe. [ 295 ]
For hee who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses
The tempted with dishonour foul, suppos’d
Not incorruptible of Faith, not prooff
Against temptation: thou thy self with scorne
And anger wouldst resent the offer’d wrong, [ 300 ]
Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then,
If such affront I labour to avert
From thee alone, which on us both at once
The Enemie, though bold, will hardly dare,
Or daring, first on mee th’ assault shall light. [ 305 ]
Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn;
Suttle he needs must be, who could seduce
Angels nor think superfluous others aid.
I from the influence of thy looks receave
Access in every Vertue, in thy sight [ 310 ]
More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were
Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on,
Shame to be overcome or over-reacht
Would utmost vigor raise, and rais’d unite.
Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel [ 315 ]
When I am present, and thy trial choose
With me, best witness of thy Vertue tri’d.

So spake domestick Adam in his care
And Matrimonial Love; but Eve, who thought
Less attributed to her Faith sincere, [ 320 ]
Thus her reply with accent sweet renewd.

If this be our condition, thus to dwell
In narrow circuit strait’nd by a Foe,
Suttle or violent, we not endu’d
Single with like defence, wherever met, [ 325 ]
How are we happie, still in fear of harm?
But harm precedes not sin: onely our Foe
Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem
Of our integritie: his foul esteeme
Sticks no dishonor on our Front, but turns [ 330 ]
Foul on himself; then wherefore shund or feard
By us? who rather double honour gaine
From his surmise prov’d false, find peace within,
Favour from Heav’n, our witness from th’ event.
And what is Faith, Love, Vertue unassaid [ 335 ]
Alone, without exterior help sustaind?
Let us not then suspect our happie State
Left so imperfet by the Maker wise,
As not secure to single or combin’d.
Fraile is our happiness, if this be so, [ 340 ]
And Eden were no Eden thus expos’d.

To whom thus Adam fervently repli’d.
O Woman, best are all things as the will
Of God ordain’d them, his creating hand
Nothing imperfet or deficient left [ 345 ]
Of all that he Created, much less Man,
Or aught that might his happie State secure,
Secure from outward force; within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
Against his will he can receave no harme. [ 350 ]
But God left free the Will, for what obeyes
Reason, is free, and Reason he made right
But bid her well beware, and still erect,
Least by some faire appeering good surpris’d
She dictate false, and misinforme the Will [ 355 ]
To do what God expresly hath forbid,
Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoynes,
That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me.
Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve,
Since Reason not impossibly may meet [ 360 ]
Some specious object by the Foe subornd,
And fall into deception unaware,
Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warnd.
Seek not temptation then, which to avoide
Were better, and most likelie if from mee [ 365 ]
Thou sever not: Trial will come unsought.
Wouldst thou approve thy constancie, approve
First thy obedience; th’ other who can know,
Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
But if thou think, trial unsought may finde [ 370 ]
Us both securer then thus warnd thou seemst,
Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more;
Go in thy native innocence, relie
On what thou hast of vertue, summon all,
For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine. [ 375 ]

So spake the Patriarch of Mankinde, but Eve
Persisted, yet submiss, though last, repli’d.

With thy permission then, and thus forewarnd
Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words
Touchd onely, that our trial, when least sought, [ 380 ]
May finde us both perhaps farr less prepar’d,
The willinger I goe, nor much expect
A Foe so proud will first the weaker seek,
So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse.
Thus saying, from her Husbands hand her hand [ 385 ]
Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light
Oread or Dryad, or of Delia’s Traine,
Betook her to the Groves, but Delia’s self
In gate surpass’d and Goddess-like deport,
Though not as shee with Bow and Quiver armd, [ 390 ]
But with such Gardning Tools as Art yet rude,
Guiltless of fire had formd, or Angels brought.
To Pales, or Pomona, thus adornd,
Likeliest she seemd, Pomona when she fled
Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her Prime, [ 395 ]
Yet Virgin of Proserpina from Jove.
Her long with ardent look his Eye pursu’d
Delighted, but desiring more her stay.
Oft he to her his charge of quick returne
Repeated, shee to him as oft engag’d [ 400 ]
To be returnd by Noon amid the Bowre,
And all things in best order to invite
Noontide repast, or Afternoons repose.
O much deceav’d, much failing, hapless Eve,
Of thy presum’d return! event perverse! [ 405 ]
Thou never from that houre in Paradise
Foundst either sweet repast, or sound repose;
Such ambush hid among sweet Flours and Shades
Waited with hellish rancour imminent
To intercept thy way, or send thee back [ 410 ]
Despoild of Innocence, of Faith, of Bliss.
For now, and since first break of dawne the Fiend,
Meer Serpent in appearance, forth was come,
And on his Quest, where likeliest he might finde
The onely two of Mankinde, but in them [ 415 ]
The whole included Race, his purposd prey.
In Bowre and Field he sought, where any tuft
Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay,
Thir tendance or Plantation for delight,
By Fountain or by shadie Rivulet [ 420 ]
He sought them both, but wish’d his hap might find
Eve separate, he wish’d, but not with hope
Of what so seldom chanc’d, when to his wish,
Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
Veild in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood, [ 425 ]
Half spi’d, so thick the Roses bushing round
About her glowd, oft stooping to support
Each Flour of slender stalk, whose head though gay
Carnation, Purple, Azure, or spect with Gold,
Hung drooping unsustaind, them she upstaies [ 430 ]
Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while,
Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour,
From her best prop so farr, and storm so nigh.
Neerer he drew, and many a walk travers’d
Of stateliest Covert, Cedar, Pine, or Palme, [ 435 ]
Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen
Among thick-wov’n Arborets and Flours
Imborderd on each Bank, the hand of Eve:
Spot more delicious then those Gardens feign’d
Or of reviv’d Adonis, or renownd [ 440 ]
Alcinous, host of old Laertes Son,
Or that, not Mystic, where the Sapient King
Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian Spouse.
Much hee the Place admir’d, the Person more.
As one who long in populous City pent, [ 445 ]
Where Houses thick and Sewers annoy the Aire,
Forth issuing on a Summers Morn to breathe
Among the pleasant Villages and Farmes
Adjoynd, from each thing met conceaves delight,
The smell of Grain, or tedded Grass, or Kine, [ 450 ]
Or Dairie, each rural sight, each rural sound;
If chance with Nymphlike step fair Virgin pass,
What pleasing seemd, for her now pleases more,
She most, and in her look summs all Delight.
Such Pleasure took the Serpent to behold [ 455 ]
This Flourie Plat, the sweet recess of Eve
Thus earlie, thus alone; her Heav’nly forme
Angelic, but more soft, and Feminine,
Her graceful Innocence, her every Aire
Of gesture or lest action overawd [ 460 ]
His Malice, and with rapine sweet bereav’d
His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought:
That space the Evil one abstracted stood
From his own evil, and for the time remaind
Stupidly good, of enmitie disarm’d, [ 465 ]
Of guile, of hate, of envie, of revenge;
But the hot Hell that alwayes in him burnes,
Though in mid Heav’n, soon ended his delight,
And tortures him now more, the more he sees
Of pleasure not for him ordain’d: then soon [ 470 ]
Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts
Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites.

Thoughts, whither have ye led me, with what sweet
Compulsion thus transported to forget
What hither brought us, hate, not love, nor hope [ 475 ]
Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste
Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy,
Save what is in destroying, other joy
To me is lost. Then let me not let pass
Occasion which now smiles, behold alone [ 480 ]
The Woman, opportune to all attempts,
Her Husband, for I view far round, not nigh,
Whose higher intellectual more I shun,
And strength, of courage hautie, and of limb
Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould, [ 485 ]
Foe not informidable, exempt from wound,
I not; so much hath Hell debas’d, and paine
Infeebl’d me, to what I was in Heav’n.
Shee fair, divinely fair, fit Love for Gods,
Not terrible, though terrour be in Love [ 490 ]
And beautie, not approacht by stronger hate,
Hate stronger, under shew of Love well feign’d,
The way which to her ruin now I tend.

So spake the Enemie of Mankind, enclos’d
In Serpent, Inmate bad, and toward Eve [ 495 ]
Address’d his way, not with indented wave,
Prone on the ground, as since, but on his reare,
Circular base of rising foulds, that tour’d
Fould above fould a surging Maze, his Head
Crested aloft, and Carbuncle his Eyes; [ 500 ]
With burnisht Neck of verdant Gold, erect
Amidst his circling Spires, that on the grass
Floted redundant: pleasing was his shape,
And lovely, never since of Serpent kind
Lovelier, not those that in Illyria chang’d [ 505 ]
Hermione and Cadmus, or the God
In Epidaurus; nor to which transformd
Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen,
Hee with Olympias, this with her who bore
Scipio the highth of Rome. With tract oblique [ 510 ]
At first, as one who sought access, but feard
To interrupt, side-long he works his way.
As when a Ship by skilful Stearsman wrought
Nigh Rivers mouth or Foreland, where the Wind
Veres oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her Saile; [ 515 ]
So varied hee, and of his tortuous Traine
Curld many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve,
To lure her Eye; shee busied heard the sound
Of rusling Leaves, but minded not, as us’d
To such disport before her through the Field, [ 520 ]
From every Beast, more duteous at her call,
Then at Circean call the Herd disguis’d.
Hee boulder now, uncall’d before her stood;
But as in gaze admiring: Oft he bowd
His turret Crest, and sleek enamel’d Neck, [ 525 ]
Fawning, and lick’d the ground whereon she trod.
His gentle dumb expression turnd at length
The Eye of Eve to mark his play; he glad
Of her attention gaind, with Serpent Tongue
Organic, or impulse of vocal Air, [ 530 ]
His fraudulent temptation thus began.

Wonder not, sovran Mistress, if perhaps
Thou canst, who art sole Wonder, much less arm
Thy looks, the Heav’n of mildness, with disdain,
Displeas’d that I approach thee thus, and gaze [ 535 ]
Insatiate, I thus single, nor have feard
Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir’d.
Fairest resemblance of thy Maker faire,
Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine
By gift, and thy Celestial Beautie adore [ 540 ]
With ravishment beheld, there best beheld
Where universally admir’d; but here
In this enclosure wild, these Beasts among,
Beholders rude, and shallow to discerne
Half what in thee is fair, one man except, [ 545 ]
Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who shouldst be seen
A Goddess among Gods, ador’d and serv’d
By Angels numberless, thy daily Train.

So gloz’d the Tempter, and his Proem tun’d;
Into the Heart of Eve his words made way, [ 550 ]
Though at the voice much marveling; at length
Not unamaz’d she thus in answer spake.
What may this mean? Language of Man pronounc’t
By Tongue of Brute, and human sense exprest?
The first at lest of these I thought deni’d [ 555 ]
To Beasts, whom God on thir Creation-Day
Created mute to all articulat sound;
The latter I demurre, for in thir looks
Much reason, and in thir actions oft appeers.
Thee, Serpent, suttlest beast of all the field [ 560 ]
I knew, but not with human voice endu’d;
Redouble then this miracle, and say,
How cam’st thou speakable of mute, and how
To me so friendly grown above the rest
Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight? [ 565 ]
Say, for such wonder claims attention due.

To whom the guileful Tempter thus reply’d.
Empress of this fair World, resplendent Eve,
Easie to mee it is to tell thee all
What thou commandst and right thou shouldst be obeyd: [ 570 ]
I was at first as other Beasts that graze
The trodden Herb, of abject thoughts and low,
As was my food, nor aught but food discern’d
Or Sex, and apprehended nothing high:
Till on a day roaving the field, I chanc’d [ 575 ]
A goodly Tree farr distant to behold
Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mixt,
Ruddie and Gold: I nearer drew to gaze;
When from the boughes a savorie odour blow’n,
Grateful to appetite, more pleas’d my sense, [ 580 ]
Then smell of sweetest Fenel or the Teats
Of Ewe or Goat dropping with Milk at Eevn,
Unsuckt of Lamb or Kid, that tend thir play.
To satisfie the sharp desire I had
Of tasting those fair Apples, I resolv’d [ 585 ]
Not to deferr; hunger and thirst at once,
Powerful perswaders, quick’nd at the scent
Of that alluring fruit, urg’d me so keene.
About the mossie Trunk I wound me soon,
For high from ground the branches would require [ 590 ]
Thy utmost reach or Adams: Round the Tree
All other Beasts that saw, with like desire
Longing and envying stood, but could not reach.
Amid the Tree now got, where plenty hung
Tempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill [ 595 ]
I spar’d not, for such pleasure till that hour
At Feed or Fountain never had I found.
Sated at length, ere long I might perceave
Strange alteration in me, to degree
Of Reason in my inward Powers, and Speech [ 600 ]
Wanted not long, though to this shape retain’d.
Thenceforth to Speculations high or deep
I turnd my thoughts, and with capacious mind
Considerd all things visible in Heav’n,
Or Earth, or Middle, all things fair and good; [ 605 ]
But all that fair and good in thy Divine
Semblance, and in thy Beauties heav’nly Ray
United I beheld; no Fair to thine
Equivalent or second, which compel’d
Mee thus, though importune perhaps, to come [ 610 ]
And gaze, and worship thee of right declar’d
Sovran of Creatures, universal Dame.

So talk’d the spirited sly Snake; and Eve
Yet more amaz’d unwarie thus reply’d.

Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt [ 615 ]
The vertue of that Fruit, in thee first prov’d:
But say, where grows the Tree, from hence how far?
For many are the Trees of God that grow
In Paradise, and various, yet unknown
To us, in such abundance lies our choice, [ 620 ]
As leaves a greater store of Fruit untoucht,
Still hanging incorruptible, till men
Grow up to thir provision, and more hands
Help to disburden Nature of her Bearth.

To whom the wilie Adder, blithe and glad. [ 625 ]
Empress, the way is readie, and not long,
Beyond a row of Myrtles, on a Flat,
Fast by a Fountain, one small Thicket past
Of blowing Myrrh and Balme; if thou accept
My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon. [ 630 ]

Lead then, said Eve. Hee leading swiftly rowld
In tangles, and made intricate seem strait,
To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy
Bright’ns his Crest, as when a wandring Fire
Compact of unctuous vapor, which the Night [ 635 ]
Condenses, and the cold invirons round,
Kindl’d through agitation to a Flame,
Which oft, they say, some evil Spirit attends
Hovering and blazing with delusive Light,
Misleads th’ amaz’d Night-wanderer from his way [ 640 ]
To Boggs and Mires, and oft through Pond or Poole,
There swallow’d up and lost, from succour farr.
So glister’d the dire Snake, and into fraud
Led Eve our credulous Mother, to the Tree
Of prohibition, root of all our woe; [ 645 ]
Which when she saw, thus to her guide she spake.

Serpent, we might have spar’d our coming hither,
Fruitless to mee, though Fruit be here to excess,
The credit of whose vertue rest with thee,
Wondrous indeed, if cause of such effects. [ 650 ]
But of this Tree we may not taste nor touch;
God so commanded, and left that Command
Sole Daughter of his voice; the rest, we live
Law to our selves, our Reason is our Law.

To whom the Tempter guilefully repli’d. [ 655 ]
Indeed? hath God then said that of the Fruit
Of all these Garden Trees ye shall not eate,
Yet Lords declar’d of all in Earth or Aire?

To whom thus Eve yet sinless. Of the Fruit
Of each Tree in the Garden we may eate, [ 660 ]
But of the Fruit of this fair Tree amidst
The Garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eate
Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, least ye die.

She scarse had said, though brief, when now more bold
The Tempter, but with shew of Zeale and Love [ 665 ]
To Man, and indignation at his wrong,
New part puts on, and as to passion mov’d,
Fluctuats disturbd, yet comely and in act
Rais’d, as of som great matter to begin.
As when of old som Orator renound [ 670 ]
In Athens or free Rome, where Eloquence
Flourishd, since mute, to som great cause addrest,
Stood in himself collected, while each part,
Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue,
Somtimes in highth began, as no delay [ 675 ]
Of Preface brooking through his Zeal of Right.
So standing, moving, or to highth upgrown
The Tempter all impassiond thus began.

O Sacred, Wise, and Wisdom-giving Plant,
Mother of Science, Now I feel thy Power [ 680 ]
Within me cleere, not onely to discerne
Things in thir Causes, but to trace the wayes
Of highest Agents, deemd however wise.
Queen of this Universe, doe not believe
Those rigid threats of Death; ye shall not Die: [ 685 ]
How should ye? by the Fruit? it gives you Life
To Knowledge, By the Threatner? look on mee,
Mee who have touch’d and tasted, yet both live,
And life more perfet have attaind then Fate
Meant mee, by ventring higher then my Lot. [ 690 ]
Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast
Is open? or will God incense his ire
For such a petty Trespass, and not praise
Rather your dauntless vertue, whom the pain
Of Death denounc’t, whatever thing Death be, [ 695 ]
Deterrd not from atchieving what might leade
To happier life, knowledge of Good and Evil;
Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil
Be real, why not known, since easier shunnd?
God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just; [ 700 ]
Not just, not God; not feard then, nor obeyd:
Your feare it self of Death removes the feare.
Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe,
Why but to keep ye low and ignorant,
His worshippers; he knows that in the day [ 705 ]
Ye Eate thereof, your Eyes that seem so cleere,
Yet are but dim, shall perfetly be then
Op’nd and cleerd, and ye shall be as Gods,
Knowing both Good and Evil as they know.
That ye should be as Gods, since I as Man, [ 710 ]
Internal Man, is but proportion meet,
I of brute human, yee of human Gods.
So ye shall die perhaps, by putting off
Human, to put on Gods, death to be wisht,
Though threat’nd, which no worse then this can bring. [ 715 ]
And what are Gods that Man may not become
As they, participating God-like food?
The Gods are first, and that advantage use
On our belief, that all from them proceeds;
I question it, for this fair Earth I see, [ 720 ]
Warm’d by the Sun, producing every kind,
Them nothing: If they all things, who enclos’d
Knowledge of Good and Evil in this Tree,
That whoso eats thereof, forthwith attains
Wisdom without their leave? and wherein lies [ 725 ]
Th’ offence, that Man should thus attain to know?
What can your knowledge hurt him, or this Tree
Impart against his will if all be his?
Or is it envie, and can envie dwell
In Heav’nly brests? these, these and many more [ 730 ]
Causes import your need of this fair Fruit.
Goddess humane, reach then, and freely taste.

He ended, and his words replete with guile
Into her heart too easie entrance won:
Fixt on the Fruit she gaz’d, which to behold [ 735 ]
Might tempt alone, and in her ears the sound
Yet rung of his perswasive words, impregn’d
With Reason, to her seeming, and with Truth;
Mean while the hour of Noon drew on, and wak’d
An eager appetite, rais’d by the smell [ 740 ]
So savorie of that Fruit, which with desire,
Inclinable now grown to touch or taste,
Sollicited her longing eye; yet first
Pausing a while, thus to her self she mus’d.

Great are thy Vertues, doubtless, best of Fruits. [ 745 ]
Though kept from Man, and worthy to be admir’d,
Whose taste, too long forborn, at first assay
Gave elocution to the mute, and taught
The Tongue not made for Speech to speak thy praise:
Thy praise hee also who forbids thy use, [ 750 ]
Conceales not from us, naming thee the Tree
Of Knowledge, knowledge both of good and evil;
Forbids us then to taste, but his forbidding
Commends thee more, while it inferrs the good
By thee communicated, and our want: [ 755 ]
For good unknown, sure is not had, or had
And yet unknown, is as not had at all.
In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?
Such prohibitions binde not. But if Death [ 760 ]
Bind us with after-bands, what profits then
Our inward freedom? In the day we eate
Of this fair Fruit, our doom is, we shall die.
How dies the Serpent? hee hath eat’n and lives,
And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discerns, [ 765 ]
Irrational till then. For us alone
Was death invented? or to us deni’d
This intellectual food, for beasts reserv’d?
For Beasts it seems: yet that one Beast which first
Hath tasted, envies not, but brings with joy [ 770 ]
The good befall’n him, Author unsuspect,
Friendly to man, farr from deceit or guile.
What fear I then, rather what know to feare
Under this ignorance of good and Evil,
Of God or Death, of Law or Penaltie? [ 775 ]
Here grows the Cure of all, this Fruit Divine,
Fair to the Eye, inviting to the Taste,
Of vertue to make wise: what hinders then
To reach, and feed at once both Bodie and Mind?

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour [ 780 ]
Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck’d, she eat:
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,
That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk
The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve [ 785 ]
Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else
Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd,
In Fruit she never tasted, whether true
Or fansied so, through expectation high
Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought. [ 790 ]
Greedily she ingorg’d without restraint,
And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,
And hight’nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,
Thus to her self she pleasingly began.

O Sovran, vertuous, precious of all Trees [ 795 ]
In Paradise, of operation blest
To Sapience, hitherto obscur’d, infam’d,
And thy fair Fruit let hang, as to no end
Created; but henceforth my early care,
Not without Song, each Morning, and due praise [ 800 ]
Shall tend thee, and the fertil burden ease
Of thy full branches offer’d free to all;
Till dieted by thee I grow mature
In knowledge, as the Gods who all things know;
Though others envie what they cannot give; [ 805 ]
For had the gift bin theirs, it had not here
Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe,
Best guide; not following thee, I had remaind
In ignorance, thou op’nst Wisdoms way,
And giv’st access, though secret she retire. [ 810 ]
And I perhaps am secret; Heav’n is high,
High and remote to see from thence distinct
Each thing on Earth; and other care perhaps
May have diverted from continual watch
Our great Forbidder, safe with all his Spies [ 815 ]
About him. But to Adam in what sort
Shall I appeer? shall I to him make known
As yet my change, and give him to partake
Full happiness with mee, or rather not,
But keep the odds of Knowledge in my power [ 820 ]
Without Copartner? so to add what wants
In Femal Sex, the more to draw his Love,
And render me more equal, and perhaps,
A thing not undesireable, somtime
Superior: for inferior who is free? [ 825 ]
This may be well: but what if God have seen
And Death ensue? then I shall be no more,
And Adam wedded to another Eve,
Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct;
A death to think. Confirm’d then I resolve, [ 830 ]
Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe:
So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
I could endure, without him live no life.

So saying, from the Tree her step she turnd,
But first low Reverence don, as to the power [ 835 ]
That dwelt within, whose presence had infus’d
Into the plant sciential sap, deriv’d
From Nectar, drink of Gods. Adam the while
Waiting desirous her return, had wove
Of choicest Flours a Garland to adorne [ 840 ]
Her Tresses, and her rural labours crown,
As Reapers oft are wont thir Harvest Queen.
Great joy he promis’d to his thoughts, and new
Solace in her return, so long delay’d;
Yet oft his heart, divine of somthing ill, [ 845 ]
Misgave him; hee the faultring measure felt;
And forth to meet her went, the way she took
That Morn when first they parted; by the Tree
Of Knowledge he must pass, there he her met,
Scarse from the Tree returning; in her hand [ 850 ]
A bough of fairest fruit that downie smil’d,
New gatherd, and ambrosial smell diffus’d.
To him she hasted, in her face excuse
Came Prologue, and Apologie to prompt,
Which with bland words at will she thus addrest. [ 855 ]

Hast thou not wonderd, Adam, at my stay?
Thee I have misst, and thought it long, depriv’d
Thy presence, agonie of love till now
Not felt, nor shall be twice, for never more
Mean I to trie, what rash untri’d I sought, [ 860 ]
The pain of absence from thy sight. But strange
Hath bin the cause, and wonderful to heare:
This Tree is not as we are told, a Tree
Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown
Op’ning the way, but of Divine effect [ 865 ]
To open Eyes, and make them Gods who taste;
And hath bin tasted such: the Serpent wise,
Or not restraind as wee, or not obeying,
Hath eat’n of the fruit, and is become,
Not dead, as we are threatn’d, but thenceforth [ 870 ]
Endu’d with human voice and human sense,
Reasoning to admiration, and with mee
Perswasively hath so prevaild, that I
Have also tasted, and have also found
Th’ effects to correspond, opener mine Eyes [ 875 ]
Dimm erst, dilated Spirits, ampler Heart,
And growing up to Godhead; which for thee
Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise.
For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss,
Tedious, unshar’d with thee, and odious soon. [ 880 ]
Thou therefore also taste, that equal Lot
May joyne us, equal Joy, as equal Love;
Least thou not tasting, different degree
Disjoyne us, and I then too late renounce
Deitie for thee, when Fate will not permit. [ 885 ]

Thus Eve with Countnance blithe her storie told;
But in her Cheek distemper flushing glowd.
On th’ other side, Adam, soon as he heard
The fatal Trespass don by Eve, amaz’d,
Astonied stood and Blank, while horror chill [ 890 ]
Ran through his veins, and all his joynts relax’d;
From his slack hand the Garland wreath’d for Eve
Down drop’d, and all the faded Roses shed:
Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
First to himself he inward silence broke. [ 895 ]

O fairest of Creation, last and best
Of all Gods works, Creature in whom excell’d
Whatever can to sight or thought be formd,
Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost, [ 900 ]
Defac’t, deflourd, and now to Death devote?
Rather how hast thou yeelded to transgress
The strict forbiddance, how to violate
The sacred Fruit forbidd’n! som cursed fraud
Of Enemie hath beguil’d thee, yet unknown, [ 905 ]
And mee with thee hath ruind, for with thee
Certain my resolution is to Die;
How can I live without thee, how forgoe
Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly joyn’d,
To live again in these wilde Woods forlorn? [ 910 ]
Should God create another Eve, and I
Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee
Would never from my heart; no no, I feel
The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh,
Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State [ 915 ]
Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.

So having said, as one from sad dismay
Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbd
Submitting to what seemd remediless,
Thus in calm mood his Words to Eve he turnd. [ 920 ]

Bold deed thou hast presum’d, adventrous Eve
And peril great provok’t, who thus hath dar’d
Had it been onely coveting to Eye
That sacred Fruit, sacred to abstinence,
Much more to taste it under banne to touch. [ 925 ]
But past who can recall, or don undoe?
Not God Omnipotent, nor Fate, yet so
Perhaps thou shalt not Die, perhaps the Fact
Is not so hainous now, foretasted Fruit,
Profan’d first by the Serpent, by him first [ 930 ]
Made common and unhallowd ere our taste;
Nor yet on him found deadly, he yet lives,
Lives, as thou saidst, and gaines to live as Man
Higher degree of Life, inducement strong
To us, as likely tasting to attaine [ 935 ]
Proportional ascent, which cannot be
But to be Gods, or Angels Demi-gods.
Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
Though threatning, will in earnest so destroy
Us his prime Creatures, dignifi’d so high, [ 940 ]
Set over all his Works, which in our Fall,
For us created, needs with us must faile,
Dependent made; so God shall uncreate,
Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour loose,
Not well conceav’d of God, who though his Power [ 945 ]
Creation could repeate, yet would be loath
Us to abolish, least the Adversary
Triumph and say; Fickle their State whom God
Most Favors, who can please him long; Mee first
He ruind, now Mankind; whom will he next? [ 950 ]
Matter of scorne, not to be given the Foe,
However I with thee have fixt my Lot,
Certain to undergoe like doom, if Death
Consort with thee, Death is to mee as Life;
So forcible within my heart I feel [ 955 ]
The Bond of Nature draw me to my owne,
My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
Our State cannot be severd, we are one,
One Flesh; to loose thee were to loose my self.

So Adam, and thus Eve to him repli’d. [ 960 ]
O glorious trial of exceeding Love,
Illustrious evidence, example high!
Ingaging me to emulate, but short
Of thy perfection, how shall I attaine,
Adam, from whose deare side I boast me sprung, [ 965 ]
And gladly of our Union heare thee speak,
One Heart, one Soul in both; whereof good prooff
This day affords, declaring thee resolvd,
Rather then Death or aught then Death more dread
Shall separate us, linkt in Love so deare, [ 970 ]
To undergoe with mee one Guilt, one Crime,
If any be, of tasting this fair Fruit,
Whose vertue, for of good still good proceeds,
Direct, or by occasion hath presented
This happie trial of thy Love, which else [ 975 ]
So eminently never had bin known.
Were it I thought Death menac’t would ensue
This my attempt, I would sustain alone
The worst, and not perswade thee, rather die
Deserted, then oblige thee with a fact [ 980 ]
Pernicious to thy Peace, chiefly assur’d
Remarkably so late of thy so true,
So faithful Love unequald; but I feel
Farr otherwise th’ event, not Death, but Life
Augmented, op’nd Eyes, new Hopes, new Joyes, [ 985 ]
Taste so Divine, that what of sweet before
Hath toucht my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
And fear of Death deliver to the Windes.

So saying, she embrac’d him, and for joy [ 990 ]
Tenderly wept, much won that he his Love
Had so enobl’d, as of choice to incurr
Divine displeasure for her sake, or Death.
In recompence (for such compliance bad
Such recompence best merits) from the bough [ 995 ]
She gave him of that fair enticing Fruit
With liberal hand: he scrupl’d not to eat
Against his better knowledge, not deceav’d,
But fondly overcome with Femal charm.
Earth trembl’d from her entrails, as again [ 1000 ]
In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan,
Skie lowr’d, and muttering Thunder, som sad drops
Wept at compleating of the mortal Sin
Original; while Adam took no thought,
Eating his fill, nor Eve to iterate [ 1005 ]
Her former trespass fear’d, the more to soothe
Him with her lov’d societie, that now
As with new Wine intoxicated both
They swim in mirth, and fansie that they feel
Divinitie within them breeding wings [ 1010 ]
Wherewith to scorne the Earth: but that false Fruit
Farr other operation first displaid,
Carnal desire enflaming, hee on Eve
Began to cast lascivious Eyes, she him
As wantonly repaid; in Lust they burne: [ 1015 ]
Till Adam thus ‘gan Eve to dalliance move,

Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste,
And elegant, of Sapience no small part,
Since to each meaning savour we apply,
And Palate call judicious; I the praise [ 1020 ]
Yeild thee, so well this day thou hast purvey’d.
Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain’d
From this delightful Fruit, nor known till now
True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be
In things to us forbidden, it might be wish’d, [ 1025 ]
For this one Tree had bin forbidden ten.
But come, so well refresh’t, now let us play,
As meet is, after such delicious Fare;
For never did thy Beautie since the day
I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn’d [ 1030 ]
With all perfections, so enflame my sense
With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now
Then ever, bountie of this vertuous Tree.

So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
Of amorous intent, well understood [ 1035 ]
Of Eve, whose Eye darted contagious Fire.
Her hand he seis’d, and to a shadie bank,
Thick overhead with verdant roof imbowr’d
He led her nothing loath; Flours were the Couch,
Pansies, and Violets, and Asphodel, [ 1040 ]
And Hyacinth, Earths freshest softest lap.
There they thir fill of Love and Loves disport
Took largely, of thir mutual guilt the Seale,
The solace of thir sin, till dewie sleep
Oppress’d them, wearied with thir amorous play. [ 1045 ]
Soon as the force of that fallacious Fruit,
That with exhilerating vapour bland
About thir spirits had plaid, and inmost powers
Made erre, was now exhal’d, and grosser sleep
Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams [ 1050 ]
Encumberd, now had left them, up they rose
As from unrest, and each the other viewing,
Soon found thir Eyes how op’nd, and thir minds
How dark’nd; innocence, that as a veile
Had shadow’d them from knowing ill, was gon, [ 1055 ]
Just confidence, and native righteousness
And honour from about them, naked left
To guiltie shame hee cover’d, but his Robe
Uncover’d more, so rose the Danite strong
Herculean Samson from the Harlot-lap [ 1060 ]
Of Philistean Dalilah, and wak’d
Shorn of his strength, They destitute and bare
Of all thir vertue: silent, and in face
Confounded long they sate, as struck’n mute,
Till Adam, though not less then Eve abasht, [ 1065 ]
At length gave utterance to these words constraind.

O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give eare
To that false Worm, of whomsoever taught
To counterfet Mans voice, true in our Fall,
False in our promis’d Rising; since our Eyes [ 1070 ]
Op’nd we find indeed, and find we know
Both Good and Evil, Good lost, and Evil got,
Bad Fruit of Knowledge, if this be to know,
Which leaves us naked thus, of Honour void,
Of Innocence, of Faith, of Puritie, [ 1075 ]
Our wonted Ornaments now soild and staind,
And in our Faces evident the signes
Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store;
Even shame, the last of evils; of the first
Be sure then. How shall I behold the face [ 1080 ]
Henceforth of God or Angel, earst with joy
And rapture so oft beheld? those heav’nly shapes
Will dazle now this earthly, with thir blaze
Insufferably bright. O might I here
In solitude live savage, in some glade [ 1085 ]
Obscur’d, where highest Woods impenetrable
To Starr or Sun-light, spread thir umbrage broad,
And brown as Evening: Cover me ye Pines,
Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs
Hide me, where I may never see them more. [ 1090 ]
But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
What best may for the present serve to hide
The Parts of each from other, that seem most
To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen,
Some Tree whose broad smooth Leaves together sowd, [ 1095 ]
And girded on our loyns, may cover round
Those middle parts, that this new commer, Shame,
There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.

So counsel’d hee, and both together went
Into the thickest Wood, there soon they chose [ 1100 ]
The Figtree, not that kind for Fruit renown’d,
But such as at this day to Indians known
In Malabar or Decan spreds her Armes
Braunching so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended Twigs take root, and Daughters grow [ 1105 ]
About the Mother Tree, a Pillard shade
High overarch’t, and echoing Walks between;
There oft the Indian Herdsman shunning heate
Shelters in coole, and tends his pasturing Herds
At Loopholes cut through thickest shade: Those Leaves [ 1110 ]
They gatherd, broad as Amazonian Targe,
And with what skill they had, together sowd,
To gird thir waste, vain Covering if to hide
Thir guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike
To that first naked Glorie. Such of late [ 1115 ]
Columbus found th’ American so girt
With featherd Cincture, naked else and wilde
Among the Trees on Iles and woodie Shores.
Thus fenc’t, and as they thought, thir shame in part
Coverd, but not at rest or ease of Mind, [ 1120 ]
They sate them down to weep, nor onely Teares
Raind at thir Eyes, but high Winds worse within
Began to rise, high Passions, Anger, Hate,
Mistrust, Suspicion, Discord, and shook sore
Thir inward State of Mind, calm Region once [ 1125 ]
And full of Peace, now tost and turbulent:
For Understanding rul’d not, and the Will
Heard not her lore, both in subjection now
To sensual Appetite, who from beneathe
Usurping over sovran Reason claimd [ 1130 ]
Superior sway: From thus distemperd brest,
Adam, estrang’d in look and alterd stile,
Speech intermitted thus to Eve renewd.

Would thou hadst heark’nd to my words, and stai’d
With me, as I besought thee, when that strange [ 1135 ]
Desire of wandring this unhappie Morn,
I know not whence possessd thee; we had then
Remaind still happie, not as now, despoild
Of all our good, sham’d, naked, miserable.
Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve [ 1140 ]
The Faith they owe; when earnestly they seek
Such proof, conclude, they then begin to faile.

To whom soon mov’d with touch of blame thus Eve.
What words have past thy Lips, Adam severe,
Imput’st thou that to my default, or will [ 1145 ]
Of wandring, as thou call’st it, which who knows
But might as ill have happ’nd thou being by,
Or to thy self perhaps: hadst thou been there,
Or here th’ attempt, thou couldst not have discernd
Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake; [ 1150 ]
No ground of enmitie between us known,
Why hee should mean me ill, or seek to harme.
Was I to have never parted from thy side?
As good have grown there still a liveless Rib.
Being as I am, why didst not thou the Head [ 1155 ]
Command me absolutely not to go,
Going into such danger as thou saidst?
Too facil then thou didst not much gainsay,
Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
Hadst thou bin firm and fixt in thy dissent, [ 1160 ]
Neither had I transgress’d, nor thou with mee.

To whom then first incenst Adam repli’d,
Is this the Love, is this the recompence
Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, exprest
Immutable when thou wert lost, not I, [ 1165 ]
Who might have liv’d and joyd immortal bliss,
Yet willingly chose rather Death with thee:
And am I now upbraided, as the cause
Of thy transgressing? not enough severe,
It seems, in thy restraint: what could I more? [ 1170 ]
I warn’d thee, I admonish’d thee, foretold
The danger, and the lurking Enemie
That lay in wait; beyond this had bin force,
And force upon free Will hath here no place.
But confidence then bore thee on, secure [ 1175 ]
Either to meet no danger, or to finde
Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps
I also err’d in overmuch admiring
What seemd in thee so perfet, that I thought
No evil durst attempt thee, but I rue [ 1180 ]
That errour now, which is become my crime,
And thou th’ accuser. Thus it shall befall
Him who to worth in Women overtrusting
Lets her Will rule; restraint she will not brook,
And left to her self, if evil thence ensue, [ 1185 ]
Shee first his weak indulgence will accuse.

Thus they in mutual accusation spent
The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning,
And of thir vain contest appeer’d no end.


Source Text

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

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