Paradise Lost: Book IV (1674)

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O For that warning voice, which he who sawTh' Apocalyps, heard cry in Heaven aloud,Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,Wo to the inhabitants on Earth! that now,While time was, our first-Parents had bin warndThe coming of thir secret foe, and scap'dHaply so scap'd his mortal snare; for nowSatan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,The Tempter ere th' Accuser of man-kind,To wreck on innocent frail man his lossOf that first Battel, and his flight to Hell:Yet not rejoycing in his speed, though bold,Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,Begins his dire attempt, which nigh the birthNow rowling, boiles in his tumultuous brest,And like a devillish Engine back recoilesUpon himself; horror and doubt distractHis troubl'd thoughts, and from the bottom stirrThe Hell within him, for within him HellHe brings, and round about him, nor from HellOne step no more then from himself can flyBy change of place: Now conscience wakes despairThat slumberd, wakes the bitter memorieOf what he was, what is, and what must beWorse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.Sometimes towards Eden which now in his viewLay pleasant, his grievd look he fixes sad,Sometimes towards Heav'n and the full-blazing Sun,Which now sat high in his Meridian Towre:Then much revolving, thus in sighs began.

O thou that with surpassing Glory crownd,Look'st from thy sole Dominion like the GodOf this new World; at whose sight all the StarrsHide thir diminisht heads; to thee I call,But with no friendly voice, and add thy nameO Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beamsThat bring to my remembrance from what stateI fell, how glorious once above thy Spheare;Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me downWarring in Heav'n against Heav'ns matchless King:Ah wherefore! he deservd no such returnFrom me, whom he created what I wasIn that bright eminence, and with his goodUpbraided none; nor was his service hard.What could be less then to afford him praise,The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,And wrought but malice; lifted up so highI sdeind subjection, and thought one step higherWould set me highest, and in a moment quitThe debt immense of endless gratitude,So burthensome still paying, still to ow;Forgetful what from him I still receivd,And understood not that a grateful mindBy owing owes not, but still pays, at onceIndebted and dischargd; what burden then?O had his powerful Destiny ordaindMe some inferiour Angel, I had stoodThen happie; no unbounded hope had rais'dAmbition. Yet why not? som other PowerAs great might have aspir'd, and me though meanDrawn to his part; but other Powers as greatFell not, but stand unshak'n, from withinOr from without, to all temptations arm'd.Hadst thou the same free Will and Power to stand?Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,But Heav'ns free Love dealt equally to all?Be then his Love accurst, since love or hate,To me alike, it deals eternal woe.Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy willChose freely what it now so justly rues.Me miserable! which way shall I flieInfinite wrauth, and infinite despaire?Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell;And in the lowest deep a lower deepStill threatning to devour me opens wide,To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n.O then at last relent: is there no placeLeft for Repentance, none for Pardon left?None left but by submission; and that wordDisdain forbids me, and my dread of shameAmong the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'dWith other promises and other vauntsThen to submit, boasting I could subdueTh' Omnipotent. Ay me, they little knowHow dearly I abide that boast so vaine,Under what torments inwardly I groane;While they adore me on the Throne of Hell,With Diadem and Scepter high advanc'dThe lower still I fall, onely SupreamIn miserie; such joy Ambition findes.But say I could repent and could obtaineBy Act of Grace my former state; how soonWould higth recal high thoughts, how soon unsayWhat feign'd submission swore: ease would recantVows made in pain, as violent and void.For never can true reconcilement growWhere wounds of deadly hate have peirc'd so deep:Which would but lead me to a worse relapseAnd heavier fall: so should I purchase deareShort intermission bought with double smart.This knows my punisher; therefore as farrFrom granting hee, as I from begging peace:All hope excluded thus, behold in steadOf us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight,Mankind created, and for him this World.So farwel Hope, and with Hope farwel Fear,Farwel Remorse: all Good to me is lost;Evil be thou my Good; by thee at leastDivided Empire with Heav'ns King I holdBy thee, and more then half perhaps will reigne;As Man ere long, and this new World shall know.

Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his faceThrice chang'd with pale, ire, envie and despair,Which marrd his borrow'd visage, and betraidHim counterfet, if any eye beheld.For heav'nly mindes from such distempers fouleAre ever cleer. Whereof hee soon aware,Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calme,Artificer of fraud; and was the firstThat practisd falshood under saintly shew,Deep malice to conceale, couch't with revenge:Yet not anough had practisd to deceiveUriel once warnd; whose eye pursu'd him downThe way he went, and on th' Assyrian mountSaw him disfigur'd, more then could befallSpirit of happie sort: his gestures fierceHe markd and mad demeanour, then alone,As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.So on he fares, and to the border comes,Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,Now nearer, Crowns with her enclosure green,As with a rural mound the champain headOf a steep wilderness, whose hairie sidesWith thicket overgrown, grottesque and wilde,Access deni'd; and over head up grewInsuperable highth of loftiest shade,Cedar, and Pine, and Firr, and branching Palm,A Silvan Scene, and as the ranks ascendShade above shade, a woodie TheatreOf stateliest view. Yet higher then thir topsThe verdurous wall of paradise up sprung:Which to our general Sire gave prospect largeInto his neather Empire neighbouring round.And higher then that Wall a circling rowOf goodliest Trees loaden with fairest Fruit,Blossoms and Fruits at once of golden hueAppeerd, with gay enameld colours mixt:On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beamsThen in fair Evening Cloud, or humid Bow,When God hath showrd the earth; so lovely seemdThat Lantskip: And of pure now purer aireMeets his approach, and to the heart inspiresVernal delight and joy, able to driveAll sadness but despair: now gentle galesFanning thir odoriferous wings dispenseNative perfumes, and whisper whence they stoleThose balmie spoiles. As when to them who saileBeyond the Cape of Hope, and now are pastMozambic, off at Sea North-East windes blowSabean Odours from the spicie shoareOf Arabie the blest, with such delayWell pleas'd they slack thir course, and many a LeagueChear'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles.So entertaind those odorous sweets the FiendWho came thir bane, though with them better pleas'dThen Asmodeus with the fishie fume,That drove him, though enamourd, from the SpouseOf Tobits Son, and with a vengeance sentFrom Media post to Aegypt, there fast bound.

Now to th' ascent of that steep savage HillSatan had journied on, pensive and slow;But further way found none, so thick entwin'd,As one continu'd brake, the undergrowthOf shrubs and tangling bushes had perplextAll path of Man or Beast that past that way:One Gate there only was, and that look'd EastOn th' other side: which when th' arch-fellon sawDue entrance he disdaind, and in contempt,At one slight bound high over leap'd all boundOf Hill or highest Wall, and sheer withinLights on his feet. As when a prowling Wolfe,Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,Watching where Shepherds pen thir Flocks at eeveIn hurdl'd Cotes amid the field secure,Leaps o're the fence with ease into the Fould:.Or as a Thief bent to unhoord the cashOf some rich Burgher, whose substantial dores,Cross-barrd and bolted fast, fear no assault,In at the window climbs, or o're the tiles;So clomb this first grand Thief into Gods Fould:So since into his Church lewd Hirelings climbe.Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life,The middle Tree and highest there that grew,Sat like a Cormorant; yet not true LifeThereby regaind, but sat devising DeathTo them who liv'd; nor on the vertue thoughtOf that life-giving Plant, but only us'dFor prospect, what well us'd had bin the pledgeOf immortality. So little knowsAny, but God alone, to value rightThe good before him, but perverts best thingsTo worst abuse, or to thir meanest use.Beneath him with new wonder now he viewsTo all delight of human sense expos'dIn narrow room Natures whole wealth, yea more,A Heav'n on Earth, for blissful ParadiseOf God the Garden was, by him in the EastOf Eden planted; Eden stretchd her LineFrom Auran Eastward to the Royal TowrsOf great Seleucia, built by Grecian Kings,Or where the Sons of Eden long beforeDwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soileHis farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind;Out of the fertil ground he caus'd to growAll Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,High eminent, blooming Ambrosial FruitOf vegetable Gold; and next to LifeOur Death the Tree of knowledge grew fast by,Knowledge of Good bought dear by knowing ill.Southward through Eden went a River large,Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggie hillPass'd underneath ingulft, for God had thrownThat Mountain as his Garden mould high rais'dUpon the rapid current, which through veinsOf porous Earth with kindly thirst up drawn,Rose a fresh Fountain, and with many a rillWaterd the Garden; thence united fellDown the steep glade, and met the neather Flood,Which from his darksom passage now appeers,And now divided into four main Streams,Runs divers, wandring many a famous RealmeAnd Country whereof here needs no account,But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,How from that Saphire Fount the crisped Brooks,Rowling on Orient Pearl and sands of Gold,With mazie error under pendant shadesRan Nectar, visiting each plant, and fedFlours worthy of Paradise which not nice ArtIn Beds and curious Knots, but Nature boonPowrd forth profuse on Hill and Dale and Plaine,Both where the morning Sun first warmly smoteThe open field, and where the unpierc't shadelmbround the noontide Bowrs: Thus was this place,A happy rural seat of various view;Groves whose rich Trees wept odorous Gumms and Balme,Others whose fruit burnisht with Golden RindeHung amiable, Hesperian Fables true,If true, here only, and of delicious taste:Betwixt them Lawns, or level Downs, and FlocksGrasing the tender herb, were interpos'd,Or palmie hilloc, or the flourie lapOf som irriguous Valley spred her store,Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose:Another side, umbrageous Grots and CavesOf coole recess, o're which the mantling vineLayes forth her purple Grape, and gently creepsLuxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fallDown the slope hills, disperst, or in a Lake,That to the fringed Bank with Myrtle crownd,Her chrystal mirror holds, unite thir streams.The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires,Breathing the smell of field and grove, attuneThe trembling leaves, while Universal PanKnit with the Graces and the Hours in danceLed on th' Eternal Spring. Not that faire fieldOf Enna, where Proserpin gathering floursHer self a fairer Floure by gloomie DisWas gatherd, which cost Ceres all that painTo seek her through the world; nor that sweet GroveOf Daphne by Orontes, and th' inspir'dCastalian Spring, might with this ParadiseOf Eden strive; nor that Nyseian IleGirt with the River Triton, where old Cham,Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Lybian Jove,Hid Amalthea and her Florid SonYoung Bacchus from his Stepdame Rhea's eye;Nor where Abassin Kings thir issue Guard,Mount Amara, though this by som suppos'dTrue Paradise under the Ethiop LineBy Nilus head, enclosd with shining Rock,A whole days journy high, but wide remoteFrom this Assyrian Garden, where the FiendSaw undelighted all delight, all kindOf living Creatures new to sight and strange:Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,Godlike erect, with native Honour cladIn naked Majestie seemd Lords of all,And worthie seemd, for in thir looks DivineThe image of thir glorious Maker shon,Truth, wisdome, Sanctitude severe and pure,Severe but in true filial freedom plac't;Whence true autoritie in men; though bothNot equal, as thir sex not equal seemd;For contemplation hee and valour formd,For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace,Hee for God only, shee for God in him:His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar'dAbsolute rule; and Hyacinthin LocksRound from his parted forelock manly hungClustring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:Shee as a vail down to the slender wasteHer unadorned golden tresses woreDissheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'dAs the Vine curles her tendrils, which impli'dSubjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,And by her yielded, by him best receivd,Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,And sweet reluctant amorous delay.Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald,Then was not guiltie shame, dishonest shameOf natures works, honor dishonorable,Sin-bred, how have ye troubl'd all mankindWith shews instead, meer shews of seeming pure,And banisht from mans life his happiest life,Simplicitie and spotless innocence.So passd they naked on, nor shund the sightOf God or Angel, for they thought no ill:So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pairThat ever since in loves imbraces met,Adam the goodliest man of men since borneHis Sons, the fairest of her Daughters Eve.Under a tuft of shade that on a greenStood whispering soft, by a fresh Fountain sideThey sat them down, and after no more toilOf thir sweet Gardning labour then suffic'dTo recommend coole Zephyr, and made easeMore easie, wholsom thirst and appetiteMore grateful, to thir Supper Fruits they fell,Nectarine Fruits which the compliant boughesYielded them, side-long as they sat reclineOn the soft downie Bank damaskt with flours:The savourie pulp they chew, and in the rindeStill as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream;Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smilesWanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseemsFair couple, linkt in happie nuptial League,Alone as they. About them frisking playdAll Beasts of th' Earth, since wilde, and of all chaseIn Wood or Wilderness, Forrest or Den;Sporting the Lion rampd, and in his pawDandl'd the Kid; Bears, Tygers, Ounces, Pards,Gambold before them, th' unwieldy ElephantTo make them mirth us'd all his might, and wreathdHis Lithe Proboscis; close the Serpent slyInsinuating, wove with Gordian twineHis breaded train, and of his fatal guileGave proof unheeded; others on the grassCoucht, and now fild with pasture gazing sat,Or Bedward ruminating: for the SunDeclin'd was hasting now with prone carreerTo th' Ocean Iles, and in th' ascending ScaleOf Heav'n the Starrs that usher Evening rose:When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,Scarce thus at length faild speech recoverd sad.

O Hell! what doe mine eyes with grief behold,Into our room of bliss thus high advanc'tCreatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,Not Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits brightLittle inferior; whom my thoughts pursueWith wonder, and could love, so lively shinesIn them Divine resemblance, and such graceThe hand that formd them on thir shape hath pourd.Ah gentle pair, yee little think how nighYour change approaches, when all these delightsWill vanish and deliver ye to woe,More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;Happie, but for so happie ill secur'dLong to continue, and this high seat your Heav'nIll fenc't for Heav'n to keep out such a foeAs now is enterd; yet no purpos'd foeTo you whom I could pittie thus forlorneThough I unpittied: League with you I seek,And mutual amitie so streight, so close,That I with you must dwell, or you with meHenceforth; my dwelling haply may not pleaseLike this fair Paradise, your sense, yet suchAccept your Makers work; he gave it me,Which I as freely give; Hell shall unfold,To entertain you two, her widest Gates,And send forth all her Kings; there will be room,Not like these narrow limits, to receiveass Your numerous ofspring; if no better place,Thank him who puts me loath to this revengeOn you who wrong me not for him who wrongd.And should I at your harmless innocenceMelt, as I doe, yet public reason just,Honour and Empire with revenge enlarg'd,By conquering this new World, compels me nowTo do what else though damnd I should abhorre.

So spake the Fiend, and with necessitie,The Tyrants plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.Then from his loftie stand on that high TreeDown he alights among the sportful HerdOf those fourfooted kindes, himself now one,Now other, as thir shape servd best his endNeerer to view his prey, and unespi'dTo mark what of thir state he more might learnBy word or action markt: about them roundA Lion now he stalkes with fierie glare,Then as a Tyger, who by chance hath spi'dIn some Purlieu two gentle Fawnes at play,Strait couches close, then rising changes oftHis couchant watch, as one who chose his groundWhence rushing he might surest seize them bothGrip't in each paw: When Adam first of menTo first of women Eve thus moving speech,Turnd him all eare to hear new utterance flow.

Sole partner and sole part of all these joyes,Dearer thy self then all; needs must the powerThat made us, and for us this ample WorldBe infinitly good, and of his goodAs liberal and free as infinite,That rais'd us from the dust and plac't us hereIn all this happiness, who at his handHave nothing merited, nor can performeAught whereof hee hath need, hee who requiresFrom us no other service then to keepThis one, this easie charge, of all the TreesIn Paradise that bear delicious fruitSo various, not to taste that onely TreeOf knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life,So neer grows Death to Life, what ere Death is,Som dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou knowstGod hath pronounc't it death to taste that Tree,The only sign of our obedience leftAmong so many signes of power and ruleConferrd upon us, and Dominion giv'nOver all other Creatures that possessEarth, Aire, and Sea. Then let us not think hardOne easie prohibition, who enjoyFree leave so large to all things else, and choiceUnlimited of manifold delights:But let us ever praise him, and extollHis bountie, following our delightful taskTo prune these growing Plants, and tend these Flours,Which were it toilsom, yet with thee were sweet.

To whom thus Eve repli'd. O thou for whomAnd from whom I was formd flesh of thy flesh,And without whom am to no end, my GuideAnd Head, what thou hast said is just and right.For wee to him indeed all praises owe,And daily thanks, I chiefly who enjoySo farr the happier Lot, enjoying theePraeeminent by so much odds, while thouLike consort to thy self canst no where find.That day I oft remember, when from sleepI first awak't, and found my self repos'dUnder a shade of flours, much wondring whereAnd what I was, whence thither brought, and how.Not distant far from thence a murmuring soundOf waters issu'd from a Cave and spreadInto a liquid Plain, then stood unmov'dPure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither wentWith unexperienc't thought, and laid me downeOn the green bank, to look into the cleerSmooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie.As I bent down to look, just opposite,A Shape within the watry gleam appeerdBending to look on me, I started back,It started back, but pleas'd I soon returnd,Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looksOf sympathie and love; there I had fixtMine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,Had not a voice thus warnd me, What thou seest,What there thou seest fair Creature is thy self,With thee it came and goes: but follow me,And I will bring thee where no shadow staiesThy coming, and thy soft imbraces, heeWhose image thou art, him thou shall enjoyInseparablie thine, to him shalt beareMultitudes like thy self, and thence be call'dMother of human Race: what could I doe,But follow strait, invisibly thus led?Till I espi'd thee, fair indeed and tall,Under a Platan, yet methought less faire,Less winning soft, less amiablie milde,Then that smooth watry image; back I turnd,Thou following cryd'st aloud, Return faire Eve,Whom fli'st thou? whom thou fli'st, of him thou art,His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lentOut of my side to thee, neerest my heartSubstantial Life, to have thee by my sideHenceforth an individual solace dear;Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claimMy other half: with that thy gentle handSeisd mine, I yielded, and from that time seeHow beauty is excelld by manly graceAnd wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

So spake our general Mother, and with eyesOf conjugal attraction unreprov'd,And meek surrender, half imbracing leandOn our first Father, half her swelling BreastNaked met his under the flowing GoldOf her loose tresses hid: he in delightBoth of her Beauty and submissive CharmsSmil'd with superior Love, as JupiterOn Juno smiles, when he impregns the CloudsThat shed May Flowers; and press'd her Matron lipWith kisses pure: aside the Devil turndFor envie, yet with jealous leer maligneEy'd them askance, and to himself thus plaind.

Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these twoImparadis't in one anothers armsThe happier Eden, shall enjoy thir fillOf bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust,Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,Among our other torments not the least,Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines;Yet let me not forget what I have gain'dFrom thir own mouths; all is not theirs it seems:One fatal Tree there stands of Knowledge call'd,Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidd'n?Suspicious, reasonless. Why should thir LordEnvie them that? can it be sin to know,Can it be death? and do they onely standBy Ignorance, is that thir happie state,The proof of thir obedience and thir faith?O fair foundation laid whereon to buildThir ruine! Hence I will excite thir mindsWith more desire to know, and to rejectEnvious commands, invented with designeTo keep them low whom knowledge might exaltEqual with Gods; aspiring to be such,They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?But first with narrow search I must walk roundThis Garden, and no corner leave unspi'd;A chance but chance may lead where I may meetSome wandring Spirit of Heav'n, by Fountain side,Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to drawWhat further would be learnt. Live while ye may,Yet happie pair; enjoy, till I return,Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.

So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,But with sly circumspection, and beganThrough wood, through waste, o're hill, o're dale his roam.Mean while in utmost Longitude, where Heav'nWith Earth and Ocean meets, the setting SunSlowly descended, and with right aspectAgainst the eastern Gate of ParadiseLeveld his eevning Rayes: it was a RockOf Alablaster, pil'd up to the Clouds,Conspicuous farr, winding with one ascentAccessible from Earth, one entrance high;The rest was craggie cliff, that overhungStill as it rose, impossible to climbe.Betwixt these rockie Pillars Gabriel satChief of th' Angelic Guards, awaiting night;About him exercis'd Heroic GamesTh' unarmed Youth of Heav'n, but nigh at handCelestial Armourie, Shields, Helmes, and Speares,Hung high with Diamond flaming, and with Gold.Thither came Uriel, gliding through the EevenOn a Sun beam, swift as a shooting StarrIn Autumn thwarts the night, when vapors fir'dImpress the Air, and shews the MarinerFrom what point of his Compass to bewareImpetuous winds: he thus began in haste.

Gabriel, to thee thy course by Lot hath giv'nCharge and strict watch that to this happie PlaceNo evil thing approach or enter in;This day at highth of Noon came to my SpheareA Spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to knowMore of th' Almighties works, and chiefly ManGods latest Image: I describ'd his wayBent all on speed, and markt his Aerie Gate;But in the Mount that lies from Eden North,Where he first lighted, soon discernd his looksAlien from Heav'n, with passions foul obscur'd:Mine eye pursu'd him still, but under shadeLost sight of him; one of the banisht crewI fear, hath ventur'd from the deep, to raiseNew troubles; him thy care must be to find.

To whom the winged Warriour thus returnd:Uriel, no wonder if thy perfet sight,Amid the Suns bright circle where thou sitst,See farr and wide: in at this Gate none passThe vigilance here plac't, but such as comeWell known from Heav'n; and since Meridian hourNo Creature thence: if Spirit of other sort,So minded, have oreleapt these earthie boundsOn purpose, hard thou knowst it to excludeSpiritual substance with corporeal barr.But if within the circuit of these walks,In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whomThou tellst, by morrow dawning I shall know.

So promis'd hee, and Uriel to his chargeReturnd on that bright beam, whose point now raisdBore him slope downward to the Sun now fall'nBeneath th' Azores; whither the prime Orb,Incredible how swift, had thither rowl'dDiurnal, or this less volubil EarthBy shorter flight to th' East, had left him thereArraying with reflected Purple and GoldThe Clouds that on his Western Throne attend:Now came still Eevning on, and Twilight grayHad in her sober Liverie all things clad;Silence accompanied, for Beast and Bird,They to thir grassie Couch, these to thir NestsWere slunk, all but the wakeful Nightingale;She all night long her amorous descant sung;Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the FirmamentWith living Saphirs: Hesperus that ledThe starrie Host, rode brightest, till the MoonRising in clouded Majestie, at lengthApparent Queen unvaild her peerless light,And o're the dark her Silver Mantle threw.

When Adam thus to Eve: Fair Consort, th' hourOf night, and all things now retir'd to restMind us of like repose, since God hath setLabour and rest, as day and night to menSuccessive, and the timely dew of sleepNow falling with soft slumbrous weight inclinesOur eye-lids; other Creatures all day longRove idle unimploid, and less need rest;Man hath his daily work of body or mindAppointed, which declares his Dignitie,And the regard of Heav'n on all his waies;While other Animals unactive range,And of thir doings God takes no account.To morrow ere fresh Morning streak the EastWith first approach of light, we must be ris'n,And at our pleasant labour, to reformYon flourie Arbors, yonder Allies green,Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,That mock our scant manuring, and requireMore hands then ours to lop thir wanton growth:Those Blossoms also, and those dropping Gumms,That lie bestrowne unsightly and unsmooth,Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease;Mean while, as Nature wills, Night bids us rest.

To whom thus Eve with perfet beauty adornd.My Author and Disposer, what thou bidstUnargu'd I obey; so God ordains,God is thy Law, thou mine: to know no moreIs womans happiest knowledge and her praise.With thee conversing I forget all time,All seasons and thir change, all please alike.Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,With charm of earliest Birds; pleasant the SunWhen first on this delightful Land he spreadsHis orient Beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flour,Glistring with dew; fragrant the fertil earthAfter soft showers; and sweet the coming onOf grateful Eevning milde, then silent NightWith this her solemn Bird and this fair Moon,And these the Gemms of Heav'n, her starrie train:But neither breath of Morn when she ascendsWith charm of earliest Birds, nor rising SunOn this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, floure,Glistring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,Nor grateful Eevning mild, nor silent NightWith this her solemn Bird, nor walk by Moon,Or glittering Starr-light without thee is sweet.But wherfore all night long shine these, for whomThis glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?

To whom our general Ancestor repli'd.Daughter of God and Man, accomplisht Eve,Those have thir course to finish, round the Earth,By morrow Eevning, and from Land to LandIn order, though to Nations yet unborn,Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise;Least total darkness should by Night regaineHer old possession, and extinguish lifeIn Nature and all things, which these soft firesNot only enlighten, but with kindly heateOf various influence foment and warme,Temper or nourish, or in part shed downThir stellar vertue on all kinds that growOn Earth, made hereby apter to receivePerfection from the Suns more potent Ray.These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,Shine not in vain, nor think, though men were none,That heav'n would want spectators, God want praise;Millions of spiritual Creatures walk the EarthUnseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:.All these with ceasless praise his works beholdBoth day and night: how often from the steepOf echoing Hill or Thicket have we heardCelestial voices to the midnight air,Sole, or responsive each to others noteSinging thir great Creator: oft in bandsWhile they keep watch, or nightly rounding walkWith Heav'nly touch of instrumental soundsIn full harmonic number joind, thir songsDivide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.

Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'dOn to thir blissful Bower; it was a placeChos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'dAll things to mans delightful use; the roofeOf thickest covert was inwoven shadeLaurel and Mirtle, and what higher grewOf firm and fragrant leaf; on either sideAcanthus, and each odorous bushie shrubFenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flour,Iris all hues, Roses, and GessaminRear'd high thir flourisht heads between, and wroughtMosaic; underfoot the Violet,Crocus, and Hyacinth with rich inlayBroiderd the ground, more colour'd then with stoneOf costliest Emblem: other Creature hereBeast, Bird, Insect, or Worm durst enter none;Such was thir awe of Man. In shadie BowerMore sacred and sequesterd, though but feignd,Pan or Silvanus never slept, nor Nymph,Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recessWith Flowers, Garlands, and sweet-smelling HerbsEspoused Eve deckt first her nuptial Bed,And heav'nly Quires the Hymenaean sung,What day the genial Angel to our SireBrought her in naked beauty more adorn'd,More lovely then Pandora, whom the GodsEndowd with all thir gifts, and O too likeIn sad event, when to the unwiser SonOf Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'dMankind with her faire looks, to be aveng'dOn him who had stole Joves authentic fire.

Thus at thir shadie Lodge arriv'd, both stoodBoth turnd, and under op'n Skie ador'dThe God that made both Skie, Air, Earth and Heav'nWhich they beheld, the Moons resplendent GlobeAnd starrie Pole: Thou also mad'st the Night,Maker Omnipotent, and thou the Day,Which we in our appointed work imploydHave finisht happie in our mutual helpAnd mutual love, the Crown of all our blissOrdaind by thee, and this delicious placeFor us too large, where thy abundance wantsPartakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.But thou hast promis'd from us two a RaceTo fill the Earth, who shall with us extollThy goodness infinite, both when we wake,And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.

This said unanimous, and other RitesObserving none, but adoration pureWhich God likes best, into thir inmost bowreHanded they went; and eas'd the putting offThese troublesom disguises which wee wear,Strait side by side were laid, nor turnd I weeneAdam from his fair Spouse, nor Eve the RitesMysterious of connubial Love refus'd:Whatever Hypocrites austerely talkOf puritie and place and innocence,Defaming as impure what God declaresPure, and commands to som, leaves free to all.Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstainBut our destroyer, foe to God and Man?Haile wedded Love, mysterious Law, true sourceOf human ofspring, sole proprietie,In Paradise of all things common else.By thee adulterous lust was driv'n from menAmong the bestial herds to raunge, by theeFounded in Reason, Loyal, just, and Pure,Relations dear, and all the CharitiesOf Father, Son, and Brother first were known.Farr be it, that I should write thee sin or blame,Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,Perpetual Fountain of Domestic sweets,Whose bed is undefil'd and chaste pronounc't,Present, or past, as Saints and Patriarchs us'd.Here Love his golden shafts imploies, here lightsHis constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings,Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smileOf Harlots, loveless, joyless, unindeard,Casual fruition, nor in Court AmoursMixt Dance, or wanton Mask, or Midnight Bal,Or Serenate, which the starv'd Lover singsTo his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.These lulld by Nightingales imbraceing slept,And on thir naked limbs the flourie roofShowrd Roses, which the Morn repair'd. Sleep onBlest pair; and O yet happiest if ye seekNo happier state, and know to know no more.

Now had night measur'd with her shaddowie ConeHalf way up Hill this vast Sublunar Vault,And from thir Ivorie Port the CherubimForth issuing at th' accustomd hour stood armdTo thir night watches in warlike Parade,When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake.

Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the SouthWith strictest watch; these other wheel the North,Our circuit meets full West. As flame they partHalf wheeling to the Shield, half to the Spear.From these, two strong and suttle Spirits he calldThat neer him stood, and gave them thus in charge.Ithuriel and Zephon, with wingd speedSearch through this Garden, leave unsearcht no nook,But chiefly where those two fair Creatures Lodge,Now laid perhaps asleep secure of harme.This Eevning from the Sun's decline arriv'dWho tells of som infernal Spirit seenHitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'dThe barrs of Hell, on errand bad no doubt:Such where ye find, seise fast, and hither bring.

So saying, on he led his radiant Files,Daz'ling the Moon; these to the Bower directIn search of whom they sought: him there they foundSquat like a Toad, close at the eare of Eve;Assaying by his Devilish art to reachThe Organs of her Fancie, and with them forgeIllusions as he list, Phantasms and Dreams,Or if, inspiring venom, he might taintTh' animal Spirits that from pure blood ariseLike gentle breaths from Rivers pure, thence raiseAt least distemperd, discontented thoughts,Vaine hopes, vaine aimes, inordinate desiresBlown up with high conceits ingendring pride.Him thus intent Ithuriel with his SpearTouch'd lightly; for no falshood can endureTouch of Celestial temper, but returnsOf force to its own likeness: up he startsDiscoverd and surpriz'd. As when a sparkLights on a heap of nitrous Powder, laidFit for the Tun som Magazin to storeAgainst a rumord Warr, the Smuttie graineWith sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the Aire:So started up in his own shape the Fiend.Back stept those two faire Angels half amaz'dSo sudden to behold the grieslie King;Yet thus, unmovd with fear, accost him soon.

Which of those rebell Spirits adjudg'd to HellCom'st thou, escap'd thy prison, and transform'd,Why satst thou like an enemie in waiteHere watching at the head of these that sleep?

Know ye not then said Satan, fill'd with scorn,Know ye not mee? ye knew me once no mateFor you, there sitting where ye durst not soare;Not to know mee argues your selves unknown,The lowest of your throng; or if ye know,Why ask ye, and superfluous beginYour message, like to end as much in vain?To whom thus Zephon, answering scorn with scorn.Think not, revolted Spirit, thy shape the same,Or undiminisht brightness, to be knownAs when thou stoodst in Heav'n upright and pure;That Glorie then, when thou no more wast good,Departed from thee, and thou resembl'st nowThy sin and place of doom obscure and foule.But come, for thou, be sure, shalt give accountTo him who sent us, whose charge is to keepThis place inviolable, and these from harm.

So spake the Cherube, and his grave rebukeSevere in youthful beautie, added graceInvincible: abasht the Devil stood,And felt how awful goodness is, and sawVertue in her shape how lovly, saw, and pin'dHis loss; but chiefly to find here observdHis lustre visibly impar'd; yet seemdUndaunted. If I must contend, said he,Best with the best, the Sender not the sent,Or all at once; more glorie will be wonn,Or less be lost. Thy fear, said Zephon bold,Will save us trial what the least can doeSingle against thee wicked, and thence weak.

The Fiend repli'd not, overcome with rage;But like a proud Steed reind, went hautie on,Chaumping his iron curb: to strive or flieHe held it vain; awe from above had quelldHis heart, not else dismai'd. Now drew they nighThe western Point, where those half-rounding guardjust met, and closing stood in squadron joindAwaiting next command. To whom thir ChiefGabriel from the Front thus calld aloud.

O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feetHasting this way, and now by glimps discerneIthuriel and Zephon through the shade,And with them comes a third of Regal port,But faded splendor wan; who by his gateAnd fierce demeanour seems the Prince of Hell,Not likely to part hence without contest;Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.

He scarce had ended, when those two approachdAnd brief related whom they brought, where found,How busied, in what form and posture coucht.To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake.

Why hast thou, Satan broke the bounds prescrib'dTo thy transgressions, and disturbd the chargeOf others, who approve not to transgressBy thy example, but have power and rightTo question thy bold entrance on this place;Imploi'd it seems to violate sleep, and thoseWhose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss?

To whom thus Satan, with contemptuous brow.Gabriel, thou hadst in Heav'n th' esteem of wise,And such I held thee; but this question asktPuts me in doubt. Lives ther who loves his pain?Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell,Though thither doomd? Thou wouldst thy self, no doubt,And boldly venture to whatever placeFarthest from pain, where thou mightest hope to changeTorment with ease, and soonest recompenceDole with delight, which in this place I sought;To thee no reason; who knowst only good,But evil hast not tri'd: and wilt objectHis will who bound us? let him surer barrHis Iron Gates, if he intends our stayIn that dark durance: thus much what was askt.The rest is true, they found me where they say;But that implies not violence or harme.

Thus he in scorn.The warlike Angel mov'd,Disdainfully half smiling thus repli'd.O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise,Since Satan fell, whom follie overthrew,And now returns him from his prison scap't,Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wiseOr not, who ask what boldness brought him hitherUnlicenc't from his bounds in Hell prescrib'd;So wise he judges it to fly from painHowever, and to scape his punishment.So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrauth,Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flightSeavenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,Which taught thee yet no better, that no painCan equal anger infinite provok't.But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with theeCame not all Hell broke loose? is pain to themLess pain, less to be fled, or thou then theyLess hardie to endure? courageous Chief,The first in flight from pain, had'st thou alledg'dTo thy deserted host this cause of flight,Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.

To which the Fiend thus answerd frowning stern.Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,Insulting Angel, well thou knowst I stoodThy fiercest, when in Battel to thy aideThy blasting volied Thunder made all speedAnd seconded thy else not dreaded Spear.But still thy words at random, as before,Argue thy inexperience what behoovesFrom hard assaies and ill successes pastA faithful Leader, not to hazard allThrough wayes of danger by himself untri'd.I therefore, I alone first undertookTo wing the desolate Abyss, and spieThis new created World, whereof in HellFame is not silent, here in hope to findBetter abode, and my afflicted PowersTo settle here on Earth, or in mid Aire;Though for possession put to try once moreWhat thou and thy gay Legions dare against;Whose easier business were to serve thir LordHigh up in Heav'n, with songs to hymne his Throne,And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight.

To whom the warriour Angel, soon repli'd.To say and strait unsay, pretending firstWise to flie pain, professing next the Spie,Argues no Leader but a lyar trac't,Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name,O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?Armie of Fiends, fit body to fit head;Was this your discipline and faith ingag'd,Your military obedience, to dissolveAllegeance to th' acknowldg'd Power supream?And thou sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seemPatron of liberty, who more then thouOnce fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilly ador'dHeav'ns awful Monarch? wherefore but in hopeTo dispossess him, and thy self to reigne?But mark what I arreede thee now, avant;Flie thither whence thou fledst: if from this houreWithin these hallowd limits thou appeer,Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chaind,And Seale thee so, as henceforth not to scorneThe facil gates of hell too slightly barrd.

So threatn'd hee, but Satan to no threatsGave heed, but waxing more in rage repli'd.

Then when I am thy captive talk of chaines,Proud limitarie Cherube, but ere thenFarr heavier load thy self expect to feelFrom my prevailing arme, though Heavens KingRide on thy wings, and thou with thy Compeers,Us'd to the yoak, draw'st his triumphant wheelsIn progress through the rode of Heav'n Star-pav'd.

While thus he spake, th' Angelic Squadron brightTurnd fierie red, sharpning in mooned hornesThir Phalanx, and began to hemm him roundWith ported Spears, as thick as when a fieldOf Ceres ripe for harvest waving bendsHer bearded Grove of ears, which way the windSwayes them; the careful Plowman doubting standsLeast on the threshing floore his hopeful sheavesProve chaff. On th' other side Satan allarm'dCollecting all his might dilated stood,Like Teneriff or Atlas unremov'd:His stature reacht the Skie, and on his CrestSat horror Plum'd; nor wanted in his graspeWhat seemd both Spear and Shield: now dreadful deedsMight have ensu'd, nor onely ParadiseIn this commotion, but the Starrie CopeOf Heav'n perhaps, or all the ElementsAt least had gon to rack, disturbd and torneWith violence of this conflict, had not soonTh' Eternal to prevent such horrid frayHung forth in Heav'n his golden Scales, yet seenBetwixt Astrea and the Scorpion signe,Wherein all things created first he weighd,The pendulous round Earth with ballanc't AireIn counterpoise, now ponders all events,Battels and Realms: in these he put two weightsThe sequel each of parting and of fight;The latter quick up flew, and kickt the beam;Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend.

Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowst mine,Neither our own but giv'n; what follie thenTo boast what Arms can doe, since thine no moreThen Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubld nowTo trample thee as mire: for proof look up,And read thy Lot in yon celestial SignWhere thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how weak,If thou resist. The Fiend lookt up and knewHis mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fledMurmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

© John Milton