Paradise Lost: Book XII (1674)

written by

« Reload image


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

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

Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end;And Man as from a second stock proceed.Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceaveThy mortal sight to faile; objects divineMust needs impaire and wearie human sense:Henceforth what is to com I will relate,Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.This second sours of Men, while yet but few;And while the dread of judgement past remainsFresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie,With some regard to what is just and rightShall lead thir lives, and multiplie apace,Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop,Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock,Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid,With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast,Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwellLong time in peace by Families and TribesUnder paternal rule; till one shall riseOf proud ambitious heart, who not contentWith fair equalitie, fraternal state,Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'dOver his brethren, and quite dispossessConcord and law of Nature from the Earth;Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game)With Warr and hostile snare such as refuseSubjection to his Empire tyrannous:A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'dBefore the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n,Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie;And from Rebellion shall derive his name,Though of Rebellion others he accuse.Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joynsWith him or under him to tyrannize,Marching from Eden towards the West, shall findeThe Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurgeBoiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell;Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to buildA Citie and Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n;And get themselves a name, least far disperstIn foraign Lands thir memorie be lostRegardless whether good or evil fame.But God who oft descends to visit menUnseen, and through thir habitations walksTo mark thir doings, them beholding soon,Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the TowerObstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision setsUpon thir Tongues a various Spirit to raseQuite out thir Native Language, and insteadTo sow a jangling noise of words unknown:Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loudAmong the Builders; each to other callsNot understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'nAnd looking down, to see the hubbub strangeAnd hear the din; thus was the building leftRidiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.

Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'd.O execrable Son so to aspireAbove his Brethren, to himself assumingAuthoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n:He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, FowlDominion absolute; that right we holdBy his donation; but Man over menHe made not Lord; such title to himselfReserving, human left from human free.But this Usurper his encroachment proudStayes not on Man; to God his Tower intendsSiege and defiance: Wretched man! what foodWill he convey up thither to sustainHimself and his rash Armie, where thin AireAbove the Clouds will pine his entrails gross,And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread?

To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorr'stThat Son, who on the quiet state of menSuch trouble brought, affecting to subdueRational Libertie; yet know withall,Since thy original lapse, true LibertieIs lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwellsTwinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd,Immediately inordinate desiresAnd upstart Passions catch the GovernmentFrom Reason, and to servitude reduceMan till then free. Therefore since hee permitsWithin himself unworthie Powers to reignOver free Reason, God in judgement justSubjects him from without to violent Lords;Who oft as undeservedly enthrallHis outward freedom: Tyrannie must be,Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.Yet somtimes Nations will decline so lowFrom vertue, which is reason, that no wrong,But Justice, and some fatal curse annextDeprives them of thir outward libertie,Thir inward lost: Witness th' irreverent SonOf him who built the Ark, who for the shameDon to his Father, heard this heavie curse,Servant of Seruants, on his vitious Race.Thus will this latter, as the former World,Still tend from bad to worse, till God at lastWearied with their iniquities, withdrawHis presence from among them, and avertHis holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforthTo leave them to thir own polluted wayes;And one peculiar Nation to selectFrom all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,A Nation from one faithful man to spring:Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,While yet the Patriark liv'd, who scap'd the Flood,As to forsake the living God, and fallTo worship thir own work in Wood and StoneFor Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafesTo call by Vision from his Fathers house,His kindred and false Gods, into a LandWhich he will shew him, and from him will raiseA mightie Nation, and upon him showreHis benediction so, that in his SeedAll Nations shall be blest; he straight obeys,Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes:I see him, but thou canst not, with what FaithHe leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native SoileUr of Chaldaea, passing now the FordTo Haran, after him a cumbrous TrainOf Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude;Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealthWith God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.Canaan he now attains, I see his TentsPitcht about Sechem, and the neighbouring PlaineOf Moreh; there by promise he receavesGift to his Progenie of all that Land;From Hamath Northward to the Desert South(Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam'd)From Hermon East to the great Western Sea,Mount Hermon, yonder Sea, each place beholdIn prospect, as I point them; on the shoareMount Carmel; here the double-founted streamJordan, true limit Eastward; but his SonsShall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of Hills.This ponder, that all Nations of the EarthShall in his Seed be blessed; by that SeedIs meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruiseThe Serpents head; whereof to thee anonPlainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest,Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves,Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departsFrom Canaan, to a Land hereafter call'dEgypt, divided by the River Nile;See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthesInto the Sea: to sojourn in that LandHe comes invited by a yonger SonIn time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deedsRaise him to be the second in that RealmeOf Pharao: there he dies, and leaves his RaceGrowing into a Nation, and now grownSuspected to a sequent King, who seeksTo stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guestsToo numerous; whence of guests he makes them slavesInhospitably, and kills thir infant Males:Till by two brethren (those two brethren callMoses and Aaron) sent from God to claimeHis people from enthralment, they returnWith glory and spoile back to thir promis'd Land.But first the lawless Tyrant, who deniesTo know thir God, or message to regard,Must be compelld by Signes and judgements dire;To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd,Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fillWith loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land;His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die,Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss,And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile,Haile mixt with fire must rend th' Egyptian SkieAnd wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rouls;What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine,A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming downMust eat, and on the ground leave nothing green:Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes;Last with one midnight stroke all the first-bornOf Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten woundsThe River-dragon tam'd at length submitsTo let his sojourners depart, and oftHumbles his stubborn heart, but still as IceMore hard'nd after thaw, till in his ragePursuing whom he late dismissd, the SeaSwallows him with his Host, but them lets passAs on drie land between two christal walls,Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to standDivided, till his rescu'd gain thir shoar:Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend,Though present in his Angel, who shall goeBefore them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire,By day a Cloud, by night a Pillar of Fire,To guide them in thir journey, and removeBehinde them, while th' obdurat King pursues:All night he will pursue, but his approachDarkness defends between till morning Watch;Then through the Firey Pillar and the CloudGod looking forth will trouble all his HostAnd craze thir Chariot wheels: when by commandMoses once more his potent Rod extendsOver the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return,And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race electSafe towards Canaan from the shoar advanceThrough the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,Least entring on the Canaanite allarmdWarr terrifie them inexpert, and feareReturn them back to Egypt, choosing ratherInglorious life with servitude; for lifeTo noble and ignoble is more sweetUntraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on.This also shall they gain by thir delayIn the wide Wilderness, there they shall foundThir government, and thir great Senate chooseThrough the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:God from the Mount of Sinai, whose gray topShall tremble, he descending, will himselfIn Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets soundOrdaine them Lawes; part such as appertaineTo civil Justice, part religious RitesOf sacrifice, informing them, by typesAnd shadows, of that destind Seed to bruiseThe Serpent, by what means he shall achieveMankinds deliverance. But the voice of GodTo mortal eare is dreadful; they beseechThat Moses might report to them his will,And terror cease; he grants what they besaughtInstructed that to God is no accessWithout Mediator, whose high Office nowMoses in figure beares, to introduceOne greater, of whose day he shall foretell,And all the Prophets in thir Age the timesOf great Messiah shall sing. Thus Laws and RitesEstablisht, such delight hath God in MenObedient to his will, that he voutsafesAmong them to set up his Tabernacle,The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram'dOf Cedar, overlaid with Gold, thereinAn Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,The Records of his Cov'nant, over theseA Mercie-seat of Gold between the wingsOf two bright Cherubim, before him burnSeaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representingThe Heav'nly fires; over the Tent a CloudShall rest by Day, a fiery gleame by Night,Save when they journie, and at length they come,Conducted by his Angel to the LandPromisd to Abraham and his Seed: the restWere long to tell, how many Battels fought,How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won,Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav'n stand stillA day entire, and Nights due course adjourne,Mans voice commanding, Sun in Gibeon stand,And thou Moon in the vale of Aialon,Till Israel overcome; so call the thirdFrom Abraham, Son of Isaac, and from himHis whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.

Here Adam interpos'd. O sent from Heav'n,Enlightner of my darkness, gracious thingsThou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerneJust Abraham and his Seed: now first I findeMine eyes true op'ning, and my heart much eas'd,Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becomOf mee and all Mankind; but now I seeHis day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,Favour unmerited by me, who soughtForbidd'n knowledge by forbidd'n means.This yet I apprehend not, why to thoseAmong whom God will deigne to dwell on EarthSo many and so various Laws are giv'n;So many Laws argue so many sinsAmong them; how can God with such reside?

To whom thus Michael. Doubt not but that sinWill reign among them, as of thee begot;And therefore was Law given them to evinceThir natural pravitie, by stirring upSin against Law to fight; that when they seeLaw can discover sin, but not remove,Save by those shadowie expiations weak,The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may concludeSome bloud more precious must be paid for Man,Just for unjust, that in such righteousnessTo them by Faith imputed, they may findeJustification towards God, and peaceOf Conscience, which the Law by CeremoniesCannot appease, nor Man the moral partPerform, and not performing cannot live.So law appears imperfet, and but giv'nWith purpose to resign them in full timeUp to a better Cov'nant, disciplin'dFrom shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,From imposition of strict Laws, to freeAcceptance of large Grace, from servil fearTo filial, works of Law to works of Faith.And therefore shall not Moses, though of GodHighly belov'd, being but the MinisterOf Law, his people into Canaan lead;But Joshua whom the Gentiles Jesus call,His Name and Office bearing, who shall quellThe adversarie Serpent, and bring backThrough the worlds wilderness long wanderd manSafe to eternal Paradise of rest.Meanwhile they in thir earthly Canaan plac'tLong time shall dwell and prosper, but when sinsNational interrupt thir public peace,Provoking God to raise them enemies:From whom as oft he saves them penitentBy Judges first, then under Kings; of whomThe second, both for pietie renowndAnd puissant deeds, a promise shall receiveIrrevocable, that his Regal ThroneFor ever shall endure; the like shall singAll Prophecie, That of the Royal StockOf David (so I name this King) shall riseA Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold,Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trustAll Nations, and to Kings foretold, of KingsThe last, for of his Reign shall be no end.But first a long succession must ensue,And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam'd,The clouded Ark of God till then in TentsWandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine.Such follow him, as shall be registerdPart good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle,Whose foul Idolatries, and other faultsHeapt to the popular summe, will so incenseGod, as to leave them, and expose thir Land,Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy ArkWith all his sacred things, a scorn and preyTo that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw'stLeft in confusion, Babylon thence call'd.There in captivitie he lets them dwellThe space of seventie years, then brings them back,Remembring mercie, and his Cov'nant swornTo David, stablisht as the dayes of Heav'n.Returnd from Babylon by leave of KingsThir Lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of GodThey first re-edifie, and for a whileIn mean estate live moderate, till grownIn wealth and multitude, factious they grow;But first among the Priests dissension springs,Men who attend the Altar, and should mostEndeavour Peace: thir strife pollution bringsUpon the Temple it self: at last they seiseThe Scepter, and regard not Davids Sons,Then loose it to a stranger, that the trueAnointed King Messiah might be bornBarr'd of his right; yet at his Birth a StarrUnseen before in Heav'n proclaims him com,And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquireHis place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;His place of birth a solemn Angel tellsTo simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night;They gladly thither haste, and by a QuireOf squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung.A Virgin is his Mother, but his SireThe Power of the most High; he shall ascendThe Throne hereditarie, and bound his ReignWith earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav'ns.

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

O Prophet of glad tidings, finisherOf utmost hope! now clear I understandWhat oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,Why our great expectation should be call'dThe seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,High in the love of Heav'n, yet from my LoynesThou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the SonOf God most High; So God with man unites.Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruiseExpect with mortal paine: say where and whenThir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel.

To whom thus Michael. Dream not of thir fight,As of a Duel, or the local woundsOf head or heel: not therefore joynes the SonManhood to God-head, with more strength to foilThy enemie; nor so is overcomeSatan, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise,Disabl'd not to give thee thy deaths wound:Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,Not by destroying Satan, but his worksIn thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be,But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,Obedience to the Law of God, impos'dOn penaltie of death, and suffering death,The penaltie to thy transgression due,And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:So onely can high Justice rest appaid.The Law of God exact he shall fulfillBoth by obedience and by love, though loveAlone fulfill the Law; thy punishmentHe shall endure by coming in the FleshTo a reproachful life and cursed death,Proclaiming Life to all who shall believeIn his redemption, and that his obedienceImputed becomes theirs by Faith, his meritsTo save them, not thir own, though legal works.For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd,Seis'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemndA shameful and accurst, naild to the CrossBy his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life;But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies,The Law that is against thee, and the sinsOf all mankinde, with him there crucifi'd,Never to hurt them more who rightly trustIn this his satisfaction; so he dies,But soon revives, Death over him no powerShall long usurp; ere the third dawning lightReturne, the Starres of Morn shall see him riseOut of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems,His death for Man, as many as offerd LifeNeglect not, and the benefit imbraceBy Faith not void of workes: this God-like actAnnuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy'd,In sin for ever lost from life; this actShall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strengthDefeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes,And fix farr deeper in his head thir stingsThen temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,A gentle wafting to immortal Life.Nor after resurrection shall he stayLonger on Earth then certaine times to appeerTo his Disciples, Men who in his LifeStill follow'd him; to them shall leave in chargeTo teach all nations what of him they learn'dAnd his Salvation, them who shall beleeveBaptizing in the profluent stream, the signeOf washing them from guilt of sin to LifePure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,For death, like that which the redeemer dy'd.All Nations they shall teach; for from that dayNot onely to the Sons of Abrahams LoinesSalvation shall be Preacht, but to the SonsOf Abrahams Faith wherever through the world;So in his seed all Nations shall be blest.Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascendWith victory, triumphing through the aireOver his foes and thine; there shall surpriseThe Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in ChainesThrough all his Realme, and there confounded leave;Then enter into glory, and resumeHis Seat at Gods right hand, exalted highAbove all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come,When this worlds disolution shall be ripe,With glory and power to judge both quick and dead,To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to rewardHis faithful, and receave them into bliss,Whether in Heav'n or Earth, for then the EarthShall all be Paradise, far happier placeThen this of Eden, and far happier daies.

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

O goodness infinite, goodness immense!That all this good of evil shall produce,And evil turn to good; more wonderfulThen that which by creation first brought forthLight out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,Whether I should repent me now of sinBy mee done and occasiond, or rejoyceMuch more, that much more good thereof shall spring,To God more glory, more good will to MenFrom God, and over wrauth grace shall abound.But say, if our deliverer up to Heav'nMust reascend, what will betide the fewHis faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd,The enemies of truth; who then shall guideHis people, who defend? will they not dealeWors with his followers then with him they dealt?

Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'nHee to his own a Comforter will send,The promise of the Father, who shall dwellHis Spirit within them, and the Law of FaithWorking through love, upon thir hearts shall write,To guide them in all truth, and also armeWith spiritual Armour, able to resistSatans assaults, and quench his fierie darts,What man can do against them, not affraid,Though to the death, against such crueltiesWith inward consolations recompenc't,And oft supported so as shall amazeThir proudest persecuters: for the SpiritPowrd first on his Apostles, whom he sendsTo evangelize the Nations, then on allBaptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endueTo speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles,As did thir Lord before them. Thus they winGreat numbers of each Nation to receaveWith joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at lengthThir Ministry perform'd, and race well run,Thir doctrine and thir story written left,They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne,Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves,Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav'nTo thir own vile advantages shall turneOf lucre and ambition, and the truthWith superstitions and traditions taint,Left onely in those written Records pure,Though not but by the Spirit understood.Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,Places and titles, and with these to joineSecular power, though feigning still to actBy spiritual, to themselves appropriatingThe Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv'nTo all Beleevers; and from that pretense,Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall forceOn every conscience; Laws which none shall findeLeft them inrould, or what the Spirit withinShall on the heart engrave. What will they thenBut force the Spirit of Grace it self, and bindeHis consort Libertie; what, but unbuildHis living Temples, built by Faith to stand,Thir own Faith not anothers: for on EarthWho against Faith and Conscience can be heardInfallible? yet many will presume:Whence heavie persecution shall ariseOn all who in the worship persevereOf Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part,Will deem in outward Rites and specious formesReligion satisfi'd; Truth shall retireBestuck with slandrous darts, and works of FaithRarely be found: so shall the World goe on,To good malignant, to bad men benigne,Under her own waight groaning till the dayAppeer of respiration to the just,And vengeance to the wicked, at returnOf him so lately promis'd to thy aidThe Womans seed, obscurely then foretold,Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,Last in the Clouds from Heav'n to be revealdIn glory of the Father, to dissolveSatan with his perverted World, then raiseFrom the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless dateFounded in righteousness and peace and loveTo bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.

He ended; and thus Adam last reply'd.How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,Measur'd this transient World, the Race of time,Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss,Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fillOf knowledge, what this Vessel can containe;Beyond which was my folly to aspire.Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best,And love with fear the onely God, to walkAs in his presence, ever to observeHis providence, and on him sole depend,Mercifull over all his works, with goodStill overcoming evil, and by smallAccomplishing great things, by things deemd weakSubverting worldly strong, and worldly wiseBy simply meek; that suffering for Truths sakeIs fortitude to highest victorie,And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;Taught this by his example whom I nowAcknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.

To whom thus also th' Angel last repli'd:This having learnt, thou hast attaind the summeOf wisdome; hope no higher, though all the StarrsThou knewst by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,Or works of God in Heav'n, Aire, Earth, or Sea,And all the riches of this World enjoydst,And all the rule, one Empire; onely addDeeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,Add vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,By name to come call'd Charitie, the soulOf all the rest: then wilt thou not be loathTo leave this Paradise, but shalt possessA paradise within thee, happier farr.Let us descend now therefore from this topOf Speculation; for the hour preciseExacts our parting hence; and see the Guards,By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expectThir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword,In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm'dPortending good, and all her spirits compos'dTo meek submission: thou at season fitLet her with thee partake what thou hast heard,Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know,The great deliverance by her Seed to come(For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind.That ye may live, which will be many dayes,Both in one Faith unanimous though sad,With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'dWith meditation on the happie end.

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

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

So spake our Mother Eve, and Adam heardWell pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too nighTh' Archangel stood, and from the other HillTo thir fixt Station, all in bright arrayThe Cherubim descended; on the groundGliding meteorous, as Ev'ning MistRis'n from a River o're the marish glides,And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heelHomeward returning. High in Front advanc't,The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz'dFierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,And vapour as the Libyan Air adust,Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereatIn either hand the hastning Angel caughtOur lingring Parents, and to th' Eastern GateLed them direct, and down the Cliff as fastTo the subjected Plaine; then disappeer'd.They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheldOf Paradise, so late thir happie seat,Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the GateWith dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes:Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon;The World was all before them, where to chooseThir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,Through Eden took thir solitarie way.

© John Milton