Paradise Lost, by John Milton

Book X

The Argument

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

Meanwhile the hainous and despightfull act

Of Satan done in Paradise, and how

Hee in the Serpent had perverted Eve,

Her Husband shee, to taste the fatall fruit,

Was known in Heav’n; for what can scape the Eye

Of God All-seeing, or deceave his Heart

Omniscient, who in all things wise and just,

Hinder’d not Satan to attempt the minde

Of Man, with strength entire, and free Will arm’d,

Complete to have discover’d and repulst

Whatever wiles of Foe or seeming Friend.

For still they knew, and ought to have still remember’d

The high Injunction not to taste that Fruit,

Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,

Incurr’d, what could they less, the penaltie,

And manifold in sin, deserv’d to fall.

Up into Heav’n from Paradise in hast

Th’ Angelic Guards ascended, mute and sad

For Man, for of his state by this they knew,

Much wondring how the suttle Fiend had stoln

Entrance unseen. Soon as th’ unwelcome news

From Earth arriv’d at Heaven Gate, displeas’d

All were who heard, dim sadness did not spare

That time Celestial visages, yet mixt

With pitie, violated not thir bliss.

About the new-arriv’d, in multitudes

Th’ ethereal People ran, to hear and know

How all befell: they towards the Throne Supream

Accountable made haste to make appear

With righteous plea, thir utmost vigilance,

And easily approv’d; when the most High

Eternal Father from his secret Cloud,

Amidst in Thunder utter’d thus his voice.

Assembl’d Angels, and ye Powers return’d

From unsuccessful charge, be not dismaid,

Nor troubl’d at these tidings from the Earth,

Which your sincerest care could not prevent,

Foretold so lately what would come to pass,

When first this Tempter cross’d the Gulf from Hell

I told ye then he should prevail and speed

On his bad Errand, Man should be seduc’t

And flatter’d out of all, believing lies

Against his Maker; no Decree of mine

Concurring to necessitate his Fall,

Or touch with lightest moment of impulse

His free Will, to her own inclining left

In even scale. But fall’n he is, and now

What rests, but that the mortal Sentence pass

On his trangression, Death denounc’t that day,

Which he presumes already vain and void,

Because not yet inflicted, as he fear’d,

By some immediate stroak; but soon shall find

Forbearance no acquittance ere day end.

Justice shall not return as bountie scorn’d.

But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee

Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr’d

All Judgement, whether in Heav’n, or Earth, or Hell.

Easie it may be seen that I intend

Mercie collegue with Justice, sending thee

Mans Friend, his Mediator, his design’d

Both Ransom and Redeemer voluntarie,

And destin’d Man himself to judge Man fall’n.

So spake the Father, and unfoulding bright

Toward the right hand his Glorie, the Son

Blaz’d forth unclouded Deitie; he full

Resplendent all his Father manifest

Express’d, and thus divinely answer’d milde.

Father Eternal, thine is to decree,

Mine both in Heav’n and Earth to do thy will

Supream, that thou in mee thy Son belov’d

Mayst ever rest well pleas’d. I go to judge

On Earth these thy transgressors, but thou knowst,

Whoever judg’d, the worst on mee must light,

When time shall be, for so I undertook

Before thee; and not repenting, this obtaine

Of right, that I may mitigate thir doom

On me deriv’d, yet I shall temper so

Justice with Mercie, as may illustrate most

Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.

Attendance none shall need, nor Train, where none

Are to behold the Judgement, but the judg’d,

Those two; the third best absent is condemn’d,

Convict by flight, and Rebel to all Law

Conviction to the Serpent none belongs.

Thus saying, from his radiant Seat he rose

Of high collateral glorie: him Thrones and Powers,

Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant

Accompanied to Heaven Gate, from whence

Eden and all the Coast in prospect lay.

Down he descended strait; the speed of Gods

Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing’d.

Now was the Sun in Western cadence low

From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour

To fan the Earth now wak’d, and usher in

The Eevning coole when he from wrauth more coole

Came the mild Judge and Intercessor both

To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard

Now walking in the Garden, by soft windes

Brought to thir Ears, while day declin’d, they heard

And from his presence hid themselves among

The thickest Trees, both Man and Wife, till God

Approaching, thus to Adam call’d aloud.

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They heard
And from his presence hid themselves among
The thickest Trees.

Where art thou Adam, wont with joy to meet

My coming seen far off? I miss thee here,

Not pleas’d, thus entertaind with solitude,

Where obvious dutie erewhile appear’d unsaught:

Or come I less conspicuous, or what change

Absents thee, or what chance detains? Come forth.

He came, and with him Eve, more loth, though first

To offend, discount’nanc’t both, and discompos’d;

Love was not in thir looks, either to God

Or to each other, but apparent guilt,

And shame, and perturbation, and despaire,

Anger, and obstinacie, and hate, and guile.

Whence Adam faultring long, thus answer’d brief.

I heard thee in the Garden, and of thy voice

Affraid, being naked, hid my self. To whom

The gracious Judge without revile repli’d.

My voice thou oft hast heard and hast not fear’d,

But still rejoyc’t, how is it now become

So dreadful to thee? that thou art naked, who

Hath told thee? hast thou eaten of the Tree

Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?

To whom thus Adam sore beset repli’d.

O Heav’n! in evil strait this day I stand

Before my Judge, either to undergoe

My self the total Crime, or to accuse

My other self, the partner of my life;

Whose failing, while her Faith to me remaines,

I should conceal, and not expose to blame

By my complaint; but strict necessitie

Subdues me, and calamitous constraint,

Least on my head both sin and punishment,

However insupportable, be all

Devolv’d; though should I hold my peace, yet thou

Wouldst easily detect what I conceale.

This Woman whom thou mad’st to be my help,

And gav’st me as thy perfet gift, so good,

So fit, so acceptable, so Divine,

That from her hand I could suspect no ill,

And what she did, whatever in it self,

Her doing seem’d to justifie the deed;

Shee gave me of the Tree, and I did eate.

To whom the sovran Presence thus repli’d.

Was shee thy God, that her thou didst obey

Before his voice, or was shee made thy guide,

Superior, or but equal, that to her

Thou did’st resigne thy Manhood, and the Place

Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,

And for thee, whose perfection farr excell’d

Hers in all real dignitie: Adornd

She was indeed, and lovely to attract

Thy Love, not thy Subjection, and her Gifts

Were such as under Government well seem’d,

Unseemly to heare rule, which was thy part

And person, had’st thou known thy self aright.

So having said, he thus to Eve in few:

Say Woman, what is this which thou hast done?

To whom sad Eve with shame nigh overwhelm’d,

Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge

Bold or loquacious, thus abasht repli’d.

The Serpent me beguil’d and I did eate.

Which when the Lord God heard, without delay

To Judgement he proceeded on th’ accus’d

Serpent though brute, unable to transferre

The Guilt on him who made him instrument

Of mischief, and polluted from the end

Of his Creation; justly then accurst,

As vitiated in Nature: more to know

Concern’d not Man (since he no further knew)

Nor alter’d his offence; yet God at last

To Satan first in sin his doom apply’d

Though in mysterious terms, judg’d as then best:

And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.

Because thou hast done this, thou art accurst

Above all Cattel, each Beast of the Field;

Upon thy Belly groveling thou shalt goe,

And dust shalt eat all the days of thy Life.

Between Thee and the Woman I will put

Enmitie, and between thine and her Seed;

Her Seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.

So spake this Oracle, then verifi’d

When Jesus son of Mary second Eve,

Saw Satan fall like Lightning down from Heav’n,

Prince of the Aire; then rising from his Grave

Spoild Principalities and Powers, triumpht

In open shew, and with ascention bright

Captivity led captive through the Aire,

The Realme it self of Satan long usurpt,

Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;

Eevn hee who now foretold his fatal bruise,

And to the Woman thus his Sentence turn’d.

Thy sorrow I will greatly multiplie

By thy Conception; Childern thou shalt bring

In sorrow forth, and to thy Husbands will

Thine shall submit, hee over thee shall rule.

On Adam last thus judgement he pronounc’d.

Because thou has heark’nd to the voice of thy Wife,

And eaten of the Tree concerning which

I charg’d thee, saying: Thou shalt not eate thereof,

Curs’d is the ground for thy sake, thou in sorrow

Shalt eate thereof all the days of thy Life;

Thornes also and Thistles it shall bring thee forth

Unbid, and thou shalt eate th’ Herb of th’ Field,

In the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eate Bread,

Till thou return unto the ground, for thou

Out of the ground wast taken, know thy Birth,

For dust thou art, and shalt to dust returne.

So judg’d he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent,

And th’ instant stroke of Death denounc’t that day

Remov’d farr off; then pittying how they stood

Before him naked to the aire, that now

Must suffer change, disdain’d not to begin

Thenceforth the forme of servant to assume,

As when he wash’d his servants feet, so now

As Father of his Familie he clad

Thir nakedness with Skins of Beasts, or slain,

Or as the Snake with youthful Coate repaid;

And thought not much to cloath his Enemies:

Nor hee thir outward onely with the Skins

Of Beasts, but inward nakedness, much more

Opprobrious, with his Robe of righteousness,

Araying cover’d from his Fathers sight.

To him with swift ascent he up return’d,

Into his blissful bosom reassum’d

In glory as of old, to him appeas’d

All, though all-knowing, what had past with Man

Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.

Meanwhile ere thus was sin’d and judg’d on Earth,

Within the Gates of Hell sate Sin and Death,

In counterview within the Gates, that now

Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame

Farr into Chaos, since the Fiend pass’d through,

Sin opening, who thus now to Death began.

O Son, why sit we here each other viewing

Idlely, while Satan our great Author thrives

In other Worlds, and happier Seat provides

For us his ofspring deare? It cannot be

But that success attends him; if mishap,

Ere this he had return’d, with fury driv’n

By his Avenger, since no place like this

Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.

Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,

Wings growing, and Dominion giv’n me large

Beyond this Deep; whatever drawes me on,

Or sympathie, or som connatural force

Powerful at greatest distance to unite

With secret amity things of like kinde

By secretest conveyance. Thou my Shade

Inseparable must with mee along:

For Death from Sin no power can separate.

But least the difficultie of passing back

Stay his returne perhaps over this Gulfe

Impassable, impervious, let us try

Adventrous work, yet to thy power and mine

Not unagreeable, to found a path

Over this Maine from Hell to that new World

Where Satan now prevailes, a Monument

Of merit high to all th’ infernal Host,

Easing thir passage hence, for intercourse,

Or transmigration, as thir lot shall lead.

Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn

By this new felt attraction and instinct.

Whom thus the meager Shadow answerd soon.

Goe whither Fate and inclination strong

Leads thee, I shall not lag behinde, nor erre

The way, thou leading, such a sent I draw

Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste

The savour of Death from all things there that live:

Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest

Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.

So saying, with delight he snuff’d the smell

Of mortal change on Earth. As when a flock

Of ravenous Fowl, though many a League remote,

Against the day of Battel, to a Field,

Where Armies lie encampt, come flying, lur’d

With sent of living Carcasses design’d

For death, the following day, in bloodie fight.

So sented the grim Feature, and upturn’d

His Nostril wide into the murkie Air,

Sagacious of his Quarrey from so farr.

Then Both from out Hell Gates into the waste

Wide Anarchie of Chaos damp and dark

Flew divers, & with Power (thir Power was great)

Hovering upon the Waters; what they met

Solid or slimie, as in raging Sea

Tost up and down, together crowded drove

From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell.

As when two Polar Winds blowing adverse

Upon the Cronian Sea, together drive

Mountains of Ice, that stop th’ imagin’d way

Beyond Petsora Eastward, to the rich

Cathaian Coast. The aggregated Soyle

Death with his Mace petrific, cold and dry,

As with a Trident smote, and fix’t as firm

As Delos floating once; the rest his look

Bound with Gorgonian rigor not to move,

And with Asphaltic slime; broad as the Gate,

Deep to the Roots of Hell the gather’d beach

They fasten’d, and the Mole immense wraught on

Over the foaming deep high Archt, a Bridge

Of length prodigious joyning to the Wall

Immoveable of this now fenceless world

Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,

Smooth, easie, inoffensive down to Hell.

So, if great things to small may be compar’d,

Xerxes, the Libertie of Greece to yoke,

From Susa his Memnonian Palace high

Came to the Sea, and over Hellespont

Bridging his way, Europe with Asia joyn’d,

And scourg’d with many a stroak th’ indignant waves.

Now had they brought the work by wondrous Art

Pontifical, a ridge of Pendent Rock

Over the vext Abyss, following the track

Of Satan, to the self same place where hee

First lighted from his Wing, and landed safe

From out of Chaos to the outside bare

Of this round World: with Pinns of Adamant

And Chains they made all fast, too fast they made

And durable; and now in little space

The Confines met of Empyrean Heav’n

And of this World, and on the left hand Hell

With long reach interpos’d; three sev’ral wayes

In sight, to each of these three places led.

And now thir way to Earth they had descri’d,

To Paradise first tending, when behold

Satan in likeness of an Angel bright

Betwixt the Centaure and the Scorpion stearing

His Zenith, while the Sun in Aries rose:

Disguis’d he came, but those his Childern dear

Thir Parent soon discern’d, though in disguise.

Hee, after Eve seduc’t, unminded slunk

Into the Wood fast by, and changing shape

To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act

By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded

Upon her Husband, saw thir shame that sought

Vain covertures; but when he saw descend

The Son of God to judge them, terrifi’d

Hee fled, not hoping to escape, but shun

The present, fearing guiltie what his wrauth

Might suddenly inflict; that past, return’d

By Night, and listning where the hapless Paire

Sate in thir sad discourse, and various plaint,

Thence gatherd his own doom, which understood

Not instant, but of future time. With joy

And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return’d,

And at the brink of Chaos, neer the foot

Of this new wondrous Pontifice, unhop’t

Met who to meet him came, his Ofspring dear.

Great joy was at thir meeting, and at sight

Of that stupendious Bridge his joy encreas’d.

Long hee admiring stood, till Sin, his faire

Inchanting Daughter, thus the silence broke.

O Parent, these are thy magnific deeds,

Thy Trophies, which thou view’st as not thine own,

Thou art thir Author and prime Architect:

For I no sooner in my Heart divin’d,

My Heart, which by a secret harmonie

Still moves with thine, joyn’d in connexion sweet,

That thou on Earth hadst prosper’d, which thy looks

Now also evidence, but straight I felt

Though distant from thee Worlds between, yet felt

That I must after thee with this thy Son;

Such fatal consequence unites us three:

Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds,

Nor this unvoyageable Gulf obscure

Detain from following thy illustrious track.

Thou hast atchiev’d our libertie, confin’d

Within Hell Gates till now, thou us impow’rd

To fortifie thus farr, and overlay

With this portentous Bridge the dark Abyss.

Thine now is all this World, thy vertue hath won

What thy hands builded not, thy Wisdom gain’d

With odds what Warr hath lost, and fully aveng’d

Our foile in Heav’n; here thou shalt Monarch reign,

There didst not; there let him still Victor sway,

As Battel hath adjudg’d, from this new World

Retiring, by his own doom alienated,

And henceforth Monarchie with thee divide

Of all things, parted by th’ Empyreal bounds,

His Quadrature, from thy Orbicular World,

Or trie thee now more dang’rous to his Throne.

Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answerd glad.

Fair Daughter, and thou Son and Grandchild both,

High proof ye now have giv’n to be the Race

Of Satan (for I glorie in the name,

Antagonist of Heav’ns Almightie King)

Amply have merited of me, of all

Th’ Infernal Empire, that so neer Heav’ns dore

Triumphal with triumphal act have met,

Mine with this glorious Work, & made one Realm

Hell and this World, one Realm, one Continent

Of easie thorough-fare. Therefore while I

Descend through Darkness, on your Rode with ease

To my associate Powers, them to acquaint

With these successes, and with them rejoyce,

You two this way, among those numerous Orbs

All yours, right down to Paradise descend;

There dwell & Reign in bliss, thence on the Earth

Dominion exercise and in the Aire,

Chiefly on Man, sole Lord of all declar’d,

Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.

My Substitutes I send ye, and Create

Plenipotent on Earth, of matchless might

Issuing from mee: on your joynt vigor now

My hold of this new Kingdom all depends,

Through Sin to Death expos’d by my exploit.

If your joynt power prevaile, th’ affaires of Hell

No detriment need feare, goe and be strong.

So saying he dismiss’d them, they with speed

Thir course through thickest Constellations held

Spreading thir bane; the blasted Starrs lookt wan,

And Planets, Planet-strook, real Eclips

Then sufferd. Th’ other way Satan went down

The Causey to Hell Gate; on either side

Disparted Chaos over built exclaimd,

And with rebounding surge the barrs assaild,

That scorn’d his indignation: through the Gate,

Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass’d,

And all about found desolate; for those

Appointed to sit there, had left thir charge,

Flown to the upper World; the rest were all

Farr to the inland retir’d, about the walls

Of Pandemonium, Citie and proud seate

Of Lucifer, so by allusion calld,

Of that bright Starr to Satan paragond.

There kept hir Watch the Legions, while the Grand

In Council sate, sollicitous what chance

Might intercept thir Emperiour sent, so hee

Departing gave command, and they observ’d.

As when the Tartar from his Russian Foe

By Astracan over the Snowie Plaines

Retires, or Bactrian Sophi from the hornes

Of Turkish Crescent, leaves all waste beyond

The Realme of Aladule, in his retreate

To Tauris or Casheen. So these the late

Heav’n-banisht Host, left desert utmost Hell

Many a dark League, reduc’t in careful Watch

Round thir Metropolis, and now expecting

Each hour thir great adventurer from the search

Of Forrein Worlds: he through the midst unmarkt,

In shew plebeian Angel militant

Of lowest order, past; and from the dore

Of that Plutonian Hall, invisible

Ascended his high Throne, which under state

Of richest texture spred, at th’ upper end

Was plac’t in regal lustre. Down a while

He sate, and round about him saw unseen:

At last as from a Cloud his fulgent head

And shape Starr-bright appeer’d, or brighter, clad

With what permissive glory since his fall

Was left him, or false glitter: All amaz’d

At that so sudden blaze the Stygian throng

Bent thir aspect, and whom they wish’d beheld,

Thir mighty Chief returnd: loud was th’ acclaime:

Forth rush’d in haste the great consulting Peers,

Rais’d from thir dark Divan, and with like joy

Congratulant approach’d him, who with hand

Silence, and with these words attention won.

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And now expecting
Each hour thir great adventurer from the search
Of Forrein Worlds.

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,

For in possession such, not onely of right,

I call ye and declare ye now, returnd

Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth

Triumphant out of this infernal Pit

Abominable, accurst, the house of woe,

And Dungeon of our Tyrant: Now possess,

As Lords, a spacious World, to our native Heaven

Little inferiour, by my adventure hard

With peril great atchiev’d. Long were to tell

What I have don, what sufferd, with what paine

Voyag’d th’ unreal, vast, unbounded deep

Of horrible confusion, over which

By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav’d

To expedite your glorious march; but I

Toild out my uncouth passage, forc’t to ride

Th’ untractable Abysse, plung’d in the womb

Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wilde,

That jealous of thir secrets fiercely oppos’d

My journey strange, with clamorous uproare

Protesting Fate supreame; thence how I found

The new created World, which fame in Heav’n

Long had foretold, a Fabrick wonderful

Of absolute perfection, therein Man

Plac’t in a Paradise, by our exile

Made happie: Him by fraud I have seduc’d

From his Creator, and the more to increase

Your wonder, with an Apple; he thereat

Offended, worth your laughter, hath giv’n up

Both his beloved Man and all his World,

To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,

Without our hazard, labour, or allarme,

To range in, and to dwell, and over Man,

To rule, as over all he should have rul’d.

True is, mee also he hath judg’d, or rather

Mee not, but the brute Serpent in whose shape

Man I deceav’d: that which to mee belongs,

Is enmity, which he will put between

Mee and Mankinde; I am to bruise his heel;

His Seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head:

A World who would not purchase with a bruise,

Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th’ account

Of my performance: What remaines, ye Gods,

But up and enter now into full bliss.

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Dreadful was the din
Of hissing through the Hall, thick swarming now
With complicated monsters.

So having said, a while he stood, expecting

Thir universal shout and high applause

To fill his eare, when contrary he hears

On all sides, from innumerable tongues

A dismal universal hiss, the sound

Of public scorn; he wonderd, but not long

Had leasure, wondring at himself now more;

His Visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,

His Armes clung to his Ribs, his Leggs entwining

Each other, till supplanted down he fell

A monstrous Serpent on his Belly prone,

Reluctant, but in vaine, a greater power

Now rul’d him, punisht in the shape he sin’d,

According to his doom: he would have spoke,

But hiss for hiss returnd with forked tongue

To forked tongue, for now were all transforrn’d

Alike, to Serpents all as accessories

To his bold Riot: dreadful was the din

Of hissing through the Hall, thick swarming now

With complicated monsters, head and taile,

Scorpion and Asp and Amphisbaena dire,

Cerastes hornd, Hydrus, and Ellops drear,

And Dipsas (Not so thick swarm’d once the Soil

Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the Isle

Ophiusa) but still greatest hee the midst,

Now Dragon grown, larger then whom the Sun

Ingenderd in the Pythian Vale on slime,

Huge Python, and his Power no less he seem’d

Above the rest still to retain; they all

Him follow’d issuing forth to th’ open Field,

Where all yet left of that revolted Rout

Heav’n-fall’n, in station stood or just array,

Sublime with expectation when to see

In Triumph issuing forth thir glorious Chief;

They saw, but other sight instead, a crowd

Of ugly Serpents; horror on them fell,

And horrid sympathie; for what they saw,

They felt themselvs now changing; down thir arms,

Down fell both Spear and Shield, down they as fast,

And the dire hiss renew’d, and the dire form

Catcht by Contagion, like in punishment,

As in thir crime. Thus was th’ applause they meant,

Turnd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame

Cast on themselves from thir own mouths. There stood

A Grove hard by, sprung up with this thir change,

His will who reigns above, to aggravate

Thir penance, laden with fair Fruit, like that

Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve

Us’d by the Tempter: on that prospect strange

Thir earnest eyes they fix’d, imagining

For one forbidden Tree a multitude

Now ris’n, to work them furder woe or shame;

Yet parcht with scalding thurst and hunger fierce,

Though to delude them sent, could not obstain,

But on they rould in heaps, and up the Trees

Climbing, sat thicker than the snakie locks

That curld Megaera: greedily they pluck’d

The Frutage fair to sight, like that which grew

Neer that bituminous Lake where Sodom flam’d;

This more delusive, not the touch, but taste

Deceav’d; they fondly thinking to allay

Thir appetite with gust, instead of Fruit

Chewd bitter Ashes, which th’ offended taste

With spattering noise rejected: oft they assayd,

Hunger and thirst constraining, drugd as oft,

With hatefullest disrelish writh’d thir jaws

With soot and cinders fill’d; so oft they fell

Into the same illusion, not as Man

Whom they triumph’d once lapst. Thus were they plagu’d

And worn with Famin, long and ceasless hiss,

Till thir lost shape, permitted, they resum’d,

Yearly enjoynd, some say, to undergo

This annual humbling certain number’d days,

To dash thir pride, and joy for Man seduc’t.

However some tradition they dispers’d

Among the Heathen of thir purchase got,

And Fabl’d how the Serpent, whom they calld

Ophion with Eurynome, the wide-

Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule

Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driv’n

And Ops, ere yet Dictaean Jove was born.

Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair

Too soon arriv’d, Sin there in power before,

Once actual, now in body, and to dwell

Habitual habitant; behind her Death

Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet

On his pale Horse: to whom Sin thus began.

Second of Satan sprung, all conquering Death,

What thinkst thou of our Empire now, though earnd

With travail difficult, not better farr

Then stil at Hels dark threshold to have sate watch,

Unnam’d, undreaded, and thy self half starv’d?

Whom thus the Sin-born Monster answerd soon.

To mee, who with eternal Famin pine,

Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven,

There best, where most with ravin I may meet;

Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems

To stuff this Maw, this vast unhide-bound Corps.

To whom th’ incestuous Mother thus repli’d.

Thou therefore on these Herbs, and Fruits, & Flours

Feed first, on each Beast next, and Fish, and Fowle,

No homely morsels, and whatever thing

The Sithe of Time mowes down, devour unspar’d,

Till I in Man residing through the Race,

His thoughts, his looks, words, actions all infect,

And season him thy last and sweetest prey.

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This said, they both betook them several wayes.

This said, they both betook them several wayes,

Both to destroy, or unimmortal make

All kinds, and for destruction to mature

Sooner or later; which th’ Almightie seeing

From his transcendent Seat the Saints among,

To those bright Orders uttered thus his voice.

See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance

To waste and havoc yonder World, which I

So fair and good created, and had still

Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man

Let in these wastful Furies, who impute

Folly to mee, so doth the Prince of Hell

And his Adherents, that with so much ease

I suffer them to enter and posses

A place so heav’nly, and conniving seem

To gratifie my scornful Enemies,

That laugh, as if transported with some fit

Of Passion, I to them had quitted all,

At random yeilded up to their misrule;

And know not that I call’d and drew them thither

My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth

Which mans polluting Sin with taint hath shed

On what was pure, till cramm’d and gorg’d, nigh burst

With suckt and glutted offal, at one sling

Of thy victorious Arm, well-pleasing Son.

Both Sin, and Death, and yawning Grave at last

Through Chaos hurld, obstruct the mouth of Hell

For ever, and seal up his ravenous Jawes.

Then Heav’n and Earth renewd shall be made pure

To sanctitie that shall receive no staine:

Till then the Curse pronounc’t on both precedes.

Hee ended, and th heav’nly Audience loud

Sung Halleluia, as the sound of Seas,

Through multitude that sung: Just are thy ways,

Righteous are thy Decrees on all thy Works;

Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son,

Destin’d restorer of Mankind, by whom

New Heav’n and Earth shall to the Ages rise,

Or down from Heav’n descend. Such thir song,

While the Creator calling forth by name

His mightie Angels gave them several charge,

As sorted best with present things. The Sun

Had first his precept so to move, so shine,

As might affect the Earth with cold and heat

Scarce tollerable, and from the North to call

Decrepit Winter, from the South to bring

Solstitial summers heat. To the blanc Moone

Her office they rescrib’d, to th’ other five

Thir planetarie motions and aspects

In Sextile, Square, and Trine, and Opposite,

Of noxious efficacie, and when to joyne

In Synod unbenigne, and taught the fixt

Thir influence malignant when to showre,

Which of them rising with the Sun, or falling,

Should prove tempestuous: To the Winds they set

Thir corners, when with bluster to confound

Sea, Aire, and Shoar, the Thunder when to rowle

With terror through the dark Aereal Hall.

Some say he bid his Angels turne ascanse

The Poles of Earth twice ten degrees and more

From the Suns Axle; they with labour push’d

Oblique the Centric Globe: Som say the Sun

Was bid turn Reines from th’ Equinoctial Rode

Like distant breadth to Taurus with the Heav’n

Atlantick Sisters, and the Spartan Twins

Up to the Tropic Crab; thence down amaine

By Leo and the Virgin and the Scales,

As deep as Capricorne, to bring in change

Of Seasons to each Clime; else had the Spring

Perpetual smil’d on Earth with vernant Flours,

Equal in Days and Nights, except to those

Beyond the Polar Circles; to them Day

Had unbenighted shon, while the low Sun

To recompence his distance, in thir sight

Had rounded still th’ Horizon, and not known

Or East or West, which had forbid the Snow

From cold Estotiland, and South as far

Beneath Magellan. At that tasted Fruit

The Sun, as from Thyestean Banquet, turn’d

His course intended; else how had the World

Inhabited, though sinless, more then now,

Avoided pinching cold and scorching heate?

These changes in the Heav’ns, though slow, produc’d

Like change on Sea and Land, sideral blast,

Vapour, and Mist, and Exhalation hot,

Corrupt and Pestilent: Now from the North

Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shoar

Bursting thir brazen Dungeon, armd with ice

And snow and haile and stormie gust and flaw,

Boreas and Caecias and Argestes loud

And Thrascias rend the Woods and Seas upturn;

With adverse blast up-turns them from the South

Notus and Afer black with thundrous Clouds

From Serraliona; thwart of these as fierce

Forth rush the Levant and the Ponent Windes

Eurus and Zephir with thir lateral noise,

Sirocco, and Libecchio. Thus began

Outrage from liveless things; but Discord first

Daughter of Sin, among th’ irrational,

Death introduc’d through fierce antipathie:

Beast now with Beast gan war, & Fowle with Fowle,

And Fish with Fish; to graze the Herb all leaving,

Devourd each other; nor stood much in awe

Of Man, but fled him, or with count’nance grim

Glar’d on him passing: these were from without

The growing miseries, which Adam saw

Alreadie in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,

To sorrow abandond, but worse felt within,

And in a troubl’d Sea of passion tost,

Thus to disburd’n sought with sad complaint.

O miserable of happie! is this the end

Of this new glorious World, and mee so late

The Glory of that Glory, who now becom

Accurst of blessed, hide me from the face

Of God, whom to behold was then my highth

Of happiness: yet well, if here would end

The miserie, I deserv’d it, and would heare

My own deservings; but this will not serve;

All that I eate or drink, or shall beget,

Is propagated curse. O voice once heard

Delightfully, Encrease and multiply,

Now death to heare! for what can I encrease

Or multiplie, but curses on my head?

Who of all Ages to succeed, but feeling

The evil on him brought by me, will curse

My Head, Ill fare our Ancestor impure,

For this we may thank Adam; but his thanks

Shall be the execration; so besides

Mine own that bide upon me, all from me

Shall with a fierce reflux on mee redound,

On mee as on thir natural center light

Heavie, though in thir place. O fleeting joyes

Of Paradise, deare bought with lasting woes!

Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay

To mould me Man, did I sollicite thee

From darkness to promote me, or here place

In this delicious Garden? as my Will

Concurd not to my being, it were but right

And equal to reduce me to my dust,

Desirous to resigne, and render back

All I receav’d, unable to performe

Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold

The good I sought not. To the loss of that,

Sufficient penaltie, why hast thou added

The sense of endless woes? inexplicable

Thy Justice seems; yet to say truth, too late,

I thus contest; then should have been refusd

Those terms whatever, when they were propos’d:

Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good,

Then cavil the conditions? and though God

Made thee without thy leave, what if thy Son

Prove disobedient, and reprov’d, retort,

Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not:

Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee

That proud excuse? yet him not thy election,

But Natural necessity begot.

God made thee of choice his own, and of his own

To serve him, thy reward was of his grace,

Thy punishment then justly is at his Will.

Be it so, for I submit, his doom is fair,

That dust I am, and shall to dust returne:

O welcom hour whenever! why delayes

His hand to execute what his Decree

Fixd on this day? why do I overlive,

Why am I mockt with death, and length’nd out

To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet

Mortalitie my sentence, and be Earth

Insensible, how glad would lay me down

As in my Mothers lap? there I should rest

And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more

Would Thunder in my ears, no fear of worse

To mee and to my ofspring would torment me

With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt

Pursues me still, least all I cannot die,

Least that pure breath of Life, the Spirit of Man

Which God inspir’d, cannot together perish

With this corporeal Clod; then in the Grave,

Or in some other dismal place, who knows

But I shall die a living Death? O thought

Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath

Of Life that sinn’d; what dies but what had life

And sin? the Bodie properly hath neither.

All of me then shall die: let this appease

The doubt, since humane reach no further knows.

For though the Lord of all be infinite,

Is his wrauth also? be it, man is not so,

But mortal doom’d. How can he exercise

Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end?

Can he make deathless Death? that were to make

Strange contradiction, which to God himself

Impossible is held, as Argument

Of weakness, not of Power. Will he draw out,

For angers sake, finite to infinite

In punisht man, to satisfie his rigour

Satisfi’d never; that were to extend

His Sentence beyond dust and Natures Law,

By which all Causes else according still

To the reception of thir matter act,

Not to th’ extent of thir own Spheare. But say

That Death be not one stroak, as I suppos’d,

Bereaving sense, but endless miserie

From this day onward, which I feel begun

Both in me, and without me, and so last

To perpetuitie; Ay me, that fear

Comes thundring back with dreadful revolution

On my defensless head; both Death and I

Am found Eternal, and incorporate both,

Nor I on my part single, in mee all

Posteritie stands curst: Fair Patrimonie

That I must leave ye, Sons; O were I able

To waste it all my self, and leave ye none!

So disinherited how would ye bless

Me now your Curse! Ah, why should all mankind

For one mans fault thus guiltless be condemn’d,

If guiltless? But from mee what can proceed,

But all corrupt, both Mind and Will deprav’d,

Not to do onely, but to will the same

With me; how can they acquitted stand

In sight of God? Him after all Disputes

Forc’t I absolve: all my evasions vain

And reasonings, though through Mazes, leads me still

But to my own conviction: first and last

On mee, mee onely, as the sourse and spring

Of all corruption, all the blame lights due;

So might the wrauth. Fond wish! couldst thou support

That burden heavier then the Earth to bear,

Then all the World much heavier, though divided

With that bad Woman? Thus what thou desir’st,

And what thou fearst, alike destroyes all hope

Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable

Beyond all past example and future,

To Satan onely like both crime and doom.

O Conscience, into what Abyss of fears

And horrors hast thou driv’n me; out of which

I find no way, from deep to deeper plung’d!

Thus Adam to himself lamented loud

Through the still Night, not now, as ere man fell,

Wholsom and cool, and mild, but with black Air

Accompanied, with damps and dreadful gloom,

Which to his evil Conscience represented

All things with double terror: On the ground

Outstretcht he lay, on the cold ground, and oft

Curs’d his Creation, Death as oft accus’d

Of tardie execution, since denounc’t

The day of his offence. Why comes not Death,

Said hee, with one thrice acceptable stroke

To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word,

Justice Divine not hast’n to be just?

But Death comes not at call, justice Divine

Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries.

O Woods, O Fountains, Hillocks, Dales and Bowrs,

With other echo late I taught your Shades

To answer, and resound farr other Song.

Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld,

Desolate where she sate, approaching nigh,

Soft words to his fierce passion she assay’d:

But her with stern regard he thus repell’d.

Out of my sight, thou Serpent, that name best

Befits thee with him leagu’d, thy self as false

And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,

Like his, and colour Serpentine may shew

Thy inward fraud, to warn all Creatures from thee

Henceforth; least that too heav’nly form, pretended

To hellish falshood, snare them. But for thee

I had persisted happie, had not thy pride

And wandring vanitie, when lest was safe,

Rejected my forewarning, and disdain’d

Not to be trusted, longing to be seen

Though by the Devil himself, him overweening

To over-reach, but with the Serpent meeting

Fool’d and beguil’d, by him thou, I by thee,

To trust thee from my side, imagin’d wise,

Constant, mature, proof against all assaults,

And understood not all was but a shew

Rather then solid vertu, all but a Rib

Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears,

More to the part sinister from me drawn,

Well if thrown out, as supernumerarie

To my just number found. O why did God,

Creator wise, that peopl’d highest Heav’n

With Spirits Masculine, create at last

This noveltie on Earth, this fair defect

Of Nature, and not fill the World at once

With Men as Angels without Feminine,

Or find some other way to generate

Mankind? this mischief had not then befall’n,

And more that shall befall, innumerable

Disturbances on Earth through Femal snares,

And straight conjunction with this Sex: for either

He never shall find out fit Mate, but such

As some misfortune brings him, or mistake,

Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain

Through her perverseness, but shall see her gaind

By a farr worse, or if she love, withheld

By Parents, or his happiest choice too late

Shall meet, alreadie linkt and Wedlock-bound

To a fell Adversarie, his hate or shame:

Which infinite calamitie shall cause

To Humane life, and houshold peace confound.

He added not, and from her turn’d, but Eve

Not so repulst, with Tears that ceas’d not flowing,

And tresses all disorderd, at his feet

Fell humble, and imbracing them, besaught

His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.

Forsake me not thus, Adam, witness Heav’n

What love sincere, and reverence in my heart

I beare thee, and unweeting have offended,

Unhappilie deceav’d; thy suppliant

I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,

Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,

Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,

My onely strength and stay: forlorn of thee,

Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?

While yet we live, scarse one short hour perhaps,

Between us two let there be peace, both joyning,

As joyn’d in injuries, one enmitie

Against a Foe by doom express assign’d us,

That cruel Serpent: On me exercise not

Thy hatred for this miserie befall’n,

On me already lost, mee, then thy self

More miserable; both have sin’d, but thou

Against God onely, I against God and thee,

And to the place of judgement will return,

There with my cries importune Heaven, that all

The sentence from thy head remov’d may light

On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe,

Mee mee onely just object of his ire.

She ended weeping, and her lowlie plight,

Immoveable till peace obtain’d from fault

Acknowledg’d and deplor’d, in Adam wraught

Commiseration; soon his heart relented

Towards her, his life so late and sole delight,

Now at his feet submissive in distress,

Creature so faire his reconcilement seeking,

His counsel whom she had displeas’d, his aide;

As one disarm’d, his anger all he lost,

And thus with peaceful words uprais’d her soon.

Unwarie, and too desirous, as before,

So now of what thou knowst not, who desir’st

The punishment all on thy self; alas,

Beare thine own first, ill able to sustaine

His full wrauth whose thou feelst as yet lest part,

And my displeasure hearst so ill. If Prayers

Could alter high Decrees, I to that place

Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,

That on my head all might be visited,

Thy frailtie and infirmer Sex forgiv’n,

To me committed and by me expos’d.

But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame

Each other, blam’d enough elsewhere, but strive

In offices of Love, how we may light’n

Each others burden in our share of woe;

Since this days Death denounc’t, if ought I see,

Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac’t evill,

A long days dying to augment our paine,

And to our Seed (O hapless Seed!) deriv’d.

To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, repli’d.

Adam, by sad experiment I know

How little weight my words with thee can finde,

Found so erroneous, thence by just event

Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,

Restor’d by thee, vile as I am, to place

Of new acceptance, hopeful to regaine

Thy Love, the sole contentment of my heart,

Living or dying from thee I will not hide

What thoughts in my unquiet brest are ris’n,

Tending to som relief of our extremes,

Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,

As in our evils, and of easier choice.

If care of our descent perplex us most,

Which must be born to certain woe, devourd

By Death at last, and miserable it is

To be to others cause of misery,

Our own begotten, and of our Loines to bring

Into this cursed World a woful Race,

That after wretched Life must be at last

Food for so foule a Monster, in thy power

It lies, yet ere Conception to prevent

The Race unblest, to being yet unbegot.

Childless thou art, Childless remaine:

So Death shall be deceav’d his glut, and with us two

Be forc’d to satisfie his Rav’nous Maw.

But if thou judge it hard and difficult,

Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain

From Loves due Rites, Nuptial embraces sweet,

And with desire to languish without hope,

Before the present object languishing

With like desire, which would be miserie

And torment less then none of what we dread,

Then both our selves and Seed at once to free

From what we fear for both, let us make short,

Let us seek Death, or hee not found, supply

With our own hands his Office on our selves;

Why stand we longer shivering under feares,

That shew no end but Death, and have the power,

Of many wayes to die the shortest choosing,

Destruction with destruction to destroy.

She ended heer, or vehement despaire

Broke off the rest; so much of Death her thoughts

Had entertaind, as di’d her Cheeks with pale.

But Adam with such counsel nothing sway’d,

To better hopes his more attentive minde

Labouring had rais’d, and thus to Eve repli’d.

Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems

To argue in thee somthing more sublime

And excellent then what thy minde contemnes;

But self-destruction therefore saught, refutes

That excellence thought in thee, and implies,

Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret

For loss of life and pleasure overlov’d.

Or if thou covet death, as utmost end

Of miserie, so thinking to evade

The penaltie pronounc’t, doubt not but God

Hath wiselier arm’d his vengeful ire then so

To be forestall’d; much more I fear least Death

So snatcht will not exempt us from the paine

We are by doom to pay; rather such acts

Of contumacie will provoke the highest

To make death in us live: Then let us seek

Som safer resolution, which methinks

I have in view, calling to minde with heed

Part of our Sentence, that thy Seed shall bruise

The Serpents head; piteous amends, unless

Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand Foe

Satan, who in the Serpent hath contriv’d

Against us this deceit: to crush his head

Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost

By death brought on our selves, or childless days

Resolv’d, as thou proposest; so our Foe

Shall scape his punishment ordain’d, and wee

Instead shall double ours upon our heads.

No more be mention’d then of violence

Against our selves, and wilful barrenness,

That cuts us off from hope, and savours onely

Rancor and pride, impatience and despite,

Reluctance against God and his just yoke

Laid on our Necks. Remember with what mild

And gracious temper he both heard and judg’d

Without wrauth or reviling; wee expected

Immediate dissolution, which we thought

Was meant by Death that day, when lo, to thee

Pains onely in Child-bearing were foretold,

And bringing forth, soon recompenc’t with joy,

Fruit of thy Womb: On mee the Curse aslope

Glanc’d on the ground, with labour I must earne

My bread; what harm? Idleness had bin worse;

My labour will sustain me; and least Cold

Or Heat should injure us, his timely care

Hath unbesaught provided, and his hands

Cloath’ d us unworthie, pitying while he judg’d;

How much more, if we pray him, will his ear

Be open, and his heart to pitie incline,

And teach us further by what means to shun

Th’ inclement Seasons, Rain, Ice, Hail and Snow,

Which now the Skie with various Face begins

To shew us in this Mountain, while the Winds

Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks

Of these fair spreading Trees; which bids us seek

Som better shroud, som better warmth to cherish

Our Limbs benumm’d, ere this diurnal Star

Leave cold the Night, how we his gather’d beams

Reflected, may with matter sere foment,

Or by collision of two bodies grinde

The Air attrite to Fire, as late the Clouds

Justling or pusht with Winds rude in thir shock

Tine the slant Lightning, whose thwart flame driv’n down

Kindles the gummie bark of Firr or Pine,

And sends a comfortable heat from farr,

Which might supply the Sun: such Fire to use,

And what may else be remedie or cure

To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought,

Hee will instruct us praying, and of Grace

Beseeching him, so as we need not fear

To pass commodiously this life, sustain’d

By him with many comforts, till we end

In dust, our final rest and native home.

What better can we do, then to the place

Repairing where he judg’d us, prostrate fall

Before him reverent, and there confess

Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears

Watering the ground, and with our sighs the Air

Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign

Of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek.

Undoubtedly he will relent and turn

From his displeasure; in whose look serene,

When angry most he seem’d and most severe,

What else but favor, grace, and mercie shon?

So spake our Father penitent, nor Eve

Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place

Repairing where he judg’d them prostrate fell

Before him reverent, and both confess’d

Humbly thir faults, and pardon beg’d, with tears

Watering the ground, and with thir sighs the Air

Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign

Of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 23:09