Paradise Lost, by John Milton

Book IV

The Argument

Satan now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprize which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despare; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and scituation is described, overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a Cormormant on the Tree of life, as highest in the Garden to look about him. The Garden describ’d; Satans first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at thir excellent form and happy state, but with resolution to work thir fall; overhears thir discourse, thence gathers that the Tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them a while, to know further of thir state by some other means. Mean while Uriel descending on a Sun-beam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the Gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escap’d the Deep, and past at Noon by his Sphere in the shape of a good Angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the Mount. Gabriel promises to find him out ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to thir rest: thir Bower describ’d; thir Evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his Bands of Night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong Angels to Adams Bower, least the evil spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel; by whom question’d, he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hinder’d by a Sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise.

O For that warning voice, which he who saw

Th’ Apocalyps, heard cry in Heav’n 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 warnd

The coming of thir secret foe, and scap’d

Haply so scap’d his mortal snare; for now

Satan, now first inflam’d with rage came down,

The Tempter ere th’ Accuser of man-kind,

To wreck on innocent frail man his loss

Of 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 birth

Now rowling, boiles in his tumultuous brest,

And like a devillish Engine back recoiles

Upon himself; horror and doubt distract

His troubl’d thoughts, and from the bottom stir

The Hell within him, for within him Hell

He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell

One step no more then from himself can fly

By change of place: Now conscience wakes despair

That slumberd, wakes the bitter memorie

Of what he was, what is, and what must be

Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.

Sometimes towards Eden which now in his view

Lay 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.

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Me miserable! which way shall I flie
Infinite wrauth, and infinite despaire?

O thou that with surpassing Glory crownd,

Look’st from thy sole Dominion like the God

Of this new World; at whose sight all the Starrs

Hide thir diminisht heads; to thee I call,

But with no friendly voice, and add thy name

O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams

That bring to my remembrance from what state

I fell, how glorious once above thy Spheare;

Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down

Warring in Heav’n against Heav’ns matchless King:

Ah wherefore! he deservd no such return

From me, whom he created what I was

In that bright eminence, and with his good

Upbraided 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 high

I ‘sdeind subjection, and thought one step higher

Would set me highest, and in a moment quit

The 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 mind

By owing owes not, but still pays, at once

Indebted and discharged; what burden then?

O had his powerful Destiny ordaind

Me some inferiour Angel, I had stood

Then happie; no unbounded hope had rais’d

Ambition. Yet why not? som other Power

As great might have aspir’d, and me though mean

Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great

Fell not, but stand unshak’n, from within

Or 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 will

Chose freely what it now so justly rues.

Me miserable! which way shall I flie

Infinite wrauth, and infinite despaire?

Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell;

And in the lowest deep a lower deep

Still threatning to devour me opens wide,

To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav’n.

O then at last relent: is there no place

Left for Repentance, none for Pardon left?

None left but by submission; and that word

Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame

Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc’d

With other promises and other vaunts

Then to submit, boasting I could subdue

Th’ Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know

How 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 advancd

The lower still I fall, onely Supream

In miserie; such joy Ambition findes.

But say I could repent and could obtaine

By Act of Grace my former state; how soon

Would highth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay

What feign’d submission swore: ease would recant

Vows made in pain, as violent and void.

For never can true reconcilement grow

Where wounds of deadly hate have peirc’d so deep:

Which would but lead me to a worse relapse,

And heavier fall: so should I purchase deare

Short intermission bought with double smart.

This knows my punisher; therefore as far

From granting hee, as I from begging peace:

All hope excluded thus, behold in stead

Of 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 least

Divided Empire with Heav’ns King I hold

By 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 face

Thrice chang’d with pale, ire, envie and despair,

Which marrd his borrow’d visage, and betraid

Him counterfet, if any eye beheld.

For heav’nly mindes from such distempers foule

Are ever cleer. Whereof hee soon aware,

Each perturbation smooth’d with outward calme,

Artificer of fraud; and was the first

That practis’d falshood under saintly shew,

Deep malice to conceale, couch’t with revenge:

Yet not anough had practis’d to deceive

Uriel once warnd; whose eye pursu’d him down

The way he went, and on th’ Assyrian mount

Saw him disfigur’d, more then could befall

Spirit of happie sort: his gestures fierce

He 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 head

Of a steep wilderness, whose hairie sides

With thicket overgrown, grottesque and wilde,

Access deni’d; and over head up grew

Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,

Cedar, and Pine, and Firr, and branching Palm

A Silvan Scene, and as the ranks ascend

Shade above shade, a woodie Theatre

Of stateliest view. Yet higher then thir tops

The verdurous wall of Paradise up sprung:

Which to our general Sire gave prospect large

Into his neather Empire neighbouring round.

And higher then that wall circling row

Of goodliest Trees loaden with fairest Fruit,

Blossoms and Fruits at once of golden hue

Appeerd, with gay enameld colours mixt:

On which the Sun more glad impress’d his beams

Then in fair Evening Cloud, or humid Bow,

When God hath showrd the earth; so lovely seemd

That Lantskip: And of pure now purer aire

Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires

Vernal delight and joy, able to drive

All sadness but despair: now gentle gales

Fanning thir odoriferous wings dispense

Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole

Those balmie spoiles. As when to them who sail

Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past

Mozambic, off at Sea North-East windes blow

Sabean Odours from the spicie shoare

Of Arabie the blest, with such delay

Well pleas’d they slack thir course, and many a League

Cheard with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles.

So entertaind those odorous sweets the Fiend

Who came thir bane, though with them better pleas’d

Then Asmodeus with the fishie fume,

That drove him, though enamourd, from the Spouse

Of Tobits Son, and with a vengeance sent

From Media post to AEgypt, there fast bound.

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Now to th’ ascent of that steep savage Hill
Satan had journied on, pensive and slow

Now to th’ ascent of that steep savage Hill

Satan had journied on, pensive and slow;

But further way found none, so thick entwin’d,

As one continu’d brake, the undergrowth

Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplext

All path of Man or Beast that past that way:

One Gate there onely was, and that look’d East

On th’ other side: which when th’ arch-fellon saw

Due entrance he disdaind, and in contempt,

At one slight bound high overleap’d all bound

Of Hill or highest Wall, and sheer within

Lights on his feet. As when a prowling Wolfe,

Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,

Watching where Shepherds pen thir Flocks at eeve

In 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 cash

Of some rich Burgher, whose substantial dores,

Cross-barrd and bolted fast, fear no assault,

In at the window climbes, 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 Life

Thereby regaind, but sat devising Death

To them who liv’d; nor on the vertue thought

Of that life-giving Plant, but only us’d

For prospect, what well us’d had bin the pledge

Of immortalitie. So little knows

Any, but God alone, to value right

The good before him, but perverts best things

To worst abuse, or to thir meanest use.

Beneath him with new wonder now he views

To all delight of human sense expos’d

In narrow room Natures whole wealth, yea more,

A Heaven on Earth: for blissful Paradise

Of God the Garden was, by him in the East

Of Eden planted; Eden stretchd her Line

From Auran Eastward to the Royal Towrs

Of Great Seleucia, built by Grecian Kings,

Or where the Sons of Eden long before

Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soile

His farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind;

Out of the fertil ground he caus’d to grow

All Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;

And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,

High eminent, blooming Ambrosial Fruit

Of vegetable Gold; and next to Life

Our 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 hill

Pass’d underneath ingulft, for God had thrown

That Mountain as his Garden mould high rais’d

Upon the rapid current, which through veins

Of porous Earth with kindly thirst up drawn,

Rose a fresh Fountain, and with many a rill

Waterd the Garden; thence united fell

Down 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 Realme

And 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 shades

Ran Nectar, visiting each plant, and fed

Flours worthy of Paradise which not nice Art

In Beds and curious Knots, but Nature boon

Powrd forth profuse on Hill and Dale and Plaine,

Both where the morning Sun first warmly smote

The open field, and where the unpierc’t shade

Imbround 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 Rinde

Hung amiable, Hesperian Fables true,

If true, here onely, and of delicious taste:

Betwixt them Lawns, or level Downs, and Flocks

Grasing the tender herb, were interpos’d,

Or palmie hilloc, or the flourie lap

Of som irriguous Valley spread her store,

Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose:

Another side, umbrageous Grots and Caves

Of coole recess, o’re which the mantling Vine

Layes forth her purple Grape, and gently creeps

Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall

Down the slope hills, disperst, or in a Lake,

That to the fringed Bank with Myrtle crownd,

Her chrystall mirror holds, unite thir streams.

The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires,

Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune

The trembling leaves, while Universal Pan

Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance

Led on th’ Eternal Spring. Not that faire field

Of Enna, where Proserpin gathring flours

Her self a fairer Floure by gloomie Dis

Was gatherd, which cost Ceres all that pain

To seek her through the world; nor that sweet Grove

Of Daphne by Orontes, and th’ inspir’d

Castalian Spring might with this Paradise

Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian Ile

Girt with the River Triton, where old Cham,

Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove,

Hid Amalthea and her Florid Son

Young Bacchus from his Stepdame Rhea’s eye;

Nor where Abassin Kings thir issue Guard,

Mount Amara, though this by som suppos’d

True Paradise under the Ethiop Line

By Nilus head, enclos’d with shining Rock,

A whole dayes journey high, but wide remote

From this Assyrian Garden, where the Fiend

Saw undelighted all delight, all kind

Of living Creatures new to sight and strange:

Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,

Godlike erect, with native Honour clad

In naked Majestie seemd Lords of all,

And worthie seemd, for in thir looks Divine

The 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 both

Not equal, as their 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’d

Absolute rule; and Hyacinthin Locks

Round from his parted forelock manly hung

Clustring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:

Shee as a vail down to the slender waste

Her unadorned golden tresses wore

Dissheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav’d

As the Vine curles her tendrils, which impli’d

Subjection, but requir’d with gentle sway,

And by her yeilded, by him best receivd,

Yeilded with coy submission, modest pride,

And sweet reluctant amorous delay.

Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald,

Then was not guiltie shame, dishonest shame

Of natures works, honor dishonorable,

Sin-bred, how have ye troubl’d all mankind

With 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 sight

Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill:

So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pair

That ever since in loves imbraces met,

Adam the goodliest man of men since born

His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters Eve.

Under a tuft of shade that on a green

Stood whispering soft, by a fresh Fountain side

They sat them down, and after no more toil

Of thir sweet Gardning labour then suffic’d

To recommend coole Zephyr, and made ease

More easie, wholsom thirst and appetite

More grateful, to thir Supper Fruits they fell,

Nectarine Fruits which the compliant boughes

Yeilded them, side-long as they sat recline

On the soft downie Bank damaskt with flours:

The savourie pulp they chew, and in the rinde

Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream;

Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles

Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems

Fair couple, linkt in happie nuptial League,

Alone as they. About them frisking playd

All Beasts of th’ Earth, since wilde, and of all chase

In Wood or Wilderness, Forrest or Den;

Sporting the Lion rampd, and in his paw

Dandl’d the Kid; Bears, Tygers, Ounces, Pards

Gambold before them, th’ unwieldy Elephant

To make them mirth us’d all his might, and wreathd

His Lithe Proboscis; close the Serpent sly

Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine

His breaded train, and of his fatal guile

Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass

Coucht, and now fild with gazing sat,

Or Bedward ruminating; for the Sun

Declin’d was hasting now with prone carreer

To th’ Ocean Iles, and in th’ ascending Scale

Of 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.

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A happy rural seat of various view

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The savourie pulp they chew, and in the rinde
Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream

O Hell! what doe mine eyes with grief behold,

Into our room of bliss thus high advanc’t

Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,

Not Spirits, yet to heav’nly Spirits bright

Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue

With wonder, and could love, so lively shines

In them Divine resemblance, and such grace

The hand that formd them on thir shape hath pourd.

Ah gentle pair, yee little think how nigh

Your change approaches, when all these delights

Will vanish and deliver ye to woe,

More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;

Happie, but for so happie ill secur’d

Long to continue, and this high seat your Heav’n

Ill fenc’t for Heav’n to keep out such a foe

As now is enterd; yet no purpos’d foe

To you whom I could thus forlorne

Though I unpittied: League with you I seek,

And mutual amitie so streight, so close,

That I with you must dwell, or you with me

Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please

Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such

Which I as freely give; Hell shall unfould,

To entertain you two, her widest Gates,

And send forth all her Kings; there will be room,

Not like these narrow limits, to receive

Your numerous ofspring; if no better place,

Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge

On you who wrong me not for him who wrongd.

And should I at your harmless innocence

Melt, as I doe, yet public reason just,

Honour and Empire with revenge enlarg’d,

By conquering this new World, compels me now

To do what else though damnd I should abhorre.

So spake the Fiend, and with necessitie,

The Tyrants plea, excus’d his devilish deeds.

Then his loftie stand on that high Tree

Down he alights among the sportful Herd

Of those four footed kindes, himself now one,

Now other, as thir shape servd best his end

Neerer to view his prey, and unespi’d

To mark what of thir state he more might learn

By word or action markt: about them round

A Lion now he stalkes with fierie glare,

Then as a Tiger, who by chance hath spi’d

In some Purlieu two gentle Fawnes at play,

Strait couches close, then rising changes oft

His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground

Whence rushing he might surest seise them both

Grip’t in each paw: when Adam first of men

To Erst of women Eve thus moving speech,

Turnd him all eare to heare new utterance flow.

Sole partner and sole part of all these joyes,

Dearer thy self then all; needs must the Power

That made us, and for us this ample World

Be infinitly good, and of his good

As liberal and free as infinite,

That rais’d us from the dust and plac’t us here

In all this happiness, who at his hand

Have nothing merited, nor can performe

Aught whereof hee hath need, hee who requires

From us no other service then to keep

This one, this easie charge, of all the Trees

In Paradise that heare delicious fruit

So various, not to taste that onely Tree

Of 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 knowst

God hath pronounc’t it death to taste that Tree,

The only sign of our obedience left

Among so many signes of power and rule

Conferrd upon us, and Dominion giv’n

Over all other Creatures that possesse

Earth, Aire, and Sea. Then let us not think hard

One easie prohibition, who enjoy

Free leave so large to all things else, and choice

Unlimited of manifold delights:

But let us ever praise him, and extoll

His bountie, following our delightful task

To prune these growing Plants, & tend these Flours,

Which were it toilsom, yet with thee were sweet.

To whom thus Eve repli’d. O thou for whom

And from whom I was formd flesh of thy flesh,

And without whom am to no end, my Guide

And Head, what thou hast said is just and right.

For wee to him indeed all praises owe,

And daily thanks, I chiefly who enjoy

So farr the happier Lot, enjoying thee

Preeminent by so much odds, while thou

Like consort to thy self canst no where find.

That day I oft remember, when from sleep

I first awak’t, and found my self repos’d

Under a shade on flours, much wondring where

And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.

Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound

Of waters issu’d from a Cave and spread

Into a liquid Plain, then stood unmov’d

Pure as th’ expanse of Heav’n; I thither went

With unexperienc’t thought, and laid me downe

On the green bank, to look into the cleer

Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie.

As I bent down to look, just opposite,

A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd

Bending to look on me, I started back,

It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd,

Pleas’d it return’d as soon with answering looks

Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt

Mine 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 staies

Thy coming, and thy soft imbraces, hee

Whose image thou art, him thou shall enjoy

Inseparablie thine, to him shalt heare

Multitudes like thy self, and thence be call’d

Mother 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 fair Eve,

Whom fli’st thou? whom thou fli’st, of him thou art,

His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent

Out of my side to thee, neerest my heart

Substantial Life, to have thee by my side

Henceforth an individual solace dear;

Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claim

My other half: with that thy gentle hand

Seisd mine, I yeilded, and from that time see

How beauty is excelld by manly grace

And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.

So spake our general Mother, and with eyes

Of conjugal attraction unreprov’d

And meek surrender, half imbracing leand

On our first Father, half her swelling Breast

Naked met his under the flowing Gold

Of her loose tresses hid: he in elight

Both of her Beauty and submissive Charms

Smil’d with superior Love, as Jupiter

On Juno smiles, when he impregns the Clouds

That shed May Flowers; and press’d her Matron lip

With kisses pure: aside the Devil turnd

For envie, yet with jealous leer maligne

Ey’d them askance, and to himself thus plaind.

Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two

Imparadis’t in one anothers arms

The happier Eden, shall enjoy thir fill

Of 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’d

From 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 Lord

Envie them that? can it be sin to know,

Can it be death? and do they onely stand

By Ignorance, is that thir happie state,

The proof of thir obedience and thir faith?

O fair foundation laid whereon to build

Thir ruine! Hence I will excite thir minds

With more desire to know, and to reject

Envious commands, invented with designe

To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt

Equal with Gods: aspiring to be such,

They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?

But first with narrow search I must walk round

This Garden, and no corner leave unspi’d;

A chance but chance may lead where may meet

Some wandring Spirit of Heav’n, by Fountain side,

Or in thick shade retir’d, from him to draw

What 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 began

Through wood, through waste, o’re hill, o’re dale his roam.

Mean while in utmost Longitude, where Heav’n

With Earth and Ocean meets, the setting Sun

Slowly descended, and with right aspect

Against the eastern Gate of Paradise

Leveld his eevning Rayes: it was a Rock

Of Alabaster, pil’d up to the Clouds,

Conspicuous farr, winding with one ascent

Accessible from Earth, one entrance high;

The rest was craggie cliff, that overhung

Still as it rose, impossible to climbe.

Betwixt these rockie Pillars Gabriel sat

Chief of th’ Angelic Guards, awaiting night;

About him exercis’d Heroic Games

Th’ unarmed Youth of Heav’n, but nigh at hand

Celestial Armourie, Shields, Helmes, and Speares

Hung high with Diamond flaming, and with Gold.

Thither came Uriel, gliding through the Eeven

On a Sun beam, swift as a shooting Star

In Autumn thwarts the night, when vapors fir’d

Impress the Air, and shews the Mariner.

From what point of his Compass to beware

Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste.

Gabriel, to thee thy cours by Lot hath giv’n

Charge and strict watch that to this happie place

No evil thing approach or enter in;

This day at highth of Noon came to my Spheare

A Spirit, zealous, as he seem’d, to know

More of th’ Almighties works, and chiefly Man

Gods latest Image: I describ’d his way

Bent all on speed, and markt his Aerie Gate;

But in the Mount that lies from Eden North,

Where he first lighted, soon discernd his looks

Alien from Heav’n, with passions foul obscur’d:

 Mine eye pursu’d him still, but under shade

Lost sight of him; one of the banisht crew

I fear, hath ventur’d from the deep, to raise

New 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 pass

The vigilance here plac’t, but such as come

Well known from Heav’n; and since Meridian hour

No Creature thence: if Spirit of other sort,

So minded, have oreleapt these earthie bounds

On purpose, hard thou knowst it to exclude

Spiritual substance with corporeal barr.

But if within the circuit of these walks

In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom

Thou telst, by morrow dawning I shall know.

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So promis’d hee, and Uriel to his charge
Returnd

So promis’d hee, and Uriel to his charge

Returnd on that bright beam, whose point now raisd

Bore him slope downward to the Sun now fall’n

Beneath th’ Azores; whither the prime Orb,

Incredible how swift, had thither rowl’d

Diurnal, or this less volubil Earth

By shorter flight to th’ East, had left him there

Arraying with reflected Purple and Gold

The Clouds that on his Western Throne attend:

Now came still Eevning on, and Twilight gray

Had in her sober Liverie all things clad;

Silence accompanied, for Beast and Bird,

They to thir grassie Couch, these to thir Nests

Were slunk, all but the wakeful Nightingale;

She all night long her amorous descant sung;

Silence was pleas’d: now glow’d the Firmament

With living Saphirs: Hesperus that led

The starrie Host, rode brightest, till the Moon

Rising in clouded Majestie, at length

Apparent Queen unvaild her peerless light,

And o’re the dark her Silver Mantle threw.

When Adam thus to Eve: Fair Consort, th’ hour

Of night, and all things now retir’d to rest

Mind us of like repose, since God hath set

Labour and rest, as day and night to men

Successive, and the timely dew of sleep

Now falling with soft slumbrous weight inclines

Our eye-lids; other Creatures all day long

Rove idle unimploid, and less need rest;

Man hath his daily work of body or mind

Appointed, 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 East

With first approach of light, we must be ris’n,

And at our pleasant labour, to reform

Yon flourie Arbors, yonder Allies green,

Our walks at noon, with branches overgrown,

That mock our scant manuring, and require

More hands than 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 bidst

Unargu’d I obey; so God ordains,

God is thy Law, thou mine: to know no more

Is 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 Sun

When first on this delightful Land he spreads

His orient Beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flour,

Glistring with dew; fragrant the fertil earth

After soft showers; and sweet the coming on

Of grateful Eevning milde, then silent Night

With 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 ascends

With charm of earliest Birds, nor rising Sun

On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, floure,

Glistring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,

Nor grateful Evening mild, nor silent Night

With this her solemn Bird, nor walk by Moon,

Or glittering Starr-light without thee is sweet.

But wherfore all night long shine these, for whom

This 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 Land

In order, though to Nations yet unborn,

Ministring light prepar’d, they set and rise;

Least total darkness should by Night regaine

Her old possession, and extinguish life

In Nature and all things, which these soft fires

Not only enlighten, but with kindly heate

Of various influence foment and warme,

Temper or nourish, or in part shed down

Thir stellar vertue on all kinds that grow

On Earth, made hereby apter to receive

Perfection 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 Earth

Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:

All these with ceasless praise his works behold

Both day and night: how often from the steep

Of echoing Hill or Thicket have we heard

Celestial voices to the midnight air,

Sole, or responsive each to others note

Singing thir great Creator: oft in bands

While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk

With Heav’nly touch of instrumental sounds

In full harmonic number joind, thir songs

Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.

Thus talking hand in hand alone they Pass’d

On to thir blissful Bower; it was a place

Chos’n by the sovran Planter, when he fram’d

All things to mans delightful use; the roofe

Of thickest covert was inwoven shade

Laurel and Mirtle, and what higher grew

Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side

Acanthus, and each odorous bushie shrub

Fenc’d up the verdant Wall; each beauteous flour,

Iris all hues, Roses, and Gessamin

Rear’d high thir flourisht heads between, and wrought

Mosaic; underfoot the Violet,

Crocus, and Hyacinth with rich inlay

Broiderd the ground, more colour’d then with stone

Of costliest Emblem: other Creature here

Beast, Bird, Insect, or Worm durst enter none;

Such was thir awe of man. In shadier Bower

More sacred and sequesterd, though but feignd,

Pan or Silvanus never slept, nor Nymph,

Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess

With Flowers, Garlands, and sweet-smelling Herbs

Espoused Eve deckt first her Nuptial Bed,

And heav’nly Quires the Hymenaean sung,

What day the genial Angel to our Sire

Brought her in naked beauty more adorn’d

More lovely then Pandora, whom the Gods

Endowd with all thir gifts, and O too like

In sad event, when to the unwiser Son

Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar’d

Mankind with her faire looks, to be aveng’d

On him who had stole Joves authentic fire.

Thus at thir shadie Lodge arriv’d, both stood,

Both turnd, and under op’n Skie ador’d

The God that made both Skie, Air, Earth & Heav’n

Which they beheld, the Moons resplendent Globe.

And starrie Pole: Thou also mad’st the, Night,

Maker Omnipotent, and thou the Day,

Which we in our appointed work imployd

Have finisht happie in our mutual help

And mutual love, the Crown of all our bliss

Ordain’d by thee, and this delicious place

For us too large, where thy abundance wants

Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.

But thou hast promis’d from us two a Race

To fill the Earth, who shall with us extoll

Thy goodness infinite. both when we wake,

And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.

This said unanimous, and other Rites

Observing none, but adoration pure

Which God likes best, into thir inmost bower

Handed they went; and eas’d the putting off

These troublesom disguises which wee wear,

Strait side by side were laid, nor turnd I weene

Adam from his fair Spouse, nor Eve the Rites

Mysterious of connubial Love refus’d:

Whatever Hypocrites austerely talk

Of puritie and place and innocence,

Defaming as impure what God declares

Pure, and commands to som, leaves free to all.

Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain

But our Destroyer, foe to God and Man?

Haile wedded Love, mysterious Law, true sourse

Of human ofspring, sole proprietie,

In Paradise of all things common else.

By thee adulterous lust was driv’n from men

Among the bestial herds to raunge, by thee

Founded in Reason, Loyal, Just, and Pure,

Relations dear, and all the Charities

Of 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 chast pronounc’t,

Present, or past, as Saints and Patriarchs us’d.

Here Love his golden shafts imploies, here lights

His constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings,

Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile

Of Harlots, loveless, joyless, unindeard,

Casual fruition, nor in Court Amours

Mixt Dance, or wanton Mask, or Midnight Bal,

Or Serenate, which the starv’d Lover sings

To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.

These lulld by Nightingales imbraceing slept,

And on thir naked limbs the flourie roof

Showrd Roses, which the Morn repair’d. Sleep on,

Blest pair; and O yet happiest if ye seek

No happier state, and know to know no more.

Now had night measur’d with her shaddowie Cone

Half way up Hill this vast Sublunar Vault,

And from thir Ivorie Port the Cherubim

Forth issuing at th’ accustomd hour stood armd

To thir night watches in warlike Parade,

When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake.

Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the South

With strictest watch; these other wheel the North,

Our circuit meets full West. As flame they part

Half wheeling to the Shield, half to the Spear.

From these, two strong and suttle Spirits he calld

That neer him stood, and gave them thus in charge.

Ithuriel and Zephon, with wingd speed

Search through this Garden, leav 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’d

Who tells of som infernal Spirit seen

Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap’d

The barrs of Hell, on errand bad no doubt:

Such where ye find, seise fast, and hither bring.

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these to the Bower direct
In search of whom they sought

So saying, on he led his radiant Files,

Daz’ling the Moon; these to the Bower direct

In search of whom they sought: him there they found

Squat like a Toad, close at the eare of Eve;

Assaying by his Devilish art to reach

The Organs of her Fancie, and with them forge

Illusions as he list, Phantasms and Dreams,

Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint

Th’ animal Spirits that from pure blood arise

Like gentle breaths from Rivers pure, thence raise

At least distemperd, discontented thoughts,

Vain hopes, vain aimes, inordinate desires

Blown up with high conceits ingendring pride.

Him thus intent Ithuriel with his Spear

Touch’d lightly; for no falshood can endure

Touch of Celestial temper, but returns

Of force to its own likeness: up he starts

Discoverd and surpriz’d. As when a spark

Lights on a heap of nitrous Powder, laid

Fit for the Tun som Magazin to store

Against a rumord Warr, the Smuttie graine

With sudden blaze diffus’d, inflames the Aire:

So started up in his own shape the Fiend.

Back stept those two fair Angels half amaz’d

So sudden to behold the grieslie King;

Yet thus, unmovd with fear, accost him soon.

Which of those rebell Spirits adjudg’d to Hell

Com’st thou, escap’d thy prison, and transform’d,

Why satst thou like an enemie in waite

Here watching at the head of these that sleep?

Know yet not then said Satan, filld with scorn

Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate

For 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 begin

Your 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 known

As 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 now

Thy sin and place of doom obscure and foule.

But come, for thou, besure, shalt give account

To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep

This place inviolable, and these from harm.

So spake the Cherube, and his grave rebuke

Severe in youthful beautie, added grace

Invincible: abasht the Devil stood,

And felt how awful goodness is, and saw

Vertue in her shape how lovly, saw, and pin’d

His loss; but chiefly to find here observd

His lustre visibly impar’d; yet seemd

Undaunted. 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 doe

Single 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 flie

He held it vain; awe from above had quelld

His heart, not else dismai’d. Now drew they nigh

The western point, where those half-rounding guards

Just met, & closing stood in squadron joind

Awaiting next command. To whom thir Chief

Gabriel from the Front thus calld aloud.

O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet

Hasting this way, and now by glimps discerne

Ithuriel and Zephon now through the shade,

And with them comes a third of Regal port,

But faded splendor wan; who by his gate

And 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 approachd

And brief related whom they brought, wher 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’d

To thy transgressions, and disturbd the charge

Of others, who approve not to transgress

By thy example, but have power and right

To question thy bold entrance on this place;

Imploi’d it seems to violate sleep, and those

Whose 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 askt

Puts 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 place

Farthest from pain, where thou mightst hope to change

Torment with ease, & soonest recompence

Dole with delight, which in this place I sought;

To thee no reason; who knowst only good,

But evil hast not tri’d: and wilt object

His will who bound us? let him surer barr

His Iron Gates, if he intends our stay

In 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 hee 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 wise

Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither

Unlicenc’t from his bounds in Hell prescrib’d;

So wise he judges it to fly from pain

However, and to scape his punishment.

So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrauth,

Which thou incurr’st by flying, meet thy flight

Seavenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,

Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain

Can equal anger infinite provok’t.

But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee

Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them

Less pain, less to be fled, or thou then they

Less hardie to endure? courageous Chief,

The first in flight from pain, had’st thou alleg’d

To 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 stood

Thy fiercest, when in Battel to thy aide

The blasting volied Thunder made all speed

And seconded thy else not dreaded Spear.

But still thy words at random, as before,

Argue thy inexperience what behooves

From hard assaies and ill successes past

A faithful Leader, not to hazard all

Through wayes of danger by himself untri’d.

I therefore, I alone first undertook

To wing the desolate Abyss, and spie

This new created World, whereof in Hell

Fame is not silent, here in hope to find

Better abode, and my afflicted Powers

To settle here on Earth, or in mid Aire;

Though for possession put to try once more

What thou and thy gay Legions dare against;

Whose easier business were to serve thir Lord

High 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 strut away, pretending dirst

Wise 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 dissolve

Allegeance to th’ acknowledg’d Power

And thou sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem

Patron of liberty, who more then thou

Once fawn’d, and cring’d, and servilly ador’d

Heav’ns awful Monarch? wherefore but in hope

To dispossess him, and thy self to reigne?

But mark what I arreede thee now, avant;

Flie thither whence thou fledst: if from this houre

Within these hallowd limits thou appeer,

Back to th’ infernal pit I drag thee chaind,

And Seale thee so, as henceforth not to scorne

The facil gates of hell too slightly barrd.

So threatn’d hee, but Satan to no threats

Gave heed, but waxing more in rage repli’d.

Then when I am thy captive talk of chaines,

Proud limitarie Cherube, but ere then

Farr heavier load thy self expect to feel

From my prevailing arme, though Heavens King

Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy Compeers,

Us’d to the yoak, draw’st his triumphant wheels

In progress through the rode of Heav’n Star-pav’d.

While thus he spake, th’ Angelic Squadron bright

Turnd fierie red, sharpning in mooned hornes

Thir Phalanx, and began to hemm him round

With ported Spears, as thick as when a field

Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends

Her bearded Grove of ears, which way the wind

Swayes them; the careful Plowman doubting stands

Least on the threshing floore his hopeful sheaves

Prove chaff. On th’ other side Satan allarm’d

Collecting all his might dilated stood,

Like Teneriff or Atlas unremov’d:

His stature reacht the Skie, and on his Crest

Sat horror Plum’d; nor wanted in his graspe

What seemd both Spear and Shield: now dreadful deeds

Might have ensu’d, nor onely Paradise

In this commotion, but the Starrie Cope

Of Heav’n perhaps, or all the Elements

At least had gon to rack, disturbd and torne

With violence of this conflict, had not soon

Th’ Eternal to prevent such horrid fray

Hung forth in Heav’n his golden Scales, yet seen

Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion signe,

Wherein all things created first he weighd,

The pendulous round Earth with ballanc’t Aire

In counterpoise, now ponders all events,

Battels and Realms: in these he put two weights

The 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 then

To boast what Arms can doe, since thine no more

Then Heav’n permits, nor mine, though doubld now

To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,

And read thy Lot in yon celestial Sign

Where thou art weigh’d, & shown how light, how weak,

If thou resist. The Fiend lookt up and knew

His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled

Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

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Nor more; but fled
Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

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