Paradise Lost (2 of 6)

Uploaded by The16thCavern on 20.10.2012

Hail holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born, Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate. Or hear'st thou rather pure Ethereal stream,
Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun,
Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep, Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing, Escap't the STYGIAN Pool, though long detain'd
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight Through utter and through middle darkness
borne With other notes then to th' ORPHEAN Lyre
I sung of CHAOS and ETERNAL NIGHT, Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend, Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovran vital Lamp; but thou Revisit'st not these eyes, that rowle in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn; So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs,
Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
Cleer Spring, or shadie Grove, or Sunnie Hill, Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
Thee SION and the flowrie Brooks beneath That wash thy hallowd feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor somtimes forget Those other two equal'd with me in Fate,
So were I equal'd with them in renown, Blind THAMYRIS and blind MAEONIDES,
And TIRESIAS and PHINEUS Prophets old. Then feed on thoughts, that voluntarie move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful Bird Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men Cut off, and for the book of knowledg fair
Presented with a Universal blanc Of Natures works to mee expung'd and ras'd,
And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out. So much the rather thou Celestial light
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight.
Now had the Almighty Father from above, From the pure Empyrean where he sits
High Thron'd above all highth, bent down his eye,
His own works and their works at once to view: About him all the Sanctities of Heaven
Stood thick as Starrs, and from his sight receiv'd
Beatitude past utterance; on his right The radiant image of his Glory sat,
His onely Son; On Earth he first beheld Our two first Parents, yet the onely two
Of mankind, in the happie Garden plac't, Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,
Uninterrupted joy, unrivald love In blissful solitude; he then survey'd
Hell and the Gulf between, and SATAN there Coasting the wall of Heav'n on this side Night
In the dun Air sublime, and ready now To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet
On the bare outside of this World, that seem'd Firm land imbosom'd without Firmament,
Uncertain which, in Ocean or in Air. Him God beholding from his prospect high,
Wherein past, present, future he beholds, Thus to his onely Son foreseeing spake.
Onely begotten Son, seest thou what rage Transports our adversarie, whom no bounds
Prescrib'd, no barrs of Hell, nor all the chains
Heapt on him there, nor yet the main Abyss Wide interrupt can hold; so bent he seems
On desperat revenge, that shall redound Upon his own rebellious head. And now
Through all restraint broke loose he wings his way
Not farr off Heav'n, in the Precincts of light, Directly towards the new created World,
And Man there plac't, with purpose to assay If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
By som false guile pervert; and shall pervert; For man will heark'n to his glozing lyes,
And easily transgress the sole Command, Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall
Hee and his faithless Progenie: whose fault? Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee
All he could have; I made him just and right, Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
Such I created all th' Ethereal Powers And Spirits, both them who stood & them who
faild; Freely they stood who stood, and fell who
fell. Not free, what proof could they have givn
sincere Of true allegiance, constant Faith or Love,
Where onely what they needs must do, appeard, Not what they would? what praise could they
receive? What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
When Will and Reason (Reason also is choice) Useless and vain, of freedom both despoild,
Made passive both, had servd necessitie, Not mee. They therefore as to right belongd,
So were created, nor can justly accuse Thir maker, or thir making, or thir Fate;
As if Predestination over-rul'd Thir will, dispos'd by absolute Decree
Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed Thir own revolt, not I: if I foreknew,
Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault, Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown.
So without least impulse or shadow of Fate, Or aught by me immutablie foreseen,
They trespass, Authors to themselves in all Both what they judge and what they choose;
for so I formd them free, and free they must remain,
Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change
Thir nature, and revoke the high Decree Unchangeable, Eternal, which ordain'd
Thir freedom, they themselves ordain'd thir fall.
The first sort by thir own suggestion fell, Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls deceiv'd
By the other first: Man therefore shall find grace,
The other none: in Mercy and Justice both, Through Heav'n and Earth, so shall my glorie
excel, But Mercy first and last shall brightest shine.
Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd
All Heav'n, and in the blessed Spirits elect Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd:
Beyond compare the Son of God was seen Most glorious, in him all his Father shon
Substantially express'd, and in his face Divine compassion visibly appeerd,
Love without end, and without measure Grace, Which uttering thus he to his Father spake.
O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find
grace; For which both Heav'n and Earth shall high
extoll Thy praises, with th' innumerable sound
Of Hymns and sacred Songs, wherewith thy Throne Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest.
For should Man finally be lost, should Man Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest Son
Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though joynd With his own folly? that be from thee farr,
That farr be from thee, Father, who art Judge Of all things made, and judgest onely right.
Or shall the Adversarie thus obtain His end, and frustrate thine, shall he fulfill
His malice, and thy goodness bring to naught, Or proud return though to his heavier doom,
Yet with revenge accomplish't and to Hell Draw after him the whole Race of mankind,
By him corrupted? or wilt thou thy self Abolish thy Creation, and unmake,
For him, what for thy glorie thou hast made? So should thy goodness and thy greatness both
Be questiond and blaspheam'd without defence.
To whom the great Creatour thus reply'd. O Son, in whom my Soul hath chief delight,
Son of my bosom, Son who art alone My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
All hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are, all As my Eternal purpose hath decreed:
Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will,
Yet not of will in him, but grace in me Freely voutsaft; once more I will renew
His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand On even ground against his mortal foe,
By me upheld, that he may know how frail His fall'n condition is, and to me ow
All his deliv'rance, and to none but me. Some I have chosen of peculiar grace
Elect above the rest; so is my will: The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warnd
Thir sinful state, and to appease betimes Th' incensed Deitie, while offerd grace
Invites; for I will cleer thir senses dark, What may suffice, and soft'n stonie hearts
To pray, repent, and bring obedience due. To prayer, repentance, and obedience due,
Though but endevord with sincere intent, Mine eare shall not be slow, mine eye not
shut. And I will place within them as a guide
My Umpire CONSCIENCE, whom if they will hear, Light after light well us'd they shall attain,
And to the end persisting, safe arrive. This my long sufferance and my day of grace
They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste; But hard be hard'nd, blind be blinded more,
That they may stumble on, and deeper fall; And none but such from mercy I exclude.
But yet all is not don; Man disobeying, Disloyal breaks his fealtie, and sinns
Against the high Supremacie of Heav'n, Affecting God-head, and so loosing all,
To expiate his Treason hath naught left, But to destruction sacred and devote,
He with his whole posteritie must die, Die hee or Justice must; unless for him
Som other able, and as willing, pay The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
Say Heav'nly Powers, where shall we find such love,
Which of ye will be mortal to redeem Mans mortal crime, and just th' unjust to
save, Dwels in all Heaven charitie so deare?
He ask'd, but all the Heav'nly Quire stood mute,
And silence was in Heav'n: on mans behalf Patron or Intercessor none appeerd,
Much less that durst upon his own head draw The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
And now without redemption all mankind Must have bin lost, adjudg'd to Death and
Hell By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
In whom the fulness dwels of love divine, His dearest mediation thus renewd.
Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace; And shall grace not find means, that finds
her way, The speediest of thy winged messengers,
To visit all thy creatures, and to all Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought,
Happie for man, so coming; he her aide Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost;
Attonement for himself or offering meet, Indebted and undon, hath none to bring:
Behold mee then, mee for him, life for life I offer, on mee let thine anger fall;
Account mee man; I for his sake will leave Thy bosom, and this glorie next to thee
Freely put off, and for him lastly die Well pleas'd, on me let Death wreck all his
rage; Under his gloomie power I shall not long
Lie vanquisht; thou hast givn me to possess Life in my self for ever, by thee I live,
Though now to Death I yeild, and am his due All that of me can die, yet that debt paid,
Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsom grave His prey, nor suffer my unspotted Soule
For ever with corruption there to dwell; But I shall rise Victorious, and subdue
My Vanquisher, spoild of his vanted spoile; Death his deaths wound shall then receive,
& stoop Inglorious, of his mortall sting disarm'd.
I through the ample Air in Triumph high Shall lead Hell Captive maugre Hell, and show
The powers of darkness bound. Thou at the sight
Pleas'd, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile,
While by thee rais'd I ruin all my Foes, Death last, and with his Carcass glut the
Grave: Then with the multitude of my redeemd
Shall enter Heaven long absent, and returne, Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd, And reconcilement; wrauth shall be no more
Thenceforth, but in thy presence Joy entire.
His words here ended, but his meek aspect Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love
To mortal men, above which only shon Filial obedience: as a sacrifice
Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will Of his great Father. Admiration seis'd
All Heav'n, what this might mean, & whither tend
Wondring; but soon th' Almighty thus reply'd:
O thou in Heav'n and Earth the only peace Found out for mankind under wrauth, O thou
My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear,
To me are all my works, nor Man the least Though last created, that for him I spare
Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save, By loosing thee a while, the whole Race lost.
Thou therefore whom thou only canst redeeme, Thir Nature also to thy Nature joyne;
And be thy self Man among men on Earth, Made flesh, when time shall be, of Virgin
seed, By wondrous birth: Be thou in ADAMS room
The Head of all mankind, though ADAMS Son. As in him perish all men, so in thee
As from a second root shall be restor'd, As many as are restor'd, without thee none.
His crime makes guiltie all his Sons, thy merit
Imputed shall absolve them who renounce Thir own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,
And live in thee transplanted, and from thee Receive new life. So Man, as is most just,
Shall satisfie for Man, be judg'd and die, And dying rise, and rising with him raise
His Brethren, ransomd with his own dear life. So Heav'nly love shal outdoo Hellish hate,
Giving to death, and dying to redeeme, So dearly to redeem what Hellish hate
So easily destroy'd, and still destroyes In those who, when they may, accept not grace.
Nor shalt thou by descending to assume Mans Nature, less'n or degrade thine owne.
Because thou hast, though Thron'd in highest bliss
Equal to God, and equally enjoying God-like fruition, quitted all to save
A World from utter loss, and hast been found By Merit more then Birthright Son of God,
Found worthiest to be so by being Good, Farr more then Great or High; because in thee
Love hath abounded more then Glory abounds, Therefore thy Humiliation shall exalt
With thee thy Manhood also to this Throne; Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt
Reigne Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
Anointed universal King; all Power I give thee, reign for ever, and assume
Thy Merits; under thee as Head Supream Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce:
All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell; When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n
Shalt in the Skie appeer, and from thee send The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaime
Thy dread Tribunal: forthwith from all Windes The living, and forthwith the cited dead
Of all past Ages to the general Doom Shall hast'n, such a peal shall rouse thir
sleep. Then all thy Saints assembl'd, thou shalt
judge Bad men and Angels, they arraignd shall sink
Beneath thy Sentence; Hell, her numbers full, Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while
The World shall burn, and from her ashes spring New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall
dwell And after all thir tribulations long
See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds, With Joy and Love triumphing, and fair Truth.
Then thou thy regal Scepter shalt lay by, For regal Scepter then no more shall need,
God shall be All in All. But all ye Gods, Adore him, who to compass all this dies,
Adore the Son, and honour him as mee.
No sooner had th' Almighty ceas't, but all The multitude of Angels with a shout
Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heav'n
rung With Jubilee, and loud Hosanna's fill'd
Th' eternal Regions: lowly reverent Towards either Throne they bow, & to the ground
With solemn adoration down they cast Thir Crowns inwove with Amarant and Gold,
Immortal Amarant, a Flour which once In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life
Began to bloom, but soon for mans offence To Heav'n remov'd where first it grew, there
grows, And flours aloft shading the Fount of Life,
And where the river of Bliss through midst of Heavn
Rowls o're ELISIAN Flours her Amber stream; With these that never fade the Spirits Elect
Bind thir resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams,
Now in loose Garlands thick thrown off, the bright
Pavement that like a Sea of Jasper shon Impurpl'd with Celestial Roses smil'd.
Then Crown'd again thir gold'n Harps they took,
Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side
Like Quivers hung, and with Praeamble sweet Of charming symphonie they introduce
Thir sacred Song, and waken raptures high; No voice exempt, no voice but well could joine
Melodious part, such concord is in Heav'n.
Thee Father first they sung Omnipotent, Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
Eternal King; thee Author of all being, Fountain of Light, thy self invisible
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sit'st
Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st The full blaze of thy beams, and through a
cloud Drawn round about thee like a radiant Shrine,
Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appeer, Yet dazle Heav'n, that brightest Seraphim
Approach not, but with both wings veil thir eyes.
Thee next they sang of all Creation first, Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud
Made visible, th' Almighty Father shines, Whom else no Creature can behold; on thee
Impresst the effulgence of his Glorie abides, Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
Hee Heav'n of Heavens and all the Powers therein By thee created, and by thee threw down
Th' aspiring Dominations: thou that day Thy Fathers dreadful Thunder didst not spare,
Nor stop thy flaming Chariot wheels, that shook
Heav'ns everlasting Frame, while o're the necks
Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarraid. Back from pursuit thy Powers with loud acclaime
Thee only extold, Son of thy Fathers might, To execute fierce vengeance on his foes,
Not so on Man; him through their malice fall'n, Father of Mercie and Grace, thou didst not
doome So strictly, but much more to pitie encline:
No sooner did thy dear and onely Son Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man
So strictly, but much more to pitie enclin'd, He to appease thy wrauth, and end the strife
Of Mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd, Regardless of the Bliss wherein hee sat
Second to thee, offerd himself to die For mans offence. O unexampl'd love,
Love no where to be found less then Divine! Hail Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy Name
Shall be the copious matter of my Song Henceforth, and never shall my Harp thy praise
Forget, nor from thy Fathers praise disjoine.
Thus they in Heav'n, above the starry Sphear, Thir happie hours in joy and hymning spent.
Mean while upon the firm opacous Globe Of this round World, whose first convex divides
The luminous inferior Orbs, enclos'd From CHAOS and th' inroad of Darkness old,
SATAN alighted walks: a Globe farr off It seem'd, now seems a boundless Continent
Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night
Starless expos'd, and ever-threatning storms Of CHAOS blustring round, inclement skie;
Save on that side which from the wall of Heav'n Though distant farr som small reflection gaines
Of glimmering air less vext with tempest loud: Here walk'd the Fiend at large in spacious
field. As when a Vultur on IMAUS bred,
Whose snowie ridge the roving TARTAR bounds, Dislodging from a Region scarce of prey
To gorge the flesh of Lambs or yeanling Kids On Hills where Flocks are fed, flies toward
the Springs Of GANGES or HYDASPES, INDIAN streams;
But in his way lights on the barren plaines Of SERICANA, where CHINESES drive
With Sails and Wind thir canie Waggons light: So on this windie Sea of Land, the Fiend
Walk'd up and down alone bent on his prey, Alone, for other Creature in this place
Living or liveless to be found was none, None yet, but store hereafter from the earth
Up hither like Aereal vapours flew Of all things transitorie and vain, when Sin
With vanity had filld the works of men: Both all things vain, and all who in vain
things Built thir fond hopes of Glorie or lasting
fame, Or happiness in this or th' other life;
All who have thir reward on Earth, the fruits Of painful Superstition and blind Zeal,
Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find
Fit retribution, emptie as thir deeds; All th' unaccomplisht works of Natures hand,
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixt, Dissolvd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
Till final dissolution, wander here, Not in the neighbouring Moon, as some have
dreamd; Those argent Fields more likely habitants,
Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold Betwixt th' Angelical and Human kinde:
Hither of ill-joynd Sons and Daughters born First from the ancient World those Giants
came With many a vain exploit, though then renownd:
The builders next of BABEL on the Plain Of SENNAAR, and still with vain designe
New BABELS, had they wherewithall, would build: Others came single; hee who to be deemd
A God, leap'd fondly into AETNA flames, EMPEDOCLES, and hee who to enjoy
PLATO'S ELYSIUM, leap'd into the Sea, CLEOMBROTUS, and many more too long,
Embryo's and Idiots, Eremits and Friers White, Black and Grey, with all thir trumperie.
Here Pilgrims roam, that stray'd so farr to seek
In GOLGOTHA him dead, who lives in Heav'n; And they who to be sure of Paradise
Dying put on the weeds of DOMINIC, Or in FRANCISCAN think to pass disguis'd;
They pass the Planets seven, and pass the fixt,
And that Crystalline Sphear whose ballance weighs
The Trepidation talkt, and that first mov'd; And now Saint PETER at Heav'ns Wicket seems
To wait them with his Keys, and now at foot Of Heav'ns ascent they lift thir Feet, when
loe A violent cross wind from either Coast
Blows them transverse ten thousand Leagues awry
Into the devious Air; then might ye see Cowles, Hoods and Habits with thir wearers
tost And flutterd into Raggs, then Reliques, Beads,
Indulgences, Dispenses, Pardons, Bulls, The sport of Winds: all these upwhirld aloft
Fly o're the backside of the World farr off Into a LIMBO large and broad, since calld
The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown Long after, now unpeopl'd, and untrod;
All this dark Globe the Fiend found as he pass'd,
And long he wanderd, till at last a gleame Of dawning light turnd thither-ward in haste
His travell'd steps; farr distant hee descries Ascending by degrees magnificent
Up to the wall of Heaven a Structure high, At top whereof, but farr more rich appeerd
The work as of a Kingly Palace Gate With Frontispice of Diamond and Gold
Imbellisht, thick with sparkling orient Gemmes The Portal shon, inimitable on Earth
By Model, or by shading Pencil drawn. The Stairs were such as whereon JACOB saw
Angels ascending and descending, bands Of Guardians bright, when he from ESAU fled
To PADAN-ARAM in the field of LUZ, Dreaming by night under the open Skie,
And waking cri'd, This is the Gate of Heav'n. Each Stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood
There alwaies, but drawn up to Heav'n somtimes Viewless, and underneath a bright Sea flow'd
Of Jasper, or of liquid Pearle, whereon Who after came from Earth, sayling arriv'd,
Wafted by Angels, or flew o're the Lake Rapt in a Chariot drawn by fiery Steeds.
The Stairs were then let down, whether to dare
The Fiend by easie ascent, or aggravate His sad exclusion from the dores of Bliss.
Direct against which op'nd from beneath, Just o're the blissful seat of Paradise,
A passage down to th' Earth, a passage wide, Wider by farr then that of after-times
Over Mount SION, and, though that were large, Over the PROMIS'D LAND to God so dear,
By which, to visit oft those happy Tribes, On high behests his Angels to and fro
Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard From PANEAS the fount of JORDANS flood
To BEERSABA, where the HOLY LAND Borders on AEGYPT and the ARABIAN shoare;
So wide the op'ning seemd, where bounds were set
To darkness, such as bound the Ocean wave. SATAN from hence now on the lower stair
That scal'd by steps of Gold to Heav'n Gate Looks down with wonder at the sudden view
Of all this World at once. As when a Scout Through dark and desart wayes with peril gone
All night; at last by break of chearful dawne Obtains the brow of some high-climbing Hill,
Which to his eye discovers unaware The goodly prospect of some forein land
First-seen, or some renownd Metropolis With glistering Spires and Pinnacles adornd,
Which now the Rising Sun guilds with his beams. Such wonder seis'd, though after Heaven seen,
The Spirit maligne, but much more envy seis'd At sight of all this World beheld so faire.
Round he surveys, and well might, where he stood
So high above the circling Canopie Of Nights extended shade; from Eastern Point
Of LIBRA to the fleecie Starr that bears ANDROMEDA farr off ATLANTICK Seas
Beyond th' HORIZON; then from Pole to Pole He views in bredth, and without longer pause
Down right into the Worlds first Region throws His flight precipitant, and windes with ease
Through the pure marble Air his oblique way Amongst innumerable Starrs, that shon
Stars distant, but nigh hand seemd other Worlds, Or other Worlds they seemd, or happy Iles,
Like those HESPERIAN Gardens fam'd of old, Fortunate Fields, and Groves and flourie Vales,
Thrice happy Iles, but who dwelt happy there He stayd not to enquire: above them all
The golden Sun in splendor likest Heaven Allur'd his eye: Thither his course he bends
Through the calm Firmament; but up or downe By center, or eccentric, hard to tell,
Or Longitude, where the great Luminarie Alooff the vulgar Constellations thick,
That from his Lordly eye keep distance due, Dispenses Light from farr; they as they move
Thir Starry dance in numbers that compute Days, months, and years, towards his all-chearing
Lamp Turn swift their various motions, or are turnd
By his Magnetic beam, that gently warms The Univers, and to each inward part
With gentle penetration, though unseen, Shoots invisible vertue even to the deep:
So wondrously was set his Station bright. There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps
Astronomer in the Sun's lucent Orbe Through his glaz'd Optic Tube yet never saw.
The place he found beyond expression bright, Compar'd with aught on Earth, Medal or Stone;
Not all parts like, but all alike informd With radiant light, as glowing Iron with fire;
If mettal, part seemd Gold, part Silver cleer; If stone, Carbuncle most or Chrysolite,
Rubie or Topaz, to the Twelve that shon In AARONS Brest-plate, and a stone besides
Imagind rather oft then elsewhere seen, That stone, or like to that which here below
Philosophers in vain so long have sought, In vain, though by thir powerful Art they
binde Volatil HERMES, and call up unbound
In various shapes old PROTEUS from the Sea, Draind through a Limbec to his Native forme.
What wonder then if fields and regions here Breathe forth ELIXIR pure, and Rivers run
Potable Gold, when with one vertuous touch Th' Arch-chimic Sun so farr from us remote
Produces with Terrestrial Humor mixt Here in the dark so many precious things
Of colour glorious and effect so rare? Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
Undazl'd, farr and wide his eye commands, For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
But all Sun-shine, as when his Beams at Noon Culminate from th' AEQUATOR, as they now
Shot upward still direct, whence no way round Shadow from body opaque can fall, and the
Aire, No where so cleer, sharp'nd his visual ray
To objects distant farr, whereby he soon Saw within kenn a glorious Angel stand,
The same whom JOHN saw also in the Sun: His back was turnd, but not his brightness
hid; Of beaming sunnie Raies, a golden tiar
Circl'd his Head, nor less his Locks behind Illustrious on his Shoulders fledge with wings
Lay waving round; on som great charge imploy'd Hee seemd, or fixt in cogitation deep.
Glad was the Spirit impure as now in hope To find who might direct his wandring flight
To Paradise the happie seat of Man, His journies end and our beginning woe.
But first he casts to change his proper shape, Which else might work him danger or delay:
And now a stripling Cherube he appeers, Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
Youth smil'd Celestial, and to every Limb Sutable grace diffus'd, so well he feignd;
Under a Coronet his flowing haire In curles on either cheek plaid, wings he
wore Of many a colourd plume sprinkl'd with Gold,
His habit fit for speed succinct, and held Before his decent steps a Silver wand.
He drew not nigh unheard, the Angel bright, Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turnd,
Admonisht by his eare, and strait was known Th' Arch-Angel URIEL, one of the seav'n
Who in Gods presence, neerest to his Throne Stand ready at command, and are his Eyes
That run through all the Heav'ns, or down to th' Earth
Bear his swift errands over moist and dry, O're Sea and Land: him SATAN thus accostes;
URIEL, for thou of those seav'n Spirits that stand
In sight of God's high Throne, gloriously bright,
The first art wont his great authentic will Interpreter through highest Heav'n to bring,
Where all his Sons thy Embassie attend; And here art likeliest by supream decree
Like honour to obtain, and as his Eye To visit oft this new Creation round;
Unspeakable desire to see, and know All these his wondrous works, but chiefly
Man, His chief delight and favour, him for whom
All these his works so wondrous he ordaind, Hath brought me from the Quires of Cherubim
Alone thus wandring. Brightest Seraph tell In which of all these shining Orbes hath Man
His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none, But all these shining Orbes his choice to
dwell; That I may find him, and with secret gaze,
Or open admiration him behold On whom the great Creator hath bestowd
Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces powrd;
That both in him and all things, as is meet, The Universal Maker we may praise;
Who justly hath drivn out his Rebell Foes To deepest Hell, and to repair that loss
Created this new happie Race of Men To serve him better: wise are all his wayes.
So spake the false dissembler unperceivd; For neither Man nor Angel can discern
Hypocrisie, the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone,
By his permissive will, through Heav'n and Earth:
And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps At wisdoms Gate, and to simplicitie
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems: Which now for once beguil'd URIEL, though Regent of the Sun, and held
The sharpest sighted Spirit of all in Heav'n; Who to the fraudulent Impostor foule
In his uprightness answer thus returnd. Faire Angel, thy desire which tends to know
The works of God, thereby to glorifie The great Work-Maister, leads to no excess
That reaches blame, but rather merits praise The more it seems excess, that led thee hither
From thy Empyreal Mansion thus alone, To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps
Contented with report heare onely in heav'n: For wonderful indeed are all his works,
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all Had in remembrance alwayes with delight;
But what created mind can comprehend Thir number, or the wisdom infinite
That brought them forth, but hid thir causes deep.
I saw when at his Word the formless Mass, This worlds material mould, came to a heap:
Confusion heard his voice, and wilde uproar Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;
Till at his second bidding darkness fled, Light shon, and order from disorder sprung:
Swift to thir several Quarters hasted then The cumbrous Elements, Earth, Flood, Aire,
Fire, And this Ethereal quintessence of Heav'n
Flew upward, spirited with various forms, That rowld orbicular, and turnd to Starrs
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move; Each had his place appointed, each his course,
The rest in circuit walles this Universe. Look downward on that Globe whose hither side
With light from hence, though but reflected, shines;
That place is Earth the seat of Man, that light
His day, which else as th' other Hemisphere Night would invade, but there the neighbouring
Moon (So call that opposite fair Starr) her aide
Timely interposes, and her monthly round Still ending, still renewing, through mid
Heav'n; With borrowd light her countenance triform
Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth, And in her pale dominion checks the night.
That spot to which I point is PARADISE, ADAMS abode, those loftie shades his Bowre.
Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires.
Thus said, he turnd, and SATAN bowing low, As to superior Spirits is wont in Heaven,
Where honour due and reverence none neglects, Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth
beneath, Down from th' Ecliptic, sped with hop'd success,
Throws his steep flight with many an Aerie wheele,
Nor staid, till on NIPHATES top he lights.
O For that warning voice, which he who saw Th' APOCALYPS, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
Then when the Dragon, put to second rout, Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
WO TO THE INHABITANTS ON EARTH! that now, While time was, our first Parents had bin
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 stirr
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.
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 dischargd; 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 advanc'd
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 farr
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
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 practisd falshood under saintly shew,
Deep malice to conceale, couch't with revenge: Yet not anough had practisd 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 a 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
saile 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.
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 thir sex not equal seemd;
For contemplation hee and valour formd, For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace,
Hee for God only, shee for God in him: His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar'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 borne
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, & 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 pasture 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
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 pittie 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
Accept your Makers work; he gave it me, 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 from his loftie stand on that high Tree Down he alights among the sportful Herd
Of those fourfooted 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 first of women EVE thus moving speech, Turnd him all eare to heare new utterance
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 beare 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
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 returnd 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 beare
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 delight
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 I 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 hil, 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 Alablaster, 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 Starr
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.
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. Tomorrow 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 then ours to lop thir wanton growth:
Those Blossoms also, and those dropping Gumms, That lie bestrowne unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease; Mean while, as Nature wills, Night bids us
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 source 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
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
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 ye 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, be sure, 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 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 strait unsay, pretending first
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 supream? 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