Paradise Lost (4 of 6)

Uploaded by The16thCavern on 20.10.2012

Descend from Heav'n URANIA, by that name If rightly thou art call'd, whose Voice divine
Following, above th' OLYMPIAN Hill I soare, Above the flight of PEGASEAN wing.
The meaning, not the Name I call: for thou Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old OLYMPUS dwell'st, but Heav'nlie borne, Before the Hills appeerd, or Fountain flow'd,
Thou with Eternal wisdom didst converse, Wisdom thy Sister, and with her didst play
In presence of th' Almightie Father, pleas'd With thy Celestial Song. Up led by thee
Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd, An Earthlie Guest, and drawn Empyreal Aire,
Thy tempring; with like safetie guided down Return me to my Native Element:
Least from this flying Steed unrein'd, (as once
BELLEROPHON, though from a lower Clime) Dismounted, on th' ALEIAN Field I fall
Erroneous, there to wander and forlorne. Half yet remaines unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible Diurnal Spheare; Standing on Earth, not rapt above the Pole,
More safe I Sing with mortal voice, unchang'd To hoarce or mute, though fall'n on evil dayes,
On evil dayes though fall'n, and evil tongues; In darkness, and with dangers compast rouud,
And solitude; yet not alone, while thou Visit'st my slumbers Nightly, or when Morn
Purples the East: still govern thou my Song, URANIA, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive farr off the barbarous dissonance Of BACCHUS and his Revellers, the Race
Of that wilde Rout that tore the THRACIAN Bard
In RHODOPE, where Woods and Rocks had Eares To rapture, till the savage clamor dround
Both Harp and Voice; nor could the Muse defend Her Son. So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art Heav'nlie, shee an empty dreame.
Say Goddess, what ensu'd when RAPHAEL, The affable Arch-angel, had forewarn'd
ADAM by dire example to beware Apostasie, by what befell in Heaven
To those Apostates, least the like befall In Paradise to ADAM or his Race,
Charg'd not to touch the interdicted Tree, If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
So easily obeyd amid the choice Of all tasts else to please thir appetite,
Though wandring. He with his consorted EVE The storie heard attentive, and was fill'd
With admiration, and deep Muse to heare Of things so high and strange, things to thir
thought So unimaginable as hate in Heav'n,
And Warr so neer the Peace of God in bliss With such confusion: but the evil soon
Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With Blessedness. Whence ADAM soon repeal'd The doubts that in his heart arose: and now
Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know What neerer might concern him, how this World
Of Heav'n and Earth conspicuous first began, When, and whereof created, for what cause,
What within EDEN or without was done Before his memorie, as one whose drouth
Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current streame,
Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites, Proceeded thus to ask his Heav'nly Guest.
Great things, and full of wonder in our eares, Farr differing from this World, thou hast
reveal'd Divine Interpreter, by favour sent
Down from the Empyrean to forewarne Us timely of what might else have bin our
loss, Unknown, which human knowledg could not reach:
For which to the infinitly Good we owe Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receave with solemne purpose to observe Immutably his sovran will, the end
Of what we are. But since thou hast voutsaf't Gently for our instruction to impart
Things above Earthly thought, which yet concernd Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemd,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate What may no less perhaps availe us known,
How first began this Heav'n which we behold Distant so high, with moving Fires adornd
Innumerable, and this which yeelds or fills All space, the ambient Aire wide interfus'd
Imbracing round this florid Earth, what cause Mov'd the Creator in his holy Rest
Through all Eternitie so late to build In CHAOS, and the work begun, how soon
Absolv'd, if unforbid thou maist unfould What wee, not to explore the secrets aske
Of his Eternal Empire, but the more To magnifie his works, the more we know.
And the great Light of Day yet wants to run Much of his Race though steep, suspens in
Heav'n Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he heares,
And longer will delay to heare thee tell His Generation, and the rising Birth
Of Nature from the unapparent Deep: Or if the Starr of Eevning and the Moon
Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring
Silence, and Sleep listning to thee will watch, Or we can bid his absence, till thy Song
End, and dismiss thee ere the Morning shine.
Thus ADAM his illustrous Guest besought:
And thus the Godlike Angel answerd milde. This also thy request with caution askt
Obtaine: though to recount Almightie works What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice,
Or heart of man suffice to comprehend? Yet what thou canst attain, which best may
serve To glorifie the Maker, and inferr
Thee also happier, shall not be withheld Thy hearing, such Commission from above
I have receav'd, to answer thy desire Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain
To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King,
Onely Omniscient, hath supprest in Night, To none communicable in Earth or Heaven:
Anough is left besides to search and know. But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her Temperance over Appetite, to know In measure what the mind may well contain,
Oppresses else with Surfet, and soon turns Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Winde.
Know then, that after LUCIFER from Heav'n (So call him, brighter once amidst the Host
Of Angels, then that Starr the Starrs among) Fell with his flaming Legions through the
Deep Into his place, and the great Son returnd
Victorious with his Saints, th' Omnipotent Eternal Father from his Throne beheld
Thir multitude, and to his Son thus spake.
At least our envious Foe hath fail'd, who thought
All like himself rebellious, by whose aid This inaccessible high strength, the seat
Of Deitie supream, us dispossest, He trusted to have seis'd, and into fraud
Drew many, whom thir place knows here no more; Yet farr the greater part have kept, I see,
Thir station, Heav'n yet populous retaines Number sufficient to possess her Realmes
Though wide, and this high Temple to frequent With Ministeries due and solemn Rites:
But least his heart exalt him in the harme Already done, to have dispeopl'd Heav'n,
My damage fondly deem'd, I can repaire That detriment, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create Another World, out of one man a Race
Of men innumerable, there to dwell, Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd
They open to themselves at length the way Up hither, under long obedience tri'd,
And Earth be chang'd to Heavn, & Heav'n to Earth,
One Kingdom, Joy and Union without end. Mean while inhabit laxe, ye Powers of Heav'n,
And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee This I perform, speak thou, and be it don:
My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee I send along, ride forth, and bid the Deep
Within appointed bounds be Heav'n and Earth, Boundless the Deep, because I am who fill
Infinitude, nor vacuous the space. Though I uncircumscrib'd my self retire,
And put not forth my goodness, which is free To act or not, Necessitie and Chance
Approach not mee, and what I will is Fate.
So spake th' Almightie, and to what he spake His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect.
Immediate are the Acts of God, more swift Then time or motion, but to human ears
Cannot without process of speech be told, So told as earthly notion can receave.
Great triumph and rejoycing was in Heav'n When such was heard declar'd the Almightie's
will; Glorie they sung to the most High, good will
To future men, and in thir dwellings peace: Glorie to him whose just avenging ire
Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight And th' habitations of the just; to him
Glorie and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd Good out of evil to create, in stead
Of Spirits maligne a better Race to bring Into thir vacant room, and thence diffuse
His good to Worlds and Ages infinite. So sang the Hierarchies: Mean while the Son
On his great Expedition now appeer'd, Girt with Omnipotence, with Radiance crown'd
Of Majestie Divine, Sapience and Love Immense, and all his Father in him shon.
About his Chariot numberless were pour'd Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
And Vertues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing'd,
From the Armoury of God, where stand of old Myriads between two brazen Mountains lodg'd
Against a solemn day, harnest at hand, Celestial Equipage; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them Spirit livd, Attendant on thir Lord: Heav'n op'nd wide
Her ever during Gates, Harmonious sound On golden Hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glorie in his powerful Word And Spirit coming to create new Worlds.
On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore
They view'd the vast immeasurable Abyss Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde,
Up from the bottom turn'd by furious windes And surging waves, as Mountains to assault
Heav'ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole.
Silence, ye troubl'd waves, and thou Deep, peace,
Said then th' Omnific Word, your discord end:
Nor staid, but on the Wings of Cherubim Uplifted, in Paternal Glorie rode
Farr into CHAOS, and the World unborn; For CHAOS heard his voice: him all his Traine
Follow'd in bright procession to behold Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand
He took the golden Compasses, prepar'd In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe
This Universe, and all created things: One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd
Round through the vast profunditie obscure, And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy
bounds, This be thy just Circumference, O World.
Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth, Matter unform'd and void: Darkness profound
Cover'd th' Abyss: but on the watrie calme His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspred,
And vital vertue infus'd, and vital warmth Throughout the fluid Mass, but downward purg'd
The black tartareous cold infernal dregs Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd
Like things to like, the rest to several place Disparted, and between spun out the Air,
And Earth self-ballanc't on her Center hung.
Let ther be Light, said God, and forthwith Light
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure Sprung from the Deep, and from her Native
East To journie through the airie gloom began,
Sphear'd in a radiant Cloud, for yet the Sun Was not; shee in a cloudie Tabernacle
Sojourn'd the while. God saw the Light was good;
And light from darkness by the Hemisphere Divided: Light the Day, and Darkness Night
He nam'd. Thus was the first Day Eev'n and Morn:
Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung By the Celestial Quires, when Orient Light
Exhaling first from Darkness they beheld; Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and
shout The hollow Universal Orb they fill'd,
And touch't thir Golden Harps, & hymning prais'd God and his works, Creatour him they sung,
Both when first Eevning was, and when first Morn.
Again, God said, let ther be Firmament Amid the Waters, and let it divide
The Waters from the Waters: and God made The Firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
Transparent, Elemental Air, diffus'd In circuit to the uttermost convex
Of this great Round: partition firm and sure, The Waters underneath from those above
Dividing: for as Earth, so hee the World Built on circumfluous Waters calme, in wide
Crystallin Ocean, and the loud misrule Of CHAOS farr remov'd, least fierce extreames
Contiguous might distemper the whole frame: And Heav'n he nam'd the Firmament: So Eev'n
And Morning CHORUS sung the second Day.
The Earth was form'd, but in the Womb as yet Of Waters, Embryon immature involv'd,
Appeer'd not: over all the face of Earth Main Ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warme
Prolific humour soft'ning all her Globe, Fermented the great Mother to conceave,
Satiate with genial moisture, when God said Be gather'd now ye Waters under Heav'n
Into one place, and let dry Land appeer. Immediately the Mountains huge appeer
Emergent, and thir broad bare backs upheave Into the Clouds, thir tops ascend the Skie:
So high as heav'd the tumid Hills, so low Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
Capacious bed of Waters: thither they Hasted with glad precipitance, uprowld
As drops on dust conglobing from the drie; Part rise in crystal Wall, or ridge direct,
For haste; such flight the great command impress'd On the swift flouds: as Armies at the call
Of Trumpet (for of Armies thou hast heard) Troop to thir Standard, so the watrie throng,
Wave rowling after Wave, where way they found, If steep, with torrent rapture, if through
Plaine, Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them Rock or Hill,
But they, or under ground, or circuit wide With Serpent errour wandring, found thir way,
And on the washie Oose deep Channels wore; Easie, e're God had bid the ground be drie,
All but within those banks, where Rivers now Stream, and perpetual draw thir humid traine.
The dry Land, Earth, and the great receptacle Of congregated Waters he call'd Seas:
And saw that it was good, and said, Let th' Earth
Put forth the verdant Grass, Herb yeilding Seed,
And Fruit Tree yeilding Fruit after her kind; Whose Seed is in her self upon the Earth.
He scarce had said, when the bare Earth, till then
Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd, Brought forth the tender Grass, whose verdure
clad Her Universal Face with pleasant green,
Then Herbs of every leaf, that sudden flour'd Op'ning thir various colours, and made gay
Her bosom smelling sweet: and these scarce blown,
Forth flourish't thick the clustring Vine, forth crept
The smelling Gourd, up stood the cornie Reed Embattell'd in her field: add the humble Shrub,
And Bush with frizl'd hair implicit: last Rose as in Dance the stately Trees, and spred
Thir branches hung with copious Fruit; or gemm'd
Thir Blossoms: with high Woods the Hills were crownd,
With tufts the vallies & each fountain side, With borders long the Rivers. That Earth now
Seemd like to Heav'n, a seat where Gods might dwell,
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt Her sacred shades: though God had yet not
rain'd Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground
None was, but from the Earth a dewie Mist Went up and waterd all the ground, and each
Plant of the field, which e're it was in the Earth
God made, and every Herb, before it grew On the green stemm; God saw that it was good:
So Eev'n and Morn recorded the Third Day.
Again th' Almightie spake: Let there be Lights High in th' expanse of Heaven to divide
The Day from Night; and let them be for Signes, For Seasons, and for Dayes, and circling Years,
And let them be for Lights as I ordaine Thir Office in the Firmament of Heav'n
To give Light on the Earth; and it was so. And God made two great Lights, great for thir
use To Man, the greater to have rule by Day,
The less by Night alterne: and made the Starrs, And set them in the Firmament of Heav'n
To illuminate the Earth, and rule the Day In thir vicissitude, and rule the Night,
And Light from Darkness to divide. God saw, Surveying his great Work, that it was good:
For of Celestial Bodies first the Sun A mightie Spheare he fram'd, unlightsom first,
Though of Ethereal Mould: then form'd the Moon
Globose, and everie magnitude of Starrs, And sowd with Starrs the Heav'n thick as a
field: Of Light by farr the greater part he took,
Transplanted from her cloudie Shrine, and plac'd
In the Suns Orb, made porous to receive And drink the liquid Light, firm to retaine
Her gather'd beams, great Palace now of Light. Hither as to thir Fountain other Starrs
Repairing, in thir gold'n Urns draw Light, And hence the Morning Planet guilds his horns;
By tincture or reflection they augment Thir small peculiar, though from human sight
So farr remote, with diminution seen. First in his East the glorious Lamp was seen,
Regent of Day, and all th' Horizon round Invested with bright Rayes, jocond to run
His Longitude through Heav'ns high rode: the gray
Dawn, and the PLEIADES before him danc'd Shedding sweet influence: less bright the
Moon, But opposite in leveld West was set
His mirror, with full face borrowing her Light From him, for other light she needed none
In that aspect, and still that distance keepes Till night, then in the East her turn she
shines, Revolvd on Heav'ns great Axle, and her Reign
With thousand lesser Lights dividual holds, With thousand thousand Starres, that then
appeer'd Spangling the Hemisphere: then first adornd
With thir bright Luminaries that Set and Rose, Glad Eevning & glad Morn crownd the fourth
And God said, let the Waters generate Reptil with Spawn abundant, living Soule:
And let Fowle flie above the Earth, with wings Displayd on the op'n Firmament of Heav'n.
And God created the great Whales, and each Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously
The waters generated by thir kindes, And every Bird of wing after his kinde;
And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying,
Be fruitful, multiply, and in the Seas And Lakes and running Streams the waters fill;
And let the Fowle be multiply'd on the Earth. Forthwith the Sounds and Seas, each Creek
& Bay With Frie innumerable swarme, and Shoales
Of Fish that with thir Finns and shining Scales Glide under the green Wave, in Sculles that
oft Bank the mid Sea: part single or with mate
Graze the Sea weed thir pasture, & through Groves
Of Coral stray, or sporting with quick glance Show to the Sun thir wav'd coats dropt with
Gold, Or in thir Pearlie shells at ease, attend
Moist nutriment, or under Rocks thir food In jointed Armour watch: on smooth the Seale,
And bended Dolphins play: part huge of bulk Wallowing unweildie, enormous in thir Gate
Tempest the Ocean: there Leviathan Hugest of living Creatures, on the Deep
Stretcht like a Promontorie sleeps or swimmes, And seems a moving Land, and at his Gilles
Draws in, and at his Trunck spouts out a Sea. Mean while the tepid Caves, and Fens and shoares
Thir Brood as numerous hatch, from the Egg that soon
Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos'd Thir callow young, but featherd soon and fledge
They summ'd thir Penns, and soaring th' air sublime
With clang despis'd the ground, under a cloud In prospect; there the Eagle and the Stork
On Cliffs and Cedar tops thir Eyries build: Part loosly wing the Region, part more wise
In common, rang'd in figure wedge thir way, Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
Thir Aierie Caravan high over Sea's Flying, and over Lands with mutual wing
Easing thir flight; so stears the prudent Crane
Her annual Voiage, born on Windes; the Aire Floats, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd
plumes: From Branch to Branch the smaller Birds with
song Solac'd the Woods, and spred thir painted
wings Till Ev'n, nor then the solemn Nightingal
Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft layes:
Others on Silver Lakes and Rivers Bath'd Thir downie Brest; the Swan with Arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, Rowes
Her state with Oarie feet: yet oft they quit The Dank, and rising on stiff Pennons, towre
The mid Aereal Skie: Others on ground Walk'd firm; the crested Cock whose clarion
sounds The silent hours, and th' other whose gay
Traine Adorns him, colour'd with the Florid hue
Of Rainbows and Starrie Eyes. The Waters thus With Fish replenisht, and the Aire with Fowle,
Ev'ning and Morn solemniz'd the Fift day.
The Sixt, and of Creation last arose With Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said,
Let th' Earth bring forth Fowle living in her kinde,
Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,
Each in their kinde. The Earth obey'd, and strait
Op'ning her fertil Woomb teem'd at a Birth Innumerous living Creatures, perfet formes,
Limb'd and full grown: out of the ground up-rose As from his Laire the wilde Beast where he
wonns In Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den;
Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk'd: The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green:
Those rare and solitarie, these in flocks Pasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung:
The grassie Clods now Calv'd, now half appeer'd The Tawnie Lion, pawing to get free
His hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds,
And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; the Ounce, The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the Moale
Rising, the crumbl'd Earth above them threw In Hillocks; the swift Stag from under ground
Bore up his branching head: scarse from his mould
BEHEMOTH biggest born of Earth upheav'd His vastness: Fleec't the Flocks and bleating
rose, As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and Land
The River Horse and scalie Crocodile. At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,
Insect or Worme; those wav'd thir limber fans For wings, and smallest Lineaments exact
In all the Liveries dect of Summers pride With spots of Gold and Purple, azure and green:
These as a line thir long dimension drew, Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not
all Minims of Nature; some of Serpent kinde
Wondrous in length and corpulence involv'd Thir Snakie foulds, and added wings. First
crept The Parsimonious Emmet, provident
Of future, in small room large heart enclos'd, Pattern of just equalitie perhaps
Hereafter, join'd in her popular Tribes Of Commonaltie: swarming next appeer'd
The Femal Bee that feeds her Husband Drone Deliciously, and builds her waxen Cells
With Honey stor'd: the rest are numberless, And thou thir Natures know'st, and gav'st
them Names, Needlest to thee repeaed; nor unknown
The Serpent suttl'st Beast of all the field, Of huge extent somtimes, with brazen Eyes
And hairie Main terrific, though to thee Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.
Now Heav'n in all her Glorie shon, and rowld Her motions, as the great first-Movers hand
First wheeld thir course; Earth in her rich attire
Consummate lovly smil'd; Aire, Water, Earth, By Fowl, Fish, Beast, was flown, was swum,
was walkt Frequent; and of the Sixt day yet remain'd;
There wanted yet the Master work, the end Of all yet don; a Creature who not prone
And Brute as other Creatures, but endu'd With Sanctitie of Reason, might erect
His Stature, and upright with Front serene Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence
Magnanimous to correspond with Heav'n, But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyes
Directed in Devotion, to adore And worship God Supream, who made him chief
Of all his works: therefore the Omnipotent Eternal Father (For where is not hee
Present) thus to his Son audibly spake.
Let us make now Man in our image, Man In our similitude, and let them rule
Over the Fish and Fowle of Sea and Aire, Beast of the Field, and over all the Earth,
And every creeping thing that creeps the ground. This said, he formd thee, ADAM, thee O Man
Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd The breath of Life; in his own Image hee
Created thee, in the Image of God Express, and thou becam'st a living Soul.
Male he created thee, but thy consort Femal for Race; then bless'd Mankinde, and
said, Be fruitful, multiplie, and fill the Earth,
Subdue it, and throughout Dominion hold Over Fish of the Sea, and Fowle of the Aire,
And every living thing that moves on the Earth. Wherever thus created, for no place
Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know'st He brought thee into this delicious Grove,
This Garden, planted with the Trees of God, Delectable both to behold and taste;
And freely all thir pleasant fruit for food Gave thee, all sorts are here that all th'
Earth yeelds, Varietie without end; but of the Tree
Which tasted works knowledge of Good and Evil, Thou mai'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou
di'st; Death is the penaltie impos'd, beware,
And govern well thy appetite, least sin Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death.
Here finish'd hee, and all that he had made View'd, and behold all was entirely good;
So Ev'n and Morn accomplish'd the Sixt day: Yet not till the Creator from his work
Desisting, though unwearied, up returnd Up to the Heav'n of Heav'ns his high abode,
Thence to behold this new created World Th' addition of his Empire, how it shew'd
In prospect from his Throne, how good, how faire,
Answering his great Idea. Up he rode Followd with acclamation and the sound
Symphonious of ten thousand Harpes that tun'd Angelic harmonies: the Earth, the Aire
Resounded, (thou remember'st, for thou heardst) The Heav'ns and all the Constellations rung,
The Planets in thir stations list'ning stood, While the bright Pomp ascended jubilant.
Open, ye everlasting Gates, they sung, Open, ye Heav'ns, your living dores; let in
The great Creator from his work returnd Magnificent, his Six days work, a World;
Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deigne To visit oft the dwellings of just Men
Delighted, and with frequent intercourse Thither will send his winged Messengers
On errands of supernal Grace. So sung The glorious Train ascending: He through Heav'n,
That open'd wide her blazing Portals, led To Gods Eternal house direct the way,
A broad and ample rode, whose dust is Gold And pavement Starrs, as Starrs to thee appeer,
Seen in the Galaxie, that Milkie way Which nightly as a circling Zone thou seest
Pouderd with Starrs. And now on Earth the Seaventh
Eev'ning arose in EDEN, for the Sun Was set, and twilight from the East came on,
Forerunning Night; when at the holy mount Of Heav'ns high-seated top, th' Impereal Throne
Of Godhead, fixt for ever firm and sure, The Filial Power arriv'd, and sate him down
With his great Father (for he also went Invisible, yet staid (such priviledge
Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd, Author and end of all things, and from work
Now resting, bless'd and hallowd the Seav'nth day,
As resting on that day from all his work, But not in silence holy kept; the Harp
Had work and rested not, the solemn Pipe, And Dulcimer, all Organs of sweet stop,
All sounds on Fret by String or Golden Wire Temper'd soft Tunings, intermixt with Voice
Choral or Unison: of incense Clouds Fuming from Golden Censers hid the Mount.
Creation and the Six dayes acts they sung, Great are thy works, JEHOVAH, infinite
Thy power; what thought can measure thee or tongue
Relate thee; greater now in thy return Then from the Giant Angels; thee that day
Thy Thunders magnifi'd; but to create Is greater then created to destroy.
Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound Thy Empire? easily the proud attempt
Of Spirits apostat and thir Counsels vaine Thou hast repeld, while impiously they thought
Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw The number of thy worshippers. Who seekes
To lessen thee, against his purpose serves To manifest the more thy might: his evil
Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
Witness this new-made World, another Heav'n From Heaven Gate not farr, founded in view
On the cleer HYALINE, the Glassie Sea; Of amplitude almost immense, with Starr's
Numerous, and every Starr perhaps a World Of destind habitation; but thou know'st
Thir seasons: among these the seat of men, Earth with her nether Ocean circumfus'd,
Thir pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happie men,
And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanc't, Created in his Image, there to dwell
And worship him, and in reward to rule Over his Works, on Earth, in Sea, or Air,
And multiply a Race of Worshippers Holy and just: thrice happie if they know
Thir happiness, and persevere upright.
So sung they, and the Empyrean rung, With HALLELUIAHS: Thus was Sabbath kept.
And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd
How first this World and face of things began, And what before thy memorie was don
From the beginning, that posteritie Informd by thee might know; if else thou seekst
Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.
To whom thus ADAM gratefully repli'd. What thanks sufficient, or what recompence
Equal have I to render thee, Divine Hystorian, who thus largely hast allayd
The thirst I had of knowledge, and voutsaf't This friendly condescention to relate
Things else by me unsearchable, now heard VVith wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
With glorie attributed to the high Creator; some thing yet of doubt remaines,
VVhich onely thy solution can resolve. VVhen I behold this goodly Frame, this VVorld
Of Heav'n and Earth consisting, and compute, Thir magnitudes, this Earth a spot, a graine,
An Atom, with the Firmament compar'd And all her numberd Starrs, that seem to rowle
Spaces incomprehensible (for such Thir distance argues and thir swift return
Diurnal) meerly to officiate light Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot,
One day and night; in all thir vast survey Useless besides, reasoning I oft admire,
How Nature wise and frugal could commit Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
So many nobler Bodies to create, Greater so manifold to this one use,
For aught appeers, and on thir Orbs impose Such restless revolution day by day
Repeated, while the sedentarie Earth, That better might with farr less compass move,
Serv'd by more noble then her self, attaines Her end without least motion, and receaves,
As Tribute such a sumless journey brought Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
Speed, to describe whose swiftness Number failes.
So spake our Sire, and by his count'nance seemd
Entring on studious thoughts abstruse, which EVE
Perceaving where she sat retir'd in sight, With lowliness Majestic from her seat,
And Grace that won who saw to wish her stay, Rose, and went forth among her Fruits and
Flours, To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom,
Her Nurserie; they at her coming sprung And toucht by her fair tendance gladlier grew.
Yet went she not, as not with such discourse Delighted, or not capable her eare
Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv'd, ADAM relating, she sole Auditress;
Her Husband the Relater she preferr'd Before the Angel, and of him to ask
Chose rather; hee, she knew would intermix Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal Caresses, from his Lip Not Words alone pleas'd her. O when meet now
Such pairs, in Love and mutual Honour joyn'd? With Goddess-like demeanour forth she went;
Not unattended, for on her as Queen A pomp of winning Graces waited still,
And from about her shot Darts of desire Into all Eyes to wish her still in sight.
And RAPHAEL now to ADAM's doubt propos'd Benevolent and facil thus repli'd.
To ask or search I blame thee not, for Heav'n Is as the Book of God before thee set,
Wherein to read his wondrous Works, and learne His Seasons, Hours, or Days, or Months, or
Yeares: This to attain, whether Heav'n move or Earth,
Imports not, if thou reck'n right, the rest From Man or Angel the great Architect
Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge His secrets to be scann'd by them who ought
Rather admire; or if they list to try Conjecture, he his Fabric of the Heav'ns
Hath left to thir disputes, perhaps to move His laughter at thir quaint Opinions wide
Hereafter, when they come to model Heav'n And calculate the Starrs, how they will weild
The mightie frame, how build, unbuild, contrive To save appeerances, how gird the Sphear
With Centric and Eccentric scribl'd o're, Cycle and Epicycle, Orb in Orb:
Alreadie by thy reasoning this I guess, Who art to lead thy ofspring, and supposest
That Bodies bright and greater should not serve
The less not bright, nor Heav'n such journies run,
Earth sitting still, when she alone receaves The benefit: consider first, that Great
Or Bright inferrs not Excellence: the Earth Though, in comparison of Heav'n, so small,
Nor glistering, may of solid good containe More plenty then the Sun that barren shines,
Whose vertue on it self workes no effect, But in the fruitful Earth; there first receavd
His beams, unactive else, thir vigor find. Yet not to Earth are those bright Luminaries
Officious, but to thee Earths habitant. And for the Heav'ns wide Circuit, let it speak
The Makers high magnificence, who built So spacious, and his Line stretcht out so
farr; That Man may know he dwells not in his own;
An Edifice too large for him to fill, Lodg'd in a small partition, and the rest
Ordain'd for uses to his Lord best known. The swiftness of those Circles attribute,
Though numberless, to his Omnipotence, That to corporeal substances could adde
Speed almost Spiritual; mee thou thinkst not slow,
Who since the Morning hour set out from Heav'n Where God resides, and ere mid-day arriv'd
In EDEN, distance inexpressible By Numbers that have name. But this I urge,
Admitting Motion in the Heav'ns, to shew Invalid that which thee to doubt it mov'd;
Not that I so affirm, though so it seem To thee who hast thy dwelling here on Earth.
God to remove his wayes from human sense, Plac'd Heav'n from Earth so farr, that earthly
sight, If it presume, might erre in things too high,
And no advantage gaine. What if the Sun Be Center to the World, and other Starrs
By his attractive vertue and thir own Incited, dance about him various rounds?
Thir wandring course now high, now low, then hid,
Progressive, retrograde, or standing still, In six thou seest, and what if sev'nth to
these The Planet Earth, so stedfast though she seem,
Insensibly three different Motions move? Which else to several Sphears thou must ascribe,
Mov'd contrarie with thwart obliquities, Or save the Sun his labour, and that swift
Nocturnal and Diurnal rhomb suppos'd, Invisible else above all Starrs, the Wheele
Of Day and Night; which needs not thy beleefe, If Earth industrious of her self fetch Day
Travelling East, and with her part averse From the Suns beam meet Night, her other part
Still luminous by his ray. What if that light Sent from her through the wide transpicuous
aire, To the terrestrial Moon be as a Starr
Enlightning her by Day, as she by Night This Earth? reciprocal, if Land be there,
Feilds and Inhabitants: Her spots thou seest As Clouds, and Clouds may rain, and Rain produce
Fruits in her soft'nd Soile, for some to eate Allotted there; and other Suns perhaps
With thir attendant Moons thou wilt descrie Communicating Male and Femal Light,
Which two great Sexes animate the World, Stor'd in each Orb perhaps with some that
live. For such vast room in Nature unpossest
By living Soule, desert and desolate, Onely to shine, yet scarce to contribute
Each Orb a glimps of Light, conveyd so farr Down to this habitable, which returnes
Light back to them, is obvious to dispute. But whether thus these things, or whether
not, Whether the Sun predominant in Heav'n
Rise on the Earth, or Earth rise on the Sun, Hee from the East his flaming rode begin,
Or Shee from West her silent course advance With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps
On her soft Axle, while she paces Eev'n, And bears thee soft with the smooth Air along,
Sollicit not thy thoughts with matters hid, Leave them to God above, him serve and feare;
Of other Creatures, as him pleases best, Wherever plac't, let him dispose: joy thou
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise And thy faire EVE; Heav'n is for thee too
high To know what passes there; be lowlie wise:
Think onely what concernes thee and thy being; Dream not of other Worlds, what Creatures
there Live, in what state, condition or degree,
Contented that thus farr hath been reveal'd Not of Earth onely but of highest Heav'n.
To whom thus ADAM cleerd of doubt, repli'd. How fully hast thou satisfi'd mee, pure
Intelligence of Heav'n, Angel serene, And freed from intricacies, taught to live,
The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts To interrupt the sweet of Life, from which
God hath bid dwell farr off all anxious cares, And not molest us, unless we our selves
Seek them with wandring thoughts, and notions vaine.
But apt the Mind or Fancie is to roave Uncheckt, and of her roaving is no end;
Till warn'd, or by experience taught, she learne,
That not to know at large of things remote From use, obscure and suttle, but to know
That which before us lies in daily life, Is the prime Wisdom, what is more, is fume,
Or emptiness, or fond impertinence, And renders us in things that most concerne
Unpractis'd, unprepar'd, and still to seek. Therefore from this high pitch let us descend
A lower flight, and speak of things at hand Useful, whence haply mention may arise
Of somthing not unseasonable to ask By sufferance, and thy wonted favour deign'd.
Thee I have heard relating what was don Ere my remembrance: now hear mee relate
My Storie, which perhaps thou hast not heard; And Day is yet not spent; till then thou seest
How suttly to detaine thee I devise, Inviting thee to hear while I relate,
Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply: For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heav'n,
And sweeter thy discourse is to my eare Then Fruits of Palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
And hunger both, from labour, at the houre Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill,
Though pleasant, but thy words with Grace Divine
Imbu'd, bring to thir sweetness no satietie.
To whom thus RAPHAEL answer'd heav'nly meek. Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men,
Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd,
Inward and outward both, his image faire: Speaking or mute all comliness and grace
Attends thee, and each word, each motion formes. Nor less think wee in Heav'n of thee on Earth
Then of our fellow servant, and inquire Gladly into the wayes of God with Man:
For God we see hath honour'd thee, and set On Man his equal Love: say therefore on;
For I that Day was absent, as befell, Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,
Farr on excursion toward the Gates of Hell; Squar'd in full Legion (such command we had)
To see that none thence issu'd forth a spie, Or enemie, while God was in his work,
Least hee incenst at such eruption bold, Destruction with Creation might have mixt.
Not that they durst without his leave attempt, But us he sends upon his high behests
For state, as Sovran King, and to enure Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast
shut The dismal Gates, and barricado'd strong;
But long ere our approaching heard within Noise, other then the sound of Dance or Song,
Torment, and lowd lament, and furious rage. Glad we return'd up to the coasts of Light
Ere Sabbath Eev'ning: so we had in charge. But thy relation now; for I attend,
Pleas'd with thy words no less then thou with mine.
So spake the Godlike Power, and thus our Sire. For Man to tell how human Life began
Is hard; for who himself beginning knew? Desire with thee still longer to converse
Induc'd me. As new wak't from soundest sleep Soft on the flourie herb I found me laid
In Balmie Sweat, which with his Beames the Sun
Soon dri'd, and on the reaking moisture fed. Strait toward Heav'n my wondring Eyes I turnd,
And gaz'd a while the ample Skie, till rais'd By quick instinctive motion up I sprung,
As thitherward endevoring, and upright Stood on my feet; about me round I saw
Hill, Dale, and shadie Woods, and sunnie Plaines, And liquid Lapse of murmuring Streams; by
these, Creatures that livd, and movd, and walk'd,
or flew, Birds on the branches warbling; all things
smil'd, With fragrance and with joy my heart oreflow'd.
My self I then perus'd, and Limb by Limb Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes
ran With supple joints, as lively vigour led:
But who I was, or where, or from what cause, Knew not; to speak I tri'd, and forthwith
spake, My Tongue obey'd and readily could name
What e're I saw. Thou Sun, said I, faire Light, And thou enlight'nd Earth, so fresh and gay,
Ye Hills and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plaines,
And ye that live and move, fair Creatures, tell,
Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here? Not of my self; by some great Maker then,
In goodness and in power praeeminent; Tell me, how may I know him, how adore,
From whom I have that thus I move and live, And feel that I am happier then I know.
While thus I call'd, and stray'd I knew not whither,
From where I first drew Aire, and first beheld This happie Light, when answer none return'd,
On a green shadie Bank profuse of Flours Pensive I sate me down; there gentle sleep
First found me, and with soft oppression seis'd My droused sense, untroubl'd, though I thought
I then was passing to my former state Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
When suddenly stood at my Head a dream, Whose inward apparition gently mov'd
My Fancy to believe I yet had being, And livd: One came, methought, of shape Divine,
And said, thy Mansion wants thee, ADAM, rise, First Man, of Men innumerable ordain'd
First Father, call'd by thee I come thy Guide To the Garden of bliss, thy seat prepar'd.
So saying, by the hand he took me rais'd, And over Fields and Waters, as in Aire
Smooth sliding without step, last led me up A woodie Mountain; whose high top was plaine,
A Circuit wide, enclos'd, with goodliest Trees Planted, with Walks, and Bowers, that what
I saw Of Earth before scarse pleasant seemd. Each
Tree Load'n with fairest Fruit, that hung to the
Eye Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite
To pluck and eate; whereat I wak'd, and found Before mine Eyes all real, as the dream
Had lively shadowd: Here had new begun My wandring, had not hee who was my Guide
Up hither, from among the Trees appeer'd, Presence Divine. Rejoycing, but with aw
In adoration at his feet I fell Submiss: he rear'd me, & Whom thou soughtst
I am, Said mildely, Author of all this thou seest
Above, or round about thee or beneath. This Paradise I give thee, count it thine
To Till and keep, and of the Fruit to eate: Of every Tree that in the Garden growes
Eate freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth:
But of the Tree whose operation brings Knowledg of good and ill, which I have set
The Pledge of thy Obedience and thy Faith, Amid the Garden by the Tree of Life,
Remember what I warne thee, shun to taste, And shun the bitter consequence: for know,
The day thou eat'st thereof, my sole command Transgrest, inevitably thou shalt dye;
From that day mortal, and this happie State Shalt loose, expell'd from hence into a World
Of woe and sorrow. Sternly he pronounc'd The rigid interdiction, which resounds
Yet dreadful in mine eare, though in my choice Not to incur; but soon his cleer aspect
Return'd and gratious purpose thus renew'd. Not onely these fair bounds, but all the Earth
To thee and to thy Race I give; as Lords Possess it, and all things that therein live,
Or live in Sea, or Aire, Beast, Fish, and Fowle.
In signe whereof each Bird and Beast behold After thir kindes; I bring them to receave
From thee thir Names, and pay thee fealtie With low subjection; understand the same
Of Fish within thir watry residence, Not hither summond, since they cannot change
Thir Element to draw the thinner Aire. As thus he spake, each Bird and Beast behold
Approaching two and two, These cowring low With blandishment, each Bird stoop'd on his
wing. I nam'd them, as they pass'd, and understood
Thir Nature, with such knowledg God endu'd My sudden apprehension: but in these
I found not what me thought I wanted still; And to the Heav'nly vision thus presum'd.
O by what Name, for thou above all these, Above mankinde, or aught then mankinde higher,
Surpassest farr my naming, how may I Adore thee, Author of this Universe,
And all this good to man, for whose well being So amply, and with hands so liberal
Thou hast provided all things: but with mee I see not who partakes. In solitude
What happiness, who can enjoy alone, Or all enjoying, what contentment find?
Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright, As with a smile more bright'nd, thus repli'd.
What call'st thou solitude, is not the Earth With various living creatures, and the Aire
Replenisht, and all these at thy command To come and play before thee, know'st thou
not Thir language and thir wayes, they also know,
And reason not contemptibly; with these Find pastime, and beare rule; thy Realm is
large. So spake the Universal Lord, and seem'd
So ordering. I with leave of speech implor'd, And humble deprecation thus repli'd.
Let not my words offend thee, Heav'nly Power, My Maker, be propitious while I speak.
Hast thou not made me here thy substitute, And these inferiour farr beneath me set?
Among unequals what societie Can sort, what harmonie or true delight?
Which must be mutual, in proportion due Giv'n and receiv'd; but in disparitie
The one intense, the other still remiss Cannot well suite with either, but soon prove
Tedious alike: Of fellowship I speak Such as I seek, fit to participate
All rational delight, wherein the brute Cannot be human consort; they rejoyce
Each with thir kinde, Lion with Lioness; So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin'd;
Much less can Bird with Beast, or Fish with Fowle
So well converse, nor with the Ox the Ape; Wors then can Man with Beast, and least of
Whereto th' Almighty answer'd, not displeas'd. A nice and suttle happiness I see
Thou to thy self proposest, in the choice Of thy Associates, ADAM, and wilt taste
No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitarie. What thinkst thou then of mee, and this my
State, Seem I to thee sufficiently possest
Of happiness, or not? who am alone From all Eternitie, for none I know
Second to mee or like, equal much less. How have I then with whom to hold converse
Save with the Creatures which I made, and those
To me inferiour, infinite descents Beneath what other Creatures are to thee?
He ceas'd, I lowly answer'd. To attaine The highth and depth of thy Eternal wayes
All human thoughts come short, Supream of things;
Thou in thy self art perfet, and in thee Is no deficience found; not so is Man,
But in degree, the cause of his desire By conversation with his like to help,
Or solace his defects. No need that thou Shouldst propagat, already infinite;
And through all numbers absolute, though One; But Man by number is to manifest
His single imperfection, and beget Like of his like, his Image multipli'd,
In unitie defective, which requires Collateral love, and deerest amitie.
Thou in thy secresie although alone, Best with thy self accompanied, seek'st not
Social communication, yet so pleas'd, Canst raise thy Creature to what highth thou
wilt Of Union or Communion, deifi'd;
I by conversing cannot these erect From prone, nor in thir wayes complacence
find. Thus I embold'nd spake, and freedom us'd
Permissive, and acceptance found, which gain'd This answer from the gratious voice Divine.
Thus farr to try thee, ADAM, I was pleas'd, And finde thee knowing not of Beasts alone,
Which thou hast rightly nam'd, but of thy self,
Expressing well the spirit within thee free, My Image, not imparted to the Brute,
Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike,
And be so minded still; I, ere thou spak'st, Knew it not good for Man to be alone,
And no such companie as then thou saw'st Intended thee, for trial onely brought,
To see how thou could'st judge of fit and meet:
What next I bring shall please thee, be assur'd, Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Thy wish, exactly to thy hearts desire.
Hee ended, or I heard no more, for now My earthly by his Heav'nly overpowerd,
Which it had long stood under, streind to the highth
In that celestial Colloquie sublime, As with an object that excels the sense,
Dazl'd and spent, sunk down, and sought repair Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call'd
By Nature as in aide, and clos'd mine eyes. Mine eyes he clos'd, but op'n left the Cell
Of Fancie my internal sight, by which Abstract as in a transe methought I saw,
Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
Still glorious before whom awake I stood; Who stooping op'nd my left side, and took
From thence a Rib, with cordial spirits warme, And Life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the
wound, But suddenly with flesh fill'd up & heal'd:
The Rib he formd and fashond with his hands; Under his forming hands a Creature grew,
Manlike, but different sex, so lovly faire, That what seemd fair in all the World, seemd
now Mean, or in her summd up, in her containd
And in her looks, which from that time infus'd Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
And into all things from her Aire inspir'd The spirit of love and amorous delight.
She disappeerd, and left me dark, I wak'd To find her, or for ever to deplore
Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure: When out of hope, behold her, not farr off,
Such as I saw her in my dream, adornd With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
To make her amiable: On she came, Led by her Heav'nly Maker, though unseen,
And guided by his voice, nor uninformd Of nuptial Sanctitie and marriage Rites:
Grace was in all her steps, Heav'n in her Eye,
In every gesture dignitie and love. I overjoyd could not forbear aloud.
This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfill'd Thy words, Creator bounteous and benigne,
Giver of all things faire, but fairest this Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
Bone of my Bone, Flesh of my Flesh, my Self Before me; Woman is her Name, of Man
Extracted; for this cause he shall forgoe Father and Mother, and to his Wife adhere;
And they shall be one Flesh, one Heart, one Soule.
She heard me thus, and though divinely brought, Yet Innocence and Virgin Modestie,
Her vertue and the conscience of her worth, That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won,
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retir'd, The more desirable, or to say all,
Nature her self, though pure of sinful thought, Wrought in her so, that seeing me, she turn'd;
I follow'd her, she what was Honour knew, And with obsequious Majestie approv'd
My pleaded reason. To the Nuptial Bowre I led her blushing like the Morn: all Heav'n,
And happie Constellations on that houre Shed thir selectest influence; the Earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each Hill; Joyous the Birds; fresh Gales and gentle Aires
Whisper'd it to the Woods, and from thir wings Flung Rose, flung Odours from the spicie Shrub,
Disporting, till the amorous Bird of Night Sung Spousal, and bid haste the Eevning Starr
On his Hill top, to light the bridal Lamp. Thus I have told thee all my State, and brought
My Storie to the sum of earthly bliss Which I enjoy, and must confess to find
In all things else delight indeed, but such As us'd or not, works in the mind no change,
Nor vehement desire, these delicacies I mean of Taste, Sight, Smell, Herbs, Fruits,
& Flours, Walks, and the melodie of Birds; but here
Farr otherwise, transported I behold, Transported touch; here passion first I felt,
Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else Superiour and unmov'd, here onely weake
Against the charm of Beauties powerful glance. Or Nature faild in mee, and left some part
Not proof enough such Object to sustain, Or from my side subducting, took perhaps
More then enough; at least on her bestow'd Too much of Ornament, in outward shew
Elaborate, of inward less exact. For well I understand in the prime end
Of Nature her th' inferiour, in the mind And inward Faculties, which most excell,
In outward also her resembling less His Image who made both, and less expressing
The character of that Dominion giv'n O're other Creatures; yet when I approach
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems And in her self compleat, so well to know
Her own, that what she wills to do or say, Seems wisest, vertuousest, discreetest, best;
All higher knowledge in her presence falls Degraded, Wisdom in discourse with her
Looses discount'nanc't, and like folly shewes; Authoritie and Reason on her waite,
As one intended first, not after made Occasionally; and to consummate all,
Greatness of mind and nobleness thir seat Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
About her, as a guard Angelic plac't. To whom the Angel with contracted brow.
Accuse not Nature, she hath don her part; Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
Of Wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thou Dismiss not her, when most thou needst her
nigh, By attributing overmuch to things
Less excellent, as thou thy self perceav'st. For what admir'st thou, what transports thee
so, An outside? fair no doubt, and worthy well
Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love, Not thy subjection: weigh with her thy self;
Then value: Oft times nothing profits more Then self-esteem, grounded on just and right
Well manag'd; of that skill the more thou know'st,
The more she will acknowledge thee her Head, And to realities yeild all her shows;
Made so adorn for thy delight the more, So awful, that with honour thou maist love
Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise.
But if the sense of touch whereby mankind Is propagated seem such dear delight
Beyond all other, think the same voutsaf't To Cattel and each Beast; which would not
be To them made common & divulg'd, if aught
Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue The Soule of Man, or passion in him move.
What higher in her societie thou findst Attractive, human, rational, love still;
In loving thou dost well, in passion not, Wherein true Love consists not; love refines
The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat
In Reason, and is judicious, is the scale By which to heav'nly Love thou maist ascend,
Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause Among the Beasts no Mate for thee was found.
To whom thus half abash't ADAM repli'd. Neither her out-side formd so fair, nor aught
In procreation common to all kindes (Though higher of the genial Bed by far,
And with mysterious reverence I deem) So much delights me, as those graceful acts,
Those thousand decencies that daily flow From all her words and actions, mixt with
Love And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
Union of Mind, or in us both one Soule; Harmonie to behold in wedded pair
More grateful then harmonious sound to the eare.
Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose What inward thence I feel, not therefore foild,
Who meet with various objects, from the sense Variously representing; yet still free
Approve the best, and follow what I approve. To love thou blam'st me not, for love thou
saist Leads up to Heav'n, is both the way and guide;
Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask; Love not the heav'nly Spirits, and how thir
Love Express they, by looks onely, or do they mix
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?
To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd Celestial rosie red, Loves proper hue,
Answer'd. Let it suffice thee that thou know'st Us happie, and without Love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence, and obstacle find none Of membrane, joynt, or limb, exclusive barrs:
Easier then Air with Air, if Spirits embrace, Total they mix, Union of Pure with Pure
Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need As Flesh to mix with Flesh, or Soul with Soul.
But I can now no more; the parting Sun Beyond the Earths green Cape and verdant Isles
HESPEREAN sets, my Signal to depart. Be strong, live happie, and love, but first
of all Him whom to love is to obey, and keep
His great command; take heed least Passion sway
Thy Judgement to do aught, which else free Will
Would not admit; thine and of all thy Sons The weal or woe in thee is plac't; beware.
I in thy persevering shall rejoyce, And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or
fall Free in thine own Arbitrement it lies.
Perfet within, no outward aid require; And all temptation to transgress repel.
So saying, he arose; whom ADAM thus Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,
Go heavenly Guest, Ethereal Messenger, Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore.
Gentle to me and affable hath been Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever
With grateful Memorie: thou to mankind Be good and friendly still, and oft return.
So parted they, the Angel up to Heav'n From the thick shade, and ADAM to his Bowre.
No more of talk where God or Angel Guest With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us'd
To sit indulgent, and with him partake Rural repast, permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and
breach Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt
And disobedience: On the part of Heav'n Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgement giv'n, That brought into this World a world of woe,
Sinne and her shadow Death, and Miserie Deaths Harbinger: Sad task, yet argument
Not less but more Heroic then the wrauth Of stern ACHILLES on his Foe pursu'd
Thrice Fugitive about TROY Wall; or rage Of TURNUS for LAVINIA disespous'd,
Or NEPTUN'S ire or JUNO'S, that so long Perplex'd the GREEK and CYTHEREA'S Son;
If answerable style I can obtaine Of my Celestial Patroness, who deignes
Her nightly visitation unimplor'd, And dictates to me slumbring, or inspires
Easie my unpremeditated Verse: Since first this subject for Heroic Song
Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late; Not sedulous by Nature to indite
Warrs, hitherto the onely Argument Heroic deem'd, chief maistrie to dissect
With long and tedious havoc fabl'd Knights In Battels feign'd; the better fortitude
Of Patience and Heroic Martyrdom Unsung; or to describe Races and Games,
Or tilting Furniture, emblazon'd Shields, Impreses quaint, Caparisons and Steeds;
Bases and tinsel Trappings, gorgious Knights At Joust and Torneament; then marshal'd Feast
Serv'd up in Hall with Sewers, and Seneshals; The skill of Artifice or Office mean,
Not that which justly gives Heroic name To Person or to Poem. Mee of these
Nor skilld nor studious, higher Argument Remaines, sufficient of it self to raise
That name, unless an age too late, or cold Climat, or Years damp my intended wing
Deprest, and much they may, if all be mine, Not Hers who brings it nightly to my Ear.
The Sun was sunk, and after him the Starr Of HESPERUS, whose Office is to bring
Twilight upon the Earth, short Arbiter Twixt Day and Night, and now from end to end
Nights Hemisphere had veild the Horizon round: When SATAN who late fled before the threats
Of GABRIEL out of EDEN, now improv'd In meditated fraud and malice, bent
On mans destruction, maugre what might hap Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
By Night he fled, and at Midnight return'd From compassing the Earth, cautious of day,
Since URIEL Regent of the Sun descri'd His entrance, and forewarnd the Cherubim
That kept thir watch; thence full of anguish driv'n,
The space of seven continu'd Nights he rode With darkness, thrice the Equinoctial Line
He circl'd, four times cross'd the Carr of Night
From Pole to Pole, traversing each Colure; On the eighth return'd, and on the Coast averse
From entrance or Cherubic Watch, by stealth Found unsuspected way. There was a place,
Now not, though Sin, not Time, first wraught the change,
Where TIGRIS at the foot of Paradise Into a Gulf shot under ground, till part
Rose up a Fountain by the Tree of Life; In with the River sunk, and with it rose
Satan involv'd in rising Mist, then sought Where to lie hid; Sea he had searcht and Land
From EDEN over PONTUS, and the Poole MAEOTIS, up beyond the River OB;
Downward as farr Antartic; and in length West from ORANTES to the Ocean barr'd
At DARIEN, thence to the Land where flowes GANGES and INDUS: thus the Orb he roam'd
With narrow search; and with inspection deep Consider'd every Creature, which of all
Most opportune might serve his Wiles, and found
The Serpent suttlest Beast of all the Field. Him after long debate, irresolute
Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose Fit Vessel, fittest Imp of fraud, in whom
To enter, and his dark suggestions hide From sharpest sight: for in the wilie Snake,
Whatever sleights none would suspicious mark, As from his wit and native suttletie
Proceeding, which in other Beasts observ'd Doubt might beget of Diabolic pow'r
Active within beyond the sense of brute. Thus he resolv'd, but first from inward griefe
His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd:
O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferrd More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built
With second thoughts, reforming what was old! For what God after better worse would build?
Terrestrial Heav'n, danc't round by other Heav'ns
That shine, yet bear thir bright officious Lamps,
Light above Light, for thee alone, as seems, In thee concentring all thir precious beams
Of sacred influence: As God in Heav'n Is Center, yet extends to all, so thou
Centring receav'st from all those Orbs; in thee,
Not in themselves, all thir known vertue appeers Productive in Herb, Plant, and nobler birth
Of Creatures animate with gradual life Of Growth, Sense, Reason, all summ'd up in
Man. With what delight could I have walkt thee
round If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange
Of Hill and Vallie, Rivers, Woods and Plaines, Now Land, now Sea, & Shores with Forrest crownd,
Rocks, Dens, and Caves; but I in none of these Find place or refuge; and the more I see
Pleasures about me, so much more I feel Torment within me, as from the hateful siege
Of contraries; all good to me becomes Bane, and in Heav'n much worse would be my
state. But neither here seek I, no nor in Heav'n
To dwell, unless by maistring Heav'ns Supreame; Nor hope to be my self less miserable
By what I seek, but others to make such As I though thereby worse to me redound:
For onely in destroying I finde ease To my relentless thoughts; and him destroyd,
Or won to what may work his utter loss, For whom all this was made, all this will
soon Follow, as to him linkt in weal or woe,
In wo then; that destruction wide may range: To mee shall be the glorie sole among
The infernal Powers, in one day to have marr'd What he ALMIGHTIE styl'd, six Nights and Days
Continu'd making, and who knows how long Before had bin contriving, though perhaps
Not longer then since I in one Night freed From servitude inglorious welnigh half
Th' Angelic Name, and thinner left the throng Of his adorers: hee to be aveng'd,
And to repaire his numbers thus impair'd, Whether such vertue spent of old now faild
More Angels to Create, if they at least Are his Created or to spite us more,
Determin'd to advance into our room A Creature form'd of Earth, and him endow,
Exalted from so base original, With Heav'nly spoils, our spoils: What he
decreed He effected; Man he made, and for him built
Magnificent this World, and Earth his seat, Him Lord pronounc'd, and, O indignitie!
Subjected to his service Angel wings, And flaming Ministers to watch and tend
Thir earthlie Charge: Of these the vigilance I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist
Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and prie In every Bush and Brake, where hap may finde
The Serpent sleeping, in whose mazie foulds To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
O foul descent! that I who erst contended With Gods to sit the highest, am now constraind
Into a Beast, and mixt with bestial slime, This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
That to the hight of Deitie aspir'd; But what will not Ambition and Revenge
Descend to? who aspires must down as low As high he soard, obnoxious first or last
To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,
Bitter ere long back on it self recoiles; Let it; I reck not, so it light well aim'd,
Since higher I fall short, on him who next Provokes my envie, this new Favorite
Of Heav'n, this Man of Clay, Son of despite, Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais'd
From dust: spite then with spite is best repaid.
So saying, through each Thicket Danck or Drie, Like a black mist low creeping, he held on
His midnight search, where soonest he might finde
The Serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found In Labyrinth of many a round self-rowl'd,
His head the midst, well stor'd with suttle wiles:
Not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den, Not nocent yet, but on the grassie Herbe
Fearless unfeard he slept: in at his Mouth The Devil enterd, and his brutal sense,
In heart or head, possessing soon inspir'd With act intelligential; but his sleep
Disturbd not, waiting close th' approach of Morn.
Now whenas sacred Light began to dawne In EDEN on the humid Flours, that breathd
Thir morning Incense, when all things that breath,
From th' Earths great Altar send up silent praise
To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill With gratefull Smell, forth came the human
pair And joynd thir vocal Worship to the Quire
Of Creatures wanting voice, that done, partake The season, prime for sweetest Sents and Aires:
Then commune how that day they best may ply Thir growing work: for much thir work outgrew
The hands dispatch of two Gardning so wide. And EVE first to her Husband thus began.
ADAM, well may we labour still to dress This Garden, still to tend Plant, Herb and
Flour. Our pleasant task enjoyn'd, but till more
hands Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
Luxurious by restraint; what we by day Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,
One night or two with wanton growth derides Tending to wilde. Thou therefore now advise
Or hear what to my mind first thoughts present, Let us divide our labours, thou where choice
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind
The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct The clasping Ivie where to climb, while I
In yonder Spring of Roses intermixt With Myrtle, find what to redress till Noon:
For while so near each other thus all day Our task we choose, what wonder if no near
Looks intervene and smiles, or object new Casual discourse draw on, which intermits
Our dayes work brought to little, though begun Early, and th' hour of Supper comes unearn'd.
To whom mild answer ADAM thus return'd. Sole EVE, Associate sole, to me beyond
Compare above all living Creatures deare, Well hast thou motion'd, wel thy thoughts
imployd How we might best fulfill the work which here
God hath assign'd us, nor of me shalt pass Unprais'd: for nothing lovelier can be found
In woman, then to studie houshold good, And good workes in her Husband to promote.
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd Labour, as to debarr us when we need
Refreshment, whether food, or talk between, Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse
Of looks and smiles, for smiles from Reason flow,
To brute deni'd, and are of Love the food, Love not the lowest end of human life.
For not to irksom toile, but to delight He made us, and delight to Reason joyn'd.
These paths and Bowers doubt not but our joynt Will keep from Wilderness with ease, as wide
As we need walk, till younger hands ere long Assist us: But if much converse perhaps
Thee satiate, to short absence I could yeild. For solitude somtimes is best societie,
And short retirement urges sweet returne. But other doubt possesses me, least harm
Befall thee sever'd from me; for thou knowst What hath bin warn'd us, what malicious Foe
Envying our happiness, and of his own Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame
By sly assault; and somwhere nigh at hand Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
His wish and best advantage, us asunder, Hopeless to circumvent us joynd, where each
To other speedie aide might lend at need; Whether his first design be to withdraw
Our fealtie from God, or to disturb Conjugal Love, then which perhaps no bliss
Enjoy'd by us excites his envie more; Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful
side That gave thee being, stil shades thee and
protects. The Wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
Safest and seemliest by her Husband staies, Who guards her, or with her the worst endures.
To whom the Virgin Majestie of EVE, As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,
With sweet austeer composure thus reply'd.
Ofspring of Heav'n and Earth, and all Earths Lord,
That such an enemie we have, who seeks Our ruin, both by thee informd I learne,
And from the parting Angel over-heard As in a shadie nook I stood behind,
Just then returnd at shut of Evening Flours. But that thou shouldst my firmness therefore
doubt To God or thee, because we have a foe
May tempt it, I expected not to hear. His violence thou fearst not, being such,
As wee, not capable of death or paine, Can either not receave, or can repell.
His fraud is then thy fear, which plain inferrs Thy equal fear that my firm Faith and Love
Can by his fraud be shak'n or seduc't; Thoughts, which how found they harbour in
thy Brest, ADAM, misthought of her to thee so dear?
To whom with healing words ADAM reply'd. Daughter of God and Man, immortal EVE,
For such thou art, from sin and blame entire: Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid Th' attempt it self, intended by our Foe.
For hee who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses
The tempted with dishonour foul, suppos'd Not incorruptible of Faith, not prooff
Against temptation: thou thy self with scorne And anger wouldst resent the offer'd wrong,
Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then, If such affront I labour to avert
From thee alone, which on us both at once The Enemie, though bold, will hardly dare,
Or daring, first on mee th' assault shall light.
Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn; Suttle he needs must be, who could seduce
Angels, nor think superfluous others aid. I from the influence of thy looks receave
Access in every Vertue, in thy sight More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need
were Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking
on, Shame to be overcome or over-reacht
Would utmost vigor raise, and rais'd unite. Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee
feel When I am present, and thy trial choose
With me, best witness of thy Vertue tri'd.
So spake domestick ADAM in his care And Matrimonial Love, but EVE, who thought
Less attributed to her Faith sincere, Thus her reply with accent sweet renewd.
If this be our condition, thus to dwell In narrow circuit strait'nd by a Foe,
Suttle or violent, we not endu'd Single with like defence, wherever met,
How are we happie, still in fear of harm? But harm precedes not sin: onely our Foe
Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem Of our integritie: his foul esteeme
Sticks no dishonor on our Front, but turns Foul on himself; then wherfore shund or feard
By us? who rather double honour gaine From his surmise prov'd false, finde peace
within, Favour from Heav'n, our witness from th' event.
And what is Faith, Love, Vertue unassaid Alone, without exterior help sustaind?
Let us not then suspect our happie State Left so imperfet by the Maker wise,
As not secure to single or combin'd. Fraile is our happiness, if this be so,
And EDEN were no EDEN thus expos'd.
To whom thus ADAM fervently repli'd. O Woman, best are all things as the will
Of God ordaind them, his creating hand Nothing imperfet or deficient left
Of all that he Created, much less Man, Or ought that might his happie State secure,
Secure from outward force; within himself The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
Against his will he can receave no harme. But God left free the Will, for what obeyes
Reason, is free, and Reason he made right, But bid her well beware, and still erect,
Least by some faire appeering good surpris'd She dictate false, and missinforme the Will
To do what God expresly hath forbid. Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoynes,
That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me.
Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve, Since Reason not impossibly may meet
Some specious object by the Foe subornd, And fall into deception unaware,
Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warnd. Seek not temptation then, which to avoide
Were better, and most likelie if from mee Thou sever not; Trial will come unsought.
Wouldst thou approve thy constancie, approve First thy obedience; th' other who can know,
Not seeing thee attempted, who attest? But if thou think, trial unsought may finde
Us both securer then thus warnd thou seemst, Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more;
Go in thy native innocence, relie On what thou hast of vertue, summon all,
For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine.
So spake the Patriarch of Mankinde, but EVE Persisted, yet submiss, though last, repli'd.
With thy permission then, and thus forewarnd Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words
Touchd onely, that our trial, when least sought, May finde us both perhaps farr less prepar'd,
The willinger I goe, nor much expect A Foe so proud will first the weaker seek;
So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse. Thus saying, from her Husbands hand her hand
Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light OREAD or DRYAD, or of DELIA's Traine,
Betook her to the Groves, but DELIA's self In gate surpass'd and Goddess-like deport,
Though not as shee with Bow and Quiver armd, But with such Gardning Tools as Are yet rude,
Guiltless of fire had formd, or Angels brought, To PALES, or POMONA, thus adornd,
Likest she seemd, POMONA when she fled VERTUMNUS, or to CERES in her Prime,
Yet Virgin of PROSERPINA from JOVE. Her long with ardent look his EYE pursu'd
Delighted, but desiring more her stay. Oft he to her his charge of quick returne,
Repeated, shee to him as oft engag'd To be returnd by Noon amid the Bowre,
And all things in best order to invite Noontide repast, or Afternoons repose.
O much deceav'd, much failing, hapless EVE, Of thy presum'd return! event perverse!
Thou never from that houre in Paradise Foundst either sweet repast, or found repose;
Such ambush hid among sweet Flours and Shades Waited with hellish rancor imminent
To intercept thy way, or send thee back Despoild of Innocence, of Faith, of Bliss.
For now, and since first break of dawne the Fiend,
Meer Serpent in appearance, forth was come, And on his Quest, where likeliest he might
finde The onely two of Mankinde, but in them
The whole included Race, his purposd prey. In Bowre and Field he sought, where any tuft
Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay, Thir tendance or Plantation for delight,
By Fountain or by shadie Rivulet He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might
find EVE separate, he wish'd, but not with hope
Of what so seldom chanc'd, when to his wish, Beyond his hope, EVE separate he spies,
Veild in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood, Half spi'd, so thick the Roses bushing round
About her glowd, oft stooping to support Each Flour of slender stalk, whose head though
gay Carnation, Purple, Azure, or spect with Gold,
Hung drooping unsustaind, them she upstaies Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while,
Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour, From her best prop so farr, and storn so nigh.
Neererhe drew, and many a walk travers'd Of stateliest Covert, Cedar, Pine, or Palme,
Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen Among thick-wov'n Arborets and Flours
Imborderd on each Bank, the hand of EVE: Spot more delicious then those Gardens feign'd
Or of reviv'd ADONIS, or renownd ALCINOUS, host of old LAERTES Son,
Or that, not Mystic, where the Sapient King Held dalliance with his faire EGYPTIAN Spouse.
Much hee the Place admir'd, the Person more. As one who long in populous City pent,
Where Houses thick and Sewers annoy the Aire, Forth issuing on a Summers Morn, to breathe
Among the pleasant Villages and Farmes Adjoynd, from each thing met conceaves delight,
The smell of Grain, or tedded Grass, or Kine, Or Dairie, each rural sight, each rural sound;
If chance with Nymphlike step fair Virgin pass,
What pleasing seemd, for her now pleases more, She most, and in her look summs all Delight.
Such Pleasure took the Serpent to behold This Flourie Plat, the sweet recess of EVE
Thus earlie, thus alone; her Heav'nly forme Angelic, but more soft, and Feminine,
Her graceful Innocence, her every Aire Of gesture or lest action overawd
His Malice, and with rapine sweet bereav'd His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought:
That space the Evil one abstracted stood From his own evil, and for the time remaind
Stupidly good, of enmitie disarm'd, Of guile, of hate, of envie, of revenge;
But the hot Hell that alwayes in him burnes, Though in mid Heav'n, soon ended his delight,
And tortures him now more, the more he sees Of pleasure not for him ordain'd: then soon
Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites.
Thoughts, whither have he led me, with what sweet
Compulsion thus transported to forget What hither brought us, hate, not love, nor
hope Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste
Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy, Save what is in destroying, other joy
To me is lost. Then let me not let pass Occasion which now smiles, behold alone
The Woman, opportune to all attempts, Her Husband, for I view far round, not nigh,
Whose higher intellectual more I shun, And strength, of courage hautie, and of limb
Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould, Foe not informidable, exempt from wound,
I not; so much hath Hell debas'd, and paine Infeebl'd me, to what I was in Heav'n.
Shee fair, divinely fair, fit Love for Gods, Not terrible, though terrour be in Love
And beautie, not approacht by stronger hate, Hate stronger, under shew of Love well feign'd,
The way which to her ruin now I tend.
So spake the Enemie of Mankind, enclos'd In Serpent, Inmate bad, and toward EVE
Address'd his way, not with indented wave, Prone on the ground, as since, but on his
reare, Circular base of rising foulds, that tour'd
Fould above fould a surging Maze, his Head Crested aloft, and Carbuncle his Eyes;
With burnisht Neck of verdant Gold, erect Amidst his circling Spires, that on the grass
Floted redundant: pleasing was his shape, And lovely, never since of Serpent kind
Lovelier, not those that in ILLYRIA chang'd HERMIONE and CADMUS, or the God
In EPIDAURUS; nor to which transformd AMMONIAN JOVE, or CAPITOLINE was seen,
Hee with OLYMPIAS, this with her who bore SCIPIO the highth of ROME. With tract oblique
At first, as one who sought access, but feard To interrupt, side-long he works his way.
End of Book Eight, Part One.