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Paradise Lost in Plain English
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Paradise Lost

~ BOOK XI ~

  1. Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood
  2. Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above
  3. Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd
  4. The stonie from thir hearts, & made new flesh
  5. Regenerate grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
  6. Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
  7. Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight
  8. Then loudest Oratorie: yet thir port
  9. Not of mean suiters, nor important less
  10. Seem'd thir Petition, then when th' ancient Pair
  11. In Fables old, less ancient yet then these,
  12. Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore
  13. The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine
  14. Of Themis stood devout. To Heav'n thir prayers
  15. Flew up, nor missd the way, by envious windes
  16. Blow'n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd
  17. Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then clad
  18. With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd,
  19. By thir great Intercessor, came in sight
  20. Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son
  21. Presenting, thus to intercede began.
  22. See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung
  23. From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs
  24. And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt
  25. With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring,
  26. Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
  27. Sow'n with contrition in his heart, then those
  28. Which his own hand manuring all the Trees
  29. Of Paradise could have produc't, ere fall'n
  30. From innocence. Now therefore bend thine eare
  31. To supplication, heare his sighs though mute;
  32. Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee
  33. Interpret for him, mee his Advocate
  34. And propitiation, all his works on mee
  35. Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those
  36. Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay.
  37. Accept me, and in mee from these receave
  38. The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live
  39. Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
  40. Numberd, though sad, till Death, his doom (which I
  41. To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)
  42. To better life shall yeeld him, where with mee
  43. All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss,
  44. Made one with me as I with thee am one.
..............

IN PLAIN ENGLISH

. CHAPTER 11

  1. They prayed sincerely. God's grace had removed all the bad emotions from their hearts.
  2. Their sad sighs told him more than any words they could have said.
  3. The Greeks have a myth about Deucalion and his wife, who survived a world-wide flood, like Noah. They prayed that mankind could be restored--the same thing Adam and Eve were praying for now.
  4. Their invisible prayers reached Heaven, where the Son of God covered them with incense and brought them to his father's throne.
  5. Father, let me show you the first results of the heavenly grace you placed on man, he said. As your priest, I bring you these sighs and prayers, mixed with incense, in this gold cup.
  6. These are sweeter than all the delicious fruits he could have grown in Paradise before he fell.
  7. Listen to his sighs.
  8. He may not have the greatest skill in choosing the right words to pray with, so let me speak for him.
  9. I'll be his advocate. I'll place my spirit in him. I'll help him perfect his good qualities, and I'll pay for his sins with my own death.
  10. Let me bring peace to mankind for the limited time he has to live.
  11. I only want to soften his punishment, not eliminate it. He must die, after all.
  12. But a better life waits for him.
  13. Then everybody who is saved can live a new, happy life, joined with me, the way I am joined with you.
  1. To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene.
  2. All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
  3. Obtain, all thy request was my Decree:
  4. But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
  5. The Law I gave to Nature him forbids:
  6. Those pure immortal Elements that know
  7. No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule,
  8. Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
  9. As a distemper, gross to aire as gross,
  10. And mortal food, as may dispose him best
  11. For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first
  12. Distemperd all things, and of incorrupt
  13. Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts
  14. Created him endowd, with Happiness
  15. And Immortalitie: that fondly lost,
  16. This other serv'd but to eternize woe;
  17. Till I provided Death; so Death becomes
  18. His final remedie, and after Life
  19. Tri'd in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
  20. By Faith and faithful works, to second Life,
  21. Wak't in the renovation of the just,
  22. Resignes him up with Heav'n and Earth renewd.
  23. But let us call to Synod all the Blest
  24. Through Heav'ns wide bounds; from them I will not hide
  25. My judgments, how with Mankind I proceed,
  26. As how with peccant Angels late they saw;
  27. And in thir state, though firm, stood more confirmd.
  28. He ended, and the Son gave signal high
  29. To the bright Minister that watchd, hee blew
  30. His Trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
  31. When God descended, and perhaps once more
  32. To sound at general Doom. Th' Angelic blast
  33. Filld all the Regions: from thir blissful Bowrs
  34. Of Amarantin Shade, Fountain or Spring,
  35. By the waters of Life, where ere they sate
  36. In fellowships of joy: the Sons of Light
  37. Hasted, resorting to the Summons high,
  38. And took thir Seats; till from his Throne supream
  39. Th' Almighty thus pronouncd his sovran Will.
  40. O Sons, like one of us Man is become
  41. To know both Good and Evil, since his taste
  42. Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast
  43. His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got,
  44. Happier, had suffic'd him to have known
  45. Good by it self, and Evil not at all.
  46. He sorrows now, repents, and prayes contrite,
  47. My motions in him, longer then they move,
  48. His heart I know, how variable and vain
  49. Self-left. Least therefore his now bolder hand
  50. Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
  51. And live for ever, dream at least to live
  52. For ever, to remove him I decree,
  53. And send him from the Garden forth to Till
  54. The Ground whence he was taken, fitter soile.
  55. Michael, this my behest have thou in charge,
  56. Take to thee from among the Cherubim
  57. Thy choice of flaming Warriours, least the Fiend
  58. Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
  59. Vacant possession som new trouble raise:
  60. Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God
  61. Without remorse drive out the sinful Pair,
  62. From hallowd ground th' unholie, and denounce
  63. To them and to thir Progenie from thence
  64. Perpetual banishment. Yet least they faint
  65. At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd,
  66. For I behold them softn'd and with tears
  67. Bewailing thir excess, all terror hide.
  68. If patiently thy bidding they obey,
  69. Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveale
  70. To Adam what shall come in future dayes,
  71. As I shall thee enlighten, intermix
  72. My Cov'nant in the womans seed renewd;
  73. So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
  74. And on the East side of the Garden place,
  75. Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbes,
  76. Cherubic watch, and of a Sword the flame
  77. Wide waving, all approach farr off to fright,
  78. And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:
  79. Least Paradise a receptacle prove
  80. To Spirits foule, and all my Trees thir prey,
  81. With whose stol'n Fruit Man once more to delude.
  82. He ceas'd; and th' Archangelic Power prepar'd
  83. For swift descent, with him the Cohort bright
  84. Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each
  85. Had, like a double Janus, all thir shape
  86. Spangl'd with eyes more numerous then those
  87. Of Argus, and more wakeful then to drouze,
  88. Charm'd with Arcadian Pipe, the Pastoral Reed
  89. Of Hermes, or his opiate Rod. Mean while
  90. To resalute the World with sacred Light
  91. Leucothea wak'd, and with fresh dews imbalmd
  92. The Earth, when Adam and first Matron Eve
  93. Had ended now thir Orisons, and found,
  94. Strength added from above, new hope to spring
  95. Out of despaire, joy, but with fear yet linkt;
  96. Which thus to Eve his welcome words renewd.
  97. Eve, easily may Faith admit, that all
  98. The good which we enjoy, from Heav'n descends;
  99. But that from us ought should ascend to Heav'n
  100. So prevalent as to concerne the mind
  101. Of God high-blest, or to incline his will,
  102. Hard to belief may seem; yet this will Prayer,
  103. Or one short sigh of humane breath, up-borne
  104. Ev'n to the Seat of God. For since I saught
  105. By Prayer th' offended Deitie to appease,
  106. Kneel'd and before him humbl'd all my heart,
  107. Methought I saw him placable and mild,
  108. Bending his eare; perswasion in me grew
  109. That I was heard with favour; peace returnd
  110. Home to my brest, and to my memorie
  111. His promise, that thy Seed shall bruise our Foe;
  112. Which then not minded in dismay, yet now
  113. Assures me that the bitterness of death
  114. Is past, and we shall live. Whence Haile to thee,
  115. Eve rightly call'd, Mother of all Mankind,
  116. Mother of all things living, since by thee
  117. Man is to live, and all things live for Man.
  118. To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek.
  119. Ill worthie I such title should belong
  120. To me transgressour, who for thee ordaind
  121. A help, became thy snare; to mee reproach
  122. Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise:
  123. But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
  124. That I who first brought Death on all, am grac't
  125. The sourse of life; next favourable thou,
  126. Who highly thus to entitle me voutsaf'st,
  127. Farr other name deserving. But the Field
  128. To labour calls us now with sweat impos'd,
  129. Though after sleepless Night; for see the Morn,
  130. All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins
  131. Her rosie progress smiling; let us forth,
  132. I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
  133. Wherere our days work lies, though now enjoind
  134. Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
  135. What can be toilsom in these pleasant Walkes?
  136. Here let us live, though in fall'n state, content.
  137. So spake, so wish'd much-humbl'd Eve, but Fate
  138. Subscrib'd not; Nature first gave Signs, imprest
  139. On Bird, Beast, Aire, Aire suddenly eclips'd
  140. After short blush of Morn; nigh in her sight
  141. The Bird of Jove, stoopt from his aerie tour,
  142. Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove:
  143. Down from a Hill the Beast that reigns in Woods,
  144. First hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace,
  145. Goodliest of all the Forrest, Hart and Hinde;
  146. Direct to th' Eastern Gate was bent thir flight.
  147. Adam observ'd, and with his Eye the chase
  148. Pursuing, not unmov'd to Eve thus spake.
  149. O Eve, some furder change awaits us nigh,
  150. Which Heav'n by these mute signs in Nature shews
  151. Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn
  152. Us haply too secure of our discharge
  153. From penaltie, because from death releast
  154. Some days; how long, and what till then our life,
  155. Who knows, or more then this, that we are dust,
  156. And thither must return and be no more.
  157. Why else this double object in our sight
  158. Of flight pursu'd in th' Air and ore the ground
  159. One way the self-same hour? why in the East
  160. Darkness ere Dayes mid-course, and Morning light
  161. More orient in yon Western Cloud that draws
  162. O're the blew Firmament a radiant white,
  163. And slow descends, with somthing heav'nly fraught.
  164. He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly Bands
  165. Down from a Skie of Jasper lighted now
  166. In Paradise, and on a Hill made alt,
  167. A glorious Apparition, had not doubt
  168. And carnal fear that day dimm'd Adams eye.
  169. Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
  170. Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw
  171. The field Pavilion'd with his Guardians bright;
  172. Nor that which on the flaming Mount appeerd
  173. In Dothan, cover'd with a Camp of Fire,
  174. Against the Syrian King, who to surprize
  175. One man, Assassin-like had levied Warr,
  176. Warr unproclam'd. The Princely Hierarch
  177. In thir bright stand, there left his Powers to seise
  178. Possession of the Garden; hee alone,
  179. To find where Adam shelterd, took his way,
  180. Not unperceav'd of Adam, who to Eve,
  181. While the great Visitant approachd, thus spake.
  182. Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps
  183. Of us will soon determin, or impose
  184. New Laws to be observ'd; for I descrie
  185. From yonder blazing Cloud that veils the Hill
  186. One of the heav'nly Host, and by his Gate
  187. None of the meanest, some great Potentate
  188. Or of the Thrones above, such Majestie
  189. Invests him coming? yet not terrible,
  190. That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
  191. As Raphael, that I should much confide,
  192. But solemn and sublime, whom not to offend,
  193. With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.
  194. He ended; and th' Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
  195. Not in his shape Celestial, but as Man
  196. Clad to meet Man; over his lucid Armes
  197. A militarie Vest of purple flowd
  198. Livelier then Meliban, or the graine
  199. Of Sarra, worn by Kings and Hero's old
  200. In time of Truce; Iris had dipt the wooff;
  201. His starrie Helme unbuckl'd shew'd him prime
  202. In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side
  203. As in a glistering Zodiac hung the Sword,
  204. Satans dire dread, and in his hand the Spear.
  205. Adam bowd low, hee Kingly from his State
  206. Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd.
  207. Adam, Heav'ns high behest no Preface needs:
  208. Sufficient that thy Prayers are heard, and Death,
  209. Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
  210. Defeated of his seisure many dayes
  211. Giv'n thee of Grace, wherein thou may'st repent,
  212. And one bad act with many deeds well done
  213. Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord appeas'd
  214. Redeem thee quite from Deaths rapacious claime;
  215. But longer in this Paradise to dwell
  216. Permits not; to remove thee I am come,
  217. And send thee from the Garden forth to till
  218. The ground whence thou wast tak'n, fitter Soile.
  219. He added not, for Adam at the newes
  220. Heart-strook with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
  221. That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen
  222. Yet all had heard, with audible lament
  223. Discover'd soon the place of her retire.
  224. O unexpected stroke, worse then of Death!
  225. Must I thus leave thee Paradise? thus leave
  226. Thee Native Soile, these happie Walks and Shades,
  227. Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,
  228. Quiet though sad, the respit of that day
  229. That must be mortal to us both. O flours,
  230. That never will in other Climate grow,
  231. My early visitation, and my last
  232. At Eev'n, which I bred up with tender hand
  233. From the first op'ning bud, and gave ye Names,
  234. Who now shall reare ye to the Sun, or ranke
  235. Your Tribes, and water from th' ambrosial Fount?
  236. Thee lastly nuptial Bowre, by mee adornd
  237. With what to sight or smell was sweet; from thee
  238. How shall I part, and whither wander down
  239. Into a lower World, to this obscure
  240. And wilde, how shall we breath in other Aire
  241. Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits?
  242. Whom thus the Angel interrupted milde.
  243. Lament not Eve, but patiently resigne
  244. What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
  245. Thus over-fond, on that which is not thine;
  246. Thy going is not lonely, with thee goes
  247. Thy Husband, him to follow thou art bound;
  248. Where he abides, think there thy native soile.
  249. Adam by this from the cold sudden damp
  250. Recovering, and his scatterd spirits returnd,
  251. To Michael thus his humble words addressd.
  252. Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or nam'd
  253. Of them the Highest, for such of shape may seem
  254. Prince above Princes, gently hast thou tould
  255. Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
  256. And in performing end us; what besides
  257. Of sorrow and dejection and despair
  258. Our frailtie can sustain, thy tidings bring,
  259. Departure from this happy place, our sweet
  260. Recess, and onely consolation left
  261. Familiar to our eyes, all places else
  262. Inhospitable appeer and desolate,
  263. Nor knowing us nor known: and if by prayer
  264. Incessant I could hope to change the will
  265. Of him who all things can, I would not cease
  266. To wearie him with my assiduous cries:
  267. But prayer against his absolute Decree
  268. No more availes then breath against the winde,
  269. Blown stifling back on him that breaths it forth:
  270. Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
  271. This most afflicts me, that departing hence,
  272. As from his face I shall be hid, deprivd
  273. His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent,
  274. With worship, place by place where he voutsaf'd
  275. Presence Divine, and to my Sons relate;
  276. On this Mount he appeerd, under this Tree
  277. Stood visible, among these Pines his voice
  278. I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk'd:
  279. So many grateful Altars I would reare
  280. Of grassie Terfe, and pile up every Stone
  281. Of lustre from the brook, in memorie,
  282. Or monument to Ages, and thereon
  283. Offer sweet smelling Gumms and Fruits and Flours:
  284. In yonder nether World where shall I seek
  285. His bright appearances, or foot step-trace?
  286. For though I fled him angrie, yet recall'd
  287. To life prolongd and promisd Race, I now
  288. Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
  289. Of glory, and farr off his steps adore.
  290. To whom thus Michael with regard benigne.
  291. Adam, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth.
  292. Not this Rock onely; his Omnipresence fills
  293. Land, Sea, and Aire, and every kinde that lives,
  294. Fomented by his virtual power and warmd:
  295. All th' Earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
  296. No despicable gift; surmise not then
  297. His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd
  298. Of Paradise or Eden: this had been
  299. Perhaps thy Capital Seate, from whence had spred
  300. All generations, and had hither come
  301. From all the ends of th' Earth, to celebrate
  302. And reverence thee thir great Progenitor.
  303. But this preminence thou hast lost, brought down
  304. To dwell on eeven ground now with thy Sons:
  305. Yet doubt not but in Vallie and in Plaine
  306. God is as here, and will be found alike
  307. Present, and of his presence many a signe
  308. Still following thee, still compassing thee round
  309. With goodness and paternal Love, his Face
  310. Express, and of his steps the track Divine.
  311. Which that thou mayst beleeve, and be confirmd
  312. Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
  313. To shew thee what shall come in future dayes
  314. To thee and to thy Ofspring; good with bad
  315. Expect to hear, supernal Grace contending
  316. With sinfulness of Men; thereby to learn
  317. True patience, and to temper joy with fear
  318. And pious sorrow, equally enur'd
  319. By moderation either state to beare,
  320. Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead
  321. Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure
  322. Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
  323. This Hill; let Eve (for I have drencht her eyes)
  324. Here sleep below while thou to foresight wak'st,
  325. As once thou slepst, while Shee to life was formd.
  326. To whom thus Adam gratefully repli'd.
  327. Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path
  328. Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heav'n submit,
  329. However chast'ning, to the evil turne
  330. My obvious breast, arming to overcom
  331. By suffering, and earne rest from labour won,
  332. If so I may attain. So both ascend
  333. In the Visions of God: It was a Hill
  334. Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
  335. The Hemisphere of Earth in cleerest Ken
  336. Stretcht out to amplest reach of prospect lay.
  337. Not higher that Hill nor wider looking round,
  338. Whereon for different cause the Tempter set
  339. Our second Adam in the Wilderness,
  340. To shew him all Earths Kingdomes and thir Glory.
  341. His Eye might there command wherever stood
  342. City of old or modern Fame, the Seat
  343. Of mightiest Empire, from the destind Walls
  344. Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can
  345. And Samarchand by Oxus, Temirs Throne,
  346. To Paquin of Sinan Kings, and thence
  347. To Agra and Lahor of great Mogul
  348. Down to the golden Chersonese, or where
  349. The Persian in Ecbatan sate, or since
  350. In Hispahan, or where the Russian Ksar
  351. In Mosco, or the Sultan in Bizance,
  352. Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken
  353. Th' Empire of Negus to his utmost Port
  354. Ercoco and the less Maritim Kings
  355. Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
  356. And Sofala thought Ophir, to the Realme
  357. Of Congo, and Angola fardest South;
  358. Or thence from Niger Flood to Atlas Mount
  359. The Kingdoms of Almansor, Fez and Sus,
  360. Marocco and Algiers, and Tremisen;
  361. On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway
  362. The World: in Spirit perhaps he also saw
  363. Rich Mexico the seat of Motezume,
  364. And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
  365. Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil'd
  366. Guiana, whose great Citie Geryons Sons
  367. Call El Dorado: but to nobler sights
  368. Michael from Adams eyes the Filme remov'd
  369. Which that false Fruit that promis'd clearer sight
  370. Had bred; then purg'd with Euphrasie and Rue
  371. The visual Nerve, for he had much to see;
  372. And from the Well of Life three drops instill'd.
  373. So deep the power of these Ingredients pierc'd,
  374. Eevn to the inmost seat of mental sight,
  375. That Adam now enforc't to close his eyes,
  376. Sunk down and all his Spirits became intranst:
  377. But him the gentle Angel by the hand
  378. Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall'd.
  379. Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold
  380. Th' effects which thy original crime hath wrought
  381. In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd
  382. Th' excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir'd,
  383. Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive
  384. Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds.
  385. His eyes he op'nd, and beheld a field,
  386. Part arable and tilth, whereon were Sheaves
  387. New reapt, the other part sheep-walks and foulds;
  388. Ith' midst an Altar as the Land-mark stood
  389. Rustic, of grassie sord; thither anon
  390. A sweatie Reaper from his Tillage brought
  391. First Fruits, the green Eare, and the yellow Sheaf,
  392. Uncull'd, as came to hand; a Shepherd next
  393. More meek came with the Firstlings of his Flock
  394. Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid
  395. The Inwards and thir Fat, with Incense strew'd,
  396. On the cleft Wood, and all due Rites perform'd.
  397. His Offring soon propitious Fire from Heav'n
  398. Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steame;
  399. The others not, for his was not sincere;
  400. Whereat hee inlie rag'd, and as they talk'd,
  401. Smote him into the Midriff with a stone
  402. That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale
  403. Groand out his Soul with gushing bloud effus'd.
  404. Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
  405. Dismai'd, and thus in haste to th' Angel cri'd.
  406. O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n
  407. To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd;
  408. Is Pietie thus and pure Devotion paid?
  409. T' whom Michael thus, hee also mov'd, repli'd.
  410. These two are Brethren, Adam, and to come
  411. Out of thy loyns; th' unjust the just hath slain,
  412. For envie that his Brothers Offering found
  413. From Heav'n acceptance; but the bloodie Fact
  414. Will be aveng'd, and th' others Faith approv'd
  415. Loose no reward, though here thou see him die,
  416. Rowling in dust and gore. To which our Sire.
  417. Alas, both for the deed and for the cause!
  418. But have I now seen Death? Is this the way
  419. I must return to native dust? O sight
  420. Of terrour, foul and ugly to behold,
  421. Horrid to think, how horrible to feel!
  422. To whom thus Michael. Death thou hast seen
  423. In his first shape on man; but many shapes
  424. Of Death, and many are the wayes that lead
  425. To his grim Cave, all dismal; yet to sense
  426. More terrible at th' entrance then within.
  427. Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die,
  428. By Fire, Flood, Famin, by Intemperance more
  429. In Meats and Drinks, which on the Earth shall bring
  430. Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
  431. Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know
  432. What miserie th' inabstinence of Eve
  433. Shall bring on men. Immediately a place
  434. Before his eyes appeard, sad, noysom, dark,
  435. A Lazar-house it seemd, wherein were laid
  436. Numbers of all diseas'd, all maladies
  437. Of gastly Spasm, or racking torture, qualmes
  438. Of heart-sick Agonie, all feavorous kinds,
  439. Convulsions, Epilepsies, fierce Catarrhs,
  440. Intestin Stone and Ulcer, Colic pangs,
  441. Dmoniac Phrenzie, moaping Melancholie
  442. And Moon-struck madness, pining Atrophie
  443. Marasmus and wide-wasting Pestilence,
  444. Dropsies, and Asthma's, and Joint-racking Rheums.
  445. Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, despair
  446. Tended the sick busiest from Couch to Couch;
  447. And over them triumphant Death his Dart
  448. Shook, but delaid to strike, though oft invokt
  449. With vows, as thir chief good, and final hope.
  450. Sight so deform what heart of Rock could long
  451. Drie-ey'd behold? Adam could not, but wept,
  452. Though not of Woman born; compassion quell'd
  453. His best of Man, and gave him up to tears
  454. A space, till firmer thoughts restraind excess,
  455. And scarce recovering words his plaint renew'd.
  456. O miserable Mankind, to what fall
  457. Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd!
  458. Better end heer unborn. Why is life giv'n
  459. To be thus wrested from us? rather why
  460. Obtruded on us thus? who if we knew
  461. What we receive, would either not accept
  462. Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down,
  463. Glad to be so dismist in peace. Can thus
  464. Th' Image of God in man created once
  465. So goodly and erect, though faultie since,
  466. To such unsightly sufferings be debas't
  467. Under inhuman pains? Why should not Man,
  468. Retaining still Divine similitude
  469. In part, from such deformities be free,
  470. And for his Makers Image sake exempt?
  471. Thir Makers Image, answerd Michael, then
  472. Forsook them, when themselves they villifi'd
  473. To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took
  474. His Image whom they serv'd, a brutish vice,
  475. Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve.
  476. Therefore so abject is thir punishment,
  477. Disfiguring not Gods likeness, but thir own,
  478. Or if his likeness, by themselves defac't
  479. While they pervert pure Natures healthful rules
  480. To loathsom sickness, worthily, since they
  481. Gods Image did not reverence in themselves.
  482. I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.
  483. But is there yet no other way, besides
  484. These painful passages, how we may come
  485. To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?
  486. There is, said Michael, if thou well observe
  487. The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
  488. In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence
  489. Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
  490. Till many years over thy head return:
  491. So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop
  492. Into thy Mothers lap, or be with ease
  493. Gatherd, not harshly pluckt, for death mature:
  494. This is old age; but then thou must outlive
  495. Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
  496. To witherd weak and gray; thy Senses then
  497. Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forgoe,
  498. To what thou hast, and for the Aire of youth
  499. Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reigne
  500. A melancholly damp of cold and dry
  501. To weigh thy spirits down, and last consume
  502. The Balme of Life. To whom our Ancestor.
  503. Henceforth I flie not Death, nor would prolong
  504. Life much, bent rather how I may be quit
  505. Fairest and easiest of this combrous charge,
  506. Which I must keep till my appointed day
  507. Of rendring up, and patiently attend
  508. My dissolution. Michael repli'd,
  509. Nor love thy Life, nor hate; but what thou livst
  510. Live well, how long or short permit to Heav'n:
  511. And now prepare thee for another sight.
  512. He lookd and saw a spacious Plaine, whereon
  513. Were Tents of various hue; by some were herds
  514. Of Cattel grazing: others, whence the sound
  515. Of Instruments that made melodious chime
  516. Was heard, of Harp and Organ; and who moovd
  517. Thir stops and chords was seen: his volant touch
  518. Instinct through all proportions low and high
  519. Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue.
  520. In other part stood one who at the Forge
  521. Labouring, two massie clods of Iron and Brass
  522. Had melted (whether found where casual fire
  523. Had wasted woods on Mountain or in Vale,
  524. Down to the veins of Earth, thence gliding hot
  525. To som Caves mouth, or whether washt by stream
  526. From underground) the liquid Ore he dreind
  527. Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he formd
  528. First his own Tooles; then, what might else be wrought
  529. Fusil or grav'n in mettle. After these,
  530. But on the hether side a different sort
  531. From the high neighbouring Hills, which was thir Seat,
  532. Down to the Plain descended: by thir guise
  533. Just men they seemd, and all thir study bent
  534. To worship God aright, and know his works
  535. Not hid, nor those things last which might preserve
  536. Freedom and Peace to men: they on the Plain
  537. Long had not walkt, when from the Tents behold
  538. A Beavie of fair Women, richly gay
  539. In Gems and wanton dress; to the Harp they sung
  540. Soft amorous Ditties, and in dance came on:
  541. The Men though grave, ey'd them, and let thir eyes
  542. Rove without rein, till in the amorous Net
  543. Fast caught, they lik'd, and each his liking chose;
  544. And now of love they treat till th'Eevning Star
  545. Loves Harbinger appeerd; then all in heat
  546. They light the Nuptial Torch, and bid invoke
  547. Hymen, then first to marriage Rites invok't;
  548. With Feast and Musick all the Tents resound.
  549. Such happy interview and fair event
  550. Of love and youth not lost, Songs, Garlands, Flours,
  551. And charming Symphonies attach'd the heart
  552. Of Adam, soon enclin'd to admit delight,
  553. The bent of Nature; which he thus express'd.
  554. True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest,
  555. Much better seems this Vision, and more hope
  556. Of peaceful dayes portends, then those two past;
  557. Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse,
  558. Here Nature seems fulfilld in all her ends.
  559. To whom thus Michael. Judg not what is best
  560. By pleasure, though to Nature seeming meet,
  561. Created, as thou art, to nobler end
  562. Holie and pure, conformitie divine.
  563. Those Tents thou sawst so pleasant, were the Tents
  564. Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his Race
  565. Who slew his Brother; studious they appere
  566. Of Arts that polish Life, Inventers rare,
  567. Unmindful of thir Maker, though his Spirit
  568. Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none.
  569. Yet they a beauteous ofspring shall beget;
  570. For that fair femal Troop thou sawst, that seemd
  571. Of Goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,
  572. Yet empty of all good wherein consists
  573. Womans domestic honour and chief praise;
  574. Bred onely and completed to the taste
  575. Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance,
  576. To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roule the Eye.
  577. To these that sober Race of Men, whose lives
  578. Religious titl'd them the Sons of God,
  579. Shall yield up all thir vertue, all thir fame
  580. Ignobly, to the traines and to the smiles
  581. Of these fair Atheists, and now swim in joy,
  582. (Erelong to swim at large) and laugh; for which
  583. The world erelong a world of tears must weepe.
  584. To whom thus Adam of short joy bereft.
  585. O pittie and shame, that they who to live well
  586. Enterd so faire, should turn aside to tread
  587. Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint!
  588. But still I see the tenor of Mans woe
  589. Holds on the same, from Woman to begin.
  590. From Mans effeminate slackness it begins,
  591. Said th' Angel, who should better hold his place
  592. By wisdome, and superiour gifts receav'd.
  593. But now prepare thee for another Scene.
  594. He lookd and saw wide Territorie spred
  595. Before him, Towns, and rural works between,
  596. Cities of Men with lofty Gates and Towrs,
  597. Concours in Arms, fierce Faces threatning Warr,
  598. Giants of mightie Bone, and bould emprise;
  599. Part wield thir Arms, part courb the foaming Steed,
  600. Single or in Array of Battel rang'd
  601. Both Horse and Foot, nor idely mustring stood;
  602. One way a Band select from forage drives
  603. A herd of Beeves, faire Oxen and faire Kine
  604. From a fat Meddow ground; or fleecy Flock,
  605. Ewes and thir bleating Lambs over the Plaine,
  606. Thir Bootie; scarce with Life the Shepherds flye,
  607. But call in aide, which makes a bloody Fray;
  608. With cruel Tournament the Squadrons joine;
  609. Where Cattle pastur'd late, now scatterd lies
  610. With Carcasses and Arms th'ensanguind Field
  611. Deserted: Others to a Citie strong
  612. Lay Seige, encampt; by Batterie, Scale, and Mine,
  613. Assaulting; others from the Wall defend
  614. With Dart and Jav'lin, Stones and sulfurous Fire;
  615. On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds.
  616. In other part the scepter'd Haralds call
  617. To Council in the Citie Gates: anon
  618. Grey-headed men and grave, with Warriours mixt,
  619. Assemble, and Harangues are heard, but soon
  620. In factious opposition, till at last
  621. Of middle Age one rising, eminent
  622. In wise deport, spake much of Right and Wrong,
  623. Of Justice, of Religion, Truth and Peace,
  624. And Judgment from above: him old and young
  625. Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands,
  626. Had not a Cloud descending snatch'd him thence
  627. Unseen amid the throng: so violence
  628. Proceeded, and Oppression, and Sword-Law
  629. Through all the Plain, and refuge none was found.
  630. Adam was all in tears, and to his guide
  631. Lamenting turnd full sad; O what are these,
  632. Deaths Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death
  633. Inhumanly to men, and multiply
  634. Ten thousandfould the sin of him who slew
  635. His Brother; for of whom such massacher
  636. Make they but of thir Brethren, men of men?
  637. But who was that Just Man, whom had not Heav'n
  638. Rescu'd, had in his Righteousness bin lost?
  639. To whom thus Michael. These are the product
  640. Of those ill mated Marriages thou saw'st:
  641. Where good with bad were matcht, who of themselves
  642. Abhor to joyn; and by imprudence mixt,
  643. Produce prodigious Births of bodie or mind.
  644. Such were these Giants, men of high renown;
  645. For in those dayes Might onely shall be admir'd,
  646. And Valour and Heroic Vertu call'd;
  647. To overcome in Battle, and subdue
  648. Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite
  649. Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
  650. Of human Glorie, and for Glorie done
  651. Of triumph, to be styl'd great Conquerours,
  652. Patrons of Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods,
  653. Destroyers rightlier call'd and Plagues of men.
  654. Thus Fame shall be atchiev'd, renown on Earth,
  655. And what most merits fame in silence hid.
  656. But hee the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldst
  657. The onely righteous in a World perverse,
  658. And therefore hated, therefore so beset
  659. With Foes for daring single to be just,
  660. And utter odious Truth, that God would come
  661. To judge them with his Saints: Him the most High
  662. Rapt in a balmie Cloud with winged Steeds
  663. Did, as thou sawst, receave, to walk with God
  664. High in Salvation and the Climes of bliss,
  665. Exempt from Death; to shew thee what reward
  666. Awaits the good, the rest what punishment?
  667. Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold.
  668. He look'd, and saw the face of things quite chang'd;
  669. The brazen Throat of Warr had ceast to roar,
  670. All now was turn'd to jollitie and game,
  671. To luxurie and riot, feast and dance,
  672. Marrying or prostituting, as befell,
  673. Rape or Adulterie, where passing faire
  674. Allurd them; thence from Cups to civil Broiles.
  675. At length a Reverend Sire among them came,
  676. And of thir doings great dislike declar'd,
  677. And testifi'd against thir wayes; hee oft
  678. Frequented thir Assemblies, whereso met,
  679. Triumphs or Festivals, and to them preachd
  680. Conversion and Repentance, as to Souls
  681. In prison under Judgments imminent:
  682. But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas'd
  683. Contending, and remov'd his Tents farr off;
  684. Then from the Mountain hewing Timber tall,
  685. Began to build a Vessel of huge bulk,
  686. Measur'd by Cubit, length, and breadth, and highth,
  687. Smeard round with Pitch, and in the side a dore
  688. Contriv'd, and of provisions laid in large
  689. For Man and Beast: when loe a wonder strange!
  690. Of every Beast, and Bird, and Insect small
  691. Came seavens, and pairs, and enterd in, as taught
  692. Thir order; last the Sire, and his three Sons
  693. With thir four Wives; and God made fast the dore.
  694. Meanwhile the Southwind rose, and with black wings
  695. Wide hovering, all the Clouds together drove
  696. From under Heav'n; the Hills to their supplie
  697. Vapour, and Exhalation dusk and moist,
  698. Sent up amain; and now the thick'nd Skie
  699. Like a dark Ceeling stood; down rush'd the Rain
  700. Impetuous, and continu'd till the Earth
  701. No more was seen; the floating Vessel swum
  702. Uplifted; and secure with beaked prow
  703. Rode tilting o're the Waves, all dwellings else
  704. Flood overwhelmd, and them with all thir pomp
  705. Deep under water rould; Sea cover'd Sea,
  706. Sea without shoar; and in thir Palaces
  707. Where luxurie late reign'd, Sea-monsters whelp'd
  708. And stabl'd; of Mankind, so numerous late,
  709. All left, in one small bottom swum imbark't.
  710. How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold
  711. The end of all thy Ofspring, end so sad,
  712. Depopulation; thee another Floud,
  713. Of tears and sorrow a Floud thee also drown'd,
  714. And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently reard
  715. By th' Angel, on thy feet thou stoodst at last,
  716. Though comfortless, as when a Father mourns
  717. His Children, all in view destroyd at once;
  718. And scarce to th' Angel utterdst thus thy plaint.
  719. O Visions ill foreseen! better had I
  720. Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne
  721. My part of evil onely, each dayes lot
  722. Anough to bear; those now, that were dispenst
  723. The burd'n of many Ages, on me light
  724. At once, by my foreknowledge gaining Birth
  725. Abortive, to torment me ere thir being,
  726. With thought that they must be. Let no man seek
  727. Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall
  728. Him or his Childern, evil he may be sure,
  729. Which neither his foreknowing can prevent,
  730. And hee the future evil shall no less
  731. In apprehension then in substance feel
  732. Grievous to bear: but that care now is past,
  733. Man is not whom to warne: those few escapt
  734. Famin and anguish will at last consume
  735. Wandring that watrie Desert: I had hope
  736. When violence was ceas't, and Warr on Earth,
  737. All would have then gon well, peace would have crownd
  738. With length of happy dayes the race of man;
  739. But I was farr deceav'd; for now I see
  740. Peace to corrupt no less then Warr to waste.
  741. How comes it thus? unfould, Celestial Guide,
  742. And whether here the Race of man will end.
  743. To whom thus Michael. Those whom last thou sawst
  744. In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they
  745. First seen in acts of prowess eminent
  746. And great exploits, but of true vertu void;
  747. Who having spilt much blood, and don much waste
  748. Subduing Nations, and achievd thereby
  749. Fame in the World, high titles, and rich prey,
  750. Shall change thir course to pleasure, ease, and sloth,
  751. Surfet, and lust, till wantonness and pride
  752. Raise out of friendship hostil deeds in Peace.
  753. The conquerd also, and enslav'd by Warr
  754. Shall with thir freedom lost all vertu loose
  755. And fear of God, from whom thir pietie feign'd
  756. In sharp contest of Battel found no aide
  757. Against invaders; therefore coold in zeale
  758. Thenceforth shall practice how to live secure,
  759. Worldlie or dissolute, on what thir Lords
  760. Shall leave them to enjoy; for th' Earth shall bear
  761. More then anough, that temperance may be tri'd:
  762. So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd,
  763. Justice and Temperance, Truth and Faith forgot;
  764. One Man except, the onely Son of light
  765. In a dark Age, against example good,
  766. Against allurement, custom, and a World
  767. Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,
  768. Or violence, hee of wicked wayes
  769. Shall them admonish, and before them set
  770. The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,
  771. And full of peace, denouncing wrauth to come
  772. On thir impenitence; and shall returne
  773. Of them derided, but of God observd
  774. The one just Man alive; by his command
  775. Shall build a wondrous Ark, as thou beheldst,
  776. To save himself and houshold from amidst
  777. A World devote to universal rack.
  778. No sooner hee with them of Man and Beast
  779. Select for life shall in the Ark be lodg'd,
  780. And shelterd round, but all the Cataracts
  781. Of Heav'n set open on the Earth shall powre
  782. Raine day and night, all fountains of the Deep
  783. Broke up, shall heave the Ocean to usurp
  784. Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise
  785. Above the highest Hills: then shall this Mount
  786. Of Paradise by might of Waves be moovd
  787. Out of his place, pushd by the horned floud,
  788. With all his verdure spoil'd, and Trees adrift
  789. Down the great River to the op'ning Gulf,
  790. And there take root an Iland salt and bare,
  791. The haunt of Seales and Orcs, and Sea-mews clang.
  792. To teach thee that God attributes to place
  793. No sanctitie, if none be thither brought
  794. By Men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
  795. And now what further shall ensue, behold.
  796. He lookd, and saw the Ark hull on the floud,
  797. Which now abated, for the Clouds were fled,
  798. Drivn by a keen North- winde, that blowing drie
  799. Wrinkl'd the face of Deluge, as decai'd;
  800. And the cleer Sun on his wide watrie Glass
  801. Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh Wave largely drew,
  802. As after thirst, which made thir flowing shrink
  803. From standing lake to tripping ebbe, that stole
  804. With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt
  805. His Sluces, as the Heav'n his windows shut.
  806. The Ark no more now flotes, but seems on ground
  807. Fast on the top of som high mountain fixt.
  808. And now the tops of Hills as Rocks appeer;
  809. With clamor thence the rapid Currents drive
  810. Towards the retreating Sea thir furious tyde.
  811. Forthwith from out the Arke a Raven flies,
  812. And after him, the surer messenger,
  813. A Dove sent forth once and agen to spie
  814. Green Tree or ground whereon his foot may light;
  815. The second time returning, in his Bill
  816. An Olive leafe he brings, pacific signe:
  817. Anon drie ground appeers, and from his Arke
  818. The ancient Sire descends with all his Train;
  819. Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout,
  820. Grateful to Heav'n, over his head beholds
  821. A dewie Cloud, and in the Cloud a Bow
  822. Conspicuous with three listed colours gay,
  823. Betok'ning peace from God, and Cov'nant new.
  824. Whereat the heart of Adam erst so sad
  825. Greatly rejoyc'd, and thus his joy broke forth.
  826. O thou that future things canst represent
  827. As present, Heav'nly instructer, I revive
  828. At this last sight, assur'd that Man shall live
  829. With all the Creatures, and thir seed preserve.
  830. Farr less I now lament for one whole World
  831. Of wicked Sons destroyd, then I rejoyce
  832. For one Man found so perfet and so just,
  833. That God voutsafes to raise another World
  834. From him, and all his anger to forget.
  835. But say, what mean those colourd streaks in Heavn,
  836. Distended as the Brow of God appeas'd,
  837. Or serve they as a flourie verge to binde
  838. The fluid skirts of that same watrie Cloud,
  839. Least it again dissolve and showr the Earth?
  840. To whom th' Archangel. Dextrously thou aim'st;
  841. So willingly doth God remit his Ire,
  842. Though late repenting him of Man deprav'd,
  843. Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw
  844. The whole Earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh
  845. Corrupting each thir way; yet those remoov'd,
  846. Such grace shall one just Man find in his sight,
  847. That he relents, not to blot out mankind,
  848. And makes a Covenant never to destroy
  849. The Earth again by flood, nor let the Sea
  850. Surpass his bounds, nor Rain to drown the World
  851. With Man therein or Beast; but when he brings
  852. Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set
  853. His triple-colour'd Bow, whereon to look
  854. And call to mind his Cov'nant: Day and Night,
  855. Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost
  856. Shall hold thir course, till fire purge all things new,
  857. Both Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.


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