. . . I . . . . II . . . . III . . . IV . . . . V . . . . VI . . . . VII . . . . VIII . . . . IX . . . . X . . . . XI . . . . XII . . . . . .
Paradise Lost in Plain English

Paradise Lost


  1. As one who in his journey bates at Noone,
  2. Though bent on speed, so heer the Archangel paus'd
  3. Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor'd,
  4. If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
  5. Then with transition sweet new Speech resumes.
  6. Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end;
  7. And Man as from a second stock proceed.
  8. Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceave
  9. Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine
  10. Must needs impaire and wearie human sense:
  11. Henceforth what is to com I will relate,
  12. Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
  13. This second sours of Men, while yet but few;
  14. And while the dread of judgement past remains
  15. Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie,
  16. With some regard to what is just and right
  17. Shall lead thir lives and multiplie apace,
  18. Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop,
  19. Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock,
  20. Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid,
  21. With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast,
  22. Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwell
  23. Long time in peace by Families and Tribes
  24. Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
  25. Of proud ambitious heart, who not content
  26. With fair equalitie, fraternal state,
  27. Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'd
  28. Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
  29. Concord and law of Nature from the Earth,
  30. Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game)
  31. With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse
  32. Subjection to his Empire tyrannous:
  33. A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'd
  34. Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n,
  35. Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie;
  36. And from Rebellion shall derive his name,
  37. Though of Rebellion others he accuse.
  38. Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns
  39. With him or under him to tyrannize,
  40. Marching from Eden towards the West, shall finde
  41. The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
  42. Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell;
  43. Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build
  44. A Citie and Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n;
  45. And get themselves a name, least far disperst
  46. In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost,
  47. Regardless whether good or evil fame.



  1. Like a traveler taking a break at noon, Michael paused in his story at the point where one world was destroyed and a new one was about to begin.
  2. He thought Adam might want to say something, but he didn't. So Michael continued:
  3. So now you saw one world end and a new generation of men begin.

  4. There's a lot more I wanted to show you, but I think the magic drops I put in your eyes are beginning to wear off.
  5. So I'll just tell you the rest of the story.

  6. This new generation, still just a small number of people, will behave themselves for a while. They'll remember only too well what God could do if they made him angry.
  7. The population will quickly grow. They'll farm and raise livestock, and they'll hold religious feasts and live in peaceful communes.

  8. But there was a rebellious man, Nimrod, who wanted power over the others.
  9. He ended the period of peace. He hunted men like they were animals. He killed anyone who refused to accept him as their ruler. He wanted to be like a god.

  10. He got others to follow him. They went west from Eden, to a place where they could mine building materials.
  11. They decided to build a tower tall enough to reach Heaven. They wanted to be famous world-wide. They didn't care if it was good fame or evil fame.
  1. But God who oft descends to visit men
  2. Unseen, and through thir habitations walks
  3. To mark thir doings, them beholding soon,
  4. Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower
  5. Obstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision sets
  6. Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase
  7. Quite out thir Native Language, and instead
  8. To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
  9. Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
  10. Among the Builders; each to other calls
  11. Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,
  12. As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'n
  13. And looking down, to see the hubbub strange
  14. And hear the din; thus was the building left
  15. Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.
  16. Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'd.
  17. O execrable Son so to aspire
  18. Above his Brethren, to himself assuming
  19. Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n:
  20. He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl
  21. Dominion absolute; that right we hold
  22. By his donation; but Man over men
  23. He made not Lord; such title to himself
  24. Reserving, human left from human free.
  25. But this Usurper his encroachment proud
  26. Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends
  27. Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food
  28. Will he convey up thither to sustain
  29. Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire
  30. Above the Clouds will pine his entrails gross,
  31. And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread?
  32. To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorr'st
  33. That Son, who on the quiet state of men
  34. Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
  35. Rational Libertie; yet know withall,
  36. Since thy original lapse, true Libertie
  37. Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells
  38. Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:
  39. Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd,
  40. Immediately inordinate desires
  41. And upstart Passions catch the Government
  42. From Reason, and to servitude reduce
  43. Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits
  44. Within himself unworthie Powers to reign
  45. Over free Reason, God in Judgement just
  46. Subjects him from without to violent Lords;
  47. Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
  48. His outward freedom: Tyrannie must be,
  49. Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.
  1. But sometimes God comes down and wanders around, invisible, to see what men are doing.
  2. When he saw the tower they were trying to build, he cast a spell on them so that when they spoke to each other it seemed they were all speaking different languages and nobody could understand anybody.
  3. There was loud babbling all over. All the builders were confused and angry and stormed off the job, leaving the building unfinished. The angels in Heaven were laughing.

  4. What a stupid man, said Adam, to think he could make himself lord over his brothers.
  5. God gave us authority over the animals only, not over people. He's the only one who can rule over us.
  6. And to make matters worse he builds this tower to defy God.
  7. How stupid! Where did he expect to get food to feed himself and his army up there?--that is, if he didn't run out of air to breath first,

  8. You're right about him, said Michael, but there's something else you have to understand.
  9. Since you committed your original sin, there is really no true liberty anymore.
  10. Liberty is linked to wisdom, so when a man is unwise or ignores what he should know, that's when unhealthy desires take over.
  11. Then his mind becomes a slave to his desires.
  12. So God allows tyrants to come along and enslave his body as well.
  13. Not that that excuses tyrants from blame.
  1. Yet somtimes Nations will decline so low
  2. From vertue, which is reason, that no wrong,
  3. But Justice, and some fatal curse annext
  4. Deprives them of thir outward libertie,
  5. Thir inward lost: Witness th' irreverent Son
  6. Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame
  7. Don to his Father, heard this heavie curse,
  8. Servant of Servants, on his vitious Race.
  9. Thus will this latter, as the former World,
  10. Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last
  11. Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
  12. His presence from among them, and avert
  13. His holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforth
  14. To leave them to thir own polluted wayes;
  15. And one peculiar Nation to select
  16. From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,
  17. A Nation from one faithful man to spring:
  18. Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
  19. Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men
  20. (Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
  21. While yet the Patriark liv'd, who scap'd the Flood,
  22. As to forsake the living God, and fall
  23. To worship thir own work in Wood and Stone
  24. For Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafes
  25. To call by Vision from his Fathers house,
  26. His kindred and false Gods, into a Land
  27. Which he will shew him, and from him will raise
  28. A mightie Nation, and upon him showre
  29. His benediction so, that in his Seed
  30. All Nations shall be blest; he straight obeys
  31. Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes:
  32. I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith
  33. He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soile
  34. Ur of Chalda, passing now the Ford
  35. To Haran, after a cumbrous Train
  36. Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude;
  37. Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealth
  38. With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.
  39. Canaan he now attains, I see his Tents
  40. Pitcht about Sechem, and the neighbouring Plaine
  41. Of Moreh; there by promise he receaves
  42. Gift to his Progenie of all that Land;
  43. From Hamath Northward to the Desert South
  44. (Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam'd)
  45. From Hermon East to the great Western Sea,
  46. Mount Hermon, yonder Sea, each place behold
  47. In prospect, as I point them; on the shoare
  48. Mount Carmel; here the double-founted stream
  49. Jordan, true limit Eastward; but his Sons
  50. Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of Hills.
  51. This ponder, that all Nations of the Earth
  52. Shall in his Seed be blessed; by that Seed
  53. Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise
  54. The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon
  55. Plainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest,
  56. Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,
  57. A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves,
  58. Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;
  59. The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departs
  60. From Canaan, to a land hereafter call'd
  61. Egypt, divided by the River Nile;
  62. See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthes
  63. Into the Sea: to sojourn in that Land
  64. He comes invited by a yonger Son
  65. In time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deeds
  66. Raise him to be the second in that Realme
  67. Of Pharao: there he dies, and leaves his Race
  68. Growing into a Nation, and now grown
  69. Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks
  70. To stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guests
  71. Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
  72. Inhospitably, and kills thir infant Males:
  73. Till by two brethren (those two brethren call
  74. Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claime
  75. His people from enthralment, they return
  76. With glory and spoile back to thir promis'd Land.
  77. But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies
  78. To know thir God, or message to regard,
  79. Must be compelld by Signes and Judgements dire;
  80. To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd,
  81. Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fill
  82. With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land;
  83. His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die,
  84. Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss,
  85. And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile,
  86. Haile mixt with fire must rend th' Egyptian Skie
  87. And wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rouls;
  88. What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine,
  89. A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming down
  90. Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green:
  91. Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
  92. Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes;
  93. Last with one midnight stroke all the first-born
  94. Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds
  95. The River-dragon tam'd at length submits
  96. To let his sojourners depart, and oft
  97. Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as Ice
  98. More hard'nd after thaw, till in his rage
  99. Pursuing whom he late dismissd, the Sea
  100. Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass
  101. As on drie land between two christal walls,
  102. Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to stand
  103. Divided, till his rescu'd gain thir shoar:
  104. Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend,
  105. Though present in his Angel, who shall goe
  106. Before them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire,
  107. By day a Cloud, by night a Pillar of Fire,
  108. To guide them in thir journey, and remove
  109. Behinde them, while th' obdurat King pursues:
  110. All night he will pursue, but his approach
  111. Darkness defends between till morning Watch;
  112. Then through the Firey Pillar and the Cloud
  113. God looking forth will trouble all his Host
  114. And craze thir Chariot wheels: when by command
  115. Moses once more his potent Rod extends
  116. Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;
  117. On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return,
  118. And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race elect
  119. Safe towards Canaan from the shoar advance
  120. Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,
  121. Least entring on the Canaanite allarmd
  122. Warr terrifie them inexpert, and feare
  123. Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
  124. Inglorious life with servitude; for life
  125. To noble and ignoble is more sweet
  126. Untraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on.
  127. This also shall they gain by thir delay
  128. In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found
  129. Thir government, and thir great Senate choose
  130. Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:
  131. God from the Mount of Sinai, whose gray top
  132. Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
  133. In Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets sound
  134. Ordaine them Lawes; part such as appertaine
  135. To civil Justice, part religious Rites
  136. Of sacrifice, informing them, by types
  137. And shadowes, of that destind Seed to bruise
  138. The Serpent, by what meanes he shall achieve
  139. Mankinds deliverance. But the voice of God
  140. To mortal eare is dreadful; they beseech
  141. That Moses might report to them his will,
  142. And terror cease; he grants what they besaught
  143. Instructed that to God is no access
  144. Without Mediator, whose high Office now
  145. Moses in figure beares, to introduce
  146. One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,
  147. And all the Prophets in thir Age the times
  148. Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites
  149. Establisht, such delight hath God in Men
  150. Obedient to his will, that he voutsafes
  151. Among them to set up his Tabernacle,
  152. The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
  153. By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram'd
  154. Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein
  155. An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,
  156. The Records of his Cov'nant, over these
  157. A Mercie-seat of Gold between the wings
  158. Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn
  159. Seaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing
  160. The Heav'nly fires; over the Tent a Cloud
  161. Shall rest by Day, a fiery gleame by Night,
  162. Save when they journie, and at length they come,
  163. Conducted by his Angel to the Land
  164. Promisd to Abraham and his Seed: the rest
  165. Were long to tell, how many Battels fought,
  166. How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won,
  167. Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav'n stand still
  168. A day entire, and Nights due course adjourne,
  169. Mans voice commanding, Sun in Gibeon stand,
  170. And thou Moon in the vale of Aialon,
  171. Till Israel overcome; so call the third
  172. From Abraham, Son of Isaac, and from him
  173. His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.
  174. Here Adam interpos'd. O sent from Heav'n,
  175. Enlightner of my darkness, gracious things
  176. Thou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerne
  177. Just Abraham and his Seed: now first I finde
  178. Mine eyes true op'ning, and my heart much eas'd,
  179. Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becom
  180. Of mee and all Mankind; but now I see
  181. His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,
  182. Favour unmerited by me, who sought
  183. Forbidd'n knowledge by forbidd'n means.
  184. This yet I apprehend not, why to those
  185. Among whom God will deigne to dwell on Earth
  186. So many and so various Laws are giv'n;
  187. So many Laws argue so many sins
  188. Among them; how can God with such reside?
  189. To whom thus Michael. Doubt not but that sin
  190. Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
  191. And therefore was Law given them to evince
  192. Thir natural pravitie, by stirring up
  193. Sin against Law to fight; that when they see
  194. Law can discover sin, but not remove,
  195. Save by those shadowie expiations weak,
  196. The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may conclude
  197. Some bloud more precious must be paid for Man,
  198. Just for unjust, that in such righteousness
  199. To them by Faith imputed, they may finde
  200. Justification towards God, and peace
  201. Of Conscience, which the Law by Ceremonies
  202. Cannot appease, nor Man the moral part
  203. Perform, and not performing cannot live.
  204. So Law appears imperfet, and but giv'n
  205. With purpose to resign them in full time
  206. Up to a better Cov'nant, disciplin'd
  207. From shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,
  208. From imposition of strict Laws, to free
  209. Acceptance of large Grace, from servil fear
  210. To filial, works of Law to works of Faith.
  211. And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
  212. Highly belov'd, being but the Minister
  213. Of Law, his people into Canaan lead;
  214. But Joshua whom the Gentiles Jesus call,
  215. His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell
  216. The adversarie Serpent, and bring back
  217. Through the worlds wilderness long wanderd man
  218. Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
  219. Meanwhile they in thir earthly Canaan plac't
  220. Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
  221. National interrupt thir public peace,
  222. Provoking God to raise them enemies:
  223. From whom as oft he saves them penitent
  224. By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom
  225. The second, both for pietie renownd
  226. And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
  227. Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne
  228. For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
  229. All Prophecie, That of the Royal Stock
  230. Of David (so I name this King) shall rise
  231. A Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold,
  232. Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
  233. All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings
  234. The last, for of his Reign shall be no end.
  235. But first a long succession must ensue,
  236. And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam'd,
  237. The clouded Ark of God till then in Tents
  238. Wandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine.
  239. Such follow him, as shall be registerd
  240. Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle,
  241. Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults
  242. Heapt to the popular summe, will so incense
  243. God, as to leave them, and expose thir Land,
  244. Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy Ark
  245. With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
  246. To that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw'st
  247. Left in confusion, Babylon thence call'd.
  248. There in captivitie he lets them dwell
  249. The space of seventie years, then brings them back,
  250. Remembring mercie, and his Cov'nant sworn
  251. To David, stablisht as the dayes of Heav'n.
  252. Returnd from Babylon by leave of Kings
  253. Thir Lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God
  254. They first re-edifie, and for a while
  255. In mean estate live moderate, till grown
  256. In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
  257. But first among the Priests dissension springs,
  258. Men who attend the Altar, and should most
  259. Endeavour Peace: thir strife pollution brings
  260. Upon the Temple it self: at last they seise
  261. The Scepter, and regard not Davids Sons,
  262. Then loose it to a stranger, that the true
  263. Anointed King Messiah might be born
  264. Barr'd of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr
  265. Unseen before in Heav'n proclaims him com,
  266. And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire
  267. His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;
  268. His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
  269. To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night;
  270. They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire
  271. Of squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung.
  272. A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire
  273. The Power of the most High; he shall ascend
  274. The Throne hereditarie, and bound his Reign
  275. With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav'ns.
  276. He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy
  277. Surcharg'd, as had like grief bin dew'd in tears,
  278. Without the vent of words, which these he breathd.
  279. O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher
  280. Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
  281. What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,
  282. Why our great expectation should be call'd
  283. The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,
  284. High in the love of Heav'n, yet from my Loynes
  285. Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son
  286. Of God most High; So God with man unites.
  287. Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise
  288. Expect with mortal paine: say where and when
  289. Thir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel.
  290. To whom thus Michael. Dream not of thir fight,
  291. As of a Duel, or the local wounds
  292. Of head or heel: not therefore joynes the Son
  293. Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil
  294. Thy enemie; nor so is overcome
  295. Satan, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise,
  296. Disabl'd not to give thee thy deaths wound:
  297. Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,
  298. Not by destroying Satan, but his works
  299. In thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be,
  300. But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
  301. Obedience to the Law of God, impos'd
  302. On penaltie of death, and suffering death,
  303. The penaltie to thy transgression due,
  304. And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:
  305. So onely can high Justice rest appaid.
  306. The Law of God exact he shall fulfill
  307. Both by obedience and by love, though love
  308. Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment
  309. He shall endure by coming in the Flesh
  310. To a reproachful life and cursed death,
  311. Proclaiming Life to all who shall believe
  312. In his redemption, and that his obedience
  313. Imputed becomes theirs by Faith, his merits
  314. To save them, not thir own, though legal works.
  315. For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd,
  316. Seis'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemnd
  317. A shameful and accurst, naild to the Cross
  318. By his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life;
  319. But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies,
  320. The Law that is against thee, and the sins
  321. Of all mankinde, with him there crucifi'd,
  322. Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
  323. In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
  324. But soon revives, Death over him no power
  325. Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
  326. Returne, the Starres of Morn shall see him rise
  327. Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
  328. Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems,
  329. His death for Man, as many as offerd Life
  330. Neglect not, and the benefit imbrace
  331. By Faith not void of workes: this God-like act
  332. Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy'd,
  333. In sin for ever lost from life; this act
  334. Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength
  335. Defeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes,
  336. And fix farr deeper in his head thir stings
  337. Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,
  338. Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
  339. A gentle wafting to immortal Life.
  340. Nor after resurrection shall he stay
  341. Longer on Earth then certaine times to appeer
  342. To his Disciples, Men who in his Life
  343. Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge
  344. To teach all nations what of him they learn'd
  345. And his Salvation, them who shall beleeve
  346. Baptizing in the profluent streame, the signe
  347. Of washing them from guilt of sin to Life
  348. Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,
  349. For death, like that which the redeemer dy'd.
  350. All Nations they shall teach; for from that day
  351. Not onely to the Sons of Abrahams Loines
  352. Salvation shall be Preacht, but to the Sons
  353. Of Abrahams Faith wherever through the world;
  354. So in his seed all Nations shall be blest.
  355. Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascend
  356. With victory, triumphing through the aire
  357. Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise
  358. The Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in Chaines
  359. Through all his Realme, and there confounded leave;
  360. Then enter into glory, and resume
  361. His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high
  362. Above all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come,
  363. When this worlds dissolution shall be ripe,
  364. With glory and power to judge both quick and dead
  365. To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward
  366. His faithful, and receave them into bliss,
  367. Whether in Heav'n or Earth, for then the Earth
  368. Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
  369. Then this of Eden, and far happier daies.
  370. So spake th' Archangel Michael, then paus'd,
  371. As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire
  372. Replete with joy and wonder thus repli'd.
  373. O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
  374. That all this good of evil shall produce,
  375. And evil turn to good; more wonderful
  376. Then that which by creation first brought forth
  377. Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
  378. Whether I should repent me now of sin
  379. By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce
  380. Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,
  381. To God more glory, more good will to Men
  382. From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound.
  383. But say, if our deliverer up to Heav'n
  384. Must reascend, what will betide the few
  385. His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd,
  386. The enemies of truth; who then shall guide
  387. His people, who defend? will they not deale
  388. Wors with his followers then with him they dealt?
  389. Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'n
  390. Hee to his own a Comforter will send,
  391. The promise of the Father, who shall dwell
  392. His Spirit within them, and the Law of Faith
  393. Working through love, upon thir hearts shall write,
  394. To guide them in all truth, and also arme
  395. With spiritual Armour, able to resist
  396. Satans assaults, and quench his fierie darts,
  397. What Man can do against them, not affraid,
  398. Though to the death, against such cruelties
  399. With inward consolations recompenc't,
  400. And oft supported so as shall amaze
  401. Thir proudest persecuters: for the Spirit
  402. Powrd first on his Apostles, whom he sends
  403. To evangelize the Nations, then on all
  404. Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue
  405. To speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles,
  406. As did thir Lord before them. Thus they win
  407. Great numbers of each Nation to receave
  408. With joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at length
  409. Thir Ministry perform'd, and race well run,
  410. Thir doctrine and thir story written left,
  411. They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne,
  412. Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves,
  413. Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav'n
  414. To thir own vile advantages shall turne
  415. Of lucre and ambition, and the truth
  416. With superstitions and traditions taint,
  417. Left onely in those written Records pure,
  418. Though not but by the Spirit understood.
  419. Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
  420. Places and titles, and with these to joine
  421. Secular power, though feigning still to act
  422. By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
  423. The Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv'n
  424. To all Beleevers; and from that pretense,
  425. Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall force
  426. On every conscience; Laws which none shall finde
  427. Left them inrould, or what the Spirit within
  428. Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
  429. But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and binde
  430. His consort Libertie; what, but unbuild
  431. His living Temples, built by Faith to stand,
  432. Thir own Faith not anothers: for on Earth
  433. Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard
  434. Infallible? yet many will presume:
  435. Whence heavie persecution shall arise
  436. On all who in the worship persevere
  437. Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part,
  438. Well deem in outward Rites and specious formes
  439. Religion satisfi'd; Truth shall retire
  440. Bestuck with slandrous darts, and works of Faith
  441. Rarely be found: so shall the World goe on,
  442. To good malignant, to bad men benigne,
  443. Under her own waight groaning till the day
  444. Appeer of respiration to the just,
  445. And vengeance to the wicked, at return
  446. Of him so lately promiss'd to thy aid
  447. The Womans seed, obscurely then foretold,
  448. Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
  449. Last in the Clouds from Heav'n to be reveald
  450. In glory of the Father, to dissolve
  451. Satan with his perverted World, then raise
  452. From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,
  453. New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date
  454. Founded in righteousness and peace and love
  455. To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.
  456. He ended; and thus Adam last reply'd.
  457. How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
  458. Measur'd this transient World, the Race of time,
  459. Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss,
  460. Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.
  461. Greatly instructed I shall hence depart.
  462. Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
  463. Of knowledge, what this Vessel can containe;
  464. Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
  465. Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best,
  466. And love with feare the onely God, to walk
  467. As in his presence, ever to observe
  468. His providence, and on him sole depend,
  469. Merciful over all his works, with good
  470. Still overcoming evil, and by small
  471. Accomplishing great things, by things deemd weak
  472. Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
  473. By simply meek; that suffering for Truths sake
  474. Is fortitude to highest victorie,
  475. And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;
  476. Taught this by his example whom I now
  477. Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.
  478. To whom thus also th' Angel last repli'd:
  479. This having learnt, thou hast attained the summe
  480. Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs
  481. Thou knewst by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,
  482. All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,
  483. Or works of God in Heav'n, Aire, Earth, or Sea,
  484. And all the riches of this World enjoydst,
  485. And all the rule, one Empire; onely add
  486. Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,
  487. Add vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,
  488. By name to come call'd Charitie, the soul
  489. Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath
  490. To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
  491. A Paradise within thee, happier farr.
  492. Let us descend now therefore from this top
  493. Of Speculation; for the hour precise
  494. Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards,
  495. By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expect
  496. Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword,
  497. In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;
  498. We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
  499. Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm'd
  500. Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd
  501. To meek submission: thou at season fit
  502. Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,
  503. Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know,
  504. The great deliverance by her Seed to come
  505. (For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind.
  506. That ye may live, which will be many dayes,
  507. Both in one Faith unanimous though sad,
  508. With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'd
  509. With meditation on the happie end.
  510. He ended, and they both descend the Hill;
  511. Descended, Adam to the Bowre where Eve
  512. Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak't;
  513. And thus with words not sad she him receav'd.
  514. Whence thou returnst, and whither wentst, I know;
  515. For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise,
  516. Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
  517. Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress
  518. Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
  519. In mee is no delay; with thee to goe,
  520. Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
  521. Is to go hence unwilling; thou to mee
  522. Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou,
  523. Who for my wilful crime art banisht hence.
  524. This further consolation yet secure
  525. I carry hence; though all by mee is lost,
  526. Such favour I unworthie am voutsaft,
  527. By mee the Promis'd Seed shall all restore.
  528. So spake our Mother Eve, and Adam heard
  529. Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too nigh
  530. Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill
  531. To thir fixt Station, all in bright array
  532. The Cherubim descended; on the ground
  533. Gliding meteorous, as Ev'ning Mist
  534. Ris'n from a River o're the marish glides,
  535. And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heel
  536. Homeward returning. High in Front advanc't,
  537. The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz'd
  538. Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,
  539. And vapour as the Libyan Air adust,
  540. Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat
  541. In either hand the hastning Angel caught
  542. Our lingring Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate
  543. Led them direct, and down the Cliff as fast
  544. To the subjected Plaine; then disappeer'd.
  545. They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld
  546. Of Paradise, so late thir happie seat,
  547. Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate
  548. With dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes:
  549. Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon;
  550. The World was all before them, where to choose
  551. Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
  552. They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
  553. Through Eden took thir solitarie way.

- End of Sample -

Read the entire poem in Plain English.

Now available in paperback:

Paradise Lost In Plain English

Also available on KINDLE !

Paradise Lost In Plain English

. . New Arts Library 2009 All rights reserved