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Paradise Lost in Plain English

Paradise Lost


  1. Hail holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born,
  2. Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam
  3. May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
  4. And never but in unapproached light
  5. Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee,
  6. Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
  7. Or hear'st thou rather pure Ethereal stream,
  8. Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun,
  9. Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice
  10. Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest
  11. The rising world of waters dark and deep,
  12. Won from the void and formless infinite.
  13. Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing,
  14. Escap't the Stygian Pool, though long detain'd
  15. In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
  16. Through utter and through middle darkness borne
  17. With other notes then to th' Orphean Lyre
  18. I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,
  19. Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
  20. The dark descent, and up to reascend,
  21. Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
  22. And feel thy sovran vital Lamp; but thou
  23. Revisit'st not these eyes, that rowle in vain
  24. To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
  25. So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs,
  26. Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more
  27. Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
  28. Cleer Spring, or shadie Grove, or Sunnie Hill,
  29. Smit with the love of sacred Song; but chief
  30. Thee Sion and the flowrie Brooks beneath
  31. That wash thy hallowd feet, and warbling flow,
  32. Nightly I visit: nor somtimes forget
  33. Those other two equal'd with me in Fate,
  34. So were I equal'd with them in renown,
  35. Blind Thamyris and blind Monides,
  36. And Tiresias and Phineus Prophets old.
  37. Then feed on thoughts, that voluntarie move
  38. Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful Bird
  39. Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid
  40. Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year
  41. Seasons return, but not to me returns
  42. Day, or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn,
  43. Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose,
  44. Or flocks, or heards, or human face divine;
  45. But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark
  46. Surrounds me, from the chearful wayes of men
  47. Cut off, and for the Book of knowledg fair
  48. Presented with a Universal blanc
  49. Of Nature's works to mee expung'd and ras'd,
  50. And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out.
  51. So much the rather thou Celestial light
  52. Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
  53. Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence
  54. Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
  55. Of things invisible to mortal sight.
  56. Now had the Almighty Father from above,
  57. From the pure Empyrean where he sits
  58. High Thron'd above all highth, bent down his eye,
  59. His own works and their works at once to view:
  60. About him all the Sanctities of Heaven
  61. Stood thick as Starrs, and from his sight receiv'd
  62. Beatitude past utterance; on his right
  63. The radiant image of his Glory sat,
  64. His onely Son; On Earth he first beheld
  65. Our two first Parents, yet the onely two
  66. Of mankind, in the happie Garden plac't,
  67. Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,
  68. Uninterrupted joy, unrivald love
  69. In blissful solitude; he then survey'd
  70. Hell and the Gulf between, and Satan there
  71. Coasting the wall of Heav'n on this side Night
  72. In the dun Air sublime, and ready now
  73. To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet
  74. On the bare outside of this World, that seem'd
  75. Firm land imbosom'd without Firmament,
  76. Uncertain which, in Ocean or in Air.



  1. Hail, holy light. You were here forever, like God.

  2. You were here before the sun.

  3. When God said, "Let there be light," you came to light up the creation of the world.

  4. I'm finished talking about Hell for a while.

  5. Now I'm asking your light to shine on me.

  6. I'm blind, so it won't help my eyes, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying hearing about beautiful places.

  7. I love poetry, especially in the Bible.

  8. There were many blind men in history and in legend who had great thoughts and wrote great poetry.

  9. The nightingale sings beautifully in the dark.

  10. The seasons change, day turns to night, there are flowers, birds, and beautiful faces. But I can't see any of it.

  11. I can't learn anything by looking around.

  12. So please shine your light inside me so I'll be able to see and tell about things people can't see.

  13. Now I'm imagining how God looked down on his creation from Heaven.

  14. All the angels were gathered around him. They were greatly blessed just by being in his presence.

  15. His son, Messiah, sat on his right side.

  16. God saw Adam and Eve enjoying the Garden of Eden.

  17. He looked down into Hell and all the way up to the dark side of Heaven. There he saw Satan getting ready to land on the outer shell of our universe.

  18. It looked like a big globe full of water or air.
  1. Him God beholding from his prospect high,
  2. Wherein past, present, future he beholds,
  3. Thus to his onely Son foreseeing spake.
  4. Onely begotten Son, seest thou what rage
  5. Transports our adversarie, whom no bounds
  6. Prescrib'd, no barrs of Hell, nor all the chains
  7. Heapt on him there, nor yet the main Abyss
  8. Wide interrupt can hold; so bent he seems
  9. On desparate reveng, that shall redound
  10. Upon his own rebellious head. And now
  11. Through all restraint broke loose he wings his way
  12. Not farr off Heav'n, in the Precincts of light,
  13. Directly towards the new created World,
  14. And Man there plac't, with purpose to assay
  15. If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
  16. By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert
  17. For man will heark'n to his glozing lyes,
  18. And easily transgress the sole Command,
  19. Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall,
  20. Hee and his faithless Progenie: whose fault?
  21. Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee
  22. All he could have; I made him just and right,
  23. Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
  24. Such I created all th' Ethereal Powers
  25. And Spirits, both them who stood and them who faild;
  26. Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.
  27. Not free, what proof could they have givn sincere
  28. Of true allegiance, constant Faith or Love,
  29. Where onely what they needs must do, appeard,
  30. Not what they would? what praise could they receive?
  31. What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
  32. When Will and Reason (Reason also is choice)
  33. Useless and vain, of freedom both despoild,
  34. Made passive both, had servd necessitie,
  35. Not mee. They therefore as to right belongd,
  36. So were created, nor can justly accuse
  37. Thir maker, or thir making, or thir Fate,
  38. As if predestination over-rul'd
  39. Thir will, dispos'd by absolute Decree
  40. Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
  41. Thir own revolt, not I: if I foreknew,
  42. Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
  43. Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown.
  44. So without least impulse or shadow of Fate,
  45. Or aught by me immutablie foreseen,
  46. They trespass, Authors to themselves in all
  47. Both what they judge and what they choose; for so
  48. I formd them free, and free they must remain,
  49. Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change
  50. Thir nature, and revoke the high Decree
  51. Unchangeable, Eternal, which ordain'd
  52. Thir freedom, they themselves ordain'd thir fall.
  53. The first sort by thir own suggestion fell,
  54. Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls deceiv'd
  55. By the other first: Man therefore shall find grace,
  56. The other none: in Mercy and Justice both,
  57. Through Heav'n and Earth, so shall my glorie excel,
  58. But Mercy first and last shall brightest shine.
  59. Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd
  60. All Heav'n, and in the blessed Spirits elect
  61. Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd:
  62. Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
  63. Most glorious, in him all his Father shon
  64. Substantially express'd, and in his face
  65. Divine compassion visibly appeerd,
  66. Love without end, and without measure Grace,
  67. Which uttering thus he to his Father spake.
  68. O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd
  69. Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find grace;
  70. For which both Heav'n and Earth shall high extoll
  71. Thy praises, with th' innumerable sound
  72. Of Hymns and sacred Songs, wherewith thy Throne
  73. Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest.
  74. For should Man finally be lost, should Man
  75. Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest Son
  76. Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though joynd
  77. With his own folly? that be from thee farr,
  78. That farr be from thee, Father, who art Judg
  79. Of all things made, and judgest onely right.
  80. Or shall the Adversarie thus obtain
  81. His end, and frustrate thine, shall he fulfill
  82. His malice, and thy goodness bring to naught,
  83. Or proud return though to his heavier doom,
  84. Yet with revenge accomplish't and to Hell
  85. Draw after him the whole Race of mankind,
  86. By him corrupted? or wilt thou thy self
  87. Abolish thy Creation, and unmake,
  88. For him, what for thy glorie thou hast made?
  89. So should thy goodness and thy greatness both
  90. Be questiond and blaspheam'd without defence.
  91. To whom the great Creatour thus reply'd.
  92. O Son, in whom my Soul hath chief delight,
  93. Son of my bosom, Son who art alone
  94. My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
  95. All hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are, all
  96. As my Eternal purpose hath decreed:
  97. Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will,
  98. Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
  99. Freely voutsaft; once more I will renew
  100. His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd
  101. By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
  102. Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
  103. On even ground against his mortal foe,
  104. By me upheld, that he may know how frail
  105. His fall'n condition is, and to me ow
  106. All his deliv'rance, and to none but me.
  107. Some I have chosen of peculiar grace
  108. Elect above the rest; so is my will:
  109. The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warnd
  110. Thir sinful state, and to appease betimes
  111. Th' incensed Deitie while offerd grace
  112. Invites; for I will cleer thir senses dark,
  113. What may suffice, and soft'n stonie hearts
  114. To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.
  115. To Prayer, repentance, and obedience due,
  116. Though but endevord with sincere intent,
  117. Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.
  118. And I will place within them as a guide
  119. My Umpire Conscience, whom if they will hear,
  120. Light after light well us'd they shall attain,
  121. And to the end persisting, safe arrive.
  122. This my long sufferance and my day of grace
  123. They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste;
  124. But hard be hard'nd, blind be blinded more,
  125. That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;
  126. And none but such from mercy I exclude.
  127. But yet all is not don; Man disobeying,
  128. Disloyal breaks his fealtie, and sinns
  129. Against the high Supremacie of Heav'n,
  130. Affecting God-head, and so loosing all,
  131. To expiate his Treason hath naught left,
  132. But to destruction sacred and devote,
  133. He with his whole posteritie must dye,
  134. Dye hee or Justice must; unless for him
  135. Som other able, and as willing, pay
  136. The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
  137. Say Heav'nly Powers, where shall we find such love,
  138. Which of ye will be mortal to redeem
  139. Mans mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save,
  140. Dwels in all Heaven charitie so deare?
  141. He ask'd, but all the Heav'nly Quire stood mute,
  142. And silence was in Heav'n: on mans behalf
  143. Patron or Intercessor none appeerd,
  144. Much less that durst upon his own head draw
  145. The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
  146. And now without redemption all mankind
  147. Must have bin lost, adjudg'd to Death and Hell
  148. By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
  149. In whom the fulness dwells of love divine,
  150. His dearest mediation thus renewd.
  151. Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace;
  152. And shall grace not find means, that finds her way,
  153. The speediest of thy winged messengers,
  154. To visit all thy creatures, and to all
  155. Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought,
  156. Happie for man, so coming; he her aide
  157. Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost;
  158. Attonement for himself or offering meet,
  159. Indebted and undon, hath none to bring:
  160. Behold mee then, mee for him, life for life
  161. I offer, on mee let thine anger fall;
  162. Account mee man; I for his sake will leave
  163. Thy bosom, and this glorie next to thee
  164. Freely put off, and for him lastly dye
  165. Well pleas'd, on me let Death wreck all his rage;
  166. Under his gloomie power I shall not long
  167. Lie vanquisht; thou hast givn me to possess
  168. Life in my self for ever, by thee I live,
  169. Though now to Death I yield, and am his due
  170. All that of me can die, yet that debt paid,
  171. Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsom grave
  172. His prey, nor suffer my unspotted Soule
  173. For ever with corruption there to dwell;
  174. But I shall rise Victorious, and subdue
  175. My Vanquisher, spoild of his vanted spoile;
  176. Death his deaths wound shall then receive, and stoop
  177. Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarm'd.
  178. I through the ample Air in Triumph high
  179. Shall lead Hell Captive maugre Hell, and show
  180. The powers of darkness bound. Thou at the sight
  181. Pleas'd, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile,
  182. While by thee rais'd I ruin all my Foes,
  183. Death last, and with his Carcass glut the Grave:
  184. Then with the multitude of my redeemd
  185. Shall enter Heaven long absent, and returne,
  186. Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
  187. Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd,
  188. And reconcilement; wrauth shall be no more
  189. Thenceforth, but in thy presence Joy entire.
  190. His words here ended, but his meek aspect
  191. Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love
  192. To mortal men, above which only shon
  193. Filial obedience: as a sacrifice
  194. Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will
  195. Of his great Father. Admiration seis'd
  196. All Heav'n, what this might mean, and whither tend
  197. Wondring; but soon th' Almighty thus reply'd:
  198. O thou in Heav'n and Earth the only peace
  199. Found out for mankind under wrauth, O thou
  200. My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear,
  201. To me are all my works, nor Man the least
  202. Though last created, that for him I spare
  203. Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save,
  204. By loosing thee a while, the whole Race lost.
  205. Thou therefore whom thou only canst redeem,
  206. Thir Nature also to thy Nature joyn;
  207. And be thy self Man among men on Earth,
  208. Made flesh, when time shall be, of Virgin seed,
  209. By wondrous birth: Be thou in Adams room
  210. The Head of all mankind, though Adams Son.
  211. As in him perish all men, so in thee
  212. As from a second root shall be restor'd,
  213. As many as are restor'd, without thee none.
  214. His crime makes guiltie all his Sons, thy merit
  215. Imputed shall absolve them who renounce
  216. Thir own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,
  217. And live in thee transplanted, and from thee
  218. Receive new life. So Man, as is most just,
  219. Shall satisfie for Man, be judg'd and die,
  220. And dying rise, and rising with him raise
  221. His Brethren, ransomd with his own dear life.
  222. So Heav'nly love shall outdoo Hellish hate,
  223. Giving to death, and dying to redeeme,
  224. So dearly to redeem what Hellish hate
  225. So easily destroy'd, and still destroyes
  226. In those who, when they may, accept not grace.
  227. Nor shalt thou by descending to assume
  228. Mans Nature, less'n or degrade thine owne.
  229. Because thou hast, though Thron'd in highest bliss
  230. Equal to God, and equally enjoying
  231. God-like fruition, quitted all to save
  232. A World from utter loss, and hast been found
  233. By Merit more then Birthright Son of God,
  234. Found worthiest to be so by being Good,
  235. Farr more then Great or High; because in thee
  236. Love hath abounded more then Glory abounds,
  237. Therefore thy Humiliation shall exalt
  238. With thee thy Manhood also to this Throne;
  239. Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt Reign
  240. Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
  241. Anointed universal King, all Power
  242. I give thee, reign for ever, and assume
  243. Thy Merits; under thee as Head Supream
  244. Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce:
  245. All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
  246. In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell;
  247. When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n
  248. Shalt in the Sky appeer, and from thee send
  249. The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaime
  250. Thy dread Tribunal: forthwith from all Windes
  251. The living, and forthwith the cited dead
  252. Of all past Ages to the general Doom
  253. Shall hast'n, such a peal shall rouse thir sleep.
  254. Then all thy Saints assembl'd, thou shalt judge
  255. Bad men and Angels, they arraignd shall sink
  256. Beneath thy Sentence; Hell her numbers full,
  257. Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while
  258. The World shall burn, and from her ashes spring
  259. New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell
  260. And after all thir tribulations long
  261. See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
  262. With Joy and Love triumphing, and fair Truth.
  263. Then thou thy regal Scepter shalt lay by,
  264. For regal Scepter then no more shall need,
  265. God shall be All in All. But all ye Gods,
  266. Adore him, who to compass all this dies,
  267. Adore the Son, and honour him as mee.
  268. No sooner had th' Almighty ceas't, but all
  269. The multitude of Angels with a shout
  270. Loud as from numbers without number, sweet
  271. As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heav'n rung
  272. With Jubilee, and loud Hosanna's filld
  273. Th' eternal Regions: lowly reverent
  274. Towards either Throne they bow, and to the ground
  275. With solemn adoration down they cast
  276. Thir Crowns inwove with Amarant and Gold,
  277. Immortal Amarant, a Flour which once
  278. In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life
  279. Began to bloom, but soon for mans offence
  280. To Heav'n remov'd where first it grew, there grows,
  281. And flours aloft shading the Fount of Life,
  282. And where the river of Bliss through midst of Heavn
  283. Rowls o're Elisian Flours her Amber stream;
  284. With these that never fade the Spirits elect
  285. Bind thir resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams,
  286. Now in loose Garlands thick thrown off, the bright
  287. Pavement that like a Sea of Jasper shon
  288. Impurpl'd with Celestial Roses smil'd.
  289. Then Crown'd again thir gold'n Harps they took,
  290. Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by thir side
  291. Like Quivers hung, and with Pramble sweet
  292. Of charming symphonie they introduce
  293. Thir sacred Song, and waken raptures high;
  294. No voice exempt, no voice but well could joine
  295. Melodious part, such concord is in Heav'n.
  296. Thee Father first they sung Omnipotent,
  297. Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
  298. Eternal King; thee Author of all being,
  299. Fountain of Light, thy self invisible
  300. Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sit'st
  301. Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st
  302. The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud
  303. Drawn round about thee like a radiant Shrine,
  304. Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appeer,
  305. Yet dazle Heav'n, that brightest Seraphim
  306. Approach not, but with both wings veil thir eyes,
  307. Thee next they sang of all Creation first,
  308. Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
  309. In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud
  310. Made visible, th' Almighty Father shines,
  311. Whom else no Creature can behold; on thee
  312. Impresst the effulgence of his Glorie abides,
  313. Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
  314. Hee Heav'n of Heavens and all the Powers therein
  315. By thee created, and by thee threw down
  316. Th' Aspiring Dominations: thou that day
  317. Thy Fathers dreadful Thunder didst not spare,
  318. Nor stop thy flaming Chariot wheels, that shook
  319. Heav'ns everlasting Frame, while o're the necks
  320. Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarraid.
  321. Back from pursuit thy Powers with loud acclaime
  322. Thee only extoll'd, Son of thy Fathers might,
  323. To execute fierce vengeance on his foes,
  324. Not so on Man; him through their malice fall'n,
  325. Father of Mercie and Grace, thou didst not doome
  326. So strictly, but much more to pitie encline:
  327. No sooner did thy dear and onely Son
  328. Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man
  329. So strictly, but much more to pitie enclin'd,
  330. He to appease thy wrauth, and end the strife
  331. Of Mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd,
  332. Regardless of the Bliss wherein hee sat
  333. Second to thee, offerd himself to die
  334. For mans offence. O unexampl'd love,
  335. Love no where to be found less then Divine!
  336. Hail Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy Name
  337. Shall be the copious matter of my Song
  338. Henceforth, and never shall my Harp thy praise
  339. Forget, nor from thy Fathers praise disjoine.
  340. Thus they in Heav'n, above the starry Sphear,
  341. Thir happie hours in joy and hymning spent.
  342. Mean while upon the firm opacous Globe
  343. Of this round World, whose first convex divides
  344. The luminous inferior Orbs, enclos'd
  345. From Chaos and th' inroad of Darkness old,
  346. Satan alighted walks: a Globe farr off
  347. It seem'd, now seems a boundless Continent
  348. Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night
  349. Starless expos'd, and ever-threatning storms
  350. Of Chaos blustring round, inclement skie;
  351. Save on that side which from the wall of Heav'n
  352. Though distant farr some small reflection gaines
  353. Of glimmering air less vext with tempest loud:
  354. Here walk'd the Fiend at large in spacious field.
  355. As when a Vultur on Imaus bred,
  356. Whose snowie ridge the roving Tartar bounds,
  357. Dislodging from a Region scarce of prey
  358. To gorge the flesh of Lambs or yeanling Kids
  359. On Hills where Flocks are fed, flies toward the Springs
  360. Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams;
  361. But in his way lights on the barren Plaines
  362. Of Sericana, where Chineses drive
  363. With Sails and Wind thir canie Waggons light:
  364. So on this windie Sea of Land, the Fiend
  365. Walk'd up and down alone bent on his prey,
  366. Alone, for other Creature in this place
  367. Living or liveless to be found was none,
  368. None yet, but store hereafter from the earth
  369. Up hither like Aereal vapours flew
  370. Of all things transitorie and vain, when Sin
  371. With vanity had filld the works of men:
  372. Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
  373. Built thir fond hopes of Glorie or lasting fame,
  374. Or happiness in this or th' other life;
  375. All who have thir reward on Earth, the fruits
  376. Of painful Superstition and blind Zeal,
  377. Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find
  378. Fit retribution, emptie as thir deeds;
  379. All th' unaccomplisht works of Natures hand,
  380. Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixt,
  381. Dissolvd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
  382. Till final dissolution, wander here,
  383. Not in the neighbouring Moon, as some have dreamd;
  384. Those argent Fields more likely habitants,
  385. Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold
  386. Betwixt th' Angelical and Human kinde:
  387. Hither of ill-joynd Sons and Daughters born
  388. First from the ancient World those Giants came
  389. With many a vain exploit, though then renownd:
  390. The builders next of Babel on the Plain
  391. Of Sennaar, and still with vain designe
  392. New Babels, had they wherewithall, would build:
  393. Others came single; he who to be deem'd
  394. A God, leap'd fondly into tna flames
  395. Empedocles, and hee who to enjoy
  396. Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the Sea,
  397. Cleombrotus, and many more too long,
  398. Embryo's and Idiots, Eremits and Friers
  399. White, Black and Grey, with all thir trumperie.
  400. Here Pilgrims roam, that stray'd so farr to seek
  401. In Golgotha him dead, who lives in Heav'n;
  402. And they who to be sure of Paradise
  403. Dying put on the weeds of Dominic,
  404. Or in Franciscan think to pass disguis'd;
  405. They pass the Planets seven, and pass the fixt,
  406. And that Crystalline Sphear whose ballance weighs
  407. The Trepidation talkt, and that first mov'd;
  408. And now Saint Peter at Heav'ns Wicket seems
  409. To wait them with his Keys, and now at foot
  410. Of Heav'ns ascent they lift thir Feet, when loe
  411. A violent cross wind from either Coast
  412. Blows them transverse ten thousand Leagues awry
  413. Into the devious Air; then might ye see
  414. Cowles, Hoods and Habits with thir wearers tost
  415. And flutterd into Raggs, then Reliques, Beads,
  416. Indulgences, Dispenses, Pardons, Bulls,
  417. The sport of Winds: all these upwhirld aloft
  418. Fly o're the backside of the World farr off
  419. Into a Limbo large and broad, since calld
  420. The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown
  421. Long after, now unpeopl'd, and untrod;
  422. All this dark Globe the Fiend found as he pass'd,
  423. And long he wanderd, till at last a gleame
  424. Of dawning light turnd thither-ward in haste
  425. His travell'd steps; farr distant he descries
  426. Ascending by degrees magnificent
  427. Up to the wall of Heaven a Structure high,
  428. At top whereof, but farr more rich appeer'd
  429. The work as of a Kingly Palace Gate
  430. With Frontispice of Diamond and Gold
  431. Imbellisht, thick with sparkling orient Gemmes
  432. The Portal shon, inimitable on Earth
  433. By Model, or by shading Pencil drawn.
  434. The Stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw
  435. Angels ascending and descending, bands
  436. Of Guardians bright, when he from Esau fled
  437. To Padan-Aram in the field of Luz,
  438. Dreaming by night under the open Skie,
  439. And waking cri'd, This is the Gate of Heav'n
  440. Each Stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood
  441. There alwayes, but drawn up to Heav'n somtimes
  442. Viewless, and underneath a bright Sea flow'd
  443. Of Jasper, or of liquid Pearle, whereon
  444. Who after came from Earth, sayling arriv'd,
  445. Wafted by Angels, or flew o're the Lake
  446. Rapt in a Chariot drawn by fiery Steeds.
  447. The Stairs were then let down, whether to dare
  448. The Fiend by easie ascent, or aggravate
  449. His sad exclusion from the dores of Bliss.
  450. Direct against which opn'd from beneath,
  451. Just o're the blissful seat of Paradise,
  452. A passage down to th' Earth, a passage wide,
  453. Wider by farr then that of after-times
  454. Over Mount Sion, and, though that were large,
  455. Over the Promis'd Land to God so dear,
  456. By which, to visit oft those happy Tribes,
  457. On high behests his Angels to and fro
  458. Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard
  459. From Paneas the fount of Jordans flood
  460. To Beersaba, where the Holy Land
  461. Borders on gypt and th' Arabian shoare;
  462. So wide the op'ning seemd, where bounds were set
  463. To darkness, such as bound the Ocean wave.
  464. Satan from hence now on the lower stair
  465. That scal'd by steps of Gold to Heav'n Gate
  466. Looks down with wonder at the sudden view
  467. Of all this World at once. As when a Scout
  468. Through dark and desart wayes with peril gone
  469. All night; at last by break of chearful dawne
  470. Obtains the brow of some high-climbing Hill,
  471. Which to his eye discovers unaware
  472. The goodly prospect of some forein land
  473. First-seen, or some renown'd Metropolis
  474. With glistering Spires and Pinnacles adorn'd,
  475. Which now the Rising Sun guilds with his beams.
  476. Such wonder seis'd, though after Heaven seen,
  477. The Spirit maligne, but much more envy seis'd
  478. At sight of all this World beheld so faire.
  479. Round he surveys, and well might, where he stood
  480. So high above the circling Canopie
  481. Of Nights extended shade; from Eastern Point
  482. Of Libra to the fleecie Starr that bears
  483. Andromeda farr off Atlantic Seas
  484. Beyond th' Horizon; then from Pole to Pole
  485. He views in bredth, and without longer pause
  486. Down right into the Worlds first Region throws
  487. His flight precipitant, and windes with ease
  488. Through the pure marble Air his oblique way
  489. Amongst innumerable Starrs, that shon
  490. Stars distant, but nigh hand seemd other Worlds,
  491. Or other Worlds they seemd, or happy Iles,
  492. Like those Hesperian Gardens fam'd of old,
  493. Fortunate Fields, and Groves and flourie Vales,
  494. Thrice happy Iles, but who dwelt happy there
  495. He stayd not to enquire: above them all
  496. The golden Sun in splendor likest Heaven
  497. Allur'd his eye: Thither his course he bends
  498. Through the calm Firmament; but up or downe
  499. By center, or eccentric, hard to tell,
  500. Or Longitude, where the great Luminarie
  501. Alooff the vulgar Constellations thick,
  502. That from his Lordly eye keep distance due,
  503. Dispenses Light from farr; they as they move
  504. Thir Starry dance in numbers that compute
  505. Days, months, & years, towards his all-chearing Lamp
  506. Turn swift thir various motions, or are turnd
  507. By his Magnetic beam, that gently warms
  508. The Univers, and to each inward part
  509. With gentle penetration, though unseen,
  510. Shoots invisible vertue even to the deep:
  511. So wondrously was set his Station bright.
  512. There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps
  513. Astronomer in the Sun's lucent Orbe
  514. Through his glaz'd Optic Tube yet never saw.
  515. The place he found beyond expression bright,
  516. Compar'd with aught on Earth, Medal or Stone;
  517. Not all parts like, but all alike informd
  518. With radiant light, as glowing Iron with fire;
  519. If mettal, part seemd Gold, part Silver cleer;
  520. If stone, Carbuncle most or Chrysolite,
  521. Rubie or Topaz, to the Twelve that shon
  522. In Aarons Brest-plate, and a stone besides
  523. Imagind rather oft then elsewhere seen,
  524. That stone, or like to that which here below
  525. Philosophers in vain so long have sought,
  526. In vain, though by thir powerful Art they binde
  527. Volatil Hermes, and call up unbound
  528. In various shapes old Proteus from the Sea,
  529. Draind through a Limbec to his Native forme.
  530. What wonder then if fields and region here
  531. Breathe forth Elixir pure, and Rivers run
  532. Potable Gold, when with one vertuous touch
  533. Th' Arch-chimic Sun so farr from us remote
  534. Produces with Terrestrial Humor mixt
  535. Here in the dark so many precious things
  536. Of colour glorious and effect so rare?
  537. Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
  538. Undazl'd, farr and wide his eye commands,
  539. For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
  540. But all Sun-shine, as when his Beams at Noon
  541. Culminate from th' quator, as they now
  542. Shot upward still direct, whence no way round
  543. Shadow from body opaque can fall, and the Aire,
  544. No where so cleer, sharp'nd his visual ray
  545. To objects distant farr, whereby he soon
  546. Saw within kenn a glorious Angel stand,
  547. The same whom John saw also in the Sun:
  548. His back was turnd, but not his brightness hid;
  549. Of beaming sunnie Raies, a golden tiar
  550. Circl'd his Head, nor less his Locks behind
  551. Illustrious on his Shoulders fledge with wings
  552. Lay waving round; on som great charge imploy'd
  553. He seemd, or fixt in cogitation deep.
  554. Glad was the Spirit impure as now in hope
  555. To find who might direct his wandring flight
  556. To Paradise the happie seat of Man,
  557. His journies end and our beginning woe.
  558. But first he casts to change his proper shape,
  559. Which else might work him danger or delay:
  560. And now a stripling Cherube he appeers,
  561. Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
  562. Youth smil'd Celestial, and to every Limb
  563. Sutable grace diffus'd, so well he feign'd;
  564. Under a Coronet his flowing haire
  565. In curles on either cheek plaid, wings he wore
  566. Of many a colourd plume sprinkl'd with Gold,
  567. His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
  568. Before his decent steps a Silver wand.
  569. He drew not nigh unheard, the Angel bright,
  570. Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turnd,
  571. Admonisht by his ear, and strait was known
  572. Th' Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the seav'n
  573. Who in God's presence, neerest to his Throne
  574. Stand ready at command, and are his Eyes
  575. That run through all the Heav'ns, or down to th' Earth
  576. Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,
  577. O're Sea and Land; him Satan thus accostes;
  578. Uriel, for thou of those seav'n Spirits that stand
  579. In sight of God's high Throne, gloriously bright,
  580. The first art wont his great authentic will
  581. Interpreter through highest Heav'n to bring,
  582. Where all his Sons thy Embassie attend;
  583. And here art likeliest by supream decree
  584. Like honor to obtain, and as his Eye
  585. To visit oft this new Creation round;
  586. Unspeakable desire to see, and know
  587. All these his wondrous works, but chiefly Man,
  588. His chief delight and favour, him for whom
  589. All these his works so wondrous he ordaind,
  590. Hath brought me from the Quires of Cherubim
  591. Alone thus wandring. Brightest Seraph tell
  592. In which of all these shining Orbes hath Man
  593. His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
  594. But all these shining Orbes his choice to dwell;
  595. That I may find him, and with secret gaze,
  596. Or open admiration him behold
  597. On whom the great Creator hath bestowd
  598. Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces powrd;
  599. That both in him and all things, as is meet,
  600. The Universal Maker we may praise;
  601. Who justly hath driv'n out his Rebell Foes
  602. To deepest Hell, and to repair that loss
  603. Created this new happie Race of Men
  604. To serve him better: wise are all his wayes.
  605. So spake the false dissembler unperceivd;
  606. For neither Man nor Angel can discern
  607. Hypocrisie, the onely evil that walks
  608. Invisible, except to God alone,
  609. By his permissive will, through Heav'n and Earth:
  610. And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
  611. At wisdoms Gate, and to simplicitie
  612. Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
  613. Where no ill seems: Which now for once beguil'd
  614. Uriel, though Regent of the Sun, and held
  615. The sharpest sighted Spirit of all in Heav'n;
  616. Who to the fraudulent Impostor foule
  617. In his uprightness answer thus returnd.
  618. Faire Angel, thy desire which tends to know
  619. The works of God, thereby to glorifie
  620. The great Work-Maister, leads to no excess
  621. That reaches blame, but rather merits praise
  622. The more it seems excess, that led thee hither
  623. From thy Empyreal Mansion thus alone,
  624. To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps
  625. Contented with report hear onely in heav'n:
  626. For wonderful indeed are all his works,
  627. Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
  628. Had in remembrance alwayes with delight;
  629. But what created mind can comprehend
  630. Thir number, or the wisdom infinite
  631. That brought them forth, but hid thir causes deep.
  632. I saw when at his Word the formless Mass,
  633. This worlds material mould, came to a heap:
  634. Confusion heard his voice, and wilde uproar
  635. Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;
  636. Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
  637. Light shon, and order from disorder sprung:
  638. Swift to thir several Quarters hasted then
  639. The cumbrous Elements, Earth, Flood, Aire, Fire,
  640. And this Ethereal quintessence of Heav'n
  641. Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
  642. That rowld orbicular, and turnd to Starrs
  643. Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
  644. Each had his place appointed, each his course,
  645. The rest in circuit walles this Universe.
  646. Look downward on that Globe whose hither side
  647. With light from hence, though but reflected, shines;
  648. That place is Earth the seat of Man, that light
  649. His day, which else as th' other Hemisphere
  650. Night would invade, but there the neighbouring Moon
  651. (So call that opposite fair Starr) her aide
  652. Timely interposes, and her monthly round
  653. Still ending, still renewing through mid Heav'n,
  654. With borrowd light her countenance triform
  655. Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth,
  656. And in her pale dominion checks the night.
  657. That spot to which I point is Paradise,
  658. Adams abode, those loftie shades his Bowre.
  659. Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires.
  660. Thus said, he turnd, and Satan bowing low,
  661. As to superior Spirits is wont in Heaven,
  662. Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
  663. Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth beneath,
  664. Down from th' Ecliptic, sped with hop'd success,
  665. Throws his steep flight in many an Aerie wheele,
  666. Nor staid, till on Niphates top he lights.

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