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Paradise Lost in Plain English

Paradise Lost

~ BOOK V ~

  1. Now Morn her rosie steps in th' Eastern Clime
  2. Advancing, sow'd the earth with Orient Pearle,
  3. When Adam wak't, so customd, for his sleep
  4. Was Aerie light, from pure digestion bred,
  5. And temperat vapors bland, which th' only sound
  6. Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
  7. Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill Matin Song
  8. Of Birds on every bough; so much the more
  9. His wonder was to find unwak'nd Eve
  10. With Tresses discompos'd, and glowing Cheek,
  11. As through unquiet rest: he on his side
  12. Leaning half-rais'd, with looks of cordial Love
  13. Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
  14. Beautie, which whether waking or asleep,
  15. Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice
  16. Milde, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
  17. Her hand soft touching, whisperd thus. Awake
  18. My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
  19. Heav'ns last best gift, my ever new delight,
  20. Awake, the morning shines, and the fresh field
  21. Calls us, we lose the prime, to mark how spring
  22. Our tended Plants, how blows the Citron Grove,
  23. What drops the Myrrhe, and what the balmie Reed,
  24. How Nature paints her colours, how the Bee
  25. Sits on the Bloom extracting liquid sweet.
  26. Such whispering wak'd her, but with startl'd eye
  27. On Adam, whom imbracing, thus she spake.
  28. O Sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
  29. My Glorie, my Perfection, glad I see
  30. Thy face, and Morn return'd, for I this Night,
  31. Such night till this I never pass'd, have dream'd,
  32. If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee,
  33. Works of day pass't, or morrows next designe,
  34. But of offense and trouble, which my mind
  35. Knew never till this irksom night; methought
  36. Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk
  37. With gentle voice, I thought it thine; it said,
  38. Why sleepst thou Eve? now is the pleasant time,
  39. The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
  40. To the night-warbling Bird, that now awake
  41. Tunes sweetest his love-labor'd song; now reignes
  42. Full Orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing light
  43. Shadowie sets off the face of things; in vain,
  44. If none regard; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes,
  45. Whom to behold but thee, Natures desire,
  46. In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
  47. Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.
  48. I rose as at thy call, but found thee not;



  1. It was sunrise when Adam woke up.

  2. His healthy environment caused him to sleep light, so just the sound of rustling leaves or birds would wake him up.

  3. So he was surprised to see Eve still asleep with her hair in a mess and with a troubled expression on her face.

  4. He raised himself up on his elbow and stared at her, admiring her.

  5. He whispered, Wake up, Eve, before the beauty of the early morning is gone.

  6. You don't want to miss the citrus blooms, the colors and the fragrance, and the bees collecting their pollen.

  7. She woke up with a start.

  8. Oh, Adam, she said, I'm so glad to see your perfect face.
  9. I had a dream, but not as I usually dream, about you and pleasant things, but bad things I never thought about before.

  10. I thought I heard you talking in my ear, telling me to go with you.
  11. You talked about how beautiful the night was, the birds that sing at night, and how the moonlight from the full moon made everything beautiful, but nobody was there to see it.
  12. You said the stars were like eyes waiting to enjoy my beauty.

  13. I got up to follow you, but you weren't there.
  1. To find thee I directed then my walk;
  2. And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways
  3. That brought me on a sudden to the Tree
  4. Of interdicted Knowledge: fair it seem'd,
  5. Much fairer to my Fancie then by day:
  6. And as I wondring lookt, beside it stood
  7. One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Heav'n
  8. By us oft seen; his dewie locks distill'd
  9. Ambrosia; on that Tree he also gaz'd;
  10. And O fair Plant, said he, with fruit surcharg'd,
  11. Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet,
  12. Nor God, nor Man; is Knowledge so despis'd?
  13. Or envie, or what reserve forbids to taste?
  14. Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold
  15. Longer thy offerd good, why else set here?
  16. This said he paus'd not, but with ventrous Arme
  17. He pluckt, he tasted; mee damp horror chil'd
  18. At such bold words voucht with a deed so bold:
  19. But he thus overjoy'd, O Fruit Divine,
  20. Sweet of thy self, but much more sweet thus cropt,
  21. Forbidd'n here, it seems, as onely fit
  22. For God's, yet able to make Gods of Men:
  23. And why not Gods of Men, since good, the more
  24. Communicated, more abundant growes,
  25. The Author not impair'd, but honourd more?
  26. Here, happie Creature, fair Angelic Eve,
  27. Partake thou also; happie though thou art,
  28. Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be:
  29. Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods
  30. Thy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind,
  31. But somtimes in the Air, as wee, somtimes
  32. Ascend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and see
  33. What life the Gods live there, and such live thou.
  34. So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
  35. Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
  36. Which he had pluckt; the pleasant savourie smell
  37. So quick'nd appetite, that I, methought,
  38. Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the Clouds
  39. With him I flew, and underneath beheld
  40. The Earth outstretcht immense, a prospect wide
  41. And various: wondring at my flight and change
  42. To this high exaltation; suddenly
  43. My Guide was gon, and I, me thought, sunk down,
  44. And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd
  45. To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her Night
  46. Related, and thus Adam answerd sad.
  47. Best Image of my self and dearer half,
  48. The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep
  49. Affects me equally; nor can I like
  50. This uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear;
  1. I went to look for you and I came to the tree with the forbidden fruit.

  2. It looked beautiful, much more than it does in daytime.

  3. Suddenly I noticed an angel standing beside it.

  4. 'What beautiful fruit!' he said, 'and nobody wants to taste it? Well, nobody's going to stop me from eating it. What else is it here for?'

  5. Then he picked a piece of fruit and ate it. I was shocked.

  6. He said 'Wonderful fruit! Good to look at, better to taste. It's supposed to be only for the gods, but it's able to turn men into gods. And why not? Why not spread the good? That would honor God all the more.'

  7. Then he told me I should eat the fruit too. He said it would make me even happier than I am and turn me into a goddess.

  8. Then he put the fruit near my mouth. It smelled so good, I couldn't help myself. I
    ate it.

  9. Suddenly we both flew up into the sky. Then he was gone and I sank back down into sleep.

  10. I'm so relieved to find out it was just a dream!

  11. Adam said,I don't like this dream. It comes from some unknown evil.
  1. Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none,
  2. Created pure. But know that in the Soule
  3. Are many lesser Faculties that serve
  4. Reason as chief; among these Fansie next
  5. Her office holds; of all external things,
  6. Which the five watchful Senses represent,
  7. She forms Imaginations, Aerie shapes,
  8. Which Reason joyning or disjoyning, frames
  9. All what we affirm or what deny, and call
  10. Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
  11. Into her private Cell when Nature rests.
  12. Oft in her absence mimic Fansie wakes
  13. To imitate her; but misjoyning shapes,
  14. Wilde work produces oft, and most in dreams,
  15. Ill matching words and deeds long past or late.
  16. Som such resemblances methinks I find
  17. Of our last Eevnings talk, in this thy dream,
  18. But with addition strange; yet be not sad.
  19. Evil into the mind of God or Man
  20. May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave
  21. No spot or blame behind: Which gives me hope
  22. That what in sleep thou didst abhorr to dream,
  23. Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
  24. Be not disheart'nd then, nor cloud those looks
  25. That wont to be more chearful and serene
  26. Then when fair Morning first smiles on the World,
  27. And let us to our fresh imployments rise
  28. Among the Groves, the Fountains, and the Flours
  29. That open now thir choicest bosom'd smells
  30. Reservd from night, and kept for thee in store.
  31. So cheard he his fair Spouse, and she was cheard,
  32. But silently a gentle tear let fall
  33. From either eye, and wip'd them with her haire;
  34. Two other precious drops that ready stood,
  35. Each in thir Chrystal sluce, hee ere they fell
  36. Kiss'd as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
  37. And pious awe, that feard to have offended.
  38. So all was cleard, and to the Field they haste.
  39. But first from under shadie arborous roof,
  40. Soon as they forth were come to open sight
  41. Of day-spring, and the Sun, who scarce up risen
  42. With wheels yet hov'ring o're the Ocean brim,
  43. Shot paralel to the earth his dewie ray,
  44. Discovering in wide Lantskip all the East
  45. Of Paradise and Edens happie Plains,
  46. Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began
  47. Thir Orisons, each Morning duly paid
  48. In various style, for neither various style
  49. Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
  50. Thir Maker, in fit strains pronounc't or sung
  51. Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence
  52. Flowd from thir lips, in Prose or numerous Verse,
  53. More tuneable then needed Lute or Harp
  54. To add more sweetness, and they thus began.
  55. These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
  56. Almightie, thine this universal Frame,
  57. Thus wondrous fair; thy self how wondrous then!
  58. Unspeakable, who sitst above these Heavens
  59. To us invisible or dimly seen
  60. In these thy lowest works, yet these declare
  61. Thy goodness beyond thought, and Power Divine:
  62. Speak yee who best can tell, ye Sons of Light,
  63. Angels, for yee behold him, and with songs
  64. And choral symphonies, Day without Night,
  65. Circle his Throne rejoycing, yee in Heav'n,
  66. On Earth joyn all ye Creatures to extoll
  67. Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
  68. Fairest of Starrs, last in the train of Night,
  69. If better thou belong not to the dawn,
  70. Sure pledge of day, that crownst the smiling Morn
  71. With thy bright Circlet, praise him in thy Spheare
  72. While day arises, that sweet hour of Prime.
  73. Thou Sun, of this great World both Eye and Soule,
  74. Acknowledge him thy Greater, sound his praise
  75. In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
  76. And when high Noon hast gaind, and when thou fallst.
  77. Moon, that now meetst the orient Sun, now fli'st
  78. With the fixt Starrs, fixt in thir Orb that flies,
  79. And yee five other wandring Fires that move
  80. In mystic Dance not without Song, resound
  81. His praise, who out of Darkness call'd up Light.
  82. Aire, and ye Elements the eldest birth
  83. Of Natures Womb, that in quaternion run
  84. Perpetual Circle, multiform; and mix
  85. And nourish all things, let your ceasless change
  86. Varie to our great Maker still new praise.
  87. Ye Mists and Exhalations that now rise
  88. From Hill or steaming Lake, duskie or grey,
  89. Till the Sun paint your fleecie skirts with Gold,
  90. In honour to the Worlds great Author rise,
  91. Whether to deck with Clouds th' uncolourd skie,
  92. Or wet the thirstie Earth with falling showers,
  93. Rising or falling still advance his praise.
  94. His praise ye Winds, that from four Quarters blow,
  95. Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines,
  96. With every Plant, in sign of Worship wave.
  97. Fountains and yee, that warble, as ye flow,
  98. Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
  99. Joyn voices all ye living Souls; ye Birds,
  100. That singing up to Heaven Gate ascend,
  101. Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise;
  102. Yee that in Waters glide, and yee that walk
  103. The Earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
  104. Witness if I be silent, Morn or Eeven,
  105. To Hill, or Valley, Fountain, or fresh shade
  106. Made vocal by my Song, and taught his praise.
  107. Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still
  108. To give us onely good; and if the night
  109. Have gathered aught of evil or conceald,
  110. Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
  111. So pray'd they innocent, and to thir thoughts
  112. Firm peace recoverd soon and wonted calm.
  113. On to thir mornings rural work they haste
  114. Among sweet dewes and flours; where any row
  115. Of Fruit-trees overwoodie reachd too farr
  116. Thir pamperd boughes, and needed hands to check
  117. Fruitless imbraces: or they led the Vine
  118. To wed her Elm; she spous'd about him twines
  119. Her marriageable arms, and with her brings
  120. Her dowr th' adopted Clusters, to adorn
  121. His barren leaves. Them thus imploid beheld
  122. With pittie Heav'ns high King, and to him call'd
  123. Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deign'd
  124. To travel with Tobias, and secur'd
  125. His marriage with the seaventimes-wedded Maid.
  126. Raphael, said hee, thou hear'st what stir on Earth
  127. Satan from Hell scap't through the darksom Gulf
  128. Hath raisd in Paradise, and how disturbd
  129. This night the human pair, how he designes
  130. In them at once to ruin all mankind.
  131. Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend
  132. Converse with Adam, in what Bowre or shade
  133. Thou find'st him from the heat of Noon retir'd,
  134. To respit his day-labour with repast,
  135. Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
  136. As may advise him of his happie state,
  137. Happiness in his power left free to will,
  138. Left to his own free Will, his Will though free,
  139. Yet mutable; whence warne him to beware
  140. He swerve not too secure: tell him withall
  141. His danger, and from whom, what enemie
  142. Late falln himself from Heav'n, is plotting now
  143. The fall of others from like state of bliss;
  144. By violence, no, for that shall be withstood,
  145. But by deceit and lies; this let him know,
  146. Lest wilfully transgressing he pretend
  147. Surprisal, unadmonisht, unforewarnd.
  148. So spake th' Eternal Father, and fulfilld
  149. All Justice: nor delaid the winged Saint
  150. After his charge receivd; but from among
  151. Thousand Celestial Ardors, where he stood
  152. Vaild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light
  153. Flew through the midst of Heav'n; th' angelic Quires
  154. On each hand parting, to his speed gave way
  155. Through all th' Empyreal road; till at the Gate
  156. Of Heav'n arriv'd, the gate self-opend wide
  157. On golden Hinges turning, as by work
  158. Divine the sov'ran Architect had fram'd.
  159. From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
  160. Starr interpos'd, however small he sees,
  161. Not unconform to other shining Globes,
  162. Earth and the Gard'n of God, with Cedars crownd
  163. Above all Hills. As when by night the Glass
  164. Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes
  165. Imagind Lands and Regions in the Moon:
  166. Or Pilot from amidst the Cyclades
  167. Delos or Samos first appeering kenns
  168. A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
  169. He speeds, and through the vast Ethereal Skie
  170. Sailes between worlds and worlds, with steddie wing
  171. Now on the polar windes, then with quick Fann
  172. Winnows the buxom Air; till within soare
  173. Of Towring Eagles, to all the Fowles he seems
  174. A Phnix, gaz'd by all, as that sole Bird
  175. When to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's
  176. Bright Temple, to gyptian Theb's he flies.
  177. At once on th' Eastern cliff of Paradise
  178. He lights, and to his proper shape returns
  179. A Seraph wingd; six wings he wore, to shade
  180. His lineaments Divine; the pair that clad
  181. Each shoulder broad, came mantling o're his brest
  182. With regal Ornament; the middle pair
  183. Girt like a Starrie Zone his waste, and round
  184. Skirted his loines and thighes with downie Gold
  185. And colours dipt in Heav'n; the third his feet
  186. Shaddowd from either heele with featherd maile
  187. Skie-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood,
  188. And shook his Plumes, that Heav'nly fragrance filld
  189. The circuit wide. Strait knew him all the Bands
  190. Of Angels under watch; and to his state,
  191. And to his message high in honour rise;
  192. For on Som message high they guessd him bound.
  193. Thir glittering Tents he passd, and now is come
  194. Into the blissful field, through Groves of Myrrhe,
  195. And flouring Odours, Cassia, Nard, and Balme;
  196. A Wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
  197. Wantond as in her prime, and plaid at will
  198. Her Virgin Fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
  199. Wilde above Rule or Art; enormous bliss.
  200. Him through the spicie Forrest onward com
  201. Adam discernd, as in the dore he sat
  202. Of his coole Bowre, while now the mounted Sun
  203. Shot down direct his fervid Raies, to warme
  204. Earths inmost womb, more warmth then Adam needs;
  205. And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd
  206. For dinner savourie fruits, of taste to please
  207. True appetite, and not disrelish thirst
  208. Of nectarous draughts between, from milkie stream,
  209. Berrie or Grape: to whom thus Adam call'd.
  210. Haste hither Eve, and worth thy sight behold
  211. Eastward among those Trees, what glorious shape
  212. Comes this way moving; seems another Morn
  213. Ris'n on mid-noon; Som great behest from Heav'n
  214. To us perhaps he brings, and will voutsafe
  215. This day to be our Guest. But goe with speed,
  216. And what thy stores contain, bring forth and poure
  217. Abundance, fit to honour and receive
  218. Our Heav'nly stranger; well we may afford
  219. Our givers thir own gifts, and large bestow
  220. From large bestowd, where Nature multiplies
  221. Her fertil growth, and by disburd'ning grows
  222. More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.
  223. To whom thus Eve. Adam, earths hallowd mould,
  224. Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store,
  225. All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk;
  226. Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
  227. To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes:
  228. But I will haste and from each bough and break,
  229. Each Plant and juiciest Gourd will pluck such choice
  230. To entertain our Angel guest, as hee
  231. Beholding shall confess that here on Earth
  232. God hath dispenst his bounties as in Heav'n.
  233. So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste
  234. She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent
  235. What choice to chuse for delicacie best,
  236. What order, so contriv'd as not to mix
  237. Tastes, not well joynd, inelegant, but bring
  238. Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change,
  239. Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk
  240. Whatever Earth all-bearing Mother yields
  241. In India East or West, or middle shoare
  242. In Pontus or the Punic Coast, or where
  243. Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kindes, in coate,
  244. Rough, or smooth rin'd, or bearded husk, or shell
  245. She gathers, Tribute large, and on the board
  246. Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the Grape
  247. She crushes, inoffensive moust, and meathes
  248. From many a berrie, and from sweet kernels prest
  249. She tempers dulcet creams, nor these to hold
  250. Wants her fit vessels pure, then strews the ground
  251. With Rose and Odours from the shrub unfum'd.
  252. Mean while our Primitive great Sire, to meet
  253. His god-like Guest, walks forth, without more train
  254. Accompanied then with his own compleat
  255. Perfections; in himself was all his state,
  256. More solemn then the tedious pomp that waits
  257. On Princes, when thir rich Retinue long
  258. Of Horses led, and Grooms besmeard with Gold
  259. Dazles the croud, and sets them all agape.
  260. Neerer his presence Adam though not awd,
  261. Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek,
  262. As to a superior Nature, bowing low,
  263. Thus said. Native of Heav'n, for other place
  264. None can then Heav'n such glorious shape contain;
  265. Since by descending from the Thrones above,
  266. Those happie places thou hast deignd a while
  267. To want, and honour these, voutsafe with us
  268. Two onely, who yet by sov'ran gift possess
  269. This spacious ground, in yonder shadie Bowre
  270. To rest, and what the Garden choicest bears
  271. To sit and taste, till this meridian heat
  272. Be over, and the Sun more coole decline.
  273. Whom thus the Angelic Vertue answerd milde.
  274. Adam, I therefore came, nor art thou such
  275. Created, or such place hast here to dwell,
  276. As may not oft invite, though Spirits of Heav'n
  277. To visit thee; lead on then where thy Bowre
  278. Oreshades; for these mid-hours, till Eevning rise
  279. I have at will. So to the Silvan Lodge
  280. They came, that like Pomona's Arbour smil'd
  281. With flourets deck't and fragrant smells; but Eve
  282. Undeckt, save with her self more lovely fair
  283. Then Wood-Nymph, or the fairest Goddess feign'd
  284. Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove,
  285. Stood to entertain her guest from Heav'n; no vaile
  286. Shee needed, Vertue-proof, no thought infirme
  287. Alterd her cheek. On whom the Angel Haile
  288. Bestowd, the holy salutation us'd
  289. Long after to blest Marie, second Eve.
  290. Haile Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful Womb
  291. Shall fill the World more numerous with thy Sons
  292. Then with these various fruits the Trees of God
  293. Have heap'd this Table. Rais'd of grassie terf
  294. Thir Table was, and mossie seats had round,
  295. And on her ample Square from side to side
  296. All Autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here
  297. Danc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold;
  298. No fear lest Dinner coole; when thus began
  299. Our Authour. Heav'nly stranger, please to taste
  300. These bounties which our Nourisher, from whom
  301. All perfet good unmeasur'd out, descends,
  302. To us for food and for delight hath caus'd
  303. The Earth to yeild; unsavourie food perhaps
  304. To spiritual Natures; only this I know,
  305. That one Celestial Father gives to all.
  306. To whom the Angel. Therefore what he gives
  307. (Whose praise be ever sung) to man in part
  308. Spiritual, may of purest Spirits be found
  309. No ingrateful food: and food alike those pure
  310. Intelligential substances require
  311. As doth your Rational; and both contain
  312. Within them every lower facultie
  313. Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste,
  314. Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,
  315. And corporeal to incorporeal turn.
  316. For know, whatever was created, needs
  317. To be sustaind and fed; of Elements
  318. The grosser feeds the purer, Earth the Sea,
  319. Earth and the Sea feed Air, the Air those Fires
  320. Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon;
  321. Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd
  322. Vapours not yet into her substance turnd.
  323. Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale
  324. From her moist Continent to higher Orbes.
  325. The Sun that light imparts to all, receives
  326. From all his alimental recompence
  327. In humid exhalations, and at Even
  328. Sups with the Ocean: though in Heav'n the Trees
  329. Of life ambrosial frutage bear, and vines
  330. Yield Nectar, though from off the boughs each Morn
  331. We brush mellifluous Dewes, and find the ground
  332. Cover'd with pearly grain: yet God hath here
  333. Varied his bounty so with new delights,
  334. As may compare with Heaven; and to taste
  335. Think not I shall be nice. So down they sat,
  336. And to thir viands fell, nor seemingly
  337. The Angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
  338. Of Theologians, but with keen dispatch
  339. Of real hunger, and concoctive heate
  340. To transubstantiate; what redounds, transpires
  341. Through Spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire
  342. Of sooty coal the Empiric Alchimist
  343. Can turn, or holds it possible to turn
  344. Metals of drossiest Ore to perfet Gold
  345. As from the Mine. Mean while at Table Eve
  346. Ministerd naked, and thir flowing cups
  347. With pleasant liquors crown'd: O innocence
  348. Deserving Paradise! if ever, then,
  349. Then had the Sons of God excuse to have bin
  350. Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts
  351. Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousie
  352. Was understood, the injur'd Lovers Hell.
  353. Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffic'd
  354. Not burd'nd Nature, sudden mind arose
  355. In Adam, not to let th' occasion pass
  356. Given him by this great Conference to know
  357. Of things above his World, and of thir being
  358. Who dwell in Heav'n, whose excellence he saw
  359. Transcend his own so farr, whose radiant forms
  360. Divine effulgence, whose high Power so far
  361. Exceeded human, and his wary speech
  362. Thus to th' Empyreal Minister he fram'd.
  363. Inhabitant with God, now know I well
  364. Thy favour, in this honour done to man,
  365. Under whose lowly roof thou hast voutsaf't
  366. To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,
  367. Food not of Angels, yet accepted so,
  368. As that more willingly thou couldst not seem
  369. At Heav'n's high feasts to have fed: yet what compare?
  370. To whom the winged Hierarch repli'd.
  371. O Adam, one Almightie is, from whom
  372. All things proceed, and up to him return,
  373. If not deprav'd from good, created all
  374. Such to perfection, one first matter all,
  375. Indu'd with various forms, various degrees
  376. Of substance, and in things that live, of life;
  377. But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure,
  378. As neerer to him plac't or neerer tending
  379. Each in thir several active Sphears assignd,
  380. Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
  381. Proportiond to each kind. So from the root
  382. Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
  383. More aerie, last the bright consummate floure
  384. Spirits odorous breathes: flours and thir fruit
  385. Mans nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd
  386. To vital Spirits aspire, to animal,
  387. To intellectual, give both life and sense,
  388. Fansie and understanding, whence the Soule
  389. Reason receives, and reason is her being,
  390. Discursive, or Intuitive; discourse
  391. Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
  392. Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
  393. Wonder not then, what God for you saw good
  394. If I refuse not, but convert, as you,
  395. To proper substance; time may come when men
  396. With Angels may participate, and find
  397. No inconvenient Diet, nor too light Fare:
  398. And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
  399. Your bodies may at last turn all to Spirit,
  400. Improv'd by tract of time, and wingd ascend
  401. Ethereal, as wee, or may at choice
  402. Here or in Heav'nly Paradises dwell;
  403. If ye be found obedient, and retain
  404. Unalterably firm his love entire
  405. Whose progenie you are. Mean while enjoy
  406. Your fill what happiness this happie state
  407. Can comprehend, incapable of more.
  408. To whom the Patriarch of mankind repli'd,
  409. O favourable spirit, propitious guest,
  410. Well hast thou taught the way that might direct
  411. Our knowledge, and the scale of Nature set
  412. From center to circumference, whereon
  413. In contemplation of created things
  414. By steps we may ascend to God. But say,
  415. What meant that caution joind, if ye be found
  416. Obedient? can we want obedience then
  417. To him, or possibly his love desert
  418. Who formd us from the dust, and plac'd us here
  419. Full to the utmost measure of what bliss
  420. Human desires can seek or apprehend?
  421. To whom the Angel. Son of Heav'n and Earth,
  422. Attend: That thou art happie, owe to God;
  423. That thou continu'st such, owe to thy self,
  424. That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
  425. This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd.
  426. God made thee perfet, not immutable;
  427. And good he made thee, but to persevere
  428. He left it in thy power, ordaind thy will
  429. By nature free, not over-rul'd by Fate
  430. Inextricable, or strict necessity;
  431. Our voluntarie service he requires,
  432. Not our necessitated, such with him
  433. Finds no acceptance, nor can find, for how
  434. Can hearts, not free, be tri'd whether they serve
  435. Willing or no, who will but what they must
  436. By Destinie, and can no other choose?
  437. Myself and all th' Angelic Host that stand
  438. In sight of God enthron'd, our happie state
  439. Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
  440. On other surety none; freely we serve
  441. Because we freely love, as in our will
  442. To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
  443. And Som are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
  444. And so from Heav'n to deepest Hell; O fall
  445. From what high state of bliss into what woe!
  446. To whom our great Progenitor. Thy words
  447. Attentive, and with more delighted eare
  448. Divine instructer, I have heard, then when
  449. Cherubic Songs by night from neighbouring Hills
  450. Aereal Music send: nor knew I not
  451. To be both will and deed created free;
  452. Yet that we never shall forget to love
  453. Our maker, and obey him whose command
  454. Single, is yet so just, my constant thoughts
  455. Assur'd me and still assure: though what thou tellst
  456. Hath past in Heav'n, Som doubt within me move,
  457. But more desire to hear, if thou consent,
  458. The full relation, which must needs be strange,
  459. Worthy of Sacred silence to be heard;
  460. And we have yet large day, for scarce the Sun
  461. Hath finisht half his journey, and scarce begins
  462. His other half in the great Zone of Heav'n.
  463. Thus Adam made request, and Raphael
  464. After short pause assenting, thus began.
  465. High matter thou injoinst me, O prime of men,
  466. Sad task and hard, for how shall I relate
  467. To human sense th' invisible exploits
  468. Of warring Spirits; how without remorse
  469. The ruin of so many glorious once
  470. And perfet while they stood; how last unfould
  471. The secrets of another World, perhaps
  472. Not lawful to reveal? yet for thy good
  473. This is dispenc't, and what surmounts the reach
  474. Of human sense, I shall delineate so,
  475. By lik'ning spiritual to corporal forms,
  476. As may express them best, though what if Earth
  477. Be but the shaddow of Heav'n, and things therein
  478. Each to other like, more then on earth is thought?
  479. As yet this World was not, and Chaos Wilde
  480. Reignd where these Heav'ns now rowl, where Earth now rests
  481. Upon her Center pois'd, when on a day
  482. (For Time, though in Eternitie, appli'd
  483. To motion, measures all things durable
  484. By present, past, and future) on such day
  485. As Heav'ns great Year brings forth, th' Empyreal Host
  486. Of Angels by Imperial summons call'd,
  487. Innumerable before th' Almighties Throne
  488. Forthwith from all the ends of Heav'n appeerd
  489. Under thir Hierarchs in orders bright
  490. Ten thousand thousand Ensignes high advanc'd,
  491. Standards and Gonfalons twixt Van and Reare
  492. Streame in the Aire, and for distinction serve
  493. Of Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees;
  494. Or in thir glittering Tissues bear imblaz'd
  495. Holy Memorials, acts of Zeale and Love
  496. Recorded eminent. Thus when in Orbes
  497. Of circuit inexpressible they stood,
  498. Orb within Orb, the Father infinite,
  499. By whom in bliss imbosom'd sat the Son,
  500. Amidst as from a flaming Mount, whose top
  501. Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.
  502. Hear all ye Angels, Progenie of Light,
  503. Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
  504. Hear my Decree, which unrevok't shall stand.
  505. This day I have begot whom I declare
  506. My onely Son, and on this holy Hill
  507. Him have anointed, whom ye now behold
  508. At my right hand; your Head I him appoint;
  509. And by my Self have sworn to him shall bow
  510. All knees in Heav'n, and shall confess him Lord:
  511. Under his great Vice-gerent Reign abide
  512. United as one individual Soule
  513. For ever happie: him who disobeyes
  514. Mee disobeyes, breaks union, and that day
  515. Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
  516. Into utter darkness, deep ingulft, his place
  517. Ordaind without redemption, without end.
  518. So spake th' Omnipotent, and with his words
  519. All seemd well pleas'd, all seem'd, but were not all.
  520. That day, as other solemn dayes, they spent
  521. In song and dance about the sacred Hill,
  522. Mystical dance, which yonder starrie Spheare
  523. Of Planets and of fixt in all her Wheeles
  524. Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
  525. Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regular
  526. Then most, when most irregular they seem,
  527. And in thir motions harmonie Divine
  528. So smooths her charming tones, that Gods own ear
  529. Listens delighted. Eevning now approach'd
  530. (For wee have also our Eevning and our Morn,
  531. Wee ours for change delectable, not need)
  532. Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn
  533. Desirous, all in Circles as they stood,
  534. Tables are set, and on a sudden pil'd
  535. With Angels Food, and rubied Nectar flows
  536. In Pearl, in Diamond, and massie Gold,
  537. Fruit of delicious Vines, the growth of Heav'n.
  538. On flours repos'd, and with fresh flourets crownd,
  539. They eate, they drink, and in communion sweet
  540. Quaff immortalitie and joy, secure
  541. Of surfet where full measure onely bounds
  542. Excess, before th' all bounteous King, who showrd
  543. With copious hand, rejoycing in thir joy.
  544. Now when ambrosial Night with Clouds exhal'd
  545. From that high mount of God, whence light & shade
  546. Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had changd
  547. To grateful Twilight (for Night comes not there
  548. In darker veile) and roseat Dews dispos'd
  549. All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest,
  550. Wide over all the Plain, and wider farr
  551. Then all this globous Earth in Plain out spred,
  552. (Such are the Courts of God) th' Angelic throng
  553. Disperst in Bands and Files thir Camp extend
  554. By living Streams among the Trees of Life,
  555. Pavilions numberless, and sudden reard,
  556. Celestial Tabernacles, where they slept
  557. Fannd with coole Winds, save those who in thir course
  558. Melodious Hymns about the sovran Throne
  559. Alternate all night long: but not so wak'd
  560. Satan, so call him now, his former name
  561. Is heard no more in Heav'n; he of the first,
  562. If not the first Arch-Angel, great in Power,
  563. In favour and preminence, yet fraught
  564. With envie against the Son of God, that day
  565. Honourd by his great Father, and proclaimd
  566. Messiah King anointed, could not beare
  567. Through pride that sight, & thought himself impaird.
  568. Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain,
  569. Soon as midnight brought on the duskie houre
  570. Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd
  571. With all his Legions to dislodge, and leave
  572. Unworshipt, unobey'd the Throne supream
  573. Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
  574. Awak'ning, thus to him in secret spake.
  575. Sleepst thou, Companion dear, what sleep can close
  576. Thy eye-lids? and remembrest what Decree
  577. Of yesterday, so late hath past the lips
  578. Of Heav'ns Almightie. Thou to me thy thoughts
  579. Wast wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart;
  580. Both waking we were one; how then can now
  581. Thy sleep dissent? new Laws thou seest impos'd;
  582. New Laws from him who reigns, new minds may raise
  583. In us who serve, new Counsels, to debate
  584. What doubtful may ensue; more in this place
  585. To utter is not safe. Assemble thou
  586. Of all those Myriads which we lead the chief;
  587. Tell them that by command, ere yet dim Night
  588. Her shadowie Cloud withdraws, I am to haste,
  589. And all who under me thir Banners wave,
  590. Homeward with flying march where we possess
  591. The Quarters of the North, there to prepare
  592. Fit entertainment to receive our King
  593. The great Messiah, and his new commands,
  594. Who speedily through all the Hierarchies
  595. Intends to pass triumphant, and give Laws.
  596. So spake the false Arch-Angel, and infus'd
  597. Bad influence into th' unwarie brest
  598. Of his Associate; hee together calls,
  599. Or several one by one, the Regent Powers,
  600. Under him Regent, tells, as he was taught,
  601. That the most High commanding, now ere Night,
  602. Now ere dim Night had disincumberd Heav'n,
  603. The great Hierarchal Standard was to move;
  604. Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
  605. Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
  606. Or taint integritie; but all obey'd
  607. The wonted signal, and superior voice
  608. Of thir great Potentate; for great indeed
  609. His name, and high was his degree in Heav'n;
  610. His count'nance, as the Morning Starr that guides
  611. The starrie flock, allur'd them, and with lyes
  612. Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Host:
  613. Mean while th' Eternal eye, whose sight discernes
  614. Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy Mount
  615. And from within the golden Lamps that burne
  616. Nightly before him, saw without thir light
  617. Rebellion rising, saw in whom, how spred
  618. Among the sons of Morn, what multitudes
  619. Were banded to oppose his high Decree;
  620. And smiling to his onely Son thus said.
  621. Son, thou in whom my glory I behold
  622. In full resplendence, Heir of all my might,
  623. Neerly it now concernes us to be sure
  624. Of our Omnipotence, and with what Arms
  625. We mean to hold what anciently we claim
  626. Of Deitie or Empire, such a foe
  627. Is rising, who intends to erect his Throne
  628. Equal to ours, throughout the spacious North;
  629. Nor so content, hath in his thought to try
  630. In battel, what our Power is, or our right.
  631. Let us advise, and to this hazard draw
  632. With speed what force is left, and all imploy
  633. In our defense, lest unawares we lose
  634. This our high place, our Sanctuarie, our Hill.
  635. To whom the Son with calm aspect and cleer
  636. Light'ning Divine, ineffable, serene,
  637. Made answer. Mightie Father, thou thy foes
  638. Justly hast in derision, and secure
  639. Laugh'st at thir vain designes and tumults vain,
  640. Matter to mee of Glory, whom thir hate
  641. Illustrates, when they see all Regal Power
  642. Giv'n me to quell thir pride, and in event
  643. Know whether I be dextrous to subdue
  644. Thy Rebels, or be found the worst in Heav'n.
  645. So spake the Son, but Satan with his Powers
  646. Far was advanc't on winged speed, an Host
  647. Innumerable as the Starrs of Night,
  648. Or Starrs of Morning, Dew-drops, which the Sun
  649. Impearls on every leaf and every flouer.
  650. Regions they pass'd, the mightie Regencies
  651. Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones
  652. In thir triple Degrees, Regions to which
  653. All thy Dominion, Adam, is no more
  654. Then what this Garden is to all the Earth,
  655. And all the Sea, from one entire globose
  656. Stretcht into Longitude; which having pass'd
  657. At length into the limits of the North
  658. They came, and Satan to his Royal seat
  659. High on a Hill, far blazing, as a Mount
  660. Rais'd on a Mount, with Pyramids and Towrs
  661. From Diamond Quarries hew'n, and Rocks of Gold,
  662. The Palace of great Lucifer, (so call
  663. That Structure in the Dialect of men
  664. Interpreted) which not long after, he
  665. Affecting all equality with God,
  666. In imitation of that Mount whereon
  667. Messiah was declar'd in sight of Heav'n,
  668. The Mountain of the Congregation call'd;
  669. For thither he assembl'd all his Train,
  670. Pretending so commanded to consult
  671. About the great reception of thir King,
  672. Thither to come, and with calumnious Art
  673. Of counterfeted truth thus held thir ears.
  674. Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
  675. If these magnific Titles yet remain
  676. Not meerly titular, since by Decree
  677. Another now hath to himself ingross't
  678. All Power, and us eclipst under the name
  679. Of King anointed, for whom all this haste
  680. Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here,
  681. This onely to consult how we may best
  682. With what may be devis'd of honours new
  683. Receive him coming to receive from us
  684. Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
  685. Too much to one, but double how endur'd,
  686. To one and to his image now proclaim'd?
  687. But what if better counsels might erect
  688. Our minds and teach us to cast off this Yoke?
  689. Will ye submit your necks, and chuse to bend
  690. The supple knee? ye will not, if I trust
  691. To know ye right, or if ye know your selves
  692. Natives and Sons of Heav'n possest before
  693. By none, and if not equal all, yet free,
  694. Equally free; for Orders and Degrees
  695. Jarr not with liberty, but well consist.
  696. Who can in reason then or right assume
  697. Monarchie over such as live by right
  698. His equals, if in power and splendor less,
  699. In freedome equal? or can introduce
  700. Law and Edict on us, who without law
  701. Erre not, much less for this to be our Lord,
  702. And look for adoration to th' abuse
  703. Of those Imperial Titles which assert
  704. Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve?
  705. Thus farr his bold discourse without controule
  706. Had audience, when among the Seraphim
  707. Abdiel, then whom none with more zeale ador'd
  708. The Deitie, and divine commands obeid,
  709. Stood up, and in a flame of zeale severe
  710. The current of his fury thus oppos'd.
  711. O argument blasphemous, false and proud!
  712. Words which no eare ever to hear in Heav'n
  713. Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate
  714. In place thy self so high above thy Peeres.
  715. Canst thou with impious obloquie condemne
  716. The just Decree of God, pronounc't and sworn,
  717. That to his only Son by right endu'd
  718. With Regal Scepter, every Soule in Heav'n
  719. Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due
  720. Confess him rightful King? unjust thou saist
  721. Flatly unjust, to binde with Laws the free,
  722. And equal over equals to let Reigne,
  723. One over all with unsucceeded power.
  724. Shalt thou give Law to God, shalt thou dispute
  725. With him the points of libertie, who made
  726. Thee what thou art, and formd the Pow'rs of Heav'n
  727. Such as he pleasd, and circumscrib'd thir being?
  728. Yet by experience taught we know how good,
  729. And of our good, and of our dignitie
  730. How provident he is, how farr from thought
  731. To make us less, bent rather to exalt
  732. Our happie state under one Head more neer
  733. United. But to grant it thee unjust,
  734. That equal over equals Monarch Reigne:
  735. Thy self though great and glorious dost thou count,
  736. Or all Angelic Nature joind in one,
  737. Equal to him begotten Son, by whom
  738. As by his Word the mighty Father made
  739. All things, ev'n thee, and all the Spirits of Heav'n
  740. By him created in thir bright degrees,
  741. Crownd them with Glory, and to thir Glory nam'd
  742. Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
  743. Essential Powers, nor by his Reign obscur'd,
  744. But more illustrious made, since he the Head
  745. One of our number thus reduc't becomes,
  746. His Laws our Laws, all honour to him done
  747. Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage,
  748. And tempt not these; but hast'n to appease
  749. Th' incensed Father, and th' incensed Son,
  750. While Pardon may be found in time besought.
  751. So spake the fervent Angel, but his zeale
  752. None seconded, as out of season judg'd,
  753. Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'd
  754. Th' Apostat, and more haughty thus repli'd.
  755. That we were formd then saist thou? and the work
  756. Of secondarie hands, by task transferd
  757. From Father to his Son? strange point and new!
  758. Doctrin which we would know whence learnt: who saw
  759. When this creation was? rememberst thou
  760. Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?
  761. We know no time when we were not as now;
  762. Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd
  763. By our own quick'ning power, when fatal course
  764. Had circl'd his full Orbe, the birth mature
  765. Of this our native Heav'n, Ethereal Sons.
  766. Our puissance is our own, our own right hand
  767. Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
  768. Who is our equal: then thou shalt behold
  769. Whether by supplication we intend
  770. Address, and to begirt th' Almighty Throne
  771. Beseeching or besieging. This report,
  772. These tidings carrie to th' anointed King;
  773. And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.
  774. He said, and as the sound of waters deep
  775. Hoarce murmur echo'd to his words applause
  776. Through the infinite Host, nor less for that
  777. The flaming Seraph fearless, though alone
  778. Encompass'd round with foes, thus answerd bold.
  779. O alienate from God, O spirit accurst,
  780. Forsak'n of all good; I see thy fall
  781. Determind, and thy hapless crew involv'd
  782. In this perfidious fraud, contagion spred
  783. Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth
  784. No more be troubl'd how to quit the yoke
  785. Of Gods Messiah; those indulgent Laws
  786. Will not now be voutsaf't, other Decrees
  787. Against thee are gon forth without recall;
  788. That Golden Scepter which thou didst reject
  789. Is now an Iron Rod to bruise and breake
  790. Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise,
  791. Yet not for thy advise or threats I fly
  792. These wicked Tents devoted, least the wrauth
  793. Impendent, raging into sudden flame
  794. Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel
  795. His Thunder on thy head, devouring fire.
  796. Then who created thee lamenting learne,
  797. When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.
  798. So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found,
  799. Among the faithless, faithful only hee;
  800. Among innumerable false, unmov'd,
  801. Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'd
  802. His Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale;
  803. Nor number, nor example with him wrought
  804. To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind
  805. Though single. From amidst them forth he passd,
  806. Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteind
  807. Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught;
  808. And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd
  809. On those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom'd.

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