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John Milton (1608-1674)

Paradise Lost: Book V (1674)


THE ARGUMENT.

Morning approach't, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her: They come forth to thir day labours; Thir Morning Hymn at the Door of thir Bower.  God to render Man inexcusable sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand; who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know.  Raphael comes down to Paradise, his appearance describ'd, his coming discern'd by Adam afar off sitting at the door of his Bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choycest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; thir discourse at Table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates at Adams request who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his Legions after him to the parts of the North, and there incited them to rebel with him, perswading all but only Abdiel a Seraph, who in Argument diswades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

              1NOw Morn her rosie steps in th' Eastern Clime
              2Advancing, sow'd the earth with Orient Pearle,
              3When Adam wak't, so customd, for his sleep
              4Was Aerie light from pure digestion bred,
              5And temperat vapors bland, which th' only sound
              6Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
              7Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill Matin Song
              8Of Birds on every bough; so much the more
              9His wonder was to find unwak'nd Eve
            10With Tresses discompos'd, and glowing Cheek,
            11As through unquiet rest: he on his side
            12Leaning half-rais'd, with looks of cordial Love
            13Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
            14Beautie, which whether waking or asleep,
            15Shot forth peculiar Graces; then with voice
            16Milde, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
            17Her hand soft touching, whisperd thus.  Awake
            18My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
            19Heav'ns last best gift, my ever new delight,
            20Awake, the morning shines, and the fresh field
            21Calls us, we lose the prime, to mark how spring
            22Our tended Plants, how blows the Citron Grove,
            23What drops the Myrrhe, and what the balmie Reed,
            24How Nature paints her colours, how the Bee
            25Sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweet.

            26Such whispering wak'd her, but with startl'd eye
            27On Adam, whom imbracing, thus she spake.

            28O Sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
            29My Glorie, my Perfection, glad I see
            30Thy face, and Morn return'd, for I this Night,
            31Such night till this I never pass'd, have dream'd,
            32If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee,
            33Works of day pass't, or morrows next designe,
            34But of offence and trouble, which my mind
            35Knew never till this irksom night;  methought
            36Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk
            37With gentle voice, I though it thine; it said,
            38Why sleepst thou Eve?  now is the pleasant time,
            39The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
            40To the night-warbling Bird, that now awake
            41Tunes sweetest his love-labor'd song; now reignes
            42Full Orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing light
            43Shadowie sets off the face of things; in vain,
            44If none regard; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes,
            45Whom to behold but thee, Natures desire,
            46In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
            47Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.
            48I rose as at thy call, but found thee not;
            49To find thee I directed then my walk;
            50And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways
            51That brought me on a sudden to the Tree
            52Of interdicted Knowledge: fair it seem'd,
            53Much fairer to my Fancie then by day:
            54And as I wondring lookt, beside it stood
            55One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Heav'n
            56By us oft seen; his dewie locks distill'd
            57Ambrosia; on that Tree he also gaz'd;
            58And O fair Plant, said he, with fruit surcharg'd,
            59Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet,
            60Nor God, nor Man; is Knowledge so despis'd?
            61Or envie, or what reserve forbids to taste?
            62Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold
            63Longer thy offerd good, why else set here?
            64This said he paus'd not, but with ventrous Arme
            65He pluckt, he tasted; mee damp horror chil'd
            66At such bold words voucht with a deed so bold:
            67But he thus overjoy'd, O Fruit Divine,
            68Sweet of thy self, but much more sweet thus cropt,
            69Forbidd'n here, it seems, as onely fit
            70For God's, yet able to make Gods of Men:
            71And why not Gods of Men, since good, the more
            72Communicated, more abundant growes,
            73The Author not impair'd, but honourd more?
            74Here, happie Creature, fair Angelic Eve,
            75Partake thou also; happie though thou art,
            76Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be:
            77Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods
            78Thy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind,
            79But somtimes in the Air, as wee, somtimes
            80Ascend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and see
            81What life the Gods live there, and such live thou.
            82So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
            83Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
            84Which he had pluckt; the pleasant savourie smell
            85So quick'nd appetite, that I, methought,
            86Could not but taste.  Forthwith up to the Clouds
            87With him I flew, and underneath beheld
            88The Earth outstretcht immense, a prospect wide
            89And various: wondring at my flight and change
            90To this high exaltation; suddenly
            91My Guide was gon, and I, me thought, sunk down,
            92And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd
            93To find this but a dream!  Thus Eve her Night
            94Related, and thus Adam answerd sad.

            95Best image of my self and dearer half,
            96The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep
            97Affects me equally; nor can I like
            98This uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear;
            99Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none,
          100Created pure.  But know that in the Soule
          101Are many lesser Faculties that serve
          102Reason as chief; among these Fansie next
          103Her office holds; of all external things,
          104Which the five watchful Senses represent,
          105She forms Imaginations, Aerie shapes,
          106Which Reason joyning or disjoyning, frames
          107All what we affirm or what deny, and call
          108Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
          109Into her private Cell when Nature rests,
          110Oft in her absence mimic Fansie wakes
          111To imitate her; but misjoyning shapes,
          112Wilde work produces oft, and most in dreams,
          113Ill matching words and deeds long past or late.
          114Som such resemblances methinks I find
          115Of our last Eevnings talk, in this thy dream,
          116But with addition strange; yet be not sad.
          117Evil into the mind of God or Man
          118May come or go, so unapprov'd, and leave
          119No spot or blame behind: Which gives me hope
          120That what in sleep thou didst abhorr to dream,
          121Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
          122Be not disheart'nd then, nor cloud those looks
          123That wont to be more chearful and serene
          124Then when fair Morning first smiles on the World,
          125And let us to our fresh imployments rise
          126Among the Groves, the Fountains, and the Flours
          127That open now thir choicest bosom'd smells
          128Reservd from night, and kept for thee in store.

          129So cheard he his fair Spouse, and she was cheard,
          130But silently a gentle tear let fall
          131From either eye, and wip'd them with her haire;
          132Two other precious drops that ready stood,
          133Each in thir Chrystal sluce, hee ere they fell
          134Kiss'd as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
          135And pious awe, that feard to have offended.

          136So all was cleard, and to the Field they haste.
          137But first from under shadie arborous roof,
          138Soon as they forth were come to open sight
          139Of day-spring, and the Sun, who scarce up risen
          140With wheels yet hov'ring o're the Ocean brim,
          141Shot paralel to the earth his dewie ray,
          142Discovering in wide Lantskip all the East
          143Of Paradise and Edens happie Plains,
          144Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began
          145Thir Orisons, each Morning duly paid
          146In various style, for neither various style
          147Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
          148Thir Maker, in fit strains pronounc't or sung
          149Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence
          150Flowd from thir lips, in Prose or numerous Verse,
          151More tuneable then needed Lute or Harp
          152To add more sweetness, and they thus began.

          153These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
          154Almightie, thine this universal Frame,
          155Thus wondrous fair; thy self how wondrous then!
          156Unspeakable, who first above these Heavens
          157To us invisible or dimly seen
          158In these thy lowest works, yet these declare
          159Thy goodness beyond thought, and Power Divine:
          160Speak yee who best can tell, ye Sons of light,
          161Angels, for yee behold him, and with songs
          162And choral symphonies, Day without Night,
          163Circle his Throne rejoycing, yee in Heav'n,
          164On Earth joyn all ye Creatures to extoll
          165Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
          166Fairest of Starrs, last in the train of Night,
          167If better thou belong not to the dawn,
          168Sure pledge of day, that crownst the smiling Morn
          169With thy bright Circlet, praise him in thy Spheare
          170While day arises, that sweet hour of Prime.
          171Thou Sun, of this great World both Eye and Soule,
          172Acknowledge him thy Greater, sound his praise
          173In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
          174And when high Noon hast gaind, and when thou fallst.
          175Moon, that now meetst the orient Sun, now fli'st
          176With the fixt Starrs, fixt in thir Orb that flies,
          177And yee five other wandring Fires that move
          178In mystic Dance not without Song, resound
          179His praise, who out of Darkness call'd up Light,
          180Aire, and ye Elements the eldest birth
          181Of Natures Womb, that in quaternion run
          182Perpetual Circle, multiform; and mix
          183And nourish all things, let your ceasless change
          184Varie to our great Maker still new praise.
          185Ye Mists and Exhalations that now rise
          186From Hill or steaming Lake, duskie or grey,
          187Till the Sun paint your fleecie skirts with Gold,
          188In honour to the Worlds great Author rise;
          189Whether to deck with Clouds the uncolourd skie,
          190Or wet the thirstie Earth with falling showers,
          191Rising or falling still advance his praise.
          192His praise ye Winds, that from four Quarters blow,
          193Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines,
          194With every Plant, in sign of Worship wave.
          195Fountains and yee, that warble, as ye flow,
          196Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
          197Joyn voices all ye living Souls, ye Birds,
          198That singing up to Heaven gate ascend,
          199Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise;
          200Yee that in Waters glide, and yee that walk
          201The Earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
          202Witness if I be silent, Morn or Eeven,
          203To Hill, or Valley, Fountain, or fresh shade
          204Made vocal by my Song, and taught his praise.
          205Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still
          206To give us onely good; and if the night
          207Have gathered aught of evil or conceald,
          208Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.

          209So pray'd they innocent, and to thir thoughts
          210Firm peace recoverd soon and wonted calm.
          211On to thir mornings rural work they haste
          212Among sweet dewes and flours; where any row
          213Of Fruit-trees overwoodie reachd too farr
          214Thir pamperd boughes, and needed hands to check
          215Fruitless imbraces: or they led the Vine
          216To wed her Elm; she spous'd about him twines
          217Her mariageable arms, and with her brings
          218Her dowr th' adopted Clusters, to adorn
          219His barren leaves.  Them thus imploid beheld
          220With pittie Heav'ns high King, and to him call'd
          221Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deign'd
          222To travel with Tobias, and secur'd
          223His marriage with the seaventimes-wedded Maid.

          224Raphael, said hee, thou hear'st what stir on Earth
          225Satan from Hell scap't through the darksom Gulf
          226Hath raisd in Paradise, and how disturbd
          227This night the human pair, how he designes
          228In them at once to ruin all mankind.
          229Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend
          230Converse with Adam, in what Bowre or shade
          231Thou find'st him from the heat of Noon retir'd,
          232To respit his day-labour with repast,
          233Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
          234As may advise him of his happie state,
          235Happiness in his power left free to will,
          236Left to his own free Will, his Will though free,
          237Yet mutable; whence warne him to beware
          238He swerve not too secure: tell him withall
          239His danger, and from whom, what enemie
          240Late falln himself from Heav'n, is plotting now
          241The fall of others from like state of bliss;
          242By violence, no, for that shall be withstood,
          243But by deceit and lies; this let him know,
          244Least wilfully transgressing he pretend
          245Surprisal, unadmonisht, unforewarnd.

          246So spake th' Eternal Father, and fulfilld
          247All Justice: nor delaid the winged Saint
          248After his charge receivd, but from among
          249Thousand Celestial Ardors, where he stood
          250Vaild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light
          251Flew through the midst of Heav'n; th' angelic Quires
          252On each hand parting, to his speed gave way
          253Through all th' Empyreal road; till at the Gate
          254Of Heav'n arriv'd, the gate self-opend wide
          255On golden Hinges turning, as by work
          256Divine the sov'ran Architect had fram'd.
          257From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
          258Starr interpos'd, however small he sees,
          259Not unconform to the other shining Globes,
          260Earth and the Gard'n of God, with Cedars crownd
          261Above all Hills.  As when by night the Glass
          262Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes
          263Imagind Lands and Regions in the Moon:
          264Or Pilot from amidst the Cyclades
          265Delos or Samos first appeering kenns
          266A cloudy spot.  Down thither prone in flight
          267He speeds, and through the vast Ethereal Skie
          268Sailes between worlds and worlds, with steddie wing
          269Now on the polar windes, then with quick Fann
          270Winnows the buxom Air;  till within soare
          271Of Towring Eagles, to all the Fowles he seems
          272A Phoenix, gaz'd by all, as that sole Birad
          273When to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's
          274Bright Temple, to Aegyptian Theb's he flies.
          275At once on th' Eastern cliff of Paradise
          276He lights, and to his proper shape returns
          277A Seraph wingd; six wings he wore, to shade
          278His lineaments Divine; the pair that clad
          279Each shoulder broad, came mantling o're his brest
          280With regal Ornament; the middle pair
          281Girt like a Starrie Zone his waste, and round
          282Skirted his loines and thighes with downie Gold
          283And colours dipt in Heav'n; the third his feet
          284Shaddowd from either heele with featherd maile
          285Skie-tinctur'd grain.  Like Maia's son he stood,
          286And shook his Plumes, that Heav'nly fragrance filld
          287The circuit wide.  Strait knew him all the Bands
          288Of Angels under watch; and to his state,
          289And to his message high in honour rise;
          290For on som message high they guessd him bound.
          291The glittering Tents he passd, and now is come
          292Into the blissful field, through Groves of Myrrhe,
          293And flouring Odours, Cassia, Nard, and Balme;
          294A Wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
          295Wantond as in her prime, and plaid at will
          296Her Virgin Fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
          297Wilde above Rule or Art; enormous bliss.
          298Him through the spicie Forrest onward com
          299Adam discernd, as in the dore he sat
          300Of his coole Bowre, while now the mounted Sun
          301Shot down direct his fervid Raies to warme
          302Earths inmost womb, more warmth then Adam needs;
          303And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd
          304For dinner savourie fruits, of taste to please
          305True appetite, and not disrelish thirst
          306Of nectarous draughts between, from milkie stream,
          307Berrie or Grape: to whom thus Adam call'd.

          308Haste hither Eve, and worth thy sight behold
          309Eastward among those Trees, what glorious shape
          310Comes this way moving; seems another Morn
          311Ris'n on mid-noon;  some great behest from Heav'n
          312To us perhaps he brings, and will voutsafe
          313This day to be our Guest.  But goe with speed,
          314And what thy stores contain, bring forth and poure
          315Abundance, fit to honour and receive
          316Our Heav'nly stranger; well we may afford
          317Our givers thir own gifts, and large bestow
          318From large bestowd, where Nature multiplies
          319Her fertil growth, and by disburd'ning grows
          320More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.

          321To whom thus Eve.  Adam, earths hallowd mould
          322Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store,
          323All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk;
          324Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
          325To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes:
          326But I will haste and from each bough and break,
          327Each Plant and juciest Gourd will pluck such choice
          328To entertain our Angel guest, as hee
          329Beholding shall confess that here on Earth
          330God hath dispenst his bounties as in Heav'n.

          331So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste
          332She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent
          333What choice to chuse for delicacie best,
          334What order, so contriv'd as not to mix
          335Tastes, not well joynd, inelegant, but bring
          336Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change,
          337Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk
          338Whatever Earth all-bearing Mother yields
          339In India East or West, or middle shoare
          340In Pontus or the Punic Coast, or where
          341Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kindes, in coate,
          342Rough, or smooth rin'd, or bearded husk, or shell
          343She gathers, Tribute large, and on the board
          344Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the Grape
          345She crushes, inoffensive moust, and meathes
          346From many a berrie, and from sweet kernels prest
          347She tempers dulcet creams, nor these to hold
          348Wants her fit vessels pure, then strews the ground
          349With Rose and Odours from the shrub unfum'd.
          350Mean while our Primitive great Sire, to meet
          351His god-like Guest, walks forth, without more train
          352Accompani'd then with his own compleat
          353Perfections, in himself was all his state,
          354More solemn then the tedious pomp that waits
          355On Princes, when thir rich Retinue long
          356Of Horses led, and Grooms besmeard with Gold
          357Dazles the croud, and sets them all agape.
          358Neerer his presence Adam though not awd,
          359Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek,
          360As to a superior Nature, bowing low,

          361Thus said.  Native of Heav'n, for other place
          362None can then Heav'n such glorious shape contain;
          363Since by descending from the Thrones above,
          364Those happie places thou hast deignd a while
          365To want, and honour these, voutsafe with us
          366Two onely, who yet by sov'ran gift possess
          367This spacious ground, in yonder shadie Bowre
          368To rest, and what the Garden choicest bears
          369To sit and taste, till this meridian heat
          370Be over, and the Sun more coole decline.

          371Whom thus the Angelic Vertue answerd milde.
          372Adam, I therefore came, nor art thou such
          373Created, or such place hast here to dwell,
          374As may not oft invite, though Spirits of Heav'n
          375To visit thee; lead on then where thy Bowre
          376Oreshades; for these mid-hours, till Eevning rise
          377I have at will. So to the Silvan Lodge
          378They came, that like Pomona's Arbour smil'd
          379With flourets deck't and fragrant smells; but Eve
          380Undeckt, save with her self more lovely fair
          381Then Wood-Nymph, or the fairest Goddess feign'd
          382Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove,
          383Stood to entertain her guest from Heav'n; no vaile
          384Shee needed, Vertue-proof, no thought infirme
          385Alterd her cheek.  On whom the Angel Haile
          386Bestowd, the holy salutation us'd
          387Long after to blest Marie, second Eve.

          388Haile Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful Womb
          389Shall fill the World more numerous with thy Sons
          390Then with these various fruits the Trees of God
          391Have heap'd this Table. Rais'd of grassie terf
          392Thir Table was, and mossie seats had round,
          393And on her ample Square from side to side
          394All Autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here
          395Danc'd hand in hand.  A while discourse they hold;
          396No fear lest Dinner coole; when thus began
          397Our Authour.  Heav'nly stranger, please to taste
          398These bounties which our Nourisher, from whom
          399All perfet good unmeasur'd out, descends,
          400To us for food and for delight hath caus'd
          401The Earth to yield; unsavourie food perhaps
          402To spiritual Natures; only this I know,
          403That one Celestial Father gives to all.

          404To whom the Angel.  Therefore what he gives
          405(Whose praise be ever sung) to man in part
          406Spiritual, may of purest Spirits be found
          407No ingrateful food; and food alike those pure
          408Intelligential substances require
          409As doth your Rational; and both contain
          410Within them every lower facultie
          411Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste,
          412Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,
          413And corporeal to incorporeal turn.
          414For know, whatever was created, needs
          415To be sustaind and fed; of Elements
          416The grosser feeds the purer, Earth the Sea,
          417Earth and the Sea feed Air, the Air those Fires
          418Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon;
          419Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd
          420Vapours not yet into her substance turnd.
          421Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale
          422From her moist Continent to higher Orbes.
          423The Sun that light imparts to all, receives
          424From all his alimental recompence
          425In humid exhalations, and at Even
          426Sups with the Ocean: though in Heav'n the Trees
          427Of life ambrosial frutage bear, and vines
          428Yield Nectar, though from off the boughs each Morn
          429We brush mellifluous Dewes, and find the ground
          430Cover'd with pearly grain: yet God hath here
          431Varied his bounty so with new delights,
          432As may compare with Heaven; and to taste
          433Think not I shall be nice.  So down they sat,
          434And to thir viands fell, nor seemingly
          435The Angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
          436Of Theologians, but with keen dispatch
          437Of real hunger, and concoctive heate.
          438To transubstantiate; what redounds, transpires
          439Through Spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire
          440Of sooty coal the Empiric Alchimist
          441Can turn, or holds it possible to turn
          442Metals of drossiest Ore to perfet Gold
          443As from the Mine.  Mean while at Table Eve
          444Ministerd naked, and thir flowing cups
          445With pleasant liquors crown'd:  O innocence
          446Deserving Paradise! if ever, then,
          447Then had the Sons of God excuse to have bin
          448Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts
          449Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousie
          450Was understood, the injur'd Lovers Hell.

          451Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffic'd,
          452Not burd'nd Nature, sudden mind arose
          453In Adam, not to let th' occasion pass
          454Given him by this great Conference to know
          455Of things above his World, and of thir being
          456Who dwell in Heav'n, whose excellence he saw
          457Transcend his own so farr, whose radiant forms
          458Divine effulgence, whose high Power so far
          459Exceeded human, and his wary speech
          460Thus to th' Empyreal Minister he fram'd.

          461Inhabitant with God, now know I well
          462Thy favour, in this honour done to man,
          463Under whose lowly roof thou hast voutsaf't
          464To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,
          465Food not of Angels, yet accepted so,
          466As that more willingly thou couldst not seem
          467As Heav'ns high feasts to have fed: yet what compare?

          468To whom the winged Hierarch repli'd.
          469O Adam, one Almightie is, from whom
          470All things proceed, and up to him return,
          471If not deprav'd from good, created all
          472Such to perfection, one first matter all,
          473Indu'd with various forms various degrees
          474Of substance, and in things that live, of life;
          475But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure,
          476As neerer to him plac't or neerer tending
          477Each in thir several active Sphears assignd,
          478Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
          479Proportiond to each kind.  So from the root
          480Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves
          481More aerie, last the bright consummate floure
          482Spirits odorous breathes: flours and thir fruit
          483Mans nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd
          484To vital Spirits aspire, to animal,
          485To intellectual, give both life and sense,
          486Fansie and understanding, whence the Soule
          487Reason receives, and reason is her being,
          488Discursive, or Intuitive; discourse
          489Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
          490Differing but in degree, of kind the same.
          491Wonder not then, what God for you saw good
          492If I refuse not, but convert, as you,
          493To proper substance; time may come when men
          494With Angels may participate, and find
          495No inconvenient Diet, nor too light Fare:
          496And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
          497Your bodies may at last turn all to Spirit,
          498Improv'd by tract of time, and wingd ascend
          499Ethereal, as wee, or may at choice
          500Here or in Heav'nly Paradises dwell;
          501If ye be found obedient, and retain
          502Unalterably firm his love entire
          503Whose progenie you are.  Mean while enjoy
          504Your fill what happiness this happie state
          505Can comprehend, incapable of more.

          506To whom the Patriarch of mankind repli'd,
          507O favourable spirit, propitious guest,
          508Well hast thou taught the way that might direct
          509Our knowledge, and the scale of Nature set
          510From center to circumference, whereon
          511In contemplation of created things
          512By steps we may ascend to God.  But say,
          513What meant that caution joind, if ye be found
          514Obedient? can we want obedience then
          515To him, or possibly his love desert
          516Who formd us from the dust, and plac'd us here
          517Full to the utmost measure of what bliss
          518Human desires can seek or apprehend?

          519To whom the Angel.  Son of Heav'n and Earth,
          520Attend: That thou are happie, owe to God;
          521That thou continu'st such, owe to thy self,
          522That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
          523This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd.
          524God made thee perfet, not immutable;
          525And good he made thee, but to persevere
          526He left it in thy power, ordaind thy will
          527By nature free, not over-rul'd by Fate
          528Inextricable, or strict necessity;
          529Our voluntarie service he requires,
          530Not our necessitated, such with him
          531Findes no acceptance, nor can find, for how
          532Can hearts, not free, be tri'd whether they serve
          533Willing or no, who will but what they must
          534By Destinie, and can no other choose?
          535My self and all th' Angelic Host that stand
          536In sight of God enthron'd, our happie state
          537Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
          538On other surety none; freely we serve,
          539Because wee freely love, as in our will
          540To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
          541And som are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
          542And so from Heav'n to deepest Hell; O fall
          543From what high state of bliss into what woe!

          544To whom our great Progenitor.  Thy words
          545Attentive, and with more delighted eare,
          546Divine instructer, I have heard, then when
          547Cherubic Songs by night from neighbouring Hills
          548Aereal Music send: nor knew I not
          549To be both will and deed created free;
          550Yet that we never shall forget to love
          551Our maker, and obey him whose command
          552Single, is yet so just, my constant thoughts
          553Assur'd me, and still assure: though what thou tellst
          554Hath past in Heav'n, som doubt within me move,
          555But more desire to hear, if thou consent,
          556The full relation, which must needs be strange,
          557Worthy of Sacred silence to be heard;
          558And we have yet large day, for scarce the Sun
          559Hath finisht half his journey, and scarce begins
          560His other half in the great Zone of Heav'n.

          561Thus Adam made request, and Raphael
          562After short pause assenting, thus began.

          563High matter thou injoinst me, O prime of men,
          564Sad task and hard, for how shall I relate
          565To human sense th' invisible exploits
          566Of warring Spirits; how without remorse
          567The ruin of so many glorious once
          568And perfet while they stood; how last unfould
          569The secrets of another world, perhaps
          570Not lawful to reveal? yet for thy good
          571This is dispenc't, and what surmounts the reach
          572Of human sense, I shall delineate so,
          573By lik'ning spiritual to corporal forms,
          574As may express them best, though what if Earth
          575Be but the shaddow of Heav'n, and things therein
          576Each to other like, more then on earth is thought?

          577As yet this world was not, and Chaos wilde
          578Reignd where these Heav'ns now rowl, where Earth now rests
          579Upon her Center pois'd, when on a day
          580(For Time, though in Eternitie, appli'd
          581To motion, measures all things durable
          582By present, past, and future) on such day
          583As Heav'ns great Year brings forth, th' Empyreal Host
          584Of Angels by Imperial summons call'd,
          585Innumerable before th' Almighties Throne
          586Forthwith from all the ends of Heav'n appeerd
          587Under thir Hierarchs in orders bright
          588Ten thousand thousand Ensignes high advanc'd,
          589Standards, and Gonfalons twixt Van and Reare
          590Streame in the Aire, and for distinction serve
          591Of Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees;
          592Or in thir glittering Tissues bear imblaz'd
          593Holy Memorials, acts of Zeale and Love
          594Recorded eminent.  Thus when in Orbs
          595Of circuit inexpressible they stood,
          596Orb within Orb, the Father infinite,
          597By whom in bliss imbosom'd sat the Son,
          598Amidst as from a flaming Mount, whose top
          599Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.

          600Hear all ye Angels, Progenie of Light,
          601Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
          602Hear my Decree, which unrevok't shall stand.
          603This day I have begot whom I declare
          604My onely Son, and on this holy Hill
          605Him have anointed, whom ye now behold
          606At my right hand;  your Head I him appoint;
          607And by my Self have sworn to him shall bow
          608All knees in Heav'n, and shall confess him Lord:
          609Under his great Vice-gerent Reign abide
          610United as one individual Soule
          611For ever happie: him who disobeyes
          612Mee disobeyes, breaks union, and that day
          613Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
          614Into utter darkness, deep ingulft, his place
          615Ordaind without redemption, without end.

          616So spake th' Omnipotent, and with his words
          617All seemd well pleas'd, all seem'd, but were not all.
          618That day, as other solemn dayes, they spent
          619In song and dance about the sacred Hill,
          620Mystical dance, which yonder starrie Spheare
          621Of Planets and of fixt in all her Wheeles
          622Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
          623Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regular
          624Then most, when most irregular they seem,
          625And in thir motions harmonie Divine
          626So smooths her charming tones, that Gods own ear
          627Listens delighted.  Eevning now approach'd
          628(For wee have also our Eevning and our Morn,
          629Wee ours for change delectable, not need)
          630Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn
          631Desirous; all in Circles as they stood,
          632Tables are set, and on a sudden pil'd
          633With Angels Food, and rubied Nectar flows
          634In Pearl, in Diamond, and massie Gold
          635Fruit of delicious Vines, the growth of Heav'n.
          636On flours repos'd, and with fresh flourets crownd,
          637They eate, they drink, and in communion sweet
          638Quaff immortalitie and joy, secure
          639Of surfet where full measure onely bounds
          640Excess, before th' all bounteous King, who showrd
          641With copious hand, rejoycing in thir joy.
          642Now when ambrosial Night with Clouds exhal'd
          643From that high mount of God, whence light & shade
          644Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had changd
          645To grateful Twilight (for Night comes not there
          646In darker veile) and roseat Dews dispos'd
          647All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest,
          648Wide over all the Plain, and wider farr
          649Then all this globous Earth in Plain out spred,
          650(Such are the Courts of God) Th' Angelic throng
          651Disperst in Bands and Files thir Camp extend
          652By living Streams among the Trees of Life,
          653Pavilions numberless, and sudden reard,
          654Celestial Tabernacles, where they slept
          655Fannd with cool Winds, save those who in thir course
          656Melodious Hymns about the sovran Throne
          657Alternate all night long: but not so wak'd
          658Satan, so call him now, his former name
          659Is heard no more in Heav'n; he of the first,
          660If not the first Arch-Angel, great in Power,
          661In favour and in praeeminence, yet fraught
          662With envie against the Son of God, that day
          663Honourd by his great Father, and proclaimd
          664Messiah King anointed, could not beare
          665Through pride that sight, & thought himself impaird.
          666Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain,
          667Soon as midnight brought on the duskie houre
          668Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd
          669With all his Legions to dislodge, and leave
          670Unworshipt, unobey'd the Throne supream
          671Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
          672Awak'ning, thus to him in secret spake.

          673Sleepst thou Companion dear, what sleep can close
          674Thy eye-lids: and remembrest what Decree
          675Of yesterday, so late hath past the lips
          676Of Heav'ns Almightie.  Thou to me thy thoughts
          677Wast wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart;
          678Both waking we were one; how then can now
          679Thy sleep dissent? new Laws thou seest impos'd;
          680New Laws from him who reigns, new minds may raise
          681In us who serve, new Counsels, to debate
          682What doubtful may ensue, more in this place
          683To utter is not safe.  Assemble thou
          684Of all those Myriads which we lead the chief;
          685Tell them that by command, ere yet dim Night
          686Her shadowie Cloud withdraws, I am to haste,
          687And all who under me thir Banners wave,
          688Homeward with flying march where we possess
          689The Quarters of the North, there to prepare
          690Fit entertainment to receive our King
          691The great Messiah, and his new commands,
          692Who speedily through all the Hierarchies
          693Intends to pass triumphant, and give Laws.

          694So spake the false Arch-Angel, and infus'd
          695Bad influence into th' unwarie brest
          696Of his Associate; hee together calls,
          697Or several one by one, the Regent Powers,
          698Under him Regent, tells, as he was taught,
          699That the most High commanding, now ere Night,
          700Now ere dim Night had disincumberd Heav'n,
          701The great Hierarchal Standard was to move;
          702Tells the suggested cause, and cast between
          703Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound
          704Or taint integritie; but all obey'd
          705The wonted signal, and superior voice
          706Of thir great Potentate; for great indeed
          707His name, and high was his degree in Heav'n;
          708His count'nance, as the Morning Starr that guides
          709The starrie flock, allur'd them, and with lyes
          710Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Host:
          711Mean while th' Eternal eye, whose sight discernes
          712Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy Mount
          713And from within the golden Lamps that burne
          714Nightly before him, saw without thir light
          715Rebellion rising, saw in whom, how spred
          716Among the sons of Morn, what multitudes
          717Were banded to oppose his high Decree;
          718And smiling to his onely Son thus said.

          719Son, thou in whom my glory I behold
          720In full resplendence, Heir of all my might,
          721Neerly it now concernes us to be sure
          722Of our Omnipotence, and with what Arms
          723We mean to hold what anciently we claim
          724Of Deitie or Empire, such a foe
          725Is rising, who intends to erect his Throne
          726Equal to ours, throughout the spacious North;
          727Nor so content, hath in his thought to try
          728In battel, what our Power is, or our right.
          729Let us advise, and to this hazard draw
          730With speed what force is left, and all imploy
          731In our defence, lest unawares we lose
          732This our high place, our Sanctuarie, our Hill.

          733To whom the Son with calm aspect and cleer
          734Light'ning Divine, ineffable, serene,
          735Made answer.  Mightie Father, thou thy foes
          736Justly hast in derision, and secure
          737Laugh'st at thir vain designes and tumults vain,
          738Matter to mee of Glory, whom thir hate
          739Illustrates, when they see all Regal Power
          740Giv'n me to quell thir pride, and in event
          741Know whether I be dextrous to subdue
          742Thy Rebels, or be found the worst in Heav'n.

          743So spake the Son, but Satan with his Powers
          744Far was advanc't on winged speed, an Host
          745Innumerable as the Starrs of Night,
          746Or Starrs of Morning, Dew-drops, which the Sun
          747Impearls on every leaf and every flouer.
          748Regions they pass'd, the mightie Regencies
          749Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones
          750In thir triple Degrees, Regions to which
          751All thy Dominion, Adam, is no more
          752Then what this Garden is to all the Earth,
          753And all the Sea, from one entire globose
          754Stretcht into Longitude; which having pass'd
          755At length into the limits of the North
          756They came, and Satan to his Royal seat
          757High on a Hill, far blazing, as a Mount
          758Rais'd on a Mount, with Pyramids and Towrs
          759From Diamond Quarries hew'n, and Rocks of Gold,
          760The Palace of great Lucifer, (so call
          761That Structure in the Dialect of men
          762Interpreted) which not long after, he
          763Affecting all equality with God,
          764In imitation of that Mount whereon
          765Messiah was delar'd in sight of Heav'n,
          766The Mountain of the Congregation call'd;
          767For thither he assembl'd all his Train,
          768Pretending so commanded to consult
          769About the great reception of thir King,
          770Thither to come, and with calumnious Art
          771Of counterfeted truth thus held thir ears.

          772Thrones, Dominations, Princedomes, Vertues, Powers,
          773If these magnific Titles yet remain
          774Not meerly titular, since by Decree
          775Another now hath to himself ingross't
          776All Power, and us eclipst under the name
          777Of King anointed, for whom all this haste
          778Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here,
          779This onely to consult how we may best
          780With what may be devis'd of honours new
          781Receive him coming to receive from us
          782Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
          783Too much to one, but double how endur'd,
          784To one and to his image now proclaim'd?
          785But what if better counsels might erect
          786Our minds and teach us to cast off this Yoke?
          787Will ye submit your necks, and chuse to bend
          788The supple knee? ye will not, if I trust
          789To know ye right, or if ye know your selves
          790Natives and Sons of Heav'n possest before
          791By none, and if not equal all, yet free,
          792Equally free; for Orders and Degrees
          793Jarr not with liberty, but well consist.
          794Who can in reason then or right assume
          795Monarchie over such as live by right
          796His equals, if in power and splendor less,
          797In freedome equal? or can introduce
          798Law and Edict on us, who without law
          799Erre not, much less for this to be our Lord,
          800And look for adoration to th' abuse
          801Of those Imperial Titles which assert
          802Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve?

          803Thus farr his bold discourse without controule
          804Had audience, when among the Seraphim
          805Abdiel, then whom none with more zeale ador'd
          806The Deitie, and divine commands obei'd,
          807Stood up, and in a flame of zeale severe
          808The current of his fury thus oppos'd.

          809O argument blasphemous, false and proud!
          810Words which no eare ever to hear in Heav'n
          811Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate
          812In place thy self so high above thy Peeres.
          813Canst thou with impious obloquie condemne
          814The just Decree of God, pronounc't and sworn,
          815That to his only Son by right endu'd
          816With Regal Scepter, every Soule in Heav'n
          817Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due
          818Confess him rightful King? unjust thou saist
          819Flatly unjust, to binde with Laws the free,
          820And equal over equals to let Reigne,
          821One over all with unsucceeded power.
          822Shalt thou give Law to God, shalt thou dispute
          823With him the points of libertie, who made
          824Thee what thou art, and formd the Pow'rs of Heav'n
          825Such as he pleasd, and circumscrib'd thir being?
          826Yet by experience taught we know how good,
          827And of our good, and of our dignitie
          828How provident he is, how farr from thought
          829To make us less, bent rather to exalt
          830Our happie state under one Head more neer
          831United.  But to grant it thee unjust,
          832That equal over equals Monarch Reigne:
          833Thy self though great and glorious dost thou count,
          834Or all Angelic Nature joind in one,
          835Equal to him begotten Son, by whom
          836As by his Word the mighty Father made
          837All things, ev'n thee, and all the Spirits of Heav'n
          838By him created in thir bright degrees,
          839Crownd them with Glory, and to thir Glory nam'd
          840Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
          841Essential Powers, nor by his Reign obscur'd,
          842But more illustrious made, since he the Head
          843One of our number thus reduc't becomes,
          844His Laws our Laws, all honour to him done
          845Returns our own.  Cease then this impious rage,
          846And tempt not these;  but hast'n to appease
          847Th' incensed Father, and th' incensed Son,
          848While Pardon may be found in time besought.

          849So spake the fervent Angel, but his zeale
          850None seconded, as out of season judg'd,
          851Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'd
          852Th' Apostat, and more haughty thus repli'd.
          853That were formd then saist thou? and the work
          854Of secondarie hands, by task transferd
          855From Father to his Son? strange point and new!
          856Doctrin which we would know whence learnt: who saw
          857When this creation was? rememberst thou
          858Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?
          859We know no time when we were not as now;
          860Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd
          861By our own quick'ning power, when fatal course
          862Had circl'd his full Orbe, the birth mature
          863Of this our native Heav'n, Ethereal Sons.
          864Our puissance is our own, our own right hand
          865Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
          866Who is our equal: then thou shalt behold
          867Whether by supplication we intend
          868Address, and to begirt th' Almighty Throne
          869Beseeching or besieging.  This report,
          870These tidings carrie to th' anointed King;
          871And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.

          872He said, and as the sound of waters deep
          873Hoarce murmur echo'd to his words applause
          874Through the infinite Host, nor less for that
          875The flaming Seraph fearless, though alone
          876Encompass'd round with foes, thus answerd bold.

          877O alienate from God, O spirit accurst,
          878Forsak'n of all good; I see thy fall
          879Determind, and thy hapless crew involv'd
          880In this perfidious fraud, contagion spred
          881Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth
          882Not more be troubl'd how to quit the yoke
          883Of Gods Messiah; those indulgent Laws
          884Will not be now voutsaf't, other Decrees
          885Against thee are gon forth without recall;
          886That Golden Scepter which thou didst reject
          887Is now an Iron Rod to bruise and break
          888Thy disobedience.  Well thou didst advise,
          889Yet not for thy advise or threats I fly
          890These wicked Tents devoted, least the wrauth
          891Impendent, raging into sudden flame
          892Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel
          893His Thunder on thy head, devouring fire.
          894Then who created thee lamenting learne,
          895When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.

          896So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found,
          897Among the faithless, faithful only hee;
          898Among innumerable false, unmov'd,
          899Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'd
          900His Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale;
          901Nor number, nor example with him wrought
          902To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind
          903Though single.  From amidst them forth he pass'd,
          904Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteind
          905Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught;
          906And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd
          907On those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom'd.

Notes

636] Line added in 1674.

637] in communion (1674); with refection (1667).

638] This and the next two lines are only found in 1674, where they replace one line:

Are fill'd, before th' all bounteous King, who showrd


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Transcription courtesy of Roy Flannagan.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: John Milton, Paradise Lost, 2nd edn. (London: Samuel Simmons, 1674). A transcription by Roy Flannagan of the second (1674) edition in John Milton's Complete Poetical Works Reproduced in Photographic Facsimile. A Critical Text Edition, ed. Harris Francis Fletcher, III (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1948). PR 3551 F52 Robarts Library. As published in Ian Lancashire, in collaboration with John Bradley, Willard McCarty, Michael Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge, Using TACT and Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996). CD-ROM.
First publication date: 1667
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/6/9

Composition date: 1650 - 1655
Rhyme: unrhyming


Other poems by John Milton