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Short poem

John Milton (1608-1674)

Paradise Lost: Book VII (1674)


Raphael at the request of Adam relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, declar'd his pleasure to create another World and other Creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with Glory and attendance of Angels to perform the work of Creation in six dayes: the Angels celebrate with Hymns the performance thereof, and his reascention into Heaven.

              1DEscend from Heav'n Urania, by that name
              2If rightly thou art call'd, whose Voice divine
              3Following, above th' Olympian Hill I soare,
              4Above the flight of Pegasean wing.
              5The meaning, not the Name I call: for thou
              6Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
              7Of old Olympus dwell'st, but Heav'nlie borne,
              8Before the Hills appeerd, or Fountain flow'd,
              9Thou with Eternal wisdom didst converse,
            10Wisdom thy Sister, and with her didst play
            11In presence of th' Almightie Father, pleas'd
            12With thy Celestial Song.  Up led by thee
            13Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd,
            14An Earthlie Guest, and drawn Empyreal Aire,
            15Thy tempring; with like safetie guided down
            16Return me to my Native Element:
            17Least from this flying Steed unrein'd, (as once
            18Bellerophon, though from a lower Clime)
            19Dismounted, on th' Aleian Field I fall
            20Erroneous there to wander and forlorne.
            21Half yet remaines unsung, but narrower bound
            22Within the visible Diurnal Spheare;
            23Standing on Earth, not rapt above the Pole,
            24More safe I Sing with mortal voice, unchang'd
            25To hoarce or mute, though fall'n on evil dayes,
            26On evil dayes though fall'n, and evil tongues;
            27In darkness, and with dangers compast round,
            28And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
            29Visit'st my slumbers Nightly, or when Morn
            30Purples the East: still govern thou my Song,
            31Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
            32But drive farr off the barbarous dissonance
            33Of Bacchus and his revellers, the Race
            34Of that wilde Rout that tore the Thracian Bard
            35In Rhodope, where Woods and Rocks had Eares
            36To rapture, till the savage clamor dround
            37Both Harp and Voice; nor could the Muse defend
            38Her Son.  So fail not thou, who thee implores:
            39For thou are Heav'nlie, shee an emptie dreame.

            40Say Goddess, what ensu'd when Raphael,
            41The affable Arch-Angel, had forewarn'd
            42Adam by dire example to beware
            43Apostasie, by what befell in Heaven
            44To those Apostates, least the like befall
            45In Paradise to Adam or his Race,
            46Charg'd not to touch the interdicted Tree,
            47If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
            48So easily obeyd amid the choice
            49Of all tastes else to please thir appetite,
            50Though wandring.  He with his consorted Eve
            51The storie heard attentive, and was fill'd
            52With admiration, and deep Muse to hear
            53Of things so high and strange, things to thir thought
            54So unimaginable as hate in Heav'n,
            55And Warr so neer the Peace of God in bliss
            56With such confusion: but the evil soon
            57Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those
            58From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
            59With Blessedness.  Whence Adam soon repeal'd
            60The doubts that in his heart arose: and now
            61Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
            62What neerer might concern him, how this World
            63Of Heav'n and Earth conspicious first began,
            64When, and whereof created, for what cause,
            65What within Eden or without was done
            66Before his memorie, as one whose drouth
            67Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current streame,
            68Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
            69Proceeded thus to ask his Heav'nly Guest.

            70Great things, and full of wonder in our eares,
            71Farr differing from this World, thou hast reveal'd
            72Divine interpreter, by favour sent
            73Down from the Empyrean to forewarne
            74Us timely of what might else have bin our loss,
            75Unknown, which human knowledg could not reach:
            76For which to the infinitly Good we owe
            77Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
            78Receave with solemne purpose to observe
            79Immutably his sovran will, the end
            80Of what we are.  But since thou hast voutsaf't
            81Gently for our instruction to impart
            82Things above Earthly thought, which yet concernd
            83Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemd,
            84Deign to descend now lower, and relate
            85What may no less perhaps availe us known,
            86How first began this Heav'n which we behold
            87Distant so high, with moving Fires adornd
            88Innumerable, and this which yeelds or fills
            89All space, the ambient Aire wide interfus'd
            90Imbracing round this florid Earth, what cause
            91Mov'd the Creator in his holy Rest
            92Through all Eternitie so late to build
            93In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
            94Absolv'd, if unforbid thou maist unfould
            95What wee, not to explore the secrets aske
            96Of his Eternal Empire, but the more
            97To magnifie his works, the more we know.
            98And the great Light of Day yet wants to run
            99Much of his Race though steep, suspens in Heav'n
          100Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he heares,
          101And longer will delay to heare thee tell
          102His Generation, and the rising Birth
          103Of Nature from the unapparent Deep:
          104Or if the Starr of Eevning and the Moon
          105Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring
          106Silence, and Sleep listning to thee will watch,
          107Or we can bid his absence, till thy Song
          108End, and dismiss thee ere the Morning shine.

          109Thus Adam his illustrious Guest besought:

          110And thus the Godlike Angel answerd milde.
          111This also thy request with caution askt
          112Obtaine: though to recount Almightie works
          113What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice,
          114Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
          115Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve
          116To glorifie the Maker, and inferr
          117Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
          118Thy hearing, such Commission from above
          119I have receav'd, to answer thy desire
          120Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain
          121To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
          122Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King,
          123Onely Omniscient, hath supprest in Night,
          124To none communicable in Earth or Heaven:
          125Anough is left besides to search and know.
          126But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less
          127Her Temperance over Appetite, to know
          128In measure what the mind may well contain,
          129Oppresses else with Surfet, and soon turns
          130Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Winde.

          131Know then, that after Lucifer from Heav'n
          132(So call him, brighter once amidst the Host
          133Of Angels, then that Starr the Starrs among)
          134Fell with his flaming Legions through the Deep
          135Into his place, and the great Son returnd
          136Victorious with his Saints, th' Omnipotent
          137Eternal Father from his Throne beheld
          138Thir multitude, and to his Son thus spake.

          139At least our envious Foe hath fail'd, who thought
          140All like himself rebellious, by whose aid
          141This inaccessible high strength, the seat
          142Of Deitie supream, us dispossest,
          143He trusted to have seis'd, and into fraud
          144Drew many, whom thir place knows here no more;
          145Yet farr the greater part have kept, I see,
          146Thir station, Heav'n yet populous retaines
          147Number sufficient to possess her Realmes
          148Though wide, and this high Temple to frequent
          149With Ministeries due and solemn Rites:
          150But least his heart exalt him in the harme
          151Already done, to have dispeopl'd Heav'n
          152My damage fondly deem'd, I can repaire
          153That detriment, if such it be to lose
          154Self-lost, and in a moment will create
          155Another World, out of one man a Race
          156Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
          157Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd
          158They open to themselves at length the way
          159Up hither, under long obedience tri'd,
          160And Earth be chang'd to Heav'n, & Heav'n to Earth,
          161One Kingdom, Joy and Union without end.
          162Mean while inhabit laxe, ye Powers of Heav'n,
          163And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee
          164This I perform, speak thou, and be it don:
          165My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee
          166I send along, ride forth, and bid the Deep
          167Within appointed bounds be Heav'n and Earth,
          168Boundless the Deep, because I am who fill
          169Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
          170Though I uncircumscrib'd my self retire,
          171And put not forth my goodness, which is free
          172To act or not, Necessitie and Chance
          173Approach not mee, and what I will is Fate.

          174So spake th' Almightie, and to what he spake
          175His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect.
          176Immediate are the Acts of God, more swift
          177Then time or motion, but to human ears
          178Cannot without process of speech be told,
          179So told as earthly notion can receave.
          180Great triumph and rejoycing was in Heav'n
          181When such was heard declar'd the Almightie's will;
          182Glorie they sung to the most High, good will
          183To future men, and in thir dwellings peace:
          184Glorie to him whose just avenging ire
          185Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight
          186And th' habitations of the just; to him
          187Glorie and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd
          188Good out of evil to create, in stead
          189Of Spirits maligne a better Race to bring
          190Into thir vacant room, and thence diffuse
          191His good to Worlds and Ages infinite.
          192So sang the Hierarchies: Mean while the Son
          193On his great Expedition now appeer'd,
          194Girt with Omnipotence, with Radiance crown'd
          195Of Majestie Divine, Sapience and Love
          196Immense, and all his Father in him shon.
          197About his Chariot numberless were pour'd
          198Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
          199And Vertues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing'd,
          200From the Armoury of God, where stand of old
          201Myriads between two brazen Mountains lodg'd
          202Against a solemn day, harnest at hand,
          203Celestial Equipage; and now came forth
          204Spontaneous, for within them Spirit livd,
          205Attendant on thir Lord: Heav'n op'nd wide
          206Her ever during Gates, Harmonious sound
          207On golden Hinges moving, to let forth
          208The King of Glorie in his powerful Word
          209And Spirit coming to create new Worlds.
          210On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore
          211They view'd the vast immeasurable Abyss
          212Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde,
          213Up from the bottom turn'd by furious windes
          214And surging waves, as Mountains to assault
          215Heav'ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole.

          216Silence, ye troubl'd waves, and thou Deep, peace,
          217Said then th' Omnific Word, your discord end:
          218Nor staid, but on the Wings of Cherubim
          219Uplifted, in Paternal Glorie rode
          220Farr into Chaos, and the World unborn;
          221For Chaos heard his voice: him all his Traine
          222Follow'd in bright procession to behold
          223Creation, and the wonders of his might.
          224Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand
          225He took the golden Compasses, prepar'd
          226In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe
          227This Universe, and all created things:
          228One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd
          229Round through the vast profunditie obscure,
          230And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy bounds,
          231This be thy just Circumference, O World.
          232Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth,
          233Matter unform'd and void: Darkness profound
          234Cover'd th' Abyss: but on the watrie calme
          235His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspred,
          236And vital vertue infus'd, and vital warmth
          237Throughout the fluid Mass, but downward purg'd
          238The black tartareous cold Infernal dregs
          239Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd
          240Like things to like, the rest to several place
          241Disparted, and between spun out the Air,
          242And Earth self ballanc't on her Center hung.

          243Let ther be Light, said God, and forthwith Light
          244Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure
          245Sprung from the Deep, and from her Native East
          246To journie through the airie gloom began,
          247Sphear'd in a radiant Cloud, for yet the Sun
          248Was not; shee in a cloudie Tabernacle
          249Sojourn'd the while.  God saw the Light was good;
          250And light from darkness by the Hemisphere
          251Divided: Light the Day, and Darkness Night
          252He nam'd.  Thus was the first Day Eev'n and Morn:
          253Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
          254By the Celestial Quires, when Orient Light
          255Exhaling first from Darkness they beheld;
          256Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and shout
          257The hollow Universal Orb they fill'd,
          258And touch't thir Golden Harps, and hymning prais'd
          259God and his works, Creatour him they sung,
          260Both when first Eevning was, and when first Morn.

          261Again, God said, let ther be Firmament
          262Amid the Waters, and let it divide
          263The Waters from the Waters: and God made
          264The Firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
          265Transparent, Elemental Air, diffus'd
          266In circuit to the uttermost convex
          267Of this great Round: partition firm and sure,
          268The Waters underneath from those above
          269Dividing: for as Earth, so he the World
          270Built on circumfluous Waters calme, in wide
          271Crystallin Ocean, and the loud misrule
          272Of Chaos farr remov'd, least fierce extreames
          273Contiguous might distemper the whole frame:
          274And Heav'n he nam'd the Firmament: So Eev'n
          275And Morning Chorus sung the second Day.

          276The Earth was form'd, but in the Womb as yet
          277Of Waters, Embryon immature involv'd,
          278Appeer'd not: over all the face of Earth
          279Main Ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warme
          280Prolific humour soft'ning all her Globe,
          281Fermented the great Mother to conceave,
          282Satiate with genial moisture, when God said
          283Be gather'd now ye Waters under Heav'n
          284Into one place, and let dry Land appeer.
          285Immediately the Mountains huge appeer
          286Emergent, and thir broad bare backs upheave
          287Into the Clouds, thir tops ascend the Skie:
          288So high as heav'd the tumid Hills, so low
          289Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
          290Capacious bed of Waters: thither they
          291Hasted with glad precipitance, uprowld
          292As drops on dust conglobing from the drie;
          293Part rise in crystal Wall, or ridge direct,
          294For haste; such flight the great command impress'd
          295On the swift flouds: as Armies at the call
          296Of Trumpet (for of Armies thou hast heard)
          297Troop to thir Standard, so the watrie throng,
          298Wave rowling after Wave, where way they found,
          299If steep, with torrent rapture, if through Plaine,
          300Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them Rock or Hill,
          301But they, or under ground, or circuit wide
          302With Serpent errour wandring, found thir way,
          303And on the washie Oose deep Channels wore;
          304Easie, e're God had bid the ground be drie,
          305All but within those banks, where Rivers now
          306Stream, and perpetual draw thir humid traine.
          307The dry Land, Earth, and the great receptacle
          308Of congregated Waters he call'd Seas:
          309And saw that it was good, and said, Let th' Earth
          310Put forth the verdant Grass, Herb yielding Seed,
          311And Fruit Tree yielding Fruit after her kind;
          312Whose Seed is in her self upon the Earth.
          313He scarce had said, when the bare Earth, till then
          314Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd,
          315Brought forth the tender Grass, whose verdure clad
          316Her Universal Face with pleasant green,
          317Then Herbs of every leaf, that sudden flour'd
          318Op'ning thir various colours, and made gay
          319Her bosom smelling sweet: and these scarce blown,
          320Forth flourish't thick the clustring Vine, forth crept
          321The smelling Gourd, up stood the cornie Reed
          322Embattell'd in her field: and the humble Shrub,
          323And Bush with frizl'd hair implicit: last
          324Rose as in Dance the stately Trees, and spred
          325Thir branches hung with copious Fruit; or gemm'd
          326Thir blossoms: with high woods the hills were crownd,
          327With tufts the vallies and each fountain side,
          328With borders long the Rivers.  That Earth now
          329Seemd like to Heav'n, a seat where Gods might dwell,
          330Or wander with delight, and love to haunt
          331Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rain'd
          332Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground
          333None was, but from the Earth a dewie Mist
          334Went up and waterd all the ground, and each
          335Plant of the field, which e're it was in the Earth
          336God made, and every Herb, before it grew
          337On the green stemm; God saw that it was good.
          338So Eev'n and Morn recorded the Third Day.

          339Again th' Almightie spake: Let there be Lights
          340High in th' expanse of Heaven to divide
          341The Day from Night; and let them be for Signes,
          342For Seasons, and for Dayes, and circling Years,
          343And let them be for Lights as I ordaine
          344Thir Office in the Firmament of Heav'n
          345To give Light on the Earth; and it was so.
          346And God made two great Lights, great for thir use
          347To Man, the greater to have rule by Day,
          348The less by Night alterne: and made the Starrs,
          349And set them in the Firmament of Heav'n
          350To illuminate the Earth, and rule the Day
          351In thir vicissitude, and rule the Night,
          352And Light from Darkness to divide.  God saw,
          353Surveying his great Work, that it was good:
          354For of Celestial Bodies first the Sun
          355A mightie Spheare he fram'd, unlightsom first,
          356Though of Ethereal Mould: then form'd the Moon
          357Globose, and every magnitude of Starrs,
          358And sowd with Starrs the Heav'n thick as a field:
          359Of Light by farr the greater part he took,
          360Transplanted from her cloudie Shrine, and plac'd
          361In the Suns Orb, made porous to receive
          362And drink the liquid Light, firm to retaine
          363Her gather'd beams, great Palace now of Light.
          364Hither as to thir Fountain other Starrs
          365Repairing, in thir gold'n Urns draw Light,
          366And hence the Morning Planet guilds her horns;
          367By tincture or reflection they augment
          368Thir small peculiar, though from human sight
          369So farr remote, with diminution seen.
          370First in his East the glorious Lamp was seen,
          371Regent of Day, and all th' Horizon round
          372Invested with bright Rayes, jocond to run
          373His Longitude through Heav'ns high rode: the gray
          374Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd
          375Shedding sweet influence: less bright the Moon,
          376But opposite in leveld West was set
          377His mirror, with full face borrowing her Light
          378From him, for other light she needed none
          379In that aspect, and still that distance keepes
          380Till night, then in the East her turn she shines,
          381Revolvd on Heav'ns great Axle, and her Reign
          382With thousand lesser Lights dividual holds,
          383With thousand thousand Starres, that then appeer'd
          384Spangling the Hemisphere: then first adornd
          385With thir bright Luminaries that Set and Rose,
          386Glad Eevning and glad Morn crownd the fourth day.

          387And God said, let the Waters generate
          388Reptil with Spawn abundant, living Soule:
          389And let Fowle flie above the Earth, with wings
          390Displayd on the op'n Firmament of Heav'n.
          391And God created the great Whales, and each
          392Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously
          393The waters generated by thir kindes,
          394And every Bird of wing after his kinde;
          395And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying,
          396Be fruitful, multiply, and in the Seas
          397And Lakes and running Streams the waters fill;
          398And let the Fowle be multiply'd on the Earth.
          399Forthwith the Sounds and Seas, each Creek and Bay
          400With Frie innumerable swarme, and Shoales
          401Of Fish that with thir Finns and shining Scales
          402Glide under the green Wave, in Sculles that oft
          403Bank the mid Sea: part single or with mate
          404Graze the Sea weed thir pasture, and through Groves
          405Of Coral stray, or sporting with quick glance
          406Show to the Sun thir wav'd coats dropt with Gold,
          407Or in thir Pearlie shells at ease, attend
          408Moist nutriment, or under Rocks thir food
          409In jointed Armour watch: on smooth the Seale,
          410And bended Dolphins play: part huge of bulk
          411Wallowing unweildie, enormous in thir Gate
          412Tempest the Ocean: there Leviathan
          413Hugest of living Creatures, on the Deep
          414Stretcht like a Promontorie sleeps or swimmes,
          415And seems a moving Land, and at his Gilles
          416Draws in, and at his Trunck spouts out a Sea.
          417Mean while the tepid Caves, and Fens and shoares
          418Thir Brood as numerous hatch, from the Egg that soon
          419Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos'd
          420Thir callow young, but featherd soon and fledge
          421They summ'd thir Penns, and soaring th' air sublime
          422With clang despis'd the ground, under a cloud
          423In prospect; there the Eagle and the Stork
          424On Cliffs and Cedar tops thir Eyries build:
          425Part loosly wing the Region, part more wise
          426In common, rang'd in figure wedge thir way,
          427Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
          428Thir Aierie Caravan high over Sea's
          429Flying, and over Lands with mutual wing
          430Easing thir flight; so stears the prudent Crane
          431Her annual Voiage, born on Windes; the Aire
          432Floats, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes:
          433From Branch to Branch the smaller Birds with song
          434So1ac'd the Woods, and spred thir painted wings
          435Till Ev'n, nor then the solemn Nightingal
          436Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft layes:
          437Others on Silver Lakes and Rivers Bath'd
          438Thir downie Brest; the Swan with Arched neck
          439Between her white wings mantling proudly, Rowes
          440Her state with Oarie feet: yet oft they quit
          441The Dank, and rising on stiff Pennons, towre
          442The mid Aereal Skie: Others on ground
          443Walk'd firm; the crested Cock whose clarion sounds
          444The silent hours, and th' other whose gay Traine
          445Adorns him, colour'd with the Florid hue
          446Of Rainbows and Starrie Eyes.  The Waters thus
          447With Fish replenisht, and the Aire with Fowle,
          448Ev'ning and Morn solemniz'd the Fift day.

          449The Sixt, and of Creation last arose
          450With Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said,
          451Let th' Earth bring forth Foul living in her kinde,
          452Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,
          453Each in their kinde.  The Earth obey'd, and strait
          454Op'ning her fertil Woomb teem'd at a Birth
          455Innumerous living Creatures, perfet formes,
          456Limb'd and full grown: out of the ground up rose
          457As from his Laire the wilde Beast where he wonns
          458In Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den;
          459Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk'd:
          460The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green:
          461Those rare and solitarie, these in flocks
          462Pasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung.
          463The grassie Clods now Calv'd, now half appeer'd
          464The Tawnie Lion, pawing to get free
          465His hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds,
          466And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; the Ounce,
          467The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the Moale
          468Rising, the crumbl'd Earth above them threw
          469In Hillocks; the swift Stag from under ground
          470Bore up his branching head: scarse from his mould
          471Behemoth biggest born of Earth upheav'd
          472His vastness: Fleec't the Flocks and bleating rose,
          473As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and Land
          474The River Horse and scalie Crocodile.
          475At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,
          476Insect or Worme; those wav'd thir limber fans
          477For wings, and smallest Lineaments exact
          478In all the Liveries dect of Summers pride
          479With spots of Gold and Purple, azure and green:
          480These as a line thir long dimension drew,
          481Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
          482Minims of Nature; some of Serpent kinde
          483Wondrous in length and corpulence involv'd
          484Thir Snakie foulds, and added wings.  First crept
          485The Parsimonious Emmet, provident
          486Of future, in small room large heart enclos'd,
          487Pattern of just equalitie perhaps
          488Hereafter, join'd in her popular Tribes
          489Of Commonaltie: swarming next appeer'd
          490The Female Bee that feeds her Husband Drone
          491Deliciously, and builds her waxen Cells
          492With Honey stor'd: the rest are numberless,
          493And thou thir Natures know'st, & gav'st them Names,
          494Needless to thee repeated; nor unknown
          495The Serpent suttl'st Beast of all the field,
          496Of huge extent somtimes, with brazen Eyes
          497And hairie Main terrific, though to thee
          498Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.
          499Now Heav'n in all her Glorie shon, and rowld
          500Her motions, as the great first Movers hand
          501First wheeld thir course; Earth in her rich attire
          502Consummate lovly smil'd; Aire, Water, Earth,
          503By Fowl, Fish, Beast, was flown, was swum, was walkt
          504Frequent; and of the Sixt day yet remain'd;
          505There wanted yet the Master work, the end
          506Of all yet don; a Creature who not prone
          507And Brute as other Creatures, but endu'd
          508With Sanctitie of Reason, might erect
          509His Stature, and upright with Front serene
          510Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence
          511Magnanimous to correspond with Heav'n,
          512But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
          513Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyes
          514Directed in Devotion, to adore
          515And worship God Supream, who made him chief
          516Of all his works; therefore the Omnipotent
          517Eternal Father (For where is not hee
          518Present) thus to his Son audibly spake.

          519Let us make now Man in our image, Man
          520In our similitude, and let them rule
          521Over the Fish and Fowle of Sea and Aire,
          522Beast of the Field, and over all the Earth,
          523And every creeping thing that creeps the ground.
          524This said, he formd thee, Adam, thee O Man
          525Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd
          526The breath of Life; in his own Image hee
          527Created thee, in the Image of God
          528Express, and thou becam'st a living Soul.
          529Male he created thee, but thy consort
          530Female for Race; then bless'd Mankinde, and said,
          531Be fruitful, multiplie, and fill the Earth,
          532Subdue it, and throughout Dominion hold
          533Over Fish of the Sea, and Fowle of the Aire,
          534And every living thing that moves on the Earth.
          535Wherever thus created, for no place
          536Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou knows't
          537He brought thee into this delicious Grove,
          538This Garden, planted with the Trees of God,
          539Delectable both to behold and taste;
          540And freely all thir pleasant fruit for food
          541Gave thee, all sorts are here that all th' Earth yields,
          542Varietie without end; but of the Tree
          543Which tasted works knowledge of Good and Evil,
          544Thou mai'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou di'st;
          545Death is the penaltie impos'd, beware,
          546And govern well thy appetite, least sin
          547Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death.
          548Here finish'd hee, and all that he had made
          549View'd, and behold all was entirely good;
          550So Ev'n and Morn accomplish'd the Sixt day:
          551Yet not till the Creator from his work
          552Desisting, though unwearied, up returnd
          553Up to the Heav'n of Heav'ns his high abode,
          554Thence to behold this new created World
          555Th' addition of his Empire, how it shew'd
          556In prospect from his Throne, how good, how faire,
          557Answering his great Idea.  Up he rode
          558Followd with acclamation and the sound
          559Symphonious of ten thousand Harpes that tun'd
          560Angelic harmonies: the Earth, the Aire
          561Resounded, (thou remember'st, for thou heardst)
          562The Heav'ns and all the Constellations rung,
          563The Planets in thir station list'ning stood,
          564While the bright Pomp ascended jubilant.
          565Open, ye everlasting Gates, they sung,
          566Open, ye Heav'ns, your living dores; let in
          567The great Creator from his work returnd
          568Magnificent, his Six days work, a World;
          569Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deigne
          570To visit oft the dwellings of just Men
          571Delighted, and with frequent intercourse
          572Thither will send his winged Messengers
          573On errands of supernal Grace.  So sung
          574The glorious Train ascending: He through Heav'n,
          575That open'd wide her blazing Portals, led
          576To Gods Eternal house direct the way,
          577A broad and ample rode, whose dust is Gold
          578And pavement Starrs, as Starrs to thee appeer,
          579Seen in the Galaxie, that Milkie way
          580Which nightly as a circling Zone thou seest
          581Pouderd with Starrs.  And now on Earth the Seventh
          582Eev'ning arose in Eden, for the Sun
          583Was set, and twilight from the East came on,
          584Forerunning Night; when at the holy mount
          585Of Heav'ns high-seated top, th' Impereal Throne
          586Of Godhead, fixt for ever firm and sure,
          587The Filial Power arriv'd, and sate him down
          588With his great Father (for he also went
          589Invisible, yet staid (such priviledge
          590Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd,
          591Author and end of all things, and from work
          592Now resting, bless'd and hallowd the Seav'nth day,
          593As resting on that day from all his work,
          594But not in silence holy kept; the Harp
          595Had work and rested not, the solemn Pipe,
          596And Dulcimer, all Organs of sweet stop,
          597All sounds on Fret by String or Golden Wire
          598Temper'd sort Tunings, intermixt with Voice
          599Choral or Unison: of incense Clouds
          600Fuming from Golden Censers hid the Mount.
          601Creation and the Six dayes acts they sung,
          602Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite
          603Thy power; what thought can measure thee or tongue
          604Relate thee; greater now in thy return
          605Then from the Giant Angels; thee that day
          606Thy Thunders magnifi'd; but to create
          607Is greater then created to destroy.
          608Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
          609Thy Empire? easily the proud attempt
          610Of Spirits apostat and thir Counsels vaine
          611Thou hast repeld, while impiously they thought
          612Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
          613The number of thy worshippers.  Who seekes
          614To lessen thee, against his purpose serves
          615To manifest the more thy might: his evil
          616Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
          617Witness this new-made World, another Heav'n
          618From Heaven Gate not farr, founded in view
          619On the cleer Hyaline, the Glassie Sea;
          620Of amplitude almost immense, with Starr's
          621Numerous, and every Starr perhaps a World
          622Of destind habitation; but thou know'st
          623Thir seasons: among these the seat of men,
          624Earth with her nether Ocean circumfus'd,
          625Thir pleasant dwelling place.  Thrice happie men,
          626And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanc't,
          627Created in his Image, there to dwell
          628And worship him, and in reward to rule
          629Over his Works, on Earth, in Sea, or Air,
          630And multiply a Race of Worshippers
          631Holy and just: thrice happie if they know
          632Thir happiness, and persevere upright.
          633So sung they, and the Empyrean rung,
          634With Halleluiahs: Thus was Sabbath kept.
          635And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd
          636How first this World and face of things began,
          637And what before thy memorie was don
          638From the beginning, that posteritie
          639Informd by thee might know; if else thou seekst
          640Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.

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 - 1665
Rhyme: unrhyming

Other poems by John Milton