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John Milton (1608-1674)

Paradise Lost: Book XII (1674)


THE ARGUMENT.

      *The Angel Michael continues from the Flood to relate what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by degrees to explain, who that Seed of the Woman shall be, which was promised Adam and Eve in the Fall; his Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Ascention; the state of the Church till his second Coming. Adam greatly satisfied and recomforted by these Relations and Promises descends the Hill with Michael; wakens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with gentle dreams compos'd to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery Sword waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking thir Stations to guard the Place.

              1AS one who in his journey bates at Noone,
              2Though bent on speed, so heer the Archangel paus'd
              3Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor'd,
              4If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
              5Then with transition sweet new Speech resumes.

              6Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end;
              7And Man as from a second stock proceed.
              8Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceave
              9Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine
            10Must needs impaire and wearie human sense:
            11Henceforth what is to com I will relate,
            12Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
            13This second sours of Men, while yet but few;
            14And while the dread of judgement past remains
            15Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie,
            16With some regard to what is just and right
            17Shall lead thir lives, and multiplie apace,
            18Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop,
            19Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock,
            20Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid,
            21With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast,
            22Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwell
            23Long time in peace by Families and Tribes
            24Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
            25Of proud ambitious heart, who not content
            26With fair equalitie, fraternal state,
            27Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'd
            28Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
            29Concord and law of Nature from the Earth;
            30Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game)
            31With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse
            32Subjection to his Empire tyrannous:
            33A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'd
            34Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n,
            35Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie;
            36And from Rebellion shall derive his name,
            37Though of Rebellion others he accuse.
            38Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns
            39With him or under him to tyrannize,
            40Marching from Eden towards the West, shall finde
            41The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
            42Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell;
            43Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build
            44A Citie and Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n;
            45And get themselves a name, least far disperst
            46In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost
            47Regardless whether good or evil fame.
            48But God who oft descends to visit men
            49Unseen, and through thir habitations walks
            50To mark thir doings, them beholding soon,
            51Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower
            52Obstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision sets
            53Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase
            54Quite out thir Native Language, and instead
            55To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
            56Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
            57Among the Builders; each to other calls
            58Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,
            59As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'n
            60And looking down, to see the hubbub strange
            61And hear the din; thus was the building left
            62Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.

            63Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'd.
            64O execrable Son so to aspire
            65Above his Brethren, to himself assuming
            66Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n:
            67He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl
            68Dominion absolute; that right we hold
            69By his donation; but Man over men
            70He made not Lord; such title to himself
            71Reserving, human left from human free.
            72But this Usurper his encroachment proud
            73Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends
            74Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food
            75Will he convey up thither to sustain
            76Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire
            77Above the Clouds will pine his entrails gross,
            78And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread?

            79To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorr'st
            80That Son, who on the quiet state of men
            81Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
            82Rational Libertie; yet know withall,
            83Since thy original lapse, true Libertie
            84Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells
            85Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:
            86Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd,
            87Immediately inordinate desires
            88And upstart Passions catch the Government
            89From Reason, and to servitude reduce
            90Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits
            91Within himself unworthie Powers to reign
            92Over free Reason, God in judgement just
            93Subjects him from without to violent Lords;
            94Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
            95His outward freedom: Tyrannie must be,
            96Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.
            97Yet somtimes Nations will decline so low
            98From vertue, which is reason, that no wrong,
            99But Justice, and some fatal curse annext
          100Deprives them of thir outward libertie,
          101Thir inward lost: Witness th' irreverent Son
          102Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame
          103Don to his Father, heard this heavie curse,
          104Servant of Seruants, on his vitious Race.
          105Thus will this latter, as the former World,
          106Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last
          107Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
          108His presence from among them, and avert
          109His holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforth
          110To leave them to thir own polluted wayes;
          111And one peculiar Nation to select
          112From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,
          113A Nation from one faithful man to spring:
          114Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
          115Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men
          116(Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
          117While yet the Patriark liv'd, who scap'd the Flood,
          118As to forsake the living God, and fall
          119To worship thir own work in Wood and Stone
          120For Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafes
          121To call by Vision from his Fathers house,
          122His kindred and false Gods, into a Land
          123Which he will shew him, and from him will raise
          124A mightie Nation, and upon him showre
          125His benediction so, that in his Seed
          126All Nations shall be blest; he straight obeys,
          127Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes:
          128I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith
          129He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soile
          130Ur of Chaldaea, passing now the Ford
          131To Haran, after him a cumbrous Train
          132Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude;
          133Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealth
          134With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.
          135Canaan he now attains, I see his Tents
          136Pitcht about Sechem, and the neighbouring Plaine
          137Of Moreh; there by promise he receaves
          138Gift to his Progenie of all that Land;
          139From Hamath Northward to the Desert South
          140(Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam'd)
          141From Hermon East to the great Western Sea,
          142Mount Hermon, yonder Sea, each place behold
          143In prospect, as I point them; on the shoare
          144Mount Carmel; here the double-founted stream
          145Jordan, true limit Eastward; but his Sons
          146Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of Hills.
          147This ponder, that all Nations of the Earth
          148Shall in his Seed be blessed; by that Seed
          149Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise
          150The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon
          151Plainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest,
          152Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,
          153A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves,
          154Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;
          155The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departs
          156From Canaan, to a Land hereafter call'd
          157Egypt, divided by the River Nile;
          158See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthes
          159Into the Sea: to sojourn in that Land
          160He comes invited by a yonger Son
          161In time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deeds
          162Raise him to be the second in that Realme
          163Of Pharao: there he dies, and leaves his Race
          164Growing into a Nation, and now grown
          165Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks
          166To stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guests
          167Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
          168Inhospitably, and kills thir infant Males:
          169Till by two brethren (those two brethren call
          170Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claime
          171His people from enthralment, they return
          172With glory and spoile back to thir promis'd Land.
          173But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies
          174To know thir God, or message to regard,
          175Must be compelld by Signes and judgements dire;
          176To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd,
          177Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fill
          178With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land;
          179His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die,
          180Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss,
          181And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile,
          182Haile mixt with fire must rend th' Egyptian Skie
          183And wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rouls;
          184What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine,
          185A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming down
          186Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green:
          187Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
          188Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes;
          189Last with one midnight stroke all the first-born
          190Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds
          191The River-dragon tam'd at length submits
          192To let his sojourners depart, and oft
          193Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as Ice
          194More hard'nd after thaw, till in his rage
          195Pursuing whom he late dismissd, the Sea
          196Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass
          197As on drie land between two christal walls,
          198Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to stand
          199Divided, till his rescu'd gain thir shoar:
          200Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend,
          201Though present in his Angel, who shall goe
          202Before them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire,
          203By day a Cloud, by night a Pillar of Fire,
          204To guide them in thir journey, and remove
          205Behinde them, while th' obdurat King pursues:
          206All night he will pursue, but his approach
          207Darkness defends between till morning Watch;
          208Then through the Firey Pillar and the Cloud
          209God looking forth will trouble all his Host
          210And craze thir Chariot wheels: when by command
          211Moses once more his potent Rod extends
          212Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;
          213On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return,
          214And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race elect
          215Safe towards Canaan from the shoar advance
          216Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,
          217Least entring on the Canaanite allarmd
          218Warr terrifie them inexpert, and feare
          219Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
          220Inglorious life with servitude; for life
          221To noble and ignoble is more sweet
          222Untraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on.
          223This also shall they gain by thir delay
          224In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found
          225Thir government, and thir great Senate choose
          226Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:
          227God from the Mount of Sinai, whose gray top
          228Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
          229In Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets sound
          230Ordaine them Lawes; part such as appertaine
          231To civil Justice, part religious Rites
          232Of sacrifice, informing them, by types
          233And shadows, of that destind Seed to bruise
          234The Serpent, by what means he shall achieve
          235Mankinds deliverance. But the voice of God
          236To mortal eare is dreadful; they beseech
          237That Moses might report to them his will,
          238And terror cease; he grants what they besaught
          239Instructed that to God is no access
          240Without Mediator, whose high Office now
          241Moses in figure beares, to introduce
          242One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,
          243And all the Prophets in thir Age the times
          244Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites
          245Establisht, such delight hath God in Men
          246Obedient to his will, that he voutsafes
          247Among them to set up his Tabernacle,
          248The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
          249By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram'd
          250Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein
          251An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,
          252The Records of his Cov'nant, over these
          253A Mercie-seat of Gold between the wings
          254Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn
          255Seaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing
          256The Heav'nly fires; over the Tent a Cloud
          257Shall rest by Day, a fiery gleame by Night,
          258Save when they journie, and at length they come,
          259Conducted by his Angel to the Land
          260Promisd to Abraham and his Seed: the rest
          261Were long to tell, how many Battels fought,
          262How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won,
          263Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav'n stand still
          264A day entire, and Nights due course adjourne,
          265Mans voice commanding, Sun in Gibeon stand,
          266And thou Moon in the vale of Aialon,
          267Till Israel overcome; so call the third
          268From Abraham, Son of Isaac, and from him
          269His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.

          270Here Adam interpos'd. O sent from Heav'n,
          271Enlightner of my darkness, gracious things
          272Thou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerne
          273Just Abraham and his Seed: now first I finde
          274Mine eyes true op'ning, and my heart much eas'd,
          275Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becom
          276Of mee and all Mankind; but now I see
          277His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,
          278Favour unmerited by me, who sought
          279Forbidd'n knowledge by forbidd'n means.
          280This yet I apprehend not, why to those
          281Among whom God will deigne to dwell on Earth
          282So many and so various Laws are giv'n;
          283So many Laws argue so many sins
          284Among them; how can God with such reside?

          285To whom thus Michael. Doubt not but that sin
          286Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
          287And therefore was Law given them to evince
          288Thir natural pravitie, by stirring up
          289Sin against Law to fight; that when they see
          290Law can discover sin, but not remove,
          291Save by those shadowie expiations weak,
          292The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may conclude
          293Some bloud more precious must be paid for Man,
          294Just for unjust, that in such righteousness
          295To them by Faith imputed, they may finde
          296Justification towards God, and peace
          297Of Conscience, which the Law by Ceremonies
          298Cannot appease, nor Man the moral part
          299Perform, and not performing cannot live.
          300So law appears imperfet, and but giv'n
          301With purpose to resign them in full time
          302Up to a better Cov'nant, disciplin'd
          303From shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,
          304From imposition of strict Laws, to free
          305Acceptance of large Grace, from servil fear
          306To filial, works of Law to works of Faith.
          307And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
          308Highly belov'd, being but the Minister
          309Of Law, his people into Canaan lead;
          310But Joshua whom the Gentiles Jesus call,
          311His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell
          312The adversarie Serpent, and bring back
          313Through the worlds wilderness long wanderd man
          314Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
          315Meanwhile they in thir earthly Canaan plac't
          316Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
          317National interrupt thir public peace,
          318Provoking God to raise them enemies:
          319From whom as oft he saves them penitent
          320By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom
          321The second, both for pietie renownd
          322And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
          323Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne
          324For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
          325All Prophecie, That of the Royal Stock
          326Of David (so I name this King) shall rise
          327A Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold,
          328Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
          329All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings
          330The last, for of his Reign shall be no end.
          331But first a long succession must ensue,
          332And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam'd,
          333The clouded Ark of God till then in Tents
          334Wandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine.
          335Such follow him, as shall be registerd
          336Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle,
          337Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults
          338Heapt to the popular summe, will so incense
          339God, as to leave them, and expose thir Land,
          340Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy Ark
          341With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
          342To that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw'st
          343Left in confusion, Babylon thence call'd.
          344There in captivitie he lets them dwell
          345The space of seventie years, then brings them back,
          346Remembring mercie, and his Cov'nant sworn
          347To David, stablisht as the dayes of Heav'n.
          348Returnd from Babylon by leave of Kings
          349Thir Lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God
          350They first re-edifie, and for a while
          351In mean estate live moderate, till grown
          352In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
          353But first among the Priests dissension springs,
          354Men who attend the Altar, and should most
          355Endeavour Peace: thir strife pollution brings
          356Upon the Temple it self: at last they seise
          357The Scepter, and regard not Davids Sons,
          358Then loose it to a stranger, that the true
          359Anointed King Messiah might be born
          360Barr'd of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr
          361Unseen before in Heav'n proclaims him com,
          362And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire
          363His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;
          364His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
          365To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night;
          366They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire
          367Of squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung.
          368A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire
          369The Power of the most High; he shall ascend
          370The Throne hereditarie, and bound his Reign
          371With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav'ns.

          372He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy
          373Surcharg'd, as had like grief bin dew'd in tears,
          374Without the vent of words, which these he breathd.

          375O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher
          376Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
          377What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,
          378Why our great expectation should be call'd
          379The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,
          380High in the love of Heav'n, yet from my Loynes
          381Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son
          382Of God most High; So God with man unites.
          383Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise
          384Expect with mortal paine: say where and when
          385Thir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel.

          386To whom thus Michael. Dream not of thir fight,
          387As of a Duel, or the local wounds
          388Of head or heel: not therefore joynes the Son
          389Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil
          390Thy enemie; nor so is overcome
          391Satan, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise,
          392Disabl'd not to give thee thy deaths wound:
          393Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,
          394Not by destroying Satan, but his works
          395In thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be,
          396But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
          397Obedience to the Law of God, impos'd
          398On penaltie of death, and suffering death,
          399The penaltie to thy transgression due,
          400And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:
          401So onely can high Justice rest appaid.
          402The Law of God exact he shall fulfill
          403Both by obedience and by love, though love
          404Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment
          405He shall endure by coming in the Flesh
          406To a reproachful life and cursed death,
          407Proclaiming Life to all who shall believe
          408In his redemption, and that his obedience
          409Imputed becomes theirs by Faith, his merits
          410To save them, not thir own, though legal works.
          411For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd,
          412Seis'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemnd
          413A shameful and accurst, naild to the Cross
          414By his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life;
          415But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies,
          416The Law that is against thee, and the sins
          417Of all mankinde, with him there crucifi'd,
          418Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
          419In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
          420But soon revives, Death over him no power
          421Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
          422Returne, the Starres of Morn shall see him rise
          423Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
          424Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems,
          425His death for Man, as many as offerd Life
          426Neglect not, and the benefit imbrace
          427By Faith not void of workes: this God-like act
          428Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy'd,
          429In sin for ever lost from life; this act
          430Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength
          431Defeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes,
          432And fix farr deeper in his head thir stings
          433Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,
          434Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
          435A gentle wafting to immortal Life.
          436Nor after resurrection shall he stay
          437Longer on Earth then certaine times to appeer
          438To his Disciples, Men who in his Life
          439Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge
          440To teach all nations what of him they learn'd
          441And his Salvation, them who shall beleeve
          442Baptizing in the profluent stream, the signe
          443Of washing them from guilt of sin to Life
          444Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,
          445For death, like that which the redeemer dy'd.
          446All Nations they shall teach; for from that day
          447Not onely to the Sons of Abrahams Loines
          448Salvation shall be Preacht, but to the Sons
          449Of Abrahams Faith wherever through the world;
          450So in his seed all Nations shall be blest.
          451Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascend
          452With victory, triumphing through the aire
          453Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise
          454The Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in Chaines
          455Through all his Realme, and there confounded leave;
          456Then enter into glory, and resume
          457His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high
          458Above all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come,
          459When this worlds disolution shall be ripe,
          460With glory and power to judge both quick and dead,
          461To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward
          462His faithful, and receave them into bliss,
          463Whether in Heav'n or Earth, for then the Earth
          464Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
          465Then this of Eden, and far happier daies.

          466So spake th' Archangel Michael, then paus'd,
          467As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire
          468Replete with joy and wonder thus repli'd.

          469O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
          470That all this good of evil shall produce,
          471And evil turn to good; more wonderful
          472Then that which by creation first brought forth
          473Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
          474Whether I should repent me now of sin
          475By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce
          476Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,
          477To God more glory, more good will to Men
          478From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound.
          479But say, if our deliverer up to Heav'n
          480Must reascend, what will betide the few
          481His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd,
          482The enemies of truth; who then shall guide
          483His people, who defend? will they not deale
          484Wors with his followers then with him they dealt?

          485Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'n
          486Hee to his own a Comforter will send,
          487The promise of the Father, who shall dwell
          488His Spirit within them, and the Law of Faith
          489Working through love, upon thir hearts shall write,
          490To guide them in all truth, and also arme
          491With spiritual Armour, able to resist
          492Satans assaults, and quench his fierie darts,
          493What man can do against them, not affraid,
          494Though to the death, against such cruelties
          495With inward consolations recompenc't,
          496And oft supported so as shall amaze
          497Thir proudest persecuters: for the Spirit
          498Powrd first on his Apostles, whom he sends
          499To evangelize the Nations, then on all
          500Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue
          501To speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles,
          502As did thir Lord before them. Thus they win
          503Great numbers of each Nation to receave
          504With joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at length
          505Thir Ministry perform'd, and race well run,
          506Thir doctrine and thir story written left,
          507They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne,
          508Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves,
          509Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav'n
          510To thir own vile advantages shall turne
          511Of lucre and ambition, and the truth
          512With superstitions and traditions taint,
          513Left onely in those written Records pure,
          514Though not but by the Spirit understood.
          515Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
          516Places and titles, and with these to joine
          517Secular power, though feigning still to act
          518By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
          519The Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv'n
          520To all Beleevers; and from that pretense,
          521Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall force
          522On every conscience; Laws which none shall finde
          523Left them inrould, or what the Spirit within
          524Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
          525But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and binde
          526His consort Libertie; what, but unbuild
          527His living Temples, built by Faith to stand,
          528Thir own Faith not anothers: for on Earth
          529Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard
          530Infallible? yet many will presume:
          531Whence heavie persecution shall arise
          532On all who in the worship persevere
          533Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part,
          534Will deem in outward Rites and specious formes
          535Religion satisfi'd; Truth shall retire
          536Bestuck with slandrous darts, and works of Faith
          537Rarely be found: so shall the World goe on,
          538To good malignant, to bad men benigne,
          539Under her own waight groaning till the day
          540Appeer of respiration to the just,
          541And vengeance to the wicked, at return
          542Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid
          543The Womans seed, obscurely then foretold,
          544Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
          545Last in the Clouds from Heav'n to be reveald
          546In glory of the Father, to dissolve
          547Satan with his perverted World, then raise
          548From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,
          549New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date
          550Founded in righteousness and peace and love
          551To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.

          552He ended; and thus Adam last reply'd.
          553How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
          554Measur'd this transient World, the Race of time,
          555Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss,
          556Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.
          557Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
          558Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
          559Of knowledge, what this Vessel can containe;
          560Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
          561Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best,
          562And love with fear the onely God, to walk
          563As in his presence, ever to observe
          564His providence, and on him sole depend,
          565Mercifull over all his works, with good
          566Still overcoming evil, and by small
          567Accomplishing great things, by things deemd weak
          568Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
          569By simply meek; that suffering for Truths sake
          570Is fortitude to highest victorie,
          571And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;
          572Taught this by his example whom I now
          573Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.

          574To whom thus also th' Angel last repli'd:
          575This having learnt, thou hast attaind the summe
          576Of wisdome; hope no higher, though all the Starrs
          577Thou knewst by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,
          578All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,
          579Or works of God in Heav'n, Aire, Earth, or Sea,
          580And all the riches of this World enjoydst,
          581And all the rule, one Empire; onely add
          582Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,
          583Add vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,
          584By name to come call'd Charitie, the soul
          585Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath
          586To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
          587A paradise within thee, happier farr.
          588Let us descend now therefore from this top
          589Of Speculation; for the hour precise
          590Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards,
          591By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expect
          592Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword,
          593In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;
          594We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
          595Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm'd
          596Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd
          597To meek submission: thou at season fit
          598Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,
          599Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know,
          600The great deliverance by her Seed to come
          601(For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind.
          602That ye may live, which will be many dayes,
          603Both in one Faith unanimous though sad,
          604With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'd
          605With meditation on the happie end.

          606He ended, and they both descend the Hill;
          607Descended, Adam to the Bowre where Eve
          608Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak't;
          609And thus with words not sad she him receav'd.

          610Whence thou returnst, and whither wentst, I know;
          611For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise,
          612Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
          613Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress
          614Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
          615In mee is no delay; with thee to goe,
          616Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
          617Is to go hence unwilling; thou to mee
          618Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou,
          619Who for my wilful crime art banisht hence.
          620This further consolation yet secure
          621I carry hence; though all by mee is lost,
          622Such favour I unworthie am voutsaft,
          623By mee the Promis'd Seed shall all restore.

          624So spake our Mother Eve, and Adam heard
          625Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too nigh
          626Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill
          627To thir fixt Station, all in bright array
          628The Cherubim descended; on the ground
          629Gliding meteorous, as Ev'ning Mist
          630Ris'n from a River o're the marish glides,
          631And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heel
          632Homeward returning. High in Front advanc't,
          633The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz'd
          634Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,
          635And vapour as the Libyan Air adust,
          636Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat
          637In either hand the hastning Angel caught
          638Our lingring Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate
          639Led them direct, and down the Cliff as fast
          640To the subjected Plaine; then disappeer'd.
          641They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld
          642Of Paradise, so late thir happie seat,
          643Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate
          644With dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes:
          645Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon;
          646The World was all before them, where to choose
          647Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
          648They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
          649Through Eden took thir solitarie way.

Notes

] Place. (1674): Place, (1674).

1] Milton added the first five lines to bridge the last two books, combined as one in the 1667 edition.

238] he grants what they besaught (1674): he grants them thir desire." (1667).


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
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
Composition date note: Transcription courtesy of Roy Flannagan.
Rhyme: unrhyming


Other poems by John Milton