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John Milton (1608-1674)

Paradise Regain'd: Book IV (1671)


              1PErplex'd and troubl'd at his bad success
              2The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
              3Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope,
              4So oft, and the perswasive Rhetoric
              5That sleek't his tongue, and won so much on Eve,
              6So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve,
              7This far his over-match, who self deceiv'd
              8And rash, before-hand had no better weigh'd
              9The strength he was to cope with, or his own:
            10But as a man who had been matchless held
            11In cunning, over-reach't where least he thought,
            12To salve his credit, and for very spight
            13Still will be tempting him who foyls him still,
            14And never cease, though to his shame the more;
            15Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,
            16About the wine-press where sweet moust is powr'd,
            17Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;
            18Or surging waves against a solid rock,
            19Though all to shivers dash't, the assault renew,
            20Vain battry, and in froth or bubbles end;
            21So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse
            22Met ever; and to shameful silence brought,
            23Yet gives not o're though desperate of success,
            24And his vain importunity pursues.
            25He brought our Saviour to the western side
            26Of that high mountain, whence he might behold
            27Another plain, long but in bredth not wide;
            28Wash'd by the Southern Sea, and on the North
            29To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills
            30That screen'd the fruits of the earth and seats of men
            31From cold Septentrion blasts, thence in the midst
            32Divided by a river, of whose banks
            33On each side an Imperial City stood,
            34With Towers and Temples proudly elevate
            35On seven small Hills, with Palaces adorn'd,
            36Porches and Theatres, Baths, Aqueducts,
            37Statues and Trophees, and Triumphal Arcs,
            38Gardens and Groves presented to his eyes,
            39Above the highth of Mountains interpos'd.
            40By what strange Parallax or Optic skill
            41Of vision multiplyed through air, or glass
            42Of Telescope, were curious to enquire:
            43And now the Tempter thus his silence broke.
            44  The City which thou seest no other deem
            45Then great and glorious Rome, Queen of the Earth
            46So far renown'd, and with the spoils enricht
            47Of Nations; there the Capitol thou seest
            48Above the rest lifting his stately head
            49On the Tarpeian rock, her Cittadel
            50Impregnable, and there Mount Palatine
            51The Imperial Palace, compass huge, and high
            52The Structure, skill of noblest Architects,
            53With gilded battlements, conspicuous far,
            54Turrets and Terrases, and glittering Spires.
            55Many a fair Edifice besides, more like
            56Houses of Gods (so well I have dispos'd
            57My Aerie Microscope) thou may'st behold
            58Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs
            59Carv'd work, the hand of fam'd Artificers
            60In Cedar, Marble, Ivory or Gold.
            61Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see
            62What conflux issuing forth, or entring in,
            63Pretors, Proconsuls to thir Provinces
            64Hasting or on return, in robes of State;
            65Lictors and rods the ensigns of thir power,
            66Legions and Cohorts, turmes of horse and wings:
            67Or Embassies from Regions far remote
            68In various habits on the Appian road,
            69Or on the Æmilian, some from farthest South,
            70Syene, and where the shadow both way falls,
            71Meroe Nilotic Isle, and more to West,
            72The Realm of Bocchus to the Black-moor Sea;
            73From the Asian Kings and Parthian among these,
            74From India and the golden Chersoness,
            75And utmost Indian Isle Taprobane,
            76Dusk faces with white silken Turbants wreath'd:
            77From Gallia, Gades, and the Brittish West,
            78Germans and Scythians, and Sarmatians North
            79Beyond Danubius to the Tauric Pool.
            80All Nations now to Rome obedience pay,
            81To Rome's great Emperour, whose wide domain
            82In ample Territory, wealth and power,
            83Civility of Manners, Arts, and Arms,
            84And long Renown thou justly may'st prefer
            85Before the Parthian; these two Thrones except,
            86The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight,
            87Shar'd among petty Kings too far remov'd;
            88These having shewn thee, I have shewn thee all
            89The Kingdoms of the world, and all thir glory.
            90This Emperour hath no Son, and now is old,
            91Old, and lascivious, and from Rome retir'd
            92To Capreæ an Island small but strong
            93On the Campanian shore, with purpose there
            94His horrid lusts in private to enjoy,
            95Committing to a wicked Favourite
            96All publick cares, and yet of him suspicious,
            97Hated of all, and hating; with what ease
            98Indu'd with Regal Vertues as thou art,
            99Appearing, and beginning noble deeds,
          100Might'st thou expel this monster from his Throne
          101Now made a stye, and in his place ascending
          102A victor, people free from servile yoke?
          103And with my help thou may'st; to me the power
          104Is given, and by that right I give it thee.
          105Aim therefore at no less then all the world,
          106Aim at the highest, without the highest attain'd
          107Will be for thee no sitting, or not long
          108On David's Throne, be propheci'd what will.
          109  To whom the Son of God unmov'd reply'd.
          110Nor doth this grandeur and majestic show
          111Of luxury, though call'd magnificence,
          112More then of arms before, allure mine eye,
          113Much less my mind; though thou should'st add to tell
          114Thir sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts
          115On Cittron tables or Atlantic stone;
          116(For I have also heard, perhaps have read)
          117Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,
          118Chios and Creet, and how they quaff in Gold,
          119Crystal and Myrrhine cups imboss'd with Gems
          120And studs of Pearl, to me should'st tell who thirst
          121And hunger still: then Embassies thou shew'st
          122From Nations far and nigh; what honour that,
          123But tedious wast of time to sit and hear
          124So many hollow complements and lies,
          125Outlandish flatteries? then proceed'st to talk
          126Of the Emperour, how easily subdu'd,
          127How gloriously; I shall, thou say'st, expel
          128A brutish monster: what if I withal
          129Expel a Devil who first made him such?
          130Let his tormenter Conscience find him out,
          131For him I was not sent, nor yet to free
          132That people victor once, now vile and base,
          133Deservedly made vassal, who once just,
          134Frugal, and mild, and temperate, conquer'd well,
          135But govern ill the Nations under yoke,
          136Peeling thir Provinces, exhausted all
          137By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown
          138Of triumph that insulting vanity;
          139Then cruel, by thir sports to blood enur'd
          140Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts expos'd,
          141Luxurious by thir wealth, and greedier still,
          142And from the daily Scene effeminate.
          143What wise and valiant man would seek to free
          144These thus degenerate, by themselves enslav'd,
          145Or could of inward slaves make outward free?
          146Know therefore when my season comes to sit
          147On David's Throne, it shall be like a tree
          148Spreading and over-shadowing all the Earth,
          149Or as a stone that shall to pieces dash
          150All Monarchies besides throughout the world,
          151And of my Kingdom there shall be no end:
          152Means there shall be to this, but what the means,
          153Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell.
          154  To whom the Tempter impudent repli'd.
          155I see all offers made by me how slight
          156Thou valu'st, because offer'd, and reject'st:
          157Nothing will please the difficult and nice,
          158Or nothing more then still to contradict:
          159On the other side know also thou, that I
          160On what I offer set as high esteem,
          161Nor what I part with mean to give for naught;
          162All these which in a moment thou behold'st,
          163The Kingdoms of the world to thee I give;
          164For giv'n to me, I give to whom I please,
          165No trifle; yet with this reserve, not else,
          166On this condition, if thou wilt fall down,
          167And worship me as thy superior Lord,
          168Easily done, and hold them all of me;
          169For what can less so great a gift deserve?
          170  Whom thus our Saviour answer'd with disdain.
          171I never lik'd thy talk, thy offers less,
          172Now both abhor, since thou hast dar'd to utter
          173The abominable terms, impious condition;
          174But I endure the time, till which expir'd,
          175Thou hast permission on me.  It is written
          176The first of all Commandments, Thou shalt worship
          177The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve;
          178And dar'st thou to the Son of God propound
          179To worship thee accurst, now more accurst
          180For this attempt bolder then that on Eve,
          181And more blasphemous? which expect to rue.
          182The Kingdoms of the world to thee were giv'n,
          183Permitted rather, and by thee usurp't,
          184Other donation none thou canst produce:
          185If given, by whom but by the King of Kings,
          186God over all supreme? if giv'n to thee,
          187By thee how fairly is the Giver now
          188Repaid?  But gratitude in thee is lost
          189Long since.  Wert thou so void of fear or shame,
          190As offer them to me the Son of God,
          191To me my own, on such abhorred pact,
          192That I fall down and worship thee as God?
          193Get thee behind me; plain thou now appear'st
          194That Evil one, Satan for ever damn'd.
          195  To whom the Fiend with fear abasht reply'd.
          196Be not so sore offended, Son of God;
          197Though Sons of God both Angels are and Men,
          198If I to try whether in higher sort
          199Then these thou bear'st that title, have propos'd
          200What both from Men and Angels I receive,
          201Tetrarchs of fire, air, flood, and on the earth
          202Nations besides from all the quarter'd winds,
          203God of this world invok't and world beneath;
          204Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold
          205To me so fatal, me it most concerns.
          206The tryal hath indamag'd thee no way,
          207Rather more honour left and more esteem;
          208Me naught advantag'd, missing what I aim'd.
          209Therefore let pass, as they are transitory,
          210The Kingdoms of this world; I shall no more
          211Advise thee, gain them as thou canst, or not.
          212And thou thy self seem'st otherwise inclin'd
          213Then to a worldly Crown, addicted more
          214To contemplation and profound dispute,
          215As by that early action may be judg'd,
          216When slipping from thy Mothers eye thou went'st
          217Alone into the Temple; there was found
          218Among the gravest Rabbies disputant
          219On points and questions fitting Moses Chair,
          220Teaching not taught; the childhood shews the man,
          221As morning shews the day.  Be famous then
          222By wisdom; as thy Empire must extend,
          223So let extend thy mind o're all the world,
          224In knowledge, all things in it comprehend,
          225All knowledge is not couch't in Moses Law,
          226The Pentateuch or what the Prophets wrote,
          227The Gentiles also know, and write, and teach
          228To admiration, led by Natures light;
          229And with the Gentiles much thou must converse,
          230Ruling them by perswasion as thou mean'st,
          231Without thir learning how wilt thou with them,
          232Or they with thee hold conversation meet?
          233How wilt thou reason with them, how refute
          234Thir Idolisms, Traditions, Paradoxes?
          235Error by his own arms is best evinc't.
          236Look once more e're we leave this specular Mount
          237Westward, much nearer by Southwest, behold
          238Where on the Ægean shore a City stands
          239Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil,
          240Athens the eye of Greece, Mother of Arts
          241And Eloquence, native to famous wits
          242Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
          243City or Suburban, studious walks and shades;
          244See there the Olive Grove of Academe,
          245Plato's retirement, where the Attic Bird
          246Trills her thick-warbl'd notes the summer long,
          247There flowrie hill Hymettus with the sound
          248Of Bees industrious murmur oft invites
          249To studious musing; there Ilissus rouls
          250His whispering stream; within the walls then view
          251The schools of antient Sages; his who bred
          252Great Alexander to subdue the world,
          253Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:
          254There thou shalt hear and learn the secret power
          255Of harmony in tones and numbers hit
          256By voice or hand, and various-measur'd verse,
          257Æolian charms and Dorian Lyric Odes,
          258And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,
          259Blind Melesigenes thence Homer call'd,
          260Whose Poem Phœbus challeng'd for his own.
          261Thence what the lofty grave Tragœdians taught
          262In Chorus or Iambic, teachers best
          263Of moral prudence, with delight receiv'd
          264In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
          265Of fate, and chance, and change in human life;
          266High actions, and high passions best describing:
          267Thence to the famous Orators repair,
          268Those antient, whose resistless eloquence
          269Wielded at will that fierce Democratie,
          270Shook the Arsenal and fulmin'd over Greece,
          271To Macedon, and Artaxerxes Throne;
          272To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,
          273From Heaven descended to the low-rooft house
          274Of Socrates, see there his Tenement,
          275Whom well inspir'd the Oracle pronounc'd
          276Wisest of men; from whose mouth issu'd forth
          277Mellifluous streams that water'd all the schools
          278Of Academics old and new, with those
          279Sirnam'd Peripatetics, and the Sect
          280Epicurean, and the Stoic severe;
          281These here revolve, or, as thou lik'st, at home,
          282Till time mature thee to a Kingdom's waight;
          283These rules will render thee a King compleat
          284Within thy self, much more with Empire joyn'd.
          285  To whom our Saviour sagely thus repli'd.
          286Think not but that I know these things, or think
          287I know them not; not therefore am I short
          288Of knowing what I aught: he who receives
          289Light from above, from the fountain of light,
          290No other doctrine needs, though granted true;
          291But these are false, or little else but dreams,
          292Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm.
          293The first and wisest of them all profess'd
          294To know this only, that he nothing knew;
          295The next to fabling fell and smooth conceits,
          296A third sort doubted all things, though plain sence;
          297Others in vertue plac'd felicity,
          298But vertue joyn'd with riches and long life,
          299In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease,
          300The Stoic last in Philosophic pride,
          301By him call'd vertue; and his vertuous man,
          302Wise, perfect in himself, and all possessing
          303Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,
          304As fearing God nor man, contemning all
          305Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life,
          306Which when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can,
          307For all his tedious talk is but vain boast,
          308Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.
          309Alas what can they teach, and not mislead;
          310Ignorant of themselves, of God much more,
          311And how the world began, and how man fell
          312Degraded by himself, on grace depending?
          313Much of the Soul they talk, but all awrie,
          314And in themselves seek vertue, and to themselves
          315All glory arrogate, to God give none,
          316Rather accuse him under usual names,
          317Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite
          318Of mortal things.  Who therefore seeks in these
          319True wisdom, finds her not, or by delusion
          320Far worse, her false resemblance only meets,
          321An empty cloud.  However many books
          322Wise men have said are wearisom; who reads
          323Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
          324A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
          325(And what he brings, what needs he elsewhere seek)
          326Uncertain and unsettl'd still remains,
          327Deep verst in books and shallow in himself,
          328Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys,
          329And trifles for choice matters, worth a spunge;
          330As Children gathering pibles on the shore.
          331Or if I would delight my private hours
          332With Music or with Poem, where so soon
          333As in our native Language can I find
          334That solace?  All our Law and Story strew'd
          335With Hymns, our Psalms with artful terms inscrib'd,
          336Our Hebrew Songs and Harps in Babylon,
          337That pleas'd so well our Victors ear, declare
          338That rather Greece from us these Arts deriv'd;
          339Ill imitated, while they loudest sing
          340The vices of thir Deities, and thir own
          341In Fable, Hymn, or Song, so personating
          342Thir Gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
          343Remove their swelling Epithetes thick laid
          344As varnish on a Harlots cheek, the rest,
          345Thin sown with aught of profit or delight,
          346Will far be found unworthy to compare
          347With Sion's songs, to all true tasts excelling,
          348Where God is prais'd aright, and Godlike men,
          349The Holiest of Holies, and his Saints;
          350Such are from God inspir'd, not such from thee;
          351Unless where moral vertue is express't
          352By light of Nature not in all quite lost.
          353Thir Orators thou then extoll'st, as those
          354The top of Eloquence, Statists indeed,
          355And lovers of thir Country, as may seem;
          356But herein to our Prophets far beneath,
          357As men divinely taught, and better teaching
          358The solid rules of Civil Government
          359In thir majestic unaffected stile
          360Then all the Oratory of Greece and Rome.
          361In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
          362What makes a Nation happy, and keeps it so,
          363What ruins Kingdoms, and lays Cities flat;
          364These only with our Law best form a King.
          365  So spake the Son of God; but Satan now
          366Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent,
          367Thus to our Saviour with stern brow reply'd.
          368  Since neither wealth, nor honour, arms nor arts,
          369Kingdom nor Empire pleases thee, nor aught
          370By me propos'd in life contemplative,
          371Or active, tended on by glory, or fame,
          372What dost thou in this World? the Wilderness
          373For thee is fittest place, I found thee there,
          374And thither will return thee, yet remember
          375What I foretell thee, soon thou shalt have cause
          376To wish thou never hadst rejected thus
          377Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid,
          378Which would have set thee in short time with ease
          379On David's Throne; or Throne of all the world,
          380Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season,
          381When Prophesies of thee are best fullfill'd.
          382Now contrary, if I read aught in Heaven,
          383Or Heav'n write aught of Fate, by what the Stars
          384Voluminous, or single characters,
          385In their conjunction met, give me to spell,
          386Sorrows, and labours, opposition, hate,
          387Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,
          388Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death,
          389A Kingdom they portend thee, but what Kingdom,
          390Real or Allegoric I discern not,
          391Nor when, eternal sure, as without end,
          392Without beginning; for no date prefixt
          393Directs me in the Starry Rubric set.
          394  So saying he took (for still he knew his power
          395Not yet expir'd) and to the Wilderness
          396Brought back the Son of God, and left him there,
          397Feigning to disappear.  Darkness now rose,
          398As day-light sunk, and brought in lowring night
          399Her shadowy off-spring unsubstantial both,
          400Privation meer of light and absent day.
          401Our Saviour meek and with untroubl'd mind
          402After his aerie jaunt, though hurried sore,
          403Hungry and cold betook him to his rest,
          404Wherever, under some concourse of shades
          405Whose branching arms thick intertwind might shield
          406From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head,
          407But shelter'd slept in vain, for at his head
          408The Tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams
          409Disturb'd his sleep; and either Tropic now
          410Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the Clouds
          411From many a horrid rift abortive pour'd
          412Fierce rain with lightning mixt, water with fire
          413In ruine reconcil'd: nor slept the winds
          414Within thir stony caves, but rush'd abroad
          415From the four hinges of the world, and fell
          416On the vext Wilderness, whose tallest Pines,
          417Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest Oaks
          418Bow'd their Stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts,
          419Or torn up sheer: ill wast thou shrouded then,
          420O patient Son of God, yet only stoodst
          421Unshaken; nor yet staid the terror there,
          422Infernal Ghosts, and Hellish Furies, round
          423Environ'd thee, some howl'd, some yell'd, some shriek'd,
          424Some bent at thee thir fiery darts, while thou
          425Sat'st unappall'd in calm and sinless peace.
          426Thus pass'd the night so foul till morning fair
          427Came forth with Pilgrim steps in amice gray;
          428Who with her radiant finger still'd the roar
          429Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the winds,
          430And grisly Spectres, which the Fiend had rais'd
          431To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
          432And now the Sun with more effectual beams
          433Had chear'd the face of Earth, and dry'd the wet
          434From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds
          435Who all things now behold more fresh and green,
          436After a night of storm so ruinous,
          437Clear'd up their choicest notes in bush and spray
          438To gratulate the sweet return of morn;
          439Nor yet amidst this joy and brightest morn
          440Was absent, after all his mischief done,
          441The Prince of darkness, glad would also seem
          442Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came,
          443Yet with no new device, they all were spent,
          444Rather by this his last affront resolv'd,
          445Desperate of better course, to vent his rage,
          446And mad despight to be so oft repell'd.
          447Him walking on a Sunny hill he found,
          448Back'd on the North and West by a thick wood,
          449Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape;
          450And in a careless mood thus to him said.
          451  Fair morning yet betides thee Son of God,
          452After a dismal night; I heard the rack
          453As Earth and Skie would mingle; but my self
          454Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them
          455As dangerous to the pillard frame of Heaven,
          456Or to the Earths dark basis underneath,
          457Are to the main as inconsiderable,
          458And harmless, if not wholsom, as a sneeze
          459To mans less universe, and soon are gone;
          460Yet as being oft times noxious where they light
          461On man, beast, plant, wastful and turbulent,
          462Like turbulencies in the affairs of men,
          463Over whose heads they rore, and seem to point,
          464They oft fore-signifie and threaten ill:
          465This Tempest at this Desert most was bent;
          466Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'st.
          467Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
          468The perfet season offer'd with my aid
          469To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong
          470All to the push of Fate, persue thy way
          471Of gaining David's Throne no man knows when,
          472For both the when and how is no where told,
          473Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt;
          474For Angels have proclaim'd it, but concealing
          475The time and means: each act is rightliest done,
          476Not when it must, but when it may be best.
          477If thou observe not this, be sure to find,
          478What I foretold thee, many a hard assay
          479Of dangers, and adversities and pains,
          480E're thou of Israel's Scepter get fast hold;
          481Whereof this ominous night that clos'd thee round,
          482So many terrors, voices, prodigies
          483May warn thee, as a sure fore-going sign.
          484  So talk'd he, while the Son of God went on
          485And staid not, but in brief him answer'd thus.
          486  Mee worse then wet thou find'st not; other harm
          487Those terrors which thou speak'st of, did me none;
          488I never fear'd they could, though noising loud
          489And threatning nigh; what they can do as signs
          490Betok'ning, or ill boding, I contemn
          491As false portents, not sent from God, but thee;
          492Who knowing I shall raign past thy preventing,
          493Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I accepting
          494At least might seem to hold all power of thee,
          495Ambitious spirit, and wouldst be thought my God,
          496And storm'st refus'd, thinking to terrifie
          497Mee to thy will; desist, thou art discern'd
          498And toil'st in vain, nor me in vain molest.
          499  To whom the Fiend now swoln with rage reply'd:
          500Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin-born;
          501For Son of God to me is yet in doubt,
          502Of the Messiah I have heard foretold
          503By all the Prophets; of thy birth at length
          504Announc't by Gabriel with the first I knew,
          505And of the Angelic Song in Bethlehem field,
          506On thy birth-night, that sung thee Saviour born.
          507From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye
          508Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,
          509Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred;
          510Till at the Ford of Jordan whither all
          511Flock'd to the Baptist, I among the rest,
          512Though not to be Baptiz'd, by voice from Heav'n
          513Heard thee pronounc'd the Son of God belov'd.
          514Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view
          515And narrower Scrutiny, that I might learn
          516In what degree or meaning thou art call'd
          517The Son of God, which bears no single sence;
          518The Son of God I also am, or was,
          519And if I was, I am; relation stands;
          520All men are Sons of God; yet thee I thought
          521In some respect far higher so declar'd.
          522Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour,
          523And follow'd thee still on to this wast wild;
          524Where by all best conjectures I collect
          525Thou art to be my fatal enemy.
          526Good reason then, if I before-hand seek
          527To understand my Adversary, who
          528And what he is; his wisdom, power, intent,
          529By parl, or composition, truce, or league
          530To win him, or win from him what I can.
          531And opportunity I here have had
          532To try thee, sift thee, and confess have found thee
          533Proof against all temptation as a rock
          534Of Adamant, and as a Center, firm
          535To the utmost of meer man both wise and good,
          536Not more; for Honours, Riches, Kingdoms, Glory
          537Have been before contemn'd, and may agen:
          538Therefore to know what more thou art then man,
          539Worth naming Son of God by voice from Heav'n,
          540Another method I must now begin.
          541  So saying he caught him up, and without wing
          542Of Hippogrif bore through the Air sublime
          543Over the Wilderness and o're the Plain;
          544Till underneath them fair Jerusalem,
          545The holy City lifted high her Towers,
          546And higher yet the glorious Temple rear'd
          547Her pile, far off appearing like a Mount
          548Of Alabaster, top't with Golden Spires:
          549There on the highest Pinacle he set
          550The Son of God; and added thus in scorn:
          551  There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand upright
          552Will ask thee skill; I to thy Fathers house
          553Have brought thee, and highest plac't, highest is best,
          554Now shew thy Progeny; if not to stand,
          555Cast thy self down; safely if Son of God:
          556For it is written, He will give command
          557Concerning thee to his Angels, in thir hands
          558They shall up lift thee, lest at any time
          559Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone.
          560  To whom thus Jesus: also it is written,
          561Tempt not the Lord thy God, he said and stood.
          562But Satan smitten with amazement fell
          563As when Earths Son Antæus (to compare
          564Small things with greatest) in Irassa strove
          565With Joves Alcides, and oft foil'd still rose,
          566Receiving from his mother Earth new strength,
          567Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple joyn'd,
          568Throttl'd at length in the Air, expir'd and fell;
          569So after many a foil the Tempter proud,
          570Renewing fresh assaults, amidst his pride
          571Fell whence he stood to see his Victor fall.
          572And as that Theban Monster that propos'd
          573Her riddle, and him, who solv'd it not, devour'd;
          574That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spight
          575Cast her self headlong from th' Ismenian steep,
          576So strook with dread and anguish fell the Fiend,
          577And to his crew, that sat consulting, brought
          578Joyless triumphals of his hop't success,
          579Ruin, and desperation, and dismay,
          580Who durst so proudly tempt the Son of God.
          581So Satan fell and strait a fiery Globe
          582Of Angels on full sail of wing flew nigh,
          583Who on their plumy Vans receiv'd him soft
          584From his uneasie station, and upbore
          585As on a floating couch through the blithe Air,
          586Then in a flowry valley set him down
          587On a green bank, and set before him spred
          588A table of Celestial Food, Divine,
          589Ambrosial, Fruits fetcht from the tree of life,
          590And from the fount of life Ambrosial drink,
          591That soon refresh'd him wearied, and repair'd
          592What hunger, if aught hunger had impair'd,
          593Or thirst, and as he fed, Angelic Quires
          594Sung Heavenly Anthems of his victory
          595Over temptation, and the Tempter proud.
          596  True Image of the Father whether thron'd
          597In the bosom of bliss, and light of light
          598Conceiving, or remote from Heaven, enshrin'd
          599In fleshly Tabernacle, and human form,
          600Wandring the Wilderness, whatever place,
          601Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
          602The Son of God, with Godlike force indu'd
          603Against th' Attempter of thy Fathers Throne,
          604And Thief of Paradise; him long of old
          605Thou didst debel, and down from Heav'n cast
          606With all his Army, now thou hast aveng'd
          607Supplanted Adam, and by vanquishing
          608Temptation, hast regain'd lost Paradise,
          609And frustrated the conquest fraudulent:
          610He never more henceforth will dare set foot
          611In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke:
          612For though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
          613A fairer Paradise is founded now
          614For Adam and his chosen Sons, whom thou
          615A Saviour art come down to re-install.
          616Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be
          617Of Tempter and Temptation without fear.
          618But thou, Infernal Serpent, shalt not long
          619Rule in the Clouds; like an Autumnal Star
          620Or Lightning thou shalt fall from Heav'n trod down
          621Under his feet: for proof, e're this thou feel'st
          622Thy wound, yet not thy last and deadliest wound
          623By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
          624No triumph; in all her gates Abaddon rues
          625Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awe
          626To dread the Son of God: he all unarm'd
          627Shall chase thee with the terror of his voice
          628From thy Demoniac holds, possession foul,
          629Thee and thy Legions, yelling they shall flye,
          630And beg to hide them in a herd of Swine,
          631Lest he command them down into the deep
          632Bound, and to torment sent before thir time.
          633Hail Son of the most High, heir of both worlds,
          634Queller of Satan, on thy glorious work
          635Now enter, and begin to save mankind.
          636  Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek
          637Sung Victor, and from Heavenly Feast refresht
          638Brought on his way with joy; hee unobserv'd
          639Home to his Mothers house private return'd.

The END.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Electronic transcription courtesy of the North American Reading Program, Oxford English Dictionary, April 17, 1993.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: John Milton, Paradise Regain'd. A Poem (London: J. M. for John Starkey, 1671. Facsimile edition (Menston: Scolar Press, 1968). PR 3563 1968 CRRS Victoria College.
First publication date: 1671
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/6/9

Composition date: 1667 - 1671
Rhyme: unrhyming


Other poems by John Milton