Paradise Lost

by John Milton

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Book IV

O For that warning voice, which he who saw
  Th' APOCALYPS, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
  Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
  Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
  While time was, our first Parents had bin warnd
  The coming of thir secret foe, and scap'd
  Haply so scap'd his mortal snare; for now
  SATAN, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
  The Tempter ere th' Accuser of man-kind,
  To wreck on innocent frail man his loss
  Of that first Battel, and his flight to Hell:
  Yet not rejoycing in his speed, though bold,
  Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
  Begins his dire attempt, which nigh the birth
  Now rowling, boiles in his tumultuous brest,
  And like a devillish Engine back recoiles
  Upon himself; horror and doubt distract
  His troubl'd thoughts, and from the bottom stirr
  The Hell within him, for within him Hell
  He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
  One step no more then from himself can fly
  By change of place: Now conscience wakes despair
  That slumberd, wakes the bitter memorie
  Of what he was, what is, and what must be
  Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
  Sometimes towards EDEN which now in his view
  Lay pleasant, his grievd look he fixes sad,
  Sometimes towards Heav'n and the full-blazing Sun,
  Which now sat high in his Meridian Towre:
  Then much revolving, thus in sighs began.
    O thou that with surpassing Glory crownd,
  Look'st from thy sole Dominion like the God
  Of this new World; at whose sight all the Starrs
  Hide thir diminisht heads; to thee I call,
  But with no friendly voice, and add thy name
  O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams
  That bring to my remembrance from what state
  I fell, how glorious once above thy Spheare;
  Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down
  Warring in Heav'n against Heav'ns matchless King:
  Ah wherefore! he deservd no such return
  From me, whom he created what I was
  In that bright eminence, and with his good
  Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
  What could be less then to afford him praise,
  The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
  How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
  And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
  I sdeind subjection, and thought one step higher
  Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
  The debt immense of endless gratitude,
  So burthensome, still paying, still to ow;
  Forgetful what from him I still receivd,
  And understood not that a grateful mind
  By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
  Indebted and dischargd; what burden then?
  O had his powerful Destiny ordaind
  Me some inferiour Angel, I had stood
  Then happie; no unbounded hope had rais'd
  Ambition. Yet why not? som other Power
  As great might have aspir'd, and me though mean
  Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great
  Fell not, but stand unshak'n, from within
  Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
  Hadst thou the same free Will and Power to stand?
  Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
  But Heav'ns free Love dealt equally to all?
  Be then his Love accurst, since love or hate,
  To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
  Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
  Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
  Me miserable! which way shall I flie
  Infinite wrauth, and infinite despaire?
  Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell;
  And in the lowest deep a lower deep
  Still threatning to devour me opens wide,
  To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n.
  O then at last relent: is there no place
  Left for Repentance, none for Pardon left?
  None left but by submission; and that word
  DISDAIN forbids me, and my dread of shame
  Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
  With other promises and other vaunts
  Then to submit, boasting I could subdue
  Th' Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know
  How dearly I abide that boast so vaine,
  Under what torments inwardly I groane;
  While they adore me on the Throne of Hell,
  With Diadem and Scepter high advanc'd
  The lower still I fall, onely Supream
  In miserie; such joy Ambition findes.
  But say I could repent and could obtaine
  By Act of Grace my former state; how soon
  Would highth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay
  What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant
  Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
  For never can true reconcilement grow
  Where wounds of deadly hate have peirc'd so deep:
  Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
  And heavier fall: so should I purchase deare
  Short intermission bought with double smart.
  This knows my punisher; therefore as farr
  From granting hee, as I from begging peace:
  All hope excluded thus, behold in stead
  Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight,
  Mankind created, and for him this World.
  So farwel Hope, and with Hope farwel Fear,
  Farwel Remorse: all Good to me is lost;
  Evil be thou my Good; by thee at least
  Divided Empire with Heav'ns King I hold
  By thee, and more then half perhaps will reigne;
  As Man ere long, and this new World shall know.
    Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face
  Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envie and despair,
  Which marrd his borrow'd visage, and betraid
  Him counterfet, if any eye beheld.
  For heav'nly mindes from such distempers foule
  Are ever cleer. Whereof hee soon aware,
  Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calme,
  Artificer of fraud; and was the first
  That practisd falshood under saintly shew,
  Deep malice to conceale, couch't with revenge:
  Yet not anough had practisd to deceive
  URIEL once warnd; whose eye pursu'd him down
  The way he went, and on th' ASSYRIAN mount
  Saw him disfigur'd, more then could befall
  Spirit of happie sort: his gestures fierce
  He markd and mad demeanour, then alone,
  As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.
  So on he fares, and to the border comes
  Of EDEN, where delicious Paradise,
  Now nearer, Crowns with her enclosure green,
  As with a rural mound the champain head
  Of a steep wilderness, whose hairie sides
  With thicket overgrown, grottesque and wilde,
  Access deni'd; and over head up grew
  Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
  Cedar, and Pine, and Firr, and branching Palm,
  A Silvan Scene, and as the ranks ascend
  Shade above shade, a woodie Theatre
  Of stateliest view. Yet higher then thir tops
  The verdurous wall of Paradise up sprung:
  Which to our general Sire gave prospect large
  Into his neather Empire neighbouring round.
  And higher then that Wall a circling row
  Of goodliest Trees loaden with fairest Fruit,
  Blossoms and Fruits at once of golden hue
  Appeerd, with gay enameld colours mixt:
  On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beams
  Then in fair Evening Cloud, or humid Bow,
  When God hath showrd the earth; so lovely seemd
  That Lantskip: And of pure now purer aire
  Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
  Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
  All sadness but despair: now gentle gales
  Fanning thir odoriferous wings dispense
  Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
  Those balmie spoiles. As when to them who saile
  Beyond the CAPE OF HOPE, and now are past
  MOZAMBIC, off at Sea North-East windes blow
  SABEAN Odours from the spicie shoare
  Of ARABIE the blest, with such delay
  Well pleas'd they slack thir course, and many a League
  Cheard with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles.
  So entertaind those odorous sweets the Fiend
  Who came thir bane, though with them better pleas'd
  Then ASMODEUS with the fishie fume,
  That drove him, though enamourd, from the Spouse
  Of TOBITS Son, and with a vengeance sent
  From MEDIA post to AEGYPT, there fast bound.
    Now to th' ascent of that steep savage Hill
  SATAN had journied on, pensive and slow;
  But further way found none, so thick entwin'd,
  As one continu'd brake, the undergrowth
  Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplext
  All path of Man or Beast that past that way:
  One Gate there onely was, and that look'd East
  On th' other side: which when th' arch-fellon saw
  Due entrance he disdaind, and in contempt,
  At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound
  Of Hill or highest Wall, and sheer within
  Lights on his feet. As when a prowling Wolfe,
  Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
  Watching where Shepherds pen thir Flocks at eeve
  In hurdl'd Cotes amid the field secure,
  Leaps o're the fence with ease into the Fould:
  Or as a Thief bent to unhoord the cash
  Of some rich Burgher, whose substantial dores,
  Cross-barrd and bolted fast, fear no assault,
  In at the window climbes, or o're the tiles;
  So clomb this first grand Thief into Gods Fould:
  So since into his Church lewd Hirelings climbe.
  Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life,
  The middle Tree and highest there that grew,
  Sat like a Cormorant; yet not true Life
  Thereby regaind, but sat devising Death
  To them who liv'd; nor on the vertue thought
  Of that life-giving Plant, but only us'd
  For prospect, what well us'd had bin the pledge
  Of immortalitie. So little knows
  Any, but God alone, to value right
  The good before him, but perverts best things
  To worst abuse, or to thir meanest use.
  Beneath him with new wonder now he views
  To all delight of human sense expos'd
  In narrow room Natures whole wealth, yea more,
  A Heaven on Earth, for blissful Paradise
  Of God the Garden was, by him in the East
  Of EDEN planted; EDEN stretchd her Line
  From AURAN Eastward to the Royal Towrs
  Of great SELEUCIA, built by GRECIAN Kings,
  Or where the Sons of EDEN long before
  Dwelt in TELASSAR: in this pleasant soile
  His farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind;
  Out of the fertil ground he caus'd to grow
  All Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
  And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,
  High eminent, blooming Ambrosial Fruit
  Of vegetable Gold; and next to Life
  Our Death the Tree of Knowledge grew fast by,
  Knowledge of Good bought dear by knowing ill.
  Southward through EDEN went a River large,
  Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggie hill
  Pass'd underneath ingulft, for God had thrown
  That Mountain as his Garden mould high rais'd
  Upon the rapid current, which through veins
  Of porous Earth with kindly thirst up drawn,
  Rose a fresh Fountain, and with many a rill
  Waterd the Garden; thence united fell
  Down the steep glade, and met the neather Flood,
  Which from his darksom passage now appeers,
  And now divided into four main Streams,
  Runs divers, wandring many a famous Realme
  And Country whereof here needs no account,
  But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
  How from that Saphire Fount the crisped Brooks,
  Rowling on Orient Pearl and sands of Gold,
  With mazie error under pendant shades
  Ran Nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
  Flours worthy of Paradise which not nice Art
  In Beds and curious Knots, but Nature boon
  Powrd forth profuse on Hill and Dale and Plaine,
  Both where the morning Sun first warmly smote
  The open field, and where the unpierc't shade
  Imbround the noontide Bowrs: Thus was this place,
  A happy rural seat of various view;
  Groves whose rich Trees wept odorous Gumms and Balme,
  Others whose fruit burnisht with Golden Rinde
  Hung amiable, HESPERIAN Fables true,
  If true, here onely, and of delicious taste:
  Betwixt them Lawns, or level Downs, and Flocks
  Grasing the tender herb, were interpos'd,
  Or palmie hilloc, or the flourie lap
  Of som irriguous Valley spread her store,
  Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose:
  Another side, umbrageous Grots and Caves
  Of coole recess, o're which the mantling Vine
  Layes forth her purple Grape, and gently creeps
  Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall
  Down the slope hills, disperst, or in a Lake,
  That to the fringed Bank with Myrtle crownd,
  Her chrystall mirror holds, unite thir streams.
  The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires,
  Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
  The trembling leaves, while Universal PAN
  Knit with the GRACES and the HOURS in dance
  Led on th' Eternal Spring. Not that faire field
  Of ENNA, where PROSERPIN gathring flours
  Her self a fairer Floure by gloomie DIS
  Was gatherd, which cost CERES all that pain
  To seek her through the world; nor that sweet Grove
  Of DAPHNE by ORONTES, and th' inspir'd
  CASTALIAN Spring might with this Paradise
  Of EDEN strive; nor that NYSEIAN Ile
  Girt with the River TRITON, where old CHAM,
  Whom Gentiles AMMON call and LIBYAN JOVE,
  Hid AMALTHEA and her Florid Son
  Young BACCHUS from his Stepdame RHEA'S eye;
  Nor where ABASSIN Kings thir issue Guard,
  Mount AMARA, though this by som suppos'd
  True Paradise under the ETHIOP Line
  By NILUS head, enclos'd with shining Rock,
  A whole dayes journey high, but wide remote
  From this ASSYRIAN Garden, where the Fiend
  Saw undelighted all delight, all kind
  Of living Creatures new to sight and strange:
  Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,
  Godlike erect, with native Honour clad
  In naked Majestie seemd Lords of all,
  And worthie seemd, for in thir looks Divine
  The image of thir glorious Maker shon,
  Truth, Wisdome, Sanctitude severe and pure,
  Severe, but in true filial freedom plac't;
  Whence true autoritie in men; though both
  Not equal, as thir sex not equal seemd;
  For contemplation hee and valour formd,
  For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace,
  Hee for God only, shee for God in him:
  His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar'd
  Absolute rule; and Hyacinthin Locks
  Round from his parted forelock manly hung
  Clustring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
  Shee as a vail down to the slender waste
  Her unadorned golden tresses wore
  Dissheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'd
  As the Vine curles her tendrils, which impli'd
  Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
  And by her yeilded, by him best receivd,
  Yeilded with coy submission, modest pride,
  And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
  Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald,
  Then was not guiltie shame, dishonest shame
  Of natures works, honor dishonorable,
  Sin-bred, how have ye troubl'd all mankind
  With shews instead, meer shews of seeming pure,
  And banisht from mans life his happiest life,
  Simplicitie and spotless innocence.
  So passd they naked on, nor shund the sight
  Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill:
  So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pair
  That ever since in loves imbraces met,
  ADAM the goodliest man of men since borne
  His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters EVE.
  Under a tuft of shade that on a green
  Stood whispering soft, by a fresh Fountain side
  They sat them down, and after no more toil
  Of thir sweet Gardning labour then suffic'd
  To recommend coole ZEPHYR, and made ease
  More easie, wholsom thirst and appetite
  More grateful, to thir Supper Fruits they fell,
  Nectarine Fruits which the compliant boughes
  Yeilded them, side-long as they sat recline
  On the soft downie Bank damaskt with flours:
  The savourie pulp they chew, and in the rinde
  Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream;
  Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles
  Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems
  Fair couple, linkt in happie nuptial League,
  Alone as they. About them frisking playd
  All Beasts of th' Earth, since wilde, and of all chase
  In Wood or Wilderness, Forrest or Den;
  Sporting the Lion rampd, and in his paw
  Dandl'd the Kid; Bears, Tygers, Ounces, Pards
  Gambold before them, th' unwieldy Elephant
  To make them mirth us'd all his might, & wreathd
  His Lithe Proboscis; close the Serpent sly
  Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
  His breaded train, and of his fatal guile
  Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass
  Coucht, and now fild with pasture gazing sat,
  Or Bedward ruminating: for the Sun
  Declin'd was hasting now with prone carreer
  To th' Ocean Iles, and in th' ascending Scale
  Of Heav'n the Starrs that usher Evening rose:
  When SATAN still in gaze, as first he stood,
  Scarce thus at length faild speech recoverd sad.
    O Hell! what doe mine eyes with grief behold,
  Into our room of bliss thus high advanc't
  Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
  Not Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits bright
  Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
  With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
  In them Divine resemblance, and such grace
  The hand that formd them on thir shape hath pourd.
  Ah gentle pair, yee little think how nigh
  Your change approaches, when all these delights
  Will vanish and deliver ye to woe,
  More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;
  Happie, but for so happie ill secur'd
  Long to continue, and this high seat your Heav'n
  Ill fenc't for Heav'n to keep out such a foe
  As now is enterd; yet no purpos'd foe
  To you whom I could pittie thus forlorne
  Though I unpittied: League with you I seek,
  And mutual amitie so streight, so close,
  That I with you must dwell, or you with me
  Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please
  Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such
  Accept your Makers work; he gave it me,
  Which I as freely give; Hell shall unfould,
  To entertain you two, her widest Gates,
  And send forth all her Kings; there will be room,
  Not like these narrow limits, to receive
  Your numerous ofspring; if no better place,
  Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge
  On you who wrong me not for him who wrongd.
  And should I at your harmless innocence
  Melt, as I doe, yet public reason just,
  Honour and Empire with revenge enlarg'd,
  By conquering this new World, compels me now
  To do what else though damnd I should abhorre.
    So spake the Fiend, and with necessitie,
  The Tyrants plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
  Then from his loftie stand on that high Tree
  Down he alights among the sportful Herd
  Of those fourfooted kindes, himself now one,
  Now other, as thir shape servd best his end
  Neerer to view his prey, and unespi'd
  To mark what of thir state he more might learn
  By word or action markt: about them round
  A Lion now he stalkes with fierie glare,
  Then as a Tiger, who by chance hath spi'd
  In some Purlieu two gentle Fawnes at play,
  Strait couches close, then rising changes oft
  His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground
  Whence rushing he might surest seise them both
  Grip't in each paw: when ADAM first of men
  To first of women EVE thus moving speech,
  Turnd him all eare to heare new utterance flow.
    Sole partner and sole part of all these joyes,
  Dearer thy self then all; needs must the Power
  That made us, and for us this ample World
  Be infinitly good, and of his good
  As liberal and free as infinite,
  That rais'd us from the dust and plac't us here
  In all this happiness, who at his hand
  Have nothing merited, nor can performe
  Aught whereof hee hath need, hee who requires
  From us no other service then to keep
  This one, this easie charge, of all the Trees
  In Paradise that beare delicious fruit
  So various, not to taste that onely Tree
  Of knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life,
  So neer grows Death to Life, what ere Death is,
  Som dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou knowst
  God hath pronounc't it death to taste that Tree,
  The only sign of our obedience left
  Among so many signes of power and rule
  Conferrd upon us, and Dominion giv'n
  Over all other Creatures that possesse
  Earth, Aire, and Sea. Then let us not think hard
  One easie prohibition, who enjoy
  Free leave so large to all things else, and choice
  Unlimited of manifold delights:
  But let us ever praise him, and extoll
  His bountie, following our delightful task
  To prune these growing Plants, & tend these Flours,
  Which were it toilsom, yet with thee were sweet.
    To whom thus Eve repli'd. O thou for whom
  And from whom I was formd flesh of thy flesh,
  And without whom am to no end, my Guide
  And Head, what thou hast said is just and right.
  For wee to him indeed all praises owe,
  And daily thanks, I chiefly who enjoy
  So farr the happier Lot, enjoying thee
  Preeminent by so much odds, while thou
  Like consort to thy self canst no where find.
  That day I oft remember, when from sleep
  I first awak't, and found my self repos'd
  Under a shade on flours, much wondring where
  And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
  Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound
  Of waters issu'd from a Cave and spread
  Into a liquid Plain, then stood unmov'd
  Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went
  With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe
  On the green bank, to look into the cleer
  Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie.
  As I bent down to look, just opposite,
  A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd
  Bending to look on me, I started back,
  It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd,
  Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks
  Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt
  Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
  Had not a voice thus warnd me, What thou seest,
  What there thou seest fair Creature is thy self,
  With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
  And I will bring thee where no shadow staies
  Thy coming, and thy soft imbraces, hee
  Whose image thou art, him thou shall enjoy
  Inseparablie thine, to him shalt beare
  Multitudes like thy self, and thence be call'd
  Mother of human Race: what could I doe,
  But follow strait, invisibly thus led?
  Till I espi'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
  Under a Platan, yet methought less faire,
  Less winning soft, less amiablie milde,
  Then that smooth watry image; back I turnd,
  Thou following cryd'st aloud, Return fair EVE,
  Whom fli'st thou? whom thou fli'st, of him thou art,
  His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
  Out of my side to thee, neerest my heart
  Substantial Life, to have thee by my side
  Henceforth an individual solace dear;
  Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claim
  My other half: with that thy gentle hand
  Seisd mine, I yeilded, and from that time see
  How beauty is excelld by manly grace
  And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.
    So spake our general Mother, and with eyes
  Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
  And meek surrender, half imbracing leand
  On our first Father, half her swelling Breast
  Naked met his under the flowing Gold
  Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight
  Both of her Beauty and submissive Charms
  Smil'd with superior Love, as JUPITER
  On JUNO smiles, when he impregns the Clouds
  That shed MAY Flowers; and press'd her Matron lip
  With kisses pure: aside the Devil turnd
  For envie, yet with jealous leer maligne
  Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plaind.
    Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two
  Imparadis't in one anothers arms
  The happier EDEN, shall enjoy thir fill
  Of bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust,
  Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
  Among our other torments not the least,
  Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines;
  Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
  From thir own mouths; all is not theirs it seems:
  One fatal Tree there stands of Knowledge call'd,
  Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidd'n?
  Suspicious, reasonless. Why should thir Lord
  Envie them that? can it be sin to know,
  Can it be death? and do they onely stand
  By Ignorance, is that thir happie state,
  The proof of thir obedience and thir faith?
  O fair foundation laid whereon to build
  Thir ruine! Hence I will excite thir minds
  With more desire to know, and to reject
  Envious commands, invented with designe
  To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt
  Equal with Gods; aspiring to be such,
  They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?
  But first with narrow search I must walk round
  This Garden, and no corner leave unspi'd;
  A chance but chance may lead where I may meet
  Some wandring Spirit of Heav'n, by Fountain side,
  Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
  What further would be learnt. Live while ye may,
  Yet happie pair; enjoy, till I return,
  Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.
    So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
  But with sly circumspection, and began
  Through wood, through waste, o're hil, o're dale his roam.
  Mean while in utmost Longitude, where Heav'n
  With Earth and Ocean meets, the setting Sun
  Slowly descended, and with right aspect
  Against the eastern Gate of Paradise
  Leveld his eevning Rayes: it was a Rock
  Of Alablaster, pil'd up to the Clouds,
  Conspicuous farr, winding with one ascent
  Accessible from Earth, one entrance high;
  The rest was craggie cliff, that overhung
  Still as it rose, impossible to climbe.
  Betwixt these rockie Pillars GABRIEL sat
  Chief of th' Angelic Guards, awaiting night;
  About him exercis'd Heroic Games
  Th' unarmed Youth of Heav'n, but nigh at hand
  Celestial Armourie, Shields, Helmes, and Speares
  Hung high with Diamond flaming, and with Gold.
  Thither came URIEL, gliding through the Eeven
  On a Sun beam, swift as a shooting Starr
  In AUTUMN thwarts the night, when vapors fir'd
  Impress the Air, and shews the Mariner
  From what point of his Compass to beware
  Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste.
    GABRIEL, to thee thy cours by Lot hath giv'n
  Charge and strict watch that to this happie place
  No evil thing approach or enter in;
  This day at highth of Noon came to my Spheare
  A Spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know
  More of th' Almighties works, and chiefly Man
  Gods latest Image: I describ'd his way
  Bent all on speed, and markt his Aerie Gate;
  But in the Mount that lies from EDEN North,
  Where he first lighted, soon discernd his looks
  Alien from Heav'n, with passions foul obscur'd:
  Mine eye pursu'd him still, but under shade
  Lost sight of him; one of the banisht crew
  I fear, hath ventur'd from the deep, to raise
  New troubles; him thy care must be to find.
    To whom the winged Warriour thus returnd:
  URIEL, no wonder if thy perfet sight,
  Amid the Suns bright circle where thou sitst,
  See farr and wide: in at this Gate none pass
  The vigilance here plac't, but such as come
  Well known from Heav'n; and since Meridian hour
  No Creature thence: if Spirit of other sort,
  So minded, have oreleapt these earthie bounds
  On purpose, hard thou knowst it to exclude
  Spiritual substance with corporeal barr.
  But if within the circuit of these walks
  In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom
  Thou telst, by morrow dawning I shall know.
    So promis'd hee, and URIEL to his charge
  Returnd on that bright beam, whose point now raisd
  Bore him slope downward to the Sun now fall'n
  Beneath th' AZORES; whither the prime Orb,
  Incredible how swift, had thither rowl'd
  Diurnal, or this less volubil Earth
  By shorter flight to th' East, had left him there
  Arraying with reflected Purple and Gold
  The Clouds that on his Western Throne attend:
  Now came still Eevning on, and Twilight gray
  Had in her sober Liverie all things clad;
  Silence accompanied, for Beast and Bird,
  They to thir grassie Couch, these to thir Nests
  Were slunk, all but the wakeful Nightingale;
  She all night long her amorous descant sung;
  Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the Firmament
  With living Saphirs: HESPERUS that led
  The starrie Host, rode brightest, till the Moon
  Rising in clouded Majestie, at length
  Apparent Queen unvaild her peerless light,
  And o're the dark her Silver Mantle threw.
    When ADAM thus to EVE: Fair Consort, th' hour
  Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest
  Mind us of like repose, since God hath set
  Labour and rest, as day and night to men
  Successive, and the timely dew of sleep
  Now falling with soft slumbrous weight inclines
  Our eye-lids; other Creatures all day long
  Rove idle unimploid, and less need rest;
  Man hath his daily work of body or mind
  Appointed, which declares his Dignitie,
  And the regard of Heav'n on all his waies;
  While other Animals unactive range,
  And of thir doings God takes no account.
  Tomorrow ere fresh Morning streak the East
  With first approach of light, we must be ris'n,
  And at our pleasant labour, to reform
  Yon flourie Arbors, yonder Allies green,
  Our walks at noon, with branches overgrown,
  That mock our scant manuring, and require
  More hands then ours to lop thir wanton growth:
  Those Blossoms also, and those dropping Gumms,
  That lie bestrowne unsightly and unsmooth,
  Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease;
  Mean while, as Nature wills, Night bids us rest.
    To whom thus EVE with perfet beauty adornd.
  My Author and Disposer, what thou bidst
  Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains,
  God is thy Law, thou mine: to know no more
  Is womans happiest knowledge and her praise.
  With thee conversing I forget all time,
  All seasons and thir change, all please alike.
  Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
  With charm of earliest Birds; pleasant the Sun
  When first on this delightful Land he spreads
  His orient Beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flour,
  Glistring with dew; fragrant the fertil earth
  After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
  Of grateful Eevning milde, then silent Night
  With this her solemn Bird and this fair Moon,
  And these the Gemms of Heav'n, her starrie train:
  But neither breath of Morn when she ascends
  With charm of earliest Birds, nor rising Sun
  On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, floure,
  Glistring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
  Nor grateful Evening mild, nor silent Night
  With this her solemn Bird, nor walk by Moon,
  Or glittering Starr-light without thee is sweet.
  But wherfore all night long shine these, for whom
  This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?
    To whom our general Ancestor repli'd.
  Daughter of God and Man, accomplisht EVE,
  Those have thir course to finish, round the Earth,
  By morrow Eevning, and from Land to Land
  In order, though to Nations yet unborn,
  Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise;
  Least total darkness should by Night regaine
  Her old possession, and extinguish life
  In Nature and all things, which these soft fires
  Not only enlighten, but with kindly heate
  Of various influence foment and warme,
  Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
  Thir stellar vertue on all kinds that grow
  On Earth, made hereby apter to receive
  Perfection from the Suns more potent Ray.
  These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
  Shine not in vain, nor think, though men were none,
  That heav'n would want spectators, God want praise;
  Millions of spiritual Creatures walk the Earth
  Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:
  All these with ceasless praise his works behold
  Both day and night: how often from the steep
  Of echoing Hill or Thicket have we heard
  Celestial voices to the midnight air,
  Sole, or responsive each to others note
  Singing thir great Creator: oft in bands
  While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk
  With Heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds
  In full harmonic number joind, thir songs
  Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.
    Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
  On to thir blissful Bower; it was a place
  Chos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'd
  All things to mans delightful use; the roofe
  Of thickest covert was inwoven shade
  Laurel and Mirtle, and what higher grew
  Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
  ACANTHUS, and each odorous bushie shrub
  Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flour,
  IRIS all hues, Roses, and Gessamin
  Rear'd high thir flourisht heads between, and wrought
  Mosaic; underfoot the Violet,
  Crocus, and Hyacinth with rich inlay
  Broiderd the ground, more colour'd then with stone
  Of costliest Emblem: other Creature here
  Beast, Bird, Insect, or Worm durst enter none;
  Such was thir awe of man. In shadier Bower
  More sacred and sequesterd, though but feignd,
  PAN or SILVANUS never slept, nor Nymph,
  Nor FAUNUS haunted. Here in close recess
  With Flowers, Garlands, and sweet-smelling Herbs
  Espoused EVE deckt first her Nuptial Bed,
  And heav'nly Quires the Hymenaean sung,
  What day the genial Angel to our Sire
  Brought her in naked beauty more adorn'd,
  More lovely then PANDORA, whom the Gods
  Endowd with all thir gifts, and O too like
  In sad event, when to the unwiser Son
  Of JAPHET brought by HERMES, she ensnar'd
  Mankind with her faire looks, to be aveng'd
  On him who had stole JOVES authentic fire.
    Thus at thir shadie Lodge arriv'd, both stood,
  Both turnd, and under op'n Skie ador'd
  The God that made both Skie, Air, Earth & Heav'n
  Which they beheld, the Moons resplendent Globe
  And starrie Pole: Thou also mad'st the Night,
  Maker Omnipotent, and thou the Day,
  Which we in our appointed work imployd
  Have finisht happie in our mutual help
  And mutual love, the Crown of all our bliss
  Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place
  For us too large, where thy abundance wants
  Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.
  But thou hast promis'd from us two a Race
  To fill the Earth, who shall with us extoll
  Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
  And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.
    This said unanimous, and other Rites
  Observing none, but adoration pure
  Which God likes best, into thir inmost bower
  Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off
  These troublesom disguises which wee wear,
  Strait side by side were laid, nor turnd I weene
  ADAM from his fair Spouse, nor EVE the Rites
  Mysterious of connubial Love refus'd:
  Whatever Hypocrites austerely talk
  Of puritie and place and innocence,
  Defaming as impure what God declares
  Pure, and commands to som, leaves free to all.
  Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain
  But our Destroyer, foe to God and Man?
  Haile wedded Love, mysterious Law, true source
  Of human ofspring, sole proprietie,
  In Paradise of all things common else.
  By thee adulterous lust was driv'n from men
  Among the bestial herds to raunge, by thee
  Founded in Reason, Loyal, Just, and Pure,
  Relations dear, and all the Charities
  Of Father, Son, and Brother first were known.
  Farr be it, that I should write thee sin or blame,
  Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,
  Perpetual Fountain of Domestic sweets,
  Whose Bed is undefil'd and chast pronounc't,
  Present, or past, as Saints and Patriarchs us'd.
  Here Love his golden shafts imploies, here lights
  His constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings,
  Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile
  Of Harlots, loveless, joyless, unindeard,
  Casual fruition, nor in Court Amours
  Mixt Dance, or wanton Mask, or Midnight Bal,
  Or Serenate, which the starv'd Lover sings
  To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.
  These lulld by Nightingales imbraceing slept,
  And on thir naked limbs the flourie roof
  Showrd Roses, which the Morn repair'd. Sleep on,
  Blest pair; and O yet happiest if ye seek
  No happier state, and know to know no more.
    Now had night measur'd with her shaddowie Cone
  Half way up Hill this vast Sublunar Vault,
  And from thir Ivorie Port the Cherubim
  Forth issuing at th' accustomd hour stood armd
  To thir night watches in warlike Parade,
  When GABRIEL to his next in power thus spake.
    UZZIEL, half these draw off, and coast the South
  With strictest watch; these other wheel the North,
  Our circuit meets full West. As flame they part
  Half wheeling to the Shield, half to the Spear.
  From these, two strong and suttle Spirits he calld
  That neer him stood, and gave them thus in charge.
    ITHURIEL and ZEPHON, with wingd speed
  Search through this Garden, leav unsearcht no nook,
  But chiefly where those two fair Creatures Lodge,
  Now laid perhaps asleep secure of harme.
  This Eevning from the Sun's decline arriv'd
  Who tells of som infernal Spirit seen
  Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'd
  The barrs of Hell, on errand bad no doubt:
  Such where ye find, seise fast, and hither bring.
    So saying, on he led his radiant Files,
  Daz'ling the Moon; these to the Bower direct
  In search of whom they sought: him there they found
  Squat like a Toad, close at the eare of EVE;
  Assaying by his Devilish art to reach
  The Organs of her Fancie, and with them forge
  Illusions as he list, Phantasms and Dreams,
  Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
  Th' animal Spirits that from pure blood arise
  Like gentle breaths from Rivers pure, thence raise
  At least distemperd, discontented thoughts,
  Vain hopes, vain aimes, inordinate desires
  Blown up with high conceits ingendring pride.
  Him thus intent ITHURIEL with his Spear
  Touch'd lightly; for no falshood can endure
  Touch of Celestial temper, but returns
  Of force to its own likeness: up he starts
  Discoverd and surpriz'd. As when a spark
  Lights on a heap of nitrous Powder, laid
  Fit for the Tun som Magazin to store
  Against a rumord Warr, the Smuttie graine
  With sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the Aire:
  So started up in his own shape the Fiend.
  Back stept those two fair Angels half amaz'd
  So sudden to behold the grieslie King;
  Yet thus, unmovd with fear, accost him soon.
    Which of those rebell Spirits adjudg'd to Hell
  Com'st thou, escap'd thy prison, and transform'd,
  Why satst thou like an enemie in waite
  Here watching at the head of these that sleep?
    Know ye not then said SATAN, filld with scorn,
  Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate
  For you, there sitting where ye durst not soare;
  Not to know mee argues your selves unknown,
  The lowest of your throng; or if ye know,
  Why ask ye, and superfluous begin
  Your message, like to end as much in vain?
  To whom thus ZEPHON, answering scorn with scorn.
  Think not, revolted Spirit, thy shape the same,
  Or undiminisht brightness, to be known
  As when thou stoodst in Heav'n upright and pure;
  That Glorie then, when thou no more wast good,
  Departed from thee, and thou resembl'st now
  Thy sin and place of doom obscure and foule.
  But come, for thou, be sure, shalt give account
  To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep
  This place inviolable, and these from harm.
    So spake the Cherube, and his grave rebuke
  Severe in youthful beautie, added grace
  Invincible: abasht the Devil stood,
  And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
  Vertue in her shape how lovly, saw, and pin'd
  His loss; but chiefly to find here observd
  His lustre visibly impar'd; yet seemd
  Undaunted. If I must contend, said he,
  Best with the best, the Sender not the sent,
  Or all at once; more glorie will be wonn,
  Or less be lost. Thy fear, said ZEPHON bold,
  Will save us trial what the least can doe
  Single against thee wicked, and thence weak.
    The Fiend repli'd not, overcome with rage;
  But like a proud Steed reind, went hautie on,
  Chaumping his iron curb: to strive or flie
  He held it vain; awe from above had quelld
  His heart, not else dismai'd. Now drew they nigh
  The western point, where those half-rounding guards
  Just met, & closing stood in squadron joind
  Awaiting next command. To whom thir Chief
  GABRIEL from the Front thus calld aloud.
    O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet
  Hasting this way, and now by glimps discerne
  ITHURIEL and ZEPHON through the shade,
  And with them comes a third of Regal port,
  But faded splendor wan; who by his gate
  And fierce demeanour seems the Prince of Hell,
  Not likely to part hence without contest;
  Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.
    He scarce had ended, when those two approachd
  And brief related whom they brought, wher found,
  How busied, in what form and posture coucht.
    To whom with stern regard thus GABRIEL spake.
  Why hast thou, SATAN, broke the bounds prescrib'd
  To thy transgressions, and disturbd the charge
  Of others, who approve not to transgress
  By thy example, but have power and right
  To question thy bold entrance on this place;
  Imploi'd it seems to violate sleep, and those
  Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss?
    To whom thus SATAN with contemptuous brow.
  GABRIEL, thou hadst in Heav'n th' esteem of wise,
  And such I held thee; but this question askt
  Puts me in doubt. Lives ther who loves his pain?
  Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell,
  Though thither doomd? Thou wouldst thy self, no doubt,
  And boldly venture to whatever place
  Farthest from pain, where thou mightst hope to change
  Torment with ease, & soonest recompence
  Dole with delight, which in this place I sought;
  To thee no reason; who knowst only good,
  But evil hast not tri'd: and wilt object
  His will who bound us? let him surer barr
  His Iron Gates, if he intends our stay
  In that dark durance: thus much what was askt.
  The rest is true, they found me where they say;
  But that implies not violence or harme.
    Thus hee in scorn. The warlike Angel mov'd,
  Disdainfully half smiling thus repli'd.
  O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise,
  Since SATAN fell, whom follie overthrew,
  And now returns him from his prison scap't,
  Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
  Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither
  Unlicenc't from his bounds in Hell prescrib'd;
  So wise he judges it to fly from pain
  However, and to scape his punishment.
  So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrauth,
  Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight
  Seavenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,
  Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain
  Can equal anger infinite provok't.
  But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee
  Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them
  Less pain, less to be fled, or thou then they
  Less hardie to endure? courageous Chief,
  The first in flight from pain, had'st thou alleg'd
  To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
  Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.
    To which the Fiend thus answerd frowning stern.
  Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,
  Insulting Angel, well thou knowst I stood
  Thy fiercest, when in Battel to thy aide
  The blasting volied Thunder made all speed
  And seconded thy else not dreaded Spear.
  But still thy words at random, as before,
  Argue thy inexperience what behooves
  From hard assaies and ill successes past
  A faithful Leader, not to hazard all
  Through wayes of danger by himself untri'd.
  I therefore, I alone first undertook
  To wing the desolate Abyss, and spie
  This new created World, whereof in Hell
  Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
  Better abode, and my afflicted Powers
  To settle here on Earth, or in mid Aire;
  Though for possession put to try once more
  What thou and thy gay Legions dare against;
  Whose easier business were to serve thir Lord
  High up in Heav'n, with songs to hymne his Throne,
  And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight.
    To whom the warriour Angel soon repli'd.
  To say and strait unsay, pretending first
  Wise to flie pain, professing next the Spie,
  Argues no Leader, but a lyar trac't,
  SATAN, and couldst thou faithful add? O name,
  O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!
  Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
  Armie of Fiends, fit body to fit head;
  Was this your discipline and faith ingag'd,
  Your military obedience, to dissolve
  Allegeance to th' acknowledg'd Power supream?
  And thou sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
  Patron of liberty, who more then thou
  Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilly ador'd
  Heav'ns awful Monarch? wherefore but in hope
  To dispossess him, and thy self to reigne?
  But mark what I arreede thee now, avant;
  Flie thither whence thou fledst: if from this houre
  Within these hallowd limits thou appeer,
  Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chaind,
  And Seale thee so, as henceforth not to scorne
  The facil gates of hell too slightly barrd.
    So threatn'd hee, but SATAN to no threats
  Gave heed, but waxing more in rage repli'd.
    Then when I am thy captive talk of chaines,
  Proud limitarie Cherube, but ere then
  Farr heavier load thy self expect to feel
  From my prevailing arme, though Heavens King
  Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy Compeers,
  Us'd to the yoak, draw'st his triumphant wheels
  In progress through the rode of Heav'n Star-pav'd.
    While thus he spake, th' Angelic Squadron bright
  Turnd fierie red, sharpning in mooned hornes
  Thir Phalanx, and began to hemm him round
  With ported Spears, as thick as when a field
  Of CERES ripe for harvest waving bends
  Her bearded Grove of ears, which way the wind
  Swayes them; the careful Plowman doubting stands
  Least on the threshing floore his hopeful sheaves
  Prove chaff. On th' other side SATAN allarm'd
  Collecting all his might dilated stood,
  Like TENERIFF or ATLAS unremov'd:
  His stature reacht the Skie, and on his Crest
  Sat horror Plum'd; nor wanted in his graspe
  What seemd both Spear and Shield: now dreadful deeds
  Might have ensu'd, nor onely Paradise
  In this commotion, but the Starrie Cope
  Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the Elements
  At least had gon to rack, disturbd and torne
  With violence of this conflict, had not soon
  Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray
  Hung forth in Heav'n his golden Scales, yet seen
  Betwixt ASTREA and the SCORPION signe,
  Wherein all things created first he weighd,
  The pendulous round Earth with ballanc't Aire
  In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
  Battels and Realms: in these he put two weights
  The sequel each of parting and of fight;
  The latter quick up flew, and kickt the beam;
  Which GABRIEL spying, thus bespake the Fiend.
    SATAN, I know thy strength, and thou knowst mine,
  Neither our own but giv'n; what follie then
  To boast what Arms can doe, since thine no more
  Then Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubld now
  To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,
  And read thy Lot in yon celestial Sign
  Where thou art weigh'd, & shown how light, how weak,
  If thou resist. The Fiend lookt up and knew
  His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
  Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

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