Paradise Lost

by John Milton

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Book IX

Meanwhile the hainous and despightfull act
  Of SATAN done in Paradise, and how
  Hee in the Serpent had perverted EVE,
  Her Husband shee, to taste the fatall fruit,
  Was known in Heav'n; for what can scape the Eye
  Of God All-seeing, or deceave his Heart
  Omniscient, who in all things wise and just,
  Hinder'd not SATAN to attempt the minde
  Of Man, with strength entire, and free Will arm'd,
  Complete to have discover'd and repulst
  Whatever wiles of Foe or seeming Friend.
  For still they knew, and ought to have still remember'd
  The high Injunction not to taste that Fruit,
  Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
  Incurr'd, what could they less, the penaltie,
  And manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.
  Up into Heav'n from Paradise in hast
  Th' Angelic Guards ascended, mute and sad
  For Man, for of his state by this they knew,
  Much wondring how the suttle Fiend had stoln
  Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome news
  From Earth arriv'd at Heaven Gate, displeas'd
  All were who heard, dim sadness did not spare
  That time Celestial visages, yet mixt
  With pitie, violated not thir bliss.
  About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
  Th' ethereal People ran, to hear and know
  How all befell: they towards the Throne Supream
  Accountable made haste to make appear
  With righteous plea, thir utmost vigilance,
  And easily approv'd; when the most High
  Eternal Father from his secret Cloud,
  Amidst in Thunder utter'd thus his voice.
    Assembl'd Angels, and ye Powers return'd
  From unsuccessful charge, be not dismaid,
  Nor troubl'd at these tidings from the Earth,
  Which your sincerest care could not prevent,
  Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
  When first this Tempter cross'd the Gulf from Hell.
  I told ye then he should prevail and speed
  On his bad Errand, Man should be seduc't
  And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
  Against his Maker; no Decree of mine
  Concurring to necessitate his Fall,
  Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
  His free Will, to her own inclining left
  In eevn scale. But fall'n he is, and now
  What rests, but that the mortal Sentence pass
  On his transgression, Death denounc't that day,
  Which he presumes already vain and void,
  Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd,
  By some immediate stroak; but soon shall find
  Forbearance no acquittance ere day end.
  Justice shall not return as bountie scorn'd.
  But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee
  Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr'd
  All Judgement, whether in Heav'n, or Earth; or Hell.
  Easie it may be seen that I intend
  Mercie collegue with Justice, sending thee
  Mans Friend, his Mediator, his design'd
  Both Ransom and Redeemer voluntarie,
  And destin'd Man himself to judge Man fall'n.
    So spake the Father, and unfoulding bright
  Toward the right hand his Glorie, on the Son
  Blaz'd forth unclouded Deitie; he full
  Resplendent all his Father manifest
  Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd milde.
    Father Eternal, thine is to decree,
  Mine both in Heav'n and Earth to do thy will
  Supream, that thou in mee thy Son belov'd
  Mayst ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge
  On Earth these thy transgressors, but thou knowst,
  Whoever judg'd, the worst on mee must light,
  When time shall be, for so I undertook
  Before thee; and not repenting, this obtaine
  Of right, that I may mitigate thir doom
  On me deriv'd, yet I shall temper so
  Justice with Mercie, as may illustrate most
  Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
  Attendance none shall need, nor Train, where none
  Are to behold the Judgement, but the judg'd,
  Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd,
  Convict by flight, and Rebel to all Law
  Conviction to the Serpent none belongs.
    Thus saying, from his radiant Seat he rose
  Of high collateral glorie: him Thrones and Powers,
  Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant
  Accompanied to Heaven Gate, from whence
  EDEN and all the Coast in prospect lay.
  Down he descended strait; the speed of Gods
  Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing'd.
  Now was the Sun in Western cadence low
  From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour
  To fan the Earth now wak'd, and usher in
  The Eevning coole when he from wrauth more coole
  Came the mild Judge and Intercessor both
  To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard
  Now walking in the Garden, by soft windes
  Brought to thir Ears, while day declin'd, they heard
  And from his presence hid themselves among
  The thickest Trees, both Man and Wife, till God
  Approaching, thus to ADAM call'd aloud.
    Where art thou ADAM, wont with joy to meet
  My coming seen far off? I miss thee here,
  Not pleas'd, thus entertaind with solitude,
  Where obvious dutie erewhile appear'd unsaught:
  Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
  Absents thee, or what chance detains? Come forth.
  He came, and with him EVE, more loth, though first
  To offend, discount'nanc't both, and discompos'd;
  Love was not in thir looks, either to God
  Or to each other, but apparent guilt,
  And shame, and perturbation, and despaire,
  Anger, and obstinacie, and hate, and guile.
  Whence ADAM faultring long, thus answer'd brief.
    I heard thee in the Garden, and of thy voice
  Affraid, being naked, hid my self. To whom
  The gracious Judge without revile repli'd.
    My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd,
  But still rejoyc't, how is it now become
  So dreadful to thee? that thou art naked, who
  Hath told thee? hast thou eaten of the Tree
  Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?
    To whom thus ADAM sore beset repli'd.
  O Heav'n! in evil strait this day I stand
  Before my Judge, either to undergoe
  My self the total Crime, or to accuse
  My other self, the partner of my life;
  Whose failing, while her Faith to me remaines,
  I should conceal, and not expose to blame
  By my complaint; but strict necessitie
  Subdues me, and calamitous constraint,
  Least on my head both sin and punishment,
  However insupportable, be all
  Devolv'd; though should I hold my peace, yet thou
  Wouldst easily detect what I conceale.
  This Woman whom thou mad'st to be my help,
  And gav'st me as thy perfet gift, so good,
  So fit, so acceptable, so Divine,
  That from her hand I could suspect no ill,
  And what she did, whatever in it self,
  Her doing seem'd to justifie the deed;
  Shee gave me of the Tree, and I did eate.
    To whom the sovran Presence thus repli'd.
  Was shee thy God, that her thou didst obey
  Before his voice, or was shee made thy guide,
  Superior, or but equal, that to her
  Thou did'st resigne thy Manhood, and the Place
  Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,
  And for thee, whose perfection farr excell'd
  Hers in all real dignitie: Adornd
  She was indeed, and lovely to attract
  Thy Love, not thy Subjection, and her Gifts
  Were such as under Government well seem'd,
  Unseemly to beare rule, which was thy part
  And person, had'st thou known thy self aright.
    So having said, he thus to EVE in few:
  Say Woman, what is this which thou hast done?
    To whom sad EVE with shame nigh overwhelm'd,
  Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge
  Bold or loquacious, thus abasht repli'd.
The Serpent me beguil'd and I did eate.

    Which when the Lord God heard, without delay
  To Judgement he proceeded on th' accus'd
  Serpent though brute, unable to transferre
  The Guilt on him who made him instrument
  Of mischief, and polluted from the end
  Of his Creation; justly then accurst,
  As vitiated in Nature: more to know
  Concern'd not Man (since he no further knew)
  Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last
  To Satan first in sin his doom apply'd,
  Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best:
  And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.
    Because thou hast done this, thou art accurst
  Above all Cattel, each Beast of the Field;
  Upon thy Belly groveling thou shalt goe,
  And dust shalt eat all the days of thy Life.
  Between Thee and the Woman I will put
  Enmitie, and between thine and her Seed;
  Her Seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.
    So spake this Oracle, then verifi'd
  When JESUS son of MARY second EVE,
  Saw Satan fall like Lightning down from Heav'n,
  Prince of the Aire; then rising from his Grave
  Spoild Principalities and Powers, triumpht
  In open shew, and with ascention bright
  Captivity led captive through the Aire,
  The Realme it self of Satan long usurpt,
  Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
  Eevn hee who now foretold his fatal bruise,
  And to the Woman thus his Sentence turn'd.
    Thy sorrow I will greatly multiplie
  By thy Conception; Children thou shalt bring
  In sorrow forth, and to thy Husbands will
  Thine shall submit, hee over thee shall rule.
    On ADAM last thus judgement he pronounc'd.
  Because thou hast heark'nd to the voice of thy Wife,
  And eaten of the Tree concerning which
  I charg'd thee, saying: Thou shalt not eate thereof,
  Curs'd is the ground for thy sake, thou in sorrow
  Shalt eate thereof all the days of thy Life;
  Thornes also and Thistles it shall bring thee forth
  Unbid, and thou shalt eate th' Herb of th' Field,
  In the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eate Bread,
  Till thou return unto the ground, for thou
  Out of the ground wast taken, know thy Birth,
  For dust thou art, and shalt to dust returne.
     So judg'd he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent,
  And th' instant stroke of Death denounc't that day
  Remov'd farr off; then pittying how they stood
  Before him naked to the aire, that now
  Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin
  Thenceforth the forme of servant to assume,
  As when he wash'd his servants feet, so now
  As Father of his Familie he clad
  Thir nakedness with Skins of Beasts, or slain,
  Or as the Snake with youthful Coate repaid;
  And thought not much to cloath his Enemies:
  Nor hee thir outward onely with the Skins
  Of Beasts, but inward nakedness, much more
  Opprobrious, with his Robe of righteousness,
  Araying cover'd from his Fathers sight.
  To him with swift ascent he up returnd,
  Into his blissful bosom reassum'd
  In glory as of old, to him appeas'd
  All, though all-knowing, what had past with Man
  Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
  Meanwhile ere thus was sin'd and judg'd on Earth,
  Within the Gates of Hell sate Sin and Death,
  In counterview within the Gates, that now
  Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
  Farr into CHAOS, since the Fiend pass'd through,
  Sin opening, who thus now to Death began.
    O Son, why sit we here each other viewing
  Idlely, while Satan our great Author thrives
  In other Worlds, and happier Seat provides
  For us his ofspring deare? It cannot be
  But that success attends him; if mishap,
  Ere this he had return'd, with fury driv'n
  By his Avenger, since no place like this
  Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
  Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
  Wings growing, and Dominion giv'n me large
  Beyond this Deep; whatever drawes me on,
  Or sympathie, or som connatural force
  Powerful at greatest distance to unite
  With secret amity things of like kinde
  By secretest conveyance. Thou my Shade
  Inseparable must with mee along:
  For Death from Sin no power can separate.
  But least the difficultie of passing back
  Stay his returne perhaps over this Gulfe
  Impassable, impervious, let us try
  Adventrous work, yet to thy power and mine
  Not unagreeable, to found a path
  Over this Maine from Hell to that new World
  Where Satan now prevailes, a Monument
  Of merit high to all th' infernal Host,
  Easing thir passage hence, for intercourse,
  Or transmigration, as thir lot shall lead.
  Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
  By this new felt attraction and instinct.
    Whom thus the meager Shadow answerd soon.
  Goe whither Fate and inclination strong
  Leads thee, I shall not lag behinde, nor erre
  The way, thou leading, such a sent I draw
  Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste
  The savour of Death from all things there that live:
  Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest
  Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.
    So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell
  Of mortal change on Earth. As when a flock
  Of ravenous Fowl, though many a League remote,
  Against the day of Battel, to a Field,
  Where Armies lie encampt, come flying, lur'd
  With sent of living Carcasses design'd
  For death, the following day, in bloodie fight.
  So sented the grim Feature, and upturn'd
  His Nostril wide into the murkie Air,
  Sagacious of his Quarrey from so farr.
  Then Both from out Hell Gates into the waste
  Wide Anarchie of CHAOS damp and dark
  Flew divers, & with Power (thir Power was great)
  Hovering upon the Waters; what they met
  Solid or slimie, as in raging Sea
  Tost up and down, together crowded drove
  From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell.
  As when two Polar Winds blowing adverse
  Upon the CRONIAN Sea, together drive
  Mountains of Ice, that stop th' imagin'd way
  Beyond PETSORA Eastward, to the rich
  CATHAIAN Coast. The aggregated Soyle
  Death with his Mace petrific, cold and dry,
  As with a Trident smote, and fix't as firm
  As DELOS floating once; the rest his look
  Bound with GORGONIAN rigor not to move,
  And with ASPHALTIC slime; broad as the Gate,
  Deep to the Roots of Hell the gather'd beach
  They fasten'd, and the Mole immense wraught on
  Over the foaming deep high Archt, a Bridge
  Of length prodigious joyning to the Wall
  Immoveable of this now fenceless world
  Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,
  Smooth, easie, inoffensive down to Hell.
  So, if great things to small may be compar'd,
  XERXES, the Libertie of GREECE to yoke,
  From SUSA his MEMNONIAN Palace high
  Came to the Sea, and over HELLESPONT
  Bridging his way, EUROPE with ASIA joyn'd,
  And scourg'd with many a stroak th' indignant waves.
  Now had they brought the work by wondrous Art
  Pontifical, a ridge of pendent Rock
  Over the vext Abyss, following the track
  Of SATAN, to the selfsame place where hee
  First lighted from his Wing, and landed safe
  From out of CHAOS to the outside bare
  Of this round World: with Pinns of Adamant
  And Chains they made all fast, too fast they made
  And durable; and now in little space
  The Confines met of Empyrean Heav'n
  And of this World, and on the left hand Hell
  With long reach interpos'd; three sev'ral wayes
  In sight, to each of these three places led.
  And now thir way to Earth they had descri'd,
  To Paradise first tending, when behold
  SATAN in likeness of an Angel bright
  Betwixt the CENTAURE and the SCORPION stearing
  His ZENITH, while the Sun in ARIES rose:
  Disguis'd he came, but those his Children dear
  Thir Parent soon discern'd, though in disguise.
  Hee, after EVE seduc't, unminded slunk
  Into the Wood fast by, and changing shape
  To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
  By EVE, though all unweeting, seconded
  Upon her Husband, saw thir shame that sought
  Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
  The Son of God to judge them, terrifi'd
  Hee fled, not hoping to escape, but shun
  The present, fearing guiltie what his wrauth
  Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd
  By Night, and listning where the hapless Paire
  Sate in thir sad discourse, and various plaint,
  Thence gatherd his own doom, which understood
  Not instant, but of future time. With joy
  And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return'd,
  And at the brink of CHAOS, neer the foot
  Of this new wondrous Pontifice, unhop't
  Met who to meet him came, his Ofspring dear.
  Great joy was at thir meeting, and at sight
  Of that stupendious Bridge his joy encreas'd.
  Long hee admiring stood, till Sin, his faire
  Inchanting Daughter, thus the silence broke.
    O Parent, these are thy magnific deeds,
  Thy Trophies, which thou view'st as not thine own,
  Thou art thir Author and prime Architect:
  For I no sooner in my Heart divin'd,
  My Heart, which by a secret harmonie
  Still moves with thine, joyn'd in connexion sweet,
  That thou on Earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks
  Now also evidence, but straight I felt
  Though distant from thee Worlds between, yet felt
  That I must after thee with this thy Son;
  Such fatal consequence unites us three:
  Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds,
  Nor this unvoyageable Gulf obscure
  Detain from following thy illustrious track.
  Thou hast atchiev'd our libertie, confin'd
  Within Hell Gates till now, thou us impow'rd
  To fortifie thus farr, and overlay
  With this portentous Bridge the dark Abyss.
  Thine now is all this World, thy vertue hath won
  What thy hands builded not, thy Wisdom gain'd
  With odds what Warr hath lost, and fully aveng'd
  Our foile in Heav'n; here thou shalt Monarch reign,
  There didst not; there let him still Victor sway,
  As Battel hath adjudg'd, from this new World
  Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
  And henceforth Monarchie with thee divide
  Of all things, parted by th' Empyreal bounds,
  His Quadrature, from thy Orbicular World,
  Or trie thee now more dang'rous to his Throne.
    Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answerd glad.
  Fair Daughter, and thou Son and Grandchild both,
  High proof ye now have giv'n to be the Race
  Of SATAN (for I glorie in the name,
  Antagonist of Heav'ns Almightie King)
  Amply have merited of me, of all
  Th' Infernal Empire, that so neer Heav'ns dore
  Triumphal with triumphal act have met,
  Mine with this glorious Work, & made one Realm
  Hell and this World, one Realm, one Continent
  Of easie thorough-fare. Therefore while I
  Descend through Darkness, on your Rode with ease
  To my associate Powers, them to acquaint
  With these successes, and with them rejoyce,
  You two this way, among those numerous Orbs
  All yours, right down to Paradise descend;
  There dwell & Reign in bliss, thence on the Earth
  Dominion exercise and in the Aire,
  Chiefly on Man, sole Lord of all declar'd,
  Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.
  My Substitutes I send ye, and Create
  Plenipotent on Earth, of matchless might
  Issuing from mee: on your joynt vigor now
  My hold of this new Kingdom all depends,
  Through Sin to Death expos'd by my exploit.
  If your joynt power prevaile, th' affaires of Hell
  No detriment need feare, goe and be strong.
    So saying he dismiss'd them, they with speed
  Thir course through thickest Constellations held
  Spreading thir bane; the blasted Starrs lookt wan,
  And Planets, Planet-strook, real Eclips
  Then sufferd. Th' other way SATAN went down
  The Causey to Hell Gate; on either side
  Disparted CHAOS over built exclaimd,
  And with rebounding surge the barrs assaild,
  That scorn'd his indignation: through the Gate,
  Wide open and unguarded, SATAN pass'd,
  And all about found desolate; for those
  Appointed to sit there, had left thir charge,
  Flown to the upper World; the rest were all
  Farr to the inland retir'd, about the walls
  Of PANDEMONIUM, Citie and proud seate
  Of LUCIFER, so by allusion calld,
  Of that bright Starr to SATAN paragond.
  There kept thir Watch the Legions, while the Grand
  In Council sate, sollicitous what chance
  Might intercept thir Emperour sent, so hee
  Departing gave command, and they observ'd.
  As when the TARTAR from his RUSSIAN Foe
  By ASTRACAN over the Snowie Plaines
  Retires, or BACTRIAN Sophi from the hornes
  Of TURKISH Crescent, leaves all waste beyond
  The Realme of ALADULE, in his retreate
  To TAURIS or CASBEEN. So these the late
  Heav'n-banisht Host, left desert utmost Hell
  Many a dark League, reduc't in careful Watch
  Round thir Metropolis, and now expecting
  Each hour their great adventurer from the search
  Of Forrein Worlds: he through the midst unmarkt,
  In shew plebeian Angel militant
  Of lowest order, past; and from the dore
  Of that PLUTONIAN Hall, invisible
  Ascended his high Throne, which under state
  Of richest texture spred, at th' upper end
  Was plac't in regal lustre. Down a while
  He sate, and round about him saw unseen:
  At last as from a Cloud his fulgent head
  And shape Starr bright appeer'd, or brighter, clad
  With what permissive glory since his fall
  Was left him, or false glitter: All amaz'd
  At that so sudden blaze the STYGIAN throng
  Bent thir aspect, and whom they wish'd beheld,
  Thir mighty Chief returnd: loud was th' acclaime:
  Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting Peers,
  Rais'd from thir dark DIVAN, and with like joy
  Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand
  Silence, and with these words attention won.
    Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
  For in possession such, not onely of right,
  I call ye and declare ye now, returnd
  Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth
  Triumphant out of this infernal Pit
  Abominable, accurst, the house of woe,
  And Dungeon of our Tyrant: Now possess,
  As Lords, a spacious World, to our native Heaven
  Little inferiour, by my adventure hard
  With peril great atchiev'd. Long were to tell
  What I have don, what sufferd, with what paine
  Voyag'd the unreal, vast, unbounded deep
  Of horrible confusion, over which
  By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav'd
  To expedite your glorious march; but I
  Toild out my uncouth passage, forc't to ride
  Th' untractable Abysse, plung'd in the womb
  Of unoriginal NIGHT and CHAOS wilde,
  That jealous of thir secrets fiercely oppos'd
  My journey strange, with clamorous uproare
  Protesting Fate supreame; thence how I found
  The new created World, which fame in Heav'n
  Long had foretold, a Fabrick wonderful
  Of absolute perfection, therein Man
  Plac't in a Paradise, by our exile
  Made happie: Him by fraud I have seduc'd
  From his Creator, and the more to increase
  Your wonder, with an Apple; he thereat
  Offended, worth your laughter, hath giv'n up
  Both his beloved Man and all his World,
  To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,
  Without our hazard, labour or allarme,
  To range in, and to dwell, and over Man
  To rule, as over all he should have rul'd.
  True is, mee also he hath judg'd, or rather
  Mee not, but the brute Serpent in whose shape
  Man I deceav'd: that which to mee belongs,
  Is enmity, which he will put between
  Mee and Mankinde; I am to bruise his heel;
  His Seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head:
  A World who would not purchase with a bruise,
  Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th' account
  Of my performance: What remaines, ye Gods,
  But up and enter now into full bliss.
    So having said, a while he stood, expecting
  Thir universal shout and high applause
  To fill his eare, when contrary he hears
  On all sides, from innumerable tongues
  A dismal universal hiss, the sound
  Of public scorn; he wonderd, but not long
  Had leasure, wondring at himself now more;
  His Visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
  His Armes clung to his Ribs, his Leggs entwining
  Each other, till supplanted down he fell
  A monstrous Serpent on his Belly prone,
  Reluctant, but in vaine, a greater power
  Now rul'd him, punisht in the shape he sin'd,
  According to his doom: he would have spoke,
  But hiss for hiss returnd with forked tongue
  To forked tongue, for now were all transform'd
  Alike, to Serpents all as accessories
  To his bold Riot: dreadful was the din
  Of hissing through the Hall, thick swarming now
  With complicated monsters, head and taile,
  Scorpion and Asp, and AMPHISBAENA dire,
  CERASTES hornd, HYDRUS, and ELLOPS drear,
  And DIPSAS (Not so thick swarm'd once the Soil
  Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the Isle
  OPHIUSA) but still greatest hee the midst,
  Now Dragon grown, larger then whom the Sun
  Ingenderd in the PYTHIAN Vale on slime,
  Huge PYTHON, and his Power no less he seem'd
  Above the rest still to retain; they all
  Him follow'd issuing forth to th' open Field,
  Where all yet left of that revolted Rout
  Heav'n-fall'n, in station stood or just array,
  Sublime with expectation when to see
  In Triumph issuing forth thir glorious Chief;
  They saw, but other sight instead, a crowd
  Of ugly Serpents; horror on them fell,
  And horrid sympathie; for what they saw,
  They felt themselvs now changing; down thir arms,
  Down fell both Spear and Shield, down they as fast,
  And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire form
  Catcht by Contagion, like in punishment,
  As in thir crime. Thus was th' applause they meant,
  Turnd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame
  Cast on themselves from thir own mouths. There stood
  A Grove hard by, sprung up with this thir change,
  His will who reigns above, to aggravate
  Thir penance, laden with fair Fruit, like that
  VVhich grew in Paradise, the bait of EVE
  Us'd by the Tempter: on that prospect strange
  Thir earnest eyes they fix'd, imagining
  For one forbidden Tree a multitude
  Now ris'n, to work them furder woe or shame;
  Yet parcht with scalding thurst and hunger fierce,
  Though to delude them sent, could not abstain,
  But on they rould in heaps, and up the Trees
  Climbing, sat thicker then the snakie locks
  That curld MEGAERA: greedily they pluck'd
  The Frutage fair to sight, like that which grew
  Neer that bituminous Lake where SODOM flam'd;
  This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
  Deceav'd; they fondly thinking to allay
  Thir appetite with gust, instead of Fruit
  Chewd bitter Ashes, which th' offended taste
  VVith spattering noise rejected: oft they assayd,
  Hunger and thirst constraining, drugd as oft,
  VVith hatefullest disrelish writh'd thir jaws
  VVith foot and cinders fill'd; so oft they fell
  Into the same illusion, not as Man
  Whom they triumph'd once lapst. Thus were they plagu'd
  And worn with Famin, long and ceasless hiss,
  Till thir lost shape, permitted, they resum'd,
  Yearly enjoynd, some say, to undergo
  This annual humbling certain number'd days,
  To dash thir pride, and joy for Man seduc't.
  However some tradition they dispers'd
  Among the Heathen of thir purchase got,
  And Fabl'd how the Serpent, whom they calld
  OPHION with EURYNOME, the wide-
  Encroaching EVE perhaps, had first the rule
  Of high OLYMPUS, thence by SATURN driv'n
  And OPS, ere yet DICTAEAN JOVE was born.
  Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair
  Too soon arriv'd, SIN there in power before,
  Once actual, now in body, and to dwell
  Habitual habitant; behind her DEATH
  Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
  On his pale Horse: to whom SIN thus began.
    Second of SATAN sprung, all conquering Death,
  What thinkst thou of our Empire now, though earnd
  With travail difficult, not better farr
  Then stil at Hels dark threshold to have sate watch,
  Unnam'd, undreaded, and thy self half starv'd?
    Whom thus the Sin-born Monster answerd soon.
  To mee, who with eternal Famin pine,
  Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven,
  There best, where most with ravin I may meet;
  Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems
  To stuff this Maw, this vast unhide-bound Corps.
    To whom th' incestuous Mother thus repli'd.
  Thou therefore on these Herbs, and Fruits, & Flours
  Feed first, on each Beast next, and Fish, and Fowle,
  No homely morsels, and whatever thing
  The Sithe of Time mowes down, devour unspar'd,
  Till I in Man residing through the Race,
  His thoughts, his looks, words, actions all infect,
  And season him thy last and sweetest prey.
    This said, they both betook them several wayes,
  Both to destroy, or unimmortal make
  All kinds, and for destruction to mature
  Sooner or later; which th' Almightie seeing,
  From his transcendent Seat the Saints among,
  To those bright Orders utterd thus his voice.
    See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance
  To waste and havoc yonder VVorld, which I
  So fair and good created, and had still
  Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man
  Let in these wastful Furies, who impute
  Folly to mee, so doth the Prince of Hell
  And his Adherents, that with so much ease
  I suffer them to enter and possess
  A place so heav'nly, and conniving seem
  To gratifie my scornful Enemies,
  That laugh, as if transported with some fit
  Of Passion, I to them had quitted all,
  At random yeilded up to their misrule;
  And know not that I call'd and drew them thither
  My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth
  Which mans polluting Sin with taint hath shed
  On what was pure, till cramm'd and gorg'd, nigh burst
  With suckt and glutted offal, at one fling
  Of thy victorious Arm, well-pleasing Son,
  Both SIN, and DEATH, and yawning GRAVE at last
  Through CHAOS hurld, obstruct the mouth of Hell
  For ever, and seal up his ravenous Jawes.
  Then Heav'n and Earth renewd shall be made pure
  To sanctitie that shall receive no staine:
  Till then the Curse pronounc't on both precedes.
    Hee ended, and the heav'nly Audience loud
  Sung HALLELUIA, as the sound of Seas,
  Through multitude that sung: Just are thy ways,
  Righteous are thy Decrees on all thy Works;
  Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son,
  Destin'd restorer of Mankind, by whom
  New Heav'n and Earth shall to the Ages rise,
  Or down from Heav'n descend. Such was thir song,
  While the Creator calling forth by name
  His mightie Angels gave them several charge,
  As sorted best with present things. The Sun
  Had first his precept so to move, so shine,
  As might affect the Earth with cold and heat
  Scarce tollerable, and from the North to call
  Decrepit Winter, from the South to bring
  Solstitial summers heat. To the blanc Moone
  Her office they prescrib'd, to th' other five
  Thir planetarie motions and aspects
  Of noxious efficacie, and when to joyne
  In Synod unbenigne, and taught the fixt
  Thir influence malignant when to showre,
  Which of them rising with the Sun, or falling,
  Should prove tempestuous: To the Winds they set
  Thir corners, when with bluster to confound
  Sea, Aire, and Shoar, the Thunder when to rowle
  With terror through the dark Aereal Hall.
  Some say he bid his Angels turne ascanse
  The Poles of Earth twice ten degrees and more
  From the Suns Axle; they with labour push'd
  Oblique the Centric Globe: Som say the Sun
  Was bid turn Reines from th' Equinoctial Rode
  Like distant breadth to TAURUS with the Seav'n
  ATLANTICK Sisters, and the SPARTAN Twins
  Up to the TROPIC Crab; thence down amaine
  By LEO and the VIRGIN and the SCALES,
  As deep as CAPRICORNE, to bring in change
  Of Seasons to each Clime; else had the Spring
  Perpetual smil'd on Earth with vernant Flours,
  Equal in Days and Nights, except to those
  Beyond the Polar Circles; to them Day
  Had unbenighted shon, while the low Sun
  To recompence his distance, in thir sight
  Had rounded still th' HORIZON, and not known
  Or East or West, which had forbid the Snow
  From cold ESTOTILAND, and South as farr
  Beneath MAGELLAN. At that tasted Fruit
  The Sun, as from THYESTEAN Banquet, turn'd
  His course intended; else how had the World
  Inhabited, though sinless, more then now,
  Avoided pinching cold and scorching heate?
  These changes in the Heav'ns, though slow, produc'd
  Like change on Sea and Land, sideral blast,
  Vapour, and Mist, and Exhalation hot,
  Corrupt and Pestilent: Now from the North
  Of NORUMBEGA, and the SAMOED shoar
  Bursting thir brazen Dungeon, armd with ice
  And snow and haile and stormie gust and flaw,
  And THRASCIAS rend the Woods and Seas upturn;
  With adverse blast up-turns them from the South
  NOTUS and AFER black with thundrous Clouds
  From SERRALIONA; thwart of these as fierce
  Forth rush the LEVANT and the PONENT VVindes
  EURUS and ZEPHIR with thir lateral noise,
  SIROCCO, and LIBECCHIO. Thus began
  Outrage from liveless things; but Discord first
  Daughter of Sin, among th' irrational,
  Death introduc'd through fierce antipathie:
  Beast now with Beast gan war, & Fowle with Fowle,
  And Fish with Fish; to graze the Herb all leaving,
  Devourd each other; nor stood much in awe
  Of Man, but fled him, or with count'nance grim
  Glar'd on him passing: these were from without
  The growing miseries, which ADAM saw
  Alreadie in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,
  To sorrow abandond, but worse felt within,
  And in a troubl'd Sea of passion tost,
  Thus to disburd'n sought with sad complaint.
    O miserable of happie! is this the end
  Of this new glorious World, and mee so late
  The Glory of that Glory, who now becom
  Accurst of blessed, hide me from the face
  Of God, whom to behold was then my highth
  Of happiness: yet well, if here would end
  The miserie, I deserv'd it, and would beare
  My own deservings; but this will not serve;
  All that I eate or drink, or shall beget,
  Is propagated curse. O voice once heard
  Now death to heare! for what can I encrease
  Or multiplie, but curses on my head?
  Who of all Ages to succeed, but feeling
  The evil on him brought by me, will curse
  My Head, Ill fare our Ancestor impure,
  For this we may thank ADAM; but his thanks
  Shall be the execration; so besides
  Mine own that bide upon me, all from mee
  Shall with a fierce reflux on mee redound,
  On mee as on thir natural center light
  Heavie, though in thir place. O fleeting joyes
  Of Paradise, deare bought with lasting woes!
  Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay
  To mould me Man, did I sollicite thee
  From darkness to promote me, or here place
  In this delicious Garden? as my Will
  Concurd not to my being, it were but right
  And equal to reduce me to my dust,
  Desirous to resigne, and render back
  All I receav'd, unable to performe
  Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
  The good I sought not. To the loss of that,
  Sufficient penaltie, why hast thou added
  The sense of endless woes? inexplicable
  Thy Justice seems; yet to say truth, too late,
  I thus contest; then should have been refusd
  Those terms whatever, when they were propos'd:
  Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good,
  Then cavil the conditions? and though God
  Made thee without thy leave, what if thy Son
  Prove disobedient, and reprov'd, retort,
  Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not:
  Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee
  That proud excuse? yet him not thy election,
  But Natural necessity begot.
  God made thee of choice his own, and of his own
  To serve him, thy reward was of his grace,
  Thy punishment then justly is at his Will.
  Be it so, for I submit, his doom is fair,
  That dust I am, and shall to dust returne:
  O welcom hour whenever! why delayes
  His hand to execute what his Decree
  Fixd on this day? why do I overlive,
  Why am I mockt with death, and length'nd out
  To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet
  Mortalitie my sentence, and be Earth
  Insensible, how glad would lay me down
  As in my Mothers lap? there I should rest
  And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
  Would Thunder in my ears, no fear of worse
  To mee and to my ofspring would torment me
  With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
  Pursues me still, least all I cannot die,
  Least that pure breath of Life, the Spirit of Man
  Which God inspir'd, cannot together perish
  With this corporeal Clod; then in the Grave,
  Or in some other dismal place, who knows
  But I shall die a living Death? O thought
  Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath
  Of Life that sinn'd; what dies but what had life
  And sin? the Bodie properly hath neither.
  All of me then shall die: let this appease
  The doubt, since humane reach no further knows.
  For though the Lord of all be infinite,
  Is his wrauth also? be it, man is not so,
  But mortal doom'd. How can he exercise
  Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end?
  Can he make deathless Death? that were to make
  Strange contradiction, which to God himself
  Impossible is held, as Argument
  Of weakness, not of Power. Will he, draw out,
  For angers sake, finite to infinite
  In punisht man, to satisfie his rigour
  Satisfi'd never; that were to extend
  His Sentence beyond dust and Natures Law,
  By which all Causes else according still
  To the reception of thir matter act,
  Not to th' extent of thir own Spheare. But say
  That Death be not one stroak, as I suppos'd,
  Bereaving sense, but endless miserie
  From this day onward, which I feel begun
  Both in me, and without me, and so last
  To perpetuitie; Ay me, that fear
  Comes thundring back with dreadful revolution
  On my defensless head; both Death and I
  Am found Eternal, and incorporate both,
  Nor I on my part single, in mee all
  Posteritie stands curst: Fair Patrimonie
  That I must leave ye, Sons; O were I able
  To waste it all my self, and leave ye none!
  So disinherited how would ye bless
  Me now your Curse! Ah, why should all mankind
  For one mans fault thus guiltless be condemn'd,
  If guiltless? But from mee what can proceed,
  But all corrupt, both Mind and Will deprav'd,
  Not to do onely, but to will the same
  With me? how can they acquitted stand
  In sight of God? Him after all Disputes
  Forc't I absolve: all my evasions vain
  And reasonings, though through Mazes, lead me still
  But to my own conviction: first and last
  On mee, mee onely, as the sourse and spring
  Of all corruption, all the blame lights due;
  So might the wrauth, Fond wish! couldst thou support
  That burden heavier then the Earth to bear,
  Then all the world much heavier, though divided
  With that bad Woman? Thus what thou desir'st,
  And what thou fearst, alike destroyes all hope
  Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable
  Beyond all past example and future,
  To SATAN onely like both crime and doom.
  O Conscience, into what Abyss of fears
  And horrors hast thou driv'n me; out of which
  I find no way, from deep to deeper plung'd!
    Thus ADAM to himself lamented loud
  Through the still Night, now now, as ere man fell,
  Wholsom and cool, and mild, but with black Air
  Accompanied, with damps and dreadful gloom,
  Which to his evil Conscience represented
  All things with double terror: On the ground
  Outstretcht he lay, on the cold ground, and oft
  Curs'd his Creation, Death as oft accus'd
  Of tardie execution, since denounc't
  The day of his offence. Why comes not Death,
  Said hee, with one thrice acceptable stroke
  To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word,
  Justice Divine not hast'n to be just?
  But Death comes not at call, Justice Divine
  Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries.
  O Woods, O Fountains, Hillocks, Dales and Bowrs,
  VVith other echo farr I taught your Shades
  To answer, and resound farr other Song.
  VVhom thus afflicted when sad EVE beheld,
  Desolate where she sate, approaching nigh,
  Soft words to his fierce passion she assay'd:
  But her with stern regard he thus repell'd.
    Out of my sight, thou Serpent, that name best
  Befits thee with him leagu'd, thy self as false
  And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,
  Like his, and colour Serpentine may shew
  Thy inward fraud, to warn all Creatures from thee
  Henceforth; least that too heav'nly form, pretended
  To hellish falshood, snare them. But for thee
  I had persisted happie, had not thy pride
  And wandring vanitie, when lest was safe,
  Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd
  Not to be trusted, longing to be seen
  Though by the Devil himself, him overweening
  To over-reach, but with the Serpent meeting
  Fool'd and beguil'd, by him thou, I by thee,
  To trust thee from my side, imagin'd wise,
  Constant, mature, proof against all assaults,
  And understood not all was but a shew
  Rather then solid vertu, all but a Rib
  Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears,
  More to the part sinister from me drawn,
  Well if thrown out, as supernumerarie
  To my just number found. O why did God,
  Creator wise, that peopl'd highest Heav'n
  With Spirits Masculine, create at last
  This noveltie on Earth, this fair defect
  Of Nature, and not fill the World at once
  With Men as Angels without Feminine,
  Or find some other way to generate
  Mankind? this mischief had not then befall'n,
  And more that shall befall, innumerable
  Disturbances on Earth through Femal snares,
  And straight conjunction with this Sex: for either
  He never shall find out fit Mate, but such
  As some misfortune brings him, or mistake,
  Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain
  Through her perverseness, but shall see her gaind
  By a farr worse, or if she love, withheld
  By Parents, or his happiest choice too late
  Shall meet, alreadie linkt and Wedlock-bound
  To a fell Adversarie, his hate or shame:
  Which infinite calamitie shall cause
  To humane life, and houshold peace confound.
    He added not, and from her turn'd, but EVE
  Not so repulst, with Tears that ceas'd not flowing,
  And tresses all disorderd, at his feet
  Fell humble, and imbracing them, besaught
  His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.
    Forsake me not thus, ADAM, witness Heav'n
  What love sincere, and reverence in my heart
  I beare thee, and unweeting have offended,
  Unhappilie deceav'd; thy suppliant
  I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,
  Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
  Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,
  My onely strength and stay: forlorn of thee,
  Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
  While yet we live, scarse one short hour perhaps,
  Between us two let there be peace, both joyning,
  As joyn'd in injuries, one enmitie
  Against a Foe by doom express assign'd us,
  That cruel Serpent: On me exercise not
  Thy hatred for this miserie befall'n,
  On me already lost, mee then thy self
  More miserable; both have sin'd, but thou
  Against God onely, I against God and thee,
  And to the place of judgement will return,
  There with my cries importune Heaven, that all
  The sentence from thy head remov'd may light
  On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe,
  Mee mee onely just object of his ire.
    She ended weeping, and her lowlie plight,
  Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault
  Acknowledg'd and deplor'd, in ADAM wraught
  Commiseration; soon his heart relented
  Towards her, his life so late and sole delight,
  Now at his feet submissive in distress,
  Creature so faire his reconcilement seeking,
  His counsel whom she had displeas'd, his aide;
  As one disarm'd, his anger all he lost,
  And thus with peaceful words uprais'd her soon.
    Unwarie, and too desirous, as before,
  So now of what thou knowst not, who desir'st
  The punishment all on thy self; alas,
  Beare thine own first, ill able to sustaine
  His full wrauth whose thou feelst as yet lest part,
  And my displeasure bearst so ill. If Prayers
  Could alter high Decrees, I to that place
  Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,
  That on my head all might be visited,
  Thy frailtie and infirmer Sex forgiv'n,
  To me committed and by me expos'd.
  But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
  Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere, but strive
  In offices of Love, how we may light'n
  Each others burden in our share of woe;
  Since this days Death denounc't, if ought I see,
  Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac't evill,
  A long days dying to augment our paine,
  And to our Seed (O hapless Seed!) deriv'd.
    To whom thus EVE, recovering heart, repli'd.
  ADAM, by sad experiment I know
  How little weight my words with thee can finde,
  Found so erroneous, thence by just event
  Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,
  Restor'd by thee, vile as I am, to place
  Of new acceptance, hopeful to regaine
  Thy Love, the sole contentment of my heart,
  Living or dying from thee I will not hide
  What thoughts in my unquiet brest are ris'n,
  Tending to som relief of our extremes,
  Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,
  As in our evils, and of easier choice.
  If care of our descent perplex us most,
  Which must be born to certain woe, devourd
  By Death at last, and miserable it is
  To be to others cause of misery,
  Our own begotten, and of our Loines to bring
  Into this cursed World a woful Race,
  That after wretched Life must be at last
  Food for so foule a Monster, in thy power
  It lies, yet ere Conception to prevent
  The Race unblest, to being yet unbegot.
  Childless thou art, Childless remaine:
  So Death shall be deceav'd his glut, and with us two
  Be forc'd to satisfie his Rav'nous Maw.
  But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
  Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
  From Loves due Rites, Nuptial embraces sweet,
  And with desire to languish without hope,
  Before the present object languishing
  With like desire, which would be miserie
  And torment less then none of what we dread,
  Then both our selves and Seed at once to free
  From what we fear for both, let us make short,
  Let us seek Death, or hee not found, supply
  With our own hands his Office on our selves;
  Why stand we longer shivering under feares,
  That shew no end but Death, and have the power,
  Of many wayes to die the shortest choosing,
  Destruction with destruction to destroy.
    She ended heer, or vehement despaire
  Broke off the rest; so much of Death her thoughts
  Had entertaind, as di'd her Cheeks with pale.
  But ADAM with such counsel nothing sway'd,
  To better hopes his more attentive minde
  Labouring had rais'd, and thus to EVE repli'd.
    EVE, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
  To argue in thee somthing more sublime
  And excellent then what thy minde contemnes;
  But self-destruction therefore saught, refutes
  That excellence thought in thee, and implies,
  Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
  For loss of life and pleasure overlov'd.
  Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
  Of miserie, so thinking to evade
  The penaltie pronounc't, doubt not but God
  Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire then so
  To be forestall'd; much more I fear least Death
  So snatcht will not exempt us from the paine
  We are by doom to pay; rather such acts
  Of contumacie will provoke the highest
  To make death in us live: Then let us seek
  Som safer resolution, which methinks
  I have in view, calling to minde with heed
  Part of our Sentence, that thy Seed shall bruise
  The Serpents head; piteous amends, unless
  Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand Foe
  SATAN, who in the Serpent hath contriv'd
  Against us this deceit: to crush his head
  Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost
  By death brought on our selves, or childless days
  Resolv'd, as thou proposest; so our Foe
  Shall scape his punishment ordain'd, and wee
  Instead shall double ours upon our heads.
  No more be mention'd then of violence
  Against our selves, and wilful barrenness,
  That cuts us off from hope, and savours onely
  Rancor and pride, impatience and despite,
  Reluctance against God and his just yoke
  Laid on our Necks. Remember with what mild
  And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd
  Without wrauth or reviling; wee expected
  Immediate dissolution, which we thought
  Was meant by Death that day, when lo, to thee
  Pains onely in Child-bearing were foretold,
  And bringing forth, soon recompenc't with joy,
  Fruit of thy Womb: On mee the Curse aslope
  Glanc'd on the ground, with labour I must earne
  My bread; what harm? Idleness had bin worse;
  My labour will sustain me; and least Cold
  Or Heat should injure us, his timely care
  Hath unbesaught provided, and his hands
  Cloath'd us unworthie, pitying while he judg'd;
  How much more, if we pray him, will his ear
  Be open, and his heart to pitie incline,
  And teach us further by what means to shun
  Th' inclement Seasons, Rain, Ice, Hail and Snow,
  Which now the Skie with various Face begins
  To shew us in this Mountain, while the Winds
  Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
  Of these fair spreading Trees; which bids us seek
  Som better shroud, som better warmth to cherish
  Our Limbs benumm'd, ere this diurnal Starr
  Leave cold the Night, how we his gather'd beams
  Reflected, may with matter sere foment,
  Or by collision of two bodies grinde
  The Air attrite to Fire, as late the Clouds
  Justling or pusht with Winds rude in thir shock
  Tine the slant Lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n down
  Kindles the gummie bark of Firr or Pine,
  And sends a comfortable heat from farr,
  Which might supplie the Sun: such Fire to use,
  And what may else be remedie or cure
  To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought,
  Hee will instruct us praying, and of Grace
  Beseeching him, so as we need not fear
  To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
  By him with many comforts, till we end
  In dust, our final rest and native home.
  What better can we do, then to the place
  Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall
  Before him reverent, and there confess
  Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
  VVatering the ground, and with our sighs the Air
  Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
  Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.
  Undoubtedly he will relent and turn
  From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
  VVhen angry most he seem'd and most severe,
  VVhat else but favor, grace, and mercie shon?
    So spake our Father penitent, nor EVE
  Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
  Repairing where he judg'd them prostrate fell
  Before him reverent, and both confess'd
  Humbly thir faults, and pardon beg'd, with tears
  VVatering the ground, and with thir sighs the Air
  Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
  Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.

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