Paradise Lost

by John Milton

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Book X

Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood
  Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above
  Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd
  The stonie from thir hearts, and made new flesh
  Regenerat grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
  Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
  Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight
  Then loudest Oratorie: yet thir port
  Not of mean suiters, nor important less
  Seem'd thir Petition, then when th' ancient Pair
  In Fables old, less ancient yet then these,
  DEUCALION and chaste PYRRHA to restore
  The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine
  Of THEMIS stood devout. To Heav'n thir prayers
  Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious windes
  Blow'n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd
  Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then clad
  With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd,
  By thir great Intercessor, came in sight
  Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son
  Presenting, thus to intercede began.
    See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung
  From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs
  And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt
  With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring,
  Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
  Sow'n with contrition in his heart, then those
  Which his own hand manuring all the Trees
  Of Paradise could have produc't, ere fall'n
  From innocence. Now therefore bend thine eare
  To supplication, heare his sighs though mute;
  Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee
  Interpret for him, mee his Advocate
  And propitiation, all his works on mee
  Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those
  Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay.
  Accept me, and in mee from these receave
  The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live
  Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
  Numberd, though sad, till Death, his doom (which I
  To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)
  To better life shall yeeld him, where with mee
  All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss,
  Made one with me as I with thee am one.
    To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene.
  All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
  Obtain, all thy request was my Decree:
  But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
  The Law I gave to Nature him forbids:
  Those pure immortal Elements that know
  No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule,
  Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
  As a distemper, gross to aire as gross,
  And mortal food, as may dispose him best
  For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first
  Distemperd all things, and of incorrupt
  Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts
  Created him endowd, with Happiness
  And Immortalitie: that fondly lost,
  This other serv'd but to eternize woe;
  Till I provided Death; so Death becomes
  His final remedie, and after Life
  Tri'd in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
  By Faith and faithful works, to second Life,
  Wak't in the renovation of the just,
  Resignes him up with Heav'n and Earth renewd.
  But let us call to Synod all the Blest
  Through Heav'ns wide bounds; from them I will not hide
  My judgments, how with Mankind I proceed,
  As how with peccant Angels late they saw;
  And in thir state, though firm, stood more confirmd.
    He ended, and the Son gave signal high
  To the bright Minister that watchd, hee blew
  His Trumpet, heard in OREB since perhaps
  When God descended, and perhaps once more
  To sound at general Doom. Th' Angelic blast
  Filld all the Regions: from thir blissful Bowrs
  Of AMARANTIN Shade, Fountain or Spring,
  By the waters of Life, where ere they sate
  In fellowships of joy: the Sons of Light
  Hasted, resorting to the Summons high,
  And took thir Seats; till from his Throne supream
  Th' Almighty thus pronounced his sovran Will.
    O Sons, like one of us Man is become
  To know both Good and Evil, since his taste
  Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast
  His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got,
  Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known
  Good by it self, and Evil not at all.
  He sorrows now, repents, and prayes contrite,
  My motions in him, longer then they move,
  His heart I know, how variable and vain
  Self-left. Least therefore his now bolder hand
  Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
  And live for ever, dream at least to live
  Forever, to remove him I decree,
  And send him from the Garden forth to Till
  The Ground whence he was taken, fitter soile.
    MICHAEL, this my behest have thou in charge,
  Take to thee from among the Cherubim
  Thy choice of flaming Warriours, least the Fiend
  Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
  Vacant possession som new trouble raise:
  Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God
  Without remorse drive out the sinful Pair,
  From hallowd ground th' unholie, and denounce
  To them and to thir Progenie from thence
  Perpetual banishment. Yet least they faint
  At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd,
  For I behold them soft'nd and with tears
  Bewailing thir excess, all terror hide.
  If patiently thy bidding they obey,
  Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveale
  To ADAM what shall come in future dayes,
  As I shall thee enlighten, intermix
  My Cov'nant in the Womans seed renewd;
  So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
  And on the East side of the Garden place,
  Where entrance up from EDEN easiest climbes,
  Cherubic watch, and of a Sword the flame
  Wide waving, all approach farr off to fright,
  And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:
  Least Paradise a receptacle prove
  To Spirits foule, and all my Trees thir prey,
  With whose stol'n Fruit Man once more to delude.
    He ceas'd; and th' Archangelic Power prepar'd
  For swift descent, with him the Cohort bright
  Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each
  Had, like a double JANUS, all thir shape
  Spangl'd with eyes more numerous then those
  Of ARGUS, and more wakeful then to drouze,
  Charm'd with ARCADIAN Pipe, the Pastoral Reed
  Of HERMES, or his opiate Rod. Meanwhile
  To resalute the World with sacred Light
  LEUCOTHEA wak'd, and with fresh dews imbalmd
  The Earth, when ADAM and first Matron EVE
  Had ended now thir Orisons, and found,
  Strength added from above, new hope to spring
  Out of despaire, joy, but with fear yet linkt;
  Which thus to EVE his welcome words renewd.
    EVE, easily may Faith admit, that all
  The good which we enjoy, from Heav'n descends
  But that from us ought should ascend to Heav'n
  So prevalent as to concerne the mind
  Of God high blest, or to incline his will,
  Hard to belief may seem; yet this will Prayer,
  Or one short sigh of humane breath, up-borne
  Ev'n to the Seat of God. For since I saught
  By Prayer th' offended Deitie to appease,
  Kneel'd and before him humbl'd all my heart,
  Methought I saw him placable and mild,
  Bending his eare; perswasion in me grew
  That I was heard with favour; peace returnd
  Home to my brest, and to my memorie
  His promise, that thy Seed shall bruise our Foe;
  Which then not minded in dismay, yet now
  Assures me that the bitterness of death
  Is past, and we shall live. Whence Haile to thee,
  EVE rightly call'd, Mother of all Mankind,
  Mother of all things living, since by thee
  Man is to live, and all things live for Man.
    To whom thus EVE with sad demeanour meek.
  Ill worthie I such title should belong
  To me transgressour, who for thee ordaind
  A help, became thy snare; to mee reproach
  Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise:
  But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
  That I who first brought Death on all, am grac't
  The sourse of life; next favourable thou,
  Who highly thus to entitle me voutsaf't,
  Farr other name deserving. But the Field
  To labour calls us now with sweat impos'd,
  Though after sleepless Night; for see the Morn,
  All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins
  Her rosie progress smiling; let us forth,
  I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
  Wherere our days work lies, though now enjoind
  Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
  What can be toilsom in these pleasant Walkes?
  Here let us live, though in fall'n state, content.
    So spake, so wish'd much-humbl'd EVE, but Fate
  Subscrib'd not; Nature first gave Signs, imprest
  On Bird, Beast, Aire, Aire suddenly eclips'd
  After short blush of Morn; nigh in her sight
  The Bird of JOVE, stoopt from his aerie tour,
  Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove:
  Down from a Hill the Beast that reigns in Woods,
  First Hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace,
  Goodliest of all the Forrest, Hart and Hinde;
  Direct to th' Eastern Gate was bent thir flight.
  ADAM observ'd, and with his Eye the chase
  Pursuing, not unmov'd to EVE thus spake.
    O EVE, some furder change awaits us nigh,
  Which Heav'n by these mute signs in Nature shews
  Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn
  Us haply too secure of our discharge
  From penaltie, because from death releast
  Some days; how long, and what till then our life,
  Who knows, or more then this, that we are dust,
  And thither must return and be no more.
  VVhy else this double object in our sight
  Of flight pursu'd in th' Air and ore the ground
  One way the self-same hour? why in the East
  Darkness ere Dayes mid-course, and Morning light
  More orient in yon VVestern Cloud that draws
  O're the blew Firmament a radiant white,
  And slow descends, with somthing heav'nly fraught.
    He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly Bands
  Down from a Skie of Jasper lighted now
  In Paradise, and on a Hill made alt,
  A glorious Apparition, had not doubt
  And carnal fear that day dimm'd ADAMS eye.
  Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
  JACOB in MAHANAIM, where he saw
  The field Pavilion'd with his Guardians bright;
  Nor that which on the flaming Mount appeerd
  In DOTHAN, cover'd with a Camp of Fire,
  Against the SYRIAN King, who to surprize
  One man, Assassin-like had levied Warr,
  Warr unproclam'd. The Princely Hierarch
  In thir bright stand, there left his Powers to seise
  Possession of the Garden; hee alone,
  To finde where ADAM shelterd, took his way,
  Not unperceav'd of ADAM, who to EVE,
  While the great Visitant approachd, thus spake.
    EVE, now expect great tidings, which perhaps
  Of us will soon determin, or impose
  New Laws to be observ'd; for I descrie
  From yonder blazing Cloud that veils the Hill
  One of the heav'nly Host, and by his Gate
  None of the meanest, some great Potentate
  Or of the Thrones above, such Majestie
  Invests him coming; yet not terrible,
  That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
  As RAPHAEL, that I should much confide,
  But solemn and sublime, whom not to offend,
  With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.
  He ended; and th' Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
  Not in his shape Celestial, but as Man
  Clad to meet Man; over his lucid Armes
  A militarie Vest of purple flowd
  Livelier then MELIBOEAN, or the graine
  Of SARRA, worn by Kings and Hero's old
  In time of Truce; IRIS had dipt the wooff;
  His starrie Helme unbuckl'd shew'd him prime
  In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side
  As in a glistering ZODIAC hung the Sword,
  Satans dire dread, and in his hand the Spear.
  ADAM bowd low, hee Kingly from his State
  Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd.
    ADAM, Heav'ns high behest no Preface needs:
  Sufficient that thy Prayers are heard, and Death,
  Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
  Defeated of his seisure many dayes
  Giv'n thee of Grace, wherein thou may'st repent,
  And one bad act with many deeds well done
  Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord appeas'd
  Redeem thee quite from Deaths rapacious claimes;
  But longer in this Paradise to dwell
  Permits not; to remove thee I am come,
  And send thee from the Garden forth to till
  The ground whence thou wast tak'n, fitter Soile.
    He added not, for ADAM at the newes
  Heart-strook with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
  That all his senses bound; EVE, who unseen
  Yet all had heard, with audible lament
  Discover'd soon the place of her retire.
    O unexpected stroke, worse then of Death!
  Must I thus leave thee Paradise? thus leave
  Thee Native Soile, these happie Walks and Shades,
  Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,
  Quiet though sad, the respit of that day
  That must be mortal to us both. O flours,
  That never will in other Climate grow,
  My early visitation, and my last
  At Eev'n, which I bred up with tender hand
  From the first op'ning bud, and gave ye Names,
  Who now shall reare ye to the Sun, or ranke
  Your Tribes, and water from th' ambrosial Fount?
  Thee lastly nuptial Bowre, by mee adornd
  With what to sight or smell was sweet; from thee
  How shall I part, and whither wander down
  Into a lower World, to this obscure
  And wilde, how shall we breath in other Aire
  Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits?
    Whom thus the Angel interrupted milde.
  Lament not EVE, but patiently resigne
  What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
  Thus over fond, on that which is not thine;
  Thy going is not lonely, with thee goes
  Thy Husband, him to follow thou art bound;
  Where he abides, think there thy native soile.
    ADAM by this from the cold sudden damp
  Recovering, and his scatterd spirits returnd,
  To MICHAEL thus his humble words addressd.
    Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or nam'd
  Of them the Highest, for such of shape may seem
  Prince above Princes, gently hast thou tould
  Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
  And in performing end us; what besides
  Of sorrow and dejection and despair
  Our frailtie can sustain, thy tidings bring,
  Departure from this happy place, our sweet
  Recess, and onely consolation left
  Familiar to our eyes, all places else
  Inhospitable appeer and desolate,
  Nor knowing us nor known: and if by prayer
  Incessant I could hope to change the will
  Of him who all things can, I would not cease
  To wearie him with my assiduous cries:
  But prayer against his absolute Decree
  No more availes then breath against the winde,
  Blown stifling back on him that breaths it forth:
  Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
  This most afflicts me, that departing hence,
  As from his face I shall be hid, deprivd
  His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent,
  With worship, place by place where he voutsaf'd
  Presence Divine, and to my Sons relate;
  On this Mount he appeerd, under this Tree
  Stood visible, among these Pines his voice
  I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk'd:
  So many grateful Altars I would reare
  Of grassie Terfe, and pile up every Stone
  Of lustre from the brook, in memorie,
  Or monument to Ages, and thereon
  Offer sweet smelling Gumms & Fruits and Flours:
  In yonder nether World where shall I seek
  His bright appearances, or footstep trace?
  For though I fled him angrie, yet recall'd
  To life prolongd and promisd Race, I now
  Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
  Of glory, and farr off his steps adore.
    To whom thus MICHAEL with regard benigne.
  ADAM, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth
  Not this Rock onely; his Omnipresence fills
  Land, Sea, and Aire, and every kinde that lives,
  Fomented by his virtual power and warmd:
  All th' Earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
  No despicable gift; surmise not then
  His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd
  Of Paradise or EDEN: this had been
  Perhaps thy Capital Seate, from whence had spred
  All generations, and had hither come
  From all the ends of th' Earth, to celebrate
  And reverence thee thir great Progenitor.
  But this praeeminence thou hast lost, brought down
  To dwell on eeven ground now with thy Sons:
  Yet doubt not but in Vallie and in Plaine
  God is as here, and will be found alike
  Present, and of his presence many a signe
  Still following thee, still compassing thee round
  With goodness and paternal Love, his Face
  Express, and of his steps the track Divine.
  Which that thou mayst beleeve, and be confirmd,
  Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
  To shew thee what shall come in future dayes
  To thee and to thy Ofspring; good with bad
  Expect to hear, supernal Grace contending
  With sinfulness of Men; thereby to learn
  True patience, and to temper joy with fear
  And pious sorrow, equally enur'd
  By moderation either state to beare,
  Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead
  Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure
  Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
  This Hill; let EVE (for I have drencht her eyes)
  Here sleep below while thou to foresight wak'st,
  As once thou slepst, while Shee to life was formd.
    To whom thus ADAM gratefully repli'd.
  Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path
  Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heav'n submit,
  However chast'ning, to the evil turne
  My obvious breast, arming to overcom
  By suffering, and earne rest from labour won,
  If so I may attain. So both ascend
  In the Visions of God: It was a Hill
  Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
  The Hemisphere of Earth in cleerest Ken
  Stretcht out to amplest reach of prospect lay.
  Not higher that Hill nor wider looking round,
  Whereon for different cause the Tempter set
  Our second ADAM in the Wilderness,
  To shew him all Earths Kingdomes and thir Glory.
  His Eye might there command wherever stood
  City of old or modern Fame, the Seat
  Of mightiest Empire, from the destind Walls
  To PAQUIN of SINAEAN Kings, and thence
  To AGRA and LAHOR of great MOGUL
  Down to the golden CHERSONESE, or where
  The PERSIAN in ECBATAN sate, or since
  In HISPAHAN, or where the RUSSIAN KSAR
  In MOSCO, or the Sultan in BIZANCE,
  TURCHESTAN-born; nor could his eye not ken
  Th' Empire of NEGUS to his utmost Port
  ERCOCO and the less Maritine Kings
  And SOFALA thought OPHIR, to the Realme
  Of CONGO, and ANGOLA fardest South;
  Or thence from NIGER Flood to ATLAS Mount
  The Kingdoms of ALMANSOR, FEZ, and SUS,
  On EUROPE thence, and where ROME was to sway
  The VVorld: in Spirit perhaps he also saw
  Rich MEXICO the seat of MOTEZUME,
  And CUSCO in PERU, the richer seat
  Of ATABALIPA, and yet unspoil'd
  GUIANA, whose great Citie GERYONS Sons
  Call EL DORADO: but to nobler sights
  MICHAEL from ADAMS eyes the Filme remov'd
  VVhich that false Fruit that promis'd clearer sight
  Had bred; then purg'd with Euphrasie and Rue
  The visual Nerve, for he had much to see;
  And from the VVell of Life three drops instill'd.
  So deep the power of these Ingredients pierc'd,
  Eevn to the inmost seat of mental sight,
  That ADAM now enforc't to close his eyes,
  Sunk down and all his Spirits became intranst:
  But him the gentle Angel by the hand
  Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall'd.
    ADAM, now ope thine eyes, and first behold
  Th' effects which thy original crime hath wrought
  In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd
  Th' excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir'd,
  Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive
  Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds.
    His eyes he op'nd, and beheld a field,
  Part arable and tilth, whereon were Sheaves
  New reapt, the other part sheep-walks and foulds;
  Ith' midst an Altar as the Land-mark stood
  Rustic, of grassie sord; thither anon
  A sweatie Reaper from his Tillage brought
  First Fruits, the green Eare, and the yellow Sheaf,
  Uncull'd, as came to hand; a Shepherd next
  More meek came with the Firstlings of his Flock
  Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid
  The Inwards and thir Fat, with Incense strew'd,
  On the cleft Wood, and all due Rites perform'd.
  His Offring soon propitious Fire from Heav'n
  Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steame;
  The others not, for his was not sincere;
  Whereat hee inlie rag'd, and as they talk'd,
  Smote him into the Midriff with a stone
  That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale
  Groand out his Soul with gushing bloud effus'd.
  Much at that sight was ADAM in his heart
  Dismai'd, and thus in haste to th' Angel cri'd.
    O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n
  To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd;
  Is Pietie thus and pure Devotion paid?
    T' whom MICHAEL thus, hee also mov'd, repli'd.
  These two are Brethren, ADAM, and to come
  Out of thy loyns; th' unjust the just hath slain,
  For envie that his Brothers Offering found
  From Heav'n acceptance; but the bloodie Fact
  Will be aveng'd, and th' others Faith approv'd
  Loose no reward, though here thou see him die,
  Rowling in dust and gore. To which our Sire.
    Alas, both for the deed and for the cause!
  But have I now seen Death? Is this the way
  I must return to native dust? O sight
  Of terrour, foul and ugly to behold,
  Horrid to think, how horrible to feel!
    To whom thus MICHAEL. Death thou hast seen
  In his first shape on man; but many shapes
  Of Death, and many are the wayes that lead
  To his grim Cave, all dismal; yet to sense
  More terrible at th' entrance then within.
  Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die,
  By Fire, Flood, Famin, by Intemperance more
  In Meats and Drinks, which on the Earth shal bring
  Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
  Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know
  What miserie th' inabstinence of EVE
  Shall bring on men. Immediately a place
  Before his eyes appeard, sad, noysom, dark,
  A Lazar-house it seemd, wherein were laid
  Numbers of all diseas'd, all maladies
  Of gastly Spasm, or racking torture, qualmes
  Of heart-sick Agonie, all feavorous kinds,
  Convulsions, Epilepsies, fierce Catarrhs,
  Intestin Stone and Ulcer, Colic pangs,
  Dropsies, and Asthma's, and Joint-racking Rheums.
  Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, despair
  Tended the sick busiest from Couch to Couch;
  And over them triumphant Death his Dart
  Shook, but delaid to strike, though oft invok't
  With vows, as thir chief good, and final hope.
  Sight so deform what heart of Rock could long
  Drie-ey'd behold? ADAM could not, but wept,
  Though not of Woman born; compassion quell'd
  His best of Man, and gave him up to tears
  A space, till firmer thoughts restraind excess,
  And scarce recovering words his plaint renew'd.
    O miserable Mankind, to what fall
  Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd?
  Better end heer unborn. Why is life giv'n
  To be thus wrested from us? rather why
  Obtruded on us thus? who if we knew
  What we receive, would either not accept
  Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down,
  Glad to be so dismist in peace. Can thus
  Th' Image of God in man created once
  So goodly and erect, though faultie since,
  To such unsightly sufferings be debas't
  Under inhuman pains? Why should not Man,
  Retaining still Divine similitude
  In part, from such deformities be free,
  And for his Makers Image sake exempt?
    Thir Makers Image, answerd MICHAEL, then
  Forsook them, when themselves they villifi'd
  To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took
  His Image whom they serv'd, a brutish vice,
  Inductive mainly to the sin of EVE.
  Therefore so abject is thir punishment,
  Disfiguring not Gods likeness, but thir own,
  Or if his likeness, by themselves defac't
  While they pervert pure Natures healthful rules
  To loathsom sickness, worthily, since they
  Gods Image did not reverence in themselves.
    I yeild it just, said ADAM, and submit.
  But is there yet no other way, besides
  These painful passages, how we may come
  To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?
    There is, said MICHAEL, if thou well observe
  The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
  In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence
  Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
  Till many years over thy head return:
  So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop
  Into thy Mothers lap, or be with ease
  Gatherd, not harshly pluckt, for death mature:
  This is old age; but then thou must outlive
  Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
  To witherd weak & gray; thy Senses then
  Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forgoe,
  To what thou hast, and for the Aire of youth
  Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reigne
  A melancholly damp of cold and dry
  To waigh thy spirits down, and last consume
  The Balme of Life. To whom our Ancestor.
    Henceforth I flie not Death, nor would prolong
  Life much, bent rather how I may be quit
  Fairest and easiest of this combrous charge,
  Which I must keep till my appointed day
  Of rendring up. MICHAEL to him repli'd.
    Nor love thy Life, nor hate; but what thou livst
  Live well, how long or short permit to Heav'n:
  And now prepare thee for another sight.
    He lookd and saw a spacious Plaine, whereon
  Were Tents of various hue; by some were herds
  Of Cattel grazing: others, whence the sound
  Of Instruments that made melodious chime
  Was heard, of Harp and Organ; and who moovd
  Thir stops and chords was seen: his volant touch
  Instinct through all proportions low and high
  Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue.
  In other part stood one who at the Forge
  Labouring, two massie clods of Iron and Brass
  Had melted (whether found where casual fire
  Had wasted woods on Mountain or in Vale,
  Down to the veins of Earth, thence gliding hot
  To som Caves mouth, or whether washt by stream
  From underground) the liquid Ore he dreind
  Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he formd
  First his own Tooles; then, what might else be wrought
  Fulfil or grav'n in mettle. After these,
  But on the hether side a different sort
  From the high neighbouring Hills, which was thir Seat,
  Down to the Plain descended: by thir guise
  Just men they seemd, and all thir study bent
  To worship God aright, and know his works
  Not hid, nor those things lost which might preserve
  Freedom and Peace to men: they on the Plain
  Long had not walkt, when from the Tents behold
  A Beavie of fair Women, richly gay
  In Gems and wanton dress; to the Harp they sung
  Soft amorous Ditties, and in dance came on:
  The Men though grave, ey'd them, and let thir eyes
  Rove without rein, till in the amorous Net
  Fast caught, they lik'd, and each his liking chose;
  And now of love they treat till th' Eevning Star
  Loves Harbinger appeerd; then all in heat
  They light the Nuptial Torch, and bid invoke
  Hymen, then first to marriage Rites invok't;
  With Feast and Musick all the Tents resound.
  Such happy interview and fair event
  Of love & youth not lost, Songs, Garlands, Flours,
  And charming Symphonies attach'd the heart
  Of ADAM, soon enclin'd to admit delight,
  The bent of Nature; which he thus express'd.
    True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest,
  Much better seems this Vision, and more hope
  Of peaceful dayes portends, then those two past;
  Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse,
  Here Nature seems fulfilld in all her ends.
    To whom thus MICHAEL. Judg not what is best
  By pleasure, though to Nature seeming meet,
  Created, as thou art, to nobler end
  Holie and pure, conformitie divine.
  Those Tents thou sawst so pleasant, were the Tents
  Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his Race
  Who slew his Brother; studious they appere
  Of Arts that polish Life, Inventers rare,
  Unmindful of thir Maker, though his Spirit
  Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none.
  Yet they a beauteous ofspring shall beget;
  For that fair femal Troop thou sawst, that seemd
  Of Goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,
  Yet empty of all good wherein consists
  Womans domestic honour and chief praise;
  Bred onely and completed to the taste
  Of lustful apperence, to sing, to dance,
  To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roule the Eye.
  To these that sober Race of Men, whose lives
  Religious titl'd them the Sons of God,
  Shall yeild up all thir vertue, all thir fame
  Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles
  Of these fair Atheists, and now swim in joy,
  (Erelong to swim at larg) and laugh; for which
  The world erelong a world of tears must weepe.
    To whom thus ADAM of short joy bereft.
  O pittie and shame, that they who to live well
  Enterd so faire, should turn aside to tread
  Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint!
  But still I see the tenor of Mans woe
  Holds on the same, from Woman to begin.
    From Mans effeminate slackness it begins,
  Said th' Angel, who should better hold his place
  By wisdome, and superiour gifts receavd.
  But now prepare thee for another Scene.
    He lookd and saw wide Territorie spred
  Before him, Towns, and rural works between,
  Cities of Men with lofty Gates and Towrs,
  Concours in Arms, fierce Faces threatning Warr,
  Giants of mightie Bone, and bould emprise;
  Part wield thir Arms, part courb the foaming Steed,
  Single or in Array of Battel rang'd
  Both Horse and Foot, nor idely mustring stood;
  One way a Band select from forage drives
  A herd of Beeves, faire Oxen and faire Kine
  From a fat Meddow ground; or fleecy Flock,
  Ewes and thir bleating Lambs over the Plaine,
  Thir Bootie; scarce with Life the Shepherds flye,
  But call in aide, which tacks a bloody Fray;
  With cruel Tournament the Squadrons joine;
  Where Cattel pastur'd late, now scatterd lies
  With Carcasses and Arms th' ensanguind Field
  Deserted: Others to a Citie strong
  Lay Siege, encampt; by Batterie, Scale, and Mine,
  Assaulting; others from the Wall defend
  With Dart and Jav'lin, Stones and sulfurous Fire;
  On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds.
  In other part the scepter'd Haralds call
  To Council in the Citie Gates: anon
  Grey-headed men and grave, with Warriours mixt,
  Assemble, and Harangues are heard, but soon
  In factious opposition, till at last
  Of middle Age one rising, eminent
  In wise deport, spake much of Right and Wrong,
  Of Justice, of Religion, Truth and Peace,
  And Judgement from above: him old and young
  Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands,
  Had not a Cloud descending snatch'd him thence
  Unseen amid the throng: so violence
  Proceeded, and Oppression, and Sword-Law
  Through all the Plain, and refuge none was found.
  ADAM was all in tears, and to his guide
  Lamenting turnd full sad; O what are these,
  Deaths Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death
  Inhumanly to men, and multiply
  Ten thousand fould the sin of him who slew
  His Brother; for of whom such massacher
  Make they but of thir Brethren, men of men?
  But who was that Just Man, whom had not Heav'n
  Rescu'd, had in his Righteousness bin lost?
    To whom thus MICHAEL; These are the product
  Of those ill-mated Marriages thou saw'st;
  Where good with bad were matcht, who of themselves
  Abhor to joyn; and by imprudence mixt,
  Produce prodigious Births of bodie or mind.
  Such were these Giants, men of high renown;
  For in those dayes Might onely shall be admir'd,
  And Valour and Heroic Vertu call'd;
  To overcome in Battel, and subdue
  Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite
  Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
  Of human Glorie, and for Glorie done
  Of triumph, to be styl'd great Conquerours,
  Patrons of Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods,
  Destroyers rightlier call'd and Plagues of men.
  Thus Fame shall be achiev'd, renown on Earth,
  And what most merits fame in silence hid.
  But hee the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldst
  The onely righteous in a World perverse,
  And therefore hated, therefore so beset
  With Foes for daring single to be just,
  And utter odious Truth, that God would come
  To judge them with his Saints: Him the most High
  Rapt in a balmie Cloud with winged Steeds
  Did, as thou sawst, receave, to walk with God
  High in Salvation and the Climes of bliss,
  Exempt from Death; to shew thee what reward
  Awaits the good, the rest what punishment;
  Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold.
    He look'd, & saw the face of things quite chang'd;
  The brazen Throat of Warr had ceast to roar,
  All now was turn'd to jollitie and game,
  To luxurie and riot, feast and dance,
  Marrying or prostituting, as befell,
  Rape or Adulterie, where passing faire
  Allurd them; thence from Cups to civil Broiles.
  At length a Reverend Sire among them came,
  And of thir doings great dislike declar'd,
  And testifi'd against thir wayes; hee oft
  Frequented thir Assemblies, whereso met,
  Triumphs or Festivals, and to them preachd
  Conversion and Repentance, as to Souls
  In prison under Judgements imminent:
  But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas'd
  Contending, and remov'd his Tents farr off;
  Then from the Mountain hewing Timber tall,
  Began to build a Vessel of huge bulk,
  Measur'd by Cubit, length, & breadth, and highth,
  Smeard round with Pitch, and in the side a dore
  Contriv'd, and of provisions laid in large
  For Man and Beast: when loe a wonder strange!
  Of everie Beast, and Bird, and Insect small
  Came seavens, and pairs, and enterd in, as taught
  Thir order; last the Sire, and his three Sons
  With thir four Wives, and God made fast the dore.
  Meanwhile the Southwind rose, & with black wings
  Wide hovering, all the Clouds together drove
  From under Heav'n; the Hills to their supplie
  Vapour, and Exhalation dusk and moist,
  Sent up amain; and now the thick'nd Skie
  Like a dark Ceeling stood; down rush'd the Rain
  Impetuous, and continu'd till the Earth
  No more was seen; the floating Vessel swum
  Uplifted; and secure with beaked prow
  Rode tilting o're the Waves, all dwellings else
  Flood overwhelmd, and them with all thir pomp
  Deep under water rould; Sea cover'd Sea,
  Sea without shoar; and in thir Palaces
  Where luxurie late reign'd, Sea-monsters whelp'd
  And stabl'd; of Mankind, so numerous late,
  All left, in one small bottom swum imbark't.
  How didst thou grieve then, ADAM, to behold
  The end of all thy Ofspring, end so sad,
  Depopulation; thee another Floud,
  Of tears and sorrow a Floud thee also drown'd,
  And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently reard
  By th' Angel, on thy feet thou stoodst at last,
  Though comfortless, as when a Father mourns
  His Childern, all in view destroyd at once;
  And scarce to th' Angel utterdst thus thy plaint.
    O Visions ill foreseen! better had I
  Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne
  My part of evil onely, each dayes lot
  Anough to bear; those now, that were dispenst
  The burd'n of many Ages, on me light
  At once, by my foreknowledge gaining Birth
  Abortive, to torment me ere thir being,
  With thought that they must be. Let no man seek
  Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall
  Him or his Childern, evil he may be sure,
  Which neither his foreknowing can prevent,
  And hee the future evil shall no less
  In apprehension then in substance feel
  Grievous to bear: but that care now is past,
  Man is not whom to warne: those few escap't
  Famin and anguish will at last consume
  Wandring that watrie Desert: I had hope
  When violence was ceas't, and Warr on Earth,
  All would have then gon well, peace would have crownd
  With length of happy days the race of man;
  But I was farr deceav'd; for now I see
  Peace to corrupt no less then Warr to waste.
  How comes it thus? unfould, Celestial Guide,
  And whether here the Race of man will end.
  To whom thus MICHAEL. Those whom last thou sawst
  In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they
  First seen in acts of prowess eminent
  And great exploits, but of true vertu void;
  Who having spilt much blood, and don much waste
  Subduing Nations, and achievd thereby
  Fame in the World, high titles, and rich prey,
  Shall change thir course to pleasure, ease, and sloth,
  Surfet, and lust, till wantonness and pride
  Raise out of friendship hostil deeds in Peace.
  The conquerd also, and enslav'd by Warr
  Shall with thir freedom lost all vertu loose
  And feare of God, from whom thir pietie feign'd
  In sharp contest of Battel found no aide
  Against invaders; therefore coold in zeale
  Thenceforth shall practice how to live secure,
  Worldlie or dissolute, on what thir Lords
  Shall leave them to enjoy; for th' Earth shall bear
  More then anough, that temperance may be tri'd:
  So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd,
  Justice and Temperance, Truth and Faith forgot;
  One Man except, the onely Son of light
  In a dark Age, against example good,
  Against allurement, custom, and a World
  Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,
  Or violence, hee of thir wicked wayes
  Shall them admonish, and before them set
  The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,
  And full of peace, denouncing wrauth to come
  On thir impenitence; and shall returne
  Of them derided, but of God observd
  The one just Man alive; by his command
  Shall build a wondrous Ark, as thou beheldst,
  To save himself and houshold from amidst
  A World devote to universal rack.
  No sooner hee with them of Man and Beast
  Select for life shall in the Ark be lodg'd,
  And shelterd round, but all the Cataracts
  Of Heav'n set open on the Earth shall powre
  Raine day and night, all fountaines of the Deep
  Broke up, shall heave the Ocean to usurp
  Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise
  Above the highest Hills: then shall this Mount
  Of Paradise by might of Waves be moovd
  Out of his place, pushd by the horned floud,
  With all his verdure spoil'd, and Trees adrift
  Down the great River to the op'ning Gulf,
  And there take root an Iland salt and bare,
  The haunt of Seales and Orcs, and Sea-mews clang.
  To teach thee that God attributes to place
  No sanctitie, if none be thither brought
  By Men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
  And now what further shall ensue, behold.
    He lookd, and saw the Ark hull on the floud,
  Which now abated, for the Clouds were fled,
  Drivn by a keen North-winde, that blowing drie
  Wrinkl'd the face of Deluge, as decai'd;
  And the cleer Sun on his wide watrie Glass
  Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh Wave largely drew,
  As after thirst, which made thir flowing shrink
  From standing lake to tripping ebbe, that stole
  With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt
  His Sluces, as the Heav'n his windows shut.
  The Ark no more now flotes, but seems on ground
  Fast on the top of som high mountain fixt.
  And now the tops of Hills as Rocks appeer;
  With clamor thence the rapid Currents drive
  Towards the retreating Sea thir furious tyde.
  Forthwith from out the Arke a Raven flies,
  And after him, the surer messenger,
  A Dove sent forth once and agen to spie
  Green Tree or ground whereon his foot may light;
  The second time returning, in his Bill
  An Olive leafe he brings, pacific signe:
  Anon drie ground appeers, and from his Arke
  The ancient Sire descends with all his Train;
  Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout,
  Grateful to Heav'n, over his head beholds
  A dewie Cloud, and in the Cloud a Bow
  Conspicuous with three lifted colours gay,
  Betok'ning peace from God, and Cov'nant new.
  Whereat the heart of ADAM erst so sad
  Greatly rejoyc'd, and thus his joy broke forth.
    O thou that future things canst represent
  As present, Heav'nly instructer, I revive
  At this last sight, assur'd that Man shall live
  With all the Creatures, and thir seed preserve.
  Farr less I now lament for one whole World
  Of wicked Sons destroyd, then I rejoyce
  For one Man found so perfet and so just,
  That God voutsafes to raise another World
  From him, and all his anger to forget.
  But say, what mean those colourd streaks in Heavn,
  Distended as the Brow of God appeas'd,
  Or serve they as a flourie verge to binde
  The fluid skirts of that same watrie Cloud,
  Least it again dissolve and showr the Earth?
    To whom th' Archangel. Dextrously thou aim'st;
  So willingly doth God remit his Ire,
  Though late repenting him of Man deprav'd,
  Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw
  The whole Earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh
  Corrupting each thir way; yet those remoov'd,
  Such grace shall one just Man find in his sight,
  That he relents, not to blot out mankind,
  And makes a Covenant never to destroy
  The Earth again by flood, nor let the Sea
  Surpass his bounds, nor Rain to drown the World
  With Man therein or Beast; but when he brings
  Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set
  His triple-colour'd Bow, whereon to look
  And call to mind his Cov'nant: Day and Night,
  Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost
  Shall hold thir course, till fire purge all things new,
  Both Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.
  Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end;
  And Man as from a second stock proceed.
  Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceave
  Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine
  Must needs impaire and wearie human sense:
  Henceforth what is to com I will relate,
  Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
  This second sours of Men, while yet but few,
  And while the dread of judgement past remains
  Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie,
  With some regard to what is just and right
  Shall lead thir lives, and multiplie apace,
  Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop,
  Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock,
  Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid,
  With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast
  Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwell
  Long time in peace by Families and Tribes
  Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
  Of proud ambitious heart, who not content
  With fair equalitie, fraternal state,
  Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'd
  Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
  Concord and law of Nature from the Earth;
  Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game)
  With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse
  Subjection to his Empire tyrannous:
  A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'd
  Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n,
  Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie;
  And from Rebellion shall derive his name,
  Though of Rebellion others he accuse.
  Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns
  With him or under him to tyrannize,
  Marching from EDEN towards the West, shall finde
  The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
  Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell;
  Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build
  A Citie & Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n;
  And get themselves a name, least far disperst
  In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost,
  Regardless whether good or evil fame.
  But God who oft descends to visit men
  Unseen, and through thir habitations walks
  To mark thir doings, them beholding soon,
  Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower
  Obstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision sets
  Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase
  Quite out thir Native Language, and instead
  To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
  Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
  Among the Builders; each to other calls
  Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,
  As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'n
  And looking down, to see the hubbub strange
  And hear the din; thus was the building left
  Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.
    Whereto thus ADAM fatherly displeas'd.
  O execrable Son so to aspire
  Above his Brethren, to himself affirming
  Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n:
  He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl
  Dominion absolute; that right we hold
  By his donation; but Man over men
  He made not Lord; such title to himself
  Reserving, human left from human free.
  But this Usurper his encroachment proud
  Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends
  Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food
  Will he convey up thither to sustain
  Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire
  Above the Clouds will pine his entrails gross,
  And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread?
    To whom thus MICHAEL. Justly thou abhorr'st
  That Son, who on the quiet state of men
  Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
  Rational Libertie; yet know withall,
  Since thy original lapse, true Libertie
  Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells
  Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:
  Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd,
  Immediately inordinate desires
  And upstart Passions catch the Government
  From Reason, and to servitude reduce
  Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits
  Within himself unworthie Powers to reign
  Over free Reason, God in Judgement just
  Subjects him from without to violent Lords;
  Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
  His outward freedom: Tyrannie must be,
  Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.
  Yet somtimes Nations will decline so low
  From vertue, which is reason, that no wrong,
  But Justice, and some fatal curse annext
  Deprives them of thir outward libertie,
  Thir inward lost: Witness th' irreverent Son
  Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame
  Don to his Father, heard this heavie curse,
  SERVANT OF SERVANTS, on his vitious Race.
  Thus will this latter, as the former World,
  Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last
  Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
  His presence from among them, and avert
  His holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforth
  To leave them to thir own polluted wayes;
  And one peculiar Nation to select
  From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,
  A Nation from one faithful man to spring:
  Him on this side EUPHRATES yet residing,
  Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men
  (Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
  While yet the Patriark liv'd, who scap'd the Flood,
  As to forsake the living God, and fall
  To-worship thir own work in Wood and Stone
  For Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafes
  To call by Vision from his Fathers house,
  His kindred and false Gods, into a Land
  Which he will shew him, and from him will raise
  A mightie Nation, and upon him showre
  His benediction so, that in his Seed
  All Nations shall be blest; hee straight obeys,
  Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes:
  I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith
  He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soile
  UR of CHALDAEA, passing now the Ford
  To HARAN, after him a cumbrous Train
  Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude;
  Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealth
  With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.
  CANAAN he now attains, I see his Tents
  Pitcht about SECHEM, and the neighbouring Plaine
  Of MOREB; there by promise he receaves
  Gift to his Progenie of all that Land;
  From HAMATH Northward to the Desert South
  (Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam'd)
  From HERMON East to the great Western Sea,
  Mount HERMON, yonder Sea, each place behold
  In prospect, as I point them; on the shoare
  Mount CARMEL; here the double-founted stream
  JORDAN, true limit Eastward; but his Sons
  Shall dwell to SENIR, that long ridge of Hills.
  This ponder, that all Nations of the Earth
  Shall in his Seed be blessed; by that Seed
  Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise
  The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon
  Plainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest,
  Whom FAITHFUL ABRAHAM due time shall call,
  A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves,
  Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;
  The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departs
  From CANAAN, to a Land hereafter call'd
  EGYPT, divided by the River NILE;
  See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthes
  Into the Sea: to sojourn in that Land
  He comes invited by a yonger Son
  In time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deeds
  Raise him to be the second in that Realme
  Of PHARAO: there he dies, and leaves his Race
  Growing into a Nation, and now grown
  Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks
  To stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guests
  Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
  Inhospitably, and kills thir infant Males:
  Till by two brethren (those two brethren call
  MOSES and AARON) sent from God to claime
  His people from enthralment, they return
  With glory and spoile back to thir promis'd Land.
  But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies
  To know thir God, or message to regard,
  Must be compelld by Signes and Judgements dire;
  To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd,
  Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fill
  With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land;
  His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die,
  Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss,
  And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile,
  Haile mixt with fire must rend th' EGYPTIAN Skie
  And wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rouls;
  What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine,
  A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming down
  Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green:
  Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
  Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes;
  Last with one midnight stroke all the first-born
  Of EGYPT must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds
  This River-dragon tam'd at length submits
  To let his sojourners depart, and oft
  Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as Ice
  More hard'nd after thaw, till in his rage
  Pursuing whom he late dismissd, the Sea
  Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass
  As on drie land between two christal walls,
  Aw'd by the rod of MOSES so to stand
  Divided, till his rescu'd gain thir shoar:
  Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend,
  Though present in his Angel, who shall goe
  Before them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire,
  To guide them in thir journey, and remove
  Behinde them, while th' obdurat King pursues:
  All night he will pursue, but his approach
  Darkness defends between till morning Watch;
  Then through the Firey Pillar and the Cloud
  God looking forth will trouble all his Host
  And craze thir Chariot wheels: when by command
  MOSES once more his potent Rod extends
  Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;
  On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return,
  And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race elect
  Safe towards CANAAN from the shoar advance
  Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,
  Least entring on the CANAANITE allarmd
  Warr terrifie them inexpert, and feare
  Return them back to EGYPT, choosing rather
  Inglorious life with servitude; for life
  To noble and ignoble is more sweet
  Untraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on.
  This also shall they gain by thir delay
  In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found
  Thir government, and thir great Senate choose
  Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:
  God from the Mount of SINAI, whose gray top
  Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
  In Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets sound
  Ordaine them Lawes; part such as appertaine
  To civil Justice, part religious Rites
  Of sacrifice, informing them, by types
  And shadowes, of that destind Seed to bruise
  The Serpent, by what meanes he shall achieve
  Mankinds deliverance. But the voice of God
  To mortal eare is dreadful; they beseech
  That MOSES might report to them his will,
  And terror cease; he grants them thir desire,
  Instructed that to God is no access
  Without Mediator, whose high Office now
  MOSES in figure beares, to introduce
  One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,
  And all the Prophets in thir Age the times
  Of great MESSIAH shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites
  Establisht, such delight hath God in Men
  Obedient to his will, that he voutsafes
  Among them to set up his Tabernacle,
  The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
  By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram'd
  Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein
  An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,
  The Records of his Cov'nant, over these
  A Mercie-seat of Gold between the wings
  Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn
  Seaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing
  The Heav'nly fires; over the Tent a Cloud
  Shall rest by Day, a fierie gleame by Night,
  Save when they journie, and at length they come,
  Conducted by his Angel to the Land
  Promisd to ABRAHAM and his Seed: the rest
  Were long to tell, how many Battels fought,
  How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won,
  Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav'n stand still
  A day entire, and Nights due course adjourne,
  Mans voice commanding, Sun in GIBEON stand,
  And thou Moon in the vale of AIALON,
  Till ISRAEL overcome; so call the third
  From ABRAHAM, Son of ISAAC, and from him
  His whole descent, who thus shall CANAAN win.
    Here ADAM interpos'd. O sent from Heav'n,
  Enlightner of my darkness, gracious things
  Thou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerne
  Just ABRAHAM and his Seed: now first I finde
  Mine eyes true op'ning, and my heart much eas'd,
  Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becom
  Of mee and all Mankind; but now I see
  His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,
  Favour unmerited by me, who sought
  Forbidd'n knowledge by forbidd'n means.
  This yet I apprehend not, why to those
  Among whom God will deigne to dwell on Earth
  So many and so various Laws are giv'n;
  So many Laws argue so many sins
  Among them; how can God with such reside?
    To whom thus MICHAEL. Doubt not but that sin
  Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
  And therefore was Law given them to evince
  Thir natural pravitie, by stirring up
  Sin against Law to fight; that when they see
  Law can discover sin, but not remove,
  Save by those shadowie expiations weak,
  The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may conclude
  Some bloud more precious must be paid for Man,
  Just for unjust, that in such righteousness
  To them by Faith imputed, they may finde
  Justification towards God, and peace
  Of Conscience, which the Law by Ceremonies
  Cannot appease, nor Man the moral part
  Perform, and not performing cannot live.
  So Law appears imperfet, and but giv'n
  With purpose to resign them in full time
  Up to a better Cov'nant, disciplin'd
  From shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,
  From imposition of strict Laws, to free
  Acceptance of large Grace, from servil fear
  To filial, works of Law to works of Faith.
  And therefore shall not MOSES, though of God
  Highly belov'd, being but the Minister
  Of Law, his people into CANAAN lead;
  But JOSHUA whom the Gentiles JESUS call,
  His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell
  The adversarie Serpent, and bring back
  Through the worlds wilderness long wanderd man
  Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
  Meanwhile they in thir earthly CANAAN plac't
  Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
  National interrupt thir public peace,
  Provoking God to raise them enemies:
  From whom as oft he saves them penitent
  By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom
  The second, both for pietie renownd
  And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
  Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne
  For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
  All Prophecie, That of the Royal Stock
  Of DAVID (so I name this King) shall rise
  A Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold,
  Foretold to ABRAHAM, as in whom shall trust
  All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings
  The last, for of his Reign shall be no end.
  But first a long succession must ensue,
  And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam'd,
  The clouded Ark of God till then in Tents
  Wandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine.
  Such follow him, as shall be registerd
  Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle,
  Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults
  Heapt to the popular summe, will so incense
  God, as to leave them, and expose thir Land,
  Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy Ark
  With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
  To that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw'st
  Left in confusion, BABYLON thence call'd.
  There in captivitie he lets them dwell
  The space of seventie years, then brings them back,
  Remembring mercie, and his Cov'nant sworn
  To DAVID, stablisht as the dayes of Heav'n.
  Returnd from BABYLON by leave of Kings
  Thir Lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God
  They first re-edifie, and for a while
  In mean estate live moderate, till grown
  In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
  But first among the Priests dissension springs,
  Men who attend the Altar, and should most
  Endeavour Peace: thir strife pollution brings
  Upon the Temple it self: at last they seise
  The Scepter, and regard not DAVIDS Sons,
  Then loose it to a stranger, that the true
  Anointed King MESSIAH might be born
  Barr'd of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr
  Unseen before in Heav'n proclaims him com,
  And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire
  His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;
  His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
  To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night;
  They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire
  Of squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung.
  A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire
  The Power of the most High; he shall ascend
  The Throne hereditarie, and bound his Reign
  With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav'ns.
    He ceas'd, discerning ADAM with such joy
  Surcharg'd, as had like grief bin dew'd in tears,
  Without the vent of words, which these he breathd.
    O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher
  Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
  What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,
  Why our great expectation should be call'd
  The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,
  High in the love of Heav'n, yet from my Loynes
  Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son
  Of God most High; So God with man unites.
  Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise
  Expect with mortal paine: say where and when
  Thir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel.
    To whom thus MICHAEL. Dream not of thir fight,
  As of a Duel, or the local wounds
  Of head or heel: not therefore joynes the Son
  Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil
  Thy enemie; nor so is overcome
  SATAN, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise,
  Disabl'd not to give thee thy deaths wound:
  Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,
  Not by destroying SATAN, but his works
  In thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be,
  But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
  Obedience to the Law of God, impos'd
  On penaltie of death, and suffering death,
  The penaltie to thy transgression due,
  And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:
  So onely can high Justice rest appaid.
  The Law of God exact he shall fulfill
  Both by obedience and by love, though love
  Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment
  He shall endure by coming in the Flesh
  To a reproachful life and cursed death,
  Proclaiming Life to all who shall believe
  In his redemption, and that his obedience
  Imputed becomes theirs by Faith, his merits
  To save them, not thir own, though legal works.
  For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd,
  Seis'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemnd
  A shameful and accurst, naild to the Cross
  By his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life;
  But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies,
  The Law that is against thee, and the sins
  Of all mankinde, with him there crucifi'd,
  Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
  In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
  But soon revives, Death over him no power
  Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
  Returne, the Starres of Morn shall see him rise
  Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
  Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems,
  His death for Man, as many as offerd Life
  Neglect not, and the benefit imbrace
  By Faith not void of works: this God-like act
  Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy'd,
  In sin for ever lost from life; this act
  Shall bruise the head of SATAN, crush his strength
  Defeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes,
  And fix farr deeper in his head thir stings
  Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,
  Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
  A gentle wafting to immortal Life.
  Nor after resurrection shall he stay
  Longer on Earth then certaine times to appeer
  To his Disciples, Men who in his Life
  Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge
  To teach all nations what of him they learn'd
  And his Salvation, them who shall beleeve
  Baptizing in the profluent streame, the signe
  Of washing them from guilt of sin to Life
  Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,
  For death, like that which the redeemer dy'd.
  All Nations they shall teach; for from that day
  Not onely to the Sons of ABRAHAMS Loines
  Salvation shall be Preacht, but to the Sons
  Of ABRAHAMS Faith wherever through the world;
  So in his seed all Nations shall be blest.
  Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascend
  With victory, triumphing through the aire
  Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise
  The Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in Chaines
  Through all his realme, & there confounded leave;
  Then enter into glory, and resume
  His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high
  Above all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come,
  When this worlds dissolution shall be ripe,
  With glory and power to judge both quick & dead,
  To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward
  His faithful, and receave them into bliss,
  Whether in Heav'n or Earth, for then the Earth
  Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
  Then this of EDEN, and far happier daies.
    So spake th' Archangel MICHAEL, then paus'd,
  As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire
  Replete with joy and wonder thus repli'd.
    O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
  That all this good of evil shall produce,
  And evil turn to good; more wonderful
  Then that which by creation first brought forth
  Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
  Whether I should repent me now of sin
  By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce
  Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,
  To God more glory, more good will to Men
  From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound.
  But say, if our deliverer up to Heav'n
  Must reascend, what will betide the few
  His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd,
  The enemies of truth; who then shall guide
  His people, who defend? will they not deale
  Wors with his followers then with him they dealt?
    Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'n
  Hee to his own a Comforter will send,
  The promise of the Father, who shall dwell
  His Spirit within them, and the Law of Faith
  Working through love, upon thir hearts shall write,
  To guide them in all truth, and also arme
  With spiritual Armour, able to resist
  SATANS assaults, and quench his fierie darts
  What Man can do against them, not affraid,
  Though to the death, against such cruelties
  With inward consolations recompenc't,
  And oft supported so as shall amaze
  Thir proudest persecuters: for the Spirit
  Powrd first on his Apostles, whom he sends
  To evangelize the Nations, then on all
  Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue
  To speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles,
  As did thir Lord before them. Thus they win
  Great numbers of each Nation to receave
  With joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at length
  Thir Ministry perform'd, and race well run,
  Thir doctrine and thir story written left,
  They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne,
  Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves,
  Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav'n
  To thir own vile advantages shall turne
  Of lucre and ambition, and the truth
  With superstitions and traditions taint,
  Left onely in those written Records pure,
  Though not but by the Spirit understood.
  Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
  Places and titles, and with these to joine
  Secular power, though feigning still to act
  By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
  The Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv'n
  To all Beleevers; and from that pretense,
  Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall force
  On every conscience; Laws which none shall finde
  Left them inrould, or what the Spirit within
  Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
  But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and binde
  His consort Libertie; what, but unbuild
  His living Temples, built by Faith to stand,
  Thir own Faith not anothers: for on Earth
  Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard
  Infallible? yet many will presume:
  Whence heavie persecution shall arise
  On all who in the worship persevere
  Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part,
  Will deem in outward Rites and specious formes
  Religion satisfi'd; Truth shall retire
  Bestuck with slandrous darts, and works of Faith
  Rarely be found: so shall the World goe on,
  To good malignant, to bad men benigne,
  Under her own waight groaning, till the day
  Appeer of respiration to the just,
  And vengeance to the wicked, at return
  Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid,
  The Womans seed, obscurely then foretold,
  Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
  Last in the Clouds from Heav'n to be reveald
  In glory of the Father, to dissolve
  SATAN with his perverted World, then raise
  From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,
  New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date
  Founded in righteousness and peace and love,
  To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.
    He ended; and thus ADAM last reply'd.
  How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
  Measur'd this transient World, the Race of time,
  Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss,
  Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.
  Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
  Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
  Of knowledge, what this vessel can containe;
  Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
  Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best,
  And love with feare the onely God, to walk
  As in his presence, ever to observe
  His providence, and on him sole depend,
  Merciful over all his works, with good
  Still overcoming evil, and by small
  Accomplishing great things, by things deemd weak
  Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
  By simply meek; that suffering for Truths sake
  Is fortitude to highest victorie,
  And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;
  Taught this by his example whom I now
  Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.
    To whom thus also th' Angel last repli'd:
  This having learnt, thou hast attaind the summe
  Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs
  Thou knewst by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,
  All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,
  Or works of God in Heav'n, Air, Earth, or Sea,
  And all the riches of this World enjoydst,
  And all the rule, one Empire; onely add
  Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,
  Add Vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,
  By name to come call'd Charitie, the soul
  Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath
  To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
  A Paradise within thee, happier farr.
  Let us descend now therefore from this top
  Of Speculation; for the hour precise
  Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards,
  By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expect
  Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword,
  In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;
  We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
  Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm'd
  Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd
  To meek submission: thou at season fit
  Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,
  Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know,
  The great deliverance by her Seed to come
  (For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind.
  That ye may live, which will be many dayes,
  Both in one Faith unanimous though sad,
  With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'd
  With meditation on the happie end.
    He ended, and they both descend the Hill;
  Descended, ADAM to the Bowre where EVE
  Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak't;
  And thus with words not sad she him receav'd.
    Whence thou returnst, & whither wentst, I know;
  For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise,
  Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
  Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress
  VVearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
  In mee is no delay; with thee to goe,
  Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
  Is to go hence unwilling; thou to mee
  Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou,
  VVho for my wilful crime art banisht hence.
  This further consolation yet secure
  I carry hence; though all by mee is lost,
  Such favour I unworthie am voutsaft,
  By mee the Promis'd Seed shall all restore.
    So spake our Mother EVE, and ADAM heard
  VVell pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too nigh
  Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill
  To thir fixt Station, all in bright array
  The Cherubim descended; on the ground
  Gliding meteorous, as Ev'ning Mist
  Ris'n from a River o're the marish glides,
  And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heel
  Homeward returning. High in Front advanc't,
  The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz'd
  Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,
  And vapour as the LIBYAN Air adust,
  Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat
  In either hand the hastning Angel caught
  Our lingring Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate
  Let them direct, and down the Cliff as fast
  To the subjected Plaine; then disappeer'd.
  They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld
  Of Paradise, so late thir happie seat,
  Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate
  With dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes:
  Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon;
  The World was all before them, where to choose
  Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
  They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
  Through EDEN took thir solitarie way.


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