Paradise Lost: Book IV (1674)

Original Text: 
John Milton, Paradise Lost, 2nd edn. (London: Samuel Simmons, 1674). A transcription by Roy Flannagan of the second (1674) edition in John Milton's Complete Poetical Works Reproduced in Photographic Facsimile. A Critical Text Edition, ed. Harris Francis Fletcher, III (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1948). PR 3551 F52 Robarts Library. As published in Ian Lancashire, in collaboration with John Bradley, Willard McCarty, Michael Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge, Using TACT and Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996). CD-ROM.
1O For that warning voice, which he who saw
2Th' Apocalyps, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
3Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
4Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
5Wo to the inhabitants on Earth! that now,
6While time was, our first-Parents had bin warnd
7The coming of thir secret foe, and scap'd
8Haply so scap'd his mortal snare; for now
9Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
10The Tempter ere th' Accuser of man-kind,
11To wreck on innocent frail man his loss
12Of that first Battel, and his flight to Hell:
13Yet not rejoycing in his speed, though bold,
14Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
15Begins his dire attempt, which nigh the birth
16Now rowling, boiles in his tumultuous brest,
17And like a devillish Engine back recoiles
18Upon himself; horror and doubt distract
19His troubl'd thoughts, and from the bottom stirr
20The Hell within him, for within him Hell
21He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
22One step no more then from himself can fly
23By change of place: Now conscience wakes despair
24That slumberd, wakes the bitter memorie
25Of what he was, what is, and what must be
26Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
27Sometimes towards Eden which now in his view
28Lay pleasant, his grievd look he fixes sad,
29Sometimes towards Heav'n and the full-blazing Sun,
30Which now sat high in his Meridian Towre:
31Then much revolving, thus in sighs began.
32O thou that with surpassing Glory crownd,
33Look'st from thy sole Dominion like the God
34Of this new World; at whose sight all the Starrs
35Hide thir diminisht heads; to thee I call,
36But with no friendly voice, and add thy name
37O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams
38That bring to my remembrance from what state
39I fell, how glorious once above thy Spheare;
40Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down
41Warring in Heav'n against Heav'ns matchless King:
42Ah wherefore! he deservd no such return
43From me, whom he created what I was
44In that bright eminence, and with his good
45Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
46What could be less then to afford him praise,
47The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
48How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
49And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
50I sdeind subjection, and thought one step higher
51Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
52The debt immense of endless gratitude,
53So burthensome still paying, still to ow;
54Forgetful what from him I still receivd,
55And understood not that a grateful mind
56By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
57Indebted and dischargd; what burden then?
58O had his powerful Destiny ordaind
59Me some inferiour Angel, I had stood
60Then happie; no unbounded hope had rais'd
61Ambition. Yet why not? som other Power
62As great might have aspir'd, and me though mean
63Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great
64Fell not, but stand unshak'n, from within
65Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
66Hadst thou the same free Will and Power to stand?
67Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
68But Heav'ns free Love dealt equally to all?
69Be then his Love accurst, since love or hate,
70To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
71Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
72Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
73Me miserable! which way shall I flie
74Infinite wrauth, and infinite despaire?
75Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell;
76And in the lowest deep a lower deep
77Still threatning to devour me opens wide,
78To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n.
79O then at last relent: is there no place
80Left for Repentance, none for Pardon left?
81None left but by submission; and that word
82Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
83Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
84With other promises and other vaunts
85Then to submit, boasting I could subdue
86Th' Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know
87How dearly I abide that boast so vaine,
88Under what torments inwardly I groane;
89While they adore me on the Throne of Hell,
90With Diadem and Scepter high advanc'd
91The lower still I fall, onely Supream
92In miserie; such joy Ambition findes.
93But say I could repent and could obtaine
94By Act of Grace my former state; how soon
95Would higth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay
96What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant
97Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
98For never can true reconcilement grow
99Where wounds of deadly hate have peirc'd so deep:
100Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
101And heavier fall: so should I purchase deare
102Short intermission bought with double smart.
103This knows my punisher; therefore as farr
104From granting hee, as I from begging peace:
105All hope excluded thus, behold in stead
106Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight,
107Mankind created, and for him this World.
108So farwel Hope, and with Hope farwel Fear,
109Farwel Remorse: all Good to me is lost;
110Evil be thou my Good; by thee at least
111Divided Empire with Heav'ns King I hold
112By thee, and more then half perhaps will reigne;
113As Man ere long, and this new World shall know.
114Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face
115Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envie and despair,
116Which marrd his borrow'd visage, and betraid
117Him counterfet, if any eye beheld.
118For heav'nly mindes from such distempers foule
119Are ever cleer. Whereof hee soon aware,
120Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calme,
121Artificer of fraud; and was the first
122That practisd falshood under saintly shew,
123Deep malice to conceale, couch't with revenge:
124Yet not anough had practisd to deceive
125Uriel once warnd; whose eye pursu'd him down
126The way he went, and on th' Assyrian mount
127Saw him disfigur'd, more then could befall
128Spirit of happie sort: his gestures fierce
129He markd and mad demeanour, then alone,
130As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.
131So on he fares, and to the border comes,
132Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
133Now nearer, Crowns with her enclosure green,
134As with a rural mound the champain head
135Of a steep wilderness, whose hairie sides
137Access deni'd; and over head up grew
138Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
139Cedar, and Pine, and Firr, and branching Palm,
140A Silvan Scene, and as the ranks ascend
141Shade above shade, a woodie Theatre
142Of stateliest view. Yet higher then thir tops
143The verdurous wall of paradise up sprung:
144Which to our general Sire gave prospect large
145Into his neather Empire neighbouring round.
146And higher then that Wall a circling row
147Of goodliest Trees loaden with fairest Fruit,
148Blossoms and Fruits at once of golden hue
149Appeerd, with gay enameld colours mixt:
150On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beams
151Then in fair Evening Cloud, or humid Bow,
152When God hath showrd the earth; so lovely seemd
153That Lantskip: And of pure now purer aire
154Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
155Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
156All sadness but despair: now gentle gales
157Fanning thir odoriferous wings dispense
158Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
159Those balmie spoiles. As when to them who saile
160Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
161Mozambic, off at Sea North-East windes blow
162Sabean Odours from the spicie shoare
163Of Arabie the blest, with such delay
164Well pleas'd they slack thir course, and many a League
165Chear'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles.
166So entertaind those odorous sweets the Fiend
167Who came thir bane, though with them better pleas'd
168Then Asmodeus with the fishie fume,
169That drove him, though enamourd, from the Spouse
170Of Tobits Son, and with a vengeance sent
171From Media post to Aegypt, there fast bound.
172Now to th' ascent of that steep savage Hill
173Satan had journied on, pensive and slow;
174But further way found none, so thick entwin'd,
175As one continu'd brake, the undergrowth
176Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplext
177All path of Man or Beast that past that way:
178One Gate there only was, and that look'd East
179On th' other side: which when th' arch-fellon saw
180Due entrance he disdaind, and in contempt,
181At one slight bound high over leap'd all bound
182Of Hill or highest Wall, and sheer within
183Lights on his feet. As when a prowling Wolfe,
184Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
185Watching where Shepherds pen thir Flocks at eeve
186In hurdl'd Cotes amid the field secure,
187Leaps o're the fence with ease into the Fould:.
188Or as a Thief bent to unhoord the cash
189Of some rich Burgher, whose substantial dores,
190Cross-barrd and bolted fast, fear no assault,
191In at the window climbs, or o're the tiles;
192So clomb this first grand Thief into Gods Fould:
193So since into his Church lewd Hirelings climbe.
194Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life,
195The middle Tree and highest there that grew,
196Sat like a Cormorant; yet not true Life
197Thereby regaind, but sat devising Death
198To them who liv'd; nor on the vertue thought
199Of that life-giving Plant, but only us'd
200For prospect, what well us'd had bin the pledge
201Of immortality. So little knows
202Any, but God alone, to value right
203The good before him, but perverts best things
204To worst abuse, or to thir meanest use.
205Beneath him with new wonder now he views
206To all delight of human sense expos'd
207In narrow room Natures whole wealth, yea more,
208A Heav'n on Earth, for blissful Paradise
209Of God the Garden was, by him in the East
210Of Eden planted; Eden stretchd her Line
211From Auran Eastward to the Royal Towrs
212Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian Kings,
213Or where the Sons of Eden long before
214Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soile
215His farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind;
216Out of the fertil ground he caus'd to grow
217All Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
218And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,
219High eminent, blooming Ambrosial Fruit
220Of vegetable Gold; and next to Life
221Our Death the Tree of knowledge grew fast by,
222Knowledge of Good bought dear by knowing ill.
223Southward through Eden went a River large,
224Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggie hill
225Pass'd underneath ingulft, for God had thrown
226That Mountain as his Garden mould high rais'd
227Upon the rapid current, which through veins
228Of porous Earth with kindly thirst up drawn,
229Rose a fresh Fountain, and with many a rill
230Waterd the Garden; thence united fell
231Down the steep glade, and met the neather Flood,
232Which from his darksom passage now appeers,
233And now divided into four main Streams,
234Runs divers, wandring many a famous Realme
235And Country whereof here needs no account,
236But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
237How from that Saphire Fount the crisped Brooks,
238Rowling on Orient Pearl and sands of Gold,
239With mazie error under pendant shades
240Ran Nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
241Flours worthy of Paradise which not nice Art
242In Beds and curious Knots, but Nature boon
243Powrd forth profuse on Hill and Dale and Plaine,
244Both where the morning Sun first warmly smote
245The open field, and where the unpierc't shade
246lmbround the noontide Bowrs: Thus was this place,
247A happy rural seat of various view;
248Groves whose rich Trees wept odorous Gumms and Balme,
249Others whose fruit burnisht with Golden Rinde
250Hung amiable, Hesperian Fables true,
251If true, here only, and of delicious taste:
252Betwixt them Lawns, or level Downs, and Flocks
253Grasing the tender herb, were interpos'd,
254Or palmie hilloc, or the flourie lap
255Of som irriguous Valley spred her store,
256Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose:
257Another side, umbrageous Grots and Caves
258Of coole recess, o're which the mantling vine
259Layes forth her purple Grape, and gently creeps
260Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall
261Down the slope hills, disperst, or in a Lake,
262That to the fringed Bank with Myrtle crownd,
263Her chrystal mirror holds, unite thir streams.
264The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires,
265Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
266The trembling leaves, while Universal Pan
267Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance
268Led on th' Eternal Spring. Not that faire field
269Of Enna, where Proserpin gathering flours
270Her self a fairer Floure by gloomie Dis
271Was gatherd, which cost Ceres all that pain
272To seek her through the world; nor that sweet Grove
273Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' inspir'd
274Castalian Spring, might with this Paradise
275Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian Ile
276Girt with the River Triton, where old Cham,
277Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Lybian Jove,
278Hid Amalthea and her Florid Son
279Young Bacchus from his Stepdame Rhea's eye;
280Nor where Abassin Kings thir issue Guard,
281Mount Amara, though this by som suppos'd
282True Paradise under the Ethiop Line
283By Nilus head, enclosd with shining Rock,
284A whole days journy high, but wide remote
285From this Assyrian Garden, where the Fiend
286Saw undelighted all delight, all kind
287Of living Creatures new to sight and strange:
288Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,
289Godlike erect, with native Honour clad
290In naked Majestie seemd Lords of all,
291And worthie seemd, for in thir looks Divine
292The image of thir glorious Maker shon,
293Truth, wisdome, Sanctitude severe and pure,
294Severe but in true filial freedom plac't;
295Whence true autoritie in men; though both
296Not equal, as thir sex not equal seemd;
297For contemplation hee and valour formd,
298For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace,
299Hee for God only, shee for God in him:
300His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar'd
301Absolute rule; and Hyacinthin Locks
302Round from his parted forelock manly hung
303Clustring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
304Shee as a vail down to the slender waste
305Her unadorned golden tresses wore
306Dissheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'd
307As the Vine curles her tendrils, which impli'd
308Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
309And by her yielded, by him best receivd,
310Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
311And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
312Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald,
313Then was not guiltie shame, dishonest shame
314Of natures works, honor dishonorable,
315Sin-bred, how have ye troubl'd all mankind
316With shews instead, meer shews of seeming pure,
317And banisht from mans life his happiest life,
318Simplicitie and spotless innocence.
319So passd they naked on, nor shund the sight
320Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill:
321So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pair
322That ever since in loves imbraces met,
323Adam the goodliest man of men since borne
324His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters Eve.
325Under a tuft of shade that on a green
326Stood whispering soft, by a fresh Fountain side
327They sat them down, and after no more toil
328Of thir sweet Gardning labour then suffic'd
329To recommend coole Zephyr, and made ease
330More easie, wholsom thirst and appetite
331More grateful, to thir Supper Fruits they fell,
332Nectarine Fruits which the compliant boughes
333Yielded them, side-long as they sat recline
334On the soft downie Bank damaskt with flours:
335The savourie pulp they chew, and in the rinde
336Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream;
337Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles
338Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems
339Fair couple, linkt in happie nuptial League,
340Alone as they. About them frisking playd
341All Beasts of th' Earth, since wilde, and of all chase
342In Wood or Wilderness, Forrest or Den;
343Sporting the Lion rampd, and in his paw
344Dandl'd the Kid; Bears, Tygers, Ounces, Pards,
345Gambold before them, th' unwieldy Elephant
346To make them mirth us'd all his might, and wreathd
347His Lithe Proboscis; close the Serpent sly
348Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
349His breaded train, and of his fatal guile
350Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass
351Coucht, and now fild with pasture gazing sat,
352Or Bedward ruminating: for the Sun
353Declin'd was hasting now with prone carreer
354To th' Ocean Iles, and in th' ascending Scale
355Of Heav'n the Starrs that usher Evening rose:
356When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
357Scarce thus at length faild speech recoverd sad.
358O Hell! what doe mine eyes with grief behold,
359Into our room of bliss thus high advanc't
360Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,
361Not Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits bright
362Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
363With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
364In them Divine resemblance, and such grace
365The hand that formd them on thir shape hath pourd.
366Ah gentle pair, yee little think how nigh
367Your change approaches, when all these delights
368Will vanish and deliver ye to woe,
369More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;
370Happie, but for so happie ill secur'd
371Long to continue, and this high seat your Heav'n
372Ill fenc't for Heav'n to keep out such a foe
373As now is enterd; yet no purpos'd foe
374To you whom I could pittie thus forlorne
375Though I unpittied: League with you I seek,
376And mutual amitie so streight, so close,
377That I with you must dwell, or you with me
378Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please
379Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such
380Accept your Makers work; he gave it me,
381Which I as freely give; Hell shall unfold,
382To entertain you two, her widest Gates,
383And send forth all her Kings; there will be room,
384Not like these narrow limits, to receive
385ass Your numerous ofspring; if no better place,
386Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge
387On you who wrong me not for him who wrongd.
388And should I at your harmless innocence
389Melt, as I doe, yet public reason just,
390Honour and Empire with revenge enlarg'd,
391By conquering this new World, compels me now
392To do what else though damnd I should abhorre.
393So spake the Fiend, and with necessitie,
394The Tyrants plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
395Then from his loftie stand on that high Tree
396Down he alights among the sportful Herd
397Of those fourfooted kindes, himself now one,
398Now other, as thir shape servd best his end
399Neerer to view his prey, and unespi'd
400To mark what of thir state he more might learn
401By word or action markt: about them round
402A Lion now he stalkes with fierie glare,
403Then as a Tyger, who by chance hath spi'd
404In some Purlieu two gentle Fawnes at play,
405Strait couches close, then rising changes oft
406His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground
407Whence rushing he might surest seize them both
408Grip't in each paw: When Adam first of men
409To first of women Eve thus moving speech,
410Turnd him all eare to hear new utterance flow.
411Sole partner and sole part of all these joyes,
412Dearer thy self then all; needs must the power
413That made us, and for us this ample World
414Be infinitly good, and of his good
415As liberal and free as infinite,
416That rais'd us from the dust and plac't us here
417In all this happiness, who at his hand
418Have nothing merited, nor can performe
419Aught whereof hee hath need, hee who requires
420From us no other service then to keep
421This one, this easie charge, of all the Trees
422In Paradise that bear delicious fruit
423So various, not to taste that onely Tree
424Of knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life,
425So neer grows Death to Life, what ere Death is,
426Som dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou knowst
427God hath pronounc't it death to taste that Tree,
428The only sign of our obedience left
429Among so many signes of power and rule
430Conferrd upon us, and Dominion giv'n
431Over all other Creatures that possess
432Earth, Aire, and Sea. Then let us not think hard
433One easie prohibition, who enjoy
434Free leave so large to all things else, and choice
435Unlimited of manifold delights:
436But let us ever praise him, and extoll
437His bountie, following our delightful task
438To prune these growing Plants, and tend these Flours,
439Which were it toilsom, yet with thee were sweet.
440To whom thus Eve repli'd. O thou for whom
441And from whom I was formd flesh of thy flesh,
442And without whom am to no end, my Guide
443And Head, what thou hast said is just and right.
444For wee to him indeed all praises owe,
445And daily thanks, I chiefly who enjoy
446So farr the happier Lot, enjoying thee
447Praeeminent by so much odds, while thou
448Like consort to thy self canst no where find.
449That day I oft remember, when from sleep
450I first awak't, and found my self repos'd
451Under a shade of flours, much wondring where
452And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
453Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound
454Of waters issu'd from a Cave and spread
455Into a liquid Plain, then stood unmov'd
456Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went
457With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe
458On the green bank, to look into the cleer
459Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie.
460As I bent down to look, just opposite,
461A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd
462Bending to look on me, I started back,
463It started back, but pleas'd I soon returnd,
464Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks
465Of sympathie and love; there I had fixt
466Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
467Had not a voice thus warnd me, What thou seest,
468What there thou seest fair Creature is thy self,
469With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
470And I will bring thee where no shadow staies
471Thy coming, and thy soft imbraces, hee
472Whose image thou art, him thou shall enjoy
473Inseparablie thine, to him shalt beare
474Multitudes like thy self, and thence be call'd
475Mother of human Race: what could I doe,
476But follow strait, invisibly thus led?
477Till I espi'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
478Under a Platan, yet methought less faire,
479Less winning soft, less amiablie milde,
480Then that smooth watry image; back I turnd,
481Thou following cryd'st aloud, Return faire Eve,
482Whom fli'st thou? whom thou fli'st, of him thou art,
483His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
484Out of my side to thee, neerest my heart
485Substantial Life, to have thee by my side
486Henceforth an individual solace dear;
487Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claim
488My other half: with that thy gentle hand
489Seisd mine, I yielded, and from that time see
490How beauty is excelld by manly grace
491And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.
492So spake our general Mother, and with eyes
493Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
494And meek surrender, half imbracing leand
495On our first Father, half her swelling Breast
496Naked met his under the flowing Gold
497Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight
498Both of her Beauty and submissive Charms
499Smil'd with superior Love, as Jupiter
500On Juno smiles, when he impregns the Clouds
501That shed May Flowers; and press'd her Matron lip
502With kisses pure: aside the Devil turnd
503For envie, yet with jealous leer maligne
504Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plaind.
505Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two
506Imparadis't in one anothers arms
507The happier Eden, shall enjoy thir fill
508Of bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust,
509Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
510Among our other torments not the least,
511Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines;
512Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
513From thir own mouths; all is not theirs it seems:
514One fatal Tree there stands of Knowledge call'd,
515Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidd'n?
516Suspicious, reasonless. Why should thir Lord
517Envie them that? can it be sin to know,
518Can it be death? and do they onely stand
519By Ignorance, is that thir happie state,
520The proof of thir obedience and thir faith?
521O fair foundation laid whereon to build
522Thir ruine! Hence I will excite thir minds
523With more desire to know, and to reject
524Envious commands, invented with designe
525To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt
526Equal with Gods; aspiring to be such,
527They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?
528But first with narrow search I must walk round
529This Garden, and no corner leave unspi'd;
530A chance but chance may lead where I may meet
531Some wandring Spirit of Heav'n, by Fountain side,
532Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
533What further would be learnt. Live while ye may,
534Yet happie pair; enjoy, till I return,
535Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.
536So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
537But with sly circumspection, and began
538Through wood, through waste, o're hill, o're dale his roam.
539Mean while in utmost Longitude, where Heav'n
540With Earth and Ocean meets, the setting Sun
541Slowly descended, and with right aspect
542Against the eastern Gate of Paradise
543Leveld his eevning Rayes: it was a Rock
544Of Alablaster, pil'd up to the Clouds,
545Conspicuous farr, winding with one ascent
546Accessible from Earth, one entrance high;
547The rest was craggie cliff, that overhung
548Still as it rose, impossible to climbe.
549Betwixt these rockie Pillars Gabriel sat
550Chief of th' Angelic Guards, awaiting night;
551About him exercis'd Heroic Games
552Th' unarmed Youth of Heav'n, but nigh at hand
553Celestial Armourie, Shields, Helmes, and Speares,
554Hung high with Diamond flaming, and with Gold.
555Thither came Uriel, gliding through the Eeven
556On a Sun beam, swift as a shooting Starr
557In Autumn thwarts the night, when vapors fir'd
558Impress the Air, and shews the Mariner
559From what point of his Compass to beware
560Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste.
561Gabriel, to thee thy course by Lot hath giv'n
562Charge and strict watch that to this happie Place
563No evil thing approach or enter in;
564This day at highth of Noon came to my Spheare
565A Spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know
566More of th' Almighties works, and chiefly Man
567Gods latest Image: I describ'd his way
568Bent all on speed, and markt his Aerie Gate;
569But in the Mount that lies from Eden North,
570Where he first lighted, soon discernd his looks
571Alien from Heav'n, with passions foul obscur'd:
572Mine eye pursu'd him still, but under shade
573Lost sight of him; one of the banisht crew
574I fear, hath ventur'd from the deep, to raise
575New troubles; him thy care must be to find.
576To whom the winged Warriour thus returnd:
577Uriel, no wonder if thy perfet sight,
578Amid the Suns bright circle where thou sitst,
579See farr and wide: in at this Gate none pass
580The vigilance here plac't, but such as come
581Well known from Heav'n; and since Meridian hour
582No Creature thence: if Spirit of other sort,
583So minded, have oreleapt these earthie bounds
584On purpose, hard thou knowst it to exclude
585Spiritual substance with corporeal barr.
586But if within the circuit of these walks,
587In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom
588Thou tellst, by morrow dawning I shall know.
589So promis'd hee, and Uriel to his charge
590Returnd on that bright beam, whose point now raisd
591Bore him slope downward to the Sun now fall'n
592Beneath th' Azores; whither the prime Orb,
593Incredible how swift, had thither rowl'd
594Diurnal, or this less volubil Earth
595By shorter flight to th' East, had left him there
596Arraying with reflected Purple and Gold
597The Clouds that on his Western Throne attend:
598Now came still Eevning on, and Twilight gray
599Had in her sober Liverie all things clad;
600Silence accompanied, for Beast and Bird,
601They to thir grassie Couch, these to thir Nests
602Were slunk, all but the wakeful Nightingale;
603She all night long her amorous descant sung;
604Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the Firmament
605With living Saphirs: Hesperus that led
606The starrie Host, rode brightest, till the Moon
607Rising in clouded Majestie, at length
608Apparent Queen unvaild her peerless light,
609And o're the dark her Silver Mantle threw.
610When Adam thus to Eve: Fair Consort, th' hour
611Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest
612Mind us of like repose, since God hath set
613Labour and rest, as day and night to men
614Successive, and the timely dew of sleep
615Now falling with soft slumbrous weight inclines
616Our eye-lids; other Creatures all day long
617Rove idle unimploid, and less need rest;
618Man hath his daily work of body or mind
619Appointed, which declares his Dignitie,
620And the regard of Heav'n on all his waies;
621While other Animals unactive range,
622And of thir doings God takes no account.
623To morrow ere fresh Morning streak the East
624With first approach of light, we must be ris'n,
625And at our pleasant labour, to reform
626Yon flourie Arbors, yonder Allies green,
627Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
628That mock our scant manuring, and require
629More hands then ours to lop thir wanton growth:
630Those Blossoms also, and those dropping Gumms,
631That lie bestrowne unsightly and unsmooth,
632Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease;
633Mean while, as Nature wills, Night bids us rest.
634To whom thus Eve with perfet beauty adornd.
635My Author and Disposer, what thou bidst
636Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains,
637God is thy Law, thou mine: to know no more
638Is womans happiest knowledge and her praise.
639With thee conversing I forget all time,
640All seasons and thir change, all please alike.
641Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
642With charm of earliest Birds; pleasant the Sun
643When first on this delightful Land he spreads
644His orient Beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flour,
645Glistring with dew; fragrant the fertil earth
646After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
647Of grateful Eevning milde, then silent Night
648With this her solemn Bird and this fair Moon,
649And these the Gemms of Heav'n, her starrie train:
650But neither breath of Morn when she ascends
651With charm of earliest Birds, nor rising Sun
652On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, floure,
653Glistring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
654Nor grateful Eevning mild, nor silent Night
655With this her solemn Bird, nor walk by Moon,
656Or glittering Starr-light without thee is sweet.
657But wherfore all night long shine these, for whom
658This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?
659To whom our general Ancestor repli'd.
660Daughter of God and Man, accomplisht Eve,
661Those have thir course to finish, round the Earth,
662By morrow Eevning, and from Land to Land
663In order, though to Nations yet unborn,
664Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise;
665Least total darkness should by Night regaine
666Her old possession, and extinguish life
667In Nature and all things, which these soft fires
668Not only enlighten, but with kindly heate
669Of various influence foment and warme,
670Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
671Thir stellar vertue on all kinds that grow
672On Earth, made hereby apter to receive
673Perfection from the Suns more potent Ray.
674These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
675Shine not in vain, nor think, though men were none,
676That heav'n would want spectators, God want praise;
677Millions of spiritual Creatures walk the Earth
678Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:.
679All these with ceasless praise his works behold
680Both day and night: how often from the steep
681Of echoing Hill or Thicket have we heard
682Celestial voices to the midnight air,
683Sole, or responsive each to others note
684Singing thir great Creator: oft in bands
685While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk
686With Heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds
687In full harmonic number joind, thir songs
688Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.
689Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
690On to thir blissful Bower; it was a place
691Chos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'd
692All things to mans delightful use; the roofe
693Of thickest covert was inwoven shade
694Laurel and Mirtle, and what higher grew
695Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
696Acanthus, and each odorous bushie shrub
697Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flour,
698Iris all hues, Roses, and Gessamin
699Rear'd high thir flourisht heads between, and wrought
700Mosaic; underfoot the Violet,
701Crocus, and Hyacinth with rich inlay
702Broiderd the ground, more colour'd then with stone
703Of costliest Emblem: other Creature here
704Beast, Bird, Insect, or Worm durst enter none;
705Such was thir awe of Man. In shadie Bower
706More sacred and sequesterd, though but feignd,
707Pan or Silvanus never slept, nor Nymph,
708Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess
709With Flowers, Garlands, and sweet-smelling Herbs
710Espoused Eve deckt first her nuptial Bed,
711And heav'nly Quires the Hymenaean sung,
712What day the genial Angel to our Sire
713Brought her in naked beauty more adorn'd,
714More lovely then Pandora, whom the Gods
715Endowd with all thir gifts, and O too like
716In sad event, when to the unwiser Son
717Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'd
718Mankind with her faire looks, to be aveng'd
719On him who had stole Joves authentic fire.
720Thus at thir shadie Lodge arriv'd, both stood
721Both turnd, and under op'n Skie ador'd
722The God that made both Skie, Air, Earth and Heav'n
723Which they beheld, the Moons resplendent Globe
724And starrie Pole: Thou also mad'st the Night,
725Maker Omnipotent, and thou the Day,
726Which we in our appointed work imployd
727Have finisht happie in our mutual help
728And mutual love, the Crown of all our bliss
729Ordaind by thee, and this delicious place
730For us too large, where thy abundance wants
731Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.
732But thou hast promis'd from us two a Race
733To fill the Earth, who shall with us extoll
734Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
735And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.
736This said unanimous, and other Rites
737Observing none, but adoration pure
738Which God likes best, into thir inmost bowre
739Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off
740These troublesom disguises which wee wear,
741Strait side by side were laid, nor turnd I weene
742Adam from his fair Spouse, nor Eve the Rites
743Mysterious of connubial Love refus'd:
744Whatever Hypocrites austerely talk
745Of puritie and place and innocence,
746Defaming as impure what God declares
747Pure, and commands to som, leaves free to all.
748Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain
749But our destroyer, foe to God and Man?
750Haile wedded Love, mysterious Law, true source
751Of human ofspring, sole proprietie,
752In Paradise of all things common else.
753By thee adulterous lust was driv'n from men
754Among the bestial herds to raunge, by thee
755Founded in Reason, Loyal, just, and Pure,
756Relations dear, and all the Charities
757Of Father, Son, and Brother first were known.
758Farr be it, that I should write thee sin or blame,
759Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,
760Perpetual Fountain of Domestic sweets,
761Whose bed is undefil'd and chaste pronounc't,
762Present, or past, as Saints and Patriarchs us'd.
763Here Love his golden shafts imploies, here lights
764His constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings,
765Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile
766Of Harlots, loveless, joyless, unindeard,
767Casual fruition, nor in Court Amours
768Mixt Dance, or wanton Mask, or Midnight Bal,
769Or Serenate, which the starv'd Lover sings
770To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.
771These lulld by Nightingales imbraceing slept,
772And on thir naked limbs the flourie roof
773Showrd Roses, which the Morn repair'd. Sleep on
774Blest pair; and O yet happiest if ye seek
775No happier state, and know to know no more.
776Now had night measur'd with her shaddowie Cone
777Half way up Hill this vast Sublunar Vault,
778And from thir Ivorie Port the Cherubim
779Forth issuing at th' accustomd hour stood armd
780To thir night watches in warlike Parade,
781When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake.
782Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the South
783With strictest watch; these other wheel the North,
784Our circuit meets full West. As flame they part
785Half wheeling to the Shield, half to the Spear.
786From these, two strong and suttle Spirits he calld
787That neer him stood, and gave them thus in charge.
788Ithuriel and Zephon, with wingd speed
789Search through this Garden, leave unsearcht no nook,
790But chiefly where those two fair Creatures Lodge,
791Now laid perhaps asleep secure of harme.
792This Eevning from the Sun's decline arriv'd
793Who tells of som infernal Spirit seen
794Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'd
795The barrs of Hell, on errand bad no doubt:
796Such where ye find, seise fast, and hither bring.
797So saying, on he led his radiant Files,
798Daz'ling the Moon; these to the Bower direct
799In search of whom they sought: him there they found
800Squat like a Toad, close at the eare of Eve;
801Assaying by his Devilish art to reach
802The Organs of her Fancie, and with them forge
803Illusions as he list, Phantasms and Dreams,
804Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
805Th' animal Spirits that from pure blood arise
806Like gentle breaths from Rivers pure, thence raise
807At least distemperd, discontented thoughts,
808Vaine hopes, vaine aimes, inordinate desires
809Blown up with high conceits ingendring pride.
810Him thus intent Ithuriel with his Spear
811Touch'd lightly; for no falshood can endure
812Touch of Celestial temper, but returns
813Of force to its own likeness: up he starts
814Discoverd and surpriz'd. As when a spark
815Lights on a heap of nitrous Powder, laid
816Fit for the Tun som Magazin to store
817Against a rumord Warr, the Smuttie graine
818With sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the Aire:
819So started up in his own shape the Fiend.
820Back stept those two faire Angels half amaz'd
821So sudden to behold the grieslie King;
822Yet thus, unmovd with fear, accost him soon.
823Which of those rebell Spirits adjudg'd to Hell
824Com'st thou, escap'd thy prison, and transform'd,
825Why satst thou like an enemie in waite
826Here watching at the head of these that sleep?
827Know ye not then said Satan, fill'd with scorn,
828Know ye not mee? ye knew me once no mate
829For you, there sitting where ye durst not soare;
830Not to know mee argues your selves unknown,
831The lowest of your throng; or if ye know,
832Why ask ye, and superfluous begin
833Your message, like to end as much in vain?
834To whom thus Zephon, answering scorn with scorn.
835Think not, revolted Spirit, thy shape the same,
836Or undiminisht brightness, to be known
837As when thou stoodst in Heav'n upright and pure;
838That Glorie then, when thou no more wast good,
839Departed from thee, and thou resembl'st now
840Thy sin and place of doom obscure and foule.
841But come, for thou, be sure, shalt give account
842To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep
843This place inviolable, and these from harm.
844So spake the Cherube, and his grave rebuke
845Severe in youthful beautie, added grace
846Invincible: abasht the Devil stood,
847And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
848Vertue in her shape how lovly, saw, and pin'd
849His loss; but chiefly to find here observd
850His lustre visibly impar'd; yet seemd
851Undaunted. If I must contend, said he,
852Best with the best, the Sender not the sent,
853Or all at once; more glorie will be wonn,
854Or less be lost. Thy fear, said Zephon bold,
855Will save us trial what the least can doe
856Single against thee wicked, and thence weak.
857The Fiend repli'd not, overcome with rage;
858But like a proud Steed reind, went hautie on,
859Chaumping his iron curb: to strive or flie
860He held it vain; awe from above had quelld
861His heart, not else dismai'd. Now drew they nigh
862The western Point, where those half-rounding guard
863just met, and closing stood in squadron joind
864Awaiting next command. To whom thir Chief
865Gabriel from the Front thus calld aloud.
866O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet
867Hasting this way, and now by glimps discerne
868Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade,
869And with them comes a third of Regal port,
870But faded splendor wan; who by his gate
871And fierce demeanour seems the Prince of Hell,
872Not likely to part hence without contest;
873Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.
874He scarce had ended, when those two approachd
875And brief related whom they brought, where found,
876How busied, in what form and posture coucht.
877To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake.
878Why hast thou, Satan broke the bounds prescrib'd
879To thy transgressions, and disturbd the charge
880Of others, who approve not to transgress
881By thy example, but have power and right
882To question thy bold entrance on this place;
883Imploi'd it seems to violate sleep, and those
884Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss?
885To whom thus Satan, with contemptuous brow.
886Gabriel, thou hadst in Heav'n th' esteem of wise,
887And such I held thee; but this question askt
888Puts me in doubt. Lives ther who loves his pain?
889Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell,
890Though thither doomd? Thou wouldst thy self, no doubt,
891And boldly venture to whatever place
892Farthest from pain, where thou mightest hope to change
893Torment with ease, and soonest recompence
894Dole with delight, which in this place I sought;
895To thee no reason; who knowst only good,
896But evil hast not tri'd: and wilt object
897His will who bound us? let him surer barr
898His Iron Gates, if he intends our stay
899In that dark durance: thus much what was askt.
900The rest is true, they found me where they say;
901But that implies not violence or harme.
902Thus he in scorn.The warlike Angel mov'd,
903Disdainfully half smiling thus repli'd.
904O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise,
905Since Satan fell, whom follie overthrew,
906And now returns him from his prison scap't,
907Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
908Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither
909Unlicenc't from his bounds in Hell prescrib'd;
910So wise he judges it to fly from pain
911However, and to scape his punishment.
912So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrauth,
913Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight
914Seavenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,
915Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain
916Can equal anger infinite provok't.
917But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee
918Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them
919Less pain, less to be fled, or thou then they
920Less hardie to endure? courageous Chief,
921The first in flight from pain, had'st thou alledg'd
922To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
923Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.
924To which the Fiend thus answerd frowning stern.
925Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,
926Insulting Angel, well thou knowst I stood
927Thy fiercest, when in Battel to thy aide
928Thy blasting volied Thunder made all speed
929And seconded thy else not dreaded Spear.
930But still thy words at random, as before,
931Argue thy inexperience what behooves
932From hard assaies and ill successes past
933A faithful Leader, not to hazard all
934Through wayes of danger by himself untri'd.
935I therefore, I alone first undertook
936To wing the desolate Abyss, and spie
937This new created World, whereof in Hell
938Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
939Better abode, and my afflicted Powers
940To settle here on Earth, or in mid Aire;
941Though for possession put to try once more
942What thou and thy gay Legions dare against;
943Whose easier business were to serve thir Lord
944High up in Heav'n, with songs to hymne his Throne,
945And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight.
946To whom the warriour Angel, soon repli'd.
947To say and strait unsay, pretending first
948Wise to flie pain, professing next the Spie,
949Argues no Leader but a lyar trac't,
950Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name,
951O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!
952Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
953Armie of Fiends, fit body to fit head;
954Was this your discipline and faith ingag'd,
955Your military obedience, to dissolve
956Allegeance to th' acknowldg'd Power supream?
957And thou sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
958Patron of liberty, who more then thou
959Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilly ador'd
960Heav'ns awful Monarch? wherefore but in hope
961To dispossess him, and thy self to reigne?
962But mark what I arreede thee now, avant;
963Flie thither whence thou fledst: if from this houre
964Within these hallowd limits thou appeer,
965Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chaind,
966And Seale thee so, as henceforth not to scorne
967The facil gates of hell too slightly barrd.
968So threatn'd hee, but Satan to no threats
969Gave heed, but waxing more in rage repli'd.
970Then when I am thy captive talk of chaines,
971Proud limitarie Cherube, but ere then
972Farr heavier load thy self expect to feel
973From my prevailing arme, though Heavens King
974Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy Compeers,
975Us'd to the yoak, draw'st his triumphant wheels
976In progress through the rode of Heav'n Star-pav'd.
977While thus he spake, th' Angelic Squadron bright
978Turnd fierie red, sharpning in mooned hornes
979Thir Phalanx, and began to hemm him round
980With ported Spears, as thick as when a field
981Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends
982Her bearded Grove of ears, which way the wind
983Swayes them; the careful Plowman doubting stands
984Least on the threshing floore his hopeful sheaves
985Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan allarm'd
986Collecting all his might dilated stood,
987Like Teneriff or Atlas unremov'd:
988His stature reacht the Skie, and on his Crest
989Sat horror Plum'd; nor wanted in his graspe
990What seemd both Spear and Shield: now dreadful deeds
991Might have ensu'd, nor onely Paradise
992In this commotion, but the Starrie Cope
993Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the Elements
994At least had gon to rack, disturbd and torne
995With violence of this conflict, had not soon
996Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray
997Hung forth in Heav'n his golden Scales, yet seen
998Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion signe,
999Wherein all things created first he weighd,
1000The pendulous round Earth with ballanc't Aire
1001In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
1002Battels and Realms: in these he put two weights
1003The sequel each of parting and of fight;
1004The latter quick up flew, and kickt the beam;
1005Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend.
1006Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowst mine,
1007Neither our own but giv'n; what follie then
1008To boast what Arms can doe, since thine no more
1009Then Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubld now
1010To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,
1011And read thy Lot in yon celestial Sign
1012Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how weak,
1013If thou resist. The Fiend lookt up and knew
1014His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
1015Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

Notes

136] grottesque (1667); gottesque (1674). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1667
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2002
Rhyme: 
Special Copyright: 

Transcription courtesy of Roy Flannagan.