Paradise Lost: Book IV

Original Text: 
John Milton, Paradise Lost. 2nd edn. 1674.
2Th' Apocalypse heard cry in Heaven aloud,
4Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
5"Woe to the inhabitants on Earth!" that now,
6While time was, our first parents had been warn'd
7The coming of their secret foe, and scap'd,
8Haply so scap'd, his mortal snare! For now
9Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
11To wreak on innocent frail Man his loss
12Of that first battle and his flight to Hell;
14Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
15Begins his dire attempt; which, nigh the birth
16Now rolling, boils in his tumultuous breast,
18Upon himself. Horror and doubt distract
19His troubl'd thoughts and from the bottom stir
20The hell within him; for within him Hell
21He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
22One step, no more than from himself, can fly
23By change of place. Now conscience wakes despair
24That slumber'd, wakes the bitter memory
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 griev'd look he fixes sad;
29Sometimes towards heaven and the full-blazing sun,
30Which now sat high in his meridian tower:
31Then, much revolving, thus in sighs began:
33Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God
34Of this new World--at whose sight all the stars
35Hide their diminish'd 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
40Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
41Warring in Heav'n against Heav'n's matchless King:
42Ah, wherefore? He deserv'd 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 than to afford him praise,
47The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,
48How due! Yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
49And wrought but malice; lifted up so high,
51Would set me highest and in a moment quit
52The debt immense of endless gratitude,
53So burdensome, still paying, still to owe;
54Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd;
55And understood not that a grateful mind
56By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
57Indebted and discharg'd: what burden then?
58O had his powerful destiny ordain'd
59Me some inferior Angel, I had stood
60Then happy: no unbounded hope had rais'd
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!
67Thou hadst. Whom hast thou then, or what, to accuse,
68But Heav'n's free love dealt equally to all?
69Be then his love accurs'd, 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 fly
74Infinite wrath and infinite despair?
75Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
76And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
77Still threat'ning 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?
82Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
83Among the Spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
84With other promises and other vaunts
85Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
86Th' Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know
88Under what torments inwardly I groan;
89While they adore me on the throne of Hell,
90With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,
91The lower still I fall, only supreme
92In misery: such joy ambition finds!
93But say I could repent, and could obtain,
94By act of grace, my former state: how soon
95Would highth recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
96What feign'd submission swore! Ease would recant
98For never can true reconcilement grow
99Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep--
100Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
101And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
102Short intermission bought with double smart.
103This knows my Punisher; therefore as far
104From granting he, as I from begging, peace.
105All hope excluded thus, behold, instead
106Of us, outcast, exil'd, his new delight,
107Mankind, created, and for him this World!
108So farewell Hope, and, with Hope, farewell Fear,
109Farewell Remorse! All good to me is lost:
110Evil, be thou my Good; by thee at least
111Divided empire with Heav'n's King I hold,
112By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign--
113As Man ere long and this new World shall know."
114Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face,
117Him counterfeit, if any eye beheld;
118For heav'nly minds from such distempers foul
119Are ever clear. Whereof he soon aware
120Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calm,
121Artificer of fraud, and was the first
122That practis'd falsehood under saintly show,
123Deep malice to conceal, couch'd with revenge;
124Yet not enough had practis'd to deceive
125Uriel, once warn'd, whose eye pursu'd him down
127Saw him disfigur'd, more than could befall
128Spirit of happy sort: his gestures fierce
129He mark'd and mad demeanour, then alone,
130As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.
131So on he fares and to the border comes
133Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
135Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
136With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,
137Access denied; and overhead up-grew
138Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
139Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
140A sylvan scene and, as the ranks ascend
142Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops
143The verdurous wall of Paradise up-sprung;
145Into his nether empire neighbouring round.
146And higher than that wall a circling row
147Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit,
148Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue,
149Appear'd, with gay enamell'd colours mix'd;
150On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beams
151Than in fair evening cloud, or humid bow,
152When God hath show'r'd the earth: so lovely seem'd
155Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
156All sadness but despair. Now gentle gales,
157Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
158Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
159Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
160Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
163Of Araby the Blest, with such delay
164Well pleas'd they slack their course, and many a league
165Cheer'd with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles:
166So entertain'd those odorous sweets the Fiend
167Who came their bane, though with them better pleas'd
169That drove him, though enamour'd, from the spouse
170Of Tobit's son, and with a vengeance sent
172Now to th' ascent of that steep savage hill
173Satan had journeyed on, pensive and slow;
174But further way found none: so thick entwin'd,
176Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplex'd
177All path of man or beast that pass'd that way.
178One gate there only was, and that look'd east
179On th' other side; which when th' Arch-felon saw,
180Due entrance he disdain'd and, in contempt,
181At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound
182Of hill or highest wall, and sheer within
183Lights on his feet. As when a prowling wolf,
184Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
185Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve
187Leaps o'er the fence with ease into the fold;
188Or as a thief, bent to unhoard the cash
189Of some rich burgher, whose substantial doors,
190Cross-barr'd and bolted fast, fear no assault,
191In at the window climbs, or o'er the tiles:
192So clomb this first grand Thief into God's fold:
195The middle tree and highest there that grew,
196Sat like a cormorant; yet not true life
197Thereby regain'd, but sat devising death
198To them who liv'd; nor on the virtue thought
199Of that life-giving plant, but only us'd
200For prospect what, well us'd, had been 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 their meanest use.
205Beneath him, with new wonder, now he views,
206To all delight of human sense expos'd,
207In narrow room Nature's whole wealth; yea, more--
208A Heaven on Earth; for blissful Paradise
209Of God the garden was, by him in the east
210Of Eden planted; Eden stretch'd her line
212Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
213Or where the sons of Eden long before
214Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soil
215His far more pleasant garden God ordain'd.
216Out of the fertile ground he caus'd to grow
217All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
218And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,
220Of vegetable gold; and, next to life,
222Knowledge of good, bought dear by knowing ill.
223Southward through Eden went a river large,
224Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggy hill
225Pass'd underneath ingulf'd; 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
230Water'd the garden; thence united fell
231Down the steep glade and met the nether flood,
232Which from his darksome passage now appears,
233And now, divided into four main streams,
234Runs diverse, wand'ring many a famous realm
235And country, whereof here needs no account,
236But rather to tell how, if art could tell,
238Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
243Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,
244Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
245The open field, and where the unpierc'd shade
247A happy rural seat of various view:
248Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm;
249Others whose fruit, burnish'd with golden rind,
251If true, here only--and of delicious taste.
252Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
253Grazing the tender herb, were interpos'd,
254Or palmy hillock; or the flow'ry lap
256Flow'rs of all hue, and without thorn the rose;
258Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
259Lays forth her purple grape and gently creeps
260Luxuriant. Meanwhile murmuring waters fall
261Down the slope hills, dispers'd, or in a lake,
262That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
263Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
264The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
265Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
268Led on th' eternal Spring. Not that fair field
270Herself a fairer flow'r, by gloomy Dis
271Was gather'd--which cost Ceres all that pain
272To seek her through the world; nor that sweet grove
274Castalian spring, might with this Paradise
276Girt with the river Triton, where old Cham,
277Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove,
278Hid Amalthea and her florid son,
279Young Bacchus, from his stepdame Rhea's eye;
280Nor, where Abassin kings their issue guard,
284A whole day's journey high, but wide remote
286Saw undelighted all delight, all kind
287Of living creatures, new to sight and strange.
288Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall,
289God-like erect, with native honour clad
290In naked majesty, seem'd lords of all,
291And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine
292The image of their glorious Maker shone,
293Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure--
294Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd,
295Whence true authority in men: though both
296Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd;
297For contemplation he and valour form'd,
298For softness she and sweet attractive grace;
299He for God only, she for God in him.
303Clust'ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad;
304She, as a veil down to the slender waist,
305Her unadorned golden tresses wore
307As the vine curls her tendrils--which implied
308Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
309And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd,
310Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,
311And sweet, reluctant, amorous delay.
312Nor those mysterious parts were then conceal'd:
313Then was not guilty shame. Dishonest Shame
314Of Nature's works, Honour dishonourable,
315Sin-bred, how have ye troubl'd all mankind
316With shows instead, mere shows of seeming pure,
317And banish'd from man's life his happiest life,
318Simplicity and spotless innocence!
319So pass'd they naked on, nor shunn'd the sight
320Of God or Angel; for they thought no ill.
321So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair
322That ever since in love's embraces met--
323Adam the goodliest man of men since born
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 their sweet gard'ning labour than suffic'd
330More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite
331More grateful, to their supper-fruits they fell--
332Nectarine fruits, which the compliant boughs
333Yielded them, sidelong as they sat recline
335The savoury pulp they chew, and in the rind,
336Still as they thirsted, scoop the brimming stream;
338Wanted, nor youthful dalliance, as beseems
339Fair couple link'd in happy nuptial league,
340Alone as they. About them frisking play'd
342In wood or wilderness, forest or den:
343Sporting the lion ramp'd, and in his paw
345Gamboll'd before them; th' unwieldy elephant,
346To make them mirth, us'd all his might, and wreath'd
347His lithe proboscis; close the serpent sly,
349His braided train, and of his fatal guile
350Gave proof unheeded. Others on the grass
351Couch'd and, now fill'd with pasture, gazing sat,
353Declin'd, was hasting now with prone career
355Of heav'n the stars that usher evening rose;
356When Satan, still in gaze as first he stood,
358"O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold?
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 form'd them on their shape hath pour'd.
366Ah! gentle pair, ye 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:
370Happy, but for so happy ill secur'd
371Long to continue, and this high seat, your Heav'n,
372Ill-fenc'd for Heav'n to keep out such a foe
373As now is enter'd; yet no purpos'd foe
375Though I unpitied. League with you I seek,
376And mutual amity, so strait, 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 Maker's work; he gave it me,
382To entertain you two, her widest gates,
383And send forth all her kings; there will be room,
384Not like these narrow limits, to receive
385Your numerous offspring; if no better place,
386Thank him who puts me, loath, to this revenge
387On you, who wrong me not, for him who wrong'd.
388And, should I at your harmless innocence
389Melt, as I do, yet public reason just--
390Honour and empire with revenge enlarg'd
391By conquering this new world--compels me now
392To do what else, though damn'd, I should abhor."
393So spake the Fiend, and with necessity,
394The tyrant's plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
395Then from his lofty stand on that high tree
396Down he alights among the sportful herd
397Of those four-footed kinds, himself now one,
398Now other, as their shape serv'd best his end,
399Nearer to view his prey, and, unespied,
400To mark what of their state he more might learn
401By word or action mark'd. About them round
402A lion now he stalks with fiery glare;
403Then as a tiger, who by chance hath spied
405Straight crouches close, then, rising, changes oft
407Whence rushing he might surest seize them both
408Gripp'd in each paw; when Adam, first of men,
410Turn'd him all ear to hear new utterance flow:
411"Sole partner and sole part of all these joys,
412Dearer thyself than all, needs must the Power
413That made us, and for us this ample world,
414Be infinitely good, and of his good
415As liberal and free as infinite;
416That rais'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here
417In all this happiness, who at his hand
418Have nothing merited, nor can perform
419Aught whereof he hath need; he who requires
420From us no other service than to keep
421This one, this easy charge: of all the trees
422In Paradise that bear delicious fruit
423So various, not to taste that only Tree
424Of Knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life:
425So near grows Death to Life, whate'er death is--
426Some dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou know'st
427God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that Tree:
428The only sign of our obedience left
429Among so many signs of power and rule
430Conferr'd upon us, and dominion giv'n
431Over all other creatures that possess
432Earth, air, and sea. Then let us not think hard
433One easy prohibition, who enjoy
434Free leave so large to all things else, and choice
435Unlimited of manifold delights;
436But let us ever praise him and extol
437His bounty, following our delightful task,
438To prune these growing plants and tend these flowers;
439Which, were it toilsome, yet with thee were sweet."
440To whom thus Eve replied: "O thou for whom
441And from whom I was form'd flesh of thy flesh,
442And without whom am to no end, my guide
444For we to him, indeed, all praises owe,
445And daily thanks--I chiefly, who enjoy
446So far the happier lot, enjoying thee,
447Pre-eminent by so much odds, while thou
448Like consort to thyself canst nowhere find.
449That day I oft remember, when from sleep
450I first awak'd and found myself repos'd,
451Under a shade, on flow'rs, much wond'ring 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'd thought, and laid me down
458On the green bank, to look into the clear
459Smooth lake, that to me seem'd another sky.
461A shape within the wat'ry gleam appear'd,
462Bending to look on me. I started back,
463It started back; but pleas'd I soon return'd
464Pleas'd it return'd as soon with answering looks
465Of sympathy and love. There I had fix'd
466Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
467Had not a voice thus warn'd me: 'What thou seest
468What there thou seest, fair creature, is thyself:
469With thee it came and goes; but follow me,
471Thy coming and thy soft embraces--he
472Whose image thou art; him thou shalt enjoy
473Inseparably thine; to him shalt bear
474Multitudes like thyself, and thence be call'd
475Mother of human race.' What could I do
476But follow straight, invisibly thus led?
477Till I espied thee, fair indeed and tall,
478Under a platan; yet methought less fair,
479Less winning soft, less amiably mild,
480Than that smooth wat'ry image. Back I turn'd;
481Thou, following, cried'st aloud, 'Return, fair Eve;
482Whom fliest thou? Whom thou fliest, of him thou art,
483His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
484Out of my side to thee, nearest my heart,
485Substantial life, to have thee by my side
487Part of my soul I seek thee, and thee claim
488My other half.' With that thy gentle hand
489Seiz'd mine: I yielded, and from that time see
490How beauty is excell'd by manly grace
491And wisdom, which alone is truly fair."
492So spake our general mother, and, with eyes
494And meek surrender, half-embracing lean'd
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,
500On Juno smiles when he impregns the clouds
501That shed May flowers, and press'd her matron lip
502With kisses pure. Aside the Devil turn'd
503For envy; yet with jealous leer malign
505"Sight hateful, sight tormenting! Thus these two,
506Imparadis'd in one another's arms,
507The happier Eden, shall enjoy their 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,
512Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
513From their 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 their Lord
517Envy them that? Can it be sin to know?
518Can it be death? And do they only stand
519By ignorance? Is that their happy state,
520The proof of their obedience and their faith?
521O fair foundation laid whereon to build
522Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds
523With more desire to know, and to reject
524Envious commands, invented with design
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 unspied:--
531Some wand'ring Spirit of Heav'n, by fountain-side,
532Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
533What further would be learn'd. Live while ye may,
534Yet happy 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'er hill, o'er dale, his roam.
540With earth and ocean meets, the setting sun
542Against the eastern gate of Paradise
543Levell'd his evening rays. It was a rock
544Of alabaster, pil'd up to the clouds,
545Conspicuous far, winding with one ascent
546Accessible from earth, one entrance high;
547The rest was craggy cliff, that overhung
548Still as it rose, impossible to dimb.
550Chief of th' angelic guards, awaiting night;
551About him exercis'd heroic games
552Th' unarmed youth of Heav'n; but nigh at hand
553Celestial armoury, shields, helms, and spears,
554Hung high, with diamond flaming and with gold.
555Thither came Uriel, gliding through the even
556On a sunbeam, swift as a shooting star
558Impress the air, and shows the mariner
559From what point of his compass to beware
560Impetuous winds. He thus began in haste:
562Charge and strict watch that to this happy place
563No evil thing approach or enter in.
564This day at highth of noon came to my sphere
565A Spirit, zealous as he seem'd to know
566More of th' Almighty's works, and chiefly Man,
569But in the mount that lies from Eden north,
570Where he first lighted, soon discern'd 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 banish'd crew,
574I fear, hath ventur'd from the Deep, to raise
575New troubles; him thy care must be to find."
576To whom the winged warrior thus return'd:
577"Uriel, no wonder if thy perfect sight,
578Amid the sun's bright circle where thou sitt'st,
579See far and wide. In at this gate none pass
580The vigilance here plac'd, but such as come
581Well known from Heav'n; and since meridian hour
582No creature thence. If Spirit of other sort,
583So minded, have o'erleap'd these earthy bounds
584On purpose, hard thou know'st it to exclude
585Spiritual substance with corporeal bar.
586But if within the circuit of these walks,
587In whatsoever shape, he lurk of whom
588Thou tell'st, by morrow dawning I shall know."
589So promis'd he; and Uriel to his charge
590Return'd on that bright beam, whose point now rais'd
591Bore him slope downward to the sun, now fall'n
593Incredible how swift, had thither roll'd
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 Evening on, and Twilight gray
599Had in her sober livery all things clad;
600Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
601They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
602Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;
604Silence was pleas'd. Now glow'd the firmament
606The starry host, rode brightest, till the Moon,
607Rising in clouded majesty, at length
609And o'er 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 slumb'rous weight inclines
616Our eyelids. Other creatures all day long
617Rove idle, unemploy'd, and less need rest;
618Man hath his daily work of body or mind
619Appointed, which declares his dignity
620And the regard of Heav'n on all his ways;
621While other animals unactive range,
622And of their 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 flow'ry arbours, yonder alleys green,
627Our walks at noon, with branches overgrown,
629More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
630Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
631That lie bestrewn, unsightly and unsmooth,
633Meanwhile, as Nature wills, Night bids us rest."
634To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorned:
636Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains.
637God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more
638Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise.
639With thee conversing I forget all time,
641Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
643When first on this delightful land he spreads
644His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r,
645Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
646After soft showers; and sweet the coming-on
647Of grateful evening mild; then silent night,
648With this her solemn bird, and this her moon,
649And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train:
650But neither breath of morn when she ascends
651With charm of earliest birds, nor rising sun
652On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flower,
653Glist'ring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
654Nor grateful evening mild, nor silent night,
655With this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon
656Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet.
657But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom
658This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?"
659To whom our general ancestor replied:
661Those have their course to finish round the earth
662By morrow evening, and from land to land
663In order, though to nations yet unborn,
664Minist'ring light prepar'd, they set and rise;
666Her old possession, and extinguish life
667In nature and all things, which these soft fires
669Of various influence foment and warm,
670Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
671Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
672On earth, made hereby apter to receive
673Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.
674These, then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
675Shine not in vain. Nor think, though men were none,
677Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
678Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep:
679All these with ceaseless 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 other's note,
684Singing their great Creator! Oft in bands
686With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds
687In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
689Thus talking, hand in hand alone they pass'd
690On to their blissful bower. It was a place
691Chos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'd
692All things to Man's delightful use: the roof
693Of thickest covert was inwoven shade,
695Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
696Acanthus and each odorous bushy shrub
697Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flower,
698Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine,
699Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and wrought
700Mosaic; under foot the violet,
701Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay
702Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone
704Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none;
705Such was their awe of Man. In shadier bower
708Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess,
709With flowers, garlands, and sweet-smelling herbs,
710Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed,
713Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn'd,
715Endow'd with all their gifts; and O too like
716In sad event, when, to the unwiser son
717Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'd
718Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
720Thus at their shady lodge arriv'd, both stood,
721Both turn'd, and under open sky ador'd
722The God that made both sky, air, earth, and Heav'n,
723Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
725Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day,
726Which we, in our appointed work employ'd,
727Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help
728And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
729Ordain'd 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 extol
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 their inmost bower
739Handed they went; and, eas'd the putting-off
740These troublesome disguises which we wear,
741Straight side by side were laid; nor turn'd, I ween,
742Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites
744Whatever hypocrites austerely talk
745Of purity, and place, and innocence,
746Deeming as impure what God declares
747Pure, and commands to some, leaves free to all.
749But our destroyer, foe to God and Man?
750Hail wedded Love, mysterious law, true source
752In Paradise of all things common else!
753By thee adulterous lust was driv'n from men
754Among the bestial herds to range; by thee,
755Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure,
756Relations dear, and all the charities
757Of father, son, and brother, first were known.
758Far 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'd,
762Present or past, as saints and patriarchs us'd.
764His constant lamp and waves his purple wings,
765Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile
766Of harlots, loveless, joyless, unendear'd,
768Mix'd dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball,
770To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.
771These, lull'd by nightingales, embracing slept,
772And on their naked limbs the flow'ry roof
773Show'r'd roses, which the morn repair'd. Sleep on,
774Blest pair! and O yet happiest, if ye seek
777Half-way uphill this vast sublunar vault,
779Forth issuing at th' accustom'd hour, stood arm'd
780To their night-watches in warlike parade;
781When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake:
783With strictest watch; these other wheel the north:
784Our circuit meets full west." As flame they part,
786From these, two strong and subtle Spirits he call'd
787That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge:
789Search through this garden; leave unsearch'd no nook;
790But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge,
792This evening from the sun's decline arriv'd
794Hitherward bent (who could have thought?), escap'd
795The bars of Hell, on errand bad, no doubt:
796Such, where ye find, seize fasst and hither bring."
797So saying, on he led his radiant files,
798Dazzling the moon; these to the bower direct
799In search of whom they sought. Him there they found
800Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve,
802The organs of her fancy 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 distemper'd, discontented thoughts,
808Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires,
809Blown up with high conceits engend'ring pride.
810Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
811Touch'd lightly; for no falsehood can endure
812Touch of celestial temper, but returns
814Discover'd and surpris'd. As when a spark
818With sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the air:
819So started up in his own shape the Fiend.
820Back stept those two fair Angels, half amaz'd
821So sudden to behold the grisly king;
822Yet thus, unmov'd with fear, accost him soon:
823"Which of those rebel Spirits adjudg'd to Hell
824Com'st thou, escap'd thy prison? and, transform'd,
825Why satt'st thou like an enemy in wait,
826Here watching at the head of these that sleep?"
827"Know ye not, then," said Satan, fill'd with scorn,
829For you, there sitting where ye durst not soar!
831The lowest of your throng; or, if ye know,
833Your message, like to end as much in vain?"
834To whom thus Zephon, answering scorn with scorn:
835"Think not, revolted Spirit, thy shape the same,
836Or undiminish'd brightness, to be known
837As when thou stood'st in Heav'n upright and pure.
838That glory then, when thou no more wast good,
839Departed from thee, and thou resembl'st now
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."
845Severe in youthful beauty, added grace
846Invincible. Abash'd the Devil stood,
847And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
848Virtue in her shape how lovely--saw and pin'd
849His loss, but chiefly to find here observ'd
850His lustre visibly impair'd; yet seem'd
851Undaunted. "If I must contend," said he,
852"Best with the best--the sender, not the sent,
853Or all at once: more glory will be won,
854Or less be lost." "Thy fear," said Zephon bold,
855"Will save us trial what the least can do
856Single against thee, wicked and thence weak."
857The Fiend replied not, overcome with rage;
858But, like a proud steed rein'd, went haughty on,
859Champing his iron curb. To strive or fly
860He held it vain; awe from above had quell'd
861His heart, not else dismay'd. Now drew they nigh
863Just met and, closing, stood in squadron join'd,
864Awaiting next command. To whom their chief,
865Gabriel, from the front thus call'd aloud:
866''O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet
867Hasting this way, and now by glimpse discern
868Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade;
869And with them comes a third, of regal port,
870But faded splendour wan, who by his gait
871And fierce demeanour seems the Prince of Hell--
872Not likely to part hence without contést.
873Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours."
874He scarce had ended, when those two approach'd,
875And brief related whom they brought, where found,
876How busied, in what form and posture couch'd.
877To whom, with stern regard, thus Gabriel spake:
878"Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib'd
880Of others who approve not to transgress
881By thy example, but have power and right
882To question thy bold entrance on this place,
883Employ'd, it seems, to violate sleep and those
884Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss?"
885To whom thus Satan, with contemptuous brow:
887And such I held thee; but this question ask'd
888Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain?
889Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell,
890Though thither doom'd? Thou wouldst thyself, no doubt,
891And boldly venture to whatever place
892Farthest from pain, where thou mightst hope to change
893Torment with ease, and soonest recompense
895To thee no reason, who know'st only good,
897His will who bound us? Let him surer bar
898His iron gates if he intends our stay
899In that dark durance. Thus much what was ask'd;
900The rest is true: they found me where they say;
901But that implies not violence or harm."
902Thus he in scorn. The warlike Angel mov'd,
903Disdainfully half smiling, thus replied:
904"O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise
905Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,
906And now returns him from his prison scap'd,
907Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
908Or not who ask what boldness brought him hither
909Unlicens'd from his bounds in Hell prescrib'd!
910So wise he judges it to fly from pain,
912So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrath
913Which thou incurr'st by flying meet thy flight
914Sevenfold and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,
915Which taught thee yet no better that no pain
916Can equal anger infinite provok'd.
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 than they
920Less hardy to endure? Courageous chief,
921The first in flight from pain, hadst thou alleg'd
922To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
923Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive."
924To which the Fiend thus answer'd, frowning stern:
925"Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,
927Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid
928The blasting volley'd thunder made all speed
929And seconded thy else not dreaded spear.
930But still thy words at random, as before,
932From hard assays and ill successes past,
933A faithful leader--not to hazard all
934Through ways of danger by himself untried.
935I, therefore, I alone, first undertook
936To wing the desolate Abyss and spy
937This new-created World, whereof in Hell
939Better abode, and my afflicted powers
941Though for possession put to try once more
942What thou and thy gay legions dare against,
943Whose easier business were to serve their Lord
944High up in Heav'n, with songs to hymn his throne,
945And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight."
946To whom the warrior Angel soon replied:
947"To say and straight unsay, pretending first
948Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy,
949Argues no leader, but a liar trac'd,
950Satan; and couldst thou 'faithful' add? O name,
951O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!
952Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
953Army of fiends, fit body to fit head!
955Your military obedience, to dissolve
956Allegiance to th' acknowledg'd Power Supreme?
957And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
959Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilely ador'd
960Heav'n's awful Monarch? wherefore, but in hope
961To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
963Fly thither whence thou fledd'st. If from this hour
964Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
965Back to th' infernal Pit I drag thee chain'd,
967The facile gates of Hell too slightly barr'd."
968So threat'n'd he; but Satan to no threats
969Gave heed, but waxing more in rage, replied:
970"Then, when I am thy captive, talk of chains,
972Far heavier load thyself expect to feel
974Ride on thy wings and thou with thy compeers,
975Us'd to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels
976In progress through the road of Heav'n star-pav'd."
977While thus he spake, th' angelic squadron bright
982Her bearded grove of ears which way the wind
983Sways them, the careful ploughman doubting stands,
984Lest on the thrashing-floor his hopeful sheaves
985Prove chaff. On th' other side, Satan, alarm'd,
986Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
988His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
989Sat Horror plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp
991Might have ensu'd; nor only Paradise,
993Of heav'n perhaps, or all the elements
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 Astraea and the Scorpion sign,
999Wherein all things created first he weigh'd--
1001In counterpoise--now ponders all events,
1002Battles and realms. In these he put two weights,
1004The latter quick up flew and kick'd the beam;
1005Which Gabriel spying thus bespake the Fiend:
1006"Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine,
1007Neither our own, but giv'n; what folly then
1008To boast what arms can do! since thine no more
1009Than Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubl'd now
1010To trample thee as mire. For proof look up,
1011And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
1013If thou resist." The Fiend look'd up and knew
1014His mounted scale aloft: nor more, but fled
1015Murmuring; and with him fled the shades of night.


1] he who: St. John. See Revelation 12:12: "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath." Back to Line
3] Dragon: Revelation 12:9, "And the great Dragon was cast out, ... called ... Satan." He was first routed by the Son in the war in Heaven (P.L., VI; see Head Note to P.L., IX), then by the Incarnation and Christ's earthly ministry (P.L., XII, and Nativity Ode). Back to Line
10] Satan (the Serpent) is the tempter in Genesis (see P.L., IX) and the accuser in Job. Back to Line
13] "The nearer Satan approaches to the scene of his task the more he realizes its enormity and peril, and the less his confidence becomes" (Verity). Back to Line
17] engine: a machine used in warfare, here a cannon. Back to Line
32] According to Edward Phillips, Milton's nephew, these lines were written in the period 1640-42 as part of a projected drama on the fall of man. Back to Line
39] sphere: see Nativity Ode, 125 n. Back to Line
50] 'sdein'd: disdained. Back to Line
61] Power: angel. Back to Line
66] Satan in soliloquy addresses himself. Back to Line
81] Cf. above I, 660-61. Back to Line
87] abide: suffer for. Back to Line
97] violent and void: a vow exacted by force was not binding. Back to Line
115] pale: paleness. Back to Line
116] borrow'd visage: the disguise of a "stripling cherub" which he had assumed to deceive Uriel, the guardian of the Sun (see Head Note). Back to Line
126] Assyrian mount: Niphates, the mountain on which Satan first alights (see P.L., III, 742). Back to Line
132] Eden: the whole tract or district in Western Asia later known as Mesopotamia, on the eastern side of which was located Paradise; see Genesis 2:8. Back to Line
134] champaign head: level summit. Back to Line
141] a woody theatre: i.e., shaped like a Greek theatre with ascending tiers. Back to Line
144] our general sire: Adam, the father of us all. 144-45.
Unfallen Adam was given the whole earth to rule. Back to Line
153] landskip: landscape. Back to Line
154] his: Satan's. Back to Line
161] Mozambic: Mozambique, a Portuguese province on the east coast of Africa, opposite Madagascar. Back to Line
162] Saba, in southern Arabia (Arabia Felix, Araby the bless'd), was famous for its incense. Back to Line
168] According to the apocryphal Book of Tobit, Tobias, son of Tobit, was bidden by the angel Raphael to marry Sara, a Jewish maiden dwelling in Media, whose previous seven husbands had been destroyed on the wedding night by an evil and jealous spirit, Asmodeus. But Tobias was instructed by Raphael to burn the heart and liver of a fish in his chamber. He did so, and the fishy fume forced Asmodeus to flee into Egypt, where the angel bound him. Back to Line
171] post: with speed. Back to Line
175] brake: thicket. Back to Line
186] hurdl'd cotes: fences made of interwoven boughs. Back to Line
193] Cf. Lycidas, 114-15. Back to Line
194] Tree of Life: see Genesis 2.9. Back to Line
211] Auran Seleucia, Telassar: districts and cities in or near Mesopotamia; see above, line 132n. Back to Line
219] ambrosial: fragrant like ambrosia, the fabled food of the gods. Back to Line
221] See Genesis 2:9, 17. Back to Line
237] crisped: rippling. Back to Line
239] error: wandering. Back to Line
240] nectar: the fabled drink of the gods. Back to Line
241] nice: precise, fastidious. Back to Line
242] boon: generous, bountiful. Back to Line
246] Imbrown'd: darkened. Back to Line
250] Hesperian fables: stories concerning the gardens of the Hesperides, where golden apples were guarded by a dragon. Back to Line
255] irriguous: well-watered. Back to Line
257] umbrageous: shadowed. Back to Line
266] Pan: originally the god of shepherds, then a god of universal nature, whose name means "all." Back to Line
267] Graces: three goddesses--Euphrosyne, Aglaia, and Thalia--who personify the joys of life. the Hours: goddesses representing the seasons of the year. Back to Line
269] Proserpina, goddess of springtime fertility, was captured at Enna in Sicily by Dis (Pluto), god of the underworld (Ovid, Metamorphoses, V, 385-91). Her mother Ceres sought her through the whole earth (Homeric Hymn to Demeter). Back to Line
273] The gardens of Daphne on the river Orontes in Syria contained a spring which was named after the Castalian spring on Mt. Parnassus in Greece, and which was reputed to bestow prophetic knowledge. Back to Line
275] Nysa was a beautiful island in the river Triton in Tunisia. There Bacchus, son of Ammon by the nymph Amalthea, was hidden from the jealous anger of Rhea, Ammon's wife. By the Greeks and Romans the Egyptian god Ammon was identified with their deity and known as Zeus-Arnmon or Jupiter-Ammon (hence Libyan Jove), and Christian tradition identified him with Ham (Cham), the second son of Noah, who was supposed to have settled in Africa after the Flood. Back to Line
281] Mount Amara: a secluded place where the Abyssinian kings were said to be educated. Back to Line
282] Ethiop line: the equator. Back to Line
283] Nilus' head: the head or source of the Nile. Back to Line
285] this Assyrian garden: Paradise. Back to Line
300] front: brow, forehead; sublime: exalted (referring to its expression). Back to Line
301] hyacinthine: dark; an Homeric epithet, as in Odyssey, VI, 231. Back to Line
302] See I Corinthians 11:14-15, where St. Paul says that in man long hair is "a shame" but in a woman "a glory." Only the more extreme Puritans (and not Milton) cropped their hair and became "round heads." Back to Line
306] wanton: unrestrained. Back to Line
329] Zephyr: the west wind. Back to Line
334] damask'd: variegated, like the rich figured silks woven at Damascus. Back to Line
337] purpose: conversation. Back to Line
341] of all chase: of every kind of hunting. Back to Line
344] ounces, pards:
lynxes, leopards. Back to Line
348] Gordian twine: an intricate tangle, like that in the Gordian knot. Back to Line
352] ruminating: chewing the cud (Lat. ruminantes). Back to Line
354] Isles: the Azores (cf. below, line 592). Back to Line
357] fail'd speech: speech that had failed him. Back to Line
359] our room of bliss: the place of bliss left vacant by us. Back to Line
360] mould: substance. Back to Line
374] forlorn: undefended. Back to Line
381] Cf. "Hell ... is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming, ... it hath raised up from their thrones all the kinds of the nations" (Isaiah 14:9). Back to Line
404] purlieu: outskirt of a forest. Back to Line
406] couchant: lying. Back to Line
409] moving speech, i.e., speaking. Back to Line
443] head: cf. I Corinthians 2:3, "The head of the woman is the man." Back to Line
460] Cf. the story of Narsissus (Ovid, Metamorphoses, III, 402-510) who, unlike Eve, never discovers his mistake. Back to Line
470] stays: stays for, awaits. Back to Line
486] individual: inseparable. Back to Line
493] unreprov'd: blameless. Back to Line
499] Jupiter rules the sky, Juno the air; he impregns (impregnates) the clouds, so that rain brings forth May flowers. Back to Line
504] plain'd: complained. Back to Line
511] pines: probably transitive, ''makes me pine." Back to Line
530] A chance, but: there is just a possibility that. Back to Line
539] in utmost longitude: in the extreme west. Back to Line
541] with right aspect: facing directly, but (as M. Y. Hughes points out) the inner surface of the gate, since there was but one and it "look'd east'' (above, line 178). Back to Line
549] Gabriel (meaning "Man of God'') is one of the archangels who appears in the Bible (Daniel 8:16-27; 9:21-27; Luke 1:19, 27). Back to Line
557] thwarts: cuts across. Back to Line
561] It has been your destiny to be given. Back to Line
567] Man, / God's latest image. In Milton's view the Son was the first being created in God's image: he as "true image of the Father." Back to Line
568] airy gait: course through the air. Back to Line
592] th' Azores: i.e., in the extreme west. prime orb: sun. Back to Line
594] volúbil: easily rolling; accent on second syllable, as in Latin volubilis. Back to Line
603] descant: warbled song. Back to Line
605] Hesperus: the evening star. Back to Line
608] Apparent: manifest. Back to Line
628] manuring: cultivating (literally, working with the hand). Back to Line
632] Ask: require. Back to Line
635] author. Since Eve was created out of Adam's body, she refers to him as the source of her being; cf. above, 441 and P.L., VIII, 460-77. Back to Line
640] seasons: times of day. Back to Line
642] charm: song, especially the blended singing of birds. Back to Line
660] accomplish'd: perfect, full of accomplishments. Back to Line
665] total darkness: the original darkness of Chaos. Back to Line
668] kindly: natural, but with the secondary suggestion of beneficent. It seems evident that Milton is here referring (as in P.L., III, 608-12) to the chemical influence of the sun's rays on growing things and extending it to include the stars as well as the sun, but with a secondary suggestion of their astrological influence on man's characters and fortunes, influence (literally, "a flowing in upon'') and virtue (efficacy) being terms employed in astrology. Back to Line
676] want: lack. Back to Line
685] rounding: walking the rounds as guards. Back to Line
688] Divide the night: i.e., into watches; Milton draws upon the Latin military term divere noctem, but also perhaps remembers that division was a technical term in music. Back to Line
694] Laurel, the symbol of triumph, and myrtle, of love. Back to Line
703] emblem: inlaid work. Back to Line
706] feign'd: imagined by poets. Back to Line
707] Pan, the pastoral deity (see above, line 266 n.). Sylvanus ... nymph / ... Faunus: woodland deities. Back to Line
711] hymenæan: marriage song (from Hymen, god of marriage). Back to Line
712] genial: nuptial (from genius, considered as the spirit presiding over reproduction, here transformed to an angel). Back to Line
714] Pandora (all gifted) was conducted by the messenger god Hermes to Epimetheus (after-thought), the brother of Prometheus (fore-thought) and the unwiser son of the Titan Japhet. After marrying Pandora, Epimetheus opened the casket that the gods sent with her. But it proved to contain (and let out into the world) all the evils of life; and in this manner Zeus (Jove) avenged the stealing of the fire of heaven by Prometheus and his giving it to mankind. In the sequel (P.L., IX) Eve is to be a second Pandora, Adam a second Epimetheus. Back to Line
719] authentic: genuine. Back to Line
724] pole: sky (from the use of the word in astronomy to signify celestial pole). Back to Line
743] St. Paul calls marriage "a great mystery" (Ephesians 5:32). Back to Line
748] "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28). Back to Line
751] sole propriety: the one personal possession, where all things else are held in common. Back to Line
763] Ovid describes how Cupid, the god of love, possesses both golden arrows that inspire love and leaden ones that banish it (Metamorphoses, 1, 469-71). Back to Line
767] fruition: enjoyment. Back to Line
769] The reference is to the tradition of courtly love and later of Petrarchanism, where the lady is assumed to be unresponsive and disdainful; serenate is an older form of `serenade.' Back to Line
775] Know enough to wish to know no more. Back to Line
776] Since the sun is a larger body than the earth, the shadow of the earth (the umbra), which creates night, takes the shape of a cone. In Paradise night and day each consist of twelve hours, and consequently when the point of the cone has moved half-way from the horizon to the zenith (half-way up hill), one-fourth of the night is past and the time is nine o'clock; the sublunar vault is the expanse of the heavens below the moon. Back to Line
778] port: gate. Back to Line
782] Uzziel, which means "strength of God," is a human, but not an angelic name, in Exodus 6:18 and Numbers 3:19. Back to Line
785] half to the left, and half to the right: the Greek soldier wore his shield on the left arm and held his spear in the right hand. Back to Line
788] Zephon ("Searcher") occurs as a human name in Numbers 26:15, but Ithuriel ("Discovery of God") does not appear in the Bible. Back to Line
791] secure of: unsuspicious of. Back to Line
793] Who: one who, i.e., Uriel. Back to Line
801] Milton offers two alternative explanations of the action he ascribes to Satan and of Eve's consequent dream: he seeks either to reach and work upon her imagination (fancy) or to inspire (breathe in) venom and corrupt the animal spirits, which were thought to be distilled from the blood and to be the agents of the brain. Back to Line
813] Of force: of necessity. Back to Line
815] nitrous powder: gunpowder, since nitre or saltpetre is one of its ingredients. Back to Line
816] tun: barrel. Back to Line
817] Against: in anticipation of. Back to Line
828] mate: equal. Back to Line
830] argues: proves. Back to Line
832] superfuous: with superfluous words. Back to Line
840] obscure: dark (as in Latin). Back to Line
844] Here, as in Comus, Milton envokes the Platonic notion that inner goodness and the reverse are registered in the beauty or deformity of the outward person. Back to Line
862] point: i.e., pount of the compass; half-rounding: cf. lines 782-84. Back to Line
879] charge. Gabriel and his troop are charged with the protection of Adam and Eve. Back to Line
886] th' esteem of wise: the reputation of being wise. Back to Line
894] Dole: pain (Lat. dolor). Back to Line
896] object: urge as an objection to my breaking from Hell. Back to Line
911] However: by whatever means. Back to Line
926] stood: withstood, stood against. Back to Line
931] Show your ignorance of the duty (of a faithful leader). Back to Line
938] Fame: report. Back to Line
940] In Ephesians 2:2 Satan is called "the prince of the power of the air." Back to Line
954] faith engag'd: sworn allegiance. Back to Line
958] Patron: champion. Back to Line
962] aread: advise. Avaunt! be gone! Back to Line
966] seal: prophetic of Satan's final doom, when God will cast him into the bottomless pit, and "set a seal upon him" (Revelation 20:3). Back to Line
971] limitary: boundary-guarding, but with a sneer at Gabriel's presuming to limit Satan's activity. Back to Line
973] Lines 973-76 are another sneer: the reference is to the chariot of God, which rides on the wings of cherubim (P.L., VI, 771). Back to Line
978] mooned: crescent-shaped. Back to Line
979] phalanx: see above, line 550 n. Back to Line
980] ported: held slantwise across the breast in order to be quickly levelled for the charge. Back to Line
981] Ceres: grain, of which Ceres was the goddess. Back to Line
987] Teneriff, a great peak in the Canary Islands. Atlas, the mountain in Libya which was supposed to support the sky. unremov'd: irremovable. Back to Line
990] With the scales in which Zeus weighs the destiny of the Greeks against that of the Trojans (Iliad, VIII, 69-72) and of Hector against Achilles (ibid., XII, 209), and Jove the destiny of Aeneas against that of Turnus (Aeneid, XII, 725-27), Milton combines the scales used by God to weigh the elements of the universe (Isaiah 40:12) and the constellation Libra (the scales) situated in the Zodiac between Virga (the maid, i.e., Astraea) and the Scorpion. Back to Line
992] cope: canopy, covering. Back to Line
994] wrack: old form of ''wreck'' original text spells "rack.'' Back to Line
1000] pendulous: hanging;
ponders: weighs. Back to Line
1003] sequel: consequence. Back to Line
1012] thou art weigh'd: cf. "Thou art weighed in the balance, and thou art found wanting" (Daniel 5 :27). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
(in ten books)
RPO poem Editors: 
Hugh MacCallum; A. S. P. Woodhouse
RPO Edition: 
3RP 1.257-79.