Project Gutenberg's The Poetical Works of John Milton, by John Milton

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Title: The Poetical Works of John Milton

Author: John Milton

Release Date: November 20, 2009 [EBook #1745]
Last Updated: November 10, 2014

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by Donal O'Danachair, and David Widger


By John Milton

Transcriber's Notes:

This e-text contains all of Milton's poems in English and Italian. Poems in Latin have been omitted.

The original spelling, capitalisation and punctuation have been retained as far as possible. Characters not in the ANSI standard set have been replaced by their nearest equivalent. The AE & OE digraphs have been transcribed as two letters. Accented letters in the Italian poems have been replaced by the unaccented letter.

No italics have been retained.

Footnotes have been moved to the end of the poem to which they refer; in Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained they have been moved to the end of the book.

Fifty engravings by Gustave Dore have been provided in "Paradise Lost"


PREFACE by the Rev. H. C. Beeching, M. A.


















A MASK PRESENTED At LUDLOW-Castle, 1634. &c.











PSAL. I. Done into Verse, 1653.

PSAL. II Done Aug. 8. 1653. Terzetti.

PSAL. III. Aug. 9. 1653

PSAL. IV. Aug. 10.1653.

PSAL. V. Aug. 12.1653.

PSAL. VI Aug. 13. 1653.

PSAL. VII. Aug. 14. 1653.

PSAL. VIII. Aug. 14. 1653.












[From Of Reformation in England, 1641.]

[From Reason of Church Government, 1641.]

[From Apology for Smectymnuus, 1642.]

[From Areopagitica, 1644.]

[From Tetrachordon, 1645.]

[From The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, 1649.]

[From History of Britain, 1670.]


ON Paradise Lost.















The First Book.

The Second Book.

The Third Book.

The Fourth Book.


Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call'd Tragedy.

The Argument.



PREFACE by the Rev. H. C. Beeching, M. A.

This edition of Milton's Poetry is a reprint, as careful as Editor and Printers have been able to make it, from the earliest printed copies of the several poems. First the 1645 volume of the Minor Poems has been printed entire; then follow in order the poems added in the reissue of 1673; the Paradise Lost, from the edition of 1667; and the Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistes from the edition of 1671.

The most interesting portion of the book must be reckoned the first section of it, which reproduces for the first time the scarce small octavo of 1645. The only reprint of the Minor Poems in the old spelling, so far as I know, is the one edited by Mitford, but that followed the edition of 1673, which is comparatively uninteresting since it could not have had Milton's oversight as it passed through the press. We know that it was set up from a copy of the 1645 edition, because it reproduces some pointless eccentricities such as the varying form of the chorus to Psalm cxxxvi; but while it corrects the errata tabulated in that edition it commits many more blunders of its own. It is valuable, however, as the editio princeps of ten of the sonnets and it contains one important alteration in the Ode on the Nativity. This and all other alterations will be found noted where they occur. I have not thought it necessary to note mere differences of spelling between the two editions but a word may find place here upon their general character. Generally it may be said that, where the two editions differ, the later spelling is that now in use. Thus words like goddess, darkness, usually written in the first edition with one final s, have two, while on the other hand words like vernall, youthfull, and monosyllables like hugg, farr, lose their double letter. Many monosyllables, e.g. som, cours, glimps, wher, vers, aw, els, don, ey, ly, so written in 1645, take on in 1673 an e mute, while words like harpe, windes, onely, lose it. By a reciprocal change ayr and cipress become air and cypress; and the vowels in daign, vail, neer, beleeve, sheild, boosom, eeven, battail, travailer, and many other words are similarly modernized. On the other hand there are a few cases where the 1645 edition exhibits the spelling which has succeeded in fixing itself, as travail (1673, travel) in the sense of labour; and rob'd, profane, human, flood and bloody, forest, triple, alas, huddling, are found where the 1673 edition has roab'd, prophane, humane, floud and bloudy, forrest, tripple, alass and hudling. Indeed the spelling in this later edition is not untouched by seventeenth century inconsistency. It retains here and there forms like shameles, cateres, (where 1645 reads cateress), and occasionally reverts to the older-fashioned spelling of monosyllables without the mute e. In the Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester, it reads—' And som flowers and some bays.' But undoubtedly the impression on the whole is of a much more modern text.

In the matter of small or capital letters I have followed the old copy, except in one or two places where a personification seemed not plainly enough marked to a modern reader without a capital. Thus in Il Penseroso, l. 49, I print Leasure, although both editions read leasure; and in the Vacation Exercise, l. 71, Times for times. Also where the employment or omission of a capital is plainly due to misprinting, as too frequently in the 1673 edition, I silently make the correction. Examples are, notes for Notes in Sonnet xvii. l. 13; Anointed for anointed in Psalm ii. l.12.

In regard to punctuation I have followed the old printers except in obvious misprints, and followed them also, as far as possible, in their distribution of roman and italic type and in the grouping of words and lines in the various titles. To follow them exactly was impossible, as the books are so very different in size.

At this point the candid reader may perhaps ask what advantage is gained by presenting these poems to modern readers in the dress of a bygone age. If the question were put to me I should probably evade it by pointing out that Mr. Frowde is issuing an edition based upon this, in which the spelling is frankly that of to-day. But if the question were pressed, I think a sufficient answer might be found. To begin with, I should point out that even Prof. Masson, who in his excellent edition argues the point and decides in favour of modern spelling, allows that there are peculiarities of Milton's spelling which are really significant, and ought therefore to be noted or preserved. But who is to determine exactly which words are spelt according to the poet's own instructions, and which according to the printer's whim? It is notorious that in Paradise Lost some words were spelt upon a deliberate system, and it may very well happen that in the volume of minor poems which the poet saw through the press in 1645, there were spellings no less systematic. Prof. Masson makes a great point of the fact that Milton's own spelling, exhibited in the autograph manuscript of some of the minor poems preserved in Trinity College, Cambridge, does not correspond with that of the printed copy. [Note: This manuscript, invaluable to all students of Milton, has lately been facsimiled under the superintendence of Dr. Aldis Wright, and published at the Cambridge University press]. This is certainly true, as the reader may see for himself by comparing the passage from the manuscript given in the appendix with the corresponding place in the text. Milton's own spelling revels in redundant e's, while the printer of the 1645 book is very sparing of them. But in cases where the spelling affects the metre, we find that the printed text and Milton's manuscript closely correspond; and it is upon its value in determining the metre, quite as much as its antiquarian interest, that I should base a justification of this reprint. Take, for instance, such a line as the eleventh of Comus, which Prof. Masson gives as:—

        Amongst the enthroned gods on sainted seats.

A reader not learned in Miltonic rhythms will certainly read this

        Amongst th' enthroned gods

But the 1645 edition reads:

        Amongst the enthron'd gods

and so does Milton's manuscript. Again, in line 597, Prof. Masson reads:

        It shall be in eternal restless change
        Self-fed and self-consumed.  If this fail,
        The pillared firmament is rottenness,  &c.

But the 1645 text and Milton's manuscript read self-consum'd; after which word there is to be understood a metrical pause to mark the violent transition of the thought.

Again in the second line of the Sonnet to a Nightingale Prof. Masson has:

        Warblest at eve when all the woods are still

but the early edition, which probably follows Milton's spelling though in this case we have no manuscript to compare, reads 'Warbl'st.' So the original text of Samson, l. 670, has 'temper'st.'

The retention of the old system of punctuation may be less defensible, but I have retained it because it may now and then be of use in determining a point of syntax. The absence of a comma, for example, after the word hearse in the 58th line of the Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester, printed by Prof. Masson thus:—

        And some flowers, and some bays
        For thy hearse to strew thy ways,

but in the 1645 edition:—

        And som Flowers, and som Bays,
        For thy Hears to strew the ways,

goes to prove that for here must be taken as 'fore.

Of the Paradise Lost there were two editions issued during Milton's lifetime, and while the first has been taken as our text, all the variants in the second, not being simple misprints, have been recorded in the notes. In one respect, however, in the distribution of the poem into twelve books instead of ten, it has seemed best, for the sake of practical convenience, to follow the second edition. A word may be allowed here on the famous correction among the Errata prefixed to the first edition: 'Lib. 2. v. 414, for we read wee.' This correction shows not only that Milton had theories about spelling, but also that he found means, though his sight was gone, to ascertain whether his rules had been carried out by his printer; and in itself this fact justifies a facsimile reprint. What the principle in the use of the double vowel exactly was (and it is found to affect the other monosyllabic pronouns) it is not so easy to discover, though roughly it is clear the reduplication was intended to mark emphasis. For example, in the speech of the Divine Son after the battle in heaven (vi. 810-817) the pronouns which the voice would naturally emphasize are spelt with the double vowel:

                                 Stand onely and behold
        Gods indignation on these Godless pourd
        By mee; not you but mee they have despis'd,
        Yet envied; against mee is all thir rage,
        Because the Father, t'whom in Heav'n supream
        Kingdom and Power and Glorie appertains,
        Hath honourd me according to his will.
        Therefore to mee thir doom he hath assign'd.

In the Son's speech offering himself as Redeemer (iii. 227-249) where the pronoun all through is markedly emphasized, it is printed mee the first four times, and afterwards me; but it is noticeable that these first four times the emphatic word does not stand in the stressed place of the verse, so that a careless reader might not emphasize it, unless his attention were specially led by some such sign:

        Behold mee then, mee for him, life for life
        I offer, on mee let thine anger fall;
        Account mee man.

In the Hymn of Creation (v.160-209) where ye occurs fourteen times, the emphasis and the metric stress six times out of seven coincide, and the pronoun is spelt yee; where it is unemphatic, and in an unstressed place, it is spelt ye. Two lines are especially instructive:

Speak yee who best can tell, ye Sons of light (l. 160);


        Fountains and yee, that warble, as ye flow,
        Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise (l. 195).

In v. 694 it marks, as the voice by its emphasis would mark in reading, a change of subject:

        So spake the false Arch-Angel, and infus'd
        Bad influence into th' unwarie brest
        Of his Associate; hee (i. e. the associate) together calls,

An examination of other passages, where there is no antithesis, goes to show that the lengthened form of the pronoun is most frequent before a pause (as vii. 95); or at the end of a line (i. 245, 257); or when a foot is inverted (v. 133); or when as object it precedes its verb (v. 612; vii. 747), or as subject follows it (ix. 1109; x. 4). But as we might expect under circumstances where a purist could not correct his own proofs, there are not a few inconsistencies. There does not seem, for example, any special emphasis in the second wee of the following passage:

                                        Freely we serve.
        Because wee freely love, as in our will
        To love or not; in this we stand or fall  (v. 538).

On the other hand, in the passage (iii. 41) in which the poet speaks of his own blindness:

                                Thus with the Year
        Seasons return, but not to me returns
        Day, &c.

where, if anywhere, we should expect mee, we do not find it, though it occurs in the speech eight lines below. It should be added that this differentiation of the pronouns is not found in any printed poem of Milton's before Paradise Lost, nor is it found in the Cambridge autograph. In that manuscript the constant forms are me, wee, yee. There is one place where there is a difference in the spelling of she, and it is just possible that this may not be due to accident. In the first verse of the song in Arcades, the MS. reads:

        This, this is shee;

and in the third verse:

        This, this is she alone.

This use of the double vowel is found a few times in Paradise Regain'd: in ii. 259 and iv. 486, 497 where mee begins a line, and in iv. 638 where hee is specially emphatic in the concluding lines of the poem. In Samson Agonistes it is more frequent (e.g. lines 124, 178, 193, 220, 252, 290, 1125). Another word the spelling of which in Paradise Lost will be observed to vary is the pronoun their, which is spelt sometimes thir. The spelling in the Cambridge manuscript is uniformly thire, except once when it is thir; and where their once occurs in the writing of an amanuensis the e is struck through. That the difference is not merely a printer's device to accommodate his line may be seen by a comparison of lines 358 and 363 in the First Book, where the shorter word comes in the shorter line. It is probable that the lighter form of the word was intended to be used when it was quite unemphatic. Contrast, for example, in Book iii. l.59: His own works and their works at once to view with line 113: Thir maker and thir making and thir Fate. But the use is not consistent, and the form thir is not found at all till the 349th line of the First Book. The distinction is kept up in the Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistes, but, if possible, with even less consistency. Such passages, however, as Paradise Regain'd, iii. 414-440; Samson Agonistes, 880-890, are certainly spelt upon a method, and it is noticeable that in the choruses the lighter form is universal.

Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistes were published in 1671, and no further edition was called for in the remaining three years of the poet's lifetime, so that in the case of these poems there are no new readings to record; and the texts were so carefully revised, that only one fault (Paradise Regain'd, ii. 309) was left for correction later. In these and the other poems I have corrected the misprints catalogued in the tables of Errata, and I have silently corrected any other unless it might be mistaken for a various reading, when I have called attention to it in a note. Thus I have not recorded such blunders as Lethian for Lesbian in the 1645 text of Lycidas, line 63; or hallow for hollow in Paradise Lost, vi. 484; but I have noted content for concent, in At a Solemn Musick, line 6.

In conclusion I have to offer my sincere thanks to all who have collaborated with me in preparing this Edition; to the Delegates of the Oxford Press for allowing me to undertake it and decorate it with so many facsimiles; to the Controller of the Press for his unfailing courtesy; to the printers and printer's reader for their care and pains. Coming nearer home I cannot but acknowledge the help I have received in looking over proof-sheets from my sister, Mrs. P. A. Barnett, who has ungrudgingly put at the service of this book both time and eyesight. In taking leave of it, I may be permitted to say that it has cost more of both these inestimable treasures than I had anticipated. The last proof reaches me just a year after the first, and the progress of the work has not in the interval been interrupted. In tenui labor et tenuis gloria. Nevertheless I cannot be sorry it was undertaken.

H. C. B.

YATTENDON RECTORY, November 8, 1899.

Transcriber's note: Facsimile of Title page of 1645 edition follows:

                      Mr John Milton,
                     ENGLISH and LATIN
                  Compos'd at several times.
                Printed by his true copies.
               The SONGS were set in Musick by
                Mr. HENRY LAWES Gentleman of
                 the KINGS Chappel, and one
                      of His MAIESTIES
                       Private Musick.

                 ————Baccare frontem
         Cingite, ne vace noceat mala lingua futuro,
              Virgil, Eclog. 7.
            Printed, and Publish'd according to
        Printed by Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Moseley,
        and are to be sold at the signe of the Princes
            Arms in S. Pauls Church-yard. 1645.

Transcriber's note: Facsimile of Title page of 1673 edition follows:

                          POEMS, &c.
                      Several Occasions.
                       Mr. John Milton:
                  Both ENGLISH and LATIN &c.
                  Composed at several times.
                   With a small tractate of
                       To Mr. HARTLIB
         Printed for Tho. Dring at the Blew Anchor
           next Mitre Court over against Fetter
               Lane in Fleet-street.  1673.


It is not any Private respect of gain, Gentle Reader, for the slightest Pamphlet is now adayes more vendible then the Works of learnedest men; but it is the love I have to our own Language that hath made me diligent to collect, and set forth such Peeces in Prose and Vers as may renew the wonted honour and esteem of our tongue: and it's the worth of these both English and Latin poems, not the flourish of any prefixed encomions that can invite thee to buy them, though these are not without the highest Commendations and Applause of the learnedst Academicks, both domestic and forrein: And amongst those of our own Countrey, the unparalleled attestation of that renowned Provost of Eaton, Sir Henry Wootton: I know not thy palat how it relishes such dainties, nor how harmonious thy soul is; perhaps more trivial Airs may please thee better. But howsoever thy opinion is spent upon these, that incouragement I have already received from the most ingenious men in their clear and courteous entertainment of Mr. Wallers late choice Peeces, hath once more made me adventure into the World, presenting it with these ever-green, and not to be blasted Laurels. The Authors more peculiar excellency in these studies, was too well known to conceal his Papers, or to keep me from attempting to sollicit them from him. Let the event guide it self which way it will, I shall deserve of the age, by bringing into the Light as true a Birth, as the Muses have brought forth since our famous Spencer wrote; whose Poems in these English ones are as rarely imitated, as sweetly excell'd. Reader, if thou art Eagle-eied to censure their worth, I am not fearful to expose them to thy exactest perusal.

Thine to Command



  Compos'd 1629.


  This is the Month, and this the happy morn
  Wherin the Son of Heav'ns eternal King,
  Of wedded Maid, and Virgin Mother born,
  Our great redemption from above did bring;
  For so the holy sages once did sing,
  That he our deadly forfeit should release,
  And with his Father work us a perpetual peace.


  That glorious Form, that Light unsufferable,
  And that far-beaming blaze of Majesty,
  Wherwith he wont at Heav'ns high Councel-Table,                      10
  To sit the midst of Trinal Unity,
  He laid aside; and here with us to be,
  Forsook the Courts of everlasting Day,
  And chose with us a darksom House of mortal Clay.


  Say Heav'nly Muse, shall not thy sacred vein
  Afford a present to the Infant God?
  Hast thou no vers, no hymn, or solemn strein,
  To welcom him to this his new abode,
  Now while the Heav'n by the Suns team untrod,
  Hath took no print of the approching light,                          20
  And all the spangled host keep watch in squadrons bright?


  See how from far upon the Eastern rode
  The Star-led Wisards haste with odours sweet,
  O run,  prevent them with thy humble ode,
  And lay it lowly at his blessed feet;
  Have thou the honour first, thy Lord to greet,
  And joyn thy voice unto the Angel Quire,
  From out his secret Altar toucht with hallow'd fire.
  The Hymn.


  IT was the Winter wilde,
  While the Heav'n-born-childe,                                        30
  All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies;
  Nature in aw to him
  Had doff't her gawdy trim,
  With her great Master so to sympathize:
  It was no season then for her
  To wanton with the Sun her lusty Paramour.


  Only with speeches fair
  She woo'd the gentle Air
  To hide her guilty front with innocent Snow,
  And on her naked shame,                                              40
  Pollute with sinfull blame,
  The Saintly Vail of Maiden white to throw,
  Confounded, that her Makers eyes
  Should look so near upon her foul deformities.


  But he her fears to cease,
  Sent down the meek-eyd Peace,
  She crown'd with Olive green, came softly sliding
  Down through the turning sphear
  His ready Harbinger,
  With Turtle wing the amorous clouds dividing,                        50
  And waving wide her mirtle wand,
  She strikes a universall Peace through Sea and Land.


  No War, or Battails sound
  Was heard the World around,
  The idle spear and shield were high up hung;
  The hooked Chariot stood
  Unstain'd with hostile blood,
  The Trumpet spake not to the armed throng,
  And Kings sate still with awfull eye,
  As if they surely knew their sovran Lord was by.                     60


  But peacefull was the night
  Wherin the Prince of light
  His raign of peace upon the earth began:
  The Windes with wonder whist,
  Smoothly the waters kist,
  Whispering new joyes to the milde Ocean,
  Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
  While Birds of Calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.


  The Stars with deep amaze
  Stand fit in steadfast gaze,                                         70
  Bending one way their pretious influence,
  And will not take their flight,
  For all the morning light,
  Or Lucifer that often warned them thence;
  But in their glimmering Orbs did glow,
  Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.


  And though the shady gloom
  Had given day her room,
  The Sun himself with-held his wonted speed,
  And hid his head for shame,                                          80
  As his inferior flame,
  The new enlightened world no more should need;
  He saw a greater Sun appear
  Then his bright Throne, or burning Axletree could bear.


  The Shepherds on the Lawn,
  Or ere the point of dawn,
  Sate simply chatting in a rustic row;
  Full little thought they than,
  That the mighty Pan
  Was kindly com to live with them below;                              90
  Perhaps their loves, or els their sheep,
  Was all that did their silly thoughts so busie keep.


  When such Musick sweet
  Their hearts and ears did greet,
  As never was by mortal finger strook,
  Divinely-warbled voice
  Answering the stringed noise,
  As all their souls in blisfull rapture took:
  The Air such pleasure loth to lose,
  With  thousand echo's still prolongs each heav'nly close.           100


  Nature that heard such  sound
  Beneath  the hollow round
  of Cynthia's seat the Airy region thrilling,
  Now was almost won
  To think her part was don
  And that her raign had here its last fulfilling;
  She knew such harmony alone
  Could hold all Heav'n and Earth in happier union.


  At last surrounds their sight
  A globe of circular light,                                          110
  That with long beams the shame faced night arrayed
  The helmed Cherubim
  And sworded Seraphim,
  Are seen in glittering ranks with wings displaid,
  Harping in loud and solemn quire,
  With unexpressive notes to Heav'ns new-born Heir.


  Such Musick (as 'tis said)
  Before was never made,
  But when of old the sons of morning sung,
  While the Creator Great
  His constellations set,                                             120
  And the well-ballanc't world on hinges hung,
  And cast the dark foundations deep,
  And bid the weltring waves their oozy channel keep.


  Ring out ye Crystall sphears,
  Once bless our human ears,
  (If ye have power to touch our senses so)
  And let your silver chime
  Move in melodious time;
  And let the Base of Heav'ns deep Organ blow,                        130
  And with your ninefold harmony
  Make up full consort to th'Angelike symphony.


  For if such holy Song
  Enwrap our fancy long,
  Time will run back, and fetch the age of gold,
  And speckl'd vanity
  Will sicken soon and die,
  And leprous sin will melt from earthly mould,
  And Hell it self will pass away
  And leave her dolorous mansions to the peering day.                 140


  Yea Truth, and Justice then
  Will down return to men,
  Th'enameld Arras of the Rain-bow wearing,
  And Mercy set between
  Thron'd in Celestiall sheen,
  With radiant feet the tissued clouds down stearing,
  And Heav'n as at som festivall,
  Will open wide the gates of her high Palace Hall.


  But wisest Fate sayes  no,
  This must not yet be so,                                            150
  The Babe lies yet in smiling Infancy,
  That on the bitter cross
  Must redeem our loss;
  So both himself and us to glorifie:
  Yet first to those ychain'd in sleep,
  The Wakeful trump of doom must thunder through the deep,


  With such a horrid clang
  As on Mount Sinai rang
  While the red fire, and smouldring clouds out brake:
  The aged Earth agast                                                160
  With terrour of that blast,
  Shall from the surface to the center shake;
  When at the worlds last session,
  The dreadfull Judge in middle Air shall spread his throne.


  And then at last  our bliss
  Full and perfect is,
  But now begins; for from this happy day
  Th'old Dragon under ground
  In straiter limits bound,
  Not half so far casts his usurped sway,                             170
  And wrath to see his Kingdom fail,
  Swindges the scaly Horrour of his foulded tail.


  The Oracles are dumm,
  No voice or hideous humm
  Runs through the arched roof in words deceiving.
  Apollo from his shrine
  Can no more divine,
  With hollow shreik the steep of Delphos leaving.
  No nightly trance, or breathed spell,
  Inspire's the pale-ey'd Priest from the prophetic cell.             180


  The lonely mountains o're,
  And the resounding shore,
  A voice of weeping heard, and loud lament;
  From haunted spring, and dale
  Edg'd with poplar pale
  The parting Genius is with sighing sent,
  With flowre-inwov'n tresses torn
  The Nimphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets mourn.


  In consecrated Earth,
  And on the holy Hearth,                                             190
  The Lars, and Lemures moan with midnight plaint,
  In Urns, and Altars round,
  A drear, and dying sound
  Affrights the Flamins at their service quaint;
  And the chill Marble seems to sweat,
  While each peculiar power forgoes his wonted seat.


  Peor, and Baalim,
  Forsake their Temples dim,
  With that twise-batter'd god of Palestine,
  And mooned Ashtaroth,                                               200
  Heav'ns Queen and Mother both,
  Now sits not girt with Tapers holy shine,
  The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn,
  In vain the Tyrian Maids their wounded Thamuz mourn.


  And sullen Moloch fled,
  Hath left in shadows dred,
  His burning Idol all of blackest hue,
  In vain with Cymbals ring,
  They call the grisly king,
  In dismall dance about the furnace Blue;                            210
  And Brutish gods of Nile as fast,
  Isis and Orus, and the Dog Anubis hast.


  Nor is Osiris seen
  In Memphian grove or green,
           Trampling the unshower'd grass with lowings loud;
  Nor can he be at rest
  Within his sacred chest,
           Naught but profoundest Hell can be his shroud:
  In vain with timbrel'd anthems dark
  The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark.


  He feels from Juda's land
  The dreaded Infant's hand,
           The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
  Nor all the gods beside
  Longer dare abide,
           Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine:
  Our Babe, to show his Godhead true,
  Can in his swaddling bands control the damned crew.


  So when the Sun in bed,
  Curtain'd with cloudy red,
           Pillows his chin upon an orient wave,
  The flocking shadows pale
  Troop to th'infernal jail,
           Each fetter'd ghost slips to his several grave,
  And the yellow-skirted fays
  Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-lov'd maze.


  But see, the Virgin blest
  Hath laid her Babe to rest:
           Time is our tedious song should here have ending.
  Heav'n's youngest-teemed star,
  Hath fix'd her polish'd car,
           Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending;
  And all about the courtly stable,
  Bright-harness'd Angels sit in order serviceable.



  ERE-while of Musick, and Ethereal mirth,
  Wherwith the stage of Ayr and Earth did ring,
  And joyous news of heav'nly Infants birth,
  My muse with Angels did divide to sing;
  But headlong joy is ever on the wing,
  In Wintry solstice like the shortn'd light
  Soon swallow'd up in dark and long out-living night.


  For now to sorrow must I tune my song,
  And set my Harpe to notes of saddest wo,
  Which on our dearest Lord did sease er'e long,
  Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse then so,                  10
  Which he for us did freely undergo.
  Most perfect Heroe, try'd in heaviest plight
  Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight.


  He sov'ran Priest stooping his regall head
  That dropt with odorous oil down his fair eyes,
  Poor fleshly Tabernacle entered,
  His starry front low-rooft beneath the skies;
  O what a Mask was there, what a disguise!
  Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide,                         20
  Then lies him meekly down fast by his Brethrens side.


  These latter scenes confine my roving vers,
  To this Horizon is my Phoebus bound,
  His Godlike acts, and his temptations fierce,
  And former sufferings other where are found;
  Loud o're the rest Cremona's Trump doth sound;
  Me softer airs befit, and softer strings
  Of Lute, or Viol still, more apt for mournful things.

  Note: 22 latter] latest 1673.


  Befriend me night best Patroness of grief,
  Over the Pole thy thickest mantle throw,                             30
  And work my flatterd fancy to belief,
  That Heav'n and Earth are colour'd with my wo;
  My sorrows are too dark for day to know:
  The leaves should all be black wheron I write,
  And letters where my tears have washt a wannish white.


  See see the Chariot, and those rushing wheels,
  That whirl'd the Prophet up at Chebar flood,
  My spirit som transporting Cherub feels,
  To bear me where the Towers of Salem stood,
  Once glorious Towers, now sunk in guiltles blood;                    40
  There doth my soul in holy vision sit
  In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatick fit.


  Mine eye hath found that sad Sepulchral rock
  That was the Casket of Heav'ns richest store,
  And here though grief my feeble hands up-lock,
  Yet on the softned Quarry would I score
  My plaining vers as lively as before;
  For sure so well instructed are my tears,
  They would fitly fall in order'd Characters.


  I thence hurried on viewles wing,                                    50
  Take up a weeping on the Mountains wilde,
  The gentle neighbourhood of grove and spring
  Would soon unboosom all their Echoes milde,
  And I (for grief is easily beguild)
  Might think th'infection of my sorrows bound,
  Had got a race of mourners on som pregnant cloud.

  Note: This subject the Author finding to be above the yeers he had,
  when he wrote it, and nothing satisfi'd with what was begun,
  left it unfinish'd.


  FLY envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
  Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
  Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
  And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
  Which is no more then what is false and vain,
  And meerly mortal dross;
  So little is our loss,
  So little is thy gain.
  For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
  And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd,                           10
  Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
  With an individual kiss;
  And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
  When every thing that is sincerely good
  And perfectly divine,
  With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
  About the supreme Throne
  Of him, t'whose happy-making sight alone,
  When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall clime,
  Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,                                   20
  Attir'd with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
  Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.

  Note: See the appendix for the manuscript version.


  YE flaming Powers, and winged Warriours bright,
  That erst with Musick, and triumphant song
  First heard by happy watchful Shepherds ear,
  So sweetly sung your Joy the Clouds along
  Through the soft silence of the list'ning night;
  Now mourn, and if sad share with us to bear
  Your fiery essence can distill no tear,
  Burn in your sighs, and borrow
  Seas wept from our deep sorrow,
  He who with all Heav'ns heraldry whileare                            10
  Enter'd the world, now bleeds to give us ease;
  Alas, how soon our sin
  Sore doth begin
  His Infancy to sease!

  O more exceeding love or law more just?
  Just law indeed, but more exceeding love!
  For we by rightfull doom remediles
  Were lost in death, till he that dwelt above
  High thron'd in secret bliss, for us frail dust
  Emptied his glory, ev'n to nakednes;                                 20
  And that great Cov'nant which we still transgress
  Intirely satisfi'd,
  And the full wrath beside
  Of vengeful Justice bore for our excess,
  And seals obedience first with wounding smart
  This day, but O ere long
  Huge pangs and strong
  Will pierce more neer his heart.


  BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heav'ns joy,
  Sphear-born harmonious Sisters, Voice, and Vers,
  Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ
  Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce,
  And to our high-rais'd phantasie present,
  That undisturbed Song of pure content,
  Ay sung before the saphire-colour'd throne
  To him that sits theron
  With Saintly shout, and solemn Jubily,
  Where the bright Seraphim in burning row                             10
  Their loud up-lifted Angel trumpets blow,
  And the Cherubick host in thousand quires
  Touch their immortal Harps of golden wires,
  With those just Spirits that wear victorious Palms,
  Hymns devout and holy Psalms
  Singing everlastingly;
  That we on Earth with undiscording voice
  May rightly answer that melodious noise;
  As  once we did, till disproportion'd sin
  Jarr'd against natures chime, and with harsh din                     20
  The fair musick that all creatures made
  To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd
  In perfect Diapason, whilst they stood
  In first obedience, and their state of good.
  O may we soon again renew that Song,
  And keep in tune with Heav'n, till God ere long
  To his celestial consort us unite,
  To live with him, and sing in endles morn of light.

  Note: 6 content]  Manuscript reads concent as does the Second
  Edition; so that content is probably a misprint.


  THIS rich Marble doth enterr
  The honour'd Wife of Winchester,
  A Vicounts daughter, an Earls heir,
  Besides what her vertues fair
  Added to her noble birth,
  More then she could own from Earth.
  Summers three times eight save one
  She had told, alas too soon,
  After so short time of breath,
  To house with darknes, and with death.                               10
  Yet had the number of her days
  Bin as compleat as was her praise,
  Nature and fate had had no strife
  In giving limit to her life.
  Her high birth, and her graces sweet,
  Quickly found a lover meet;
  The Virgin quire for her request
  The God that sits at marriage feast;
  He at their invoking came
  But with a scarce-wel-lighted flame;                                 20
  And in his Garland as he stood,
  Ye might discern a Cipress bud.
  Once had the early Matrons run
  To greet her of a lovely son,
  And now with second hope she goes,
  And calls Lucina to her throws;
  But whether by mischance or blame
  Atropos for Lucina came;
  And with remorsles cruelty,
  Spoil'd at once both fruit and tree:                                 30
  The haples Babe before his birth
  Had burial, yet not laid in earth,
  And the languisht Mothers Womb
  Was not long a living Tomb.
  So have I seen som tender slip
  Sav'd with care from Winters nip,
  The pride of her carnation train,
  Pluck't up by som unheedy swain,
  Who onely thought to crop the flowr
  New shot up from vernall showr;                                      40
  But the fair blossom hangs the head
  Side-ways as on a dying bed,
  And those Pearls of dew she wears,
  Prove to be presaging tears
  Which the sad morn had let fall
  On her hast'ning funerall.
  Gentle Lady may thy grave
  Peace and quiet ever have;
  After this thy travail sore
  Sweet rest sease thee evermore,                                      50
  That to give the world encrease,
  Shortned hast thy own lives lease;
  Here besides the sorrowing
  That thy noble House doth bring,
  Here be tears of perfect moan
  Weept for thee in Helicon,
  And som Flowers, and som Bays,
  For thy Hears to strew the ways,
  Sent thee from the banks of Came,
  Devoted to thy vertuous name;                                        60
  Whilst thou bright Saint high sit'st in glory,
  Next her much like to thee in story,
  That fair Syrian Shepherdess,
  Who after yeers of barrennes,
  The highly favour'd Joseph bore
  To him that serv'd for her before,
  And at her next birth much like thee,
  Through pangs fled to felicity,
  Far within the boosom bright
  of blazing Majesty and Light,                                        70
  There with thee, new welcom Saint,
  Like fortunes may her soul acquaint,
  With thee there clad in radiant sheen,
  No Marchioness, but now a Queen.


  Now the bright morning Star, Dayes harbinger,
  Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
  The Flowry May, who from her green lap throws
  The yellow Cowslip, and the pale Primrose.
  Hail bounteous May that dost inspire
  Mirth and youth, and warm desire,
  Woods and Groves, are of thy dressing,
  Hill and Dale, doth boast thy blessing.
  Thus we salute thee with our early Song,
  And welcom thee, and wish thee long.                                 10


  WHAT needs my Shakespear for his honour'd Bones,
  The labour of an age in piled Stones,
  Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
  Under a Star-ypointing Pyramid?
  Dear son of memory, great heir of Fame,
  What need'st thou such weak witnes of thy name?
  Thou in our wonder and astonishment
  Hast built thy self a live-long Monument.
  For whilst to th'shame of slow-endeavouring art,
  Thy easie numbers flow, and that each heart                          10
  Hath from the Leaves of thy unvalu'd Book,
  Those Delphick lines with deep impression took,
  Then thou our fancy of it self bereaving,
  Dost make us Marble with too much conceaving;
  And so Sepulcher'd in such pomp dost lie,
  That Kings for such a Tomb would wish to die.

  Notes: On Shakespear.  Reprinted 1632 in the second folio
  Title] An epitaph on the admirable dramaticke poet W.
  1 needs] neede
  6 weak] dull
  8 live-long] lasting
  10 heart] part
  13 it] her


  HERE lies old Hobson, Death hath broke his girt,
  And here alas, hath laid him in the dirt,
  Or els the ways being foul, twenty to one,
  He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
  'Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known,
  Death was half glad when he had got him down;
  For he had any time this ten yeers full,
  Dodg'd with him, betwixt Cambridge and the Bull.
  And surely, Death could never have prevail'd,
  Had not his weekly cours of carriage fail'd;                         10
  But lately finding him so long at home,
  And thinking now his journeys end was come,
  And that he had tane up his latest Inne,
  In the kind office of a Chamberlin
  Shew'd him his room where he must lodge that night,
  Pull'd off his Boots, and took away the light:
  If any ask for him, it shall be sed,
  Hobson has supt, and 's newly gon to bed.


  HERE lieth one who did most truly prove,
  That he could never die while he could move,
  So hung his destiny never to rot
  While he might still jogg on, and keep his trot,
  Made of sphear-metal, never to decay
  Untill his revolution was at stay.
  Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
  'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time:
  And like an Engin mov'd with wheel and waight,
  His principles being ceast, he ended strait.                         10
  Rest that gives all men life, gave him his death,
  And too much breathing put him out of breath;
  Nor were it contradiction to affirm
  Too long vacation hastned on his term.
  Meerly to drive the time away he sickn'd,
  Fainted, and died, nor would with Ale be quickn'd;
  Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed out-stretch'd,
  If I may not carry, sure Ile ne're be fetch'd,
  But vow though the cross Doctors all stood hearers,
  For one Carrier put down to make six bearers.                        20
  Ease was his chief disease, and to judge right,
  He di'd for heavines that his Cart went light,
  His leasure told him that his time was com,
  And lack of load, made his life burdensom
  That even to his last breath (ther be that say't)
  As he were prest to death, he cry'd more waight;
  But had his doings lasted as they were,
  He had bin an immortall Carrier.
  Obedient to the Moon he spent his date
  In cours reciprocal, and had his fate                                30
  Linkt to the mutual flowing of the Seas,
  Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase:
  His Letters are deliver'd all and gon,
  Onely remains this superscription.


  HENCE loathed Melancholy
  Of Cerberus, and blackest midnight born,
  In Stygian Cave forlorn
  'Mongst horrid shapes, and shreiks, and sights unholy,
  Find out som uncouth cell,
  Where brooding darknes spreads his jealous wings,
  And the night-Raven sings;
  There under Ebon shades and low-brow'd Rocks,
  As ragged as thy Locks,
  In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.                                 10
  But com thou Goddes fair and free,
  In Heav'n ycleap'd Euphrosyne,
  And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
  Whom lovely Venus at a birth
  With two sister Graces more
  To Ivy-crowned Bacchus bore;
  Or whether (as som Sager sing)
  The frolick Wind that breathes the Spring,
  Zephir with Aurora playing,
  As he met her once a Maying,                                         20
  There on Beds of Violets blew,
  And fresh-blown Roses washt in dew,
  Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair,
  So bucksom, blith, and debonair.
  Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee
  Jest and youthful Jollity,
  Quips and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,
  Nods, and Becks, and Wreathed Smiles,
  Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
  And love to live in dimple sleek;                                    30
  Sport that wrincled Care derides,
  And Laughter holding both his sides.
  Com, and trip it as ye go
  On the light fantastick toe,
  And in thy right hand lead with thee,
  The Mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty;
  And if I give thee honour due,
  Mirth, admit me of thy crue
  To live with her, and live with thee,
  In unreproved pleasures free;                                        40
  To hear the Lark begin his flight,
  And singing startle the dull night,
  From his watch-towre in the skies,
  Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
  Then to com in spight of sorrow,
  And at my window bid good morrow,
  Through the Sweet-Briar, or the Vine,
  Or the twisted Eglantine.
  While the Cock with lively din,
  Scatters the rear of darknes thin,                                   50
  And to the stack, or the Barn dore,
  Stoutly struts his Dames before,
  Oft list'ning how the Hounds and horn
  Chearly rouse the slumbring morn,
  From the side of som Hoar Hill,
  Through the high wood echoing shrill.
  Som time walking not unseen
  By Hedge-row Elms, on Hillocks green,
  Right against the Eastern gate,
  Wher the great Sun begins his state,                                 60
  Rob'd in flames, and Amber light,
  The clouds in thousand Liveries dight.
  While the Plowman neer at hand,
  Whistles ore the Furrow'd Land,
  And the Milkmaid singeth blithe,
  And the Mower whets his sithe,
  And every Shepherd tells his tale
  Under the Hawthorn in the dale.
  Streit mine eye hath caught new pleasures
  Whilst the Lantskip round it measures,                               70
  Russet Lawns, and Fallows Gray,
  Where the nibling flocks do stray,
  Mountains on whose barren brest
  The labouring clouds do often rest:
  Meadows trim with Daisies pide,
  Shallow Brooks, and Rivers wide.
  Towers, and Battlements it sees
  Boosom'd high in tufted Trees,
  Wher perhaps som beauty lies,
  The Cynosure of neighbouring eyes.                                   80
  Hard by, a Cottage chimney smokes,
  From betwixt two aged Okes,
  Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
  Are at their savory dinner set
  Of Hearbs, and other Country Messes,
  Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses;
  And then in haste her Bowre she leaves,
  With Thestylis to bind the Sheaves;
  Or if the earlier season lead
  To the tann'd Haycock in the Mead,                                   90
  Som times with secure delight
  The up-land Hamlets will invite,
  When the merry Bells ring round,
  And the jocond rebecks sound
  To many a youth, and many a maid,
  Dancing in the Chequer'd shade;
  And young and old com forth to play
  On a Sunshine Holyday,
  Till the live-long day-light fail,
  Then to the Spicy Nut-brown Ale,                                    100
  With stories told of many a feat,
  How Faery Mab the junkets eat,
  She was pincht, and pull'd she sed,
  And he by Friars Lanthorn led
  Tells how the drudging Goblin swet,
  To ern his Cream-bowle duly set,
  When in one night, ere glimps of morn,
  His shadowy Flale hath thresh'd the Corn
  That ten day-labourers could not end,
  Then lies him down the Lubbar Fend.                                 110
  And stretch'd out all the Chimney's length,
  Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
  And Crop-full out of dores he flings,
  Ere the first Cock his Mattin rings.
  Thus don the Tales, to bed they creep,
  By whispering Windes soon lull'd asleep.
  Towred Cities please us then,
  And the busie humm of men,
  Where throngs of Knights and Barons bold,
  In weeds of Peace high triumphs hold,                               120
  With store of Ladies, whose bright eies
  Rain influence, and judge the prise
  Of Wit, or Arms, while both contend
  To win her Grace, whom all commend.
  There let Hymen oft appear
  In Saffron robe, with Taper clear,
  And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
  With mask, and antique Pageantry,
  Such sights as youthfull Poets dream
  On Summer eeves by haunted stream.                                  130
  Then to the well-trod stage anon,
  If Jonsons learned Sock be on,
  Or sweetest Shakespear fancies childe,
  Warble his native Wood-notes wilde,
  And ever against eating Cares,
  Lap me in soft Lydian Aires,
  Married to immortal verse
  Such as the meeting soul may pierce
  In notes, with many a winding bout
  Of lincked sweetnes long drawn out,                                 140
  With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
  The melting voice through mazes running;
  Untwisting all the chains that ty
  The hidden soul of harmony.
  That Orpheus self may heave his head
  From golden slumber on a bed
  Of heapt Elysian flowres, and hear
  Such streins as would have won the ear
  Of Pluto, to have quite set free
  His half regain'd Eurydice.                                         150
  These delights, if thou canst give,
  Mirth with thee, I mean to live.

  33 Ye] You 1673
  104 And he by] And by the 1673


  Hence vain deluding joyes,
  The brood of folly without father bred,
  How little you bested,
  Or fill the fixed mind with all your toyes;
  Dwell in som idle brain
  And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
  As thick and numberless
  As the gay motes that people the Sun Beams,
  Or likest hovering dreams
  The fickle Pensioners of Morpheus train.                             10
  But hail thou Goddess, sage and holy,
  Hail divinest Melancholy
  Whose Saintly visage is too bright
  To hit the Sense of human sight;
  And therefore to our weaker view,
  Ore laid with black staid Wisdoms hue.
  Black, but such as in esteem,
  Prince Memnons sister might beseem,
  Or that Starr'd Ethiope Queen that strove
  To set her beauties praise above                                     20
  The Sea Nymphs, and their powers offended.
  Yet thou art higher far descended,
  Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore,
  To solitary Saturn bore;
  His daughter she (in Saturns raign,
  Such mixture was not held a stain)
  Oft in glimmering Bowres, and glades
  He met her, and in secret shades
  Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
  While yet there was no fear of Jove.                                 30
  Com pensive Nun, devout and pure,
  Sober, stedfast, and demure,
  All in a robe of darkest grain,
  Flowing with majestick train,
  And sable stole of Cipres Lawn,
  Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
  Com, but keep thy wonted state,
  With eev'n step, and musing gate,
  And looks commercing with the skies,
  Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes:                                 40
  There held in holy passion still,
  Forget thy self to Marble, till
  With a sad Leaden downward cast,
  Thou fix them on the earth as fast.
  And joyn with thee calm Peace, and Quiet,
  Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet,
  And hears the Muses in a ring,
  Ay round about Joves Altar sing.
  And adde to these retired Leasure,
  That in trim Gardens takes his pleasure;                             50
  But first, and chiefest, with thee bring,
  Him that yon soars on golden wing,
  Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne,
  The Cherub Contemplation,
  And the mute Silence hist along,
  'Less Philomel will daign a Song,
  In her sweetest, saddest plight,
  Smoothing the rugged brow of night,
  While Cynthia checks her Dragon yoke,
  Gently o're th'accustom'd Oke;                                       60
  Sweet Bird that shunn'st the noise of folly
  Most musical!, most melancholy!
  Thee Chauntress oft the Woods among
  I woo to hear thy eeven-Song;
  And missing thee, I walk unseen
  On the dry smooth-shaven Green,
  To behold the wandring Moon,
  Riding neer her highest noon,
  Like one that had bin led astray
  Through the Heav'ns wide pathles way;                                70
  And oft, as if her head she bow'd,
  Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
  Oft on a Plat of rising ground,
  I hear the far-off Curfeu sound,
  Over som wide-water'd shoar,
  Swinging slow with sullen roar;
  Or if the Ayr will not permit,
  Som still removed place will fit,
  Where glowing Embers through the room
  Teach light to counterfeit a gloom                                   80
  Far from all resort of mirth,
  Save the Cricket on the hearth,
  Or the Belmans drowsie charm,
  To bless the dores from nightly harm:
  Or let my Lamp at midnight hour,
  Be seen in som high lonely Towr,
  Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,
  With thrice great Hermes, or unsphear
  The spirit of Plato to unfold
  What Worlds, or what vast Regions hold                               90
  The immortal mind that hath forsook
  Her mansion in this fleshly nook:
  And of those Daemons that are found
  In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
  Whose power hath a true consent
  With planet or with Element.
  Som time let Gorgeous Tragedy
  In Scepter'd Pall com sweeping by,
  Presenting Thebs, or Pelops line,
  Or the tale of Troy divine.                                         100
  Or what (though rare) of later age,
  Ennobled hath the Buskind stage.
  But, O sad Virgin, that thy power
  Might raise Musaeus from his bower,
  Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
  Such notes as warbled to the string,
  Drew Iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
  And made Hell grant what Love did seek.
  Or call up him that left half told
  The story of Cambuscan bold,                                        110
  Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
  And who had Canace to wife,
  That own'd the vertuous Ring and Glass,
  And of the wondrous Hors of Brass,
  On which the Tartar King did ride;
  And if ought els, great Bards beside,
  In sage and solemn tunes have sung,
  Of Turneys and of Trophies hung;
  Of Forests, and inchantments drear,
  Where more is meant then meets the ear.                             120
  Thus night oft see me in thy pale career,
  Till civil-suited Morn appeer,
  Not trickt and frounc't as she was wont,
  With the Attick Boy to hunt,
  But Cherchef't in a comly Cloud,
  While rocking Winds are Piping loud,
  Or usher'd with a shower still,
  When the gust hath blown his fill,
  Ending on the russling Leaves,
  With minute drops from off the Eaves.                               130
  And when the Sun begins to fling
  His flaring beams, me Goddes bring
  To arched walks of twilight groves,
  And shadows brown that Sylvan loves
  Of Pine, or monumental Oake,
  Where the rude Ax with heaved stroke,
  Was never heard the Nymphs to daunt,
  Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
  There in close covert by som Brook,
  Where no profaner eye may look,                                     140
  Hide me from Day's garish eie,
  While the Bee with Honied thie,
  That at her flowry work doth sing,
  And the Waters murmuring
  With such consort as they keep,
  Entice the dewy-feather'd Sleep;
  And let som strange mysterious dream,
  Wave at his Wings in Airy stream,
  Of lively portrature display'd,
  Softly on my eye-lids laid.                                         150
  And as I wake, sweet musick breath
  Above, about, or underneath,
  Sent by som spirit to mortals good,
  Or th'unseen Genius of the Wood.
  But let my due feet never fail,
  To walk the studious Cloysters pale,
  And love the high embowed Roof
  With antick Pillars massy proof,
  And storied Windows richly dight,
  Casting a dimm religious light.                                     160
  There let the pealing Organ blow,
  To the full voic'd Quire below,
  In Service high, and Anthems cleer,
  As may with sweetnes, through mine ear,
  Dissolve me into extasies,
  And bring all Heav'n before mine eyes.
  And may at last my weary age
  Find out the peacefull hermitage,
  The Hairy Gown and Mossy Cell,
  Where I may sit and rightly spell                                   170
  Of every Star that Heav'n doth shew,
  And every Herb that sips the dew;
  Till old  experience do attain
  To somthing like prophetic strain.
  These pleasures Melancholy give,
  And I with thee will choose to live.



  O Nightingale, that on yon bloomy Spray
  Warbl'st at eeve, when all the Woods are still,
  Thou with fresh hope the Lovers heart dost fill,
  While the jolly hours lead on propitious May,
  Thy liquid notes that close the eye of Day,
  First heard before the shallow Cuccoo's bill
  Portend success in love; O if Jove's will
  Have linkt that amorous power to thy soft lay,
  Now timely sing, ere the rude Bird of Hate
  Foretell my hopeles doom in som Grove ny:                            10
  As thou from yeer to yeer hast sung too late
  For my relief; yet hadst no reason why,
  Whether the Muse, or Love call thee his mate,
  Both them I serve, and of their train am I.


  Donna leggiadra il cui bel nome honora
  L'herbosa val di Rheno, e il nobil varco,
  Ben e colui d'ogni valore scarco
  Qual tuo spirto gentil non innamora,
  Che dolcemente mostra si di fuora
  De suoi atti soavi giamai parco,
  E i don', che son d'amor saette ed arco,
  La onde l' alta tua virtu s'infiora.
  Quando tu vaga parli, O lieta canti
  Che mover possa duro alpestre legno,                                 10
  Guardi ciascun a gli occhi ed a gli orecchi
  L'entrata, chi di te si truova indegno;
  Gratia sola di su gli vaglia, inanti
  Che'l disio amoroso al cuor s'invecchi.


  Qual in colle aspro, al imbrunir di sera
  L'avezza giovinetta pastorella
  Va bagnando l'herbetta strana e bella
  Che mal si spande a disusata spera
  Fuor di sua natia alma primavera,
  Cosi Amor meco insu la lingua snella
  Desta il fior novo di strania favella,
  Mentre io di te, vezzosamente altera,
  Canto, dal mio buon popol non inteso
  E'l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno                                   10
  Amor lo volse, ed io a l'altrui peso
  Seppi ch' Amor cosa mai volse indarno.
  Deh!  foss' il mio cuor lento e'l duro seno
  A chi pianta dal ciel si buon terreno.


  Ridonsi donne e giovani amorosi
  M' occostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
  Perche tu scrivi in lingua ignota e strana
  Verseggiando d'amor, e come t'osi?
  Dinne, se la tua speme sia mai vana
  E de pensieri lo miglior t' arrivi;
  Cosi mi van burlando, altri rivi
  Altri lidi t' aspettan, & altre onde
  Nelle cui verdi sponde
  Spuntati ad hor, ad hor a la tua chioma                              10
  L'immortal guiderdon d 'eterne frondi
  Perche alle spalle tue soverchia soma?
  Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
  Dice mia Donna, e'l suo dir, e il mio cuore
  Questa e lingua di cui si vanta Amore.


  Diodati, e te'l diro con maraviglia,
  Quel ritroso io ch'amor spreggiar solea
  E de suoi lacci spesso mi ridea
  Gia caddi, ov'huom dabben talhor s'impiglia.
  Ne treccie d'oro, ne guancia vermiglia
  M' abbaglian si, ma sotto nova idea
  Pellegrina bellezza che'l cuor bea,
  Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia
  Quel sereno fulgor d' amabil nero,
  Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una,                                   10
  E'l cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero
  Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,
  E degil occhi suoi auventa si gran fuoco
  Che l 'incerar gli oreechi mi fia poco.


  Per certo i bei vostr'occhi Donna mia
  Esser non puo che non fian lo mio sole
  Si mi percuoton forte, come ci suole
  Per l'arene di Libia chi s'invia,
  Mentre un caldo vapor (ne senti pria)
  Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
  Che forsi amanti nelle lor parole
  Chiaman sospir; io non so che si sia:
  Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela
  Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo poco                             10
  Quivi d' attorno o s'agghiaccia, o s'ingiela;
  Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco
  Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
  Finche mia Alba rivien colma di rose.


  Giovane piano, e semplicetto amante
  Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
  Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono
  Faro divoto; io certo a prove tante
  L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,
  De pensieri leggiadro, accorto, e buono;
  Quando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono,
  S 'arma di se, e d' intero diamante,
  Tanto del forse, e d' invidia sicuro,
  Di timori, e speranze al popol use                                   10
  Quanto d'ingegno, e d' alto valor vago,
  E di cetra sonora, e delle muse:
  Sol troverete in tal parte men duro
  Ove amor mise l 'insanabil ago.

  How soon hath Time the suttle theef of youth,
  Stoln on his wing my three and twentith yeer!
  My hasting dayes flie on with full career,
  But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th,
  Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
  That I to manhood am arriv'd so near,
  And inward ripenes doth much less appear,
  That som more timely-happy spirits indu'th.
  Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow.
  It shall be still in strictest measure eev'n,                        10
  To that same lot, however mean, or high,
  Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heav'n;
  All is, if I have grace to use it so,
  As ever in my great task Masters eye.

  Captain or Colonel, or Knight in Arms,
  Whose chance on these defenceless dores may sease,
  If ever deed of honour did thee please,
  Guard them, and him within protect from harms,
  He can requite thee, for he knows the charms
  That call Fame on such gentle acts as these,
  And he can spred thy Name o're Lands and Seas,
  What ever clime the Suns bright circle warms.
  Lift not thy spear against the Muses Bowre,
  The great Emathian Conqueror bid spare                               10
  The house of Pindarus, when Temple and Towre
  Went to the ground: And the repeated air
  Of sad Electra's Poet had the power
  To save th' Athenian Walls from ruine bare.

  Camb. autograph supplies title, When the assault was intended
  to the city.
  3 If deed of honour did thee ever please,  1673.


  Lady that in the prime of earliest youth,
  Wisely hath shun'd the broad way and the green,
  And with those few art eminently seen,
  That labour up the Hill of heav'nly Truth,
  The better part with Mary and with Ruth,
  Chosen thou hast, and they that overween,
  And at thy growing vertues fret their spleen,
  No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
  Thy care is fixt and zealously attends
  To fill thy odorous Lamp with deeds of light,
  And Hope that reaps not shame.  Therefore be sure
  Thou, when the Bridegroom with his feastfull friends
  Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
  Hast gain'd thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

  Note: 5 with Ruth] the Ruth  1645.


  Daughter to that good Earl, once President
  Of Englands Counsel, and her Treasury,
  Who liv'd in both, unstain'd with gold or fee,
  And left them both, more in himself content,
  Till the sad breaking of that Parlament
  Broke him, as that dishonest victory
  At Chaeronea, fatal to liberty
  Kil'd with report that Old man eloquent,
  Though later born, then to have known the dayes
  Wherin your Father flourisht, yet by you                             10
  Madam, me thinks I see him living yet;
  So well your words his noble vertues praise,
  That all both judge you to relate them true,
  And to possess them, Honour'd Margaret.

  Note: Camb. autograph supplies title, To the Lady Margaret


  Part of an entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of
  Darby at Harefield, by som Noble persons of her Family, who
  appear on the Scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat
  of State with this Song.

  I. SONG.

  LOOK Nymphs, and Shepherds look,
  What sudden blaze of majesty
  Is that which we from hence descry
  Too divine to be mistook:
  This this is she
  To whom our vows and wishes bend,
  Heer our solemn search hath end.

  Fame that her high worth to raise,
  Seem'd erst so lavish and profuse,
  We may justly now accuse                                             10
  Of detraction from her praise,
  Less then half we find exprest,
  Envy bid conceal the rest.

  Mark what radiant state she spreds,
  In circle round her shining throne,
  Shooting her beams like silver threds,
  This this is she alone,
  Sitting like a Goddes bright,
  In the center of her light.
  Might she the wise Latona be,                                        20
  Or the towred Cybele,
  Mother of a hunderd gods;
  Juno dare's not give her odds;
  Who had thought this clime had held
  A deity so unparalel'd?

  As they com forward, the genius of the Wood appears, and
  turning toward them, speaks.

  GEN. Stay gentle Swains, for though in this disguise,
  I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes,
  Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
  Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
  Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluse,                                 30
  Stole under Seas to meet his Arethuse;
  And ye the breathing Roses of the Wood,
  Fair silver-buskind Nymphs as great and good,
  I know this quest of yours, and free intent
  Was all in honour and devotion ment
  To the great Mistres of yon princely shrine,
  Whom with low reverence I adore as mine,
  And with all helpful service will comply
  To further this nights glad solemnity;
  And lead ye where ye may more neer behold                            40
  What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;
  Which I full oft amidst these shades alone
  Have sate to wonder at, and gaze upon:
  For know by lot from Jove I am the powr
  Of this fair wood, and live in Oak'n bowr,
  To nurse the Saplings tall, and curl the grove
  With Ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.
  And all my Plants I save from nightly ill,
  Of noisom winds, and blasting vapours chill.
  And from the Boughs brush off the evil dew,                          50
  And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blew,
  Or what the cross dire-looking Planet smites,
  Or hurtfull Worm with canker'd venom bites.
  When Eev'ning gray doth rise, I fetch my round
  Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground,
  And early ere the odorous breath of morn
  Awakes the slumbring leaves, or tasseld horn
  Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
  Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
  With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless,                      60
  But els in deep of night when drowsines
  Hath lockt up mortal sense, then listen I
  To the celestial Sirens harmony,
  That sit upon the nine enfolded Sphears,
  And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
  And turn the Adamantine spindle round,
  On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
  Such sweet compulsion doth in musick ly,
  To lull the daughters of Necessity,
  And keep unsteddy Nature to her law,                                 70
  And the low world in measur'd motion draw
  After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
  Of human mould with grosse unpurged ear;
  And yet such musick worthiest were to blaze
  The peerles height of her immortal praise,
  Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
  If my inferior hand or voice could hit
  Inimitable sounds, yet as we go,
  What ere the skill of lesser gods can show,
  I will assay, her worth to celebrate,                                80
  And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
  Where ye may all that are of noble stemm
  Approach, and kiss her sacred vestures hemm.
  2. SONG.

  O're the smooth enameld green
  Where no print of step hath been,
  Follow me as I sing,
  And touch the warbled string.
  Under the shady roof
  Of branching Elm Star-proof,
  Follow me,                                                           90
  I will bring you where she sits
  Clad in splendor as befits
  Her deity.
  Such a rural Queen
  All Arcadia hath not seen.
  3. SONG.

  Nymphs and Shepherds dance no more
  By sandy Ladons Lillied banks.
  On old Lycaeus or Cyllene hoar,
  Trip no more in twilight ranks,
  Though Erynanth your loss deplore,                                  100
  A better soyl shall give ye thanks.
  From the stony Maenalus,
  Bring your Flocks, and live with us,
  Here ye shall have greater grace,
  To serve the Lady of this place.
  Though Syrinx your Pans Mistres were,
  Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.
  Such a rural Queen
  All Arcadia hath not seen.

  Note: 22 hunderd]  Milton's own spelling here is hundred.  But in
  the Errata to Paradise Lost (i. 760) he corrects hundred to hunderd.

Transcriber's note: Facsimile of Title page of Lycidas follows:

                         EDOVARDO KING
                      Amicis Moerentibus,
                         mneias chaein
         Sirecte calculam ponas, ubique naufragium est.
                           Pet. Arb.
        Apud Thomam Buck, & Rogerum Daniel, celeberrimae
                 Academiae typographos.  1638.


  In this Monody the Author bewails a learned Friend,
  unfortunatly drown'd in his Passage from Chester on the Irish
  Seas, 1637.  And by occasion foretels the ruine of our
  corrupted Clergy then in their height.

  YET once more, O ye Laurels, and once more
  Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never-sear,
  I com to pluck your Berries harsh and crude,
  And with forc'd fingers rude,
  Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
  Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
  Compels me to disturb your season due:
  For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime
  Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer:
  Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew
  Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.                          10
  He must not flote upon his watry bear
  Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
  Without the meed of som melodious tear.

  Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,
  That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring,
  Begin, and somwhat loudly sweep the string.
  Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse,
  So may som gentle Muse
  With lucky words favour my destin'd Urn,                             20
  And as he passes turn,
  And bid fair peace be to my sable shrowd.
  For we were nurst upon the self-same hill,
  Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.

  Together both, ere the high Lawns appear'd
  Under the opening eye-lids of the morn,
  We drove a field and both together heard
  What time the Gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
  Batt'ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
  Oft till the Star that rose, at Ev'ning, bright                      30
  Toward Heav'ns descent had slop'd his westering wheel.
  Mean while the Rural ditties were not mute,
  Temper'd to th'Oaten Flute;
  Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fauns with clov'n heel,
  From the glad sound would not be absent long,
  And old Damoetas lov'd to hear our song.

  But O the heavy change, now thou art gon,
  Now thou art gon, and never must return!
  Thee Shepherd, thee the Woods, and desert Caves,
  With wilde Thyme and the gadding Vine o'regrown,                     40
  And all their echoes mourn.
  The Willows, and the Hazle Copses green,
  Shall now no more be seen,
  Fanning their joyous Leaves to thy soft layes.
  As killing as the Canker to the Rose,
  Or Taint-worm to the weanling Herds that graze,
  Or Frost to Flowers, that their gay wardrop wear,
  When first the White thorn blows;
  Such, Lycidas, thy loss to Shepherds ear.

  Where were ye Nymphs when the remorseless deep                       50
  Clos'd o're the head of your lov'd Lycidas?
  For neither were ye playing on the steep,
  Where your old Bards, the famous Druids ly,
  Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
  Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream:
  Ay me, I fondly dream!
  Had ye bin there—for what could that have don?
  What could the Muse her self that Orpheus bore,
  The Muse her self, for her inchanting son
  Whom Universal nature did lament,                                    60
  When by the rout that made the hideous roar,
  His goary visage down the stream was sent,
  Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore.

  Alas! What boots it with uncessant care
  To tend the homely slighted Shepherds trade,
  And strictly meditate the thankles Muse,
  Were it not better don as others use,
  To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
  Or with the tangles of Neaera's hair?
  Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise                    70
  (That last infirmity of Noble mind)
  To scorn delights, and live laborious dayes:
  But the fair Guerdon when we hope to find,
  And think to burst out into sudden blaze.
  Comes the blind Fury with th'abhorred shears,
  And slits the thin spun life.  But not the praise,
  Phoebus repli'd, and touch'd my trembling ears;
  Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
  Nor in the glistering foil
  Set off to th'world, nor in broad rumour lies,                       80
  But lives and spreds aloft by those pure eyes,
  And perfet witnes of all judging Jove;
  As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
  Of so much fame in Heav'n expect thy meed.

  O Fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd floud,
  Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocall reeds,
  That strain I heard was of a higher mood:
  But now my Oate proceeds,
  And listens to the Herald of the Sea
  That came in Neptune's plea,                                         90
  He ask'd the Waves, and ask'd the Fellon winds,
  What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain?
  And question'd every gust of rugged wings
  That blows from off each beaked Promontory,
  They knew not of his story,
  And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
  That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd,
  The Ayr was calm, and on the level brine,
  Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd.
  It was that fatall and perfidious Bark                              100
  Built in th'eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark,
  That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.

  Next Camus, reverend Sire, went footing slow,
  His Mantle hairy, and his Bonnet sedge,
  Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
  Like to that sanguine flower inscrib'd with woe.
  Ah; Who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge?
  Last came, and last did go,
  The Pilot of the Galilean lake,
  Two massy Keyes he bore of metals twain,                            110
  (The Golden opes, the Iron shuts amain)
  He shook his Miter'd locks, and stern bespake,
  How well could I have spar'd for thee, young swain,
  Anow of such as for their bellies sake,
  Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold?
  Of other care they little reck'ning make,
  Then how to scramble at the shearers feast,
  And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
  Blind mouthes! that scarce themselves know how to hold
  A Sheep-hook, or have learn'd ought els the least                   120
  That to the faithfull Herdmans art belongs!
  What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
  And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
  Grate on their scrannel Pipes of wretched straw,
  The hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed,
  But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
  Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
  Besides what the grim Woolf with privy paw
  Daily devours apace, and nothing sed,
  But that two-handed engine at the door,                             130
  Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.

  Return Alpheus, the dread voice is past,
  That shrunk thy streams; Return Sicilian Muse,
  And call the Vales, and bid them hither cast
  Their Bels, and Flourets of a thousand hues.
  Ye valleys low where the milde whispers use,
  Of shades and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
  On whose fresh lap the swart Star sparely looks,
  Throw hither all your quaint enameld eyes,
  That on the green terf suck the honied showres,                     140
  And purple all the ground with vernal flowres.
  Bring the rathe Primrose that forsaken dies.
  The tufted Crow-toe, and pale Gessamine,
  The white Pink, and the Pansie freakt with jeat,
  The glowing Violet.
  The Musk-rose, and the well attir'd Woodbine.
  With Cowslips wan that hang the pensive hed,
  And every flower that sad embroidery wears:
  Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed,
  And daffadillies fill their cups with tears,                            150
  And strew the Laureat Herse where Lycid lies.
  For so to interpose a little ease,
  Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise.
  Ah me! Whilst thee the shores, and sounding Seas
  Wash far away, where ere thy bones are hurl'd
  Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides.
  Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide
  Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world;
  Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd,
  Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,                              160
  Where the great vision of the guarded Mount
  Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold;
  Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth.
  And, O ye Dolphins, waft the haples youth.

  Weep no more, woful Shepherds weep no more,
  For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,
  Sunk though he be beneath the watry floar,
  So sinks the day-star in the Ocean bed,
  And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
  And tricks his beams, and with new spangled Ore,                    170
  Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
  So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
  Through the dear might of him that walk'd the waves
  Where other groves, and other streams along,
  With Nectar pure his oozy Lock's he laves,
  And hears the unexpressive nuptiall Song,
  In the blest Kingdoms meek of joy and love.
  There entertain him all the Saints above,
  In solemn troops, and sweet Societies
  That sing, and singing in their glory move,                         180
  And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
  Now Lycidas the Shepherds weep no more;
  Hence forth thou art the Genius of the shore,
  In thy large recompense and shalt be good
  To all that wander in that perilous flood.

  Thus sang the uncouth Swain to th'Okes and rills,
  While the still morn went out with Sandals gray,
  He touch'd the tender stops of various Quills,
  With eager thought warbling his Dorick lay:
  And now the Sun had stretch'd out all the hills,                    190
  And now was dropt into the Western bay;
  At last he rose, and twitch'd his Mantle blew:
  To morrow to fresh Woods, and Pastures new.

   64  uncessant] Manuscript reads incessant, so that uncessant
  is probably a misprint; though that spelling is retained in the Second
   82  perfet] So in Comus, line 203. In both these places
  the manuscript has perfect, as elsewhere where the word occurs. In
  the Solemn Music, line 23, where the First Edition reads perfect,
  the second reads perfet.
  149 Amaranthus] Amarantus

Transcriber's note: Facsimile of Title page of Comus follows:

                            A MASKE
                       At Ludlow Castle,

                On Michalemasse night, before the
                        RIGHT HONORABLE,
          IOHN Earle of Bridgewater, Viscount Brackly,
              Lord President of WALES, and one of
                 His MAIESTIES most honorable
                        Privie Counsell.

     Eheu quid volui misero mihi! floribus austrum
     Perditus —————————

                 Printed for HYMPHREY ROBINSON
             at the signe of the Three Pidgeons in
                   Pauls Church-yard.  1637.
To the Right Honourable, John Lord Vicount Bracly, Son and
  Heir apparent to the Earl of Bridgewater, &c.
  My LORD,

  This Poem, which receiv'd its first occasion of Birth from your
  Self, and others of your Noble Family, and much honour from
  your own Person in the performance, now returns again to
  make a finall Dedication of it self to you.  Although not openly
  acknowledg'd by the Author, yet it is a legitimate off-spring, so
  lovely, and so much desired, that the often Copying of it hath
  tired my Pen to give my several friends satisfaction, and brought
  me to a necessity of producing it to the publike view; and now
  to offer it up in all rightfull devotion to those fair Hopes, and
  rare endowments of your much-promising Youth, which give a
  full assurance, to all that know you, of a future excellence.  Live
  sweet Lord to be the honour of your Name, and receive this as
  your own, from the hands of him, who hath by many favours
  been long oblig'd to your most honour'd Parents, and as in this
  representation your attendant Thyrsis, so now in all reall

  Your faithfull, and most humble Servant

  Note: Dedication to Vicount Bracly: Omitted in 1673.
The Copy of a Letter writt'n by Sir HENRY WOOTTON, to
  the Author, upon the following Poem.
  From the Colledge, this 13. of April, 1638.

  It was a special favour, when you lately bestowed upon me
  here, the first taste of your acquaintance, though no longer then
  to make me know that I wanted more time to value it, and  to
  enjoy it rightly; and in truth, if  I could then have imagined your
  farther stay in these parts, which I understood afterwards by
  Mr. H. I would have been bold in our vulgar phrase to mend my
  draught (for you left me with an extreme thirst) and to have
  begged your conversation again, joyntly with your said learned
  Friend, at a poor meal or two, that we might have banded
  together som good Authors of the antient time: Among which, I
  observed you to have been familiar.

  Since your going, you have charg'd me with new Obligations,
  both for a very kinde Letter from you dated the sixth of this
  Month, and for a dainty peece of entertainment which came
  therwith.  Wherin I should much commend the Tragical part, if
  the Lyrical did not ravish me with a certain Dorique delicacy in
  your Songs and Odes, wherunto I must plainly confess to have
  seen yet nothing parallel in our Language: Ipsa mollities.
  But I must not omit to tell you, that I now onely owe you
  thanks for intimating unto me (how modestly soever) the true
  Artificer. For the work it self I had view'd som good while
  before, with singular delight, having receiv'd it from our
  common Friend Mr. R. in the very close of the late R's Poems,
  Printed at Oxford, wherunto it was added (as I now suppose)
  that the Accessory might help out the Principal, according to
  the Art of Stationers, and to leave the Reader Con la bocca

  Now Sir, concerning your travels, wherin I may challenge a
  little more priviledge of Discours with you; I suppose you will
  not blanch Paris in your way; therfore I have been bold to
  trouble you with a few lines to Mr. M. B. whom you shall easily
  find attending the young Lord S. as his Governour, and you
  may surely receive from him good directions for the shaping of
  your farther journey into Italy, where he did reside by my choice
  som time for the King, after mine own recess from Venice.

  I should think that your best Line will be thorow the whole
  length of France to Marseilles, and thence by Sea to Genoa,
  whence the passage into Tuscany is as Diurnal as a Gravesend
  Barge: I hasten as you do to Florence, or Siena, the rather to tell
  you a short story from the interest you have given me in your

  At Siena I was tabled in the House of one Alberto Scipioni, an
  old Roman Courtier in dangerous times, having bin Steward to
  the Duca di Pagliano, who with all his Family were strangled
  save this onely man that escap'd by foresight of the Tempest:
  With him I  had often much chat of those affairs; Into which he
  took pleasure to look back from his Native Harbour: and at my
  departure toward Rome (which had been the center of    his
  experience) I had wonn confidence enough to beg his advice,
  how I might carry my self securely there, without offence of
  mine own conscience.  Signor Arrigo mio (sayes he) I pensieri
  stretti, & il viso sciolto, will go safely over the whole World: Of
  which Delphian Oracle (for so I have found it) your judgement
  doth need no commentary; and therfore (Sir) I will commit you
  with it to the best of all securities, Gods dear love, remaining

  Your Friend as much at command as any of longer date,

  Henry Wootton.


  SIR, I have expressly sent this my Foot-boy to prevent your
  departure without som acknowledgement from me of the
  receipt of your obliging Letter, having myself through som
  busines, I know not how, neglected the ordinary conveyance.
  In any part where I shall understand you fixed, I shall be glad,
  and diligent to entertain you with Home-Novelties; even for
  som fomentation of our friendship, too soon interrupted in the

  Note: Letter from Sir Henry Wootton: Omitted in 1673

A MASK PRESENTED At LUDLOW-Castle, 1634. &c.

  The Persons.

  The attendant Spirit afterwards in the habit of Thyrsis.
  Comus with his crew.
  The Lady.
  1. Brother.
  2. Brother.
  Sabrina the Nymph.

  The cheif persons which presented, were
  The Lord Bracly.
  Mr. Thomas Egerton his Brother,
  The Lady Alice Egerton.
  The first Scene discovers a wilde Wood.

  The attendant Spirit descends or enters.

  Spir: Before the starry threshold of Joves Court
  My mansion is, where those immortal shapes
  Of bright aereal Spirits live insphear'd
  In Regions milde of calm and serene Ayr,
  Above the smoak and stirr of this dim spot,
  Which men call Earth, and with low-thoughted care
  Confin'd, and pester'd in this pin-fold here,
  Strive to keep up a frail, and Feaverish being
  Unmindfull of the crown that Vertue gives
  After this mortal change, to her true Servants                       10
  Amongst the enthron'd gods on Sainted seats.
  Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
  To lay their just hands on that Golden Key
  That ope's the Palace of Eternity:
  To such my errand is, and but for such,
  I would not soil these pure Ambrosial weeds,
  With the rank vapours of this Sin-worn mould.
  But to my task.  Neptune besides the sway
  Of every salt Flood, and each ebbing Stream,
  Took in by lot 'twixt high, and neather Jove,                        20
  Imperial rule of all the Sea-girt Iles
  That like to rich, and various gemms inlay
  The unadorned boosom of the Deep,
  Which he to grace his tributary gods
  By course commits to severall government,
  And gives them leave to wear their Saphire crowns,
  And weild their little tridents, but this Ile
  The greatest, and the best of all the main
  He quarters to his blu-hair'd deities,
  And all this tract that fronts the falling Sun                       30
  A noble Peer of mickle trust, and power
  Has in his charge, with temper'd awe to guide
  An old, and haughty Nation proud in Arms:
  Where his fair off-spring nurs't in Princely lore,
  Are coming to attend their Fathers state,
  And new-entrusted Scepter, but their way
  Lies through the perplex't paths of this drear Wood,
  The nodding horror of whose shady brows
  Threats the forlorn and wandring Passinger.
  And here their tender age might suffer perill,                       40
  But that by quick command from Soveran Jove
  I was dispatcht for their defence, and guard;
  And listen why, for I will tell ye now
  What never yet was heard in Tale or Song
  From old, or modern Bard in Hall, or Bowr.
  Bacchus that first from out the purple Grape,
  Crush't the sweet poyson of mis-used Wine
  After the Tuscan Mariners transform'd
  Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed,
  On Circes Iland fell (who knows not Circe                             50
  The daughter of the Sun?  Whose charmed Cup
  Whoever tasted, lost his upright shape,
  And downward fell into a groveling Swine)
  This Nymph that gaz'd upon his clustring locks,
  With Ivy berries wreath'd, and his blithe youth,
  Had by him, ere he parted thence, a Son
  Much like his Father, but his Mother more,
  Whom therfore she brought up and Comus named,
  Who ripe, and frolick of his full grown age,
  Roving the Celtic, and Iberian fields,                               60
  At last betakes him to this ominous Wood,
  And in thick shelter of black shades imbowr'd,
  Excells his Mother at her mighty Art,
  Offring to every weary Travailer,
  His orient liquor in a Crystal Glasse,
  To quench the drouth of Phoebus, which as they taste
  (For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst )
  Soon as the Potion works,  their human count'nance,
  Th' express resemblance of the gods, is chang'd
  Into som brutish form of Woolf, or Bear,                             70
  Or Ounce, or Tiger, Hog, or bearded Goat,
  All other parts remaining as they were,
  And they, so perfect is their misery,
  Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
  But boast themselves more comely then before
  And all their friends, and native home forget
  To roule with pleasure in a sensual stie.
  Therfore when any favour'd of high Jove,
  Chances to pass through this adventrous glade,
  Swift as the Sparkle of a glancing Star,                             80
  I shoot from Heav'n to give him safe convoy,
  As now I do: But first I must put off
  These my skie robes spun out of Iris Wooff,
  And take the Weeds and likenes of a Swain,
  That to the service of this house belongs,
  Who with his soft Pipe, and smooth-dittied Song,
  Well knows to still the wilde winds when they roar,
  And hush the waving Woods, nor of lesse faith,
  And in this office of his Mountain watch,
  Likeliest, and neerest to the present ayd                            90
  Of this occasion.  But I hear the tread
  Of hatefull steps, I must be viewles now.

  Comus enters with a Charming Rod in one hand, his Glass in
  the other, with him a rout of monsters, headed like sundry sorts
  of wilde Beasts, but otherwise like Men and Women, their
  Apparel glistring, they come in making a riotous and unruly
  noise, with Torches in their hands.

  Co: The Star that bids the Shepherd fold,
  Now the top of Heav'n doth hold,
  And the gilded Car of Day,
  His glowing Axle doth allay
  In the steep Atlantick stream,
  And the slope Sun his upward beam
  Shoots against the dusky Pole,
  Pacing toward the other gole                                        100
  Of his Chamber in the East.
  Meanwhile welcom Joy, and Feast,
  Midnight shout, and revelry,
  Tipsie dance, and Jollity.
  Braid your Locks with rosie Twine
  Dropping odours, dropping Wine.
  Rigor now is gon to bed,
  And Advice with scrupulous head,
  Strict Age, and sowre Severity,
  With their grave Saws in slumber ly.                               110
  We that are of purer fire
  Imitate the Starry Quire,
  Who in their nightly watchfull Sphears,
  Lead in swift round the Months and Years.
  The Sounds, and Seas with all their finny drove
  Now to the Moon in wavering Morrice move,
  And on the Tawny Sands and Shelves,
  Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves;
  By dimpled Brook, and Fountain brim,
  The Wood-Nymphs deckt with Daisies trim,                            120
  Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
  What hath night to do with sleep?
  Night hath better sweets to prove,
  Venus now wakes, and wak'ns Love.
  Com let us our rights begin,
  'Tis onely day-light that makes Sin
  Which these dun shades will ne're report.
  Hail Goddesse of Nocturnal sport
  Dark vaild Cotytto, t' whom the secret flame
  Of mid-night Torches burns; mysterious Dame                        130
  That ne're art call'd, but when the Dragon woom
  Of Stygian darknes spets her thickest gloom,
  And makes one blot of all the ayr,
  Stay thy cloudy Ebon chair,
  Wherin thou rid'st with Hecat', and befriend
  Us thy vow'd Priests, til utmost end
  Of all thy dues be done, and none left out,
  Ere the blabbing Eastern scout,
  The nice Morn on th' Indian steep
  From her cabin'd loop hole peep,                                    140
  And to the tel-tale Sun discry
  Our conceal'd Solemnity.
  Com, knit hands, and beat the ground,
  In a light fantastick round.

  The Measure.

  Break off; break off, I feel the different pace,
  Of som chast footing neer about this ground.
  Run to your shrouds, within these Brakes and Trees,
  Our number may affright: Som Virgin sure
  (For so I can distinguish by mine Art)
  Benighted in these Woods.  Now to my charms,                        150
  And to my wily trains, I shall e're long
  Be well stock't with as fair a herd as graz'd
  About my Mother Circe.  Thus I hurl
  My dazling Spells into the spungy ayr,
  Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion,
  And give it false presentments, lest the place
  And my quaint habits breed astonishment,
  And put the Damsel to suspicious flight,
  Which must not be, for that's against my course;
  I under fair pretence of friendly ends,                             160
  And well plac't words of glozing courtesie
  Baited with reasons not unplausible
  Wind me into the easie-hearted man,
  And hugg him into snares.  When once her eye
  Hath met the vertue of this Magick dust,
  I shall appear som harmles Villager
  Whom thrift keeps up about his Country gear,
  But here she comes, I fairly step aside,
  And hearken, if I may, her busines here.

  The Lady enters.

  La: This way the noise was, if mine ear be true,                    170
  My best guide now, me thought it was the sound
  Of Riot, and ill manag'd Merriment,
  Such as the jocond Flute, or gamesom Pipe
  Stirs up among the loose unleter'd Hinds,
  When for their teeming Flocks, and granges full
  In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan,
  And thank the gods amiss.  I should be loath
  To meet the rudenesse, and swill'd insolence
  of such late Wassailers; yet O where els
  Shall I inform my unacquainted feet                                 180
  In the blind mazes of this tangl'd Wood?
  My Brothers when they saw me wearied out
  With this long way, resolving here to lodge
  Under the spreading favour of these Pines,
  Stept as they se'd to the next Thicket side
  To bring me Berries, or such cooling fruit
  As the kind hospitable Woods provide.
  They left me then, when the gray-hooded Eev'n
  Like a sad Votarist in Palmers weed
  Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus wain.                      190
  But where they are, and why they came not back,
  Is now the labour of my thoughts, 'tis likeliest
  They had ingag'd their wandring steps too far,
  And envious darknes, e're they could return,
  Had stole them from me, els O theevish Night
  Why shouldst thou, but for som fellonious end,
  In thy dark lantern thus close up the Stars,
  That nature hung in Heav'n, and fill'd their Lamps
  With everlasting oil, to give due light
  To the misled and lonely Travailer?                                 200
  This is the place as well as I may guess,
  Whence eev'n now the tumult of loud Mirth
  Was rife and perfect in my list'ning ear,
  Yet nought but single darknes do I find.
  What might this be? A thousand fantasies
  Begin to throng into my memory
  Of calling shapes, and beckning shadows dire,
  And airy tongues, that syllable mens names
  On Sands and Shoars and desert Wildernesses.
  These thoughts may startle well, but not astound                    210
  The vertuous mind that ever walks attended
  By a strong siding champion Conscience.—
  O welcom pure-ey'd Faith, white-handed Hope,
  Thou hovering Angel girt with golden wings.
  And thou unblemish't form of Chastity,
  I see ye visibly and now beleeve
  That he, the Supreme good t'whom all things ill
  Are but as slavish  officers of vengeance,
  Would send a glistring Guardian if need were
  To keep my life and honour unassail'd.                              220
  Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
  Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
  I did not err, there does a sable cloud
  Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
  And casts a gleam over this tufted Grove.
  I cannot hallow to my Brothers, but
  Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
  Ile venter, for my new enliv'nd spirits
  Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off.


  Sweet Echo, sweetest Nymph that liv'st unseen                       230
  Within thy airy shell
  By slow Meander's margent green,
  And in the violet imbroider'd vale
  Where the love-lorn Nightingale
  Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.
  Canst thou not tell me of a gentle Pair
  That likest thy Narcissus are?
  O if thou have
  Hid them in som flowry Cave,
  Tell me but where                                                   240
  Sweet Queen of  Parly, Daughter of the Sphear,
  So maist thou be translated to the skies,
  And give resounding grace to all Heav'ns Harmonies.

  Co: Can any mortal mixture of Earths mould
  Breath such Divine inchanting ravishment?
  Sure somthing holy lodges in that brest,
  And with these raptures moves the vocal air
  To testifie his hidd'n residence;
  How sweetly did they float upon the wings
  Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night                         250
  At every fall smoothing the Raven doune
  Of darknes till it smil'd: I have oft heard
  My mother Circe with the Sirens three,
  Amid'st the flowry-kirtl'd Naiades
  Culling their Potent hearbs, and balefull drugs.
  Who as they sung, would take the prison'd soul,
  And lap it in Elysium, Scylla wept,
  And chid her barking waves into attention.
  And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause:
  Yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense,                      260
  And in sweet madnes rob'd it of it self,
  But such a sacred, and home-felt delight,
  Such sober certainty of waking bliss
  I never heard till now.  Ile speak to her
  And she shall be my Queen.  Hail forren wonder
  Whom certain these rough shades did never breed
  Unlesse the Goddes that in rurall shrine
  Dwell'st here with Pan, or Silvan, by blest Song
  Forbidding every bleak unkindly Fog
  To touch the prosperous growth of this tall Wood.                   270

  La: Nay gentle Shepherd ill is lost that praise
  That is addrest to unattending Ears,
  Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
  How to regain my sever'd company
  Compell'd me to awake the courteous Echo
  To give me answer from her mossie Couch.

  Co: What chance good Lady hath bereft you thus?

  La: Dim darknes, and this heavy Labyrinth.

  Co: Could that divide you from neer-ushering guides?

  La: They left me weary on a grassie terf.                           280

  Co: By falshood, or discourtesie, or why?

  La: To seek in vally som cool friendly Spring.

  Co: And left your fair side all unguarded Lady?

  La: They were but twain, and purpos'd quick return.

  Co: Perhaps fore-stalling night prevented them.

  La: How easie my misfortune is to hit!

  Co:  Imports their loss, beside the present need?

  La:  No less then if I should my brothers loose.

  Co: Were they of manly prime, or youthful bloom?

  La:  As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips.                      290

  Co: Two such I saw, what time the labour'd Oxe
  In his loose traces from the furrow came,
  And the swink't hedger at his Supper sate;
  I saw them under a green mantling vine
  That crawls along the side of yon small hill,
  Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots,
  Their port was more then human, as they stood;
  I took it for a faery vision
  Of som gay creatures of the element
  That in the colours of the Rainbow live                             300
  And play i'th plighted clouds.  I was aw-strook,
  And as I past, I worshipt: if those you seek
  It were a journey like the path to Heav'n,
  To help you find them.  La:  Gentle villager
  What readiest way would bring me to that place?

  Co:  Due west it rises from this shrubby point.

  La: To find out that, good Shepherd, I suppose,
  In such a scant allowance of Star-light,
  Would overtask the best Land-Pilots art,
  Without the sure guess of well-practiz'd feet,                      310

  Co: I know each lane, and every alley green
  Dingle, or bushy dell of this wilde Wood,
  And every bosky bourn from side to side
  My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood,
  And if your stray attendance be yet lodg'd,
  Or shroud within these limits, I shall know
  Ere morrow wake, or the low roosted lark
  From her thatch't pallat rowse, if otherwise
  I can conduct you Lady to a low
  But loyal cottage, where you may be safe                            320
  Till further quest.
                      La: Shepherd I take thy word,
  And trust thy honest offer'd courtesie,
  Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds
  With smoaky rafters, then in tapstry Halls
  And Courts of Princes, where it first was nam'd,
  And yet is most pretended: In a place
  Less warranted then this, or less secure
  I cannot be, that I should fear to change it.
  Eie me blest Providence, and square my triall
  To my proportion'd strength.  Shepherd lead on.—                   330

  The Two Brothers.

  Eld. Bro: Unmuffle ye faint stars, and thou fair Moon
  That wontst to love the travailers benizon,
  Stoop thy pale visage through an amber cloud,
  And disinherit Chaos, that raigns here
  In double night of darknes, and of shades;
  Or if your influence be quite damm'd up
  With black usurping mists, som gentle taper
  Though a rush Candle from the wicker hole
  Of som clay habitation visit us
  With thy long levell'd rule of streaming light.                     340
  And thou shalt be our star of Arcady,
  Or Tyrian Cynosure.
                      2. Bro: Or if our eyes
  Be barr'd that happines, might we but hear
  The folded flocks pen'd in their watled cotes,
  Or sound of pastoral reed with oaten stops,
  Or whistle from the Lodge, or village cock
  Count the night watches to his feathery Dames,
  'Twould be som solace yet, som little chearing
  In this close dungeon of innumerous bowes.
  But O that haples virgin our lost sister                            350
  Where may she wander now, whether betake her
  From the chill dew, amongst rude burrs and thistles?
  Perhaps som cold bank is her boulster now
  Or 'gainst the rugged bark of som broad Elm
  Leans her unpillow'd head fraught with sad fears.
  What if in wild amazement, and affright,
  Or while we speak within the direfull grasp
  Of Savage hunger, or of Savage heat?

  Eld. Bro: Peace brother, be not over-exquisite
  To cast the fashion of uncertain evils;                             360
  For grant they be so, while they rest unknown,
  What need a man forestall his date of grief
  And run to meet what he would most avoid?
  Or if they be but false alarms of Fear,
  How bitter is such self delusion?
  I do not think my sister so to seek,
  Or so unprincipl'd in vertues book,
  And the sweet peace that goodnes boosoms ever,
  As that the single want of light and noise
  (Not being in danger, as I trust she is not)                        370
  Could stir the constant mood of her calm thoughts,
  And put them into mis-becoming plight.
  Vertue could see to do what vertue would
  By her own radiant light, though Sun and Moon
  Were in the salt sea sunk.  And Wisdoms self
  Oft seeks to sweet retired Solitude,
  Where with her best nurse Contemplation
  She plumes her feathers and lets grow her wings
  That in the various bustle of resort
  Were all too ruffled and sometimes impaired.                        380
  He that has light within his own deer brest
  May sit i'th center, and enjoy bright day,
  But he that hides a dark soul, and foul thoughts
  Benighted walks under the mid-day Sun;
  Himself is his own dungeon.

  2. Bro: Tis most true
  That musing meditation most affects
  The pensive secrecy of desert cell,
  Far from the cheerfull haunt of men, and herds,
  And sits as safe as in a Senat house,
  For who would rob a Hermit of his Weeds,                            390
  His few Books, or his Beads, or Maple Dish,
  Or do his gray hairs any violence?
  But beauty like the fair Hesperian Tree
  Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard
  Of dragon watch with uninchanted eye,
  To save her blossoms, and defend her fruit
  From the rash hand of bold Incontinence.
  You may as well spred out the unsun'd heaps
  Of Misers treasure by an out-laws den,
  And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope                              400
  Danger will wink on Opportunity,
  And let a single helpless maiden pass
  Uninjur'd in this wilde surrounding wast.
  Of night, or lonelines it recks me not,
  I fear the dred events that dog them both,
  Lest som ill greeting touch attempt the person
  Of our unowned sister.

  Eld. Bro: I do not, brother,
  Inferr, as if I thought my sisters state
  Secure without all doubt, or controversie:
  Yet where an equall poise of hope and fear                          410
  Does arbitrate th'event, my nature is
  That I encline to hope, rather then fear,
  And gladly banish squint suspicion.
  My sister is not so defenceless left
  As you imagine, she has a hidden strength
  Which you remember not.

  2. Bro: What hidden strength,
  Unless the strength of Heav'n, if you mean that?

  ELD Bro: I mean that too, but yet a hidden strength
  Which if Heav'n gave it, may be term'd her own:
  'Tis chastity, my brother, chastity:                               420
  She that has that, is clad in compleat steel,
  And like a quiver'd Nymph with Arrows keen
  May trace huge Forests, and unharbour'd Heaths,
  Infamous Hills, and sandy perilous wildes,
  Where through the sacred rayes of Chastity,
  No savage fierce, Bandite, or mountaneer
  Will dare to soyl her Virgin purity,
  Yea there, where very desolation dwels
  By grots, and caverns shag'd with horrid shades,
  She may pass on with unblench't majesty,                            430
  Be it not don in pride, or in presumption.
  Som say no evil thing that walks by night
  In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen,
  Blew meager Hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost,
  That breaks his magick chains at curfeu time,
  No goblin, or swart faery of the mine,
  Hath hurtfull power o're true virginity.
  Do ye beleeve me yet, or shall I call
  Antiquity from the old Schools of Greece
  To testifie the arms of Chastity?                                   440
  Hence had the huntress Dian her dred bow
  Fair silver-shafted Queen for ever chaste,
  Wherwith she tam'd the brinded lioness
  And spotted mountain pard, but set at nought
  The frivolous bolt of Cupid, gods and men
  Fear'd her stern frown, and she was queen oth' Woods.
  What was that snaky-headed Gorgon sheild
  That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd Virgin,
  Wherwith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone?
  But rigid looks of Chast austerity,                                 450
  And noble grace that dash't brute violence
  With sudden adoration, and blank aw.
  So dear to Heav'n is Saintly chastity,
  That when a soul is found sincerely so,
  A thousand liveried Angels lacky her,
  Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
  And in cleer dream, and solemn vision
  Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear,
  Till oft convers with heav'nly habitants
  Begin to cast a beam on th'outward shape,                           460
  The unpolluted temple of the mind.
  And turns it by degrees to the souls essence,
  Till all be made immortal: but when lust
  By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk,
  But most by leud and lavish act of sin,
  Lets in defilement to the inward parts,
  The soul grows clotted by contagion,
  Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite loose
  The divine property of her first being.
  Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp                        470
  Oft seen in Charnell vaults, and Sepulchers
  Lingering, and sitting by a new made grave,
  As loath to leave the body that it lov'd,
  And link't it self by carnal sensualty
  To a degenerate and degraded state.

  2. Bro: How charming is divine Philosophy!
  Not harsh, and crabbed as dull fools suppose,
  But musical as is Apollo's lute,
  And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,
  Where no crude surfet raigns.
                                Eld. Bro: List, list, I hear          480
  Som far off hallow break the silent Air.

  2.  Bro: Me thought so too; what should it be?

  Eld. Bro: For certain
  Either som one like us night-founder'd here,
  Or els som neighbour Wood-man, or at worst,
  Som roaving robber calling to his fellows.

  2. Bro: Heav'n keep my sister, agen agen and neer,
  Best draw, and stand upon our guard.

  Eld. Bro: Ile hallow,
  If he be friendly he comes well, if not,
  Defence is a good cause, and Heav'n be for us.

  [Enter] The attendant Spirit habited like a Shepherd.

  That hallow I should know, what are you? speak;                     490
  Com not too neer, you fall on iron stakes else.

  Spir: What voice is that, my young Lord? speak agen.

  2. Bro: O brother, 'tis my father Shepherd sure.

  Eld. Bro: Thyrsis? Whose artful strains have oft delaid
  The huddling brook to hear his madrigal,
  And sweeten'd every muskrose of the dale,
  How cam'st thou here good Swain? hath any ram
  Slip't from the fold, or young Kid lost his dam,
  Or straggling weather the pen't flock forsook?
  How couldst thou find this dark sequester'd nook?                   500

  Spir: O my lov'd masters heir, and his next joy,
  I came not here on such a trivial toy
  As a stray'd Ewe, or to pursue the stealth
  Of pilfering Woolf, not all the fleecy wealth
  That doth enrich these Downs, is worth a thought
  To this my errand, and the care it brought.
  But O my Virgin Lady, where is she?
  How chance she is not in your company?

  Eld. Bro: To tell thee sadly Shepherd, without blame
  Or our neglect, we lost her as we came.                             510

  Spir: Ay me unhappy then my fears are true.

  Eld. Bro: What fears good Thyrsis? Prethee briefly shew.

  Spir: Ile tell ye, 'tis not vain or fabulous,
  (Though so esteem'd by shallow ignorance)
  What the sage Poets taught by th' heav'nly Muse,
  Storied of old in high immortal vers
  Of dire Chimera's and inchanted Iles,
  And rifted Rocks whose entrance leads to hell,
  For such there be, but unbelief is blind.
  Within the navil of this hideous Wood,                              520
  Immur'd in cypress shades a Sorcerer dwels
  Of Bacchus, and of Circe born, great Comus,
  Deep skill'd in all his mothers witcheries,
  And here to every thirsty wanderer,
  By sly enticement gives his banefull cup,
  With many murmurs mixt, whose pleasing poison
  The visage quite transforms of him that drinks,
  And the inglorious likenes of a beast
  Fixes instead, unmoulding reasons mintage
  Character'd in the Face; this have I learn't                        530
  Tending my flocks hard by i'th hilly crofts,
  That brow this bottom glade, whence night by night
  He and his monstrous rout are heard to howl
  Like stabl'd wolves, or tigers at their prey,
  Doing abhorred rites to Hecate
  In their obscured haunts of inmost bowres.
  Yet have they many baits, and guilefull spells
  To inveigle and invite th' unwary sense
  Of them that pass unweeting by the way.
  This evening late by then the chewing flocks                        540
  Had ta'n their supper on the savoury Herb
  Of Knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold,
  I sate me down to watch upon a bank
  With Ivy canopied, and interwove
  With flaunting Hony-suckle, and began
  Wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy
  To meditate my rural minstrelsie,
  Till fancy had her fill, but ere a close
  The wonted roar was up amidst the Woods,
  And fill'd the Air with barbarous dissonance,                       550
  At which I ceas' t, and listen'd them a while,
  Till an unusuall stop of sudden silence
  Gave respit to the drowsie frighted steeds
  That draw the litter of close-curtain'd sleep.
  At last a soft and solemn breathing sound
  Rose like a steam of rich distill'd Perfumes,
  And stole upon the Air, that even Silence
  Was took e're she was ware, and wish't she might
  Deny her nature, and be never more
  Still to be so displac't.  I was all eare,                          560
  And took in strains that might create a soul
  Under the ribs of Death, but O ere long
  Too well I did perceive it was the voice
  Of my most honour'd Lady, your dear sister.
  Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear,
  And O poor hapless Nightingale thought I,
  How sweet thou sing'st, how neer the deadly snare!
  Then down the Lawns I ran with headlong hast
  Through paths, and turnings oft'n trod by day,
  Till guided by mine ear I found the place                           570
  Where that damn'd wisard hid in sly disguise
  (For so by certain signes I knew) had met
  Already, ere my best speed could praevent,
  The aidless innocent Lady his wish't prey,
  Who gently ask't if he had seen such two,
  Supposing him som neighbour villager;
  Longer I durst not stay, but soon I guess't
  Ye were the two she mean't, with that I sprung
  Into swift flight, till I had found you here,
  But furder know I not.
                        2. Bro: O night and shades,                   580
  How are ye joyn'd with hell in triple knot
  Against th'unarmed weakness of one Virgin
  Alone, and helpless!  Is this the confidence
  You gave me Brother?
                       Eld. Bro: Yes, and keep it still,
  Lean on it safely, not a period
  Shall be unsaid for me: against the threats
  Of malice or of sorcery, or that power
  Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firm,
  Vertue may be assail'd, but never hurt,
  Surpriz'd by unjust force, but not enthrall'd,                      590
  Yea even that which mischief meant most harm,
  Shall in the happy trial prove most glory.
  But evil on it self shall back recoyl,
  And mix no more with goodness, when at last
  Gather'd like scum, and setl'd to it self
  It shall be in eternal restless change
  Self-fed, and self-consum'd, if this fail,
  The pillar'd firmament is rott'nness,
  And earths base built on stubble.  But corn let's on.
  Against th' opposing will and arm of Heav'n                         600
  May never this just sword be lifted up,
  But for that damn'd magician, let him be girt
  With all the greisly legions that troop
  Under the sooty flag of Acheron,
  Harpyies and Hydra's, or all the monstrous forms
  'Twixt Africa and Inde, Ile find him out,
  And force him to restore his purchase back,
  Or drag him by the curls, to a foul death,
  Curs'd as his life.

  Spir: Alas good ventrous youth,
  I love thy courage yet, and bold Emprise,                           610
  But here thy sword can do thee little stead,
  Farr other arms, and other weapons must
  Be those that quell the might of hellish charms,
  He with his bare wand can unthred thy joynts,
  And crumble all thy sinews.

  Eld. Bro: Why prethee Shepherd
  How durst thou then thy self approach so neer
  As to make this relation?

  Spir: Care and utmost shifts
  How to secure the lady from surprisal,
  Brought to my mind a certain Shepherd Lad
  Of small regard to see to, yet well skill'd                         620
  In every vertuous plant and healing herb
  That spreds her verdant leaf to th'morning ray,
  He lov'd me well, and oft would beg me sing,
  Which when I did, he on the tender grass
  Would sit, and hearken even to extasie,
  And in requitall ope his leather'n scrip,
  And shew me simples of a thousand names
  Telling their strange and vigorous faculties;
  Amongst the rest a small unsightly root,
  But of divine effect, he cull'd me out;                             630
  The leaf was darkish, and had prickles on it,
  But in another Countrey, as he said,
  Bore a bright golden flowre, but not in this soyl:
  Unknown, and like esteem'd, and the dull swayn
  Treads on it daily with his clouted shoon,
  And yet more med'cinal is it then that Moly
  That Hermes once to wise Ulysses gave;
  He call'd it Haemony, and gave it me,
  And bad me keep it as of sov'ran use
  'Gainst all inchantments, mildew blast, or damp                     640
  Or gastly furies apparition;
  I purs't it up, but little reck'ning made,
  Till now that this extremity compell'd,
  But now I find it true; for by this means
  I knew the foul inchanter though disguis'd,
  Enter'd the very lime-twigs of his spells,
  And yet came off: if you have this about you
  (As I will give you when we go) you may
  Boldly assault the necromancers hall;
  Where if he be, with dauntless hardihood,                           650
  And brandish't blade rush on him, break his glass,
  And shed the lushious liquor on the ground,
  But sease his wand, though he and his curst crew
  Feirce signe of battail make, and menace high,
  Or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoak,
  Yet will they soon retire, if he but shrink.

  Eld. Bro: Thyrsis lead on apace, Ile follow thee,
  And som good angel bear a sheild before us.

  The scene changes to a stately Palace, set out with all manner of
  deliciousness; Soft Musick, Tables spred with all dainties.
  Comus appears with his rabble, and the Lady set in an inchanted
  Chair, to whom he offers his Glass, which she puts by, and goes
  about to rise.

  COMUS: Nay Lady sit; if I but wave this wand
  Your nerves are all chain'd up in Alablaster,                       660
  And you a statue; or as Daphne was
  Root-bound, that fled Apollo.

  La:  Fool do not boast,
  Thou canst not touch the freedom of my minde
  With all thy charms, although this corporal rinde
  Thou haste immanacl'd, while Heav'n sees good.

  Co: Why are you vext Lady? why do you frown
  Here dwell no frowns, nor anger, from these gates
  Sorrow flies farr: See here be all the pleasures
  That fancy can beget on youthfull thoughts,
  When the fresh blood grows lively, and returns                      670
  Brisk as the April buds in Primrose-season.
  And first behold this cordial Julep here
  That flames, and dances in his crystal bounds
  With spirits of balm, and fragrant Syrops mixt.
  Not that Nepenthes which the wife of Thone,
  In Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena
  Is of such power to stir up joy as this,
  To life so friendly, or so cool to thirst.
  Why should you be so cruel to your self,
  And to those dainty limms which nature lent                         680
  For gentle usage, and soft delicacy?
  But you invert the cov'nants of her trust,
  And harshly deal like an ill borrower
  With that which you receiv'd on other terms,
  Scorning the unexempt condition
  By which all mortal frailty must subsist,
  Refreshment after toil, ease after pain,
  That have been tir'd all day without repast,
  And timely rest have wanted, but fair Virgin
  This will restore all soon.

  La: 'Twill not false traitor,                                       690
  'Twill not restore the truth and honesty
  That thou hast banish't from thy tongue with lies
  Was this the cottage, and the safe abode
  Thou told'st me of? What grim aspects are these
  These oughly-headed Monsters? Mercy guard me!
  Hence with thy brew'd inchantments, foul deceit
  Hast thou betrai'd my credulous innocence
  With visor'd falshood, and base forgery,
  And wouldst thou seek again to trap me here
  With lickerish baits fit to ensnare a brute?                        700
  Were it a draft for Juno when she banquets,
  I would not taste thy treasonous offer; none
  But such as are good men can give good things,
  And that which is not good, is not delicious
  To a well-govern'd and wise appetite.

  Co: O foolishnes of men! that lend their ears
  To those budge doctors of the Stoick Furr,
  And fetch their precepts from the Cynick Tub,
  Praising the lean and sallow Abstinence.
  Wherefore did Nature powre her bounties forth,                      710
  With such a full and unwithdrawing hand,
  Covering the earth with odours, fruits, and flocks,
  Thronging the Seas with spawn innumerable,
  But all to please, and sate the curious taste?
  And set to work millions of spinning Worms,
  That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair'd silk
  To deck her Sons, and that no corner might
  Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loyns
  She hutch't th'all-worshipt ore, and precious gems
  To store her children with; if all the world                       720
  Should in a pet of temperance feed on Pulse,
  Drink the clear stream, and nothing wear but Freize,
  Th'all-giver would be unthank't, would be unprais'd,
  Not half his riches known, and yet despis'd,
  And we should serve him as a grudging master,
  As a penurious niggard of his wealth,
  And live like Natures bastards, not her sons,
  Who would be quite surcharged with her own weight,
  And strangl'd with her waste fertility;
  Th'earth cumber'd, and the wing'd air dark't with plumes.           730
  The herds would over-multitude their Lords,
  The Sea o'refraught would swell, and th'unsought diamonds
  Would so emblaze the forhead of the Deep,
  And so bested with Stars, that they below
  Would grow inur'd to light, and com at last
  To gaze upon the Sun with shameless brows.
  List Lady be not coy, and be not cosen'd
  With that same vaunted name Virginity,
  Beauty is natures coyn, must not be hoorded,
  But must be currant, and the good thereof                           740
  Consists in mutual and partak'n bliss,
  Unsavoury in th'injoyment of it self
  If you let slip time, like a neglected rose
  It withers on the stalk with languish't head.
  Beauty is natures brag, and must be shown
  In courts, at feasts, and high solemnities
  Where most may wonder at the workmanship;
  It is for homely features to keep home,
  They had their name thence; course complexions
  And cheeks of sorry grain will serve to ply                         750
  The sampler, and to teize the huswifes wooll.
  What need a vermeil-tinctured lip for that
  Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the Morn?
  There was another meaning in these gifts,
  Think what, and be adviz'd, you are but young yet.

  La: I had not thought to have unlockt my lips
  In this unhallow'd air, but that this Jugler
  Would think to charm my judgement, as mine eyes,
  Obtruding false rules pranckt in reasons garb.
  I hate when vice can bolt her arguments,                            760
  And vertue has no tongue to check her pride:
  Impostor do not charge most innocent nature,
  As if she would her children should be riotous
  With her abundance, she good cateress
  Means her provision onely to the good
  That live according to her sober laws,
  And holy dictate of spare Temperance:
  If every just man that now pines with want
  Had but a moderate and beseeming share
  Of that which lewdly-pamper'd Luxury                                770
  Now heaps upon som few with vast excess,
  Natures full blessings would be well dispenc't
  In unsuperfluous eeven proportion,
  And she no whit encomber'd with her store,
  And then the giver would be better thank't,
  His praise due paid, for swinish gluttony
  Ne're looks to Heav'n amidst his gorgeous feast,
  But with besotted base ingratitude
  Cramms, and blasphemes his feeder. Shall I go on?
  Or have I said anough? To him that dares                            780
  Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words
  Against the Sun-clad power of Chastity,
  Fain would I somthing say, yet to what end?
  Thou hast nor Eare, nor Soul to apprehend
  The sublime notion, and high mystery
  That must be utter'd to unfold the sage
  And serious doctrine of Virginity,
  And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know
  More happiness then this thy present lot.
  Enjoy your deer Wit, and gay Rhetorick                              790
  That hath so well been taught her dazling fence,
  Thou art not fit to hear thy self convinc't;
  Yet should I try, the uncontrouled worth
  Of this pure cause would kindle my rap't spirits
  To such a flame of sacred vehemence
  That dumb things would be mov'd to sympathize,
  And the brute Earth would lend her nerves, and shake,
  Till all thy magick structures rear'd so high,
  Were shatter'd into heaps o're thy false head.

  Co:  She fables not, I feel that I do fear                          800
  Her words set off by som superior power;
  And though not mortal, yet a cold shuddring dew
  Dips me all o're, as when the wrath of Jove
  Speaks thunder, and the chains of Erebus
  To som of Saturns crew.  I must dissemble,
  And try her yet more strongly.  Com, no more,
  This is meer moral babble, and direct
  Against the canon laws of our foundation;
  I must not suffer this, yet 'tis but the lees
  And setlings of a melancholy blood;                                 810
  But this will cure all streight, one sip of this
  Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight
  Beyond the bliss of dreams.  Be wise, and taste.—

  The brothers rush in with Swords drawn, wrest his Glass out of
  his hand, and break it against the ground; his rout make signe of
  resistance, but are all driven in; The attendant Spirit comes in.

  Spir: What, have you let the false enchanter scape?
  O ye mistook, ye should have snatcht his wand
  And bound him fast; without his rod revers't,
  And backward mutters of dissevering power,
  We cannot free the Lady that sits here
  In stony fetters fixt, and motionless;
  Yet stay, be not disturb'd, now I bethink me                        820
  Som other means I have which may he us'd
  Which once of Meliboeus old I learnt
  The soothest Shepherd that ere pip't on plains.
  There is a gentle Nymph not farr from hence,
  That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,
  Sabrina is her name, a Virgin pure,
  Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine,
  That had the Scepter from his father Brute.
  The guiltless damsel flying the mad pursuit
  Of her enraged stepdam Guendolen,                                   830
  Commended her fair innocence to the flood
  That stay'd her flight with his cross-flowing course,
  The water Nymphs that in the bottom plaid,
  Held up their pearled wrists and took her in,
  Bearing her straight to aged Nereus Hall,
  Who piteous of her woes, rear'd her lank head,
  And gave her to his daughters to imbathe
  In nectar'd lavers strew'd with Asphodil,
  And through the porch and inlet of each sense
  Dropt in Ambrosial Oils till she reviv'd,                           840
  And underwent a quick immortal change
  Made Goddess of the River; still she retains
  Her maid'n gentlenes, and oft at Eeve
  Visits the herds along the twilight meadows,
  Helping all urchin blasts, and ill luck signes
  That the shrewd medling Elfe delights to make,
  Which she with pretious viold liquors heals.
  For which the Shepherds at their festivals
  Carrol her goodnes lowd in rustick layes,
  And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream                     850
  Of pancies, pinks, and gaudy Daffadils.
  And, as the old Swain said, she can unlock
  The clasping charms, and thaw the numming spell,
  If she be right invok't in warbled Song,
  For maid'nhood she loves, and will be swift
  To aid a Virgin, such as was her self
  In hard besetting need, this will I try
  And adde the power of som adjuring verse.


  Sabrina fair
  Listen when thou art sitting                                        860
  Under the glassie, cool, translucent wave,
  In twisted braids of Lillies knitting
  The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair,
  Listen for dear honour's sake,
  Goddess of the silver lake,
  Listen and save.

  Listen and appear to us
  In name of great Oceanus,
  By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
  And Tethys grave majestick pace,                                    870
  By hoary Nereus wrincled look,
  And the Carpathian wisards hook,
  By scaly Tritons winding shell,
  And old sooth-saying Glaucus spell,
  By Leucothea's lovely hands,
  And her son that rules the strands,
  By Thetis tinsel-slipper'd feet,
  And the Songs of Sirens sweet,
  By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
  And fair Ligea's golden comb,                                       880
  Wherwith she sits on diamond rocks
  Sleeking her soft alluring locks,
  By all the Nymphs that nightly dance
  Upon thy streams with wily glance,
  Rise, rise, and heave thy rosie head
  From thy coral-pav'n bed,
  And bridle in thy headlong wave,
  Till thou our summons answered have.
  Listen and save.

  Sabrina rises, attended by water-Nymphes, and sings.

  Sab: By the rushy-fringed bank,                                     890
  Where grows the Willow and the Osier dank,
  My sliding Chariot stayes,
  Thick set with Agat, and the azurn sheen
  Of Turkis blew, and Emrauld green
  That in the channell strayes,
  Whilst from off the waters fleet
  Thus I set my printless feet
  O're the Cowslips Velvet head,
  That bends not as I tread,
  Gentle swain at thy request                                         900
  I am here.

  Spir: Goddess dear
  We implore thy powerful hand
  To undo the charmed band
  Of true Virgin here distrest,
  Through the force, and through the wile
  Of unblest inchanter vile.

  Sab: Shepherd 'tis my office best
  To help insnared chastity;
  Brightest Lady look on me,                                          910
  Thus I sprinkle on thy brest
  Drops that from my fountain pure,
  I have kept of pretious cure,
  Thrice upon thy fingers tip,
  Thrice upon thy rubied lip,
  Next this marble venom'd seat
  Smear'd with gumms of glutenous heat
  I touch with chaste palms moist and cold,
  Now the spell hath lost his hold;
  And I must haste ere morning hour                                   920
  To wait in Amphitrite's bowr.

  Sabrina descends, and the Lady rises out of her seat.

  Spir: Virgin, daughter of Locrine
  Sprung of old Anchises line,
  May thy brimmed waves for this
  Their full tribute never miss
  From a thousand petty rills,
  That tumble down the snowy hills:
  Summer drouth, or singed air
  Never scorch thy tresses fair,
  Nor wet Octobers torrent flood                                      930
  Thy molten crystal fill with mudd,
  May thy billows rowl ashoar
  The beryl, and the golden ore,
  May thy lofty head be crown'd
  With many a tower and terrass round,
  And here and there thy banks upon
  With Groves of myrrhe, and cinnamon.

  Com Lady while Heaven lends us grace,
  Let us fly this cursed place,
  Lest the Sorcerer us intice                                         940
  With som other new device.
  Not a waste, or needless sound
  Till we com to holier ground,
  I shall be your faithfull guide
  Through this gloomy covert wide,
  And not many furlongs thence
  Is your Fathers residence,
  Where this night are met in state
  Many a friend to gratulate
  His wish't presence, and beside                                     950
  All the Swains that there abide,
  With Jiggs, and rural dance resort,
  We shall catch them at their sport,
  And our sudden coming there
  Will double all their mirth and chere;
  Com let us haste, the Stars grow high,
  But night sits monarch yet in the mid sky.

  The Scene changes, presenting Ludlow Town and the President
  Castle, then com in Countrey-Dancers, after them the attendant
  Spirit, with the two Brothers and the Lady.


  Spir: Back Shepherds, back, anough your play,
  Till next Sun-shine holiday,
  Here be without duck or nod                                         960
  Other trippings to be trod
  Of lighter toes, and such Court guise
  As Mercury did first devise
  With the mincing Dryades
  On the Lawns, and on the Leas.

  This second Song presents them to their father and mother.

  Noble Lord, and Lady bright,
  I have brought ye new delight,
  Here behold so goodly grown
  Three fair branches of your own,
  Heav'n hath timely tri'd their youth.                               970
  Their faith, their patience, and their truth
  And sent them here through hard assays
  With a crown of deathless Praise,
  To triumph in victorious dance
  O're sensual folly, and Intemperance.

  The dances ended, the Spirit Epiloguizes.

  Spir: To the Ocean now I fly,
  And those happy climes that ly
  Where day never shuts his eye,
  Up in the broad fields of the sky:
  There I suck the liquid ayr                                         980
  All amidst the Gardens fair
  Of Hesperus, and his daughters three
  That sing about the golden tree:
  Along the crisped shades and bowres
  Revels the spruce and jocond Spring,
  The Graces, and the rosie-boosom'd Howres,
  Thither all their bounties bring,
  That there eternal Summer dwels,
  And West winds, with musky wing
  About the cedar'n alleys fling                                      990
  Nard, and Cassia's balmy smels.
  Iris there with humid bow,
  Waters the odorous banks that blow
  Flowers of more mingled hew
  Then her purfl'd scarf can shew,
  And drenches with Elysian dew
  (List mortals, if your ears be true)
  Beds of Hyacinth, and roses
  Where young Adonis oft reposes,
  Waxing well of his deep wound                                      1000
  In slumber soft, and on the ground
  Sadly sits th' Assyrian Queen;
  But far above in spangled sheen
  Celestial Cupid her fam'd son advanc't,
  Holds his dear Psyche sweet intranc't
  After her wandring labours long,
  Till free consent the gods among
  Make her his eternal Bride,
  And from her fair unspotted side
  Two blissful twins are to be born,
  Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn.                                 1010
  But now my task is smoothly don,
  I can fly, or I can run
  Quickly to the green earths end,
  Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend,
  And from thence can soar as soon
  To the corners of the Moon.
  Mortals that would follow me,
  Love vertue, she alone is free,
  She can teach ye how to clime                                      1020
  Higher then the Spheary chime;
  Or if Vertue feeble were,
  Heav'n it self would stoop to her.

  43 ye] you  1673
  167 omitted 1673
  168, 9 Thus 1637. Manuscript reads—
  but heere she comes I fairly step aside
  & hearken, if I may, her buisnesse heere.
  1673 reads—
  And hearken, if I may her business hear.
  But here she comes, I fairly step aside.
  474 sensualty] sensuality 1673. Manuscript also reads sensualtie,
  as the metre requires.
  493 father] So also 1673. Manuscript reads father's
  547 meditate] meditate upon 1673
  553 drowsie frighted] Manuscript reads drowsie flighted.
  556 steam] stream 1673
  580 furder] further 1673
  743 In the manuscript, which reads—
  If you let slip time like an neglected rose
  a circle has been drawn round the an, but probably not by Milton.
  780 anough] anow 1673




  O FAIREST flower no sooner blown but blasted,
  Soft silken Primrose fading timelesslie,
  Summers chief honour if thou hadst outlasted
  Bleak winters force that made thy blossome drie;
  For he being amorous on that lovely die
  That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss
  But kill'd alas, and then bewayl'd his fatal bliss.


  For since grim Aquilo his charioter
  By boistrous rape th' Athenian damsel got,
  He thought it toucht his Deitie full neer,                           10
  If likewise he some fair one wedded not,
  Thereby to wipe away th' infamous blot,
  Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld,
  Which 'mongst the wanton gods a foul reproach was held.


  So mounting up in ycie-pearled carr,
  Through middle empire of the freezing aire
  He wanderd long, till thee he spy'd from farr,
  There ended was his quest, there ceast his care
  Down he descended from his Snow-soft chaire,
  But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace                           20
  Unhous'd thy Virgin Soul from her fair biding place.


  Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
  For so Apollo, with unweeting hand
  Whilome did slay his dearly-loved mate
  Young Hyacinth born on Eurotas' strand,
  Young Hyacinth the pride of Spartan land;
  But then transform'd him to a purple flower
  Alack that so to change thee winter had no power.


  Yet can I not perswade me thou art dead
  Or that thy coarse corrupts in earths dark wombe,                    30
  Or that thy beauties lie in wormie bed,
  Hid from the world in a low delved tombe;
  Could Heav'n for pittie thee so strictly doom?
  O no! for something in thy face did shine
  Above mortalitie that shew'd thou wast divine.


  Resolve me then oh Soul most surely blest
  (If so it be that thou these plaints dost hear)
  Tell me bright Spirit where e're thou hoverest
  Whether above that high first-moving Spheare
  Or in the Elisian fields (if such there were.)                       40
  Oh say me true if thou wert mortal wight
  And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.


  Wert thou some Starr which from the ruin'd roofe
  Of shak't Olympus by mischance didst fall;
  Which carefull Jove in natures true behoofe
  Took up, and in fit place did reinstall?
  Or did of late earths Sonnes besiege the wall
  Of sheenie Heav'n, and thou some goddess fled
  Amongst us here below to hide thy nectar'd head


  Or wert thou that just Maid who once before                          50
  Forsook the hated earth, O tell me sooth
  And cam'st again to visit us once more?
  Or wert thou that sweet smiling Youth!
  Or that c[r]own'd Matron sage white-robed Truth?
  Or any other of that heav'nly brood
  Let down in clowdie throne to do the world some good.

  Note: 53 Or wert thou] Or wert thou Mercy—conjectured by
  John Heskin Ch. Ch. Oxon. from Ode on Nativity, st. 15.


  Or wert thou of the golden-winged hoast,
  Who having clad thy self in humane weed,
  To earth from thy praefixed seat didst poast,
  And after short abode flie back with speed,                          60
  As if to shew what creatures Heav'n doth breed,
  Thereby to set the hearts of men on fire
  To scorn the sordid world, and unto Heav'n aspire.


  But oh why didst thou not stay here below
  To bless us with thy heav'n-lov'd innocence,
  To slake his wrath whom sin hath made our foe
  To turn Swift-rushing black perdition hence,
  Or drive away the slaughtering  pestilence,
  To stand 'twixt us and our deserved smart
  But thou canst best perform that office where thou art.              70


  Then thou the mother of so sweet a child
  Her false imagin'd loss cease to lament,
  And wisely learn to curb thy sorrows wild;
  Think what a present thou to God hast sent,
  And render him with patience what he lent;
  This if thou do he will an off-spring give,
  That till the worlds last-end shall make thy name to live.


Part Latin, part English. The Latin speeches ended, the English thus began.

  HAIL native Language, that by sinews weak
  Didst move my first endeavouring tongue to speak,
  And mad'st imperfect words with childish tripps,
  Half unpronounc't, slide through my infant-lipps,
  Driving dum silence from the portal dore,
  Where he had mutely sate two years before:
  Here I salute thee and thy pardon ask,
  That now I use thee in my latter task:
  Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee,
  I know my tongue but little Grace can do thee:                       10
  Thou needst not be ambitious to be first,
  Believe me I have thither packt the worst:
  And, if it happen as I did forecast,
  The daintiest dishes shall be serv'd up last.
  I pray thee then deny me not thy aide
  For this same small neglect that I have made:
  But haste thee strait to do me once a Pleasure,
  And from thy wardrope bring thy chiefest treasure;
  Not those new fangled toys, and triming slight
  Which takes our late fantasticks with delight,                       20
  But cull those richest Robes, and gay'st attire
  Which deepest Spirits, and choicest Wits desire:
  I have some naked thoughts that rove about
  And loudly knock to have their passage out;
  And wearie of their place do only stay
  Till thou hast deck't them in thy best aray;
  That so they may without suspect or fears
  Fly swiftly to this fair Assembly's ears;
  Yet I had rather if I were to chuse,
  Thy service in some graver subject use,                              30
  Such as may make thee search thy coffers round
  Before thou cloath my fancy in fit sound:
  Such where the deep transported mind may soare
  Above the wheeling poles, and at Heav'ns dore
  Look in, and see each blissful Deitie
  How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
  Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings
  To th'touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
  Immortal Nectar to her Kingly Sire:
  Then passing through the Spherse of watchful fire,                   40
  And mistie Regions of wide air next under,
  And hills of Snow and lofts of piled Thunder,
  May tell at length how green-ey'd Neptune raves,
  In Heav'ns defiance mustering all his waves;
  Then sing of secret things that came to pass
  When Beldam Nature in her cradle was;
  And last of Kings and Queens and Hero's old,
  Such as the wise Demodocus once told
  In solemn Songs at King Alcinous feast,
  While sad Ulisses soul and all the rest                              50
  Are held with his melodious harmonie
  In willing chains and sweet captivitie.
  But fie my wandring Muse how thou dost stray!
  Expectance calls thee now another way,
  Thou know'st it must be now thy only bent
  To keep in compass of thy Predicament:
  Then quick about thy purpos'd business come,
  That to the next I may resign my Roome

  Then Ens is represented as Father of the Predicaments his ten
  Sons, whereof the Eldest stood for Substance with his Canons,
  which Ens thus speaking, explains.

  Good luck befriend thee Son; for at thy birth
  The Faiery Ladies daunc't upon the hearth;                           60
  Thy drowsie Nurse hath sworn she did them spie
  Come tripping to the Room where thou didst lie;
  And sweetly singing round about thy Bed
  Strew all their blessings on thy sleeping Head.
  She heard them give thee this, that thou should'st still
  From eyes of mortals walk invisible,
  Yet there is something that doth force my fear,
  For once it was my dismal hap to hear
  A Sybil old, bow-bent with crooked age,
  That far events full wisely could presage,
  And in Times long and dark Prospective Glass
  Fore-saw what future dayes should bring to pass,
  Your Son, said she, (nor can you it prevent)
  Shall subject be to many an Accident.
  O're all his Brethren he shall Reign as King,
  Yet every one shall make him underling,
  And those that cannot live from him asunder
  Ungratefully shall strive to keep him under,
  In worth and excellence he shall out-go them,
  Yet being above them, he shall be below them;                        80
  From others he shall stand in need of nothing,
  Yet on his Brothers shall depend for Cloathing.
  To find a Foe it shall not be his hap,
  And peace shall lull him in her flowry lap;
  Yet shall he live in strife, and at his dore
  Devouring war shall never cease to roare;
  Yea it shall be his natural property
  To harbour those that are at enmity.
  What power, what force, what mighty spell, if not
  Your learned hands, can loose this Gordian knot?                     90

  The next Quantity and Quality, spake in Prose, then Relation
  was call'd by his Name.

  Rivers arise; whether thou be the Son,
  Of utmost Tweed, or Oose, or gulphie Dun,
  Or Trent, who like some earth-born Giant spreads
  His thirty Armes along the indented Meads,
  Or sullen Mole that runneth underneath,
  Or Severn swift, guilty of Maidens death,
  Or Rockie Avon, or of Sedgie Lee,
  Or Coaly Tine, or antient hallowed Dee,
  Or Humber loud that keeps the Scythians Name,
  Or Medway smooth, or Royal Towred Thame.                           100

  The rest was Prose.


  Quis multa gracilis te puer in Rosa
  Rendred almost word for word without Rhyme according to the
  Latin Measure, as near as the Language permit.

  WHAT slender Youth bedew'd with liquid odours
  Courts thee on Roses in some pleasant Cave,
  Pyrrha for whom bind'st thou
  In wreaths thy golden Hair,
  Plain in thy neatness; O how oft shall he
  On Faith and changed Gods complain: and Seas
  Rough with black winds and storms
  Unwonted shall admire:
  Who now enjoyes thee credulous, all Gold,
  Who alwayes vacant, alwayes amiable                                  10
  Hopes thee; of flattering gales
  Unmindfull.  Hapless they
  To whom thou untry'd seem'st fair.  Me in my vow'd
  Picture the sacred wall declares t' have hung
  My dank and dropping weeds
  To the stern God of Sea.
  [The Latin text follows.]



  A Book was writ of late call'd Tetrachordon;
  And wov'n close, both matter, form and stile;
  The Subject new: it walk'd the Town a while,
  Numbring good intellects; now seldom por'd on.
  Cries the stall-reader, bless us! what a word on
  A title page is this! and some in file
  Stand spelling fals, while one might walk to Mile-
  End Green.  Why is it harder Sirs then Gordon,
  Colkitto, or Macdonnel, or Galasp?
  Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek                     10
  That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp.
  Thy age, like ours, O Soul of Sir John Cheek,
  Hated not Learning wors then Toad or Asp;
  When thou taught'st Cambridge, and King Edward Greek.

  Note: Camb. Autograph supplies title, On the Detraction which
  followed my writing certain Treatises.
  XII. On the same.

  I did but prompt the age to quit their cloggs
  By the known rules of antient libertie,
  When strait a barbarous noise environs me
  Of Owles and Cuckoes, Asses, Apes and Doggs.
  As when those Hinds that were transform'd to Froggs
  Raild at Latona's twin-born progenie
  Which after held the Sun and Moon in fee.
  But this is got by casting Pearl to Hoggs;
  That bawle for freedom in their senceless mood,
  And still revolt when truth would set them free.                     10
  Licence they mean when they cry libertie;
  For who loves that, must first be wise and good;
  But from that mark how far they roave we see
  For all this wast of wealth, and loss of blood.

  To Mr. H. Lawes, on his Aires.

  Harry whose tuneful and well measur'd Song
  First taught our English Musick how to span
  Words with just note and accent, not to scan
  With Midas Ears, committing short and long;
  Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
  With praise enough for Envy to look wan;
  To after age thou shalt be writ the man,
  That with smooth aire couldst humor best our tongue
  Thou honour'st Verse, and Verse must send her wing
  To honour thee, the Priest of Phoebus Quire                          10
  That tun'st their happiest lines in Hymn or Story
  Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
  Then his Casella, whom he woo'd to sing
  Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.

  Note: 9 send] lend  Cambridge Autograph MS.

  When Faith and Love which parted from thee never,
  Had ripen'd thy just soul to dwell with God,
  Meekly thou didst resign this earthy load
  Of Death, call'd Life; which us from Life doth sever
  Thy Works and Alms and all thy good Endeavour
  Staid not behind, nor in the grave were trod;
  But as Faith pointed with her golden rod,
  Follow'd thee up to joy and bliss for ever.
  Love led them on, and Faith who knew them best
  Thy hand-maids, clad them o're with purple beams                     10
  And azure wings, that up they flew so drest,
  And speak the truth of thee on glorious Theams
  Before the Judge, who thenceforth bid thee rest
  And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams.

  Note: Camb. Autograph supplies title, On the Religious
  Memory of Catherine Thomson, my Christian Friend, deceased
  16 Decemb., 1646.


  Avenge O lord thy slaughter'd Saints, whose bones
  Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold,
  Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old
  When all our Fathers worship't Stocks and Stones,
  Forget not: in thy book record their groanes
  Who were thy Sheep and in their antient Fold
  Slayn by the bloody Piemontese that roll'd
  Mother with Infant down the Rocks.  Their moans
  The Vales redoubl'd to the Hills, and they
  To Heav'n.  Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow                       10
  O're all th'Italian fields where still doth sway
  The triple Tyrant: that from these may grow
  A hunder'd-fold, who having learnt thy way
  Early may fly the Babylonian wo.
  When I consider how my light is spent,
  E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
  And that one Talent which is death to hide,
  Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
  To serve therewith my Maker, and present
  My true account, least he returning chide,
  Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
  I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
  That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
  Either man's work or his own gifts, who best                         10
  Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
  Is Kingly.  Thousands at his bidding speed
  And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
  They also serve who only stand and waite.
  Lawrence of vertuous Father vertuous Son,
  Now that the Fields are dank, and ways are mire,
  Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
  Help wast a sullen day; what may be Won
  From the hard Season gaining: time will run
  On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
  The frozen earth; and cloth in fresh attire
  The Lillie and Rose, that neither sow'd nor spun.
  What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
  Of Attick tast, with Wine, whence we may rise                        10
  To hear the Lute well toucht, or artfull voice
  Warble immortal Notes and Tuskan Ayre?
  He who of those delights can judge, and spare
  To interpose them oft, is not unwise.
  Cyriack, whose Grandsire on the Royal Bench
  Of Brittish Themis, with no mean applause
  Pronounc't and in his volumes taught our Lawes,
  Which others at their Barr so often wrench:
  To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench
  In mirth, that after no repenting drawes;
  Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause,
  And what the Swede intend, and what the French.
  To measure life, learn thou betimes, and know
  Toward solid good what leads the nearest way;                        10
  For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains,
  And disapproves that care, though wise in show,
  That with superfluous burden loads the day,
  And when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.
  Methought I saw my late espoused Saint
  Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave,
  Whom Joves great Son to her glad Husband gave,
  Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint.
  Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint,
  Purification in the old Law did save,
  And such, as yet once more I trust to have
  Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
  Came vested all in white, pure as her mind:
  Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight,                        10
  Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd
  So clear, as in no face with more delight.
  But O as to embrace me she enclin'd
  I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.


  Because you have thrown of your Prelate Lord,
  And with stiff Vowes renounc'd his Liturgie
  To seise the widdow'd whore Pluralitie
  From them whose sin ye envi'd, not abhor'd,
  Dare ye for this adjure the Civill Sword
  To force our Consciences that Christ set free,
  And ride us with a classic Hierarchy
  Taught ye by meer A. S. and Rotherford?
  Men whose Life, Learning, Faith and pure intent
  Would have been held in high esteem with Paul                        10
  Must now be nam'd and printed Hereticks
  By shallow Edwards and Scotch what d'ye call:
  But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
  Your plots and packing wors then those of Trent,
  That so the Parliament
  May with their wholsom and preventive Shears
  Clip your Phylacteries, though bauk your Ears,
  And succour our just Fears
  When they shall read this clearly in your charge
  New Presbyter is but Old Priest Writ Large.                          20
  The four following sonnets were not published until 1694, and
  then in a mangled form by Phillips, in his Life of Milton; they
  are here printed from the Cambridge MS., where that to Fairfax
  is in Milton's autograph.


  Fairfax, whose name in armes through Europe rings
  Filling each mouth with envy, or with praise,
  And all her jealous monarchs with amaze,
  And rumors loud, that daunt remotest kings,
  Thy firm unshak'n vertue ever brings
  Victory home, though new rebellions raise
  Their Hydra heads, & the fals North displaies
  Her brok'n league, to impe their serpent wings,
  O yet a nobler task awaites thy hand;
  Yet what can Warr, but endless warr still breed,                     10
  Till Truth, & Right from Violence be freed,
  And Public Faith cleard from the shamefull brand
  Of Public Fraud.  In vain doth Valour bleed
  While Avarice, & Rapine share the land.


  Cromwell, our cheif of men, who through a cloud
  Not of warr onely, but detractions rude,
  Guided by faith & matchless Fortitude
  To peace & truth thy glorious way hast plough'd,
  And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
  Hast reard Gods Trophies, & his work pursu'd,
  While Darwen stream with blood of Scotts imbru'd,
  And Dunbarr field resounds thy praises loud,
  And Worsters laureat wreath; yet much remaines
  To conquer still; peace hath her victories                           10
  No less renownd then warr, new foes aries
  Threatning to bind our soules with secular chaines:
  Helpe us to save free Conscience from the paw
  Of hireling wolves whose Gospell is their maw.


  Vane, young in yeares, but in sage counsell old,
  Then whome a better Senatour nere held
  The helme of Rome, when gownes not armes repelld
  The feirce Epeirot & the African bold,
  Whether to settle peace, or to unfold
  The drift of hollow states, hard to be spelld,
  Then to advise how warr may best, upheld,
  Move by her two maine nerves, Iron & Gold
  In all her equipage: besides to know
  Both spirituall powre & civill, what each meanes                     10
  What severs each thou hast learnt, which few have don
  The bounds of either sword to thee wee ow.
  Therfore on thy firme hand religion leanes
  In peace, & reck'ns thee her eldest son.


  Cyriack, this three years day these eys, though clear
  To outward view, of blemish or of spot;
  Bereft of light thir seeing have forgot,
  Nor to thir idle orbs doth sight appear
  Of Sun or Moon or Starre throughout the year,
  Or man or woman.  Yet I argue not
  Against heavns hand or will, nor bate a jot
  Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
  Right onward.  What supports me, dost thou ask?
  The conscience, Friend, to have lost them overply'd                  10
  In libertyes defence, my noble task,
  Of which all Europe talks from side to side.
  This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask
  Content though blind, had I no better guide.

PSAL. I. Done into Verse, 1653.

  BLESS'D is the man who hath not walk'd astray
  In counsel of the wicked, and ith'way
  Of sinners hath not stood, and in the seat
  Of scorners hath not sate.  But in the great
  Jehovahs Law is ever his delight,
  And in his law he studies day and night.
  He shall be as a tree which planted grows
  By watry streams, and in his season knows
  To yield his fruit, and his leaf shall not fall.
  And what he takes in hand shall prosper all.                         10
  Not so the wicked, but as chaff which fann'd
  The wind drives, so the wicked shall not stand
  In judgment, or abide their tryal then
  Nor sinners in th'assembly of just men.
  For the Lord knows th'upright way of the just
  And the way of bad men to ruine must.

PSAL. II Done Aug. 8. 1653. Terzetti.

  WHY do the Gentiles tumult, and the Nations
  Muse a vain thing, the Kings of th'earth upstand
  With power, and Princes in their Congregations
  Lay deep their plots together through each Land,
  Against the Lord and his Messiah dear.
  Let us break off; say they, by strength of hand
  Their bonds, and cast from us, no more to wear,
  Their twisted cords: he who in Heaven doth dwell
  Shall laugh, the Lord shall scoff them, then severe
  Speak to them in his wrath, and in his fell                          10
  And fierce ire trouble them; but I saith hee
  Anointed have my King (though ye rebell)
  On Sion my holi' hill.  A firm decree
  I will declare; the Lord to me hath say'd
  Thou art my Son I have begotten thee
  This day, ask of me, and the grant is made;
  As thy possession I on thee bestow
  Th'Heathen, and as thy conquest to be sway'd
  Earths utmost bounds: them shalt thou bring full low
  With Iron Sceptir bruis'd, and them disperse                         20
  Like to a potters vessel shiver'd so.
  And now be wise at length ye Kings averse
  Be taught ye Judges of the earth; with fear
  Jehovah serve and let your joy converse
  With trembling;  Kiss the Son least he appear
  In anger and ye perish in the way
  If once his wrath take fire like fuel sere.
  Happy all those who have in him their stay.

PSAL. III. Aug. 9. 1653

  LORD how many are my foes
  How many those
  That in arms against me rise
  Many are they
  That of my life distrustfully thus say,
  No help for him in God there lies.
  But thou Lord art my shield my glory,
  Thee through my story
  Th' exalter of my head I count
  Aloud I cry'd                                                        10
  Unto Jehovah, he full soon reply'd
  And heard me from his holy mount.
  I lay and slept, I wak'd again,
  For my sustain
  Was the Lord.  Of many millions
  The populous rout
  I fear not though incamping round about
  They pitch against me their Pavillions.
  Rise Lord, save me my God for thou
  Hast smote ere now                                                   20
  On the cheek-bone all my foes,
  Of men abhor'd
  Hast broke the teeth.  This help was from the Lord;
  Thy blessing on thy people flows.

PSAL. IV. Aug. 10.1653.

  ANSWER me when I call
  God of my righteousness;
  In straights and in distress
  Thou didst me disinthrall
  And set at large; now spare,
  Now pity me, and hear my earnest prai'r.

  Great ones how long will ye
  My glory have in scorn
  How long be thus forlorn
  Still to love vanity,                                                10
  To love, to seek, to prize
  Things false and vain and nothing else but lies?

  Yet know the Lord hath chose
  Chose to himself apart
  The good and meek of heart
  (For whom to chuse he knows)
  Jehovah from on high
  Will hear my voyce what time to him I crie.

  Be aw'd, and do not sin,
  Speak to your hearts alone,                                          20
  Upon your beds, each one,
  And be at peace within.
  Offer the offerings just
  Of righteousness and in Jehovah trust.

  Many there be that say
  Who yet will shew us good?
  Talking like this worlds brood;
  But Lord, thus let me pray,
  On us lift up the light
  Lift up the favour of thy count'nance bright.                        30

  Into my heart more joy
  And gladness thou hast put
  Then when a year of glut
  Their stores doth over-cloy
  And from their plenteous grounds
  With vast increase their corn and wine abounds.

  In peace at once will I
  Both lay me down and sleep
  For thou alone dost keep
  Me safe where ere I lie                                              40
  As in a rocky Cell
  Thou Lord alone in safety mak'st me dwell.

PSAL. V. Aug. 12.1653.

  JEHOVAH to my words give ear
  My meditation waigh
  The voyce of my complaining hear
  My King and God for unto thee I pray.
  Jehovah thou my early voyce
  Shalt in the morning hear
  Ith'morning I to thee with choyce
  Will rank my Prayers, and watch till thou appear.
  For thou art not a God that takes
  In wickedness delight                                                10
  Evil with thee no biding makes
  Fools or mad men stand not within thy sight.
  All workers of iniquity
  Thou wilt destroy that speak a ly
  The bloodi' and guileful man God doth detest.
  But I will in thy mercies dear
  Thy numerous mercies go
  Into thy house; I in thy fear
  Will towards thy holy temple worship low.                            20
  Lord lead me in thy righteousness
  Lead me because of those
  That do observe if I transgress,
  Set thy wayes right before, where my step goes.
  For in his faltring mouth unstable
  No word is firm or sooth
  Their inside, troubles miserable;
  An open grave their throat, their tongue they smooth.
  God, find them guilty, let them fall
  By their own counsels quell'd;                                       30
  Push them in their rebellions all
  Still on; for against thee they have rebell'd;
  Then all who trust in thee shall bring
  Their joy, while thou from blame
  Defend'st them, they shall ever sing
  And shall triumph in thee, who love thy name.
  For thou Jehovah wilt be found
  To bless the just man still,
  As with a shield thou wilt surround
  Him with thy lasting favour and good will.                           40

PSAL. VI Aug. 13. 1653.

  LORD in thine anger do not reprehend me
  Nor in thy hot displeasure me correct;
  Pity me Lord for I am much deject
  Am very weak and faint; heal and amend me,
  For all my bones, that even with anguish ake,
  Are troubled, yea my soul is troubled sore
  And thou O Lord how long? turn Lord, restore
  My soul, O save me for thy goodness sake
  For in death no remembrance is of thee;
  Who in the grave can celebrate thy praise?                           10
  Wearied I am with sighing out my dayes.
  Nightly my Couch I make a kind of Sea;
  My Bed I water with my tears; mine Eie
  Through grief consumes, is waxen old and dark
  Ith' mid'st of all mine enemies that mark.
  Depart all ye that work iniquitie.
  Depart from me, for the voice of my weeping
  The Lord hath heard, the Lord hath heard my prai'r
  My supplication with acceptance fair
  The Lord will own, and have me in his keeping.                       20
  Mine enemies shall all be blank and dash't
  With much confusion; then grow red with shame,
  They shall return in hast the way they came
  And in a moment shall be quite abash't.

PSAL. VII. Aug. 14. 1653.

  Lord my God to thee I flie
  Save me and secure me under
  Thy protection while I crie
  Least as a Lion (and no wonder)
  He hast to tear my Soul asunder
  Tearing and no rescue nigh.

  Lord my God if I have thought
  Or done this, if wickedness
  Be in my hands, if I have wrought
  Ill to him that meant me peace,                                      10
  Or to him have render'd less,
  And not fre'd my foe for naught;

  Let th'enemy pursue my soul
  And overtake it, let him tread
  My life down to the earth and roul
  In the dust my glory dead,
  In the dust and there out spread
  Lodge it with dishonour foul.

  Rise Jehovah in thine ire
  Rouze thy self amidst the rage                                       20
  Of my foes that urge like fire;
  And wake for me, their furi' asswage;
  Judgment here thou didst ingage
  And command which I desire.

  So th' assemblies of each Nation
  Will surround thee, seeking right,
  Thence to thy glorious habitation
  Return on high and in their sight.
  Jehovah judgeth most upright
  All people from the worlds foundation.                               30

  Judge me Lord, be judge in this
  According to my righteousness
  And the innocence which is
  Upon me: cause at length to cease
  Of evil men the wickedness
  And their power that do amiss.

  But the just establish fast,
  Since thou art the just God that tries
  Hearts and reins.  On God is cast
  My defence, and in him lies                                          40
  In him who both just and wise
  Saves th' upright of Heart at last.

  God is a just Judge and severe,
  And God is every day offended;
  If th' unjust will not forbear,
  His Sword he whets, his Bow hath bended
  Already, and for him intended
  The tools of death, that waits him near.

  (His arrows purposely made he
  For them that persecute.)  Behold                                    50
  He travels big with vanitie,
  Trouble he hath conceav'd of old
  As in a womb, and from that mould
  Hath at length brought forth a Lie.

  He dig'd a pit, and delv'd it deep,
  And fell into the pit he made,
  His mischief that due course doth keep,
  Turns on his head, and his ill trade
  Of violence will undelay'd
  Fall on his crown with ruine steep.                                  60

  Then will I Jehovah's praise
  According to his justice raise
  And sing the Name and Deitie
  Of Jehovah the most high.

PSAL. VIII. Aug. 14. 1653.

  O JEHOVAH our Lord how wondrous great
  And glorious is thy name through all the earth?
  So as above the Heavens thy praise to set
  Out of the tender mouths of latest bearth,

  Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou
  Hast founded strength because of all thy foes
  To stint th'enemy, and slack th'avengers brow
  That bends his rage thy providence to oppose.

  When I behold thy Heavens, thy Fingers art,
  The Moon and Starrs which thou so bright hast set,                   10
  In the pure firmament, then saith my heart,
  O What is man that thou remembrest yet,

  And think'st upon him; or of man begot
  That him thou visit'st and of him art found;
  Scarce to be less then Gods, thou mad'st his lot,
  With honour and with state thou hast him crown'd.

  O're the works of thy hand thou mad'st him Lord,
  Thou hast put all under his lordly feet,
  All Flocks, and Herds, by thy commanding word,
  All beasts that in the field or forrest meet.                        20

  Fowl of the Heavens, and Fish that through the wet
  Sea-paths in shoals do slide. And know no dearth.
  O Jehovah our Lord how wondrous great
  And glorious is thy name through all the earth.


Wherein all but what is in a different Character, are the very words of the Text, translated from the Original.


  1   THOU Shepherd that dost Israel keep
      Give ear in time of need,
      Who leadest like a flock of sheep
      Thy loved Josephs seed,
      That sitt'st between the Cherubs bright
      Between their wings out-spread
      Shine forth, and from thy cloud give light,
      And on our foes thy dread.
  2   In Ephraims view and Benjamins,
      And in Manasse's sight                                           10
      Awake* thy strength, come, and be seen                    *Gnorera.
      To save us by thy might.
  3   Turn us again, thy grace divine
      To us O God vouchsafe;
      Cause thou thy face on us to shine
      And then we shall be safe.
  4   Lord God of Hosts, how long wilt thou,
      How long wilt thou declare
      Thy *smoaking wrath, and angry brow                     *Gnashanta.
      Against thy peoples praire.                                      20
  5   Thou feed'st them with the bread of tears,
      Their bread with tears they eat,
      And mak'st them* largely drink the tears                  *Shalish.
      Wherewith their cheeks are wet.
  6   A strife thou mak'st us and a prey
      To every neighbour foe,
      Among themselves they *laugh, they *play,                *Jilgnagu.
      And *flouts at us they throw.
  7   Return us, and thy grace divine,
      O God of Hosts vouchsafe                                         30
      Cause thou thy face on us to shine,
      And then we shall be safe.
  8   A Vine from Aegypt thou hast brought,
      Thy free love made it thine,
      And drov'st out Nations proud and haut
      To plant this lovely Vine.
  9   Thou did'st prepare for it a place
      And root it deep and fast
      That it began to grow apace,
      And fill'd the land at last.                                     40
  10  With her green shade that cover'd all,
      The Hills were over-spread
      Her Bows as high as Cedars tall
      Advanc'd their lofty head.
  11  Her branches on the western side
      Down to the Sea she sent,
      And upward to that river wide
      Her other branches went.
  12  Why hast thou laid her Hedges low
      And brok'n down her Fence,                                       50
      That all may pluck her, as they go,
      With rudest violence?
  13  The tusked Boar out of the wood
      Up turns it by the roots,
      Wild Beasts there brouze, and make their food
      Her Grapes and tender Shoots.
  14  Return now, God of Hosts, look down
      From Heav'n, thy Seat divine,
      Behold us, but without a frown,
      And visit this thy Vine.                                         60
  15  Visit this Vine, which thy right hand
      Hath set, and planted long,
      And the young branch, that for thy self
      Thou hast made firm and strong.
  16  But now it is consum'd with fire,
      And cut with Axes down,
      They perish at thy dreadfull ire,
      At thy rebuke and frown.
  17  Upon the man of thy right hand
      Let thy good hand be laid,                                       70
      Upon the Son of Man, whom thou
      Strong for thyself hast made.
  18  So shall we not go back from thee
      To wayes of sin and shame,
      Quick'n us thou, then gladly wee
      Shall call upon thy Name.
      Return us, and thy grace divine
      Lord God of Hosts voutsafe,
      Cause thou thy face on us to shine,
      And then we shall be safe.                                       80


  1   To God our strength sing loud, and clear,
      Sing loud to God our King,
      To Jacobs God, that all may hear
      Loud acclamations ring.
  2   Prepare a Hymn, prepare a Song
      The Timbrel hither bring
      The cheerfull Psaltry bring along
      And Harp with pleasant string.
  3   Blow, as is wont, in the new Moon
      With Trumpets lofty sound,                                       10
      Th'appointed time, the day wheron
      Our solemn Feast comes round.
  4   This was a Statute giv'n of old
      For Israel to observe
      A Law of Jacobs God, to hold
      From whence they might not swerve.
  5   This he a Testimony ordain'd
      In Joseph, not to change,
      When as he pass'd through Aegypt land;
      The Tongue I heard, was strange.                                 20
  6   From burden, and from slavish toyle
      I set his shoulder free;
      His hands from pots, and mirie soyle
      Deliver'd were by me.
  7   When trouble did thee sore assaile,
      On me then didst thou call,
      And I to free thee did not faile,
      And led thee out of thrall.
      I answer'd thee in *thunder deep                 *Be Sether ragnam.
      With clouds encompass'd round;                                   30
      I tri'd thee at the water steep
      Of Meriba renown'd.
  8   Hear O my people, heark'n well,
      I testifie to thee
      Thou antient flock of Israel,
      If thou wilt list to mee,
  9   Through out the land of thy abode
      No alien God shall be
      Nor shalt thou to a forein God
      In honour bend thy knee.                                         40
  10  I am the Lord thy God which brought
      Thee out of Aegypt land
      Ask large enough, and I, besought,
      Will grant thy full demand.
  11  And yet my people would not hear,
      Nor hearken to my voice;
      And Israel whom I lov'd so dear
      Mislik'd me for his choice.
  12  Then did I leave them to their will
      And to their wandring mind;                                      50
      Their own conceits they follow'd still
      Their own devises blind
  13  O that my people would be wise
      To serve me all their daies,
      And O that Israel would advise
      To walk my righteous waies.
  14  Then would I soon bring down their foes
      That now so proudly rise,
      And turn my hand against all those
      That are their enemies.                                          60
  15  Who hate the Lord should then be fain
      To bow to him and bend,
      But they, His should remain,
      Their time should have no end.
  16  And he would free them from the shock
      With flower of finest wheat,
      And satisfie them from the rock
      With Honey for their Meat.


  1   GOD in the *great *assembly stands                    *Bagnadath-el
      Of Kings and lordly States,
      Among the gods* on both his hands.                        *Bekerev.
      He judges and debates.
  2   How long will ye *pervert the right                      *Tishphetu
      With *judgment false and wrong                              gnavel.
      Favouring the wicked by your might,
      Who thence grow bold and strong?
  3  *Regard the *weak and fatherless                       *Shiphtu-dal.
     *Dispatch the *poor mans cause,                                   10
      And **raise the man in deep distress
      By **just and equal Lawes.                              **Hatzdiku.
  4   Defend the poor and desolate,
      And rescue from the hands
      Of wicked men the low estate
      Of him that help demands.
  5   They know not nor will understand,
      In darkness they walk on,
      The Earths foundations all are *mov'd                     *Jimmotu.
      And *out of order gon.                                           20
  6   I said that ye were Gods, yea all
      The Sons of God most high
  7   But ye shall die like men, and fall
      As other Princes die.
  8   Rise God, *judge thou the earth in might,
      This wicked earth *redress,                               *Shiphta.
      For thou art he who shalt by right
      The Nations all possess.


  1   BE not thou silent now at length
      O God hold not thy peace,
      Sit not thou still O God of strength
      We cry and do not cease.
  2   For lo thy furious foes now *swell
      And *storm outrageously,                                *Jehemajun.
      And they that hate thee proud and fell
      Exalt their heads full hie.
  3   Against thy people they *contrive                       *Jagnarimu.
     *Their Plots and Counsels deep,                             *Sod. 10
     *Them to ensnare they chiefly strive             *Jithjagnatsu gnal.
     *Whom thou dost hide and keep.                          *Tsephuneca.
  4   Come let us cut them off say they,
      Till they no Nation be
      That Israels name for ever may
      Be lost in memory.
  5   For they consult *with all their might,               *Lev jachdau.
      And all as one in mind
      Themselves against thee they unite
      And in firm union bind.                                          20
  6   The tents of Edom, and the brood
      Of scornful Ishmael,
      Moab, with them of Hagars blood
      That in the Desart dwell,
  7   Gebal and Ammon there conspire,
      And hateful Amalec,
      The Philistines, and they of Tyre
      Whose bounds the sea doth check.
  8   With them great Asshur also bands
      And doth confirm the knot,                                       30
      All these have lent their armed hands
      To aid the Sons of Lot.
  9   Do to them as to Midian bold
      That wasted all the Coast.
      To Sisera, and as is told
      Thou didst to Jabins hoast,
      When at the brook of Kishon old
      They were repulst and slain,
  10  At Endor quite cut off, and rowl'd
      As dung upon the plain.                                          40
  11  As Zeb and Oreb evil sped
      So let their Princes speed
      As Zeba, and Zalmunna bled
      So let their Princes bleed.
  12  For they amidst their pride have said
      By right now shall we seize
      Gods houses, and will now invade
     *Their stately Palaces.                    *Neoth Elohim bears both.
  13  My God, oh make them as a wheel
      No quiet let them find,                                          50
      Giddy and restless let them reel
      Like stubble from the wind.
  14  As when an aged wood takes fire
      Which on a sudden straies,
      The greedy flame runs hier and hier
      Till all the mountains blaze,
  15  So with thy whirlwind them pursue,
      And with thy tempest chase;
  16 *And till they *yield thee honour due,                *They seek thy
      Lord fill with shame their face.                         Name. Heb.
  17  Asham'd and troubl'd let them be,                                60
      Troubl'd and sham'd for ever,
      Ever confounded, and so die
      With shame, and scape it never.
  18  Then shall they know that thou whose name
      Jehova is alone,
      Art the most high, and thou the same
      O're all the earth art one.


  1   How lovely are thy dwellings fair!
      O Lord of Hoasts, how dear
      The pleasant Tabernacles are!
      Where thou do'st dwell so near.
  2   My Soul doth long and almost die
      Thy Courts O Lord to see,
      My heart and flesh aloud do crie,
      O living God, for thee.
  3   There ev'n the Sparrow freed from wrong
      Hath found a house of rest,                                      10
      The Swallow there, to lay her young
      Hath built her brooding nest,
      Ev'n by thy Altars Lord of Hoasts
      They find their safe abode,
      And home they fly from round the Coasts
      Toward thee, My King, my God
  4   Happy, who in thy house reside
      Where thee they ever praise,
  5   Happy, whose strength in thee doth bide,
      And in their hearts thy waies.                                   20
  6   They pass through Baca's thirstie Vale,
      That dry and barren ground
      As through a fruitfull watry Dale
      Where Springs and Showrs abound.
  7   They journey on from strength to strength
      With joy and gladsom cheer
      Till all before our God at length
      In Sion do appear.
  8   Lord God of Hoasts hear now my praier
      O Jacobs God give ear,                                           30
  9   Thou God our shield look on the face
      Of thy anointed dear.
  10  For one day in thy Courts to be
      Is better, and more blest
      Then in the joyes of Vanity,
      A thousand daies at best.
      I in the temple of my God
      Had rather keep a dore,
      Then dwell in Tents, and rich abode
      With Sin for evermore                                            40
  11  For God the Lord both Sun and Shield
      Gives grace and glory bright,
      No good from him shall be with-held
      Whose waies are just and right.
  12  Lord God of Hoasts that raign 'st on high,
      That man is truly blest
      Who only on thee doth relie.
      And in thee only rest.


  1   THY Land to favour graciously
      Thou hast not Lord been slack,
      Thou hast from hard Captivity
      Returned Jacob back.
  2   Th' iniquity thou didst forgive
      That wrought thy people woe,
      And all their Sin, that did thee grieve
      Hast hid where none shall know.
  3   Thine anger all thou hadst remov'd,
      And calmly didst return                                          10
      From thy *fierce wrath which we had prov'd        *Heb. The burning
      Far worse then fire to burn.                            heat of thy
  4   God of our saving health and peace,                          wrath.
      Turn us, and us restore,
      Thine indignation cause to cease
      Toward us, and chide no more.
  5   Wilt thou be angry without end,
      For ever angry thus
      Wilt thou thy frowning ire extend
      From age to age on us?                                           20
  6   Wilt thou not * turn, and hear our voice             * Heb. Turn to
      And us again * revive,                                 quicken us.
      That so thy people may rejoyce
      By thee preserv'd alive.
  7   Cause us to see thy goodness Lord,
      To us thy mercy shew
      Thy saving health to us afford
      And life in us renew.
  8   And now what God the Lord will speak
      I will go strait and hear,                                       30
      For to his people he speaks peace
      And to his Saints full dear,
      To his dear Saints he will speak peace,
      But let them never more
      Return to folly, but surcease
      To trespass as before.
  9   Surely to such as do him fear
      Salvation is at hand
      And glory shall ere long appear
      To dwell within our Land.                                        40
  10  Mercy and Truth that long were miss'd
      Now joyfully are met
      Sweet Peace and Righteousness have kiss'd
      And hand in hand are set.
  11  Truth from the earth like to a flowr
      Shall bud and blossom then,
      And Justice from her heavenly bowr
      Look down on mortal men.
  12  The Lord will also then bestow
      Whatever thing is good                                           50
      Our Land shall forth in plenty throw
      Her fruits to be our food.
  13  Before him Righteousness shall go
      His Royal Harbinger,
      Then * will he come, and not be slow          *Heb. He will set his
      His footsteps cannot err.                         steps to the way.


  1   THY gracious ear, O Lord, encline,
      O hear me I thee pray,
      For I am poor, and almost pine
      With need, and sad decay.
  2   Preserve my soul, for *I have trod           Heb. I am good, loving,
      Thy waies, and love the just,                    a doer of good and
      Save thou thy servant O my God                          holy things
      Who still in thee doth trust.
  3   Pity me Lord for daily thee
      I call; 4 O make rejoyce                                         10
      Thy Servants Soul; for Lord to thee
      I lift my soul and voice,
  5   For thou art good, thou Lord art prone
      To pardon, thou to all
      Art full of mercy, thou alone
      To them that on thee call.
  6   Unto my supplication Lord
      Give ear, and to the crie
      Of my incessant praiers afford
      Thy hearing graciously.                                          20
  7   I in the day of my distress
      Will call on thee for aid;
      For thou wilt grant me free access
      And answer, what I pray'd.
  8   Like thee among the gods is none
      O Lord, nor any works
      Of all that other Gods have done
      Like to thy glorious works.
  9   The Nations all whom thou hast made
      Shall come, and all shall frame                                  30
      To bow them low before thee Lord,
      And glorifie thy name.
  10  For great thou art, and wonders great
      By thy strong hand are done,
      Thou in thy everlasting Seat
      Remainest God alone.
  11  Teach me O Lord thy way most right,
      I in thy truth will bide,
      To fear thy name my heart unite
      So shall it never slide.                                         40
  12  Thee will I praise O Lord my God
      Thee honour, and adore
      With my whole heart, and blaze abroad
      Thy name for ever more.
  13  For great thy mercy is toward me,
      And thou hast free'd my Soul
      Eev'n from the lowest Hell set free
      From deepest darkness foul.
  14  O God the proud against me rise
      And violent men are met                                          50
      To seek my life, and in their eyes
      No fear of thee have set.
  15  But thou Lord art the God most mild
      Readiest thy grace to shew,
      Slow to be angry, and art stil'd
      Most mercifull, most true.
  16  O turn to me thy face at length,
      And me have mercy on,
      Unto thy servant give thy strength,
      And save thy hand-maids Son.                                     60
  17  Some sign of good to me afford,
      And let my foes then see
      And be asham'd, because thou Lord
      Do'st help and comfort me.


  1   AMONG the holy Mountains high
      Is his foundation fast,
      There Seated in his Sanctuary,
      His Temple there is plac't.
  2   Sions fair Gates the Lord loves more
      Then all the dwellings faire
      Of Jacobs Land, though there be store,
      And all within his care.
  3   City of God, most glorious things
      Of thee abroad are spoke;                                        10
  4   I mention Egypt, where proud Kings
      Did our forefathers yoke,
      I mention Babel to my friends,
      Philistia full of scorn,
      And Tyre with Ethiops utmost ends,
      Lo this man there was born:
  5   But twise that praise shall in our ear
      Be said of Sion last
      This and this man was born in her,
      High God shall fix her fast.                                     20
  6   The Lord shall write it in a Scrowle
      That ne're shall be out-worn
      When he the Nations doth enrowle
      That this man there was born.
  7   Both they who sing, and they who dance
      With sacred Songs are there,
      In thee fresh brooks, and soft streams glance
      And all my fountains clear.


  1   LORD God that dost me save and keep,
      All day to thee I cry;
      And all night long, before thee weep
      Before thee prostrate lie.
  2   Into thy presence let my praier
      With sighs devout ascend
      And to my cries, that ceaseless are,
      Thine ear with favour bend.
  3   For cloy'd with woes and trouble store
      Surcharg'd my Soul doth lie,                                     10
      My life at death's uncherful dore
      Unto the grave draws nigh.
  4   Reck'n'd I am with them that pass
      Down to the dismal pit
      I am a *man, but weak alas               * Heb. A man without manly
      And for that name unfit.                                  strength.
  5   From life discharg'd and parted quite
      Among the dead to sleep
      And like the slain in bloody fight
      That in the grave lie deep.                                      20
      Whom thou rememberest no more,
      Dost never more regard,
      Them from thy hand deliver'd o're
      Deaths hideous house hath barr'd.
  6   Thou in the lowest pit profound
      Hast set me all forlorn,
      Where thickest darkness hovers round,
      In horrid deeps to mourn.
  7   Thy wrath from which no shelter saves
      Full sore doth press on me;                                      30
     *Thou break'st upon me all thy waves,                      *The Heb.
     *And all thy waves break me                              bears both.
  8   Thou dost my friends from me estrange,
      And mak'st me odious,
      Me to them odious, for they change,
      And I here pent up thus.
  9   Through sorrow, and affliction great
      Mine eye grows dim and dead,
      Lord all the day I thee entreat,
      My hands to thee I spread.                                       40
  10  Wilt thou do wonders on the dead,
      Shall the deceas'd arise
      And praise thee from their loathsom bed
      With pale and hollow eyes?
  11  Shall they thy loving kindness tell
      On whom the grave hath hold,
      Or they who in perdition dwell
      Thy faithfulness unfold?
  12  In darkness can thy mighty hand
      Or wondrous acts be known,                                       50
      Thy justice in the gloomy land
      Of dark oblivion?
  13  But I to thee O Lord do cry
      E're yet my life be spent,
      And up to thee my praier doth hie
      Each morn, and thee prevent.
  14  Why wilt thou Lord my soul forsake,
      And hide thy face from me,
  15  That am already bruis'd, and *shake          *Heb. Prae Concussione.
      With terror sent from thee;                                      60
      Bruz'd, and afflicted and so low
      As ready to expire,
      While I thy terrors undergo
      Astonish'd with thine ire.
  16  Thy fierce wrath over me doth flow
      Thy threatnings cut me through.
  17  All day they round about me go,
      Like waves they me persue.
  18  Lover and friend thou hast remov'd
      And sever'd from me far.                                         70
      They fly me now whom I have lov'd,
      And as in darkness are.


[From Of Reformation in England, 1641.]

  Ah Constantine, of how much ill was cause
  Not thy Conversion, but those rich demains
  That the first wealthy Pope receiv'd of thee.
  DANTE, Inf. xix. 115.

  Founded in chast and humble Poverty,
  'Gainst them that rais'd thee dost thou lift thy horn,
  Impudent whoore, where hast thou plac'd thy hope?
  In thy Adulterers, or thy ill got wealth?
  Another Constantine comes not in hast.
  PETRARCA, Son. 108.

  And to be short, at last his guid him brings
  Into a goodly valley, where he sees
  A mighty mass of things strangely confus'd
  Things that on earth were lost or were abus'd.
  .   .   .   .   .
  Then past he to a flowry Mountain green,
  Which once smelt sweet, now stinks as odiously;
  This was that gift (if you the truth will have)
  That Constantine to good Sylvestro gave.
  ARIOSTO, Orl. Fur. xxxiv. 80.

[From Reason of Church Government, 1641.]

  When I die, let the Earth be roul'd in flames.

[From Apology for Smectymnuus, 1642.]

  Laughing to teach the truth
  What hinders? as some teachers give to Boys
  Junkets and knacks, that they may learne apace.
  HORACE, Sat. 1. 24.

  Jesting decides great things
  Stronglier, and better oft than earnest can.
  IBID. i. 10. 14.

  'Tis you that say it, not I: you do the deeds
  And your ungodly deeds find me the words.
  SOPHOCLES, Elec. 624.

[From Areopagitica, 1644.]

  This is true Liberty, when free-born Men,
  Having to advise the Public, may speak free,
  Which he who can, and will, deserv's high praise;
  Who neither can nor will, may hold his peace,
  What can be juster in a state then this?
  EURIPIDES, Supp. 438

[From Tetrachordon, 1645.]

  Whom do we count a good man, whom but he
  Who keeps the laws and statutes of the Senate,
  Who judges in great suits and controversies,
  Whose witness and opinion wins the cause?
  But his own house, and the whole neighbourhood
  See his foul inside through his whited skin.
  HORACE, Ep. i. 16. 40.

[From The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, 1649.]

                         There can be slaine
  No sacrifice to God more acceptable
  Than an unjust and wicked king.
  SENECA, Herc. Fur. 922.

[From History of Britain, 1670.]

  Brutus thus addresses Diana in the country of Leogecia.

  Goddess of Shades, and Huntress, who at will
  Walk'st on the rowling Sphear, and through the deep,
  On thy third Reign the Earth look now, and tell
  What Land, what Seat of rest thou bidst me seek,
  What certain Seat, where I may worship thee
  For aye, with Temples vow'd, and Virgin quires.

  To whom sleeping before the altar, Diana in a Vision that night
  thus answer'd.

  Brutus far to the West, in th' Ocean wide
  Beyond the Realm of Gaul, a Land there lies,
  Sea-girt it lies, where Giants dwelt of old,
  Now void, it fits thy People; thether bend
  Thy course, there shalt thou find a lasting seat,
  There to thy Sons another Troy shall rise,
  And Kings be born of thee, whose dredded might
  Shall aw the World, and conquer Nations bold.


Transcriber's Note: Title page of first (1667) edition of Paradise Lost follows:

                         Paradise lost.
                           Written in
                           TEN BOOKS
                         By John Milton
                 Licensed and Entred according
                           to Order
          Printed, and are to be sold by Peter Parker
            under Creed Church neer Aldgate; And by
    Robert Boulter at the Turk's head in Bishopsgate-street
       And Matthias Walker, under St. Dunstan's Church
                    in Fleet-street, 1667.

Transcriber's Note: Title page of second (1674) edition of Paradise Lost follows:

                         Paradise Lost.
                         TWELVE BOOKS.
                          The Author
                         JOHN MILTON.
                       The Second Edition
                  Revised and Augmented by the
                          Same Author.
             Printed by S. Simmons next door to the
             Golden Lion in Aldergate-street, 1674.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size


FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

ON Paradise Lost.

  WHEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
  In slender Book his vast Design unfold,
  Messiah Crown'd, Gods Reconcil'd Decree,
  Rebelling Angels, the Forbidden Tree,
  Heav'n, Hell, Earth, Chaos, All; the Argument
  Held me a while misdoubting his Intent,
  That he would ruine (for I saw him strong)
  The sacred Truths to Fable and old Song
  (So Sampson groap'd the Temples Posts in spight)
  The World o'rewhelming to revenge his sight.

  Yet as I read soon growing less severe,
  I lik'd his Project, the success did fear;
  Through that wide Field how he his way should find
  O're which lame Faith leads Understanding blind;
  Lest he perplex'd the things he would explain,
  And what was easie he should render vain.

  Or if a Work so infinite he spann'd,
  Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
  (Such as disquiet always what is well,
  And by ill imitating would excell)
  Might hence presume the whole Creations day
  To change in Scenes, and show it in a Play.

  Pardon me, Mighty Poet, nor despise
  My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
  But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
  Within thy Labours to pretend a share,
  Thou hast not miss'd one thought that could be fit,
  And all that was improper dost omit:
  So that no room is here for Writers left,
  But to detect their Ignorance or Theft.

  That Majesty which through thy Work doth Reign
  Draws the Devout, deterring the Profane,
  And things divine thou treatst of in such state
  As them preserves, and thee, inviolate.
  At once delight and horrour on us seise,
  Thou singst with so much gravity and ease;
  And above humane flight dost soar aloft
  With Plume so strong, so equal, and so soft.
  The Bird nam'd from that Paradise you sing
  So never flaggs, but always keeps on Wing.

  Where couldst thou words of such a compass find?
  Whence furnish such a vast expence of mind?
  Just Heav'n thee like Tiresias to requite
  Rewards with Prophesie thy loss of sight.

  Well mightst thou scorn thy Readers to allure
  With tinkling Rhime, of thy own sense secure;
  While the Town-Bayes writes all the while and spells,
  And like a Pack-horse tires without his Bells:
  Their Fancies like our Bushy-points appear,
  The Poets tag them, we for fashion wear.
  I too transported by the Mode offend,
  And while I meant to Praise thee must Commend.
  Thy Verse created like thy Theme sublime,
  In Number, Weight, and Measure, needs not Rhime.


  Note: On Paradise Lost] Added in the second edition 1674.

The Printer to the Reader.

Courteous Reader, there was no Argument at first intended to the Book, but for the satisfaction of many that have desired it, I have procur'd it, and withall a reason of that which stumbled many others, why the Poem Rimes not. S. Simmons.

Notes: The Printer to the Reader] Added in 1668 to the copies then remaining of the first edition, amended in 1669, and omitted in 1670. I have procur'd it, and.... not. 1669] is procured. 1668.


THE measure is English Heroic Verse without Rime as that of Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rime being no necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarous Age, to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter; grac't indeed since by the use of some famous modern Poets, carried away by Custom, but much to thir own vexation, hindrance, and constraint to express many things otherwise, and for the most part worse then else they would have exprest them. Not without cause therefore some both Italian and Spanish Poets of prime note have rejected Rime both in longer and shorter Works, as have also long since our best English Tragedies, as a thing of it self, to all judicious eares, triveal and of no true musical delight: which consists only in apt Numbers, fit quantity of Syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one Verse into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault avoyded by the learned Ancients both in Poetry and all good Oratory This neglect then of Rime so little is to be taken for a defect though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar Readers, that it rather is to be esteem'd an example set, the first in English, of ancient liberty recover'd to Heroic Poem from the troublesom and modern bondage of Rimeing.

Note: The Verse] Added in 1668 to the copies then remaining of the first edition; together with the Argument. In the second edition (1674) the Argument, with the necessary adjustment to the division made in Books vii and x, was distributed through the several books of the poem, as it is here printed.



THIS first Book proposes first in brief the whole Subject, Mans disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was plac't: Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from God, and drawing to his side many Legions of Angels, was by the command of God driven out of Heaven with all his Crew into the great Deep. Which action past over, the Poem hasts into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen into Hell describ'd here, not in the Center (for Heaven and Earth may be suppos'd as yet not made, certainly not yet accurst) but in a place of utter darknesse, fitliest call'd Chaos: Here Satan with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-struck and astonisht, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in Order and Dignity lay by him; they confer of thir miserable fall. Satan awakens all his Legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded; They rise, thir Numbers, array of Battel, thir chief Leaders nam'd according to the Idols known afterwards in Canaan and the Countries adjoyning. To these Satan directs his Speech, comforts them with hope yet of gaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of a new World and new kind of Creature to be created, according to an ancient Prophesie or report in Heaven; for that Angels were long before this visible Creation, was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this Prophesie, and what to determin thereon he refers to a full councell. What his Associates thence attempt. Pandemonium the palace of Satan rises, suddenly built out of the Deep: The infernal Peers there sit in Counsel.

  Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
  Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
  Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
  With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
  Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
  Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
  Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
  That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
  In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
  Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill                                   10
  Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd
  Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
  Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
  That with no middle flight intends to soar
  Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues
  Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
  And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
  Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
  Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
  Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread                        20
  Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
  And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
  Illumine, what is low raise and support;
  That to the highth of this great Argument
  I may assert th' Eternal Providence,
  And justifie the wayes of God to men.
  Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view
  Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause
  Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State,
  Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off                            30
  From their Creator, and transgress his Will
  For one restraint, Lords of the World besides?
  Who first seduc'd them to that fowl revolt?
  Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile
  Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd
  The Mother of Mankinde, what time his Pride
  Had cast him out from Heav'n, with all his Host
  Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring
  To set himself in Glory above his Peers,
  He trusted to have equal'd the most High,                            40
  If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim
  Against the Throne and Monarchy of God
  Rais'd impious War in Heav'n and Battel proud
  With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie
  With hideous ruine and combustion down
  To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
  In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,
  Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms.
  Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night                     50
  To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
  Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe
  Confounded though immortal: But his doom
  Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
  Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
  Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes
  That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
  Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
  At once as far as Angels kenn he views
  The dismal Situation waste and wilde,                                60
  A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round
  As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
  No light, but rather darkness visible
  Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
  Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
  And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
  That comes to all; but torture without end
  Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed
  With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:
  Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd                              70
  For those rebellious, here their Prison ordain'd
  In utter darkness, and their portion set
  As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n
  As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole.
  O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
  There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd
  With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
  He soon discerns, and weltring by his side
  One next himself in power, and next in crime,
  Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd                             80
  Beelzebub. To whom th' Arch-Enemy,
  And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words
  Breaking the horrid silence thus began.
  If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! how chang'd
  From him, who in the happy Realms of Light
  Cloth'd with transcendent brightnes didst outshine
  Myriads though bright: If he whom mutual league,
  United thoughts and counsels, equal hope,
  And hazard in the Glorious Enterprize,
  Joynd with me once, now misery hath joynd                            90
  In equal ruin: into what Pit thou seest
  From what highth fal'n, so much the stronger provd
  He with his Thunder: and till then who knew
  The force of those dire Arms? yet not for those
  Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage
  Can else inflict do I repent or change,
  Though chang'd in outward lustre; that fixt mind
  And high disdain, from sence of injur'd merit,
  That with the mightiest rais'd me to contend,
  And to the fierce contention brought along                          100
  Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd
  That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
  His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd
  In dubious Battel on the Plains of Heav'n,
  And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
  All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
  And study of revenge, immortal hate,
  And courage never to submit or yield:
  And what is else not to be overcome?
  That Glory never shall his wrath or might                           110
  Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
  With suppliant knee, and deifie his power
  Who from the terrour of this Arm so late
  Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,
  That were an ignominy and shame beneath
  This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods
  And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,
  Since through experience of this great event
  In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't,
  We may with more successful hope resolve                            120
  To wage by force or guile eternal Warr
  Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,
  Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
  Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n.
  So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain,
  Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare:
  And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer.
  O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers,
  That led th' imbattelld Seraphim to Warr
  Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds                            130
  Fearless, endanger'd Heav'ns perpetual King;
  And put to proof his high Supremacy,
  Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate,
  Too well I see and rue the dire event,
  That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
  Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mighty Host
  In horrible destruction laid thus low,
  As far as Gods and Heav'nly Essences
  Can Perish: for the mind and spirit remains
  Invincible, and vigour soon returns,                                140
  Though all our Glory extinct, and happy state
  Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
  But what if he our Conquerour, (whom I now
  Of force believe Almighty, since no less
  Then such could hav orepow'rd such force as ours)
  Have left us this our spirit and strength intire
  Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
  That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
  Or do him mightier service as his thralls
  By right of Warr, what e're his business be                         150
  Here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire,
  Or do his Errands in the gloomy Deep;
  What can it then avail though yet we feel
  Strength undiminisht, or eternal being
  To undergo eternal punishment?
  Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd.
  Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable
  Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure,
  To do ought good never will be our task,
  But ever to do ill our sole delight,                                160
  As being the contrary to his high will
  Whom we resist. If then his Providence
  Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
  Our labour must be to pervert that end,
  And out of good still to find means of evil;
  Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps
  Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
  His inmost counsels from their destind aim.
  But see the angry Victor hath recall'd
  His Ministers of vengeance and pursuit                              170
  Back to the Gates of Heav'n: The Sulphurous Hail
  Shot after us in storm, oreblown hath laid
  The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice
  Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the Thunder,
  Wing'd with red Lightning and impetuous rage,
  Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
  To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
  Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn,
  Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
  Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde,                     180
  The seat of desolation, voyd of light,
  Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
  Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
  From off the tossing of these fiery waves,
  There rest, if any rest can harbour there,
  And reassembling our afflicted Powers,
  Consult how we may henceforth most offend
  Our Enemy, our own loss how repair,
  How overcome this dire Calamity,
  What reinforcement we may gain from Hope,                           190
  If not what resolution from despare.
  Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate
  With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes
  That sparkling blaz'd, his other Parts besides
  Prone on the Flood, extended long and large
  Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
  As whom the Fables name of monstrous size,
  Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove,
  Briarios or Typhon, whom the Den
  By ancient Tarsus held, or that Sea-beast                           200
  Leviathan, which God of all his works
  Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream:
  Him haply slumbring on the Norway foam
  The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff,
  Deeming some Island, oft, as Sea-men tell,
  With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind
  Moors by his side under the Lee, while Night
  Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes:
  So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay
  Chain'd on the burning Lake, nor ever thence                        210
  Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will
  And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
  Left him at large to his own dark designs,
  That with reiterated crimes he might
  Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
  Evil to others, and enrag'd might see
  How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth
  Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn
  On Man by him seduc't, but on himself
  Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.                       220
  Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool

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  His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames
  Drivn backward slope their pointing spires, & rowld
  In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale.
  Then with expanded wings he stears his flight
  Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air
  That felt unusual weight, till on dry Land
  He lights, if it were Land that ever burn'd
  With solid, as the Lake with liquid fire;
  And such appear'd in hue, as when the force                         230
  Of subterranean wind transports a Hill
  Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
  Of thundring Aetna, whose combustible
  And fewel'd entrals thence conceiving Fire,
  Sublim'd with Mineral fury, aid the Winds,
  And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
  With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole
  Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate,
  Both glorying to have scap't the Stygian flood
  As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength,                       240
  Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.
  Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime,
  Said then the lost Arch Angel, this the seat
  That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom
  For that celestial light? Be it so, since hee
  Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid
  What shall be right: fardest from him is best
  Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream
  Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields
  Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail                      250
  Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
  Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
  A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
  The mind is its own place, and in it self
  Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
  What matter where, if I be still the same,
  And what I should be, all but less then hee
  Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least
  We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
  Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:                         260
  Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce
  To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
  Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
  But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
  Th' associates and copartners of our loss
  Lye thus astonisht on th' oblivious Pool,
  And call them not to share with us their part
  In this unhappy Mansion, or once more
  With rallied Arms to try what may be yet
  Regaind in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell?                       270
  So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub
  Thus answer'd. Leader of those Armies bright,
  Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foyld,
  If once they hear that voyce, their liveliest pledge
  Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
  In worst extreams, and on the perilous edge
  Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults
  Their surest signal, they will soon resume
  New courage and revive, though now they lye
  Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire,                        280
  As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd,
  No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.
  He scarce had ceas't when the superiour Fiend
  Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield
  Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
  Behind him cast; the broad circumference
  Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb
  Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views
  At Ev'ning from the top of Fesole,
  Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands,                                290
  Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe.
  His Spear, to equal which the tallest Pine
  Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the Mast
  Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand,
  He walkt with to support uneasie steps
  Over the burning Marle, not like those steps
  On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime
  Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with Fire;
  Nathless he so endur'd, till on the Beach
  Of that inflamed Sea, he stood and call'd                           300
  His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't
  Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks
  In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
  High overarch't imbowr; or scatterd sedge
  Afloat, when with fierce Winds Orion arm'd
  Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew
  Busiris and his Memphian Chivalrie,
  While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
  The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
  From the safe shore their floating Carkases                         310
  And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown
  Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood,
  Under amazement of their hideous change.
  He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep
  Of Hell resounded. Princes, Potentates,
  Warriers, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost,
  If such astonishment as this can sieze
  Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
  After the toyl of Battel to repose
  Your wearied vertue, for the ease you find                          320
  To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n?
  Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
  To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds
  Cherube and Seraph rowling in the Flood
  With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon
  His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern
  Th' advantage, and descending tread us down
  Thus drooping, or with linked Thunderbolts
  Transfix us to the bottom of this Gulfe.
  Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n.                                330
  They heard, and were abasht, and up they sprung

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  Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
  On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
  Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
  Nor did they not perceave the evil plight
  In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
  Yet to their Generals Voyce they soon obeyd
  Innumerable. As when the potent Rod
  Of Amrams Son in Egypts evill day
  Wav'd round the Coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud                     340
  Of Locusts, warping on the Eastern Wind,
  That ore the Realm of impious Pharoah hung
  Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of Nile:
  So numberless were those bad Angels seen
  Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell

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  'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires;
  Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted Spear
  Of their great Sultan waving to direct
  Thir course, in even ballance down they light
  On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain;                      350
  A multitude, like which the populous North
  Pour'd never from her frozen loyns, to pass
  Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous Sons
  Came like a Deluge on the South, and spread
  Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.
  Forthwith from every Squadron and each Band
  The Heads and Leaders thither hast where stood
  Their great Commander; Godlike shapes and forms
  Excelling human, Princely Dignities,
  And Powers that earst in Heaven sat on Thrones;                     360
  Though of their Names in heav'nly Records now
  Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd
  By thir Rebellion, from the Books of Life.
  Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve
  Got them new Names, till wandring ore the Earth,
  Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man,
  By falsities and lyes the greatest part
  Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake
  God their Creator, and th' invisible
  Glory of him, that made them, to transform                          370
  Oft to the Image of a Brute, adorn'd
  With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold,
  And Devils to adore for Deities:
  Then were they known to men by various Names,
  And various Idols through the Heathen World.
  Say, Muse, their Names then known, who first, who last,
  Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery Couch,
  At thir great Emperors call, as next in worth
  Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
  While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof?                        380
  The chief were those who from the Pit of Hell
  Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix
  Their Seats long after next the Seat of God,
  Their Altars by his Altar, Gods ador'd
  Among the Nations round, and durst abide
  Jehovah thundring out of Sion, thron'd
  Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd
  Within his Sanctuary it self their Shrines,
  Abominations; and with cursed things
  His holy Rites, and solemn Feasts profan'd,                         390
  And with their darkness durst affront his light.
  First Moloch, horrid King besmear'd with blood
  Of human sacrifice, and parents tears,
  Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud
  Their childrens cries unheard, that past through fire
  To his grim Idol. Him the Ammonite
  Worshipt in Rabba and her watry Plain,
  In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
  Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
  Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart                           400
  Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
  His Temple right against the Temple of God
  On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
  The pleasant Vally of Hinnom, Tophet thence
  And black Gehenna call'd, the Type of Hell.
  Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moabs Sons,
  From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild
  Of Southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
  And Heronaim, Seons Realm, beyond
  The flowry Dale of Sibma clad with Vines,                           410
  And Eleale to th' Asphaltick Pool.
  Peor his other Name, when he entic'd
  Israel in Sittim on their march from Nile
  To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
  Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd
  Even to that Hill of scandal, by the Grove
  Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate;
  Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
  With these came they, who from the bordring flood
  Of old Euphrates to the Brook that parts                            420
  Egypt from Syrian ground, had general Names
  Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male,
  These Feminine. For Spirits when they please
  Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft
  And uncompounded is their Essence pure,
  Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb,
  Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
  Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose
  Dilated or condens't, bright or obscure,
  Can execute their aerie purposes,                                   430
  And works of love or enmity fulfill.
  For those the Race of Israel oft forsook
  Their living strength, and unfrequented left
  His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down
  To bestial Gods; for which their heads as low
  Bow'd down in Battel, sunk before the Spear
  Of despicable foes. With these in troop
  Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd
  Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns;
  To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon                           440
  Sidonian Virgins paid their Vows and Songs,
  In Sion also not unsung, where stood
  Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built
  By that uxorious King, whose heart though large,
  Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell
  To Idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
  Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
  The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate
  In amorous dittyes all a Summers day,
  While smooth Adonis from his native Rock                            450
  Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood
  Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale
  Infected Sions daughters with like heat,
  Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch
  Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led
  His eye survay'd the dark Idolatries
  Of alienated Judah. Next came one
  Who mourn'd in earnest, when the Captive Ark
  Maim'd his brute Image, head and hands lopt off
  In his own Temple, on the grunsel edge,                             460
  Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers:
  Dagon his Name, Sea Monster, upward Man
  And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high
  Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the Coast
  Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,
  And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.
  Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful Seat
  Was fair Damascus, on the fertil Banks
  Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
  He also against the house of God was bold:                          470
  A Leper once he lost and gain'd a King,
  Ahaz his sottish Conquerour, whom he drew
  Gods Altar to disparage and displace
  For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
  His odious offrings, and adore the Gods
  Whom he had vanquisht. After these appear'd
  A crew who under Names of old Renown,
  Osiris, Isis, Orus and their Train
  With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd
  Fanatic Egypt and her Priests, to seek                              480
  Thir wandring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms
  Rather then human. Nor did Israel scape
  Th' infection when their borrow'd Gold compos'd
  The Calf in Oreb: and the Rebel King
  Doubl'd that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
  Lik'ning his Maker to the Grazed Ox,
  Jehovah, who in one Night when he pass'd
  From Egypt marching, equal'd with one stroke
  Both her first born and all her bleating Gods.
  Belial came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd                      490
  Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
  Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood
  Or Altar smoak'd; yet who more oft then hee
  In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest
  Turns Atheist, as did Ely's Sons, who fill'd
  With lust and violence the house of God.
  In Courts and Palaces he also Reigns
  And in luxurious Cities, where the noyse
  Of riot ascends above thir loftiest Towrs,
  And injury and outrage: And when Night                              500
  Darkens the Streets, then wander forth the Sons
  Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
  Witness the Streets of Sodom, and that night
  In Gibeah, when hospitable Dores
  Yielded thir Matrons to prevent worse rape.
  These were the prime in order and in might;
  The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
  Th' Ionian Gods, of Javans Issue held
  Gods, yet confest later then Heav'n and Earth
  Thir boasted Parents; Titan Heav'ns first born                      510
  With his enormous brood, and birthright seis'd
  By younger Saturn, he from mightier Jove
  His own and Rhea's Son like measure found;
  So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Creet
  And Ida known, thence on the Snowy top
  Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle Air
  Thir highest Heav'n; or on the Delphian Cliff,
  Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
  Of Doric Land; or who with Saturn old
  Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian Fields,                            520
  And ore the Celtic roam'd the utmost Isles.
  All these and more came flocking; but with looks
  Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd
  Obscure som glimps of joy, to have found thir chief
  Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
  In loss it self; which on his count'nance cast
  Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride
  Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
  Semblance of worth not substance, gently rais'd
  Their fainted courage, and dispel'd their fears.                    530
  Then strait commands that at the warlike sound
  Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be upreard
  His mighty Standard; that proud honour claim'd
  Azazel as his right, a Cherube tall:
  Who forthwith from the glittering Staff unfurld
  Th' Imperial Ensign, which full high advanc't
  Shon like a Meteor streaming to the Wind
  With Gemms and Golden lustre rich imblaz'd,
  Seraphic arms and Trophies: all the while
  Sonorous mettal blowing Martial sounds:                             540
  At which the universal Host upsent
  A shout that tore Hells Concave, and beyond
  Frighted the Reign of Chaos and old Night.
  All in a moment through the gloom were seen
  Ten thousand Banners rise into the Air
  With Orient Colours waving: with them rose
  A Forrest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms
  Appear'd, and serried Shields in thick array
  Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move
  In perfect Phalanx to the Dorian mood                               550
  Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd
  To highth of noblest temper Hero's old
  Arming to Battel, and in stead of rage
  Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd
  With dread of death to flight or foul retreat,
  Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage
  With solemn touches, troubl'd thoughts, and chase
  Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain
  From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they
  Breathing united force with fixed thought                           560
  Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes that charm'd
  Thir painful steps o're the burnt soyle; and now
  Advanc't in view they stand, a horrid Front
  Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise
  Of Warriers old with order'd Spear and Shield,
  Awaiting what command thir mighty Chief
  Had to impose: He through the armed Files
  Darts his experienc't eye, and soon traverse
  The whole Battalion views, thir order due,
  Thir visages and stature as of Gods,                                570
  Thir number last he summs. And now his heart
  Distends with pride, and hardning in his strength
  Glories: For never since created man,
  Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these
  Could merit more then that small infantry
  Warr'd on by Cranes: though all the Giant brood
  Of Phlegra with th' Heroic Race were joyn'd
  That fought at Theb's and Ilium, on each side
  Mixt with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds
  In Fable or Romance of Uthers Son                                   580
  Begirt with British and Armoric Knights;
  And all who since, Baptiz'd or Infidel
  Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,
  Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
  Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore
  When Charlemain with all his Peerage fell
  By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond
  Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
  Thir dread Commander: he above the rest
  In shape and gesture proudly eminent                                590
  Stood like a Towr; his form had yet not lost
  All her Original brightness, nor appear'd
  Less then Arch Angel ruind, and th' excess
  Of Glory obscur'd: As when the Sun new ris'n
  Looks through the Horizontal misty Air
  Shorn of his Beams, or from behind the Moon
  In dim Eclips disastrous twilight sheds
  On half the Nations, and with fear of change
  Perplexes Monarchs. Dark'n'd so, yet shon
  Above them all th' Arch Angel: but his face                         600
  Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht, and care
  Sat on his faded cheek, but under Browes
  Of dauntless courage, and considerate Pride
  Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
  Signs of remorse and passion to behold
  The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
  (Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd
  For ever now to have their lot in pain,
  Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't
  Of Heav'n, and from Eternal Splendors flung                         610
  For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood,
  Thir Glory witherd. As when Heavens Fire
  Hath scath'd the Forrest Oaks, or Mountain Pines,
  With singed top their stately growth though bare
  Stands on the blasted Heath. He now prepar'd
  To speak; whereat their doubl'd Ranks they bend
  From Wing to Wing, and half enclose him round
  With all his Peers: attention held them mute.
  Thrice he assayd, and thrice in spite of scorn,
  Tears such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last                     620
  Words interwove with sighs found out their way.
  O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Powers
  Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife
  Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,
  As this place testifies, and this dire change
  Hateful to utter: but what power of mind
  Foreseeing or presaging, from the Depth
  Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd,
  How such united force of Gods, how such
  As stood like these, could ever know repulse?                       630
  For who can yet beleeve, though after loss,
  That all these puissant Legions, whose exile
  Hath emptied Heav'n, shall faile to re-ascend
  Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat.
  For me, be witness all the Host of Heav'n,
  If counsels different, or danger shun'd
  By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns
  Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure
  Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute,
  Consent or custome, and his Regal State                             640
  Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd,
  Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
  Henceforth his might we know, and know our own
  So as not either to provoke, or dread
  New warr, provok't; our better part remains
  To work in close design, by fraud or guile
  What force effected not: that he no less
  At length from us may find, who overcomes
  By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
  Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife                       650
  There went a fame in Heav'n that he ere long
  Intended to create, and therein plant
  A generation, whom his choice regard
  Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven:
  Thither, if but to prie, shall be perhaps
  Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
  For this Infernal Pit shall never hold
  Caelestial Spirits in Bondage, nor th' Abysse
  Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
  Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird,                        660
  For who can think Submission? Warr then, Warr
  Open or understood must be resolv'd.
  He spake: and to confirm his words, out-flew
  Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
  Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze
  Far round illumin'd hell: highly they rag'd
  Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arm's
  Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war,
  Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heav'n.
  There stood a Hill not far whose griesly top                        670
  Belch'd fire and rowling smoak; the rest entire
  Shon with a glossie scurff, undoubted sign
  That in his womb was hid metallic Ore,
  The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed
  A numerous Brigad hasten'd. As when bands
  Of Pioners with Spade and Pickaxe arm'd
  Forerun the Royal Camp, to trench a Field,
  Or cast a Rampart. Mammon led them on,
  Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell
  From heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts              680
  Were always downward bent, admiring more
  The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold,
  Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd
  In vision beatific: by him first
  Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
  Ransack'd the Center, and with impious hands
  Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth
  For Treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
  Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound
  And dig'd out ribs of Gold. Let none admire                         690
  That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best
  Deserve the pretious bane. And here let those
  Who boast in mortal things, and wondring tell
  Of Babel, and the works of Memphian Kings,
  Learn how thir greatest Monuments of Fame,
  And Strength and Art are easily outdone
  By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour
  What in an age they with incessant toyle
  And hands innumerable scarce perform.
  Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd,                           700
  That underneath had veins of liquid fire
  Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude
  With wondrous Art founded the massie Ore,
  Severing each kinde, and scum'd the Bullion dross:
  A third as soon had form'd within the ground
  A various mould, and from the boyling cells
  By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook,
  As in an Organ from one blast of wind
  To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths.
  Anon out of the earth a Fabrick huge                                710
  Rose like an Exhalation, with the sound
  Of Dulcet Symphonies and voices sweet,
  Built like a Temple, where Pilasters round
  Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
  With Golden Architrave; nor did there want
  Cornice or Freeze, with bossy Sculptures grav'n,
  The Roof was fretted Gold. Not Babilon,
  Nor great Alcairo such magnificence
  Equal'd in all thir glories, to inshrine
  Belus or Serapis thir Gods, or seat                                 720
  Thir Kings, when Aegypt with Assyria strove
  In wealth and luxurie. Th' ascending pile
  Stood fixt her stately highth, and strait the dores
  Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide
  Within, her ample spaces, o're the smooth
  And level pavement: from the arched roof
  Pendant by suttle Magic many a row
  Of Starry Lamps and blazing Cressets fed
  With Naphtha and Asphaltus yeilded light
  As from a sky. The hasty multitude                                  730
  Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise
  And some the Architect: his hand was known
  In Heav'n by many a Towred structure high,
  Where Scepter'd Angels held thir residence,
  And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King
  Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
  Each in his Herarchie, the Orders bright.
  Nor was his name unheard or unador'd
  In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
  Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell                            740
  From Heav'n, they fabl'd, thrown by angry Jove
  Sheer o're the Chrystal Battlements: from Morn
  To Noon he fell, from Noon to dewy Eve,
  A Summers day; and with the setting Sun
  Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star,
  On Lemnos th' Aegaean Ile: thus they relate,
  Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
  Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now
  To have built in Heav'n high Towrs; nor did he scape
  By all his Engins, but was headlong sent                            750
  With his industrious crew to build in hell.
  Mean while the winged Haralds by command
  Of Sovran power, with awful Ceremony
  And Trumpets sound throughout the Host proclaim
  A solemn Councel forthwith to be held
  At Pandaemonium, the high Capital
  Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call'd
  From every Band and squared Regiment

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
  With hundreds and with thousands trooping came                      760
  Attended: all access was throng'd, the Gates
  And Porches wide, but chief the spacious Hall
  (Though like a cover'd field, where Champions bold
  Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldans chair
  Defi'd the best of Panim chivalry
  To mortal combat or carreer with Lance)
  Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air,
  Brusht with the hiss of russling wings. As Bees
  In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides,
  Poure forth thir populous youth about the Hive                      770
  In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
  Flie to and fro, or on the smoothed Plank,
  The suburb of thir Straw-built Cittadel,
  New rub'd with Baume, expatiate and confer
  Thir State affairs. So thick the aerie crowd
  Swarm'd and were straitn'd; till the Signal giv'n,
  Behold a wonder! they but now who seemd
  In bigness to surpass Earths Giant Sons
  Now less then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room
  Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race                           780
  Beyond the Indian Mount, or Faerie Elves,
  Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side
  Or Fountain some belated Peasant sees,
  Or dreams he sees, while over head the Moon
  Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth
  Wheels her pale course, they on thir mirth & dance
  Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear;
  At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
  Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
  Reduc'd thir shapes immense, and were at large,                     790
  Though without number still amidst the Hall
  Of that infernal Court. But far within
  And in thir own dimensions like themselves
  The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
  In close recess and secret conclave sat
  A thousand Demy-Gods on golden seat's,
  Frequent and full. After short silence then
  And summons read, the great consult began.

  504, 505 hospitable Dores Yielded thir Matrons] the hospitable
  door Expos'd a Matron 1674.
  530 fainted] fa(i)nting 1674.
  703 founded] found out 1674.
  737 Herarchie] Hierarchie 1674.

  The End Of The First Book.



The Consultation begun, Satan debates whether another Battel be to be hazarded for the recovery of Heaven: some advise it, others dissuade: A third proposal is prefer'd, mention'd before by Satan, to search the truth of that Prophesie or Tradition in Heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature equal or much inferiour to themselves, about this time to be created: Thir doubt who shall be sent on this difficult search: Satan thir cheif undertakes alone the voyage, is honourd and applauded. The Councel thus ended, the rest betake them several wayes and to several imployments, as thir inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He passes on his Journey to Hell Gates, finds them shut, and who sat there to guard them, by whom at length they are op'nd, and discover to him the great Gulf between Hell and Heaven; with what difficulty he passes through, directed by Chaos the Power of that place, to the sight of this new World which he sought.

Note: who shall be sent] who should be sent 1669.

  High on a Throne of Royal State, which far

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Outshon the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
  Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
  Showrs on her Kings Barbaric Pearl & Gold,
  Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd
  To that bad eminence; and from despair
  Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
  Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
  Vain Warr with Heav'n, and by success untaught
  His proud imaginations thus displaid.                                10
  Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heav'n,
  For since no deep within her gulf can hold
  Immortal vigor, though opprest and fall'n,
  I give not Heav'n for lost. From this descent
  Celestial vertues rising, will appear
  More glorious and more dread then from no fall,
  And trust themselves to fear no second fate:
  Mee though just right, and the fixt Laws of Heav'n
  Did first create your Leader, next, free choice,
  With what besides, in Counsel or in Fight,                           20
  Hath bin achievd of merit, yet this loss
  Thus farr at least recover'd, hath much more
  Establisht in a safe unenvied Throne
  Yielded with full consent. The happier state
  In Heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw
  Envy from each inferior; but who here
  Will envy whom the highest place exposes
  Formost to stand against the Thunderers aime
  Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
  Of endless pain? where there is then no good                         30
  For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
  From Faction; for none sure will claim in hell
  Precedence, none, whose portion is so small
  Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
  Will covet more. With this advantage then
  To union, and firm Faith, and firm accord,
  More then can be in Heav'n, we now return
  To claim our just inheritance of old,
  Surer to prosper then prosperity
  Could have assur'd us; and by what best way,                         40
  Whether of open Warr or covert guile,
  We now debate; who can advise, may speak.
  He ceas'd, and next him Moloc, Scepter'd King
  Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
  That fought in Heav'n; now fiercer by despair:
  His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd
  Equal in strength, and rather then be less
  Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost
  Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse
  He reckd not, and these words thereafter spake.                      50
  My sentence is for open Warr: Of Wiles,
  More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
  Contrive who need, or when they need, not now.
  For while they sit contriving, shall the rest,
  Millions that stand in Arms, and longing wait
  The Signal to ascend, sit lingring here
  Heav'ns fugitives, and for thir dwelling place
  Accept this dark opprobrious Den of shame,
  The Prison of his Tyranny who Reigns
  By our delay? no, let us rather choose                               60
  Arm'd with Hell flames and fury all at once
  O're Heav'ns high Towrs to force resistless way,
  Turning our Tortures into horrid Arms
  Against the Torturer; when to meet the noise
  Of his Almighty Engin he shall hear
  Infernal Thunder, and for Lightning see
  Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
  Among his Angels; and his Throne it self
  Mixt with Tartarean Sulphur, and strange fire,
  His own invented Torments. But perhaps                               70
  The way seems difficult and steep to scale
  With upright wing against a higher foe.
  Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
  Of that forgetful Lake benumme not still,
  That in our proper motion we ascend
  Up to our native seat: descent and fall
  To us is adverse. Who but felt of late
  When the fierce Foe hung on our brok'n Rear
  Insulting, and pursu'd us through the Deep,
  With what compulsion and laborious flight                            80
  We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easie then;
  Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke
  Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
  To our destruction: if there be in Hell
  Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse
  Then to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd
  In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
  Where pain of unextinguishable fire
  Must exercise us without hope of end
  The Vassals of his anger, when the Scourge                           90
  Inexorably, and the torturing houre
  Calls us to Penance? More destroy'd then thus
  We should be quite abolisht and expire.
  What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
  His utmost ire? which to the highth enrag'd,
  Will either quite consume us, and reduce
  To nothing this essential, happier farr
  Then miserable to have eternal being:
  Or if our substance be indeed Divine,
  And cannot cease to be, we are at worst                             100
  On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
  Our power sufficient to disturb his Heav'n,
  And with perpetual inrodes to Allarme,
  Though inaccessible, his fatal Throne:
  Which if not Victory is yet Revenge.
  He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd
  Desperate revenge, and Battel dangerous
  To less then Gods. On th' other side up rose
  Belial, in act more graceful and humane;
  A fairer person lost not Heav'n; he seemd                           110
  For dignity compos'd and high exploit:
  But all was false and hollow; though his Tongue
  Dropt Manna, and could make the worse appear
  The better reason, to perplex and dash
  Maturest Counsels: for his thoughts were low;
  To vice industrious, but to Nobler deeds
  Timorous and slothful: yet he pleas'd the eare,
  And with perswasive accent thus began.
  I should be much for open Warr, O Peers,
  As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd                            120
  Main reason to perswade immediate Warr,
  Did not disswade me most, and seem to cast
  Ominous conjecture on the whole success:
  When he who most excels in fact of Arms,
  In what he counsels and in what excels
  Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
  And utter dissolution, as the scope
  Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
  First, what Revenge? the Towrs of Heav'n are fill'd
  With Armed watch, that render all access                            130
  Impregnable; oft on the bordering Deep
  Encamp thir Legions, or with obscure wing
  Scout farr and wide into the Realm of night,
  Scorning surprize. Or could we break our way
  By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise
  With blackest Insurrection, to confound
  Heav'ns purest Light, yet our great Enemie
  All incorruptible would on his Throne
  Sit unpolluted, and th' Ethereal mould
  Incapable of stain would soon expel                                 140
  Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire
  Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope
  Is flat despair: we must exasperate
  Th' Almighty Victor to spend all his rage,
  And that must end us, that must be our cure,
  To be no more; sad cure; for who would loose,
  Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
  Those thoughts that wander through Eternity,
  To perish rather, swallowd up and lost
  In the wide womb of uncreated night,                                150
  Devoid of sense and motion? and who knows,
  Let this be good, whether our angry Foe
  Can give it, or will ever? how he can
  Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.
  Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,
  Belike through impotence, or unaware,
  To give his Enemies thir wish, and end
  Them in his anger, whom his anger saves
  To punish endless? wherefore cease we then?
  Say they who counsel Warr, we are decreed,                          160
  Reserv'd and destin'd to Eternal woe;
  Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
  What can we suffer worse? is this then worst,
  Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in Arms?
  What when we fled amain, pursu'd and strook
  With Heav'ns afflicting Thunder, and besought
  The Deep to shelter us? this Hell then seem'd
  A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay
  Chain'd on the burning Lake? that sure was worse.
  What if the breath that kindl'd those grim fires                    170
  Awak'd should blow them into sevenfold rage
  And plunge us in the Flames? or from above
  Should intermitted vengeance Arme again
  His red right hand to plague us? what if all
  Her stores were op'n'd, and this Firmament
  Of Hell should spout her Cataracts of Fire,
  Impendent horrors, threatning hideous fall
  One day upon our heads; while we perhaps
  Designing or exhorting glorious Warr,
  Caught in a fierie Tempest shall be hurl'd                          180
  Each on his rock transfixt, the sport and prey
  Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk
  Under yon boyling Ocean, wrapt in Chains;
  There to converse with everlasting groans,
  Unrespited, unpitied, unrepreevd,
  Ages of hopeless end; this would be worse.
  Warr therefore, open or conceal'd, alike
  My voice disswades; for what can force or guile
  With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
  Views all things at one view? he from heav'ns highth                190
  All these our motions vain, sees and derides;
  Not more Almighty to resist our might
  Then wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
  Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heav'n
  Thus trampl'd, thus expell'd to suffer here
  Chains and these Torments? better these then worse
  By my advice; since fate inevitable
  Subdues us, and Omnipotent Decree,
  The Victors will. To suffer, as to doe,
  Our strength is equal, nor the Law unjust                           200
  That so ordains: this was at first resolv'd,
  If we were wise, against so great a foe
  Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
  I laugh, when those who at the Spear are bold
  And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear
  What yet they know must follow, to endure
  Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,
  The sentence of thir Conquerour: This is now
  Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,
  Our Supream Foe in time may much remit                              210
  His anger, and perhaps thus farr remov'd
  Not mind us not offending, satisfi'd
  With what is punish't; whence these raging fires
  Will slack'n, if his breath stir not thir flames.
  Our purer essence then will overcome
  Thir noxious vapour, or enur'd not feel,
  Or chang'd at length, and to the place conformd
  In temper and in nature, will receive
  Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain;
  This horror will grow milde, this darkness light,                   220
  Besides what hope the never-ending flight
  Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
  Worth waiting, since our present lot appeers
  For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
  If we procure not to our selves more woe.
  Thus Belial with words cloath'd in reasons garb
  Counsel'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloath,
  Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake.
  Either to disinthrone the King of Heav'n
  We warr, if warr be best, or to regain                              230
  Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then
  May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yeild
  To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife:
  The former vain to hope argues as vain
  The latter: for what place can be for us
  Within Heav'ns bound, unless Heav'ns Lord supream
  We overpower? Suppose he should relent
  And publish Grace to all, on promise made
  Of new Subjection; with what eyes could we
  Stand in his presence humble, and receive                           240
  Strict Laws impos'd, to celebrate his Throne
  With warbl'd Hymns, and to his Godhead sing
  Forc't Halleluiah's; while he Lordly sits
  Our envied Sovran, and his Altar breathes
  Ambrosial Odours and Ambrosial Flowers,
  Our servile offerings. This must be our task
  In Heav'n, this our delight; how wearisom
  Eternity so spent in worship paid
  To whom we hate. Let us not then pursue
  By force impossible, by leave obtain'd                              250
  Unacceptable, though in Heav'n, our state
  Of splendid vassalage, but rather seek
  Our own good from our selves, and from our own
  Live to our selves, though in this vast recess,
  Free, and to none accountable, preferring
  Hard liberty before the easie yoke
  Of servile Pomp. Our greatness will appear
  Then most conspicuous, when great things of small,
  Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse
  We can create, and in what place so e're                            260
  Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain
  Through labour and endurance. This deep world
  Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
  Thick clouds and dark doth Heav'ns all-ruling Sire
  Choose to reside, his Glory unobscur'd,
  And with the Majesty of darkness round
  Covers his Throne; from whence deep thunders roar
  Must'ring thir rage, and Heav'n resembles Hell?
  As he our Darkness, cannot we his Light
  Imitate when we please? This Desart soile                           270
  Wants not her hidden lustre, Gemms and Gold;
  Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise
  Magnificence; and what can Heav'n shew more?
  Our torments also may in length of time
  Become our Elements, these piercing Fires
  As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd
  Into their temper; which must needs remove
  The sensible of pain. All things invite
  To peaceful Counsels, and the settl'd State
  Of order, how in safety best we may                                 280
  Compose our present evils, with regard
  Of what we are and where, dismissing quite
  All thoughts of Warr: ye have what I advise.
  He scarce had finisht, when such murmur filld
  Th' Assembly, as when hollow Rocks retain
  The sound of blustring winds, which all night long
  Had rous'd the Sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
  Sea-faring men orewatcht, whose Bark by chance
  Or Pinnace anchors in a craggy Bay
  After the Tempest: Such applause was heard                          290
  As Mammon ended, and his Sentence pleas'd,
  Advising peace: for such another Field
  They dreaded worse then Hell: so much the fear
  Of Thunder and the Sword of Michael
  Wrought still within them; and no less desire
  To found this nether Empire, which might rise
  By pollicy, and long process of time,
  In emulation opposite to Heav'n.
  Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, then whom,
  Satan except, none higher sat, with grave                           300
  Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd
  A Pillar of State; deep on his Front engraven
  Deliberation sat and publick care;
  And Princely counsel in his face yet shon,
  Majestick though in ruin: sage he stood
  With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear
  The weight of mightiest Monarchies; his look
  Drew audience and attention still as Night
  Or Summers Noon-tide air, while thus he spake.
  Thrones and imperial Powers, off-spring of heav'n,                  310
  Ethereal Vertues; or these Titles now
  Must we renounce, and changing stile be call'd
  Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote
  Inclines, here to continue, and build up here
  A growing Empire; doubtless; while we dream,
  And know not that the King of Heav'n hath doom'd
  This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat
  Beyond his Potent arm, to live exempt
  From Heav'ns high jurisdiction, in new League
  Banded against his Throne, but to remaine                           320
  In strictest bondage, though thus far remov'd,
  Under th' inevitable curb, reserv'd
  His captive multitude: For he, be sure,
  In highth or depth, still first and last will Reign
  Sole King, and of his Kingdom loose no part
  By our revolt, but over Hell extend
  His Empire, and with Iron Scepter rule
  Us here, as with his Golden those in Heav'n.
  What sit we then projecting Peace and Warr?
  Warr hath determin'd us, and foild with loss                        330
  Irreparable; tearms of peace yet none
  Voutsaf't or sought; for what peace will be giv'n
  To us enslav'd, but custody severe,
  And stripes, and arbitrary punishment
  Inflicted? and what peace can we return,
  But to our power hostility and hate,
  Untam'd reluctance, and revenge though slow,
  Yet ever plotting how the Conquerour least
  May reap his conquest, and may least rejoyce
  In doing what we most in suffering feel?                            340
  Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need
  With dangerous expedition to invade
  Heav'n, whose high walls fear no assault or Siege,
  Or ambush from the Deep. What if we find
  Some easier enterprize? There is a place
  (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heav'n
  Err not) another World, the happy seat
  Of som new Race call'd Man, about this time
  To be created like to us, though less
  In power and excellence, but favour'd more                          350
  Of him who rules above; so was his will
  Pronounc'd among the Gods, and by an Oath,
  That shook Heav'ns whol circumference, confirm'd.
  Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
  What creatures there inhabit, of what mould,
  Or substance, how endu'd, and what thir Power,
  And where thir weakness, how attempted best,
  By force or suttlety: Though Heav'n be shut,
  And Heav'ns high Arbitrator sit secure
  In his own strength, this place may lye expos'd                     360
  The utmost border of his Kingdom, left
  To their defence who hold it: here perhaps
  Som advantagious act may be achiev'd
  By sudden onset, either with Hell fire
  To waste his whole Creation, or possess
  All as our own, and drive as we were driven,
  The punie habitants, or if not drive,
  Seduce them to our Party, that thir God
  May prove thir foe, and with repenting hand
  Abolish his own works. This would surpass                           370
  Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
  In our Confusion, and our Joy upraise
  In his disturbance; when his darling Sons
  Hurl'd headlong to partake with us, shall curse
  Thir frail Originals, and faded bliss,
  Faded so soon. Advise if this be worth
  Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
  Hatching vain Empires. Thus Beelzebub
  Pleaded his devilish Counsel, first devis'd
  By Satan, and in part propos'd: for whence,                         380
  But from the Author of all ill could Spring
  So deep a malice, to confound the race
  Of mankind in one root, and Earth with Hell
  To mingle and involve, done all to spite
  The great Creatour? But thir spite still serves
  His glory to augment. The bold design
  Pleas'd highly those infernal States, and joy
  Sparkl'd in all thir eyes; with full assent
  They vote: whereat his speech he thus renews.
  Well have ye judg'd, well ended long debate,                        390
  Synod of Gods, and like to what ye are,
  Great things resolv'd; which from the lowest deep
  Will once more lift us up, in spight of Fate,
  Neerer our ancient Seat; perhaps in view
  Of those bright confines, whence with neighbouring Arms
  And opportune excursion we may chance
  Re-enter Heav'n; or else in some milde Zone
  Dwell not unvisited of Heav'ns fair Light
  Secure, and at the brightning Orient beam
  Purge off this gloom; the soft delicious Air,                       400
  To heal the scarr of these corrosive Fires
  Shall breath her balme. But first whom shall we send
  In search of this new world, whom shall we find
  Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandring feet
  The dark unbottom'd infinite Abyss
  And through the palpable obscure find out
  His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight
  Upborn with indefatigable wings
  Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
  The happy Ile; what strength, what art can then                     410
  Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe
  Through the strict Senteries and Stations thick
  Of Angels watching round? Here he had need
  All circumspection, and we now no less
  Choice in our suffrage; for on whom we send,
  The weight of all and our last hope relies.
  This said, he sat; and expectation held
  His look suspence, awaiting who appeer'd
  To second, or oppose, or undertake
  The perilous attempt: but all sat mute,                             420
  Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each
  In others count'nance red his own dismay
  Astonisht: none among the choice and prime
  Of those Heav'n-warring Champions could be found
  So hardie as to proffer or accept
  Alone the dreadful voyage; till at last
  Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd
  Above his fellows, with Monarchal pride
  Conscious of highest worth, unmov'd thus spake.
  O Progeny of Heav'n, Empyreal Thrones,                              430
  With reason hath deep silence and demurr
  Seis'd us, though undismaid: long is the way
  And hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light;
  Our prison strong, this huge convex of Fire,
  Outrageous to devour, immures us round
  Ninefold, and gates of burning Adamant
  Barr'd over us prohibit all egress.
  These past, if any pass, the void profound
  Of unessential Night receives him next
  Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being                           440
  Threatens him, plung'd in that abortive gulf.
  If thence he scape into what ever world,
  Or unknown Region, what remains him less
  Then unknown dangers and as hard escape.
  But I should ill become this Throne, O Peers,
  And this Imperial Sov'ranty, adorn'd
  With splendor, arm'd with power, if aught propos'd
  And judg'd of public moment, in the shape
  Of difficulty or danger could deterre
  Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume                           450
  These Royalties, and not refuse to Reign,
  Refusing to accept as great a share
  Of hazard as of honour, due alike
  To him who Reigns, and so much to him due
  Of hazard more, as he above the rest
  High honourd sits? Go therfore mighty powers,
  Terror of Heav'n, though fall'n; intend at home,
  While here shall be our home, what best may ease
  The present misery, and render Hell
  More tollerable; if there be cure or charm                          460
  To respite or deceive, or slack the pain
  Of this ill Mansion: intermit no watch
  Against a wakeful Foe, while I abroad
  Through all the coasts of dark destruction seek
  Deliverance for us all: this enterprize
  None shall partake with me. Thus saying rose
  The Monarch, and prevented all reply,
  Prudent, least from his resolution rais'd
  Others among the chief might offer now
  (Certain to be refus'd) what erst they feard;                       470
  And so refus'd might in opinion stand
  His rivals, winning cheap the high repute
  Which he through hazard huge must earn. But they
  Dreaded not more th' adventure then his voice
  Forbidding; and at once with him they rose;
  Thir rising all at once was as the sound
  Of Thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend
  With awful reverence prone; and as a God
  Extoll him equal to the highest in Heav'n:
  Nor fail'd they to express how much they prais'd,                   480
  That for the general safety he despis'd
  His own: for neither do the Spirits damn'd
  Loose all thir vertue; least bad men should boast
  Thir specious deeds on earth, which glory excites,
  Or close ambition varnisht o're with zeal.
  Thus they thir doubtful consultations dark
  Ended rejoycing in thir matchless Chief:
  As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds
  Ascending, while the North wind sleeps, o'respread
  Heav'ns chearful face, the lowring Element                          490
  Scowls ore the dark'nd lantskip Snow, or showre;
  If chance the radiant Sun with farewell sweet
  Extend his ev'ning beam, the fields revive,
  The birds thir notes renew, and bleating herds
  Attest thir joy, that hill and valley rings.
  O shame to men! Devil with Devil damn'd
  Firm concord holds, men onely disagree
  Of Creatures rational, though under hope
  Of heavenly Grace: and God proclaiming peace,
  Yet live in hatred, enmitie, and strife                             500
  Among themselves, and levie cruel warres,
  Wasting the Earth, each other to destroy:
  As if (which might induce us to accord)
  Man had not hellish foes anow besides,
  That day and night for his destruction waite.
  The Stygian Councel thus dissolv'd; and forth
  In order came the grand infernal Peers,
  Midst came thir mighty Paramount, and seemd
  Alone th' Antagonist of Heav'n, nor less
  Then Hells dread Emperour with pomp Supream,                        510
  And God-like imitated State; him round
  A Globe of fierie Seraphim inclos'd
  With bright imblazonrie, and horrent Arms.
  Then of thir Session ended they bid cry
  With Trumpets regal sound the great result:
  Toward the four winds four speedy Cherubim
  Put to thir mouths the sounding Alchymie
  By Haralds voice explain'd: the hollow Abyss
  Heard farr and wide, and all the host of Hell
  With deafning shout, return'd them loud acclaim.                    520
  Thence more at ease thir minds and somwhat rais'd
  By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers
  Disband, and wandring, each his several way
  Pursues, as inclination or sad choice
  Leads him perplext, where he may likeliest find
  Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain
  The irksome hours, till his great Chief return.
  Part on the Plain, or in the Air sublime
  Upon the wing, or in swift race contend,
  As at th' Olympian Games or Pythian fields;                         530
  Part curb thir fierie Steeds, or shun the Goal
  With rapid wheels, or fronted Brigads form.
  As when to warn proud Cities warr appears
  Wag'd in the troubl'd Skie, and Armies rush
  To Battel in the Clouds, before each Van
  Pric forth the Aerie Knights, and couch thir spears
  Till thickest Legions close; with feats of Arms
  From either end of Heav'n the welkin burns.
  Others with vast Typhoean rage more fell
  Rend up both Rocks and Hills, and ride the Air                      540
  In whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wilde uproar.
  As when Alcides from Oealia Crown'd
  With conquest, felt th' envenom'd robe, and tore
  Through pain up by the roots Thessalian Pines,
  And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw
  Into th' Euboic Sea. Others more milde,
  Retreated in a silent valley, sing
  With notes Angelical to many a Harp
  Thir own Heroic deeds and hapless fall
  By doom of Battel; and complain that Fate                           550
  Free Vertue should enthrall to Force or Chance.
  Thir song was partial, but the harmony
  (What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?)
  Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment
  The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet
  (For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense,)
  Others apart sat on a Hill retir'd,
  In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high
  Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate,
  Fixt Fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,                       560
  And found no end, in wandring mazes lost.
  Of good and evil much they argu'd then,
  Of happiness and final misery,
  Passion and Apathie, and glory and shame,
  Vain wisdom all, and false Philosophie:
  Yet with a pleasing sorcerie could charm
  Pain for a while or anguish, and excite
  Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdured brest
  With stubborn patience as with triple steel.
  Another part in Squadrons and gross Bands,                          570
  On bold adventure to discover wide
  That dismal world, if any Clime perhaps
  Might yeild them easier habitation, bend
  Four ways thir flying March, along the Banks
  Of four infernal Rivers that disgorge
  Into the burning Lake thir baleful streams;
  Abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate,
  Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;
  Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud
  Heard on the ruful stream; fierce Phlegeton                         580
  Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.
  Farr off from these a slow and silent stream,
  Lethe the River of Oblivion roules
  Her watrie Labyrinth, whereof who drinks,
  Forthwith his former state and being forgets,
  Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.
  Beyond this flood a frozen Continent
  Lies dark and wilde, beat with perpetual storms
  Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land
  Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems                         590
  Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice,
  A gulf profound as that Serbonian Bog
  Betwixt Damiata and mount Casius old,
  Where Armies whole have sunk: the parching Air
  Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire.
  Thither by harpy-footed Furies hail'd,
  At certain revolutions all the damn'd
  Are brought: and feel by turns the bitter change
  Of fierce extreams, extreams by change more fierce,
  From Beds of raging Fire to starve in Ice                           600
  Thir soft Ethereal warmth, and there to pine
  Immovable, infixt, and frozen round,
  Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire.
  They ferry over this Lethean Sound
  Both to and fro, thir sorrow to augment,
  And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach
  The tempting stream, with one small drop to loose
  In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,
  All in one moment, and so neer the brink;
  But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt                      610
  Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards
  The Ford, and of it self the water flies
  All taste of living wight, as once it fled
  The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on
  In confus'd march forlorn, th' adventrous Bands
  With shuddring horror pale, and eyes agast
  View'd first thir lamentable lot, and found
  No rest: through many a dark and drearie Vaile
  They pass'd, and many a Region dolorous,
  O're many a Frozen, many a Fierie Alpe,                             620
  Rocks, Caves, Lakes, Fens, Bogs, Dens, and shades of death,
  A Universe of death, which God by curse
  Created evil, for evil only good,
  Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds,
  Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
  Abominable, inutterable, and worse
  Then Fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd,
  Gorgons and Hydra's, and Chimera's dire.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Mean while the Adversary of God and Man,
  Satan with thoughts inflam'd of highest design,                     630
  Puts on swift wings, and toward the Gates of Hell
  Explores his solitary flight; som times
  He scours the right hand coast, som times the left,
  Now shaves with level wing the Deep, then soares
  Up to the fiery concave touring high.
  As when farr off at Sea a Fleet descri'd
  Hangs in the Clouds, by Aequinoctial Winds
  Close sailing from Bengala, or the Iles
  Of Ternate and Tidore, whence Merchants bring
  Thir spicie Drugs: they on the trading Flood                        640
  Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape
  Ply stemming nightly toward the Pole. So seem'd
  Farr off the flying Fiend: at last appeer
  Hell bounds high reaching to the horrid Roof,
  And thrice threefold the Gates; three folds were Brass
  Three Iron, three of Adamantine Rock,
  Impenitrable, impal'd with circling fire,
  Yet unconsum'd. Before the Gates there sat

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  On either side a formidable shape;
  The one seem'd Woman to the waste, and fair,                        650
  But ended foul in many a scaly fould
  Voluminous and vast, a Serpent arm'd
  With mortal sting: about her middle round
  A cry of Hell Hounds never ceasing bark'd
  With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung
  A hideous Peal: yet, when they list, would creep,
  If aught disturb'd thir noyse, into her woomb,
  And kennel there, yet there still bark'd and howl'd
  Within unseen. Farr less abhorrd then these
  Vex'd Scylla bathing in the Sea that parts                          660
  Calabria from the hoarce Trinacrian shore:
  Nor uglier follow the Night-Hag, when call'd
  In secret, riding through the Air she comes
  Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, to dance
  With Lapland Witches, while the labouring Moon
  Eclipses at thir charms. The other shape,
  If shape it might be call'd that shape had none
  Distinguishable in member, joynt, or limb,
  Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem'd,
  For each seem'd either; black it stood as Night,                    670
  Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as Hell,
  And shook a dreadful Dart; what seem'd his head
  The likeness of a Kingly Crown had on.
  Satan was now at hand, and from his seat
  The Monster moving onward came as fast,
  With horrid strides, Hell trembled as he strode.
  Th' undaunted Fiend what this might be admir'd,
  Admir'd, not fear'd; God and his Son except,
  Created thing naught vallu'd he nor shun'd;
  And with disdainful look thus first began.                          680
  Whence and what art thou, execrable shape,
  That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance
  Thy miscreated Front athwart my way
  To yonder Gates? through them I mean to pass,
  That be assur'd, without leave askt of thee:
  Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof,
  Hell-born, not to contend with Spirits of Heav'n.
  To whom the Goblin full of wrauth reply'd,
  Art thou that Traitor Angel, art thou hee,
  Who first broke peace in Heav'n and Faith, till then                690
  Unbrok'n, and in proud rebellious Arms
  Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Sons
  Conjur'd against the highest, for which both Thou
  And they outcast from God, are here condemn'd
  To waste Eternal daies in woe and pain?
  And reck'n'st thou thy self with Spirits of Heav'n,
  Hell-doomd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn,
  Where I reign King, and to enrage thee more,
  Thy King and Lord? Back to thy punishment,
  False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings,                         700
  Least with a whip of Scorpions I pursue
  Thy lingring, or with one stroke of this Dart
  Strange horror seise thee, and pangs unfelt before.
  So spake the grieslie terrour, and in shape,
  So speaking and so threatning, grew ten fold
  More dreadful and deform: on th' other side
  Incenc't with indignation Satan stood
  Unterrifi'd, and like a Comet burn'd,
  That fires the length of Ophiucus huge
  In th' Artick Sky, and from his horrid hair                         710
  Shakes Pestilence and Warr. Each at the Head
  Level'd his deadly aime; thir fatall hands
  No second stroke intend, and such a frown
  Each cast at th' other, as when two black Clouds
  With Heav'ns Artillery fraught, come rattling on
  Over the Caspian, then stand front to front
  Hov'ring a space, till Winds the signal blow
  To joyn thir dark Encounter in mid air:
  So frownd the mighty Combatants, that Hell
  Grew darker at thir frown, so matcht they stood;                    720
  For never but once more was either like
  To meet so great a foe: and now great deeds
  Had been achiev'd, whereof all Hell had rung,
  Had not the Snakie Sorceress that sat
  Fast by Hell Gate, and kept the fatal Key,
  Ris'n, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.
  O Father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd,
  Against thy only Son? What fury O Son,
  Possesses thee to bend that mortal Dart
  Against thy Fathers head? and know'st for whom;                     730
  For him who sits above and laughs the while
  At thee ordain'd his drudge, to execute
  What e're his wrath, which he calls Justice, bids,
  His wrath which one day will destroy ye both.
  She spake, and at her words the hellish Pest
  Forbore, then these to her Satan return'd:
  So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange
  Thou interposest, that my sudden hand
  Prevented spares to tell thee yet by deeds
  What it intends; till first I know of thee,                         740
  What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why
  In this infernal Vaile first met thou call'st
  Me Father, and that Fantasm call'st my Son?
  I know thee not, nor ever saw till now
  Sight more detestable then him and thee.
  T' whom thus the Portress of Hell Gate reply'd;
  Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem
  Now in thine eye so foul, once deemd so fair
  In Heav'n, when at th' Assembly, and in sight
  Of all the Seraphim with thee combin'd                              750
  In bold conspiracy against Heav'ns King,
  All on a sudden miserable pain
  Surpris'd thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzie swumm
  In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast
  Threw forth, till on the left side op'ning wide,
  Likest to thee in shape and count'nance bright,
  Then shining heav'nly fair, a Goddess arm'd
  Out of thy head I sprung: amazement seis'd
  All th' Host of Heav'n; back they recoild affraid
  At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a Sign                         760
  Portentous held me; but familiar grown,
  I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won
  The most averse, thee chiefly, who full oft
  Thy self in me thy perfect image viewing
  Becam'st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st
  With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd
  A growing burden. Mean while Warr arose,
  And fields were fought in Heav'n; wherein remaind
  (For what could else) to our Almighty Foe
  Cleer Victory, to our part loss and rout                            770
  Through all the Empyrean: down they fell
  Driv'n headlong from the Pitch of Heaven, down
  Into this Deep, and in the general fall
  I also; at which time this powerful Key
  Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep
  These Gates for ever shut, which none can pass
  Without my op'ning. Pensive here I sat
  Alone, but long I sat not, till my womb
  Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown
  Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes.                           780
  At last this odious offspring whom thou seest
  Thine own begotten, breaking violent way
  Tore through my entrails, that with fear and pain
  Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
  Transform'd: but he my inbred enemie
  Forth issu'd, brandishing his fatal Dart
  Made to destroy: I fled, and cry'd out Death;
  Hell trembl'd at the hideous Name, and sigh'd
  From all her Caves, and back resounded Death.
  I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems,                      790
  Inflam'd with lust then rage) and swifter far,
  Me overtook his mother all dismaid,
  And in embraces forcible and foule
  Ingendring with me, of that rape begot
  These yelling Monsters that with ceasless cry
  Surround me, as thou sawst, hourly conceiv'd
  And hourly born, with sorrow infinite
  To me, for when they list into the womb
  That bred them they return, and howle and gnaw
  My Bowels, their repast; then bursting forth                        800
  Afresh with conscious terrours vex me round,
  That rest or intermission none I find.
  Before mine eyes in opposition sits
  Grim Death my Son and foe, who sets them on,
  And me his Parent would full soon devour
  For want of other prey, but that he knows
  His end with mine involvd; and knows that I
  Should prove a bitter Morsel, and his bane,
  When ever that shall be; so Fate pronounc'd.
  But thou O Father, I forewarn thee, shun                            810
  His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
  To be invulnerable in those bright Arms,
  Though temper'd heav'nly, for that mortal dint,
  Save he who reigns above, none can resist.
  She finish'd, and the suttle Fiend his lore
  Soon learnd, now milder, and thus answerd smooth.
  Dear Daughter, since thou claim'st me for thy Sire,
  And my fair Son here showst me, the dear pledge
  Of dalliance had with thee in Heav'n, and joys
  Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change                 820
  Befalln us unforeseen, unthought of, know
  I come no enemie, but to set free
  From out this dark and dismal house of pain,
  Both him and thee, and all the heav'nly Host
  Of Spirits that in our just pretenses arm'd
  Fell with us from on high: from them I go
  This uncouth errand sole, and one for all
  My self expose, with lonely steps to tread
  Th' unfounded deep, & through the void immense
  To search with wandring quest a place foretold                      830
  Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now
  Created vast and round, a place of bliss
  In the Pourlieues of Heav'n, and therein plac't
  A race of upstart Creatures, to supply
  Perhaps our vacant room, though more remov'd,
  Least Heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude
  Might hap to move new broiles: Be this or aught
  Then this more secret now design'd, I haste
  To know, and this once known, shall soon return,
  And bring ye to the place where Thou and Death                      840
  Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen
  Wing silently the buxom Air, imbalm'd
  With odours; there ye shall be fed and fill'd
  Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey.
  He ceas'd, for both seemd highly pleasd, and Death
  Grinnd horrible a gastly smile, to hear
  His famine should be fill'd, and blest his mawe
  Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoyc'd
  His mother bad, and thus bespake her Sire.
  The key of this infernal Pit by due,                                850
  And by command of Heav'ns all-powerful King
  I keep, by him forbidden to unlock
  These Adamantine Gates; against all force
  Death ready stands to interpose his dart,
  Fearless to be o'rematcht by living might.
  But what ow I to his commands above
  Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
  Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,
  To sit in hateful Office here confin'd,
  Inhabitant of Heav'n, and heav'nlie-born,                           860
  Here in perpetual agonie and pain,
  With terrors and with clamors compasst round
  Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed:
  Thou art my Father, thou my Author, thou
  My being gav'st me; whom should I obey
  But thee, whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon
  To that new world of light and bliss, among
  The Gods who live at ease, where I shall Reign
  At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems
  Thy daughter and thy darling, without end.                          870
  Thus saying, from her side the fatal Key,
  Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;
  And towards the Gate rouling her bestial train,
  Forthwith the huge Portcullis high up drew,
  Which but her self not all the Stygian powers
  Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole turns
  Th' intricate wards, and every Bolt and Bar
  Of massie Iron or sollid Rock with ease
  Unfast'ns: on a sudden op'n flie
  With impetuous recoile and jarring sound                            880
  Th' infernal dores, and on thir hinges great
  Harsh Thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
  Of Erebus. She op'nd, but to shut
  Excel'd her power; the Gates wide op'n stood,
  That with extended wings a Bannerd Host
  Under spread Ensigns marching might pass through
  With Horse and Chariots rankt in loose array;
  So wide they stood, and like a Furnace mouth
  Cast forth redounding smoak and ruddy flame.
  Before thir eyes in sudden view appear                              890
  The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark
  Illimitable Ocean without bound,
  Without dimension, where length, breadth, and highth,
  And time and place are lost; where eldest Night
  And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold
  Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise
  Of endless warrs and by confusion stand.
  For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce
  Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring
  Thir embryon Atoms; they around the flag                            900
  Of each his faction, in thir several Clanns,
  Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift or slow,
  Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the Sands
  Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,
  Levied to side with warring Winds, and poise
  Thir lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
  Hee rules a moment; Chaos Umpire sits,
  And by decision more imbroiles the fray
  By which he Reigns: next him high Arbiter
  Chance governs all. Into this wilde Abyss,                          910
  The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
  Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
  But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt
  Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
  Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
  His dark materials to create more Worlds,
  Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
  Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
  Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith
  He had to cross. Nor was his eare less peal'd                       920
  With noises loud and ruinous (to compare
  Great things with small) then when Bellona storms,
  With all her battering Engines bent to rase
  Som Capital City, or less then if this frame
  Of Heav'n were falling, and these Elements
  In mutinie had from her Axle torn
  The stedfast Earth. At last his Sail-broad Vannes
  He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoak
  Uplifted spurns the ground, thence many a League
  As in a cloudy Chair ascending rides                                930
  Audacious, but that seat soon failing, meets
  A vast vacuitie: all unawares
  Fluttring his pennons vain plumb down he drops
  Ten thousand fadom deep, and to this hour
  Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
  The strong rebuff of som tumultuous cloud
  Instinct with Fire and Nitre hurried him
  As many miles aloft: that furie stay'd,
  Quencht in a Boggie Syrtis, neither Sea,
  Nor good dry Land: nigh founderd on he fares,                       940
  Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
  Half flying; behoves him now both Oare and Saile.
  As when a Gryfon through the Wilderness
  With winged course ore Hill or moarie Dale,
  Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stelth
  Had from his wakeful custody purloind
  The guarded Gold: So eagerly the fiend
  Ore bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare,
  With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues his way,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  And swims or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flyes:                  950
  At length a universal hubbub wilde
  Of stunning sounds and voices all confus'd
  Born through the hollow dark assaults his eare
  With loudest vehemence: thither he plyes,
  Undaunted to meet there what ever power
  Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss
  Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask
  Which way the neerest coast of darkness lyes
  Bordering on light; when strait behold the Throne
  Of Chaos, and his dark Pavilion spread                              960
  Wide on the wasteful Deep; with him Enthron'd
  Sat Sable-vested Night, eldest of things,
  The consort of his Reign; and by them stood
  Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name
  Of Demogorgon; Rumor next and Chance,
  And Tumult and Confusion all imbroild,
  And Discord with a thousand various mouths.
  T' whom Satan turning boldly, thus. Ye Powers
  And Spirits of this nethermost Abyss,
  Chaos and Ancient Night, I come no Spie,                            970
  With purpose to explore or to disturb
  The secrets of your Realm, but by constraint
  Wandring this darksome desart, as my way
  Lies through your spacious Empire up to light,
  Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek
  What readiest path leads where your gloomie bounds
  Confine with Heav'n; or if som other place
  From your Dominion won, th' Ethereal King
  Possesses lately, thither to arrive
  I travel this profound, direct my course;                           980
  Directed, no mean recompence it brings
  To your behoof, if I that Region lost,
  All usurpation thence expell'd, reduce
  To her original darkness and your sway
  (Which is my present journey) and once more
  Erect the Standerd there of Ancient Night;
  Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge.
  Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old
  With faultring speech and visage incompos'd
  Answer'd. I know thee, stranger, who thou art,                      990
  That mighty leading Angel, who of late
  Made head against Heav'ns King, though overthrown.
  I saw and heard, for such a numerous host
  Fled not in silence through the frighted deep
  With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
  Confusion worse confounded; and Heav'n Gates
  Pourd out by millions her victorious Bands
  Pursuing. I upon my Frontieres here
  Keep residence; if all I can will serve,
  That little which is left so to defend                             1000
  Encroacht on still through our intestine broiles
  Weakning the Scepter of old Night: first Hell
  Your dungeon stretching far and wide beneath;
  Now lately Heaven and Earth, another World
  Hung ore my Realm, link'd in a golden Chain
  To that side Heav'n from whence your Legions fell:
  If that way be your walk, you have not farr;
  So much the neerer danger; goe and speed;
  Havock and spoil and ruin are my gain.
  He ceas'd; and Satan staid not to reply,                           1010
  But glad that now his Sea should find a shore,
  With fresh alacritie and force renew'd
  Springs upward like a Pyramid of fire
  Into the wilde expanse, and through the shock
  Of fighting Elements, on all sides round
  Environ'd wins his way; harder beset
  And more endanger'd, then when Argo pass'd
  Through Bosporus betwixt the justling Rocks:
  Or when Ulysses on the Larbord shunnd
  Charybdis, and by th' other whirlpool steard.                      1020
  So he with difficulty and labour hard
  Mov'd on, with difficulty and labour hee;
  But hee once past, soon after when man fell,
  Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain
  Following his track, such was the will of Heav'n,
  Pav'd after him a broad and beat'n way
  Over the dark Abyss, whose boiling Gulf
  Tamely endur'd a Bridge of wondrous length
  From Hell continu'd reaching th' utmost Orbe
  Of this frail World; by which the Spirits perverse                 1030
  With easie intercourse pass to and fro
  To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
  God and good Angels guard by special grace.
  But now at last the sacred influence
  Of light appears, and from the walls of Heav'n
  Shoots farr into the bosom of dim Night
  A glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins
  Her fardest verge, and Chaos to retire
  As from her outmost works a brok'n foe
  With tumult less and with less hostile din,                        1040
  That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
  Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light
  And like a weather-beaten Vessel holds
  Gladly the Port, though Shrouds and Tackle torn;
  Or in the emptier waste, resembling Air,
  Weighs his spread wings, at leasure to behold
  Farr off th' Empyreal Heav'n, extended wide
  In circuit, undetermind square or round,
  With Opal Towrs and Battlements adorn'd
  Of living Saphire, once his native Seat;                           1050
  And fast by hanging in a golden Chain
  This pendant world, in bigness as a Starr
  Of smallest Magnitude close by the Moon.
  Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge,
  Accurst, and in a cursed hour he hies.

  282 where] were 1674.
  402 breath] misprint for breathe.
  483 thir] her 1674.
  527 his] this 1674.
  542 Oealia] Oechalia 1674.
  631 toward] towards 1674.

  The End Of The Second Book.



God sitting on his Throne sees Satan flying towards this world, then newly created; shews him to the Son who sat at his right hand; foretells the success of Satan in perverting mankind; clears his own Justice and Wisdom from all imputation, having created Man free and able enough to have withstood his Tempter; yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduc't. The Son of God renders praises to his father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose towards Man; God again declares, that Grace cannot be extended towards Man without the satisfaction of divine Justice; Man hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and therefore with all his progeny devoted to death must dye, unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergoe his Punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a Ransome for Man: the Father accepts him, ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all in Heaven and Earth, commands all the Angels to adore him; they obey, amid hymning to their Harps in full Quire, celebrate the Father and the Son.. Mean while Satan alights upon the bare convex of this Worlds outermost Orb; where wandring he first finds a place since call'd The Lymbo of Vanity, what persons and things fly up thither; thence comes to the Gate of Heaven, describ'd ascending by stairs and the waters above the Firmament that flow about it: His passage thence to the Orb of the Sun; he finds there Uriel the Regent of that Orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner Angel; and pretending a zealous desire to behold the new Creation and Man whom God had plac't here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed; alights first on Mount Niphates.

  Hail holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born,
  Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam
  May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
  And never but in unapproached light
  Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee,
  Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
  Or hear'st thou rather pure Ethereal stream,
  Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun,
  Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice
  Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest                                10
  The rising world of waters dark and deep,
  Won from the void and formless infinite.
  Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing,
  Escap't the Stygian Pool, though long detain'd
  In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
  Through utter and through middle darkness borne
  With other notes then to th' Orphean Lyre
  I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,
  Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
  The dark descent, and up to reascend,                                20
  Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
  And feel thy sovran vital Lamp; but thou
  Revisit'st not these eyes, that rowle in vain
  To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
  So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs,
  Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more
  Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
  Cleer Spring, or shadie Grove, or Sunnie Hill,
  Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
  Thee Sion and the flowrie Brooks beneath                             30
  That wash thy hallowd feet, and warbling flow,
  Nightly I visit: nor somtimes forget
  Those other two equal'd with me in Fate,
  So were I equal'd with them in renown,
  Blind Thamyris and blind Maeonides,
  And Tiresias and Phineus Prophets old.
  Then feed on thoughts, that voluntarie move
  Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful Bird
  Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid
  Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year                         40
  Seasons return, but not to me returns
  Day, or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn,
  Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose,
  Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
  But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark
  Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men
  Cut off, and for the book of knowledg fair
  Presented with a Universal blanc
  Of Natures works to mee expung'd and ras'd,
  And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out.                          50
  So much the rather thou Celestial light
  Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
  Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence
  Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
  Of things invisible to mortal sight.
  Now had the Almighty Father from above,
  From the pure Empyrean where he sits
  High Thron'd above all highth, bent down his eye,
  His own works and their works at once to view:
  About him all the Sanctities of Heaven                               60
  Stood thick as Starrs, and from his sight receiv'd
  Beatitude past utterance; on his right
  The radiant image of his Glory sat,
  His onely Son; On Earth he first beheld
  Our two first Parents, yet the onely two
  Of mankind, in the happie Garden plac't,
  Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,
  Uninterrupted joy, unrivald love
  In blissful solitude; he then survey'd
  Hell and the Gulf between, and Satan there                           70
  Coasting the wall of Heav'n on this side Night
  In the dun Air sublime, and ready now
  To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet
  On the bare outside of this World, that seem'd
  Firm land imbosom'd without Firmament,
  Uncertain which, in Ocean or in Air.
  Him God beholding from his prospect high,
  Wherein past, present, future he beholds,
  Thus to his onely Son foreseeing spake.
  Onely begotten Son, seest thou what rage                             80
  Transports our adversarie, whom no bounds
  Prescrib'd, no barrs of Hell, nor all the chains
  Heapt on him there, nor yet the main Abyss
  Wide interrupt can hold; so bent he seems
  On desperat revenge, that shall redound
  Upon his own rebellious head. And now
  Through all restraint broke loose he wings his way
  Not farr off Heav'n, in the Precincts of light,
  Directly towards the new created World,
  And Man there plac't, with purpose to assay                          90
  If him by force he can destroy, or worse,
  By som false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
  For man will heark'n to his glozing lyes,
  And easily transgress the sole Command,
  Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall
  Hee and his faithless Progenie: whose fault?
  Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee
  All he could have; I made him just and right,
  Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
  Such I created all th' Ethereal Powers                              100
  And Spirits, both them who stood & them who faild;
  Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.
  Not free, what proof could they have givn sincere
  Of true allegiance, constant Faith or Love,
  Where onely what they needs must do, appeard,
  Not what they would? what praise could they receive?
  What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
  When Will and Reason (Reason also is choice)
  Useless and vain, of freedom both despoild,
  Made passive both, had servd necessitie,                            110
  Not mee. They therefore as to right belongd,
  So were created, nor can justly accuse
  Thir maker, or thir making, or thir Fate;
  As if Predestination over-rul'd
  Thir will, dispos'd by absolute Decree
  Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed
  Thir own revolt, not I: if I foreknew,
  Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
  Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown.
  So without least impulse or shadow of Fate,                         120
  Or aught by me immutablie foreseen,
  They trespass, Authors to themselves in all
  Both what they judge and what they choose; for so
  I formd them free, and free they must remain,
  Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change
  Thir nature, and revoke the high Decree
  Unchangeable, Eternal, which ordain'd
  Thir freedom, they themselves ordain'd thir fall.
  The first sort by thir own suggestion fell,
  Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls deceiv'd                     130
  By the other first: Man therefore shall find grace,
  The other none: in Mercy and Justice both,
  Through Heav'n and Earth, so shall my glorie excel,
  But Mercy first and last shall brightest shine.
  Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd
  All Heav'n, and in the blessed Spirits elect
  Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd:
  Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
  Most glorious, in him all his Father shon
  Substantially express'd, and in his face                            140
  Divine compassion visibly appeerd,
  Love without end, and without measure Grace,
  Which uttering thus he to his Father spake.
  O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd
  Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find grace;
  For which both Heav'n and Earth shall high extoll
  Thy praises, with th' innumerable sound
  Of Hymns and sacred Songs, wherewith thy Throne
  Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest.
  For should Man finally be lost, should Man                          150
  Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest Son
  Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though joynd
  With his own folly? that be from thee farr,
  That farr be from thee, Father, who art Judge
  Of all things made, and judgest onely right.
  Or shall the Adversarie thus obtain
  His end, and frustrate thine, shall he fulfill
  His malice, and thy goodness bring to naught,
  Or proud return though to his heavier doom,
  Yet with revenge accomplish't and to Hell                           160
  Draw after him the whole Race of mankind,
  By him corrupted? or wilt thou thy self
  Abolish thy Creation, and unmake,
  For him, what for thy glorie thou hast made?
  So should thy goodness and thy greatness both
  Be questiond and blaspheam'd without defence.
  To whom the great Creatour thus reply'd.
  O Son, in whom my Soul hath chief delight,
  Son of my bosom, Son who art alone
  My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,                            170
  All hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are, all
  As my Eternal purpose hath decreed:
  Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will,
  Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
  Freely voutsaft; once more I will renew
  His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd
  By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
  Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
  On even ground against his mortal foe,
  By me upheld, that he may know how frail                            180
  His fall'n condition is, and to me ow
  All his deliv'rance, and to none but me.
  Some I have chosen of peculiar grace
  Elect above the rest; so is my will:
  The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warnd
  Thir sinful state, and to appease betimes
  Th' incensed Deitie, while offerd grace
  Invites; for I will cleer thir senses dark,
  What may suffice, and soft'n stonie hearts
  To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.                           190
  To prayer, repentance, and obedience due,
  Though but endevord with sincere intent,
  Mine eare shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.
  And I will place within them as a guide
  My Umpire Conscience, whom if they will hear,
  Light after light well us'd they shall attain,
  And to the end persisting, safe arrive.
  This my long sufferance and my day of grace
  They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste;
  But hard be hard'nd, blind be blinded more,                         200
  That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;
  And none but such from mercy I exclude.
  But yet all is not don; Man disobeying,
  Disloyal breaks his fealtie, and sinns
  Against the high Supremacie of Heav'n,
  Affecting God-head, and so loosing all,
  To expiate his Treason hath naught left,
  But to destruction sacred and devote,
  He with his whole posteritie must die,
  Die hee or Justice must; unless for him                             210
  Som other able, and as willing, pay
  The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
  Say Heav'nly Powers, where shall we find such love,
  Which of ye will be mortal to redeem
  Mans mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save,
  Dwels in all Heaven charitie so deare?
  He ask'd, but all the Heav'nly Quire stood mute,
  And silence was in Heav'n: on mans behalf
  Patron or Intercessor none appeerd,
  Much less that durst upon his own head draw                         220
  The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
  And now without redemption all mankind
  Must have bin lost, adjudg'd to Death and Hell
  By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
  In whom the fulness dwels of love divine,
  His dearest mediation thus renewd.
  Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace;
  And shall grace not find means, that finds her way,
  The speediest of thy winged messengers,
  To visit all thy creatures, and to all                              230
  Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought,
  Happie for man, so coming; be her aide
  Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost;
  Attonement for himself or offering meet,
  Indebted and undon, hath none to bring:
  Behold mee then, mee for him, life for life
  I offer, on mee let thine anger fall;
  Account mee man; I for his sake will leave
  Thy bosom, and this glorie next to thee
  Freely put off, and for him lastly die                              240
  Well pleas'd, on me let Death wreck all his rage;
  Under his gloomie power I shall not long
  Lie vanquisht; thou hast givn me to possess
  Life in my self for ever, by thee I live,
  Though now to Death I yeild, and am his due
  All that of me can die, yet that debt paid,
  Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsom grave
  His prey, nor suffer my unspotted Soule
  For ever with corruption there to dwell;
  But I shall rise Victorious, and subdue                             250
  My Vanquisher, spoild of his vanted spoile;
  Death his deaths wound shall then receive, & stoop
  Inglorious, of his mortall sting disarm'd.
  I through the ample Air in Triumph high
  Shall lead Hell Captive maugre Hell, and show
  The powers of darkness bound. Thou at the sight
  Pleas'd, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile,
  While by thee rais'd I ruin all my Foes,
  Death last, and with his Carcass glut the Grave:
  Then with the multitude of my redeemd                               260
  Shall enter Heaven long absent, and returne,
  Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
  Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd,
  And reconcilement; wrauth shall be no more
  Thenceforth, but in thy presence Joy entire.
  His words here ended, but his meek aspect
  Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love
  To mortal men, above which only shon
  Filial obedience: as a sacrifice
  Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will                             270
  Of his great Father. Admiration seis'd
  All Heav'n, what this might mean, & whither tend
  Wondring; but soon th' Almighty thus reply'd:
  O thou in Heav'n and Earth the only peace
  Found out for mankind under wrauth, O thou
  My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear,
  To me are all my works, nor Man the least
  Though last created, that for him I spare
  Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save,
  By loosing thee a while, the whole Race lost.                       280
  Thou therefore whom thou only canst redeeme,
  Thir Nature also to thy Nature joyne;
  And be thy self Man among men on Earth,
  Made flesh, when time shall be, of Virgin seed,
  By wondrous birth: Be thou in Adams room
  The Head of all mankind, though Adams Son.
  As in him perish all men, so in thee
  As from a second root shall be restor'd,
  As many as are restor'd, without thee none.
  His crime makes guiltie all his Sons, thy merit                     290
  Imputed shall absolve them who renounce
  Thir own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,
  And live in thee transplanted, and from thee
  Receive new life. So Man, as is most just,
  Shall satisfie for Man, be judg'd and die,
  And dying rise, and rising with him raise
  His Brethren, ransomd with his own dear life.
  So Heav'nly love shal outdoo Hellish hate,
  Giving to death, and dying to redeeme,
  So dearly to redeem what Hellish hate                               300
  So easily destroy'd, and still destroyes
  In those who, when they may, accept not grace.
  Nor shalt thou by descending to assume
  Mans Nature, less'n or degrade thine owne.
  Because thou hast, though Thron'd in highest bliss
  Equal to God, and equally enjoying
  God-like fruition, quitted all to save
  A World from utter loss, and hast been found
  By Merit more then Birthright Son of God,
  Found worthiest to be so by being Good,                             310
  Farr more then Great or High; because in thee
  Love hath abounded more then Glory abounds,
  Therefore thy Humiliation shall exalt
  With thee thy Manhood also to this Throne;
  Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt Reigne
  Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
  Anointed universal King; all Power
  I give thee, reign for ever, and assume
  Thy Merits; under thee as Head Supream
  Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce:                    320
  All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
  In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell;
  When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n
  Shalt in the Skie appeer, and from thee send
  The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaime
  Thy dread Tribunal: forthwith from all Windes
  The living, and forthwith the cited dead
  Of all past Ages to the general Doom
  Shall hast'n, such a peal shall rouse thir sleep.
  Then all thy Saints assembl'd, thou shalt judge                     330
  Bad men and Angels, they arraignd shall sink
  Beneath thy Sentence; Hell, her numbers full,
  Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while
  The World shall burn, and from her ashes spring
  New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell
  And after all thir tribulations long
  See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
  With Joy and Love triumphing, and fair Truth.
  Then thou thy regal Scepter shalt lay by,
  For regal Scepter then no more shall need,                          340
  God shall be All in All. But all ye Gods,
  Adore him, who to compass all this dies,
  Adore the Son, and honour him as mee.
  No sooner had th' Almighty ceas't, but all
  The multitude of Angels with a shout
  Loud as from numbers without number, sweet
  As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heav'n rung

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  With Jubilee, and loud Hosanna's fill'd
  Th' eternal Regions: lowly reverent
  Towards either Throne they bow, & to the ground                     350
  With solemn adoration down they cast
  Thir Crowns inwove with Amarant and Gold,
  Immortal Amarant, a Flour which once
  In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life
  Began to bloom, but soon for mans offence
  To Heav'n remov'd where first it grew, there grows,
  And flours aloft shading the Fount of Life,
  And where the river of Bliss through midst of Heavn
  Rowls o're Elisian Flours her Amber stream;
  With these that never fade the Spirits Elect                        360
  Bind thir resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams,
  Now in loose Garlands thick thrown off, the bright
  Pavement that like a Sea of Jasper shon
  Impurpl'd with Celestial Roses smil'd.
  Then Crown'd again thir gold'n Harps they took,
  Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side
  Like Quivers hung, and with Praeamble sweet
  Of charming symphonie they introduce
  Thir sacred Song, and waken raptures high;
  No voice exempt, no voice but well could joine                      370
  Melodious part, such concord is in Heav'n.
  Thee Father first they sung Omnipotent,
  Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
  Eternal King; thee Author of all being,
  Fountain of Light, thy self invisible
  Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sit'st
  Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st
  The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud
  Drawn round about thee like a radiant Shrine,
  Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appeer,                       380
  Yet dazle Heav'n, that brightest Seraphim
  Approach not, but with both wings veil thir eyes.
  Thee next they sang of all Creation first,
  Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
  In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud
  Made visible, th' Almighty Father shines,
  Whom else no Creature can behold; on thee
  Impresst the effulgence of his Glorie abides,
  Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests.
  Hee Heav'n of Heavens and all the Powers therein                    390
  By thee created, and by thee threw down
  Th' aspiring Dominations: thou that day
  Thy Fathers dreadful Thunder didst not spare,
  Nor stop thy flaming Chariot wheels, that shook
  Heav'ns everlasting Frame, while o're the necks
  Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarraid.
  Back from pursuit thy Powers with loud acclaime
  Thee only extold, Son of thy Fathers might,
  To execute fierce vengeance on his foes,
  Not so on Man; him through their malice fall'n,                     400
  Father of Mercie and Grace, thou didst not doome
  So strictly, but much more to pitie encline:
  No sooner did thy dear and onely Son
  Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man
  So strictly, but much more to pitie enclin'd,
  He to appease thy wrauth, and end the strife
  Of Mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd,
  Regardless of the Bliss wherein hee sat
  Second to thee, offerd himself to die
  For mans offence. O unexampl'd love,                                410
  Love no where to be found less then Divine!
  Hail Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy Name
  Shall be the copious matter of my Song
  Henceforth, and never shall my Harp thy praise
  Forget, nor from thy Fathers praise disjoine.
  Thus they in Heav'n, above the starry Sphear,
  Thir happie hours in joy and hymning spent.
  Mean while upon the firm opacous Globe
  Of this round World, whose first convex divides
  The luminous inferior Orbs, enclos'd                                420
  From Chaos and th' inroad of Darkness old,
  Satan alighted walks: a Globe farr off
  It seem'd, now seems a boundless Continent
  Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night
  Starless expos'd, and ever-threatning storms
  Of Chaos blustring round, inclement skie;
  Save on that side which from the wall of Heav'n
  Though distant farr som small reflection gaines
  Of glimmering air less vext with tempest loud:
  Here walk'd the Fiend at large in spacious field.                   430
  As when a Vultur on Imaus bred,
  Whose snowie ridge the roving Tartar bounds,
  Dislodging from a Region scarce of prey
  To gorge the flesh of Lambs or yeanling Kids
  On Hills where Flocks are fed, flies toward the Springs
  Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams;
  But in his way lights on the barren plaines
  Of Sericana, where Chineses drive
  With Sails and Wind thir canie Waggons light:
  So on this windie Sea of Land, the Fiend                            440
  Walk'd up and down alone bent on his prey,
  Alone, for other Creature in this place
  Living or liveless to be found was none,
  None yet, but store hereafter from the earth
  Up hither like Aereal vapours flew
  Of all things transitorie and vain, when Sin
  With vanity had filld the works of men:
  Both all things vain, and all who in vain things
  Built thir fond hopes of Glorie or lasting fame,
  Or happiness in this or th' other life;                             450
  All who have thir reward on Earth, the fruits
  Of painful Superstition and blind Zeal,
  Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find
  Fit retribution, emptie as thir deeds;
  All th' unaccomplisht works of Natures hand,
  Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixt,
  Dissolvd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain,
  Till final dissolution, wander here,
  Not in the neighbouring Moon, as some have dreamd;
  Those argent Fields more likely habitants,                          460
  Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold
  Betwixt th' Angelical and Human kinde:
  Hither of ill-joynd Sons and Daughters born
  First from the ancient World those Giants came
  With many a vain exploit, though then renownd:
  The builders next of Babel on the Plain
  Of Sennaar, and still with vain designe
  New Babels, had they wherewithall, would build:
  Others came single; hee who to be deemd
  A God, leap'd fondly into Aetna flames,                             470
  Empedocles, and hee who to enjoy
  Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the Sea,
  Cleombrotus, and many more too long,
  Embryo's and Idiots, Eremits and Friers

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  White, Black and Grey, with all thir trumperie.
  Here Pilgrims roam, that stray'd so farr to seek
  In Golgotha him dead, who lives in Heav'n;
  And they who to be sure of Paradise
  Dying put on the weeds of Dominic,
  Or in Franciscan think to pass disguis'd;                           480
  They pass the Planets seven, and pass the fixt,
  And that Crystalline Sphear whose ballance weighs
  The Trepidation talkt, and that first mov'd;
  And now Saint Peter at Heav'ns Wicket seems
  To wait them with his Keys, and now at foot
  Of Heav'ns ascent they lift thir Feet, when loe
  A violent cross wind from either Coast
  Blows them transverse ten thousand Leagues awry
  Into the devious Air; then might ye see
  Cowles, Hoods and Habits with thir wearers tost                     490
  And flutterd into Raggs, then Reliques, Beads,
  Indulgences, Dispenses, Pardons, Bulls,
  The sport of Winds: all these upwhirld aloft
  Fly o're the backside of the World farr off
  Into a Limbo large and broad, since calld
  The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown
  Long after, now unpeopl'd, and untrod;
  All this dark Globe the Fiend found as he pass'd,
  And long he wanderd, till at last a gleame
  Of dawning light turnd thither-ward in haste                        500
  His travell'd steps; farr distant hee descries
  Ascending by degrees magnificent
  Up to the wall of Heaven a Structure high,
  At top whereof, but farr more rich appeerd
  The work as of a Kingly Palace Gate
  With Frontispice of Diamond and Gold
  Imbellisht, thick with sparkling orient Gemmes
  The Portal shon, inimitable on Earth
  By Model, or by shading Pencil drawn.
  The Stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw                           510
  Angels ascending and descending, bands
  Of Guardians bright, when he from Esau fled
  To Padan-aram in the field of Luz,
  Dreaming by night under the open Skie,
  And waking cri'd, This is the Gate of Heav'n.
  Each Stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood
  There alwaies, but drawn up to Heav'n somtimes
  Viewless, and underneath a bright Sea flow'd
  Of Jasper, or of liquid Pearle, whereon
  Who after came from Earth, sayling arriv'd,                         520
  Wafted by Angels, or flew o're the Lake
  Rapt in a Chariot drawn by fiery Steeds.
  The Stairs were then let down, whether to dare
  The Fiend by easie ascent, or aggravate
  His sad exclusion from the dores of Bliss.
  Direct against which op'nd from beneath,
  Just o're the blissful seat of Paradise,
  A passage down to th' Earth, a passage wide,
  Wider by farr then that of after-times
  Over Mount Sion, and, though that were large,                       530
  Over the Promis'd Land to God so dear,
  By which, to visit oft those happy Tribes,
  On high behests his Angels to and fro
  Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard
  From Paneas the fount of Jordans flood
  To Beersaba, where the Holy Land
  Borders on Aegypt and the Arabian shoare;
  So wide the op'ning seemd, where bounds were set
  To darkness, such as bound the Ocean wave.
  Satan from hence now on the lower stair                             540
  That scal'd by steps of Gold to Heav'n Gate
  Looks down with wonder at the sudden view
  Of all this World at once. As when a Scout
  Through dark and desart wayes with peril gone
  All night; at last by break of chearful dawne
  Obtains the brow of some high-climbing Hill,
  Which to his eye discovers unaware
  The goodly prospect of some forein land
  First-seen, or some renownd Metropolis
  With glistering Spires and Pinnacles adornd,                        550
  Which now the Rising Sun guilds with his beams.
  Such wonder seis'd, though after Heaven seen,
  The Spirit maligne, but much more envy seis'd
  At sight of all this World beheld so faire.
  Round he surveys, and well might, where he stood
  So high above the circling Canopie
  Of Nights extended shade; from Eastern Point
  Of Libra to the fleecie Starr that bears
  Andromeda farr off Atlantick Seas
  Beyond th' Horizon; then from Pole to Pole                          560
  He views in bredth, and without longer pause
  Down right into the Worlds first Region throws
  His flight precipitant, and windes with ease
  Through the pure marble Air his oblique way
  Amongst innumerable Starrs, that shon
  Stars distant, but nigh hand seemd other Worlds,
  Or other Worlds they seemd, or happy Iles,
  Like those Hesperian Gardens fam'd of old,
  Fortunate Fields, and Groves and flourie Vales,
  Thrice happy Iles, but who dwelt happy there                        570
  He stayd not to enquire: above them all
  The golden Sun in splendor likest Heaven
  Allur'd his eye: Thither his course he bends
  Through the calm Firmament; but up or downe
  By center, or eccentric, hard to tell,
  Or Longitude, where the great Luminarie
  Alooff the vulgar Constellations thick,
  That from his Lordly eye keep distance due,
  Dispenses Light from farr; they as they move
  Thir Starry dance in numbers that compute                           580
  Days, months, and years, towards his all-chearing Lamp
  Turn swift their various motions, or are turnd
  By his Magnetic beam, that gently warms
  The Univers, and to each inward part
  With gentle penetration, though unseen,
  Shoots invisible vertue even to the deep:
  So wondrously was set his Station bright.
  There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps
  Astronomer in the Sun's lucent Orbe
  Through his glaz'd Optic Tube yet never saw.                        590
  The place he found beyond expression bright,
  Compar'd with aught on Earth, Medal or Stone;
  Not all parts like, but all alike informd
  With radiant light, as glowing Iron with fire;
  If mettal, part seemd Gold, part Silver cleer;
  If stone, Carbuncle most or Chrysolite,
  Rubie or Topaz, to the Twelve that shon
  In Aarons Brest-plate, and a stone besides
  Imagind rather oft then elsewhere seen,
  That stone, or like to that which here below                        600
  Philosophers in vain so long have sought,
  In vain, though by thir powerful Art they binde
  Volatil Hermes, and call up unbound
  In various shapes old Proteus from the Sea,
  Draind through a Limbec to his Native forme.
  What wonder then if fields and regions here
  Breathe forth Elixir pure, and Rivers run
  Potable Gold, when with one vertuous touch
  Th' Arch-chimic Sun so farr from us remote
  Produces with Terrestrial Humor mixt                                610
  Here in the dark so many precious things
  Of colour glorious and effect so rare?
  Here matter new to gaze the Devil met
  Undazl'd, farr and wide his eye commands,
  For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
  But all Sun-shine, as when his Beams at Noon
  Culminate from th' Aequator, as they now
  Shot upward still direct, whence no way round
  Shadow from body opaque can fall, and the Aire,
  No where so cleer, sharp'nd his visual ray                          620
  To objects distant farr, whereby he soon
  Saw within kenn a glorious Angel stand,
  The same whom John saw also in the Sun:
  His back was turnd, but not his brightness hid;
  Of beaming sunnie Raies, a golden tiar
  Circl'd his Head, nor less his Locks behind
  Illustrious on his Shoulders fledge with wings
  Lay waving round; on som great charge imploy'd
  Hee seemd, or fixt in cogitation deep.
  Glad was the Spirit impure as now in hope                           630
  To find who might direct his wandring flight
  To Paradise the happie seat of Man,
  His journies end and our beginning woe.
  But first he casts to change his proper shape,
  Which else might work him danger or delay:
  And now a stripling Cherube he appeers,
  Not of the prime, yet such as in his face
  Youth smil'd Celestial, and to every Limb
  Sutable grace diffus'd, so well he feignd;
  Under a Coronet his flowing haire                                   640
  In curles on either cheek plaid, wings he wore
  Of many a colourd plume sprinkl'd with Gold,
  His habit fit for speed succinct, and held
  Before his decent steps a Silver wand.
  He drew not nigh unheard, the Angel bright,
  Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turnd,
  Admonisht by his eare, and strait was known
  Th' Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the seav'n
  Who in Gods presence, neerest to his Throne
  Stand ready at command, and are his Eyes                            650
  That run through all the Heav'ns, or down to th' Earth
  Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,
  O're Sea and Land: him Satan thus accostes;
  Uriel, for thou of those seav'n Spirits that stand
  In sight of God's high Throne, gloriously bright,
  The first art wont his great authentic will
  Interpreter through highest Heav'n to bring,
  Where all his Sons thy Embassie attend;
  And here art likeliest by supream decree
  Like honour to obtain, and as his Eye                               660
  To visit oft this new Creation round;
  Unspeakable desire to see, and know
  All these his wondrous works, but chiefly Man,
  His chief delight and favour, him for whom
  All these his works so wondrous he ordaind,
  Hath brought me from the Quires of Cherubim
  Alone thus wandring. Brightest Seraph tell
  In which of all these shining Orbes hath Man
  His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none,
  But all these shining Orbes his choice to dwell;                    670
  That I may find him, and with secret gaze,
  Or open admiration him behold
  On whom the great Creator hath bestowd
  Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces powrd;
  That both in him and all things, as is meet,
  The Universal Maker we may praise;
  Who justly hath drivn out his Rebell Foes
  To deepest Hell, and to repair that loss
  Created this new happie Race of Men
  To serve him better: wise are all his wayes.                        680
  So spake the false dissembler unperceivd;
  For neither Man nor Angel can discern
  Hypocrisie, the only evil that walks
  Invisible, except to God alone,
  By his permissive will, through Heav'n and Earth:
  And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
  At wisdoms Gate, and to simplicitie
  Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
  Where no ill seems: Which now for once beguil'd
  Uriel, though Regent of the Sun, and held                           690
  The sharpest sighted Spirit of all in Heav'n;
  Who to the fraudulent Impostor foule
  In his uprightness answer thus returnd.
  Faire Angel, thy desire which tends to know
  The works of God, thereby to glorifie
  The great Work-Maister, leads to no excess
  That reaches blame, but rather merits praise
  The more it seems excess, that led thee hither
  From thy Empyreal Mansion thus alone,
  To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps                        700
  Contented with report heare onely in heav'n:
  For wonderful indeed are all his works,
  Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all
  Had in remembrance alwayes with delight;
  But what created mind can comprehend
  Thir number, or the wisdom infinite
  That brought them forth, but hid thir causes deep.
  I saw when at his Word the formless Mass,
  This worlds material mould, came to a heap:
  Confusion heard his voice, and wilde uproar                         710
  Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd;
  Till at his second bidding darkness fled,
  Light shon, and order from disorder sprung:
  Swift to thir several Quarters hasted then
  The cumbrous Elements, Earth, Flood, Aire, Fire,
  And this Ethereal quintessence of Heav'n
  Flew upward, spirited with various forms,
  That rowld orbicular, and turnd to Starrs
  Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move;
  Each had his place appointed, each his course,                      720
  The rest in circuit walles this Universe.
  Look downward on that Globe whose hither side
  With light from hence, though but reflected, shines;
  That place is Earth the seat of Man, that light
  His day, which else as th' other Hemisphere
  Night would invade, but there the neighbouring Moon
  (So call that opposite fair Starr) her aide
  Timely interposes, and her monthly round
  Still ending, still renewing, through mid Heav'n;
  With borrowd light her countenance triform                          730
  Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth,
  And in her pale dominion checks the night.
  That spot to which I point is Paradise,
  Adams abode, those loftie shades his Bowre.
  Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires.
  Thus said, he turnd, and Satan bowing low,
  As to superior Spirits is wont in Heaven,
  Where honour due and reverence none neglects,
  Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth beneath,
  Down from th' Ecliptic, sped with hop'd success,                    740
  Throws his steep flight with many an Aerie wheele,
  Nor staid, till on Niphates top he lights.

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  The End Of The Third Book.



Satan now in prospect of Eden, and nigh the place where he must now attempt the bold enterprize which he undertook alone against God and Man, falls into many doubts with himself, and many passions, fear, envy, and despare; but at length confirms himself in evil, journeys on to Paradise, whose outward prospect and scituation is described, overleaps the bounds, sits in the shape of a Cormorant on the tree of life, as highest in the Garden to look about him. The Garden describ'd; Satans first sight of Adam and Eve; his wonder at thir excellent form and happy state but with resolution to work thir fall; overhears thir discourse, thence gathers that the Tree of knowledge was forbidden them to eat of, under penalty of death; and thereon intends to found his temptation, by seducing them to transgress: then leaves them a while to know further of thir state by some other means. Mean while Uriel descending on a Sunbeam warns Gabriel, who had in charge the Gate of Paradise, that some evil spirit had escap'd the Deep, and past at Noon by his Sphere in the shape of a good Angel down to Paradise, discovered after by his furious gestures in the Mount. Gabriel promises to find him out ere morning. Night coming on, Adam and Eve discourse of going to thir rest: thir Bower describ'd; thir Evening worship. Gabriel drawing forth his Bands of Night-watch to walk the round of Paradise, appoints two strong Angels to Adams Bower, least the evill spirit should be there doing some harm to Adam or Eve sleeping; there they find him at the ear of Eve, tempting her in a dream, and bring him, though unwilling, to Gabriel; by whom question'd he scornfully answers, prepares resistance, but hinder'd by a Sign from Heaven, flies out of Paradise.

  O For that warning voice, which he who saw
  Th' Apocalyps, heard cry in Heaven aloud,
  Then when the Dragon, put to second rout,
  Came furious down to be reveng'd on men,
  Wo To The Inhabitants On Earth! that now,
  While time was, our first Parents had bin warnd
  The coming of thir secret foe, and scap'd
  Haply so scap'd his mortal snare; for now
  Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down,
  The Tempter ere th' Accuser of man-kind,                             10
  To wreck on innocent frail man his loss
  Of that first Battel, and his flight to Hell:
  Yet not rejoycing in his speed, though bold,
  Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast,
  Begins his dire attempt, which nigh the birth
  Now rowling, boiles in his tumultuous brest,
  And like a devillish Engine back recoiles
  Upon himself; horror and doubt distract
  His troubl'd thoughts, and from the bottom stirr
  The Hell within him, for within him Hell                             20
  He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell
  One step no more then from himself can fly
  By change of place: Now conscience wakes despair
  That slumberd, wakes the bitter memorie
  Of what he was, what is, and what must be
  Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue.
  Sometimes towards Eden which now in his view
  Lay pleasant, his grievd look he fixes sad,
  Sometimes towards Heav'n and the full-blazing Sun,
  Which now sat high in his Meridian Towre:                            30
  Then much revolving, thus in sighs began.
  O thou that with surpassing Glory crownd,
  Look'st from thy sole Dominion like the God
  Of this new World; at whose sight all the Starrs
  Hide thir diminisht heads; to thee I call,
  But with no friendly voice, and add thy name
  O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams
  That bring to my remembrance from what state
  I fell, how glorious once above thy Spheare;
  Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down                          40
  Warring in Heav'n against Heav'ns matchless King:
  Ah wherefore! he deservd no such return
  From me, whom he created what I was
  In that bright eminence, and with his good
  Upbraided none; nor was his service hard.
  What could be less then to afford him praise,
  The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks,
  How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
  And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
  I sdeind subjection, and thought one step higher                     50
  Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
  The debt immense of endless gratitude,
  So burthensome, still paying, still to ow;
  Forgetful what from him I still receivd,
  And understood not that a grateful mind
  By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
  Indebted and dischargd; what burden then?
  O had his powerful Destiny ordaind
  Me some inferiour Angel, I had stood
  Then happie; no unbounded hope had rais'd                            60
  Ambition. Yet why not? som other Power
  As great might have aspir'd, and me though mean
  Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great
  Fell not, but stand unshak'n, from within
  Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
  Hadst thou the same free Will and Power to stand?
  Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
  But Heav'ns free Love dealt equally to all?
  Be then his Love accurst, since love or hate,
  To me alike, it deals eternal woe.                                   70
  Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
  Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
  Me miserable! which way shall I flie
  Infinite wrauth, and infinite despaire?

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  Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell;
  And in the lowest deep a lower deep
  Still threatning to devour me opens wide,
  To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n.
  O then at last relent: is there no place
  Left for Repentance, none for Pardon left?                           80
  None left but by submission; and that word
  Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
  Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
  With other promises and other vaunts
  Then to submit, boasting I could subdue
  Th' Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know
  How dearly I abide that boast so vaine,
  Under what torments inwardly I groane;
  While they adore me on the Throne of Hell,
  With Diadem and Scepter high advanc'd                                90
  The lower still I fall, onely Supream
  In miserie; such joy Ambition findes.
  But say I could repent and could obtaine
  By Act of Grace my former state; how soon
  Would highth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay
  What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant
  Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
  For never can true reconcilement grow
  Where wounds of deadly hate have peirc'd so deep:
  Which would but lead me to a worse relapse                          100
  And heavier fall: so should I purchase deare
  Short intermission bought with double smart.
  This knows my punisher; therefore as farr
  From granting hee, as I from begging peace:
  All hope excluded thus, behold in stead
  Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight,
  Mankind created, and for him this World.
  So farwel Hope, and with Hope farwel Fear,
  Farwel Remorse: all Good to me is lost;
  Evil be thou my Good; by thee at least                              110
  Divided Empire with Heav'ns King I hold
  By thee, and more then half perhaps will reigne;
  As Man ere long, and this new World shall know.
  Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face
  Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envie and despair,
  Which marrd his borrow'd visage, and betraid
  Him counterfet, if any eye beheld.
  For heav'nly mindes from such distempers foule
  Are ever cleer. Whereof hee soon aware,
  Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calme,                      120
  Artificer of fraud; and was the first
  That practisd falshood under saintly shew,
  Deep malice to conceale, couch't with revenge:
  Yet not anough had practisd to deceive
  Uriel once warnd; whose eye pursu'd him down
  The way he went, and on th' Assyrian mount
  Saw him disfigur'd, more then could befall
  Spirit of happie sort: his gestures fierce
  He markd and mad demeanour, then alone,
  As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen.                             130
  So on he fares, and to the border comes
  Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
  Now nearer, Crowns with her enclosure green,
  As with a rural mound the champain head
  Of a steep wilderness, whose hairie sides
  With thicket overgrown, grottesque and wilde,
  Access deni'd; and over head up grew
  Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
  Cedar, and Pine, and Firr, and branching Palm,
  A Silvan Scene, and as the ranks ascend                             140
  Shade above shade, a woodie Theatre
  Of stateliest view. Yet higher then thir tops
  The verdurous wall of Paradise up sprung:
  Which to our general Sire gave prospect large
  Into his neather Empire neighbouring round.
  And higher then that Wall a circling row
  Of goodliest Trees loaden with fairest Fruit,
  Blossoms and Fruits at once of golden hue
  Appeerd, with gay enameld colours mixt:
  On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beams                      150
  Then in fair Evening Cloud, or humid Bow,
  When God hath showrd the earth; so lovely seemd
  That Lantskip: And of pure now purer aire
  Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
  Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
  All sadness but despair: now gentle gales
  Fanning thir odoriferous wings dispense
  Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
  Those balmie spoiles. As when to them who saile
  Beyond the Cape Of Hope, and now are past                           160
  Mozambic, off at Sea North-East windes blow
  Sabean Odours from the spicie shoare
  Of Arabie the blest, with such delay
  Well pleas'd they slack thir course, and many a League
  Cheard with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles.
  So entertaind those odorous sweets the Fiend
  Who came thir bane, though with them better pleas'd
  Then Asmodeus with the fishie fume,
  That drove him, though enamourd, from the Spouse
  Of Tobits Son, and with a vengeance sent                            170
  From Media post to Aegypt, there fast bound.
  Now to th' ascent of that steep savage Hill
  Satan had journied on, pensive and slow;

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  But further way found none, so thick entwin'd,
  As one continu'd brake, the undergrowth
  Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplext
  All path of Man or Beast that past that way:
  One Gate there onely was, and that look'd East
  On th' other side: which when th' arch-fellon saw
  Due entrance he disdaind, and in contempt,                          180
  At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound
  Of Hill or highest Wall, and sheer within
  Lights on his feet. As when a prowling Wolfe,
  Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey,
  Watching where Shepherds pen thir Flocks at eeve
  In hurdl'd Cotes amid the field secure,
  Leaps o're the fence with ease into the Fould:
  Or as a Thief bent to unhoord the cash
  Of some rich Burgher, whose substantial dores,
  Cross-barrd and bolted fast, fear no assault,                       190
  In at the window climbes, or o're the tiles;
  So clomb this first grand Thief into Gods Fould:
  So since into his Church lewd Hirelings climbe.
  Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life,
  The middle Tree and highest there that grew,
  Sat like a Cormorant; yet not true Life
  Thereby regaind, but sat devising Death
  To them who liv'd; nor on the vertue thought
  Of that life-giving Plant, but only us'd
  For prospect, what well us'd had bin the pledge                     200
  Of immortalitie. So little knows
  Any, but God alone, to value right
  The good before him, but perverts best things
  To worst abuse, or to thir meanest use.
  Beneath him with new wonder now he views
  To all delight of human sense expos'd
  In narrow room Natures whole wealth, yea more,
  A Heaven on Earth, for blissful Paradise
  Of God the Garden was, by him in the East
  Of Eden planted; Eden stretchd her Line                             210
  From Auran Eastward to the Royal Towrs
  Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian Kings,
  Or where the Sons of Eden long before
  Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soile
  His farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind;
  Out of the fertil ground he caus'd to grow
  All Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
  And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,
  High eminent, blooming Ambrosial Fruit
  Of vegetable Gold; and next to Life                                 220
  Our Death the Tree of Knowledge grew fast by,
  Knowledge of Good bought dear by knowing ill.
  Southward through Eden went a River large,
  Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggie hill
  Pass'd underneath ingulft, for God had thrown
  That Mountain as his Garden mould high rais'd
  Upon the rapid current, which through veins
  Of porous Earth with kindly thirst up drawn,
  Rose a fresh Fountain, and with many a rill
  Waterd the Garden; thence united fell                               230
  Down the steep glade, and met the neather Flood,
  Which from his darksom passage now appeers,
  And now divided into four main Streams,
  Runs divers, wandring many a famous Realme
  And Country whereof here needs no account,
  But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
  How from that Saphire Fount the crisped Brooks,
  Rowling on Orient Pearl and sands of Gold,
  With mazie error under pendant shades
  Ran Nectar, visiting each plant, and fed                            240
  Flours worthy of Paradise which not nice Art
  In Beds and curious Knots, but Nature boon
  Powrd forth profuse on Hill and Dale and Plaine,
  Both where the morning Sun first warmly smote
  The open field, and where the unpierc't shade
  Imbround the noontide Bowrs: Thus was this place,
  A happy rural seat of various view;

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  Groves whose rich Trees wept odorous Gumms and Balme,
  Others whose fruit burnisht with Golden Rinde
  Hung amiable, Hesperian Fables true,                                250
  If true, here onely, and of delicious taste:
  Betwixt them Lawns, or level Downs, and Flocks
  Grasing the tender herb, were interpos'd,
  Or palmie hilloc, or the flourie lap
  Of som irriguous Valley spread her store,
  Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose:
  Another side, umbrageous Grots and Caves
  Of coole recess, o're which the mantling Vine
  Layes forth her purple Grape, and gently creeps
  Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall                         260
  Down the slope hills, disperst, or in a Lake,
  That to the fringed Bank with Myrtle crownd,
  Her chrystall mirror holds, unite thir streams.
  The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires,
  Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
  The trembling leaves, while Universal Pan
  Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance
  Led on th' Eternal Spring. Not that faire field
  Of Enna, where Proserpin gathring flours
  Her self a fairer Floure by gloomie Dis                             270
  Was gatherd, which cost Ceres all that pain
  To seek her through the world; nor that sweet Grove
  Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' inspir'd
  Castalian Spring might with this Paradise
  Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian Ile
  Girt with the River Triton, where old Cham,
  Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove,
  Hid Amalthea and her Florid Son
  Young Bacchus from his Stepdame Rhea's eye;
  Nor where Abassin Kings thir issue Guard,                           280
  Mount Amara, though this by som suppos'd
  True Paradise under the Ethiop Line
  By Nilus head, enclos'd with shining Rock,
  A whole dayes journey high, but wide remote
  From this Assyrian Garden, where the Fiend
  Saw undelighted all delight, all kind
  Of living Creatures new to sight and strange:
  Two of far nobler shape erect and tall,
  Godlike erect, with native Honour clad
  In naked Majestie seemd Lords of all,                               290
  And worthie seemd, for in thir looks Divine
  The image of thir glorious Maker shon,
  Truth, Wisdome, Sanctitude severe and pure,
  Severe, but in true filial freedom plac't;
  Whence true autoritie in men; though both
  Not equal, as thir sex not equal seemd;
  For contemplation hee and valour formd,
  For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace,
  Hee for God only, shee for God in him:
  His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar'd                       300
  Absolute rule; and Hyacinthin Locks
  Round from his parted forelock manly hung
  Clustring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:
  Shee as a vail down to the slender waste
  Her unadorned golden tresses wore
  Dissheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'd
  As the Vine curles her tendrils, which impli'd
  Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway,
  And by her yeilded, by him best receivd,
  Yeilded with coy submission, modest pride,                          310
  And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
  Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald,
  Then was not guiltie shame, dishonest shame
  Of natures works, honor dishonorable,
  Sin-bred, how have ye troubl'd all mankind
  With shews instead, meer shews of seeming pure,
  And banisht from mans life his happiest life,
  Simplicitie and spotless innocence.
  So passd they naked on, nor shund the sight
  Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill:                           320
  So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pair
  That ever since in loves imbraces met,
  Adam the goodliest man of men since borne
  His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters Eve.
  Under a tuft of shade that on a green
  Stood whispering soft, by a fresh Fountain side
  They sat them down, and after no more toil
  Of thir sweet Gardning labour then suffic'd
  To recommend coole Zephyr, and made ease
  More easie, wholsom thirst and appetite                             330
  More grateful, to thir Supper Fruits they fell,
  Nectarine Fruits which the compliant boughes
  Yeilded them, side-long as they sat recline
  On the soft downie Bank damaskt with flours:
  The savourie pulp they chew, and in the rinde
  Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream;

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  Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles
  Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems
  Fair couple, linkt in happie nuptial League,
  Alone as they. About them frisking playd                            340
  All Beasts of th' Earth, since wilde, and of all chase
  In Wood or Wilderness, Forrest or Den;
  Sporting the Lion rampd, and in his paw
  Dandl'd the Kid; Bears, Tygers, Ounces, Pards
  Gambold before them, th' unwieldy Elephant
  To make them mirth us'd all his might, and wreathd
  His Lithe Proboscis; close the Serpent sly
  Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine
  His breaded train, and of his fatal guile
  Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass                            350
  Coucht, and now fild with pasture gazing sat,
  Or Bedward ruminating: for the Sun
  Declin'd was hasting now with prone carreer
  To th' Ocean Iles, and in th' ascending Scale
  Of Heav'n the Starrs that usher Evening rose:
  When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood,
  Scarce thus at length faild speech recoverd sad.
  O Hell! what doe mine eyes with grief behold,
  Into our room of bliss thus high advanc't
  Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps,                       360
  Not Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits bright
  Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue
  With wonder, and could love, so lively shines
  In them Divine resemblance, and such grace
  The hand that formd them on thir shape hath pourd.
  Ah gentle pair, yee little think how nigh
  Your change approaches, when all these delights
  Will vanish and deliver ye to woe,
  More woe, the more your taste is now of joy;
  Happie, but for so happie ill secur'd                               370
  Long to continue, and this high seat your Heav'n
  Ill fenc't for Heav'n to keep out such a foe
  As now is enterd; yet no purpos'd foe
  To you whom I could pittie thus forlorne
  Though I unpittied: League with you I seek,
  And mutual amitie so streight, so close,
  That I with you must dwell, or you with me
  Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please
  Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such
  Accept your Makers work; he gave it me,                             380
  Which I as freely give; Hell shall unfould,
  To entertain you two, her widest Gates,
  And send forth all her Kings; there will be room,
  Not like these narrow limits, to receive
  Your numerous ofspring; if no better place,
  Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge
  On you who wrong me not for him who wrongd.
  And should I at your harmless innocence
  Melt, as I doe, yet public reason just,
  Honour and Empire with revenge enlarg'd,                            390
  By conquering this new World, compels me now
  To do what else though damnd I should abhorre.
  So spake the Fiend, and with necessitie,
  The Tyrants plea, excus'd his devilish deeds.
  Then from his loftie stand on that high Tree
  Down he alights among the sportful Herd
  Of those fourfooted kindes, himself now one,
  Now other, as thir shape servd best his end
  Neerer to view his prey, and unespi'd
  To mark what of thir state he more might learn                      400
  By word or action markt: about them round
  A Lion now he stalkes with fierie glare,
  Then as a Tiger, who by chance hath spi'd
  In some Purlieu two gentle Fawnes at play,
  Strait couches close, then rising changes oft
  His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground
  Whence rushing he might surest seise them both
  Grip't in each paw: when Adam first of men
  To first of women Eve thus moving speech,
  Turnd him all eare to heare new utterance flow.                     410
  Sole partner and sole part of all these joyes,
  Dearer thy self then all; needs must the Power
  That made us, and for us this ample World
  Be infinitly good, and of his good
  As liberal and free as infinite,
  That rais'd us from the dust and plac't us here
  In all this happiness, who at his hand
  Have nothing merited, nor can performe
  Aught whereof hee hath need, hee who requires
  From us no other service then to keep                               420
  This one, this easie charge, of all the Trees
  In Paradise that beare delicious fruit
  So various, not to taste that onely Tree
  Of knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life,
  So neer grows Death to Life, what ere Death is,
  Som dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou knowst
  God hath pronounc't it death to taste that Tree,
  The only sign of our obedience left
  Among so many signes of power and rule
  Conferrd upon us, and Dominion giv'n                                430
  Over all other Creatures that possesse
  Earth, Aire, and Sea. Then let us not think hard
  One easie prohibition, who enjoy
  Free leave so large to all things else, and choice
  Unlimited of manifold delights:
  But let us ever praise him, and extoll
  His bountie, following our delightful task
  To prune these growing Plants, & tend these Flours,
  Which were it toilsom, yet with thee were sweet.
  To whom thus Eve repli'd. O thou for whom                           440
  And from whom I was formd flesh of thy flesh,
  And without whom am to no end, my Guide
  And Head, what thou hast said is just and right.
  For wee to him indeed all praises owe,
  And daily thanks, I chiefly who enjoy
  So farr the happier Lot, enjoying thee
  Preeminent by so much odds, while thou
  Like consort to thy self canst no where find.
  That day I oft remember, when from sleep
  I first awak't, and found my self repos'd                           450
  Under a shade on flours, much wondring where
  And what I was, whence thither brought, and how.
  Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound
  Of waters issu'd from a Cave and spread
  Into a liquid Plain, then stood unmov'd
  Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went
  With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe
  On the green bank, to look into the cleer
  Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie.
  As I bent down to look, just opposite,                              460
  A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd
  Bending to look on me, I started back,
  It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd,
  Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks
  Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt
  Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire,
  Had not a voice thus warnd me, What thou seest,
  What there thou seest fair Creature is thy self,
  With thee it came and goes: but follow me,
  And I will bring thee where no shadow staies                        470
  Thy coming, and thy soft imbraces, hee
  Whose image thou art, him thou shall enjoy
  Inseparablie thine, to him shalt beare
  Multitudes like thy self, and thence be call'd
  Mother of human Race: what could I doe,
  But follow strait, invisibly thus led?
  Till I espi'd thee, fair indeed and tall,
  Under a Platan, yet methought less faire,
  Less winning soft, less amiablie milde,
  Then that smooth watry image; back I turnd,                         480
  Thou following cryd'st aloud, Return fair Eve,
  Whom fli'st thou? whom thou fli'st, of him thou art,
  His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent
  Out of my side to thee, neerest my heart
  Substantial Life, to have thee by my side
  Henceforth an individual solace dear;
  Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claim
  My other half: with that thy gentle hand
  Seisd mine, I yeilded, and from that time see
  How beauty is excelld by manly grace                                490
  And wisdom, which alone is truly fair.
  So spake our general Mother, and with eyes
  Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd,
  And meek surrender, half imbracing leand
  On our first Father, half her swelling Breast
  Naked met his under the flowing Gold
  Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight
  Both of her Beauty and submissive Charms
  Smil'd with superior Love, as Jupiter
  On Juno smiles, when he impregns the Clouds                         500
  That shed May Flowers; and press'd her Matron lip
  With kisses pure: aside the Devil turnd
  For envie, yet with jealous leer maligne
  Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plaind.
  Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two
  Imparadis't in one anothers arms
  The happier Eden, shall enjoy thir fill
  Of bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust,
  Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
  Among our other torments not the least,                             510
  Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines;
  Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd
  From thir own mouths; all is not theirs it seems:
  One fatal Tree there stands of Knowledge call'd,
  Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidd'n?
  Suspicious, reasonless. Why should thir Lord
  Envie them that? can it be sin to know,
  Can it be death? and do they onely stand
  By Ignorance, is that thir happie state,
  The proof of thir obedience and thir faith?                         520
  O fair foundation laid whereon to build
  Thir ruine! Hence I will excite thir minds
  With more desire to know, and to reject
  Envious commands, invented with designe
  To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt
  Equal with Gods; aspiring to be such,
  They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?
  But first with narrow search I must walk round
  This Garden, and no corner leave unspi'd;
  A chance but chance may lead where I may meet                       530
  Some wandring Spirit of Heav'n, by Fountain side,
  Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw
  What further would be learnt. Live while ye may,
  Yet happie pair; enjoy, till I return,
  Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.
  So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd,
  But with sly circumspection, and began
  Through wood, through waste, o're hil, o're dale his roam.
  Mean while in utmost Longitude, where Heav'n
  With Earth and Ocean meets, the setting Sun                         540
  Slowly descended, and with right aspect
  Against the eastern Gate of Paradise
  Leveld his eevning Rayes: it was a Rock
  Of Alablaster, pil'd up to the Clouds,
  Conspicuous farr, winding with one ascent
  Accessible from Earth, one entrance high;
  The rest was craggie cliff, that overhung
  Still as it rose, impossible to climbe.
  Betwixt these rockie Pillars Gabriel sat
  Chief of th' Angelic Guards, awaiting night;                        550
  About him exercis'd Heroic Games
  Th' unarmed Youth of Heav'n, but nigh at hand
  Celestial Armourie, Shields, Helmes, and Speares
  Hung high with Diamond flaming, and with Gold.
  Thither came Uriel, gliding through the Eeven
  On a Sun beam, swift as a shooting Starr
  In Autumn thwarts the night, when vapors fir'd
  Impress the Air, and shews the Mariner
  From what point of his Compass to beware
  Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste.                            560
  Gabriel, to thee thy cours by Lot hath giv'n
  Charge and strict watch that to this happie place
  No evil thing approach or enter in;
  This day at highth of Noon came to my Spheare
  A Spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know
  More of th' Almighties works, and chiefly Man
  Gods latest Image: I describ'd his way
  Bent all on speed, and markt his Aerie Gate;
  But in the Mount that lies from Eden North,
  Where he first lighted, soon discernd his looks                     570
  Alien from Heav'n, with passions foul obscur'd:
  Mine eye pursu'd him still, but under shade
  Lost sight of him; one of the banisht crew
  I fear, hath ventur'd from the deep, to raise
  New troubles; him thy care must be to find.
  To whom the winged Warriour thus returnd:
  Uriel, no wonder if thy perfet sight,
  Amid the Suns bright circle where thou sitst,
  See farr and wide: in at this Gate none pass
  The vigilance here plac't, but such as come                         580
  Well known from Heav'n; and since Meridian hour
  No Creature thence: if Spirit of other sort,
  So minded, have oreleapt these earthie bounds
  On purpose, hard thou knowst it to exclude
  Spiritual substance with corporeal barr.
  But if within the circuit of these walks
  In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom
  Thou telst, by morrow dawning I shall know.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  So promis'd hee, and Uriel to his charge
  Returnd on that bright beam, whose point now raisd                  590
  Bore him slope downward to the Sun now fall'n
  Beneath th' Azores; whither the prime Orb,
  Incredible how swift, had thither rowl'd
  Diurnal, or this less volubil Earth
  By shorter flight to th' East, had left him there
  Arraying with reflected Purple and Gold
  The Clouds that on his Western Throne attend:
  Now came still Eevning on, and Twilight gray
  Had in her sober Liverie all things clad;
  Silence accompanied, for Beast and Bird,                            600
  They to thir grassie Couch, these to thir Nests
  Were slunk, all but the wakeful Nightingale;
  She all night long her amorous descant sung;
  Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the Firmament
  With living Saphirs: Hesperus that led
  The starrie Host, rode brightest, till the Moon
  Rising in clouded Majestie, at length
  Apparent Queen unvaild her peerless light,
  And o're the dark her Silver Mantle threw.
  When Adam thus to Eve: Fair Consort, th' hour                       610
  Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest
  Mind us of like repose, since God hath set
  Labour and rest, as day and night to men
  Successive, and the timely dew of sleep
  Now falling with soft slumbrous weight inclines
  Our eye-lids; other Creatures all day long
  Rove idle unimploid, and less need rest;
  Man hath his daily work of body or mind
  Appointed, which declares his Dignitie,
  And the regard of Heav'n on all his waies;                          620
  While other Animals unactive range,
  And of thir doings God takes no account.
  Tomorrow ere fresh Morning streak the East
  With first approach of light, we must be ris'n,
  And at our pleasant labour, to reform
  Yon flourie Arbors, yonder Allies green,
  Our walks at noon, with branches overgrown,
  That mock our scant manuring, and require
  More hands then ours to lop thir wanton growth:
  Those Blossoms also, and those dropping Gumms,                      630
  That lie bestrowne unsightly and unsmooth,
  Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease;
  Mean while, as Nature wills, Night bids us rest.
  To whom thus Eve with perfet beauty adornd.
  My Author and Disposer, what thou bidst
  Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains,
  God is thy Law, thou mine: to know no more
  Is womans happiest knowledge and her praise.
  With thee conversing I forget all time,
  All seasons and thir change, all please alike.                      640
  Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
  With charm of earliest Birds; pleasant the Sun
  When first on this delightful Land he spreads
  His orient Beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flour,
  Glistring with dew; fragrant the fertil earth
  After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
  Of grateful Eevning milde, then silent Night
  With this her solemn Bird and this fair Moon,
  And these the Gemms of Heav'n, her starrie train:
  But neither breath of Morn when she ascends                         650
  With charm of earliest Birds, nor rising Sun
  On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, floure,
  Glistring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
  Nor grateful Evening mild, nor silent Night
  With this her solemn Bird, nor walk by Moon,
  Or glittering Starr-light without thee is sweet.
  But wherfore all night long shine these, for whom
  This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?
  To whom our general Ancestor repli'd.
  Daughter of God and Man, accomplisht Eve,                           660
  Those have thir course to finish, round the Earth,
  By morrow Eevning, and from Land to Land
  In order, though to Nations yet unborn,
  Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise;
  Least total darkness should by Night regaine
  Her old possession, and extinguish life
  In Nature and all things, which these soft fires
  Not only enlighten, but with kindly heate
  Of various influence foment and warme,
  Temper or nourish, or in part shed down                             670
  Thir stellar vertue on all kinds that grow
  On Earth, made hereby apter to receive
  Perfection from the Suns more potent Ray.
  These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
  Shine not in vain, nor think, though men were none,
  That heav'n would want spectators, God want praise;
  Millions of spiritual Creatures walk the Earth
  Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:
  All these with ceasless praise his works behold
  Both day and night: how often from the steep                        680
  Of echoing Hill or Thicket have we heard
  Celestial voices to the midnight air,
  Sole, or responsive each to others note
  Singing thir great Creator: oft in bands
  While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk
  With Heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds
  In full harmonic number joind, thir songs
  Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven.
  Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
  On to thir blissful Bower; it was a place                           690
  Chos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'd
  All things to mans delightful use; the roofe
  Of thickest covert was inwoven shade
  Laurel and Mirtle, and what higher grew
  Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
  Acanthus, and each odorous bushie shrub
  Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flour,
  Iris all hues, Roses, and Gessamin
  Rear'd high thir flourisht heads between, and wrought
  Mosaic; underfoot the Violet,                                       700
  Crocus, and Hyacinth with rich inlay
  Broiderd the ground, more colour'd then with stone
  Of costliest Emblem: other Creature here
  Beast, Bird, Insect, or Worm durst enter none;
  Such was thir awe of man. In shadier Bower
  More sacred and sequesterd, though but feignd,
  Pan or Silvanus never slept, nor Nymph,
  Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess
  With Flowers, Garlands, and sweet-smelling Herbs
  Espoused Eve deckt first her Nuptial Bed,                           710
  And heav'nly Quires the Hymenaean sung,
  What day the genial Angel to our Sire
  Brought her in naked beauty more adorn'd,
  More lovely then Pandora, whom the Gods
  Endowd with all thir gifts, and O too like
  In sad event, when to the unwiser Son
  Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'd
  Mankind with her faire looks, to be aveng'd
  On him who had stole Joves authentic fire.
  Thus at thir shadie Lodge arriv'd, both stood,                      720
  Both turnd, and under op'n Skie ador'd
  The God that made both Skie, Air, Earth & Heav'n
  Which they beheld, the Moons resplendent Globe
  And starrie Pole: Thou also mad'st the Night,
  Maker Omnipotent, and thou the Day,
  Which we in our appointed work imployd
  Have finisht happie in our mutual help
  And mutual love, the Crown of all our bliss
  Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place
  For us too large, where thy abundance wants                         730
  Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.
  But thou hast promis'd from us two a Race
  To fill the Earth, who shall with us extoll
  Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
  And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.
  This said unanimous, and other Rites
  Observing none, but adoration pure
  Which God likes best, into thir inmost bower
  Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off
  These troublesom disguises which wee wear,                          740
  Strait side by side were laid, nor turnd I weene
  Adam from his fair Spouse, nor Eve the Rites
  Mysterious of connubial Love refus'd:
  Whatever Hypocrites austerely talk
  Of puritie and place and innocence,
  Defaming as impure what God declares
  Pure, and commands to som, leaves free to all.
  Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain
  But our Destroyer, foe to God and Man?
  Haile wedded Love, mysterious Law, true source                      750
  Of human ofspring, sole proprietie,
  In Paradise of all things common else.
  By thee adulterous lust was driv'n from men
  Among the bestial herds to raunge, by thee
  Founded in Reason, Loyal, Just, and Pure,
  Relations dear, and all the Charities
  Of Father, Son, and Brother first were known.
  Farr be it, that I should write thee sin or blame,
  Or think thee unbefitting holiest place,
  Perpetual Fountain of Domestic sweets,                              760
  Whose Bed is undefil'd and chast pronounc't,
  Present, or past, as Saints and Patriarchs us'd.
  Here Love his golden shafts imploies, here lights
  His constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings,
  Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile
  Of Harlots, loveless, joyless, unindeard,
  Casual fruition, nor in Court Amours
  Mixt Dance, or wanton Mask, or Midnight Bal,
  Or Serenate, which the starv'd Lover sings
  To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain.                       770
  These lulld by Nightingales imbraceing slept,
  And on thir naked limbs the flourie roof
  Showrd Roses, which the Morn repair'd. Sleep on,
  Blest pair; and O yet happiest if ye seek
  No happier state, and know to know no more.
  Now had night measur'd with her shaddowie Cone
  Half way up Hill this vast Sublunar Vault,
  And from thir Ivorie Port the Cherubim
  Forth issuing at th' accustomd hour stood armd
  To thir night watches in warlike Parade,                            780
  When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake.
  Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the South
  With strictest watch; these other wheel the North,
  Our circuit meets full West. As flame they part
  Half wheeling to the Shield, half to the Spear.
  From these, two strong and suttle Spirits he calld
  That neer him stood, and gave them thus in charge.
  Ithuriel and Zephon, with wingd speed
  Search through this Garden, leav unsearcht no nook,
  But chiefly where those two fair Creatures Lodge,                   790
  Now laid perhaps asleep secure of harme.
  This Eevning from the Sun's decline arriv'd
  Who tells of som infernal Spirit seen
  Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'd
  The barrs of Hell, on errand bad no doubt:
  Such where ye find, seise fast, and hither bring.
  So saying, on he led his radiant Files,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Daz'ling the Moon; these to the Bower direct
  In search of whom they sought: him there they found
  Squat like a Toad, close at the eare of Eve;                        800
  Assaying by his Devilish art to reach
  The Organs of her Fancie, and with them forge
  Illusions as he list, Phantasms and Dreams,
  Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint
  Th' animal Spirits that from pure blood arise
  Like gentle breaths from Rivers pure, thence raise
  At least distemperd, discontented thoughts,
  Vain hopes, vain aimes, inordinate desires
  Blown up with high conceits ingendring pride.
  Him thus intent Ithuriel with his Spear                             810
  Touch'd lightly; for no falshood can endure
  Touch of Celestial temper, but returns
  Of force to its own likeness: up he starts
  Discoverd and surpriz'd. As when a spark
  Lights on a heap of nitrous Powder, laid
  Fit for the Tun som Magazin to store
  Against a rumord Warr, the Smuttie graine
  With sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the Aire:
  So started up in his own shape the Fiend.
  Back stept those two fair Angels half amaz'd                        820
  So sudden to behold the grieslie King;
  Yet thus, unmovd with fear, accost him soon.
  Which of those rebell Spirits adjudg'd to Hell
  Com'st thou, escap'd thy prison, and transform'd,
  Why satst thou like an enemie in waite
  Here watching at the head of these that sleep?
  Know ye not then said Satan, filld with scorn,
  Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate
  For you, there sitting where ye durst not soare;
  Not to know mee argues your selves unknown,                         830
  The lowest of your throng; or if ye know,
  Why ask ye, and superfluous begin
  Your message, like to end as much in vain?
  To whom thus Zephon, answering scorn with scorn.
  Think not, revolted Spirit, thy shape the same,
  Or undiminisht brightness, to be known
  As when thou stoodst in Heav'n upright and pure;
  That Glorie then, when thou no more wast good,
  Departed from thee, and thou resembl'st now
  Thy sin and place of doom obscure and foule.                        840
  But come, for thou, be sure, shalt give account
  To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep
  This place inviolable, and these from harm.
  So spake the Cherube, and his grave rebuke
  Severe in youthful beautie, added grace
  Invincible: abasht the Devil stood,
  And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
  Vertue in her shape how lovly, saw, and pin'd
  His loss; but chiefly to find here observd
  His lustre visibly impar'd; yet seemd                               850
  Undaunted. If I must contend, said he,
  Best with the best, the Sender not the sent,
  Or all at once; more glorie will be wonn,
  Or less be lost. Thy fear, said Zephon bold,
  Will save us trial what the least can doe
  Single against thee wicked, and thence weak.
  The Fiend repli'd not, overcome with rage;
  But like a proud Steed reind, went hautie on,
  Chaumping his iron curb: to strive or flie
  He held it vain; awe from above had quelld                          860
  His heart, not else dismai'd. Now drew they nigh
  The western point, where those half-rounding guards
  Just met, & closing stood in squadron joind
  Awaiting next command. To whom thir Chief
  Gabriel from the Front thus calld aloud.
  O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet
  Hasting this way, and now by glimps discerne
  Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade,
  And with them comes a third of Regal port,
  But faded splendor wan; who by his gate                             870
  And fierce demeanour seems the Prince of Hell,
  Not likely to part hence without contest;
  Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.
  He scarce had ended, when those two approachd
  And brief related whom they brought, wher found,
  How busied, in what form and posture coucht.
  To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake.
  Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib'd
  To thy transgressions, and disturbd the charge
  Of others, who approve not to transgress                            880
  By thy example, but have power and right
  To question thy bold entrance on this place;
  Imploi'd it seems to violate sleep, and those
  Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss?
  To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow.
  Gabriel, thou hadst in Heav'n th' esteem of wise,
  And such I held thee; but this question askt
  Puts me in doubt. Lives ther who loves his pain?
  Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell,
  Though thither doomd? Thou wouldst thy self, no doubt,              890
  And boldly venture to whatever place
  Farthest from pain, where thou mightst hope to change
  Torment with ease, & soonest recompence
  Dole with delight, which in this place I sought;
  To thee no reason; who knowst only good,
  But evil hast not tri'd: and wilt object
  His will who bound us? let him surer barr
  His Iron Gates, if he intends our stay
  In that dark durance: thus much what was askt.
  The rest is true, they found me where they say;                     900
  But that implies not violence or harme.
  Thus hee in scorn. The warlike Angel mov'd,
  Disdainfully half smiling thus repli'd.
  O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise,
  Since Satan fell, whom follie overthrew,
  And now returns him from his prison scap't,
  Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
  Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither
  Unlicenc't from his bounds in Hell prescrib'd;
  So wise he judges it to fly from pain                               910
  However, and to scape his punishment.
  So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrauth,
  Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight
  Seavenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell,
  Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain
  Can equal anger infinite provok't.
  But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee
  Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them
  Less pain, less to be fled, or thou then they
  Less hardie to endure? courageous Chief,                            920
  The first in flight from pain, had'st thou alleg'd
  To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
  Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.
  To which the Fiend thus answerd frowning stern.
  Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,
  Insulting Angel, well thou knowst I stood
  Thy fiercest, when in Battel to thy aide
  The blasting volied Thunder made all speed
  And seconded thy else not dreaded Spear.
  But still thy words at random, as before,                           930
  Argue thy inexperience what behooves
  From hard assaies and ill successes past
  A faithful Leader, not to hazard all
  Through wayes of danger by himself untri'd.
  I therefore, I alone first undertook
  To wing the desolate Abyss, and spie
  This new created World, whereof in Hell
  Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
  Better abode, and my afflicted Powers
  To settle here on Earth, or in mid Aire;                            940
  Though for possession put to try once more
  What thou and thy gay Legions dare against;
  Whose easier business were to serve thir Lord
  High up in Heav'n, with songs to hymne his Throne,
  And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight.
  To whom the warriour Angel soon repli'd.
  To say and strait unsay, pretending first
  Wise to flie pain, professing next the Spie,
  Argues no Leader, but a lyar trac't,
  Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name,                       950
  O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!
  Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
  Armie of Fiends, fit body to fit head;
  Was this your discipline and faith ingag'd,
  Your military obedience, to dissolve
  Allegeance to th' acknowledg'd Power supream?
  And thou sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
  Patron of liberty, who more then thou
  Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilly ador'd
  Heav'ns awful Monarch? wherefore but in hope                        960
  To dispossess him, and thy self to reigne?
  But mark what I arreede thee now, avant;
  Flie thither whence thou fledst: if from this houre
  Within these hallowd limits thou appeer,
  Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chaind,
  And Seale thee so, as henceforth not to scorne
  The facil gates of hell too slightly barrd.
  So threatn'd hee, but Satan to no threats
  Gave heed, but waxing more in rage repli'd.
  Then when I am thy captive talk of chaines,                         970
  Proud limitarie Cherube, but ere then
  Farr heavier load thy self expect to feel
  From my prevailing arme, though Heavens King
  Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy Compeers,
  Us'd to the yoak, draw'st his triumphant wheels
  In progress through the rode of Heav'n Star-pav'd.
  While thus he spake, th' Angelic Squadron bright
  Turnd fierie red, sharpning in mooned hornes
  Thir Phalanx, and began to hemm him round
  With ported Spears, as thick as when a field                        980
  Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends
  Her bearded Grove of ears, which way the wind
  Swayes them; the careful Plowman doubting stands
  Least on the threshing floore his hopeful sheaves
  Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan allarm'd
  Collecting all his might dilated stood,
  Like Teneriff or Atlas unremov'd:
  His stature reacht the Skie, and on his Crest
  Sat horror Plum'd; nor wanted in his graspe
  What seemd both Spear and Shield: now dreadful deeds                990
  Might have ensu'd, nor onely Paradise
  In this commotion, but the Starrie Cope
  Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the Elements
  At least had gon to rack, disturbd and torne
  With violence of this conflict, had not soon
  Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray
  Hung forth in Heav'n his golden Scales, yet seen
  Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion signe,
  Wherein all things created first he weighd,
  The pendulous round Earth with ballanc't Aire                      1000
  In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
  Battels and Realms: in these he put two weights
  The sequel each of parting and of fight;
  The latter quick up flew, and kickt the beam;
  Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend.
  Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowst mine,
  Neither our own but giv'n; what follie then
  To boast what Arms can doe, since thine no more
  Then Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubld now
  To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,                        1010
  And read thy Lot in yon celestial Sign
  Where thou art weigh'd, & shown how light, how weak,
  If thou resist. The Fiend lookt up and knew
  His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
  Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Argument: promises to find him out]  promises to find him 1674
  627 walks] walk 1674.
  928 The] Thy 1674.

  The End Of The Fourth Book.



Morning approach't, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream: he likes it not, yet comforts her: They come forth to thir day labours: Their Morning Hymn at the Door of their Bower. God to render Man inexcusable sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand; who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise; his appearance describ'd, his coming discern'd by Adam afar off sitting at the door of his Bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choycest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at Table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy; relates at Adams request who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning with his first revolt in Heaven and the occasion thereof; how he drew his Legions after him to the parts of the North, and there incited them to rebel with him, perswading all but only Abdiel a Seraph, who in Argument diswades and opposes him, then forsakes him.

  Now Morn her rosie steps in th' Eastern Clime
  Advancing, sow'd the Earth with Orient Pearle,
  When Adam wak't, so customd, for his sleep
  Was Aerie light, from pure digestion bred,
  And temperat vapors bland, which th' only sound
  Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
  Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill Matin Song
  Of Birds on every bough; so much the more
  His wonder was to find unwak'nd Eve
  With Tresses discompos'd, and glowing Cheek,                         10
  As through unquiet rest: he on his side
  Leaning half-rais'd, with looks of cordial Love
  Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
  Beautie, which whether waking or asleep,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Shot forth peculiar Graces; then with voice
  Milde, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
  Her hand soft touching, whisperd thus. Awake
  My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found,
  Heav'ns last best gift, my ever new delight,
  Awake, the morning shines, and the fresh field                       20
  Calls us, we lose the prime, to mark how spring
  Our tended Plants, how blows the Citron Grove,
  What drops the Myrrhe, & what the balmie Reed,
  How Nature paints her colours, how the Bee
  Sits on the Bloom extracting liquid sweet.
  Such whispering wak'd her, but with startl'd eye
  On Adam, whom imbracing, thus she spake.
  O Sole in whom my thoughts find all repose,
  My Glorie, my Perfection, glad I see
  Thy face, and Morn return'd, for I this Night,                       30
  Such night till this I never pass'd, have dream'd,
  If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee,
  Works of day pass't, or morrows next designe,
  But of offence and trouble, which my mind
  Knew never till this irksom night; methought
  Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk
  With gentle voice, I thought it thine; it said,
  Why sleepst thou Eve? now is the pleasant time,
  The cool, the silent, save where silence yields
  To the night-warbling Bird, that now awake                           40
  Tunes sweetest his love-labor'd song; now reignes
  Full Orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing light
  Shadowie sets off the face of things; in vain,
  If none regard; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes,
  Whom to behold but thee, Natures desire,
  In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment
  Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze.
  I rose as at thy call, but found thee not;
  To find thee I directed then my walk;
  And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways                       50
  That brought me on a sudden to the Tree
  Of interdicted Knowledge: fair it seem'd,
  Much fairer to my Fancie then by day:
  And as I wondring lookt, beside it stood
  One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Heav'n
  By us oft seen; his dewie locks distill'd
  Ambrosia; on that Tree he also gaz'd;
  And O fair Plant, said he, with fruit surcharg'd,
  Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet,
  Nor God, nor Man; is Knowledge so despis'd?                          60
  Or envie, or what reserve forbids to taste?
  Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold
  Longer thy offerd good, why else set here?
  This said he paus'd not, but with ventrous Arme
  He pluckt, he tasted; mee damp horror chil'd
  At such bold words voucht with a deed so bold:
  But he thus overjoy'd, O Fruit Divine,
  Sweet of thy self, but much more sweet thus cropt,
  Forbidd'n here, it seems, as onely fit
  For Gods, yet able to make Gods of Men:                              70
  And why not Gods of Men, since good, the more
  Communicated, more abundant growes,
  The Author not impair'd, but honourd more?
  Here, happie Creature, fair Angelic Eve,
  Partake thou also; happie though thou art,
  Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be:
  Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods
  Thy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind,
  But somtimes in the Air, as wee, somtimes
  Ascend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and see                            80
  What life the Gods live there, and such live thou.
  So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held,
  Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part
  Which he had pluckt; the pleasant savourie smell
  So quick'nd appetite, that I, methought,
  Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the Clouds
  With him I flew, and underneath beheld
  The Earth outstretcht immense, a prospect wide
  And various: wondring at my flight and change
  To this high exaltation; suddenly                                    90
  My Guide was gon, and I, me thought, sunk down,
  And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd
  To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her Night
  Related, and thus Adam answerd sad.
  Best Image of my self and dearer half,
  The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep
  Affects me equally; nor can I like
  This uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear;
  Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none,
  Created pure. But know that in the Soule                            100
  Are many lesser Faculties that serve
  Reason as chief; among these Fansie next
  Her office holds; of all external things,
  Which the five watchful Senses represent,
  She forms Imaginations, Aerie shapes,
  Which Reason joyning or disjoyning, frames
  All what we affirm or what deny, and call
  Our knowledge or opinion; then retires
  Into her private Cell when Nature rests.
  Oft in her absence mimic Fansie wakes                               110
  To imitate her; but misjoyning shapes,
  Wilde work produces oft, and most in dreams,
  Ill matching words and deeds long past or late.
  Som such resemblances methinks I find
  Of our last Eevnings talk, in this thy dream,
  But with addition strange; yet be not sad.
  Evil into the mind of God or Man
  May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave
  No spot or blame behind: Which gives me hope
  That what in sleep thou didst abhorr to dream,                      120
  Waking thou never wilt consent to do.
  Be not disheart'nd then, nor cloud those looks
  That wont to be more chearful and serene
  Then when fair Morning first smiles on the World,
  And let us to our fresh imployments rise
  Among the Groves, the Fountains, and the Flours
  That open now thir choicest bosom'd smells
  Reservd from night, and kept for thee in store.
  So cheard he his fair Spouse, and she was cheard,
  But silently a gentle tear let fall                                 130
  From either eye, and wip'd them with her haire;
  Two other precious drops that ready stood,
  Each in thir chrystal sluce, hee ere they fell
  Kiss'd as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
  And pious awe, that feard to have offended.
  So all was cleard, and to the Field they haste.
  But first from under shadie arborous roof,
  Soon as they forth were come to open sight
  Of day-spring, and the Sun, who scarce up risen
  With wheels yet hov'ring o're the Ocean brim,                       140
  Shot paralel to the earth his dewie ray,
  Discovering in wide Lantskip all the East
  Of Paradise and Edens happie Plains,
  Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began
  Thir Orisons, each Morning duly paid
  In various style, for neither various style
  Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
  Thir Maker, in fit strains pronounc't or sung
  Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence
  Flowd from thir lips, in Prose or numerous Verse,                   150
  More tuneable then needed Lute or Harp
  To add more sweetness, and they thus began.
  These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
  Almightie, thine this universal Frame,
  Thus wondrous fair; thy self how wondrous then!
  Unspeakable, who sitst above these Heavens
  To us invisible or dimly seen
  In these thy lowest works, yet these declare
  Thy goodness beyond thought, and Power Divine:
  Speak yee who best can tell, ye Sons of light,                      160
  Angels, for yee behold him, and with songs
  And choral symphonies, Day without Night,
  Circle his Throne rejoycing, yee in Heav'n,
  On Earth joyn all yee Creatures to extoll
  Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.
  Fairest of Starrs, last in the train of Night,
  If better thou belong not to the dawn,
  Sure pledge of day, that crownst the smiling Morn
  With thy bright Circlet, praise him in thy Spheare
  While day arises, that sweet hour of Prime.                         170
  Thou Sun, of this great World both Eye and Soule,
  Acknowledge him thy Greater, sound his praise
  In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st,
  And when high Noon hast gaind, & when thou fallst.
  Moon, that now meetst the orient Sun, now fli'st
  With the fixt Starrs, fixt in thir Orb that flies,
  And yee five other wandring Fires that move
  In mystic Dance not without Song, resound
  His praise, who out of Darkness call'd up Light.
  Aire, and ye Elements the eldest birth                              180
  Of Natures Womb, that in quaternion run
  Perpetual Circle, multiform; and mix
  And nourish all things, let your ceasless change
  Varie to our great Maker still new praise.
  Ye Mists and Exhalations that now rise
  From Hill or steaming Lake, duskie or grey,
  Till the Sun paint your fleecie skirts with Gold,
  In honour to the Worlds great Author rise,
  Whether to deck with Clouds the uncolourd skie,
  Or wet the thirstie Earth with falling showers,                     190
  Rising or falling still advance his praise.
  His praise ye Winds, that from four Quarters blow,
  Breath soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines,
  With every Plant, in sign of Worship wave.
  Fountains and yee, that warble, as ye flow,
  Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.
  Joyn voices all ye living Souls, ye Birds,
  That singing up to Heaven Gate ascend,
  Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise;
  Yee that in Waters glide, and yee that walk                         200
  The Earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
  Witness if I be silent, Morn or Eeven,
  To Hill, or Valley, Fountain, or fresh shade
  Made vocal by my Song, and taught his praise.
  Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still
  To give us onely good; and if the night
  Have gathered aught of evil or conceald,
  Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
  So pray'd they innocent, and to thir thoughts
  Firm peace recoverd soon and wonted calm.                           210
  On to thir mornings rural work they haste
  Among sweet dewes and flours; where any row
  Of Fruit-trees overwoodie reachd too farr
  Thir pamperd boughes, and needed hands to check
  Fruitless imbraces: or they led the Vine
  To wed her Elm; she spous'd about him twines
  Her mariageable arms, and with her brings
  Her dowr th' adopted Clusters, to adorn
  His barren leaves. Them thus imploid beheld
  With pittie Heav'ns high King, and to him call'd                    220
  Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deign'd
  To travel with Tobias, and secur'd
  His marriage with the seaventimes-wedded Maid.
  Raphael, said hee, thou hear'st what stir on Earth
  Satan from Hell scap't through the darksom Gulf
  Hath raisd in Paradise, and how disturbd
  This night the human pair, how he designes
  In them at once to ruin all mankind.
  Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend
  Converse with Adam, in what Bowre or shade                          230
  Thou find'st him from the heat of Noon retir'd,
  To respit his day-labour with repast,
  Or with repose; and such discourse bring on,
  As may advise him of his happie state,
  Happiness in his power left free to will,
  Left to his own free Will, his Will though free,
  Yet mutable; whence warne him to beware
  He swerve not too secure: tell him withall
  His danger, and from whom, what enemie
  Late falln himself from Heav'n, is plotting now                     240
  The fall of others from like state of bliss;
  By violence, no, for that shall be withstood,
  But by deceit and lies; this let him know,
  Least wilfully transgressing he pretend
  Surprisal, unadmonisht, unforewarnd.
  So spake th' Eternal Father, and fulfilld
  All Justice: nor delaid the winged Saint
  After his charge receivd, but from among
  Thousand Celestial Ardors, where he stood
  Vaild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light                   250
  Flew through the midst of Heav'n; th' angelic Quires
  On each hand parting, to his speed gave way
  Through all th' Empyreal road; till at the Gate
  Of Heav'n arriv'd, the gate self-opend wide
  On golden Hinges turning, as by work
  Divine the sov'ran Architect had fram'd.
  From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight,
  Starr interpos'd, however small he sees,
  Not unconform to other shining Globes,
  Earth and the Gard'n of God, with Cedars crownd                     260
  Above all Hills. As when by night the Glass
  Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes
  Imagind Lands and Regions in the Moon:
  Or Pilot from amidst the Cyclades
  Delos or Samos first appeering kenns
  A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight
  He speeds, and through the vast Ethereal Skie
  Sailes between worlds & worlds, with steddie wing
  Now on the polar windes, then with quick Fann
  Winnows the buxom Air; till within soare                            270
  Of Towring Eagles, to all the Fowles he seems
  A Phoenix, gaz'd by all, as that sole Bird
  When to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's
  Bright Temple, to Aegyptian Theb's he flies.
  At once on th' Eastern cliff of Paradise
  He lights, and to his proper shape returns
  A Seraph wingd; six wings he wore, to shade
  His lineaments Divine; the pair that clad
  Each shoulder broad, came mantling o're his brest
  With regal Ornament; the middle pair                                280
  Girt like a Starrie Zone his waste, and round
  Skirted his loines and thighes with downie Gold
  And colours dipt in Heav'n; the third his feet
  Shaddowd from either heele with featherd maile
  Skie-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood,
  And shook his Plumes, that Heav'nly fragrance filld
  The circuit wide. Strait knew him all the bands
  Of Angels under watch; and to his state,
  And to his message high in honour rise;
  For on som message high they guessd him bound.                      290
  Thir glittering Tents he passd, and now is come
  Into the blissful field, through Groves of Myrrhe,
  And flouring Odours, Cassia, Nard, and Balme;
  A Wilderness of sweets; for Nature here
  Wantond as in her prime, and plaid at will
  Her Virgin Fancies, pouring forth more sweet,
  Wilde above rule or art; enormous bliss.
  Him through the spicie Forrest onward com
  Adam discernd, as in the dore he sat
  Of his coole Bowre, while now the mounted Sun                       300
  Shot down direct his fervid Raies, to warme
  Earths inmost womb, more warmth then Adam needs;
  And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd
  For dinner savourie fruits, of taste to please
  True appetite, and not disrelish thirst
  Of nectarous draughts between, from milkie stream,
  Berrie or Grape: to whom thus Adam call'd.
  Haste hither Eve, and worth thy sight behold
  Eastward among those Trees, what glorious shape

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  Comes this way moving; seems another Morn                           310
  Ris'n on mid-noon; som great behest from Heav'n
  To us perhaps he brings, and will voutsafe
  This day to be our Guest. But goe with speed,
  And what thy stores contain, bring forth and poure
  Abundance, fit to honour and receive
  Our Heav'nly stranger; well we may afford
  Our givers thir own gifts, and large bestow
  From large bestowd, where Nature multiplies
  Her fertil growth, and by disburd'ning grows
  More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare.                     320
  To whom thus Eve. Adam, earths hallowd mould,
  Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store,
  All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk;
  Save what by frugal storing firmness gains
  To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes:
  But I will haste and from each bough and break,
  Each Plant & juciest Gourd will pluck such choice
  To entertain our Angel guest, as hee
  Beholding shall confess that here on Earth
  God hath dispenst his bounties as in Heav'n.                        330
  So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste
  She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent
  What choice to chuse for delicacie best,
  What order, so contriv'd as not to mix
  Tastes, not well joynd, inelegant, but bring
  Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change,
  Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk
  Whatever Earth all-bearing Mother yeilds
  In India East or West, or middle shoare
  In Pontus or the Punic Coast, or where                              340
  Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kindes, in coate,
  Rough, or smooth rin'd, or bearded husk, or shell
  She gathers, Tribute large, and on the board
  Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the Grape
  She crushes, inoffensive moust, and meathes
  From many a berrie, and from sweet kernels prest
  She tempers dulcet creams, nor these to hold
  Wants her fit vessels pure, then strews the ground
  With Rose and Odours from the shrub unfum'd.
  Mean while our Primitive great Sire, to meet                        350
  His god-like Guest, walks forth, without more train
  Accompani'd then with his own compleat
  Perfections, in himself was all his state,
  More solemn then the tedious pomp that waits
  On Princes, when thir rich Retinue long
  Of Horses led, and Grooms besmeard with Gold
  Dazles the croud, and sets them all agape.
  Neerer his presence Adam though not awd,
  Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek,
  As to a superior Nature, bowing low,                                360
  Thus said. Native of Heav'n, for other place
  None can then Heav'n such glorious shape contain;
  Since by descending from the Thrones above,
  Those happie places thou hast deignd a while
  To want, and honour these, voutsafe with us
  Two onely, who yet by sov'ran gift possess
  This spacious ground, in yonder shadie Bowre
  To rest, and what the Garden choicest bears
  To sit and taste, till this meridian heat
  Be over, and the Sun more coole decline.                            370
  Whom thus the Angelic Vertue answerd milde.
  Adam, I therefore came, nor art thou such
  Created, or such place hast here to dwell,
  As may not oft invite, though Spirits of Heav'n
  To visit thee; lead on then where thy Bowre
  Oreshades; for these mid-hours, till Eevning rise
  I have at will. So to the Silvan Lodge
  They came, that like Pomona's Arbour smil'd
  With flourets deck't and fragrant smells; but Eve
  Undeckt, save with her self more lovely fair                        380
  Then Wood-Nymph, or the fairest Goddess feign'd
  Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove,
  Stood to entertain her guest from Heav'n; no vaile
  Shee needed, Vertue-proof, no thought infirme
  Alterd her cheek. On whom the Angel Haile
  Bestowd, the holy salutation us'd
  Long after to blest Marie, second Eve.
  Haile Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful Womb
  Shall fill the World more numerous with thy Sons
  Then with these various fruits the Trees of God                     390
  Have heap'd this Table. Rais'd of grassie terf
  Thir Table was, and mossie seats had round,
  And on her ample Square from side to side
  All Autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here
  Danc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold;
  No fear lest Dinner coole; when thus began
  Our Authour. Heav'nly stranger, please to taste
  These bounties which our Nourisher, from whom
  All perfet good unmeasur'd out, descends,
  To us for food and for delight hath caus'd                          400
  The Earth to yeild; unsavourie food perhaps
  To spiritual Natures; only this I know,
  That one Celestial Father gives to all.
  To whom the Angel. Therefore what he gives
  (Whose praise be ever sung) to man in part
  Spiritual, may of purest Spirits be found
  No ingrateful food: and food alike those pure
  Intelligential substances require
  As doth your Rational; and both contain
  Within them every lower facultie                                    410
  Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste,
  Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate,
  And corporeal to incorporeal turn.
  For know, whatever was created, needs
  To be sustaind and fed; of Elements
  The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea,
  Earth and the Sea feed Air, the Air those Fires
  Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon;
  Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd
  Vapours not yet into her substance turnd.                           420
  Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale
  From her moist Continent to higher Orbes.
  The Sun that light imparts to all, receives
  From all his alimental recompence
  In humid exhalations, and at Even
  Sups with the Ocean: though in Heav'n the Trees
  Of life ambrosial frutage bear, and vines
  Yeild Nectar, though from off the boughs each Morn
  We brush mellifluous Dewes, and find the ground
  Cover'd with pearly grain: yet God hath here                        430
  Varied his bounty so with new delights,
  As may compare with Heaven; and to taste
  Think not I shall be nice. So down they sat,
  And to thir viands fell, nor seemingly
  The Angel, nor in mist, the common gloss
  Of Theologians, but with keen dispatch
  Of real hunger, and concoctive heate
  To transubstantiate; what redounds, transpires
  Through Spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire
  Of sooty coal the Empiric Alchimist                                 440
  Can turn, or holds it possible to turn
  Metals of drossiest Ore to perfet Gold
  As from the Mine. Mean while at Table Eve
  Ministerd naked, and thir flowing cups
  With pleasant liquors crown'd: O innocence
  Deserving Paradise! if ever, then,
  Then had the Sons of God excuse to have bin
  Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts
  Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousie
  Was understood, the injur'd Lovers Hell.                            450
  Thus when with meats & drinks they had suffic'd,
  Not burd'nd Nature, sudden mind arose
  In Adam, not to let th' occasion pass
  Given him by this great Conference to know
  Of things above his World, and of thir being
  Who dwell in Heav'n, whose excellence he saw
  Transcend his own so farr, whose radiant forms
  Divine effulgence, whose high Power so far
  Exceeded human, and his wary speech
  Thus to th' Empyreal Minister he fram'd.                            460
  Inhabitant with God, now know I well
  Thy favour, in this honour done to man,
  Under whose lowly roof thou hast voutsaf't
  To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste,
  Food not of Angels, yet accepted so,
  As that more willingly thou couldst not seem
  At Heav'ns high feasts to have fed: yet what compare?
  To whom the winged Hierarch repli'd.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  O Adam, one Almightie is, from whom
  All things proceed, and up to him return,                           470
  If not deprav'd from good, created all
  Such to perfection, one first matter all,
  Indu'd with various forms, various degrees
  Of substance, and in things that live, of life;
  But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure,
  As neerer to him plac't or neerer tending
  Each in thir several active Sphears assignd,
  Till body up to spirit work, in bounds
  Proportiond to each kind. So from the root
  Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves             480
  More aerie, last the bright consummate floure
  Spirits odorous breathes: flours and thir fruit
  Mans nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd
  To vital Spirits aspire, to animal,
  To intellectual, give both life and sense,
  Fansie and understanding, whence the soule
  Reason receives, and reason is her being,
  Discursive, or Intuitive; discourse
  Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,
  Differing but in degree, of kind the same.                          490
  Wonder not then, what God for you saw good
  If I refuse not, but convert, as you,
  To proper substance; time may come when men
  With Angels may participate, and find
  No inconvenient Diet, nor too light Fare:
  And from these corporal nutriments perhaps
  Your bodies may at last turn all to Spirit
  Improv'd by tract of time, and wingd ascend
  Ethereal, as wee, or may at choice
  Here or in Heav'nly Paradises dwell;                                500
  If ye be found obedient, and retain
  Unalterably firm his love entire
  Whose progenie you are. Mean while enjoy
  Your fill what happiness this happie state
  Can comprehend, incapable of more.
  To whom the Patriarch of mankind repli'd.
  O favourable spirit, propitious guest,
  Well hast thou taught the way that might direct
  Our knowledge, and the scale of Nature set
  From center to circumference, whereon                               510
  In contemplation of created things
  By steps we may ascend to God. But say,
  What meant that caution joind, If Ye Be Found
  Obedient? can wee want obedience then
  To him, or possibly his love desert
  Who formd us from the dust, and plac'd us here
  Full to the utmost measure of what bliss
  Human desires can seek or apprehend?
  To whom the Angel. Son of Heav'n and Earth,
  Attend: That thou art happie, owe to God;                           520
  That thou continu'st such, owe to thy self,
  That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
  This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd.
  God made thee perfet, not immutable;
  And good he made thee, but to persevere
  He left it in thy power, ordaind thy will
  By nature free, not over-rul'd by Fate
  Inextricable, or strict necessity;
  Our voluntarie service he requires,
  Not our necessitated, such with him                                 530
  Findes no acceptance, nor can find, for how
  Can hearts, not free, be tri'd whether they serve
  Willing or no, who will but what they must
  By Destinie, and can no other choose?
  My self and all th' Angelic Host that stand
  In sight of God enthron'd, our happie state
  Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds;
  On other surety none; freely we serve.
  Because wee freely love, as in our will
  To love or not; in this we stand or fall:                           540
  And som are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n,
  And so from Heav'n to deepest Hell; O fall
  From what high state of bliss into what woe!
  To whom our great Progenitor. Thy words
  Attentive, and with more delighted eare
  Divine instructer, I have heard, then when
  Cherubic Songs by night from neighbouring Hills
  Aereal Music send: nor knew I not
  To be both will and deed created free;
  Yet that we never shall forget to love                              550
  Our maker, and obey him whose command
  Single, is yet so just, my constant thoughts
  Assur'd me and still assure: though what thou tellst
  Hath past in Heav'n, som doubt within me move,
  But more desire to hear, if thou consent,
  The full relation, which must needs be strange,
  Worthy of Sacred silence to be heard;
  And we have yet large day, for scarce the Sun
  Hath finisht half his journey, and scarce begins
  His other half in the great Zone of Heav'n.                         560
  Thus Adam made request, and Raphael
  After short pause assenting, thus began.
  High matter thou injoinst me, O prime of men,
  Sad task and hard, for how shall I relate
  To human sense th' invisible exploits
  Of warring Spirits; how without remorse
  The ruin of so many glorious once
  And perfet while they stood; how last unfould
  The secrets of another world, perhaps
  Not lawful to reveal? yet for thy good                              570
  This is dispenc't, and what surmounts the reach
  Of human sense, I shall delineate so,
  By lik'ning spiritual to corporal forms,
  As may express them best, though what if Earth
  Be but the shaddow of Heav'n, and things therein
  Each to other like, more then on earth is thought?
  As yet this world was not, and Chaos wilde
  Reignd where these Heav'ns now rowl, where Earth now rests
  Upon her Center pois'd, when on a day
  (For Time, though in Eternitie, appli'd                             580
  To motion, measures all things durable
  By present, past, and future) on such day
  As Heav'ns great Year brings forth, th' Empyreal Host
  Of Angels by Imperial summons call'd,
  Innumerable before th' Almighties Throne
  Forthwith from all the ends of Heav'n appeerd
  Under thir Hierarchs in orders bright
  Ten thousand thousand Ensignes high advanc'd,
  Standards, and Gonfalons twixt Van and Reare
  Streame in the Aire, and for distinction serve                      590
  Of Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees;
  Or in thir glittering Tissues bear imblaz'd
  Holy Memorials, acts of Zeale and Love
  Recorded eminent. Thus when in Orbes
  Of circuit inexpressible they stood,
  Orb within Orb, the Father infinite,
  By whom in bliss imbosom'd sat the Son,
  Amidst as from a flaming Mount, whose top
  Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.
  Hear all ye Angels, Progenie of Light,                              600
  Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
  Hear my Decree, which unrevok't shall stand.
  This day I have begot whom I declare
  My onely Son, and on this holy Hill
  Him have anointed, whom ye now behold
  At my right hand; your Head I him appoint;
  And by my Self have sworn to him shall bow
  All knees in Heav'n, and shall confess him Lord:
  Under his great Vice-gerent Reign abide
  United as one individual Soule                                      610
  For ever happie: him who disobeyes
  Mee disobeyes, breaks union, and that day
  Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
  Into utter darkness, deep ingulft, his place
  Ordaind without redemption, without end.
  So spake th' Omnipotent, and with his words
  All seemd well pleas'd, all seem'd, but were not all.
  That day, as other solem dayes, they spent
  In song and dance about the sacred Hill,
  Mystical dance, which yonder starrie Spheare                        620
  Of Planets and of fixt in all her Wheeles
  Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,
  Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regular
  Then most, when most irregular they seem:
  And in thir motions harmonie Divine
  So smooths her charming tones, that Gods own ear
  Listens delighted. Eevning approachd
  (For we have also our Eevning and our Morn,
  We ours for change delectable, not need)
  Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn                      630
  Desirous, all in Circles as they stood,
  Tables are set, and on a sudden pil'd
  With Angels Food, and rubied Nectar flows:
  In Pearl, in Diamond, and massie Gold,
  Fruit of delicious Vines, the growth of Heav'n.
  They eat, they drink, and with refection sweet
  Are fill'd, before th' all bounteous King, who showrd
  With copious hand, rejoycing in thir joy.
  Now when ambrosial Night with Clouds exhal'd
  From that high mount of God, whence light & shade                   640
  Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had changd
  To grateful Twilight (for Night comes not there
  In darker veile) and roseat Dews dispos'd
  All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest,
  Wide over all the Plain, and wider farr
  Then all this globous Earth in Plain outspred,
  (Such are the Courts of God) Th' Angelic throng
  Disperst in Bands and Files thir Camp extend
  By living Streams among the Trees of Life,
  Pavilions numberless, and sudden reard,                             650
  Celestial Tabernacles, where they slept
  Fannd with coole Winds, save those who in thir course
  Melodious Hymns about the sovran Throne
  Alternate all night long: but not so wak'd
  Satan, so call him now, his former name
  Is heard no more in Heav'n; he of the first,
  If not the first Arch-Angel, great in Power,
  In favour and praeeminence, yet fraught
  With envie against the Son of God, that day
  Honourd by his great Father, and proclaimd                          660
  Messiah King anointed, could not beare
  Through pride that sight, and thought himself impaird.
  Deep malice thence conceiving & disdain,
  Soon as midnight brought on the duskie houre
  Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd
  With all his Legions to dislodge, and leave
  Unworshipt, unobey'd the Throne supream
  Contemptuous, and his next subordinate
  Awak'ning, thus to him in secret spake.
  Sleepst thou Companion dear, what sleep can close                   670
  Thy eye-lids? and remembrest what Decree
  Of yesterday, so late hath past the lips
  Of Heav'ns Almightie. Thou to me thy thoughts
  Wast wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart;
  Both waking we were one; how then can now
  Thy sleep dissent? new Laws thou seest impos'd;
  New Laws from him who reigns, new minds may raise
  In us who serve, new Counsels, to debate
  What doubtful may ensue, more in this place
  To utter is not safe. Assemble thou                                 680
  Of all those Myriads which we lead the chief;
  Tell them that by command, ere yet dim Night
  Her shadowie Cloud withdraws, I am to haste,
  And all who under me thir Banners wave,
  Homeward with flying march where we possess
  The Quarters of the North, there to prepare
  Fit entertainment to receive our King
  The great Messiah, and his new commands,
  Who speedily through all the Hierarchies
  Intends to pass triumphant, and give Laws.                          690
  So spake the false Arch-Angel, and infus'd
  Bad influence into th' unwarie brest
  Of his Associate; hee together calls,
  Or several one by one, the Regent Powers,
  Under him Regent, tells, as he was taught,
  That the most High commanding, now ere Night,
  Now ere dim Night had disincumberd Heav'n,
  The great Hierarchal Standard was to move;
  Tells the suggested cause, and casts between
  Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound                            700
  Or taint integritie; but all obey'd
  The wonted signal, and superior voice
  Of thir great Potentate; for great indeed
  His name, and high was his degree in Heav'n;
  His count'nance, as the Morning Starr that guides
  The starrie flock, allur'd them, and with lyes
  Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Host:
  Mean while th' Eternal eye, whose sight discernes
  Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy Mount
  And from within the golden Lamps that burne                         710
  Nightly before him, saw without thir light
  Rebellion rising, saw in whom, how spred
  Among the sons of Morn, what multitudes
  Were banded to oppose his high Decree;
  And smiling to his onely Son thus said.
  Son, thou in whom my glory I behold
  In full resplendence, Heir of all my might,
  Neerly it now concernes us to be sure
  Of our Omnipotence, and with what Arms
  We mean to hold what anciently we claim                             720
  Of Deitie or Empire, such a foe
  Is rising, who intends to erect his Throne
  Equal to ours, throughout the spacious North;
  Nor so content, hath in his thought to trie
  In battel, what our Power is, or our right.
  Let us advise, and to this hazard draw
  With speed what force is left, and all imploy
  In our defence, lest unawares we lose
  This our high place, our Sanctuarie, our Hill.
  To whom the Son with calm aspect and cleer                          730
  Light'ning Divine, ineffable, serene,
  Made answer. Mightie Father, thou thy foes
  Justly hast in derision, and secure
  Laugh'st at thir vain designes and tumults vain,
  Matter to mee of Glory, whom thir hate
  Illustrates, when they see all Regal Power
  Giv'n me to quell thir pride, and in event
  Know whether I be dextrous to subdue
  Thy Rebels, or be found the worst in Heav'n.
  So spake the Son, but Satan with his Powers                         740
  Farr was advanc't on winged speed, an Host
  Innumerable as the Starrs of Night,
  Or Starrs of Morning, Dew-drops, which the Sun
  Impearls on every leaf and every flouer.
  Regions they pass'd, the mightie Regencies
  Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones
  In thir triple Degrees, Regions to which
  All thy Dominion, Adam, is no more
  Then what this Garden is to all the Earth,
  And all the Sea, from one entire globose                            750
  Stretcht into Longitude; which having pass'd
  At length into the limits of the North
  They came, and Satan to his Royal seat
  High on a Hill, far blazing, as a Mount
  Rais'd on a Mount, with Pyramids and Towrs
  From Diamond Quarries hew'n, & Rocks of Gold,
  The Palace of great Lucifer, (so call
  That Structure in the Dialect of men
  Interpreted) which not long after, hee
  Affecting all equality with God,                                    760
  In imitation of that Mount whereon
  Messiah was declar'd in sight of Heav'n,
  The Mountain of the Congregation call'd;
  For thither he assembl'd all his Train,
  Pretending so commanded to consult
  About the great reception of thir King,
  Thither to come, and with calumnious Art
  Of counterfeted truth thus held thir ears.
  Thrones, Dominations, Princedomes, Vertues, Powers,
  If these magnific Titles yet remain                                 770
  Not meerly titular, since by Decree
  Another now hath to himself ingross't
  All Power, and us eclipst under the name
  Of King anointed, for whom all this haste
  Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here,
  This onely to consult how we may best
  With what may be devis'd of honours new
  Receive him coming to receive from us
  Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile,
  Too much to one, but double how endur'd,                            780
  To one and to his image now proclaim'd?
  But what if better counsels might erect
  Our minds and teach us to cast off this Yoke?
  Will ye submit your necks, and chuse to bend
  The supple knee? ye will not, if I trust
  To know ye right, or if ye know your selves
  Natives and Sons of Heav'n possest before
  By none, and if not equal all, yet free,
  Equally free; for Orders and Degrees
  Jarr not with liberty, but well consist.                            790
  Who can in reason then or right assume
  Monarchie over such as live by right
  His equals, if in power and splendor less,
  In freedome equal? or can introduce
  Law and Edict on us, who without law
  Erre not, much less for this to be our Lord,
  And look for adoration to th' abuse
  Of those Imperial Titles which assert
  Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve?
  Thus farr his bold discourse without controule                      800
  Had audience, when among the Seraphim
  Abdiel, then whom none with more zeale ador'd
  The Deitie, and divine commands obei'd,
  Stood up, and in a flame of zeale severe
  The current of his fury thus oppos'd.
  O argument blasphemous, false and proud!
  Words which no eare ever to hear in Heav'n
  Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate
  In place thy self so high above thy Peeres.
  Canst thou with impious obloquie condemne                           810
  The just Decree of God, pronounc't and sworn,
  That to his only Son by right endu'd
  With Regal Scepter, every Soule in Heav'n
  Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due
  Confess him rightful King? unjust thou saist
  Flatly unjust, to binde with Laws the free,
  And equal over equals to let Reigne,
  One over all with unsucceeded power.
  Shalt thou give Law to God, shalt thou dispute
  With him the points of libertie, who made                           820
  Thee what thou art, & formd the Pow'rs of Heav'n
  Such as he pleasd, and circumscrib'd thir being?
  Yet by experience taught we know how good,
  And of our good, and of our dignitie
  How provident he is, how farr from thought
  To make us less, bent rather to exalt
  Our happie state under one Head more neer
  United. But to grant it thee unjust,
  That equal over equals Monarch Reigne:
  Thy self though great & glorious dost thou count,                   830
  Or all Angelic Nature joind in one,
  Equal to him begotten Son, by whom
  As by his Word the mighty Father made
  All things, ev'n thee, and all the Spirits of Heav'n
  By him created in thir bright degrees,
  Crownd them with Glory, & to thir Glory nam'd
  Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers
  Essential Powers, nor by his Reign obscur'd,
  But more illustrious made, since he the Head
  One of our number thus reduc't becomes,                             840
  His Laws our Laws, all honour to him done
  Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage,
  And tempt not these; but hast'n to appease
  Th' incensed Father, and th' incensed Son,
  While Pardon may be found in time besought.
  So spake the fervent Angel, but his zeale
  None seconded, as out of season judg'd,
  Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'd
  Th' Apostat, and more haughty thus repli'd.
  That we were formd then saist thou? & the work                      850
  Of secondarie hands, by task transferd
  From Father to his Son? strange point and new!
  Doctrin which we would know whence learnt: who saw
  When this creation was? rememberst thou
  Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?
  We know no time when we were not as now;
  Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd
  By our own quick'ning power, when fatal course
  Had circl'd his full Orbe, the birth mature
  Of this our native Heav'n, Ethereal Sons.                           860
  Our puissance is our own, our own right hand
  Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
  Who is our equal: then thou shalt behold
  Whether by supplication we intend
  Address, and to begirt th' Almighty Throne
  Beseeching or besieging. This report,
  These tidings carrie to th' anointed King;
  And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.
  He said, and as the sound of waters deep
  Hoarce murmur echo'd to his words applause                          870
  Through the infinite Host, nor less for that
  The flaming Seraph fearless, though alone
  Encompass'd round with foes, thus answerd bold.
  O alienate from God, O spirit accurst,
  Forsak'n of all good; I see thy fall
  Determind, and thy hapless crew involv'd
  In this perfidious fraud, contagion spred
  Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth
  No more be troubl'd how to quit the yoke
  Of Gods Messiah; those indulgent Laws                               880
  Will not be now voutsaf't, other Decrees
  Against thee are gon forth without recall;
  That Golden Scepter which thou didst reject
  Is now an Iron Rod to bruise and breake
  Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise,
  Yet not for thy advise or threats I fly
  These wicked Tents devoted, least the wrauth
  Impendent, raging into sudden flame
  Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel
  His Thunder on thy head, devouring fire.                            890
  Then who created thee lamenting learne,
  When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.
  So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found,
  Among the faithless, faithful only hee;
  Among innumerable false, unmov'd,
  Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'd
  His Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale;
  Nor number, nor example with him wrought
  To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind
  Though single. From amidst them forth he passd,                     900
  Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteind
  Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught;
  And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd
  On those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom'd.

  627: Eevning approachd] Eevning now approachd 1674
  636-639: On flours repos'd, and with fresh flourets crown'd
           They eate, they drink, and in communion sweet
           Quaff immortalitie and joy, secure
           Of surfet where full measure onely bounds
           Excess, before th'all bounteous King, who showrd 1674.

  The End Of The Fifth Book.



Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to Battel against Satan and his Angels. The first Fight describ'd: Satan and his Powers retire under Night: he calls a Councel, invents devilish Engines, which in the second dayes Fight put Michael and his Angels to some disorder; But they at length pulling up Mountains overwhelm'd both the force and Machins of Satan: Yet the Tumult not so ending, God on the third day sends Messiah his Son, for whom he had reserv'd the glory of that Victory. Hee in the Power of his Father coming to the place, and causing all his Legions to stand still on either side, with his Chariot and Thunder driving into the midst of his Enemies, pursues them unable to resist towards the wall of Heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prepar'd for them in the Deep: Messiah returns with triumph to his Father.

  All night the dreadless Angel unpursu'd
  Through Heav'ns wide Champain held his way, till Morn,
  Wak't by the circling Hours, with rosie hand
  Unbarr'd the gates of Light. There is a Cave
  Within the Mount of God, fast by his Throne,
  Where light and darkness in perpetual round
  Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heav'n
  Grateful vicissitude, like Day and Night;
  Light issues forth, and at the other dore
  Obsequious darkness enters, till her houre                           10
  To veile the Heav'n, though darkness there might well
  Seem twilight here; and now went forth the Morn
  Such as in highest Heav'n, arrayd in Gold
  Empyreal, from before her vanisht Night,
  Shot through with orient Beams: when all the Plain
  Coverd with thick embatteld Squadrons bright,
  Chariots and flaming Armes, and fierie Steeds
  Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view:
  Warr he perceav'd, warr in procinct, and found
  Already known what he for news had thought                           20
  To have reported: gladly then he mixt
  Among those friendly Powers who him receav'd
  With joy and acclamations loud, that one
  That of so many Myriads fall'n, yet one
  Returnd not lost: On to the sacred hill
  They led him high applauded, and present
  Before the seat supream; from whence a voice
  From midst a Golden Cloud thus milde was heard.
  Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought
  The better fight, who single hast maintaind                          30
  Against revolted multitudes the Cause
  Of Truth, in word mightier then they in Armes;
  And for the testimonie of Truth hast born
  Universal reproach, far worse to beare
  Then violence: for this was all thy care
  To stand approv'd in sight of God, though Worlds
  Judg'd thee perverse: the easier conquest now
  Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
  Back on thy foes more glorious to return
  Then scornd thou didst depart, and to subdue                         40
  By force, who reason for thir Law refuse,
  Right reason for thir Law, and for thir King
  Messiah, who by right of merit Reigns.
  Goe Michael of Celestial Armies Prince,
  And thou in Military prowess next
  Gabriel, lead forth to Battel these my Sons
  Invincible, lead forth my armed Saints
  By Thousands and by Millions rang'd for fight;
  Equal in number to that Godless crew
  Rebellious, them with Fire and hostile Arms                          50
  Fearless assault, and to the brow of Heav'n
  Pursuing drive them out from God and bliss,
  Into thir place of punishment, the Gulf
  Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide
  His fiery Chaos to receave thir fall.
  So spake the Sovran voice, and Clouds began
  To darken all the Hill, and smoak to rowl
  In duskie wreathes, reluctant flames, the signe
  Of wrauth awak't: nor with less dread the loud
  Ethereal Trumpet from on high gan blow:                              60
  At which command the Powers Militant,
  That stood for Heav'n, in mighty Quadrate joyn'd
  Of Union irresistible, mov'd on
  In silence thir bright Legions, to the sound
  Of instrumental Harmonie that breath'd
  Heroic Ardor to advent'rous deeds
  Under thir God-like Leaders, in the Cause
  Of God and his Messiah. On they move
  Indissolubly firm; nor obvious Hill,
  Nor streit'ning Vale, nor Wood, nor Stream divides                   70
  Thir perfet ranks; for high above the ground
  Thir march was, and the passive Air upbore
  Thir nimble tread; as when the total kind
  Of Birds in orderly array on wing
  Came summond over Eden to receive
  Thir names of thee; so over many a tract
  Of Heav'n they march'd, and many a Province wide
  Tenfold the length of this terrene: at last
  Farr in th' Horizon to the North appeer'd
  From skirt to skirt a fierie Region, stretcht                        80
  In battailous aspect, and neerer view
  Bristl'd with upright beams innumerable
  Of rigid Spears, and Helmets throng'd, and Shields
  Various, with boastful Argument portraid,
  The banded Powers of Satan hasting on
  With furious expedition; for they weend
  That self same day by fight, or by surprize
  To win the Mount of God, and on his Throne
  To set the envier of his State, the proud
  Aspirer, but thir thoughts prov'd fond and vain                      90
  In the mid way: though strange to us it seemd
  At first, that Angel should with Angel warr,
  And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet
  So oft in Festivals of joy and love
  Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire
  Hymning th' Eternal Father: but the shout
  Of Battel now began, and rushing sound
  Of onset ended soon each milder thought.
  High in the midst exalted as a God
  Th' Apostat in his Sun-bright Chariot sate                          100
  Idol of Majestie Divine, enclos'd
  With Flaming Cherubim, and golden Shields;
  Then lighted from his gorgeous Throne, for now
  'Twixt Host and Host but narrow space was left,
  A dreadful interval, and Front to Front
  Presented stood in terrible array
  Of hideous length: before the cloudie Van,
  On the rough edge of battel ere it joyn'd,
  Satan with vast and haughtie strides advanc't,
  Came towring, armd in Adamant and Gold;                             110
  Abdiel that sight endur'd not, where he stood
  Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds,
  And thus his own undaunted heart explores.
  O Heav'n! that such resemblance of the Highest
  Should yet remain, where faith and realtie
  Remain not; wherfore should not strength & might
  There fail where Vertue fails, or weakest prove
  Where boldest; though to sight unconquerable?
  His puissance, trusting in th' Almightie's aide,
  I mean to try, whose Reason I have tri'd                            120
  Unsound and false; nor is it aught but just,
  That he who in debate of Truth hath won,
  Should win in Arms, in both disputes alike
  Victor; though brutish that contest and foule,
  When Reason hath to deal with force, yet so
  Most reason is that Reason overcome.
  So pondering, and from his armed Peers
  Forth stepping opposite, half way he met
  His daring foe, at this prevention more
  Incens't, and thus securely him defi'd.                             130
  Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have reacht
  The highth of thy aspiring unoppos'd,
  The Throne of God unguarded, and his side
  Abandond at the terror of thy Power
  Or potent tongue; fool, not to think how vain
  Against th' Omnipotent to rise in Arms;
  Who out of smallest things could without end
  Have rais'd incessant Armies to defeat
  Thy folly; or with solitarie hand
  Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow                              140
  Unaided could have finisht thee, and whelmd
  Thy Legions under darkness; but thou seest
  All are not of thy Train; there be who Faith
  Prefer, and Pietie to God, though then
  To thee not visible, when I alone
  Seemd in thy World erroneous to dissent
  From all: my Sect thou seest, now learn too late
  How few somtimes may know, when thousands err.
  Whom the grand foe with scornful eye askance
  Thus answerd. Ill for thee, but in wisht houre                      150
  Of my revenge, first sought for thou returnst
  From flight, seditious Angel, to receave
  Thy merited reward, the first assay
  Of this right hand provok't, since first that tongue
  Inspir'd with contradiction durst oppose
  A third part of the Gods, in Synod met
  Thir Deities to assert, who while they feel
  Vigour Divine within them, can allow
  Omnipotence to none. But well thou comst
  Before thy fellows, ambitious to win                                160
  From me som Plume, that thy success may show
  Destruction to the rest: this pause between
  (Unanswerd least thou boast) to let thee know;
  At first I thought that Libertie and Heav'n
  To heav'nly Soules had bin all one; but now
  I see that most through sloth had rather serve,
  Ministring Spirits, traind up in Feast and Song;
  Such hast thou arm'd, the Minstrelsie of Heav'n,
  Servilitie with freedom to contend,
  As both thir deeds compar'd this day shall prove.                   170
  To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern repli'd.
  Apostat, still thou errst, nor end wilt find
  Of erring, from the path of truth remote:
  Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name
  Of Servitude to serve whom God ordains,
  Or Nature; God and Nature bid the same,
  When he who rules is worthiest, and excells
  Them whom he governs. This is servitude,
  To serve th' unwise, or him who hath rebelld
  Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee,                      180
  Thy self not free, but to thy self enthrall'd;
  Yet leudly dar'st our ministring upbraid.
  Reign thou in Hell thy Kingdom, let mee serve
  In Heav'n God ever blessed, and his Divine
  Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd,
  Yet Chains in Hell, not Realms expect: mean while
  From mee returnd, as erst thou saidst, from flight,
  This greeting on thy impious Crest receive.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high,
  Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell                      190
  On the proud Crest of Satan, that no sight,
  Nor motion of swift thought, less could his Shield
  Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge
  He back recoild; the tenth on bended knee
  His massie Spear upstaid; as if on Earth
  Winds under ground or waters forcing way
  Sidelong, had push't a Mountain from his seat
  Half sunk with all his Pines. Amazement seis'd
  The Rebel Thrones, but greater rage to see
  Thus foil'd thir mightiest, ours joy filld, and shout,              200
  Presage of Victorie and fierce desire
  Of Battel: whereat Michael bid sound
  Th' Arch-Angel trumpet; through the vast of Heav'n
  It sounded, and the faithful Armies rung
  Hosanna to the Highest: nor stood at gaze
  The adverse Legions, nor less hideous joyn'd
  The horrid shock: now storming furie rose,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  And clamour such as heard in Heav'n till now
  Was never, Arms on Armour clashing bray'd
  Horrible discord, and the madding Wheeles                           210
  Of brazen Chariots rag'd; dire was the noise
  Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss
  Of fiery Darts in flaming volies flew,
  And flying vaulted either Host with fire.
  So under fierie Cope together rush'd
  Both Battels maine, with ruinous assault
  And inextinguishable rage; all Heav'n
  Resounded, and had Earth bin then, all Earth
  Had to her Center shook. What wonder? when
  Millions of fierce encountring Angels fought                        220
  On either side, the least of whom could weild
  These Elements, and arm him with the force
  Of all thir Regions: how much more of Power
  Armie against Armie numberless to raise
  Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb,
  Though not destroy, thir happie Native seat;
  Had not th' Eternal King Omnipotent
  From his strong hold of Heav'n high over-rul'd
  And limited thir might; though numberd such
  As each divided Legion might have seemd                             230
  A numerous Host, in strength each armed hand
  A Legion; led in fight, yet Leader seemd
  Each Warriour single as in Chief, expert
  When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway
  Of Battel, open when, and when to close
  The ridges of grim Warr; no thought of flight,
  None of retreat, no unbecoming deed
  That argu'd fear; each on himself reli'd,
  As onely in his arm the moment lay
  Of victorie; deeds of eternal fame                                  240
  Were don, but infinite: for wide was spred
  That Warr and various; somtimes on firm ground
  A standing fight, then soaring on main wing
  Tormented all the Air; all Air seemd then
  Conflicting Fire: long time in eeven scale
  The Battel hung; till Satan, who that day
  Prodigious power had shewn, and met in Armes
  No equal, raunging through the dire attack
  Of fighting Seraphim confus'd, at length
  Saw where the Sword of Michael smote, and fell'd                    250
  Squadrons at once, with huge two-handed sway
  Brandisht aloft the horrid edge came down
  Wide wasting; such destruction to withstand
  He hasted, and oppos'd the rockie Orb
  Of tenfold Adamant, his ample Shield
  A vast circumference: At his approach
  The great Arch-Angel from his warlike toile
  Surceas'd, and glad as hoping here to end
  Intestine War in Heav'n, the arch foe subdu'd
  Or Captive drag'd in Chains, with hostile frown                     260
  And visage all enflam'd first thus began.
  Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt,
  Unnam'd in Heav'n, now plenteous, as thou seest
  These Acts of hateful strife, hateful to all,
  Though heaviest by just measure on thy self
  And thy adherents: how hast thou disturb'd
  Heav'ns blessed peace, and into Nature brought
  Miserie, uncreated till the crime
  Of thy Rebellion? how hast thou instill'd
  Thy malice into thousands, once upright                             270
  And faithful, now prov'd false. But think not here
  To trouble Holy Rest; Heav'n casts thee out
  From all her Confines. Heav'n the seat of bliss
  Brooks not the works of violence and Warr.
  Hence then, and evil go with thee along
  Thy ofspring, to the place of evil, Hell,
  Thou and thy wicked crew; there mingle broiles,
  Ere this avenging Sword begin thy doome,
  Or som more sudden vengeance wing'd from God
  Precipitate thee with augmented paine.                              280
  So spake the Prince of Angels; to whom thus
  The Adversarie. Nor think thou with wind
  Of airie threats to aw whom yet with deeds
  Thou canst not. Hast thou turnd the least of these
  To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise
  Unvanquisht, easier to transact with mee
  That thou shouldst hope, imperious, & with threats
  To chase me hence? erre not that so shall end
  The strife which thou call'st evil, but wee style
  The strife of Glorie: which we mean to win,                         290
  Or turn this Heav'n it self into the Hell
  Thou fablest, here however to dwell free,
  If not to reign: mean while thy utmost force,
  And join him nam'd Almightie to thy aid,
  I flie not, but have sought thee farr and nigh.
  They ended parle, and both addrest for fight
  Unspeakable; for who, though with the tongue
  Of Angels, can relate, or to what things
  Liken on Earth conspicuous, that may lift
  Human imagination to such highth                                    300
  Of Godlike Power: for likest Gods they seemd,
  Stood they or mov'd, in stature, motion, arms
  Fit to decide the Empire of great Heav'n.
  Now wav'd thir fierie Swords, and in the Aire
  Made horrid Circles; two broad Suns thir Shields
  Blaz'd opposite, while expectation stood
  In horror; from each hand with speed retir'd
  Where erst was thickest fight, th' Angelic throng,
  And left large field, unsafe within the wind
  Of such commotion, such as to set forth                             310
  Great things by small, If Natures concord broke,
  Among the Constellations warr were sprung,
  Two Planets rushing from aspect maligne
  Of fiercest opposition in mid Skie,
  Should combat, and thir jarring Sphears confound.
  Together both with next to Almightie Arme,
  Uplifted imminent one stroke they aim'd
  That might determine, and not need repeate,
  As not of power, at once; nor odds appeerd
  In might or swift prevention; but the sword                         320
  Of Michael from the Armorie of God
  Was giv'n him temperd so, that neither keen
  Nor solid might resist that edge: it met
  The sword of Satan with steep force to smite
  Descending, and in half cut sheere, nor staid,
  But with swift wheele reverse, deep entring shar'd
  All his right side; then Satan first knew pain,

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  And writh'd him to and fro convolv'd; so sore
  The griding sword with discontinuous wound
  Pass'd through him, but th' Ethereal substance clos'd               330
  Not long divisible, and from the gash
  A stream of Nectarous humor issuing flow'd
  Sanguin, such as Celestial Spirits may bleed,
  And all his Armour staind ere while so bright.
  Forthwith on all sides to his aide was run
  By Angels many and strong, who interpos'd
  Defence, while others bore him on thir Shields
  Back to his Chariot; where it stood retir'd
  From off the files of warr; there they him laid
  Gnashing for anguish and despite and shame                          340
  To find himself not matchless, and his pride
  Humbl'd by such rebuke, so farr beneath
  His confidence to equal God in power.
  Yet soon he heal'd; for Spirits that live throughout
  Vital in every part, not as frail man
  In Entrailes, Heart or Head, Liver or Reines,
  Cannot but by annihilating die;
  Nor in thir liquid texture mortal wound
  Receive, no more then can the fluid Aire:
  All Heart they live, all Head, all Eye, all Eare,                   350
  All Intellect, all Sense, and as they please,
  They Limb themselves, and colour, shape or size
  Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.
  Mean while in other parts like deeds deservd
  Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought,
  And with fierce Ensignes pierc'd the deep array
  Of Moloc furious King, who him defi'd,
  And at his Chariot wheeles to drag him bound
  Threatn'd, nor from the Holie One of Heav'n
  Refrein'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon                          360
  Down clov'n to the waste, with shatterd Armes
  And uncouth paine fled bellowing. On each wing
  Uriel and Raphael his vaunting foe,
  Though huge, and in a Rock of Diamond Armd,
  Vanquish'd Adramelec, and Asmadai,
  Two potent Thrones, that to be less then Gods
  Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learnd in thir flight,
  Mangl'd with gastly wounds through Plate and Maile.
  Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy
  The Atheist crew, but with redoubl'd blow                           370
  Ariel and Arioc, and the violence
  Of Ramiel scorcht and blasted overthrew.
  I might relate of thousands, and thir names
  Eternize here on Earth; but those elect
  Angels contented with thir fame in Heav'n
  Seek not the praise of men: the other sort
  In might though wondrous and in Acts of Warr,
  Nor of Renown less eager, yet by doome
  Canceld from Heav'n and sacred memorie,
  Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell.                           380
  For strength from Truth divided and from Just,
  Illaudable, naught merits but dispraise
  And ignominie, yet to glorie aspires
  Vain glorious, and through infamie seeks fame:
  Therfore Eternal silence be thir doome.
  And now thir mightiest quelld, the battel swerv'd,
  With many an inrode gor'd; deformed rout
  Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the ground
  With shiverd armour strow'n, and on a heap
  Chariot and Charioter lay overturnd                                 390
  And fierie foaming Steeds; what stood, recoyld
  Orewearied, through the faint Satanic Host
  Defensive scarse, or with pale fear surpris'd,
  Then first with fear surpris'd and sense of paine
  Fled ignominious, to such evil brought
  By sinne of disobedience, till that hour
  Not liable to fear or flight or paine.
  Far otherwise th' inviolable Saints
  In Cubic Phalanx firm advanc't entire,
  Invulnerable, impenitrably arm'd:                                   400
  Such high advantages thir innocence
  Gave them above thir foes, not to have sinnd,
  Not to have disobei'd; in fight they stood
  Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd
  By wound, though from thir place by violence mov'd.
  Now Night her course began, and over Heav'n
  Inducing darkness, grateful truce impos'd,

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  And silence on the odious dinn of Warr:
  Under her Cloudie covert both retir'd,
  Victor and Vanquisht: on the foughten field                         410
  Michael and his Angels prevalent
  Encamping, plac'd in Guard thir Watches round,

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  Cherubic waving fires: on th' other part
  Satan with his rebellious disappeerd,
  Far in the dark dislodg'd, and void of rest,
  His Potentates to Councel call'd by night;
  And in the midst thus undismai'd began.
  O now in danger tri'd, now known in Armes
  Not to be overpowerd, Companions deare,
  Found worthy not of Libertie alone,                                 420
  Too mean pretense, but what we more affect,
  Honour, Dominion, Glorie, and renowne,
  Who have sustaind one day in doubtful fight,
  (And if one day, why not Eternal dayes?)
  What Heavens Lord had powerfullest to send
  Against us from about his Throne, and judg'd
  Sufficient to subdue us to his will,
  But proves not so: then fallible, it seems,
  Of future we may deem him, though till now
  Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm'd,                     430
  Some disadvantage we endur'd and paine,
  Till now not known, but known as soon contemnd,
  Since now we find this our Empyreal forme
  Incapable of mortal injurie
  Imperishable, and though peirc'd with wound,
  Soon closing, and by native vigour heal'd.
  Of evil then so small as easie think
  The remedie; perhaps more valid Armes,
  Weapons more violent, when next we meet,
  May serve to better us, and worse our foes,                         440
  Or equal what between us made the odds,
  In Nature none: if other hidden cause
  Left them Superiour, while we can preserve
  Unhurt our mindes, and understanding sound,
  Due search and consultation will disclose.
  He sat; and in th' assembly next upstood
  Nisroc, of Principalities the prime;
  As one he stood escap't from cruel fight,
  Sore toild, his riv'n Armes to havoc hewn,
  And cloudie in aspect thus answering spake.                         450
  Deliverer from new Lords, leader to free
  Enjoyment of our right as Gods; yet hard
  For Gods, and too unequal work we find
  Against unequal armes to fight in paine,
  Against unpaind, impassive; from which evil
  Ruin must needs ensue; for what availes
  Valour or strength, though matchless, quelld with pain
  Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands
  Of Mightiest. Sense of pleasure we may well
  Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine,                          460
  But live content, which is the calmest life:
  But pain is perfet miserie, the worst
  Of evils, and excessive, overturnes
  All patience. He who therefore can invent
  With what more forcible we may offend
  Our yet unwounded Enemies, or arme
  Our selves with like defence, to mee deserves
  No less then for deliverance what we owe.
  Whereto with look compos'd Satan repli'd.
  Not uninvented that, which thou aright                              470
  Beleivst so main to our success, I bring;
  Which of us who beholds the bright surface
  Of this Ethereous mould whereon we stand,
  This continent of spacious Heav'n, adornd
  With Plant, Fruit, Flour Ambrosial, Gemms & Gold,
  Whose Eye so superficially surveyes
  These things, as not to mind from whence they grow
  Deep under ground, materials dark and crude,
  Of spiritous and fierie spume, till toucht
  With Heav'ns ray, and temperd they shoot forth                      480
  So beauteous, op'ning to the ambient light.
  These in thir dark Nativitie the Deep
  Shall yeild us, pregnant with infernal flame,
  Which into hallow Engins long and round
  Thick-rammd, at th' other bore with touch of fire
  Dilated and infuriate shall send forth
  From far with thundring noise among our foes
  Such implements of mischief as shall dash
  To pieces, and orewhelm whatever stands
  Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarmd                       490
  The Thunderer of his only dreaded bolt.
  Nor long shall be our labour, yet ere dawne,
  Effect shall end our wish. Mean while revive;
  Abandon fear; to strength and counsel joind
  Think nothing hard, much less to be despaird.
  He ended, and his words thir drooping chere
  Enlightn'd, and thir languisht hope reviv'd.
  Th' invention all admir'd, and each, how hee
  To be th' inventer miss'd, so easie it seemd
  Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought               500
  Impossible: yet haply of thy Race
  In future dayes, if Malice should abound,
  Some one intent on mischief, or inspir'd
  With dev'lish machination might devise
  Like instrument to plague the Sons of men
  For sin, on warr and mutual slaughter bent.
  Forthwith from Councel to the work they flew,
  None arguing stood, innumerable hands
  Were ready, in a moment up they turnd
  Wide the Celestial soile, and saw beneath                           510
  Th' originals of Nature in thir crude
  Conception; Sulphurous and Nitrous Foame
  They found, they mingl'd, and with suttle Art,
  Concocted and adusted they reduc'd
  To blackest grain, and into store conveyd:
  Part hidd'n veins diggd up (nor hath this Earth
  Entrails unlike) of Mineral and Stone,
  Whereof to found thir Engins and thir Balls
  Of missive ruin; part incentive reed
  Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire.                         520
  So all ere day spring, under conscious Night
  Secret they finish'd, and in order set,
  With silent circumspection unespi'd.
  Now when fair Morn Orient in Heav'n appeerd
  Up rose the Victor Angels, and to Arms
  The matin Trumpet Sung: in Arms they stood
  Of Golden Panoplie, refulgent Host,
  Soon banded; others from the dawning Hills
  Lookd round, and Scouts each Coast light-armed scoure,
  Each quarter, to descrie the distant foe,                           530
  Where lodg'd, or whither fled, or if for fight,
  In motion or in alt: him soon they met
  Under spred Ensignes moving nigh, in slow
  But firm Battalion; back with speediest Sail
  Zephiel, of Cherubim the swiftest wing,
  Came flying, and in mid Aire aloud thus cri'd.
  Arme, Warriours, Arme for fight, the foe at hand,
  Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit
  This day, fear not his flight; so thick a Cloud
  He comes, and settl'd in his face I see                             540
  Sad resolution and secure: let each
  His Adamantine coat gird well, and each
  Fit well his Helme, gripe fast his orbed Shield,
  Born eevn or high, for this day will pour down,
  If I conjecture aught, no drizling showr,
  But ratling storm of Arrows barbd with fire.
  So warnd he them aware themselves, and soon
  In order, quit of all impediment;
  Instant without disturb they took Allarm,
  And onward move Embattelld; when behold                             550
  Not distant far with heavie pace the Foe
  Approaching gross and huge; in hollow Cube
  Training his devilish Enginrie, impal'd
  On every side with shaddowing Squadrons Deep,
  To hide the fraud. At interview both stood
  A while, but suddenly at head appeerd
  Satan: And thus was heard Commanding loud.
  Vangard, to Right and Left the Front unfould;
  That all may see who hate us, how we seek
  Peace and composure, and with open brest                            560
  Stand readie to receive them, if they like
  Our overture, and turn not back perverse;
  But that I doubt, however witness Heaven,
  Heav'n witness thou anon, while we discharge
  Freely our part: yee who appointed stand
  Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch
  What we propound, and loud that all may hear.
  So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce
  Had ended; when to Right and Left the Front
  Divided, and to either Flank retir'd.                               570
  Which to our eyes discoverd new and strange,
  A triple-mounted row of Pillars laid
  On Wheels (for like to Pillars most they seem'd
  Or hollow'd bodies made of Oak or Firr
  With branches lopt, in Wood or Mountain fell'd)
  Brass, Iron, Stonie mould, had not thir mouthes
  With hideous orifice gap't on us wide,
  Portending hollow truce; at each behind
  A Seraph stood, and in his hand a Reed
  Stood waving tipt with fire; while we suspense,                     580
  Collected stood within our thoughts amus'd,
  Not long, for sudden all at once thir Reeds
  Put forth, and to a narrow vent appli'd
  With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame,
  But soon obscur'd with smoak, all Heav'n appeerd,
  From those deep-throated Engins belcht, whose roar
  Emboweld with outragious noise the Air,
  And all her entrails tore, disgorging foule
  Thir devillish glut, chaind Thunderbolts and Hail
  Of Iron Globes, which on the Victor Host                            590
  Level'd, with such impetuous furie smote,
  That whom they hit, none on thir feet might stand,
  Though standing else as Rocks, but down they fell
  By thousands, Angel on Arch-Angel rowl'd;
  The sooner for thir Arms, unarm'd they might
  Have easily as Spirits evaded swift
  By quick contraction or remove; but now
  Foule dissipation follow'd and forc't rout;
  Nor serv'd it to relax thir serried files.
  What should they do? if on they rusht, repulse                      600
  Repeated, and indecent overthrow
  Doubl'd, would render them yet more despis'd,
  And to thir foes a laughter; for in view
  Stood rankt of Seraphim another row
  In posture to displode thir second tire
  Of Thunder: back defeated to return
  They worse abhorr'd. Satan beheld thir plight,
  And to his Mates thus in derision call'd.
  O Friends, why come not on these Victors proud?
  Ere while they fierce were coming, and when wee,                    610
  To entertain them fair with open Front
  And Brest, (what could we more?) propounded terms
  Of composition, strait they chang'd thir minds,
  Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell,
  As they would dance, yet for a dance they seemd
  Somwhat extravagant and wilde, perhaps
  For joy of offerd peace: but I suppose
  If our proposals once again were heard
  We should compel them to a quick result.
  To whom thus Belial in like gamesom mood.                           620
  Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight,
  Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home,
  Such as we might perceive amus'd them all,
  And stumbl'd many, who receives them right,
  Had need from head to foot well understand;
  Not understood, this gift they have besides,
  They shew us when our foes walk not upright.
  So they among themselves in pleasant veine
  Stood scoffing, highthn'd in thir thoughts beyond
  All doubt of Victorie, eternal might                                630
  To match with thir inventions they presum'd
  So easie, and of his Thunder made a scorn,
  And all his Host derided, while they stood
  A while in trouble; but they stood not long,
  Rage prompted them at length, & found them arms
  Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose.
  Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power
  Which God hath in his mighty Angels plac'd)
  Thir Arms away they threw, and to the Hills
  (For Earth hath this variety from Heav'n                            640
  Of pleasure situate in Hill and Dale)
  Light as the Lightning glimps they ran, they flew,
  From thir foundations loosning to and fro
  They pluckt the seated Hills with all thir load,
  Rocks, Waters, Woods, and by the shaggie tops
  Up lifting bore them in thir hands: Amaze,
  Be sure, and terrour seis'd the rebel Host,
  When coming towards them so dread they saw
  The bottom of the Mountains upward turn'd,
  Till on those cursed Engins triple-row                              650
  They saw them whelmd, and all thir confidence
  Under the weight of Mountains buried deep,
  Themselves invaded next, and on thir heads
  Main Promontories flung, which in the Air
  Came shadowing, and opprest whole Legions arm'd,
  Thir armor help'd thir harm, crush't in and brus'd
  Into thir substance pent, which wrought them pain
  Implacable, and many a dolorous groan,
  Long strugling underneath, ere they could wind
  Out of such prison, though Spirits of purest light,                 660
  Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown.
  The rest in imitation to like Armes
  Betook them, and the neighbouring Hills uptore;
  So Hills amid the Air encounterd Hills
  Hurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire,
  That under ground they fought in dismal shade;
  Infernal noise; Warr seem'd a civil Game
  To this uproar; horrid confusion heapt
  Upon confusion rose: and now all Heav'n
  Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspred,                             670
  Had not th' Almightie Father where he sits
  Shrin'd in his Sanctuarie of Heav'n secure,
  Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen
  This tumult, and permitted all, advis'd:
  That his great purpose he might so fulfill,
  To honour his Anointed Son aveng'd
  Upon his enemies, and to declare
  All power on him transferr'd: whence to his Son
  Th' Assessor of his Throne he thus began.
  Effulgence of my Glorie, Son belov'd,                               680
  Son in whose face invisible is beheld
  Visibly, what by Deitie I am,
  And in whose hand what by Decree I doe,
  Second Omnipotence, two dayes are past,
  Two dayes, as we compute the dayes of Heav'n,
  Since Michael and his Powers went forth to tame
  These disobedient; sore hath been thir fight,
  As likeliest was, when two such Foes met arm'd;
  For to themselves I left them, and thou knowst,
  Equal in their Creation they were form'd,                           690
  Save what sin hath impaird, which yet hath wrought
  Insensibly, for I suspend thir doom;
  Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last
  Endless, and no solution will be found:
  Warr wearied hath perform'd what Warr can do,
  And to disorder'd rage let loose the reines,
  With Mountains as with Weapons arm'd, which makes
  Wild work in Heav'n, and dangerous to the maine.
  Two dayes are therefore past, the third is thine;
  For thee I have ordain'd it, and thus farr                          700
  Have sufferd, that the Glorie may be thine
  Of ending this great Warr, since none but Thou
  Can end it. Into thee such Vertue and Grace
  Immense I have transfus'd, that all may know
  In Heav'n and Hell thy Power above compare,
  And this perverse Commotion governd thus,
  To manifest thee worthiest to be Heir
  Of all things, to be Heir and to be King
  By Sacred Unction, thy deserved right.
  Go then thou Mightiest in thy Fathers might,                        710
  Ascend my Chariot, guide the rapid Wheeles
  That shake Heav'ns basis, bring forth all my Warr,
  My Bow and Thunder, my Almightie Arms
  Gird on, and Sword upon thy puissant Thigh;
  Pursue these sons of Darkness, drive them out
  From all Heav'ns bounds into the utter Deep:
  There let them learn, as likes them, to despise
  God and Messiah his anointed King.
  He said, and on his Son with Rayes direct
  Shon full, he all his Father full exprest                           720
  Ineffably into his face receiv'd,
  And thus the filial Godhead answering spake.
  O Father, O Supream of heav'nly Thrones,
  First, Highest, Holiest, Best, thou alwayes seekst
  To glorifie thy Son, I alwayes thee,
  As is most just; this I my Glorie account,
  My exaltation, and my whole delight,
  That thou in me well pleas'd, declarst thy will
  Fulfill'd, which to fulfil is all my bliss.
  Scepter and Power, thy giving, I assume,                            730
  And gladlier shall resign, when in the end
  Thou shalt be All in All, and I in thee
  For ever, and in mee all whom thou lov'st:
  But whom thou hat'st, I hate, and can put on
  Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on,
  Image of thee in all things; and shall soon,
  Armd with thy might, rid heav'n of these rebell'd,
  To thir prepar'd ill Mansion driven down
  To chains of Darkness, and th' undying Worm,
  That from thy just obedience could revolt,                          740
  Whom to obey is happiness entire.
  Then shall thy Saints unmixt, and from th' impure
  Farr separate, circling thy holy Mount
  Unfained Halleluiahs to thee sing,
  Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief.
  So said, he o're his Scepter bowing, rose
  From the right hand of Glorie where he sate,
  And the third sacred Morn began to shine
  Dawning through Heav'n: forth rush'd with whirlwind sound
  The Chariot of Paternal Deitie,                                     750
  Flashing thick flames, Wheele within Wheele undrawn,
  It self instinct with Spirit, but convoyd
  By four Cherubic shapes, four Faces each
  Had wondrous, as with Starrs thir bodies all
  And Wings were set with Eyes, with Eyes the Wheels
  Of Beril, and careering Fires between;
  Over thir heads a chrystal Firmament,
  Whereon a Saphir Throne, inlaid with pure
  Amber, and colours of the showrie Arch.
  Hee in Celestial Panoplie all armd                                  760
  Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought,
  Ascended, at his right hand Victorie
  Sate Eagle-wing'd, beside him hung his Bow
  And Quiver with three-bolted Thunder stor'd,
  And from about him fierce Effusion rowld
  Of smoak and bickering flame, and sparkles dire;
  Attended with ten thousand thousand Saints,
  He onward came, farr off his coming shon,
  And twentie thousand (I thir number heard)
  Chariots of God, half on each hand were seen:                       770
  Hee on the wings of Cherub rode sublime
  On the Crystallin Skie, in Saphir Thron'd.
  Illustrious farr and wide, but by his own
  First seen, them unexpected joy surpriz'd,
  When the great Ensign of Messiah blaz'd
  Aloft by Angels born, his Sign in Heav'n:
  Under whose Conduct Michael soon reduc'd
  His Armie, circumfus'd on either Wing,
  Under thir Head imbodied all in one.
  Before him Power Divine his way prepar'd;                           780
  At his command the uprooted Hills retir'd
  Each to his place, they heard his voice and went
  Obsequious, Heav'n his wonted face renewd,
  And with fresh Flourets Hill and Valley smil'd.
  This saw his hapless Foes, but stood obdur'd,
  And to rebellious fight rallied thir Powers
  Insensate, hope conceiving from despair.
  In heav'nly Spirits could such perverseness dwell?
  But to convince the proud what Signs availe,
  Or Wonders move th' obdurate to relent?                             790
  They hard'nd more by what might most reclame,
  Grieving to see his Glorie, at the sight
  Took envie, and aspiring to his highth,
  Stood reimbattell'd fierce, by force or fraud
  Weening to prosper, and at length prevaile
  Against God and Messiah, or to fall
  In universal ruin last, and now
  To final Battel drew, disdaining flight,
  Or faint retreat; when the great Son of God
  To all his Host on either hand thus spake.                          800
  Stand still in bright array ye Saints, here stand
  Ye Angels arm'd, this day from Battel rest;
  Faithful hath been your Warfare, and of God
  Accepted, fearless in his righteous Cause,
  And as ye have receivd, so have ye don
  Invincibly; but of this cursed crew
  The punishment to other hand belongs,
  Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints;
  Number to this dayes work is not ordain'd
  Nor multitude, stand onely and behold                               810
  Gods indignation on these Godless pourd
  By mee; not you but mee they have despis'd,
  Yet envied; against mee is all thir rage,
  Because the Father, t' whom in Heav'n supream
  Kingdom and Power and Glorie appertains,
  Hath honourd me according to his will.
  Therefore to mee thir doom he hath assig'n'd;
  That they may have thir wish, to trie with mee
  In Battel which the stronger proves, they all,
  Or I alone against them, since by strength                          820
  They measure all, of other excellence
  Not emulous, nor care who them excells;
  Nor other strife with them do I voutsafe.
  So spake the Son, and into terrour chang'd
  His count'nance too severe to be beheld
  And full of wrauth bent on his Enemies.
  At once the Four spred out thir Starrie wings
  With dreadful shade contiguous, and the Orbes
  Of his fierce Chariot rowld, as with the sound
  Of torrent Floods, or of a numerous Host.                           830
  Hee on his impious Foes right onward drove,
  Gloomie as Night; under his burning Wheeles
  The stedfast Empyrean shook throughout,
  All but the Throne it self of God. Full soon
  Among them he arriv'd; in his right hand
  Grasping ten thousand Thunders, which he sent
  Before him, such as in thir Soules infix'd
  Plagues; they astonisht all resistance lost,
  All courage; down thir idle weapons drop'd;
  O're Shields and Helmes, and helmed heads he rode                   840
  Of Thrones and mighty Seraphim prostrate,
  That wish'd the Mountains now might be again
  Thrown on them as a shelter from his ire.
  Nor less on either side tempestuous fell
  His arrows, from the fourfold-visag'd Foure,
  Distinct with eyes, and from the living Wheels,
  Distinct alike with multitude of eyes,
  One Spirit in them rul'd, and every eye
  Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
  Among th' accurst, that witherd all thir strength,                  850
  And of thir wonted vigour left them draind,
  Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall'n.
  Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
  His Thunder in mid Volie, for he meant
  Not to destroy, but root them out of Heav'n:
  The overthrown he rais'd, and as a Heard
  Of Goats or timerous flock together throngd
  Drove them before him Thunder-struck, pursu'd
  With terrors and with furies to the bounds
  And Chrystall wall of Heav'n, which op'ning wide,                   860
  Rowld inward, and a spacious Gap disclos'd
  Into the wastful Deep; the monstrous sight
  Strook them with horror backward, but far worse
  Urg'd them behind; headlong themselvs they threw
  Down from the verge of Heav'n, Eternal wrauth
  Burnt after them to the bottomless pit.
  Hell heard th' unsufferable noise, Hell saw
  Heav'n ruining from Heav'n and would have fled
  Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep
  Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound.                       870
  Nine dayes they fell; confounded Chaos roard,

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  And felt tenfold confusion in thir fall
  Through his wilde Anarchie, so huge a rout
  Incumberd him with ruin: Hell at last
  Yawning receavd them whole, and on them clos'd,

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  Hell thir fit habitation fraught with fire
  Unquenchable, the house of woe and paine.
  Disburd'nd Heav'n rejoic'd, and soon repaird
  Her mural breach, returning whence it rowld.
  Sole Victor from th' expulsion of his Foes                          880
  Messiah his triumphal Chariot turnd:
  To meet him all his Saints, who silent stood
  Eye witnesses of his Almightie Acts,
  With Jubilie advanc'd; and as they went,
  Shaded with branching Palme, each order bright,
  Sung Triumph, and him sung Victorious King,
  Son, Heire, and Lord, to him Dominion giv'n,
  Worthiest to Reign: he celebrated rode
  Triumphant through mid Heav'n, into the Courts
  And Temple of his mightie Father Thron'd                            890
  On high; who into Glorie him receav'd,
  Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss.
  Thus measuring things in Heav'n by things on Earth
  At thy request, and that thou maist beware
  By what is past, to thee I have reveal'd
  What might have else to human Race bin hid;
  The discord which befel, and Warr in Heav'n
  Among th' Angelic Powers, and the deep fall
  Of those too high aspiring, who rebelld
  With Satan, hee who envies now thy state,                           900
  Who now is plotting how he may seduce
  Thee also from obedience, that with him
  Bereavd of happiness thou maist partake
  His punishment, Eternal miserie;
  Which would be all his solace and revenge,
  As a despite don against the most High,
  Thee once to gaine Companion of his woe.
  But list'n not to his Temptations, warne
  Thy weaker; let it profit thee to have heard
  By terrible Example the reward                                      910
  Of disobedience; firm they might have stood,
  Yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress.

  The End Of The Sixth Book.



Raphael at the request of Adam relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, declar'd his pleasure to create another World and other Creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with Glory and attendance of Angels to perform the work of Creation in six dayes: the Angels celebrate with Hymns the performance thereof, and his reascention into Heaven.

  Descend from Heav'n Urania, by that name
  If rightly thou art call'd, whose Voice divine
  Following, above th' Olympian Hill I soare,
  Above the flight of Pegasean wing.
  The meaning, not the Name I call: for thou
  Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
  Of old Olympus dwell'st, but Heav'nlie borne,
  Before the Hills appeerd, or Fountain flow'd,
  Thou with Eternal wisdom didst converse,
  Wisdom thy Sister, and with her didst play                           10
  In presence of th' Almightie Father, pleas'd
  With thy Celestial Song. Up led by thee
  Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd,
  An Earthlie Guest, and drawn Empyreal Aire,
  Thy tempring; with like safetie guided down
  Return me to my Native Element:
  Least from this flying Steed unrein'd, (as once
  Bellerophon, though from a lower Clime)
  Dismounted, on th' Aleian Field I fall
  Erroneous, there to wander and forlorne.                             20
  Half yet remaines unsung, but narrower bound
  Within the visible Diurnal Spheare;
  Standing on Earth, not rapt above the Pole,
  More safe I Sing with mortal voice, unchang'd
  To hoarce or mute, though fall'n on evil dayes,
  On evil dayes though fall'n, and evil tongues;
  In darkness, and with dangers compast round,
  And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
  Visit'st my slumbers Nightly, or when Morn
  Purples the East: still govern thou my Song,                         30
  Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
  But drive farr off the barbarous dissonance
  Of Bacchus and his Revellers, the Race
  Of that wilde Rout that tore the Thracian Bard
  In Rhodope, where Woods and Rocks had Eares
  To rapture, till the savage clamor dround
  Both Harp and Voice; nor could the Muse defend
  Her Son. So fail not thou, who thee implores:
  For thou art Heav'nlie, shee an empty dreame.
  Say Goddess, what ensu'd when Raphael,                               40
  The affable Arch-angel, had forewarn'd
  Adam by dire example to beware
  Apostasie, by what befell in Heaven
  To those Apostates, least the like befall
  In Paradise to Adam or his Race,
  Charg'd not to touch the interdicted Tree,
  If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
  So easily obeyd amid the choice
  Of all tasts else to please thir appetite,
  Though wandring. He with his consorted Eve                           50
  The storie heard attentive, and was fill'd
  With admiration, and deep Muse to heare
  Of things so high and strange, things to thir thought
  So unimaginable as hate in Heav'n,
  And Warr so neer the Peace of God in bliss
  With such confusion: but the evil soon
  Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those
  From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
  With Blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd
  The doubts that in his heart arose: and now                          60
  Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
  What neerer might concern him, how this World
  Of Heav'n and Earth conspicuous first began,
  When, and whereof created, for what cause,
  What within Eden or without was done
  Before his memorie, as one whose drouth
  Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current streame,
  Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites,
  Proceeded thus to ask his Heav'nly Guest.
  Great things, and full of wonder in our eares,                       70
  Farr differing from this World, thou hast reveal'd
  Divine Interpreter, by favour sent
  Down from the Empyrean to forewarne
  Us timely of what might else have bin our loss,
  Unknown, which human knowledg could not reach:
  For which to the infinitly Good we owe
  Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
  Receave with solemne purpose to observe
  Immutably his sovran will, the end
  Of what we are. But since thou hast voutsaf't                        80
  Gently for our instruction to impart
  Things above Earthly thought, which yet concernd
  Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemd,
  Deign to descend now lower, and relate
  What may no less perhaps availe us known,
  How first began this Heav'n which we behold
  Distant so high, with moving Fires adornd
  Innumerable, and this which yeelds or fills
  All space, the ambient Aire wide interfus'd
  Imbracing round this florid Earth, what cause                        90
  Mov'd the Creator in his holy Rest
  Through all Eternitie so late to build
  In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
  Absolv'd, if unforbid thou maist unfould
  What wee, not to explore the secrets aske
  Of his Eternal Empire, but the more
  To magnifie his works, the more we know.
  And the great Light of Day yet wants to run
  Much of his Race though steep, suspens in Heav'n
  Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he heares,                      100
  And longer will delay to heare thee tell
  His Generation, and the rising Birth
  Of Nature from the unapparent Deep:
  Or if the Starr of Eevning and the Moon
  Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring
  Silence, and Sleep listning to thee will watch,
  Or we can bid his absence, till thy Song
  End, and dismiss thee ere the Morning shine.
  Thus Adam his illustrous Guest besought:
  And thus the Godlike Angel answerd milde.                           110
  This also thy request with caution askt
  Obtaine: though to recount Almightie works
  What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice,
  Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
  Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve
  To glorifie the Maker, and inferr
  Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
  Thy hearing, such Commission from above
  I have receav'd, to answer thy desire
  Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain                          120
  To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
  Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King,
  Onely Omniscient, hath supprest in Night,
  To none communicable in Earth or Heaven:
  Anough is left besides to search and know.
  But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less
  Her Temperance over Appetite, to know
  In measure what the mind may well contain,
  Oppresses else with Surfet, and soon turns
  Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Winde.                           130
  Know then, that after Lucifer from Heav'n
  (So call him, brighter once amidst the Host
  Of Angels, then that Starr the Starrs among)
  Fell with his flaming Legions through the Deep
  Into his place, and the great Son returnd
  Victorious with his Saints, th' Omnipotent
  Eternal Father from his Throne beheld
  Thir multitude, and to his Son thus spake.
  At least our envious Foe hath fail'd, who thought
  All like himself rebellious, by whose aid                           140
  This inaccessible high strength, the seat
  Of Deitie supream, us dispossest,
  He trusted to have seis'd, and into fraud
  Drew many, whom thir place knows here no more;
  Yet farr the greater part have kept, I see,
  Thir station, Heav'n yet populous retaines
  Number sufficient to possess her Realmes
  Though wide, and this high Temple to frequent
  With Ministeries due and solemn Rites:
  But least his heart exalt him in the harme                          150
  Already done, to have dispeopl'd Heav'n,
  My damage fondly deem'd, I can repaire
  That detriment, if such it be to lose
  Self-lost, and in a moment will create
  Another World, out of one man a Race
  Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
  Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd
  They open to themselves at length the way
  Up hither, under long obedience tri'd,
  And Earth be chang'd to Heavn, & Heav'n to Earth,                   160
  One Kingdom, Joy and Union without end.
  Mean while inhabit laxe, ye Powers of Heav'n,
  And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee
  This I perform, speak thou, and be it don:
  My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee
  I send along, ride forth, and bid the Deep
  Within appointed bounds be Heav'n and Earth,
  Boundless the Deep, because I am who fill
  Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
  Though I uncircumscrib'd my self retire,                            170
  And put not forth my goodness, which is free
  To act or not, Necessitie and Chance
  Approach not mee, and what I will is Fate.
  So spake th' Almightie, and to what he spake
  His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect.
  Immediate are the Acts of God, more swift
  Then time or motion, but to human ears
  Cannot without process of speech be told,
  So told as earthly notion can receave.
  Great triumph and rejoycing was in Heav'n                           180
  When such was heard declar'd the Almightie's will;
  Glorie they sung to the most High, good will
  To future men, and in thir dwellings peace:
  Glorie to him whose just avenging ire
  Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight
  And th' habitations of the just; to him
  Glorie and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd
  Good out of evil to create, in stead
  Of Spirits maligne a better Race to bring
  Into thir vacant room, and thence diffuse                           190
  His good to Worlds and Ages infinite.
  So sang the Hierarchies: Mean while the Son
  On his great Expedition now appeer'd,
  Girt with Omnipotence, with Radiance crown'd
  Of Majestie Divine, Sapience and Love
  Immense, and all his Father in him shon.
  About his Chariot numberless were pour'd
  Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones,
  And Vertues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing'd,
  From the Armoury of God, where stand of old                         200
  Myriads between two brazen Mountains lodg'd
  Against a solemn day, harnest at hand,
  Celestial Equipage; and now came forth
  Spontaneous, for within them Spirit livd,
  Attendant on thir Lord: Heav'n op'nd wide
  Her ever during Gates, Harmonious sound
  On golden Hinges moving, to let forth
  The King of Glorie in his powerful Word
  And Spirit coming to create new Worlds.
  On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore                   210
  They view'd the vast immeasurable Abyss
  Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde,
  Up from the bottom turn'd by furious windes
  And surging waves, as Mountains to assault
  Heav'ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole.
  Silence, ye troubl'd waves, and thou Deep, peace,
  Said then th' Omnific Word, your discord end:
  Nor staid, but on the Wings of Cherubim
  Uplifted, in Paternal Glorie rode
  Farr into Chaos, and the World unborn;                              220
  For Chaos heard his voice: him all his Traine
  Follow'd in bright procession to behold
  Creation, and the wonders of his might.
  Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand
  He took the golden Compasses, prepar'd
  In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe
  This Universe, and all created things:
  One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd
  Round through the vast profunditie obscure,
  And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy bounds,                   230
  This be thy just Circumference, O World.
  Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth,
  Matter unform'd and void: Darkness profound
  Cover'd th' Abyss: but on the watrie calme
  His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspred,
  And vital vertue infus'd, and vital warmth
  Throughout the fluid Mass, but downward purg'd
  The black tartareous cold infernal dregs
  Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd
  Like things to like, the rest to several place                      240
  Disparted, and between spun out the Air,
  And Earth self-ballanc't on her Center hung.
  Let ther be Light, said God, and forthwith Light
  Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure
  Sprung from the Deep, and from her Native East
  To journie through the airie gloom began,
  Sphear'd in a radiant Cloud, for yet the Sun
  Was not; shee in a cloudie Tabernacle
  Sojourn'd the while. God saw the Light was good;
  And light from darkness by the Hemisphere                           250
  Divided: Light the Day, and Darkness Night
  He nam'd. Thus was the first Day Eev'n and Morn:
  Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
  By the Celestial Quires, when Orient Light
  Exhaling first from Darkness they beheld;
  Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and shout
  The hollow Universal Orb they fill'd,
  And touch't thir Golden Harps, & hymning prais'd
  God and his works, Creatour him they sung,
  Both when first Eevning was, and when first Morn.                   260
  Again, God said, let ther be Firmament
  Amid the Waters, and let it divide
  The Waters from the Waters: and God made
  The Firmament, expanse of liquid, pure,
  Transparent, Elemental Air, diffus'd
  In circuit to the uttermost convex
  Of this great Round: partition firm and sure,
  The Waters underneath from those above
  Dividing: for as Earth, so hee the World
  Built on circumfluous Waters calme, in wide                         270
  Crystallin Ocean, and the loud misrule
  Of Chaos farr remov'd, least fierce extreames
  Contiguous might distemper the whole frame:
  And Heav'n he nam'd the Firmament: So Eev'n
  And Morning Chorus sung the second Day.
  The Earth was form'd, but in the Womb as yet
  Of Waters, Embryon immature involv'd,
  Appeer'd not: over all the face of Earth
  Main Ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warme
  Prolific humour soft'ning all her Globe,                            280
  Fermented the great Mother to conceave,
  Satiate with genial moisture, when God said
  Be gather'd now ye Waters under Heav'n
  Into one place, and let dry Land appeer.
  Immediately the Mountains huge appeer
  Emergent, and thir broad bare backs upheave
  Into the Clouds, thir tops ascend the Skie:
  So high as heav'd the tumid Hills, so low
  Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep,
  Capacious bed of Waters: thither they                               290
  Hasted with glad precipitance, uprowld
  As drops on dust conglobing from the drie;
  Part rise in crystal Wall, or ridge direct,
  For haste; such flight the great command impress'd
  On the swift flouds: as Armies at the call
  Of Trumpet (for of Armies thou hast heard)
  Troop to thir Standard, so the watrie throng,
  Wave rowling after Wave, where way they found,

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  If steep, with torrent rapture, if through Plaine,
  Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them Rock or Hill,                       300
  But they, or under ground, or circuit wide
  With Serpent errour wandring, found thir way,
  And on the washie Oose deep Channels wore;
  Easie, e're God had bid the ground be drie,
  All but within those banks, where Rivers now
  Stream, and perpetual draw thir humid traine.
  The dry Land, Earth, and the great receptacle
  Of congregated Waters he call'd Seas:
  And saw that it was good, and said, Let th' Earth
  Put forth the verdant Grass, Herb yeilding Seed,                    310
  And Fruit Tree yeilding Fruit after her kind;
  Whose Seed is in her self upon the Earth.
  He scarce had said, when the bare Earth, till then
  Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd,
  Brought forth the tender Grass, whose verdure clad
  Her Universal Face with pleasant green,
  Then Herbs of every leaf, that sudden flour'd
  Op'ning thir various colours, and made gay
  Her bosom smelling sweet: and these scarce blown,
  Forth flourish't thick the clustring Vine, forth crept              320
  The smelling Gourd, up stood the cornie Reed
  Embattell'd in her field: add the humble Shrub,
  And Bush with frizl'd hair implicit: last
  Rose as in Dance the stately Trees, and spred
  Thir branches hung with copious Fruit; or gemm'd
  Thir Blossoms: with high Woods the Hills were crownd,
  With tufts the vallies & each fountain side,
  With borders long the Rivers. That Earth now
  Seemd like to Heav'n, a seat where Gods might dwell,
  Or wander with delight, and love to haunt                           330
  Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rain'd
  Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground
  None was, but from the Earth a dewie Mist
  Went up and waterd all the ground, and each
  Plant of the field, which e're it was in the Earth
  God made, and every Herb, before it grew
  On the green stemm; God saw that it was good:
  So Eev'n and Morn recorded the Third Day.
  Again th' Almightie spake: Let there be Lights
  High in th' expanse of Heaven to divide                             340
  The Day from Night; and let them be for Signes,
  For Seasons, and for Dayes, and circling Years,
  And let them be for Lights as I ordaine
  Thir Office in the Firmament of Heav'n
  To give Light on the Earth; and it was so.
  And God made two great Lights, great for thir use
  To Man, the greater to have rule by Day,
  The less by Night alterne: and made the Starrs,
  And set them in the Firmament of Heav'n
  To illuminate the Earth, and rule the Day                           350
  In thir vicissitude, and rule the Night,
  And Light from Darkness to divide. God saw,
  Surveying his great Work, that it was good:
  For of Celestial Bodies first the Sun
  A mightie Spheare he fram'd, unlightsom first,
  Though of Ethereal Mould: then form'd the Moon
  Globose, and everie magnitude of Starrs,
  And sowd with Starrs the Heav'n thick as a field:
  Of Light by farr the greater part he took,
  Transplanted from her cloudie Shrine, and plac'd                    360
  In the Suns Orb, made porous to receive
  And drink the liquid Light, firm to retaine
  Her gather'd beams, great Palace now of Light.
  Hither as to thir Fountain other Starrs
  Repairing, in thir gold'n Urns draw Light,
  And hence the Morning Planet guilds his horns;
  By tincture or reflection they augment
  Thir small peculiar, though from human sight
  So farr remote, with diminution seen.
  First in his East the glorious Lamp was seen,                       370
  Regent of Day, and all th' Horizon round
  Invested with bright Rayes, jocond to run
  His Longitude through Heav'ns high rode: the gray
  Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd
  Shedding sweet influence: less bright the Moon,
  But opposite in leveld West was set
  His mirror, with full face borrowing her Light
  From him, for other light she needed none
  In that aspect, and still that distance keepes
  Till night, then in the East her turn she shines,                   380
  Revolvd on Heav'ns great Axle, and her Reign
  With thousand lesser Lights dividual holds,
  With thousand thousand Starres, that then appeer'd
  Spangling the Hemisphere: then first adornd
  With thir bright Luminaries that Set and Rose,
  Glad Eevning & glad Morn crownd the fourth day.

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  And God said, let the Waters generate
  Reptil with Spawn abundant, living Soule:
  And let Fowle flie above the Earth, with wings
  Displayd on the op'n Firmament of Heav'n.                           390
  And God created the great Whales, and each
  Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously
  The waters generated by thir kindes,
  And every Bird of wing after his kinde;
  And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying,
  Be fruitful, multiply, and in the Seas
  And Lakes and running Streams the waters fill;
  And let the Fowle be multiply'd on the Earth.
  Forthwith the Sounds and Seas, each Creek & Bay
  With Frie innumerable swarme, and Shoales                           400
  Of Fish that with thir Finns & shining Scales
  Glide under the green Wave, in Sculles that oft
  Bank the mid Sea: part single or with mate
  Graze the Sea weed thir pasture, & through Groves
  Of Coral stray, or sporting with quick glance
  Show to the Sun thir wav'd coats dropt with Gold,
  Or in thir Pearlie shells at ease, attend
  Moist nutriment, or under Rocks thir food
  In jointed Armour watch: on smooth the Seale,
  And bended Dolphins play: part huge of bulk                         410
  Wallowing unweildie, enormous in thir Gate
  Tempest the Ocean: there Leviathan
  Hugest of living Creatures, on the Deep
  Stretcht like a Promontorie sleeps or swimmes,

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  And seems a moving Land, and at his Gilles
  Draws in, and at his Trunck spouts out a Sea.

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  Mean while the tepid Caves, and Fens and shoares
  Thir Brood as numerous hatch, from the Egg that soon
  Bursting with kindly rupture forth disclos'd
  Thir callow young, but featherd soon and fledge                     420
  They summ'd thir Penns, and soaring th' air sublime
  With clang despis'd the ground, under a cloud
  In prospect; there the Eagle and the Stork
  On Cliffs and Cedar tops thir Eyries build:
  Part loosly wing the Region, part more wise
  In common, rang'd in figure wedge thir way,
  Intelligent of seasons, and set forth
  Thir Aierie Caravan high over Sea's
  Flying, and over Lands with mutual wing
  Easing thir flight; so stears the prudent Crane                     430
  Her annual Voiage, born on Windes; the Aire
  Floats, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes:
  From Branch to Branch the smaller Birds with song
  Solac'd the Woods, and spred thir painted wings
  Till Ev'n, nor then the solemn Nightingal
  Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft layes:
  Others on Silver Lakes and Rivers Bath'd
  Thir downie Brest; the Swan with Arched neck
  Between her white wings mantling proudly, Rowes
  Her state with Oarie feet: yet oft they quit                        440
  The Dank, and rising on stiff Pennons, towre
  The mid Aereal Skie: Others on ground
  Walk'd firm; the crested Cock whose clarion sounds
  The silent hours, and th' other whose gay Traine
  Adorns him, colour'd with the Florid hue
  Of Rainbows and Starrie Eyes. The Waters thus
  With Fish replenisht, and the Aire with Fowle,
  Ev'ning and Morn solemniz'd the Fift day.
  The Sixt, and of Creation last arose
  With Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said,                       450
  Let th' Earth bring forth Fowle living in her kinde,
  Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth,
  Each in their kinde. The Earth obey'd, and strait
  Op'ning her fertil Woomb teem'd at a Birth
  Innumerous living Creatures, perfet formes,
  Limb'd and full grown: out of the ground up-rose
  As from his Laire the wilde Beast where he wonns
  In Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den;
  Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk'd:
  The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green:                        460
  Those rare and solitarie, these in flocks
  Pasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung:
  The grassie Clods now Calv'd, now half appeer'd
  The Tawnie Lion, pawing to get free
  His hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds,
  And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; the Ounce,
  The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the Moale
  Rising, the crumbl'd Earth above them threw
  In Hillocks; the swift Stag from under ground
  Bore up his branching head: scarse from his mould                   470
  Behemoth biggest born of Earth upheav'd
  His vastness: Fleec't the Flocks and bleating rose,
  As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and Land
  The River Horse and scalie Crocodile.
  At once came forth whatever creeps the ground,
  Insect or Worme; those wav'd thir limber fans
  For wings, and smallest Lineaments exact
  In all the Liveries dect of Summers pride
  With spots of Gold and Purple, azure and green:
  These as a line thir long dimension drew,                           480
  Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all
  Minims of Nature; some of Serpent kinde
  Wondrous in length and corpulence involv'd
  Thir Snakie foulds, and added wings. First crept
  The Parsimonious Emmet, provident
  Of future, in small room large heart enclos'd,
  Pattern of just equalitie perhaps
  Hereafter, join'd in her popular Tribes
  Of Commonaltie: swarming next appeer'd
  The Femal Bee that feeds her Husband Drone                          490
  Deliciously, and builds her waxen Cells
  With Honey stor'd: the rest are numberless,
  And thou thir Natures know'st, and gav'st them Names,
  Needlest to thee repeated; nor unknown
  The Serpent suttl'st Beast of all the field,
  Of huge extent somtimes, with brazen Eyes
  And hairie Main terrific, though to thee
  Not noxious, but obedient at thy call.
  Now Heav'n in all her Glorie shon, and rowld
  Her motions, as the great first-Movers hand                         500
  First wheeld thir course; Earth in her rich attire
  Consummate lovly smil'd; Aire, Water, Earth,
  By Fowl, Fish, Beast, was flown, was swum, was walkt
  Frequent; and of the Sixt day yet remain'd;
  There wanted yet the Master work, the end
  Of all yet don; a Creature who not prone
  And Brute as other Creatures, but endu'd
  With Sanctitie of Reason, might erect
  His Stature, and upright with Front serene
  Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence                      510
  Magnanimous to correspond with Heav'n,
  But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
  Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyes
  Directed in Devotion, to adore
  And worship God Supream, who made him chief
  Of all his works: therefore the Omnipotent
  Eternal Father (For where is not hee
  Present) thus to his Son audibly spake.
  Let us make now Man in our image, Man
  In our similitude, and let them rule                                520
  Over the Fish and Fowle of Sea and Aire,
  Beast of the Field, and over all the Earth,
  And every creeping thing that creeps the ground.
  This said, he formd thee, Adam, thee O Man
  Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd
  The breath of Life; in his own Image hee
  Created thee, in the Image of God
  Express, and thou becam'st a living Soul.
  Male he created thee, but thy consort
  Femal for Race; then bless'd Mankinde, and said,                    530
  Be fruitful, multiplie, and fill the Earth,
  Subdue it, and throughout Dominion hold
  Over Fish of the Sea, and Fowle of the Aire,
  And every living thing that moves on the Earth.
  Wherever thus created, for no place
  Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know'st
  He brought thee into this delicious Grove,
  This Garden, planted with the Trees of God,
  Delectable both to behold and taste;
  And freely all thir pleasant fruit for food                         540
  Gave thee, all sorts are here that all th' Earth yeelds,
  Varietie without end; but of the Tree
  Which tasted works knowledge of Good and Evil,
  Thou mai'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou di'st;
  Death is the penaltie impos'd, beware,
  And govern well thy appetite, least sin
  Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death.
  Here finish'd hee, and all that he had made
  View'd, and behold all was entirely good;
  So Ev'n and Morn accomplish'd the Sixt day:                         550
  Yet not till the Creator from his work
  Desisting, though unwearied, up returnd
  Up to the Heav'n of Heav'ns his high abode,
  Thence to behold this new created World
  Th' addition of his Empire, how it shew'd
  In prospect from his Throne, how good, how faire,
  Answering his great Idea. Up he rode
  Followd with acclamation and the sound
  Symphonious of ten thousand Harpes that tun'd
  Angelic harmonies: the Earth, the Aire                              560
  Resounded, (thou remember'st, for thou heardst)
  The Heav'ns and all the Constellations rung,
  The Planets in thir stations list'ning stood,
  While the bright Pomp ascended jubilant.
  Open, ye everlasting Gates, they sung,
  Open, ye Heav'ns, your living dores; let in
  The great Creator from his work returnd
  Magnificent, his Six days work, a World;
  Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deigne
  To visit oft the dwellings of just Men                              570
  Delighted, and with frequent intercourse
  Thither will send his winged Messengers
  On errands of supernal Grace. So sung
  The glorious Train ascending: He through Heav'n,
  That open'd wide her blazing Portals, led
  To Gods Eternal house direct the way,
  A broad and ample rode, whose dust is Gold
  And pavement Starrs, as Starrs to thee appeer,
  Seen in the Galaxie, that Milkie way
  Which nightly as a circling Zone thou seest                         580
  Pouderd with Starrs. And now on Earth the Seaventh
  Eev'ning arose in Eden, for the Sun
  Was set, and twilight from the East came on,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Forerunning Night; when at the holy mount
  Of Heav'ns high-seated top, th' Impereal Throne
  Of Godhead, fixt for ever firm and sure,
  The Filial Power arriv'd, and sate him down
  With his great Father (for he also went
  Invisible, yet staid (such priviledge
  Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd,                           590
  Author and end of all things, and from work
  Now resting, bless'd and hallowd the Seav'nth day,
  As resting on that day from all his work,
  But not in silence holy kept; the Harp
  Had work and rested not, the solemn Pipe,
  And Dulcimer, all Organs of sweet stop,
  All sounds on Fret by String or Golden Wire
  Temper'd soft Tunings, intermixt with Voice
  Choral or Unison: of incense Clouds
  Fuming from Golden Censers hid the Mount.                           600
  Creation and the Six dayes acts they sung,
  Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite
  Thy power; what thought can measure thee or tongue
  Relate thee; greater now in thy return
  Then from the Giant Angels; thee that day
  Thy Thunders magnifi'd; but to create
  Is greater then created to destroy.
  Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound
  Thy Empire? easily the proud attempt
  Of Spirits apostat and thir Counsels vaine                          610
  Thou hast repeld, while impiously they thought
  Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw
  The number of thy worshippers. Who seekes
  To lessen thee, against his purpose serves
  To manifest the more thy might: his evil
  Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good.
  Witness this new-made World, another Heav'n
  From Heaven Gate not farr, founded in view
  On the cleer Hyaline, the Glassie Sea;
  Of amplitude almost immense, with Starr's                           620
  Numerous, and every Starr perhaps a World
  Of destind habitation; but thou know'st
  Thir seasons: among these the seat of men,
  Earth with her nether Ocean circumfus'd,
  Thir pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happie men,
  And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanc't,
  Created in his Image, there to dwell
  And worship him, and in reward to rule
  Over his Works, on Earth, in Sea, or Air,
  And multiply a Race of Worshippers                                  630
  Holy and just: thrice happie if they know
  Thir happiness, and persevere upright.
  So sung they, and the Empyrean rung,
  With Halleluiahs: Thus was Sabbath kept.
  And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd
  How first this World and face of things began,
  And what before thy memorie was don
  From the beginning, that posteritie
  Informd by thee might know; if else thou seekst
  Aught, not surpassing human measure, say.                           640

  451. Bentley's emendation of soul for fowl should be noted.
  See Genesis i. 30 A. V. margin.
  563 stations] station 1674

  The End of the Seventh Book



Adam inquires concerning celestial Motions, is doubtfully answer'd and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledg: Adam assents, and still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remember'd since his own Creation, his placing in Paradise, his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society, his first meeting and Nuptials with Eve, his discourse with the Angel thereupon; who after admonitions repeated departs.

  [THE Angel ended, and in Adams Eare
  So Charming left his voice, that he a while
  Thought him still speaking, still stood fixt to hear;
  Then as new wak't thus gratefully repli'd.]
  What thanks sufficient, or what recompence
  Equal have I to render thee, Divine
  Hystorian, who thus largely hast allayd
  The thirst I had of knowledge, and voutsaf't
  This friendly condescention to relate
  Things else by me unsearchable, now heard                            10
  With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
  With glorie attributed to the high
  Creator; some thing yet of doubt remaines,
  Which onely thy solution can resolve.
  When I behold this goodly Frame, this World
  Of Heav'n and Earth consisting, and compute,
  Thir magnitudes, this Earth a spot, a graine,
  An Atom, with the Firmament compar'd
  And all her numberd Starrs, that seem to rowle
  Spaces incomprehensible (for such                                    20
  Thir distance argues and thir swift return
  Diurnal) meerly to officiate light
  Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot,
  One day and night; in all thir vast survey
  Useless besides, reasoning I oft admire,
  How Nature wise and frugal could commit
  Such disproportions, with superfluous hand
  So many nobler Bodies to create,
  Greater so manifold to this one use,
  For aught appeers, and on thir Orbs impose                           30
  Such restless revolution day by day
  Repeated, while the sedentarie Earth,
  That better might with farr less compass move,
  Serv'd by more noble then her self, attaines
  Her end without least motion, and receaves,
  As Tribute such a sumless journey brought
  Of incorporeal speed, her warmth and light;
  Speed, to describe whose swiftness Number failes.
  So spake our Sire, and by his count'nance seemd
  Entring on studious thoughts abstruse, which Eve                     40
  Perceaving where she sat retir'd in sight,
  With lowliness Majestic from her seat,
  And Grace that won who saw to wish her stay,
  Rose, and went forth among her Fruits and Flours,
  To visit how they prosper'd, bud and bloom,
  Her Nurserie; they at her coming sprung
  And toucht by her fair tendance gladlier grew.
  Yet went she not, as not with such discourse
  Delighted, or not capable her eare
  Of what was high: such pleasure she reserv'd,                        50
  Adam relating, she sole Auditress;
  Her Husband the Relater she preferr'd
  Before the Angel, and of him to ask
  Chose rather; hee, she knew would intermix
  Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
  With conjugal Caresses, from his Lip
  Not Words alone pleas'd her. O when meet now
  Such pairs, in Love and mutual Honour joyn'd?
  With Goddess-like demeanour forth she went;
  Not unattended, for on her as Queen                                  60
  A pomp of winning Graces waited still,
  And from about her shot Darts of desire
  Into all Eyes to wish her still in sight.
  And Raphael now to Adam's doubt propos'd
  Benevolent and facil thus repli'd.
  To ask or search I blame thee not, for Heav'n
  Is as the Book of God before thee set,
  Wherein to read his wondrous Works, and learne
  His Seasons, Hours, or Days, or Months, or Yeares:
  This to attain, whether Heav'n move or Earth,                        70
  Imports not, if thou reck'n right, the rest
  From Man or Angel the great Architect
  Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge
  His secrets to be scann'd by them who ought
  Rather admire; or if they list to try
  Conjecture, he his Fabric of the Heav'ns
  Hath left to thir disputes, perhaps to move
  His laughter at thir quaint Opinions wide
  Hereafter, when they come to model Heav'n
  And calculate the Starrs, how they will weild                        80
  The mightie frame, how build, unbuild, contrive
  To save appeerances, how gird the Sphear
  With Centric and Eccentric scribl'd o're,
  Cycle and Epicycle, Orb in Orb:
  Alreadie by thy reasoning this I guess,
  Who art to lead thy ofspring, and supposest
  That Bodies bright and greater should not serve
  The less not bright, nor Heav'n such journies run,
  Earth sitting still, when she alone receaves
  The benefit: consider first, that Great                              90
  Or Bright inferrs not Excellence: the Earth
  Though, in comparison of Heav'n, so small,
  Nor glistering, may of solid good containe
  More plenty then the Sun that barren shines,
  Whose vertue on it self workes no effect,
  But in the fruitful Earth; there first receavd
  His beams, unactive else, thir vigor find.
  Yet not to Earth are those bright Luminaries
  Officious, but to thee Earths habitant.
  And for the Heav'ns wide Circuit, let it speak                      100
  The Makers high magnificence, who built
  So spacious, and his Line stretcht out so farr;
  That Man may know he dwells not in his own;
  An Edifice too large for him to fill,
  Lodg'd in a small partition, and the rest
  Ordain'd for uses to his Lord best known.
  The swiftness of those Circles attribute,
  Though numberless, to his Omnipotence,
  That to corporeal substances could adde
  Speed almost Spiritual; mee thou thinkst not slow,                  110
  Who since the Morning hour set out from Heav'n
  Where God resides, and ere mid-day arriv'd
  In Eden, distance inexpressible
  By Numbers that have name. But this I urge,
  Admitting Motion in the Heav'ns, to shew
  Invalid that which thee to doubt it mov'd;
  Not that I so affirm, though so it seem
  To thee who hast thy dwelling here on Earth.
  God to remove his wayes from human sense,
  Plac'd Heav'n from Earth so farr, that earthly sight,               120
  If it presume, might erre in things too high,
  And no advantage gaine. What if the Sun
  Be Center to the World, and other Starrs
  By his attractive vertue and thir own
  Incited, dance about him various rounds?
  Thir wandring course now high, now low, then hid,
  Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,
  In six thou seest, and what if sev'nth to these
  The Planet Earth, so stedfast though she seem,
  Insensibly three different Motions move?                            130
  Which else to several Sphears thou must ascribe,
  Mov'd contrarie with thwart obliquities,
  Or save the Sun his labour, and that swift
  Nocturnal and Diurnal rhomb suppos'd,
  Invisible else above all Starrs, the Wheele
  Of Day and Night; which needs not thy beleefe,
  If Earth industrious of her self fetch Day
  Travelling East, and with her part averse
  From the Suns beam meet Night, her other part
  Still luminous by his ray. What if that light                       140
  Sent from her through the wide transpicuous aire,
  To the terrestrial Moon be as a Starr
  Enlightning her by Day, as she by Night
  This Earth? reciprocal, if Land be there,
  Feilds and Inhabitants: Her spots thou seest
  As Clouds, and Clouds may rain, and Rain produce
  Fruits in her soft'nd Soile, for some to eate
  Allotted there; and other Suns perhaps
  With thir attendant Moons thou wilt descrie
  Communicating Male and Femal Light,                                 150
  Which two great Sexes animate the World,
  Stor'd in each Orb perhaps with some that live.
  For such vast room in Nature unpossest
  By living Soule, desert and desolate,
  Onely to shine, yet scarce to contribute
  Each Orb a glimps of Light, conveyd so farr
  Down to this habitable, which returnes
  Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.
  But whether thus these things, or whether not,
  Whether the Sun predominant in Heav'n                               160
  Rise on the Earth, or Earth rise on the Sun,
  Hee from the East his flaming rode begin,
  Or Shee from West her silent course advance
  With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps
  On her soft Axle, while she paces Eev'n,
  And bears thee soft with the smooth Air along,
  Sollicit not thy thoughts with matters hid,
  Leave them to God above, him serve and feare;
  Of other Creatures, as him pleases best,
  Wherever plac't, let him dispose: joy thou                          170
  In what he gives to thee, this Paradise
  And thy faire Eve; Heav'n is for thee too high
  To know what passes there; be lowlie wise:
  Think onely what concernes thee and thy being;
  Dream not of other Worlds, what Creatures there
  Live, in what state, condition or degree,
  Contented that thus farr hath been reveal'd
  Not of Earth onely but of highest Heav'n.
  To whom thus Adam cleerd of doubt, repli'd.
  How fully hast thou satisfi'd mee, pure                             180
  Intelligence of Heav'n, Angel serene,
  And freed from intricacies, taught to live,
  The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts
  To interrupt the sweet of Life, from which
  God hath bid dwell farr off all anxious cares,
  And not molest us, unless we our selves
  Seek them with wandring thoughts, and notions vaine.
  But apt the Mind or Fancie is to roave
  Uncheckt, and of her roaving is no end;
  Till warn'd, or by experience taught, she learne,                   190
  That not to know at large of things remote
  From use, obscure and suttle, but to know
  That which before us lies in daily life,
  Is the prime Wisdom, what is more, is fume,
  Or emptiness, or fond impertinence,
  And renders us in things that most concerne
  Unpractis'd, unprepar'd, and still to seek.
  Therefore from this high pitch let us descend
  A lower flight, and speak of things at hand
  Useful, whence haply mention may arise                              200
  Of somthing not unseasonable to ask
  By sufferance, and thy wonted favour deign'd.
  Thee I have heard relating what was don
  Ere my remembrance: now hear mee relate
  My Storie, which perhaps thou hast not heard;
  And Day is yet not spent; till then thou seest
  How suttly to detaine thee I devise,
  Inviting thee to hear while I relate,
  Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply:
  For while I sit with thee, I seem in Heav'n,                        210
  And sweeter thy discourse is to my eare
  Then Fruits of Palm-tree pleasantest to thirst
  And hunger both, from labour, at the houre
  Of sweet repast; they satiate, and soon fill,
  Though pleasant, but thy words with Grace Divine
  Imbu'd, bring to thir sweetness no satietie.
  To whom thus Raphael answer'd heav'nly meek.
  Nor are thy lips ungraceful, Sire of men,
  Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee
  Abundantly his gifts hath also pour'd,                              220
  Inward and outward both, his image faire:
  Speaking or mute all comliness and grace
  Attends thee, and each word, each motion formes.
  Nor less think wee in Heav'n of thee on Earth
  Then of our fellow servant, and inquire
  Gladly into the wayes of God with Man:
  For God we see hath honour'd thee, and set
  On Man his equal Love: say therefore on;
  For I that Day was absent, as befell,
  Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,                              230
  Farr on excursion toward the Gates of Hell;
  Squar'd in full Legion (such command we had)
  To see that none thence issu'd forth a spie,
  Or enemie, while God was in his work,
  Least hee incenst at such eruption bold,
  Destruction with Creation might have mixt.
  Not that they durst without his leave attempt,
  But us he sends upon his high behests
  For state, as Sovran King, and to enure
  Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut                      240
  The dismal Gates, and barricado'd strong;
  But long ere our approaching heard within
  Noise, other then the sound of Dance or Song,
  Torment, and lowd lament, and furious rage.
  Glad we return'd up to the coasts of Light
  Ere Sabbath Eev'ning: so we had in charge.
  But thy relation now; for I attend,
  Pleas'd with thy words no less then thou with mine.
  So spake the Godlike Power, and thus our Sire.
  For Man to tell how human Life began                                250
  Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?
  Desire with thee still longer to converse
  Induc'd me. As new wak't from soundest sleep
  Soft on the flourie herb I found me laid
  In Balmie Sweat, which with his Beames the Sun
  Soon dri'd, and on the reaking moisture fed.
  Strait toward Heav'n my wondring Eyes I turnd,
  And gaz'd a while the ample Skie, till rais'd
  By quick instinctive motion up I sprung,
  As thitherward endevoring, and upright                              260
  Stood on my feet; about me round I saw
  Hill, Dale, and shadie Woods, and sunnie Plaines,
  And liquid Lapse of murmuring Streams; by these,
  Creatures that livd, and movd, and walk'd, or flew,
  Birds on the branches warbling; all things smil'd,
  With fragrance and with joy my heart oreflow'd.
  My self I then perus'd, and Limb by Limb
  Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran
  With supple joints, as lively vigour led:
  But who I was, or where, or from what cause,                        270
  Knew not; to speak I tri'd, and forthwith spake,
  My Tongue obey'd and readily could name
  What e're I saw. Thou Sun, said I, faire Light,
  And thou enlight'nd Earth, so fresh and gay,
  Ye Hills and Dales, ye Rivers, Woods, and Plaines,
  And ye that live and move, fair Creatures, tell,
  Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here?
  Not of my self; by some great Maker then,
  In goodness and in power praeeminent;
  Tell me, how may I know him, how adore,                             280
  From whom I have that thus I move and live,
  And feel that I am happier then I know.
  While thus I call'd, and stray'd I knew not whither,
  From where I first drew Aire, and first beheld
  This happie Light, when answer none return'd,
  On a green shadie Bank profuse of Flours
  Pensive I sate me down; there gentle sleep
  First found me, and with soft oppression seis'd
  My droused sense, untroubl'd, though I thought
  I then was passing to my former state                               290
  Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:
  When suddenly stood at my Head a dream,
  Whose inward apparition gently mov'd
  My Fancy to believe I yet had being,
  And livd: One came, methought, of shape Divine,
  And said, thy Mansion wants thee, Adam, rise,
  First Man, of Men innumerable ordain'd
  First Father, call'd by thee I come thy Guide
  To the Garden of bliss, thy seat prepar'd.
  So saying, by the hand he took me rais'd,                           300
  And over Fields and Waters, as in Aire
  Smooth sliding without step, last led me up
  A woodie Mountain; whose high top was plaine,
  A Circuit wide, enclos'd, with goodliest Trees
  Planted, with Walks, and Bowers, that what I saw
  Of Earth before scarse pleasant seemd. Each Tree
  Load'n with fairest Fruit, that hung to the Eye
  Tempting, stirr'd in me sudden appetite
  To pluck and eate; whereat I wak'd, and found
  Before mine Eyes all real, as the dream                             310
  Had lively shadowd: Here had new begun
  My wandring, had not hee who was my Guide
  Up hither, from among the Trees appeer'd,
  Presence Divine. Rejoycing, but with aw
  In adoration at his feet I fell
  Submiss: he rear'd me, & Whom thou soughtst I am,
  Said mildely, Author of all this thou seest
  Above, or round about thee or beneath.
  This Paradise I give thee, count it thine
  To Till and keep, and of the Fruit to eate:                         320
  Of every Tree that in the Garden growes
  Eate freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth:
  But of the Tree whose operation brings
  Knowledg of good and ill, which I have set
  The Pledge of thy Obedience and thy Faith,
  Amid the Garden by the Tree of Life,
  Remember what I warne thee, shun to taste,
  And shun the bitter consequence: for know,
  The day thou eat'st thereof, my sole command
  Transgrest, inevitably thou shalt dye;                              330
  From that day mortal, and this happie State
  Shalt loose, expell'd from hence into a World
  Of woe and sorrow. Sternly he pronounc'd
  The rigid interdiction, which resounds
  Yet dreadful in mine eare, though in my choice
  Not to incur; but soon his cleer aspect
  Return'd and gratious purpose thus renew'd.
  Not onely these fair bounds, but all the Earth
  To thee and to thy Race I give; as Lords
  Possess it, and all things that therein live,                       340
  Or live in Sea, or Aire, Beast, Fish, and Fowle.
  In signe whereof each Bird and Beast behold
  After thir kindes; I bring them to receave
  From thee thir Names, and pay thee fealtie
  With low subjection; understand the same
  Of Fish within thir watry residence,
  Not hither summond, since they cannot change
  Thir Element to draw the thinner Aire.
  As thus he spake, each Bird and Beast behold
  Approaching two and two, These cowring low                          350
  With blandishment, each Bird stoop'd on his wing.
  I nam'd them, as they pass'd, and understood
  Thir Nature, with such knowledg God endu'd
  My sudden apprehension: but in these
  I found not what me thought I wanted still;
  And to the Heav'nly vision thus presum'd.
  O by what Name, for thou above all these,
  Above mankinde, or aught then mankinde higher,
  Surpassest farr my naming, how may I
  Adore thee, Author of this Universe,                                360
  And all this good to man, for whose well being
  So amply, and with hands so liberal
  Thou hast provided all things: but with mee
  I see not who partakes. In solitude
  What happiness, who can enjoy alone,
  Or all enjoying, what contentment find?
  Thus I presumptuous; and the vision bright,
  As with a smile more bright'nd, thus repli'd.
  What call'st thou solitude, is not the Earth
  With various living creatures, and the Aire                         370
  Replenisht, and all these at thy command
  To come and play before thee, know'st thou not
  Thir language and thir wayes, they also know,
  And reason not contemptibly; with these
  Find pastime, and beare rule; thy Realm is large.
  So spake the Universal Lord, and seem'd
  So ordering. I with leave of speech implor'd,
  And humble deprecation thus repli'd.
  Let not my words offend thee, Heav'nly Power,
  My Maker, be propitious while I speak.                              380
  Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,
  And these inferiour farr beneath me set?
  Among unequals what societie
  Can sort, what harmonie or true delight?
  Which must be mutual, in proportion due
  Giv'n and receiv'd; but in disparitie
  The one intense, the other still remiss
  Cannot well suite with either, but soon prove
  Tedious alike: Of fellowship I speak
  Such as I seek, fit to participate                                  390
  All rational delight, wherein the brute
  Cannot be human consort; they rejoyce
  Each with thir kinde, Lion with Lioness;
  So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin'd;
  Much less can Bird with Beast, or Fish with Fowle
  So well converse, nor with the Ox the Ape;
  Wors then can Man with Beast, and least of all.
  Whereto th' Almighty answer'd, not displeas'd.
  A nice and suttle happiness I see
  Thou to thy self proposest, in the choice                           400
  Of thy Associates, Adam, and wilt taste
  No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitarie.
  What thinkst thou then of mee, and this my State,
  Seem I to thee sufficiently possest
  Of happiness, or not? who am alone
  From all Eternitie, for none I know
  Second to mee or like, equal much less.
  How have I then with whom to hold converse
  Save with the Creatures which I made, and those
  To me inferiour, infinite descents                                  410
  Beneath what other Creatures are to thee?
  He ceas'd, I lowly answer'd. To attaine
  The highth and depth of thy Eternal wayes
  All human thoughts come short, Supream of things;
  Thou in thy self art perfet, and in thee
  Is no deficience found; not so is Man,
  But in degree, the cause of his desire
  By conversation with his like to help,
  Or solace his defects. No need that thou
  Shouldst propagat, already infinite;                                420
  And through all numbers absolute, though One;
  But Man by number is to manifest
  His single imperfection, and beget
  Like of his like, his Image multipli'd,
  In unitie defective, which requires
  Collateral love, and deerest amitie.
  Thou in thy secresie although alone,
  Best with thy self accompanied, seek'st not
  Social communication, yet so pleas'd,
  Canst raise thy Creature to what highth thou wilt                   430
  Of Union or Communion, deifi'd;
  I by conversing cannot these erect
  From prone, nor in thir wayes complacence find.
  Thus I embold'nd spake, and freedom us'd
  Permissive, and acceptance found, which gain'd
  This answer from the gratious voice Divine.
  Thus farr to try thee, Adam, I was pleas'd,
  And finde thee knowing not of Beasts alone,
  Which thou hast rightly nam'd, but of thy self,
  Expressing well the spirit within thee free,                        440
  My Image, not imparted to the Brute,
  Whose fellowship therefore unmeet for thee
  Good reason was thou freely shouldst dislike,
  And be so minded still; I, ere thou spak'st,
  Knew it not good for Man to be alone,
  And no such companie as then thou saw'st
  Intended thee, for trial onely brought,
  To see how thou could'st judge of fit and meet:
  What next I bring shall please thee, be assur'd,
  Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,                         450
  Thy wish, exactly to thy hearts desire.
  Hee ended, or I heard no more, for now
  My earthly by his Heav'nly overpowerd,
  Which it had long stood under, streind to the highth
  In that celestial Colloquie sublime,
  As with an object that excels the sense,
  Dazl'd and spent, sunk down, and sought repair
  Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, call'd
  By Nature as in aide, and clos'd mine eyes.
  Mine eyes he clos'd, but op'n left the Cell                         460
  Of Fancie my internal sight, by which
  Abstract as in a transe methought I saw,
  Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape
  Still glorious before whom awake I stood;
  Who stooping op'nd my left side, and took
  From thence a Rib, with cordial spirits warme,
  And Life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound,
  But suddenly with flesh fill'd up & heal'd:
  The Rib he formd and fashond with his hands;
  Under his forming hands a Creature grew,                            470
  Manlike, but different sex, so lovly faire,
  That what seemd fair in all the World, seemd now
  Mean, or in her summd up, in her containd
  And in her looks, which from that time infus'd
  Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before,
  And into all things from her Aire inspir'd
  The spirit of love and amorous delight.
  She disappeerd, and left me dark, I wak'd
  To find her, or for ever to deplore
  Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure:                           480
  When out of hope, behold her, not farr off,
  Such as I saw her in my dream, adornd
  With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow
  To make her amiable: On she came,
  Led by her Heav'nly Maker, though unseen,
  And guided by his voice, nor uninformd
  Of nuptial Sanctitie and marriage Rites:
  Grace was in all her steps, Heav'n in her Eye,
  In every gesture dignitie and love.
  I overjoyd could not forbear aloud.                                 490
  This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfill'd
  Thy words, Creator bounteous and benigne,
  Giver of all things faire, but fairest this
  Of all thy gifts, nor enviest. I now see
  Bone of my Bone, Flesh of my Flesh, my Self
  Before me; Woman is her Name, of Man
  Extracted; for this cause he shall forgoe
  Father and Mother, and to his Wife adhere;
  And they shall be one Flesh, one Heart, one Soule.
  She heard me thus, and though divinely brought,                     500
  Yet Innocence and Virgin Modestie,
  Her vertue and the conscience of her worth,
  That would be woo'd, and not unsought be won,
  Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retir'd,
  The more desirable, or to say all,
  Nature her self, though pure of sinful thought,
  Wrought in her so, that seeing me, she turn'd;
  I follow'd her, she what was Honour knew,
  And with obsequious Majestie approv'd
  My pleaded reason. To the Nuptial Bowre                             510
  I led her blushing like the Morn: all Heav'n,
  And happie Constellations on that houre
  Shed thir selectest influence; the Earth
  Gave sign of gratulation, and each Hill;
  Joyous the Birds; fresh Gales and gentle Aires
  Whisper'd it to the Woods, and from thir wings
  Flung Rose, flung Odours from the spicie Shrub,
  Disporting, till the amorous Bird of Night
  Sung Spousal, and bid haste the Eevning Starr
  On his Hill top, to light the bridal Lamp.                          520
  Thus I have told thee all my State, and brought
  My Storie to the sum of earthly bliss
  Which I enjoy, and must confess to find
  In all things else delight indeed, but such
  As us'd or not, works in the mind no change,
  Nor vehement desire, these delicacies
  I mean of Taste, Sight, Smell, Herbs, Fruits, & Flours,
  Walks, and the melodie of Birds; but here
  Farr otherwise, transported I behold,
  Transported touch; here passion first I felt,                       530
  Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else
  Superiour and unmov'd, here onely weake
  Against the charm of Beauties powerful glance.
  Or Nature faild in mee, and left some part
  Not proof enough such Object to sustain,
  Or from my side subducting, took perhaps
  More then enough; at least on her bestow'd
  Too much of Ornament, in outward shew
  Elaborate, of inward less exact.
  For well I understand in the prime end                              540
  Of Nature her th' inferiour, in the mind
  And inward Faculties, which most excell,
  In outward also her resembling less
  His Image who made both, and less expressing
  The character of that Dominion giv'n
  O're other Creatures; yet when I approach
  Her loveliness, so absolute she seems
  And in her self compleat, so well to know
  Her own, that what she wills to do or say,
  Seems wisest, vertuousest, discreetest, best;                       550
  All higher knowledge in her presence falls
  Degraded, Wisdom in discourse with her
  Looses discount'nanc't, and like folly shewes;
  Authoritie and Reason on her waite,
  As one intended first, not after made
  Occasionally; and to consummate all,
  Greatness of mind and nobleness thir seat
  Build in her loveliest, and create an awe
  About her, as a guard Angelic plac't.
  To whom the Angel with contracted brow.                             560
  Accuse not Nature, she hath don her part;
  Do thou but thine, and be not diffident
  Of Wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thou
  Dismiss not her, when most thou needst her nigh,
  By attributing overmuch to things
  Less excellent, as thou thy self perceav'st.
  For what admir'st thou, what transports thee so,
  An outside? fair no doubt, and worthy well
  Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love,
  Not thy subjection: weigh with her thy self;                        570
  Then value: Oft times nothing profits more
  Then self-esteem, grounded on just and right
  Well manag'd; of that skill the more thou know'st,
  The more she will acknowledge thee her Head,
  And to realities yeild all her shows;
  Made so adorn for thy delight the more,
  So awful, that with honour thou maist love
  Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise.
  But if the sense of touch whereby mankind
  Is propagated seem such dear delight                                580
  Beyond all other, think the same voutsaf't
  To Cattel and each Beast; which would not be
  To them made common & divulg'd, if aught
  Therein enjoy'd were worthy to subdue
  The Soule of Man, or passion in him move.
  What higher in her societie thou findst
  Attractive, human, rational, love still;
  In loving thou dost well, in passion not,
  Wherein true Love consists not; love refines
  The thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat                     590
  In Reason, and is judicious, is the scale
  By which to heav'nly Love thou maist ascend,
  Not sunk in carnal pleasure, for which cause
  Among the Beasts no Mate for thee was found.
  To whom thus half abash't Adam repli'd.
  Neither her out-side formd so fair, nor aught
  In procreation common to all kindes
  (Though higher of the genial Bed by far,
  And with mysterious reverence I deem)
  So much delights me, as those graceful acts,                        600
  Those thousand decencies that daily flow
  From all her words and actions, mixt with Love
  And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
  Union of Mind, or in us both one Soule;
  Harmonie to behold in wedded pair
  More grateful then harmonious sound to the eare.
  Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose
  What inward thence I feel, not therefore foild,
  Who meet with various objects, from the sense
  Variously representing; yet still free                              610
  Approve the best, and follow what I approve.
  To love thou blam'st me not, for love thou saist
  Leads up to Heav'n, is both the way and guide;
  Bear with me then, if lawful what I ask;
  Love not the heav'nly Spirits, and how thir Love
  Express they, by looks onely, or do they mix
  Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?
  To whom the Angel with a smile that glow'd
  Celestial rosie red, Loves proper hue,
  Answer'd. Let it suffice thee that thou know'st                     620
  Us happie, and without Love no happiness.
  Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy'st
  (And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
  In eminence, and obstacle find none
  Of membrane, joynt, or limb, exclusive barrs:
  Easier then Air with Air, if Spirits embrace,
  Total they mix, Union of Pure with Pure
  Desiring; nor restrain'd conveyance need
  As Flesh to mix with Flesh, or Soul with Soul.
  But I can now no more; the parting Sun                              630
  Beyond the Earths green Cape and verdant Isles
  Hesperean sets, my Signal to depart.
  Be strong, live happie, and love, but first of all
  Him whom to love is to obey, and keep
  His great command; take heed least Passion sway
  Thy Judgement to do aught, which else free Will
  Would not admit; thine and of all thy Sons
  The weal or woe in thee is plac't; beware.
  I in thy persevering shall rejoyce,
  And all the Blest: stand fast; to stand or fall                     640
  Free in thine own Arbitrement it lies.
  Perfet within, no outward aid require;
  And all temptation to transgress repel.
  So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus
  Follow'd with benediction. Since to part,
  Go heavenly Guest, Ethereal Messenger,
  Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore.
  Gentle to me and affable hath been
  Thy condescension, and shall be honour'd ever
  With grateful Memorie: thou to mankind                              650
  Be good and friendly still, and oft return.
  So parted they, the Angel up to Heav'n
  From the thick shade, and Adam to his Bowre.

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  1-4  These lines were added in the second edition (1674) when
  Book VII was divided into two at line 640.  Line 641 had read
  'To whom thus Adam gratefully repli'd'.
  269 as] and 1674.

  The End Of The Eighth Book.



Satan having compast the Earth, with meditated guile returns as a mist by Night into Paradise, enters into the Serpent sleeping. Adam and Eve in the Morning go forth to thir labours, which Eve proposes to divide in several places, each labouring apart: Adam consents not, alledging the danger, lest that Enemy, of whom they were forewarn'd, should attempt her found alone: Eve loath to be thought not circumspect or firm enough, urges her going apart, the rather desirous to make tryal of her strength; Adam at last yields: The Serpent finds her alone; his subtle approach, first gazing, then speaking with much flattery extolling Eve above all other Creatures. Eve wondring to hear the Serpent speak, asks how he attain'd to human speech and such understanding not till now; the Serpent answers, that by tasting of a certain Tree in the Garden he attain'd both to Speech and Reason, till then void of both: Eve requires him to bring her to that Tree, and finds it to be the Tree of Knowledge forbidden: The Serpent now grown bolder, with many wiles and arguments induces her at length to eat; she pleas'd with the taste deliberates awhile whether to impart thereof to Adam or not, at last brings him of the Fruit, relates what persuaded her to eat thereof: Adam at first amaz'd, but perceiving her lost, resolves through vehemence of love to perish with her; and extenuating the trespass, eats also of the Fruit: The effects thereof in them both; they seek to cover thir nakedness; then fall to variance and accusation of one another.

  No more of talk where God or Angel Guest
  With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us'd
  To sit indulgent, and with him partake
  Rural repast, permitting him the while
  Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change
  Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and breach
  Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt
  And disobedience: On the part of Heav'n
  Now alienated, distance and distaste,
  Anger and just rebuke, and judgement giv'n,                          10
  That brought into this World a world of woe,
  Sinne and her shadow Death, and Miserie
  Deaths Harbinger: Sad task, yet argument
  Not less but more Heroic then the wrauth
  Of stern Achilles on his Foe pursu'd
  Thrice Fugitive about Troy Wall; or rage
  Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd,
  Or Neptun's ire or Juno's, that so long
  Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's Son;
  If answerable style I can obtaine                                    20
  Of my Celestial Patroness, who deignes
  Her nightly visitation unimplor'd,
  And dictates to me slumbring, or inspires
  Easie my unpremeditated Verse:
  Since first this subject for Heroic Song
  Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late;
  Not sedulous by Nature to indite
  Warrs, hitherto the onely Argument
  Heroic deem'd, chief maistrie to dissect
  With long and tedious havoc fabl'd Knights                           30
  In Battels feign'd; the better fortitude
  Of Patience and Heroic Martyrdom
  Unsung; or to describe Races and Games,
  Or tilting Furniture, emblazon'd Shields,
  Impreses quaint, Caparisons and Steeds;
  Bases and tinsel Trappings, gorgious Knights
  At Joust and Torneament; then marshal'd Feast
  Serv'd up in Hall with Sewers, and Seneshals;
  The skill of Artifice or Office mean,
  Not that which justly gives Heroic name                              40
  To Person or to Poem. Mee of these
  Nor skilld nor studious, higher Argument
  Remaines, sufficient of it self to raise
  That name, unless an age too late, or cold
  Climat, or Years damp my intended wing
  Deprest, and much they may, if all be mine,
  Not Hers who brings it nightly to my Ear.
  The Sun was sunk, and after him the Starr
  Of Hesperus, whose Office is to bring
  Twilight upon the Earth, short Arbiter                               50
  Twixt Day and Night, and now from end to end
  Nights Hemisphere had veild the Horizon round:
  When Satan who late fled before the threats
  Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd
  In meditated fraud and malice, bent
  On mans destruction, maugre what might hap
  Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd.
  By Night he fled, and at Midnight return'd
  From compassing the Earth, cautious of day,
  Since Uriel Regent of the Sun descri'd                               60
  His entrance, and forewarnd the Cherubim
  That kept thir watch; thence full of anguish driv'n,
  The space of seven continu'd Nights he rode
  With darkness, thrice the Equinoctial Line
  He circl'd, four times cross'd the Carr of Night
  From Pole to Pole, traversing each Colure;
  On the eighth return'd, and on the Coast averse
  From entrance or Cherubic Watch, by stealth
  Found unsuspected way. There was a place,
  Now not, though Sin, not Time, first wraught the change,             70
  Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise
  Into a Gulf shot under ground, till part
  Rose up a Fountain by the Tree of Life;

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  In with the River sunk, and with it rose
  Satan involv'd in rising Mist, then sought
  Where to lie hid; Sea he had searcht and Land
  From Eden over Pontus, and the Poole
  Maeotis, up beyond the River Ob;
  Downward as farr Antartic; and in length
  West from Orantes to the Ocean barr'd                                80
  At Darien, thence to the Land where flowes
  Ganges and Indus: thus the Orb he roam'd
  With narrow search; and with inspection deep
  Consider'd every Creature, which of all
  Most opportune might serve his Wiles, and found
  The Serpent suttlest Beast of all the Field.
  Him after long debate, irresolute
  Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose
  Fit Vessel, fittest Imp of fraud, in whom
  To enter, and his dark suggestions hide                              90
  From sharpest sight: for in the wilie Snake,
  Whatever sleights none would suspicious mark,
  As from his wit and native suttletie
  Proceeding, which in other Beasts observ'd
  Doubt might beget of Diabolic pow'r
  Active within beyond the sense of brute.
  Thus he resolv'd, but first from inward griefe
  His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd:

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  O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferrd
  More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built                        100
  With second thoughts, reforming what was old!
  For what God after better worse would build?
  Terrestrial Heav'n, danc't round by other Heav'ns
  That shine, yet bear thir bright officious Lamps,
  Light above Light, for thee alone, as seems,
  In thee concentring all thir precious beams
  Of sacred influence: As God in Heav'n
  Is Center, yet extends to all, so thou
  Centring receav'st from all those Orbs; in thee,
  Not in themselves, all thir known vertue appeers                    110
  Productive in Herb, Plant, and nobler birth
  Of Creatures animate with gradual life
  Of Growth, Sense, Reason, all summ'd up in Man.
  With what delight could I have walkt thee round
  If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange
  Of Hill and Vallie, Rivers, Woods and Plaines,
  Now Land, now Sea, & Shores with Forrest crownd,
  Rocks, Dens, and Caves; but I in none of these
  Find place or refuge; and the more I see
  Pleasures about me, so much more I feel                             120
  Torment within me, as from the hateful siege
  Of contraries; all good to me becomes
  Bane, and in Heav'n much worse would be my state.
  But neither here seek I, no nor in Heav'n
  To dwell, unless by maistring Heav'ns Supreame;
  Nor hope to be my self less miserable
  By what I seek, but others to make such
  As I though thereby worse to me redound:
  For onely in destroying I finde ease
  To my relentless thoughts; and him destroyd,                        130
  Or won to what may work his utter loss,
  For whom all this was made, all this will soon
  Follow, as to him linkt in weal or woe,
  In wo then; that destruction wide may range:
  To mee shall be the glorie sole among
  The infernal Powers, in one day to have marr'd
  What he Almightie styl'd, six Nights and Days
  Continu'd making, and who knows how long
  Before had bin contriving, though perhaps
  Not longer then since I in one Night freed                          140
  From servitude inglorious welnigh half
  Th' Angelic Name, and thinner left the throng
  Of his adorers: hee to be aveng'd,
  And to repaire his numbers thus impair'd,
  Whether such vertue spent of old now faild
  More Angels to Create, if they at least
  Are his Created or to spite us more,
  Determin'd to advance into our room
  A Creature form'd of Earth, and him endow,
  Exalted from so base original,                                      150
  With Heav'nly spoils, our spoils: What he decreed
  He effected; Man he made, and for him built
  Magnificent this World, and Earth his seat,
  Him Lord pronounc'd, and, O indignitie!
  Subjected to his service Angel wings,
  And flaming Ministers to watch and tend
  Thir earthlie Charge: Of these the vigilance
  I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist
  Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and prie
  In every Bush and Brake, where hap may finde                        160
  The Serpent sleeping, in whose mazie foulds
  To hide me, and the dark intent I bring.
  O foul descent! that I who erst contended
  With Gods to sit the highest, am now constraind
  Into a Beast, and mixt with bestial slime,
  This essence to incarnate and imbrute,
  That to the hight of Deitie aspir'd;
  But what will not Ambition and Revenge
  Descend to? who aspires must down as low
  As high he soard, obnoxious first or last                           170
  To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,
  Bitter ere long back on it self recoiles;
  Let it; I reck not, so it light well aim'd,
  Since higher I fall short, on him who next
  Provokes my envie, this new Favorite
  Of Heav'n, this Man of Clay, Son of despite,
  Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais'd
  From dust: spite then with spite is best repaid.
  So saying, through each Thicket Danck or Drie,
  Like a black mist low creeping, he held on                          180
  His midnight search, where soonest he might finde
  The Serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found
  In Labyrinth of many a round self-rowl'd,

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  His head the midst, well stor'd with suttle wiles:
  Not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den,
  Nor nocent yet, but on the grassie Herbe
  Fearless unfeard he slept: in at his Mouth
  The Devil enterd, and his brutal sense,
  In heart or head, possessing soon inspir'd
  With act intelligential; but his sleep                              190
  Disturbd not, waiting close th' approach of Morn.
  Now whenas sacred Light began to dawne
  In Eden on the humid Flours, that breathd
  Thir morning Incense, when all things that breath,
  From th' Earths great Altar send up silent praise
  To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill
  With gratefull Smell, forth came the human pair
  And joynd thir vocal Worship to the Quire
  Of Creatures wanting voice, that done, partake
  The season, prime for sweetest Sents and Aires:                     200
  Then commune how that day they best may ply
  Thir growing work: for much thir work outgrew
  The hands dispatch of two Gardning so wide.
  And Eve first to her Husband thus began.
  Adam, well may we labour still to dress
  This Garden, still to tend Plant, Herb and Flour.
  Our pleasant task enjoyn'd, but till more hands
  Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
  Luxurious by restraint; what we by day
  Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind,                          210
  One night or two with wanton growth derides
  Tending to wilde. Thou therefore now advise
  Or hear what to my mind first thoughts present,
  Let us divide our labours, thou where choice
  Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind
  The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct
  The clasping Ivie where to climb, while I
  In yonder Spring of Roses intermixt
  With Myrtle, find what to redress till Noon:
  For while so near each other thus all day                           220
  Our task we choose, what wonder if so near
  Looks intervene and smiles, or object new
  Casual discourse draw on, which intermits
  Our dayes work brought to little, though begun
  Early, and th' hour of Supper comes unearn'd.
  To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd.
  Sole Eve, Associate sole, to me beyond
  Compare above all living Creatures deare,
  Well hast thou motion'd, wel thy thoughts imployd
  How we might best fulfill the work which here                       230
  God hath assign'd us, nor of me shalt pass
  Unprais'd: for nothing lovelier can be found
  In woman, then to studie houshold good,
  And good workes in her Husband to promote.
  Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd
  Labour, as to debarr us when we need
  Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,
  Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse
  Of looks and smiles, for smiles from Reason flow,
  To brute deni'd, and are of Love the food,                          240
  Love not the lowest end of human life.
  For not to irksom toile, but to delight
  He made us, and delight to Reason joyn'd.
  These paths and Bowers doubt not but our joynt hands
  Will keep from Wilderness with ease, as wide
  As we need walk, till younger hands ere long
  Assist us: But if much converse perhaps
  Thee satiate, to short absence I could yeild.
  For solitude somtimes is best societie,
  And short retirement urges sweet returne.                           250
  But other doubt possesses me, least harm
  Befall thee sever'd from me; for thou knowst
  What hath bin warn'd us, what malicious Foe
  Envying our happiness, and of his own
  Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame
  By sly assault; and somwhere nigh at hand
  Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find
  His wish and best advantage, us asunder,
  Hopeless to circumvent us joynd, where each
  To other speedie aide might lend at need;                           260
  Whether his first design be to withdraw
  Our fealtie from God, or to disturb
  Conjugal Love, then which perhaps no bliss
  Enjoy'd by us excites his envie more;
  Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side
  That gave thee being, stil shades thee and protects.
  The Wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
  Safest and seemliest by her Husband staies,
  Who guards her, or with her the worst endures.
  To whom the Virgin Majestie of Eve,                                 270
  As one who loves, and some unkindness meets,
  With sweet austeer composure thus reply'd.
  Ofspring of Heav'n and Earth, and all Earths Lord,
  That such an enemie we have, who seeks
  Our ruin, both by thee informd I learne,
  And from the parting Angel over-heard
  As in a shadie nook I stood behind,
  Just then returnd at shut of Evening Flours.
  But that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt
  To God or thee, because we have a foe                               280
  May tempt it, I expected not to hear.
  His violence thou fearst not, being such,
  As wee, not capable of death or paine,
  Can either not receave, or can repell.
  His fraud is then thy fear, which plain inferrs
  Thy equal fear that my firm Faith and Love
  Can by his fraud be shak'n or seduc't;
  Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy Brest,
  Adam, misthought of her to thee so dear?
  To whom with healing words Adam reply'd.                            290
  Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve,
  For such thou art, from sin and blame entire:
  Not diffident of thee do I dissuade
  Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid
  Th' attempt it self, intended by our Foe.
  For hee who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses
  The tempted with dishonour foul, suppos'd
  Not incorruptible of Faith, not prooff
  Against temptation: thou thy self with scorne
  And anger wouldst resent the offer'd wrong,                         300
  Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then,
  If such affront I labour to avert
  From thee alone, which on us both at once
  The Enemie, though bold, will hardly dare,
  Or daring, first on mee th' assault shall light.
  Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn;
  Suttle he needs must be, who could seduce
  Angels, nor think superfluous others aid.
  I from the influence of thy looks receave
  Access in every Vertue, in thy sight                                310
  More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were
  Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on,
  Shame to be overcome or over-reacht
  Would utmost vigor raise, and rais'd unite.
  Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel
  When I am present, and thy trial choose
  With me, best witness of thy Vertue tri'd.
  So spake domestick Adam in his care
  And Matrimonial Love, but Eve, who thought
  Less attributed to her Faith sincere,                               320
  Thus her reply with accent sweet renewd.
  If this be our condition, thus to dwell
  In narrow circuit strait'nd by a Foe,
  Suttle or violent, we not endu'd
  Single with like defence, wherever met,
  How are we happie, still in fear of harm?
  But harm precedes not sin: onely our Foe
  Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem
  Of our integritie: his foul esteeme
  Sticks no dishonor on our Front, but turns                          330
  Foul on himself; then wherfore shund or feard
  By us? who rather double honour gaine
  From his surmise prov'd false, finde peace within,
  Favour from Heav'n, our witness from th' event.
  And what is Faith, Love, Vertue unassaid
  Alone, without exterior help sustaind?
  Let us not then suspect our happie State
  Left so imperfet by the Maker wise,
  As not secure to single or combin'd.
  Fraile is our happiness, if this be so,                             340
  And Eden were no Eden thus expos'd.
  To whom thus Adam fervently repli'd.
  O Woman, best are all things as the will
  Of God ordaind them, his creating hand
  Nothing imperfet or deficient left
  Of all that he Created, much less Man,
  Or ought that might his happie State secure,
  Secure from outward force; within himself
  The danger lies, yet lies within his power:
  Against his will he can receave no harme.                           350
  But God left free the Will, for what obeyes
  Reason, is free, and Reason he made right,
  But bid her well beware, and still erect,
  Least by some faire appeering good surpris'd
  She dictate false, and missinforme the Will
  To do what God expresly hath forbid.
  Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoynes,
  That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me.
  Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve,
  Since Reason not impossibly may meet                                360
  Some specious object by the Foe subornd,
  And fall into deception unaware,
  Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warnd.
  Seek not temptation then, which to avoide
  Were better, and most likelie if from mee
  Thou sever not; Trial will come unsought.
  Wouldst thou approve thy constancie, approve
  First thy obedience; th' other who can know,
  Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
  But if thou think, trial unsought may finde                         370
  Us both securer then thus warnd thou seemst,
  Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more;
  Go in thy native innocence, relie
  On what thou hast of vertue, summon all,
  For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine.
  So spake the Patriarch of Mankinde, but Eve
  Persisted, yet submiss, though last, repli'd.
  With thy permission then, and thus forewarnd
  Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words
  Touchd onely, that our trial, when least sought,                    380
  May finde us both perhaps farr less prepar'd,
  The willinger I goe, nor much expect
  A Foe so proud will first the weaker seek;
  So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse.
  Thus saying, from her Husbands hand her hand
  Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light
  Oread or Dryad, or of Delia's Traine,
  Betook her to the Groves, but Delia's self
  In gate surpass'd and Goddess-like deport,
  Though not as shee with Bow and Quiver armd,                        390
  But with such Gardning Tools as art yet rude,
  Guiltless of fire had formd, or Angels brought,
  To Pales, or Pomona, thus adornd,
  Likest she seemd, Pomona when she fled
  Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her Prime,
  Yet Virgin of Proserpina from Jove.
  Her long with ardent look his Eye pursu'd
  Delighted, but desiring more her stay.
  Oft he to her his charge of quick returne,
  Repeated, shee to him as oft engag'd                                400
  To be returnd by Noon amid the Bowre,
  And all things in best order to invite
  Noontide repast, or Afternoons repose.
  O much deceav'd, much failing, hapless Eve,
  Of thy presum'd return! event perverse!
  Thou never from that houre in Paradise
  Foundst either sweet repast, or sound repose;
  Such ambush hid among sweet Flours and Shades
  Waited with hellish rancor imminent
  To intercept thy way, or send thee back                             410
  Despoild of Innocence, of Faith, of Bliss.
  For now, and since first break of dawne the Fiend,
  Meer Serpent in appearance, forth was come,
  And on his Quest, where likeliest he might finde
  The onely two of Mankinde, but in them
  The whole included Race, his purposd prey.
  In Bowre and Field he sought, where any tuft
  Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay,
  Thir tendance or Plantation for delight,
  By Fountain or by shadie Rivulet                                    420
  He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find
  Eve separate, he wish'd, but not with hope
  Of what so seldom chanc'd, when to his wish,
  Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
  Veild in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood,
  Half spi'd, so thick the Roses bushing round
  About her glowd, oft stooping to support
  Each Flour of slender stalk, whose head though gay
  Carnation, Purple, Azure, or spect with Gold,
  Hung drooping unsustaind, them she upstaies                         430
  Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while,
  Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour,
  From her best prop so farr, and storm so nigh.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Neerer he drew, and many a walk travers'd
  Of stateliest Covert, Cedar, Pine, or Palme,
  Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen
  Among thick-wov'n Arborets and Flours
  Imborderd on each Bank, the hand of Eve:
  Spot more delicious then those Gardens feign'd
  Or of reviv'd Adonis, or renownd                                    440
  Alcinous, host of old Laertes Son,
  Or that, not Mystic, where the Sapient King
  Held dalliance with his faire Egyptian Spouse.
  Much hee the Place admir'd, the Person more.
  As one who long in populous City pent,
  Where Houses thick and Sewers annoy the Aire,
  Forth issuing on a Summers Morn, to breathe
  Among the pleasant Villages and Farmes
  Adjoynd, from each thing met conceaves delight,
  The smell of Grain, or tedded Grass, or Kine,                       450
  Or Dairie, each rural sight, each rural sound;
  If chance with Nymphlike step fair Virgin pass,
  What pleasing seemd, for her now pleases more,
  She most, and in her look summs all Delight.
  Such Pleasure took the Serpent to behold
  This Flourie Plat, the sweet recess of Eve
  Thus earlie, thus alone; her Heav'nly forme
  Angelic, but more soft, and Feminine,
  Her graceful Innocence, her every Aire
  Of gesture or lest action overawd                                   460
  His Malice, and with rapine sweet bereav'd
  His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought:
  That space the Evil one abstracted stood
  From his own evil, and for the time remaind
  Stupidly good, of enmitie disarm'd,
  Of guile, of hate, of envie, of revenge;
  But the hot Hell that alwayes in him burnes,
  Though in mid Heav'n, soon ended his delight,
  And tortures him now more, the more he sees
  Of pleasure not for him ordain'd: then soon                         470
  Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts
  Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites.
  Thoughts, whither have he led me, with what sweet
  Compulsion thus transported to forget
  What hither brought us, hate, not love, nor hope
  Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste
  Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy,
  Save what is in destroying, other joy
  To me is lost. Then let me not let pass
  Occasion which now smiles, behold alone                             480
  The Woman, opportune to all attempts,
  Her Husband, for I view far round, not nigh,
  Whose higher intellectual more I shun,
  And strength, of courage hautie, and of limb
  Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould,
  Foe not informidable, exempt from wound,
  I not; so much hath Hell debas'd, and paine
  Infeebl'd me, to what I was in Heav'n.
  Shee fair, divinely fair, fit Love for Gods,
  Not terrible, though terrour be in Love                             490
  And beautie, not approacht by stronger hate,
  Hate stronger, under shew of Love well feign'd,
  The way which to her ruin now I tend.
  So spake the Enemie of Mankind, enclos'd
  In Serpent, Inmate bad, and toward Eve
  Address'd his way, not with indented wave,
  Prone on the ground, as since, but on his reare,
  Circular base of rising foulds, that tour'd
  Fould above fould a surging Maze, his Head
  Crested aloft, and Carbuncle his Eyes;                              500
  With burnisht Neck of verdant Gold, erect
  Amidst his circling Spires, that on the grass
  Floted redundant: pleasing was his shape,
  And lovely, never since of Serpent kind
  Lovelier, not those that in Illyria chang'd
  Hermione and Cadmus, or the God
  In Epidaurus; nor to which transformd
  Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen,
  Hee with Olympias, this with her who bore
  Scipio the highth of Rome. With tract oblique                       510
  At first, as one who sought access, but feard
  To interrupt, side-long he works his way.
  As when a Ship by skilful Stearsman wrought
  Nigh Rivers mouth or Foreland, where the Wind
  Veres oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her Saile;
  So varied hee, and of his tortuous Traine
  Curld many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve,
  To lure her Eye; shee busied heard the sound
  Of rusling Leaves, but minded not, as us'd
  To such disport before her through the Field,                       520
  From every Beast, more duteous at her call,
  Then at Circean call the Herd disguis'd.
  Hee boulder now, uncall'd before her stood;
  But as in gaze admiring: Oft he bowd
  His turret Crest, and sleek enamel'd Neck,
  Fawning, and lick'd the ground whereon she trod.
  His gentle dumb expression turnd at length
  The Eye of Eve to mark his play; he glad
  Of her attention gaind, with Serpent Tongue
  Organic, or impulse of vocal Air,                                   530
  His fraudulent temptation thus began.
  Wonder not, sovran Mistress, if perhaps
  Thou canst, who art sole Wonder, much less arm
  Thy looks, the Heav'n of mildness, with disdain,
  Displeas'd that I approach thee thus, and gaze
  Insatiate, I thus single; nor have feard
  Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir'd.
  Fairest resemblance of thy Maker faire,
  Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine
  By gift, and thy Celestial Beautie adore                            540
  With ravishment beheld, there best beheld
  Where universally admir'd; but here
  In this enclosure wild, these Beasts among,
  Beholders rude, and shallow to discerne
  Half what in thee is fair, one man except,
  Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who shouldst be seen
  A Goddess among Gods, ador'd and serv'd
  By Angels numberless, thy daily Train.
  So gloz'd the Tempter, and his Proem tun'd;
  Into the Heart of Eve his words made way,                           550
  Though at the voice much marveling; at length
  Not unamaz'd she thus in answer spake.
  What may this mean? Language of Man pronounc't
  By Tongue of Brute, and human sense exprest?
  The first at lest of these I thought deni'd
  To Beasts, whom God on their Creation-Day
  Created mute to all articulat sound;
  The latter I demurre, for in thir looks
  Much reason, and in thir actions oft appeers.
  Thee, Serpent, suttlest beast of all the field                      560
  I knew, but not with human voice endu'd;
  Redouble then this miracle, and say,
  How cam'st thou speakable of mute, and how
  To me so friendly grown above the rest
  Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight?
  Say, for such wonder claims attention due.
  To whom the guileful Tempter thus reply'd.
  Empress of this fair World, resplendent Eve,
  Easie to mee it is to tell thee all
  What thou commandst, and right thou shouldst be obeyd:              570
  I was at first as other Beasts that graze
  The trodden Herb, of abject thoughts and low,
  As was my food, nor aught but food discern'd
  Or Sex, and apprehended nothing high:
  Till on a day roaving the field, I chanc'd
  A goodly Tree farr distant to behold
  Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mixt,
  Ruddie and Gold: I nearer drew to gaze;
  When from the boughes a savorie odour blow'n,
  Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd my sense                         580
  Then smell of sweetest Fenel, or the Teats
  Of Ewe or Goat dropping with Milk at Eevn,
  Unsuckt of Lamb or Kid, that tend thir play.
  To satisfie the sharp desire I had
  Of tasting those fair Apples, I resolv'd
  Not to deferr; hunger and thirst at once,
  Powerful perswaders, quick'nd at the scent
  Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keene.
  About the Mossie Trunk I wound me soon,
  For high from ground the branches would require                     590
  Thy utmost reach or Adams: Round the Tree
  All other Beasts that saw, with like desire
  Longing and envying stood, but could not reach.
  Amid the Tree now got, where plentie hung
  Tempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill
  I spar'd not, for such pleasure till that hour
  At Feed or Fountain never had I found.
  Sated at length, ere long I might perceave
  Strange alteration in me, to degree
  Of Reason in my inward Powers, and Speech                           600
  Wanted not long, though to this shape retaind.
  Thenceforth to Speculations high or deep
  I turnd my thoughts, and with capacious mind
  Considerd all things visible in Heav'n,
  Or Earth, or Middle, all things fair and good;
  But all that fair and good in thy Divine
  Semblance, and in thy Beauties heav'nly Ray
  United I beheld; no Fair to thine
  Equivalent or second, which compel'd
  Mee thus, though importune perhaps, to come                         610
  And gaze, and worship thee of right declar'd
  Sovran of Creatures, universal Dame.
  So talk'd the spirited sly Snake; and Eve
  Yet more amaz'd unwarie thus reply'd.
  Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt
  The vertue of that Fruit, in thee first prov'd:
  But say, where grows the Tree, from hence how far?
  For many are the Trees of God that grow
  In Paradise, and various, yet unknown
  To us, in such abundance lies our choice,                           620
  As leaves a greater store of Fruit untoucht,
  Still hanging incorruptible, till men
  Grow up to thir provision, and more hands
  Help to disburden Nature of her Bearth.
  To whom the wilie Adder, blithe and glad.
  Empress, the way is readie, and not long,
  Beyond a row of Myrtles, on a Flat,
  Fast by a Fountain, one small Thicket past
  Of blowing Myrrh and Balme; if thou accept
  My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon.                          630
  Lead then, said Eve. Hee leading swiftly rowld
  In tangles, and make intricate seem strait,
  To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy
  Bright'ns his Crest, as when a wandring Fire
  Compact of unctuous vapor, which the Night
  Condenses, and the cold invirons round,
  Kindl'd through agitation to a Flame,
  Which oft, they say, some evil Spirit attends,
  Hovering and blazing with delusive Light,
  Misleads th' amaz'd Night-wanderer from his way                     640
  To Boggs and Mires, & oft through Pond or Poole,
  There swallow'd up and lost, from succour farr.
  So glister'd the dire Snake and into fraud
  Led Eve our credulous Mother, to the Tree
  Of prohibition, root of all our woe;
  Which when she saw, thus to her guide she spake.
  Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming hither,
  Fruitless to me, though Fruit be here to excess,
  The credit of whose vertue rest with thee,
  Wondrous indeed, if cause of such effects.                          650
  But of this Tree we may not taste nor touch;
  God so commanded, and left that Command
  Sole Daughter of his voice; the rest, we live
  Law to our selves, our Reason is our Law.
  To whom the Tempter guilefully repli'd.
  Indeed? hath God then said that of the Fruit
  Of all these Garden Trees ye shall not eate,
  Yet Lords declar'd of all in Earth or Aire?
  To whom thus Eve yet sinless. Of the Fruit
  Of each Tree in the Garden we may eate,                             660
  But of the Fruit of this fair Tree amidst
  The Garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eate
  Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, least ye die.
  She scarse had said, though brief, when now more bold
  The Tempter, but with shew of Zeale and Love
  To Man, and indignation at his wrong,
  New part puts on, and as to passion mov'd,
  Fluctuats disturbd, yet comely, and in act
  Rais'd, as of som great matter to begin.
  As when of old som Orator renound                                   670
  In Athens or free Rome, where Eloquence
  Flourishd, since mute, to som great cause addrest,
  Stood in himself collected, while each part,
  Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue,
  Somtimes in highth began, as no delay
  Of Preface brooking through his Zeal of Right.
  So standing, moving, or to highth upgrown
  The Tempter all impassiond thus began.
  O Sacred, Wise, and Wisdom-giving Plant,
  Mother of Science, Now I feel thy Power                             680
  Within me cleere, not onely to discerne
  Things in thir Causes, but to trace the wayes
  Of highest Agents, deemd however wise.
  Queen of this Universe, doe not believe
  Those rigid threats of Death; ye shall not Die:
  How should ye? by the Fruit? it gives you Life
  To Knowledge? By the Threatner, look on mee,
  Mee who have touch'd and tasted, yet both live,
  And life more perfet have attaind then Fate
  Meant mee, by ventring higher then my Lot.                          690
  Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast
  Is open? or will God incense his ire
  For such a pretty Trespass, and not praise
  Rather your dauntless vertue, whom the pain
  Of Death denounc't, whatever thing Death be,
  Deterrd not from atchieving what might leade
  To happier life, knowledge of Good and Evil;
  Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil
  Be real, why not known, since easier shunnd?
  God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just;                          700
  Not just, not God; not feard then, nor obeid:
  Your feare it self of Death removes the feare.
  Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe,
  Why but to keep ye low and ignorant,
  His worshippers; he knows that in the day
  Ye Eate thereof, your Eyes that seem so cleere,
  Yet are but dim, shall perfetly be then
  Op'nd and cleerd, and ye shall be as Gods,
  Knowing both Good and Evil as they know.
  That ye should be as Gods, since I as Man,                          710
  Internal Man, is but proportion meet,
  I of brute human, yee of human Gods.
  So ye shall die perhaps, by putting off
  Human, to put on Gods, death to be wisht,
  Though threat'nd, which no worse then this can bring
  And what are Gods that Man may not become
  As they, participating God-like food?
  The Gods are first, and that advantage use
  On our belief, that all from them proceeds,
  I question it, for this fair Earth I see,                           720
  Warm'd by the Sun, producing every kind,
  Them nothing: If they all things, who enclos'd
  Knowledge of Good and Evil in this Tree,
  That whoso eats thereof, forthwith attains
  Wisdom without their leave? and wherein lies
  Th' offence, that Man should thus attain to know?
  What can your knowledge hurt him, or this Tree
  Impart against his will if all be his?
  Or is it envie, and can envie dwell
  In heav'nly brests? these, these and many more                      730
  Causes import your need of this fair Fruit.
  Goddess humane, reach then, and freely taste.
  He ended, and his words replete with guile
  Into her heart too easie entrance won:
  Fixt on the Fruit she gaz'd, which to behold
  Might tempt alone, and in her ears the sound
  Yet rung of his perswasive words, impregn'd
  With Reason, to her seeming, and with Truth;
  Meanwhile the hour of Noon drew on, and wak'd
  An eager appetite, rais'd by the smell                              740
  So savorie of that Fruit, which with desire,
  Inclinable now grown to touch or taste,
  Sollicited her longing eye; yet first
  Pausing a while, thus to her self she mus'd.
  Great are thy Vertues, doubtless, best of Fruits,
  Though kept from Man, & worthy to be admir'd,
  Whose taste, too long forborn, at first assay
  Gave elocution to the mute, and taught
  The Tongue not made for Speech to speak thy praise:
  Thy praise hee also who forbids thy use,                            750
  Conceales not from us, naming thee the Tree
  Of Knowledge, knowledge both of good and evil;
  Forbids us then to taste, but his forbidding
  Commends thee more, while it inferrs the good
  By thee communicated, and our want:
  For good unknown, sure is not had, or had
  And yet unknown, is as not had at all.
  In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
  Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?
  Such prohibitions binde not. But if Death                           760
  Bind us with after-bands, what profits then
  Our inward freedom? In the day we eate
  Of this fair Fruit, our doom is, we shall die.
  How dies the Serpent? hee hath eat'n and lives,
  And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discernes,
  Irrational till then. For us alone
  Was death invented? or to us deni'd
  This intellectual food, for beasts reserv'd?
  For Beasts it seems: yet that one Beast which first
  Hath tasted, envies not, but brings with joy                        770
  The good befall'n him, Author unsuspect,
  Friendly to man, farr from deceit or guile.
  What fear I then, rather what know to feare
  Under this ignorance of Good and Evil,
  Of God or Death, of Law or Penaltie?
  Here grows the Cure of all, this Fruit Divine,
  Fair to the Eye, inviting to the Taste,
  Of vertue to make wise: what hinders then
  To reach, and feed at once both Bodie and Mind?
  So saying, her rash hand in evil hour                               780
  Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck'd, she eat:
  Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
  Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk
  The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve
  Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else
  Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd,
  In Fruit she never tasted, whether true
  Or fansied so, through expectation high
  Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought.                     790
  Greedily she ingorg'd without restraint,
  And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length,
  And hight'nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,
  Thus to her self she pleasingly began.
  O Sovran, vertuous, precious of all Trees
  In Paradise, of operation blest
  To Sapience, hitherto obscur'd, infam'd,
  And thy fair Fruit let hang, as to no end
  Created; but henceforth my early care,
  Not without Song, each Morning, and due praise                      800
  Shall tend thee, and the fertil burden ease
  Of thy full branches offer'd free to all;
  Till dieted by thee I grow mature
  In knowledge, as the Gods who all things know;
  Though others envie what they cannot give;
  For had the gift bin theirs, it had not here
  Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe,
  Best guide; not following thee, I had remaind
  In ignorance, thou op'nst Wisdoms way,
  And giv'st access, though secret she retire.                        810
  And I perhaps am secret; Heav'n is high,
  High and remote to see from thence distinct
  Each thing on Earth; and other care perhaps
  May have diverted from continual watch
  Our great Forbidder, safe with all his Spies
  About him. But to Adam in what sort
  Shall I appeer? shall I to him make known
  As yet my change, and give him to partake
  Full happiness with mee, or rather not,
  But keep the odds of Knowledge in my power                          820
  Without Copartner? so to add what wants
  In Femal Sex, the more to draw his Love,
  And render me more equal, and perhaps
  A thing not undesireable, somtime
  Superior; for inferior who is free?
  This may be well: but what if God have seen,
  And Death ensue? then I shall be no more,
  And Adam wedded to another Eve,
  Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct;
  A death to think. Confirm'd then I resolve,                         830
  Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe:
  So dear I love him, that with him all deaths
  I could endure; without him live no life.
  So saying, from the Tree her step she turnd,
  But first low Reverence don, as to the power
  That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd
  Into the plant sciential sap, deriv'd
  From Nectar, drink of Gods. Adam the while
  Waiting desirous her return, had wove
  Of choicest Flours a Garland to adorne                              840
  Her Tresses, and her rural labours crown
  As Reapers oft are wont thir Harvest Queen.
  Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new
  Solace in her return, so long delay'd;
  Yet oft his heart, divine of somthing ill,
  Misgave him; hee the faultring measure felt;
  And forth to meet her went, the way she took
  That Morn when first they parted; by the Tree
  Of Knowledge he must pass, there he her met,
  Scarse from the Tree returning; in her hand                         850
  A bough of fairest fruit that downie smil'd,
  New gatherd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd.
  To him she hasted, in her face excuse
  Came Prologue, and Apologie to prompt,
  Which with bland words at will she thus addrest.
  Hast thou not wonderd, Adam, at my stay?
  Thee I have misst, and thought it long, depriv'd
  Thy presence, agonie of love till now
  Not felt, nor shall be twice, for never more
  Mean I to trie, what rash untri'd I sought,                         860
  The paine of absence from thy sight. But strange
  Hath bin the cause, and wonderful to heare:
  This Tree is not as we are told, a Tree
  Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown
  Op'ning the way, but of Divine effect
  To open Eyes, and make them Gods who taste;
  And hath bin tasted such; the Serpent wise,
  Or not restraind as wee, or not obeying,
  Hath eat'n of the fruit, and is become,
  Not dead, as we are threatn'd, but thenceforth                      870
  Endu'd with human voice and human sense,
  Reasoning to admiration, and with mee
  Perswasively hath so prevaild, that I
  Have also tasted, and have also found
  Th' effects to correspond, opener mine Eyes,
  Dimm erst, dilated Spirits, ampler Heart,
  And growing up to Godhead; which for thee
  Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise.
  For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss,
  Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon.                       880
  Thou therefore also taste, that equal Lot
  May joyne us, equal Joy, as equal Love;
  Least thou not tasting, different degree
  Disjoyne us, and I then too late renounce
  Deitie for thee, when Fate will not permit.
  Thus Eve with Countnance blithe her storie told;
  But in her Cheek distemper flushing glowd.
  On th' other side, Adam, soon as he heard
  The fatal Trespass don by Eve, amaz'd,
  Astonied stood and Blank, while horror chill                        890
  Ran through his veins, and all his joynts relax'd;
  From his slack hand the Garland wreath'd for Eve
  Down drop'd, and all the faded Roses shed:
  Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length
  First to himself he inward silence broke.
  O fairest of Creation, last and best
  Of all Gods Works, Creature in whom excell'd
  Whatever can to sight or thought be found,
  Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
  How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,                            900
  Defac't, deflourd, and now to Death devote?
  Rather how hast thou yeelded to transgress
  The strict forbiddance, how to violate
  The sacred Fruit forbidd'n! som cursed fraud
  Of Enemie hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown,
  And mee with thee hath ruind, for with thee
  Certain my resolution is to Die;
  How can I live without thee, how forgoe
  Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly joyn'd,
  To live again in these wilde Woods forlorn?                         910
  Should God create another Eve, and I
  Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee
  Would never from my heart; no no, I feel
  The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh,
  Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State
  Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe.
  So having said, as one from sad dismay
  Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbd
  Submitting to what seemd remediless,
  Thus in calme mood his Words to Eve he turnd.                       920
  Bold deed thou hast presum'd, adventrous Eve,
  And peril great provok't, who thus hast dar'd
  Had it bin onely coveting to Eye
  That sacred Fruit, sacred to abstinence,
  Much more to taste it under banne to touch.
  But past who can recall, or don undoe?
  Not God omnipotent, nor Fate, yet so
  Perhaps thou shalt not Die, perhaps the Fact
  Is not so hainous now, foretasted Fruit,
  Profan'd first by the Serpent, by him first                         930
  Made common and unhallowd: ere our taste
  Nor yet on him found deadly; he yet lives,
  Lives, as thou saidst, and gaines to live as Man
  Higher degree of Life, inducement strong
  To us, as likely tasting to attaine
  Proportional ascent, which cannot be
  But to be Gods, or Angels Demi-gods.
  Nor can I think that God, Creator wise,
  Though threatning, will in earnest so destroy
  Us his prime Creatures, dignifi'd so high,                          940
  Set over all his Works, which in our Fall,
  For us created, needs with us must faile,
  Dependent made; so God shall uncreate,
  Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour loose,
  Not well conceav'd of God, who though his Power
  Creation could repeate, yet would be loath
  Us to abolish, least the Adversary
  Triumph and say; Fickle their State whom God
  Most Favors, who can please him long? Mee first
  He ruind, now Mankind; whom will he next?                           950
  Matter of scorne, not to be given the Foe.
  However I with thee have fixt my Lot,
  Certain to undergoe like doom, if Death
  Consort with thee, Death is to mee as Life;
  So forcible within my heart I feel
  The Bond of Nature draw me to my owne,
  My own in thee, for what thou art is mine;
  Our State cannot be severd, we are one,
  One Flesh; to loose thee were to loose my self.
  So Adam, and thus Eve to him repli'd.                               960
  O glorious trial of exceeding Love,
  Illustrious evidence, example high!
  Ingaging me to emulate, but short
  Of thy perfection, how shall I attaine,
  Adam, from whose deare side I boast me sprung,
  And gladly of our Union heare thee speak,
  One Heart, one Soul in both; whereof good prooff
  This day affords, declaring thee resolvd,
  Rather then Death or aught then Death more dread
  Shall separate us, linkt in Love so deare,                          970
  To undergoe with mee one Guilt, one Crime,
  If any be, of tasting this fair Fruit,
  Whose vertue, for of good still good proceeds,
  Direct, or by occasion hath presented
  This happie trial of thy Love, which else
  So eminently never had bin known.
  Were it I thought Death menac't would ensue
  This my attempt, I would sustain alone
  The worst, and not perswade thee, rather die
  Deserted, then oblige thee with a fact                              980
  Pernicious to thy Peace, chiefly assur'd
  Remarkably so late of thy so true,
  So faithful Love unequald; but I feel
  Farr otherwise th' event, not Death, but Life
  Augmented, op'nd Eyes, new Hopes, new Joyes,
  Taste so Divine, that what of sweet before
  Hath toucht my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
  On my experience, Adam, freely taste,
  And fear of Death deliver to the Windes.
  So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy                            990
  Tenderly wept, much won that he his Love
  Had so enobl'd, as of choice to incurr
  Divine displeasure for her sake, or Death.
  In recompence (for such compliance bad
  Such recompence best merits) from the bough
  She gave him of that fair enticing Fruit
  With liberal hand: he scrupl'd not to eat
  Against his better knowledge, not deceav'd,
  But fondly overcome with Femal charm.
  Earth trembl'd from her entrails, as again                         1000
  In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan,
  Skie lowr'd, and muttering Thunder, som sad drops
  Wept at compleating of the mortal Sin
  Original; while Adam took no thought,
  Eating his fill, nor Eve to iterate
  Her former trespass fear'd, the more to soothe
  Him with her lov'd societie, that now
  As with new Wine intoxicated both
  They swim in mirth, and fansie that they feel
  Divinitie within them breeding wings                               1010
  Wherewith to scorn the Earth: but that false Fruit
  Farr other operation first displaid,
  Carnal desire enflaming, hee on Eve
  Began to cast lascivious Eyes, she him
  As wantonly repaid; in Lust they burne:
  Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move.
  Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste,
  And elegant, of Sapience no small part,
  Since to each meaning savour we apply,
  And Palate call judicious; I the praise                            1020
  Yeild thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd.
  Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd
  From this delightful Fruit, nor known till now
  True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be
  In things to us forbidden, it might be wish'd,
  For this one Tree had bin forbidden ten.
  But come, so well refresh't, now let us play,
  As meet is, after such delicious Fare;
  For never did thy Beautie since the day
  I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd                          1030
  With all perfections, so enflame my sense
  With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now
  Then ever, bountie of this vertuous Tree.
  So said he, and forbore not glance or toy
  Of amorous intent, well understood
  Of Eve, whose Eye darted contagious Fire.
  Her hand he seis'd, and to a shadie bank,
  Thick overhead with verdant roof imbowr'd
  He led her nothing loath; Flours were the Couch,
  Pansies, and Violets, and Asphodel,                                1040
  And Hyacinth, Earths freshest softest lap.
  There they thir fill of Love and Loves disport
  Took largely, of thir mutual guilt the Seale,
  The solace of thir sin, till dewie sleep
  Oppress'd them, wearied with thir amorous play.
  Soon as the force of that fallacious Fruit,
  That with exhilerating vapour bland
  About thir spirits had plaid, and inmost powers
  Made erre, was now exhal'd, and grosser sleep
  Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams                      1050
  Encumberd, now had left them, up they rose
  As from unrest, and each the other viewing,
  Soon found thir Eyes how op'nd, and thir minds
  How dark'nd; innocence, that as a veile
  Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gon,
  Just confidence, and native righteousness,
  And honour from about them, naked left
  To guiltie shame hee cover'd, but his Robe
  Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong
  Herculean Samson from the Harlot-lap                               1060
  Of Philistean Dalilah, and wak'd
  Shorn of his strength, They destitute and bare
  Of all thir vertue: silent, and in face
  Confounded long they sate, as struck'n mute,
  Till Adam, though not less then Eve abasht,
  At length gave utterance to these words constraind.
  O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give eare
  To that false Worm, of whomsoever taught
  To counterfet Mans voice, true in our Fall,
  False in our promis'd Rising; since our Eyes                       1070
  Op'nd we find indeed, and find we know
  Both Good and Evil, Good lost and Evil got,
  Bad Fruit of Knowledge, if this be to know,
  Which leaves us naked thus, of Honour void,
  Of Innocence, of Faith, of Puritie,
  Our wonted Ornaments now soild and staind,
  And in our Faces evident the signes
  Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store;
  Even shame, the last of evils; of the first
  Be sure then. How shall I behold the face                          1080
  Henceforth of God or Angel, earst with joy
  And rapture so oft beheld? those heav'nly shapes
  Will dazle now this earthly, with thir blaze
  Insufferably bright. O might I here
  In solitude live savage, in some glad
  Obscur'd, where highest Woods impenetrable
  To Starr or Sun-light, spread thir umbrage broad,
  And brown as Evening: Cover me ye Pines,
  Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs
  Hide me, where I may never see them more.                          1090
  But let us now, as in bad plight, devise
  What best may for the present serve to hide
  The Parts of each from other, that seem most
  To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen,
  Some Tree whose broad smooth Leaves together sowd,
  And girded on our loyns, may cover round
  Those middle parts, that this new commer, Shame,
  There sit not, and reproach us as unclean.
  So counsel'd hee, and both together went
  Into the thickest Wood, there soon they chose                      1100
  The Figtree, not that kind for Fruit renown'd,
  But such as at this day to Indians known
  In Malabar or Decan spreds her Armes
  Braunching so broad and long, that in the ground
  The bended Twigs take root, and Daughters grow
  About the Mother Tree, a Pillard shade
  High overarch't, and echoing Walks between;
  There oft the Indian Herdsman shunning heate
  Shelters in coole, and tends his pasturing Herds
  At Loopholes cut through thickest shade: Those Leaves              1110
  They gatherd, broad as Amazonian Targe,
  And with what skill they had, together sowd,
  To gird thir waste, vain Covering if to hide
  Thir guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike
  To that first naked Glorie. Such of late
  Columbus found th' American so girt
  With featherd Cincture, naked else and wilde
  Among the Trees on Iles and woodie Shores.
  Thus fenc't, and as they thought, thir shame in part
  Coverd, but not at rest or ease of Mind,                           1120
  They sate them down to weep, nor onely Teares
  Raind at thir Eyes, but high Winds worse within
  Began to rise, high Passions, Anger, Hate,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Mistrust, Suspicion, Discord, and shook sore
  Thir inward State of Mind, calme Region once
  And full of Peace, now tost and turbulent:
  For Understanding rul'd not, and the Will
  Heard not her lore, both in subjection now
  To sensual Appetite, who from beneathe
  Usurping over sovran Reason claimd                                 1130
  Superior sway: From thus distemperd brest,
  Adam, estrang'd in look and alterd stile,
  Speech intermitted thus to Eve renewd.
  Would thou hadst heark'nd to my words, & stai'd
  With me, as I besought thee, when that strange
  Desire of wandring this unhappie Morn,
  I know not whence possessd thee; we had then
  Remaind still happie, not as now, despoild
  Of all our good, sham'd, naked, miserable.
  Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve                 1140
  The Faith they owe; when earnestly they seek
  Such proof, conclude, they then begin to faile.
  To whom soon mov'd with touch of blame thus Eve.
  What words have past thy Lips, Adam severe,
  Imput'st thou that to my default, or will
  Of wandering, as thou call'st it, which who knows
  But might as ill have happ'nd thou being by,
  Or to thy self perhaps: hadst thou bin there,
  Or here th' attempt, thou couldst not have discernd
  Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake;                        1150
  No ground of enmitie between us known,
  Why hee should mean me ill, or seek to harme.
  Was I to have never parted from thy side?
  As good have grown there still a liveless Rib.
  Being as I am, why didst not thou the Head
  Command me absolutely not to go,
  Going into such danger as thou saidst?
  Too facil then thou didst not much gainsay,
  Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss.
  Hadst thou bin firm and fixt in thy dissent,                       1160
  Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with mee.
  To whom then first incenst Adam repli'd.
  Is this the Love, is the recompence
  Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, exprest
  Immutable when thou wert lost, not I,
  Who might have liv'd and joyd immortal bliss,
  Yet willingly chose rather Death with thee:
  And am I now upbraided, as the cause
  Of thy transgressing? not enough severe,
  It seems, in thy restraint: what could I more?                     1170
  I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold
  The danger, and the lurking Enemie
  That lay in wait; beyond this had bin force,
  And force upon free Will hath here no place.
  But confidence then bore thee on, secure
  Either to meet no danger, or to finde
  Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps
  I also err'd in overmuch admiring
  What seemd in thee so perfet, that I thought
  No evil durst attempt thee, but I rue                              1180
  That errour now, which is become my crime,
  And thou th' accuser. Thus it shall befall
  Him who to worth in Women overtrusting
  Lets her Will rule; restraint she will not brook,
  And left to her self, if evil thence ensue,
  Shee first his weak indulgence will accuse.
  Thus they in mutual accusation spent
  The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning
  And of thir vain contest appeer'd no end.

  186 not] nor 1674.
  213 hear] bear 1674.
  394 Likest] likeliest 1674.
  922 hast] hath 1674.

  The End Of The Ninth Book.



Mans transgression known, the Guardian Angels forsake Paradise, and return up to Heaven to approve thir vigilance, and are approv'd, God declaring that The entrance of Satan could not be by them prevented. He sends his Son to judge the Transgressors, who descends and gives Sentence accordingly; then in pity cloaths them both, and reascends. Sin and Death sitting till then at the Gates of Hell by wondrous sympathie feeling the success of Satan in this new World, and the sin by Man there committed, resolve to sit no longer confin'd in Hell, but to follow Satan thir Sire up to the place of Man: To make the way easier from Hell to this World to and fro, they pave a broad Highway or Bridge over Chaos, according to the Track that Satan first made; then preparing for Earth, they meet him proud of his success returning to Hell; thir mutual gratulation. Satan arrives at Pandemonium, in full assembly relates with boasting his success against Man; instead of applause is entertained with a general hiss by all his audience, transform'd with himself also suddenly into Serpents, according to his doom giv'n in Paradise; then deluded with a shew of the forbidden Tree springing up before them, they greedily reaching to take of the Fruit, chew dust and bitter ashes.The proceedings of Sin and Death; God foretels the final Victory of his Son over them, and the renewing of all things; but for the present commands his Angels to make several alterations in the Heavens and Elements. Adam more and more perceiving his fall'n condition heavily bewailes, rejects the condolement of Eve; she persists and at length appeases him: then to evade the Curse likely to fall on thir Ofspring, proposes to Adam violent wayes, which he approves not, but conceiving better hope, puts her in mind of the late Promise made them, that her Seed should be reveng'd on the Serpent, and exhorts her with him to seek Peace of the offended Deity, by repentance and supplication.

  Meanwhile the hainous and despightfull act
  Of Satan done in Paradise, and how
  Hee in the Serpent had perverted Eve,
  Her Husband shee, to taste the fatall fruit,
  Was known in Heav'n; for what can scape the Eye
  Of God All-seeing, or deceave his Heart
  Omniscient, who in all things wise and just,
  Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the minde
  Of Man, with strength entire, and free Will arm'd,
  Complete to have discover'd and repulst                              10
  Whatever wiles of Foe or seeming Friend.
  For still they knew, and ought to have still remember'd
  The high Injunction not to taste that Fruit,
  Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
  Incurr'd, what could they less, the penaltie,
  And manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.
  Up into Heav'n from Paradise in hast
  Th' Angelic Guards ascended, mute and sad
  For Man, for of his state by this they knew,
  Much wondring how the suttle Fiend had stoln                         20
  Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome news
  From Earth arriv'd at Heaven Gate, displeas'd
  All were who heard, dim sadness did not spare
  That time Celestial visages, yet mixt
  With pitie, violated not thir bliss.
  About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
  Th' ethereal People ran, to hear and know
  How all befell: they towards the Throne Supream
  Accountable made haste to make appear
  With righteous plea, thir utmost vigilance,                          30
  And easily approv'd; when the most High
  Eternal Father from his secret Cloud,
  Amidst in Thunder utter'd thus his voice.
  Assembl'd Angels, and ye Powers return'd
  From unsuccessful charge, be not dismaid,
  Nor troubl'd at these tidings from the Earth,
  Which your sincerest care could not prevent,
  Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
  When first this Tempter cross'd the Gulf from Hell.
  I told ye then he should prevail and speed                           40
  On his bad Errand, Man should be seduc't
  And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
  Against his Maker; no Decree of mine
  Concurring to necessitate his Fall,
  Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
  His free Will, to her own inclining left
  In eevn scale. But fall'n he is, and now
  What rests, but that the mortal Sentence pass
  On his transgression, Death denounc't that day,
  Which he presumes already vain and void,                             50
  Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd,
  By some immediate stroak; but soon shall find
  Forbearance no acquittance ere day end.
  Justice shall not return as bountie scorn'd.
  But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee
  Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr'd
  All Judgement, whether in Heav'n, or Earth; or Hell.
  Easie it may be seen that I intend
  Mercie collegue with Justice, sending thee
  Mans Friend, his Mediator, his design'd                              60
  Both Ransom and Redeemer voluntarie,
  And destin'd Man himself to judge Man fall'n.
  So spake the Father, and unfoulding bright
  Toward the right hand his Glorie, on the Son
  Blaz'd forth unclouded Deitie; he full
  Resplendent all his Father manifest
  Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd milde.
  Father Eternal, thine is to decree,
  Mine both in Heav'n and Earth to do thy will
  Supream, that thou in mee thy Son belov'd                            70
  Mayst ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge
  On Earth these thy transgressors, but thou knowst,
  Whoever judg'd, the worst on mee must light,
  When time shall be, for so I undertook
  Before thee; and not repenting, this obtaine
  Of right, that I may mitigate thir doom
  On me deriv'd, yet I shall temper so
  Justice with Mercie, as may illustrate most
  Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
  Attendance none shall need, nor Train, where none                    80
  Are to behold the Judgement, but the judg'd,
  Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd,
  Convict by flight, and Rebel to all Law
  Conviction to the Serpent none belongs.
  Thus saying, from his radiant Seat he rose
  Of high collateral glorie: him Thrones and Powers,
  Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant
  Accompanied to Heaven Gate, from whence
  Eden and all the Coast in prospect lay.
  Down he descended strait; the speed of Gods                          90
  Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing'd.
  Now was the Sun in Western cadence low
  From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour
  To fan the Earth now wak'd, and usher in
  The Eevning coole when he from wrauth more coole
  Came the mild Judge and Intercessor both
  To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard
  Now walking in the Garden, by soft windes
  Brought to thir Ears, while day declin'd, they heard
  And from his presence hid themselves among                          100
  The thickest Trees, both Man and Wife, till God
  Approaching, thus to Adam call'd aloud.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Where art thou Adam, wont with joy to meet
  My coming seen far off? I miss thee here,
  Not pleas'd, thus entertaind with solitude,
  Where obvious dutie erewhile appear'd unsaught:
  Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
  Absents thee, or what chance detains? Come forth.
  He came, and with him Eve, more loth, though first
  To offend, discount'nanc't both, and discompos'd;                   110
  Love was not in thir looks, either to God
  Or to each other, but apparent guilt,
  And shame, and perturbation, and despaire,
  Anger, and obstinacie, and hate, and guile.
  Whence Adam faultring long, thus answer'd brief.
  I heard thee in the Garden, and of thy voice
  Affraid, being naked, hid my self. To whom
  The gracious Judge without revile repli'd.
  My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd,
  But still rejoyc't, how is it now become                            120
  So dreadful to thee? that thou art naked, who
  Hath told thee? hast thou eaten of the Tree
  Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?
  To whom thus Adam sore beset repli'd.
  O Heav'n! in evil strait this day I stand
  Before my Judge, either to undergoe
  My self the total Crime, or to accuse
  My other self, the partner of my life;
  Whose failing, while her Faith to me remaines,
  I should conceal, and not expose to blame                           130
  By my complaint; but strict necessitie
  Subdues me, and calamitous constraint,
  Least on my head both sin and punishment,
  However insupportable, be all
  Devolv'd; though should I hold my peace, yet thou
  Wouldst easily detect what I conceale.
  This Woman whom thou mad'st to be my help,
  And gav'st me as thy perfet gift, so good,
  So fit, so acceptable, so Divine,
  That from her hand I could suspect no ill,                          140
  And what she did, whatever in it self,
  Her doing seem'd to justifie the deed;
  Shee gave me of the Tree, and I did eate.
  To whom the sovran Presence thus repli'd.
  Was shee thy God, that her thou didst obey
  Before his voice, or was shee made thy guide,
  Superior, or but equal, that to her
  Thou did'st resigne thy Manhood, and the Place
  Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,
  And for thee, whose perfection farr excell'd                        150
  Hers in all real dignitie: Adornd
  She was indeed, and lovely to attract
  Thy Love, not thy Subjection, and her Gifts
  Were such as under Government well seem'd,
  Unseemly to beare rule, which was thy part
  And person, had'st thou known thy self aright.
  So having said, he thus to Eve in few:
  Say Woman, what is this which thou hast done?
  To whom sad Eve with shame nigh overwhelm'd,
  Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge                           160
  Bold or loquacious, thus abasht repli'd.
  The Serpent me beguil'd and I did eate.
  Which when the Lord God heard, without delay
  To Judgement he proceeded on th' accus'd
  Serpent though brute, unable to transferre
  The Guilt on him who made him instrument
  Of mischief, and polluted from the end
  Of his Creation; justly then accurst,
  As vitiated in Nature: more to know
  Concern'd not Man (since he no further knew)                        170
  Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last
  To Satan first in sin his doom apply'd,
  Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best:
  And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.
  Because thou hast done this, thou art accurst
  Above all Cattel, each Beast of the Field;
  Upon thy Belly groveling thou shalt goe,
  And dust shalt eat all the days of thy Life.
  Between Thee and the Woman I will put
  Enmitie, and between thine and her Seed;                            180
  Her Seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.
  So spake this Oracle, then verifi'd
  When Jesus son of Mary second Eve,
  Saw Satan fall like Lightning down from Heav'n,
  Prince of the Aire; then rising from his Grave
  Spoild Principalities and Powers, triumpht
  In open shew, and with ascention bright
  Captivity led captive through the Aire,
  The Realme it self of Satan long usurpt,
  Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;                         190
  Eevn hee who now foretold his fatal bruise,
  And to the Woman thus his Sentence turn'd.
  Thy sorrow I will greatly multiplie
  By thy Conception; Children thou shalt bring
  In sorrow forth, and to thy Husbands will
  Thine shall submit, hee over thee shall rule.
  On Adam last thus judgement he pronounc'd.
  Because thou hast heark'nd to the voice of thy Wife,
  And eaten of the Tree concerning which
  I charg'd thee, saying: Thou shalt not eate thereof,                200
  Curs'd is the ground for thy sake, thou in sorrow
  Shalt eate thereof all the days of thy Life;
  Thornes also and Thistles it shall bring thee forth
  Unbid, and thou shalt eate th' Herb of th' Field,
  In the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eate Bread,
  Till thou return unto the ground, for thou
  Out of the ground wast taken, know thy Birth,
  For dust thou art, and shalt to dust returne.
  So judg'd he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent,
  And th' instant stroke of Death denounc't that day                  210
  Remov'd farr off; then pittying how they stood
  Before him naked to the aire, that now
  Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin
  Thenceforth the forme of servant to assume,
  As when he wash'd his servants feet, so now
  As Father of his Familie he clad
  Thir nakedness with Skins of Beasts, or slain,
  Or as the Snake with youthful Coate repaid;
  And thought not much to cloath his Enemies:
  Nor hee thir outward onely with the Skins                           220
  Of Beasts, but inward nakedness, much more
  Opprobrious, with his Robe of righteousness,
  Araying cover'd from his Fathers sight.
  To him with swift ascent he up returnd,
  Into his blissful bosom reassum'd
  In glory as of old, to him appeas'd
  All, though all-knowing, what had past with Man
  Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
  Meanwhile ere thus was sin'd and judg'd on Earth,
  Within the Gates of Hell sate Sin and Death,                        230
  In counterview within the Gates, that now
  Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
  Farr into Chaos, since the Fiend pass'd through,
  Sin opening, who thus now to Death began.
  O Son, why sit we here each other viewing
  Idlely, while Satan our great Author thrives
  In other Worlds, and happier Seat provides
  For us his ofspring deare? It cannot be
  But that success attends him; if mishap,
  Ere this he had return'd, with fury driv'n                          240
  By his Avenger, since no place like this
  Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
  Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
  Wings growing, and Dominion giv'n me large
  Beyond this Deep; whatever drawes me on,
  Or sympathie, or som connatural force
  Powerful at greatest distance to unite
  With secret amity things of like kinde
  By secretest conveyance. Thou my Shade
  Inseparable must with mee along:                                    250
  For Death from Sin no power can separate.
  But least the difficultie of passing back
  Stay his returne perhaps over this Gulfe
  Impassable, impervious, let us try
  Adventrous work, yet to thy power and mine
  Not unagreeable, to found a path
  Over this Maine from Hell to that new World
  Where Satan now prevailes, a Monument
  Of merit high to all th' infernal Host,
  Easing thir passage hence, for intercourse,                         260
  Or transmigration, as thir lot shall lead.
  Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
  By this new felt attraction and instinct.
  Whom thus the meager Shadow answerd soon.
  Goe whither Fate and inclination strong
  Leads thee, I shall not lag behinde, nor erre
  The way, thou leading, such a sent I draw
  Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste
  The savour of Death from all things there that live:
  Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest                           270
  Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.
  So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell
  Of mortal change on Earth. As when a flock
  Of ravenous Fowl, though many a League remote,
  Against the day of Battel, to a Field,
  Where Armies lie encampt, come flying, lur'd
  With sent of living Carcasses design'd
  For death, the following day, in bloodie fight.
  So sented the grim Feature, and upturn'd
  His Nostril wide into the murkie Air,                               280
  Sagacious of his Quarrey from so farr.
  Then Both from out Hell Gates into the waste
  Wide Anarchie of Chaos damp and dark
  Flew divers, & with Power (thir Power was great)
  Hovering upon the Waters; what they met
  Solid or slimie, as in raging Sea
  Tost up and down, together crowded drove
  From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell.
  As when two Polar Winds blowing adverse
  Upon the Cronian Sea, together drive                                290
  Mountains of Ice, that stop th' imagin'd way
  Beyond Petsora Eastward, to the rich
  Cathaian Coast. The aggregated Soyle
  Death with his Mace petrific, cold and dry,
  As with a Trident smote, and fix't as firm
  As Delos floating once; the rest his look
  Bound with Gorgonian rigor not to move,
  And with Asphaltic slime; broad as the Gate,
  Deep to the Roots of Hell the gather'd beach
  They fasten'd, and the Mole immense wraught on                      300
  Over the foaming deep high Archt, a Bridge
  Of length prodigious joyning to the Wall
  Immoveable of this now fenceless world
  Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,
  Smooth, easie, inoffensive down to Hell.
  So, if great things to small may be compar'd,
  Xerxes, the Libertie of Greece to yoke,
  From Susa his Memnonian Palace high
  Came to the Sea, and over Hellespont
  Bridging his way, Europe with Asia joyn'd,                          310
  And scourg'd with many a stroak th' indignant waves.
  Now had they brought the work by wondrous Art
  Pontifical, a ridge of pendent Rock
  Over the vext Abyss, following the track
  Of Satan, to the selfsame place where hee
  First lighted from his Wing, and landed safe
  From out of Chaos to the outside bare
  Of this round World: with Pinns of Adamant
  And Chains they made all fast, too fast they made
  And durable; and now in little space                                320
  The Confines met of Empyrean Heav'n
  And of this World, and on the left hand Hell
  With long reach interpos'd; three sev'ral wayes
  In sight, to each of these three places led.
  And now thir way to Earth they had descri'd,
  To Paradise first tending, when behold
  Satan in likeness of an Angel bright
  Betwixt the Centaure and the Scorpion stearing
  His Zenith, while the Sun in Aries rose:
  Disguis'd he came, but those his Children dear                      330
  Thir Parent soon discern'd, though in disguise.
  Hee, after Eve seduc't, unminded slunk
  Into the Wood fast by, and changing shape
  To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
  By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded
  Upon her Husband, saw thir shame that sought
  Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
  The Son of God to judge them, terrifi'd
  Hee fled, not hoping to escape, but shun
  The present, fearing guiltie what his wrauth                        340
  Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd
  By Night, and listning where the hapless Paire
  Sate in thir sad discourse, and various plaint,
  Thence gatherd his own doom, which understood
  Not instant, but of future time. With joy
  And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return'd,
  And at the brink of Chaos, neer the foot
  Of this new wondrous Pontifice, unhop't
  Met who to meet him came, his Ofspring dear.
  Great joy was at thir meeting, and at sight                         350
  Of that stupendious Bridge his joy encreas'd.
  Long hee admiring stood, till Sin, his faire
  Inchanting Daughter, thus the silence broke.
  O Parent, these are thy magnific deeds,
  Thy Trophies, which thou view'st as not thine own,
  Thou art thir Author and prime Architect:
  For I no sooner in my Heart divin'd,
  My Heart, which by a secret harmonie
  Still moves with thine, joyn'd in connexion sweet,
  That thou on Earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks                 360
  Now also evidence, but straight I felt
  Though distant from thee Worlds between, yet felt
  That I must after thee with this thy Son;
  Such fatal consequence unites us three:
  Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds,
  Nor this unvoyageable Gulf obscure
  Detain from following thy illustrious track.
  Thou hast atchiev'd our libertie, confin'd
  Within Hell Gates till now, thou us impow'rd
  To fortifie thus farr, and overlay                                  370
  With this portentous Bridge the dark Abyss.
  Thine now is all this World, thy vertue hath won
  What thy hands builded not, thy Wisdom gain'd
  With odds what Warr hath lost, and fully aveng'd
  Our foile in Heav'n; here thou shalt Monarch reign,
  There didst not; there let him still Victor sway,
  As Battel hath adjudg'd, from this new World
  Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
  And henceforth Monarchie with thee divide
  Of all things, parted by th' Empyreal bounds,                       380
  His Quadrature, from thy Orbicular World,
  Or trie thee now more dang'rous to his Throne.
  Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answerd glad.
  Fair Daughter, and thou Son and Grandchild both,
  High proof ye now have giv'n to be the Race
  Of Satan (for I glorie in the name,
  Antagonist of Heav'ns Almightie King)
  Amply have merited of me, of all
  Th' Infernal Empire, that so neer Heav'ns dore
  Triumphal with triumphal act have met,                              390
  Mine with this glorious Work, & made one Realm
  Hell and this World, one Realm, one Continent
  Of easie thorough-fare. Therefore while I
  Descend through Darkness, on your Rode with ease
  To my associate Powers, them to acquaint
  With these successes, and with them rejoyce,
  You two this way, among those numerous Orbs
  All yours, right down to Paradise descend;
  There dwell & Reign in bliss, thence on the Earth
  Dominion exercise and in the Aire,                                  400
  Chiefly on Man, sole Lord of all declar'd,
  Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.
  My Substitutes I send ye, and Create
  Plenipotent on Earth, of matchless might
  Issuing from mee: on your joynt vigor now
  My hold of this new Kingdom all depends,
  Through Sin to Death expos'd by my exploit.
  If your joynt power prevaile, th' affaires of Hell
  No detriment need feare, goe and be strong.
  So saying he dismiss'd them, they with speed                        410
  Thir course through thickest Constellations held
  Spreading thir bane; the blasted Starrs lookt wan,
  And Planets, Planet-strook, real Eclips
  Then sufferd. Th' other way Satan went down
  The Causey to Hell Gate; on either side
  Disparted Chaos over built exclaimd,
  And with rebounding surge the barrs assaild,
  That scorn'd his indignation: through the Gate,
  Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass'd,
  And all about found desolate; for those                             420
  Appointed to sit there, had left thir charge,
  Flown to the upper World; the rest were all
  Farr to the inland retir'd, about the walls
  Of Pandemonium, Citie and proud seate
  Of Lucifer, so by allusion calld,
  Of that bright Starr to Satan paragond.
  There kept thir Watch the Legions, while the Grand
  In Council sate, sollicitous what chance
  Might intercept thir Emperour sent, so hee
  Departing gave command, and they observ'd.                          430
  As when the Tartar from his Russian Foe
  By Astracan over the Snowie Plaines
  Retires, or Bactrian Sophi from the hornes
  Of Turkish Crescent, leaves all waste beyond
  The Realme of Aladule, in his retreate
  To Tauris or Casbeen. So these the late
  Heav'n-banisht Host, left desert utmost Hell
  Many a dark League, reduc't in careful Watch
  Round thir Metropolis, and now expecting
  Each hour their great adventurer from the search                    440
  Of Forrein Worlds: he through the midst unmarkt,

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  In shew plebeian Angel militant
  Of lowest order, past; and from the dore
  Of that Plutonian Hall, invisible
  Ascended his high Throne, which under state
  Of richest texture spred, at th' upper end
  Was plac't in regal lustre. Down a while
  He sate, and round about him saw unseen:
  At last as from a Cloud his fulgent head
  And shape Starr bright appeer'd, or brighter, clad                  450
  With what permissive glory since his fall
  Was left him, or false glitter: All amaz'd
  At that so sudden blaze the Stygian throng
  Bent thir aspect, and whom they wish'd beheld,
  Thir mighty Chief returnd: loud was th' acclaime:
  Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting Peers,
  Rais'd from thir dark Divan, and with like joy
  Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand
  Silence, and with these words attention won.
  Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,                  460
  For in possession such, not onely of right,
  I call ye and declare ye now, returnd
  Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth
  Triumphant out of this infernal Pit
  Abominable, accurst, the house of woe,
  And Dungeon of our Tyrant: Now possess,
  As Lords, a spacious World, to our native Heaven
  Little inferiour, by my adventure hard
  With peril great atchiev'd. Long were to tell
  What I have don, what sufferd, with what paine                      470
  Voyag'd the unreal, vast, unbounded deep
  Of horrible confusion, over which
  By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav'd
  To expedite your glorious march; but I
  Toild out my uncouth passage, forc't to ride
  Th' untractable Abysse, plung'd in the womb
  Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wilde,
  That jealous of thir secrets fiercely oppos'd
  My journey strange, with clamorous uproare
  Protesting Fate supreame; thence how I found                        480
  The new created World, which fame in Heav'n
  Long had foretold, a Fabrick wonderful
  Of absolute perfection, therein Man
  Plac't in a Paradise, by our exile
  Made happie: Him by fraud I have seduc'd
  From his Creator, and the more to increase
  Your wonder, with an Apple; he thereat
  Offended, worth your laughter, hath giv'n up
  Both his beloved Man and all his World,
  To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,                              490
  Without our hazard, labour or allarme,
  To range in, and to dwell, and over Man
  To rule, as over all he should have rul'd.
  True is, mee also he hath judg'd, or rather
  Mee not, but the brute Serpent in whose shape
  Man I deceav'd: that which to mee belongs,
  Is enmity, which he will put between
  Mee and Mankinde; I am to bruise his heel;
  His Seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head:
  A World who would not purchase with a bruise,                       500
  Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th' account
  Of my performance: What remaines, ye Gods,
  But up and enter now into full bliss.
  So having said, a while he stood, expecting
  Thir universal shout and high applause
  To fill his eare, when contrary he hears
  On all sides, from innumerable tongues
  A dismal universal hiss, the sound
  Of public scorn; he wonderd, but not long
  Had leasure, wondring at himself now more;                          510
  His Visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
  His Armes clung to his Ribs, his Leggs entwining
  Each other, till supplanted down he fell
  A monstrous Serpent on his Belly prone,
  Reluctant, but in vaine, a greater power
  Now rul'd him, punisht in the shape he sin'd,
  According to his doom: he would have spoke,
  But hiss for hiss returnd with forked tongue
  To forked tongue, for now were all transform'd
  Alike, to Serpents all as accessories                               520
  To his bold Riot: dreadful was the din
  Of hissing through the Hall, thick swarming now
  With complicated monsters, head and taile,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Scorpion and Asp, and Amphisbaena dire,
  Cerastes hornd, Hydrus, and Ellops drear,
  And Dipsas (Not so thick swarm'd once the Soil
  Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the Isle
  Ophiusa) but still greatest hee the midst,
  Now Dragon grown, larger then whom the Sun
  Ingenderd in the Pythian Vale on slime,                             530
  Huge Python, and his Power no less he seem'd
  Above the rest still to retain; they all
  Him follow'd issuing forth to th' open Field,
  Where all yet left of that revolted Rout
  Heav'n-fall'n, in station stood or just array,
  Sublime with expectation when to see
  In Triumph issuing forth thir glorious Chief;
  They saw, but other sight instead, a crowd
  Of ugly Serpents; horror on them fell,
  And horrid sympathie; for what they saw,                            540
  They felt themselvs now changing; down thir arms,
  Down fell both Spear and Shield, down they as fast,
  And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire form
  Catcht by Contagion, like in punishment,
  As in thir crime. Thus was th' applause they meant,
  Turnd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame
  Cast on themselves from thir own mouths. There stood
  A Grove hard by, sprung up with this thir change,
  His will who reigns above, to aggravate
  Thir penance, laden with fair Fruit, like that                      550
  Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve
  Us'd by the Tempter: on that prospect strange
  Thir earnest eyes they fix'd, imagining
  For one forbidden Tree a multitude
  Now ris'n, to work them furder woe or shame;
  Yet parcht with scalding thurst and hunger fierce,
  Though to delude them sent, could not abstain,
  But on they rould in heaps, and up the Trees
  Climbing, sat thicker then the snakie locks
  That curld Megaera: greedily they pluck'd                           560
  The Frutage fair to sight, like that which grew
  Neer that bituminous Lake where Sodom flam'd;
  This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
  Deceav'd; they fondly thinking to allay
  Thir appetite with gust, instead of Fruit
  Chewd bitter Ashes, which th' offended taste
  With spattering noise rejected: oft they assayd,
  Hunger and thirst constraining, drugd as oft,
  With hatefullest disrelish writh'd thir jaws
  With soot and cinders fill'd; so oft they fell                      570
  Into the same illusion, not as Man
  Whom they triumph'd once lapst. Thus were they plagu'd
  And worn with Famin, long and ceasless hiss,
  Till thir lost shape, permitted, they resum'd,
  Yearly enjoynd, some say, to undergo
  This annual humbling certain number'd days,
  To dash thir pride, and joy for Man seduc't.
  However some tradition they dispers'd
  Among the Heathen of thir purchase got,
  And Fabl'd how the Serpent, whom they calld                         580
  Ophion with Eurynome, the wide-
  Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule
  Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driv'n
  And Ops, ere yet Dictaean Jove was born.
  Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair
  Too soon arriv'd, Sin there in power before,
  Once actual, now in body, and to dwell
  Habitual habitant; behind her Death
  Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
  On his pale Horse: to whom Sin thus began.                          590
  Second of Satan sprung, all conquering Death,
  What thinkst thou of our Empire now, though earnd
  With travail difficult, not better farr
  Then stil at Hels dark threshold to have sate watch,
  Unnam'd, undreaded, and thy self half starv'd?
  Whom thus the Sin-born Monster answerd soon.
  To mee, who with eternal Famin pine,
  Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven,
  There best, where most with ravin I may meet;
  Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems                  600
  To stuff this Maw, this vast unhide-bound Corps.
  To whom th' incestuous Mother thus repli'd.
  Thou therefore on these Herbs, and Fruits, & Flours
  Feed first, on each Beast next, and Fish, and Fowle,
  No homely morsels, and whatever thing
  The Sithe of Time mowes down, devour unspar'd,
  Till I in Man residing through the Race,
  His thoughts, his looks, words, actions all infect,
  And season him thy last and sweetest prey.

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  This said, they both betook them several wayes,                     610
  Both to destroy, or unimmortal make
  All kinds, and for destruction to mature
  Sooner or later; which th' Almightie seeing,
  From his transcendent Seat the Saints among,
  To those bright Orders utterd thus his voice.
  See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance
  To waste and havoc yonder World, which I
  So fair and good created, and had still
  Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man
  Let in these wastful Furies, who impute                             620
  Folly to mee, so doth the Prince of Hell
  And his Adherents, that with so much ease
  I suffer them to enter and possess
  A place so heav'nly, and conniving seem
  To gratifie my scornful Enemies,
  That laugh, as if transported with some fit
  Of Passion, I to them had quitted all,
  At random yeilded up to their misrule;
  And know not that I call'd and drew them thither
  My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth                      630
  Which mans polluting Sin with taint hath shed
  On what was pure, till cramm'd and gorg'd, nigh burst
  With suckt and glutted offal, at one fling
  Of thy victorious Arm, well-pleasing Son,
  Both Sin, and Death, and yawning Grave at last
  Through Chaos hurld, obstruct the mouth of Hell
  For ever, and seal up his ravenous Jawes.
  Then Heav'n and Earth renewd shall be made pure
  To sanctitie that shall receive no staine:
  Till then the Curse pronounc't on both precedes.                    640
  Hee ended, and the heav'nly Audience loud
  Sung Halleluia, as the sound of Seas,
  Through multitude that sung: Just are thy ways,
  Righteous are thy Decrees on all thy Works;
  Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son,
  Destin'd restorer of Mankind, by whom
  New Heav'n and Earth shall to the Ages rise,
  Or down from Heav'n descend. Such was thir song,
  While the Creator calling forth by name
  His mightie Angels gave them several charge,                        650
  As sorted best with present things. The Sun
  Had first his precept so to move, so shine,
  As might affect the Earth with cold and heat
  Scarce tollerable, and from the North to call
  Decrepit Winter, from the South to bring
  Solstitial summers heat. To the blanc Moone
  Her office they prescrib'd, to th' other five
  Thir planetarie motions and aspects
  In Sextile, Square, and Trine, and Opposite,
  Of noxious efficacie, and when to joyne                             660
  In Synod unbenigne, and taught the fixt
  Thir influence malignant when to showre,
  Which of them rising with the Sun, or falling,
  Should prove tempestuous: To the Winds they set
  Thir corners, when with bluster to confound
  Sea, Aire, and Shoar, the Thunder when to rowle
  With terror through the dark Aereal Hall.
  Some say he bid his Angels turne ascanse
  The Poles of Earth twice ten degrees and more
  From the Suns Axle; they with labour push'd                         670
  Oblique the Centric Globe: Som say the Sun
  Was bid turn Reines from th' Equinoctial Rode
  Like distant breadth to Taurus with the Seav'n
  Atlantick Sisters, and the Spartan Twins
  Up to the Tropic Crab; thence down amaine
  By Leo and the Virgin and the Scales,
  As deep as Capricorne, to bring in change
  Of Seasons to each Clime; else had the Spring
  Perpetual smil'd on Earth with vernant Flours,
  Equal in Days and Nights, except to those                           680
  Beyond the Polar Circles; to them Day
  Had unbenighted shon, while the low Sun
  To recompence his distance, in thir sight
  Had rounded still th' Horizon, and not known
  Or East or West, which had forbid the Snow
  From cold Estotiland, and South as farr
  Beneath Magellan. At that tasted Fruit
  The Sun, as from Thyestean Banquet, turn'd
  His course intended; else how had the World
  Inhabited, though sinless, more then now,                           690
  Avoided pinching cold and scorching heate?
  These changes in the Heav'ns, though slow, produc'd
  Like change on Sea and Land, sideral blast,
  Vapour, and Mist, and Exhalation hot,
  Corrupt and Pestilent: Now from the North
  Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shoar
  Bursting thir brazen Dungeon, armd with ice
  And snow and haile and stormie gust and flaw,
  Boreas and Caecias and Argestes loud
  And Thrascias rend the Woods and Seas upturn;                       700
  With adverse blast up-turns them from the South
  Notus and Afer black with thundrous Clouds
  From Serraliona; thwart of these as fierce
  Forth rush the Levant and the Ponent Windes
  Eurus and Zephir with thir lateral noise,
  Sirocco, and Libecchio. Thus began
  Outrage from liveless things; but Discord first
  Daughter of Sin, among th' irrational,
  Death introduc'd through fierce antipathie:
  Beast now with Beast gan war, & Fowle with Fowle,                   710
  And Fish with Fish; to graze the Herb all leaving,
  Devourd each other; nor stood much in awe
  Of Man, but fled him, or with count'nance grim
  Glar'd on him passing: these were from without
  The growing miseries, which Adam saw
  Alreadie in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,
  To sorrow abandond, but worse felt within,
  And in a troubl'd Sea of passion tost,
  Thus to disburd'n sought with sad complaint.
  O miserable of happie! is this the end                              720
  Of this new glorious World, and mee so late
  The Glory of that Glory, who now becom
  Accurst of blessed, hide me from the face
  Of God, whom to behold was then my highth
  Of happiness: yet well, if here would end
  The miserie, I deserv'd it, and would beare
  My own deservings; but this will not serve;
  All that I eate or drink, or shall beget,
  Is propagated curse. O voice once heard
  Delightfully, Encrease And Multiply,                                730
  Now death to heare! for what can I encrease
  Or multiplie, but curses on my head?
  Who of all Ages to succeed, but feeling
  The evil on him brought by me, will curse
  My Head, Ill fare our Ancestor impure,
  For this we may thank Adam; but his thanks
  Shall be the execration; so besides
  Mine own that bide upon me, all from mee
  Shall with a fierce reflux on mee redound,
  On mee as on thir natural center light                              740
  Heavie, though in thir place. O fleeting joyes
  Of Paradise, deare bought with lasting woes!
  Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay
  To mould me Man, did I sollicite thee
  From darkness to promote me, or here place
  In this delicious Garden? as my Will
  Concurd not to my being, it were but right
  And equal to reduce me to my dust,
  Desirous to resigne, and render back
  All I receav'd, unable to performe                                  750
  Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
  The good I sought not. To the loss of that,
  Sufficient penaltie, why hast thou added
  The sense of endless woes? inexplicable
  Thy Justice seems; yet to say truth, too late,
  I thus contest; then should have been refusd
  Those terms whatever, when they were propos'd:
  Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good,
  Then cavil the conditions? and though God
  Made thee without thy leave, what if thy Son                        760
  Prove disobedient, and reprov'd, retort,
  Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not:
  Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee
  That proud excuse? yet him not thy election,
  But Natural necessity begot.
  God made thee of choice his own, and of his own
  To serve him, thy reward was of his grace,
  Thy punishment then justly is at his Will.
  Be it so, for I submit, his doom is fair,
  That dust I am, and shall to dust returne:                          770
  O welcom hour whenever! why delayes
  His hand to execute what his Decree
  Fixd on this day? why do I overlive,
  Why am I mockt with death, and length'nd out
  To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet
  Mortalitie my sentence, and be Earth
  Insensible, how glad would lay me down
  As in my Mothers lap? there I should rest
  And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
  Would Thunder in my ears, no fear of worse                          780
  To mee and to my ofspring would torment me
  With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
  Pursues me still, least all I cannot die,
  Least that pure breath of Life, the Spirit of Man
  Which God inspir'd, cannot together perish
  With this corporeal Clod; then in the Grave,
  Or in some other dismal place, who knows
  But I shall die a living Death? O thought
  Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath
  Of Life that sinn'd; what dies but what had life                    790
  And sin? the Bodie properly hath neither.
  All of me then shall die: let this appease
  The doubt, since humane reach no further knows.
  For though the Lord of all be infinite,
  Is his wrauth also? be it, man is not so,
  But mortal doom'd. How can he exercise
  Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end?
  Can he make deathless Death? that were to make
  Strange contradiction, which to God himself
  Impossible is held, as Argument                                     800
  Of weakness, not of Power. Will he, draw out,
  For angers sake, finite to infinite
  In punisht man, to satisfie his rigour
  Satisfi'd never; that were to extend
  His Sentence beyond dust and Natures Law,
  By which all Causes else according still
  To the reception of thir matter act,
  Not to th' extent of thir own Spheare. But say
  That Death be not one stroak, as I suppos'd,
  Bereaving sense, but endless miserie                                810
  From this day onward, which I feel begun
  Both in me, and without me, and so last
  To perpetuitie; Ay me, that fear
  Comes thundring back with dreadful revolution
  On my defensless head; both Death and I
  Am found Eternal, and incorporate both,
  Nor I on my part single, in mee all
  Posteritie stands curst: Fair Patrimonie
  That I must leave ye, Sons; O were I able
  To waste it all my self, and leave ye none!                         820
  So disinherited how would ye bless
  Me now your Curse! Ah, why should all mankind
  For one mans fault thus guiltless be condemn'd,
  If guiltless? But from mee what can proceed,
  But all corrupt, both Mind and Will deprav'd,
  Not to do onely, but to will the same
  With me? how can they acquitted stand
  In sight of God? Him after all Disputes
  Forc't I absolve: all my evasions vain
  And reasonings, though through Mazes, lead me still                 830
  But to my own conviction: first and last
  On mee, mee onely, as the sourse and spring
  Of all corruption, all the blame lights due;
  So might the wrauth, Fond wish! couldst thou support
  That burden heavier then the Earth to bear,
  Then all the world much heavier, though divided
  With that bad Woman? Thus what thou desir'st,
  And what thou fearst, alike destroyes all hope
  Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable
  Beyond all past example and future,                                 840
  To Satan onely like both crime and doom.
  O Conscience, into what Abyss of fears
  And horrors hast thou driv'n me; out of which
  I find no way, from deep to deeper plung'd!
  Thus Adam to himself lamented loud
  Through the still Night, not now, as ere man fell,
  Wholsom and cool, and mild, but with black Air
  Accompanied, with damps and dreadful gloom,
  Which to his evil Conscience represented
  All things with double terror: On the ground                        850
  Outstretcht he lay, on the cold ground, and oft
  Curs'd his Creation, Death as oft accus'd
  Of tardie execution, since denounc't
  The day of his offence. Why comes not Death,
  Said hee, with one thrice acceptable stroke
  To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word,
  Justice Divine not hast'n to be just?
  But Death comes not at call, Justice Divine
  Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries.
  O Woods, O Fountains, Hillocks, Dales and Bowrs,                    860
  With other echo farr I taught your Shades
  To answer, and resound farr other Song.
  Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld,
  Desolate where she sate, approaching nigh,
  Soft words to his fierce passion she assay'd:
  But her with stern regard he thus repell'd.
  Out of my sight, thou Serpent, that name best
  Befits thee with him leagu'd, thy self as false
  And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,
  Like his, and colour Serpentine may shew                            870
  Thy inward fraud, to warn all Creatures from thee
  Henceforth; least that too heav'nly form, pretended
  To hellish falshood, snare them. But for thee
  I had persisted happie, had not thy pride
  And wandring vanitie, when lest was safe,
  Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd
  Not to be trusted, longing to be seen
  Though by the Devil himself, him overweening
  To over-reach, but with the Serpent meeting
  Fool'd and beguil'd, by him thou, I by thee,                        880
  To trust thee from my side, imagin'd wise,
  Constant, mature, proof against all assaults,
  And understood not all was but a shew
  Rather then solid vertu, all but a Rib
  Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears,
  More to the part sinister from me drawn,
  Well if thrown out, as supernumerarie
  To my just number found. O why did God,
  Creator wise, that peopl'd highest Heav'n
  With Spirits Masculine, create at last                              890
  This noveltie on Earth, this fair defect
  Of Nature, and not fill the World at once
  With Men as Angels without Feminine,
  Or find some other way to generate
  Mankind? this mischief had not then befall'n,
  And more that shall befall, innumerable
  Disturbances on Earth through Femal snares,
  And straight conjunction with this Sex: for either
  He never shall find out fit Mate, but such
  As some misfortune brings him, or mistake,                          900
  Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain
  Through her perverseness, but shall see her gaind
  By a farr worse, or if she love, withheld
  By Parents, or his happiest choice too late
  Shall meet, alreadie linkt and Wedlock-bound
  To a fell Adversarie, his hate or shame:
  Which infinite calamitie shall cause
  To humane life, and houshold peace confound.
  He added not, and from her turn'd, but Eve
  Not so repulst, with Tears that ceas'd not flowing,                 910
  And tresses all disorderd, at his feet
  Fell humble, and imbracing them, besaught
  His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.
  Forsake me not thus, Adam, witness Heav'n
  What love sincere, and reverence in my heart
  I beare thee, and unweeting have offended,
  Unhappilie deceav'd; thy suppliant
  I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,
  Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
  Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,                             920
  My onely strength and stay: forlorn of thee,
  Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
  While yet we live, scarse one short hour perhaps,
  Between us two let there be peace, both joyning,
  As joyn'd in injuries, one enmitie
  Against a Foe by doom express assign'd us,
  That cruel Serpent: On me exercise not
  Thy hatred for this miserie befall'n,
  On me already lost, mee then thy self
  More miserable; both have sin'd, but thou                           930
  Against God onely, I against God and thee,
  And to the place of judgement will return,
  There with my cries importune Heaven, that all
  The sentence from thy head remov'd may light
  On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe,
  Mee mee onely just object of his ire.
  She ended weeping, and her lowlie plight,
  Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault
  Acknowledg'd and deplor'd, in Adam wraught
  Commiseration; soon his heart relented                              940
  Towards her, his life so late and sole delight,
  Now at his feet submissive in distress,
  Creature so faire his reconcilement seeking,
  His counsel whom she had displeas'd, his aide;
  As one disarm'd, his anger all he lost,
  And thus with peaceful words uprais'd her soon.
  Unwarie, and too desirous, as before,
  So now of what thou knowst not, who desir'st
  The punishment all on thy self; alas,
  Beare thine own first, ill able to sustaine                         950
  His full wrauth whose thou feelst as yet lest part,
  And my displeasure bearst so ill. If Prayers
  Could alter high Decrees, I to that place
  Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,
  That on my head all might be visited,
  Thy frailtie and infirmer Sex forgiv'n,
  To me committed and by me expos'd.
  But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
  Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere, but strive
  In offices of Love, how we may light'n                              960
  Each others burden in our share of woe;
  Since this days Death denounc't, if ought I see,
  Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac't evill,
  A long days dying to augment our paine,
  And to our Seed (O hapless Seed!) deriv'd.
  To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, repli'd.
  Adam, by sad experiment I know
  How little weight my words with thee can finde,
  Found so erroneous, thence by just event
  Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,                                 970
  Restor'd by thee, vile as I am, to place
  Of new acceptance, hopeful to regaine
  Thy Love, the sole contentment of my heart,
  Living or dying from thee I will not hide
  What thoughts in my unquiet brest are ris'n,
  Tending to som relief of our extremes,
  Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,
  As in our evils, and of easier choice.
  If care of our descent perplex us most,
  Which must be born to certain woe, devourd                          980
  By Death at last, and miserable it is
  To be to others cause of misery,
  Our own begotten, and of our Loines to bring
  Into this cursed World a woful Race,
  That after wretched Life must be at last
  Food for so foule a Monster, in thy power
  It lies, yet ere Conception to prevent
  The Race unblest, to being yet unbegot.
  Childless thou art, Childless remaine:
  So Death shall be deceav'd his glut, and with us two                990
  Be forc'd to satisfie his Rav'nous Maw.
  But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
  Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
  From Loves due Rites, Nuptial embraces sweet,
  And with desire to languish without hope,
  Before the present object languishing
  With like desire, which would be miserie
  And torment less then none of what we dread,
  Then both our selves and Seed at once to free
  From what we fear for both, let us make short,                     1000
  Let us seek Death, or hee not found, supply
  With our own hands his Office on our selves;
  Why stand we longer shivering under feares,
  That shew no end but Death, and have the power,
  Of many wayes to die the shortest choosing,
  Destruction with destruction to destroy.
  She ended heer, or vehement despaire
  Broke off the rest; so much of Death her thoughts
  Had entertaind, as di'd her Cheeks with pale.
  But Adam with such counsel nothing sway'd,                         1010
  To better hopes his more attentive minde
  Labouring had rais'd, and thus to Eve repli'd.
  Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
  To argue in thee somthing more sublime
  And excellent then what thy minde contemnes;
  But self-destruction therefore saught, refutes
  That excellence thought in thee, and implies,
  Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
  For loss of life and pleasure overlov'd.
  Or if thou covet death, as utmost end                              1020
  Of miserie, so thinking to evade
  The penaltie pronounc't, doubt not but God
  Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire then so
  To be forestall'd; much more I fear least Death
  So snatcht will not exempt us from the paine
  We are by doom to pay; rather such acts
  Of contumacie will provoke the highest
  To make death in us live: Then let us seek
  Som safer resolution, which methinks
  I have in view, calling to minde with heed                         1030
  Part of our Sentence, that thy Seed shall bruise
  The Serpents head; piteous amends, unless
  Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand Foe
  Satan, who in the Serpent hath contriv'd
  Against us this deceit: to crush his head
  Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost
  By death brought on our selves, or childless days
  Resolv'd, as thou proposest; so our Foe
  Shall scape his punishment ordain'd, and wee
  Instead shall double ours upon our heads.                          1040
  No more be mention'd then of violence
  Against our selves, and wilful barrenness,
  That cuts us off from hope, and savours onely
  Rancor and pride, impatience and despite,
  Reluctance against God and his just yoke
  Laid on our Necks. Remember with what mild
  And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd
  Without wrauth or reviling; wee expected
  Immediate dissolution, which we thought
  Was meant by Death that day, when lo, to thee                      1050
  Pains onely in Child-bearing were foretold,
  And bringing forth, soon recompenc't with joy,
  Fruit of thy Womb: On mee the Curse aslope
  Glanc'd on the ground, with labour I must earne
  My bread; what harm? Idleness had bin worse;
  My labour will sustain me; and least Cold
  Or Heat should injure us, his timely care
  Hath unbesaught provided, and his hands
  Cloath'd us unworthie, pitying while he judg'd;
  How much more, if we pray him, will his ear                        1060
  Be open, and his heart to pitie incline,
  And teach us further by what means to shun
  Th' inclement Seasons, Rain, Ice, Hail and Snow,
  Which now the Skie with various Face begins
  To shew us in this Mountain, while the Winds
  Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
  Of these fair spreading Trees; which bids us seek
  Som better shroud, som better warmth to cherish
  Our Limbs benumm'd, ere this diurnal Starr
  Leave cold the Night, how we his gather'd beams                    1070
  Reflected, may with matter sere foment,
  Or by collision of two bodies grinde
  The Air attrite to Fire, as late the Clouds
  Justling or pusht with Winds rude in thir shock
  Tine the slant Lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n down
  Kindles the gummie bark of Firr or Pine,
  And sends a comfortable heat from farr,
  Which might supplie the Sun: such Fire to use,
  And what may else be remedie or cure
  To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought,                      1080
  Hee will instruct us praying, and of Grace
  Beseeching him, so as we need not fear
  To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
  By him with many comforts, till we end
  In dust, our final rest and native home.
  What better can we do, then to the place
  Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall
  Before him reverent, and there confess
  Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
  Watering the ground, and with our sighs the Air                    1090
  Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
  Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.
  Undoubtedly he will relent and turn
  From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
  When angry most he seem'd and most severe,
  What else but favor, grace, and mercie shon?
  So spake our Father penitent, nor Eve
  Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
  Repairing where he judg'd them prostrate fell
  Before him reverent, and both confess'd                            1100
  Humbly thir faults, and pardon beg'd, with tears
  Watering the ground, and with thir sighs the Air
  Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
  Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.

  58 may] might 1674.
  241 Avenger] Avengers 1674.
  397 those] these 1674.
  827 they acquitted] they then acquitted 1674.

  The End Of The Tenth Book.



The Son of God presents to his Father the Prayers of our first Parents now repenting, and intercedes for them: God accepts them, but declares that they must no longer abide in Paradise; sends Michael with a Band of Cherubim to dispossess them; but first to reveal to Adam future things: Michaels coming down, Adam shews to Eve certain ominous signs; he discerns Michaels approach, goes out to meet him: the Angel denounces thir departure. Eve's Lamentation. Adam pleads, but submits: The Angel leads him up to a high Hill, sets before him in a vision what shall happ'n till the Flood.

  Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood
  Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above
  Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd
  The stonie from thir hearts, and made new flesh
  Regenerat grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
  Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
  Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight
  Then loudest Oratorie: yet thir port
  Not of mean suiters, nor important less
  Seem'd thir Petition, then when th' ancient Pair                     10
  In Fables old, less ancient yet then these,
  Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore
  The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine
  Of Themis stood devout. To Heav'n thir prayers
  Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious windes
  Blow'n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd
  Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then clad
  With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd,
  By thir great Intercessor, came in sight
  Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son                         20
  Presenting, thus to intercede began.
  See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung
  From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs
  And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt
  With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring,
  Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
  Sow'n with contrition in his heart, then those
  Which his own hand manuring all the Trees
  Of Paradise could have produc't, ere fall'n
  From innocence. Now therefore bend thine eare                        30
  To supplication, heare his sighs though mute;
  Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee
  Interpret for him, mee his Advocate
  And propitiation, all his works on mee
  Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those
  Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay.
  Accept me, and in mee from these receave
  The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live
  Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
  Numberd, though sad, till Death, his doom (which I                   40
  To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)
  To better life shall yeeld him, where with mee
  All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss,
  Made one with me as I with thee am one.
  To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene.
  All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
  Obtain, all thy request was my Decree:
  But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
  The Law I gave to Nature him forbids:
  Those pure immortal Elements that know                               50
  No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule,
  Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
  As a distemper, gross to aire as gross,
  And mortal food, as may dispose him best
  For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first
  Distemperd all things, and of incorrupt
  Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts
  Created him endowd, with Happiness
  And Immortalitie: that fondly lost,
  This other serv'd but to eternize woe;                               60
  Till I provided Death; so Death becomes
  His final remedie, and after Life
  Tri'd in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
  By Faith and faithful works, to second Life,
  Wak't in the renovation of the just,
  Resignes him up with Heav'n and Earth renewd.
  But let us call to Synod all the Blest
  Through Heav'ns wide bounds; from them I will not hide
  My judgments, how with Mankind I proceed,
  As how with peccant Angels late they saw;                            70
  And in thir state, though firm, stood more confirmd.
  He ended, and the Son gave signal high
  To the bright Minister that watchd, hee blew
  His Trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps
  When God descended, and perhaps once more
  To sound at general Doom. Th' Angelic blast
  Filld all the Regions: from thir blissful Bowrs
  Of Amarantin Shade, Fountain or Spring,
  By the waters of Life, where ere they sate
  In fellowships of joy: the Sons of Light                             80
  Hasted, resorting to the Summons high,
  And took thir Seats; till from his Throne supream
  Th' Almighty thus pronounced his sovran Will.
  O Sons, like one of us Man is become
  To know both Good and Evil, since his taste
  Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast
  His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got,
  Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known
  Good by it self, and Evil not at all.
  He sorrows now, repents, and prayes contrite,                        90
  My motions in him, longer then they move,
  His heart I know, how variable and vain
  Self-left. Least therefore his now bolder hand
  Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
  And live for ever, dream at least to live
  Forever, to remove him I decree,
  And send him from the Garden forth to Till
  The Ground whence he was taken, fitter soile.
  Michael, this my behest have thou in charge,
  Take to thee from among the Cherubim                                100
  Thy choice of flaming Warriours, least the Fiend
  Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
  Vacant possession som new trouble raise:
  Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God
  Without remorse drive out the sinful Pair,
  From hallowd ground th' unholie, and denounce
  To them and to thir Progenie from thence
  Perpetual banishment. Yet least they faint
  At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd,
  For I behold them soft'nd and with tears                            110
  Bewailing thir excess, all terror hide.
  If patiently thy bidding they obey,
  Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveale
  To Adam what shall come in future dayes,
  As I shall thee enlighten, intermix
  My Cov'nant in the Womans seed renewd;
  So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
  And on the East side of the Garden place,
  Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbes,
  Cherubic watch, and of a Sword the flame                            120
  Wide waving, all approach farr off to fright,
  And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:
  Least Paradise a receptacle prove
  To Spirits foule, and all my Trees thir prey,
  With whose stol'n Fruit Man once more to delude.
  He ceas'd; and th' Archangelic Power prepar'd
  For swift descent, with him the Cohort bright
  Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each
  Had, like a double Janus, all thir shape
  Spangl'd with eyes more numerous then those                         130
  Of Argus, and more wakeful then to drouze,
  Charm'd with Arcadian Pipe, the Pastoral Reed
  Of Hermes, or his opiate Rod. Meanwhile
  To resalute the World with sacred Light
  Leucothea wak'd, and with fresh dews imbalmd
  The Earth, when Adam and first Matron Eve
  Had ended now thir Orisons, and found,
  Strength added from above, new hope to spring
  Out of despaire, joy, but with fear yet linkt;
  Which thus to Eve his welcome words renewd.                         140
  Eve, easily may Faith admit, that all
  The good which we enjoy, from Heav'n descends
  But that from us ought should ascend to Heav'n
  So prevalent as to concerne the mind
  Of God high blest, or to incline his will,
  Hard to belief may seem; yet this will Prayer,
  Or one short sigh of humane breath, up-borne
  Ev'n to the Seat of God. For since I saught
  By Prayer th' offended Deitie to appease,
  Kneel'd and before him humbl'd all my heart,                        150
  Methought I saw him placable and mild,
  Bending his eare; perswasion in me grew
  That I was heard with favour; peace returnd
  Home to my brest, and to my memorie
  His promise, that thy Seed shall bruise our Foe;
  Which then not minded in dismay, yet now
  Assures me that the bitterness of death
  Is past, and we shall live. Whence Haile to thee,
  Eve rightly call'd, Mother of all Mankind,
  Mother of all things living, since by thee                          160
  Man is to live, and all things live for Man.
  To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek.
  Ill worthie I such title should belong
  To me transgressour, who for thee ordaind
  A help, became thy snare; to mee reproach
  Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise:
  But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
  That I who first brought Death on all, am grac't
  The sourse of life; next favourable thou,
  Who highly thus to entitle me voutsaf't,                            170
  Farr other name deserving. But the Field
  To labour calls us now with sweat impos'd,
  Though after sleepless Night; for see the Morn,
  All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins
  Her rosie progress smiling; let us forth,
  I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
  Wherere our days work lies, though now enjoind
  Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
  What can be toilsom in these pleasant Walkes?
  Here let us live, though in fall'n state, content.                  180
  So spake, so wish'd much-humbl'd Eve, but Fate
  Subscrib'd not; Nature first gave Signs, imprest
  On Bird, Beast, Aire, Aire suddenly eclips'd
  After short blush of Morn; nigh in her sight
  The Bird of Jove, stoopt from his aerie tour,
  Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove:
  Down from a Hill the Beast that reigns in Woods,
  First Hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace,
  Goodliest of all the Forrest, Hart and Hinde;
  Direct to th' Eastern Gate was bent thir flight.                    190
  Adam observ'd, and with his Eye the chase
  Pursuing, not unmov'd to Eve thus spake.
  O Eve, some furder change awaits us nigh,
  Which Heav'n by these mute signs in Nature shews
  Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn
  Us haply too secure of our discharge
  From penaltie, because from death releast
  Some days; how long, and what till then our life,
  Who knows, or more then this, that we are dust,
  And thither must return and be no more.                             200
  Why else this double object in our sight
  Of flight pursu'd in th' Air and ore the ground
  One way the self-same hour? why in the East
  Darkness ere Dayes mid-course, and Morning light
  More orient in yon Western Cloud that draws
  O're the blew Firmament a radiant white,
  And slow descends, with somthing heav'nly fraught.
  He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly Bands

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Down from a Skie of Jasper lighted now
  In Paradise, and on a Hill made alt,                                210
  A glorious Apparition, had not doubt
  And carnal fear that day dimm'd Adams eye.
  Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
  Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw
  The field Pavilion'd with his Guardians bright;
  Nor that which on the flaming Mount appeerd
  In Dothan, cover'd with a Camp of Fire,
  Against the Syrian King, who to surprize
  One man, Assassin-like had levied Warr,
  Warr unproclam'd. The Princely Hierarch                             220
  In thir bright stand, there left his Powers to seise
  Possession of the Garden; hee alone,
  To finde where Adam shelterd, took his way,
  Not unperceav'd of Adam, who to Eve,
  While the great Visitant approachd, thus spake.
  Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps
  Of us will soon determin, or impose
  New Laws to be observ'd; for I descrie
  From yonder blazing Cloud that veils the Hill
  One of the heav'nly Host, and by his Gate                           230
  None of the meanest, some great Potentate
  Or of the Thrones above, such Majestie
  Invests him coming; yet not terrible,
  That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
  As Raphael, that I should much confide,
  But solemn and sublime, whom not to offend,
  With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.
  He ended; and th' Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
  Not in his shape Celestial, but as Man
  Clad to meet Man; over his lucid Armes                              240
  A militarie Vest of purple flowd
  Livelier then Meliboean, or the graine
  Of Sarra, worn by Kings and Hero's old
  In time of Truce; Iris had dipt the wooff;
  His starrie Helme unbuckl'd shew'd him prime
  In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side
  As in a glistering Zodiac hung the Sword,
  Satans dire dread, and in his hand the Spear.
  Adam bowd low, hee Kingly from his State
  Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd.                         250
  Adam, Heav'ns high behest no Preface needs:
  Sufficient that thy Prayers are heard, and Death,
  Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
  Defeated of his seisure many dayes
  Giv'n thee of Grace, wherein thou may'st repent,
  And one bad act with many deeds well done
  Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord appeas'd
  Redeem thee quite from Deaths rapacious claimes;
  But longer in this Paradise to dwell
  Permits not; to remove thee I am come,                              260
  And send thee from the Garden forth to till
  The ground whence thou wast tak'n, fitter Soile.
  He added not, for Adam at the newes
  Heart-strook with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
  That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen
  Yet all had heard, with audible lament
  Discover'd soon the place of her retire.
  O unexpected stroke, worse then of Death!
  Must I thus leave thee Paradise? thus leave
  Thee Native Soile, these happie Walks and Shades,                   270
  Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,
  Quiet though sad, the respit of that day
  That must be mortal to us both. O flours,
  That never will in other Climate grow,
  My early visitation, and my last
  At Eev'n, which I bred up with tender hand
  From the first op'ning bud, and gave ye Names,
  Who now shall reare ye to the Sun, or ranke
  Your Tribes, and water from th' ambrosial Fount?
  Thee lastly nuptial Bowre, by mee adornd                            280
  With what to sight or smell was sweet; from thee
  How shall I part, and whither wander down
  Into a lower World, to this obscure
  And wilde, how shall we breath in other Aire
  Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits?
  Whom thus the Angel interrupted milde.
  Lament not Eve, but patiently resigne
  What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
  Thus over fond, on that which is not thine;
  Thy going is not lonely, with thee goes                             290
  Thy Husband, him to follow thou art bound;
  Where he abides, think there thy native soile.
  Adam by this from the cold sudden damp
  Recovering, and his scatterd spirits returnd,
  To Michael thus his humble words addressd.
  Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or nam'd
  Of them the Highest, for such of shape may seem
  Prince above Princes, gently hast thou tould
  Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
  And in performing end us; what besides                              300
  Of sorrow and dejection and despair
  Our frailtie can sustain, thy tidings bring,
  Departure from this happy place, our sweet
  Recess, and onely consolation left
  Familiar to our eyes, all places else
  Inhospitable appeer and desolate,
  Nor knowing us nor known: and if by prayer
  Incessant I could hope to change the will
  Of him who all things can, I would not cease
  To wearie him with my assiduous cries:                              310
  But prayer against his absolute Decree
  No more availes then breath against the winde,
  Blown stifling back on him that breaths it forth:
  Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
  This most afflicts me, that departing hence,
  As from his face I shall be hid, deprivd
  His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent,
  With worship, place by place where he voutsaf'd
  Presence Divine, and to my Sons relate;
  On this Mount he appeerd, under this Tree                           320
  Stood visible, among these Pines his voice
  I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk'd:
  So many grateful Altars I would reare
  Of grassie Terfe, and pile up every Stone
  Of lustre from the brook, in memorie,
  Or monument to Ages, and thereon
  Offer sweet smelling Gumms & Fruits and Flours:
  In yonder nether World where shall I seek
  His bright appearances, or footstep trace?
  For though I fled him angrie, yet recall'd                          330
  To life prolongd and promisd Race, I now
  Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
  Of glory, and farr off his steps adore.
  To whom thus Michael with regard benigne.
  Adam, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth
  Not this Rock onely; his Omnipresence fills
  Land, Sea, and Aire, and every kinde that lives,
  Fomented by his virtual power and warmd:
  All th' Earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
  No despicable gift; surmise not then                                340
  His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd
  Of Paradise or Eden: this had been
  Perhaps thy Capital Seate, from whence had spred
  All generations, and had hither come
  From all the ends of th' Earth, to celebrate
  And reverence thee thir great Progenitor.
  But this praeeminence thou hast lost, brought down
  To dwell on eeven ground now with thy Sons:
  Yet doubt not but in Vallie and in Plaine
  God is as here, and will be found alike                             350
  Present, and of his presence many a signe
  Still following thee, still compassing thee round
  With goodness and paternal Love, his Face
  Express, and of his steps the track Divine.
  Which that thou mayst beleeve, and be confirmd,
  Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
  To shew thee what shall come in future dayes
  To thee and to thy Ofspring; good with bad
  Expect to hear, supernal Grace contending
  With sinfulness of Men; thereby to learn                            360
  True patience, and to temper joy with fear
  And pious sorrow, equally enur'd
  By moderation either state to beare,
  Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead
  Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure
  Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
  This Hill; let Eve (for I have drencht her eyes)
  Here sleep below while thou to foresight wak'st,
  As once thou slepst, while Shee to life was formd.
  To whom thus Adam gratefully repli'd.                               370
  Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path
  Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heav'n submit,
  However chast'ning, to the evil turne
  My obvious breast, arming to overcom
  By suffering, and earne rest from labour won,
  If so I may attain. So both ascend
  In the Visions of God: It was a Hill
  Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
  The Hemisphere of Earth in cleerest Ken
  Stretcht out to amplest reach of prospect lay.                      380
  Not higher that Hill nor wider looking round,
  Whereon for different cause the Tempter set
  Our second Adam in the Wilderness,
  To shew him all Earths Kingdomes and thir Glory.
  His Eye might there command wherever stood
  City of old or modern Fame, the Seat
  Of mightiest Empire, from the destind Walls
  Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can
  And Samarchand by Oxus, Temirs Throne,
  To Paquin of Sinaean Kings, and thence                              390
  To Agra and Lahor of great Mogul
  Down to the golden Chersonese, or where
  The Persian in Ecbatan sate, or since
  In Hispahan, or where the Russian Ksar
  In Mosco, or the Sultan in Bizance,
  Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken
  Th' Empire of Negus to his utmost Port
  Ercoco and the less Maritine Kings
  Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind,
  And Sofala thought Ophir, to the Realme                             400
  Of Congo, and Angola fardest South;
  Or thence from Niger Flood to Atlas Mount
  The Kingdoms of Almansor, Fez, and Sus,
  Marocco and Algiers, and Tremisen;
  On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway
  The World: in Spirit perhaps he also saw
  Rich Mexico the seat of Motezume,
  And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat
  Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil'd
  Guiana, whose great Citie Geryons Sons                              410
  Call El Dorado: but to nobler sights
  Michael from Adams eyes the Filme remov'd
  Which that false Fruit that promis'd clearer sight
  Had bred; then purg'd with Euphrasie and Rue
  The visual Nerve, for he had much to see;
  And from the Well of Life three drops instill'd.
  So deep the power of these Ingredients pierc'd,
  Eevn to the inmost seat of mental sight,
  That Adam now enforc't to close his eyes,
  Sunk down and all his Spirits became intranst:                      420
  But him the gentle Angel by the hand
  Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall'd.
  Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold
  Th' effects which thy original crime hath wrought
  In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd
  Th' excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir'd,
  Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive
  Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds.
  His eyes he op'nd, and beheld a field,
  Part arable and tilth, whereon were Sheaves                         430
  New reapt, the other part sheep-walks and foulds;
  Ith' midst an Altar as the Land-mark stood
  Rustic, of grassie sord; thither anon
  A sweatie Reaper from his Tillage brought
  First Fruits, the green Eare, and the yellow Sheaf,
  Uncull'd, as came to hand; a Shepherd next
  More meek came with the Firstlings of his Flock
  Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid
  The Inwards and thir Fat, with Incense strew'd,
  On the cleft Wood, and all due Rites perform'd.                     440
  His Offring soon propitious Fire from Heav'n
  Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steame;
  The others not, for his was not sincere;
  Whereat hee inlie rag'd, and as they talk'd,
  Smote him into the Midriff with a stone
  That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale
  Groand out his Soul with gushing bloud effus'd.
  Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
  Dismai'd, and thus in haste to th' Angel cri'd.
  O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n                        450
  To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd;
  Is Pietie thus and pure Devotion paid?
  T' whom Michael thus, hee also mov'd, repli'd.
  These two are Brethren, Adam, and to come
  Out of thy loyns; th' unjust the just hath slain,
  For envie that his Brothers Offering found
  From Heav'n acceptance; but the bloodie Fact
  Will be aveng'd, and th' others Faith approv'd
  Loose no reward, though here thou see him die,
  Rowling in dust and gore. To which our Sire.                        460
  Alas, both for the deed and for the cause!
  But have I now seen Death? Is this the way
  I must return to native dust? O sight
  Of terrour, foul and ugly to behold,
  Horrid to think, how horrible to feel!
  To whom thus Michael. Death thou hast seen
  In his first shape on man; but many shapes
  Of Death, and many are the wayes that lead
  To his grim Cave, all dismal; yet to sense
  More terrible at th' entrance then within.                          470
  Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die,
  By Fire, Flood, Famin, by Intemperance more
  In Meats and Drinks, which on the Earth shal bring
  Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
  Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know
  What miserie th' inabstinence of Eve
  Shall bring on men. Immediately a place
  Before his eyes appeard, sad, noysom, dark,
  A Lazar-house it seemd, wherein were laid
  Numbers of all diseas'd, all maladies                               480
  Of gastly Spasm, or racking torture, qualmes
  Of heart-sick Agonie, all feavorous kinds,
  Convulsions, Epilepsies, fierce Catarrhs,
  Intestin Stone and Ulcer, Colic pangs,
  Dropsies, and Asthma's, and Joint-racking Rheums.
  Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, despair
  Tended the sick busiest from Couch to Couch;
  And over them triumphant Death his Dart
  Shook, but delaid to strike, though oft invok't
  With vows, as thir chief good, and final hope.                      490
  Sight so deform what heart of Rock could long
  Drie-ey'd behold? Adam could not, but wept,
  Though not of Woman born; compassion quell'd
  His best of Man, and gave him up to tears
  A space, till firmer thoughts restraind excess,
  And scarce recovering words his plaint renew'd.
  O miserable Mankind, to what fall
  Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd?
  Better end heer unborn. Why is life giv'n
  To be thus wrested from us? rather why                              500
  Obtruded on us thus? who if we knew
  What we receive, would either not accept
  Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down,
  Glad to be so dismist in peace. Can thus
  Th' Image of God in man created once
  So goodly and erect, though faultie since,
  To such unsightly sufferings be debas't
  Under inhuman pains? Why should not Man,
  Retaining still Divine similitude
  In part, from such deformities be free,                             510
  And for his Makers Image sake exempt?
  Thir Makers Image, answerd Michael, then
  Forsook them, when themselves they villifi'd
  To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took
  His Image whom they serv'd, a brutish vice,
  Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve.
  Therefore so abject is thir punishment,
  Disfiguring not Gods likeness, but thir own,
  Or if his likeness, by themselves defac't
  While they pervert pure Natures healthful rules                     520
  To loathsom sickness, worthily, since they
  Gods Image did not reverence in themselves.
  I yeild it just, said Adam, and submit.
  But is there yet no other way, besides
  These painful passages, how we may come
  To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?
  There is, said Michael, if thou well observe
  The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
  In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence
  Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,                            530
  Till many years over thy head return:
  So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop
  Into thy Mothers lap, or be with ease
  Gatherd, not harshly pluckt, for death mature:
  This is old age; but then thou must outlive
  Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
  To witherd weak & gray; thy Senses then
  Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forgoe,
  To what thou hast, and for the Aire of youth
  Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reigne                      540
  A melancholly damp of cold and dry
  To waigh thy spirits down, and last consume
  The Balme of Life. To whom our Ancestor.
  Henceforth I flie not Death, nor would prolong
  Life much, bent rather how I may be quit
  Fairest and easiest of this combrous charge,
  Which I must keep till my appointed day
  Of rendring up, Michael to him repli'd.
  Nor love thy Life, nor hate; but what thou livst
  Live well, how long or short permit to Heav'n:                      550
  And now prepare thee for another sight.
  He lookd and saw a spacious Plaine, whereon
  Were Tents of various hue; by some were herds
  Of Cattel grazing: others, whence the sound
  Of Instruments that made melodious chime
  Was heard, of Harp and Organ; and who moovd
  Thir stops and chords was seen: his volant touch
  Instinct through all proportions low and high
  Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue.
  In other part stood one who at the Forge                            560
  Labouring, two massie clods of Iron and Brass
  Had melted (whether found where casual fire
  Had wasted woods on Mountain or in Vale,
  Down to the veins of Earth, thence gliding hot
  To som Caves mouth, or whether washt by stream
  From underground) the liquid Ore he dreind
  Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he formd
  First his own Tooles; then, what might else be wrought
  Fusile or grav'n in mettle. After these,
  But on the hether side a different sort                             570
  From the high neighbouring Hills, which was thir Seat,
  Down to the Plain descended: by thir guise
  Just men they seemd, and all thir study bent
  To worship God aright, and know his works
  Not hid, nor those things lost which might preserve
  Freedom and Peace to men: they on the Plain
  Long had not walkt, when from the Tents behold
  A Beavie of fair Women, richly gay
  In Gems and wanton dress; to the Harp they sung
  Soft amorous Ditties, and in dance came on:                         580
  The Men though grave, ey'd them, and let thir eyes
  Rove without rein, till in the amorous Net
  Fast caught, they lik'd, and each his liking chose;
  And now of love they treat till th' Eevning Star
  Loves Harbinger appeerd; then all in heat
  They light the Nuptial Torch, and bid invoke
  Hymen, then first to marriage Rites invok't;
  With Feast and Musick all the Tents resound.
  Such happy interview and fair event
  Of love & youth not lost, Songs, Garlands, Flours,                  590
  And charming Symphonies attach'd the heart
  Of Adam, soon enclin'd to admit delight,
  The bent of Nature; which he thus express'd.
  True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest,
  Much better seems this Vision, and more hope
  Of peaceful dayes portends, then those two past;
  Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse,
  Here Nature seems fulfilld in all her ends.
  To whom thus Michael. Judg not what is best
  By pleasure, though to Nature seeming meet,                         600
  Created, as thou art, to nobler end
  Holie and pure, conformitie divine.
  Those Tents thou sawst so pleasant, were the Tents
  Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his Race
  Who slew his Brother; studious they appere
  Of Arts that polish Life, Inventers rare,
  Unmindful of thir Maker, though his Spirit
  Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none.
  Yet they a beauteous ofspring shall beget;
  For that fair femal Troop thou sawst, that seemd                    610
  Of Goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,
  Yet empty of all good wherein consists
  Womans domestic honour and chief praise;
  Bred onely and completed to the taste
  Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance,
  To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roule the Eye.
  To these that sober Race of Men, whose lives
  Religious titl'd them the Sons of God,
  Shall yeild up all thir vertue, all thir fame
  Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles                            620
  Of these fair Atheists, and now swim in joy,
  (Erelong to swim at larg) and laugh; for which
  The world erelong a world of tears must weepe.
  To whom thus Adam of short joy bereft.
  O pittie and shame, that they who to live well
  Enterd so faire, should turn aside to tread
  Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint!
  But still I see the tenor of Mans woe
  Holds on the same, from Woman to begin.
  From Mans effeminate slackness it begins,                           630
  Said th' Angel, who should better hold his place
  By wisdome, and superiour gifts receavd.
  But now prepare thee for another Scene.
  He lookd and saw wide Territorie spred
  Before him, Towns, and rural works between,
  Cities of Men with lofty Gates and Towrs,
  Concours in Arms, fierce Faces threatning Warr,
  Giants of mightie Bone, and bould emprise;
  Part wield thir Arms, part courb the foaming Steed,
  Single or in Array of Battel rang'd                                 640
  Both Horse and Foot, nor idely mustring stood;
  One way a Band select from forage drives
  A herd of Beeves, faire Oxen and faire Kine
  From a fat Meddow ground; or fleecy Flock,
  Ewes and thir bleating Lambs over the Plaine,
  Thir Bootie; scarce with Life the Shepherds flye,
  But call in aide, which tacks a bloody Fray;
  With cruel Tournament the Squadrons joine;
  Where Cattel pastur'd late, now scatterd lies
  With Carcasses and Arms th' ensanguind Field                        650
  Deserted: Others to a Citie strong
  Lay Siege, encampt; by Batterie, Scale, and Mine,
  Assaulting; others from the Wall defend
  With Dart and Jav'lin, Stones and sulfurous Fire;
  On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds.
  In other part the scepter'd Haralds call
  To Council in the Citie Gates: anon
  Grey-headed men and grave, with Warriours mixt,
  Assemble, and Harangues are heard, but soon
  In factious opposition, till at last                                660
  Of middle Age one rising, eminent
  In wise deport, spake much of Right and Wrong,
  Of Justice, of Religion, Truth and Peace,
  And Judgement from above: him old and young
  Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands,
  Had not a Cloud descending snatch'd him thence
  Unseen amid the throng: so violence
  Proceeded, and Oppression, and Sword-Law
  Through all the Plain, and refuge none was found.
  Adam was all in tears, and to his guide                             670
  Lamenting turnd full sad; O what are these,
  Deaths Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death
  Inhumanly to men, and multiply
  Ten thousand fould the sin of him who slew
  His Brother; for of whom such massacher
  Make they but of thir Brethren, men of men?
  But who was that Just Man, whom had not Heav'n
  Rescu'd, had in his Righteousness bin lost?
  To whom thus Michael; These are the product
  Of those ill-mated Marriages thou saw'st;                           680
  Where good with bad were matcht, who of themselves
  Abhor to joyn; and by imprudence mixt,
  Produce prodigious Births of bodie or mind.
  Such were these Giants, men of high renown;
  For in those dayes Might onely shall be admir'd,
  And Valour and Heroic Vertu call'd;
  To overcome in Battel, and subdue
  Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite
  Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
  Of human Glorie, and for Glorie done                                690
  Of triumph, to be styl'd great Conquerours,
  Patrons of Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods,
  Destroyers rightlier call'd and Plagues of men.
  Thus Fame shall be achiev'd, renown on Earth,
  And what most merits fame in silence hid.
  But hee the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldst
  The onely righteous in a World perverse,
  And therefore hated, therefore so beset
  With Foes for daring single to be just,
  And utter odious Truth, that God would come                         700
  To judge them with his Saints: Him the most High
  Rapt in a balmie Cloud with winged Steeds
  Did, as thou sawst, receave, to walk with God
  High in Salvation and the Climes of bliss,
  Exempt from Death; to shew thee what reward
  Awaits the good, the rest what punishment;
  Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold.
  He look'd, & saw the face of things quite chang'd;
  The brazen Throat of Warr had ceast to roar,
  All now was turn'd to jollitie and game,                            710
  To luxurie and riot, feast and dance,
  Marrying or prostituting, as befell,
  Rape or Adulterie, where passing faire
  Allurd them; thence from Cups to civil Broiles.
  At length a Reverend Sire among them came,
  And of thir doings great dislike declar'd,
  And testifi'd against thir wayes; hee oft
  Frequented thir Assemblies, whereso met,
  Triumphs or Festivals, and to them preachd
  Conversion and Repentance, as to Souls                              720
  In prison under Judgements imminent:
  But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas'd
  Contending, and remov'd his Tents farr off;
  Then from the Mountain hewing Timber tall,
  Began to build a Vessel of huge bulk,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Measur'd by Cubit, length, & breadth, and highth,
  Smeard round with Pitch, and in the side a dore
  Contriv'd, and of provisions laid in large
  For Man and Beast: when loe a wonder strange!
  Of everie Beast, and Bird, and Insect small                         730
  Came seavens, and pairs, and enterd in, as taught
  Thir order; last the Sire, and his three Sons
  With thir four Wives, and God made fast the dore.
  Meanwhile the Southwind rose, & with black wings
  Wide hovering, all the Clouds together drove
  From under Heav'n; the Hills to their supplie
  Vapour, and Exhalation dusk and moist,
  Sent up amain; and now the thick'nd Skie
  Like a dark Ceeling stood; down rush'd the Rain
  Impetuous, and continu'd till the Earth                             740
  No more was seen; the floating Vessel swum
  Uplifted; and secure with beaked prow
  Rode tilting o're the Waves, all dwellings else
  Flood overwhelmd, and them with all thir pomp
  Deep under water rould; Sea cover'd Sea,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  Sea without shoar; and in thir Palaces
  Where luxurie late reign'd, Sea-monsters whelp'd
  And stabl'd; of Mankind, so numerous late,
  All left, in one small bottom swum imbark't.
  How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold                         750
  The end of all thy Ofspring, end so sad,
  Depopulation; thee another Floud,
  Of tears and sorrow a Floud thee also drown'd,
  And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently reard
  By th' Angel, on thy feet thou stoodst at last,
  Though comfortless, as when a Father mourns
  His Childern, all in view destroyd at once;
  And scarce to th' Angel utterdst thus thy plaint.
  O Visions ill foreseen! better had I
  Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne                              760
  My part of evil onely, each dayes lot
  Anough to bear; those now, that were dispenst
  The burd'n of many Ages, on me light
  At once, by my foreknowledge gaining Birth
  Abortive, to torment me ere thir being,
  With thought that they must be. Let no man seek
  Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall
  Him or his Childern, evil he may be sure,
  Which neither his foreknowing can prevent,
  And hee the future evil shall no less                               770
  In apprehension then in substance feel
  Grievous to bear: but that care now is past,
  Man is not whom to warne: those few escap't
  Famin and anguish will at last consume
  Wandring that watrie Desert: I had hope
  When violence was ceas't, and Warr on Earth,
  All would have then gon well, peace would have crownd
  With length of happy days the race of man;
  But I was farr deceav'd; for now I see
  Peace to corrupt no less then Warr to waste.                        780
  How comes it thus? unfould, Celestial Guide,
  And whether here the Race of man will end.
  To whom thus Michael. Those whom last thou sawst
  In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they
  First seen in acts of prowess eminent
  And great exploits, but of true vertu void;
  Who having spilt much blood, and don much waste
  Subduing Nations, and achievd thereby
  Fame in the World, high titles, and rich prey,
  Shall change thir course to pleasure, ease, and sloth,              790
  Surfet, and lust, till wantonness and pride
  Raise out of friendship hostil deeds in Peace.
  The conquerd also, and enslav'd by Warr
  Shall with thir freedom lost all vertu loose
  And feare of God, from whom thir pietie feign'd
  In sharp contest of Battel found no aide
  Against invaders; therefore coold in zeale
  Thenceforth shall practice how to live secure,
  Worldlie or dissolute, on what thir Lords
  Shall leave them to enjoy; for th' Earth shall bear                 800
  More then anough, that temperance may be tri'd:
  So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd,
  Justice and Temperance, Truth and Faith forgot;
  One Man except, the onely Son of light
  In a dark Age, against example good,
  Against allurement, custom, and a World
  Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,
  Or violence, hee of thir wicked wayes
  Shall them admonish, and before them set
  The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,                     810
  And full of peace, denouncing wrauth to come
  On thir impenitence; and shall returne
  Of them derided, but of God observd
  The one just Man alive; by his command
  Shall build a wondrous Ark, as thou beheldst,
  To save himself and houshold from amidst
  A World devote to universal rack.
  No sooner hee with them of Man and Beast
  Select for life shall in the Ark be lodg'd,
  And shelterd round, but all the Cataracts                           820
  Of Heav'n set open on the Earth shall powre
  Raine day and night, all fountaines of the Deep
  Broke up, shall heave the Ocean to usurp
  Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise
  Above the highest Hills: then shall this Mount
  Of Paradise by might of Waves be moovd
  Out of his place, pushd by the horned floud,
  With all his verdure spoil'd, and Trees adrift
  Down the great River to the op'ning Gulf,
  And there take root an Iland salt and bare,                         830
  The haunt of Seales and Orcs, and Sea-mews clang.
  To teach thee that God attributes to place
  No sanctitie, if none be thither brought
  By Men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
  And now what further shall ensue, behold.
  He lookd, and saw the Ark hull on the floud,
  Which now abated, for the Clouds were fled,
  Drivn by a keen North-winde, that blowing drie
  Wrinkl'd the face of Deluge, as decai'd;
  And the cleer Sun on his wide watrie Glass                          840
  Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh Wave largely drew,
  As after thirst, which made thir flowing shrink
  From standing lake to tripping ebbe, that stole
  With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt
  His Sluces, as the Heav'n his windows shut.
  The Ark no more now flotes, but seems on ground
  Fast on the top of som high mountain fixt.
  And now the tops of Hills as Rocks appeer;
  With clamor thence the rapid Currents drive
  Towards the retreating Sea thir furious tyde.                       850
  Forthwith from out the Arke a Raven flies,
  And after him, the surer messenger,
  A Dove sent forth once and agen to spie
  Green Tree or ground whereon his foot may light;
  The second time returning, in his Bill
  An Olive leafe he brings, pacific signe:
  Anon drie ground appeers, and from his Arke
  The ancient Sire descends with all his Train;
  Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout,
  Grateful to Heav'n, over his head beholds                           860
  A dewie Cloud, and in the Cloud a Bow
  Conspicuous with three lifted colours gay,
  Betok'ning peace from God, and Cov'nant new.
  Whereat the heart of Adam erst so sad
  Greatly rejoyc'd, and thus his joy broke forth.
  O thou that future things canst represent
  As present, Heav'nly instructer, I revive
  At this last sight, assur'd that Man shall live
  With all the Creatures, and thir seed preserve.
  Farr less I now lament for one whole World                          870
  Of wicked Sons destroyd, then I rejoyce
  For one Man found so perfet and so just,
  That God voutsafes to raise another World
  From him, and all his anger to forget.
  But say, what mean those colourd streaks in Heavn,
  Distended as the Brow of God appeas'd,
  Or serve they as a flourie verge to binde
  The fluid skirts of that same watrie Cloud,
  Least it again dissolve and showr the Earth?
  To whom th' Archangel. Dextrously thou aim'st;                      880
  So willingly doth God remit his Ire,
  Though late repenting him of Man deprav'd,
  Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw
  The whole Earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh
  Corrupting each thir way; yet those remoov'd,
  Such grace shall one just Man find in his sight,
  That he relents, not to blot out mankind,
  And makes a Covenant never to destroy
  The Earth again by flood, nor let the Sea
  Surpass his bounds, nor Rain to drown the World                     890
  With Man therein or Beast; but when he brings
  Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set
  His triple-colour'd Bow, whereon to look
  And call to mind his Cov'nant: Day and Night,
  Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost
  Shall hold thir course, till fire purge all things new,
  Both Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.

  484 After this line, 1674 adds:
      Daemoniac Phrenzie, moaping Melancholie
      And Moon struck madness, pining Atrophie,
      Marasmus, and wide wasting Pestilence,
  548 Of rendring up, and patiently attend
      My dissolution.  Michael repli'd 1674.
  647 tacks] makes 1674.
  866 that] who 1674.

  The end of the Eleventh Book.



The Angel Michael continues from the Flood to relate what shall succeed; then, in the mention of Abraham, comes by degrees to explain who that Seed of the Woman shall be, which was promised Adam and Eve in the Fall; his Incarnation, Death, Resurrection, and Ascention; the state of the Church till his second Coming. Adam greatly satisfied and recomforted by these Relations and Promises descends the Hill with Michael; wakens Eve, who all this while had slept, but with gentle dreams compos'd to quietness of mind and submission. Michael in either hand leads them out of Paradise, the fiery Sword waving behind them, and the Cherubim taking thir Stations to guard the Place.

  [As one who in his journey bates at Noone
  Though bent on speed, so heer the Archangel' paus'd
  Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor'd,
  If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
  Then with transition sweet new Speech resumes]
  Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end;
  And Man as from a second stock proceed.
  Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceave
  Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine
  Must needs impaire and wearie human sense:                           10
  Henceforth what is to com I will relate,
  Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
  This second sours of Men, while yet but few,
  And while the dread of judgement past remains
  Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie,
  With some regard to what is just and right
  Shall lead thir lives, and multiplie apace,
  Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop,
  Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock,
  Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid,                               20
  With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast
  Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwell
  Long time in peace by Families and Tribes
  Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
  Of proud ambitious heart, who not content
  With fair equalitie, fraternal state,
  Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'd
  Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
  Concord and law of Nature from the Earth;
  Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game)                       30
  With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse
  Subjection to his Empire tyrannous:
  A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'd
  Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n,
  Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie;
  And from Rebellion shall derive his name,
  Though of Rebellion others he accuse.
  Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns
  With him or under him to tyrannize,
  Marching from Eden towards the West, shall finde                     40
  The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
  Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell;
  Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build
  A Citie & Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n;
  And get themselves a name, least far disperst
  In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost,
  Regardless whether good or evil fame.
  But God who oft descends to visit men
  Unseen, and through thir habitations walks
  To mark thir doings, them beholding soon,                            50
  Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower
  Obstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision sets
  Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase
  Quite out thir Native Language, and instead
  To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
  Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
  Among the Builders; each to other calls
  Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,
  As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'n
  And looking down, to see the hubbub strange                          60
  And hear the din; thus was the building left
  Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.
  Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'd.
  O execrable Son so to aspire
  Above his Brethren, to himself affirming
  Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n:
  He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl
  Dominion absolute; that right we hold
  By his donation; but Man over men
  He made not Lord; such title to himself                              70
  Reserving, human left from human free.
  But this Usurper his encroachment proud
  Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends
  Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food
  Will he convey up thither to sustain
  Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire
  Above the Clouds will pine his entrails gross,
  And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread?
  To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorr'st
  That Son, who on the quiet state of men                              80
  Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
  Rational Libertie; yet know withall,
  Since thy original lapse, true Libertie
  Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells
  Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:
  Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd,
  Immediately inordinate desires
  And upstart Passions catch the Government
  From Reason, and to servitude reduce
  Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits                      90
  Within himself unworthie Powers to reign
  Over free Reason, God in Judgement just
  Subjects him from without to violent Lords;
  Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
  His outward freedom: Tyrannie must be,
  Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.
  Yet somtimes Nations will decline so low
  From vertue, which is reason, that no wrong,
  But Justice, and some fatal curse annext
  Deprives them of thir outward libertie,                             100
  Thir inward lost: Witness th' irreverent Son
  Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame
  Don to his Father, heard this heavie curse,
  Servant Of Servants, on his vitious Race.
  Thus will this latter, as the former World,
  Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last
  Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
  His presence from among them, and avert
  His holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforth
  To leave them to thir own polluted wayes;                           110
  And one peculiar Nation to select
  From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,
  A Nation from one faithful man to spring:
  Him on this side Euphrates yet residing,
  Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men
  (Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
  While yet the Patriark liv'd, who scap'd the Flood,
  As to forsake the living God, and fall
  To-worship thir own work in Wood and Stone
  For Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafes                       120
  To call by Vision from his Fathers house,
  His kindred and false Gods, into a Land
  Which he will shew him, and from him will raise
  A mightie Nation, and upon him showre
  His benediction so, that in his Seed
  All Nations shall be blest; hee straight obeys,
  Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes:
  I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith
  He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soile
  Ur of Chaldaea, passing now the Ford                                130
  To Haran, after him a cumbrous Train
  Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude;
  Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealth
  With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.
  Canaan he now attains, I see his Tents
  Pitcht about Sechem, and the neighbouring Plaine
  Of Moreb; there by promise he receaves
  Gift to his Progenie of all that Land;
  From Hamath Northward to the Desert South
  (Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam'd)                   140
  From Hermon East to the great Western Sea,
  Mount Hermon, yonder Sea, each place behold
  In prospect, as I point them; on the shoare
  Mount Carmel; here the double-founted stream
  Jordan, true limit Eastward; but his Sons
  Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of Hills.
  This ponder, that all Nations of the Earth
  Shall in his Seed be blessed; by that Seed
  Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise
  The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon                             150
  Plainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest,
  Whom Faithful Abraham due time shall call,
  A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves,
  Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;
  The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departs
  From Canaan, to a Land hereafter call'd
  Egypt, divided by the River Nile;
  See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthes
  Into the Sea: to sojourn in that Land
  He comes invited by a yonger Son                                    160
  In time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deeds
  Raise him to be the second in that Realme
  Of Pharao: there he dies, and leaves his Race
  Growing into a Nation, and now grown
  Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks
  To stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guests
  Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
  Inhospitably, and kills thir infant Males:
  Till by two brethren (those two brethren call
  Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claime                            170
  His people from enthralment, they return
  With glory and spoile back to thir promis'd Land.
  But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies
  To know thir God, or message to regard,
  Must be compelld by Signes and Judgements dire;
  To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd,
  Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fill
  With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land;
  His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die,
  Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss,                      180
  And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile,
  Haile mixt with fire must rend th' Egyptian Skie
  And wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rouls;
  What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine,
  A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming down
  Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green:
  Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
  Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes;
  Last with one midnight stroke all the first-born
  Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds                        190
  This River-dragon tam'd at length submits
  To let his sojourners depart, and oft
  Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as Ice
  More hard'nd after thaw, till in his rage
  Pursuing whom he late dismissd, the Sea
  Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass
  As on drie land between two christal walls,
  Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to stand
  Divided, till his rescu'd gain thir shoar:
  Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend,                     200
  Though present in his Angel, who shall goe
  Before them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire,
  To guide them in thir journey, and remove
  Behinde them, while th' obdurat King pursues:
  All night he will pursue, but his approach
  Darkness defends between till morning Watch;
  Then through the Firey Pillar and the Cloud
  God looking forth will trouble all his Host
  And craze thir Chariot wheels: when by command
  Moses once more his potent Rod extends                              210
  Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;
  On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return,
  And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race elect
  Safe towards Canaan from the shoar advance
  Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,
  Least entring on the Canaanite allarmd
  Warr terrifie them inexpert, and feare
  Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
  Inglorious life with servitude; for life
  To noble and ignoble is more sweet                                  220
  Untraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on.
  This also shall they gain by thir delay
  In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found
  Thir government, and thir great Senate choose
  Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:
  God from the Mount of Sinai, whose gray top
  Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
  In Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets sound
  Ordaine them Lawes; part such as appertaine
  To civil Justice, part religious Rites                              230
  Of sacrifice, informing them, by types
  And shadowes, of that destind Seed to bruise
  The Serpent, by what meanes he shall achieve
  Mankinds deliverance. But the voice of God
  To mortal eare is dreadful; they beseech
  That Moses might report to them his will,

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  And terror cease; he grants them thir desire,
  Instructed that to God is no access
  Without Mediator, whose high Office now
  Moses in figure beares, to introduce                                240
  One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,
  And all the Prophets in thir Age the times
  Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites
  Establisht, such delight hath God in Men
  Obedient to his will, that he voutsafes
  Among them to set up his Tabernacle,
  The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
  By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram'd
  Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein
  An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,                               250
  The Records of his Cov'nant, over these
  A Mercie-seat of Gold between the wings
  Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn
  Seaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing
  The Heav'nly fires; over the Tent a Cloud
  Shall rest by Day, a fierie gleame by Night,
  Save when they journie, and at length they come,
  Conducted by his Angel to the Land
  Promisd to Abraham and his Seed: the rest
  Were long to tell, how many Battels fought,                         260
  How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won,
  Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav'n stand still
  A day entire, and Nights due course adjourne,
  Mans voice commanding, Sun in Gibeon stand,
  And thou Moon in the vale of Aialon,
  Till Israel overcome; so call the third
  From Abraham, Son of Isaac, and from him
  His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.
  Here Adam interpos'd. O sent from Heav'n,
  Enlightner of my darkness, gracious things                          270
  Thou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerne
  Just Abraham and his Seed: now first I finde
  Mine eyes true op'ning, and my heart much eas'd,
  Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becom
  Of mee and all Mankind; but now I see
  His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,
  Favour unmerited by me, who sought
  Forbidd'n knowledge by forbidd'n means.
  This yet I apprehend not, why to those
  Among whom God will deigne to dwell on Earth                        280
  So many and so various Laws are giv'n;
  So many Laws argue so many sins
  Among them; how can God with such reside?
  To whom thus Michael. Doubt not but that sin
  Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
  And therefore was Law given them to evince
  Thir natural pravitie, by stirring up
  Sin against Law to fight; that when they see
  Law can discover sin, but not remove,
  Save by those shadowie expiations weak,                             290
  The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may conclude
  Some bloud more precious must be paid for Man,
  Just for unjust, that in such righteousness
  To them by Faith imputed, they may finde
  Justification towards God, and peace
  Of Conscience, which the Law by Ceremonies
  Cannot appease, nor Man the moral part
  Perform, and not performing cannot live.
  So Law appears imperfet, and but giv'n
  With purpose to resign them in full time                            300
  Up to a better Cov'nant, disciplin'd
  From shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,
  From imposition of strict Laws, to free
  Acceptance of large Grace, from servil fear
  To filial, works of Law to works of Faith.
  And therefore shall not Moses, though of God
  Highly belov'd, being but the Minister
  Of Law, his people into Canaan lead;
  But Joshua whom the Gentiles Jesus call,
  His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell                        310
  The adversarie Serpent, and bring back
  Through the worlds wilderness long wanderd man
  Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
  Meanwhile they in thir earthly Canaan plac't
  Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
  National interrupt thir public peace,
  Provoking God to raise them enemies:
  From whom as oft he saves them penitent
  By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom
  The second, both for pietie renownd                                 320
  And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
  Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne
  For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
  All Prophecie, That of the Royal Stock
  Of David (so I name this King) shall rise
  A Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold,
  Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
  All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings
  The last, for of his Reign shall be no end.
  But first a long succession must ensue,                             330
  And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam'd,
  The clouded Ark of God till then in Tents
  Wandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine.
  Such follow him, as shall be registerd
  Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle,
  Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults
  Heapt to the popular summe, will so incense
  God, as to leave them, and expose thir Land,
  Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy Ark
  With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey                        340
  To that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw'st
  Left in confusion, Babylon thence call'd.
  There in captivitie he lets them dwell
  The space of seventie years, then brings them back,
  Remembring mercie, and his Cov'nant sworn
  To David, stablisht as the dayes of Heav'n.
  Returnd from Babylon by leave of Kings
  Thir Lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God
  They first re-edifie, and for a while
  In mean estate live moderate, till grown                            350
  In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
  But first among the Priests dissension springs,
  Men who attend the Altar, and should most
  Endeavour Peace: thir strife pollution brings
  Upon the Temple it self: at last they seise
  The Scepter, and regard not Davids Sons,
  Then loose it to a stranger, that the true
  Anointed King Messiah might be born
  Barr'd of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr
  Unseen before in Heav'n proclaims him com,                          360
  And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire
  His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;
  His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
  To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night;
  They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire
  Of squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung.
  A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire
  The Power of the most High; he shall ascend
  The Throne hereditarie, and bound his Reign
  With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav'ns.                370
  He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy
  Surcharg'd, as had like grief bin dew'd in tears,
  Without the vent of words, which these he breathd.
  O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher
  Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
  What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,
  Why our great expectation should be call'd
  The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,
  High in the love of Heav'n, yet from my Loynes
  Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son                       380
  Of God most High; So God with man unites.
  Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise
  Expect with mortal paine: say where and when
  Thir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel.
  To whom thus Michael. Dream not of thir fight,
  As of a Duel, or the local wounds
  Of head or heel: not therefore joynes the Son
  Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil
  Thy enemie; nor so is overcome
  Satan, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise,                   390
  Disabl'd not to give thee thy deaths wound:
  Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,
  Not by destroying Satan, but his works
  In thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be,
  But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
  Obedience to the Law of God, impos'd
  On penaltie of death, and suffering death,
  The penaltie to thy transgression due,
  And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:
  So onely can high Justice rest appaid.                              400
  The Law of God exact he shall fulfill
  Both by obedience and by love, though love
  Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment
  He shall endure by coming in the Flesh
  To a reproachful life and cursed death,
  Proclaiming Life to all who shall believe
  In his redemption, and that his obedience
  Imputed becomes theirs by Faith, his merits
  To save them, not thir own, though legal works.
  For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd,                        410
  Seis'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemnd
  A shameful and accurst, naild to the Cross
  By his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life;
  But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies,
  The Law that is against thee, and the sins
  Of all mankinde, with him there crucifi'd,
  Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
  In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
  But soon revives, Death over him no power
  Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light                       420
  Returne, the Starres of Morn shall see him rise
  Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
  Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems,
  His death for Man, as many as offerd Life
  Neglect not, and the benefit imbrace
  By Faith not void of works: this God-like act
  Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy'd,
  In sin for ever lost from life; this act
  Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength
  Defeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes,                       430
  And fix farr deeper in his head thir stings
  Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,
  Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
  A gentle wafting to immortal Life.
  Nor after resurrection shall he stay
  Longer on Earth then certaine times to appeer
  To his Disciples, Men who in his Life
  Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge
  To teach all nations what of him they learn'd
  And his Salvation, them who shall beleeve                           440
  Baptizing in the profluent streame, the signe
  Of washing them from guilt of sin to Life
  Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,
  For death, like that which the redeemer dy'd.
  All Nations they shall teach; for from that day
  Not onely to the Sons of Abrahams Loines
  Salvation shall be Preacht, but to the Sons
  Of Abrahams Faith wherever through the world;
  So in his seed all Nations shall be blest.
  Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascend                       450
  With victory, triumphing through the aire
  Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise
  The Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in Chaines
  Through all his realme, & there confounded leave;
  Then enter into glory, and resume
  His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high
  Above all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come,
  When this worlds dissolution shall be ripe,
  With glory and power to judge both quick & dead,
  To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward                         460
  His faithful, and receave them into bliss,
  Whether in Heav'n or Earth, for then the Earth
  Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
  Then this of Eden, and far happier daies.
  So spake th' Archangel Michael, then paus'd,
  As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire
  Replete with joy and wonder thus repli'd.
  O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
  That all this good of evil shall produce,
  And evil turn to good; more wonderful                               470
  Then that which by creation first brought forth
  Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
  Whether I should repent me now of sin
  By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce
  Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,
  To God more glory, more good will to Men
  From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound.
  But say, if our deliverer up to Heav'n
  Must reascend, what will betide the few
  His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd,                       480
  The enemies of truth; who then shall guide
  His people, who defend? will they not deale
  Wors with his followers then with him they dealt?
  Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'n
  Hee to his own a Comforter will send,
  The promise of the Father, who shall dwell
  His Spirit within them, and the Law of Faith
  Working through love, upon thir hearts shall write,
  To guide them in all truth, and also arme
  With spiritual Armour, able to resist                               490
  Satans assaults, and quench his fierie darts
  What Man can do against them, not affraid,
  Though to the death, against such cruelties
  With inward consolations recompenc't,
  And oft supported so as shall amaze
  Thir proudest persecuters: for the Spirit
  Powrd first on his Apostles, whom he sends
  To evangelize the Nations, then on all
  Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue
  To speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles,                          500
  As did thir Lord before them. Thus they win
  Great numbers of each Nation to receave
  With joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at length
  Thir Ministry perform'd, and race well run,
  Thir doctrine and thir story written left,
  They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne,
  Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves,
  Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav'n
  To thir own vile advantages shall turne
  Of lucre and ambition, and the truth                                510
  With superstitions and traditions taint,
  Left onely in those written Records pure,
  Though not but by the Spirit understood.
  Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
  Places and titles, and with these to joine
  Secular power, though feigning still to act
  By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
  The Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv'n
  To all Beleevers; and from that pretense,
  Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall force                         520
  On every conscience; Laws which none shall finde
  Left them inrould, or what the Spirit within
  Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
  But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and binde
  His consort Libertie; what, but unbuild
  His living Temples, built by Faith to stand,
  Thir own Faith not anothers: for on Earth
  Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard
  Infallible? yet many will presume:
  Whence heavie persecution shall arise                               530
  On all who in the worship persevere
  Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part,
  Will deem in outward Rites and specious formes
  Religion satisfi'd; Truth shall retire
  Bestuck with slandrous darts, and works of Faith
  Rarely be found: so shall the World goe on,
  To good malignant, to bad men benigne,
  Under her own waight groaning, till the day
  Appeer of respiration to the just,
  And vengeance to the wicked, at return                              540
  Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid,
  The Womans seed, obscurely then foretold,
  Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
  Last in the Clouds from Heav'n to be reveald
  In glory of the Father, to dissolve
  Satan with his perverted World, then raise
  From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,
  New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date
  Founded in righteousness and peace and love,
  To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.                        550
  He ended; and thus Adam last reply'd.
  How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
  Measur'd this transient World, the Race of time,
  Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss,
  Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.
  Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
  Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
  Of knowledge, what this vessel can containe;
  Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
  Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best,                          560
  And love with feare the onely God, to walk
  As in his presence, ever to observe
  His providence, and on him sole depend,
  Merciful over all his works, with good
  Still overcoming evil, and by small
  Accomplishing great things, by things deemd weak
  Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
  By simply meek; that suffering for Truths sake
  Is fortitude to highest victorie,
  And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;                         570
  Taught this by his example whom I now
  Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.
  To whom thus also th' Angel last repli'd:
  This having learnt, thou hast attaind the summe
  Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs
  Thou knewst by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,
  All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,
  Or works of God in Heav'n, Air, Earth, or Sea,
  And all the riches of this World enjoydst,
  And all the rule, one Empire; onely add                             580
  Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,
  Add Vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,
  By name to come call'd Charitie, the soul
  Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath
  To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
  A Paradise within thee, happier farr.
  Let us descend now therefore from this top
  Of Speculation; for the hour precise
  Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards,
  By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expect                               590
  Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword,
  In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;
  We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
  Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm'd
  Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd
  To meek submission: thou at season fit
  Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,
  Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know,
  The great deliverance by her Seed to come
  (For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind.                            600
  That ye may live, which will be many dayes,
  Both in one Faith unanimous though sad,
  With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'd
  With meditation on the happie end.
  He ended, and they both descend the Hill;
  Descended, Adam to the Bowre where Eve
  Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak't;
  And thus with words not sad she him receav'd.
  Whence thou returnst, & whither wentst, I know;
  For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise,                        610
  Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
  Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress
  Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
  In mee is no delay; with thee to goe,
  Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
  Is to go hence unwilling; thou to mee
  Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou,
  Who for my wilful crime art banisht hence.
  This further consolation yet secure
  I carry hence; though all by mee is lost,                           620
  Such favour I unworthie am voutsaft,
  By mee the Promis'd Seed shall all restore.
  So spake our Mother Eve, and Adam heard
  Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too nigh
  Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill
  To thir fixt Station, all in bright array
  The Cherubim descended; on the ground
  Gliding meteorous, as Ev'ning Mist
  Ris'n from a River o're the marish glides,
  And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heel                       630
  Homeward returning. High in Front advanc't,
  The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz'd
  Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,
  And vapour as the Libyan Air adust,
  Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat
  In either hand the hastning Angel caught
  Our lingring Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate
  Let them direct, and down the Cliff as fast
  To the subjected Plaine; then disappeer'd.
  They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld                      640
  Of Paradise, so late thir happie seat,
  Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate
  With dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes:
  Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon;

FULL-SIZE --Medium-Size

  The World was all before them, where to choose
  Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
  They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
  Through Eden took thir solitarie way.

  Argument:  The Angel.... seed] Thence from the Flood relates,
  and by degrees explains who that seed 1667.
  1-5 These five lines were added in the Second Edition (1674) when
  the original tenth book was divided into an eleventh and twelfth.

  The End.

Transcriber's Note: Title page of first edition of Paradise Regained follows:

                          In IV BOOKS
                       To which is added
                       SAMSON AGONISTES
                          The Author
                          JOHN MILTON
             Printed by J.M. for John Starkey at the
              Mitre in Fleetstreet, near Temple-Bar.


The First Book.

  I WHO e're while the happy Garden sung,
  By one mans disobedience lost, now sing
  Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
  By one mans firm obedience fully tri'd
  Through all temptation, and the Tempter foil'd
  In all his wiles, defeated and repuls't,
  And Eden rais'd in the wast Wilderness.
  Thou Spirit who ledst this glorious Eremite
  Into the Desert, his Victorious Field
  Against the Spiritual Foe, and broughtst him thence                  10
  By proof the undoubted Son of God, inspire,
  As thou art wont, my prompted Song else mute,
  And bear through highth or depth of natures bounds
  With prosperous wing full summ'd to tell of deeds
  Above Heroic, though in secret done,
  And unrecorded left through many an Age,
  Worthy t' have not remain'd so long unsung.
  Now had the great Proclaimer with a voice
  More awful then the sound of Trumpet, cri'd
  Repentance, and Heavens Kingdom nigh at hand                         20
  To all Baptiz'd: to his great Baptism flock'd
  With aw the Regions round, and with them came
  From Nazareth the Son of Joseph deem'd
  To the flood Jordan, came as then obscure,
  Unmarkt, unknown; but him the Baptist soon
  Descri'd, divinely warn'd, and witness bore
  As to his worthier, and would have resign'd
  To him his Heavenly Office, nor was long
  His witness unconfirm'd: on him baptiz'd
  Heaven open'd, and in likeness of a Dove                             30
  The Spirit descended, while the Fathers voice
  From Heav'n pronounc'd him his beloved Son
  That heard the Adversary, who roving still
  About the world, at that assembly fam'd
  Would not be last, and with the voice divine
  Nigh Thunder-struck, th' exalted man, to whom
  Such high attest was giv'n, a while survey'd
  With wonder, then with envy fraught and rage
  Flies to his place, nor rests, but in mid air
  To Councel summons all his mighty Peers,                             40
  Within thick Clouds and dark ten-fold involv'd,
  A gloomy Consistory; and them amidst
  With looks agast and sad he thus bespake.
  O ancient Powers of Air and this wide world,
  For much more willingly I mention Air,
  This our old Conquest, then remember Hell
  Our hated habitation; well ye know
  How many Ages, as the years of men,
  This Universe we have possest, and rul'd
  In manner at our will th' affairs of Earth,                          50
  Since Adam and his facil consort Eve
  Lost Paradise deceiv'd by me, though since
  With dread attending when that fatal wound
  Shall be inflicted by the Seed of Eve
  Upon my head, long the decrees of Heav'n
  Delay, for longest time to him is short;
  And now too soon for us the circling hours
  This dreaded time have compast, wherein we
  Must bide the stroak of that long threatn'd wound,
  At least if so we can, and by the head                               60
  Broken be not intended all our power
  To be infring'd, our freedom and our being
  In this fair Empire won of Earth and Air;
  For this ill news I bring, the Womans seed
  Destin'd to this, is late of woman born,
  His birth to our just fear gave no small cause,
  But his growth now to youths full flowr, displaying
  All vertue, grace and wisdom to atchieve
  Things highest, greatest, multiplies my fear.
  Before him a great Prophet, to proclaim                              70
  His coming is sent Harbinger, who all
  Invites, and in the Consecrated stream
  Pretends to wash off sin and fit them so
  Purified to receive him pure, or rather
  To do him honour as their King; all come,
  And he himself among them was baptiz'd,
  Not thence to be more pure, but to receive
  The testimony of Heaven, that who he is
  Thenceforth the Nations may not doubt; I saw
  The Prophet do him reverence, on him rising                          80
  Out of the water, Heav'n above the Clouds
  Unfold her Crystal Dores, thence on his head
  A perfect Dove descend, what e're it meant
  And out of Heav'n the Sov'raign voice I heard,
  This is my Son belov'd, in him am pleas'd.
  His Mother then is mortal, but his Sire,
  He who obtains the Monarchy of Heav'n,
  And what will he not do to advance his Son?
  His first-begot we know, and sore have felt,
  When his fierce thunder drove us to the deep;                        90
  Who this is we must learn, for man he seems
  In all his lineaments, though in his face
  The glimpses of his Fathers glory shine.
  Ye see our danger on the utmost edge
  Of hazard, which admits no long debate,
  But must with something sudden be oppos'd,
  Not force, but well couch't fraud, well woven snares,
  E're in the head of Nations he appear
  Their King, their Leader, and Supream on Earth.
  I, when no other durst, sole undertook                              100
  The dismal expedition to find out
  And ruine Adam, and the exploit perform'd
  Successfully; a calmer voyage now
  Will waft me; and the way found prosperous once
  Induces best to hope of like success.
  He ended, and his words impression left
  Of much amazement to th' infernal Crew,
  Distracted and surpriz'd with deep dismay
  At these sad tidings; but no time was then
  For long indulgence to their fears or grief:                        110
  Unanimous they all commit the care
  And management of this main enterprize
  To him their great Dictator, whose attempt
  At first against mankind so well had thriv'd
  In Adam's overthrow, and led thir march
  From Hell's deep-vaulted Den to dwell in light,
  Regents and Potentates, and Kings, yea gods
  Of many a pleasant Realm and Province wide.
  So to the Coast of Jordan he directs
  His easie steps; girded with snaky wiles,                           120
  Where he might likeliest find this new-declar'd,
  This man of men, attested Son of God,
  Temptation and all guile on him to try;
  So to subvert whom he suspected rais'd
  To end his Raign on Earth so long enjoy'd:
  But contrary unweeting he fulfill'd
  The purpos'd Counsel pre-ordain'd and fixt
  Of the most High, who in full frequence bright
  Of Angels, thus to Gabriel smiling spake.
  Gabriel this day by proof thou shalt behold,                        130
  Thou and all Angels conversant on Earth
  With man or mens affairs, how I begin
  To verifie that solemn message late,
  On which I sent thee to the Virgin pure
  In Galilee, that she should bear a Son
  Great in Renown, and call'd the Son of God;
  Then toldst her doubting how these things could be
  To her a Virgin, that on her should come
  The Holy Ghost, and the power of the highest
  O're-shadow her: this man born and now up-grown,                    140
  To shew him worthy of his birth divine
  And high prediction, henceforth I expose
  To Satan; let him tempt and now assay
  His utmost subtilty, because he boasts
  And vaunts of his great cunning to the throng
  Of his Apostasie; he might have learnt
  Less over-weening, since he fail'd in Job,
  Whose constant perseverance overcame
  Whate're his cruel malice could invent.
  He now shall know I can produce a man                               150
  Of female Seed, far abler to resist
  All his sollicitations, and at length
  All his vast force, and drive him back to Hell,
  Winning by Conquest what the first man lost
  By fallacy surpriz'd.  But first I mean
  To exercise him in the Wilderness,
  There he shall first lay down the rudiments
  Of his great warfare, e're I send him forth
  To conquer Sin and Death the two grand foes,
  By Humiliation and strong Sufferance:                               160
  His weakness shall o'recome Satanic strength
  And all the world, and mass of sinful flesh;
  That all the Angels and Aetherial Powers,
  They now, and men hereafter may discern,
  From what consummate vertue I have chose
  This perfect Man, by merit call'd my Son,
  To earn Salvation for the Sons of men.
  So spake the Eternal Father, and all Heaven
  Admiring stood a space, then into Hymns
  Burst forth, and in Celestial measures mov'd,                       170
  Circling the Throne and Singing, while the hand
  Sung with the voice, and this the argument.
  Victory and Triumph to the Son of God
  Now entring his great duel, not of arms,
  But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles.
  The Father knows the Son; therefore secure
  Ventures his filial Vertue, though untri'd,
  Against whate're may tempt, whate're seduce,
  Allure, or terrifie, or undermine.
  Be frustrate all ye stratagems of Hell,                             180
  And devilish machinations come to nought.
  So they in Heav'n their Odes and Vigils tun'd:
  Mean while the Son of God, who yet some days
  Lodg'd in Bethabara where John baptiz'd,
  Musing and much revolving in his brest,
  How best the mighty work he might begin
  Of Saviour to mankind, and which way first
  Publish his God-like office now mature,
  One day forth walk'd alone, the Spirit leading;
  And his deep thoughts, the better to converse                       190
  With solitude, till far from track of men,
  Thought following thought, and step by step led on,
  He entred now the bordering Desert wild,
  And with dark shades and rocks environ'd round,
  His holy Meditations thus persu'd.
  O what a multitude of thoughts at once
  Awakn'd in me swarm, while I consider
  What from within I feel my self and hear
  What from without comes often to my ears,
  Ill sorting with my present state compar'd.                         200
  When I was yet a child, no childish play
  To me was pleasing, all my mind was set
  Serious to learn and know, and thence to do
  What might be publick good; my self I thought
  Born to that end, born to promote all truth,
  All righteous things: therefore above my years,
  The Law of God I read, and found it sweet,
  Made it my whole delight, and in it grew
  To such perfection, that e're yet my age
  Had measur'd twice six years, at our great Feast                    210
  I went into the Temple, there to hear
  The Teachers of our Law, and to propose
  What might improve my knowledge or their own;
  And was admir'd by all, yet this not all
  To which my Spirit aspir'd, victorious deeds
  Flam'd in my heart, heroic acts, one while
  To rescue Israel from the Roman yoke,
  Thence to subdue and quell o're all the earth
  Brute violence and proud Tyrannick pow'r,
  Till truth were freed, and equity restor'd:                        220
  Yet held it more humane, more heavenly first
  By winning words to conquer willing hearts,
  And make perswasion do the work of fear;
  At least to try, and teach the erring Soul
  Not wilfully mis-doing, but unware
  Misled: the stubborn only to subdue.
  These growing thoughts my Mother soon perceiving
  By words at times cast forth inly rejoyc'd,
  And said to me apart, high are thy thoughts
  O Son, but nourish them and let them soar                           230
  To what highth sacred vertue and true worth
  Can raise them, though above example high;
  By matchless Deeds express thy matchless Sire.
  For know, thou art no Son of mortal man,
  Though men esteem thee low of Parentage,
  Thy Father is the Eternal King, who rules
  All Heaven and Earth, Angels and Sons of men,
  A messenger from God fore-told thy birth
  Conceiv'd in me a Virgin, he fore-told
  Thou shouldst be great and sit on David's Throne.                   240
  And of thy Kingdom there should be no end.
  At thy Nativity a glorious Quire
  Of Angels in the fields of Bethlehem sung
  To Shepherds watching at their folds by night,
  And told them the Messiah now was born,
  Where they might see him, and to thee they came;
  Directed to the Manger where thou lais't,
  For in the Inn was left no better room:
  A Star, not seen before in Heaven appearing
  Guided the Wise Men thither from the East,                          250
  To honour thee with Incense, Myrrh, and Gold,
  By whose bright course led on they found the place,
  Affirming it thy Star new grav'n in Heaven,
  By which they knew thee King of Israel born.
  Just Simeon and Prophetic Anna, warn'd
  By Vision, found thee in the Temple, and spake
  Before the Altar and the vested Priest,
  Like things of thee to all that present stood.
  This having heard, strait I again revolv'd
  The Law and Prophets, searching what was writ                       260
  Concerning the Messiah, to our Scribes
  Known partly, and soon found of whom they spake
  I am; this chiefly, that my way must lie
  Through many a hard assay even to the death,
  E're I the promis'd Kingdom can attain,
  Or work redemption for mankind, whose sins
  Full weight must be transferr'd upon my head.
  Yet neither thus disheartn'd or dismay'd,
  The time prefixt I waited, when behold
  The Baptist, (of whose birth I oft had heard,                       270
  Not knew by sight) now come, who was to come
  Before Messiah and his way prepare.
  I as all others to his Baptism came,
  Which I believ'd was from above; but he
  Strait knew me, and with loudest voice proclaim'd
  Me him (for it was shew'n him so from Heaven)
  Me him whose Harbinger he was; and first
  Refus'd on me his Baptism to confer,
  As much his greater, and was hardly won;
  But as I rose out of the laving stream,                             280
  Heaven open'd her eternal doors, from whence
  The Spirit descended on me like a Dove,
  And last the sum of all, my Father's voice,
  Audibly heard from Heav'n, pronounc'd me his,
  Me his beloved Son, in whom alone
  He was well pleas'd; by which I knew the time
  Now full, that I no more should live obscure,
  But openly begin, as best becomes
  The Authority which I deriv'd from Heaven.
  And now by some strong motion I am led                              290
  Into this wilderness, to what intent
  I learn not yet, perhaps I need not know;
  For what concerns my knowledge God reveals.
  So spake our Morning Star then in his rise,
  And looking round on every side beheld
  A pathless Desert, dusk with horrid shades;
  The way he came not having mark'd, return
  Was difficult, by humane steps untrod;
  And he still on was led, but with such thoughts
  Accompanied of things past and to come                              300
  Lodg'd in his brest, as well might recommend
  Such Solitude before choicest Society.
  Full forty days he pass'd, whether on hill
  Sometimes, anon in shady vale, each night
  Under the covert of some ancient Oak,
  Or Cedar, to defend him from the dew,
  Or harbour'd in one Cave, is not reveal'd;
  Nor tasted humane food, nor hunger felt
  Till those days ended, hunger'd then at last
  Among wild Beasts: they at his sight grew mild,                    310
  Nor sleeping him nor waking harm'd, his walk
  The fiery Serpent fled, and noxious Worm,
  The Lion and fierce Tiger glar'd aloof.
  But now an aged man in Rural weeds,
  Following, as seem'd, the quest of some stray Ewe,
  Or wither'd sticks to gather; which might serve
  Against a Winters day when winds blow keen,
  To warm him wet return'd from field at Eve,
  He saw approach, who first with curious eye
  Perus'd him, then with words thus utt'red spake.                    320
  Sir, what ill chance hath brought thee to this place
  So far from path or road of men, who pass
  In Troop or Caravan, for single  none
  Durst ever, who return'd, and dropt not here
  His Carcass,  pin'd with hunger and with droughth?
  I ask the rather and the more admire,
  For that to me thou seem'st the man, whom late
  Our new baptizing Prophet at the Ford
  Of Jordan honour'd so, and call'd thee Son
  Of God: I saw and heard, for we sometimes                           330
  Who dwell this wild, constrain'd by want, come forth
  To Town or Village nigh (nighest is far)
  Where ought we hear, and curious are to hear,
  What happ'ns new; Fame also finds us out.
  To whom the Son of God.  Who brought me hither
  Will bring me hence, no other Guide I seek,
  By Miracle he may, reply'd the Swain,
  What other way I see not, for we here
  Live on tough roots and stubs, to thirst inur'd
  More then the Camel, and to drink go far,                           340
  Men to much misery and hardship born;
  But if thou be the Son of God, Command
  That out of these hard stones be made thee bread;
  So shalt thou save thy self and us relieve
  With Food, whereof we wretched seldom taste.
  He ended, and the Son of God reply'd.
  Think'st thou such force in Bread? is it not written
  (For I discern thee other then thou seem'st)
  Man lives not by Bread only, but each Word
  Proceeding from the mouth of God; who fed                           350
  Our Fathers here with Manna; in the Mount
  Moses was forty days, nor eat nor drank,
  And forty days Eliah without food
  Wandred this barren waste, the same I now:
  Why dost thou then suggest to me distrust,
  Knowing who I am, as I know who thou art?
  Whom thus answer'd th' Arch Fiend now undisguis'd.
  'Tis true, I am that Spirit unfortunate,
  Who leagu'd with millions more in rash revolt
  Kept not my happy Station, but was driv'n                           360
  With them from bliss to the bottomless deep,
  Vet to that hideous place not so confin'd
  By rigour unconniving, but that oft
  Leaving my dolorous Prison I enjoy
  Large liberty to round this Globe of Earth,
  Or range in th' Air, nor from the Heav'n of Heav'ns
  Hath he excluded my resort sometimes.
  I came among the Sons of God, when he
  Gave up into my hands Uzzean Job
  To prove him, and illustrate his high worth;                        370
  And when to all his Angels he propos'd
  To draw the proud King Ahab into fraud
  That he might fall in Ramoth, they demurring,
  I undertook that office, and the tongues
  Of all his flattering Prophets glibb'd with lyes
  To his destruction, as I had in charge.
  For what he bids I do; though I have lost
  Much lustre of my native brightness, lost
  To be belov'd of God, I have not lost
  To love, at least contemplate and admire                            380
  What I see excellent in good, or fair,
  Or vertuous, I should so have lost all sense.
  What can be then less in me then desire
  To see thee and approach thee, whom I know
  Declar'd the Son of God, to hear attent
  Thy wisdom, and behold thy God-like deeds?
  Men generally think me much a foe
  To all mankind: why should I? they to me
  Never did wrong or violence, by them
  I lost not what I lost, rather by them                              390
  I gain'd what I have gain'd, and with them dwell
  Copartner in these Regions of the World,
  If not disposer; lend them oft my aid,
  Oft my advice by presages and signs,
  And answers, oracles, portents and dreams,
  Whereby they may direct their future life.
  Envy they say excites me, thus to gain
  Companions of my misery and wo.
  At first it may be; but long since with wo
  Nearer acquainted, now I feel by proof,                             400
  That fellowship in pain divides not smart,
  Nor lightens aught each mans peculiar load.
  Small consolation then, were Man adjoyn'd:
  This wounds me most (what can it less) that Man,
  Man fall'n shall be restor'd, I never more.
  To whom our Saviour sternly thus reply'd.
  Deservedly thou griev'st, compos'd of lyes
  From the beginning, and in lies wilt end;
  Who boast'st release from Hell, and leave to come
  Into the Heav'n of Heavens; thou com'st indeed,                     410
  As a poor miserable captive thrall,
  Comes to the place where he before had sat
  Among the Prime in Splendour, now depos'd,
  Ejected, emptyed, gaz'd, unpityed, shun'd,
  A spectacle of ruin or of scorn
  To all the Host of Heaven; the happy place
  Imparts to thee no happiness, no joy,
  Rather inflames thy torment, representing
  Lost bliss, to thee no more communicable,
  So never more in Hell then when in Heaven.                          420
  But thou art serviceable to Heaven's King.
  Wilt thou impute to obedience what thy fear
  Extorts, or pleasure to do ill excites?
  What but thy malice mov'd thee to misdeem
  Of righteous Job, then cruelly to afflict him
  With all inflictions, but his patience won?
  The other service was thy chosen task,
  To be a lyer in four hundred mouths;
  For lying is thy sustenance, thy food.
  Yet thou pretend'st to truth; all Oracles                           430
  By thee are giv'n, and what confest more true
  Among the Nations? that hath been thy craft,
  By mixing somewhat true to vent more lyes.
  But what have been thy answers, what but dark
  Ambiguous and with double sense deluding,
  Which they who ask'd have seldom understood,
  And not well understood as good not known?
  Who ever by consulting at thy shrine
  Return'd the wiser, or the more instruct
  To flye or follow what concern'd him most,                          440
  And run not sooner to his fatal snare?
  For God hath justly giv'n the Nations up
  To thy Delusions; justly, since they fell
  Idolatrous, but when his purpose is
  Among them to declare his Providence
  To thee not known, whence hast thou then thy truth,
  But from him or his Angels President
  In every Province, who themselves disdaining
  To approach thy Temples, give thee in command
  What to the smallest tittle thou shalt say                          450
  To thy Adorers; thou with trembling fear,
  Or like a Fawning Parasite obey'st;
  Then to thy self ascrib'st the truth fore-told.
  But this thy glory shall be soon retrench'd;
  No more shalt thou by oracling abuse
  The Gentiles; henceforth Oracles are ceast,
  And thou no more with Pomp and Sacrifice
  Shalt be enquir'd at Delphos or elsewhere,
  At least in vain, for they shall find thee mute.
  God hath now sent his living Oracle                                 460
  Into the World, to teach his final will,
  And sends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwell
  In pious Hearts, an inward Oracle
  To all truth requisite for men to know.
  So spake our Saviour; but the subtle Fiend,
  Though inly stung with anger and disdain,
  Dissembl'd, and this answer smooth return'd.
  Sharply thou hast insisted on rebuke,
  And urg'd me hard with doings, which not will
  But misery hath rested from me; where                               470
  Easily canst thou find one miserable,
  And not inforc'd oft-times to part from truth;
  If it may stand him more in stead to lye,
  Say and unsay, feign, flatter, or abjure?
  But thou art plac't above me, thou art Lord;
  From thee I can and must submiss endure
  Check or reproof, and glad to scape so quit.
  Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk,
  Smooth on the tongue discourst, pleasing to th' ear,
  And tuneable as Silvan Pipe or Song;                               480
  What wonder then if I delight to hear
  Her dictates from thy mouth? most men admire
  Vertue, who follow not her lore: permit me
  To hear thee when I come (since no man comes)
  And talk at least, though I despair to attain.
  Thy Father, who is holy, wise and pure,
  Suffers the Hypocrite or Atheous Priest
  To tread his Sacred Courts, and minister
  About his Altar, handling holy things,
  Praying or vowing, and vouchsaf'd his voice                         490
  To Balaam reprobate, a Prophet yet
  Inspir'd; disdain not such access to me.
  To whom our Saviour with unalter'd brow
  Thy coming hither, though I know thy scope,
  I bid not or forbid; do as thou find'st
  Permission from above; thou canst not more.
  He added not; and Satan bowing low
  His gray dissimulation, disappear'd
  Into thin Air diffus'd: for now began
  Night with her sullen wing to double-shade                          500
  The Desert Fowls in thir clay nests were couch't;
  And now wild Beasts came forth the woods to roam.

  The End of the First Book.

The Second Book.

  MEAN while the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'd
  At Jordan with the Baptist, and had seen
  Him whom they heard so late expresly call'd
  Jesus Messiah Son of God declar'd,
  And on that high Authority had believ'd,
  And with him talkt, and with him lodg'd, I mean
  Andrew and Simon, famous after known
  With others though in Holy Writ not nam'd,
  Now missing him thir joy so lately found,
  So lately found, and so abruptly gone,                               10
  Began to doubt, and doubted many days,
  And as the days increas'd, increas'd thir doubt:
  Sometimes they thought he might be only shewn,
  And for a time caught up to God, as once
  Moses was in the Mount, and missing long;
  And the great Thisbite who on fiery wheels
  Rode up to Heaven, yet once again to come.
  Therefore as those young Prophets then with care
  Sought lost Eliah, so in each place these
  Nigh to Bethabara; in Jerico                                         20
  The City of Palms, Aenon, and Salem Old,
  Machaerus and each Town or City wall'd
  On this side the broad lake Genezaret
  Or in Perea, but return'd in vain.
  Then on the bank of Jordan, by a Creek:
  Where winds with Reeds, and Osiers whisp'ring play
  Plain Fishermen, no greater men them call,
  Close in a Cottage low together got
  Thir unexpected loss and plaints out breath'd.
  Alas from what high hope to what relapse                             30
  Unlook'd for are we fall'n, our eyes beheld
  Messiah certainly now come, so long
  Expected of our Fathers; we have heard
  His words, his wisdom full of grace and truth,
  Now, now, for sure, deliverance is at hand,
  The Kingdom shall to Israel be restor'd:
  Thus we rejoyc'd, but soon our joy is turn'd
  Into perplexity and new amaze:
  For whither is he gone, what accident
  Hath rapt him from us? will he now retire                            40
  After appearance, and again prolong
  Our expectation?  God of Israel,
  Send thy Messiah forth, the time is come;
  Behold the Kings of the Earth how they oppress
  Thy chosen, to what highth thir pow'r unjust
  They have exalted, and behind them cast
  All fear of thee, arise and vindicate
  Thy Glory, free thy people from thir yoke,
  But let us wait; thus far he hath perform'd,
  Sent his Anointed, and to us reveal'd him,                           50
  By his great Prophet, pointed at and shown,
  In publick, and  with him we have convers'd;
  Let us be glad of this, and all our fears
  Lay on his Providence; he will not fail
  Nor will withdraw him now, nor will recall,
  Mock us with his blest sight, then snatch him hence,
  Soon we shall see our hope, our joy return.
  Thus they out of their plaints new hope resume
  To find whom at the first they found unsought:
  But to his Mother Mary, when she saw                                 60
  Others return'd from Baptism, not her Son,
  Nor left at Jordan, tydings of him none;
  Within her brest, though calm; her brest though pure,
  Motherly cares and fears got head, and rais'd
  Some troubl'd thoughts, which she in sighs thus clad.
  O what avails me now that honour high
  To have conceiv'd of God, or that salute
  Hale highly favour'd, among women blest;
  While I to sorrows am no less advanc't,
  And fears as eminent, above the lot                                  70
  Of other women, by the birth I bore,
  In such a season born when scarce a Shed
  Could be obtain'd to shelter him or me
  From the bleak air; a Stable was our warmth,
  A Manger his, yet soon enforc't to flye
  Thence into Egypt, till the Murd'rous King
  Were dead, who sought his life, and missing fill'd
  With Infant blood the streets of Bethlehem;
  From Egypt home return'd, in Nazareth
  Hath been our dwelling many years, his life                          80
  Private, unactive, calm, contemplative,
  Little suspicious to any King; but now
  Full grown to Man, acknowledg'd, as I hear,
  By John the Baptist, and in publick shown,
  Son own'd from Heaven by his Father's voice;
  I  look't for some great change; to Honour? no,
  But trouble, as old Simeon plain foretold,
  That to the fall and rising he should be
  Of  Many in Israel, and to a sign
  Spoken against, that through my very Soul                            90
  A sword shall pierce, this is my favour'd lot,
  My Exaltation to Afflictions high;
  Afflicted I may be, it seems, and blest;
  I will not argue that, nor will repine.
  But where delays he now? some great intent
  Conceals him: when twelve years he scarce had seen,
  I lost him, but so found, as well I saw
  He could not lose himself; but went about
  His Father's business; what he meant I mus'd,
  Since understand; much more his absence now                         100
  Thus long to some great purpose he obscures.
  But I to wait with patience am inur'd;
  My heart hath been a store-house long of things
  And sayings laid up, portending strange events.
  Thus Mary pondering oft, and oft to mind
  Recalling what remarkably had pass'd
  Since first her Salutation heard, with thoughts
  Meekly compos'd awaited the fulfilling:
  The while her Son tracing the Desert wild,
  Sole but with holiest Meditations fed,                              110
  Into himself descended, and at once
  All his great work to come before him set;
  How to begin, how to accomplish best
  His end of being on Earth, and mission high:
  For Satan with slye preface to return
  Had left him vacant, and with speed was gon
  Up to the middle Region of thick Air,
  Where all his Potentates in Council sate;
  There without sign of boast, or sign of joy,
  Sollicitous and blank he thus began.                                120
  Princes, Heavens antient Sons, Aethereal Thrones,
  Demonian Spirits now, from the Element
  Each of his reign allotted, rightlier call'd,
  Powers of Fire, Air, Water, and Earth beneath,
  So may we hold our place and these mild seats
  Without new trouble; such an Enemy
  Is ris'n to invade us, who no less
  Threat'ns then our expulsion down to Hell;
  I, as I undertook, and with the vote
  Consenting in full frequence was impowr'd,                          130
  Have found him, view'd him, tasted him, but find
  Far other labour to be undergon
  Then when I dealt with Adam first of Men,
  Though Adam by his Wives allurement fell,
  However to this Man inferior far,
  If he be Man by Mothers side at least,
  With more then humane gifts from Heav'n adorn'd,
  Perfections absolute, Graces divine,
  And amplitude of mind to greatest Deeds.
  Therefore I am return'd, lest confidence                            140
  Of my success with Eve in Paradise
  Deceive ye to perswasion over-sure
  Of like succeeding here; I summon all
  Rather to be in readiness, with hand
  Or counsel to assist; lest I who erst
  Thought none my equal, now be over-match'd.
  So spake the old Serpent doubting, and from all
  With clamour was assur'd thir utmost aid
  At his command; when from amidst them rose
  Belial the dissolutest Spirit that fell                             150
  The sensuallest, and after Asmodai
  The fleshliest Incubus, and thus advis'd.
  Set women in his eye and in his walk,
  Among daughters of men the fairest found;
  Many are in each Region passing fair
  As the noon Skie; more like to Goddesses
  Then Mortal Creatures, graceful and discreet,
  Expert in amorous Arts, enchanting tongues
  Perswasive, Virgin majesty with mild
  And sweet allay'd, yet terrible to approach,                        160
  Skill'd to retire, and in retiring draw
  Hearts after them tangl'd in Amorous Nets.
  Such object hath the power to soft'n and tame
  Severest temper, smooth the rugged'st brow,
  Enerve, and with voluptuous hope dissolve,
  Draw out with credulous desire, and lead
  At will the manliest, resolutest brest,
  As the Magnetic hardest Iron draws.
  Women, when nothing else, beguil'd the heart
  Of wisest Solomon, and made him build,                              170
  And made him bow to the Gods of his Wives.
  To whom quick answer Satan thus return'd
  Belial in much uneven scale thou weigh'st
  All others by thy self; because of old
  Thou thy self doat'st on womankind, admiring
  Thir shape, thir colour, and attractive grace,
  None are, thou think'st, but taken with such toys.
  Before the Flood thou with thy lusty Crew,
  False titl'd Sons of God, roaming the Earth
  Cast wanton eyes on the daughters of men,                           180
  And coupl'd with them, and begot a race.
  Have we not seen, or by relation heard,
  In Courts and Regal Chambers how thou lurk'st,
  In Wood or Grove by mossie Fountain side,
  In Valley or Green Meadow to way-lay
  Some beauty rare, Calisto, Clymene,
  Daphne, or Semele, Antiopa,
  Or Amymone, Syrinx, many more
  Too long, then lay'st thy scapes on names ador'd,
  Apollo, Neptune, Jupiter, or Pan,                                   190
  Satyr, or Fawn, or Silvan? But these haunts
  Delight not all; among the Sons of Men,
  How many have with a smile made small account
  Of beauty and her lures, easily scorn'd
  All her assaults, on worthier things intent?
  Remember that Pellean Conquerour,
  A youth, how all the Beauties of the East
  He slightly view'd, and slightly over-pass'd;
  How hee sirnam'd of Africa dismiss'd
  In his prime youth the fair Iberian maid.                           200
  For Solomon he liv'd at ease, and full
  Of honour, wealth, high fare, aim'd not beyond
  Higher design then to enjoy his State;
  Thence to the bait of Women lay expos'd;
  But he whom we attempt is wiser far
  Then Solomon, of more exalted mind,
  Made and set wholly on the accomplishment
  Of greatest things; what woman will you find,
  Though of this Age the wonder and the fame,
  On whom his leisure will vouchsafe an eye                           210
  Of fond desire? or should she confident,
  As sitting Queen ador'd on Beauties Throne,
  Descend with all her winning charms begirt
  To enamour, as the Zone of Venus once
  Wrought that effect on Jove, so Fables tell;
  How would one look from his Majestick brow
  Seated as on the top of Vertues hill,
  Discount'nance her despis'd, and put to rout
  All her array; her female pride deject,
  Or turn to reverent awe? for Beauty stands                          220
  In the admiration only of weak minds
  Led captive; cease to admire, and all her Plumes
  Fall flat and shrink into a trivial toy,
  At every sudden slighting quite abasht:
  Therefore with manlier objects we must try
  His constancy, with such as have more shew
  Of worth, of honour, glory, and popular praise;
  Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd;
  Or that which only seems to satisfie
  Lawful desires of Nature, not beyond;                               230
  And now I know he hungers where no food
  Is to be found, in the wide Wilderness;
  The rest commit to me, I shall let pass
  No advantage, and his strength as oft assay.
  He ceas'd, and heard thir grant in loud acclaim;
  Then forthwith to him takes a chosen band
  Of Spirits likest to himself in guile
  To be at hand, and at his beck appear,
  If cause were to unfold some active Scene
  Of various persons each to know his part;                           240
  Then to the Desert takes with these his flight;
  Where still from shade to shade the Son of God
  After forty days fasting had remain'd,
  Now hungring first, and to himself thus said.
  Where will this end? four times ten days I have pass'd
  Wandring this woody maze, and humane food
  Nor tasted, nor had appetite: that Fast
  To Vertue I impute not, or count part
  Of what I suffer here; if Nature need not,
  Or God support Nature without repast                                250
  Though needing, what praise is it to endure?
  But now I feel I hunger, which declares,
  Nature hath need of what she asks; yet God
  Can satisfie that need some other way,
  Though hunger still remain: so it remain
  Without this bodies wasting, I content me,
  And from the sting of Famine fear no harm,
  Nor mind it, fed with better thoughts that feed
  Mee hungring more to do my Fathers will.
  It was the hour of night, when thus the Son                         260
  Commun'd in silent walk, then laid him down
  Under the hospitable covert nigh
  Of Trees thick interwoven; there he slept,
  And dream'd, as appetite is wont to dream,
  Of meats and drinks, Natures refreshment sweet;
  Him thought, he by the Brook of Cherith stood
  And saw the Ravens with thir horny beaks
  Food to Elijah bringing Even and Morn,
  Though ravenous, taught to abstain from what they brought:
  He saw the Prophet also how he fled                                 270
  Into the Desert, and how there he slept
  Under a Juniper; then how awakt,
  He found his Supper on the coals prepar'd,
  And by the Angel was bid rise and eat,
  And eat the second time after repose,
  The strength whereof suffic'd him forty days;
  Sometimes that with Elijah he partook,
  Or as a guest with Daniel at his pulse.
  Thus wore out night, and now the Herald Lark
  Left his ground-nest, high towring to descry                        280
  The morns approach, and greet her with his Song:
  As lightly from his grassy Couch up rose
  Our Saviour, and found all was but a dream,
  Fasting he went to sleep, and fasting wak'd.
  Up to a hill anon his steps he rear'd,
  From whose high top to ken the prospect round,
  If Cottage were in view, Sheep-cote or Herd;
  But Cottage, Herd or Sheep-cote none he saw,
  Only in a bottom saw a pleasant Grove,
  With chaunt of tuneful Birds resounding loud;                       290
  Thither he bent his way, determin'd there
  To rest at noon, and entr'd soon the shade
  High rooft and walks beneath, and alleys brown
  That open'd in the midst a woody Scene,
  Natures own work it seem'd (Nature taught Art)
  And to a Superstitious eye the haunt
  Of Wood-Gods and Wood-Nymphs; he view'd it round,
  When suddenly a man before him stood,
  Not rustic as before, but seemlier clad,
  As one in City, or Court, or Palace bred,                           300
  And with fair speech these words to him address'd.
  With granted leave officious I return,
  But much more wonder that the Son of God
  In this wild solitude so long should bide
  Of all things destitute, and well I know,
  Not without hunger.  Others of some note,
  As story tells, have trod this Wilderness;
  The Fugitive Bond-woman with her Son
  Out cast Nebaioth, yet found he relief
  By a providing Angel; all the race                                  310
  Of Israel here had famish'd, had not God
  Rain'd from Heaven Manna, and that Prophet bold
  Native of Thebes wandring here was fed
  Twice by a voice inviting him to eat.
  Of thee these forty days none hath regard,
  Forty and more deserted here indeed.
  To whom thus Jesus; what conclud'st thou hence?
  They all had need, I as thou seest have none.
  How hast thou hunger then?  Satan reply'd,
  Tell me if Food were now before thee set,                           320
  Would'st thou not eat?  Thereafter as I like
  The giver, answer'd Jesus. Why should that
  Cause thy refusal, said the subtle Fiend,
  Hast thou not right to all Created things,
  Owe not all Creatures by just right to thee
  Duty and Service, nor to stay till bid,
  But tender all their power? nor mention I
  Meats by the Law unclean, or offer'd first
  To Idols, those young Daniel could refuse;
  Nor proffer'd by an Enemy, though who                               330
  Would scruple that, with want opprest? behold
  Nature asham'd, or better to express,
  Troubl'd that thou should'st hunger, hath purvey'd
  From all the Elements her choicest store
  To treat thee as beseems, and as her Lord
  With honour, only deign to sit and eat.
  He spake no dream, for as his words had end,
  Our Saviour lifting up his eyes beheld
  In ample space under the broadest shade
  A Table richly spred, in regal mode,                                340
  With dishes pil'd, and meats of noblest sort
  And savour, Beasts of chase, or Fowl of game,
  In pastry built, or from the spit, or boyl'd,
  Gris-amber-steam'd; all Fish from Sea or Shore,
  Freshet, or purling Brook, of shell or fin,
  And exquisitest name, for which was drain'd
  Pontus and Lucrine Bay, and Afric Coast.
  Alas how simple, to these Cates compar'd,
  Was that crude Apple that diverted Eve!
  And at a stately side-board by the wine                             350
  That fragrant smell diffus'd, in order stood
  Tall stripling youths rich clad, of fairer hew
  Then Ganymed or Hylas, distant more
  Under the Trees now trip'd, now solemn stood
  Nymphs of Diana's train, and Naiades
  With fruits and flowers from Amalthea's horn,
  And Ladies of th' Hesperides, that seem'd
  Fairer then feign'd of old, or fabl'd since
  Of Fairy Damsels met in Forest wide
  By Knights of Logres, or of Lyones,                                 360
  Lancelot or Pelleas, or Pellenore,
  And all the while Harmonious Airs were heard
  Of chiming strings, or charming pipes and winds
  Of gentlest gale Arabian odors fann'd
  From their soft wings, and flora's earliest smells.
  Such was the Splendour, and the Tempter now
  His invitation earnestly renew'd.
  What doubts the Son of God to sit and eat?
  These are not Fruits forbidden, no interdict
  Defends the touching of these viands pure,                          370
  Thir taste no knowledge works, at least of evil,
  But life preserves, destroys life's enemy,
  Hunger, with sweet restorative delight.
  All these are Spirits of Air, and Woods, and Springs,
  Thy gentle Ministers, who come to pay
  Thee homage, and acknowledge thee thir Lord:
  What doubt'st thou Son of God? sit down and eat.
  To whom thus Jesus temperately reply'd:
  Said'st thou not that to all things I had right?
  And who withholds my pow'r that right to use?                       380
  Shall I receive by gift what of my own,
  When and where likes me best, I can command?
  I can at will, doubt not, as soon as thou,
  Command a Table in this Wilderness,
  And call swift flights of Angels ministrant
  Array'd in Glory on my cup to attend:
  Why shouldst thou then obtrude this diligence,
  In vain, where no acceptance it can find,
  And with my hunger what hast thou to do?
  Thy pompous Delicacies I contemn,                                   390
  And count thy specious gifts no gifts but guiles.
  To whom thus answer'd Satan malecontent:
  That I have also power to give thou seest,
  If of that pow'r I bring thee voluntary
  What I might have bestow'd on whom I pleas'd.
  And rather opportunely in this place
  Chose to impart to thy apparent need,
  Why shouldst thou not accept it? but I see
  What I can do or offer is suspect;
  Of these things others quickly will dispose                         400
  Whose pains have earn'd the far fet spoil.  With that
  Both Table and Provision vanish'd quite
  With sound of Harpies wings, and Talons heard;
  Only the importune Tempter still remain'd,
  And with these words his temptation pursu'd.
  By hunger, that each other Creature tames,
  Thou art not to be harm'd, therefore not mov'd;
  Thy temperance invincible besides,
  For no allurement yields to appetite,
  And all thy heart is set on high designs,                           410
  High actions: but wherewith to be atchiev'd?
  Great acts require great means of enterprise,
  Thou art unknown, unfriended, low of birth,
  A Carpenter thy Father known, thy self
  Bred up in poverty and streights at home;
  Lost in a Desert here and hunger-bit:
  Which way or from what hope dost thou aspire
  To greatness? whence Authority deriv'st,
  What Followers, what Retinue canst thou gain,
  Or at thy heels the dizzy Multitude,                                420
  Longer then thou canst feed them on thy cost?
  Money brings Honour, Friends, Conquest, and Realms;
  What rais'd Antipater the Edomite,
  And his Son Herod plac'd on Juda's Throne;
  (Thy throne) but gold that got him puissant friends?
  Therefore, if at great things thou wouldst arrive,
  Get Riches first, get Wealth, and Treasure heap,
  Not difficult, if thou hearken to me,
  Riches are mine, Fortune is in my hand;
  They whom I favour thrive in wealth amain,                          430
  While Virtue, Valour, Wisdom sit in want.
  To whom thus Jesus patiently reply'd;
  Yet Wealth without these three is impotent,
  To gain dominion or to keep it gain'd.
  Witness those antient Empires of the Earth,
  In highth of all thir flowing wealth dissolv'd:
  But men endu'd with these have oft attain'd
  In lowest poverty to highest deeds;
  Gideon and Jephtha, and the Shepherd lad,
  Whose off-spring on the Throne of Juda sat                          440
  So many Ages, and shall yet regain
  That seat, and reign in Israel without end.
  Among the Heathen, (for throughout the World
  To me is not unknown what hath been done
  Worthy of Memorial) canst thou not remember
  Quintius, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus?
  For I esteem those names of men so poor
  Who could do mighty things, and could contemn
  Riches though offer'd from the hand of Kings.
  And what in me seems wanting, but that I                            450
  May also in this poverty as soon
  Accomplish what they did, perhaps and more?
  Extol not Riches then, the toyl of Fools
  The wise mans cumbrance if not snare, more apt
  To slacken Virtue, and abate her edge,
  Then prompt her to do aught may merit praise.
  What if with like aversion I reject
  Riches and Realms; yet not for that a Crown,
  Golden in shew, is but a wreath of thorns,
  Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights               460
  To him who wears the Regal Diadem,
  When on his shoulders each mans burden lies;
  For therein stands the office of a King,
  His Honour, Vertue, Merit and chief Praise,
  That for the Publick all this weight he bears.
  Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules
  Passions, Desires, and Fears, is more a King;
  Which every wise and vertuous man attains:
  And who attains not, ill aspires to rule
  Cities of men, or head-strong Multitudes,                           470
  Subject himself to Anarchy within,
  Or lawless passions in him which he serves.
  But to guide Nations in the way of truth
  By saving Doctrine, and from errour lead
  To know, and knowing worship God aright,
  Is yet more Kingly, this attracts the Soul,
  Governs the inner man, the nobler part,
  That other o're the body only reigns,
  And oft by force, which to a generous mind
  So reigning can be no sincere delight.                              480
  Besides to give a Kingdom hath been thought
  Greater and nobler done, and to lay down
  Far more magnanimous, then to assume.
  Riches are needless then, both for themselves,
  And for thy reason why they should be sought,
  To gain a Scepter, oftest better miss't.

  Note: 309 he] here 1695.

  The End of the Second Book.

The Third Book.

  So spake the Son of God, and Satan stood
  A while as mute confounded what to say,
  What to reply, confuted and convinc't
  Of his weak arguing, and fallacious drift;
  At length collecting all his Serpent wiles,
  With soothing words renew'd, him thus accosts.
  I see thou know'st what is of use to know,
  What best to say canst say, to do canst do;
  Thy actions to thy words accord, thy words
  To thy large heart give utterance due, thy heart                     10
  Conteins of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.
  Should Kings and Nations from thy mouth consult,
  Thy Counsel would be as the Oracle
  Urim and Thummin, those oraculous gems
  On Aaron's breast: or tongue of Seers old
  Infallible; or wert thou sought to deeds
  That might require th' array of war, thy skill
  Of conduct would be such, that all the world
  Could not sustain thy Prowess, or subsist
  In battel, though against thy few in arms.                           20
  These God-like Vertues wherefore dost thou hide?
  Affecting private life, or more obscure
  In savage Wilderness, wherefore deprive
  All Earth her wonder at thy acts, thy self
  The fame and glory, glory the reward
  That sole excites to high attempts the flame
  Of most erected Spirits, most temper'd pure
  Aetherial, who all pleasures else despise,
  All treasures and all gain esteem as dross,
  And dignities and powers all but the highest?                        30
  Thy years are ripe, and over-ripe, the Son
  Of Macedonian Philip had e're these
  Won Asia and the Throne of Cyrus held
  At his dispose, young Scipio had brought down
  The Carthaginian pride, young Pompey quell'd
  The Pontic King and in triumph had rode.
  Yet years, and to ripe years judgment mature,
  Quench not the thirst of glory, but augment.
  Great Julius, whom now all the world admires,
  The more he grew in years, the more inflam'd                         40
  With glory, wept that he had liv'd so long
  Inglorious: but thou yet art not too late.
  To whom our Saviour calmly thus reply'd.
  Thou neither dost perswade me to seek wealth
  For Empires sake, nor Empire to affect
  For glories sake by all thy argument.
  For what is glory but the blaze of fame,
  The peoples praise, if always praise unmixt?
  And what the people but a herd confus'd,
  A miscellaneous rabble, who extol                                    50
  Things vulgar, & well weigh'd, scarce worth the praise,
  They praise and they admire they know not what;
  And know not whom, but as one leads the other;
  And what delight to be by such extoll'd,
  To live upon thir tongues and be thir talk,
  Of whom to be disprais'd were no small praise?
  His lot who dares be singularly good.
  Th' intelligent among them and the wise
  Are few; and glory scarce of few is rais'd.
  This is true glory and renown, when God                              60
  Looking on the Earth, with approbation marks
  The just man, and divulges him through Heaven
  To all his Angels, who with true applause
  Recount his praises; thus he did to Job,
  When to extend his fame through Heaven & Earth,
  As thou to thy reproach mayst well remember,
  He ask'd thee, hast thou seen my servant Job?
  Famous he was in Heaven, on Earth less known;
  Where glory is false glory, attributed
  To things not glorious, men not worthy of fame.                      70
  They err who count it glorious to subdue
  By Conquest far and wide, to over-run
  Large Countries, and in field great Battels win,
  Great Cities by assault: what do these Worthies,
  But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter, and enslave
  Peaceable Nations, neighbouring, or remote,
  Made Captive, yet deserving freedom more
  Then those thir Conquerours, who leave behind
  Nothing but ruin wheresoe're they rove,
  And all the flourishing works of peace destroy,                      80
  Then swell with pride, and must be titl'd Gods,
  Great Benefactors of mankind, Deliverers,
  Worship't with Temple, Priest and Sacrifice;
  One is the Son of Jove, of Mars the other,
  Till Conquerour Death discover them scarce men,
  Rowling in brutish vices, and deform'd,
  Violent or shameful death thir due reward.
  But if there be in glory aught of good,
  It may by means far different be attain'd
  Without ambition, war, or violence;                                  90
  By deeds of peace, by wisdom eminent,
  By patience, temperance; I mention still
  Him whom thy wrongs with Saintly patience born,
  Made famous in a Land and times obscure;
  Who names not now with honour patient Job?
  Poor Socrates (who next more memorable?)
  By what he taught and suffer'd for so doing,
  For truths sake suffering death unjust, lives now
  Equal in fame to proudest Conquerours.
  Yet if for fame and glory aught be done,                            100
  Aught suffer'd; if young African for fame
  His wasted Country freed from Punic rage,
  The deed becomes unprais'd, the man at least,
  And loses, though but verbal, his reward.
  Shall I seek glory then, as vain men seek
  Oft not deserv'd?  I seek not mine, but his
  Who sent me, and thereby witness whence I am.
  To whom the Tempter murmuring thus reply'd.
  Think not so slight of glory; therein least,
  Resembling thy great Father: he seeks glory,                        110
  And for his glory all things made, all things
  Orders and governs, nor content in Heaven
  By all his Angels glorifi'd, requires
  Glory from men, from all men good or bad,
  Wise or unwise, no difference, no exemption;
  Above all Sacrifice, or hallow'd gift
  Glory he requires, and glory he receives
  Promiscuous from all Nations, Jew, or Greek,
  Or Barbarous, nor exception hath declar'd;
  From us his foes pronounc't glory he exacts.                        120
  To whom our Saviour fervently reply'd.
  And reason; since his word all things produc'd,
  Though chiefly not for glory as prime end,
  But to shew forth his goodness, and impart
  His good communicable to every soul
  Freely; of whom what could he less expect
  Then glory and benediction, that is thanks,
  The slightest, easiest, readiest recompence
  From them who could return him nothing else,
  And not returning that would likeliest render                       130
  Contempt instead, dishonour, obloquy?
  Hard recompence, unsutable return
  For so much good, so much beneficence.
  But why should man seek glory? who of his own
  Hath nothing, and to whom nothing belongs
  But condemnation, ignominy, and shame?
  Who for so many benefits receiv'd
  Turn'd recreant to God, ingrate and false,
  And so of all true good himself despoil'd,
  Yet, sacrilegious, to himself would take                            140
  That which to God alone of right belongs;
  Yet so much bounty is in God, such grace,
  That who advance his glory, not thir own,
  Them he himself to glory will advance.
  So spake the Son of God; and here again
  Satan had not to answer, but stood struck
  With guilt of his own sin, for he himself
  Insatiable of glory had lost all,
  Yet of another Plea bethought him soon.
  Of glory as thou wilt, said he, so deem,                            150
  Worth or not worth the seeking, let it pass:
  But to a Kingdom thou art born, ordain'd
  To sit upon thy Father David's Throne;
  By Mother's side thy Father, though thy right
  Be now in powerful hands, that will not part
  Easily from possession won with arms;
  Judaea now and all the promis'd land
  Reduc't a Province under Roman yoke,
  Obeys Tiberius; nor is always rul'd
  With temperate sway; oft have they violated                         160
  The Temple, oft the Law with foul affronts,
  Abominations rather, as did once
  Antiochus: and think'st thou to regain
  Thy right by sitting still or thus retiring?
  So did not Machabeus: he indeed
  Retir'd unto the Desert, but with arms;
  And o're a mighty King so oft prevail'd,
  That by strong hand his Family obtain'd,
  Though Priests, the Crown, and David's Throne usurp'd,
  With Modin and her Suburbs once content.                            170
  If Kingdom move thee not, let move thee Zeal,
  And Duty; Zeal and Duty are not slow;
  But on Occasions forelock watchful wait.
  They themselves rather are occasion best,
  Zeal of thy Fathers house, Duty to free
  Thy Country from her Heathen servitude;
  So shalt thou best fullfil, best verifie
  The Prophets old, who sung thy endless raign,
  The happier raign the sooner it begins,
  Raign then; what canst thou better do the while?                    180
  To whom our saviour answer thus return'd.
  All things are best fullfil'd in thir due time,
  And time there is for all things, Truth hath said:
  If of my raign Prophetic Writ hath told
  That it shall never end, so when begin
  The Father in his purpose hath decreed,
  He in whose hand all times and seasons roul.
  What if he hath decreed that I shall first
  Be try'd in humble state, and things adverse,
  By tribulations, injuries, insults,                                 190
  Contempts, and scorns, and snares, and violence,
  Suffering, abstaining, quietly expecting
  Without distrust or doubt, that he may know
  What I can suffer, how obey? who best
  Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first
  Well hath obey'd; just tryal e're I merit
  My exaltation without change or end.
  But what concerns it thee when I begin
  My everlasting Kingdom, why art thou
  Sollicitous, what moves thy inquisition?                            200
  Know'st thou not that my rising is thy fall,
  And my promotion will be thy destruction?
  To whom the Tempter inly rackt reply'd.
  Let that come when it comes; all hope is lost
  Of my reception into grace; what worse?
  For where no hope is left, is left no fear;
  If there be worse, the expectation more
  Of worse torments me then the feeling can.
  I would be at the worst; worst is my Port.
  My harbour and my ultimate repose,                                  210
  The end I would attain, my final good.
  My error was my error, and my crime
  My crime; whatever for it self condemn'd
  And will alike be punish'd; whether thou
  Raign or raign not; though to that gentle brow
  Willingly I could flye, and hope thy raign,
  From that placid aspect and meek regard,
  Rather then aggravate my evil state,
  Would stand between me and thy Fathers ire,
  (Whose ire I dread more then the fire of Hell,)                     220
  A shelter and a kind of shading cool
  Interposition, as a summers cloud.
  If I then to the worst that can be hast,
  Why move thy feet so slow to what is best,
  Happiest both to thy self and all the world,
  That thou who worthiest art should'st be thir King?
  Perhaps thou linger'st in deep thoughts detain d
  Of the enterprize so hazardous and high;
  No wonder, for though in thee be united
  What of perfection can in man be found,                             230
  Or human nature can receive, consider
  Thy life hath yet been private, most part spent
  At home, scarce view'd the Gallilean Towns
  And once a year Jerusalem, few days
  Short sojourn; and what thence could'st thou observe?
  The world thou hast not seen, much less her glory,
  Empires, and Monarchs, and thir radiant Courts
  Best school of best experience, quickest in sight
  In all things that to greatest actions lead.
  The wisest, unexperienc't, will be ever                             240
  Timorous and loth, with novice modesty,
  (As he who seeking Asses found a Kingdom)
  Irresolute, unhardy, unadventrous:
  But I will bring thee where thou soon shalt quit
  Those rudiments, and see before thine eyes
  The Monarchies of the Earth, thir pomp and state,
  Sufficient introduction to inform
  Thee, of thy self so apt, in regal Arts,
  And regal Mysteries; that thou may'st know
  How best their opposition to withstand.                             250
  With that (such power was giv'n him then) he took
  The Son of God up to a Mountain high.
  It was a Mountain at whose verdant feet
  A spatious plain out strech't in circuit wide
  Lay pleasant; from his side two rivers flow'd,
  Th' one winding, the other strait and left between
  Fair Champain with less rivers interveind,
  Then meeting joyn'd thir tribute to the Sea:
  Fertil of corn the glebe, of oyl and wine,
  With herds the pastures throng'd, with flocks the hills,            260
  Huge Cities and high towr'd, that well might seem
  The seats of mightiest Monarchs, and so large
  The Prospect was, that here and there was room
  For barren desert fountainless and dry.
  To this high mountain top the Tempter brought
  Our Saviour, and new train of words began.
  Well have we speeded, and o're hill and dale,
  Forest and field, and flood, Temples and Towers
  Cut shorter many a league; here thou behold'st
  Assyria and her Empires antient bounds,                             270
  Araxes and the Caspian lake, thence on
  As far as Indus East, Euphrates West,
  And oft beyond; to South the Persian Bay,
  And inaccessible the Arabian drouth:
  Here Ninevee, of length within her wall
  Several days journey, built by Ninus old,
  Of that first golden Monarchy the seat,
  And seat of Salmanassar, whose success
  Israel in long captivity still mourns;
  There Babylon the wonder of all tongues,                            280
  As antient, but rebuilt by him who twice
  Judah and all thy Father David's house
  Led captive, and Jerusalem laid waste,
  Till Cyrus set them free; Persepolis
  His City there thou seest, and Bactra there;
  Ecbatana her structure vast there shews,
  And Hecatompylos her hunderd gates,
  There Susa by Choaspes, amber stream,
  The drink of none but Kings; of later fame
  Built by Emathian, or by Parthian hands,                            290
  The great Seleucia, Nisibis, and there
  Artaxata, Teredon, Tesiphon,
  Turning with easie eye thou may'st behold.
  All these the Parthian, now some Ages past,
  By great Arsaces led, who founded first
  That Empire, under his dominion holds
  From the luxurious Kings of Antioch won.
  And just in time thou com'st to have a view
  Of his great power; for now the Parthian King
  In Ctesiphon hath gather'd all his Host                             300
  Against the Scythian, whose incursions wild
  Have wasted Sogdiana; to her aid
  He marches now in hast; see, though from far,
  His thousands, in what martial equipage
  They issue forth, Steel Bows, and Shafts their arms
  Of equal dread in flight, or in pursuit;
  All Horsemen, in which fight they most excel;
  See how in warlike muster they appear,
  In Rhombs and wedges, and half moons, and wings.
  He look't and saw what numbers numberless                           310
  The City gates out powr'd, light armed Troops
  In coats of Mail and military pride;
  In Mail thir horses clad, yet fleet and strong,
  Prauncing their riders bore, the flower and choice
  Of many Provinces from bound to bound;
  From Arachosia, from Candaor East,
  And Margiana to the Hyrcanian cliffs
  Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales,
  From Atropatia and the neighbouring plains
  Of Adiabene, Media, and the South                                   320
  Of Susiana to Balsara's hav'n.
  He saw them in thir forms of battell rang'd,
  How quick they wheel'd, and flying behind them shot
  Sharp sleet of arrowie showers against the face
  Of thir pursuers, and overcame by flight;
  The field all iron cast a gleaming brown,
  Nor wanted clouds of foot, nor on each horn,
  Cuirassiers all in steel for standing fight;
  Chariots or Elephants endorst with Towers
  Of Archers, nor of labouring Pioners                                330
  A multitude with Spades and Axes arm'd
  To lay hills plain, fell woods, or valleys fill,
  Or where plain was raise hill, or over-lay
  With bridges rivers proud, as with a yoke;
  Mules after these, Camels and Dromedaries,
  And Waggons fraught with Utensils of war.
  Such forces met not, nor so wide a camp,
  When Agrican with all his Northern powers
  Besieg'd Albracca, as Romances tell;
  The City of Gallaphrone, from thence to win                         340
  The fairest of her Sex Angelica
  His daughter, sought by many Prowest Knights,
  Both Paynim, and the Peers of Charlemane.
  Such and so numerous was thir Chivalrie;
  At sight whereof the Fiend yet more presum'd,
  And to our Saviour thus his words renew'd.
  That thou may'st know I seek not to engage
  Thy Vertue, and not every way secure
  On no slight grounds thy safety; hear, and mark
  To what end I have brought thee hither and shewn                    350
  All this fair sight; thy Kingdom though foretold
  By Prophet or by Angel, unless thou
  Endeavour, as thy Father David did,
  Thou never shalt obtain; prediction still
  In all things, and all men, supposes means,
  Without means us'd, what it predicts revokes.
  But say thou wer't possess'd of David's Throne
  By free consent of all, none opposite,
  Samaritan or Jew; how could'st thou hope
  Long to enjoy it quiet and secure,                                  360
  Between two such enclosing enemies
  Roman and Parthian? therefore one of these
  Thou must make sure thy own, the Parthian first
  By my advice, as nearer and of late
  Found able by invasion to annoy
  Thy country, and captive lead away her Kings
  Antigonus, and old Hyrcanus bound,
  Maugre the Roman: it shall be my task
  To render thee the Parthian at dispose;
  Chuse which thou wilt by conquest or by league                      370
  By him thou shalt regain, without him not,
  That which alone can truly reinstall thee
  In David's royal seat, his true Successour,
  Deliverance of thy brethren, those ten Tribes
  Whose off-spring in his Territory yet serve
  In Habor, and among the Medes dispers't,
  Ten Sons of Jacob, two of Joseph lost
  Thus long from Israel; serving as of old
  Thir Fathers in the land of Egypt serv'd,
  This offer sets before thee to deliver.                             380
  These if from servitude thou shalt restore
  To thir inheritance, then, nor till then,
  Thou on the Throne of David in full glory,
  From Egypt to Euphrates and beyond
  Shalt raign, and Rome or Caesar not need fear.
  To whom our Saviour answer'd thus unmov'd.
  Much ostentation vain of fleshly arm,
  And fragile arms, much instrument of war
  Long in preparing, soon to nothing brought,
  Before mine eyes thou hast set; and in my ear                       390
  Vented much policy, and projects deep
  Of enemies, of aids, battels and leagues,
  Plausible to the world, to me worth naught.
  Means I must use thou say'st, prediction else
  Will unpredict and fail me of the Throne:
  My time I told thee, (and that time for thee
  Were better farthest off) is not yet come;
  When that comes think not thou to find me slack
  On my part aught endeavouring, or to need
  Thy politic maxims, or that cumbersome                              400
  Luggage of war there shewn me, argument
  Of human weakness rather then of strength.
  My brethren, as thou call'st them; those Ten Tribes
  I must deliver, if I mean to raign
  David's true heir, and his full Scepter sway
  To just extent over all Israel's Sons;
  But whence to thee this zeal, where was it then
  For Israel or for David, or his Throne,
  When thou stood'st up his Tempter to the pride
  Of numbring Israel which cost the lives                             410
  Of threescore and ten thousand Israelites
  By three days Pestilence? such was thy zeal
  To Israel then, the same that now to me.
  As for those captive Tribes, themselves were they
  Who wrought their own captivity, fell off
  From God to worship Calves, the Deities
  Of Egypt, Baal next and Ashtaroth,
  And all the Idolatries of Heathen round,
  Besides thir other worse then heathenish crimes;
  Nor in the land of their captivity                                  420
  Humbled themselves, or penitent besought
  The God of their fore-fathers; but so dy'd
  Impenitent, and left a race behind
  Like to themselves, distinguishable scarce
  From Gentils, but by Circumcision vain,
  And God with Idols in their worship joyn'd.
  Should I of these the liberty regard,
  Who freed, as to their antient Patrimony,
  Unhumbl'd, unrepentant, unreform'd,
  Headlong would follow; and to thir Gods perhaps                     430
  Of Bethel and of Dan? no, let them serve
  Thir enemies, who serve Idols with God.
  Yet he at length, time to himself best known,
  Remembring Abraham by some wond'rous call
  May bring them back repentant and sincere,
  And at their passing cleave the Assyrian flood,
  While to their native land with joy they hast,
  As the Red Sea and Jordan once he cleft,
  When to the promis'd land thir Fathers pass'd;
  To his due time and providence I leave them.                        440
  So spake Israel's true King, and to the Fiend
  Made answer meet, that made void all his wiles.
  So fares it when with truth falshood contends.

  The End of the Third Book.

The Fourth Book.

  PERPLEX'D and troubl'd at his bad success
  The Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,
  Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope,
  So oft, and the perswasive Rhetoric
  That sleek't his tongue, and won so much on Eve,
  So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve,
  This far his over-match, who self deceiv'd
  And rash, before-hand had no better weigh'd
  The strength he was to cope with, or his own:
  But as a man who had been matchless held                             10
  In cunning, over-reach't where least he thought,
  To salve his credit, and for very spight
  Still will be tempting him who foyls him still,
  And never cease, though to his shame the more;
  Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,
  About the wine-press where sweet moust is powr'd,
  Beat off; returns as oft with humming sound;
  Or surging waves against a solid rock,
  Though all to shivers dash't, the assault renew,
  Vain battry, and in froth or bubbles end:                            20
  So Satan, whom repulse upon repulse
  Met ever; and to shameful silence brought,
  Yet gives not o're though desperate of success,
  And his vain importunity pursues.
  He brought our Saviour to the western side
  Of that high mountain, whence he might behold
  Another plain, long but in bredth not wide;
  Wash'd by the Southern Sea, and on the North
  To equal length back'd with a ridge of hills
  That screen'd the fruits of the earth and seats of men               30
  From cold Septentrion blasts, thence in the midst
  Divided by a river, of whose banks
  On each side an Imperial City stood,
  With Towers and Temples proudly elevate
  On seven small Hills, with Palaces adorn'd,
  Porches and Theatres, Baths, Aqueducts,
  Statues and Trophees, and Triumphal Arcs,
  Gardens and Groves presented to his eyes,
  Above the highth of Mountains interpos'd.
  By what strange Parallax or Optic skill                              40
  Of vision multiplyed through air or glass
  Of Telescope, were curious to enquire:
  And now the Tempter thus his silence broke.
  The City which thou seest no other deem
  Then great and glorious Rome, Queen of the Earth
  So far renown'd, and with the spoils enricht
  Of Nations; there the Capitol thou seest
  Above the rest lifting his stately head
  On the Tarpeian rock, her Cittadel
  Impregnable, and there Mount Palatine                                50
  The Imperial Palace, compass huge, and high
  The Structure, skill of noblest Architects,
  With gilded battlements, conspicuous far,
  Turrets and Terrases, and glittering Spires.
  Many a fair Edifice besides, more like
  Houses of Gods (so well I have dispos'd
  My Aerie Microscope) thou may'st behold
  Outside and inside both, pillars and roofs
  Carv'd work, the hand of fam'd Artificers
  In Cedar, Marble, Ivory or Gold.                                     60
  Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see
  What conflux issuing forth, or entring in,
  Pretors, Proconsuls to thir Provinces
  Hasting or on return, in robes of State;
  Lictors and rods the ensigns of thir power,
  Legions and Cohorts, turmes of horse and wings:
  Or Embassies from Regions far remote
  In various habits on the Appian road,
  Or on the Aemilian, some from farthest South,
  Syene, and where the shadow both way falls,                          70
  Meroe, Nilotic Isle, and more to West,
  The Realm of Bocchus to the Black-moor Sea;
  From the Asian Kings and Parthian among these,
  From India 'and the golden Chersoness,
  And utmost Indian Isle Taprobane,
  Dusk faces with white silken Turbants wreath'd:
  From Gallia, Gades, and the Brittish West,
  Germans and Scythians, and Sarmatians North
  Beyond Danubius to the Tauric Pool.
  All Nations now to Rome obedience pay,                               80
  To Rome's great Emperour, whose wide domain
  In ample Territory, wealth and power,
  Civility of Manners, Arts, and Arms,
  And long Renown thou justly may'st prefer
  Before the Parthian; these two Thrones except,
  The rest are barbarous, and scarce worth the sight,
  Shar'd among petty Kings too far remov'd;
  These having shewn thee, I have shewn thee all
  The Kingdoms of the world, and all thir glory.
  This Emperour hath no Son, and now is old,                           90
  Old, and lascivious, and from Rome retir'd
  To Capreae an Island small but strong
  On the Campanian shore, with purpose there
  His horrid lusts in private to enjoy,
  Committing to a wicked Favourite
  All publick cares, and yet of him suspicious,
  Hated of all, and hating; with what ease
  Indu'd with Regal Vertues as thou art,
  Appearing, and beginning noble deeds,
  Might'st thou expel this monster from his Throne                    100
  Now made a stye, and in his place ascending
  A victor people free from servile yoke?
  And with my help thou may'st; to me the power
  Is given, and by that right I give it thee.
  Aim therefore at no less then all the world,
  Aim at the highest, without the highest attain'd
  Will be for thee no sitting, or not long
  On Davids Throne, be propheci'd what will,
  To whom the Son of God unmov'd reply'd.
  Nor doth this grandeur and majestic show                            110
  Of luxury, though call'd magnificence,
  More then of arms before, allure mine eye,
  Much less my mind; though thou should'st add to tell
  Thir sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous feasts
  On Cittron tables or Atlantic stone;
  (For I have also heard, perhaps have read)
  Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,
  Chios and Creet, and how they quaff in Gold,
  Crystal and Myrrhine cups imboss'd with Gems
  And studs of Pearl, to me should'st tell who thirst                 120
  And hunger still: then Embassies thou shew'st
  From Nations far and nigh; what honour that,
  But tedious wast of time to sit and hear
  So many hollow complements and lies,
  Outlandish flatteries? then proceed'st to talk
  Of the Emperour, how easily subdu'd,
  How gloriously; I shall, thou say'st, expel
  A brutish monster: what if I withal
  Expel a Devil who first made him such?
  Let his tormenter Conscience find him out,                          130
  For him I was not sent, nor yet to free
  That people victor once, now vile and base,
  Deservedly made vassal, who once just,
  Frugal, and mild, and temperate, conquer'd well,
  But govern ill the Nations under yoke,
  Peeling thir Provinces, exhausted all
  By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown
  Of triumph that insulting vanity;
  Then cruel, by thir sports to blood enur'd
  Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts expos'd,                      140
  Luxurious by thir wealth, and greedier still,
  And from the daily Scene effeminate.
  What wise and valiant man would seek to free
  These thus degenerate, by themselves enslav'd,
  Or could of inward slaves make outward free?
  Know therefore when my season comes to sit
  On David's Throne, it shall be like a tree
  Spreading and over-shadowing all the Earth,
  Or as a stone that shall to pieces dash
  All Monarchies besides throughout the world,                        150
  And of my Kingdom there shall be no end:
  Means there shall be to this, but what the means,
  Is not for thee to know, nor me to tell.
  To whom the Tempter impudent repli'd.
  I see all offers made by me how slight
  Thou valu'st, because offer'd, and reject'st:
  Nothing will please the difficult and nice,
  Or nothing more then still to contradict:
  On the other side know also thou, that I
  On what I offer set as high esteem,                                 160
  Nor what I part with mean to give for naught;
  All these which in a moment thou behold'st,
  The Kingdoms of the world to thee I give;
  For giv'n to me, I give to whom I please,
  No trifle; yet with this reserve, not else,
  On this condition, if thou wilt fall down,
  And worship me as thy superior Lord,
  Easily done, and hold them all of me;
  For what can less so great a gift deserve?
  Whom thus our Saviour answer'd with disdain.                        170
  I never lik'd thy talk, thy offers less,
  Now both abhor, since thou hast dar'd to utter
  The abominable terms, impious condition;
  But I endure the time, till which expir'd,
  Thou hast permission on me.  It is written
  The first of all Commandments, Thou shalt worship
  The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve;
  And dar'st thou to the Son of God propound
  To worship thee accurst, now more accurst
  For this attempt bolder then that on Eve,                           180
  And more blasphemous? which expect to rue.
  The Kingdoms of the world to thee were giv'n,
  Permitted rather, and by thee usurp't,
  Other donation none thou canst produce:
  If given, by whom but by the King of Kings,
  God over all supreme? if giv'n to thee,
  By thee how fairly is the Giver now
  Repaid? But gratitude in thee is lost
  Long since.  Wert thou so void of fear or shame,
  As offer them to me the Son of God,                                 190
  To me my own, on such abhorred pact,
  That I fall down and worship thee as God?
  Get thee behind me; plain thou now appear'st
  That Evil one, Satan for ever damn'd.
  To whom the Fiend with fear abasht reply'd.
  Be not so sore offended, Son of God;
  Though Sons of God both Angels are and Men,
  If I to try whether in higher sort
  Then these thou bear'st that title, have propos'd
  What both from Men and Angels I receive,                            200
  Tetrarchs of fire, air, flood, and on the earth
  Nations besides from all the quarter'd winds,
  God of this world invok't and world beneath;
  Who then thou art, whose coming is foretold
  To me so fatal, me it most concerns.
  The tryal hath indamag'd thee no way,
  Rather more honour left and more esteem;
  Me naught advantag'd, missing what I aim'd.
  Therefore let pass, as they are transitory,
  The Kingdoms of this world; I shall no more                         210
  Advise thee, gain them as thou canst, or not.
  And thou thy self seem'st otherwise inclin'd
  Then to a worldly Crown, addicted more
  To contemplation and profound dispute,
  As by that early action may be judg'd,
  When slipping from thy Mothers eye thou went'st
  Alone into the Temple; there was found
  Among the gravest Rabbies disputant
  On points and questions fitting Moses Chair,
  Teaching not taught; the childhood shews the man,                   220
  As morning shews the day.  Be famous then
  By wisdom; as thy Empire must extend,
  So let extend thy mind o're all the world,
  In knowledge, all things in it comprehend,
  All knowledge is not couch't in Moses Law,
  The Pentateuch or what the Prophets wrote,
  The Gentiles also know, and write, and teach
  To admiration, led by Natures light;
  And with the Gentiles much thou must converse,
  Ruling them by perswasion as thou mean'st,                          230
  Without thir learning how wilt thou with them,
  Or they with thee hold conversation meet?
  How wilt thou reason with them, how refute
  Thir Idolisms, Traditions, Paradoxes?
  Error by his own arms is best evinc't.
  Look once more e're we leave this specular Mount
  Westward, much nearer by Southwest, behold
  Where on the Aegean shore a City stands
  Built nobly, pure the air, and light the soil,
  Athens the eye of Greece, Mother of Arts                            240
  And Eloquence, native to famous wits
  Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
  City or Suburban, studious walks and shades;
  See there the Olive Grove of Academe,
  Plato's retirement, where the Attic Bird
  Trills her thick-warbl'd notes the summer long,
  There flowrie hill Hymettus with the sound
  Of Bees industrious murmur oft invites
  To studious musing; there Ilissus rouls
  His whispering stream; within the walls then view                   250
  The schools of antient Sages; his who bred
  Great Alexander to subdue the world,
  Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:
  There thou shalt hear and learn the secret power
  Of harmony in tones and numbers hit
  By voice or hand, and various-measur'd verse,
  Aeolian charms and Dorian Lyric Odes,
  And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,
  Blind Melesigenes thence Homer call'd,
  Whose Poem Phoebus challeng'd for his own.                          260
  Thence what the lofty grave Tragoedians taught
  In Chorus or Iambic, teachers best
  Of moral prudence, with delight receiv'd
  In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
  Of fate, and chance, and change in human life;
  High actions, and high passions best describing;
  Thence to the famous Orators repair,
  Those antient, whose resistless eloquence
  Wielded at will that fierce Democratie,
  Shook the Arsenal and fulmin'd over Greece,                         270
  To Macedon, and Artaxerxes Throne;
  To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear,
  From Heaven descended to the low-rooft house
  Of Socrates, see there his Tenement,
  Whom well inspir'd the Oracle pronounc'd
  Wisest of men; from whose mouth issu'd forth
  Mellifluous streams that water'd all the schools
  Of Academics old and new, with those
  Sirnam'd Peripatetics, and the Sect
  Epicurean, and the Stoic severe;                                    280
  These here revolve, or, as thou lik'st, at home,
  Till time mature thee to a Kingdom's waight;
  These rules will render thee a King compleat
  Within thy self, much more with Empire joyn'd.
  To whom our Saviour sagely thus repli'd.
  Think not but that I know these things, or think
  I know them not; not therefore am I short
  Of knowing what I aught: he who receives
  Light from above, from the fountain of light,
  No other doctrine needs, though granted true;                       290
  But these are false, or little else but dreams,
  Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm.
  The first and wisest of them all profess'd
  To know this only, that he nothing knew;
  The next to fabling fell and smooth conceits,
  A third sort doubted all things, though plain sence;
  Others in vertue plac'd felicity,
  But vertue joyn'd with riches and long life,
  In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease,
  The Stoic last in Philosophic pride,                                300
  By him call'd vertue; and his vertuous man,
  Wise, perfect in himself, and all possessing
  Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,
  As fearing God nor man, contemning all
  Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life,
  Which when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can,
  For all his tedious talk is but vain boast,
  Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.
  Alas what can they teach, and not mislead;
  Ignorant of themselves, of God much more,                           310
  And how the world began, and how man fell
  Degraded by himself, on grace depending?
  Much of the Soul they talk, but all awrie,
  And in themselves seek vertue, and to themselves
  All glory arrogate, to God give none,
  Rather accuse him under usual names,
  Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite
  Of mortal things.  Who therefore seeks in these
  True wisdom, finds her not, or by delusion
  Far worse, her false resemblance only meets,                        320
  An empty cloud.  However many books
  Wise men have said are wearisom; who reads
  Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
  A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
  (And what he brings, what needs he elsewhere seek)
  Uncertain and unsettl'd still remains
  Deep verst in books and shallow in himself;
  Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys,
  And trifles for choice matters, worth a spunge;
  As Children gathering pibles on the shore.                          330
  Or if I would delight my private hours
  With Music or with Poem, where so soon
  As in our native Language can I find
  That solace?  All our Law and Story strew'd
  With Hymns, our Psalms with artful terms inscrib'd,
  Our Hebrew Songs and Harps in Babylon,
  That pleas'd so well our Victors ear, declare
  That rather Greece from us these Arts deriv'd;
  Ill imitated, while they loudest sing
  The vices of thir Deities, and thir own                             340
  In Fable, Hymn, or Song, so personating
  Thir Gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
  Remove their swelling Epithetes thick laid
  As varnish on a Harlots cheek, the rest,
  Thin sown with aught of profit or delight,
  Will far be found unworthy to compare
  With Sion's songs, to all true tasts excelling,
  Where God is prais'd aright, and Godlike men,
  The Holiest of Holies, and his Saints;
  Such are from God inspir'd, not such from thee;                     350
  Unless where moral vertue is express't
  By light of Nature not in all quite lost.
  Thir Orators thou then extoll'st, as those
  The top of Eloquence, Statists indeed,
  And lovers of thir Country, as may seem;
  But herein to our Prophets far beneath,
  As men divinely taught, and better teaching
  The solid rules of Civil Government
  In thir majestic unaffected stile
  Then all the Oratory of Greece and Rome.                            360
  In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
  What makes a Nation happy, and keeps it so,
  What ruins Kingdoms, and lays Cities flat;
  These only with our Law best form a King.
  So spake the Son of God; but Satan now
  Quite at a loss, for all his darts were spent,
  Thus to our Saviour with stern brow reply'd.
  Since neither wealth, nor honour, arms nor arts,
  Kingdom nor Empire pleases thee, nor aught
  By me propos'd in life contemplative,
  Or active, tended on by glory, or fame,                             370
  What dost thou in this World? the Wilderness
  For thee is fittest place, I found thee there,
  And thither will return thee, yet remember
  What I foretell thee, soon thou shalt have cause
  To wish thou never hadst rejected thus
  Nicely or cautiously my offer'd aid,
  Which would have set thee in short time with ease
  On David's Throne; or Throne of all the world,
  Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season,                       380
  When Prophesies of thee are best fullfill'd.
  Now contrary, if I read aught in Heaven,
  Or Heav'n write aught of Fate, by what the Stars
  Voluminous, or single characters,
  In thir conjunction met, give me to spell,
  Sorrows, and labours, Opposition, hate,
  Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,
  Violence and stripes, and lastly cruel death,
  A Kingdom they portend thee, but what Kingdom,
  Real or Allegoric I discern not,                                    390
  Nor when, eternal sure, as without end,
  Without beginning; for no date prefixt
  Directs me in the Starry Rubric set.
  So saying he took (for still he knew his power
  Not yet expir'd) and to the Wilderness
  Brought back the Son of God, and left him there,
  Feigning to disappear.  Darkness now rose,
  As day-light sunk, and brought in lowring night
  Her shadowy off-spring unsubstantial both,
  Privation meer of light and absent day.                             400
  Our Saviour meek and with untroubl'd mind
  After his aerie jaunt, though hurried sore,
  Hungry and cold betook him to his rest,
  Wherever, under some concourse of shades
  Whose branching arms thick intertwind might shield
  From dews and damps of night his shelter'd head,
  But shelter'd slept in vain, for at his head
  The Tempter watch'd, and soon with ugly dreams
  Disturb'd his sleep; and either Tropic now
  'Gan thunder, and both ends of Heav'n, the Clouds                   410
  From many a horrid rift abortive pour'd
  Fierce rain with lightning mixt, water with fire
  In ruine reconcil'd: nor slept the winds
  Within thir stony caves, but rush'd abroad
  From the four hinges of the world, and fell
  On the vext Wilderness, whose tallest Pines,
  Though rooted deep as high, and sturdiest Oaks
  Bow'd thir Stiff necks, loaden with stormy blasts,
  Or torn up sheer: ill wast thou shrouded then,
  O patient Son of God, yet only stoodst                              420
  Unshaken; nor yet staid the terror there,
  Infernal Ghosts, and Hellish Furies, round
  Environ'd thee, some howl'd, some yell'd, some shriek'd,
  Some bent at thee thir fiery darts, while thou
  Sat'st unappall'd in calm and sinless peace.
  Thus pass'd the night so foul till morning fair
  Came forth with Pilgrim steps in amice gray;
  Who with her radiant finger still'd the roar
  Of thunder, chas'd the clouds, and laid the winds,
  And grisly Spectres, which the Fiend had rais'd                     430
  To tempt the Son of God with terrors dire.
  And now the Sun with more effectual beams
  Had chear'd the face of Earth, and dry'd the wet
  From drooping plant, or dropping tree; the birds
  Who all things now behold more fresh and green,
  After a night of storm so ruinous,
  Clear'd up their choicest notes in bush and spray
  To gratulate the sweet return of morn;
  Nor yet amidst this joy and brightest morn
  Was absent, after all his mischief done,                            440
  The Prince of darkness, glad would also seem
  Of this fair change, and to our Saviour came,
  Yet with no new device, they all were spent,
  Rather by this his last affront resolv'd,
  Desperate of better course, to vent his rage,
  And mad despight to be so oft repell'd.
  Him walking on a Sunny hill he found,
  Back'd on the North and West by a thick wood,
  Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape;
  And in a careless mood thus to him said.                            450
  Fair morning yet betides thee Son of God,
  After a dismal night; I heard the rack
  As Earth and Skie would mingle; but my self
  Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them
  As dangerous to the pillard frame of Heaven,
  Or to the Earths dark basis underneath,
  Are to the main as inconsiderable,
  And harmless, if not wholsom, as a sneeze
  To mans less universe, and soon are gone;
  Yet as being oft times noxious where they light                     460
  On man, beast, plant, wastful and turbulent,
  Like turbulencies in the affairs of men,
  Over whose heads they rore, and seem to point,
  They oft fore-signifie and threaten ill:
  This Tempest at this Desert most was bent;
  Of men at thee, for only thou here dwell'st.
  Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
  The perfet season offer'd with my aid
  To win thy destin'd seat, but wilt prolong
  All to the push of Fate, persue thy way                             470
  Of gaining David's Throne no man knows when,
  For both the when and how is no where told,
  Thou shalt be what thou art ordain'd, no doubt;
  For Angels have proclaim'd it, but concealing
  The time and means: each act is rightliest done,
  Not when it must, but when it may be best.
  If thou observe not this, be sure to find,
  What I foretold thee, many a hard assay
  Of dangers, and adversities and pains,
  E're thou of Israel's Scepter get fast hold;                        480
  Whereof this ominous night that clos'd thee round,
  So many terrors, voices, prodigies
  May warn thee, as a sure fore-going sign.
  So talk'd he, while the Son of God went on
  And staid not, but in brief him answer'd thus.
  Mee worse then wet thou find'st not; other harm
  Those terrors which thou speak'st of did me none;
  I never fear'd they could, though noising loud
  And threatning nigh; what they can do as signs
  Betok'ning, or ill boding, I contemn                                490
  As false portents, not sent from God, but thee;
  Who knowing I shall raign past thy preventing.
  Obtrud'st thy offer'd aid, that I accepting
  At least might seem to hold all power of thee,
  Ambitious spirit, and wouldst be thought my God,
  And storm'st refus'd, thinking to terrifie
  Mee to thy will; desist, thou art discern'd
  And toil'st in vain, nor me in vain molest.
  To whom the Fiend now swoln with rage reply'd:
  Then hear, O Son of David, Virgin-born;                             500
  For Son of God to me is yet in doubt,
  Of the Messiah I have heard foretold
  By all the Prophets; of thy birth at length
  Announc't by Gabriel with the first I knew,
  And of the Angelic Song in Bethlehem field,
  On thy birth-night, that sung thee Saviour born.
  From that time seldom have I ceas'd to eye
  Thy infancy, thy childhood, and thy youth,
  Thy manhood last, though yet in private bred;
  Till at the Ford of Jordan whither all                              510
  Flock'd to the Baptist, I among the rest,
  Though not to be Baptiz'd, by voice from Heav'n
  Heard thee pronounc'd the Son of God belov'd.
  Thenceforth I thought thee worth my nearer view
  And narrower Scrutiny, that I might learn
  In what degree or meaning thou art call'd
  The Son of God, which bears no single sence;
  The Son of God I also am, or was,
  And if I was, I am; relation stands;
  All men are Sons of God; yet thee I thought                         520
  In some respect far higher so declar'd.
  Therefore I watch'd thy footsteps from that hour,
  And follow'd thee still on to this wast wild;
  Where by all best conjectures I collect
  Thou art to be my fatal enemy.
  Good reason then, if I before-hand seek
  To understand my Adversary, who
  And what he is; his wisdom, power, intent,
  By parl, or composition, truce, or league
  To win him, or win from him what I can.                             530
  And opportunity I here have had
  To try thee, sift thee, and confess have found thee
  Proof against all temptation as a rock
  Of Adamant, and as a Center, firm
  To the utmost of meer man both wise and good,
  Not more; for Honours, Riches, Kingdoms, Glory
  Have been before contemn'd, and may agen:
  Therefore to know what more thou art then man,
  Worth naming Son of God by voice from Heav'n,
  Another method I must now begin.                                    540
  So saying he caught him up, and without wing
  Of Hippogrif bore through the Air sublime
  Over the Wilderness and o're the Plain;
  Till underneath them fair Jerusalem,
  The holy City lifted high her Towers,
  And higher yet the glorious Temple rear'd
  Her pile, far off appearing like a Mount
  Of Alabaster, top't with golden Spires:
  There on the highest Pinacle he set
  The Son of God; and added thus in scorn:                            550
  There stand, if thou wilt stand; to stand upright
  Will ask thee skill; I to thy Fathers house
  Have brought thee, and highest plac't, highest is best,
  Now shew thy Progeny; if not to stand,
  Cast thy self down; safely if Son of God:
  For it is written, He will give command
  Concerning thee to his Angels, in thir hands
  They shall up lift thee, lest at any time
  Thou chance to dash thy foot against a stone.
  To whom thus Jesus: also it is written,                             560
  Tempt not the Lord thy God, he said and stood.
  But Satan smitten with amazement fell
  As when Earths Son Antaeus (to compare
  Small things with greatest) in Irassa strove
  With Joves Alcides and oft foil'd still rose,
  Receiving from his mother Earth new strength,
  Fresh from his fall, and fiercer grapple joyn'd,
  Throttl'd at length in the Air, expir'd and fell;
  So after many a foil the Tempter proud,
  Renewing fresh assaults, amidst his pride                           570
  Fell whence he stood to see his Victor fall.
  And as that Theban Monster that propos'd
  Her riddle, and him, who solv'd it not, devour'd;
  That once found out and solv'd, for grief and spight
  Cast her self headlong from th' Ismenian steep,
  So strook with dread and anguish fell the Fiend,
  And to his crew, that sat consulting, brought
  Joyless triumphals of his hop't success,
  Ruin, and desperation, and dismay,
  Who durst so proudly tempt the Son of God.                          580
  So Satan fell and strait a fiery Globe
  Of Angels on full sail of wing flew nigh,
  Who on their plumy Vans receiv'd him soft
  From his uneasie station, and upbore
  As on a floating couch through the blithe Air,
  Then in a flowry valley set him down
  On a green bank, and set before him spred
  A table of Celestial Food, Divine,
  Ambrosial, Fruits fetcht from the tree of life,
  And from the fount of life Ambrosial drink,                         590
  That soon refresh'd him wearied, and repair'd
  What hunger, if aught hunger had impair'd,
  Or thirst, and as he fed, Angelic Quires
  Sung Heavenly Anthems of his victory
  Over temptation, and the Tempter proud.
  True Image of the Father whether thron'd
  In the bosom of bliss, and light of light
  Conceiving, or remote from Heaven, enshrin'd
  In fleshly Tabernacle, and human form,
  Wandring the Wilderness, whatever place,                            600
  Habit, or state, or motion, still expressing
  The Son of God, with Godlike force indu'd
  Against th' Attempter of thy Fathers Throne,
  And Thief of Paradise; him long of old
  Thou didst debel, and down from Heav'n cast
  With all his Army, now thou hast aveng'd
  Supplanted Adam, and by vanquishing
  Temptation, hast regain'd lost Paradise,
  And frustrated the conquest fraudulent:
  He never more henceforth will dare set foot                         610
  In Paradise to tempt; his snares are broke:
  For though that seat of earthly bliss be fail'd,
  A fairer Paradise is founded now
  For Adam and his chosen Sons, whom thou
  A Saviour art come down to re-install.
  Where they shall dwell secure, when time shall be
  Of Tempter and Temptation without fear.
  But thou, Infernal Serpent, shalt not long
  Rule in the Clouds; like an Autumnal Star
  Or Lightning thou shalt fall from Heav'n trod down                  620
  Under his feet: for proof, e're this thou feel'st
  Thy wound, yet not thy last and deadliest wound
  By this repulse receiv'd, and hold'st in Hell
  No triumph; in all her gates Abaddon rues
  Thy bold attempt; hereafter learn with awe
  To dread the Son of God: he all unarm'd
  Shall chase thee with the terror of his voice
  From  thy Demoniac holds, possession foul,
  Thee and thy Legions, yelling they shall flye,
  And beg to hide them in a herd of Swine,                            630
  Lest he command them down into the deep
  Bound, and to torment sent before thir time.
  Hail Son of the most High, heir of both worlds,
  Queller of Satan, on thy glorious work
  Now enter, and begin to save mankind.
  Thus they the Son of God our Saviour meek
  Sung Victor, and from Heavenly Feast refresht
  Brought on his way with joy; hee unobserv'd
  Home to his Mothers house private return'd.

  The End.

Transcriber's Note: Title page of first edition of Samson Agonistes follows:

                        DRAMATIC POEM.
                          The Author
                          JOHN MILTON
                     Aristot. Poet. Cap. 6.
             Tragedia mimeis praxeos spadaias, &c.
  Tragedia est imitatio actionis seriae. &c. Per misericordiam &
     metum perficiens talium affectuum lustrationem.
             Printed by J.M. for John Starkey at the
              Mitre in Fleetstreet, near Temple-Bar.


Of that sort of Dramatic Poem which is call'd Tragedy.

TRAGEDY, as it was antiently compos'd, hath been ever held the gravest, moralest, and most profitable of all other Poems: therefore said by Aristotle to be of power by raising pity and fear, or terror, to purge the mind of those and such like passions, that is to temper and reduce them to just measure with a kind of delight, stirr'd up by reading or seeing those passions well imitated. Nor is Nature wanting in her own effects to make good his assertion: for so in Physic things of melancholic hue and quality are us'd against melancholy, sowr against sowr, salt to remove salt humours. Hence Philosophers and other gravest Writers, as Cicero, Plutarch and others, frequently cite out of Tragic Poets, both to adorn and illustrate thir discourse. The Apostle Paul himself thought it not unworthy to insert a verse of Euripides into the Text of Holy Scripture, I Cor. 15. 33. and Paraeus commenting on the Revelation, divides the whole Book as a Tragedy, into Acts distinguisht each by a Chorus of Heavenly Harpings and Song between. Heretofore Men in highest dignity have labour'd not a little to be thought able to compose a Tragedy. Of that honour Dionysius the elder was no less ambitious, then before of his attaining to the Tyranny. Augustus Caesar also had begun his Ajax, but unable to please his own judgment with what he had begun, left it unfinisht. Seneca the Philosopher is by some thought the Author of those Tragedies (at lest the best of them) that go under that name. Gregory Nazianzen a Father of the Church, thought it not unbeseeming the sanctity of his person to write a Tragedy which he entitl'd, Christ suffering. This is mention'd to vindicate Tragedy from the small esteem, or rather infamy, which in the account of many it undergoes at this day with other common Interludes; hap'ning through the Poets error of intermixing Comic stuff with Tragic sadness and gravity; or introducing trivial and vulgar persons, which by all judicious hath bin counted absurd; and brought in without discretion, corruptly to gratifie the people. And though antient Tragedy use no Prologue, yet using sometimes, in case of self defence, or explanation, that which Martial calls an Epistle; in behalf of this Tragedy coming forth after the antient manner, much different from what among us passes for best, thus much before-hand may be Epistl'd; that Chorus is here introduc'd after the Greek manner, not antient only but modern, and still in use among the Italians. In the modelling therefore of this Poem with good reason, the Antients and Italians are rather follow'd, as of much more authority and fame. The measure of Verse us'd in the Chorus is of all sorts, call'd by the Greeks Monostrophic, or rather Apolelymenon, without regard had to Strophe, Antistrophe or Epod, which were a kind of Stanza's fram'd only for the Music, then us'd with the Chorus that sung; not essential to the Poem, and therefore not material; or being divided into Stanza's or Pauses they may be call'd Allaeostropha. Division into Act and Scene referring chiefly to the Stage (to which this work never was intended) is here omitted.

It suffices if the whole Drama be found not produc't beyond the fift Act, of the style and uniformitie, and that commonly call'd the Plot, whether intricate or explicit, which is nothing indeed but such oeconomy, or disposition of the fable as may stand best with verisimilitude and decorum; they only will best judge who are not unacquainted with Aeschulus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the three Tragic Poets unequall'd yet by any, and the best rule to all who endeavour to write Tragedy. The circumscription of time wherein the whole Drama begins and ends, is according to antient rule, and best example, within the space of 24 hours.

The Argument.

Samson made Captive, Blind, and now in the Prison at Gaza, there to labour as in a common work-house, on a Festival day, in the general cessation from labour, comes forth into the open Air, to a place nigh, somewhat retir'd there to sit a while and bemoan his condition. Where he happens at length to be visited by certain friends and equals of his tribe, which make the Chorus, who seek to comfort him what they can; then by his old Father Manoa, who endeavours the like, and withal tells him his purpose to procure his liberty by ransom; lastly, that this Feast was proclaim'd by the Philistins as a day of Thanksgiving for thir deliverance from the hands of Samson, which yet more troubles him. Manoa then departs to prosecute his endeavour with the Philistian Lords for Samson's redemption; who in the mean while is visited by other persons; and lastly by a publick Officer to require coming to the Feast before the Lords and People, to play or shew his strength in thir presence; he at first refuses, dismissing the publick officer with absolute denyal to come; at length perswaded inwardly that this was from God, he yields to go along with him, who came now the second time with great threatnings to fetch him; the Chorus yet remaining on the place, Manoa returns full of joyful hope, to procure e're long his Sons deliverance: in the midst of which discourse an Ebrew comes in haste confusedly at first; and afterward more distinctly relating the Catastrophe, what Samson had done to the Philistins, and by accident to himself; wherewith the Tragedy ends.

  The Persons

  Manoa the father of Samson.
  Dalila his wife.
  Harapha of Gath.
  Publick Officer.
  Chorus of Danites
  The Scene before the Prison in Gaza.

  Sam:  A little onward lend thy guiding hand
  To these dark steps, a little further on;
  For yonder bank hath choice of Sun or shade,
  There I am wont to sit, when any chance
  Relieves me from my task of servile toyl,
  Daily in the common Prison else enjoyn'd me,
  Where I a Prisoner chain'd, scarce freely draw
  The air imprison'd also, close and damp,
  Unwholsom draught: but here I feel amends,
  The breath of Heav'n fresh-blowing, pure and sweet,                  10
  With day-spring born; here leave me to respire.
  This day a solemn Feast the people hold
  To Dagon thir Sea-Idol, and forbid
  Laborious works, unwillingly this rest
  Thir Superstition yields me; hence with leave
  Retiring from the popular noise, I seek
  This unfrequented place to find some ease,
  Ease to the body some, none to the mind
  From restless thoughts, that like a deadly swarm
  Of Hornets arm'd, no sooner found alone,                             20
  But rush upon me thronging, and present
  Times past, what once I was, and what am now.
  O wherefore was my birth from Heaven foretold
  Twice by an Angel, who at last in sight
  Of both my Parents all in flames ascended
  From off the Altar, where an Off'ring burn'd,
  As in a fiery column charioting
  His Godlike presence, and from some great act
  Or benefit reveal'd to Abraham's race?
  Why was my breeding order'd and prescrib'd                           30
  As of a person separate to God,
  Design'd for great exploits; if I must dye
  Betray'd, Captiv'd, and both my Eyes put out,
  Made of my Enemies the scorn and gaze;
  To grind in Brazen Fetters under task
  With this Heav'n-gifted strength? O glorious strength
  Put to the labour of a Beast, debas't
  Lower then bondslave! Promise was that I
  Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;
  Ask for this great Deliverer now, and find him                       40
  Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves,
  Himself in bonds under Philistian yoke;
  Yet stay, let me not rashly call in doubt
  Divine Prediction; what if all foretold
  Had been fulfilld but through mine own default,
  Whom have I to complain of but my self?
  Who this high gift of strength committed to me,
  In what part lodg'd, how easily bereft me,
  Under the Seal of silence could not keep,
  But weakly to a woman must reveal it                                 50
  O'recome with importunity and tears.
  O impotence of mind, in body strong!
  But what is strength without a double share
  Of wisdom, vast, unwieldy, burdensom,
  Proudly secure, yet liable to fall
  By weakest suttleties, not made to rule,
  But to subserve where wisdom bears command.
  God, when he gave me strength, to shew withal
  How slight the gift was, hung it in my Hair.
  But peace, I must not quarrel with the will                          60
  Of highest dispensation, which herein
  Happ'ly had ends above my reach to know:
  Suffices that to me strength is my bane,
  And proves the sourse of all my miseries;
  So many, and so huge, that each apart
  Would ask a life to wail, but chief of all,
  O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
  Blind among enemies, O worse then chains,
  Dungeon, or beggery, or decrepit age!
  Light the prime work of God to me is extinct,
  And all her various objects of delight
  Annull'd, which might in part my grief have eas'd,
  Inferiour to the vilest now become
  Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me,
  They creep, yet see, I dark in light expos'd
  To daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong,
  Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
  In power of others, never in my own;
  Scarce half I seem to live, dead more then half.
  O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,                          80
  Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse
  Without all hope of day!
  O first created Beam, and thou great Word,
  Let there be light, and light was over all;
  Why am I thus bereav'd thy prime decree?
  The Sun to me is dark
  And silent as the Moon,
  When she deserts the night
  Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.
  Since light so necessary is to life,                                 90
  And almost life itself, if it be true
  That light is in the Soul,
  She all in every part; why was the sight
  To such a tender ball as th' eye confin'd?
  So obvious and so easie to be quench't,
  And not as feeling through all parts diffus'd,
  That she might look at will through every pore?
  Then had I not been thus exil'd from light;
  As in the land of darkness yet in light,
  To live a life half dead, a living death,                           100
  And buried; but O yet more miserable!
  My self, my Sepulcher, a moving Grave,
  Buried, yet not exempt
  By priviledge of death and burial
  From worst of other evils, pains and wrongs,
  But made hereby obnoxious more
  To all the miseries of life,
  Life in captivity
  Among inhuman foes.
  But who are these? for with joint pace I hear                       110
  The tread of many feet stearing this way;
  Perhaps my enemies who come to stare
  At my affliction, and perhaps to insult,
  Thir daily practice to afflict me more.

  Chor:  This, this is he; softly a while,
  Let us not break in upon him;
  O change beyond report, thought, or belief!
  See how he lies at random, carelessly diffus'd,
  With languish't head unpropt,
  As one past hope, abandon'd                                         120
  And by himself given over;
  In slavish habit, ill-fitted weeds
  O're worn and soild;
  Or do my eyes misrepresent?  Can this be hee,
  That Heroic, that Renown'd,
  Irresistible Samson? whom unarm'd
  No strength of man, or fiercest wild beast could withstand;
  Who tore the Lion, as the Lion tears the Kid,
  Ran on embattelld Armies clad in Iron,
  And weaponless himself,                                             130
  Made Arms ridiculous, useless the forgery
  Of brazen shield and spear, the hammer'd Cuirass,
  Chalybean temper'd steel, and frock of mail
  Adamantean Proof;
  But safest he who stood aloof,
  When insupportably his foot advanc't,
  In scorn of thir proud arms and warlike tools,
  Spurn'd them to death by Troops.  The bold Ascalonite
  Fled from his Lion ramp, old Warriors turn'd
  Thir plated backs under his heel;                                   140
  Or grovling soild thir crested helmets in the dust.
  Then with what trivial weapon came to Hand,
  The Jaw of a dead Ass, his sword of bone,
  A thousand fore-skins fell, the flower of Palestin
  In Ramath-lechi famous to this day:
  Then by main force pull'd up, and on his shoulders bore
  The Gates of Azza, Post, and massie Bar
  Up to the Hill by Hebron, seat of Giants old,
  No journey of a Sabbath day, and loaded so;
  Like whom the Gentiles feign to bear up Heav'n.                     150
  Which shall I first bewail,
  Thy Bondage or lost Sight,
  Prison within Prison
  Inseparably dark?
  Thou art become (O worst imprisonment!)
  The Dungeon of thy self; thy Soul
   (Which Men enjoying sight oft without cause complain)
  Imprison'd now indeed,
  In real darkness of the body dwells,
  Shut up from outward light                                          160
  To incorporate with gloomy night;
  For inward light alas
  Puts forth no visual beam.
  O mirror of our fickle state,
  Since man on earth unparallel'd!
  The rarer thy example stands,
  By how much from the top of wondrous glory,
  Strongest of mortal men,
  To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall'n.
  For him I reckon not in high estate                                 170
  Whom long descent of birth
  Or the sphear of fortune raises;
  But thee whose strength, while vertue was her mate
  Might have subdu'd the Earth,
  Universally crown'd with highest praises.

  Sam:  I hear the sound of words, thir sense the air
  Dissolves unjointed e're it reach my ear.

  Chor:  Hee speaks, let us draw nigh.  Matchless in might,
  The glory late of Israel, now the grief;
  We come thy friends and neighbours not unknown                      180
  From Eshtaol and Zora's fruitful Vale
  To visit or bewail thee, or if better,
  Counsel or Consolation we may bring,
  Salve to thy Sores, apt words have power to swage
  The tumors of a troubl'd mind,
  And are as Balm to fester'd wounds.

  Sam:  Your coming, Friends, revives me, for I learn
  Now of my own experience, not by talk,
  How counterfeit a coin they are who friends
  Bear in their Superscription (of the most                           190
  I would be understood) in prosperous days
  They swarm, but in adverse withdraw their head
  Not to be found, though sought.  Wee see, O friends.
  How many evils have enclos'd me round;
  Yet that which was the worst now least afflicts me,
  Blindness, for had I sight, confus'd with shame,
  How could I once look up, or heave the head,
  Who like a foolish Pilot have shipwrack't,
  My Vessel trusted to me from above,
  Gloriously rigg'd; and for a word, a tear,                          200
  Fool, have divulg'd the secret gift of God
  To a deceitful Woman: tell me Friends,
  Am I not sung and proverbd for a Fool
  In every street, do they not say, how well
  Are come upon him his deserts? yet why?
  Immeasurable strength they might behold
  In me, of wisdom nothing more then mean;
  This with the other should, at least, have paird,
  These two proportiond ill drove me transverse.

  Chor:  Tax not divine disposal, wisest Men                          210
  Have err'd, and by bad Women been deceiv'd;
  And shall again, pretend they ne're so wise.
  Deject not then so overmuch thy self,
  Who hast of sorrow thy full load besides;
  Yet truth to say, I oft have heard men wonder
  Why thou shouldst wed Philistian women rather
  Then of thine own Tribe fairer, or as fair,
  At least of thy own Nation, and as noble.

  Sam:  The first I saw at Timna, and she pleas'd
  Mee, not my Parents, that I sought to wed,                          220
  The daughter of an Infidel: they knew not
  That what I motion'd was of God; I knew
  From intimate impulse, and therefore urg'd
  The Marriage on; that by occasion hence
  I might begin Israel's Deliverance,
  The work to which I was divinely call'd;
  She proving false, the next I took to Wife
  (O that I never had! fond wish too late)
  Was in the Vale of Sorec, Dalila,
  That specious Monster, my accomplisht snare.                        230
  I thought it lawful from my former act,
  And the same end; still watching to oppress
  Israel's oppressours: of what now I suffer
  She was not the prime cause, but I my self,
  Who vanquisht with a peal of words (O weakness!)
  Gave up my fort of silence to a Wo Man.

  Chor:  In seeking just occasion to provoke
  The Philistine, thy Countries Enemy,
  Thou never wast remiss, I hear thee witness:
  Yet Israel still serves with all his Sons.                          240

  Sam:  That fault I take not on me, but transfer
  On Israel's Governours, and Heads of Tribes,
  Who seeing those great acts which God had done
  Singly by me against their Conquerours
  Acknowledg'd not, or not at all consider'd
  Deliverance offerd: I on th' other side
  Us'd no ambition to commend my deeds,
  The deeds themselves, though mute, spoke loud the dooer;
  But they persisted deaf, and would not seem
  To count them things worth notice, till at length                   250
  Thir Lords the Philistines with gather'd powers
  Enterd Judea seeking mee, who then
  Safe to the rock of Etham was retir'd,
  Not flying, but fore-casting in what place
  To set upon them, what advantag'd best;
  Mean while the men of Judah to prevent
  The harrass of thir Land, beset me round;
  I willingly on some conditions came
  Into thir hands, and they as gladly yield me
  To the uncircumcis'd a welcom prey,                                 260
  Bound with two cords; but cords to me were threds
  Toucht with the flame: on thir whole Host I flew
  Unarm'd, and with a trivial weapon fell'd
  Thir choicest youth; they only liv'd who fled.
  Had Judah that day join'd, or one whole Tribe,
  They had by this possess'd the Towers of Gath,
  And lorded over them whom now they serve;
  But what more oft in Nations grown corrupt,
  And by thir vices brought to servitude,
  Then to love Bondage more then Liberty,                             270
  Bondage with ease then strenuous liberty;
  And to despise, or envy, or suspect
  Whom God hath of his special favour rais'd
  As thir Deliverer; if he aught begin,
  How frequent to desert him, and at last
  To heap ingratitude on worthiest deeds?

  Chor:  Thy words to my remembrance bring
  How Succoth and the Fort of Penuel
  Thir great Deliverer contemn'd,
  The matchless Gideon in pursuit                                     280
  Of Madian and her vanquisht Kings;
  And how ingrateful Ephraim
  Not worse then by his shield and spear
  Had dealt with Jephtha, who by argument,
  Defended Israel from the Ammonite,
  Had not his prowess quell'd thir pride
  In that sore battel when so many dy'd
  Without Reprieve adjudg'd to death,
  For want of well pronouncing Shibboleth.

  Sam:  Of such examples adde mee to the roul,                        290
  Mee easily indeed mine may neglect,
  But Gods propos'd deliverance not so.

  Chor: Just are the ways of God,
  And justifiable to Men;
  Unless there be who think not God at all,
  If any be, they walk obscure;
  For of such Doctrine never was there School,
  But the heart of the Fool,
  And no man therein Doctor but himself.
  Yet more there be who doubt his ways not just,                      300
  As to his own edicts, found contradicting,
  Then give the rains to wandring thought,
  Regardless of his glories diminution;
  Till by thir own perplexities involv'd
  They ravel more, still less resolv'd,
  But never find self-satisfying solution.
  As if they would confine th' interminable,
  And tie him to his own prescript,
  Who made our Laws to bind us, not himself,
  And hath full right to exempt                                       310
  Whom so it pleases him by choice
  From National obstriction, without taint
  Of sin, or legal debt;
  For with his own Laws he can best dispence.
  He would not else who never wanted means,
  Nor in respect of the enemy just cause
  To set his people free,
  Have prompted this Heroic Nazarite,
  Against his vow of strictest purity,
  To seek in marriage that fallacious Bride,                          320
  Unclean, unchaste.
  Down Reason then, at least vain reasonings down,
  Though Reason here aver
  That moral verdit quits her of unclean:
  Unchaste was subsequent, her stain not his.
  But see here comes thy reverend Sire
  With careful step, Locks white as doune,
  Old Manoah: advise
  Forthwith how thou oughtst to receive him.

  Sam:  Ay me, another inward grief awak't,                           330
  With mention of that name renews th' assault.

  Man:  Brethren and men of Dan, for such ye seem,
  Though in this uncouth place; if old respect,
  As I suppose, towards your once gloried friend,
  My Son now Captive, hither hath inform'd
  Your younger feet, while mine cast back with age
  Came lagging after; say if he be here.

  Chor:  As signal now in low dejected state,
  As earst in highest; behold him where he lies.

  Man:  O miserable change! is this the man,                          340
  That invincible Samson, far renown'd,
  The dread of Israel's foes, who with a strength
  Equivalent to Angels walk'd thir streets,
  None offering fight; who single combatant
  Duell'd thir Armies rank't in proud array,
  Himself an Army, now unequal match
  To save himself against a coward arm'd
  At one spears length.  O ever failing trust
  In mortal strength! and oh what not in man
  Deceivable and vain! Nay what thing good                            350
  Pray'd for, but often proves our woe, our bane?
  I pray'd for Children, and thought barrenness
  In wedlock a reproach; I gain'd a Son,
  And such a Son as all Men hail'd me happy;
  Who would be now a Father in my stead?
  O wherefore did God grant me my request,
  And as a blessing with such pomp adorn'd?
  Why are his gifts desirable, to tempt
  Our earnest Prayers, then giv'n with solemn hand
  As Graces, draw a Scorpions tail behind?                            360
  For this did the Angel twice descend? for this
  Ordain'd thy nurture holy, as of a Plant;
  Select, and Sacred, Glorious for a while,
  The miracle of men: then in an hour
  Ensnar'd, assaulted, overcome, led bound,
  Thy Foes derision, Captive, Poor, and Blind
  Into a Dungeon thrust, to work with Slaves?
  Alas methinks whom God hath chosen once
  To worthiest deeds, if he through frailty err,
  He should not so o'rewhelm, and as a thrall                         370
  Subject him to so foul indignities,
  Be it but for honours sake of former deeds.

  Sam:  Appoint not heavenly disposition, Father,
  Nothing of all these evils hath befall'n me
  But justly; I my self have brought them on,
  Sole Author I, sole cause: if aught seem vile,
  As vile hath been my folly, who have profan'd
  The mystery of God giv'n me under pledge
  Of vow, and have betray'd it to a woman,
  A Canaanite, my faithless enemy.                                    380
  This well I knew, nor was at all surpris'd,
  But warn'd by oft experience: did not she
  Of Timna first betray me, and reveal
  The secret wrested from me in her highth
  Of Nuptial Love profest, carrying it strait
  To them who had corrupted her, my Spies,
  And Rivals? In this other was there found
  More Faith? who also in her prime of love,
  Spousal embraces, vitiated with Gold,
  Though offer'd only, by the sent conceiv'd                          390
  Her spurious first-born; Treason against me?
  Thrice she assay'd with flattering prayers and sighs,
  And amorous reproaches to win from me
  My capital secret, in what part my strength
  Lay stor'd in what part summ'd, that she might know:
  Thrice I deluded her, and turn'd to sport
  Her importunity, each time perceiving
  How openly, and with what impudence
  She purpos'd to betray me, and (which was worse
  Then undissembl'd hate) with what contempt                          400
  She sought to make me Traytor to my self;
  Yet the fourth time, when mustring all her wiles,
  With blandisht parlies, feminine assaults,
  Tongue-batteries, she surceas'd not day nor night
  To storm me over-watch't, and wearied out.
  At times when men seek most repose and rest,
  I yielded, and unlock'd her all my heart,
  Who with a grain of manhood well resolv'd
  Might easily have shook off all her snares:
  But foul effeminacy held me yok't                                   410
  Her Bond-slave; O indignity, O blot
  To Honour and Religion! servil mind
  Rewarded well with servil punishment!
  The base degree to which I now am fall'n,
  These rags, this grinding, is not yet so base
  As was my former servitude, ignoble,
  Unmanly, ignominious, infamous,
  True slavery, and that blindness worse then this,
  That saw not how degeneratly I serv'd.

  Man:  I cannot praise thy Marriage choises, Son,                    420
  Rather approv'd them not; but thou didst plead
  Divine impulsion prompting how thou might'st
  Find some occasion to infest our Foes.
  I state not that; this I am sure; our Foes
  Found soon occasion thereby to make thee
  Thir Captive, and thir triumph; thou the sooner
  Temptation found'st, or over-potent charms
  To violate the sacred trust of silence
  Deposited within thee; which to have kept
  Tacit, was in thy power; true; and thou hear'st                     430
  Enough, and more the burden of that fault;
  Bitterly hast thou paid, and still art paying
  That rigid score.  A worse thing yet remains,
  This day the Philistines a popular Feast
  Here celebrate in Gaza, and proclaim
  Great Pomp, and Sacrifice, and Praises loud
  To Dagon, as their God who hath deliver'd
  Thee Samson bound and blind into thir hands,
  Them out of thine, who slew'st them many a slain.
  So Dagon shall be magnifi'd, and God,                               440
  Besides whom is no God, compar'd with Idols,
  Disglorifi'd, blasphem'd, and had in scorn
  By th' Idolatrous rout amidst thir wine;
  Which to have come to pass by means of thee,
  Samson, of all thy sufferings think the heaviest,
  Of all reproach the most with shame that ever
  Could have befall'n thee and thy Fathers house.

  Sam:  Father, I do acknowledge and confess
  That I this honour, I this pomp have brought
  To Dagon, and advanc'd his praises high                             450
  Among the Heathen round; to God have brought
  Dishonour, obloquie, and op't the mouths
  Of Idolists, and Atheists; have brought scandal
  To Israel diffidence of God, and doubt
  In feeble hearts, propense anough before
  To waver, or fall off and joyn with Idols:
  Which is my chief affliction, shame and sorrow,
  The anguish of my Soul, that suffers not
  Mine eie to harbour sleep, or thoughts to rest.
  This only hope relieves me, that the strife                         460
  With me hath end; all the contest is now
  'Twixt God and Dagon; Dagon hath presum'd,
  Me overthrown, to enter lists with God,
  His Deity comparing and preferring
  Before the God of Abraham. He, be sure,
  Will not connive, or linger, thus provok'd,
  But will arise and his great name assert:
  Dagon must stoop, and shall e're long receive
  Such a discomfit, as shall quite despoil him
  Of all these boasted Trophies won on me,                            470
  And with confusion blank his Worshippers.

  Man: With cause this hope relieves thee, and these words
  I as a Prophecy receive: for God,
  Nothing more certain, will not long defer
  To vindicate the glory of his name
  Against all competition, nor will long
  Endure it, doubtful whether God be Lord,
  Or Dagon.  But for thee what shall be done?
  Thou must not in the mean while here forgot
  Lie in this miserable loathsom plight                               480
  Neglected.  I already have made way
  To some Philistian Lords, with whom to treat
  About thy ransom: well they may by this
  Have satisfi'd thir utmost of revenge
  By pains and slaveries, worse then death inflicted
  On thee, who now no more canst do them harm.

  Sam:  Spare that proposal, Father, spare the trouble
  Of that sollicitation; let me here,
  As I deserve, pay on my punishment;
  And expiate, if possible, my crime,                                 490
  Shameful garrulity.  To have reveal'd
  Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend,
  How hainous had the fact been, how deserving
  Contempt, and scorn of all, to be excluded
  All friendship, and avoided as a blab,
  The mark of fool set on his front?
  But I Gods counsel have not kept, his holy  secret
  Presumptuously have publish'd, impiously,
  Weakly at least, and shamefully: A sin
  That Gentiles in thir Parables condemn                              500
  To thir abyss and horrid pains confin'd.

  Man: Be penitent and for thy fault contrite,
  But act not in thy own affliction, Son,
  Repent the sin, but if the punishment
  Thou canst avoid, selfpreservation bids;
  Or th' execution leave to high disposal,
  And let another hand, not thine, exact
  Thy penal forfeit from thy self; perhaps
  God will relent, and quit thee all his debt;
  Who evermore approves and more accepts                              510
  (Best pleas'd with humble and filial submission)
  Him who imploring mercy sues for life,
  Then who selfrigorous chooses death as due;
  Which argues overjust, and self-displeas'd
  For self-offence, more then for God offended.
  Reject not then what offerd means, who knows
  But God hath set before us, to return thee
  Home to thy countrey and his sacred house,
  Where thou mayst bring thy off'rings, to avert
  His further ire, with praiers and vows renew'd.                     520

  Sam:  His pardon I implore; but as for life,
  To what end should I seek it? when in strength
  All mortals I excell'd, and great in hopes
  With youthful courage and magnanimous thoughts
  Of birth from  Heav'n foretold and high exploits,
  Full of divine instinct, after some proof
  Of acts indeed heroic, far beyond
  The Sons of Anac, famous now and blaz'd,
  Fearless of danger, like a petty God
  I walk'd about admir'd of all and dreaded                           530
  On hostile ground, none daring my affront.
  Then swoll'n with pride into the snare I fell
  Of fair fallacious looks, venereal trains,
  Softn'd with pleasure and voluptuous life;
  At length to lay my head and hallow'd pledge
  Of all my strength in the lascivious lap
  Of a deceitful Concubine who shore me
  Like a tame Weather, all my precious fleece,
  Then turn'd me out ridiculous, despoil'd,
  Shav'n, and disarm'd among my enemies.                              540

  Chor:  Desire of wine and all delicious drinks,
  Which many a famous Warriour overturns,
  Thou couldst repress, nor did the dancing Rubie
  Sparkling; out-pow'rd, the flavor, or the smell,
  Or taste that cheers the heart of Gods and men,
  Allure thee from the cool Crystalline stream.

  Sam: Where ever fountain or fresh current flow'd
  Against the Eastern ray, translucent, pure,
  With touch aetherial of Heav'ns fiery rod
  I drank, from the clear milkie juice allaying                       550
  Thirst, and refresht; nor envy'd them the grape
  Whose heads that turbulent liquor fills with fumes.

  Chor:  O madness, to think use of strongest wines
  And strongest drinks our chief support of health,
  When God with these forbid'n made choice to rear
  His mighty Champion, strong above compare,
  Whose drink was only from the liquid brook.

  Sam:  But what avail'd this temperance, not compleat
  Against another object more enticing?
  What boots it at one gate to make defence,                          560
  And at another to let in the foe
  Effeminatly vanquish't? by which means,
  Now blind, disheartn'd, sham'd, dishonour'd, quell'd,
  To what can I be useful, wherein serve
  My Nation, and the work from Heav'n impos'd,
  But to sit idle on the houshold hearth,
  A burdenous drone; to visitants a gaze,
  Or pitied object, these redundant locks
  Robustious to no purpose clustring down,
  Vain monument of strength; till length of years                     570
  And sedentary numness craze my limbs
  To a contemptible old age obscure.
  Here rather let me drudge and earn my bread,
  Till vermin or the draff of servil food
  Consume me, and oft-invocated death
  Hast'n the welcom end of all my pains.

  Man:  Wilt thou then serve the Philistines with that gift
  Which was expresly giv'n thee to annoy them?
  Better at home lie bed-rid, not only idle,
  Inglorious, unimploy'd, with age out-worn.                          580
  But God who caus'd a fountain at thy prayer
  From the dry ground to spring, thy thirst to allay
  After the brunt of battel, can as easie
  Cause light again within thy eies to spring,
  Wherewith to serve him better then thou hast;
  And I perswade me so; why else this strength
  Miraculous yet remaining in those locks?
  His might continues in thee not for naught,
  Nor shall his wondrous gifts be frustrate thus.

  Sam:  All otherwise to me my thoughts portend,                      590
  That these dark orbs no more shall treat with light,
  Nor th' other light of life continue long,
  But yield to double darkness nigh at hand:
  So much I feel my genial spirits droop,
  My hopes all flat, nature within me seems
  In all her functions weary of herself;
  My race of glory run, and race of shame,
  And I shall shortly be with them that rest.

  Man:  Believe not these suggestions which proceed
  From anguish of the mind and humours black,                         600
  That mingle with thy fancy.  I however
  Must not omit a Fathers timely care
  To prosecute the means of thy deliverance
  By ransom or how else: mean while be calm,
  And healing words from these thy friends admit.

  Sam:  O that torment should not be confin'd
  To the bodies wounds and sores
  With maladies innumerable
  In heart, head, brest, and reins;
  But must secret passage find                                        610
  To th' inmost mind,
  There exercise all his fierce accidents,
  And on her purest spirits prey,
  As on entrails, joints, and limbs,
  With answerable pains, but more intense,
  'Though void of corporal sense.
  My griefs not only pain me
  As a lingring disease,
  But finding no redress, ferment and rage,
  Nor less then wounds immedicable                                    620
  Ranckle, and fester, and gangrene,
  To black mortification.
  Thoughts my Tormenters arm'd with deadly stings
  Mangle my apprehensive tenderest parts,
  Exasperate, exulcerate, and raise
  Dire inflammation which no cooling herb
  Or medcinal liquor can asswage,
  Nor breath of Vernal Air from snowy Alp.
  Sleep hath forsook and giv'n me o're
  To deaths benumming Opium as my only cure.                          630
  Thence faintings, swounings of despair,
  And sense of Heav'ns desertion.
  I was his nursling once and choice delight,
  His destin'd from the womb,
  Promisd by Heavenly message twice descending.
  Under his special eie
  Abstemious I grew up and thriv'd amain;
  He led me on to mightiest deeds
  Above the nerve of mortal arm
  Against the uncircumcis'd, our enemies.                             640
  But now hath cast me off as never known,
  And to those cruel enemies,
  Whom I by his appointment had provok't,
  Left me all helpless with th' irreparable loss
  Of sight, reserv'd alive to be repeated
  The subject of thir cruelty, or scorn.
  Nor am I in the list of them that hope;
  Hopeless are all my evils, all remediless;
  This one prayer yet remains, might I be heard,
  No long petition, speedy death,                                     650
  The close of all my miseries, and the balm.

  Chor:  Many are the sayings of the wise
  In antient and in modern books enroll'd;
  Extolling Patience as the truest fortitude;
  And to the bearing well of all calamities,
  All chances incident to mans frail life
  Consolatories writ
  With studied argument, and much perswasion sought
  Lenient of grief and anxious thought,
  But with th' afflicted in his pangs thir sound                      680
  Little prevails, or rather seems a tune,
  Harsh, and of dissonant mood from his complaint,
  Unless he feel within
  Some sourse of consolation from above;
  Secret refreshings, that repair his strength,
  And fainting spirits uphold.
  God of our Fathers, what is man!
  That thou towards him with hand so various,
  Or might I say contrarious,
  Temperst thy providence through his short course,                   670
  Not evenly, as thou rul'st
  The Angelic orders and inferiour creatures mute,
  Irrational and brute.
  Nor do I name of men the common rout,
  That wandring loose about
  Grow up and perish, as the summer flie,
  Heads without name no more rememberd,
  But such as thou hast solemnly elected,
  With gifts and graces eminently adorn'd
  To some great work, thy glory,                                      680
  And peoples safety, which in part they effect:
  Yet toward these thus dignifi'd, thou oft
  Amidst thir highth of noon,
  Changest thy countenance, and thy hand with no regard
  Of highest favours past
  From thee on them, or them to thee of service.
  Nor only dost degrade them, or remit
  To life obscur'd, which were a fair dismission,
  But throw'st them lower then thou didst exalt them high,
  Unseemly falls in human eie,                                        690
  Too grievous for the trespass or omission,
  Oft leav'st them to the hostile sword
  Of Heathen and prophane, thir carkasses
  To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captiv'd:
  Or to the unjust tribunals, under change of times,
  And condemnation of the ingrateful multitude.
  If these they scape, perhaps in poverty
  With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down,
  Painful diseases and deform'd,                                      700
  In crude old age;
  Though not disordinate, yet causless suffring
  The punishment of dissolute days, in fine,
  Just or unjust, alike seem miserable,
  For oft alike, both come to evil end.
  So deal not with this once thy glorious Champion,
  The Image of thy strength, and mighty minister.
  What do I beg? how hast thou dealt already?
  Behold him in this state calamitous, and turn
  His labours, for thou canst, to peaceful end.
  But who is this, what thing of Sea or Land?                         710
  Femal of sex it seems,
  That so bedeckt, ornate, and gay,
  Comes this way sailing
  Like a stately Ship
  Of Tarsus, bound for th' Isles
  Of Javan or Gadier
  With all her bravery on, and tackle trim,
  Sails fill'd, and streamers waving,
  Courted by all the winds that hold them play,
  An Amber sent of odorous perfume                                    720
  Her harbinger, a damsel train behind;
  Some rich Philistian Matron she may seem,
  And now at nearer view, no other certain
  Than Dalila thy wife.

  Sam:  My Wife, my Traytress, let her not come near me.

  Cho:  Yet on she moves, now stands & eies thee fixt,
  About t'have spoke, but now, with head declin'd
  Like a fair flower surcharg'd with dew, she weeps
  And words addrest seem into tears dissolv'd,
  Wetting the borders of her silk'n veil:                             730
  But now again she makes address to speak.

  Dal:  With doubtful feet and wavering resolution
  I came, still dreading thy displeasure, Samson,
  Which to have merited, without excuse,
  I cannot but acknowledge; yet if tears
  May expiate (though the fact more evil drew
  In the perverse event then I foresaw)
  My penance hath not slack'n'd, though my pardon
  No way assur'd.  But conjugal affection
  Prevailing over fear, and timerous doubt                            740
  Hath led me on desirous to behold
  Once more thy face, and know of thy estate.
  If aught in my ability may serve
  To light'n what thou suffer'st, and appease
  Thy mind with what amends is in my power,
  Though late, yet in some part to recompense
  My rash but more unfortunate misdeed.

  Sam:  Out, out Hyaena; these are thy wonted arts,
  And arts of every woman false like thee,
  To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray,                      750
  Then as repentant to submit, beseech,
  And reconcilement move with feign'd remorse,
  Confess, and promise wonders in her change,
  Not truly penitent, but chief to try
  Her husband, how far urg'd his patience bears,
  His vertue or weakness which way to assail:
  Then with more cautious and instructed skill
  Again transgresses, and again submits;
  That wisest and best men full oft beguil'd
  With goodness principl'd not to reject                              760
  The penitent, but ever to forgive,
  Are drawn to wear out miserable days,
  Entangl'd with a poysnous bosom snake,
  If not by quick destruction soon cut off
  As I by thee, to Ages an example.

  Dal: Yet hear me Samson; not that I endeavour
  To lessen or extenuate my offence,
  But that on th' other side if it be weigh'd
  By it self, with aggravations not surcharg'd,
  Or else with just allowance counterpois'd                           770
  I may, if possible, thy pardon find
  The easier towards me, or thy hatred less.
  First granting, as I do, it was a weakness
  In me, but incident to all our sex,
  Curiosity, inquisitive, importune
  Of secrets, then with like infirmity
  To publish them, both common female faults:
  Was it not weakness also to make known
  For importunity, that is for naught,
  Wherein consisted all thy strength and safety?                      780
  To what I did thou shewdst me first the way.
  But I to enemies reveal'd, and should not.
  Nor shouldst thou have trusted that to womans frailty
  E're I to thee, thou to thy self wast cruel.
  Let weakness then with weakness come to parl
  So near related, or the same of kind,
  Thine forgive mine; that men may censure thine
  The gentler, if severely thou exact not
  More strength from me, then in thy self was found.
  And what if Love, which thou interpret'st hate,                     790
  The jealousie of Love, powerful of sway
  In human hearts, nor less in mine towards thee,
  Caus'd what I did? I saw thee mutable
  Of fancy, feard lest one day thou wouldst leave me
  As her at Timna, sought by all means therefore
  How to endear, and hold thee to me firmest:
  No better way I saw then by importuning
  To learn thy secrets, get into my power
  Thy key of strength and safety: thou wilt say,
  Why then reveal'd? I was assur'd by those                           800
  Who tempted me, that nothing was design'd
  Against thee but safe custody, and hold:
  That made for me, I knew that liberty
  Would draw thee forth to perilous enterprises,
  While I at home sate full of cares and fears
  Wailing thy absence in my widow'd bed;
  Here I should still enjoy thee day and night
  Mine and Loves prisoner, not the Philistines,
  Whole to my self, unhazarded abroad,
  Fearless at home of partners in my love.                            810
  These reasons in Loves law have past for good,
  Though fond and reasonless to some perhaps:
  And Love hath oft, well meaning, wrought much wo,
  Yet always pity or pardon hath obtain'd.
  Be not unlike all others, not austere
  As thou art strong, inflexible as steel.
  If thou in strength all mortals dost exceed,
  In uncompassionate anger do not so.

  Sam:  How cunningly the sorceress displays
  Her own transgressions, to upbraid me mine!                         820
  That malice not repentance brought thee hither,
  By this appears: I gave, thou say'st, th' example,
  I led the way; bitter reproach, but true,
  I to my self was false e're thou to me,
  Such pardon therefore as I give my folly,
  Take to thy wicked deed: which when thou seest
  Impartial, self-severe, inexorable,
  Thou wilt renounce thy seeking, and much rather
  Confess it feign'd, weakness is thy excuse,
  And I believe it, weakness to resist                                830
  Philistian gold: if weakness may excuse,
  What Murtherer, what Traytor, Parricide,
  Incestuous, Sacrilegious, but may plead it?
  All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
  With God or Man will gain thee no remission.
  But Love constrain'd thee; call it furious rage
  To satisfie thy lust: Love seeks to have Love;
  My love how couldst thou hope, who tookst the way
  To raise in me inexpiable hate,
  Knowing, as needs I must, by thee betray'd?                        840
  In vain thou striv'st to cover shame with shame,
  Or by evasions thy crime uncoverst more.

  Dal:  Since thou determinst weakness for no plea
  In man or woman, though to thy own condemning,
  Hear what assaults I had, what snares besides,
  What sieges girt me round, e're I consented;
  Which might have aw'd the best resolv'd of men,
  The constantest to have yielded without blame.
  It was not gold, as to my charge thou lay'st,
  That wrought with me: thou know'st the Magistrates                  850
  And Princes of my countrey came in person,
  Sollicited, commanded, threatn'd, urg'd,
  Adjur'd by all the bonds of civil Duty
  And of Religion, press'd how just it was,
  How honourable, how glorious to entrap
  A common enemy, who had destroy'd
  Such numbers of our Nation: and the Priest
  Was not behind, but ever at my ear,
  Preaching how meritorious with the gods
  It would be to ensnare an irreligious                               860
  Dishonourer of Dagon: what had I
  To oppose against such powerful arguments?
  Only my love of thee held long debate;
  And combated in silence all these reasons
  With hard contest: at length that grounded maxim
  So rife and celebrated in the mouths
  Of wisest men; that to the public good
  Private respects must yield; with grave authority'
  Took full possession of me and prevail'd;
  Vertue, as I thought, truth, duty so enjoyning.                     870

  Sam:  I thought where all thy circling wiles would end;
  In feign'd Religion, smooth hypocrisie.
  But had thy love, still odiously pretended,
  Bin, as it ought, sincere, it would have taught thee
  Far other reasonings, brought forth other deeds.
  I before all the daughters of my Tribe
  And of my Nation chose thee from among
  My enemies, lov'd thee, as too well thou knew'st,
  Too well, unbosom'd all my secrets to thee,
  Not out of levity, but over-powr'd                                  880
  By thy request, who could deny thee nothing;
  Yet now am judg'd an enemy.  Why then
  Didst thou at first receive me for thy husband?
  Then, as since then, thy countries foe profest:
  Being once a wife, for me thou wast to leave
  Parents and countrey; nor was I their subject,
  Nor under their protection but my own,
  Thou mine, not theirs: if aught against my life
  Thy countrey sought of thee, it sought unjustly,
  Against the law of nature, law of nations,                          890
  No more thy countrey, but an impious crew
  Of men conspiring to uphold thir state
  By worse than hostile deeds, violating the ends
  For which our countrey is a name so dear;
  Not therefore to be obey'd.  But zeal mov'd thee;
  To please thy gods thou didst it; gods unable
  To acquit themselves and prosecute their foes
  But by ungodly deeds, the contradiction
  Of their own deity, Gods cannot be:
  Less therefore to be pleas'd, obey'd, or fear'd,                    900
  These false pretexts and varnish'd colours failing,
  Bare in thy guilt how foul must thou appear?

  Dal:  In argument with men a woman ever
  Goes by the worse, whatever be her cause.

  Sam:  For want of words no doubt, or lack of breath,
  Witness when I was worried with thy peals.

  Dal:  I was a fool, too rash, and quite mistaken
  In what I thought would have succeeded best.
  Let me obtain forgiveness of thee, Samson,
  Afford me place to shew what recompence                             910
  Towards thee I intend for what I have misdone,
  Misguided: only what remains past cure
  Bear not too sensibly, nor still insist
  To afflict thy self in vain: though sight be lost,
  Life yet hath many solaces, enjoy'd
  Where other senses want not their delights
  At home in leisure and domestic ease,
  Exempt from many a care and chance to which
  Eye-sight exposes daily men abroad.
  I to the Lords will intercede, not doubting                         920
  Thir favourable ear, that I may fetch thee
  From forth this loathsom prison-house, to abide
  With me, where my redoubl'd love and care
  With nursing diligence, to me glad office,
  May ever tend about thee to old age
  With all things grateful chear'd, and so suppli'd,
  That what by me thou hast lost thou least shalt miss.

  Sam:  No, no, of my condition take no care;
  It fits not; thou and I long since are twain;
  Nor think me so unwary or accurst                                   930
  To bring my feet again into the snare
  Where once I have been caught; I know thy trains
  Though dearly to my cost, thy ginns, and toyls;
  Thy fair enchanted cup, and warbling charms
  No more on me have power, their force is null'd,
  So much of Adders wisdom I have learn't
  To fence my ear against thy sorceries.
  If in my flower of youth and strength, when all men
  Lov'd, honour'd, fear'd me, thou alone could hate me
  Thy Husband, slight me, sell me, and forgo me;                      940
  How wouldst thou use me now, blind, and thereby
  Deceiveable, in most things as a child
  Helpless, thence easily contemn'd, and scorn'd,
  And last neglected? How wouldst thou insult
  When I must live uxorious to thy will
  In perfet thraldom, how again betray me,
  Bearing my words and doings to the Lords
  To gloss upon, and censuring, frown or smile?
  This Gaol I count the house of Liberty
  To thine whose doors my feet shall never enter.                     950

  Dal:  Let me approach at least, and touch thy hand.

  Sam:  Not for thy life, lest fierce remembrance wake
  My sudden rage to tear thee joint by joint.
  At distance I forgive thee, go with that;
  Bewail thy falshood, and the pious works
  It hath brought forth to make thee memorable
  Among illustrious women, faithful wives:
  Cherish thy hast'n'd widowhood with the gold
  Of Matrimonial treason: so farewel.

  Dal:  I see thou art implacable, more deaf                          960
  To prayers, then winds and seas, yet winds to seas
  Are reconcil'd at length, and Sea to Shore:
  Thy anger, unappeasable, still rages,
  Eternal tempest never to be calm'd.
  Why do I humble thus my self, and suing
  For peace, reap nothing but repulse and hate?
  Bid go with evil omen and the brand
  Of infamy upon my name denounc't?
  To mix with thy concernments I desist
  Henceforth, nor too much disapprove my own.                         970
  Fame if not double-fac't is double-mouth'd,
  And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds,
  On both his wings, one black, th' other white,
  Bears greatest names in his wild aerie flight.
  My name perhaps among the Circumcis'd
  In Dan, in Judah, and the bordering Tribes,
  To all posterity may stand defam'd,
  With malediction mention'd, and the blot
  Of falshood most unconjugal traduc't.
  But in my countrey where I most desire,                             980
  In Ecron, Gaza, Asdod, and in Gath
  I shall be nam'd among the famousest
  Of Women, sung at solemn festivals,
  Living and dead recorded, who to save
  Her countrey from a fierce destroyer, chose
  Above the faith of wedlock-bands, my tomb
  With odours visited and annual flowers.
  Not less renown'd then in Mount Ephraim,
  Jael who with inhospitable guile
  Smote Sisera sleeping through the Temples nail'd.                   990
  Nor shall I count it hainous to enjoy
  The public marks of honour and reward
  Conferr'd upon me, for the piety
  Which to my countrey I was judg'd to have shewn.
  At this who ever envies or repines
  I leave him to his lot, and like my own.

  Chor:  She's gone, a manifest Serpent by her sting
  Discover'd in the end, till now conceal'd.

  Sam:  So let her go, God sent her to debase me,
  And aggravate my folly who committed                               1000
  To such a viper his most sacred trust
  Of secresie, my safety, and my life.

  Chor:  Yet beauty, though injurious, hath strange power,
  After offence returning, to regain
  Love once possest, nor can be easily
  Repuls't, without much inward passion felt
  And secret sting of amorous remorse.

  Sam:  Love-quarrels oft in pleasing concord end,
  Not wedlock-trechery endangering life.

  Chor:  It is not vertue, wisdom, valour, wit,                      1010
  Strength, comliness of shape, or amplest merit
  That womans love can win or long inherit;
  But what it is, hard is to say,
  Harder to hit,
  (Which way soever men refer it)
  Much like thy riddle, Samson, in one day
  Or seven, though one should musing sit;
  If any of these or all, the Timnian bride
  Had not so soon preferr'd
  Thy Paranymph, worthless to thee compar'd,                         1020
  Successour in thy bed,
  Nor both so loosly disally'd
  Thir nuptials, nor this last so trecherously
  Had shorn the fatal harvest of thy head.
  Is it for that such outward ornament
  Was lavish't on thir Sex, that inward gifts
  Were left for hast unfinish't, judgment scant,
  Capacity not rais'd to apprehend
  Or value what is best
  In choice, but oftest to affect the wrong?                         1030
  Or was too much of self-love mixt,
  Of constancy no root infixt,
  That either they love nothing, or not long?
  What e're it be, to wisest men and best
  Seeming at first all heavenly under virgin veil,
  Soft, modest, meek, demure,
  Once join'd, the contrary she proves, a thorn
  Intestin, far within defensive arms
  A cleaving mischief, in his way to vertue
  Adverse and turbulent, or by her charms                            1040
  Draws him awry enslav'd
  With dotage, and his sense deprav'd
  To folly and shameful deeds which ruin ends.
  What Pilot so expert but needs must wreck
  Embarqu'd with such a Stears-mate at the Helm?
  Favour'd of Heav'n who finds
  One vertuous rarely found,
  That in domestic good combines:
  Happy that house! his way to peace is smooth:
  But vertue which breaks through all opposition,                    1050
  And all temptation can remove,
  Most shines and most is acceptable above.
  Therefore Gods universal Law
  Gave to the man despotic power
  Over his female in due awe,
  Nor from that right to part an hour,
  Smile she or lowre:
  So shall he least confusion draw
  On his whole life, not sway'd
  By female usurpation, nor dismay'd.                                1060
  But had we best retire, I see a storm?

  Sam:  Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain.

  Chor:  But this another kind of tempest brings.

  Sam:  Be less abstruse, my riddling days are past.

  Chor:  Look now for no inchanting voice, nor fear
  The bait of honied words; a rougher tongue
  Draws hitherward, I know him by his stride,
  The Giant Harapha of Gath, his look
  Haughty as is his pile high-built and proud.
  Comes he in peace? what wind hath blown him hither                 1070
  I less conjecture then when first I saw
  The sumptuous Dalila floating this way:
  His habit carries peace, his brow defiance.

  Sam:  Or peace or not, alike to me he comes.

  Chor:  His fraught we soon shall know, he now arrives.

  Har:  I come not Samson, to condole thy chance,
  As these perhaps, yet wish it had not been,
  Though for no friendly intent.  I am of Gath,
  Men call me Harapha, of stock renown'd
  As Og or Anak and the Emims old                                    1080
  That Kiriathaim held, thou knowst me now
  If thou at all art known.  Much I have heard
  Of thy prodigious might and feats perform'd
  Incredible to me, in this displeas'd,
  That I was never present on the place
  Of those encounters, where we might have tri'd
  Each others force in camp or listed field:
  And now am come to see of whom such noise
  Hath walk'd about, and each limb to survey,
  If thy appearance answer loud report.                              1090

  Sam:  The way to know were not to see but taste.

  Har:  Dost thou already single me; I thought
  Gives and the Mill had tam'd thee? O that fortune
  Had brought me to the field where thou art fam'd
  To have wrought such wonders with an Asses Jaw;
  I should have forc'd thee soon with other arms,
  Or left thy carkass where the Ass lay thrown:
  So had the glory of Prowess been recover'd
  To Palestine, won by a Philistine
  From the unforeskinn'd race, of whom thou hear'st                  1100
  The highest name for valiant Acts, that honour
  Certain to have won by mortal duel from thee,
  I lose, prevented by thy eyes put out.

  Sam:  Boast not of what thou wouldst have done, but do
  What then thou would'st, thou seest it in thy hand.

  Har:  To combat with a blind man I disdain
  And thou hast need much washing to be toucht.

  Sam:  Such usage as your honourable Lords
  Afford me assassinated and betray'd,
  Who durst not with thir whole united powers                        1110
  In fight withstand me single and unarm'd,
  Nor in the house with chamber Ambushes
  Close-banded durst attaque me, no not sleeping,
  Till they had hir'd a woman with their gold
  Breaking her Marriage Faith to circumvent me.
  Therefore without feign'd shifts let be assign'd
  Some narrow place enclos'd, where sight may give thee.
  Or rather flight, no great advantage on me;
  Then put on all thy gorgeous arms, thy Helmet
  And Brigandine of brass, thy broad Habergeon.                      1120
  Vant-brass and Greves, and Gauntlet, add thy Spear
  A Weavers beam, and seven-times-folded shield.
  I only with an Oak'n staff will meet thee,
  And raise such out-cries on thy clatter'd Iron,
  Which long shall not with-hold mee from thy head,
  That in a little time while breath remains thee,
  Thou oft shalt wish thy self at Gath to boast
  Again in safety what thou wouldst have done
  To Samson, but shalt never see Gath more.

  Har: Thou durst not thus disparage glorious arms                   1130
  Which greatest Heroes have in battel worn,
  Thir ornament and safety, had not spells
  And black enchantments, some Magicians Art
  Arm'd thee or charm'd thee strong, which thou from Heaven
  Feigndst at thy birth was giv'n thee in thy hair,
  Where strength can least abide, though all thy hairs
  Were bristles rang'd like those that ridge the back
  Of chaf't wild Boars, or ruffl'd Porcupines.

  Sam:  I know no Spells, use no forbidden Arts;
  My trust is in the living God who gave me                          1140
  At my Nativity this strength, diffus'd
  No less through all my sinews, joints and bones,
  Then thine, while I preserv'd these locks unshorn,
  The pledge of my unviolated vow.
  For proof hereof, if Dagon be thy god,
  Go to his Temple, invocate his aid
  With solemnest devotion, spread before him
  How highly it concerns his glory now
  To frustrate and dissolve these Magic spells,
  Which I to be the power of Israel's God                            1150
  Avow, and challenge Dagon to the test,
  Offering to combat thee his Champion bold,
  With th' utmost of his Godhead seconded:
  Then thou shalt see, or rather to thy sorrow
  Soon feel, whose God is strongest, thine or mine.

  Har:  Presume not on thy God, what e're he be,
  Thee he regards not, owns not, hath cut off
  Quite from his people, and delivered up
  Into thy Enemies hand, permitted them
  To put out both thine eyes, and fetter'd send thee                 1160
  Into the common Prison, there to grind
  Among the Slaves and Asses thy comrades,
  As good for nothing else, no better service
  With those, thy boyst'rous locks, no worthy match
  For valour to assail, nor by the sword
  Of noble Warriour, so to stain his honour,
  But by the Barbers razor best subdu'd.

  Sam:  All these indignities, for such they are
  From thine, these evils I deserve and more,
  Acknowledge them from God inflicted on me                          1170
  Justly, yet despair not of his final pardon
  Whose ear is ever open; and his eye
  Gracious to re-admit the suppliant;
  In confidence whereof I once again
  Defie thee to the trial of mortal fight,
  By combat to decide whose god is God,
  Thine or whom I with Israel's Sons adore.

  Har:  Fair honour that thou dost thy God, in trusting
  He will accept thee to defend his cause,
  A Murtherer, a Revolter, and a Robber.                             1180

  Sam: Tongue-doubtie Giant, how dost thou prove me these?

  Har:  Is not thy Nation subject to our Lords?
  Thir Magistrates confest it, when they took thee
  As a League-breaker and deliver'd bound
  Into our hands: for hadst thou not committed
  Notorious murder on those thirty men
  At Askalon, who never did thee harm,
  Then like a Robber stripdst them of thir robes?
  The Philistines, when thou hadst broke the league,
  Went up with armed powers thee only seeking,                       1190
  To others did no violence nor spoil.

  Sam:  Among the Daughters of the Philistines
  I chose a Wife, which argu'd me no foe;
  And in your City held my Nuptial Feast:
  But your ill-meaning Politician Lords,
  Under pretence of Bridal friends and guests,
  Appointed to await me thirty spies,
  Who threatning cruel death constrain'd the bride
  To wring from me and tell to them my secret,
  That solv'd the riddle which I had propos'd.                       1200
  When I perceiv'd all set on enmity,
  As on my enemies, where ever chanc'd,
  I us'd hostility, and took thir spoil
  To pay my underminers in thir coin.
  My Nation was subjected to your Lords.
  It was the force of Conquest; force with force
  Is well ejected when the Conquer'd can.
  But I a private person, whom my Countrey
  As a league-breaker gave up bound, presum'd
  Single Rebellion and did Hostile Acts.                             1210
  I was no private but a person rais'd
  With strength sufficient and command from Heav'n
  To free my Countrey; if their servile minds
  Me their Deliverer sent would not receive,
  But to thir Masters gave me up for nought,
  Th' unworthier they; whence to this day they serve.
  I was to do my part from Heav'n assign'd,
  And had perform'd it if my known offence
  Had not disabl'd me, not all your force:
  These shifts refuted, answer thy appellant                         1220
  Though by his blindness maim'd for high attempts,
  Who now defies thee thrice to single fight,
  As a petty enterprise of small enforce.

  Har:  With thee a Man condemn'd, a Slave enrol'd,
  Due by the Law to capital punishment?
  To fight with thee no man of arms will deign.

  Sam:  Cam'st thou for this, vain boaster, to survey me,
  To descant on my strength, and give thy verdit?
  Come nearer, part not hence so slight inform'd;
  But take good heed my hand survey not thee.                        1230
  Har:  O Baal-zebub! can my ears unus'd
  Hear these dishonours, and not render death?

  Sam:  No man with-holds thee, nothing from thy hand
  Fear I incurable; bring up thy van,
  My heels are fetter'd, but my fist is free.

  Har:  This insolence other kind of answer fits.

  Sam:  Go baffl'd coward, lest I run upon thee,
  Though in these chains, bulk without spirit vast,
  And with one buffet lay thy structure low,
  Or swing thee in the Air, then dash thee down                      1240
  To the hazard of thy brains and shatter'd sides.

  Har:  By Astaroth e're long thou shalt lament
  These braveries in Irons loaden on thee.

  Chor:  His Giantship is gone somewhat crestfall'n,
  Stalking with less unconsci'nable strides,
  And lower looks, but in a sultrie chafe.

  Sam: I dread him not, nor all his Giant-brood,
  Though Fame divulge him Father of five Sons
  All of Gigantic size, Goliah chief.

  Chor:  He will directly to the Lords, I fear,                      1250
  And with malitious counsel stir them up
  Some way or other yet further to afflict thee.

  Sam:  He must allege some cause, and offer'd fight
  Will not dare mention, lest a question rise
  Whether he durst accept the offer or not,
  And that he durst not plain enough appear'd.
  Much more affliction then already felt
  They cannot well impose, nor I sustain;
  If they intend advantage of my labours
  The work of many hands, which earns my keeping                     1260
  With no small profit daily to my owners.
  But come what will, my deadliest foe will prove
  My speediest friend, by death to rid me hence,
  The worst that he can give, to me the best.
  Yet so it may fall out, because thir end
  Is hate, not help to me, it may with mine
  Draw thir own ruin who attempt the deed.

  Chor:  Oh how comely it is and how reviving
  To the Spirits of just men long opprest!
  When God into the hands of thir deliverer                          1270
  Puts invincible might
  To quell the mighty of the Earth, th' oppressour,
  The brute and boist'rous force of violent men
  Hardy and industrious to support
  Tyrannic power, but raging to pursue
  The righteous and all such as honour Truth;
  He all thir Ammunition
  And feats of War defeats
  With plain Heroic magnitude of mind
  And celestial vigour arm'd,                                        1270
  Thir Armories and Magazins contemns,
  Renders them useless, while
  With winged expedition
  Swift as the lightning glance he executes
  His errand on the wicked, who surpris'd
  Lose thir defence distracted and amaz'd.
  But patience is more oft the exercise
  Of Saints, the trial of thir fortitude,
  Making them each his own Deliverer,
  And Victor over all                                                1290
  That tyrannie or fortune can inflict,
  Either of these is in thy lot,
  Samson, with might endu'd
  Above the Sons of men; but sight bereav'd
  May chance to number thee with those
  Whom Patience finally must crown.
  This Idols day hath bin to thee no day of rest,
  Labouring thy mind
  More then the working day thy hands,
  And yet perhaps more trouble is behind.                            1300
  For I descry this way
  Some other tending, in his hand
  A Scepter or quaint staff he bears,
  Comes on amain, speed in his look.
  By his habit I discern him now
  A Public Officer, and now at hand.
  His message will be short and voluble.

  Off: Ebrews, the Pris'ner Samson here I seek.

  Chor:  His manacles remark him, there he sits.

  Off: Samson, to thee our Lords thus bid me say;                    1310
  This day to Dagon is a solemn Feast,
  With Sacrifices, Triumph, Pomp, and Games;
  Thy strength they know surpassing human rate,
  And now some public proof thereof require
  To honour this great Feast, and great Assembly;
  Rise therefore with all speed and come along,
  Where I will see thee heartn'd and fresh clad
  To appear as fits before th' illustrious Lords.

  Sam:  Thou knowst I am an Ebrew, therefore tell them,
  Our Law forbids at thir Religious Rites                            1320
  My presence; for that cause I cannot come.

  Off: This answer, be assur'd, will not content them.

  Sam:  Have they not Sword-players, and ev'ry sort
  Of Gymnic Artists, Wrestlers, Riders, Runners,
  Juglers and Dancers, Antics, Mummers, Mimics,
  But they must pick me out with shackles tir'd,
  And over-labour'd at thir publick Mill,
  To make them sport with blind activity?
  Do they not seek occasion of new quarrels
  On my refusal to distress me more,                                 1330
  Or make a game of my calamities?
  Return the way thou cam'st, I will not come.

  Off:  Regard thy self, this will offend them highly.

  Sam: My self? my conscience and internal peace.
  Can they think me so broken, so debas'd
  With corporal servitude, that my mind ever
  Will condescend to such absurd commands?
  Although thir drudge, to be thir fool or jester,
  And in my midst of sorrow and heart-grief
  To shew them feats, and play before thir god,                      1340
  The worst of all indignities, yet on me
  Joyn'd with extream contempt? I will not come.

  Off: My message was impos'd on me with speed,
  Brooks no delay: is this thy resolution?

  Sam:  So take it with what speed thy message needs.

  Off: I am sorry what this stoutness will produce.

  Sam:  Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow indeed.

  Chor:  Consider, Samson; matters now are strain'd
  Up to the highth, whether to bold or break;
  He's gone, and who knows how he may report                         1350
  Thy words by adding fuel to the flame?
  Expect another message more imperious,
  More Lordly thund'ring then thou well wilt bear.

  Sam:  Shall I abuse this Consecrated gift
  Of strength, again returning with my hair
  After my great transgression, so requite
  Favour renew'd, and add a greater sin
  By prostituting holy things to Idols;
  A Nazarite in place abominable
  Vaunting my strength in honour to thir Dagon?                      1360
  Besides, how vile, contemptible, ridiculous,
  What act more execrably unclean, prophane?

  Chor:  Yet with this strength thou serv'st the Philistines,
  Idolatrous, uncircumcis'd, unclean.

  Sam:  Not in thir Idol-worship, but by labour
  Honest and lawful to deserve my food
  Of those who have me in thir civil power.

  Chor:  Where the heart joins not, outward acts defile not

  Sam: Where outward force constrains, the sentence holds:
  But who constrains me to the Temple of Dagon,                      1370
  Not dragging? the Philistian Lords command.
  Commands are no constraints.  If I obey them,
  I do it freely; venturing to displease
  God for the fear of Man, and Man prefer,
  Set God behind: which in his jealousie
  Shall never, unrepented, find forgiveness.
  Yet that he may dispense with me or thee
  Present in Temples at Idolatrous Rites
  For some important cause, thou needst not doubt.

  Chor:  How thou wilt here come off surmounts my reach.             1380

  Sam:  Be of good courage, I begin to feel
  Some rouzing motions in me which dispose
  To something extraordinary my thoughts.
  I with this Messenger will go along,
  Nothing to do, be sure, that may dishonour
  Our Law, or stain my vow of Nazarite.
  If there be aught of presage in the mind,
  This day will be remarkable in my life
  By some great act, or of my days the last.

  Chor:  In time thou hast resolv'd, the man returns.                1390

  Off: Samson, this second message from our Lords
  To thee I am bid say. Art thou our Slave,
  Our Captive, at the public Mill our drudge,
  And dar'st thou at our sending and command
  Dispute thy coming? come without delay;
  Or we shall find such Engines to assail
  And hamper thee, as thou shalt come of force,
  Though thou wert firmlier fastn'd then a rock.

  Sam:  I could be well content to try thir Art,
  Which to no few of them would prove pernicious.                    1400
  Yet knowing thir advantages too many,
  Because they shall not trail me through thir streets
  Like a wild Beast, I am content to go.
  Masters commands come with a power resistless
  To such as owe them absolute subjection;
  And for a life who will not change his purpose?
  (So mutable are all the ways of men)
  Yet this be sure, in nothing to comply
  Scandalous or forbidden in our Law.

  Off:  I praise thy resolution, doff these links:                   1410
  By this compliance thou wilt win the Lords
  To favour, and perhaps to set thee free.

  Sam:  Brethren farewel, your company along
  I will not wish, lest it perhaps offend them
  To see me girt with Friends; and how the sight
  Of me as of a common Enemy,
  So dreaded once, may now exasperate them
  I know not.  Lords are Lordliest in thir wine,
  And the well-feasted Priest then soonest fir'd
  With zeal, if aught Religion seem concern'd:                       1420
  No less the people on thir Holy-days
  Impetuous, insolent, unquenchable;
  Happ'n what may, of me expect to hear
  Nothing dishonourable, impure, unworthy
  Our God, our Law, my Nation, or my self,
  The last of me or no I cannot warrant.

  Chor:  Go, and the Holy One
  Of Israel be thy guide
  To what may serve his glory best, & spread his name
  Great among the Heathen round:                                     1430
  Send thee the Angel of thy Birth, to stand
  Fast by thy side, who from thy Fathers field
  Rode up in flames after his message told
  Of thy conception, and be now a shield
  Of fire; that Spirit that first rusht on thee
  In the camp of Dan
  Be efficacious in thee now at need.
  For never was from Heaven imparted
  Measure of strength so great to mortal seed,
  As in thy wond'rous actions Hath been seen.                        1440
  But wherefore comes old Manoa in such hast
  With youthful steps? much livelier than e're while
  He seems: supposing here to find his Son,
  Or of him bringing to us some glad news?

  Man:  Peace with you brethren; my inducement hither
  Was not at present here to find my Son,
  By order of the Lords new parted hence
  To come and play before them at thir Feast.
  I heard all as I came, the City rings
  And numbers thither flock, I had no will,                          1450
  Lest I should see him forc't to things unseemly.
  But that which moved my coming now, was chiefly
  To give ye part with me what hope I have
  With good success to work his liberty.

  Chor:  That hope would much rejoyce us to partake
  With thee; say reverend Sire, we thirst to hear.

  Man:  I have attempted one by one the Lords
  Either at home, or through the high street passing,
  With supplication prone and Fathers tears
  To accept of ransom for my Son thir pris'ner,                      1460
  Some much averse I found and wondrous harsh,
  Contemptuous, proud, set on revenge and spite;
  That part most reverenc'd Dagon and his Priests,
  Others more moderate seeming, but thir aim
  Private reward, for which both God and State
  They easily would set to sale, a third
  More generous far and civil, who confess'd
  They had anough reveng'd, having reduc't
  Thir foe to misery beneath thir fears,
  The rest was magnanimity to remit,                                 1470
  If some convenient ransom were propos'd.
  What noise or shout was that? it tore the Skie.

  Chor:  Doubtless the people shouting to behold
  Thir once great dread, captive, & blind before them,
  Or at some proof of strength before them shown.

  Man:  His ransom, if my whole inheritance
  May compass it, shall willingly be paid
  And numberd down: much rather I shall chuse
  To live the poorest in my Tribe, then richest,
  And he in that calamitous prison left.                             1480
  No, I am fixt not to part hence without him.
  For his redemption all my Patrimony,
  If need be, I am ready to forgo
  And quit: not wanting him, I shall want nothing.

  Chor:  Fathers are wont to lay up for thir Sons,
  Thou for thy Son art bent to lay out all;
  Sons wont to nurse thir Parents in old age,
  Thou in old age car'st how to nurse thy Son,
  Made older then thy age through eye-sight lost.

  Man: It shall be my delight to tend his eyes,                      1490
  And view him sitting in the house, enobl'd
  With all those high exploits by him atchiev'd,
  And on his shoulders waving down those locks,
  That of a Nation arm'd the strength contain'd:
  And I perswade me God had not permitted
  His strength again to grow up with his hair
  Garrison'd round about him like a Camp
  Of faithful Souldiery, were not his purpose
  To use him further yet in some great service,
  Not to sit idle with so great a gift                               1500
  Useless, and thence ridiculous about him.
  And since his strength with eye-sight was not lost,
  God will restore him eye-sight to his strength.

  Chor:  Thy hopes are not ill founded nor seem vain
  Of his delivery, and thy joy thereon
  Conceiv'd, agreeable to a Fathers love,
  In both which we, as next participate.

  Man:  I know your friendly minds and—O what noise!
  Mercy of Heav'n what hideous noise was that!
  Horribly loud unlike the former shout.                             1510

  Chor:  Noise call you it or universal groan
  As if the whole inhabitation perish'd,
  Blood, death, and deathful deeds are in that noise,
  Ruin, destruction at the utmost point.

  Man:  Of ruin indeed methought I heard the noise,
  Oh it continues, they have slain my Son.

  Chor:  Thy Son is rather slaying them, that outcry
  From slaughter of one foe could not ascend.

  Man:  Some dismal accident it needs must be;
  What shall we do, stay here or run and see?                        1520

  Chor:  Best keep together here, lest running thither
  We unawares run into dangers mouth.
  This evil on the Philistines is fall'n
  From whom could else a general cry be heard?
  The sufferers then will scarce molest us here,
  From other hands we need not much to fear.
  What if his eye-sight (for to Israels God
  Nothing is hard) by miracle restor'd,
  He now be dealing dole among his foes,
  And over heaps of slaughter'd walk his way?                        1530

  Man:  That were a joy presumptuous to be thought.

  Chor:  Yet God hath wrought things as incredible
  For his people of old; what hinders now?

  Man:  He can I know, but doubt to think he will;
  Yet Hope would fain subscribe, and tempts Belief.
  A little stay will bring some notice hither.

  Chor:  Of good or bad so great, of bad the sooner;
  For evil news rides post, while good news baits.
  And to our wish I see one hither speeding,
  An Ebrew, as I guess, and of our Tribe.                            1540

  Mess:  O whither shall I run, or which way flie
  The sight of this so horrid spectacle
  Which earst my eyes beheld and yet behold;
  For dire imagination still persues me.
  But providence or instinct of nature seems,
  Or reason though disturb'd, and scarse consulted
  To have guided me aright, I know not how,
  To thee first reverend Manoa, and to these
  My Countreymen, whom here I knew remaining,
  As at some distance from the place of horrour,                     1550
  So in the sad event too much concern'd.

  Man:  The accident was loud, & here before thee
  With rueful cry, yet what it was we hear not,
  No Preface needs, thou seest we long to know.

  Mess:  It would burst forth, but I recover breath
  And sense distract, to know well what I utter.

  Man:  Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.

  Mess:  Gaza yet stands, but all her Sons are fall'n,
  All in a moment overwhelm'd and fall'n.

  Man: Sad, but thou knowst to Israelites not saddest                1560
  The desolation of a Hostile City.

  Mess:  Feed on that first, there may in grief be surfet.

  Man:  Relate by whom.
                        Mess:  By Samson.

  Man:  That still lessens
  The sorrow, and converts it nigh to joy.

  Mess:  Ah Manoa I refrain, too suddenly
  To utter what will come at last too soon;
  Lest evil tidings with too rude irruption
  Hitting thy aged ear should pierce too deep.

  Man:  Suspense in news is torture, speak them out.

  Mess:  Then take the worst in brief, Samson is dead.               1570

  Man:  The worst indeed, O all my hope's defeated
  To free him hence! but death who sets all free
  Hath paid his ransom now and full discharge.
  What windy joy this day had I conceiv'd
  Hopeful of his Delivery, which now proves
  Abortive as the first-born bloom of spring
  Nipt with the lagging rear of winters frost.
  Yet e're I give the rains to grief, say first,
  How dy'd he? death to life is crown or shame.
  All by him fell thou say'st, by whom fell he,                      1580
  What glorious band gave Samson his deaths wound?

  Mess:  Unwounded of his enemies he fell.

  Man:  Wearied with slaughter then or how? explain.

  Mess: By his own hands.
                         Man: Self-violence? what cause
  Brought him so soon at variance with himself
  Among his foes?
                  Mess:  Inevitable cause
  At once both to destroy and be destroy'd;
  The Edifice where all were met to see him
  Upon thir heads and on his own he pull'd.

  Man:  O lastly over-strong against thy self!                       1590
  A dreadful way thou took'st to thy revenge.
  More than anough we know; but while things yet
  Are in confusion, give us if thou canst,
  Eye-witness of what first or last was done,
  Relation more particular and distinct.

  Mess:  Occasions drew me early to this City,
  And as the gates I enter'd with Sun-rise,
  The morning Trumpets Festival proclaim'd
  Through each high street: little I had dispatch't
  When all abroad was rumour'd that this day                         1600
  Samson should be brought forth to shew the people
  Proof of his mighty strength in feats and games;
  I sorrow'd at his captive state, but minded
  Not to be absent at that spectacle.
  The building was a spacious Theatre
  Half round on two main Pillars vaulted high,
  With seats where all the Lords and each degree
  Of sort, might sit in order to behold,
  The other side was op'n, where the throng
  On banks and scaffolds under Skie might stand;                     1610
  I among these aloof obscurely stood.
  The Feast and noon grew high, and Sacrifice
  Had fill'd thir hearts with mirth, high chear, & wine,
  When to thir sports they turn'd.  Immediately
  Was Samson as a public servant brought,
  In thir state Livery clad; before him Pipes
  And Timbrels, on each side went armed guards,
  Both horse and foot before him and behind
  Archers, and Slingers, Cataphracts and Spears.
  At sight of him the people with a shout                            1620
  Rifted the Air clamouring thir god with praise,
  Who had made thir dreadful enemy thir thrall.
  He patient but undaunted where they led him.
  Came to the place, and what was set before him
  Which without help of eye, might be assay'd,
  To heave, pull, draw, or break, he still perform'd
  All with incredible, stupendious force,
  None daring to appear Antagonist.
  At length for intermission sake they led him
  Between the pillars; he his guide requested                        1630
  (For so from such as nearer stood we heard)
  As over-tir'd to let him lean a while
  With both his arms on those two massie Pillars
  That to the arched roof gave main support.
  He unsuspitious led him; which when Samson
  Felt in his arms, with head a while enclin'd,
  And eyes fast fixt he stood, as one who pray'd,
  Or some great matter in his mind revolv'd.
  At last with head erect thus cryed aloud,
  Hitherto, Lords, what your commands impos'd                        1640
  I have perform'd, as reason was, obeying,
  Not without wonder or delight beheld.
  Now of my own accord such other tryal
  I mean to shew you of my strength, yet greater;
  As with amaze shall strike all who behold.
  This utter'd, straining all his nerves he bow'd,
  As with the force of winds and waters pent,
  When Mountains tremble, those two massie Pillars
  With horrible convulsion to and fro,
  He tugg'd, he shook, till down they came and drew                  1650
  The whole roof after them, with burst of thunder
  Upon the heads of all who sate beneath,
  Lords, Ladies, Captains, Councellors, or Priests,
  Thir choice nobility and flower, not only
  Of this but each Philistian City round
  Met from all parts to solemnize this Feast.
  Samson with these immixt, inevitably
  Pulld down the same destruction on himself;
  The vulgar only scap'd who stood without.

  Chor:  O dearly-bought revenge, yet glorious!                      1660
  Living or dying thou hast fulfill'd
  The work for which thou wast foretold
  To Israel and now ly'st victorious
  Among thy slain self-kill'd
  Not willingly, but tangl'd in the fold
  Of dire necessity, whose law in death conjoin'd
  Thee with thy slaughter'd foes in number more
  Then all thy life had slain before.

  SemiChor:  While thir hearts were jocund and sublime
  Drunk with Idolatry, drunk with Wine,                              1670
  And fat regorg'd of Bulls and Goats,
  Chaunting thir Idol, and preferring
  Before our living Dread who dwells
  In Silo his bright Sanctuary:
  Among them he a spirit of phrenzie sent,
  Who hurt thir minds,
  And urg'd them on with mad desire
  To call in hast for thir destroyer;
  They only set on sport and play
  Unweetingly importun'd                                             1680
  Thir own destruction to come speedy upon them.
  So fond are mortal men
  Fall'n into wrath divine,
  As thir own ruin on themselves to invite,
  Insensate left, or to sense reprobate,
  And with blindness internal struck.

  Chor:  But he though blind of sight,
  Despis'd and thought extinguish't quite,
  With inward eyes illuminated
  His fierie vertue rouz'd                                           1690
  From under ashes into sudden flame,
  And as an ev'ning Dragon came,
  Assailant on the perched roosts,
  And nests in order rang'd
  Of tame villatic Fowl; but as an Eagle
  His cloudless thunder bolted on thir heads.
  So vertue giv'n for lost,
  Deprest, and overthrown, as seem'd,
  Like that self-begott'n bird
  In the Arabian woods embost,                                       1700
  That no second knows nor third,
  And lay e're while a Holocaust,
  From out her ashie womb now teem'd
  Revives, reflourishes, then vigorous most
  When most unactive deem'd,
  And though her body die, her fame survives,
  A secular bird ages of lives.

  Man:  Come, come, no time for lamentation now,
  Nor much more cause, Samson hath quit himself
  Like Samson, and heroicly hath finish'd                            1710
  A life Heroic, on his Enemies
  Fully reveng'd, hath left them years of mourning,
  And lamentation to the Sons of Caphtor
  Through all Philistian bounds. To Israel
  Honour hath left, and freedom, let but them
  Find courage to lay hold on this occasion,
  To himself and Fathers house eternal fame;
  And which is best and happiest yet, all this
  With God not parted from him, as was feard,
  But favouring and assisting to the end.                            1720
  Nothing is here for tears, nothing to wail
  Or knock the breast, no weakness, no contempt,
  Dispraise, or blame, nothing but well and fair,
  And what may quiet us in a death so noble.
  Let us go find the body where it lies
  Sok't in his enemies blood, and from the stream
  With lavers pure and cleansing herbs wash off
  The clotted gore.  I with what speed the while
  (Gaza is not in plight to say us nay)
  Will send for all my kindred, all my friends                       1730
  To fetch him hence and solemnly attend
  With silent obsequie and funeral train
  Home to his Fathers house: there will I build him
  A Monument, and plant it round with shade
  Of Laurel ever green, and branching Palm,
  With all his Trophies hung, and Acts enroll'd
  In copious Legend, or sweet Lyric Song.
  Thither shall all the valiant youth resort,
  And from his memory inflame thir breasts
  To matchless valour, and adventures high:                          1740
  The Virgins also shall on feastful days
  Visit his Tomb with flowers, only bewailing
  His lot unfortunate in nuptial choice,
  From whence captivity and loss of eyes.

  Chor:  All is best, though we oft doubt,
  What th' unsearchable dispose
  Of highest wisdom brings about,
  And ever best found in the close.
  Oft he seems to hide his face,
  But unexpectedly returns                                           1750
  And to his faithful Champion hath in place
  Bore witness gloriously; whence Gaza mourns
  And all that band them to resist
  His uncontroulable intent,
  His servants he with new acquist
  Of true experience from this great event
  With peace and consolation hath dismist,
  And calm of mind all passion spent.

  The End.


  Specimen of Milton's spelling, from the Cambridge autograph


  (Set on a clock case)

  Fly envious Time till thou run out thy race
  call on the lazie leaden-stepping howres
  whose speed is but the heavie plummets pace
  & glut thy selfe wth what thy womb devoures
  Wch is no more then what is false & vaine
  & meerly mortall drosse
  so little is our losse
  so little is thy gaine
  for when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd
  & last of all thy greedie selfe consum'd                             10
  then long Aeternity shall greet our blisse
  wth an individuall kisse
  and Joy shall overtake us as a flood
  when every thing yt is sincerely good
  & pfectly divine
  with Truth, & Peace, & Love shall ever shine
  about the supreme throne
  of him t' whose happy-making sight alone
  when once our heav'nly-guided soule shall clime
  then all this earthie grossnesse quit                                20
  attir'd wth starres wee shall for ever sit
  Triumphing over Death, & Chance, & thee O Time.

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