The Project Gutenberg EBook of Paradise Lost, by John Milton

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Title: Paradise Lost

Author: John Milton

Posting Date: March 2, 2011 [EBook #20] Release Date: October, 1991

Language: English


Produced by Judy Boss


by John Milton


All persons concerned disclaim any and all reponsbility that this etext is perfectly accurate. No pretenses in any manner are made that this text should be thought of as an authoritative edition in any respect.

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    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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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
  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.
  Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool
  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
  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,
  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
  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:
  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?

    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,
  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,
  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
  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,
  VVhile with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
  The Sojourners of GOSHEN, who beheld
  From the safe shore their floating Carkases
  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
  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.

    They heard, and were abasht, and up they sprung
  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
  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
  '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;
  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;
  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
  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?
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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:
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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.
  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:
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  Begirt with BRITISH and ARMORIC Knights;
  And all who since, Baptiz'd or Infidel
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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?
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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 & thoughts
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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 and Band squared Regiment
  By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
  With hundreds and with thousands trooping came
  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
  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
  Beyond the INDIAN Mount, or Faerie Elves,
  Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side
  Or Fountain fome 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,
  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.




  High on a Throne of Royal State, which far
  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.

    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,
  Hath bin achievd of merit, yet this loss
  Thus farr at least recover'd, hath much more
  Establisht in a safe unenvied Throne
  Yeilded 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
  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,
  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.

    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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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 & 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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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?
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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,
  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
  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,
  Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; & 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,
  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
  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
  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
  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;
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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.
  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;
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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.

    Mean while the Adversary of God and Man,
  SATAN with thoughts inflam'd of highest design,
  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
  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
  On either side a formidable shape;
  The one seem'd Woman to the waste, and fair,
  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
  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,
  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.

    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
  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,
  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
  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;
  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;
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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.
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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.

    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 Porcullis 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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  And swims or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flyes:
  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
  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,
  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;
  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,
  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
  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,
  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.
  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
  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,
  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;
  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.




    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
  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,
  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
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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.
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought,
  Happie for man, so coming; he 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
  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
  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
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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,
  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:
  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
  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,
  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
  With Jubilee, and loud Hosanna's fill'd
  Th' eternal Regions: lowly reverent
  Towards either Throne they bow, & to the ground
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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;
  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,
  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,
  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
  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;
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  Beyond th' HORIZON; then from Pole to Pole
  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
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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;
  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.

    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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  Throws his steep flight with many an Aerie wheele,
  Nor staid, till on NIPHATES top he lights.




  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,
  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,
  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
  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:
  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
  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
  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
  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.
  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?
  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?
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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
  From MEDIA post to AEGYPT, there fast bound.

    Now to th' ascent of that steep savage Hill
  SATAN had journied on, pensive and slow;
  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,
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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;
  Groves whose rich Trees wept odorous Gumms and Balme,
  Others whose fruit burnisht with Golden Rinde
  Hung amiable, HESPERIAN Fables true,
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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,
  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:
  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
  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;
  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
  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, & 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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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.

    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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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?
  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
  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
  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;
  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.

    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
  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
  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.

    So promis'd hee, and URIEL to his charge
  Returnd on that bright beam, whose point now raisd
  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,
  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
  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;
  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,
  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.
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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.
  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,
  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,
  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,
  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;
  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
  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
  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,
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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;
  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
  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,
  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,
  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;
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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.




  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,
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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 & 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?
  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:
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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,
  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,
  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.
  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
  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,
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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.
  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
  Shot down direct his fervid Raies, to warme
  Earths inmost womb, more warmth then ADAM need;
  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
  Comes this way moving; seems another Morn
  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.

    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.

    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
  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
  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,

    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.

    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
  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
  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
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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.

    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.

    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.
  O ADAM, one Almightie is, from whom
  All things proceed, and up to him return,
  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
  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.
  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;
  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
  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;
  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
  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:
  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
  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.

    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
  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
  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
  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, whoseop
  Brightness had made invisible, thus spake.

    Hear all ye Angels, Progenie of Light,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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 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
  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
  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
  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.

    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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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.
  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,
  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.




  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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:
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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;
  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
  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.

    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
  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
  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
  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.

    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,
  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.

    So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high,
  Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell
  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,
  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,
  And clamour such as heard in Heav'n till now
  Was never, Arms on Armour clashing bray'd
  Horrible discord, and the madding Wheeles
  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.
  Sounder 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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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.

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

    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
  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
  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.
  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
  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,
  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,
  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.
  Nine dayes they fell; confounded CHAOS roard,
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  Of disobedience; firm they might have stood,
  Yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress.




  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
  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.
  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 rouud,
  And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
  Visit'st my slumbers Nightly, or when Morn
  Purples the East: still govern thou my Song,
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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.
  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
  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.

    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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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;
  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,
  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
  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
  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.

    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
  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,
  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
  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,
  If steep, with torrent rapture, if through Plaine,
  Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them Rock or Hill,
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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.

    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.
  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
  Of Fish that with thir Finns and 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
  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,
  And seems a moving Land, and at his Gilles
  Draws in, and at his Trunck spouts out a Sea.
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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:
  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
  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,
  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
  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 repeaed; 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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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:
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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.

    To whom thus ADAM 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
  VVith wonder, but delight, and, as is due,
  With glorie attributed to the high
  Creator; some thing yet of doubt remaines,
  VVhich onely thy solution can resolve.
  VVhen I behold this goodly Frame, this VVorld
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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?
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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,
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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:
  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;
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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
  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;
  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
  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,
  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,
  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
  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,
  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:
  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.

    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,
  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
  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.
  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,
  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
  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;
  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.

    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;
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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.




  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  Where TIGRIS at the foot of Paradise
  Into a Gulf shot under ground, till part
  Rose up a Fountain by the Tree of Life;
  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
  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
  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:

    O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferrd
  More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  His head the midst, well stor'd with suttle wiles:
  Not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den,
  Not 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
  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:
  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,
  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
  Our task we choose, what wonder if no 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
  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,
  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
  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.
  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;
  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,
  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
  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.
  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,
  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
  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,
  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
  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,
  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.
  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
  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
  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,
  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,
  But with such Gardning Tools as Are 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
  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 found repose;
  Such ambush hid among sweet Flours and Shades
  Waited with hellish rancor imminent
  To intercept thy way, or send thee back
  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
  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
  Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while,
  Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour,
  From her best prop so farr, and storn so nigh.
  Neererhe 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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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;
  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
  Hee with OLYMPIAS, this with her who bore
  SCIPIO the highth of ROME. With tract oblique
  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,
  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,
  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 living things gaze on, all things thine
  By gift, and thy Celestial Beautie adore
  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,
  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
  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:
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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.

    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
  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.
  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,
  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
  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
  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.
  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;
  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,
  Internal Man, is but proportion meet,
  I of brute human, yee of human Gods.
  So ye shalt 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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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.
  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
  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.
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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.
  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
  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 fight or thought be found,
  Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet!
  How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost,
  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?
  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.

    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, for 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
  Made common and unhallowd: ere one tastes;
  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,
  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?
  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.
  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,
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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,
  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
  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
  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 care
  To that false Worm, of whomsoever taught
  To counterfet Mans voice, true in our Fall,
  False in our promis'd Rising; since our Eyes
  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
  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.
  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
  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
  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 to 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,
  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,
  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
  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
  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 bere th' attempt, thou couldst not have discernd
  Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake;
  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,
  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?
  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
  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.




    Meanwhile the hainous and despightfull act
  Of SATAN done in Paradise, and how
  Hee in the Serpent had perverted EVE,
  Her Husband shee, to taste the fatall fruit,
  Was known in Heav'n; for what can scape the Eye
  Of God All-seeing, or deceave his Heart
  Omniscient, who in all things wise and just,
  Hinder'd not SATAN to attempt the minde
  Of Man, with strength entire, and free Will arm'd,
  Complete to have discover'd and repulst
  Whatever wiles of Foe or seeming Friend.
  For still they knew, and ought to have still remember'd
  The high Injunction not to taste that Fruit,
  Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,
  Incurr'd, what could they less, the penaltie,
  And manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall.
  Up into Heav'n from Paradise in hast
  Th' Angelic Guards ascended, mute and sad
  For Man, for of his state by this they knew,
  Much wondring how the suttle Fiend had stoln
  Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome news
  From Earth arriv'd at Heaven Gate, displeas'd
  All were who heard, dim sadness did not spare
  That time Celestial visages, yet mixt
  With pitie, violated not thir bliss.
  About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes
  Th' ethereal People ran, to hear and know
  How all befell: they towards the Throne Supream
  Accountable made haste to make appear
  With righteous plea, thir utmost vigilance,
  And easily approv'd; when the most High
  Eternal Father from his secret Cloud,
  Amidst in Thunder utter'd thus his voice.

    Assembl'd Angels, and ye Powers return'd
  From unsuccessful charge, be not dismaid,
  Nor troubl'd at these tidings from the Earth,
  Which your sincerest care could not prevent,
  Foretold so lately what would come to pass,
  When first this Tempter cross'd the Gulf from Hell.
  I told ye then he should prevail and speed
  On his bad Errand, Man should be seduc't
  And flatter'd out of all, believing lies
  Against his Maker; no Decree of mine
  Concurring to necessitate his Fall,
  Or touch with lightest moment of impulse
  His free Will, to her own inclining left
  In eevn scale. But fall'n he is, and now
  What rests, but that the mortal Sentence pass
  On his transgression, Death denounc't that day,
  Which he presumes already vain and void,
  Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd,
  By some immediate stroak; but soon shall find
  Forbearance no acquittance ere day end.
  Justice shall not return as bountie scorn'd.
  But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee
  Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr'd
  All Judgement, whether in Heav'n, or Earth; or Hell.
  Easie it may be seen that I intend
  Mercie collegue with Justice, sending thee
  Mans Friend, his Mediator, his design'd
  Both Ransom and Redeemer voluntarie,
  And destin'd Man himself to judge Man fall'n.

    So spake the Father, and unfoulding bright
  Toward the right hand his Glorie, on the Son
  Blaz'd forth unclouded Deitie; he full
  Resplendent all his Father manifest
  Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd milde.

    Father Eternal, thine is to decree,
  Mine both in Heav'n and Earth to do thy will
  Supream, that thou in mee thy Son belov'd
  Mayst ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge
  On Earth these thy transgressors, but thou knowst,
  Whoever judg'd, the worst on mee must light,
  When time shall be, for so I undertook
  Before thee; and not repenting, this obtaine
  Of right, that I may mitigate thir doom
  On me deriv'd, yet I shall temper so
  Justice with Mercie, as may illustrate most
  Them fully satisfied, and thee appease.
  Attendance none shall need, nor Train, where none
  Are to behold the Judgement, but the judg'd,
  Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd,
  Convict by flight, and Rebel to all Law
  Conviction to the Serpent none belongs.

    Thus saying, from his radiant Seat he rose
  Of high collateral glorie: him Thrones and Powers,
  Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant
  Accompanied to Heaven Gate, from whence
  EDEN and all the Coast in prospect lay.
  Down he descended strait; the speed of Gods
  Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing'd.
  Now was the Sun in Western cadence low
  From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour
  To fan the Earth now wak'd, and usher in
  The Eevning coole when he from wrauth more coole
  Came the mild Judge and Intercessor both
  To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard
  Now walking in the Garden, by soft windes
  Brought to thir Ears, while day declin'd, they heard
  And from his presence hid themselves among
  The thickest Trees, both Man and Wife, till God
  Approaching, thus to ADAM call'd aloud.

    Where art thou ADAM, wont with joy to meet
  My coming seen far off? I miss thee here,
  Not pleas'd, thus entertaind with solitude,
  Where obvious dutie erewhile appear'd unsaught:
  Or come I less conspicuous, or what change
  Absents thee, or what chance detains? Come forth.
  He came, and with him EVE, more loth, though first
  To offend, discount'nanc't both, and discompos'd;
  Love was not in thir looks, either to God
  Or to each other, but apparent guilt,
  And shame, and perturbation, and despaire,
  Anger, and obstinacie, and hate, and guile.
  Whence ADAM faultring long, thus answer'd brief.

    I heard thee in the Garden, and of thy voice
  Affraid, being naked, hid my self. To whom
  The gracious Judge without revile repli'd.

    My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd,
  But still rejoyc't, how is it now become
  So dreadful to thee? that thou art naked, who
  Hath told thee? hast thou eaten of the Tree
  Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?

    To whom thus ADAM sore beset repli'd.
  O Heav'n! in evil strait this day I stand
  Before my Judge, either to undergoe
  My self the total Crime, or to accuse
  My other self, the partner of my life;
  Whose failing, while her Faith to me remaines,
  I should conceal, and not expose to blame
  By my complaint; but strict necessitie
  Subdues me, and calamitous constraint,
  Least on my head both sin and punishment,
  However insupportable, be all
  Devolv'd; though should I hold my peace, yet thou
  Wouldst easily detect what I conceale.
  This Woman whom thou mad'st to be my help,
  And gav'st me as thy perfet gift, so good,
  So fit, so acceptable, so Divine,
  That from her hand I could suspect no ill,
  And what she did, whatever in it self,
  Her doing seem'd to justifie the deed;
  Shee gave me of the Tree, and I did eate.

    To whom the sovran Presence thus repli'd.
  Was shee thy God, that her thou didst obey
  Before his voice, or was shee made thy guide,
  Superior, or but equal, that to her
  Thou did'st resigne thy Manhood, and the Place
  Wherein God set thee above her made of thee,
  And for thee, whose perfection farr excell'd
  Hers in all real dignitie: Adornd
  She was indeed, and lovely to attract
  Thy Love, not thy Subjection, and her Gifts
  Were such as under Government well seem'd,
  Unseemly to beare rule, which was thy part
  And person, had'st thou known thy self aright.

    So having said, he thus to EVE in few:
  Say Woman, what is this which thou hast done?

    To whom sad EVE with shame nigh overwhelm'd,
  Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge
  Bold or loquacious, thus abasht repli'd.

The Serpent me beguil'd and I did eate.

    Which when the Lord God heard, without delay
  To Judgement he proceeded on th' accus'd
  Serpent though brute, unable to transferre
  The Guilt on him who made him instrument
  Of mischief, and polluted from the end
  Of his Creation; justly then accurst,
  As vitiated in Nature: more to know
  Concern'd not Man (since he no further knew)
  Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last
  To Satan first in sin his doom apply'd,
  Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best:
  And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.

    Because thou hast done this, thou art accurst
  Above all Cattel, each Beast of the Field;
  Upon thy Belly groveling thou shalt goe,
  And dust shalt eat all the days of thy Life.
  Between Thee and the Woman I will put
  Enmitie, and between thine and her Seed;
  Her Seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.

    So spake this Oracle, then verifi'd
  When JESUS son of MARY second EVE,
  Saw Satan fall like Lightning down from Heav'n,
  Prince of the Aire; then rising from his Grave
  Spoild Principalities and Powers, triumpht
  In open shew, and with ascention bright
  Captivity led captive through the Aire,
  The Realme it self of Satan long usurpt,
  Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;
  Eevn hee who now foretold his fatal bruise,
  And to the Woman thus his Sentence turn'd.

    Thy sorrow I will greatly multiplie
  By thy Conception; Children thou shalt bring
  In sorrow forth, and to thy Husbands will
  Thine shall submit, hee over thee shall rule.

    On ADAM last thus judgement he pronounc'd.
  Because thou hast heark'nd to the voice of thy Wife,
  And eaten of the Tree concerning which
  I charg'd thee, saying: Thou shalt not eate thereof,
  Curs'd is the ground for thy sake, thou in sorrow
  Shalt eate thereof all the days of thy Life;
  Thornes also and Thistles it shall bring thee forth
  Unbid, and thou shalt eate th' Herb of th' Field,
  In the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eate Bread,
  Till thou return unto the ground, for thou
  Out of the ground wast taken, know thy Birth,
  For dust thou art, and shalt to dust returne.

     So judg'd he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent,
  And th' instant stroke of Death denounc't that day
  Remov'd farr off; then pittying how they stood
  Before him naked to the aire, that now
  Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin
  Thenceforth the forme of servant to assume,
  As when he wash'd his servants feet, so now
  As Father of his Familie he clad
  Thir nakedness with Skins of Beasts, or slain,
  Or as the Snake with youthful Coate repaid;
  And thought not much to cloath his Enemies:
  Nor hee thir outward onely with the Skins
  Of Beasts, but inward nakedness, much more
  Opprobrious, with his Robe of righteousness,
  Araying cover'd from his Fathers sight.
  To him with swift ascent he up returnd,
  Into his blissful bosom reassum'd
  In glory as of old, to him appeas'd
  All, though all-knowing, what had past with Man
  Recounted, mixing intercession sweet.
  Meanwhile ere thus was sin'd and judg'd on Earth,
  Within the Gates of Hell sate Sin and Death,
  In counterview within the Gates, that now
  Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame
  Farr into CHAOS, since the Fiend pass'd through,
  Sin opening, who thus now to Death began.

    O Son, why sit we here each other viewing
  Idlely, while Satan our great Author thrives
  In other Worlds, and happier Seat provides
  For us his ofspring deare? It cannot be
  But that success attends him; if mishap,
  Ere this he had return'd, with fury driv'n
  By his Avenger, since no place like this
  Can fit his punishment, or their revenge.
  Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,
  Wings growing, and Dominion giv'n me large
  Beyond this Deep; whatever drawes me on,
  Or sympathie, or som connatural force
  Powerful at greatest distance to unite
  With secret amity things of like kinde
  By secretest conveyance. Thou my Shade
  Inseparable must with mee along:
  For Death from Sin no power can separate.
  But least the difficultie of passing back
  Stay his returne perhaps over this Gulfe
  Impassable, impervious, let us try
  Adventrous work, yet to thy power and mine
  Not unagreeable, to found a path
  Over this Maine from Hell to that new World
  Where Satan now prevailes, a Monument
  Of merit high to all th' infernal Host,
  Easing thir passage hence, for intercourse,
  Or transmigration, as thir lot shall lead.
  Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn
  By this new felt attraction and instinct.

    Whom thus the meager Shadow answerd soon.
  Goe whither Fate and inclination strong
  Leads thee, I shall not lag behinde, nor erre
  The way, thou leading, such a sent I draw
  Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste
  The savour of Death from all things there that live:
  Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest
  Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid.

    So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell
  Of mortal change on Earth. As when a flock
  Of ravenous Fowl, though many a League remote,
  Against the day of Battel, to a Field,
  Where Armies lie encampt, come flying, lur'd
  With sent of living Carcasses design'd
  For death, the following day, in bloodie fight.
  So sented the grim Feature, and upturn'd
  His Nostril wide into the murkie Air,
  Sagacious of his Quarrey from so farr.
  Then Both from out Hell Gates into the waste
  Wide Anarchie of CHAOS damp and dark
  Flew divers, & with Power (thir Power was great)
  Hovering upon the Waters; what they met
  Solid or slimie, as in raging Sea
  Tost up and down, together crowded drove
  From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell.
  As when two Polar Winds blowing adverse
  Upon the CRONIAN Sea, together drive
  Mountains of Ice, that stop th' imagin'd way
  Beyond PETSORA Eastward, to the rich
  CATHAIAN Coast. The aggregated Soyle
  Death with his Mace petrific, cold and dry,
  As with a Trident smote, and fix't as firm
  As DELOS floating once; the rest his look
  Bound with GORGONIAN rigor not to move,
  And with ASPHALTIC slime; broad as the Gate,
  Deep to the Roots of Hell the gather'd beach
  They fasten'd, and the Mole immense wraught on
  Over the foaming deep high Archt, a Bridge
  Of length prodigious joyning to the Wall
  Immoveable of this now fenceless world
  Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,
  Smooth, easie, inoffensive down to Hell.
  So, if great things to small may be compar'd,
  XERXES, the Libertie of GREECE to yoke,
  From SUSA his MEMNONIAN Palace high
  Came to the Sea, and over HELLESPONT
  Bridging his way, EUROPE with ASIA joyn'd,
  And scourg'd with many a stroak th' indignant waves.
  Now had they brought the work by wondrous Art
  Pontifical, a ridge of pendent Rock
  Over the vext Abyss, following the track
  Of SATAN, to the selfsame place where hee
  First lighted from his Wing, and landed safe
  From out of CHAOS to the outside bare
  Of this round World: with Pinns of Adamant
  And Chains they made all fast, too fast they made
  And durable; and now in little space
  The Confines met of Empyrean Heav'n
  And of this World, and on the left hand Hell
  With long reach interpos'd; three sev'ral wayes
  In sight, to each of these three places led.
  And now thir way to Earth they had descri'd,
  To Paradise first tending, when behold
  SATAN in likeness of an Angel bright
  Betwixt the CENTAURE and the SCORPION stearing
  His ZENITH, while the Sun in ARIES rose:
  Disguis'd he came, but those his Children dear
  Thir Parent soon discern'd, though in disguise.
  Hee, after EVE seduc't, unminded slunk
  Into the Wood fast by, and changing shape
  To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act
  By EVE, though all unweeting, seconded
  Upon her Husband, saw thir shame that sought
  Vain covertures; but when he saw descend
  The Son of God to judge them, terrifi'd
  Hee fled, not hoping to escape, but shun
  The present, fearing guiltie what his wrauth
  Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd
  By Night, and listning where the hapless Paire
  Sate in thir sad discourse, and various plaint,
  Thence gatherd his own doom, which understood
  Not instant, but of future time. With joy
  And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return'd,
  And at the brink of CHAOS, neer the foot
  Of this new wondrous Pontifice, unhop't
  Met who to meet him came, his Ofspring dear.
  Great joy was at thir meeting, and at sight
  Of that stupendious Bridge his joy encreas'd.
  Long hee admiring stood, till Sin, his faire
  Inchanting Daughter, thus the silence broke.

    O Parent, these are thy magnific deeds,
  Thy Trophies, which thou view'st as not thine own,
  Thou art thir Author and prime Architect:
  For I no sooner in my Heart divin'd,
  My Heart, which by a secret harmonie
  Still moves with thine, joyn'd in connexion sweet,
  That thou on Earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks
  Now also evidence, but straight I felt
  Though distant from thee Worlds between, yet felt
  That I must after thee with this thy Son;
  Such fatal consequence unites us three:
  Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds,
  Nor this unvoyageable Gulf obscure
  Detain from following thy illustrious track.
  Thou hast atchiev'd our libertie, confin'd
  Within Hell Gates till now, thou us impow'rd
  To fortifie thus farr, and overlay
  With this portentous Bridge the dark Abyss.
  Thine now is all this World, thy vertue hath won
  What thy hands builded not, thy Wisdom gain'd
  With odds what Warr hath lost, and fully aveng'd
  Our foile in Heav'n; here thou shalt Monarch reign,
  There didst not; there let him still Victor sway,
  As Battel hath adjudg'd, from this new World
  Retiring, by his own doom alienated,
  And henceforth Monarchie with thee divide
  Of all things, parted by th' Empyreal bounds,
  His Quadrature, from thy Orbicular World,
  Or trie thee now more dang'rous to his Throne.

    Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answerd glad.
  Fair Daughter, and thou Son and Grandchild both,
  High proof ye now have giv'n to be the Race
  Of SATAN (for I glorie in the name,
  Antagonist of Heav'ns Almightie King)
  Amply have merited of me, of all
  Th' Infernal Empire, that so neer Heav'ns dore
  Triumphal with triumphal act have met,
  Mine with this glorious Work, & made one Realm
  Hell and this World, one Realm, one Continent
  Of easie thorough-fare. Therefore while I
  Descend through Darkness, on your Rode with ease
  To my associate Powers, them to acquaint
  With these successes, and with them rejoyce,
  You two this way, among those numerous Orbs
  All yours, right down to Paradise descend;
  There dwell & Reign in bliss, thence on the Earth
  Dominion exercise and in the Aire,
  Chiefly on Man, sole Lord of all declar'd,
  Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.
  My Substitutes I send ye, and Create
  Plenipotent on Earth, of matchless might
  Issuing from mee: on your joynt vigor now
  My hold of this new Kingdom all depends,
  Through Sin to Death expos'd by my exploit.
  If your joynt power prevaile, th' affaires of Hell
  No detriment need feare, goe and be strong.

    So saying he dismiss'd them, they with speed
  Thir course through thickest Constellations held
  Spreading thir bane; the blasted Starrs lookt wan,
  And Planets, Planet-strook, real Eclips
  Then sufferd. Th' other way SATAN went down
  The Causey to Hell Gate; on either side
  Disparted CHAOS over built exclaimd,
  And with rebounding surge the barrs assaild,
  That scorn'd his indignation: through the Gate,
  Wide open and unguarded, SATAN pass'd,
  And all about found desolate; for those
  Appointed to sit there, had left thir charge,
  Flown to the upper World; the rest were all
  Farr to the inland retir'd, about the walls
  Of PANDEMONIUM, Citie and proud seate
  Of LUCIFER, so by allusion calld,
  Of that bright Starr to SATAN paragond.
  There kept thir Watch the Legions, while the Grand
  In Council sate, sollicitous what chance
  Might intercept thir Emperour sent, so hee
  Departing gave command, and they observ'd.
  As when the TARTAR from his RUSSIAN Foe
  By ASTRACAN over the Snowie Plaines
  Retires, or BACTRIAN Sophi from the hornes
  Of TURKISH Crescent, leaves all waste beyond
  The Realme of ALADULE, in his retreate
  To TAURIS or CASBEEN. So these the late
  Heav'n-banisht Host, left desert utmost Hell
  Many a dark League, reduc't in careful Watch
  Round thir Metropolis, and now expecting
  Each hour their great adventurer from the search
  Of Forrein Worlds: he through the midst unmarkt,
  In shew plebeian Angel militant
  Of lowest order, past; and from the dore
  Of that PLUTONIAN Hall, invisible
  Ascended his high Throne, which under state
  Of richest texture spred, at th' upper end
  Was plac't in regal lustre. Down a while
  He sate, and round about him saw unseen:
  At last as from a Cloud his fulgent head
  And shape Starr bright appeer'd, or brighter, clad
  With what permissive glory since his fall
  Was left him, or false glitter: All amaz'd
  At that so sudden blaze the STYGIAN throng
  Bent thir aspect, and whom they wish'd beheld,
  Thir mighty Chief returnd: loud was th' acclaime:
  Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting Peers,
  Rais'd from thir dark DIVAN, and with like joy
  Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand
  Silence, and with these words attention won.

    Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers,
  For in possession such, not onely of right,
  I call ye and declare ye now, returnd
  Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth
  Triumphant out of this infernal Pit
  Abominable, accurst, the house of woe,
  And Dungeon of our Tyrant: Now possess,
  As Lords, a spacious World, to our native Heaven
  Little inferiour, by my adventure hard
  With peril great atchiev'd. Long were to tell
  What I have don, what sufferd, with what paine
  Voyag'd the unreal, vast, unbounded deep
  Of horrible confusion, over which
  By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav'd
  To expedite your glorious march; but I
  Toild out my uncouth passage, forc't to ride
  Th' untractable Abysse, plung'd in the womb
  Of unoriginal NIGHT and CHAOS wilde,
  That jealous of thir secrets fiercely oppos'd
  My journey strange, with clamorous uproare
  Protesting Fate supreame; thence how I found
  The new created World, which fame in Heav'n
  Long had foretold, a Fabrick wonderful
  Of absolute perfection, therein Man
  Plac't in a Paradise, by our exile
  Made happie: Him by fraud I have seduc'd
  From his Creator, and the more to increase
  Your wonder, with an Apple; he thereat
  Offended, worth your laughter, hath giv'n up
  Both his beloved Man and all his World,
  To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,
  Without our hazard, labour or allarme,
  To range in, and to dwell, and over Man
  To rule, as over all he should have rul'd.
  True is, mee also he hath judg'd, or rather
  Mee not, but the brute Serpent in whose shape
  Man I deceav'd: that which to mee belongs,
  Is enmity, which he will put between
  Mee and Mankinde; I am to bruise his heel;
  His Seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head:
  A World who would not purchase with a bruise,
  Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th' account
  Of my performance: What remaines, ye Gods,
  But up and enter now into full bliss.

    So having said, a while he stood, expecting
  Thir universal shout and high applause
  To fill his eare, when contrary he hears
  On all sides, from innumerable tongues
  A dismal universal hiss, the sound
  Of public scorn; he wonderd, but not long
  Had leasure, wondring at himself now more;
  His Visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
  His Armes clung to his Ribs, his Leggs entwining
  Each other, till supplanted down he fell
  A monstrous Serpent on his Belly prone,
  Reluctant, but in vaine, a greater power
  Now rul'd him, punisht in the shape he sin'd,
  According to his doom: he would have spoke,
  But hiss for hiss returnd with forked tongue
  To forked tongue, for now were all transform'd
  Alike, to Serpents all as accessories
  To his bold Riot: dreadful was the din
  Of hissing through the Hall, thick swarming now
  With complicated monsters, head and taile,
  Scorpion and Asp, and AMPHISBAENA dire,
  CERASTES hornd, HYDRUS, and ELLOPS drear,
  And DIPSAS (Not so thick swarm'd once the Soil
  Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the Isle
  OPHIUSA) but still greatest hee the midst,
  Now Dragon grown, larger then whom the Sun
  Ingenderd in the PYTHIAN Vale on slime,
  Huge PYTHON, and his Power no less he seem'd
  Above the rest still to retain; they all
  Him follow'd issuing forth to th' open Field,
  Where all yet left of that revolted Rout
  Heav'n-fall'n, in station stood or just array,
  Sublime with expectation when to see
  In Triumph issuing forth thir glorious Chief;
  They saw, but other sight instead, a crowd
  Of ugly Serpents; horror on them fell,
  And horrid sympathie; for what they saw,
  They felt themselvs now changing; down thir arms,
  Down fell both Spear and Shield, down they as fast,
  And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire form
  Catcht by Contagion, like in punishment,
  As in thir crime. Thus was th' applause they meant,
  Turnd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame
  Cast on themselves from thir own mouths. There stood
  A Grove hard by, sprung up with this thir change,
  His will who reigns above, to aggravate
  Thir penance, laden with fair Fruit, like that
  VVhich grew in Paradise, the bait of EVE
  Us'd by the Tempter: on that prospect strange
  Thir earnest eyes they fix'd, imagining
  For one forbidden Tree a multitude
  Now ris'n, to work them furder woe or shame;
  Yet parcht with scalding thurst and hunger fierce,
  Though to delude them sent, could not abstain,
  But on they rould in heaps, and up the Trees
  Climbing, sat thicker then the snakie locks
  That curld MEGAERA: greedily they pluck'd
  The Frutage fair to sight, like that which grew
  Neer that bituminous Lake where SODOM flam'd;
  This more delusive, not the touch, but taste
  Deceav'd; they fondly thinking to allay
  Thir appetite with gust, instead of Fruit
  Chewd bitter Ashes, which th' offended taste
  VVith spattering noise rejected: oft they assayd,
  Hunger and thirst constraining, drugd as oft,
  VVith hatefullest disrelish writh'd thir jaws
  VVith foot and cinders fill'd; so oft they fell
  Into the same illusion, not as Man
  Whom they triumph'd once lapst. Thus were they plagu'd
  And worn with Famin, long and ceasless hiss,
  Till thir lost shape, permitted, they resum'd,
  Yearly enjoynd, some say, to undergo
  This annual humbling certain number'd days,
  To dash thir pride, and joy for Man seduc't.
  However some tradition they dispers'd
  Among the Heathen of thir purchase got,
  And Fabl'd how the Serpent, whom they calld
  OPHION with EURYNOME, the wide-
  Encroaching EVE perhaps, had first the rule
  Of high OLYMPUS, thence by SATURN driv'n
  And OPS, ere yet DICTAEAN JOVE was born.
  Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair
  Too soon arriv'd, SIN there in power before,
  Once actual, now in body, and to dwell
  Habitual habitant; behind her DEATH
  Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
  On his pale Horse: to whom SIN thus began.

    Second of SATAN sprung, all conquering Death,
  What thinkst thou of our Empire now, though earnd
  With travail difficult, not better farr
  Then stil at Hels dark threshold to have sate watch,
  Unnam'd, undreaded, and thy self half starv'd?

    Whom thus the Sin-born Monster answerd soon.
  To mee, who with eternal Famin pine,
  Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven,
  There best, where most with ravin I may meet;
  Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems
  To stuff this Maw, this vast unhide-bound Corps.

    To whom th' incestuous Mother thus repli'd.
  Thou therefore on these Herbs, and Fruits, & Flours
  Feed first, on each Beast next, and Fish, and Fowle,
  No homely morsels, and whatever thing
  The Sithe of Time mowes down, devour unspar'd,
  Till I in Man residing through the Race,
  His thoughts, his looks, words, actions all infect,
  And season him thy last and sweetest prey.

    This said, they both betook them several wayes,
  Both to destroy, or unimmortal make
  All kinds, and for destruction to mature
  Sooner or later; which th' Almightie seeing,
  From his transcendent Seat the Saints among,
  To those bright Orders utterd thus his voice.

    See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance
  To waste and havoc yonder VVorld, which I
  So fair and good created, and had still
  Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man
  Let in these wastful Furies, who impute
  Folly to mee, so doth the Prince of Hell
  And his Adherents, that with so much ease
  I suffer them to enter and possess
  A place so heav'nly, and conniving seem
  To gratifie my scornful Enemies,
  That laugh, as if transported with some fit
  Of Passion, I to them had quitted all,
  At random yeilded up to their misrule;
  And know not that I call'd and drew them thither
  My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth
  Which mans polluting Sin with taint hath shed
  On what was pure, till cramm'd and gorg'd, nigh burst
  With suckt and glutted offal, at one fling
  Of thy victorious Arm, well-pleasing Son,
  Both SIN, and DEATH, and yawning GRAVE at last
  Through CHAOS hurld, obstruct the mouth of Hell
  For ever, and seal up his ravenous Jawes.
  Then Heav'n and Earth renewd shall be made pure
  To sanctitie that shall receive no staine:
  Till then the Curse pronounc't on both precedes.

    Hee ended, and the heav'nly Audience loud
  Sung HALLELUIA, as the sound of Seas,
  Through multitude that sung: Just are thy ways,
  Righteous are thy Decrees on all thy Works;
  Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son,
  Destin'd restorer of Mankind, by whom
  New Heav'n and Earth shall to the Ages rise,
  Or down from Heav'n descend. Such was thir song,
  While the Creator calling forth by name
  His mightie Angels gave them several charge,
  As sorted best with present things. The Sun
  Had first his precept so to move, so shine,
  As might affect the Earth with cold and heat
  Scarce tollerable, and from the North to call
  Decrepit Winter, from the South to bring
  Solstitial summers heat. To the blanc Moone
  Her office they prescrib'd, to th' other five
  Thir planetarie motions and aspects
  Of noxious efficacie, and when to joyne
  In Synod unbenigne, and taught the fixt
  Thir influence malignant when to showre,
  Which of them rising with the Sun, or falling,
  Should prove tempestuous: To the Winds they set
  Thir corners, when with bluster to confound
  Sea, Aire, and Shoar, the Thunder when to rowle
  With terror through the dark Aereal Hall.
  Some say he bid his Angels turne ascanse
  The Poles of Earth twice ten degrees and more
  From the Suns Axle; they with labour push'd
  Oblique the Centric Globe: Som say the Sun
  Was bid turn Reines from th' Equinoctial Rode
  Like distant breadth to TAURUS with the Seav'n
  ATLANTICK Sisters, and the SPARTAN Twins
  Up to the TROPIC Crab; thence down amaine
  By LEO and the VIRGIN and the SCALES,
  As deep as CAPRICORNE, to bring in change
  Of Seasons to each Clime; else had the Spring
  Perpetual smil'd on Earth with vernant Flours,
  Equal in Days and Nights, except to those
  Beyond the Polar Circles; to them Day
  Had unbenighted shon, while the low Sun
  To recompence his distance, in thir sight
  Had rounded still th' HORIZON, and not known
  Or East or West, which had forbid the Snow
  From cold ESTOTILAND, and South as farr
  Beneath MAGELLAN. At that tasted Fruit
  The Sun, as from THYESTEAN Banquet, turn'd
  His course intended; else how had the World
  Inhabited, though sinless, more then now,
  Avoided pinching cold and scorching heate?
  These changes in the Heav'ns, though slow, produc'd
  Like change on Sea and Land, sideral blast,
  Vapour, and Mist, and Exhalation hot,
  Corrupt and Pestilent: Now from the North
  Of NORUMBEGA, and the SAMOED shoar
  Bursting thir brazen Dungeon, armd with ice
  And snow and haile and stormie gust and flaw,
  And THRASCIAS rend the Woods and Seas upturn;
  With adverse blast up-turns them from the South
  NOTUS and AFER black with thundrous Clouds
  From SERRALIONA; thwart of these as fierce
  Forth rush the LEVANT and the PONENT VVindes
  EURUS and ZEPHIR with thir lateral noise,
  SIROCCO, and LIBECCHIO. Thus began
  Outrage from liveless things; but Discord first
  Daughter of Sin, among th' irrational,
  Death introduc'd through fierce antipathie:
  Beast now with Beast gan war, & Fowle with Fowle,
  And Fish with Fish; to graze the Herb all leaving,
  Devourd each other; nor stood much in awe
  Of Man, but fled him, or with count'nance grim
  Glar'd on him passing: these were from without
  The growing miseries, which ADAM saw
  Alreadie in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,
  To sorrow abandond, but worse felt within,
  And in a troubl'd Sea of passion tost,
  Thus to disburd'n sought with sad complaint.

    O miserable of happie! is this the end
  Of this new glorious World, and mee so late
  The Glory of that Glory, who now becom
  Accurst of blessed, hide me from the face
  Of God, whom to behold was then my highth
  Of happiness: yet well, if here would end
  The miserie, I deserv'd it, and would beare
  My own deservings; but this will not serve;
  All that I eate or drink, or shall beget,
  Is propagated curse. O voice once heard
  Now death to heare! for what can I encrease
  Or multiplie, but curses on my head?
  Who of all Ages to succeed, but feeling
  The evil on him brought by me, will curse
  My Head, Ill fare our Ancestor impure,
  For this we may thank ADAM; but his thanks
  Shall be the execration; so besides
  Mine own that bide upon me, all from mee
  Shall with a fierce reflux on mee redound,
  On mee as on thir natural center light
  Heavie, though in thir place. O fleeting joyes
  Of Paradise, deare bought with lasting woes!
  Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay
  To mould me Man, did I sollicite thee
  From darkness to promote me, or here place
  In this delicious Garden? as my Will
  Concurd not to my being, it were but right
  And equal to reduce me to my dust,
  Desirous to resigne, and render back
  All I receav'd, unable to performe
  Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold
  The good I sought not. To the loss of that,
  Sufficient penaltie, why hast thou added
  The sense of endless woes? inexplicable
  Thy Justice seems; yet to say truth, too late,
  I thus contest; then should have been refusd
  Those terms whatever, when they were propos'd:
  Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good,
  Then cavil the conditions? and though God
  Made thee without thy leave, what if thy Son
  Prove disobedient, and reprov'd, retort,
  Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not:
  Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee
  That proud excuse? yet him not thy election,
  But Natural necessity begot.
  God made thee of choice his own, and of his own
  To serve him, thy reward was of his grace,
  Thy punishment then justly is at his Will.
  Be it so, for I submit, his doom is fair,
  That dust I am, and shall to dust returne:
  O welcom hour whenever! why delayes
  His hand to execute what his Decree
  Fixd on this day? why do I overlive,
  Why am I mockt with death, and length'nd out
  To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet
  Mortalitie my sentence, and be Earth
  Insensible, how glad would lay me down
  As in my Mothers lap? there I should rest
  And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more
  Would Thunder in my ears, no fear of worse
  To mee and to my ofspring would torment me
  With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt
  Pursues me still, least all I cannot die,
  Least that pure breath of Life, the Spirit of Man
  Which God inspir'd, cannot together perish
  With this corporeal Clod; then in the Grave,
  Or in some other dismal place, who knows
  But I shall die a living Death? O thought
  Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath
  Of Life that sinn'd; what dies but what had life
  And sin? the Bodie properly hath neither.
  All of me then shall die: let this appease
  The doubt, since humane reach no further knows.
  For though the Lord of all be infinite,
  Is his wrauth also? be it, man is not so,
  But mortal doom'd. How can he exercise
  Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end?
  Can he make deathless Death? that were to make
  Strange contradiction, which to God himself
  Impossible is held, as Argument
  Of weakness, not of Power. Will he, draw out,
  For angers sake, finite to infinite
  In punisht man, to satisfie his rigour
  Satisfi'd never; that were to extend
  His Sentence beyond dust and Natures Law,
  By which all Causes else according still
  To the reception of thir matter act,
  Not to th' extent of thir own Spheare. But say
  That Death be not one stroak, as I suppos'd,
  Bereaving sense, but endless miserie
  From this day onward, which I feel begun
  Both in me, and without me, and so last
  To perpetuitie; Ay me, that fear
  Comes thundring back with dreadful revolution
  On my defensless head; both Death and I
  Am found Eternal, and incorporate both,
  Nor I on my part single, in mee all
  Posteritie stands curst: Fair Patrimonie
  That I must leave ye, Sons; O were I able
  To waste it all my self, and leave ye none!
  So disinherited how would ye bless
  Me now your Curse! Ah, why should all mankind
  For one mans fault thus guiltless be condemn'd,
  If guiltless? But from mee what can proceed,
  But all corrupt, both Mind and Will deprav'd,
  Not to do onely, but to will the same
  With me? how can they acquitted stand
  In sight of God? Him after all Disputes
  Forc't I absolve: all my evasions vain
  And reasonings, though through Mazes, lead me still
  But to my own conviction: first and last
  On mee, mee onely, as the sourse and spring
  Of all corruption, all the blame lights due;
  So might the wrauth, Fond wish! couldst thou support
  That burden heavier then the Earth to bear,
  Then all the world much heavier, though divided
  With that bad Woman? Thus what thou desir'st,
  And what thou fearst, alike destroyes all hope
  Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable
  Beyond all past example and future,
  To SATAN onely like both crime and doom.
  O Conscience, into what Abyss of fears
  And horrors hast thou driv'n me; out of which
  I find no way, from deep to deeper plung'd!

    Thus ADAM to himself lamented loud
  Through the still Night, now now, as ere man fell,
  Wholsom and cool, and mild, but with black Air
  Accompanied, with damps and dreadful gloom,
  Which to his evil Conscience represented
  All things with double terror: On the ground
  Outstretcht he lay, on the cold ground, and oft
  Curs'd his Creation, Death as oft accus'd
  Of tardie execution, since denounc't
  The day of his offence. Why comes not Death,
  Said hee, with one thrice acceptable stroke
  To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word,
  Justice Divine not hast'n to be just?
  But Death comes not at call, Justice Divine
  Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries.
  O Woods, O Fountains, Hillocks, Dales and Bowrs,
  VVith other echo farr I taught your Shades
  To answer, and resound farr other Song.
  VVhom thus afflicted when sad EVE beheld,
  Desolate where she sate, approaching nigh,
  Soft words to his fierce passion she assay'd:
  But her with stern regard he thus repell'd.

    Out of my sight, thou Serpent, that name best
  Befits thee with him leagu'd, thy self as false
  And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,
  Like his, and colour Serpentine may shew
  Thy inward fraud, to warn all Creatures from thee
  Henceforth; least that too heav'nly form, pretended
  To hellish falshood, snare them. But for thee
  I had persisted happie, had not thy pride
  And wandring vanitie, when lest was safe,
  Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd
  Not to be trusted, longing to be seen
  Though by the Devil himself, him overweening
  To over-reach, but with the Serpent meeting
  Fool'd and beguil'd, by him thou, I by thee,
  To trust thee from my side, imagin'd wise,
  Constant, mature, proof against all assaults,
  And understood not all was but a shew
  Rather then solid vertu, all but a Rib
  Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears,
  More to the part sinister from me drawn,
  Well if thrown out, as supernumerarie
  To my just number found. O why did God,
  Creator wise, that peopl'd highest Heav'n
  With Spirits Masculine, create at last
  This noveltie on Earth, this fair defect
  Of Nature, and not fill the World at once
  With Men as Angels without Feminine,
  Or find some other way to generate
  Mankind? this mischief had not then befall'n,
  And more that shall befall, innumerable
  Disturbances on Earth through Femal snares,
  And straight conjunction with this Sex: for either
  He never shall find out fit Mate, but such
  As some misfortune brings him, or mistake,
  Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain
  Through her perverseness, but shall see her gaind
  By a farr worse, or if she love, withheld
  By Parents, or his happiest choice too late
  Shall meet, alreadie linkt and Wedlock-bound
  To a fell Adversarie, his hate or shame:
  Which infinite calamitie shall cause
  To humane life, and houshold peace confound.

    He added not, and from her turn'd, but EVE
  Not so repulst, with Tears that ceas'd not flowing,
  And tresses all disorderd, at his feet
  Fell humble, and imbracing them, besaught
  His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.

    Forsake me not thus, ADAM, witness Heav'n
  What love sincere, and reverence in my heart
  I beare thee, and unweeting have offended,
  Unhappilie deceav'd; thy suppliant
  I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,
  Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,
  Thy counsel in this uttermost distress,
  My onely strength and stay: forlorn of thee,
  Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?
  While yet we live, scarse one short hour perhaps,
  Between us two let there be peace, both joyning,
  As joyn'd in injuries, one enmitie
  Against a Foe by doom express assign'd us,
  That cruel Serpent: On me exercise not
  Thy hatred for this miserie befall'n,
  On me already lost, mee then thy self
  More miserable; both have sin'd, but thou
  Against God onely, I against God and thee,
  And to the place of judgement will return,
  There with my cries importune Heaven, that all
  The sentence from thy head remov'd may light
  On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe,
  Mee mee onely just object of his ire.

    She ended weeping, and her lowlie plight,
  Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault
  Acknowledg'd and deplor'd, in ADAM wraught
  Commiseration; soon his heart relented
  Towards her, his life so late and sole delight,
  Now at his feet submissive in distress,
  Creature so faire his reconcilement seeking,
  His counsel whom she had displeas'd, his aide;
  As one disarm'd, his anger all he lost,
  And thus with peaceful words uprais'd her soon.

    Unwarie, and too desirous, as before,
  So now of what thou knowst not, who desir'st
  The punishment all on thy self; alas,
  Beare thine own first, ill able to sustaine
  His full wrauth whose thou feelst as yet lest part,
  And my displeasure bearst so ill. If Prayers
  Could alter high Decrees, I to that place
  Would speed before thee, and be louder heard,
  That on my head all might be visited,
  Thy frailtie and infirmer Sex forgiv'n,
  To me committed and by me expos'd.
  But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame
  Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere, but strive
  In offices of Love, how we may light'n
  Each others burden in our share of woe;
  Since this days Death denounc't, if ought I see,
  Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac't evill,
  A long days dying to augment our paine,
  And to our Seed (O hapless Seed!) deriv'd.

    To whom thus EVE, recovering heart, repli'd.
  ADAM, by sad experiment I know
  How little weight my words with thee can finde,
  Found so erroneous, thence by just event
  Found so unfortunate; nevertheless,
  Restor'd by thee, vile as I am, to place
  Of new acceptance, hopeful to regaine
  Thy Love, the sole contentment of my heart,
  Living or dying from thee I will not hide
  What thoughts in my unquiet brest are ris'n,
  Tending to som relief of our extremes,
  Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,
  As in our evils, and of easier choice.
  If care of our descent perplex us most,
  Which must be born to certain woe, devourd
  By Death at last, and miserable it is
  To be to others cause of misery,
  Our own begotten, and of our Loines to bring
  Into this cursed World a woful Race,
  That after wretched Life must be at last
  Food for so foule a Monster, in thy power
  It lies, yet ere Conception to prevent
  The Race unblest, to being yet unbegot.
  Childless thou art, Childless remaine:
  So Death shall be deceav'd his glut, and with us two
  Be forc'd to satisfie his Rav'nous Maw.
  But if thou judge it hard and difficult,
  Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain
  From Loves due Rites, Nuptial embraces sweet,
  And with desire to languish without hope,
  Before the present object languishing
  With like desire, which would be miserie
  And torment less then none of what we dread,
  Then both our selves and Seed at once to free
  From what we fear for both, let us make short,
  Let us seek Death, or hee not found, supply
  With our own hands his Office on our selves;
  Why stand we longer shivering under feares,
  That shew no end but Death, and have the power,
  Of many wayes to die the shortest choosing,
  Destruction with destruction to destroy.

    She ended heer, or vehement despaire
  Broke off the rest; so much of Death her thoughts
  Had entertaind, as di'd her Cheeks with pale.
  But ADAM with such counsel nothing sway'd,
  To better hopes his more attentive minde
  Labouring had rais'd, and thus to EVE repli'd.

    EVE, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems
  To argue in thee somthing more sublime
  And excellent then what thy minde contemnes;
  But self-destruction therefore saught, refutes
  That excellence thought in thee, and implies,
  Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret
  For loss of life and pleasure overlov'd.
  Or if thou covet death, as utmost end
  Of miserie, so thinking to evade
  The penaltie pronounc't, doubt not but God
  Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire then so
  To be forestall'd; much more I fear least Death
  So snatcht will not exempt us from the paine
  We are by doom to pay; rather such acts
  Of contumacie will provoke the highest
  To make death in us live: Then let us seek
  Som safer resolution, which methinks
  I have in view, calling to minde with heed
  Part of our Sentence, that thy Seed shall bruise
  The Serpents head; piteous amends, unless
  Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand Foe
  SATAN, who in the Serpent hath contriv'd
  Against us this deceit: to crush his head
  Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost
  By death brought on our selves, or childless days
  Resolv'd, as thou proposest; so our Foe
  Shall scape his punishment ordain'd, and wee
  Instead shall double ours upon our heads.
  No more be mention'd then of violence
  Against our selves, and wilful barrenness,
  That cuts us off from hope, and savours onely
  Rancor and pride, impatience and despite,
  Reluctance against God and his just yoke
  Laid on our Necks. Remember with what mild
  And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd
  Without wrauth or reviling; wee expected
  Immediate dissolution, which we thought
  Was meant by Death that day, when lo, to thee
  Pains onely in Child-bearing were foretold,
  And bringing forth, soon recompenc't with joy,
  Fruit of thy Womb: On mee the Curse aslope
  Glanc'd on the ground, with labour I must earne
  My bread; what harm? Idleness had bin worse;
  My labour will sustain me; and least Cold
  Or Heat should injure us, his timely care
  Hath unbesaught provided, and his hands
  Cloath'd us unworthie, pitying while he judg'd;
  How much more, if we pray him, will his ear
  Be open, and his heart to pitie incline,
  And teach us further by what means to shun
  Th' inclement Seasons, Rain, Ice, Hail and Snow,
  Which now the Skie with various Face begins
  To shew us in this Mountain, while the Winds
  Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks
  Of these fair spreading Trees; which bids us seek
  Som better shroud, som better warmth to cherish
  Our Limbs benumm'd, ere this diurnal Starr
  Leave cold the Night, how we his gather'd beams
  Reflected, may with matter sere foment,
  Or by collision of two bodies grinde
  The Air attrite to Fire, as late the Clouds
  Justling or pusht with Winds rude in thir shock
  Tine the slant Lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n down
  Kindles the gummie bark of Firr or Pine,
  And sends a comfortable heat from farr,
  Which might supplie the Sun: such Fire to use,
  And what may else be remedie or cure
  To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought,
  Hee will instruct us praying, and of Grace
  Beseeching him, so as we need not fear
  To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd
  By him with many comforts, till we end
  In dust, our final rest and native home.
  What better can we do, then to the place
  Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall
  Before him reverent, and there confess
  Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears
  VVatering the ground, and with our sighs the Air
  Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
  Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.
  Undoubtedly he will relent and turn
  From his displeasure; in whose look serene,
  VVhen angry most he seem'd and most severe,
  VVhat else but favor, grace, and mercie shon?

    So spake our Father penitent, nor EVE
  Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place
  Repairing where he judg'd them prostrate fell
  Before him reverent, and both confess'd
  Humbly thir faults, and pardon beg'd, with tears
  VVatering the ground, and with thir sighs the Air
  Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign
  Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.




  Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood
  Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above
  Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd
  The stonie from thir hearts, and made new flesh
  Regenerat grow instead, that sighs now breath'd
  Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer
  Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight
  Then loudest Oratorie: yet thir port
  Not of mean suiters, nor important less
  Seem'd thir Petition, then when th' ancient Pair
  In Fables old, less ancient yet then these,
  DEUCALION and chaste PYRRHA to restore
  The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine
  Of THEMIS stood devout. To Heav'n thir prayers
  Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious windes
  Blow'n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd
  Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then clad
  With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd,
  By thir great Intercessor, came in sight
  Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son
  Presenting, thus to intercede began.

    See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung
  From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs
  And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt
  With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring,
  Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed
  Sow'n with contrition in his heart, then those
  Which his own hand manuring all the Trees
  Of Paradise could have produc't, ere fall'n
  From innocence. Now therefore bend thine eare
  To supplication, heare his sighs though mute;
  Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee
  Interpret for him, mee his Advocate
  And propitiation, all his works on mee
  Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those
  Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay.
  Accept me, and in mee from these receave
  The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live
  Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days
  Numberd, though sad, till Death, his doom (which I
  To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)
  To better life shall yeeld him, where with mee
  All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss,
  Made one with me as I with thee am one.

    To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene.
  All thy request for Man, accepted Son,
  Obtain, all thy request was my Decree:
  But longer in that Paradise to dwell,
  The Law I gave to Nature him forbids:
  Those pure immortal Elements that know
  No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule,
  Eject him tainted now, and purge him off
  As a distemper, gross to aire as gross,
  And mortal food, as may dispose him best
  For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first
  Distemperd all things, and of incorrupt
  Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts
  Created him endowd, with Happiness
  And Immortalitie: that fondly lost,
  This other serv'd but to eternize woe;
  Till I provided Death; so Death becomes
  His final remedie, and after Life
  Tri'd in sharp tribulation, and refin'd
  By Faith and faithful works, to second Life,
  Wak't in the renovation of the just,
  Resignes him up with Heav'n and Earth renewd.
  But let us call to Synod all the Blest
  Through Heav'ns wide bounds; from them I will not hide
  My judgments, how with Mankind I proceed,
  As how with peccant Angels late they saw;
  And in thir state, though firm, stood more confirmd.

    He ended, and the Son gave signal high
  To the bright Minister that watchd, hee blew
  His Trumpet, heard in OREB since perhaps
  When God descended, and perhaps once more
  To sound at general Doom. Th' Angelic blast
  Filld all the Regions: from thir blissful Bowrs
  Of AMARANTIN Shade, Fountain or Spring,
  By the waters of Life, where ere they sate
  In fellowships of joy: the Sons of Light
  Hasted, resorting to the Summons high,
  And took thir Seats; till from his Throne supream
  Th' Almighty thus pronounced his sovran Will.

    O Sons, like one of us Man is become
  To know both Good and Evil, since his taste
  Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast
  His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got,
  Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known
  Good by it self, and Evil not at all.
  He sorrows now, repents, and prayes contrite,
  My motions in him, longer then they move,
  His heart I know, how variable and vain
  Self-left. Least therefore his now bolder hand
  Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat,
  And live for ever, dream at least to live
  Forever, to remove him I decree,
  And send him from the Garden forth to Till
  The Ground whence he was taken, fitter soile.

    MICHAEL, this my behest have thou in charge,
  Take to thee from among the Cherubim
  Thy choice of flaming Warriours, least the Fiend
  Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
  Vacant possession som new trouble raise:
  Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God
  Without remorse drive out the sinful Pair,
  From hallowd ground th' unholie, and denounce
  To them and to thir Progenie from thence
  Perpetual banishment. Yet least they faint
  At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd,
  For I behold them soft'nd and with tears
  Bewailing thir excess, all terror hide.
  If patiently thy bidding they obey,
  Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveale
  To ADAM what shall come in future dayes,
  As I shall thee enlighten, intermix
  My Cov'nant in the Womans seed renewd;
  So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
  And on the East side of the Garden place,
  Where entrance up from EDEN easiest climbes,
  Cherubic watch, and of a Sword the flame
  Wide waving, all approach farr off to fright,
  And guard all passage to the Tree of Life:
  Least Paradise a receptacle prove
  To Spirits foule, and all my Trees thir prey,
  With whose stol'n Fruit Man once more to delude.

    He ceas'd; and th' Archangelic Power prepar'd
  For swift descent, with him the Cohort bright
  Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each
  Had, like a double JANUS, all thir shape
  Spangl'd with eyes more numerous then those
  Of ARGUS, and more wakeful then to drouze,
  Charm'd with ARCADIAN Pipe, the Pastoral Reed
  Of HERMES, or his opiate Rod. Meanwhile
  To resalute the World with sacred Light
  LEUCOTHEA wak'd, and with fresh dews imbalmd
  The Earth, when ADAM and first Matron EVE
  Had ended now thir Orisons, and found,
  Strength added from above, new hope to spring
  Out of despaire, joy, but with fear yet linkt;
  Which thus to EVE his welcome words renewd.

    EVE, easily may Faith admit, that all
  The good which we enjoy, from Heav'n descends
  But that from us ought should ascend to Heav'n
  So prevalent as to concerne the mind
  Of God high blest, or to incline his will,
  Hard to belief may seem; yet this will Prayer,
  Or one short sigh of humane breath, up-borne
  Ev'n to the Seat of God. For since I saught
  By Prayer th' offended Deitie to appease,
  Kneel'd and before him humbl'd all my heart,
  Methought I saw him placable and mild,
  Bending his eare; perswasion in me grew
  That I was heard with favour; peace returnd
  Home to my brest, and to my memorie
  His promise, that thy Seed shall bruise our Foe;
  Which then not minded in dismay, yet now
  Assures me that the bitterness of death
  Is past, and we shall live. Whence Haile to thee,
  EVE rightly call'd, Mother of all Mankind,
  Mother of all things living, since by thee
  Man is to live, and all things live for Man.

    To whom thus EVE with sad demeanour meek.
  Ill worthie I such title should belong
  To me transgressour, who for thee ordaind
  A help, became thy snare; to mee reproach
  Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise:
  But infinite in pardon was my Judge,
  That I who first brought Death on all, am grac't
  The sourse of life; next favourable thou,
  Who highly thus to entitle me voutsaf't,
  Farr other name deserving. But the Field
  To labour calls us now with sweat impos'd,
  Though after sleepless Night; for see the Morn,
  All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins
  Her rosie progress smiling; let us forth,
  I never from thy side henceforth to stray,
  Wherere our days work lies, though now enjoind
  Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell,
  What can be toilsom in these pleasant Walkes?
  Here let us live, though in fall'n state, content.

    So spake, so wish'd much-humbl'd EVE, but Fate
  Subscrib'd not; Nature first gave Signs, imprest
  On Bird, Beast, Aire, Aire suddenly eclips'd
  After short blush of Morn; nigh in her sight
  The Bird of JOVE, stoopt from his aerie tour,
  Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove:
  Down from a Hill the Beast that reigns in Woods,
  First Hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace,
  Goodliest of all the Forrest, Hart and Hinde;
  Direct to th' Eastern Gate was bent thir flight.
  ADAM observ'd, and with his Eye the chase
  Pursuing, not unmov'd to EVE thus spake.

    O EVE, some furder change awaits us nigh,
  Which Heav'n by these mute signs in Nature shews
  Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn
  Us haply too secure of our discharge
  From penaltie, because from death releast
  Some days; how long, and what till then our life,
  Who knows, or more then this, that we are dust,
  And thither must return and be no more.
  VVhy else this double object in our sight
  Of flight pursu'd in th' Air and ore the ground
  One way the self-same hour? why in the East
  Darkness ere Dayes mid-course, and Morning light
  More orient in yon VVestern Cloud that draws
  O're the blew Firmament a radiant white,
  And slow descends, with somthing heav'nly fraught.

    He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly Bands
  Down from a Skie of Jasper lighted now
  In Paradise, and on a Hill made alt,
  A glorious Apparition, had not doubt
  And carnal fear that day dimm'd ADAMS eye.
  Not that more glorious, when the Angels met
  JACOB in MAHANAIM, where he saw
  The field Pavilion'd with his Guardians bright;
  Nor that which on the flaming Mount appeerd
  In DOTHAN, cover'd with a Camp of Fire,
  Against the SYRIAN King, who to surprize
  One man, Assassin-like had levied Warr,
  Warr unproclam'd. The Princely Hierarch
  In thir bright stand, there left his Powers to seise
  Possession of the Garden; hee alone,
  To finde where ADAM shelterd, took his way,
  Not unperceav'd of ADAM, who to EVE,
  While the great Visitant approachd, thus spake.

    EVE, now expect great tidings, which perhaps
  Of us will soon determin, or impose
  New Laws to be observ'd; for I descrie
  From yonder blazing Cloud that veils the Hill
  One of the heav'nly Host, and by his Gate
  None of the meanest, some great Potentate
  Or of the Thrones above, such Majestie
  Invests him coming; yet not terrible,
  That I should fear, nor sociably mild,
  As RAPHAEL, that I should much confide,
  But solemn and sublime, whom not to offend,
  With reverence I must meet, and thou retire.
  He ended; and th' Arch-Angel soon drew nigh,
  Not in his shape Celestial, but as Man
  Clad to meet Man; over his lucid Armes
  A militarie Vest of purple flowd
  Livelier then MELIBOEAN, or the graine
  Of SARRA, worn by Kings and Hero's old
  In time of Truce; IRIS had dipt the wooff;
  His starrie Helme unbuckl'd shew'd him prime
  In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side
  As in a glistering ZODIAC hung the Sword,
  Satans dire dread, and in his hand the Spear.
  ADAM bowd low, hee Kingly from his State
  Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd.

    ADAM, Heav'ns high behest no Preface needs:
  Sufficient that thy Prayers are heard, and Death,
  Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress,
  Defeated of his seisure many dayes
  Giv'n thee of Grace, wherein thou may'st repent,
  And one bad act with many deeds well done
  Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord appeas'd
  Redeem thee quite from Deaths rapacious claimes;
  But longer in this Paradise to dwell
  Permits not; to remove thee I am come,
  And send thee from the Garden forth to till
  The ground whence thou wast tak'n, fitter Soile.

    He added not, for ADAM at the newes
  Heart-strook with chilling gripe of sorrow stood,
  That all his senses bound; EVE, who unseen
  Yet all had heard, with audible lament
  Discover'd soon the place of her retire.

    O unexpected stroke, worse then of Death!
  Must I thus leave thee Paradise? thus leave
  Thee Native Soile, these happie Walks and Shades,
  Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend,
  Quiet though sad, the respit of that day
  That must be mortal to us both. O flours,
  That never will in other Climate grow,
  My early visitation, and my last
  At Eev'n, which I bred up with tender hand
  From the first op'ning bud, and gave ye Names,
  Who now shall reare ye to the Sun, or ranke
  Your Tribes, and water from th' ambrosial Fount?
  Thee lastly nuptial Bowre, by mee adornd
  With what to sight or smell was sweet; from thee
  How shall I part, and whither wander down
  Into a lower World, to this obscure
  And wilde, how shall we breath in other Aire
  Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits?

    Whom thus the Angel interrupted milde.
  Lament not EVE, but patiently resigne
  What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart,
  Thus over fond, on that which is not thine;
  Thy going is not lonely, with thee goes
  Thy Husband, him to follow thou art bound;
  Where he abides, think there thy native soile.

    ADAM by this from the cold sudden damp
  Recovering, and his scatterd spirits returnd,
  To MICHAEL thus his humble words addressd.

    Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or nam'd
  Of them the Highest, for such of shape may seem
  Prince above Princes, gently hast thou tould
  Thy message, which might else in telling wound,
  And in performing end us; what besides
  Of sorrow and dejection and despair
  Our frailtie can sustain, thy tidings bring,
  Departure from this happy place, our sweet
  Recess, and onely consolation left
  Familiar to our eyes, all places else
  Inhospitable appeer and desolate,
  Nor knowing us nor known: and if by prayer
  Incessant I could hope to change the will
  Of him who all things can, I would not cease
  To wearie him with my assiduous cries:
  But prayer against his absolute Decree
  No more availes then breath against the winde,
  Blown stifling back on him that breaths it forth:
  Therefore to his great bidding I submit.
  This most afflicts me, that departing hence,
  As from his face I shall be hid, deprivd
  His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent,
  With worship, place by place where he voutsaf'd
  Presence Divine, and to my Sons relate;
  On this Mount he appeerd, under this Tree
  Stood visible, among these Pines his voice
  I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk'd:
  So many grateful Altars I would reare
  Of grassie Terfe, and pile up every Stone
  Of lustre from the brook, in memorie,
  Or monument to Ages, and thereon
  Offer sweet smelling Gumms & Fruits and Flours:
  In yonder nether World where shall I seek
  His bright appearances, or footstep trace?
  For though I fled him angrie, yet recall'd
  To life prolongd and promisd Race, I now
  Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts
  Of glory, and farr off his steps adore.

    To whom thus MICHAEL with regard benigne.
  ADAM, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth
  Not this Rock onely; his Omnipresence fills
  Land, Sea, and Aire, and every kinde that lives,
  Fomented by his virtual power and warmd:
  All th' Earth he gave thee to possess and rule,
  No despicable gift; surmise not then
  His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd
  Of Paradise or EDEN: this had been
  Perhaps thy Capital Seate, from whence had spred
  All generations, and had hither come
  From all the ends of th' Earth, to celebrate
  And reverence thee thir great Progenitor.
  But this praeeminence thou hast lost, brought down
  To dwell on eeven ground now with thy Sons:
  Yet doubt not but in Vallie and in Plaine
  God is as here, and will be found alike
  Present, and of his presence many a signe
  Still following thee, still compassing thee round
  With goodness and paternal Love, his Face
  Express, and of his steps the track Divine.
  Which that thou mayst beleeve, and be confirmd,
  Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent
  To shew thee what shall come in future dayes
  To thee and to thy Ofspring; good with bad
  Expect to hear, supernal Grace contending
  With sinfulness of Men; thereby to learn
  True patience, and to temper joy with fear
  And pious sorrow, equally enur'd
  By moderation either state to beare,
  Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead
  Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure
  Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend
  This Hill; let EVE (for I have drencht her eyes)
  Here sleep below while thou to foresight wak'st,
  As once thou slepst, while Shee to life was formd.

    To whom thus ADAM gratefully repli'd.
  Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path
  Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heav'n submit,
  However chast'ning, to the evil turne
  My obvious breast, arming to overcom
  By suffering, and earne rest from labour won,
  If so I may attain. So both ascend
  In the Visions of God: It was a Hill
  Of Paradise the highest, from whose top
  The Hemisphere of Earth in cleerest Ken
  Stretcht out to amplest reach of prospect lay.
  Not higher that Hill nor wider looking round,
  Whereon for different cause the Tempter set
  Our second ADAM in the Wilderness,
  To shew him all Earths Kingdomes and thir Glory.
  His Eye might there command wherever stood
  City of old or modern Fame, the Seat
  Of mightiest Empire, from the destind Walls
  To PAQUIN of SINAEAN Kings, and thence
  To AGRA and LAHOR of great MOGUL
  Down to the golden CHERSONESE, or where
  The PERSIAN in ECBATAN sate, or since
  In HISPAHAN, or where the RUSSIAN KSAR
  In MOSCO, or the Sultan in BIZANCE,
  TURCHESTAN-born; nor could his eye not ken
  Th' Empire of NEGUS to his utmost Port
  ERCOCO and the less Maritine Kings
  And SOFALA thought OPHIR, to the Realme
  Of CONGO, and ANGOLA fardest South;
  Or thence from NIGER Flood to ATLAS Mount
  The Kingdoms of ALMANSOR, FEZ, and SUS,
  On EUROPE thence, and where ROME was to sway
  The VVorld: in Spirit perhaps he also saw
  Rich MEXICO the seat of MOTEZUME,
  And CUSCO in PERU, the richer seat
  Of ATABALIPA, and yet unspoil'd
  GUIANA, whose great Citie GERYONS Sons
  Call EL DORADO: but to nobler sights
  MICHAEL from ADAMS eyes the Filme remov'd
  VVhich that false Fruit that promis'd clearer sight
  Had bred; then purg'd with Euphrasie and Rue
  The visual Nerve, for he had much to see;
  And from the VVell of Life three drops instill'd.
  So deep the power of these Ingredients pierc'd,
  Eevn to the inmost seat of mental sight,
  That ADAM now enforc't to close his eyes,
  Sunk down and all his Spirits became intranst:
  But him the gentle Angel by the hand
  Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall'd.

    ADAM, now ope thine eyes, and first behold
  Th' effects which thy original crime hath wrought
  In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd
  Th' excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir'd,
  Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive
  Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds.

    His eyes he op'nd, and beheld a field,
  Part arable and tilth, whereon were Sheaves
  New reapt, the other part sheep-walks and foulds;
  Ith' midst an Altar as the Land-mark stood
  Rustic, of grassie sord; thither anon
  A sweatie Reaper from his Tillage brought
  First Fruits, the green Eare, and the yellow Sheaf,
  Uncull'd, as came to hand; a Shepherd next
  More meek came with the Firstlings of his Flock
  Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid
  The Inwards and thir Fat, with Incense strew'd,
  On the cleft Wood, and all due Rites perform'd.
  His Offring soon propitious Fire from Heav'n
  Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steame;
  The others not, for his was not sincere;
  Whereat hee inlie rag'd, and as they talk'd,
  Smote him into the Midriff with a stone
  That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale
  Groand out his Soul with gushing bloud effus'd.
  Much at that sight was ADAM in his heart
  Dismai'd, and thus in haste to th' Angel cri'd.

    O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n
  To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd;
  Is Pietie thus and pure Devotion paid?

    T' whom MICHAEL thus, hee also mov'd, repli'd.
  These two are Brethren, ADAM, and to come
  Out of thy loyns; th' unjust the just hath slain,
  For envie that his Brothers Offering found
  From Heav'n acceptance; but the bloodie Fact
  Will be aveng'd, and th' others Faith approv'd
  Loose no reward, though here thou see him die,
  Rowling in dust and gore. To which our Sire.

    Alas, both for the deed and for the cause!
  But have I now seen Death? Is this the way
  I must return to native dust? O sight
  Of terrour, foul and ugly to behold,
  Horrid to think, how horrible to feel!

    To whom thus MICHAEL. Death thou hast seen
  In his first shape on man; but many shapes
  Of Death, and many are the wayes that lead
  To his grim Cave, all dismal; yet to sense
  More terrible at th' entrance then within.
  Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die,
  By Fire, Flood, Famin, by Intemperance more
  In Meats and Drinks, which on the Earth shal bring
  Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew
  Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know
  What miserie th' inabstinence of EVE
  Shall bring on men. Immediately a place
  Before his eyes appeard, sad, noysom, dark,
  A Lazar-house it seemd, wherein were laid
  Numbers of all diseas'd, all maladies
  Of gastly Spasm, or racking torture, qualmes
  Of heart-sick Agonie, all feavorous kinds,
  Convulsions, Epilepsies, fierce Catarrhs,
  Intestin Stone and Ulcer, Colic pangs,
  Dropsies, and Asthma's, and Joint-racking Rheums.
  Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, despair
  Tended the sick busiest from Couch to Couch;
  And over them triumphant Death his Dart
  Shook, but delaid to strike, though oft invok't
  With vows, as thir chief good, and final hope.
  Sight so deform what heart of Rock could long
  Drie-ey'd behold? ADAM could not, but wept,
  Though not of Woman born; compassion quell'd
  His best of Man, and gave him up to tears
  A space, till firmer thoughts restraind excess,
  And scarce recovering words his plaint renew'd.

    O miserable Mankind, to what fall
  Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd?
  Better end heer unborn. Why is life giv'n
  To be thus wrested from us? rather why
  Obtruded on us thus? who if we knew
  What we receive, would either not accept
  Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down,
  Glad to be so dismist in peace. Can thus
  Th' Image of God in man created once
  So goodly and erect, though faultie since,
  To such unsightly sufferings be debas't
  Under inhuman pains? Why should not Man,
  Retaining still Divine similitude
  In part, from such deformities be free,
  And for his Makers Image sake exempt?

    Thir Makers Image, answerd MICHAEL, then
  Forsook them, when themselves they villifi'd
  To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took
  His Image whom they serv'd, a brutish vice,
  Inductive mainly to the sin of EVE.
  Therefore so abject is thir punishment,
  Disfiguring not Gods likeness, but thir own,
  Or if his likeness, by themselves defac't
  While they pervert pure Natures healthful rules
  To loathsom sickness, worthily, since they
  Gods Image did not reverence in themselves.

    I yeild it just, said ADAM, and submit.
  But is there yet no other way, besides
  These painful passages, how we may come
  To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?

    There is, said MICHAEL, if thou well observe
  The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
  In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence
  Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
  Till many years over thy head return:
  So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop
  Into thy Mothers lap, or be with ease
  Gatherd, not harshly pluckt, for death mature:
  This is old age; but then thou must outlive
  Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change
  To witherd weak & gray; thy Senses then
  Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forgoe,
  To what thou hast, and for the Aire of youth
  Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reigne
  A melancholly damp of cold and dry
  To waigh thy spirits down, and last consume
  The Balme of Life. To whom our Ancestor.

    Henceforth I flie not Death, nor would prolong
  Life much, bent rather how I may be quit
  Fairest and easiest of this combrous charge,
  Which I must keep till my appointed day
  Of rendring up. MICHAEL to him repli'd.

    Nor love thy Life, nor hate; but what thou livst
  Live well, how long or short permit to Heav'n:
  And now prepare thee for another sight.

    He lookd and saw a spacious Plaine, whereon
  Were Tents of various hue; by some were herds
  Of Cattel grazing: others, whence the sound
  Of Instruments that made melodious chime
  Was heard, of Harp and Organ; and who moovd
  Thir stops and chords was seen: his volant touch
  Instinct through all proportions low and high
  Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue.
  In other part stood one who at the Forge
  Labouring, two massie clods of Iron and Brass
  Had melted (whether found where casual fire
  Had wasted woods on Mountain or in Vale,
  Down to the veins of Earth, thence gliding hot
  To som Caves mouth, or whether washt by stream
  From underground) the liquid Ore he dreind
  Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he formd
  First his own Tooles; then, what might else be wrought
  Fulfil or grav'n in mettle. After these,
  But on the hether side a different sort
  From the high neighbouring Hills, which was thir Seat,
  Down to the Plain descended: by thir guise
  Just men they seemd, and all thir study bent
  To worship God aright, and know his works
  Not hid, nor those things lost which might preserve
  Freedom and Peace to men: they on the Plain
  Long had not walkt, when from the Tents behold
  A Beavie of fair Women, richly gay
  In Gems and wanton dress; to the Harp they sung
  Soft amorous Ditties, and in dance came on:
  The Men though grave, ey'd them, and let thir eyes
  Rove without rein, till in the amorous Net
  Fast caught, they lik'd, and each his liking chose;
  And now of love they treat till th' Eevning Star
  Loves Harbinger appeerd; then all in heat
  They light the Nuptial Torch, and bid invoke
  Hymen, then first to marriage Rites invok't;
  With Feast and Musick all the Tents resound.
  Such happy interview and fair event
  Of love & youth not lost, Songs, Garlands, Flours,
  And charming Symphonies attach'd the heart
  Of ADAM, soon enclin'd to admit delight,
  The bent of Nature; which he thus express'd.

    True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest,
  Much better seems this Vision, and more hope
  Of peaceful dayes portends, then those two past;
  Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse,
  Here Nature seems fulfilld in all her ends.

    To whom thus MICHAEL. Judg not what is best
  By pleasure, though to Nature seeming meet,
  Created, as thou art, to nobler end
  Holie and pure, conformitie divine.
  Those Tents thou sawst so pleasant, were the Tents
  Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his Race
  Who slew his Brother; studious they appere
  Of Arts that polish Life, Inventers rare,
  Unmindful of thir Maker, though his Spirit
  Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none.
  Yet they a beauteous ofspring shall beget;
  For that fair femal Troop thou sawst, that seemd
  Of Goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay,
  Yet empty of all good wherein consists
  Womans domestic honour and chief praise;
  Bred onely and completed to the taste
  Of lustful apperence, to sing, to dance,
  To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roule the Eye.
  To these that sober Race of Men, whose lives
  Religious titl'd them the Sons of God,
  Shall yeild up all thir vertue, all thir fame
  Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles
  Of these fair Atheists, and now swim in joy,
  (Erelong to swim at larg) and laugh; for which
  The world erelong a world of tears must weepe.

    To whom thus ADAM of short joy bereft.
  O pittie and shame, that they who to live well
  Enterd so faire, should turn aside to tread
  Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint!
  But still I see the tenor of Mans woe
  Holds on the same, from Woman to begin.

    From Mans effeminate slackness it begins,
  Said th' Angel, who should better hold his place
  By wisdome, and superiour gifts receavd.
  But now prepare thee for another Scene.

    He lookd and saw wide Territorie spred
  Before him, Towns, and rural works between,
  Cities of Men with lofty Gates and Towrs,
  Concours in Arms, fierce Faces threatning Warr,
  Giants of mightie Bone, and bould emprise;
  Part wield thir Arms, part courb the foaming Steed,
  Single or in Array of Battel rang'd
  Both Horse and Foot, nor idely mustring stood;
  One way a Band select from forage drives
  A herd of Beeves, faire Oxen and faire Kine
  From a fat Meddow ground; or fleecy Flock,
  Ewes and thir bleating Lambs over the Plaine,
  Thir Bootie; scarce with Life the Shepherds flye,
  But call in aide, which tacks a bloody Fray;
  With cruel Tournament the Squadrons joine;
  Where Cattel pastur'd late, now scatterd lies
  With Carcasses and Arms th' ensanguind Field
  Deserted: Others to a Citie strong
  Lay Siege, encampt; by Batterie, Scale, and Mine,
  Assaulting; others from the Wall defend
  With Dart and Jav'lin, Stones and sulfurous Fire;
  On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds.
  In other part the scepter'd Haralds call
  To Council in the Citie Gates: anon
  Grey-headed men and grave, with Warriours mixt,
  Assemble, and Harangues are heard, but soon
  In factious opposition, till at last
  Of middle Age one rising, eminent
  In wise deport, spake much of Right and Wrong,
  Of Justice, of Religion, Truth and Peace,
  And Judgement from above: him old and young
  Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands,
  Had not a Cloud descending snatch'd him thence
  Unseen amid the throng: so violence
  Proceeded, and Oppression, and Sword-Law
  Through all the Plain, and refuge none was found.
  ADAM was all in tears, and to his guide
  Lamenting turnd full sad; O what are these,
  Deaths Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death
  Inhumanly to men, and multiply
  Ten thousand fould the sin of him who slew
  His Brother; for of whom such massacher
  Make they but of thir Brethren, men of men?
  But who was that Just Man, whom had not Heav'n
  Rescu'd, had in his Righteousness bin lost?

    To whom thus MICHAEL; These are the product
  Of those ill-mated Marriages thou saw'st;
  Where good with bad were matcht, who of themselves
  Abhor to joyn; and by imprudence mixt,
  Produce prodigious Births of bodie or mind.
  Such were these Giants, men of high renown;
  For in those dayes Might onely shall be admir'd,
  And Valour and Heroic Vertu call'd;
  To overcome in Battel, and subdue
  Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite
  Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch
  Of human Glorie, and for Glorie done
  Of triumph, to be styl'd great Conquerours,
  Patrons of Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods,
  Destroyers rightlier call'd and Plagues of men.
  Thus Fame shall be achiev'd, renown on Earth,
  And what most merits fame in silence hid.
  But hee the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldst
  The onely righteous in a World perverse,
  And therefore hated, therefore so beset
  With Foes for daring single to be just,
  And utter odious Truth, that God would come
  To judge them with his Saints: Him the most High
  Rapt in a balmie Cloud with winged Steeds
  Did, as thou sawst, receave, to walk with God
  High in Salvation and the Climes of bliss,
  Exempt from Death; to shew thee what reward
  Awaits the good, the rest what punishment;
  Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold.

    He look'd, & saw the face of things quite chang'd;
  The brazen Throat of Warr had ceast to roar,
  All now was turn'd to jollitie and game,
  To luxurie and riot, feast and dance,
  Marrying or prostituting, as befell,
  Rape or Adulterie, where passing faire
  Allurd them; thence from Cups to civil Broiles.
  At length a Reverend Sire among them came,
  And of thir doings great dislike declar'd,
  And testifi'd against thir wayes; hee oft
  Frequented thir Assemblies, whereso met,
  Triumphs or Festivals, and to them preachd
  Conversion and Repentance, as to Souls
  In prison under Judgements imminent:
  But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas'd
  Contending, and remov'd his Tents farr off;
  Then from the Mountain hewing Timber tall,
  Began to build a Vessel of huge bulk,
  Measur'd by Cubit, length, & breadth, and highth,
  Smeard round with Pitch, and in the side a dore
  Contriv'd, and of provisions laid in large
  For Man and Beast: when loe a wonder strange!
  Of everie Beast, and Bird, and Insect small
  Came seavens, and pairs, and enterd in, as taught
  Thir order; last the Sire, and his three Sons
  With thir four Wives, and God made fast the dore.
  Meanwhile the Southwind rose, & with black wings
  Wide hovering, all the Clouds together drove
  From under Heav'n; the Hills to their supplie
  Vapour, and Exhalation dusk and moist,
  Sent up amain; and now the thick'nd Skie
  Like a dark Ceeling stood; down rush'd the Rain
  Impetuous, and continu'd till the Earth
  No more was seen; the floating Vessel swum
  Uplifted; and secure with beaked prow
  Rode tilting o're the Waves, all dwellings else
  Flood overwhelmd, and them with all thir pomp
  Deep under water rould; Sea cover'd Sea,
  Sea without shoar; and in thir Palaces
  Where luxurie late reign'd, Sea-monsters whelp'd
  And stabl'd; of Mankind, so numerous late,
  All left, in one small bottom swum imbark't.
  How didst thou grieve then, ADAM, to behold
  The end of all thy Ofspring, end so sad,
  Depopulation; thee another Floud,
  Of tears and sorrow a Floud thee also drown'd,
  And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently reard
  By th' Angel, on thy feet thou stoodst at last,
  Though comfortless, as when a Father mourns
  His Childern, all in view destroyd at once;
  And scarce to th' Angel utterdst thus thy plaint.

    O Visions ill foreseen! better had I
  Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne
  My part of evil onely, each dayes lot
  Anough to bear; those now, that were dispenst
  The burd'n of many Ages, on me light
  At once, by my foreknowledge gaining Birth
  Abortive, to torment me ere thir being,
  With thought that they must be. Let no man seek
  Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall
  Him or his Childern, evil he may be sure,
  Which neither his foreknowing can prevent,
  And hee the future evil shall no less
  In apprehension then in substance feel
  Grievous to bear: but that care now is past,
  Man is not whom to warne: those few escap't
  Famin and anguish will at last consume
  Wandring that watrie Desert: I had hope
  When violence was ceas't, and Warr on Earth,
  All would have then gon well, peace would have crownd
  With length of happy days the race of man;
  But I was farr deceav'd; for now I see
  Peace to corrupt no less then Warr to waste.
  How comes it thus? unfould, Celestial Guide,
  And whether here the Race of man will end.
  To whom thus MICHAEL. Those whom last thou sawst
  In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they
  First seen in acts of prowess eminent
  And great exploits, but of true vertu void;
  Who having spilt much blood, and don much waste
  Subduing Nations, and achievd thereby
  Fame in the World, high titles, and rich prey,
  Shall change thir course to pleasure, ease, and sloth,
  Surfet, and lust, till wantonness and pride
  Raise out of friendship hostil deeds in Peace.
  The conquerd also, and enslav'd by Warr
  Shall with thir freedom lost all vertu loose
  And feare of God, from whom thir pietie feign'd
  In sharp contest of Battel found no aide
  Against invaders; therefore coold in zeale
  Thenceforth shall practice how to live secure,
  Worldlie or dissolute, on what thir Lords
  Shall leave them to enjoy; for th' Earth shall bear
  More then anough, that temperance may be tri'd:
  So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd,
  Justice and Temperance, Truth and Faith forgot;
  One Man except, the onely Son of light
  In a dark Age, against example good,
  Against allurement, custom, and a World
  Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn,
  Or violence, hee of thir wicked wayes
  Shall them admonish, and before them set
  The paths of righteousness, how much more safe,
  And full of peace, denouncing wrauth to come
  On thir impenitence; and shall returne
  Of them derided, but of God observd
  The one just Man alive; by his command
  Shall build a wondrous Ark, as thou beheldst,
  To save himself and houshold from amidst
  A World devote to universal rack.
  No sooner hee with them of Man and Beast
  Select for life shall in the Ark be lodg'd,
  And shelterd round, but all the Cataracts
  Of Heav'n set open on the Earth shall powre
  Raine day and night, all fountaines of the Deep
  Broke up, shall heave the Ocean to usurp
  Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise
  Above the highest Hills: then shall this Mount
  Of Paradise by might of Waves be moovd
  Out of his place, pushd by the horned floud,
  With all his verdure spoil'd, and Trees adrift
  Down the great River to the op'ning Gulf,
  And there take root an Iland salt and bare,
  The haunt of Seales and Orcs, and Sea-mews clang.
  To teach thee that God attributes to place
  No sanctitie, if none be thither brought
  By Men who there frequent, or therein dwell.
  And now what further shall ensue, behold.

    He lookd, and saw the Ark hull on the floud,
  Which now abated, for the Clouds were fled,
  Drivn by a keen North-winde, that blowing drie
  Wrinkl'd the face of Deluge, as decai'd;
  And the cleer Sun on his wide watrie Glass
  Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh Wave largely drew,
  As after thirst, which made thir flowing shrink
  From standing lake to tripping ebbe, that stole
  With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt
  His Sluces, as the Heav'n his windows shut.
  The Ark no more now flotes, but seems on ground
  Fast on the top of som high mountain fixt.
  And now the tops of Hills as Rocks appeer;
  With clamor thence the rapid Currents drive
  Towards the retreating Sea thir furious tyde.
  Forthwith from out the Arke a Raven flies,
  And after him, the surer messenger,
  A Dove sent forth once and agen to spie
  Green Tree or ground whereon his foot may light;
  The second time returning, in his Bill
  An Olive leafe he brings, pacific signe:
  Anon drie ground appeers, and from his Arke
  The ancient Sire descends with all his Train;
  Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout,
  Grateful to Heav'n, over his head beholds
  A dewie Cloud, and in the Cloud a Bow
  Conspicuous with three lifted colours gay,
  Betok'ning peace from God, and Cov'nant new.
  Whereat the heart of ADAM erst so sad
  Greatly rejoyc'd, and thus his joy broke forth.

    O thou that future things canst represent
  As present, Heav'nly instructer, I revive
  At this last sight, assur'd that Man shall live
  With all the Creatures, and thir seed preserve.
  Farr less I now lament for one whole World
  Of wicked Sons destroyd, then I rejoyce
  For one Man found so perfet and so just,
  That God voutsafes to raise another World
  From him, and all his anger to forget.
  But say, what mean those colourd streaks in Heavn,
  Distended as the Brow of God appeas'd,
  Or serve they as a flourie verge to binde
  The fluid skirts of that same watrie Cloud,
  Least it again dissolve and showr the Earth?

    To whom th' Archangel. Dextrously thou aim'st;
  So willingly doth God remit his Ire,
  Though late repenting him of Man deprav'd,
  Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw
  The whole Earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh
  Corrupting each thir way; yet those remoov'd,
  Such grace shall one just Man find in his sight,
  That he relents, not to blot out mankind,
  And makes a Covenant never to destroy
  The Earth again by flood, nor let the Sea
  Surpass his bounds, nor Rain to drown the World
  With Man therein or Beast; but when he brings
  Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set
  His triple-colour'd Bow, whereon to look
  And call to mind his Cov'nant: Day and Night,
  Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost
  Shall hold thir course, till fire purge all things new,
  Both Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.
  Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end;
  And Man as from a second stock proceed.
  Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceave
  Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine
  Must needs impaire and wearie human sense:
  Henceforth what is to com I will relate,
  Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
  This second sours of Men, while yet but few,
  And while the dread of judgement past remains
  Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie,
  With some regard to what is just and right
  Shall lead thir lives, and multiplie apace,
  Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop,
  Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock,
  Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid,
  With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast
  Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwell
  Long time in peace by Families and Tribes
  Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
  Of proud ambitious heart, who not content
  With fair equalitie, fraternal state,
  Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'd
  Over his brethren, and quite dispossess
  Concord and law of Nature from the Earth;
  Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game)
  With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse
  Subjection to his Empire tyrannous:
  A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'd
  Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n,
  Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie;
  And from Rebellion shall derive his name,
  Though of Rebellion others he accuse.
  Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns
  With him or under him to tyrannize,
  Marching from EDEN towards the West, shall finde
  The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge
  Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell;
  Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build
  A Citie & Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n;
  And get themselves a name, least far disperst
  In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost,
  Regardless whether good or evil fame.
  But God who oft descends to visit men
  Unseen, and through thir habitations walks
  To mark thir doings, them beholding soon,
  Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower
  Obstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision sets
  Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase
  Quite out thir Native Language, and instead
  To sow a jangling noise of words unknown:
  Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud
  Among the Builders; each to other calls
  Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage,
  As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'n
  And looking down, to see the hubbub strange
  And hear the din; thus was the building left
  Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd.

    Whereto thus ADAM fatherly displeas'd.
  O execrable Son so to aspire
  Above his Brethren, to himself affirming
  Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n:
  He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl
  Dominion absolute; that right we hold
  By his donation; but Man over men
  He made not Lord; such title to himself
  Reserving, human left from human free.
  But this Usurper his encroachment proud
  Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends
  Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food
  Will he convey up thither to sustain
  Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire
  Above the Clouds will pine his entrails gross,
  And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread?

    To whom thus MICHAEL. Justly thou abhorr'st
  That Son, who on the quiet state of men
  Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
  Rational Libertie; yet know withall,
  Since thy original lapse, true Libertie
  Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells
  Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being:
  Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd,
  Immediately inordinate desires
  And upstart Passions catch the Government
  From Reason, and to servitude reduce
  Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits
  Within himself unworthie Powers to reign
  Over free Reason, God in Judgement just
  Subjects him from without to violent Lords;
  Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
  His outward freedom: Tyrannie must be,
  Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.
  Yet somtimes Nations will decline so low
  From vertue, which is reason, that no wrong,
  But Justice, and some fatal curse annext
  Deprives them of thir outward libertie,
  Thir inward lost: Witness th' irreverent Son
  Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame
  Don to his Father, heard this heavie curse,
  SERVANT OF SERVANTS, on his vitious Race.
  Thus will this latter, as the former World,
  Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last
  Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw
  His presence from among them, and avert
  His holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforth
  To leave them to thir own polluted wayes;
  And one peculiar Nation to select
  From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd,
  A Nation from one faithful man to spring:
  Him on this side EUPHRATES yet residing,
  Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men
  (Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
  While yet the Patriark liv'd, who scap'd the Flood,
  As to forsake the living God, and fall
  To-worship thir own work in Wood and Stone
  For Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafes
  To call by Vision from his Fathers house,
  His kindred and false Gods, into a Land
  Which he will shew him, and from him will raise
  A mightie Nation, and upon him showre
  His benediction so, that in his Seed
  All Nations shall be blest; hee straight obeys,
  Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes:
  I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith
  He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soile
  UR of CHALDAEA, passing now the Ford
  To HARAN, after him a cumbrous Train
  Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude;
  Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealth
  With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown.
  CANAAN he now attains, I see his Tents
  Pitcht about SECHEM, and the neighbouring Plaine
  Of MOREB; there by promise he receaves
  Gift to his Progenie of all that Land;
  From HAMATH Northward to the Desert South
  (Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam'd)
  From HERMON East to the great Western Sea,
  Mount HERMON, yonder Sea, each place behold
  In prospect, as I point them; on the shoare
  Mount CARMEL; here the double-founted stream
  JORDAN, true limit Eastward; but his Sons
  Shall dwell to SENIR, that long ridge of Hills.
  This ponder, that all Nations of the Earth
  Shall in his Seed be blessed; by that Seed
  Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise
  The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon
  Plainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest,
  Whom FAITHFUL ABRAHAM due time shall call,
  A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves,
  Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;
  The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departs
  From CANAAN, to a Land hereafter call'd
  EGYPT, divided by the River NILE;
  See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthes
  Into the Sea: to sojourn in that Land
  He comes invited by a yonger Son
  In time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deeds
  Raise him to be the second in that Realme
  Of PHARAO: there he dies, and leaves his Race
  Growing into a Nation, and now grown
  Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks
  To stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guests
  Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
  Inhospitably, and kills thir infant Males:
  Till by two brethren (those two brethren call
  MOSES and AARON) sent from God to claime
  His people from enthralment, they return
  With glory and spoile back to thir promis'd Land.
  But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies
  To know thir God, or message to regard,
  Must be compelld by Signes and Judgements dire;
  To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd,
  Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fill
  With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land;
  His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die,
  Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss,
  And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile,
  Haile mixt with fire must rend th' EGYPTIAN Skie
  And wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rouls;
  What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine,
  A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming down
  Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green:
  Darkness must overshadow all his bounds,
  Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes;
  Last with one midnight stroke all the first-born
  Of EGYPT must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds
  This River-dragon tam'd at length submits
  To let his sojourners depart, and oft
  Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as Ice
  More hard'nd after thaw, till in his rage
  Pursuing whom he late dismissd, the Sea
  Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass
  As on drie land between two christal walls,
  Aw'd by the rod of MOSES so to stand
  Divided, till his rescu'd gain thir shoar:
  Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend,
  Though present in his Angel, who shall goe
  Before them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire,
  To guide them in thir journey, and remove
  Behinde them, while th' obdurat King pursues:
  All night he will pursue, but his approach
  Darkness defends between till morning Watch;
  Then through the Firey Pillar and the Cloud
  God looking forth will trouble all his Host
  And craze thir Chariot wheels: when by command
  MOSES once more his potent Rod extends
  Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;
  On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return,
  And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race elect
  Safe towards CANAAN from the shoar advance
  Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,
  Least entring on the CANAANITE allarmd
  Warr terrifie them inexpert, and feare
  Return them back to EGYPT, choosing rather
  Inglorious life with servitude; for life
  To noble and ignoble is more sweet
  Untraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on.
  This also shall they gain by thir delay
  In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found
  Thir government, and thir great Senate choose
  Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind:
  God from the Mount of SINAI, whose gray top
  Shall tremble, he descending, will himself
  In Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets sound
  Ordaine them Lawes; part such as appertaine
  To civil Justice, part religious Rites
  Of sacrifice, informing them, by types
  And shadowes, of that destind Seed to bruise
  The Serpent, by what meanes he shall achieve
  Mankinds deliverance. But the voice of God
  To mortal eare is dreadful; they beseech
  That MOSES might report to them his will,
  And terror cease; he grants them thir desire,
  Instructed that to God is no access
  Without Mediator, whose high Office now
  MOSES in figure beares, to introduce
  One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,
  And all the Prophets in thir Age the times
  Of great MESSIAH shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites
  Establisht, such delight hath God in Men
  Obedient to his will, that he voutsafes
  Among them to set up his Tabernacle,
  The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
  By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram'd
  Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein
  An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,
  The Records of his Cov'nant, over these
  A Mercie-seat of Gold between the wings
  Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn
  Seaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing
  The Heav'nly fires; over the Tent a Cloud
  Shall rest by Day, a fierie gleame by Night,
  Save when they journie, and at length they come,
  Conducted by his Angel to the Land
  Promisd to ABRAHAM and his Seed: the rest
  Were long to tell, how many Battels fought,
  How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won,
  Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav'n stand still
  A day entire, and Nights due course adjourne,
  Mans voice commanding, Sun in GIBEON stand,
  And thou Moon in the vale of AIALON,
  Till ISRAEL overcome; so call the third
  From ABRAHAM, Son of ISAAC, and from him
  His whole descent, who thus shall CANAAN win.

    Here ADAM interpos'd. O sent from Heav'n,
  Enlightner of my darkness, gracious things
  Thou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerne
  Just ABRAHAM and his Seed: now first I finde
  Mine eyes true op'ning, and my heart much eas'd,
  Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becom
  Of mee and all Mankind; but now I see
  His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,
  Favour unmerited by me, who sought
  Forbidd'n knowledge by forbidd'n means.
  This yet I apprehend not, why to those
  Among whom God will deigne to dwell on Earth
  So many and so various Laws are giv'n;
  So many Laws argue so many sins
  Among them; how can God with such reside?

    To whom thus MICHAEL. Doubt not but that sin
  Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
  And therefore was Law given them to evince
  Thir natural pravitie, by stirring up
  Sin against Law to fight; that when they see
  Law can discover sin, but not remove,
  Save by those shadowie expiations weak,
  The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may conclude
  Some bloud more precious must be paid for Man,
  Just for unjust, that in such righteousness
  To them by Faith imputed, they may finde
  Justification towards God, and peace
  Of Conscience, which the Law by Ceremonies
  Cannot appease, nor Man the moral part
  Perform, and not performing cannot live.
  So Law appears imperfet, and but giv'n
  With purpose to resign them in full time
  Up to a better Cov'nant, disciplin'd
  From shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,
  From imposition of strict Laws, to free
  Acceptance of large Grace, from servil fear
  To filial, works of Law to works of Faith.
  And therefore shall not MOSES, though of God
  Highly belov'd, being but the Minister
  Of Law, his people into CANAAN lead;
  But JOSHUA whom the Gentiles JESUS call,
  His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell
  The adversarie Serpent, and bring back
  Through the worlds wilderness long wanderd man
  Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
  Meanwhile they in thir earthly CANAAN plac't
  Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
  National interrupt thir public peace,
  Provoking God to raise them enemies:
  From whom as oft he saves them penitent
  By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom
  The second, both for pietie renownd
  And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
  Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne
  For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
  All Prophecie, That of the Royal Stock
  Of DAVID (so I name this King) shall rise
  A Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold,
  Foretold to ABRAHAM, as in whom shall trust
  All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings
  The last, for of his Reign shall be no end.
  But first a long succession must ensue,
  And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam'd,
  The clouded Ark of God till then in Tents
  Wandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine.
  Such follow him, as shall be registerd
  Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle,
  Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults
  Heapt to the popular summe, will so incense
  God, as to leave them, and expose thir Land,
  Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy Ark
  With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
  To that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw'st
  Left in confusion, BABYLON thence call'd.
  There in captivitie he lets them dwell
  The space of seventie years, then brings them back,
  Remembring mercie, and his Cov'nant sworn
  To DAVID, stablisht as the dayes of Heav'n.
  Returnd from BABYLON by leave of Kings
  Thir Lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God
  They first re-edifie, and for a while
  In mean estate live moderate, till grown
  In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
  But first among the Priests dissension springs,
  Men who attend the Altar, and should most
  Endeavour Peace: thir strife pollution brings
  Upon the Temple it self: at last they seise
  The Scepter, and regard not DAVIDS Sons,
  Then loose it to a stranger, that the true
  Anointed King MESSIAH might be born
  Barr'd of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr
  Unseen before in Heav'n proclaims him com,
  And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire
  His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;
  His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
  To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night;
  They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire
  Of squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung.
  A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire
  The Power of the most High; he shall ascend
  The Throne hereditarie, and bound his Reign
  With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav'ns.

    He ceas'd, discerning ADAM with such joy
  Surcharg'd, as had like grief bin dew'd in tears,
  Without the vent of words, which these he breathd.

    O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher
  Of utmost hope! now clear I understand
  What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain,
  Why our great expectation should be call'd
  The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile,
  High in the love of Heav'n, yet from my Loynes
  Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son
  Of God most High; So God with man unites.
  Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise
  Expect with mortal paine: say where and when
  Thir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel.

    To whom thus MICHAEL. Dream not of thir fight,
  As of a Duel, or the local wounds
  Of head or heel: not therefore joynes the Son
  Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil
  Thy enemie; nor so is overcome
  SATAN, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise,
  Disabl'd not to give thee thy deaths wound:
  Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure,
  Not by destroying SATAN, but his works
  In thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be,
  But by fulfilling that which thou didst want,
  Obedience to the Law of God, impos'd
  On penaltie of death, and suffering death,
  The penaltie to thy transgression due,
  And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:
  So onely can high Justice rest appaid.
  The Law of God exact he shall fulfill
  Both by obedience and by love, though love
  Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment
  He shall endure by coming in the Flesh
  To a reproachful life and cursed death,
  Proclaiming Life to all who shall believe
  In his redemption, and that his obedience
  Imputed becomes theirs by Faith, his merits
  To save them, not thir own, though legal works.
  For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd,
  Seis'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemnd
  A shameful and accurst, naild to the Cross
  By his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life;
  But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies,
  The Law that is against thee, and the sins
  Of all mankinde, with him there crucifi'd,
  Never to hurt them more who rightly trust
  In this his satisfaction; so he dies,
  But soon revives, Death over him no power
  Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
  Returne, the Starres of Morn shall see him rise
  Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light,
  Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems,
  His death for Man, as many as offerd Life
  Neglect not, and the benefit imbrace
  By Faith not void of works: this God-like act
  Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy'd,
  In sin for ever lost from life; this act
  Shall bruise the head of SATAN, crush his strength
  Defeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes,
  And fix farr deeper in his head thir stings
  Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,
  Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
  A gentle wafting to immortal Life.
  Nor after resurrection shall he stay
  Longer on Earth then certaine times to appeer
  To his Disciples, Men who in his Life
  Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge
  To teach all nations what of him they learn'd
  And his Salvation, them who shall beleeve
  Baptizing in the profluent streame, the signe
  Of washing them from guilt of sin to Life
  Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall,
  For death, like that which the redeemer dy'd.
  All Nations they shall teach; for from that day
  Not onely to the Sons of ABRAHAMS Loines
  Salvation shall be Preacht, but to the Sons
  Of ABRAHAMS Faith wherever through the world;
  So in his seed all Nations shall be blest.
  Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascend
  With victory, triumphing through the aire
  Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise
  The Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in Chaines
  Through all his realme, & there confounded leave;
  Then enter into glory, and resume
  His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high
  Above all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come,
  When this worlds dissolution shall be ripe,
  With glory and power to judge both quick & dead,
  To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward
  His faithful, and receave them into bliss,
  Whether in Heav'n or Earth, for then the Earth
  Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
  Then this of EDEN, and far happier daies.

    So spake th' Archangel MICHAEL, then paus'd,
  As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire
  Replete with joy and wonder thus repli'd.

    O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
  That all this good of evil shall produce,
  And evil turn to good; more wonderful
  Then that which by creation first brought forth
  Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
  Whether I should repent me now of sin
  By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce
  Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring,
  To God more glory, more good will to Men
  From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound.
  But say, if our deliverer up to Heav'n
  Must reascend, what will betide the few
  His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd,
  The enemies of truth; who then shall guide
  His people, who defend? will they not deale
  Wors with his followers then with him they dealt?

    Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'n
  Hee to his own a Comforter will send,
  The promise of the Father, who shall dwell
  His Spirit within them, and the Law of Faith
  Working through love, upon thir hearts shall write,
  To guide them in all truth, and also arme
  With spiritual Armour, able to resist
  SATANS assaults, and quench his fierie darts
  What Man can do against them, not affraid,
  Though to the death, against such cruelties
  With inward consolations recompenc't,
  And oft supported so as shall amaze
  Thir proudest persecuters: for the Spirit
  Powrd first on his Apostles, whom he sends
  To evangelize the Nations, then on all
  Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue
  To speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles,
  As did thir Lord before them. Thus they win
  Great numbers of each Nation to receave
  With joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at length
  Thir Ministry perform'd, and race well run,
  Thir doctrine and thir story written left,
  They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne,
  Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves,
  Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav'n
  To thir own vile advantages shall turne
  Of lucre and ambition, and the truth
  With superstitions and traditions taint,
  Left onely in those written Records pure,
  Though not but by the Spirit understood.
  Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
  Places and titles, and with these to joine
  Secular power, though feigning still to act
  By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
  The Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv'n
  To all Beleevers; and from that pretense,
  Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall force
  On every conscience; Laws which none shall finde
  Left them inrould, or what the Spirit within
  Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
  But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and binde
  His consort Libertie; what, but unbuild
  His living Temples, built by Faith to stand,
  Thir own Faith not anothers: for on Earth
  Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard
  Infallible? yet many will presume:
  Whence heavie persecution shall arise
  On all who in the worship persevere
  Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part,
  Will deem in outward Rites and specious formes
  Religion satisfi'd; Truth shall retire
  Bestuck with slandrous darts, and works of Faith
  Rarely be found: so shall the World goe on,
  To good malignant, to bad men benigne,
  Under her own waight groaning, till the day
  Appeer of respiration to the just,
  And vengeance to the wicked, at return
  Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid,
  The Womans seed, obscurely then foretold,
  Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord,
  Last in the Clouds from Heav'n to be reveald
  In glory of the Father, to dissolve
  SATAN with his perverted World, then raise
  From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd,
  New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date
  Founded in righteousness and peace and love,
  To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.

    He ended; and thus ADAM last reply'd.
  How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
  Measur'd this transient World, the Race of time,
  Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss,
  Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach.
  Greatly instructed I shall hence depart,
  Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill
  Of knowledge, what this vessel can containe;
  Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
  Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best,
  And love with feare the onely God, to walk
  As in his presence, ever to observe
  His providence, and on him sole depend,
  Merciful over all his works, with good
  Still overcoming evil, and by small
  Accomplishing great things, by things deemd weak
  Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
  By simply meek; that suffering for Truths sake
  Is fortitude to highest victorie,
  And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;
  Taught this by his example whom I now
  Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.

    To whom thus also th' Angel last repli'd:
  This having learnt, thou hast attaind the summe
  Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs
  Thou knewst by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,
  All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,
  Or works of God in Heav'n, Air, Earth, or Sea,
  And all the riches of this World enjoydst,
  And all the rule, one Empire; onely add
  Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,
  Add Vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,
  By name to come call'd Charitie, the soul
  Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath
  To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess
  A Paradise within thee, happier farr.
  Let us descend now therefore from this top
  Of Speculation; for the hour precise
  Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards,
  By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expect
  Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword,
  In signal of remove, waves fiercely round;
  We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve;
  Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm'd
  Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd
  To meek submission: thou at season fit
  Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,
  Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know,
  The great deliverance by her Seed to come
  (For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind.
  That ye may live, which will be many dayes,
  Both in one Faith unanimous though sad,
  With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'd
  With meditation on the happie end.

    He ended, and they both descend the Hill;
  Descended, ADAM to the Bowre where EVE
  Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak't;
  And thus with words not sad she him receav'd.

    Whence thou returnst, & whither wentst, I know;
  For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise,
  Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
  Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress
  VVearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
  In mee is no delay; with thee to goe,
  Is to stay here; without thee here to stay,
  Is to go hence unwilling; thou to mee
  Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou,
  VVho for my wilful crime art banisht hence.
  This further consolation yet secure
  I carry hence; though all by mee is lost,
  Such favour I unworthie am voutsaft,
  By mee the Promis'd Seed shall all restore.

    So spake our Mother EVE, and ADAM heard
  VVell pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too nigh
  Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill
  To thir fixt Station, all in bright array
  The Cherubim descended; on the ground
  Gliding meteorous, as Ev'ning Mist
  Ris'n from a River o're the marish glides,
  And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heel
  Homeward returning. High in Front advanc't,
  The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz'd
  Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,
  And vapour as the LIBYAN Air adust,
  Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat
  In either hand the hastning Angel caught
  Our lingring Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate
  Let them direct, and down the Cliff as fast
  To the subjected Plaine; then disappeer'd.
  They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld
  Of Paradise, so late thir happie seat,
  Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate
  With dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes:
  Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon;
  The World was all before them, where to choose
  Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
  They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
  Through EDEN took thir solitarie way.


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