The Poetical Works of John Milton by Milton, John

THE POETICAL WORKS OF JOHN MILTON

By John Milton

Transcriber's Notes:

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

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 Characters not in the ANSI standard set have been replaced by their nearest equivalent.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 Accented letters in the Italian poems have been replaced by the unaccented letter.

No italics have been retained.

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

Contents:

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

THE STATIONER TO THE READER.

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.

THE PASSION.

ON TIME.

UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.

AT A SOLEMN MUSICK.

AN EPITAPH ON THE MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER.

SONG ON MAY MORNING.

ON SHAKESPEAR. 1630.

ANOTHER ON THE SAME.

L'ALLEGRO.

IL PENSEROSO.

SONNETS.

ARCADES.

LYCIDAS.

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

POEMS ADDED IN THE 1673 EDITION.

ANNO AETATIS 17. ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT DYING OF A COUGH.

THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE. LIB. I.

SONNETS.

ON THE NEW FORCERS OF CONSCIENCE UNDER THE LONG PARLIAMENT.

ON THE LORD GEN. FAIRFAX AT THE SEIGE OF COLCHESTER.

TO THE LORD GENERALL CROMWELL MAY 1652.

TO SR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.

TO MR. CYRIACK SKINNER UPON HIS BLINDNESS.

PSAL. I. Done into Verse, 1653.

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

PSAL. III. Aug. 9. 1653

PSAL. IV. Aug. 10.1653.

PSAL. V. Aug. 12.1653.

PSAL. VI Aug. 13. 1653.

PSAL. VII. Aug. 14. 1653.

PSAL. VIII. Aug. 14. 1653.

APRIL, 1648. J. M. NINE OF THE PSALMS DONE INTO METRE,

PSAL. LXXX.

PSAL. LXXXI.

PSAL. LXXXII.

PSAL. LXXXIV.

PSAL LXXXV.

PSAL. LXXXVI.

PSAL. LXXXVII

PSAL. LXXXVIII

COLLECTION OF PASSAGES TRANSLATED IN THE PROSE WRITINGS.

[From Of Reformation in England, 1641.]

[From Reason of Church Government, 1641.]

[From Apology for Smectymnuus, 1642.]

[From Areopagitica, 1644.]

[From Tetrachordon, 1645.]

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

[From History of Britain, 1670.]

PARADISE LOST.

ON Paradise Lost.

THE VERSE.

BOOK I.

BOOK II.

BOOK III.

BOOK IV.

BOOK V.

BOOK VI.

BOOK VII.

BOOK VIII.

BOOK IX.

BOOK X.

BOOK XI.

BOOK XII.

PARADISE REGAIN'D.

The First Book.

The Second Book.

The Third Book.

The Fourth Book.

SAMSON AGONISTES

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

The Argument.

APPENDIX.

ON TIME

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amongst the enthroned gods on sainted seats.

A reader not learned in Miltonic rhythms will certainly read this

Amongst th' enthroned gods

But the 1645 edition reads:

Amongst the enthron'd gods

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

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

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

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

Warblest at eve when all the woods are still

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

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

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

but in the 1645 edition:--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This, this is shee;

and in the third verse:

This, this is she alone.

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

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

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

H. C. B.

YATTENDON RECTORY, November 8, 1899.

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

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

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

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

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

THE STATIONER TO THE READER.

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

Thine to Command

HUMPH. MOSELEY.

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS.

ON THE MORNING OF CHRISTS NATIVITY. Compos'd 1629.

I

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

II

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

III

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

IV

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

The Hymn.

I

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

II

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

III

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

IV

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

V

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

VI

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

VII

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

VIII

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

IX

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

X

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

XI

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

XII

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

XIII

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

XIV

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

XV

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

XVI

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

XVII

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

XVIII

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

XIX

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

XX

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

XXI

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

XXII

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

XXIII

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

XXIV

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

XXV

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

XXVI

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

XXVII

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

THE PASSION.

I

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

II

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

III

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

IV

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

Note: 22 latter] latest 1673.

V

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

VI

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

VII

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

VIII

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

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

ON TIME.

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

Note: See the appendix for the manuscript version.

UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.

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

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

AT A SOLEMN MUSICK.

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

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

AN EPITAPH ON THE MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER.

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

SONG ON MAY MORNING.

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

ON SHAKESPEAR. 1630.

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

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

ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER WHO SICKN'D IN THE TIME OF HIS VACANCY, BEING FORBID TO GO TO LONDON, BY REASON OF THE PLAGUE.

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

ANOTHER ON THE SAME.

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

L'ALLEGRO.

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

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

IL PENSEROSO.

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

SONNETS.

I

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

II

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

III

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

Canzone.

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

IV

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

V

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

VI

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

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

VIII

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

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

IX

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

Note: 5 with Ruth] the Ruth 1645.

X

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

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

ARCADES.

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

I. SONG.

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

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

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

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

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

2. SONG.

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

3. SONG.

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

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

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

JUSTA EDOVARDO KING naufrago, ab Amicis Moerentibus, amoris & mneias chaein ------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------ Sirecte calculam ponas, ubique naufragium est. Pet. Arb. ------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------ CANTABRIGIAE: Apud Thomam Buck, & Rogerum Daniel, celeberrimae Academiae typographos. 1638.

LYCIDAS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A MASKE PRESENTED At Ludlow Castle, 1634:

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

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

LONDON Printed for HYMPHREY ROBINSON at the signe of the Three Pidgeons in Pauls Church-yard. 1637.

To the Right Honourable, John Lord Vicount Bracly, Son and Heir apparent to the Earl of Bridgewater, &c.

My LORD,

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

Your faithfull, and most humble Servant

H. LAWES.

Note: Dedication to Vicount Bracly: Omitted in 1673.

The Copy of a Letter writt'n by Sir HENRY WOOTTON, to the Author, upon the following Poem.

From the Colledge, this 13. of April, 1638.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry Wootton.

Postscript.

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

Note: Letter from Sir Henry Wootton: Omitted in 1673

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

The Persons.

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

The cheif persons which presented, were The Lord Bracly. Mr. Thomas Egerton his Brother, The Lady Alice Egerton.

The first Scene discovers a wilde Wood.

The attendant Spirit descends or enters.

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

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

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

The Measure.

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

The Lady enters.

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

SONG.

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

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

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

Co: What chance good Lady hath bereft you thus?

La: Dim darknes, and this heavy Labyrinth.

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

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

Co: By falshood, or discourtesie, or why?

La: To seek in vally som cool friendly Spring.

Co: And left your fair side all unguarded Lady?

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

Co: Perhaps fore-stalling night prevented them.

La: How easie my misfortune is to hit!

Co: Imports their loss, beside the present need?

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

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

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

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

Co: Due west it rises from this shrubby point.

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

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

The Two Brothers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Enter] The attendant Spirit habited like a Shepherd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spir: Ay me unhappy then my fears are true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SONG.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SONG.

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

This second Song presents them to their father and mother.

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

The dances ended, the Spirit Epiloguizes.

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

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

POEMS ADDED IN THE 1673 EDITION.

ANNO AETATIS 17. ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT DYING OF A COUGH.

I

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

II

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

III

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

IV

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

V

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

VI

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

VII

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

VIII

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

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

IX

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

X

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

XI

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

Anno Aetatis 19. At a Vacation Exercise in the Colledge, part Latin, part English. The Latin speeches ended, the English thus began.

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

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

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

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

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

The rest was Prose.

THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE. LIB. I.

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

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

SONNETS.

XI

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

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

XII. On the same.

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

XIII

To Mr. H. Lawes, on his Aires.

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

Note: 9 send] lend Cambridge Autograph MS.

XIV

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

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

XV

ON THE LATE MASSACHER IN PIEMONT.

Avenge O lord thy slaughter'd Saints, whose bones Lie scatter'd on the Alpine mountains cold, Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old When all our Fathers worship't Stocks and Stones, Forget not: in thy book record their groanes Who were thy Sheep and in their antient Fold Slayn by the bloody Piemontese that roll'd Mother with Infant down the Rocks. Their moans The Vales redoubl'd to the Hills, and they To Heav'n. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow 10 O're all th'Italian fields where still doth sway The triple Tyrant: that from these may grow A hunder'd-fold, who having learnt thy way Early may fly the Babylonian wo.

XVI

When I consider how my light is spent, E're half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one Talent which is death to hide, Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, least he returning chide, Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd, I fondly ask; But patience to prevent That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts, who best 10 Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed And post o're Land and Ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and waite.

XVII

Lawrence of vertuous Father vertuous Son, Now that the Fields are dank, and ways are mire, Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire Help wast a sullen day; what may be Won From the hard Season gaining: time will run On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire The frozen earth; and cloth in fresh attire The Lillie and Rose, that neither sow'd nor spun. What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice, Of Attick tast, with Wine, whence we may rise 10 To hear the Lute well toucht, or artfull voice Warble immortal Notes and Tuskan Ayre? He who of those delights can judge, and spare To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

XVIII

Cyriack, whose Grandsire on the Royal Bench Of Brittish Themis, with no mean applause Pronounc't and in his volumes taught our Lawes, Which others at their Barr so often wrench: To day deep thoughts resolve with me to drench In mirth, that after no repenting drawes; Let Euclid rest and Archimedes pause, And what the Swede intend, and what the French. To measure life, learn thou betimes, and know Toward solid good what leads the nearest way; 10 For other things mild Heav'n a time ordains, And disapproves that care, though wise in show, That with superfluous burden loads the day, And when God sends a cheerful hour, refrains.

XIX

Methought I saw my late espoused Saint Brought to me like Alcestis from the grave, Whom Joves great Son to her glad Husband gave, Rescu'd from death by force though pale and faint. Mine as whom washt from spot of child-bed taint, Purification in the old Law did save, And such, as yet once more I trust to have Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint, Came vested all in white, pure as her mind: Her face was vail'd, yet to my fancied sight, 10 Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shin'd So clear, as in no face with more delight. But O as to embrace me she enclin'd I wak'd, she fled, and day brought back my night.

ON THE NEW FORCERS OF CONSCIENCE UNDER THE LONG PARLIAMENT.

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

The four following sonnets were not published until 1694, and then in a mangled form by Phillips, in his Life of Milton; they are here printed from the Cambridge MS., where that to Fairfax is in Milton's autograph.

ON THE LORD GEN. FAIRFAX AT THE SEIGE OF COLCHESTER.

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

TO THE LORD GENERALL CROMWELL MAY 1652.

ON THE PROPOSALLS OF CERTAINE MINISTERS AT THE COMMITTEE FOR PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPELL.

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

TO SR HENRY VANE THE YOUNGER.

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

TO MR. CYRIACK SKINNER UPON HIS BLINDNESS.

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

PSAL. I. Done into Verse, 1653.

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

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

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

PSAL. III. Aug. 9. 1653

WHEN HE FLED FROM ABSALOM.

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

PSAL. IV. Aug. 10.1653.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PSAL. V. Aug. 12.1653.

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

PSAL. VI Aug. 13. 1653.

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

PSAL. VII. Aug. 14. 1653.

UPON THE WORDS OF CHUSH THE BENJAMITE AGAINST HIM.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PSAL. VIII. Aug. 14. 1653.

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

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

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

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

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

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

APRIL, 1648. J. M. NINE OF THE PSALMS DONE INTO METRE,

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

PSAL. LXXX.

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

PSAL. LXXXI.

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

PSAL. LXXXII.

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

PSAL. LXXXIII.

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

PSAL. LXXXIV.

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

PSAL LXXXV.

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

PSAL. LXXXVI.

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

PSAL. LXXXVII

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

PSAL. LXXXVIII

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

Finis.

COLLECTION OF PASSAGES TRANSLATED IN THE PROSE WRITINGS.

[From Of Reformation in England, 1641.]

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

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

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

[From Reason of Church Government, 1641.]

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

[From Apology for Smectymnuus, 1642.]

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

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

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

[From Areopagitica, 1644.]

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

[From Tetrachordon, 1645.]

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

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

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

[From History of Britain, 1670.]

Brutus thus addresses Diana in the country of Leogecia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PARADISE LOST.

ON Paradise Lost.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A.M.

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

The Printer to the Reader.

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

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

THE VERSE.

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

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

BOOK I.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast Brought Death into the World, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat, Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed, In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill 10 Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song, That with no middle flight intends to soar Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime. And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure, Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread 20 Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support; That to the highth of this great Argument I may assert th' Eternal Providence, And justifie the wayes of God to men. Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State, Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off 30 From their Creator, and transgress his Will For one restraint, Lords of the World besides? Who first seduc'd them to that fowl revolt? Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd The Mother of Mankinde, what time his Pride Had cast him out from Heav'n, with all his Host Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring To set himself in Glory above his Peers, He trusted to have equal'd the most High, 40 If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim Against the Throne and Monarchy of God Rais'd impious War in Heav'n and Battel proud With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie With hideous ruine and combustion down To bottomless perdition, there to dwell In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire, Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms. Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night 50 To mortal men, he with his horrid crew Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe Confounded though immortal: But his doom Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought Both of lost happiness and lasting pain Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes That witness'd huge affliction and dismay Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate: At once as far as Angels kenn he views The dismal Situation waste and wilde, 60 A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible Serv'd only to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace And rest can never dwell, hope never comes That comes to all; but torture without end Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd: Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd 70 For those rebellious, here their Prison ordain'd In utter darkness, and their portion set As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole. O how unlike the place from whence they fell! There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, He soon discerns, and weltring by his side One next himself in power, and next in crime, Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd 80 Beelzebub. To whom th' Arch-Enemy, And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words Breaking the horrid silence thus began. If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! how chang'd From him, who in the happy Realms of Light Cloth'd with transcendent brightnes didst outshine Myriads though bright: If he whom mutual league, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope, And hazard in the Glorious Enterprize, Joynd with me once, now misery hath joynd 90 In equal ruin: into what Pit thou seest From what highth fal'n, so much the stronger provd He with his Thunder: and till then who knew The force of those dire Arms? yet not for those Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage Can else inflict do I repent or change, Though chang'd in outward lustre; that fixt mind And high disdain, from sence of injur'd merit, That with the mightiest rais'd me to contend, And to the fierce contention brought along 100 Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring, His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd In dubious Battel on the Plains of Heav'n, And shook his throne. What though the field be lost? All is not lost; the unconquerable Will, And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield: And what is else not to be overcome? That Glory never shall his wrath or might 110 Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee, and deifie his power Who from the terrour of this Arm so late Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed, That were an ignominy and shame beneath This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods And this Empyreal substance cannot fail, Since through experience of this great event In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't, We may with more successful hope resolve 120 To wage by force or guile eternal Warr Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe, Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n. So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain, Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare: And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer. O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers, That led th' imbattelld Seraphim to Warr Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds 130 Fearless, endanger'd Heav'ns perpetual King; And put to proof his high Supremacy, Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate, Too well I see and rue the dire event, That with sad overthrow and foul defeat Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mighty Host In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as Gods and Heav'nly Essences Can Perish: for the mind and spirit remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns, 140 Though all our Glory extinct, and happy state Here swallow'd up in endless misery. But what if he our Conquerour, (whom I now Of force believe Almighty, since no less Then such could hav orepow'rd such force as ours) Have left us this our spirit and strength intire Strongly to suffer and support our pains, That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, Or do him mightier service as his thralls By right of Warr, what e're his business be 150 Here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire, Or do his Errands in the gloomy Deep; What can it then avail though yet we feel Strength undiminisht, or eternal being To undergo eternal punishment? Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd. Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure, To do ought good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight, 160 As being the contrary to his high will Whom we resist. If then his Providence Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labour must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil; Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb His inmost counsels from their destind aim. But see the angry Victor hath recall'd His Ministers of vengeance and pursuit 170 Back to the Gates of Heav'n: The Sulphurous Hail Shot after us in storm, oreblown hath laid The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the Thunder, Wing'd with red Lightning and impetuous rage, Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep. Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn, Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe. Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde, 180 The seat of desolation, voyd of light, Save what the glimmering of these livid flames Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend From off the tossing of these fiery waves, There rest, if any rest can harbour there, And reassembling our afflicted Powers, Consult how we may henceforth most offend Our Enemy, our own loss how repair, How overcome this dire Calamity, What reinforcement we may gain from Hope, 190 If not what resolution from despare. Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes That sparkling blaz'd, his other Parts besides Prone on the Flood, extended long and large Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge As whom the Fables name of monstrous size, Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove, Briarios or Typhon, whom the Den By ancient Tarsus held, or that Sea-beast 200 Leviathan, which God of all his works Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream: Him haply slumbring on the Norway foam The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff, Deeming some Island, oft, as Sea-men tell, With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind Moors by his side under the Lee, while Night Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes: So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay Chain'd on the burning Lake, nor ever thence 210 Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will And high permission of all-ruling Heaven Left him at large to his own dark designs, That with reiterated crimes he might Heap on himself damnation, while he sought Evil to others, and enrag'd might see How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn On Man by him seduc't, but on himself Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd. 220 Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames Drivn backward slope their pointing spires, & rowld In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale. Then with expanded wings he stears his flight Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air That felt unusual weight, till on dry Land He lights, if it were Land that ever burn'd With solid, as the Lake with liquid fire; And such appear'd in hue, as when the force 230 Of subterranean wind transports a Hill Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side Of thundring Aetna, whose combustible And fewel'd entrals thence conceiving Fire, Sublim'd with Mineral fury, aid the Winds, And leave a singed bottom all involv'd With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate, Both glorying to have scap't the Stygian flood As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, 240 Not by the sufferance of supernal Power. Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime, Said then the lost Arch Angel, this the seat That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom For that celestial light? Be it so, since hee Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid What shall be right: fardest from him is best Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail 250 Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time. The mind is its own place, and in it self Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. What matter where, if I be still the same, And what I should be, all but less then hee Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: 260 Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, Th' associates and copartners of our loss Lye thus astonisht on th' oblivious Pool, And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy Mansion, or once more With rallied Arms to try what may be yet Regaind in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell? 270 So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub Thus answer'd. Leader of those Armies bright, Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foyld, If once they hear that voyce, their liveliest pledge Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft In worst extreams, and on the perilous edge Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults Their surest signal, they will soon resume New courage and revive, though now they lye Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire, 280 As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd, No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth. He scarce had ceas't when the superiour Fiend Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield Ethereal temper, massy, large and round, Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views At Ev'ning from the top of Fesole, Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands, 290 Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe. His Spear, to equal which the tallest Pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the Mast Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand, He walkt with to support uneasie steps Over the burning Marle, not like those steps On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with Fire; Nathless he so endur'd, till on the Beach Of that inflamed Sea, he stood and call'd 300 His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades High overarch't imbowr; or scatterd sedge Afloat, when with fierce Winds Orion arm'd Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew Busiris and his Memphian Chivalrie, While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore their floating Carkases 310 And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood, Under amazement of their hideous change. He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep Of Hell resounded. Princes, Potentates, Warriers, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost, If such astonishment as this can sieze Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place After the toyl of Battel to repose Your wearied vertue, for the ease you find 320 To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n? Or in this abject posture have ye sworn To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds Cherube and Seraph rowling in the Flood With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern Th' advantage, and descending tread us down Thus drooping, or with linked Thunderbolts Transfix us to the bottom of this Gulfe. Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n. 330 They heard, and were abasht, and up they sprung Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. Nor did they not perceave the evil plight In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Yet to their Generals Voyce they soon obeyd Innumerable. As when the potent Rod Of Amrams Son in Egypts evill day Wav'd round the Coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud 340 Of Locusts, warping on the Eastern Wind, That ore the Realm of impious Pharoah hung Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of Nile: So numberless were those bad Angels seen Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires; Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted Spear Of their great Sultan waving to direct Thir course, in even ballance down they light On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain; 350 A multitude, like which the populous North Pour'd never from her frozen loyns, to pass Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous Sons Came like a Deluge on the South, and spread Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands. Forthwith from every Squadron and each Band The Heads and Leaders thither hast where stood Their great Commander; Godlike shapes and forms Excelling human, Princely Dignities, And Powers that earst in Heaven sat on Thrones; 360 Though of their Names in heav'nly Records now Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd By thir Rebellion, from the Books of Life. Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve Got them new Names, till wandring ore the Earth, Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man, By falsities and lyes the greatest part Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake God their Creator, and th' invisible Glory of him, that made them, to transform 370 Oft to the Image of a Brute, adorn'd With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold, And Devils to adore for Deities: Then were they known to men by various Names, And various Idols through the Heathen World. Say, Muse, their Names then known, who first, who last, Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery Couch, At thir great Emperors call, as next in worth Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof? 380 The chief were those who from the Pit of Hell Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix Their Seats long after next the Seat of God, Their Altars by his Altar, Gods ador'd Among the Nations round, and durst abide Jehovah thundring out of Sion, thron'd Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd Within his Sanctuary it self their Shrines, Abominations; and with cursed things His holy Rites, and solemn Feasts profan'd, 390 And with their darkness durst affront his light. First Moloch, horrid King besmear'd with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents tears, Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud Their childrens cries unheard, that past through fire To his grim Idol. Him the Ammonite Worshipt in Rabba and her watry Plain, In Argob and in Basan, to the stream Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 400 Of Solomon he led by fraud to build His Temple right against the Temple of God On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove The pleasant Vally of Hinnom, Tophet thence And black Gehenna call'd, the Type of Hell. Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moabs Sons, From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild Of Southmost Abarim; in Hesebon And Heronaim, Seons Realm, beyond The flowry Dale of Sibma clad with Vines, 410 And Eleale to th' Asphaltick Pool. Peor his other Name, when he entic'd Israel in Sittim on their march from Nile To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd Even to that Hill of scandal, by the Grove Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate; Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell. With these came they, who from the bordring flood Of old Euphrates to the Brook that parts 420 Egypt from Syrian ground, had general Names Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male, These Feminine. For Spirits when they please Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft And uncompounded is their Essence pure, Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose Dilated or condens't, bright or obscure, Can execute their aerie purposes, 430 And works of love or enmity fulfill. For those the Race of Israel oft forsook Their living strength, and unfrequented left His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down To bestial Gods; for which their heads as low Bow'd down in Battel, sunk before the Spear Of despicable foes. With these in troop Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns; To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon 440 Sidonian Virgins paid their Vows and Songs, In Sion also not unsung, where stood Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built By that uxorious King, whose heart though large, Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell To Idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate In amorous dittyes all a Summers day, While smooth Adonis from his native Rock 450 Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale Infected Sions daughters with like heat, Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led His eye survay'd the dark Idolatries Of alienated Judah. Next came one Who mourn'd in earnest, when the Captive Ark Maim'd his brute Image, head and hands lopt off In his own Temple, on the grunsel edge, 460 Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers: Dagon his Name, Sea Monster, upward Man And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the Coast Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon, And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds. Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful Seat Was fair Damascus, on the fertil Banks Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams. He also against the house of God was bold: 470 A Leper once he lost and gain'd a King, Ahaz his sottish Conquerour, whom he drew Gods Altar to disparage and displace For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn His odious offrings, and adore the Gods Whom he had vanquisht. After these appear'd A crew who under Names of old Renown, Osiris, Isis, Orus and their Train With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd Fanatic Egypt and her Priests, to seek 480 Thir wandring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms Rather then human. Nor did Israel scape Th' infection when their borrow'd Gold compos'd The Calf in Oreb: and the Rebel King Doubl'd that sin in Bethel and in Dan, Lik'ning his Maker to the Grazed Ox, Jehovah, who in one Night when he pass'd From Egypt marching, equal'd with one stroke Both her first born and all her bleating Gods. Belial came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd 490 Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood Or Altar smoak'd; yet who more oft then hee In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest Turns Atheist, as did Ely's Sons, who fill'd With lust and violence the house of God. In Courts and Palaces he also Reigns And in luxurious Cities, where the noyse Of riot ascends above thir loftiest Towrs, And injury and outrage: And when Night 500 Darkens the Streets, then wander forth the Sons Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine. Witness the Streets of Sodom, and that night In Gibeah, when hospitable Dores Yielded thir Matrons to prevent worse rape. These were the prime in order and in might; The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd, Th' Ionian Gods, of Javans Issue held Gods, yet confest later then Heav'n and Earth Thir boasted Parents; Titan Heav'ns first born 510 With his enormous brood, and birthright seis'd By younger Saturn, he from mightier Jove His own and Rhea's Son like measure found; So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Creet And Ida known, thence on the Snowy top Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle Air Thir highest Heav'n; or on the Delphian Cliff, Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds Of Doric Land; or who with Saturn old Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian Fields, 520 And ore the Celtic roam'd the utmost Isles. All these and more came flocking; but with looks Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd Obscure som glimps of joy, to have found thir chief Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost In loss it self; which on his count'nance cast Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth not substance, gently rais'd Their fainted courage, and dispel'd their fears. 530 Then strait commands that at the warlike sound Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be upreard His mighty Standard; that proud honour claim'd Azazel as his right, a Cherube tall: Who forthwith from the glittering Staff unfurld Th' Imperial Ensign, which full high advanc't Shon like a Meteor streaming to the Wind With Gemms and Golden lustre rich imblaz'd, Seraphic arms and Trophies: all the while Sonorous mettal blowing Martial sounds: 540 At which the universal Host upsent A shout that tore Hells Concave, and beyond Frighted the Reign of Chaos and old Night. All in a moment through the gloom were seen Ten thousand Banners rise into the Air With Orient Colours waving: with them rose A Forrest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms Appear'd, and serried Shields in thick array Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move In perfect Phalanx to the Dorian mood 550 Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd To highth of noblest temper Hero's old Arming to Battel, and in stead of rage Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd With dread of death to flight or foul retreat, Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage With solemn touches, troubl'd thoughts, and chase Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they Breathing united force with fixed thought 560 Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes that charm'd Thir painful steps o're the burnt soyle; and now Advanc't in view they stand, a horrid Front Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise Of Warriers old with order'd Spear and Shield, Awaiting what command thir mighty Chief Had to impose: He through the armed Files Darts his experienc't eye, and soon traverse The whole Battalion views, thir order due, Thir visages and stature as of Gods, 570 Thir number last he summs. And now his heart Distends with pride, and hardning in his strength Glories: For never since created man, Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these Could merit more then that small infantry Warr'd on by Cranes: though all the Giant brood Of Phlegra with th' Heroic Race were joyn'd That fought at Theb's and Ilium, on each side Mixt with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds In Fable or Romance of Uthers Son 580 Begirt with British and Armoric Knights; And all who since, Baptiz'd or Infidel Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban, Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond, Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore When Charlemain with all his Peerage fell By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd Thir dread Commander: he above the rest In shape and gesture proudly eminent 590 Stood like a Towr; his form had yet not lost All her Original brightness, nor appear'd Less then Arch Angel ruind, and th' excess Of Glory obscur'd: As when the Sun new ris'n Looks through the Horizontal misty Air Shorn of his Beams, or from behind the Moon In dim Eclips disastrous twilight sheds On half the Nations, and with fear of change Perplexes Monarchs. Dark'n'd so, yet shon Above them all th' Arch Angel: but his face 600 Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht, and care Sat on his faded cheek, but under Browes Of dauntless courage, and considerate Pride Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast Signs of remorse and passion to behold The fellows of his crime, the followers rather (Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd For ever now to have their lot in pain, Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't Of Heav'n, and from Eternal Splendors flung 610 For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood, Thir Glory witherd. As when Heavens Fire Hath scath'd the Forrest Oaks, or Mountain Pines, With singed top their stately growth though bare Stands on the blasted Heath. He now prepar'd To speak; whereat their doubl'd Ranks they bend From Wing to Wing, and half enclose him round With all his Peers: attention held them mute. Thrice he assayd, and thrice in spite of scorn, Tears such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last 620 Words interwove with sighs found out their way. O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Powers Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire, As this place testifies, and this dire change Hateful to utter: but what power of mind Foreseeing or presaging, from the Depth Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd, How such united force of Gods, how such As stood like these, could ever know repulse? 630 For who can yet beleeve, though after loss, That all these puissant Legions, whose exile Hath emptied Heav'n, shall faile to re-ascend Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat. For me, be witness all the Host of Heav'n, If counsels different, or danger shun'd By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute, Consent or custome, and his Regal State 640 Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd, Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. Henceforth his might we know, and know our own So as not either to provoke, or dread New warr, provok't; our better part remains To work in close design, by fraud or guile What force effected not: that he no less At length from us may find, who overcomes By force, hath overcome but half his foe. Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife 650 There went a fame in Heav'n that he ere long Intended to create, and therein plant A generation, whom his choice regard Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven: Thither, if but to prie, shall be perhaps Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere: For this Infernal Pit shall never hold Caelestial Spirits in Bondage, nor th' Abysse Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird, 660 For who can think Submission? Warr then, Warr Open or understood must be resolv'd. He spake: and to confirm his words, out-flew Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze Far round illumin'd hell: highly they rag'd Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arm's Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war, Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heav'n. There stood a Hill not far whose griesly top 670 Belch'd fire and rowling smoak; the rest entire Shon with a glossie scurff, undoubted sign That in his womb was hid metallic Ore, The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed A numerous Brigad hasten'd. As when bands Of Pioners with Spade and Pickaxe arm'd Forerun the Royal Camp, to trench a Field, Or cast a Rampart. Mammon led them on, Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell From heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts 680 Were always downward bent, admiring more The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold, Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd In vision beatific: by him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught, Ransack'd the Center, and with impious hands Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth For Treasures better hid. Soon had his crew Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound And dig'd out ribs of Gold. Let none admire 690 That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best Deserve the pretious bane. And here let those Who boast in mortal things, and wondring tell Of Babel, and the works of Memphian Kings, Learn how thir greatest Monuments of Fame, And Strength and Art are easily outdone By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour What in an age they with incessant toyle And hands innumerable scarce perform. Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd, 700 That underneath had veins of liquid fire Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude With wondrous Art founded the massie Ore, Severing each kinde, and scum'd the Bullion dross: A third as soon had form'd within the ground A various mould, and from the boyling cells By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook, As in an Organ from one blast of wind To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths. Anon out of the earth a Fabrick huge 710 Rose like an Exhalation, with the sound Of Dulcet Symphonies and voices sweet, Built like a Temple, where Pilasters round Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid With Golden Architrave; nor did there want Cornice or Freeze, with bossy Sculptures grav'n, The Roof was fretted Gold. Not Babilon, Nor great Alcairo such magnificence Equal'd in all thir glories, to inshrine Belus or Serapis thir Gods, or seat 720 Thir Kings, when Aegypt with Assyria strove In wealth and luxurie. Th' ascending pile Stood fixt her stately highth, and strait the dores Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide Within, her ample spaces, o're the smooth And level pavement: from the arched roof Pendant by suttle Magic many a row Of Starry Lamps and blazing Cressets fed With Naphtha and Asphaltus yeilded light As from a sky. The hasty multitude 730 Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise And some the Architect: his hand was known In Heav'n by many a Towred structure high, Where Scepter'd Angels held thir residence, And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King Exalted to such power, and gave to rule, Each in his Herarchie, the Orders bright. Nor was his name unheard or unador'd In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell 740 From Heav'n, they fabl'd, thrown by angry Jove Sheer o're the Chrystal Battlements: from Morn To Noon he fell, from Noon to dewy Eve, A Summers day; and with the setting Sun Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star, On Lemnos th' Aegaean Ile: thus they relate, Erring; for he with this rebellious rout Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now To have built in Heav'n high Towrs; nor did he scape By all his Engins, but was headlong sent 750 With his industrious crew to build in hell. Mean while the winged Haralds by command Of Sovran power, with awful Ceremony And Trumpets sound throughout the Host proclaim A solemn Councel forthwith to be held At Pandaemonium, the high Capital Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call'd From Band and squared Regiment By place or choice the worthiest; they anon With hundreds and with thousands trooping came 760 Attended: all access was throng'd, the Gates And Porches wide, but chief the spacious Hall (Though like a cover'd field, where Champions bold Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldans chair Defi'd the best of Panim chivalry To mortal combat or carreer with Lance) Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air, Brusht with the hiss of russling wings. As Bees In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides, Poure forth thir populous youth about the Hive 770 In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers Flie to and fro, or on the smoothed Plank, The suburb of thir Straw-built Cittadel, New rub'd with Baume, expatiate and confer Thir State affairs. So thick the aerie crowd Swarm'd and were straitn'd; till the Signal giv'n, Behold a wonder! they but now who seemd In bigness to surpass Earths Giant Sons Now less then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race 780 Beyond the Indian Mount, or Faerie Elves, Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side Or Fountain some belated Peasant sees, Or dreams he sees, while over head the Moon Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth Wheels her pale course, they on thir mirth & dance Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear; At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms Reduc'd thir shapes immense, and were at large, 790 Though without number still amidst the Hall Of that infernal Court. But far within And in thir own dimensions like themselves The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim In close recess and secret conclave sat A thousand Demy-Gods on golden seat's, Frequent and full. After short silence then And summons read, the great consult began.

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

The End Of The First Book.

BOOK II.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

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

High on a Throne of Royal State, which far Outshon the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand Showrs on her Kings Barbaric Pearl & Gold, Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd To that bad eminence; and from despair Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue Vain Warr with Heav'n, and by success untaught His proud imaginations thus displaid. 10 Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heav'n, For since no deep within her gulf can hold Immortal vigor, though opprest and fall'n, I give not Heav'n for lost. From this descent Celestial vertues rising, will appear More glorious and more dread then from no fall, And trust themselves to fear no second fate: Mee though just right, and the fixt Laws of Heav'n Did first create your Leader, next, free choice, With what besides, in Counsel or in Fight, 20 Hath bin achievd of merit, yet this loss Thus farr at least recover'd, hath much more Establisht in a safe unenvied Throne Yielded with full consent. The happier state In Heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw Envy from each inferior; but who here Will envy whom the highest place exposes Formost to stand against the Thunderers aime Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share Of endless pain? where there is then no good 30 For which to strive, no strife can grow up there From Faction; for none sure will claim in hell Precedence, none, whose portion is so small Of present pain, that with ambitious mind Will covet more. With this advantage then To union, and firm Faith, and firm accord, More then can be in Heav'n, we now return To claim our just inheritance of old, Surer to prosper then prosperity Could have assur'd us; and by what best way, 40 Whether of open Warr or covert guile, We now debate; who can advise, may speak. He ceas'd, and next him Moloc, Scepter'd King Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Spirit That fought in Heav'n; now fiercer by despair: His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd Equal in strength, and rather then be less Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse He reckd not, and these words thereafter spake. 50 My sentence is for open Warr: Of Wiles, More unexpert, I boast not: them let those Contrive who need, or when they need, not now. For while they sit contriving, shall the rest, Millions that stand in Arms, and longing wait The Signal to ascend, sit lingring here Heav'ns fugitives, and for thir dwelling place Accept this dark opprobrious Den of shame, The Prison of his Tyranny who Reigns By our delay? no, let us rather choose 60 Arm'd with Hell flames and fury all at once O're Heav'ns high Towrs to force resistless way, Turning our Tortures into horrid Arms Against the Torturer; when to meet the noise Of his Almighty Engin he shall hear Infernal Thunder, and for Lightning see Black fire and horror shot with equal rage Among his Angels; and his Throne it self Mixt with Tartarean Sulphur, and strange fire, His own invented Torments. But perhaps 70 The way seems difficult and steep to scale With upright wing against a higher foe. Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench Of that forgetful Lake benumme not still, That in our proper motion we ascend Up to our native seat: descent and fall To us is adverse. Who but felt of late When the fierce Foe hung on our brok'n Rear Insulting, and pursu'd us through the Deep, With what compulsion and laborious flight 80 We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easie then; Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find To our destruction: if there be in Hell Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse Then to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd In this abhorred deep to utter woe; Where pain of unextinguishable fire Must exercise us without hope of end The Vassals of his anger, when the Scourge 90 Inexorably, and the torturing houre Calls us to Penance? More destroy'd then thus We should be quite abolisht and expire. What fear we then? what doubt we to incense His utmost ire? which to the highth enrag'd, Will either quite consume us, and reduce To nothing this essential, happier farr Then miserable to have eternal being: Or if our substance be indeed Divine, And cannot cease to be, we are at worst 100 On this side nothing; and by proof we feel Our power sufficient to disturb his Heav'n, And with perpetual inrodes to Allarme, Though inaccessible, his fatal Throne: Which if not Victory is yet Revenge. He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd Desperate revenge, and Battel dangerous To less then Gods. On th' other side up rose Belial, in act more graceful and humane; A fairer person lost not Heav'n; he seemd 110 For dignity compos'd and high exploit: But all was false and hollow; though his Tongue Dropt Manna, and could make the worse appear The better reason, to perplex and dash Maturest Counsels: for his thoughts were low; To vice industrious, but to Nobler deeds Timorous and slothful: yet he pleas'd the eare, And with perswasive accent thus began. I should be much for open Warr, O Peers, As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd 120 Main reason to perswade immediate Warr, Did not disswade me most, and seem to cast Ominous conjecture on the whole success: When he who most excels in fact of Arms, In what he counsels and in what excels Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair And utter dissolution, as the scope Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. First, what Revenge? the Towrs of Heav'n are fill'd With Armed watch, that render all access 130 Impregnable; oft on the bordering Deep Encamp thir Legions, or with obscure wing Scout farr and wide into the Realm of night, Scorning surprize. Or could we break our way By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise With blackest Insurrection, to confound Heav'ns purest Light, yet our great Enemie All incorruptible would on his Throne Sit unpolluted, and th' Ethereal mould Incapable of stain would soon expel 140 Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope Is flat despair: we must exasperate Th' Almighty Victor to spend all his rage, And that must end us, that must be our cure, To be no more; sad cure; for who would loose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through Eternity, To perish rather, swallowd up and lost In the wide womb of uncreated night, 150 Devoid of sense and motion? and who knows, Let this be good, whether our angry Foe Can give it, or will ever? how he can Is doubtful; that he never will is sure. Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire, Belike through impotence, or unaware, To give his Enemies thir wish, and end Them in his anger, whom his anger saves To punish endless? wherefore cease we then? Say they who counsel Warr, we are decreed, 160 Reserv'd and destin'd to Eternal woe; Whatever doing, what can we suffer more, What can we suffer worse? is this then worst, Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in Arms? What when we fled amain, pursu'd and strook With Heav'ns afflicting Thunder, and besought The Deep to shelter us? this Hell then seem'd A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay Chain'd on the burning Lake? that sure was worse. What if the breath that kindl'd those grim fires 170 Awak'd should blow them into sevenfold rage And plunge us in the Flames? or from above Should intermitted vengeance Arme again His red right hand to plague us? what if all Her stores were op'n'd, and this Firmament Of Hell should spout her Cataracts of Fire, Impendent horrors, threatning hideous fall One day upon our heads; while we perhaps Designing or exhorting glorious Warr, Caught in a fierie Tempest shall be hurl'd 180 Each on his rock transfixt, the sport and prey Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk Under yon boyling Ocean, wrapt in Chains; There to converse with everlasting groans, Unrespited, unpitied, unrepreevd, Ages of hopeless end; this would be worse. Warr therefore, open or conceal'd, alike My voice disswades; for what can force or guile With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye Views all things at one view? he from heav'ns highth 190 All these our motions vain, sees and derides; Not more Almighty to resist our might Then wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles. Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heav'n Thus trampl'd, thus expell'd to suffer here Chains and these Torments? better these then worse By my advice; since fate inevitable Subdues us, and Omnipotent Decree, The Victors will. To suffer, as to doe, Our strength is equal, nor the Law unjust 200 That so ordains: this was at first resolv'd, If we were wise, against so great a foe Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. I laugh, when those who at the Spear are bold And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear What yet they know must follow, to endure Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain, The sentence of thir Conquerour: This is now Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear, Our Supream Foe in time may much remit 210 His anger, and perhaps thus farr remov'd Not mind us not offending, satisfi'd With what is punish't; whence these raging fires Will slack'n, if his breath stir not thir flames. Our purer essence then will overcome Thir noxious vapour, or enur'd not feel, Or chang'd at length, and to the place conformd In temper and in nature, will receive Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain; This horror will grow milde, this darkness light, 220 Besides what hope the never-ending flight Of future days may bring, what chance, what change Worth waiting, since our present lot appeers For happy though but ill, for ill not worst, If we procure not to our selves more woe. Thus Belial with words cloath'd in reasons garb Counsel'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloath, Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake. Either to disinthrone the King of Heav'n We warr, if warr be best, or to regain 230 Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yeild To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife: The former vain to hope argues as vain The latter: for what place can be for us Within Heav'ns bound, unless Heav'ns Lord supream We overpower? Suppose he should relent And publish Grace to all, on promise made Of new Subjection; with what eyes could we Stand in his presence humble, and receive 240 Strict Laws impos'd, to celebrate his Throne With warbl'd Hymns, and to his Godhead sing Forc't Halleluiah's; while he Lordly sits Our envied Sovran, and his Altar breathes Ambrosial Odours and Ambrosial Flowers, Our servile offerings. This must be our task In Heav'n, this our delight; how wearisom Eternity so spent in worship paid To whom we hate. Let us not then pursue By force impossible, by leave obtain'd 250 Unacceptable, though in Heav'n, our state Of splendid vassalage, but rather seek Our own good from our selves, and from our own Live to our selves, though in this vast recess, Free, and to none accountable, preferring Hard liberty before the easie yoke Of servile Pomp. Our greatness will appear Then most conspicuous, when great things of small, Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse We can create, and in what place so e're 260 Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain Through labour and endurance. This deep world Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst Thick clouds and dark doth Heav'ns all-ruling Sire Choose to reside, his Glory unobscur'd, And with the Majesty of darkness round Covers his Throne; from whence deep thunders roar Must'ring thir rage, and Heav'n resembles Hell? As he our Darkness, cannot we his Light Imitate when we please? This Desart soile 270 Wants not her hidden lustre, Gemms and Gold; Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise Magnificence; and what can Heav'n shew more? Our torments also may in length of time Become our Elements, these piercing Fires As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd Into their temper; which must needs remove The sensible of pain. All things invite To peaceful Counsels, and the settl'd State Of order, how in safety best we may 280 Compose our present evils, with regard Of what we are and where, dismissing quite All thoughts of Warr: ye have what I advise. He scarce had finisht, when such murmur filld Th' Assembly, as when hollow Rocks retain The sound of blustring winds, which all night long Had rous'd the Sea, now with hoarse cadence lull Sea-faring men orewatcht, whose Bark by chance Or Pinnace anchors in a craggy Bay After the Tempest: Such applause was heard 290 As Mammon ended, and his Sentence pleas'd, Advising peace: for such another Field They dreaded worse then Hell: so much the fear Of Thunder and the Sword of Michael Wrought still within them; and no less desire To found this nether Empire, which might rise By pollicy, and long process of time, In emulation opposite to Heav'n. Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, then whom, Satan except, none higher sat, with grave 300 Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd A Pillar of State; deep on his Front engraven Deliberation sat and publick care; And Princely counsel in his face yet shon, Majestick though in ruin: sage he stood With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear The weight of mightiest Monarchies; his look Drew audience and attention still as Night Or Summers Noon-tide air, while thus he spake. Thrones and imperial Powers, off-spring of heav'n, 310 Ethereal Vertues; or these Titles now Must we renounce, and changing stile be call'd Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote Inclines, here to continue, and build up here A growing Empire; doubtless; while we dream, And know not that the King of Heav'n hath doom'd This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat Beyond his Potent arm, to live exempt From Heav'ns high jurisdiction, in new League Banded against his Throne, but to remaine 320 In strictest bondage, though thus far remov'd, Under th' inevitable curb, reserv'd His captive multitude: For he, be sure, In highth or depth, still first and last will Reign Sole King, and of his Kingdom loose no part By our revolt, but over Hell extend His Empire, and with Iron Scepter rule Us here, as with his Golden those in Heav'n. What sit we then projecting Peace and Warr? Warr hath determin'd us, and foild with loss 330 Irreparable; tearms of peace yet none Voutsaf't or sought; for what peace will be giv'n To us enslav'd, but custody severe, And stripes, and arbitrary punishment Inflicted? and what peace can we return, But to our power hostility and hate, Untam'd reluctance, and revenge though slow, Yet ever plotting how the Conquerour least May reap his conquest, and may least rejoyce In doing what we most in suffering feel? 340 Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need With dangerous expedition to invade Heav'n, whose high walls fear no assault or Siege, Or ambush from the Deep. What if we find Some easier enterprize? There is a place (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heav'n Err not) another World, the happy seat Of som new Race call'd Man, about this time To be created like to us, though less In power and excellence, but favour'd more 350 Of him who rules above; so was his will Pronounc'd among the Gods, and by an Oath, That shook Heav'ns whol circumference, confirm'd. Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn What creatures there inhabit, of what mould, Or substance, how endu'd, and what thir Power, And where thir weakness, how attempted best, By force or suttlety: Though Heav'n be shut, And Heav'ns high Arbitrator sit secure In his own strength, this place may lye expos'd 360 The utmost border of his Kingdom, left To their defence who hold it: here perhaps Som advantagious act may be achiev'd By sudden onset, either with Hell fire To waste his whole Creation, or possess All as our own, and drive as we were driven, The punie habitants, or if not drive, Seduce them to our Party, that thir God May prove thir foe, and with repenting hand Abolish his own works. This would surpass 370 Common revenge, and interrupt his joy In our Confusion, and our Joy upraise In his disturbance; when his darling Sons Hurl'd headlong to partake with us, shall curse Thir frail Originals, and faded bliss, Faded so soon. Advise if this be worth Attempting, or to sit in darkness here Hatching vain Empires. Thus Beelzebub Pleaded his devilish Counsel, first devis'd By Satan, and in part propos'd: for whence, 380 But from the Author of all ill could Spring So deep a malice, to confound the race Of mankind in one root, and Earth with Hell To mingle and involve, done all to spite The great Creatour? But thir spite still serves His glory to augment. The bold design Pleas'd highly those infernal States, and joy Sparkl'd in all thir eyes; with full assent They vote: whereat his speech he thus renews. Well have ye judg'd, well ended long debate, 390 Synod of Gods, and like to what ye are, Great things resolv'd; which from the lowest deep Will once more lift us up, in spight of Fate, Neerer our ancient Seat; perhaps in view Of those bright confines, whence with neighbouring Arms And opportune excursion we may chance Re-enter Heav'n; or else in some milde Zone Dwell not unvisited of Heav'ns fair Light Secure, and at the brightning Orient beam Purge off this gloom; the soft delicious Air, 400 To heal the scarr of these corrosive Fires Shall breath her balme. But first whom shall we send In search of this new world, whom shall we find Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandring feet The dark unbottom'd infinite Abyss And through the palpable obscure find out His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight Upborn with indefatigable wings Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive The happy Ile; what strength, what art can then 410 Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe Through the strict Senteries and Stations thick Of Angels watching round? Here he had need All circumspection, and we now no less Choice in our suffrage; for on whom we send, The weight of all and our last hope relies. This said, he sat; and expectation held His look suspence, awaiting who appeer'd To second, or oppose, or undertake The perilous attempt: but all sat mute, 420 Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each In others count'nance red his own dismay Astonisht: none among the choice and prime Of those Heav'n-warring Champions could be found So hardie as to proffer or accept Alone the dreadful voyage; till at last Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd Above his fellows, with Monarchal pride Conscious of highest worth, unmov'd thus spake. O Progeny of Heav'n, Empyreal Thrones, 430 With reason hath deep silence and demurr Seis'd us, though undismaid: long is the way And hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light; Our prison strong, this huge convex of Fire, Outrageous to devour, immures us round Ninefold, and gates of burning Adamant Barr'd over us prohibit all egress. These past, if any pass, the void profound Of unessential Night receives him next Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being 440 Threatens him, plung'd in that abortive gulf. If thence he scape into what ever world, Or unknown Region, what remains him less Then unknown dangers and as hard escape. But I should ill become this Throne, O Peers, And this Imperial Sov'ranty, adorn'd With splendor, arm'd with power, if aught propos'd And judg'd of public moment, in the shape Of difficulty or danger could deterre Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume 450 These Royalties, and not refuse to Reign, Refusing to accept as great a share Of hazard as of honour, due alike To him who Reigns, and so much to him due Of hazard more, as he above the rest High honourd sits? Go therfore mighty powers, Terror of Heav'n, though fall'n; intend at home, While here shall be our home, what best may ease The present misery, and render Hell More tollerable; if there be cure or charm 460 To respite or deceive, or slack the pain Of this ill Mansion: intermit no watch Against a wakeful Foe, while I abroad Through all the coasts of dark destruction seek Deliverance for us all: this enterprize None shall partake with me. Thus saying rose The Monarch, and prevented all reply, Prudent, least from his resolution rais'd Others among the chief might offer now (Certain to be refus'd) what erst they feard; 470 And so refus'd might in opinion stand His rivals, winning cheap the high repute Which he through hazard huge must earn. But they Dreaded not more th' adventure then his voice Forbidding; and at once with him they rose; Thir rising all at once was as the sound Of Thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend With awful reverence prone; and as a God Extoll him equal to the highest in Heav'n: Nor fail'd they to express how much they prais'd, 480 That for the general safety he despis'd His own: for neither do the Spirits damn'd Loose all thir vertue; least bad men should boast Thir specious deeds on earth, which glory excites, Or close ambition varnisht o're with zeal. Thus they thir doubtful consultations dark Ended rejoycing in thir matchless Chief: As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds Ascending, while the North wind sleeps, o'respread Heav'ns chearful face, the lowring Element 490 Scowls ore the dark'nd lantskip Snow, or showre; If chance the radiant Sun with farewell sweet Extend his ev'ning beam, the fields revive, The birds thir notes renew, and bleating herds Attest thir joy, that hill and valley rings. O shame to men! Devil with Devil damn'd Firm concord holds, men onely disagree Of Creatures rational, though under hope Of heavenly Grace: and God proclaiming peace, Yet live in hatred, enmitie, and strife 500 Among themselves, and levie cruel warres, Wasting the Earth, each other to destroy: As if (which might induce us to accord) Man had not hellish foes anow besides, That day and night for his destruction waite. The Stygian Councel thus dissolv'd; and forth In order came the grand infernal Peers, Midst came thir mighty Paramount, and seemd Alone th' Antagonist of Heav'n, nor less Then Hells dread Emperour with pomp Supream, 510 And God-like imitated State; him round A Globe of fierie Seraphim inclos'd With bright imblazonrie, and horrent Arms. Then of thir Session ended they bid cry With Trumpets regal sound the great result: Toward the four winds four speedy Cherubim Put to thir mouths the sounding Alchymie By Haralds voice explain'd: the hollow Abyss Heard farr and wide, and all the host of Hell With deafning shout, return'd them loud acclaim. 520 Thence more at ease thir minds and somwhat rais'd By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers Disband, and wandring, each his several way Pursues, as inclination or sad choice Leads him perplext, where he may likeliest find Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain The irksome hours, till his great Chief return. Part on the Plain, or in the Air sublime Upon the wing, or in swift race contend, As at th' Olympian Games or Pythian fields; 530 Part curb thir fierie Steeds, or shun the Goal With rapid wheels, or fronted Brigads form. As when to warn proud Cities warr appears Wag'd in the troubl'd Skie, and Armies rush To Battel in the Clouds, before each Van Pric forth the Aerie Knights, and couch thir spears Till thickest Legions close; with feats of Arms From either end of Heav'n the welkin burns. Others with vast Typhoean rage more fell Rend up both Rocks and Hills, and ride the Air 540 In whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wilde uproar. As when Alcides from Oealia Crown'd With conquest, felt th' envenom'd robe, and tore Through pain up by the roots Thessalian Pines, And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw Into th' Euboic Sea. Others more milde, Retreated in a silent valley, sing With notes Angelical to many a Harp Thir own Heroic deeds and hapless fall By doom of Battel; and complain that Fate 550 Free Vertue should enthrall to Force or Chance. Thir song was partial, but the harmony (What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?) Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet (For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense,) Others apart sat on a Hill retir'd, In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate, Fixt Fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute, 560 And found no end, in wandring mazes lost. Of good and evil much they argu'd then, Of happiness and final misery, Passion and Apathie, and glory and shame, Vain wisdom all, and false Philosophie: Yet with a pleasing sorcerie could charm Pain for a while or anguish, and excite Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdured brest With stubborn patience as with triple steel. Another part in Squadrons and gross Bands, 570 On bold adventure to discover wide That dismal world, if any Clime perhaps Might yeild them easier habitation, bend Four ways thir flying March, along the Banks Of four infernal Rivers that disgorge Into the burning Lake thir baleful streams; Abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate, Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep; Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud Heard on the ruful stream; fierce Phlegeton 580 Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage. Farr off from these a slow and silent stream, Lethe the River of Oblivion roules Her watrie Labyrinth, whereof who drinks, Forthwith his former state and being forgets, Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain. Beyond this flood a frozen Continent Lies dark and wilde, beat with perpetual storms Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems 590 Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice, A gulf profound as that Serbonian Bog Betwixt Damiata and mount Casius old, Where Armies whole have sunk: the parching Air Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire. Thither by harpy-footed Furies hail'd, At certain revolutions all the damn'd Are brought: and feel by turns the bitter change Of fierce extreams, extreams by change more fierce, From Beds of raging Fire to starve in Ice 600 Thir soft Ethereal warmth, and there to pine Immovable, infixt, and frozen round, Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire. They ferry over this Lethean Sound Both to and fro, thir sorrow to augment, And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach The tempting stream, with one small drop to loose In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe, All in one moment, and so neer the brink; But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt 610 Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards The Ford, and of it self the water flies All taste of living wight, as once it fled The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on In confus'd march forlorn, th' adventrous Bands With shuddring horror pale, and eyes agast View'd first thir lamentable lot, and found No rest: through many a dark and drearie Vaile They pass'd, and many a Region dolorous, O're many a Frozen, many a Fierie Alpe, 620 Rocks, Caves, Lakes, Fens, Bogs, Dens, and shades of death, A Universe of death, which God by curse Created evil, for evil only good, Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds, Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, Abominable, inutterable, and worse Then Fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd, Gorgons and Hydra's, and Chimera's dire. Mean while the Adversary of God and Man, Satan with thoughts inflam'd of highest design, 630 Puts on swift wings, and toward the Gates of Hell Explores his solitary flight; som times He scours the right hand coast, som times the left, Now shaves with level wing the Deep, then soares Up to the fiery concave touring high. As when farr off at Sea a Fleet descri'd Hangs in the Clouds, by Aequinoctial Winds Close sailing from Bengala, or the Iles Of Ternate and Tidore, whence Merchants bring Thir spicie Drugs: they on the trading Flood 640 Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape Ply stemming nightly toward the Pole. So seem'd Farr off the flying Fiend: at last appeer Hell bounds high reaching to the horrid Roof, And thrice threefold the Gates; three folds were Brass Three Iron, three of Adamantine Rock, Impenitrable, impal'd with circling fire, Yet unconsum'd. Before the Gates there sat On either side a formidable shape; The one seem'd Woman to the waste, and fair, 650 But ended foul in many a scaly fould Voluminous and vast, a Serpent arm'd With mortal sting: about her middle round A cry of Hell Hounds never ceasing bark'd With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung A hideous Peal: yet, when they list, would creep, If aught disturb'd thir noyse, into her woomb, And kennel there, yet there still bark'd and howl'd Within unseen. Farr less abhorrd then these Vex'd Scylla bathing in the Sea that parts 660 Calabria from the hoarce Trinacrian shore: Nor uglier follow the Night-Hag, when call'd In secret, riding through the Air she comes Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, to dance With Lapland Witches, while the labouring Moon Eclipses at thir charms. The other shape, If shape it might be call'd that shape had none Distinguishable in member, joynt, or limb, Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem'd, For each seem'd either; black it stood as Night, 670 Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as Hell, And shook a dreadful Dart; what seem'd his head The likeness of a Kingly Crown had on. Satan was now at hand, and from his seat The Monster moving onward came as fast, With horrid strides, Hell trembled as he strode. Th' undaunted Fiend what this might be admir'd, Admir'd, not fear'd; God and his Son except, Created thing naught vallu'd he nor shun'd; And with disdainful look thus first began. 680 Whence and what art thou, execrable shape, That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance Thy miscreated Front athwart my way To yonder Gates? through them I mean to pass, That be assur'd, without leave askt of thee: Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof, Hell-born, not to contend with Spirits of Heav'n. To whom the Goblin full of wrauth reply'd, Art thou that Traitor Angel, art thou hee, Who first broke peace in Heav'n and Faith, till then 690 Unbrok'n, and in proud rebellious Arms Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Sons Conjur'd against the highest, for which both Thou And they outcast from God, are here condemn'd To waste Eternal daies in woe and pain? And reck'n'st thou thy self with Spirits of Heav'n, Hell-doomd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn, Where I reign King, and to enrage thee more, Thy King and Lord? Back to thy punishment, False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings, 700 Least with a whip of Scorpions I pursue Thy lingring, or with one stroke of this Dart Strange horror seise thee, and pangs unfelt before. So spake the grieslie terrour, and in shape, So speaking and so threatning, grew ten fold More dreadful and deform: on th' other side Incenc't with indignation Satan stood Unterrifi'd, and like a Comet burn'd, That fires the length of Ophiucus huge In th' Artick Sky, and from his horrid hair 710 Shakes Pestilence and Warr. Each at the Head Level'd his deadly aime; thir fatall hands No second stroke intend, and such a frown Each cast at th' other, as when two black Clouds With Heav'ns Artillery fraught, come rattling on Over the Caspian, then stand front to front Hov'ring a space, till Winds the signal blow To joyn thir dark Encounter in mid air: So frownd the mighty Combatants, that Hell Grew darker at thir frown, so matcht they stood; 720 For never but once more was either like To meet so great a foe: and now great deeds Had been achiev'd, whereof all Hell had rung, Had not the Snakie Sorceress that sat Fast by Hell Gate, and kept the fatal Key, Ris'n, and with hideous outcry rush'd between. O Father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd, Against thy only Son? What fury O Son, Possesses thee to bend that mortal Dart Against thy Fathers head? and know'st for whom; 730 For him who sits above and laughs the while At thee ordain'd his drudge, to execute What e're his wrath, which he calls Justice, bids, His wrath which one day will destroy ye both. She spake, and at her words the hellish Pest Forbore, then these to her Satan return'd: So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange Thou interposest, that my sudden hand Prevented spares to tell thee yet by deeds What it intends; till first I know of thee, 740 What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why In this infernal Vaile first met thou call'st Me Father, and that Fantasm call'st my Son? I know thee not, nor ever saw till now Sight more detestable then him and thee. T' whom thus the Portress of Hell Gate reply'd; Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem Now in thine eye so foul, once deemd so fair In Heav'n, when at th' Assembly, and in sight Of all the Seraphim with thee combin'd 750 In bold conspiracy against Heav'ns King, All on a sudden miserable pain Surpris'd thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzie swumm In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast Threw forth, till on the left side op'ning wide, Likest to thee in shape and count'nance bright, Then shining heav'nly fair, a Goddess arm'd Out of thy head I sprung: amazement seis'd All th' Host of Heav'n; back they recoild affraid At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a Sign 760 Portentous held me; but familiar grown, I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won The most averse, thee chiefly, who full oft Thy self in me thy perfect image viewing Becam'st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd A growing burden. Mean while Warr arose, And fields were fought in Heav'n; wherein remaind (For what could else) to our Almighty Foe Cleer Victory, to our part loss and rout 770 Through all the Empyrean: down they fell Driv'n headlong from the Pitch of Heaven, down Into this Deep, and in the general fall I also; at which time this powerful Key Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep These Gates for ever shut, which none can pass Without my op'ning. Pensive here I sat Alone, but long I sat not, till my womb Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes. 780 At last this odious offspring whom thou seest Thine own begotten, breaking violent way Tore through my entrails, that with fear and pain Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew Transform'd: but he my inbred enemie Forth issu'd, brandishing his fatal Dart Made to destroy: I fled, and cry'd out Death; Hell trembl'd at the hideous Name, and sigh'd From all her Caves, and back resounded Death. I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems, 790 Inflam'd with lust then rage) and swifter far, Me overtook his mother all dismaid, And in embraces forcible and foule Ingendring with me, of that rape begot These yelling Monsters that with ceasless cry Surround me, as thou sawst, hourly conceiv'd And hourly born, with sorrow infinite To me, for when they list into the womb That bred them they return, and howle and gnaw My Bowels, their repast; then bursting forth 800 Afresh with conscious terrours vex me round, That rest or intermission none I find. Before mine eyes in opposition sits Grim Death my Son and foe, who sets them on, And me his Parent would full soon devour For want of other prey, but that he knows His end with mine involvd; and knows that I Should prove a bitter Morsel, and his bane, When ever that shall be; so Fate pronounc'd. But thou O Father, I forewarn thee, shun 810 His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope To be invulnerable in those bright Arms, Though temper'd heav'nly, for that mortal dint, Save he who reigns above, none can resist. She finish'd, and the suttle Fiend his lore Soon learnd, now milder, and thus answerd smooth. Dear Daughter, since thou claim'st me for thy Sire, And my fair Son here showst me, the dear pledge Of dalliance had with thee in Heav'n, and joys Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change 820 Befalln us unforeseen, unthought of, know I come no enemie, but to set free From out this dark and dismal house of pain, Both him and thee, and all the heav'nly Host Of Spirits that in our just pretenses arm'd Fell with us from on high: from them I go This uncouth errand sole, and one for all My self expose, with lonely steps to tread Th' unfounded deep, & through the void immense To search with wandring quest a place foretold 830 Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now Created vast and round, a place of bliss In the Pourlieues of Heav'n, and therein plac't A race of upstart Creatures, to supply Perhaps our vacant room, though more remov'd, Least Heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude Might hap to move new broiles: Be this or aught Then this more secret now design'd, I haste To know, and this once known, shall soon return, And bring ye to the place where Thou and Death 840 Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen Wing silently the buxom Air, imbalm'd With odours; there ye shall be fed and fill'd Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey. He ceas'd, for both seemd highly pleasd, and Death Grinnd horrible a gastly smile, to hear His famine should be fill'd, and blest his mawe Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoyc'd His mother bad, and thus bespake her Sire. The key of this infernal Pit by due, 850 And by command of Heav'ns all-powerful King I keep, by him forbidden to unlock These Adamantine Gates; against all force Death ready stands to interpose his dart, Fearless to be o'rematcht by living might. But what ow I to his commands above Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down Into this gloom of Tartarus profound, To sit in hateful Office here confin'd, Inhabitant of Heav'n, and heav'nlie-born, 860 Here in perpetual agonie and pain, With terrors and with clamors compasst round Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed: Thou art my Father, thou my Author, thou My being gav'st me; whom should I obey But thee, whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon To that new world of light and bliss, among The Gods who live at ease, where I shall Reign At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems Thy daughter and thy darling, without end. 870 Thus saying, from her side the fatal Key, Sad instrument of all our woe, she took; And towards the Gate rouling her bestial train, Forthwith the huge Portcullis high up drew, Which but her self not all the Stygian powers Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole turns Th' intricate wards, and every Bolt and Bar Of massie Iron or sollid Rock with ease Unfast'ns: on a sudden op'n flie With impetuous recoile and jarring sound 880 Th' infernal dores, and on thir hinges great Harsh Thunder, that the lowest bottom shook Of Erebus. She op'nd, but to shut Excel'd her power; the Gates wide op'n stood, That with extended wings a Bannerd Host Under spread Ensigns marching might pass through With Horse and Chariots rankt in loose array; So wide they stood, and like a Furnace mouth Cast forth redounding smoak and ruddy flame. Before thir eyes in sudden view appear 890 The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark Illimitable Ocean without bound, Without dimension, where length, breadth, and highth, And time and place are lost; where eldest Night And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise Of endless warrs and by confusion stand. For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring Thir embryon Atoms; they around the flag 900 Of each his faction, in thir several Clanns, Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift or slow, Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the Sands Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil, Levied to side with warring Winds, and poise Thir lighter wings. To whom these most adhere, Hee rules a moment; Chaos Umpire sits, And by decision more imbroiles the fray By which he Reigns: next him high Arbiter Chance governs all. Into this wilde Abyss, 910 The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave, Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire, But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight, Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain His dark materials to create more Worlds, Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while, Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith He had to cross. Nor was his eare less peal'd 920 With noises loud and ruinous (to compare Great things with small) then when Bellona storms, With all her battering Engines bent to rase Som Capital City, or less then if this frame Of Heav'n were falling, and these Elements In mutinie had from her Axle torn The stedfast Earth. At last his Sail-broad Vannes He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoak Uplifted spurns the ground, thence many a League As in a cloudy Chair ascending rides 930 Audacious, but that seat soon failing, meets A vast vacuitie: all unawares Fluttring his pennons vain plumb down he drops Ten thousand fadom deep, and to this hour Down had been falling, had not by ill chance The strong rebuff of som tumultuous cloud Instinct with Fire and Nitre hurried him As many miles aloft: that furie stay'd, Quencht in a Boggie Syrtis, neither Sea, Nor good dry Land: nigh founderd on he fares, 940 Treading the crude consistence, half on foot, Half flying; behoves him now both Oare and Saile. As when a Gryfon through the Wilderness With winged course ore Hill or moarie Dale, Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stelth Had from his wakeful custody purloind The guarded Gold: So eagerly the fiend Ore bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare, With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues his way, And swims or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flyes: 950 At length a universal hubbub wilde Of stunning sounds and voices all confus'd Born through the hollow dark assaults his eare With loudest vehemence: thither he plyes, Undaunted to meet there what ever power Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask Which way the neerest coast of darkness lyes Bordering on light; when strait behold the Throne Of Chaos, and his dark Pavilion spread 960 Wide on the wasteful Deep; with him Enthron'd Sat Sable-vested Night, eldest of things, The consort of his Reign; and by them stood Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name Of Demogorgon; Rumor next and Chance, And Tumult and Confusion all imbroild, And Discord with a thousand various mouths. T' whom Satan turning boldly, thus. Ye Powers And Spirits of this nethermost Abyss, Chaos and Ancient Night, I come no Spie, 970 With purpose to explore or to disturb The secrets of your Realm, but by constraint Wandring this darksome desart, as my way Lies through your spacious Empire up to light, Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek What readiest path leads where your gloomie bounds Confine with Heav'n; or if som other place From your Dominion won, th' Ethereal King Possesses lately, thither to arrive I travel this profound, direct my course; 980 Directed, no mean recompence it brings To your behoof, if I that Region lost, All usurpation thence expell'd, reduce To her original darkness and your sway (Which is my present journey) and once more Erect the Standerd there of Ancient Night; Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge. Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old With faultring speech and visage incompos'd Answer'd. I know thee, stranger, who thou art, 990 That mighty leading Angel, who of late Made head against Heav'ns King, though overthrown. I saw and heard, for such a numerous host Fled not in silence through the frighted deep With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, Confusion worse confounded; and Heav'n Gates Pourd out by millions her victorious Bands Pursuing. I upon my Frontieres here Keep residence; if all I can will serve, That little which is left so to defend 1000 Encroacht on still through our intestine broiles Weakning the Scepter of old Night: first Hell Your dungeon stretching far and wide beneath; Now lately Heaven and Earth, another World Hung ore my Realm, link'd in a golden Chain To that side Heav'n from whence your Legions fell: If that way be your walk, you have not farr; So much the neerer danger; goe and speed; Havock and spoil and ruin are my gain. He ceas'd; and Satan staid not to reply, 1010 But glad that now his Sea should find a shore, With fresh alacritie and force renew'd Springs upward like a Pyramid of fire Into the wilde expanse, and through the shock Of fighting Elements, on all sides round Environ'd wins his way; harder beset And more endanger'd, then when Argo pass'd Through Bosporus betwixt the justling Rocks: Or when Ulysses on the Larbord shunnd Charybdis, and by th' other whirlpool steard. 1020 So he with difficulty and labour hard Mov'd on, with difficulty and labour hee; But hee once past, soon after when man fell, Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain Following his track, such was the will of Heav'n, Pav'd after him a broad and beat'n way Over the dark Abyss, whose boiling Gulf Tamely endur'd a Bridge of wondrous length From Hell continu'd reaching th' utmost Orbe Of this frail World; by which the Spirits perverse 1030 With easie intercourse pass to and fro To tempt or punish mortals, except whom God and good Angels guard by special grace. But now at last the sacred influence Of light appears, and from the walls of Heav'n Shoots farr into the bosom of dim Night A glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins Her fardest verge, and Chaos to retire As from her outmost works a brok'n foe With tumult less and with less hostile din, 1040 That Satan with less toil, and now with ease Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light And like a weather-beaten Vessel holds Gladly the Port, though Shrouds and Tackle torn; Or in the emptier waste, resembling Air, Weighs his spread wings, at leasure to behold Farr off th' Empyreal Heav'n, extended wide In circuit, undetermind square or round, With Opal Towrs and Battlements adorn'd Of living Saphire, once his native Seat; 1050 And fast by hanging in a golden Chain This pendant world, in bigness as a Starr Of smallest Magnitude close by the Moon. Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge, Accurst, and in a cursed hour he hies.

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

The End Of The Second Book.

BOOK III.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

Hail holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born, Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light, And never but in unapproached light Dwelt from Eternitie, dwelt then in thee, Bright effluence of bright essence increate. Or hear'st thou rather pure Ethereal stream, Whose Fountain who shall tell? before the Sun, Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice Of God, as with a Mantle didst invest 10 The rising world of waters dark and deep, Won from the void and formless infinite. Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing, Escap't the Stygian Pool, though long detain'd In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight Through utter and through middle darkness borne With other notes then to th' Orphean Lyre I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night, Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down The dark descent, and up to reascend, 20 Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe, And feel thy sovran vital Lamp; but thou Revisit'st not these eyes, that rowle in vain To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn; So thick a drop serene hath quencht thir Orbs, Or dim suffusion veild. Yet not the more Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt Cleer Spring, or shadie Grove, or Sunnie Hill, Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief Thee Sion and the flowrie Brooks beneath 30 That wash thy hallowd feet, and warbling flow, Nightly I visit: nor somtimes forget Those other two equal'd with me in Fate, So were I equal'd with them in renown, Blind Thamyris and blind Maeonides, And Tiresias and Phineus Prophets old. Then feed on thoughts, that voluntarie move Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful Bird Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid Tunes her nocturnal Note. Thus with the Year 40 Seasons return, but not to me returns Day, or the sweet approach of Ev'n or Morn, Or sight of vernal bloom, or Summers Rose, Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; But cloud in stead, and ever-during dark Surrounds me, from the chearful waies of men Cut off, and for the book of knowledg fair Presented with a Universal blanc Of Natures works to mee expung'd and ras'd, And wisdome at one entrance quite shut out. 50 So much the rather thou Celestial light Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight. Now had the Almighty Father from above, From the pure Empyrean where he sits High Thron'd above all highth, bent down his eye, His own works and their works at once to view: About him all the Sanctities of Heaven 60 Stood thick as Starrs, and from his sight receiv'd Beatitude past utterance; on his right The radiant image of his Glory sat, His onely Son; On Earth he first beheld Our two first Parents, yet the onely two Of mankind, in the happie Garden plac't, Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love, Uninterrupted joy, unrivald love In blissful solitude; he then survey'd Hell and the Gulf between, and Satan there 70 Coasting the wall of Heav'n on this side Night In the dun Air sublime, and ready now To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet On the bare outside of this World, that seem'd Firm land imbosom'd without Firmament, Uncertain which, in Ocean or in Air. Him God beholding from his prospect high, Wherein past, present, future he beholds, Thus to his onely Son foreseeing spake. Onely begotten Son, seest thou what rage 80 Transports our adversarie, whom no bounds Prescrib'd, no barrs of Hell, nor all the chains Heapt on him there, nor yet the main Abyss Wide interrupt can hold; so bent he seems On desperat revenge, that shall redound Upon his own rebellious head. And now Through all restraint broke loose he wings his way Not farr off Heav'n, in the Precincts of light, Directly towards the new created World, And Man there plac't, with purpose to assay 90 If him by force he can destroy, or worse, By som false guile pervert; and shall pervert; For man will heark'n to his glozing lyes, And easily transgress the sole Command, Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall Hee and his faithless Progenie: whose fault? Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of mee All he could have; I made him just and right, Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall. Such I created all th' Ethereal Powers 100 And Spirits, both them who stood & them who faild; Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell. Not free, what proof could they have givn sincere Of true allegiance, constant Faith or Love, Where onely what they needs must do, appeard, Not what they would? what praise could they receive? What pleasure I from such obedience paid, When Will and Reason (Reason also is choice) Useless and vain, of freedom both despoild, Made passive both, had servd necessitie, 110 Not mee. They therefore as to right belongd, So were created, nor can justly accuse Thir maker, or thir making, or thir Fate; As if Predestination over-rul'd Thir will, dispos'd by absolute Decree Or high foreknowledge; they themselves decreed Thir own revolt, not I: if I foreknew, Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault, Which had no less prov'd certain unforeknown. So without least impulse or shadow of Fate, 120 Or aught by me immutablie foreseen, They trespass, Authors to themselves in all Both what they judge and what they choose; for so I formd them free, and free they must remain, Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change Thir nature, and revoke the high Decree Unchangeable, Eternal, which ordain'd Thir freedom, they themselves ordain'd thir fall. The first sort by thir own suggestion fell, Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls deceiv'd 130 By the other first: Man therefore shall find grace, The other none: in Mercy and Justice both, Through Heav'n and Earth, so shall my glorie excel, But Mercy first and last shall brightest shine. Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd All Heav'n, and in the blessed Spirits elect Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd: Beyond compare the Son of God was seen Most glorious, in him all his Father shon Substantially express'd, and in his face 140 Divine compassion visibly appeerd, Love without end, and without measure Grace, Which uttering thus he to his Father spake. O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find grace; For which both Heav'n and Earth shall high extoll Thy praises, with th' innumerable sound Of Hymns and sacred Songs, wherewith thy Throne Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest. For should Man finally be lost, should Man 150 Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest Son Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though joynd With his own folly? that be from thee farr, That farr be from thee, Father, who art Judge Of all things made, and judgest onely right. Or shall the Adversarie thus obtain His end, and frustrate thine, shall he fulfill His malice, and thy goodness bring to naught, Or proud return though to his heavier doom, Yet with revenge accomplish't and to Hell 160 Draw after him the whole Race of mankind, By him corrupted? or wilt thou thy self Abolish thy Creation, and unmake, For him, what for thy glorie thou hast made? So should thy goodness and thy greatness both Be questiond and blaspheam'd without defence. To whom the great Creatour thus reply'd. O Son, in whom my Soul hath chief delight, Son of my bosom, Son who art alone My word, my wisdom, and effectual might, 170 All hast thou spok'n as my thoughts are, all As my Eternal purpose hath decreed: Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will, Yet not of will in him, but grace in me Freely voutsaft; once more I will renew His lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthrall'd By sin to foul exorbitant desires; Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand On even ground against his mortal foe, By me upheld, that he may know how frail 180 His fall'n condition is, and to me ow All his deliv'rance, and to none but me. Some I have chosen of peculiar grace Elect above the rest; so is my will: The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warnd Thir sinful state, and to appease betimes Th' incensed Deitie, while offerd grace Invites; for I will cleer thir senses dark, What may suffice, and soft'n stonie hearts To pray, repent, and bring obedience due. 190 To prayer, repentance, and obedience due, Though but endevord with sincere intent, Mine eare shall not be slow, mine eye not shut. And I will place within them as a guide My Umpire Conscience, whom if they will hear, Light after light well us'd they shall attain, And to the end persisting, safe arrive. This my long sufferance and my day of grace They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste; But hard be hard'nd, blind be blinded more, 200 That they may stumble on, and deeper fall; And none but such from mercy I exclude. But yet all is not don; Man disobeying, Disloyal breaks his fealtie, and sinns Against the high Supremacie of Heav'n, Affecting God-head, and so loosing all, To expiate his Treason hath naught left, But to destruction sacred and devote, He with his whole posteritie must die, Die hee or Justice must; unless for him 210 Som other able, and as willing, pay The rigid satisfaction, death for death. Say Heav'nly Powers, where shall we find such love, Which of ye will be mortal to redeem Mans mortal crime, and just th' unjust to save, Dwels in all Heaven charitie so deare? He ask'd, but all the Heav'nly Quire stood mute, And silence was in Heav'n: on mans behalf Patron or Intercessor none appeerd, Much less that durst upon his own head draw 220 The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set. And now without redemption all mankind Must have bin lost, adjudg'd to Death and Hell By doom severe, had not the Son of God, In whom the fulness dwels of love divine, His dearest mediation thus renewd. Father, thy word is past, man shall find grace; And shall grace not find means, that finds her way, The speediest of thy winged messengers, To visit all thy creatures, and to all 230 Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought, Happie for man, so coming; be her aide Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost; Attonement for himself or offering meet, Indebted and undon, hath none to bring: Behold mee then, mee for him, life for life I offer, on mee let thine anger fall; Account mee man; I for his sake will leave Thy bosom, and this glorie next to thee Freely put off, and for him lastly die 240 Well pleas'd, on me let Death wreck all his rage; Under his gloomie power I shall not long Lie vanquisht; thou hast givn me to possess Life in my self for ever, by thee I live, Though now to Death I yeild, and am his due All that of me can die, yet that debt paid, Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsom grave His prey, nor suffer my unspotted Soule For ever with corruption there to dwell; But I shall rise Victorious, and subdue 250 My Vanquisher, spoild of his vanted spoile; Death his deaths wound shall then receive, & stoop Inglorious, of his mortall sting disarm'd. I through the ample Air in Triumph high Shall lead Hell Captive maugre Hell, and show The powers of darkness bound. Thou at the sight Pleas'd, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile, While by thee rais'd I ruin all my Foes, Death last, and with his Carcass glut the Grave: Then with the multitude of my redeemd 260 Shall enter Heaven long absent, and returne, Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud Of anger shall remain, but peace assur'd, And reconcilement; wrauth shall be no more Thenceforth, but in thy presence Joy entire. His words here ended, but his meek aspect Silent yet spake, and breath'd immortal love To mortal men, above which only shon Filial obedience: as a sacrifice Glad to be offer'd, he attends the will 270 Of his great Father. Admiration seis'd All Heav'n, what this might mean, & whither tend Wondring; but soon th' Almighty thus reply'd: O thou in Heav'n and Earth the only peace Found out for mankind under wrauth, O thou My sole complacence! well thou know'st how dear, To me are all my works, nor Man the least Though last created, that for him I spare Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save, By loosing thee a while, the whole Race lost. 280 Thou therefore whom thou only canst redeeme, Thir Nature also to thy Nature joyne; And be thy self Man among men on Earth, Made flesh, when time shall be, of Virgin seed, By wondrous birth: Be thou in Adams room The Head of all mankind, though Adams Son. As in him perish all men, so in thee As from a second root shall be restor'd, As many as are restor'd, without thee none. His crime makes guiltie all his Sons, thy merit 290 Imputed shall absolve them who renounce Thir own both righteous and unrighteous deeds, And live in thee transplanted, and from thee Receive new life. So Man, as is most just, Shall satisfie for Man, be judg'd and die, And dying rise, and rising with him raise His Brethren, ransomd with his own dear life. So Heav'nly love shal outdoo Hellish hate, Giving to death, and dying to redeeme, So dearly to redeem what Hellish hate 300 So easily destroy'd, and still destroyes In those who, when they may, accept not grace. Nor shalt thou by descending to assume Mans Nature, less'n or degrade thine owne. Because thou hast, though Thron'd in highest bliss Equal to God, and equally enjoying God-like fruition, quitted all to save A World from utter loss, and hast been found By Merit more then Birthright Son of God, Found worthiest to be so by being Good, 310 Farr more then Great or High; because in thee Love hath abounded more then Glory abounds, Therefore thy Humiliation shall exalt With thee thy Manhood also to this Throne; Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt Reigne Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man, Anointed universal King; all Power I give thee, reign for ever, and assume Thy Merits; under thee as Head Supream Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions I reduce: 320 All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell; When thou attended gloriously from Heav'n Shalt in the Skie appeer, and from thee send The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaime Thy dread Tribunal: forthwith from all Windes The living, and forthwith the cited dead Of all past Ages to the general Doom Shall hast'n, such a peal shall rouse thir sleep. Then all thy Saints assembl'd, thou shalt judge 330 Bad men and Angels, they arraignd shall sink Beneath thy Sentence; Hell, her numbers full, Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while The World shall burn, and from her ashes spring New Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell And after all thir tribulations long See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds, With Joy and Love triumphing, and fair Truth. Then thou thy regal Scepter shalt lay by, For regal Scepter then no more shall need, 340 God shall be All in All. But all ye Gods, Adore him, who to compass all this dies, Adore the Son, and honour him as mee. No sooner had th' Almighty ceas't, but all The multitude of Angels with a shout Loud as from numbers without number, sweet As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heav'n rung With Jubilee, and loud Hosanna's fill'd Th' eternal Regions: lowly reverent Towards either Throne they bow, & to the ground 350 With solemn adoration down they cast Thir Crowns inwove with Amarant and Gold, Immortal Amarant, a Flour which once In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life Began to bloom, but soon for mans offence To Heav'n remov'd where first it grew, there grows, And flours aloft shading the Fount of Life, And where the river of Bliss through midst of Heavn Rowls o're Elisian Flours her Amber stream; With these that never fade the Spirits Elect 360 Bind thir resplendent locks inwreath'd with beams, Now in loose Garlands thick thrown off, the bright Pavement that like a Sea of Jasper shon Impurpl'd with Celestial Roses smil'd. Then Crown'd again thir gold'n Harps they took, Harps ever tun'd, that glittering by their side Like Quivers hung, and with Praeamble sweet Of charming symphonie they introduce Thir sacred Song, and waken raptures high; No voice exempt, no voice but well could joine 370 Melodious part, such concord is in Heav'n. Thee Father first they sung Omnipotent, Immutable, Immortal, Infinite, Eternal King; thee Author of all being, Fountain of Light, thy self invisible Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sit'st Thron'd inaccessible, but when thou shad'st The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud Drawn round about thee like a radiant Shrine, Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appeer, 380 Yet dazle Heav'n, that brightest Seraphim Approach not, but with both wings veil thir eyes. Thee next they sang of all Creation first, Begotten Son, Divine Similitude, In whose conspicuous count'nance, without cloud Made visible, th' Almighty Father shines, Whom else no Creature can behold; on thee Impresst the effulgence of his Glorie abides, Transfus'd on thee his ample Spirit rests. Hee Heav'n of Heavens and all the Powers therein 390 By thee created, and by thee threw down Th' aspiring Dominations: thou that day Thy Fathers dreadful Thunder didst not spare, Nor stop thy flaming Chariot wheels, that shook Heav'ns everlasting Frame, while o're the necks Thou drov'st of warring Angels disarraid. Back from pursuit thy Powers with loud acclaime Thee only extold, Son of thy Fathers might, To execute fierce vengeance on his foes, Not so on Man; him through their malice fall'n, 400 Father of Mercie and Grace, thou didst not doome So strictly, but much more to pitie encline: No sooner did thy dear and onely Son Perceive thee purpos'd not to doom frail Man So strictly, but much more to pitie enclin'd, He to appease thy wrauth, and end the strife Of Mercy and Justice in thy face discern'd, Regardless of the Bliss wherein hee sat Second to thee, offerd himself to die For mans offence. O unexampl'd love, 410 Love no where to be found less then Divine! Hail Son of God, Saviour of Men, thy Name Shall be the copious matter of my Song Henceforth, and never shall my Harp thy praise Forget, nor from thy Fathers praise disjoine. Thus they in Heav'n, above the starry Sphear, Thir happie hours in joy and hymning spent. Mean while upon the firm opacous Globe Of this round World, whose first convex divides The luminous inferior Orbs, enclos'd 420 From Chaos and th' inroad of Darkness old, Satan alighted walks: a Globe farr off It seem'd, now seems a boundless Continent Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night Starless expos'd, and ever-threatning storms Of Chaos blustring round, inclement skie; Save on that side which from the wall of Heav'n Though distant farr som small reflection gaines Of glimmering air less vext with tempest loud: Here walk'd the Fiend at large in spacious field. 430 As when a Vultur on Imaus bred, Whose snowie ridge the roving Tartar bounds, Dislodging from a Region scarce of prey To gorge the flesh of Lambs or yeanling Kids On Hills where Flocks are fed, flies toward the Springs Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams; But in his way lights on the barren plaines Of Sericana, where Chineses drive With Sails and Wind thir canie Waggons light: So on this windie Sea of Land, the Fiend 440 Walk'd up and down alone bent on his prey, Alone, for other Creature in this place Living or liveless to be found was none, None yet, but store hereafter from the earth Up hither like Aereal vapours flew Of all things transitorie and vain, when Sin With vanity had filld the works of men: Both all things vain, and all who in vain things Built thir fond hopes of Glorie or lasting fame, Or happiness in this or th' other life; 450 All who have thir reward on Earth, the fruits Of painful Superstition and blind Zeal, Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find Fit retribution, emptie as thir deeds; All th' unaccomplisht works of Natures hand, Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixt, Dissolvd on earth, fleet hither, and in vain, Till final dissolution, wander here, Not in the neighbouring Moon, as some have dreamd; Those argent Fields more likely habitants, 460 Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold Betwixt th' Angelical and Human kinde: Hither of ill-joynd Sons and Daughters born First from the ancient World those Giants came With many a vain exploit, though then renownd: The builders next of Babel on the Plain Of Sennaar, and still with vain designe New Babels, had they wherewithall, would build: Others came single; hee who to be deemd A God, leap'd fondly into Aetna flames, 470 Empedocles, and hee who to enjoy Plato's Elysium, leap'd into the Sea, Cleombrotus, and many more too long, Embryo's and Idiots, Eremits and Friers White, Black and Grey, with all thir trumperie. Here Pilgrims roam, that stray'd so farr to seek In Golgotha him dead, who lives in Heav'n; And they who to be sure of Paradise Dying put on the weeds of Dominic, Or in Franciscan think to pass disguis'd; 480 They pass the Planets seven, and pass the fixt, And that Crystalline Sphear whose ballance weighs The Trepidation talkt, and that first mov'd; And now Saint Peter at Heav'ns Wicket seems To wait them with his Keys, and now at foot Of Heav'ns ascent they lift thir Feet, when loe A violent cross wind from either Coast Blows them transverse ten thousand Leagues awry Into the devious Air; then might ye see Cowles, Hoods and Habits with thir wearers tost 490 And flutterd into Raggs, then Reliques, Beads, Indulgences, Dispenses, Pardons, Bulls, The sport of Winds: all these upwhirld aloft Fly o're the backside of the World farr off Into a Limbo large and broad, since calld The Paradise of Fools, to few unknown Long after, now unpeopl'd, and untrod; All this dark Globe the Fiend found as he pass'd, And long he wanderd, till at last a gleame Of dawning light turnd thither-ward in haste 500 His travell'd steps; farr distant hee descries Ascending by degrees magnificent Up to the wall of Heaven a Structure high, At top whereof, but farr more rich appeerd The work as of a Kingly Palace Gate With Frontispice of Diamond and Gold Imbellisht, thick with sparkling orient Gemmes The Portal shon, inimitable on Earth By Model, or by shading Pencil drawn. The Stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw 510 Angels ascending and descending, bands Of Guardians bright, when he from Esau fled To Padan-aram in the field of Luz, Dreaming by night under the open Skie, And waking cri'd, This is the Gate of Heav'n. Each Stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood There alwaies, but drawn up to Heav'n somtimes Viewless, and underneath a bright Sea flow'd Of Jasper, or of liquid Pearle, whereon Who after came from Earth, sayling arriv'd, 520 Wafted by Angels, or flew o're the Lake Rapt in a Chariot drawn by fiery Steeds. The Stairs were then let down, whether to dare The Fiend by easie ascent, or aggravate His sad exclusion from the dores of Bliss. Direct against which op'nd from beneath, Just o're the blissful seat of Paradise, A passage down to th' Earth, a passage wide, Wider by farr then that of after-times Over Mount Sion, and, though that were large, 530 Over the Promis'd Land to God so dear, By which, to visit oft those happy Tribes, On high behests his Angels to and fro Pass'd frequent, and his eye with choice regard From Paneas the fount of Jordans flood To Beersaba, where the Holy Land Borders on Aegypt and the Arabian shoare; So wide the op'ning seemd, where bounds were set To darkness, such as bound the Ocean wave. Satan from hence now on the lower stair 540 That scal'd by steps of Gold to Heav'n Gate Looks down with wonder at the sudden view Of all this World at once. As when a Scout Through dark and desart wayes with peril gone All night; at last by break of chearful dawne Obtains the brow of some high-climbing Hill, Which to his eye discovers unaware The goodly prospect of some forein land First-seen, or some renownd Metropolis With glistering Spires and Pinnacles adornd, 550 Which now the Rising Sun guilds with his beams. Such wonder seis'd, though after Heaven seen, The Spirit maligne, but much more envy seis'd At sight of all this World beheld so faire. Round he surveys, and well might, where he stood So high above the circling Canopie Of Nights extended shade; from Eastern Point Of Libra to the fleecie Starr that bears Andromeda farr off Atlantick Seas Beyond th' Horizon; then from Pole to Pole 560 He views in bredth, and without longer pause Down right into the Worlds first Region throws His flight precipitant, and windes with ease Through the pure marble Air his oblique way Amongst innumerable Starrs, that shon Stars distant, but nigh hand seemd other Worlds, Or other Worlds they seemd, or happy Iles, Like those Hesperian Gardens fam'd of old, Fortunate Fields, and Groves and flourie Vales, Thrice happy Iles, but who dwelt happy there 570 He stayd not to enquire: above them all The golden Sun in splendor likest Heaven Allur'd his eye: Thither his course he bends Through the calm Firmament; but up or downe By center, or eccentric, hard to tell, Or Longitude, where the great Luminarie Alooff the vulgar Constellations thick, That from his Lordly eye keep distance due, Dispenses Light from farr; they as they move Thir Starry dance in numbers that compute 580 Days, months, and years, towards his all-chearing Lamp Turn swift their various motions, or are turnd By his Magnetic beam, that gently warms The Univers, and to each inward part With gentle penetration, though unseen, Shoots invisible vertue even to the deep: So wondrously was set his Station bright. There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps Astronomer in the Sun's lucent Orbe Through his glaz'd Optic Tube yet never saw. 590 The place he found beyond expression bright, Compar'd with aught on Earth, Medal or Stone; Not all parts like, but all alike informd With radiant light, as glowing Iron with fire; If mettal, part seemd Gold, part Silver cleer; If stone, Carbuncle most or Chrysolite, Rubie or Topaz, to the Twelve that shon In Aarons Brest-plate, and a stone besides Imagind rather oft then elsewhere seen, That stone, or like to that which here below 600 Philosophers in vain so long have sought, In vain, though by thir powerful Art they binde Volatil Hermes, and call up unbound In various shapes old Proteus from the Sea, Draind through a Limbec to his Native forme. What wonder then if fields and regions here Breathe forth Elixir pure, and Rivers run Potable Gold, when with one vertuous touch Th' Arch-chimic Sun so farr from us remote Produces with Terrestrial Humor mixt 610 Here in the dark so many precious things Of colour glorious and effect so rare? Here matter new to gaze the Devil met Undazl'd, farr and wide his eye commands, For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade, But all Sun-shine, as when his Beams at Noon Culminate from th' Aequator, as they now Shot upward still direct, whence no way round Shadow from body opaque can fall, and the Aire, No where so cleer, sharp'nd his visual ray 620 To objects distant farr, whereby he soon Saw within kenn a glorious Angel stand, The same whom John saw also in the Sun: His back was turnd, but not his brightness hid; Of beaming sunnie Raies, a golden tiar Circl'd his Head, nor less his Locks behind Illustrious on his Shoulders fledge with wings Lay waving round; on som great charge imploy'd Hee seemd, or fixt in cogitation deep. Glad was the Spirit impure as now in hope 630 To find who might direct his wandring flight To Paradise the happie seat of Man, His journies end and our beginning woe. But first he casts to change his proper shape, Which else might work him danger or delay: And now a stripling Cherube he appeers, Not of the prime, yet such as in his face Youth smil'd Celestial, and to every Limb Sutable grace diffus'd, so well he feignd; Under a Coronet his flowing haire 640 In curles on either cheek plaid, wings he wore Of many a colourd plume sprinkl'd with Gold, His habit fit for speed succinct, and held Before his decent steps a Silver wand. He drew not nigh unheard, the Angel bright, Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turnd, Admonisht by his eare, and strait was known Th' Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the seav'n Who in Gods presence, neerest to his Throne Stand ready at command, and are his Eyes 650 That run through all the Heav'ns, or down to th' Earth Bear his swift errands over moist and dry, O're Sea and Land: him Satan thus accostes; Uriel, for thou of those seav'n Spirits that stand In sight of God's high Throne, gloriously bright, The first art wont his great authentic will Interpreter through highest Heav'n to bring, Where all his Sons thy Embassie attend; And here art likeliest by supream decree Like honour to obtain, and as his Eye 660 To visit oft this new Creation round; Unspeakable desire to see, and know All these his wondrous works, but chiefly Man, His chief delight and favour, him for whom All these his works so wondrous he ordaind, Hath brought me from the Quires of Cherubim Alone thus wandring. Brightest Seraph tell In which of all these shining Orbes hath Man His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none, But all these shining Orbes his choice to dwell; 670 That I may find him, and with secret gaze, Or open admiration him behold On whom the great Creator hath bestowd Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces powrd; That both in him and all things, as is meet, The Universal Maker we may praise; Who justly hath drivn out his Rebell Foes To deepest Hell, and to repair that loss Created this new happie Race of Men To serve him better: wise are all his wayes. 680 So spake the false dissembler unperceivd; For neither Man nor Angel can discern Hypocrisie, the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone, By his permissive will, through Heav'n and Earth: And oft though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps At wisdoms Gate, and to simplicitie Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill Where no ill seems: Which now for once beguil'd Uriel, though Regent of the Sun, and held 690 The sharpest sighted Spirit of all in Heav'n; Who to the fraudulent Impostor foule In his uprightness answer thus returnd. Faire Angel, thy desire which tends to know The works of God, thereby to glorifie The great Work-Maister, leads to no excess That reaches blame, but rather merits praise The more it seems excess, that led thee hither From thy Empyreal Mansion thus alone, To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps 700 Contented with report heare onely in heav'n: For wonderful indeed are all his works, Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all Had in remembrance alwayes with delight; But what created mind can comprehend Thir number, or the wisdom infinite That brought them forth, but hid thir causes deep. I saw when at his Word the formless Mass, This worlds material mould, came to a heap: Confusion heard his voice, and wilde uproar 710 Stood rul'd, stood vast infinitude confin'd; Till at his second bidding darkness fled, Light shon, and order from disorder sprung: Swift to thir several Quarters hasted then The cumbrous Elements, Earth, Flood, Aire, Fire, And this Ethereal quintessence of Heav'n Flew upward, spirited with various forms, That rowld orbicular, and turnd to Starrs Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move; Each had his place appointed, each his course, 720 The rest in circuit walles this Universe. Look downward on that Globe whose hither side With light from hence, though but reflected, shines; That place is Earth the seat of Man, that light His day, which else as th' other Hemisphere Night would invade, but there the neighbouring Moon (So call that opposite fair Starr) her aide Timely interposes, and her monthly round Still ending, still renewing, through mid Heav'n; With borrowd light her countenance triform 730 Hence fills and empties to enlighten th' Earth, And in her pale dominion checks the night. That spot to which I point is Paradise, Adams abode, those loftie shades his Bowre. Thy way thou canst not miss, me mine requires. Thus said, he turnd, and Satan bowing low, As to superior Spirits is wont in Heaven, Where honour due and reverence none neglects, Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth beneath, Down from th' Ecliptic, sped with hop'd success, 740 Throws his steep flight with many an Aerie wheele, Nor staid, till on Niphates top he lights.

The End Of The Third Book.

BOOK IV.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

O For that warning voice, which he who saw Th' Apocalyps, heard cry in Heaven aloud, Then when the Dragon, put to second rout, Came furious down to be reveng'd on men, Wo To The Inhabitants On Earth! that now, While time was, our first Parents had bin warnd The coming of thir secret foe, and scap'd Haply so scap'd his mortal snare; for now Satan, now first inflam'd with rage, came down, The Tempter ere th' Accuser of man-kind, 10 To wreck on innocent frail man his loss Of that first Battel, and his flight to Hell: Yet not rejoycing in his speed, though bold, Far off and fearless, nor with cause to boast, Begins his dire attempt, which nigh the birth Now rowling, boiles in his tumultuous brest, And like a devillish Engine back recoiles Upon himself; horror and doubt distract His troubl'd thoughts, and from the bottom stirr The Hell within him, for within him Hell 20 He brings, and round about him, nor from Hell One step no more then from himself can fly By change of place: Now conscience wakes despair That slumberd, wakes the bitter memorie Of what he was, what is, and what must be Worse; of worse deeds worse sufferings must ensue. Sometimes towards Eden which now in his view Lay pleasant, his grievd look he fixes sad, Sometimes towards Heav'n and the full-blazing Sun, Which now sat high in his Meridian Towre: 30 Then much revolving, thus in sighs began. O thou that with surpassing Glory crownd, Look'st from thy sole Dominion like the God Of this new World; at whose sight all the Starrs Hide thir diminisht heads; to thee I call, But with no friendly voice, and add thy name O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy Spheare; Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down 40 Warring in Heav'n against Heav'ns matchless King: Ah wherefore! he deservd no such return From me, whom he created what I was In that bright eminence, and with his good Upbraided none; nor was his service hard. What could be less then to afford him praise, The easiest recompence, and pay him thanks, How due! yet all his good prov'd ill in me, And wrought but malice; lifted up so high I sdeind subjection, and thought one step higher 50 Would set me highest, and in a moment quit The debt immense of endless gratitude, So burthensome, still paying, still to ow; Forgetful what from him I still receivd, And understood not that a grateful mind By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Indebted and dischargd; what burden then? O had his powerful Destiny ordaind Me some inferiour Angel, I had stood Then happie; no unbounded hope had rais'd 60 Ambition. Yet why not? som other Power As great might have aspir'd, and me though mean Drawn to his part; but other Powers as great Fell not, but stand unshak'n, from within Or from without, to all temptations arm'd. Hadst thou the same free Will and Power to stand? Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse, But Heav'ns free Love dealt equally to all? Be then his Love accurst, since love or hate, To me alike, it deals eternal woe. 70 Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will Chose freely what it now so justly rues. Me miserable! which way shall I flie Infinite wrauth, and infinite despaire? Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep Still threatning to devour me opens wide, To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n. O then at last relent: is there no place Left for Repentance, none for Pardon left? 80 None left but by submission; and that word Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd With other promises and other vaunts Then to submit, boasting I could subdue Th' Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know How dearly I abide that boast so vaine, Under what torments inwardly I groane; While they adore me on the Throne of Hell, With Diadem and Scepter high advanc'd 90 The lower still I fall, onely Supream In miserie; such joy Ambition findes. But say I could repent and could obtaine By Act of Grace my former state; how soon Would highth recal high thoughts, how soon unsay What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant Vows made in pain, as violent and void. For never can true reconcilement grow Where wounds of deadly hate have peirc'd so deep: Which would but lead me to a worse relapse 100 And heavier fall: so should I purchase deare Short intermission bought with double smart. This knows my punisher; therefore as farr From granting hee, as I from begging peace: All hope excluded thus, behold in stead Of us out-cast, exil'd, his new delight, Mankind created, and for him this World. So farwel Hope, and with Hope farwel Fear, Farwel Remorse: all Good to me is lost; Evil be thou my Good; by thee at least 110 Divided Empire with Heav'ns King I hold By thee, and more then half perhaps will reigne; As Man ere long, and this new World shall know. Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face Thrice chang'd with pale, ire, envie and despair, Which marrd his borrow'd visage, and betraid Him counterfet, if any eye beheld. For heav'nly mindes from such distempers foule Are ever cleer. Whereof hee soon aware, Each perturbation smooth'd with outward calme, 120 Artificer of fraud; and was the first That practisd falshood under saintly shew, Deep malice to conceale, couch't with revenge: Yet not anough had practisd to deceive Uriel once warnd; whose eye pursu'd him down The way he went, and on th' Assyrian mount Saw him disfigur'd, more then could befall Spirit of happie sort: his gestures fierce He markd and mad demeanour, then alone, As he suppos'd, all unobserv'd, unseen. 130 So on he fares, and to the border comes Of Eden, where delicious Paradise, Now nearer, Crowns with her enclosure green, As with a rural mound the champain head Of a steep wilderness, whose hairie sides With thicket overgrown, grottesque and wilde, Access deni'd; and over head up grew Insuperable highth of loftiest shade, Cedar, and Pine, and Firr, and branching Palm, A Silvan Scene, and as the ranks ascend 140 Shade above shade, a woodie Theatre Of stateliest view. Yet higher then thir tops The verdurous wall of Paradise up sprung: Which to our general Sire gave prospect large Into his neather Empire neighbouring round. And higher then that Wall a circling row Of goodliest Trees loaden with fairest Fruit, Blossoms and Fruits at once of golden hue Appeerd, with gay enameld colours mixt: On which the Sun more glad impress'd his beams 150 Then in fair Evening Cloud, or humid Bow, When God hath showrd the earth; so lovely seemd That Lantskip: And of pure now purer aire Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires Vernal delight and joy, able to drive All sadness but despair: now gentle gales Fanning thir odoriferous wings dispense Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole Those balmie spoiles. As when to them who saile Beyond the Cape Of Hope, and now are past 160 Mozambic, off at Sea North-East windes blow Sabean Odours from the spicie shoare Of Arabie the blest, with such delay Well pleas'd they slack thir course, and many a League Cheard with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles. So entertaind those odorous sweets the Fiend Who came thir bane, though with them better pleas'd Then Asmodeus with the fishie fume, That drove him, though enamourd, from the Spouse Of Tobits Son, and with a vengeance sent 170 From Media post to Aegypt, there fast bound. Now to th' ascent of that steep savage Hill Satan had journied on, pensive and slow; But further way found none, so thick entwin'd, As one continu'd brake, the undergrowth Of shrubs and tangling bushes had perplext All path of Man or Beast that past that way: One Gate there onely was, and that look'd East On th' other side: which when th' arch-fellon saw Due entrance he disdaind, and in contempt, 180 At one slight bound high overleap'd all bound Of Hill or highest Wall, and sheer within Lights on his feet. As when a prowling Wolfe, Whom hunger drives to seek new haunt for prey, Watching where Shepherds pen thir Flocks at eeve In hurdl'd Cotes amid the field secure, Leaps o're the fence with ease into the Fould: Or as a Thief bent to unhoord the cash Of some rich Burgher, whose substantial dores, Cross-barrd and bolted fast, fear no assault, 190 In at the window climbes, or o're the tiles; So clomb this first grand Thief into Gods Fould: So since into his Church lewd Hirelings climbe. Thence up he flew, and on the Tree of Life, The middle Tree and highest there that grew, Sat like a Cormorant; yet not true Life Thereby regaind, but sat devising Death To them who liv'd; nor on the vertue thought Of that life-giving Plant, but only us'd For prospect, what well us'd had bin the pledge 200 Of immortalitie. So little knows Any, but God alone, to value right The good before him, but perverts best things To worst abuse, or to thir meanest use. Beneath him with new wonder now he views To all delight of human sense expos'd In narrow room Natures whole wealth, yea more, A Heaven on Earth, for blissful Paradise Of God the Garden was, by him in the East Of Eden planted; Eden stretchd her Line 210 From Auran Eastward to the Royal Towrs Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian Kings, Or where the Sons of Eden long before Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soile His farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind; Out of the fertil ground he caus'd to grow All Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste; And all amid them stood the Tree of Life, High eminent, blooming Ambrosial Fruit Of vegetable Gold; and next to Life 220 Our Death the Tree of Knowledge grew fast by, Knowledge of Good bought dear by knowing ill. Southward through Eden went a River large, Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggie hill Pass'd underneath ingulft, for God had thrown That Mountain as his Garden mould high rais'd Upon the rapid current, which through veins Of porous Earth with kindly thirst up drawn, Rose a fresh Fountain, and with many a rill Waterd the Garden; thence united fell 230 Down the steep glade, and met the neather Flood, Which from his darksom passage now appeers, And now divided into four main Streams, Runs divers, wandring many a famous Realme And Country whereof here needs no account, But rather to tell how, if Art could tell, How from that Saphire Fount the crisped Brooks, Rowling on Orient Pearl and sands of Gold, With mazie error under pendant shades Ran Nectar, visiting each plant, and fed 240 Flours worthy of Paradise which not nice Art In Beds and curious Knots, but Nature boon Powrd forth profuse on Hill and Dale and Plaine, Both where the morning Sun first warmly smote The open field, and where the unpierc't shade Imbround the noontide Bowrs: Thus was this place, A happy rural seat of various view; Groves whose rich Trees wept odorous Gumms and Balme, Others whose fruit burnisht with Golden Rinde Hung amiable, Hesperian Fables true, 250 If true, here onely, and of delicious taste: Betwixt them Lawns, or level Downs, and Flocks Grasing the tender herb, were interpos'd, Or palmie hilloc, or the flourie lap Of som irriguous Valley spread her store, Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose: Another side, umbrageous Grots and Caves Of coole recess, o're which the mantling Vine Layes forth her purple Grape, and gently creeps Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall 260 Down the slope hills, disperst, or in a Lake, That to the fringed Bank with Myrtle crownd, Her chrystall mirror holds, unite thir streams. The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires, Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune The trembling leaves, while Universal Pan Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance Led on th' Eternal Spring. Not that faire field Of Enna, where Proserpin gathring flours Her self a fairer Floure by gloomie Dis 270 Was gatherd, which cost Ceres all that pain To seek her through the world; nor that sweet Grove Of Daphne by Orontes, and th' inspir'd Castalian Spring might with this Paradise Of Eden strive; nor that Nyseian Ile Girt with the River Triton, where old Cham, Whom Gentiles Ammon call and Libyan Jove, Hid Amalthea and her Florid Son Young Bacchus from his Stepdame Rhea's eye; Nor where Abassin Kings thir issue Guard, 280 Mount Amara, though this by som suppos'd True Paradise under the Ethiop Line By Nilus head, enclos'd with shining Rock, A whole dayes journey high, but wide remote From this Assyrian Garden, where the Fiend Saw undelighted all delight, all kind Of living Creatures new to sight and strange: Two of far nobler shape erect and tall, Godlike erect, with native Honour clad In naked Majestie seemd Lords of all, 290 And worthie seemd, for in thir looks Divine The image of thir glorious Maker shon, Truth, Wisdome, Sanctitude severe and pure, Severe, but in true filial freedom plac't; Whence true autoritie in men; though both Not equal, as thir sex not equal seemd; For contemplation hee and valour formd, For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace, Hee for God only, shee for God in him: His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar'd 300 Absolute rule; and Hyacinthin Locks Round from his parted forelock manly hung Clustring, but not beneath his shoulders broad: Shee as a vail down to the slender waste Her unadorned golden tresses wore Dissheveld, but in wanton ringlets wav'd As the Vine curles her tendrils, which impli'd Subjection, but requir'd with gentle sway, And by her yeilded, by him best receivd, Yeilded with coy submission, modest pride, 310 And sweet reluctant amorous delay. Nor those mysterious parts were then conceald, Then was not guiltie shame, dishonest shame Of natures works, honor dishonorable, Sin-bred, how have ye troubl'd all mankind With shews instead, meer shews of seeming pure, And banisht from mans life his happiest life, Simplicitie and spotless innocence. So passd they naked on, nor shund the sight Of God or Angel, for they thought no ill: 320 So hand in hand they passd, the lovliest pair That ever since in loves imbraces met, Adam the goodliest man of men since borne His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters Eve. Under a tuft of shade that on a green Stood whispering soft, by a fresh Fountain side They sat them down, and after no more toil Of thir sweet Gardning labour then suffic'd To recommend coole Zephyr, and made ease More easie, wholsom thirst and appetite 330 More grateful, to thir Supper Fruits they fell, Nectarine Fruits which the compliant boughes Yeilded them, side-long as they sat recline On the soft downie Bank damaskt with flours: The savourie pulp they chew, and in the rinde Still as they thirsted scoop the brimming stream; Nor gentle purpose, nor endearing smiles Wanted, nor youthful dalliance as beseems Fair couple, linkt in happie nuptial League, Alone as they. About them frisking playd 340 All Beasts of th' Earth, since wilde, and of all chase In Wood or Wilderness, Forrest or Den; Sporting the Lion rampd, and in his paw Dandl'd the Kid; Bears, Tygers, Ounces, Pards Gambold before them, th' unwieldy Elephant To make them mirth us'd all his might, and wreathd His Lithe Proboscis; close the Serpent sly Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine His breaded train, and of his fatal guile Gave proof unheeded; others on the grass 350 Coucht, and now fild with pasture gazing sat, Or Bedward ruminating: for the Sun Declin'd was hasting now with prone carreer To th' Ocean Iles, and in th' ascending Scale Of Heav'n the Starrs that usher Evening rose: When Satan still in gaze, as first he stood, Scarce thus at length faild speech recoverd sad. O Hell! what doe mine eyes with grief behold, Into our room of bliss thus high advanc't Creatures of other mould, earth-born perhaps, 360 Not Spirits, yet to heav'nly Spirits bright Little inferior; whom my thoughts pursue With wonder, and could love, so lively shines In them Divine resemblance, and such grace The hand that formd them on thir shape hath pourd. Ah gentle pair, yee little think how nigh Your change approaches, when all these delights Will vanish and deliver ye to woe, More woe, the more your taste is now of joy; Happie, but for so happie ill secur'd 370 Long to continue, and this high seat your Heav'n Ill fenc't for Heav'n to keep out such a foe As now is enterd; yet no purpos'd foe To you whom I could pittie thus forlorne Though I unpittied: League with you I seek, And mutual amitie so streight, so close, That I with you must dwell, or you with me Henceforth; my dwelling haply may not please Like this fair Paradise, your sense, yet such Accept your Makers work; he gave it me, 380 Which I as freely give; Hell shall unfould, To entertain you two, her widest Gates, And send forth all her Kings; there will be room, Not like these narrow limits, to receive Your numerous ofspring; if no better place, Thank him who puts me loath to this revenge On you who wrong me not for him who wrongd. And should I at your harmless innocence Melt, as I doe, yet public reason just, Honour and Empire with revenge enlarg'd, 390 By conquering this new World, compels me now To do what else though damnd I should abhorre. So spake the Fiend, and with necessitie, The Tyrants plea, excus'd his devilish deeds. Then from his loftie stand on that high Tree Down he alights among the sportful Herd Of those fourfooted kindes, himself now one, Now other, as thir shape servd best his end Neerer to view his prey, and unespi'd To mark what of thir state he more might learn 400 By word or action markt: about them round A Lion now he stalkes with fierie glare, Then as a Tiger, who by chance hath spi'd In some Purlieu two gentle Fawnes at play, Strait couches close, then rising changes oft His couchant watch, as one who chose his ground Whence rushing he might surest seise them both Grip't in each paw: when Adam first of men To first of women Eve thus moving speech, Turnd him all eare to heare new utterance flow. 410 Sole partner and sole part of all these joyes, Dearer thy self then all; needs must the Power That made us, and for us this ample World Be infinitly good, and of his good As liberal and free as infinite, That rais'd us from the dust and plac't us here In all this happiness, who at his hand Have nothing merited, nor can performe Aught whereof hee hath need, hee who requires From us no other service then to keep 420 This one, this easie charge, of all the Trees In Paradise that beare delicious fruit So various, not to taste that onely Tree Of knowledge, planted by the Tree of Life, So neer grows Death to Life, what ere Death is, Som dreadful thing no doubt; for well thou knowst God hath pronounc't it death to taste that Tree, The only sign of our obedience left Among so many signes of power and rule Conferrd upon us, and Dominion giv'n 430 Over all other Creatures that possesse Earth, Aire, and Sea. Then let us not think hard One easie prohibition, who enjoy Free leave so large to all things else, and choice Unlimited of manifold delights: But let us ever praise him, and extoll His bountie, following our delightful task To prune these growing Plants, & tend these Flours, Which were it toilsom, yet with thee were sweet. To whom thus Eve repli'd. O thou for whom 440 And from whom I was formd flesh of thy flesh, And without whom am to no end, my Guide And Head, what thou hast said is just and right. For wee to him indeed all praises owe, And daily thanks, I chiefly who enjoy So farr the happier Lot, enjoying thee Preeminent by so much odds, while thou Like consort to thy self canst no where find. That day I oft remember, when from sleep I first awak't, and found my self repos'd 450 Under a shade on flours, much wondring where And what I was, whence thither brought, and how. Not distant far from thence a murmuring sound Of waters issu'd from a Cave and spread Into a liquid Plain, then stood unmov'd Pure as th' expanse of Heav'n; I thither went With unexperienc't thought, and laid me downe On the green bank, to look into the cleer Smooth Lake, that to me seemd another Skie. As I bent down to look, just opposite, 460 A Shape within the watry gleam appeerd Bending to look on me, I started back, It started back, but pleasd I soon returnd, Pleas'd it returnd as soon with answering looks Of sympathie and love, there I had fixt Mine eyes till now, and pin'd with vain desire, Had not a voice thus warnd me, What thou seest, What there thou seest fair Creature is thy self, With thee it came and goes: but follow me, And I will bring thee where no shadow staies 470 Thy coming, and thy soft imbraces, hee Whose image thou art, him thou shall enjoy Inseparablie thine, to him shalt beare Multitudes like thy self, and thence be call'd Mother of human Race: what could I doe, But follow strait, invisibly thus led? Till I espi'd thee, fair indeed and tall, Under a Platan, yet methought less faire, Less winning soft, less amiablie milde, Then that smooth watry image; back I turnd, 480 Thou following cryd'st aloud, Return fair Eve, Whom fli'st thou? whom thou fli'st, of him thou art, His flesh, his bone; to give thee being I lent Out of my side to thee, neerest my heart Substantial Life, to have thee by my side Henceforth an individual solace dear; Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claim My other half: with that thy gentle hand Seisd mine, I yeilded, and from that time see How beauty is excelld by manly grace 490 And wisdom, which alone is truly fair. So spake our general Mother, and with eyes Of conjugal attraction unreprov'd, And meek surrender, half imbracing leand On our first Father, half her swelling Breast Naked met his under the flowing Gold Of her loose tresses hid: he in delight Both of her Beauty and submissive Charms Smil'd with superior Love, as Jupiter On Juno smiles, when he impregns the Clouds 500 That shed May Flowers; and press'd her Matron lip With kisses pure: aside the Devil turnd For envie, yet with jealous leer maligne Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plaind. Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two Imparadis't in one anothers arms The happier Eden, shall enjoy thir fill Of bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust, Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire, Among our other torments not the least, 510 Still unfulfill'd with pain of longing pines; Yet let me not forget what I have gain'd From thir own mouths; all is not theirs it seems: One fatal Tree there stands of Knowledge call'd, Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidd'n? Suspicious, reasonless. Why should thir Lord Envie them that? can it be sin to know, Can it be death? and do they onely stand By Ignorance, is that thir happie state, The proof of thir obedience and thir faith? 520 O fair foundation laid whereon to build Thir ruine! Hence I will excite thir minds With more desire to know, and to reject Envious commands, invented with designe To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt Equal with Gods; aspiring to be such, They taste and die: what likelier can ensue? But first with narrow search I must walk round This Garden, and no corner leave unspi'd; A chance but chance may lead where I may meet 530 Some wandring Spirit of Heav'n, by Fountain side, Or in thick shade retir'd, from him to draw What further would be learnt. Live while ye may, Yet happie pair; enjoy, till I return, Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed. So saying, his proud step he scornful turn'd, But with sly circumspection, and began Through wood, through waste, o're hil, o're dale his roam. Mean while in utmost Longitude, where Heav'n With Earth and Ocean meets, the setting Sun 540 Slowly descended, and with right aspect Against the eastern Gate of Paradise Leveld his eevning Rayes: it was a Rock Of Alablaster, pil'd up to the Clouds, Conspicuous farr, winding with one ascent Accessible from Earth, one entrance high; The rest was craggie cliff, that overhung Still as it rose, impossible to climbe. Betwixt these rockie Pillars Gabriel sat Chief of th' Angelic Guards, awaiting night; 550 About him exercis'd Heroic Games Th' unarmed Youth of Heav'n, but nigh at hand Celestial Armourie, Shields, Helmes, and Speares Hung high with Diamond flaming, and with Gold. Thither came Uriel, gliding through the Eeven On a Sun beam, swift as a shooting Starr In Autumn thwarts the night, when vapors fir'd Impress the Air, and shews the Mariner From what point of his Compass to beware Impetuous winds: he thus began in haste. 560 Gabriel, to thee thy cours by Lot hath giv'n Charge and strict watch that to this happie place No evil thing approach or enter in; This day at highth of Noon came to my Spheare A Spirit, zealous, as he seem'd, to know More of th' Almighties works, and chiefly Man Gods latest Image: I describ'd his way Bent all on speed, and markt his Aerie Gate; But in the Mount that lies from Eden North, Where he first lighted, soon discernd his looks 570 Alien from Heav'n, with passions foul obscur'd: Mine eye pursu'd him still, but under shade Lost sight of him; one of the banisht crew I fear, hath ventur'd from the deep, to raise New troubles; him thy care must be to find. To whom the winged Warriour thus returnd: Uriel, no wonder if thy perfet sight, Amid the Suns bright circle where thou sitst, See farr and wide: in at this Gate none pass The vigilance here plac't, but such as come 580 Well known from Heav'n; and since Meridian hour No Creature thence: if Spirit of other sort, So minded, have oreleapt these earthie bounds On purpose, hard thou knowst it to exclude Spiritual substance with corporeal barr. But if within the circuit of these walks In whatsoever shape he lurk, of whom Thou telst, by morrow dawning I shall know. So promis'd hee, and Uriel to his charge Returnd on that bright beam, whose point now raisd 590 Bore him slope downward to the Sun now fall'n Beneath th' Azores; whither the prime Orb, Incredible how swift, had thither rowl'd Diurnal, or this less volubil Earth By shorter flight to th' East, had left him there Arraying with reflected Purple and Gold The Clouds that on his Western Throne attend: Now came still Eevning on, and Twilight gray Had in her sober Liverie all things clad; Silence accompanied, for Beast and Bird, 600 They to thir grassie Couch, these to thir Nests Were slunk, all but the wakeful Nightingale; She all night long her amorous descant sung; Silence was pleas'd: now glow'd the Firmament With living Saphirs: Hesperus that led The starrie Host, rode brightest, till the Moon Rising in clouded Majestie, at length Apparent Queen unvaild her peerless light, And o're the dark her Silver Mantle threw. When Adam thus to Eve: Fair Consort, th' hour 610 Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest Mind us of like repose, since God hath set Labour and rest, as day and night to men Successive, and the timely dew of sleep Now falling with soft slumbrous weight inclines Our eye-lids; other Creatures all day long Rove idle unimploid, and less need rest; Man hath his daily work of body or mind Appointed, which declares his Dignitie, And the regard of Heav'n on all his waies; 620 While other Animals unactive range, And of thir doings God takes no account. Tomorrow ere fresh Morning streak the East With first approach of light, we must be ris'n, And at our pleasant labour, to reform Yon flourie Arbors, yonder Allies green, Our walks at noon, with branches overgrown, That mock our scant manuring, and require More hands then ours to lop thir wanton growth: Those Blossoms also, and those dropping Gumms, 630 That lie bestrowne unsightly and unsmooth, Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease; Mean while, as Nature wills, Night bids us rest. To whom thus Eve with perfet beauty adornd. My Author and Disposer, what thou bidst Unargu'd I obey; so God ordains, God is thy Law, thou mine: to know no more Is womans happiest knowledge and her praise. With thee conversing I forget all time, All seasons and thir change, all please alike. 640 Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, With charm of earliest Birds; pleasant the Sun When first on this delightful Land he spreads His orient Beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flour, Glistring with dew; fragrant the fertil earth After soft showers; and sweet the coming on Of grateful Eevning milde, then silent Night With this her solemn Bird and this fair Moon, And these the Gemms of Heav'n, her starrie train: But neither breath of Morn when she ascends 650 With charm of earliest Birds, nor rising Sun On this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, floure, Glistring with dew, nor fragrance after showers, Nor grateful Evening mild, nor silent Night With this her solemn Bird, nor walk by Moon, Or glittering Starr-light without thee is sweet. But wherfore all night long shine these, for whom This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes? To whom our general Ancestor repli'd. Daughter of God and Man, accomplisht Eve, 660 Those have thir course to finish, round the Earth, By morrow Eevning, and from Land to Land In order, though to Nations yet unborn, Ministring light prepar'd, they set and rise; Least total darkness should by Night regaine Her old possession, and extinguish life In Nature and all things, which these soft fires Not only enlighten, but with kindly heate Of various influence foment and warme, Temper or nourish, or in part shed down 670 Thir stellar vertue on all kinds that grow On Earth, made hereby apter to receive Perfection from the Suns more potent Ray. These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, Shine not in vain, nor think, though men were none, That heav'n would want spectators, God want praise; Millions of spiritual Creatures walk the Earth Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep: All these with ceasless praise his works behold Both day and night: how often from the steep 680 Of echoing Hill or Thicket have we heard Celestial voices to the midnight air, Sole, or responsive each to others note Singing thir great Creator: oft in bands While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk With Heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds In full harmonic number joind, thir songs Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to Heaven. Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd On to thir blissful Bower; it was a place 690 Chos'n by the sovran Planter, when he fram'd All things to mans delightful use; the roofe Of thickest covert was inwoven shade Laurel and Mirtle, and what higher grew Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side Acanthus, and each odorous bushie shrub Fenc'd up the verdant wall; each beauteous flour, Iris all hues, Roses, and Gessamin Rear'd high thir flourisht heads between, and wrought Mosaic; underfoot the Violet, 700 Crocus, and Hyacinth with rich inlay Broiderd the ground, more colour'd then with stone Of costliest Emblem: other Creature here Beast, Bird, Insect, or Worm durst enter none; Such was thir awe of man. In shadier Bower More sacred and sequesterd, though but feignd, Pan or Silvanus never slept, nor Nymph, Nor Faunus haunted. Here in close recess With Flowers, Garlands, and sweet-smelling Herbs Espoused Eve deckt first her Nuptial Bed, 710 And heav'nly Quires the Hymenaean sung, What day the genial Angel to our Sire Brought her in naked beauty more adorn'd, More lovely then Pandora, whom the Gods Endowd with all thir gifts, and O too like In sad event, when to the unwiser Son Of Japhet brought by Hermes, she ensnar'd Mankind with her faire looks, to be aveng'd On him who had stole Joves authentic fire. Thus at thir shadie Lodge arriv'd, both stood, 720 Both turnd, and under op'n Skie ador'd The God that made both Skie, Air, Earth & Heav'n Which they beheld, the Moons resplendent Globe And starrie Pole: Thou also mad'st the Night, Maker Omnipotent, and thou the Day, Which we in our appointed work imployd Have finisht happie in our mutual help And mutual love, the Crown of all our bliss Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place For us too large, where thy abundance wants 730 Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground. But thou hast promis'd from us two a Race To fill the Earth, who shall with us extoll Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep. This said unanimous, and other Rites Observing none, but adoration pure Which God likes best, into thir inmost bower Handed they went; and eas'd the putting off These troublesom disguises which wee wear, 740 Strait side by side were laid, nor turnd I weene Adam from his fair Spouse, nor Eve the Rites Mysterious of connubial Love refus'd: Whatever Hypocrites austerely talk Of puritie and place and innocence, Defaming as impure what God declares Pure, and commands to som, leaves free to all. Our Maker bids increase, who bids abstain But our Destroyer, foe to God and Man? Haile wedded Love, mysterious Law, true source 750 Of human ofspring, sole proprietie, In Paradise of all things common else. By thee adulterous lust was driv'n from men Among the bestial herds to raunge, by thee Founded in Reason, Loyal, Just, and Pure, Relations dear, and all the Charities Of Father, Son, and Brother first were known. Farr be it, that I should write thee sin or blame, Or think thee unbefitting holiest place, Perpetual Fountain of Domestic sweets, 760 Whose Bed is undefil'd and chast pronounc't, Present, or past, as Saints and Patriarchs us'd. Here Love his golden shafts imploies, here lights His constant Lamp, and waves his purple wings, Reigns here and revels; not in the bought smile Of Harlots, loveless, joyless, unindeard, Casual fruition, nor in Court Amours Mixt Dance, or wanton Mask, or Midnight Bal, Or Serenate, which the starv'd Lover sings To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain. 770 These lulld by Nightingales imbraceing slept, And on thir naked limbs the flourie roof Showrd Roses, which the Morn repair'd. Sleep on, Blest pair; and O yet happiest if ye seek No happier state, and know to know no more. Now had night measur'd with her shaddowie Cone Half way up Hill this vast Sublunar Vault, And from thir Ivorie Port the Cherubim Forth issuing at th' accustomd hour stood armd To thir night watches in warlike Parade, 780 When Gabriel to his next in power thus spake. Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the South With strictest watch; these other wheel the North, Our circuit meets full West. As flame they part Half wheeling to the Shield, half to the Spear. From these, two strong and suttle Spirits he calld That neer him stood, and gave them thus in charge. Ithuriel and Zephon, with wingd speed Search through this Garden, leav unsearcht no nook, But chiefly where those two fair Creatures Lodge, 790 Now laid perhaps asleep secure of harme. This Eevning from the Sun's decline arriv'd Who tells of som infernal Spirit seen Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'd The barrs of Hell, on errand bad no doubt: Such where ye find, seise fast, and hither bring. So saying, on he led his radiant Files, Daz'ling the Moon; these to the Bower direct In search of whom they sought: him there they found Squat like a Toad, close at the eare of Eve; 800 Assaying by his Devilish art to reach The Organs of her Fancie, and with them forge Illusions as he list, Phantasms and Dreams, Or if, inspiring venom, he might taint Th' animal Spirits that from pure blood arise Like gentle breaths from Rivers pure, thence raise At least distemperd, discontented thoughts, Vain hopes, vain aimes, inordinate desires Blown up with high conceits ingendring pride. Him thus intent Ithuriel with his Spear 810 Touch'd lightly; for no falshood can endure Touch of Celestial temper, but returns Of force to its own likeness: up he starts Discoverd and surpriz'd. As when a spark Lights on a heap of nitrous Powder, laid Fit for the Tun som Magazin to store Against a rumord Warr, the Smuttie graine With sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the Aire: So started up in his own shape the Fiend. Back stept those two fair Angels half amaz'd 820 So sudden to behold the grieslie King; Yet thus, unmovd with fear, accost him soon. Which of those rebell Spirits adjudg'd to Hell Com'st thou, escap'd thy prison, and transform'd, Why satst thou like an enemie in waite Here watching at the head of these that sleep? Know ye not then said Satan, filld with scorn, Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate For you, there sitting where ye durst not soare; Not to know mee argues your selves unknown, 830 The lowest of your throng; or if ye know, Why ask ye, and superfluous begin Your message, like to end as much in vain? To whom thus Zephon, answering scorn with scorn. Think not, revolted Spirit, thy shape the same, Or undiminisht brightness, to be known As when thou stoodst in Heav'n upright and pure; That Glorie then, when thou no more wast good, Departed from thee, and thou resembl'st now Thy sin and place of doom obscure and foule. 840 But come, for thou, be sure, shalt give account To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep This place inviolable, and these from harm. So spake the Cherube, and his grave rebuke Severe in youthful beautie, added grace Invincible: abasht the Devil stood, And felt how awful goodness is, and saw Vertue in her shape how lovly, saw, and pin'd His loss; but chiefly to find here observd His lustre visibly impar'd; yet seemd 850 Undaunted. If I must contend, said he, Best with the best, the Sender not the sent, Or all at once; more glorie will be wonn, Or less be lost. Thy fear, said Zephon bold, Will save us trial what the least can doe Single against thee wicked, and thence weak. The Fiend repli'd not, overcome with rage; But like a proud Steed reind, went hautie on, Chaumping his iron curb: to strive or flie He held it vain; awe from above had quelld 860 His heart, not else dismai'd. Now drew they nigh The western point, where those half-rounding guards Just met, & closing stood in squadron joind Awaiting next command. To whom thir Chief Gabriel from the Front thus calld aloud. O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet Hasting this way, and now by glimps discerne Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade, And with them comes a third of Regal port, But faded splendor wan; who by his gate 870 And fierce demeanour seems the Prince of Hell, Not likely to part hence without contest; Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours. He scarce had ended, when those two approachd And brief related whom they brought, wher found, How busied, in what form and posture coucht. To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake. Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib'd To thy transgressions, and disturbd the charge Of others, who approve not to transgress 880 By thy example, but have power and right To question thy bold entrance on this place; Imploi'd it seems to violate sleep, and those Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss? To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow. Gabriel, thou hadst in Heav'n th' esteem of wise, And such I held thee; but this question askt Puts me in doubt. Lives ther who loves his pain? Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell, Though thither doomd? Thou wouldst thy self, no doubt, 890 And boldly venture to whatever place Farthest from pain, where thou mightst hope to change Torment with ease, & soonest recompence Dole with delight, which in this place I sought; To thee no reason; who knowst only good, But evil hast not tri'd: and wilt object His will who bound us? let him surer barr His Iron Gates, if he intends our stay In that dark durance: thus much what was askt. The rest is true, they found me where they say; 900 But that implies not violence or harme. Thus hee in scorn. The warlike Angel mov'd, Disdainfully half smiling thus repli'd. O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise, Since Satan fell, whom follie overthrew, And now returns him from his prison scap't, Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither Unlicenc't from his bounds in Hell prescrib'd; So wise he judges it to fly from pain 910 However, and to scape his punishment. So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrauth, Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight Seavenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell, Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain Can equal anger infinite provok't. But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them Less pain, less to be fled, or thou then they Less hardie to endure? courageous Chief, 920 The first in flight from pain, had'st thou alleg'd To thy deserted host this cause of flight, Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive. To which the Fiend thus answerd frowning stern. Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain, Insulting Angel, well thou knowst I stood Thy fiercest, when in Battel to thy aide The blasting volied Thunder made all speed And seconded thy else not dreaded Spear. But still thy words at random, as before, 930 Argue thy inexperience what behooves From hard assaies and ill successes past A faithful Leader, not to hazard all Through wayes of danger by himself untri'd. I therefore, I alone first undertook To wing the desolate Abyss, and spie This new created World, whereof in Hell Fame is not silent, here in hope to find Better abode, and my afflicted Powers To settle here on Earth, or in mid Aire; 940 Though for possession put to try once more What thou and thy gay Legions dare against; Whose easier business were to serve thir Lord High up in Heav'n, with songs to hymne his Throne, And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight. To whom the warriour Angel soon repli'd. To say and strait unsay, pretending first Wise to flie pain, professing next the Spie, Argues no Leader, but a lyar trac't, Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name, 950 O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd! Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew? Armie of Fiends, fit body to fit head; Was this your discipline and faith ingag'd, Your military obedience, to dissolve Allegeance to th' acknowledg'd Power supream? And thou sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem Patron of liberty, who more then thou Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilly ador'd Heav'ns awful Monarch? wherefore but in hope 960 To dispossess him, and thy self to reigne? But mark what I arreede thee now, avant; Flie thither whence thou fledst: if from this houre Within these hallowd limits thou appeer, Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chaind, And Seale thee so, as henceforth not to scorne The facil gates of hell too slightly barrd. So threatn'd hee, but Satan to no threats Gave heed, but waxing more in rage repli'd. Then when I am thy captive talk of chaines, 970 Proud limitarie Cherube, but ere then Farr heavier load thy self expect to feel From my prevailing arme, though Heavens King Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy Compeers, Us'd to the yoak, draw'st his triumphant wheels In progress through the rode of Heav'n Star-pav'd. While thus he spake, th' Angelic Squadron bright Turnd fierie red, sharpning in mooned hornes Thir Phalanx, and began to hemm him round With ported Spears, as thick as when a field 980 Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends Her bearded Grove of ears, which way the wind Swayes them; the careful Plowman doubting stands Least on the threshing floore his hopeful sheaves Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan allarm'd Collecting all his might dilated stood, Like Teneriff or Atlas unremov'd: His stature reacht the Skie, and on his Crest Sat horror Plum'd; nor wanted in his graspe What seemd both Spear and Shield: now dreadful deeds 990 Might have ensu'd, nor onely Paradise In this commotion, but the Starrie Cope Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the Elements At least had gon to rack, disturbd and torne With violence of this conflict, had not soon Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray Hung forth in Heav'n his golden Scales, yet seen Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion signe, Wherein all things created first he weighd, The pendulous round Earth with ballanc't Aire 1000 In counterpoise, now ponders all events, Battels and Realms: in these he put two weights The sequel each of parting and of fight; The latter quick up flew, and kickt the beam; Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend. Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowst mine, Neither our own but giv'n; what follie then To boast what Arms can doe, since thine no more Then Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubld now To trample thee as mire: for proof look up, 1010 And read thy Lot in yon celestial Sign Where thou art weigh'd, & shown how light, how weak, If thou resist. The Fiend lookt up and knew His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

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

The End Of The Fourth Book.

BOOK V.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

Now Morn her rosie steps in th' Eastern Clime Advancing, sow'd the Earth with Orient Pearle, When Adam wak't, so customd, for his sleep Was Aerie light, from pure digestion bred, And temperat vapors bland, which th' only sound Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan, Lightly dispers'd, and the shrill Matin Song Of Birds on every bough; so much the more His wonder was to find unwak'nd Eve With Tresses discompos'd, and glowing Cheek, 10 As through unquiet rest: he on his side Leaning half-rais'd, with looks of cordial Love Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld Beautie, which whether waking or asleep, Shot forth peculiar Graces; then with voice Milde, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes, Her hand soft touching, whisperd thus. Awake My fairest, my espous'd, my latest found, Heav'ns last best gift, my ever new delight, Awake, the morning shines, and the fresh field 20 Calls us, we lose the prime, to mark how spring Our tended Plants, how blows the Citron Grove, What drops the Myrrhe, & what the balmie Reed, How Nature paints her colours, how the Bee Sits on the Bloom extracting liquid sweet. Such whispering wak'd her, but with startl'd eye On Adam, whom imbracing, thus she spake. O Sole in whom my thoughts find all repose, My Glorie, my Perfection, glad I see Thy face, and Morn return'd, for I this Night, 30 Such night till this I never pass'd, have dream'd, If dream'd, not as I oft am wont, of thee, Works of day pass't, or morrows next designe, But of offence and trouble, which my mind Knew never till this irksom night; methought Close at mine ear one call'd me forth to walk With gentle voice, I thought it thine; it said, Why sleepst thou Eve? now is the pleasant time, The cool, the silent, save where silence yields To the night-warbling Bird, that now awake 40 Tunes sweetest his love-labor'd song; now reignes Full Orb'd the Moon, and with more pleasing light Shadowie sets off the face of things; in vain, If none regard; Heav'n wakes with all his eyes, Whom to behold but thee, Natures desire, In whose sight all things joy, with ravishment Attracted by thy beauty still to gaze. I rose as at thy call, but found thee not; To find thee I directed then my walk; And on, methought, alone I pass'd through ways 50 That brought me on a sudden to the Tree Of interdicted Knowledge: fair it seem'd, Much fairer to my Fancie then by day: And as I wondring lookt, beside it stood One shap'd and wing'd like one of those from Heav'n By us oft seen; his dewie locks distill'd Ambrosia; on that Tree he also gaz'd; And O fair Plant, said he, with fruit surcharg'd, Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet, Nor God, nor Man; is Knowledge so despis'd? 60 Or envie, or what reserve forbids to taste? Forbid who will, none shall from me withhold Longer thy offerd good, why else set here? This said he paus'd not, but with ventrous Arme He pluckt, he tasted; mee damp horror chil'd At such bold words voucht with a deed so bold: But he thus overjoy'd, O Fruit Divine, Sweet of thy self, but much more sweet thus cropt, Forbidd'n here, it seems, as onely fit For Gods, yet able to make Gods of Men: 70 And why not Gods of Men, since good, the more Communicated, more abundant growes, The Author not impair'd, but honourd more? Here, happie Creature, fair Angelic Eve, Partake thou also; happie though thou art, Happier thou mayst be, worthier canst not be: Taste this, and be henceforth among the Gods Thy self a Goddess, not to Earth confind, But somtimes in the Air, as wee, somtimes Ascend to Heav'n, by merit thine, and see 80 What life the Gods live there, and such live thou. So saying, he drew nigh, and to me held, Even to my mouth of that same fruit held part Which he had pluckt; the pleasant savourie smell So quick'nd appetite, that I, methought, Could not but taste. Forthwith up to the Clouds With him I flew, and underneath beheld The Earth outstretcht immense, a prospect wide And various: wondring at my flight and change To this high exaltation; suddenly 90 My Guide was gon, and I, me thought, sunk down, And fell asleep; but O how glad I wak'd To find this but a dream! Thus Eve her Night Related, and thus Adam answerd sad. Best Image of my self and dearer half, The trouble of thy thoughts this night in sleep Affects me equally; nor can I like This uncouth dream, of evil sprung I fear; Yet evil whence? in thee can harbour none, Created pure. But know that in the Soule 100 Are many lesser Faculties that serve Reason as chief; among these Fansie next Her office holds; of all external things, Which the five watchful Senses represent, She forms Imaginations, Aerie shapes, Which Reason joyning or disjoyning, frames All what we affirm or what deny, and call Our knowledge or opinion; then retires Into her private Cell when Nature rests. Oft in her absence mimic Fansie wakes 110 To imitate her; but misjoyning shapes, Wilde work produces oft, and most in dreams, Ill matching words and deeds long past or late. Som such resemblances methinks I find Of our last Eevnings talk, in this thy dream, But with addition strange; yet be not sad. Evil into the mind of God or Man May come and go, so unapprov'd, and leave No spot or blame behind: Which gives me hope That what in sleep thou didst abhorr to dream, 120 Waking thou never wilt consent to do. Be not disheart'nd then, nor cloud those looks That wont to be more chearful and serene Then when fair Morning first smiles on the World, And let us to our fresh imployments rise Among the Groves, the Fountains, and the Flours That open now thir choicest bosom'd smells Reservd from night, and kept for thee in store. So cheard he his fair Spouse, and she was cheard, But silently a gentle tear let fall 130 From either eye, and wip'd them with her haire; Two other precious drops that ready stood, Each in thir chrystal sluce, hee ere they fell Kiss'd as the gracious signs of sweet remorse And pious awe, that feard to have offended. So all was cleard, and to the Field they haste. But first from under shadie arborous roof, Soon as they forth were come to open sight Of day-spring, and the Sun, who scarce up risen With wheels yet hov'ring o're the Ocean brim, 140 Shot paralel to the earth his dewie ray, Discovering in wide Lantskip all the East Of Paradise and Edens happie Plains, Lowly they bow'd adoring, and began Thir Orisons, each Morning duly paid In various style, for neither various style Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise Thir Maker, in fit strains pronounc't or sung Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence Flowd from thir lips, in Prose or numerous Verse, 150 More tuneable then needed Lute or Harp To add more sweetness, and they thus began. These are thy glorious works, Parent of good, Almightie, thine this universal Frame, Thus wondrous fair; thy self how wondrous then! Unspeakable, who sitst above these Heavens To us invisible or dimly seen In these thy lowest works, yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and Power Divine: Speak yee who best can tell, ye Sons of light, 160 Angels, for yee behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, Day without Night, Circle his Throne rejoycing, yee in Heav'n, On Earth joyn all yee Creatures to extoll Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. Fairest of Starrs, last in the train of Night, If better thou belong not to the dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crownst the smiling Morn With thy bright Circlet, praise him in thy Spheare While day arises, that sweet hour of Prime. 170 Thou Sun, of this great World both Eye and Soule, Acknowledge him thy Greater, sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high Noon hast gaind, & when thou fallst. Moon, that now meetst the orient Sun, now fli'st With the fixt Starrs, fixt in thir Orb that flies, And yee five other wandring Fires that move In mystic Dance not without Song, resound His praise, who out of Darkness call'd up Light. Aire, and ye Elements the eldest birth 180 Of Natures Womb, that in quaternion run Perpetual Circle, multiform; and mix And nourish all things, let your ceasless change Varie to our great Maker still new praise. Ye Mists and Exhalations that now rise From Hill or steaming Lake, duskie or grey, Till the Sun paint your fleecie skirts with Gold, In honour to the Worlds great Author rise, Whether to deck with Clouds the uncolourd skie, Or wet the thirstie Earth with falling showers, 190 Rising or falling still advance his praise. His praise ye Winds, that from four Quarters blow, Breath soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye Pines, With every Plant, in sign of Worship wave. Fountains and yee, that warble, as ye flow, Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. Joyn voices all ye living Souls, ye Birds, That singing up to Heaven Gate ascend, Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise; Yee that in Waters glide, and yee that walk 200 The Earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep; Witness if I be silent, Morn or Eeven, To Hill, or Valley, Fountain, or fresh shade Made vocal by my Song, and taught his praise. Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still To give us onely good; and if the night Have gathered aught of evil or conceald, Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark. So pray'd they innocent, and to thir thoughts Firm peace recoverd soon and wonted calm. 210 On to thir mornings rural work they haste Among sweet dewes and flours; where any row Of Fruit-trees overwoodie reachd too farr Thir pamperd boughes, and needed hands to check Fruitless imbraces: or they led the Vine To wed her Elm; she spous'd about him twines Her mariageable arms, and with her brings Her dowr th' adopted Clusters, to adorn His barren leaves. Them thus imploid beheld With pittie Heav'ns high King, and to him call'd 220 Raphael, the sociable Spirit, that deign'd To travel with Tobias, and secur'd His marriage with the seaventimes-wedded Maid. Raphael, said hee, thou hear'st what stir on Earth Satan from Hell scap't through the darksom Gulf Hath raisd in Paradise, and how disturbd This night the human pair, how he designes In them at once to ruin all mankind. Go therefore, half this day as friend with friend Converse with Adam, in what Bowre or shade 230 Thou find'st him from the heat of Noon retir'd, To respit his day-labour with repast, Or with repose; and such discourse bring on, As may advise him of his happie state, Happiness in his power left free to will, Left to his own free Will, his Will though free, Yet mutable; whence warne him to beware He swerve not too secure: tell him withall His danger, and from whom, what enemie Late falln himself from Heav'n, is plotting now 240 The fall of others from like state of bliss; By violence, no, for that shall be withstood, But by deceit and lies; this let him know, Least wilfully transgressing he pretend Surprisal, unadmonisht, unforewarnd. So spake th' Eternal Father, and fulfilld All Justice: nor delaid the winged Saint After his charge receivd, but from among Thousand Celestial Ardors, where he stood Vaild with his gorgeous wings, up springing light 250 Flew through the midst of Heav'n; th' angelic Quires On each hand parting, to his speed gave way Through all th' Empyreal road; till at the Gate Of Heav'n arriv'd, the gate self-opend wide On golden Hinges turning, as by work Divine the sov'ran Architect had fram'd. From hence, no cloud, or, to obstruct his sight, Starr interpos'd, however small he sees, Not unconform to other shining Globes, Earth and the Gard'n of God, with Cedars crownd 260 Above all Hills. As when by night the Glass Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes Imagind Lands and Regions in the Moon: Or Pilot from amidst the Cyclades Delos or Samos first appeering kenns A cloudy spot. Down thither prone in flight He speeds, and through the vast Ethereal Skie Sailes between worlds & worlds, with steddie wing Now on the polar windes, then with quick Fann Winnows the buxom Air; till within soare 270 Of Towring Eagles, to all the Fowles he seems A Phoenix, gaz'd by all, as that sole Bird When to enshrine his reliques in the Sun's Bright Temple, to Aegyptian Theb's he flies. At once on th' Eastern cliff of Paradise He lights, and to his proper shape returns A Seraph wingd; six wings he wore, to shade His lineaments Divine; the pair that clad Each shoulder broad, came mantling o're his brest With regal Ornament; the middle pair 280 Girt like a Starrie Zone his waste, and round Skirted his loines and thighes with downie Gold And colours dipt in Heav'n; the third his feet Shaddowd from either heele with featherd maile Skie-tinctur'd grain. Like Maia's son he stood, And shook his Plumes, that Heav'nly fragrance filld The circuit wide. Strait knew him all the bands Of Angels under watch; and to his state, And to his message high in honour rise; For on som message high they guessd him bound. 290 Thir glittering Tents he passd, and now is come Into the blissful field, through Groves of Myrrhe, And flouring Odours, Cassia, Nard, and Balme; A Wilderness of sweets; for Nature here Wantond as in her prime, and plaid at will Her Virgin Fancies, pouring forth more sweet, Wilde above rule or art; enormous bliss. Him through the spicie Forrest onward com Adam discernd, as in the dore he sat Of his coole Bowre, while now the mounted Sun 300 Shot down direct his fervid Raies, to warme Earths inmost womb, more warmth then Adam needs; And Eve within, due at her hour prepar'd For dinner savourie fruits, of taste to please True appetite, and not disrelish thirst Of nectarous draughts between, from milkie stream, Berrie or Grape: to whom thus Adam call'd. Haste hither Eve, and worth thy sight behold Eastward among those Trees, what glorious shape Comes this way moving; seems another Morn 310 Ris'n on mid-noon; som great behest from Heav'n To us perhaps he brings, and will voutsafe This day to be our Guest. But goe with speed, And what thy stores contain, bring forth and poure Abundance, fit to honour and receive Our Heav'nly stranger; well we may afford Our givers thir own gifts, and large bestow From large bestowd, where Nature multiplies Her fertil growth, and by disburd'ning grows More fruitful, which instructs us not to spare. 320 To whom thus Eve. Adam, earths hallowd mould, Of God inspir'd, small store will serve, where store, All seasons, ripe for use hangs on the stalk; Save what by frugal storing firmness gains To nourish, and superfluous moist consumes: But I will haste and from each bough and break, Each Plant & juciest Gourd will pluck such choice To entertain our Angel guest, as hee Beholding shall confess that here on Earth God hath dispenst his bounties as in Heav'n. 330 So saying, with dispatchful looks in haste She turns, on hospitable thoughts intent What choice to chuse for delicacie best, What order, so contriv'd as not to mix Tastes, not well joynd, inelegant, but bring Taste after taste upheld with kindliest change, Bestirs her then, and from each tender stalk Whatever Earth all-bearing Mother yeilds In India East or West, or middle shoare In Pontus or the Punic Coast, or where 340 Alcinous reign'd, fruit of all kindes, in coate, Rough, or smooth rin'd, or bearded husk, or shell She gathers, Tribute large, and on the board Heaps with unsparing hand; for drink the Grape She crushes, inoffensive moust, and meathes From many a berrie, and from sweet kernels prest She tempers dulcet creams, nor these to hold Wants her fit vessels pure, then strews the ground With Rose and Odours from the shrub unfum'd. Mean while our Primitive great Sire, to meet 350 His god-like Guest, walks forth, without more train Accompani'd then with his own compleat Perfections, in himself was all his state, More solemn then the tedious pomp that waits On Princes, when thir rich Retinue long Of Horses led, and Grooms besmeard with Gold Dazles the croud, and sets them all agape. Neerer his presence Adam though not awd, Yet with submiss approach and reverence meek, As to a superior Nature, bowing low, 360 Thus said. Native of Heav'n, for other place None can then Heav'n such glorious shape contain; Since by descending from the Thrones above, Those happie places thou hast deignd a while To want, and honour these, voutsafe with us Two onely, who yet by sov'ran gift possess This spacious ground, in yonder shadie Bowre To rest, and what the Garden choicest bears To sit and taste, till this meridian heat Be over, and the Sun more coole decline. 370 Whom thus the Angelic Vertue answerd milde. Adam, I therefore came, nor art thou such Created, or such place hast here to dwell, As may not oft invite, though Spirits of Heav'n To visit thee; lead on then where thy Bowre Oreshades; for these mid-hours, till Eevning rise I have at will. So to the Silvan Lodge They came, that like Pomona's Arbour smil'd With flourets deck't and fragrant smells; but Eve Undeckt, save with her self more lovely fair 380 Then Wood-Nymph, or the fairest Goddess feign'd Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove, Stood to entertain her guest from Heav'n; no vaile Shee needed, Vertue-proof, no thought infirme Alterd her cheek. On whom the Angel Haile Bestowd, the holy salutation us'd Long after to blest Marie, second Eve. Haile Mother of Mankind, whose fruitful Womb Shall fill the World more numerous with thy Sons Then with these various fruits the Trees of God 390 Have heap'd this Table. Rais'd of grassie terf Thir Table was, and mossie seats had round, And on her ample Square from side to side All Autumn pil'd, though Spring and Autumn here Danc'd hand in hand. A while discourse they hold; No fear lest Dinner coole; when thus began Our Authour. Heav'nly stranger, please to taste These bounties which our Nourisher, from whom All perfet good unmeasur'd out, descends, To us for food and for delight hath caus'd 400 The Earth to yeild; unsavourie food perhaps To spiritual Natures; only this I know, That one Celestial Father gives to all. To whom the Angel. Therefore what he gives (Whose praise be ever sung) to man in part Spiritual, may of purest Spirits be found No ingrateful food: and food alike those pure Intelligential substances require As doth your Rational; and both contain Within them every lower facultie 410 Of sense, whereby they hear, see, smell, touch, taste, Tasting concoct, digest, assimilate, And corporeal to incorporeal turn. For know, whatever was created, needs To be sustaind and fed; of Elements The grosser feeds the purer, earth the sea, Earth and the Sea feed Air, the Air those Fires Ethereal, and as lowest first the Moon; Whence in her visage round those spots, unpurg'd Vapours not yet into her substance turnd. 420 Nor doth the Moon no nourishment exhale From her moist Continent to higher Orbes. The Sun that light imparts to all, receives From all his alimental recompence In humid exhalations, and at Even Sups with the Ocean: though in Heav'n the Trees Of life ambrosial frutage bear, and vines Yeild Nectar, though from off the boughs each Morn We brush mellifluous Dewes, and find the ground Cover'd with pearly grain: yet God hath here 430 Varied his bounty so with new delights, As may compare with Heaven; and to taste Think not I shall be nice. So down they sat, And to thir viands fell, nor seemingly The Angel, nor in mist, the common gloss Of Theologians, but with keen dispatch Of real hunger, and concoctive heate To transubstantiate; what redounds, transpires Through Spirits with ease; nor wonder; if by fire Of sooty coal the Empiric Alchimist 440 Can turn, or holds it possible to turn Metals of drossiest Ore to perfet Gold As from the Mine. Mean while at Table Eve Ministerd naked, and thir flowing cups With pleasant liquors crown'd: O innocence Deserving Paradise! if ever, then, Then had the Sons of God excuse to have bin Enamour'd at that sight; but in those hearts Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousie Was understood, the injur'd Lovers Hell. 450 Thus when with meats & drinks they had suffic'd, Not burd'nd Nature, sudden mind arose In Adam, not to let th' occasion pass Given him by this great Conference to know Of things above his World, and of thir being Who dwell in Heav'n, whose excellence he saw Transcend his own so farr, whose radiant forms Divine effulgence, whose high Power so far Exceeded human, and his wary speech Thus to th' Empyreal Minister he fram'd. 460 Inhabitant with God, now know I well Thy favour, in this honour done to man, Under whose lowly roof thou hast voutsaf't To enter, and these earthly fruits to taste, Food not of Angels, yet accepted so, As that more willingly thou couldst not seem At Heav'ns high feasts to have fed: yet what compare? To whom the winged Hierarch repli'd. O Adam, one Almightie is, from whom All things proceed, and up to him return, 470 If not deprav'd from good, created all Such to perfection, one first matter all, Indu'd with various forms, various degrees Of substance, and in things that live, of life; But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure, As neerer to him plac't or neerer tending Each in thir several active Sphears assignd, Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Proportiond to each kind. So from the root Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves 480 More aerie, last the bright consummate floure Spirits odorous breathes: flours and thir fruit Mans nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd To vital Spirits aspire, to animal, To intellectual, give both life and sense, Fansie and understanding, whence the soule Reason receives, and reason is her being, Discursive, or Intuitive; discourse Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours, Differing but in degree, of kind the same. 490 Wonder not then, what God for you saw good If I refuse not, but convert, as you, To proper substance; time may come when men With Angels may participate, and find No inconvenient Diet, nor too light Fare: And from these corporal nutriments perhaps Your bodies may at last turn all to Spirit Improv'd by tract of time, and wingd ascend Ethereal, as wee, or may at choice Here or in Heav'nly Paradises dwell; 500 If ye be found obedient, and retain Unalterably firm his love entire Whose progenie you are. Mean while enjoy Your fill what happiness this happie state Can comprehend, incapable of more. To whom the Patriarch of mankind repli'd. O favourable spirit, propitious guest, Well hast thou taught the way that might direct Our knowledge, and the scale of Nature set From center to circumference, whereon 510 In contemplation of created things By steps we may ascend to God. But say, What meant that caution joind, If Ye Be Found Obedient? can wee want obedience then To him, or possibly his love desert Who formd us from the dust, and plac'd us here Full to the utmost measure of what bliss Human desires can seek or apprehend? To whom the Angel. Son of Heav'n and Earth, Attend: That thou art happie, owe to God; 520 That thou continu'st such, owe to thy self, That is, to thy obedience; therein stand. This was that caution giv'n thee; be advis'd. God made thee perfet, not immutable; And good he made thee, but to persevere He left it in thy power, ordaind thy will By nature free, not over-rul'd by Fate Inextricable, or strict necessity; Our voluntarie service he requires, Not our necessitated, such with him 530 Findes no acceptance, nor can find, for how Can hearts, not free, be tri'd whether they serve Willing or no, who will but what they must By Destinie, and can no other choose? My self and all th' Angelic Host that stand In sight of God enthron'd, our happie state Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; On other surety none; freely we serve. Because wee freely love, as in our will To love or not; in this we stand or fall: 540 And som are fall'n, to disobedience fall'n, And so from Heav'n to deepest Hell; O fall From what high state of bliss into what woe! To whom our great Progenitor. Thy words Attentive, and with more delighted eare Divine instructer, I have heard, then when Cherubic Songs by night from neighbouring Hills Aereal Music send: nor knew I not To be both will and deed created free; Yet that we never shall forget to love 550 Our maker, and obey him whose command Single, is yet so just, my constant thoughts Assur'd me and still assure: though what thou tellst Hath past in Heav'n, som doubt within me move, But more desire to hear, if thou consent, The full relation, which must needs be strange, Worthy of Sacred silence to be heard; And we have yet large day, for scarce the Sun Hath finisht half his journey, and scarce begins His other half in the great Zone of Heav'n. 560 Thus Adam made request, and Raphael After short pause assenting, thus began. High matter thou injoinst me, O prime of men, Sad task and hard, for how shall I relate To human sense th' invisible exploits Of warring Spirits; how without remorse The ruin of so many glorious once And perfet while they stood; how last unfould The secrets of another world, perhaps Not lawful to reveal? yet for thy good 570 This is dispenc't, and what surmounts the reach Of human sense, I shall delineate so, By lik'ning spiritual to corporal forms, As may express them best, though what if Earth Be but the shaddow of Heav'n, and things therein Each to other like, more then on earth is thought? As yet this world was not, and Chaos wilde Reignd where these Heav'ns now rowl, where Earth now rests Upon her Center pois'd, when on a day (For Time, though in Eternitie, appli'd 580 To motion, measures all things durable By present, past, and future) on such day As Heav'ns great Year brings forth, th' Empyreal Host Of Angels by Imperial summons call'd, Innumerable before th' Almighties Throne Forthwith from all the ends of Heav'n appeerd Under thir Hierarchs in orders bright Ten thousand thousand Ensignes high advanc'd, Standards, and Gonfalons twixt Van and Reare Streame in the Aire, and for distinction serve 590 Of Hierarchies, of Orders, and Degrees; Or in thir glittering Tissues bear imblaz'd Holy Memorials, acts of Zeale and Love Recorded eminent. Thus when in Orbes Of circuit inexpressible they stood, Orb within Orb, the Father infinite, By whom in bliss imbosom'd sat the Son, Amidst as from a flaming Mount, whose top Brightness had made invisible, thus spake. Hear all ye Angels, Progenie of Light, 600 Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers, Hear my Decree, which unrevok't shall stand. This day I have begot whom I declare My onely Son, and on this holy Hill Him have anointed, whom ye now behold At my right hand; your Head I him appoint; And by my Self have sworn to him shall bow All knees in Heav'n, and shall confess him Lord: Under his great Vice-gerent Reign abide United as one individual Soule 610 For ever happie: him who disobeyes Mee disobeyes, breaks union, and that day Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls Into utter darkness, deep ingulft, his place Ordaind without redemption, without end. So spake th' Omnipotent, and with his words All seemd well pleas'd, all seem'd, but were not all. That day, as other solem dayes, they spent In song and dance about the sacred Hill, Mystical dance, which yonder starrie Spheare 620 Of Planets and of fixt in all her Wheeles Resembles nearest, mazes intricate, Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regular Then most, when most irregular they seem: And in thir motions harmonie Divine So smooths her charming tones, that Gods own ear Listens delighted. Eevning approachd (For we have also our Eevning and our Morn, We ours for change delectable, not need) Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn 630 Desirous, all in Circles as they stood, Tables are set, and on a sudden pil'd With Angels Food, and rubied Nectar flows: In Pearl, in Diamond, and massie Gold, Fruit of delicious Vines, the growth of Heav'n. They eat, they drink, and with refection sweet Are fill'd, before th' all bounteous King, who showrd With copious hand, rejoycing in thir joy. Now when ambrosial Night with Clouds exhal'd From that high mount of God, whence light & shade 640 Spring both, the face of brightest Heav'n had changd To grateful Twilight (for Night comes not there In darker veile) and roseat Dews dispos'd All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest, Wide over all the Plain, and wider farr Then all this globous Earth in Plain outspred, (Such are the Courts of God) Th' Angelic throng Disperst in Bands and Files thir Camp extend By living Streams among the Trees of Life, Pavilions numberless, and sudden reard, 650 Celestial Tabernacles, where they slept Fannd with coole Winds, save those who in thir course Melodious Hymns about the sovran Throne Alternate all night long: but not so wak'd Satan, so call him now, his former name Is heard no more in Heav'n; he of the first, If not the first Arch-Angel, great in Power, In favour and praeeminence, yet fraught With envie against the Son of God, that day Honourd by his great Father, and proclaimd 660 Messiah King anointed, could not beare Through pride that sight, and thought himself impaird. Deep malice thence conceiving & disdain, Soon as midnight brought on the duskie houre Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd With all his Legions to dislodge, and leave Unworshipt, unobey'd the Throne supream Contemptuous, and his next subordinate Awak'ning, thus to him in secret spake. Sleepst thou Companion dear, what sleep can close 670 Thy eye-lids? and remembrest what Decree Of yesterday, so late hath past the lips Of Heav'ns Almightie. Thou to me thy thoughts Wast wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart; Both waking we were one; how then can now Thy sleep dissent? new Laws thou seest impos'd; New Laws from him who reigns, new minds may raise In us who serve, new Counsels, to debate What doubtful may ensue, more in this place To utter is not safe. Assemble thou 680 Of all those Myriads which we lead the chief; Tell them that by command, ere yet dim Night Her shadowie Cloud withdraws, I am to haste, And all who under me thir Banners wave, Homeward with flying march where we possess The Quarters of the North, there to prepare Fit entertainment to receive our King The great Messiah, and his new commands, Who speedily through all the Hierarchies Intends to pass triumphant, and give Laws. 690 So spake the false Arch-Angel, and infus'd Bad influence into th' unwarie brest Of his Associate; hee together calls, Or several one by one, the Regent Powers, Under him Regent, tells, as he was taught, That the most High commanding, now ere Night, Now ere dim Night had disincumberd Heav'n, The great Hierarchal Standard was to move; Tells the suggested cause, and casts between Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound 700 Or taint integritie; but all obey'd The wonted signal, and superior voice Of thir great Potentate; for great indeed His name, and high was his degree in Heav'n; His count'nance, as the Morning Starr that guides The starrie flock, allur'd them, and with lyes Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Host: Mean while th' Eternal eye, whose sight discernes Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy Mount And from within the golden Lamps that burne 710 Nightly before him, saw without thir light Rebellion rising, saw in whom, how spred Among the sons of Morn, what multitudes Were banded to oppose his high Decree; And smiling to his onely Son thus said. Son, thou in whom my glory I behold In full resplendence, Heir of all my might, Neerly it now concernes us to be sure Of our Omnipotence, and with what Arms We mean to hold what anciently we claim 720 Of Deitie or Empire, such a foe Is rising, who intends to erect his Throne Equal to ours, throughout the spacious North; Nor so content, hath in his thought to trie In battel, what our Power is, or our right. Let us advise, and to this hazard draw With speed what force is left, and all imploy In our defence, lest unawares we lose This our high place, our Sanctuarie, our Hill. To whom the Son with calm aspect and cleer 730 Light'ning Divine, ineffable, serene, Made answer. Mightie Father, thou thy foes Justly hast in derision, and secure Laugh'st at thir vain designes and tumults vain, Matter to mee of Glory, whom thir hate Illustrates, when they see all Regal Power Giv'n me to quell thir pride, and in event Know whether I be dextrous to subdue Thy Rebels, or be found the worst in Heav'n. So spake the Son, but Satan with his Powers 740 Farr was advanc't on winged speed, an Host Innumerable as the Starrs of Night, Or Starrs of Morning, Dew-drops, which the Sun Impearls on every leaf and every flouer. Regions they pass'd, the mightie Regencies Of Seraphim and Potentates and Thrones In thir triple Degrees, Regions to which All thy Dominion, Adam, is no more Then what this Garden is to all the Earth, And all the Sea, from one entire globose 750 Stretcht into Longitude; which having pass'd At length into the limits of the North They came, and Satan to his Royal seat High on a Hill, far blazing, as a Mount Rais'd on a Mount, with Pyramids and Towrs From Diamond Quarries hew'n, & Rocks of Gold, The Palace of great Lucifer, (so call That Structure in the Dialect of men Interpreted) which not long after, hee Affecting all equality with God, 760 In imitation of that Mount whereon Messiah was declar'd in sight of Heav'n, The Mountain of the Congregation call'd; For thither he assembl'd all his Train, Pretending so commanded to consult About the great reception of thir King, Thither to come, and with calumnious Art Of counterfeted truth thus held thir ears. Thrones, Dominations, Princedomes, Vertues, Powers, If these magnific Titles yet remain 770 Not meerly titular, since by Decree Another now hath to himself ingross't All Power, and us eclipst under the name Of King anointed, for whom all this haste Of midnight march, and hurried meeting here, This onely to consult how we may best With what may be devis'd of honours new Receive him coming to receive from us Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile, Too much to one, but double how endur'd, 780 To one and to his image now proclaim'd? But what if better counsels might erect Our minds and teach us to cast off this Yoke? Will ye submit your necks, and chuse to bend The supple knee? ye will not, if I trust To know ye right, or if ye know your selves Natives and Sons of Heav'n possest before By none, and if not equal all, yet free, Equally free; for Orders and Degrees Jarr not with liberty, but well consist. 790 Who can in reason then or right assume Monarchie over such as live by right His equals, if in power and splendor less, In freedome equal? or can introduce Law and Edict on us, who without law Erre not, much less for this to be our Lord, And look for adoration to th' abuse Of those Imperial Titles which assert Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve? Thus farr his bold discourse without controule 800 Had audience, when among the Seraphim Abdiel, then whom none with more zeale ador'd The Deitie, and divine commands obei'd, Stood up, and in a flame of zeale severe The current of his fury thus oppos'd. O argument blasphemous, false and proud! Words which no eare ever to hear in Heav'n Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate In place thy self so high above thy Peeres. Canst thou with impious obloquie condemne 810 The just Decree of God, pronounc't and sworn, That to his only Son by right endu'd With Regal Scepter, every Soule in Heav'n Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due Confess him rightful King? unjust thou saist Flatly unjust, to binde with Laws the free, And equal over equals to let Reigne, One over all with unsucceeded power. Shalt thou give Law to God, shalt thou dispute With him the points of libertie, who made 820 Thee what thou art, & formd the Pow'rs of Heav'n Such as he pleasd, and circumscrib'd thir being? Yet by experience taught we know how good, And of our good, and of our dignitie How provident he is, how farr from thought To make us less, bent rather to exalt Our happie state under one Head more neer United. But to grant it thee unjust, That equal over equals Monarch Reigne: Thy self though great & glorious dost thou count, 830 Or all Angelic Nature joind in one, Equal to him begotten Son, by whom As by his Word the mighty Father made All things, ev'n thee, and all the Spirits of Heav'n By him created in thir bright degrees, Crownd them with Glory, & to thir Glory nam'd Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers Essential Powers, nor by his Reign obscur'd, But more illustrious made, since he the Head One of our number thus reduc't becomes, 840 His Laws our Laws, all honour to him done Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage, And tempt not these; but hast'n to appease Th' incensed Father, and th' incensed Son, While Pardon may be found in time besought. So spake the fervent Angel, but his zeale None seconded, as out of season judg'd, Or singular and rash, whereat rejoic'd Th' Apostat, and more haughty thus repli'd. That we were formd then saist thou? & the work 850 Of secondarie hands, by task transferd From Father to his Son? strange point and new! Doctrin which we would know whence learnt: who saw When this creation was? rememberst thou Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being? We know no time when we were not as now; Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd By our own quick'ning power, when fatal course Had circl'd his full Orbe, the birth mature Of this our native Heav'n, Ethereal Sons. 860 Our puissance is our own, our own right hand Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try Who is our equal: then thou shalt behold Whether by supplication we intend Address, and to begirt th' Almighty Throne Beseeching or besieging. This report, These tidings carrie to th' anointed King; And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight. He said, and as the sound of waters deep Hoarce murmur echo'd to his words applause 870 Through the infinite Host, nor less for that The flaming Seraph fearless, though alone Encompass'd round with foes, thus answerd bold. O alienate from God, O spirit accurst, Forsak'n of all good; I see thy fall Determind, and thy hapless crew involv'd In this perfidious fraud, contagion spred Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth No more be troubl'd how to quit the yoke Of Gods Messiah; those indulgent Laws 880 Will not be now voutsaf't, other Decrees Against thee are gon forth without recall; That Golden Scepter which thou didst reject Is now an Iron Rod to bruise and breake Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise, Yet not for thy advise or threats I fly These wicked Tents devoted, least the wrauth Impendent, raging into sudden flame Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel His Thunder on thy head, devouring fire. 890 Then who created thee lamenting learne, When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know. So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found, Among the faithless, faithful only hee; Among innumerable false, unmov'd, Unshak'n, unseduc'd, unterrifi'd His Loyaltie he kept, his Love, his Zeale; Nor number, nor example with him wrought To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind Though single. From amidst them forth he passd, 900 Long way through hostile scorn, which he susteind Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught; And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd On those proud Towrs to swift destruction doom'd.

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

The End Of The Fifth Book.

BOOK VI.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

All night the dreadless Angel unpursu'd Through Heav'ns wide Champain held his way, till Morn, Wak't by the circling Hours, with rosie hand Unbarr'd the gates of Light. There is a Cave Within the Mount of God, fast by his Throne, Where light and darkness in perpetual round Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heav'n Grateful vicissitude, like Day and Night; Light issues forth, and at the other dore Obsequious darkness enters, till her houre 10 To veile the Heav'n, though darkness there might well Seem twilight here; and now went forth the Morn Such as in highest Heav'n, arrayd in Gold Empyreal, from before her vanisht Night, Shot through with orient Beams: when all the Plain Coverd with thick embatteld Squadrons bright, Chariots and flaming Armes, and fierie Steeds Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view: Warr he perceav'd, warr in procinct, and found Already known what he for news had thought 20 To have reported: gladly then he mixt Among those friendly Powers who him receav'd With joy and acclamations loud, that one That of so many Myriads fall'n, yet one Returnd not lost: On to the sacred hill They led him high applauded, and present Before the seat supream; from whence a voice From midst a Golden Cloud thus milde was heard. Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought The better fight, who single hast maintaind 30 Against revolted multitudes the Cause Of Truth, in word mightier then they in Armes; And for the testimonie of Truth hast born Universal reproach, far worse to beare Then violence: for this was all thy care To stand approv'd in sight of God, though Worlds Judg'd thee perverse: the easier conquest now Remains thee, aided by this host of friends, Back on thy foes more glorious to return Then scornd thou didst depart, and to subdue 40 By force, who reason for thir Law refuse, Right reason for thir Law, and for thir King Messiah, who by right of merit Reigns. Goe Michael of Celestial Armies Prince, And thou in Military prowess next Gabriel, lead forth to Battel these my Sons Invincible, lead forth my armed Saints By Thousands and by Millions rang'd for fight; Equal in number to that Godless crew Rebellious, them with Fire and hostile Arms 50 Fearless assault, and to the brow of Heav'n Pursuing drive them out from God and bliss, Into thir place of punishment, the Gulf Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide His fiery Chaos to receave thir fall. So spake the Sovran voice, and Clouds began To darken all the Hill, and smoak to rowl In duskie wreathes, reluctant flames, the signe Of wrauth awak't: nor with less dread the loud Ethereal Trumpet from on high gan blow: 60 At which command the Powers Militant, That stood for Heav'n, in mighty Quadrate joyn'd Of Union irresistible, mov'd on In silence thir bright Legions, to the sound Of instrumental Harmonie that breath'd Heroic Ardor to advent'rous deeds Under thir God-like Leaders, in the Cause Of God and his Messiah. On they move Indissolubly firm; nor obvious Hill, Nor streit'ning Vale, nor Wood, nor Stream divides 70 Thir perfet ranks; for high above the ground Thir march was, and the passive Air upbore Thir nimble tread; as when the total kind Of Birds in orderly array on wing Came summond over Eden to receive Thir names of thee; so over many a tract Of Heav'n they march'd, and many a Province wide Tenfold the length of this terrene: at last Farr in th' Horizon to the North appeer'd From skirt to skirt a fierie Region, stretcht 80 In battailous aspect, and neerer view Bristl'd with upright beams innumerable Of rigid Spears, and Helmets throng'd, and Shields Various, with boastful Argument portraid, The banded Powers of Satan hasting on With furious expedition; for they weend That self same day by fight, or by surprize To win the Mount of God, and on his Throne To set the envier of his State, the proud Aspirer, but thir thoughts prov'd fond and vain 90 In the mid way: though strange to us it seemd At first, that Angel should with Angel warr, And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet So oft in Festivals of joy and love Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire Hymning th' Eternal Father: but the shout Of Battel now began, and rushing sound Of onset ended soon each milder thought. High in the midst exalted as a God Th' Apostat in his Sun-bright Chariot sate 100 Idol of Majestie Divine, enclos'd With Flaming Cherubim, and golden Shields; Then lighted from his gorgeous Throne, for now 'Twixt Host and Host but narrow space was left, A dreadful interval, and Front to Front Presented stood in terrible array Of hideous length: before the cloudie Van, On the rough edge of battel ere it joyn'd, Satan with vast and haughtie strides advanc't, Came towring, armd in Adamant and Gold; 110 Abdiel that sight endur'd not, where he stood Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds, And thus his own undaunted heart explores. O Heav'n! that such resemblance of the Highest Should yet remain, where faith and realtie Remain not; wherfore should not strength & might There fail where Vertue fails, or weakest prove Where boldest; though to sight unconquerable? His puissance, trusting in th' Almightie's aide, I mean to try, whose Reason I have tri'd 120 Unsound and false; nor is it aught but just, That he who in debate of Truth hath won, Should win in Arms, in both disputes alike Victor; though brutish that contest and foule, When Reason hath to deal with force, yet so Most reason is that Reason overcome. So pondering, and from his armed Peers Forth stepping opposite, half way he met His daring foe, at this prevention more Incens't, and thus securely him defi'd. 130 Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have reacht The highth of thy aspiring unoppos'd, The Throne of God unguarded, and his side Abandond at the terror of thy Power Or potent tongue; fool, not to think how vain Against th' Omnipotent to rise in Arms; Who out of smallest things could without end Have rais'd incessant Armies to defeat Thy folly; or with solitarie hand Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow 140 Unaided could have finisht thee, and whelmd Thy Legions under darkness; but thou seest All are not of thy Train; there be who Faith Prefer, and Pietie to God, though then To thee not visible, when I alone Seemd in thy World erroneous to dissent From all: my Sect thou seest, now learn too late How few somtimes may know, when thousands err. Whom the grand foe with scornful eye askance Thus answerd. Ill for thee, but in wisht houre 150 Of my revenge, first sought for thou returnst From flight, seditious Angel, to receave Thy merited reward, the first assay Of this right hand provok't, since first that tongue Inspir'd with contradiction durst oppose A third part of the Gods, in Synod met Thir Deities to assert, who while they feel Vigour Divine within them, can allow Omnipotence to none. But well thou comst Before thy fellows, ambitious to win 160 From me som Plume, that thy success may show Destruction to the rest: this pause between (Unanswerd least thou boast) to let thee know; At first I thought that Libertie and Heav'n To heav'nly Soules had bin all one; but now I see that most through sloth had rather serve, Ministring Spirits, traind up in Feast and Song; Such hast thou arm'd, the Minstrelsie of Heav'n, Servilitie with freedom to contend, As both thir deeds compar'd this day shall prove. 170 To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern repli'd. Apostat, still thou errst, nor end wilt find Of erring, from the path of truth remote: Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name Of Servitude to serve whom God ordains, Or Nature; God and Nature bid the same, When he who rules is worthiest, and excells Them whom he governs. This is servitude, To serve th' unwise, or him who hath rebelld Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, 180 Thy self not free, but to thy self enthrall'd; Yet leudly dar'st our ministring upbraid. Reign thou in Hell thy Kingdom, let mee serve In Heav'n God ever blessed, and his Divine Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd, Yet Chains in Hell, not Realms expect: mean while From mee returnd, as erst thou saidst, from flight, This greeting on thy impious Crest receive. So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high, Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell 190 On the proud Crest of Satan, that no sight, Nor motion of swift thought, less could his Shield Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge He back recoild; the tenth on bended knee His massie Spear upstaid; as if on Earth Winds under ground or waters forcing way Sidelong, had push't a Mountain from his seat Half sunk with all his Pines. Amazement seis'd The Rebel Thrones, but greater rage to see Thus foil'd thir mightiest, ours joy filld, and shout, 200 Presage of Victorie and fierce desire Of Battel: whereat Michael bid sound Th' Arch-Angel trumpet; through the vast of Heav'n It sounded, and the faithful Armies rung Hosanna to the Highest: nor stood at gaze The adverse Legions, nor less hideous joyn'd The horrid shock: now storming furie rose, And clamour such as heard in Heav'n till now Was never, Arms on Armour clashing bray'd Horrible discord, and the madding Wheeles 210 Of brazen Chariots rag'd; dire was the noise Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss Of fiery Darts in flaming volies flew, And flying vaulted either Host with fire. So under fierie Cope together rush'd Both Battels maine, with ruinous assault And inextinguishable rage; all Heav'n Resounded, and had Earth bin then, all Earth Had to her Center shook. What wonder? when Millions of fierce encountring Angels fought 220 On either side, the least of whom could weild These Elements, and arm him with the force Of all thir Regions: how much more of Power Armie against Armie numberless to raise Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, Though not destroy, thir happie Native seat; Had not th' Eternal King Omnipotent From his strong hold of Heav'n high over-rul'd And limited thir might; though numberd such As each divided Legion might have seemd 230 A numerous Host, in strength each armed hand A Legion; led in fight, yet Leader seemd Each Warriour single as in Chief, expert When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway Of Battel, open when, and when to close The ridges of grim Warr; no thought of flight, None of retreat, no unbecoming deed That argu'd fear; each on himself reli'd, As onely in his arm the moment lay Of victorie; deeds of eternal fame 240 Were don, but infinite: for wide was spred That Warr and various; somtimes on firm ground A standing fight, then soaring on main wing Tormented all the Air; all Air seemd then Conflicting Fire: long time in eeven scale The Battel hung; till Satan, who that day Prodigious power had shewn, and met in Armes No equal, raunging through the dire attack Of fighting Seraphim confus'd, at length Saw where the Sword of Michael smote, and fell'd 250 Squadrons at once, with huge two-handed sway Brandisht aloft the horrid edge came down Wide wasting; such destruction to withstand He hasted, and oppos'd the rockie Orb Of tenfold Adamant, his ample Shield A vast circumference: At his approach The great Arch-Angel from his warlike toile Surceas'd, and glad as hoping here to end Intestine War in Heav'n, the arch foe subdu'd Or Captive drag'd in Chains, with hostile frown 260 And visage all enflam'd first thus began. Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt, Unnam'd in Heav'n, now plenteous, as thou seest These Acts of hateful strife, hateful to all, Though heaviest by just measure on thy self And thy adherents: how hast thou disturb'd Heav'ns blessed peace, and into Nature brought Miserie, uncreated till the crime Of thy Rebellion? how hast thou instill'd Thy malice into thousands, once upright 270 And faithful, now prov'd false. But think not here To trouble Holy Rest; Heav'n casts thee out From all her Confines. Heav'n the seat of bliss Brooks not the works of violence and Warr. Hence then, and evil go with thee along Thy ofspring, to the place of evil, Hell, Thou and thy wicked crew; there mingle broiles, Ere this avenging Sword begin thy doome, Or som more sudden vengeance wing'd from God Precipitate thee with augmented paine. 280 So spake the Prince of Angels; to whom thus The Adversarie. Nor think thou with wind Of airie threats to aw whom yet with deeds Thou canst not. Hast thou turnd the least of these To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise Unvanquisht, easier to transact with mee That thou shouldst hope, imperious, & with threats To chase me hence? erre not that so shall end The strife which thou call'st evil, but wee style The strife of Glorie: which we mean to win, 290 Or turn this Heav'n it self into the Hell Thou fablest, here however to dwell free, If not to reign: mean while thy utmost force, And join him nam'd Almightie to thy aid, I flie not, but have sought thee farr and nigh. They ended parle, and both addrest for fight Unspeakable; for who, though with the tongue Of Angels, can relate, or to what things Liken on Earth conspicuous, that may lift Human imagination to such highth 300 Of Godlike Power: for likest Gods they seemd, Stood they or mov'd, in stature, motion, arms Fit to decide the Empire of great Heav'n. Now wav'd thir fierie Swords, and in the Aire Made horrid Circles; two broad Suns thir Shields Blaz'd opposite, while expectation stood In horror; from each hand with speed retir'd Where erst was thickest fight, th' Angelic throng, And left large field, unsafe within the wind Of such commotion, such as to set forth 310 Great things by small, If Natures concord broke, Among the Constellations warr were sprung, Two Planets rushing from aspect maligne Of fiercest opposition in mid Skie, Should combat, and thir jarring Sphears confound. Together both with next to Almightie Arme, Uplifted imminent one stroke they aim'd That might determine, and not need repeate, As not of power, at once; nor odds appeerd In might or swift prevention; but the sword 320 Of Michael from the Armorie of God Was giv'n him temperd so, that neither keen Nor solid might resist that edge: it met The sword of Satan with steep force to smite Descending, and in half cut sheere, nor staid, But with swift wheele reverse, deep entring shar'd All his right side; then Satan first knew pain, And writh'd him to and fro convolv'd; so sore The griding sword with discontinuous wound Pass'd through him, but th' Ethereal substance clos'd 330 Not long divisible, and from the gash A stream of Nectarous humor issuing flow'd Sanguin, such as Celestial Spirits may bleed, And all his Armour staind ere while so bright. Forthwith on all sides to his aide was run By Angels many and strong, who interpos'd Defence, while others bore him on thir Shields Back to his Chariot; where it stood retir'd From off the files of warr; there they him laid Gnashing for anguish and despite and shame 340 To find himself not matchless, and his pride Humbl'd by such rebuke, so farr beneath His confidence to equal God in power. Yet soon he heal'd; for Spirits that live throughout Vital in every part, not as frail man In Entrailes, Heart or Head, Liver or Reines, Cannot but by annihilating die; Nor in thir liquid texture mortal wound Receive, no more then can the fluid Aire: All Heart they live, all Head, all Eye, all Eare, 350 All Intellect, all Sense, and as they please, They Limb themselves, and colour, shape or size Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare. Mean while in other parts like deeds deservd Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, And with fierce Ensignes pierc'd the deep array Of Moloc furious King, who him defi'd, And at his Chariot wheeles to drag him bound Threatn'd, nor from the Holie One of Heav'n Refrein'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon 360 Down clov'n to the waste, with shatterd Armes And uncouth paine fled bellowing. On each wing Uriel and Raphael his vaunting foe, Though huge, and in a Rock of Diamond Armd, Vanquish'd Adramelec, and Asmadai, Two potent Thrones, that to be less then Gods Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learnd in thir flight, Mangl'd with gastly wounds through Plate and Maile. Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy The Atheist crew, but with redoubl'd blow 370 Ariel and Arioc, and the violence Of Ramiel scorcht and blasted overthrew. I might relate of thousands, and thir names Eternize here on Earth; but those elect Angels contented with thir fame in Heav'n Seek not the praise of men: the other sort In might though wondrous and in Acts of Warr, Nor of Renown less eager, yet by doome Canceld from Heav'n and sacred memorie, Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell. 380 For strength from Truth divided and from Just, Illaudable, naught merits but dispraise And ignominie, yet to glorie aspires Vain glorious, and through infamie seeks fame: Therfore Eternal silence be thir doome. And now thir mightiest quelld, the battel swerv'd, With many an inrode gor'd; deformed rout Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the ground With shiverd armour strow'n, and on a heap Chariot and Charioter lay overturnd 390 And fierie foaming Steeds; what stood, recoyld Orewearied, through the faint Satanic Host Defensive scarse, or with pale fear surpris'd, Then first with fear surpris'd and sense of paine Fled ignominious, to such evil brought By sinne of disobedience, till that hour Not liable to fear or flight or paine. Far otherwise th' inviolable Saints In Cubic Phalanx firm advanc't entire, Invulnerable, impenitrably arm'd: 400 Such high advantages thir innocence Gave them above thir foes, not to have sinnd, Not to have disobei'd; in fight they stood Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd By wound, though from thir place by violence mov'd. Now Night her course began, and over Heav'n Inducing darkness, grateful truce impos'd, And silence on the odious dinn of Warr: Under her Cloudie covert both retir'd, Victor and Vanquisht: on the foughten field 410 Michael and his Angels prevalent Encamping, plac'd in Guard thir Watches round, Cherubic waving fires: on th' other part Satan with his rebellious disappeerd, Far in the dark dislodg'd, and void of rest, His Potentates to Councel call'd by night; And in the midst thus undismai'd began. O now in danger tri'd, now known in Armes Not to be overpowerd, Companions deare, Found worthy not of Libertie alone, 420 Too mean pretense, but what we more affect, Honour, Dominion, Glorie, and renowne, Who have sustaind one day in doubtful fight, (And if one day, why not Eternal dayes?) What Heavens Lord had powerfullest to send Against us from about his Throne, and judg'd Sufficient to subdue us to his will, But proves not so: then fallible, it seems, Of future we may deem him, though till now Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm'd, 430 Some disadvantage we endur'd and paine, Till now not known, but known as soon contemnd, Since now we find this our Empyreal forme Incapable of mortal injurie Imperishable, and though peirc'd with wound, Soon closing, and by native vigour heal'd. Of evil then so small as easie think The remedie; perhaps more valid Armes, Weapons more violent, when next we meet, May serve to better us, and worse our foes, 440 Or equal what between us made the odds, In Nature none: if other hidden cause Left them Superiour, while we can preserve Unhurt our mindes, and understanding sound, Due search and consultation will disclose. He sat; and in th' assembly next upstood Nisroc, of Principalities the prime; As one he stood escap't from cruel fight, Sore toild, his riv'n Armes to havoc hewn, And cloudie in aspect thus answering spake. 450 Deliverer from new Lords, leader to free Enjoyment of our right as Gods; yet hard For Gods, and too unequal work we find Against unequal armes to fight in paine, Against unpaind, impassive; from which evil Ruin must needs ensue; for what availes Valour or strength, though matchless, quelld with pain Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands Of Mightiest. Sense of pleasure we may well Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine, 460 But live content, which is the calmest life: But pain is perfet miserie, the worst Of evils, and excessive, overturnes All patience. He who therefore can invent With what more forcible we may offend Our yet unwounded Enemies, or arme Our selves with like defence, to mee deserves No less then for deliverance what we owe. Whereto with look compos'd Satan repli'd. Not uninvented that, which thou aright 470 Beleivst so main to our success, I bring; Which of us who beholds the bright surface Of this Ethereous mould whereon we stand, This continent of spacious Heav'n, adornd With Plant, Fruit, Flour Ambrosial, Gemms & Gold, Whose Eye so superficially surveyes These things, as not to mind from whence they grow Deep under ground, materials dark and crude, Of spiritous and fierie spume, till toucht With Heav'ns ray, and temperd they shoot forth 480 So beauteous, op'ning to the ambient light. These in thir dark Nativitie the Deep Shall yeild us, pregnant with infernal flame, Which into hallow Engins long and round Thick-rammd, at th' other bore with touch of fire Dilated and infuriate shall send forth From far with thundring noise among our foes Such implements of mischief as shall dash To pieces, and orewhelm whatever stands Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarmd 490 The Thunderer of his only dreaded bolt. Nor long shall be our labour, yet ere dawne, Effect shall end our wish. Mean while revive; Abandon fear; to strength and counsel joind Think nothing hard, much less to be despaird. He ended, and his words thir drooping chere Enlightn'd, and thir languisht hope reviv'd. Th' invention all admir'd, and each, how hee To be th' inventer miss'd, so easie it seemd Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought 500 Impossible: yet haply of thy Race In future dayes, if Malice should abound, Some one intent on mischief, or inspir'd With dev'lish machination might devise Like instrument to plague the Sons of men For sin, on warr and mutual slaughter bent. Forthwith from Councel to the work they flew, None arguing stood, innumerable hands Were ready, in a moment up they turnd Wide the Celestial soile, and saw beneath 510 Th' originals of Nature in thir crude Conception; Sulphurous and Nitrous Foame They found, they mingl'd, and with suttle Art, Concocted and adusted they reduc'd To blackest grain, and into store conveyd: Part hidd'n veins diggd up (nor hath this Earth Entrails unlike) of Mineral and Stone, Whereof to found thir Engins and thir Balls Of missive ruin; part incentive reed Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire. 520 So all ere day spring, under conscious Night Secret they finish'd, and in order set, With silent circumspection unespi'd. Now when fair Morn Orient in Heav'n appeerd Up rose the Victor Angels, and to Arms The matin Trumpet Sung: in Arms they stood Of Golden Panoplie, refulgent Host, Soon banded; others from the dawning Hills Lookd round, and Scouts each Coast light-armed scoure, Each quarter, to descrie the distant foe, 530 Where lodg'd, or whither fled, or if for fight, In motion or in alt: him soon they met Under spred Ensignes moving nigh, in slow But firm Battalion; back with speediest Sail Zephiel, of Cherubim the swiftest wing, Came flying, and in mid Aire aloud thus cri'd. Arme, Warriours, Arme for fight, the foe at hand, Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit This day, fear not his flight; so thick a Cloud He comes, and settl'd in his face I see 540 Sad resolution and secure: let each His Adamantine coat gird well, and each Fit well his Helme, gripe fast his orbed Shield, Born eevn or high, for this day will pour down, If I conjecture aught, no drizling showr, But ratling storm of Arrows barbd with fire. So warnd he them aware themselves, and soon In order, quit of all impediment; Instant without disturb they took Allarm, And onward move Embattelld; when behold 550 Not distant far with heavie pace the Foe Approaching gross and huge; in hollow Cube Training his devilish Enginrie, impal'd On every side with shaddowing Squadrons Deep, To hide the fraud. At interview both stood A while, but suddenly at head appeerd Satan: And thus was heard Commanding loud. Vangard, to Right and Left the Front unfould; That all may see who hate us, how we seek Peace and composure, and with open brest 560 Stand readie to receive them, if they like Our overture, and turn not back perverse; But that I doubt, however witness Heaven, Heav'n witness thou anon, while we discharge Freely our part: yee who appointed stand Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch What we propound, and loud that all may hear. So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce Had ended; when to Right and Left the Front Divided, and to either Flank retir'd. 570 Which to our eyes discoverd new and strange, A triple-mounted row of Pillars laid On Wheels (for like to Pillars most they seem'd Or hollow'd bodies made of Oak or Firr With branches lopt, in Wood or Mountain fell'd) Brass, Iron, Stonie mould, had not thir mouthes With hideous orifice gap't on us wide, Portending hollow truce; at each behind A Seraph stood, and in his hand a Reed Stood waving tipt with fire; while we suspense, 580 Collected stood within our thoughts amus'd, Not long, for sudden all at once thir Reeds Put forth, and to a narrow vent appli'd With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame, But soon obscur'd with smoak, all Heav'n appeerd, From those deep-throated Engins belcht, whose roar Emboweld with outragious noise the Air, And all her entrails tore, disgorging foule Thir devillish glut, chaind Thunderbolts and Hail Of Iron Globes, which on the Victor Host 590 Level'd, with such impetuous furie smote, That whom they hit, none on thir feet might stand, Though standing else as Rocks, but down they fell By thousands, Angel on Arch-Angel rowl'd; The sooner for thir Arms, unarm'd they might Have easily as Spirits evaded swift By quick contraction or remove; but now Foule dissipation follow'd and forc't rout; Nor serv'd it to relax thir serried files. What should they do? if on they rusht, repulse 600 Repeated, and indecent overthrow Doubl'd, would render them yet more despis'd, And to thir foes a laughter; for in view Stood rankt of Seraphim another row In posture to displode thir second tire Of Thunder: back defeated to return They worse abhorr'd. Satan beheld thir plight, And to his Mates thus in derision call'd. O Friends, why come not on these Victors proud? Ere while they fierce were coming, and when wee, 610 To entertain them fair with open Front And Brest, (what could we more?) propounded terms Of composition, strait they chang'd thir minds, Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell, As they would dance, yet for a dance they seemd Somwhat extravagant and wilde, perhaps For joy of offerd peace: but I suppose If our proposals once again were heard We should compel them to a quick result. To whom thus Belial in like gamesom mood. 620 Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight, Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home, Such as we might perceive amus'd them all, And stumbl'd many, who receives them right, Had need from head to foot well understand; Not understood, this gift they have besides, They shew us when our foes walk not upright. So they among themselves in pleasant veine Stood scoffing, highthn'd in thir thoughts beyond All doubt of Victorie, eternal might 630 To match with thir inventions they presum'd So easie, and of his Thunder made a scorn, And all his Host derided, while they stood A while in trouble; but they stood not long, Rage prompted them at length, & found them arms Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose. Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power Which God hath in his mighty Angels plac'd) Thir Arms away they threw, and to the Hills (For Earth hath this variety from Heav'n 640 Of pleasure situate in Hill and Dale) Light as the Lightning glimps they ran, they flew, From thir foundations loosning to and fro They pluckt the seated Hills with all thir load, Rocks, Waters, Woods, and by the shaggie tops Up lifting bore them in thir hands: Amaze, Be sure, and terrour seis'd the rebel Host, When coming towards them so dread they saw The bottom of the Mountains upward turn'd, Till on those cursed Engins triple-row 650 They saw them whelmd, and all thir confidence Under the weight of Mountains buried deep, Themselves invaded next, and on thir heads Main Promontories flung, which in the Air Came shadowing, and opprest whole Legions arm'd, Thir armor help'd thir harm, crush't in and brus'd Into thir substance pent, which wrought them pain Implacable, and many a dolorous groan, Long strugling underneath, ere they could wind Out of such prison, though Spirits of purest light, 660 Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown. The rest in imitation to like Armes Betook them, and the neighbouring Hills uptore; So Hills amid the Air encounterd Hills Hurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire, That under ground they fought in dismal shade; Infernal noise; Warr seem'd a civil Game To this uproar; horrid confusion heapt Upon confusion rose: and now all Heav'n Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspred, 670 Had not th' Almightie Father where he sits Shrin'd in his Sanctuarie of Heav'n secure, Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen This tumult, and permitted all, advis'd: That his great purpose he might so fulfill, To honour his Anointed Son aveng'd Upon his enemies, and to declare All power on him transferr'd: whence to his Son Th' Assessor of his Throne he thus began. Effulgence of my Glorie, Son belov'd, 680 Son in whose face invisible is beheld Visibly, what by Deitie I am, And in whose hand what by Decree I doe, Second Omnipotence, two dayes are past, Two dayes, as we compute the dayes of Heav'n, Since Michael and his Powers went forth to tame These disobedient; sore hath been thir fight, As likeliest was, when two such Foes met arm'd; For to themselves I left them, and thou knowst, Equal in their Creation they were form'd, 690 Save what sin hath impaird, which yet hath wrought Insensibly, for I suspend thir doom; Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last Endless, and no solution will be found: Warr wearied hath perform'd what Warr can do, And to disorder'd rage let loose the reines, With Mountains as with Weapons arm'd, which makes Wild work in Heav'n, and dangerous to the maine. Two dayes are therefore past, the third is thine; For thee I have ordain'd it, and thus farr 700 Have sufferd, that the Glorie may be thine Of ending this great Warr, since none but Thou Can end it. Into thee such Vertue and Grace Immense I have transfus'd, that all may know In Heav'n and Hell thy Power above compare, And this perverse Commotion governd thus, To manifest thee worthiest to be Heir Of all things, to be Heir and to be King By Sacred Unction, thy deserved right. Go then thou Mightiest in thy Fathers might, 710 Ascend my Chariot, guide the rapid Wheeles That shake Heav'ns basis, bring forth all my Warr, My Bow and Thunder, my Almightie Arms Gird on, and Sword upon thy puissant Thigh; Pursue these sons of Darkness, drive them out From all Heav'ns bounds into the utter Deep: There let them learn, as likes them, to despise God and Messiah his anointed King. He said, and on his Son with Rayes direct Shon full, he all his Father full exprest 720 Ineffably into his face receiv'd, And thus the filial Godhead answering spake. O Father, O Supream of heav'nly Thrones, First, Highest, Holiest, Best, thou alwayes seekst To glorifie thy Son, I alwayes thee, As is most just; this I my Glorie account, My exaltation, and my whole delight, That thou in me well pleas'd, declarst thy will Fulfill'd, which to fulfil is all my bliss. Scepter and Power, thy giving, I assume, 730 And gladlier shall resign, when in the end Thou shalt be All in All, and I in thee For ever, and in mee all whom thou lov'st: But whom thou hat'st, I hate, and can put on Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on, Image of thee in all things; and shall soon, Armd with thy might, rid heav'n of these rebell'd, To thir prepar'd ill Mansion driven down To chains of Darkness, and th' undying Worm, That from thy just obedience could revolt, 740 Whom to obey is happiness entire. Then shall thy Saints unmixt, and from th' impure Farr separate, circling thy holy Mount Unfained Halleluiahs to thee sing, Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief. So said, he o're his Scepter bowing, rose From the right hand of Glorie where he sate, And the third sacred Morn began to shine Dawning through Heav'n: forth rush'd with whirlwind sound The Chariot of Paternal Deitie, 750 Flashing thick flames, Wheele within Wheele undrawn, It self instinct with Spirit, but convoyd By four Cherubic shapes, four Faces each Had wondrous, as with Starrs thir bodies all And Wings were set with Eyes, with Eyes the Wheels Of Beril, and careering Fires between; Over thir heads a chrystal Firmament, Whereon a Saphir Throne, inlaid with pure Amber, and colours of the showrie Arch. Hee in Celestial Panoplie all armd 760 Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought, Ascended, at his right hand Victorie Sate Eagle-wing'd, beside him hung his Bow And Quiver with three-bolted Thunder stor'd, And from about him fierce Effusion rowld Of smoak and bickering flame, and sparkles dire; Attended with ten thousand thousand Saints, He onward came, farr off his coming shon, And twentie thousand (I thir number heard) Chariots of God, half on each hand were seen: 770 Hee on the wings of Cherub rode sublime On the Crystallin Skie, in Saphir Thron'd. Illustrious farr and wide, but by his own First seen, them unexpected joy surpriz'd, When the great Ensign of Messiah blaz'd Aloft by Angels born, his Sign in Heav'n: Under whose Conduct Michael soon reduc'd His Armie, circumfus'd on either Wing, Under thir Head imbodied all in one. Before him Power Divine his way prepar'd; 780 At his command the uprooted Hills retir'd Each to his place, they heard his voice and went Obsequious, Heav'n his wonted face renewd, And with fresh Flourets Hill and Valley smil'd. This saw his hapless Foes, but stood obdur'd, And to rebellious fight rallied thir Powers Insensate, hope conceiving from despair. In heav'nly Spirits could such perverseness dwell? But to convince the proud what Signs availe, Or Wonders move th' obdurate to relent? 790 They hard'nd more by what might most reclame, Grieving to see his Glorie, at the sight Took envie, and aspiring to his highth, Stood reimbattell'd fierce, by force or fraud Weening to prosper, and at length prevaile Against God and Messiah, or to fall In universal ruin last, and now To final Battel drew, disdaining flight, Or faint retreat; when the great Son of God To all his Host on either hand thus spake. 800 Stand still in bright array ye Saints, here stand Ye Angels arm'd, this day from Battel rest; Faithful hath been your Warfare, and of God Accepted, fearless in his righteous Cause, And as ye have receivd, so have ye don Invincibly; but of this cursed crew The punishment to other hand belongs, Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints; Number to this dayes work is not ordain'd Nor multitude, stand onely and behold 810 Gods indignation on these Godless pourd By mee; not you but mee they have despis'd, Yet envied; against mee is all thir rage, Because the Father, t' whom in Heav'n supream Kingdom and Power and Glorie appertains, Hath honourd me according to his will. Therefore to mee thir doom he hath assig'n'd; That they may have thir wish, to trie with mee In Battel which the stronger proves, they all, Or I alone against them, since by strength 820 They measure all, of other excellence Not emulous, nor care who them excells; Nor other strife with them do I voutsafe. So spake the Son, and into terrour chang'd His count'nance too severe to be beheld And full of wrauth bent on his Enemies. At once the Four spred out thir Starrie wings With dreadful shade contiguous, and the Orbes Of his fierce Chariot rowld, as with the sound Of torrent Floods, or of a numerous Host. 830 Hee on his impious Foes right onward drove, Gloomie as Night; under his burning Wheeles The stedfast Empyrean shook throughout, All but the Throne it self of God. Full soon Among them he arriv'd; in his right hand Grasping ten thousand Thunders, which he sent Before him, such as in thir Soules infix'd Plagues; they astonisht all resistance lost, All courage; down thir idle weapons drop'd; O're Shields and Helmes, and helmed heads he rode 840 Of Thrones and mighty Seraphim prostrate, That wish'd the Mountains now might be again Thrown on them as a shelter from his ire. Nor less on either side tempestuous fell His arrows, from the fourfold-visag'd Foure, Distinct with eyes, and from the living Wheels, Distinct alike with multitude of eyes, One Spirit in them rul'd, and every eye Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire Among th' accurst, that witherd all thir strength, 850 And of thir wonted vigour left them draind, Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall'n. Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd His Thunder in mid Volie, for he meant Not to destroy, but root them out of Heav'n: The overthrown he rais'd, and as a Heard Of Goats or timerous flock together throngd Drove them before him Thunder-struck, pursu'd With terrors and with furies to the bounds And Chrystall wall of Heav'n, which op'ning wide, 860 Rowld inward, and a spacious Gap disclos'd Into the wastful Deep; the monstrous sight Strook them with horror backward, but far worse Urg'd them behind; headlong themselvs they threw Down from the verge of Heav'n, Eternal wrauth Burnt after them to the bottomless pit. Hell heard th' unsufferable noise, Hell saw Heav'n ruining from Heav'n and would have fled Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. 870 Nine dayes they fell; confounded Chaos roard, 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 880 Messiah his triumphal Chariot turnd: To meet him all his Saints, who silent stood Eye witnesses of his Almightie Acts, With Jubilie advanc'd; and as they went, Shaded with branching Palme, each order bright, Sung Triumph, and him sung Victorious King, Son, Heire, and Lord, to him Dominion giv'n, Worthiest to Reign: he celebrated rode Triumphant through mid Heav'n, into the Courts And Temple of his mightie Father Thron'd 890 On high; who into Glorie him receav'd, Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss. Thus measuring things in Heav'n by things on Earth At thy request, and that thou maist beware By what is past, to thee I have reveal'd What might have else to human Race bin hid; The discord which befel, and Warr in Heav'n Among th' Angelic Powers, and the deep fall Of those too high aspiring, who rebelld With Satan, hee who envies now thy state, 900 Who now is plotting how he may seduce Thee also from obedience, that with him Bereavd of happiness thou maist partake His punishment, Eternal miserie; Which would be all his solace and revenge, As a despite don against the most High, Thee once to gaine Companion of his woe. But list'n not to his Temptations, warne Thy weaker; let it profit thee to have heard By terrible Example the reward 910 Of disobedience; firm they might have stood, Yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress.

The End Of The Sixth Book.

BOOK VII.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

Descend from Heav'n Urania, by that name If rightly thou art call'd, whose Voice divine Following, above th' Olympian Hill I soare, Above the flight of Pegasean wing. The meaning, not the Name I call: for thou Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top Of old Olympus dwell'st, but Heav'nlie borne, Before the Hills appeerd, or Fountain flow'd, Thou with Eternal wisdom didst converse, Wisdom thy Sister, and with her didst play 10 In presence of th' Almightie Father, pleas'd With thy Celestial Song. Up led by thee Into the Heav'n of Heav'ns I have presum'd, An Earthlie Guest, and drawn Empyreal Aire, Thy tempring; with like safetie guided down Return me to my Native Element: Least from this flying Steed unrein'd, (as once Bellerophon, though from a lower Clime) Dismounted, on th' Aleian Field I fall Erroneous, there to wander and forlorne. 20 Half yet remaines unsung, but narrower bound Within the visible Diurnal Spheare; Standing on Earth, not rapt above the Pole, More safe I Sing with mortal voice, unchang'd To hoarce or mute, though fall'n on evil dayes, On evil dayes though fall'n, and evil tongues; In darkness, and with dangers compast round, And solitude; yet not alone, while thou Visit'st my slumbers Nightly, or when Morn Purples the East: still govern thou my Song, 30 Urania, and fit audience find, though few. But drive farr off the barbarous dissonance Of Bacchus and his Revellers, the Race Of that wilde Rout that tore the Thracian Bard In Rhodope, where Woods and Rocks had Eares To rapture, till the savage clamor dround Both Harp and Voice; nor could the Muse defend Her Son. So fail not thou, who thee implores: For thou art Heav'nlie, shee an empty dreame. Say Goddess, what ensu'd when Raphael, 40 The affable Arch-angel, had forewarn'd Adam by dire example to beware Apostasie, by what befell in Heaven To those Apostates, least the like befall In Paradise to Adam or his Race, Charg'd not to touch the interdicted Tree, If they transgress, and slight that sole command, So easily obeyd amid the choice Of all tasts else to please thir appetite, Though wandring. He with his consorted Eve 50 The storie heard attentive, and was fill'd With admiration, and deep Muse to heare Of things so high and strange, things to thir thought So unimaginable as hate in Heav'n, And Warr so neer the Peace of God in bliss With such confusion: but the evil soon Driv'n back redounded as a flood on those From whom it sprung, impossible to mix With Blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd The doubts that in his heart arose: and now 60 Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know What neerer might concern him, how this World Of Heav'n and Earth conspicuous first began, When, and whereof created, for what cause, What within Eden or without was done Before his memorie, as one whose drouth Yet scarce allay'd still eyes the current streame, Whose liquid murmur heard new thirst excites, Proceeded thus to ask his Heav'nly Guest. Great things, and full of wonder in our eares, 70 Farr differing from this World, thou hast reveal'd Divine Interpreter, by favour sent Down from the Empyrean to forewarne Us timely of what might else have bin our loss, Unknown, which human knowledg could not reach: For which to the infinitly Good we owe Immortal thanks, and his admonishment Receave with solemne purpose to observe Immutably his sovran will, the end Of what we are. But since thou hast voutsaf't 80 Gently for our instruction to impart Things above Earthly thought, which yet concernd Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemd, Deign to descend now lower, and relate What may no less perhaps availe us known, How first began this Heav'n which we behold Distant so high, with moving Fires adornd Innumerable, and this which yeelds or fills All space, the ambient Aire wide interfus'd Imbracing round this florid Earth, what cause 90 Mov'd the Creator in his holy Rest Through all Eternitie so late to build In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon Absolv'd, if unforbid thou maist unfould What wee, not to explore the secrets aske Of his Eternal Empire, but the more To magnifie his works, the more we know. And the great Light of Day yet wants to run Much of his Race though steep, suspens in Heav'n Held by thy voice, thy potent voice he heares, 100 And longer will delay to heare thee tell His Generation, and the rising Birth Of Nature from the unapparent Deep: Or if the Starr of Eevning and the Moon Haste to thy audience, Night with her will bring Silence, and Sleep listning to thee will watch, Or we can bid his absence, till thy Song End, and dismiss thee ere the Morning shine. Thus Adam his illustrous Guest besought: And thus the Godlike Angel answerd milde. 110 This also thy request with caution askt Obtaine: though to recount Almightie works What words or tongue of Seraph can suffice, Or heart of man suffice to comprehend? Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve To glorifie the Maker, and inferr Thee also happier, shall not be withheld Thy hearing, such Commission from above I have receav'd, to answer thy desire Of knowledge within bounds; beyond abstain 120 To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope Things not reveal'd, which th' invisible King, Onely Omniscient, hath supprest in Night, To none communicable in Earth or Heaven: Anough is left besides to search and know. But Knowledge is as food, and needs no less Her Temperance over Appetite, to know In measure what the mind may well contain, Oppresses else with Surfet, and soon turns Wisdom to Folly, as Nourishment to Winde. 130 Know then, that after Lucifer from Heav'n (So call him, brighter once amidst the Host Of Angels, then that Starr the Starrs among) Fell with his flaming Legions through the Deep Into his place, and the great Son returnd Victorious with his Saints, th' Omnipotent Eternal Father from his Throne beheld Thir multitude, and to his Son thus spake. At least our envious Foe hath fail'd, who thought All like himself rebellious, by whose aid 140 This inaccessible high strength, the seat Of Deitie supream, us dispossest, He trusted to have seis'd, and into fraud Drew many, whom thir place knows here no more; Yet farr the greater part have kept, I see, Thir station, Heav'n yet populous retaines Number sufficient to possess her Realmes Though wide, and this high Temple to frequent With Ministeries due and solemn Rites: But least his heart exalt him in the harme 150 Already done, to have dispeopl'd Heav'n, My damage fondly deem'd, I can repaire That detriment, if such it be to lose Self-lost, and in a moment will create Another World, out of one man a Race Of men innumerable, there to dwell, Not here, till by degrees of merit rais'd They open to themselves at length the way Up hither, under long obedience tri'd, And Earth be chang'd to Heavn, & Heav'n to Earth, 160 One Kingdom, Joy and Union without end. Mean while inhabit laxe, ye Powers of Heav'n, And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee This I perform, speak thou, and be it don: My overshadowing Spirit and might with thee I send along, ride forth, and bid the Deep Within appointed bounds be Heav'n and Earth, Boundless the Deep, because I am who fill Infinitude, nor vacuous the space. Though I uncircumscrib'd my self retire, 170 And put not forth my goodness, which is free To act or not, Necessitie and Chance Approach not mee, and what I will is Fate. So spake th' Almightie, and to what he spake His Word, the Filial Godhead, gave effect. Immediate are the Acts of God, more swift Then time or motion, but to human ears Cannot without process of speech be told, So told as earthly notion can receave. Great triumph and rejoycing was in Heav'n 180 When such was heard declar'd the Almightie's will; Glorie they sung to the most High, good will To future men, and in thir dwellings peace: Glorie to him whose just avenging ire Had driven out th' ungodly from his sight And th' habitations of the just; to him Glorie and praise, whose wisdom had ordain'd Good out of evil to create, in stead Of Spirits maligne a better Race to bring Into thir vacant room, and thence diffuse 190 His good to Worlds and Ages infinite. So sang the Hierarchies: Mean while the Son On his great Expedition now appeer'd, Girt with Omnipotence, with Radiance crown'd Of Majestie Divine, Sapience and Love Immense, and all his Father in him shon. About his Chariot numberless were pour'd Cherub and Seraph, Potentates and Thrones, And Vertues, winged Spirits, and Chariots wing'd, From the Armoury of God, where stand of old 200 Myriads between two brazen Mountains lodg'd Against a solemn day, harnest at hand, Celestial Equipage; and now came forth Spontaneous, for within them Spirit livd, Attendant on thir Lord: Heav'n op'nd wide Her ever during Gates, Harmonious sound On golden Hinges moving, to let forth The King of Glorie in his powerful Word And Spirit coming to create new Worlds. On heav'nly ground they stood, and from the shore 210 They view'd the vast immeasurable Abyss Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde, Up from the bottom turn'd by furious windes And surging waves, as Mountains to assault Heav'ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole. Silence, ye troubl'd waves, and thou Deep, peace, Said then th' Omnific Word, your discord end: Nor staid, but on the Wings of Cherubim Uplifted, in Paternal Glorie rode Farr into Chaos, and the World unborn; 220 For Chaos heard his voice: him all his Traine Follow'd in bright procession to behold Creation, and the wonders of his might. Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand He took the golden Compasses, prepar'd In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe This Universe, and all created things: One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd Round through the vast profunditie obscure, And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy bounds, 230 This be thy just Circumference, O World. Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth, Matter unform'd and void: Darkness profound Cover'd th' Abyss: but on the watrie calme His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspred, And vital vertue infus'd, and vital warmth Throughout the fluid Mass, but downward purg'd The black tartareous cold infernal dregs Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd Like things to like, the rest to several place 240 Disparted, and between spun out the Air, And Earth self-ballanc't on her Center hung. Let ther be Light, said God, and forthwith Light Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure Sprung from the Deep, and from her Native East To journie through the airie gloom began, Sphear'd in a radiant Cloud, for yet the Sun Was not; shee in a cloudie Tabernacle Sojourn'd the while. God saw the Light was good; And light from darkness by the Hemisphere 250 Divided: Light the Day, and Darkness Night He nam'd. Thus was the first Day Eev'n and Morn: Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung By the Celestial Quires, when Orient Light Exhaling first from Darkness they beheld; Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and shout The hollow Universal Orb they fill'd, And touch't thir Golden Harps, & hymning prais'd God and his works, Creatour him they sung, Both when first Eevning was, and when first Morn. 260 Again, God said, let ther be Firmament Amid the Waters, and let it divide The Waters from the Waters: and God made The Firmament, expanse of liquid, pure, Transparent, Elemental Air, diffus'd In circuit to the uttermost convex Of this great Round: partition firm and sure, The Waters underneath from those above Dividing: for as Earth, so hee the World Built on circumfluous Waters calme, in wide 270 Crystallin Ocean, and the loud misrule Of Chaos farr remov'd, least fierce extreames Contiguous might distemper the whole frame: And Heav'n he nam'd the Firmament: So Eev'n And Morning Chorus sung the second Day. The Earth was form'd, but in the Womb as yet Of Waters, Embryon immature involv'd, Appeer'd not: over all the face of Earth Main Ocean flow'd, not idle, but with warme Prolific humour soft'ning all her Globe, 280 Fermented the great Mother to conceave, Satiate with genial moisture, when God said Be gather'd now ye Waters under Heav'n Into one place, and let dry Land appeer. Immediately the Mountains huge appeer Emergent, and thir broad bare backs upheave Into the Clouds, thir tops ascend the Skie: So high as heav'd the tumid Hills, so low Down sunk a hollow bottom broad and deep, Capacious bed of Waters: thither they 290 Hasted with glad precipitance, uprowld As drops on dust conglobing from the drie; Part rise in crystal Wall, or ridge direct, For haste; such flight the great command impress'd On the swift flouds: as Armies at the call Of Trumpet (for of Armies thou hast heard) Troop to thir Standard, so the watrie throng, Wave rowling after Wave, where way they found, If steep, with torrent rapture, if through Plaine, Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them Rock or Hill, 300 But they, or under ground, or circuit wide With Serpent errour wandring, found thir way, And on the washie Oose deep Channels wore; Easie, e're God had bid the ground be drie, All but within those banks, where Rivers now Stream, and perpetual draw thir humid traine. The dry Land, Earth, and the great receptacle Of congregated Waters he call'd Seas: And saw that it was good, and said, Let th' Earth Put forth the verdant Grass, Herb yeilding Seed, 310 And Fruit Tree yeilding Fruit after her kind; Whose Seed is in her self upon the Earth. He scarce had said, when the bare Earth, till then Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorn'd, Brought forth the tender Grass, whose verdure clad Her Universal Face with pleasant green, Then Herbs of every leaf, that sudden flour'd Op'ning thir various colours, and made gay Her bosom smelling sweet: and these scarce blown, Forth flourish't thick the clustring Vine, forth crept 320 The smelling Gourd, up stood the cornie Reed Embattell'd in her field: add the humble Shrub, And Bush with frizl'd hair implicit: last Rose as in Dance the stately Trees, and spred Thir branches hung with copious Fruit; or gemm'd Thir Blossoms: with high Woods the Hills were crownd, With tufts the vallies & each fountain side, With borders long the Rivers. That Earth now Seemd like to Heav'n, a seat where Gods might dwell, Or wander with delight, and love to haunt 330 Her sacred shades: though God had yet not rain'd Upon the Earth, and man to till the ground None was, but from the Earth a dewie Mist Went up and waterd all the ground, and each Plant of the field, which e're it was in the Earth God made, and every Herb, before it grew On the green stemm; God saw that it was good: So Eev'n and Morn recorded the Third Day. Again th' Almightie spake: Let there be Lights High in th' expanse of Heaven to divide 340 The Day from Night; and let them be for Signes, For Seasons, and for Dayes, and circling Years, And let them be for Lights as I ordaine Thir Office in the Firmament of Heav'n To give Light on the Earth; and it was so. And God made two great Lights, great for thir use To Man, the greater to have rule by Day, The less by Night alterne: and made the Starrs, And set them in the Firmament of Heav'n To illuminate the Earth, and rule the Day 350 In thir vicissitude, and rule the Night, And Light from Darkness to divide. God saw, Surveying his great Work, that it was good: For of Celestial Bodies first the Sun A mightie Spheare he fram'd, unlightsom first, Though of Ethereal Mould: then form'd the Moon Globose, and everie magnitude of Starrs, And sowd with Starrs the Heav'n thick as a field: Of Light by farr the greater part he took, Transplanted from her cloudie Shrine, and plac'd 360 In the Suns Orb, made porous to receive And drink the liquid Light, firm to retaine Her gather'd beams, great Palace now of Light. Hither as to thir Fountain other Starrs Repairing, in thir gold'n Urns draw Light, And hence the Morning Planet guilds his horns; By tincture or reflection they augment Thir small peculiar, though from human sight So farr remote, with diminution seen. First in his East the glorious Lamp was seen, 370 Regent of Day, and all th' Horizon round Invested with bright Rayes, jocond to run His Longitude through Heav'ns high rode: the gray Dawn, and the Pleiades before him danc'd Shedding sweet influence: less bright the Moon, But opposite in leveld West was set His mirror, with full face borrowing her Light From him, for other light she needed none In that aspect, and still that distance keepes Till night, then in the East her turn she shines, 380 Revolvd on Heav'ns great Axle, and her Reign With thousand lesser Lights dividual holds, With thousand thousand Starres, that then appeer'd Spangling the Hemisphere: then first adornd With thir bright Luminaries that Set and Rose, Glad Eevning & glad Morn crownd the fourth day. And God said, let the Waters generate Reptil with Spawn abundant, living Soule: And let Fowle flie above the Earth, with wings Displayd on the op'n Firmament of Heav'n. 390 And God created the great Whales, and each Soul living, each that crept, which plenteously The waters generated by thir kindes, And every Bird of wing after his kinde; And saw that it was good, and bless'd them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and in the Seas And Lakes and running Streams the waters fill; And let the Fowle be multiply'd on the Earth. Forthwith the Sounds and Seas, each Creek & Bay With Frie innumerable swarme, and Shoales 400 Of Fish that with thir Finns & shining Scales Glide under the green Wave, in Sculles that oft Bank the mid Sea: part single or with mate Graze the Sea weed thir pasture, & through Groves Of Coral stray, or sporting with quick glance Show to the Sun thir wav'd coats dropt with Gold, Or in thir Pearlie shells at ease, attend Moist nutriment, or under Rocks thir food In jointed Armour watch: on smooth the Seale, And bended Dolphins play: part huge of bulk 410 Wallowing unweildie, enormous in thir Gate Tempest the Ocean: there Leviathan Hugest of living Creatures, on the Deep Stretcht like a Promontorie sleeps or swimmes, 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 420 They summ'd thir Penns, and soaring th' air sublime With clang despis'd the ground, under a cloud In prospect; there the Eagle and the Stork On Cliffs and Cedar tops thir Eyries build: Part loosly wing the Region, part more wise In common, rang'd in figure wedge thir way, Intelligent of seasons, and set forth Thir Aierie Caravan high over Sea's Flying, and over Lands with mutual wing Easing thir flight; so stears the prudent Crane 430 Her annual Voiage, born on Windes; the Aire Floats, as they pass, fann'd with unnumber'd plumes: From Branch to Branch the smaller Birds with song Solac'd the Woods, and spred thir painted wings Till Ev'n, nor then the solemn Nightingal Ceas'd warbling, but all night tun'd her soft layes: Others on Silver Lakes and Rivers Bath'd Thir downie Brest; the Swan with Arched neck Between her white wings mantling proudly, Rowes Her state with Oarie feet: yet oft they quit 440 The Dank, and rising on stiff Pennons, towre The mid Aereal Skie: Others on ground Walk'd firm; the crested Cock whose clarion sounds The silent hours, and th' other whose gay Traine Adorns him, colour'd with the Florid hue Of Rainbows and Starrie Eyes. The Waters thus With Fish replenisht, and the Aire with Fowle, Ev'ning and Morn solemniz'd the Fift day. The Sixt, and of Creation last arose With Eevning Harps and Mattin, when God said, 450 Let th' Earth bring forth Fowle living in her kinde, Cattel and Creeping things, and Beast of the Earth, Each in their kinde. The Earth obey'd, and strait Op'ning her fertil Woomb teem'd at a Birth Innumerous living Creatures, perfet formes, Limb'd and full grown: out of the ground up-rose As from his Laire the wilde Beast where he wonns In Forrest wilde, in Thicket, Brake, or Den; Among the Trees in Pairs they rose, they walk'd: The Cattel in the Fields and Meddowes green: 460 Those rare and solitarie, these in flocks Pasturing at once, and in broad Herds upsprung: The grassie Clods now Calv'd, now half appeer'd The Tawnie Lion, pawing to get free His hinder parts, then springs as broke from Bonds, And Rampant shakes his Brinded main; the Ounce, The Libbard, and the Tyger, as the Moale Rising, the crumbl'd Earth above them threw In Hillocks; the swift Stag from under ground Bore up his branching head: scarse from his mould 470 Behemoth biggest born of Earth upheav'd His vastness: Fleec't the Flocks and bleating rose, As Plants: ambiguous between Sea and Land The River Horse and scalie Crocodile. At once came forth whatever creeps the ground, Insect or Worme; those wav'd thir limber fans For wings, and smallest Lineaments exact In all the Liveries dect of Summers pride With spots of Gold and Purple, azure and green: These as a line thir long dimension drew, 480 Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not all Minims of Nature; some of Serpent kinde Wondrous in length and corpulence involv'd Thir Snakie foulds, and added wings. First crept The Parsimonious Emmet, provident Of future, in small room large heart enclos'd, Pattern of just equalitie perhaps Hereafter, join'd in her popular Tribes Of Commonaltie: swarming next appeer'd The Femal Bee that feeds her Husband Drone 490 Deliciously, and builds her waxen Cells With Honey stor'd: the rest are numberless, And thou thir Natures know'st, and gav'st them Names, Needlest to thee repeated; nor unknown The Serpent suttl'st Beast of all the field, Of huge extent somtimes, with brazen Eyes And hairie Main terrific, though to thee Not noxious, but obedient at thy call. Now Heav'n in all her Glorie shon, and rowld Her motions, as the great first-Movers hand 500 First wheeld thir course; Earth in her rich attire Consummate lovly smil'd; Aire, Water, Earth, By Fowl, Fish, Beast, was flown, was swum, was walkt Frequent; and of the Sixt day yet remain'd; There wanted yet the Master work, the end Of all yet don; a Creature who not prone And Brute as other Creatures, but endu'd With Sanctitie of Reason, might erect His Stature, and upright with Front serene Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence 510 Magnanimous to correspond with Heav'n, But grateful to acknowledge whence his good Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyes Directed in Devotion, to adore And worship God Supream, who made him chief Of all his works: therefore the Omnipotent Eternal Father (For where is not hee Present) thus to his Son audibly spake. Let us make now Man in our image, Man In our similitude, and let them rule 520 Over the Fish and Fowle of Sea and Aire, Beast of the Field, and over all the Earth, And every creeping thing that creeps the ground. This said, he formd thee, Adam, thee O Man Dust of the ground, and in thy nostrils breath'd The breath of Life; in his own Image hee Created thee, in the Image of God Express, and thou becam'st a living Soul. Male he created thee, but thy consort Femal for Race; then bless'd Mankinde, and said, 530 Be fruitful, multiplie, and fill the Earth, Subdue it, and throughout Dominion hold Over Fish of the Sea, and Fowle of the Aire, And every living thing that moves on the Earth. Wherever thus created, for no place Is yet distinct by name, thence, as thou know'st He brought thee into this delicious Grove, This Garden, planted with the Trees of God, Delectable both to behold and taste; And freely all thir pleasant fruit for food 540 Gave thee, all sorts are here that all th' Earth yeelds, Varietie without end; but of the Tree Which tasted works knowledge of Good and Evil, Thou mai'st not; in the day thou eat'st, thou di'st; Death is the penaltie impos'd, beware, And govern well thy appetite, least sin Surprise thee, and her black attendant Death. Here finish'd hee, and all that he had made View'd, and behold all was entirely good; So Ev'n and Morn accomplish'd the Sixt day: 550 Yet not till the Creator from his work Desisting, though unwearied, up returnd Up to the Heav'n of Heav'ns his high abode, Thence to behold this new created World Th' addition of his Empire, how it shew'd In prospect from his Throne, how good, how faire, Answering his great Idea. Up he rode Followd with acclamation and the sound Symphonious of ten thousand Harpes that tun'd Angelic harmonies: the Earth, the Aire 560 Resounded, (thou remember'st, for thou heardst) The Heav'ns and all the Constellations rung, The Planets in thir stations list'ning stood, While the bright Pomp ascended jubilant. Open, ye everlasting Gates, they sung, Open, ye Heav'ns, your living dores; let in The great Creator from his work returnd Magnificent, his Six days work, a World; Open, and henceforth oft; for God will deigne To visit oft the dwellings of just Men 570 Delighted, and with frequent intercourse Thither will send his winged Messengers On errands of supernal Grace. So sung The glorious Train ascending: He through Heav'n, That open'd wide her blazing Portals, led To Gods Eternal house direct the way, A broad and ample rode, whose dust is Gold And pavement Starrs, as Starrs to thee appeer, Seen in the Galaxie, that Milkie way Which nightly as a circling Zone thou seest 580 Pouderd with Starrs. And now on Earth the Seaventh Eev'ning arose in Eden, for the Sun Was set, and twilight from the East came on, Forerunning Night; when at the holy mount Of Heav'ns high-seated top, th' Impereal Throne Of Godhead, fixt for ever firm and sure, The Filial Power arriv'd, and sate him down With his great Father (for he also went Invisible, yet staid (such priviledge Hath Omnipresence) and the work ordain'd, 590 Author and end of all things, and from work Now resting, bless'd and hallowd the Seav'nth day, As resting on that day from all his work, But not in silence holy kept; the Harp Had work and rested not, the solemn Pipe, And Dulcimer, all Organs of sweet stop, All sounds on Fret by String or Golden Wire Temper'd soft Tunings, intermixt with Voice Choral or Unison: of incense Clouds Fuming from Golden Censers hid the Mount. 600 Creation and the Six dayes acts they sung, Great are thy works, Jehovah, infinite Thy power; what thought can measure thee or tongue Relate thee; greater now in thy return Then from the Giant Angels; thee that day Thy Thunders magnifi'd; but to create Is greater then created to destroy. Who can impair thee, mighty King, or bound Thy Empire? easily the proud attempt Of Spirits apostat and thir Counsels vaine 610 Thou hast repeld, while impiously they thought Thee to diminish, and from thee withdraw The number of thy worshippers. Who seekes To lessen thee, against his purpose serves To manifest the more thy might: his evil Thou usest, and from thence creat'st more good. Witness this new-made World, another Heav'n From Heaven Gate not farr, founded in view On the cleer Hyaline, the Glassie Sea; Of amplitude almost immense, with Starr's 620 Numerous, and every Starr perhaps a World Of destind habitation; but thou know'st Thir seasons: among these the seat of men, Earth with her nether Ocean circumfus'd, Thir pleasant dwelling place. Thrice happie men, And sons of men, whom God hath thus advanc't, Created in his Image, there to dwell And worship him, and in reward to rule Over his Works, on Earth, in Sea, or Air, And multiply a Race of Worshippers 630 Holy and just: thrice happie if they know Thir happiness, and persevere upright. So sung they, and the Empyrean rung, With Halleluiahs: Thus was Sabbath kept. And thy request think now fulfill'd, that ask'd How first this World and face of things began, And what before thy memorie was don From the beginning, that posteritie Informd by thee might know; if else thou seekst Aught, not surpassing human measure, say. 640

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

The End of the Seventh Book

BOOK VIII.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

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

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

The End Of The Eighth Book.

BOOK IX.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

No more of talk where God or Angel Guest With Man, as with his Friend, familiar us'd To sit indulgent, and with him partake Rural repast, permitting him the while Venial discourse unblam'd: I now must change Those Notes to Tragic; foul distrust, and breach Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt And disobedience: On the part of Heav'n Now alienated, distance and distaste, Anger and just rebuke, and judgement giv'n, 10 That brought into this World a world of woe, Sinne and her shadow Death, and Miserie Deaths Harbinger: Sad task, yet argument Not less but more Heroic then the wrauth Of stern Achilles on his Foe pursu'd Thrice Fugitive about Troy Wall; or rage Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd, Or Neptun's ire or Juno's, that so long Perplex'd the Greek and Cytherea's Son; If answerable style I can obtaine 20 Of my Celestial Patroness, who deignes Her nightly visitation unimplor'd, And dictates to me slumbring, or inspires Easie my unpremeditated Verse: Since first this subject for Heroic Song Pleas'd me long choosing, and beginning late; Not sedulous by Nature to indite Warrs, hitherto the onely Argument Heroic deem'd, chief maistrie to dissect With long and tedious havoc fabl'd Knights 30 In Battels feign'd; the better fortitude Of Patience and Heroic Martyrdom Unsung; or to describe Races and Games, Or tilting Furniture, emblazon'd Shields, Impreses quaint, Caparisons and Steeds; Bases and tinsel Trappings, gorgious Knights At Joust and Torneament; then marshal'd Feast Serv'd up in Hall with Sewers, and Seneshals; The skill of Artifice or Office mean, Not that which justly gives Heroic name 40 To Person or to Poem. Mee of these Nor skilld nor studious, higher Argument Remaines, sufficient of it self to raise That name, unless an age too late, or cold Climat, or Years damp my intended wing Deprest, and much they may, if all be mine, Not Hers who brings it nightly to my Ear. The Sun was sunk, and after him the Starr Of Hesperus, whose Office is to bring Twilight upon the Earth, short Arbiter 50 Twixt Day and Night, and now from end to end Nights Hemisphere had veild the Horizon round: When Satan who late fled before the threats Of Gabriel out of Eden, now improv'd In meditated fraud and malice, bent On mans destruction, maugre what might hap Of heavier on himself, fearless return'd. By Night he fled, and at Midnight return'd From compassing the Earth, cautious of day, Since Uriel Regent of the Sun descri'd 60 His entrance, and forewarnd the Cherubim That kept thir watch; thence full of anguish driv'n, The space of seven continu'd Nights he rode With darkness, thrice the Equinoctial Line He circl'd, four times cross'd the Carr of Night From Pole to Pole, traversing each Colure; On the eighth return'd, and on the Coast averse From entrance or Cherubic Watch, by stealth Found unsuspected way. There was a place, Now not, though Sin, not Time, first wraught the change, 70 Where Tigris at the foot of Paradise Into a Gulf shot under ground, till part Rose up a Fountain by the Tree of Life; In with the River sunk, and with it rose Satan involv'd in rising Mist, then sought Where to lie hid; Sea he had searcht and Land From Eden over Pontus, and the Poole Maeotis, up beyond the River Ob; Downward as farr Antartic; and in length West from Orantes to the Ocean barr'd 80 At Darien, thence to the Land where flowes Ganges and Indus: thus the Orb he roam'd With narrow search; and with inspection deep Consider'd every Creature, which of all Most opportune might serve his Wiles, and found The Serpent suttlest Beast of all the Field. Him after long debate, irresolute Of thoughts revolv'd, his final sentence chose Fit Vessel, fittest Imp of fraud, in whom To enter, and his dark suggestions hide 90 From sharpest sight: for in the wilie Snake, Whatever sleights none would suspicious mark, As from his wit and native suttletie Proceeding, which in other Beasts observ'd Doubt might beget of Diabolic pow'r Active within beyond the sense of brute. Thus he resolv'd, but first from inward griefe His bursting passion into plaints thus pour'd: O Earth, how like to Heav'n, if not preferrd More justly, Seat worthier of Gods, as built 100 With second thoughts, reforming what was old! For what God after better worse would build? Terrestrial Heav'n, danc't round by other Heav'ns That shine, yet bear thir bright officious Lamps, Light above Light, for thee alone, as seems, In thee concentring all thir precious beams Of sacred influence: As God in Heav'n Is Center, yet extends to all, so thou Centring receav'st from all those Orbs; in thee, Not in themselves, all thir known vertue appeers 110 Productive in Herb, Plant, and nobler birth Of Creatures animate with gradual life Of Growth, Sense, Reason, all summ'd up in Man. With what delight could I have walkt thee round If I could joy in aught, sweet interchange Of Hill and Vallie, Rivers, Woods and Plaines, Now Land, now Sea, & Shores with Forrest crownd, Rocks, Dens, and Caves; but I in none of these Find place or refuge; and the more I see Pleasures about me, so much more I feel 120 Torment within me, as from the hateful siege Of contraries; all good to me becomes Bane, and in Heav'n much worse would be my state. But neither here seek I, no nor in Heav'n To dwell, unless by maistring Heav'ns Supreame; Nor hope to be my self less miserable By what I seek, but others to make such As I though thereby worse to me redound: For onely in destroying I finde ease To my relentless thoughts; and him destroyd, 130 Or won to what may work his utter loss, For whom all this was made, all this will soon Follow, as to him linkt in weal or woe, In wo then; that destruction wide may range: To mee shall be the glorie sole among The infernal Powers, in one day to have marr'd What he Almightie styl'd, six Nights and Days Continu'd making, and who knows how long Before had bin contriving, though perhaps Not longer then since I in one Night freed 140 From servitude inglorious welnigh half Th' Angelic Name, and thinner left the throng Of his adorers: hee to be aveng'd, And to repaire his numbers thus impair'd, Whether such vertue spent of old now faild More Angels to Create, if they at least Are his Created or to spite us more, Determin'd to advance into our room A Creature form'd of Earth, and him endow, Exalted from so base original, 150 With Heav'nly spoils, our spoils: What he decreed He effected; Man he made, and for him built Magnificent this World, and Earth his seat, Him Lord pronounc'd, and, O indignitie! Subjected to his service Angel wings, And flaming Ministers to watch and tend Thir earthlie Charge: Of these the vigilance I dread, and to elude, thus wrapt in mist Of midnight vapor glide obscure, and prie In every Bush and Brake, where hap may finde 160 The Serpent sleeping, in whose mazie foulds To hide me, and the dark intent I bring. O foul descent! that I who erst contended With Gods to sit the highest, am now constraind Into a Beast, and mixt with bestial slime, This essence to incarnate and imbrute, That to the hight of Deitie aspir'd; But what will not Ambition and Revenge Descend to? who aspires must down as low As high he soard, obnoxious first or last 170 To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet, Bitter ere long back on it self recoiles; Let it; I reck not, so it light well aim'd, Since higher I fall short, on him who next Provokes my envie, this new Favorite Of Heav'n, this Man of Clay, Son of despite, Whom us the more to spite his Maker rais'd From dust: spite then with spite is best repaid. So saying, through each Thicket Danck or Drie, Like a black mist low creeping, he held on 180 His midnight search, where soonest he might finde The Serpent: him fast sleeping soon he found In Labyrinth of many a round self-rowl'd, His head the midst, well stor'd with suttle wiles: Not yet in horrid Shade or dismal Den, Nor nocent yet, but on the grassie Herbe Fearless unfeard he slept: in at his Mouth The Devil enterd, and his brutal sense, In heart or head, possessing soon inspir'd With act intelligential; but his sleep 190 Disturbd not, waiting close th' approach of Morn. Now whenas sacred Light began to dawne In Eden on the humid Flours, that breathd Thir morning Incense, when all things that breath, From th' Earths great Altar send up silent praise To the Creator, and his Nostrils fill With gratefull Smell, forth came the human pair And joynd thir vocal Worship to the Quire Of Creatures wanting voice, that done, partake The season, prime for sweetest Sents and Aires: 200 Then commune how that day they best may ply Thir growing work: for much thir work outgrew The hands dispatch of two Gardning so wide. And Eve first to her Husband thus began. Adam, well may we labour still to dress This Garden, still to tend Plant, Herb and Flour. Our pleasant task enjoyn'd, but till more hands Aid us, the work under our labour grows, Luxurious by restraint; what we by day Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, 210 One night or two with wanton growth derides Tending to wilde. Thou therefore now advise Or hear what to my mind first thoughts present, Let us divide our labours, thou where choice Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct The clasping Ivie where to climb, while I In yonder Spring of Roses intermixt With Myrtle, find what to redress till Noon: For while so near each other thus all day 220 Our task we choose, what wonder if so near Looks intervene and smiles, or object new Casual discourse draw on, which intermits Our dayes work brought to little, though begun Early, and th' hour of Supper comes unearn'd. To whom mild answer Adam thus return'd. Sole Eve, Associate sole, to me beyond Compare above all living Creatures deare, Well hast thou motion'd, wel thy thoughts imployd How we might best fulfill the work which here 230 God hath assign'd us, nor of me shalt pass Unprais'd: for nothing lovelier can be found In woman, then to studie houshold good, And good workes in her Husband to promote. Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd Labour, as to debarr us when we need Refreshment, whether food, or talk between, Food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse Of looks and smiles, for smiles from Reason flow, To brute deni'd, and are of Love the food, 240 Love not the lowest end of human life. For not to irksom toile, but to delight He made us, and delight to Reason joyn'd. These paths and Bowers doubt not but our joynt hands Will keep from Wilderness with ease, as wide As we need walk, till younger hands ere long Assist us: But if much converse perhaps Thee satiate, to short absence I could yeild. For solitude somtimes is best societie, And short retirement urges sweet returne. 250 But other doubt possesses me, least harm Befall thee sever'd from me; for thou knowst What hath bin warn'd us, what malicious Foe Envying our happiness, and of his own Despairing, seeks to work us woe and shame By sly assault; and somwhere nigh at hand Watches, no doubt, with greedy hope to find His wish and best advantage, us asunder, Hopeless to circumvent us joynd, where each To other speedie aide might lend at need; 260 Whether his first design be to withdraw Our fealtie from God, or to disturb Conjugal Love, then which perhaps no bliss Enjoy'd by us excites his envie more; Or this, or worse, leave not the faithful side That gave thee being, stil shades thee and protects. The Wife, where danger or dishonour lurks, Safest and seemliest by her Husband staies, Who guards her, or with her the worst endures. To whom the Virgin Majestie of Eve, 270 As one who loves, and some unkindness meets, With sweet austeer composure thus reply'd. Ofspring of Heav'n and Earth, and all Earths Lord, That such an enemie we have, who seeks Our ruin, both by thee informd I learne, And from the parting Angel over-heard As in a shadie nook I stood behind, Just then returnd at shut of Evening Flours. But that thou shouldst my firmness therefore doubt To God or thee, because we have a foe 280 May tempt it, I expected not to hear. His violence thou fearst not, being such, As wee, not capable of death or paine, Can either not receave, or can repell. His fraud is then thy fear, which plain inferrs Thy equal fear that my firm Faith and Love Can by his fraud be shak'n or seduc't; Thoughts, which how found they harbour in thy Brest, Adam, misthought of her to thee so dear? To whom with healing words Adam reply'd. 290 Daughter of God and Man, immortal Eve, For such thou art, from sin and blame entire: Not diffident of thee do I dissuade Thy absence from my sight, but to avoid Th' attempt it self, intended by our Foe. For hee who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses The tempted with dishonour foul, suppos'd Not incorruptible of Faith, not prooff Against temptation: thou thy self with scorne And anger wouldst resent the offer'd wrong, 300 Though ineffectual found: misdeem not then, If such affront I labour to avert From thee alone, which on us both at once The Enemie, though bold, will hardly dare, Or daring, first on mee th' assault shall light. Nor thou his malice and false guile contemn; Suttle he needs must be, who could seduce Angels, nor think superfluous others aid. I from the influence of thy looks receave Access in every Vertue, in thy sight 310 More wise, more watchful, stronger, if need were Of outward strength; while shame, thou looking on, Shame to be overcome or over-reacht Would utmost vigor raise, and rais'd unite. Why shouldst not thou like sense within thee feel When I am present, and thy trial choose With me, best witness of thy Vertue tri'd. So spake domestick Adam in his care And Matrimonial Love, but Eve, who thought Less attributed to her Faith sincere, 320 Thus her reply with accent sweet renewd. If this be our condition, thus to dwell In narrow circuit strait'nd by a Foe, Suttle or violent, we not endu'd Single with like defence, wherever met, How are we happie, still in fear of harm? But harm precedes not sin: onely our Foe Tempting affronts us with his foul esteem Of our integritie: his foul esteeme Sticks no dishonor on our Front, but turns 330 Foul on himself; then wherfore shund or feard By us? who rather double honour gaine From his surmise prov'd false, finde peace within, Favour from Heav'n, our witness from th' event. And what is Faith, Love, Vertue unassaid Alone, without exterior help sustaind? Let us not then suspect our happie State Left so imperfet by the Maker wise, As not secure to single or combin'd. Fraile is our happiness, if this be so, 340 And Eden were no Eden thus expos'd. To whom thus Adam fervently repli'd. O Woman, best are all things as the will Of God ordaind them, his creating hand Nothing imperfet or deficient left Of all that he Created, much less Man, Or ought that might his happie State secure, Secure from outward force; within himself The danger lies, yet lies within his power: Against his will he can receave no harme. 350 But God left free the Will, for what obeyes Reason, is free, and Reason he made right, But bid her well beware, and still erect, Least by some faire appeering good surpris'd She dictate false, and missinforme the Will To do what God expresly hath forbid. Not then mistrust, but tender love enjoynes, That I should mind thee oft, and mind thou me. Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve, Since Reason not impossibly may meet 360 Some specious object by the Foe subornd, And fall into deception unaware, Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warnd. Seek not temptation then, which to avoide Were better, and most likelie if from mee Thou sever not; Trial will come unsought. Wouldst thou approve thy constancie, approve First thy obedience; th' other who can know, Not seeing thee attempted, who attest? But if thou think, trial unsought may finde 370 Us both securer then thus warnd thou seemst, Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more; Go in thy native innocence, relie On what thou hast of vertue, summon all, For God towards thee hath done his part, do thine. So spake the Patriarch of Mankinde, but Eve Persisted, yet submiss, though last, repli'd. With thy permission then, and thus forewarnd Chiefly by what thy own last reasoning words Touchd onely, that our trial, when least sought, 380 May finde us both perhaps farr less prepar'd, The willinger I goe, nor much expect A Foe so proud will first the weaker seek; So bent, the more shall shame him his repulse. Thus saying, from her Husbands hand her hand Soft she withdrew, and like a Wood-Nymph light Oread or Dryad, or of Delia's Traine, Betook her to the Groves, but Delia's self In gate surpass'd and Goddess-like deport, Though not as shee with Bow and Quiver armd, 390 But with such Gardning Tools as Art yet rude, Guiltless of fire had formd, or Angels brought, To Pales, or Pomona, thus adornd, Likest she seemd, Pomona when she fled Vertumnus, or to Ceres in her Prime, Yet Virgin of Proserpina from Jove. Her long with ardent look his Eye pursu'd Delighted, but desiring more her stay. Oft he to her his charge of quick returne, Repeated, shee to him as oft engag'd 400 To be returnd by Noon amid the Bowre, And all things in best order to invite Noontide repast, or Afternoons repose. O much deceav'd, much failing, hapless Eve, Of thy presum'd return! event perverse! Thou never from that houre in Paradise Foundst either sweet repast, or sound repose; Such ambush hid among sweet Flours and Shades Waited with hellish rancor imminent To intercept thy way, or send thee back 410 Despoild of Innocence, of Faith, of Bliss. For now, and since first break of dawne the Fiend, Meer Serpent in appearance, forth was come, And on his Quest, where likeliest he might finde The onely two of Mankinde, but in them The whole included Race, his purposd prey. In Bowre and Field he sought, where any tuft Of Grove or Garden-Plot more pleasant lay, Thir tendance or Plantation for delight, By Fountain or by shadie Rivulet 420 He sought them both, but wish'd his hap might find Eve separate, he wish'd, but not with hope Of what so seldom chanc'd, when to his wish, Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies, Veild in a Cloud of Fragrance, where she stood, Half spi'd, so thick the Roses bushing round About her glowd, oft stooping to support Each Flour of slender stalk, whose head though gay Carnation, Purple, Azure, or spect with Gold, Hung drooping unsustaind, them she upstaies 430 Gently with Mirtle band, mindless the while, Her self, though fairest unsupported Flour, From her best prop so farr, and storm so nigh. Neerer he drew, and many a walk travers'd Of stateliest Covert, Cedar, Pine, or Palme, Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen Among thick-wov'n Arborets and Flours Imborderd on each Bank, the hand of Eve: Spot more delicious then those Gardens feign'd Or of reviv'd Adonis, or renownd 440 Alcinous, host of old Laertes Son, Or that, not Mystic, where the Sapient King Held dalliance with his faire Egyptian Spouse. Much hee the Place admir'd, the Person more. As one who long in populous City pent, Where Houses thick and Sewers annoy the Aire, Forth issuing on a Summers Morn, to breathe Among the pleasant Villages and Farmes Adjoynd, from each thing met conceaves delight, The smell of Grain, or tedded Grass, or Kine, 450 Or Dairie, each rural sight, each rural sound; If chance with Nymphlike step fair Virgin pass, What pleasing seemd, for her now pleases more, She most, and in her look summs all Delight. Such Pleasure took the Serpent to behold This Flourie Plat, the sweet recess of Eve Thus earlie, thus alone; her Heav'nly forme Angelic, but more soft, and Feminine, Her graceful Innocence, her every Aire Of gesture or lest action overawd 460 His Malice, and with rapine sweet bereav'd His fierceness of the fierce intent it brought: That space the Evil one abstracted stood From his own evil, and for the time remaind Stupidly good, of enmitie disarm'd, Of guile, of hate, of envie, of revenge; But the hot Hell that alwayes in him burnes, Though in mid Heav'n, soon ended his delight, And tortures him now more, the more he sees Of pleasure not for him ordain'd: then soon 470 Fierce hate he recollects, and all his thoughts Of mischief, gratulating, thus excites. Thoughts, whither have he led me, with what sweet Compulsion thus transported to forget What hither brought us, hate, not love, nor hope Of Paradise for Hell, hope here to taste Of pleasure, but all pleasure to destroy, Save what is in destroying, other joy To me is lost. Then let me not let pass Occasion which now smiles, behold alone 480 The Woman, opportune to all attempts, Her Husband, for I view far round, not nigh, Whose higher intellectual more I shun, And strength, of courage hautie, and of limb Heroic built, though of terrestrial mould, Foe not informidable, exempt from wound, I not; so much hath Hell debas'd, and paine Infeebl'd me, to what I was in Heav'n. Shee fair, divinely fair, fit Love for Gods, Not terrible, though terrour be in Love 490 And beautie, not approacht by stronger hate, Hate stronger, under shew of Love well feign'd, The way which to her ruin now I tend. So spake the Enemie of Mankind, enclos'd In Serpent, Inmate bad, and toward Eve Address'd his way, not with indented wave, Prone on the ground, as since, but on his reare, Circular base of rising foulds, that tour'd Fould above fould a surging Maze, his Head Crested aloft, and Carbuncle his Eyes; 500 With burnisht Neck of verdant Gold, erect Amidst his circling Spires, that on the grass Floted redundant: pleasing was his shape, And lovely, never since of Serpent kind Lovelier, not those that in Illyria chang'd Hermione and Cadmus, or the God In Epidaurus; nor to which transformd Ammonian Jove, or Capitoline was seen, Hee with Olympias, this with her who bore Scipio the highth of Rome. With tract oblique 510 At first, as one who sought access, but feard To interrupt, side-long he works his way. As when a Ship by skilful Stearsman wrought Nigh Rivers mouth or Foreland, where the Wind Veres oft, as oft so steers, and shifts her Saile; So varied hee, and of his tortuous Traine Curld many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve, To lure her Eye; shee busied heard the sound Of rusling Leaves, but minded not, as us'd To such disport before her through the Field, 520 From every Beast, more duteous at her call, Then at Circean call the Herd disguis'd. Hee boulder now, uncall'd before her stood; But as in gaze admiring: Oft he bowd His turret Crest, and sleek enamel'd Neck, Fawning, and lick'd the ground whereon she trod. His gentle dumb expression turnd at length The Eye of Eve to mark his play; he glad Of her attention gaind, with Serpent Tongue Organic, or impulse of vocal Air, 530 His fraudulent temptation thus began. Wonder not, sovran Mistress, if perhaps Thou canst, who art sole Wonder, much less arm Thy looks, the Heav'n of mildness, with disdain, Displeas'd that I approach thee thus, and gaze Insatiate, I thus single; nor have feard Thy awful brow, more awful thus retir'd. Fairest resemblance of thy Maker faire, Thee all things living gaze on, all things thine By gift, and thy Celestial Beautie adore 540 With ravishment beheld, there best beheld Where universally admir'd; but here In this enclosure wild, these Beasts among, Beholders rude, and shallow to discerne Half what in thee is fair, one man except, Who sees thee? (and what is one?) who shouldst be seen A Goddess among Gods, ador'd and serv'd By Angels numberless, thy daily Train. So gloz'd the Tempter, and his Proem tun'd; Into the Heart of Eve his words made way, 550 Though at the voice much marveling; at length Not unamaz'd she thus in answer spake. What may this mean? Language of Man pronounc't By Tongue of Brute, and human sense exprest? The first at lest of these I thought deni'd To Beasts, whom God on their Creation-Day Created mute to all articulat sound; The latter I demurre, for in thir looks Much reason, and in thir actions oft appeers. Thee, Serpent, suttlest beast of all the field 560 I knew, but not with human voice endu'd; Redouble then this miracle, and say, How cam'st thou speakable of mute, and how To me so friendly grown above the rest Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight? Say, for such wonder claims attention due. To whom the guileful Tempter thus reply'd. Empress of this fair World, resplendent Eve, Easie to mee it is to tell thee all What thou commandst, and right thou shouldst be obeyd: 570 I was at first as other Beasts that graze The trodden Herb, of abject thoughts and low, As was my food, nor aught but food discern'd Or Sex, and apprehended nothing high: Till on a day roaving the field, I chanc'd A goodly Tree farr distant to behold Loaden with fruit of fairest colours mixt, Ruddie and Gold: I nearer drew to gaze; When from the boughes a savorie odour blow'n, Grateful to appetite, more pleas'd my sense 580 Then smell of sweetest Fenel, or the Teats Of Ewe or Goat dropping with Milk at Eevn, Unsuckt of Lamb or Kid, that tend thir play. To satisfie the sharp desire I had Of tasting those fair Apples, I resolv'd Not to deferr; hunger and thirst at once, Powerful perswaders, quick'nd at the scent Of that alluring fruit, urg'd me so keene. About the Mossie Trunk I wound me soon, For high from ground the branches would require 590 Thy utmost reach or Adams: Round the Tree All other Beasts that saw, with like desire Longing and envying stood, but could not reach. Amid the Tree now got, where plentie hung Tempting so nigh, to pluck and eat my fill I spar'd not, for such pleasure till that hour At Feed or Fountain never had I found. Sated at length, ere long I might perceave Strange alteration in me, to degree Of Reason in my inward Powers, and Speech 600 Wanted not long, though to this shape retaind. Thenceforth to Speculations high or deep I turnd my thoughts, and with capacious mind Considerd all things visible in Heav'n, Or Earth, or Middle, all things fair and good; But all that fair and good in thy Divine Semblance, and in thy Beauties heav'nly Ray United I beheld; no Fair to thine Equivalent or second, which compel'd Mee thus, though importune perhaps, to come 610 And gaze, and worship thee of right declar'd Sovran of Creatures, universal Dame. So talk'd the spirited sly Snake; and Eve Yet more amaz'd unwarie thus reply'd. Serpent, thy overpraising leaves in doubt The vertue of that Fruit, in thee first prov'd: But say, where grows the Tree, from hence how far? For many are the Trees of God that grow In Paradise, and various, yet unknown To us, in such abundance lies our choice, 620 As leaves a greater store of Fruit untoucht, Still hanging incorruptible, till men Grow up to thir provision, and more hands Help to disburden Nature of her Bearth. To whom the wilie Adder, blithe and glad. Empress, the way is readie, and not long, Beyond a row of Myrtles, on a Flat, Fast by a Fountain, one small Thicket past Of blowing Myrrh and Balme; if thou accept My conduct, I can bring thee thither soon. 630 Lead then, said Eve. Hee leading swiftly rowld In tangles, and make intricate seem strait, To mischief swift. Hope elevates, and joy Bright'ns his Crest, as when a wandring Fire Compact of unctuous vapor, which the Night Condenses, and the cold invirons round, Kindl'd through agitation to a Flame, Which oft, they say, some evil Spirit attends, Hovering and blazing with delusive Light, Misleads th' amaz'd Night-wanderer from his way 640 To Boggs and Mires, & oft through Pond or Poole, There swallow'd up and lost, from succour farr. So glister'd the dire Snake and into fraud Led Eve our credulous Mother, to the Tree Of prohibition, root of all our woe; Which when she saw, thus to her guide she spake. Serpent, we might have spar'd our coming hither, Fruitless to me, though Fruit be here to excess, The credit of whose vertue rest with thee, Wondrous indeed, if cause of such effects. 650 But of this Tree we may not taste nor touch; God so commanded, and left that Command Sole Daughter of his voice; the rest, we live Law to our selves, our Reason is our Law. To whom the Tempter guilefully repli'd. Indeed? hath God then said that of the Fruit Of all these Garden Trees ye shall not eate, Yet Lords declar'd of all in Earth or Aire? To whom thus Eve yet sinless. Of the Fruit Of each Tree in the Garden we may eate, 660 But of the Fruit of this fair Tree amidst The Garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eate Thereof, nor shall ye touch it, least ye die. She scarse had said, though brief, when now more bold The Tempter, but with shew of Zeale and Love To Man, and indignation at his wrong, New part puts on, and as to passion mov'd, Fluctuats disturbd, yet comely, and in act Rais'd, as of som great matter to begin. As when of old som Orator renound 670 In Athens or free Rome, where Eloquence Flourishd, since mute, to som great cause addrest, Stood in himself collected, while each part, Motion, each act won audience ere the tongue, Somtimes in highth began, as no delay Of Preface brooking through his Zeal of Right. So standing, moving, or to highth upgrown The Tempter all impassiond thus began. O Sacred, Wise, and Wisdom-giving Plant, Mother of Science, Now I feel thy Power 680 Within me cleere, not onely to discerne Things in thir Causes, but to trace the wayes Of highest Agents, deemd however wise. Queen of this Universe, doe not believe Those rigid threats of Death; ye shall not Die: How should ye? by the Fruit? it gives you Life To Knowledge? By the Threatner, look on mee, Mee who have touch'd and tasted, yet both live, And life more perfet have attaind then Fate Meant mee, by ventring higher then my Lot. 690 Shall that be shut to Man, which to the Beast Is open? or will God incense his ire For such a pretty Trespass, and not praise Rather your dauntless vertue, whom the pain Of Death denounc't, whatever thing Death be, Deterrd not from atchieving what might leade To happier life, knowledge of Good and Evil; Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil Be real, why not known, since easier shunnd? God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just; 700 Not just, not God; not feard then, nor obeid: Your feare it self of Death removes the feare. Why then was this forbid? Why but to awe, Why but to keep ye low and ignorant, His worshippers; he knows that in the day Ye Eate thereof, your Eyes that seem so cleere, Yet are but dim, shall perfetly be then Op'nd and cleerd, and ye shall be as Gods, Knowing both Good and Evil as they know. That ye should be as Gods, since I as Man, 710 Internal Man, is but proportion meet, I of brute human, yee of human Gods. So ye shall die perhaps, by putting off Human, to put on Gods, death to be wisht, Though threat'nd, which no worse then this can bring And what are Gods that Man may not become As they, participating God-like food? The Gods are first, and that advantage use On our belief, that all from them proceeds, I question it, for this fair Earth I see, 720 Warm'd by the Sun, producing every kind, Them nothing: If they all things, who enclos'd Knowledge of Good and Evil in this Tree, That whoso eats thereof, forthwith attains Wisdom without their leave? and wherein lies Th' offence, that Man should thus attain to know? What can your knowledge hurt him, or this Tree Impart against his will if all be his? Or is it envie, and can envie dwell In heav'nly brests? these, these and many more 730 Causes import your need of this fair Fruit. Goddess humane, reach then, and freely taste. He ended, and his words replete with guile Into her heart too easie entrance won: Fixt on the Fruit she gaz'd, which to behold Might tempt alone, and in her ears the sound Yet rung of his perswasive words, impregn'd With Reason, to her seeming, and with Truth; Meanwhile the hour of Noon drew on, and wak'd An eager appetite, rais'd by the smell 740 So savorie of that Fruit, which with desire, Inclinable now grown to touch or taste, Sollicited her longing eye; yet first Pausing a while, thus to her self she mus'd. Great are thy Vertues, doubtless, best of Fruits, Though kept from Man, & worthy to be admir'd, Whose taste, too long forborn, at first assay Gave elocution to the mute, and taught The Tongue not made for Speech to speak thy praise: Thy praise hee also who forbids thy use, 750 Conceales not from us, naming thee the Tree Of Knowledge, knowledge both of good and evil; Forbids us then to taste, but his forbidding Commends thee more, while it inferrs the good By thee communicated, and our want: For good unknown, sure is not had, or had And yet unknown, is as not had at all. In plain then, what forbids he but to know, Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise? Such prohibitions binde not. But if Death 760 Bind us with after-bands, what profits then Our inward freedom? In the day we eate Of this fair Fruit, our doom is, we shall die. How dies the Serpent? hee hath eat'n and lives, And knows, and speaks, and reasons, and discernes, Irrational till then. For us alone Was death invented? or to us deni'd This intellectual food, for beasts reserv'd? For Beasts it seems: yet that one Beast which first Hath tasted, envies not, but brings with joy 770 The good befall'n him, Author unsuspect, Friendly to man, farr from deceit or guile. What fear I then, rather what know to feare Under this ignorance of Good and Evil, Of God or Death, of Law or Penaltie? Here grows the Cure of all, this Fruit Divine, Fair to the Eye, inviting to the Taste, Of vertue to make wise: what hinders then To reach, and feed at once both Bodie and Mind? So saying, her rash hand in evil hour 780 Forth reaching to the Fruit, she pluck'd, she eat: Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat Sighing through all her Works gave signs of woe, That all was lost. Back to the Thicket slunk The guiltie Serpent, and well might, for Eve Intent now wholly on her taste, naught else Regarded, such delight till then, as seemd, In Fruit she never tasted, whether true Or fansied so, through expectation high Of knowledg, nor was God-head from her thought. 790 Greedily she ingorg'd without restraint, And knew not eating Death: Satiate at length, And hight'nd as with Wine, jocond and boon, Thus to her self she pleasingly began. O Sovran, vertuous, precious of all Trees In Paradise, of operation blest To Sapience, hitherto obscur'd, infam'd, And thy fair Fruit let hang, as to no end Created; but henceforth my early care, Not without Song, each Morning, and due praise 800 Shall tend thee, and the fertil burden ease Of thy full branches offer'd free to all; Till dieted by thee I grow mature In knowledge, as the Gods who all things know; Though others envie what they cannot give; For had the gift bin theirs, it had not here Thus grown. Experience, next to thee I owe, Best guide; not following thee, I had remaind In ignorance, thou op'nst Wisdoms way, And giv'st access, though secret she retire. 810 And I perhaps am secret; Heav'n is high, High and remote to see from thence distinct Each thing on Earth; and other care perhaps May have diverted from continual watch Our great Forbidder, safe with all his Spies About him. But to Adam in what sort Shall I appeer? shall I to him make known As yet my change, and give him to partake Full happiness with mee, or rather not, But keep the odds of Knowledge in my power 820 Without Copartner? so to add what wants In Femal Sex, the more to draw his Love, And render me more equal, and perhaps A thing not undesireable, somtime Superior; for inferior who is free? This may be well: but what if God have seen, And Death ensue? then I shall be no more, And Adam wedded to another Eve, Shall live with her enjoying, I extinct; A death to think. Confirm'd then I resolve, 830 Adam shall share with me in bliss or woe: So dear I love him, that with him all deaths I could endure; without him live no life. So saying, from the Tree her step she turnd, But first low Reverence don, as to the power That dwelt within, whose presence had infus'd Into the plant sciential sap, deriv'd From Nectar, drink of Gods. Adam the while Waiting desirous her return, had wove Of choicest Flours a Garland to adorne 840 Her Tresses, and her rural labours crown As Reapers oft are wont thir Harvest Queen. Great joy he promis'd to his thoughts, and new Solace in her return, so long delay'd; Yet oft his heart, divine of somthing ill, Misgave him; hee the faultring measure felt; And forth to meet her went, the way she took That Morn when first they parted; by the Tree Of Knowledge he must pass, there he her met, Scarse from the Tree returning; in her hand 850 A bough of fairest fruit that downie smil'd, New gatherd, and ambrosial smell diffus'd. To him she hasted, in her face excuse Came Prologue, and Apologie to prompt, Which with bland words at will she thus addrest. Hast thou not wonderd, Adam, at my stay? Thee I have misst, and thought it long, depriv'd Thy presence, agonie of love till now Not felt, nor shall be twice, for never more Mean I to trie, what rash untri'd I sought, 860 The paine of absence from thy sight. But strange Hath bin the cause, and wonderful to heare: This Tree is not as we are told, a Tree Of danger tasted, nor to evil unknown Op'ning the way, but of Divine effect To open Eyes, and make them Gods who taste; And hath bin tasted such; the Serpent wise, Or not restraind as wee, or not obeying, Hath eat'n of the fruit, and is become, Not dead, as we are threatn'd, but thenceforth 870 Endu'd with human voice and human sense, Reasoning to admiration, and with mee Perswasively hath so prevaild, that I Have also tasted, and have also found Th' effects to correspond, opener mine Eyes, Dimm erst, dilated Spirits, ampler Heart, And growing up to Godhead; which for thee Chiefly I sought, without thee can despise. For bliss, as thou hast part, to me is bliss, Tedious, unshar'd with thee, and odious soon. 880 Thou therefore also taste, that equal Lot May joyne us, equal Joy, as equal Love; Least thou not tasting, different degree Disjoyne us, and I then too late renounce Deitie for thee, when Fate will not permit. Thus Eve with Countnance blithe her storie told; But in her Cheek distemper flushing glowd. On th' other side, Adam, soon as he heard The fatal Trespass don by Eve, amaz'd, Astonied stood and Blank, while horror chill 890 Ran through his veins, and all his joynts relax'd; From his slack hand the Garland wreath'd for Eve Down drop'd, and all the faded Roses shed: Speechless he stood and pale, till thus at length First to himself he inward silence broke. O fairest of Creation, last and best Of all Gods Works, Creature in whom excell'd Whatever can to sight or thought be found, Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet! How art thou lost, how on a sudden lost, 900 Defac't, deflourd, and now to Death devote? Rather how hast thou yeelded to transgress The strict forbiddance, how to violate The sacred Fruit forbidd'n! som cursed fraud Of Enemie hath beguil'd thee, yet unknown, And mee with thee hath ruind, for with thee Certain my resolution is to Die; How can I live without thee, how forgoe Thy sweet Converse and Love so dearly joyn'd, To live again in these wilde Woods forlorn? 910 Should God create another Eve, and I Another Rib afford, yet loss of thee Would never from my heart; no no, I feel The Link of Nature draw me: Flesh of Flesh, Bone of my Bone thou art, and from thy State Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe. So having said, as one from sad dismay Recomforted, and after thoughts disturbd Submitting to what seemd remediless, Thus in calme mood his Words to Eve he turnd. 920 Bold deed thou hast presum'd, adventrous Eve, And peril great provok't, who thus hast dar'd Had it bin onely coveting to Eye That sacred Fruit, sacred to abstinence, Much more to taste it under banne to touch. But past who can recall, or don undoe? Not God omnipotent, nor Fate, yet so Perhaps thou shalt not Die, perhaps the Fact Is not so hainous now, foretasted Fruit, Profan'd first by the Serpent, by him first 930 Made common and unhallowd: ere our taste Nor yet on him found deadly; he yet lives, Lives, as thou saidst, and gaines to live as Man Higher degree of Life, inducement strong To us, as likely tasting to attaine Proportional ascent, which cannot be But to be Gods, or Angels Demi-gods. Nor can I think that God, Creator wise, Though threatning, will in earnest so destroy Us his prime Creatures, dignifi'd so high, 940 Set over all his Works, which in our Fall, For us created, needs with us must faile, Dependent made; so God shall uncreate, Be frustrate, do, undo, and labour loose, Not well conceav'd of God, who though his Power Creation could repeate, yet would be loath Us to abolish, least the Adversary Triumph and say; Fickle their State whom God Most Favors, who can please him long? Mee first He ruind, now Mankind; whom will he next? 950 Matter of scorne, not to be given the Foe. However I with thee have fixt my Lot, Certain to undergoe like doom, if Death Consort with thee, Death is to mee as Life; So forcible within my heart I feel The Bond of Nature draw me to my owne, My own in thee, for what thou art is mine; Our State cannot be severd, we are one, One Flesh; to loose thee were to loose my self. So Adam, and thus Eve to him repli'd. 960 O glorious trial of exceeding Love, Illustrious evidence, example high! Ingaging me to emulate, but short Of thy perfection, how shall I attaine, Adam, from whose deare side I boast me sprung, And gladly of our Union heare thee speak, One Heart, one Soul in both; whereof good prooff This day affords, declaring thee resolvd, Rather then Death or aught then Death more dread Shall separate us, linkt in Love so deare, 970 To undergoe with mee one Guilt, one Crime, If any be, of tasting this fair Fruit, Whose vertue, for of good still good proceeds, Direct, or by occasion hath presented This happie trial of thy Love, which else So eminently never had bin known. Were it I thought Death menac't would ensue This my attempt, I would sustain alone The worst, and not perswade thee, rather die Deserted, then oblige thee with a fact 980 Pernicious to thy Peace, chiefly assur'd Remarkably so late of thy so true, So faithful Love unequald; but I feel Farr otherwise th' event, not Death, but Life Augmented, op'nd Eyes, new Hopes, new Joyes, Taste so Divine, that what of sweet before Hath toucht my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh. On my experience, Adam, freely taste, And fear of Death deliver to the Windes. So saying, she embrac'd him, and for joy 990 Tenderly wept, much won that he his Love Had so enobl'd, as of choice to incurr Divine displeasure for her sake, or Death. In recompence (for such compliance bad Such recompence best merits) from the bough She gave him of that fair enticing Fruit With liberal hand: he scrupl'd not to eat Against his better knowledge, not deceav'd, But fondly overcome with Femal charm. Earth trembl'd from her entrails, as again 1000 In pangs, and Nature gave a second groan, Skie lowr'd, and muttering Thunder, som sad drops Wept at compleating of the mortal Sin Original; while Adam took no thought, Eating his fill, nor Eve to iterate Her former trespass fear'd, the more to soothe Him with her lov'd societie, that now As with new Wine intoxicated both They swim in mirth, and fansie that they feel Divinitie within them breeding wings 1010 Wherewith to scorn the Earth: but that false Fruit Farr other operation first displaid, Carnal desire enflaming, hee on Eve Began to cast lascivious Eyes, she him As wantonly repaid; in Lust they burne: Till Adam thus 'gan Eve to dalliance move. Eve, now I see thou art exact of taste, And elegant, of Sapience no small part, Since to each meaning savour we apply, And Palate call judicious; I the praise 1020 Yeild thee, so well this day thou hast purvey'd. Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstain'd From this delightful Fruit, nor known till now True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be In things to us forbidden, it might be wish'd, For this one Tree had bin forbidden ten. But come, so well refresh't, now let us play, As meet is, after such delicious Fare; For never did thy Beautie since the day I saw thee first and wedded thee, adorn'd 1030 With all perfections, so enflame my sense With ardor to enjoy thee, fairer now Then ever, bountie of this vertuous Tree. So said he, and forbore not glance or toy Of amorous intent, well understood Of Eve, whose Eye darted contagious Fire. Her hand he seis'd, and to a shadie bank, Thick overhead with verdant roof imbowr'd He led her nothing loath; Flours were the Couch, Pansies, and Violets, and Asphodel, 1040 And Hyacinth, Earths freshest softest lap. There they thir fill of Love and Loves disport Took largely, of thir mutual guilt the Seale, The solace of thir sin, till dewie sleep Oppress'd them, wearied with thir amorous play. Soon as the force of that fallacious Fruit, That with exhilerating vapour bland About thir spirits had plaid, and inmost powers Made erre, was now exhal'd, and grosser sleep Bred of unkindly fumes, with conscious dreams 1050 Encumberd, now had left them, up they rose As from unrest, and each the other viewing, Soon found thir Eyes how op'nd, and thir minds How dark'nd; innocence, that as a veile Had shadow'd them from knowing ill, was gon, Just confidence, and native righteousness, And honour from about them, naked left To guiltie shame: hee cover'd, but his Robe Uncover'd more. So rose the Danite strong Herculean Samson from the Harlot-lap 1060 Of Philistean Dalilah, and wak'd Shorn of his strength, They destitute and bare Of all thir vertue: silent, and in face Confounded long they sate, as struck'n mute, Till Adam, though not less then Eve abasht, At length gave utterance to these words constraind. O Eve, in evil hour thou didst give eare To that false Worm, of whomsoever taught To counterfet Mans voice, true in our Fall, False in our promis'd Rising; since our Eyes 1070 Op'nd we find indeed, and find we know Both Good and Evil, Good lost and Evil got, Bad Fruit of Knowledge, if this be to know, Which leaves us naked thus, of Honour void, Of Innocence, of Faith, of Puritie, Our wonted Ornaments now soild and staind, And in our Faces evident the signes Of foul concupiscence; whence evil store; Even shame, the last of evils; of the first Be sure then. How shall I behold the face 1080 Henceforth of God or Angel, earst with joy And rapture so oft beheld? those heav'nly shapes Will dazle now this earthly, with thir blaze Insufferably bright. O might I here In solitude live savage, in some glade Obscur'd, where highest Woods impenetrable To Starr or Sun-light, spread thir umbrage broad, And brown as Evening: Cover me ye Pines, Ye Cedars, with innumerable boughs Hide me, where I may never see them more. 1090 But let us now, as in bad plight, devise What best may for the present serve to hide The Parts of each from other, that seem most To shame obnoxious, and unseemliest seen, Some Tree whose broad smooth Leaves together sowd, And girded on our loyns, may cover round Those middle parts, that this new commer, Shame, There sit not, and reproach us as unclean. So counsel'd hee, and both together went Into the thickest Wood, there soon they chose 1100 The Figtree, not that kind for Fruit renown'd, But such as at this day to Indians known In Malabar or Decan spreds her Armes Braunching so broad and long, that in the ground The bended Twigs take root, and Daughters grow About the Mother Tree, a Pillard shade High overarch't, and echoing Walks between; There oft the Indian Herdsman shunning heate Shelters in coole, and tends his pasturing Herds At Loopholes cut through thickest shade: Those Leaves 1110 They gatherd, broad as Amazonian Targe, And with what skill they had, together sowd, To gird thir waste, vain Covering if to hide Thir guilt and dreaded shame; O how unlike To that first naked Glorie. Such of late Columbus found th' American so girt With featherd Cincture, naked else and wilde Among the Trees on Iles and woodie Shores. Thus fenc't, and as they thought, thir shame in part Coverd, but not at rest or ease of Mind, 1120 They sate them down to weep, nor onely Teares Raind at thir Eyes, but high Winds worse within Began to rise, high Passions, Anger, Hate, Mistrust, Suspicion, Discord, and shook sore Thir inward State of Mind, calme Region once And full of Peace, now tost and turbulent: For Understanding rul'd not, and the Will Heard not her lore, both in subjection now To sensual Appetite, who from beneathe Usurping over sovran Reason claimd 1130 Superior sway: From thus distemperd brest, Adam, estrang'd in look and alterd stile, Speech intermitted thus to Eve renewd. Would thou hadst heark'nd to my words, & stai'd With me, as I besought thee, when that strange Desire of wandring this unhappie Morn, I know not whence possessd thee; we had then Remaind still happie, not as now, despoild Of all our good, sham'd, naked, miserable. Let none henceforth seek needless cause to approve 1140 The Faith they owe; when earnestly they seek Such proof, conclude, they then begin to faile. To whom soon mov'd with touch of blame thus Eve. What words have past thy Lips, Adam severe, Imput'st thou that to my default, or will Of wandering, as thou call'st it, which who knows But might as ill have happ'nd thou being by, Or to thy self perhaps: hadst thou bin there, Or here th' attempt, thou couldst not have discernd Fraud in the Serpent, speaking as he spake; 1150 No ground of enmitie between us known, Why hee should mean me ill, or seek to harme. Was I to have never parted from thy side? As good have grown there still a liveless Rib. Being as I am, why didst not thou the Head Command me absolutely not to go, Going into such danger as thou saidst? Too facil then thou didst not much gainsay, Nay, didst permit, approve, and fair dismiss. Hadst thou bin firm and fixt in thy dissent, 1160 Neither had I transgress'd, nor thou with mee. To whom then first incenst Adam repli'd. Is this the Love, is the recompence Of mine to thee, ingrateful Eve, exprest Immutable when thou wert lost, not I, Who might have liv'd and joyd immortal bliss, Yet willingly chose rather Death with thee: And am I now upbraided, as the cause Of thy transgressing? not enough severe, It seems, in thy restraint: what could I more? 1170 I warn'd thee, I admonish'd thee, foretold The danger, and the lurking Enemie That lay in wait; beyond this had bin force, And force upon free Will hath here no place. But confidence then bore thee on, secure Either to meet no danger, or to finde Matter of glorious trial; and perhaps I also err'd in overmuch admiring What seemd in thee so perfet, that I thought No evil durst attempt thee, but I rue 1180 That errour now, which is become my crime, And thou th' accuser. Thus it shall befall Him who to worth in Women overtrusting Lets her Will rule; restraint she will not brook, And left to her self, if evil thence ensue, Shee first his weak indulgence will accuse. Thus they in mutual accusation spent The fruitless hours, but neither self-condemning And of thir vain contest appeer'd no end.

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

The End Of The Ninth Book.

BOOK X.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

Meanwhile the hainous and despightfull act Of Satan done in Paradise, and how Hee in the Serpent had perverted Eve, Her Husband shee, to taste the fatall fruit, Was known in Heav'n; for what can scape the Eye Of God All-seeing, or deceave his Heart Omniscient, who in all things wise and just, Hinder'd not Satan to attempt the minde Of Man, with strength entire, and free Will arm'd, Complete to have discover'd and repulst 10 Whatever wiles of Foe or seeming Friend. For still they knew, and ought to have still remember'd The high Injunction not to taste that Fruit, Whoever tempted; which they not obeying, Incurr'd, what could they less, the penaltie, And manifold in sin, deserv'd to fall. Up into Heav'n from Paradise in hast Th' Angelic Guards ascended, mute and sad For Man, for of his state by this they knew, Much wondring how the suttle Fiend had stoln 20 Entrance unseen. Soon as th' unwelcome news From Earth arriv'd at Heaven Gate, displeas'd All were who heard, dim sadness did not spare That time Celestial visages, yet mixt With pitie, violated not thir bliss. About the new-arriv'd, in multitudes Th' ethereal People ran, to hear and know How all befell: they towards the Throne Supream Accountable made haste to make appear With righteous plea, thir utmost vigilance, 30 And easily approv'd; when the most High Eternal Father from his secret Cloud, Amidst in Thunder utter'd thus his voice. Assembl'd Angels, and ye Powers return'd From unsuccessful charge, be not dismaid, Nor troubl'd at these tidings from the Earth, Which your sincerest care could not prevent, Foretold so lately what would come to pass, When first this Tempter cross'd the Gulf from Hell. I told ye then he should prevail and speed 40 On his bad Errand, Man should be seduc't And flatter'd out of all, believing lies Against his Maker; no Decree of mine Concurring to necessitate his Fall, Or touch with lightest moment of impulse His free Will, to her own inclining left In eevn scale. But fall'n he is, and now What rests, but that the mortal Sentence pass On his transgression, Death denounc't that day, Which he presumes already vain and void, 50 Because not yet inflicted, as he fear'd, By some immediate stroak; but soon shall find Forbearance no acquittance ere day end. Justice shall not return as bountie scorn'd. But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee Vicegerent Son, to thee I have transferr'd All Judgement, whether in Heav'n, or Earth; or Hell. Easie it may be seen that I intend Mercie collegue with Justice, sending thee Mans Friend, his Mediator, his design'd 60 Both Ransom and Redeemer voluntarie, And destin'd Man himself to judge Man fall'n. So spake the Father, and unfoulding bright Toward the right hand his Glorie, on the Son Blaz'd forth unclouded Deitie; he full Resplendent all his Father manifest Express'd, and thus divinely answer'd milde. Father Eternal, thine is to decree, Mine both in Heav'n and Earth to do thy will Supream, that thou in mee thy Son belov'd 70 Mayst ever rest well pleas'd. I go to judge On Earth these thy transgressors, but thou knowst, Whoever judg'd, the worst on mee must light, When time shall be, for so I undertook Before thee; and not repenting, this obtaine Of right, that I may mitigate thir doom On me deriv'd, yet I shall temper so Justice with Mercie, as may illustrate most Them fully satisfied, and thee appease. Attendance none shall need, nor Train, where none 80 Are to behold the Judgement, but the judg'd, Those two; the third best absent is condemn'd, Convict by flight, and Rebel to all Law Conviction to the Serpent none belongs. Thus saying, from his radiant Seat he rose Of high collateral glorie: him Thrones and Powers, Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant Accompanied to Heaven Gate, from whence Eden and all the Coast in prospect lay. Down he descended strait; the speed of Gods 90 Time counts not, though with swiftest minutes wing'd. Now was the Sun in Western cadence low From Noon, and gentle Aires due at thir hour To fan the Earth now wak'd, and usher in The Eevning coole when he from wrauth more coole Came the mild Judge and Intercessor both To sentence Man: the voice of God they heard Now walking in the Garden, by soft windes Brought to thir Ears, while day declin'd, they heard And from his presence hid themselves among 100 The thickest Trees, both Man and Wife, till God Approaching, thus to Adam call'd aloud. Where art thou Adam, wont with joy to meet My coming seen far off? I miss thee here, Not pleas'd, thus entertaind with solitude, Where obvious dutie erewhile appear'd unsaught: Or come I less conspicuous, or what change Absents thee, or what chance detains? Come forth. He came, and with him Eve, more loth, though first To offend, discount'nanc't both, and discompos'd; 110 Love was not in thir looks, either to God Or to each other, but apparent guilt, And shame, and perturbation, and despaire, Anger, and obstinacie, and hate, and guile. Whence Adam faultring long, thus answer'd brief. I heard thee in the Garden, and of thy voice Affraid, being naked, hid my self. To whom The gracious Judge without revile repli'd. My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not fear'd, But still rejoyc't, how is it now become 120 So dreadful to thee? that thou art naked, who Hath told thee? hast thou eaten of the Tree Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat? To whom thus Adam sore beset repli'd. O Heav'n! in evil strait this day I stand Before my Judge, either to undergoe My self the total Crime, or to accuse My other self, the partner of my life; Whose failing, while her Faith to me remaines, I should conceal, and not expose to blame 130 By my complaint; but strict necessitie Subdues me, and calamitous constraint, Least on my head both sin and punishment, However insupportable, be all Devolv'd; though should I hold my peace, yet thou Wouldst easily detect what I conceale. This Woman whom thou mad'st to be my help, And gav'st me as thy perfet gift, so good, So fit, so acceptable, so Divine, That from her hand I could suspect no ill, 140 And what she did, whatever in it self, Her doing seem'd to justifie the deed; Shee gave me of the Tree, and I did eate. To whom the sovran Presence thus repli'd. Was shee thy God, that her thou didst obey Before his voice, or was shee made thy guide, Superior, or but equal, that to her Thou did'st resigne thy Manhood, and the Place Wherein God set thee above her made of thee, And for thee, whose perfection farr excell'd 150 Hers in all real dignitie: Adornd She was indeed, and lovely to attract Thy Love, not thy Subjection, and her Gifts Were such as under Government well seem'd, Unseemly to beare rule, which was thy part And person, had'st thou known thy self aright. So having said, he thus to Eve in few: Say Woman, what is this which thou hast done? To whom sad Eve with shame nigh overwhelm'd, Confessing soon, yet not before her Judge 160 Bold or loquacious, thus abasht repli'd. The Serpent me beguil'd and I did eate. Which when the Lord God heard, without delay To Judgement he proceeded on th' accus'd Serpent though brute, unable to transferre The Guilt on him who made him instrument Of mischief, and polluted from the end Of his Creation; justly then accurst, As vitiated in Nature: more to know Concern'd not Man (since he no further knew) 170 Nor alter'd his offence; yet God at last To Satan first in sin his doom apply'd, Though in mysterious terms, judg'd as then best: And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall. Because thou hast done this, thou art accurst Above all Cattel, each Beast of the Field; Upon thy Belly groveling thou shalt goe, And dust shalt eat all the days of thy Life. Between Thee and the Woman I will put Enmitie, and between thine and her Seed; 180 Her Seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel. So spake this Oracle, then verifi'd When Jesus son of Mary second Eve, Saw Satan fall like Lightning down from Heav'n, Prince of the Aire; then rising from his Grave Spoild Principalities and Powers, triumpht In open shew, and with ascention bright Captivity led captive through the Aire, The Realme it self of Satan long usurpt, Whom he shall tread at last under our feet; 190 Eevn hee who now foretold his fatal bruise, And to the Woman thus his Sentence turn'd. Thy sorrow I will greatly multiplie By thy Conception; Children thou shalt bring In sorrow forth, and to thy Husbands will Thine shall submit, hee over thee shall rule. On Adam last thus judgement he pronounc'd. Because thou hast heark'nd to the voice of thy Wife, And eaten of the Tree concerning which I charg'd thee, saying: Thou shalt not eate thereof, 200 Curs'd is the ground for thy sake, thou in sorrow Shalt eate thereof all the days of thy Life; Thornes also and Thistles it shall bring thee forth Unbid, and thou shalt eate th' Herb of th' Field, In the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eate Bread, Till thou return unto the ground, for thou Out of the ground wast taken, know thy Birth, For dust thou art, and shalt to dust returne. So judg'd he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent, And th' instant stroke of Death denounc't that day 210 Remov'd farr off; then pittying how they stood Before him naked to the aire, that now Must suffer change, disdain'd not to begin Thenceforth the forme of servant to assume, As when he wash'd his servants feet, so now As Father of his Familie he clad Thir nakedness with Skins of Beasts, or slain, Or as the Snake with youthful Coate repaid; And thought not much to cloath his Enemies: Nor hee thir outward onely with the Skins 220 Of Beasts, but inward nakedness, much more Opprobrious, with his Robe of righteousness, Araying cover'd from his Fathers sight. To him with swift ascent he up returnd, Into his blissful bosom reassum'd In glory as of old, to him appeas'd All, though all-knowing, what had past with Man Recounted, mixing intercession sweet. Meanwhile ere thus was sin'd and judg'd on Earth, Within the Gates of Hell sate Sin and Death, 230 In counterview within the Gates, that now Stood open wide, belching outrageous flame Farr into Chaos, since the Fiend pass'd through, Sin opening, who thus now to Death began. O Son, why sit we here each other viewing Idlely, while Satan our great Author thrives In other Worlds, and happier Seat provides For us his ofspring deare? It cannot be But that success attends him; if mishap, Ere this he had return'd, with fury driv'n 240 By his Avenger, since no place like this Can fit his punishment, or their revenge. Methinks I feel new strength within me rise, Wings growing, and Dominion giv'n me large Beyond this Deep; whatever drawes me on, Or sympathie, or som connatural force Powerful at greatest distance to unite With secret amity things of like kinde By secretest conveyance. Thou my Shade Inseparable must with mee along: 250 For Death from Sin no power can separate. But least the difficultie of passing back Stay his returne perhaps over this Gulfe Impassable, impervious, let us try Adventrous work, yet to thy power and mine Not unagreeable, to found a path Over this Maine from Hell to that new World Where Satan now prevailes, a Monument Of merit high to all th' infernal Host, Easing thir passage hence, for intercourse, 260 Or transmigration, as thir lot shall lead. Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawn By this new felt attraction and instinct. Whom thus the meager Shadow answerd soon. Goe whither Fate and inclination strong Leads thee, I shall not lag behinde, nor erre The way, thou leading, such a sent I draw Of carnage, prey innumerable, and taste The savour of Death from all things there that live: Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisest 270 Be wanting, but afford thee equal aid. So saying, with delight he snuff'd the smell Of mortal change on Earth. As when a flock Of ravenous Fowl, though many a League remote, Against the day of Battel, to a Field, Where Armies lie encampt, come flying, lur'd With sent of living Carcasses design'd For death, the following day, in bloodie fight. So sented the grim Feature, and upturn'd His Nostril wide into the murkie Air, 280 Sagacious of his Quarrey from so farr. Then Both from out Hell Gates into the waste Wide Anarchie of Chaos damp and dark Flew divers, & with Power (thir Power was great) Hovering upon the Waters; what they met Solid or slimie, as in raging Sea Tost up and down, together crowded drove From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell. As when two Polar Winds blowing adverse Upon the Cronian Sea, together drive 290 Mountains of Ice, that stop th' imagin'd way Beyond Petsora Eastward, to the rich Cathaian Coast. The aggregated Soyle Death with his Mace petrific, cold and dry, As with a Trident smote, and fix't as firm As Delos floating once; the rest his look Bound with Gorgonian rigor not to move, And with Asphaltic slime; broad as the Gate, Deep to the Roots of Hell the gather'd beach They fasten'd, and the Mole immense wraught on 300 Over the foaming deep high Archt, a Bridge Of length prodigious joyning to the Wall Immoveable of this now fenceless world Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad, Smooth, easie, inoffensive down to Hell. So, if great things to small may be compar'd, Xerxes, the Libertie of Greece to yoke, From Susa his Memnonian Palace high Came to the Sea, and over Hellespont Bridging his way, Europe with Asia joyn'd, 310 And scourg'd with many a stroak th' indignant waves. Now had they brought the work by wondrous Art Pontifical, a ridge of pendent Rock Over the vext Abyss, following the track Of Satan, to the selfsame place where hee First lighted from his Wing, and landed safe From out of Chaos to the outside bare Of this round World: with Pinns of Adamant And Chains they made all fast, too fast they made And durable; and now in little space 320 The Confines met of Empyrean Heav'n And of this World, and on the left hand Hell With long reach interpos'd; three sev'ral wayes In sight, to each of these three places led. And now thir way to Earth they had descri'd, To Paradise first tending, when behold Satan in likeness of an Angel bright Betwixt the Centaure and the Scorpion stearing His Zenith, while the Sun in Aries rose: Disguis'd he came, but those his Children dear 330 Thir Parent soon discern'd, though in disguise. Hee, after Eve seduc't, unminded slunk Into the Wood fast by, and changing shape To observe the sequel, saw his guileful act By Eve, though all unweeting, seconded Upon her Husband, saw thir shame that sought Vain covertures; but when he saw descend The Son of God to judge them, terrifi'd Hee fled, not hoping to escape, but shun The present, fearing guiltie what his wrauth 340 Might suddenly inflict; that past, return'd By Night, and listning where the hapless Paire Sate in thir sad discourse, and various plaint, Thence gatherd his own doom, which understood Not instant, but of future time. With joy And tidings fraught, to Hell he now return'd, And at the brink of Chaos, neer the foot Of this new wondrous Pontifice, unhop't Met who to meet him came, his Ofspring dear. Great joy was at thir meeting, and at sight 350 Of that stupendious Bridge his joy encreas'd. Long hee admiring stood, till Sin, his faire Inchanting Daughter, thus the silence broke. O Parent, these are thy magnific deeds, Thy Trophies, which thou view'st as not thine own, Thou art thir Author and prime Architect: For I no sooner in my Heart divin'd, My Heart, which by a secret harmonie Still moves with thine, joyn'd in connexion sweet, That thou on Earth hadst prosper'd, which thy looks 360 Now also evidence, but straight I felt Though distant from thee Worlds between, yet felt That I must after thee with this thy Son; Such fatal consequence unites us three: Hell could no longer hold us in her bounds, Nor this unvoyageable Gulf obscure Detain from following thy illustrious track. Thou hast atchiev'd our libertie, confin'd Within Hell Gates till now, thou us impow'rd To fortifie thus farr, and overlay 370 With this portentous Bridge the dark Abyss. Thine now is all this World, thy vertue hath won What thy hands builded not, thy Wisdom gain'd With odds what Warr hath lost, and fully aveng'd Our foile in Heav'n; here thou shalt Monarch reign, There didst not; there let him still Victor sway, As Battel hath adjudg'd, from this new World Retiring, by his own doom alienated, And henceforth Monarchie with thee divide Of all things, parted by th' Empyreal bounds, 380 His Quadrature, from thy Orbicular World, Or trie thee now more dang'rous to his Throne. Whom thus the Prince of Darkness answerd glad. Fair Daughter, and thou Son and Grandchild both, High proof ye now have giv'n to be the Race Of Satan (for I glorie in the name, Antagonist of Heav'ns Almightie King) Amply have merited of me, of all Th' Infernal Empire, that so neer Heav'ns dore Triumphal with triumphal act have met, 390 Mine with this glorious Work, & made one Realm Hell and this World, one Realm, one Continent Of easie thorough-fare. Therefore while I Descend through Darkness, on your Rode with ease To my associate Powers, them to acquaint With these successes, and with them rejoyce, You two this way, among those numerous Orbs All yours, right down to Paradise descend; There dwell & Reign in bliss, thence on the Earth Dominion exercise and in the Aire, 400 Chiefly on Man, sole Lord of all declar'd, Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill. My Substitutes I send ye, and Create Plenipotent on Earth, of matchless might Issuing from mee: on your joynt vigor now My hold of this new Kingdom all depends, Through Sin to Death expos'd by my exploit. If your joynt power prevaile, th' affaires of Hell No detriment need feare, goe and be strong. So saying he dismiss'd them, they with speed 410 Thir course through thickest Constellations held Spreading thir bane; the blasted Starrs lookt wan, And Planets, Planet-strook, real Eclips Then sufferd. Th' other way Satan went down The Causey to Hell Gate; on either side Disparted Chaos over built exclaimd, And with rebounding surge the barrs assaild, That scorn'd his indignation: through the Gate, Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass'd, And all about found desolate; for those 420 Appointed to sit there, had left thir charge, Flown to the upper World; the rest were all Farr to the inland retir'd, about the walls Of Pandemonium, Citie and proud seate Of Lucifer, so by allusion calld, Of that bright Starr to Satan paragond. There kept thir Watch the Legions, while the Grand In Council sate, sollicitous what chance Might intercept thir Emperour sent, so hee Departing gave command, and they observ'd. 430 As when the Tartar from his Russian Foe By Astracan over the Snowie Plaines Retires, or Bactrian Sophi from the hornes Of Turkish Crescent, leaves all waste beyond The Realme of Aladule, in his retreate To Tauris or Casbeen. So these the late Heav'n-banisht Host, left desert utmost Hell Many a dark League, reduc't in careful Watch Round thir Metropolis, and now expecting Each hour their great adventurer from the search 440 Of Forrein Worlds: he through the midst unmarkt, In shew plebeian Angel militant Of lowest order, past; and from the dore Of that Plutonian Hall, invisible Ascended his high Throne, which under state Of richest texture spred, at th' upper end Was plac't in regal lustre. Down a while He sate, and round about him saw unseen: At last as from a Cloud his fulgent head And shape Starr bright appeer'd, or brighter, clad 450 With what permissive glory since his fall Was left him, or false glitter: All amaz'd At that so sudden blaze the Stygian throng Bent thir aspect, and whom they wish'd beheld, Thir mighty Chief returnd: loud was th' acclaime: Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting Peers, Rais'd from thir dark Divan, and with like joy Congratulant approach'd him, who with hand Silence, and with these words attention won. Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Vertues, Powers, 460 For in possession such, not onely of right, I call ye and declare ye now, returnd Successful beyond hope, to lead ye forth Triumphant out of this infernal Pit Abominable, accurst, the house of woe, And Dungeon of our Tyrant: Now possess, As Lords, a spacious World, to our native Heaven Little inferiour, by my adventure hard With peril great atchiev'd. Long were to tell What I have don, what sufferd, with what paine 470 Voyag'd the unreal, vast, unbounded deep Of horrible confusion, over which By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav'd To expedite your glorious march; but I Toild out my uncouth passage, forc't to ride Th' untractable Abysse, plung'd in the womb Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wilde, That jealous of thir secrets fiercely oppos'd My journey strange, with clamorous uproare Protesting Fate supreame; thence how I found 480 The new created World, which fame in Heav'n Long had foretold, a Fabrick wonderful Of absolute perfection, therein Man Plac't in a Paradise, by our exile Made happie: Him by fraud I have seduc'd From his Creator, and the more to increase Your wonder, with an Apple; he thereat Offended, worth your laughter, hath giv'n up Both his beloved Man and all his World, To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us, 490 Without our hazard, labour or allarme, To range in, and to dwell, and over Man To rule, as over all he should have rul'd. True is, mee also he hath judg'd, or rather Mee not, but the brute Serpent in whose shape Man I deceav'd: that which to mee belongs, Is enmity, which he will put between Mee and Mankinde; I am to bruise his heel; His Seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head: A World who would not purchase with a bruise, 500 Or much more grievous pain? Ye have th' account Of my performance: What remaines, ye Gods, But up and enter now into full bliss. So having said, a while he stood, expecting Thir universal shout and high applause To fill his eare, when contrary he hears On all sides, from innumerable tongues A dismal universal hiss, the sound Of public scorn; he wonderd, but not long Had leasure, wondring at himself now more; 510 His Visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare, His Armes clung to his Ribs, his Leggs entwining Each other, till supplanted down he fell A monstrous Serpent on his Belly prone, Reluctant, but in vaine, a greater power Now rul'd him, punisht in the shape he sin'd, According to his doom: he would have spoke, But hiss for hiss returnd with forked tongue To forked tongue, for now were all transform'd Alike, to Serpents all as accessories 520 To his bold Riot: dreadful was the din Of hissing through the Hall, thick swarming now With complicated monsters, head and taile, Scorpion and Asp, and Amphisbaena dire, Cerastes hornd, Hydrus, and Ellops drear, And Dipsas (Not so thick swarm'd once the Soil Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the Isle Ophiusa) but still greatest hee the midst, Now Dragon grown, larger then whom the Sun Ingenderd in the Pythian Vale on slime, 530 Huge Python, and his Power no less he seem'd Above the rest still to retain; they all Him follow'd issuing forth to th' open Field, Where all yet left of that revolted Rout Heav'n-fall'n, in station stood or just array, Sublime with expectation when to see In Triumph issuing forth thir glorious Chief; They saw, but other sight instead, a crowd Of ugly Serpents; horror on them fell, And horrid sympathie; for what they saw, 540 They felt themselvs now changing; down thir arms, Down fell both Spear and Shield, down they as fast, And the dire hiss renew'd, and the dire form Catcht by Contagion, like in punishment, As in thir crime. Thus was th' applause they meant, Turnd to exploding hiss, triumph to shame Cast on themselves from thir own mouths. There stood A Grove hard by, sprung up with this thir change, His will who reigns above, to aggravate Thir penance, laden with fair Fruit, like that 550 Which grew in Paradise, the bait of Eve Us'd by the Tempter: on that prospect strange Thir earnest eyes they fix'd, imagining For one forbidden Tree a multitude Now ris'n, to work them furder woe or shame; Yet parcht with scalding thurst and hunger fierce, Though to delude them sent, could not abstain, But on they rould in heaps, and up the Trees Climbing, sat thicker then the snakie locks That curld Megaera: greedily they pluck'd 560 The Frutage fair to sight, like that which grew Neer that bituminous Lake where Sodom flam'd; This more delusive, not the touch, but taste Deceav'd; they fondly thinking to allay Thir appetite with gust, instead of Fruit Chewd bitter Ashes, which th' offended taste With spattering noise rejected: oft they assayd, Hunger and thirst constraining, drugd as oft, With hatefullest disrelish writh'd thir jaws With soot and cinders fill'd; so oft they fell 570 Into the same illusion, not as Man Whom they triumph'd once lapst. Thus were they plagu'd And worn with Famin, long and ceasless hiss, Till thir lost shape, permitted, they resum'd, Yearly enjoynd, some say, to undergo This annual humbling certain number'd days, To dash thir pride, and joy for Man seduc't. However some tradition they dispers'd Among the Heathen of thir purchase got, And Fabl'd how the Serpent, whom they calld 580 Ophion with Eurynome, the wide- Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the rule Of high Olympus, thence by Saturn driv'n And Ops, ere yet Dictaean Jove was born. Mean while in Paradise the hellish pair Too soon arriv'd, Sin there in power before, Once actual, now in body, and to dwell Habitual habitant; behind her Death Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet On his pale Horse: to whom Sin thus began. 590 Second of Satan sprung, all conquering Death, What thinkst thou of our Empire now, though earnd With travail difficult, not better farr Then stil at Hels dark threshold to have sate watch, Unnam'd, undreaded, and thy self half starv'd? Whom thus the Sin-born Monster answerd soon. To mee, who with eternal Famin pine, Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven, There best, where most with ravin I may meet; Which here, though plenteous, all too little seems 600 To stuff this Maw, this vast unhide-bound Corps. To whom th' incestuous Mother thus repli'd. Thou therefore on these Herbs, and Fruits, & Flours Feed first, on each Beast next, and Fish, and Fowle, No homely morsels, and whatever thing The Sithe of Time mowes down, devour unspar'd, Till I in Man residing through the Race, His thoughts, his looks, words, actions all infect, And season him thy last and sweetest prey. This said, they both betook them several wayes, 610 Both to destroy, or unimmortal make All kinds, and for destruction to mature Sooner or later; which th' Almightie seeing, From his transcendent Seat the Saints among, To those bright Orders utterd thus his voice. See with what heat these Dogs of Hell advance To waste and havoc yonder World, which I So fair and good created, and had still Kept in that state, had not the folly of Man Let in these wastful Furies, who impute 620 Folly to mee, so doth the Prince of Hell And his Adherents, that with so much ease I suffer them to enter and possess A place so heav'nly, and conniving seem To gratifie my scornful Enemies, That laugh, as if transported with some fit Of Passion, I to them had quitted all, At random yeilded up to their misrule; And know not that I call'd and drew them thither My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filth 630 Which mans polluting Sin with taint hath shed On what was pure, till cramm'd and gorg'd, nigh burst With suckt and glutted offal, at one fling Of thy victorious Arm, well-pleasing Son, Both Sin, and Death, and yawning Grave at last Through Chaos hurld, obstruct the mouth of Hell For ever, and seal up his ravenous Jawes. Then Heav'n and Earth renewd shall be made pure To sanctitie that shall receive no staine: Till then the Curse pronounc't on both precedes. 640 Hee ended, and the heav'nly Audience loud Sung Halleluia, as the sound of Seas, Through multitude that sung: Just are thy ways, Righteous are thy Decrees on all thy Works; Who can extenuate thee? Next, to the Son, Destin'd restorer of Mankind, by whom New Heav'n and Earth shall to the Ages rise, Or down from Heav'n descend. Such was thir song, While the Creator calling forth by name His mightie Angels gave them several charge, 650 As sorted best with present things. The Sun Had first his precept so to move, so shine, As might affect the Earth with cold and heat Scarce tollerable, and from the North to call Decrepit Winter, from the South to bring Solstitial summers heat. To the blanc Moone Her office they prescrib'd, to th' other five Thir planetarie motions and aspects In Sextile, Square, and Trine, and Opposite, Of noxious efficacie, and when to joyne 660 In Synod unbenigne, and taught the fixt Thir influence malignant when to showre, Which of them rising with the Sun, or falling, Should prove tempestuous: To the Winds they set Thir corners, when with bluster to confound Sea, Aire, and Shoar, the Thunder when to rowle With terror through the dark Aereal Hall. Some say he bid his Angels turne ascanse The Poles of Earth twice ten degrees and more From the Suns Axle; they with labour push'd 670 Oblique the Centric Globe: Som say the Sun Was bid turn Reines from th' Equinoctial Rode Like distant breadth to Taurus with the Seav'n Atlantick Sisters, and the Spartan Twins Up to the Tropic Crab; thence down amaine By Leo and the Virgin and the Scales, As deep as Capricorne, to bring in change Of Seasons to each Clime; else had the Spring Perpetual smil'd on Earth with vernant Flours, Equal in Days and Nights, except to those 680 Beyond the Polar Circles; to them Day Had unbenighted shon, while the low Sun To recompence his distance, in thir sight Had rounded still th' Horizon, and not known Or East or West, which had forbid the Snow From cold Estotiland, and South as farr Beneath Magellan. At that tasted Fruit The Sun, as from Thyestean Banquet, turn'd His course intended; else how had the World Inhabited, though sinless, more then now, 690 Avoided pinching cold and scorching heate? These changes in the Heav'ns, though slow, produc'd Like change on Sea and Land, sideral blast, Vapour, and Mist, and Exhalation hot, Corrupt and Pestilent: Now from the North Of Norumbega, and the Samoed shoar Bursting thir brazen Dungeon, armd with ice And snow and haile and stormie gust and flaw, Boreas and Caecias and Argestes loud And Thrascias rend the Woods and Seas upturn; 700 With adverse blast up-turns them from the South Notus and Afer black with thundrous Clouds From Serraliona; thwart of these as fierce Forth rush the Levant and the Ponent Windes Eurus and Zephir with thir lateral noise, Sirocco, and Libecchio. Thus began Outrage from liveless things; but Discord first Daughter of Sin, among th' irrational, Death introduc'd through fierce antipathie: Beast now with Beast gan war, & Fowle with Fowle, 710 And Fish with Fish; to graze the Herb all leaving, Devourd each other; nor stood much in awe Of Man, but fled him, or with count'nance grim Glar'd on him passing: these were from without The growing miseries, which Adam saw Alreadie in part, though hid in gloomiest shade, To sorrow abandond, but worse felt within, And in a troubl'd Sea of passion tost, Thus to disburd'n sought with sad complaint. O miserable of happie! is this the end 720 Of this new glorious World, and mee so late The Glory of that Glory, who now becom Accurst of blessed, hide me from the face Of God, whom to behold was then my highth Of happiness: yet well, if here would end The miserie, I deserv'd it, and would beare My own deservings; but this will not serve; All that I eate or drink, or shall beget, Is propagated curse. O voice once heard Delightfully, Encrease And Multiply, 730 Now death to heare! for what can I encrease Or multiplie, but curses on my head? Who of all Ages to succeed, but feeling The evil on him brought by me, will curse My Head, Ill fare our Ancestor impure, For this we may thank Adam; but his thanks Shall be the execration; so besides Mine own that bide upon me, all from mee Shall with a fierce reflux on mee redound, On mee as on thir natural center light 740 Heavie, though in thir place. O fleeting joyes Of Paradise, deare bought with lasting woes! Did I request thee, Maker, from my Clay To mould me Man, did I sollicite thee From darkness to promote me, or here place In this delicious Garden? as my Will Concurd not to my being, it were but right And equal to reduce me to my dust, Desirous to resigne, and render back All I receav'd, unable to performe 750 Thy terms too hard, by which I was to hold The good I sought not. To the loss of that, Sufficient penaltie, why hast thou added The sense of endless woes? inexplicable Thy Justice seems; yet to say truth, too late, I thus contest; then should have been refusd Those terms whatever, when they were propos'd: Thou didst accept them; wilt thou enjoy the good, Then cavil the conditions? and though God Made thee without thy leave, what if thy Son 760 Prove disobedient, and reprov'd, retort, Wherefore didst thou beget me? I sought it not: Wouldst thou admit for his contempt of thee That proud excuse? yet him not thy election, But Natural necessity begot. God made thee of choice his own, and of his own To serve him, thy reward was of his grace, Thy punishment then justly is at his Will. Be it so, for I submit, his doom is fair, That dust I am, and shall to dust returne: 770 O welcom hour whenever! why delayes His hand to execute what his Decree Fixd on this day? why do I overlive, Why am I mockt with death, and length'nd out To deathless pain? how gladly would I meet Mortalitie my sentence, and be Earth Insensible, how glad would lay me down As in my Mothers lap? there I should rest And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no more Would Thunder in my ears, no fear of worse 780 To mee and to my ofspring would torment me With cruel expectation. Yet one doubt Pursues me still, least all I cannot die, Least that pure breath of Life, the Spirit of Man Which God inspir'd, cannot together perish With this corporeal Clod; then in the Grave, Or in some other dismal place, who knows But I shall die a living Death? O thought Horrid, if true! yet why? it was but breath Of Life that sinn'd; what dies but what had life 790 And sin? the Bodie properly hath neither. All of me then shall die: let this appease The doubt, since humane reach no further knows. For though the Lord of all be infinite, Is his wrauth also? be it, man is not so, But mortal doom'd. How can he exercise Wrath without end on Man whom Death must end? Can he make deathless Death? that were to make Strange contradiction, which to God himself Impossible is held, as Argument 800 Of weakness, not of Power. Will he, draw out, For angers sake, finite to infinite In punisht man, to satisfie his rigour Satisfi'd never; that were to extend His Sentence beyond dust and Natures Law, By which all Causes else according still To the reception of thir matter act, Not to th' extent of thir own Spheare. But say That Death be not one stroak, as I suppos'd, Bereaving sense, but endless miserie 810 From this day onward, which I feel begun Both in me, and without me, and so last To perpetuitie; Ay me, that fear Comes thundring back with dreadful revolution On my defensless head; both Death and I Am found Eternal, and incorporate both, Nor I on my part single, in mee all Posteritie stands curst: Fair Patrimonie That I must leave ye, Sons; O were I able To waste it all my self, and leave ye none! 820 So disinherited how would ye bless Me now your Curse! Ah, why should all mankind For one mans fault thus guiltless be condemn'd, If guiltless? But from mee what can proceed, But all corrupt, both Mind and Will deprav'd, Not to do onely, but to will the same With me? how can they acquitted stand In sight of God? Him after all Disputes Forc't I absolve: all my evasions vain And reasonings, though through Mazes, lead me still 830 But to my own conviction: first and last On mee, mee onely, as the sourse and spring Of all corruption, all the blame lights due; So might the wrauth, Fond wish! couldst thou support That burden heavier then the Earth to bear, Then all the world much heavier, though divided With that bad Woman? Thus what thou desir'st, And what thou fearst, alike destroyes all hope Of refuge, and concludes thee miserable Beyond all past example and future, 840 To Satan onely like both crime and doom. O Conscience, into what Abyss of fears And horrors hast thou driv'n me; out of which I find no way, from deep to deeper plung'd! Thus Adam to himself lamented loud Through the still Night, not now, as ere man fell, Wholsom and cool, and mild, but with black Air Accompanied, with damps and dreadful gloom, Which to his evil Conscience represented All things with double terror: On the ground 850 Outstretcht he lay, on the cold ground, and oft Curs'd his Creation, Death as oft accus'd Of tardie execution, since denounc't The day of his offence. Why comes not Death, Said hee, with one thrice acceptable stroke To end me? Shall Truth fail to keep her word, Justice Divine not hast'n to be just? But Death comes not at call, Justice Divine Mends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries. O Woods, O Fountains, Hillocks, Dales and Bowrs, 860 With other echo farr I taught your Shades To answer, and resound farr other Song. Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld, Desolate where she sate, approaching nigh, Soft words to his fierce passion she assay'd: But her with stern regard he thus repell'd. Out of my sight, thou Serpent, that name best Befits thee with him leagu'd, thy self as false And hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape, Like his, and colour Serpentine may shew 870 Thy inward fraud, to warn all Creatures from thee Henceforth; least that too heav'nly form, pretended To hellish falshood, snare them. But for thee I had persisted happie, had not thy pride And wandring vanitie, when lest was safe, Rejected my forewarning, and disdain'd Not to be trusted, longing to be seen Though by the Devil himself, him overweening To over-reach, but with the Serpent meeting Fool'd and beguil'd, by him thou, I by thee, 880 To trust thee from my side, imagin'd wise, Constant, mature, proof against all assaults, And understood not all was but a shew Rather then solid vertu, all but a Rib Crooked by nature, bent, as now appears, More to the part sinister from me drawn, Well if thrown out, as supernumerarie To my just number found. O why did God, Creator wise, that peopl'd highest Heav'n With Spirits Masculine, create at last 890 This noveltie on Earth, this fair defect Of Nature, and not fill the World at once With Men as Angels without Feminine, Or find some other way to generate Mankind? this mischief had not then befall'n, And more that shall befall, innumerable Disturbances on Earth through Femal snares, And straight conjunction with this Sex: for either He never shall find out fit Mate, but such As some misfortune brings him, or mistake, 900 Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gain Through her perverseness, but shall see her gaind By a farr worse, or if she love, withheld By Parents, or his happiest choice too late Shall meet, alreadie linkt and Wedlock-bound To a fell Adversarie, his hate or shame: Which infinite calamitie shall cause To humane life, and houshold peace confound. He added not, and from her turn'd, but Eve Not so repulst, with Tears that ceas'd not flowing, 910 And tresses all disorderd, at his feet Fell humble, and imbracing them, besaught His peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint. Forsake me not thus, Adam, witness Heav'n What love sincere, and reverence in my heart I beare thee, and unweeting have offended, Unhappilie deceav'd; thy suppliant I beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not, Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid, Thy counsel in this uttermost distress, 920 My onely strength and stay: forlorn of thee, Whither shall I betake me, where subsist? While yet we live, scarse one short hour perhaps, Between us two let there be peace, both joyning, As joyn'd in injuries, one enmitie Against a Foe by doom express assign'd us, That cruel Serpent: On me exercise not Thy hatred for this miserie befall'n, On me already lost, mee then thy self More miserable; both have sin'd, but thou 930 Against God onely, I against God and thee, And to the place of judgement will return, There with my cries importune Heaven, that all The sentence from thy head remov'd may light On me, sole cause to thee of all this woe, Mee mee onely just object of his ire. She ended weeping, and her lowlie plight, Immoveable till peace obtain'd from fault Acknowledg'd and deplor'd, in Adam wraught Commiseration; soon his heart relented 940 Towards her, his life so late and sole delight, Now at his feet submissive in distress, Creature so faire his reconcilement seeking, His counsel whom she had displeas'd, his aide; As one disarm'd, his anger all he lost, And thus with peaceful words uprais'd her soon. Unwarie, and too desirous, as before, So now of what thou knowst not, who desir'st The punishment all on thy self; alas, Beare thine own first, ill able to sustaine 950 His full wrauth whose thou feelst as yet lest part, And my displeasure bearst so ill. If Prayers Could alter high Decrees, I to that place Would speed before thee, and be louder heard, That on my head all might be visited, Thy frailtie and infirmer Sex forgiv'n, To me committed and by me expos'd. But rise, let us no more contend, nor blame Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere, but strive In offices of Love, how we may light'n 960 Each others burden in our share of woe; Since this days Death denounc't, if ought I see, Will prove no sudden, but a slow-pac't evill, A long days dying to augment our paine, And to our Seed (O hapless Seed!) deriv'd. To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, repli'd. Adam, by sad experiment I know How little weight my words with thee can finde, Found so erroneous, thence by just event Found so unfortunate; nevertheless, 970 Restor'd by thee, vile as I am, to place Of new acceptance, hopeful to regaine Thy Love, the sole contentment of my heart, Living or dying from thee I will not hide What thoughts in my unquiet brest are ris'n, Tending to som relief of our extremes, Or end, though sharp and sad, yet tolerable, As in our evils, and of easier choice. If care of our descent perplex us most, Which must be born to certain woe, devourd 980 By Death at last, and miserable it is To be to others cause of misery, Our own begotten, and of our Loines to bring Into this cursed World a woful Race, That after wretched Life must be at last Food for so foule a Monster, in thy power It lies, yet ere Conception to prevent The Race unblest, to being yet unbegot. Childless thou art, Childless remaine: So Death shall be deceav'd his glut, and with us two 990 Be forc'd to satisfie his Rav'nous Maw. But if thou judge it hard and difficult, Conversing, looking, loving, to abstain From Loves due Rites, Nuptial embraces sweet, And with desire to languish without hope, Before the present object languishing With like desire, which would be miserie And torment less then none of what we dread, Then both our selves and Seed at once to free From what we fear for both, let us make short, 1000 Let us seek Death, or hee not found, supply With our own hands his Office on our selves; Why stand we longer shivering under feares, That shew no end but Death, and have the power, Of many wayes to die the shortest choosing, Destruction with destruction to destroy. She ended heer, or vehement despaire Broke off the rest; so much of Death her thoughts Had entertaind, as di'd her Cheeks with pale. But Adam with such counsel nothing sway'd, 1010 To better hopes his more attentive minde Labouring had rais'd, and thus to Eve repli'd. Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seems To argue in thee somthing more sublime And excellent then what thy minde contemnes; But self-destruction therefore saught, refutes That excellence thought in thee, and implies, Not thy contempt, but anguish and regret For loss of life and pleasure overlov'd. Or if thou covet death, as utmost end 1020 Of miserie, so thinking to evade The penaltie pronounc't, doubt not but God Hath wiselier arm'd his vengeful ire then so To be forestall'd; much more I fear least Death So snatcht will not exempt us from the paine We are by doom to pay; rather such acts Of contumacie will provoke the highest To make death in us live: Then let us seek Som safer resolution, which methinks I have in view, calling to minde with heed 1030 Part of our Sentence, that thy Seed shall bruise The Serpents head; piteous amends, unless Be meant, whom I conjecture, our grand Foe Satan, who in the Serpent hath contriv'd Against us this deceit: to crush his head Would be revenge indeed; which will be lost By death brought on our selves, or childless days Resolv'd, as thou proposest; so our Foe Shall scape his punishment ordain'd, and wee Instead shall double ours upon our heads. 1040 No more be mention'd then of violence Against our selves, and wilful barrenness, That cuts us off from hope, and savours onely Rancor and pride, impatience and despite, Reluctance against God and his just yoke Laid on our Necks. Remember with what mild And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd Without wrauth or reviling; wee expected Immediate dissolution, which we thought Was meant by Death that day, when lo, to thee 1050 Pains onely in Child-bearing were foretold, And bringing forth, soon recompenc't with joy, Fruit of thy Womb: On mee the Curse aslope Glanc'd on the ground, with labour I must earne My bread; what harm? Idleness had bin worse; My labour will sustain me; and least Cold Or Heat should injure us, his timely care Hath unbesaught provided, and his hands Cloath'd us unworthie, pitying while he judg'd; How much more, if we pray him, will his ear 1060 Be open, and his heart to pitie incline, And teach us further by what means to shun Th' inclement Seasons, Rain, Ice, Hail and Snow, Which now the Skie with various Face begins To shew us in this Mountain, while the Winds Blow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locks Of these fair spreading Trees; which bids us seek Som better shroud, som better warmth to cherish Our Limbs benumm'd, ere this diurnal Starr Leave cold the Night, how we his gather'd beams 1070 Reflected, may with matter sere foment, Or by collision of two bodies grinde The Air attrite to Fire, as late the Clouds Justling or pusht with Winds rude in thir shock Tine the slant Lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n down Kindles the gummie bark of Firr or Pine, And sends a comfortable heat from farr, Which might supplie the Sun: such Fire to use, And what may else be remedie or cure To evils which our own misdeeds have wrought, 1080 Hee will instruct us praying, and of Grace Beseeching him, so as we need not fear To pass commodiously this life, sustain'd By him with many comforts, till we end In dust, our final rest and native home. What better can we do, then to the place Repairing where he judg'd us, prostrate fall Before him reverent, and there confess Humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears Watering the ground, and with our sighs the Air 1090 Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek. Undoubtedly he will relent and turn From his displeasure; in whose look serene, When angry most he seem'd and most severe, What else but favor, grace, and mercie shon? So spake our Father penitent, nor Eve Felt less remorse: they forthwith to the place Repairing where he judg'd them prostrate fell Before him reverent, and both confess'd 1100 Humbly thir faults, and pardon beg'd, with tears Watering the ground, and with thir sighs the Air Frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sign Of sorrow unfeign'd, and humiliation meek.

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

The End Of The Tenth Book.

BOOK XI.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd The stonie from thir hearts, and made new flesh Regenerat grow instead, that sighs now breath'd Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight Then loudest Oratorie: yet thir port Not of mean suiters, nor important less Seem'd thir Petition, then when th' ancient Pair 10 In Fables old, less ancient yet then these, Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine Of Themis stood devout. To Heav'n thir prayers Flew up, nor missed the way, by envious windes Blow'n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then clad With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd, By thir great Intercessor, came in sight Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son 20 Presenting, thus to intercede began. See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring, Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed Sow'n with contrition in his heart, then those Which his own hand manuring all the Trees Of Paradise could have produc't, ere fall'n From innocence. Now therefore bend thine eare 30 To supplication, heare his sighs though mute; Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee Interpret for him, mee his Advocate And propitiation, all his works on mee Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay. Accept me, and in mee from these receave The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days Numberd, though sad, till Death, his doom (which I 40 To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse) To better life shall yeeld him, where with mee All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss, Made one with me as I with thee am one. To whom the Father, without Cloud, serene. All thy request for Man, accepted Son, Obtain, all thy request was my Decree: But longer in that Paradise to dwell, The Law I gave to Nature him forbids: Those pure immortal Elements that know 50 No gross, no unharmoneous mixture foule, Eject him tainted now, and purge him off As a distemper, gross to aire as gross, And mortal food, as may dispose him best For dissolution wrought by Sin, that first Distemperd all things, and of incorrupt Corrupted. I at first with two fair gifts Created him endowd, with Happiness And Immortalitie: that fondly lost, This other serv'd but to eternize woe; 60 Till I provided Death; so Death becomes His final remedie, and after Life Tri'd in sharp tribulation, and refin'd By Faith and faithful works, to second Life, Wak't in the renovation of the just, Resignes him up with Heav'n and Earth renewd. But let us call to Synod all the Blest Through Heav'ns wide bounds; from them I will not hide My judgments, how with Mankind I proceed, As how with peccant Angels late they saw; 70 And in thir state, though firm, stood more confirmd. He ended, and the Son gave signal high To the bright Minister that watchd, hee blew His Trumpet, heard in Oreb since perhaps When God descended, and perhaps once more To sound at general Doom. Th' Angelic blast Filld all the Regions: from thir blissful Bowrs Of Amarantin Shade, Fountain or Spring, By the waters of Life, where ere they sate In fellowships of joy: the Sons of Light 80 Hasted, resorting to the Summons high, And took thir Seats; till from his Throne supream Th' Almighty thus pronounced his sovran Will. O Sons, like one of us Man is become To know both Good and Evil, since his taste Of that defended Fruit; but let him boast His knowledge of Good lost, and Evil got, Happier, had it suffic'd him to have known Good by it self, and Evil not at all. He sorrows now, repents, and prayes contrite, 90 My motions in him, longer then they move, His heart I know, how variable and vain Self-left. Least therefore his now bolder hand Reach also of the Tree of Life, and eat, And live for ever, dream at least to live Forever, to remove him I decree, And send him from the Garden forth to Till The Ground whence he was taken, fitter soile. Michael, this my behest have thou in charge, Take to thee from among the Cherubim 100 Thy choice of flaming Warriours, least the Fiend Or in behalf of Man, or to invade Vacant possession som new trouble raise: Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God Without remorse drive out the sinful Pair, From hallowd ground th' unholie, and denounce To them and to thir Progenie from thence Perpetual banishment. Yet least they faint At the sad Sentence rigorously urg'd, For I behold them soft'nd and with tears 110 Bewailing thir excess, all terror hide. If patiently thy bidding they obey, Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveale To Adam what shall come in future dayes, As I shall thee enlighten, intermix My Cov'nant in the Womans seed renewd; So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace: And on the East side of the Garden place, Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbes, Cherubic watch, and of a Sword the flame 120 Wide waving, all approach farr off to fright, And guard all passage to the Tree of Life: Least Paradise a receptacle prove To Spirits foule, and all my Trees thir prey, With whose stol'n Fruit Man once more to delude. He ceas'd; and th' Archangelic Power prepar'd For swift descent, with him the Cohort bright Of watchful Cherubim; four faces each Had, like a double Janus, all thir shape Spangl'd with eyes more numerous then those 130 Of Argus, and more wakeful then to drouze, Charm'd with Arcadian Pipe, the Pastoral Reed Of Hermes, or his opiate Rod. Meanwhile To resalute the World with sacred Light Leucothea wak'd, and with fresh dews imbalmd The Earth, when Adam and first Matron Eve Had ended now thir Orisons, and found, Strength added from above, new hope to spring Out of despaire, joy, but with fear yet linkt; Which thus to Eve his welcome words renewd. 140 Eve, easily may Faith admit, that all The good which we enjoy, from Heav'n descends But that from us ought should ascend to Heav'n So prevalent as to concerne the mind Of God high blest, or to incline his will, Hard to belief may seem; yet this will Prayer, Or one short sigh of humane breath, up-borne Ev'n to the Seat of God. For since I saught By Prayer th' offended Deitie to appease, Kneel'd and before him humbl'd all my heart, 150 Methought I saw him placable and mild, Bending his eare; perswasion in me grew That I was heard with favour; peace returnd Home to my brest, and to my memorie His promise, that thy Seed shall bruise our Foe; Which then not minded in dismay, yet now Assures me that the bitterness of death Is past, and we shall live. Whence Haile to thee, Eve rightly call'd, Mother of all Mankind, Mother of all things living, since by thee 160 Man is to live, and all things live for Man. To whom thus Eve with sad demeanour meek. Ill worthie I such title should belong To me transgressour, who for thee ordaind A help, became thy snare; to mee reproach Rather belongs, distrust and all dispraise: But infinite in pardon was my Judge, That I who first brought Death on all, am grac't The sourse of life; next favourable thou, Who highly thus to entitle me voutsaf't, 170 Farr other name deserving. But the Field To labour calls us now with sweat impos'd, Though after sleepless Night; for see the Morn, All unconcern'd with our unrest, begins Her rosie progress smiling; let us forth, I never from thy side henceforth to stray, Wherere our days work lies, though now enjoind Laborious, till day droop; while here we dwell, What can be toilsom in these pleasant Walkes? Here let us live, though in fall'n state, content. 180 So spake, so wish'd much-humbl'd Eve, but Fate Subscrib'd not; Nature first gave Signs, imprest On Bird, Beast, Aire, Aire suddenly eclips'd After short blush of Morn; nigh in her sight The Bird of Jove, stoopt from his aerie tour, Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove: Down from a Hill the Beast that reigns in Woods, First Hunter then, pursu'd a gentle brace, Goodliest of all the Forrest, Hart and Hinde; Direct to th' Eastern Gate was bent thir flight. 190 Adam observ'd, and with his Eye the chase Pursuing, not unmov'd to Eve thus spake. O Eve, some furder change awaits us nigh, Which Heav'n by these mute signs in Nature shews Forerunners of his purpose, or to warn Us haply too secure of our discharge From penaltie, because from death releast Some days; how long, and what till then our life, Who knows, or more then this, that we are dust, And thither must return and be no more. 200 Why else this double object in our sight Of flight pursu'd in th' Air and ore the ground One way the self-same hour? why in the East Darkness ere Dayes mid-course, and Morning light More orient in yon Western Cloud that draws O're the blew Firmament a radiant white, And slow descends, with somthing heav'nly fraught. He err'd not, for by this the heav'nly Bands Down from a Skie of Jasper lighted now In Paradise, and on a Hill made alt, 210 A glorious Apparition, had not doubt And carnal fear that day dimm'd Adams eye. Not that more glorious, when the Angels met Jacob in Mahanaim, where he saw The field Pavilion'd with his Guardians bright; Nor that which on the flaming Mount appeerd In Dothan, cover'd with a Camp of Fire, Against the Syrian King, who to surprize One man, Assassin-like had levied Warr, Warr unproclam'd. The Princely Hierarch 220 In thir bright stand, there left his Powers to seise Possession of the Garden; hee alone, To finde where Adam shelterd, took his way, Not unperceav'd of Adam, who to Eve, While the great Visitant approachd, thus spake. Eve, now expect great tidings, which perhaps Of us will soon determin, or impose New Laws to be observ'd; for I descrie From yonder blazing Cloud that veils the Hill One of the heav'nly Host, and by his Gate 230 None of the meanest, some great Potentate Or of the Thrones above, such Majestie Invests him coming; yet not terrible, That I should fear, nor sociably mild, As Raphael, that I should much confide, But solemn and sublime, whom not to offend, With reverence I must meet, and thou retire. He ended; and th' Arch-Angel soon drew nigh, Not in his shape Celestial, but as Man Clad to meet Man; over his lucid Armes 240 A militarie Vest of purple flowd Livelier then Meliboean, or the graine Of Sarra, worn by Kings and Hero's old In time of Truce; Iris had dipt the wooff; His starrie Helme unbuckl'd shew'd him prime In Manhood where Youth ended; by his side As in a glistering Zodiac hung the Sword, Satans dire dread, and in his hand the Spear. Adam bowd low, hee Kingly from his State Inclin'd not, but his coming thus declar'd. 250 Adam, Heav'ns high behest no Preface needs: Sufficient that thy Prayers are heard, and Death, Then due by sentence when thou didst transgress, Defeated of his seisure many dayes Giv'n thee of Grace, wherein thou may'st repent, And one bad act with many deeds well done Mayst cover: well may then thy Lord appeas'd Redeem thee quite from Deaths rapacious claimes; But longer in this Paradise to dwell Permits not; to remove thee I am come, 260 And send thee from the Garden forth to till The ground whence thou wast tak'n, fitter Soile. He added not, for Adam at the newes Heart-strook with chilling gripe of sorrow stood, That all his senses bound; Eve, who unseen Yet all had heard, with audible lament Discover'd soon the place of her retire. O unexpected stroke, worse then of Death! Must I thus leave thee Paradise? thus leave Thee Native Soile, these happie Walks and Shades, 270 Fit haunt of Gods? where I had hope to spend, Quiet though sad, the respit of that day That must be mortal to us both. O flours, That never will in other Climate grow, My early visitation, and my last At Eev'n, which I bred up with tender hand From the first op'ning bud, and gave ye Names, Who now shall reare ye to the Sun, or ranke Your Tribes, and water from th' ambrosial Fount? Thee lastly nuptial Bowre, by mee adornd 280 With what to sight or smell was sweet; from thee How shall I part, and whither wander down Into a lower World, to this obscure And wilde, how shall we breath in other Aire Less pure, accustomd to immortal Fruits? Whom thus the Angel interrupted milde. Lament not Eve, but patiently resigne What justly thou hast lost; nor set thy heart, Thus over fond, on that which is not thine; Thy going is not lonely, with thee goes 290 Thy Husband, him to follow thou art bound; Where he abides, think there thy native soile. Adam by this from the cold sudden damp Recovering, and his scatterd spirits returnd, To Michael thus his humble words addressd. Celestial, whether among the Thrones, or nam'd Of them the Highest, for such of shape may seem Prince above Princes, gently hast thou tould Thy message, which might else in telling wound, And in performing end us; what besides 300 Of sorrow and dejection and despair Our frailtie can sustain, thy tidings bring, Departure from this happy place, our sweet Recess, and onely consolation left Familiar to our eyes, all places else Inhospitable appeer and desolate, Nor knowing us nor known: and if by prayer Incessant I could hope to change the will Of him who all things can, I would not cease To wearie him with my assiduous cries: 310 But prayer against his absolute Decree No more availes then breath against the winde, Blown stifling back on him that breaths it forth: Therefore to his great bidding I submit. This most afflicts me, that departing hence, As from his face I shall be hid, deprivd His blessed count'nance; here I could frequent, With worship, place by place where he voutsaf'd Presence Divine, and to my Sons relate; On this Mount he appeerd, under this Tree 320 Stood visible, among these Pines his voice I heard, here with him at this Fountain talk'd: So many grateful Altars I would reare Of grassie Terfe, and pile up every Stone Of lustre from the brook, in memorie, Or monument to Ages, and thereon Offer sweet smelling Gumms & Fruits and Flours: In yonder nether World where shall I seek His bright appearances, or footstep trace? For though I fled him angrie, yet recall'd 330 To life prolongd and promisd Race, I now Gladly behold though but his utmost skirts Of glory, and farr off his steps adore. To whom thus Michael with regard benigne. Adam, thou know'st Heav'n his, and all the Earth Not this Rock onely; his Omnipresence fills Land, Sea, and Aire, and every kinde that lives, Fomented by his virtual power and warmd: All th' Earth he gave thee to possess and rule, No despicable gift; surmise not then 340 His presence to these narrow bounds confin'd Of Paradise or Eden: this had been Perhaps thy Capital Seate, from whence had spred All generations, and had hither come From all the ends of th' Earth, to celebrate And reverence thee thir great Progenitor. But this praeeminence thou hast lost, brought down To dwell on eeven ground now with thy Sons: Yet doubt not but in Vallie and in Plaine God is as here, and will be found alike 350 Present, and of his presence many a signe Still following thee, still compassing thee round With goodness and paternal Love, his Face Express, and of his steps the track Divine. Which that thou mayst beleeve, and be confirmd, Ere thou from hence depart, know I am sent To shew thee what shall come in future dayes To thee and to thy Ofspring; good with bad Expect to hear, supernal Grace contending With sinfulness of Men; thereby to learn 360 True patience, and to temper joy with fear And pious sorrow, equally enur'd By moderation either state to beare, Prosperous or adverse: so shalt thou lead Safest thy life, and best prepar'd endure Thy mortal passage when it comes. Ascend This Hill; let Eve (for I have drencht her eyes) Here sleep below while thou to foresight wak'st, As once thou slepst, while Shee to life was formd. To whom thus Adam gratefully repli'd. 370 Ascend, I follow thee, safe Guide, the path Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of Heav'n submit, However chast'ning, to the evil turne My obvious breast, arming to overcom By suffering, and earne rest from labour won, If so I may attain. So both ascend In the Visions of God: It was a Hill Of Paradise the highest, from whose top The Hemisphere of Earth in cleerest Ken Stretcht out to amplest reach of prospect lay. 380 Not higher that Hill nor wider looking round, Whereon for different cause the Tempter set Our second Adam in the Wilderness, To shew him all Earths Kingdomes and thir Glory. His Eye might there command wherever stood City of old or modern Fame, the Seat Of mightiest Empire, from the destind Walls Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can And Samarchand by Oxus, Temirs Throne, To Paquin of Sinaean Kings, and thence 390 To Agra and Lahor of great Mogul Down to the golden Chersonese, or where The Persian in Ecbatan sate, or since In Hispahan, or where the Russian Ksar In Mosco, or the Sultan in Bizance, Turchestan-born; nor could his eye not ken Th' Empire of Negus to his utmost Port Ercoco and the less Maritine Kings Mombaza, and Quiloa, and Melind, And Sofala thought Ophir, to the Realme 400 Of Congo, and Angola fardest South; Or thence from Niger Flood to Atlas Mount The Kingdoms of Almansor, Fez, and Sus, Marocco and Algiers, and Tremisen; On Europe thence, and where Rome was to sway The World: in Spirit perhaps he also saw Rich Mexico the seat of Motezume, And Cusco in Peru, the richer seat Of Atabalipa, and yet unspoil'd Guiana, whose great Citie Geryons Sons 410 Call El Dorado: but to nobler sights Michael from Adams eyes the Filme remov'd Which that false Fruit that promis'd clearer sight Had bred; then purg'd with Euphrasie and Rue The visual Nerve, for he had much to see; And from the Well of Life three drops instill'd. So deep the power of these Ingredients pierc'd, Eevn to the inmost seat of mental sight, That Adam now enforc't to close his eyes, Sunk down and all his Spirits became intranst: 420 But him the gentle Angel by the hand Soon rais'd, and his attention thus recall'd. Adam, now ope thine eyes, and first behold Th' effects which thy original crime hath wrought In some to spring from thee, who never touch'd Th' excepted Tree, nor with the Snake conspir'd, Nor sinn'd thy sin, yet from that sin derive Corruption to bring forth more violent deeds. His eyes he op'nd, and beheld a field, Part arable and tilth, whereon were Sheaves 430 New reapt, the other part sheep-walks and foulds; Ith' midst an Altar as the Land-mark stood Rustic, of grassie sord; thither anon A sweatie Reaper from his Tillage brought First Fruits, the green Eare, and the yellow Sheaf, Uncull'd, as came to hand; a Shepherd next More meek came with the Firstlings of his Flock Choicest and best; then sacrificing, laid The Inwards and thir Fat, with Incense strew'd, On the cleft Wood, and all due Rites perform'd. 440 His Offring soon propitious Fire from Heav'n Consum'd with nimble glance, and grateful steame; The others not, for his was not sincere; Whereat hee inlie rag'd, and as they talk'd, Smote him into the Midriff with a stone That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale Groand out his Soul with gushing bloud effus'd. Much at that sight was Adam in his heart Dismai'd, and thus in haste to th' Angel cri'd. O Teacher, some great mischief hath befall'n 450 To that meek man, who well had sacrific'd; Is Pietie thus and pure Devotion paid? T' whom Michael thus, hee also mov'd, repli'd. These two are Brethren, Adam, and to come Out of thy loyns; th' unjust the just hath slain, For envie that his Brothers Offering found From Heav'n acceptance; but the bloodie Fact Will be aveng'd, and th' others Faith approv'd Loose no reward, though here thou see him die, Rowling in dust and gore. To which our Sire. 460 Alas, both for the deed and for the cause! But have I now seen Death? Is this the way I must return to native dust? O sight Of terrour, foul and ugly to behold, Horrid to think, how horrible to feel! To whom thus Michael. Death thou hast seen In his first shape on man; but many shapes Of Death, and many are the wayes that lead To his grim Cave, all dismal; yet to sense More terrible at th' entrance then within. 470 Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die, By Fire, Flood, Famin, by Intemperance more In Meats and Drinks, which on the Earth shal bring Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know What miserie th' inabstinence of Eve Shall bring on men. Immediately a place Before his eyes appeard, sad, noysom, dark, A Lazar-house it seemd, wherein were laid Numbers of all diseas'd, all maladies 480 Of gastly Spasm, or racking torture, qualmes Of heart-sick Agonie, all feavorous kinds, Convulsions, Epilepsies, fierce Catarrhs, Intestin Stone and Ulcer, Colic pangs, Dropsies, and Asthma's, and Joint-racking Rheums. Dire was the tossing, deep the groans, despair Tended the sick busiest from Couch to Couch; And over them triumphant Death his Dart Shook, but delaid to strike, though oft invok't With vows, as thir chief good, and final hope. 490 Sight so deform what heart of Rock could long Drie-ey'd behold? Adam could not, but wept, Though not of Woman born; compassion quell'd His best of Man, and gave him up to tears A space, till firmer thoughts restraind excess, And scarce recovering words his plaint renew'd. O miserable Mankind, to what fall Degraded, to what wretched state reserv'd? Better end heer unborn. Why is life giv'n To be thus wrested from us? rather why 500 Obtruded on us thus? who if we knew What we receive, would either not accept Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down, Glad to be so dismist in peace. Can thus Th' Image of God in man created once So goodly and erect, though faultie since, To such unsightly sufferings be debas't Under inhuman pains? Why should not Man, Retaining still Divine similitude In part, from such deformities be free, 510 And for his Makers Image sake exempt? Thir Makers Image, answerd Michael, then Forsook them, when themselves they villifi'd To serve ungovern'd appetite, and took His Image whom they serv'd, a brutish vice, Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve. Therefore so abject is thir punishment, Disfiguring not Gods likeness, but thir own, Or if his likeness, by themselves defac't While they pervert pure Natures healthful rules 520 To loathsom sickness, worthily, since they Gods Image did not reverence in themselves. I yeild it just, said Adam, and submit. But is there yet no other way, besides These painful passages, how we may come To Death, and mix with our connatural dust? There is, said Michael, if thou well observe The rule of not too much, by temperance taught In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight, 530 Till many years over thy head return: So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop Into thy Mothers lap, or be with ease Gatherd, not harshly pluckt, for death mature: This is old age; but then thou must outlive Thy youth, thy strength, thy beauty, which will change To witherd weak & gray; thy Senses then Obtuse, all taste of pleasure must forgoe, To what thou hast, and for the Aire of youth Hopeful and cheerful, in thy blood will reigne 540 A melancholly damp of cold and dry To waigh thy spirits down, and last consume The Balme of Life. To whom our Ancestor. Henceforth I flie not Death, nor would prolong Life much, bent rather how I may be quit Fairest and easiest of this combrous charge, Which I must keep till my appointed day Of rendring up, Michael to him repli'd. Nor love thy Life, nor hate; but what thou livst Live well, how long or short permit to Heav'n: 550 And now prepare thee for another sight. He lookd and saw a spacious Plaine, whereon Were Tents of various hue; by some were herds Of Cattel grazing: others, whence the sound Of Instruments that made melodious chime Was heard, of Harp and Organ; and who moovd Thir stops and chords was seen: his volant touch Instinct through all proportions low and high Fled and pursu'd transverse the resonant fugue. In other part stood one who at the Forge 560 Labouring, two massie clods of Iron and Brass Had melted (whether found where casual fire Had wasted woods on Mountain or in Vale, Down to the veins of Earth, thence gliding hot To som Caves mouth, or whether washt by stream From underground) the liquid Ore he dreind Into fit moulds prepar'd; from which he formd First his own Tooles; then, what might else be wrought Fusile or grav'n in mettle. After these, But on the hether side a different sort 570 From the high neighbouring Hills, which was thir Seat, Down to the Plain descended: by thir guise Just men they seemd, and all thir study bent To worship God aright, and know his works Not hid, nor those things lost which might preserve Freedom and Peace to men: they on the Plain Long had not walkt, when from the Tents behold A Beavie of fair Women, richly gay In Gems and wanton dress; to the Harp they sung Soft amorous Ditties, and in dance came on: 580 The Men though grave, ey'd them, and let thir eyes Rove without rein, till in the amorous Net Fast caught, they lik'd, and each his liking chose; And now of love they treat till th' Eevning Star Loves Harbinger appeerd; then all in heat They light the Nuptial Torch, and bid invoke Hymen, then first to marriage Rites invok't; With Feast and Musick all the Tents resound. Such happy interview and fair event Of love & youth not lost, Songs, Garlands, Flours, 590 And charming Symphonies attach'd the heart Of Adam, soon enclin'd to admit delight, The bent of Nature; which he thus express'd. True opener of mine eyes, prime Angel blest, Much better seems this Vision, and more hope Of peaceful dayes portends, then those two past; Those were of hate and death, or pain much worse, Here Nature seems fulfilld in all her ends. To whom thus Michael. Judg not what is best By pleasure, though to Nature seeming meet, 600 Created, as thou art, to nobler end Holie and pure, conformitie divine. Those Tents thou sawst so pleasant, were the Tents Of wickedness, wherein shall dwell his Race Who slew his Brother; studious they appere Of Arts that polish Life, Inventers rare, Unmindful of thir Maker, though his Spirit Taught them, but they his gifts acknowledg'd none. Yet they a beauteous ofspring shall beget; For that fair femal Troop thou sawst, that seemd 610 Of Goddesses, so blithe, so smooth, so gay, Yet empty of all good wherein consists Womans domestic honour and chief praise; Bred onely and completed to the taste Of lustful appetence, to sing, to dance, To dress, and troule the Tongue, and roule the Eye. To these that sober Race of Men, whose lives Religious titl'd them the Sons of God, Shall yeild up all thir vertue, all thir fame Ignobly, to the trains and to the smiles 620 Of these fair Atheists, and now swim in joy, (Erelong to swim at larg) and laugh; for which The world erelong a world of tears must weepe. To whom thus Adam of short joy bereft. O pittie and shame, that they who to live well Enterd so faire, should turn aside to tread Paths indirect, or in the mid way faint! But still I see the tenor of Mans woe Holds on the same, from Woman to begin. From Mans effeminate slackness it begins, 630 Said th' Angel, who should better hold his place By wisdome, and superiour gifts receavd. But now prepare thee for another Scene. He lookd and saw wide Territorie spred Before him, Towns, and rural works between, Cities of Men with lofty Gates and Towrs, Concours in Arms, fierce Faces threatning Warr, Giants of mightie Bone, and bould emprise; Part wield thir Arms, part courb the foaming Steed, Single or in Array of Battel rang'd 640 Both Horse and Foot, nor idely mustring stood; One way a Band select from forage drives A herd of Beeves, faire Oxen and faire Kine From a fat Meddow ground; or fleecy Flock, Ewes and thir bleating Lambs over the Plaine, Thir Bootie; scarce with Life the Shepherds flye, But call in aide, which tacks a bloody Fray; With cruel Tournament the Squadrons joine; Where Cattel pastur'd late, now scatterd lies With Carcasses and Arms th' ensanguind Field 650 Deserted: Others to a Citie strong Lay Siege, encampt; by Batterie, Scale, and Mine, Assaulting; others from the Wall defend With Dart and Jav'lin, Stones and sulfurous Fire; On each hand slaughter and gigantic deeds. In other part the scepter'd Haralds call To Council in the Citie Gates: anon Grey-headed men and grave, with Warriours mixt, Assemble, and Harangues are heard, but soon In factious opposition, till at last 660 Of middle Age one rising, eminent In wise deport, spake much of Right and Wrong, Of Justice, of Religion, Truth and Peace, And Judgement from above: him old and young Exploded, and had seiz'd with violent hands, Had not a Cloud descending snatch'd him thence Unseen amid the throng: so violence Proceeded, and Oppression, and Sword-Law Through all the Plain, and refuge none was found. Adam was all in tears, and to his guide 670 Lamenting turnd full sad; O what are these, Deaths Ministers, not Men, who thus deal Death Inhumanly to men, and multiply Ten thousand fould the sin of him who slew His Brother; for of whom such massacher Make they but of thir Brethren, men of men? But who was that Just Man, whom had not Heav'n Rescu'd, had in his Righteousness bin lost? To whom thus Michael; These are the product Of those ill-mated Marriages thou saw'st; 680 Where good with bad were matcht, who of themselves Abhor to joyn; and by imprudence mixt, Produce prodigious Births of bodie or mind. Such were these Giants, men of high renown; For in those dayes Might onely shall be admir'd, And Valour and Heroic Vertu call'd; To overcome in Battel, and subdue Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite Man-slaughter, shall be held the highest pitch Of human Glorie, and for Glorie done 690 Of triumph, to be styl'd great Conquerours, Patrons of Mankind, Gods, and Sons of Gods, Destroyers rightlier call'd and Plagues of men. Thus Fame shall be achiev'd, renown on Earth, And what most merits fame in silence hid. But hee the seventh from thee, whom thou beheldst The onely righteous in a World perverse, And therefore hated, therefore so beset With Foes for daring single to be just, And utter odious Truth, that God would come 700 To judge them with his Saints: Him the most High Rapt in a balmie Cloud with winged Steeds Did, as thou sawst, receave, to walk with God High in Salvation and the Climes of bliss, Exempt from Death; to shew thee what reward Awaits the good, the rest what punishment; Which now direct thine eyes and soon behold. He look'd, & saw the face of things quite chang'd; The brazen Throat of Warr had ceast to roar, All now was turn'd to jollitie and game, 710 To luxurie and riot, feast and dance, Marrying or prostituting, as befell, Rape or Adulterie, where passing faire Allurd them; thence from Cups to civil Broiles. At length a Reverend Sire among them came, And of thir doings great dislike declar'd, And testifi'd against thir wayes; hee oft Frequented thir Assemblies, whereso met, Triumphs or Festivals, and to them preachd Conversion and Repentance, as to Souls 720 In prison under Judgements imminent: But all in vain: which when he saw, he ceas'd Contending, and remov'd his Tents farr off; Then from the Mountain hewing Timber tall, Began to build a Vessel of huge bulk, Measur'd by Cubit, length, & breadth, and highth, Smeard round with Pitch, and in the side a dore Contriv'd, and of provisions laid in large For Man and Beast: when loe a wonder strange! Of everie Beast, and Bird, and Insect small 730 Came seavens, and pairs, and enterd in, as taught Thir order; last the Sire, and his three Sons With thir four Wives, and God made fast the dore. Meanwhile the Southwind rose, & with black wings Wide hovering, all the Clouds together drove From under Heav'n; the Hills to their supplie Vapour, and Exhalation dusk and moist, Sent up amain; and now the thick'nd Skie Like a dark Ceeling stood; down rush'd the Rain Impetuous, and continu'd till the Earth 740 No more was seen; the floating Vessel swum Uplifted; and secure with beaked prow Rode tilting o're the Waves, all dwellings else Flood overwhelmd, and them with all thir pomp Deep under water rould; Sea cover'd Sea, Sea without shoar; and in thir Palaces Where luxurie late reign'd, Sea-monsters whelp'd And stabl'd; of Mankind, so numerous late, All left, in one small bottom swum imbark't. How didst thou grieve then, Adam, to behold 750 The end of all thy Ofspring, end so sad, Depopulation; thee another Floud, Of tears and sorrow a Floud thee also drown'd, And sunk thee as thy Sons; till gently reard By th' Angel, on thy feet thou stoodst at last, Though comfortless, as when a Father mourns His Childern, all in view destroyd at once; And scarce to th' Angel utterdst thus thy plaint. O Visions ill foreseen! better had I Liv'd ignorant of future, so had borne 760 My part of evil onely, each dayes lot Anough to bear; those now, that were dispenst The burd'n of many Ages, on me light At once, by my foreknowledge gaining Birth Abortive, to torment me ere thir being, With thought that they must be. Let no man seek Henceforth to be foretold what shall befall Him or his Childern, evil he may be sure, Which neither his foreknowing can prevent, And hee the future evil shall no less 770 In apprehension then in substance feel Grievous to bear: but that care now is past, Man is not whom to warne: those few escap't Famin and anguish will at last consume Wandring that watrie Desert: I had hope When violence was ceas't, and Warr on Earth, All would have then gon well, peace would have crownd With length of happy days the race of man; But I was farr deceav'd; for now I see Peace to corrupt no less then Warr to waste. 780 How comes it thus? unfould, Celestial Guide, And whether here the Race of man will end. To whom thus Michael. Those whom last thou sawst In triumph and luxurious wealth, are they First seen in acts of prowess eminent And great exploits, but of true vertu void; Who having spilt much blood, and don much waste Subduing Nations, and achievd thereby Fame in the World, high titles, and rich prey, Shall change thir course to pleasure, ease, and sloth, 790 Surfet, and lust, till wantonness and pride Raise out of friendship hostil deeds in Peace. The conquerd also, and enslav'd by Warr Shall with thir freedom lost all vertu loose And feare of God, from whom thir pietie feign'd In sharp contest of Battel found no aide Against invaders; therefore coold in zeale Thenceforth shall practice how to live secure, Worldlie or dissolute, on what thir Lords Shall leave them to enjoy; for th' Earth shall bear 800 More then anough, that temperance may be tri'd: So all shall turn degenerate, all deprav'd, Justice and Temperance, Truth and Faith forgot; One Man except, the onely Son of light In a dark Age, against example good, Against allurement, custom, and a World Offended; fearless of reproach and scorn, Or violence, hee of thir wicked wayes Shall them admonish, and before them set The paths of righteousness, how much more safe, 810 And full of peace, denouncing wrauth to come On thir impenitence; and shall returne Of them derided, but of God observd The one just Man alive; by his command Shall build a wondrous Ark, as thou beheldst, To save himself and houshold from amidst A World devote to universal rack. No sooner hee with them of Man and Beast Select for life shall in the Ark be lodg'd, And shelterd round, but all the Cataracts 820 Of Heav'n set open on the Earth shall powre Raine day and night, all fountaines of the Deep Broke up, shall heave the Ocean to usurp Beyond all bounds, till inundation rise Above the highest Hills: then shall this Mount Of Paradise by might of Waves be moovd Out of his place, pushd by the horned floud, With all his verdure spoil'd, and Trees adrift Down the great River to the op'ning Gulf, And there take root an Iland salt and bare, 830 The haunt of Seales and Orcs, and Sea-mews clang. To teach thee that God attributes to place No sanctitie, if none be thither brought By Men who there frequent, or therein dwell. And now what further shall ensue, behold. He lookd, and saw the Ark hull on the floud, Which now abated, for the Clouds were fled, Drivn by a keen North-winde, that blowing drie Wrinkl'd the face of Deluge, as decai'd; And the cleer Sun on his wide watrie Glass 840 Gaz'd hot, and of the fresh Wave largely drew, As after thirst, which made thir flowing shrink From standing lake to tripping ebbe, that stole With soft foot towards the deep, who now had stopt His Sluces, as the Heav'n his windows shut. The Ark no more now flotes, but seems on ground Fast on the top of som high mountain fixt. And now the tops of Hills as Rocks appeer; With clamor thence the rapid Currents drive Towards the retreating Sea thir furious tyde. 850 Forthwith from out the Arke a Raven flies, And after him, the surer messenger, A Dove sent forth once and agen to spie Green Tree or ground whereon his foot may light; The second time returning, in his Bill An Olive leafe he brings, pacific signe: Anon drie ground appeers, and from his Arke The ancient Sire descends with all his Train; Then with uplifted hands, and eyes devout, Grateful to Heav'n, over his head beholds 860 A dewie Cloud, and in the Cloud a Bow Conspicuous with three lifted colours gay, Betok'ning peace from God, and Cov'nant new. Whereat the heart of Adam erst so sad Greatly rejoyc'd, and thus his joy broke forth. O thou that future things canst represent As present, Heav'nly instructer, I revive At this last sight, assur'd that Man shall live With all the Creatures, and thir seed preserve. Farr less I now lament for one whole World 870 Of wicked Sons destroyd, then I rejoyce For one Man found so perfet and so just, That God voutsafes to raise another World From him, and all his anger to forget. But say, what mean those colourd streaks in Heavn, Distended as the Brow of God appeas'd, Or serve they as a flourie verge to binde The fluid skirts of that same watrie Cloud, Least it again dissolve and showr the Earth? To whom th' Archangel. Dextrously thou aim'st; 880 So willingly doth God remit his Ire, Though late repenting him of Man deprav'd, Griev'd at his heart, when looking down he saw The whole Earth fill'd with violence, and all flesh Corrupting each thir way; yet those remoov'd, Such grace shall one just Man find in his sight, That he relents, not to blot out mankind, And makes a Covenant never to destroy The Earth again by flood, nor let the Sea Surpass his bounds, nor Rain to drown the World 890 With Man therein or Beast; but when he brings Over the Earth a Cloud, will therein set His triple-colour'd Bow, whereon to look And call to mind his Cov'nant: Day and Night, Seed time and Harvest, Heat and hoary Frost Shall hold thir course, till fire purge all things new, Both Heav'n and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell.

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

The end of the Eleventh Book.

BOOK XII.

THE ARGUMENT.

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

[As one who in his journey bates at Noone Though bent on speed, so heer the Archangel' paus'd Betwixt the world destroy'd and world restor'd, If Adam aught perhaps might interpose; Then with transition sweet new Speech resumes] Thus thou hast seen one World begin and end; And Man as from a second stock proceed. Much thou hast yet to see, but I perceave Thy mortal sight to faile; objects divine Must needs impaire and wearie human sense: 10 Henceforth what is to com I will relate, Thou therefore give due audience, and attend. This second sours of Men, while yet but few, And while the dread of judgement past remains Fresh in thir mindes, fearing the Deitie, With some regard to what is just and right Shall lead thir lives, and multiplie apace, Labouring the soile, and reaping plenteous crop, Corn wine and oyle; and from the herd or flock, Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid, 20 With large Wine-offerings pour'd, and sacred Feast Shal spend thir dayes in joy unblam'd, and dwell Long time in peace by Families and Tribes Under paternal rule; till one shall rise Of proud ambitious heart, who not content With fair equalitie, fraternal state, Will arrogate Dominion undeserv'd Over his brethren, and quite dispossess Concord and law of Nature from the Earth; Hunting (and Men not Beasts shall be his game) 30 With Warr and hostile snare such as refuse Subjection to his Empire tyrannous: A mightie Hunter thence he shall be styl'd Before the Lord, as in despite of Heav'n, Or from Heav'n claming second Sovrantie; And from Rebellion shall derive his name, Though of Rebellion others he accuse. Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joyns With him or under him to tyrannize, Marching from Eden towards the West, shall finde 40 The Plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge Boiles out from under ground, the mouth of Hell; Of Brick, and of that stuff they cast to build A Citie & Towre, whose top may reach to Heav'n; And get themselves a name, least far disperst In foraign Lands thir memorie be lost, Regardless whether good or evil fame. But God who oft descends to visit men Unseen, and through thir habitations walks To mark thir doings, them beholding soon, 50 Comes down to see thir Citie, ere the Tower Obstruct Heav'n Towrs, and in derision sets Upon thir Tongues a various Spirit to rase Quite out thir Native Language, and instead To sow a jangling noise of words unknown: Forthwith a hideous gabble rises loud Among the Builders; each to other calls Not understood, till hoarse, and all in rage, As mockt they storm; great laughter was in Heav'n And looking down, to see the hubbub strange 60 And hear the din; thus was the building left Ridiculous, and the work Confusion nam'd. Whereto thus Adam fatherly displeas'd. O execrable Son so to aspire Above his Brethren, to himself affirming Authoritie usurpt, from God not giv'n: He gave us onely over Beast, Fish, Fowl Dominion absolute; that right we hold By his donation; but Man over men He made not Lord; such title to himself 70 Reserving, human left from human free. But this Usurper his encroachment proud Stayes not on Man; to God his Tower intends Siege and defiance: Wretched man! what food Will he convey up thither to sustain Himself and his rash Armie, where thin Aire Above the Clouds will pine his entrails gross, And famish him of Breath, if not of Bread? To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorr'st That Son, who on the quiet state of men 80 Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue Rational Libertie; yet know withall, Since thy original lapse, true Libertie Is lost, which alwayes with right Reason dwells Twinn'd, and from her hath no dividual being: Reason in man obscur'd, or not obeyd, Immediately inordinate desires And upstart Passions catch the Government From Reason, and to servitude reduce Man till then free. Therefore since hee permits 90 Within himself unworthie Powers to reign Over free Reason, God in Judgement just Subjects him from without to violent Lords; Who oft as undeservedly enthrall His outward freedom: Tyrannie must be, Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse. Yet somtimes Nations will decline so low From vertue, which is reason, that no wrong, But Justice, and some fatal curse annext Deprives them of thir outward libertie, 100 Thir inward lost: Witness th' irreverent Son Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame Don to his Father, heard this heavie curse, Servant Of Servants, on his vitious Race. Thus will this latter, as the former World, Still tend from bad to worse, till God at last Wearied with their iniquities, withdraw His presence from among them, and avert His holy Eyes; resolving from thenceforth To leave them to thir own polluted wayes; 110 And one peculiar Nation to select From all the rest, of whom to be invok'd, A Nation from one faithful man to spring: Him on this side Euphrates yet residing, Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men (Canst thou believe?) should be so stupid grown, While yet the Patriark liv'd, who scap'd the Flood, As to forsake the living God, and fall To-worship thir own work in Wood and Stone For Gods! yet him God the most High voutsafes 120 To call by Vision from his Fathers house, His kindred and false Gods, into a Land Which he will shew him, and from him will raise A mightie Nation, and upon him showre His benediction so, that in his Seed All Nations shall be blest; hee straight obeys, Not knowing to what Land, yet firm believes: I see him, but thou canst not, with what Faith He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soile Ur of Chaldaea, passing now the Ford 130 To Haran, after him a cumbrous Train Of Herds and Flocks, and numerous servitude; Not wandring poor, but trusting all his wealth With God, who call'd him, in a land unknown. Canaan he now attains, I see his Tents Pitcht about Sechem, and the neighbouring Plaine Of Moreb; there by promise he receaves Gift to his Progenie of all that Land; From Hamath Northward to the Desert South (Things by thir names I call, though yet unnam'd) 140 From Hermon East to the great Western Sea, Mount Hermon, yonder Sea, each place behold In prospect, as I point them; on the shoare Mount Carmel; here the double-founted stream Jordan, true limit Eastward; but his Sons Shall dwell to Senir, that long ridge of Hills. This ponder, that all Nations of the Earth Shall in his Seed be blessed; by that Seed Is meant thy great deliverer, who shall bruise The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon 150 Plainlier shall be reveald. This Patriarch blest, Whom Faithful Abraham due time shall call, A Son, and of his Son a Grand-childe leaves, Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown; The Grandchilde with twelve Sons increast, departs From Canaan, to a Land hereafter call'd Egypt, divided by the River Nile; See where it flows, disgorging at seaven mouthes Into the Sea: to sojourn in that Land He comes invited by a yonger Son 160 In time of dearth, a Son whose worthy deeds Raise him to be the second in that Realme Of Pharao: there he dies, and leaves his Race Growing into a Nation, and now grown Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks To stop thir overgrowth, as inmate guests Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves Inhospitably, and kills thir infant Males: Till by two brethren (those two brethren call Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claime 170 His people from enthralment, they return With glory and spoile back to thir promis'd Land. But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies To know thir God, or message to regard, Must be compelld by Signes and Judgements dire; To blood unshed the Rivers must be turnd, Frogs, Lice and Flies must all his Palace fill With loath'd intrusion, and fill all the land; His Cattel must of Rot and Murren die, Botches and blaines must all his flesh imboss, 180 And all his people; Thunder mixt with Haile, Haile mixt with fire must rend th' Egyptian Skie And wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rouls; What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Graine, A darksom Cloud of Locusts swarming down Must eat, and on the ground leave nothing green: Darkness must overshadow all his bounds, Palpable darkness, and blot out three dayes; Last with one midnight stroke all the first-born Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds 190 This River-dragon tam'd at length submits To let his sojourners depart, and oft Humbles his stubborn heart, but still as Ice More hard'nd after thaw, till in his rage Pursuing whom he late dismissd, the Sea Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass As on drie land between two christal walls, Aw'd by the rod of Moses so to stand Divided, till his rescu'd gain thir shoar: Such wondrous power God to his Saint will lend, 200 Though present in his Angel, who shall goe Before them in a Cloud, and Pillar of Fire, To guide them in thir journey, and remove Behinde them, while th' obdurat King pursues: All night he will pursue, but his approach Darkness defends between till morning Watch; Then through the Firey Pillar and the Cloud God looking forth will trouble all his Host And craze thir Chariot wheels: when by command Moses once more his potent Rod extends 210 Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys; On thir imbattelld ranks the Waves return, And overwhelm thir Warr: the Race elect Safe towards Canaan from the shoar advance Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way, Least entring on the Canaanite allarmd Warr terrifie them inexpert, and feare Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather Inglorious life with servitude; for life To noble and ignoble is more sweet 220 Untraind in Armes, where rashness leads not on. This also shall they gain by thir delay In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found Thir government, and thir great Senate choose Through the twelve Tribes, to rule by Laws ordaind: God from the Mount of Sinai, whose gray top Shall tremble, he descending, will himself In Thunder Lightning and loud Trumpets sound Ordaine them Lawes; part such as appertaine To civil Justice, part religious Rites 230 Of sacrifice, informing them, by types And shadowes, of that destind Seed to bruise The Serpent, by what meanes he shall achieve Mankinds deliverance. But the voice of God To mortal eare is dreadful; they beseech That Moses might report to them his will, And terror cease; he grants them thir desire, Instructed that to God is no access Without Mediator, whose high Office now Moses in figure beares, to introduce 240 One greater, of whose day he shall foretell, And all the Prophets in thir Age the times Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites Establisht, such delight hath God in Men Obedient to his will, that he voutsafes Among them to set up his Tabernacle, The holy One with mortal Men to dwell: By his prescript a Sanctuary is fram'd Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony, 250 The Records of his Cov'nant, over these A Mercie-seat of Gold between the wings Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn Seaven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing The Heav'nly fires; over the Tent a Cloud Shall rest by Day, a fierie gleame by Night, Save when they journie, and at length they come, Conducted by his Angel to the Land Promisd to Abraham and his Seed: the rest Were long to tell, how many Battels fought, 260 How many Kings destroyd, and Kingdoms won, Or how the Sun shall in mid Heav'n stand still A day entire, and Nights due course adjourne, Mans voice commanding, Sun in Gibeon stand, And thou Moon in the vale of Aialon, Till Israel overcome; so call the third From Abraham, Son of Isaac, and from him His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win. Here Adam interpos'd. O sent from Heav'n, Enlightner of my darkness, gracious things 270 Thou hast reveald, those chiefly which concerne Just Abraham and his Seed: now first I finde Mine eyes true op'ning, and my heart much eas'd, Erwhile perplext with thoughts what would becom Of mee and all Mankind; but now I see His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest, Favour unmerited by me, who sought Forbidd'n knowledge by forbidd'n means. This yet I apprehend not, why to those Among whom God will deigne to dwell on Earth 280 So many and so various Laws are giv'n; So many Laws argue so many sins Among them; how can God with such reside? To whom thus Michael. Doubt not but that sin Will reign among them, as of thee begot; And therefore was Law given them to evince Thir natural pravitie, by stirring up Sin against Law to fight; that when they see Law can discover sin, but not remove, Save by those shadowie expiations weak, 290 The bloud of Bulls and Goats, they may conclude Some bloud more precious must be paid for Man, Just for unjust, that in such righteousness To them by Faith imputed, they may finde Justification towards God, and peace Of Conscience, which the Law by Ceremonies Cannot appease, nor Man the moral part Perform, and not performing cannot live. So Law appears imperfet, and but giv'n With purpose to resign them in full time 300 Up to a better Cov'nant, disciplin'd From shadowie Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit, From imposition of strict Laws, to free Acceptance of large Grace, from servil fear To filial, works of Law to works of Faith. And therefore shall not Moses, though of God Highly belov'd, being but the Minister Of Law, his people into Canaan lead; But Joshua whom the Gentiles Jesus call, His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell 310 The adversarie Serpent, and bring back Through the worlds wilderness long wanderd man Safe to eternal Paradise of rest. Meanwhile they in thir earthly Canaan plac't Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins National interrupt thir public peace, Provoking God to raise them enemies: From whom as oft he saves them penitent By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom The second, both for pietie renownd 320 And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne For ever shall endure; the like shall sing All Prophecie, That of the Royal Stock Of David (so I name this King) shall rise A Son, the Womans Seed to thee foretold, Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings The last, for of his Reign shall be no end. But first a long succession must ensue, 330 And his next Son for Wealth and Wisdom fam'd, The clouded Ark of God till then in Tents Wandring, shall in a glorious Temple enshrine. Such follow him, as shall be registerd Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrowle, Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults Heapt to the popular summe, will so incense God, as to leave them, and expose thir Land, Thir Citie, his Temple, and his holy Ark With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey 340 To that proud Citie, whose high Walls thou saw'st Left in confusion, Babylon thence call'd. There in captivitie he lets them dwell The space of seventie years, then brings them back, Remembring mercie, and his Cov'nant sworn To David, stablisht as the dayes of Heav'n. Returnd from Babylon by leave of Kings Thir Lords, whom God dispos'd, the house of God They first re-edifie, and for a while In mean estate live moderate, till grown 350 In wealth and multitude, factious they grow; But first among the Priests dissension springs, Men who attend the Altar, and should most Endeavour Peace: thir strife pollution brings Upon the Temple it self: at last they seise The Scepter, and regard not Davids Sons, Then loose it to a stranger, that the true Anointed King Messiah might be born Barr'd of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr Unseen before in Heav'n proclaims him com, 360 And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold; His place of birth a solemn Angel tells To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night; They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire Of squadrond Angels hear his Carol sung. A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire The Power of the most High; he shall ascend The Throne hereditarie, and bound his Reign With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heav'ns. 370 He ceas'd, discerning Adam with such joy Surcharg'd, as had like grief bin dew'd in tears, Without the vent of words, which these he breathd. O Prophet of glad tidings, finisher Of utmost hope! now clear I understand What oft my steddiest thoughts have searcht in vain, Why our great expectation should be call'd The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, Haile, High in the love of Heav'n, yet from my Loynes Thou shalt proceed, and from thy Womb the Son 380 Of God most High; So God with man unites. Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise Expect with mortal paine: say where and when Thir fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel. To whom thus Michael. Dream not of thir fight, As of a Duel, or the local wounds Of head or heel: not therefore joynes the Son Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil Thy enemie; nor so is overcome Satan, whose fall from Heav'n, a deadlier bruise, 390 Disabl'd not to give thee thy deaths wound: Which hee, who comes thy Saviour, shall recure, Not by destroying Satan, but his works In thee and in thy Seed: nor can this be, But by fulfilling that which thou didst want, Obedience to the Law of God, impos'd On penaltie of death, and suffering death, The penaltie to thy transgression due, And due to theirs which out of thine will grow: So onely can high Justice rest appaid. 400 The Law of God exact he shall fulfill Both by obedience and by love, though love Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment He shall endure by coming in the Flesh To a reproachful life and cursed death, Proclaiming Life to all who shall believe In his redemption, and that his obedience Imputed becomes theirs by Faith, his merits To save them, not thir own, though legal works. For this he shall live hated, be blasphem'd, 410 Seis'd on by force, judg'd, and to death condemnd A shameful and accurst, naild to the Cross By his own Nation, slaine for bringing Life; But to the Cross he nailes thy Enemies, The Law that is against thee, and the sins Of all mankinde, with him there crucifi'd, Never to hurt them more who rightly trust In this his satisfaction; so he dies, But soon revives, Death over him no power Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light 420 Returne, the Starres of Morn shall see him rise Out of his grave, fresh as the dawning light, Thy ransom paid, which Man from death redeems, His death for Man, as many as offerd Life Neglect not, and the benefit imbrace By Faith not void of works: this God-like act Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldst have dy'd, In sin for ever lost from life; this act Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength Defeating Sin and Death, his two maine armes, 430 And fix farr deeper in his head thir stings Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel, Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep, A gentle wafting to immortal Life. Nor after resurrection shall he stay Longer on Earth then certaine times to appeer To his Disciples, Men who in his Life Still follow'd him; to them shall leave in charge To teach all nations what of him they learn'd And his Salvation, them who shall beleeve 440 Baptizing in the profluent streame, the signe Of washing them from guilt of sin to Life Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so befall, For death, like that which the redeemer dy'd. All Nations they shall teach; for from that day Not onely to the Sons of Abrahams Loines Salvation shall be Preacht, but to the Sons Of Abrahams Faith wherever through the world; So in his seed all Nations shall be blest. Then to the Heav'n of Heav'ns he shall ascend 450 With victory, triumphing through the aire Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise The Serpent, Prince of aire, and drag in Chaines Through all his realme, & there confounded leave; Then enter into glory, and resume His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high Above all names in Heav'n; and thence shall come, When this worlds dissolution shall be ripe, With glory and power to judge both quick & dead, To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward 460 His faithful, and receave them into bliss, Whether in Heav'n or Earth, for then the Earth Shall all be Paradise, far happier place Then this of Eden, and far happier daies. So spake th' Archangel Michael, then paus'd, As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire Replete with joy and wonder thus repli'd. O goodness infinite, goodness immense! That all this good of evil shall produce, And evil turn to good; more wonderful 470 Then that which by creation first brought forth Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand, Whether I should repent me now of sin By mee done and occasiond, or rejoyce Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring, To God more glory, more good will to Men From God, and over wrauth grace shall abound. But say, if our deliverer up to Heav'n Must reascend, what will betide the few His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd, 480 The enemies of truth; who then shall guide His people, who defend? will they not deale Wors with his followers then with him they dealt? Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heav'n Hee to his own a Comforter will send, The promise of the Father, who shall dwell His Spirit within them, and the Law of Faith Working through love, upon thir hearts shall write, To guide them in all truth, and also arme With spiritual Armour, able to resist 490 Satans assaults, and quench his fierie darts What Man can do against them, not affraid, Though to the death, against such cruelties With inward consolations recompenc't, And oft supported so as shall amaze Thir proudest persecuters: for the Spirit Powrd first on his Apostles, whom he sends To evangelize the Nations, then on all Baptiz'd, shall them with wondrous gifts endue To speak all Tongues, and do all Miracles, 500 As did thir Lord before them. Thus they win Great numbers of each Nation to receave With joy the tidings brought from Heav'n: at length Thir Ministry perform'd, and race well run, Thir doctrine and thir story written left, They die; but in thir room, as they forewarne, Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous Wolves, Who all the sacred mysteries of Heav'n To thir own vile advantages shall turne Of lucre and ambition, and the truth 510 With superstitions and traditions taint, Left onely in those written Records pure, Though not but by the Spirit understood. Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names, Places and titles, and with these to joine Secular power, though feigning still to act By spiritual, to themselves appropriating The Spirit of God, promisd alike and giv'n To all Beleevers; and from that pretense, Spiritual Lawes by carnal power shall force 520 On every conscience; Laws which none shall finde Left them inrould, or what the Spirit within Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and binde His consort Libertie; what, but unbuild His living Temples, built by Faith to stand, Thir own Faith not anothers: for on Earth Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard Infallible? yet many will presume: Whence heavie persecution shall arise 530 On all who in the worship persevere Of Spirit and Truth; the rest, farr greater part, Will deem in outward Rites and specious formes Religion satisfi'd; Truth shall retire Bestuck with slandrous darts, and works of Faith Rarely be found: so shall the World goe on, To good malignant, to bad men benigne, Under her own waight groaning, till the day Appeer of respiration to the just, And vengeance to the wicked, at return 540 Of him so lately promis'd to thy aid, The Womans seed, obscurely then foretold, Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord, Last in the Clouds from Heav'n to be reveald In glory of the Father, to dissolve Satan with his perverted World, then raise From the conflagrant mass, purg'd and refin'd, New Heav'ns, new Earth, Ages of endless date Founded in righteousness and peace and love, To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss. 550 He ended; and thus Adam last reply'd. How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest, Measur'd this transient World, the Race of time, Till time stand fixt: beyond is all abyss, Eternitie, whose end no eye can reach. Greatly instructed I shall hence depart, Greatly in peace of thought, and have my fill Of knowledge, what this vessel can containe; Beyond which was my folly to aspire. Henceforth I learne, that to obey is best, 560 And love with feare the onely God, to walk As in his presence, ever to observe His providence, and on him sole depend, Merciful over all his works, with good Still overcoming evil, and by small Accomplishing great things, by things deemd weak Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise By simply meek; that suffering for Truths sake Is fortitude to highest victorie, And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life; 570 Taught this by his example whom I now Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest. To whom thus also th' Angel last repli'd: This having learnt, thou hast attaind the summe Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Starrs Thou knewst by name, and all th' ethereal Powers, All secrets of the deep, all Natures works, Or works of God in Heav'n, Air, Earth, or Sea, And all the riches of this World enjoydst, And all the rule, one Empire; onely add 580 Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith, Add Vertue, Patience, Temperance, add Love, By name to come call'd Charitie, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A Paradise within thee, happier farr. Let us descend now therefore from this top Of Speculation; for the hour precise Exacts our parting hence; and see the Guards, By mee encampt on yonder Hill, expect 590 Thir motion, at whose Front a flaming Sword, In signal of remove, waves fiercely round; We may no longer stay: go, waken Eve; Her also I with gentle Dreams have calm'd Portending good, and all her spirits compos'd To meek submission: thou at season fit Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard, Chiefly what may concern her Faith to know, The great deliverance by her Seed to come (For by the Womans Seed) on all Mankind. 600 That ye may live, which will be many dayes, Both in one Faith unanimous though sad, With cause for evils past, yet much more cheer'd With meditation on the happie end. He ended, and they both descend the Hill; Descended, Adam to the Bowre where Eve Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wak't; And thus with words not sad she him receav'd. Whence thou returnst, & whither wentst, I know; For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise, 610 Which he hath sent propitious, some great good Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on; In mee is no delay; with thee to goe, Is to stay here; without thee here to stay, Is to go hence unwilling; thou to mee Art all things under Heav'n, all places thou, Who for my wilful crime art banisht hence. This further consolation yet secure I carry hence; though all by mee is lost, 620 Such favour I unworthie am voutsaft, By mee the Promis'd Seed shall all restore. So spake our Mother Eve, and Adam heard Well pleas'd, but answer'd not; for now too nigh Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill To thir fixt Station, all in bright array The Cherubim descended; on the ground Gliding meteorous, as Ev'ning Mist Ris'n from a River o're the marish glides, And gathers ground fast at the Labourers heel 630 Homeward returning. High in Front advanc't, The brandisht Sword of God before them blaz'd Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat, And vapour as the Libyan Air adust, Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat In either hand the hastning Angel caught Our lingring Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate Let them direct, and down the Cliff as fast To the subjected Plaine; then disappeer'd. They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld 640 Of Paradise, so late thir happie seat, Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate With dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes: Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon; 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.

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

The End.

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

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

PARADISE REGAIN'D.

The First Book.

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

The End of the First Book.

The Second Book.

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

Note: 309 he] here 1695.

The End of the Second Book.

The Third Book.

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

The End of the Third Book.

The Fourth Book.

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

The End.

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

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

SAMSON AGONISTES

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

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

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

The Argument.

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

The Persons

Samson. Manoa the father of Samson. Dalila his wife. Harapha of Gath. Publick Officer. Messenger. Chorus of Danites

The Scene before the Prison in Gaza.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sam: Fair days have oft contracted wind and rain.

Chor: But this another kind of tempest brings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Har: This insolence other kind of answer fits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chor: His manacles remark him, there he sits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off: I am sorry what this stoutness will produce.

Sam: Perhaps thou shalt have cause to sorrow indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man: That were a joy presumptuous to be thought.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man: Tell us the sum, the circumstance defer.

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

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

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

Man: Relate by whom. Mess: By Samson.

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

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

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

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

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

Mess: Unwounded of his enemies he fell.

Man: Wearied with slaughter then or how? explain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End.

APPENDIX.

Specimen of Milton's spelling, from the Cambridge autograph manuscript.

ON TIME

(Set on a clock case)

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