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Paradise Lost: Book 12

Written by: John Milton | Biography
 | Quotes (101) |
 As one who in his journey bates at noon, 
Though bent on speed; so here the Arch-Angel paused 
Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored, 
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 perceive 
Thy mortal sight to fail; objects divine 
Must needs impair and weary human sense: 
Henceforth what is to come I will relate; 
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend. 
This second source of Men, while yet but few, 
And while the dread of judgement past remains 
Fresh in their minds, fearing the Deity, 
With some regard to what is just and right 
Shall lead their lives, and multiply apace; 
Labouring the soil, and reaping plenteous crop, 
Corn, wine, and oil; and, from the herd or flock, 
Oft sacrificing bullock, lamb, or kid, 
With large wine-offerings poured, and sacred feast, 
Shall spend their days in joy unblamed; 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 equality, fraternal state, 
Will arrogate dominion undeserved 
Over his brethren, and quite dispossess 
Concord and law of nature from the earth; 
Hunting (and men not beasts shall be his game) 
With war, and hostile snare, such as refuse 
Subjection to his empire tyrannous: 
A mighty hunter thence he shall be styled 
Before the Lord; as in despite of Heaven, 
Or from Heaven, claiming second sovranty; 
And from rebellion shall derive his name, 
Though of rebellion others he accuse. 
He with a crew, whom like ambition joins 
With him or under him to tyrannize, 
Marching from Eden towards the west, shall find 
The plain, wherein a black bituminous gurge 
Boils out from under ground, the mouth of Hell: 
Of brick, and of that stuff, they cast to build 
A city and tower, whose top may reach to Heaven; 
And get themselves a name; lest, far dispersed 
In foreign lands, their memory be lost; 
Regardless whether good or evil fame. 
But God, who oft descends to visit men 
Unseen, and through their habitations walks 
To mark their doings, them beholding soon, 
Comes down to see their city, ere the tower 
Obstruct Heaven-towers, and in derision sets 
Upon their tongues a various spirit, to rase 
Quite out their 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 mocked they storm: great laughter was in Heaven, 
And looking down, to see the hubbub strange, 
And hear the din: Thus was the building left 
Ridiculous, and the work Confusion named. 
Whereto thus Adam, fatherly displeased. 
O execrable son! so to aspire 
Above his brethren; to himself assuming 
Authority usurped, from God not given: 
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl, 
Dominion absolute; that right we hold 
By his donation; but man over men 
He made not lord; such title to himself 
Reserving, human left from human free. 
But this usurper his encroachment proud 
Stays 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 army; where thin air 
Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross, 
And famish him of breath, if not of bread? 
To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorrest 
That son, who on the quiet state of men 
Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue 
Rational liberty; yet know withal, 
Since thy original lapse, true liberty 
Is lost, which always with right reason dwells 
Twinned, and from her hath no dividual being: 
Reason in man obscured, or not obeyed, 
Immediately inordinate desires, 
And upstart passions, catch the government 
From reason; and to servitude reduce 
Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits 
Within himself unworthy 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: Tyranny must be; 
Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse. 
Yet sometimes nations will decline so low 
From virtue, which is reason, that no wrong, 
But justice, and some fatal curse annexed, 
Deprives them of their outward liberty; 
Their inward lost: Witness the irreverent son 
Of him who built the ark; who, for the shame 
Done to his father, heard this heavy curse, 
Servant of servants, on his vicious 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 their own polluted ways; 
And one peculiar nation to select 
From all the rest, of whom to be invoked, 
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 patriarch lived, who 'scaped the flood, 
As to forsake the living God, and fall 
To worship their own work in wood and stone 
For Gods! Yet him God the Most High vouchsafes 
To call by vision, from his father's house, 
His kindred, and false Gods, into a land 
Which he will show him; and from him will raise 
A mighty nation; and upon him shower 
His benediction so, that in his seed 
All nations shall be blest: he 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 soil, 
Ur of Chaldaea, passing now the ford 
To Haran; after him a cumbrous train 
Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude; 
Not wandering poor, but trusting all his wealth 
With God, who called him, in a land unknown. 
Canaan he now attains; I see his tents 
Pitched about Sechem, and the neighbouring plain 
Of Moreh; there by promise he receives 
Gift to his progeny of all that land, 
From Hameth northward to the Desart south; 
(Things by their names I call, though yet unnamed;) 
From Hermon east to the great western Sea; 
Mount Hermon, yonder sea; each place behold 
In prospect, as I point them; on the shore 
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 Serpent's head; whereof to thee anon 
Plainlier shall be revealed. This patriarch blest, 
Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call, 
A son, and of his son a grand-child, leaves; 
Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown: 
The grandchild, with twelve sons increased, departs 
From Canaan to a land hereafter called 
Egypt, divided by the river Nile 
See where it flows, disgorging at seven mouths 
Into the sea. To sojourn in that land 
He comes, invited by a younger son 
In time of dearth, a son whose worthy deeds 
Raise him to be the second in that realm 
Of Pharaoh. There he dies, and leaves his race 
Growing into a nation, and now grown 
Suspected to a sequent king, who seeks 
To stop their overgrowth, as inmate guests 
Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves 
Inhospitably, and kills their infant males: 
Till by two brethren (these two brethren call 
Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim 
His people from enthralment, they return, 
With glory and spoil, back to their promised land. 
But first, the lawless tyrant, who denies 
To know their God, or message to regard, 
Must be compelled by signs and judgements dire; 
To blood unshed the rivers must be turned; 
Frogs, lice, and flies, must all his palace fill 
With loathed intrusion, and fill all the land; 
His cattle must of rot and murren die; 
Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss, 
And all his people; thunder mixed with hail, 
Hail mixed with fire, must rend the Egyptians sky, 
And wheel on the earth, devouring where it rolls; 
What it devours not, herb, or fruit, or grain, 
A darksome 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 days; 
Last, with one midnight stroke, all the first-born 
Of Egypt must lie dead. Thus with ten wounds 
The river-dragon tamed at length submits 
To let his sojourners depart, and oft 
Humbles his stubborn heart; but still, as ice 
More hardened after thaw; till, in his rage 
Pursuing whom he late dismissed, the sea 
Swallows him with his host; but them lets pass, 
As on dry land, between two crystal walls; 
Awed by the rod of Moses so to stand 
Divided, till his rescued gain their shore: 
Such wondrous power God to his saint will lend, 
Though present in his Angel; who shall go 
Before them in a cloud, and pillar of fire; 
By day a cloud, by night a pillar of fire; 
To guide them in their journey, and remove 
Behind them, while the obdurate king pursues: 
All night he will pursue; but his approach 
Darkness defends between till morning watch; 
Then through the fiery pillar, and the cloud, 
God looking forth will trouble all his host, 
And craze their chariot-wheels: when by command 
Moses once more his potent rod extends 
Over the sea; the sea his rod obeys; 
On their embattled ranks the waves return, 
And overwhelm their war: The race elect 
Safe toward Canaan from the shore advance 
Through the wild Desart, not the readiest way; 
Lest, entering on the Canaanite alarmed, 
War terrify them inexpert, and fear 
Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather 
Inglorious life with servitude; for life 
To noble and ignoble is more sweet 
Untrained in arms, where rashness leads not on. 
This also shall they gain by their delay 
In the wide wilderness; there they shall found 
Their government, and their great senate choose 
Through the twelve tribes, to rule by laws ordained: 
God from the mount of Sinai, whose gray top 
Shall tremble, he descending, will himself 
In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpets' sound, 
Ordain them laws; part, such as appertain 
To civil justice; part, religious rites 
Of sacrifice; informing them, by types 
And shadows, of that destined Seed to bruise 
The Serpent, by what means he shall achieve 
Mankind's deliverance. But the voice of God 
To mortal ear is dreadful: They beseech 
That Moses might report to them his will, 
And terrour cease; he grants what they besought, 
Instructed that to God is no access 
Without Mediator, whose high office now 
Moses in figure bears; to introduce 
One greater, of whose day he shall foretel, 
And all the Prophets in their age the times 
Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus, laws and rites 
Established, such delight hath God in Men 
Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafes 
Among them to set up his tabernacle; 
The Holy One with mortal Men to dwell: 
By his prescript a sanctuary is framed 
Of cedar, overlaid with gold; therein 
An ark, and in the ark his testimony, 
The records of his covenant; over these 
A mercy-seat of gold, between the wings 
Of two bright Cherubim; before him burn 
Seven lamps as in a zodiack representing 
The heavenly fires; over the tent a cloud 
Shall rest by day, a fiery gleam by night; 
Save when they journey, and at length they come, 
Conducted by his Angel, to the land 
Promised to Abraham and his seed:--The rest 
Were long to tell; how many battles fought 
How many kings destroyed; and kingdoms won; 
Or how the sun shall in mid Heaven stand still 
A day entire, and night's due course adjourn, 
Man's 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 interposed. O sent from Heaven, 
Enlightener of my darkness, gracious things 
Thou hast revealed; those chiefly, which concern 
Just Abraham and his seed: now first I find 
Mine eyes true-opening, and my heart much eased; 
Erewhile perplexed with thoughts, what would become 
Of me and all mankind: But now I see 
His day, in whom all nations shall be blest; 
Favour unmerited by me, who sought 
Forbidden knowledge by forbidden means. 
This yet I apprehend not, why to those 
Among whom God will deign to dwell on earth 
So many and so various laws are given; 
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 
Their natural pravity, by stirring up 
Sin against law to fight: that when they see 
Law can discover sin, but not remove, 
Save by those shadowy expiations weak, 
The blood of bulls and goats, they may conclude 
Some blood more precious must be paid for Man; 
Just for unjust; that, in such righteousness 
To them by faith imputed, they may find 
Justification towards God, and peace 
Of conscience; which the law by ceremonies 
Cannot appease; nor Man the mortal part 
Perform; and, not performing, cannot live. 
So law appears imperfect; and but given 
With purpose to resign them, in full time, 
Up to a better covenant; disciplined 
From shadowy types to truth; from flesh to spirit; 
From imposition of strict laws to free 
Acceptance of large grace; from servile fear 
To filial; works of law to works of faith. 
And therefore shall not Moses, though of God 
Highly beloved, being but the minister 
Of law, his people into Canaan lead; 
But Joshua, whom the Gentiles Jesus call, 
His name and office bearing, who shall quell 
The adversary-Serpent, and bring back 
Through the world's wilderness long-wandered Man 
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest. 
Mean while they, in their earthly Canaan placed, 
Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins 
National interrupt their publick 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 piety renowned 
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive 
Irrevocable, that his regal throne 
For ever shall endure; the like shall sing 
All Prophecy, that of the royal stock 
Of David (so I name this king) shall rise 
A Son, the Woman's seed to thee foretold, 
Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust 
All nations; and to kings foretold, of kings 
The last; for of his reign shall be no end. 
But first, a long succession must ensue; 
And his next son, for wealth and wisdom famed, 
The clouded ark of God, till then in tents 
Wandering, shall in a glorious temple enshrine. 
Such follow him, as shall be registered 
Part good, part bad; of bad the longer scroll; 
Whose foul idolatries, and other faults 
Heaped to the popular sum, will so incense 
God, as to leave them, and expose their land, 
Their city, his temple, and his holy ark, 
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey 
To that proud city, whose high walls thou sawest 
Left in confusion; Babylon thence called. 
There in captivity he lets them dwell 
The space of seventy years; then brings them back, 
Remembering mercy, and his covenant sworn 
To David, stablished as the days of Heaven. 
Returned from Babylon by leave of kings 
Their lords, whom God disposed, the house of God 
They first re-edify; and for a while 
In mean estate live moderate; till, grown 
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow; 
But first among the priests dissention springs, 
Men who attend the altar, and should most 
Endeavour peace: their strife pollution brings 
Upon the temple itself: at last they seise 
The scepter, and regard not David's sons; 
Then lose it to a stranger, that the true 
Anointed King Messiah might be born 
Barred of his right; yet at his birth a star, 
Unseen before in Heaven, proclaims him come; 
And guides the eastern sages, who inquire 
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 squadroned Angels hear his carol sung. 
A virgin is his mother, but his sire 
The power of the Most High: He shall ascend 
The throne hereditary, and bound his reign 
With Earth's wide bounds, his glory with the Heavens. 
He ceased, discerning Adam with such joy 
Surcharged, as had like grief been dewed in tears, 
Without the vent of words; which these he breathed. 
O prophet of glad tidings, finisher 
Of utmost hope! now clear I understand 
What oft my steadiest thoughts have searched in vain; 
Why our great Expectation should be called 
The seed of Woman: Virgin Mother, hail, 
High in the love of Heaven; yet from my loins 
Thou shalt proceed, and from thy womb the Son 
Of God Most High: so God with Man unites! 
Needs must the Serpent now his capital bruise 
Expect with mortal pain: Say where and when 
Their fight, what stroke shall bruise the victor's heel. 
To whom thus Michael. Dream not of their fight, 
As of a duel, or the local wounds 
Of head or heel: Not therefore joins the Son 
Manhood to Godhead, with more strength to foil 
Thy enemy; nor so is overcome 
Satan, whose fall from Heaven, a deadlier bruise, 
Disabled, not to give thee thy death's wound: 
Which he, 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, imposed 
On penalty of death, and suffering death; 
The penalty to thy transgression due, 
And due to theirs which out of thine will grow: 
So only can high Justice rest appaid. 
The law of God exact he shall fulfil 
Both by obedience and by love, though love 
Alone fulfil 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 their own, though legal, works. 
For this he shall live hated, be blasphemed, 
Seised on by force, judged, and to death condemned 
A shameful and accursed, nailed to the cross 
By his own nation; slain for bringing life: 
But to the cross he nails thy enemies, 
The law that is against thee, and the sins 
Of all mankind, with him there crucified, 
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 
Return, the stars 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 offered life 
Neglect not, and the benefit embrace 
By faith not void of works: This God-like act 
Annuls thy doom, the death thou shouldest have died, 
In sin for ever lost from life; this act 
Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength, 
Defeating Sin and Death, his two main arms; 
And fix far deeper in his head their stings 
Than temporal death shall bruise the victor's 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, than certain times to appear 
To his disciples, men who in his life 
Still followed him; to them shall leave in charge 
To teach all nations what of him they learned 
And his salvation; them who shall believe 
Baptizing in the profluent stream, the sign 
Of washing them from guilt of sin to life 
Pure, and in mind prepared, if so befall, 
For death, like that which the Redeemer died. 
All nations they shall teach; for, from that day, 
Not only to the sons of Abraham's loins 
Salvation shall be preached, but to the sons 
Of Abraham's faith wherever through the world; 
So in his seed all nations shall be blest. 
Then to the Heaven of Heavens he shall ascend 
With victory, triumphing through the air 
Over his foes and thine; there shall surprise 
The Serpent, prince of air, and drag in chains 
Through all his realm, and there confounded leave; 
Then enter into glory, and resume 
His seat at God's right hand, exalted high 
Above all names in Heaven; and thence shall come, 
When this world's dissolution shall be ripe, 
With glory and power to judge both quick and dead; 
To judge the unfaithful dead, but to reward 
His faithful, and receive them into bliss, 
Whether in Heaven or Earth; for then the Earth 
Shall all be Paradise, far happier place 
Than this of Eden, and far happier days. 
So spake the Arch-Angel Michael; then paused, 
As at the world's great period; and our sire, 
Replete with joy and wonder, thus replied. 
O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense! 
That all this good of evil shall produce, 
And evil turn to good; more wonderful 
Than 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 me done, and occasioned; or rejoice 
Much more, that much more good thereof shall spring; 
To God more glory, more good-will to Men 
From God, and over wrath grace shall abound. 
But say, if our Deliverer up to Heaven 
Must re-ascend, what will betide the few 
His faithful, left among the unfaithful herd, 
The enemies of truth? Who then shall guide 
His people, who defend? Will they not deal 
Worse with his followers than with him they dealt? 
Be sure they will, said the Angel; but from Heaven 
He 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 their hearts shall write, 
To guide them in all truth; and also arm 
With spiritual armour, able to resist 
Satan's assaults, and quench his fiery darts; 
What man can do against them, not afraid, 
Though to the death; against such cruelties 
With inward consolations recompensed, 
And oft supported so as shall amaze 
Their proudest persecutors: For the Spirit, 
Poured first on his Apostles, whom he sends 
To evangelize the nations, then on all 
Baptized, shall them with wonderous gifts endue 
To speak all tongues, and do all miracles, 
As did their Lord before them. Thus they win 
Great numbers of each nation to receive 
With joy the tidings brought from Heaven: At length 
Their ministry performed, and race well run, 
Their doctrine and their story written left, 
They die; but in their room, as they forewarn, 
Wolves shall succeed for teachers, grievous wolves, 
Who all the sacred mysteries of Heaven 
To their own vile advantages shall turn 
Of lucre and ambition; and the truth 
With superstitions and traditions taint, 
Left only 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 join 
Secular power; though feigning still to act 
By spiritual, to themselves appropriating 
The Spirit of God, promised alike and given 
To all believers; and, from that pretence, 
Spiritual laws by carnal power shall force 
On every conscience; laws which none shall find 
Left them inrolled, or what the Spirit within 
Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then 
But force the Spirit of Grace itself, and bind 
His consort Liberty? what, but unbuild 
His living temples, built by faith to stand, 
Their own faith, not another's? for, on earth, 
Who against faith and conscience can be heard 
Infallible? yet many will presume: 
Whence heavy persecution shall arise 
On all, who in the worship persevere 
Of spirit and truth; the rest, far greater part, 
Will deem in outward rites and specious forms 
Religion satisfied; Truth shall retire 
Bestuck with slanderous darts, and works of faith 
Rarely be found: So shall the world go on, 
To good malignant, to bad men benign; 
Under her own weight groaning; till the day 
Appear of respiration to the just, 
And vengeance to the wicked, at return 
Of him so lately promised to thy aid, 
The Woman's Seed; obscurely then foretold, 
Now ampler known thy Saviour and thy Lord; 
Last, in the clouds, from Heaven to be revealed 
In glory of the Father, to dissolve 
Satan with his perverted world; then raise 
From the conflagrant mass, purged and refined, 
New Heavens, new Earth, ages of endless date, 
Founded in righteousness, and peace, and love; 
To bring forth fruits, joy and eternal bliss. 
He ended; and thus Adam last replied. 
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest, 
Measured this transient world, the race of time, 
Till time stand fixed! Beyond is all abyss, 
Eternity, 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 contain; 
Beyond which was my folly to aspire. 
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best, 
And love with fear the only 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 deemed weak 
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise 
By simply meek: that suffering for truth's sake 
Is fortitude to highest victory, 
And, to the faithful, death the gate of life; 
Taught this by his example, whom I now 
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest. 
To whom thus also the Angel last replied. 
This having learned, thou hast attained the sum 
Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars 
Thou knewest by name, and all the ethereal powers, 
All secrets of the deep, all Nature's works, 
Or works of God in Heaven, air, earth, or sea, 
And all the riches of this world enjoyedst, 
And all the rule, one empire; only add 
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith, 
Add virtue, patience, temperance; add love, 
By name to come called charity, the soul 
Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loth 
To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess 
A Paradise within thee, happier far.-- 
Let us descend now therefore from this top 
Of speculation; for the hour precise 
Exacts our parting hence; and see!the guards, 
By me encamped on yonder hill, expect 
Their 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 calmed 
Portending good, and all her spirits composed 
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 Woman's seed) on all mankind: 
That ye may live, which will be many days, 
Both in one faith unanimous, though sad, 
With cause, for evils past; yet much more cheered 
With meditation on the happy end. 
He ended, and they both descend the hill; 
Descended, Adam to the bower, where Eve 
Lay sleeping, ran before; but found her waked; 
And thus with words not sad she him received. 
Whence thou returnest, and whither wentest, I know; 
For God is also in sleep; and dreams advise, 
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good 
Presaging, since with sorrow and heart's distress 
Wearied I fell asleep: But now lead on; 
In me is no delay; with thee to go, 
Is to stay here; without thee here to stay, 
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me 
Art all things under $Heaven, all places thou, 
Who for my wilful crime art banished hence. 
This further consolation yet secure 
I carry hence; though all by me is lost, 
Such favour I unworthy am vouchsafed, 
By me the Promised Seed shall all restore. 
So spake our mother Eve; and Adam heard 
Well pleased, but answered not: For now, too nigh 
The Arch-Angel stood; and, from the other hill 
To their fixed station, all in bright array 
The Cherubim descended; on the ground 
Gliding meteorous, as evening-mist 
Risen from a river o'er the marish glides, 
And gathers ground fast at the labourer's heel 
Homeward returning. High in front advanced, 
The brandished sword of God before them blazed, 
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 hastening Angel caught 
Our lingering parents, and to the eastern gate 
Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast 
To the subjected plain; then disappeared. 
They, looking back, all the eastern side beheld 
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat, 
Waved over by that flaming brand; the gate 
With dreadful faces thronged, and fiery arms: 
Some natural tears they dropt, but wiped them soon; 
The world was all before them, where to choose 
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide: 
They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, 
Through Eden took their solitary way. 


THE END



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