Paradise Lost (1674)/Book XII

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

AS one who in his journey bates at Noone,
Though bent on speed, so her the Archangel paused
Betwixt the world destroyed and world restored,
If Adam aught perhaps might interpose;
5Then 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 faille; objects divine
10Must needs impair and wearied human sense:
Henceforth what is to com I will relate,
Thou therefore give due audience, and attend.
This second sours of Men, while yet but few;
And while the dread of judgement past remains
15Fresh in thin minds, fearing the Deities,
With some regard to what is just and right
Shall lead thin lives and multi-line apace,
Laboring the soils, and reaping plenteous crop,
Corn wine and ogle; and from the herd or flock,
20Oft sacrificing Bullock, Lamb, or Kid,
With large Wine-offerings poured, and sacred Feast,
Shall spend thin days in joy un blamed, and dwell
Long time in peace by Families and Tribes
Under paternal rule; till one shall rise
25Of 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,
30Hunting (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,
35Or from Heaven claiming second Sovereignty;
And from Rebellion shall derive his name,
Though of Rebellion others he accuse.
Hee with a crew, whom like Ambition joins
With him or under him to tyrannize,
40Marching 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;
45And get themselves a name, least far dispersed
In foreign Lands thin memory be lost,
Regardless whether good or evil fame.
But God who oft descends to visit men
Unseen, and through thin habitations walks
50To mark thin doings, them beholding soon,
Comes down to see thin City, ere the Tower
Obstruct Heaven Towers, and in derision sets
Upon thin Tongues a various Spirit to rase
Quite out thin Native Language, and instead
55To 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
60And 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
65Above 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
70He 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
75Will 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 abhorred
80That Son, who on the quiet state of men
Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
Rational Liberty; yet know with all,
Since thy original lapse, true Liberty
Is lost, which always with right Reason dwells
85Twinned, and from her hath no individual being:
Reason in man obscured, or not obeyed,
Immediately inordinate desires
And upstart Passions catch the Government
From Reason, and to servitude reduce
90Man till then free. Therefore since hee 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
95His outward freedom: Tyranni must be,
Though to the Tyrant thereby no excuse.
Yet sometimes Nations will decline so low
From vertu, which is reason, that no wrong,
But Justice, and some fatal curse annexed
100Deprives them of thin outward Liberty,
Thin inward lost: Witness th' irreverent Son
Of him who built the Ark, who for the shame
Don to his Father, heard this heavy curse,
Servant of Servants, on his vicious Race.
105Thus 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
110To leave them to thin 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,
115Bred up in Idol-worship; O that men
(Cants thou believe?) should be so stupid grown,
While yet the Patriarch lived, who escaped the Flood,
As to forsake the living God, and fall
To worship thin own work in Wood and Stone
120For Gods! yet him God the most High vouchsafe
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 mighty Nation, and upon him shower
125His 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 Cants not, with what Faith
He leaves his Gods, his Friends, and native Soils
130Ur of Chaldæa, passing now the Ford
To Harman, after 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.
135Canaan he now attains, I see his Tents
Pitched about Sachem, and the neighboring Plains
Of Mores; there by promise he receives
Gift to his Progenies of all that Land;
From Hamath Northward to the Desert South
140(Things by thin names I call, though yet unnamed)
From Hermann East to the great Western Sea,
Mount Hermann, yonder Sea, each place behold
In prospect, as I point them; on the share
Mount Carmel; here the double-founded stream
145Jordan, true limit Eastward; but his Sons
Shall dwell to Senior, 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
150The Serpents head; whereof to thee anon
Planimeter shall be revealed. This Patriarch blest,
Whom faithful Abraham due time shall call,
A Son, and of his Son a Grand-chide leaves,
Like him in faith, in wisdom, and renown;
155The 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
160He 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
165Suspected to a sequent King, who seeks
To stop thin overgrowth, as inmate guests
Too numerous; whence of guests he makes them slaves
Inhospitably, and kills thin infant Males:
Till by two brethren (those two brethren call
170Moses and Aaron) sent from God to claim
His people from enthralment, they return
With glory and spoils back to thin premised Land.
But first the lawless Tyrant, who denies
To know thin God, or message to regard,
175Must 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 Murrain die,
180Botches and blains must all his flesh emboss,
And all his people; Thunder mixed with Haile,
Haile mixed with fire must rend th' Egyptian Skies
And wheel on th' Earth, devouring where it rules;
What it devours not, Herb, or Fruit, or Grain,
185A dark some 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
190Of 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
195Pursuing whom he late dismissed, the Sea
Swallows him with his Host, but them lets pass
As on dryer land between two crystal walls,
Awed by the rod of Moses so to stand
Divided, till his rescued gain thin shore:
200Such 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 thin journey, and remove
205Behind them, while th' 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
210And craze thin Chariot wheels: when by command
Moses once more his potent Rod extends
Over the Sea; the Sea his Rod obeys;
On thin embattled ranks the Waves return,
And overwhelm thin War: the Race elect
215Safe towards Canaan from the shore advance
Through the wilde Desert, not the readiest way,
Least entering on the Canaanite alarmed
War terrified them inexpert, and fear
Return them back to Egypt, choosing rather
220Inglorious life with servitude; for life
To noble and ignoble is more sweet
Unstrained in Arms, where rashness leads not on.
This also shall they gain by thin delay
In the wide Wilderness, there they shall found
225Thin government, and thin 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
230Ordain 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
235Man kinds deliverance. But the voice of God
To mortal ear is dreadful; they beseech
That Moses might report to them his will,
And terror cease; he grants what they besought
Instructed that to God is no access
240Without Mediator, whose high Office now
Moses in figure bears, to introduce
One greater, of whose day he shall foretell,
And all the Prophets in thin Age the times
Of great Messiah shall sing. Thus Laws and Rites
245Established, such delight hath God in Men
Obedient to his will, that he vouchsafe
Among them to set up his Tabernacle,
The holy One with mortal Men to dwell:
By his prescript a Sanctuary is framed
250Of Cedar, overlaid with Gold, therein
An Ark, and in the Ark his Testimony,
The Records of his Covenant, over these
A Mercies-seat of Gold between the wings
Of two bright Cherubim, before him burn
255Seven Lamps as in a Zodiac representing
The Heavenly fires; over the Tent a Cloud
Shall rest by Day, a fiery gleams by Night,
Save when they journey, and at length they come,
Conducted by his Angel to the Land
260Promised 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 Nights due course adjourn,
265Mans voice commanding, Sun in Gideon stand,
And thou Moon in the vale of Avalon,
Till Israel overcome; so call the third
From Abraham, Son of Isaac, and from him
His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win.

270Here Adam interposed. O sent from Heaven,
Enlightens of my darkness, gracious things
Thou hast revealed, those chiefly which concerns
Just Abraham and his Seed: now first I find
Mine eyes true opening, and my heart much eased,
275Ere while perplexed with thoughts what would become
Of me and all Mankind; but now I see
His day, in whom all Nations shall be blest,
Favor unmerited by me, who sought
Forbidden knowledge by Forbidden means.
280This 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?

285To whom thus Michael. Doubt not but that sin
Will reign among them, as of thee begot;
And therefore was Law given them to evince
Thin natural private, by stirring up
Sin against Law to fight; that when they see
290Law can discover sin, but not remove,
Save by those shadowed 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
295To them by Faith imputed, they may find
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.
300So Law appears imperfect, and but given
With purpose to resign them in full time
Up to a better Covenant, disciplined
From shadowed Types to Truth, from Flesh to Spirit,
From imposition of strict Laws, to free
305Acceptance of large Grace, from serval 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;
310But Joshua whom the Gentiles Jesus call,
His Name and Office bearing, who shall quell
The adversary Serpent, and bring back
Through the worlds wilderness long wandered man
Safe to eternal Paradise of rest.
315Meanwhile they in thin earthly Canaan placed
Long time shall dwell and prosper, but when sins
National interrupt thin public peace,
Provoking God to raise them enemies:
From whom as oft he saves them penitent
320By Judges first, then under Kings; of whom
The second, both for pieties renowned
And puissant deeds, a promise shall receive
Irrevocable, that his Regal Throne
For ever shall endure; the like shall sing
325All Prophecy, That of the Royal Stock
Of David (so I name this King) shall rise
A Son, the Woman Seed to thee foretold,
Foretold to Abraham, as in whom shall trust
All Nations, and to Kings foretold, of Kings
330The 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.
335Such follow him, as shall be registered
Part good, part bad, of bad the longer scrawl,
Whose foul Idolatries, and other faults
Heaped to the popular summer, will so incense
God, as to leave them, and expose thin Land,
340Thin City, his Temple, and his holy Ark
With all his sacred things, a scorn and prey
To that proud City, whose high Walls thou sawed
Left in confusion, Babylon thence called.
There in captivity he lets them dwell
345The space of seventy years, then brings them back,
Remembering Mercies, and his Covenant sworn
To David, established as the days of Heaven.
Returned from Babylon by leave of Kings
Thin Lords, whom God disposed, the house of God
350They first re-edified, and for a while
In mean estate live moderate, till grown
In wealth and multitude, factious they grow;
But first among the Priests dissension springs,
Men who attend the Altar, and should most
355Endeavor Peace: thin strife pollution brings
Upon the Temple it self: at last they seize
The Scepter, and regard not Davids Sons,
Then loose it to a stranger, that the true
Anointed King Messiah might be born
360Barred of his right; yet at his Birth a Starr
Unseen before in Heaven proclaims him com,
And guides the Eastern Sages, who enquire
His place, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold;
His place of birth a solemn Angel tells
365To simple Shepherds, keeping watch by night;
They gladly thither haste, and by a Quire
Of squadron Angels hear his Carol sung.
A Virgin is his Mother, but his Sire
The Power of the most High; he shall ascend
370The Throne hereditary, and bound his Reign
With earths wide bounds, his glory with the Heavens.

He ceased, discerning Adam with such joy
Surcharged, as had like grief bin dewed in tears,
Without the vent of words, which these he breathed.

375O 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, Haile,
380High 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 Paine: say where and when
385Thin fight, what stroke shall bruise the Victors heel.

To whom thus Michael. Dream not of thin fight,
As of a Duel, or the local wounds
Of head or heel: not therefore joins the Son
Manhood to God-head, with more strength to foil
390Thy enemy; nor so is overcome
Satan, whose fall from Heaven, a deadlier bruise,
Disabled not to give thee thy deaths wound:
Which hee, who comes thy Savior, shall recur,
Not by destroying Satan, but his works
395In 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 penalize of death, and suffering death,
The penalize to thy transgression due,
400And due to theirs which out of thine will grow:
So only can high Justice rest re-paid.
The Law of God exact he shall fulfill
Both by obedience and by love, though love
Alone fulfill the Law; thy punishment
405He 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
410To save them, not thin own, though legal works.
For this he shall live hated, be blasphemed,
Seized on by force, judged, and to death condemned
A shameful and accurst, nailed to the Cross
By his own Nation, saline for bringing Life;
415But 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,
420But soon revives, Death over him no power
Shall long usurp; ere the third dawning light
Returns, 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,
425His 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 should have dyad,
In sin for ever lost from life; this act
430Shall bruise the head of Satan, crush his strength
Defeating Sin and Death, his two main Arms,
And fix far deeper in his head thin stings
Then temporal death shall bruise the Victors heel,
Or theirs whom he redeems, a death like sleep,
435A gentle wafting to immortal Life.
Nor after resurrection shall he stay
Longer on Earth then certain times to appear
To his Disciples, Men who in his Life
Still followed him; to them shall leave in charge
440To 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,
445For death, like that which the redeemer dyad.
All Nations they shall teach; for from that day
Not only to the Sons of Abrahams Loins
Salvation shall be Preached, but to the Sons
Of Abrahams Faith wherever through the world;
450So 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
455Through all his Realm, and there confounded leave;
Then enter into glory, and resume
His Seat at Gods right hand, exalted high
Above all names in Heaven; and thence shall come,
When this worlds dissolution shall be ripe,
460With glory and power to judge both quick and dead
To judge th' unfaithful dead, but to reward
His faithful, and received them into bliss,
Whether in Heaven or Earth, for then the Earth
Shall all be Paradise, far happier place
465Then this of Eden, and far happier days.

So spake th' Archangel Michael, then paused,
As at the Worlds great period; and our Sire
Replete with joy and wonder thus replied.

O goodness infinite, goodness immense!
470That all this good of evil shall produce,
And evil turn to good; more wonderful
Then that which by creation first brought forth
Light out of darkness! full of doubt I stand,
Whether I should repent me now of sin
475By 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
480Must renascent, what will betide the few
His faithful, left among th' unfaithful herd,
The enemies of truth; who then shall guide
His people, who defend? will they not deal
Words with his followers then with him they dealt?
485Be sure they will, said th' Angel; but from Heaven
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 thin hearts shall write,
490To guide them in all truth, and also arm
With spiritual Amour, able to resist
Satans assaults, and quench his fiery darts,
What Man can do against them, not afraid,
Though to the death, against such cruelties
495With inward consolations recompenc't,
And oft supported so as shall amaze
Their proudest perfecters: for the Spirit
Powered first on his Apostles, whom he sends
To evangelize the Nations, then on all
500Baptized, shall them with wondrous 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
505Their 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
510To 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.
515Then 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
520To all Believer; and from that pretense,
Spiritual Laws by carnal power shall force
On every conscience; Laws which none shall finds
Left them enroled, or what the Spirit within
Shall on the heart engrave. What will they then
525But force the Spirit of Grace it self, and bind
His consort Liberty; what, but unbuild
His living Temples, built by Faith to stand,
Their own Faith not another: for on Earth
Who against Faith and Conscience can be heard
530Infallible? 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,
Well deem in outward Rites and specious forms
535Religion satisfied; Truth shall retire
Be stuck 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
540Appear of respiration to the just,
And vengeance to the wicked, at return
Of him so lately promised to thy aid
The Woman seed, obscurely then foretold,
Now ampler known thy Savior and thy Lord,
545Last 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
550Founded in righteousness and peace and love
To bring forth fruits Joy and eternal Bliss.

He ended; and thus Adam last reapplied.
How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest,
Measured this transient World, the Race of time,
555Till time stand fixed: beyond is all abyss,
Eternities, 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 continue;
560Beyond which was my folly to aspire.
Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
And love with fears the only God, to walk
As in his presence, ever to observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,
565Merciful 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 Truths sake
570Is fortitude to highest victoria,
And to the faithful Death the Gate of Life;
Taught this by his example whom I now
Acknowledge my Redeemer ever blest.
To whom thus also th' Angel last replied:
575This having learnt, thou hast attained the summer
Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Stairs
Thou Knesset by name, and all th' ethereal Powers,
All secrets of the deep, all Natures works,
Or works of God in Heaven, Airs, Earth, or Sea,
580And all the riches of this World enjoys,
And all the rule, one Empire; only add
Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith,
Add verte, Patience, Temperance, add Love,
By name to come called Charities, the soul
585Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath
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
590Exacts 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;
595Her 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,
600The great deliverance by her Seed to come
(For by the Woman 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
605With meditation on the happier end.

He ended, and they both descend the Hill;
Descended, Adam to the Bower where Eve
Lay sleeping ran before, but found her wacked;
And thus with words not sad she him received.

610Whence thou returned, and whither wants, I know;
For God is also in sleep, and Dreams advise,
Which he hath sent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since with sorrow and hearts distress
Wearied I fell asleep: but now lead on;
615In 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.
620This further consolation yet secure
I carry hence; though all by me is lost,
Such favor I unworthier am voutsaft,
By me the Premised Seed shall all restore.

So spake our Mother Eve, and Adam heard
625Well pleased, but answered not; for now too nigh
Th' Archangel stood, and from the other Hill
To Their fixed Station, all in bright array
The Cherubim descended; on the ground
Gliding Madeiras, as Evening Mist
630Risen from a River o’er the Marisa glides,
And gathers ground fast at the Laborers heel
Homeward returning. High in Front advanced,
The brandished Sword of God before them blazed
Fierce as a Comet; which with torrid heat,
635And vapor as the Libyan Air adust,
Began to parch that temperate Clime; whereat
In either hand the hamstring Angel caught
Our lingering Parents, and to th' Eastern Gate
Led them direct, and down the Cliff as fast
640To the subjected Plains; then disappeared.
They looking back, all th' Eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late Their happier seat,
Waved over by that flaming Brand, the Gate
With dreadful Faces thronged and firey Arms:
645Som natural tears they draped, 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 wadding steps and slow,
Through Eden took Their solitaire way.