The Poetical Works of John Milton
Part 3 out of 11
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 a part
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 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.
1 THOU Shepherd that dost Israel keep
Give ear in time of need,
Who leadest like a flock of sheep
Thy loved Josephs seed,
That sitt'st between the Cherubs bright
Between their wings out-spread
Shine forth, and from thy cloud give light,
And on our foes thy dread.
2 In Ephraims view and Benjamins,
And in Manasse's sight 10
Awake* thy strength, come, and be seen *Gnorera.
To save us by thy might.
3 Turn us again, thy grace divine
To us O God vouchsafe;
Cause thou thy face on us to shine
And then we shall be safe.
4 Lord God of Hosts, how long wilt thou,
How long wilt thou declare
Thy *smoaking wrath, and angry brow *Gnashanta.
Against thy peoples praire. 20
5 Thou feed'st them with the bread of tears,
Their bread with tears they eat,
And mak'st them* largely drink the tears *Shalish.
Wherewith their cheeks are wet.
6 A strife thou mak'st us and a prey
To every neighbour foe,
Among themselves they *laugh, they *play, *Jilgnagu.
And *flouts at us they throw.
7 Return us, and thy grace divine,
O God of Hosts vouchsafe 30
Cause thou thy face on us to shine,
And then we shall be safe.
8 A Vine from Aegypt thou hast brought,
Thy free love made it thine,
And drov'st out Nations proud and haut
To plant this lovely Vine.
9 Thou did'st prepare for it a place
And root it deep and fast
That it began to grow apace,
And fill'd the land at last. 40
10 With her green shade that cover'd all,
The Hills were over-spread
Her Bows as high as Cedars tall
Advanc'd their lofty head.
11 Her branches on the western side
Down to the Sea she sent,
And upward to that river wide
Her other branches went.
12 Why hast thou laid her Hedges low
And brok'n down her Fence, 50
That all may pluck her, as they go,
With rudest violence?
13 The tusked Boar out of the wood
Up turns it by the roots,
Wild Beasts there brouze, and make their food
Her Grapes and tender Shoots.
14 Return now, God of Hosts, look down
From Heav'n, thy Seat divine,
Behold us, but without a frown,
And visit this thy Vine. 60
15 Visit this Vine, which thy right hand
Hath set, and planted long,
And the young branch, that for thy self
Thou hast made firm and strong.
16 But now it is consum'd with fire,
And cut with Axes down,
They perish at thy dreadfull ire,
At thy rebuke and frown.
17 Upon the man of thy right hand
Let thy good hand be laid, 70
Upon the Son of Man, whom thou
Strong for thyself hast made.
18 So shall we not go back from thee
To wayes of sin and shame,
Quick'n us thou, then gladly wee
Shall call upon thy Name.
Return us, and thy grace divine
Lord God of Hosts voutsafe,
Cause thou thy face on us to shine,
And then we shall be safe. 80
1 To God our strength sing loud, and clear,
Sing loud to God our King,
To Jacobs God, that all may hear
Loud acclamations ring.
2 Prepare a Hymn, prepare a Song
The Timbrel hither bring
The cheerfull Psaltry bring along
And Harp with pleasant string.
3 Blow, as is wont, in the new Moon
With Trumpets lofty sound, 10
Th'appointed time, the day wheron
Our solemn Feast comes round.
4 This was a Statute giv'n of old
For Israel to observe
A Law of Jacobs God, to hold
From whence they might not swerve.
5 This he a Testimony ordain'd
In Joseph, not to change,
When as he pass'd through Aegypt land;
The Tongue I heard, was strange. 20
6 From burden, and from slavish toyle
I set his shoulder free;
His hands from pots, and mirie soyle
Deliver'd were by me.
7 When trouble did thee sore assaile,
On me then didst thou call,
And I to free thee did not faile,
And led thee out of thrall.
I answer'd thee in *thunder deep *Be Sether ragnam.
With clouds encompass'd round; 30
I tri'd thee at the water steep
Of Meriba renown'd.
8 Hear O my people, heark'n well,
I testifie to thee
Thou antient flock of Israel,
If thou wilt list to mee,
9 Through out the land of thy abode
No alien God shall be
Nor shalt thou to a forein God
In honour bend thy knee. 40
10 I am the Lord thy God which brought
Thee out of Aegypt land
Ask large enough, and I, besought,
Will grant thy full demand.
11 And yet my people would not hear,
Nor hearken to my voice;
And Israel whom I lov'd so dear
Mislik'd me for his choice.
12 Then did I leave them to their will
And to their wandring mind; 50
Their own conceits they follow'd still
Their own devises blind
13 O that my people would be wise
To serve me all their daies,
And O that Israel would advise
To walk my righteous waies.
14 Then would I soon bring down their foes
That now so proudly rise,
And turn my hand against all those
That are their enemies. 60
15 Who hate the Lord should then be fain
To bow to him and bend,
But they, His should remain,
Their time should have no end.
16 And he would free them from the shock
With flower of finest wheat,
And satisfie them from the rock
With Honey for their Meat.
1 GOD in the *great *assembly stands *Bagnadath-el
Of Kings and lordly States,
Among the gods* on both his hands. *Bekerev.
He judges and debates.
2 How long will ye *pervert the right *Tishphetu
With *judgment false and wrong gnavel.
Favouring the wicked by your might,
Who thence grow bold and strong?
3 *Regard the *weak and fatherless *Shiphtu-dal.
*Dispatch the *poor mans cause, 10
And **raise the man in deep distress
By **just and equal Lawes. **Hatzdiku.
4 Defend the poor and desolate,
And rescue from the hands
Of wicked men the low estate
Of him that help demands.
5 They know not nor will understand,
In darkness they walk on,
The Earths foundations all are *mov'd *Jimmotu.
And *out of order gon. 20
6 I said that ye were Gods, yea all
The Sons of God most high
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall
As other Princes die.
8 Rise God, *judge thou the earth in might,
This wicked earth *redress, *Shiphta.
For thou art he who shalt by right
The Nations all possess.
1 BE not thou silent now at length
O God hold not thy peace,
Sit not thou still O God of strength
We cry and do not cease.
2 For lo thy furious foes now *swell
And *storm outrageously, *Jehemajun.
And they that hate thee proud and fill
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 Philistims, and they of Tyre
Whose bounds the sea doth check.
8 With them great Asshur also bands
And doth confirm the knot, 30
All these have lent their armed hands
To aid the Sons of Lot.
9 Do to them as to Midian bold
That wasted all the Coast.
To Sisera, and as is told
Thou didst to Jabins hoast,
When at the brook of Kishon old
They were repulst and slain,
10 At Endor quite cut off, and rowl'd
As dung upon the plain. 40
11 As Zeb and Oreb evil sped
So let their Princes speed
As Zeba, and Zalmunna bled
So let their Princes bleed.
12 For they amidst their pride have said
By right now shall we seize
Gods houses, and will now invade
*Their stately Palaces. *Neoth Elohim bears both.
13 My God, oh make them as a wheel
No quiet let them find, 50
Giddy and restless let them reel
Like stubble from the wind.
14 As when an aged wood takes fire
Which on a sudden straies,
The greedy flame runs hier and hier
Till all the mountains blaze,
15 So with thy whirlwind them pursue,
And with thy tempest chase;
16 *And till they *yield thee honour due, *They seek thy
Lord fill with shame their face. Name. Heb.
17 Asham'd and troubl'd let them be, 60
Troubl'd and sham'd for ever,
Ever confounded, and so die
With shame, and scape it never.
18 Then shall they know that thou whose name
Jehova is alone,
Art the most high, and thou the same
O're all the earth art one.
1 How lovely are thy dwellings fair!
O Lord of Hoasts, how dear
The pleasant Tabernacles are!
Where thou do'st dwell so near.
2 My Soul doth long and almost die
Thy Courts O Lord to see,
My heart and flesh aloud do crie,
O living God, for thee.
3 There ev'n the Sparrow freed from wrong
Hath found a house of rest, 10
The Swallow there, to lay her young
Hath built her brooding nest,
Ev'n by thy Altars Lord of Hoasts
They find their safe abode,
And home they fly from round the Coasts
Toward thee, My King, my God
4 Happy, who in thy house reside
Where thee they ever praise,
5 Happy, whose strength in thee doth bide,
And in their hearts thy waies. 20
6 They pass through Baca's thirstie Vale,
That dry and barren ground
As through a fruitfull watry Dale
Where Springs and Showrs abound.
7 They journey on from strength to strength
With joy and gladsom cheer
Till all before our God at length
In Sion do appear.
8 Lord God of Hoasts hear now my praier
O Jacobs God give ear, 30
9 Thou God our shield look on the face
Of thy anointed dear.
10 For one day in thy Courts to be
Is better, and mere blest
Then in the joyes of Vanity,
A thousand daies at best.
I in the temple of my God
Had rather keep a dore,
Then dwell in Tents, and rich abode
With Sin for evermore 40
11 For God the Lord both Sun and Shield
Gives grace and glory bright,
No good from him shall be with-held
Whose waies are just and right.
12 Lord God of Hoasts that raign 'st on high,
That man is truly blest
Who only on thee doth relie.
And in thee only rest.
1 THY Land to favour graciously
Thou hast not Lord been slack,
Thou hast from hard Captivity
Returned Jacob back.
2 Th' iniquity thou didst forgive
That wrought thy people woe,
And all their Sin, that did thee grieve
Hast hid where none shall know.
3 Thine anger all thou hadst remov'd,
And calmly didst return 10
From thy *fierce wrath which we had prov'd *Heb. The burning
Far worse then fire to burn. heat of thy
4 God of our saving health and peace, wrath.
Turn us, and us restore,
Thine indignation cause to cease
Toward us, and chide no more.
5 Wilt thou be angry without end,
For ever angry thus
Wilt thou thy frowning ire extend
From age to age on us? 20
6 Wilt thou not * turn, and hear our voice * Heb. Turn to
And us again * revive , quicken us.
That so thy people may rejoyce
By thee preserv'd alive.
7 Cause us to see thy goodness Lord,
To us thy mercy shew
Thy saving health to us afford
And lift in us renew.
8 And now what God the Lord will speak
I will go strait and hear, 30
For to his people he speaks peace
And to his Saints full dear,
To his dear Saints he will speak peace,
But let them never more
Return to folly, but surcease
To trespass as before.
9 Surely to such as do him fear
Salvation is at hand
And glory shall ere long appear
To dwell within our Land. 40
10 Mercy and Truth that long were miss'd
Now joyfully are met
Sweet Peace and Righteousness have kiss'd
And hand in hand are set.
11 Truth from the earth like to a flowr
Shall bud and blossom then,
And Justice from her heavenly bowr
Look down on mortal men.
12 The Lord will also then bestow
Whatever thing is good 50
Our Land shall forth in plenty throw
Her fruits to be our food.
13 Before him Righteousness shall go
His Royal Harbinger,
Then * will he come, and not be slow *Heb. He will set his
His footsteps cannot err. steps to the way.
1 THY gracious ear, O Lord, encline,
O hear me I thee pray,
For I am poor, and almost pine
With need, and sad decay.
2 Preserve my soul, for *I have trod Heb. I am good, loving,
Thy waies, and love the just, a doer of good and
Save thou thy servant O my God holy things
Who still in thee doth trust.
3 Pity me Lord for daily thee
I call; 4 O make rejoyce 10
Thy Servants Soul; for Lord to thee
I lift my soul and voice,
5 For thou art good, thou Lord art prone
To pardon, thou to all
Art full of mercy, thou alone
To them that on thee call.
6 Unto my supplication Lord
Give ear, and to the crie
Of my incessant praiers afford
Thy hearing graciously. 20
7 I in the day of my distress
Will call on thee for aid;
For thou wilt grant me free access
And answer, what I pray'd.
8 Like thee among the gods is none
O Lord, nor any works
Of all that other Gods have done
Like to thy glorious works.
9 The Nations all whom thou hast made
Shall come, and all shall frame 30
To bow them low before thee Lord,
And glorifie thy name.
10 For great thou art, and wonders great
By thy strong hand are done,
Thou in thy everlasting Seat
Remainest God alone.
11 Teach me O Lord thy way most right,
I in thy truth will hide,
To fear thy name my heart unite
So shall it never slide. 40
12 Thee will I praise O Lord my God
Thee honour, and adore
With my whole heart, and blaze abroad
Thy name for ever more.
13 For great thy mercy is toward me,
And thou hast free'd my Soul
Eev'n from the lowest Hell set free
From deepest darkness foul.
14 O God the proud against me rise
And violent men are met 50
To seek my life, and in their eyes
No fear of thee have set.
15 But thou Lord art the God most mild
Readiest thy grace to shew,
Slow to be angry, and art stil'd
Most mercifull, most true.
16 O turn to me thy face at length,
And me have mercy on,
Unto thy servant give thy strength,
And save thy hand-maids Son. 60
17 Some sign of good to me afford,
And let my foes then see
And be asham'd, because thou Lord
Do'st help and comfort me.
1 AMONG the holy Mountains high
Is his foundation fast,
There Seated in his Sanctuary,
His Temple there is plac't.
2 Sions fair Gates the Lord loves more
Then all the dwellings faire
Of Jacobs Land, though there be store,
And all within his care.
3 City of God, most glorious things
Of thee abroad are spoke; 10
4 I mention Egypt, where proud Kings
Did our forefathers yoke,
I mention Babel to my friends,
Philistia full of scorn,
And Tyre with Ethiops utmost ends,
Lo this man there was born:
5 But twise that praise shall in our ear
Be said of Sion last
This and this man was born in her,
High God shall fix her fast. 20
6 The Lord shall write it in a Scrowle
That ne're shall be out-worn
When he the Nations doth enrowle
That this man there was born.
7 Both they who sing, and they who dance
With sacred Songs are there,
In thee fresh brooks, and soft streams glance
And all my fountains clear.
1 LORD God that dost me save and keep,
All day to thee I cry;
And all night long, before thee weep
Before thee prostrate lie.
2 Into thy presence let my praier
With sighs devout ascend
And to my cries, that ceaseless are,
Thine ear with favour bend.
3 For cloy'd with woes and trouble store
Surcharg'd my Soul doth lie, 10
My life at death's uncherful dore
Unto the grave draws nigh.
4 Reck'n'd I am with them that pass
Down to the dismal pit
I am a *man, but weak alas * Heb. A man without manly
And for that name unfit. strength.
5 From life discharg'd and parted quite
Among the dead to sleep
And like the slain in bloody fight
That in the grave lie deep. 20
Whom thou rememberest no more,
Dost never more regard,
Them from thy hand deliver'd o're
Deaths hideous house hath barr'd.
6 Thou in the lowest pit profound'
Hast set me all forlorn,
Where thickest darkness hovers round,
In horrid deeps to mourn.
7 Thy wrath from which no shelter saves
Full sore doth press on me; 30
*Thou break'st upon me all thy waves, *The Heb.
*And all thy waves break me bears both.
8 Thou dost my friends from me estrange,
And mak'st me odious,
Me to them odious, for they change,
And I here pent up thus.
9 Through sorrow, and affliction great
Mine eye grows dim and dead,
Lord all the day I thee entreat,
My hands to thee I spread. 40
10 Wilt thou do wonders on the dead,
Shall the deceas'd arise
And praise thee from their loathsom bed
With pale and hollow eyes ?
11 Shall they thy loving kindness tell
On whom the grave hath hold,
Or they who in perdition dwell
Thy faithfulness unfold?
12 In darkness can thy mighty hand
Or wondrous acts be known, 50
Thy justice in the gloomy land
Of dark oblivion?
13 But I to thee O Lord do cry
E're yet my life be spent,
And up to thee my praier doth hie
Each morn, and thee prevent.
14 Why wilt thou Lord my soul forsake,
And hide thy face from me,
15 That am already bruis'd, and *shake *Heb. Prae Concussione.
With terror sent from thee; 60
Bruz'd, and afflicted and so low
As ready to expire,
While I thy terrors undergo
Astonish'd with thine ire.
16 Thy fierce wrath over me doth flow
Thy threatnings cut me through.
17 All day they round about me go,
Like waves they me persue.
18 Lover and friend thou hast remov'd
And sever'd from me far. 70
They fly me now whom I have lov'd,
And as in darkness are.
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
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:
By John Milton
Licensed and Entred according
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:
The Second Edition
Revised and Augmented by the
Printed by S. Simmons next door to the
Golden Lion in Aldergate-street, 1674.
ON Paradise Lost.
WHEN I beheld the Poet blind, yet bold,
In slender Book his vast Design unfold,
Messiah Crown'd, Gods Reconcil'd Decree,
Rebelling Angels, the Forbidden Tree,
Heav'n, Hell, Earth, Chaos, All; the Argument
Held me a while misdoubting his Intent,
That he would ruine (for I saw him strong)
The sacred Truths to Fable and old Song
(So Sampson groap'd the Temples Posts in spight)
The World o'rewhelming to revenge his sight.
Yet as I read soon growing less severe,
I lik'd his Project, the success did fear;
Through that wide Field how he his way should find
O're which lame Faith leads Understanding blind;
Lest he perplex'd the things he would explain,
And what was easie he should render vain.
Or if a Work so infinite he spann'd,
Jealous I was that some less skilful hand
(Such as disquiet always what is well,
And by ill imitating would excell)
Might hence presume the whole Creations day
To change in Scenes. and show it in a Play.
Pardon me, Mighty Poet, nor despise
My causeless, yet not impious, surmise.
But I am now convinc'd, and none will dare
Within thy Labours to pretend a share,
Thou hast not miss'd one thought that could be fit,
And all that was improper dost omit:
So that no room is here for Writers left,
But to detect their Ignorance or Theft.
That Majesty which through thy Work doth Reign
Draws the Devout, deterring the Profane,
And things divine thou treatst of in such state
As them preserves, and thee, inviolate.
At once delight and horrour on us seise,
Thou singst with so much gravity and ease;
And above humane flight dost soar aloft
With Plume so strong, so equal, and so soft.
The Bird nam'd from that Paradise you sing
So never flaggs, but always keeps on Wing.
Where couldst thou words of such a compass find?
Whence furnish such a vast expence of mind?
Just Heav'n thee like Tiresias to requite
Rewards with Prophesie thy loss of sight.
Well mightst thou scorn thy Readers to allure
With tinkling Rhime, of thy own sense secure;
While the Town-Bayes writes all the while and spells,
And like a Pack-horse tires without his Bells:
Their Fancies like our Bushy-points appear,
The Poets tag them, we for fashion wear.
I too transported by the Mode offend,
And while I meant to Praise thee must Commend.
Thy Verse created like thy Theme sublime,
In Number, Weight, and Measure, needs not Rhime.
Note: On Paradise Lost] Added in the second edition 1674.
The Printer to the Reader.
Courteous Reader, there was no Argument at first intended to
the Book, but for the satisfaction of many that have desired it, I
have procur'd it, and withall a reason of that which stumbled
many others, why the Poem Rimes not.
The Printer to the Reader] Added in 1668 to the copies then
remaining of the first edition, amended in 1669, and omitted in
I have procur'd it, and . . . . not. 1669] is procured. 1668.
THE measure is English Heroic Verse without Rime as that of
Homer in Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rime being no
necessary Adjunct or true Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in
longer Works especially, but the Invention of a barbarous Age,
to set off wretched matter and lame Meeter; grac't indeed since
by the use of some famous modern Poets, carried away by
Custom, but much to thir own vexation, hindrance, and
constraint to express many things otherwise, and for the most
part worse then else they would have exprest them. Not
without cause therefore some both Italian and Spanish Poets of
prime note have rejected Rime both in longer and shorter
Works, as have also long since our best English Tragedies, as a
thing of it self, to all judicious eares, triveal and of no true
musical delight: which consists only in apt Numbers, fit quantity
of Syllables, and the sense variously drawn out from one Verse
into another, not in the jingling sound of like endings, a fault
avoyded by the learned Ancients both in Poetry and all good
Oratory This neglect then of Rime so little is to be taken for a
defect though it may seem so perhaps to vulgar Readers, that it
rather is to be esteem'd an example set, the first in English, of
ancient liberty recover'd to Heroic Poem from the troublesom
and modern bondage of Rimeing.
Note: The Verse] Added in 1668 to the copies then remaining
of the first edition; together with the Argument. In the second
edition (1674) the Argument, with the necessary adjustment to
the division made in Books vii and x, was distributed through
the several books of the poem, as it is here printed.
THIS first Book proposes first in brief the whole Subject, Mans
disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he
was plac't: Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent,
or rather Satan in the Serpent; who revolting from God, and
drawing to his side many Legions of Angels, was by the
command of God driven out of Heaven with all his Crew into
the great Deep. Which action past over, the Poem hasts into the
midst of things, presenting Satan with his Angels now fallen
into Hell describ'd here, not in the Center (for Heaven and Earth
may be suppos'd as yet not made, certainly not yet accurst) but
in a place of utter darknesse, fitliest call'd Chaos: Here Satan
with his Angels lying on the burning Lake, thunder-struck and
astonisht, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls
up him who next in Order and Dignity lay by him; they confer of
thir miserable fall. Satan awakens all his Legions, who lay till
then in the same manner confounded; They rise, thir Numbers,
array of Battel, thir chief Leaders nam'd according to the Idols
known afterwards in Canaan and the Countries adjoyning. To
these Satan directs his Speech, comforts them with hope yet of
gaining Heaven, but tells them lastly of a new World and new
kind of Creature to be created, according to an ancient
Prophesie or report in Heaven; for that Angels were long
before this visible Creation, was the opinion of many ancient
Fathers. To find out the truth of this Prophesie, and what to
determin thereon he refers to a full councell. What his
Associates thence attempt. Pandemonium the palace of Satan
rises, suddenly built out of the Deep: The infernal Peers there sit
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;
Knotholes 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 every and Band 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 fome belated Peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while over head the Moon
Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth
Wheels her pale course, they on thir mirth & dance
Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear;
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
Reduc'd thir shapes immense, and were at large, 790
Though without number still amidst the Hall
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