'Paradise Lost: Book 10' by John Milton

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Mean while the heinous and despiteful actOf Satan, done in Paradise; and howHe, in the serpent, had perverted Eve,Her husband she, to taste the fatal fruit,Was known in Heaven; for what can 'scape the eyeOf God all-seeing, or deceive his heartOmniscient? who, in all things wise and just,Hindered not Satan to attempt the mindOf Man, with strength entire and free will armed,Complete to have discovered and repulsedWhatever wiles of foe or seeming friend.For still they knew, and ought to have still remembered,The high injunction, not to taste that fruit,Whoever tempted; which they not obeying,(Incurred what could they less?) the penalty;And, manifold in sin, deserved to fall.Up into Heaven from Paradise in hasteThe angelick guards ascended, mute, and sad,For Man; for of his state by this they knew,Much wondering how the subtle Fiend had stolenEntrance unseen.Soon as the unwelcome newsFrom Earth arrived at Heaven-gate, displeasedAll were who heard; dim sadness did not spareThat time celestial visages, yet, mixedWith pity, violated not their bliss.About the new-arrived, in multitudesThe ethereal people ran, to hear and knowHow all befel:They towards the throne supreme,Accountable, made haste, to make appear,With righteous plea, their utmost vigilanceAnd easily approved; when the Most HighEternal Father, from his secret cloud,Amidst in thunder uttered thus his voice.Assembled Angels, and ye Powers returnedFrom unsuccessful charge; be not dismayed,Nor troubled at these tidings from the earth,Which your sincerest care could not prevent;Foretold so lately what would come to pass,When first this tempter crossed the gulf from Hell.I told ye then he should prevail, and speedOn his bad errand; Man should be seduced,And flattered out of all, believing liesAgainst his Maker; no decree of mineConcurring to necessitate his fall,Or touch with lightest moment of impulseHis free will, to her own inclining leftIn even scale.But fallen he is; and nowWhat rests, but that the mortal sentence passOn his transgression,--death denounced that day?Which he presumes already vain and void,Because not yet inflicted, as he feared,By some immediate stroke; but soon shall findForbearance no acquittance, ere day end.Justice shall not return as bounty scorned.But whom send I to judge them? whom but thee,Vicegerent Son?To thee I have transferredAll judgement, whether in Heaven, or Earth, or Hell.Easy it may be seen that I intendMercy colleague with justice, sending theeMan's friend, his Mediator, his designedBoth ransom and Redeemer voluntary,And destined Man himself to judge Man fallen.So spake the Father; and, unfolding brightToward the right hand his glory, on the SonBlazed forth unclouded Deity: He fullResplendent all his Father manifestExpressed, and thus divinely answered mild.Father Eternal, thine is to decree;Mine, both in Heaven and Earth, to do thy willSupreme; that thou in me, thy Son beloved,Mayest ever rest well pleased.I go to judgeOn earth these thy transgressours; but thou knowest,Whoever judged, the worst on me must light,When time shall be; for so I undertookBefore thee; and, not repenting, this obtainOf right, that I may mitigate their doomOn me derived; yet I shall temper soJustice with mercy, as may illustrate mostThem fully satisfied, and thee appease.Attendance none shall need, nor train, where noneAre to behold the judgement, but the judged,Those two; the third best absent is condemned,Convict by flight, and rebel to all law:Conviction to the serpent none belongs.Thus saying, from his radiant seat he roseOf high collateral glory: Him Thrones, and Powers,Princedoms, and Dominations ministrant,Accompanied to Heaven-gate; from whenceEden, and all the coast, in prospect lay.Down he descended straight; the speed of GodsTime counts not, though with swiftest minutes winged.Now was the sun in western cadence lowFrom noon, and gentle airs, due at their hour,To fan the earth now waked, and usher inThe evening cool; when he, from wrath more cool,Came the mild Judge, and Intercessour both,To sentence Man:The voice of God they heardNow walking in the garden, by soft windsBrought to their ears, while day declined; they heard,And from his presence hid themselves amongThe thickest trees, both man and wife; till God,Approaching, thus to Adam called aloud.Where art thou, Adam, wont with joy to meetMy coming seen far off?I miss thee here,Not pleased, thus entertained with solitude,Where obvious duty ere while appeared unsought:Or come I less conspicuous, or what changeAbsents thee, or what chance detains?--Come forth!He came; and with him Eve, more loth, though firstTo offend; discountenanced both, and discomposed;Love was not in their looks, either to God,Or to each other; but apparent guilt,And shame, and perturbation, and despair,Anger, and obstinacy, and hate, and guile.Whence Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief.I heard thee in the garden, and of thy voiceAfraid, being naked, hid myself.To whomThe gracious Judge without revile replied.My voice thou oft hast heard, and hast not feared,But still rejoiced; how is it now becomeSo dreadful to thee?That thou art naked, whoHath told thee?Hast thou eaten of the tree,Whereof I gave thee charge thou shouldst not eat?To whom thus Adam sore beset replied.O Heaven! in evil strait this day I standBefore my Judge; either to undergoMyself the total crime, or to accuseMy other self, the partner of my life;Whose failing, while her faith to me remains,I should conceal, and not expose to blameBy my complaint: but strict necessitySubdues me, and calamitous constraint;Lest on my head both sin and punishment,However insupportable, be allDevolved; though should I hold my peace, yet thouWouldst easily detect what I conceal.--This Woman, whom thou madest to be my help,And gavest me as thy perfect gift, so good,So fit, so acceptable, so divine,That from her hand I could suspect no ill,And what she did, whatever in itself,Her doing seemed to justify the deed;She gave me of the tree, and I did eat.To whom the Sovran Presence thus replied.Was she thy God, that her thou didst obeyBefore his voice? or was she made thy guide,Superiour, or but equal, that to herThou didst resign thy manhood, and the placeWherein God set thee above her made of thee,And for thee, whose perfection far excelledHers in all real dignity?AdornedShe was indeed, and lovely, to attractThy love, not thy subjection; and her giftsWere such, as under government well seemed;Unseemly to bear rule; which was thy partAnd person, hadst thou known thyself aright.So having said, he thus to Eve in few.Say, Woman, what is this which thou hast done?To whom sad Eve, with shame nigh overwhelmed,Confessing soon, yet not before her JudgeBold or loquacious, thus abashed replied.The Serpent me beguiled, and I did eat.Which when the Lord God heard, without delayTo judgement he proceeded on the accusedSerpent, though brute; unable to transferThe guilt on him, who made him instrumentOf mischief, and polluted from the endOf his creation; justly then accursed,As vitiated in nature:More to knowConcerned not Man, (since he no further knew)Nor altered his offence; yet God at lastTo Satan first in sin his doom applied,Though in mysterious terms, judged as then best:And on the Serpent thus his curse let fall.Because thou hast done this, thou art accursedAbove all cattle, each beast of the field;Upon thy belly groveling thou shalt go,And dust shalt eat all the days of thy life.Between thee and the woman I will putEnmity, and between thine and her seed;Her seed shall bruise thy head, thou bruise his heel.So spake this oracle, then verifiedWhen Jesus, Son of Mary, second Eve,Saw Satan fall, like lightning, down from Heaven,Prince of the air; then, rising from his graveSpoiled Principalities and Powers, triumphedIn open show; and, with ascension bright,Captivity led captive through the air,The realm itself of Satan, long usurped;Whom he shall tread at last under our feet;Even he, who now foretold his fatal bruise;And to the Woman thus his sentence turned.Thy sorrow I will greatly multiplyBy thy conception; children thou shalt bringIn sorrow forth; and to thy husband's willThine shall submit; he over thee shall rule.On Adam last thus judgement he pronounced.Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife,And eaten of the tree, concerning whichI charged thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat thereof:Cursed is the ground for thy sake; thou in sorrowShalt eat thereof, all the days of thy life;Thorns also and thistles it shall bring thee forthUnbid; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,Till thou return unto the ground; for thouOut of the ground wast taken, know thy birth,For dust thou art, and shalt to dust return.So judged he Man, both Judge and Saviour sent;And the instant stroke of death, denounced that day,Removed far off; then, pitying how they stoodBefore him naked to the air, that nowMust suffer change, disdained not to beginThenceforth the form of servant to assume;As when he washed his servants feet; so now,As father of his family, he cladTheir nakedness with skins of beasts, or slain,Or as the snake with youthful coat repaid;And thought not much to clothe his enemies;Nor he their outward only with the skinsOf beasts, but inward nakedness, much more.Opprobrious, with his robe of righteousness,Arraying, covered from his Father's sight.To him with swift ascent he up returned,Into his blissful bosom reassumedIn glory, as of old; to him appeasedAll, though all-knowing, what had passed with ManRecounted, mixing intercession sweet.Mean while, ere thus was sinned and judged on Earth,Within the gates of Hell sat Sin and Death,In counterview within the gates, that nowStood open wide, belching outrageous flameFar into Chaos, since the Fiend passed through,Sin opening; who thus now to Death began.O Son, why sit we here each other viewingIdly, while Satan, our great author, thrivesIn other worlds, and happier seat providesFor us, his offspring dear?It cannot beBut that success attends him; if mishap,Ere this he had returned, with fury drivenBy his avengers; since no place like thisCan fit his punishment, or their revenge.Methinks I feel new strength within me rise,Wings growing, and dominion given me largeBeyond this deep; whatever draws me on,Or sympathy, or some connatural force,Powerful at greatest distance to unite,With secret amity, things of like kind,By secretest conveyance.Thou, my shadeInseparable, must with me along;For Death from Sin no power can separate.But, lest the difficulty of passing backStay his return perhaps over this gulfImpassable, impervious; let us tryAdventurous work, yet to thy power and mineNot unagreeable, to found a pathOver this main from Hell to that new world,Where Satan now prevails; a monumentOf merit high to all the infernal host,Easing their passage hence, for intercourse,Or transmigration, as their lot shall lead.Nor can I miss the way, so strongly drawnBy this new-felt attraction and instinct.Whom thus the meager Shadow answered soon.Go, whither Fate, and inclination strong,Leads thee; I shall not lag behind, nor errThe way, thou leading; such a scent I drawOf carnage, prey innumerable, and tasteThe savour of death from all things there that live:Nor shall I to the work thou enterprisestBe wanting, but afford thee equal aid.So saying, with delight he snuffed the smellOf mortal change on earth.As when a flockOf ravenous fowl, though many a league remote,Against the day of battle, to a field,Where armies lie encamped, come flying, luredWith scent of living carcasses designedFor death, the following day, in bloody fight:So scented the grim Feature, and upturnedHis nostril wide into the murky air;Sagacious of his quarry from so far.Then both from out Hell-gates, into the wasteWide anarchy of Chaos, damp and dark,Flew diverse; and with power (their power was great)Hovering upon the waters, what they metSolid or slimy, as in raging seaTost up and down, together crouded drove,From each side shoaling towards the mouth of Hell;As when two polar winds, blowing adverseUpon the Cronian sea, together driveMountains of ice, that stop the imagined wayBeyond Petsora eastward, to the richCathaian coast.The aggregated soilDeath with his mace petrifick, cold and dry,As with a trident, smote; and fixed as firmAs Delos, floating once; the rest his lookBound with Gorgonian rigour not to move;And with Asphaltick slime, broad as the gate,Deep to the roots of Hell the gathered beachThey fastened, and the mole immense wrought onOver the foaming deep high-arched, a bridgeOf length prodigious, joining to the wallImmoveable of this now fenceless world,Forfeit to Death; from hence a passage broad,Smooth, easy, inoffensive, down to Hell.So, if great things to small may be compared,Xerxes, the liberty of Greece to yoke,From Susa, his Memnonian palace high,Came to the sea: and, over HellespontBridging his way, Europe with Asia joined,And scourged with many a stroke the indignant waves.Now had they brought the work by wonderous artPontifical, a ridge of pendant rock,Over the vexed abyss, following the trackOf Satan to the self-same place where heFirst lighted from his wing, and landed safeFrom out of Chaos, to the outside bareOf this round world:With pins of adamantAnd chains they made all fast, too fast they madeAnd durable!And now in little spaceThe confines met of empyrean Heaven,And of this World; and, on the left hand, HellWith long reach interposed; three several waysIn sight, to each of these three places led.And now their way to Earth they had descried,To Paradise first tending; when, behold!Satan, in likeness of an Angel bright,Betwixt the Centaur and the Scorpion steeringHis zenith, while the sun in Aries rose:Disguised he came; but those his children dearTheir parent soon discerned, though in disguise.He, after Eve seduced, unminded slunkInto the wood fast by; and, changing shape,To observe the sequel, saw his guileful actBy Eve, though all unweeting, secondedUpon her husband; saw their shame that soughtVain covertures; but when he saw descendThe Son of God to judge them, terrifiedHe fled; not hoping to escape, but shunThe present; fearing, guilty, what his wrathMight suddenly inflict; that past, returnedBy night, and listening where the hapless pairSat in their sad discourse, and various plaint,Thence gathered his own doom; which understoodNot instant, but of future time, with joyAnd tidings fraught, to Hell he now returned;And at the brink of Chaos, near the footOf this new wonderous pontifice, unhopedMet, who to meet him came, his offspring dear.Great joy was at their meeting, and at sightOf that stupendious bridge his joy encreased.Long he admiring stood, till Sin, his fairEnchanting daughter, thus the silence broke.O Parent, these are thy magnifick deeds,Thy trophies! which thou viewest as not thine own;Thou art their author, and prime architect:For I no sooner in my heart divined,My heart, which by a secret harmonyStill moves with thine, joined in connexion sweet,That thou on earth hadst prospered, which thy looksNow also evidence, but straight I felt,Though distant from thee worlds between, yet felt,That I must after thee, with this thy son;Such fatal consequence unites us three!Hell could no longer hold us in our bounds,Nor this unvoyageable gulf obscureDetain from following thy illustrious track.Thou hast achieved our liberty, confinedWithin Hell-gates till now; thou us impoweredTo fortify thus far, and overlay,With this portentous bridge, the dark abyss.Thine now is all this world; thy virtue hath wonWhat thy hands builded not; thy wisdom gainedWith odds what war hath lost, and fully avengedOur foil in Heaven; here thou shalt monarch reign,There didst not; there let him still victor sway,As battle hath adjudged; from this new worldRetiring, by his own doom alienated;And henceforth monarchy with thee divideOf all things, parted by the empyreal bounds,His quadrature, from thy orbicular world;Or try thee now more dangerous to his throne.Whom thus the Prince of darkness answered glad.Fair Daughter, and thou Son and Grandchild both;High proof ye now have given to be the raceOf Satan (for I glory in the name,Antagonist of Heaven's Almighty King,)Amply have merited of me, of allThe infernal empire, that so near Heaven's doorTriumphal with triumphal act have met,Mine, with this glorious work; and made one realm,Hell and this world, one realm, one continentOf easy thorough-fare.Therefore, while IDescend through darkness, on your road with ease,To my associate Powers, them to acquaintWith these successes, and with them rejoice;You two this way, among these numerous orbs,All yours, right down to Paradise descend;There dwell, and reign in bliss; thence on the earthDominion exercise and in the air,Chiefly on Man, sole lord of all declared;Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.My substitutes I send ye, and createPlenipotent on earth, of matchless mightIssuing from me: on your joint vigour nowMy hold of this new kingdom all depends,Through Sin to Death exposed by my exploit.If your joint power prevail, the affairs of HellNo detriment need fear; go, and be strong!So saying he dismissed them; they with speedTheir course through thickest constellations held,Spreading their bane; the blasted stars looked wan,And planets, planet-struck, real eclipseThen suffered.The other way Satan went downThe causey to Hell-gate:On either sideDisparted Chaos overbuilt exclaimed,And with rebounding surge the bars assailed,That scorned his indignation:Through the gate,Wide open and unguarded, Satan passed,And all about found desolate; for those,Appointed to sit there, had left their charge,Flown to the upper world; the rest were allFar to the inland retired, about the wallsOf Pandemonium; city and proud seatOf Lucifer, so by allusion calledOf that bright star to Satan paragoned;There kept their watch the legions, while the GrandIn council sat, solicitous what chanceMight intercept their emperour sent; so heDeparting gave command, and they observed.As when the Tartar from his Russian foe,By Astracan, over the snowy plains,Retires; or Bactrin Sophi, from the hornsOf Turkish crescent, leaves all waste beyondThe realm of Aladule, in his retreatTo Tauris or Casbeen:So these, the lateHeaven-banished host, left desart utmost HellMany a dark league, reduced in careful watchRound their metropolis; and now expectingEach hour their great adventurer, from the searchOf foreign worlds:He through the midst unmarked,In show plebeian Angel militantOf lowest order, passed; and from the doorOf that Plutonian hall, invisibleAscended his high throne; which, under stateOf richest texture spread, at the upper endWas placed in regal lustre.Down a whileHe sat, and round about him saw unseen:At last, as from a cloud, his fulgent headAnd shape star-bright appeared, or brighter; cladWith what permissive glory since his fallWas left him, or false glitter:All amazedAt that so sudden blaze the Stygian throngBent their aspect, and whom they wished beheld,Their mighty Chief returned: loud was the acclaim:Forth rushed in haste the great consulting peers,Raised from their dark Divan, and with like joyCongratulant approached him; who with handSilence, and with these words attention, won.Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues, Powers;For in possession such, not only of right,I call ye, and declare ye now; returnedSuccessful beyond hope, to lead ye forthTriumphant out of this infernal pitAbominable, accursed, the house of woe,And dungeon of our tyrant:Now possess,As Lords, a spacious world, to our native HeavenLittle inferiour, by my adventure hardWith peril great achieved.Long were to tellWhat I have done; what suffered;with what painVoyaged th' unreal, vast, unbounded deepOf horrible confusion; over whichBy Sin and Death a broad way now is paved,To expedite your glorious march; but IToiled out my uncouth passage, forced to rideThe untractable abyss, plunged in the wombOf unoriginal Night and Chaos wild;That, jealous of their secrets, fiercely opposedMy journey strange, with clamorous uproarProtesting Fate supreme; thence how I foundThe new created world, which fame in HeavenLong had foretold, a fabrick wonderfulOf absolute perfection! therein ManPlaced in a Paradise, by our exileMade happy:Him by fraud I have seducedFrom his Creator; and, the more to encreaseYour wonder, with an apple; he, thereatOffended, worth your laughter! hath given upBoth his beloved Man, and all his world,To Sin and Death a prey, and so to us,Without our hazard, labour, or alarm;To range in, and to dwell, and over ManTo rule, as over all he should have ruled.True is, me also he hath judged, or ratherMe not, but the brute serpent in whose shapeMan I deceived: that which to me belongs,Is enmity which he will put betweenMe and mankind; I am to bruise his heel;His seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head:A world who would not purchase with a bruise,Or much more grievous pain?--Ye have the accountOf my performance:What remains, ye Gods,But up, and enter now into full bliss?So having said, a while he stood, expectingTheir universal shout, and high applause,To fill his ear; when, contrary, he hearsOn all sides, from innumerable tongues,A dismal universal hiss, the soundOf publick scorn; he wondered, but not longHad leisure, wondering at himself now more,His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare;His arms clung to his ribs; his legs entwiningEach other, till supplanted down he fellA monstrous serpent on his belly prone,Reluctant, but in vain; a greater powerNow ruled him, punished in the shape he sinned,According to his doom: he would have spoke,But hiss for hiss returned with forked tongueTo forked tongue; for now were all transformedAlike, to serpents all, as accessoriesTo his bold riot:Dreadful was the dinOf hissing through the hall, thick swarming nowWith complicated monsters head and tail,Scorpion, and Asp, and Amphisbaena dire,Cerastes horned, Hydrus, and Elops drear,And Dipsas; (not so thick swarmed once the soilBedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the isleOphiusa,) but still greatest he the midst,Now Dragon grown, larger than whom the sunIngendered in the Pythian vale or slime,Huge Python, and his power no less he seemedAbove the rest still to retain; they allHim followed, issuing forth to the open field,Where all yet left of that revolted rout,Heaven-fallen, in station stood or just array;Sublime with expectation when to seeIn triumph issuing forth their glorious Chief;They saw, but other sight instead! a croudOf ugly serpents; horrour on them fell,And horrid sympathy; for, what they saw,They felt themselves, now changing; down their arms,Down fell both spear and shield; down they as fast;And the dire hiss renewed, and the dire formCatched, by contagion; like in punishment,As in their crime.Thus was the applause they meant,Turned to exploding hiss, triumph to shameCast on themselves from their own mouths.There stoodA grove hard by, sprung up with this their change,His will who reigns above, to aggravateTheir penance, laden with fair fruit, like thatWhich grew in Paradise, the bait of EveUsed by the Tempter: on that prospect strangeTheir earnest eyes they fixed, imaginingFor one forbidden tree a multitudeNow risen, to work them further woe or shame;Yet, parched with scalding thirst and hunger fierce,Though to delude them sent, could not abstain;But on they rolled in heaps, and, up the treesClimbing, sat thicker than the snaky locksThat curled Megaera: greedily they pluckedThe fruitage fair to sight, like that which grewNear that bituminous lake where Sodom flamed;This more delusive, not the touch, but tasteDeceived; they, fondly thinking to allayTheir appetite with gust, instead of fruitChewed bitter ashes, which the offended tasteWith spattering noise rejected: oft they assayed,Hunger and thirst constraining; drugged as oft,With hatefullest disrelish writhed their jaws,With soot and cinders filled; so oft they fellInto the same illusion, not as ManWhom they triumphed once lapsed.Thus were they plaguedAnd worn with famine, long and ceaseless hiss,Till their lost shape, permitted, they resumed;Yearly enjoined, some say, to undergo,This annual humbling certain numbered days,To dash their pride, and joy, for Man seduced.However, some tradition they dispersedAmong the Heathen, of their purchase got,And fabled how the Serpent, whom they calledOphion, with Eurynome, the wide--Encroaching Eve perhaps, had first the ruleOf high Olympus; thence by Saturn drivenAnd Ops, ere yet Dictaean Jove was born.Mean while in Paradise the hellish pairToo soon arrived; Sin, there in power before,Once actual; now in body, and to dwellHabitual habitant; behind her Death,Close following pace for pace, not mounted yetOn his pale horse: to whom Sin thus began.Second of Satan sprung, all-conquering Death!What thinkest thou of our empire now, though earnedWith travel difficult, not better farThan still at Hell's dark threshold to have sat watch,Unnamed, undreaded, and thyself half starved?Whom thus the Sin-born monster answered soon.To me, who with eternal famine pine,Alike is Hell, or Paradise, or Heaven;There best, where most with ravine I may meet;Which here, though plenteous, all too little seemsTo stuff this maw, this vast unhide-bound corps.To whom the incestuous mother thus replied.Thou therefore on these herbs, and fruits, and flowers,Feed first; on each beast next, and fish, and fowl;No homely morsels! and, whatever thingThe sithe of Time mows down, devour unspared;Till I, in Man residing, through the race,His thoughts, his looks, words, actions, all infect;And season him thy last and sweetest prey.This said, they both betook them several ways,Both to destroy, or unimmortal makeAll kinds, and for destruction to matureSooner or later; which the Almighty seeing,From his transcendent seat the Saints among,To those bright Orders uttered thus his voice.See, with what heat these dogs of Hell advanceTo waste and havock yonder world, which ISo fair and good created; and had stillKept in that state, had not the folly of ManLet in these wasteful furies, who imputeFolly to me; so doth the Prince of HellAnd his adherents, that with so much easeI suffer them to enter and possessA place so heavenly; and, conniving, seemTo gratify my scornful enemies,That laugh, as if, transported with some fitOf passion, I to them had quitted all,At random yielded up to their misrule;And know not that I called, and drew them thither,My Hell-hounds, to lick up the draff and filthWhich Man's polluting sin with taint hath shedOn what was pure; til, crammed and gorged, nigh burstWith sucked and glutted offal, at one slingOf thy victorious arm, well-pleasing Son,Both Sin, and Death, and yawning Grave, at last,Through Chaos hurled, obstruct the mouth of HellFor ever, and seal up his ravenous jaws.Then Heaven and Earth renewed shall be made pureTo sanctity, that shall receive no stain:Till then, the curse pronounced on both precedes.He ended, and the heavenly audience loudSung Halleluiah, as the sound of seas,Through multitude that sung:Just are thy ways,Righteous are thy decrees on all thy works;Who can extenuate thee?Next, to the Son,Destined Restorer of mankind, by whomNew Heaven and Earth shall to the ages rise,Or down from Heaven descend.--Such was their song;While the Creator, calling forth by nameHis mighty Angels, gave them several charge,As sorted best with present things.The sunHad first his precept so to move, so shine,As might affect the earth with cold and heatScarce tolerable; and from the north to callDecrepit winter; from the south to bringSolstitial summer's heat.To the blanc moonHer office they prescribed; to the other fiveTheir planetary motions, and aspects,In sextile, square, and trine, and opposite,Of noxious efficacy, and when to joinIn synod unbenign; and taught the fixedTheir influence malignant when to shower,Which of them rising with the sun, or falling,Should prove tempestuous:To the winds they setTheir corners, when with bluster to confoundSea, air, and shore; the thunder when to rollWith terrour through the dark aereal hall.Some say, he bid his Angels turn ascanseThe poles of earth, twice ten degrees and more,From the sun's axle; they with labour pushedOblique the centrick globe:Some say, the sunWas bid turn reins from the equinoctial roadLike distant breadth to Taurus with the sevenAtlantick Sisters, and the Spartan Twins,Up to the Tropick Crab: thence down amainBy Leo, and the Virgin, and the Scales,As deep as Capricorn; to bring in changeOf seasons to each clime; else had the springPerpetual smiled on earth with vernant flowers,Equal in days and nights, except to thoseBeyond the polar circles; to them dayHad unbenighted shone, while the low sun,To recompense his distance, in their sightHad rounded still the horizon, and not knownOr east or west; which had forbid the snowFrom cold Estotiland, and south as farBeneath Magellan.At that tasted fruitThe sun, as from Thyestean banquet, turnedHis course intended; else, how had the worldInhabited, though sinless, more than now,Avoided pinching cold and scorching heat?These changes in the Heavens, though slow, producedLike change on sea and land; sideral blast,Vapour, and mist, and exhalation hot,Corrupt and pestilent:Now from the northOf Norumbega, and the Samoed shore,Bursting their brazen dungeon, armed with ice,And snow, and hail, and stormy gust and flaw,Boreas, and Caecias, and Argestes loud,And Thrascias, rend the woods, and seas upturn;With adverse blast upturns them from the southNotus, and Afer black with thunderous cloudsFrom Serraliona; thwart of these, as fierce,Forth rush the Levant and the Ponent winds,Eurus and Zephyr, with their lateral noise,Sirocco and Libecchio.Thus beganOutrage from lifeless things; but Discord first,Daughter of Sin, among the irrationalDeath introduced, through fierce antipathy:Beast now with beast 'gan war, and fowl with fowl,And fish with fish; to graze the herb all leaving,Devoured each other; nor stood much in aweOf Man, but fled him; or, with countenance grim,Glared on him passing.These were from withoutThe growing miseries, which Adam sawAlready in part, though hid in gloomiest shade,To sorrow abandoned, but worse felt within;And, in a troubled sea of passion tost,Thus to disburden sought with sad complaint.O miserable of happy!Is this the endOf this new glorious world, and me so lateThe glory of that glory, who now becomeAccursed, of blessed? hide me from the faceOf God, whom to behold was then my highthOf happiness!--Yet well, if here would endThe misery; I deserved it, and would bearMy own deservings; but this will not serve:All that I eat or drink, or shall beget,Is propagated curse.O voice, once heardDelightfully, Encrease and multiply;Now death to hear! for what can I encrease,Or multiply, but curses on my head?Who of all ages to succeed, but, feelingThe evil on him brought by me, will curseMy head?Ill fare our ancestor impure,For this we may thank Adam! but his thanksShall be the execration: so, besidesMine own that bide upon me, all from meShall with a fierce reflux on me rebound;On me, as on their natural center, lightHeavy, though in their place.O fleeting joysOf Paradise, dear bought with lasting woes!Did I request thee, Maker, from my clayTo mould me Man? did I solicit theeFrom darkness to promote me, or here placeIn this delicious garden?As my willConcurred not to my being, it were but rightAnd equal to reduce me to my dust;Desirous to resign and render backAll I received; unable to performThy terms too hard, by which I was to holdThe good I sought not.To the loss of that,Sufficient penalty, why hast thou addedThe sense of endless woes?InexplicableWhy am I mocked with death, and lengthened outTo deathless pain?How gladly would I meetMortality my sentence, and be earthInsensible!How glad would lay me downAs in my mother's lap!There I should rest,And sleep secure; his dreadful voice no moreWould thunder in my ears; no fear of worseTo me, and to my offspring, would torment meWith cruel expectation.Yet one doubtPursues me still, lest all I cannot die;Lest that pure breath of life, the spirit of ManWhich God inspired, cannot together perishWith this corporeal clod; then, in the grave,Or in some other dismal place, who knowsBut I shall die a living death?O thoughtHorrid, if true!Yet why? It was but breathOf life that sinned; what dies but what had lifeAnd sin?The body properly had neither,All of me then shall die: let this appeaseThe doubt, since human reach no further knows.For though the Lord of all be infinite,Is his wrath also?Be it, Man is not so,But mortal doomed.How can he exerciseWrath without end on Man, whom death must end?Can he make deathless death?That were to makeStrange contradiction, which to God himselfImpossible is held; as argumentOf weakness, not of power.Will he draw out,For anger's sake, finite to infinite,In punished Man, to satisfy his rigour,Satisfied never?That were to extendHis sentence beyond dust and Nature's law;By which all causes else, according stillTo the reception of their matter, act;Not to the extent of their own sphere.But sayThat death be not one stroke, as I supposed,Bereaving sense, but endless miseryFrom this day onward; which I feel begunBoth in me, and without me; and so lastTo perpetuity;--Ay me!that fearComes thundering back with dreadful revolutionOn my defenceless head; both Death and IAm found eternal, and incorporate both;Nor I on my part single; in me allPosterity stands cursed:Fair patrimonyThat I must leave ye, Sons!O, were I ableTo waste it all myself, and leave ye none!So disinherited, how would you blessMe, now your curse!Ah, why should all mankind,For one man's fault, thus guiltless be condemned,It guiltless?But from me what can proceed,But all corrupt; both mind and will depravedNot to do only, but to will the sameWith me?How can they then acquitted standIn sight of God?Him, after all disputes,Forced I absolve: all my evasions vain,And reasonings, though through mazes, lead me stillBut to my own conviction: first and lastOn me, me only, as the source and springOf all corruption, all the blame lights due;So might the wrath!Fond wish!couldst thou supportThat burden, heavier than the earth to bear;Than all the world much heavier, though dividedWith that bad Woman?Thus, what thou desirest,And what thou fearest, alike destroys all hopeOf refuge, and concludes thee miserableBeyond all past example and future;To Satan only like both crime and doom.O Conscience! into what abyss of fearsAnd horrours hast thou driven me; out of whichI find no way, from deep to deeper plunged!Thus Adam to himself lamented loud,Through the still night; not now, as ere Man fell,Wholesome, and cool, and mild, but with black airAccompanied; with damps, and dreadful gloom;Which to his evil conscience representedAll things with double terrour:On the groundOutstretched he lay, on the cold ground; and oftCursed his creation;Death as oft accusedOf tardy execution, since denouncedThe day of his offence.Why comes not Death,Said he, with one thrice-acceptable strokeTo end me?Shall Truth fail to keep her word,Justice Divine not hasten to be just?But Death comes not at call; Justice DivineMends not her slowest pace for prayers or cries,O woods, O fountains, hillocks, dales, and bowers!With other echo late I taught your shadesTo answer, and resound far other song.--Whom thus afflicted when sad Eve beheld,Desolate where she sat, approaching nigh,Soft words to his fierce passion she assayed:But her with stern regard he thus repelled.Out of my sight, thou Serpent!That name bestBefits thee with him leagued, thyself as falseAnd hateful; nothing wants, but that thy shape,Like his, and colour serpentine, may showThy inward fraud; to warn all creatures from theeHenceforth; lest that too heavenly form, pretendedTo hellish falshood, snare them!But for theeI had persisted happy; had not thy prideAnd wandering vanity, when least was safe,Rejected my forewarning, and disdainedNot to be trusted; longing to be seen,Though by the Devil himself; him overweeningTo over-reach; but, with the serpent meeting,Fooled and beguiled; by him thou, I by theeTo trust thee from my side; imagined wise,Constant, mature, proof against all assaults;And understood not all was but a show,Rather than solid virtue; all but a ribCrooked by nature, bent, as now appears,More to the part sinister, from me drawn;Well if thrown out, as supernumeraryTo my just number found.O! why did God,Creator wise, that peopled highest HeavenWith Spirits masculine, create at lastThis novelty on earth, this fair defectOf nature, and not fill the world at onceWith Men, as Angels, without feminine;Or find some other way to generateMankind?This mischief had not been befallen,And more that shall befall; innumerableDisturbances on earth through female snares,And strait conjunction with this sex: for eitherHe never shall find out fit mate, but suchAs some misfortune brings him, or mistake;Or whom he wishes most shall seldom gainThrough her perverseness, but shall see her gainedBy a far worse; or, if she love, withheldBy parents; or his happiest choice too lateShall meet, already linked and wedlock-boundTo a fell adversary, his hate or shame:Which infinite calamity shall causeTo human life, and houshold peace confound.He added not, and from her turned; but Eve,Not so repulsed, with tears that ceased not flowingAnd tresses all disordered, at his feetFell humble; and, embracing them, besoughtHis peace, and thus proceeded in her plaint.Forsake me not thus, Adam! witness HeavenWhat love sincere, and reverence in my heartI bear thee, and unweeting have offended,Unhappily deceived!Thy suppliantI beg, and clasp thy knees; bereave me not,Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid,Thy counsel, in this uttermost distress,My only strength and stay:Forlorn of thee,Whither shall I betake me, where subsist?While yet we live, scarce one short hour perhaps,Between us two let there be peace; both joining,As joined in injuries, one enmityAgainst a foe by doom express assigned us,That cruel Serpent:On me exercise notThy hatred for this misery befallen;On me already lost, me than thyselfMore miserable!Both have sinned;but thouAgainst God only; I against God and thee;And to the place of judgement will return,There with my cries importune Heaven; that allThe sentence, from thy head removed, may lightOn me, sole cause to thee of all this woe;Me, me only, just object of his ire!She ended weeping; and her lowly plight,Immoveable, till peace obtained from faultAcknowledged and deplored, in Adam wroughtCommiseration:Soon his heart relentedTowards her, his life so late, and sole delight,Now at his feet submissive in distress;Creature so fair his reconcilement seeking,His counsel, whom she had displeased, his aid:As one disarmed, his anger all he lost,And thus with peaceful words upraised her soon.Unwary, and too desirous, as before,So now of what thou knowest not, who desirestThe punishment all on thyself; alas!Bear thine own first, ill able to sustainHis full wrath, whose thou feelest as yet least part,And my displeasure bearest so ill.If prayersCould alter high decrees, I to that placeWould speed before thee, and be louder heard,That on my head all might be visited;Thy frailty and infirmer sex forgiven,To me committed, and by me exposed.But rise;--let us no more contend, nor blameEach other, blamed enough elsewhere; but striveIn offices of love, how we may lightenEach other's burden, in our share of woe;Since this day's death denounced, if aught I see,Will prove no sudden, but a slow-paced evil;A long day's dying, to augment our pain;And to our seed (O hapless seed!) derived.To whom thus Eve, recovering heart, replied.Adam, by sad experiment I knowHow little weight my words with thee can find,Found so erroneous; thence by just eventFound so unfortunate:Nevertheless,Restored by thee, vile as I am, to placeOf new acceptance, hopeful to regainThy love, the sole contentment of my heartLiving or dying, from thee I will not hideWhat thoughts in my unquiet breast are risen,Tending to some relief of our extremes,Or end; though sharp and sad, yet tolerable,As in our evils, and of easier choice.If care of our descent perplex us most,Which must be born to certain woe, devouredBy Death at last; and miserable it isTo be to others cause of misery,Our own begotten, and of our loins to bringInto this cursed world a woeful race,That after wretched life must be at lastFood for so foul a monster; in thy powerIt lies, yet ere conception to preventThe race unblest, to being yet unbegot.Childless thou art, childless remain: so DeathShall be deceived his glut, and with us twoBe forced to satisfy his ravenous maw.But if thou judge it hard and difficult,Conversing, looking, loving, to abstainFrom love's due rights, nuptial embraces sweet;And with desire to languish without hope,Before the present object languishingWith like desire; which would be miseryAnd torment less than none of what we dread;Then, both ourselves and seed at once to freeFrom what we fear for both, let us make short, --Let us seek Death; -- or, he not found, supplyWith our own hands his office on ourselves:Why stand we longer shivering under fears,That show no end but death, and have the power,Of many ways to die the shortest choosing,Destruction with destruction to destroy? --She ended here, or vehement despairBroke off the rest: so much of death her thoughtsHad entertained, as dyed her cheeks with pale.But Adam, with such counsel nothing swayed,To better hopes his more attentive mindLabouring had raised; and thus to Eve replied.Eve, thy contempt of life and pleasure seemsTo argue in thee something more sublimeAnd excellent, than what thy mind contemns;But self-destruction therefore sought, refutesThat excellence thought in thee; and implies,Not thy contempt, but anguish and regretFor loss of life and pleasure overloved.Or if thou covet death, as utmost endOf misery, so thinking to evadeThe penalty pronounced; doubt not but GodHath wiselier armed his vengeful ire, than soTo be forestalled; much more I fear lest death,So snatched, will not exempt us from the painWe are by doom to pay; rather, such actsOf contumacy will provoke the HighestTo make death in us live:Then let us seekSome safer resolution, which methinksI have in view, calling to mind with heedPart of our sentence, that thy seed shall bruiseThe Serpent's head; piteous amends! unlessBe meant, whom I conjecture, our grand foe,Satan; who, in the serpent, hath contrivedAgainst us this deceit:To crush his headWould be revenge indeed! which will be lostBy death brought on ourselves, or childless daysResolved, as thou proposest; so our foeShal 'scape his punishment ordained, and weInstead shall double ours upon our heads.No more be mentioned then of violenceAgainst ourselves; and wilful barrenness,That cuts us off from hope; and savours onlyRancour and pride, impatience and despite,Reluctance against God and his just yokeLaid on our necks.Remember with what mildAnd gracious temper he both heard, and judged,Without wrath or reviling; we expectedImmediate dissolution, which we thoughtWas meant by death that day; when lo!to theePains only in child-bearing were foretold,And bringing forth; soon recompensed with joy,Fruit of thy womb:On me the curse aslopeGlanced on the ground; with labour I must earnMy bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse;My labour will sustain me; and, lest coldOr heat should injure us, his timely careHath, unbesought, provided; and his handsClothed us unworthy, pitying while he judged;How much more, if we pray him, will his earBe open, and his heart to pity incline,And teach us further by what means to shunThe inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and snow!Which now the sky, with various face, beginsTo show us in this mountain; while the windsBlow moist and keen, shattering the graceful locksOf these fair spreading trees; which bids us seekSome better shroud, some better warmth to cherishOur limbs benummed, ere this diurnal starLeave cold the night, how we his gathered beamsReflected may with matter sere foment;Or, by collision of two bodies, grindThe air attrite to fire; as late the cloudsJustling, or pushed with winds, rude in their shock,Tine the slant lightning; whose thwart flame, driven downKindles the gummy bark of fir or pine;And sends a comfortable heat from far,Which might supply the sun:Such fire to use,And what may else be remedy or cureTo evils which our own misdeeds have wrought,He will instruct us praying, and of graceBeseeching him; so as we need not fearTo pass commodiously this life, sustainedBy him with many comforts, till we endIn dust, our final rest and native home.What better can we do, than, to the placeRepairing where he judged us, prostrate fallBefore him reverent; and there confessHumbly our faults, and pardon beg; with tearsWatering the ground, and with our sighs the airFrequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in signOf sorrow unfeigned, and humiliation meek.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Paradise Lost: Book 10

A Critical Analysis by [Your Name]

Paradise Lost is a classic epic poem that tells the story of the fall of man. Written by John Milton, it is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of English literature. Book 10 of Paradise Lost is a pivotal point in the poem, where Satan begins his journey to corrupt the newly-created world.

Background and Context

Before we dive into the analysis of Book 10, let's first take a look at the background and context of Paradise Lost. The poem was written in the 17th century, during a time when England was going through a period of political and religious turmoil. Milton himself was a fervent Puritan, and he saw his work as a way to justify the ways of God to men.

Paradise Lost is an epic poem, which means that it follows a specific set of conventions. It is written in a grand, elevated style, and it tells the story of a hero on a grand quest. In this case, the hero is Satan, who rebels against God and sets out to corrupt his creation. The poem is divided into twelve books, each of which tells a different part of the story.

The Plot

Book 10 of Paradise Lost begins with Satan's return to Hell after his failed attempt to corrupt Eve. He is greeted by his fallen angels, who are dismayed at his failure. Satan, however, is undeterred. He tells his followers that he has a new plan to ruin God's creation. He will now target man's offspring, and he will do it through the use of deception and lies.

Satan sets out on his mission, and he soon arrives at the gates of Eden. He is surprised to find them guarded by two angels, Uriel and Raphael. Satan disguises himself as a cherub, and he manages to trick Uriel into revealing the location of Adam and Eve. Satan then flies to Earth, where he finds Eve alone in the garden. He tempts her with the promise of knowledge, and she eventually succumbs to his charms.

Themes and Motifs

One of the main themes of Paradise Lost is the idea of free will. Milton believed that man was given free will by God, and that it was up to him to choose between good and evil. This is evident in Book 10, where Eve is given the choice to obey God or to follow Satan. She ultimately chooses the latter, which leads to the fall of man.

Another important theme in Paradise Lost is the concept of temptation. Satan is the ultimate tempter, and he uses his powers of persuasion to corrupt Eve. He promises her knowledge and power, but in reality, he only brings her pain and suffering.

Milton also explores the idea of the nature of sin. According to Milton, sin is not necessarily an act, but a state of being. It is the result of a choice to go against God's will. In Book 10, Eve's decision to eat the forbidden fruit is not the sin itself, but the result of her already being in a state of sin.

Literary Techniques

Milton's use of language in Paradise Lost is one of its defining features. He uses a grand, elevated style that is reminiscent of the biblical language of the King James Bible. This gives the poem a sense of grandeur and importance.

Milton also uses a number of literary devices to enhance the poem's meaning. For example, he uses allegory to represent abstract concepts such as sin and redemption. He also uses imagery to create vivid pictures in the reader's mind. For example, in Book 10, he describes Satan's flight to Earth as "through the midst of Heaven," which creates a powerful image of Satan's journey.


Book 10 of Paradise Lost is a crucial moment in the poem, as it marks the beginning of the end of innocence. Eve's decision to eat the forbidden fruit is a pivotal moment in the story, as it sets in motion the fall of man. Milton's use of language in this book is particularly powerful, as he creates a sense of tension and foreboding throughout.

One of the most interesting aspects of Book 10 is Milton's portrayal of Satan. Despite being the villain of the piece, he is also a complex and compelling character. He is charismatic, persuasive, and intelligent, and Milton's portrayal of him is both sympathetic and terrifying. In many ways, Satan is a tragic figure, as he is doomed to fail in his quest to overthrow God.

Milton's use of language in this book is also noteworthy. He creates a sense of grandeur and importance through his use of elevated language and powerful imagery. For example, when Satan arrives at the gates of Eden, he is described as "in shape and gesture proudly eminent," which creates a powerful image of his presence.


In conclusion, Book 10 of Paradise Lost is a pivotal moment in the poem, where Satan begins his journey to corrupt the newly-created world. Milton's use of language and literary techniques is masterful, and he creates a sense of tension and foreboding throughout. The themes of free will, temptation, and sin are explored in depth, and Milton's portrayal of Satan is both complex and compelling. Paradise Lost is a timeless masterpiece of English literature, and Book 10 is a shining example of its brilliance.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Paradise Lost: Book 10 - A Masterpiece of Epic Poetry

John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, is a masterpiece of English literature. The poem is divided into twelve books, each of which tells a part of the story of Adam and Eve's fall from grace. Book 10 is one of the most important books in the poem, as it deals with the aftermath of Adam and Eve's sin and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. In this article, we will analyze and explain the themes, characters, and literary devices used in Book 10 of Paradise Lost.


The central theme of Book 10 is the fall of man and the consequences of sin. Adam and Eve's disobedience to God's commandment leads to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden and the loss of their innocence. The poem explores the idea of free will and the consequences of our actions. Milton portrays Adam and Eve as tragic heroes who are punished for their actions but are still capable of redemption.

Another important theme in Book 10 is the idea of temptation. Satan, disguised as a serpent, tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. The poem explores the nature of temptation and the role it plays in our lives. Milton portrays Satan as a master of temptation, who uses his cunning and deceitful nature to lead Adam and Eve astray.


The main characters in Book 10 are Adam, Eve, and Satan. Adam and Eve are portrayed as innocent and naive, but also as capable of making their own choices. They are tempted by Satan and fall from grace, but they are still capable of redemption. Satan, on the other hand, is portrayed as a cunning and deceitful character who is determined to lead Adam and Eve astray. He is the embodiment of evil and temptation in the poem.

Literary Devices

Milton uses a variety of literary devices in Book 10 to convey his themes and ideas. One of the most important devices he uses is imagery. The poem is full of vivid descriptions of the Garden of Eden and the natural world. Milton uses this imagery to contrast the beauty of the Garden with the ugliness of sin and temptation.

Another important literary device used in Book 10 is symbolism. The forbidden fruit is a symbol of temptation and sin. The serpent is a symbol of Satan and his deceitful nature. The poem also uses biblical allusions to convey its themes and ideas. Milton draws on the Bible to create a rich and complex narrative that explores the nature of sin and redemption.


In conclusion, Book 10 of Paradise Lost is a masterpiece of epic poetry. The poem explores the themes of sin, temptation, and redemption through the story of Adam and Eve's fall from grace. Milton uses a variety of literary devices, including imagery, symbolism, and biblical allusions, to convey his ideas. The poem is a testament to Milton's skill as a poet and his ability to create a rich and complex narrative that explores the nature of humanity and our relationship with God. If you haven't read Paradise Lost, I highly recommend it, and Book 10 is a great place to start.

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