PARADISE LOST PLAIN ENGLISH PDF
A free, 'modern' english translation and summary of John Milton's Paradise Lost. BOOK I ~. 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. Technically, Paradise Lost is in modern English already, since it was written in From which site can the PDF of Paradise Lost in plain English be downloaded?.
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In the Proem to Book 9 of Paradise Lost, Milton states that he had thought English, in the vein of Homer and Spenser, about “Kings and to Milton and that modern spelling and punctuation make the poem more imme-. John Milton put a twist on the story of Adam and Eve—in the process he created what some have called one of the greatest literary works in the English. John Milton's overwhelming masterpiece, Paradise Lost -- all 10, brain- busting lines of it, transformed into simple, everyday language, the kind you and I .
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We want your feedback! Click here. Subjects Classic Literature Fiction. John Milton put a twist on the story of Adam and Eve—in the process he created what some have called one of the greatest literary works in the English Language.
It has inspired music, art, film, and even video games. Our greatness will then be most conspicuous, when we can create great things from small, useful from hurtful, prosperous from adverse, and in any place whatsoever thrive under evil, and make ease out of pain through labor and endurance.
Do we dread this deep world of darkness? As he imitates our darkness, can we not imitate his light when we please? This dessert soil is not wanting for hidden luster, gems and gold. Nor do we lack the skill or art from which to raise magnificence. What more can Heaven show? Our torments may in time become our elements, and these piercing fires as soft as now severe, or our temper change to match their temper, removing the sense of pain.
All these things invite peaceful counsel, and the settled state of order. We should deal with our present evils in safety, with regard to what we are and where, dismissing all thoughts of war. This is what I advise. Then applause was heard. His counsel pleased the host by advising peace, for they dreaded another battle more than Hell.
Much fear of thunder and the sword of Michael remained with them. They desired to found this nether empire no less, to rise by political strategy over the course of time, emulating Heaven and yet opposite to it. When Beelzebub, above whom none sat except Satan, perceived this, he rose gravely, like a stately pillar. His countenance was deeply graven with deliberation and care, and princely counsel shone in his face, which was majestic though in ruin. He stood sagely with Atlantean shoulders fit to bear the weight of the mightiest of monarchies.
The popular vote is inclined to remain here and build an empire. Are we dreaming? For he, be sure, at the heights or in the depths, will reign first and last as sole king, and lose no part of his kingdom to our revolt. He will extend his empire over Hell and rule with an iron scepter here, as he rules with his golden scepter over those in Heaven.
Why do we sit debating peace and war? War has created us, and foiled us with irreparable loss. Terms of peace have not yet been promised or sought. What peace will be given to the enslaved, save severe custody, lashings, and arbitrary punishment? And what peace can we return but hostility and hate, unbridled resistance, and slow revenge that is forever plotting how the conqueror may least reap his conquest, and least rejoice in doing what we most feel suffering for?
But we need make no dangerous expedition to invade Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault, siege, or ambush from the deep. What if we found some easier enterprise? There is a place, of ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven, another world, the home of a new race called man, who will be created like us, though less powerful and perfect, but will be more highly favored by he who rules above.
Let us bend all our thoughts there, to learn what creatures inhabit it, of what shape and substance, endowed with powers, and with what weakness, and how best to attempt it, by force or subtlety.
For though Heaven is shut, and her high arbitrator sits secure in his own strength, this place may lie exposed, and as the utmost border of his kingdom be left to the defense of those who hold it. Here perhaps some advantage may be achieved by a sudden attack, either to waste his creation with hell fire, or to possess it as our own, and drive the puny inhabitants out as we were driven, or, if not drive them out, seduce them to our cause, that their God may prove their foe, and with a repenting hand, abolish his own works.
This would surpass common revenge, ending his joy in our defeat, and giving us joy in corrupting his creation. His darling sons, hurled headlong to partake in Hell with us, shall curse their frail progenitors, and their bliss, which faded so soon. I ask you, is this not worth attempting, rather than sitting here in darkness hatching vain empires?
The bold plan pleased the infernal masses, and joy sparkled in their eyes. They gave full assent, and he continued. From the lowest depths, we will rise once more, in spite of fate, closer to our ancient home. Perhaps we will be within sight of those bright confines, and with neighboring arms and an opportune excursion we may even reenter Heaven.
The soft delicious air will heal the scars of these corrosive fires, and we shall breath its balm. But who shall we send in search of this new world? Whom do we find sufficient to the task? Who shall attempt the dark, bottomless, infinite abyss with wandering feet and find his way through the palpable darkness, or take flight, born up on indefatigable wings, over the vast void, until he arrives in paradise? What strength and arts can suffice, and what evasion carry him safely through the strict sentries and stations thick with angels watching all around?
He will need total circumspection, and we must be no less careful in our choice. For the weight of our last hope falls on whom we send. But all sat mute, pondering the danger in deep thought. Each read his own dismay in others countenance, astonished.
Not one among the best and greatest of those champions who had warred with Heaven was hardy enough to undertake the dreadful voyage alone. At last Satan, whom transcendent glory had raised above his fellows, with monarchical pride, conscious of his highest worth, spoke.
The way out of Hell up to light is long and hard. Our prison, this huge convex bowl of fire, is eager to devour, and walls us in nine times. The gates of burning adamant, barred above us, prohibit all egress.
If any should pass, a vast void of formless night receives him next. It gapes hugely, threatening utter loss of being , plunged into that abortive gulf.
If he escapes from there into whatever world or region lies beyond, the dangers that remain are unknown. But I would hardly deserve this throne, my friends, and imperial sovereignty, adorned with splendor and armed with power, if I could be deterred from attempting anything you proposed and judged to be of public benefit, despite its difficulty or danger.
How could I assume royalty, and not refuse to reign, if I were to refuse as great a share of hazard as of honor? For honor is due to one who reigns, but so much more to he who risks himself.
Paradise Lost in Modern English
He sits above the rest in high honor. Go forth, therefore, mighty powers, the terror of Heaven, though fallen. Consider at home, while this remains our home, what may best ease our present misery, and render Hell more tolerable.
See if there is a cure or charm to give a respite, deceive the senses, or slacken the pain of this evil place. Keep unceasing watch against the wakeful foe, while I go abroad and through all the shores of dark destruction seek deliverance for us all. None shall partake in this enterprise with me. Prudent, lest emboldened by his resolution, others might now offer, certain to be refused, what before they had feared to.
For though refused, his rivals might cheaply win the high repute which he must earn at great risk. But they dreaded his forbidding voice no less than the adventure he had undertaken, and at once all rose with him, with a sound like far away thunder. They bowed toward him with awed reverence, and extolled him as a god equal to the highest in Heaven. They praised him for risking his own safety for theirs, for even damned spirits do not lose all their virtue; otherwise, evil men would boast of their false deeds on earth, excited by glory, and hide ambition, covering it over with lies.
They ended their doubtful dark consultations, rejoicing in their matchless chief. As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds ascend while the North wind sleeps, and spread over the cheerful face of the heavens, the lowering sky scowling over the darkened landscape with snow or showers, and then by chance the radiant sun in sweet farewell extends its evening beams, the fields revive, the birds renew their song, bleating herds attest to their joy, and hills and valleys ring, so did they rejoice.
Shame to men! Even damned devils keep their agreements.
Only men disagree, though of all rational creatures, we alone have hope of heavenly grace. God proclaims peace, yet men live in hatred, enmity, and strife with each other, and wage cruel wars, wasting the earth, and destroying each other, as if man did not have hellish foes enough, that wait day and night for his destruction, which should induce us to cooperate.
The Stygian council dissolved, and the grand infernal lords came forth in order. A circle of fiery Seraphim enclosed him with bright heraldic decorations, and bristling weapons. Their session ended, they sounded the great result with regal trumpets. Four speedy Cherubim flew to the four winds. The hollow abyss heard the news far and wide, and all the host of Hell returned loud acclaim with a deafening shout.
Then more at ease, their minds and spirits somewhat raised by false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers disbanded, and wandering, each pursued his unique way, as inclination or sad choice led him, perplexed, to where he might likeliest find calm for his restless thoughts, and pass the irksome hours until his great chief returned.
Some contended with each other on the plains, or in the sublime air upon the wing, or in swift races, as at the Olympic Games or on the Pythian fields. Others controlled their fiery steeds, raced chariots around a course, avoiding the markers. They fought like the wars waged in the troubled sky, where armies rush to battle in the clouds, before each vanguard the aerie knights spur forth and couch their spears until the thickest legions engage in battle, and with feats of arms from either end of Heaven the sky burns, a warning to proud cities.
Hell could scarcely hold the wild uproar, which was as loud as that made when Heracles, returning victorious from Oechalia, and felt the envenomed robe and through pain tore the Thessalian pines up by the roots, and threw Lichas from the top of Oeta into the Euboic sea. Others, more mild, retreated into a silent valley and sang with angelic notes, accompanied by many harps, of their own heroic deeds and hapless fall by doom of battle.
They lamented that fate should enthrall free virtue by force or chance. Their song was partial, but the harmony suspended Hell, and ravished the thronging audience. How could it do less when immortal spirits sang? Others sat apart on a hill in even sweeter discourse, for eloquence sooths the soul, while song merely charms the senses. They retired in elevated thought and reasoned intelligently about providence, foreknowledge, will, fate, destiny, and free will, and found no end, wandering lost in mazes.
They argued of good and evil, happiness and misery, passion and apathy, and glory and shame, full of vain wisdom and false philosophies. With pleasing sorcery, they could charm pain and anguish for a while, and excite false hope, or arm the hardened breast with stubborn patience like triple steel.
Another part set forth in squadrons and bands, on a bold adventure to discover that wide, dismal world, and see if any clime might perhaps yield them easier habitation. Their flying march bent four ways, along the banks of the four infernal rivers that disgorged their baleful streams into the burning lake: The abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate; sad Acheron, the river of sorrow, black and deep; Cocytus, named for the loud lamentation heard on that rueful stream; and fierce Phlegeton, whose waves of torrential fire inflamed them with rage.
Far from these, a slow and silent stream, Lethe, the river of oblivion, ruled her watery labyrinth, of which if any drinks, he immediately forgets his former state and being, both joy and grief, pleasure and pain. Beyond this flood lay a frozen continent, dark and wild, beaten by perpetual storms, whirlwinds and dire hail, which on firm land did not thaw, but gathered in heaps, looking like ancient ruins.
All else was deep snow and ice, a gulf as profound as the Serbonian bog between Damietta and Mount Kasion, where whole armies have sunk.
The parching air was so cold it burned like fire. In the future, at certain times all the damned would be brought there by harpy-footed furies, and feel by turns the bitter extremes made more fierce by change, as they were taken from beds of raging fire to starve their soft ethereal warmth in ice, and to pine immovable, fixed, and frozen for a time, before being hurried back to the fire.
They would be ferried to and fro over the Lethe, to augment their sorrow, and wish and struggle, as they passed, to reach the tempting stream, and with one small drop to lose in sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe, all in one moment, and so neared the brink.
But their fate would withstand and oppose their attempts, for the terrifying gorgon Medusa would guard the ford, and by itself the water would fly from the mouths of these dead creatures, as once it fled the lips of Tantalus. Roving on in a confused and forlorn march, the adventurous bands paled with shuddering horror, and viewed their lamentable lot with aghast eyes, and found no rest. They passed through many a dark and dreary valley, and sorrowful regions, over fiery mountains, frozen rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death, a universe of death, which God created with an evil curse, good only for evil, where all life dies, death lives, and nature perversely breeds all monstrous, prodigious things, abominable, unutterable, and worse than fables have yet imagined or fear conceived: gorgons, hydras, and dire chimeras.
Meanwhile, the adversary of God and man, Satan, with inflamed thoughts of highest design, put on swift wings, and flew alone toward the gates of Hell.
At times he scoured the right hand coast, at others the left. First he skimmed the depths with level wings, then soared up to the fiery concave roof, high above. From far off, the flying fiend seemed like a fleet hanging far out at sea, seen among the clouds, sailing from Bengal by equinoctial winds, or from the isles of Ternate and Tidore, from which merchants bring spices, plying the trade route through the wide Ethiopian sea to the cape, making headway nightly toward the pole.
Three were of brass, three iron, and three adamantine stone, impenetrable, wreathed in fire yet unconsumed. At either side of the gates there sat two formidable shapes. One seemed a woman to the waste, and fair, but ended foully in many scaly folds, voluminous and vast, a serpent armed with mortal sting. About her round middle, hell hounds never ceased barking, their wide Cerberean mouths loudly ringing a hideous peal.
When they wanted, they would creep, if anything disturbed their noise, into her womb, and kennel there, yet there still barked and howled within, though unseen. The other shape, if shape it might be called, had no distinguishable members, joints, or limbs, nor substance that might be called that.
Pure shadow it seemed, and it stood black as night, fierce as ten furies, terrible as Hell, and shook a dreadful dart.
What seemed its head bore the likeness of a kingly crown. Satan was now close, and the monster moved from its seat a came forward quickly, with horrid strides. Hell trembled as it strode. The undaunted fiend wondered what it might be, but was unafraid. I mean to pass through them, be assured, without asking your leave.
Retire, or taste your folly, and learn by proof, hell-born, not to contend with the spirits of Heaven. Do you reckon yourself the equal of the spirits of Heaven, Hell doomed, and breath defiance and scorn here, where I reign, your king and lord?
Back to your punishment, false fugitive, and add wings to your speed, lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue you, or with one stroke of this dart, strange horror seizes you, and pangs you have never before felt.
Facing it, incensed with indignation, Satan stood, unafraid, and burned like a comet that flames the length of Ophiuchus, huge in the arctic sky, and from its horrid hair shakes pestilence and war. Each took deadly aim at the head of the other. At the frowns of the mighty combatants, Hell grew darker. They were so evenly matched that only once more was either likely to meet so great a foe.
And for whom? For he who sits above and laughs at you, his ordained servant, as you do whatever his wrath, which he calls justice, bids? His wrath which one day will destroy you both? But first I must know of you, and what you are, in this dual form, and why in this infernal vale on our first meeting you call me father, and that phantasm my son. I do not know you, nor ever saw until now a sight more detestable than him and you.
Like you in shape and bright countenance, shining heavenly and fair, I sprung out of your head, an armed goddess. Amazement seized the hosts of Heaven. They recoiled, afraid at first, and called me Sin, and held me for a portentous sign. But when I had grown familiar, they were pleased with me, and with my attractive graces I won even the most averse.
You, often seeing in me your perfect image, became enamored. Such joy you took with me in secret that my womb conceived a growing burden. Meanwhile, war arose, and was fought on the fields of Heaven. In the end for what else could have happened clear victory fell to our almighty foe, and to us, loss and rout through all the imperium.
Down they fell, driven headlong from the heights of Heaven, down into this depth, and I also fell. This powerful key was given into my hand, with the charge to keep these gates forever shut, and none can pass without my opening them. I sat here pensive and alone, but I had not sat long when my womb, pregnant by you, and now grown excessive, felt prodigious motion and rueful throes. At last this odious offspring whom you see, begotten by you, broke his violent way out, tearing through my entrails.
Distorted by fear and pain, my nether shape was transformed. He, my inbred enemy, issued forth, brandishing his fatal dart, made to destroy. Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sighed from all her caves, and back resounded Death. I fled, but he pursued, more, it seems, inflamed with lust than rage, and swifter by far, overtook me, his mother, all dismayed, and in forced embraces foully engendered with me, and by that rape begot these baying monsters that ceaselessly cry around me, as you saw, hourly conceived and hourly born.
They are infinite sorrow to me, for when they return to the womb that bred them, they howl and gnaw my bowels, their repast. Then, bursting forth anew, the conscious terrors vex me round, so that I find no rest or break. Before my eyes in opposition sits grim Death, my son and foe, who sets them on me, and would devour me himself for want of other prey, except that he knows his end is involved with mine.
I shall prove a bitter morsel, and his bane, when ever that shall be. So fate has pronounced. But you, father, I forewarn: shun his deadly arrow.
Do not vainly hope to be invulnerable in those bright arms, even though they were tempered in heaven, for none can resist its mortal blow, save he who reigns above.
I come from them alone on this unfamiliar errand, and endanger myself for the good of all, to tread with lonely steps the bottomless deep, and search the immense void, wandering in quest of a place that was foretold, which should be, by concurring signs, now created, vast and round. It is a place of bliss on the outskirts of Heaven, and in it are placed a race of upstart creatures. It may supply, perhaps, vacant room, far removed from Heaven, lest her potent multitudes, grown to great, happen to settle new domains.
Be this or not, I hasten to learn of this most secret and newly created world. Once I have found it, I shall quickly return, and bring you to a place where you and Death may dwell at ease, and wing silently through the uresisting air, up and down, unseen, and soothed by its fragrances.
There you shall be fed and filled immeasurably; all things shall be your prey. His evil mother rejoiced no less. Against all force, Death ready stands to interpose his dart, unafraid to be outmatched by any living might. But what do I owe to the commands of the one above, who hates me and has thrust me down into this gloomy Tartarus to sit confined in this hateful service. I was once an inhabitant of Heaven, and heavenly born, but now sit here in perpetual agony and pain, with the terrors and clamors of my own brood surrounding me, feeding on my bowels.
You are my father, my creator, you gave me being. Whom should I obey but you, and who follow? You will soon bring me to that new world of light and bliss, to live at ease among the gods, where I shall reign at your right hand, voluptuous, as suits your daughter and your darling, without end. Rolling her bestial train towards the gate, she drew up the huge portcullis, which except for herself, not all the Stygian powers could have moved. Then the intricate wards in the keyhole turned, and every bolt and bar of massive iron and solid rock unfastened with ease.
Suddenly, the infernal doors flew open and recoiled violently on their great hinges with a jarring sound like harsh thunder, which shook the lowest reaches of the underworld. She had opened them, but to shut them once more excelled her power. The gates stood wide open so that a host with marching banners flying and with extended wings banners might pass through with horses and chariots ranked in loose array. Like the mouth of a furnace, they cast forth smoke and ruddy flame.
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Before their eyes, the secrets of the hoary deep appeared, a boundless dark illimitable ocean without dimension, where length, breadth, and height, time and position were lost. Eldest Night and Chaos, the ancestors of nature, held eternal anarchy, and stood amidst the noise of endless war and confusion.
Hot, cold, moisture, and drought, four fierce champions, strove for mastery and brought their embryonic atoms to battle. The one to whom most of these gathered ruled at the moment. Chaos sat as umpire, and further embroiled the fray by decisions by which he reigned.
Next to him, the high arbiter Chance governed all. This wild abyss, the womb of nature and perhaps her grave, was neither sea, shore, air, nor fire, but all of these in their primordial forms, mixed in confusion, which were doomed to fight eternally, unless the almighty creator ordained them, his dark materials, to create more worlds. Into this wild abyss the wary fiend looked, standing on the brink of Hell, pondering his voyage. For it was no narrow firth he had to cross.
Nor were his ears less assailed with loud and ruinous sound than when the goddess of war storms, with all her battering engines bent to raze some capital city.
It sounded as if the sky was falling, and the elements in mutiny had torn the Earth from its axis. At last he spread his sail-broad wings to fly, and in the surging smoke, rose up from the ground, and ascended many leagues as though in wafted on a bed of cloud. He rode on audacious, but the updraft soon failed, and he met a vast vacuum.
Unaware, flapping his pinions in vain, he dropped straight down, ten thousand fathoms deep, and might have fallen forever, had not by ill chance the strong rebuff of a tumultuous cloud, imbued with fire and saltpeter, hurled him as many miles aloft.
That fury was stayed, quenched in boggy quicksand, neither sea nor solid land. Nearly foundered, on he fared, treading the crude consistence, half on foot, half flying. It behooves him now to use both oar and sail.
Like a winged griffin coursing through the wilderness over hill or moor y dale, pursuing an Arimaspian who by stealth had stolen from his wakeful custody the gold he guarded, so the fiend eagerly, over bog or steep, through strait or rough, dense or rare, with head, hands, wings, and feet pursued his way, and swam, dove, waded, crept, and flew.
A universal wild hubbub of stunning sounds and confused voices born through the hollow darkness assaulted his ear with loudest vehemence. He advanced toward it, unafraid to meet what ever power or spirit of the nethermost abyss might reside in that noise, hoping to ask in which direction the nearest shore of the darkness lay, bordering on the light.
He soon behold the throne of Chaos, a dark pavilion spread wide on the wasteful deep. With him enthroned sat Night, clothed in sable, eldest of things, the consort of his reign. Next to them stood Orcus and Hades, and the dreaded Demogorgon. Next to these were Rumor and Chance, Tumult and Confusion all embroiled, and Discord with her thousand mouths. Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek the readiest path that leads to where your gloomy land borders uoon Heaven.
Or, if some other place has been won from your dominion by the ethereal king lately, then direct my course to arrive there, for it is there I travel.
If so directed, it will bring you no mean recompense. If I reach that lost region, all usurpation shall be expelled from it, reducing it to its original darkness and your sway, and once more you may erect the standard of ancient Night there. Yours will gain all the advantage, and I my revenge.
I saw and heard, for such a numerous host could not flee in silence through the fearful deep with ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, and confusion worse confounded.
I keep residence here upon my frontiers. All I have serve to defend that little which is left. Yet we are encroached on still though our guts boil at the weakening of the scepter of old Night.
First Hell, your dungeon stretching far and wide beneath.
Paradise Lost In Plain and Simple English (A Modern Translation and the Original Version)
Then Heaven and lately, Earth, another world hung over my realm, linked by a golden chain to Heaven from which your legions fell. If you are going that way, you are not far. So much the nearer danger. Go and good speed. Havock and spoil and ruin are my gain. He was harder beset and more endangered than when the Argo passed through the Bosporus between the jostling rocks or when Odysseus shunned Charybdis on the port side and passed close by the other the lair of Scylla.
He moved on with difficulty and great labor. Soon after, when man fell, the way he had come would be strangely altered. Sin and Death would follow his track with great speed, and by the will of Heaven, pave a broad and beaten way over the dark abyss, whose boiling gulf tamely endured a bridge of wondrous length from Hell reaching to the orbit of moon that circles this frail Earth.
It would give the perverted spirits an easy course pass to and fro to tempt or punish mortals, except those whom God and the good Angels guarded by special grace.
At last the sacred influence of light appeared, and from the walls of Heaven shoot far into the bosom of dim Night, a glimmering dawn.
Here nature first began her farthest verge, and chaos retired from her outermost works a broken foe with less tumult and hostile din, so that Satan with less toil, and soon with ease was wafted on the calmer waves in the dubious light. He was like a weather-beaten vessel coming gladly into port, though her shrouds and tackle are torn. The empty waste, resembling air, lifted his spread wings, and he beheld imperial Heaven in the distance, so wide in extant that one could not determine whether the walls were straight or curved.
Opal towers and battlements adorned with living sapphire surround the place that had once been his native land. Nearby, hanging by a golden chain, this earth hung, looking like a tiny star next to the moon. There, full of mischievous revenge, accursed, and in a cursed hour he went. May I tell of you without blame, since God is light, and has dwelt in nothing but brightest light for eternity, in you, the bright outpouring of bright uncreated essence?
Or would you rather be addressed as the pure ethereal stream, of whose fountain none shall tell? You existed before the sun, before the heavens, and at the voice of Yahweh, like a mantle enveloped the rising world of dark, deep waters, won from the formless infinite void.
I revisit you now on bolder wings, having escaped the infernal pool, though long detained on that obscure sojourn, while in my flight through utter and middle darkness, borne by other notes than those of the Orphean lyre, I told of chaos and eternal night, taught by the heavenly muse to venture down the dark descent, and then to reascend, though this is hard and rarely done. I revisit you safe, and feel your sovereign vital light. But you do not visit these eyes, that roll in vain to find your piercing rays, and find no dawn.
Thick cataracts have quenched their lenses, and dimly suffused my sight like a veil. Yet I do not cease to wander where the Muses haunt clear springs, or shady groves, or sunny hills, smitten with the love of sacred song.
But nightly, I chiefly visit you on mount Sion and the flowery brooks below it that wash your hallowed feet in their warbling flow. Nor do I forget the others who shared my fate, though I can only hope to equal them in renown, boastful Thamyris, blind Homer, Tiresias of Thebes, and Phineus, king of Thrace, the ancient prophets. I feed on thoughts that voluntarily move in harmonious verses, like a nightingale singing in the dark, hidden in the shadiest covert trilling her nocturnal notes.
Instead, a cloud of ever lasting darkness surrounds me, cut off from the cheerful ways of men; by the fair book of knowledge, I am presented with a universal blank. I would much rather you, celestial light, shine inward, and illuminate my mind through all your powers, and plant eyes there, and purge and disperse all mist from there, that I may see and tell of things invisible to mortal sight.
Now the Almighty Father, from the pure imperium where he sat enthroned above all height, looked down all of his works at once. About him all, the sanctities of Heaven stood thick as stars, and from his sight received beatitude past utterance. On his right sat the radiant image of his glory, his only son. First, upon the Earth below, he observed our two first parents, as yet the only two of mankind, in the their garden of delight, reaping the immortal fruits of uninterrupted joy and unrivaled love in blissful solitude.
He then surveyed hell and the gulf between it and the world and saw Satan there, coasting the along wall of Heaven on the night side in the dark, sublime air, ready to swoop down with wearied wings and willing feet on the bare outside of boundary between the universe and chaos, which was like firm land enclosed without sky, ocean, or air.
Yahweh watched him from his high prospect, from which he beheld past, present, future, and foreseeing, spoke to his only Son. He seems so bent on the desperate revenge that shall rebound upon his own rebellious head. And now broken loose through all restraints, he wings his way not far from Heaven, in the precincts of light, directly towards the newly created world where man has been placed, hoping to determine whether by force he can destroy him, or worse, by false guile pervert.
And pervert he shall, for man will hearken to his flattering lies, and easily transgress the sole command and sole pledge of his obedience. So he will fall, he and all his faithless progeny. And whose fault shall it be? Whose but his own. Ingrate, he had from me all he could want. I made him just and right, sufficient to have stood, though free to fall. So I created all the ethereal powers and spirits, both those who stood and those who fell.
Those who would stood freely, and so fell those who fell. If not free, what sincere proof could they have given of true allegiance, constant faith or love, when they were only doing what they must, and not what they wished? What praise could they receive? What pleasure would I get from such obedience paid, without will and reason, and the choice they made possible. If both were made passive, their freedom would be despoiled, useless and vain, and they would have served necessity, not me.
They therefore were created with free will, and cannot justly blame their maker, or their making, for their fate, as if predestination overruled their will, driven by absolute decree or high foreknowledge. They themselves decreed their own revolt, not I. I foreknew, but foreknowledge had no influence on their fault, which would have no less proved certain if not foreknown.
So without the least impulse or shadow of fate, or anything immutably foreseen by me, they trespassed, authors of all they judged and chose. For so I formed them, free, and free they must remain, until they enslave themselves. I otherwise must change their nature, and revoke the high decree, unchangeable and eternal, which ordained their freedom, though they themselves ordained their fall. The fallen angels fell by their own free will, self-tempted, and self-depraved.
Man will fall deceived by the fallen. Man shall therefore find grace, but the fallen angels none. In mercy and justice, in Heaven and Earth, so shall my glory excel, but mercy shall first and last shine brightest.
The Son of God was glorious beyond compare; in him his Father shone, substantially expressed, and in his face divine compassion visibly appeared, love without end, and grace without measure. For should man finally be lost, should man your latest creation yet so loved, your youngest son, fall circumvented like this by fraud, even though chosen in his own folly?
May that be far from your will, Father, judge of all things made, who always judges correctly. Shall the adversary obtain his end this way, and frustrate you? Shall he fulfill his malice, and bring your goodness to nothing, or return proud to his heavier doom, with revenge accomplished, and draw after him to Hell the entire race of mankind, corrupted by him?
Or will you your self abolish your creation, and unmake, for him, what for your glory you have made? If you did so, your goodness and your greatness would both be questioned and blasphemed without defense. Son of my bosom, son who is alone my word, my wisdom, and effectual might, all have you said is just as I think and my eternal purpose has decreed.
Man shall not quite be lost, but those who wish shall be saved, yet not by their own will, but by my grace, given freely.
Once more I will renew his lapsed powers, though forfeit and enthralled by sin to foul exorbitant desires. Upheld by me, once more he shall stand on even ground against his mortal foe, so that he may know how frail his fallen condition is, and to me he will owe all his deliverance, and to none but me.
Some of peculiar grace I have chosen to elect above the rest. This is my will. The rest shall hear me call, and often be warned of their sinful state, and to quickly appease their incensed God, while offered grace invites them.
For I will clear their dark senses, which may suffice, and soften stony hearts to pray, repent, and give the obedience due to me. My ear shall not be slow not my eye shut to prayer, repentance, and obedience, endeavored with sincere intent. I will place within men, as a guide, conscience, which, if they will hear it, will give them light after well used light, and if they persist to the end, they will arrive safely.
Those who neglect and scorn me shall never taste my long sufferance and their day of grace. The hard will be hardened, the blind blinded more, so that they may stumble on, and fall further. Only such as these shall be excluded from my mercy. But all is not done.
Man, disobeying and disloyal, shall break his fealty, and sin against the high supremacy of Heaven, pretending to godhood, and so lose all. He will have nothing left to expiate his treason but destruction; he and all his decedents must die. Either he dies or justice must, unless some other is able and as willing to pay the price for him, death for death.
Is there in all Heaven a charity so strong? Without redemption, all mankind might have bin lost, doomed to death and Hell by severe judgment, had not the son of God, in whom the fullness of love divine dwelt, renewed his dearest mediation. Grace, the speediest of your winged messengers, finds a way to visit your creatures, and comes to all, unexpected, unasked for, and unsought.
He can never seek her help, once lost to his sins; indebted and undone; he has nothing left to offer for atonement. Take me, then, me for him; I offer life for life.
Let your anger fall on me. Account me man; for his sake I will leave your side, and freely give up this glory, and finally die for him with pleasure. Let Death unleash all his rage on me. I shall not lie vanquished under his gloomy power long. You have given me everlasting life, and by you I will live, though I will yield to death all of me that can die.
Yet, that debt paid, you will not leave me in the loathsome grave, his prey, nor suffer my pure soul to dwell in death, forever corrupted. I shall rise victorious, and subdue my vanquisher, despoiled of his vaunted spoil.Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms Reduc'd thir shapes immense, and were at large, [ ] Though without number still amidst the Hall Of that infernal Court.
Fall of man. Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, and Dominions will be placed under you as their supreme head. Your rating has been recorded. They argued of good and evil, happiness and misery, passion and apathy, and glory and shame, full of vain wisdom and false philosophies. The rest shall hear me call, and often be warned of their sinful state, and to quickly appease their incensed God, while offered grace invites them.
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