Book 3: Satan finally finds Earth through trickery

THE ARGUMENT.—God, sitting on his throne, sees Satan flying towards this World, then newly created; shews him to the Son, who sat at his right hand; foretells the success of Satan in perverting mankind; clears his, own Justice and Wisdom from all imputation, having created Man free, and able enough to have withstood his Tempter; yet declares his purpose of grace towards him, in regard he fell not of his own malice, as did Satan, but by him seduced. The Son of God renders praises to his Father for the manifestation of his gracious purpose towards Man: but God again declares that Grace cannot be extended towards Man without the satisfaction of Divine Justice; Man hath offended the majesty of God by aspiring to Godhead, and therefore, with all his progeny, devoted to death, must die, unless some one can be found sufficient to answer for his offence, and undergo his punishment. The Son of God freely offers himself a ransom for Man: the Father accepts him, ordains his incarnation, pronounces his exaltation above all Names in Heaven and Earth; commands all the Angels to adore him. They obey, and, hymning to their harps in full quire, celebrate the Father and the Son. Meanwhile Satan alights upon the bare convex of this World’s outermost orb; where wandering he first finds a place since called the Limbo of Vanity; what persons and things fly up thither: thence comes to the gate of Heaven, described ascending by stairs, and the waters above the firmament that flow about it. His passage thence to the orb of the Sun: he finds there Uriel, the regent of that orb, but first changes himself into the shape of a meaner Angel, and, pretending a zealous desire to behold the new Creation, and Man whom God had placed here, inquires of him the place of his habitation, and is directed: Alights first on Mount Niphates.

tl;dr Satan is on his way to Earth and God sees everything Satan does. An Angel is also tricked into showing Satan where Earth is.


HAIL, holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born!

Oh Holy light,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam

May I express thee unblamed? since God is light,

And never but in unapproached light

Dwelt from eternity-dwelt then in thee,
you've been here forever.
Bright effluence of bright essence increate!

Or hear’st thou rather pure Ethereal Stream,

Whose fountain who shall tell? Before the Sun,

Your light has even been here before the sun and
Before the Heavens, thou wert, and at the voice

before the Heavens.
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising World of waters dark and deep,

Won from the void and formless Infinite!

Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,

Escaped the Stygian Pool, though long detained

In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight,
Through utter and through middle Darkness borne,

With other notes than to the Orphean lyre

I sung of Chaos and eternal Night,

Taught by the Heavenly Muse to venture down

The dark descent, and up to re-ascend,
Though hard and rare. Thee I revisit safe,

And feel thy sovran vital lamp; but thou

I am asking for your sovereign and lively lamp
Revisit’st not these eyes, that rowl in vain

to shine on me. Although I am blind
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;

and I cannot see your light,
So thick a drop serene hath quenched their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more

it still doesn't
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt

stop me from hearing about and enjoying
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,

beautiful places.
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief

Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow,

Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget

I'll never forget the fact
Those other two equalled with me in fate,

that there are many other
(So were I equalled with them in renown!)

blind men in history and in legend
Blind Thamyris and blind Mæonides,
And Tiresias and Phineus, prophets old:

Then feed on thoughts that voluntary move

who wrote great poetry.
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird

The nightingale still sings a beautiful song
Sings darkling, and, in shadiest covert hid,

even shrouded in darkness.
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year
Seasons return; but not to me returns

The seasons may change
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,

day turns into night
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer’s rose,

there are flowers
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;

birds, animals, and human faces which are all so beautiful
But cloud instead and ever—during dark
but I cannot see any of it.
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men

Cut off, and, for the book of knowledge fair,

If I cannot see anything, I feel cut off. I feel as though I cannot learn anything
Presented with a universal blank

I am blank
Of Nature’s works, to me expunged and rased,

And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.
and I feel left out because of my "handicap."
So much the rather thou, Celestial Light,

So please, oh great light.
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers

Shine upon me and into me so I'll be able
Irradiate; there plant eyes; all mist from thence

Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell

to see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.
about things that people cannot see.
  Now had the Almighty Father from above,

From the pure Empyrean where He sits

Now I am imagining how God must have
High throned above all highth, bent down his eye,

felt, high up in Heaven.
His own works and their works at once to view:

Looking down at his creation.
About him all the Sanctities of Heaven
With all his Angels around him
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received

like stars
Beatitude past utterance; on his right

and on his right
The radiant image of his glory sat,

His only Son. On Earth he first beheld

his son.
Our two first parents, yet the only two
God saw Adam and Eve
Of mankind, in the Happy Garden placed,

who are our first parents, down in the Garden of Eden
Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,

Uninterrupted joy, unrivalled love,

enjoying innocence.
In blissful solitude. He then surveyed

Then God looked down into Hell
Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there
and happened to see Satan there
Coasting the wall of Heaven on this side Night,

In the dun air sublime, and ready now

To stoop, with wearied wings and willing feet,

and getting ready to land somewhere
On the bare outside of this World, that seemed

in the far reaches of the universe.
Firm land imbosomed without firmament,
Uncertain which, in ocean or in air.

Him God beholding from his prospect high,

God just watched, while knowing
Wherein past, present, future, he beholds,

all about the past, present and future simultaneously.
Thus to His only Son foreseeing spake:—

God then said to his son
  “Only-begotten Son, seest thou what rage
"Ayy look how angry
Transports our Adversary? whom no bounds

Satan is.
Prescribed, no bars of Hell, nor all the chains

Not even the prisons of Hell, the chains
Heaped on him there, nor yet the main Abyss

on his body, or the Abyss of
Wide interrupt, can hold; so bent he seems

the universe can stop him.
On desperate revenge, that shall redound
He's obviously looking for revenge, but
Upon his own rebellious head. And now,

little does he know that it's just going to hurt him and his cause more.
Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way

Not far off Heaven, in the precincts of light,

I can see that he's
Directly towards the new-created World,

on his way to Earth.
And Man there placed, with purpose to assay
I know he's going to try and mess with man and
If him by force he can destroy, or, worse,

either destroy them or worse,
By some false guile pervert: and shall pervert;

trick them and pervert them
For Man will hearken to his glozing lies,

with his lies.
And easily transgress the sole command,

And you know what? He will succeed in tricking
Sole pledge of his obedience: so will fall
man. Man will fall
He and his faithless progeny. Whose fault?

for his lies and be seduced.
Whose but his own? Ingrate, he had of me

It will be Man's fault in the end.
All he could have; I made him just and right,

I have indeed given Man
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.

every chance to succeed on their own.
Such I created all the Ethereal Powers
I gave Man the same freedom that
And Spirits, both them who stood and them who failed;

I have given the angels.
Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.

Not free, what proof could they have given sincere

Without freedom, how else could they prove
Of true allegiance, constant faith, or love,

their allegiance, faith, or love? Without freedom, they would only be doing what they were forced to do.
Where only what they needs must do appeared,
Not what they would? What praise could they receive,

What pleasure I, from such obedience paid.

What pleasure would I get from such forceful "love" and "adoration?"
When Will and Reason (Reason also is Choice),

Useless and vain, of freedom both despoiled,

Made passive both, had served Necessity,
Not Me? They, therefore, as to right belonged

So were created, nor can justly accuse

They were created this way
Their Maker, or their making, or their fate,

and they cannot blame me their maker, for their downfall.
As if Predestination overruled

Their will, disposed by absolute decree
Or high foreknowledge. They themselves decreed

Their own revolt, not I. If I foreknew,

The fact that I knew that this would happen
Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,

has no effect on their free will.
Which had no less proved certain unforeknown.

So without least impulse or shadow of fate,
Or aught by me immutably foreseen,

They trespass, authors to themselves in all,

They are still
Both what they judge and what they choose; for so

responsible for their judgments and actions.
I formed them free, and free they must remain

I made them free, and they must stay free
Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change
Their nature, and revoke the high decree

Unchangeable, eternal, which ordained

Their freedom; they themselves ordained their fall.

The first sort by their own suggestion fell,

Self-tempted, self-depraved; Man falls, deceived
By the other first: Man, therefore, shall find grace;

After all this,
The other, none. In mercy and justice both,

Through Heaven and Earth, so shall my glory excel;

I will still be merciful and forgive them for the fall."
But mercy, first and last, shall brightest shine.”

  Thus while God spake ambrosial fragrance filled
When God spoke, the air was filled with an ambrosial fragrance
All Heaven, and in the blessèd Spirits elect

that spread through Heaven which made
Sense of new joy ineffable diffused.

all the Angels joyful and happy.
Beyond compare the Son of God was seen

The song of God
Most glorious; in him all his Father shon

was glorious.
Substantially expressed; and in his face
And in his face
Divine compassion visibly appeared,

was full of compassion and
Love without end, and without measure grace;

unmeasured kindness.
Which uttering, thus He to his Father spake;—

He spoke to his father.
  “O Father, gracious was that word which closed

"Oh Father,
Thy sovran sentence, that Man should find grace;
Man will find grace
For which both Heaven and Earth shall high extol

and both Heaven and Earth
Thy praises, with the innumerable sound

will praise you with
Of hymns and sacred songs, wherewith thy throne

hymns and songs
Encompassed shall resound thee ever blest.

For, should Man finally be lost—should Man,
for forgiving the fall of Man.
Thy creature late so loved, thy youngest son,

Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though joined

With his own folly -! That be from thee far,

That far be from thee, Father, who art judge

Of all things made, and judgest only right!
You always do the right thing.
Or shall the Adversary thus obtain

And we certainly do not want Satan
His end, and frustrate thine? Shall he fulfil

to win and further ruin all your hopes
His malice, and thy goodness bring to naught

Or proud return, though to his heavier doom

Yet with revenge accomplished, and to Hell
for Man
Draw after him the whole race of mankind,

by bringing down the human race with his
By him corrupted? Or wilt thou thyself

Abolish thy creation, and unmake,

For him, what for thy glory thou hast made?—

Because if Satan succeeds in doing that, then all of Man
So should thy goodness and thy greatness both
would question you and be
Be questioned and blasphemed without defense.”

angry with you."
  To whom the great Creator thus replied:—

God then replied to his son:
“O Son, in whom my soul hath chief delight,

"Oh Son, don't worry about it. You are the the
Son of my bosom, Son who art alone

only one
My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
who has the same
All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all

wisdom and power as I do. Everything
As my eternal purpose hath decreed.

you have said is what I've been thinking too. I'm basically just talking to myself.
Man shall not quite be lost, but saved who will;

Some men will be saved,
Yet not of will in him, but grace in me

if they want to be saved.
Freely voutsafed. Once more I will renew
His lapsed powers, though forfeit, and enthralled

By sin to foul exorbitant desires:

Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand

But only because I'd be giving them
On even ground against his mortal foe—

the power to fight the evils and trickery of Satan.
By me upheld, that he may know how frail
Man is frail and weak.
His fallen condition is, and to me owe

And in Man's condition, they will learn
All his deliverance, and to none but me.

that Man needs me.
Some I have chosen of peculiar grace,

I may also have a few favorite humans
Elect above the rest; so is my will:

that I will choose.
The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warned
I will also warn the others
Their sinful state, and to appease betimes

The incensèd Deity, while offered grace

Invites; for I will clear their senses dark

What may suffice, and soften stony hearts

To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.
that in their sins they must repent.
To prayer, repentance, and obedience due,

They will pray
Though but endeavoured with sincere intent,

and if they are sincere then
Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.

I will listen
And I will place within them as a guide

and I will give them guidance
My umpire Conscience; whom if they will hear,
through their conscience.
Light after light well used they shall attain,

And to the end persisting safe arrive.

This my long sufferance, and my day of grace,

But for those who will not listen, will
They who neglect and scorn shall never taste;

But hard be hardened, blind be blinded more,
That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;

fall deeper into sin
And none but such from mercy I exclude.—

and I'm afraid I cannot give them mercy.
But yet all is not done. Man disobeying,

If Man continues to
Disloyal, breaks his fealty, and sins

sin and be disloyal,
Against the high supremacy of Heaven,
against Heaven
Affecting Godhead, and, so losing all,

To expiate his treason hath naught left,

But, to destruction sacred and devote,

He with his whole posterity must die;

then I've no choice but to kill him.
Die he or Justice must; unless for him
If I did not kill Man then I'd be killing justice. Justice must be done.
Some other, able, and as willing, pay

Unless... someone
The rigid satisfaction, death for death.

is willing to take Man's place and die for Man.
Say, Heavenly Powers, where shall we find such love?

Where can we find such a love? for someone
Which of ye will be mortal, to redeem

to become human and redeem all of mankind by offering their life to die?"
Man’s mortal crime, and just, the unjust to save?
Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?”

  He asked, but all the Heavenly Quire stood mute,

God had posed this question,
And silence was in Heaven: on Man’s behalf

but all of Heaven was silent.
Patron or intercessor none appeared—

No one stepped up to offer their life to redeem mankind.
Much less that durst upon his own head draw
The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.

And now without redemption all mankind

Must have been lost, adjudged to Death and Hell

By doom severe, had not the Son of God,

If the Son of God never stepped up, then all of mankind would have been lost and damned to Hell.
In whom the fulness dwells of love divine,
His dearest mediation thus renewed:—

The son stepped forward
  “Father, thy word is passed, Man shall find grace;

"Father, Man will find grace.
And shall Grace not find means, that finds her way,

The speediest of thy winged messengers,

To visit all thy creatures, and to all
Your godly grace finds everyone.
Comes unprevented, unimplored, unsought?

Happy for Man, so coming! He her aid

Can never seek, once dead in sins and lost—

Atonement for himself, or offering meet,

Indebted and undone, hath none to bring.
Behold me, then: me for him, life for life,

I will offer my life. A life for life.
I offer; on me let thine anger fall;

I'll even let you be angry with me when
Account me Man: I for his sake will leave

I am a Man. I will give up Heaven voluntarily.
Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee

Freely put off, and for him lastly die
Well pleased; on me let Death wreak all his rage.

I will allow Death to do whatever to me.
Under his gloomy power I shall not long

However, I know that I will not
Lie vanquished. Thou hast given me to possess

suffer for long.
Life in myself for ever; by thee I live;

You have given me eternal life
Though now to Death I yield, and am his due,
All that of men can die, yet, that debt paid,

Thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave

I know you will never abandon me with Death.
His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul

I will not suffer and I will not be dead forever.
For ever with corruption there to dwell;

But I shall rise victorious, and subdue
I will rise again. And I will also subdue
My vanquisher, spoiled of his vaunted spoil.

Death, and kill him.
Death his death’s wound shall then receive, and stoop

Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarmed;

I through the ample air in triumph high

I will also
Shall lead Hell captive maugre Hell, and show
seal Hell
The powers of Darkness bound. Thou, at the sight

and end Hell's powers.
Pleased, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile,

You will be pleased with what I will do, Father.
While, by thee raised, I ruin all my foes—

Death last, and with his carcase glut the grave;

I will kill all my enemies and use Death's carcass and seal  their graves.
Then, with the multitude of my redeemed,
I will then redeem and save
Shall enter Heaven, long absent, and return,

all the souls and take them to Heaven
Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud

to come see you
Of anger shall remain, but peace assured

and have eternal peace."
And reconcilement: wrauth shall be no more

Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire.”
  His words here ended; but his meek aspect’

The Son was
Silent yet spake, and breathed immortal love

pleased to offer his
To mortal man, above which only shon

love and
Filial obedience: as a sacrifice

to be sacrificed for the sake of mankind.
Glad to be offered, he attends the will
Of his great Father. Admiration seized

All Heaven, what this might mean, and whither tend,

All of Heaven admired the Son's offer.
Wondering; but soon the Almighty thus replied:—

And then God replied
  “O thou in Heaven and Earth the only peace

"You are
Found out for mankind under wrauth, O thou
Mankind's only hope!
My sole complacence! well thou know’st how dear

I am at ease now and I feel
To me are all my works; nor Man the least,

much better. You know how much my work
Though last created, that for him I spare

means to me.
Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save,

You will be leaving my side for quote a while
By losing thee a while, the whole race lost!
but as long as mankind is saved.
Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem,

Only you can save them.
Their nature also to thy nature join;

And be thyself Man among men on Earth,

Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed,

You will be magically born from a virgin.
By wondrous birth; be thou in Adam’s room
You will take Adam's place
The head of all mankind, though Adam’s son.

as the head of all of mankind.
As in him perish all men, so in thee,

Even though Adam messes up and causes all of Mankind's destruction,
As from a second root, shall be restored

you will be Mankind's second chance
As many as are restored; without thee, none.

for salvation to restore them.
His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit,
Man's crime will make all of his sons guilty
Imputed, shall absolve them who renounce

Their own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,

And live in thee transplanted, and from thee

but if they live in you then they will
Receive new life, So Man, as is most just,

receive new life and be saved and absolved.
Shall satisfy for Man, be judged and die,
Only a man can stand for mankind so go forth and be judged
And dying rise, and, rising, with him raise

and then die, and then rise
His brethren, ransomed with his own dear life.

up and save everyone that way.
So Heavenly love shall outdo Hellish hate,

Giving to death, and dying to redeem,

So dearly to redeem what Hellish hate
You can redeem what Hell's hate has done
So easily destroyed, and still destroys

In those who, when they may, accept not grace.

except for those who refuse your help.
Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume

Do not think that because you have
Man’s nature, lessen or degrade thine own.

become human, that your glory will be less than before.
Because thou hast, though throned in highest bliss
Just by
Equal to God, and equally enjoying

giving up your place in Heaven, where you were equal to me
God-like fruition, quitted all to save

it just goes to
A world from utter loss, and hast been found

further prove
By merit more than birthright Son of God,—

that you really are worthy to be the
Found worthiest to be so by being good,
Son of God.
Far more than great or high; because in thee

Love hath abounded more than glory abounds;

Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt
With thee thy manhood also to this Throne:

When you return to the throne in Heaven, you will
Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign
keep your human form.
Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,

Anointed universal King. All power

And then I will give you all the power to reign as king
I give thee; reign for ever, and assume

Thy merits; under thee, as Head Supreme,

Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions, I reduce:
All knees to thee shall bow of them that bide

In Heaven, or Earth, or, under Earth, in Hell.

in Heaven, Earth, and Hell.
When thou, attended gloriously from Heaven,

Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send

You will appear in the sky
The summoning Archangels to proclaim
when doomsday comes
Thy dread tribunal, forthwith from all winds

and all of
The living, and forthwith the cited dead

the dead
Of all past ages, to the general doom

of all past ages
Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep.

Then, all thy Saints assembled, thou shalt judge
will be judged.
Bad men and Angels; they arraigned shall sink

You will send all of the bad men and angels to
Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full,

fill up Hell
Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Meanwhile

and then you will seal it forever.
The World shall burn, and from her ashes spring

The Earth will burn and from the ashes a new
New Heaven and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell,
Heaven and Earth will
And, after all their tribulations long,

See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,

With Joy and Love triumph’ing, and fair Truth.

Then thou thy regal sceptre shalt lay by;

For regal sceptre then no more shall need;
By then you will no longer have to act as a king, for
God shall be All in All. But all ye Gods,

everyone will be a part of you."
Adore Him who, to compass all this, dies;

Adore the Son, and honour him as me.”

  No sooner had the Almighty ceased but—all

All of the Angels cheered.
The multitude of Angels, with a shout
Loud as from numbers without number, sweet

As from blest voices, uttering joy—Heaven rung

With jubilee, and loud Hosannas filled

The eternal regions. Lowly reverent

Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground
All of them bowed
With solemn adoration down they cast

with adoration. And then they threw down
Their crowns, inwove with amarant and gold,—

all of their beautiful golden crowns onto the ground.
Immortal amarant, a flower which once

The crowns were decorated
In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life,

with a flower
Began to bloom, but, soon for Man’s offence
that used to bloom in Eden but after Man sinned
To Heaven removed where first it grew, there grows

the flower was removed from Earth and brought back to Heaven where it was originally from.
And flowers aloft, shading the Fount of Life,

And where the River of Bliss through midst of Heaven

Rowls o’er Elysian flowers her amber stream!

With these, that never fade, the Spirits elect
These flowers never fade,
Bind their resplendent locks, inwreathed with beams.

the angels used them to tie up their locks of hair
Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright

Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shon,

Now the flowers were all over the ground, making it look like a sea of green jewels.
Impurpled with celestial roses smiled.

Then, crowned again, their golden harps they took—
Then they all put their crowns back on and then took their harps
Harps ever tuned, that glittering by their side

that they were carrying and then
Like quivers hung; and with preamble sweet

Of charming symphony they introduce

they started to play.
Their sacred song, and waken raptures high:

No voice exempt, no voice but well could join
They all began to sing in perfect harmony.
Melodious part; such concord is in Heaven.

  Thee, Father, first they sung, Omnipotent

They sang about God
Immutable, Immortal. Infinite,

Eternal King; thee, Author of all being,

Fountain of light, thyself invisible
Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sitt’st

and his brightness and how they could only
Throned inaccessible, but when thou shad’st

look at him when he was in a misty
The full blaze of thy beams, and through a cloud

Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine

Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear,
Yet dazzle Heaven, that brightest Seraphim

Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.

He was so bright that the angels still had to shade their eyes with their wings.
Thee next they sang, of all creation first,

Then they sang about the Son
Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,

In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud
who they could see clearly
Made visible, the Almighty Father shines,

Whom else no creature can behold: on thee

Impressed the effulgence of his glory abides;

Transfused on thee his ample Spirit rests.

He Heaven of Heavens, and all the Powers therein,
By thee created; and by thee threw down

The aspiring Dominations. Thou that day

Thy Father’s dreadful thunder didst not spare,

Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook

Heaven’s everlasting frame, while o’er the necks
Thou drov’st of warring Angels disarrayed.

Back from pursuit, thy Powers with loud acclaim

Thee only extolled, Son of thy Father’s might,

To execute fierce vengeance on his foes.

Not so on Man: him, through their malice fallen,
They sang about the Son's mercy towards Man.
Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom

So strictly, but much more to pity encline.

No sooner did thy dear and only Son

Perceive thee purposed not to doom frail Man

And about his offer to sacrifice himself for Man.
So strictly, but much more to pity enclined,
He, to appease thy wrauth, and end the strife

Of mercy and justice in thy face discerned,

Regardless of the bliss wherein he sat

Second to thee, offered himself to die

For Man’s offence. O unexampled love!
Love nowhere to be found less than Divine!

Hail, Son of God, Saviour of men! Thy name

Shall be the copious matter of my song

Henceforth, and never shall my harp thy praise

Forget, nor from thy Father’s praise disjoin!
  Thus they in Heaven, above the Starry Sphere,

While Heaven was celebrating
Their happy hours in joy and hymning spent.

and rejoicing and singing
Meanwhile, upon the firm opacous globe

Of this round World, whose first convex divides

The luminous inferior Orbs, enclosed
From Chaos and the inroad of Darkness old,

Satan alighted walks. A globe far off

Satan was walking on the globe
It seemed; now seems a boundless continent,

that contained the universe.
Dark, waste, and wild, under the frown of Night

It was a dark, wasteland that seemed endless.
Starless exposed, and ever-threatening storms
Of Chaos blustering round, inclement sky,

Save on that side which from the wall of Heaven,

Though distant far, some small reflection gains

In the distance, some of the light from Heaven could be seen and it seemed a lot calmer than everywhere else.
Of glimmering air less vexed with tempest loud.

Here walked the Fiend at large in spacious field.
As when a vultur, on Imaus bred,

Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,

Dislodging from a region scarce of prey,

To gorge the flesh of lambs or yearling kids

On hills where flocks are fed, flies toward the springs
Of Ganges or Hydaspes, Indian streams,

But in his way lights on the barren plains

Of Sericana, where Chineses drive

With sails and wind their cany waggons light;

So, on this windy sea of land, the Fiend
Walked up and down alone, bent on his prey:

He just walked alone.
Alone, for other creature in this place,

Living or lifeless, to be found was none:—

None yet; but store hereafter from the Earth

Pretty soon this Earth will be inhabited by people.
Up hither like aerial vapours flew
Of all things transitory and vain, when sin

With vanity had filled the works of men—

Both all things vain, and all who in vain things

This wasteland would be filled with people who lived with vanity
Built their fond hopes of glory or lasting fame,

and based their lives on glory and fame.
Or happiness in this or the other life.
All who have their reward on earth, the fruits

Of painful superstition and blind zeal,

Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find

Fit retribution, empty as their deeds;

All the unaccomplished works of Nature’s hand,
Abortive, monstrous, or unkindly mixed,

Dissolved on Earth, fleet hither, and in vain,

Till final dissolution, wander here—

They will all wander in this place, until the final dissolution
Not in the neighbouring Moon, as some have dreamed:

Those argent fields more likely habitants,
Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold,

Betwixt the angelical and human kind.

Hither, of ill—joined sons and daughters born,

First from the ancient world those Giants came,

With many a vain exploit, though then renowned:
The builders next of Babel on the plain

Of Sennaar, and still with vain design

New Babels, had they wherewithal, would build:

Others came single; he who, to be deemed

Here there would also be
A god, leaped fondly into Ætna flames,
Empedocles; and he who, to enjoy

Plato’s Elysium, leaped into the sea,

Cleombrotus; and many more, too long,

Embryos and idiots, eremites and friars,

all the philosophers who had killed themselves
White, black, and grey, with all their trumpery.
Here pilgrims roam, that strayed so far to seek

as well as those who made pilgrimages to
In Golgotha him dead who lives in Heaven;

Golgotha where Jesus was crucified.
And they who, to be sure of Paradise,

Also there would be those who were confident they would get into Heaven
Dying put on the weeds of Dominic,

by disguising themselves as followers of St. Dominic
Or in Franciscan think to pass disguised.
or St. Francis.
They pass the planets seven, and pass the fixed,

They would pass the seven planets
And that crystal’lin sphere whose balance weighs

and the Sun
The trepidation talked, and that first moved;

And now Saint Peter at Heaven’s wicket seems

all the way to St. Peter
To wait them with his keys, and now at foot
who would be waiting with his keys
Of Heaven’s ascent they lift their feet, when, lo!

at the gate of Heaven. But once they would arrive at the gate
A violent cross wind from either coast

they would be blown away from a violent wind
Blows them transverse, then thousand leagues awry,

taking them thousands of miles away
Into the devious air. Then might ye see

Cowls, hoods, and habits, with their wearers, tost
and their hoods,
And fluttered into rags; then reliques, beads,

robes, clothes, rosary beads,
Indulgences, dispenses, pardons, bulls

The sport of winds: all these, upwhirled aloft,

would become scattered everywhere.
Fly o’er the backside of the World far off

These are all the souls that would
Into a Limbo large and broad, since called
be thrown into a place called Limbo
The Paradise of Fools; to few unknown

or the Paradise of Fools.
Long after, now unpeopled and untrod.

It was all empty at the moment
  All this dark globe the Fiend found as he passed;

as Satan passed through and
And long he wandered, till at last a gleam

wandered around until he saw a distant gleam,
Of dawning light turned thitherward in haste
a dawning light that made him tread faster
His travelled steps. Far distant he descries,

Ascending by degrees magnificent

towards a great sight of a
Up to the wall of Heaven, a structure high;

wall of Heaven.
At top whereof, but far more rich, appeared

It looked so grand
The work as of a kingly palace-gate,
With frontispiece of diamond and gold

decorated with diamonds and gold
Imbellished; thick with sparkling orient gems

and many other jewels
The portal shon, inimitable on Earth

and there wasn't anything like it on Earth.
By model, or by shading pencil drawn.

Not even a model, drawing, or painting could recreate its beauty.
The stairs were such as whereon Jacob saw
These are the stairs where Jacob saw
Angels ascending and descending, bands

Angels going up and down. It was Jacob's Ladder.
Of guardians bright, when he from Esau fled

To Padan-Aram, in the field of Luz

Dreaming by night under the open sky,

And waking cried, This is the gate of Heaven.
Each stair mysteriously was meant, nor stood

Each step of the stair had their own mysterious secret meaning.
There always, but drawn up to Heaven sometimes

This was a special staircase that
Viewless; and underneath a bright sea flowed

was sometimes hidden
Of jasper, or of liquid pearl, whereon

Who after came from Earth sailing arrived
but was revealed whenever those who came from Earth
Wafted by Angels, or flew o’er the lake

Rapt is a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.

came to use it on their chariots.
The stairs were then let down, whether to dare

The stairs were revealed and open at the moment
The Fiend by easy ascent, or aggravate

that Satan was there. They were there to tempt him or taunt him
His sad exclusion from the doors of bliss:
by showing him where he obviously cannot go.
Direct against which opened from beneath,

Right under the stairs was an opening
Just o’er the blissful seat of Paradise,

A passage down to the Earth—a passage wide;

which was a passage down to earth
Wider by far than that of after—times

a wide one
Over Mount Sion, and, though that were large,
that was even wider than Mount Zion
Over the Promised Land to God so dear,

where God
By which, to visit oft those happy tribes,

On high behests his Angels to and fro

would later send his Angels to and from.
Passed frequent, and his eye with choice regard

From Paneas, the fount of Jordan’s flood,
To Beërsaba, where the Holy Land

Borders on Ægypt and the Arabian shore.

So wide the opening seemed, where bounds were set

To darkness, such as bound the ocean wave.

Satan from hence, now on the lower stair,
Satan was on the lower stair
That scaled by steps of gold to Heaven-gate,

Looks down with wonder at the sudden view

looking down in awe
Of all this World at once. As when a scout,

like he was a scout
Through dark and desart ways with peril gone

going through darkness and peril
All night, at last by break of cheerful dawn
only to be greeted by a cheerful dawn
Obtains the brow of some high-climbing hill,

after climbing a great hill.
Which to his eye discovers unaware

As if he was gazing upon a
The goodly prospect of some foreign land

foreign land,
First seen, or some renowned metropolis

or an undiscovered city.
With glistering spires and pinnacles adorned,
Which now the rising sun gilds with his beams;

Such wonder seized, though after Heaven seen,

The Spirit malign, but much more envy seized,

Satan was feeling jealous.
At sight of all this World beheld so fair.

Round he surveys (and well might, where he stood
He stood and
So high above the circling canopy

Of Night’s extended shade) from eastern point

just looked around,
Of Libra to the fleecy star that bears

Andromeda far off Atlantic seas

Beyond the horizon; then from pole to pole
taking everything in.
He views in breadth,—and, without longer pause,

Down right into the World’s first region throws

he flew down
His flight precipitant, and winds with ease

and he found it to be easy gliding down
Through the pure marble air his oblique way

because of the clean air.
Amongst innumerable stars, that shon
He passed through the stars
Stars distant, but nigh-hand seemed other worlds.

which were distant
Or other worlds they seemed, or happy isles,

but when looking at them close-up
Like those Hesperian Gardens famed of old,

they were potential habitable worlds.
Fortunate fields, and groves, and flowery vales;

Thrice happy isles! But who dwelt happy there
He staid not to inquire: above them all

But Satan wasn't interested in any of them.
The golden Sun, in splendour likest Heaven,

He was focused on the Sun which was shining bright like Heaven.
Allured his eye. Thither his course he bends,

Through the calm firmament (but up or down,

By centre or eccentric, hard to tell,
Or longitude) where the great luminary,

Aloof the vulgar constellations thick,

That from the lordly eye keep distance due,

Dispenses light from far. They, as they move

Their starry dance in numbers that compute
Days, months, and years, towards his all-cheering lamp

Turn swift their various motions, or are turned

By his magnetic beam, that gently warms

The Sun's warm beams
The Universe, and to each inward part

was able to reach every part
With gentle penetration, though unseen
Shoots invisible virtue even to the Deep;

of the universe.
So wondrously was set his station bright.

There lands the Fiend, a spot like which perhaps

And that is where Satan landed. He was on a spot of the Sun
Astronomer in the Sun’s lucent orb

that probably no Astronomer
Through his glazed optic tube yet never saw.
has ever seen through their telescope.
The place he found beyond expression bright,

It was so bright.
Compared with aught on Earth, metal or stone—

Compared to the metals and stones on Earth.
Not all parts like, but all alike informed

With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire.

If metal, part seemed gold, part silver clear;
If stone, carbuncle most or chrysolite,

Ruby or topaz, to the twelve that shon

In Aaron’s breast-plate, and a stone besides;

Imagined rather oft than elsewhere seen—

That stone, or like to that, which there below
Philosophers in vain so long have sought;

In vain, though by their powerful art they bind

Volatile Hermes, and call up unbound

In various shapes old Proteus from the sea,

Drained through a limbec to his native form.
What wonder then if fields and regions here

If the Sun can produce regions, fields,
Breathe forth elixir pure, and rivers run

and rivers of pure
Potable gold, when, with one virtuous touch,

The arch-chimic Sun, so far from us remote,

then it is no surprise that the Sun, which is so far away,
Produces, with terrestrial humour mixed,
can help produce all the
Here in the dark so many precious things

Of colour glorious and effect so rare?

colorful things on Earth.
Here matter new to gaze the Devil met

Undazzled. Far and wide his eye commands;

For sight no obstacle found here, nor shade,
But all sunshine, as when his beams at noon

Culminate from the equator, as they now

Shot upward still direct, whence no way round

Shadow from body opaque can fall; and the air,

Nowhere so clear, sharpened his visual ray
The air was so clear, that he could see
To objects distant far, whereby he soon

objects far in the distance. He soon
Saw within ken a glorious Angel stand,

saw an Angel
The same whom John saw also in the Sun.

His back was turned, but not his brightness hid;

whose back was turned.
Of beaming sunny rays a golden tiar
He was wearing a golden
Circled his head, nor less his locks behind

Illustrious on his shoulders fledge with wings

Lay waving round: on some great charge imployed

He seemed, or fixed in cogitation deep.

The Angel was in deep thought.
Glad was the Spirit impure, as now in hope
This somewhat made Satan excited
To find who might direct his wandering flight

and he started plotting on how he could get this Angel to direct
To Paradise, the happy seat of Man,

him to Paradise.
His journey’s end, and our beginning woe.

But first he casts to change his proper shape,

Which else might work him danger or delay:
And now a stripling Cherub he appears,

Satan transformed himself into a Cherub.
Not of the prime, yet such as in his face

Youth smiled celestial, and to every limb

A young Cherub
Suitable grace diffused; so well he feigned.

Under a coronet his flowing hair
with flowing hair
In curls on either cheek played; wings he wore

that was curly and went down to his cheeks
Of many a coloured plume sprinkled with gold;

and on his back he had multi-coloured wings
His habit fit for speed succinct; and held

and he was holding
Before his decent steps a silver wand.

a silver wand.
He drew not nigh unheard; the Angel bright,
Satan in disguise, flew close and the Angel
Ere he drew nigh, his radiant visage turned,

turned his attention to the "Cherub"
Admonished by his ear, and straight was known

The Archangel Uriel—one of the seven

Satan recognized this Angel as Uriel who was one of God's seven
Who in God’s presence, nearest to his throne,

Archangels who stood watch
Stand ready at command, and are his eyes
That run through all the Heavens, or down to the Earth

over Heaven and Earth.
Bear his swift errands over moist and dry,

O’er sea and land. Him Satan thus accosts:—

  “Uriel! for thou of those seven Spirits that stand

Satan spoke "Uriel!
In sight of God’s high throne, gloriously bright,
you're up here watching and standing guard over
The first art wont his great authentic will

God's creation!
Interpreter through highest Heaven to bring,

Where all his Sons thy embassy attend,

And here art likeliest by supreme decree

Like honour to obtain, and as his eye
To visit oft this new Creation round—

Unspeakable desire to see and know

I came here to see his creation too!
All these his wondrous works, but chiefly Man

I would like to see the creature, Man.
His chief delight and favour, him for whom

All these his works so wondrous he ordained,
Hath brought me from the quires of Cherubim

Alone thus wandering. Brightest Seraph, tell

I've been wandering around and I would
In which of all these shining orbs hath Man

like to know which of these stars Man is
His fixed seat—or fixèd seat hath none,

living on!
But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell—
That I may find him, and with secret gaze

I would like to find him and secretly watch him
Or open admiration him behold

or maybe I'll openly admire Man
On whom the great Creator hath bestowed

to see and experience the great creation that God has
Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces poured;

made on the world!"
That both in him and all things, as is meet,
The Universal Maker we may praise;

Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes

To deepest Hell, and, to repair that loss,

Created this new happy race of Men

To serve him better. Wise are all his ways!”
  So spake the false dissembler unperceived;

The lies worked on Uriel.
For neither man nor angel can discern

Neither man or Angel can see through things such as lies.
Hypocrisy—the only evil that walks

Invisible, except to God alone,

But God can.
By his permissive will, through Heaven and Earth;
And oft, though Wisdom wake, Suspicion sleeps

At Wisdom’s gate, and to Simplicity

Resigns her charge, while Goodness thinks no ill

Where no ill seems: which now for once beguiled

Uriel, though Regent of the Sun, and held
The sharpest-sighted Spirit of all in Heaven;

Who to the fraudulent impostor foul,

In his uprightness, answer thus returned:—

Uriel replied
  “Fair Angel, thy desire, which tends to know

"Good for you that
The works of God, thereby to glorify
you'd like to check out God's creation and praise him
The great Work-maister, leads to no excess

for his work.
That reaches blame, but rather merits praise

The more it seems excess, that led thee hither

From thy empyreal mansion thus alone,

To witness with thine eyes what some perhaps,
Contented with report, hear only in Heaven:

For wonderful indeed are all his works,

His works are indeed wonderful
Pleasant to know, and worthiest to be all

and they are amazing to see.
Had in remembrance always with delight!

But what created mind can comprehend
Their number, or the wisdom infinite

That brought them forth, but hid their causes deep?

I saw when, at his word, the formless mass,

I was there when there was nothing.
This World’s material mould, came to a heap:

Confusion heard his voice, and wild Uproar
I saw when God turned the confusion and uproar
Stood ruled, stood vast Infinitude confined;

into order.
Till, at his second bidding, Darkness fled,

Light shon, and order from disorder sprung.

Swift to their several quarters hasted then

The cumbrous elements—Earth, Flood, Air, Fire;
Earth, water, air, and fire
And this ethereal quint’ essence of Heaven

were brought together and then
Flew upward, spirited with various forms,

spread out into
That rowled orbicular, and turned to stars

the stars.
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move:

Each had his place appointed, each his course;
The rest in circuit walls this Universe.

Look downward on that globe, whose hither side

Look down on this globe here
With light from hence, though but reflected, shines:

that has all of the light shining on it.
That place is Earth, the seat of Man; that light

That is Earth, where you can find Man.
His day, which else, as the other hemisphere,
On one hemisphere is his day
Night would invade; but there the neighbouring Moon

and on the other side is his night. There is also the moon
(So called that opposite fair star) her aid

which helps to reflect
Timely interposes, and, her monthly round

Still ending, still renewing, through mid-heaven,

With borrowed light her countenance triform
light from here and
Hence fills and empties, to enlighten the Earth,

sends it to Earth.
And in her pale dominion checks the night.

That spot to which I point is Paradise,

And this spot here which I am pointing at is Paradise.
Adam’s abode; those lofty shades his bower.

Where Adam lives."
Thy way thou canst not miss; me mine requires.”
  Thus said, he turned; and Satan, bowing low,

Satan bowed.
As to superior Spirits is wont in Heaven,

Where honour due and reverence none neglects,

Took leave, and toward the coast of Earth beneath,

And then he flew down towards Earth
Down from the ecliptic, sped with hoped success,
Throws his steep flight in many an aerie wheel,

Nor staid till on Niphates’ top he lights.

and landed on Mt. Nipahtes.


  1. When will book 4 be ready?

  2. you only have book one through three..... I need book ten..

  3. Book 4 please! I freaking love your translations, they're so helpful and funny as well

  4. Hello, for some reason, I can't click on Book 4 or any of the other books past Book 4. Is it because you have yet to finish your tldr? Thanks for all your hard work by the way!

  5. Hi, I am a high school English teacher and my class was using this website to read Paradise Lost until we realized nothing after book 3 was published! PLEASE finish this translation; we love it and it is so very helpful.

  6. why can't I see any other books after book 3 :/

  7. please please please update!!! this was a lifesaver until i hit the end!!!!! for the sake of my grades and the grades of highschoolers everywhere PLEASE finish this awesome work that you started!!!!!

  8. Please continue your translation, it is really good

  9. Please continue your translation, it is really good

  10. Please finish these, they're so helpful! I know it probably takes a long time, so don't feel the need to rush it; we don't want you to try to get it done quickly and end up making mistakes in the process. Thanks again!

  11. Hi! I need to access book 9 but the link isn't working.. Is there another way to access the book?

  12. This is actually saving my life. Please please please please pleaseeee continue your translations! You would bring happiness and joy to my entire English class!

  13. There are only really 2 adequate online translations for paradise lost, this site and another, but please continue your translations! This is by far the better one! I need book 9 but you don't have it :( I hope you choose to continue this further, it is really, really helpful. I'm a high school English IB HL 2 student and this is what we learn in class.

  14. Just wanted to echo the sentiments of everyone above to let you know there's still an interest. I'm another high school English teacher that would LOVE to have the translations for all 12 books. PLEASE! My students will love this as a study tool.

  15. Just another high school English teacher echoing the sentiments of everyone above. I'd love to use this in my senior British Lit classes!

  16. Hey man finish what you started i got a final to ace bro

  17. WONDERFUL. Exceptionally helpful to have the side-by-side translation. THANK YOU.

  18. I am UC Berkeley student that found the translations incredibly helpful. But it ends at Book 3 welp!

  19. Hello all! I apologize for the delay, I'm starting this translation back up now. To this date, books 1-4 should be complete. I've already started book 5. I don't have an ETA for the rest of the books, but I assure you it will get done sooner than later.

  20. This is an absolute godsend. Finishing off this semester in European Lit with Paradise Lost, and "Lost" I was indeed! Homer, VIrgil, and Dante gave me no real trouble but this one was really getting daunting until I found this. I appreciate you putting it side by side with the original text so that I can use your modern translation when I don't feel like I am getting something. I've shared it with a couple fellow students and it's been helpful for all of us. Thank you thank you!!!!