Book 8: Adam has a lot of questions!

THE ARGUMENT.—Adam inquires concerning celestial motions; is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge. Adam assents, and, still desirous to detain Raphael, relates to him what he remembered since his own creation—his placing in Paradise; his talk with God concerning solitude and fit society; his first meeting and nuptials with Eve. His discourse with the Angel thereupon; who, after admonitions repeated, departs.

tl;dr Adam and Raphael keep chatting, Eve leaves them to talk as she'd rather hear it all from Adam. Adam recounts his first memories.


THE ANGEL ended, and in Adam’s ear

Adam was in awe of everything Raphael was telling him.
So charming left his voice that he a while

Thought him still speaking, still stood fixed to hear;

Then, as new-waked, thus gratefully replied:—

Adam finally snapped out of the daze he was in and replied to the angel, 
  “What thanks sufficient, or what recompense
Equal, have I to render thee, divine

"I don't know how I can ever repay you
Historian, who thus largely hast allayed

for telling me all of this!
The thirst I had of knowledge, and voutsafed

This friendly condescension to relate

Things else by me unsearchable—now heard
I would have never found out otherwise.
With wonder, but delight, and, as is due,

With glory attributed to the high

Creator? Something yet of doubt remains,

This is proof that God is good and glorious. I do have one thought...
Which only thy solution can resolve.

When I behold this goodly frame, this World,
This world is quite tiny in comparison to the grand design of everything in the universe,
Of Heaven and Earth consisting, and compute

Their magnitudes—this Earth, a spot, a grain,

An atom, with the Firmament compared

And all her numbered stars, that seem to rowl

Spaces incomprehensible (for such
the space out there is just massive!
Their distance argues, and their swift return

Diurnal) merely to officiate light

And I keep thinking about the distances the stars
Round this opacous Earth, this punctual spot,

each planet has to travel around 
One day and night, in all their vast survey

the earth to give us the changing daylight and nightlight.
Useless besides—reasoning, I oft admire
I'm wondering why 
How Nature, wise and frugal, could commit

nature would want to use
Such disproportions, with superfluous hand

up so much energy like that.
So many nobler bodies to create,

Greater so manifold, to this one use,

For aught appears, and on their Orbs impose
They are all revolving around us!
Such restless revolution day by day

Repeated, while the sedentary Earth,

Wouldn't it be easier for our Earth to 
That better might with far less compass move,

Served by more noble than herself, attains

Her end without least motion, and receives,
move in some way too?" 
As tribute, such a sumless journey brought

Of incorporeal speed her warmth and light:

Speed, to describe whose swiftness number fails.”

  So spake our Sire, and by his countenance seemed

Entering on studious thoughts abstruse; which Eve
Eve noticed that Adam was getting pretty deep and lost in thought.
Perceiving, where, she sat retired in sight,

She decided to leave Adam and Raphael to speak alone.
With lowliness majestic from her seat,

And grace that won who saw to wish her stay,

Rose, and went forth among her fruits and flowers,

Eve went out to the garden
To visit how they prospered, bud and bloom,
Her nursery; they at her coming sprung,

to admire their beauty, 
And, touched by her fair tendance, gladlier grew.

the fruits and flowers all seemed to come to life
Yet went she not as not with such discourse

whenever she touched them or walked by. Eve left 
Delighted, or not capable her ear

Of what was high. Such pleasure she reserved,
the conversation not because she didn't understand it,
Adam relating, she sole auditress;

she left because 
Her husband the relater she preferred

Before the Angel, and of him to ask

she preferred to hear all about it straight from Adam
Chose rather; he, she knew, would intermix

Grateful digressions, and solve high dispute
With conjugal caresses: from his lip

later on when they could be alone. 
Not words alone pleased her. Oh, when meet now

She preferred the way Adam told stories over the way Raphael told them. 
Such pairs, in love and mutual honour joined?

With goddess-like demeanour forth she went,

She kept walking on, like a goddess. 
Not unattended; for on her as Queen
A pomp of winning Graces waited still,

And from about her shot darts of desire

Into all eyes, to wish her still in sight.

And Raphael now to Adam’s doubt proposed

Raphael replied to Adam, 
Benevolent and facile thus replied:—
  “To ask or search I blame thee not; for Heaven

"It's good to be curious, Adam.
Is as the Book of God before thee set,

God's creation in the skies is like a book,
Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learn

and it's always open for you to learn from. 
His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years.

From the seasons, hours, days, months, to years. 
This to attain, whether Heaven move or Earth
And honestly
Imports not, if thou reckon right; the rest

you don't need to be too concerned with whether it is the sky that moves or this earth that moves.
From Man or Angel the great Architect

Did wisely to conceal, and not divulge

God actually didn't want to reveal that detail to anyone. 
His secrets, to be scanned by them who ought

Rather admire. Or, if they list to try
Sometimes creators
Conjecture, he his fabric of the Heavens

Hath left to their disputes—perhaps to move

like to see and hear the different theories
His laughter at their quaint opinions wide

and opinions that curious
Hereafter, when they come to model Heaven,

And calculate the stars; how they will wield
people will have to try and make sense of 
The mighty frame; how build, unbuild, contrive

God's creation.
To save appearances; how gird the Sphere

With Centric and Eccentric scribbled o’er,

Cycle and Epicycle, orb in orb.

Already by thy reasoning this I guess,
And based on your questions about the sky, 
Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest

you are one of those curious people now. 
That bodies bright and greater should not serve

You are making a case that
The less not bright, nor Heaven such journeys run,

the bigger, brighter stars should not be serving smaller stars,
Earth sitting still, when she alone receives

and they shouldn't cast their light across such long distances when it is just Earth benefiting from it. 
The benefit. Consider, first, that great
Consider this, 
Or bright infers not excellence. The Earth,

the bigger a star is, doesn't mean they are better.. 
Though, in comparison of Heaven, so small,

The earth is small, and yes
Nor glistering, may of solid good contain

it doesn't produce light of its own. The 
More plenty than the Sun that barren shines,

sun is barren, and its light isn't that bright either. 
Whose virtue on itself works no effect,
But in the fruitful Earth; there first received,

The suns rays only really reach the earth.
His beams, unactive else, their vigour find.

Yet not to Earth are those bright luminaries

That light on earth is valuable to you because
Officious, but to thee, Earth’s habitant.

you live here. 
And, for the Heaven’s wide circuit, let it speak
The Maker’s high magnificence, who built

Don't mind too much about the vastness of space
So spacious, and his line stretched out so far,

in the universe
That Man may know he dwells not in his own—

for mankind will never be able to fill all of it.
An edifice too large for him to fill,

Lodged in a small partition, and the rest
Ordained for uses to his Lord best known.

God may have a plan in the future for all the space
The swiftness of those Circles at’tribute,

and we'll never know what it is until it happens. 
Though numberless, to his Omnipotence,

That to corporeal substances could add

Speed almost spiritual. Me thou think’st not slow,
Let me be an example,
Who since the morning-hour set out from Heaven

I left Heaven this morning and 
Where God resides, and ere mid-day arrived

made here at noon, 
In Eden—distance inexpressible

By numbers that have name. But this I urge,

and I don't think you could even imagine the distance I traveled.
Admitting motion in the Heavens, to shew
Invalid that which thee to doubt it moved;

Not that I so affirm, though so it seem

To thee who hast thy dwelling here on Earth.

God, to remove his ways from human sense,

God designed it so the sky is FAR from Earth
Placed Heaven from Earth so far, that earthly sight,
If it presume, might err in things too high,

and you could make a few mistakes in trying to guess
And no advantage gain. What if the Sun

how everything in the sky works since there is so much of it. 
Be centre to the World, and other Stars,

By his attractive virtue and their own

Who knows, what if all the stars and planets in the sky, including this earth, 
Incited, dance about him various rounds?
actually orbit around the sun? *wink*
Their wandering course, now high, now low, then hid,

Progressive, retrograde, or standing still,

In six thou seest; and what if, seventh to these

You are able to see six planets in the sky, 
The planet Earth, so steadfast though she seem,

and they all move in different ways. Maybe this earth is the seventh planet?
Insensibly three different motions move?
The earth below you may seem to be still, but it could actually be moving with everything in the sky too? You just can't perceive it from where you stand. 
Which else to several spheres thou must ascribe,

Moved contrary with thwart obliquities,

Think about the sky in that context, it may make your curious thoughts easier to organize.  
Or save the Sun his labour, and that swift

Nocturnal and diurnal rhomb supposed,

Invisible else above all stars, the wheel
Of Day and Night; which needs not they belief,

If Earth, industrious of herself, fetch Day,

Travelling east, and with her part averse

From the Sun’s beam meet Night, her other part

Still luminous by his ray. What if that light,
Maybe the earth shines some light on the moon, 
Sent from her through the wide transpicuous air,

the same way the moon shines some light on the earth?
To the terrestrial Moon to be as a star,

Enlightening her by day, as she by night

This Earth—reciprocal, if land be there,

What if the moon also has land like earth, 
Fields and inhabitants? Her spots thou seest
and people?
As clouds, and clouds may rain, and rain produce

Perhaps the dark patches you see on the moon are actually clouds
Fruits in her softened soil, for some to eat

that water their own moon crops?
Allotted there; and other Suns, perhaps,

There are so many suns, moons, and planets in the sky—
With their attendant Moons, thou wilt descry,

there could very well be life there too.
Communicating male and female light—
Which to great sexes animate the World,

Stored in each Orb perhaps with some that live.

It's easy to wonder why there is such a big universe in the first place,
For such vast room in Nature unpossessed

and whether or not there'd be life out there. 
By living soul, desert and desolate,

Only to shine, yet scarce to con’tribute
Each Orb a glimpse of light, conveyed so far

Down to this habitable, which returns

Light back to them, is obvious to dispute.

We can all go back and forth wondering about this, 
But whether thus these things, or whether not—

Whether the Sun, predominant in heaven,
Rise on the Earth, or Earth rise on the Sun;

He from the east his flaming road begin,

Or she from west her silent course advance

With inoffensive pace that spinning sleeps

On her soft axle, while she paces even,
And bears thee soft with the smooth air along—

Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid:

but if I were you, we could also leave these matter to God. 
Leave them to God above; him serve and fear.

All you really need to do is serve him and obey him as you should. 
Of other creatures as him pleases best,

It's all his business if he wants to make other creatures on other planets.
Wherever placed, let him dispose; joy thou
Definitely be grateful for what God has given you. 
In what he gives to thee, this Paradise

And thy fair Eve; Heaven is for thee too high

Pay attention to what matters here and now and in your control. 
To know what passes there. Be lowly wise;

Think only what concerns thee and thy being;

Dream not to other worlds, what creatures there
Live, in what state, condition, or degreed-

Be satisfied with all these things I'm telling you, nothing more and nothing less."
Contented that thus far hath been revealed

Not of Earth only, but of highest Heaven.”

  To whom thus Adam, cleared of doubt, replied:—

Adam replied, 
“How fully hast thou satisfied me, pure
"I think I know what you mean, 
Intelligence of Heaven, Angel serene,

I shouldn't get too deep into these things if I can help it. 
And, freed from intricacies, taught to live

I can see how anyone can go crazy,
The easiest way, nor with perplexing thoughts

with such potentially complicated things. Sometimes the simple life is better. 
To interrupt the sweet of life, from which

God hath bid dwell far off all anxious cares,
And not molest us, unless we ourselves

Seek them with wandering thoughts, and notions vain!

But apt the mind or fancy is to rove

We should reserve our energy for things that are practical and in the now. 
Unchecked; and of her roving is no end,

Till, warned, or by experience taught, she learn
That not to know at large of things remote

From use, obscure and subtle, but to know

That which before us lies in daily life,

Is the prime wisdom: what is more is fume,

Or emptiness, or fond impertinence,
And renders us in things that most concern

Unpractised, unprepared, and still to seek.

Therefore from this high pitch let us descend

Let's bring things down a notch and talk about what's happening here. 
A lower flight, and speak of things at hand

Useful; whence, haply, mention may arise
Maybe later we can continue speaking about God's creation and more lofty things. 
Of something not unreasonable to ask,

By sufferance, and thy wonted favour, deigned.

Thee I have heard relating what was done

You mentioned everything that happened in Heaven before I was even created. 
Ere my remembrance; now hear me relate

Now, I'd like to tell you what happened to me when I came to be.
My story, which perhaps, thou hast not heard.
I don't think you know much about me and my experience here. 
And day is yet not spent; till then thou seest

How subtly to detain thee I devise,

Don't get me wrong, I love listening to you."
Inviting thee to hear while I relate—

Fond, were it not in hope of thy reply.

For, while I sit with thee, I seem in Heaven;
And sweeter thy discourse is to my ear

Than fruits of palm-tree, pleasantest to thirst

And hunger both, from labour, at the hour

Of sweet repast. They satiate, and soon fill,

Though pleasant; but thy words, with grace divine
Imbued, bring to their sweetness no satiety.”

  To whom thus Raphael answered, heavenly meek:—

Raphael replied, 
“Nor are thy lips ungrateful, Sire of Men,

"Yes, when God made you in his image
Nor tongue ineloquent; for God on thee

he gave you an eloquent voice. 
Abundantly his gifts hath also poured,
Inward and outward both, his image fair:

Speaking, or mute, all comeliness and grace

Us angels in Heaven are definitely interested in learning about you
Attends thee, and each word, each motion, forms.

Nor less think we in Heaven of thee on Earth

as much as you are interested in learning about us. 
Than of our fellow-servant, and inquire
Gladly into the ways of God with Man;

For God, we see, hath honoured thee, and set

So go on and tell me more about you and your experience here. 
On Man his equal love. Say therefore on;

For I that day was absent, as befell,

I wasn't around when you were made, 
Bound on a voyage uncouth and obscure,
for I was sent by God to 
Far on excursion toward the gates of Hell,

check on the situation in Hell
Squared in full legion (such command we had),

to make sure 
To see that none thence issued forth a spy

our enemy wasn't sneaking around to interrupt creation. 
Or enemy, while God was in his work,

Lest he, incensed at such eruption bold,
Destruction with Creation might have mixed.

God would've had to start destroying rather than creating if some rebel angels had escaped. 
Not that they durst without his leave attempt;

But us he sends upon his high behests

For state, as sovran King, and to inure

Our prompt obedience. Fast we found, fast shut,
Luckily, Hell's gates were fastened shut.
The dismal gates, and barricaded strong,

But, long ere our approaching, heard within

There were terrible sounds coming out from within, 
Noise, other than the sound of dance or song—

no singing and dancing at all. 
Torment, and loud lament, and furious rage.

Only sounds of suffering and anger and anguish. 
Glad we returned up to the coasts of Light
I was glad to get out of there to 
Ere Sabbath-evening; so we had in charge.

enjoy the sabbath. 
But thy relation now: for I attend,

Pleased with thy words no less than thou with mine.”

So, anyways, tell me your story."
  So spake the godlike Power, and thus our Sire:—

“For Man to tell how human life began
Adam said, "It's difficult to say how human life began.
Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?

We didn't really SEE our beginning, but I'll try to describe as much as I can. 
Desire with thee still longer to converse

Induced me. As new-waked from soundest sleep,

I woke up from a very deep sleep, 
Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid,

I was lying on a bed of flowers
In balmy sweat, which with his beams the Sun
covered in sweat. The hot sun dried it off my body. 
Soon dried, and on the reeking moisture fed.

Straight toward Heaven my wondering eyes I turned,

I just stared up at the sky for a moment
And gazed a while the ample sky, till, raised

By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung,

before jumping up to stand. 
As thitherward endeavoring, and upright
Stood on my feet. About me round I saw

Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains,

Around me I saw hills, the shady woods, 
And liquid lapse of murmuring streams; by these,

sunny plains, streams of water, 
Creatures that lived and moved, and walked or flew,

Birds on the branches warbling: all things smiled;
I even saw creatures walking around, birds on branches
With fragrance and with joy my heart o’erflowed.

they were singing. The air just smell amazing. 
Myself I then perused, and limb by limb

I looked at myself, my arms, lets, 
Surveyed, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran

With supple joints, as lively vigour led;

I tested out my body a little bit. 
But who I was, or where, or from what cause,
I ran, jumped, flipped, and stretched. I just didn't know who I was. 
Knew not. To speak I tried, and forthwith spake;

I opened my mouth and I began to talk, 
My tongue obeyed, and readily could name

suddenly I knew the names of everything around me. 
Whate’er I saw. ‘Thou Sun,’ said I, ‘fair light,

I looked up at the sun and I said
And thou enlightened Earth, so fresh and gay,

'You are the sun!
Ye hills and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains,
and those are the rivers, and hills, and woods, and plains!
And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tell,

Wow look at you creatures just walking around. 
Tell, if ye saw, how came I thus, how here!

Not of myself; by some great Maker then,

Please, tell me 
tin goodness and in power præ-eminent.

Tell me, how may I know him, how adore,
From whom I have that thus I move and live,

have any of you seen how I got here and came to be?'
And feel that I am happier than I know!’

While thus I called, and strayed I knew not whither,

I kept on calling out for answer, but got no reply.
From where I first drew air, and first beheld

I sat down 
This happy light, when answer none returned,
On a green shady bank, profuse of flowers,

on a green shady bank
Pensive I sat me down. There gentle sleep

and just took a nap. 
First found me, and with soft oppression seized

It felt like i was drifting off into the same slumber 
My drowsèd sense, untroubled, though I thought

that I had woken up from earlier that day. 
I then was passing to my former state
Insensible, and forthwith to dissolve:

When suddenly stood at my head a Dream,

I began to dream. 
Whose inward apparition gently moved

I saw a mysterious apparition approaching me, 
My fancy to believe I yet had being,

And lived. One came, methought, of shape divine,
And said, ‘Thy mansion wants thee, Adam; rise,

it said to me, 'Come with me Adam.
First Man, of men innumerable ordained

First father! called by thee, I come thy guide

You are the first man, the first to father the rest of mankind. 
To the Garden of bliss, thy seat prepared.’

I have a special place for you. to live, it is called paradise. The garden of Eden.' 
So saying, by the hand he took me, raised,
The apparition took me by the hand and 
And over fields and waters, as in air

it seemed like we flew above the fields and waters
Smooth sliding without step, last led me up

A woody mountain, whose high top was plain,

and landed on a wooded mountain. 
A circuit wide, enclosed, with goodliest trees

The top of the mountain was flat, surrounded by trees. 
Planted, with walks and bowers, that what I saw
The view was wonderful.
Of Earth before scarce pleasant seemed. Each tree

Loaden with fairest fruit, that hung to the eye

I saw trees full of delicious fruits.
Tempting, stirred in me sudden appetite

To pluck and eat; whereat I waked, and found

Before mine eyes all real, as the dream
Had lively shadowed. Here had new begun

Then I woke up, and I realized that this was actually all real and happening. 
My wandering, had not He who was my guide

I would've explored this new area more 
Up hither from among the trees appeared,
Presence Divine. Rejoicing, but with awe,

until a divine presence showed up. 
In adoration at his feet I fell
It said to me, 
Submiss. He reared me, and, ‘Whom thou sought’st I am,’

Said mildly, ‘Author of all this thou seest

'I created everything here. I am the maker you have been wondering about. 
Above, or round about thee, or beneath.

This Paradise I give thee; count it thine

I am giving you this paradise, 
To till and keep, and of the fruit to eat.
everything in it is yours. 
Of every tree that in the Garden grows

Please take care of it, and 
Eat freely with glad heart; fear here no dearth.

you can eat whatever you'd like. 
But of the tree whose operation brings

However, do not eat the fruit
Knowledge of Good and Ill, which I have set,

from the Forbidden Tree.
The pledge of thy obedience and thy faith,
It is there to test your obedience and faith. 
Amid the garden by the Tree of Life—

It is located right next to the tree of life. 
Remember what I warn thee—shun to taste,

And shun the bitter consequence: for know,

If you eat from it, you will 
The day thou eat’st thereof, my sole command

break my only commandment
Transgressed, inevitably thou shalt die,
From that day mortal, and this happy state

and you will die. 
Shalt lose, expelled from hence into a world

You will become a mortal being, and you will be cst away from here
Of woe and sorrow.’ Sternly he pronounced

into a world of pain and sadness.' 
The rigid interdiction, which resounds

Yet dreadful in mine ear, though in my choice
That single command still reverberates in my mind. 
Not to incur; but soon his clear aspect’

Returned, and gracious purpose thus renewed:—

‘Not only these fair bounds, but all the Earth

The apparition continued to tell me,
To thee and to thy race I give; as lords

'I'm not only giving you this beautiful garden, I'm giving you the earth. 
Possess it, and all things that therein live,
You and your entire human race will
Or live in sea or air, beast, fish, and fowl.

be lords over everything and every living thing here too.  
In sign whereof, each bird and beast behold

After their kinds; I bring them to receive

I am going to now send over each 
From thee their names, and pay thee fealty

animal and creature to you so you can 
With low subjection. Understand the same
name them. Doing this, they will understand that. you are their master. 
Of fish within their watery residence,

Not hither summoned, since they cannot change

Their element to draw the thinner air.’

Obviously the fish cannot make it here, but they'll get the point.' 
As thus he spake, each bird and beast behold

Approaching two and two—these cowering low
So I named them all, they approached me in respective pairs. 
With blandishment; each bird stooped on his wing.

I named them as they passed, and understood

Their nature; with such knowledge God endued

I understood everything about them.
My sudden apprehension. But in these

I found not what methought I wanted still,
But something was missing...
And to the Heavenly Vision thus presumed:—

I said to the apparition,
  “‘O, by what name—or Thou above all these,

'So... what do I call you?
Above mankind, or aught than mankind higher,

It seems like you are more powerful and above all these things on earth.
Surpassest far my naming—how may I

Adore thee, Author of this Universe,
What should I do to thank you and pray for you?
And all this good to Man, for whose well-being

So amply, and with hands so liberal,

Thou hast provided all things? But with me

I see not who partakes. In solitude

And am I to do all this, and enjoy all of this alone?'
What happiness? who can enjoy alone,
Or, all enjoying, what contentment find?’

Thus I, presumptuous; and the Vision bright,

I was being quite presumptuous. 
As with a smile more brightened, thus replied:—

The apparition replied, 
  “‘What call’st thou solitude? Is not the Earth

'How can you say you will be alone? 
With various living creatures, and the Air,
You have all these creatures around you to rule over.
Replenished, and all these at thy command

To come and play before thee? Know’st thou not

They can entertain you all day and all night. What more do you need?'
Their language and their ways? They also know,

And reason not contemptibly; with these

Find pastime, and bear rule; thy realm is large.’
So spake the Universal Lord and seemed

So ordering. I, with leave of speech implored,

And humble deprecation, thus replied:—

I replied to the apparition, 
  “‘Let not my words offend thee, Heavenly Power;

"Please forgive me, and be patient with me too.
My Maker, be propitious while I speak.
Hast thou not made me here thy substitute,

These creatures are so inferior to me that we can't really communicate. 
And these inferior far beneath me set?

Among unequals what society

Can sort, what harmony or true delight?

We wouldn't be able to really socialize and 
Which must be mutual, in proportion due
Given and received; but, in disparity,

exchange ideas and thoughts with each other. 
The one intense, the other still remiss,

Cannot well suit with either, but soon prove

Tedious alike. Of fellowship I speak

It's going to be a little boring. 
Such as I seek, fit to participate
All rational delight, wherein the brute

Cannot be human consort. They rejoice

Each with their kind, lion with lioness;

So fitly them in pairs thou hast combined:

You have made these creatures to live in pairs, 
Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl,
So well converse, nor with the ox the ape;

Worse, then, can man with beast, and least of all.’

so what about me? Where is my match?'
  “Whereto the Almighty answered, not displeased:—

The apparition/creator replied, 
‘A nice and subtle happiness, I see,

'It seems like you cannot be happy by yourself, 
Thou to thyself proposest, in the choice
Of thy associates, Adam, and wilt taste

but what about me? I'm alone 
No pleasure, though in pleasure, solitary.

for all eternity. 
What think’st thou, then, of Me, and this my state?

Seem I to thee sufficiently possessed

Of happiness, or not, who am alone
From all eternity? for none I know

Second to me or like, equal much less.

There's nobody like me, or less equal to me.
How have I, then, with whom to hold converse,

Who will I have to talk to except for the inferior creatures that I make?'
Save with the creatures which I made, and those

To me inferior infinite descents
Beneath what other creatures are to thee?’

  “He ceased. I lowly answered:—’To attain

I answered, 'Creator, you are divinely perfect, 
The highth and depth of thy eternal ways

All human thoughts come short, Supreme of Things!

Thou in thyself art perfect, and in Thee
Is no deficience found. Not so is Man,

but man is not.
But in degree—the cause of his desire

By conversation with his like to help

Man needs support and help from others like himself. 
Or solace his defects. No need that thou

Should’st propagate, already infinite,
And through all numbers absolute, though One;

You are so divinely powerful that you don't need anyone else. 
But Man by number is to manifest

I believe Man needs 
His single imperfection, and beget

companionship, so 
Like of his like, his image multiplied,

we can reflect off of one another, keep each other accountable, and overcome our faults. 
In unity defective; which requires
Collateral love, and dearest amity.

Thou, in thy secrecy although alone,

Best with thyself accompanied, seek’st not

Social communication—yet, so pleased,

Canst raise thy creature to what highth thou wilt
You are complete as you are, and you can even make creatures have the ability to speak. 
Of union or communion, deified;

I, by conversing, cannot these erect

From prone, nor in their ways complacence find.

But I don't have that same power to create companionship out of nothing.'
Thus I emboldened spake, and freedom used

Permissive, and acceptance found; which gained
This answer from the gratious Voice Divine:—

The creator was definitely impressed with my ranting. 
  “‘Thus far to try thee, Adam, I was pleased,

He said, 'I am impressed and pleased with how far you have come along. 
And find thee knowing not of beasts alone,

Which thou hast rightly named, but of thyself—

You not only know the nature of the creatures around you, 
Expressing well the spirit within thee free,
but you are also expressing your inherent free will. 
My image, not imparted to the brute;

I didn't create these animals in my image, 
Whose fellowship, therefore, unmeet for thee,

Good Reason was thou freely shouldst dislike.

so they aren't the right companions for you. 
And be so minded still. I, ere thou spak’st,

I honestly never meant for you to be alone. 
Knew it not good for Man to be alone,
And no such company as then thou saw’st

Intended thee—for trial only brought,

This was just a little test!
To see how thou couldst judge of fit and meet.

What next I bring shall please thee, be assured,

I'm going to give you exactly what you're asking for.'
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self,
Thy wish exactly to thy heart’s desire.’

  “He ended, or I heard no more; for now

My earthly, by his heavenly overpowered,

Which it had long stood under, strained to the highth

We were talking for so long that I became tired, 
In that celestial colloquy sublime,
I suddenly fell asleep. 
As with an object that excels the sense,

Dazzled and spent, sunk down, and sought repair

Of sleep, which instantly fell on me, called

By Nature as in aid, and closed mine eyes.

My eyes were shut, but it seems like God the creator had done this to me. 
Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell
Of fancy, my internal sight; by which,

I could still see what was happening around me for some reason. 
Abstract as in a trance, methought I saw,

Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the Shape

Still glorious before whom awake I stood;

Who, stooping, opened my left side, and took
God opened the left side of my body and took my rib out. 
From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm,

And life-blood streaming fresh; wide was the wound,

I was bleeding a lot, but healed immediately.
But suddenly with flesh filled up and healed.

The rib he formed and fashioned with his hands;

In his hands, he formed another human being. 
Under his forming hands a creature grew,
Man-like, but different sex, so lovely fair

A different sex. 
That what seemed fair in all the world seemed now

Mean, or in her summed up, in her contained

She was so beautiful
And in her looks, which from that time infused

and I felt the sweetness and warmth of love within my heart. 
Sweetness into my heart unfelt before,
And into all things from her air inspired

The spirit of love and amorous delight.

She disappeared, and left me dark; I waked

Suddenly everything went black and she disappeared. 
To find her, or for ever to deplore

Her loss, and other pleasures all adjure:
I woke up and I felt as if I could never be happy again if. she wasn't around. 
When, out of hope, behold her not far off,

Such as I saw her in my dream, adorned

But there she was in person.
With what all Earth or Heaven could bestow

To make her amiable. On she came,

Led by her Heavenly Maker, though unseen
She walked towards me, as if she were being led by God. 
And guided by his voice, nor uninformed

Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites.

She was ready to be my wife
Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,

and all of her movements were so graceful.
In every gesture dignity and love.

I, overjoyed, could not forbear aloud:—
I was so overjoyed so I said outloud, 
  “‘This turn hath made amends; thou hast fulfilled

'God, you have kept your word.
Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign,

Giver of all things fair—but fairest this

You have given me everything beautiful in this world, 
Of all thy gifts!—nor enviest. I now see

but this gift is the greatest one of all. 
Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, my Self
Before me. Woman is her name, of Man

This is exactly what a woman is, 
Extracted; for this cause he shall forgo

she is made out of me.'
Father and mother, and to his wife adhere,

And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul.’

  “She heard me thus; and, though divinely brought,
She heard me saying this, 
Yet innocence and virgin modesty,

Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth,

That would be wooed, and not unsought be won,

and it seemed like she was going 
Not obvious, not obtrusive, but retired,

to run away from me because she was so modest. 
The most desirable—or, to say all,
It made me want her even more. 
Nature herself, though pure of sinful thought—

Wrought in her so, that, seeing me, she turned.

I quickly went after her
I followed her; she what was honour knew,

And with obsequious majesty approved

spoke to her kindly and 
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower
she decided to accept me. 
I led her blushing like the Morn; all Heaven,

And happy constellations, on that hour

It was a wonderful night. 
Shed their selectest influence; the Earth

Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;

Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
The birds were singing, the breezes were blowing in sweet-smelling air. 
Whispered it to the woods, and from their wings

Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub,

Disporting, till the amorous bird of night

Sung spousal, and bid haste the Evening-star

On his hill-top to light the bridal lamp.
We were together at last. 
  “Thus have I told thee all my state, and brought

I continued to say, 'I enjoy everything about paradise, 
My story to the sum of earthly bliss

Which I enjoy, and must confess to find

In all things else delight indeed, but such

As, use or not, works in the mind no change,
Nor vehement desire—these delicacies

the tastes, sights, smells, and fruits and flowers, 
I mean of taste, sight, smell, herbs, fruits, and flowers,

Walks, and the melody of birds: but here,

but nothing compares to the feeling I have with her. 
Far otherwise, transported I behold,

Transported touch; here passion first I felt,
Commotion strange, in all enjoyments else

Superior and unmoved, here only weak

She makes me weak but passionate. 
Against the charm of beauty’s powerful glance.

Or Nature failed in me, and left some part

It's as if nature left something missing in my body and heart
Not proof enough such object to sustain,
Or, from my side subducting, took perhaps

More than enough—at least on her bestowed

And I know that she's meant to be inferior to me in intellect, 
Too much of ornament, in outward show

but maybe she is that which I am missing. 
Elaborate, of inward less exact.

For well I understand in the prime end
It is her beauty and presence that completes me. 
Of Nature her the inferior, in the mind

And inward faculties, which most excel;

In outward also her resembling less

His image who made both, and less expressing

The character of that dominion given
It's obvious that she doesn't have the same notion of dominion
O’er other creatures. Yet when I approach

over the other creatures like I do. 
Her loveliness, so absolute she seems

And in herself complete, so well to know

But when I'm with her, 
Her own, that what she wills to do or say

Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best.
it feels like I could never 
All higher Knowledge in her presence falls

deny her anything. 
Degraded; Wisdom in discourse with her

Loses, discountenanced, and like Folly shews;

I feel like she will always be right in reason. 
Authority and Reason on her wait,

As one intended first, not after made
I think she was created first instead of me.'"
Occasionally; and, to consum’mate all,

Greatness of mind and nobleness their seat

Build in her loveliest, and create an awe

About her, as a guard angelic placed.”

  To whom the Angel, with contracted brow:—
The angel Raphael scolded Adam,
“Accuse not Nature! she hath done her part;

"Hey, don't blame nature. Nature has done her part, 
Do thou but thine! and be not diffident

so you need to do yours. 
Of Wisdom; she deserts thee not, if thou

You have the wisdom and reason within you, 
Dismiss not her, when most thou need’st her nigh,

By attribu’ting overmuch to things
so you shouldn't toss that all aside just for beauty. 
Less excellent, as thou thyself perceiv’st.

For, what admir’st thou, what transports thee so?

You shouldn't submit yourself to what you are calling her form of domination. 
An outside—fair, no doubt, and worthy well

Thy cherishing, thy honouring, and thy love;

Not thy subjection. Weigh with her thyself;
Just compare the both of you.
Then value. Oft-times nothing profits more

Than self-esteem, grounded on just and right

She is capable of seeing your faults.
Well managed. Of that skill the more thou know’st,

The more she will acknowledge thee her head,

And to realities yield all her shows—
Made so adorn for thy delight the more,

Definitely enjoy her beauty and companionship, 
So awful, that with honour thou may’st love

and love her honorably.
Thy mate, who sees when thou art seen least wise

But, if the sense of touch, whereby mankind

Don't let sex become the focus of your relationship. 
Is propagated, seem such dear delight
Beyond all other, think the same voutsafed

To cattle and each beast; which would not be

To them made common and divulged, if aught

Therein enjoyed were worthy to subdue

The soul of Man, or passion in him move.
What higher in her society thou find’st

Love the things and characteristics within her that you find worth loving. 
Attractive, human, rational, love still;

In loving thou dost well; in passion not,

Too much passion will 
Wherein true Love consists not. Love refines

only bring trouble. 
The thoughts, and heart enlarges—hath his seat
In Reason, and is judicious, is the scale

By which to Heavenly Love thou may’st ascend,

Not sunk in carnal pleasure; for which cause

Basing your whole relationship on sex without love is dangerous."
Among the beasts no mate for thee was found.”

  To whom thus, half abashed, Adam replied:—
Adam was shocked and felt embarrassed.
“Neither her outside formed so fair, nor aught

He replied, "It's not just her beauty or the sex though.
In procreation, common to all kinds

(Though higher of the genial bed by far,

And with mysterious reverence, I deem),

So much delights me as those graceful acts,
It's all the little graceful things she does
Those thousand decencies, that daily flow

that makes me feel this way. 
From all her words and actions, mixed with love

And all the things she says too. 
And sweet compliance, which declare unfeigned

Union of mind, or in us both one soul—

It's all so sweet and loving to me. 
Harmony to behold in wedded pair
More grateful than harmonious sound to the ear.

I'm just telling you how I feel inside, 
Yet these subject not; I to thee disclose

that doesn't mean I'm going to let them all overcome me and my reason. 
What inward thence I feel, not therefore foiled,

Besides, I'm still free to choose what I want to do. 
Who meet with various objects, from the sense

Variously representing, yet, still free,
Approve the best, and follow what I approve.

You really can't blame me for being so loving to her. 
To love thou blam’st me not—for Love, thou say’st,

Leads up to Heaven, is both the way and guide;

You did say that it is love that leads us all to Heaven. 
Bear with me, then, if lawful what I ask.

Love not the Heavenly Spirits, and how their love
Express they—by looks only, or do they mix

By the way, do angels fall in love?
Irradiance, virtual or immediate touch?”

Do they have sex too?"
  To whom the Angel, with a smile that glowed

Raphael smiled and said, 
Celestial rosy-red, Love’s proper hue,

Answered:—“Let it suffice thee that thou know’st
"We are 
Us happy, and without Love no happiness.

very happy in Heaven, 
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoy’st

(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy

what is considered to be as wonderful as sex to you
In eminence, and obstacle find none

is different to us. We do things our own way. 
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars.
When we embrace one another, we don't have limbs that get in the way. 
Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace,

We are kind of like airy clouds embracing. 
Total they mix, union of pure with pure

Desiring, nor restrained conveyance need

As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul.

But I can now no more: the parting Sun
Anyways, I have to go soon. 
Beyond the Earth’s green Cape and verdant Isles

It is getting late!
Hesperean sets, my signal to depart.

Be strong, live happy, and love! but first of all

All I have to say to you is to be strong, be happy, love one another, 
Him whom to love is to obey, and keep

His great command; take heed lest passion sway
and most of all love God. 
Thy judgment to do aught which else free—will

Would not admit; thine and of all thy sons

Never ever let passion come in the way of your judgement and reasoning. 
The weal or woe in thee is placed; beware!

I in thy persevering shall rejoice,

The future can be full of happiness or misery for all of your descendants. 
And all the Blest. Stand fast; to stand or fall
It is entirely up to you. All of us in Heaven want you to succeed and be everything we hope you to be. 
Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.

Perfet within, no outward aid require;

And all temptation to transgress repel.”

Never give in to temptation." 
  So saying, he arose; whom Adam thus

Followed with benediction:—“Since to part,
Adam replied, 
Go, Heavenly Guest, Ethereal Messenger,

"You are so kind to us and helpful. 
Sent from whose sovran goodness I adore!

Gentle to me and affable hath been

I will never forget what has been said here.
Thy condescension, and shall be honoured ever

With grateful memory. Thou to Mankind
Don't be a stranger, keep in touch! And please visit again soon."
Be good and friendly still, and oft return!”

  So parted they, the Angel up to Heaven

The angel Raphael went straight to Heaven, and Adam went back to his home.
From the thick shade, and Adam to his bower.

1 comment:

  1. This whole entire modern translation is excellent (it's a good bit of the reason I'm passing a class on Milton right now)! Thanks for the awesome work!