John Milton

Here you will find the Long Poem Paradise Lost: Book 03 of poet John Milton

Paradise Lost: Book 03

Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven firstborn, 
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam 
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light, 
And never but in unapproached light 
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee 
Bright effluence of bright essence increate. 
Or hear"st thou rather pure ethereal stream, 
Whose fountain who shall tell? before the sun, 
Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice 
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 re-visit now with bolder wing, 
Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd 
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 
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain 
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn; 
So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs, 
Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more 
Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt, 
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill, 
Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief 
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath, 
That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow, 
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget 
So were I equall'd with them in renown, 
Thy sovran command, that Man should find grace; 
Blind Thamyris, and blind Maeonides, 
And Tiresias, and Phineus, prophets old: 
Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move 
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird 
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid 
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year 
Seasons return; but not to me returns 
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn, 
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, 
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine; 
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark 
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men 
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair 
Presented with a universal blank 
Of nature's works to me expung'd and ras'd, 
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. 
So much the rather thou, celestial Light, 
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers 
Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence 
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell 
Of things invisible to mortal sight. 
Now had the Almighty Father from above, 
From the pure empyrean where he sits 
High thron'd above all highth, bent down his eye 
His own works and their works at once to view: 
About him all the Sanctities of Heaven 
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight receiv'd 
Beatitude past utterance; on his right 
The radiant image of his glory sat, 
His only son; on earth he first beheld 
Our two first parents, yet the only two 
Of mankind in the happy garden plac'd 
Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love, 
Uninterrupted joy, unrivall'd love, 
In blissful solitude; he then survey'd 
Hell and the gulf between, and 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, 
On the bare outside of this world, that seem'd 
Firm land imbosom'd, without firmament, 
Uncertain which, in ocean or in air. 
Him God beholding from his prospect high, 
Wherein past, present, future, he beholds, 
Thus to his only Son foreseeing spake. 
Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage 
Transports our Adversary? whom no bounds 
Prescrib'd no bars of Hell, nor all the chains 
Heap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss 
Wide interrupt, can hold; so bent he seems 
On desperate revenge, that shall redound 
Upon his own rebellious head. And now, 
Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way 
Not far off Heaven, in the precincts of light, 
Directly towards the new created world, 
And man there plac'd, with purpose to assay 
If him by force he can destroy, or, worse, 
By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert; 
For man will hearken to his glozing lies, 
And easily transgress the sole command, 
Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall 
He and his faithless progeny: Whose fault? 
Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of me 
All he could have; I made him just and right, 
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall. 
Such I created all the ethereal Powers 
And Spirits, both them who stood, and them who fail'd; 
Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell. 
Not free, what proof could they have given sincere 
Of true allegiance, constant faith or love, 
Where only what they needs must do appear'd, 
Not what they would? what praise could they receive? 
What pleasure I fr