Paradise Lost

(Extract from Book XII)

by John Milton


Let us descend now, therefore, from this top
Of speculation, for the hour precise
Exacts our parting hence; and see, the guards,
By me encamped on yonder hill, expect
Their motion, at whose front a flaming sword,
In signal of remove, waves fiercely round ;
We may no longer stay : go, waken Eve ;
Her also I with gentle dreams have calmed,
Portending good, and all her spirits composed
To meek submission : thou at season fit
Let her with thee partake what thou hast heard,
Chiefly what may concern her faith to know,
The great deliverance by her seed to come,
For by the Womanís Seed, on all mankind ;
That ye may live, which will be many days,
Both in one faith unanimous, though sad,
With cause, for evils past ; yet much more cheered
With meditation on the happy end."
  He ended, and they both descend the hill :
Descended, Adam to the bower, where Eve
Lay sleeping, ran before, but found her waked ;
And thus with words not sad she him received ;
" Whence thou returníst, and whither wentíst, I know
For GOD is also in sleep, and dreams advise,
Which He hath sent propitious, some great good
Presaging, since with sorrow and heartís distress
Wearied I fell asleep : but now lead on ;
In me is no delay ; with thee to go
Is to stay here ; without thee here to stay
Is to go hence unwilling ; thou to me
Art all things under heavín, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banished hence.
This further consolation yet secure
I carry hence : though all by me is lost,
Such favour I unworthy am vouchsafed,
By me the Promised Seed shall all restore.í
  So spake our mother Eve, and Adam heard
Well pleased, but answered not ; for now too nigh
Thí Archangel stood, and from the other hill
To their fixed station all in bright array
The Cherubim descended ; on the ground
Gliding meteorous, as evíning mist
Risín from a river oíer the marish glides,
And gathers ground fast at the labourerís heel
Homeward returning. High in front advanced,
The brandished sword of GOD before them blazed
Fierce as a comet ; which with torrid heat,
And vapour as the Libyan air adust,
Began to parch that temperate clime : whereat
In either hand thí hastíning angel caught
Our lingíring parents, and to the eastern gate
Led them direct, and down the cliff as fast
To the subjected plain ; then disappeared.
They looking back all thí eastern side beheld
Of Paradise, so late their happy seat,
Waved over by that flaming brand ; the gate
With dreadful faces thronged and fiery arms :
Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon ;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
They, hand in hand, with wandíring steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.
John Milton | Classic Poems                          

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