Paradise Lost

by: John Milton

Book III

1

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 Gold beholding from his prospect high, Wherein past, present, future he beholds (III, 64–78)

2

They themselves decreed Their own revolt, not I: if I foreknew, Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault, Which had no less prov’d certain unforeknown. So without least impulse, or shadow of fate, Or aught by me immutably foreseen, They trespass; authors to themselves in all, Both what they judge, and what they choose, for me I form’d them free, and free they must remain, Till they entrall themselves[.] (III, 116–125)

3

He ask’d, but all the heavenly choir stood mute, And silence was in heaven: on man’s behalf Patron or intercessor none appear’d; 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, adjudg’d to death and hell By doom severe, had not the Son of God, In whom the fulness dwells of love divine, His dearest mediation thus renew’d: (III, 217–226)