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. © 1999 . Joseph Lanzara . All rights reserved

John Milton's Paradise Lost

I-1. Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit / Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast / Brought Death into the World, and all our woe, / With loss of Eden, till one greater Man / Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,

I-1. Tell me about man's first sin, when he tasted the forbidden fruit and caused all our troubles, until Jesus came and saved us.

I-6. Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top / Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire / That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed, / In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth / Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill / Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd

I-6. Inspire me with this knowledge. You are the heavenly spirit who inspired Moses in his teachings.

I-12. Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence / Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song, / That with no middle flight intends to soar / Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues / Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.

I-12. I'm asking for your help because I want to write a great work different from any that has ever been written before.

I-17. And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer / Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,

I-17. I want you to teach me, Holy Spirit, because you value goodness more than fancy churches.

I-19. Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first / Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread / Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss / And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark

I-19. You know everything. You were there at the beginning. You sat like a dove with your wings spread over the dark emptiness and made it come to life.

I-23. Illumin, what is low raise and support; / That to the highth of this great Argument / I may assert Eternal Providence, / And justifie the wayes of God to men.

I-23. Enlighten me where I am ignorant and strengthen my abilities so that I can correctly explain God's great purpose to men.

I-27. Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view / Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause / Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State, / Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off / From thir Creator, and transgress his Will / For one restraint, Lords of the World besides?

I-27. You know everything about Heaven and Hell, so tell me, what was it that made Adam and Eve go against God's orders? They seemed so happy. He had given them the whole world, except for one little thing.

I-33. Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt? / Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile / Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd / The Mother of Mankind, what time his Pride

I-33. Who made them do this awful thing? It was the snake, wasn’t it. His envy and thirst for revenge made him go trick Eve the way he did.

I-37. Had cast him out from Heav’n, with all his Host / Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring / To set himself in Glory above his Peers, / He trusted to have equal'd the most High, / If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim / Against the Throne and Monarchy of God / Rais'd impious War in Heav'n and Battel proud

I-37. His pride had gotten him thrown out of Heaven with all his followers. They supported him in his ambition to glorify himself—even to the point of waging war against God.

I-44. With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power / Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie / With hideous ruine and combustion down / To bottomless perdition, there to dwell / In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire, / Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms.

I-44. But he was doomed to fail. After a terrible war, God threw him into Hell for daring to fight him.

I-50. Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night / To mortal men, he with his horrid crew / Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe / Confounded though immortal:

I-50. For nine days he and his evil followers were lying helpless in the fires of Hell.

I-54. But his doom / Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought / Both of lost happiness and lasting pain / Torments him;

I-54. But soon he grew angry, thinking about all the lost pleasures and the unending pain.

I-56. round he throws his baleful eyes / That witness'd huge affliction and dismay / Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:

I-56. He looked around and saw a lot of suffering. But he only felt stubborn pride and hatefulness.

I-59. At once as far as Angels kenn he views / The dismal Situation waste and wilde, / A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round / As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames / No light, but rather darkness visible / Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,

I-59. As far as he could see there were flames, but they burned dark instead of bright, and they only revealed sorrow and hopelessness.

I-65. Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace / And rest can never dwell, hope never comes / That comes to all; but torture without end / Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed / With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:

I-65. These fires would never go out and the torture would never end.

I-70. Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd / For those rebellious, here thir Prison ordain'd / In utter darkness, and thir portion set

I-70. This is the place Justice made for those who rebel against God.

I-73. As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n / As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole. / O how unlike the place from whence they fell!

I-73. It was as far from Heaven and Heaven's light and as different from Heaven as it could be.

I-76. There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd / With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, / He soon discerns, and weltring by his side / One next himself in power, and next in crime

I-76. This is where he saw all his defeated followers. And there, wallowing in the flames right next to him, was his top assistant.

I-80. Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd / Beelzebub.

I-80. Later we would know him as Beélzebub.

. . .




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