. © 1999 . Joseph Lanzara . All rights reserved

John Milton's Paradise Lost

XI-1. Thus they in lowliest plight repentant stood / Praying, for from the Mercie-seat above / Prevenient Grace descending had remov'd / The stonie from thir hearts, and made new flesh / Regenerate grow instead,

I-1. PLAIN ENGLISH VERSION XI-1. They prayed sincerely. God's grace had removed all the bad emotions from their hearts.

XI-5. that sighs now breath'd / Unutterable, which the Spirit of prayer / Inspir'd, and wing'd for Heav'n with speedier flight / Then loudest Oratorie:

XI-5. Their sad sighs told him more than any words they could have said.

XI-8. yet thir port / Not of mean suiters, nor important less / Seem'd thir Petition, then when th' ancient Pair / In Fables old, less ancient yet then these, / Deucalion and chaste Pyrrha to restore / The Race of Mankind drownd, before the Shrine / Of Themis stood devout.

XI-8. The Greeks have a myth about Deucalion and his wife, who survived a world-wide flood, like Noah. They prayed that mankind could be restored—the same thing Adam and Eve were praying for now.

XI-14. To Heav'n thir prayers / Flew up, nor missd the way, by envious windes / Blow'n vagabond or frustrate: in they passd / Dimentionless through Heav'nly dores; then clad / With incense, where the Golden Altar fum'd, / By thir great Intercessor, came in sight / Before the Fathers Throne: Them the glad Son / Presenting, thus to intercede began.

XI-14. Their invisible prayers reached Heaven, where the Son of God covered them with incense and brought them to his father's throne.

XI-22. See Father, what first fruits on Earth are sprung / From thy implanted Grace in Man, these Sighs / And Prayers, which in this Golden Censer, mixt / With Incense, I thy Priest before thee bring,

XI-22. “Father, let me show you the first results of the heavenly grace you placed on man,” he said. “As your priest, I bring you these sighs and prayers, mixed with incense, in this gold cup.

XI-26. Fruits of more pleasing savour from thy seed / Sow'n with contrition in his heart, then those / Which his own hand manuring all the Trees / Of Paradise could have produc't, ere fall'n / From innocence.

XI-26. These are sweeter than all the delicious fruits he could have grown in Paradise before he fell.

XI-30. Now therefore bend thine eare / To supplication, heare his sighs though mute;

XI-30. Listen to his sighs.

XI-32. Unskilful with what words to pray, let mee / Interpret for him,

XI-32. He may not have the greatest skill in choosing the right words to pray with, so let me speak for him.

XI-33. mee his Advocate / And propitiation, all his works on mee / Good or not good ingraft, my Merit those / Shall perfet, and for these my Death shall pay.

XI-33. I'll be his advocate. I'll place my spirit in him. I'll help him perfect his good qualities, and I'll pay for his sins with my own death.

XI-37. Accept me, and in mee from these receave / The smell of peace toward Mankinde, let him live / Before thee reconcil'd, at least his days / Numberd,

XI-37. Let me bring peace to mankind for the limited time he has to live.

XI-40. though sad, till Death, his doom (which I / To mitigate thus plead, not to reverse)

XI-40. I only want to soften his punishment, not eliminate it. He must die, after all.

XI-42. To better life shall yeeld him,

XI-42. But a better life waits for him.

XI-43. where with mee / All my redeemd may dwell in joy and bliss, / Made one with me as I with thee am one.

XI-43. Then everybody who is saved can live a new, happy life, joined with me, the way I am joined with you.”

. . .




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