Cormorant. Voracious sea-bird symbolic of insatiable greed.

furious gestures. Satan's uncontrollable anger gives away his disguise to Uriel.

warning voice. Milton refers to John's parable of the defeat of Satan in Revelation 12: 3-12.

while time was. While there was time.

scap'd. Escaped.

Haply. Perhaps.

wreck. Avenge.

rowling. Satan's plan turns over or rolls in his mind.

devillish Engine. In this case, a cannon.

Hell within him. These lines echo Mephistopheles' famous speeches in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (B-Text) 1.3.76: "Why this is hell: nor am I out of it;" and 2.1.122-24:

Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib'd,
In one selfe place: but where we are is hell,
And where hell is there must we euer be.

Eden. Paradise; Eden is Hebrew for "pleasure."

Meridian Tow'r. Noon.

revolving. Meditating.

thou that with surpassing Glory crownd. Satan addresses the Sun; see line 37.

like the God. Satan, though he certainly knows better, entertains what later will be called a pagan conception of God: the sun as a god.

whom he created what I was. This is an example of Satan contradicting himself. Compare to 5.860 where he claims that angels are "self-begot." Satan seems, in these few lines of soliloquy, to be unusually candid, admitting his mistake to himself if to no one else.

sdeind. Disdained, scorned.

quit. Satisfy; repay.

still. In lines 53 and 54 "still" should be interpreted as "always." Note also the immediate contradiction to lines 46-47; how does this sudden shift of thought come about?

mean. Inferior.

dealt equally. This soliloquy, lines 32-68, repays close attention and analysis, especially an attempt to trace first the logic, then the psychology of each twist and turn, as suggested in line 115 below. For example, in line 67 Satan verges on concluding he has no one to blame but himself, but he finishes his sentence in line 68 by accusing, of all things, "Heav'ns free Love."

Chose freely. Satan, for at least a brief moment, agrees with God's description of the rebellion in 3.102: "Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell."

at last relent. Lines 79-80 appear to echo Claudius's attempts at repentance in Hamlet 3.3.40 and following. The phrase "place for repentance" also echoes the language of Hebrews 12: 17 concerning Esau's sale of his birthright, a story found in Genesis 25: 24-34. See also Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus (B-Text) 2.2.21. Satan, however, cannot repent, because repentance, according to Milton's God, is not possible without divine prompting; see PL 3.174-191.

vaunts. Boasts.

Mankind created. The notion is that human beings were created by God to take the place in the creation left void by the fallen angels. This idea surfaces also in 3.678-79 and below in line 359.

Artificer of fraud. Satan is the source of all lies. Refer to 3.681-690.

couch't. Hidden, suppressed.

Assyrian mount. Mount Niphates. See 3.742.

champain head. Open country.

grottesque. From Italian "grotto," thus meaning grotto-esque, not necessarily implying ugliness as we often understand the word today. Nevertheless, words like "wilderness," "wild," and "overgrown" may challenge received notions of what Paradise looked like. 1674 misprints this as "gottesque" for some reason; I have corrected it based on 1667.

Theatre. Milton's use of the words "Scene" and "Theatre" suggest Eden as a stage upon which the tragic drama of the Fall will take place.

vendurous. Composed of rich green vegetation.

general Sire. Adam.

nether Empire. That is, all the lower parts of the world outside of the garden of Eden. The idea of Adam as an emperor is derived from God's injunction in Genesis 1: 28 to "subdue" and "have dominion" over all creation.

enamell'd. Bright and shiny.

humid Bow. Rainbow.

That Lantskip. Milton's descriptions of Eden may owe something to Hieronymus Bosch's (1450-1516) depiction of a Garden of Earthly Delights (1500)

of. From.

Cape of Hope. The Cape of Good Hope. This whole passage describing Eden's delights also suggests the effects those delights might have both on Satan (he is past Hope) and on mortals. It also evokes once again the exoticism of lands associated with the spice trade as in 2.640.

Sabean. Referring to Biblical Sheba, which is modern-day Yemen.

grateful. Pleasant.

Asmodeus. Milton invokes the story of Tobias from the apocryphal Book of Tobit. Tobias, traveling in Persia, married Sara whose seven former husbands were killed on their wedding night by her demon lover, Asmodeus. Raphael advised Tobias to burn the heart and liver of a fish to drive the demon away (Tobit 8: 3).

brake. Shrubbery.

one slight bound. The ease with which Satan enters Paradise, despite the appointed angelic guard, has often been the topic of critical comment. How are we supposed to understand this feature of Eden--walled, but not adequately walled? The following similes (wolf and burglar) complicate the question.

sheer. Wholly or completely.

first grand Thief. The extended similes raise lots of questions. Are we invited to think of God as a less than adequate shepherd and mankind as sheep? Or of God as overlooking windows or roof access and human being as his lifeless gold?

lewd Hirelings. Milton compares Satan's leap into Eden to the entrance of "lewd hirelings" (self-serving clergymen) into the Church. A similar image of self-serving clergy as wolves appears in Lycidas 113-131. See also Milton's 1659 tract, Considerations Touching the Likeliest Means to Remove Hirelings out of the Church.

Cormorant. Voracious sea-bird symbolic of insatiable greed.

For prospect. Satan so radically misperceives and so misuses the Tree of Life that it serves him merely as a convenient perch while he plans to bring Death into the world.

Line. Boundary. Paradise was thought to lie between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what today is Iraq.

Auran. Harran, a village in the eastern part of ancient Israel where Abraham is believed to have lived, now in southeastern Turkey.

Seleucia. City founded by one of Alexander the Great's generals and located on the Tigris river in modern-day Iraq.

Telassar. Believed to be a City in Eden (2 Kings 19: 12; Isaiah 37: 12).

bought dear by knowing ill. On the intimate connection between knowing good and knowing evil, see Areopagitica.

a River large. Genesis 2: 10 mentions such a river in Eden, dividing into four streams. The fountain is Milton's imagination.

shaggie. Heavily forested.

crisped. Rippling.

error. Wandering.

nice Art. "Art" here has a negative connotation, implying artifice or deceit. "Nice" here connotes extravagant or flaunting. Milton implies that intricately planned man-made gardens are inferior to the profuse and less appararently organized abundance of nature in Eden.

Beds and curious Knots. Tudor formal gardens were often very intricate affairs, carefully planned and tended. The late 17th and 18th century began to prefer more natural looking landscapes and views.

boon. Graciously bestowed favour.

Imbround. Browned, darkened.

Hesperian Fables. Referring to the stories of Hesperian gardens, a legendary orchard at the edge of the world where golden fruit grew, as told in Ovid's Metamorphoses 4. 637-680. The isles have been associated with both the Canary Islands and British Isles. See also A Mask 981.

irriguous. Naturally irrigated.

umbrageous. Shady.

mantling. Covering, providing shade.

quire. Choir.

Universal Pan. A personification of Nature. In the Nativity Ode, Milton imagines Christ as the antitype to the shepherd's Pan (88-90).

the Graces and the Hours. The Graces, in Greek religion, were a group of goddesses of fertility. The name refers to the "pleasing" or "charming" appearance of a fertile field or garden. The number of Graces varied in different legends, but usually there were three: Aglaia (Brightness), Euphrosyne (Joyfulness), and Thalia (Bloom). They are said to be daughters of Zeus and Hera (or Eurynome, daughter of Oceanus) or of Helios and Aegle, a daughter of Zeus. According to Hesiod, the Horae were the children of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Themis, a Titaness, and their names (Eunomia, Dike, Eirene--that is, Good Order, Justice, Peace) indicate the extension of their functions from nature to the events of human life. At Athens they were apparently two in number: Thallo and Carpo, the goddesses of the flowers of spring and of the fruits of summer. Their yearly festival was the Horaea. In later mythology the Horae became the four seasons, daughters of the sun god, Helios, and the moon goddess, Selene, each represented with the conventional attributes. See Botticelli's Primavera.

Proserpin. Milton refers to the stories of Proserpina in Ovid's Metamorphosis 5 and the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Proserpina, daughter of Zeus and Ceres, is carried away by Dis (Pluto) while gathering flowers in Enna, Sicily. Ceres, the goddess of corn, prevented any crops from growing while she searched for her daughter. Finally, Dis agreed to return Proserpina to her mother for six months each year. Thus, the crops only grow for half a year. These might be called negative similes, since each comparison is evoked by "Not" or "nor."

Daphne. The gardens of Daphne on the river Orontes in Syria were known for their magnificent cypress and laurel trees, which were watered by a springs, dedicated to Apollo and named after the Castalian Spring on Mt. Parnassus. According to Ovid (Metamorphoses 1.450-68), upon Phoebus Apollo's attempt to rape her, Daphne tried to run away and then turned into a laurel tree. See Bernini's Apollo e Dafne

Nyseian Isle. An island where Ammon, the son of Saturn and king of Lybia, had his son Bacchus brought up to protect him from his stepmother Rhea. Ammon was identified with Jove and Noah's son Ham (Orgel & Goldberg 879).

Abbasin. Abyssinian.

issue. Children

Amara. In Milton's time, Amara, a hill in modern day Ethiopia, was by some thought to be paradise located on the equator (the "Ethiop Line").

erect. Milton repeats the word, "erect," as if standing erect were as much, or more, a matter of nobility and godlikeness as it is simply a matter of walking on two, rather than four legs. In book 8. 289, Adam uses the word to imply that erect beings are spiritually and mentally more capable than non-erect beings.

image of thir glorious Maker shon. In Milton's view, does God's image in man signify or constitute human superiority over the rest of creation? In Tetrachordon, Milton defines more precisely what he takes to be the "Image of God" (Tetrachordon Gen. 1.27). This opening description of Adam and Eve runs together the two accounts from Genesis: Genesis 1: 26-31 which describes the creation of mankind as both male and female at once; and Genesis 2, which describes the creation of Adam first, then Eve from Adam.

filial freedom. Apparently both Adam and Eve enjoy the same "filial freedom," that is, the freedom characteristic of children and heirs of the Father. Filius is Latin for son and filia for daughter, so the English word, "filial" may be read as including both genders and so referring to both Adam and Eve, as "men" in line 295 appears to include Eve as well as Adam, as in the word, "mankind." But note how the tenor of the passage shifts at precisely this point.

Not equal. This line and those that follow have occasioned a great deal of commentary in recent years. See especially Turner, One Flesh; McColley, Milton's Eve; and most helpful: Nyquist, "The Genesis of Gendered Subjectivity in the Divorce Tracts and in Paradise Lost." Milton appears to follow Pauline teaching on marriage (1 Timothy 2:11) fairly closely, at least his understanding of Pauline teaching. Milton was very likely aware of popular pamphlets that argued the equality (even sometimes superiority) of women. See the collection of such pamphlets in Katherine U. Henderson's Half Humankind. One of them, Rachel Speght's A Mouzell for Melastomus, is available in a web edition from Renascence Editions.

seemd. The use of "seemed" in this passage is worth close attention. Sometimes it implies a theory of the perfect coincidence of appearance and reality in prelapsarian Paradise; other times it may be taken to refer to the way things looked to Satan, who is the implied observer throughout this passage.

contemplation hee. Many readers have noted that these two lines appear to describe Adam as a looker and a doer (contemplation and valour) and Eve as one looked at and acted upon (attractive and soft). Indeed Adam shows a strong interest in abstruse subjects when he talks with the archangel Raphael (book 8.15-40) and Eve prefers to participate in conversations that are not entirely abstract, but include touching and feeling as well (8.52-57).

shee for God in him. Adam was created in God's image, while Eve was subsequently created from Adam. Milton implies that Adam is closer to God and more capable of discourse with God than Eve, an idea that appears again in 8.54-56.

Front. Forehead, as if a large forehead indicated intelligence.

sublime. Oriented heavenward.

Hyacinthin Locks. The poem compares Adam to Hyacinthus, the boy beloved of Apollo in Orpheus's song from Ovid's Metamorphoses 10.163-219. Milton likens Adam to Apollo's "beloved" as an example of ideal male beauty. Milton often alludes to Orpheus (Lycidas 58-63, A Mask 84-88, "At a Solemn Music") as a classical example of the power of poetic song. Homer describes Odysseus's head and hair in a similar fashion at just those moments when Athena pays special attentions to him (Odyssey 6. 231: "she also made the hair grow thick on the top of his head, and flow down in curls like hyacinth blossoms'). The word "Clustring" also alludes to a similar description of the "fair clustering tresses" Venus bestows upon Aeneas in the Aeneid 1.590-91. See a yellow hyacinth in bloom. On hair length for men and women, see also 1 Corinthians 11:15. See John Guillory's essay, "Milton, Narcissism, Gender: On the Genealogy of Male Self-Esteem." Perhaps Milton imagines an Adam not unlike Michelangelo's David (1504).

veil. It seems odd that Eve needs a veil considering lines 312 and 313.

Disheveld. As with the vegetation in Paradise which apparently requires the attention of a gardener, so we are surprised to find Eve's hair described as dishevelled, or wanton.

coy. Shy or reserved.

modest pride. The physical portrayal of Adam and Eve is complex, like these oxymoronic expressions. Milton's description of Adam focuses on his head, suggesting Adam's most important characteristic is his intellect; Eve's "unadorned golden tresses" pull the focus away from her head to her entire body, implying her primary characteristic is her beauty and grace, though we shall later be instructed, as was Eve, just how far "manly grace and wisdom" exceed female beauty and how wisdom alone can be called "truly fair" (490-91).

mysterious parts. That is, their genitals. Milton chooses the word "mysterious" to remind readers that "connubial rites" (line 743) are truly (though allegorically or typologically) about the relations between Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:31-32), "mysteriously meant," like the stairs that lead to heaven (3.516).

dishonest. Impure or unchaste.

meer shews. In his divorce tracts Milton complained incessantly about women whose false shows of modesty and shamefastness led the men who married them into the worst hell imaginable--marriage to an unfit partner. See The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.

Gardning labour. We might be surprised at first that Milton thinks there was labor in Paradise, but Milton, like many of us, loved to work and thought it a source of pleasure. Milton also specifies that prelapsarian work, in proper amounts, also enhanced other pleasures, like that of feeling a cool wind, taking rest, satisfying a thirst, or an appetite for food.

Zephyr. West wind.

recline. Reclining.

damaskt. Ornamented with variegated pattern or design.

gentle purpose. Conversation. Milton insisted in his Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce that "fit conversation" is the chief purpose for which marriage was instituted and woman created.

Wanted. Lacking.

youthful dalliance. See other instances of the word "dalliance" in PL: 2.819; 9.442; 9.1016. Is "dalliance" an alternative to "gentle purpose" (337)?

Dandl'd the Kid. Isaiah 11:6-10 describes a future paradise where all beasts will lie down and play together, even with children.

Ounces, Pards. Lynxes and leopards.

Proboscis. Trunk.

Gordian twine. As hard to untie as the Gordian knot, which Alexander the Great cut.

breaded. Braided.

ruminating. Chewing the cud.

Ocean Isles. The Azores in the mid North Atlantic. See below, line 592.

our room. Satan refers to the "vacant room" of the fallen angels in 7.190. The idea is that mankind and his world was created to "repair" the loss of the fallen angels. See note above.

Little inferior. Satan echoes the sense of Psalm 8: "Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." See also Hamlet 2.2.319: "What a piece of work is a man!"

gentle pair. See William Blake's 1808 watercolor illustration of these lines.

Long to continue. Adam and Eve enjoy happiness, but, says Satan, this happiness is not well enough protected to continue for long.

Ill fenc't. Again, Paradise is not well protected enough to prevent Satan from entering.

League. A compact for protection of common interests.

send forth all her Kings. The lines echo Isaiah 14: 9, but the tone with which Satan echoes the prophet is worth pondering. John Leonard, in his introduction to Paradise Lost (xxxv-xxxvi) points out that Satan's speech also echoes Pluto in Claudian's Raptu Proserpinae 2.300 (The Rape of Proserpine 2.300).

wrong me. Satan refuses to accept responsibility for his act of revenge, instead blaming God by essentially using the childish argument "he made me do it."

public reason. Reason of state, a perversion of the Ciceronian principle (Laws 3.3.8) that the good of the people is the supreme law.

Tyrants plea. For Milton's theory of the origins of tyranny and the emptiness of this excuse, see 12.95.

himself now one,/ Now other. That is, Satan tries on the shapes of various animals as he approaches the bower without being detected.

Purlieu. A piece of land bordering a forest.

couchant. Lying down.

Turn'd him all ear. That is, Satan is now "all ears" for Adam's speech?

dust. Adam was made by God from the dust of the earth and Eve made from his rib according to Genesis 2. See also Genesis 3: 19: "for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

dreadful thing. Adam has not yet witnessed death; though he understands it is a "dreadful thing," his knowledge of it is limited. See his first glimpse of death in 11.445-93 when Michael shows him his son's murder.

Dominion. This recalls Genesis 1: 26, in which God intends Adam to have dominion over "every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

without whom am to no end. Milton was not alone in believing that the only purpose for which woman was created is to remedy a man's loneliness. See The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. The phrase "flesh of thy flesh" directly echoes Adam's words in Genesis 2: 23.

my Guide. Milton's Eve echoes the Pauline teaching about men and women, husbands and wives. See 1 Corinthians 11: 3; see also verses 8 and 9.

odds. The amount by which one thing exceeds or excels another.

Like consort to thyself canst nowhere find. Adam, we learn in book 8, specifically asked God to supply him with an equal partner, one like himself (8.381-397). Yet here Eve implies that Adam is so much her superior as to have no equal on earth and so no like consort. Is Eve mistaken?

I first awak't. Compare to the description of Adam's awakening in 8.253.

what. Eve refers to herself as "what" and Adam as "who"; overall, there are slight but revealing differences between the first questions that come to Eve's mind and those that come to Adam's mind. See 8.270.

expanse of Heav'n. Eve is incorporating knowledge retrospectively; What is here expressed as a simile, she took for an identity when new waked to consciouness (line 459). See Linda Gregerson's essay, "Fault lines: Milton's Mirror of Desire." in The Reformation of the Subject: Spenser Milton and the English Protestant Epic.

seem'd another Skie. Eve looks down at the lake, while Adam's first act is to look up toward Heaven in 8.257. Her confusion of earth and sky may be seen as an early indication of Eve's vulnerability to Satan's temptation.

A Shape. Milton echoes here in Eve's actions the myth of Narcissus in Ovid's Metamorphoses 3.402-510. For further discussion of Eve's narcissism see the essay by James Earl, "Eve's Narcissism" in Milton Quarterly19 (1985):13-16.

What there thou seest fair Creature is thy self. This may be read as implying that Eve's self (apart from Adam as she presently is) is no deeper a thing than her appearance. In book 8, Raphael refers to Eve's beauty as "an outside" (8.568).

staies. Awaits.

Whose image thou art. That is, Adam. Eve, like Adam, carries the image of God, but for Eve this image is derivative; she is more immediately in Adam's image than in God's. See this point made explicit in Tetrachordon.

invisibly thus led. Eve does not recognize the voice as God, but it is one of the chief features of God's beauty to be invisible (5. 157). Milton may be suggesting a natural tendency in Eve to follow and obey. Also have a look at Bosch's (1450-1516) depiction of Eve being led to Adam.

espi'd thee. Eve, we remember is talking to Adam.

Platan. Plane tree.

watry image. "Watry" may pun here on the sense of watered down or less clear since Eve's image in the lake is merely a reflection of her image, which is in turn a reflection of Adam's inward "manly grace and wisdom," which is, in turn, the image of God in Adam.

Thou following. See Adam's version of this event as told to Raphael in 8.484-510.

individual. Inseparable.

truly fair. A distinction is formed here between "faire" as properly applied to Eve (481) and "truly fair" which applies only to "wisdom," a quality essentially invisible though capable of demonstration. Eve is fair, beautiful on the outside, but Adam's inward "wisdom" is "truly fair," that is, more like the image of God, partly, paradoxically, because it is an invisible, inner quality.

unreprov'd. Innocent.

Beauty and submissive Charms. Beauty alone, however attractive, does not delight Adam as much as beauty combined with submission.

Jupiter. King of gods and sky.

Juno. Jupiter's queen, and, allegorically, the air. John Leonard (Introduction to PL xxxvi-xxxvii) hears an echo here of the story of Hera's (Juno's) seduction of Zeus (Jupiter) in Homer's Iliad 14.346-51.

impregns. Impregnates.

Ey'd them askance. Milton reminds the reader that Satan has been watching Adam and Eve for nearly all of book 4, emphasizing Satan's voyeurism.

plaind. Complained, whined.

fierce desire. Desire here is implicitly distinguished from love.

can it be sin to know. Satan already prepares his temptation arguments. The sin, of course, is not knowledge or even desire for knowledge, but disobedience, but see also Raphael's notion that the desire for knowledge requires temperance (7.126-130) and also Denis Albanese's discussion of the New Science, New World.

Envious commands. Satan ascribes his own feelings of envy to God, claiming that God denies Adam and Eve knowledge of good and evil because He envies them.

narrow. Precise, careful.

long woes. See Hieronymus Bosch's (1450-1516) depiction of the tortures of the damned in Hell.

utmost Longitude. Farthest point in the west.

right aspect. Facing a given direction.

Alablaster. Alabaster (white stone).

Gabriel. Gabriel is one of the four archangels of the Hebrew tradition. The others were Michael, Uriel, and Raphael; each was assigned one quarter of the world in each of the cardinal directions. Gabriel also serves as a heavenly messenger; see Luke 1:19 and Daniel 8.

Heroic Games. Contrast the angels' games with the corrupt and warlike athletics of the demons in Hell in 2.528-538.

thwarts. Flies across.

vapors fir'd. Heat lightning.

Gods latest Image. The angels, and especially the Son, are the earlier versions of God's image.

describ'd. Noticed.

with passions foul obscur'd. See Milton's description of Satan's "furious gestures" in the Argument at the beginning of book 4.

Meridian hour. Noon.

Spiritual substance. Presumably this is why Satan cannot be kept out of Paradise since he is made of "Spiritual substance." But what besides the spirits of Hell is Gabriel's squad supposed to guard against?

slope downward. Since the sun is now below the horizon, Uriel slides down on a beam as he returns to his station in the sun.

Azores. See note for "Ocean Isles."

prime Orb. The sun. Milton does not commit himself to either a Ptolemaic or Copernican cosmology.

Diurnal. In a day.

less volubil. Less capable of easy rotation; the narrator's description here favors a Ptolemaic cosmology without totally excluding a Copernican explanation of sunsets. See note above.

Hesperus. The evening star.

Apparent. Manifest.

eye-lids. Possibly borrowed from Spenser's The Faerie Queene 1.1.36: "the sad humour loading their eye liddes."

daily work. God commands Adam and Eve to "dress" and "keep" Eden in Genesis 2: 15. The dignity of work, along with walking erect, speaking language and enjoying God's special attention are features that distinguish humans from beasts in Milton's world-view.

Allies. Alleys.

manuring. Tillage, cultivation; though Milton may also mean us to imagine that Adam and Eve fertilized their garden with manure.

More hands then ours. Milton reckons that for Paradise to be truly perfect, there must be work available for Adam's children, since work is one of life's great pleasures, and a distinctly human dignity.

Ask riddance. Must be removed.

conversing. See Milton's definition of the purpose of marriage and woman's creation in the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce--"an apt and cheerful conversation." See also Adam's expression of pleasure at conversation with Raphael in book 8.

seasons. Times of the day; seasonal changes began only after the Fall of man (Orgel & Goldberg 881).

charm. Song.

Daughter of God and Man. Adam is probably to be understood literally here; God and Adam are Eve's parents. See Adam's description of her birth in 8.453-75.

foment. Nurture with heat.

spiritual Creatures. Adam suggests the presence of guardian angels on Earth at all times, who praise the beauty of God's creation while man is asleep and unable to do so.

harmonic number joind. The angelic singers seem like the Muses in Hesiod's Theogony 3-21 and 35-52, who sing the greatness of their father Zeus, the earth and heaven, in ceaseless concert as they mount the cloudy slope of Olympus in the darkness (Hughes 294).

hand in hand alone. That is to say no other creatures follow them into their bower.

Gessamin. Jasmine.

flourisht. Blooming.

stone of costliest Emblem. Stone with inlaid work.

feign'd. Invented or imagined.

Faunus. Pan, Silvanus, and Faunus are all satyrs, beings with the form of a goat from the waist down, from Greek and Roman mythology.

Hymanaen. Marriage song.

genial Angel. Implies that there is a guardian angel protecting the bower of Adam and Eve.

Pandora. Pandora, according to pagan legend the first woman (see Pseudo-Apollodorus Library 1.7.2), was created by Jove's request to avenge Prometheus (foresight), who stole fire from heaven. She was endowed with gifts by the gods, given a box filled with evils, and sent to marry Epimetheus (hindsight), a brother of Prometheus. Although warned against it, Epimetheus opened the box and all life's evils flew out. Pandora and Eve are "like in sad event" in that they are both associated with tragic events (see Hesiod's Works and Days 80).

Japhet. Noah's son Japhet, identified here with the legendary Titan Iapetus, father of Prometheus and Epimetheus.

Pole. Sky. See A Mask 99.

Thou. Adam and Eve addres God in their spontaneous (and spontaneously poetic) evening prayers of thanksgiving and praise.

wants. Lacks.

weene. Suppose.

handed. Joined hand in hand.

connubial Love. Milton probably shocked his earliest readers by suggesting that Adam and Eve had sexual relations before the fall, but we should also note how carefully he has kept anything like sexual desire out of this description: Adam, we are told, did not "turn" from his wife, and Eve did not "refuse" the "Rites mysterious" (referring to Ephesians 5: 31-32) The activity sounds like obedience to God's command (line 747) rather than sexual desire; see also Milton's notion of "rational burning" as explained in The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, book 1.

bids increase. "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28). On the matter of the devil bidding abstention, see 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

mysterious Law. The poem alludes to Paul's interpretation of "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24) in Ephesians 5: 31-32. For other instances of the word, "mysterious," see the note to 10.173.

propriety. Property.

bed is undefil'd. The narrator quotes from Hebrews 13:4. The Greek underlying "undefiled" is amiantos, a word also used in Hebrews 7:26, James 1:27, and 1 Peter 1:4.

Love. Milton's description of "Love" is similar to Ovid's representation of Cupid. See Metamorphoses 1. 468. See also the story of the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche from Apuleius' The Golden Ass.

shafts. Arrows.

fruition. Copulation.

starv'd. Of love; a sneering jab at the courtly love convention of (male) lovesickness in the face of a lady's proud refusal.

know to know no more. One of many warnings to abstain from desiring to know too much. See 7.119-120 and 8.167-168.

Cone. The earth's shadow forms a cone if the sun is below the horizon. Here, it is at 45 degrees, so it is nine o'clock, post meridian.

Port. Gate.

Uzziel. A cabbalistic angel; his name means "strength of a god." The only Uzziel in the Bible is a mortal being.

wheel. Circle.

Ithuriel and Zephon. Meaning "discovery of god" and "searcher," respectively. An angel named Ithuriel is not mentioned in the Bible and though the name Zephon appears in the Bible, he is not an angel. (Orgel & Goldberg 882).

close at the eare. The source of the dream Eve complains of having in 5. 32-93. See William Blake's 1808 watercolor illustration of these lines.

animal spirits. Robert Burton described the theory of spirits, "The natural are begotten in the liver, and thence dispersed through the veins ... The vital spirits are made in the heart... The animal spirits formed the vital, brought up to the brain, and diffused by the nerves, to the subordinate members, give sense and motion to them all" (Anatomy of Melancholy

conceits. Thoughts.

nitrous Powder. Gunpowder.

Fit for the Tun. Ready to be stored in a barrel.

Against. In anticipation of.

started up. Milton's simile emphasizes Satan's underlying carelessness and lack of reason. Satan explodes upward like a pile of gunpowder in storage merely for a "rumord Warr"; the conflagration is destructive yet unnecessary and aimless.

argues. Indicates. Satan attests that failure of angels to recognize him indicates their obscure position in Heaven as he is known by all "important" angels. He fails to understand that sin has so deformed his physical being that he is essentially unrecognizable.

obscure. Dark, but also unknown.

Cherube. Zephon is apparently a cherub by rank. Cherubim and seraphim are two orders or ranks of angels. Images of Cherubim stood by the sanctuary in the temple at Jerusalem.

wicked, and thence weak. See Samson Agonistes 834.

port. Manner.

gate. Gait.

charge. Refers to Adam and Eve, whom Gabriel is in charge of protecting.

thou hadst in Heav'n th' esteem of wise. Gabriel is famous in Heaven for his wisdom. Satan is being childishly sarcastic, telling Gabriel that if he is so smart, he should know why Satan left Hell and came to Paradise.

Farthest from pain. Satan admits his own cowardice, saying he ran from Hell to escape its torments and avoid his punishment. This directly contradicts Satan's speech to the other fallen angels in 2.445-60 in which he claims he will only undertake the journey because the honor of leadership carries the responsibility of accepting hazardous challenges when they arise.

durance. Forced confinement.

mov'd. Irate.

O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise. Gabriel answers Satan's sarcasm with some of his own: Satan and his wise judgment are, he sarcastically remarks, a great loss to Heaven.

However. By any means.

Which thou incurr'st by flying. In his soliloquy early in book 4, Satan acknowledges that he expects to be punished even further for his escape from Hell; see lines 75-78.

surely. Gabriel's heavy sarcasm continues here; he sees through Satan's lie and takes the opportunity to insult him, mockingly calling Satan "courageous Chief" when his cowardice is quite evident.

afflicted Powers. Satan's beaten forces. See 1.186.

gay Legions. Satan attempts to mock Gabriel and the other angels by implying that the splendor of the Heavenly armies is merely for show.

cringe. Allowing space to bow.

trac't. Detected.

Patron of liberty. Satan may depict some of the disappointment Milton felt in another apparent patron of liberty, Oliver Cromwell. See the Britannica article from which the following assessment is quoted: "In the spring of 1657 he [Cromwell] was tempted by an offer of the crown by a majority in Parliament on the ground that it fitted in better with existing institutions and the English common law. In the end he refused to become king because he knew that it would offend his old republican officers. Nevertheless, in the last year and a half of his life he ruled according to a form of government known as "the Petition and Advice." This in effect made him a constitutional monarch with a House of Lords whose members he was allowed to nominate as well as an elected House of Commons."

arreede. Advise.

avant. Depart.

facil. Easily yielding.

limitarie. Boundary-guarding.

progress. Procession.

mooned. Shaped like a crescent.

ported Spears. Held at guard or ready position.

Ceres. Goddess of grain.

careful. Apprehensive.

Least. Lest.

Teneriff or Atlas. Teneriff, a mountain in the Canary Islands, once thought to be the highest in the world. Atlas, a mountain in Morocco, once believed to support the sky.

wanted. Lacked.

Cope. Dome.

gon to rack. Been ruined.

Scales. Milton remembered the golden scales in which Zeus weighed and compared the destinies of the Greeks and Trojans Iliad 8. 69-72, and of Hector against Achilles Iliad 22. 209), or the weighing of Aeneas' fate against that of Turnus (Aeneid 12. 725-727), but he gives the conception cosmic scope by identifying the scales with the constellation of Libra which stands between the Virgin and the Scorpion in the Zodiac.

ponders. Weighs.

sequel. Outcome.

Neither our own but giv'n. That is, all power, like all grace, flows from God alone according to Milton's theology.