sung. In some Renaissance editions of Virgil's Aeneid, the poem begins by reminding readers that Virgil was previously the author of the Eclogues and Georgics: "I am he who once tuned my song on a slender reed, then, leaving the woodland, constrained the neighbouring fields to serve the husbandmen, however grasping -- a work welcome to farmers: but now of Mars' bristling" (H. R. Fairclogh, trans. Loeb Classical Library No. 63 [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978], 241). By echoing these lines, Milton invites readers to compare himself to Virgil, his earlier epic to Virgil's early pastoral efforts, and Paradise Regain'd to the martial and imperial epic, the Aeneid. These analogies should prompt careful analysis. See also the opening lines of Spenser's Faerie Queene and Ovid's Tristia, 4.10.1: "I am he who once wrote of soft loves."

one mans firm obedience. See Romans 5: 19.

in the wast Wilderness. Recalling Paradise Lost 12.587, the "wast wilderness" suggests both a literal and a figurative sense.

Eremite. Hermit, from the Greek for "desert-dweller." Because the Son wanders in the wilderness after his baptism, Milton invites us to think of him as a desert hermit. For the invocation of "the Spirit," compare to Paradise Lost 1.6-13, 7.1-12.

proof. Trial, test.

my prompted Song. See Paradise Lost 9.13-33.

prosperous. Leading to success, not tragic loss.

full summ'd. A hawk who has fully developed all its feathers is called "full-summed."

Above Heroic. See Paradise Lost 9.25-41.

unrecorded. Uncelebrated.

the great Proclaimer. John the Baptist. See Matthew 3: 3, Mark 1: 3, Luke 3: 4 and John 1: 23.

the Son of Joseph deem'd. That is, Jesus. See the odd genealogies of Jesus offered in Matthew 1 and Luke 3.

divinely warn'd. See John 1: 33.

Fathers voice. Matthew 3: 16-17.

Adversary. The name "Satan" derives from a Hebrew word that literally means adversary. See Paradise Lost 2.629, 6.282, 9.947.

still. Always roaming, as he is described in Job 1: 7.

his place. Traditionally, Satan's "place," as "Prince of the powers of the air" (Ephesians 2: 2) was mid air. See also Paradise Lost 10.185.

gloomy consistory . In Virgil's Aeneid 3. 679, Aeneas refers to the Cyclops gathering as "concilium horrendum." "Consistory" also suggests overtones of Roman Catholic and Episcopal Church government; Milton was, of course, a strong opponent of prelacy. This council of demons also reminds one of the council described by Tasso in Jerusalem Delivered 4.3-18.

sad. As is usual in Milton's poetry, "sad" here means solemn and serious.

as the years of men. According to human calculation.

facile. Compliant, yielding.

attending. Awaiting (the execution of the curse mentioned in Genesis 3: 15 and interpreted in Paradise Lost 12.386).

longest time to him is short. See 2 Peter 3: 8.

infring'd. Defeated, broken.

wisdom. See Luke 2: 52.

Crystal Dores. Milton imagines that heavenly architecture makes great use of crystal; see Paradise Lost 1.742 and 6.860.

A perfect Dove. Matthew 3: 16-17, Mark 1: 10, Luke 3: 22, and John 1: 32-33 all tell the story of the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove. See also Piero della Francesca's depiction of The Baptism (1442), and El Greco's Baptism (1608).

obtains. Owns, from Latin obtinere.

first-begot. The naming of God's only Son as second to God in Heaven in Paradise Lost 5.601 is the occasion for Satan's rebellion.

couch't. Hidden.

sole undertook. The devil reminds the demons of his proposal in Pandemonium (Paradise Lost 2.430-466) to search for their freedom by investigating the path through Chaos from hell to earth.

Dictator. "A temporary ruler 'invested with absolute authority, elected in seasons of emergency by the Romans, and by other Italian states'" (OED2).

yea gods. Paradise Lost 1.366 imagines the evil spirits taking on the roles of pagan gods.

girded with snaky wiles. See Isaiah 11: 5.

man of men. "Man" is capitalized in the second edition of Paradise Regained (1680). Considering the critical debate over whether Milton wished to emphasizes the Son's Godlike or human apects more in the poem, this capitalization is probably significant. For a view of Paradise Regained that emphasise Jesus' human qualities, see Jane Melbourne, "Self-Doubt in the Wilderness in Paradise Regained." For one that emphasizes his distance from ordinary humanity, see Alan Fisher's "Why is Paradise Regained So Cold?"

unweeting. unwittingly.

full frequence. Complete attendance.

Gabriel. The Annunciation's angel. See Paradise Lost 4.549.

Lines 134-140. These lines paraphrase the story of the annunciation as told in Luke 1: 26-38.

Apostasy. Unfaithfulness.

he fail'd in Job. The book of Job tells a story of Satan's failed attempt to prompt Job to curse God.

By fallacy surpriz'd. Overcome by deceit and delusion in logic. Milton's Eve believed that the serpent had eaten the fruit (Paradise Lost 9.575-601) and so attained speech and reason; Adam was not deceived, but does color his disobedience with specious logic (9.928-949).

Sin and Death. See Paradise Lost 2.648-73 and 10.585-609.

weakness shall o'recome. See 1 Corinthians 1: 27, 2 Corinthians 12: 9, and Paradise Lost 9.32.

by merit. See Paradise Lost 3.308-309.

the hand. Instrumental music.

argument. Subject, theme.

his great duel. Paradise Lost 12.386-400 describes this "duel."

The Father knows the Son. See John 10: 15.

Vigils. The hymns and psalms sung during nighttime services.

Bethabara. A town near the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptised Jesus.

swarm. See Samson Agonistes 19.

sorting. Agreeing.

When I was yet a child. Christ's childhood is recorded in Luke 2.

delight. See Psalm 1: 2.

Teachers of our Law. Jesus' discussion with the teachers of the Law during his Passover at the temple in Jerusalem is recorded in Luke 2: 46-50.

admir'd. Marveled at.

subdue. The original 1671 text reads "destroy"; this is corrected in the Errata, but the 1680 edition retains "destroy." Did Milton want to portray The Son as destructive? Probably not — see Paradise Lost 6.37-41, or Luke 9:56. Flannagan and MacKellar both note this.

thy Kingdom. See Luke 1: 32-33.

should. The 1680 text reads "shall".

new grav'n. Permanently fixed or recently carved.

thee. The 1680 text reads "the." An interesting change, in light of the critical dispute over whether or not Satan knows Jesus' true identity. See Rushdy, 205 and Shawcross, 39-40.

Lines 240-254. These details of Jesus' natvity are based on Matthew 2 and Luke 1-2.

Simeon and Prophetic Anna. See Luke 2: 25-38.

revolv'd. Thought over, searched through.

assay. Trial.

transferr'd upon my head. Milton applies to Jesus Isaiah's proclamation from Isaiah 53: 6, "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."

his way prepare. The Gospel of Mark begins by portraying John the Baptist as "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord," echoing Isaiah 40: 3.

hardly won. Persuaded with difficulty.

laving. Washing; from latin lavare.

eternal doors. The "everlasting doors" of Psalm 24: 7-9.

strong motion. See Samson's "rousing motions" in Samson Agonistes 1382.

my knowledge. See Matthew 24: 36 and Mark 13: 32.

our Morning Star. In Revelation 22: 16, Jesus, in John's vision, declares that he is the bright morning star. See the "Nativity Ode" 74.

humane. Are we to understand that Jesus' own steps have left no mark, that he walks here not as human but as God? Or simply that people don't often walk this way?

covert. Refuge, hiding place.

Lion and fierce Tiger. Mark 1: 13 says that Jesus was in the desert for forty days and "with wild beasts"; the echoes of Isaiah 65: 25 are Milton's, not the gospel's.

noxious Worm. Harmful serpent.

aged man in Rural weeds. Compare to Archimago's disguise in Faerie Queene 1.12.29, as well as Comus' disguise in A Mask 166-167.

pin'd. Wasted.

admire. Wonder

ought. Anything, aught.

Fame. Report, rumor. Here Fame, as in Virgil's Aeneid 4. 173 and in Chaucer's Hous of Fame, is personified.

stubs. Shrubs. This line echoes Faerie Queene 1.9.34.1-2.

bread. This echoes Luke 4: 3-4.

each Word. The Son appears to quote from Deuteronomy 8: 3, and this conversation with the devil is recorded in Matthew 4: 3-4 and Luke 4: 3-4.

Moses. Exodus 24: 18 states that Moses stayed in Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights when he received the ten commandments.

Eliah. Elijah. 1 Kings 19: 8 states that Elijah was able to keep strength for forty nights and forty days after he ate the food that an angel brought him.

unconniving. Always watchful and alert.

Uzzean Job. Job lived in the land of Uz.

prove . Try, test.

Ahab. See 1 Kings 21-22.

demurring. The 1671 text has "demuring" and corrects this spelling in the Errata.

glibb'd. Articulated, smoothed, greased.

my native brightness. In Isaiah 14: 12, the devil or Satan is identified with Lucifer. In Paradise Lost 7.132-133 Satan is called "the son of the morning."

attent. Attentively.

Whereby. 1671 misprints "Wherbey" here.

Lines 393-396. Milton believed that evil spirits spoke through these oracles, impersonating divine messengers. His narrator speaks in Paradise Lost 1.372-73 of devils adored as deities by pagan "gay religions."

Nearer. 1671 misprints this as "Never"; the Errata corrects this to "nearer" and 1680 retains the misprinted "Never".

proof. Trial.

compos'd of lies. See John 8: 44.

gaz'd. Gazed at.

Imparts. 1671 misprints "Imports" here and Errata corrects this; 1680 retains the misprint.

when in Heaven. See Paradise Lost 1.254-55 and 4.78.

pleasure to do ill. Jesus alludes to the devil's boast in Paradise Lost 1.160 that Satan's "sole delight" is "ever to do ill."

righteous. 1671 has "irghteous," an obvious misprint, but not corrected in the Errata. 1680 has "righteous."

four hundred mouths. For the story of the 400 unreliable prophets; see 1 Kings 22: 6-22.

Lines 434-441. The church Fathers, like Lactantius (Divine Institutes 2.21), declared that the oracles of ancient literature stem from demons who impersonate gods (Hughes 492).

President. Presiding.

Oracles are ceased. One of the themes of Milton's Nativity Ode 173. Milton adheres to the traditional belief that Jesus' birth terminated all oracles. Milton agrees with Augustine's separation between the false lights of the oracles and the enlightenment which comes from the Holy Spirit and Christ (City of God 9.23).

at Delphos. The oracle of Apollo at Delphi was the most renowned in ancient Greece.

Spirit of Truth. According to John 16: 13, Jesus promises that "when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth."

inward Oracle. Milton uses this term to declare that the truth manifest in Christ is inward and not on public display. King Charles I of England claimed that he was a witness of the truth, and he gained the support of the masses after the Protestant Parliament assassinated him; he became viewed as a martyr. Milton claims that Charles' craving for public support is proof that the King does not embody the truth of Jesus Christ (Knoppers 110).

rested. Wrested.

quit. Acquitted, paid.

rough to walk. Compare to Matthew 7: 13.

tuneable. Harmonious.

Atheous. Not atheistic, but simply misbelieving or carelessly profane. See OED2.

Balaam. When Balaam was encouraged by the King of Moab to curse the Israelites, he replied that God had ordered him "to bless; and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it"; see Numbers 22-24 for the story.

scope. Purpose.

thou canst not more. See Paradise Lost 4.1006-1009.

Into thin Air. This resembles the way the spirits disappear in The Tempest 4.1.150.

sullen wing. See night's wings in Virgil's Aeneid 8. 369.

double-shade. See A Mask 334.