Paradise Lost, books VII – XII

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Let there be lights
High in the expanse of heaven to divide
The day from night; and let them be for signs,
For seasons, and for days, and circling years

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Open ye heavens, your living doors; let in
The great creator from his work returned
Magnificent, his six days’ work, a world;

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Author and end of all things…

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[Book VIII]

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To ask or search I blame thee not, for heaven
Is as the book of God before thee set,
Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learn
His seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years:

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She fair, divinely fair, fit love for gods,
Not terrible, though terror be in love
And beauty, not approached by stronger hate,
Hate stronger, under show of love well feigned,
The way which to her ruin now I tend.

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… we live
Law to our selves, our reason is our law.

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… I extinct;
A death to think.

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As with new wine intoxicated both
They swim in mirth, and fancy that they feel
Divinity within them breeding wings
Wherewith to scorn the earth

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[Book X]

…his heart
omniscient.

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in my heart divined,
My heart, which by a secret harmony
Still moves with thine

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Thine now is all this world, thy virtue hath won
What thy hands builded not

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… Long were to tell
What I have done, what suffered, with what pain
Voyaged the unreal, vast, unbounded deep

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A world who would not purchase with a bruise,
Or much more grievous pain?

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From his transcendent seat the saints among,
To those bright orders uttered thus his voice.

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Sung hallelujah, as the sound of seas,

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Let us seek death, or he not found, supply
With our own hands his office on ourselves;
Why stand we longer shivering under fears,
That show no end but death, and have the power,
Of many ways to die the shortest choosing,
Destruction with destruction to destroy.

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[Book XI]

In yonder nether world where shall I seek
His bright appearances, or footstep trace?

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Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv’st
Live well, how long or short permit to heaven

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[Book XIII]

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… the law of faith
Working through love, upon their hearts shall write,
To guide them all in truth, and also arm
with spiritual armour, able to resist
Satan’s assaults

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what the spirit within
Shall on the heart engrave.

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and works of faith
Rarely be found: So shall the world go on

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How soon hath thy prediction, seer blessed,
Measured this transient world, the race of time,
Till time stand fixed: beyond is all abyss,
Eternity, whose end no eye can reach.

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Henceforth I learn, that to obey is best,
And love with fear the only God, to walk
As in presence, ever to observe
His providence, and on him sole depend,
Merciful over all his works, with good
Still overcoming evil, and by small
Accomplishing great things, by things deemed weak
Subverting worldly strong, and worldly wise
By simply meek; that suffering for truth’s sake
Is fortitude to highest victory,
And to the faithful death the gate of life.

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That ye may live, which will be many days
Both in one faith unanimous though sad

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He ended, and they both descend the hill;
Descended, …

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Whence though returns’t, and whither went’st, I know;
For God is also in sleep, and dreams advise….
…But now lead on;
In me is no delay; without thee here to stay,
Is to go hence unwilling; thou to me
Art all things under heaven, all places thou,
Who for my wilful crime art banished hence.

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The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and providence their guide:
They hand in hand with wandering steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.