Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two
Imparadis’t in one anothers arms
The happier Eden, shall enjoy their fill
Of bliss on bliss, while I to Hell am thrust,
Where neither joy nor love, but fierce desire,
Among our other torments not the least,
Still unfulfill’d with pain of longing pines;
Yet let me not forget what I have gain’d
From thir own mouths; all is not theirs it seems:
One fatal Tree there stands of Knowledge call’d,
Forbidden them to taste: Knowledge forbidd’n?
Suspicious, reasonless. Why should their Lord
Envy them that? Can it be sin to know?
Can it be death? and do they only stand
By Ignorance, is that their happy state,
The proof of their obedience and their faith?
O fair foundation laid whereon to build
Their ruin! Hence I will excite their minds
With more desire to know, and to reject
Envious commands, invented with
To keep them low whom knowledge might exalt
Equal with Gods; aspiring to be such,
They taste and die: what likelier can ensue?
But first with narrow search I must walk round
This Garden, and no corner leave unspi’d;
A chance but chance may lead where I may meet
Some wandring Spirit of Heav’n, by Fountain side,
Or in thick shade retir’d, from him to draw
What further would be learnt. Live while ye may,
Yet happy pair; enjoy, till I return,
Short pleasures, for long woes are to succeed.
PARADISE LOST, by John Milton
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. The lines above are from Book 4, where Satan catches sight of Adam and Eve, still spotless in their purity. It is considered by critics…