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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Song of the Pair in Paradise

By John Milton (1608–1674)

From ‘Paradise Lost

LOWLY they bowed, adoring, and began

Their orisons, each morning duly paid

In various style; for neither various style

Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise

Their Maker, in fit strains pronounced, or sung

Unmeditated; such prompt eloquence

Flowed from their lips, in prose or numerous verse,

More tunable than needed lute or harp

To add more sweetness: and they thus began:—

“These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,

Almighty! thine this universal frame,

Thus wondrous fair: thyself how wondrous then!

Unspeakable! who sitt’st above these heavens

To us invisible, or dimly seen

In these thy lowest works; yet these declare

Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.

Speak, ye who best can tell, ye Sons of Light,

Angels—for ye behold him, and with songs

And choral symphonies, day without night,

Circle his throne rejoicing—ye in heaven;

On earth join, all ye creatures, to extol

Him first, him last, him midst, and without end.

Fairest of stars, last in the train of Night,

If better thou belong not to the Dawn,

Sure pledge of day, that crown’st the smiling morn

With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere

While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.

Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul,

Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise

In thy eternal course, both when thou climb’st,

And when high noon has gained, and when thou fall’st.

Moon, that now meet’st the orient sun, now fliest,

With the fixed stars, fixed in their orb that flies;

And ye five other wandering fires, that move

In mystic dance, not without song, resound

His praise who out of darkness called up light.

Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth

Of Nature’s womb, that in quaternion run

Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix

And nourish all things, let your ceaseless change

Vary to our great Maker still new praise.

Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise

From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,

Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,

In honor to the world’s great Author rise;

Whether to deck with clouds the uncolored sky,

Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,

Rising or falling, still advance his praise.

His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,

Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,

With every plant, in sign of worship wave.

Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,

Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise.

Join voices, all ye living souls. Ye birds,

That, singing, up to heaven-gate ascend,

Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise.

Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk

The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep,—

Witness if I be silent, morn or even,

To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,

Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.

Hail, universal Lord! Be bounteous still

To give us only good; and if the night

Have gathered aught of evil, or concealed,

Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.”

So prayed they innocent, and to their thoughts

Firm peace recovered soon, and wonted calm.