UnPoetia:Paradise Abridged/Book XI

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The Argument

ParadiseLost11

God declares that Adam and Eve can no longer reside in Paradise, and sends Michael with a band of Cherubim to remove them. First, though, he has Michael reveal to Adam future events, which, in the opinion of the author, would have been better done before certain events transpired.

The Verse

Meanwhile, back in Heaven up all high, God [1]
Dismiss’d th’ angel Gabriel and summon’d
To Him Michael, and explain’d to him thus:
“Michael, this my behest have thou in charge,
Take to thee from among the Cherubim [5]
Thy choice of flaming warriors, least the Fiend
Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
Vacant possession some new trouble raise:
Hast thee, and from the Paradise of God
Without remorse drive out the sinful pair, [10]
Whose Sin I permitted in my wisdom.”[1]
And before th’ angel Michael could question,
The Lord God sent him down to Earth to do
His divine appointed errand unwill’d.
He found Adam and Eve in Paradise, [15]
Still shamed from their Fall, their Sin, sat quite,
To whom he thus began: “Adam and Eve,
First thing’s first, you’ll have to vacate Eden
On ’count of your great Sin against the Lord.
Before ye leave, however, I’ve been told [20]
By God to relate to thee things to come.”
“How come—” here began our father. “I don’t
Really know,” spake quick the angel, “Just let
Me finish, please. First matter, of your deaths:
They will be by many years delay’d, so [25]
You two may propagate the human race.
The first to die will be your son, murder’d
By your other son in envy.” “Oh no!”
Cried Adam, and Eve gave forth a cry, but
Michael his speech resumed. “Sin and Death, which [30]
You have brought into the world by your Sin,
Shall make men’s lives a torture.” He show’d them
Thus a vision of war, disease, and death,
Conquering armies, Promiscuous sex,
And other sins stem’d forth from their first one. [35]
Mankind shall live like this, in sin, until
A solitary righteous man, Noah,
Speaks to God, is answer’d, and builds an ark
To preserve all the world’s creatures from flood.”
“What?” here said Adam. “I’m confused,” said Eve. [40]
“Let me go on,” said Michael, “God, in all
His wisdom will decide to destroy Man,[2]
Save Noah, th’ only righteous, and begin
Anew with righteous stock for Man.” “But why?”
Ask’d Adam. “How come?” said Eve. “Because,” said [45]
Th’ angel Michael, “Mankind had greatly sinned.”
And here th’ Archangel Michael paus’d a bit.


Clicketh Here for Book XII

The Annotations

  1. Here, ‘wisdom’ is used in its archaic sense, meaning ‘unbelievable stupidity.’
  2. Yet another example of ‘wisdom’ being used in its archaic sense.
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