Paradise Regained is a poem, published in 1671, by the 17th century English poet John Milton that is connected by name to his earlier and more famous epic poem Paradise Lost, with which it shares similar theological themes; indeed, its title, its use of blank verse, and its progression through Christian history recall the earlier work. However, this effort deals primarily with the temptation of Christ as recounted in the Gospel of Luke.
- I who e're while the happy Garden sung,
By one mans disobedience lost, now sing
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,
By one mans firm obedience fully tri'd
Through all temptation, and the Tempter foil'd
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls't,
And Eden rais'd in the wast Wilderness.
- Lines 1–7
- [...] tell of deeds
Above Heroic, though in secret done,
And unrecorded left through many an Age,
Worthy t' have not remain'd so long unsung.
- Lines 14–17
- His coming, is sent Harbinger, who all
Invites, and in the Consecrated stream
Pretends to wash off sin
- Lines 71–73
- Victory and triumph to the Son of God
Now entring his great duel, not of arms,
But to vanquish by wisdom hellish wiles.
The Father knows the Son; therefore secure
Ventures his filial Vertue, though untri'd,
Against whate're may tempt, whate're seduce,
Allure, or terrifie, or undermine.
Be frustrate, all ye stratagems of Hell,
And devilish machinations come to nought.
- Lines 173–181
- Envy they say excites me, thus to gain
Companions of my misery and wo.
- Lines 397–398
- That fellowship in pain divides not smart,
Nor lightens aught each mans peculiar load.
- Lines 401–402
- Most men admire
Virtue who follow not her lore.
- Lines 482–483
- And the great Thisbite who on fiery wheels
Rode up to Heaven, yet once again to come.
- Lines 16–17
- Behold the kings of the Earth how they oppress
Thy chosen, to what highth thir pow'r unjust
They have exalted, and behind them cast
All fear of thee, arise and vindicate
Thy Glory, free thy people from thir yoke
- Lines 44–48
- My heart hath been a store-house long of things
And sayings laid up, portending strange events.
- Lines 103–104
- Skilled to retire, and in retiring draw
Hearts after them tangled in amorous nets.
- Lines 161–162
- Beauty stands
In the admiration only of weak minds
- Lines 220–221
- Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd.
- Line 228
- For therein stands the office of a King,
His Honour, Vertue, Merit and chief Praise,
That for the Publick all this weight he bears.
Yet he who reigns within himself, and rules
Passions, Desires, and Fears, is more a King;
- Lines 463–467
- For what is glory but the blaze of fame.
- Line 47
- Of whom to be disprais'd were no small praise.
- Line 56
- They err who count it glorious to subdue
By Conquest far and wide, to over-run
Large Countries, and in field great Battels win,
- Lines 71–73
- Elephants endors'd with towers.
- Line 329
- Syene, and where the shadow both way falls,
Meroe, Nilotic isle.
- Lines 70–71
- Dusk faces with white silken turbans wreath'd.
- Line 76
- The first of all Commandments, Thou shalt worship
The Lord thy God, and only him shalt serve;
- Lines 176–177
- The childhood shows the man,
As morning shows the day. Be famous, then,
By wisdom; as thy empire must extend,
So let extend thy mind o'er all the world
In knowledge; all things in it comprehend.
- Lines 220–224. Compare: "The child is father of the man", William Wordsworth, My Heart Leaps up.
- Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
- Lines 240–241
- The olive grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long.
- Lines 244–246
- Thence to the famous orators repair,
Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence
Wielded at will that fierce democratie,
Shook the arsenal, and fulmin'd over Greece,
To Macedon, and Artaxerxes' throne.
- Line 267–271
Whom well inspired the oracle pronounced
Wisest of men.
- Lines 274–276; spoken by Satan.
- The first and wisest of them all professed
To know this only, that he nothing knew.
- Lines 293–294.
- Who reads
Incessantly, and to his reading brings not
A spirit and judgment equal or superior,
(And what he brings what needs he elsewhere seek?)
Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
Deep versed in books, and shallow in himself.
- Line 322
- As children gath'ring pebbles on the shore.
Or if I would delight my private hours
With music or with poem, where so soon
As in our native language can I find
- Lines 330–335
- Till morning fair
Came forth with pilgrim steps in amice gray.
- Lines 426–427
Quotes about Paradise Regained
- On the fate of the Paradise Regained the voice of the public, which on a question of poetic excellence cannot for any long time be erroneous, has irrevocably decided. Not to object to the impropriety of the title, which would certainly be more consistent with a work on the death and the resurrection of our blessed Lord, the extreme narrowness of the plan of the poem, the small proportion of it which is assigned to action and the large part which is given to disputations and didactic dialogue, its paucity of characters and of poetic imagery, and, lastly, its general deficiency in the charm of numbers must for ever preclude it from any extended range of popularity. It may be liked and applauded by those who are resolute to like and are hardy to applaud: but to the great body of the readers of poetry, let the critics amuse themselves with their exertions as they please, it will always be "caviare." It is embellished however with several exquisite passages, and it certainly shows in some of its finer parts, the still existing author of the Paradise Lost.
- Charles Symmons, The Life of John Milton (1810), p. 556