Paradise Lost "Him First, Him Last, Him Midst, And Without End"

John Milton

"Him First, Him Last, Him Midst, And Without End"

Context: Morning comes and Adam wonders to find Eve still asleep, looking as if she had had an unquiet night. He gently wakens her, saying that they have their work to do. Eve says that she has had a disturbing dream. She thought that as she slept, Adam called to her; in trying to find him, she arrived at the tree of prohibited knowledge. By the tree was a figure like the angels that inhabit the garden by day. The spirit wondered why knowledge was so despised that no one ate of the tree. He plucked a fruit and tasted it, much to Eve's horror; he was, however, delighted with the taste; the fruit, he said, makes gods of men. He then urged Eve to eat, as it would make her a goddess. He pressed the food to her mouth so that she had to taste it. The result was that she flew up to the clouds in exultation. The guide disappeared, and Eve sank down and fell asleep. Adam says that he believes the dream to be of evil origin, but evil thoughts can enter the minds of the most pure and leave no spot behind. They go to the field and begin their morning prayer, praising their Maker in umpremeditated song:

These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty, thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; Thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sit'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.