"So Mayest Thou Live, Till Like Ripe Fruit, Thou Drop Into Thy Mother's Lap"

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 9, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 169

Context: Adam is given a series of visions by the archangel Michael before being expelled from Paradise. In the visions Adam sees the death of Abel at the hand of Cain, his brother. In this vision Adam also first sees the many ways death can come to mankind. Michael shows him the cave of death filled with people dying from all kinds and sorts of diseases. Such a description, as Milton well knew, had been a commonplace in medieval poetry. After seeing the vision of the cave of death, Adam asks Michael if there is no way to avoid the pains of illness before death. Michael replies to Adam:

Illustration of PDF document

Download Paradise Lost Study Guide

Subscribe Now

"There is . . . if thou well observe
The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
In what thou eatest and drinkest, seeking from thence
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
Till many years over thy head return:
So mayest thou live, till like ripe fruit, thou drop
Into thy mother's lap, or be with ease
Gathered, not harshly plucked, for death mature:
This is old age."

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial
Previous

"Sighing Through All Her Works Gave Signs Of Woe, That All Was Lost"

Next

"Tears, Such As Angels Weep"

Explore Study Guides