Paradise Lost "Millions Of Spiritual Creatures Walk The Earth"

John Milton

"Millions Of Spiritual Creatures Walk The Earth"

Context: Eve asks Adam why the moon and stars shine all night long. Adam tells her that the heavenly bodies must pass around the earth each day. Milton is here using the Ptolemaic cosmology, which is earth-centered. The poet also has Adam say that the light of the moon and stars prevent chaos from coming again to reclaim the created universe. He suggests, too, that there are astrological influences, although he seems cautious in this regard; whether because of growing disbelief in astrology in seventeenth century England or because of religious reasons, one cannot tell. Milton also has Adam say that human beings are not the only creatures on earth, that heavenly spirits walk the night under starlight to sing God's praises when all mundane creatures are fast asleep:

". . . nor think, though men were none,
That heaven would want spectators, God want praise;
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep:
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night. . . ."