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HomePoems > Kubla Khan > Sources > John Milton > 1. The green border of Paradise                         

 

 

1. The green border of Paradise

2. The fragrance of Paradise

3. A steep, savage hill

4. A Heaven on earth

5. Imitations of Paradise

6. Mount Amara in Abyssinia

 

John Milton

1. The green border of Paradise

Lowes points to Milton as a possible source, but overlooks this early passage about Satan circling Paradise.

Milton's lines unroll with one subordinate clause appended to another, the subject long forgotten, the grammar sprung loose from simplicity, and ambiguity always hovering over one shoulder, giving a sense of his immense breath, and unstoppable impulsion.

Here Satan has just reflected that wherever he goes is Hell, "My self am Hell," swearing, "Evil be thou my Good." We see the passions rippling through Satan's mad gestures, when he thinks he is alone, unseen . So Satan heads for Paradise, a green enclosure, a rural mound, a steep wilderness, with cedars, shade, and woods forming the circling wall around the fruit trees full of blossoms and fruits of Paradise.

Given all the other images pointing to Paradise, and the sacred rivers pouring out of Paradise, it would not be surprising if Coleridge recalled Milton's description as he wrote about another paradise, with trees like cedar, impossibly high, a stately view like that of the pleasure dome in Kubla Khan. But Lowes does not give much attention to passages like these.

Text

So on he fares, and to the border comes
Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
As with a rural mound the champain head
Of a steep wilderness, whose hairie sides
With thicket overgrown, grottesque and wilde,
Access deni'd; and over head up grew
Insuperable highth of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and Pine, and Firr, and branching Palm,
A Silvan Scene, and as the ranks ascend
Shade above shade, a woodie Theatre
Of stateliest view

--Paradise Lost, Book IV, lines 130-142.

Other sources

William Bartram
William Beckford
F. Bernier
James Bruce
Thomas Burnet
William Collins
Herodotus
Athanasius Kircher
Jerome Lobo
Thomas Maurice
Pausanias
Samuel Purchas
Major James Rennell
Seneca
Strabo
Virgil

Mary Wollstonecraft

 

 
Word Line # Line Sources for word
Cedar

13

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover

 Beckford
 Bruce 1
 Kircher 2
 Milton 1

Green

13

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover

 Bartram 1
 Bartram 3
 Bartram 4
 Bernier 1
 Bruce 2
 Milton 1

Greenery

11

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery

 Bartram 1
 Bartram 3
 Bartram 4
 Bernier 1
 Bruce 2
 Milton 1

Measureless

4

Through caverns measureless to man

 Herodotus
 Kircher 3
 Kircher 5
 Lobo
 Milton 1
 Milton 3

 

27

Then reached the caverns measureless to man

 Herodotus
 Kircher 3
 Kircher 5
 Lobo
 Milton 1
 Milton 3

Paradise

54

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

 Beckford
 Bruce 1
 Burnet 1
 Kircher 1
 Milton 1
 Milton 2
 Milton 4
 Milton 5
 Milton 6

 Purchas 4

Stately

2

A stately pleasure-dome decree

 Milton 1
 Purchas 1

Wood

26

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran

 Milton 1

 

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