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HomePoems > Kubla Khan > Sources > John Milton > 4. A Heaven on earth                          

 

 

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

4. A Heaven on earth

Here Eden is described as fertile ground, like that in Kubla Khan.

From Paradise, a large river runs under a shaggy hill, then rises up in a fountain, with many a rill, splitting into four rivers out of Paradise, which wander in mazy error (errare being Latin for wander), going down a valley, full of shady grottos and caves.

The general picture echoes the scene in Kubla Khan, and some of the language is the same, despite the tangled overgrowth of Milton's syntax. The melodies are not at all similar, but the visions are.

Lowes quotes the heart of the passage (lines 216-244), but I include the surroundings (lines 208-268).

Text

A Heaven on Earth, for blissful Paradise
Of God the Garden was, by him in the East
Of Eden planted; Eden stretchd her Line
From Auran Eastward to the Royal Towrs
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian Kings,
Or where the Sons of Eden long before
Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soile
His farr more pleasant Garden God ordaind;
Out of the fertil ground he caus'd to grow
All Trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the Tree of Life,
High eminent, blooming Ambrosial Fruit
Of vegetable Gold; and next to Life
Our Death the Tree of Knowledge grew fast by,
Knowledge of Good bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a River large,
Nor chang'd his course, but through the shaggie hill
Pass'd underneath ingulft, for God had thrown
That Mountain as his Garden mould high rais'd
Upon the rapid current, which through veins
Of porous Earth with kindly thirst up drawn,
Rose a fresh Fountain, and with many a rill
Waterd the Garden; thence united fell
Down the steep glade, and met the neather Flood,
Which from his darksom passage now appeers,
And now divided into four main Streams,
Runs divers, wandring many a famous Realme
And Country whereof here needs no account,
But rather to tell how, if Art could tell,
How from that Saphire Fount the crisped Brooks,
Rowling on Orient Pearl and sands of Gold,
With mazie error under pendant shades
Ran Nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flours worthy of Paradise which not nice Art
In Beds and curious Knots, but Nature boon
Powrd forth profuse on Hill and Dale and Plaine,
Both where the morning Sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierc't shade
Imbround the noontide Bowrs: Thus was this place,
A happy rural seat of various view;
Groves whose rich Trees wept odorous Gumms and Balme,
Others whose fruit burnisht with Golden Rinde
Hung amiable, Hesperian Fables true,
If true, here onely, and of delicious taste:
Betwixt them Lawns, or level Downs, and Flocks
Grasing the tender herb, were interpos'd,
Or palmie hilloc, or the flourie lap
Of som irriguous Valley spread her store,
Flours of all hue, and without Thorn the Rose:
Another side, umbrageous Grots and Caves
Of coole recess, o're which the mantling Vine
Layes forth her purple Grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant; mean while murmuring waters fall
Down the slope hills, disperst, or in a Lake,
That to the fringed Bank with Myrtle crownd,
Her chrystall mirror holds, unite thir streams.
The Birds thir quire apply; aires, vernal aires,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while Universal Pan
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance
Led on th' Eternal Spring.
--Paradise Lost, Book IV, lines 208-68.

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
Amid 20 Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst  Bernier 1
 Bernier 3
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2
 Herodotus
 Milton 4
 Purchas 1
 Purchas 2
 Wollstonecraft
Breathing

18

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing

 Milton 4
Caves

34

From the fountain and the caves

 Bruce 1
 Kircher 2
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4

 Rennell

 

36

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

 Bruce 1
 Kircher 2
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4

 Rennell

 

47

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

 Bruce 1
 Kircher 2
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4
 Rennell

Dale

26

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran

 Milton 4

Dancing

23

And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever

 Milton 4
 Purchas 4
Earth

18

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing

 Bartram 2
 Bartram 6
 Bartram 8
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 5
 Bruce 1
 Burnet 2
 Kircher 1

 Kircher 3

 Maurice 1

 Milton 2

 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Seneca 1
 Seneca 2
 Wollstonecraft

Fertile

6

So twice five miles of fertile ground

 Milton 4
 Purchas 1
 Rennell

Fountain

19

A mighty fountain momently was forced

 Bartram 4
 Bartram 5
 Bartram 6

 Bartram 7

 Bartram 8
 Beckford
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 4
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2

 Bruce 3

 Burnet 1
 Herodotus
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Virgil
 Wollstonecraft

 

34

From the fountain and the caves

 Bartram 4
 Bartram 5
 Bartram 6

 Bartram 7

 Bartram 8
 Beckford
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 4
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2

 Bruce 3

 Burnet 1
 Herodotus
 Maurice 2
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Virgil
 Wollstonecraft

Gardens

8

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills

 Bartram 2
 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 3
 Milton 4
 Milton 6
 Purchas 3
 Purchas 4
 Rennell

Ground

6

So twice five miles of fertile ground

 Bartram 3
 Bruce 1

 Bruce 2
 Burnet 1

 Milton 4
 Purchas 1

Hill

13

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover

 Beckford
 Bernier 1
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2
 Bruce 7

 Bruce 9

 Milton 3
 Milton 4

 Purchas 5

Hills

10

And here were forests ancient as the hills

 Bernier 1
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2
 Bruce 7

 Bruce 9

 Milton 3
 Milton 4

 Purchas 5

Incense-bearing

9

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree

 Bartram 2
 Bartram 3
 Bartram 4
 Beckford
 Bernier 2
 Milton 2
 Milton 4

Mazy

25

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

 Bartram 8
 Kircher 4
 Milton 4

Meandering

25

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

 Bartram 1
 Bartram 5
 Bartram 8
 Bernier 5
 Bruce 4
 Kircher 3
 Kircher 4
 Milton 4

Mid 23    Bernier 1
 Bernier 3
 Bruce 1
 Bruce 2
 Herodotus
 Milton 4
 Purchas 1
 Purchas 2
 Wollstonecraft
  29   Bernier 1
Bernier 3
Bruce 1
Bruce 2
Herodotus
Milton 4
Purchas 1
Purchas 2
Wollstonecraft
Midway 32 Floated midway on the waves Bernier 1
Bernier 3
Bruce 1
Bruce 2
Herodotus
Milton 4
Purchas 1
Purchas 2
Wollstonecraft
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

Rills

8

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills

 Milton 4
 

River

3

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

 Bartram 3
 Bartram 6
 Beckford
 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 3
 Bernier 5

 Bruce 2

 Bruce 4
 Bruce 6

 Burnet 1
 Kircher 1
 Kircher 3
 
Maurice 1
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Strabo 1
 Strabo 2

 Virgil

 

24

It flung up momently the sacred river

 Bartram 3
 Bartram 6
 Beckford
 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 3
 Bernier 5

 Bruce 2

 Bruce 4
 Bruce 6

 Burnet 1
 Kircher 1
 Kircher 3
 
Maurice 1
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Strabo 1
 Strabo 2

 Virgil

 

26

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran

 Bartram 3
 Bartram 6
 Beckford
 Bernier 1
 Bernier 2
 Bernier 3
 Bernier 5

 Bruce 2

 Bruce 4
 Bruce 6

 Burnet 1

 Kircher 1
 
Kircher 3
 
Maurice 1
 Milton 4
 Pausanias
 Rennell
 Seneca 1
 Strabo 1
 Strabo 2

 Virgil

Sunny

36

A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

 Maurice 1
 Maurice 3
 
Milton 2

 Milton 4
 Purchas 5

 

47

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

 Maurice 1
 Maurice 3
 
Milton 2

 Milton 4
 Purchas 5

 

11

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery

 Maurice 1
 Maurice 3
 
Milton 2

 Milton 4
 Purchas 5

Towers

7

With walls and towers were girdled round

 Milton 4
 Rennell

Tree

9

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree

 Bartram 3
 Beckford
 Bernier 2
 Bruce 2
 Bruce 8
 Milton 2
 Milton 4
 Purchas 3

 

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