After John Milton



Book One


The rebellious Angels come round

In the Pit and they all mill around

For a bit feeling glum. 

Satan rallies them. Some

Pull a palace from out of the ground.



Book Two


Then the Fallen fall into debate

Over vengeance. ‘You know what he’d hate?’

Says Beëlzebub. ‘Vice

To be brought to that nice

Little world he’s about to create...’



Book Three


Satan flees the Abyss. ‘This is bad,’

The Almighty laments. ‘Listen, Dad,’ 

Offers Jesus, ‘I’ll save

Those he means to deprave

By my sacrifice.’ ‘There’s a good lad.’



Book Four


When the Fiend finds the Garden the guise

Of a toad helps him snoop and spread lies,

But when Gabriel comes

Spitting threats he becomes

Subjugated and takes to the skies.



Book Five


As the Sun rises Raphael’s sent

To remind our First Parents they’re meant

To be humble: ‘You keep

Well away from this creep-

He delights in promoting dissent.’



Book Six


Then the Archangel goes on to tell

Of the war and the traitors who fell.

‘So you both stay alert  

If you want to avert

Being likewise confounded to Hell.’



Book Seven


Re his origins, Adam’s nonplussed,  

So Creation is duly discussed.

He is told it took one

Working week, and when done  

The All Knowing made him out of dust.



Book Eight


Adam says that a rib from his chest

Conjured Eve, and relates God’s behest

That came afterwards: ‘See

You don’t eat of this tree.

As for everything else, be my guest.’



Book Nine


The Deceiver, in serpentine skin,

Slithers back and gets Eve to tuck in

To prohibited fruit.

Adam shrugs, follows suit

And they’re joined in Original Sin.



Book Ten


The Messiah hurls curses galore:

‘You’ll be mortal henceforth and what’s more

Men must toil in the earth

And when women give birth

It will make them decidedly sore.’ 



Book Eleven


When the Lord lends an ear to their prayers

Michael’s sent down to Earth and declares

‘Out of Eden you go.

Here’s some visions that show

Why your children will curse their forbears.’



Book Twelve


‘But the seed of your seed of your seed

Shall endure, and Mankind will be freed

From his certain demise

When the Son of God dies.’

‘So there’s hope for us yet?’ ‘Yes indeed.’

A Limerick 'Paradise Lost'