"Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace / Total they mix."

— Milton, John (1608-1674)

Work Title
Place of Publication
Samuel Simmons
1667; 2nd ed. in 1674
"Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace / Total they mix."
Metaphor in Context
 To whom the Angel, with a smile that glowed
Celestial rosy red, Love's proper hue,
Answered. Let it suffice thee that thou knowest
Us happy, and without love no happiness.
Whatever pure thou in the body enjoyest,
(And pure thou wert created) we enjoy
In eminence; and obstacle find none
Of membrane, joint, or limb, exclusive bars;
Easier than air with air, if Spirits embrace,
Total they mix, union of pure with pure
Desiring, nor restrained conveyance need,
As flesh to mix with flesh, or soul with soul
But I can now no more; the parting sun
Beyond the Earth's green Cape and verdant Isles
Hesperian sets, my signal to depart.
Be strong, live happy, and love! But, first of all,
Him, whom to love is to obey, and keep
His great command; take heed lest passion sway
Thy judgement to do aught, which else free will
Would not admit: thine, and of all thy sons,
The weal or woe in thee is placed; beware!
I in thy persevering shall rejoice,
And all the Blest: Stand fast;to stand or fall
Free in thine own arbitrement it lies.
Perfect within, no outward aid require;
And all temptation to transgress repel.
(Bk. VIII, ll. 618-43)
Originally working with online edition based on H. J. Todd's 1809 edition in twelve books: published by the Academic Text Service of Stanford University, 1996.

See Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books by John Milton. Licensed and entred according to order. (London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker under Creed Church neer Aldgate; and by Robert Boulter at the Turks Head in Bishopsgate-street; and Matthias Walker, under St. Dunstons Church in Fleet-street, 1667). <Link to ESTC>

See also Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books. The Author John Milton. The Second Edition Revised and Augmented by the same Author. (London: Printed by S. Simmons next door to the Golden Lion in Aldersgate-street, 1674). <Link to ESTC> <Link to LION>

Reading Alastair Fowler's Longman edition: John Milton, Paradise Lost (London and New York, 1971).
Date of Entry
Date of Review

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.