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Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air
226 That felt unusual weight, till on dry land He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd With solid, as the lake with liquid fire; And such appear'd in hue, as when the force 230 Of subterranean wind transports a hill Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side. Of thund'ring Ætna, whose combustible And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire, Sublim'd with min'ral fury, aid the winds, 235 And leave a singed bottom all involv'd With stench and smoke: such resting found the sole Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate, Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, Not by the suffrance of Supernal Pow'r.
241 Is this the region, this the soil, the clime, Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful
gloom For that celestial light?. Be it so, since he
245 Who now is Sov'reign can dispose and bid What shall be right : farthest from him is best, Whom reas'n hath equallid, force hath made
supreme Above his equals. Farewell happy fields, Where joy for ever dwells: Hail horrors, hail
250 Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell Receive thy new possessor ; one who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by place or time.
choice To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, Th'associates and copartners of our loss, 265 Lie thus astonish'd on th'oblivious pool, And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy mansion, or once more With rally'd arms to try what may be yet Regain'd in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell ? So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub
271 Thus answer'd: Leader of those armies bright, Which but th'Omnipotent none could have foild, If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft 275 In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults Their surest signal, they will soon resume New courage and revive, though now they lie Grov'ling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, 280 As we ere while, astounded and amaz’d, No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious height.