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With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large 195
Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as huge,
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian, or Earth-born, that war'd on Jove;
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held; or that seabeast

200
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean stream:
Him, haply, slumbering on the Norway foam
The pilot of some small night founder'd skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,

205 With fixed anchor in his scaly rind, Moors by his side under the lee, while night Invests the sea, and wished morn delays: So stretch'd out huge in length the Archfiend lay, Chain'd on the burning lake: nor ever thence 210 Had risen, or heaved his head; but that the will And high permission of all-ruling Heaven Left him at large to his own dark designs; That with reiterated crimes he might , Heap on himself damnation, while he sought 215 Evil to others; and, enraged, might see How all his malice served but to bring forth Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shown On Man by him seduced; but on himself Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance, pour’d. 220 Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool His mighty stature: on each hand the flames, Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and rollid In billows, leave i' the midst a horrid vale. Then with expanded wings he steers his flight

225 Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air, Thát 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 thundering Ætna; whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds 235
And leave a singed bottom all involved
With stench and smoke: such resting found the sole
Of unbless'd feet. Him follow'd his next mate:
Both glorying to have scaped the Stygian flood
As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, 240
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,
Said then the lost Archangel, this the seat
That we must change for Heaven; 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: furthest from him is best,

Whom reason hath equal’d, force hath made supreme # Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,

Where joy forever dwells! Hail horrors! hail, 250
Infernal world! And thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor! one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time:
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. 255
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be; all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy; will not drive us hence: 260
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven!
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,

V

The associates and copartners of our loss

265 Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool, And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy mansion; or once more With rallied arms to try what may be yet Regain'd in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell? 270

So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub Thus answer'd. Leader of those armies bright Which but the Omnipotent none could have foil'd! 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 raged, in all assaults Their surest signal, they will soon resume New courage and revive; though now they lie Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, 280 As we erewhile, astounded and amazed: No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height.

He scarce had ceased, when the superior Fiend Was moving toward the shore: his ponderous shield, Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, 285 Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views At Evening from the top of Fesole, Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,

290 Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe. His spear, to equal which the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast Of some great admiral, were but a wand, He walked with, to support uneasy steps

295 Over the burning marle, not like those steps On Heaven's azure; and the torrid clime Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire: Nathless he so endured, till on the beach Of that inflamed sea he stood, and callid

300

His legions, Angel forms, who lay entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallambrosa, where the Etrurian shades,
High overarch’d, imbower; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm’d 305
Hath vex'd the Red Seacoast, whose waves o’erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcasses

310
And broken chariot wheels: so thick bestrown,
Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded! Princes, Potentates,

315 Warriors, the flower of Heaven! once yours, now lost, If such astonishment as this can seize Eternal Spirits; or have ye chosen this place After the toil of battle to repose Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find 320 To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven? Or in this abject posture have ye sworn To adore the Conqueror! who now beholds Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood, With scatter'd arms and ensigns; till anon 325 His swift pursuers from Heaven's gates discern The advantage, and descending, tread us down Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf. Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!

330 They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. Nor did they not perceive the evil plight

335 In which they were, nor the fierce pains not feel;

Yet to their General's voice they soon obey'd;
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Waved round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud 340
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad Angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell, 345
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal given, the uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan, waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain;

350
A multitude, like which the populous North
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.

355 Forthwith from every squadron, and each band, The heads and leaders thither haste where stood Their great Commander; Godlike shapes, and forms Excelling human; princely Dignities; And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones; 360 Though of their names in heavenly records now Be no memorial; blotted out and rased By their rebellion from the book of life. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve

364 Got them new names; till, wandering o'er the earth, Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man, By falsities and lies the greatest part Of mankind they corrupted to forsake God their creator, and the invisible Glory of him that made them to transform 370 Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd With gay religions.full of pomp and gold,

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