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“O Prince! O Chief of many throned Powers!

That led the embattled Seraphim to war 13. Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds

Fearless, endanger’d Heaven's perpetual King,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate;
Too well I see and rue the dire event,
That, with sad overthrow, and foul defeat,
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host,
In horrible destruction, laid thus low,
As far as gods and heavenly essences

Can perish : for the mind and spirit remains 140 Invincible, and vigour soon returns,

Though all our glory'extinct, and happy state
Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
But what if he, our Conqueror, whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less [ours,
Than such could have o'er-power'd such force as
Have left us this our spirit and strength entire,
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,

Or do him mightier service, as his thralls 150 By right of war, whate'er his business be ;

Here, in the heart of Hell, to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy deep?
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strengthundiminish’d, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment ?"
Whereto with speedy words the Arch-Fiend replied.
“ Fallen Cherub! to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
To do aught good never will be our task ;
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will,
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil:
Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destined aim.

But see! the angry Victor hath recall’d 170 His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

Back to the gates of Heaven ; the sulphurous hail
Shot after us in storm, o'erblown, hath laid
The fiery surge, that, from the precipice
Of Heaven, received us falling; and the thunder,

Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts; and ceases now,
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn,

Or satiate fury, yield it from our Foe.
160 Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,

The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimmering

of these

livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend,
From off the tossing of these fiery waves :
There rest, if any rest can harbour there;
And, re-assembling our afflicted Powers,
Consult, how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy; our own loss how repair ;

How overcome this dire calamity :
790 What reinforcement we may gain from hope;

If not, what resolution from despair.”

Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed : his other parts besides,
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood : in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove ;

Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
pas By ancient Tarsus held; or that sea-beast

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,
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 Arch-Fiend lay, 210 Chain'd on the burning lake : nor ever thence

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
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 120 Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.

Forthwith upright he rears, from off the pool,

His mighty stature : on each hand the flames,
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and, rolld
In billows, leave in the midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings, he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,
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 ; 230 And such appear’d in hue, as when the force

Of subterranean wind transports a hill,
Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible
And fuellid entrails, thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds ;
And leave a singed bottom, all involved
With stench and smoke Such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate:

Both glorying to have 'scaped the Stygian flood, 240 As gods, and by their own recover'd strength,

Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

“ Is this the region ? this the soil ? the clime, (Said then the lost Arch-angel) this the seat (gloom That we must change for Heaven ? this mournful For that celestial light? Be it so, since he, Who now is Sovereign, can dispose and bid What shall be right : farthest from him is best, Whom reason hath equallid, force hath made supreme

Above his equals. 'Farewell, happy fields, 254 Where joy for ever dwells ! Hail, horrors ! hail,

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.
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 260 Here for his envy; will not drive us hence:

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,
The associates and co-partners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd 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 270 Regain'd in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell ?”

So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub
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
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 250 Groveling and prostrate, on yon lake of fire,

As we erewhile, astounded and amazed ;
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious highth.

He scarce had ceased when the superior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore: his ponderous
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, (shield,
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 Fesolé,
290 Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,

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,
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
300 Of that inflamed sea he stood; and callid

His legions, angel-forms, who lay entranced,
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades,
High over-arch'd imbower; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves
Busiris, and his Memphian chivalry, [o’erthrew
While with perfidious hatred they pursued

The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld,
340 From the safe shore, their floating carcasses,

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

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Warriors, the flower of Heaven, once yours, now
If such astonishment as this can seize

Eternal Spirits; or have ye chosen this place,

After the toil of battle, to repose
329 Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find ,

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 scattered arms and ensigns; till anon
His swift pursuers, from Heaven-gates discern
The advantage ; and, descending tread us down
Thus drooping; or, with linked thunderbolts

Transfix. us to the bottom of this gulf. 390 Awake! arise! or be for ever fallen !”.

They heard, & were abash'd, & 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
In which they were, or 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,
360 Waved round the coast, up calld a pitchy cloud

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,
'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 350 On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain :

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.
Forthwith, from every squadron, and each band,
The heads and leaders thither haste, where stood
Their great Commander; godlike shapes and fornis

Excelling human; princely Dignities; 36p And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones ;

Though of their names in heavenly records now
Be no memorial; blotted out, and rased,

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