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Under tny torduet, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endangered heaven's perpetual King,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate 3
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 remain
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallowed up in endless misery.
But wbat if he our Conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less (ours
Than such could have overpowered 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
By right of war, whatever 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
Strength undiminished, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment ?"
Whereto with speedy words the arch-kend replied,

“ Fallen cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering : but of this be suro,
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 inrost counsels from their destined aim.

There rest,

But see! the angry Victor hath recalled
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of heaven: the sulphurous hain
Shot after us in storm, overblown, bath laid
The fiery surge, that from the precipice
Of heaven received us falling; and the thunder,
Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundlese deep.
Let us not slip the occasion, whether' scorn
Or satiate fury yield it from our foe.
Svest 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 ;

if

any rest can harbour there;
And, reassembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy; our own loss how repairs
How overcome this dire calamity;
What reinforcement we may gain from hope ;
If not, what resolution from despair.”

Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed ; his other parts besides
Prone on the food, 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 warred on Juve
Briarëos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held ; or that sea-heast
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-foundered 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 stretched out huge in length the arch-hend lay
Chained on the burning lake : nor ever thence
Had risen, or heaved his bead ; 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 soughs
Evil to others; and, enraged, might see
How all his malice served but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shewn
On man by him seduced ; but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature ; on each hand the flames,
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and
In billows, leave in the midst a horrid vale. (rolled
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 burned
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire:
And such appeared in hue, as when the force
Of subterranean wind transports a bill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side
Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible
And fuell'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involved (sole
With stench and smoke : such resting found the
Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate :
Both glorying to have 'scaped the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recovered strength,
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

Who now is Sovran, can dispose and bid
What shall be right : farthest from him is bent,
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made mi-

preme
i hove his eqnals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells ! Hail, horrors ! hail,
Infernal world ! and thou, profoundest liell,
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 bath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence :
flere we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell :
Better to reign in bell, than serve in heaven !
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
'The associates and copartners of our loss,
kie 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
Regained in heaven, or what more lost in hell ?**?

So Satan spake; and him Beëlzebub Thus answered: “ Leader of those armies briglie, Which but the Omnipotent none could have foiled! If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pleilge Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft In worst extremes, and on the perilons edge Of latcle when it rared, in all assaulis Their surest signal, they will soon resume New courage and revive; though now they lie Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, As we erewhile, astounded and amazed ; No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height."

He sçarce had ceased, when the “uperior tiend

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Was movnog toward the shore : his ponderviis

xhield, Ethereal temper, nrassy, large, and round, 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 Fesoté, Or in Valdarno, to descry new lanıls, Rivers, or mountains, in her sporty globe. His spear, to equal which the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian nillä, to be the mast Of some great ammiral, were bat 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: Of that inflamed sea he stood, and called His legions, angel forms, who lay intranced Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian-shades, High over-arched, imbower; or scattered sudge Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed Hath vexed the Red Sea coast, whose waves overBusiris and his Memphian chivalry, (threw While with perfidious hatred they pursued The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore their floating carcasses And broken; chariot-wheels: so thick bestrewn, Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood, Under amazement of their hideous change. He called so loud, that all the hollow deep Of hell resounded ! “ Princes, potentates, [losta Warriors, the flower of heaven! once yours, now If such astonishment as this can seize Eternal spirits; or bave you chosen this place After the toil of battle to repose Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven.

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