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That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall ! since by fate the strength of gods
And this empyreal substance can not fail;
Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcilable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of heaven.”

So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair;
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer:

O Prince, O Chief of many thronèd powers,
That led the embattled seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, 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!
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
Invincible, and vigor soon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallowed up in endless misery.
But what if He, our conqueror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have overpowered such force as ours),
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, 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
Strength undiminished, 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 labor must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil ;
Which ofttimes 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 recalled
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 precipire
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 boundless deep.
Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn
Or satiate fury yield it from our foe.
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 harbor 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;
What re-enforcement 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 warred on Jove,
Briareos, or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held; or that sea-beast,
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Createst 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 lea, while night
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays:
So, stretched out huge in length, the Arch-Fiend lay
Chained 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
Treble contusion, 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, rolled
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 burned
With solid, as the lake with liquid, fire;
And such appeared in hue as when the force
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side
Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible
And fueled 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. Ilim followed his next mate,
Both glorying to have 'scaped the Stygian food
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 Arch-Angel, “ this the seat,
That we must change for heaven ? this mournful gloom
For that celestial light ? Be it so, since Ile
Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid
What shall be right : farthest from Ilim is best,
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
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 hatlı not built
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 copartners of our loss,
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
Regained in heaven, or what more lost in hell ?

So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub
Thus answered: “Leader of those armies bright,
Which but the Omnipotent none could have foiled,
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
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amazed,-
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious hight.”.

He scarce had ceased when the superior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore. His ponderous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, 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 Fesolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast
Of some great ammiral were but a wand,
He walked with to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marl; 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 inflamèd sea he stood, and called
His legions, angel-forms, who lay entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades
High overarched embower; or scattered sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed
Hath vexed the Red-sea coast, 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
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,
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
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.
Awake! arise! or be for ever fallen!”

They heard, and were abashed; and up they sprang
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 obeyed
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day.
Waved round, the coast, upcalled a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darkened 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 On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain, A multitude like which the populous north Poured 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 forms Excelling human, princely dignities, And powers that erst in heaven sat on thrones, Though of their names in heavenly records now Be no memorial, blotted out and rased By their rebellion from the books of life. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve 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 Oft to the image of a brute, adorned With gay religions full of pomp and gold, And devils to adore for deities : Then were they known to men by various names,

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