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And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me.

To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire, – that were low indeed;
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; since, by fate, the strength of gods
And this empyreal substance cannot 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,
Irreconcileable to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and, in th' excess of joy
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven.

[Beëlzebub despondent, and making objections to waging war with the Al

mighty, is thus answered]
» 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 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 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 boundless deep.
Let us not slip th' 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 harbour there;
And, re-assembling our afflicted Powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our Enemy;
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 flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood; in bulk 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
Created hugest that swim th’ ocean stream:
Him, ha ply, slumb'ring on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff
Deeming some island, oft

, as sea-men 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-Fiend lay,
Chained on the burning lake.
Forth with upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature;
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.
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 climes, 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 he

Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him 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; th’Almighty hath 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!

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, in 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 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 entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
High over-arched, imbower.
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

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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
Th’ 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 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 obeyed,
Innumerable.
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 tecords now

memorial, blotted out and rased By their rebellion from the books of life.

Advanced in view they stand; a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with ordered spear and shield;
Awaiting what command their mighty Chief

impose: he through the armed files
Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views; their order due;
Their visages and stature as of Gods;
Their

number last he sums. And now his heart
Distends with pride, and hardening in his strength
Glories: for never, since created man,
Met such embodied force.

He, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower; his form had yet not lost
All her original brightness; nor appeared

Be no

Had to

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Less than Arch-Angel ruined, and th' excess
Of glory obscured: as when the sun, new risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air,
Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs. Darkened so, yet shone
Above them all th' Arch-Angel: but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched; and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion, to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
(Far other once beheld in bliss!), condemned
For ever now to have their lot in pain;
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced
Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung
For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory withered: as, when Heaven's fire
Hath scathed the forest oaks or mountain pines,
With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
Tears, such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last
Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way.

» 0. Myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers
Matchless, but with th' Almighty! and that strife
Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change,
Hateful to utter; — but what power of mind
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth
Of knowledge past or present, could have feared,
How such united force of gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied Heaven, shall fail to re-ascend,
Self-raised, and re-possess their native seat?
For me, be witness all the host of Heaven,
If counsels different, or dangers shunned
By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns

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