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With purpose to explore or to disturb
The fecrets of your realm, but by constraint
Wandring this darkfome defart, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to light,
Alone, and without guide, half loft, I feek
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What readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds
Confine with Heav'n: or if fome other place
From your dominion won, th' ethereal King
Poffeffes lately, thither to arrive

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I travel this profound, direct my course;
Directed, no mean recompenfe it brings
To your behoof, if I that region loft,
All ufurpation thence expell'd, reduce
To her original darkness, and your fway,
(Which is my prefent journey) and once more 985
Erect the ftandard there of antient NIGHT;
Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge.

Thus SATAN; and him thus the Anarch old, With fault'ring fpeech and vifage incompos'd, Anfwer'd. I know thee, ftranger, who thou art, 990 That mighty leading Angel, who of late

Made head against Heav'n's King, though overthrown. I faw and heard; for fuch a num'rous hoft

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Fled not in filence through the frighted deep,
With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
Confufion worfe confounded: and Heav'n gates
Pour'd out by millions her victorious bands
Perfuing. I upon my frontiers here.
Keep refidence; if all I can will ferve,
That little which is left fo to defend,
Encroacht on ftill through our inteftine broiles,
Weakning the fceptre of old NIGHT: firft Hell,
Your dungeon, ftretching far and wide beneath:
Now lately Heav'n and Earth, another world
Hung o'er my realm, link'd in a golden chain, roog
To that fide Heav'n from whence your legions fell:
If that way be your walk, you have not far;

So much the nearer danger: go and speed!
Havoc, and spoil, and ruin are my gain.

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He ceas'd; and SATAN ftaid not to reply, 1010 But glad that now his fea fhould find a fhore, With fresh alacrity, and force renew'd, Springs upward like a pyramid of fire Into the wild expanfe; and through the shock Of fighting elements, on all fides round Environ'd, wins his way: harder befet And more endanger'd, than when ARGO pafs'd Through BOSPHORUS, betwixt the juftling rocks: Or when ULYSSES on the larboard thunn'd CHARYBDIS; and by th' other whirlpool fteerd. 1020 So he with difficulty and labor hard Mov'd on; with difficulty and labor he; But he once paft, foon after when man fell, Strange alteration! SIN and DEATH amain Following his track (fuch was the will of Heav'n!) Pav'd after him a broad and beaten way, Over the dark abyfs, whofe boiling gulf Tamely endur'd a bridge of wond'rous length, From Hell continu'd reaching th' utmost orb

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Of this frail world; by which the fpirits perverfe 1030
With eafie intercourse pass to and fro

To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
GoD and good Angels guard by special grace.

But now at laft the facred influence

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Of light appears, and from the walls of Heav'n 1035
Shoots far into the bofom of dim night
A glimmering dawn: here Nature first begins
Her fartheft verge, and CHAOs to retire,
As from her outmost works a broken foe,
With tumult lefs and with lefs hoftile din ;
That SATAN with less toil, and now with cafe
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light;
And like a weather beaten veffel holds

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Gladly

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