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Of, force believe Almighty, since no less

144 Than fuch could have o'erpower'd fuch 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,

150 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 undiminish'd, or eternal Being, To undergo eternal punithment

155 Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd.

Fall'n Cherub ! to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering ; but of this be fure,
To do ought 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 destin'd aim.
But fee! the angry victor hath recall'd
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit,

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Back to the gates of heav'n: the fulph'rous hail
Shot after us in storm, o'er-blown, hath laid
The fi ry surge, that from the precipice
Ofheav'n receiv'd us falling: and the thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,

175 hath spent his shafts, and ceases now To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep. Let us not lip th’occafion, whether scorn, Or fitiate fury, yield it from our foe. Sielt thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, 180 The seat of desolation, void of light, Save what the glimmering of these livid flames

Casts

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Perhaps

185.

Cafts pale and dreadful? thither let us tend
From off the tossing of these fiery waves;
There rest if any reft can harbour there :
And re-assembling our affliéted pow'rs,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy; our own loss how repair ;
How overcome this dire calamity ;
What reinforcement we may gain from hope ;
If not, what resolution from despair.

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Thus SATAN talking to his nearest mate,
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blaz’d; his other parts befides
Prone on the food, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood: in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name, of monstrous fize,
Titanian, or EARTH-born, that warr'd on Jove,
BRIAREUS, 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, haply slumb'ring on the Norway fjam,
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff,
Deeming some ifand, 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 ftretch'd out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay,
Chain'd on the burning lake: nor ever thence
Had ris'n, or heav'd his head, but that the will
And high permiffion of all-ruling heaven,
Left him at large to his own dark defigns:
That with reiterated crimes he might
Heap on himself damnation, while he fought
Evil to others ; and enrag'd might see,
How all his malice serv'à but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy shewn
On man by him seduc'd: but on himself
Treble confufion, wrath, and vengeance pour'd.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool

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His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and rowld
In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid yale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his fight 225
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:
And such appear'd in hue, as when the force

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Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from PELORUS, or the shatter'd fide
Of thund'ring ÆTNA, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds, . 235
And leave a finged bottom all involv'd
With stench and smoke: such resting found the foal
Of unbless'd feet! Him follow'd his next mate,
Both glorying to have 'scap'd the STYGIAN flood,
As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength; 240
Not by the suff'rance of supernal pow'r.

N

Is this the region, this the foil, the clime,
(Said then the loft Arch-Angel) this the seat,
That we must change for heav'n? this mournful gloom
For that cæleftial light? be it so! since He

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Who now is Sov'reign can dispose, and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equali’d, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewel happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells! hail horrors ! hail

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Infernal world! and thou profoundest hell
Receive thy new paffeflor! One, who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by place or time,
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.

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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 : ,260

Here

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Here we may reign secure ; and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, tho' in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th' associates and copartners of our lofs,
Lie thus astonish'd on th' oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy manfion: or once more
With rallied arms to try, what may be yet
Regain’d in heav'n, or what more loft in hell ?

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$o SATAN spake, and him BEELZEBUB
Thus answer'd: Leader of those Armies bright,
Which but th’Omnipotent none could have foil'd!
If once they hear that voice, their livelieft pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults
Their sureft fignal, they will foon resume
New courage, and revive, tho' now they lie.
Grov’ling and proftrate on yon lake of fire,
(As we erewhile) astounded and amaz'd;
No wonder, fall’n such a pernicious height!

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He scarce had ceas'd, when the superior fiend
Was moving tow'rd the shoar: his pond'rous shield,
Ethereal temper, maffy, large, and round,

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Behind him cait; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose orb.
Thro' optick glass the Tuscan artist views
At ev’ning, from the top of Fesole,
Or in VALDARNO, to descry new lands,

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Rivers, or Mountains, in her spotty globe.
His spear (to equal with the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand)
He walk'd with, to support uneasy iteps

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Over the burning marle (not like those steps
On heaven's azure!) and the torrid clime
Smote on him fore besides, vaulted with fire.

Nathless

Nathless he lo indur'd, 'till on the beach
Of that inflamed fea he stood, and call'd

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His legions, Angel-forms, who lay intrans',
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In VALLOMBROSA, where th’ETRURIAN: shades
High cver-arch'd imbow'r; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd 305
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew
Busiris and his MEMPHIAN chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shoar their floating carcases,

3.10 And broken chariot wheels : so thick beftrown, Abject and loft lay thefe, covering the food, Under amazement of their hideous change: He callid so loud, that all the hollow Deep Of hell resounded : Princes, Potentates,

375 Warriors, the flow'r of heav'n! once yours, now last, If such astonishment as this can seize berterusal spirits: or have ye chos’n this place After the toil of battel to repose Your wearied virtue, for the ease you

find

320 To slumber here, as in the vales of heav'n?" Or in this.abject posture have ye sworn T'adore the conqueror ? who now beholds Cherub and Seraph rowling in the flood, With scatter'd arms and enligns ; 'till anon

325 His swift pursuers from heav'n-gates discern: Th' advantage, and descending tread us down Thus drooping: or with linked thunderbolts Transfix us to the bottom of this gulph. Awake, arise, or be for ever fall’n!

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They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung
Upon the wing; as when men wont, to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouze and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight

335) In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel ; Yet to their General's voice they soon obey'd,

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