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Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd,
That durst dislike his reign; and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd
And shook his throne. What though the field be
And study of revenge, immortal hate
Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
So spake th'apostate Angel, though in pain,125 Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair: And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.
O Prince, O chief of many throned Powers, That led th' imbattell'd Seraphim to war Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endanger'd heav'n's perpetual King,
That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
Hath lost us heav'n, and all this mighty host
131 perpetual] Consult Newton's note on the word 'perpetual.'
130 mind and spirit] So Satan in the Adamus Exsul of Grotius, p. 32, ed. Lauder.
Quam potuit, animis pristinum mansit decus,
Et cor, profunda providum sapientia ;
Sunt reliqua nobis regna, sunt vires suæ,
140 Invincible] v. Æschyli Prometheus, ver. 1060.
Τάρταρον ἄρδην ῥίψειε δέμας
Τοὐμὸν, ἀνάγκης στερῥαῖς δίναις,
By right of war, whate'er his business be, 150
Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd.
Fall'n Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of heav'n: the sulphurous hail,
Of heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the thunder,
158 Doing or suffering] Quodvis pati, quidvis facere.' Plauti Miles. v. 9. See Pricæum ad Apulei Apolog. p. 165.
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, 180
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
What reinforcement we may gain from hope, 190 If not, what resolution from despair.
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate, With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blaz'd; his other parts besides Prone on the flood, extended long and large, 195 Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge. As whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove, Briareos, or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
177 To bellow] See Henry More's Poems, p. 314. The hoarse bellowing of the thunder.'
181 void] Dante Inf. c. v. 28.
Luogo d'ogni luce muto.' Todd.
sea-beast] Equoreo similem per litora monstro.'
Val. Flacc. iv. 750.
Leviathan, which God of all his works
So stretch'd out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay, Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thence 210 Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will
205 Deeming some island] At Sir William Drury's house in Hawstead in Suffolk (built in regn. Elizab.), is a closet with painted pannels of the age of James I. One (no. 36.) is a ship that has anchored on a whale which is in motion. The motto, · nusquam tuta fides.' See Cullum's Hist. of Hawstead, p. 164, where is an engraving of it.
205 island] Thus Dionysii Perieg. 598.
ἀμφὶ δὲ πάντη
Κήτεα θῖνες ἔχουσιν, ἐρυθραίου βοτὰ πόντου,
Οὔρεσιν ἠλιβάτοισιν ἐοικότα.
And so in the Orlando Innam. of Boiardo, rifac. da Berni, lib. ii. canto xiii. stan. 60.
Il dosso sol mostrava ch' è maggiore
Compare also Avieni Disc. Orbis, p. 784-5, and Pia Hilaria, p. 92. Basil affirms that whales are equal to the greatest mountains, and their backs, when they show above the water, like to islands.' v. Brerewood on Languages, p. 133.
206 Invests] v. Stat. Theb. lib. v. 51.
tellurem proximus umbrâ,