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Nor what the potent victor in his rage

Can else inflict, do I repent or change,

Though changed in outward lustre, that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd,

That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; the unconquerable will,

And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;
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,
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 rack'd with deep despair:
And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.

O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers,
That led the embattled Seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endanger'd 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 vigour soon returns,

Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
But what if he our Conqueror (whom I nów
Of force believe Almighty, since no less

Than such could have o'erpower'd 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,
7 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 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 labour 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 recall'd

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,
Wing'd 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 harbour there;
And, reassembling our afflicted Powers,
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.

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 warr'd on Jove;
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den

By ancient Tarsus held; or that seabeast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean stream:
Him, haply, slumbering on the Norway foam
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff
Deeming some island, 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 stretch'd out huge in length the Arch-Fiend lay,
Chain'd 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 confusion, wrath, and vengeance, pour'd.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames,
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and, roll'd
In billows, leave i' 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 burn'd
With solid, as the lake with liquid, fire:
And such appear'd in hue, as when the force
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible
And fuel'd 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 unbless'd feet. Him follow'd his next mate:
Both glorying to have scaped the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recover'd 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

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