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Though all our glory extinct, and happy state 141
Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
But what if He our Conquerour (whom I now
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, I 50
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, 160
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 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 receiv'd us falling ; and the thunder,

Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, 175
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, 180
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 re-enforcement we may gain from hope; 190
If not, what resolution from despair.
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blaz'd ; 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 sea-beast 200
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

''Briareos or Typhon: two mythological monsters commemorated in Ovid—’ ‘Leviathan." Milton means evidently the whale.

Moors by his side under the lee, while night 207
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 heav'd 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, enrag'd, might see
How all his malice serv'd 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. 220
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 230
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus,” or the shatter'd side
Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible
And fuell'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 unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate ;

** Pelorus:” one of the three great promontories of Sicily, now Cape Faro, near Etna.

Both glorying to have 'scaped the Stygian flood 289
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,
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 equall'd, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells 1 Hail, horrours hail, 250
Infernal world ! And thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessour!—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; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: 260
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!
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
The associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on the oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion; or once more,
With rallied arms, to try what may be yet
Regain’d in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell? 270
So Satan spake, and him Beélzebub
Thus answer'd. Leader of those armies bright,

Which, but the Omnipotent, none could have foil'd 273 If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults Their surest signal, they will soon resume New courage and revive; though now they lie Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, 280 As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd; No wonder, fallen such a pernicious highth. He scarce had ceas'd, when the superiour 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 optick glass the Tuscan artist' views At evening from the top of Fesolé, Or in Waldarno, to descry new lands, 290 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 walk'd 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 endur'd, till on the beach Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call’d 300 His legions, Angel forms, who lay intranc'd Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks In Wallombrosa,” where the Etrurian shades, High over-arch'd, imbower; or scatter'd sedge

‘‘Tuscan artist:” Galileo.—” “Wallombrosa:” a beautiful wooded vale, eighteen miles from Florence.

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