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النشر الإلكتروني

Dominion exercise and in the air,
Chiefly on Man, sole lord of all declar'd;
Him first make sure your thrall, and lastly kill.
My substitutes I send ye, and create
Plenipotent on earth, of matchless might
Issuing from me ; on your joint vigour now
My hold of this new kingdom all depends,
Through Sin to Death expos'd by my exploit.
If your joint power prevail, the affairs of Hell
No detriment need fear; go, and be strong!

So saying he dismiss'd them; they with speed
Their course through thickest constellations held,
Spreading their bane; the blasted stars look'd wan,
And planets, planet-struck, real eclipse
Then suffer'd. The other way Satan went down
The causey to Hell-gate : On either side
Disparted Chaos over built exclaim'd,
And with rebounding surge the bars assail'd,
That scorn’d his indignation : Through the gate,
Wide open and unguarded, Satan pass'd,
And all about found desolate : for those,
Appointed to sit there, had left their charge,
Flown to the upper world ; the rest were all
Far to the inland retir'd, about the walls
Of Pandemonium; city and proud seat
Of Lucifer, so by allusion call’d
Of that bright star to Satan paragon'd;
There kept their watch the legions, while the Grand

In council sat, solicitous what chance
Might intercept their emperour sent; so he
Departing gave command, and they observ'd.
As when the Tartar from his Russian foe,
By Astracan, over the snowy plains
Retires; or Bactrian Sophi, from the horns
Of Turkish crescent, leaves all waste beyond
The realm of Aladule, in his retreat
To Tauris or Casbeen: So these, the late
Heaven-banish'd host, left desart utmost Hell
Many a dark league, reduc'd in careful watch
Round their metropolis ; and now expecting
Each hour their great adventurer, from the search
Of foreign worlds: He through the midst unmark'd,
In show plebeian Angel militant
Of lowest order, pass'd; and from the door
Of that Plutonian hall, invisible
Ascended his high throne; which, under state
Of richest texture spread, at the upper

end
Was plac'd in regal lustre. Down a while
He sat, and round about him saw, unseen:
At last, as from a cloud, his fulgent head
And shape star-bright appear’d, or brighter ; clad
With what permissive glory since his fall
Was left him, or false glitter : All amaz’d
At that so sudden blaze the Stygian throng
Bent their aspect, and whom they wish'd beheld,
Their mighty Chief return'd: loud was the acclaim:

Forth rush'd in haste the great consulting peers,
Rais'd from their dark Divan, and with like joy
Congratulant approach'd him; who with hand
Silence, and with these words attention won.

Thrones, Dominations, Princedoms, Virtues,

Powers;

For in possession such, not only of right,
I call ye, and declare ye now ; return'd
Successful beyond hope, to lead ye

forth
Triumphant out of this infernal pit
Abominable, accurs'd, the house of woe,
And dungeon of our tyrant: Now possess,
As Lords, a spacious world, to our native Heaven
Little inferiour, by my adventure hard
With peril great achiev'd. Long were to tell
What I have done; what suffer'd; with what pain
Voyag'd the unreal, vast, unbounded deep
Of horrible confusion ; over which
By Sin and Death a broad way now is pav
To expedite your glorious march; but I
Toil'd out my un couth passage, forc'd to ride
The untractable abyss, plung'd in the womb
Of unoriginal Night and Chaos wild;
That, jealous of their secrets, fiercely oppos’d
My journey strange, with clamorous uproar
Protesting Fate supreme; thence how I found
The new created world, which fame in Heaven
Long had foretold, a fabrick wonderful

Of absolute perfection ! therein Man
Plac'd in a Paradise, by our exíle
Made happy: Him by fraud I have seduc'd
From his Creator ; and, the more to encrease
Your wonder, with an apple; he, thereat
Offended, worth your laughter ! hath given up
Both his beloved Man and all his world,
To Sin and Death a

prey,

and so to us,
Without our hazard, labour, or alarm;
To range in, and to dwell, and over Man
To rule, as over all he should have ruld.
True is, me also he hath judg'd, or rather
Me not, but the brute serpent in whose shape
Man I deceiv'd: that which to me belongs,
Is enmity, which he will put between
Me and mankind; I am to bruise his heel;
His seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head :
A world who would not purchase with a bruise,
Or much more grievous pain ?-Ye have the account
Of my performance: What remains, ye Gods,
But
up,

and enter now into full bliss ?
So having said, a while he stood, expecting
Their universal shout, and high applause,
To fill his ear ; when, contrary, he hears
On all sides, from innumerable tongues,
A dismal universal hiss, the sound
Of publick scorn ; he wonderd, but not long
Had leisure, wondering at himself now more ;

His visrge drawn he felt to sharp and spare ;
His arms clung to his ribs; his legs entwining
Each other, till supplanted down he fell
A monstrous serpent on his belly prone,
Reluctant, but in vain ; a greater power
Now ruld him, punish'd in the shape he sinn'd
According to his doom : He would have spoke,
But hiss for hiss return’d with forked tongue
To forked tongue ; for now were all transform'd
Alike, to serpents all, as accessories
To his bold riot: Dreadful was the din
Of hissing through the hall, thick swarming now
With complicated monsters head and tail,
Scorpion, and Asp, and Amphisbænr dire,
Cerastes horn'd, Hydrus, and Elops drear,
And Dipsas ; (not so thick swarm'd once the soil
Bedropt with blood of Gorgon, or the isle
Ophiusa,) but still greatest he the midst,
Now Dragon grown, larger than whom the sun
Ingender'd in the Pythian vale on slime,
Huge Python, and his power no less he seem’d
Above the rest still to retain ; they all
Him follow'd, issuing forth to the open field,
Where all yet left of that revolted rout,
Heaven-fall’n, in station stood or just array;
Sublime with expectation when to see
In triumph issuing forth their glorious Chief;
They saw, but other sight instead! a croud

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