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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;
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 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, 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, re-assembling 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 sea-beast 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,
In billows, leave in the midst a horrid vale. [rolld
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 fuell'd entrails, thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds;
And leave a singed bottom, all involved [sole
With stench and smoke. Such resting found the
Of unblest 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 Archangel) this the seat That we must change for Heaven ? this mournfuly For that celestial light? Be it so, since he, [gloom Who now is Sovereign, can dispose and bid What shall be right: farthest from him is best, Włom reason hath equall’d, force hath made supreme Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields, Where joy for ever dwells ! Hail, horrors ! hail, Infernal world! and thou, profoundest Hell! Receive thy new possessor: 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:. 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 co-partners 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?"

So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub Thus answer'd. “Leader of those armies bright Which, but the Omnipotent, none could have foil'd! 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 raged, 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, As we erewhile, astounded and amazed; No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height."

He scarce had ceased when the superior Fiend Was moving toward the shore: his ponderous Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, (shield, Behind him cast: the broad circumference' Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Through optic-glass, the Tuscan artist views At evening from the top of Fesolé, Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands, 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 admiral, were but a wand,) He walked 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 endured, till on the beach Of that inflamed sea he stood; and call'd

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