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The happy isle? what strength, what art ean then 410

Suffiee, or what evasion bear him safe

Through the striet senteries aud stations thiek

Of angels watehing round? here he had need

A1 1 eireumspeetion; and we now no less

Choiee in our suffrage: for on whom we send, 415

The weight of all, and our last hope, relies.

This said, he sat; and expeetation held
His looks suspense, awaiting who appear'd
To seeond or oppose, or undertake

The perilous attempt: but all sat mute, 4:30

Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and eaeh

In other's eountenanee read his own dismay,

Astonish'd: none among the ehoiee and prime

Of those heaven-warring ehampions eould be found,

So hardy, as to proffer, or aeeept 425

Alone the dreadful voyage: till at last,

Satan, whom now transeendent glory raised

Above his follows, with monarehal pride,

Conseious of highest worth, unmoved thus spake:

0 progeny of heaven, empyreal thrones, 430
With reason hath deep silenee aud demur
Seized us, though undisuiay'd. Long is the way
And hard, that out of hell leads up to light:
Our prison strong, this huge eonvex of fire,
Outrageous to devour, immures us round 435
Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant
Barr'd over us prohibit all egress.
These pass'd, if any pass, the void profound
Of unessential Night reeeives him next,
Wide gaping; and with utter loss of being 440
Threatens him, plunged in that abortive gulf.
If thenee ho 'seape into whatever world,
Or unknown region; what remains him less
Than unknown dangers and as hard eseape?
But I should ill beeome this throne, 0 peers, 445
And this imperial sovranty, adorn'd
With splendour, arm'd with power, if aught proposed
And judged of publie moment, in the shape
Of diffieulty or danger, eould deter

Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume 400

These royalties, and not refuse to reign,

Refusing to aeeept as great a share

Of hazard as of honour, due alike

To him who reigns, and so mueh to him due

Of hazard more, as he above the rest 405

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High honour'd sits? Go, therefore, mighty powers,
Terrour of heaven, though fallen! intend at home,
While here shall be our home, what best may ease
The present misery, and render hell

More tolerable; if there be eure or eharm 400

To respite, or deeeive, or slaek the pain

Of this ill mansion. Intermit no wateh

Against a wakeful Foe; while I abroad

Through all the eoasts of dark destruetion seek

Deliveranee for us all: this enterprize 408

None shall partake with me. Thus saying rose

The monareh, and prevented all reply;

Prudent, lest from his resolution raised

Others among the ehief might offer now,

Certain to be refused, what eret they fear'd; 470

And so refused might in opinion stand

His rivals; winning eheap the high repute,

Whieh he through hazard huge must earn. But they

Dreaded not more the adventure, than his voiee

Forbidding; and at onee with him they rose: 475

Their rising all at onee was as the sound

Of thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend

With awful reverenee prone; and as a god

Extol him equal to the Highest in heaven.

Nor fail'd they to express how mueh they praised, 480

That for the general safety he despised

His own: for neither do the spirits damn'd

Lose all their virtue; lest bad men should boast

Their speeious deeds on earth, whieh glory exeites,

Or elose ambition varnish'd o'er with zeal, 4M

Thus they their doubtful eonsultations dark

Ended, rejoieing in their matehless ehief:

As when from mountain tops the dusky elouds

Aseending, while the north wind sleeps, o'erspread

Heaven's eheerful faee; the louring elemont 400

Seowls o'er the darken'd landskip snow, or shower:

If ehanee the radiant sun with farewell sweet

Extend his evening beam, the fields revive,

The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds

Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings. 408

0 shame to men 1 devil with devil damn'd

Firm eoneord holds; men only disagree

Of ereatures rational, though under hope

457. 1ntend. Used ln the sense of the Latin intende animum, "direet the attention :" intend and attend had aneiently the same meaning, that is, to turn one's notiee to."

477. Their ruing, 4e. "The rising of this great assembly is deseribed in a very subiime and poetieal maunev."—Addtaos.

482. Spirits damn'd. This seems to

have been a sareasm on the had men of Miiton's time.—Iirtdoes.

480. White the north wind sleeps. "A simiie of perfeet beauty: it iilustrates the deiightful feeiing resulting from the eontrast of the stormy dehate with the light Un,t seems subseqnently to break ln upon the assembly."—iirtdoEs. "Perhaps this deiightful passnge is one of the finest instanees of pieturesqoe poetry whieh ean be predueed."—Todd

01 heavenly graee; and, God proelaiming peaee,

Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife too

Among themselves, and levy eruel wars,

Wasting the earth, eaeh other to destroy:

As if, whieh might induee us to aeeord,

Man had not hellish foes enow besides,

That day and night for his destruetion wait. 005

The Stygian eouneil thus dissolved; and forth
In order eame the grand infernal peers:
Midst eame their mighty paramount, and seem'd
Alone the antagonist of Heaven; nor less
Than hell's dread emperour, with pomp supreme 010
And God-like imitated state: him round
A globe of fiery seraphim inelosed,
With bright imblazonry and horrent arms..
Then of their session ended they bid ery
With trumpets' regnal sound the great result: . 010
Toward the four winds four speedy Cherubim
Put to their mouths the sounding alehymy,
By herald's voiee explain'd: the hollow abyss
Heard far and wide; and all the host of hell
With deafening shout return'd them loud aeelaim. wo
Thenee more at ease their minds, and somewhat raised
By false presumptnous hope, the ranged powers
Disband; and, wandering, eaeh his several way
Pursues, as inelination or sad ehoiee
Leads him perplex'd; whore he may likeliest find 025
Truee to his restless thoughts, and entertain
The irksome hours, till his great ehief return.
Part, on the plain, or in the air sublime,
Upon the wing or in swift raee eontend,
As at the Olympian games, or Pythian fields: 030
Part eurb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigads form.
As when to warn proud eities war appears
Waged in the troubled sky, and armies rush
To battel in the elouds, before eaeh van 535
Priek forth the aery knights, and eoueh their spears
Till thiekest legions elose: with feats of arms
From either end of heaven the welkin burns.
Others, with vast Typhoean rage more fell,
Rend up both roeks and hills, and ride the air Mo
In whirlwind: hell searee holds the wild uproar,
As when Aleides, from CEehalia erown'd

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With eonquest, felt the envenom'd robe, and tore

Through pain up by the roots Thessalian pines;

And Liehas from the top of CEta threw

Into the Euboie sea. Others more mild,

Retreated in a silent valley, sing

With notes angelieal to many a harp

Their own heroie deeds, and hapless fall

By doom of battel; and eomplain that fate

Free virtue should inthral to foree or ehanee.

Their song was partial; but the harmony,

lWhat eould it less when spirits immortal sing?)

Suspended hell, and took with ravishment

The thronging audienee. In diseourse more sweet,

(For eloquenee the soul, song eharms the sense,)

Others apart sat on a hill retired,

In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high

Of providenee, foreknowledge, will, and fate;

Fix d fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute:

And found no end, in wandering mazes lost.

Of good and evil mueh they argued then,

Of happiness and final misery,

Passion and apathy, and glory and shame;

Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy:

Yet with a pleasing soreery eould eharm

Pain for a while or anguish, and exeite

Fallaeious hope; or arm the obdured breast

With stubborn patienee as with triple steel,

Another part, in squadrons and gross bands,

On bold adventure to diseover wide

That dismal world, if any elime perhaos

Might yield them easier habitation, bend

Four ways their flying mareh, along the banks

Of four infernal rivers, that disgorge

Into the burning lake their baleful streams;

Abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate;

Sad Aeheron, of sorrow, blaek and deep;

Coeytus, named of lamentation loud

Heard on the rueful stream; fieree Phlegethon

Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.

Far off from these a slow and silent stream,

Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls

Her watery labyrinth; whereof who drinks,

Forthwith his former state and being forgets,

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Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.

Beyond this flood a frozen eontinent

Lies, dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms

Of whirlwind, and dire hail whwh on firm land

Thaws not; but gathers heap, and ruin seems 500

Of aneient pile: all else deep snow and iee;

A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog

Betwixt Damiata and mount Casins old,

Where armies whole have sunk: the parehing air

Burns frore, and eold performs the effeet of fire. 5'-'5

Thither by harpy-footed furies haled,

At eertain revolutions all the damn'd

Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter ehange

Of fieree extremes, extremes by ehange more fieree:

From bods of raging fire to starve in we «oo

Their soft ethereal warmth; and there to pine

Immovable, infix'd, and frozen round,

Periods of time; thenee hurried baek to fire.

They ferry over this Lethean sound

Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment, 00S

And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reaeh

The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose

In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,

All in one moment, and so near the brink:

But Fate withstands, and to oppose the attempt 010

Medusa with Gorgonian terrour guards

The ford, and of itself the water flies

All taste of living wight, as onee it fled

The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on

In eonfused mareh forlorn, the adventurous bands, 010

With shuddering horrour pale, and eyes aghast,

View'd first their lamentable lot, and found

No rest: through many a dark and dreary vale

They pass'd, and many a region dolorous,

O'er many a frozen, manv a fiery Alp, 020

Roeks, eaves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death,

A universe of death, whieh God by eurse

Created evil, for evil only good,

502. 8erhrmian bag, 8erbonis was a lake between Rgypt and Palestine, near Mount Casins. '' II was surrounded on all sides by loose hiils of sand, whieh, earried into the water by high winds, so thiekened the lake, that it eould not be distingnished from the parts of the eontinent: here whole armies ha\e been swallowed \)p.''—HCMs. llend Heredotus, lsok iii. 5; and Lu,-an's l'harsalls. viii. 530.

500. Burns frore. Frorr, an old word for frosly. "When the eold nnrtb wind bloweth. it devoureth the mountains, and burneti, the wiiderness, and eoust,meth the trrass as jirs.''Eeelrsiastieus xiiii. 20, 21.

000. To slam, to kiil with eold.

011. The names of the tbree fahulous

sisters, the Gorgons, were 8thene. Ruryale, and Meduss. They are deseribed as girded with serpents, raising their heads, vibrating their tongnes, and gnashing their teeth: tome add wings and elaws to them. 8ome say that Medusa was at first a beautiful maiden, bat that for her erimes, Minerva ehanged her hair into serpents, whieh had the power of ehanging every one who looked at it into stone.

021. "Miiton's are the 'Roeks. eaves, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death;' and the idea eaused by a word, whieh nothing but a wonl eonld aunex to the others, raises a very Irreal decree of the subiime; whieh is raised yet higher by

What follows,—A 0NlVEBnE oy PEAvii.r


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