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There rest, if any rest can harbor 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 194
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;
Briareus, 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,

205 With fixéd 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

216 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

227 227

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 a
And fuell’d entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singéd bottom all involved
With stench and smoke: such resting found the sole 237
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 mournfu. glooin
For that celestial light? Be it so ! since he
Who now is Sov’reign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best.
Whom reason hath equall’d, force hath made supreme 248
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy forever 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 259
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 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 inore,
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 Beëlzebub Thus answer'd. “Leader of those armies bright, Which but the Omnipotent none could have foild! 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, 280 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 shield, Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, 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.

291 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 endured, till on the beach Of that inflaméd sea he stood, and call’d His legions, angel forms, who lay entranced Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks 302 In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades High overarch'd imbower; or scatter'd sedge Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd Hath vex'd the Red Sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, While with perfidious hatred they pursued The sojourners of Goshen, who belield From the safe shore their floating carcases And broken chariot-wheels: so thick bestrown, Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood, Under amazement of their hideous change.

313

He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded. “Princes, Potentates,
Warriors, the flower of Heaven, once yours, now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal spirits; or have ye chosen this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conqueror ? who now beholds

323
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern
The advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping; or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.
Awake, arise, or be forever fallen!"

They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, y Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. / 334 Nor did they not perceive the evil plight In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel ; Yet to their general's voice they soon obey'd Innumerable. As when the potent rod Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day, Waved round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind, That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile: So numberless were those bad angels seen Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,

345 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires; Till, at a signal given, the uplifted spear Of their great Sultan waving to direct Their course, in even balance down they light On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain; A multitude, like which the populous north Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons Came like a deluge on the South, and spread Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands. Forthwith from every squadron and each band 35€

The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
Their great commander; godlike shapes, and forms
Excelling human; princely Dignities;
And Powers that erst in leaven sat on thrones;
Though of their names in heavenly records now
Be no men orial, blotted out and rased
By their rebellion from the books of life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names; till, wandering o'er the earth,
Through God's high sufferance, for the trial of man, 360
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and the invisible
Glory of him that made them to transform
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
With gay religions, full of pomp and gold,
And devils to adore for deities:
Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the heathen world.

Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last, Roused from the slumber, on that fiery couch,

377 At their great emperor's call, as next in worth Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof. The chief were those, who, from the pit of Hell Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix Their seats long after next the seat of God, Their altars by his altar; gods adored Among the nations round; and durst abide Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned Between the cherubim; yea, often placed Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,

358 Abominations; and with cursed things His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned, And with their darkness durst affront his light. First, Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears; Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud, Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through fire To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite Worshipp'd in Rabba and her watery plain, In Argob and in Basan, to the stream Of utmost Arnon: nor content with such

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