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Confounded, though immortal : But his doom
60 A dungeon horrible on all sides round As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames No light; but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace 65 And rest can never dwell; hope never comes That comes to all; but torture without end Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed With ever burning sulphur unconsumed: Such place Eternal Justice had prepared
70 For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd In utter darkness, and their portion set As far removed from God and light of Heaven As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. 0, how unlike the place from whence they fell! 75 There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, He soon discerns; and weltering by his side One next himself in power, and next in crime, Long after known in Palestine, and named 80 Beelzebub. To whom the Archenemy, And thence in Heaven call'd tan, with bold words Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.
If thou be he; but o, how fallen! how changed From him, who, in the happy realms of light, 85 Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprise, Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd 90
In equal ruin! Into what pit thou seest,
106 And study of revenge, immortal hate, And courage never to submit or yield, And what is else not to be overcome ; That glory never shall his wrath or might
110 Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee, and deify Iris power, Who from the terror of this arm so late Doubted his empire; that were low indeed, That were an ignominy, and shame beneath 115 This downfal: since, by fate, the strength of Gods And this empyreal substance cannot fail ; Since through experience of this great event In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced, We may with more successful hope resolve To wage, by force or guile, eternal war Irreconcilable to our grand Foe, Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven.
So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain, 125 Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair : And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.
O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers,
That led the embattled Seraphim to war
146 Strongly to suffer and support our pains, That we may sɔ suffice his vengeful ire, Or do him mightier service as his thralls By right of war, whate'er his business be, 150 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 fool Strength undiminish’d, or eternal being, To undergo eternal punishment ?
155 Whereto with speedy words the Archfiend replied.
Fallen cherub! to be weak is miserable,
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
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 scat 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 ; 185 And, reassembling our afflicted Powers, 1 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 ; 190 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, 195 Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as huge As whom the fables name of monstrous size, Titanian, or Earth-born, that war'd on Jove; Briarëos or Typhon, whom the den By ancient Tarsus held; or that seabeast 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-fou:der'd skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell, 205
Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,