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And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.

O Prince, o Chief of many throned Powers, That led th' imbatil'd Seraphim to war Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds

130 Fearless, endanger'd Heav’n’s perpetual King, And put to proof his high supre vacy, Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate; Too well I see and rue the dire event, That with sad overthrow and foul defeat Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mignity host In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as Gods and heav'nly essences Can perish: for the mind and spi'rit remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns,

140 Though all our glory' extinct, and happy state Here swallow'd up in endless niisery. But what if he our conqu’ror (whom I now Of force believe almighty, since no less Than such could haveo'er-pow'p'd such force as ours) Have left us this our spi'rit 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

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 ýet we feel Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being To undergo eternal punishment? Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-Fiend reply'd.

Fall’n Cherub, to be weak is miserable Doing or suifering: but of this be sure, To do ought good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight,

160 As be’ing 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 destin'd aim. But see the angry victor hath recallid His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

170 Back to the gates of Heav'n: the sulphurous hail Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid The fiery surge, that from the precipice Of Heav'n receiv'd 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 th' occasion, whether scorn, Or satiate fury yield it from our foe. Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, 180 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 resi can harbour there, And re-assembling our aftlisted Powers,

200

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 up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blaz’d, 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,
Briarcos orTyphon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th' ocean stream:
Him hapiy slumb’ring 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 210
Had ris’n or heav'd 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 enrag'd might see

How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shown
On Man by him seduc'd, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour d. 220
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
Driv’n backward slope their pointing spires, and rollid
In billows, leave i' th' 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
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 230
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
Of thund'ring Ætna, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involvid
With stench and smoke: such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate,
Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian food
As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, 240
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,
Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat
That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is Sov'rain can dispose and bid

What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equal'd, force hath made

supreme
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells : Hail horrors, hail 250
Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new possessor; one who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
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; th’ Almighty hațh not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence : 260
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,
Th' associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on th' 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
Regain’d in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell! 270

So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub Tlius answer’d. Leader of those armies bright, Which but th’ Omnipotent none could have foilid, If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft In worst extremnes, and on the perilous edge

be yet

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