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With the deniers. Still the angels held,

They who fulfilled God's pleasure, Heaven's heights;
Those others, hostile, who such strife had raised
Against their Lord, lie in the fire, bear pangs,
Fierce burning heat in midst of Hell, broad flames,
Fire and therewith also the bitter reek

Of smoke and darkness; for they paid no heed
To service of their God; their wantonness
Of angel's pride deceived them, who refused
To worship the Almighty Word. Their pain
Was great. Then were they fallen to the depth
Of fire in the hot Hell for their loose thought
And pride unmeasured, sought another land
That was without light and was full of flame,
Terror immense of fire. Then the fiends felt
That they unnumbered pains had in return,
Through might of God, for their great violence,

But most for pride. Then spoke the haughty king,
Once brightest among angels, in the heavens
Whitest, and to his Master dear, beloved
Of God, until they lightly went astray,
And for that madness the Almighty God
Was wroth with him, and into ruin cast
Him down to his new bed, and shaped him then
A name, said that the highest should be called
Satan thenceforth, and o'er Hell's swart abyss
Bade him have rule and avoid strife with God.
Satan discoursed, he who henceforth ruled Hell
Spake sorrowing.

God's angel erst, he had shone white in Heaven,
Till his soul urged, and most of all its pride,
That of the Lord of Hosts he should no more

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About his heart his soul


Bend to the word.

Tumultuously heaved, hot pains of wrath

Without him.

Then said he, Most unlike this narrow place

To that which once we knew, high in Heaven's realm,
Which my Lord gave me, though therein no more

For the Almighty we hold royalties.

Yet right hath He not done in striking us

Down to the fiery bottom of hot Hell,


Banished from Heaven's kingdom with decree
That He will set in it the race of Man.


Worst of my sorrows this, that, wrought of earth,
Adam shall sit in bliss on my strong throne,
Whilst we these pangs endure, this grief in Hell.
Woe! Woe! had I the power of my hands,
And for a season, for one winter's space,
Might be without; then with this host I


But iron binds me round; this coil of chains

Rides me; I rule no more; close bonds of Hell
Hem me their prisoner. Above, below,

Here is vast fire, and never have I seen


More loathly landscape; never fade the flames

Hot over Hell. Rings clasp me, smooth hard bands

Mar motion, stay my wandering, feet bound,

Hands fastened, and the ways of these Hell-gates
Accurst so that I cannot free my limbs;


Great lattice bars, hard iron hammered hot,

Lie round me, wherewith God hath bound me down
Fast by the neck.

So know I that He knew

My mind, and that the Lord of Hosts perceived
That if between us two by Adam came


Evil towards that royalty of Heaven,
I having power of my hands-

But now we suffer throes in Hell, gloom, heat,
Grim, bottomless; us God Himself hath swept
Into these mists of darkness, wherefore sin
Can He not lay against us that we planned
Evil against Him in the land. Of light
He hath shorn us, cast us into utmost pain.
May we not then plan vengeance, pay Him back
With any hurt, since shorn by Him of light?
Now He hath set the bounds of a mid-earth



Where after His own image He hath wrought

Man, by whom He will people once again

Heaven's kingdom with pure souls. Therefore intent
Must be our thought that, if we ever may,
On Adam and his offspring we may wreak
Revenge, and, if we can devise a way,


Pervert His will. I trust no more the light

Which he thinks long to enjoy with angel power.

Bliss we obtain no more, nor can attain


To weaken God's strong will; but let us now
Turn from the race of Man that heavenly realm
Which may no more be ours, contrive that they
Forfeit His favor, undo what His Word
Ordained then, wroth of mind, He from His grace
Will cast them, then shall they too seek this Hell
And these grim depths. Then may we for ourselves
Have them in this strong durance, sons of men
For servants. Of the warfare let us now
Begin to take thought. If of old I gave
To any thane, while we in that good realm
Sat happy and had power of our thrones,



Gifts of a Prince, then at no dearer time
Could he reward my gift, if any now

Among my followers would be my friend,

That he might pass forth upward from these bounds,
Had power with him that, winged, he might fly,
Borne on the clouds, to where stand Adam and Eve
Wrought on earth's kingdom, girt with happiness,
While we are cast down into this deep dale.
Now these are worthier to the Lord, may own
The blessing rightly ours in Heaven's realm,
This the design apportioned to mankind.
Sore is my mind and rue is in my thought
That ever henceforth they should possess Heaven.
If ever any of you in any way

May turn them from the teaching of God's word
They shall be evil to Him, and if they
Break His commandment, then will He be wroth
Against them, then will be withdrawn from them
Their happiness, and punishment prepared,
Some grievous share of harm. Think all of this,
How to deceive them. In these fetters then
I can take rest, if they that kingdom lose.
He who shall do this hath prompt recompense
Henceforth for ever of what may be won
Of gain within these fires. I let him sit
Beside myself.'

Then God's antagonist arrayed himself






Swift in rich arms. He had a guileful mind.

The hero set the helmet on his head

And bound it fast, fixed it with clasps. He knew
Many a speech deceitful, turned him thence,


Hardy of mind, departed through Hell's doors,
Striking the flames in two with a fiend's power;
Would secretly deceive with wicked deed
Men, the Lord's subjects, that misled, forlorn,
To God they became evil. So he fared,
Through his fiend's power, till on earth he found
Adam, God's handiwork, with him his wife,
The fairest woman.



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