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To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,

Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of heav'n.
So fpake th'apoftate angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair :
And him thus answer'd foon his bold compeer.
O prince, O chief of many throned powers,
That led th'imbattell'd feraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endanger'd heav'n's perpetual king;
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by ftrength, or chance, or fate,
Foo well I fee and rue the dire event,

That with fad overthrow and foul defeat
Hath loft us heav'n, and all this mighty host
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as gods and heav'nly effences

Can perish; for the mind and spirit remains
Invincible, and vigour foon returns,

Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here fwallow'd up in endless mifery.

But what if he our conqueror, (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, fince no less

Than fuch could have o'erpow'r'd fuch force as ours)
Have left us this our spirit and strength intire
Strongly to fuffer and support our pains,
That we may fo fuffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be
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 feel
Strength undeminisht, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment?

Whereto with speedy words th'arch-fiend reply'd.
Fall'n cherub, to be weak is miferable
Doing or fuffering: but of this be sure,
To do ought good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our fole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we refift. If then his providence
Out of our evil feek 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 fucceed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost councils from their deftin'd aim.
But fee the angry victor hath recall'd
His minifters of vengeance and pursuit

Back to the gates of heav'n: the fulphurous hail
Shot after us in ftorm, o'reblown hath laid
The fiery furge, that from the precipice

Of heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps has spent his fhafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
Let us not flip th'occafion, whether scorn,
Or fatiate fury yield it from our foe.

Seeft thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wilde,
The feat of defolation, void of light,

Save what the glimmering of these livid flames

Cafts pale and dreadful? thither let us tend
From off the toffing of these fiery waves,
There reft, if any reft can harbour there,
And reaffembling our afflicted powers,
Confult 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 refolution 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 monftrous fize,
Titanian, or earth-born, that warr'd on Jove,
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den

By ancient Tarfus held, or that sea beaft
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugeft that swim the ocean stream:
Him haply numbering on the Norway foam,
The pilot of fome fmall night-founder'd skiff,
Deeming fome island, oft, as seamen tell,
With fixed anchor in his skaly rind,

Moors by his fide under the lee, while night
Invests the fea, and wished morn delays :
So ftretcht out huge in length the arch-fiend lay,
Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thence
Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will
And high permiffion 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 fought
Evil to others, and enrag'd might fee

How all his malice ferv'd but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shew'n
On man by him seduc'd, but on himself
Treble confufion, wrath and vengeance pour❜d.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty ftature; on each hand the flames
Driv'n backward flope their pointing fpires and rowl'd
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 folid, as the lake with liquid fire;
And fuch appear'd in hue, as when the force
Of fubterranean wind tranfports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the fhatter'd fide
Of thundring Aetna, whofe combustible
And fewel'd intrals thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a finged bottom all involv'd

With stench and smoak: such resting found the fole
Of unbleft feet. Him followed his next mate,

Both glorying to have fcap't the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recover'd strength,
Not by the fufferance of fupernal power.
Is this the region, this the foil, the clime,
Said then the loft arch-angel, this the feat

That we must change for heav'n, this mournful gloom

For that celeftial light? be it fo, fince he
Who now is fov rain can dispose and bid

What shall be right: fartheft from him is best
Whom reafon hath equal'd, force hath made fupream
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields,

Where joy for ever dwells: hail horrors, haił
Infernal world, and thou profoundest hell
Receive thy new poffeffor: 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 ftill the fame,
And what I fhould be, all but lefs than he
Whom thunder hath made greater ? here at leaft
We shall be free; th'almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign fecure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition tho' in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than ferve in heav'n.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th'affociates and copartners of our lofs,
Ly thus astonish't 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 be yet
Regain'd in heav'n, or what more loft in hell?
So Satan fpake, and him Beelzebub

Thus answer'd. Leader of those armies bright,
Which but th'Omnipotent none could have foyl'd,
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft


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