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At once, as far as angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild ;

A dungeon horrible on all sides round,

As one great furnace flam'd; yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible

Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,

Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
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 unconsum'd:
Such place eternal Justice had prepar'd

For those rebellious; here their pris'on ordain'd
In atter darkness, and their portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n,
As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns; and welt'ring by his side,

One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beelzebub. To whom th' arch-enemy,

And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.

"If thou beest he; but O how fall'n! how chang'd
From him, who, in the happy realms of light,
Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and ecunsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprize

Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ruin into what pit thou seest


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From what height fall'n; so much the stronger prov'd

He with his thunder: and till then who knew

The force of those dire arms? yet not for those,

Nor what the potent victor in his rage


Can else inflict, do I repent or change,

Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit,

That with the mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of spirits arm'd,


That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,

His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd

In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,

And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; th' unconquerable will,


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
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant kuce, and deify his power,
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfall; 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 advanc'd,


We may with more successful hope resolve
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 Heaven."

So spake th' apostate angel, though in pain,
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 th' embattled Seraphim 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 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 mighty host

In horrible destruction laid thus low,

As far as Gods and heavenly essences

Can perish; for the mind and spirit remain
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,


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

But what if he our conqu❜ror (whom I now,

Of force believe almighty, since no less

Than such could have o'erpow'r'd such force as ours) 145

Have left us this our spirit 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


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 undiminish'd, or eternal being

To undergo eternal punishment?”


Whereto with speedy words th' arch-fiend replied.

"Fall'n Cherub! to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering; but of this be sure,
To do ought good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being 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 destined aim.

But see the angry victor hath recall'd

His ministers of vengeance and pursuit


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 received 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,
The seat of desolation, void of light,


Save what the glimering 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;
And re-assembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy; our own loss how repair;
llow 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 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;
Briareos or Typhon, 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 haply slumb'ring on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as seaman 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
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.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames




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