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Created hugeft that swim th' ocean stream:
Him haply flumb'ring on the Norway foam
The pilot of fome small night-founder'd skiff
Deeming fome iland, oft, as fea-men tell,
With fixed anchor in his skaly rind
Moors by his fide 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 fought
Evil to others, and enrag'd might fee
How all his malice ferv'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 ftature; on each hand the flames
Driv'n backward flope their pointing fpires, and roll'd
In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vale.

Then with expanded wings he steers his flight 225
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 transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the fhatter'd fide
Of thund'ring Etna, whofe combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury; aid the winds,
And leave a finged bottom all involv'd



With stench and smoke: fuch refting found the fole
Of unbleft feet. Him follow'd his next mate,
Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recover'd strength, 240
Not by the fuff'rance of supernal 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 celestial light? Be' it fo, fince he

Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid

What shall be right: fartheft from him is best,


Whom reas'on hath equall'd, force hath made fupreme
Above his equals. Farewel happy fields,

Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail Horrors, hail 250
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 should be, all but less than he


Whom thunder had 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 though 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,

Lie thus astonish'd on th' oblivious pool,



And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy manfion, or once more

With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regain'd in Heav'n, or what more loft in Hell? 270
So Satan fpake, and him Beelzebub


Thus anfwer'd. Leader of thofe armies bright,
Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foil'd,
If once they hear that voice, their livelieft pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battel when it rag'd, in all affaults
Their fureft signal, they will foon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lie
Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we ere while, astounded and amaz'd,
No wonder, fall'n fuch a pernicious highth.
He scarce had ceas'd when the fuperior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore; his pond’rous shield,
Ethereal temper, maffy, large and round,



Behind him caft; the broad circumference

Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artik views
At evening from the top of Fefolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
His fpear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of fome great ammiral, were but a wand,
He walk'd with to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle, not like those steps
On Heaven's azure, and the torrid clime
Smote on him fore besides, vaulted with fire:
Nathlefs he fo indur'd, till on the beach
Of that inflamed fea he stood, and call'd
His legions, angel forms, who lay intranc'd




Thick as autumnal leaves that ftrow the brooks
In Vallombrofa, where th' Etrurian shades
High over-arch'd imbow'r; or scatter'd fedge
Aflote, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd


Hath vex'd the Red-fea coaft, whose waves o'erthrew Bufiris and his Memphian chivalry,

While with perfidious hatred they pursued

The fojourners of Goshen, who beheld

From the safe shore their floting carcafes
And broken chariot wheels, so thick bestrown
Abject and loft lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.


He call'd fo loud, that all the hollow deep

Of Hell refounded. Princes, Potentates,


Warriors, the flow'r of Heav'n, once yours, now loft,

If fuch aftonishment as this can feife

Eternal fpi'rits; or have you chos'n this place
After the toil of battel to repofe

Your wearied virtue, for the eafe you find
To flumber here, as in the vales of Heav'n?
Or in this abject pofture have ye fworn
To' adore the Conqueror? who now beholds
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and enfigns, till anon
His fwift pursuers from Heav'n gates discern
Th' advantage, and descending tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.
Awake, arife, or be for ever fall'n.




They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, Rouse and beftir themselves ere well awake.

Nor did they not perceive the evil plight

In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their General's voice they foon obey'd
Innumerable. As when the potent rod

Of Amram's fon, in Egypt's evil day,


Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud 340 Of locufts, warping on the eastern wind,

Volume I.


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