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As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole.

Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host O how unlike the place from whence they fell! In horrible destruction laid thus low, There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm’d As far as gods and heavenly essences With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, Can perish: for the mind and spirit remain He soon discerns, and welt'ring by his side

Invincible, and vigour soon returns, One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime, Though all our glory extinct, and happy state Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd

Here swallow'd up in endless misery. Beelzebub. To whom th' arch-enemy,

But what if he our Conqu’ror (whom I now And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words Of force believe Almighty, since no less Breaking the horrid silence, thus began :

Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as ours) If thou beest he; but O how fall'n! how chang'd Have left us this our spirit and strength entire From him, who, in the happy realms of light, Strongly to suffer and support our pains, Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst outshine That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual league, Or do him mightier service as his thralls United thoughts and counsels, equal hope

By right of war, whate'er his business be, And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire, Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd

Or do his errands in the gloomy deep; In equal ruin: into what pit thou seest

What can it then avail, though yet we feel From what height fall'n, so much thestronger prov'd Strength undiminish’d, or eternal being He with his thunder: and till then who knew To undergo eternal punishment ? The force of those dire arms? yet not for those, Whereto with speedy words the arch-fiend reply'd: Nor what the potent victor in his rage

Fall'n Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,

Doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix'd mind, To do aught good never will be our task,
And high disdain from sense of injur’d merit, But ever to do ill our sole delight,
That with the Mightiest rais’d me to contend, As being contrary to his high will
And to the fierce contention brought along

Whom we resist. If then his providence
Innumerable force of spirits arm'd,

Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring, Our labour must be to pervert that end, His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd And out of good still to find means of evil; In dubious battle on the plains of Heav'n,

Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps And shook bisthrone. What though the field be lost? Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb All is not lost; th' unconquerable will,

His inmost councils from their destin'd aim. And study of revenge, immortal hate,

But see the angry victor hath recallid And courage never to submit or yield,

His ministers of vengeance and pursuit And what else is not to be overcome !

Back to the gates of Heav'n: the sulph'rous hail That glory never shall his wrath or might

Shot after us in storm, o'erblown, hath laid Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace

The fiery surge, that from the precipice With suppliant knee, and deify his power,

Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling; and the thunder, Who from the terror of this arm so late

Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, Doubted his empire; that were low indeed; Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now That were an ignominy, and shame beneath To bellow througlı the vast and boundless deep. This downfal; since by fate the strength of gods Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn, And this empyreal substance cannot fail,

Or satiate fury yield it from our foe. Since through experience of this great event Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd, The seat of desolation, void of light, We may with more successful hope resolve

Save what the glimmering of these livid flames To wage by force or guile eternal war,

Casts pale and dreadful? thither let us tend Irreconcileable to our grand foe,

From off the tossing of these fiery waves; Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy

There rest, if any rest can harbour there, Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heav'n.

And re-assembling our afflicted powers, So spake the apostate angel, though in pain, Consult how we may henceforth most offend Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair; Our enemy, our own loss how repair, And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer: How overcome this dire calamity, O Prince! O Chief of many throned powers,

What reinforcement we may gain from hope, That led th' embattled seraphim to war

If not, what resolution from despair. Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds

Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, Fearless, endanger'd Heav'n's perpetual King, With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes And put to proof his high supremacy,

That sparkling blaz’d, his other parts besides Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate, Prone on the flood, extended long and large, Too well I see and rue the dire event,

Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge That with sad overthrow and foul defeat

As whom the fables name of monstrous size,


Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove, Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Briareus or Typhon, whom the den

Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice, By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast

To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Leviathan, which God of all his works

Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heav'n. Created hugest that swim the ocean stream: But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, Him haply slumb’ring on the Norway foam Th'associates and copartners of our loss, The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff, Lie thus astonish'd on th' oblivious pool, Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,

And call them not to share with us their part With fixed anchor in his scaly rind

In this unhappy mansion, or once more, Moors by his side under the lee, while night With rallied arms, to try what may be yet Invests the sea, and wished morn delays:

Regain'd in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell? So stretch'd out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thence Thus answer'd: Leader of those armies bright, Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will Which but the Omnipotent none could have foil'd, And high permission of all-ruling Heaven

If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge Left him at large to his own dark designs,

Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
That with reiterated crimes he might

In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults
Evil to others, and enrag'd might see

Their surest signal, they will soon resume
How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth New courage, and revive; though now they lie
Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn

Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, On Man by him seduc'd; but on himself

As we ere while, astounded and amaz'd; Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour’d. No wonder, fall’n such a pernicious height. Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool

He scarce had ceas’d, when the superior Fiend His mighty stature; on each hand the flames Was moving tow'rd the shore; his pond'rous shield, Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and Ethereal temper, massy, large and round, In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vale. [rollid Behind him cast; the broad circumference Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air

Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views That felt unusual weight, till on dry land

At evening from the top of Fesole, He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd

Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands, With solid, as the lake with liquid fire ;

Rivers or mountains on her spotty globe. And such appear'd in hue, as when the force His spear, to equal which the tallest pine, Of subterranean wind transports a hill

Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the mast Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side

Of some great admiral, were but a wand, Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible

He walk'd with to support uneasy steps And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,

Over the burning marle, not like those steps Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,

On Heaven's azure; and the torrid clime And leave a singed bottom all involvid

Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire; With stench and smoke: such resting found the sole Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate, Of that inflamed sea he stood, and callid Both glorying to have scap'd the Stygian flood His legions, angel forms, who lay entranc'd As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks Not by the suff'rance of supernal Power.

In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,

High over-arch'd embow'r; or scatter'd sedge Said then the lost Arch-angel, this the seat

Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful Hath vex'd the Red Sea coast, whose waves o'er. For that celestial light? Be it so, since he [gloom Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, (threw Who now is Sov'reign, can dispose and bid While with perfidious hatred they pursued What shall be right: farthest from him is best, The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld Whom reason hath equallid, force hath made su- From the safe shore their floating carcases Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields, (preme And broken chariot wheels: so thick bestrown, Where joy for ever dwells: Hail Horrors, hail Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood, Infernal World, and thou profoundest Hell

Under amazement of their hideous change. Receive thy new possessor; one who brings

He call'd su loud, that all the hollow deep A mind not to be chang'd by place or time.

Of Hell resounded. Princes, Potentates, The mind is its own place, and in itself

Warriors, the flow'r of Heav'n, once yours, now lost, Can make a heav'n of Hell, a hell of Heav'n. If such astonishment as this can seize What matter where, if I be still the same,

Eternal spirits; or have you chosen this place, And what I should be, all but less than he

After the toil of battle, to repose
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built To slumber here, as in the vales of Heav'n ?

Or in this abject posture have you sworn

Their altars by his altar, gods ador'd
To adore the Conqueror? who now beholds Among the nations round, and durst abide
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood

Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron'd
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon

Between the cherubim; yea often plac'd His swift pursuers from Heav'n gates discern Within his sanctuary itself their shrines, Th' advantage, and descending tread us down Abominations; and with cursed ngs Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd, Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.

And with their darkness durst affront his light, Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!

First Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood They heard, and were abash’d; and up they sprung Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears, Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite (fire Nor did they not perceive the evil plight

Worshipp'd in Rabba and her wat’ry plain,
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Yet to their General's voice they soon obey'd, Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Innumerable. As when the potent rod

Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,

Of Solomon he led by fraud to build War'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud His temple right against the temple of God Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,

On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence Like night, and darken’d all the land of Nile: And black Gehenna call’d, the type of Hell. So numberless were those bad angels seen,

Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons, Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,

From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires; Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon Till, at a signal giv’n, th' uplifted spear

And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
Of their great Sultan waving to direct

The flow'ry dale of Sibma, clad with vines,
Their course, in even balance down they light And Eleale to th’ Asphaltic pool.
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain;

Peor his other name, when he entic'd
A multitude, like which the populous North

Israel in Sittim on their march from Nile Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass

To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Rhene or the Danaw, when her barb'rous sons Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd Came like a deluge on the South, and spread Ev'n to that bill of scandal, by the grove Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.

Of Moloch homicide; lust hard by hate; Forthwith from every squadron and each band Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell. The heads and leaders thither haste, where stood With these came they, who from the bord'ring flood Their great Commander; godlike shapes and forms Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts Excelling human, princely dignities,

Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones; Of Baalim and Astaroth, those male, Though of their names in heav'nly records now These feminine. For spirits, when they please, Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd

Can either sex assume, or both; so soft By their rebellion from the books of Life.

And uncompounded is their essence pure, Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve

Not ty'd or manacI'd with joint or limb, Got them new names, till wand'ring o'er the earth, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Through God's high suff'rance for the trial of man, Like cumb'rous flesh; but in what shape they choose, By falsities and lies the greatest part

Dilated or condens’d, bright or obscure, of mankind they corrupted to forsake

Can execute their airy purposes, God their Creator, and th' invisible

And works of love or enmity fulfil. Glory of him that made them to transform

For those the race of Israel oft forsook Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd

Their living strength, and unfrequented left With gay religions full of pomp and gold,

His righteous altar, bowing lowly down And devils to adore for deities;

To bestial gods; for which their heads as low Then were they known to men by various names, Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spear And various idols through the heathen world. Of despicable foes. With these in troop Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who Came Ashtoreth, whom the Phænicians callid Rous’d from the slumber on that fiery couch, [last, Astarte, Queen of Heaven, with crescent horns; At their great Emp'ror's call, as next in worth To whose bright image nightly by the moon Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs ; While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof. In Sion also not unsung, where stood The chief were those who from the pit of Hell, Her temple on th' offensive mountain, built Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large, Their seats long after next the seat of God,

Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell

To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,

Th’ Ionian gods of Javan's issue held Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd

Gods, yet confessed later than Heaven and Earth, The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

Their boasted parents : Titan, Heav'n's first-born, In amorous ditties all a summer's day;

With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd While smooth Adonis from his native rock

By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove Ran purple to the sea, suppos’d with blood

His own and Rhea's son like measure found; Of Thammuz yearly wounded; the love-tale So Jove usurping reigu'd: these first in Crete Infected Sion's daughters with like heat,

Aud Ida known, thence on the snowy top Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch

Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle air, Ezekiel saw, when by the vision led

Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff, His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds Of alienated Judah. Next came one

Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old Who mourned in earnest, when the captive ark Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian fields, Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt off And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles. In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,

All these and more came flocking; but with looks Where he fell flat, and sham'd his worshippers: Downcast and dampt, yet such wherein appear’d Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man

Obscure some glimpse of joy, to havefound their chief And downward fish: yet had his temple high Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast

In loss itself; which on his countenance cast Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,

Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.

Soon recollecting, with high words that bore Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks

Their fainting courage, and dispell’d their fears. Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.

Then strait commands, that at the warlike sound He also against the house of God was bold:

Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd A leper once he lost, and gain'd a king,

His mighty standard ; that proud honour claim'd Ahaz his sottish conqu’ror, whom he drew

Azazel as his right, a cherub tall; God's altar to disparage and displace

Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn

Th’imperial ensign, which full high advanc'd His odious offerings, and adore the Gods

Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, Whom he had vanquish’d. After these appear'd With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz’d, A crew, who, under names of old renown,

Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,

Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds : With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd

At which the universal host up sent Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek

A shout that tore Hell's concave, and beyond Their wand'ring Gods disguis'd in brutish forins Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape

All in a moment through the gloom were seen Th’infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd Ten thousand banners rise into the air The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king

With orient colours waving: with them rose Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,

A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms Likening his Maker to the grazed ox,

Appear’d, and serried shields in thick array Jehovah, who in one night when he pass'd

Of depth immeasurable: anon they move From Egypt marching, equall'd with one stroke In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood Both her first-born and all her bleating Gods. Of flutes and soft recorders: such as rais'd Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd To height of noblest temper heroes old Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love

Arming to battle ; and instead of rage Vice for itself: to him no temple stood

Deliberate valour breath’d, firm and unmor'd Or altar smok’d; yet who more oft than he

With dread of death to flight or foul retreat; In temples and at altars, when the priest

Nor wanting pow'r to mitigate and swage Turns Atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd

With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase With lust and violence the house of God?

Anguish and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain, In courts and palaces he also reigns,

From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they, And in luxurious cities, where the noise

Breathing united force, with fixed thought Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,

Mov’d on in silence to soft pipes that charm'd And injury and outrage: and when night

Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons Advanc'd in view, they stand, a horrid front Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.

Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield, In Gibeah, when the hospitable door

Awaiting what command their mighty chief Expos'd a matron to avoid worse rape.

Had to impose; he through the armed files These were the prime in order and in might; Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd, The whole battalion views, their order due,


Their visages and stature, as of Gods ;

That all these puissant legions, whose exile Their number last he sums. And now his heart Hath emptied Heav'n, shall fail to re-ascend, Distends with pride, and hard’ning in his strength Self-raised, and repossess their native seat? Glories: for never since created man

For me be witness all the host of Heaven, Met such embodied force, as nam'd with these If counsels different, or danger shunnid Could merit more than that small infantry

By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side Consent or custom, and his regal state Mix'd with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds, Put forth at full; but still his strength conceal'd, In fable or romance of Uther's son,

Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. Begirt with British and Armoric knights;

Henceforth his might we know, and know our own, And all who since, baptiz'd or infidel,

So as not either to provoke, or dread Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,

New war, provok'd; our better part remains Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,

To work in close design, by fraud or guile, Or whom Biserta sent from Afric's shore,

What force effected not; that he no less When Charlemain, with all his peerage, fell At length from us may find, who overcomes By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond

By force, hath overcome but half his foe. Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd

Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife Their dread commander: he above the rest There went a fame in Heav'n, that he ere long In shape and gesture proudly eminent,

Intended to create, and therein plant
Stood like a tower; his form had not yet lost A generation, whom his choice regard
All her original brightness, nor appear’d

Should favour equal to the sons of Heav'n:
Less than Arch-angel ruin'd, and th’excess Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
Of glory obscur’d; as when the sun new risen Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
Looks through the horizontal misty air

For this infernal pit shall never hold
Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon Celestial spirits in bondage, nor th' abyss
In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds

Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts On half the nations, and with fear of change Full council must mature: peace is despair'd, Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet shone For who can think submission ? War then, war, Above them all th' Arch-angel; but his face Open or understood, must be resolv'd. Deep scars of thunder had entrench'd, and care He spake: and to confirm his words, out flew Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows

Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride

Of mighty cherubim; the sudden blaze Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast

Far round illumin’d Hell: highly they rag'd Signs of remorse and passion to behold

Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms The fellows of his crime, the followers rather Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war, (Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn’d

Hurling defiance tow'rd the vault of Heav'n. For ever now to have their lot in pain,

There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top Millions of spirits for his fault amerc'd

Belch'd fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire Of Heav'n, and from eternal splendours flung Shone with a glossy scurf, undoubted sign For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,

That in his womb was hid metallic ore, Their glory wither’d: as when Heaven's fire The work of sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines, A numerous brigade hasten'd: as when bands With singed top their stately growth, though bare, of pioneers, with spade and pick-axe armid, Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepar'd Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field, To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on, From wing to wing, and half inclose him round Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell (thoughts With all his peers: attention held them mute. From Heav'n, for ev'n in Heav'n his looks and Thrice he essay'd, and thrice in spite of scorn, Were always downward bent, admiring more Tears such as angels weep, burst forth : at last The riches of Heav'n's pavement, trodden gold, Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way. Than aught divine, or holy else enjoy'd O myriads of immortal spirits! O powers

In vision beatific: by him first Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife Men also, and by his suggestion taught, Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire, Ransack'd the centre, and with impious hands As this place testifies, and this dire change,

Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth Hateful to utter : but what pow'r of mind

For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth

Open'd into the hill a spacious wound, Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd, And digg'd out ribs of gold. . Let none admire How such united force of Gods, how such

That riches grow in Hell; that soil may best As stood like these, could ever know repulse ? Deserve the precious bane. And here let those For who can yet believe, though after loss,

Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell

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