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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 glimmering 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,
How overcome this dire calamity,
What reinforcement we may gain from hope.
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 bugest that swim th' ocean stream:
Him haply stumb'ring on the Norway foam:
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen 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

Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thence
Hadris'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 suduc'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
Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires,
and roll'd

In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings be 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 solid, as the lake with liquid fire;
And such appear'd in hue, as when the force
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side

Of thund'ring Etna, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
Aud leave a singed bottom all involv'd
With stench and smoke: such resting found
the sole

Of unblest 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,
Not hy the sufferance of supernal Power.

Is this the region, this the soil, the clime, Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom

For that celestial light? Be it so, since he Who now is Sov'rain can dispose and bid What shall be right: farthest from him is best, Whom reason hath equall'd, force hath made


Above bis equa. Farewell happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells: Hail horrors, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new possessor; 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 still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at

We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence :
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th' associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd 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 lost in hell!
So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub
Thus answer'd. Leader of those armies bright
Which but th' Omnipotent none could have

If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge

Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lie
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we ere while, astounded and amaz'd,
No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious height.
He scarce had ceas'd when the superior
Was moving tow'ard the shore; his poud'rous

Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose

Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains on her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some 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 sore besides, vaulted with fire:
Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call'd
His legions, Angel forms, who lay entranc'd
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the

In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
High over-arch'd imbow'r; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves

Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcases
And broken chariot-wheels: so thick bestrown
Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of hell resouuded. Princes, Potentates,
Warriors, the flow'r of heav'n, once yours,
now lost,

If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal Spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the conqueror? who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift 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, arise, or be for ever fall'n.

Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast, ap call'd a pitchy

Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of hell
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal giv'n, th' up-lifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain;
A multitude, like which the populous north
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the south, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sa ds.
Forthwith from every squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste where
Their great commander; godlike shapes and
Excelling human, princely diguities,
Aud pow'rs that erst in heaven sat on thrones;
Though of their names in heav'nly records



Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd
By their rebellion from the books of life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names, till wand'ring o'er the
Through God's high sufferance for the trial of
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their creator, and the invisible
Glory of him that made them to transform
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
With gay religions full of pomp and gold
And devils to adore for deities:

Then were they known to men by various


And various idols through the heathen world.
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first,
who last,

Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery couch,
At their great emp'ror's call, as next in worth
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof.
The chief were those who from the pit of hell
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix

They heard, and were abash'd, and up they Their seats long after next the seat of God,


Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir 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 soon obey'd
Innumerable. As when the potent rod

Their altars by his altar, gods ador'd
Among the nations round, and durst abide
Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, throu'd
Between the Cherubim ; yea, often plac'd
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd,
And with their darkness durst affront his light.

First Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood

Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears,
Though for the noise of drums and timbrils
[through fire
Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worship'd in Rabba and her watry plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Aruon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighoushood, the wisest heart
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His temple right against the temple of God
On that opprobrious bill, and made his grove
The pleasant valley of Himmon, Tophet

And black Gehenna call'd, the type of hell.
Next Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's


From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild
Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realin, beyond
The flowr'y dale of Sibma, clad with vines,
And Eleäle to the Asphaltic pool.
Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim on their march from Nile
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd
Ev'n to that hill of scandal, by the grove
Of Moloch homicide; lust hard by hate;
Till good Josiah drove them thence to hell
With these came they, who form the bord'ring


Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts
Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names
Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male,
These feminine. For spirits, when they

Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded in their essence pure,
Not ty'd or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumb'rous flesh; but in what shape they

Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,
Can execute their airy purposes,
And works of love or enmity fulfil.
For those the race of Israel oft forsook
Their living strength, and unfrequented left
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down
To bestial gods; for which their heads as low
Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Ashtoreth; whom the Phoenicians call'd
Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent horns;
To whose bright image nightly by the moon
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs;
In Sion also not unsung, where stood

Her temple on th' offensive mountain, built

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By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large,

Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell

To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
The Syriau damsels to lament his fate
In amorous ditties all a summer's day;
While smooth Adonis from his native rock
Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale-
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat,
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch
Ezekiel saw, when by the vision led
His eye survey'd the dark idolatries
Of alienated Judah. Next came one
Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lops


In his own temple, on the grounsel edge,
Where he fell flat, and sham'd his worshippers
Dagon his name, sea monster, upward man
And downward fish: yet had his temple high
Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast
Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,
And Accarou and Gaza's frontier bounds.
Him followed Rimmon, whose delightful seat
Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks
Of Abbana and Pharphar, Incid streams.
He also against the house of God was bold:
A leper once he lost, and gain'd a king,
Abaz his sottish conqu’ror, whom he drew
God's altar to disparage and displace
For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
His odious offerings, and adore the gods
Whom he had vanquish'd. After these ap-

A crew, who under names of old renown,
Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus`
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek
Their wand'ring gods disguis'd in brutish

Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape
Th' infection, when their borrow'd gold com-

The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
Likening his Maker to the grazed ox,
Jehovah, who in one night when he pass'd
From Egypt marching, equall'd with one stroke
Both her first-born and all her bleating gods.
Belial came last, than whom a spirit more


Fell not from Heav'n, or more gross to love
Vice for itself: to him no temple stood
Or altar smok'd; yet who more oft than be
In temples and at altars, when the priest
Turns Athiest, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd
With lust and violence the house of God?

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Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
Expos'd a matron to avoid worse rape.
These were the prime in order and in might;
The rest were long to tell, though far re-

Th' Ionian gods, of Javan's issue held
Gods, yet confess'd later than heaven and
Their boasted parents: Titan heav'n's first
With his enormous brood, and birth-right||

By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove
His own and Rhea's son like measure found;
So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Crete
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle air,
Their highest heav'n; or on the Delphian

Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to th' Hesperion fields,
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.
All these and more came flocking; but with

Down-cast and damp, yet such wherein ap-
Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found
their chief

Not in despair, to have found themselves not
Ju loss itself; which on his count'nance cast
Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride
Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
Semblance of worth, not substance, gently

Their fainting courage, and dispell'd their
Then strait commands, that at the warlike
Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd
His mighty standard: that proud honour

Azazel as bis right, a cherub tall;

Who forthwith from the glittering staff un-

Th' imperial ensign, which full high advanc'd
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
With gems and golden lustre rich imblaz'd,
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds:
At which the universal host up sent
A shout that tore hell's concave, and beyond
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
All in a moment through the gloom were seen

Ten thousand banners rise into the air
With orient colours waving; with them rose
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable: anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
Of flutes and soft recorder; such as rais'd
To heights of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage
Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and nnmov'd
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat;
Nor wanting pow'r to mitigate and swage
With solemu touches troubled thoughts, and
Anguish and doubt, and fear and sorrow, and
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought
Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and


Advanc'd in view, they stand, a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield,
A waiting what command their mighty Chief
Had to impose; he through the armed files
Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views their order due,
Their visages and stature as of gods,
Their number last he sums. And now his
Distends with pride, and hardning in his
Glories: for never since created man
Met such embodied force, as nam'd with these
Could merit more than that small infantry
Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant

Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mix'd with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
In fable or romance of Uther's son,
Begiet with British and Armoric knights;
And all who since, baptiz'd or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,
When Charlemain, with all his peerage, fel
By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
Their dread Commander: he above the rest,
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower; his form had yet not lost
All her original brightness, nor appear'd
Less than Archangel ruin'd, and th' excess
Of glory obscur'd; as when the sun new-risen
Looks through the horizontal misty air
Shorn of his beams, from behind the moon
In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
| Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet shone

Above them all th' Archangel: but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrench'd, and

Sat on his faded cheek, but under-brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
(Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain,
Millions of spirits for his fault amere'd
Of heav'n, and from eternal splendours flung
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory wither'd as when heaven's fire
Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain
With singed top, their stately growth, though ||
Stand on the blasted heath. He now prepar'd
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they

From wing to wing, aud half enclose him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assay'd, and thrice in spite of scorn,
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth at

Words, interwove with sighs, found out their
O myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers
Matchless! but with th' Almighty, and that

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Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
Or cast a rampart. Mamanon led them on,
Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell
From heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks and

A numerous brigade hastened: as when bands Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,Of pioneers, with spade and pick-axe arm'd, As this place testifies, and this dire change Hateful to utter; but what pow'r of mind Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd, How such united force of gods, how such As stood like these, could ever know repulse? For who can yet believe, though after loss, That all these puissant legions, whose exile Hath emptied heav'u, shall fail to re-ascend, Self-rais'd, and re possess their native seat? For me be witness, all the host of heav'n, If counsels different, or danger shunn'd By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns Monarch in heav'n, till then as one secure Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, Consent or custom, and his regal state Put forth at full; but still his strength conceal'd, fall.

Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our
Henceforth his night we know, and know our

So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provok'd; our better part remains
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not; that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife
There went a fame in heav'n, that he ere long

Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of heav'n's pavement, trodden gold,
Thau ought divine or holy else enjoy'd
In visions beatific: by him first
Meu also, and by his suggestion taught,
Ransack'd the centre, and with impious hands
Rifled the bowels of their mother earth
For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
Open'd into the hill a spacious wound,
And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire
That riches grow in hell; that soil may best
Deserve the precious bane. And here let those
Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring


Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame,
And strength, and art, are easily out-done
By spirits reprobate, and in an hour
What in an age they with incessant toil,
And hands innumerable, scarce perform.
High on the plain in many cells prepar'd,
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluic'd from the lake, a second multitude
With wondrous art founded the massy ore,

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