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He soon discerns; and, weltering by his side,
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named

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BEELZEBUB. To whom the Arch-Enemy,
And thence in Heaven called SATAN, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began :--

"If thou beest he--but Oh how fallen ! how changed From him !-who, in the happy realms of light, Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine Myriads, though bright—if he whom mutual league, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprise, Joined with me once, now misery hath joined 90 In equal ruin ; into what pit thou seest From what highth fallen : so much the stronger proved 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 changed in outward lustre, that fixed mind, And high disdain from sense of injured merit, That with the Mightiest raised me to contend, And to the fierce contention brought along Innumerable force of Spirits armed, That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring, His utmost power with adverse power opposed In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, And shook his throne. What though the field be lost? All is not lost—the 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 knee, and deify his power

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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 advanced,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.”

So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain,
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair ;
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer :

“O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers That led the embattled Seraphim to war Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds

130 Fearless, endangered Heaven'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 Heaven, 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 remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns,

140 Though all our glory extinct, and happy state Here swallowed up in endless misery. But what if He our Conqueror (whom I now Of force believe almighty, since no less Than such could have o'erpowered such force as ours) Have left us this our spirit and strength entire, Strongly to suffer and support our pains,

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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,

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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 undiminished, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment?”

Whereto with speedy words the Arch-Fiend replied:

"Fallen Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering : but of this be sure-
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,

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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 ofttimes 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 recalled
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

170 Back to the gates of Heaven : the sulphurous hail, Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid The fiery surge that from the precipice Of Heaven received us falling, and the thunder, Winged 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 the occasion, whether scorn Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe. Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, 180 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,

190 If not what resolution from despair.”

Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, With head uplift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blazed ; 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 warred 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 the ocean-stream. Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam, The pilot of some small night-foundered 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 stretched out huge in length the Arch-Fiend lay, Chained on the burning lake ; nor ever thence Had risen, or heaved 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 enraged might see How all his malice served but to bring forth

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Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shewn
On Man by him seduced, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured.

Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature ; on each hand the flames
Driven backward slope their pointing spires, and, rolled
In billows, leave i' the 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 burned
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire,
And such appeared in hue as when the force

230 Of subterranean wind transports a hill Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible And fuelled entrails, thence conceiving fire, Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds, And leave a singed bottom all involved With stench and smoke. Such resting found the sole Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate ; Both glorying to have scaped the Stygian flood As gods, and by their own recovered strength, Not by the sufferance of supernal power.

“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,” Said then the lost Archangel, " this the seat That we must change for Heaven?—this mournful gloom For that celestial light ? Be it so, since He Who now is sovran can dispose and bid What shall be right : farthest from Him is best, Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields, Where joy for ever dwells ! Hail, horrors ! hail,

250 Infernal World ! and thou, profoundest Hell, Receive thy new possessor-one who brings

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