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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;
If not what resolution from despair.

Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate,
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blaz'd, his other parts beside,
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 seamen tell,
With fix'd anchor in his scaly rind
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wish'd morn delays:
So stretched out huge in length, the arch-fiend lay
Chain’d on the burning lake: nor ever thence
Had risen or heav'd his head, but that the will
And high permission of all-ruling heav'n
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, enragd, might see
How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy shown
On man by him seduced, 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 rollid
In billows, leave i'th' 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 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 Ætna, whose combustible
And fuell’d entrails, thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And 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 by the suff'rance 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 heaven; this mournful
For that celestial light? Be it so ! since he [gloom
Who now is sov'reign can dispose and bid
What shall be right : farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equallid, force hath made supreme
Above his equals! 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 least;
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 heav'n!
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 ralli'd 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 foiled !
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
Grovelling 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 fiend Was moving to the shore : his pond'rous shield, Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views At evening from the top of Fesole, Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands, Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe. His spear, to equal which the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast Of some great admiral, were but a wand, He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps Over the burning marle, not like these steps On heaven's azure ; and the torrid climę

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'

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Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th’ Etrurian shades,
High over-arch'd, embow'r; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, ..
While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd

I The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore, their floating carcasses And broken chariot wheels : so thick bestrown," Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood, Under amazement of their hideous change. He callid so loud, that all the hollow deep Of hell résounded. Princes, potentates, Warriors, the flower of heav'n! once yours, now lost ! If such astonishment as this can seize Eternal spirits; or have ye chosen 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 heav'n?' ip Or in this abject posture have ye sworn T'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's gates discerns Th’advantage, and descending, tread us down ! Thus drooping, or with link'd thunderbolts is Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf? Awake, arise, or be for ever fallin!

They heard, and were alash'd, and up they sprang) 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
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud!
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' uplifted 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 barb'rous sons
Came like a deluge on the south, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.
Forthwith from every squadron, and each band,
The heads, and leaders, thither haste where stood
Their great commander; godlike shapes, and forms
Excelling human ; princely dignities,
And pow'rs that erst in heaven sat on thrones ;
Though of their names in heav'nly records now
Be no memorial, blotted out and raz'd
By their rebellion, from the book of life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names, till, wand'ring o'er the earth,
Through God's high suff'rance for the trial of man';
By falsities and lies, the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and th' 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 names,

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