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  1. checksums.yaml +4 -4
  2. data/Gemfile +1 -1
  3. data/lib/snappy/version.rb +1 -1
  4. data/vendor/snappy/AUTHORS +1 -0
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  8. data/vendor/snappy/NEWS +128 -0
  9. data/vendor/snappy/README +135 -0
  10. data/vendor/snappy/autogen.sh +7 -0
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  22. data/vendor/snappy/snappy-stubs-public.h.in +98 -0
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  24. data/vendor/snappy/snappy-test.h +582 -0
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  27. data/vendor/snappy/snappy_unittest.cc +1355 -0
  28. data/vendor/snappy/testdata/alice29.txt +3609 -0
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  30. data/vendor/snappy/testdata/baddata1.snappy +0 -0
  31. data/vendor/snappy/testdata/baddata2.snappy +0 -0
  32. data/vendor/snappy/testdata/baddata3.snappy +0 -0
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  37. data/vendor/snappy/testdata/kppkn.gtb +0 -0
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  39. data/vendor/snappy/testdata/paper-100k.pdf +600 -2
  40. data/vendor/snappy/testdata/plrabn12.txt +10699 -0
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@@ -0,0 +1,10699 @@
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+
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+ This is the February 1992 Project Gutenberg release of:
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+
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+ Paradise Lost by John Milton
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+
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+ The oldest etext known to Project Gutenberg (ca. 1964-1965)
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+ (If you know of any older ones, please let us know.)
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+
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+
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+ Introduction (one page)
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+
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+ This etext was originally created in 1964-1965 according to Dr.
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+ Joseph Raben of Queens College, NY, to whom it is attributed by
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+ Project Gutenberg. We had heard of this etext for years but it
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+ was not until 1991 that we actually managed to track it down to
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+ a specific location, and then it took months to convince people
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+ to let us have a copy, then more months for them actually to do
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+ the copying and get it to us. Then another month to convert to
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+ something we could massage with our favorite 486 in DOS. After
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+ that is was only a matter of days to get it into this shape you
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+ will see below. The original was, of course, in CAPS only, and
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+ so were all the other etexts of the 60's and early 70's. Don't
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+ let anyone fool you into thinking any etext with both upper and
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+ lower case is an original; all those original Project Gutenberg
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+ etexts were also in upper case and were translated or rewritten
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+ many times to get them into their current condition. They have
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+ been worked on by many people throughout the world.
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+
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+ In the course of our searches for Professor Raben and his etext
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+ we were never able to determine where copies were or which of a
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+ variety of editions he may have used as a source. We did get a
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+ little information here and there, but even after we received a
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+ copy of the etext we were unwilling to release it without first
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+ determining that it was in fact Public Domain and finding Raben
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+ to verify this and get his permission. Interested enough, in a
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+ totally unrelated action to our searches for him, the professor
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+ subscribed to the Project Gutenberg listserver and we happened,
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+ by accident, to notice his name. (We don't really look at every
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+ subscription request as the computers usually handle them.) The
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+ etext was then properly identified, copyright analyzed, and the
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+ current edition prepared.
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+
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+ To give you an estimation of the difference in the original and
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+ what we have today: the original was probably entered on cards
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+ commonly known at the time as "IBM cards" (Do Not Fold, Spindle
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+ or Mutilate) and probably took in excess of 100,000 of them. A
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+ single card could hold 80 characters (hence 80 characters is an
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+ accepted standard for so many computer margins), and the entire
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+ original edition we received in all caps was over 800,000 chars
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+ in length, including line enumeration, symbols for caps and the
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+ punctuation marks, etc., since they were not available keyboard
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+ characters at the time (probably the keyboards operated at baud
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+ rates of around 113, meaning the typists had to type slowly for
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+ the keyboard to keep up).
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+
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+ This is the second version of Paradise Lost released by Project
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+ Gutenberg. The first was released as our October, 1991 etext.
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+
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+
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+
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+
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+
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+ Paradise Lost
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+
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+
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+
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+
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+ Book I
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+
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+
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+ Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
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+ Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
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+ Brought death into the World, and all our woe,
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+ With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
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+ Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
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+ Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top
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+ Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
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+ That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed
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+ In the beginning how the heavens and earth
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+ Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
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+ Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flowed
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+ Fast by the oracle of God, I thence
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+ Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
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+ That with no middle flight intends to soar
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+ Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues
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+ Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
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+ And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
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+ Before all temples th' upright heart and pure,
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+ Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first
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+ Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
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+ Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast Abyss,
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+ And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark
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+ Illumine, what is low raise and support;
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+ That, to the height of this great argument,
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+ I may assert Eternal Providence,
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+ And justify the ways of God to men.
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+ Say first--for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,
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+ Nor the deep tract of Hell--say first what cause
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+ Moved our grand parents, in that happy state,
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+ Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
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+ From their Creator, and transgress his will
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+ For one restraint, lords of the World besides.
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+ Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?
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+ Th' infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile,
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+ Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived
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+ The mother of mankind, what time his pride
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+ Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host
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+ Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring
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+ To set himself in glory above his peers,
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+ He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
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+ If he opposed, and with ambitious aim
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+ Against the throne and monarchy of God,
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+ Raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud,
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+ With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
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+ Hurled headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky,
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+ With hideous ruin and combustion, down
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+ To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
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+ In adamantine chains and penal fire,
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+ Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms.
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+ Nine times the space that measures day and night
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+ To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew,
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+ Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,
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+ Confounded, though immortal. But his doom
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+ Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought
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+ Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
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+ Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes,
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+ That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,
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+ Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate.
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+ At once, as far as Angels ken, he views
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+ The dismal situation waste and wild.
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+ A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
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+ As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames
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+ No light; but rather darkness visible
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+ Served only to discover sights of woe,
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+ Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
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+ And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
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+ That comes to all, but torture without end
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+ Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
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+ With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.
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+ Such place Eternal Justice has prepared
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+ For those rebellious; here their prison ordained
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+ In utter darkness, and their portion set,
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+ As far removed from God and light of Heaven
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+ As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole.
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+ Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell!
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+ There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelmed
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+ With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
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+ He soon discerns; and, weltering by his side,
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+ One next himself in power, and next in crime,
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+ Long after known in Palestine, and named
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+ Beelzebub. To whom th' Arch-Enemy,
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+ And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold words
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+ Breaking the horrid silence, thus began:--
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+ "If thou beest he--but O how fallen! how changed
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+ From him who, in the happy realms of light
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+ Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine
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+ Myriads, though bright!--if he whom mutual league,
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+ United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
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+ And hazard in the glorious enterprise
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+ Joined with me once, now misery hath joined
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+ In equal ruin; into what pit thou seest
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+ From what height fallen: so much the stronger proved
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+ He with his thunder; and till then who knew
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+ The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those,
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+ Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
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+ Can else inflict, do I repent, or change,
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+ Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed mind,
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+ And high disdain from sense of injured merit,
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+ That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,
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+ And to the fierce contentions brought along
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+ Innumerable force of Spirits armed,
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+ That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
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+ His utmost power with adverse power opposed
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+ In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
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+ And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
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+ All is not lost--the unconquerable will,
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+ And study of revenge, immortal hate,
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+ And courage never to submit or yield:
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+ And what is else not to be overcome?
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+ That glory never shall his wrath or might
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+ Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
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+ With suppliant knee, and deify his power
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+ Who, from the terror of this arm, so late
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+ Doubted his empire--that were low indeed;
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+ That were an ignominy and shame beneath
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+ This downfall; since, by fate, the strength of Gods,
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+ And this empyreal sybstance, cannot fail;
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+ Since, through experience of this great event,
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+ In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,
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+ We may with more successful hope resolve
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+ To wage by force or guile eternal war,
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+ Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
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+ Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
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+ Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven."
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+ So spake th' apostate Angel, though in pain,
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+ Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair;
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+ And him thus answered soon his bold compeer:--
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+ "O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers
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+ That led th' embattled Seraphim to war
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+ Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds
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+ Fearless, endangered Heaven's perpetual King,
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+ And put to proof his high supremacy,
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+ Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate,
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+ Too well I see and rue the dire event
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+ That, with sad overthrow and foul defeat,
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+ Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host
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+ In horrible destruction laid thus low,
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+ As far as Gods and heavenly Essences
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+ Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains
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+ Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
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+ Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
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+ Here swallowed up in endless misery.
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+ But what if he our Conqueror (whom I now
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+ Of force believe almighty, since no less
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+ Than such could have o'erpowered such force as ours)
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+ Have left us this our spirit and strength entire,
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+ Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
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+ That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
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+ Or do him mightier service as his thralls
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+ By right of war, whate'er his business be,
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+ Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
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+ Or do his errands in the gloomy Deep?
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+ What can it the avail though yet we feel
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+ Strength undiminished, or eternal being
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+ To undergo eternal punishment?"
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+ Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-Fiend replied:--
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+ "Fallen Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
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+ Doing or suffering: but of this be sure--
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+ To do aught good never will be our task,
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+ But ever to do ill our sole delight,
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+ As being the contrary to his high will
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+ Whom we resist. If then his providence
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+ Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
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+ Our labour must be to pervert that end,
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+ And out of good still to find means of evil;
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+ Which ofttimes may succeed so as perhaps
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+ Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
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+ His inmost counsels from their destined aim.
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+ But see! the angry Victor hath recalled
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+ His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
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+ Back to the gates of Heaven: the sulphurous hail,
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+ Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid
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+ The fiery surge that from the precipice
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+ Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder,
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+ Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,
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+ Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
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+ To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
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+ Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn
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+ Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
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+ Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
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+ The seat of desolation, void of light,
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+ Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
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+ Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
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+ From off the tossing of these fiery waves;
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+ There rest, if any rest can harbour there;
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+ And, re-assembling our afflicted powers,
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+ Consult how we may henceforth most offend
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+ Our enemy, our own loss how repair,
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+ How overcome this dire calamity,
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+ What reinforcement we may gain from hope,
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+ If not, what resolution from despair."
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+ Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
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+ With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
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+ That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides
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+ Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
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+ Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
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+ As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
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+ Titanian or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,
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+ Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
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+ By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
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+ Leviathan, which God of all his works
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+ Created hugest that swim th' ocean-stream.
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+ Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam,
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+ The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff,
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+ Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,
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+ With fixed anchor in his scaly rind,
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+ Moors by his side under the lee, while night
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+ Invests the sea, and wished morn delays.
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+ So stretched out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay,
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+ Chained on the burning lake; nor ever thence
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+ Had risen, or heaved his head, but that the will
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+ And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
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+ Left him at large to his own dark designs,
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+ That with reiterated crimes he might
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+ Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
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+ Evil to others, and enraged might see
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+ How all his malice served but to bring forth
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+ Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shewn
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+ On Man by him seduced, but on himself
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+ Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured.
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+ Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
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+ His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
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+ Driven backward slope their pointing spires, and,rolled
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+ In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vale.
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+ Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
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+ Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,
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+ That felt unusual weight; till on dry land
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+ He lights--if it were land that ever burned
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+ With solid, as the lake with liquid fire,
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+ And such appeared in hue as when the force
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+ Of subterranean wind transprots a hill
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+ Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side
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+ Of thundering Etna, whose combustible
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+ And fuelled entrails, thence conceiving fire,
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+ Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
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+ And leave a singed bottom all involved
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+ With stench and smoke. Such resting found the sole
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+ Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate;
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+ Both glorying to have scaped the Stygian flood
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+ As gods, and by their own recovered strength,
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+ Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.
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+ "Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,"
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+ Said then the lost Archangel, "this the seat
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+ That we must change for Heaven?--this mournful gloom
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+ For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
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+ Who now is sovereign can dispose and bid
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+ What shall be right: farthest from him is best
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+ Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
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+ Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
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+ Where joy for ever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
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+ Infernal world! and thou, profoundest Hell,
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+ Receive thy new possessor--one who brings
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+ A mind not to be changed by place or time.
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+ The mind is its own place, and in itself
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+ Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
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+ What matter where, if I be still the same,
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+ And what I should be, all but less than he
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+ Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
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+ We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
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+ Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
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+ Here we may reigh secure; and, in my choice,
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+ To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
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+ Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.
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+ But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
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+ Th' associates and co-partners of our loss,
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+ Lie thus astonished on th' oblivious pool,
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+ And call them not to share with us their part
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+ In this unhappy mansion, or once more
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+ With rallied arms to try what may be yet
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+ Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?"
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+ So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub
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+ Thus answered:--"Leader of those armies bright
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+ Which, but th' Omnipotent, none could have foiled!
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+ If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
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+ Of hope in fears and dangers--heard so oft
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+ In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
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+ Of battle, when it raged, in all assaults
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+ Their surest signal--they will soon resume
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+ New courage and revive, though now they lie
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+ Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
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+ As we erewhile, astounded and amazed;
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+ No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height!"
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+ He scare had ceased when the superior Fiend
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+ Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield,
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+ Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
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+ Behind him cast. The broad circumference
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+ Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
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+ Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
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+ At evening, from the top of Fesole,
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+ Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
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+ Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe.
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+ His spear--to equal which the tallest pine
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+ Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
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+ Of some great ammiral, were but a wand--
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+ He walked with, to support uneasy steps
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+ Over the burning marl, not like those steps
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+ On Heaven's azure; and the torrid clime
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+ Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
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+ Nathless he so endured, till on the beach
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+ Of that inflamed sea he stood, and called
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+ His legions--Angel Forms, who lay entranced
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+ Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
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+ In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
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+ High over-arched embower; or scattered sedge
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+ Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed
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+ Hath vexed the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o'erthrew
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+ Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
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+ While with perfidious hatred they pursued
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+ The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
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+ From the safe shore their floating carcases
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+ And broken chariot-wheels. So thick bestrown,
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+ Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,
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+ Under amazement of their hideous change.
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+ He called so loud that all the hollow deep
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+ Of Hell resounded:--"Princes, Potentates,
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+ Warriors, the Flower of Heaven--once yours; now lost,
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+ If such astonishment as this can seize
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+ Eternal Spirits! Or have ye chosen this place
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+ After the toil of battle to repose
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+ Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
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+ To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
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+ Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
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+ To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds
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+ Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
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+ With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon
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+ His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern
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+ Th' advantage, and, descending, tread us down
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+ Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
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+ Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf?
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+ Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!"
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+ They heard, and were abashed, and up they sprung
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+ Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
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+ On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
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+ Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
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+ Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
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+ In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
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+ Yet to their General's voice they soon obeyed
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+ Innumerable. As when the potent rod
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+ Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
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+ Waved round the coast, up-called a pitchy cloud
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+ Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
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+ That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
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+ Like Night, and darkened all the land of Nile;
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+ So numberless were those bad Angels seen
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+ Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,
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+ 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
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+ Till, as a signal given, th' uplifted spear
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+ Of their great Sultan waving to direct
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+ Their course, in even balance down they light
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+ On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain:
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+ A multitude like which the populous North
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+ Poured never from her frozen loins to pass
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+ Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
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+ Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
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+ Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.
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+ Forthwith, form every squadron and each band,
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+ The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
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+ Their great Commander--godlike Shapes, and Forms
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+ Excelling human; princely Dignities;
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+ And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones,
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+ Though on their names in Heavenly records now
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+ Be no memorial, blotted out and rased
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+ By their rebellion from the Books of Life.
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+ Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
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+ Got them new names, till, wandering o'er the earth,
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+ Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man,
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+ By falsities and lies the greatest part
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+ Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
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+ God their Creator, and th' invisible
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+ Glory of him that made them to transform
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+ Oft to the image of a brute, adorned
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+ With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
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+ And devils to adore for deities:
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+ Then were they known to men by various names,
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+ And various idols through the heathen world.
446
+ Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last,
447
+ Roused from the slumber on that fiery couch,
448
+ At their great Emperor's call, as next in worth
449
+ Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
450
+ While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof?
451
+ The chief were those who, from the pit of Hell
452
+ Roaming to seek their prey on Earth, durst fix
453
+ Their seats, long after, next the seat of God,
454
+ Their altars by his altar, gods adored
455
+ Among the nations round, and durst abide
456
+ Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned
457
+ Between the Cherubim; yea, often placed
458
+ Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
459
+ Abominations; and with cursed things
460
+ His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned,
461
+ And with their darkness durst affront his light.
462
+ First, Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood
463
+ Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears;
464
+ Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud,
465
+ Their children's cries unheard that passed through fire
466
+ To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
467
+ Worshiped in Rabba and her watery plain,
468
+ In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
469
+ Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
470
+ Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
471
+ Of Solomon he led by fraoud to build
472
+ His temple right against the temple of God
473
+ On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove
474
+ The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence
475
+ And black Gehenna called, the type of Hell.
476
+ Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons,
477
+ From Aroar to Nebo and the wild
478
+ Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
479
+ And Horonaim, Seon's real, beyond
480
+ The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines,
481
+ And Eleale to th' Asphaltic Pool:
482
+ Peor his other name, when he enticed
483
+ Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
484
+ To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
485
+ Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged
486
+ Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove
487
+ Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate,
488
+ Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
489
+ With these came they who, from the bordering flood
490
+ Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts
491
+ Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names
492
+ Of Baalim and Ashtaroth--those male,
493
+ These feminine. For Spirits, when they please,
494
+ Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
495
+ And uncompounded is their essence pure,
496
+ Not tried or manacled with joint or limb,
497
+ Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
498
+ Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose,
499
+ Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure,
500
+ Can execute their airy purposes,
501
+ And works of love or enmity fulfil.
502
+ For those the race of Israel oft forsook
503
+ Their Living Strength, and unfrequented left
504
+ His righteous altar, bowing lowly down
505
+ To bestial gods; for which their heads as low
506
+ Bowed down in battle, sunk before the spear
507
+ Of despicable foes. With these in troop
508
+ Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians called
509
+ Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent horns;
510
+ To whose bright image nigntly by the moon
511
+ Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs;
512
+ In Sion also not unsung, where stood
513
+ Her temple on th' offensive mountain, built
514
+ By that uxorious king whose heart, though large,
515
+ Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell
516
+ To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
517
+ Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
518
+ The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
519
+ In amorous ditties all a summer's day,
520
+ While smooth Adonis from his native rock
521
+ Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood
522
+ Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale
523
+ Infected Sion's daughters with like heat,
524
+ Whose wanton passions in the sacred proch
525
+ Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,
526
+ His eye surveyed the dark idolatries
527
+ Of alienated Judah. Next came one
528
+ Who mourned in earnest, when the captive ark
529
+ Maimed his brute image, head and hands lopt off,
530
+ In his own temple, on the grunsel-edge,
531
+ Where he fell flat and shamed his worshippers:
532
+ Dagon his name, sea-monster,upward man
533
+ And downward fish; yet had his temple high
534
+ Reared in Azotus, dreaded through the coast
535
+ Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,
536
+ And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.
537
+ Him followed Rimmon, whose delightful seat
538
+ Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks
539
+ Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
540
+ He also against the house of God was bold:
541
+ A leper once he lost, and gained a king--
542
+ Ahaz, his sottish conqueror, whom he drew
543
+ God's altar to disparage and displace
544
+ For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
545
+ His odious offerings, and adore the gods
546
+ Whom he had vanquished. After these appeared
547
+ A crew who, under names of old renown--
548
+ Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train--
549
+ With monstrous shapes and sorceries abused
550
+ Fanatic Egypt and her priests to seek
551
+ Their wandering gods disguised in brutish forms
552
+ Rather than human. Nor did Israel scape
553
+ Th' infection, when their borrowed gold composed
554
+ The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king
555
+ Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
556
+ Likening his Maker to the grazed ox--
557
+ Jehovah, who, in one night, when he passed
558
+ From Egypt marching, equalled with one stroke
559
+ Both her first-born and all her bleating gods.
560
+ Belial came last; than whom a Spirit more lewd
561
+ Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
562
+ Vice for itself. To him no temple stood
563
+ Or altar smoked; yet who more oft than he
564
+ In temples and at altars, when the priest
565
+ Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who filled
566
+ With lust and violence the house of God?
567
+ In courts and palaces he also reigns,
568
+ And in luxurious cities, where the noise
569
+ Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,
570
+ And injury and outrage; and, when night
571
+ Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
572
+ Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
573
+ Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night
574
+ In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
575
+ Exposed a matron, to avoid worse rape.
576
+ These were the prime in order and in might:
577
+ The rest were long to tell; though far renowned
578
+ Th' Ionian gods--of Javan's issue held
579
+ Gods, yet confessed later than Heaven and Earth,
580
+ Their boasted parents;--Titan, Heaven's first-born,
581
+ With his enormous brood, and birthright seized
582
+ By younger Saturn: he from mightier Jove,
583
+ His own and Rhea's son, like measure found;
584
+ So Jove usurping reigned. These, first in Crete
585
+ And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
586
+ Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air,
587
+ Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff,
588
+ Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
589
+ Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
590
+ Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian fields,
591
+ And o'er the Celtic roamed the utmost Isles.
592
+ All these and more came flocking; but with looks
593
+ Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appeared
594
+ Obscure some glimpse of joy to have found their Chief
595
+ Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
596
+ In loss itself; which on his countenance cast
597
+ Like doubtful hue. But he, his wonted pride
598
+ Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
599
+ Semblance of worth, not substance, gently raised
600
+ Their fainting courage, and dispelled their fears.
601
+ Then straight commands that, at the warlike sound
602
+ Of trumpets loud and clarions, be upreared
603
+ His mighty standard. That proud honour claimed
604
+ Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall:
605
+ Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled
606
+ Th' imperial ensign; which, full high advanced,
607
+ Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
608
+ With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed,
609
+ Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
610
+ Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds:
611
+ At which the universal host up-sent
612
+ A shout that tore Hell's concave, and beyond
613
+ Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
614
+ All in a moment through the gloom were seen
615
+ Ten thousand banners rise into the air,
616
+ With orient colours waving: with them rose
617
+ A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
618
+ Appeared, and serried shields in thick array
619
+ Of depth immeasurable. Anon they move
620
+ In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
621
+ Of flutes and soft recorders--such as raised
622
+ To height of noblest temper heroes old
623
+ Arming to battle, and instead of rage
624
+ Deliberate valour breathed, firm, and unmoved
625
+ With dread of death to flight or foul retreat;
626
+ Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage
627
+ With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
628
+ Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain
629
+ From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
630
+ Breathing united force with fixed thought,
631
+ Moved on in silence to soft pipes that charmed
632
+ Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil. And now
633
+ Advanced in view they stand--a horrid front
634
+ Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
635
+ Of warriors old, with ordered spear and shield,
636
+ Awaiting what command their mighty Chief
637
+ Had to impose. He through the armed files
638
+ Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse
639
+ The whole battalion views--their order due,
640
+ Their visages and stature as of gods;
641
+ Their number last he sums. And now his heart
642
+ Distends with pride, and, hardening in his strength,
643
+ Glories: for never, since created Man,
644
+ Met such embodied force as, named with these,
645
+ Could merit more than that small infantry
646
+ Warred on by cranes--though all the giant brood
647
+ Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were joined
648
+ That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
649
+ Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
650
+ In fable or romance of Uther's son,
651
+ Begirt with British and Armoric knights;
652
+ And all who since, baptized or infidel,
653
+ Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,
654
+ Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
655
+ Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore
656
+ When Charlemain with all his peerage fell
657
+ By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond
658
+ Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed
659
+ Their dread Commander. He, above the rest
660
+ In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
661
+ Stood like a tower. His form had yet not lost
662
+ All her original brightness, nor appeared
663
+ Less than Archangel ruined, and th' excess
664
+ Of glory obscured: as when the sun new-risen
665
+ Looks through the horizontal misty air
666
+ Shorn of his beams, or, from behind the moon,
667
+ In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
668
+ On half the nations, and with fear of change
669
+ Perplexes monarchs. Darkened so, yet shone
670
+ Above them all th' Archangel: but his face
671
+ Deep scars of thunder had intrenched, and care
672
+ Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
673
+ Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
674
+ Waiting revenge. Cruel his eye, but cast
675
+ Signs of remorse and passion, to behold
676
+ The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
677
+ (Far other once beheld in bliss), condemned
678
+ For ever now to have their lot in pain--
679
+ Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced
680
+ Of Heaven, and from eteranl splendours flung
681
+ For his revolt--yet faithful how they stood,
682
+ Their glory withered; as, when heaven's fire
683
+ Hath scathed the forest oaks or mountain pines,
684
+ With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
685
+ Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
686
+ To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
687
+ From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
688
+ With all his peers: attention held them mute.
689
+ Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
690
+ Tears, such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last
691
+ Words interwove with sighs found out their way:--
692
+ "O myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers
693
+ Matchless, but with th' Almighth!--and that strife
694
+ Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,
695
+ As this place testifies, and this dire change,
696
+ Hateful to utter. But what power of mind,
697
+ Forseeing or presaging, from the depth
698
+ Of knowledge past or present, could have feared
699
+ How such united force of gods, how such
700
+ As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
701
+ For who can yet believe, though after loss,
702
+ That all these puissant legions, whose exile
703
+ Hath emptied Heaven, shall fail to re-ascend,
704
+ Self-raised, and repossess their native seat?
705
+ For me, be witness all the host of Heaven,
706
+ If counsels different, or danger shunned
707
+ By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns
708
+ Monarch in Heaven till then as one secure
709
+ Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
710
+ Consent or custom, and his regal state
711
+ Put forth at full, but still his strength concealed--
712
+ Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
713
+ Henceforth his might we know, and know our own,
714
+ So as not either to provoke, or dread
715
+ New war provoked: our better part remains
716
+ To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
717
+ What force effected not; that he no less
718
+ At length from us may find, who overcomes
719
+ By force hath overcome but half his foe.
720
+ Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife
721
+ There went a fame in Heaven that he ere long
722
+ Intended to create, and therein plant
723
+ A generation whom his choice regard
724
+ Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven.
725
+ Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
726
+ Our first eruption--thither, or elsewhere;
727
+ For this infernal pit shall never hold
728
+ Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor th' Abyss
729
+ Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
730
+ Full counsel must mature. Peace is despaired;
731
+ For who can think submission? War, then, war
732
+ Open or understood, must be resolved."
733
+ He spake; and, to confirm his words, outflew
734
+ Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
735
+ Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze
736
+ Far round illumined Hell. Highly they raged
737
+ Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms
738
+ Clashed on their sounding shields the din of war,
739
+ Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heaven.
740
+ There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top
741
+ Belched fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire
742
+ Shone with a glossy scurf--undoubted sign
743
+ That in his womb was hid metallic ore,
744
+ The work of sulphur. Thither, winged with speed,
745
+ A numerous brigade hastened: as when bands
746
+ Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe armed,
747
+ Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
748
+ Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on--
749
+ Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell
750
+ From Heaven; for even in Heaven his looks and thoughts
751
+ Were always downward bent, admiring more
752
+ The riches of heaven's pavement, trodden gold,
753
+ Than aught divine or holy else enjoyed
754
+ In vision beatific. By him first
755
+ Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
756
+ Ransacked the centre, and with impious hands
757
+ Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth
758
+ For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
759
+ Opened into the hill a spacious wound,
760
+ And digged out ribs of gold. Let none admire
761
+ That riches grow in Hell; that soil may best
762
+ Deserve the precious bane. And here let those
763
+ Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell
764
+ Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
765
+ Learn how their greatest monuments of fame
766
+ And strength, and art, are easily outdone
767
+ By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour
768
+ What in an age they, with incessant toil
769
+ And hands innumerable, scarce perform.
770
+ Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared,
771
+ That underneath had veins of liquid fire
772
+ Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude
773
+ With wondrous art founded the massy ore,
774
+ Severing each kind, and scummed the bullion-dross.
775
+ A third as soon had formed within the ground
776
+ A various mould, and from the boiling cells
777
+ By strange conveyance filled each hollow nook;
778
+ As in an organ, from one blast of wind,
779
+ To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes.
780
+ Anon out of the earth a fabric huge
781
+ Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
782
+ Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet--
783
+ Built like a temple, where pilasters round
784
+ Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
785
+ With golden architrave; nor did there want
786
+ Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven;
787
+ The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon
788
+ Nor great Alcairo such magnificence
789
+ Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine
790
+ Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat
791
+ Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
792
+ In wealth and luxury. Th' ascending pile
793
+ Stood fixed her stately height, and straight the doors,
794
+ Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide
795
+ Within, her ample spaces o'er the smooth
796
+ And level pavement: from the arched roof,
797
+ Pendent by subtle magic, many a row
798
+ Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed
799
+ With naptha and asphaltus, yielded light
800
+ As from a sky. The hasty multitude
801
+ Admiring entered; and the work some praise,
802
+ And some the architect. His hand was known
803
+ In Heaven by many a towered structure high,
804
+ Where sceptred Angels held their residence,
805
+ And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King
806
+ Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
807
+ Each in his Hierarchy, the Orders bright.
808
+ Nor was his name unheard or unadored
809
+ In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
810
+ Men called him Mulciber; and how he fell
811
+ From Heaven they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
812
+ Sheer o'er the crystal battlements: from morn
813
+ To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
814
+ A summer's day, and with the setting sun
815
+ Dropt from the zenith, like a falling star,
816
+ On Lemnos, th' Aegaean isle. Thus they relate,
817
+ Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
818
+ Fell long before; nor aught aviled him now
819
+ To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he scape
820
+ By all his engines, but was headlong sent,
821
+ With his industrious crew, to build in Hell.
822
+ Meanwhile the winged Heralds, by command
823
+ Of sovereign power, with awful ceremony
824
+ And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim
825
+ A solemn council forthwith to be held
826
+ At Pandemonium, the high capital
827
+ Of Satan and his peers. Their summons called
828
+ From every band and squared regiment
829
+ By place or choice the worthiest: they anon
830
+ With hundreds and with thousands trooping came
831
+ Attended. All access was thronged; the gates
832
+ And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall
833
+ (Though like a covered field, where champions bold
834
+ Wont ride in armed, and at the Soldan's chair
835
+ Defied the best of Paynim chivalry
836
+ To mortal combat, or career with lance),
837
+ Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air,
838
+ Brushed with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees
839
+ In spring-time, when the Sun with Taurus rides.
840
+ Pour forth their populous youth about the hive
841
+ In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
842
+ Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
843
+ The suburb of their straw-built citadel,
844
+ New rubbed with balm, expatiate, and confer
845
+ Their state-affairs: so thick the airy crowd
846
+ Swarmed and were straitened; till, the signal given,
847
+ Behold a wonder! They but now who seemed
848
+ In bigness to surpass Earth's giant sons,
849
+ Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
850
+ Throng numberless--like that pygmean race
851
+ Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves,
852
+ Whose midnight revels, by a forest-side
853
+ Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
854
+ Or dreams he sees, while overhead the Moon
855
+ Sits arbitress, and nearer to the Earth
856
+ Wheels her pale course: they, on their mirth and dance
857
+ Intent, with jocund music charm his ear;
858
+ At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
859
+ Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
860
+ Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large,
861
+ Though without number still, amidst the hall
862
+ Of that infernal court. But far within,
863
+ And in their own dimensions like themselves,
864
+ The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
865
+ In close recess and secret conclave sat,
866
+ A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
867
+ Frequent and full. After short silence then,
868
+ And summons read, the great consult began.
869
+
870
+
871
+
872
+ Book II
873
+
874
+
875
+ High on a throne of royal state, which far
876
+ Outshone the wealth or Ormus and of Ind,
877
+ Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
878
+ Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
879
+ Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
880
+ To that bad eminence; and, from despair
881
+ Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
882
+ Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
883
+ Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught,
884
+ His proud imaginations thus displayed:--
885
+ "Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven!--
886
+ For, since no deep within her gulf can hold
887
+ Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen,
888
+ I give not Heaven for lost: from this descent
889
+ Celestial Virtues rising will appear
890
+ More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
891
+ And trust themselves to fear no second fate!--
892
+ Me though just right, and the fixed laws of Heaven,
893
+ Did first create your leader--next, free choice
894
+ With what besides in council or in fight
895
+ Hath been achieved of merit--yet this loss,
896
+ Thus far at least recovered, hath much more
897
+ Established in a safe, unenvied throne,
898
+ Yielded with full consent. The happier state
899
+ In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw
900
+ Envy from each inferior; but who here
901
+ Will envy whom the highest place exposes
902
+ Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim
903
+ Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
904
+ Of endless pain? Where there is, then, no good
905
+ For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
906
+ From faction: for none sure will claim in Hell
907
+ Precedence; none whose portion is so small
908
+ Of present pain that with ambitious mind
909
+ Will covet more! With this advantage, then,
910
+ To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
911
+ More than can be in Heaven, we now return
912
+ To claim our just inheritance of old,
913
+ Surer to prosper than prosperity
914
+ Could have assured us; and by what best way,
915
+ Whether of open war or covert guile,
916
+ We now debate. Who can advise may speak."
917
+ He ceased; and next him Moloch, sceptred king,
918
+ Stood up--the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
919
+ That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair.
920
+ His trust was with th' Eternal to be deemed
921
+ Equal in strength, and rather than be less
922
+ Cared not to be at all; with that care lost
923
+ Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse,
924
+ He recked not, and these words thereafter spake:--
925
+ "My sentence is for open war. Of wiles,
926
+ More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
927
+ Contrive who need, or when they need; not now.
928
+ For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest--
929
+ Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait
930
+ The signal to ascend--sit lingering here,
931
+ Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place
932
+ Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame,
933
+ The prison of his ryranny who reigns
934
+ By our delay? No! let us rather choose,
935
+ Armed with Hell-flames and fury, all at once
936
+ O'er Heaven's high towers to force resistless way,
937
+ Turning our tortures into horrid arms
938
+ Against the Torturer; when, to meet the noise
939
+ Of his almighty engine, he shall hear
940
+ Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see
941
+ Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
942
+ Among his Angels, and his throne itself
943
+ Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire,
944
+ His own invented torments. But perhaps
945
+ The way seems difficult, and steep to scale
946
+ With upright wing against a higher foe!
947
+ Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
948
+ Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
949
+ That in our porper motion we ascend
950
+ Up to our native seat; descent and fall
951
+ To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
952
+ When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
953
+ Insulting, and pursued us through the Deep,
954
+ With what compulsion and laborious flight
955
+ We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easy, then;
956
+ Th' event is feared! Should we again provoke
957
+ Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
958
+ To our destruction, if there be in Hell
959
+ Fear to be worse destroyed! What can be worse
960
+ Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned
961
+ In this abhorred deep to utter woe!
962
+ Where pain of unextinguishable fire
963
+ Must exercise us without hope of end
964
+ The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
965
+ Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
966
+ Calls us to penance? More destroyed than thus,
967
+ We should be quite abolished, and expire.
968
+ What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
969
+ His utmost ire? which, to the height enraged,
970
+ Will either quite consume us, and reduce
971
+ To nothing this essential--happier far
972
+ Than miserable to have eternal being!--
973
+ Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
974
+ And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
975
+ On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
976
+ Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
977
+ And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
978
+ Though inaccessible, his fatal throne:
979
+ Which, if not victory, is yet revenge."
980
+ He ended frowning, and his look denounced
981
+ Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous
982
+ To less than gods. On th' other side up rose
983
+ Belial, in act more graceful and humane.
984
+ A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seemed
985
+ For dignity composed, and high exploit.
986
+ But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
987
+ Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear
988
+ The better reason, to perplex and dash
989
+ Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low--
990
+ To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
991
+ Timorous and slothful. Yet he pleased the ear,
992
+ And with persuasive accent thus began:--
993
+ "I should be much for open war, O Peers,
994
+ As not behind in hate, if what was urged
995
+ Main reason to persuade immediate war
996
+ Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast
997
+ Ominous conjecture on the whole success;
998
+ When he who most excels in fact of arms,
999
+ In what he counsels and in what excels
1000
+ Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
1001
+ And utter dissolution, as the scope
1002
+ Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
1003
+ First, what revenge? The towers of Heaven are filled
1004
+ With armed watch, that render all access
1005
+ Impregnable: oft on the bodering Deep
1006
+ Encamp their legions, or with obscure wing
1007
+ Scout far and wide into the realm of Night,
1008
+ Scorning surprise. Or, could we break our way
1009
+ By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise
1010
+ With blackest insurrection to confound
1011
+ Heaven's purest light, yet our great Enemy,
1012
+ All incorruptible, would on his throne
1013
+ Sit unpolluted, and th' ethereal mould,
1014
+ Incapable of stain, would soon expel
1015
+ Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
1016
+ Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope
1017
+ Is flat despair: we must exasperate
1018
+ Th' Almighty Victor to spend all his rage;
1019
+ And that must end us; that must be our cure--
1020
+ To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,
1021
+ Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
1022
+ Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
1023
+ To perish rather, swallowed up and lost
1024
+ In the wide womb of uncreated Night,
1025
+ Devoid of sense and motion? And who knows,
1026
+ Let this be good, whether our angry Foe
1027
+ Can give it, or will ever? How he can
1028
+ Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.
1029
+ Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,
1030
+ Belike through impotence or unaware,
1031
+ To give his enemies their wish, and end
1032
+ Them in his anger whom his anger saves
1033
+ To punish endless? 'Wherefore cease we, then?'
1034
+ Say they who counsel war; 'we are decreed,
1035
+ Reserved, and destined to eternal woe;
1036
+ Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
1037
+ What can we suffer worse?' Is this, then, worst--
1038
+ Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
1039
+ What when we fled amain, pursued and struck
1040
+ With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought
1041
+ The Deep to shelter us? This Hell then seemed
1042
+ A refuge from those wounds. Or when we lay
1043
+ Chained on the burning lake? That sure was worse.
1044
+ What if the breath that kindled those grim fires,
1045
+ Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage,
1046
+ And plunge us in the flames; or from above
1047
+ Should intermitted vengeance arm again
1048
+ His red right hand to plague us? What if all
1049
+ Her stores were opened, and this firmament
1050
+ Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire,
1051
+ Impendent horrors, threatening hideous fall
1052
+ One day upon our heads; while we perhaps,
1053
+ Designing or exhorting glorious war,
1054
+ Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled,
1055
+ Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey
1056
+ Or racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk
1057
+ Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains,
1058
+ There to converse with everlasting groans,
1059
+ Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved,
1060
+ Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse.
1061
+ War, therefore, open or concealed, alike
1062
+ My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile
1063
+ With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
1064
+ Views all things at one view? He from Heaven's height
1065
+ All these our motions vain sees and derides,
1066
+ Not more almighty to resist our might
1067
+ Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
1068
+ Shall we, then, live thus vile--the race of Heaven
1069
+ Thus trampled, thus expelled, to suffer here
1070
+ Chains and these torments? Better these than worse,
1071
+ By my advice; since fate inevitable
1072
+ Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,
1073
+ The Victor's will. To suffer, as to do,
1074
+ Our strength is equal; nor the law unjust
1075
+ That so ordains. This was at first resolved,
1076
+ If we were wise, against so great a foe
1077
+ Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
1078
+ I laugh when those who at the spear are bold
1079
+ And venturous, if that fail them, shrink, and fear
1080
+ What yet they know must follow--to endure
1081
+ Exile, or igominy, or bonds, or pain,
1082
+ The sentence of their Conqueror. This is now
1083
+ Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,
1084
+ Our Supreme Foe in time may much remit
1085
+ His anger, and perhaps, thus far removed,
1086
+ Not mind us not offending, satisfied
1087
+ With what is punished; whence these raging fires
1088
+ Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
1089
+ Our purer essence then will overcome
1090
+ Their noxious vapour; or, inured, not feel;
1091
+ Or, changed at length, and to the place conformed
1092
+ In temper and in nature, will receive
1093
+ Familiar the fierce heat; and, void of pain,
1094
+ This horror will grow mild, this darkness light;
1095
+ Besides what hope the never-ending flight
1096
+ Of future days may bring, what chance, what change
1097
+ Worth waiting--since our present lot appears
1098
+ For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
1099
+ If we procure not to ourselves more woe."
1100
+ Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason's garb,
1101
+ Counselled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth,
1102
+ Not peace; and after him thus Mammon spake:--
1103
+ "Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven
1104
+ We war, if war be best, or to regain
1105
+ Our own right lost. Him to unthrone we then
1106
+ May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield
1107
+ To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife.
1108
+ The former, vain to hope, argues as vain
1109
+ The latter; for what place can be for us
1110
+ Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Lord supreme
1111
+ We overpower? Suppose he should relent
1112
+ And publish grace to all, on promise made
1113
+ Of new subjection; with what eyes could we
1114
+ Stand in his presence humble, and receive
1115
+ Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne
1116
+ With warbled hyms, and to his Godhead sing
1117
+ Forced hallelujahs, while he lordly sits
1118
+ Our envied sovereign, and his altar breathes
1119
+ Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers,
1120
+ Our servile offerings? This must be our task
1121
+ In Heaven, this our delight. How wearisome
1122
+ Eternity so spent in worship paid
1123
+ To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue,
1124
+ By force impossible, by leave obtained
1125
+ Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state
1126
+ Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek
1127
+ Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
1128
+ Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
1129
+ Free and to none accountable, preferring
1130
+ Hard liberty before the easy yoke
1131
+ Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear
1132
+ Then most conspicuous when great things of small,
1133
+ Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse,
1134
+ We can create, and in what place soe'er
1135
+ Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain
1136
+ Through labour and endurance. This deep world
1137
+ Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
1138
+ Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's all-ruling Sire
1139
+ Choose to reside, his glory unobscured,
1140
+ And with the majesty of darkness round
1141
+ Covers his throne, from whence deep thunders roar.
1142
+ Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell!
1143
+ As he our darkness, cannot we his light
1144
+ Imitate when we please? This desert soil
1145
+ Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold;
1146
+ Nor want we skill or art from whence to raise
1147
+ Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more?
1148
+ Our torments also may, in length of time,
1149
+ Become our elements, these piercing fires
1150
+ As soft as now severe, our temper changed
1151
+ Into their temper; which must needs remove
1152
+ The sensible of pain. All things invite
1153
+ To peaceful counsels, and the settled state
1154
+ Of order, how in safety best we may
1155
+ Compose our present evils, with regard
1156
+ Of what we are and where, dismissing quite
1157
+ All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise."
1158
+ He scarce had finished, when such murmur filled
1159
+ Th' assembly as when hollow rocks retain
1160
+ The sound of blustering winds, which all night long
1161
+ Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
1162
+ Seafaring men o'erwatched, whose bark by chance
1163
+ Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay
1164
+ After the tempest. Such applause was heard
1165
+ As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased,
1166
+ Advising peace: for such another field
1167
+ They dreaded worse than Hell; so much the fear
1168
+ Of thunder and the sword of Michael
1169
+ Wrought still within them; and no less desire
1170
+ To found this nether empire, which might rise,
1171
+ By policy and long process of time,
1172
+ In emulation opposite to Heaven.
1173
+ Which when Beelzebub perceived--than whom,
1174
+ Satan except, none higher sat--with grave
1175
+ Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
1176
+ A pillar of state. Deep on his front engraven
1177
+ Deliberation sat, and public care;
1178
+ And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
1179
+ Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood
1180
+ With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear
1181
+ The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
1182
+ Drew audience and attention still as night
1183
+ Or summer's noontide air, while thus he spake:--
1184
+ "Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring of Heaven,
1185
+ Ethereal Virtues! or these titles now
1186
+ Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called
1187
+ Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote
1188
+ Inclines--here to continue, and build up here
1189
+ A growing empire; doubtless! while we dream,
1190
+ And know not that the King of Heaven hath doomed
1191
+ This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat
1192
+ Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt
1193
+ From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league
1194
+ Banded against his throne, but to remain
1195
+ In strictest bondage, though thus far removed,
1196
+ Under th' inevitable curb, reserved
1197
+ His captive multitude. For he, to be sure,
1198
+ In height or depth, still first and last will reign
1199
+ Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part
1200
+ By our revolt, but over Hell extend
1201
+ His empire, and with iron sceptre rule
1202
+ Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven.
1203
+ What sit we then projecting peace and war?
1204
+ War hath determined us and foiled with loss
1205
+ Irreparable; terms of peace yet none
1206
+ Vouchsafed or sought; for what peace will be given
1207
+ To us enslaved, but custody severe,
1208
+ And stripes and arbitrary punishment
1209
+ Inflicted? and what peace can we return,
1210
+ But, to our power, hostility and hate,
1211
+ Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though slow,
1212
+ Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
1213
+ May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
1214
+ In doing what we most in suffering feel?
1215
+ Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need
1216
+ With dangerous expedition to invade
1217
+ Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege,
1218
+ Or ambush from the Deep. What if we find
1219
+ Some easier enterprise? There is a place
1220
+ (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven
1221
+ Err not)--another World, the happy seat
1222
+ Of some new race, called Man, about this time
1223
+ To be created like to us, though less
1224
+ In power and excellence, but favoured more
1225
+ Of him who rules above; so was his will
1226
+ Pronounced among the Gods, and by an oath
1227
+ That shook Heaven's whole circumference confirmed.
1228
+ Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
1229
+ What creatures there inhabit, of what mould
1230
+ Or substance, how endued, and what their power
1231
+ And where their weakness: how attempted best,
1232
+ By force of subtlety. Though Heaven be shut,
1233
+ And Heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure
1234
+ In his own strength, this place may lie exposed,
1235
+ The utmost border of his kingdom, left
1236
+ To their defence who hold it: here, perhaps,
1237
+ Some advantageous act may be achieved
1238
+ By sudden onset--either with Hell-fire
1239
+ To waste his whole creation, or possess
1240
+ All as our own, and drive, as we were driven,
1241
+ The puny habitants; or, if not drive,
1242
+ Seduce them to our party, that their God
1243
+ May prove their foe, and with repenting hand
1244
+ Abolish his own works. This would surpass
1245
+ Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
1246
+ In our confusion, and our joy upraise
1247
+ In his disturbance; when his darling sons,
1248
+ Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall curse
1249
+ Their frail original, and faded bliss--
1250
+ Faded so soon! Advise if this be worth
1251
+ Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
1252
+ Hatching vain empires." Thus beelzebub
1253
+ Pleaded his devilish counsel--first devised
1254
+ By Satan, and in part proposed: for whence,
1255
+ But from the author of all ill, could spring
1256
+ So deep a malice, to confound the race
1257
+ Of mankind in one root, and Earth with Hell
1258
+ To mingle and involve, done all to spite
1259
+ The great Creator? But their spite still serves
1260
+ His glory to augment. The bold design
1261
+ Pleased highly those infernal States, and joy
1262
+ Sparkled in all their eyes: with full assent
1263
+ They vote: whereat his speech he thus renews:--
1264
+ "Well have ye judged, well ended long debate,
1265
+ Synod of Gods, and, like to what ye are,
1266
+ Great things resolved, which from the lowest deep
1267
+ Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate,
1268
+ Nearer our ancient seat--perhaps in view
1269
+ Of those bright confines, whence, with neighbouring arms,
1270
+ And opportune excursion, we may chance
1271
+ Re-enter Heaven; or else in some mild zone
1272
+ Dwell, not unvisited of Heaven's fair light,
1273
+ Secure, and at the brightening orient beam
1274
+ Purge off this gloom: the soft delicious air,
1275
+ To heal the scar of these corrosive fires,
1276
+ Shall breathe her balm. But, first, whom shall we send
1277
+ In search of this new World? whom shall we find
1278
+ Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandering feet
1279
+ The dark, unbottomed, infinite Abyss,
1280
+ And through the palpable obscure find out
1281
+ His uncouth way, or spread his airy flight,
1282
+ Upborne with indefatigable wings
1283
+ Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
1284
+ The happy Isle? What strength, what art, can then
1285
+ Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe,
1286
+ Through the strict senteries and stations thick
1287
+ Of Angels watching round? Here he had need
1288
+ All circumspection: and we now no less
1289
+ Choice in our suffrage; for on whom we send
1290
+ The weight of all, and our last hope, relies."
1291
+ This said, he sat; and expectation held
1292
+ His look suspense, awaiting who appeared
1293
+ To second, or oppose, or undertake
1294
+ The perilous attempt. But all sat mute,
1295
+ Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each
1296
+ In other's countenance read his own dismay,
1297
+ Astonished. None among the choice and prime
1298
+ Of those Heaven-warring champions could be found
1299
+ So hardy as to proffer or accept,
1300
+ Alone, the dreadful voyage; till, at last,
1301
+ Satan, whom now transcendent glory raised
1302
+ Above his fellows, with monarchal pride
1303
+ Conscious of highest worth, unmoved thus spake:--
1304
+ "O Progeny of Heaven! Empyreal Thrones!
1305
+ With reason hath deep silence and demur
1306
+ Seized us, though undismayed. Long is the way
1307
+ And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.
1308
+ Our prison strong, this huge convex of fire,
1309
+ Outrageous to devour, immures us round
1310
+ Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant,
1311
+ Barred over us, prohibit all egress.
1312
+ These passed, if any pass, the void profound
1313
+ Of unessential Night receives him next,
1314
+ Wide-gaping, and with utter loss of being
1315
+ Threatens him, plunged in that abortive gulf.
1316
+ If thence he scape, into whatever world,
1317
+ Or unknown region, what remains him less
1318
+ Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape?
1319
+ But I should ill become this throne, O Peers,
1320
+ And this imperial sovereignty, adorned
1321
+ With splendour, armed with power, if aught proposed
1322
+ And judged of public moment in the shape
1323
+ Of difficulty or danger, could deter
1324
+ Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume
1325
+ These royalties, and not refuse to reign,
1326
+ Refusing to accept as great a share
1327
+ Of hazard as of honour, due alike
1328
+ To him who reigns, and so much to him due
1329
+ Of hazard more as he above the rest
1330
+ High honoured sits? Go, therefore, mighty Powers,
1331
+ Terror of Heaven, though fallen; intend at home,
1332
+ While here shall be our home, what best may ease
1333
+ The present misery, and render Hell
1334
+ More tolerable; if there be cure or charm
1335
+ To respite, or deceive, or slack the pain
1336
+ Of this ill mansion: intermit no watch
1337
+ Against a wakeful foe, while I abroad
1338
+ Through all the coasts of dark destruction seek
1339
+ Deliverance for us all. This enterprise
1340
+ None shall partake with me." Thus saying, rose
1341
+ The Monarch, and prevented all reply;
1342
+ Prudent lest, from his resolution raised,
1343
+ Others among the chief might offer now,
1344
+ Certain to be refused, what erst they feared,
1345
+ And, so refused, might in opinion stand
1346
+ His rivals, winning cheap the high repute
1347
+ Which he through hazard huge must earn. But they
1348
+ Dreaded not more th' adventure than his voice
1349
+ Forbidding; and at once with him they rose.
1350
+ Their rising all at once was as the sound
1351
+ Of thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend
1352
+ With awful reverence prone, and as a God
1353
+ Extol him equal to the Highest in Heaven.
1354
+ Nor failed they to express how much they praised
1355
+ That for the general safety he despised
1356
+ His own: for neither do the Spirits damned
1357
+ Lose all their virtue; lest bad men should boast
1358
+ Their specious deeds on earth, which glory excites,
1359
+ Or close ambition varnished o'er with zeal.
1360
+ Thus they their doubtful consultations dark
1361
+ Ended, rejoicing in their matchless Chief:
1362
+ As, when from mountain-tops the dusky clouds
1363
+ Ascending, while the north wind sleeps, o'erspread
1364
+ Heaven's cheerful face, the louring element
1365
+ Scowls o'er the darkened landscape snow or shower,
1366
+ If chance the radiant sun, with farewell sweet,
1367
+ Extend his evening beam, the fields revive,
1368
+ The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds
1369
+ Attest their joy, that hill and valley rings.
1370
+ O shame to men! Devil with devil damned
1371
+ Firm concord holds; men only disagree
1372
+ Of creatures rational, though under hope
1373
+ Of heavenly grace, and, God proclaiming peace,
1374
+ Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife
1375
+ Among themselves, and levy cruel wars
1376
+ Wasting the earth, each other to destroy:
1377
+ As if (which might induce us to accord)
1378
+ Man had not hellish foes enow besides,
1379
+ That day and night for his destruction wait!
1380
+ The Stygian council thus dissolved; and forth
1381
+ In order came the grand infernal Peers:
1382
+ Midst came their mighty Paramount, and seemed
1383
+ Alone th' antagonist of Heaven, nor less
1384
+ Than Hell's dread Emperor, with pomp supreme,
1385
+ And god-like imitated state: him round
1386
+ A globe of fiery Seraphim enclosed
1387
+ With bright emblazonry, and horrent arms.
1388
+ Then of their session ended they bid cry
1389
+ With trumpet's regal sound the great result:
1390
+ Toward the four winds four speedy Cherubim
1391
+ Put to their mouths the sounding alchemy,
1392
+ By herald's voice explained; the hollow Abyss
1393
+ Heard far adn wide, and all the host of Hell
1394
+ With deafening shout returned them loud acclaim.
1395
+ Thence more at ease their minds, and somewhat raised
1396
+ By false presumptuous hope, the ranged Powers
1397
+ Disband; and, wandering, each his several way
1398
+ Pursues, as inclination or sad choice
1399
+ Leads him perplexed, where he may likeliest find
1400
+ Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain
1401
+ The irksome hours, till his great Chief return.
1402
+ Part on the plain, or in the air sublime,
1403
+ Upon the wing or in swift race contend,
1404
+ As at th' Olympian games or Pythian fields;
1405
+ Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal
1406
+ With rapid wheels, or fronted brigades form:
1407
+ As when, to warn proud cities, war appears
1408
+ Waged in the troubled sky, and armies rush
1409
+ To battle in the clouds; before each van
1410
+ Prick forth the airy knights, and couch their spears,
1411
+ Till thickest legions close; with feats of arms
1412
+ From either end of heaven the welkin burns.
1413
+ Others, with vast Typhoean rage, more fell,
1414
+ Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air
1415
+ In whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wild uproar:--
1416
+ As when Alcides, from Oechalia crowned
1417
+ With conquest, felt th' envenomed robe, and tore
1418
+ Through pain up by the roots Thessalian pines,
1419
+ And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw
1420
+ Into th' Euboic sea. Others, more mild,
1421
+ Retreated in a silent valley, sing
1422
+ With notes angelical to many a harp
1423
+ Their own heroic deeds, and hapless fall
1424
+ By doom of battle, and complain that Fate
1425
+ Free Virtue should enthrall to Force or Chance.
1426
+ Their song was partial; but the harmony
1427
+ (What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?)
1428
+ Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment
1429
+ The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet
1430
+ (For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense)
1431
+ Others apart sat on a hill retired,
1432
+ In thoughts more elevate, and reasoned high
1433
+ Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will, and Fate--
1434
+ Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute,
1435
+ And found no end, in wandering mazes lost.
1436
+ Of good and evil much they argued then,
1437
+ Of happiness and final misery,
1438
+ Passion and apathy, and glory and shame:
1439
+ Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy!--
1440
+ Yet, with a pleasing sorcery, could charm
1441
+ Pain for a while or anguish, and excite
1442
+ Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdured breast
1443
+ With stubborn patience as with triple steel.
1444
+ Another part, in squadrons and gross bands,
1445
+ On bold adventure to discover wide
1446
+ That dismal world, if any clime perhaps
1447
+ Might yield them easier habitation, bend
1448
+ Four ways their flying march, along the banks
1449
+ Of four infernal rivers, that disgorge
1450
+ Into the burning lake their baleful streams--
1451
+ Abhorred Styx, the flood of deadly hate;
1452
+ Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;
1453
+ Cocytus, named of lamentation loud
1454
+ Heard on the rueful stream; fierce Phlegeton,
1455
+ Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.
1456
+ Far off from these, a slow and silent stream,
1457
+ Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls
1458
+ Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks
1459
+ Forthwith his former state and being forgets--
1460
+ Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.
1461
+ Beyond this flood a frozen continent
1462
+ Lies dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms
1463
+ Of whirlwind and dire hail, which on firm land
1464
+ Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems
1465
+ Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice,
1466
+ A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog
1467
+ Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old,
1468
+ Where armies whole have sunk: the parching air
1469
+ Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of fire.
1470
+ Thither, by harpy-footed Furies haled,
1471
+ At certain revolutions all the damned
1472
+ Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter change
1473
+ Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce,
1474
+ From beds of raging fire to starve in ice
1475
+ Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine
1476
+ Immovable, infixed, and frozen round
1477
+ Periods of time,--thence hurried back to fire.
1478
+ They ferry over this Lethean sound
1479
+ Both to and fro, their sorrow to augment,
1480
+ And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach
1481
+ The tempting stream, with one small drop to lose
1482
+ In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,
1483
+ All in one moment, and so near the brink;
1484
+ But Fate withstands, and, to oppose th' attempt,
1485
+ Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards
1486
+ The ford, and of itself the water flies
1487
+ All taste of living wight, as once it fled
1488
+ The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on
1489
+ In confused march forlorn, th' adventurous bands,
1490
+ With shuddering horror pale, and eyes aghast,
1491
+ Viewed first their lamentable lot, and found
1492
+ No rest. Through many a dark and dreary vale
1493
+ They passed, and many a region dolorous,
1494
+ O'er many a frozen, many a fiery alp,
1495
+ Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death--
1496
+ A universe of death, which God by curse
1497
+ Created evil, for evil only good;
1498
+ Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds,
1499
+ Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
1500
+ Obominable, inutterable, and worse
1501
+ Than fables yet have feigned or fear conceived,
1502
+ Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.
1503
+ Meanwhile the Adversary of God and Man,
1504
+ Satan, with thoughts inflamed of highest design,
1505
+ Puts on swift wings, and toward the gates of Hell
1506
+ Explores his solitary flight: sometimes
1507
+ He scours the right hand coast, sometimes the left;
1508
+ Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars
1509
+ Up to the fiery concave towering high.
1510
+ As when far off at sea a fleet descried
1511
+ Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds
1512
+ Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles
1513
+ Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants bring
1514
+ Their spicy drugs; they on the trading flood,
1515
+ Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape,
1516
+ Ply stemming nightly toward the pole: so seemed
1517
+ Far off the flying Fiend. At last appear
1518
+ Hell-bounds, high reaching to the horrid roof,
1519
+ And thrice threefold the gates; three folds were brass,
1520
+ Three iron, three of adamantine rock,
1521
+ Impenetrable, impaled with circling fire,
1522
+ Yet unconsumed. Before the gates there sat
1523
+ On either side a formidable Shape.
1524
+ The one seemed woman to the waist, and fair,
1525
+ But ended foul in many a scaly fold,
1526
+ Voluminous and vast--a serpent armed
1527
+ With mortal sting. About her middle round
1528
+ A cry of Hell-hounds never-ceasing barked
1529
+ With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung
1530
+ A hideous peal; yet, when they list, would creep,
1531
+ If aught disturbed their noise, into her womb,
1532
+ And kennel there; yet there still barked and howled
1533
+ Within unseen. Far less abhorred than these
1534
+ Vexed Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts
1535
+ Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore;
1536
+ Nor uglier follow the night-hag, when, called
1537
+ In secret, riding through the air she comes,
1538
+ Lured with the smell of infant blood, to dance
1539
+ With Lapland witches, while the labouring moon
1540
+ Eclipses at their charms. The other Shape--
1541
+ If shape it might be called that shape had none
1542
+ Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb;
1543
+ Or substance might be called that shadow seemed,
1544
+ For each seemed either--black it stood as Night,
1545
+ Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as Hell,
1546
+ And shook a dreadful dart: what seemed his head
1547
+ The likeness of a kingly crown had on.
1548
+ Satan was now at hand, and from his seat
1549
+ The monster moving onward came as fast
1550
+ With horrid strides; Hell trembled as he strode.
1551
+ Th' undaunted Fiend what this might be admired--
1552
+ Admired, not feared (God and his Son except,
1553
+ Created thing naught valued he nor shunned),
1554
+ And with disdainful look thus first began:--
1555
+ "Whence and what art thou, execrable Shape,
1556
+ That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance
1557
+ Thy miscreated front athwart my way
1558
+ To yonder gates? Through them I mean to pass,
1559
+ That be assured, without leave asked of thee.
1560
+ Retire; or taste thy folly, and learn by proof,
1561
+ Hell-born, not to contend with Spirits of Heaven."
1562
+ To whom the Goblin, full of wrath, replied:--
1563
+ "Art thou that traitor Angel? art thou he,
1564
+ Who first broke peace in Heaven and faith, till then
1565
+ Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms
1566
+ Drew after him the third part of Heaven's sons,
1567
+ Conjured against the Highest--for which both thou
1568
+ And they, outcast from God, are here condemned
1569
+ To waste eternal days in woe and pain?
1570
+ And reckon'st thou thyself with Spirits of Heaven
1571
+ Hell-doomed, and breath'st defiance here and scorn,
1572
+ Where I reign king, and, to enrage thee more,
1573
+ Thy king and lord? Back to thy punishment,
1574
+ False fugitive; and to thy speed add wings,
1575
+ Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue
1576
+ Thy lingering, or with one stroke of this dart
1577
+ Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before."
1578
+ So spake the grisly Terror, and in shape,
1579
+ So speaking and so threatening, grew tenfold,
1580
+ More dreadful and deform. On th' other side,
1581
+ Incensed with indignation, Satan stood
1582
+ Unterrified, and like a comet burned,
1583
+ That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge
1584
+ In th' arctic sky, and from his horrid hair
1585
+ Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head
1586
+ Levelled his deadly aim; their fatal hands
1587
+ No second stroke intend; and such a frown
1588
+ Each cast at th' other as when two black clouds,
1589
+ With heaven's artillery fraught, came rattling on
1590
+ Over the Caspian,--then stand front to front
1591
+ Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow
1592
+ To join their dark encounter in mid-air.
1593
+ So frowned the mighty combatants that Hell
1594
+ Grew darker at their frown; so matched they stood;
1595
+ For never but once more was wither like
1596
+ To meet so great a foe. And now great deeds
1597
+ Had been achieved, whereof all Hell had rung,
1598
+ Had not the snaky Sorceress, that sat
1599
+ Fast by Hell-gate and kept the fatal key,
1600
+ Risen, and with hideous outcry rushed between.
1601
+ "O father, what intends thy hand," she cried,
1602
+ "Against thy only son? What fury, O son,
1603
+ Possesses thee to bend that mortal dart
1604
+ Against thy father's head? And know'st for whom?
1605
+ For him who sits above, and laughs the while
1606
+ At thee, ordained his drudge to execute
1607
+ Whate'er his wrath, which he calls justice, bids--
1608
+ His wrath, which one day will destroy ye both!"
1609
+ She spake, and at her words the hellish Pest
1610
+ Forbore: then these to her Satan returned:--
1611
+ "So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange
1612
+ Thou interposest, that my sudden hand,
1613
+ Prevented, spares to tell thee yet by deeds
1614
+ What it intends, till first I know of thee
1615
+ What thing thou art, thus double-formed, and why,
1616
+ In this infernal vale first met, thou call'st
1617
+ Me father, and that phantasm call'st my son.
1618
+ I know thee not, nor ever saw till now
1619
+ Sight more detestable than him and thee."
1620
+ T' whom thus the Portress of Hell-gate replied:--
1621
+ "Hast thou forgot me, then; and do I seem
1622
+ Now in thine eye so foul?--once deemed so fair
1623
+ In Heaven, when at th' assembly, and in sight
1624
+ Of all the Seraphim with thee combined
1625
+ In bold conspiracy against Heaven's King,
1626
+ All on a sudden miserable pain
1627
+ Surprised thee, dim thine eyes and dizzy swum
1628
+ In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast
1629
+ Threw forth, till on the left side opening wide,
1630
+ Likest to thee in shape and countenance bright,
1631
+ Then shining heavenly fair, a goddess armed,
1632
+ Out of thy head I sprung. Amazement seized
1633
+ All th' host of Heaven; back they recoiled afraid
1634
+ At first, and called me Sin, and for a sign
1635
+ Portentous held me; but, familiar grown,
1636
+ I pleased, and with attractive graces won
1637
+ The most averse--thee chiefly, who, full oft
1638
+ Thyself in me thy perfect image viewing,
1639
+ Becam'st enamoured; and such joy thou took'st
1640
+ With me in secret that my womb conceived
1641
+ A growing burden. Meanwhile war arose,
1642
+ And fields were fought in Heaven: wherein remained
1643
+ (For what could else?) to our Almighty Foe
1644
+ Clear victory; to our part loss and rout
1645
+ Through all the Empyrean. Down they fell,
1646
+ Driven headlong from the pitch of Heaven, down
1647
+ Into this Deep; and in the general fall
1648
+ I also: at which time this powerful key
1649
+ Into my hands was given, with charge to keep
1650
+ These gates for ever shut, which none can pass
1651
+ Without my opening. Pensive here I sat
1652
+ Alone; but long I sat not, till my womb,
1653
+ Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown,
1654
+ Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes.
1655
+ At last this odious offspring whom thou seest,
1656
+ Thine own begotten, breaking violent way,
1657
+ Tore through my entrails, that, with fear and pain
1658
+ Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
1659
+ Transformed: but he my inbred enemy
1660
+ Forth issued, brandishing his fatal dart,
1661
+ Made to destroy. I fled, and cried out Death!
1662
+ Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sighed
1663
+ From all her caves, and back resounded Death!
1664
+ I fled; but he pursued (though more, it seems,
1665
+ Inflamed with lust than rage), and, swifter far,
1666
+ Me overtook, his mother, all dismayed,
1667
+ And, in embraces forcible and foul
1668
+ Engendering with me, of that rape begot
1669
+ These yelling monsters, that with ceaseless cry
1670
+ Surround me, as thou saw'st--hourly conceived
1671
+ And hourly born, with sorrow infinite
1672
+ To me; for, when they list, into the womb
1673
+ That bred them they return, and howl, and gnaw
1674
+ My bowels, their repast; then, bursting forth
1675
+ Afresh, with conscious terrors vex me round,
1676
+ That rest or intermission none I find.
1677
+ Before mine eyes in opposition sits
1678
+ Grim Death, my son and foe, who set them on,
1679
+ And me, his parent, would full soon devour
1680
+ For want of other prey, but that he knows
1681
+ His end with mine involved, and knows that I
1682
+ Should prove a bitter morsel, and his bane,
1683
+ Whenever that shall be: so Fate pronounced.
1684
+ But thou, O father, I forewarn thee, shun
1685
+ His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
1686
+ To be invulnerable in those bright arms,
1687
+ Through tempered heavenly; for that mortal dint,
1688
+ Save he who reigns above, none can resist."
1689
+ She finished; and the subtle Fiend his lore
1690
+ Soon learned, now milder, and thus answered smooth:--
1691
+ "Dear daughter--since thou claim'st me for thy sire,
1692
+ And my fair son here show'st me, the dear pledge
1693
+ Of dalliance had with thee in Heaven, and joys
1694
+ Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change
1695
+ Befallen us unforeseen, unthought-of--know,
1696
+ I come no enemy, but to set free
1697
+ From out this dark and dismal house of pain
1698
+ Both him and thee, and all the heavenly host
1699
+ Of Spirits that, in our just pretences armed,
1700
+ Fell with us from on high. From them I go
1701
+ This uncouth errand sole, and one for all
1702
+ Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread
1703
+ Th' unfounded Deep, and through the void immense
1704
+ To search, with wandering quest, a place foretold
1705
+ Should be--and, by concurring signs, ere now
1706
+ Created vast and round--a place of bliss
1707
+ In the purlieus of Heaven; and therein placed
1708
+ A race of upstart creatures, to supply
1709
+ Perhaps our vacant room, though more removed,
1710
+ Lest Heaven, surcharged with potent multitude,
1711
+ Might hap to move new broils. Be this, or aught
1712
+ Than this more secret, now designed, I haste
1713
+ To know; and, this once known, shall soon return,
1714
+ And bring ye to the place where thou and Death
1715
+ Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen
1716
+ Wing silently the buxom air, embalmed
1717
+ With odours. There ye shall be fed and filled
1718
+ Immeasurably; all things shall be your prey."
1719
+ He ceased; for both seemed highly pleased, and Death
1720
+ Grinned horrible a ghastly smile, to hear
1721
+ His famine should be filled, and blessed his maw
1722
+ Destined to that good hour. No less rejoiced
1723
+ His mother bad, and thus bespake her sire:--
1724
+ "The key of this infernal Pit, by due
1725
+ And by command of Heaven's all-powerful King,
1726
+ I keep, by him forbidden to unlock
1727
+ These adamantine gates; against all force
1728
+ Death ready stands to interpose his dart,
1729
+ Fearless to be o'ermatched by living might.
1730
+ But what owe I to his commands above,
1731
+ Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
1732
+ Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,
1733
+ To sit in hateful office here confined,
1734
+ Inhabitant of Heaven and heavenly born--
1735
+ Here in perpetual agony and pain,
1736
+ With terrors and with clamours compassed round
1737
+ Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed?
1738
+ Thou art my father, thou my author, thou
1739
+ My being gav'st me; whom should I obey
1740
+ But thee? whom follow? Thou wilt bring me soon
1741
+ To that new world of light and bliss, among
1742
+ The gods who live at ease, where I shall reign
1743
+ At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems
1744
+ Thy daughter and thy darling, without end."
1745
+ Thus saying, from her side the fatal key,
1746
+ Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;
1747
+ And, towards the gate rolling her bestial train,
1748
+ Forthwith the huge portcullis high up-drew,
1749
+ Which, but herself, not all the Stygian Powers
1750
+ Could once have moved; then in the key-hole turns
1751
+ Th' intricate wards, and every bolt and bar
1752
+ Of massy iron or solid rock with ease
1753
+ Unfastens. On a sudden open fly,
1754
+ With impetuous recoil and jarring sound,
1755
+ Th' infernal doors, and on their hinges grate
1756
+ Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
1757
+ Of Erebus. She opened; but to shut
1758
+ Excelled her power: the gates wide open stood,
1759
+ That with extended wings a bannered host,
1760
+ Under spread ensigns marching, mibht pass through
1761
+ With horse and chariots ranked in loose array;
1762
+ So wide they stood, and like a furnace-mouth
1763
+ Cast forth redounding smoke and ruddy flame.
1764
+ Before their eyes in sudden view appear
1765
+ The secrets of the hoary Deep--a dark
1766
+ Illimitable ocean, without bound,
1767
+ Without dimension; where length, breadth, and height,
1768
+ And time, and place, are lost; where eldest Night
1769
+ And Chaos, ancestors of Nature, hold
1770
+ Eternal anarchy, amidst the noise
1771
+ Of endless wars, and by confusion stand.
1772
+ For Hot, Cold, Moist, and Dry, four champions fierce,
1773
+ Strive here for mastery, and to battle bring
1774
+ Their embryon atoms: they around the flag
1775
+ Of each his faction, in their several clans,
1776
+ Light-armed or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift, or slow,
1777
+ Swarm populous, unnumbered as the sands
1778
+ Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,
1779
+ Levied to side with warring winds, and poise
1780
+ Their lighter wings. To whom these most adhere
1781
+ He rules a moment: Chaos umpire sits,
1782
+ And by decision more embroils the fray
1783
+ By which he reigns: next him, high arbiter,
1784
+ Chance governs all. Into this wild Abyss,
1785
+ The womb of Nature, and perhaps her grave,
1786
+ Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
1787
+ But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
1788
+ Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
1789
+ Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
1790
+ His dark materials to create more worlds--
1791
+ Into this wild Abyss the wary Fiend
1792
+ Stood on the brink of Hell and looked a while,
1793
+ Pondering his voyage; for no narrow frith
1794
+ He had to cross. Nor was his ear less pealed
1795
+ With noises loud and ruinous (to compare
1796
+ Great things with small) than when Bellona storms
1797
+ With all her battering engines, bent to rase
1798
+ Some capital city; or less than if this frame
1799
+ Of Heaven were falling, and these elements
1800
+ In mutiny had from her axle torn
1801
+ The steadfast Earth. At last his sail-broad vans
1802
+ He spread for flight, and, in the surging smoke
1803
+ Uplifted, spurns the ground; thence many a league,
1804
+ As in a cloudy chair, ascending rides
1805
+ Audacious; but, that seat soon failing, meets
1806
+ A vast vacuity. All unawares,
1807
+ Fluttering his pennons vain, plumb-down he drops
1808
+ Ten thousand fathom deep, and to this hour
1809
+ Down had been falling, had not, by ill chance,
1810
+ The strong rebuff of some tumultuous cloud,
1811
+ Instinct with fire and nitre, hurried him
1812
+ As many miles aloft. That fury stayed--
1813
+ Quenched in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea,
1814
+ Nor good dry land--nigh foundered, on he fares,
1815
+ Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
1816
+ Half flying; behoves him now both oar and sail.
1817
+ As when a gryphon through the wilderness
1818
+ With winged course, o'er hill or moory dale,
1819
+ Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stealth
1820
+ Had from his wakeful custody purloined
1821
+ The guarded gold; so eagerly the Fiend
1822
+ O'er bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare,
1823
+ With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way,
1824
+ And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies.
1825
+ At length a universal hubbub wild
1826
+ Of stunning sounds, and voices all confused,
1827
+ Borne through the hollow dark, assaults his ear
1828
+ With loudest vehemence. Thither he plies
1829
+ Undaunted, to meet there whatever Power
1830
+ Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss
1831
+ Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask
1832
+ Which way the nearest coast of darkness lies
1833
+ Bordering on light; when straight behold the throne
1834
+ Of Chaos, and his dark pavilion spread
1835
+ Wide on the wasteful Deep! With him enthroned
1836
+ Sat sable-vested Night, eldest of things,
1837
+ The consort of his reign; and by them stood
1838
+ Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name
1839
+ Of Demogorgon; Rumour next, and Chance,
1840
+ And Tumult, and Confusion, all embroiled,
1841
+ And Discord with a thousand various mouths.
1842
+ T' whom Satan, turning boldly, thus:--"Ye Powers
1843
+ And Spirtis of this nethermost Abyss,
1844
+ Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy
1845
+ With purpose to explore or to disturb
1846
+ The secrets of your realm; but, by constraint
1847
+ Wandering this darksome desert, as my way
1848
+ Lies through your spacious empire up to light,
1849
+ Alone and without guide, half lost, I seek,
1850
+ What readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds
1851
+ Confine with Heaven; or, if some other place,
1852
+ From your dominion won, th' Ethereal King
1853
+ Possesses lately, thither to arrive
1854
+ I travel this profound. Direct my course:
1855
+ Directed, no mean recompense it brings
1856
+ To your behoof, if I that region lost,
1857
+ All usurpation thence expelled, reduce
1858
+ To her original darkness and your sway
1859
+ (Which is my present journey), and once more
1860
+ Erect the standard there of ancient Night.
1861
+ Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge!"
1862
+ Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old,
1863
+ With faltering speech and visage incomposed,
1864
+ Answered: "I know thee, stranger, who thou art-- ***
1865
+ That mighty leading Angel, who of late
1866
+ Made head against Heaven's King, though overthrown.
1867
+ I saw and heard; for such a numerous host
1868
+ Fled not in silence through the frighted Deep,
1869
+ With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
1870
+ Confusion worse confounded; and Heaven-gates
1871
+ Poured out by millions her victorious bands,
1872
+ Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here
1873
+ Keep residence; if all I can will serve
1874
+ That little which is left so to defend,
1875
+ Encroached on still through our intestine broils
1876
+ Weakening the sceptre of old Night: first, Hell,
1877
+ Your dungeon, stretching far and wide beneath;
1878
+ Now lately Heaven and Earth, another world
1879
+ Hung o'er my realm, linked in a golden chain
1880
+ To that side Heaven from whence your legions fell!
1881
+ If that way be your walk, you have not far;
1882
+ So much the nearer danger. Go, and speed;
1883
+ Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are my gain."
1884
+ He ceased; and Satan stayed not to reply,
1885
+ But, glad that now his sea should find a shore,
1886
+ With fresh alacrity and force renewed
1887
+ Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire,
1888
+ Into the wild expanse, and through the shock
1889
+ Of fighting elements, on all sides round
1890
+ Environed, wins his way; harder beset
1891
+ And more endangered than when Argo passed
1892
+ Through Bosporus betwixt the justling rocks,
1893
+ Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunned
1894
+ Charybdis, and by th' other whirlpool steered.
1895
+ So he with difficulty and labour hard
1896
+ Moved on, with difficulty and labour he;
1897
+ But, he once passed, soon after, when Man fell,
1898
+ Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain,
1899
+ Following his track (such was the will of Heaven)
1900
+ Paved after him a broad and beaten way
1901
+ Over the dark Abyss, whose boiling gulf
1902
+ Tamely endured a bridge of wondrous length,
1903
+ From Hell continued, reaching th' utmost orb
1904
+ Of this frail World; by which the Spirits perverse
1905
+ With easy intercourse pass to and fro
1906
+ To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
1907
+ God and good Angels guard by special grace.
1908
+ But now at last the sacred influence
1909
+ Of light appears, and from the walls of Heaven
1910
+ Shoots far into the bosom of dim Night
1911
+ A glimmering dawn. Here Nature first begins
1912
+ Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire,
1913
+ As from her outmost works, a broken foe,
1914
+ With tumult less and with less hostile din;
1915
+ That Satan with less toil, and now with ease,
1916
+ Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light,
1917
+ And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds
1918
+ Gladly the port, though shrouds and tackle torn;
1919
+ Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
1920
+ Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold
1921
+ Far off th' empyreal Heaven, extended wide
1922
+ In circuit, undetermined square or round,
1923
+ With opal towers and battlements adorned
1924
+ Of living sapphire, once his native seat;
1925
+ And, fast by, hanging in a golden chain,
1926
+ This pendent World, in bigness as a star
1927
+ Of smallest magnitude close by the moon.
1928
+ Thither, full fraught with mischievous revenge,
1929
+ Accursed, and in a cursed hour, he hies.
1930
+
1931
+
1932
+
1933
+ Book III
1934
+
1935
+
1936
+ Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven firstborn,
1937
+ Or of the Eternal coeternal beam
1938
+ May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
1939
+ And never but in unapproached light
1940
+ Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee
1941
+ Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
1942
+ Or hear"st thou rather pure ethereal stream,
1943
+ Whose fountain who shall tell? before the sun,
1944
+ Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice
1945
+ Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest ***
1946
+ The rising world of waters dark and deep,
1947
+ Won from the void and formless infinite.
1948
+ Thee I re-visit now with bolder wing,
1949
+ Escap'd the Stygian pool, though long detain'd
1950
+ In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
1951
+ Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
1952
+ With other notes than to the Orphean lyre
1953
+ I sung of Chaos and eternal Night;
1954
+ Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
1955
+ The dark descent, and up to re-ascend,
1956
+ Though hard and rare: Thee I revisit safe,
1957
+ And feel thy sovran vital lamp; but thou
1958
+ Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain
1959
+ To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
1960
+ So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs,
1961
+ Or dim suffusion veil'd. Yet not the more
1962
+ Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt,
1963
+ Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
1964
+ Smit with the love of sacred song; but chief
1965
+ Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
1966
+ That wash thy hallow'd feet, and warbling flow,
1967
+ Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
1968
+ So were I equall'd with them in renown,
1969
+ Thy sovran command, that Man should find grace;
1970
+ Blind Thamyris, and blind Maeonides,
1971
+ And Tiresias, and Phineus, prophets old:
1972
+ Then feed on thoughts, that voluntary move
1973
+ Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
1974
+ Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
1975
+ Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year
1976
+ Seasons return; but not to me returns
1977
+ Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
1978
+ Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
1979
+ Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
1980
+ But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
1981
+ Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
1982
+ Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair
1983
+ Presented with a universal blank
1984
+ Of nature's works to me expung'd and ras'd,
1985
+ And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.
1986
+ So much the rather thou, celestial Light,
1987
+ Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
1988
+ Irradiate; there plant eyes, all mist from thence
1989
+ Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
1990
+ Of things invisible to mortal sight.
1991
+ Now had the Almighty Father from above,
1992
+ From the pure empyrean where he sits
1993
+ High thron'd above all highth, bent down his eye
1994
+ His own works and their works at once to view:
1995
+ About him all the Sanctities of Heaven
1996
+ Stood thick as stars, and from his sight receiv'd
1997
+ Beatitude past utterance; on his right
1998
+ The radiant image of his glory sat,
1999
+ His only son; on earth he first beheld
2000
+ Our two first parents, yet the only two
2001
+ Of mankind in the happy garden plac'd
2002
+ Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,
2003
+ Uninterrupted joy, unrivall'd love,
2004
+ In blissful solitude; he then survey'd
2005
+ Hell and the gulf between, and Satan there
2006
+ Coasting the wall of Heaven on this side Night
2007
+ In the dun air sublime, and ready now
2008
+ To stoop with wearied wings, and willing feet,
2009
+ On the bare outside of this world, that seem'd
2010
+ Firm land imbosom'd, without firmament,
2011
+ Uncertain which, in ocean or in air.
2012
+ Him God beholding from his prospect high,
2013
+ Wherein past, present, future, he beholds,
2014
+ Thus to his only Son foreseeing spake.
2015
+ Only begotten Son, seest thou what rage
2016
+ Transports our Adversary? whom no bounds
2017
+ Prescrib'd no bars of Hell, nor all the chains
2018
+ Heap'd on him there, nor yet the main abyss
2019
+ Wide interrupt, can hold; so bent he seems
2020
+ On desperate revenge, that shall redound
2021
+ Upon his own rebellious head. And now,
2022
+ Through all restraint broke loose, he wings his way
2023
+ Not far off Heaven, in the precincts of light,
2024
+ Directly towards the new created world,
2025
+ And man there plac'd, with purpose to assay
2026
+ If him by force he can destroy, or, worse,
2027
+ By some false guile pervert; and shall pervert;
2028
+ For man will hearken to his glozing lies,
2029
+ And easily transgress the sole command,
2030
+ Sole pledge of his obedience: So will fall
2031
+ He and his faithless progeny: Whose fault?
2032
+ Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of me
2033
+ All he could have; I made him just and right,
2034
+ Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
2035
+ Such I created all the ethereal Powers
2036
+ And Spirits, both them who stood, and them who fail'd;
2037
+ Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.
2038
+ Not free, what proof could they have given sincere
2039
+ Of true allegiance, constant faith or love,
2040
+ Where only what they needs must do appear'd,
2041
+ Not what they would? what praise could they receive?
2042
+ What pleasure I from such obedience paid,
2043
+ When will and reason (reason also is choice)
2044
+ Useless and vain, of freedom both despoil'd,
2045
+ Made passive both, had serv'd necessity,
2046
+ Not me? they therefore, as to right belong$ 'd,
2047
+ So were created, nor can justly accuse
2048
+ Their Maker, or their making, or their fate,
2049
+ As if predestination over-rul'd
2050
+ Their will dispos'd by absolute decree
2051
+ Or high foreknowledge they themselves decreed
2052
+ Their own revolt, not I; if I foreknew,
2053
+ Foreknowledge had no influence on their fault,
2054
+ Which had no less proved certain unforeknown.
2055
+ So without least impulse or shadow of fate,
2056
+ Or aught by me immutably foreseen,
2057
+ They trespass, authors to themselves in all
2058
+ Both what they judge, and what they choose; for so
2059
+ I form'd them free: and free they must remain,
2060
+ Till they enthrall themselves; I else must change
2061
+ Their nature, and revoke the high decree
2062
+ Unchangeable, eternal, which ordain'd
2063
+ $THeir freedom: they themselves ordain'd their fall.
2064
+ The first sort by their own suggestion fell,
2065
+ Self-tempted, self-deprav'd: Man falls, deceiv'd
2066
+ By the other first: Man therefore shall find grace,
2067
+ The other none: In mercy and justice both,
2068
+ Through Heaven and Earth, so shall my glory excel;
2069
+ But Mercy, first and last, shall brightest shine.
2070
+ Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance fill'd
2071
+ All Heaven, and in the blessed Spirits elect
2072
+ Sense of new joy ineffable diffus'd.
2073
+ Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
2074
+ Most glorious; in him all his Father shone
2075
+ Substantially express'd; and in his face
2076
+ Divine compassion visibly appear'd,
2077
+ Love without end, and without measure grace,
2078
+ Which uttering, thus he to his Father spake.
2079
+ O Father, gracious was that word which clos'd
2080
+ Thy sovran command, that Man should find grace;
2081
+ , that Man should find grace;
2082
+ For which both Heaven and earth shall high extol
2083
+ Thy praises, with the innumerable sound
2084
+ Of hymns and sacred songs, wherewith thy throne
2085
+ Encompass'd shall resound thee ever blest.
2086
+ For should Man finally be lost, should Man,
2087
+ Thy creature late so lov'd, thy youngest son,
2088
+ Fall circumvented thus by fraud, though join'd
2089
+ With his own folly? that be from thee far,
2090
+ That far be from thee, Father, who art judge
2091
+ Of all things made, and judgest only right.
2092
+ Or shall the Adversary thus obtain
2093
+ His end, and frustrate thine? shall he fulfill
2094
+ His malice, and thy goodness bring to nought,
2095
+ Or proud return, though to his heavier doom,
2096
+ Yet with revenge accomplish'd, and to Hell
2097
+ Draw after him the whole race of mankind,
2098
+ By him corrupted? or wilt thou thyself
2099
+ Abolish thy creation, and unmake
2100
+ For him, what for thy glory thou hast made?
2101
+ So should thy goodness and thy greatness both
2102
+ Be question'd and blasphem'd without defence.
2103
+ To whom the great Creator thus replied.
2104
+ O son, in whom my soul hath chief delight,
2105
+ Son of my bosom, Son who art alone.
2106
+ My word, my wisdom, and effectual might,
2107
+ All hast thou spoken as my thoughts are, all
2108
+ As my eternal purpose hath decreed;
2109
+ Man shall not quite be lost, but sav'd who will;
2110
+ Yet not of will in him, but grace in me
2111
+ Freely vouchsaf'd; once more I will renew
2112
+ His lapsed powers, though forfeit; and enthrall'd
2113
+ By sin to foul exorbitant desires;
2114
+ Upheld by me, yet once more he shall stand
2115
+ On even ground against his mortal foe;
2116
+ By me upheld, that he may know how frail
2117
+ His fallen condition is, and to me owe
2118
+ All his deliverance, and to none but me.
2119
+ Some I have chosen of peculiar grace,
2120
+ Elect above the rest; so is my will:
2121
+ The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warn'd
2122
+ Their sinful state, and to appease betimes
2123
+ The incensed Deity, while offer'd grace
2124
+ Invites; for I will clear their senses dark,
2125
+ What may suffice, and soften stony hearts
2126
+ To pray, repent, and bring obedience due.
2127
+ To prayer, repentance, and obedience due,
2128
+ Though but endeavour'd with sincere intent,
2129
+ Mine ear shall not be slow, mine eye not shut.
2130
+ And I will place within them as a guide,
2131
+ My umpire Conscience; whom if they will hear,
2132
+ Light after light, well us'd, they shall attain,
2133
+ And to the end, persisting, safe arrive.
2134
+ This my long sufferance, and my day of grace,
2135
+ They who neglect and scorn, shall never taste;
2136
+ But hard be harden'd, blind be blinded more,
2137
+ That they may stumble on, and deeper fall;
2138
+ And none but such from mercy I exclude.
2139
+ But yet all is not done; Man disobeying,
2140
+ Disloyal, breaks his fealty, and sins
2141
+ Against the high supremacy of Heaven,
2142
+ Affecting God-head, and, so losing all,
2143
+ To expiate his treason hath nought left,
2144
+ But to destruction sacred and devote,
2145
+ He, with his whole posterity, must die,
2146
+ Die he or justice must; unless for him
2147
+ Some other able, and as willing, pay
2148
+ The rigid satisfaction, death for death.
2149
+ Say, heavenly Powers, where shall we find such love?
2150
+ Which of you will be mortal, to redeem
2151
+ Man's mortal crime, and just the unjust to save?
2152
+ Dwells in all Heaven charity so dear?
2153
+ And silence was in Heaven: $ on Man's behalf
2154
+ He ask'd, but all the heavenly quire stood mute,
2155
+ Patron or intercessour none appear'd,
2156
+ Much less that durst upon his own head draw
2157
+ The deadly forfeiture, and ransom set.
2158
+ And now without redemption all mankind
2159
+ Must have been lost, adjudg'd to Death and Hell
2160
+ By doom severe, had not the Son of God,
2161
+ In whom the fulness dwells of love divine,
2162
+ His dearest mediation thus renew'd.
2163
+ Father, thy word is past, Man shall find grace;
2164
+ And shall grace not find means, that finds her way,
2165
+ The speediest of thy winged messengers,
2166
+ To visit all thy creatures, and to all
2167
+ Comes unprevented, unimplor'd, unsought?
2168
+ Happy for Man, so coming; he her aid
2169
+ Can never seek, once dead in sins, and lost;
2170
+ Atonement for himself, or offering meet,
2171
+ Indebted and undone, hath none to bring;
2172
+ Behold me then: me for him, life for life
2173
+ I offer: on me let thine anger fall;
2174
+ Account me Man; I for his sake will leave
2175
+ Thy bosom, and this glory next to thee
2176
+ Freely put off, and for him lastly die
2177
+ Well pleased; on me let Death wreak all his rage.
2178
+ Under his gloomy power I shall not long
2179
+ Lie vanquished. Thou hast given me to possess
2180
+ Life in myself for ever; by thee I live;
2181
+ Though now to Death I yield, and am his due,
2182
+ All that of me can die, yet, that debt paid,
2183
+ $ thou wilt not leave me in the loathsome grave
2184
+ His prey, nor suffer my unspotted soul
2185
+ For ever with corruption there to dwell;
2186
+ But I shall rise victorious, and subdue
2187
+ My vanquisher, spoiled of his vaunted spoil.
2188
+ Death his death's wound shall then receive, and stoop
2189
+ Inglorious, of his mortal sting disarmed;
2190
+ I through the ample air in triumph high
2191
+ Shall lead Hell captive maugre Hell, and show
2192
+ The powers of darkness bound. Thou, at the sight
2193
+ Pleased, out of Heaven shalt look down and smile,
2194
+ While, by thee raised, I ruin all my foes;
2195
+ Death last, and with his carcase glut the grave;
2196
+ Then, with the multitude of my redeemed,
2197
+ Shall enter Heaven, long absent, and return,
2198
+ Father, to see thy face, wherein no cloud
2199
+ Of anger shall remain, but peace assured
2200
+ And reconcilement: wrath shall be no more
2201
+ Thenceforth, but in thy presence joy entire.
2202
+ His words here ended; but his meek aspect
2203
+ Silent yet spake, and breathed immortal love
2204
+ To mortal men, above which only shone
2205
+ Filial obedience: as a sacrifice
2206
+ Glad to be offered, he attends the will
2207
+ Of his great Father. Admiration seized
2208
+ All Heaven, what this might mean, and whither tend,
2209
+ Wondering; but soon th' Almighty thus replied.
2210
+ O thou in Heaven and Earth the only peace
2211
+ Found out for mankind under wrath, O thou
2212
+ My sole complacence! Well thou know'st how dear
2213
+ To me are all my works; nor Man the least,
2214
+ Though last created, that for him I spare
2215
+ Thee from my bosom and right hand, to save,
2216
+ By losing thee a while, the whole race lost.
2217
+
2218
+ 00021053
2219
+ Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem,
2220
+ Their nature also to thy nature join;
2221
+ And be thyself Man among men on Earth,
2222
+ Made flesh, when time shall be, of virgin seed,
2223
+ By wondrous birth; be thou in Adam's room
2224
+ The head of all mankind, though Adam's son.
2225
+ As in him perish all men, so in thee,
2226
+ As from a second root, shall be restored
2227
+ As many as are restored, without thee none.
2228
+ His crime makes guilty all his sons; thy merit,
2229
+ Imputed, shall absolve them who renounce
2230
+ Their own both righteous and unrighteous deeds,
2231
+ And live in thee transplanted, and from thee
2232
+ Receive new life. So Man, as is most just,
2233
+ Shall satisfy for Man, be judged and die,
2234
+ And dying rise, and rising with him raise
2235
+ His brethren, ransomed with his own dear life.
2236
+ So heavenly love shall outdo hellish hate,
2237
+ Giving to death, and dying to redeem,
2238
+ So dearly to redeem what hellish hate
2239
+ So easily destroyed, and still destroys
2240
+ In those who, when they may, accept not grace.
2241
+ Nor shalt thou, by descending to assume
2242
+ Man's nature, lessen or degrade thine own.
2243
+ Because thou hast, though throned in highest bliss
2244
+ Equal to God, and equally enjoying
2245
+ God-like fruition, quitted all, to save
2246
+ A world from utter loss, and hast been found
2247
+ By merit more than birthright Son of God,
2248
+ Found worthiest to be so by being good,
2249
+ Far more than great or high; because in thee
2250
+ Love hath abounded more than glory abounds;
2251
+ Therefore thy humiliation shall exalt
2252
+ With thee thy manhood also to this throne:
2253
+ Here shalt thou sit incarnate, here shalt reign
2254
+ Both God and Man, Son both of God and Man,
2255
+ Anointed universal King; all power
2256
+ I give thee; reign for ever, and assume
2257
+ Thy merits; under thee, as head supreme,
2258
+ Thrones, Princedoms, Powers, Dominions, I reduce:
2259
+ All knees to thee shall bow, of them that bide
2260
+ In Heaven, or Earth, or under Earth in Hell.
2261
+ When thou, attended gloriously from Heaven,
2262
+ Shalt in the sky appear, and from thee send
2263
+ The summoning Arch-Angels to proclaim
2264
+ Thy dread tribunal; forthwith from all winds,
2265
+ The living, and forthwith the cited dead
2266
+ Of all past ages, to the general doom
2267
+ Shall hasten; such a peal shall rouse their sleep.
2268
+ Then, all thy saints assembled, thou shalt judge
2269
+ Bad Men and Angels; they, arraigned, shall sink
2270
+ Beneath thy sentence; Hell, her numbers full,
2271
+ Thenceforth shall be for ever shut. Mean while
2272
+ The world shall burn, and from her ashes spring
2273
+ New Heaven and Earth, wherein the just shall dwell,
2274
+ And, after all their tribulations long,
2275
+ See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds,
2276
+ With joy and peace triumphing, and fair truth.
2277
+ Then thou thy regal scepter shalt lay by,
2278
+ For regal scepter then no more shall need,
2279
+ God shall be all in all. But, all ye Gods,
2280
+ Adore him, who to compass all this dies;
2281
+ Adore the Son, and honour him as me.
2282
+ No sooner had the Almighty ceased, but all
2283
+ The multitude of Angels, with a shout
2284
+ Loud as from numbers without number, sweet
2285
+ As from blest voices, uttering joy, Heaven rung
2286
+ With jubilee, and loud Hosannas filled
2287
+ The eternal regions: Lowly reverent
2288
+ Towards either throne they bow, and to the ground
2289
+ With solemn adoration down they cast
2290
+ Their crowns inwove with amarant and gold;
2291
+ Immortal amarant, a flower which once
2292
+ In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,
2293
+ Began to bloom; but soon for man's offence
2294
+ To Heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows,
2295
+ And flowers aloft shading the fount of life,
2296
+ And where the river of bliss through midst of Heaven
2297
+ Rolls o'er Elysian flowers her amber stream;
2298
+ With these that never fade the Spirits elect
2299
+ Bind their resplendent locks inwreathed with beams;
2300
+ Now in loose garlands thick thrown off, the bright
2301
+ Pavement, that like a sea of jasper shone,
2302
+ Impurpled with celestial roses smiled.
2303
+ Then, crowned again, their golden harps they took,
2304
+ Harps ever tuned, that glittering by their side
2305
+ Like quivers hung, and with preamble sweet
2306
+ Of charming symphony they introduce
2307
+ Their sacred song, and waken raptures high;
2308
+ No voice exempt, no voice but well could join
2309
+ Melodious part, such concord is in Heaven.
2310
+ Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent,
2311
+ Immutable, Immortal, Infinite,
2312
+ Eternal King; the Author of all being,
2313
+ Fonntain of light, thyself invisible
2314
+ Amidst the glorious brightness where thou sit'st
2315
+ Throned inaccessible, but when thou shadest
2316
+ The full blaze of thy beams, and, through a cloud
2317
+ Drawn round about thee like a radiant shrine,
2318
+ Dark with excessive bright thy skirts appear,
2319
+ Yet dazzle Heaven, that brightest Seraphim
2320
+ Approach not, but with both wings veil their eyes.
2321
+ Thee next they sang of all creation first,
2322
+ Begotten Son, Divine Similitude,
2323
+ In whose conspicuous countenance, without cloud
2324
+ Made visible, the Almighty Father shines,
2325
+ Whom else no creature can behold; on thee
2326
+ Impressed the effulgence of his glory abides,
2327
+ Transfused on thee his ample Spirit rests.
2328
+ He Heaven of Heavens and all the Powers therein
2329
+ By thee created; and by thee threw down
2330
+ The aspiring Dominations: Thou that day
2331
+ Thy Father's dreadful thunder didst not spare,
2332
+ Nor stop thy flaming chariot-wheels, that shook
2333
+ Heaven's everlasting frame, while o'er the necks
2334
+ Thou drovest of warring Angels disarrayed.
2335
+ Back from pursuit thy Powers with loud acclaim
2336
+ Thee only extolled, Son of thy Father's might,
2337
+ To execute fierce vengeance on his foes,
2338
+ Not so on Man: Him through their malice fallen,
2339
+ Father of mercy and grace, thou didst not doom
2340
+ So strictly, but much more to pity incline:
2341