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Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day and night
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded though immortal: But his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 55
Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes,
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate.
At once, as far as Angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round

бо

As one great furnace flam'd, yet from those flames No light, but rather darkness visible

Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,

Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes 66
That comes to all; but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed

With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd

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For those rebellious; here their pris'n ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n,
As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd 76
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns, and welt'ring by his side

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One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beelzebub. To whom th' Arch-Enemy,
And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words
Breaking the horrid silence thus began:

If thou beest he; but O how fall'n! how chang'd From him who, in the happy realms of light 85 Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst out

shine

Myriads tho' bright! If he whom mutual league,
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd 90
In equal ruin into what pit thou seest
Fromwhat height fall'n,so much the stronger prov'd
He with his thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms? yet not for those,
Nor what the potent victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,

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Though chang'd in outward lustre that fix'd mind
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit,
That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along 100
Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd,

That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd
In dubious battle on the plains of Heav'n,
And shook his throne. What tho' the field be lost?
All is not lost; th' unconquerable will

And study of revenge, immortal hate,

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And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;

That glory never shall his wrath or might 110
Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace

With suppliant knee, and deify his pow'r,
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed!
That were an ignominy and shame beneath 115
This downfall; since by fate the strength of Gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,
We may with more successful hope resolve 120
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,

Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heav'n.

So spake th'apostate Angel, though in pain, 125 Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair: And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer. O Prince, O Chief of many throned throned powers! That led th' embattl'd Seraphim to war

130

Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endanger'd Heav'n's perpetual King,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate;
Too well I see and rue the dire event,
That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mighty host

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In horrible destruction laid thus low,

As far as Gods and heav'nly essences

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Can perish for the mind and spi'rit remains
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
But what if he our conqu'ror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less

Than such could have o'erpow'r'd such force as

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ours) Have left us this our sp'rit and strength entire Strongly to suffer and support our pains, That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, Or do him mightier service as his thralls By right of war, whate'er his bus'ness be Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire, Or do his errands in the gloomy deep; What can it then avail, though yet we feel Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being To undergo eternal punishment?

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Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-Fiend reply'd:

Fall'n Cherub, to be weak is miserable

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Doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil; 165

Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destin'd aim.
But see, the angry victor hath recall'd

His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

170

Back to the gates of Heav'n: the sulph'rous hail
Shot after us in storm, o'erblown hath laid
The fiery surge, that from the precipice

Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling; and the thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now 176
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn
Or satiate fury yield it from our foe.

Seest thou yon dreary plain forlorn and wild, 180
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimm'ring of these livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
From off the tossing of these fiery waves,
There rest, if any rest can harbour there,

And reassembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy, our own loss how repair,

How overcome this dire calamity,

185

What reinforcement we may gain from hope, 190 If not what resolution from despair.

Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate With head uplift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blaz'd, his other parts besides Prone on the flood, extended long and large, 195

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