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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
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 though the field be lost?
All is not lost; th’ unconquerable will,

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And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome ;
That glory never shall his wrath or might 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

IIS 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 To wage hy 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 :

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And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.

O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers,
That led th’ imbattled Seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds

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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
In horrible destruction laid thus low,
As far as Gods and heav'nly essences
Can perish: for the mind and spi'rit remain
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,

140 Though all our glory' extinct, and happy state Herc 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’erpower'd such force as ours) Have left us this our spi'rit and strength entire 146 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 business be Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire, Or do his errands in the gloo deep; What can it then avail, though yet we feel Strength undiminish’d, or eternal being To undergo eternal punishment?

155 Whereto with speedy words th’Arch-Fiend reply'd.

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FALL’n Cherub, to be weak is miserable
Doing or suffering : but of this be sure,
To do ought 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;
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 recallid
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of Heav'n : the sulphurous hail
Shot after us in storin, o'erblown hath laid
The fiery surge, that from the precipice
Of Heaven receiv'd us falling; and the thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage,
Perhaps hath

spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn,
Or satiate fury yield it from our foe.
See t thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
From off the tossing of these fiery waves,
'There rest, if any rest can harbour there,
And re-assembling our afflicted Powers,

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Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy, our own loss how repair,
How overcome this dire calamity,
What reinforcement we may gain from hope, 190
If not what resolution from despair.

Tuus Satan talking to his nearest mate
With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blaz’d, his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove,
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th’ocean stream:
Him haply slumbʼring on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,

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With fixed anchor in his scaly rind
Mours by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays :
So stretch'd out huge in length the Arch-Fiend lay
Chain'd on the burning lake, nor ever thence
Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will
And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
Left him at large to his own dark designs,
That with reiterated crimes he might
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought 215
Evil to others, and enrag'd might see

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How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shown
On man by him seduc'd, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour’d.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
Driv’n backward slope their pointed spires, and rollid
In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight

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Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air
That felt unusual weight, till on dry land
He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire ;
And such appeard in hue, as when the force
Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
Of thund'ring Ætna, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds, 235
And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
With stench and smoke : such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate,
Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood
As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, 240
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

Is this the region, this the soil, the clime, Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom For that celestial light ? Be it so, since he 245 Who now is Sov'rain can dispose and bid

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