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To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquish’d, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded though immortal: but his doom
Resery'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
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,
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 65
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes,
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
For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of heaven,
As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell ! 75


63 darkness visible] v. Senecæ Ep. 57. de Crypt, Neapol. “Nihil illis faucibus obscurius; quæ nobis præstant, ut non per tenebras videamus, sed ut ipsas.' Bentl. MS.

66 hope] Compare Jer. Taylor's Contemplations, p. 211, and see Todd's Note, p. 18.



There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns, and welt'ring by his side
One next himself in power, 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, Cloath'd with transcendent brightness, didst out

shine Myriads, though bright! If he, whom mutualleague, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope And hazard in the glorious enterprize, Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd In equal ruin: into what pit thou seest From what height falln,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, 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



100 110

85 Isaiah, xiv. 12. Virg. Æn. ii. 274. Hei mihi! qualis erat! quantum mutatus ab illo!' Neuton.

98 high] Spens. F. Queen. b. i. c. i. s. 19. ' grief, and high disdain.'


Innumerable force of spirits arm'd,
That durst dislike his reign; and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd
In dubious battel on the plains of heav'n,
And shook his throne. What though the field be
All is not lost; th' unconquerable will,

And study of revenge, immortal hate
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me : to bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power,
Who from the terror of this arm so late
Doubted his empire, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
This downfal; 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 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 Powers, That led th' imbattelld seraphim to war Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds


130 135

Fearless, endanger'd heaven's perpetual King, And put to proof his high supremacy; Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate, Too well I see and rue the dire event, That with sad overthrow and foul defeat Hath lost us heav'n, and all this mighty host In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as gods and heavenly essences Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns, Though all our glory extinct, and happy state Here swallow'd up in endless misery. But what if he our conqueror, whom I now Of force believe almighty, since no less [ours, Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as Have left us this our spirit 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



131 perpetual] Consult Newton's note on the word 'perpetual.'

139 mind and spirit] So Satan in the Adamus Exsul of Grotius, p. 32, ed. Lauder.

Abstulit sortem Deus
Quam potuit, animis pristinum mansit decus,
Et cor, profunda providum sapientia;
Sunt reliqua nobis regna, sunt vires suæ,

Multa et potestas'
140 Invincible] v. Æschyli Prometheus, ver. 1060.

"Ές τε κέλαινον Τάρταρον άρδην ρίψειε δέμας Τούμδν, ανάγκης στερραϊς δίνεις.




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 gloomy deep :
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strength undiminish’d, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment ?
Whereto with speedy words th' arch-fiend reply'd.

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 recall’d
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of heav'n: the sulphurous hail,
Shot after us in storm, 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, 275
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now



158 Doing or suffering] Quodvis pati, quidvis facere.' Plauti Miles. v. 9. See Pricæum ad Apulei Apolog.

p. 165.

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