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There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns, and weltring by his side
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beëlzebub: 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 outshine
Myriads, though bright! If he, whom mutual league,
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 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,
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,
85 Isaiah, xiv. 12. Virg. Æn. ii. 274.
Hei mihi! qualis erat! quantum mutatus ab illo! Newton. 98 high] Spens. F. Queen. b. i. c. i. s. 19. grief, and high disdain.'
That durst dislike his reign ; and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power oppos’d
In dubious battle on the plains of heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
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 heaven.
So spake th' apostate angel, though in pain,
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
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 heaven, 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
Than such could have o’erpower'd such force as ours,)
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
By right of war, whate'er his business be,
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.
-"Ες τε κελαινον
Τάρταρον άρδην ρίψειε δέμας
Τουμόν, ανάγκης στερραϊς δίνεις.
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 recallid
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
Back to the gates of heaven: 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,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
158 Doing or suffering] «Quodvis pati, quidvis facere.' Miles. v. 9. See Pricæum ad Apulei Apolog. p. 165. 177 To bellow] See Henry More's Poems, p. 314.
• The hoarse bellowing of the thunder.'
Let us not slip th’occasion, whether scorn
Or'satiate fury yield it from our foe.
Seest 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, reassembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Our enemy; our own loss how repair ;
How overcome this dire calamity;
What reinforcement we may gain from hope ;
If not, what resolution from despair.
Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate,
With head 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,
Briareus, 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:
181 vord] Dante Inf. c. v. 28.
· Luogo d'ogni luce muto.' Todd. 200 sea-beast] ·Æquoreo similem per litora monstro.'
Val. Flacc. iv. 700. 2