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Said then the lost Archangel, this the seat
That we must change for Heaven; this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so! since he, 245
Who now is Soy'reign, can dispose and bid
What shall be right : furthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equal'd, force hath made suprema
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells! Hail horrors! hail, 250
Infernal world! And thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor! one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time :
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. 255
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be ; all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy; will not drive us hence: 260
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell :
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven!
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
The associates and copartners of our loss's
Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool,
And call then not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion; or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regain'd in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell? 270

So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub
Thus answer'd. Leader of those armies bright,
Which but the Omnipotent none could have foil'd! --
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft 275
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it raged, in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive; though now they lie
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, 280

205

As we erewhilo, astounded and amazed :
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height.

He scarce had ceased, when the superior Fiond
Was moving toward the shore : his ponderous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, 285
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the nioon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At Evening from the top of Fesolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,

290 Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe. His spear, to equal which the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast Of soire great ammiral, were but a wand, He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps Over the burning marle, not like those steps On Heaven's azure; and the torrid clime Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire: Nathless he so endured, till on the beach Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call’d

300 His legions, Angel forms, who lay entranced Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks, In Vallambrosa, where the Etrurian shades, High overarch'd, imbower; or scatter'd sedge Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd 305 Hath vex'd the Red Seacoast, whose waves o'erthrew Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, While with perfidious hatred they pursued The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore their floating carcasses 310 And broken chariot wheels : so thick bestrown, Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood, Under amazement of their hideous change. He call's so loud, that all the hollow deep Of Hell resounded ! Princes, Potentates, 315 Warriors, the flower of Heaven! once yours, now lost, 3f such astonishment as this can seize Eternal Spirits; or have ye chosen this place

After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearicd virtue, for the ease you find.

worn

Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conqueror! who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood,
With scatter'd arms and ensigns; till anon,

325

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The advantage, and descending, tread us downs
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts jo
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!

330
They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprumg
Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. ;
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they vere, nor the fierce pains not feel ;
Yet to their General's voice they soon obey'd; '; .
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Waved round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud 340
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile;
So numberless were those bad Angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,
"Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal given, the uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan, waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain; 350
A multitude, like which the populous North
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.

335 Forthwit) from every squadron, and each band,

The heads and leaders thither haste whore stood
Their great Commander ; Godlike shapes, and forms
Excelling human; princely Dignities;
And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones; 360
Though of their names in heavenly records now
Be no memorial; blotted out and rased
By their rebellion from the book of life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve

364
Got them new names; till, wandering o'er the earth,
Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their creator, and the invisible
Glory of him that made them to transforın 370
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
And Devils to adore for Deities :
Then were they known to men by various names
And various idols through the Heathen world. 375
Say, Muse, their names then known; who first, who last,
Roused from the slumber, on that fiery couch,
At their great Emperor's call, as next in worth
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof. 330
The chief were those, who from the pit of Hell
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, darst fix
Their seats long after next the seat of God,
Their altars by his altar; Gods adored
Among the nations round: and durst abide 385
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned
Between the cherubim; yea, often placed
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned, 390
And with their darkness durst affront his light.
First, Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood

Though, for the noise of drums and timbre!s loud,

410

Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd though fire, To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite

396 Worship'd in Rabba and her watery plain, In Argob and in Basan, to the stream Of utmost Arnon ; Nor content with such Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 400 Of Solomon he led by fraud to build His temple right against the temple of God On that opprobrious hill: and made his grove The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence And black Gehenna call’d, the type of Hell. 405 Next, Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's sons, From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild Of southmost Abarim ; in Hesebon And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines; And Eleals to the Asphaltic pool. Peor his other name, when he enticed Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile, To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged 415 Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove Of Moloch homicide ; lust hard by hate; Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell. With these came they, who, from the bordering flood Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names Of Baalim and Ashtaroth; those male, These feminine ; For Spirits, when they please, Can either sex assume, or both; so soft And uncompounded is their essence pure ; 425 Not tied or manacled with joint or limb, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose, Dilaied or condensed, bright or obscure, Can execute their aery purposes,

430 And works of love or enmity fulfil. For those the race of Israel oft forsook

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