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185

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 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; 190
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 warrd on Jove,
Briareus, or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast

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177 To bellow] See Henry More's Poems, p. 314.

The hoarse bellowing of the thunder.' 181 void] Dante Inf. c. v. 28.

· Luogo d'ogni luce muto.' Todd. 200 sea-beast] 'Æquoreo similem per litora monstro.' '

Val. Flacc. iy. 700.

205

Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim th' ocean stream:
Him haply slumb'ring on the Norway foam
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind
Moors 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

210

205 Deeming some island] At Sir William Drury's house in Hawstead in Suffolk (built in regn. Elizab.), is a closet with painted pannels of the age of James I. One (no. 36.) is a ship that has anchored on a whale which is in motion. The motto, 'nusquam tuta fides.' See Cullum's Hist. of Hawstead, p. 164, where is an engraving of it. 205 island] Thus Dionysii Perieg. 598.

αμφί δε πάντη
Κήτεα θίνες έχουσιν, ερυθραίου βοτά πόντου,

Ούρεσιν ήλιβάτoισιν έoικότα. . And so in the Orlando Innam. of Boiardo, rifac. da Berni, lib. ii. canto xiii. stan. 60.

' Il dosso sol mostrava ch' è maggiore
Ch' undici passi, ed anche più d'altezza,
E veramente, a chi la guarda, pare

Un' isoletta nel mezzo del mare.' Compare also Avieni Disc. Orbis, p. 784–5, and Pia Hilaria, p. 92. 'Basil affirms that whales are equal to the greatest mountains, and their backs, when they show above the water, like to islands.' v. Brerewood on Languages, p. 133. 208 Invests] v. Stat. Theb. lib. v. 51.

• tellurem proximus umbrâ, Vestit Athos.'

215

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
Evil to others, and enrag'd might see
How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy shewn
On man by him seduc'd; but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance pour'd. 220
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames
Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and
In billows leave i’ th' midst a horrid vale. [rollid
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight 225
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 appear'd 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,
And leave a singed bottom, all involv'd
With stench and smoke: such resting found the sole
Of unbless'd feet. Him follow'd his next mate,

230

235 245

232 Pelorus] See Dante, Paradiso, c. 8. ver. 68.

• Tra Pachino e Peloro sopra 'l golfo,
Che riceve da Euro maggior briga.'

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 heaven, this mournful

gloom For that celestial light ? be it so, since he, Who now is Sov’reign, can dispose and bid What shall be right : farthest from him is best, Whom reason hath equall’d, force hath made

supreme 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 chang'd 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; th’ Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence : Here we may reign secure, and in

my

choice To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:

260

240 recover'd strength] Revigorate, resumed, recovering, reviving, self-raised, self recovered. Bentl. Conj. MSS. 241 sufferance] Compare Hom. Od. iv. 503.

Φή δ' αεκητι θεών φυγέειν μέγα λαϊτμα θαλάσσης.

265

275

Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
Th' associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on th' oblivious pool,
And call them 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 Beëlzebub
Thus answer'd: Leader of those armies bright,
Which but th’ Omnipotent none could have foil'd,
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lie
Grov'ling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile, astounded and amaz’d,
No wonder, fall’n such a pernicious highth.

He scarce had ceas’d, when the superior fiend Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous

shield, Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb

280

285

263 Better] See Æschyli Prometheus, ver. 976.

Κρείσσον γαρ οίμαι τήδε λατρεύειν πέτρα, ,

Ή πατρί φύναι Ζην πιστόν άγγελον. VOL. I.

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