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Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blazed; 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,
Titaniano or earth-born, that warred on Jove,
Briareoso or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsuso held; or that sea-beast
Leviathan,' which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean-stream.
Him, haply, slumbering on Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-foundered 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 stretched out huge in length the archfiend lay,
Chained on the burning lake; nor ever thence
Had risen or heaved his head, but that the willo
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, enraged, might see

210 220 290

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How all his malice served but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shown
On man by him seduced, but on himself
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured.

Forthwith, upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames,
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and,

In billows, leave i’ the midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air
That felt unusual weight, till on dry land
He lights; if it were land that ever burned
With solid, as the lake with liquid fire,
And such appeared in hue, as when the force

Of subterranean wind transports a hill
Torn from Pelorus,' or the shattered side
Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible
And fueledo entrails, thence conceiving fire,
Sublimedo with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singèd bottom all involved
With stench and smoke. Such resting found the

Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate,
Both glorying to have scaped the Stygiano food

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As gods, and by their own recovered strength, 240 Not by the sufferance of supernal power.

“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,” 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 Who now is sovran can dispose and bid What shall be right: farthest from him is best, Whom reason hath equaled," force hath made supreme Above his equals. Farewell,' happy fields, Where joy forever 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. 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: 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!


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But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
The associates and co-partners of our loss,
Lie thus astonishedo on the 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
Regained in heaven, or what more lost in hell ? "

So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub
Thus answered: “Leader of those armies bright,
Which, but the Omnipotent, none could have foiled,
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 edgeo
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,

As we erewhile, astounded and amazed :
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious highth!”

He scarce had ceased, 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
Through optic glass the Tuscano artist views

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At evening from the top of Fesolè
Or in Valdarno,' to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe.
His spear — to equal which the tallest pine,

Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral,' were but a wand
He walked 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 inflamèd sea he stood, and called

His legions, angel forms, who lay entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa,' where the Etruriano shades
High over-arched embower; or scattered sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Oriono armed
Hath vexed the Red Sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew
Busiriso and his Memphiano chivalry,o
While with perfidiouso 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.

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