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Say first—for Heaven hides nothing from thy
Cause of the Nor the deep tract of Hell — say first what cause
Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state,
Favored of Heaven so highly, to fall off
From their Creator, and transgress His will
For one restraint, lords of the World besides.
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt 'I

The infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile,
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived 35
The mother of mankind, what time his pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host
Of rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring
To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equaled the Most High, to

If He opposed, and, with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud,
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky, 45
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell

Satan; his
and its


\n adamantine chains and penal fire.
n Z^Whodurst defy the Omnipotent to, arms

Nine times the space that measures day and
night 50

To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew,
Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf,

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Confounded, though immortal. But his doom

Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought

Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 65

Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes,

That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,

Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate.

At once, as far as Angel's ken, he views

s' Satan in the

The dismal situation waste and wild. 60 nery prison of

A dungeon horrible on all sides round Hel1

As one great furnace flamed: vet from those

flames co

No light; but rather darkness visible,
Served only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace 66
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes /ps

That comes to all, but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.
Such place Eternal Justice had prepared 70

For those rebellious; here their prison ordained
In utter darkness, and their portion set,

As far removed from God and light of Heaven,

As .from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. 74
Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelmed
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soow^discerns; and, weltering by his side,
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and named 80

Beelzebub. To whom the Arch-Enemy, Beelzebub,

And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold Satan's nearwords est mate'


Breaking the horrid silence, thus began: —

'If thou beest he — but oh how fallen! how

From him who, in the happy realms of light, 85
Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst out-
Myriads, though bright! — if he, whom mutual

United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Joined with me once, now misery hath joined 90
In equal ruin — into what pit thou seest
From what highth fallen — so much the stronger

He with His thunder; and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms? Yet not for

those, Satan reveals Nor what the potent Victor in His rage 95

his character. Qan else inflictj do I repent, or change,

Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed

And high disdain from sense of injured merit
That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along 100
Innumerable force of spirits armed,
That durst dislike His reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost, power with adverse power opposed
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,
And shook His throne. What though the field

be lost? 105

* -tW'A f All is not lost — the unconquerable will,

1/^^^ Y 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 no
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 lis
This downfall; 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 advanced,
We may with more successful hope resolve 120
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,
Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.'

So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain, 125
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair;
And him thus answered soon his bold compeer: —

'O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers That led the embattled Seraphim to war Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds 130

Fearless, endangered Heaven's perpetual King, Beelzebub's
And put to proof His high supremacy, g oomy ques-

Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate!
Too well I see and rue the. dire event
That, with sad overthrow and foul defeat, 136

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 vigor soon returns, 140

Though all our glory extinct, and happy state
Here swallowed 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'erpowered such force as
ours) 145

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, lso

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 undiminished, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment?' 1BB

Whereto with speedy words the Arch-Fiend
replied: —
'Fallen Cherub, to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering; but of this be sure —
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight, leo

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 labor must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil; 165
Which ofttimes may succeed so as perhaps
Shall grieve Him, if I fail not, and disturb
His inmost counsels from their destined aim.
But see! the angry Victor hath recalled

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