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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 Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
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 ambitiou, though in Hell:
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 astonished 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 be yet
Regain'd in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell?i . 270

So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub
Thus answer'd. " Leader of those armies bright,
Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foil'd, i
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 battle when it rag'a, 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 As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd, ''! No wonder, fall’n such a pernicious height. I am

He scarce had ceas'd when the superior Fiend " ?! Was moving toward the shoré ; his pond'rous shield Etherial temper, massy, large, and round,' , 285 Behind him cast, the broad circumference


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" 275



Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe.
His spear (to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great admiral, were but a wand)
He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle, not like those steps
On Cleav'n's azure; and the torrid clime
Snote on him sose besides, vaulted with fire:
Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call'd
His legions, Angel forms, who lay entranc'd
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th’Etrurian shades
High over-arch'd imbow'r ;:or-scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vexed the Red-Sea coast, 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 carcases
And broken chariot-wheels : so thick bestrown,
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded. " Princes, Potentates,
Warriors, the flow'r of Heav'n, once yours, now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal Spi'rits : or have ye chosen this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your varied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heav'n?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To'adore the Conqueror ? who now beholds

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Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from Heav'n gates discern
Tim' advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping; or with linked thunder-bolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf. .
Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n!"

They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung
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 were, or 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’sevil day,
Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud
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, at a signal giv'n, th' 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;
A multitude, like which the populous north
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Denaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the south, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.
Forthwith from every squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
Their great commander: godlike shapes and forms
Excelling human, princely Dignities,
And Pow'rs that erst in Heaven sat on thrones;

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Though of their names in heavenly records now Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd By their rebellion from the books of life. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve Got them new names, till, wandering o'er the earth, Through God's high sufferance for the tri'al 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 transform ; 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, Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery couch, At their great empe'ror's call, as next in worth Came singly where he stood on that hare strand, While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof. The chief were those who, from the pit of Hell Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix Their seats long after next the seat of God, Their altars by his altar ; Gods ador'd Among the nations round; and durst abide Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron’d' Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd Within his sanctuary itself their shrines, Abominations; and with cursed things His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd, And with their darkness durst affront his light. First Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears ; Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd thro' fire To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite Worshipp'd in Rabba and hier wat'ry plain,


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In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
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.
Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild
Of southmost Abarim ; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, heyond
The flow'ry dale of Sibma clad with vines,
And Elëalé to th’ Asphaltic pool.
Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim on their march from Nile
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd
Ev'n to that hill of scandal, by the grove
Of Moloch homicide, lust haril by hate ;
Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
With these came they, who, from the bord’ring flood
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts
Egypt from Syriani 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,
Not ty'd or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous flesh ; but in what shape they choose,
Dilated or condens’d, bright or obscure,
Can execute their airy purposes,
And works of love or enmity fulfil. . .
For those the race of Israel oft forsook
Their living strength, and unfrequented left
Ilis righteous altar, bowing lowly down


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