Imatges de pÓgina
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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,
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Who now is Sov'reign, can dispose and bid
What shall be right: furthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equal'd, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells! Hail horrors! hail,
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
Mere 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!
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
The 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 Heaven, or what more lost in Hell? 270
So Satan spake; and him Beülzebub

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
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,

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

He scarce had ceased, when the superior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore: his ponderous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
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Behind him cast; the broad circumference
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, 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 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
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
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
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 flower of Heaven! once yours, now lost,

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If such astonishment as this can seize

Eternal Spirits; or have ye chosen this place

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After the toil of battle to repose

Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
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
His swift pursuers from Heaven gates discern
The advantage, and descending, tread us down a
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!

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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, nor the fierce pains not feel; Yot to their General's voice they soon obey'd; Innumerable. As when the potent rod

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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;
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.
Forthwith from every squadron, and each band,

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The heads and leaders thither haste where 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

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By their rebellion from the book 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 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 transform
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
And Devils to adore for Deities:

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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.
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 adored
Among the nations round: and durst abide
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,
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,

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

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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
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 ;
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,
Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure,
Can execute their aery purposes,
And works of love or enmity fulfil.
For those the race of Israel oft forsook

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