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Paradise Lost in Plain English
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Paradise Lost

~ BOOK II ~

  1. High on a Throne of Royal State, which far
  2. Outshon the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
  3. Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
  4. Showrs on her Kings Barbaric Pearl and Gold,
  5. Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd
  6. To that bad eminence; and from despair
  7. Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
  8. Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
  9. Vain Warr with Heav'n, and by success untaught
  10. His proud imaginations thus displaid
  11. Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heav'n,
  12. For since no deep within her gulf can hold
  13. Immortal vigor, though opprest and fall'n,
  14. I give not Heav'n for lost. From this descent
  15. Celestial vertues rising, will appear
  16. More glorious and more dread then from no fall,
  17. And trust themselves to fear no second fate:
  18. Mee though just right, and the fixt Laws of Heav'n
  19. Did first create your Leader, next free choice,
  20. With what besides, in Counsel or in Fight,
  21. Hath bin achievd of merit, yet this loss
  22. Thus farr at least recover'd, hath much more
  23. Establisht in a safe unenvied Throne
  24. Yielded with full consent. The happier state
  25. In Heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw
  26. Envy from each inferior; but who here
  27. Will envy whom the highest place exposes
  28. Formost to stand against the Thunderers aim
  29. Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
  30. Of endless pain? where there is then no good
  31. For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
  32. From Faction; for none sure will claim in Hell
  33. Precedence, none, whose portion is so small
  34. Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
  35. Will covet more. With this advantage then
  36. To union, and firm Faith, and firm accord,
  37. More then can be in Heav'n, we now return
  38. To claim our just inheritance of old,
  39. Surer to prosper then prosperity
  40. Could have assur'd us; and by what best way,
  41. Whether of open Warr or covert guile,
  42. We now debate; who can advise, may speak.
  43. He ceas'd, and next him Moloc, Scepter'd King
  44. Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
  45. That fought in Heav'n; now fiercer by despair:
  46. His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd
  47. Equal in strength, and rather then be less
  48. Care'd not to be at all; with that care lost
  49. Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse
  50. He reck'd not, and these words thereafter spake.
..............

IN PLAIN ENGLISH

. CHAPTER 2

  1. Satan sat on his throne. It was fancier than the richest kings of Persia or India had.
  2. He had become the king of evil.
  3. It was more than he hoped for, and now he was greedy for more.
  4. Instead of learning from his defeat, he just wanted to fight God some more.
  5. So he began to tell his dream to the assembly.
  6. Gods of Heaven! - I still call you that because no place, however deep and dark, can weaken immortal power.
  7. I'm not giving up on Heaven.
  8. We will rise up more glorious and more feared than if we never fell, and not be afraid that we might lose again.
  9. Heaven's law made me your leader. The rights of justice gave us free will. And our achievements gave us honor and glory.
  10. Now we have it all back again, and in a much safer place. He willingly gave us this kingdom. Nobody would want to take it away from us.
  11. The powers that rule in the comfort of Heaven might be envied, but who's going to envy whoever rules in Hell and is in constant pain and under constant threat of attack from above?
  12. Where there's nothing to steal, there are no thieves. Nobody wants to gain worse pain for himself than he already has.
  13. That makes us more firmly united. Now we can fight for what is rightly ours.
  14. We have a better chance of succeeding now than when we were in the comforts of Heaven.
  15. Now it's just a matter of deciding how to go about it. Who wants to speak?
  16. Moloch stood up. He was the strongest and fiercest angel in the war.
  17. He wanted to be as strong as God, otherwise to him life wasn't worth living.
  18. He was willing to risk everything.
  1. My sentence is for open Warr: Of Wiles,
  2. More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
  3. Contrive who need, or when they need, not now.
  4. For while they sit contriving, shall the rest,
  5. Millions that stand in Arms, and longing wait
  6. he Signal to ascend, sit lingring here
  7. Heav'ns fugitives, and for thir dwelling place
  8. Accept this dark opprobrious Den of shame,
  9. The Prison of his Tyranny who Reigns
  10. By our delay? no, let us rather choose
  11. Arm'd with Hell flames and fury all at once
  12. O're Heav'ns high Towrs to force resistless way,
  13. Turning our Tortures into horrid Arms
  14. Against the Torturer; when to meet the noise
  15. Of his Almighty Engin he shall hear
  16. Infernal Thunder, and for Lightning see
  17. Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
  18. Among his Angels; and his Throne it self
  19. Mixt with Tartarean Sulphur, and strange fire,
  20. His own invented Torments. But perhaps
  21. The way seems difficult and steep to scale
  22. With upright wing against a higher foe.
  23. Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
  24. Of that forgetful Lake benumm not still,
  25. That in our proper motion we ascend
  26. Up to our native seat: descent and fall
  27. To us is adverse. Who but felt of late
  28. When the fierce Foe hung on our brok'n Rear
  29. Insulting, and pursu'd us through the Deep,
  30. With what compulsion and laborious flight
  31. We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easie then;
  32. Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke
  33. Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
  34. To our destruction: if there be in Hell
  35. Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse
  36. Then to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd
  37. In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
  38. Where pain of unextinguishable fire
  39. Must exercise us without hope of end
  40. The Vassals of his anger, when the Scourge
  41. Inexorably, and the torturing hour
  42. Calls us to Penance? More destroy'd then thus
  43. We should be quite abolisht and expire.
  44. What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
  45. His utmost ire? which to the highth enrag'd,
  46. Will either quite consume us, and reduce
  47. To nothing this essential, happier farr
  48. Then miserable to have eternal being:
  49. Or if our substance be indeed Divine,
  50. And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
  51. On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
  52. Our power sufficient to disturb his Heav'n,
  53. And with perpetual inrodes to Allarme,
  54. Though inaccessible, his fatal Throne:
  55. Which if not Victory is yet Revenge.
  1. I vote for war, he said.
  2. I don't know anything about trickery.
  3. Those of you who want to sit around conspiring, do it on your own time!

  4. What do you expect the rest of us to do--sit around and wait in this hell-hole while our warden sits above on his comfortable throne?

  5. No! Let's take these damned hell-flames and attack his angels with them.

  6. He invented these tortures. Let's return them to him and dump sulfer and black fire on his throne.

  7. It won't be as hard as you think. Being chased downward and falling like we did is unnatural to us. But we can fly upward more easily, and take them by surprise.



  8. Are you afraid to make him mad again? What more can he do to us?

  9. What's worse than this?--where fire tortures us without end, and we're slaves at his mercy to punish whenever and in whatever way he wants.

  10. How much worse could things get? If he decides to kill us, let him. At least we'll be out of here.


  11. And if we really are immortal and can't die, then we can make his life miserable with repeated attacks forever.

  12. If not victory, at least we can get our
    revenge.
  1. He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd
  2. Desperate revenge, and Battel dangerous
  3. To less then Gods. On th' other side up rose
  4. Belial, in act more graceful and humane;
  5. A fairer person lost not Heav'n; he seemd
  6. For dignity compos'd and high exploit:
  7. But all was false and hollow; though his Tongue
  8. Dropt Manna, and could make the worse appear
  9. The better reason, to perplex and dash
  10. Maturest Counsels: for his thoughts were low;
  11. To vice industrious, but to Nobler deeds
  12. Timorous and slothful: yet he pleas'd the ear,
  13. And with perswasive accent thus began.
  14. I should be much for open Warr, O Peers,
  15. As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd
  16. Main reason to persuade immediate Warr,
  17. Did not disswade me most, and seem to cast
  18. Ominous conjecture on the whole success:
  19. When he who most excels in fact of Arms,
  20. In what he counsels and in what excels
  21. Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
  22. And utter dissolution, as the scope
  23. Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
  24. First, what Revenge? the Towrs of Heav'n are fill'd
  25. With Armed watch, that render all access
  26. Impregnable; oft on the bordering Deep
  27. Encamp thir Legions, or with obscure wing
  28. Scout farr and wide into the Realm of night,
  29. Scorning surprize. Or could we break our way
  30. By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise
  31. With blackest Insurrection, to confound
  32. Heav'ns purest Light, yet our great Enemy
  33. All incorruptible would on his Throne
  34. Sit unpolluted, and th' Ethereal mould
  35. Incapable of stain would soon expel
  36. Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire
  37. Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope
  38. Is flat despair; we must exasperate
  39. Th' Almighty Victor to spend all his rage,
  40. And that must end us, that must be our cure,
  41. To be no more; sad cure; for who would loose,
  42. Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
  43. Those thoughts that wander through Eternity,
  44. To perish rather, swallowd up and lost
  45. In the wide womb of uncreated night,
  46. Devoid of sense and motion? and who knows,
  47. Let this be good, whether our angry Foe
  48. Can give it, or will ever? how he can
  49. Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.
  50. Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,
  51. Belike through impotence, or unaware,
  52. To give his Enemies thir wish, and end
  53. Them in his anger, whom his anger saves
  54. To punish endless? wherefore cease we then?
  55. Say they who counsel Warr, we are decreed,
  56. Reserv'd and destin'd to Eternal woe;
  1. On Moloch's face was a look of contempt for anyone who was afraid to undertake what he suggested.

  2. Next to stand and speak was Belial. He was handsome. His voice was sweet. But he was a con artist. Beneath his dignified appearance he was lazy and immoral.



  3. I would go along with the idea of more war, he said, except that our most expert warrior bases everything on despair and a hope for death--all to accompish some kind of revenge.


  4. How could we succeed? Heaven is surrounded with armed guards. And scouts patrol all the dark outer spaces.


  5. Are we supposed to bring Hell's fire with us to fight God's forces while he sits safe and untouchable? He would soon throw us all back into Hell again.


  6. Are we supposed to make God mad enough to kill us? Is that our last hope?

  7. I don't think so. Who wants to lose their life, their mind, or their power.


  8. Even if that's really what we want, God may not even be able to kill us. Anyway he wouldn't if he could.

  9. He's too smart to give us what we want. He wants to keep us alive to punish forever.
  1. Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
  2. What can we suffer worse? is this then worst,
  3. Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in Arms?
  4. What when we fled amain, pursu'd and strook
  5. With Heav'ns afflicting Thunder, and besought
  6. The Deep to shelter us? this Hell then seem'd
  7. A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay
  8. Chain'd on the burning Lake? that sure was worse.
  9. What if the breath that kindl'd those grim fires
  10. Awak'd should blow them into sevenfold rage
  11. And plunge us in the flames? or from above
  12. Should intermitted vengeance arm again
  13. His red right hand to plague us? what if all
  14. Her stores were open'd, and this Firmament
  15. Of Hell should spout her Cataracts of Fire,
  16. Impendent horrors, threatning hideous fall
  17. One day upon our heads; while we perhaps
  18. Designing or exhorting glorious warr,
  19. Caught in a fierie Tempest shall be hurl'd
  20. Each on his rock transfixt, the sport and prey
  21. Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk
  22. Under yon boyling Ocean, wrapt in Chains;
  23. There to converse with everlasting groans,
  24. Unrespited, unpitied, unrepreevd,
  25. Ages of hopeless end; this would be worse.
  26. Warr therefore, open or conceal'd, alike
  27. My voice disswades; for what can force or guile
  28. With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
  29. Views all things at one view? he from heav'ns highth
  30. All these our motions vain, sees and derides;
  31. Not more Almighty to resist our might
  32. Then wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
  33. Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heav'n
  34. Thus trampl'd, thus expell'd to suffer here
  35. Chains and these Torments? better these then worse
  36. By my advice; since fate inevitable
  37. Subdues us, and Omnipotent Decree
  38. The Victors will. To suffer, as to doe,
  39. Our strength is equal, nor the Law unjust
  40. That so ordains: this was at first resolv'd,
  41. If we were wise, against so great a foe
  42. Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
  43. I laugh, when those who at the Spear are bold
  44. And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear
  45. What yet they know must follow, to endure
  46. Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,
  47. The sentence of thir Conquerour: This is now
  48. Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,
  49. Our Supream Foe in time may much remit
  50. His anger, and perhaps thus farr remov'd
  51. Not mind us not offending, satisfi'd
  52. With what is punish't; whence these raging fires
  53. Will slack'n, if his breath stir not thir flames.
  54. Our purer essence then will overcome
  55. Thir noxious vapour, or enur'd not feel,
  56. Or chang'd at length, and to the place conformd
  57. In temper and in nature, will receive
  58. Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain;
  59. This horror will grow milde, this darkness light,
  60. Besides what hope the never-ending flight
  61. Of future dayes may bring, what chance, what change
  62. Worth waiting, since our present lot appeers
  63. For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
  64. If we procure not to our selves more woe.
  65. Thus Belial with words cloath'd in reasons garb
  66. Counsell'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloath,
  67. Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake.
  68. Either to disinthrone the King of Heav'n
  69. We warr, if Warr be best, or to regain
  70. Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then
  71. May hope when everlasting Fate shall yeild
  72. To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife:
  73. The former vain to hope argues as vain
  74. The latter: for what place can be for us
  75. Within Heav'ns bound, unless Heav'ns Lord supream
  76. We overpower? Suppose he should relent
  77. And publish Grace to all, on promise made
  78. Of new Subjection; with what eyes could we
  79. Stand in his presence humble, and receive
  80. Strict Laws impos'd, to celebrate his Throne
  81. With warbl'd Hymns, and to his Godhead sing
  82. Forc't Halleluiah's; while he Lordly sits
  83. Our envied Sovran, and his Altar breathes
  84. Ambrosial Odours and Ambrosial Flowers,
  85. Our servile offerings. This must be our task
  86. In Heav'n, this our delight; how wearisom
  87. Eternity so spent in worship paid
  88. To whom we hate. Let us not then pursue
  89. By force impossible, by leave obtain'd
  90. Unacceptable, though in Heav'n, our state
  91. Of splendid vassalage, but rather seek
  92. Our own good from our selves, and from our own
  93. Live to our selves, though in this vast recess,
  94. Free, and to none accountable, preferring
  95. Hard liberty before the easie yoke
  96. Of servile Pomp. Our greatness will appeer
  97. Then most conspicuous, when great things of small,
  98. Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse
  99. We can create, and in what place so e're
  100. Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain
  101. Through labour and indurance. This deep world
  102. Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
  103. Thick clouds and dark doth Heav'ns all-ruling Sire
  104. Choose to reside, his Glory unobscur'd,
  105. And with the Majesty of darkness round
  106. Covers his Throne; from whence deep thunders roar
  107. Must'ring thir rage, and Heav'n resembles Hell?
  108. As he our darkness, cannot we his Light
  109. Imitate when we please? This Desart soile
  110. Wants not her hidden lustre, Gemms and Gold;
  111. Nor want we skill or Art, from whence to raise
  112. Magnificence; and what can Heav'n shew more?
  113. Our torments also may in length of time
  114. Become our Elements, these piercing Fires
  115. As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd
  116. Into their temper; which must needs remove
  117. The sensible of pain. All things invite
  118. To peaceful Counsels, and the settl'd State
  119. Of order, how in safety best we may
  120. Compose our present evils, with regard
  121. Of what we are and were, dismissing quite
  122. All thoughts of warr: ye have what I advise.
  123. He scarce had finisht, when such murmur filld
  124. Th' Assembly, as when hollow Rocks retain
  125. The sound of blustring winds, which all night long
  126. Had rous'd the Sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
  127. Sea-faring men orewatcht, whose Bark by chance
  128. Or Pinnace anchors in a craggy Bay
  129. After the Tempest: Such applause was heard
  130. As Mammon ended, and his Sentence pleas'd,
  131. Advising peace: for such another Field
  132. They dreaded worse then Hell: so much the fear
  133. Of Thunder and the Sword of Michael
  134. Wrought still within them; and no less desire
  135. To found this nether Empire, which might rise
  136. By pollicy, and long process of time,
  137. In emulation opposite to Heav'n.
  138. Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, then whom,
  139. Satan except, none higher sat, with grave
  140. Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd
  141. A Pillar of State; deep on his Front engraven
  142. Deliberation sat and public care;
  143. And Princely counsel in his face yet shon,
  144. Majestic though in ruin: sage he stood
  145. With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear
  146. The weight of mightiest Monarchies; his look
  147. Drew audience and attention still as Night
  148. Or Summers Noon-tide air, while thus he spake.
  149. Thrones and Imperial Powers, off-spring of heav'n
  150. Ethereal Vertues; or these Titles now
  151. Must we renounce, and changing stile be call'd
  152. Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote
  153. Inclines, here to continue, and build up here
  154. A growing Empire; doubtless; while we dream,
  155. And know not that the King of Heav'n hath doom'd
  156. This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat
  157. Beyond his Potent arm, to live exempt
  158. From Heav'ns high jurisdiction, in new League
  159. Banded against his Throne, but to remaine
  160. In strictest bondage, though thus far remov'd,
  161. Under th' inevitable curb, reserv'd
  162. His captive multitude: For he, be sure
  163. In heighth or depth, still first and last will Reign
  164. Sole King, and of his Kingdom loose no part
  165. By our revolt, but over Hell extend
  166. His Empire, and with Iron Scepter rule
  167. Us here, as with his Golden those in Heav'n.
  168. What sit we then projecting peace and Warr?
  169. Warr hath determin'd us, and foild with loss
  170. Irreparable; tearms of peace yet none
  171. Voutsaf't or sought; for what peace will be giv'n
  172. To us enslav'd, but custody severe,
  173. And stripes, and arbitrary punishment
  174. Inflicted? and what peace can we return,
  175. But to our power hostility and hate,
  176. Untam'd reluctance, and revenge though slow,
  177. Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
  178. May reap his conquest, and may least rejoyce
  179. In doing what we most in suffering feel?
  180. Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need
  181. With dangerous expedition to invade
  182. Heav'n, whose high walls fear no assault or Siege,
  183. Or ambush from the Deep. What if we find
  184. Some easier enterprize? There is a place
  185. (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heav'n
  186. Err not) another World, the happy seat
  187. Of some new Race call'd Man, about this time
  188. To be created like to us, though less
  189. In power and excellence, but favour'd more
  190. Of him who rules above; so was his will
  191. Pronounc'd among the Gods, and by an Oath,
  192. That shook Heav'ns whol circumference, confirm'd.
  193. Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
  194. What creatures there inhabit, of what mould,
  195. Or substance, how endu'd, and what thir Power,
  196. And where thir weakness, how attempted best,
  197. By force or suttlety: Though Heav'n be shut,
  198. And Heav'ns high Arbitrator sit secure
  199. In his own strength, this place may lye expos'd
  200. The utmost border of his Kingdom, left
  201. To their defence who hold it: here perhaps
  202. Som advantagious act may be achiev'd
  203. By sudden onset, either with Hell fire
  204. To waste his whole Creation, or possess
  205. All as our own, and drive as we were driven,
  206. The punie habitants, or if not drive,
  207. Seduce them to our Party, that thir God
  208. May prove thir foe, and with repenting hand
  209. Abolish his own works. This would surpass
  210. Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
  211. In our Confusion, and our Joy upraise
  212. In his disturbance; when his darling Sons
  213. Hurl'd headlong to partake with us, shall curse
  214. Thir frail Original, and faded bliss,
  215. Faded so soon. Advise if this be worth
  216. Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
  217. Hatching vain Empires. Thus Beelzebub
  218. Pleaded his devilish Counsel, first devis'd
  219. By Satan, and in part propos'd: for whence,
  220. But from the Author of all ill could Spring
  221. So deep a malice, to confound the race
  222. Of mankind in one root, and Earth with Hell
  223. To mingle and involve, done all to spite
  224. The great Creatour? But thir spite still serves
  225. His glory to augment. The bold design
  226. Pleas'd highly those infernal States, and joy
  227. Sparkl'd in all thir eyes; with full assent
  228. They vote: whereat his speech he thus renews.
  229. Well have ye judg'd, well ended long debate,
  230. Synod of Gods, and like to what ye are,
  231. Great things resolv'd; which from the lowest deep
  232. Will once more lift us up, in spight of Fate,
  233. Neerer our ancient Seat; perhaps in view
  234. Of those bright confines, whence with neighbouring Arms
  235. And opportune excursion we may chance
  236. Re-enter Heav'n; or else in some milde Zone
  237. Dwell not unvisited of Heav'ns fair Light
  238. Secure, and at the brightning Orient beam
  239. Purge off this gloom; the soft delicious Air,
  240. To heal the scarr of these corrosive Fires
  241. Shall breath her balme. But first whom shall we send
  242. In search of this new world, whom shall we find
  243. Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandring feet
  244. The dark unbottom'd infinite Abyss
  245. And through the palpable obscure find out
  246. His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight
  247. Upborn with indefatigable wings
  248. Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
  249. The happy Ile; what strength, what art can then
  250. Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe
  251. Through the strict Senteries and Stations thick
  252. Of Angels watching round? Here he had need
  253. All circumspection, and we now no less
  254. Choice in our suffrage; for on whom we send,
  255. The weight of all and our last hope relies.
  256. This said, he sat; and expectation held
  257. His look suspence, awaiting who appeer'd
  258. To second, or oppose, or undertake
  259. The perilous attempt; but all sat mute,
  260. Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each
  261. In others count'nance read his own dismay
  262. Astonisht: none among the choice and prime
  263. Of those Heav'n-warring Champions could be found
  264. So hardie as to proffer or accept
  265. Alone the dreadful voyage; till at last
  266. Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd
  267. Above his fellows, with Monarchal pride
  268. Conscious of highest worth, unmov'd thus spake.
  269. O Progeny of Heav'n, Empyreal Thrones,
  270. With reason hath deep silence and demurr
  271. Seis'd us, though undismaid: long is the way
  272. And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light;
  273. Our prison strong, this huge convex of Fire,
  274. Outrageous to devour, immures us round
  275. Ninefold, and gates of burning Adamant
  276. Barr'd over us prohibit all egress.
  277. These past, if any pass, the void profound
  278. Of unessential Night receives him next
  279. Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being
  280. Threatens him, plung'd in that abortive gulf.
  281. If thence he scape into whatever world,
  282. Or unknown Region, what remains him less
  283. Then unknown dangers and as hard escape.
  284. But I should ill become this Throne, O Peers,
  285. And this Imperial Sov'ranty, adorn'd
  286. With splendor, arm'd with power, if aught propos'd
  287. And judg'd of public moment, in the shape
  288. Of difficulty or danger could deterr
  289. Mee from attempting. Wherefore do I assume
  290. These Royalties, and not refuse to Reign,
  291. Refusing to accept as great a share
  292. Of hazard as of honour, due alike
  293. To him who Reigns, and so much to him due
  294. Of hazard more, as he above the rest
  295. High honourd sits? Go therefore mighty Powers,
  296. Terror of Heav'n, though fall'n; intend at home,
  297. While here shall be our home, what best may ease
  298. The present misery, and render Hell
  299. More tollerable; if there be cure or charm
  300. To respite or deceive, or slack the pain
  301. Of this ill Mansion: intermit no watch
  302. Against a wakeful Foe, while I abroad
  303. Through all the Coasts of dark destruction seek
  304. Deliverance for us all: this enterprize
  305. None shall partake with me. Thus saying rose
  306. The Monarch, and prevented all reply,
  307. Prudent, least from his resolution rais'd
  308. Others among the chief might offer now
  309. (Certain to be refus'd) what erst they fear'd;
  310. And so refus'd might in opinion stand
  311. His Rivals, winning cheap the high repute
  312. Which he through hazard huge must earn. But they
  313. Dreaded not more th' adventure then his voice
  314. Forbidding; and at once with him they rose;
  315. Thir rising all at once was as the sound
  316. Of Thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend
  317. With awful reverence prone; and as a God
  318. Extoll him equal to the highest in Heav'n:
  319. Nor fail'd they to express how much they prais'd,
  320. That for the general safety he despis'd
  321. His own: for neither do the Spirits damn'd
  322. Loose all thir vertue; least bad men should boast
  323. Thir specious deeds on earth, which glory excites,
  324. Or clos ambition varnisht o're with zeal.
  325. Thus they thir doubtful consultations dark
  326. Ended rejoycing in thir matchless Chief:
  327. As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds
  328. Ascending, while the North wind sleeps, O'respread
  329. Heav'ns chearful face, the lowring Element
  330. Scowls ore the dark'nd lantskip Snow, or showre;
  331. If chance the radiant Sun with farewell sweet
  332. Extend his ev'ning beam, the fields revive,
  333. The birds thir notes renew, and bleating herds
  334. Attest thir joy, that hill and valley rings.
  335. O shame to men! Devil with Devil damn'd
  336. Firm concord holds, men onely disagree
  337. Of Creatures rational, though under hope
  338. Of heavenly Grace; and God proclaiming peace,
  339. Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife
  340. Among themselves, and levie cruel warres,
  341. Wasting the Earth, each other to destroy:
  342. As if (which might induce us to accord)
  343. Man had not hellish foes anow besides,
  344. That day and night for his destruction waite.
  345. The Stygian Counsel thus dissolv'd; and forth
  346. In order came the grand infernal Peers:
  347. Midst came thir mighty Paramount, and seemd
  348. Alone th' Antagonist of Heav'n, nor less
  349. Than Hells dread Emperour with pomp Supream,
  350. And God-like imitated State; him round
  351. A Globe of fierie Seraphim inclos'd
  352. With bright imblazonrie, and horrent Arms.
  353. Then of thir Session ended they bid cry
  354. With Trumpets regal sound the great result:
  355. Toward the four winds four speedy Cherubim
  356. Put to thir mouths the sounding Alchymie
  357. By Haralds voice explain'd: the hollow Abyss
  358. Heard farr and wide, and all the host of Hell
  359. With deafning shout, return'd them loud acclaim.
  360. Thence more at ease thir minds and somwhat rais'd
  361. By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers
  362. Disband, and wandring, each his several way
  363. Pursues, as inclination or sad choice
  364. Leads him perplext, where he may likeliest find
  365. Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain
  366. The irksom hours, till his great Chief return.
  367. Part on the Plain, or in the Air sublime
  368. Upon the wing, or in swift Race contend,
  369. As at th' Olympian Games or Pythian fields;
  370. Part curb thir fierie Steeds, or shun the Goal
  371. With rapid wheels, or fronted Brigads form.
  372. As when to warn proud Cities warr appears
  373. Wag'd in the troubl'd Skie, and Armies rush
  374. To Battel in the Clouds, before each Van
  375. Prick forth the Aerie Knights, and couch thir Spears
  376. Till thickest Legions close; with feats of Arms
  377. From either end of Heav'n the welkin burns.
  378. Others with vast Typhan rage more fell
  379. Rend up both Rocks and Hills, and ride the Air
  380. In whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wilde uproar.
  381. As when Alcides from Oechalia Crown'd
  382. With conquest, felt th' envenom'd robe, and tore
  383. Through pain up by the roots Thessalian Pines,
  384. And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw
  385. Into th' Euboic Sea. Others more milde,
  386. Retreated in a silent valley, sing
  387. With notes Angelical to many a Harp
  388. Thir own Heroic deeds and hapless fall
  389. By doom of Battel; and complain that Fate
  390. Free Vertue should enthrall to Force or Chance.
  391. Thir Song was partial, but the harmony
  392. (What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?)
  393. Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment
  394. The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet
  395. (For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense,)
  396. Others apart sat on a Hill retir'd,
  397. In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high
  398. Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will and Fate,
  399. Fixt Fate, free will, foreknowledg absolute,
  400. And found no end, in wandring mazes lost.
  401. Of good and evil much they argu'd then,
  402. Of happiness and final misery,
  403. Passion and Apathie, and glory and shame,
  404. Vain wisdom all, and false Philosophie:
  405. Yet with a pleasing sorcerie could charm
  406. Pain for a while or anguish, and excite
  407. Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdured brest
  408. With stubborn patience as with triple steel.
  409. Another part in Squadrons and gross Bands,
  410. On bold adventure to discover wide
  411. That dismal world, if any Clime perhaps
  412. Might yield them easier habitation, bend
  413. Four ways thir flying March, along the Banks
  414. Of four infernal Rivers that disgorge
  415. Into the burning Lake thir baleful streams;
  416. Abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate,
  417. Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;
  418. Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud
  419. Heard on the ruful stream; fierce Phlegeton
  420. Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.
  421. Farr off from these a slow and silent stream,
  422. Lethe the River of Oblivion roules
  423. Her watrie Labyrinth, whereof who drinks,
  424. Forthwith his former state and being forgets,
  425. Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.
  426. Beyond this flood a frozen Continent
  427. Lies dark and wilde, beat with perpetual storms
  428. Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land
  429. Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems
  430. Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice,
  431. A gulf profound as that Serbonian Bog
  432. Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old,
  433. Where Armies whole have sunk: the parching Air
  434. Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire.
  435. Thither by harpy-footed Furies hail'd,
  436. At certain revolutions all the damn'd
  437. Are brought: and feel by turns the bitter change
  438. Of fierce extreams, extreams by change more fierce,
  439. From Beds of raging Fire to starve in Ice
  440. Thir soft Ethereal warmth, and there to pine
  441. Immovable, infixt, and frozen round,
  442. Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire.
  443. They ferry over this Lethean Sound
  444. Both to and fro, thir sorrow to augment,
  445. And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach
  446. The tempting stream, with one small drop to loose
  447. In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe,
  448. All in one moment, and so neer the brink;
  449. But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt
  450. Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards
  451. The Ford, and of it self the water flies
  452. All taste of living wight, as once it fled
  453. The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on
  454. In confus'd march forlorn, th' adventrous Bands
  455. With shuddring horror pale, and eyes agast
  456. View'd first thir lamentable lot, and found
  457. No rest: through many a dark and drearie Vaile
  458. They pass'd, and many a Region dolorous,
  459. O'er many a Frozen, many a fierie Alpe,
  460. Rocks, Caves, Lakes, Fens, Bogs, Dens, and shades of death,
  461. A Universe of death, which God by curse
  462. Created evil, for evil only good,
  463. Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds,
  464. Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
  465. Abominable, inutterable, and worse
  466. Then Fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd,
  467. Gorgons and Hydra's, and Chimera's dire.
  468. Mean while the Adversary of God and Man,
  469. Satan with thoughts inflam'd of highest design,
  470. Puts on swift wings, and towards the Gates of Hell
  471. Explores his solitary flight; som times
  472. He scours the right hand coast, som times the left,
  473. Now shaves with level wing the Deep, then soares
  474. Up to the fiery Concave touring high.
  475. As when farr off at Sea a Fleet descri'd
  476. Hangs in the Clouds, by quinoctial Winds
  477. Close sailing from Bengala, or the Iles
  478. Of Ternate and Tidore, whence Merchants bring
  479. Thir spicie Drugs: they on the Trading Flood ]
  480. Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape
  481. Ply stemming nightly toward the Pole. So seem'd
  482. Farr off the flying Fiend: at last appeer
  483. Hell bounds high reaching to the horrid Roof,
  484. And thrice threefold the Gates; three folds were Brass,
  485. Three Iron, three of Adamantine Rock,
  486. Impenetrable, impal'd with circling fire,
  487. Yet unconsum'd. Before the Gates there sat
  488. On either side a formidable shape;
  489. The one seem'd Woman to the waste, and fair,
  490. But ended foul in many a scaly fould
  491. Voluminous and vast, a Serpent arm'd
  492. With mortal sting: about her middle round
  493. A cry of Hell Hounds never ceasing bark'd
  494. With wide Cerberian mouths full loud, and rung
  495. A hideous Peal: yet, when they list, would creep,
  496. If aught disturb'd thir noyse, into her woomb,
  497. And kennel there, yet there still bark'd and howl'd
  498. Within unseen. Farr less abhorrd than these
  499. Vex'd Scylla bathing in the Sea that parts
  500. Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore:
  501. Nor uglier follow the Night-Hag, when call'd
  502. In secret, riding through the Air she comes
  503. Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, to dance
  504. With Lapland Witches, while the labouring Moon
  505. Eclipses at thir charms. The other shape,
  506. If shape it might be call'd that shape had none
  507. Distinguishable in member, joynt, or limb,
  508. Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem'd,
  509. For each seem'd either; black it stood as Night,
  510. Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as Hell,
  511. And shook a dreadful Dart; what seem'd his head
  512. The likeness of a Kingly Crown had on.
  513. Satan was now at hand, and from his seat
  514. The Monster moving onward came as fast
  515. With horrid strides, Hell trembled as he strode.
  516. Th' undaunted Fiend what this might be admir'd,
  517. Admir'd, not fear'd; God and his Son except,
  518. Created thing naught valu'd he nor shun'd
  519. And with disdainful look thus first began.
  520. Whence and what art thou, execrable shape,
  521. That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance
  522. Thy miscreated Front athwart my way
  523. To yonder Gates? through them I mean to pass,
  524. That be assured, without leave askt of thee:
  525. Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof,
  526. Hell-born, not to contend with Spirits of Heav'n.
  527. To whom the Goblin full of wrauth reply'd,
  528. Art thou that Traitor Angel, art thou hee,
  529. Who first broke peace in Heav'n and Faith, till then
  530. Unbrok'n, and in proud rebellious Arms
  531. Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Sons
  532. Conjur'd against the highest, for which both Thou
  533. And they outcast from God, are here condemn'd
  534. To waste Eternal dayes in woe and pain?
  535. And reck'n'st thou thy self with Spirits of Heav'n,
  536. Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn
  537. Where I reign King, and to enrage thee more,
  538. Thy King and Lord? Back to thy punishment,
  539. False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings,
  540. Least with a whip of Scorpions I pursue
  541. Thy lingring, or with one stroke of this Dart
  542. Strange horror seise thee, and pangs unfelt before.
  543. So spake the grieslie terror, and in shape,
  544. So speaking and so threatning, grew tenfold
  545. More dreadful and deform: on th' other side
  546. Incenst with indignation Satan stood
  547. Unterrifi'd, and like a Comet burn'd,
  548. That fires the length of Ophiucus huge
  549. In th' Artick Sky, and from his horrid hair
  550. Shakes Pestilence and Warr. Each at the Head
  551. Level'd his deadly aime; thir fatall hands
  552. No second stroke intend, and such a frown
  553. Each cast at th' other, as when two black Clouds
  554. With Heav'ns Artillery fraught, come rattling on
  555. Over the Caspian, then stand front to front
  556. Hov'ring a space, till Winds the signal blow
  557. To join thir dark Encounter in mid air:
  558. So frownd the mighty Combatants, that Hell
  559. Grew darker at thir frown, so matcht they stood;
  560. For never but once more was either like
  561. To meet so great a foe: and now great deeds
  562. Had been achiev'd, whereof all Hell had rung,
  563. Had not the Snakie Sorceress that sat
  564. Fast by Hell Gate, and kept the fatal Key,
  565. Ris'n, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.
  566. O Father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd,
  567. Against thy only Son? What fury O Son,
  568. Possesses thee to bend that mortal Dart
  569. Against thy Fathers head? and know'st for whom;
  570. For him who sits above and laughs the while
  571. At thee ordain'd his drudge, to execute
  572. What e're his wrath, which he calls Justice, bids,
  573. His wrath which one day will destroy ye both.
  574. She spake, and at her words the hellish Pest
  575. Forbore, then these to her Satan return'd:
  576. So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange
  577. Thou interposest, that my sudden hand
  578. Prevented spares to tell thee yet by deeds
  579. What it intends; till first I know of thee,
  580. What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why
  581. In this infernal Vaile first met thou call'st
  582. Me Father, and that Fantasm call'st my Son?
  583. I know thee not, nor ever saw till now
  584. Sight more detestable then him and thee.
  585. T' whom thus the Portress of Hell Gate reply'd;
  586. Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem
  587. Now in thine eye so foul, once deemd so fair
  588. In Heav'n, when at th' Assembly, and in sight
  589. Of all the Seraphim with thee combin'd
  590. In bold conspiracy against Heav'ns King,
  591. All on a sudden miserable pain
  592. Surprisd thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzie swumm
  593. In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast
  594. Threw forth, till on the left side op'ning wide,
  595. Likest to thee in shape and count'nance bright,
  596. Then shining Heav'nly fair, a Goddess arm'd
  597. Out of thy head I sprung; amazement seis'd
  598. All th' Host of Heav'n back they recoild affraid
  599. At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a Sign
  600. Portentous held me; but familiar grown,
  601. I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won
  602. The most averse, thee chiefly, who full oft
  603. Thy self in me thy perfect image viewing
  604. Becam'st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st
  605. With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd
  606. A growing burden. Mean while Warr arose,
  607. And fields were fought in Heav'n; wherein remaind
  608. (For what could else) to our Almighty Foe
  609. Cleer Victory, to our part loss and rout
  610. Through all the Empyrean: down they fell
  611. Driv'n headlong from the Pitch of Heaven, down
  612. Into this Deep, and in the general fall
  613. I also; at which time this powerful Key
  614. Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep
  615. These Gates for ever shut, which none can pass
  616. Without my op'ning. Pensive here I sat
  617. Alone, but long I sat not, till my womb
  618. Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown
  619. Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes.
  620. At last this odious offspring whom thou seest
  621. Thine own begotten, breaking violent way
  622. Tore through my entrails, that with fear and pain
  623. Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew
  624. Transform'd: but he my inbred enemie
  625. Forth issu'd, brandishing his fatal Dart
  626. Made to destroy: I fled, and cry'd out Death;
  627. Hell trembl'd at the hideous Name, and sigh'd
  628. From all her Caves, and back resounded Death.
  629. I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems,
  630. Inflam'd with lust then rage) and swifter far,
  631. Mee overtook his mother all dismaid,
  632. And in embraces forcible and foule
  633. Ingendring with me, of that rape begot
  634. These yelling Monsters that with ceasless cry
  635. Surround me, as thou sawst, hourly conceiv'd
  636. And hourly born, with sorrow infinite
  637. To me, for when they list into the womb
  638. That bred them they return, and howle and gnaw
  639. My Bowels, thir repast; then bursting forth
  640. A fresh with conscious terrours vex me round,
  641. That rest or intermission none I find.
  642. Before mine eyes in opposition sits
  643. Grim Death my Son and foe, who sets them on,
  644. And me his Parent would full soon devour
  645. For want of other prey, but that he knows
  646. His end with mine involvd; and knows that I
  647. Should prove a bitter Morsel, and his bane,
  648. Whenever that shall be; so Fate pronounc'd.
  649. But thou O Father, I forewarn thee, shun
  650. His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope
  651. To be invulnerable in those bright Arms,
  652. Though temper'd heav'nly, for that mortal dint,
  653. Save he who reigns above, none can resist.
  654. She finish'd, and the suttle Fiend his lore
  655. Soon learnd, now milder, and thus answerd smooth.
  656. Dear Daughter, since thou claim'st me for thy Sire,
  657. And my fair Son here showst me, the dear pledge
  658. Of dalliance had with thee in Heav'n, and joys
  659. Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change
  660. Befalln us unforeseen, unthought of, know
  661. I come no enemie, but to set free
  662. From out this dark and dismal house of pain,
  663. Both him and thee, and all the heav'nly Host
  664. Of Spirits that in our just pretenses arm'd
  665. Fell with us from on high: from them I go
  666. This uncouth errand sole, and one for all
  667. Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread
  668. Th' unfounded deep, and through the void immense
  669. To search with wandring quest a place foretold
  670. Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now
  671. Created vast and round, a place of bliss
  672. In the Purlieues of Heav'n, and therein plac't
  673. A race of upstart Creatures, to supply
  674. Perhaps our vacant room, though more remov'd,
  675. Least Heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude
  676. Might hap to move new broiles: Be this or aught
  677. Then this more secret now design'd, I haste
  678. To know, and this once known, shall soon return,
  679. And bring ye to the place where Thou and Death
  680. Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen
  681. Wing silently the buxom Air, imbalm'd
  682. With odours; there ye shall be fed and fill'd
  683. Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey.
  684. He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleasd, and Death
  685. Grinnd horrible a gastly smile, to hear
  686. His famine should be fill'd, and blest his mawe
  687. Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoyc'd
  688. His mother bad, and thus bespake her Sire.
  689. The key of this infernal Pit by due,
  690. And by command of Heav'ns all-powerful King
  691. I keep, by him forbidden to unlock
  692. These Adamantine Gates; against all force
  693. Death ready stands to interpose his dart,
  694. Fearless to be o'rmatcht by living might.
  695. But what ow I to his commands above
  696. Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
  697. Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,
  698. To sit in hateful Office here confin'd,
  699. Inhabitant of Heav'n, and heav'nlie-born,
  700. Here in perpetual agonie and pain,
  701. With terrors and with clamors compasst round
  702. Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed:
  703. Thou art my Father, thou my Author, thou
  704. My being gav'st me; whom should I obey
  705. But thee, whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon
  706. To that new world of light and bliss, among
  707. The Gods who live at ease, where I shall Reign
  708. At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems
  709. Thy daughter and thy darling, without end.
  710. Thus saying, from her side the fatal Key,
  711. Sad instrument of all our woe, she took;
  712. And towards the Gate rouling her bestial train,
  713. Forthwith the huge Porcullis high up drew,
  714. Which but her self not all the Stygian powers
  715. Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole turns
  716. Th' intricate wards, and every Bolt and Bar
  717. Of massie Iron or sollid Rock with ease
  718. Unfast'ns: on a sudden op'n flie
  719. With impetuous recoile and jarring sound
  720. Th' infernal dores, and on thir hinges grate
  721. Harsh Thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
  722. Of Erebus. She op'nd, but to shut
  723. Excel'd her power; the Gates wide op'n stood,
  724. That with extended wings a Bannerd Host
  725. Under spread Ensigns marching might pass through
  726. With Horse and Chariots rankt in loose array;
  727. So wide they stood, and like a Furnace mouth
  728. Cast forth redounding smoak and ruddy flame.
  729. Before thir eyes in sudden view appear
  730. The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark
  731. Illimitable Ocean without bound,
  732. Without dimension, where length, breadth, & highth,
  733. And time and place are lost; where eldest Night
  734. And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold
  735. Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise
  736. Of endless Warrs, and by confusion stand.
  737. For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce
  738. Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring
  739. Thir embryon Atoms; they around the flag
  740. Of each his faction, in thir several Clanns,
  741. Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift or slow,
  742. Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the Sands
  743. Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil,
  744. Levied to side with warring Winds, and poise
  745. Thir lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,
  746. Hee rules a moment; Chaos Umpire sits,
  747. And by decision more imbroiles the fray
  748. By which he Reigns: next him high Arbiter
  749. Chance governs all. Into this wilde Abyss,
  750. The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
  751. Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
  752. But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt
  753. Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
  754. Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
  755. His dark materials to create more Worlds,
  756. Into this wild Abyss the warie fiend
  757. Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
  758. Pondering his Voyage: for no narrow frith
  759. He had to cross. Nor was his eare less peal'd
  760. With noises loud and ruinous (to compare
  761. Great things with small) then when Bellona storms,
  762. With all her battering Engines bent to rase
  763. Som Capital City; or less then if this frame
  764. Of Heav'n were falling, and these Elements
  765. In mutinie had from her Axle torn
  766. The stedfast Earth. At last his Sail-broad Vannes
  767. He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoak
  768. Uplifted spurns the ground, thence many a League
  769. As in a cloudy Chair ascending rides
  770. Audacious, but that seat soon failing, meets
  771. A vast vacuitie: all unawares
  772. Fluttring his pennons vain plumb down he drops
  773. Ten thousand fadom deep, and to this hour
  774. Down had been falling, had not by ill chance
  775. The strong rebuff of som tumultuous cloud
  776. Instinct with Fire and Nitre hurried him
  777. As many miles aloft: that furie stay'd,
  778. Quencht in a Boggy Syrtis, neither Sea,
  779. Nor good dry Land: nigh founderd on he fares,
  780. Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,
  781. Half flying; behoves him now both Oare and Saile.
  782. As when a Gryfon through the Wilderness
  783. With winged course ore Hill or moarie Dale,
  784. Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stelth
  785. Had from his wakeful custody purloind
  786. The guarded Gold: So eagerly the fiend
  787. Ore bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare,
  788. With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues his way,
  789. And swims or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flyes:
  790. At length a universal hubbub wilde
  791. Of stunning sounds and voices all confus'd
  792. Borne through the hollow dark assaults his eare
  793. With loudest vehemence: thither he plyes,
  794. Undaunted to meet there what ever power
  795. Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss
  796. Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask
  797. Which way the neerest coast of darkness lyes
  798. Bordering on light; when strait behold the Throne
  799. Of Chaos, and his dark Pavilion spread
  800. Wide on the wasteful Deep; with him Enthron'd
  801. Sat Sable-vested Night, eldest of things,
  802. The Consort of his Reign; and by them stood
  803. Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name
  804. Of Demogorgon; Rumor next and Chance,
  805. And Tumult and Confusion all imbroild,
  806. And Discord with a thousand various mouths.
  807. T' whom Satan turning boldly, thus. Ye Powers
  808. And Spirits of this nethermost Abyss,
  809. Chaos and ancient Night, I come no Spy,
  810. With purpose to explore or to disturb
  811. The secrets of your Realm, but by constraint
  812. Wandring this darksome Desart, as my way
  813. Lies through your spacious Empire up to light,
  814. Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek
  815. What readiest path leads where your gloomie bounds
  816. Confine with Heav'n; or if som other place
  817. From your Dominion won, th' Ethereal King
  818. Possesses lately, thither to arrive
  819. I travel this profound, direct my course;
  820. Directed no mean recompence it brings
  821. To your behoof, if I that Region lost,
  822. All usurpation thence expell'd, reduce
  823. To her original darkness and your sway
  824. (Which is my present journey) and once more
  825. Erect the Standard there of ancient Night;
  826. Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge.
  827. Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old
  828. With faultring speech and visage incompos'd
  829. Answer'd. I know thee, stranger, who thou art,
  830. That mighty leading Angel, who of late
  831. Made head against Heav'ns King, though overthrown.
  832. I saw and heard, for such a numerous Host
  833. Fled not in silence through the frighted deep
  834. With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout,
  835. Confusion worse confounded; and Heav'n Gates
  836. Pourd out by millions her victorious Bands
  837. Pursuing. I upon my Frontieres here
  838. Keep residence; if all I can will serve,
  839. That little which is left so to defend
  840. Encroacht on still through our intestine broiles
  841. Weakning the Scepter of old Night: first Hell
  842. Your dungeon stretching far and wide beneath;
  843. Now lately Heaven and Earth, another World
  844. Hung ore my Realm, link'd in a golden Chain
  845. To that side Heav'n from whence your Legions fell:
  846. If that way be your walk, you have not farr;
  847. So much the neerer danger; go and speed;
  848. Havock and spoil and ruin are my gain.
  849. He ceas'd; and Satan staid not to reply,
  850. But glad that now his Sea should find a shore,
  851. With fresh alacritie and force renew'd
  852. Springs upward like a Pyramid of fire
  853. Into the wilde expanse, and through the shock
  854. Of fighting Elements, on all sides round
  855. Environ'd wins his way; harder beset
  856. And more endanger'd, then when Argo pass'd
  857. Through Bosporus betwixt the justling Rocks:
  858. Or when Ulysses on the Larbord shunnd
  859. Charybdis, and by th' other whirlpool steard.
  860. So he with difficulty and labour hard
  861. Mov'd on, with difficulty and labour hee;
  862. But hee once past, soon after when man fell,
  863. Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain
  864. Following his track, such was the will of Heav'n,
  865. Pav'd after him a broad and beat'n way
  866. Over the dark Abyss, whose boiling Gulf
  867. Tamely endur'd a Bridge of wondrous length
  868. From Hell continu'd reaching th' utmost Orbe
  869. Of this frail World; by which the Spirits perverse
  870. With easie intercourse pass to and fro
  871. To tempt or punish mortals, except whom
  872. God and good Angels guard by special grace.
  873. But now at last the sacred influence
  874. Of light appears, and from the walls of Heav'n
  875. Shoots farr into the bosom of dim Night
  876. A glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins
  877. Her fardest verge, and Chaos to retire
  878. As from her outmost works a brok'n foe
  879. With tumult less and with less hostile din,
  880. That Satan with less toil, and now with ease
  881. Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light
  882. And like a weather-beaten Vessel holds
  883. Gladly the Port, though Shrouds and Tackle torn;
  884. Or in the emptier waste, resembling Air,
  885. Weighs his spread wings, at leasure to behold
  886. Farr off th' Empyreal Heav'n, extended wide
  887. In circuit, undetermind square or round,
  888. With Opal Towrs and Battlements adorn'd
  889. Of living Saphire, once his native Seat;
  890. And fast by hanging in a golden Chain
  891. This pendant world, in bigness as a Starr
  892. Of smallest Magnitude close by the Moon.
  893. Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge,
  894. Accurst, and in a cursed hour he hies.


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