Paradise Lost, стр. 2

Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,

Our labour must be to pervert that end,

And out of good still to find means of evil;

Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps

Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb

His inmost counsels from their destind aim.

But see the angry Victor hath recall'd

His Ministers of vengeance and pursuit

Back to the Gates of Heav'n: The Sulphurous Hail

Shot after us in storm, oreblown hath laid

The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice

Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the Thunder,

Wing'd with red Lightning and impetuous rage,

Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now

To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.

Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn,

Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.

Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde,

The seat of desolation, voyd of light,

Save what the glimmering of these livid flames

Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend

From off the tossing of these fiery waves,

There rest, if any rest can harbour there,

And reassembling our afflicted Powers,

Consult how we may henceforth most offend

Our Enemy, our own loss how repair,

How overcome this dire Calamity,

What reinforcement we may gain from Hope,

If not what resolution from despare.

Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate

With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes

That sparkling blaz'd, 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,

TITANIAN, or EARTH-BORN, that warr'd on JOVE,

BRIARIOS or TYPHON, whom the Den

By ancient TARSUS held, or that Sea-beast

LEVIATHAN, which God of all his works

Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream:

Him haply slumbring on the NORWAY foam

The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff,

Deeming some Island, oft, as Sea-men tell,

With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind

Moors by his side under the Lee, while Night

Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes:

So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay

Chain'd on the burning Lake, nor ever thence

Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will

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 enrag'd might see

How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth

Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn

On Man by him seduc't, but on himself

Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.

Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool

His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames

Drivn backward slope their pointing spires, & rowld

In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale.

Then with expanded wings he stears his flight

Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air

That felt unusual weight, till on dry Land

He lights, if it were Land that ever burn'd

With solid, as the Lake with liquid fire;

And such appear'd in hue, as when the force

Of subterranean wind transports a Hill

Torn from PELORUS, or the shatter'd side

Of thundring AETNA, whose combustible

And fewel'd entrals thence conceiving Fire,

Sublim'd with Mineral fury, aid the Winds,

And leave a singed bottom all involv'd

With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole

Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate,

Both glorying to have scap't the STYGIAN flood

As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength,

Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime,

Said then the lost Arch Angel, this the seat

That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom

For that celestial light? Be it so, since hee

Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid

What shall be right: fardest from him is best

Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream

Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields

Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail

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 it self

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 then hee

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 choyce

To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:

Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.

But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,

Th' associates and copartners of our loss

Lye thus astonisht on th' 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

Regaind in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell?

So SATAN spake, and him BEELZEBUB

Thus answer'd. Leader of those Armies bright,

Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foyld,

If once they hear that voyce, their liveliest pledge

Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft

In worst extreams, and on the perilous edge

Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults

Their surest signal, they will soon resume

New courage and revive, though now they lye

Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire,

As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd,

No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.

He scarce had ceas't when the superiour 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 TUSCAN Artist views

At Ev'ning from the top of FESOLE,

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 walkt with to support uneasie steps

Over the burning Marle, not like those steps

On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime

Smote on him sore 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 intrans't

Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks

In VALLOMBROSA, where th' ETRURIAN shades

High overarch't imbowr; or scatterd sedge

Afloat, when with fierce Winds ORION arm'd

Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew

BUSIRIS and his MEMPHIAN Chivalrie,

VVhile with perfidious hatred they pursu'd

The Sojourners of GOSHEN, who beheld

From the safe shore their floating Carkases

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,

Warriers, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost,

If such astonishment as this can sieze

Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place

After the toyl of Battel to repose

Your wearied vertue, 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 Conquerour? who now beholds

Cherube and Seraph rowling in the Flood

With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon

His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern