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PARADISE LOST

BOOK II


II-1. High on a Throne of Royal State, which far / Outshon the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, / Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand / Showrs on her Kings Barbaric Pearl and Gold,

II-5. Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd / To that bad eminence; and from despair

II-7. Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires

II-8. Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue / Vain Warr with Heav'n, and by success untaught

II-10. His proud imaginations thus displaid

II-11. Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heav'n, / For since no deep within her gulf can hold / Immortal vigor, though opprest and fall'n,

II-14. I give not Heav'n for lost. From this descent

II-15. Celestial vertues rising, will appear / More glorious and more dread then from no fall, / And trust themselves to fear no second fate:

II-18. Mee though just right, and the fixt Laws of Heav'n / Did first create your Leader, next free choice, / With what besides, in Counsel or in Fight, / Hath bin achievd of merit, yet this loss

II-22. Thus farr at least recover'd, hath much more / Establisht in a safe unenvied Throne

II-24. Yielded with full consent. The happier state / In Heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw / Envy from each inferior; but who here / Will envy whom the highest place exposes / Formost to stand against the Thunderers aim / Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share

II-30. Of endless pain? where there is then no good / For which to strive, no strife can grow up there / From Faction; for none sure will claim in Hell / Precedence, none, whose portion is so small / Of present pain, that with ambitious mind

II-35. Will covet more. With this advantage then / To union, and firm Faith, and firm accord, / More then can be in Heav'n, we now return / To claim our just inheritance of old,

II-39. Surer to prosper then prosperity

II-40. Could have assur'd us; and by what best way, / Whether of open Warr or covert guile, / We now debate; who can advise, may speak.

II-43. He ceas'd, and next him Moloc, Scepter'd King / Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Spirit / That fought in Heav'n; now fiercer by despair:

II-46. His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd / Equal in strength, and rather then be less

II-48. Care'd not to be at all; with that care lost / Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse / He reck'd not, and these words thereafter spake.

II-51. My sentence is for open Warr: Of Wiles,

II-52. More unexpert, I boast not: them let those

II-53. Contrive who need, or when they need, not now.

II-54. For while they sit contriving, shall the rest, / Millions that stand in Arms, and longing wait / The Signal to ascend, sit lingring here / Heav'ns fugitives, and for thir dwelling place / Accept this dark opprobrious Den of shame, / The Prison of his Tyranny who Reigns

II-60. By our delay? no, let us rather choose / Arm'd with Hell flames and fury all at once / O're Heav'ns high Towrs to force resistless way, / Turning our Tortures into horrid Arms / Against the Torturer; when to meet the noise / Of his Almighty Engin he shall hear / Infernal Thunder, and for Lightning see / Black fire and horror shot with equal rage

II-68. Among his Angels; and his Throne it self / Mixt with Tartarean Sulphur, and strange fire, / His own invented Torments. But perhaps

II-71. The way seems difficult and steep to scale / With upright wing against a higher foe. / Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench / Of that forgetful Lake benumm not still, / That in our proper motion we ascend / Up to our native seat: descent and fall / To us is adverse. Who but felt of late / When the fierce Foe hung on our brok'n Rear / Insulting, and pursu'd us through the Deep, / With what compulsion and laborious flight / We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easie then;

II-82. Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke / Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find / To our destruction: if there be in Hell

II-85. Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse / Then to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd / In this abhorred deep to utter woe; / Where pain of unextinguishable fire / Must exercise us without hope of end / The Vassals of his anger, when the Scourge / Inexorably, and the torturing hour

II-92. Calls us to Penance? More destroy'd then thus / We should be quite abolisht and expire. / What fear we then? what doubt we to incense / His utmost ire? which to the highth enrag'd, / Will either quite consume us, and reduce / To nothing this essential, happier farr / Then miserable to have eternal being:

II-99. Or if our substance be indeed Divine, / And cannot cease to be, we are at worst / On this side nothing; and by proof we feel / Our power sufficient to disturb his Heav'n, / And with perpetual inrodes to Allarme, / Though inaccessible, his fatal Throne:

II-105. Which if not Victory is yet Revenge.

II-106. He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd / Desperate revenge, and Battel dangerous

II-108. To less then Gods. On th' other side up rose / Belial, in act more graceful and humane; / A fairer person lost not Heav'n; he seemd / For dignity compos'd and high exploit: / But all was false and hollow; though his Tongue / Dropt Manna, and could make the worse appear / The better reason, to perplex and dash / Maturest Counsels: for his thoughts were low; / To vice industrious, but to Nobler deeds / Timorous and slothful: yet he pleas'd the ear, / And with perswasive accent thus began.

II-119. I should be much for open Warr, O Peers, / As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd / Main reason to persuade immediate Warr, / Did not disswade me most, and seem to cast / Ominous conjecture on the whole success: / When he who most excels in fact of Arms, / In what he counsels and in what excels / Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair / And utter dissolution, as the scope / Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.

II-129. First, what Revenge? the Towrs of Heav'n are fill'd / With Armed watch, that render all access / Impregnable; oft on the bordering Deep / Encamp thir Legions, or with obscure wing / Scout farr and wide into the Realm of night,

II-134. Scorning surprize. Or could we break our way / By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise / With blackest Insurrection, to confound / Heav'ns purest Light, yet our great Enemy / All incorruptible would on his Throne / Sit unpolluted, and th' Ethereal mould / Incapable of stain would soon expel / Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire

II-142. Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope / Is flat despair; we must exasperate / Th' Almighty Victor to spend all his rage, / And that must end us, that must be our cure,

II-146. To be no more; sad cure; for who would loose, / Though full of pain, this intellectual being, / Those thoughts that wander through Eternity, / To perish rather, swallowd up and lost / In the wide womb of uncreated night,

II-151. Devoid of sense and motion? and who knows, / Let this be good, whether our angry Foe / Can give it, or will ever? how he can / Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.

II-155. Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire, / Belike through impotence, or unaware, / To give his Enemies thir wish, and end / Them in his anger, whom his anger saves / To punish endless? wherefore cease we then? / Say they who counsel Warr, we are decreed, / Reserv'd and destin'd to Eternal woe;

II-162. Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,

II-163. What can we suffer worse? is this then worst, / Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in Arms?

II-165. What when we fled amain, pursu'd and strook / With Heav'ns afflicting Thunder, and besought / The Deep to shelter us? this Hell then seem'd

II-168. A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay / Chain'd on the burning Lake? that sure was worse.

II-170. What if the breath that kindl'd those grim fires / Awak'd should blow them into sevenfold rage / And plunge us in the flames? or from above / Should intermitted vengeance arm again

II-174. His red right hand to plague us? what if all / Her stores were open'd, and this Firmament / Of Hell should spout her Cataracts of Fire, / Impendent horrors, threatning hideous fall / One day upon our heads; while we perhaps / Designing or exhorting glorious warr, / Caught in a fierie Tempest shall be hurl'd / Each on his rock transfixt, the sport and prey / Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk / Under yon boyling Ocean, wrapt in Chains; / There to converse with everlasting groans, / Unrespited, unpitied, unrepreevd,

II-186. Ages of hopeless end; this would be worse.

II-187. Warr therefore, open or conceal'd, alike

II-188. My voice disswades; for what can force or guile / With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye / Views all things at one view? he from heav'ns highth

II-191. All these our motions vain, sees and derides;

II-192. Not more Almighty to resist our might / Then wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.

II-194. Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heav'n / Thus trampl'd, thus expell'd to suffer here

II-196. Chains and these Torments? better these then worse

II-197. By my advice; since fate inevitable / Subdues us, and Omnipotent Decree

II-199. The Victors will. To suffer, as to doe, / Our strength is equal, nor the Law unjust

II-201. That so ordains: this was at first resolv'd, / If we were wise, against so great a foe / Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.

II-204. I laugh, when those who at the Spear are bold / And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear / What yet they know must follow, to endure / Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,

II-208. The sentence of thir Conquerour: This is now / Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,

II-210. Our Supream Foe in time may much remit / His anger, and perhaps thus farr remov'd / Not mind us not offending, satisfi'd / With what is punish't; whence these raging fires / Will slack'n, if his breath stir not thir flames. / Our purer essence then will overcome / Thir noxious vapour, or enur'd not feel, / Or chang'd at length, and to the place conformd / In temper and in nature, will receive / Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain; / This horror will grow milde, this darkness light,

II-221. Besides what hope the never-ending flight / Of future dayes may bring, what chance, what change / Worth waiting, since our present lot appeers / For happy though but ill, for ill not worst, / If we procure not to our selves more woe.

II-226. Thus Belial with words cloath'd in reasons garb / Counsell'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloath,

II-228. Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake.

II-229. Either to disinthrone the King of Heav'n / We warr, if Warr be best, or to regain / Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then / May hope when everlasting Fate shall yeild / To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife:

II-234. The former vain to hope argues as vain / The latter: for what place can be for us / Within Heav'ns bound, unless Heav'ns Lord supream / We overpower? Suppose he should relent

II-238. And publish Grace to all, on promise made / Of new Subjection; with what eyes could we / Stand in his presence humble, and receive / Strict Laws impos'd, to celebrate his Throne / With warbl'd Hymns, and to his Godhead sing / Forc't Halleluiah's; while he Lordly sits / Our envied Sovran, and his Altar breathes / Ambrosial Odours and Ambrosial Flowers, / Our servile offerings. This must be our task / In Heav'n, this our delight; how wearisom

II-248. Eternity so spent in worship paid

II-249. To whom we hate. Let us not then pursue / By force impossible, by leave obtain'd / Unacceptable, though in Heav'n, our state

II-252. Of splendid vassalage, but rather seek / Our own good from our selves, and from our own / Live to our selves, though in this vast recess,

II-255. Free, and to none accountable, preferring / Hard liberty before the easie yoke

II-257. Of servile Pomp. Our greatness will appeer / Then most conspicuous, when great things of small, / Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse / We can create, and in what place so e're / Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain

II-262. Through labour and indurance. This deep world / Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst / Thick clouds and dark doth Heav'ns all-ruling Sire / Choose to reside, his Glory unobscur'd, / And with the Majesty of darkness round / Covers his Throne; from whence deep thunders roar / Must'ring thir rage, and Heav'n resembles Hell?

II-269. As he our darkness, cannot we his Light

II-270. Imitate when we please? This Desart soile / Wants not her hidden lustre, Gemms and Gold; / Nor want we skill or Art, from whence to raise / Magnificence; and what can Heav'n shew more?

II-274. Our torments also may in length of time / Become our Elements, these piercing Fires / As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd / Into their temper; which must needs remove

II-278. The sensible of pain. All things invite / To peaceful Counsels, and the settl'd State / Of order, how in safety best we may / Compose our present evils, with regard / Of what we are and were, dismissing quite / All thoughts of warr: ye have what I advise.

II-284. He scarce had finisht, when such murmur filld / Th' Assembly, as when hollow Rocks retain

II-286. The sound of blustring winds, which all night long / Had rous'd the Sea, now with hoarse cadence lull / Sea-faring men orewatcht, whose Bark by chance / Or Pinnace anchors in a craggy Bay

II-290. After the Tempest: Such applause was heard / As Mammon ended, and his Sentence pleas'd,

II-292. Advising peace: for such another Field / They dreaded worse then Hell: so much the fear / Of Thunder and the Sword of Michael

II-295. Wrought still within them; and no less desire / To found this nether Empire, which might rise / By pollicy, and long process of time, / In emulation opposite to Heav'n.

II-299. Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, then whom, / Satan except, none higher sat, with grave / Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd

II-302. A Pillar of State; deep on his Front engraven / Deliberation sat and public care; / And Princely counsel in his face yet shon, / Majestic though in ruin: sage he stood / With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear

II-307. The weight of mightiest Monarchies; his look / Drew audience and attention still as Night / Or Summers Noon-tide air, while thus he spake.

II-310. Thrones and Imperial Powers, off-spring of heav'n / Ethereal Vertues; or these Titles now / Must we renounce, and changing stile be call'd

II-313. Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote / Inclines, here to continue, and build up here / A growing Empire; doubtless; while we dream,

II-316. And know not that the King of Heav'n hath doom'd / This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat / Beyond his Potent arm, to live exempt / From Heav'ns high jurisdiction, in new League / Banded against his Throne, but to remaine / In strictest bondage, though thus far remov'd, / Under th' inevitable curb, reserv'd

II-323. His captive multitude: For he, be sure / In heighth or depth, still first and last will Reign / Sole King, and of his Kingdom loose no part / By our revolt, but over Hell extend / His Empire, and with Iron Scepter rule / Us here, as with his Golden those in Heav'n.

II-329. What sit we then projecting peace and Warr? / Warr hath determin'd us, and foild with loss

II-331. Irreparable; tearms of peace yet none / Voutsaf't or sought; for what peace will be giv'n / To us enslav'd, but custody severe, / And stripes, and arbitrary punishment / Inflicted? and what peace can we return,

II-336. But to our power hostility and hate, / Untam'd reluctance, and revenge though slow,

II-338. Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least / May reap his conquest, and may least rejoyce / In doing what we most in suffering feel?

II-341. Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need / With dangerous expedition to invade / Heav'n, whose high walls fear no assault or Siege, / Or ambush from the Deep. What if we find / Some easier enterprize? There is a place

II-346. (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heav'n / Err not) another World, the happy seat / Of some new Race call'd Man, about this time

II-349. To be created like to us, though less / In power and excellence, but favour'd more / Of him who rules above; so was his will / Pronounc'd among the Gods, and by an Oath, / That shook Heav'ns whol circumference, confirm'd.

II-354. Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn / What creatures there inhabit, of what mould, / Or substance, how endu'd, and what thir Power, / And where thir weakness, how attempted best,

II-358. By force or suttlety: Though Heav'n be shut, / And Heav'ns high Arbitrator sit secure / In his own strength, this place may lye expos'd / The utmost border of his Kingdom, left

II-362. To their defence who hold it: here perhaps / Som advantagious act may be achiev'd / By sudden onset, either with Hell fire / To waste his whole Creation, or possess / All as our own, and drive as we were driven, / The punie habitants, or if not drive,

II-368. Seduce them to our Party, that thir God / May prove thir foe, and with repenting hand / Abolish his own works. This would surpass / Common revenge, and interrupt his joy / In our Confusion, and our Joy upraise

II-373. In his disturbance; when his darling Sons / Hurl'd headlong to partake with us, shall curse / Thir frail Original, and faded bliss,

II-376. Faded so soon. Advise if this be worth / Attempting, or to sit in darkness here / Hatching vain Empires. Thus Beelzebub

II-379. Pleaded his devilish Counsel, first devis'd / By Satan, and in part propos'd: for whence, / But from the Author of all ill could Spring / So deep a malice, to confound the race / Of mankind in one root, and Earth with Hell / To mingle and involve, done all to spite

II-385. The great Creatour? But thir spite still serves

II-386. His glory to augment. The bold design / Pleas'd highly those infernal States, and joy / Sparkl'd in all thir eyes; with full assent / They vote: whereat his speech he thus renews.

II-390. Well have ye judg'd, well ended long debate, / Synod of Gods, and like to what ye are, / Great things resolv'd; which from the lowest deep / Will once more lift us up, in spight of Fate, / Neerer our ancient Seat; perhaps in view / Of those bright confines, whence with neighbouring Arms

II-396. And opportune excursion we may chance / Re-enter Heav'n; or else in some milde Zone / Dwell not unvisited of Heav'ns fair Light / Secure, and at the brightning Orient beam / Purge off this gloom; the soft delicious Air, / To heal the scarr of these corrosive Fires

II-402. Shall breath her balme. But first whom shall we send / In search of this new world, whom shall we find / Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandring feet / The dark unbottom'd infinite Abyss / And through the palpable obscure find out / His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight / Upborn with indefatigable wings / Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive / The happy Ile; what strength, what art can then / Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe / Through the strict Senteries and Stations thick / Of Angels watching round? Here he had need

II-414. All circumspection, and we now no less / Choice in our suffrage; for on whom we send, / The weight of all and our last hope relies.

II-417. This said, he sat; and expectation held / His look suspence, awaiting who appeer'd / To second, or oppose, or undertake / The perilous attempt; but all sat mute, / Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each

II-422. In others count'nance read his own dismay / Astonisht: none among the choice and prime / Of those Heav'n-warring Champions could be found / So hardie as to proffer or accept

II-426. Alone the dreadful voyage; till at last / Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd / Above his fellows, with Monarchal pride / Conscious of highest worth, unmov'd thus spake. / O Progeny of Heav'n, Empyreal Thrones, / With reason hath deep silence and demurr / Seis'd us, though undismaid: long is the way / And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light;

II-434. Our prison strong, this huge convex of Fire, / Outrageous to devour, immures us round / Ninefold, and gates of burning Adamant / Barr'd over us prohibit all egress. / These past, if any pass, the void profound / Of unessential Night receives him next / Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being / Threatens him, plung'd in that abortive gulf.

II-442. If thence he scape into whatever world, / Or unknown Region, what remains him less / Then unknown dangers and as hard escape.

II-445. But I should ill become this Throne, O Peers, / And this Imperial Sov'ranty, adorn'd / With splendor, arm'd with power, if aught propos'd / And judg'd of public moment, in the shape / Of difficulty or danger could deterr

II-450. Mee from attempting. Wherefore do I assume / These Royalties, and not refuse to Reign, / Refusing to accept as great a share / Of hazard as of honour, due alike / To him who Reigns, and so much to him due / Of hazard more, as he above the rest

II-456. High honourd sits? Go therefore mighty Powers, / Terror of Heav'n, though fall'n; intend at home, / While here shall be our home, what best may ease / The present misery, and render Hell / More tollerable; if there be cure or charm / To respite or deceive, or slack the pain

II-462. Of this ill Mansion: intermit no watch / Against a wakeful Foe, while I abroad / Through all the Coasts of dark destruction seek

II-465. Deliverance for us all: this enterprize

II-466. None shall partake with me. Thus saying rose / The Monarch, and prevented all reply, / Prudent, least from his resolution rais'd / Others among the chief might offer now / (Certain to be refus'd) what erst they fear'd; / And so refus'd might in opinion stand / His Rivals, winning cheap the high repute

II-473. Which he through hazard huge must earn. But they / Dreaded not more th' adventure then his voice

II-475. Forbidding; and at once with him they rose; / Thir rising all at once was as the sound

II-477. Of Thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend / With awful reverence prone; and as a God / Extoll him equal to the highest in Heav'n:

II-480. Nor fail'd they to express how much they prais'd, / That for the general safety he despis'd

II-482. His own: for neither do the Spirits damn'd / Loose all thir vertue; least bad men should boast / Thir specious deeds on earth, which glory excites, / Or clos ambition varnisht o're with zeal.

II-486. Thus they thir doubtful consultations dark / Ended rejoycing in thir matchless Chief:

II-488. As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds / Ascending, while the North wind sleeps, O'respread / Heav'ns chearful face, the lowring Element / Scowls ore the dark'nd lantskip Snow, or showre; / If chance the radiant Sun with farewell sweet / Extend his ev'ning beam, the fields revive, / The birds thir notes renew, and bleating herds / Attest thir joy, that hill and valley rings.

II-496. O shame to men! Devil with Devil damn'd / Firm concord holds, men onely disagree / Of Creatures rational, though under hope / Of heavenly Grace; and God proclaiming peace, / Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife / Among themselves, and levie cruel warres, / Wasting the Earth, each other to destroy:

II-503. As if (which might induce us to accord) / Man had not hellish foes anow besides, / That day and night for his destruction waite.

II-506. The Stygian Counsel thus dissolv'd; and forth / In order came the grand infernal Peers:

II-508. Midst came thir mighty Paramount, and seemd / Alone th' Antagonist of Heav'n, nor less / Than Hells dread Emperour with pomp Supream, / And God-like imitated State; him round / A Globe of fierie Seraphim inclos'd / With bright imblazonrie, and horrent Arms.

II-514. Then of thir Session ended they bid cry / With Trumpets regal sound the great result: / Toward the four winds four speedy Cherubim / Put to thir mouths the sounding Alchymie / By Haralds voice explain'd: the hollow Abyss

II-519. Heard farr and wide, and all the host of Hell / With deafning shout, return'd them loud acclaim.

II-521. Thence more at ease thir minds and somwhat rais'd

II-522. By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers / Disband, and wandring, each his several way / Pursues, as inclination or sad choice / Leads him perplext, where he may likeliest find / Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain / The irksom hours, till his great Chief return.

II-528. Part on the Plain, or in the Air sublime / Upon the wing, or in swift Race contend, / As at th' Olympian Games or Pythian fields; / Part curb thir fierie Steeds, or shun the Goal / With rapid wheels, or fronted Brigads form. / As when to warn proud Cities warr appears / Wag'd in the troubl'd Skie, and Armies rush / To Battel in the Clouds, before each Van / Prick forth the Aerie Knights, and couch thir Spears / Till thickest Legions close; with feats of Arms / From either end of Heav'n the welkin burns.

II-539. Others with vast Typhúan rage more fell / Rend up both Rocks and Hills, and ride the Air / In whirlwind; Hell scarce holds the wilde uproar. / As when Alcides from Oechalia Crown'd / With conquest, felt th' envenom'd robe, and tore / Through pain up by the roots Thessalian Pines, / And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw

II-546. Into th' Euboic Sea. Others more milde, / Retreated in a silent valley, sing / With notes Angelical to many a Harp / Thir own Heroic deeds and hapless fall / By doom of Battel; and complain that Fate / Free Vertue should enthrall to Force or Chance.

II-552. Thir Song was partial, but the harmony / (What could it less when Spirits immortal sing?) / Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment

II-555. The thronging audience. In discourse more sweet / (For Eloquence the Soul, Song charms the Sense,) / Others apart sat on a Hill retir'd, / In thoughts more elevate, and reason'd high / Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will and Fate, / Fixt Fate, free will, foreknowledg absolute,

II-561. And found no end, in wandring mazes lost. / Of good and evil much they argu'd then, / Of happiness and final misery, / Passion and Apathie, and glory and shame, / Vain wisdom all, and false Philosophie: / Yet with a pleasing sorcerie could charm / Pain for a while or anguish, and excite / Fallacious hope, or arm th' obdured brest / With stubborn patience as with triple steel.

II-570. Another part in Squadrons and gross Bands, / On bold adventure to discover wide / That dismal world, if any Clime perhaps / Might yield them easier habitation, bend

II-574. Four ways thir flying March, along the Banks / Of four infernal Rivers that disgorge / Into the burning Lake thir baleful streams;

II-577. Abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate, / Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep; / Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud / Heard on the ruful stream; fierce Phlegeton / Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage.

II-582. Farr off from these a slow and silent stream, / Lethe the River of Oblivion roules / Her watrie Labyrinth, whereof who drinks, / Forthwith his former state and being forgets, / Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.

II-587. Beyond this flood a frozen Continent / Lies dark and wilde, beat with perpetual storms / Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land / Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems / Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice, / A gulf profound as that Serbonian Bog / Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old, / Where Armies whole have sunk: the parching Air / Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire.

II-596. Thither by harpy-footed Furies hail'd, / At certain revolutions all the damn'd / Are brought: and feel by turns the bitter change / Of fierce extreams, extreams by change more fierce, / From Beds of raging Fire to starve in Ice / Thir soft Ethereal warmth, and there to pine

II-602. Immovable, infixt, and frozen round, / Periods of time, thence hurried back to fire.

II-604. They ferry over this Lethean Sound / Both to and fro, thir sorrow to augment, / And wish and struggle, as they pass, to reach / The tempting stream, with one small drop to loose / In sweet forgetfulness all pain and woe, / All in one moment, and so neer the brink;

II-610. But fate withstands, and to oppose th' attempt / Medusa with Gorgonian terror guards / The Ford, and of it self the water flies / All taste of living wight, as once it fled

II-614. The lip of Tantalus. Thus roving on / In confus'd march forlorn, th' adventrous Bands / With shuddring horror pale, and eyes agast / View'd first thir lamentable lot, and found / No rest: through many a dark and drearie Vaile / They pass'd, and many a Region dolorous, / O'er many a Frozen, many a fierie Alpe,

II-621. Rocks, Caves, Lakes, Fens, Bogs, Dens, and shades of death,

II-622. A Universe of death, which God by curse / Created evil, for evil only good,

II-624. Where all life dies, death lives, and Nature breeds, / Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things, / Abominable, inutterable, and worse / Then Fables yet have feign'd, or fear conceiv'd, / Gorgons and Hydra's, and Chimera's dire.

II-629. Mean while the Adversary of God and Man, / Satan with thoughts inflam'd of highest design, / Puts on swift wings, and towards the Gates of Hell

II-632. Explores his solitary flight; som times / He scours the right hand coast, som times the left, / Now shaves with level wing the Deep, then soares / Up to the fiery Concave touring high.

II-636. As when farr off at Sea a Fleet descri'd / Hangs in the Clouds, by ∆quinoctial Winds / Close sailing from Bengala, or the Iles / Of Ternate and Tidore, whence Merchants bring / Thir spicie Drugs: they on the Trading Flood / Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape / Ply stemming nightly toward the Pole. So seem'd

II-643. Farr off the flying Fiend: at last appeer / Hell bounds high reaching to the horrid Roof,

II-645. And thrice threefold the Gates; three folds were Brass, / Three Iron, three of Adamantine Rock,

II-647. Impenetrable, impal'd with circling fire,

II-648. Yet unconsum'd. Before the Gates there sat / On either side a formidable shape;

II-650. The one seem'd Woman to the waste, and fair, / But ended foul in many a scaly fould / Voluminous and vast, a Serpent arm'd / With mortal sting: about her middle round

II-654. A cry of Hell Hounds never ceasing bark'd / With wide Cerberian mouths full loud, and rung

II-656. A hideous Peal: yet, when they list, would creep, / If aught disturb'd thir noyse, into her woomb, / And kennel there, yet there still bark'd and howl'd

II-659. Within unseen. Farr less abhorrd than these / Vex'd Scylla bathing in the Sea that parts / Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore: / Nor uglier follow the Night-Hag, when call'd / In secret, riding through the Air she comes / Lur'd with the smell of infant blood, to dance / With Lapland Witches, while the labouring Moon

II-666. Eclipses at thir charms. The other shape, / If shape it might be call'd that shape had none / Distinguishable in member, joynt, or limb,

II-669. Or substance might be call'd that shadow seem'd, / For each seem'd either; black it stood as Night,

II-671. Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as Hell,

II-672. And shook a dreadful Dart; what seem'd his head / The likeness of a Kingly Crown had on.

II-674. Satan was now at hand, and from his seat / The Monster moving onward came as fast / With horrid strides, Hell trembled as he strode.

II-677. Th' undaunted Fiend what this might be admir'd, / Admir'd, not fear'd; God and his Son except, / Created thing naught valu'd he nor shun'd / And with disdainful look thus first began.

II-681. Whence and what art thou, execrable shape, / That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance / Thy miscreated Front athwart my way

II-684. To yonder Gates? through them I mean to pass, / That be assured, without leave askt of thee: / Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof, / Hell-born, not to contend with Spirits of Heav'n. / To whom the Goblin full of wrauth reply'd,

II-689. Art thou that Traitor Angel, art thou hee, / Who first broke peace in Heav'n and Faith, till then / Unbrok'n, and in proud rebellious Arms / Drew after him the third part of Heav'ns Sons

II-693. Conjur'd against the highest, for which both Thou / And they outcast from God, are here condemn'd / To waste Eternal dayes in woe and pain?

II-696. And reck'n'st thou thy self with Spirits of Heav'n,

II-697. Hell-doom'd, and breath'st defiance here and scorn / Where I reign King, and to enrage thee more,

II-699. Thy King and Lord? Back to thy punishment, / False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings, / Least with a whip of Scorpions I pursue / Thy lingring, or with one stroke of this Dart / Strange horror seise thee, and pangs unfelt before.

II-704. So spake the grieslie terror, and in shape, / So speaking and so threatning, grew tenfold

II-706. More dreadful and deform: on th' other side / Incenst with indignation Satan stood / Unterrifi'd, and like a Comet burn'd, / That fires the length of Ophiucus huge / In th' Artick Sky, and from his horrid hair / Shakes Pestilence and Warr. Each at the Head

II-712. Level'd his deadly aime; thir fatall hands / No second stroke intend, and such a frown

II-714. Each cast at th' other, as when two black Clouds / With Heav'ns Artillery fraught, come rattling on / Over the Caspian, then stand front to front / Hov'ring a space, till Winds the signal blow / To join thir dark Encounter in mid air: / So frownd the mighty Combatants, that Hell / Grew darker at thir frown, so matcht they stood;

II-721. For never but once more was either like

II-722. To meet so great a foe: and now great deeds / Had been achiev'd, whereof all Hell had rung, / Had not the Snakie Sorceress that sat

II-725. Fast by Hell Gate, and kept the fatal Key, / Ris'n, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.

II-727. O Father, what intends thy hand, she cry'd, / Against thy only Son? What fury O Son, / Possesses thee to bend that mortal Dart / Against thy Fathers head? and know'st for whom;

II-731. For him who sits above and laughs the while / At thee ordain'd his drudge, to execute / What e're his wrath, which he calls Justice, bids,

II-734. His wrath which one day will destroy ye both.

II-735. She spake, and at her words the hellish Pest / Forbore, then these to her Satan return'd: / So strange thy outcry, and thy words so strange / Thou interposest, that my sudden hand / Prevented spares to tell thee yet by deeds / What it intends; till first I know of thee, / What thing thou art, thus double-form'd, and why / In this infernal Vaile first met thou call'st / Me Father, and that Fantasm call'st my Son?

II-744. I know thee not, nor ever saw till now / Sight more detestable then him and thee. / T' whom thus the Portress of Hell Gate reply'd;

II-747. Hast thou forgot me then, and do I seem / Now in thine eye so foul, once deemd so fair

II-749. In Heav'n, when at th' Assembly, and in sight / Of all the Seraphim with thee combin'd / In bold conspiracy against Heav'ns King, / All on a sudden miserable pain / Surprisd thee, dim thine eyes, and dizzie swumm / In darkness, while thy head flames thick and fast / Threw forth, till on the left side op'ning wide, / Likest to thee in shape and count'nance bright,

II-757. Then shining Heav'nly fair, a Goddess arm'd

II-758. Out of thy head I sprung; amazement seis'd / All th' Host of Heav'n back they recoild affraid / At first, and call'd me Sin, and for a Sign

II-761. Portentous held me; but familiar grown, / I pleas'd, and with attractive graces won / The most averse, thee chiefly, who full oft / Thy self in me thy perfect image viewing

II-765. Becam'st enamour'd, and such joy thou took'st / With me in secret, that my womb conceiv'd

II-767. A growing burden. Mean while Warr arose, / And fields were fought in Heav'n; wherein remaind / (For what could else) to our Almighty Foe / Cleer Victory, to our part loss and rout

II-771. Through all the Empyrean: down they fell / Driv'n headlong from the Pitch of Heaven, down / Into this Deep, and in the general fall

II-774. I also; at which time this powerful Key / Into my hand was giv'n, with charge to keep / These Gates for ever shut, which none can pass / Without my op'ning. Pensive here I sat

II-778. Alone, but long I sat not, till my womb / Pregnant by thee, and now excessive grown / Prodigious motion felt and rueful throes. / At last this odious offspring whom thou seest

II-782. Thine own begotten, breaking violent way / Tore through my entrails, that with fear and pain

II-784. Distorted, all my nether shape thus grew

II-785. Transform'd: but he my inbred enemie / Forth issu'd, brandishing his fatal Dart

II-787. Made to destroy: I fled, and cry'd out Death; / Hell trembl'd at the hideous Name, and sigh'd / From all her Caves, and back resounded Death.

II-790. I fled, but he pursu'd (though more, it seems, / Inflam'd with lust then rage) and swifter far, / Mee overtook his mother all dismaid, / And in embraces forcible and foule

II-794. Ingendring with me, of that rape begot / These yelling Monsters that with ceasless cry

II-796. Surround me, as thou sawst, hourly conceiv'd / And hourly born, with sorrow infinite / To me, for when they list into the womb / That bred them they return, and howle and gnaw

II-800. My Bowels, thir repast; then bursting forth / A fresh with conscious terrours vex me round, / That rest or intermission none I find.

II-803. Before mine eyes in opposition sits / Grim Death my Son and foe, who sets them on, / And me his Parent would full soon devour / For want of other prey, but that he knows / His end with mine involvd; and knows that I / Should prove a bitter Morsel, and his bane, / Whenever that shall be; so Fate pronounc'd.

II-810. But thou O Father, I forewarn thee, shun / His deadly arrow; neither vainly hope / To be invulnerable in those bright Arms, / Though temper'd heav'nly, for that mortal dint,

II-814. Save he who reigns above, none can resist. / She finish'd, and the suttle Fiend his lore

II-816. Soon learnd, now milder, and thus answerd smooth. / Dear Daughter, since thou claim'st me for thy Sire, / And my fair Son here showst me, the dear pledge

II-819. Of dalliance had with thee in Heav'n, and joys / Then sweet, now sad to mention, through dire change / Befalln us unforeseen, unthought of, know

II-822. I come no enemie, but to set free / From out this dark and dismal house of pain, / Both him and thee, and all the heav'nly Host / Of Spirits that in our just pretenses arm'd

II-826. Fell with us from on high: from them I go / This uncouth errand sole, and one for all / Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread / Th' unfounded deep, and through the void immense / To search with wandring quest a place foretold / Should be, and, by concurring signs, ere now / Created vast and round, a place of bliss / In the Purlieues of Heav'n, and therein plac't

II-834. A race of upstart Creatures, to supply

II-835. Perhaps our vacant room, though more remov'd, / Least Heav'n surcharg'd with potent multitude

II-837. Might hap to move new broiles: Be this or aught / Then this more secret now design'd, I haste / To know, and this once known, shall soon return, / And bring ye to the place where Thou and Death / Shall dwell at ease, and up and down unseen / Wing silently the buxom Air, imbalm'd / With odours; there ye shall be fed and fill'd / Immeasurably, all things shall be your prey.

II-845. He ceas'd, for both seem'd highly pleasd, and Death

II-846. Grinnd horrible a gastly smile, to hear / His famine should be fill'd, and blest his mawe / Destin'd to that good hour: no less rejoyc'd / His mother bad, and thus bespake her Sire.

II-850. The key of this infernal Pit by due, / And by command of Heav'ns all-powerful King / I keep, by him forbidden to unlock / These Adamantine Gates; against all force / Death ready stands to interpose his dart, / Fearless to be o'rmatcht by living might.

II-856. But what ow I to his commands above

II-857. Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down / Into this gloom of Tartarus profound, / To sit in hateful Office here confin'd, / Inhabitant of Heav'n, and heav'nlie-born, / Here in perpetual agonie and pain, / With terrors and with clamors compasst round / Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed:

II-864. Thou art my Father, thou my Author, thou / My being gav'st me; whom should I obey

II-866. But thee, whom follow? thou wilt bring me soon / To that new world of light and bliss, among / The Gods who live at ease, where I shall Reign / At thy right hand voluptuous, as beseems / Thy daughter and thy darling, without end.

II-871. Thus saying, from her side the fatal Key, / Sad instrument of all our woe, she took; / And towards the Gate rouling her bestial train, / Forthwith the huge Porcullis high up drew, / Which but her self not all the Stygian powers

II-876. Could once have mov'd; then in the key-hole turns / Th' intricate wards, and every Bolt and Bar / Of massie Iron or sollid Rock with ease / Unfast'ns: on a sudden op'n flie / With impetuous recoile and jarring sound / Th' infernal dores, and on thir hinges grate / Harsh Thunder, that the lowest bottom shook

II-883. Of Erebus. She op'nd, but to shut

II-884. Excel'd her power; the Gates wide op'n stood, / That with extended wings a Bannerd Host / Under spread Ensigns marching might pass through / With Horse and Chariots rankt in loose array;

II-888. So wide they stood, and like a Furnace mouth / Cast forth redounding smoak and ruddy flame.

II-890. Before thir eyes in sudden view appear / The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark / Illimitable Ocean without bound,

II-893. Without dimension, where length, breadth, and highth, / And time and place are lost; where eldest Night / And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold / Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise / Of endless Warrs, and by confusion stand. / For hot, cold, moist, and dry, four Champions fierce

II-899. Strive here for Maistrie, and to Battel bring / Thir embryon Atoms; they around the flag / Of each his faction, in thir several Clanns, / Light-arm'd or heavy, sharp, smooth, swift or slow, / Swarm populous, unnumber'd as the Sands / Of Barca or Cyrene's torrid soil, / Levied to side with warring Winds, and poise / Thir lighter wings. To whom these most adhere,

II-907. Hee rules a moment; Chaos Umpire sits, / And by decision more imbroiles the fray / By which he Reigns: next him high Arbiter / Chance governs all. Into this wilde Abyss,

II-911. The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave, / Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire, / But all these in thir pregnant causes mixt / Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,

II-915. Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain / His dark materials to create more Worlds,

II-917. Into this wild Abyss the warie fiend / Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,

II-919. Pondering his Voyage: for no narrow frith

II-920. He had to cross. Nor was his eare less peal'd / With noises loud and ruinous (to compare / Great things with small) then when Bellona storms, / With all her battering Engines bent to rase / Som Capital City; or less then if this frame / Of Heav'n were falling, and these Elements / In mutinie had from her Axle torn

II-927. The stedfast Earth. At last his Sail-broad Vannes / He spreads for flight, and in the surging smoak

II-929. Uplifted spurns the ground, thence many a League / As in a cloudy Chair ascending rides

II-931. Audacious, but that seat soon failing, meets / A vast vacuitie: all unawares / Fluttring his pennons vain plumb down he drops

II-934. Ten thousand fadom deep, and to this hour / Down had been falling, had not by ill chance / The strong rebuff of som tumultuous cloud / Instinct with Fire and Nitre hurried him

II-938. As many miles aloft: that furie stay'd, / Quencht in a Boggy Syrtis, neither Sea, / Nor good dry Land: nigh founderd on he fares, / Treading the crude consistence, half on foot, / Half flying; behoves him now both Oare and Saile.

II-943. As when a Gryfon through the Wilderness / With winged course ore Hill or moarie Dale, / Pursues the Arimaspian, who by stelth / Had from his wakeful custody purloind / The guarded Gold: So eagerly the fiend

II-948. Ore bog or steep, through strait, rough, dense, or rare, / With head, hands, wings, or feet pursues his way, / And swims or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flyes:

II-951. At length a universal hubbub wilde / Of stunning sounds and voices all confus'd / Borne through the hollow dark assaults his eare

II-954. With loudest vehemence: thither he plyes, / Undaunted to meet there what ever power / Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss / Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask / Which way the neerest coast of darkness lyes / Bordering on light; when strait behold the Throne

II-960. Of Chaos, and his dark Pavilion spread / Wide on the wasteful Deep; with him Enthron'd / Sat Sable-vested Night, eldest of things, / The Consort of his Reign; and by them stood

II-964. Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name / Of Demogorgon; Rumor next and Chance, / And Tumult and Confusion all imbroild, / And Discord with a thousand various mouths. / T' whom Satan turning boldly, thus. Ye Powers

II-969. And Spirits of this nethermost Abyss, / Chaos and ancient Night, I come no Spy, / With purpose to explore or to disturb / The secrets of your Realm, but by constraint

II-973. Wandring this darksome Desart, as my way / Lies through your spacious Empire up to light, / Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seek / What readiest path leads where your gloomie bounds / Confine with Heav'n; or if som other place / From your Dominion won, th' Ethereal King / Possesses lately, thither to arrive

II-980. I travel this profound, direct my course; / Directed no mean recompence it brings

II-982. To your behoof, if I that Region lost, / All usurpation thence expell'd, reduce / To her original darkness and your sway / (Which is my present journey) and once more / Erect the Standard there of ancient Night;

II-987. Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge.

II-988. Thus Satan; and him thus the Anarch old / With faultring speech and visage incompos'd / Answer'd. I know thee, stranger, who thou art, / That mighty leading Angel, who of late / Made head against Heav'ns King, though overthrown.

II-993. I saw and heard, for such a numerous Host / Fled not in silence through the frighted deep / With ruin upon ruin, rout on rout, / Confusion worse confounded; and Heav'n Gates / Pourd out by millions her victorious Bands / Pursuing. I upon my Frontieres here

II-999. Keep residence; if all I can will serve, / That little which is left so to defend / Encroacht on still through our intestine broiles / Weakning the Scepter of old Night: first Hell / Your dungeon stretching far and wide beneath; / Now lately Heaven and Earth, another World / Hung ore my Realm, link'd in a golden Chain / To that side Heav'n from whence your Legions fell:

II-1007. If that way be your walk, you have not farr; / So much the neerer danger; go and speed; / Havock and spoil and ruin are my gain. / He ceas'd; and Satan staid not to reply, / But glad that now his Sea should find a shore,

II-1012. With fresh alacritie and force renew'd

II-1013. Springs upward like a Pyramid of fire / Into the wilde expanse, and through the shock / Of fighting Elements, on all sides round / Environ'd wins his way; harder beset

II-1017. And more endanger'd, then when Argo pass'd / Through Bosporus betwixt the justling Rocks: / Or when Ulysses on the Larbord shunnd / Charybdis, and by th' other whirlpool steard. / So he with difficulty and labour hard

II-1022. Mov'd on, with difficulty and labour hee; / But hee once past, soon after when man fell, / Strange alteration! Sin and Death amain / Following his track, such was the will of Heav'n, / Pav'd after him a broad and beat'n way / Over the dark Abyss, whose boiling Gulf / Tamely endur'd a Bridge of wondrous length / From Hell continu'd reaching th' utmost Orbe / Of this frail World; by which the Spirits perverse / With easie intercourse pass to and fro / To tempt or punish mortals, except whom / God and good Angels guard by special grace.

II-1034. But now at last the sacred influence / Of light appears, and from the walls of Heav'n / Shoots farr into the bosom of dim Night / A glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins / Her fardest verge, and Chaos to retire / As from her outmost works a brok'n foe / With tumult less and with less hostile din,

II-1041. That Satan with less toil, and now with ease / Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light

II-1043. And like a weather-beaten Vessel holds / Gladly the Port, though Shrouds and Tackle torn; / Or in the emptier waste, resembling Air,

II-1046. Weighs his spread wings, at leasure to behold / Farr off th' Empyreal Heav'n, extended wide / In circuit, undetermind square or round,

II-1049. With Opal Towrs and Battlements adorn'd / Of living Saphire, once his native Seat;

II-1051. And fast by hanging in a golden Chain

II-1052. This pendant world, in bigness as a Starr / Of smallest Magnitude close by the Moon.

II-1054 Thither full fraught with mischievous revenge, / Accurst, and in a cursed hour he hies.

.

END OF BOOK II



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