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To set himself in glory above his peers,
He trusted to have equalled the Most High, 40
If he opposed, and, with ambitious aim
Against the throne and monarchy of God,
Raised impious war in Heaven and battle

proud, With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal

sky, With hideous ruin and combustion, down To bottomless perdition, there to dwell In adamantine chains and penal fire, Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms. Nine times the space that measures day and

night To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew, Lay vanquished, rolling in the fiery gulf, Confounded, though immortal. But his doom Reserved him to more wrath; for now the

thought Both of lost happiness and lasting pain Torments him: round he throws his baleful

eyes, That witnessed“ huge affliction and dismay, Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate. At once, as far as Angel's ken, he views The dismal situation waste and wild. A dungeon horrible, on all sides round, As one great furnace flamed; yet from those

flames No light; but rather darkness visible Served only to discover sights of woe, Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where

peace And rest can never dwell, hope never comes That comes to all, but torture without end Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed. Such place Eternal Justice had prepared For those rebellious; here their prison ordained In utter darkness, and their portion set, As far removed from God and light of Heaven, As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole. O how unlike the place from whence they fell! 75 There the companions of his fall, o’erwhelmed With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous

fire, He soon discerns; and, weltering by his side One next himself in power, and next in crime, Long after known in Palestine, and named Beëlzebub. To whom the Arch-Enemy, And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold

words Breaking the horrid silence, thus began:“If thou beest he—but Oh how fallen! how

changed From him!-who, in the happy realms of light, Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst





Воок І Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, 5 Sing, heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire That shepherd? who first taught the chosen seed In the beginning how the heavens and earth Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill Delight thee more, and Siloa's3 brook that

flowed Fast by the oracle of God, I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song. That with no middle flight intends to soar Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme. And chiefly Thou, o Špirit, that dost prefer Before all temples the upright heart and pure, Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the

first Wast present, and, with mighty wings out

spread, Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast Abyss, And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support; That, to the height of this great argument I may assert Eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men. Say first-for Heaven hides nothing from thy

view, Nor the deep tract of Hell-say first what cause Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state, Favour'd of Heaven so highly, to fall off From their Creator, and transgress his will For one restraint, lords of the World besides. Who first seduced them to that foul revolt? Th'infernal serpent; he it was whose guile, Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived The mother of mankind, what time his pride Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring

1 Oreb: Sinai. At Oreb (Horeb) God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush; from Mt. Sinai Moses received the Law. Erod. iii. 1, and xxiv., 12-18.

• Moses.

* The pool or brook of Siloah near the temple at Jerusalem.








4 Bore witness to.

5 According to the old astronomy, the earth was the center of the physical universe. Milton declares that the distance from hell to heaven is thrice the distance from the earth to the outer limit of the physical universe, or the “utmost pole."

6 The name Satan means in Hebrew an enemy, or adversary.









Myriads, though bright-If he whom mutual Have left us in this our spirit and strength league,

entire, United thoughts and counsels, equal hope Strongly to suffer and support our pains, And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, Joined with me once, now misery hath joined 90 Or do him mightier service as his thralls In equal ruin; into what pit thou seest

By right of war, whate'er his business be, From what height fallen; so much the stronger Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire, proved

Or do his errands in the gloomy Deep?
He with his thunder: and till then who knew What can it then avail, though yet we feel
The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those, Strength undiminished, or eternal being
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage

To undergo eternal punishment?”
Can else inflict, do I repent, or change,

Whereto with speedy words the Arch-Fiend Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed

replied: mind,

Fallen Cherub! to be weak is miserable, And high disdain from sense of injured merit, Doing or suffering: but of this be sureThat with the Mightiest raised me to contend, To do aught good, never will be our task, And to the fierce contention brought along 100 But ever to do ill our sole delight, Innumerable force of Spirits armed,

As being the contrary to His high will
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring, Whom we resist. If then his providence
His utmost power with adverse power opposed Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven, Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And shook his throne. What though the field And out of good still to find means of evil;
be lost?

Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps All is not lost— the unconquerable will,

Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb And study of revenge, immortal hate,

His inmost counsels from their destined aim. And courage never to submit or yield:

But see! the angry Victor hath recalled And what is else not to be overcome?

His ministers of vengeance and pursuit That glory never shall his wrath or might Back to the gates of Heaven; the sulphurous Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace

bail, With suppliant knee, and deify his power Shot after us in storm, o'erblown, hath laid Who, from the terror of his arm, so late

The fiery surge that from the precipice Doubted his empire—that were low indeed; Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder, That were an ignominy and shame beneath 115 Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage, This downfall; since, by fate, the strength of Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now Gods,

To bellow through the vast and boundless And this empyreal substance, cannot fail;


177 Since, through experience of this great event, Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn. In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced, Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe. We may with more successful hope resolve Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, To wage by force or guile eternal war,

The seat of desolation, void of light, Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,

Save what the glimmering of these livid flames Who now triumphs, and in the excess of joy Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.” From off the tossing of these fiery waves; So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain, 125 There rest, if any rest can harbour there; Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair; And, re-assembling our afflicted powers, And him thus answered soon his bold com- Consult how we may henceforth most offend peer:

Our enemy, our own loss how repair, “O Prince, O chief of many-thronèd Powers, How overcome this dire calamity, That led the embattled Seraphim to war What reinforcement we may gain from hope,190 Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds If not, what resolution from despair." Fearless, endangered Heaven's perpetual King, Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate, And put to proof his high supremacy,

With head uplift the wave, and eyes Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate! That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides Too well I see and rue the dire event

Prone on the flood, extended long and large, 195 That, with sad overthrow, and foul defeat, Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as huge Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host As whom the fables name, of monstrous size, In horrible destruction laid thus low,

Titanian? or Earth-born, that warred on Jove, As far as Gods and Heavenly Essences

Briareus, or hon, whom the den Can perish: for the mind and spirit remain By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast Invincible, and vigour soon returns, Though all our glory extinct, and happy state 7 The Titans, in Greek mythology, were the children of Here swallowed up in endless misery.

heaven and Earth. Of gigantic size, the Titans typisy

strength and lawlessness. But what if He our Conqueror (whom I now $ A giant, with a hundred arms and fifty heads. Of force believe Almighty, since no less

• A giant brought forth by the Earth to contend with Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as

the Gods. Overcome by Jupiter, he was placed beneath

Ætna, or according to others under the "serbonian ours)















Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean stream.
Him, baply slumbering on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff,
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,
With fixed anchor in his scaly rind,
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wished morn delays.
So stretched out huge in length the Arch-Fiend

Chained on the burning lake; nor ever thence
Had risen, or heaved 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 215
Evil to others, and enraged might see
How all his malice served but to bring forth
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shown
On Man by him seduced, but on himself 219
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured,

Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool His mighty stature; on each hand the flames, Driv'n backward, 'slope their pointing spires,

and rolled In billows, leave i’ the midst a horrid vale. Then with expanded wings he steers his flight Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,

226 That felt unusual weight; till on dry land He lights-if it were land that ever burned With solid, as the lake with liquid fire, And such appeared in hue: as when the force Of subterranean wind transports a hill Torn from Pelorus, 10 or the shattered side Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible And fuelled entrails, thence conceiving fire, 234 Sublimed" with mineral fury, aid the winds, And leave a singèd bottom all involved With stench and smoke. Such resting found

the sole Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his next mate; Both glorying to have scaped the Stygian flood As gods, and by their own recovered strength, Not by the sufferance of supernal power.

“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,” Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat That we must change for Heaven?-this

mournful gloom For that celestial light? Be it so, since he Who now is sovran can dispose and bid What shall be right: farthest from Him is best, Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made

supreme Above his equals—Farewell, happy fields, Where joy for ever dwells!' Hail horrors! hail Infernal World! and thou, profoundest Hell, 251 Receive thy new possessor--one who brings A mind not to be changed by place or time. The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. What matter where, if I be still the same, And what I should be, all but less than he

19 A promontory on the coast of Sicily, not far from Mt. Æina.

11 Sublimed, i.e. either uplifted, or changed into mpor, by the fury (violent inter-action) of the combustible minerals, which are the fuelled entrails of the volcano.

Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at

least We shall be free: the Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: 260 Here we may reign secure; and, in my choice, To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, The associates and co-partners of our loss, Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool, And call them not to share with us their part In this unhappy mansion, or once more With rallied arms to try what may be yet Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?”

So Satan spake; and him Beelzebub Thus answered:"Leader of those armies

bright Which, but the Omnipotent, none could have

foiled! If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge Of hope in fears and dangers-heard so oft 275 In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge Of battle, when it raged, in all assaults Their surest signal-they will soon resume New courage and revive, though now they lie Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, 280 As we erewhile, astounded and amazed No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height!"

He scarce had ceased, when the superior Fiend Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous

Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, 285
Behind him cast. The broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist12 views
At evening, from the top of Fesolè,13
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 walked with, to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marle, not like those steps
On Heaven's azure; and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.
Nathless he so endured, till on the beach
Of that inflamèd sea he stood, and called
His legions--Angel Forms, who lay entranced,
Thick as autumnal leaves, that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa,15 where the Etrurian shades,
High over-arched embower; or scattered sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed 305
Hath vexed the Red-Sea coast, whose waves

o'er threw
Busiris16 and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcasses

12 Galileo. Artist, one versed in the liberal arts.

13 Fesole is a hill near Florence, and Valdarno the valley of the Arno, in which Florence is situated.

14 Ammiral= admiral, hence the admiral's ship, the flag-ship.

15 Vallombrosa (i. e. "shady valley"), a valley about 18 miles from Florence.

16 An Egyptian King, here wrongly identified with the Pharoah who oppressed the Israelites. Memphian, here used in the general sense of Egyptian.


















And broken chariot-wheels. So thick bestrown, God their Creator, and the invisible
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood Glory of Him that made them to transform 370
Under amazement of their hideous change. Oft to the image of a brute, adorned
He called so loud that all the hollow deep With gay religions full of pomp and gold,
Of Hell resounded:--“Princes, Potentates, 315 And devils to adore for deities:
Warriors, the Flower of Heaven-once yours; Then were they known to men by various names,
now lost,

And various idols through the heathen world. If such astonishment as this can seize

Say, Muse, their names then known, who Eternal Spirits! Or have ye chosen this place first, who last, After the toil of battle to repose

Roused from the slumber on that fiery couch, Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find At their great Emperor's call, as next in worth, To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven? Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, Or in this abject posture have ye sworn

While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof. To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds

The chief were those who, from the pit of Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood

Hell With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon Roaming to seek their prey on Earth, durst fix His swist pursuers from Heaven-gates discern Their seats, long after, next the seat of God, The advantage, and descending, tread us down Their altars by His altar, gods adored Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts Among the nations round, and durst abide Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf?—

Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!"

Between the Cherubim; yea, often placed They heard, and were abashed, and up they Within His sanctuary itself their shrines, sprung.

Abominations; and with cursed things Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch, His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned, On duty sleeping found by whom they dread, And with their darkness durst affront his light. Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. First, Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with Nor did they not perceive the evil plight

blood In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears; Yet to their General's voice they soon obeyed Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels Innumerable. As when the potent rod

loud, Of Amram's son,' in Egypt's evil day,

Their children's cries unheard that passed Waved round the coast, up-called a pitchy cloud through fire Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung Worshipp'd in Rabba20 and her watery plain, Like Night, and darkened all the land of Nile; In Argob and in Basan, to the stream So numberless were those bad Angels seen

Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell, Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 400 "Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires; Of Solomon he led by fraud to build Till, as a signal given, th' uplifted spear

His temple right against the temple of God Of their great Sultan waving to direct

On that opprobrious hill,21 and made his grove Their course, in even balance down they light The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain: 350 thence A multitude like which the populous North And black Gehenna called, the type of Hell. Poured never from her frozen loins, to pass Next, Chemos, 23 the obscene dread of Moab's Rhenels or the Danaw,'' when her barbarous sons,

From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread Of southmost Abarim: in Hesebon
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.

And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
Forthwith from every squadron and each band, The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines,
The heads and leaders thither haste where And Eleale to the Asphaltic24 pool:

Peor his other name, when he enticed
Their great Commander-godlike Shapes, and Israel in Sittim,25 on their march from Nile,

To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Excelling human; princely Dignities;

Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged

415 And Powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones, Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove Though of their names in Heavenly records now Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate; Be no memorial, blotted out and raseul

** "City of Waters," capital of the land of the Ammor. By their rebellion from the Books of Life. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve

21 The Mount of Olives. I Kings, xi. 7.

** Hinnom (Tophet, or Gehenna) a beautiful valley near Got them new names, till, wandering o'er the Jerusalem, which, after it had been detiled by the sacrifiearth.

cial worship of Moloch, was converted into a repulsive Through God's high sufferance for the trial of

place where the refuse of the city was cast and burnt.

23 The chief good, or Baal of the Moabites, and worman,

shipped as Moloch by the Ammonites. lle is spoken of as By falsities and lies the greatest part

Baul Peor (leb. IV. 3) i. e. the Baal who was wor Of mankind they corrupted to forsake

shipped at .Vt. Peor. in Joab.

* The Dead Sea. 1 Moses. Erud. I. 12-15. 13 Rhine, » Danube. * A valley in the land of Moab. Vumb. xxv,


















Till good Josiah 28 drove them thence to Hell. Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks With these came they, who, from the bordering Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams. flood

He also against the house of God was bold: 470 Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts

A leper once he lost, and gained a kingEgypt from Syrian ground, had general names Ahaz, his sottish conqueror, whom he drew Of Baalim 27 and Ashloroth-those male,

God's altar to disparage and displace These feminine: For Spirits, when they please, For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn Can either sex assume, or both; so soft

His odious offerings, and adore the gods And uncompounded is their essence pure, Whom he had vanquished. After these, apNot tied or manacled with joint or limb,

peared Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, A crew who, under names of old renownLike cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their trainchoose,

With monstrous shapes and sorceries, abused Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure,

Fanatic Egypt and her priests to seek Can execute their aery purposes,

Their wandering gods disguised in brutish And works of love or enmity fulfil.

forms For those the race of Israel oft forsook

Rather than human. Nor did Israel scape
Their Living Strength, and unfrequented left The infection, when their borrowed gold com-
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down

To bestial gods; for which their heads as low 435 The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king32
Bowed down in battle, sunk before the spear Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
Of despicable foes. With these in troop,

Likening his Maker to the grazed ox-
Came Astoreth, whom the Phænicians called Jehovah, who in one night, when he passed
Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent horns; From Egypt marching, equallid with
To whose bright image nightly by the moon 440 stroke
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs: Both her first-born and all her bleating gods.
In Sion also not unsung, where stood

Belial33 came last; than whom a Spirit more Her temple on the offensive mountain, built


490 By that uxorious king whose heart, though Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love large,

Vice for itself. To him no temple stood, Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell

Or altar smoked; yet who more oft than he To idols foul. Thammuz28 came next behind, In temples and at altars, when the priest Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured

Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who filled The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

With lust and violence the house of God? In amorous ditties all a summer's day,

In courts and palaces he also reigns, While smooth Adonis from his native rock And in luxurious cities, where the noise Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers, of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale And injury and outrage; and when night Infected Sion's daughters with like heat, Darkens the streets, then wander forth the Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,

Of Belial, flown34 with insolence and wine. His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night Of alienated Judah. Next came one

In Gibeah, when the hospitable door Who mourned in earnest, when the captive ark Exposed a matron, to avoid worse rape. Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt These were the prime in order and in might: off

The rest were long to tell; though far reIn his own temple, on the grunsel edge, 29

nowned Where he fell flat, and shamed his worshippers: The Ionian gods--of Javan's issue35 held Dagons' his name, sea-monster, upward man Gods, yet confessed later than Heaven and And downward fish; yet had his temple high

Earth, Reared in Azotus, dreaded through the coast Their boasted parents;—Titan, Heaven's firstOf Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,

born, And Accaron, and Gaza's frontier bounds. With his enormous brood, and birthright seized Him follow'd Rimmon,31 whose delightful seat By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove,

His own and Rhea's son, like measure found; > Josiah. II Kings, xxiii. 10. 24 Baalim-Ashtoroth, the Hebrew plurals of Baal (the

So Jove usurping reigned. These, first in sun god) and Astoroth (the moon-goddess)., Milton means

Crete that with the gods before named, came other gods of the And Ida known, thence on the snowy top 515 sun and moon, worshipped under various names from the Euphrates on the East to the brook Sihor. (Joshua,

Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air, IV. 4) that divided Egypt from Syria.

% The Oriental original of the Greek Adonis. Tham- 32 Jeroboam. I Kings, xii. 26-29. muz (or Tammuz) was killed by a wild boar, and every 33 The spirit of evil, or worthlessness, here personified year, when the stream Adonis (which flows from Lebanon, by Milton. C!. the scriptural "sons of Belial, the scene of his death) was colored by the red washings of wickednegg,'









""children of the devil." its upper banks, the waters were supposed to be tinged 34 Flooded, illed. with his blood.

35 Javan's issue, i. e. the Ionians, or Greeks, who were * Threshold.

30 The god of the Philistines. among those supposed to be descended from Javan, the a A Syrian god (v. II Kings, v).

son of Japhet. Gen. x. 2-4.

sons of

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