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Paradise Lost: Book 1
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A Broken Paradise (The Windows of Heaven Book 3)
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Ireland Only. Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt? O how unlike the place from whence they fell! If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! What though the field be lost? That Glory never shall his wrath or might [ ] Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace With suppliant knee, and deifie his power, Who from the terrour of this Arm so late Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed, That were an ignominy and shame beneath [ ] This downfall ; since by Fate the strength of Gods And this Empyreal substance cannot fail, Since through experience of this great event In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't , We may with more successful hope resolve [ ] To wage by force or guile eternal Warr Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe, Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n.
So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain, [ ] Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare : And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer. O Prince , O Chief of many Throned Powers , That led th' imbattelld Seraphim to Warr Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds [ ] Fearless, endanger'd Heav'ns perpetual King; And put to proof his high Supremacy, Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate, Too well I see and rue the dire event, That with sad overthrow and foul defeat [ ] Hath lost us Heav'n , and all this mighty Host In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as Gods and Heav'nly Essences Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns, [ ] Though all our Glory extinct, and happy state Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
But what if he our Conquerour , whom I now Of force believe Almighty, since no less Then such could hav orepow'rd such force as ours [ ] Have left us this our spirit and strength intire Strongly to suffer and support our pains, That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, Or do him mightier service as his thralls By right of Warr , what e're his business be [ ] Here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire, Or do his Errands in the gloomy Deep; What can it then avail though yet we feel Strength undiminisht , or eternal being To undergo eternal punishment?
Fall'n Cherube , to be weak is miserable Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure, To do ought good never will be our task, But ever to do ill our sole delight, [ ] As being the contrary to his high will Whom we resist. If then his Providence 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 thir 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.
Him followed his next Mate, Both glorying to have scap't the Stygian flood As Gods , and by thir 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 he [ ] 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.
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' Onmipotent none could have foyld , If once they hear that voyce , thir 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 Thir 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 shoar ; 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 Chivalry, While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore thir floating Carkases [ ] And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood, Under amazement of thir 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?