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Prone1 on the flood, extended2 long and large,
Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian or Earth-born,5 that warred on Jove,
Briareos or Typhon,7 whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works.
Created hugest 10 that swim the ocean-stream,11 —
Him haply slumbering on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-foundered 12 skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,13
With fixéd anchor in his scaly rind
Moors by his side under the lee, while night
Invests the sea, and wishéd morn delays, -

1 prone (Lat. pronus), lying front | ing to the Greek poets, lived in a downward. cave in Cilicia, in Asia Minor.

8 Tarsus, the chief city of Cilicia. 9 Leviathan. See Job xli. and Ps. civ. 26. Generally any large sea animal, the whale, etc.

2 extended: this is not the past participle, but the past tense, adjunct to "parts."

3 as whom. Supply the ellipsis beween "as" and "whom."

4 Titanian. The Titans in Greek mythology were sons of Heaven (Uranus) and Earth (Gæa).

5 Earth-born, the Giants (meaning literally the earth-born ones), the sons of Gæa (Earth) by Uranus (Heaven), were a savage race of men whom the gods destroyed for their insolence.

10 hugest. Pronounce as a monosyllable.

11 the ocean-stream, a Homeric expression. Homer regarded the ocean as a great stream running round the flat disk of the earth.

12 night-foundered (not wrecked, but) brought to a stand by the coming-on of night.

13 as seamen tell. Milton doubtless had in mind the curious tales of "anchors fastened on whales' backs," etc., told in a book of

7 Typhon, a fire-breathing hun- Northern Antiquities by a Swedish dred-headed monster, who, accord-author named Olaus Magnus.

6 Briareos, an enormous monster with fifty heads and a hundred hands.

So stretched out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay,
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
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
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured.


Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool His mighty stature. On each hand the flames, Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and,


In billows, leave in the midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent 5 on the dusky air
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


1 chained; meaning, as if kept | there by a chain.

2 infinite. Accent on the second See Glossary.



8 rears... stature. Rhetorical expression: what is the plain statement?

4 horrid. See Glossary.

5 incumbent, leaning, reclining.

appeared. What is the sub


7 hue. Give a synonym.

8 subterranean. See Glossary.

Torn from Pelorus,1 or the shattered side
Of thundering Etna, whose combustible
And fueled entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublimed 2 with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singéd bottom all involved
With stench and smoke. Such resting found the sole
Of unblest feet. Him followed his next mate; 3
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 equaled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields

Where joy for ever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal world! and thou, profoundest hell,
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

1 Pelo'rus (modern Cape Faro), the north-east point of Sicily, not far from Mount Etna.

2 Sublimed, literally uplifted, raised to an extraordinary heat. For the meaning of the verb to “sublime,” in its chemical sense, see Webster.

3 next mate. To whom is the reference?

4 Stygian. See note, p. 81.
5 sufferance. Meaning?

6 He. To whom is the reference?
7 Sovran. See Glossary.

8 Hail, etc. What kind of sentence?

Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.1
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than He
Whom thunder hath made greater. Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy,2- will not drive us hence:
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 copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool,4
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
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it raged, in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume

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1 The mind... heaven. Analyze this sentence.

2 Here for his envy. Satan speaks ironically. "The Almighty has certainly not made hell so attractive that he envies us the possession of it."

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3 astonished, in the literal sense of thunderstruck.

4 oblivious pool, the pool causing oblivion. What was this pool?

5 they. Who are meant?
6 perilous. Give a synonym.

New courage and revive, though now they lie
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we erewhile,1 astounded and amazed:
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious 2 height."

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He scarce had ceased when the superior fiend Was moving toward the shore, his ponderous shield, Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, Behind him cast. The broad circumference 6 Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views At evening, from the top of Fesolé,8 Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,10 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

1 erewhile, before, previously.
2 pernicious, excessive, ruin-


8 ethereal. What preposition is understood before this word?

4 temper. Meaning here? 5 massy. Poetic form of what word?

6 The broad circumference. What object is meant by this rhetorical expression?

7 the Tuscan artist: meaning Galileo, whom Milton saw in Florence (see p. 75). He constructed (about 1609) an "optic glass," called

by his name the Galilean telescope, which immensely advanced the science of astronomy.

8 Fesolé (Fiesole) is a hill near Florence, on which are the remains of the ancient city of Fæsulæ.

9 Valdarno (Val d'Arno), the valley of the Arno, in which both Florence and Pisa are situated.

10 new lands. Galileo was the first to discover that the surface of the moon is uneven.

11 ammiral admiral: not the commander, however, but the chief ship of a fleet.


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