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Directed, no mean recompense it brings
To your behoof, if I that region lost,
All usurpation thence expelled, reduce
To her original darkness, and your sway,
(Which is my present journey) and once more
Erect the standard there of ancient Night:
Yours be the advantage all, mine the revenge !”

Thus Satan ; and him thus the Anarch old,
With faltering speech and visage incomposed,





Answered: “I know thee, stranger, who thou art, 690
That mighty leading Angel, who of late
Made head against Heaven's King, though overthrown.
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 Heaven-gates
Poured out by millions her victorious bands
Pursuing. I upon my frontiers here
Keep residence; if all I can will serve
That little which is left so to defend,

Encroached on still through your intestine broils
Weakening the sceptre of old Night: first Hell,
Your dungeon, stretching far and wide beneath;
Now lately Heaven and Earth, another world,
Hung o'er my realm, linked in a golden chain
To that side Heaven from whence your legions fell :
If that


be your walk, you have not far; So much the nearer danger; go, and speed ! Havoc, and spoil, and ruin, are my gain.'

He ceased; and Satan stayed not to reply, But, glad that now his sea should find a shore, With fresh alacrity, and force renewed, Springs upward, like a pyramid of fire, Into the wild expanse; and, through the shock Of fighting elements, on all sides round Environed, wins his way; harder beset And more endangered, than when Argol passed Through Bosporus, betwixt the justling rocks: Or when Ulysses on the larboard shunned 1 The name of the vessel in which, first expedition was made to Colchis according to a Greek tradition, the to fetch away the golden fleece.



Charybdis', and by the other whirlpool steered.
So he with difficulty and labour hard
Moved on; with difficulty and labour he:




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But now at last the sacred influence
Of light appears, and from the walls of Heaven
Shoots far into the bosom of dim night
A glimmering dawn : here Nature first begins
Her farthest verge, and Chaos to retire
As from her outmost works a broken foe
With tumult less, and with less hostile din ;
That Satan with less toil, and now with ease,
Wafts on the calmer wave by dubious light;
And, like a weather-beaten vessel, holds
Gladly the port2, though shrouds and tackle torn ;
Or in the emptier waste, resembling air,
Weighs his spread wings, at leisure to behold
Far off the empyreal Heaven, extended wide
In circuit, undetermined square or round,
With opal towers and battlements adorned
Of living sapphire, once his native seat;
And fast by, hanging in a golden chain,
This pendent world, in bigness as a star
Of smallest magnitude close by the moon.
Thither, full fraught 3 with mischievous revenge,
Accursed, and in a cursèd hour, he hies.



EXAMINATION ON BOOK II. 1. Describe the course of action of the poem in this book. 2. Give the names and characters of the speakers in the infernal council. 3. State the general drift of their respective speeches. 4. With what expressions do the critics find fault in this book? 5. What classical parallels may be quoted ? 6. Explain the terms welkin,and “puny." 7. Give the names of the four rivers of the infernal regions, and their



Scylla and Charybdis ; the Charybdis, who three times a-day names of two rocks between Italy swallowed the waters of the sea, and and Sicily. On the one nearest to threw them up again. Both were Italy, dwelt, according to Homer, formidable to ships. Scylla, a fearful monster, barking 2 See Horace, lib. i. od. 14. like a dog, with twelve feet and six

3 Laden. mouths. On the opposite rock dwelt

8. Who was Tantalus ? and what English word is derived from this name? 9. Quote one or two of the most beautiful passages in this book. 10. Who was Bellona ? 11. What was the Argonautic expedition; by whom undertaken, and for

what purpose ? 12. Explain the construction of the passage beginning“ Me, though just

right,” line 18. 13. What means the term cæsural pause ? 14. Scan the first ten lines of this book.




The poet's Invocation to Light. God the Father, sitting on his throne, sees

Satan flying towards this world, then newly created, and shows him to the Son, who sits at his right hand. Meanwhile, Satan alights upon the bare, convex of this world's outermost orb. Here, wandering, he finds a place since called the Limbo of Vanity. The place and its inhabitants described. Satan now comes to the gate of Heaven; and thence to the orb of the Sun. Here he finds Uriel, Regent of the Sun; but first changes himself into the appearance of a meaner angel, and pretending a desire to behold the New Creation, and Man, inquires of him the place of his habitation. He is directed by Uriel, and alights on Mount Niphates.


Hail, holy Light', offspring of Heaven first-born,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam,
May I express thee unblamed ? since God is light,
And never but in unapproachèd light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear'st thou rather


ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell ? Before the sun,
Before the Heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight



1 The first fifty-five lines, which when we remember that the poet was, introduce this book, contain the “ In- at the time they were written, atvocation to Light.” They are very ficted with blindness. beautiful, and particularly interesting




Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
With other notes than to the Orphéan lyre,
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night;
Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend,
Though hard and rare : Thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sovran vital lamp; but thou
Revisit’st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene i bath quenched their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more
Cease I to wander, where the Muses haunt
Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill,
Smit with the love of sacred song ; but chief
Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath,
That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow,
Nightly I visit: nor sometimes forget
Those other two equalled with me in fate,
So were I equalled with them in renown;
Blind Thamyris?, and blind Mæonides),
And Tiresiast, and Phineus", prophets old :
Then feed on thoughts that voluntary move
Harmonious numbers; as the wakeful bird
Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid
Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year
Seasons return; but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine 6 ;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways
Cut off, and, for the book of knowledge fair,
Presented with a universal blank
Of Nature's works to me expunged and rased,
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.




of men

50 55

1 A kind of blindness called "gutta ancient name of Lydia), he is someserena," arising from derangement or times called “ Mæonides." disease of the nerves of the eye.

4 A celebrated soothsayer of Thebes, 2 An ancient bard of Thrace, who blind from his seventh year. was deprived of his sight because he 5 A blind seer, who had received was so conceited as to think he could his prophetic powers from Apollo. surpass the Muses in singing.

6 The pupil's attention is here di3 As Homer was by some believed rected to the beautiful effect of the to have been a native of Mæonia (the repetition of the conjunction “or.”



So much the rather thou, celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate ; there plant eyes, all mist from thence
Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.

Now had the Almighty Father from above,
From the pure empyréan? where He sits
High-throned above all height, bent down his eye
His own works and their works at once to view :
About him all the Sanctities of Heaven
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received
Beatitude past utterance; on his right
The radiant image of his glory sat,
His only Son; on earth he first beheld
Our two first parents, yet the only two
Of mankind in the happy garden placed,
Reaping immortal fruits of joy and love,
Uninterrupted joy, unrivalled love,
In blissful solitude; he then surveyed
Hell, and the gulf between, and Satan there
Coasting the wall of Heaven on this side Night
In the dun air sublime, and ready now
To stoop with wearied wings and willing feet
On the bare outside of this world, that seemed
Firm land embosomed, without firmament,
Uncertain which, in ocean or in air.
Him God beholding from his prospect high,
Wherein past, present, future, he beholds,
Thus to his only Son, foreseeing, spake 2 :

Thus while God spake, ambrosial fragrance filled
All Heaven, and in the blessed Spirits elect
Sense of new joy ineffable diffused.
Beyond compare the Son of God was seen
Most glorious; in him all his Father shone
Substantially expressed ; and in his face
Divine compassion visibly appeared,
Love without end, and without measure grace,
Which uttering, thus he to his Father spake 3 :









1 See book ii. line 389.

his grace on man, as he will fall by 2 God the Father here foretels the temptation of Satan. Satan's success in perverting man; 3 The Son of God praises the and yet declares that he will bestow Father for his divine mercy towards

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