"O thou, that with surpassing glory crown'd,
Look'st from thy sole dominion like the god
Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
On sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell; how glorious once above they sphere;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless King.
Ah, wherefore, he deserv'd no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none; nor was his service hard,
What could be less than to afford his praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,
How due; yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I 'sdain'd subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burdensome still paying, still to owe;
Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd,
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharg'd: what burden then?
O had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
The happy; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition. Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspir'd, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part; but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?
Thou hadst: who hast thou then or what to accuse,
But heaven's free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accurs'd, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal, woe.
Nay curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely, what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable, which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite dispair?
Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep,
Still threat'ning to devour me, opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dead of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ay me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast in vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of hell.
With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery; such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent and could obtain
By act of grace my former state; how soon
Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore; ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
For never can true reconcilement grow,
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep;
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace:
All hope excluded thus, behold, instead
Of us, outcast, exil'd, his new delight,
Mankind, created, and for him this world.
So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost;
Evil be though my good: by thee at least
Divided empire with heaven's King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long, and this new world shall know"
Log in to comment