Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night [ 50 ]
To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe
Confounded though immortal: But his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain [ 55 ]
Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
At once as far as Angels kenn he views
The dismal Situation waste and wilde, [ 60 ]
A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round
As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace [ 65 ]
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 unconsum'd:
Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd [ 70 ]
For those rebellious, here thir Prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and thir portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n
As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole.
O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
Leo High School lost to Seaton on the hardwood last night 95-66. The Basketball team had more than a tough night on the fabled third-floor gym surface, as the Mother Elizabeth Seaton Bees stung the Lions mightily with steady 3-point, 2-point cannonades and wholesome foul shooting.
Between the freshman and sophomore games, I treated some of the gents to comestibles at the Fan Stand on the first floor - Chris MsS#$%^ (Leo 2015), "Hickey, you think we'll take the varsity?"
God only knows.
I missed the varsity game entirely because my daughter called for me to to jump start the automobile battery in her conveyance that only days ago I recommended she replace.
The jump-start worked and her Chevy is sitting outside of my window catching the last leaves of 2011. It will stay there until the lovely fruit of my seed coughs up some cash for a battery.
I read the scores before turning in. God spoke and Seaton swept.
My thoughts turned to Milton, old crabby blind Jack, who also had daughters, Oliver Cromwell's Latin Minister. Latin was still the lingua franca of diplomacy, Puritan bigotry notwithstanding.
John Milton is arguably the greatest voice in English. Less the Steven Spielberg ( give 'em what they want) huckster and showman that Bill Shakespeare happened to be, and far less funny that Geoff Chaucer, Milton spoke past human vanity and proudly humbled himself before the Three Persons of ontological certainty - the Alpha and Omega Trio.
Milton was a sponge of human tongues and unlike dusty dopes like John Dewey and Noam Chomsky applied language to its actual purpose - to seek Truth. Milton sought to not justify God, but to justify God's Ways to Man. Huge difference. Like I noted above above, Milton was Cromwell's Latin Minister. Oliver Cromwell beheaded Charles I with the full agreement of a very frightened Parliament and built a Taliban state of England that any Islamic Brother would embrace - in practice if not theology. Warty Ollie burned witches, killed Catholics, banned plays, songs, and books and made Jihads on Scotland and Ireland that rocked the Casbah. Burning the Cathedral full of Papists in the Irish town of Drogheda north of Dublin, Cromwell ordered his Iron Sides troopers to sing hymns and when questioned about barbecuing the kids along with their elders remarked, "Nits breed lice."
That gent would have made a fine Planned Parenthood president.
Milton was the Latin Minister of a very progressive government of bigots, but no bigot himself. In fact, though a devout Puritan, Milton counted many Italian Cardinals as his boon chums. Milton was schooled not only in Latin, but Greek, Hebrew, Italian and French. He was tasked principally with defending and justifying Cromwell's regicidal government to the world of men, but his life sought to make sense of God's Plan.
All things, not some, are ex Deo. The Fall of Man was and could only be a consequence of the Fall of angels. Satan, formerly Lucifer, is the first community activist.
Satan organizes all beings and goes Alinsky on God and his stooges -Michael, Gabriel & etc. - and agitates for reform which means Satan should be God. Satan is brilliantly energetic, but goes nowhere. Satan is really, really, really frustrated that he is not God the Omnipotent Creator of Satan and everything else; therefore, Satan can only attack God through Man, whom God loves. What Satan, for all of his energy and talent, can not grasp, nor accept is that he is not God. He therefore turns away from everything that is God. Satan is the Anglicized word from the Hebrew for op poser הַשָׂטָן ha-Satan.
Paradise gets Lost and Satan manages to have God's beloved creatures Adam and Eve oppose God's Will. However, poor old Satan is confounded by the fact that God's Will trumps the best laid plans and all of the opposition research in the Devil's trick bag. God Planned this opposition by Satan and eventually Man only to have Paradise redeemed.
When I read the scores of the Seaton debacle, all I could think of was Milton's wonderful scene of the fallen demons on the fiery landscape of what soon would become Hell. Satan was also the first Construction/Real Estate Magnate - He and Beelzebub, raised Hell.
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 [ 245 ]
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. Farewel happy Fields
Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail [ 250 ]
Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. [ 255 ]
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less then he
Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: [ 260 ]
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 [ 265 ]
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? [ 270 ]
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 [ 275 ]
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, [ 280 ]
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, [ 285 ]
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, [ 290 ]
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 [ 295 ]
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 [ 300 ]
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 [ 305 ]
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 [ 310 ]
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, [ 315 ]
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 [ 320 ]
To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds
Cherube and Seraph rowling in the Flood
With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon [ 325 ]
His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern
Th' advantage, and descending tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked Thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this Gulfe.
Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n. [ 330 ]
Hell of place you got there!
Fallen is not damned. The Leo motto is Facta Non Verba -Deeds not Words. Our Deeds fell short . . .way short . . .29 points short of a tie and thirty of win.
Fall seven times and get up eight. Christ could not have Restored Paradise if he stayed down on the third fall. Christ never tanked a fight. He fell three and with some help climbed up for a crucifixion and death that justified God's Ways to Man.
Paradise Lost is no Color Purple, or Kite Runner, but needs to be read, studied and taught.