Friday, February 20, 2009

Milton's Rational "Lost Archangel"

The following is an excerpt from John Milton's poem "Paradise Lost". Here we read the soliloquy of the one "who first seduced them to that foul revolt". Satan is a great rational being who other rational materialists (such as Thomas Hobbes) find sympathy for and can trust.

'Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,'
Said then the lost Archangel, '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: farthest from him is best
Whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields
Where joy forever 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 it own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.

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