Satan's Address to the Sun by Milton

This famous speech affords opportunity for the grandest declamation. It is studded with points—anger, hate, scorn, admiration and defiance. The student should read, and re-read and ponder over every line, until he catches the exact meaning intended to be conveyed—then, following the examples already given, he should declaim it repeatedly:

 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,

O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams,

That bring to my remembrance from what state

I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere;

Till pride and worse ambition threw me down

Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless king:

Ah, wherefore! he deserved 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 him praise,

The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks,

How due! yet all his good proved 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 received,

And understood not that a grateful mind

By owing owes not, but still pays, at once

Indebted and discharged; what burden then?

O, had his powerful destiny ordain'd

Me some inferior angel, I had stood

Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised

Ambition! Yet why not? some other Power

As great might have aspired, 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: whom hast thou then or what to accuse

But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all?

Be then his love accursed, since love or hate,

To me alike, it deals eternal woe.

Nay, cursed 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 despair?

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 dread of shame

Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced

With other promises and other vaunts

Than to submit, boasting I could subdue

The Omnipotent. Ah me! they little know

How dearly I abide that boast so vain,

Under what torments inwardly I groan,

While they adore me on the throne of hell.

With diadem and sceptre high advanced,


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 faint 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 pierced 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, exiled, 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 thou 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.