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Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled 180

Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and prey //

Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk the omniDO_

Under yon boiling ocean, wrapped in chains, tence of God,

There to converse with everlasting groans, and &dyoea'tea

. . -, submission

Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved, 185 and hopeful

Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse. waiting.

War, therefore, ^pen or concealed, alike

My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile

With Him, or who deceive His mind, whose eye

Views all things at one view! He from Heaven's

highth 190

All these our motions vain sees and derides,
Not more almighty to resist our might
Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heaven
Thus trampled, thus expelled, to suffer here 195
Chains and these torments? Better these than

worse,
By my advice ; since fate inevitable
Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,
The Victor's will. To suffer, as to do,
Our strength is equal; nor the law unjust 200

That so ordains. This was at first resolved,
If we were wise, against so great a Foe
Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold
And venturous, if that fail them, shrink, and

fear 205

What yet they know must follow — to endure
Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,
The sentence of their Conqueror. This is now

Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,

Our Supreme Foe in time may much remit 210

His anger, and perhaps, thus far removed,

Not mind us not offending, satisfied

With what is punished; wheace..theseraging fires

Winslacken. if his breath stir not their flames

Our purer essence then will overcome 215

Their noxious vapor; or, inured, not feel;

Or, changed at length, and to the place conformed

In temper and in nature, will receive

Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain;

This horror will grow mild, this darkness light; 220

Besides what hope the never-ending flight

Of future days may bring, what chance, what

change Worth waiting — since our present lot appears For happy though but ill, for ill not worst, If we procure not to ourselves more woe.' 225

Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason's

garb, Counseled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth, Not peace; and after him thus Mammon spake : —

'Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven We war, if war be best, or to regain 230

Our own right lost. Him to unthrone we then
May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield
To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife.
The former, vain to hope, argues as vain
The latter; for what place can be for us 235

Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Lord

Supreme
We overpower? Suppose He should relent,

And publish grace to all, on promise made

Of new subjection; with what eyes could we

Stand in His presence humble, and receive 240

Strict laws imposed, to celebrate His throne

With warbled hymns, and to His Godhead sing

Forced halleluiahs, while He lordly sits

Our envied Sovran, and His altar breathes

Ambrosial odors and ambrosial flowers, 245

Our servile offerings? This must be our task

In Heaven, this our delight. How wearisome

Eternity so spent, in worship paid

To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue —

By force impossible, by leave obtained 250

Unacceptable — though in Heaven, our state

Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek

Our own good from ourselves, and from our own

Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess.

Free, and to none accountable, preferring 255

Hard liberty before the easy yoke

Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear

Then most conspicuous, when great things of small,

Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse,

We can create, and in what place soe'er 260

Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain, dependence,

Through labor and endurance. This deep world organization

Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst ''' ...

ment with

Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's all-ruling their lot.

Sire
Choose to reside, His glory unobscured, 265

And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers His throne, from whence deep thunders

roar,

Mammon * counsels inMammon's

applauded.

Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell!
As He our darkness, cannot we His light
Imitate when we please? This desert soil 270

Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold;
Nor want we skill or art front whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more?
Our torments also may in length of time
Become our elements, these piercing fires 275

As soft as now severe, our temper changed
Into their temper; which must needs remove
The sensible of pain. All thihgs invite
To peaceful counsels, and the settled state
Of order, how in safety best we may 280

Compose our present evils, with regard
Of what we are, and where, dismissing quite
All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.'
He scarce had finished, when such murmur
filled
The assembly, as when hollow rocks retain 285
The sound of blustering winds, which all night long
Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Seafaring men o'erwatched, whose bark by chance,
Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay -

After the tempest. Such applause was heard 290
As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased,
Advising peace: for such another field
They dreaded worse than Hell; so much the fear
Of thunder and the sword of Michael
Wrought still within them; and no less desire 295
To found this nether empire, which might rise,
By policy and long process of time,
In emulation opposite to Heaven.

Which when Beelzebub perceived — than whom,
Satan except, none higher sat —with grave 300
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
A pillar of state. Deep on his front engraven
Deliberatioji sat, and public care;

And princely counsel in his face yet shone, Description of

Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood, 305 Beelzebub.

With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention still as night
Or summer's noontide air, while thus he spake: —

'Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring of
Heaven, 310

Ethereal Virtues! or these titles now
Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called
Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote
Inclines, here to continue, and build up here
A growing empire; doubtless! while we dream, 315
And know not that the King of Heaven hath

doomed
This place our dungeon — not our safe retreat
Beyond His potent arm, to live exempt
From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league
Banded against His throne, but to remain 320

In strictest bondage, though thus far removed,
Under the inevitable curb reserved
His captive multitude. For He, be sure,
In highth or depth, still first and last will reign
Sole King, and of His kingdom lose no part 325
By our revolt, but over Hell extend
His empire, and with iron sceptre rule
Us here, as with His golden those in Heaven.

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