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The latter: for what place can be for us 235
Within heav'n's bound, unless heav'n's Lord supreme
We overpow'r? 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 impos'd, to celebrate his throne
With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing
Forc'd hallelujah's; while he lordly fits
Our envy'd Sov’reign, and his altar breathes
Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flow'rs,

245
Our servile off'rings? This must be our task
In heav'n, this our delight; how wearisome
Eternity fo fpent in worship paid
To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue,
By force impoflible, by leave obtain'd,

250 Unacceptable, though in heav'n, our state Of Splendid vaffalage ; but rather seek Our own good from ourselves, and from our own Live to ourselves, though in this valt recefs, 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, profp'rous of adverse We can creale; and in what place foe'er 260 Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain, Thro' labour and endurance. This deep world Of darkness do we dread ? How oft amidit Thick clouds and dark doth heav'n's all-ruling Sire Chuse to refide, his glory unobscur'd,

265 And with the majesty of darkness round Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders roar Muft'ring their rage, and heav'n resembles hell? As he our darkness, cannot we his light

Imitate

Imitate when we please? This desert foil 270
Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold :
Nor want we ikill or art, from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can heav'n fhow more?
Our torments also may in length of time
Become our elements, thefe piercing fires 275
As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd
Into their temper; which must needs remove
The sensible of pain. All things invite
To peaceful counsels, and the settled ftate
Of order, how in safety beft we may

280
Compose our present evils, with regard
Of what we are, and where; dismiding quite
A!I thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.

He scarce had-finishid, when such murmur fillid Th’assembly, as when hollow rocks retain 285 The sound of blust'ring winds, which all night long Had rous'd the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull Seafaring men o'erwatch?d, whose bark by chance, Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay After the tempeft: fuch applause was heard 290 As Mammon ended, and his fentence pleas'd, Advising peace: for foch another field They dreaded worse than hell: so much the fear Of thunder and the sword of Michaël Wrought fill within them; and no lefs defire 295. To found this nether empire, which might rise, By policy, and long process of time, In emulation oppofite to heaven. Which when Beëlzebub perceiv'd, than whom, Satan except, none higher lat, with grave

300 Afpé& he rose, and in his rifing seem'd A pillar of fate; deep on his front ingraven Deliberation fat, and public care ; And princely counsel in his face yet phone,

Majestic

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Majestic though in ruin: fage he stood

305
With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention Atill as night,
Or summer's noon-tide air, while thus he fpake.

Thrones and imperial powers, offspring of heaven,
Ethereal virtues; or these titles now

311
Muft we renounce, and, changing style, be call'd
Princes of hell? for fo 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 heav'n hath doom'd
This place our dungeon ; - not our fafe 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 Arieteft bondage, though thus far remov'd,
Under th’inevitable curb, referv'd
His captive multitude: for he, be fute,
In heighth or depth, ftill firit and Jaft will reign
Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part 3.25
By our révolt; but over hell extend
His empire, and with iron fceptre rule
Us here, as with his golden those in heaven.
What fit we then projecting peace and war?
War hath determin'd us, and foild with lofs 330
Irreparable; terms of peace yet none
Vouchsaf'd or fought ; for what peace will be given
To us inflav'd, but cuftody. Tevere,
And stripes, and arbitrary punishment
Inflicted ? and what peace can we return, 335.
But, to our power, hoftility and hate,
Untam'd reluctance, and revenge, though flow,
Yet ever plotting how the Conqu'ror feat
May reap his conqueft, and may least rejoice

350

In doing, what we must in suffering feel? 340
Nor will occafion want, nor shall we need
With dang'rous expedition to invade
Heav'n, whose high walls fear no aifault or fiege,
Or ambush from the deep. What if we find
Some ea fier enterprise? There is a place,

345
(If ancient and prophetic fame in heaven
Err not,) another world, the happy seat
Of some new race call’d Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less
In power and excellence, but favour'd more
Of him who rules above; so was his will
Pronounc'd among the gods, and by an oath,
That shook heaven's whole circumference, confirm’d.
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould 355
Or substance, how endu'd, and what their power,
And where their weakness, how attempted beft,
By force or subtlety. Though heav'n be shut, .
And heaven's high Arbitrator fit fecure
In his own strength, this place may lie expos'd, 360
The utmost border of his kingdom, left
To their defence who hold it : Here perhaps
Some advantageous act may be achiev'd
By sudden onset, either with hell-fire
To waste his whole creation; or poffefs

365 All as our own, and drive, as we were driven, The puny habitants; or, if not drive, Seduce them to our party, that their God May prove their foe, and with repenting band Abolish his own works. This would surpass 370 Common revenge, and interrupt his joy In our confusion, and our joy upraise In his disturbance; when his darling fous, Hurl'd headlong to partake with us, fhall corfe

380

Their frail original, and faded bliss,

375 Faded so foon. Advise if this be worth Attempting, or to fit in darkness here Hatching vain empires. Thus Beëlzebub Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devis'd By Satan, and in part propos’d: for whence, But from the author of all ill, could spring So deep a malice, to confound the race Of mankind in one root, and earth with hell To mingle and involve, done all to spite The great Creator? But their spite still ferves 385 His glory to augment. The bold design Pleas'd highly those infernal states, and joy Sparkled in all their eyes; with full aflent They vote : whereat his speech he thus renews.

Well hare ye judg'd, well ended long debate, 390 Synod of gods, and, like to what ye are, Great things resolv'd, which from the lowest deep Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate, Nearer our ancient feat; perhaps in view [arms Of those bright confines, whence, with neighbʼring And opportune excursion, we may chance 396 Re-enter heav'n; or else in some mild zone Dwell not unvisited of heaven's fair light Secure, and at the bright'ning orient beam Purge off this gloom ; the soft delicious air,

400 To heal the fear of those corrosive fires, Shall breathe her balm. But firit whom shall we send In search of this new world? whom shall we find Sufficient? Who fhall tempt with wand'ring feet The dark unbottom'd infinite abyss,

405 And through the palpable obfcure find out His uncouth way, or spread his aery flight Upborn with indefatigable wings Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive

The

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