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With blackest insurrection, to confound
Heaven's purest light; yet our great Enemy
All incorruptible, would on his throne
Sit unpolluted; and the ctlicrcal mould,
Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Her mischics, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope
Is fit despair : We must exasperate
Thc Almighty Victor to spend all his rage,
And that must end us; that must be our cure, 146
To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,
Thonghi full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity
To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost
In the widr, womb of uncrcated night,

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Devoid of sense and motion ? And who knows,
Let this be good, whether our angry Foe
Can give it, or will cver ? how he can,
Is doubtful ; that he never will, is sure.
Will he, so wisc, let loose at once his ire,
Belike through impotence, or una ware,
To give his enemies their wish, and end
Them in his anger, whom his anger saves
To punish endless ? Wherefore cease we then ?
Say they who counsel war; we are decreed, 160
Reserved, and destined to eternal woc;
Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst,
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What! when we fled amain, pursued, and struck 166
With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought
T'he deep to shelter us? This Hell then ecem'd
A refuge from those wounds; or when we lay
Chain’d on the burning lako? That sure was worse.
What if the breath, that kindled those grim firos, 179
Awaked, should blow them into serenfuld rago,
And plunge us in the flames ? or, from above,
Should intermitted vengeance arm again

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Elis red right hand to plague us ? What if all
ller stores were open d, and this firmament
Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fira,
Impendent horrors, liircatening hideous fall
One day upon our heads; while we perhaps
Designing or cxhorting glorious war,
Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hur!'d
Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and pray
Of wracking whirlwinds; or for ever sunk
Urder yon boiling ocean, wrapp'd in chains;
There to converse with cverlasting groans,
Unrespited, unpiticd, unreprieved,
Ages of hopeless cnd? This would be worse.
War therefore, open or conceald, alike
Bly voice dissuades; for what can force or gula
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
Vicws all things at onc view? He from Heaven's height
All these our motions vain sees and derides ;
Not more almighty to resist our might
Than wisc to frustrate all our plots and wilés.
Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heavyn
Thus trampled, thus expellid to suffer hero 195
Chains and these torments ? better these than worso,
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 Foo
Conicnding, and so doubtful what might fall.
(laugh, when those who at the spear are bold
And venturous, if that fail them, slirink 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 nay much remit 216
les anger; and perhaps, thus far removed

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Not mind us not offending, satisfied
With what is punish'd; whence these raging fixes
Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Our purer essence then will overcome
Their noxious vapour; or, inured, not fool;
Or changed at length, and to the place conform'd
In temper and in nature, will receive
Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain ;
Thuis 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,
Counsel'd ignoble caso, and peacerul 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
Vur own right lost : Him to unthrone wo 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

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Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Lord su prenio
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 Sirict laws imposed, to celebrate his throno • With warbled hymns and to his Godhead sing

Forced Hallelujahs: while he lordly sits
Our envied Sov'ruign, and his altar breathes
Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers,
Our servile offerings? This must be our tasks
In Heaven, this our delight; how wearisome
Eternity so spent, in worship paid
fu whum we hato! Let us not then presume

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By force impossible, by leave obtain'd
Unacioptable, though in Heaven, our stato
Oi spluudid vassaia vc; but rather seer
Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
Free, and lo'nonc accountable, preferring 250
Ilara liberty before the casy yoke
Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear
Then most conspicuous, when great things of small,
Usctur of hurtful, prosperous of advérse,
Wo can create ; and in what placc soc'er . 200
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain, .
Through labour and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we drcad? How oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's all-ruling Sire
Choose to reside, his glory unobscured,

205
And with the majesty of darkness round
Covers his throne; from whence dcep thunders roar
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 hid:len lustre, gems and gold; Nor want wc skill or art, from whence to raise Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more? Our torments also may in length of time Become our elements; these piercing fires As soft as now severe, our temper changed Into their temper; which must needs remove The sensible of pain. All things invite To peaceful counsels, and the settled state Of order, how in safety best we may Compose our present cvı!3, with regard Of what we are, and wherc; dismissing quite All thoughts of war: Ye have what I advise.

He scarce had finishid, when such murinur fillid -The assembly as when follow rocks retain 295 The sourd of blustering winds, which all night long Cal ruoad the road, now with hearse culence lull

275

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Seafaring men o'erwatch'd, whose bark by chance,
Os pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay
Anier the tempest: Such applause was heard 290
As Mammon ended, and lis senterce pleased,
Advising peace : for such another field
They dreaded worse than Heli: so much the sear
Of thunder and ine sword of Michaol
Wrought still within them; and no less desire 231
To found this nether empire, which might rise
By policy, and long procéss of time,
In emulatior, opposite to Heaven.
which when Beelzebub perceived, than whom
Satan except none higher sat, with grave
Aspéct he rose, and in his rising seemd
A pillar of state ; deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat, and public care ;
And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic thongh in ruin: sage he stood

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

Thrones and Imperial Powers, Offspring of Heaven, Ethereal Virtues! or these titles now

- 311 Must we renounce, and, changing style, be callid Princes of Hell! for so the popular vote brclines, here to continue, and build up here A growing empire ; doubtless! while we dream, 316 And know not that the King of Heaven hath dorm'd This place our dungeon ; not our safe retreat Bevond his potent arm, to live exempt From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league Banded against his thirone, but to remain

3201 In strictest bondage, though thus far renoved Under the inevitable curb, reserved His captive multitude : For lic, be sure In height or depth, still first and lası will reign Bo a king, and of his kingdom lose no part

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