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IGH on a throne of royal state, which

far Outíhone the wealth of Ormus, and of

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IND;

Or where the gorgeous east with richest

hand Skowrs on her Kings BARBARIC pearl, and gold, Satan exalted fat, by merit rais'd

5 To that bad eminence: and from despair Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires Beyond thus high ; insatiate to pursue Vain war with heaven; and, by success untaught, His proud imaginations thus display'd.

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Pow'rs, and Dominions, Deities of heav'n!
(For since no Deep within her gulph can hold
Immortal vigor, though oppress’d and fall'n,
I give not heav'n for loft: from this descent
Cæleftial virtues rising, will appear
More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate.)
Me though just right, and the fix'd laws of heav'n
Did first create your Leader; next, free choice :
With what besides, in council or in fight,
Hath been atchiev'd of merit, yet this loss
Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more
Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior: but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thund'rer's aim,
Your bulwark; and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction: for none fure will claim in hell
Precedence ; nonę whose portion is so small
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
Will cover more! With this advantage then

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To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in heav'n, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than profperity
Couid have assur'd us : and by what best way,
Whether of open war, or covert guile,
We now debate : who can advise, may speak.

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He ceas'd ; and next him Moloc, sceptred King,
Stood up, the frongest and the fiercest spirit
That fought in heav'n, now fiercer by despair :
His trust was with th'Eternal to be deem'd
Equal in strength; and rather than be less,
Car'd not to be at all ; with that care lost
Went all his fear: of God, or hell, or worse,
He reck'd not; and these words thereafter spake :

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My sentence is for open war: of wiles,
More inexpert, I boast not: them let those
Contrive who need ; or when they need, not now:
For while they fit contriving, Sall the rest,
Millions that itand in arms, and longing wait
The signal to ascend, fit ling'ring here
Heav'n's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame,
The prison of his tyranny who reigns
By our delay ? No! let us rather chuse,
Arm'd with hell flames and fury, all at once
O’er heav'n's high tow'rs to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer : when to meet the noise
Of His Almighty engin He shall hear
Infernal thunder; and for lightning, see
Black fire, and horror, shot with equal rage
Among His Angels : and His throne itself
Mix'd with TARTAREAN fulphur, and strange fire,
His own invented torments.—But perhaps
The way seems difficult, and steep, to scale
With upright wing against a bigher foe.
Let such bethink then, (if the sleepy drench

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Of that forgetful lake benunib not Rill)
"That in our proper motion we afcend
Up to our native feat: descent and fall
"To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken Rere
Insulting, and pursu'd us thro' the Deep,
With what compulsion, and laborious flight,

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We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easie then;
'Th' event is feard ; should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way His wrath may find
"To our destruction : (if there be in hell
Fear to be worse destroy'd) What can be worse 85
Than to dwell here, driv'n out from blifs, condemn'd
In this abhorred deep to utter woe!
Where pain of inextinguishable fire
Must exercise us, without hope of end,
The vassals of His anger, when the scourge 90
Inexorable, and the torturing hour,
Calls us to penance ? more destroy'd than thus,
We should be quite abolish'd, and expire.
What fear we then ? what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which to the height enrag'd, 95
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential; happier far,
Than miserable to have eternal Being.
Or if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
On this fide nothing : and by proof we feel
Our pow'r sufficient to disturb His heav'n,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inaccessible, His fatal throne :
Which, if not victory, is yet revenge.

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TOO

He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd
Desperate revenge, and battel dangerous
*To less than Gods. On th' other side uprose
BELIAL, in act more graceful and humane ;
A fairer person loft not heav'n; he feem'd
For dignity compos’d, and high exploit:
But all was false and hollow: though his tongue

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Drop'd

Drop'd Manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low :
To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
Timorous, and nothful : yet he pleas'd the earg.
And with persuafive accent thus began.

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I should be much for open war, O Peers,
As not behind in hate, if what was urg'd
Main reason to persuade immediate war,
Did not diffuade me moft ; and seem to caft
Omninous conjecture on the whole success ;
When he who moft excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels, and in what excels,
Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair,
And utter diffolution, as the scope
Of all his aim, after fome dire revenge.
Firit, what revenge? The tow'rs of heav'n are filled
With armed watch, that render all access
Impregnable; ost on the bordering Deep
Encamp their legions ; or with obscure wing
Scout far and wide into the realm of night,
Scorning surprize. Or could we break our way
By force, and at our heels all hell should rise
With blackest infurrection, to confound
Heav'n's purest light ; yet our great enemy,
All incorruptible, would on His throne
Sit unpolluted ; and th' ethereal mold
Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,.'
Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope
Is flat despair ; we mult exasperate
Th' Almighty victor to spend all His rage,
And that must end us ; that must be our cure,
To be no more.--Sad cure! for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual Being ;
'Those thoughts, that wander through eternity ;
To perish rather, swallow'd up and loft
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of fense and motion? And who knows

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(Let

(Let this be good) whether our angry foe
Can give it, or will ever : How He can,
Is doubtful , that He never will, is sure.
Will He, so wise, let loose at once His ire,

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Belike thro' impotence, or unaware,
To give His enemies their wish, and end
Them in His anger, whom His anger

faves To punish endless - -Wherefore cease we then, Say they who counsel war; We are decreed,

160 Reserv'd, and destin'd to eternal woe: Whatever doing, what can we suffer more ; What can we suffer warse ?- - Is this then worst, Thus fitting, thus consulting, thus in arms? What! when we fled amain, pursu'd, and struck 165 With heav'n's aflicting thunder, and befought The Deep to shelter us? This hell then seem'd A refuge from those wounds. Or, when we lay Chain'd on the burning lake? That sure was worse. What if the breath that kindled those grim fires, 170 Awak’d, should blow them into sevenfold rage, And plunge us in the flames ? Or, from above, Should intermitted vengeance arm again His red right hand to plague us ? What if all Her stores were open'd, and this firmament Of hell should spout her cataracts of fire ? Impendent horrors ! threatning hideous fall One day upon our heads : while we perhaps Designing or exhorting glorious war, Caught in a fiery tempeft shall be hurl'd

180 Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey Of racking whirlwinds : or for ever funk Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains : There to converse with everlasting groans, Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd,

185 Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse. War therefore, open or conceal'd, alike My voice diffuades: for what can force or guile With Him, or who deceive His mind, whose eye Views all things at one view ? He from heav'n's height All these our motions vain fees, and derides ;

Not

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