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Will envy whom the highesı place, exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thund'rer's aim,
Your bulwark, and condemns to greater share
Of endless pain? where there is then no good
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction ; for none sure will claim in he]
Precedence, none whose portion is so smali
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
Will covet more. With this advantage then
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 prosperity
Could have assur'd us; and by what best way,
Whether of open war or covert guile,
We now debate ; who can advise, may speak.

He ceas'd, and next him Motoch, scepter'd king
Stood up, the strongest 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 heli, or worse
He reck'd not, and these words thereafter spake

My sentence is for open war; of wiles, More unexpert, I boast not; them let those Contrive who need, or when they need, not now. For while they sit contriving, shall the rest, Millions that stand in arms and longing wait The signal to ascend, sit 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 choose, Arm'd with hell flames and fury, all at once O'er heav'n's high tow'rs to force resistless way Turning our Tort'rer into horrid arms Against the torturer: when to meet the noise of his almighty engine, 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 sulphur, and strange fire, His own invented torments. But perhaps The way seems difficult and steep to scale With upright wing, against a higher foe. Let such bethink them if the sleepy drench Of that forgetful lake benumb not still, That in our proper motion we ascend Up to our native seat: descent and fall To us is adverse. Who but felt of late, When the fierce foe hung o'er our broken rear Insulting, and pursu'd us through the deep, With what compulsion and laborious flight We sunk thus low? Th’ascent is easy then Th’ event is fear'd: 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 Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemnil In this abhorred deep to utter wo; Where pain of unextinguishable fire Must exercise us without hope of end The vassals of his anger, when the scourge Inexorably, and the tort'ring 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, Will either quite consume us, and reduce To nothing this essential, happier far Chan miserable to have eternal being : Or if our substance be indeed divine,

And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
. On this side nothing: and by proof, we feel

Our pow'r sufficient to disturb his heav'n,
And with perpetual inrcads to alarm

Though inaccesible, his fatal throne :*
Which if not victory, is yet re venge.

He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd
Desp'rate revenge, and battle dangerous
To less than gods. On th' other side rose up
Belial, in act more graceful and humane;
A fairer person lost not heav'n; he seem'd
For dignity compos’d and high exploit :
But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
Dropt 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
Tim'rous and slothful : yet he pleas'd the ear,
And with persuasive accent thus began.

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 dissuade me most, and seem to cast. Oininous conjecture on the whole success : When he who most excels in feats of arms, In what he counsels and in what excels; Mistrustful grounds his courage on despair, And utter dissolution, as the scope Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. First, what revenge ? the tow'rs of heav'n are fill'd With armed watch, that renders all access Impregnable; oft on the bord'ring deep Incamp their legions, or with obscure wing Scout far and wide into the realm of night, Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way By force, and at our heels all hell shouid rise With blackest insurrection, to confound Heav’n’s purest light, yet our great enemy, All incorruptible, would on his throne Sit unpolluted, and th' etherial mould Incapable of stain would soon expel .

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Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire
Victorious. Thus repuls'd our final hope
Is flat despair; we must exasperate
Th' alınighty 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 lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion ? and who knows,
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,
Belike throngh impotence, or unaware,
To give his enemies their wislı, 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,
Reserv'd, and destin'd to eternal wo;
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 fied amain, pursu'd and struck
With heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought
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,
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, threat'ning hideous fall
One day upon our heads; while we perhaps
Designing or exhorting glorious war.

Caught in a fiery tempest shall be hurl'd
Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey
Of wracking whirlwinds, or forever sunk
Under yon boiling ocean wrapt in chains;
There to converse with everlasting groans,
Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd,
Ages of hopeless end ? this would be worse.
War therefore, open or conceal'd, 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 heav'n's heiglit
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 heav'n
Thus trampled, thus expellid to suffer here
Chains and these torinents ? 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
That so ordains: this was at first resolv'd,
If we were wise, against so great a fue
Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
I laugh when those who at the spear are bold
And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear
What yet they know must follow, to endure
Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,
The sentence of their conqu’ror : this is now
Our doom ; which if we can sustain and bear,
Our supreme foe in time may much reniit
His anger, and perhaps thus far remov’d
Not mind us not offending, satisfy'd
"'ith what is punish'd; whence these raging fires
Will slacken, if his breath stir not their fames.
Our purer essence then will overcome
Their noxious vapour, or innur'd not feel,
Or chang'd at length, and to the place conform'd
Ir temper and in nature, will receive

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