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For while they sit contriving, shall the rest,
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait
The signal to ascend, sit lingering here
Heaven's fugitives, and for their dewelling-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 heaven's high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures 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 or fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy

The 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, driven out from bliss, condemn'd
In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end,
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorable, and the torturing hour,
Call us to penance ? More destroy'd than thus
We should be quite abolished, 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
Than 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 power sufficient to disturb his heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
(Though inaccessible,) his fatal throne ;
Which, if not victory,—is yet revenge.



I should be much for open war, O Peers,
As not behind in hate; if what was urged
Main reason to persuade immediate war,
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast
Ominous 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 towers of heaven are fill'd
With armed watch, that render all access
Impregnable ? oft on the bordering 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 should rise
With blackest insurrection, to confound
Heaven's purest light-yet our great enemy,
All incorruptible, would on his throne
Sit unpolluted ; and the ethereal mould,
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 must exasperate

The 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 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 through impotence, or unaware,
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,
Reserv'd and destin'd to eternal woe :
Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
What can we suffer worse ? Is this then worse,
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What ! when we fled amain, pursued 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, threatening hideous fall
One day upon our heads ; while we, perhaps
Designing or exhorting glorious war,
Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled,
Each on his rock transfix' the sport and prey
Of wracking whirlwinds; or for ever sunk
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains,
There to converse with everlasting groans,

Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved,
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse.
War, therefore, open or conceald, alike,
My voice dissuades.


O THOU ! that, with surpassing glory crown'd,
Look’st, from thy sole dominion, like the god
Of this new world !* at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish'd heads ! to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O Sun! to tell thee how I ha

thy beams
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell :-how glorious once above thy sphere !
Till pride, and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heav'n against heav'n's matchless King.

Ah! wherefore ?-He desery'd no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none : nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,

* It will be recollected, that the preposition “of” is commonly pronounced as if it formed a component part of the word to which it belongs, and is sounded uv,--as the “goodness-uv God,”- -“ the injustice-uv the world;" and before a personal pronoun in the accusative or objective case, and when it ends a sentence, that it is pronounced ov;—for general purposes this information is ample, but there is a certain strikingly-solemn passage in the LITURGY which demands our special attention, and requires a peculiar pronunciation of the otherwise unimportant particle.

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Instead of “ God-uv/ God; Light-uv/ Light; Very God-uv/ Very God, (the usual manner of reading the extraordinary sentence) the utmost care should be taken to deliver it as impressively as possible, agreeably to the


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A : :

following marking :-“God/ ov God/; Light/ ov Light/; Very God/ ov/

Very God.” It will be borne in mind that thesis (a) is the heavy, and arsis ( ::) is the light, or unaccented syllable.


The easiest recompence ;

and him thanks,
How due ! Yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
And wrought but malice. Lifted up so high,
I disdain'd subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me highest, and, in a moment, quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude,
So burthensome, still paying, still to owe-
(Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd)
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not ; but still pays, at once
Indebted and discharg’d. What burden then ?

(Long pause here, and the voice and manner changed.)

O had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy ; no unbounded hope had rais’d
Ambition. Yet, why not ?—Some other power,
As great, might have aspir’d, and me,


Drawn to his part: but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand, unshaken ; from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm’d.

Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ?Thou hadst. Whom hast thou then, or what to accuse, But heavn's free love, dealt equally to all ?

- Be then his love accurs’d,-since, love, or hate,
To me, alike, it deals eternal woe.
-Nay, curs'd be thou ; since, against His, thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.

Me miserable ! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair ?
-Which way I fly is hell ; myself am hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep,
Still threatening to devour me, opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heav'n.

O, then, at last relent.- Is there no place
Left for repentance ?-none for pardon left ?

None left but by submission ; and that word Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd With other promises, and other vaunts

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