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Let such bethink them, if the sleepy But all was false and hollow; though his drench

tongue Of that forgetful lake benumb not still, Dropped manna, and could make the That in our proper motion we ascend

worse appear Up to our native seat; descent and fall | The better reason, to perplex and dash To us is adverse. Who but felt of late, Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were When the fierce foe hung on our broken low

115 rear

To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds Insulting, and pursued us through the Timorous and slothful. Yet he pleased

deep, With what compulsion and laborious And with persuasive accent thus began:flight

“I should be much for open war, Peers, We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy, As not behind in hate, if what was urged then;

Main reason to persuade immediate war The event is feared? Should we again Did not dissuade me most, and seem to provoke

cast Our stronger, some worse way his wrath Ominous conjecture on the whole success;

When he who most excels in fact of arms, To our destruction if there be in Hell In what he counsels and in what excels 125 Fear to be worse destroyed? What can be Mistrustful, grounds his courage on deworse

spair Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, And utter dissolution, as the scope condemned

Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. In this abhorrèd deep to utter woe; First, what revenge? The towers of Where pain of unextinguishable fire

Heaven are filled Must exercise us, without hope of end, With armèd watch, that render all access The vassals of his anger, when the scourge Impregnable: oft on the bordering deep 131 Inexorably, and the torturing hour, Encamp their legions, or with obscure Calls us to penance? More destroyed wing than thus,

Scout far and wide into the realm of Night, We should be quite abolished, and expire. Scorning surprise. Or could we break our What fear we then? what doubt we to way incense

By force, and at our heels all Hell should His utmost ire? which, to the highth en- rise

135 raged,

95 With blackest insurrection, to confound Will either quite consume us, and reduce Heaven's purest light, yet our great To nothing this essential —happier far Enemy, Than miserable to have eternal being! - All incorruptible, would on his throne Or, if our substance be indeed divine, Sit unpolluted, and the ethereal mould, And cannot cease to be, we are at worst 100 Incapable of stain, would soon expel 140 On this side nothing; and by proof we feel Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire, Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven, Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope And with perpetual inroads to alarm, Is flat despair: we must exasperate Though inaccessible, his fatal throne: The Almighty Victor to spend all his Which, if not victory, is yet revenge. 105

rage, He ended frowning, and his look de- And that must end us; that must be our nounced?

145 Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous To be no more. Sad cure! for who would To less than gods. On the other side up lose, rose

Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Belial, in act more graceful and humane; Those thoughts that wander through A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seemed eternity, For dignity composed, and high exploit.1. To perish rather, swallowed up and lost I this being of ours.

In the wide womb of uncreated Night, 150

a threatened.



than worse,


Devoid of sense and motion? And who My voice dissuades: for what can' force or knows,

guile Let this be good, whether our angry Foe With him, or who deceive his mind, whose Can give it, or will ever? How he can

eye Is doubtful; that he never will is sure. Views all things at one view? He from Will He, so wise, let loose at once his ire,155 Heaven's highth Belike through impotence, or unaware, All these our motions vain sees and deTo give his enemies their wish, and end rides; Them in his anger, whom his anger saves Not more almighty to resist our might To punish endless? “Wherefore cease we Than wise to frustrate all our plots and then?'

wiles. Say they who counsel war; 'we are decreed, Shall we, then, live thus vile the race of Reserved, and destined to eternal woe; 161 Heaven Whatever doing, what can we suffer more, Thus trampled, thus expelled to suffer here What can we suffer worse?' Is this then Chains and these torments? Better these worst,

196 Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms? By my advice; since fate inevitable What when we fled amain, pursued and Subdues us, and omnipotent decree, strook

165 The Victor's will. To suffer, as to do, With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and be- Our strength is equal; nor the law unjust sought

That so ordains: this was at first resolved, The Deep to shelter us? This Hell then | If we were wise, against so great a foe seemed

Contending, and so doubtful what might A refuge from those wounds. Or when we fall. lay

I laugh when those who at the spear are Chained on the burning lake? That sure bold was worse.

And venturous, if that fail them, shrink, What if the breath that kindled those grim and fear

205 fires,

170 What yet they know must follow-to enAwaked, should blow them into sevenfold dure rage,

Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain, And plunge us in the flames; or from above The sentence of their conqueror. This is Should intermitted vengeance arm again His red right hand to plague us? What if Our doom; which if we can sustain and all

bear, Her stores were opened, and this firma- Our Supreme Foe in time may much remit ment

175 His anger, and perhaps, thus far removed, Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire, Not mind us not offending, satisfied Impendent horrors, threatening hideous With what is punished; whence these ragfall

ing fires One day upon our heads; while we per- Will slacken, if his breath stir not their haps,

flames. Designing or exhorting glorious war, Our purer essence then will overcome 215 Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled, Their noxious vapor, or, inured, not feel; Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and Or, changed at length, and to the place prey


conformed Of racking whirlwinds, or forever sunk In temper and in nature, will receive Under yon boiling ocean, wrapped in Familiar the fierce heat; and, void of pain, chains,

This horror will grow mild, this darkness There to converse with everlasting groans, light; Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved, 185 Besides what hope the never-ending flight Ages of hopeless end? This would be Of future days may bring, what chance,

what change War therefore, open or concealed, alike





1 avail.



Worth waiting, -since our present lot ap- We can create, and in what place soe'er 260 pears

Thrive under evil, and work ease out of For happy though but ill, for ill not worst, pain If we procure not to ourselves more woe. Through labor and endurance. This deep Thus Belial, with words clothed in rea

world son's garb,

226 Of darkness do we dread? How oft an st Counselled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth, Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's allNot peace; and after him thus Mammon ruling Sire spake:

Choose to reside, his glory unobscured, 265 “Either to disenthrone the King of And with the majesty of darkness round Heaven

Covers his throne, from whence deep We war, if war be best, or to regain


thunders roar, Our own right lost. Him to unthrone we Mustering their rage, and Heaven resemthen

bles Hell! May hope, when everlasting Fate shall As he our darkness, cannot we his light yield

Imitate when we please? This desert soil To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and strife.


271 The former, vain to hope, argues as vain Nor want we skill or art from whence to The latter; for what place can be for us 235

raise Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Magnificence; and what can Heaven show Lord Supreme

more? We overpower? Suppose he should relent, Our torments also may, in length of time, And publish grace to all, on promise made Become our elements, these piercing fires Of new subjection; with what eyes could As soft as now severe, our temper changed

239 Into their temper; which must needs reStand in his presence, humble, and receive

277 Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne The sensible of pain. All things invite With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead To peaceful counsels, and the settled state sing

Of order, how in safety best we may 280 Forced Halleluiahs, while he lordly sits Compose our present evils, with regard Our envied sovran, and his altar breathes Of what we are and where, dismissing quite Ambrosial odors and ambrosial flowers, 245 All thoughts of war. Ye have what I adOur servile offerings? This must be our vise.” task

He scarce had finished, when such murIn Heaven, this our delight. How weari

mur filled

The assembly, as when hollow rocks reEternity so spent in worship paid


285 To whom we hate! Let us not then pur- The sound of blustering winds, which all sue,

night long By force impossible, by leave obtained 250 Had roused the sea, now with hoarse caUnacceptable, though in Heaven, our state dence lull Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek Seafaring men o'erwatched, whose bark by Our own good from ourselves, and from chance,

Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay Live to ourselves, though in this vast After the tempest: such applause was recess,


290 Free, and to none accountable, preferring As Mammon ended, and his sentence Hard liberty before the easy yoke


pleased, Of servile pomp. Our greatness will ap- Advising peace; for such another field pear

They dreaded worse than Hell; so much Then most conspicuous, when great things

the fear of small,

Of thunder and the sword of Michael Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse,


our own

1 sense.

Wrought still within them; and no less War hath determined us, and foiled with desire


330 To found this nether empire, which might Irreparable; terms of peace yet none rise,

Vouchsafed or sought; for what peace will By policy, and long process of time,

be given In emulation opposite to Heaven.

To us enslaved, but custody severe, Which when Beëlzebub perceived—than And stripes, and arbitrary punishment whom,

Inflicted? and what peace can we return, Satan except, none higher sat—with grave But, to our power, hostility and hate, 336 Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed 301 Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though A pillar of state. Deep on his front en- slow, graven

Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least Deliberation sat and public care;

May reap his conquest, and may least reAnd princely counsel in his face yet shone, joice Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood, In doing what we most in suffering feel? 340 With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear 306 Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need The weight of mightiest monarchies; his With dangerous expedition to invade look

Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault Drew audience and attention still as night or siege, Or summer's noontide air, while thus he Or ambush from the Deep. What if we spake:


344 “Thrones and Imperial Powers, Off- Some easier enterprise? There is a place spring of Heaven,

310 (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven Ethereal Virtues! or these titles now Err not), another World, the happy seat Must we renounce, and, changing style, Of some new race called Man, about this be called

time Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote To be created like to us, though less

349 Inclines-here to continue, and build up In power and excellence, but favored more here

Of him who rules above; so was his will A growing empire; doubtless! while we Pronounced among the gods, and, by an dream,


oath And know not that the King of Heaven That shook Heaven's whole circumference, hath doomed

confirmed. This place our dungeon--not our safe re- Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to treat

learn Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt What creatures there inhabit, of what From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new mould

355 league

Or substance, how endued, and what their Banded against his throne, but to re- power, main

And where their weakness: how attempted In strictest bondage, though thus far re- best, moved,


By force or subtlety. Though Heaven be Under the inevitable curb, reserved

shut, His captive multitude. For he, be sure, And Heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure In highth or depth, still first and last will In his own strength, this place may lie exreign

posed, Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no The utmost border of his kingdom, left part


To their defence who hold it; here, perhaps, By our revolt, but over Hell extend

Some advantageous act may be achieved His empire, and with iron sceptre rule By sudden onset—either with Hell-fire Us here, as with his golden those in To waste his whole creation, or possess 365 Heaven.

All as our own, and drive, as we were What sit we then projecting peace and driven,



I made an end of.

The puny habitants; or if not drive, And through the palpable obscure find out
Seduce them to our party, that their God His uncouth way, or spread his aery flight,
May prove their foe, and with repenting Upborne with indefatigable wings

Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive Abolish his own works. This would sur- The happy isle? What strength, what art, pass

can then

410 Common revenge, and interrupt his joy Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe In our confusion, and our joy upraise Through the strict senteries and stations In his disturbance; when his darling sons, thick Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall Of Angels watching round? Here he had curse

need Their frail original, and faded bliss, 375 All circumspection: and we now no less Faded so soon! Advise if this be worth Choice in our suffrage; for on whom we Attempting, or to sit in darkness here


415 Hatching vain empires.” Thus Beëlzebub The weight of all, and our last hope, relies. ” Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devised This said, he sat; and expectation held By Satan, and in part proposed; for His look suspense, awaiting who appeared whence,

380 To second, or oppose, or undertake But from the author of all ill, could spring The perilous attempt. But all sat mute, So deep a malice, to confound the race Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; Of mankind in one root, and Earth with and each

421 Hell

In other's countenance read his own disTo mingle and involve, done all to spite

may, The great Creator? But their spite still Astonished. None among the choice and serves

385 prime His glory to augment. The bold design Of those Heaven-warring champions could Pleased highly those Infernal States, and be found joy

So hardy as to proffer or accept, 425 Sparkled in all their eyes: with full assent Alone, the dreadful voyage; till at last They vote: whereat his speech he thus Satan, whom now transcendent glory renews:

raised "Well have ye judged, well ended long Above his fellows, with monarchal pride debate,


Conscious of highest worth, unmoved thus Synod of gods! and, like to what ye are,

spake: Great things resolved; which from the “O Progeny of Heaven! Empyreal lowest deep


430 Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate, With reason hath deep silence and demur Nearer our ancient seat-perhaps in view Seized us, though undismayed. Long is Of those bright confines, whence, with neighboring arms


And hard, that out of Hell leads up to And opportune excursion, we may chance Light. Re-enter Heaven; or else in some mild Our prison strong, this huge convex of fire, zone

Outrageous to devour, immures us round Dwell, not unvisited of Heaven's fair light, Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant, Secure, and at the brightening orient beam Barred over us, prohibit all egress. 437 Purge off this gloom: the soft delicious air, These passed, if any pass, the void proTo heal the scar of these corrosive fires, 401 found Shall breathe her balm. But first, whom Of unessentiall Night receives him next, shall we send

Wide-gaping, and with utter loss of being In search of this new world? whom shall Threatens him, plunged in that abortive we find


441 Sufficient? who shall tempt with wander- If thence he scape into whatever world ing feet

Or unknown region, what remains him less The dark, unbottomed, infinite Abyss, 405

I devoid of being, or essence.

the way

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