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The latter: for what place can be for us
Within heav'n's bound, unless heav'n's Lord fupreme
We overpow'r? Suppofe he fhould relent,
And publish grace to all, on promife made
Of new fubjection; with what eyes could we
Stand in his prefence humble, and receive
Strict laws impos'd, to celebrate his throne
With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead fing
Forc'd hallelujah's; while he lordly fits
Our envy'd Sov'reign, and his altar breathes
Ambrofial odours and ambrofial flow'rs,
Our fervile off'rings? This must be our task
In heav'n, this our delight; how wearifome
Eternity fo fpent in worfhip paid

To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue,
By force impoffible, by leave obtain❜d,
Unacceptable, though in heav'n, our ftate:
Of fplendid vaffalage; but rather feek-



Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
Live to ourselves, though in this vaft recefs,
Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the eafy yoke


Of fervile pomp. Our greatnefs will appear
Then most confpicuous, when great things of small,
Useful of hurtful, prefpirous of adverse
We can create; and in what place foe'er
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain,


Thro' labour and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark doth heav'n's all-ruling Sire
Chufe to refide, his glory unobfcur'd,

And with the majesty of darkness round


Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders roar
Muft'ring their rage, and heav'n refembles hell?
As he our darkness, cannot we his light


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Imitate when we pleafe? This defert foil
Wants not her hidden luftre, gems and gold:
Nor want we fkill or art, from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can heav'n fhow more?
Our torments alfo may in length of time
Become our elements; thefe piercing fires
As foft as now fevere, our temper chang'd
Into their temper; which muft needs remove
The fenfible of pain. All things invite
To peaceful counfels, and the fettled ftate
Of order, how in fafety beft we may
Compose our prefent evils, with regard

Of what we are, and where; difmiffing quite

Ye have what I advise.




All thoughts of war.

He fearce had finish'd, when fuch murmur fill'd Th' affembly, as when hollow rocks retain


The found of bluft'ring winds, which all night long
Had rous'd the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Seafaring men o'erwatch'd, whofe bark by chance,
Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay

After the tempeft: fuch applause was heard
As Mammon ended, and his fentence pleas'd,

Advifing peace: for fuch another field

They dreaded worse than hell: fo much the fear
Of thunder and the fword of Michaël


Wrought fill within them; and no lefs defire 295
To found this nether empire, which might rise,
By policy, and long process of time,

In emulation oppofite to heaven.

Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, than whom,
Satan except, none higher Tat, with grave
Afpéct he rofe, and in his rifing feem'd
A pillar of ftate; deep on his front ingraven
Deliberation fat, and public care;

And princely counsel in his face yet shone,




Majestic though in ruin: fage he stood
With Atlantean fhoulders fit to bear
The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention still as night,
Or fummer's noon-tide air, while thus he fpake.
Thrones and imperial powers, offspring of heaven,
Ethereal virtues; or these titles now
Muft we renounce, and, changing ftyle, be call'd
Princes of hell? for fo the popular vote
Inclines, here to continue', and build up here

A growing empire; doubtless, while we dream, 315
And know not that the King of heav'n hath doom'd
This place our dungeon; not our fafe retreat
Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt

From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league
Banded against his throne; but to remain
In Arictest bondage, though thus far remov'd,
Under th' inevitable curb, referv'd

His captive multitude: for he, be fute,

In heighth or depth, still firft and daft will reign
Sale king, and of his kingdom lofe no part
By our revolt; but over hell extend
His empire, and with iron fceptre rule
Us here, as with his golden those in heaven.
What fit we then projecting peace and war?
War hath determin'd us, and foil'd with lofs
Irreparable; terms of peace yet none



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Vouchfaf'd or fought; for what peace will be given.
To us inflav'd, but cuftody fevere,
And ftripes, and arbitrary punishment
Inflicted? and what peace can we return,
But, to our power, hoftility and hate;
Untam'd reluctance, and revenge, though flow,
Yet ever plotting how the Conqu'ror least
May reap his conqueft, and may least rejoice

In doing, what we must in fuffering feel?


Nor will occafion want, nor fhall we need

With dang'rous expedition to invade

Heav'n, whofe high walls fear no affault or fiege,

Or ambush from the deep. What if we find
Some easier enterprife? There is a place,
(If ancient and prophetic fame in heaven


Err not,) another world, the happy feat

Of fome new race call'd Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less

In power and excellence, but favour'd more


Of him who rules above; fo was his will
Pronounc'd among the gods, and by an oath,
That fhook heaven's whole circumference, confirm'd.
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould 355
Or fubftance, how endu'd, and what their power,
And where their weakness, how attempted beft,
By force or fubtlety. Though heav'n be fhut,.
And heaven's high Arbitrator fit fecure

In his own ftrength, this place may lie expos'd, 360
The utmost border of his kingdom, left

To their defence who hold it: Here perhaps
Some advantageous act may be achiev'd
By fudden onfet, either with hell-fire
To wafte his whole creation; or poffefs

All as our own, and drive, as we were driven,
The puny habitants; or, if not drive,


Seduce them to our party, that their God

May prove their foe, and with repenting hand
Abolish his own works. This would furpafs
Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
In our confusion, and our joy upraise
In his disturbance; when his darling fous,
Hurl'd headlong to partake with us, fhall curfe


Their frail original, and faded bliss,

Faded fo foon. Advise if this be worth
Attempting, or to fit in darkness here
Hatching vain empires. Thus Beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counfel, first devis'd
By Satan, and in part propos'd: for whence,
But from the author of all ill, could fpring

So deep a malice, to confound the race

Of mankind in one root, and earth with hell
To mingle and involve, done all to spite



The great Creator? But their spite still serves 385
His glory to augment. The bold defign
Pleas'd highly those infernal ftates, and joy
Sparkled in all their eyes; with full affent
They vote: whereat his speech he thus renews.
Well have ye judg'd, well ended long debate, 390
Synod of gods, and, like to what ye are,

Great things refolv'd, which from the lowest deep
Will once more lift us up, in fpite of fate,

Nearer our ancient feat; perhaps in view


Of thofe bright confines, whence, with neighb'ring

And opportune excurfion, we may chance
Re-enter heav'n; or elfe in fome mild zone


Dwell not unvifited of heaven's fair light
Secure, and at the bright'ning orient beam
Purge off this gloom; the foft delicious air,
To heal the fear of thofe corrofive fires,
Shall breathe her balm. But first whom shall we fend
In fearch of this new world? whom fhall we find


Sufficient? Who fhall tempt with wand'ring feet

The dark unbottom'd infinite abyfs,


And through the palpable obfcure find out

His uncouth way, or fpread his aery flight
Upborn with indefatigable wings

Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive


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