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Purge of this gloom; the foft delicious air,

To heal the fcar of these corrofive fires

Shall breath her balm. But firft whom fhall we fend

In fearch of this new world, whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandring feet
The dark unbottom'd infinite abyss,

And through the palpable obfcure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his airy flight
Upborn with indefatigable wings

Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive

The happy ifle; what strength, what art can then
Suffice, or what evafion bear him fafe
Through the ftrict fenteries and stations thick
Of angels watching round? here he had need
All circumfpection, and we now no less
Choice in our fuffrage; for on whom we send,
The weight of all and our laft hope relies.
This faid, he fat; and expectation held
His look fufpence, awaiting, who appear'd
To fecond, or oppose, or undertake
The perilous attempt: but all fat mute,
Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each
In others count'nance read his own dismay
Astonisht: none among the choice and prime

Of those heav'n-warring champions could be found
So hardie as to proffer or accept

Alone the dreadful voyage; til at last

Satan, whom now tranfcendant glory rais'd
Above his fellows, with monarchal pride
Confcious of highest worth, unmov'd thus spake.
O progeny of heav'n, empyreal thrones,

With reafon hath deep filence and demur
Seiz'd us, though undismaid: long is the way
And hard, that out of hell leads up to light;
Our prifon strong, this huge convex of fire,
Outrageous to devour, immures us round
Ninefold, and gates of burning adamant
Barr'd over us prohibit all egrefs.
These past, if any pass, the void profound
Of uneffential night receives him next
Wide-gaping, and with utter loss of being
Threatens him, plung'd in that abortive gulph.
If thence he scape into whatever world,
O unknown region, what remains him less
Than unknown dangers and as hard escape.
But I fhould ill become this throne, O peers,
And this imperial fov'ranty, adorn'd

With fplendor, arm'd with power, if aught propos'd
And judg'd of publick moment, in the shape
Of difficulty or danger could deter

Me from attempting. Wherefore do I affume
These royalties, and not refuse to reign,
Refufing to accept as great a share
Of hazard as of honour, due alike

To him who reigns, and fo much to him due
Of hazard more, as he above the rest

High honour'd fits? go therefore mighty powers,
Terrour of heav'n, though fall'n; intend at home,
While here shall be our home, what beft may ease
The present mifery, and render hell
More tolerable; if there be cure or charm
To refpite or deceive, or flack the pain

Of this ill manfion: intermit no watch

Against a wakeful foe, while I abroad
Through all the coafts of dark destruction seek
Deliverance for us all this enterprize


Thus faying rofe

None shall partake with me.
The monarch, and prevented all reply,
Prudent, left from his refolution rais'd
Others among the chief might offer now
(Certain to be refus'd) what erft they fear'd
And fo refus'd might in opinion stand
His rivals, winning cheap the high repute
Which he through hazard huge must earn.
Dreaded not more the adventure than his voice
Forbidding; and at once with him they rofe;
Their rifing all at once was as the found

But the

Of thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend
With awful reverence prone; and as a god

Extoll him equal to the highest in heav'n :
Nor fail'd they to exprefs how much they prais'd,
That for the general fafety he defpis'd

His own for neither do the spirits damn'd
Lofe all their virtue; left bad men should boast
Their fpecious deeds on earth, which glory excites,
Or close ambition varnisht o're with zeal.
Thus they their doubtful confultations dark
Ended rejoicing in their matchless chief :
As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds
Ascending, while the north wind fleeps, o'erspread
Heav'n's chearful face, the lowring element
Scowls o're the dark'ned landskip fnow, or showr ;
If chance the radiant fun with farewell fweet

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Extend his ev'ning beam, the fields revive,
The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds
Atteft their joy, that hill and valley rings.

O fhame to men! devil with devil damn'd
Firm concord holds, men only disagree
Of creatures rational, though under hope
Of heav'nly grace: and God proclaiming peace,
Yet live in hatred, enmity, and ftrife
Among themselves, and levie cruel wars,
Wafting the earth, each other to destroy:
As if (which might induce us to accord)
Man had not hellish foes anow befides,
That day and night for his destruction wait.
The Stygian council thus diffolv'd ; and forth
In order came the grand infernal peers,
Midft came their mighty Paramount, and feem'd
Alone th'antagonist of heav'n, nor less
Than hell's dread emperour with pomp supream,
And god-like imitated state; him round
A globe of fierie feraphim inclos'd

With bright emblazonrie, and horrent arms.
Then of their feffion ended they bid cry
With trumpets regal found the great result :
Toward the four winds four speedy cherubim
Put to their mouths the founding alchymie
By herald's voice explain'd: the hollow abyfs
Heard far and wide, and all the hoft of hell
With deafning fhout, return'd them loud acclaim.
Thence more at ease their minds and fomewhat rais'd

By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers

Difband, and wandring, each his several way

Purfues, as inclination or fad choice

Leads him perplext, where he may likelieft find
Truce to his reftlefs thoughts, and entertain
The irkfome hours, till his great chief return.
Part on the plain, or in the air fublime
Upon the wing, or in fwift race contend,
As at th'Olympian games or Pythian fields;
Part curb their fierie steeds, or shun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigades form.
As when to warn proud cities war appears
Wag'd in the troubled fkie, and armies rufh
To battle in the clouds, before each van
Prick forth the airie knights, and couch their spears
Till thickeft legions clofe; with feats of arms
From either end of heav'n the welkin burns.
Others with vaft Typhoean rage more fell
Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air
In whirlwind; hell fcarce holds the wild uproar.
As when Alcides from Oechalia crown'd

With conqueft, felt th'envenom'd robe, and tore
Through pain up by the roots Theffalian pines,
And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw
Into the Euboic fea. Others more mild,
Retreated in a filent valley, fing

With notes angelical to many a harp
Their own heroic deeds and hapless fall
By doom of battle; and complain that fate
Free virtue fhould enthral to force or chance.
Their fong was partial, but the harmony
(What could it less when spirits immortal fing ?)
Sufpended hell, and took with ravishment

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