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With warbled hymns, and to His Godhead sing
Forced hallelujahs, while He lordly sits
Our envied Sovereign, and His altar breathes
Ambrosial odors and ambrosial flowers,

Our servile offerings? This must be our task
In Heaven, this our delight. How wearisome
Eternity so spent, in worship paid
To whom we hate! Let us not then
Let us not then pursue
By force impossible, by leave obtained
Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state
Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek

Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the easy yoke

Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear

Then most conspicuous when great things of small,
Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse,

We can create; and in what place soe'er
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain,

Through labor and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst
Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's all-ruling Sire
Choose to reside, His glory unobscured,

And with the majesty of darkness round

Covers His throne; from whence deep thunders roar,
Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Hell?
As He our darkness, cannot we His light
Imitate, when we please? This desert soil
Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and gold;
Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise
Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more?
Our torments also may in length of time
Become our elements; these piercing fires
As soft as now severe, our temper changed
Into their temper; which must needs remove


The sensible of pain. All things invite
To peaceful counsels, and the settled state
Of order, how in safety best we may
Compose our present evils, with regard
Of what we are, and where, dismissing quite
All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.

He scarce had finished, when such murmur filled The assembly, as when hollow rocks retain

The sound of blustering winds, which all night long
Had roused the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Seafaring men o'erwatched, whose bark by chance
Or pinnace, anchors in a craggy bay

After the tempest, such applause was heard
As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased,
Advising peace. For such another field

They dreaded worse than Hell, so much the fear
Of thunder and the sword of Michaël

Wrought still within them. And no less desire
To found this nether empire, which might rise
By policy, and long process of time,
In emulation opposite to Heaven.

Which when Beelzebub perceived, than whom,
Satan except, none higher sat, with grave
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
A pillar of state. Deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat, and public care;

And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestic, though in ruin. Sage he stood,
With Atlantean shoulders, fit to bear

The weight of mightiest monarchies. His look

Drew audience and attention still as night

Or summer's noontide air, while thus he spake:

Thrones, and imperial powers, offspring of Heaven,

Ethereal virtues! or these titles now

Must we renounce, and, changing style, be called

Princes of Hell? For so the popular vote

Inclines, here to continue, and build up here

A growing empire. Doubtless, while we dream,

And know not that the King of Heaven hath doomed
This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat
Beyond His potent arm, to live exempt

From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league
Banded against His throne, but to remain

In strictest bondage, though thus far removed,
Under the inevitable curb reserved,

His captive multitude: for he, be sure,

In height or depth, still first and last will reign
Sole king and of His kingdom lose no part
By our revolt, but over Hell extend

His empire, and with iron scepter rule

Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven.
What sit we then projecting peace and war?
War hath determined us, and foiled with loss

Irreparable; terms of peace yet none

Vouchsafed or sought; for what peace will be given

To us enslaved, but custody severe,

And stripes, and arbitrary punishment,
Inflicted? and what peace can we return,
But to our power hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge, though slow,
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need
With dangerous expedition to invade

Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault or siege,
Or ambush from the deep. What if we find
Some easier enterprise? There is a place-

If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven
Err not, another world, the happy seat

Of some new race, called Man, about this time.
To be created like to us, though less

In power and excellence, but favored more

Of Him who rules above. So was His will
Pronounced among the gods, and by an oath,
That shook Heaven's whole circumference, confirmed.
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mold
Or substance, how endued, and what their power,
And where their weakness, how attempted best,
By force or subtlety. Though Heaven be shut,
And Heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure

In His own strength, this place may lie exposed,
The utmost border of His kingdom, left
To their defense who hold it. Here perhaps
Some advantageous act may be achieved
By sudden onset, either with hell-fire

To waste His whole creation, or possess

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 surpass
Common revenge, and interrupt His joy
In our confusion, and our joy upraise

In His disturbance; when His darling. sons,
Hurled headlong to partake with us, shall curse

Their frail original, and faded bliss,

Faded so soon. Advise, if this be worth
Attempting, or to sit in darkness here
Hatching vain empires.-Thus Beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devised
By Satan, and in part proposed. For whence,
But from the author of all ill, could spring
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

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