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By our delay? No! let us rather chuse, 60
Arm’d with hell flames and fury, all at once
O’er heav'n's high tow'rs to force refiftless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer : when to meet the noise
Of His Almighty engin He Mall hear
Infernal thunder; and for lightning, see
Black fire, and horror, shot with equal rage
Among His Angels : and His throne itself
Mixt with Tartarcan sulphur, and strange fire,
His own invented torments.--- But perhaps 70
The way seems difficult, and steep, to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe. -
Let such bethink them, (if the Neepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still)
That in our proper motion we ascend

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Up to our native seat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken Rere
Insulting, and pursu'd us through the Deep,
With what compulsion, and laborious fight, 80
We sunk thus low? Th'ascent is easie then;
Th'event is fear'd; should we again provoke
Our stronger, fome worse way His wrath may find
To our destruction : (if there be in hell
Fear to be worse destroy'd) What can be worse 85
Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd
In this abhorred deep to utter woe!
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us, without hope of end,

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The vassals of His anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
Calls us to penance? more destroy'd than thus,
We should be quite abolish'd, and expire.
What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which to the height enrag'd,

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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 heav'n,
And with perpetual inrodes to alarm,
Though inaccessible, His fatal throne:
Which, if not victory, is yet revenge. 105

He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd Desperate revenge, and battel dangerous To less than Gods. On th' other side uprose Belial, in act more graceful and humane: A fairer person lost not heav'n; he seem'd For dignity compos’d, and high exploit : But all was false and hollow: though his tongue Drop'd Manna, and could make the worse appear The better reason, to perplex and dath Maturest counsels; for his thoughts were low: 115 To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds Timorous, and Nothful: yet he pleas'd the ear, And with persuasive accent thus began.

I fhould be much for open war, O Peers,

II

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As not behind in hate, if what was urg'd
Main reason to persuade immediate war,
Did not dissuade me most; and seem to caft
Ominous conjecture on the whole success;
When he who most excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels, and in what excels, 125
Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair,
And utter diffolution, as the scope
Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
First, what revenge? The towr's of heav'n are fill'd
With armed watch, that render all access Igu
Impregnable: oft on the bordering Deep
Encamp their legions; or with obscure wing,
Scout far and wide into the realm of night,
Scorning surprize. Or could we break our way
By force, and at our heels all hell should rise 135
With blackest insurrection, to confound
Heav'n's purest light; yet our great enemy,
All incorruptible, would on His throne
Sit unpolloted; and th'ethereal mold
Incapable of stain, would soon expel

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Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope
Is flat despair: we must exasperate
Th’Almighty Victor to spend all His rage,
And that must end ys; that must be our cure 145
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, fwallow'd up and loft

In the wide womb of uncreated night, 150
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; thrat He never will, is sure.
Will He, so wise, let loose at once His ire, 155
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, 160
Reserv'd, and destin'd to eternal woe :
Whatever doing, what can we suffer more ;
What can we fuffer worse? --- Is this then worst,
Thus fitting, thus consulting, thus in arms ?
What! when we fled amain, pursu'd, and strook 165
With heav'n's affi&ing thunder, and befought
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, 170
Awak’d, Tould 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

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Of hell should spout her cataracts of fire ?'
Impendent horrors ! threatning hideous fall
One day upon our heads : while we perhaps
Designing or exhorting glorious war;

Caught in a fiery tempest Mall be hurl'd 180
Each on his rock transfix’d, the sport and prey
Of racking whirlwinds: or for ever sunk
Under yon boiling ocean, wrap'd in chains ;
There to converse with everlasting groans,
Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd,

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Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse.
War therefore, open or conceal'd, alike
My voice diffuades : for what can force or guile
With Him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye
Views all things at one view? He from heav'n's height
All these our motions vain, fees and derides :

191 Not more almighty to resist our might, Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles. Shall we then live thus vile, the race of heav'n Thus trampled, thus expelld, to suffer here 195 Chains and these torments ? Better these than worse, By my advice ; since fate inevitable Subdues us, and omnipotent decree; The victor's will. To suffer, as to do, Our strength is equal, nor the law unjuft That so ordains : this was at first resolv'd If we were wise, against so great a foe Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink, and fear What yet they know must follow, to indure 206 Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain, The sentence of their conqu’ror : This is now Our doom! which if we can sustain and bear,

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