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In his own strength, this place may lie expos'd, 360
The utmost border of His kingdom, left
To their defence who hold it: here perhaps
Some advantagious act may be atchiev'd
By sudden onfet, either with hell fire
To waste His whole creation; or pofsefs 365
All as our own, and drive (as we were drivin)
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 370
Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
In our confusion, and our joy upraise
In His disturbance; when His darling fons,
Hurld headlong to partake with us, Mall curse
Their frail original, and faded bliss :

Faded fo foon! Advise if this be worth
Attempting, or to fit in darknefs here
Hatching vain empires. - Beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devis'd
By Satan, and in part propos’d: for whence, 380
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 385
His glory to augment. The bold design
Pleas'd highly those infernal States, and joy
Sparkled in all their eyes ; with full affent
They vote : whereat his speech ḥe thus renews.

Well have ye judg'd, well ended long debate, 390 Synod of Gods! and, like to what ye are, Great things resolv’d: which from the lowest deep Will once more lift us up, in spite of Fate, Nearer our ancient seat; perhaps in view 394 Of those bright confines, whence with neighbouring And opportune excursion, we may chance [arms, Re-enter heav'n: or else, in some mild Zone Dwell not unvisited of heav'n's fair light, Secure, and at the bright’ning orient beam Purge off this gloom : the soft delicious air,

400 To heal the scar of these corrofive fires, Shall breathe her balm... But first whom shall we send In search of this new world ; whom shall we find Sufficient ? Who fall tempt with wand’ring feet The dark, unbottom'd, infinite Abyss, 405 And through the palpable obscure find out His uncouth way; or spread his aery fight, Up-born with indefatigable wings Over the vast abrupt, e'er he arrive Tbe happy ise ? What strength, what art can then Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe

411 Through the stri&t senteries, and stations thick Of angels watching round? Here he had need All circumspection; and we now no less Choice in our suffrage : for, on whom we send, 4145 The weight of all, and our last hope, relies,

This said, he sat; and expectation held His look suspense, awaiting who appear'd To second or oppose, or undertake

The perilous attempt: but all fat mute, 420
Pondering the danger with deep thoughts ;-and each
In others count'nance read his own dismay,
Astonish'd! None, among the choice and prime
Of those heav'n-warring champions, could be found
So hardy, as to proffer, or accept

425 Alone, the dreadful voyage: till at last Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd Above his fellows, with monarchal pride (Conscious of highest worth) unmov'd thus fpake.

O Progeny of heav'n, empyreal Thrones ! 430 With reason hath deep silence, and demur, Seiz'd us, though undismay’d: long is the way And hard, that out of hell leads up to light : Our prifon strong; this huge convex of fire, Outragious to devour, immures us round

435 Ninefold: and gates of burning adamant Barr’d over us, prohibit all egress. These pass’d (if any pafs) the void profound Of unessential night receives him next Wide gaping! and with utter lofs of Being 440 Threatens him, plung’d in that abortive gulf. If thence he scape into whatever world, Or unknown region, what remains him less Than unknown dangers, and as hard.escape ? But I should ill become this throne, O Peers ! 445 And this imperial fov’reignty, adorn'd With splendor, arm’d with pow'r, if ought propos'd And judg’d of public moment, in the Mape Of difficulty, or danger, could deter

Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume 450
These Royalties, and not refuse to reign,
Refusing to accept as great a share
Of hazard, as of honor, due alike
To him who reigns, and so much to him due
Of hazard more, as he above the rest

455 High-honor'd fits? Go therefore, mighty Pow'rs! Terror of heav'n, though fall’n! intend at home, (While here thall be our home) what beft may ease The present misery, and render hell More tolerable ; if there be cure, or charm,

460 To respite, or deceive, or Nack 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 465 None Mall partake with me. ---Thus saying rose The Monarch, and prevented all reply: Prudent, left, from his resolution rais’d, Others among the chief might offer now (Certain to be refus'd) what erst they fear'd; 470 And so refus'd, might in opinion stand His rivals; winning cheap the high repute, Which he through hazard huge muft earn. But they Dreaded not more th' adventure, than his voice Forbidding; and at once with him they rose: 475 Their rising all at once was as the sound Of thunder heard remote. Tow'rds -him they bend With awful reverence prone; and as a God Extol him equal to the highest in heav'n:

Nor fail'd they to express how much they prais’d,
That for the general safety he despis’d 481
His own : (for neither do the spirits damn'd
Lose all their virtue ; left bad men should boast
Their specious deeds on earth, which glory excites;
Or close ambition varnish'd o'er with zeal.) 485
Thus they their doubtful consultations dark
Ended, rejoieing in their matchless Chief :
As when from mountain-tops the dusky clouds
Ascending, while the north-wind fleeps, o'er-spread
Heav'n's chearful face, the low'ring element

Scowls o'er the darken'd landschape snow, or show'r:
If chance the radiant fun with farewel sweet
Extend his ev’ning beam, the fields revive,
The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds
Atteft their joy, that hill and valley rings. 495
O Thame 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 strife

500 Among themselves, and levy cruel wars, Wasting the earth, each other to destroy: As if (which might induce us to accord) Man had not hellish foes enow besides, That, day and night, for his destruction wait. 505

The Stygian council thus dissolv’d; and forth In order came the grand infernal Peers : 'Midst came their mighty Paramount, and seem'd Alone th' antagonist of heav'n, nor less


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