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Eternize here on earth ; but those elect
Nor of renown less eager, yèt by doom
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell.
404 By wound, tho’ from their place by violence mov'd.
Now night her course began, and over heaven
Under her cloudy covert both retir'd,
O now in danger try'd, now known in arms
420 Too mean pretence, but what we more affect, Honour, dominion, glory, and renown; Who have fustain’d one day in doubtful fight, (And if one day, why not eternal days?) What heaven's Lord had powerfullest to send
425 Against us from about his throne, and judge'd Sufficient to subdue us to his will, But proves not so, then fallible, it seems, Of future we may deem him, tho' till now Omniscient thought. True 'tis, less firmly arm’d, 430 Some disadvantage we endur'd, and pain, Till now not known, but known as foon contemn'd; Since now we find this our empyreal form Incapable of mortal injury, Imperishable, and tho' pierc'd with wound, 435 Soon closing, and by native vigour heal'd. Of evil then so small as easy think The remedy ; perhaps more valid arms, Weapons more violent, when next we meet, May serve to better us, and worse our foes,
440 Or equal what between us made the odds, In nature none : if other hidden cause Left them fuperiour, while we can preserve
Uphurt our minds, and understanding found,
He fat ; and in th' assembly next upstood
Deliverer from new lords, leader to free
45$ Ruin must needs ensue ; for what avails Valour or strength, tho' matchless, quell'd with pain Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands Of mightiest? Sense of pleasure we may well Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine ; But live content, which is the calmest life; But pain is perfect mifery, the worst Of evils ; and excessive, overturns All patience. He who therefore can invent With what more forcible we may offend 465 Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves No less than for deliverance what we owe.
Whereto with look compos'd Satan reply'd. Not uninvented that, which thou'aright 470 Believ'st fo main to our success, I bring. Which of us who beholds the bright surface Of this ethereous mould whereon we stand, This continent of spacious heaven, adorn'd With plant, fruit, flower ambrosial, gems and gold; Whose eye fo fuperficially surveys These things, as not to mind from whence they grow Deep under ground, materials dark and crude,
Of spiritous and fiery spume, till touch'd
He ended, and his words their drooping cheer
Concocted and adulted they reduc'd
Now when fair morn orient in heaven appear’d, Up rose the victor angels, and to arms
525 The matin trumpet fung: in arms they stood Of golden panoply, refulgent hoft, Soon banded; others from the dawning hills Look'd round, and scouts each coast light-armed fcour, Each quarter, to descry the distant foe,
530 Where lodg’d, or whither fled, or if for fight, In motion or in halt: him soon they met Under spread enfigns moving nigh, in flow But firm battalion ; back with speediest fail Zophiel, of Cherubim the swiftest wing, 535 Came fly'ing, and, in mid air, aloud thus cry’d.
Arm, warriours ! arm for fight; the foe at hand, Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit This day ; fear not his fight; so thick a cloud He comes, and settled in his face I see Sad resolution, and secure : let each His adamantine coat gird well, and each Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbid shield, Borne ev'n or high ; for this day will pour down, If I conjecture aught, no drizzling shower,
545 But rattling storm of arrows barb'd with fire.
So warn'd he them, aware themselves, and food In order, quit of all impediment;