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Under the inevitable curb, reserv'd
His captive multitude: for he, be sure,
In highth 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 sceptre rule
Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven.
What sit we then projecting peace and war?
War hath determin'd us, and foil'd with loss
Irreparable; terms of peace yet none
Vouchsaf”d or sought; for what peace will be given
To us enslav'd, but custody severe,
And stripes, and arbitrary punishment
Inflicted and what peace can we return,
But to our power hostility and hate,
Untam'd reluctance, and revenge though slow,
Yet ever plotting how the conquerour 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 prophetick fame in Heaven
Err not,) another world, the happy seat
Of some new race call’d Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though less

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In power and excellence, but favour'd more
Of Him who rules abovc; so was his will
Pronounc'd among the Gods, and by an oath,
That shook Heaven's whole circumference,confirm’d.
Thither let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould,
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 expos'd,
The utmost border of his kingdom, left
To their defence who hold it; Here perhaps
Some advantageous act may be achiev’d
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

Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
In our confusion, and our joy upraise
In his disturbance; when his darling sons
Hurld 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 Beëlzebub
Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devis'd
By Satan, and in part propos'd: For whence,
But from the anthor 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
His glory to augment. The bold design
Pleas'd highly those infernal States, and joy
Sparkled in all their eyes; with full assent
They vote : whereat his speech he thus renews.

Well have ye judg’d, well ended long debate,
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
Of those bright confines, whence, with neighbour-

ing arms
And opportune excursion, we may chance
Re-enter Heaven; or else in some mild zone
Dwell, not unvisited of Heaven's fair light.
Secure; and at the brightening orient beam
Purge off this gloom : the soft delicious air,
To heal the scar of these corrosive fires,
Shall breathe her balm. But first whom shall we

In search of this new world? whom shall we find

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Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandering feet
The dark unbottom'd infinite abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aery fight
Upborne with indefatigable wings
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy isle? What strength, what art, can then
Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe
Through the strict 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,
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 sat mute,
Pondering the danger with deep thoughts ; and each
In other's countenance read his own dismay,
Astonish'd ; None among the choice and prime
Of those Heaven-warring champions could be found
So hardy, as to proffer or accept,
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 spake.

O Progeny of Heaven, empyreal Thrones !
With reason hath deep silence and demur

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Seis'd us, though undismay’d: Long is the way
And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light';
Our prison strong ; this huge convex of fire,
Outrageous to devour, immures us round
Ninefold ; and gates of burning adamant,
Barr'd over us, prohibit all egress.
These pass'd, if any pass, the void profound
Of unessential Night receives him next
Wide gaging, and with utter loss of being
Threatens him, plung’d in that abortive gulph.
If thence he 'scape into whatever rld
Or unknown region, what remains him less
Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape ?
But I should ill become this throne, O Peers,
And this imperial sovranty, adorn'd
With splendour, 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 assume
These royalties, and not refuse to reign,
Refusing to accept as great a share
Of hazards as of honour, due alike
To him who reigns, and so much to him due
Of hazard more, as he above the rest
High honour'd sits ? Go therefore, mighty Powers,
Terrour of Heaven, though fall’n ! intend at home,
While here shall be our home, what best may ease
The present misery, and render Hell

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