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Of servile pomp.

Ambrofial odours and ambrosial flowers,
Our servile offerings. This must be our talk
In heav'n, this dur delight ; how wearisom
Eternity so spent in worship paid
To whom we hate. Let us not then pursue
By force impossible, by leave obtain'd
Unacceptable, tho' in heav'n, our state
Of splendid vassalage, but rather seek
Our own good from ourselves, and from our own
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recefs,
Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the eafy yoke

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 foe'er
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain

Through labour and indurance. This deep world Of darkness do we dread ? how oft amidst Thick clouds and dark doth heav'ns all-ruling fire Chuse, to refide, his glory unobscur'd, And with the majesty of darkness round Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders roar: Must'ring their rage, and heav'n resembles hell ? As he our darkness, camot we his light Imitate when we please ? this desart foil Wants not her hidden lustre, gemms and gold ;: Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise Magnificence ; and what can heav'n Thew more2 Our torments also may in length of time Become our elements, these piercing fires.

As soft as now severe, our temper chang’d
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, difmiffing quite
All thoughts of war : ye have what I advise.

He scarce had finish't, when fuch murmur fill'd
The assembly, as when hollow rocks retain
The sound of bluftering winds, which all night long
Had rous'd the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull
Sea-faring men o'rewatcht, whose bark by chance
Or pinnance anchors in a craiggy bay
After the tempest: such applause was heard
As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleas’d,
Advising peace: for such another field
They dreaded worse than hell: so much the fear
Of thunder and the sword of Michael
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 heav'n.
Which when Beelzebub perceiv'd, than whom,
Satan except, none higher sat, with grave
Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd
A pillar of state ; deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat and publick care ;
And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
Majestick though in ruin : lage he stood
With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear

* First edition, all the rest, were.

The weight of mightieft monarchies; his look
Drew audience and attention, still as night
Or fummer's noon-tide air, while thus he spake.

Thrones and imperial powers, off-spring of heav'n,
Ethereal virtues; or these titles now
Must we renounce, and changing stile be calld
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 heav'n hath doom'd This place our dungeon, not our safe retreat Beyond his potent arm, to live exempt From heav'n's high jurisdiction, in new league Banded against his throne, but to remain In stricteft bondage, though thus far remov'd, Under th’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 lofe 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 fit we then projecting peace and war ? War hath determin'd us, and foild with loss Irreparable ; terms of peace yet none Voutsaf’t or fought; for what peace will be giv'n To us enslav’d, but custody severe, And stripes, and arbitrary punishment inflicted ? and what peace can we return, But to our power hoftility and hate, Untam'd reluctance, and revenge though now,

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
Heav'n, whose high walls fear no assault or fiege,
Or ambush from the deep. What if we find.
Some easier enterprise ? there is a place
(If antient and prophetic fame in heav'n
Efr not) another world, the happy seat
Of some new race call’d Man, about this time
To be created like to us, though. less
In power and excellence, but favour'd more.
Of him who rules above ; so was his will
Pronounc'd among the gods, and by an oath,
That shook heav'n's whole circumference, confirm d.
Thíther let us bend all our thoughts, to learn
What creatures there inhabit, of what mould,
Or substance, how endu'd, and what their power,
And where their weakness, how attempted best,
By force or furtlety : though heav'n be shut,
And heav'n's high-arbitrator fit secure
In his own strength, this place may lye exposid:
The utmost border of his kingdom, left
To their defence who hold it: here perhaps
Some advantageous act may be atchiev'd.
By sudden onset, either with hell fire
To waste his whole creation, or poffefs.
All as our own, and drive as we were driven,
The punie habitants, or if not drive,
Seduce them to our party, that their God

May prove their foe, and with repenting hand
Abolith his own works. This would surpass
Common revenge, and interrupt his joy
In our confufion, and our joy up-raise
In his disturbance; when his darling fons
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 fit in darkness here
Hatching vain empires. Thus Beelzebub
Pleaded his devilish counfel, first devis'd
By Satan, and in part propos'd : 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 heli
To mingle and involve, done all to spite
The great Creator? but their spite ftill ferves
His glory to augment. The bold design
Pleas'd highly those infernal ftates, and joy
Sparkld in all their eyes; with full affent
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 neighbouring arms
And opportune excursion we may chance
Re-enter heav'n; or else in some wild zone
Dwell not unvisited of heav'n's fair light
Secure, and at the brightning orient beam

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