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Purge of this gloom; the soft delicious air,
To heal the scar of these corrofive fires
Shall breath her balm. But first whom shall we fend
In search of this new world, whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandring feet
The dark unbottom'd infinite abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his airy fight
Upborn with indefatigable wings
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy ise ; what strength, what art can then
Suffice, or what evasion bear him fafe
Through the strict fenteries 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 suspence, awaiting, who appear'd
To second, or oppose, or undertake
The perilous attempt : but all fat mute,
Pondering the danger with deep thoughts ; and each
In others count'nance read his own dismay
Astonisht : none among the choice and prime
Of those heav'n-warring champions could be found
So hardie as to proffer or accept
Alone the dreadful voyage ; till at last
Satan, whom now transcendant glory rais'd
Above his fellows, with monarchal pride
Confcious of highest worth, unmov'd thus spake.
O progeny of heav'n, empyreal thrones,

With reason hath deep silence and demur
Seiz’d us, though undismaid : long is the way
And hard, that out of hell leads up to light ;
Our prifon 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 past, if any pass, the void profound
Of unessential night receives him next
Wide-gaping, and with utter loss of being
Threatens him, plung’d in that abortive gulph.
If thence he scape into whatever world,
02 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 sov'ranty, adorn'd
With splendor, arm’d with power, if aught propos’d
And judg’d of publick moment, in the mape
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 hazard 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 fits ? go therefore mighty powers,
Terrour of heav'n, though fall’n; intend at home,
While here shall be our home, what best may ease
The present mifery, and render hell
More tolerable ; if be cure or charm
To respite or deceive, or Nack the pain

But they

Of this ill mansion : intermit no watch Against a wakeful foe, while I abroad Through all the coasts of dark destruction seek Deliverance for us all : this enterprize None shall partake with me. Thus saying rose The monarch, and prevented all reply, Prudent, lest from his resolution rais'd Others among the chief might offer now (Certain to be refus'd) what erst they fear'd ; And so refus'd might in opinion stand His rivals, winning cheap the high repute Which he through hazard huge muft earn. Dreaded not more the adventure than his voice Forbidding; and at once with him they rose; Their rifing all at once was as the found Of thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend With awful reverence prone ; and as a god Extoll him equal to the highest in heav'n : Nor faild they to express how much tlrey prais'd, That for the general safety he defpis’d His own: for neither do the spirits damn'd Lose all their virtue ; left bad men Mould boast Their specious deeds on earth, which glory excites, Or close ambition varnisht o're with zeal. Thus they their doubtful consultations dark Ended rejoicing in their matchless chief : As when from mountain tops the dusky clouds Ascending, while the north wind Neeps, o'erspread Heav'n's chearful face, the lowring element Scowls o're the dark’ned landskip snow, or showr ; If chance the radiant sun with farewell 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.
O shame 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
Among themselves, and levie cruel wars,
Wasting the earth, each other to destroy :
As if (which might induce us to accord)
Man had not hellish foes anow besides,
That day and night for his destruction wait.

The Stygian council thas diffolv'd ; and forth
In order came the grand infernal peers,
Midft came their mighty Paramount, and seem'd
Alone th'antagonist of heav'n, nor less
Than hell's dread emperour with pomp supream,
And god-like imitated state; him round
A globe of fierie seraphim inclos'd
With bright emblazonrie, and horrent arms.
Then of their seffion ended they bid cry
With trumpets regal sound the great result :
Toward the four winds four speedy cherubim
Put to their mouths the founding alchymie
By herald's voice explain’d: the hollow abyss
Heard far and wide, and all the host of hell
With deafning lhout, return’d them loud acclaim.
Thence more at ease their minds and somewhat rais'd
By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers
Disband, and wandring, each his several way

Pursues, as inclination or fad choice
Leads him perplext, where he may likeliest find
Truce to his restless thoughts, and entertain
The irksome hours, till his great chief return.
Part on the plain, or in the air sublime
Upon the wing, or in swift race contend,
As at th'Olympian games or Pythian fields ;
Part curb their fierie steeds, or Thun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigades forma.
As when to warn proud cities war appears
Wag'd in the troubled skie, and armies rush
To battle in the clouds, before each van
Prick forth the airie knights, and couch their spears
Till thickest legions close ; with feats of arms
From either end of heav'n the welkin burns.
Others with vast Typhoean rage more fell
Rend up both rocks and hills, and ride the air
In whirlwind; hell scarce holds the wild uproar.
As when Alcides from Oechalia crown'd
With conquest, felt th’envenom'd robe, and tore
Through pain up by the roots Theffalian pines,
And Lichas from the top of Oeta threw
Into the Euboic fea. Others more mild,
Retreated in a filent valley, sing
With notes angelical to many a harp
Their own heroic deeds and hapless fall
By doom of battle ; and complain that fate
Free virtue should enthral to force or chance.
Their song was partial, but the harmony
(What could it less when spirits immortal fing)
Suspended hell, and took with ravilhment

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