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Which, if not victory, is yet revenge."
He ended frowning, and his look denounced
person lost not Heaven; he seemed
“I should be much for open war, O Peers,
135 Incapable of stain, would soon expel Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire, Victorious. Thus repulsed, our final hope Is flat despair : we must exasperate The Almighty Victor to spend all his rage,
140 And that must end us :
that must be our cure, 1 An Italian idiom; fatto d'arme, a battle.
To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose,
160 What! when we fled amain, pursued, and struck With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought The deep to shelter us? This Hell then seemed A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay Chained on the burning lake? That sure was worse. 165 What if the breath, that kindled those grim fires, Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage, And plunge us in the flames? or, from above, Should intermitted vengeance arm again His red right hand 2 to plague us ? What if all 170 Her stores were opened, and this firmament Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire, Impendent horrors, threatening hideous fall One day upon our heads; while we perhaps, Designing or exhorting glorious war, Caught in a fiery tempest shall be hurled Each on his rock transfixed 3, the
prey Of wracking whirlwinds; or for ever sunk Under yon boiling ocean, wrapped in chains ; There to converse with everlasting groans, Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved *, 1 See book i. line 186.
posed of three negative qualities; as 2 See Horace, od. 2. lib. i.
here: - 80 Shakspere: “ Unhou3 See Virgil, Æneid, lib. i. line 45. seled, disappointed, unanneled.”. 4 Milton frequently has lines com- Hamlet, act i. scene 1.
Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse.
190 If we were wise, against so great a Foe Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold And venturous, if that fail them, shrink and fear What yet they know must follow, to endure
195 Exile, or ignominy', or bonds, or pain, The sentence of their Conqueror : this is now Our doom ; which, if we can sustain and bear, Our Supreme Foe in time may much remit His anger; and perhaps, thus far removed, Not mind us not offending, satisfied With what is punished; whence these raging fires Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames. This horror will grow mild, this darkness light; Besides what hope the never-ending flight
Thus Belial, with words clothed in reason's garb,
“Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven We war, if war be best, or to regain Our own right lost: Him to unthrone we then 215 May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife : The former, vain to hope, argues as vain The latter; for what place can be for us Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Lord Supreme
1 The y in ignominy is here cut off in the scanning.
We overpower? Suppose he should relent,
* This deep world
250 Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more? Our torments also may in length of time Become our elements ; these piercing fires As soft as now severe, our temper changed 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; dismissing quite 1 See Psalm xviii. 11. 13.; and 2 The neuter adjective used as a Psalm xcvii. 2.
noun. (A Greek idiom.)
All thoughts of war :-ye have what I advise."
He scarce had finished, when such murmur filled
285 The weight of mightiest monarchies ; his look Drew audience and attention still as night Or summer's noon-tide air, while thus he spake :
1 Atlas, according to some of the the form of a globe. Hence the sayancient writers, was a powerful king, ing that heaven rested on his shoulwho possessed great knowledge of the ders was regarded as a mere figuracourses of the stars, and was the first tive mode of expression. who taught men that heaven had