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By our delay? No, let us rather chuse;
ба Arm’d with hell fames and fury, all at once O'er heav'n's high tow'rs to force refiftless way, Turning our tortures into horrid arms. Against the Torturer; when to meet the noise Of his almighty engine he shall hear
65 Infernal thunder ; and, for lightning, fee. Black fire and horror shot with equal rage Among his angels; and his throne itself Mix'd with Tartarean fulphur, and ftrange fire, Mis own invented torments.
But perhaps The way seems difficult and steep to scale
1 With upright wing against a bigher foe. Let such bethink them, if the fleepy drench: Of that forgetful lake benumb not still, That in our proper motion we ascend
75 Up to our native feat : defcent and fall? To us is adverse. Who but felt of late, When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear Iasulting, and pursu'd us through the deep, With what compulfion and laborious flight We sunk thus low? Th'ascent is easy then; Th' event is fear'd; fhould we again provoke Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find To our destru&ion; if there be in hello Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse 833 Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd In this abhorred deep to utter woe; Where pain of unextinguishable fire Must exercife us without hope of end, The vassals of his anger, when the fcourge
90 Inexorably, and the tort'ring hour Calls us to penance ? More destroy'd than thus, We should be quite abolish'd and expire. What fear we then? what doubt we to incepfe
His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag'd, 95
Tim'rous and flothful; yet he pleas'd the ear,
I should be much for open war, O peers,
With armed watch, that render all access,
130 Impregnable: oft on the bord'ring deep Incamp their legions; or, with obicure wing, Scout far and wide into the realms of night, Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way By force, and at our heels ail hell should rise 135 With blackest insurrection, to confound Heav'n's purest light; yet our great enemy, All incorruptible, would on his throne Sit upolluted ; and th'ethereal mould, Incapable of stain, would soon expel
140 Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire, Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope Is flat despair : we must exasperate Th' Almighty Victor to spend all his rage, And that must end us; that must be our cure, 145 To be no more. Sad cure! for who would lose, Though full of pain, this intellectual being, Those thoughts that wander through eternity, To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost In the wide womb of uncreated night,
150 Devoid of fense and motion ? And who knows, Let this be good, whether our angry foe Can give it, or will ever? How he can Is doubtful; that he never will is sure. Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,
155 Belike through impotence, or unaware, To give his enemies their wish, and end Them in his anger, whom his anger saves To punish endless? Wherefore cease we then? Say they who counsel war; we are decreed, 160 Resery'd, and deltin'd to eternal woe; Whatever doing, what can we suffer more, What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst, Thus fitting, thus consulting, thus in arms ?
What, when we fled amain, pursu'd, and struck 165
Our strength is equal, nor the law unjukt 200
225 Thus Belial, with words cloth'd in reason's garb, Counsel'd ignoble eafe, and peaceful foth, Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake.
Either to disinthrone the King of Heav'n We war, if war be best, or to regain
230 Our own right loft: him to unthrone we then May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the ftrife: The former vain to hope, argues as vain.