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By our delay? No, let us rather chuse,
His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag'd,
105 He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd Desp'rate revenge, and battle dangerous To less than gods. On th other side uprose Belial, in act more graceful and humane; A fairer person loft not heav'n.; he seem'd. For dignity compos'd, and high exploit: But all was false and bollow; tho' his tongue Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear The better reason, to perplex and dach Matureft counsels; for his thoughts were low; 115 To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds Tim'rous and flothful; yet he pleas'd the ear, And with persuasive accept thus began.
I should be much for open war, O peers, As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd Main reason to persuade immediate war, Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cart Ominous conjecture on the whole success; When he who molt excels in fact of armsy. In what he counsels, and in what excels
125 Miltrustful, grounds his courage on despair And utter diffolution, as the scope Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. First, what revenge? The tow'rs of hear'n are fill'd
With armed watch, that render all access, 130
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 laves To punish endless? Wherefore cease we then? Say they who counsel war; we are decreed, 160 Reserv'd, and destin'd to eternal woe; Whatever doing, what can we suffer more, What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst, Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What, when we fled amain, pursu'd, and struck 1652
18 Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey Of wracking whirlwinds; or forever funk Uirder you boiling ocean, wrapt in chains; . There to converfe with everlasting groansg. Unrespited, umpitied, unreprico'd,
1953 Ages of hopeless end this would be worfe. War therefore, open or conceald, alike My voice diffuades; for what can force or guile With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye Views all things at one view? he from heav'n's heightAll these our motions vain sees and derides; 1914 Not more almighty to relift our might Than wife to frustrate all our plots and wilés. Shall we then live thus vile, the race of heav'n? Thus trampled, thus expellia, to suffer here
1952 Chains and thefe torments? Better these than worse, By my advice ; since fate inevitable Subdues us, and omnipotent decree; The Victor's will. To suffer; as to do,
Our strength is equal, nor the law unjult 200
215 Their noxious vapour; or inur'd, not feel; Or chang'd at length, and to the place conform d. In temper, and in nature, will receive Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain ; This horror will grow mild, this darkness light; 220. Besides what hope the never-ending flight Of future days may bring, what chance, what change Worth waiting, fince our present lot appears For happy though but ill, for ill not worst, If we procure not to ourselves more woe. 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 lost: him to unthronie we then May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife : The former vain to hope, argues as vain.