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Pleased highly those infernal states, and joy
Sparkled in all their eyes: with full assent
They vote ; whereat his speech he thus renews :

“Well have ye judged, well ended long debatę,
Synod of gorts, and like to what ye are,
Great things resolved, 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
And opportune excursion, we may chance [arms
Re-enter heaven; or else in some mild zone
Dwell, not unvisited of heaven's fair light,
Secure; and at the brightening orient beam
Purge off this gloom ; the soft delicious air,
To heal the scar of those corrosive fires, (send
Shall breathe her balm. But first whom shall we
In search or this new world? whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandering feet
The dark, unbottom'd, infinite abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his airy flight
Upborne with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive

"he happy isle? What strength, what art can then Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe, Through the strict senteries 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 suspense, awaiting who appear'd

To second, or oppose, or undertake, The perilous attempt : but all sat mute, Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each In other's countenance read his own dismay, Astonish'd: none among the choice and prime Of those heaven-warring champions could be found So hardy, as to proffer or accept, Alone, ibe dreadful voyage, till at last Satan, whom now transcendent glory raised

Ahore his fellows, with monarchial pride, Conscious of highest worth, unmor'd thus spake :

“O progeny of heaven, empyreal thrones ! With reason bath deep silence and demur Seiz'd us, though undismay’d. Long is the way And hard, that out of hell leads up to light; Our prison strong; this huge convex of fire, Outrageous to devour, immures us round Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant, Barrd over us, prohibit all egress. These pass’d, if any pass, the void profound Of unessential night receives bim next Wide-gaping, and with utter loss of being Threatens him, plunged in that abortive gulf: If theoce he 'scape juto whatever world, Or 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 sovereignty, adorn'd With splendour, arm’d with power, if ought proposed And judged of public moment, in the sbape 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 bim who reigas, and so much to him due Of hazard more, as he above the rest, High honour'd sits? Go, therefore, mighty powers, Terror of heaven, though fallen! intend at home, While here shall be our home, what best may ease The present misery, and render bell More tolerable; if there be cure or charm To respite, or deceive, or slack the pain 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 raised,

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Others among the chief might offer now
(Certain to be refused) what erst they fear'd;
And, so refused, might in opinion stand
His rivals; winning cheap the high repute,
Which bc through bazard huge must earn. But they
Dreaded not more the adventure, than bis voice
Forbidding; for at once with bim they rose :
Their rising all at once, was as the sound
Of thunder heard remote. Towards him they bend
With awful reverence prone ; and as a god
Extol him equal to the Highest in heaven:
Nor fail'd they to express bow much they praised;
That for the general safety he despised
His own : (for neither do the spirits damn'd
Lose all their virtue; lest bad men should boast
Their specious deeds on earth; which glory excites,
Or close ambition, varnish'd o'er 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 sleeps, o'erspread
iłeaven's cheerful face, the louring element
Scowls o'er the darken'd landscape snow, or shower;
If chance the radiant sun with farewell sweet
Extend his evening beam, the fields revive,
The birds their notes renew, and bleating herds-
Attest their joy, that hill and valleys ring.
() shame to men ! devil with devil damn'd
Firm concord holds, men only disagree
Of creatures rational, though under hope
Of heavenly grace; and, God proclaiming peace -
Yet live in batred, enmity, and strife,
Among themselves, and levy cruel wars,
Wasting the earth, each other to destroy :
As if (which might induce us to accord).
Man bad not hellish foes enow besides,
That, day and night, for his destruction wait..

The Stygian council thus dissolved ; and forth.
Iniorder came the grand infernal peers :
Midst came their mighty paramount, and seem'd.
Alone th' antagonist. of heaven, nor. less.

Than hell's dread emperor, with pomp supreme,
And god-like imitated state: him round
A globe of fiery seraphim enclosed
With bright imblazoory, and horrent arms.
Then of their session ended they bid cry
With trumpets' regal sound the great result:
Towards the four winds four speedy cherubim
Put to their mouths the sounding alchymny
By heralds' voice explain'd: the hollow abyss
Heard far and wide, and all the bost of hell
With deafening sbout returni'd them loud acclaim.
Theuce more at ease their minds, and somewhat

raised
By false presumptuous hope, the ranged powers
Disband, and, wandering, each his several way
Pursues, as inclination or sad choice
Leads him, perplex'd 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 the Olympian games or Pythian fields;
Part curb their fiery steeds, or shun the goal
With rapid wheels, or fronted brigades form.
As when, to waro proud cities war appears
Waged in the troubled sky, and armies rush
To battle in the clouds, before each vau
Prick forth the airy knights, and couch their spears,
Till thickest legions close; with feats of arms
From either end of heaven the welkin burns.
Othors, with vast Typhæan rage more fell,
Rend up both rocks and bills, and ride the air
In whirlwind; hell scarce holds the wild uproar.
As when Alcides, from (Echalia crown'd
With conquest, felt the envenom'd robe, and tore
Through pain up by the roots 'Thessalian pines,
And Lichas from the top of (Ela threw
Into the Euboic sea. Others more mild,
Retreated in a silent valley, sing
With notes angelical to many a harp
Their own heroic deeds and hapless fall

Pleased highly those infernal states, and joy
Sparkled in all their eyes : with full assent
They vote; whereat his speech he thus renews :

“Well have ye judged, well ended long debatę,
Synod of gorts, and like to what ye are,
Great things resolved, 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
And opportune excursion, we may chance [arms
Re-enter beaven; or else in some mild zone
Dwell, not unvisited of heaven's fair light,
Secure; and at the brightening orient beam
Purge off this gloom i the soft delicious air,
To heal the scar of those corrosive fires, (send
Shall breathe her balm, But first whom shall we
In search or this new world? whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wandering feet
The dark, unbottom'd, infinite abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his airy flight
Upborne with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy isle? What strength, what art can then
Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe,
Through the strict senteries and stations thick
Of angels watching round? Here he hadi 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 suspense, awaiting who appear'd To second, or oppose, or undertake, The perilous attempt : but all sat mute, Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and each In other's countenance read his own dismay, Astonish'd :

: none among the choice and prime Of those heaven-warring champions could be found „So hardy, as to proffer or accept, Alone, ibe dreadful voyage; till at last Satan, whom now transcendent glory raised

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