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Show'rs on her kings Barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd

To that bad eminence; and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue

Vain war with heav'n, and by success untaught
His proud imaginations thus display'd.

Powers and Dominions, Deities of heav'n, For since no deep within her gulf can hold Immortal vigor, though oppress'd and fall'n, I give not heav'n for lost: from this descent Celestial virtues rising will appear




More glorious and more dread, than from no fall, And trust themselves to fear no second fate.


Me though just right and the fix'd laws of heav'n
Did first create your leader, next free choice,
With what besides, in council or in fight,
Hath been achiev'd of merit; yet this loss,
Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more
Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,

Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw 25
Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thund'rer's aim
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share

Barbaric] Lucret. lib. ii. 500. Barbaricæ vestes.' Euripid. Iph. Aul. 73. de Paride:

χρυσῷ τε λάμπρος, βαρβάρω χλιδήματι.

and Virg. Æn. ii. 504.

Of endless pain? Where there is then no good 30
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction; for none sure will claim in hell
Precedence, none, whose portion is so small
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
Will covet more. With this advantage then 35
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in heav'n, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity

Could have assur'd us; and by what best way, 40
Whether of open war or covert guile,
We now debate; who can advise, may speak.
He ceas'd; and next him Moloc, scepter'd king,
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit
That fought in heav'n, now fiercer by despair: 45
His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd
Equal in strength, and rather than be less
Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost


our just inheritance] See Crashaw's Steps to the Temple, p. 64. (1646.)

And for the never fading fields of light,
My fair inheritance, he confines me here :'

and Beaumont's Psyche, c. i. st. 24.

'Was't not enough against the righteous law

Of primogeniture to throw us down,

From that bright home which all the world does know
Was by confest inheritance our own.'

40 best way] Compare Spenser's F. Queen, vii. vi. 21 and ii. xi. 7. Todd.



Went all his fear: of God, or hell, or worse,
He reck'd not; and these words thereafter spake:
My sentence is for open war: of wiles,
More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
Contrive who need, or when they need, not now:
For while they sit contriving, shall the rest,
Millions that stand in arms and longing wait
The signal to ascend, sit ling'ring here
Heav'n's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame,
The prison of his tyranny who reigns
By our delay? no, let us rather choose,
Arm'd with hell flames and fury, all at once
O'er heav'n's high tow'rs to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer; when to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine he shall hear
Infernal thunder, and for lightning see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his angels; and his throne itself



54 sit contriving] See Milton's Prose Works, vol. ii. 380 ii. 24. But to sit contriving.'

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67 Black fire] See Eschyli Prometheus, ver. 930. Ὃς δὴ κεραυνοῦ κρέισσον ἐυρήσει φλόγα, Βροντῆς θ' ὑπερβάλλοντα καρτερὸν κτύπον. and see Statii Theb. iv. 133. furiarum lampade nigra.' Silv. fulminis atri.' Lucan Ph. ii. 301. ignes atros.' 'I talk of flames, and yet I call hell dark;

i. iv. 64.

Flames I confess they are, but black.'

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See M. Stevenson's Poems (1654), p. 113, (A Guesse a Hell.)

Mixt with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire,
His own invented torments. But perhaps
The way seems difficult and steep to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe.
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our proper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursu'd us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low? th' ascent is easy then;
Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way
his wrath may
To our destruction: if there be in hell

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Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse 85
Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd
In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end,
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour

Calls us to penance? more destroy'd than thus


69 strange fire] See Nonni Dionysiaca, lib. xliv. ver. 153. Εἰ δέ κε πειρήσαιτο καὶ ἡμετέροιο κεραυνοῦ, γνωσέται, οἷον ἔχω χθόνιος σέλας· οὐρανίου γὰρ Θερμοτέρους σπινθῆρας ἐμοῦ λαχέν ἀντίτυπον πῦρ. 89 exercise] Vex, trouble: v. Virg. Georg. iv. 453. 'Non te nullius exercent numinis iræ.' Newton.

We should be quite abolish'd and expire.

What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the highth enrag'a, ɔ
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential; happier far,
Than miserable to have eternal being.
Or if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Our power sufficient to disturb his heav'n,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne:
Which, if not victory, is yet revenge.

up rose




He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd Desperate revenge and battel dangerous To less than Gods. On th' other side Belial, in act more graceful and humane; A fairer person lost not heav'n; he seem'd For dignity compos'd and high exploit: But all was false and hollow; though his tongue Dropp'd Manna, and could make the worse appear The better reason, to perplex and dash Maturest counsels; for his thoughts were low; 115 To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds

113 worse Val. Flacc. Arg. lib. iii. ver. 645.

—'Rursum instimulat, ducitque faventes
Magnanimus Calydone satus; potioribus ille
Deteriora fovens, semperque inversa tueri

14 better] τὸν λόγον τὸν ἥττω κρείττω ποιεῖν. Bentley.

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