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Why is a wísh far dearer than a crown?
That wish accomplish’d, why, the grave of bliss ?
Because, in the great future, bury'd deep,

Beyond our plans of empire and renown,
5 Lies all that man with ardour should pursue ;
And HE who made him, bent him to the right.

Why beats thy bosom with illustrious dreams
Of self-exposure, laudable, and great ?

Of gallant enterprise, and glorious death?
10 Die for thy country !—Thou romantic fool !

Seize, seize the plank thyself, and let her sink :
Thy country! what to Thee?- The Godhead, what?
(I speak with awe!) though He should bid thee bleed?

If, with thy blood, thy final hope is spílt, 15 Nor can Omnipotence reward the blow; Be dèaf; preserve thy bèing ? disobèy.

Since virtue's recompense is doubtful, here,
If man dies wholly, well may we demand,

Why is man sùffer'd to be good in vain ? 20 Why to be good in vain, is man enjoìn’d ?

Why to be good in vain, is man betray'd ?
Betray'd by traitors lodg'd in his own breast,
By sweet complacencies from virtue felt ?

Why whispers nature lies on virtue's part ? 25 Or if blind instinct (which assumes the name

Of sacred conscience) plays the fool in man,
Why reason made accomplice in the cheat ?
Why are the wisest loudest in her praise ?

Can man by reason's beam be led astray ?
30 Or, at his peril, imitate his God ?
Since virtue sometimes ruins us on earth,

Or both are true; or, man survives the grave.

Or own the soul immortal, or invert
All order. Go, mock-majesty! go, man!

And bow to thy superiors of the stall;
5 Through ev'ry scene of sense superior far :

They graze the turf untilld; they drink the stream,
No foreign clime they ransack for their robes ;
Nor brothers cite to the litigious bar;

Their good is good entire, unmixt, unmàrr'd; 10 They find a paradise in ev'ry field,

On boughs forbidden where no curses hang:
Their ill no more than strikes the sense ; unstretch'd
By previous dread, or murmur in the rear;

When the worst comes, it comes unfear’d; one stroke 15 Begins, and ends, their woe: They die but once ;

Blest, incommunicable privilege ! for which
Proud man, who rules the globe, and reads the stars,
Philosopher, or hero, sighs in vain. Young.

12. He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king 20 Stood up; the strongest and fiercest Spirit

That fought in Heav'n, now fiercer by despair :
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
25 Went all bis fear : of God, or Hell, or worse,
He reck'd not, and these words thereafter spake.

“My sentence is for open wàr; of wiles, More unexpert, I boast not; them let those

Contrive who need, or when they need, not now; 30 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 opprobious den of shame, 5 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,
10 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,
15 Mix'd 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 fóe.

Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
20 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, 25 Insulting, and pursued 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


find 30 To our destruction, if there be in Hell

Fear to be worse destroy'd : what can be worse

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
5 The vassals of his anger, when the scourge

Inexorable, and the torturing 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 incense 10 His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag’d,

Will either quite consurne us, and reduce
To nothing this essential, (happier far
Than miserable, to have eternal being,)

Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
15 And cannot cease to be, we are at worst

On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Our pow'r sufficient to disturb his Heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,

Though inaccessible, his fatal throne; 20 Which if not vìctory, is yēt revenge.'

13. I should be much for open war, O peers!
As not behind in bate, if what was urg'd,
Main reason to persuade immediate war,

Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast 25 Ominous conjecture on the whole success,

When he, who most excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels, and in what excels,
Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair,

And utter dissolution, as the scope
30 Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.

First, whàt revenge? The tow'rs of Heav'n are fill'd
With armed watch, that render all access
Impregnable ; oft on the bord'ring deep

Encamp their legions, or, with obscure wing, 5 Scout far and wide into the realm of night,

Scorning surprise. Or, could we break our way
By force, and at our heels all hell should rise,
With blackest insurrection, to confound

Heav'n's purest light, yet our great enemy, 10 All incorruptible, would on his throne

Sit unpolluted, and th' ethereal mould,
Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,

Victorious. Thus repuls’d, our final hope 15 Is flat despair: we must exasperate

Th’ almighty Victor to spend all his rage,
And that must end us, that must be our cure,
To be no more : sad cure; for who would lose,

Though full of pain, this intellectual being, 20 Those thoughts that wander through eternity,

To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion ? and who knows,

Let this be good, whether our angry foe
25 Can give it, or will ever ? how he can
Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.


14. - -Aside the Devil turn'd For envy, yet with jealous leer malign

Ey'd them askance, and to himself thus plain'd. 30 “Sight hateful, sight tormenting! thus these two

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