Thursday, July 29, 2010

''Awake, arise, or be forever fall'n"

From Milton, Paradise Lost (1674):
                                  Princes, Potentates,
Warriors, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost,
If such astonishment as this can sieze
Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied vertue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rowling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern
Th' advantage, and descending tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.
Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n. (I.315-330)

(Illustration is John Martin, Satan Arousing the Fallen Angels, 1824.)

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