"Awake, Arise, Or Be Forever Fallen!"
Context: Arising from the burning lake in Hell, where he has been plunged by the heavenly host, Satan moves toward the shore, still proud and belligerent. Milton describes him as a great Greek warrior carrying a spear many times the length of the tallest Norwegian pine suitable for a ship's mast. Over Satan's shoulder is slung a ponderous, round shield which seems as large as the moon when it is viewed through Galileo's telescope, which Milton himself probably saw when he visited the astronomer in Italy as a young man. Satan, like one of the great warrior chiefs of the Iliad or the Aeneid, calls on his followers, the defeated angels who rebelled against God, to arise from the fires. The irony in his speech is noteworthy:
. . . have ye chosen this placeAfter the toil of battle to reposeYour wearied virtue, for the ease you findTo slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?Or in this abject posture have ye swornTo adore the Conqueror? who now beholdsCherub and seraph rolling in the floodWith scattered arms and ensigns, till anonHis swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discernThe advantage, and descending tread us downThus drooping, or with linkéd thunderboltsTransfix us to the bottom of this gulf.Awake, arise, or be forever fallen!