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Matchless, but with the Almighty! and that strife
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change 625
Hateful to utter : but what power of mind,
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth
Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd,
How such united force of Gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse ? 630
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied Heaven, shall fail to reascend
Self-raised, and repossess their native seat?
For me, be witness all the host of Heaven,
If counsels different, or dangers shunn'd"
By me have lost 'our hopes. But he, who reigns
Monarch in Heaven, till then as one secure
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
Consent or custom; and his regal state A , 640
Put forth at full, but still his strength conccald,
Which tempted cur attempt, and wrought our fall.
Henceforth his might we know, and know our own;
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provoked: our better part remains 645
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not: that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds ; whereof so rife 650
There went a fame in Heaven that he ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour equal to the sons of Heaven :
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps

655
Our first eruption ; thither or elsewhere:
For this infernal pit shall never hold
Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor the abyss
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature: Peace is despair'd;' 660

For who can think submission? War then, War
Open or understood must be resolved.

He spake : and, to confirm his words, out flew
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty Cherubim ; the sudden blaze
Far round illumined hell: Highly they raged
Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms
Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war,
Hurling defiance toward the vault of heaven.
There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top

670

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Shone with a glossy scurf; undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallic ore,
The work of sulphur. Thither, wing'd with speerl,
A numerous brigade hasten'd: as when bands 675
Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe arm'd,
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on,
Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell (thoughts
From Heaven; for e'en in Heaven his looks and
Were always downward bent, admiring more 682
The riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden gold,
Than ought divine or holy else enjoy'd
In vision beatific : by liim first
Men also, and by his suggestion taught,

685

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Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth
For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew
Open'd into the hill a spacious wound,
And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire
That riches grow in Hell; that soil may best
Deserve the precious bane. And here let those,
Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell
Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame,
And strength, and art, are easily outdone
By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour,
What in an age they with incessant toil

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isonian land d how he fell 740 .rown by angry Jore sents: from morn 1) dewy eve, the setting sun - a falling star, 745 - thus they relate,

llious rout * avail'd him now sh towers; nor did he scape headlong sent 750 to build in Hell. heralds, by command awful ceremony " Yughout the host proclaim ith to be held

755 Igh capital their summons callid uared regiment vorthiest ; they anon, 'thousands, trooping came, is throng'd; the gates 761 hief the spacioụs hall

id, where champions bold of the Soldan's chair i chivalry

765 meer with lance) the ground and in the air

ustling wings. As bees -- sun with Taurus rides, 18 youth about the hive 9770 5 fresh dews and flowers e smoothed plank, zwbuilt citadel, cypatiate and confer

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And lands innumerable scarce perform.
Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared, 700
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude
With wondrous art founded the massy ore,
Severing each kind, and scumm'd the bullion dross :
A third as soon had form'd within the ground 705
A various mould, and from the boiling cells
By strange conveyance fillid cach hollow nook ;
As in an organ, from one blast of wind,
To many a row of pipes the soundboard breathes.
Anon, out of the earth, a fabric huge

710
Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet,
Built like a temple, where pilasters round
Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
With golden architrave; nor did there want 715
Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven:
"The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equal'd in all their glories, to enshrine
Belus or Sérapis, their Gods; or seat
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile
Stood fix'd her stately height; and straight the doors,
Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide
Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth

725
And level pavement: from the arched roof
Pendant by subtle magic, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazen cressets, fed
With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky. The hasty multitude
Admiring enter'd; and the work some praise,
And some the architect: his hand was known
In Heaven by many a tower'd structure high,
Where sceptred Angels held their residence,
And sat as princes: whom the supremo King 735
Exalted to such powor, and gave to rule,

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