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Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell
From heav'n, they fabl’d, thrown by angry Jove :
Sheer o’re the chrystal battlements; from morn
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
A summer's day; and with the setting fun
Dropt from the zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos th’Ægean isle : thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now
To have built in heav'n high towrs; nor did he scape
By all his engines, but was headlong fent
With his induftrious crew to build in hell.
Mean while the winged heralds by command
Of sovran power, with awful ceremony
And trumpets found throughout the host proclaim
A folemn council forthwith to be held
At Pandæmonium, the high capital
Of Satan and his peers : their summons call'd
From every band and squared regiment.
By place or choice the worthieft; they anon
With hundreds and with thousands trooping came
Attended : all access was thiong'd, the gates
And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall
(Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold
Wont ride in arm’d, and at the Soldan's chair
Defi'd the best of Panim chivalry
To mortal combat or career with lance)
Thick swarm’d, both on the ground and in the air,
Brusht with the hiss of ruling wings. As bees
In spring-time, when the fun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth their populous youth about the hive

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In clusters ; they among fresh dews and Aowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The suburb of their straw-built cittadel,
New-rubb’d with baum, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs, so thick the airy crowd
Swarm'd and were straiten'd: till the signal giv'n.
Behold a wonder! they but now who seem'd
In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless, like that pigmean race
Beyond the Indian mount, or fairie elves,
Whose midnight revels, by a forreft side
Or fountain some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he fees, while overhead the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth
Wheels her pale course, they on their mirth and dance
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear;
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms
Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large,
Though without number ftill amidst the hall
Of that infernal court. But far within
And in their own dimensions like themselves
The great seraphic lords and cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave fat
A thousand demy-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After short filence then
And fummons read, the great consult began.

The End of the First Books


U IGH on a throne of royal state, which far
11 Out Thone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous east with richest hand
Showrs on her kings Barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted fat, by merit rais'd
To that bad eminence; and from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, afpires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with heav'n, and by success untaught
His proud imaginations thus displaid.

Powers and dominions, deities of heav'n,
For fince no deep within her gulph can hold i
Immortal vigour, though opprest and fall'n,
I give not heav'n for loft. 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 fixt laws of heav'n
Did first create your leader, next free choice,
With what besides, in counsel or in fight,
Hath been atchiev'd of merit, yet this loss
Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more
Etablisht in a safe unenvied throne
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
in heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior ; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes .


Foremost to stand againft the thunderer's aim
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain ? where there is then no good
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 cover more. With this advantage then
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, .
Whether of open war or cover'd guile,
We now debate; who can advise, may fpeak.
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 :
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
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 fit contriving, shall the rest,
Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait
The signal to ascend, fit lingring here
Heav'ns fugitives, and for their dwelling place
Accept this dark opprobrious den of Mame,

The prison of his tyranny who reigns
By our delay ? no, let us rather chuse
Arm’d with hell-flames and fury all at once
O're heav'ns high towrs to force refiftless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer; when to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine he mall hear
Infernal thunder, and for lightning see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his angels ; and his throne itself
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 neepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumn not still,
That in our proper motion we ascend
Up to our native feat : descent and fall
To us is adverfe. Who but felt of late
When the fierce foe hung on our brok'n rear
Insulting, and pursu'd us through the deep,
With what compulfion and laborious flight
We funk thus low? the ascent is easy then;
Th'event is fear'd; should we again provoke .
Our stronger, fome worse way his wrath may find
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,

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