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El Cereal temper, massy, large, and round,
Behind him tdst; the broad cireumference
Hung on lus shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to desery new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
Bis spear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn in Norwegian hills to be the mast
Of some great admiral, were but a wand,
He walked with, to support uneasy steps
Over the burning marie, not like those steps
On Heaven's azure; ond the torrid clime
Smote on him sore beside, vaulted with fire:
Nathless he so endured, till on the beach,
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and called
His legions, angel forms, who lay entranced
Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
In Vallombroga, where th' Etrurian shades,
High over-areh'd, embower; or scattered sedge
Afloat, when with fieree winds Orion armed
Hath vexed the Red Sea coast, whose waves

o'erthrew

Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating careasses
And broken chariot wheels: so thick bestrewn,
Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He called so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of hell resounded. "Princes, potentates,
Warriors, the flower of Heaven! once yours, now

lost!

If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal spiritu; or have ye chosen this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
T' adore the conqueror? who now beholds
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood,
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from heaven 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 fallen!"

They heard, and were abashed, and up they

sprung

I j .•1> the wing; as when men wont to wateh
('n duty, sleeping found, by whom they dread,
House, and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not pereeive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fieree pains not feel;
Vet to I heir general's voice they soon obeyed,
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of AmramV son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wa>ed round the coast, up called a pitehy cloud

Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,

That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung

Like night, and darkened all the land of Nile:

So numberless were those bad angels seen,

Hovering on wing under the cope of hell,

'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;

Till, as a signal given, th' uplifted spear .

Of their great sultan waving to direct

Their course, in even balance down they light

On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain;

A multitude, like which the populous north

Poured never from her frozen loins, to pass

Rhene or the Danaw, when her barb'roqp sons

Came like a deluge on the south, and spread

Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian samls.

Forthwith from every squadron and each band

The heads and leaders thither haste where stood

Their great commander; godlike shapes, and forms

Excelling human; princely dignities,

And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones;

Though of their names in heavenly records now

Be no memorial, blotted out aml razed

By their rebellion from the books of life.

Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve

Got them new names, till, wand'ring o'er the earth,

Through God's high suff'ranec for the trial of man, .

By falsities and lies the greatest part

Of mankind they corrupted to forsake

God their Creator, and th' invisible

Glory of him that made them to transform

Oft to the image of a brute, adorned

With gay religions full of pomp and gold,'

And devils to adore for deities:

Then were they known to men by various names,

And various idols through the heathen world.'

Say, Muse, their names then known; who first,

who last,

Roused from the slumber, on that fiery couch,
At their great emperor's call, as next in worth
Came singly where he stood on the bare strana,
While the promiscuous erowd stood yet aloof.
The chief were those, who, from the pit of hell
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix
Their seats long after next the seat of God,
Their altars by his altars; gods adored
Among the nations round; and durst abide
Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, throned
Between the Cherubim, yea, often placed
Within his sanctuary itselftheir shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned,
And with their darkness durst affront his light.
First, Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears, •

Though for the noise of drums andtimbrels loud
Their children's cries unheard, that passed through

fire

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipped in Rabba and her watery plain,

in Argob and in Basan, to the stream

Of utmost Arnon; nor content with such

A udacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart

Of Solomon he led by fraud to build

His temple right against the temple of God

On that opprobrious hill; and made his grove

The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence

And black Gehenna called, the type of hell.

Next, Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab's sons

From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild

Of southmost Abarim: in Hesebon

And Horonaun, Seon's realm, beyond

The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines,

And ElSaIe to th' Asphaltic pool.

Peor his other name, when he enticed

Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,

To do him wanton rites, which cost them wo.

Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged

E'en to that hill of scandal, by the grove

Of Moloch homicide; lust hard by hate;

Till good Josiah drove them thence to hell.

With these came they, who, from the bord'ring

flood

Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male, 'These feminine: for spirits, when they please, Can either sex assume, nr both; so soft And uncompounded is their essence pure, Not tied or manacled with joint or limb, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they

choose,

Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure,
Can execute their aity purposes,
And works of love or enmity fulfil.
For those the race of Israel oft forsook
Their living strength, and unfrequented left
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down
To bestial gods; for which their headx as low
Bowed down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Astorcth, whom the Pho3nicians called
Astarte, queen of Heav'n, with erescent horns:
To whose bright image nightly by the moon
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs;
In Sion also not unsung, where stood
Her temple on the offensive mountain, built
By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large,
Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell
To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
1n tunorous ditties all a summer's day,
While smooth Adonis from his native rock
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood
Of Thafnmuz yearly wounded: the love-tale
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat,
Whew wanton passions in the saered porch
D

Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,
His eye surveyed the dark idolatries
Of alienated Judah. Next came one
Who mourned in earnest, when the captive ark
Maimed his brute image, head and bands lopt 00
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,
Where he fell flat, and shamed his worshippers
Dagon his name, sea monster, upward man
And downward fish: yet had his temple high
Reared in Azotus, dreaded through the coast
Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,
And Acearon, and Gaza's frontier bounds.
Him followed Rimmon, whose delightful seat
Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks
Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
He also against the house of God was bold:
A leper once he lost, and gained a king,
Ahaz, his sottish conqu'ror, whom he drew
God's altar to disparage, and displace
For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
His odious offerings, and adore the gods
Whom he had vanquished. After these appeam!
A erew, who, under names of old renown,
Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abused
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek
Their wandering gods disguised in brutish forms
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape
Th' infection, when their borrowed gold composed
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
Likening his Maker to the grazed ox,
Jehovah, who in one night, when he passed
From Egypt marching, equalled with one stroke
Both her first-born and all her bleating gods.
Belial came last, than whom a Spirit more lewd
Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
Vice for itself; to him no temple stood,
Or altar smoked: yet who more oft than he
In temples and at altars, when the priest
Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who filled
With lust and violence the house of God?
n courts and palaces he also reigns,
And in luxurious cities, where the noise
Df riot ascends above their loftiest towers,
And injury, and outrage: and when night
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
}f Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night
n Gibeah, when the hospitable door
Exposed a matron to avoid worse rape.

These were the prime in order and in might;
The rest were long to tell, though far renowned,
Ph' Ionian Gods, of Javan's issue; held
-rods, yet confessed later than Heaven and Larth,
Their boasted parents: Titan, Heaven's first -bom,
With his enormous brood, and birthright wizfel
By younger Saturn; he from mightier J, ve,
His own and Rheu's son, like measure fr-Ind.

Jove uurpmg reigned: these first in Crete And Ida known, thence on the snowy top Of cold Olympus, ruled the middle air, Thet highest Heaven; or on the Delphian dill', Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old Pled over Adra to th' Hesperian fields, And o'er the Celtic roamed the utmost isles. All these and more came flocking; but with

looks .

Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appeared Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their

chief

Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
In loss itself; which on his count'nance cast
Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride
Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
Semblance of worth, not substance, gently raised
Their fainting courage, and dispelled their fears.
Then straight commands that at the warlike sound
Of trumpets loud and clarions be upreared
His mighty standard: that proud honour claimed
Azawl as his right, a cherub tall;'
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled
Th' imperial ensign, which, full high advanced,
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed,
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds:
At which the universal host upscnt
A shout, that tore hell's concave, and beyond
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
All in a moment through the gloom were seen
Ten thousand banners rise into the air,
With orient colours waving: with them rose
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Appeared, and serried shields in thick array,
Of depth immeasurable: anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
Of flute>, and soft recorders; such as raised
To height of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and, instead of rage,
Deliberate valour breathed, firm and unmoved
With dread of death to tlight or foul retreat;
Nor wanting power to mitigate and 'swage
With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, ami

pain,

Krom mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united foree, with lixed thought,
Moved on in silence to soil pipes, that chnrmed
Their painful steps o'er the burnt sml: ami now
Advanced in view they stand, a horrid front
Of dreadful length and da/./!ing arms, in guise
I )f warriors old with ordered •1XMr and shirkl,
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
l Iad to unpose: In? through the armed files
Darts lus experienced eye, and soon traverse
I 'iv whole battalion views, their irdurdue,

Their visages and stature as of gods;

Their number last he sums. And now his heart

Distends with pride, and, hard'ning, in hu

strength

Glories: for never since ereated man,
Met such embodied foree, as, named with these
Could merit more than that small infantry
Warred on by eranes; though all the giant brood
Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were joined
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mix'd with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
In fable or romance of Uther's son.
Begirt with British and Armoric knights;
And nil who since, baptized or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalhan,
Domasco, or Moroeco, or Trebisond,
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,
When Charlemagne with all his peerage fell
By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed
Their dread commander: he, above the real
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower: Ids form had not yet lost
All her original brightness, nor ap1ieared
Less than arehangel ruined, and the excess
Of glory obscured: as when the sun, new risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air
Shorn of his beams; or from behind the raoun,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monareh. Darkened so, yet shone
Above them all th' arehangel: but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched, and care
Sal on his faded cheeks, hut under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Wailing revenge: eruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
(Far other once beheld in bliss.) condemned
For ever now to have their lot in pain,
Millions of spirits for his fault amereed
Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory withered: as when Heaven's fire
Hath scathed the forest oaks, or mountain pines,
With singed top their stately growth, though bare
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they betuI
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn.
Tears, such as angels wc-ep, burst forth! at lasl
Words, interwove with sig'u, found out their wav

"O myriads of immortal spirits! () powers
Matehless, but with th' Almighty! and that strife
W;.s not inglorious, though th' event was tlire,
As this place testifies, nnd tins dire change,
Hateful to utter! hut what power of mind,
Foreseeing or prewsging, from the de-itli

Of knowledge past or present, could have feared

How such united force of gods, how such

As stood like these, could ever know repulse?

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 roe, be witness all the host of heaven,

If counsels different, or dangers shunned

By me, have lost our hopes. But he, who reigns

Monarch in heaven, till then as one secure

Sat on las throne, upheld by old repute,

Consent or custom, and his regal state

Put forth at full, but still his strength concealed,

Which tempted our 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
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 Iris foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife
There went a fame in heaven that he ere long
Intended to ereate, 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
Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
For this infernal pit shall never hold
Celestial spirits in bondage, nor th' abyss
Long under, darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature: peace is despaired;
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 cheiubim; the sudden blaze
Far round illumined hell: highly they raged
Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms
Clashed on their sounding shields the din of war,
Hurling defiance toward the vaults of heaven.
There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top
Belehed tire and rolling smoke; the rest entire
Shone with a glossy scurf, undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallic ore,
The work of sulphur. Thither, winged with speed,
A num'rous brigade hastened, as when bands
Of pioneers, with spade and pick-axe armed
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them;
Mammon, the least erected spint that fell
t'n-m heaven; for e'en in heaven his looks and

thoughts

Were always downward bent, admiring more The riches of heaven's pavement, trodden gold, Than ought divine or holy else enjoved

In vision beatilic; by him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught, Ransacked the centre, ainl with impious Rifled the bowels of their mother earth | For treasures better hid. Soon had his erew Opened into the hill a spacious wound, And digged 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, wond'ring, tei. Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings, Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, And strength, and art, arc easily outdone By spirits reprobate, and in an hour What in an age they, with incessant toil I And hands innumerable, scarce perform. Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared, 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 scummed the bullion

dross:

A third as soon had formed within the ground
A various mould, and from the boiling cells
By strange conveyance filled each hollow nook'
As in an organ, from one blast of wind,
To many a row of pipes the soundboard brcatha
Anon out of the earth a fabric huge
Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
Of duleet symphonies and voices sweet,
Built like a temple, where pilasters round
Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
With golden architrave; nor did they want
Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven;
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Aleairo, such magnificence
Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine
Belus or Serapis, their gods, or scat
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strova
In wealth and luxury. Th' ascending pile
Stood fixed her stately height; and straight ih*

doors,

Opening their brazen folds, discover wide
Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth
And level pavement; from the arched roof,
Pendent by subtle magie, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing eressets, fed
With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky. The hasty multitude
Admiring entered; and the work some praise.
And some the architect: his hand wns known
In Heaven by many a towered structure high.
Where sceptered angels held their residence,
And sat as princes, whom the supreme King
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.
Nor was his name unheard or unadored
In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
Men called him Muleiber; and how ho fr.U

From Heas'>n, they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
Sheer o'er the erystal battlements: from morn
To noon ho fell, from noon to dewy eve,
A M!inmi-i .. day; and with the setting sun
Dropt frr.m the zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos th' ..','."... \i isle: thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before, nor aught availed him now
T' have built in heaven high towers; nor did he

'scape

By all his engines, but was headlong sent
With his industiouserew to build in hell.

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command
Of sovereign power, with awful ceremony
A nd tumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council, forthwith to be held
At Pandemonium, the high capital
Of Satan and his peers: their summons called
From every band and squared regiment
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
With hundreds and with thousands trooping came
Attended: all aceess was thronged; the gates
And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall
(Though like a covered field, where champions

bold

Wont ride in armed, and at the soldan's chair
Defied the best of Panim chivalry
To mortal combat, or career with lance)
Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the

air,

Brushed with the hiss of rusthng wings. As bees
In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth their populous youth about the hive
In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The suburb of their straw-built citadel
New rubbed with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affaire. So thick the airy erowd
Swarmed and were straitened; till the signal given,
liehold a wonder! They but now who seemed
Tn bigness to surpass earth's giant sons,
Nc-v less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Thronged numberless; like that pygmean race
Beyond the Indian.mount; or fairy elves,
Whose midnight revels, by a forest side
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
(1r dreams he sees, while over-head the moon
Sits arbitress, nnd 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 nnd fear his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms
Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large,
Though without number still, amidst the hall
Of that infernal court. But far within,
.Vnd in their own dimensions, like themselves,
The great seraphic lords and cherubim
tu no*' recess and seeret conclave sat;

A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consult began.

BOOK II.

THE ARGUMENT.

The consultation IwIn,n, Satan debutes whether battle be to be hazarded fur the recover; of heaven; awne a,lvise it, others dissuade; a third proposal ts preferred, mentioned before by Satan, to se.uxh the truth of th,n prophecy or tradition in heaven concerning another world, and another kind of ereature, equal, or not much inferior to themselves about this time to be ereated; their doubt who shall be scut on this diflicult search; Satan their chief undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus entIe,l. the reel betake them several ways, and to several emdfavymeuts, aa their inclinationd lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He passeson his Iourney to hell gates, find» them shut, and who sat there to guard them; by whom a, length they are opened, and discover to him the great gulf between hell and Heaven; with what diffieulty he paasas through, directed by Cl,aaa, the power of that place, to the sight of Una new world which he sought.

High on a throne of royal state, which far

Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,

Or where the gorgeous east with richest hand

Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,

Satan exalted sat, by merit raised .

To that bad eminence: and, from despair

Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires

Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue

Vain war with Heaven; and, by suceess untaught,

His proud imaginations thus displayed.

"Powers and dominions, deities of Heaven! For since no deep within her gulf can hold Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen, I give not Heaven for lost. 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, tho' just right, and the fixed laws of Heaven, Did first ereate your leader, next, free choice,' With what besides, in counsel or in fight, Hath been achieved of merit; yet this loss, Thus far at least recovered, hath much more Established in a safe nnenvied throne, Yielded with full consent. The happier state In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw Envy from each inferior; but who here Will envy whom the highest place exposes Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share Of endless pain? Where there is then no pood For which to strive, no strife can grow up them From faction; for none sure will claim in hell Precedence; none, whose portion is w small Of present pain, that with ambitious mind U ,ll covet more. With this advantage then

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