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them lastly of a new norld, and nerv
Jathers.)
What his associates t empt

deep: the infernal peers there sit in council.

of man's first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, with loss of Eden, till one greater Man tore us, and regain the blissful seat, Sing heavenly Muse! that on the secret top §§. or of Sinai, didst inspire That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed, In the beginning how the heavens and earth Rose out of Chaos. Or if Sion hill 10 Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd Fast by the oracle of God; I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventorous song: That with no middle flight intends to soar Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues ngs unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.

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creature to be created; according to an ancient proph or report in heaven; (for that angels overe ##: this visible creation, ng to an To find out the truth of this£: and nhat to determine thereon, he hence att . Pandemonium, neil

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100
Innumerable force of spirits arm.’
That durst dislike his reign: and me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd,
In dubious battle on the plaims of heaven,
...And shook his throne. What tho' the field be lost 2
All is not lost; th’ unconquerable will, 106
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield;
(And what is else not to be overcome 2)
That glory never shall his wrath or might
Extort from me, to bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power,
Who from the terror of this arm solate
Doubted his empire. That were low indeed!
That were an ignominy and shame beneath 115
This downfall : since 8. fate) the strength of gods,
And this empyreal substance cannot o

Since o. experience of this great event,
(In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,)
We may, with more successful hope, resolve 120
To wage by force or guile etermal war,
Irreconciléable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and in th’ excess of joy
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of heaven.”

110

So spake th' apostate angel, though in pain : 125 Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair : And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer:

“O Prince : O chief of many throned powers, That led th’ embattled seraphim to war Under thy conduct! and in dreadful deeds .50 Fearless, endanger'd heaven's perpetual King, And put to proof his high supremacy: Whether §. by strength, or chance, or fate, Too well I see and rue the dire event That with sad overthrow and foul defeat 135 Hath lost us heaven: and all this mighty host In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as gods, and heavenly essences, Can perish : for the mind and spirit remains Invincible, and vigour soon returns, Though as our glory extinct, and happy state, Here swallow'd up in endless misery ! But what if he our conqueror (whom I now Of force believe Almighty, since no less [ours) Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as Have left us this our spirit and strength entire, 146 Strongly to suffer and support our pains; That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, 'tor do him mightier service, as his thralls #. right of war, whate'er his business be,

ere in the heart of hell to work in fire, Or do his errands in the É. deep 2 What can it then avail, though yet we feel Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being, To undergo etermal punishment P” 155 Whereto with speedy words th' arch-fiend replied:

* “Fallen Cherub to be weak is miserable,
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure,
To do ought good never will be our task; ,
But ever to do ill our sole delight:
As being the o to his high will
Whom we resist. If then his providence
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,
And out of good still to find means of evil:
Which oft-times may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, (if I fail not,) and disturi,
His in most counsels from their destin’d aim.
But see! the angry Victor hath recall'd
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit, 170
Back to the gates of heaven; the sulph'rous hail
Shot after us in storm, o'er-blown, häth laid
The fiery surge, that from the precipice
of heaven receiv'd us falling; and the thunder,
Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, 175
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now

140

150

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To bellow through the vast and boundless deep,
Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn,
Or satiate fury, yield it from our foe.
Seest thouyon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, 180
The seat .*desolation. void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
Casts pale and i. ? thither let us tend
From off the tossing of these fiery waves;
There rest, if any rest can harbour there:
And re-assembling our afflicted powers,
Consult how we may henceforth most offend
Qur enemy; our own loss how repair;
How overcome this dire calamity;
What reinforcement we may gain from hope; 190
If not, what resolution from ...”

Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate, With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes That sparkling blaz'd : his other parts besides Prone on the flood, extended long and large, Lay floating many a rood: in i. as huge, As whom the fables name, of monstrous size, Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove, Briareus, or Typhon, whom the den By ancient Tarsus held; or that sea-beast Leviathan, which God of all his works Created hugest that swim th’ ocean stream : (Him, haply slumboring on the Norway foam, The pilot of some ...i night-founder'd skiff, I\eeming some island, oft, as seamen tell, With fixed anchor in his scaly rind, Moors by his side under the lee, while night Invests the sea, and wished morn delays. So stretch'd out huge in length the arch-fiend lay, Chain'd on the burning lake: nor ever thence 210 Had risen, or heav'd his head, but that the will And-high permission of all-ruling Heaven, Left him at large to his own dark designs: That with reiterated crimes he might Heap on himself damnation, while he sought Evil to others; and enrag'd might see, How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy shown On man by him seduc’d ; but on himself Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance pour’d. 220 Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool His mighty stature; on each hand the flames Driven backward slope their pointing spires, and In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid vase. . [rol"d Then with expanded wings he steers his flight 223 Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air, That felt unusual weight: tils on dry land He lights, if it were land that ever burn'd With solid, as the lake with liquid fire: And such appear'd in hue, as when the force Of subterranean wind transports a hill Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side Of thund'ring Ætna, whose combustible And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire, Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds, 255 And leave a singed bottom all involv'd [scle With stench and smoke: such resting found the Of unbless'd feet : Him follow'd his next mate, Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood, As §§. and by their own recover'd strength; 240 Not by the su ce of supermal power.

185

195 200

205,

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“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime," Said then the lost archangei “this the seat, That we must change for heaven P this mournful

gloom

For that celestial light P be it so since he 245
Who now is sovereign can dispose, and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equall'd, force hath made su-
Above his equals. Farewell, happy ...'", o
Where joy for ever dwells! hail, horrors' hail, 250
Infernal world ! and thou Pound. hell
Receive thy new possessor! One, who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a heil of heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater 2 Here at least
We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy; will not drive us hence: 260
Here we may reign secure; and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends.
Th' associates and copartners of our loss,

255

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He scarce had ceas'd, when the superior fiend Was moving toward the shore; his pond’rous shield, Etherial temper, massy, large, and round, 285 Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views ..At .#. the top of Fesole, or in Val o, to descry new lands, 290 Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe. His spear, (to equal which the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast Of some great admiral, were but a wand) He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps 295 Over the burning marle (not like those steps On heaven's azure') and the torrid clime Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire. Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach Of that inflamed sea he stood and call'd 300 His legions, angel-forms, who lay entranc'd, Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades, High over-arch'd imbower; or scattered sedge Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd 305 Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o'erBusiris, and his Memphian chivalry, [threw While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd The o: of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore their floating carcasses, 310 And broken chariot wheels: so thick bestrown, Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood, Under amazement of their hideous change. He call’d so loud, that all the hollow deep

Of hell resounded: “Princes, Potentates, 515 Warriors, the flower of heaven! once yours, now If such astonishment as this can seize [lost,

Eternal spirits: or have ye chosen this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find 320
To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To adore the conqueror? who now beholds
Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood,
With scatter'd arms and ensigns; till anon 325
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 " 330 They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung

Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch
On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight 335
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their general's voice they soon obey'd,
Innumerable ! As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud 340
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like might, and darken'd all the land of Nile;
So numberless were those bad angels, seen
Hov'ring on wing under the cope of hell
*Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding ires:
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 §§ : 350
A multitude : like which the populous north
l'our'd never from her frozen loins, to pass

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khine or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons

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Say, Muse, their names then known; who first,
who last,
Rous’d from the slumber, on that fiery couch
At their great emperor's call, as next in w oth
Came singly where he stood, on the bare strand,
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof? 380
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 altar, gods ador'd
Among the nations round, and durst abide 38:
Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thrond
Between the cherubim; yea, on plac'd
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations ! and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd, 390
And with their darkness durst affront his light.
First Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with Blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears;
Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud,
Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd thro fre
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite 3.96
Worshipp'd in Rabba, and her watery plain,
In Argob, and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 400
Of Solomon he led by fraud, to build
His temple right against the temple of God,
On the o: hill; and made his grove
The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna called, the type of heli. 405
Next Chemos, th’ obscene dread of Moab's sons
From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild
Of southmost Abarim ; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
The flowery dale of Sibma, clad with wines; 410
And Eleale to th’ Asphaltic pool :
Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg’d 415
Even 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 420
§: from Syrian ground, had genéral names
Baalim, and Ashtaroth; those male,

These feminine: (For spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both ; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure; 4.25
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous tiesh; but in what shape they choose,
Bilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,
Can execute their airy purposes, 430
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 heads as low 455
Bow’d down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Astoreth, whom the Phenicians call'd
Astarte, Queen of heaven, with crescent korms:
To whose bright image nightly by the moon, 440
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs;
In Sion also not unsung, where stood
Her temple on th' offensive mountain, built

By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large, 1 His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd
Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell 445 Azazel as his right, a cherub tall; -
To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl’d 535
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd Th’ imperial ensign; which, full high advanc'd,
The Syrian damsels, to lament his fate Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind
in amorous ditties as a summers day; With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz'
While smooth Adonis from his native rock 450 | Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds: 540
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale At which the universal host up sent
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat; A shout that tore hell's concave; and beyond
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led, 455 || All in a moment through the gloom were seen
eyes survey'd the dark idolatries - Ten thousand banners rise into the air, 545
Of alienated Judah. Next came one With orient colours waving: with them rose
Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopp'd off # ear'd, and serried shields in thick array,
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge, 460 epth immeasurable; anon they move 5
50

Where he fell flat, and sham'd his worshippers; Dagon his name; sea-monster!, upward man And downward fish : yet had his temple high Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast Of Palestine, in Gath, and Ascalon 465 Ånd Acoron, and Gaza's frontijounds. Him follow'd Himmon, 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 gain’d a king, Ahaz, his sottish conqueror, whom he drew God's altar to disparage, and displace, For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn His odious offrings, and adore the gods 475 Whom he had vanquish'd. After these appear'd A crew who under names of old renown, Qsiris, Isis, Orus, and their train, With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd Fanatic Egypt, and her priests, to seek 480 Their wand'ring gods disguis'd in brutish forms, Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape Th’ infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd The calf in Oreb; and the rebel kin Doubled that sin in Bethel, and in Dan, 485 #.; his Maker to the grazed ox, Jehovah's who in one night, when he pass'd From Egypt marching, equall'd with one stroke Both her first-born and all her bleating gods. Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd 490 Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love Vice for itself: to him no temple stood, Or altar smok'd; yet who more oft than he In temples, and at altars, when the priest Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill’d with lust and violence the house of God? In courts and palaces he also reigns, And in luxurious cities, where the noise Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers, And injury and o: and when night 500 Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine: Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night In Gibeah, when the hospitable door Expos'd a matron, to avoid worse rape. 505

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In perfect phalanx, to the Dorian mood Of H. and soft recorders; such as rais'd To height of noblest temper heroes old Arming to battle; and instead of rage, Deliberate valour breath'd, firm, and unmov’d With dread of death to flight, or foul retreat; 555 Nor wanting power to ...; and swage, With solemn touches, troubled thoughts, and chase Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain, From mortal or immortal minds. . Thus they Breathing united force, with fixed thought ..., 560 Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now Advanc'd in view, they stand, a horrid front Of dreadful length, and dazzling arms, in guise Qf warriors old with order'd spear and shield, Awaiting what command their mighty chief Had to impose: he through the armed files Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse The whole battalion views, their order due, Their visages and stature as of gods; 570 Their number last he sums. nd now his heart Ixistends with pride, and hard’ning in his strength Glories: for never since created, man Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these Could merit more than that small infantry 57 Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd, That sought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side Mix'd with auxiliar gods; and what resounds In fable or romance of Uther's son, 580 Begirt with British and Armoric knights; And all who since, baptiz'd or infidel, Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban, Damasco, or Morocco, or Trebisond; Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore, When Charlemain with all his peerage fell By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd Their dread commander: he, above the rest In shape and gesture proudly eminent, Stood fike a tower: his form had not yet lost All her original brightness, nor appeard Less than archanges ruin'd, and th’ excess Of glory obscur'd : as when the sun new-risen Looks through the horizontal misty air, Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon, In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds On half the nations, and with fear of change Perplexes monarchs; darken'd so, yet shone Above them all th’ archangel: but his face Deep scars of thunder had Întrench'd, and care Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast Signs of remorse and passion, to behold 605 The fellows of his crime, the followers rather, Far other once beheld in bliss') condemn'd or ever now to have their lot in pain; Millions of spirits, for his fault amerc' Of heaven, and from etermal splendours flung 610 For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood, Their glory wither'd : as when heaven's fire Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines, With singed tep their stately growth, though bare, Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepard 615 To speak, whereat their doubled ranks they bend From wing to wing, and half inclose him round With all his peers: attention held them mute: Thrice he assay'd, and thrice in spite of scorn, Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth; at last 620 Words interwove with sighs found out their way.

“Q myriads of immortal spirits! O powers Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife

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600

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Was notinglorious, though th' event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change,
Hateful to utter: but what power of mind,
Foreseeing, or presaging, from the depth
of mowijge past or present, could have feard,
How such united force of gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse? 650
For who can yet believe, though after soss,
That all these F. legions, whose exile
Hath emptied heaven, shall fail to reascend,
Self-rais'd, and re-possess their native seat 2
For me be witness all the host of heaven, 635
If counsels different, or danger shunn'd
By me, have lost our hopes: but he who reigns
onarch in heaven, till then as one secure
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
Consent, or custom, and his regal state 640
Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal’d,
which tempo our attempt, and wrought our

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Henceforth his might we know, and know our own;
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provok'd. Our better part remains 645
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not; that he ..
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof.sorife 650
here 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
Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
For this infernal pit shall never hold

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Celestial spirits in bondage, nor th’ abyss
Long under darkness cover.—But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature: Peace is despair'd, 660
For who can think submission 2 War then, war
Open or understood, must be resolv’d.”

He spake; and to confirm his words out flew Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs Of mighty cherubim: the sudden blaze 565 Far round illumin'd hell; highly they rag'd 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 Belch'd fire 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 wing'd with speed A numerous brigade hasten'd : as when bands 675 Qf 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 From heaven: for even in heaven his looks and thoughts Were always downward bent; admiring more 681 The riches of heaven's pavement, trodden gold, Than ought divine or holy else, enjoy'd In vision beatific: by him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught, Ransack'd the centre, and with impious hands Rimed the bowels of their mother carth For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew 'd into the hill a spacious wound, And o 'd out ribs of gold. (Let mone admire 690 That #. grow in hell; that soil may best Deserve the precious bane.) And heré let those Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell Of Babel, and the works of #femphian kings, Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, 695 And strength, and art, are easily outdone By spirits reprobate, and in an hour, %: in an age they with incessant toil, And hands innumerable, scarce perform. Nigh on the plain in many cells prepar'd, That underneath had veins of liquid fire Sluic'd from the lake, a second multitude With wondrous art founded the massy ore; Severing each kind, and scumm'd the bullion dross: A thion hairma within the ground 705 A various mould; and from the boiling cells By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook: As in an organ, from one blast of wind, To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes. | Anon out of the earth a fabric huge 710

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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 freeze, with bossy sculptures graven;
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equall'd in all their glories, to inshrine
Belus, or Serapis, their gods; or seat
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. Th' ascending pile
Stood fix’d her stately height: and straight the
Qoming their brazenfolds, discover wide [doors
Within her ample spaces o'er the smooth 725
And level pavement: from the arched roof,
Pendent by subtle magic, many a row
Of st lamps, and blazing 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 tow’red structure high,
Where sceptred angels held their residence,
And sat as princes; whom the supreme King 735
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright:
Nor was his name unheard, or unador'd,
In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land r
Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell 740
From heaven they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
Sheer o'er the crystal battlements; from morn
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,
A summer's day; and with the setting sun
Dropp'd from the zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos th’AEgean isle: thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before; nor ought avail'd him now
To have built in heaven #. towers; nor did he
'sc pe
By all his engines, but was headlong sent 750
§§. his industrious crew to build in hell.

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Meanwhile the winged heralds' by command Of sov’reign power, with awful ceremony And trumpets' sound, throughout the host proclaim A solemn council forth with to be held 755 At Pandemonium, the high capital Of Satan and his peers: their summons call'd, From every band and squared regiment, By place or choice the worthiest, they anon With hundreds, and with thousands, trooping came Attended: all access was throng'd, the gates 761 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 Defied the best of Panim o, 765 To mortal combat, or career with lance)

Thick swarm’d, both on the ground, and in the air,

Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees
In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth their populouso about the hive 770.
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 rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state-affairs: so thick the airy crowd 775
Swarm'd and were straiten’d; till the signal
given:
Behold a wonder! they but now who seem'd
In biguess to surpass earth's giant sons,
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless, like that pygmean race
§. the Indian mount; or fairy elves;
Whose midnight revels, by a forest side,
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees; while over-head the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth. - 785
Wheels her pale corse; they on their mirth and
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear: [dance
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds,
Thus incorporeal spiritsto smallest forms
Reduc’d their shapes immense; and were at large,
Though without number still, amidst the hall 791
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 sat;
A thousand demio on golden seats,
Frequent and full After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consult began.

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