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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
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 amerced
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 singèd top their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
With all his peers : attention held them mute.
Thrice he essayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth: at last
Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way.

“O myriads of immortal spirits! O powers
“ Matchless, but with the Almighty; and that strife
“ Was not inglorious, though the 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 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 me 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 his 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 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 “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 despaired;

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 around 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 vault of Heaven.

There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top
Belched 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, winged with speed,
A numerous brigade hastened; as when bands
Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe armed,
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 e’en in Heaven his looks and thoughts 680
Were always downward bent, admiring more


670 690


The riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden gold,
Than aught divine or holy else enjoyed
In vision beatific: by him first
Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
Ransacked the centre, and, with impious hands,
Rifled the bowels of their mother earth
For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew
Opened into the hill a spacious wound,
And digged out ribs of gold. Let nane 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,
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, foạnded 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 sound-board breathes,

Anon, out of the earth a fabric huge
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
Cornice, or frieze with bossy sculptures graven;
The roof was fretted go!d. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine
Belus or Sérapis, their gods; or seat
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove




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In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile
Stood fixed her stately height: and straight the 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 magic, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, 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 was know i
In Heaven by many a lowered structure high
Where sceptred 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 Mulciber; and how he fell

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,
Dropped from the zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos, the Æ'gean isle: thus they relate,
Erring; for he, with this rebellious rout,
Fell long before; nor aught availed him now
To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he 'scape
By all his engines; but was headlong sent

750 With his industrious crew to build in Hell.

Meanwhile, the wingèd heralds, by command
Of sovereign power, with awful ceremony
And trumpets' sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council, forwith to be held
At Pandemonium, the high capital
Of Satan and his peers; their summons called
From every band and squarèd regiment
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon,
With hundreds and with thousands trooping came 750
Attended: all access was thronged; the gates

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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 rustling 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 smoothèd plank,
The suburb of their straw-built citadel,
New rubbed with balm, expatiate, and confer
Their state affairs: so thick the airy crowd
Swarmed and were straitened; till, the signal given,
Behold a wonder! they, but now who seemed
In bigness to surpass Earth's giant sons,
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless, like that Pygmëan race
Beyond 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
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
Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large, 790
Though without number still, 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 sat;
A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full.

After short silence then, And summons read, the great consult began.


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