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Rais'd impious war in Heaven, and battle proud;
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power,
Hurl'd headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and coinbustion, down
To bottomless perdition; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.
Nine times the space that measures day
night

To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery gulf,
Confounded, though immortal: but his doom
Reserv'd him to more wrath! for now the
thought

All is not lost; the unconquerable will,
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome;
That glory never shall his wrath or might
and Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power
Who from the terrour of this arm so late
Doubted his empire; that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy, and shame beneath
This downfall: since by fate the strength of gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,
We may with more successful hope resolve
To wage by force or guile eternal war,
Irreconcileable to our grand foe,
Who now triumphs, and, in the excess of joy
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven."

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

"

Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
Torments him round he throws his baleful eyes.
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,
Mix'd with obdurate pride and stedfast hate;
At once, as far as angels ken, he views
The dismal situation waste and wild ;
A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
As one great furnace flam'd; yet from those
flames

No light; but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
And rest can never dwell; hope never comes
That comes to all: but torture without end
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd:
Such place eternal Justice had prepar'd

For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd
In utter darkness, and their portion set
As far remov'd from God and light of Heaven,
As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole.
O, how unlike the place from whence they fell!
There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
He soon discerns; and weltering by his side
One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
Beelzebub. To whom the arch-enemy,
And thence in Heaven call'd Satan, with bold
words

| And shook his throne. What though the field

be lost?

Breaking the horrid silence, thus began.

"If thou beest he; but O, how fall'n! how
chang'd
From him, who, in the happy realms of light,
Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst out-
shine
Myriads though bright! If he whom mutual
league,

United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,
Join'd with me once, now misery hath join'd
In equal ruin into what pit thou seest [prov'd
From what heighth fall', so much the stronger
He with his thunder: and till then who knew
The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those,
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit,
That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of spirits arm'd,
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,
His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd
In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,

O prince, O chief of many throned powers,
That led the embattled seraphim to war
Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
Fearless, endanger'd Heaven's perpetual king,
And put to proof his high supremacy,
Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate,
Too well I see, and rue the dire event,
That with sad overthrow, and foul defeat,
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 all 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
Than such could have o'erpower'd such force as

ours)

Have left us this our spirit and strength entire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be,
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy deep;
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment?"
Whereto with speedy words the arch-fiend re-
plied,

"Fall'n cherub, to be weak is miserable
Doing-or suffering; but of this be sure,
To do aught good never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
As being the contrary 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 disturb
His inmost counsels from their destin'd aim.
But see, the angry victor hath recall'd
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit

Back to the gates of Heaven: the sulphurous | With stench and smoke: such resting found bail,

Shot after us in storm, o'erblown, hath 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,
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
To bellow through the vast and boundless deep.
Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn,
Or satiate fury, yield it from our foe.
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, For that celestial light? Be it so, since he,
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Who now is Sovran, can dispose and bid
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend Whom reason hath equall'd, force hath made
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
Our enemy; our own loss how repair;
How overcome this dire calamity;
What reinforcement we may gain from hope;
If not, what resolution from despair."

supreme

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 bulk as huge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,
Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove;
Briareos or Typhon, whom the den
By ancient Tarsus held; or that sea-beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean stream:
Him haply slumbering on the Norway foam
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff
Deeming some island, oft, as sea-men tell,
With fixed anchor in his skaly 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
Had ris'n or heav'd his head; but that the
And high permission of all-ruling Heaven [will
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.
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
His mighty stature; on each band the flames,
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires,
and, roll'd

In billows, leave i'the midst a horrid vale.
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air
That felt unusual weight; till 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 thundering Etna, whose combustible
And fuell'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
VOL. VII.

the sole
Of unblest feet. Him follow'd his nextmate:
Both glorying to have 'scap'd the Stygian flood
As gods, and by their own recover'd strength,
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

"Is this the region, this the soil, the clime," Said then the lost arch-angel," this the seat That we must change for Heaven: this mournful gloom

Above his equals. Farewell happy fields,
Where joy for ever dwells. Hail horrours, hail
Infernal world, and thou, profoundest 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 Hell 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? Here at
least

We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
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,
The associates and copartners of our loss,
Lie thus astonish'd on the oblivious pool,
And call them not to share with us their part
In this unhappy mansion; or once more
With rallied arms to try what may be yet
Regain'd in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?"
So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub
Thus answer'd, "Leader of those armies bright,
Which but the Omnipotent none could have foil'd,
If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge
Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge
Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults
Their surest sigual, they will soon resume
New courage and revive; though now they lie
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
As we ere while, astounded and amaz'd;
No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth."

He scarce had ceas'd when the superior
fiend

Was moving toward the shore: his ponderous shield,

Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand,
He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps
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

27

Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call'd
His legions, angel forms, who lay intrane'd
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades,
High over-arch'd, imbower; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd
Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves
Busiris, and his Memphian chivalry, [o'erthrew
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcasses
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,
Warriors, the flower of Heaven, once yours,
now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
After the toil of battle to repose

Through God's high sufferance 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, adorn'd
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,

Rous'd 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 strand,
While the promiscuous cloud 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 altar, gods ador'd
Among the nations round, and durst abide
Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron'd
Between the cherubim ; yea, often plac'd
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd,
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

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 fall'n."

They heard, and were abas'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
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
Yet to their general's voice they soon obey
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Way'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken'd 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, the up-lifted 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
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.
Forthwith from every squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
Their great commander; godlike shapes and
Excelling human, princely dignities, [forms
And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones;
Though of their names in heavenly records now
Be no memorial; blotted out and ras'd
By their rebellion from the books of life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve

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, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure;

:

Got them new names, till, wandering o'er the Not tied of manacled with joint or limb,

Earth,

Not founded on the brittle strength of bones

Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd
through fire

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipt in Rabba and her watry plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious 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 call'd, the type of Hell.
Next, Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's
sons,

From Aroer to Nebo, aud the wild
Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines,
And Eleälé 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 woc.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd
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

Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose,

Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,
Can execute their aery 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 heads as low
Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd
Astarte, queen of Heaven, with crescent 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
Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell [large,
To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
In amorous ditties all a summer's day;
While smooth Adonis from his native rock
Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat;
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch
Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,
His eye survey'd the dark idolatries
Of alienated Judah. Next came one
Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive ark
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge, [off
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,
And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.
Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat
Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks
Of Abbana and Pharpbar, 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 offerings, and adore the gods
Whom he had vanquish'd. After these appear'd
A crew, who, under names of old renown,
Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek
Their wandering gods disguis'd in brutish forms
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape
The infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd
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 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
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?

C

VOL. VII.

In courts and palaces he also reigns,
And in luxurious cities, where the noise
Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,
And injury and outrage: and when night
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.
These were the prime in order and in might:
The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
The Ionian gods, of Javan's issue; held
Gods, yet confess'd later than Heaven and Earth,
Their boasted parents: Titan, Heaven's first-
born,

With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd
By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove,
His own and Rhea's son, like measure found;
So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Crete
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
Of bold Olympus, rul'd the middle air,
Their highest Heaven; or on the Delphian cliff;
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Of Doric land: or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.

All these and more came flocking; but with looks

Down-cast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their chief

Not in despair, to 'ave found themselves not lost

In loss itself; which on his countenance cast
Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride
Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd
Their fainting courage, and dispell'd their fears,
Then straight commands, that at the warlike
sound

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Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd
His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd
Azazel as his right, a cherub tall;

Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd
The imperial ensign; which, full high advanc'd,
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
With gems and golden lustre rich imblaz'd,
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds:
At which the universal host up-sent
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 througing helms
Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable: anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
Of flates and soft recorders; such as rais'd
To highth of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage
Deliberate valour breath'd, frm and unmov'd
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat:
Nor wanting power to mitigate 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,

A A

Breathing united force, with fixed thought,
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
Of 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;
Their number last he sums. And now his heart
Distends with pride, and hardening 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
Warr'd on by cranes: though all the giant
brood

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 fear'd,
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 re-ascend
Self-rais'd, 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
Put forth at full, but still his strength conccal'd,
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our
fall.

Henceforth his might we know and know our

Of Phlegra with the heroic race were join'd
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 all who since, baptiz'd or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,
Damasco, or Marocco, 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 like a tower; his form had yet not lost
All her original brightness; nor appear'd
Less than arch-angel ruin'd, and the 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 the arch-angel: but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrench'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
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
(Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain:
Millions of spirits for his fault amerc'd
Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung
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 top their stately growth, though
bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepar'd
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they

own:

So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provok'd; 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
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 despair'd;
For who can think submission? 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

bend From wing to wing, and half enclose 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 Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way.

"O myriads of immortal spirits, O powers Matchless, but with the Almighty; and that

strife

Of mighty cherubim; the sudden blaze
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
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
Of pioneers, with spade and pickax 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 e'en in Heaven his looks and
thoughts

Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden gold,
Than aught, 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

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