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This first book proposes first, in brief, the whole subject, man's disobedience, and the loss thereupon of

Paradise wherein he was placed. Then touches the prime cause of his fall, the serpent, or rather Satan in the serpent ; who revolting from God, and drawing to his side many legions of angels, was by the command of God driven out of heaven with all his crew into the great deep. Which action passed over, the poem hastes into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his angels now fallen into hell, described here, not in the centre (for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed), but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos; Here Satan with his angels lying on the burning lake, thunder-struck and astonished, after a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls up him who next in order and dignity lay by him: they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded; they rise; their numbers, array of battle, their chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan, and the countries adjoining; To these Satan directs his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regaining heaven; but tells thém lastly of a new world, and new kind of creature to be created ; according to an ancient prophecy

1 or report in heaven; (for that angels were long before this visible creation, was the opinion of many ancient fathers.) To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the deep: the infernal peers there sit in council.

Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit

Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' ethereal sky, 45
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste

With hideous ruin and combustion, down
Brought death into the world, and all our woe, To bottomless perdition: there to dwell
loss of Eden, till one greater Man

In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,

5 Who durst defy th' Omnipotent to arms.
Sing heavenly Muse! that on the secret top Nine times the space that measures day and night
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

To mortal nien, he with his horrid crew 51
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed, Lay vanquish'd rolling in the fiery gulf,
In the beginning how the heavens and earth Confounded though immortal! But his doom
Rose out of Chaos. Or if Sion hill

10 Reserv'd him to more wrath : for now the thought Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd Both of lost happiness, and lasting pain, 55 Fast by the oracle of God; I thence

Torments him. Round he throws his baleful eyes,
Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous song:

That witness'd huge affliction and dismay,
That with no middle flight intends to soar

Mix'd with obdurate pride, and steadfast hate,
Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues 15 At once, as far as angels' ken, he views
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.

The dismal situation waste and wild :


A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,
And chiefly thou, O Spirit! that dost prefer As one great furnace, flam'd: yet from those flames
Before all temples th' upright heart and pure, No light, but rather darkness visible,
Instruct me, for thou know'st: thou from the first Serv'd only to discover sights of woe,
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread, 20 Regions of sorrow! doleful shades ! where peace 65
Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast abyss,

And rest can never dwell! hope never comes,
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark, That comes to all : but torture without end
Illumine! what is low, raise and support!

Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed
That to the height of this great argument

With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd!
I may assert eternal Providence,

25 Such place eternal justice had prepard 70 And justify the ways of God to men.

For those rebellious; here their prison ordain'd,

In utter darkness; and their portion set
Say first, (for heaven hides nothing from thy view, As far remov'd from God, and light of heaven,
Nor the deep tract of hell) say first what cause As from the centre thrice to th' utmost pole.
Movd our grand parents, in that happy state O how unlike the place from whence they fell! 75
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off 30 There the companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd
From their Creator, and transgress his will,

With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
For one restraint, lords of the world besides? He soon discerns: and welt'ring by his side
Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt?

One next himself in power, and next in crime,
Th' infernal serpent! he it was, whose guile, Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd 80
Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd 35 Beelzebub: To whom th' arch-enemy,
The mother of mankind, what time his pride (And thence in heaven call'd Satan) with bold words
Had cast him out from heaven, with all his host Breaking the horrid silence thus began :
Of rebel angels; by whose aid aspiring
To set himself in glory 'bove his peers,

“If thou beest he-But how fallin! how chang'd He trusted to have equall'd the Ňost High, 40 From him, who in the happy realms of light 85 If he oppos'd: and with ambitious aim

Cloth'd with transcendent brightness, didst out. Against the throne and monarchy of God

shine Rais'd impious war in heaven, and battle proud, Myriads though bright! If he, whom mutual league. With vain attempt. Him the Almighty power United thoughts and counsels, equal hope


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That durst dislike his reign: and me preferring, His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd, In dubious battle on the plains of heaven,




And shook his throne. What tho' the field be lost?
All is not lost; th' 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
Extort from me, to bow and sue for grace
With suppliant knee, and deify his power,
Who from the terror 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 th' excess of joy
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of heaven."



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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
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,
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 th' arch-fiend replied:

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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 sulph'rous hail
Shot after us in storm, o'er-blown, 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, 175
Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now


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 thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild, 180
The seat of desolation, void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
Casts pale and dreadful? 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
Our enemy; our own loss how repair;
How overcome this dire calamity;


What reinforcement we may gain from hope; 190
If not, what resolution from despair."

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,
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 slumb'ring on the Norway foam,
The pilot of some small night-founder'd skiff,
Deeming 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 215
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 vale. [rol'd
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight 225
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 thund'ring Etna, whose combustible
And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving fire,
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds,
And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
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 gods, and by their own recover'd strength; 240
Not by the suffrance of supernal power.


255 (sole

"Is this the region, this the soil, the clime," Said then the lost archangel "this the seat, That we must change for heaven? this mournful gloom


For that celestial light? 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 fields, preme
Where joy for ever dwells! hail, horrors! hail, 250
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; th' 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,
Th' associates and copartners of our loss,




Lie thus astonish'd on th' oblivious pool,

Came like a deluge on the south, and spread And call them not to share with us their part Beneath Gibralter to the Libyan sands. 555 In this unhappy mansion: or once more

Forth with from every squadron, and each band, With rallied arms to try, what may be yet

The heads and leaders thither haste where stood Regain'd in heaven, or what more lost in hell ?" 270 Their great commander ; godlike shapes and forms

Excelling human, princely dignities, So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub

And powers! that erst in heaven sat on thrones; Thus answer'd : " Leader of those armies bright, Though of their names in heavenly records now 361 Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foild ! Pe no memorial; blotted out and raz d, If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge By their rebellion, from the books of life. Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft


Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve 361 In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge Got them new names; 'till wand'ring o er the eart), Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults

Through God's high sufferance for the trial of man, Their surest signal, they will soon resume

By falsites and lies the greatest part
New courage, and revive, though now they lie of mankind they corrupted, to forsake
Grov'ling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, 280 God their Creator, and th' invisible
(As we erewhile,) astounded and amaz'd

Glory of him that made them, to transform 370 No wonder, fallen such a pernicious height !" Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd

With gay religions full of pomp and gold, He scarce had ceas'd, when the superior fiend And devils to adore for deities: Was moving toward the shore; his pond'rous shield, Then were they known to men by various names, Etherial temper, massy, large, and round, 285 And various idols through the heathen world. 375 Behind him cast; the broad circumference Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb Say, Muse, their names then known; who first, Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views

who last, At ev'ning from the top of Fesole,

Rous'd from the sumber, on that fiery couch, Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,

290 At their great emperor's call, as next in worth Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe.

Came singly where he stood, on the bare strand, His spear, (to equal which the tallest pine

While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof? 380 Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast

The chief were those who, from the pit of hell Of some great admiral, were but a wand)

Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix He walk with, to support uneasy steps 295 Their seats long after next the seat of God Over the burning marle (not like those steps

Their altars by his altar, gods ador'd On heaven's azure !) and the torrid clime

Among the nations round, and durst abide 38 Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire. Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron'd Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach

Between the cherubim; yea, often plac'd Of that inflamed sea he stood and call'd 300 Within his sanctuary itself their shrines, His legions, angel-forms, who lay entranc'd,

Abominations! and with cursed things Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks His holy rites and solemn feasts profan'd, In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades,

And with their darkness durst affront his light. High over-arch'd imbower; or scattered sedge First Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd 305 Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears; Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o'er- Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud, Busiris, and his Memphian chivalry, (threw Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd thro tire While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd

To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite 396 The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld

Worshipp'd in Rabba, and her watery plain, From the safe shore their floating carcasses, 310 In Argob, and in Basan, to the stream And broken chariot wheels: so thick bestrown, Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood, Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 400 Under amazement of their hideous change. Of Solomon he led by fraud, to build He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep

His temple right against the temple of God, Of hell resounded : “Princes, Potentates, 315

On the opprobrious hill; and made his grove Warriors, the flower of heaven! once yours, now The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence If such astonishment as this can seize [lost, And black Gehenna called, the type of hell. 405 Eternal spirits : or have ye chosen this place Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons After the toil of battle to repose

From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find 320 Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon To slumber here, as in the vales of heaven?

And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond Or in this abject posture have ye sworn

The flowery dale of Sibma, clad with vines; 410 T'adore the conqueror? who now beholds

And Eleale to th' Asphaltic pool : Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood,

Peor his other name, when he entic'd With scatter'd arms and ensigns; till anon 325 Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile, His swift pursuers from heaven-gates discern To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. Th' advantage, and descending iread us down Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg'd 415 Thus drooping; or with linked thunderbolts Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf.

Of Moloch homicide; lust hard by hate; Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!"

330 Till good Josiah drove them thence to hell.

With these came they, who from the bordring flood They heard, and were abash'd, and up they Of old Euphrates, to the brook that parts 420 sprung

Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch of Baalim, and Ashtaroth; those male, On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, These feminine : (For spirits when they please Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.

Can either sex assume, or both; so soft Nor did they not perceive the evil plight 335 And uncompounded is their essence pure; 425 In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Not tied or manacled with joint or limb, Yet to their general's voice they soon obey'd, Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, Innunierable! As when the potent rod

Like cumbrous tlesh; but in what shape they choose, Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,

Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure, Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud 340 Can execute their airy purposes,

430 Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,

And works of love or enmity fulfil.)
T'hat o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung For those the race of Israel oft forsook
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile: Their living strength, and unfrequented left
So numberless were those bad angels, seen

His righteous altar, bowing lowly down
Hov'ring on wing under the cope of hell, 345 To bestial gods; for which their heads as low 435
"Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires : Bow'd down in battle, sunk before the spear
Till, as a signal given, th' uplifted spear

Of despicable foes. With these in troop Of their great sultan waving to direct

Came Astoreth, whom the Phenicians call'd
Their course, in even balance down they light Astarte, Queen of heaven, with crescent horns :
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain: 350 To whose bright image nightly by the moon, 410
A multitude ! like which the populous north Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs;
Hour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass

In Sion also not unsung, where stood
Rhine or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons Her temple on th' offensive mountain, built

A 2


By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large, His mighty standard : that proud honour claim'd Beguild by fair idolatresses, fell

415 Azazel as his right, a cherub tall; To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, Who forth with 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 am Tous ditties all a summer's day;

With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz'd, 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,

All in a moment through the gloom were seen His 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 Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array, In his own temple, on the grunsel edge, 460 of depth immeasurable: anon they move Where he fell flat, and sham'd his worshippers ; In perfect phalanx, to the Dorian mood 550 Dagon his name; sea-monster! upward man Of flutes, and soft recorders; such as rais'd And downward fish: yet had his temple high To height of noblest temper heroes old Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast Arming to battle; and instead of rage, Of Palestine, in Gath, and Ascalon,

465 Deliberate valour breath'd, firm, and unmov'd And Acoaron, and Gaza's frontier bounds.

With dread of death to flight, or foul retreat; 555 Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage, Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks

With solemn touches, troubled thoughts, and chase Of Abbana, and Pharphar, lucid streams !

Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain, He also against the house of God was bold: 470 From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they A leper once he lost, and gain'd a king,

Breathing united force, with fixed thought 560 Ahaz, his sottish conqueror, whom he drew Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd God's altar to disparage, and displace,

Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil: and now For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn

Advanc'd in view, they stand, a horrid front His odious off rings, and adore the gods 475 Of dreadful length, and dazzling arms, in guise Whom he had vanquish'd. After these appear'd Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield, 565 A crew who under names of old renown,

Awaiting what command their mighty chief Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,

Had to impose : he through the armed files With

monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse Fanatic Egypt, and her priests, to seek 480 The whole battalion views, their order due, Their wand'ring gods disguis'd in brutish forms, Their visages and stature as of gods;

570 Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape

Their number last he sumns. And now his heart Th' Infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king

Glories: for never since created, man Doubled that sin in Bethel, and in Dan, 485 Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these Lik"ning his Maker to the grazed ox,

Could merit more than that small infantry 575 Jehovah! who in one night, when he pass'd Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood From Egypt marching, equall'd with one stroke Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd, Both her first-born and all her bleating gods. That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd 490 Mix'd with auxiliar gods: and what resounds Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love

In fable or romance of Uther's son,

580 Vice for itself: to him no temple stood,

Begirt with British and Armoric knights; Or altar smok'd; yet who more oft than he

And all who since, baptiz'd or infidel, In temples, and at altars, when the priest

Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban, Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd 495 Damasco, or Morocco, or Trebisond; With lust and violence the house of God?

Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore, 585 In courts and palaces he also reigns,

When Charlemain with all his peerage fell And in luxurious cities, where the noise

By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,

Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
And injury and outrage : and when night 500 Their dread commander: he, above the rest
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons In shape and gesture proudly eminent, 590
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine :

Stood like a tower : his form had not yet lost
Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night All her original brightness, nor appear'd
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door

Less than archangel ruin'd, and th' excess Expos'd a matron, to avoid worse rape. 505 Of glory obscur'd as when the sun new-risen

Looks through the horizontal misty air, 595 These were the prime, in order and in might; Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon, The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd, In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds Th' Ionian gods, of Javan's issue held

On half the nations, and with fear of change Gods, yet confess'd later than heaven and earth, Perplexes monarchs; darken'd so, yet shone Their boasted parents. Titan, (heaven's first-born, Above them all th' archangel: but his face 600 With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd 511 Deep scars of thunder had intrench'd, and care By younger Saturn: he from mightier Jove, Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows (His own and Rhea's son,) like measure found; Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Crete, Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast And Ida known; thence on the snowy top 515 Signs of remorse and passion,

to behold 605 Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle air,

The fellows of his crime, the followers rather, Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff, (Far other onoe beheld in bliss !) condemn'd Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds

For ever now to have their lot in pain; Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old

Millions of spirits, for his fault amerc'á Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian fields, 520 Of heaven, and from eternal splendours flung 610 And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.

For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood,

Their glory wither'd: as when heaven's fire All these and more came flocking, but with looks Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines, Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd With singed top their stately growth, though bare, Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepar'd 615 chief

To speak, whereat their doubled ranks they bend Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost 523 From wing to wing, and half inclose him round In loss itself; which on his count'nance cast

With all his peers: attention held them mute:' Like doubtful hue : but he his wonted pride Thrice he assay'd, and thrice in spite of scorn, Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Tears, such as angels

weep, burst forth ; at last 620 Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Words interwove with sighs found out their way. Their fainting courage, and dispell'd their

fears. 530 Then straight commands that at the warlike sound “O myriads of immortal spirits ! O powers Of trumpets loud, and clarions, be uprear'd

Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife



Was not inglorious, 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 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 reascend,
Self-rais'd, and re-possess their native seat?
For me be witness all the host of heaven,
If counsels different, or danger 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 conceal'd,
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our



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 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 th' abyss
Long under darkness cover.But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature: Peace is despair'd, 660
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 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 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
Of 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

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
Rifled the bowels of their mother earth
For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
Open'd into the hill a spacious wound,

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Equall'd in all their glories, to inshrine Belus, or Serapis, their gods; or seat


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Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. Th' ascending pile
Stood fix'd her stately height: and straight the
Op'ning 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 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
Men call'd 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
Dropp'd from the zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos th' Egean isle: thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before; nor ought avail'd him now
T'have built in heaven high towers; nor did he

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






Meanwhile the winged heralds' by command Of sov'reign power, with awful ceremony And trumpets' sound, throughout the host proclaim A solemn council forthwith to be held 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 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 chivalry 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 theír populous youth 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 Swarm'd and were straiten'd; till the signal

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And digg'd out rihs of gold. (Let none admire 690
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 tell
Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, 695
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 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 third as soon had form'd 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



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 pygmean 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 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 spirits to 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 demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full! After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consult began.


A 3


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