Paradise Lost

by John Milton

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Book I

Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
  Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
  Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
  With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man
  Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
  Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
  Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
  That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
  In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
  Rose out of CHAOS: Or if SION Hill
  Delight thee more, and SILOA'S Brook that flow'd
  Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
  Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
  That with no middle flight intends to soar
  Above th' AONIAN Mount, while it pursues
  Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
  And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
  Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
  Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
  Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
  Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
  And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
  Illumine, what is low raise and support;
  That to the highth of this great Argument
  I may assert th' Eternal Providence,
  And justifie the wayes of God to men.
    Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view
  Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause
  Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State,
  Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off
  From their Creator, and transgress his Will
  For one restraint, Lords of the World besides?
  Who first seduc'd them to that fowl revolt?
  Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile
  Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd
  The Mother of Mankinde, what time his Pride
  Had cast him out from Heav'n, with all his Host
  Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring
  To set himself in Glory above his Peers,
  He trusted to have equal'd the most High,
  If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim
  Against the Throne and Monarchy of God
  Rais'd impious War in Heav'n and Battel proud
  With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
  Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie
  With hideous ruine and combustion down
  To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
  In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,
  Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms.
  Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night
  To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
  Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe
  Confounded though immortal: But his doom
  Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
  Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
  Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes
  That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
  Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
  At once as far as Angels kenn he views
  The dismal Situation waste and wilde,
  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 Heav'n
  As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole.
  O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
  There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd
  With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
  He soon discerns, and weltring by his side
  One next himself in power, and next in crime,
  Long after known in PALESTINE, and nam'd
  BEELZEBUB. To whom th' Arch-Enemy,
  And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words
  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 brightnes didst outshine
  Myriads though bright: If he whom mutual league,
  United thoughts and counsels, equal hope,
  And hazard in the Glorious Enterprize,
  Joynd with me once, now misery hath joynd
  In equal ruin: into what Pit thou seest
  From what highth fal'n, so much the stronger provd
  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 fixt mind
  And high disdain, from sence 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 Battel on the Plains of Heav'n,
  And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
  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
  Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
  With suppliant knee, and deifie 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't,
  We may with more successful hope resolve
  To wage by force or guile eternal Warr
  Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,
  Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
  Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n.
    So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain,
  Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare:
  And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer.
    O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers,
  That led th' imbattelld Seraphim to Warr
  Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
  Fearless, endanger'd Heav'ns 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 Heav'n, and all this mighty Host
  In horrible destruction laid thus low,
  As far as Gods and Heav'nly 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 Conquerour, (whom I now
  Of force believe Almighty, since no less
  Then such could hav orepow'rd such force as ours)
  Have left us this our spirit and strength intire
  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 Warr, what e're 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 undiminisht, or eternal being
  To undergo eternal punishment?
  Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd.
    Fall'n Cherube, 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 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 destind aim.
  But see the angry Victor hath recall'd
  His Ministers of vengeance and pursuit
  Back to the Gates of Heav'n: The Sulphurous Hail
  Shot after us in storm, oreblown hath laid
  The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice
  Of Heav'n 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 th' occasion, whether scorn,
  Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
  Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde,
  The seat of desolation, voyd 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 reassembling 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 despare.
    Thus Satan talking to his neerest 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,
  BRIARIOS 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 slumbring 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 delayes:
  So stretcht 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 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 shewn
  On Man by him seduc't, but on himself
  Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.
  Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool
  His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames
  Drivn backward slope their pointing spires, & rowld
  In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale.
  Then with expanded wings he stears 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 thundring AETNA, whose combustible
  And fewel'd entrals thence conceiving Fire,
  Sublim'd with Mineral fury, aid the Winds,
  And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
  With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole
  Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate,
  Both glorying to have scap't 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 Heav'n, this mournful gloom
  For that celestial light? Be it so, since hee
  Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid
  What shall be right: fardest from him is best
  Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream
  Above his equals. Farewel 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 it self
  Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
  What matter where, if I be still the same,
  And what I should be, all but less then hee
  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 choyce
  To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
  Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
  But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
  Th' associates and copartners of our loss
  Lye thus astonisht on th' 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
  Regaind in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell?
    So SATAN spake, and him BEELZEBUB
  Thus answer'd. Leader of those Armies bright,
  Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foyld,
  If once they hear that voyce, their liveliest pledge
  Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
  In worst extreams, and on the perilous edge
  Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults
  Their surest signal, they will soon resume
  New courage and revive, though now they lye
  Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire,
  As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd,
  No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.
    He scarce had ceas't when the superiour 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 Ev'ning from the top of FESOLE,
  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 walkt with to support uneasie steps
  Over the burning Marle, not like those steps
  On Heavens 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
  His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't
  Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks
  In VALLOMBROSA, where th' ETRURIAN shades
  High overarch't imbowr; or scatterd sedge
  Afloat, when with fierce Winds ORION arm'd
  Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew
  BUSIRIS and his MEMPHIAN Chivalrie,
  VVhile with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
  The Sojourners of GOSHEN, who beheld
  From the safe shore their floating Carkases
  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,
  Warriers, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost,
  If such astonishment as this can sieze
  Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
  After the toyl of Battel to repose
  Your wearied vertue, for the ease you find
  To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n?
  Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
  To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds
  Cherube and Seraph rowling in the Flood
  With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon
  His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern
  Th' advantage, and descending tread us down
  Thus drooping, or with linked Thunderbolts
  Transfix us to the bottom of this Gulfe.
  Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n.
    They heard, and were abasht, 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 perceave the evil plight
  In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
  Yet to their Generals Voyce they soon obeyd
  Innumerable. As when the potent Rod
  Of AMRAMS Son in EGYPTS evill day
  Wav'd round the Coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud
  Of LOCUSTS, warping on the Eastern Wind,
  That ore the Realm of impious PHAROAH 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 giv'n, th' uplifted Spear
  Of their great Sultan waving to direct
  Thir course, in even ballance 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 loyns, 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 hast where stood
  Their great Commander; Godlike shapes and forms
  Excelling human, Princely Dignities,
  And Powers that earst in Heaven sat on Thrones;
  Though of their Names in heav'nly Records now
  Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd
  By thir Rebellion, from the Books of Life.
  Nor had they yet among the Sons of EVE
  Got them new Names, till wandring ore the Earth,
  Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man,
  By falsities and lyes 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 thir great Emperors call, as next in worth
  Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
  While the promiscuous croud 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 thundring out of SION, thron'd
  Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd
  Within his Sanctuary it self 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 noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud
  Their childrens cries unheard, that past 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 Vally of HINNOM, TOPHET thence
  And black GEHENNA call'd, the Type of Hell.
  Next CHEMOS, th' obscene dread of MOABS Sons,
  From AROER to NEBO, and the wild
  Of Southmost ABARIM; in HESEBON
  And HERONAIM, SEONS Realm, beyond
  The flowry Dale of SIBMA clad with Vines,
  And ELEALE to th' ASPHALTICK 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
  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 bordring flood
  Of old EUPHRATES to the Brook that parts
  EGYPT from SYRIAN ground, had general Names
  Of BAALIM and ASHTAROTH, those male,
  These Feminine. For Spirits when they please
  Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft
  And uncompounded is their Essence pure,
  Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb,
  Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
  Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose
  Dilated or condens't, bright or obscure,
  Can execute their aerie purposes,
  And works of love or enmity fulfill.
  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 Battel, sunk before the Spear
  Of despicable foes. With these in troop
  Came ASTORETH, whom the PHOENICIANS call'd
  ASTARTE, Queen of Heav'n, 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 th' offensive Mountain, built
  By that uxorious King, whose heart though large,
  Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell
  To Idols foul. THAMMUZ came next behind,
  Whose annual wound in LEBANON allur'd
  The SYRIAN Damsels to lament his fate
  In amorous dittyes all a Summers 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 SIONS daughters with like heat,
  Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch
  EZEKIEL saw, when by the Vision led
  His eye survay'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 off
  In his own Temple, on the grunsel edge,
  Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers:
  DAGON his Name, Sea Monster, upward Man
  And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high
  Rear'd in AZOTUS, dreaded through the Coast
  And ACCARON and GAZA's frontier bounds.
  Him follow'd RIMMON, whose delightful Seat
  Was fair DAMASCUS, on the fertil 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 Conquerour, whom he drew
  Gods Altar to disparage and displace
  For one of SYRIAN mode, whereon to burn
  His odious offrings, and adore the Gods
  Whom he had vanquisht. 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
  Thir wandring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms
  Rather then human. Nor did ISRAEL scape
  Th' infection when their borrow'd Gold compos'd
  The Calf in OREB: and the Rebel King
  Doubl'd that sin in BETHEL and in DAN,
  Lik'ning his Maker to the Grazed Ox,
  JEHOVAH, who in one Night when he pass'd
  From EGYPT marching, equal'd with one stroke
  Both her first born and all her bleating Gods.
  BELIAL came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd
  Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
  Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood
  Or Altar smoak'd; yet who more oft then hee
  In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest
  Turns Atheist, as did ELY'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 noyse
  Of riot ascends above thir loftiest Towrs,
  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 hospitable Dores
  Yielded thir Matrons to prevent worse rape.
  These were the prime in order and in might;
  The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
  Th' IONIAN Gods, of JAVANS Issue held
  Gods, yet confest later then Heav'n and Earth
  Thir boasted Parents; TITAN Heav'ns first born
  With his enormous brood, and birthright seis'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 CREET
  And IDA known, thence on the Snowy top
  Of cold OLYMPUS rul'd the middle Air
  Thir highest Heav'n; 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 th' HESPERIAN Fields,
  And ore 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 som glimps of joy, to have found thir chief
  Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
  In loss it self; which on his count'nance cast
  Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride
  Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
  Semblance of worth not substance, gently rais'd
  Their fainted courage, and dispel'd their fears.
  Then strait commands that at the warlike sound
  Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be upreard
  His mighty Standard; that proud honour claim'd
  AZAZEL as his right, a Cherube tall:
  Who forthwith from the glittering Staff unfurld
  Th' Imperial Ensign, which full high advanc't
  Shon like a Meteor streaming to the Wind
  With Gemms and Golden lustre rich imblaz'd,
  Seraphic arms and Trophies: all the while
  Sonorous mettal blowing Martial sounds:
  At which the universal Host upsent
  A shout that tore Hells 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 Forrest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms
  Appear'd, and serried Shields in thick array
  Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move
  In perfect PHALANX to the Dorian mood
  Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd
  To highth of noblest temper Hero's old
  Arming to Battel, and in stead of rage
  Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd
  With dread of death to flight or foul retreat,
  Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage
  With solemn touches, troubl'd 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
  Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes that charm'd
  Thir painful steps o're the burnt soyle; and now
  Advanc't in view they stand, a horrid Front
  Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise
  Of Warriers old with order'd Spear and Shield,
  Awaiting what command thir mighty Chief
  Had to impose: He through the armed Files
  Darts his experienc't eye, and soon traverse
  The whole Battalion views, thir order due,
  Thir visages and stature as of Gods,
  Thir number last he summs. And now his heart
  Distends with pride, and hardning in his strength
  Glories: For never since created man,
  Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these
  Could merit more then that small infantry
  Warr'd on by Cranes: though all the Giant brood
  Of PHLEGRA with th' Heroic Race were joyn'd
  That fought at THEB'S and ILIUM, on each side
  Mixt with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds
  In Fable or ROMANCE of UTHERS Son
  Begirt with BRITISH and ARMORIC Knights;
  And all who since, Baptiz'd or Infidel
  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
  Thir dread Commander: he above the rest
  In shape and gesture proudly eminent
  Stood like a Towr; his form had yet not lost
  All her Original brightness, nor appear'd
  Less then Arch Angel ruind, and th' excess
  Of Glory obscur'd: As when the Sun new ris'n
  Looks through the Horizontal misty Air
  Shorn of his Beams, or from behind the Moon
  In dim Eclips disastrous twilight sheds
  On half the Nations, and with fear of change
  Perplexes Monarchs. Dark'n'd so, yet shon
  Above them all th' Arch Angel: but his face
  Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht, and care
  Sat on his faded cheek, but under Browes
  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't
  Of Heav'n, and from Eternal Splendors flung
  For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood,
  Thir Glory witherd. As when Heavens Fire
  Hath scath'd the Forrest 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 doubl'd Ranks they bend
  From Wing to Wing, and half enclose him round
  With all his Peers: attention held them mute.
  Thrice he assayd, 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 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 beleeve, though after loss,
  That all these puissant Legions, whose exile
  Hath emptied Heav'n, shall faile to re-ascend
  Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat.
  For me, be witness all the Host of Heav'n,
  If counsels different, or danger shun'd
  By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns
  Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure
  Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute,
  Consent or custome, and his Regal State
  Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd,
  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 warr, provok't; 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 Heav'n 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 prie, shall be perhaps
  Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
  For this Infernal Pit shall never hold
  Caelestial Spirits in Bondage, nor th' Abysse
  Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
  Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird,
  For who can think Submission? Warr then, Warr
  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 arm's
  Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war,
  Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heav'n.
    There stood a Hill not far whose griesly top
  Belch'd fire and rowling smoak; the rest entire
  Shon with a glossie scurff, undoubted sign
  That in his womb was hid metallic Ore,
  The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed
  A numerous Brigad hasten'd. As when bands
  Of Pioners 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 heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks & thoughts
  Were always downward bent, admiring more
  The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold,
  Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd
  In vision beatific: by him first
  Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
  Ransack'd the Center, and with impious hands
  Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth
  For Treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
  Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound
  And dig'd out ribs of Gold. Let none admire
  That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best
  Deserve the pretious bane. And here let those
  Who boast in mortal things, and wondring tell
  Of BABEL, and the works of MEMPHIAN Kings,
  Learn how thir 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 toyle
  And hands innumerable scarce perform
  Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd,
  That underneath had veins of liquid fire
  Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude
  With wondrous Art founded the massie Ore,
  Severing each kinde, and scum'd the Bullion dross:
  A third as soon had form'd within the ground
  A various mould, and from the boyling 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 breaths.
  Anon out of the earth a Fabrick 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 Freeze, with bossy Sculptures grav'n,
  The Roof was fretted Gold. Not BABILON,
  Nor great ALCAIRO such magnificence
  Equal'd in all thir glories, to inshrine
  BELUS or SERAPIS thir Gods, or seat
  Thir Kings, when AEGYPT with ASSYRIA strove
  In wealth and luxurie. Th' ascending pile
  Stood fixt her stately highth, and strait the dores
  Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide
  Within, her ample spaces, o're the smooth
  And level pavement: from the arched roof
  Pendant by suttle Magic many a row
  Of Starry Lamps and blazing Cressets fed
  With Naphtha and ASPHALTUS yeilded 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 Heav'n by many a Towred structure high,
  Where Scepter'd Angels held thir residence,
  And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King
  Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
  Each in his Herarchie, 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 Heav'n, they fabl'd, thrown by angry JOVE
  Sheer o're the Chrystal Battlements: from Morn
  To Noon he fell, from Noon to dewy Eve,
  A Summers day; and with the setting Sun
  Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star,
  On LEMNOS th' AEGAEAN Ile: thus they relate,
  Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
  Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now
  To have built in Heav'n high Towrs; nor did he scape
  By all his Engins, but was headlong sent
  With his industrious crew to build in hell.
  Mean while the winged Haralds by command
  Of Sovran power, with awful Ceremony
  And Trumpets sound throughout the Host proclaim
  A solemn Councel forthwith to be held
  At PANDAEMONIUM, the high Capital
  Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call'd
  From every and Band 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 Soldans chair
  Defi'd the best of Panim chivalry
  To mortal combat or carreer with Lance)
  Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air,
  Brusht with the hiss of russling wings. As Bees
  In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides,
  Poure forth thir populous youth about the Hive
  In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
  Flie to and fro, or on the smoothed Plank,
  The suburb of thir Straw-built Cittadel,
  New rub'd with Baume, expatiate and confer
  Thir State affairs. So thick the aerie crowd
  Swarm'd and were straitn'd; till the Signal giv'n,
  Behold a wonder! they but now who seemd
  In bigness to surpass Earths Giant Sons
  Now less then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room
  Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race
  Beyond the INDIAN Mount, or Faerie Elves,
  Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side
  Or Fountain fome belated Peasant sees,
  Or dreams he sees, while over head the Moon
  Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth
  Wheels her pale course, they on thir mirth & dance
  Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear;
  At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
  Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
  Reduc'd thir shapes immense, and were at large,
  Though without number still amidst the Hall
  Of that infernal Court. But far within
  And in thir own dimensions like themselves
  The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
  In close recess and secret conclave sat
  A thousand Demy-Gods on golden seat's,
  Frequent and full. After short silence then
  And summons read, the great consult began.

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