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Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full council must mature : Peace is despair’d,
For who can think submission ? war,

then

war, Open or understood, must be resolvd.

He spake, and, to confirm his words, outflew 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
Belch'd fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire
Shone with a glossy scurf, undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallick 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
Fore-run 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 ought divine or holy else enjoy'd
In vision beatifick: by him first
Men also, and by his suggestion taught,

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Ransack'd the center, 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,
And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire
That riches grow in Hell; that soil may best
Deserve the precious bane. And here let those,
Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell
Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame,
And strength and art, are easily out-done
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
Sluc'd from the lake, a second multitude
With wonderous art founded the

massy ore,
Severing each kind, and scumm'd the bullion dross:
A thịrd as soon had form’d within the ground
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 fabrick huge
Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet,
Built like a temple, where pilasters round

717- 745.

Were set, and Dorick pillars overlaid
With golden architrave; nor did there want
Cornice or freeze, with bossy sculptures graven:
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equall'd in all their glories, to enshrine
Belus or Serapis their Gods, or seat
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile
Stood fix'd her stately highth: and straight the doors,
Opening their brazen folds, discover wide
Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth
And level pavement: from the arched roof
Pendant by subtle magick 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 tower'd structure high,
Where scepter'd Angels held their residence,
And sat as princes; whom the supreme King
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.
Nor was his name unheard, or unador'd,
In ancient Greecę; and in Ausonian land
Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell
Front Heaven, they fabled, thrown by angry Jore

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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
Dropt from the zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos the Ægean isle: thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before; not aught avail'd him now
To have built in heaven high towers; nor did he 'scape
By all his engines, but was headlong sent
With his industrious crew to build in hell.

Mean while the winged heralds, by command
Of sovran power, with awful ceremony
And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim.
A solemn council, forthwith to be held
At Pandemonium; the high capital
Of Satan and his peers: their summons callid
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 rusling wings. As bees

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In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth their populous youth about the hive
In clusters: they among fresh dews and flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The suburb of their straw-built citadel,
New rubb’d with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs. So thick the

croud
Swarm’d and were straiten’d; till, the signal given,
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 faery elves,
Whose midnight revels by a forest side
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while over-head the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth
Wheels her pale course; they on their mirth and dance
Intent, with jocund musick charm his ear;
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
Of that infernal court. But far within,
And in their own dimensions, like themselves,
The great Seraphick Lords and Cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave sat;

aery

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