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In Heaven by many a tower'd structure high,
Where sceptred Angels held their residence,
And sat as princes: whom the supreme King

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Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.
Nor was his name unheard, or unadored,
In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
Men call’d him Mulciber; and how he fell 740
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,

745 On Lemnos the Ægean isle: thus they relate, Erring; for he with his rebellious rout Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he s'cape By all his engines, but was headlong sent

750 With his industrious crew to build in Hell.

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command
Of sov’reign power, with awful ceremony
And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council, forth with to be held

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At Pandemonium; the high capitol
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 761
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

765 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 their 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 strawbuilt citadel,
New rubb’d with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs; So thick the aery crowd 775
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 780
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 overhead the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth

785,
Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth and dance
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear;
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large,790
Though without number still, amidst the hall
Of that infernal court. But far within,
And in their own dimensions, like themselves,
The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave sat;

795 A thousand Demi-gods on golden seats, Frequent and full. After short silence then, And summons read, the great consult began.

3

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK II.

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to

be hazarded for the recovery of Heaven; Some advise it, others dissuade: A third proposal is preferred, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in Heaven concerning an. other world, and another kind of creature equal or not much inferior to themselves, about this time to be created: Their doubt, who shall be sent on this difficult search; Satan their chief undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake ihem several ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He passes on his journey to Hell gates; finds them shut, and who sat there to guard them: by whom at length they are opened, and discover to him the great gulf between Hell and Heaven; with what difficulty he passes through, directed by Chaos, the power of that place, to the sight of this new world which he sought.

High on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised

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To that bad eminence: and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high: insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heaven; and, by success, untaught,
His proud imaginations thus display'd.

10 Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven! For since no deep within her gulf can hold Immortal vigor, though oppress’d and fallen, I give not Heaven for lost. From this descent Celestial virtues rising will appear

15 More glorious and more dread than from no fall, And trust themselves to fear no second fate.

Me though just right and the fix'd laws of Heaven Did first create your Leader; next, free choice, With what besides, in council or in fight,

20 Hath been achieved of merit; yet this loss, Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne, Yielded with full consent. The happier state In heaven, which follows dignity, might draw 25 Envy from each inferior; but who here Will envy whom the highest place exposes Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim, Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share Of endless pain? Where there is then no good 30 For which to strive, no strife can grow up there From faction; for none sure will claim in Hell Precedence; none, whose portion is so small Of present pain, that with ambitious mind Will covet more. With this advantage then

35 To union, and firm faith, and firm accord, More than can be in Heaven, we now return To claim our just inheritance of old, Surer to prosper than prosperity Could have assured us; and, by what best way, Whether of open war, or covert guile, We now debate: Who can advise may speak.

He ceased: and next him Moloch, sceptred king,
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest Spirit
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair: 45
His trust was with the Eternal to be deem'd
Equal in strength; and rather than be less
Cared not to be at all; with that care lost
Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse,
He reck'd not; and these words thereafter spake. 50

My sentence is for open war; Of wiles,
More unexpert, I boast not: them let those
Contrive who need, or when they need; not now,

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