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Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth

Mean while the winged heralds, by command For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew Of sovran power, with awful ceremony [claim Open'd into the hill a spacious wound,

And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proAnd digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire A soleinn council, forth with to be held That riches grow in Hell; that soil may best At Pandemonium ; the high capital Deserve the precious bane. And bere let those, Of Satan and his peers : their summons call'd Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell | From every band and squared regiment. of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings, By place or choice the worthiest ; they anon, Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, With hundreds and with thousands, trooping And strength and art, are easily out-done

came, By spirits reprobate, and in an hour

Attended : all access was throng'd: the gates What in an age they with incessant toil

And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall And hands innumerable scarce perform.

('Though like a cover'd field, where champions Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepar'd,

bold That underneath had veins of liquid fire

Wont ride in arm’d,and at the Soldan's chair Sluic'd from the lake, a second multitude

Defied the best of Panim chivalry With wonderous art founded the massy ore, To mortal combat, or career with lance) sair Serering each kind, and scumm'd the bullion Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the dross :

Brush'd with the biss of rustling wings. As bees A third as soon had form'd within the ground In spring tiine, when the Sun with Taurus rides, A farious mould, and from the boiling cells, Pour forth their populous youth about the hive By strange conveyance, fill'd each hollow nook ; In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers As in an organ, from one blast of wind,

Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes. The suburb of their straw-built citadel, Anon, out of the earth a fabric huge

New rubb’d with balm, expátiate and confer Rose like an exhalation, with the sound

Their state affairs. So thick the aery croud Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet,

Swarm'd and were straiten’d; till, the signal Built like a temple, where pilasters round

given, Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid

Behold a wonder! They but now who seem'd *With golden architrave ; nor did there want In bigness to surpass Earth's giant sons, - Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven: Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,

Throng numberless, like that pygmean race Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence

Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves, Equall'd in all their glories, to enshrine

Whose midnight revels, by a forest side Belus or Sérapis their guds, or seat

Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove Or dreams he sees, while over-head the Moon In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile Sits arbitress, and nearer to the Earth Stood fix'd her stately heighth : and straight the Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth , doors,

and dance Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide

Intent, with jocund music charm bis ear; Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. And level pavement; from the arched roof Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms[large, Pendeut by subtle magic many a row

Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fod

Thongb without number still, amidst the hall With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light Of that infernal court. But far within, As from a sky. The hasty multitnde

And in their own dimensions, like themselves,
Admiring enter'd ; and the work some praise, The great seraphic lords and cherubim
And some the architect ; his hand was known In close recess and secret conclave sat ;
In Heaven by many a tower'd structure high, A thousand demi-gods on goldeu seats,
Where scepter'd angels held their residence, Frequent and full. After short silence then,
And sat as princes; whom the supreme king And summons read, the great consult began.
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

Prom Heaven, they fabled, thrown by angry

Bheer o'er the crystal battlements : from morn
To noon he fell, from noon to dewy ere,

A summer's day ; and with the setting Sun
Drupt from the zenith like a falling star,

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether On lemnos the Ægean isle: thus they relate, another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery Erring; for he with this rebellious rout

of Heaven : Some advise it, others dissuade : Fell long before ; nor aught avail'd him now

A third proposal is preferred, mentioned be. to have built in Heaven high towers ; nor did fure by Satan, to search the truth of that prohe 'scape

phecy or tradition in Heaven concerning anoBy all his engines, but was headlong sent

ther world, and another kind of creature equal With his industrious crew, to build in Hell.

or not much inferior to thesiselves, about this

time to be created. Their doubt, who shall be More unexpert, I boast not : them let those sent on this difficult search ; Satan their chief Contrive who need, or when they need, not undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and

now, applauded. The council thus ended, the rest For, while they sit contriving, shall the rest, betake them several ways, and to several em- | Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait ployments, as their inclinations lead them, to The signal to ascend, sit lingering here entertain the time till Satan return. He pas Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling place ses on his journey to Hell gates ; finds them | Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, shut, and who sat there to guard them ; by | The prison of his tyranny who reigns whom at length they are opened, and discover By our delay? No, let us rather choose, to him the great gulf between Hell and Hea | Arm'd with Hell flames and fury, all at once, ven; with what difficulty he passes through, O'er Heaven's high towers to force resistless directed by Chaos, the power of that place,

way, to the sight of this new world which he sought. | Turning our tortures into horrid arms

Against the torturer; when to meet the noise High on a throne of royal state, which far

Of his almighty engine he shall hear Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, Infernal thunder; and, for lightning, see Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand Black fire and horrour shot with equal rage Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, Among his angels; and his throne itself Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd

Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur, and strange fire, To that bad eminence : and, from despair His own invented torments. But perhaps Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires

The way seems difficult and steep to scale Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue

With upright wing against a higher foe. Vain war with Heaven, and, by success untaught, Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench His proud imaginations thus display'd.

Of that forgetful lake benumn not still, “Powers and dominions, deities of Heaven; That in our proper motion we ascend For since no deep within her gulf can hold Up to our native seat: descent and fall Immortal vigour, though oppress'd and fall'n, To us is adverse. Who but felt of late, I give not Heaven for lost. From this descent When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear Celestial virtues rising, will appear

Insulting, and pursued us through the deep, More glorious and more dread than from no With what compulsion and laborious flight fall,

| We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy then; And trust themselves to fear no second fate. | The event is feard ; should we again proroke Me though just right, and the fix'd laws of Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may

Did first create your leader; next, free choice, To our destruction ; if there be in Hell
With what besides, in counsel or in fight,

Fear to be worse destroy'd : what can be worse Hath been achiev'd of inerit; yet this loss, Than to dwell hcre, driven out from bliss, COBThus far at least recover'd, hath much more

demn'd Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,

In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
Yielded with full consent. The happier state Where pain of unextinguishable fire
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw Must exercise us without hope of end,
Envy from each inferior; but who here

The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Will envy whom the highest place exposes Inexorably, and the torturing hour,
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim, Calls us to penance? More destroy'd than thos,
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share We should be quite abolish'd, and expire.
Of endless pain? Where there is then nu good | What fear we then ? what doubt we to incense
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag'd,
From faction ; for pone sure will claim in Hell Will either quite consume us, and reduce
Precedence, none whose portion is so small To nothing this essential; happier far
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind

Than miserable to have eternal being: Will covet more. With this advantage then Or, if our substance be indeed divine, To union, and firm faith, and firm accord, And cannot cease to be, we are at worst More than can be in Heaven, we now return On this side nothing; and by proof we feel To claim our just inheritance of old,

Our power sufficient to disturb his Heaven, Surer to prosper than prosperity •

And with perpetual inroads to alarm, Could have assur'd us; and, by what best way, Though inaccessible, his fatal throne: Whether of open war, or covert guile,

Which, if not victory, is yet revenge.We now debate; who can advise, may speak." He ended frowning, and his look denouncd He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd | Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous king,

To less than gods. On th' other side up.rose Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit Belial, in act more graceful and humane: That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair: A fairer person lost not Heaven; he seem'd His trust was with the Eternal to be deem'd For dignity compos'd, and high exploit: Equal in strength; and rather than be less But all was false and hollow; though his tongue Card not to be at all, with that care lost

Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse, The better reason, to perplex and dash He rech'd not; and these words thereafter spake. Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low;

“My sentence is for open war : of wiles, To vicc industrious, but to nobler deeds


Timorons and slothful: yet he pleas'd the ear, Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains;
And with persuasive accent thus began.

There to converse with everlasting gruans,
" I should be much for open war, O peers, Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd,
As pot behind in hate; if what was urg'd

Ages of hopeless end? This would be worse. Main reason to persuade immediate war,

War therefore, open or conceal'd, alike Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast My voice dissuades ; for what can force or guile Ominous conjecture on the whole success; With him, or who deceive his mind, whose eye When he, who most excels in fact of arms,

Vrews all things at one view ? He from Heaven's In what he counsels, and in what exccls,

height Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair All these our motiuns vain sees, and derides; and utter dissolution, as the scope

Not more almighty to resist our might Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. First, what revenge? The towers of Heaven are Shall we then live thas vile, the race of Heaven fill'a

Thus trampled, thus expellid to suffer here With armed watch, that render all access Chains and these torments? better these than impregnable: oft on the bordering deep

Encamp their legions; or, with obscure wing, By my advice; since fate inevitable .
Scout far and wide into the realm of night, Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,
Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way The victor's will. To suffer, as to do,
By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise Our strength is equal, nor the law unjust
With blackest insurrection, to confound

That so ordains: this was at first resolvid,
Hearen's purest light; yet our great enemy, If we were wise, against so great a foe
All incorruptible, would on his throne

Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. Sit unpolluted; and the ethereal mould,

I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold incapable of stain, would soon expel

And venturous, if that fail then, shrink and fear Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire, What yet they know most follow, to endure Victorious. This repuls'd, our final hope Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain, Is flat despair: we must exasperate

The sentence of their conqueror : this is now The almighty victor to spend all his rage,

Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear, , And that must end us; that must be our cure, Our supreme foe in time may much remit To be no more. Sad cure ! for who would lose, | His anger ; and perhaps, thrs far remov'd, Though full of pain, this intellectual being,

Not mind us not offending, satisfied Those thoughts that wander through eternity, With what is punish'd; whence these raging To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost

fires In the wide womb of uncreated night,

Will slacken, if his breath stir not their fiamcs. Devoid of sense and motion ? And who knows, Our purer essence then will overcome Let this b: good, whether our angry foe

Their noxious vapour; or, inur'd, not feel ; Can give it, or will ever? how he can,

Or, chang'd at length, and to the place conI doubtful; that he never will, is sure,

In temper and in nature, will receive [form'd Will he, so wise, let louse at once his ire,

Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain; Pelike through impotence, or unaware,

This horruur will grow mild, this darkness light; To give his enemies their wish, and end

Besides what hope the never-ending Night Them in his anger, whom his anger saves Of future days may bring, what chauce, what To punish endless? Wherefore cease we then ?

change Say they who counsel war, we are decreed, Worth waiting ; since our present lot appears Reserv'd, and destin’d to eternal woe;

For happy though but ill, for ill not worst, Whatever doing, what can we suffer more, If we procure not to ourselves more woe.” What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst, Thus Belial, with words cloth'd in reason's Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?

garb, What, when we fled a main, pursued, and struck Counsell'd ignoble case, and peaceful sloth, With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought | Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spako. The deep to shelter us? this Hell then seem'd | “Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay We war, if war be best, or to regain Chain'd on the burning lake? that sure was Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then worse.

May hope, when everlasting Fate shall yield What if the breath, that kindled those grim To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife : fires,

The former, vain to hope, argues as vain Awak’d, should blow them into sevenfold rage, The latter: for what place can be for us And plunge us in the flames? or, from above, Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's Lord Should intermitted vengeance arm again

supreme His red right hand to plague us? What if all We overpower? Suppose he should relent, Her stores were open'd, and this firmament And publish grace to all, on promise made Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire, Of new subjection ; with what eyes could we Impendent horrours, threatening bideous fall Sand in his presence humble, and receive One day upon our heads; while we perhaps, Strict laws impos'd, to celebrate his throne Designing or exhorting glorious war,

With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing Caught in a fiery tempest shall be hurl'd

Forc'd Hallelujahs; while he lordly sits Fach on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey Our envied sovran, and his altar breathes Of wracking whirlwinds ; or for ever sunk Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers,


Our servile offerings ? This must be our task | Drew audience and attention still as night
In Heaven, this our delight; how wearisome Or summer's noon-tide air, while thus he spake.
Eternity so spent, in worship paid

“ Thrones and imperial powers, offspring of To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue

Heaven, By force impossible, by leare obtain'd

Ethereal virtues; or these titles now Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state Must we renounce, and, changing style, be calld Of splendid vassalage ; but rather seek

Princes of Hell? for so the popular vote Our own good from ourselves, and from our own Iuclines here to continue, and build up here Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess, A growing empire; doubtless; while we dream, Free, and to none accountable, preferring And know not that the King of Heaven bath Hard liberty before the easy yoke

doom'd Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear This place our dungeon; not our safe retreat Then most conspicuous, when great things of Beyond bis potent arm, to live exempt

From Heaven's high jurisdiction, in new league Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse

Banded against his throne, but to remain We can create ; and in what place so e'er In strictest bondage, though thus far remorld Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain, Under the inevitable curb, reservid Through labour and endurance. This deep world His captive multitude: for he, be sure, Of darkness do we dread ? How oft amidst In height or depth, still first and last will reint Thick clonds and dark doth Heaven's all-rul Sole king, and of his kingdom lose no part ing Sire

By our revolt; but over Hell extend Choose to reside, his glory unobscur'd,

His empire, and with iron sceptre rule And with the majesty of darkness round

Us here, as with his golden those in Heaven. Covers his throne; from whence deep thunders What sit we then projecting peace and war? roar

War hath determind us, and foild with loss Mustering their rage, and Heaven resembles Irreparable ; terms of peace yet none Hell?

Vouchsafd or soughts for what peace will be As he our darkness, cannot we his light

given Imitate when we please? This desert soil

To us enslav'd, but custody severe Wants not her bidden lustre, gems and gold ; And stripes, and arbitrary punishment Nor want we skill or art, from whence to raise luflicted ? and what peace can we return, Magnificence; and what can Heaven show more? But to our power hostility and hate, Our torments also may in length of time

Untam'd reluctance, and revenge, though slor, Become our elements; these piercing fires Yet ever plotting how the conqueror least As soft as now severe, our temper chang'd

May reap his conquest, and may least rejoico Into their temper; which must needs remove In doing what we must in suffering feel? The sensible of pain. All things invite

Nor will occasion want, nor shall we need To peaceful counsels, and the settled state With dangerous expedition to invade Of order, how in safety best we may

Heaven, whose high walls fear no assault er Compose our present evils, with regard

siege, Of what we are, and were; dismissing quite Or ambush from the deep. What if we find All thoughts of war. Ye have what I advise.” Some easier enterprise? There is a place, He scarce had finish'd, when such murmur (If ancient and prophetic fame in Heaven fill'd

Err not) another world, the happy seat The assembly, as when hollow rocks retain

Of some new race call'd Man, about this time The sound of blustering winds, which all night. To be created like to us, though less long

In power and excellence, but favour'd more Had rous'd the sea, now with hoarse cadence lull of him who rules abuve; so was his will Sea-faring men o'er-watch'd, whose bark by | Pronounc'd among the gods, and by an oath, Or pinnace anchors in a craggy bay [chance That shook Heaven's whole circumference, cohAfter the tempest: such applause was heard

firm'd. As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleas'd, Thither let us bend all our thonghts, to learn Advising peace: for such another field

What creatures there inbabit, of what mvuld, They dreaded worse than Hell: so much the Or substance, how endued, and what their pos. fear

er, Of thunder and the sword of Michaël

And where their weakness, how attempted bes Wrought still within them, and no less desire By force or subtlety. Though Heaven be shut, To found this nether empire, which might rise And Heaven's high Arbitrator sit secure By policy, and long process of time,

In his own strength, this place may lie expos d. In emulation opposite to Heaven,

The utmost border of his kingdom, left Which when Beëlzebub perceir'd, than whom To their defence who hold it: here perbaps Satan except, none higher sat, with grare

Some adrantageous act may be achiev'd Aspect he rose, and in his rising seem'd

By sudden onset ; either with Hell fire A pillar of state ; deep on bis front engraven To waste bis whole creation, or possess Deliberation sat, and public care;

All as our own, and drive, as we were driven, And princely counsel in his face yet shone, The puny habitants, or, if not drive, Majestic, though in ruin : sage he stood

Seduce them to our party, that their God With Atlantean shoulders fit to bear

May prove their fue, and with repenting hand The weight of mightiest monarchies; his look Abolish his own works. This would surpass

Common revenge, and interrupt his joy

| And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light; In our confusion, and our joy upraise

Our prison strong; this huge convex of fire, In his disturbance; when his darling sons, Outrageous to devour, immures us round Horld headlong to partake with us, shall curse Ninefold; and gates of burning adamant, Their frail original, and faded bliss,

Barr'd over us, prohibit allegress. Paded so soon. Advise, if this be worth

These pass'd, if any pass, the void profound Attempting, or to sit in darkness here

Of unessential Night receives him next Hatching rain empires.” Thus Beëlzebub Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being Pleaded his devilish counsel, first devis'd

Threatens bim, plung'd in that abortive gulf. By Satan, and in part propos'd: for whence, If thence he 'scape into whatever world, But from the author of all ill, could spring Or unknown region, what remains him less So deep a malice, to confound the race

Than unknown dangers, and as hard escape ? Of mankind in one root, and Earth with Hell But I should ill become this throne, O peers, To mingle and involve, done all to spite

And this imperial sovranty, adorn'd The great Creator? But their spite still serves With splendour, arm'd with power, if anght His glory to augment. The bold design

propos'd Pleas'd highly those infernal states, and joy And judg'd of public moment, in the shape . Sparkled in all their eyes; with full assent Of difficulty, or danger, could deter They vote : whereat his speech he thus renews. Me from attempting. Wherefore do I assume

“Well have ye judg'd, well ended long debate, These royalties, and not refuse to reign, Synod of gods, and, like to what ye are,

Refusing to accept as great a share Great things resolvd, which, from the lowest Of hazard as of honour, due alike deep,

To him who reigns, and so much to him due Will once more lift us up, in spite of fate, Of hazard more, as he above the rest Nearer our ancient seat; perhaps in view High honour'd sits ? Go therefore, mighty pow. Of those bright confines, whence, with neighbour

ers, ing arms.

Terrour of Heaven, though fall’n; intend at And opportune excursion, we may chance

home, Re-enter Heaven; or else in some mild zone While here shall be our home, what best may Dwell, not unvisited of Heaven's fair light,

Secure; and at the brightening orient beam The present misery, and render Hell
Purge off this gloom : the soft delicious air, More tolerable; if there be cure or charm
To heal the scar of these corrosive fires,

To respite, or deceive, or slack the pain Shall breathe her balm. But first whom shall we Of this ill mansion : intermit no watch send

Against a wakeful foe, while I abroad In search of this new world? whom shall we find Through all the coasts of dark destruction seek Sufficient? who sball tempt with wandering Deliverance for us all: this enterprise feet

None shall partake with me." Thus saying The dark unbottom'd infinite abyss,

And through the palpab'e obscure find out The monarch, and prevented all reply;
His uncouth way, or spread his aery flight Prudent, lest, from his resolution rais'd,
Upborne with indefatigable wings

Others among the chief might offer now
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive

(Certain to be refus'd) what erst they feard; The happy isle? What strength, what art can | And, so refus'd, might in opinion stand then

His rivais; winning cheap the high repute, Suffice, or what evasion bear him safe

Which he through hazard huge must earn. But Through the strict senteries and stations thick

they Of angels watching round ? Here he had need Dreaded not more the adventure, than his voice All circumspection, and we now no less

Forbidding; and at once with him they rose : Choice in our suffrage; for, on whom we send, Their rising all at once, was as the sound The weight of all and our last hope relies.” Of thunder heard remote. Towards him they 'This said, he sat; and expectation held

bend His look suspense, awaiting who appear'd With awful reverence prone; and as a god To second, or oppose, or undertake

Extol him equal to the Highest in Heaven: The perilous attempt: but all sat mute,

Nor fail'd they to express how much they Pondering the danger with deep thoughts; and

prais'd, each

That for the general safety he despis'd In other's countenance read his own dismay, His own : for neither do the spirits damn'd Astonish'd: none among the choice and prime Lose all their virtue; lest bad men should Of those Heaven-warring champions could be

boast found

Their specious deeds on Earth which glory So hardy, as to proffer or accept,

excites, Alone, the dreadful voyage; till at last

Or close ambition, varnish'd o'er with zeal. Satan, whom now transcendent glory rais'd Thus they their doubtful consultations dark Above his fellows, with monarchal pride,

Ended, rejoicing in their matchless chief: Conscious of highest w.rth, unmov'd thus spake. As when from mountain-tops the desky clouds

"O) progeny of Heaven, empyreal thrones, Ascending, while the north-wind sleeps, o'era With reason hath deep silence and demur

spread Seiz'd us, though undismay'd. Long is the way Heaven's cheerful face, the louring element

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