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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
From heav'n 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
Dropt from the Zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos th' Ægean isle; 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 towers; nor did he 'scape
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 Pandæmonium, the high capital
Of Satan and his peers: their summons callid
From every band and squarèd regiment
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
With hundreds and with thousanı ls trooping carno
Attended : all access was throng'd, the gates
And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall,
Though like a cover'd field, where champions bola
Wont ride in arm, 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 their populous youth about the hive
In clusters; they among fresh dews and fuwers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothèd plank,
The suburb of their straw-built citadel,

i Vulcan. See Homer, “Iliad," 1-590.

H

New rubb'd with balm, expatiate, and confer
Their state affairs : So thick the aery crowd
Swarm’d and were straiten'd; till, the signal giving
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 reve's, 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
Whce's her pale course; they, on their mirth and âance
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 largo
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 clos2 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.

1 Spectatress.-HOR, Bp. V. 40

1

BOOK II.

THE ARGUMENT.

The consultation begun, Satan debatos whether another battle be to be bazarded 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 another world, and another kind of creature, equul, or not much inferior, w themselves, about this time to be created : their doubt who Bball be sent on this difficult search : Satan their chief undertakes alone the voyage, is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. Ho passes on bis journey to beli 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 bo sought.

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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
Show'rs on her kings Barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
To that bad eminence; and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with heav'n, and by success untaught
His proud imaginations thus display'a.

Powers and Dominions, Deities of heav'n,"
For since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigor, though oppress'd and fall'n,
I give not heav'n for lost: from this descent
Celestial virtues rising will appear
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 heav'n
Did first create your leader, next free choice,
With what besides, in council or in fight,
Hath been achieved of merit; yet this jngs,

1 In the Persian Gulf.

? It was the Eastern custom for the princes of the blood royal and tbe cmirs to sprinkle gold dust and seed pearl on

the head of the monarch at his coronation. See (Vie de Tamerlane” (trang. lated by M. Petit de la Croix), B. II. c. La

3 Colos. i. 16.

Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more
Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw
Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thund'rer's aim
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good
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
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in heav'n, 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, scepter'd king,
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit
That fought in heav'n, now fiercer by despair:
His trust was with th' 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 :

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: For while they sit contriving, shall the rest, Millions that stand in arms and longing wait The signal to ascend, sit ling'ring here Heav'n's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place Accept this dark, opprobrious den of shame, The prison of his tyranny who reigns By our delay ? no, let us rather choose, Arm'd with hell flames and fury, all at once

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O'er hear'n's high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer; when to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine he shall hear
Infernal thunder, and for lightning see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his angels; and his throne itself
Mixt with Tartarean sulphur and strange fira
His own invented torments. But perhaps
The way seems difficult and steep to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe.
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our proper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight
We sunk thus low? th' ascent is easy then;
Th' event is fear'd; should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction: if there be in hell
Fear to be worse destroy'd : what can be worse
Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd
In this abhorrèd deep to utter woe;
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end,
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorably, and the torturing hour
Calls us to penance ? more destroy'd than thus
We should be quite abolish'd and expire.
What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the highth enraged,
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential; happier far,
Than miserable to have eternal being.
Or if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst
On this side nothing; and by proof we feel

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