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Men alfo, and by his fuggeftion taught,

Ranfack'd the center, and with impious hands
Rifled the bowels of their mother earth

For treatures better hid. Soon had his crew
Open'd into the hill a fpacious wound,

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And digg'd out ribs of gold. Led none admire 690
That riches grow in Hell; that foil may best
Deferve the precious bane. And here let those
Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell
Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame, 1695
done
And strength, and art, are easily out-
By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour
What in an age they with inceffant toil
And hands innumerable fcarce perform.
Nigh on the plain in many cells prepar'd,
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluc'd from the lake, a fecond multitude
With wond'rous art founded the maffy ore,
Severing each kind, and fcumm'd the bullion drofs:
A third as foon had form'd within the ground
A various mould, and from the boiling cells

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By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook,

As in an organ from one blaft of wind

To many a row of pipes the found-board breathes. Anon out of the earth a fabric huge

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Rofe like an exhalation, with the found

Of dulcet fymphonies and voices fweet,
Built like a temple, where pilafters round
Were fet, and Doric pillars overlaid
With golden architrave; nor did there want
Cornice or freeze, with boffy fculptures graven;
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,

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Nor

Nor great Alcairo such magnificence
Equal'd in all their glories, to inshrine
Belus or Serapis their Gods, or feat

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Their kings, when Egypt with Affyria strove

In wealth and luxury. Th' afcending pile

Stood fix'd her ftately highth, and ftrait the doors

Opening their brazen folds discover wide

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Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth And level pavement: from the arched roof Pendent by fubtle magic many a row Of ftarry lamps and blazing creffets fed With Naphtha and Asphaltus yielded light As from a fky. The hafty multitude Admiring enter'd, and the work fome praise, And fome the architect: his hand was known In Heav'n by many a tow'red ftructure high, Where fcepter'd Angels held their refidence, And fat as princes, whom the fupreme King 735 Exalted to fuch pow'r, and gave to rule, *Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright. Nor was his name unheard or unador'd

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In ancient Greece; and in Aufonian 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 fummer's day; and with the setting fun
Dropt from the zenith like a falling ftar,
On Lemnos the' 'gean ile: thus they relate,

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Erring; for he with this rebellious rout

Fell long before; nor ought avail'd him now

T'have built in Heav'n high tow'rs; nor did he 'scape By all his engins, but was headlong fent

VOL. I.

750

With

With his induftrious crew to build in Hell.

'Mean while the winged heralds by cominand Of fovran pow'r, with awful ceremony

And trumpet's found, throughout the hoft proclame A folemn council forthwith to be held

At Pandemonium, the high capital

Of Satan and his peers: their summons call'd
From every band and fquared regiment

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By place or choice the worthieft; they anon
With hundreds and with thousands trooping came 760
Attended: all accefs was throng'd, the gates
And porches wide, but chief the fpacious hall
(Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold
Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldan's chair
Defy'd the best of Panim chivalry

To mortal combat, or career with lance)

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Thick fwarin'd, both on the ground and in the air
Brufh'd with the hifs of rufling wings. As bees
In fpring time, when the fun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth their populous youth about the hive 770
In clufters; they among fresh dews and flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the finoothed plank,
The fuburb of their ftraw-built citadel,
New rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confer
Their ftate affairs. So thick the aery croud
Swarm'd and were traiten'd; till, the fignal given,
Behold a wonder! they but now who feem'd
In bigness to furpass earth's giant fons,

Now less than fmalleft dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberleis, like that pygmean race
Beyond the Indian mount, or faery elves,
Whole midnight revels by a foreft fide
Or fountain fome belated peafant fees,

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Or dreams he fees, while over-head the moon

Sits arbitrefs, and nearer to the earth

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Wheels her pale course, they on their mirth and dance

Intent, with jocund inufic charm his ear;

At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal Spirits to finallest forms
Reduc'd their shapes immenfe, and were at large, 790
Though without number ftill amidft the hall
Of that infernal court. But far within,
And in their own dimenfions like themselves,
The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubin
In clofe recefs and fecret conclave fat
A thousand Demi-gods on golden feats,
Frequent and full. After fhort filence then
And fummous read, the great confult began.

795

THE END OF THE FIRST BOOK,

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