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To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, Th’ Ionian gods of Javan's issue held
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd

Gods, yet confessed later than Heaven and Earth,
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

Their boasted parents: Titan, Heav'n's first-born, In amorous ditties all a summer's day;

With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd While smooth Adonis from his native rock

By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood

His own and Rhea's son like measure found; Of Thammuz yearly wounded; the love-tale So Jove usurping reigu’d: these first in Crete Infected Sion's daughters with like heat,

Aud Ida known, thence on the snowy top Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch

Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle air, Ezekiel saw, when by the vision led

Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff, His eye survey'd the dark idolatries

Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds Of alienated Judah. Next came one

Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old Who mourned in earnest, when the captive ark Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian fields, Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt off And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles. In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,

All these and more came flocking; but with looks Where he fell flat, and sham’d his worshippers: Downcast and dampt, yet such wherein appear'd Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man

Obscure some glimpse of joy, to havefound their chief And downward fish: yet had his temple high Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast

In loss itself; which on his countenance cast Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,

Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.

Soon recollecting, with high words that bore Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks

Their fainting courage, and dispell’d their fears. Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.

Then strait commands, that at the warlike sound He also against the house of God was bold:

Of trumpets loud and clarious be uprear'd A leper once he lost, and gain'd a king,

His mighty standard ; that proud honour claim'd Ahaz his sottish conqu’ror, whom he drew

Azazel as his right, a cherub tall; God's altar to disparage and displace

Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl'd For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn

Th’imperial ensign, which full high advanc'd His odious offerings, and adore the Gods

Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, Whom he had vanquish’d. After these appear'd With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz’d, A crew, who, under names of old renown,

Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,

Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds: With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd

At which the universal host up sent Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek

A shout that tore Hell's concave, and beyond
Their wand'ring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape

All in a moment through the gloom were seen
Th’infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd Ten thousand banners rise into the air
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king

With orient colours waving: with them rose
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,

A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms Likening his Maker to the grazed ox,

Appear’d, and serried shields in thick array Jehovah, who in one night when he passid

Of depth immeasurable: anon they move From Egypt marching, equall’d with one stroke In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood Both her first-born and all her bleating Gods. Of Alutes and soft recorders: such as rais'd Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd To height of noblest temper heroes old Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love

Arming to battle; and instead of rage Vice for itself: to him no temple stood

Deliberate valour breath’d, firm and unmov'd Or altar smok’d; yet who more oft than he

With dread of death to flight or foul retreat; In temples and at altars, when the priest

Nor wanting pow'r to mitigate and swage Turns Atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill'd

With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase With lust and violence the house of God?

Anguish and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain, In courts and palaces he also reigns,

From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they, And in luxurious cities, where the noise

Breathing united force, with fixed thought Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,

· Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes that charm'd And injury and outrage: and when night

Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons Advanc'd in view, they stand, a horrid front
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.

Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield,
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door

Awaiting what command their mighty chief Expos'd a matron to avoid worse rape.

Had to impose; he through the armed files These were the prime in order and in might; Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd, The whole battalion views, their order due,

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Their visages and stature, as of Gods ;

That all these puissant legions, whose exile Their number last he sums. And now his heart Hath emptied Heav'n, shall fail to re-ascend, Distends with pride, and hard’ning in his strength Self-raised, and repossess their native seat? Glories: for never since created man

For me be witness all the host of Heaven, Met such embodied force, as nam'd with these If counsels different, or danger shunnid Could merit more than that small infantry

By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side Consent or custom, and his regal state Mix'd with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds, Put forth at full; but still his strength conceal'd, In fable or romance of Uther's son,

Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. Begirt with British and Armoric knights;

Henceforth his might we know, and know our own, And all who since, baptiz'd or infidel,

So as not either to provoke, or dread Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,

New war, provok'd; our better part remains Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,

To work in close design, by fraud or guile, Or whom Biserta sent from Afric's shore,

What force effected not; that he no less When Charlemain, with all his peerage, fell At length from us may find, who overcomes By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond

By force, hath overcome but half his foe. Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd

Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife Their dread commander: he above the rest There went a fame in Heav'n, that he ere long In shape and gesture proudly eminent,

Intended to create, and therein plant
Stood like a tower; his form had not yet lost A generation, whom his choice regard
All her original brightness, nor appear’d

Should favour equal to the sons of Heav'n:
Less than Arch-angel ruin'd, and th’excess Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
Of glory obscur’d; as when the sun new risen Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
Looks through the horizontal misty air

For this infernal pit shall never hold
Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon Celestial spirits in bondage, nor th' abyss
In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds

Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts On half the nations, and with fear of change Full council must mature: peace is despair'd, Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet shone For who can think submission ? War then, war, Above them all th' Arch-angel; but his face Open or understood, must be resolv'd. Deep scars of thunder had entrench'd, and care He spake: and to confirm his words, out flew Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows

Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride

Of mighty cherubim; the sudden blaze Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast

Far round illumin’d Hell: highly they rag'd Signs of remorse and passion to behold

Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms The fellows of his crime, the followers rather Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war, (Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn’d

Hurling defiance tow'rd the vault of Heav'n. For ever now to have their lot in pain,

There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top Millions of spirits for his fault amerc'd

Belch'd fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire Of Heav'n, and from eternal splendours flung Shone with a glossy scurf, undoubted sign For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,

That in his womb was hid metallic ore, Their glory wither’d: as when Heaven's fire The work of sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines, A numerous brigade hasten'd: as when bands With singed top their stately growth, though bare, of pioneers, with spade and pick-axe armid, Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepar'd Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field, To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on, From wing to wing, and half inclose him round Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell (thoughts With all his peers: attention held them mute. From Heav'n, for ev'n in Heav'n his looks and Thrice he essay'd, and thrice in spite of scorn, Were always downward bent, admiring more Tears such as angels weep, burst forth : at last The riches of Heav'n's pavement, trodden gold, Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way. Than aught divine, or holy else enjoy'd O myriads of immortal spirits! O powers

In vision beatific: by him first Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife Men also, and by his suggestion taught, Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire, Ransack'd the centre, and with impious hands As this place testifies, and this dire change,

Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth Hateful to utter : but what pow'r of mind

For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth

Open'd into the hill a spacious wound, Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd, And digg'd out ribs of gold. . Let none admire How such united force of Gods, how such

That riches grow in Hell; that soil may best As stood like these, could ever know repulse ? Deserve the precious bane. And here let those For who can yet believe, though after loss,

Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell

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Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings, At Pandemonium, the high capital
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame Of Satan and his peers: their summons call'd
And strength and art are easily out-done

From every band and squared regiment
By spirits reprobate, and in an hour

By place or choice the worthiest ; they anon What in an age they with incessant toil,

With hundreds and with thousands trooping came And hands innumerable scarce perform.

Attended : all access was throng'd, the gates, Nigh on the plain in many cells prepar'd,

And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall That underneath had veins of liquid fire

(Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold Sluic'd from the lake, a second multitude

Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldan's chair With wondrous art founded the massy ore,

Defy'd the best of Pánim chivalry Sev'ring each kind, and scumm’d the bullion dross; To mortal combat, or career with lance) A third as soon had form’d within the ground Thick swarm’d, both on the ground and in the air, A various mould, and from the boiling cells, Brush'd with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees By strange conveyance, fill'd each hollow nook, In spring-time, when the sun with Taurus rides, As in an organ from one blast of wind

Pour forth their populous youth about the hive To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes.

In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers Anon out of the earth a fabric huge

Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, Rose like an exhalation, with the sound

The suburb of their straw-built citadel, Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet,

New rubb'd with balm, expatiate and conser Built like a temple, where pilasters round

Their state affairs. So thick the airy crowd Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid

Swarm'd and were straiten'd; till the signal given, With golden architrave; nor did there want Behold a wonder! they but now who seem'd Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven; In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons, The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,

Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room Nor great Alcairo such magnificence

Throng numberless, like that Pygmean race Equall'd in all their glories, to enshrine

Beyond the Indian mount, or fairy elves, Belus or Serapis their Gods, or seat

Whose midnight revels by a forest side Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove Or fountain some belated peasant sees, In wealth and luxury. Th' ascending pile

Or dreams he sees, while over-head the moon Stood fix'd her stately height, and straight the doors Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth [dance Opening their brazen folds, discover wide

Wheels her pale course ; they on their mirth and Within her ample spaces o'er the smooth

Intent, with jocund music charm his ear; And level pavement: from the arched roof

At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. Pendent by subtle magic, many a row

Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed

Reduc'd their shapes immense, and were at large, With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light Though without number still amidst the hall As from a sky. The hasty multitude

Of that infernal court. But far within, Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise, And in their own dimensions like themselves, And some the Architect: his hand was known

The great seraphic lords and cherubim
In Heav'n by many a towered structure high, In close recess and secret conclave sat,
Where scepter'd angels held their residence, A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,
And sat as princes, whom the supreme King Frequent and full. After short silence then,
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,

And summons read, the great consult began.
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

High on a throne of royal state, which far
From Heav'n they fabled, thrown by angry Jove Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Sheer o'er the crystal battlements: from morn

Or where the gorgeous east with richest hand To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,

Show'rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, A summer's day; and with the setting sun

Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd Dropt from the zenith, like a falling star,

To that bad eminence; and from despair On Lemnos th' Ægean isle: thus they relate, Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires Erring ; for he with this rebellious rout

Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue Fell long before; nor ought avail'd him now Vain war with Heav'n, and, by success untaught, T have built in Heav'n high tow'rs; nor did he His proud imaginations thus display'd. By all his engines, but was headlong sent, ['scape Pow'rs and dominions, deities of Heav'n, With his industrious crew, to build in Hell.

For since no deep within her gulph can hold Meanwhile the winged heralds by command Immortal vigour, though oppress’d and fall'n, Of sov'reign pow'r, with awful ceremony

I give not Heav'n for lost. From this descent And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim Celestial virtues rising, will appear A solemn council forth with to be held

More glorious and more dread than from no fall,

BOOK II.

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And trust themselves to fear no second fate. Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
Me though just right and the fix'd laws of Heav'n With what compulsion and laborious flight,
Did first create your leader, next free choice, We sunk thus low? Th’ ascent is easy then;
With what besides, in counsel or in fight,

Th’event is fear’d; should we again provoke Hath been achiev'd of merit, yet this loss,

Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more To our destruction ; if there be in Hell Establish'd in a safe unenvied throne,

Fear to be worse destroy'd: what can be worse Yielded with full consent. The happier state Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd In Heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw In this abhorred deep to utter woe: Envy from each inferior; but who here

Where pain of unextinguishable fire Will envy whom the highest place exposes

Must exercise us, without hope of end,
Foremost to stand against the thund'rer’s aim, The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share Inexorably, and the torturing hour
Of endless pain ? where there is then no good Calls us to penance ? More destroy'd than thus,
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there We should be quite abolish’d, and expire.
From faction; for none sure will claim in Hell What fear we then? what doubt we to incense
Precedence; none whose portion is so small His utmost ire? which, to the height enrag'd,
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind

Will either quite consume us, and reduce
Will covet more. With this advantage then To nothing this essential, happier far
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,

Than miserable to have eternal being;
More than can be in Heaven, we now return Or if our substance be indeed divine,
To claim our just inheritance of old,

And cannot cease to be, we are at worst Surer to prosper than prosperity

On this side nothing; and by proof we feel Could have assur'd us; and by what best way, Our pow'r sufficient to disturb his Heav'n, Whether of open war or covert guile,

And with perpetual inroads to alarm, We now debate; who can advise may speak. Though inaccessible, his fatal throne:

He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king, Which, if not victory, is yet revenge. Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit

He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair: Desp’rate revenge, and battle dangerous His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd

To less than Gods. On th' other side up rose Equal in strength, and rather than be less

Belial, in act more graceful and humane ; Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost

A fairer person lost not heav'n; he seem'd Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or worse

For dignity compos'd, and high exploit: He reck'd not, and these words thereafter spake. But all was false and hollow; though his tongue My sentence is for open war: of wiles,

Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear More unexpert, I boast not: them let those

The better reason, to perplex and dash Contrive who need, or when they need, not now. Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low, For while they sit contriving, shall the rest, To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait Timorous and slothful: yet he pleas'd the ear, The signal to ascend, sit ling'ring here

And with persuasive accent thus began: Heav'n's fugitives, and for their dwelling place

I should be much for open war, O Peers, Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd The prison of his tyranny who reigns

Main reason to persuade immediate war, By our delay! No, let us rather choose,

Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast Arm'd with Hell-flames and fury, all at once Ominous conjecture on the whole success : Oʻer Heav'n's high tow'rs to force resistless way, When he who most excels in fact of arms, Turning our tortures into horrid arms

In what he counsels, and in what excels Against the torturer; when to meet the noise Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair, Of his almighty engine he shall hear

And utter dissolution, as the scope Infernal thunder, and for lightning see

Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. Black fire and horror shot with equal rage

First, what revenge? the towers of Heav'n are fill'd Among his angels, and his throne itself

With armed watch, that render all access Mix'd with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire, Impregnable ; oft on the bord’ring deep His own invented torments. But, perhaps,

Encamp their legions, or with obscure wing The way seems difficult and steep to scale

Scout far and wide into the realm of night, With upright wing against a higher foe.

Scorning surprise. Or could we break our way Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench

By force, and at our heels all Hell should rise Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,

With blackest insurrection, to confound That in our proper motion we ascend

Heav'n's purest light, yet our great enemy, Up to our native seat: descent and fall

All incorruptible, would on his throne To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,

Sit unpolluted, and th'ethereal mould When the fierce foe hang on our broken rear, Incapable of stain, would soon expel

Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,
Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope
Is flat despair: we must exasperate
Th' Almighty Victor to spend all his rage,
And that must end us; that must be our cure,
To be no more; sad cure! for who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity,
To perish rather, swallow'd up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Devoid of sense and motion? and who knows,
Let this be good, whether our angry foe
Can give it, or will ever? how he can,
Is doubtful; that he never will, is sure.
Will he, so wise, let loose at once his ire,
Belike through impotence, or unaware,
To give his enemies their wish, and end
Them in his anger, whom his anger saves
To punish endless? Wherefore cease we then?
Say they who counsel war, we are decreed,
Reserv'd, and destin'd to eternal woe;
Whatever doing, what can we suffer more,
What can we suffer worse? Is this then worst,
Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms?
What, when we fled amain, pursu'd and struck
With Heav'n's afflicting thunder, and besought
The deep to shelter us? this Hell then seem'd
A refuge from those wounds: or when we lay
Chain'd on the burning lake? that sure was worse.
What, if the breath that kindled those grim fires,
Awak'd, should blow them into seven-fold rage,
And plunge us in the flames? or from above,
Should intermitted vengeance arm again
His red right hand to plague us? what, if all
Her stores were open'd, and this firmament
Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire,
Impendent horrors, threat'ning hideous fall
One day upon our heads; while we, perhaps,
Designing or exhorting glorious war,
Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurl'd
Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey
Of wracking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains;
There to converse with everlasting groans,
Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd,

Ages of hopeless end? this would be worse.
War, therefore, open or conceal'd, alike
My voice dissuades; for what can force or guile
With him, or who deceive his mind, whose
eye
Views all things at one view? he from Heav'n's
All these our motions vain sees and derides; [height
Not more almighty to resist our might,
Than wise to frustrate all our plots and wiles.
Shall we then live thus vile, the race of Heaven,
Thus trampled, thus expell'd to suffer here
Chains and these torments? better these than worse
By my advice; since fate inevitable
Subdues us, and omnipotent decree,
The victor's will. To suffer, as to do,
Our strength is equal, nor the law unjust
That so ordains: this was at first resolv'd,
If we were wise, against so great a foe

Contending, and so doubtful what might fall.
I laugh, when those who at the spear are bold
And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear
What yet they know must follow, to endure
Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain,
The sentence of their conqueror: this is now
Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear,
Our supreme foe in time may much remit
His anger, and perhaps thus far remov’d,
Not mind us not offending, satisfy'd

With what is punish'd; whence these raging fires
Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Our purer essence then will overcome
Their noxious vapour, or inur'd not feel,
Or chang'd at length, and to the place conform'd
In temper and in nature, will receive
Familiar the fierce heat, and void of pain;
This horror will grow mild, this darkness light,
Besides what hope the never-ending flight [change
Of future days may bring, what chance, what
Worth waiting, since our present lot appears
For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,
If we procure not to ourselves more woe.

[garb, Thus Belial, with words cloth'd in reason's Counsel'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloth, Not peace and after him thus Mammon spake:

Either to disenthrone the King of Heaven
We war, if war be best, or to regain
Our own right lost: him to unthrone we then
May hope, when everlasting fate shall yield
To fickle chance, and Chaos judge the strife:
The former vain to hope, argues as vain
The latter: for what place can be for us
Within Heav'n's bound, unless Heav'n's Lord su-
We overpow'r? Suppose he should relent, [preme
And publish grace to all, on promise made
Of new subjection; with what eyes could we
Stand in his presence humble, and receive
Strict laws impos'd to celebrate his throne
With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead sing
Fore'd hallelujahs; while he lordly sits
Our envied Sov'reign, and his altar breathes
Ambrosial odors and ambrosial flowers,
Our servile offerings? This must be our task
In Heav'n, this our delight; how wearisome
Eternity so spent in worship paid
To whom we hate! Let us not then pursue
By force impossible, by leave obtain❜d
Unacceptable, though in Heav'n, our state
Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek

Our own good from ourselves, and from our own,
Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,
Free, and to none accountable, preferring
Hard liberty before the easy yoke

Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear
Then most conspicuous, when great things of small,
Useful of hurtful, prosp'rous of adverse

We can create, and in what place soe'er
Thrive under evil, and work ease out of pain,
Through labour and endurance. This deep world
Of darkness do we dread? How oft amidst [sire
Thick clouds and dark doth Heav'n's all-ruling

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