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To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes
Anon, out of the earth a fabric huge
Rose like an exhalation, with the sound
Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet,
Built like a temple, where pilasters round
Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid

With golden architrave; nor did there want
Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven.
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equalled in all their glories, to enshrine
Belus or Serapis, their gods, or seat

Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile
Stood fixed her stately height and straight the
Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide [doors,
Within, her ample spaces, over the smooth
And level pavement; from the arched roof
Pendant by subtle magic, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed
With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky, The hasty multitude
Admiring entered and the work some praise,
And some the architect: his hand was known
In heaven by many a towered structure high,
Where scepter'd angels held their residence,
And sat as princes; whom the supreme King
Exalted to such power, and gave ta rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright
Nor was his name unheard or unadored
In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
Men called him Mulciber; and how he fell
From heaven, the fabled, thrown by angry Jon.
Sheer over 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 the Egean isle: thus they relate,
Erding ; for he with this rebellious rout

Felg before; nor aught availed him now
To have built in heaven high towers; nor did he
By all his engines, but was headlong sent ['scape
With his industrious crew to build in hell.

Meanwhile, the winged heralds, by command Of sovran power, with awful ceremony

And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council, forthwith to be held
At Pandemonium, the high capital

Of Satan and his peers: their summons called
From every hand and squared regiment

By place or choice the worthiest; they anon,
With hundreds and with thousands, trooping came,
Attended: all access was thronged; the gates
And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall
(Though like a covered field, where champions bold
Wont ride in armed, and at the soldan's chair
Defied the best of Panim chivalry

To mortal combat, or career with lance)
Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air
Brushed 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 flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The suburb of their straw-built citadel,
New rubbed with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs: so thick the aëry crowd
Swarmed and were straitened; till, the signal given,
Behold a wonder! They but now who seemed
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 faëry elves,
Whose midnight revels, 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 [dance
Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth and

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 larg
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 ;
A thousand demigods on golden seats
Frequent and full. After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consuls began.



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, men tioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in heaven concerning another 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 them several ways, and to several employ. ments, 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,
Dr where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Showers 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 Heaven; and, by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus displayed:

"Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven! For since no deep within her gulf can hold Immortal vigour, though oppressed and fallen, I give not heaven 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 tough just right, and the fixed laws of heaven

Did first create your leader; next, free choice,
With what besides, in council or in fight,
Hath been achieved of merit; yet this loss,
Thus far at least recovered, hath much more
Established in a safe unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent.

The happier state
In heaven, which follows dignity, might draw
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
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 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."
Heceased; and next him Moloch, sceptered king
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit
That fought in heaven, now fieroer by despair:
His trust was with the Eternal to be deemed
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 recked 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 lingering here
Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place

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