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And dig'd out ribs of gold. (Let none admire 690
That riches grow in hell; that foil may best
Deserve 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, 695
And strength, and art, are easily out-done
By spirits reprobate, and in an hour,
What in an age they with incessant toil,
And hands innumerable, scarce perform.
Nigh on the plain in many cells prepar’d, 700
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluc'd from the lake, a second multitude
With wondrous art found out the maffy ore;
Severing each kind, and scumm'd the bullion dross:
A third as soon had form’d within the ground 705
A various mold; and from the boiling cells
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 breaths.
Anon out of the earth a fabric huge

Rofe like an exhalation, with the found
Of dulcet symphonies, and voices fweet;
Built like a temple, where pilasters round
Were set, and Doric pillars, overlaid
With golden architrave: nor did there want 715
Cornice, or freeze, with bossy sculptures grav'n;
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equall'd in all their glories, to inshrine

Belus, or Serapis, their Gods; or seat

720 Their Kings, when Ægypt with Alyria strove In wealth and luxury. Th’ascending pile Stood fixt her stately height: and strait the door3 . Op'ning their brazen folds, discover wide Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth

725 And level pavement: from the arched roof, Pendent by subtle magic, many a row Of starry lamps, and blazing cressets, fed With Naphtha and Aspbaltus, yielded light As from a sky. The hasty


730 Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise, And fome the architect: his hand was known In heav'n by many a towred structure high, Where fceptred angels held their residence, And sat as Princes; whom the supreme King 735 Exalted to such pow'r, 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

740' From heav'n they fabled, thrown by angry yove Sheer o'er the chryftal battlements; from morn To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, A summer's day; and with the setting fun Drop'd from the Zenith like a falling star, 745 On Lemnos th'Ægean isle: thus they relate, 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 sent

750 With his industrious crew to build in hell.

Mean while the winged heralds by command Of fov'reign pow'r, with awful ceremony And trumpets sound, throughout the host proclaim A solemn council forthwith to be held

755 At Pandæmonium, the high Capital Of Satan and his Peers: their summons callid, From every band and squared regiment, By place or choice the worthiest, they anon With hundreds, and with thousands, trooping came Attended : all access was throng'd, the gates 761 And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall (Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldan's Chair Defi'd the best of Panim chivalry

765 To mortal combat, or carriere with lance) Thick swarm’d, both on the ground, and in the air, Brush'd with the hiss of rusing wings. As bees In spring time, when the sun with Taurus rides, Pour forth their populous youth about the hive 770 In clusters; they among fresh dews, and flowr's, Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank, (The suburb of their straw-built cittadel,) New rub'd with baulm, expatiate, and confer Their state-affairs: so thick the aery crowd 775 Swarm’d, and were ftreighten'd; till the signal giv'n: Behold a wonder! they but now who seem'd In Bigness to surpass Earth's Giant fons, Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room

Throng numberless, like that Pygmean race 780
Beyond the Indian mount; or Fairy Elves;
Whose midnight revels, by a forest fide,
Or fountain some belated peasant sees,
Or dreams he fees ; while over-head the moon
Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth

Wheels her pale course; they on their mirth and dance
Intent, with jocund music charm his ear:
At once with joy, and fear, his heart rebounds.
Thus incorporeal fpirits to smallest forms
Reduc'd their shapes immense; and were at large, 790
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 fat; 795
A thousand Demi-Gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full! After Mort filence then,
And fummons read, the great consult began.

The end of the first Book.



The ARGUMENT. The consultation begun, Satan debates whe

ther another baitel be to be hazarded for the recovery of heaven: fome advise it, others disuade. A third proposal is prefer'd, - mentioned 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 honor'd and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them


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