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On that opprobrious hill; and made his grove
The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna call’d, the type of hell. 405
Next Chemos, th’ obscene dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroer to Nebo, and the wild
Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
The flow'ry dale of Sibma clad with vines, 410
And Eleåle to th’ asphaltic pool.
Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg’d 415
Ev’n to that hill of scandal, by the grove
Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate;
Till good Josiah drove them thence to hell.
With these came they, who, from the bord'ring flood
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts 420
Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names
Of Baúlim and Ashtaroth; those male,
These feminine: for spirits, when they please,
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure; 425
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb, ; :
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose,
Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure,
Can execute their aery purposes, 430
And works of love or enmity fulfil.
For those the race of Israel oft forsook
Their living strength, and unfrequented left
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down
To bestial gods; for which their heads as low 435
Bow’d down in battle, sunk before the spear
Of despicable foes. With these in troop
Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call’d
Astarte, queen of heav'n, with crescent horns;
To whose bright image nightly by the moon 440
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs;
In Sion also not unsung, where stood
Her temple on th' offensive mountain, built
By that uxorious king, whose heart, though large,
Beguil'd by fair idolatresses, fell 445
To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
In amorous ditties all a summer's day;
While smooth Adonis from his native rock 450
Ran purple to the sea, suppos'd with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale
Infected Sion's daughters with like heat;
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch
Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led, 455
His eye survey'd the dark idolatries
Of alienated Judah. Next came one A - \
Who mourn’d in earnest, when the captive ark
Maim'd his brute image, head and hands lopt off
In his own temple, on the grunsel edge,
Where he fell flat, and sham'd his worshippers:
Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man
And downward fish; yet had his temple high
Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast
Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,
And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.
Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat
Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks
Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
He also against the house of God was bold:
A leper once he lost, and gain’d a king;
Ahaz, his sottish conqu'ror, whom he drew
God's altar to disparage and displace
For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
His odious offerings, and adore the gods
Whom he had vanquish'd. After these appear'd
A crew, who, under names of old renown,
Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train,
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd
Fanatic Egypt and her priests, to seek
Their wand'ring gods disguis’d in brutish forms
Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape

Th’ infection, when their borrow'd gold compos'd

The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
Lik'ning his Maker to the grazed ox;
Jehovah, who in one night, when he pass'd
From Egypt marching, equall'd with one stroke
Both her first-born and all her bleating gods.
Belial came last, than whom a spirit more lewd
Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love
Vice for itself: to him no temple stood,
Or altar smok'd ; yet who more oft than he
In temples and at altars, when the priest
Turns atheist, as did Eli's sons, who fill’d
With lust and violence the house of God?
In courts and palaces he also reigns,
And in luxurious cities, where the noise
Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,
And injury and outrage; and when night
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
Expos'd a matron, to avoid worse rape.
These were the prime in order and in might;
The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
Th’ Ionian gods, of Javan's issue held
Gods, yet confess'd later than heav'n and earth,
Their boasted parents: Titan, heav'ns first-born,
With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd
By younger Saturn; he from mightier Jove,

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His own and Rhea's son, like measure found;
So Jove usurping reign'd : these first in Crete
And Ida known, thence on the snowy top 515
Of cold Olympus, rul'd the middle air,
Their highest heav'n; or on the Delphian cliff,
Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old
Fled over Adria to th’ Hesperian fields, 520
And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost isles.
All these and more came flocking; but with looks
Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd
Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their chief
Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost 525
In loss itself, which on his count'nance cast
Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride
Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd
Their fainting courage, and dispell'd their fears. 530
Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound
Of trumpets loud and clarions be uprear'd o
His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd
Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall;
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurl’d 535
Th’ imperial ensign, which, full high advanc'd,
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,
With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz'd,
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds: 540
At which the universal host up—sent -
A shout, that tore hell's concave, and beyond
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
All in a moment through the gloom were seen
Ten thousand banners rise into the air 545
With orient colours waving; with them rose
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
Appear'd and serried shields in thick array
Of depth immeasurable; anon they move
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood 550
Of flutes and soft recorders; such as rais'd
To highth of noblest temper heroes old
Arming to battle; and instead of rage,
Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov’d
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat; 555
Nor wanting pow'r to mitigate and swage
With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase
Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought, 560
Mov’d on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now
Advanc'd in view they stand; a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with order'd spear and shield; 565
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose: he through the armed files

Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views, their order due,
Their visages and stature as of gods; 570
Their number last he sums. And now his heart
Distends with pride, and hard'ning in his strength
Glories: for never since created man
Met such embodied force, as nam'd with these
Could merit more than that small infantry 575
Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood
Of Phlegra with th' heroic race were join'd
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mix'd with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
In fable or romance of Uther's son 580
Begirt with British and Armoric knights;
And all who since, baptiz'd or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore, 585
When Charlemain with all his peerage fell
By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
Their dread commander: he, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent, 590
Stood like a tow’r; his form had yet not lost
All her original brightness; nor appear'd
Less than Arch-angel ruin'd, and th’ excess
Of glory obscur'd as when the sun, new risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air - 595
Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet shone
Above them all the Arch-angel: but his face 600
Deep scars of thunder had intrench'd; and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion, to behold 605
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
(Far other once beheld in bliss), condemn'd
For ever now to have their lot in pain,
Millions of spirits for his fault amerc'd -
Of heav'n, and from eternal splendours flung 610
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory wither'd; as when heaven's fire.
Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines,
With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepard 645
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
With all his peers; attention held them mute.
Thrice he assay’d, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth ; at last 620
Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way.
“O Myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers

Matchless, but with th' Almighty; and that strife
Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change 625
Hateful to utter: but what pow'r of mind,
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth
Of knowledge, past or present, could have fear'd,
How such united force of gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse? 630
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied heav'n, shall fail to reascend
Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat P
For me, be witness all the host of heaven, 635
If counsels different, or dangers shunn’d
By me, have lost our hopes. But he, who reigns
Monarch in heav'n, till then as one secure
Sat on his throne upheld by old repute,
Consent or custom; and his regal state
Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal’d,
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
Henceforth his might we know, and know our own;
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provok'd; our better part remains 645
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not: that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes .
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife 650
There went a fame in heav'n that he ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour equal to the sons of heaven:
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps 655
Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere;
For this infernal pit shall never hold
Celestial spirits in bondage, nor th’ abyss
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature: peace is despair'd; 660
For who can think submission? War then, war,
Open or understood, must be resolv’d.”
He spake; and, to confirm his words, out-flew
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze 665
Far round illumin'd hell; highly they rag’d
Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms
Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war,
Hurling defiance toward the vault of heaven.
There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top 670
Belch'd fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire
Shone with a glossy scurf; undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallic ore,
The work of sulphur. Thither, wing'd with speed,
A numerous brigade hasten’d : as when bands 675
Of pioneers, with spade and pickax arm’d,
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,

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