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Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on :
Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell
From heav'n ; for e'en in heav'n his looks and thoughts 680
Were always downward bent, admiring more
The riches of heav'n's pavement, trodden gold,
Than aught, divine or holy, else enjoy'd
In vision beatific: by him first
Men also, and by his suggestion taught, 685
Ransack'd the center, and with impious hands
Rifled the bowels of their mother earth
For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew
Open'd into the hill a spacious wound,
And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire 690
That riches grow in hell; that soil 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 outdone
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
Sluic'd from the lake, a second multitude
With wondrous art founded the massy ore,
Severing each kind, and scumm'd the bullion dross:
A third as soon had for’md within the ground 705
A various mould, and from the boiling cells,
By strange conveyance, fill'd each hollow nook;
As in an organ, from one blast of wind,
To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes.
Anon, out of the earth a fabric huge 710
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 715
Cornice or freeze, with bossy sculptures graven:
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equall'd in all their glories, to enshrine
Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat 720
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile
Stood fix’d her stately highth: and straight the doors
Opening 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 asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky. The hasty multitude 730
Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise,
And some the architect: his hand was known

In heav'n by many a tower'd structure high,
Where scepter'd angels held their residence,
And sat as princes; whom the sūpreme 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 Jove
Sheer o'er 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, 745
On Lemnos th’ Aegean isle: thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now
To have built in heav'n high tow’rs; nor did he 'scape
By all his engines, but was headlong sent 750
With his industrious crew to build in hell.
Meanwhile, the winged heralds, by command
Of sovran pow'r, with awful ceremony
And trumpet’s sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council, forthwith to be held 755
At Pandemonium, the high capital
Of Satan and his peers: their summons call’d
From every band and squared regiment
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon,
With hundreds and with thousands, trooping came, 760
Attended: all access was throng'd : the gates
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
Defied the best of panim chivalry 765
To mortal combat, or career with lance),
Thick swarm’d, both on the ground and in the air
Brush'd 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 770
In clusters; they among fresh dews and slowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The suburb of their straw-built citadel,
New rubb’d with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs; so thick the aery crowd 775
Swarm'd and were straiten’d; till, the signal given,
Behold a wonder! They but now who seem'd
In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons,
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless, like that pygmean race 780
Beyond the Indian mount; or faery 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 785
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 spirits 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 sat, 795
A thousand demigods on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consult began.

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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, mentioned before by Satan, to search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in heaven concerning another world, and dinother 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 severals ways, and to several |#"; 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 §§ he passes through; directed by, Qhaps, the fo of that place, to the sight 0 this new world" which he 80tught.

HIGH on a throne of royal state, which far
Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
Show’rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd . 5
To that bad eminence: and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with heav'n; and, by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus display'd : 10
“Pow’rs and dominions, deities of heaven;
For since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigour, though oppress'd and fall'n,
I give not heav’n for lost. From this descent
Celestial virtues rising, will-appear 15
More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate.
Me though just right, and the fix’d laws of heaven,
Did first create your leader; next, free choice,

With what besides, in council or in fight, 20
Hath been achiev'd of merit; yet this loss,
Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more
Establish’d in a safe unenvied throne,
Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw 25
Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thund’rer's aim,
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good 30
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction; for none sure will claim in hell
Precédence, none whose portion is so small
Of present pain, that with ambitious mind
Will covet more. With this advantage then 35
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in heav'n, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity
Could have assur'd us; and, by what best way, 40
Whether of open war, or covert guile,
We now debate: who can advise, may speak.”

He ceas'd; and next him Moloch, scepter'd king,
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit
That fought in heav'n, now fiercer by despair: 45
His trust was with th’ Eternal to be deem'd
Equal in strength; and rather than be less
Car'd not to be at all; with that care lost
Went all his fear; of God, or hell, or worse,
He reck'd not; and these words thereafter spake: 50

“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 55 The signal to ascend, sit ling'ring here Heav'n's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place Accept this dark, opprobrious den of shame, The prison of his tyranny who reigns By our delay ? No, let us rather choose, 60 Arm'd with hell flames and fury, all at once, O'er heav'n's high tow’rs to force resistless way, Turning our tortures into horrid arms Against the torturer; when to meet the noise Of his almighty engine he shall hear 65 Infernal thunder; and, for lightning, see Black fire and horror shot with equal rage Among his angels; and his throne itself Mix’d with Tartarean sulphur, and strange fire, His own invented torments. But perhaps 70 The way seems difficult and steep to scale With upright wing against a higher foe. Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,

That in our proper motion we ascend 75
Up to our native seat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late,
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious flight 80
We sunk thus low? Th' ascent is easy then;
Th’ event is fear'd; should we again provoke
Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may find
To our destruction; if there be in hell
Fear to be worse destroy'd : what can be worse 85
Than to dwell here, driv'n out from bliss, condemn'd
In this abhorred deep to utter woe;
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end,
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge 90
Inexorable, and the torturing hour,
Calls us to penance? More destroy'd than thus,
We should be quite abolish'd, and expire.
What fear we then P what doubt we to incense
His utmost ire? which, to the highth enrag’d, 95
Will either quite consume us, and reduce
To nothing this essential; happier far
Than miserable to have eternal being:
Or, if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are at worst 100
On this side nothing ; and by proof we feel
Our pow'r sufficient to disturb his heaven,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne:
Which, if not victory, is yet revenge.” 105
He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd
Desp'rate revenge, and battle dangerous
To less than gods. On th' other side up rose
Belial, in act more graceful and humane:
A fairer person lost not heav'n; he seem'd 110
For dignity compos'd, and high exploit:
But all was false and hollow; though his tongue
Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were low: 115
To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds
Timorous and slothful; yet he pleas'd the ear,
And with persuasive accent thus began:
“I should be much for open war, O peers,
As not behind in hate; if what was urg'd 120
Main reason to persuade immediate war,
Did not dissuade me most, and seem to cast
Ominous conjecture on the whole success;
When he, who most excels in fact of arms,
In what he counsels, and in what excels, 125
Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair
And utter dissolution, as the scope
Of all his aim, after some dire revenge.
First, what revenge? The tow’rs of heav'n are fill'd

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