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With golden architrave; nor did there want And trumpet's sound, throughout the host Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures

proclaim graven:

A solemn council forthwith to be held The roof was fretted gold. Not Babilon | At Pandæmonium, the high capital Nor great Alcairo such magnificence | Of Satan and his peers. Their summons Equalled in all their glories, to inshrine

called Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat 720 From every band and squarèd regiment Their kings, when Ægypt with Assyria By place or choice the worthiest: they anon strove

With hundreds and with thousands troopIn wealth and luxury. The ascending pile

ing came .

760 Stood fixed her stately hightb; and straight Attended. All access was thronged; the the doors,

gates Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide And porches wide, but chief the spacious Within, her ample spaces o'er the smooth

hall And level pavement: from the arched roof, (Though like a covered field, where chamPendent by subtle magic, many a row

pions bold Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed Wont ride in armed, and at the Soldan's With napbtha and aspbaltus, yielded light

chair As from a sky. The hasty multitude 730 Defied the best of Panim chivalry Admiring entered; and the work some To mortal combat, or career with lance), praise,

Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in And some the Architect. His hand was

the air, known

Brushed with the hiss of rustling wings. In Heaven by many a towered structure

As bees high,

In spring-time, when the Sun with Taurus Where sceptred Angels held their resi

rides, dence,

Pour forth their populous youth about the And sat as Princes, whom the supreme

hive

770 King

In clusters; they among fresh dews and Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,

flowers Each in his hierarchy, the Orders bright. Fly to and fro, or on the smoothèd plank, Nor was his name unheard or unadored The suburb of their straw-built citadel, In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land New rubbed with balm, expatiate, and Men called him Mulciber; and how he

confer fell

- 740 Their state-affairs: so thick the aerie crowd From Heaven they fabled, thrown by an- | Swarmed and were straitened; till, the

signal given, Sheer o'er the crystal battlements : from Behold a wonder! They but now who morn

seemed To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve, In bigness to surpass Earth's giant sons, A summer's day, and with the setting sun Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow Dropt from the zenith, like a falling star, Ou Lemnos, the Ægæan isle. Thus they Throng numberless — like that pygmean relate,

race

780 Erring; for be with this rebellious ront Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves, Fell long before; nor aught availed him | Whose midnight revels, by a forest-side now

Or fountain, some belated peasant sees, To have built in Heaven high towers; nor Or dreams he sees, while overhead the did he scape

Moon By all his engines, but was headlong Sits arbitress, and nearer to the Earth sent,

750

Wheels her pale course: they, on their With his industrious crew, to build in Hell.

mirth and dance Meanwhile the wingèd Haralds, by com Intent, with jocond music charm his ear; mand

At once with joy and fear his heart reOf sovran power, with awful ceremony

bounds.

gry Jove

room

790

Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms | The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim Reduced their shapes immense, and were | In close recess and secret conclave sat, at large,

| A thousand demi-gods on golden seats, Though without number still, amidst the Frequent and full. After short silence hall

then, Of that infernal court. But far within, And summons read, the great consult beAnd in their own dimensions like them- | gan.

selves,

share

BOOK II

Did first create your leader – next, free

choice, THE ARGUMENT

With what besides in council or in fight 20

Hath been achieved of merit — yet this loss, The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to be hazarded for the recovery of Thus far at least recovered, hath much Heaven : some advise it, others dissuade. A third pro

more posal is preferred, mentioned before by Satan—to

Established in a safe, unenvied throne, search the truth of that prophecy or tradition in Heaven concerning another world, and another kind of Yielded with full consent. The happier creature, equal, or not much inferior, to themselves,

state about this time to be created. Their doubt who shali be sent on this difficult search: Satan, their chief, un In Heaven, which follows dignity, might dertakes alone the voyage ; is honoured and applauded.

draw The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways and to several imployments, as their inclinations

Envy from each inferior; but who here lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He Will envy whom the highest place exposes passes on his journey to Hell-gates; finds them shut,

Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's and who sat there to guard them; by whom at length they are opened, and discover to him the great gulf

aim between Hell and Heaven. With what difficulty he Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest passes through, directed by Chaos, the Power of that place, to the sight of this new World which he sought.

Of endless pain? Where there is, then, no High on a throne of royal state, which far

good

30 Outshon the wealth of Ormus and of Ind, For which to strive, no strife can grow up Or where the gorgeous East with richest there band

From faction: for none sure will claim in Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and

Hell gold,

Precedence; none whose portion is so small Satan exalted sat, by merit raised

Of present pain that with ambitious mind To that bad eminence; and, from despair Will covet more! With this advantage, Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires

then, Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue To union, and firm faith, and firm accord, Vain war with Heaven; and, by success More than can be in Heaven, we now reuntaught,

turn His proud imaginations thus displayed: To claim our just inheritance of old, “ Powers and Dominions, Deities of Surer to prosper than prosperity Heaven !

Could have assured us; and by what best For, since no deep within her gulf can hold

way, Immortal vigour, though oppressed and Whether of open war or covert guile, fallen,

We now debate. Who can advise may I give not Heaven for lost: from this de

speak." scent

He ceased; and next him Moloch, scepCelestial Virtues rising will appear

tred king, More glorious and more dread than from Stood up — the strongest and the fiercest no fall,

Spirit And trust themselves to fear no second That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by fate!

despair. Me though just right, and the fixed laws His trust was with the Eternal to be of Heaven,

deemed

40 rest

raged,

Equal in strength, and rather than be less Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, Cared not to be at all; with that care lost

condemned Went all his fear: of God, or Hell, or | In this abborrèd deep to utter woe; worse,

Where pain of unextinguishable fire He recked not, and these words thereafter Must exercise us without hope of end spake:

50 The vassals of his anger, when the scourge “ My sentence is for open war. Of wiles, | Inexorably, and the torturing hour, 91 More unexpert, I boast not: them let those Calls us to penance ? More destroyed than Contrive who need, or when they need;

thus, not now.

We should be quite abolished, and expire. For, while they sit contriving, shall the What fear we then ? what doubt we to in

cense Millions that stand in arms, and longing His utmost ire ? which, to the highth en

wait The signal to ascend — sit lingering here, Will either quite consume us, and reduce Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling- To nothing this essential — happier far place

Than miserable to have eternal being ! Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, Or, if our substance be indeed divine, The prison of His tyranny who reigns And cannot cease to be, we are at worst 100 By our delay ? No! let us rather choose, 60 On this side nothing; and by proof we feel Armed with Hell-flames and fury, all at | Our power sufficient to disturb bis Heaven, once

And with perpetual inroads to alarm, O'er Heaven's high towers to force resist Though inaccessible, his fatal Throne: less way,

Which, if not victory, is yet revenge." Turning our tortures into horrid arms

He ended frowning, and his look deAgainst the Torturer; when, to meet the

nounced noise

Desperate revenge, and battle dangerous Of his almighty engine, he shall hear To less than gods. On the other side up Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see

rose Black fire and horror shot with equal rage Belial, in act more graceful and humane. Among his Angels, and his throne itself A fairer person lost not Heaven; be Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange

seemed fire,

For dignity composed, and high exploit. His own invented torments. But perhaps But all was false and hollow; though his The way seems difficult, and steep to scale

tongue With upright wing against a higher foe! Dropt manna, and could make the worse Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench

appear Of that forgetful lake benumb not still, The better reason, to perplex and dash That in our proper motion we ascend Maturest counsels: for his thoughts were Up to our native seat; descent and fall

low — To us is adverse. Who but felt of late, To vice industrious, but to nobler deeds When the fierce foe hung on our broken Timorous and slothful. Yet he pleased the rear

ear, Insulting, and pursued us through the And with persuasive accent thus began:Deep,

“I should be much for open war, O With what compulsion and laborious flight

Peers,

119 We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy, As not behind in bate, if what was urged then;

Main reason to persuade immediate war The event is feared! Should we again Did not dissuade me most, and seem to provoke

cast Our stronger, some worse way his wrath Ominous conjecture on the whole success; may find

When he who most excels in fact of arms, To our destruction, if there be in Hell In what he counsels and in what excels Fear to be worse destroyed! What can | Mistrustful, grounds his courage on despair be worse

And utter dissolution, as the scope

110

69

81

129

if all

Of all his aim, after some dire revenge. The Deep to shelter us? This Hell then First, what revenge? The towers of Hea

seemed ven are filled

| A refuge from those wounds. Or when we With armed watch, that render all access

lay Impregnable: oft on the bordering Deep Chained on the burning lake? That sure Encamp their legions, or with obscure

was worse. wing

What if the breath that kindled those grim Scout far and wide into the realm of

fires,

170 Night,

Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold Scorning surprise. Or, could we break our

rage, way

And plunge us in the flames; or from By force, and at our heels all Hell should

above rise

Should intermitted vengeance arm again With blackest insurrection to confound His red right hand to plague us ? What Heaven's purest light, yet our great Enemy,

Her stores were opened, and this firmaAll incorruptible, would on his throne

ment Sit unpolluted, and the ethereal mould, Of Hell should spout her cataracts of fire, Incapable of stain, would soon expel 140 Impendent horrors, threatening hideous Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire,

fall Victorious.' Tbus repulsed, our final hope | One day upon our heads; while we perIs flat despair: we must exasperate

haps, The Almighty Victor to spend all his rage; Designing or exhorting glorious war, And that must end us; that inust be our | Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurled, cure

Each on his rock transfixed, the sport and To be no more. Sad cure ! for who would

prey

181 lose,

Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk Though full of pain, this intellectual being, | Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains, Those thoughts that wander through eter There to converse with everlasting groans,

Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved, To perish rather, swallowed up and lost Ages of hopeless end? This would be In the wide womb of uncreated Night, 150

worse. Devoid of sense and motion ? And who War, therefore, open or concealed, alike knows,

My voice dissuades; for what can force or Let this be good, whether our angry Foe

guile Can give it, or will ever ? How he can With Him, or who deceive His mind, whose Is doubtful; that he never will is sure.

eye Will He, so wise, let loose at once his ire, Views all things at one view ? He from Belike through impotence or unaware,

Heaven's highth

190 To give his enemies their wish, and end All these our motions vain sees and deThem in his anger whom his anger saves

rides, To punish endless ? Wherefore cease we, Not more almighty to resist our might then ?'

Than wise to frustrate all our plots and Say they who counsel war; 'we are de

wiles. creed,

160 Shall we, then, live thus vile — the race of Reserved, and destined to eternal woe;

Heaven Whatever doing, what can we suffer more, Thus trampled, thus expelled, to suffer What can we suffer worse?' Is this, then,

here worst

Chains and these torments ? Better these Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms ?

than worse, What when we fled amain, pursued and By my advice; since fate inevitable strook

Subdues us, and omnipotent decree, With Heaven's afflicting thunder, and be- | The Victor's will. To suffer, as to do, sought

Our strength is equal; nor the law unjust

nity,

now

209

some

That so ordains. This was at first re Within Heaven's bound, unless Heaven's solved,

201

Lord Supreme If we were wise, against so great a foe We overpower? Suppose he should reContending, and so doubtful what might

lent, fall.

And publish grace to all, on promise made I laugh when those who at the spear are Of new subjection; with what eyes could bold

we

239 And ventrous, if that fail them, shrink, and Stand in his presence humble, and receive fear

Strict laws imposed, to celebrate his throne What yet they know must follow — to en With warbled hymns, and to his Godhead dure

sing Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain, Forced Halleluiahs, while he lordly sits The sentence of their conqueror. This is Our envied sovran, and his altar breathes

Ambrosial odours and ambrosial flowers, Our doom; which if we can sustain and Our servile offerings? This must be our bear,

task Our Supreme Foe in time may much re In Heaven, this our delight. How weari

mit His anger, and perhaps, thus far removed, Eternity so spent in worship paid Not mind us not offending, satisfied

To whom we hate! Let us not then purWith what is punished; whence these ra

sue, ging fires

By force impossible, by leave obtained 250 Will slacken, if his breath stir not their Unacceptable, though in Heaven, our state flames.

Of splendid vassalage; but rather seek Our purer essence then will overcome Our own good from ourselves, and from Their noxious vapour; or, inured, not feel;

our own Or, changed at length, and to the place Live to ourselves, though in this vast re

conformed In temper and in nature, will receive Free and to none accountable, preferring Familiar the fierce heat; and, void of pain, Hard liberty before the easy yoke This horror will grow mild, this darkness Of servile pomp. Our greatness will aplight;

pear Besides what hope the never-ending flight Then most conspicuous when great things Of future days may bring, what chance,

of small, what change

Useful of hurtful, prosperous of adverse, Worth waiting — since our present lot ap We can create, and in what place soe'er

Thrive under evil, and work ease out of For happy though but ill, for ill not worst,

pain

261 If we procure not to ourselves more woe.” Through labour and indurance. This deep Thus Belial, with words clothed in rea

world son's garb,

Of darkness do we dread? How oft Counselled ignoble ease and peaceful sloth, amidst Not peace; and after him thus Mammon Thick clouds and dark doth Heaven's allspake: –

ruling Sire “Either to disinthrone the King of Hea Choose to reside, his glory unobscured, ven

And with the majesty of darkness round We war, if war be best, or to regain 230 | Covers his throne, from whence deep thunOur own right lost. Him to unthrone we

ders roar, then

Mustering their rage, and Heaven resenMay hope, when everlasting Fate shall bles Hell ! yield

As He our darkness, cannot we His light To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the Imitate when we please? This desart strife.

soil

370 The former, vain to hope, argues as vain Wants not her hidden lustre, gems and The latter; for what place can be for us I gold;

cess,

220

pears

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