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With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky. The bafty multitude

730
Admiring enter'd; and the work fome praise,
And fome the architect: his hand was known
In heav'n by many a tow'red structure high,
Where fcepter'd angel's held their refidence,
And fat as princes; whom the Supreme King 735
Exalted to fuch pow'r, and gave to rule.
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.
Nor was his name unhear'd, or unador'd,
In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
Men callid 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 fel, from noon till dewy eve,
A fummer's day; and, with the setting fun,
Dropt from the zenith like a falling itar, 745
On Lemnos th' Ægean ifle: 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 engines, but was headlong fent 750
With his industrious crew to build in hell.

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command Of sov'reign pow'r, with awful ceremony And trumpets found, throughout the hoit proclaim A folemn council forthwith to be held

755 At Pandemonium, the high capital Of Satan and his peers : their fummons call'd From ev'ry band and squared regiment By place or choice the worthieft; 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 (Tho' like a cover'd field, where champions bold Wont to ride arm'd, and at the Soldan's chair

Defyd

Defy'd the best of. Panim chivalry
To mortal combat, or career with lance)
Thick swarm’d, both on the ground and in the air,
Brush'd with the hifs 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 flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,
The fuburb of their straw-built citadel,
New rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confer
Their ftate-affairs. So thick the aery croud 775
Swarm'd, and were ftraiten'd; till the fignal given,
Behold a wonder! they but now who feein'd
In bigness to furpafs earth's giant fons,
Now less than fmallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless, like that pygmean race 780;
Beyond the Indian' mount; or fairy elves,
Whose midnight revels by a forest-side,
Or fountain, fome belated peasant fees,
Or dreams he fees"; · while over-head the moon:
Sits arbitrefs; and nearer to the earth

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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 spi'rits to smaller forms
Reduc'd their shapes immenfe, and were at large; 790
Though without number fill, amidst the hall
Of that infernal court. . But far within,
And in their own dimensions like themselves; ·
The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim,
In clofé recess and secret conclave sat,

795 A thousand demi-gods on golden feats, Frequent and full. After short filence then, And summons read, the great consult beganv End of the FIR&Book.

ARGU.

E 5

ARGUMENT of Book II.

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 propbecy or tradition in heaven concerning another world, and another kind of creature, equal, or not much inferior, to themfelves, 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 ihus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them, to entertain the time till Satan return. He pales on his journey to Hell-gates, finds them fhut, and who fat 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 right of this new world which be fought,

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IGH'on a throne of royal state, which far

Outlhone 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 fat, 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.

jo Pow'rs and dominions; deities of heav'n; For fince no deep within her gulf can hold Immortal vigour, though oppress’d and fall'ng, I give not heav'n for loft. From this descent Celestial virtues rising, will appear

15 More glorious and more dread rhan from no fall, And trust themselves to fear no second fate. Me though just right, and the fixd laws of heav'n, 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 ftate :

lo heav'n, which follows dignity, might draw
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 ftrife can grow up there
From faction: for nonę 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 35:
To union, and firin faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in heav'n, we now returer
To claim our jus 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 fierceft fpi'rit
That fought in heav'n, now fiercer by despair: 45
His trust was with th' Eternal to be deem'd
E qual in strength; and rather than be lefs,
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 (pake. 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 fit contriving, shall the rest, Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait 55 The fignal to ascend, fit 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

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