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Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain,
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought,

Moved on in silence to soft pipes, that charmed
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil. And now
Advanced in view they stand, a horrid fron
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with ordered spear and shield,
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose. He through the armed nies
Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views, their order due,
Their visages and stature as of gods,

Their number last he sums. And now his heart
Distends with pride, and hardening in his strength
Glories. For never, since created man,

Met such embodied force, as named with these
Could merit more than that small infantry
Warred on by cranes, though all the giant brood
Of Phlegra with the heroic race were joined
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
In fable or romance of Uther's son

Begirt with British and Armoric knights;
And all who since, baptized or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,
Damasco, or Morocco, or Trebisond,
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,
When Charlemain with all his peerage feil
By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed
Their dread commander. He, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower. His form had yet not lost
All its original brightness; nor appeared
Less than Archangel ruined, and the excess

Of glory obscured,—as when the sun, new risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air,
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. Darkened so, yet shone
Above them all the Archangel. But his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched, 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
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather—
Far other once beheld in bliss-condemned

For ever now to have their lot in pain,
Millions of spirits for his fault amerced
Of Heaven, and from eternal splendors flung
For his revolt, yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory withered: as when heaven's fire
Had scathed the forest oaks, or mountain pines,
With singed top, their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
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 essayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth at last
Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way
O myriads of immortal spirits! O powers
Matchless, but with the Almighty! and that strife
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change,
Hateful to utter! But what power of mind,
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth
Of knowledge past or present, could have feared,
How such united force of gods, how such

As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied heaven, shall fail to re-ascend
Self-raised, and re-possess their native seat?
For me, be witness all the host of heaven,
If counsels different, or dangers shunned
By me, have lost our hopes. But He who reigns
Monarch in heaven, 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 concealed,
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 provoked. Our better part remains
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 rite
There went a fame in heaven that He ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation whom His choice regard
Should favor equal to the sons of heaven.
Thither, if but to pry, should be perhaps
Our first eruption. Thither or elsewhere,
For this infernal pit shall never hold
Celestial spirits in bondage, nor the abyss
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature. Peace is despaired;
For who can think submission? War then, war,
Open or understood, must be resolved.

He spake and to confirm his words, out flew Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs Of mighty cherubim; the sudden blaze

Far round illumined Hell. Highly they raged
Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms
Clashed on their sounding shields the din of war,
Hurling defiance toward the vault of heaven.

There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top
Belched 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, winged with speed,
A numerous brigade hastened: as when bands
Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe arm'd,
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on,
Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell

From heaven, for e'en in heaven his looks and thoughts
Were always downward bent, admiring more

The riches of heaven's pavement, trodden gold,
Than aught divine or holy else enjoyed

In vision beatific. By him first

Men also, and by his suggestion taught,

Ransacked the center, and with impious hands
Rifled the bowels, of their mother earth
For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew
Opened into the hill a spacious wound,
And digged out ribs of gold. Let none admire
That riches grow in Hell,-that soil may best
Deserve the precious bane. And here let those
Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell
Of Babel, and the works of Memphian kings,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame,
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 prepared,
That underneath had veins of liquid fire

Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude,

With wondrous art, founded the massy ore,

Severing each kind, and scummed the bullion dross.
A third as soon had formed within the ground
A various mold, and from the boiling cells,
By strange conveyance, filled each hollow nook,
As in an organ, from one blast of wind,

To many a row of pipes the soundboard breathes.
Anon, out of the earth, a fabric huge
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
Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven.
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equaled in all their glories, to enshrine
Belus or Serapis, their gods, or seat
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury The ascending pile

Soon fixed her stately height; and straight the doors,`

Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide
Within, her ample spaces, o er the smooth
And level pavement. From the arched roof,
Pendent by subtle magic, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed
With naptha and asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky. The hasty multitude
Admiring entered; and the work some praise,
And some the architect. His hand was known
In heaven by many a towered structure high,
Where sceptered angels held their residence,
And sat as princes, whom the supreme King
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.

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