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Nor was his name unheard or unadored

In ancient Greece; and in the Ausonian land
Men called him Mulciber; and how he fell
From heaven, 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
Dropped from the zenith, like a falling star,
On Lemnos, Ægean isle. Thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout

Fell long before; nor aught availed him now
To have built in heaven high towers, nor did he 'scape
By all his engines, but was headlong sent

With his industrious crew to build in Hell.

Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command

Of sovereign power, with awful ceremony

And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council, forthwith to be held

At Pandemonium, the high capital

Of Satan and his peers. Their summons called
From every band and squared regiment,
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon,
With hundreds and with thousands, trooping came,
Attended. All access was thronged; the gates
And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall—
Though like a covered field, where champions bold
Wont ride in armed, and at the Soldan's chair
Defied the best of Panim chivalry

To mortal combat, or career with lance—
Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air,
Brushed 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
In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothed plank,

The suburb of their straw-built citadel,


New rubbed with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs, so thick the aëry crowd
Swarmed and were straitened, till, the signal given,
Behold a wonder! They but now who seemed
In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons,
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless like that Pygmean race
Beyond the Indian mount; or fairy elves,
Whose midnight revels by a forest side
Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,

Or dreams he sees, while overhead the moon

Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth

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

Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large,

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;
A thousand demi-gods, on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consult began.


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 another 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 honored and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, 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 difficulty he passes through, directed by Chaos, the power of that place, to the sight of this new world which he sought.

IGH on a throne of royal state, which far


Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind,
Or where the gorgeous East, with richest hand,
Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merit raised

To that bad eminence; and, from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high; insatiate to pursue

Vain war with Heaven; and, by success untaught,
His proud imaginations thus displayed:

Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven!
For since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigor, though oppressed and fallen,
I give not Heaven for lost. From this descent
Celestial virtues rising, will appear

More glorious and more dread than from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate.

Me though just right, and the fixed laws of Heaven.
Did first create your leader; next, free choice,

With what besides, in counsel or in fight,
Hath been achieved of merit; yet this loss,
Thus far at least recovered, hath much more
Established in a safe unenvied throne,

Yielded with full consent. The happier state
In Heaven, which follows dignity, might draw



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Envy from each inferior; but who here
Will envy whom the highest place exposes
Foremost to stand against the Thunderer's aim,
Your bulwark, and condemns to greatest share
Of endless pain? Where there is then no good
For which to strive, no strife can grow up there
From faction. For none 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
To union, and firm faith, and firm accord,
More than can be in Heaven, we now return
To claim our just inheritance of old,
Surer to prosper than prosperity

Could have assured us; and, by what best way,
Whether of open war, or covert guile,
We now debate: who can advise, may speak.

He ceased; and next him Moloch, sceptred king,
Stood up, the strongest and the fiercest spirit
That fought in Heaven, now fiercer by despair.
His trust was with the Eternal to be deemed
Equal in strength, and rather than be less,
Cared not to be at all. With that care lost
Went all his fear; of God, or Hell, or worse,
He recked not; and these words thereafter spake:
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
The signal to ascend, sit lingering here,
Heaven'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,
Armed with hell flames and fury, all at once,

O'er Heaven's high towers 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
Infernal thunder, and, for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among His Angels, and His throne itself
Mixed with Tartarean sulphur and strange fire,
His own invented torments. But perhaps
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
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
We sunk thus low? The ascent is easy then.
The event is feared; 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 destroyed. What can be worse Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned

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

Inexorable, and the torturing hour,

Ca. us to penance? More destroyed than thus

We should be quite abolished, and expire.

What fear we, then? What doubt we to incense

His utmost ire, which, to the height enraged,

Will either quite consume us, and reduce

To nothing this essential-happier far

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