I-1. Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit / Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast / Brought Death into the World, and all our woe, / With loss of Eden, till one greater Man / Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
I-6. Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top / Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire / That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed, / In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth / Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill / Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd
I-12. Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence / Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song, / That with no middle flight intends to soar / Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues / Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
I-17. And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer / Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
I-19. Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first / Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread / Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss / And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
I-23. Illumin, what is low raise and support; / That to the highth of this great Argument / I may assert Eternal Providence, / And justifie the wayes of God to men.
I-27. Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view / Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause / Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State, / Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off / From thir Creator, and transgress his Will / For one restraint, Lords of the World besides?
I-33. Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt? / Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile / Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd / The Mother of Mankind, what time his Pride
I-37. Had cast him out from Heav’n, with all his Host / Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring / To set himself in Glory above his Peers, / He trusted to have equal'd the most High, / If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim / Against the Throne and Monarchy of God / Rais'd impious War in Heav'n and Battel proud
I-44. With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power / Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie / With hideous ruine and combustion down / To bottomless perdition, there to dwell / In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire, / Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms.
I-50. Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night / To mortal men, he with his horrid crew / Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe / Confounded though immortal: But his doom
I-54. Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought / Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
I-56. Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes / That witness'd huge affliction and dismay / Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
I-59. At once as far as Angels kenn he views
I-60. The dismal Situation waste and wilde, / A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round / As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames / No light, but rather darkness visible / Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe, / Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace / And rest can never dwell, hope never comes / That comes to all; but torture without end / Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed / With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:
I-70. Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd / For those rebellious, here thir Prison ordain'd / In utter darkness, and thir portion set
I-73. As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n / As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole. / O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
I-76. There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd / With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, / He soon discerns, and weltring by his side / One next himself in power, and next in crime
I-80. Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
I-81. Beelzebub. To whom th' Arch-Enemy, / And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words / Breaking the horrid silence thus began.
I-84. If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! how chang'd / From him, who in the happy Realms of Light / Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst out-shine
I-87. Myriads though bright: If he Whom mutual league, / United thoughts and counsels, equal hope / And hazard in the Glorious Enterprize, / Joynd with me once, now misery hath joynd / In equal ruin: into what Pit thou seest
I-92. From what highth fall'n, so much the stronger prov'd / He with his Thunder: and till then who knew
I-94. The force of those dire Arms? yet not for those, / Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage / Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
I-97. Though chang'd in outward lustre; that fixt mind / And high disdain, from sence of injur'd merit, / That with the mightiest rais'd me to contend,
I-100. And to the fierce contention brought along / Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd / That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring, / His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd / In dubious Battel on the Plains of Heav'n,
I-105. And shook his throne. What though the field be lost? / All is not lost; the unconquerable Will, / And study of revenge, immortal hate, / And courage never to submit or yield:
I-109. And what is else not to be overcome? / That Glory never shall his wrath or might
I-111. Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace / With suppliant knee, and deifie his power, / Who from the terrour of this Arm so late / Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,
I-115. That were an ignominy and shame beneath / This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods
I-117. And this Empyreal substance cannot fail, / Since through experience of this great event / In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't,
I-120. We may with more successful hope resolve / To wage by force or guile eternal Warr / Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe, / Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy / Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n.
I-125. So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain, / Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare:
I-127. And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer. / O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers, / That led th' imbattelld Seraphim to Warr / Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds / Fearless, endanger'd Heav'ns perpetual King;
I-132. And put to proof his high Supremacy, / Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate,
I-134. Too well I see and rue the dire event, / That with sad overthrow and foul defeat / Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mighty Host / In horrible destruction laid thus low,
I-138. As far as Gods and Heav'nly Essences / Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains / Invincible, and vigour soon returns, / Though all our Glory extinct, and happy state / Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
I-143. But what if he our Conquerour, (whom I now / Of force believe Almighty, since no less / Then such could hav orepow'rd such force as ours)
I-146. Have left us this our spirit and strength intire / Strongly to suffer and support our pains, / That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
I-149. Or do him mightier service as his thralls / By right of Warr, what e're his business be / Here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire, / Or do his Errands in the gloomy Deep;
I-153. What can it then avail though yet we feel / Strength undiminisht, or eternal being / To undergo eternal punishment?
I-156. Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd. / Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable / Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure, / To do ought good never will be our task, / But ever to do ill our sole delight, / As being the contrary to his high will
I-162. Whom we resist. If then his Providence / Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, / Our labour must be to pervert that end, / And out of good still to find means of evil;
I-166. Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps / Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb / His inmost counsels from thir destind aim.
I-169. But see the angry Victor hath recall'd / His Ministers of vengeance and pursuit / Back to the Gates of Heav'n: The Sulphurous Hail / Shot after us in storm, oreblown hath laid / The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice / Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the Thunder, / Wing'd with red Lightning and impetuous rage, / Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now / To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
I-178. Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn, / Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
I-180. Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde, / The seat of desolation, voyd of light, / Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
I-183. Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend / From off the tossing of these fiery waves, / There rest, if any rest can harbour there,
I-186. And reassembling our afflicted Powers, / Consult how we may henceforth most offend / Our Enemy, our own loss how repair, / How overcome this dire Calamity, / What reinforcement we may gain from Hope, / If not what resolution from despare.
I-192. Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate / With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes
I-194. That sparkling blaz'd, his other Parts besides / Prone on the Flood, extended long and large / Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge / As whom the Fables name of monstrous size, / Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove, / Briareos or Typhon, whom the Den / By ancient Tarsus held, or that Sea-beast / Leviathan, which God of all his works / Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream: / Him haply slumbring on the Norway foam / The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff, / Deeming some Island, oft, as Sea-men tell, / With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind / Moors by his side under the Lee, while Night / Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes: / So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay
I-210. Chain'd on the burning Lake, nor ever thence / Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will / And high permission of all-ruling Heaven / Left him at large to his own dark designs,
I-214. That with reiterated crimes he might / Heap on himself damnation, while he sought / Evil to others, and enrag'd might see
I-217. How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth / Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn / On Man by him seduc't, but on himself / Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.
I-221. Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool / His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames / Driv'n backward slope thir pointing spires, and rowld / In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale.
I-225. Then with expanded wings he stears his flight / Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air / That felt unusual weight, till on dry Land / He lights, if it were Land that ever burn'd / With solid, as the Lake with liquid fire;
I-230. And such appear'd in hue, as when the force / Of subterranean wind transports a Hill / Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side / Of thundring Aetna, whose combustible / And fewel'd entrals thence conceiving Fire, / Sublim'd with Mineral fury, aid the Winds, / And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
I-237. With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole
I-238. Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate, / Both glorying to have scap't the Stygian flood / As Gods, and by thir own recover'd strength, / Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.
I-242. Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime, / Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat / That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom
I-245. For that celestial light? Be it so, since he / Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid / What shall be right: fardest from him is best
I-248. Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream
I-249. Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields / Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail / Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
I-252. Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings / A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
I-254. The mind is its own place, and in it self / Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
I-256. What matter where, if I be still the same,
I-257. And what I should be, all but less then he
I-258. Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least / We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
I-260. Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
I-261. Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce / To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
I-263. Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
I-264. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, / Th' associates and copartners of our loss / Lye thus astonisht on th' oblivious Pool,
I-267. And call them not to share with us their part / In this unhappy Mansion, or once more / With rallied Arms to try what may be yet / Regaind in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell?
I-271. So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub / Thus answer'd. Leader of those Armies bright, / Which but th' Onmipotent none could have foyld,
I-274. If once they hear that voyce, thir liveliest pledge / Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft / In worst extreams, and on the perilous edge / Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults / Thir surest signal, they will soon resume / New courage and revive, though now they lye
I-280. Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire, / As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd, / No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.
I-283. He scarce had ceas't when the superiour Fiend
I-284. Was moving toward the shoar; his ponderous shield / Ethereal temper, massy, large and round, / Behind him cast; the broad circumference / Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb / Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views / At Ev'ning from the top of Fesole, / Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands, / Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe.
I-292. His Spear, to equal which the tallest Pine / Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the Mast / Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand, / He walkt with to support uneasie steps
I-296. Over the burning Marle, not like those steps
I-297. On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime / Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with Fire;
I-299. Nathless he so endur'd, till on the Beach
I-300. Of that inflamed Sea, he stood and call'd
I-301. His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't / Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks / In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades / High overarch't imbowr; or scatterd sedge / Afloat, when with fierce Winds Orion arm'd / Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew / Busiris and his Memphian Chivalry, / While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd / The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld / From the safe shore thir floating Carkases
I-311. And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown / Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood, / Under amazement of thir hideous change.
I-314. He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep
I-315. Of Hell resounded. Princes, Potentates, / Warriers, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost, / If such astonishment as this can sieze
I-318. Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place / After the toyl of Battel to repose / Your wearied vertue, for the ease you find / To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n?
I-322. Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
I-323. To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds / Cherube and Seraph rowling in the Flood / With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon / His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern / Th' advantage, and descending tread us down / Thus drooping, or with linked Thunderbolts / Transfix us to the bottom of this Gulfe
I-330. Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n.
I-331. They heard, and were abasht, and up they sprung / Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch / On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, / Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
I-335. Nor did they not perceave the evil plight / In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; / Yet to thir Generals Voyce they soon obeyd / Innumerable. As when the potent Rod / Of Amrams Son in Egypts evill day / Wav'd round the Coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud / Of Locusts, warping on the Eastern Wind, / That ore the Realm of impious Pharaoh hung / Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of Nile:
I-344. So numberless were those bad angels seen / Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell / 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires;
I-347. Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted Spear / Of thir great Sultan waving to direct / Thir course, in even ballance down they light
I-350. On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain;
I-351. A multitude, like which the populous North / Pour'd never from her frozen loyns, to pass / Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous Sons / Came like a Deluge on the South, and spread / Beneath Gibralter to the Lybian sands.
I-356. Forthwith from every Squadron and each Band / The Heads and Leaders thither hast where stood
I-358. Thir great Commander; Godlike shapes and forms / Excelling human, Princely Dignities, / And Powers that earst in Heaven sat on Thrones;
I-361. Though of thir Names in heav'nly Records now / Be no memorial blotted out and ras'd / By thir Rebellion, from the Books of Life.
I-364. Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve / Got them new Names, till wandring ore the Earth, / Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man,
I-367. By falsities and lyes the greatest part / Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake / God thir Creator, and th' invisible / Glory of him that made them, to transform / Oft to the Image of a Brute, adorn'd / With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold, / And Devils to adore for Deities: / Then were they known to men by various Names, / And various Idols through the Heathen World.
I-376. Say, Muse, thir Names then known, who first, who last, / Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery Couch,
I-378. At thir great Emperors call, as next in worth / Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, / While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof?
I-381. The chief were those who from the Pit of Hell / Roaming to seek thir prey on earth, durst fix
I-383. Thir Seats long after next the Seat of God, / Thir Altars by his Altar, Gods ador'd / Among the Nations round, and durst abide / Jehovah thundring out of Sion, thron'd / Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd / Within his Sanctuary it self thir Shrines, / Abominations; and with cursed things / His holy Rites, and solemn Feasts profan'd, / And with thir darkness durst affront his light.
I-392. First Moloch, horrid King besmear'd with blood / Of human sacrifice, and parents tears, / Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud / Thir childrens cries unheard, that past through fire / To his grim Idol. Him the Ammonite
I-397. Worshipt in Rabba and her watry Plain, / In Argob and in Basan, to the stream / Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such / Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart / Of Solomon he led by fraud to build / His Temple right against the Temple of God / On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove / The pleasant Vally of Hinnom, Tophet thence / And black Gehenna call'd, the Type of Hell.
I-406. Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moabs Sons, / From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild / Of Southmost Abarim; in Hesebon / And Horonaim, Seons Realm, beyond / The flowry Dale of Sibma clad with Vines, / And Eleale to th' Asphaltick Pool.
I-412. Peor his other Name, when he entic'd / Israel in Sittim on thir march from Nile / To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. / Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd / Even to that Hill of scandal, by the Grove / Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate; / Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
I-419. With these came they, who from the bordring flood / Of old Euphrates to the Brook that parts / Egypt from Syrian ground, had general Names / Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male,
I-423. These Feminine. For Spirits when they please / Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft / And uncompounded is thir Essence pure, / Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb, / Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, / Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose / Dilated or condens't, bright or obscure, / Can execute thir aerie purposes, / And works of love or enmity fulfill.
I-432. For those the Race of Israel oft forsook / Thir living strength, and unfrequented left / His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down / To bestial Gods; for which thir heads as low / Bow'd down in Battel, sunk before the Spear / Of despicable foes. With these in troop
I-438. Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd / Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns; / To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon / Sidonian Virgins paid thir Vows and Songs, / In Sion also not unsung, where stood / Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built / By that uxorious King, whose heart though large, / Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell
I-446. To Idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, / Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd / The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate / In amorous dittyes all a Summers day, / While smooth Adonis from his native Rock / Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood
I-452. Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale / Infected Sions daughters with like heat, / Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch / Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led / His eye survay'd the dark Idolatries
I-457. Of alienated Judah. Next came one / Who mourn'd in earnest, when the Captive Ark / Maim'd his brute Image, head and hands lopt off / In his own Temple, on the grunsel edge, / Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers: / Dagon his Name, Sea Monster, upward Man / And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high / Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the Coast / Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon / And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.
I-467. Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful Seat / Was fair Damascus, on the fertil Banks / Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams. / He also against the house of God was bold: / A Leper once he lost and gain'd a King, / Ahaz his sottish Conquerour, whom he drew / Gods Altar to disparage and displace / For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn / His odious off'rings, and adore the Gods
I-476. Whom he had vanquisht. After these appear'd / A crew who under Names of old Renown, / Osiris, Isis, Orus and their Train / With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd / Fanatic Egypt and her Priests, to seek / Thir wandring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms
I-482. Rather then human. Nor did Israel scape / Th' infection when thir borrow'd Gold compos'd / The Calf in Oreb: and the Rebel King / Doubl'd that sin in Bethel and in Dan, / Lik'ning his Maker to the Grazed Ox,
I-487. Jehovah, who in one Night when he pass'd / From Egypt marching, equal'd with one stroke / Both her first born and all her bleating Gods.
I-490. Belial came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd / Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
I-492. Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood / Or Altar smoak'd; yet who more oft then hee / In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest / Turns Atheist, as did Ely's Sons, who fill'd / With lust and violence the house of God.
I-497. In Courts and Palaces he also Reigns / And in luxurious Cities, where the noyse / Of riot ascends above thir loftiest Towrs,
I-500. And injury and outrage: And when Night / Darkens the Streets, then wander forth the Sons / Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
I-503. Witness the Streets of Sodom, and that night / In Gibeah, when the hospitable door / Expos'd a Matron to avoid worse rape.
I-506. These were the prime in order and in might; / The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
I-508. Th' Ionian Gods, of Javans Issue held / Gods, yet confest later then Heav'n and Earth / Thir boasted Parents; Titan Heav'ns first born / With his enormous brood, and birthright seis'd / By younger Saturn, he from mightier Jove / His own and Rhea's Son like measure found; / So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Creet / And Ida known, thence on the Snowy top / Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle Air / Thir highest Heav'n; or on the Delphian Cliff, / Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
I-519. Of Doric Land; or who with Saturn old / Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian Fields, / And ore the Celtic roam'd the utmost Isles.
I-522. All these and more came flocking; but with looks / Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd / Obscure some glimps of joy, to have found thir chief / Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost / In loss it self; which on his count'nance cast / Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride
I-528. Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore / Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd / Thir fainting courage, and dispel'd thir fears.
I-531. Then strait commands that at the warlike sound / Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be upreard
I-533. His mighty Standard; that proud honour claim'd / Azazel as his right, a Cherube tall: / Who forthwith from the glittering Staff unfurld / Th' Imperial Ensign, which full high advanc't / Shon like a Meteor streaming to the Wind
I-538. With Gemms and Golden lustre rich imblaz'd, / Seraphic arms and Trophies: all the while
I-540. Sonorous mettal blowing Martial sounds: / At which the universal Host upsent / A shout that tore Hells Concave, and beyond / Frighted the Reign of Chaos and old Night. / All in a moment through the gloom were seen
I-545. Ten thousand Banners rise into the Air / With Orient Colours waving: with them rose / A Forest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms / Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array / Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move
I-550. In perfect Phalanx to the Dorian mood / Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd / To hight of noblest temper Hero's old / Arming to Battel, and in stead of rage / Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd / With dread of death to flight or foul retreat / Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage / With solemn touches, troubl'd thoughts, and chase / Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain / From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they
I-560. Breathing united force with fixed thought / Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes that charm'd / Thir painful steps o're the burnt soyle; and now
I-563. Advanc't in view, they stand, a horrid Front / Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise / Of Warriers old with order'd Spear and Shield, / Awaiting what command thir mighty Chief
I-567. Had to impose: He through the armed Files / Darts his experienc't eye, and soon traverse / The whole Battalion views, thir order due, / Thir visages and stature as of Gods, / Thir number last he summs. And now his heart / Distends with pride, and hardning in his strength / Glories: For never since created man, / Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these / Could merit more then that small infantry / Warr'd on by Cranes: though all the Giant brood / Of Phlegra with th' Heroic Race were joyn'd / That fought at Theb's and Ilium, on each side / Mixt with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds / In Fable or Romance of Uthers Son / Begirt with British and Armoric Knights; / And all who since, Baptiz'd or Infidel / Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban, / Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond, / Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore / When Charlemain with all his Peerage fell
I-587. By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond / Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
I-589. Thir dread commander: he above the rest / In shape and gesture proudly eminent
I-591. Stood like a Towr; his form had yet not lost / All her Original brightness, nor appear'd / Less then Arch Angel ruind, and th' excess / Of Glory obscur'd: As when the Sun new ris'n / Looks through the Horizontal misty Air / Shorn of his Beams, or from behind the Moon / In dim Eclips disastrous twilight sheds / On half the Nations, and with fear of change / Perplexes Monarchs. Dark'n'd so, yet shon
I-600. Above them all th' Arch Angel: but his face / Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht, and care / Sat on his faded cheek, but under Browes / Of dauntless courage, and considerate Pride / Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
I-605. Signs of remorse and passion to behold / The fellows of his crime, the followers rather / (Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd / For ever now to have thir lot in pain, / Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't / Of Heav'n, and from Eternal Splendors flung
I-611. For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood,
I-612. Thir Glory witherd. As when Heavens Fire / Hath scath'd the Forrest Oaks, or Mountain Pines, / With singed top thir stately growth though bare
I-615. Stands on the blasted Heath. He now prepar'd / To speak; whereat thir doubl'd Ranks they bend / From wing to wing, and half enclose him round / With all his Peers: attention held them mute.
I-619. Thrice he assayd, and thrice in spight of scorn, / Tears such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last
I-621. Words interwove with sighs found out thir way.
I-622. O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Powers / Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife / Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire, / As this place testifies, and this dire change
I-626. Hateful to utter: but what power of mind / Foreseeing or presaging, from the Depth / Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd, / How such united force of Gods, how such / As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
I-631. For who can yet beleeve, though after loss, / That all these puissant Legions, whose exile / Hath emptied Heav'n, shall fail to re-ascend / Self-rais'd, and repossess thir native seat? / For mee be witness all the Host of Heav'n, / If counsels different, or danger shun'd
I-637. By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns / Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure / Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute, / Consent or custome, and his Regal State / Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd,
I-642. Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
I-643. Henceforth his might we know, and know our own / So as not either to provoke, or dread / New warr, provok't; our better part remains / To work in close design, by fraud or guile / What force effected not: that he no less
I-648. At length from us may find, who overcomes / By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
I-650. Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife / There went a fame in Heav'n that he ere long / Intended to create, and therein plant / A generation, whom his choice regard / Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven:
I-655. Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps / Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere: / For this Infernal Pit shall never hold / Cælestial Spirits in Bondage, nor th' Abyss
I-659. Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
I-660. Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird, / For who can think Submission? Warr then, Warr / Open or understood must be resolv'd.
I-663. 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 illumin'd hell: highly they rag'd
I-667. Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms / Clash'd on thir sounding Shields the din of war, / Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heav'n.
I-670. There stood a Hill not far whose griesly top / Belch'd fire and rowling smoak; the rest entire / Shon with a glossie scurff, undoubted sign / That in his womb was hid metallic Ore,
I-674. The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed / A numerous Brigad hasten'd. As when Bands / Of Pioners with Spade and Pickax arm'd / Forerun the Royal Camp, to trench a Field, / Or cast a Rampart. Mammon led them on,
I-679. Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell / From heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts / Were always downward bent, admiring more / The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold, / Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd
I-684. In vision beatific: by him first / Men also, and by his suggestion taught, / Ransack'd the Center, and with impious hands / Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth
I-688. For Treasures better hid. Soon had his crew / Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound
I-690. And dig'd out ribs of Gold. Let none admire / That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best
I-692. 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 thir greatest Monuments of Fame, / And Strength and Art are easily out-done
I-697. By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour / What in an age they with incessant toyle / And hands innumerable scarce perform.
I-700. Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd, / That underneath had veins of liquid fire
I-702. Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude / With wondrous Art found out the massie Ore, / Severing each kind, and scum'd the Bullion dross:
I-705. A third as soon had form'd within the ground / A various mould, and from the boyling cells / By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook,
I-708. As in an Organ from one blast of wind / To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths.
I-710. Anon out of the earth a Fabrick huge / Rose like an Exhalation, with the sound / Of Dulcet Symphonies and voices sweet,
I-713. Built like a Temple, where Pilasters round / Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid / With Golden Architrave; nor did there want / Cornice or Freeze, with bossy Sculptures grav'n, / The Roof was fretted Gold. Not Babilon,
I-718. Nor great Alcairo such magnificence / Equal'd in all thir glories, to inshrine / Belus or Serapis thir Gods, or seat / Thir Kings, when Ægypt with Assyria strove
I-722. In wealth and luxurie. Th' ascending pile / Stood fixt her stately highth, and strait the dores / Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide
I-725. Within, her ample spaces, o're the smooth / And level pavement: from the arched roof / Pendant by suttle Magic many a row / Of Starry Lamps and blazing Cressets fed / With Naphtha and Asphaltus yeilded light
I-730. As from a sky. The hasty multitude / Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise
I-732. And some the Architect: his hand was known / In Heav'n by many a Towred structure high, / Where Scepter'd Angels held thir residence, / And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King / Exalted to such power, and gave to rule, / Each in his Hierarchie, the Orders bright.
I-738. Nor was his name unheard or unador'd / In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land / Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell
I-741. From Heav'n, they fabl'd, thrown by angry Jove / Sheer o're the Chrystal Battlements: from Morn / To Noon he fell, from Noon to dewy Eve, / A Summers day; and with the setting Sun / Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star,
I-746. On Lemnos th' Ægean Ile: thus they relate, / Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
I-748. Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now / To have built in Heav'n high Towrs; nor did he scape / By all his Engins, but was headlong sent / With his industrious crew to build in hell.
I-752. Mean while the winged Haralds by command / Of Sovran power, with awful Ceremony / And Trumpets sound throughout the Host proclaim / A solemn Councel forthwith to be held
I-756. At Pandæmonium, the high Capital / Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call'd / From every Band and squared Regiment
I-759. By place or choice the worthiest; they anon / With hunderds and with thousands trooping came
I-761. 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 Soldans chair / Defi'd the best of Paynim chivalry / To mortal combat or carreer with Lance)
I-767. Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air, / Brusht with the hiss of russling wings. As Bees / In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides, / Pour forth thir populous youth about the Hive / In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers / Flie to and fro, or on the smoothed Plank, / The suburb of thir Straw-built Cittadel, / New rub'd with Baum, expatiate and confer
I-775. Thir State affairs. So thick the aerie crowd / Swarm'd and were straitn'd; till the Signal giv'n. / Behold a wonder! they but now who seemd / In bigness to surpass Earths Giant Sons / Now less then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room / Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race / Beyond the Indian Mount, or Faerie Elves, / Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side / Or Fountain some belated Peasant sees, / Or dreams he sees, while over-head the Moon / Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth / Wheels her pale course, they on thir mirth and dance / Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear; / At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. / Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms / Reduc'd thir shapes immense, and were at large, / Though without number still amidst the Hall
I-792. Of that infernal Court. But far within / And in thir own dimensions like themselves / The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim / In close recess and secret conclave sat / A thousand Demy-Gods on golden seats,
I-797. Frequent and full. After short silence then / And summons read, the great consult began.
OPEN BOOK II