Next

  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, 
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 
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. 
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer 
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure, 
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 
Illumine, what is low raise and support; 
That to the highth of this great Argument 
I may assert th' Eternal Providence, 
And justifie the wayes of God to men. 
  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 their Creator, and transgress his Will 
For one restraint, Lords of the World besides? 
Who first seduc'd them to that fowl revolt? 
Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile 
Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd 
The Mother of Mankinde, what time his Pride 
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 
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. 
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 
Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought 
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain 
Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes 
That witness'd huge affliction and dismay 
Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate: 
At once as far as Angels kenn he views 
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 only 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: 
Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd 
For those rebellious, here their Prison ordain'd 
In utter darkness, and their portion set 
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! 
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, 
Long after known in PALESTINE, and nam'd 
BEELZEBUB.  To whom th' Arch-Enemy, 
And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words 
Breaking the horrid silence thus began. 
  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 brightnes didst outshine 
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 
From what highth fal'n, so much the stronger provd 
He with his Thunder: and till then who knew 
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, 
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, 
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, 
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: 
And what is else not to be overcome? 
That Glory never shall his wrath or might 
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, 
That were an ignominy and shame beneath 
This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods 
And this Empyreal substance cannot fail, 
Since through experience of this great event 
In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't, 
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. 
  So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain, 
Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare: 
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; 
And put to proof his high Supremacy, 
Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate, 
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, 
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. 
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) 
Have left us this our spirit and strength intire 
Strongly to suffer and support our pains, 
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire, 
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; 
What can it then avail though yet we feel 
Strength undiminisht, or eternal being 
To undergo eternal punishment? 
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 
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; 
Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps 
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb 
His inmost counsels from their destind aim. 
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. 
Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn, 
Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe. 
Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde, 
The seat of desolation, voyd of light, 
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames 
Casts pale and dreadful?  Thither let us tend 
From off the tossing of these fiery waves, 
There rest, if any rest can harbour there, 
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. 
  Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate 
With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes 
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, 
BRIARIOS 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 
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, 
That with reiterated crimes he might 
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought 
Evil to others, and enrag'd might see 
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. 
Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool 
His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames 
Drivn backward slope their pointing spires, & rowld 
In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale. 
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; 
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 
With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole 
Of unblest feet.  Him followed his next Mate, 
Both glorying to have scap't the STYGIAN flood 
As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, 
Not by the sufferance of supernal Power. 
  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 
For that celestial light?  Be it so, since hee 
Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid 
What shall be right: fardest from him is best 
Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream 
Above his equals.  Farewel happy Fields 
Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail 
Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell 
Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings 
A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time. 
The mind is its own place, and in it self 
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. 
What matter where, if I be still the same, 
And what I should be, all but less then hee 
Whom Thunder hath made greater?  Here at least 
We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built 
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence: 
Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce 
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: 
Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n. 
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends, 
Th' associates and copartners of our loss 
Lye thus astonisht on th' oblivious Pool, 
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? 
  So SATAN spake, and him BEELZEBUB 
Thus answer'd.  Leader of those Armies bright, 
Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foyld, 
If once they hear that voyce, their 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 
Their surest signal, they will soon resume 
New courage and revive, though now they lye 
Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire, 
As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd, 
No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth. 
  He scarce had ceas't when the superiour Fiend 
Was moving toward the shore; 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. 
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 
Over the burning Marle, not like those steps 
On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime 
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with Fire; 
Nathless he so endur'd, till on the Beach 
Of that inflamed Sea, he stood and call'd 
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 Chivalrie, 
while with perfidious hatred they pursu'd 
The Sojourners of GOSHEN, who beheld 
From the safe shore their floating Carkases 
And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown 
Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood, 
Under amazement of their hideous change. 
He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep 
Of Hell resounded.  Princes, Potentates, 
Warriers, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost, 
If such astonishment as this can sieze 
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? 
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn 
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. 
Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n. 
  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. 
Nor did they not perceave the evil plight 
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; 
Yet to their 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 PHAROAH hung 
Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of NILE: 
So numberless were those bad Angels seen 
Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell 
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires; 
Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted Spear 
Of their great Sultan waving to direct 
Thir course, in even ballance down they light 
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain; 
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 GIBRALTAR to the LYBIAN sands. 
Forthwith from every Squadron and each Band 
The Heads and Leaders thither hast where stood 
Their great Commander; Godlike shapes and forms 
Excelling human, Princely Dignities, 
And Powers that earst in Heaven sat on Thrones; 
Though of their Names in heav'nly Records now 
Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd 
By thir Rebellion, from the Books of Life. 
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, 
By falsities and lyes the greatest part 
Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake 
God their 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. 
Say, Muse, their Names then known, who first, who last, 
Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery Couch, 
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? 
The chief were those who from the Pit of Hell 
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix 
Their Seats long after next the Seat of God, 
Their 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 their Shrines, 
Abominations; and with cursed things 
His holy Rites, and solemn Feasts profan'd, 
And with their darkness durst affront his light. 
First MOLOCH, horrid King besmear'd with blood 
Of human sacrifice, and parents tears, 
Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud 
Their childrens cries unheard, that past through fire 
To his grim Idol.  Him the AMMONITE 
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. 
Next CHEMOS, th' obscene dread of MOABS Sons, 
From AROER to NEBO, and the wild 
Of Southmost ABARIM; in HESEBON 
And HERONAIM, SEONS Realm, beyond 
The flowry Dale of SIBMA clad with Vines, 
And ELEALE to th' ASPHALTICK Pool. 
PEOR his other Name, when he entic'd 
ISRAEL in SITTIM on their 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. 
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, 
These Feminine.  For Spirits when they please 
Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft 
And uncompounded is their 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 their aerie purposes, 
And works of love or enmity fulfill. 
For those the Race of ISRAEL oft forsook 
Their living strength, and unfrequented left 
His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down 
To bestial Gods; for which their heads as low 
Bow'd down in Battel, sunk before the Spear 
Of despicable foes.  With these in troop 
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 their 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 
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 
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 
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. 
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 offrings, and adore the Gods 
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 
Rather then human.  Nor did ISRAEL scape 
Th' infection when their 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, 
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. 
BELIAL came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd 
Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love 
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. 
In Courts and Palaces he also Reigns 
And in luxurious Cities, where the noyse 
Of riot ascends above thir loftiest Towrs, 
And injury and outrage: And when Night 
Darkens the Streets, then wander forth the Sons 
Of BELIAL, flown with insolence and wine. 
Witness the Streets of SODOM, and that night 
In GIBEAH, when hospitable Dores 
Yielded thir Matrons to prevent worse rape. 
These were the prime in order and in might; 
The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd, 
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 
Of DORIC Land; or who with SATURN old 
Fled over ADRIA to th' HESPERIAN Fields, 
And ore the CELTIC roam'd the utmost Isles. 
All these and more came flocking; but with looks 
Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd 
Obscure som 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 
Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore 
Semblance of worth not substance, gently rais'd 
Their fainted courage, and dispel'd their fears. 
Then strait commands that at the warlike sound 
Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be upreard 
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 
With Gemms and Golden lustre rich imblaz'd, 
Seraphic arms and Trophies: all the while 
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 
Ten thousand Banners rise into the Air 
With Orient Colours waving: with them rose 
A Forrest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms 
Appear'd, and serried Shields in thick array 
Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move 
In perfect PHALANX to the Dorian mood 
Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd 
To highth 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 
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 
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 
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 
By FONTARABBIA.  Thus far these beyond 
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd 
Thir dread Commander: he above the rest 
In shape and gesture proudly eminent 
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 
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 
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 their lot in pain, 
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't 
Of Heav'n, and from Eternal Splendors flung 
For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood, 
Thir Glory witherd.  As when Heavens Fire 
Hath scath'd the Forrest Oaks, or Mountain Pines, 
With singed top their stately growth though bare 
Stands on the blasted Heath.  He now prepar'd 
To speak; whereat their doubl'd Ranks they bend 
From Wing to Wing, and half enclose him round 
With all his Peers: attention held them mute. 
Thrice he assayd, 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 th' Almighty, and that strife 
Was not inglorious, though th' 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 fear'd, 
How such united force of Gods, how such 
As stood like these, could ever know repulse? 
For who can yet beleeve, though after loss, 
That all these puissant Legions, whose exile 
Hath emptied Heav'n, shall faile to re-ascend 
Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat. 
For me, be witness all the Host of Heav'n, 
If counsels different, or danger shun'd 
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, 
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 warr, provok't; 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 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: 
Thither, if but to prie, shall be perhaps 
Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere: 
For this Infernal Pit shall never hold 
Caelestial Spirits in Bondage, nor th' Abysse 
Long under darkness cover.  But these thoughts 
Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird, 
For who can think Submission?  Warr then, Warr 
Open or understood must be resolv'd. 
  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 
Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arm's 
Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war, 
Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heav'n. 
  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, 
The work of Sulphur.  Thither wing'd with speed 
A numerous Brigad hasten'd.  As when bands 
Of Pioners 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 heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks & thoughts 
Were always downward bent, admiring more 
The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold, 
Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd 
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 
For Treasures better hid.  Soon had his crew 
Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound 
And dig'd out ribs of Gold.  Let none admire 
That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best 
Deserve the pretious bane.  And here let those 
Who boast in mortal things, and wondring tell 
Of BABEL, and the works of MEMPHIAN Kings, 
Learn how thir 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 toyle 
And hands innumerable scarce perform 
Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd, 
That underneath had veins of liquid fire 
Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude 
With wondrous Art founded the massie Ore, 
Severing each kinde, and scum'd the Bullion dross: 
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, 
As in an Organ from one blast of wind 
To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths. 
Anon out of the earth a Fabrick 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 Freeze, with bossy Sculptures grav'n, 
The Roof was fretted Gold.  Not BABILON, 
Nor great ALCAIRO such magnificence 
Equal'd in all thir glories, to inshrine 
BELUS or SERAPIS thir Gods, or seat 
Thir Kings, when AEGYPT with ASSYRIA strove 
In wealth and luxurie.  Th' ascending pile 
Stood fixt her stately highth, and strait the dores 
Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide 
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 
As from a sky.  The hasty multitude 
Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise 
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 Herarchie, the Orders bright. 
Nor was his name unheard or unador'd 
In ancient Greece; and in AUSONIAN land 
Men call'd him MULCIBER; and how he fell 
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, 
On LEMNOS th' AEGAEAN Ile: thus they relate, 
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout 
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. 
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 
At PANDAEMONIUM, the high Capital 
Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call'd 
From every and Band squared Regiment 
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon 
With hundreds and with thousands trooping came 
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 Panim chivalry 
To mortal combat or carreer with Lance) 
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, 
Poure 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 Baume, expatiate and confer 
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 fome 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 & 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 
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 seat's, 
Frequent and full.  After short silence then 
And summons read, the great consult began. 
    THE END OF THE FIRST BOOK.

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