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The issue was
He now prepared 6's 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 620 Words interwove with sighs found out their way:—
'O myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers Matchless, but with the Almighty! — and that
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change 625
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? 030
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied Heaven, shall fail to reascend
Self-raised, and repossess their native seat?
For me, be witness all the host of Heaven, 635
If counsels different, or danger 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 640
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
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war provoked; our better part remains 645
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
There went a fame in Heaven that He ere long The new
Intended to create, and therein plant mentioned.
A generation whom his choice regard
Should favor equal to the Sons of Heaven.
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps 655
Our first eruption — thither, or elsewhere;
For this infernal pit shall never hold They must
Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor the Abyss escape.
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts „ , ,
& & No thought of
Full counsel must mature. Peace is despaired; 660 submission.
For who can think submission? War, then, war
Open or understood, must be resolved.'
He spake; and, to confirm his words, outflew
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs The flash of
Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze 665 swords and
° J' smiting of
Far round illumined Hell. Highly they raged shields.
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 670
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, projected.
A numerous brigade hastened, as when bands
Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe armed,
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; tor even in Heaven his looks and
Were always downward bent, admiring more „
ine riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden gold,
TharTaught divine or holy else enjoyed
In vision beatific. Bv him first
Men also, and by his suggestion taught, 885
Ransacked the Centre, and with impious hands
Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth
For treasures better hid.
Soon had his cre.w
Opened into the hill a spacious wound,
And digged out ribs of gold. L_etnone admire m(>
hat 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, s96
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, 7W>
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
A third as soon had formed within the ground 70B
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, twith the sound
Of dulcet symphonies ana voices sweet —
Built like a temple, where pilasters round
Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
With golden architrave; nor did there want , 715
Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven; The palace of
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon Pandemon-
Nor great Alcairo such magnificence ulm nses'
Equaled in all their glories, to enshrine
Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat 720
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile
Stood fixed her stately highth; and straight the
Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide
Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth T25
And level pavement; from the arched roof
Pendent by subtle magic, many a row
Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed
With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light
As from a sky.
The hasty multitude 730
Admiring entered; and the work some praise,
And some the architect. His hand was known
In Heaven by many a towered structure high,
Where sceptred Angels held their residence,
And sat as Princes, whom the Supreme King 735
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the Orders bright.
The architect ." s
was Mulciber, Nor was his name unheard or unadored
otherwise in ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
Vulcan's S °r -^en called him Mulciber; and how he fell 740
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, 745
On Lemnos, the JEgsean 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
By all his engines, but was headlong sent, 750
With his industrious crew, to build in Hell.
Meanwhile the winged Heralds, by command
Of sovran power, with awful ceremony
And trumpet's sound, throughout the host pro-
A solemn council forthwith to be held 755
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,
The infernal With hundreds and with thousands trooping estates con- L °
vene. Came 760
The summons to the council.