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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 Paynim chivalry 766

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 770 The swarms
In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers of lesser
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 aery crowd 775
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 780 Tj»ejr tran&-
Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves, formation.

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 785

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, 790

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 — 795 The inner

A thousand demigods on golden seats — conc ave'

Frequent and full. After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consult began.

THE ARGUMENT.

The consultation begun, Satan debates [11] whether another battlt) be to be hazarded for the recovery of Heaven; some advise it [42], others dissuade [108]. A third proposal [299] is preferred [386], 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 [417]; Satan, their chief, undertakes alone [426] the voyage; is honored and applauded [477]. The council thus ended [506], the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, as their inclinations lead them [S23], to entertain the time till Satan return. He passes on his journey [629] to Hell-gates; finds them shut, and who sat there to guard them [648]; by whom at length they are opened [831], and discover to him the great Gulf between Hell and Heaven [890]. With what difficulty he passes through [927], directed by Chaos, the Power of that place, to the sight of this new World [1051] which he sought.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK II.

'High 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 5 Satan's royal

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: — 10

'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 15

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 council or in fight 20

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

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