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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 prepar'd,
That underneath had veins of liquid fire
Sluic'd from the lake, a second multitude
With wondrous art founded the massy ore,
Severing each kind, and scumm' the bullion dross :
A third as soon had form’d within the ground, 703
A various mould, and from the boiling 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 breathes.
Anon out of the earth a fabric huge

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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 715
Cornice or freeze, with bossy sculptures graven;
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo such magnificence
Equal'd in all their glories, to inshrine
Belus or Serapis their Gods, or seat
Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove
In wealth and luxury. Th' ascending pile
Stood fix'd her stately height, and straight the doors
Opening their brazen folds discover wide
Within her ample space, o'er the smooth 725
And level pavement: from the arched roof

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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
Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise
And some the architect : his hand was known
In Heav'n by many a tow'red structure high,
Where scepter'd Angels held their residence,
And sat as princes, whom the supreme King 735
Exalted to such pow'r, and gave to rule,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.
Nor waz 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 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
Dropt from the zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos th' Ægean isle : thus they relate,
Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
Fell long before; nor ought avail'd him now
T'have built in Heav'n high tow'rs; nor did he 'scape
By all his engines, but was headlong sent 750
With his industrious crew to build in Hell.

Meanwhile the winged heralds by command
Of sov'reign pow'r, with awful ceremony
And trumpets' sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council forthwith to be held
At Pandemonium, the high capital

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Of Satan and his peers : their summons callid
From every band and squared regiment
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
With hundreds and with thousands trooping came 760
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 Soldan's chair
Defy'd the best of Panim chivalry
To mortal combat, or career with lance)
Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air,
Brush'd 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
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 rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs. So thick the airy crowd 775
Swarm’d and were straiten'd; till the signal giv'n,
Behold a wonder! they but now who seem'd
In bigness to surpass earth's giant sons,
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless, like that pygmean race

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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 over-head 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 Spi'rits to smallest forms
Reduc'd 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
A thousand Demi-gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After short silence then
And summons read, the great consult began.

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THE END OF THE FIRST BOOK.

BOOK THE SECOND.

THE ARGUMENT.

The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be to be ha

zarded 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 honoured 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 sate 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.

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
Show'rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
Satan exalted sat, by merits rais'd
To that bad eminence; and from despair
Thus high uplifted beyond hope, aspires
Beyond thus high, insatiate to pursue
Vain war with Heav'n, and by success untaught
His proud imaginations thus display'd.

Pow'rs and Dominions, Deities of Heav'n,
For since no deep within her gulf can hold

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