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For who can think submission? War then, War
He spake : and, to confirm his words, out flew
065 Far round illumined hell: Highly they raged Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms Clash'd 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 Belch'd 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, wing'd with speed, A numerous brigade hasten'd: as when bands 675 Of pioneers, 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 [thoughts From Heaven; for e’en in Heaven his looks and Were always downward bent, admiring more
681 The riches of Heaven's pavement, trodden gold, Than ought divine or holy else enjoy'd In vision beatific : by him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
685 Ransack'd the centre, and with impious hands Rifled the boweis of their mother Earth For treasures, better hid. Soon had his crew Open'd into the hill a spacious wound, And digg'd out ribs of gold. Let none admire 690 That 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, 695 And strength, and art, are easily outdone By Spirits reprobale, and in an hour, What in an age they with incessant toil
And hands innumerable scarce perform.
720 Their kings, when Egypt with Assyria strove In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile Stood fix'd her stately height; and straight the doors, Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide Within, her ample spaces, o'er the smooth 725 And level pavement: from the arched roof Pendant by subtle magic, many a row Of starry lamps and blazen cressets, fed With Naphtha and Asphaltus, yielded light "As from a sky. The hasty multitude
730 Admiring enter'd; and the work some praise, And some the architect: his hand was known In Heaven by many a tower'd structure high, Where sceptred Angels held their residence, And sat as princes: whom the supreme King 735 Exalted to such power, and gave to rulo,
Each in his hierarchy, the orders bright.
Meanwhile the winged heralds, by command
755 At Pandemonium; the high capital Of Satan and his peers: their summons call'd From every
band and 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 761 And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall (Though like a cover'd field, where champions bold Wont ride in arr'd and at the Soldan's chair Defied the best of Panim chivalry
765 To mortal combat, or career with lance,) Thick swarmd 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 ridos, 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 strawbuilt citadel, Now rubb'd with balm, expatiate and confer
Their state affairs. So thick the aery crowd 775
795 A thousand Demi-gods on golden seats, Frequent and full. After short silence then, And stimmons read, the great consult began
The consultation begun, Satan debates whether another battle be
to be hazarded 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, ishonoured 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 sat 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
10 Powers and Dominions, Deities of Heaven! For since no deep within her gulf can hold Immortal vigour, though oppress'd 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 fix'd laws of Heaven Did first create your Leader; next, free choice, With what besides, in counsel or in fight,
20 Hath been achicved of merit ; yet this ioss,