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Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,

585 When Charlemain with all his peerage fell By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed Their dread Commander; he, above the rost In shape and gesture proudly eminent,

590 Stood like a tower : his form had yet not lost All her original brightness ; nor appear'd Less than Archangel ruin'd, and the excess Of glory obscured : as when the sun, new risen Looks through the horizontal misty air

595 Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon, In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds On half the nations, and with fear of change Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet shone Above them all the Archangel: but his face

600 Deep scars of thunder had intrench'd; and care Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast Signs of remorse and passion, to behold

605 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 amerced Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung 610 For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood, 'Their glory wither’d: as when Heaven's fire Hath scathed the forest oaks, or mountain pine ; With singed top their stately growth, though bare, Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared 615 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 essay d, 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 strife
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 fear'd,
How such urited force of Gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse ? 630
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 dangers shunn'd
By me have lost our hopes. But he, who reigns
Monarch in Heaven, till then as ono 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 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 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 overcomos
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife 650
There went a fame in Heaven 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 pry, shall be perhaps

656 Our first eruption; thither or elsewhere : For this infernal pit shall never hold Celestia. Spirits in bondage, nor the abyss Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts Full counsel must mature · Peace is despair'd; 660

For who can think submission? War then, War
Open or understood must be resolved.

He spake : and, to confirm his words, out flew
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze

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.
Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared, 700
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 scumm'd the bullion drons.
A third as soon had form’d within the ground 705
A various mould, and from the boiling cells
By stranye conveyance fill'd 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

710
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 frieze, with bossy sculptures graven:
The roof was freited gold. Not Babylon,
Nor great Alcairo, such magnificence
Equal'd in all their glories, to enshrine
Relus or Sérapis, their Gods; or seat

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.
Nor was his name unheard, or unadored,
In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
Men call’d 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
Dropp'd from the zenith like a falling star, 45
On Lemnos the Ægean isle : thus they relate,
Erring; for he with his rebellious rout
Fell long before ; nor aught avail'd him now
To have built in Heaven high towers; 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 power, with awful ceremony
And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim
A solemn council, forchwith to be held

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

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