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Exalted to such pow'r, and gave to rule,
In ancient Greece ; and in Ausonian land 740 Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell
From heav'n they fabled, thrown by angry Jove
A summer's day; and with the setting sun 745 Dropt from the zenith like a falling star,
On Lemnos, the Ægean isle: thus they relate,
To have built in heaven high towers; nor did he 'scape 750 By all his engines, but was headlong sent With his industrious crew to build in hell.
Meanwhile, the winged heralds, by command
And trumpets' sound, throughout the host proclaim 755 A solemn council, forthwith to be held
At Pandemonium, the high capital
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon,
Attended : all access was throng'd: the gates
Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldan's chair 765 Defied the best of Panim chivalry
To mortal combat, or career with lance,
In spring-time, when the sun with Taurus rides, 770 Pour forth their populous youth about the hive,
In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers,
New rubb’d with balm, expatiate, and confer 775 Their state affairs : so thick the
Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room 780 Throng numberless, like that pygmean race
Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves,
Or dreams he sees; while over head the moon 78.5 Sits arbitress, and nearer to the earth
Wheels her pale course; they, on their mirth and dance
Thus incorporeal spirits to smallest forms
Though without number still, amidst the hall
The great Seraphic lords, and Cherubim, 795 In close recess, and secret conclave sat;
A thousand demigods on golden seats,
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; is honoured and applauded. The council thus ended, the rest betake them several ways, and to several employments, as their jnclinations 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
Show'rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold, 5 Satan exalted sat, by merit rais'd
To that bad eminence : and, from despair
Vain war with Heav'n ; and, by success untaught, 10 His proud imaginations thus display'd.
“ Pow'rs and Dominions, Deities of heav'n!
“I give not heav'n for lost. From this descent 15 “ Celestial virtues rising will appear
“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 heav'n, “ Did first create your Leader; next, free choice; “ With what besides, in council or in fight, “Hath been achiev'd of merit; yet this loss, “ Thus far at least recover'd, hath much more