Milton, John, 1608-1674

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1            Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
2            Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
3            Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
4            With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
5            Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
6            Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
7            Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
8            That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
9            In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
10          Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill
11          Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd
12          Past by the Oracle of God; I thence
13          Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,

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14          That with no middle flight intends to soar
15          Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues
16          Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
17          And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
18          Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
19          Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
20          Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
21          Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
22          And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
23          Illumin, what is low raise and support;
24          That to the highth of this great-Argument
25          I may assert Eternal Providence,
26          And justifie the wayes of God to men.

27          Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view
28          Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say first what cause
29          Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State,
30          Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off
31          From thir Creator, and transgress his Will
32          For one restraint, Lords of the World besides?
33          Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt?
34          Th' infernal Serpent; he it was, whose guile
35          Stird up with Envy and Revenge, deceiv'd
36          The Mother of Mankind, what time his Pride
37          Had cast him out from Heav'n, with all his Host
38          Of Rebel Angels, by whose aid aspiring
39          To set himself in Glory above his Peers,
40          He trusted to have equal'd the most High,
41          If he oppos'd; and with ambitious aim
42          Against the Throne and Monarchy of God
43          Rais'd impious War in Heav'n and Battel proud
44          With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power
45          Hurld headlong flaming from th' Ethereal Skie
46          With hideous ruine and combustion down
47          To bottomless perdition, there to dwell

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48          In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,
49          Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms.
50          Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night
51          To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
52          Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe
53          Confounded though immortal: But his doom
54          Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
55          Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
56          Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes
57          That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
58          Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
59          At once as far as Angels kenn he views
60          The dismal Situation waste and wilde,
61          A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round
62          As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
63          No light, but rather darkness visible
64          Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
65          Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
66          And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
67          That comes to all; but torture without end
68          Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed
69          With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:
70          Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd
71          For those rebellious, here their Prison ordain'd
72          In utter darkness, and thir portion set
73          As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n
74          As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole.
75          O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
76          There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd
77          With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
78          He soon discerns, and weltring by his side
79          One next himself in power, and next in crime,
80          Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
81          Beelzebub. To whom th' Arch-Enemy,

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82          And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words
83          Breaking the horrid silence thus began.

84          If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! how chang'd
85          From him, who in the happy Realms of Light
86          Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst out-shine
87          Myriads though bright: If he whom mutual league,
88          United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
89          And hazard in the Glorious Enterprize,
90          Joynd with me once, now misery hath joynd
91          In equal ruin: into what Pit thou seest
92          From what highth fall'n, so much the stronger prov'd
93          He with his Thunder: and till then who knew
94          The force of those dire Arms? yet not for those,
95          Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage
96          Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
97          Though chang'd in outward lustre; that fixt mind
98          And high disdain, from sence of injur'd merit,
99          That with the mightiest rais'd me to contend,
100        And to the fierce contention brought along
101        Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd
102        That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
103        His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd
104        In dubious Battel on the Plains of Heav'n,
105        And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
106        All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
107        And study of revenge, immortal hate,
108        And courage never to submit or yield:
109        And what is else not to be overcome?
110        That Glory never shall his wrath or might
111        Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
112        With suppliant knee, and deifie his power,
113        Who from the terrour of this Arm so late
114        Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,
115        That were an ignominy and shame beneath

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116        This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods
117        And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,
118        Since through experience of this great event
119        In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't,
120        We may with more successful hope resolve
121        To wage by force or guile eternal Warr
122        Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,
123        Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
124        Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n.

125        So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain,
126        Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare:
127        And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer.

128        O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers,
129        That led th' imbattelld Seraphim to Warr
130        Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
131        Fearless, endanger'd Heav'ns perpetual King;
132        And put to proof his high Supremacy,
133        Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate,
134        Too well I see and rue the dire event,
135        That with sad overthrow and soul defeat
136        Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mighty Host
137        In horrible destruction laid thus low,
138        As far as Gods and Heav'nly Essences
139        Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains
140        Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
141        Though all our Glory extinct, and happy state
142        Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
143        But what if he our Conquerour, (whom I now
144        Of force believe Almighty, since no less
145        Then such could hav orepow'rd such force as ours)
146        Have left us this our spirit and strength intire
147        Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
148        That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
149        Or do him mightier service as his thralls

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150        By right of Warr, what e're his business be
151        Here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire,
152        Or do his Errands in the gloomy Deep;
153        What can it then avail though yet we feel
154        Strength undiminisht, or eternal being
155        To undergo eternal punishment?
156        Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd.

157        Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable
158        Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure,
159        To do ought good never will be our task,
160        But ever to do ill our sole delight,
161        As being the contrary to his high will
162        Whom we resist. If then his Providence
163        Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
164        Our labour must be to pervert that end,
165        And out of good still to find means of evil;
166        Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps
167        Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
168        His inmost counsels from thir destind aim.
169        But see the angry Victor hath recall'd
170        His Ministers of vengeance and pursuit
171        Back to the Gates of Heav'n: the Sulphurous Hail
172        Shot after us in storm, oreblown hath laid
173        The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice
174        Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the Thunder,
175        Wing'd with red Lightning and impetuous rage,
176        Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
177        To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
178        Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn,
179        Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
180        Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde,
181        The seat of desolation, voyd of light,
182        Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
183        Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend

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184        From off the tossing of these fiery waves,
185        There rest, if any rest can harbour there,
186        And reassembling our afflicted Powers,
187        Consult how we may henceforth most offend
188        Our Enemy, our own loss how repair,
189        How overcome this dire Calamity,
190        What reinforcement we may gain from Hope,
191        If not what resolution from despare.

192        Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate
193        With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes
194        That sparkling blaz'd, his other Parts besides
195        Prone on the Flood, extended long and large
196        Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
197        As whom the Fables name of monstrous size,
198        Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove,
199        Briareos or Typhon, whom the Den
200        By ancient Tarsus held, or that Sea-beast
201        Leviathan, which God of all his works
202        Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream:
203        Him haply slumbring on the Norway foam
204        The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff,
205        Deeming some Island, oft, as Sea-men tell,
206        With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind
207        Moors by his side under the Lee, while Night
208        Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes:
209        So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay
210        Chain'd on the burning Lake, nor ever thence
211        Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will
212        And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
213        Left him at large to his own dark designs,
214        That with reiterated crimes he might
215        Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
216        Evil to others, and enrag'd might see
217        How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth

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218        Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn
219        On Man by him seduc't, but on himself
220        Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.
221        Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool
222        His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames
223        Drivn backward slope thir pointing spires, and rowld
224        In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale.
225        Then with expanded wings he stears his flight
226        Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air
227        That felt unusual weight, till on dry Land
228        He lights, if it were Land that ever burn'd
229        With solid, as the Lake with liquid fire;
230        And such appear'd in hue, as when the force
231        Of subterranean wind transports a Hill
232        Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
233        Of thundring Ætna, whose combustible
234        And fewel'd entrals thence conceiving Fire,
235        Sublim'd with Mineral fury, aid the Winds,
236        And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
237        With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole
238        Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate.
239        Both glorying to have scap't the Stygian flood
240        As Gods, and by thir own recover'd strength,
241        Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

242        Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime,
243        Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat
244        That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom
245        For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
246        Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid
247        What shall be right: fardest from him is best
248        Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream
249        Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields
250        Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail
251        Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell

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252        Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
253        A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
254        The mind is its own place, and in it self
255        Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
256        What matter where, if I be still the same,
257        And what I should be, all but less then he
258        Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least
259        We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
260        Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
261        Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce
262        To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
263        Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
264        But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
265        Th' associates and copartners of our loss
266        Lye thus astonisht on th' oblivious Pool,
267        And call them not to share with us their part
268        In this unhappy Mansion, or once more
269        With rallied Arms to try what may be yet
270        Regaind in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell?

271        So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub
272        Thus answer'd. Leader of those Armies bright,
273        Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foyld,
274        If once they hear that voyce, thir liveliest pledge
275        Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
276        In worst extreams, and on the perilous edge
277        Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults
278        Thir surest signal, they will soon resume
279        New courage and revive, though now they lye
280        Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire,
281        As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd,
282        No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.

283        He scarce had ceas't when the superiour Fiend
284        Was moving toward the shoar; his ponderous shield
285        Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,

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286        Behind him cast; the broad circumference
287        Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb
288        Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views
289        At Ev'ning from the top of Fesole,
290        Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands,
291        Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe.
292        His Spear, to equal which the tallest Pine
293        Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the Mast
294        Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand,
295        He walkt with to support uneasie steps
296        Over the burning Marle, not like those steps
297        On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime
298        Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with Fire;
299        Nathless he so endur'd, till on the Beach
300        Of that inflamed Sea, he stood and call'd
301        His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't
302        Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks
303        In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
304        High overarch't imbowr; or scatterd sedge
305        Afloat, when with fierce Winds Orion arm'd
306        Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew
307        Busiris and his Memphian Chivalry,
308        While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
309        The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
310        From the safe shore thir floating Carkases
311        And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown
312        Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood,
313        Under amazement of thir hideous change.
314        He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep
315        Of Hell resounded. Princes, Potentates,
316        Warriers, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost,
317        If such astonishment as this can sieze
318        Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
319        After the toyl of Battel to repose

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320        Your wearied vertue, for the ease you find
321        To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n?
322        Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
323        To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds
324        Cherube and Seraph rowling in the Flood
325        With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon
326        His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern
327        Th' advantage, and descending tread us down
328        Thus drooping, or with linked Thunderbolts
329        Transfix us to the bottom of this Gulfe.
330        Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n.

331        They heard, and were abasht, and up they sprung
332        Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
333        On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
334        Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
335        Nor did they not perceave the evil plight
336        In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
337        Yet to thir Generals Voyce they soon obeyd
338        Innumerable. As when the potent Rod
339        Of Amrams Son in Egypts evill day
340        Wav'd round the Coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud
341        Of Locusts, warping on the Eastern Wind,
342        That ore the Realm of impious Pharaoh hung
343        Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of Nile:
344        So numberless were those bad Angels seen
345        Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell
346        'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires;
347        Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted Spear
348        Of thir great Sultan waving to direct
349        Thir course, in even ballance down they light
350        On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain;
351        A multitude, like which the populous North
352        Pour'd never from her frozen loyns, to pass
353        Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous Sons

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354        Came like a Deluge on the South, and spread
355        Beneath Gibralter to the Lybian sands.
356        Forthwith from every Squadron and each Band
357        The Heads and Leaders thither hast where stood
358        Thir great Commander; Godlike shapes and forms
359        Excelling human, Princely Dignities,
360        And Powers that earst in Heaven sat on Thrones;
361        Though of thir Names in heav'nly Records now
362        Be no memorial blotted out and ras'd
363        By thir Rebellion, from the Books of Life.
364        Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve
365        Got them new Names, till wandring ore the Earth,
366        Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man,
367        By falsities and lyes the greatest part
368        Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake
369        God thir Creator, and th' invisible
370        Glory of him that made them, to transform
371        Oft to the Image of a Brute, adorn'd
372        With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold,
373        And Devils to adore for Deities:
374        Then were they known to men by various Names,
375        And various Idols through the Heathen World.
376        Say, Muse, thir Names then known, who first, who last,
377        Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery Couch,
378        At thir great Emperors call, as next in worth
379        Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
380        While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof?
381        The chief were those who from the Pit of Hell
382        Roaming to seek thir prey on earth, durst fix
383        Thir Seats long after next the Seat of God,
384        Thir Altars by his Altar, Gods ador'd
385        Among the Nations round, and durst abide
386        Jehovah thundring out of Sion, thron'd
387        Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd

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388        Within his Sanctuary it self thir Shrines,
389        Abominations; and with cursed things
390        His holy Rites, and solemn Feasts profan'd,
391        And with thir darkness durst affront his light.
392        First Moloch, horrid King besmear'd with blood
393        Of human sacrifice, and parents tears,
394        Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud
395        Thir childrens cries unheard, that past through fire
396        To his grim Idol. Him the Ammonite
397        Worshipt in Rabba and her watry Plain,
398        In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
399        Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
400        Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
401        Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
402        His Temple right against the Temple of God
403        On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
404        The pleasant Vally of Hinnom, Tophet thence
405        And black Gehenna call'd, the Type of Hell.
406        Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moabs Sons,
407        From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild.
408        Of Southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
409        And Horonaim, Seons Realm, beyond
410        The flowry Dale of Sibma clad with Vines,
411        And Eleale to th' Asphaltick Pool.
412        Peor his other Name, when he entic'd
413        Israel in Sittim on thir march from Nile
414        To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
415        Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd
416        Even to that Hill of scandal, by the Grove
417        Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate;
418        Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
419        With these came they, who from the bordring flood
420        Of old Euphrates to the Brook that parts
421        Egypt from Syrian ground, had general Names

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422        Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male,
423        These Feminine. For Spirits when they please
424        Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft
425        And uncompounded is thir Essence pure,
426        Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb,
427        Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
428        Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose
429        Dilated or condens't, bright or obscure,
430        Can execute thir aerie purposes,
431        And works of love or enmity fulfill.
432        For those the Race of Israel oft forsook
433        Thir living strength, and unfrequented left
434        His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down
435        To bestial Gods; for which thir heads as low
436        Bow'd down in Battel, sunk before the Spear
437        Of despicable foes. With these in troop
438        Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd
439        Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns;
440        To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon
441        Sidonian Virgins paid thir Vows and Songs,
442        In Sion also not unsung, where stood
443        Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built
444        By that uxorious King, whose heart though large,
445        Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell
446        To Idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
447        Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
448        The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate
449        In amorous dittyes all a Summers day,
450        While smooth Adonis from his native Rock
451        Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood
452        Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale
453        Infected Sions daughters with like heat,
454        Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch
455        Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led

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456        His eye survay'd the dark Idolatries
457        Of alienated Judah. Next came one
458        Who mourn'd in earnest, when the Captive Ark
459        Maim'd his brute Image, head and hands lopt off
460        In his own Temple, on the grunsel edge,
461        Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers:
462        Dagon his Name, Sea Monster, upward Man
463        And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high
464        Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the Coast
465        Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon
466        And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.
467        Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful Seat
468        Was fair Damascus, on the fertil Banks
469        Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
470        He also against the house of God was bold:
471        A Leper once he lost and gain'd a King,
472        Ahaz his sottish Conquerour, whom he drew
473        Gods Altar to disparage and displace
474        For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
475        His odious offrings, and adore the Gods
476        Whom he had vanquisht. After these appear'd
477        A crew who under Names of old Renown,
478        Osiris, Isis, Orus and their Train
479        With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd
480        Fanatic Egypt and her Priests, to seek
481        Thir wandring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms
482        Rather then human. Nor did Israel scape
483        Th' infection when thir borrow'd Gold compos'd
484        The Calf in Oreb: and the Rebel King
485        Doubl'd that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
486        Lik'ning his Maker to the Grazed Ox,
487        Jehovah, who in one Night when he pass'd
488        From Egypt marching, equal'd with one stroke
489        Both her first born and all her bleating Gods.

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490        Bellal came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd
491        Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
492        Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood
493        Or Altar smoak'd; yet who more oft then hee
494        In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest
495        Turns Atheist, as did Ely's Sons, who fill'd
496        With lust and violence the house of God.
497        In Courts and Palaces he also Reigns
498        And in luxurious Cities, where the noyse
499        Of riot ascends above their loftiest Towrs,
500        And injury and outrage: And when Night
501        Darkens the Streets, then wander forth the Sons
502        Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
503        Witness the Streets of Sodom, and that night
504        In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
505        Expos'd a Matron to avoid worse rape.
506        These were the prime in order and in might;
507        The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
508        Th' Ionian Gods, of Javans Issue held
509        Gods, yet confest later then Heav'n and Earth
510        Thir boasted Parents; Titan Heav'ns first born
511        With his enormous brood, and birthright seis'd
512        By younger Saturn, he from mightier Jove
513        His own and Rhea's Son like measure found;
514        So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Creet
515        And Ida known, thence on the Snowy top
516        Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle Air
517        Thir highest Heav'n; or on the Delphian Cliff,
518        Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
519        Of Doric Land; or who with Saturn old
520        Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian Fields,
521        And ore the Celtic roam'd the utmost Isles.
522        All these and more came flocking; but with looks
523        Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd

[Page 18]

524        Obscure some glimps of joy, to have found thir chief
525        Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
526        In loss it self; which on his count'nance cast
527        Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride
528        Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
529        Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd
530        Thir fanting courage, and dispel'd thir fears.
531        Then strait commands that at the warlike sound
532        Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be upreard
533        His mighty Standard; that proud honour claim'd
534        Azazel as his right, a Cherube tall:
535        Who forthwith from the glittering Staff unfurld
536        Th' Imperial Ensign, which full high advanc't
537        Shon like a Meteor streaming to the Wind
538        With Gemms and Golden lustre rich imblaz'd,
539        Seraphic arms and Trophies: all the while
540        Sonorous mettal blowing Martial sounds:
541        At which the universal Host upsent
542        A shout that tore Hells Concave, and beyond
543        Frighted the Reign of Chaos and old Night.
544        All in a moment through the gloom were seen
545        Ten thousand Banners rise into the Air
546        With Orient Colours waving: with them rose
547        A Forrest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms
548        Appear'd, and serried Shields in thick array
549        Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move
550        In perfect Phalanx to the Dorian mood
551        Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd
552        To hight of noblest temper Hero's old
553        Arming to Battel, and in stead of rage
554        Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd
555        With dread of death to flight or foul retreat,
556        Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage
557        With solemn touches, troubl'd thoughts, and chase

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558        Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain
559        From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they
560        Breathing united force with fixed thought
561        Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes that charm'd
562        Thir painful steps o're the burnt soyle; and now
563        Advanc't in view, they stand, a horrid Front
564        Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise
565        Of Warriers old with order'd Spear and Shield,
566        Awaiting what command thir mighty Chief
567        Had to impose: He through the armed Files
568        Darts his experienc't eye, and soon traverse
569        The whole Battalion views, thir order due,
570        Thir visages and stature as of Gods,
571        Thir number last he summs. And now his heart
572        Distends with pride, and hardning in his strength
573        Glories: For never since created man,
574        Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these
575        Could merit more then that small infantry
576        Warr'd on by Cranes though all the Giant brood
577        Of Phlegra with th' Heroic Race were joyn'd
578        That fought at Theb's and Ilium, on each side
579        Mixt with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds
580        In Fable or Romance of Uthers Son
581        Begirt with British and Armoric Knights;
582        And all who since, Baptiz'd or Infidel
583        Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,
584        Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
585        Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore
586        When Charlemain with all his Peerage fell
587        By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond
588        Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
589        Thir dread commander: he above the rest
590        In shape and gesture proudly eminent
591        Stood like a Towr; his form had yet not lost

[Page 20]

592        All her Original brightness, nor appear'd
593        Less then Arch Angel ruind, and th' excess
594        Of Glory obscur'd: As when the Sun new ris'n
595        Looks through the Horizontal misty Air
596        Shorn of his Beams, or from behind the Moon
597        In dim Eclips disastrous twilight sheds
598        On half the Nations, and with fear of change
599        Perplexes Monarchs. Dark'n'd so, yet shon
600        Above them all th' Arch Angel: but his face
601        Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht, and care
602        Sat on his faded cheek, but under Browes
603        Of dauntless courage, and considerate Pride
604        Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
605        Signs of remorse and passion to behold
606        The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
607        (Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd
608        For ever now to have thir lot in pain,
609        Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't
610        Of Heav'n, and from Eternal Splendors flung
611        For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood,
612        Thir Glory witherd. As when Heavens Fire
613        Hath scath'd the Forrest Oaks, or Mountain Pines,
614        With singed top thir stately growth though bare
615        Stands on the blasted Heath. He now prepar'd
616        To speak; whereat thir doubl'd Ranks they bend
617        From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
618        With all his Peers: attention held them mute.
619        Thrice he assayd, and thrice in spight of scorn,
620        Tears such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last
621        Words interwove with sighs found out thir way.

622        O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Powers
623        Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife
624        Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,
625        As this place testifies, and this dire change

[Page 21]

626        Hateful to utter: but what power of mind
627        Foreseeing or presaging, from the Depth
628        Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd,
629        How such united force of Gods, how such
630        As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
631        For who can yet beleeve, though after loss,
632        That all these puissant Legions, whose exile
633        Hath emptied Heav'n, shall fail to re-ascend
634        Self-rais'd, and repossess thir native seat?
635        For mee be witness all the Host of Heav'n,
636        If counsels different, or danger shun'd
637        By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns
638        Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure
639        Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute,
640        Consent or custome, and his Regal State
641        Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd,
642        Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
643        Henceforth his might we know, and know our own
644        So as not either to provoke, or dread
645        New warr, provok't; our better part remains
646        To work in close design, by fraud or guile
647        What force effected not: that he no less
648        At length from us may find, who overcomes
649        By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
650        Space may produce new VVorlds; whereof so rife
651        There went a fame in Heav'n that he ere long
652        Intended to create, and therein plant
653        A generation, whom his choice regard
654        Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven:
655        Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
656        Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
657        For this Infernal Pit shall never hold
658        Cælestial Spirits in Bondage, nor th' Abyss
659        Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts

[Page 22]

660        Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird,
661        For who can think Submission? Warr then, VVarr
662        Open or understood must be resolv'd.

663        He spake: and to confirm his words, out-flew
664        Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
665        Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze
666        Far round illumin'd hell: highly they rag'd
667        Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped Arms
668        Clash'd on thir sounding Shields the din of war,
669        Hurling defiance toward the Vault of Heav'n.

670        There stood a Hill not farwhose griesly top
671        Belch'd fire and rowling smoak; the rest entire
672        Shon with a glossie scurff, undoubted sign
673        That in his womb was hid metallic Ore,
674        The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed
675        A numerous Brigad hasten'd. As when Bands
676        Of Pioners with Spade and Pickax arm'd
677        Forerun the Royal Camp, to trench a Field,
678        Or cast a Rampart. Mammon led them on,
679        Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell
680        From heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts
681        Were always downward bent, admiring more
682        The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold,
683        Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd
684        In vision beatific: by him first
685        Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
686        Ransack'd the Center, and with impious hands
687        Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth
688        For Treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
689        Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound
690        And dig'd out ribs of Gold. Let none admire
691        That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best
692        Deserve the precious bane. And here let those
693        VVho boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell

[Page 23]

694        Of Babel, and the works of Memphian Kings
695        Learn how thir greatest Monuments of Fame,
696        And Strength and Art are easily out-done
697        By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour
698        VVhat in an age they with incessant toyle
699        And hands innumerable scarce perform.
700        Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd,
701        That underneath had veins of liquid fire
702        Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude
703        VVith wond'rous Art found out the massie Ore,
704        Severing each kind, and scum'd the Bullion dross:
705        A third as soon had form'd within the ground
706        A various mould, and from the boyling cells
707        By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook,
708        As in an Organ from one blast of wind
709        To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths.
710        Anon out of the earth a Fabrick huge
711        Rose like an Exhalation, with the sound
712        Of Dulcet Symphonies and voices sweet,
713        Built like a Temple, where Pilasters round
714        VVere set, and Doric pillars overlaid
715        VVith Golden Architrave; nor did there want
716        Cornice or Freeze, with bossy Sculptures grav'n,
717        The Roof was fretted Gold. Not Babilon,
718        Nor great Alcairo such magnificence
719        Equal'd in all thir glories, to inshrine
720        Belus or Serapis thir Gods, or seat
721        Thir Kings, when Ægypt with Assyria strove
722        In wealth and luxurie. Th' ascending pile
723        Stood fixt her stately highth, and strait the dores
724        Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide
725        VVithin, her ample spaces, o're the smooth
726        And level pavement: from the arched roof
727        Pendant by suttle Magic many a row

[Page 24]

728        Of Starry Lamps and blazing Cressets fed
729        VVith Naphtha and Asphaltus yeilded light
730        As from a sky. The hasty multitude
731        Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise
732        And some the Architect: his hand was known
733        In Heav'n by many a Towred structure high,
734        VVhere Scepter'd Angels held thir residence,
735        And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King
736        Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
737        Each in his Hierarchie, the Orders bright.
738        Nor was his name unheard or unador'd
739        In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
740        Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell
741        From Heav'n, they fabl'd, thrown by angry Jove
742        Sheer o're the Chrystal Battlements; from Morn
743        To Noon he fell, from Noon to dewy Eve,
744        A Summers day; and with the setting Sun
745        Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star,
746        On Lemnos th' Ægæan Ile: thus they relate,
747        Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
748        Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now
749        To have built in Heav'n high Towrs; nor did he scape
750        By all his Engins, but was headlong sent
751        VVith his industrious crew to build in hell.
752        Mean while the winged Haralds by command
753        Of Sovran power, with awful Ceremony
754        And Trumpets sound throughout the Host proclaim
755        A solemn Councel forthwith to be held
756        At Pandæmonium, the high Capital
757        Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call'd
758        From every Band and squared Regiment
759        By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
760        VVith hunderds and with thousands trooping came
761        Attended: all access was throng'd, the Gates

[Page 25]

762        And Porches wide, but chief the spacious Hall
763        (Though like a cover'd field, where Champions bold
764        Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldans chair
765        Defi'd the best of Panim chivalry
766        To mortal combat or carreer with Lance)
767        Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air,
768        Brusht with the hiss of russling wings. As Bees
769        In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides,
770        Pour forth thir populous youth about the Hive
771        In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
772        Flie to and fro, or on the smoothed Plank,
773        The suburb of thir Straw-built Cittadel,
774        New rub'd with Baum, expatiate and confer
775        Thir State affairs. So thick the aerie crowd
776        Swarm'd and were straitn'd; till the Signal giv'n.
777        Behold a wonder! they but now who seemd
778        In bigness to surpass Earths Giant Sons
779        Now less then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room
780        Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race
781        Beyond the Indian Mount, or Faerie Elves,
782        Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side
783        Or Fountain some belated Peasant sees,
784        Or dreams he sees, while over-head the Moon
785        Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth
786        Wheels her pale course, they on thir mirth and dance
787        Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear;
788        At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
789        Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
790        Reduc'd thir shapes immense, and were at large,
791        Though without number still amidst the Hall
792        Of that infernal Court. But far within
793        And in thir own dimensions like themselves
794        The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim

[Page 26]

795        In close recess and secret conclave sat
796        A thousand Demy-Gods on golden seat's,
797        Frequent and full. After short silence then
798        And summons read, the great consult began.

Bibliographic details for the Electronic File

Milton, John, 1608-1674: Paradise Lost (1674)

Cambridge 1992
English Poetry Full-Text Database
Copyright (c) 1992 Chadwyck-Healey. Do not export or print from this database without checking the Copyright Conditions to see what is permitted.

Bibliographic details for the Source Text

Milton, John, 1608-1674 (1608-1674)
Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books. The Author John Milton. The Second Edition Revised and Augmented by the same Author

The Second Edition Revised and Augmented
Printed by S. Simmons [etc.] 1674
333 p.