P A R A D I S E  L O S T.

B O O K  I.

  Of Man's first Disobedience, and the Fruit 
  Of that forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste 
  Brought Death into the world and all our woe, 
  With loss of Eden, till one greater Man 
 Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat, 
[Note] Sing Heav'nly Muse; that on the secret topsacred
  Of Horeb or of Sinai didst inspire 
  That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed, 
  In the beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth 
 10 Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion hill 
  Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd 
  Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence 
[Note] Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,Wing,
  That with no middle flight intends to soar 
[Note]15 Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursuesI pursue
[Note] Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rime.Song.
  And chiefly Thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer 
  Before all temples th' upright heart and pure, 
  Instruct me, for thou know'st: Thou from the first 
 20 Wast present, and with mighty wings outspred 
  Dove-like sat'st brooding on the vast Abyss 
  And mad'st it pregnant: what in Me is dark, 
  Illumin; what is low, raise and support; 
  That to the highth of this great Argument 
 25 I may assert eternal Providence, 
  And justifie the ways of God to men. 
     Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view, 
[Note] Nor the deep Tract of Hell; say first what causeGulph
  Mov'd our grand Parents, in that happy State 
 30 Favour'd of Heav'n so highly, to fall off 
  From their Creator; and transgress his Will 
  For one restraint, Lords of the world besides? 
[Note] Who first seduc'd them to that foul revolt? 
  Th' infernal Serpent: he it was, whose guile, 
[Note]35 Stirr'd up with envy and revenge, deceiv'd 
  The Mother of Mankind; what time his PrideThee,
  Had cast him out from Heav'n, with all his host 
  Of rebel Angels; by whose Aid aspiring 
[Note]*To set himself in Glory' above his Peers, 
 40 He trusted to have equal'd the Most High, 
  If He oppos'd; and with ambitious aim, 
  Against the Throne and Monarchy of God 
  Rais'd impious war in Heav'n and battel proud 
  With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Pow'r 
 45 Hurl'd headlong flaming from th' ethereal Skie, 
[Note] With hideous ruin and combustion downconfusion
  To bottomless Perdition: there to dwell 
  In adamantin Chains and penal Fire; 
  Who durst defie th'omnipotent to arms. 
 50   Nine times the space that measures day and night 
  To mortal men, He with his horrid crew 
[Note] Lay vanquish'd, rolling in the fiery Gulf,stonish'd
  Confounded, though immortal. But his doom 
[Note] Reserv'd him to more wrath: for now the thoughtthoughts
 55 Both of lost Happiness and lasting Pain 
  Torments him. Round he throws his baleful eyes,Torment
  That witness'd huge affliction and dismay 
  Mix'd with obdúrate pride and steadfast hate. 
  At once, as far as Angels ken, he views 
 60 The dismal situation waste and wild. 
  A Dungeon horrible on all sides round, 
  As one great furnace, flam'd: yet from those flames 
[Note] No light, but rather Darkness visiblea transpicuous Gloom
  Serv'd only to discover sights of woe: 
 65 Regions of sorrow, doleful shades; where peace 
  And rest can never dwell; hope never comes, 
  That comes to all: but torture without end 
  Still urges, and a fiery deluge fed 
  With ever-burning sulphur unconsum'd. 
 70 Such place eternal Justice had prepar'd 
  For those Rebellious; here their pris'n ordain'd 
[Note] In utter darkness; and their portion setouter
  As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n;So
[Note]As from the Centre thrice to th' utmost Pole. 
 75 O how unlike the place from whence they fell! 
  There the Companions of his fall, o'erwhelm'd 
  With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire, 
  He soon discerns; and weltring by his side 
  One next himself in pow'r, and next in crime, 
 80 Long after known in Palaestine, and nam'd 
  Beëlzebub. To whom th' Arch-enemy, 
  And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words 
  Breaking the horrid silence thus began: 
     If thou beest He! but O how fall'n; how chang'd 
 85 From Him, who in the happy realms of light 
  Cloth'd with transcendent brightness did'st outshine 
[Note] Myriads tho' bright: If He whom mutual league, 
  United thoughts and counsels, equal hope 
  And hazard in the glorious Enterprize 
 90 Join'd with me once; now Misery hath join'ddoth join
[Note] In equal Ruin: Into what Pit thou seestAnd    To what depth
  From what highth fall'n: so much the stronger prov'd 
  He with his Thunder: and till then who knew 
  The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those, 
 95 Nor what the potent Victor in his rage 
  Can else inflict, do I repent, or change 
  (Though chang'd in outward lustre) that fix'd mind, 
  And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit, 
  That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend; 
[Note]100 And to the fierce Contention brought alongEncounter
  Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd, 
  That durst dislike His Reign; and Me preferring, 
  His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd 
  In dubious battel on the plains of Heav'n, 
 105 And shook his Throne. What. tho' the field be lost? 
  All is not lost; th' unconquerable Will, 
[Note] And study of Revenge, immortal hate;Slow
  And Courage never to submit or yield: 
  And what is else, Not to be overcome? 
[Note]110 That Glory never shall his wrath or mightHomage
  Extort from Me, to bow and sue for grace 
  With suppliant knee; and deifie His powr', 
  Who from the terror of this Arm so late 
  Doubted his Empire: that were low indeed, 
 115 That were an ignominy and shame beneath 
  This downfal: since by fate the Strength of Gods 
  And this empýreal Substance cannot fail; 
  Since, through experience of this great event, 
  In Arms not worse, in Foresight much advanc'd, 
 120 We may with more successful hope resolve 
  To wage by force or guile eternal war; 
  Irreconcileable to our grand Foe, 
  Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy 
  Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heav'n. 
[Note]   So spake th' Apostat Angel, though in pain, 
 126 Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair: 
[Note] And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer.sad    old
     O Prince, O chief of many throned Pow'rs, 
[Note] That led th' embattel'd Seraphim to warled'st
 130 Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds 
[Note]Fearless endanger'd Heav'n's perpetual King; 
  And put to proof his high Supremacy,put'st
  Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate, 
  Too well I see and rue the dire event, 
 135 That with sad overthrow and foul defeat 
  Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mighty host 
  In horrible destruction laid thus low; 
  As far as Gods and heav'nly Essences 
  Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains 
 140 Invincible, and vigour soon returns; 
  Though all our glory' extinct, and happy state 
  Here swallow'd up in endless Misery. 
  But what, if he our Conqu'rour (whom I now 
  Of force believe Almighty, since no less 
 145 Than such could have o'er-pow'rd such force as ours) 
  Have left us this our spirit and strength intire 
[Note] Strongly to suffer and support our pains?Stronglier
  That we may so suffice his vengeful ire: 
  Or do him mightier service, as his Thralls 
[Note]150 By right of war: whate'er his business be,our
  Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire, 
  Or do his errands in the gloomy Deep. 
  What can it then avail, though yet we feel 
[Note] Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being,have
 155 To undergo eternal Punishment?

 
     Whereto with speedy Words th'Arch-Fiend reply'd:

 
[Note]    Fall'n Cherub, To be weak is miserable,Here to dwell
  Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure, 
[Note] To do ought Good never will be our task,will never
 160 But ever to do Ill our sole delight, 
  As being the contrary to His high will 
  Whom we resist. If then his Providence 
  Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, 
  Our labour must be to pervert that end, 
 165 And out of good still to find means of evil: 
  Which oft times may succede, so as perhaps 
[Note] Shall grieve him, if I fail not; and disturbdisturn
  His inmost Counsels from their destin'd aim. 
[Note] But see the angry Victor hath recall'drepress'd
 170 His Ministers of vengeance and pursuitInstruments
 Back to the Gates of Heav'n: The sulphurous Hail, 
  Shot after us in storm, o'er-blown hath laid 
  The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice 
  Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling; and the Thunder, 
 175 Wing'd with red lightning and impetuous rage, 
[Note] Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases nowits
  To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep. 
  Let us not slip th' Occasion, whether scorn 
  Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe. 
 180 Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wild, 
  The seat of desolation, void of light, 
  Save what the glimmering of these livid flames 
  Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend 
  From off the tossing of these fiery waves; 
 185 There rest, if any Rest can harbour there: 
  And re-assembling our afflicted Powers, 
  Consult how we may henceforth most offend 
  Our Enemy, our own loss how repair; 
  How overcome this dire calamity; 
 190 What reinforcement we may gain from Hope; 
[Note] If not, what resolution from Despair.none
  Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate 
  With head up-lift above the wave, and eyes 
  That sparkling blaz'd; his other parts besides 
 195 Prone on the flood, extended long and large, 
  Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as hugelike that
[Note] [As whom the Fables name, of monstrous size, 
  Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove, 
  Briareos, or Typhon whom the Den 
 200 By ancient Tarsus held, or that Sea-beast] 
 Leviathan, which God of all his works 
[Note] Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream: 
[Note] Him haply slumb'ring on the Norway foam,flood
[Note] The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff,nigh-
 205 Deeming some Island oft, as Sea-men tell, 
[Note] With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind,skinny
  Moors by his side under the Lee; while night 
  Invests the Sea, and wished morn delays: 
[Note]So stretch'd out huge in length the Árch-fiend lay, 
 210 Chain'd on the burning Lake: nor ever thence 
  Had ris'n or heav'd his Head, but that the Will 
  And high permission of all-ruling Heaven 
  Left him at large to his own dark designs: 
  That with reiterated crimes he might 
 215 Heap on himself damnation, while he sought 
  Evil to others: and enrag'd might see 
  How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth 
[Note] Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewnNew Proofs of
  On Man by him seduc'd; but on himself 
 220 Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance pour'd. 
  Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool 
  His mighty Stature; on each hand the Flames 
  Driv'n backward slope their pointing spires, and roll'd 
[Note] In billows, leave i' th' midst a horrid Vale.gaping
 225 Then with expanded wings he steers his flight 
  Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air 
  That felt unusual Weight, 'till on dry Land 
[Note] He lights, * if it were Land that ever burn'd 
  With solid, as the Lake with liquid fire: 
 230 And such appear'd in hue, as when the force 
  Of subterranean Wind transports a Hill 
  Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side 
  Of thund'ring Ætna, whose combustible 
[Note] And fuel'd entrails thence conceiving Fire,sulfureous
 235 Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the Winds,take the Wing
  And leave a singed bottom all involv'd 
  With stench and smoak: Such Resting found the Sole 
[Note] Of unbless'd feet.   Him follow'd his next Mate, 
  Both glorying to have scap't the Stygian flood, 
 240 As Gods, and by their own recover'd strength, 
  Not by the sufferance of supernal Power. 
     Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime, 
  Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the Seat 
  That we must change for Heav'n? this mournful Gloom 
 245 For that celestial Light? Be' it so, since He 
  Who now is Sov'rain can dispose and bid 
[Note] What shall be right: farthest from him is best, 
[Note] Whom reason [hath] equal'd, Force hath made supreme 
  Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields, 
 250 Where Joy for ever dwells! Hail horrors, hail 
[Note] Infernal world! and Thou, profoundest Hell,Eternal Woe!
[Note] Receive thy new Possessor; one who bringsWelcome
  A Mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time. 
  The mind is its own place, and in it self 
 255 Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. 
  What matter where, if I be still the same, 
  And what I should be; all but less than he 
  Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least 
[Note] We shall be Free; th' Almighty hath not builtno Butt
 260 Here for his Envy will not drive us hence: 
  Here we may reign secure: and in my choice 
  To reign is worth ambition, tho' in Hell: 
  Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n. 
  But wherefore let we then our faithful Friends, 
 265 Th' associates and copartners of our loss, 
  Lye thus astonish'd on th' oblivious Pool; 
  And call them not to share with us their part 
  In this unhappy mansion, or once more 
  With rallied Arms to try what may be yet 
 270 Regain'd in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell? 
     So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub 
  Thus answer'd: Leader of those Armies bright, 
  Which but th' Omnipotent none could have foil'd, 
  If once they hear that Voice, their liveliest pledge 
 275 Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft 
  In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge 
  Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults 
  Their surest signal; they will soon resume 
  New Courage and revive, tho' now they lye 
 280 Grov'ling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire, 
  As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd: 
[Note] No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.from such prodigious
     He scarce had ceas'd, when the superiour Fiend 
  Was moving toward the shore; his pond'rous Shield, 
 285 Ethereal temper, massie, large and round, 
  Behind him cast; the broad Circumference 
[Note]Hung on his Shoulders, like the Moon, whose Orb 
  Thro' Optick Glass the Tuscan Artist views 
  At Ev'ning from the top of Fesolé, 
[Note]290 Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands,Sights,
  Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe.Europes or Asias
  His Spear, to equal which the tallest Pine 
  Hewn on Norwegian hills to be the Mast 
  Of some great Admiral were but a wand, 
 295 He walk'd with to support uneasie steps 
  Over the burning Marle, not like those steps 
  On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime 
  Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with Fire. 
  Nathles he so endur'd, 'till on the Beach 
 300 Of that inflamed Sea he stood, and call'd 
  His Legions, Angel Forms; who lay entranc'd 
  Thick as auctumnal Leaves that strow the brooks 
  In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades 
  High over-arch'd embowr; or scatterd sedge 
 305 Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd 
[Note] Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast: [whose waves o'erthrewRed-Sea Gulph,
  Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, 
  While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd 
  The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld 
 310 From the safe shore their floating Carcases 
  And broken Chariot Wheels.] So thick bestrown, 
  Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood, 
  Under amazement of their hideous change.Under th
  He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep 
 315 Of Hell resounded: Princes, Potentates, 
  Warriours, the Flow'r of Heav'n, once yours, now lost 
  If such Astonishment as this can seize 
  Eternal Spirits: Or have ye chos'n this place 
  After the toil of Battel to repose 
 320 Your wearied vertue, for the ease you find 
  To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n? 
  Or in this abject posture have ye sworn 
  T' adore the Conqueror? who now beholds 
[Note] Cherub and Seraph rolling in the Flood,on
 325 With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon 
[Note] His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discernwatchful Legions
  Th' advantage, and descending tread us down 
  Thus drooping, or with linked Thunderbolts 
[Note] Transfix us to the bottom of this Gulfe.Fast fix
 330 Awake, arise: Or be for ever fall'n. 
     They heard, and were abash'd, and up they sprung 
  Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch 
  On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, 
  Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. 
 335 Nor did they not perceive the evil plight 
  In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; 
[Note] Yet to their General's voice they soon obey'd 
  Innumerable.   As when the potent Rod 
  Of Amram's Son, in Ægypt's evil day 
 340 Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud 
  Of Locusts, warping on the Eastern Wind, 
[Note] That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hungimpious Head of
  Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of Nile: 
  So numberless were those bad Angels seen, 
 345 Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell 
  'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires: 
[Note] Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted Spearat
  Of their great Sultan waving to direct 
  Their course, in even balance down they light 
 350 On the firm Brimstone, and fill all the Plain. 
[Note] [A multitude, like which the populous North 
  Pour'd never from her frozen loyns, to pass 
  Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons 
  Came like a Deluge on the South, and spread 
 355 Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.] 
  Forthwith from every squadron and each band 
  The Heads and Leaders thither haste where stood 
  Their great Commander; God-like shapes and forms 
[Note] Excelling Human, Princely Dignities,Chief among Myriads
 360 And Powers, that erst in Heaven sat on Thrones; 
  Tho' of their names in Heav'nly records now 
  Be no memorial; blotted out and ras'd, 
[Note] By their rebellion, from the Books of Life.Book
  Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve 
 365 Got them new Names, 'till wandring o'er the Earth, 
  Thro' God's high sufferance for the trial of man, 
[Note] By falsities and lyes the greatest partwiles
[Note] Of Mankind they corrupted to forsakeseduced
  God their Creator, and th' invisibleHis
[Note]370 Glory' of him that made them, to transformUnfigurable Glory
  Oft to the Image of a Brute, adorn'dsenseless Brute,
[Note] [With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold,] 
  And Devils to adore for Deities. 
  Then were they known to Men by various Names, 
[Note]375 And various * Idols thro' the Heathen World. 
[Note]    Say, Muse, their Names then known, who first, who last,when
[Note] Rouz'd from the slumber on that fiery Couchtheir    off
  At their great Emperor's call; as next in worthand
  Came singly where he stood on the bare Strand; 
 380 While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof. 
  The chief were those who from the Pit of Hell 
  Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix 
  Their seats long after next the seat of God, 
  Their altars by his altar, Gods ador'd 
 385 Among the Nations round; and durst abide 
  Jehovah thund'ring out of Sion, thron'd 
  Between the Cherubim: yea, often plac'd 
  Within his Sanctuary it self their Shrines, 
  Abominations; and with cursed things 
 390 His holy rites and solemn feasts prophan'd, 
  And with their darkness durst affront his light. 
  First Moloch, horrid King, besmear'd with blood 
[Note] Of human sacrifice, and parents tears;victims, and with
  Tho' for the noise of Drums and Timbrels loud 
 395 Their childrens cries unheard, that past thro' Fire 
  To his grim Idol. Him the Ammonite 
  Worship'd in Rabba and her watry Plain, 
  In Argob and in Basan, to the stream 
  Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such 
 400 Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 
  Of Solomon he led by fraud to build 
  His Temple right against the Temple' of God 
  On that opprobrious Hill; and made his Grove 
  The pleasant Valley' of Hinnom, Tophet thence 
 405 And black Gehenna call'd, the type of Hell. 
[Note] Next Chemos, th' óbscene dread of Moab's sons,Dread obscéne
  From Aroer to Nebo, and the Wild 
  Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon 
  And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond 
 410 The flow'ry Dale of Sibma, clad with Vines, 
  And Eleala to th' Asphaltic Pool: 
  Peor his other Name, when he entic'd 
  Israel in Sittim on their march from Nile, 
  To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe. 
 415 Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd 
  Ev'n to that Hill of scandal, by the Grove 
  Of Moloch homicide, Lust hard by Hate: 
  Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell. 
  With these came they, who from the bord'ring flood 
 420 Of old Euphrates to the Brook that parts 
[Note] Ægypt from Syrian ground, had general namesBound,
  Of Bäalim and Ashtaroth, those Male, 
[Note] These Feminine. For Spirits, when they please,Female deem'd.
  Can either Sex assume or both; so soft 
 425 And uncompounded is their Essence pure, 
  Not ty'd or manacl'd with joint or limb, 
  Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones, 
  Like cumbrous flesh: but in what shape they chuse 
  Dilated or condens'd, bright or obscure, 
 430 Can execute their airy purposes, 
  And works of love or enmity fulfil. 
  For those the Race of Israel oft forsook 
  Their living Strength, and unfrequented left 
  His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down 
 435 To bestial Gods: for which their heads as low 
  Bow'd down in Battle, sunk before the Spear 
  Of despicable foes. With these in troop 
  Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd 
  Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns; 
 440 To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon 
  Sidonian Virgins paid their vows and songs; 
  In Sion also not unsung, where stood 
  Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built 
  By that uxorious King, whose heart tho' large, 
 445 Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell 
  To Idols foul. Thammuz came next behind, 
  Whose annual Wound in Lebanon allur'd 
  The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate 
  In am'rous ditties all a Summer's day: 
[Note]450 While smooth Adonis from his native Rockits
  Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood 
  Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale 
  Infected Sion's daughters with like heat; 
  Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch 
 455 Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led 
  His Eye survey'd the dark Idolatries 
  Of alienated Judah. Next came One 
  Who mourn'd in earnest, when the captive Ark 
  Maim'd his brute Image, head and hands lopt off 
 460 In his own Temple; on the grunsel edge 
  Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers: 
  Dagon his Name, Sea-Monster, upward Man 
  And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high 
  Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the coast 
 465 Of Palaestine, in Gath and Ascalon, 
  And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds. 
  Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful seat 
  Was fair Damascus, on the fertil banks 
  Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams. 
 470 He also' against the House of God was bold: 
  A Leper once he lost, and gain'd a King, 
  Ahaz his sottish Conqueror, whom he drew 
  God's Altar to disparage and displace 
  For one of Syrian mode; whereon to burn 
 475 His odious off'rings, and adore the Gods 
  Whom he had vanquisht. After these appear'd 
  A crew who under names of old renown, 
  Osiris, Isis, Orus and their train, 
  With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd 
 480 Fanatick Ægypt and her Priests, to seek 
  Their wandring Gods, disguis'd in brutish forms 
  Rather than human. Nor did Israel 'scape 
  Th' infection, when their borrow'd Gold compos'd 
  The Calf in Oreb; and the Rebel King 
 485 Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan, 
[Note] [Lik'ning his Maker to the grazed Oxe, 
  Jehovah, who in one Night when he pass'd 
  From Ægypt marching, equal'd with one stroke 
  Both her first-born and all her bleating Gods.] 
 490 Belial came last, than whom a Spirit more lewd 
  Fell not from heaven, or more gross to love 
  Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood 
  Or Altar smok'd; yet who more oft than He 
  In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest 
 495 Turns Atheist; as did Eli's sons, who fill'd 
  With lust and violence the house of God. 
  In Courts and Palaces he also reigns; 
  And in luxurious Cities, where the noise 
  Of riot ascends above their loftiest tow'rs, 
 500 And injury and outrage: And when Night 
  Darkens the Streets, then wander forth the Sons 
  Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine. 
  Witness the Streets of Sodom; and that nightwitness those
  In Gibeah, when the hospitable doorOf    Doors
[Note]505 Expos'd a Matron to avoid worse rape.Yielded their Matrons
     These were the prime in order, and in might; 
  The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd. 
  Th' Ionian Gods, of Javan's issue, held 
  Gods, yet confess'd later than Heav'n and Earth 
 510 Their boasted Parents; Titan, Heav'n's first-born 
  With his enormous brood, and birthright seiz'd 
  By younger Saturn; He from mightier Jove, 
  His own and Rhea's Son, like measure found; 
  So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Crete 
 515 And Ida known, thence on the snowy top 
  Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle Air, 
  Their highest Heav'n; or on the Delphian Cliff, 
  Or in Dodona, and thro' all the bounds 
  Of Doric Land; or who with Saturn old 
 520 Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian Fields, 
  And o'er the Celtic roam'd the utmost Isles. 
  All these and more came flocking; but with looks 
  Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd 
  Obscure some glimpse of joy, to' have found their Chief 
 525 Not in despair, to' have found themselves not lost 
  In loss it self: which on his count'nance cast 
  Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride 
  Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore 
  Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd 
 530 Their fainting courage, and dispell'd their fears. 
  Then strait commands that at the warlike sound 
  Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be uprear'd 
  His mighty Standard; that proud honour claim'd 
  Azázel as his right, a Cherub tall: 
 535 Who forthwith from the glittering Staff unfurl'd 
  Th' Imperial Ensign, which full high advanc'd 
  Shone like a Meteor streaming to the wind, 
  With gemms and golden lustre rich emblaz'd, 
  Seraphic Arms and Trophies; all the while 
 540 Sonorous mettal blowing martial sounds: 
  At which the universal Host up sent 
  A shout that tore Hell's Concave, and beyond 
[Note] Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.Realm
  All in a moment thro' the gloom were seen 
 545 Ten thousand Banners rise into the air 
  With orient colours waving: with them rose 
  A forest huge of Spears; and thronging Helms 
  Appear'd, and serried Shields in thick array, 
  Of depth unmeasurable'. Anon they move 
 550 In perfect Phalanx to the Dorian mood 
  Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd 
  To hight of noblest temper Heroes old 
  Arming to battel, and in stead of rage 
  Deliberate valour breath'd, firm, and unmov'd 
 555 With dread of death to flight or foul retreat: 
  Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage, 
  With solemn touches, troubled thoughts, and chase 
  Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain 
  From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they 
 560 Breathing united force with fixed thought 
  Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes, that charm'd 
  Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now 
  Advanc'd in view, they stand, a horrid Front 
  Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise 
[Note]565 Of Warriors old with order'd Spear and Shield,bold with ported
  Awaiting what command their mighty Chief 
  Had to impose. He thro' the armed Files 
  Darts his experienc'd eye, and soon traverse 
  The whole Battalion views, their order due, 
 570 Their visages and stature as of Gods; 
  Their number last he sums, and now his heart 
  Distends with pride; and hard'ning in his strength 
  Glories: For never since created Man 
  Met such imbodied force, [as nam'd with these 
[Note]575 Could merit more than that small Infantry 
  Warr'd on by Cranes:] tho' all the [Giant] brood 
  Of Phlegra with th' Heroic Race were join'd 
  That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side 
  Mix'd with auxiliar Gods; [and what resounds 
[Note]580 In Fable or Romance of Uther's Son 
  Begirt with British and Armoric Knights; 
  And all who since, Baptiz'd or Infidel, 
  Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban, 
  Damasco, or Morocco, or Trebisond, 
 585 Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore 
  When Charlemain with all his Peerage fell 
  By Feuntarabia.] Thus far these beyondThese far
  Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'drival
  Their dread Commander. He, above the rest 
[Note]590 In shape and gesture proudly eminentStature
  Stood like a Towr; his Form had yet not lost 
  All her Original brightness, nor appear'd 
  Less than Arch Angel ruin'd, and th' excess 
  Of Glory' obscur'd. As when the Sun new-ris'n 
 595 Looks thro' the horizontal misty air 
  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 
 600 Above them all th' Arch-Angel. But his face 
  Deep scars of Thunder had intrench'd, and Care 
  Sat on his faded cheek; but under browsbrow
[Note] Of dauntless Courage and consid'rate Pridesat
  Waiting revenge. Cruel his Eye, but cast 
[Note]605 Signs of remorse and passion to beholdpity
[Note]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 amerc'd 
[Note]610 Of Heav'n, and from eternal splendors flungethereal Splendor
  For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood, 
  Their Glory wither'd. As when Heaven's Fire 
  Hath scath'd the forest Oaks or mountain Pines, 
  With singed top their stately growth tho' bare 
 615 Stands on the blasted Heath. He now prepar'd 
  To speak; whereat their doubled Ranks they bend 
  From wing to wing, and half inclose him round 
  With all his Peers: Attention held them mute. 
  Thrice he assay'd, and thrice in spight of Scorn, 
 620 Tears, such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last 
[Note] Words interwove with sighs found out their way:interrupt
     O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Pow'rs 
  Matchless, but with th' Almighty! and that strife 
  Was not inglorious, tho' th' event was dire; 
[Note]625 As this place testifies, and this dire change,sad
  Hateful to utter: but what power of mind, 
  Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth 
[Note] Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd,conceive
  How such united force of Gods, how such 
 630 As stood like these, could ever know repulse? 
  For who can yet beleeve, tho' after loss, 
  That all these puissant Legions, whose exíle 
  Hath emptied heav'n, shall fail to re-ascend 
  Self-rais'd, and re-possess their native seat? 
[Note]635 For Me be witness all the Host of Heav'n,this
[Note] If counsels different, or danger shun'de'er differr'd
  By Me, have lost our hopes. But He who reigns 
  Monarch in Heav'n, 'till then as one secure 
  Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute, 
 640 Consent or custom, and his regal State 
  Put forth at full; but still his Strength conceal'd, 
[Note] Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.revolt
  Henceforth His Might we know, and know our Own: 
  So as not either to provoke, or dread 
 645 New war, provok'd. Our better part remains 
[Note] To work in close design, by fraud or guileand wile
[Note] What force effected not: that he no lessLesson He
  At length from us may find, Who overcomeslearn
  By force, hath overcome but half his foe. 
 650 Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife 
  There went a fame in Heav'n that he ere long 
  Intended to create; and therein plant 
  A generation, whom his choice regard 
  Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven: 
 655 Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps 
  Our first Eruption; thither or elsewhere: 
  For this Infernal Pit shall never hold 
  Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor th' Abyss 
  Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts 
 660 Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despair'd, 
  For who can think Submission? War then, War 
[Note] Open or understood must be resolv'd.underhand
     He spake: and to confirm his words outflew 
  Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighsBlades
 665 Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze 
  Far round illumin'd Hell: highly they rag'd 
[Note] Against the High'st, and fierce with grasped armsswords
  Clash'd on their sounding shields the din of war, 
[Note] Hurling defiance toward the Vault of Heav'n.Walls
 670    There stood a Hill not far, whose grisly top 
  Belch'd fire and rolling smoke: the rest entire 
  Shone with a glossy scurff, undoubted sign 
  That in his womb was hid metallick Ore, 
  The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed 
 675 A numerous Brigad hasten'd; As when bands 
  Of Pioneers with spade and pickax arm'd 
  Fore-run the Royal Camp, to trench a Field, 
  Or cast a Rampart.   Mammon led them on, 
  Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell 
 680 From Heav'n, for ev'n in Heav'n his looks and thoughts 
  Were always downward bent; admiring more 
  The riches of Heav'n's Pavement, trodden Gold, 
  Than ought divine or holy else enjoy'd 
  In vision beatific: by him firston Him Lost.
[Note]685 Men also, and by his suggestion taught,first
[Note] Ransack'd the Center, and with impious handsMountains
  Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth 
  For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew 
  Open'd into the Hill a spacious wound,Opening
[Note]690 And dig'd out ribs of Gold. Let none admireDig'd out the Seeds
  That Riches grow in Hell; that soile may best 
[Note] Deserve the precious bane. And here let thoseBefit
  Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell 
  Of Babel, and the works of Memphian Kings, 
 695 Learn how their greatest Monuments of Fame 
[Note] And Strength and Art are easily out-doneFor
  By Spirits reprobate; and in an hour, 
[Note] What in an age they with incessant toilethose
  And hands innumerable scarce perform.perform'd.
 700 Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd, 
  That underneath had veins of liquid fire 
  Sluc'd from the Lake: a Second multitude 
  With wondrous Art founded the massy Ore, 
[Note] Severing each kind, and scum'd the Bullion Dross:from
 705 A Third as soon had form'd within the ground 
  A various Mold, 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 breaths. 
 710 Anon out of the Earth a Fabrick huge 
  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 
 715 With golden Architrave: nor did there want 
  Cornice or Freeze, with bossy Sculptures grav'n; 
[Note] The Roof was fretted Gold. [Not Babylon, 
  Nor great Alcairo such magnificence 
  Equal'd in all their glories, to inshrine 
 720 Belus or Serapis their Gods, or seat 
  Their Kings, when Ægypt with Assyria strove 
  In wealth and luxury.] Th' ascending pile 
  Stood fix'd her stately highth; and straight the doors 
  Op'ning their brazen folds discover wide 
[Note]725 Within her ample spaces, o'er the smoothAnd high
  And level pavement: from the arched roof 
  Pendent by subtle Magic, many a row 
  Of starry Lamps and blazing Cressets, fed 
  With Naphtha and Asphaltos yielded light 
 730 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 Towred structure high; 
  Where Sceptred Angels held their residence, 
[Note]735 And sat as Princes: whom the supreme KingKing supreme
  Exalted to such power, and gave to rule, 
  Each in his Hierarchy, the Orders bright. 
  Nor was his name unheard or unador'd 
[Note]In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian Land 
 740 Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fellVulcan    once he
  From Heav'n, they fabl'd; 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 
 745 Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star, 
[Note] On Lemnos, th' Ægean Isle. Thus they relate,thence His
  Erring; for he with this rebellious rout 
  Fell long before; nor ought avail'd him now 
  To' have built in Heav'n high Tow'rs: nor did he scape 
 750 By all his Engins; but was headlong sent 
  With his industrious crew to build in Hell. 
     Mean while the winged Heralds by command 
  Of Sov'rain pow'r, with awful ceremony 
  And Trumpet's sound, throughout the Host proclame 
 755 A solemn Council forthwith to be held 
  At Pandæmonium, 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 
 760 With hundreds and with thousands trooping came 
  Attended: all access was throng'd, the gates 
  And porches wide, but chief the spacious Hall 
[Note] [Though like a cover'd field, where Champions bold 
  Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldan's Chair 
 765 Defy'd the best of Paynim Chivalry 
  To mortal Combat, or carriere with Lance] 
  Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air, 
  Brush'd with the hiss of rusling Wings. As Bees 
[Note] In spring-time, when the Sun with Taurus rides,in
 770 Pour forth their populous youth about the hive 
  In clusters: they among fresh Dews and Flours 
  Fly to and fro; or on the smoothed Plank, 
  The Suburb of their Straw-built Citadel, 
  New rub'd with Baum, expatiate and confer 
 775 Their State affairs. So thick the aery crowd 
  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 then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room 
 780 Throng numberless: like that Pygmaean Race 
  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 
 785 Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth 
[Note] Wheels her pale course: They on their mirth and danceCarr
  Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear: 
  At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds. 
  Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms 
 790 Reduc'd their shapes immense; * and were at large, 
  Though without number still amidst the Hall 
[Note] Of that infernal Court. But far within, 
  And in their own dimensions like themselves, 
  The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim 
 795 In close recess and secret conclave sat, 
  A thousand Demi-gods on golden seats, 
[Note] Frequent and full. * After short silence then, 
  And summons read, the great Consult began.