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Paradise Lost in Plain English
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Paradise Lost

~ BOOK I ~

  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. Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
  13. Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
  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
  48. In Adamantine Chains and penal Fire,
  49. Who durst defie th' Omnipotent to Arms.
..............

IN PLAIN ENGLISH

. CHAPTER 1

  1. Tell me about man's first sin, when he tasted the forbidden fruit and caused all our troubles, until Jesus came and saved us.

  2. Inspire me with this knowledge. You are the heavenly spirit who inspired Moses in his teachings.


  3. I'm asking for your help because I want to write a great work different from any that was ever written before.

  4. I want you to teach me, Holy Spirit, because you value goodness more than fancy churches.
  5. You know everything. You were there at the Beginning. You sat like a dove with your wings spread over the dark emptiness and made it come to life.
  6. Enlighten me where I am ignorant and strengthen my abilities so that I can correctly explain God's great purpose to men.

  7. You know everything about Heaven and Hell, so tell me, what was it that made Adam and Eve go against God's orders? They seemed so happy. He had given them the whole world, except for one little thing.
  8. Who made them do this awful thing? It was that snake from Hell, wasn't it. His envy and thirst for revenge made him go trick Eve the way he did.
  9. His pride had got him thrown out of Heaven with all his followers. They supported him in his ambition to glorify himself - even to the point of waging war against God.

  10. But he was doomed to fail. After a terrible war, God threw him into Hell for daring to fight him.
  1. Nine times the Space that measures Day and Night
  2. To mortal men, he with his horrid crew
  3. Lay vanquisht, rowling in the fiery Gulfe
  4. Confounded though immortal: But his doom
  5. Reserv'd him to more wrath; for now the thought
  6. Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
  7. Torments him; round he throws his baleful eyes
  8. That witness'd huge affliction and dismay
  9. Mixt with obdurate pride and stedfast hate:
  10. At once as far as Angels kenn he views
  11. The dismal Situation waste and wilde,
  12. A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round
  13. As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames
  14. No light, but rather darkness visible
  15. Serv'd onely to discover sights of woe,
  16. Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
  17. And rest can never dwell, hope never comes
  18. That comes to all; but torture without end
  19. Still urges, and a fiery Deluge, fed
  20. With ever-burning Sulphur unconsum'd:
  21. Such place Eternal Justice had prepar'd
  22. For those rebellious, here thir Prison ordain'd
  23. In utter darkness, and thir portion set
  24. As far remov'd from God and light of Heav'n
  25. As from the Center thrice to th' utmost Pole.
  26. O how unlike the place from whence they fell!
  27. There the companions of his fall, o'rewhelm'd
  28. With Floods and Whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,
  29. He soon discerns, and weltring by his side
  30. One next himself in power, and next in crime,
  31. Long after known in Palestine, and nam'd
  32. Beelzebub. To whom th' Arch-Enemy,
  33. And thence in Heav'n call'd Satan, with bold words
  34. Breaking the horrid silence thus began.
  35. If thou beest he; But O how fall'n! how chang'd
  36. From him, who in the happy Realms of Light
  37. Cloth'd with transcendent brightness didst out-shine
  38. Myriads though bright: If he Whom mutual league,
  39. United thoughts and counsels, equal hope
  40. And hazard in the Glorious Enterprize,
  41. Joynd with me once, now misery hath joynd
  42. In equal ruin: into what Pit thou seest
  43. From what highth fall'n, so much the stronger prov'd
  44. He with his Thunder: and till then who knew
  45. The force of those dire Arms? yet not for those,
  46. Nor what the Potent Victor in his rage
  47. Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
  48. Though chang'd in outward lustre; that fixt mind
  49. And high disdain, from sence of injur'd merit,
  50. That with the mightiest rais'd me to contend,
  1. For nine days he and his evil followers were lying helpless in the fires of Hell.

  2. But soon he grew angry, thinking about all the lost pleasures and the unending pain.
  3. He looked around and saw a lot of suffering. But he only felt stubborn pride and hatefulness.
  4. As far as he could see there were flames, but they burned dark instead of bright, and they only revealed sorrow and hopelessness.
  5. These fires would never go out and the torture would never end.

  6. This is the place Justice made for those who rebel against God.

  7. It was as far from Heaven and Heaven's light and as different from Heaven as it could be.

  8. This is where he saw all his defeated followers. And there, wallowing in the flames right next to him, was his top assistant.
  9. Later we would know him as Beelzebub.
  10. His leader, who they called Satan, finally spoke.
  11. Is this really you? If you are who I think you are, how you've changed! Your brightness that outshined everyone is gone.
  12. If you're the one who joined me in planning and undertaking our grand mission--it looks like now we are joined again, but in misery.
  13. Look at how far we fell! It turns out he was much stronger than us after all, but how could we know that?
  14. But I don't care what he did to us, or may still do, I'm not sorry. And I'm not going to change.
  15. My appearance may have changed, but the indignity I suffered that caused me to fight him hasn't changed.
  1. And to the fierce contention brought along
  2. Innumerable force of Spirits arm'd
  3. That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
  4. His utmost power with adverse power oppos'd
  5. In dubious Battel on the Plains of Heav'n,
  6. And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
  7. All is not lost; the unconquerable Will,
  8. And study of revenge, immortal hate,
  9. And courage never to submit or yield:
  10. And what is else not to be overcome?
  11. That Glory never shall his wrath or might
  12. Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace
  13. With suppliant knee, and deifie his power,
  14. Who from the terrour of this Arm so late
  15. Doubted his Empire, that were low indeed,
  16. That were an ignominy and shame beneath
  17. This downfall; since by Fate the strength of Gods
  18. And this Empyreal substance cannot fail,
  19. Since through experience of this great event
  20. In Arms not worse, in foresight much advanc't,
  21. We may with more successful hope resolve
  22. To wage by force or guile eternal Warr
  23. Irreconcileable, to our grand Foe,
  24. Who now triumphs, and in th' excess of joy
  25. Sole reigning holds the Tyranny of Heav'n.
  26. So spake th' Apostate Angel, though in pain,
  27. Vaunting aloud, but rackt with deep despare:
  28. And him thus answer'd soon his bold Compeer.
  29. O Prince, O Chief of many Throned Powers,
  30. That led th' imbattelld Seraphim to Warr
  31. Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds
  32. Fearless, endanger'd Heav'ns perpetual King;
  33. And put to proof his high Supremacy,
  34. Whether upheld by strength, or Chance, or Fate,
  35. Too well I see and rue the dire event,
  36. That with sad overthrow and foul defeat
  37. Hath lost us Heav'n, and all this mighty Host
  38. In horrible destruction laid thus low,
  39. As far as Gods and Heav'nly Essences
  40. Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains
  41. Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
  42. Though all our Glory extinct, and happy state
  43. Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
  44. But what if he our Conquerour, (whom I now
  45. Of force believe Almighty, since no less
  46. Then such could hav orepow'rd such force as ours)
  47. Have left us this our spirit and strength intire
  48. Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
  49. That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
  50. Or do him mightier service as his thralls
  51. By right of Warr, what e're his business be
  52. Here in the heart of Hell to work in Fire,
  53. Or do his Errands in the gloomy Deep;
  1. And what made the multitudes agree with me and join me in battling him and shaking up his kingdom--that hasn't changed.
  2. So what if we lost some ground? He'll never be able to take away my free will, my revenge, my hate, or my courage never to give up.
  3. And if I still have all that, what did he win?
  4. Am I supposed to kneel and beg for mercy from him who I just gave some serious worry about the safety of his empire?
  5. That would be worse shame than the defeat we just had.
  6. We can't die, and we can't be physically hurt, but we have learned a lot from this experience.
  7. Whether we do it by outright battle or some more devious way, we can fight our enemy forever--that tyrant in Heaven who sits there now, gloating over his victory.
  8. Satan said these words forcefully though he was in pain and despair.
  9. Beelzebub responded, Oh Prince, you bravely led the rebelling angels against Heaven's king.
  10. But he defeated us, whether by his greater strength or just good luck, I don't know.
  11. Now, too late, I see only too well the sad outcome of our plan--the loss of Heaven, and all our comrades left in such sad shape.
  12. But we are like gods and can't die. Our minds and spirits are indestructible, and soon our strength will return, although our glory and joy are gone forever.
  13. Now I think our Conqueror must really be almighty. How else could he defeat an army like ours?
  14. But what if he left us alive just to make us suffer?
  15. Or maybe he wants to make us his slaves to do whatever strange things he thinks up for us to do in this dark pit.
  1. What can it then avail though yet we feel
  2. Strength undiminisht, or eternal being
  3. To undergo eternal punishment?
  4. Whereto with speedy words th' Arch-fiend reply'd.
  5. Fall'n Cherube, to be weak is miserable
  6. Doing or Suffering: but of this be sure,
  7. To do ought good never will be our task,
  8. But ever to do ill our sole delight,
  9. As being the contrary to his high will
  10. Whom we resist. If then his Providence
  11. Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,
  12. Our labour must be to pervert that end,
  13. And out of good still to find means of evil;
  14. Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps
  15. Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb
  16. His inmost counsels from thir destind aim.
  17. But see the angry Victor hath recall'd
  18. His Ministers of vengeance and pursuit
  19. Back to the Gates of Heav'n: The Sulphurous Hail
  20. Shot after us in storm, oreblown hath laid
  21. The fiery Surge, that from the Precipice
  22. Of Heav'n receiv'd us falling, and the Thunder,
  23. Wing'd with red Lightning and impetuous rage,
  24. Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now
  25. To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.
  26. Let us not slip th' occasion, whether scorn,
  27. Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.
  28. Seest thou yon dreary Plain, forlorn and wilde,
  29. The seat of desolation, voyd of light,
  30. Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
  31. Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend
  32. From off the tossing of these fiery waves,
  33. There rest, if any rest can harbour there,
  34. And reassembling our afflicted Powers,
  35. Consult how we may henceforth most offend
  36. Our Enemy, our own loss how repair,
  37. How overcome this dire Calamity,
  38. What reinforcement we may gain from Hope,
  39. If not what resolution from despare.
  40. Thus Satan talking to his neerest Mate
  41. With Head up-lift above the wave, and Eyes
  42. That sparkling blaz'd, his other Parts besides
  43. Prone on the Flood, extended long and large
  44. Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge
  45. As whom the Fables name of monstrous size,
  46. Titanian, or Earth-born, that warr'd on Jove,
  47. Briareos or Typhon, whom the Den
  48. By ancient Tarsus held, or that Sea-beast
  49. Leviathan, which God of all his works
  50. Created hugest that swim th' Ocean stream:
  51. Him haply slumbring on the Norway foam
  52. The Pilot of some small night-founder'd Skiff,
  53. Deeming some Island, oft, as Sea-men tell,
  54. With fixed Anchor in his skaly rind
  55. Moors by his side under the Lee, while Night
  56. Invests the Sea, and wished Morn delayes:
  1. What good is it if we remain alive and healthy forever if it's only so we can suffer forever?

  2. Satan answered quickly, I know it stinks to be under his power, but I'll tell you one thing--we will never do good deeds again. We'll get all our pleasure from doing evil, because it's the opposite of what he wants.
  3. And if he tries to turn our evil actions into something good, we'll find another way to turn them into evil again.
  4. And sometimes we'll succeed, and disrupt his plans and cause him a lot of grief.
  5. But look around--the enemy forces have gone back to Heaven, and the storm that surrounded us is calm now.

  6. Maybe his anger has been satisfied, or maybe he's turning his back on us in contempt--either way, let's take advantage of the opportunity.

  7. See that dark barren plain over there?

  8. Let's get out of these flames and go rest there--if we can get any rest in this miserable place.
  9. Let's gather everybody there and decide how we can recover from this disaster and make more trouble for the enemy.

  10. As Satan spoke to his companion only his head and blazing eyes were up above the flames.

  11. The rest of his body was stretched out on the lake of fire like a big whale--the kind that sailors, they say, sometimes mistake for an island and spend the night anchored by its side.
  1. So stretcht out huge in length the Arch-fiend lay
  2. Chain'd on the burning Lake, nor ever thence
  3. Had ris'n or heav'd his head, but that the will
  4. And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
  5. Left him at large to his own dark designs,
  6. That with reiterated crimes he might
  7. Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
  8. Evil to others, and enrag'd might see
  9. How all his malice serv'd but to bring forth
  10. Infinite goodness, grace and mercy shewn
  11. On Man by him seduc't, but on himself
  12. Treble confusion, wrath and vengeance pour'd.
  13. Forthwith upright he rears from off the Pool
  14. His mighty Stature; on each hand the flames
  15. Driv'n backward slope thir pointing spires, and rowld
  16. In billows, leave i'th' midst a horrid Vale.
  17. Then with expanded wings he stears his flight
  18. Aloft, incumbent on the dusky Air
  19. That felt unusual weight, till on dry Land
  20. He lights, if it were Land that ever burn'd
  21. With solid, as the Lake with liquid fire;
  22. And such appear'd in hue, as when the force
  23. Of subterranean wind transports a Hill
  24. Torn from Pelorus, or the shatter'd side
  25. Of thundring tna, whose combustible
  26. And fewel'd entrals thence conceiving Fire,
  27. Sublim'd with Mineral fury, aid the Winds,
  28. And leave a singed bottom all involv'd
  29. With stench and smoak: Such resting found the sole
  30. Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate,
  31. Both glorying to have scap't the Stygian flood
  32. As Gods, and by thir own recover'd strength,
  33. Not by the sufferance of supernal Power.

  1. And he might never have got out of that lake, or even lifted his head, if God didn't decide to allow it.
  2. God left him free to commit his many crimes and pile more damnation on himself while he tried to harm others.
  3. But he would find that the result would be God's goodness, grace, and mercy given to man, while he suffered God's punishment over and over.
  4. So Satan got up, and the flames rolled back leaving a big open space where he had been lying.
  5. Then he spread his wings and flew up into the polluted air and landed on dry land--if you could call it land, since it was as hot as fire.

  6. The smoke and the stink and the color of the hill was like an erupted volcano.

  7. This land was meant for people who were not blessed.

  8. Beelzebub followed Satan. They were both proud to have gotten out of the lake by their own power, or so they believed.
  1. Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime,
  2. Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat
  3. That we must change for Heav'n, this mournful gloom
  4. For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
  5. Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid
  6. What shall be right: fardest from him is best
  7. Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream
  8. Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields
  9. Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail
  10. Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
  11. Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
  12. A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
  13. The mind is its own place, and in it self
  14. Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
  15. What matter where, if I be still the same,
  16. And what I should be, all but less then he
  17. Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least
  18. We shall be free; th' Almighty hath not built
  19. Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
  20. Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce
  21. To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
  22. Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
  23. But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,
  24. Th' associates and copartners of our loss
  25. Lye thus astonisht on th' oblivious Pool,
  26. And call them not to share with us their part
  27. In this unhappy Mansion, or once more
  28. With rallied Arms to try what may be yet
  29. Regaind in Heav'n, or what more lost in Hell?
  30. So Satan spake, and him Beelzebub
  31. Thus answer'd. Leader of those Armies bright,
  32. Which but th' Onmipotent none could have foyld,
  33. If once they hear that voyce, thir liveliest pledge
  34. Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft
  35. In worst extreams, and on the perilous edge
  36. Of battel when it rag'd, in all assaults
  37. Thir surest signal, they will soon resume
  38. New courage and revive, though now they lye
  39. Groveling and prostrate on yon Lake of Fire,
  40. As we erewhile, astounded and amaz'd,
  41. No wonder, fall'n such a pernicious highth.
  42. He scarce had ceas't when the superiour Fiend
  43. Was moving toward the shoar; his ponderous shield
  44. Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
  45. Behind him cast; the broad circumference
  46. Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb
  47. Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views
  48. At Ev'ning from the top of Fesole,
  49. Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands,
  50. Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe.
  51. His Spear, to equal which the tallest Pine
  52. Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the Mast
  53. Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand,
  54. He walkt with to support uneasie steps
  55. Over the burning Marle, not like those steps
  56. On Heavens Azure, and the torrid Clime
  57. Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with Fire;
  58. Nathless he so endur'd, till on the Beach
  59. Of that inflamed Sea, he stood and call'd
  60. His Legions, Angel Forms, who lay intrans't
  61. Thick as Autumnal Leaves that strow the Brooks
  62. In Vallombrosa, where th' Etrurian shades
  63. High overarch't imbowr; or scatterd sedge
  64. Afloat, when with fierce Winds Orion arm'd
  65. Hath vext the Red-Sea Coast, whose waves orethrew
  66. Busiris and his Memphian Chivalry,
  67. While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
  68. The Sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
  69. From the safe shore thir floating Carkases
  70. And broken Chariot Wheels, so thick bestrown
  71. Abject and lost lay these, covering the Flood,
  72. Under amazement of thir hideous change.
  73. He call'd so loud, that all the hollow Deep
  74. Of Hell resounded. Princes, Potentates,
  75. Warriers, the Flowr of Heav'n, once yours, now lost,
  76. If such astonishment as this can sieze
  77. Eternal spirits; or have ye chos'n this place
  78. After the toyl of Battel to repose
  79. Your wearied vertue, for the ease you find
  80. To slumber here, as in the Vales of Heav'n?
  81. Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
  82. To adore the Conquerour? who now beholds
  83. Cherube and Seraph rowling in the Flood
  84. With scatter'd Arms and Ensigns, till anon
  85. His swift pursuers from Heav'n Gates discern
  86. Th' advantage, and descending tread us down
  87. Thus drooping, or with linked Thunderbolts
  88. Transfix us to the bottom of this Gulfe.
  89. Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n.
  90. They heard, and were abasht, and up they sprung
  91. Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch
  92. On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread,
  93. Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.
  94. Nor did they not perceave the evil plight
  95. In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;
  96. Yet to thir Generals Voyce they soon obeyd
  97. Innumerable. As when the potent Rod
  98. Of Amrams Son in Egypts evill day
  99. Wav'd round the Coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud
  100. Of Locusts, warping on the Eastern Wind,
  101. That ore the Realm of impious Pharaoh hung
  102. Like Night, and darken'd all the Land of Nile:
  103. So numberless were those bad Angels seen
  104. Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell
  105. 'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding Fires;
  106. Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted Spear
  107. Of thir great Sultan waving to direct
  108. Thir course, in even ballance down they light
  109. On the firm brimstone, and fill all the Plain;
  110. A multitude, like which the populous North
  111. Pour'd never from her frozen loyns, to pass
  112. Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous Sons
  113. Came like a Deluge on the South, and spread
  114. Beneath Gibralter to the Lybian sands.
  115. Forthwith from every Squadron and each Band
  116. The Heads and Leaders thither hast where stood
  117. Thir great Commander; Godlike shapes and forms
  118. Excelling human, Princely Dignities,
  119. And Powers that earst in Heaven sat on Thrones;
  120. Though of thir Names in heav'nly Records now
  121. Be no memorial blotted out and ras'd
  122. By thir Rebellion, from the Books of Life.
  123. Nor had they yet among the Sons of Eve
  124. Got them new Names, till wandring ore the Earth,
  125. Through Gods high sufferance for the tryal of man,
  126. By falsities and lyes the greatest part
  127. Of Mankind they corrupted to forsake
  128. God thir Creator, and th' invisible
  129. Glory of him that made them, to transform
  130. Oft to the Image of a Brute, adorn'd
  131. With gay Religions full of Pomp and Gold,
  132. And Devils to adore for Deities:
  133. Then were they known to men by various Names,
  134. And various Idols through the Heathen World.
  135. Say, Muse, thir Names then known, who first, who last,
  136. Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery Couch,
  137. At thir great Emperors call, as next in worth
  138. Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
  139. While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof?
  140. The chief were those who from the Pit of Hell
  141. Roaming to seek thir prey on earth, durst fix
  142. Thir Seats long after next the Seat of God,
  143. Thir Altars by his Altar, Gods ador'd
  144. Among the Nations round, and durst abide
  145. Jehovah thundring out of Sion, thron'd
  146. Between the Cherubim; yea, often plac'd
  147. Within his Sanctuary it self thir Shrines,
  148. Abominations; and with cursed things
  149. His holy Rites, and solemn Feasts profan'd,]
  150. And with thir darkness durst affront his light.
  151. First Moloch, horrid King besmear'd with blood
  152. Of human sacrifice, and parents tears,
  153. Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud
  154. Thir childrens cries unheard, that past through fire
  155. To his grim Idol. Him the Ammonite
  156. Worshipt in Rabba and her watry Plain,
  157. In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
  158. Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
  159. Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
  160. Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
  161. His Temple right against the Temple of God
  162. On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
  163. The pleasant Vally of Hinnom, Tophet thence
  164. And black Gehenna call'd, the Type of Hell.
  165. Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moabs Sons,
  166. From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild
  167. Of Southmost Abarim; in Hesebon
  168. And Horonaim, Seons Realm, beyond
  169. The flowry Dale of Sibma clad with Vines,
  170. And Eleale to th' Asphaltick Pool.
  171. Peor his other Name, when he entic'd
  172. Israel in Sittim on thir march from Nile
  173. To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
  174. Yet thence his lustful Orgies he enlarg'd
  175. Even to that Hill of scandal, by the Grove
  176. Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate;
  177. Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
  178. With these came they, who from the bordring flood
  179. Of old Euphrates to the Brook that parts
  180. Egypt from Syrian ground, had general Names
  181. Of Baalim and Ashtaroth, those male,
  182. These Feminine. For Spirits when they please
  183. Can either Sex assume, or both; so soft
  184. And uncompounded is thir Essence pure,
  185. Not ti'd or manacl'd with joynt or limb,
  186. Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
  187. Like cumbrous flesh; but in what shape they choose
  188. Dilated or condens't, bright or obscure,
  189. Can execute thir aerie purposes,
  190. And works of love or enmity fulfill.
  191. For those the Race of Israel oft forsook
  192. Thir living strength, and unfrequented left
  193. His righteous Altar, bowing lowly down
  194. To bestial Gods; for which thir heads as low
  195. Bow'd down in Battel, sunk before the Spear
  196. Of despicable foes. With these in troop
  197. Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd
  198. Astarte, Queen of Heav'n, with crescent Horns;
  199. To whose bright Image nightly by the Moon
  200. Sidonian Virgins paid thir Vows and Songs,
  201. In Sion also not unsung, where stood
  202. Her Temple on th' offensive Mountain, built
  203. By that uxorious King, whose heart though large,
  204. Beguil'd by fair Idolatresses, fell
  205. To Idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,
  206. Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd
  207. The Syrian Damsels to lament his fate
  208. In amorous dittyes all a Summers day,
  209. While smooth Adonis from his native Rock
  210. Ran purple to the Sea, suppos'd with blood
  211. Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the Love-tale
  212. Infected Sions daughters with like heat,
  213. Whose wanton passions in the sacred Porch
  214. Ezekiel saw, when by the Vision led
  215. His eye survay'd the dark Idolatries
  216. Of alienated Judah. Next came one
  217. Who mourn'd in earnest, when the Captive Ark
  218. Maim'd his brute Image, head and hands lopt off
  219. In his own Temple, on the grunsel edge,
  220. Where he fell flat, and sham'd his Worshipers:
  221. Dagon his Name, Sea Monster, upward Man
  222. And downward Fish: yet had his Temple high
  223. Rear'd in Azotus, dreaded through the Coast
  224. Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon
  225. And Accaron and Gaza's frontier bounds.
  226. Him follow'd Rimmon, whose delightful Seat
  227. Was fair Damascus, on the fertil Banks
  228. Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.
  229. He also against the house of God was bold:
  230. A Leper once he lost and gain'd a King,
  231. Ahaz his sottish Conquerour, whom he drew
  232. Gods Altar to disparage and displace
  233. For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn
  234. His odious off'rings, and adore the Gods
  235. Whom he had vanquisht. After these appear'd
  236. A crew who under Names of old Renown,
  237. Osiris, Isis, Orus and their Train
  238. With monstrous shapes and sorceries abus'd
  239. Fanatic Egypt and her Priests, to seek
  240. Thir wandring Gods disguis'd in brutish forms
  241. Rather then human. Nor did Israel scape
  242. Th' infection when thir borrow'd Gold compos'd
  243. The Calf in Oreb: and the Rebel King
  244. Doubl'd that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
  245. Lik'ning his Maker to the Grazed Ox,
  246. Jehovah, who in one Night when he pass'd
  247. From Egypt marching, equal'd with one stroke
  248. Both her first born and all her bleating Gods.
  249. Belial came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd
  250. Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
  251. Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood
  252. Or Altar smoak'd; yet who more oft then hee
  253. In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest
  254. Turns Atheist, as did Ely's Sons, who fill'd
  255. With lust and violence the house of God.
  256. In Courts and Palaces he also Reigns
  257. And in luxurious Cities, where the noyse
  258. Of riot ascends above thir loftiest Towrs,
  259. And injury and outrage: And when Night
  260. Darkens the Streets, then wander forth the Sons
  261. Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
  262. Witness the Streets of Sodom, and that night
  263. In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
  264. Expos'd a Matron to avoid worse rape.
  265. These were the prime in order and in might;
  266. The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd,
  267. Th' Ionian Gods, of Javans Issue held
  268. Gods, yet confest later then Heav'n and Earth
  269. Thir boasted Parents; Titan Heav'ns first born
  270. With his enormous brood, and birthright seis'd
  271. By younger Saturn, he from mightier Jove
  272. His own and Rhea's Son like measure found;
  273. So Jove usurping reign'd: these first in Creet
  274. And Ida known, thence on the Snowy top
  275. Of cold Olympus rul'd the middle Air
  276. Thir highest Heav'n; or on the Delphian Cliff,
  277. Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds
  278. Of Doric Land; or who with Saturn old
  279. Fled over Adria to th' Hesperian Fields,
  280. And ore the Celtic roam'd the utmost Isles.
  281. All these and more came flocking; but with looks
  282. Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd
  283. Obscure some glimps of joy, to have found thir chief
  284. Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
  285. In loss it self; which on his count'nance cast
  286. Like doubtful hue: but he his wonted pride
  287. Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore
  288. Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd
  289. Thir fainting courage, and dispel'd thir fears.
  290. Then strait commands that at the warlike sound
  291. Of Trumpets loud and Clarions be upreard
  292. His mighty Standard; that proud honour claim'd
  293. Azazel as his right, a Cherube tall:
  294. Who forthwith from the glittering Staff unfurld
  295. Th' Imperial Ensign, which full high advanc't
  296. Shon like a Meteor streaming to the Wind
  297. With Gemms and Golden lustre rich imblaz'd,
  298. Seraphic arms and Trophies: all the while
  299. Sonorous mettal blowing Martial sounds:
  300. At which the universal Host upsent
  301. A shout that tore Hells Concave, and beyond
  302. Frighted the Reign of Chaos and old Night.
  303. All in a moment through the gloom were seen
  304. Ten thousand Banners rise into the Air
  305. With Orient Colours waving: with them rose
  306. A Forest huge of Spears: and thronging Helms
  307. Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array
  308. Of depth immeasurable: Anon they move
  309. In perfect Phalanx to the Dorian mood
  310. Of Flutes and soft Recorders; such as rais'd
  311. To hight of noblest temper Hero's old
  312. Arming to Battel, and in stead of rage
  313. Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd
  314. With dread of death to flight or foul retreat,
  315. Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage
  316. With solemn touches, troubl'd thoughts, and chase
  317. Anguish and doubt and fear and sorrow and pain
  318. From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they
  319. Breathing united force with fixed thought
  320. Mov'd on in silence to soft Pipes that charm'd
  321. Thir painful steps o're the burnt soyle; and now
  322. Advanc't in view, they stand, a horrid Front
  323. Of dreadful length and dazling Arms, in guise
  324. Of Warriers old with order'd Spear and Shield,
  325. Awaiting what command thir mighty Chief
  326. Had to impose: He through the armed Files
  327. Darts his experienc't eye, and soon traverse
  328. The whole Battalion views, thir order due,
  329. Thir visages and stature as of Gods,
  330. Thir number last he summs. And now his heart
  331. Distends with pride, and hardning in his strength
  332. Glories: For never since created man,
  333. Met such imbodied force, as nam'd with these
  334. Could merit more then that small infantry
  335. Warr'd on by Cranes: though all the Giant brood
  336. Of Phlegra with th' Heroic Race were joyn'd
  337. That fought at Theb's and Ilium, on each side
  338. Mixt with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds
  339. In Fable or Romance of Uthers Son
  340. Begirt with British and Armoric Knights;
  341. And all who since, Baptiz'd or Infidel
  342. Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,
  343. Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
  344. Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore
  345. When Charlemain with all his Peerage fell
  346. By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond
  347. Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
  348. Thir dread commander: he above the rest
  349. In shape and gesture proudly eminent
  350. Stood like a Towr; his form had yet not lost
  351. All her Original brightness, nor appear'd
  352. Less then Arch Angel ruind, and th' excess
  353. Of Glory obscur'd: As when the Sun new ris'n
  354. Looks through the Horizontal misty Air
  355. Shorn of his Beams, or from behind the Moon
  356. In dim Eclips disastrous twilight sheds
  357. On half the Nations, and with fear of change
  358. Perplexes Monarchs. Dark'n'd so, yet shon
  359. Above them all th' Arch Angel: but his face
  360. Deep scars of Thunder had intrencht, and care
  361. Sat on his faded cheek, but under Browes
  362. Of dauntless courage, and considerate Pride
  363. Waiting revenge: cruel his eye, but cast
  364. Signs of remorse and passion to behold
  365. The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
  366. (Far other once beheld in bliss) condemn'd
  367. For ever now to have thir lot in pain,
  368. Millions of Spirits for his fault amerc't
  369. Of Heav'n, and from Eternal Splendors flung
  370. For his revolt, yet faithfull how they stood,
  371. Thir Glory witherd. As when Heavens Fire
  372. Hath scath'd the Forrest Oaks, or Mountain Pines,
  373. With singed top thir stately growth though bare
  374. Stands on the blasted Heath. He now prepar'd
  375. To speak; whereat thir doubl'd Ranks they bend
  376. From wing to wing, and half enclose him round
  377. With all his Peers: attention held them mute.
  378. Thrice he assayd, and thrice in spight of scorn,
  379. Tears such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last
  380. Words interwove with sighs found out thir way.
  381. O Myriads of immortal Spirits, O Powers
  382. Matchless, but with th' Almighty, and that strife
  383. Was not inglorious, though th' event was dire,
  384. As this place testifies, and this dire change
  385. Hateful to utter: but what power of mind
  386. Foreseeing or presaging, from the Depth
  387. Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd,
  388. How such united force of Gods, how such
  389. As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
  390. For who can yet beleeve, though after loss,
  391. That all these puissant Legions, whose exile
  392. Hath emptied Heav'n, shall fail to re-ascend
  393. Self-rais'd, and repossess thir native seat?
  394. For mee be witness all the Host of Heav'n,
  395. If counsels different, or danger shun'd
  396. By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns
  397. Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one secure
  398. Sat on his Throne, upheld by old repute,
  399. Consent or custome, and his Regal State
  400. Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd,
  401. Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
  402. Henceforth his might we know, and know our own
  403. So as not either to provoke, or dread
  404. New warr, provok't; our better part remains
  405. To work in close design, by fraud or guile
  406. What force effected not: that he no less
  407. At length from us may find, who overcomes
  408. By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
  409. Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife
  410. There went a fame in Heav'n that he ere long
  411. Intended to create, and therein plant
  412. A generation, whom his choice regard
  413. Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven:
  414. Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
  415. Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
  416. For this Infernal Pit shall never hold
  417. Clestial Spirits in Bondage, nor th' Abyss
  418. Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
  419. Full Counsel must mature: Peace is despaird,
  420. For who can think Submission? Warr then, Warr
  421. Open or understood must be resolv'd.
  422. He spake: and to confirm his words, out-flew
  423. Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
  424. Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze
  425. Far round illumin'd hell: highly they rag'd
  426. Against the Highest, and fierce with grasped arms
  427. Clash'd on thir sounding Shields the din of war,
  428. Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heav'n.
  429. There stood a Hill not far whose griesly top
  430. Belch'd fire and rowling smoak; the rest entire
  431. Shon with a glossie scurff, undoubted sign
  432. That in his womb was hid metallic Ore,
  433. The work of Sulphur. Thither wing'd with speed
  434. A numerous Brigad hasten'd. As when Bands
  435. Of Pioners with Spade and Pickax arm'd
  436. Forerun the Royal Camp, to trench a Field,
  437. Or cast a Rampart. Mammon led them on,
  438. Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell
  439. From heav'n, for ev'n in heav'n his looks and thoughts
  440. Were always downward bent, admiring more
  441. The riches of Heav'ns pavement, trod'n Gold,
  442. Then aught divine or holy else enjoy'd
  443. In vision beatific: by him first
  444. Men also, and by his suggestion taught,
  445. Ransack'd the Center, and with impious hands
  446. Rifl'd the bowels of thir mother Earth
  447. For Treasures better hid. Soon had his crew
  448. Op'nd into the Hill a spacious wound
  449. And dig'd out ribs of Gold. Let none admire
  450. That riches grow in Hell; that soyle may best
  451. Deserve the precious bane. And here let those
  452. Who boast in mortal things, and wond'ring tell
  453. Of Babel, and the works of Memphian Kings
  454. Learn how thir greatest Monuments of Fame,
  455. And Strength and Art are easily out-done
  456. By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour
  457. What in an age they with incessant toyle
  458. And hands innumerable scarce perform.
  459. Nigh on the Plain in many cells prepar'd,
  460. That underneath had veins of liquid fire
  461. Sluc'd from the Lake, a second multitude
  462. With wondrous Art found out the massie Ore,
  463. Severing each kind, and scum'd the Bullion dross:
  464. A third as soon had form'd within the ground
  465. A various mould, and from the boyling cells
  466. By strange conveyance fill'd each hollow nook,
  467. As in an Organ from one blast of wind
  468. To many a row of Pipes the sound-board breaths.
  469. Anon out of the earth a Fabrick huge
  470. Rose like an Exhalation, with the sound
  471. Of Dulcet Symphonies and voices sweet,
  472. Built like a Temple, where Pilasters round
  473. Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid
  474. With Golden Architrave; nor did there want
  475. Cornice or Freeze, with bossy Sculptures grav'n,
  476. The Roof was fretted Gold. Not Babilon,
  477. Nor great Alcairo such magnificence
  478. Equal'd in all thir glories, to inshrine
  479. Belus or Serapis thir Gods, or seat
  480. Thir Kings, when gypt with Assyria strove
  481. In wealth and luxurie. Th' ascending pile
  482. Stood fixt her stately highth, and strait the dores
  483. Op'ning thir brazen foulds discover wide
  484. Within, her ample spaces, o're the smooth
  485. And level pavement: from the arched roof
  486. Pendant by suttle Magic many a row
  487. Of Starry Lamps and blazing Cressets fed
  488. With Naphtha and Asphaltus yeilded light
  489. As from a sky. The hasty multitude
  490. Admiring enter'd, and the work some praise
  491. And some the Architect: his hand was known
  492. In Heav'n by many a Towred structure high,
  493. Where Scepter'd Angels held thir residence,
  494. And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King
  495. Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,
  496. Each in his Hierarchie, the Orders bright.
  497. Nor was his name unheard or unador'd
  498. In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land
  499. Men call'd him Mulciber; and how he fell
  500. From Heav'n, they fabl'd, thrown by angry Jove
  501. Sheer o're the Chrystal Battlements: from Morn
  502. To Noon he fell, from Noon to dewy Eve,
  503. A Summers day; and with the setting Sun
  504. Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star,
  505. On Lemnos th' gean Ile: thus they relate,
  506. Erring; for he with this rebellious rout
  507. Fell long before; nor aught avail'd him now
  508. To have built in Heav'n high Towrs; nor did he scape
  509. By all his Engins, but was headlong sent
  510. With his industrious crew to build in hell.
  511. Mean while the winged Haralds by command
  512. Of Sovran power, with awful Ceremony
  513. And Trumpets sound throughout the Host proclaim
  514. A solemn Councel forthwith to be held
  515. At Pandmonium, the high Capital
  516. Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call'd
  517. From every Band and squared Regiment
  518. By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
  519. With hunderds and with thousands trooping came
  520. Attended: all access was throng'd, the Gates
  521. And Porches wide, but chief the spacious Hall
  522. (Though like a cover'd field, where Champions bold
  523. Wont ride in arm'd, and at the Soldans chair
  524. Defi'd the best of Paynim chivalry
  525. To mortal combat or carreer with Lance)
  526. Thick swarm'd, both on the ground and in the air,
  527. Brusht with the hiss of russling wings. As Bees
  528. In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides,
  529. Pour forth thir populous youth about the Hive
  530. In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
  531. Flie to and fro, or on the smoothed Plank,
  532. The suburb of thir Straw-built Cittadel,
  533. New rub'd with Baum, expatiate and confer
  534. Thir State affairs. So thick the aerie crowd
  535. Swarm'd and were straitn'd; till the Signal giv'n.
  536. Behold a wonder! they but now who seemd
  537. In bigness to surpass Earths Giant Sons
  538. Now less then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room
  539. Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race
  540. Beyond the Indian Mount, or Faerie Elves,
  541. Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side
  542. Or Fountain some belated Peasant sees,
  543. Or dreams he sees, while over-head the Moon
  544. Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth
  545. Wheels her pale course, they on thir mirth and dance
  546. Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear;
  547. At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
  548. Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms
  549. Reduc'd thir shapes immense, and were at large,
  550. Though without number still amidst the Hall
  551. Of that infernal Court. But far within
  552. And in thir own dimensions like themselves
  553. The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
  554. In close recess and secret conclave sat
  555. A thousand Demy-Gods on golden seats,
  556. Frequent and full. After short silence then
  557. And summons read, the great consult began.


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