Book I: Satan wakes up in Hell and rallies his fallen friends

THE ARGUMENT.—This First Book proposes, first in brief, the whole subject—Man’s disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise, wherein he was placed: then touches the prime cause of his fall—the Serpent, or rather Satan in the Serpent; who, revolting from God, and drawing to his side many legions of Angels, was, by the command of God, driven out of Heaven, with all his crew, into the great Deep. Which action passed over, the Poem hastes into the midst of things; presenting Satan, with his Angels, now fallen into Hell—described here not in the Centre (for heaven and earth may be supposed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed), but in a place of utter darkness, fitliest called Chaos. Here Satan, with his Angels lying on the burning lake, thunderstruck and astonished after a certain space recovers, as from confusion; calls up him who, next in order and dignity, lay by him: they confer of their miserable fall. Satan awakens all his legions, who lay till then in the same manner confounded. They rise: their numbers; array of battle; their chief leaders named, according to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs his speech; comforts them with hope yet of regaining Heaven; but tells them, lastly, of a new world and new kind of creature to be created, according to an ancient prophecy, or report, in Heaven—for that Angels were long before this visible creation was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to determine thereon, he refers to a full council. What his associates thence attempt. Pandemonium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built out of the Deep: the infernal Peers there sit in council.

tl;dr Now, this is a story, all about how our lives got twist-turned upside-down. Basically our boy Satan and his gang were tossed out of Heaven for trying to engage in fisticuffs with Heaven. Satan wakes up and is like "Man, this kind of sucks but I'm gonna get Heaven back."


 


Text

tl;dr
OF MAN’S first disobedience, and the fruit


Hey there Muse, can you tell me about Man's first Sin? It had something to do with that fruit, right?
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste

I know it was forbidden, but in Adam and Eve's case it was for-biting.
Brought death into the World, and all our woe,

It brought the possibility of sin and death to our world, it was a rotten apple!
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Jesus Christ Superstar

It made our Paradise Lost (Hey...that's the title of this thing!), until Jesus Christ came to the rescue
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
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To help us get better.
Sing, Heavenly Muse, that, on the secret top

So Muse, let me have some inspiration, like you gave
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire

Moses inspiration. Give me whatever you gave him.
That Shepherd who first taught the chosen seed

Moses was a pretty cool guy, he taught a lot of people
In the beginning how the heavens and earth

And I want to do the same.
Rose out of Chaos: or, if Sion hill
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Delight thee more, and Siloa’s brook that flowed

Fast by the oracle of God, I thence

Invoke thy aid to my adventrous song,

I need your help in creating this epic
That with no middle flight intends to soar

Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues
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Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.

I want to create something that has never been done before
And chiefly Thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer

And I want to learn from you
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,

Instruct me, for Thou know’st; Thou from the first

You were there in the beginning
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
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Your wings were spread and
Dove-like sat’st brooding on the vast Abyss,

You were like a dove who turned
And mad’st it pregnant: what in me is dark

the darkness into light. And you can do the same for me.
Illumine, what is low raise and support;

I want to be enlightened where I am ignorant and I want to reinforce and strengthen my abilities
That, to the highth of this great argument,

So I can properly explain what has happened
I may assert Eternal Providence,
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And justify the ways of God to men.

I want to explain God's great plan and purpose
  Say first—for Heaven hides nothing from thy view,

Since you probably know everything about Heaven
Nor the deep tract of Hell—say first what cause

as well as what happens in Hell, I want to know...
Moved our grand Parents, in that happy state,

Why and how did Adam and Eve screw things up? I mean they must have been so happy in Eden
Favoured of Heaven so highly, to fall off
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Heaven was really into them and gave them everything they needed
From their Creator, and transgress his will

from God, but they couldn't do ONE SMALL THING
For one restraint, lords of the World besides.

They only had one rule that they just had to follow
Who first seduced them to that foul revolt?

Who made them drop the ball? Of course I can't blame them, they just didn't know what they were doing!
  The infernal Serpent; he it was whose guile,

It was that snake! He's quite the trickster
Stirred up with envy and revenge, deceived
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He was driven by jealousy and revenge, and went after
The mother of mankind, what time his pride

our beloved Eve. That snake's blind pride
Had cast him out from Heaven, with all his host

got him kicked out of Heaven along with his entourage
Of rebel Angels, by whose aid, aspiring

of rebel Angels. Those Angels followed Satan
To set himself in glory above his peers,

and his blind ambition. Satan was able to convince them to support him in his quest to glorify himself above everyone,
He trusted to have equalled the Most High,
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and even to the extent of waging war against Heaven
If he opposed, and, with ambitious aim

Against the throne and monarchy of God,

Raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud,

The inevitable result was war
With vain attempt. Him the Almighty Power

But Satan's quest for victory was already decided, and he was meant to fail.
Hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal sky,
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He falls from grace
With hideous ruin and combustion, down

Ruined and on fire
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell

Down to his prison in Hell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,

Imprisoned in fire
Who durst defy the Omnipotent to arms.

Why bother fighting someone who already knows the outcome? Get better, Satan! Sit down and have a beer and stop complaining!
  Nine times the space that measures day and night
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Satan and his homies were lying defeated in Hell.
To mortal men, he, with his horrid crew,

Lay vanquished, rowling in the fiery gulf,

They were sore losers
Confounded, though immortal. But his doom

Confused, angry, and a multitude of other bad feels. Even though they can't really die, just living with these feelings sucked.
Reserved him to more wrath; for now the thought

This just made Satan even madder and bitter
Both of lost happiness and lasting pain
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as he thought of all the pleasures he may never have and the never-ending pain
Torments him: round he throws his baleful eyes,

He looked at the Hell around him and he saw
That witnessed huge affliction and dismay,

All the suffering that his gang was going through,
Mixed with obdurate pride and steadfast hate.

But he was feeling even more hatred.
At once, as far as Angel’s ken, he views

Everywhere he looked
The dismal situation waste and wild.
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A dungeon horrible, on all sides round,

As one great furnace flamed; yet from those flames

was fire and the fire didn't burn like ordinary flame does
No light; but rather darkness visible

it burned with a dark fire instead of light
Served only to discover sights of woe,

and they only revealed more
Regions of sorrow, doleful shades, where peace
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suffering
And rest can never dwell, hope never comes

and hoplessness
That comes to all, but torture without end

and unending torture
Still urges, and a fiery deluge, fed

It's like a roaring fire
With ever-burning sulphur unconsumed.

that doesn't seem like it will ever go out
Such place Eternal Justice had prepared
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This place was made for people like Satan and anyone
For those rebellious; here their prison ordained

else who decides they want to try to fight Heaven.
In utter darkness, and their portion set,

They are sent to this fiery darkness
As far removed from God and light of Heaven

Which is the furthest away from Heaven and the light of Heaven
As from the centre thrice to the utmost pole.

Oh how unlike the place from whence they fell!
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This place is the complete opposite of where they fell. No kidding!
There the companions of his fall, o’erwhelmed

This is where he and his defeated followers have to
With floods and whirlwinds of tempestuous fire,

live, they have to live with fire.
He soon discerns; and, weltering by his side,

Satan finds a familar face next to him
One next himself in power, and next in crime,

His "2nd in command/assistant"
Long after known in Palestine, and named
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Beëlzebub. To whom the Arch-Enemy,

His main man: Beëlzebub.
And thence in Heaven called Satan, with bold words

Satan finally spoke
Breaking the horrid silence, thus began:—

You can call it an ice-breaker
  “If thou beest he—but Oh how fallen! how changed

"Hey! Is that you? Oh man, you've changed a lot!
From him!—who, in the happy realms of light,
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You lost your shine, that 'Heavenly shine,'
Clothed with transcendent brightness, didst outshine

You were brighter than
Myriads, though bright—if he whom mutual league,

everyone else!
United thoughts and counsels, equal hope

You joined me and helped me plan
And hazard in the glorious enterprise,

in my attempt to overthrow Heaven,
Joined with me once, now misery hath joined
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But now we're here, together again in misery
In equal ruin; into what pit thou seest

and defeat
From what highth fallen: so much the stronger proved

We fell pretty far though, and I guess we were a little over our heads
He with his thunder: and till then who knew

Who would have known how strong they could be?
The force of those dire arms? Yet not for those,

But it's whatever to me,
Nor what the potent Victor in his rage
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I don't care that we lost.
Can else inflict, do I repent, or change,

Heaven can throw everything at me, but I'm not going to change
Though changed in outward lustre, that fixed mind,

I may look different now, but my mind is still the same.
And high disdain from sense of injured merit,

That with the Mightiest raised me to contend,

I still have fight in me
And to the fierce contention brought along
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I still have the same confidence
Innumerable force of Spirits armed,

that stirred up everyone to join me
That durst dislike his reign, and, me preferring,

to fight the unfair Heaven
His utmost power with adverse power opposed

In dubious battle on the plains of Heaven,

And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
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So what if we lost?
All is not lost—the unconquerable will,

Nothing is lost, I still have my free will
And study of revenge, immortal hate,

my revenge and hate
And courage never to submit or yield:

my courage to never to give up
And what is else not to be overcome.

I still have all that! What did Heaven win?
That glory never shall his wrath or might
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Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace

I'll never bow down,
With suppliant knee, and deify his power

and kneel for mercy and forgiveness from him
Who, from the terror of this arm, so late

I just made it known through my aggressions
Doubted his empire—that were low indeed;

that his empire really can be challenged.
That were an ignominy and shame beneath
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To beg for mercy and forgiveness would be the worst shame than the defeat we just had.
This downfall; since, by fate, the strength of Gods,

And this empyreal substance, cannot fail;

We can't really die anyway,
Since, through experience of this great event,

but through such an experience
In arms not worse, in foresight much advanced,

we have definitely learned a lot from this.
We may with more successful hope resolve
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To wage by force or guile eternal war,

We can keep fighting forever, through battle or some more devious and sneaky way.
Irreconcilable to our grand Foe,

Who now triumphs’, and in the excess of joy

Heh, I bet they're all up there in Heaven, just celebrating with their party hats and streamers"
Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven.”

  So spake the apostate Angel, though in pain,
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Satan said these things even though he was in pain
Vaunting aloud, but racked with deep despair;

and deep despair
And him thus answered soon his bold Compeer;—

Beëlzebub responded
  “O Prince, O Chief of many thronèd Powers

"Oh Prince, my brave Prince,
That led the embattled Seraphim to war

you rallied the rebel Angels together for war,
Under thy conduct, and, in dreadful deeds
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with your leadership,
Fearless, endangered Heaven’s perpetual King,

against the tyrant in Heaven
And put to proof his high supremacy,

Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate!

But we were defeated, due to Heaven's greater strength or good luck
Too well I see and rue the dire event

Now this is where we are.
That, with sad overthrow and foul defeat,
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Wallowing in defeat.
Hath lost us Heaven, and all this mighty host

We've lost Heaven and all of our comrades are in bad shape
In horrible destruction laid thus low,

Our pride is hurt
As far as Gods and Heavenly Essences

But we are like Gods and we cannot die,
Can perish: for the mind and spirit remains

Our minds and spirits cannot be destroyed
Invincible, and vigour soon returns,
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We are invincible, and our courage and strength will return
Though all our glory extinct, and happy state

even though our glory and joy are probably gone forever
Here swallowed up in endless misery.

while we're stuck in this miserable place.
But what if He our Conqueror (whom I now

Now I just think Heaven
Of force believe Almighty, since no less

really is almighty, I mean,
Than such could have o’erpowered such force as ours)
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how else could he have defeated an army like ours?
Have left us this our spirit and strength entire,

Maybe he just left us alive to let us suffer
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,

So that we can live with misery
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,

and he can be satisfied with our suffering
Or do him mightier service as his thralls

or make us slaves to do whatever
By right of war, whate’er his business be,
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he wants us to do down here in Hell
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,

Or do errands in the gloomy Deep?

What can it then avail though yet we feel

What good is it if
Strength undiminished, or eternal being

we remain alive by Heaven's hand and immortal if it's
To undergo eternal punishment?”
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only to live in suffering?"
  Whereto with speedy words the Arch-Fiend replied:—

Satan the a.k.a. the Arch-Fiend replied with
“Fallen Cherub, to be weak is miserable,

"I know it sucks right now, and we're pretty miserable down here
Doing or suffering: but of this be sure—

but hear me out:
To do aught good never will be our task,

We will never do good deeds again
But ever to do ill our sole delight,
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We will instead do evil deeds and gain pleasure from doing that
As being the contrary to His high will

We will do the opposite of what he wants
Whom we resist. If then His providence

And if Heaven
Out of our evil seek to bring forth good,

tries to turn our evil deeds into something good,
Our labour must be to pervert that end,

we will work hard to find another way
And out of good still to find means of evil;
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to turn them evil again.
Which ofttimes may succeed so as perhaps

We'll succeed sometimes and
Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb

that will upset God even more
His inmost counsels from their destined aim.

We can do these things to thwart his plans
But see! the angry Victor hath recalled

But look at our enemy! He called back
His ministers of vengeance and pursuit
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his troops
Back to the gates of Heaven: the sulphurous hail,

and went back to Heaven
Shot after us in storm, o’erblown hath laid

so right now we're in the calm of the storm
The fiery surge that from the precipice

Of Heaven received us falling; and the thunder,

Winged with red lightning and impetuous rage,
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Perhaps hath spent his shafts, and ceases now

They're probably regrouping at the moment and waiting
To bellow through the vast and boundless Deep.

Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn

I think we should take advantage of this opportunity, whether our enemy is ignoring us or if
Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.

their anger has been quenched
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
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Look at that dark plain over there
The seat of desolation, void of light,

Save what the glimmering of these livid flames

Let's get out of these flames over here and
Casts pale and dreadful? Thither let us tend

find a spot over there because it has less flames (there's just a lot of fire down here!)
From off the tossing of these fiery waves;

There rest, if any rest can harbour there;
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Let's just go over there and see if it's a bit better than this spot, yeah? It's worth a shot
And, re-assembling our afflicted powers,

We can gather everyone up
Consult how we may henceforth most offend

and talk about how we can recover and see what we can do
Our Enemy, our own loss how repair,

to mess with our enemy more
How overcome this dire calamity,

I'm sure we can get better.
What reinforcement we may gain from hope,
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We still have some 'hope' left to muster
If not what resolution from despair.”

And maybe we can also come up with a way to make our current situation tolerable."
  Thus Satan, talking to his nearest Mate,

Satan replied
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes

with his head and eyes above the flames
That sparkling blazed; his other parts besides

sparkling and blazing bright
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
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Lay floating many a rood, in bulk as huge

His body was large; he's apparently a huge deal down here in Hell.
As whom the fables name of monstrous size,

Imagine a really large bouncy house, like the ones at children's parties, only this one is made of fire and envy and lies.
Titanian or Earth-born, that warred on Jove,

Briareos or Typhon, whom the den

By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast
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Leviathan, which God of all his works

Created hugest that swim the ocean-stream.

Him, haply slumbering on the Norway foam,

The pilot of some small night-foundered skiff,

Deeming some island, oft, as seamen tell,
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With fixèd anchor in his scaly rind,

Moors by his side under the lee, while night

Invests the sea, and wishèd morn delays.

So stretched out huge in length the Arch-Fiend lay,

Anyway, Satan is pretty high and mighty and huge.
Chained on the burning lake; nor ever thence
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Satan may have never gotten out of the burning lake of fire,
Had risen, or heaved his head, but that the will

or even lifted his head up,
And high permission of all-ruling Heaven

if God didn't decide to allow it.
Left him at large to his own dark designs,

Satan can do whatever he wants
That with reiterated crimes he might

like more crimes and stuff like that
Heap on himself damnation, while he sought
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because it would only damn him more
Evil to others, and enraged might see

by being evil and horrible to others
How all his malice served but to bring forth

Satan would only find that the result would be God's goodness in the end
Infinite goodness, grace, and mercy, shewn

grace, and mercy given
On Man by him seduced, but on himself

to man. While Satan must suffer God's punishment
Treble confusion, wrath, and vengeance poured.
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over and over again.
  Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool

So Satan got up out of the fiery lake
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames

His large person separating the flames around him
Driven backward slope their pointing spires, and, rowled

leaving an empty void where he had been lying
In billows, leave i’ the midst a horrid vale.

Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
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He then spread his wings and flew
Aloft, incumbent on the dusky air,

up into the polluted air
That felt unusual weight; till on dry land

until he landed onto dry land
He lights—if it were land that ever burned

With solid, as the lake with liquid fire,

And such appeared in hue as when the force
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Of subterranean wind transports a hill

Torn from Pelorus, or the shattered side

Of thundering Ætna, whose combustible

And fuelled entrails, thence conceiving fire,

Sublimed with mineral fury, aid the winds,
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And leave a singèd bottom all involved

With stench and smoke. Such resting found the sole

This was the kind of land meant for
Of unblest feet. Him followed his next Mate;

those who are unblessed.  Satan followed Beelzebub
Both glorying to have scaped the Stygian flood

praising each other about getting out of the lake of fire
As gods, and by their own recovered strength,
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because of their strength and power,
Not by the sufferance of supernal power.

and not because God had let them.
  “Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”

Satan then said, "Hmm, so this land of fire that we get
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat

That we must change for Heaven?—this mournful gloom

in exchange for Heaven? This gloomy desolation
For that celestial light? Be it so, since He
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in place of Heaven's light? That's fine by me! God
Who now is sovran can dispose and bid

can have his dictatorship and reign of tyranny up there
What shall be right: fardest from Him is best,

and the further away from him the better!
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme

We had equal rights, but the power of his force was stronger, so he gets to be 'king'
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,

So farewell Heaven
Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
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and hello horrors of Hell! Hail!
Infernal World! and thou, profoundest Hell,

This is our world and we (I mean 'I') can do anything!
Receive thy new possessor—one who brings

Welcom your new master, the one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.

a mind that does not change by place or time
The mind is its own place, and in itself

As long as you have the attitude,
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
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you can make Heaven feel like Hell or Hell feel like Heaven!
What matter where, if I be still the same,

Why does it matter where I am if I'm still the same ol' Satan?!
And what I should be, all but less than he

I'm as great as God in every way except for his power.
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least

Here we can be free.
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built

God didn't build this place for anything else!
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
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I doubt he can drive us out of here
Here we may reign secure; and, in my choice,

so we can call this place our new home. And for me,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:

to be a ruler is a worthwhile ambition, even if it is Hell to rule.
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

I'd rather be a king in Hell than to be a slave in Heaven.
But wherefore let we then our faithful friends,

But hey, let's not leave the rest of our buddies
The associates and co-partners of our loss,
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Lie thus astonished on the oblivious pool,

over there in that burning lake.
And call them not to share with us their part

We might as well have them join us
In this unhappy mansion, or once more

in our misery and
With rallied arms to try what may be yet

regroup to see what we can salvage
Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?”
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from our fall from Heaven, or whatever bad news still waits for us here in Hell."
  So Satan spake; and him Beëlzebub

Beëlzebub replied to Satan
Thus answered:—“Leader of those armies bright

"You know, nothing less than Heaven could have beaten this army!
Which, but the Omnipotent, none could have foiled!

If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge

If our fallen can hear your voice, the same voice that gave them
Of hope in fears and dangers—heard so oft
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hope during battle
In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge

and our struggles
Of battle, when it raged, in all assaults

Their surest signal—they will soon resume

I'm sure it will renew their strength
New courage and revive, though now they lie

and courage. Talk to them! Give them strength!
Grovelling and prostrate on yon lake of fire,
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No wonder they're all still lying around in this lake of fire
As we erewhile, astounded and amazed;

all confused and flustered from defeat
No wonder, fallen such a pernicious highth!”

and falling from Heaven!
  He scarce had ceased when the superior Fiend

Beëlzebub didn't even finish speaking when Satan
Was moving toward the shore; his ponderous shield,

started heading towards the shore with his huge shield
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
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that was large and round,
Behind him cast. The broad circumference

on his back
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb

It looked like the moon
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views

At evening, from the top of Fesolè,

Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
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Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe.

His spear—to equal which the tallest pine

Satan's spear that was long
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast

and seemed like the mast of
Of some great Ammiral, were but a wand—

a ship,
He walked with, to support uneasy steps
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He used it to help balance himself
Over the burning marle, not like those steps

as he walked on the fiery ground of Hell that was so
On Heaven’s azure; and the torrid clime

different than the ground of Heaven. The air
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire.

was hot and it burned him as he walked towards the shore.
Nathless he so endured, till on the beach

Satan stood on the beach,
Of that inflamèd sea he stood, and called
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and he called out to his fallen army
His legions—Angel Forms, who lay entranced

His army was lying about
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks

like autumn leaves on a shady brook
In Vallombrosa, where the Etrurian shades

High over-arched imbower; or scattered sedge

or like seaweeds floating
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion armed
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Hath vexed the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew

Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,

While with perfidious hatred they pursued

The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld

From the safe shore their floating carcases
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next to the corpses of fallen soldiers
And broken chariot-wheels. So thick bestrown,

and broken chariot wheels. The fallen angels were just
Abject and lost, lay these, covering the flood,

scattered everywhere,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
 in a state of shock. Their bodies just covered the lake.
He called so loud that all the hollow deep

Satan called out, and his voice echoed and reverberated around.
Of Hell resounded:—“Princes, Potentates,
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He announced, "Rebel angels, Princes, and Warriors!
Warriors, the Flower of Heaven—once yours; now lost,

You were once rulers of Heaven! You guys better act like it!
If such astonishment as this can seize

Look at all of you! What happened to you?
Eternal Spirits! Or have ye chosen this place

Are you just going to lie around and accept where you are?
After the toil of battle to repose

Is this where you choose to rest after battle?
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
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Maybe you find this place to be comfortable enough
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?

to rest as you did in Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn

Or maybe you just want to kneel to your conqueror
To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds

in Heaven? And then he'll just see you
Cherub and Seraph rowling in the flood

in this weakened state and take advantage
With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon
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of the situation and
His swift pursuers from Heaven-gates discern

send in his troops after us to
The advantage, and, descending tread us down

kick us while we're down.
Thus drooping, or with linkèd thunderbolts

Or chain us with thunderbolts to
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf?—

the bottom of this Hell!
Awake, arise, or be for ever fallen!”
        330
WAKE UP AND GET BETTER!"
  They heard, and were abashed, and up they sprung

Satan's words made them feel ashamed and they jumped up
Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch,

like they were nightwatchmen who
On duty sleeping found by whom they dread,

were caught sleeping on duty.
Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake.

They slapped themselves awake and stood attentively.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
        335
They quickly rose up
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;

even though they were in pain
Yet to their General’s voice they soon obeyed

they wanted to obey their General's orders and authority
Innumerable. As when the potent rod

Of Amram’s son, in Egypt’s evil day,

Waved round the coast, up-called a pitchy cloud
        340
They spread out and flew out of the lake
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,

like a swarm of locusts
That o’er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung

that plagued Egypt.
Like Night, and darkened all the land of Nile;

So numberless were those bad Angels seen

Their numbers seemed infinite as they
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell,
        345
flew and swarmed the catacombs of Hell.
’Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;

Till, as a signal given, the uplifted spear

Satan, the air traffic controller of Hell, used his spear to
Of their great Sultan waving to direct

direct his underlings
Their course, in even balance down they light

to land so he can have a chat with them some more.
On the firm brimstone, and fill the plain:
        350
They landed and filled the entire plain with their numbers.
A multitude like which the populous North

Their numbers were vast and
Poured never from her frozen loins to pass

Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons

they looked like barbarians ready for battle
Came like a deluge on the South, and spread

Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan sands.
        355
Forthwith, from every squadron and each band,

Then suddenly leaders from each battalion came forward
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood

to where Satan was
Their great Commander—godlike Shapes, and Forms

They were powerful beings,
Excelling human; princely Dignities;

Superhuman
And powers that erst in Heaven sat on thrones,
        360
And they were former kings of Heaven.
Though of their names in Heavenly records now

But now all record of them even existing in Heaven
Be no memorial, blotted out and rased

has been erased because
By their rebellion from the Books of Life.

of their little rebellion.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve

Got them new names, till, wondering o’er the earth,
        365
Through God’s high sufferance for the trial of man,

God would later allow them to come to Earth to test mankind
By falsities and lies the greatest part

They would corrupt mankind with their
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake

lies and deceit.
God their Creator, and the invisible

Glory of Him that made them to transform
        370
Oft to the image of a brute, adorned

With gay religions full of pomp and gold,

Men would then grow to
And devils to adore for deities:

worship idols and devils.
Then were they known to men by various names,

Then they would be known by new names.
And various idols through the heathen world.
        375
  Say, Muse, their names then known, who first, who last,

So, Muse... what were their names?
Roused from the slumber on that fiery couch,

The names of those fallen angels who came out of the lake of fire.
At their great Emperor’s call, as next in worth

Who answered to Satan's call.
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,

While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof.
        380
  The chief were those who, from the pit of Hell

Roaming to seek their prey on Earth, durst fix

They would later walk the Earth, preying on mankind
Their seats, long after, next the seat of God,

and become
Their altars by His altar, gods adored

adored as Gods
Among the nations round, and durst abide
        385
in all the nations of man.
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned

Between the Cherubim; yea, often placed

Within His sanctuary itself their shrines,

Abominations; and with cursed things

His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned,
        390
And with their darkness durst affront His light.

First, Moloch, horrid King, besmeared with blood

First there was Moloch.
Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears;

Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud,

During rituals
Their children’s cries unheard that passed through fire
        395
Children would be burned alive in sacrifice
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite

to him.
Worshiped in Rabba and her watery plain,

In Argob and in Basan, to the stream

Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such

Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
        400
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build

He would later make Solomon build a temple
His temple right against the temple of God

against God.
On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove

The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence

And black Gehenna called, the type of Hell.
        405
Next Chemos, the obscene dread of Moab’s sons,

Next would be Chemos, who would be worshipped by the Moabites.
From Aroar to Nebo and the wild

Of southmost Abarim; in Hesebon

And Horonaim, Seon’s realm, beyond

The flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines,
        410
And Elealè to the Asphaltick Pool:

Peor his other name, when he enticed

He was also known as Peor, and
Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,

when the Jews escaped Egypt
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.

Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged
        415
He led them in orgies.
Even 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 bordering flood

Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts
        420
Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names

Of Baalim and Ashtaroth—those male,

These feminine. For Spirits, when they please,

Can either sex assume, or both; so soft

And uncompounded is their essence pure,
        425
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,

Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,

Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose,

Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure,

Can execute their aery purposes,
        430
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

To bestial gods; for which their heads, as low
        435
Bowed down in battle, sunk before the spear

Of despicable foes. With these in troop

Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians called

Then came Astoreth
Astarte, queen of heaven, with cresent horns;

who was called the "queen of Heaven"
To whose bright image nightly by the moon
        440
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs;

In Sion also not unsung, where stood

Her temple on the offensive mountain, built

and worshipped in Solomon's evil temple.
By that uxorious king whose heart, though large,

Beguiled by fair idolatresses, fell
        445
To idols foul. Thammuz came next behind,

Then there was Thammuz
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured

where every year
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

Syrian women would sing sad songs
In amorous ditties all a summer’s day,

While smooth Adonis from his native rock
        450
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood

about how he would bleed a river of blood every year
Of Thammuz yearly wounded: the love-tale

These loves songs would
Infected Sion’s daughters with like heat,

make all the Jewish women sexually aroused.
Whose wanton passions in the sacred porch

Ezekiel saw, when, by the vision led,
        455
His eye surveyed the dark idolatries

Of alienated Judah. Next came one

Who mourned in earnest, when the captive Ark

When the Philistines put the Ark of the Lord in this temple,
Maimed his brute image, head and hands lopt off,

his statue was later found decapitated and his hands were cut off.
In his own temple, on the grunsel-edge,
        460
Where he fell flat and shamed his worshipers:

Dagon his name, sea-monster, upward man

This temple was for the sea-monster Dagon, who was half-man and
And downward fish; yet had his temple high

half-fish.
Reared in Azotus, dreaded through the coast

Of Palestine, in Gath and Ascalon,
        465
And Accaron and Gaza’s frontier bounds.

Him followed Rimmon, whose delightful seat

Was fair Damascus, on the fertile banks

Of Abbana and Pharphar, lucid streams.

He also against the house of God was bold:
        470
A leper once he lost, and gained a king—

Ahaz, his sottish conqueror, whom he drew

God’s altar to disparage and displace

For one of Syrian mode, whereon to burn

His odious offerings, and adore the gods
        475
Whom he had vanquished. After these appeared

A crew who, under names of old renown—

Osiris, Isis, Orus, and their train—

Then the Egyptian gods: Osiris, Isis, and Orus
With monstrous shapes and sorceries abused

They all took the shapes and forms of beasts
Fanatic Egypt and her priests to seek
        480
Their wandering gods disguised in brutish forms

Rather than human. Nor did Israel scape

Israel would be invaded by these devils, when they started
The infection, when their borrowed gold composed

to worship
The calf in Oreb; and the rebel king

a golden cow instead of worshipping God
Doubled that sin in Bethel and in Dan,
        485
Likening his Maker to the grazèd ox—

Jehovah, who, in one night, when he passed

Only the faithful to God would be spared
From Egypt marching, equalled with one stroke

Both her first-born and all her bleating gods.

from God's anger when he killed all the firstborn children
Belial came last; than whom a Spirit more lewd
        490
Belial came last.
Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love,

Vice for itself. To him no temple stood

He loved sin for its own sake. He didn't have a temple built for him
Or altar smoked; yet who more oft than he

In temples and at altars, when the priest

Turns atheist, as did Eli’s sons, who filled
        495
But he would corrupt
With lust and violence the house of God?

the house of God with lust and violence.
In courts and palaces he also reigns,

He would influence kings and
And in luxurious cities, where the noise

the wealthy
Of riot ascends above their loftiest towers,

And injury and outrage; and, when night
        500
And at night
Darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons

he would send out
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.

the drunks to bring the ruckus! All in the name of Belial!
Witness the streets of Sodom, and that night

In Gibeah, when the hospitable door

Exposed a matron, to avoid worse rape.
        505
  These were the prime in order and in might:

The rest were long to tell; though far renowned

The Ionian gods—of Javan’s issue held

Gods, yet confessed later than Heaven and Earth,

Their boasted parents;—Titan, Heaven’s first-born,
        510
With his enormous brood, and birthright seized

By younger Saturn: he from mightier Jove,

His own and Rhea’s son, like measure found;

So Jove unsurping reigned. These, first in Crete

And Ida known, thence on the snowy top
        515
Of cold Olympus ruled the middle air,

Their highest heaven; or on the Delphian cliff,

Or in Dodona, and through all the bounds

Of Doric land; or who with Saturn old

Fled over Adria to the Hesperian fields,
        520
And o’er the Celtic roamed the utmost Isles.

  All these and more came flocking; but with looks

All these devils came forward to Satan, they
Downcast and damp; yet such wherein appeared

still looked defeated and sad but Satan's confidence
Obscure some glimpse of joy to have found their Chief

encouraged them and gave them confidence too
Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
        525
In loss itself; which on his countenance cast

Like doubtful hue. But he, his wonted pride

Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore

Semblance of worth, nor substance, gently raised

Their fainting courage, and dispelled their fears:
        530
Then straight commands that, at the war-like sound

Satan commanded all of them to
Of trumpets loud and clarions, be upreared

blow their trumpets and raise
His mighty standard. That proud honour claimed

his banner in the air.
Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall:

The Cherub, Azazel,
Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled
        535
unrolled Satan's banner standard
The imperial ensign; which, full high advanced,

in the wind
Shon like a meteor streaming to the wind,

it was bright and lively
With gems and golden lustre rich imblazed,

and was decorated with gold and jewels
Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while

Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds:
        540
Trumpets were trumpetting!
At which the universal host up-sent

And the fallen Angels shouted
A shout that tore Hell’s concave, and beyond

so loud that it could probably
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.

be heard in the darkest parts of Hell.
All in a moment through the gloom were seen

Ten thousand banners rise into the air,
        545
The fallen angels raised thousands of banners
With orient colours waving: with them rose

all colorful
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms

they raised their spears and helmets
Appeared, and serried shields in thick array

and shields.
Of depth immeasurable. Anon they move

In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
        550
They they all moved like one single unit, in unison. A phalanx
Of flutes and soft recorders—such as raised

to the sound of flutes and recorders.
To highth of noblest temper heroes old

Arming to battle, and instead of rage

Deliberate valour breathed, firm, and unmoved

All of this helped to relieve their doubts in themselves
With dread of death to flight or foul retreat;
        555
as well as their fears.
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,

Breathing united force with fixed thought,
        560
As if they were a single entity with one mind
Moved on in silence to soft pipes that charmed

they marched in silence listening to the now soft music they made.
Their painful steps o’er the burnt soil. And now

Advanced in view they stand—a horrid front

They finally stood in front of Satan
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise

Of warriors old, with ordered spear and shield,
        565
They were all geared up with their weapons and armour.
Awaiting what command their mighty Chief

They waited for Satan to speak and direct them.
Had to impose. He through the armed files

Satan looked over at his troops and
Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse

inspected them with his trained eyes
The whole battalion views—their order due,

Their visages and stature as of Gods;
        570
Their number last he sums. And now his heart

He was impressed and content with
Distends with pride, and, hardening in his strength,

his army. He felt an overwhelming sense of pride and power
Glories: for never, since created Man,

Satan knew that
Met such imbodied force as, named with these,

there would never be another force like this again.
Could merit more than that small infantry
        575
There would be no other army like Satan's army.
Warred on by cranes—though all the giant brood

Of Phlegra with the heroic race were joined

Basically
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side

comparing
Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds

Satan's
In fable or romance of Uther’s son,
        580
Army
Begirt with British and Armoric knights;

to
And all who since, baptized or infidel,

the size, strength, and quality
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,

of
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,

actual
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore
        585
mortal
When Charlemain with all his peerage fell

armies.
By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond

Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed

But Satan felt that his troops couldn't be compared to anybody else
Their dread Commander. He, above the rest

And Satan just stood there
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
        590
High and mighty
Stood like a tower. His form had yet not lost

like a tower. He still looked like an Archangel as he was in Heaven
All her original brightness, nor appeared

but he just wasn't as bright
Less than Archangel ruined, and the excess

Of glory obscured: as when the sun new-risen

He was like when the sun shines
Looks through the horizontal misty air
        595
through the mist.
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. Darkened so, yet shon

Above them all the Archangel: but his face
        600
Satan's face
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched, and care

showed signs of revenge
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows

Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride

Waiting revenge. Cruel his eye, but cast

Signs of remorse and passion, to behold
        605
He felt bad that his followers had to go through such a fall and
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather

had to suffer the torments in Hell
(Far other once beheld in bliss), condemned

Satan felt as though he had doomed
For ever now to have their lot in pain—

his troops to eternal pain.
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced

Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung
        610
For his revolt—yet faithful how they stood,

But Satan was touched that they still followed him, even in Hell
Their glory withered; as, when heaven’s fire

Their glory was faded, like a burned down forest
Hath scathed the forest oaks or mountain pines,

after a forest fire
With singèd top their stately growth, though bare,

Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
        615
Satan prepared to speak
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend

and his troops leaned in closer
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round

and circled around him to
With all his peers: Attention held them mute.

listen closely and attentively
Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn,

Satan tried to speak three times
Tears, such as Angels weep, burst forth: at last
        620
and even cried a little!
Words interwove with sighs found out their way:—

After sighing he finally announced to his legions
  “O myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers

"Oh immortal spirits! Only the powers of
Matchless, but with the Almighty!—and that strife

Heaven could match your combined power! Your fight
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire,

was not without glory even though we lost!
As this place testifies, and this dire change,
        625
Even though we were thrown down here!
Hateful to utter. But what power of mind,

I hate to admit it, but
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth

who would have guessed that a large and powerful force
Of knowledge past or present, could have feared

like ours
How such united force of gods, how such

a united force of superhuman
As stood like these, could ever know repulse?
        630
could ever be defeated?
For who can yet believe, though after loss,

Even though we lost
That all these puissant legions, whose exile

we the exiled
Hath emptied Heaven, shall fail to reascend,

that left Heaven.
Self-raised, and re-possess their native seat?

We can very well win back our old land in Heaven if we tried.
For me, be witness all the host of Heaven,
        635
If counsels different, or danger shunned

By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns

Monarch in Heaven till then as one secure

No one has ever questioned God's rule.
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,

Consent or custom, and his regal state
        640
Put forth at full, but still his strength concealed—

Heaven kept its strength a secret.
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.

Heaven basically asked for us to attempt to fight against God.
Henceforth his might we know, and know our own,

But now we know Heaven's strength compared to our own.
So as not either to provoke, or dread

New war provoked: our better part remains
        645
I believe now we must take the war to them in another way
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,

through cunning and trickery
What force effected not; that he no less

At length from us may find, Who overcomes

Let Heaven find out that winning by force
By force hath overcome but half his foe.

is only half a victory.
Space may produce new Worlds; whereof so rife
        650
There may be new worlds to conquer out there
There went a fame in Heaven that He ere long

There was a rumour happening in Heaven that God
Intended to create, and therein plant

would create a new world and place
A generation whom his choice regard

special creatures there that he would
Should favour equal to the Sons of Heaven.

favour and value as highly as he does his Angels.
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
        655
Maybe we can explore our possibilities in that new world.
Our first eruption—thither, or elsewhere;

For this infernal pit shall never hold
td>

This Hellish pit can't hold us forever.
Cælestial Spirits in bondage, nor the Abyss

Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts

These are the types of things we need to discuss carefully.
Full counsel must mature. Peace is despaired;
        660
We must hold a counsel. We can never be at peace here
For who can think submission? War, then, war

and submitting to God is just out of the question. So that leaves everything to war,
Open or understood, must be resolved.”

but it's all a matter of what kind of war must be done."
He spake; and, to confirm his words, out-flew

When Satan was done speaking, the rest of the rebel Angels
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs

replied by drawing their swords, waving them high in the air
Of mighty Cherubim; the sudden blaze
        665
Hell was lit up by the reflections of all the swords being waved
Far around illumined Hell. Highly they raged

Again the Highest and fierce with graspèd arms

Clashed on their sounding shields the din of war,

They banged their swords against their shields
Hurling defiance toward the vault of Heaven.

in anger and defiance towards Heaven
  There stood a hill not far, whose griesly top
        670
Nearby was a fiery hill, a volcano
Belched fire and rowling smoke; the rest entire

that started to erupt
Shown with a glossy scurf—undoubted sign

It had a shiny hillside, which was a sign that
That in his womb was hid metallic ore,

it contained precious metallic ore
The work of sulphur. Thither, winged with speed,

A numerous brigad hastened: as when bands
        675
A band of Angels rushed towards the volcano,
Of pioners, with spade and pickaxe armed,

like pioneers they were armed with spades and pickaxes
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,

Or cast a rampart. Mammon led them on—

and they were led by Mammon
Mammon, the least erected Spirit that fell

Mammon was one of the lowest Angels,
From Heaven; for even in Heaven his looks and thoughts
        680
And when he was in Heaven, he was more impressed by
Were always downward bent, admiring more

Heaven's pavement
The riches of Heaven’s pavement, trodden gold,

and golden floors
Than aught divine or holy else enjoyed

than he was impressed by God's glory.
In vision beatific. By him first

Men also, and by suggestion taught
        685
Mammon would teach men to
Ransacked the Centre, and with impious hands

dig up the Earth searching for treasures
Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth

For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew

that they would be better off without having in the first place.
Opened into the hill a spacious wound,

Soon the hillside was excavated,
And digged out ribs of gold. Let none admire
        690
and Mammon's crew began extracting gold. A lot of gold is found
That riches grow in Hell: that soil may best

here in Hell, but hey it belongs there because of all the trouble it can bring!
Deserve the pretious bane. And here let those

And for anyone
Who boast in mortal things, and wondering tell

who is impressed by the things men can do
Of Babel and the works of Memphian kings,

such as the Tower of Babel and the pyramids of Egypt,
Learn how their greatest monuments of fame,
        695
And strength, and art, are easily outdone

By Spirits reprobate, and in an hour

they should see what these rebel Angels can build and do.
What in an age they, with incessant toil

They're pretty resourceful and hardworking.
And hands innumerable, scarce perform.

Nigh on the plain, in many cells prepared,
        700
Across the plains they created canals
That underneath had veins of liquid fire

where they would channel the molten metal into
Sluiced from the lake, a second multitude

Another team
With wondrous art founded the massy ore,

worked on taking the metals
Severing each kind, and scummed the bullion-dross.

and separating the different kinds of metals.
A third as soon had formed within the ground
        705
A third team poured the metal
A various mould, and from the boiling cells

into different molds
By strange conveyance filled each hollow nook;

As in an organ, from one blast of wind,

To many a row of pipes the sound-board breathes.

Anon out of the earth a fabric huge
        710
Then a huge structure rose
Rose like an exhalation, with the sound

like the sound of
Of dulcet symphonies and voices sweet—

a symphony playing and coming out of the land
Built like a temple, where pilasters round

It was built like
Were set, and Doric pillars overlaid

a Greek temple, with columns all around it
With golden architrave; nor did there want
        715
Cornice or frieze, with bossy sculptures graven:

There were sculptures and
The roof was fretted gold. Not Babilon

ornaments, and the roof was made of gold. So much style.
Nor great Alcairo such magnificence

Equalled in all their glories, to inshrine

Belus or Serapis their gods, or seat
        720
Their kings, when Ægypt with Assyria strove

In wealth and luxury. The ascending pile

Stood fixed her stately highth; and straight the doors

Whenit was finally complete,
Opening their brazen folds, discover, wide

the doors opened up
Within, her ample spaces o’er the smooth
        725
Inside was a wide open space
And level pavement: from the arched roof,

and from the arched roof
Pendent by subtle magic, many a row

were rows and rows
Of starry lamps and blazing cressets, fed

of lamps
With naphtha and asphaltus, yielded light

that burned as brigh
As from a sky. The hasty multitude
        730
as daylight. Shine bright like a diamond! The angels
Admiring entered; and the work some praise,

couldn't wait to go inside. The angels praised the
And some the Architect. His hand was known

Architect, who was known in Heaven as the builder
In Heaven by many a towered structure high,

who designed the condos and apartments of
Where sceptred Angels held their residence,

the high ranking angels
And sat as Princes, whom the supreme King
        735
Exalted to such power, and gave to rule,

Each in his hierarchy, the Orders bright.

Nor was his name unheard or unadored

He would later be known in Greece and Italy by the name
In ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land

Men called him Mulciber; and how he fell
        740
Mulciber or Vulcan.
From Heaven they fabled, thrown by angry Jove

Sheer o’er the crystal battlements: from morn

To noon he fell, from noon to dewy eve,

A summer’s day, and with the setting sun

Dropt from the zenith, like a falling star,
        745
On Lemnos, the Ægæan isle. Thus they relate,

Erring; for he with this rebellious rout

Fell long before; nor aught availed him now

To have built in Heaven high towers; nor did he scape

By all his engines, but was headlong sent,
        750
With his industrious crew, to build in Hell.

  Meanwhile the wingèd Haralds, by command

The herald angels flew out and
Of sovran power, with awful ceremony

And trumpet’s sound, throughout the host proclaim

blew their trumpets to
A solemn council forthwith to be held
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announce that a high council was to be held.
At Pandæmonium, the high capital

This place was called Pandemonium,
Of Satan and his peers. Their summons called

Satan's house/palace.
From every band and squarèd regiment

By place or choice the worthiest: they anon

With hundreds and with thousands trooping came
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All the highest rebel angels came by the thousands
Attended. All access was thronged; the gates

And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall

The palace was spacious
(Though like a covered field, where champions bold

but Satan's army still managed to crowd the space
Wont ride in armed, and at the Soldan’s chair

Defied the best of Panim chivalry
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To mortal combat, or career with lance),

Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air,

Brushed with the hiss of rustling wings. As bees

It was like a beehive. Satan's beehive. Satan's busy beehive.
In spring-time, when the Sun with Taurus rides,

Pour forth their populous youth about the hive
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In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers

There were so many bodies
Fly to and fro, or on the smoothèd plank,

The suburb of their straw-built citadel,

New rubbed with balm, expatiate, and confer

Their state-affairs: so thick the aerie crowd
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Swarmed and were straitened; till, the signal given,

A signal was given, and all of a sudden
Behold a wonder! They but now who seemed

all the angels shrunk
In bigness to surpass Earth’s giant sons,

Now less than smallest dwarfs, in narrow room

to the size of dwarves
Throng numberless—like that pygmean race
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Beyond the Indian mount; or faery elves,

or elves
Whose midnight revels, by a forest-side

Or fountain, some belated peasant sees,

Or dreams he sees, while overhead the Moon

Sits arbitress, and nearer to the Earth
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Wheels her pale course: they, on their mirth and dance

Intent, with jocond music charm his ear;

At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.

Thus incorporeal Spirits to smallest forms

From being tightly packed in the palace, they were now
Reduced their shapes immense, and were at large,
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able to move around
Though without number still, amidst the hall

in the now spacious palace.
Of that infernal court. But far within,

And in their own dimensions like themselves,

The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim

In close recess and secret conclave sat,
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A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,

Frequent and full. After short silence then,
And summons read, the great consult began.

After they all settled, the counsel began!