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Thus Satan, talking to his nearest mate,
Forthwith upright he rears from off the pool
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and, rolled
Then with expanded wings he steers his flight
That felt unusual weight, 'till on dry land
He and his compeer, who followed, derived some comfort from the change; and Satan welcomed with brave despair his new abode.
They now determined to summon their companions, who still lay astonished on the oblivious pool; and the arch-fiend moved towards the shore
his ponderous shield,
till on the beach
He called so loud, that all the hollow deep
They heard his reproachful voice, and ashamed of their prostration, sprang upon the wing:
As when the potent rod
Hovering on wing under the cope of hell,
Among them were the leaders of godlike shape, whose heavenly names are unknown, having been blotted out and rased by their rebellion from the Book of Life. On earth they afterwards become famous by other designations throughout the heathen world. First came Moloch, horrid king, whose altars were besmeared by the Ammonites with the blood of children; then Chemos, or Peor, the dread of Moab; then the Baälim and Ashtaroth; then she whom the Phoenicians called
Astarté, queen of heaven, with crescent horns; To whose bright image nightly by the moon Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs. Ι Then Thammuz, lamented annually by the Syrian damsels; and then Dagon, the sea-monster, half-man, half-fish; and Rimmon, whose altar smoked in fair Damascus. After these came the train of gods who abused with their sorceries not only Egypt, but Israel; and last of all, Belial, than whom a” spirit more detestable fell not from heaven.
These were the chief in rank; yet a crowd still followed, of names renowned in Greece, in the Hesperides, and in the Celtic isles. But the looks of all were downcast, till at the command of the arch-fiend, Azazel unfurled the imperial ensign, which streamed like a meteor to the wind, amid the sound of martial trumpets; whereat
of bili ros
the universal host up-sent
A shout that tore hell's concave; and beyond, Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. Instantaneously a thousand banners rose soil, pass in review before
brilliant array, marching over the burnt soil war, and the
19. A 3*
He, above the rest
The fellows of his crime,
Addressing them in a brief speech, full of ardour and encouragement, he alluded to a tradition in heaven, of the intention of the Almighty to create a new world, and plant in it a generation, to be favoured even as the angels, and darkly hinted at the opportunity of revenge this might afford.
He spake; and, to confirm his words, out-flew
and their shout of defiance rose towards the vault of heaven. A band was now detached for the construction of a mighty edifice, under the orders of Mulciber:
Anon, out of the earth a fabric huge
and in this Pandemonium, the capital of the fiends, the whole host was summoned to meet for consultation. The spacious hall was speedily filled, from the floor to the roof, brushed with the hiss of rustling wings.
So thick the airy crowd
Swarmed, and were straitened; till, the signal given,
At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.
High on a throne of royal state, which far
After stating to the assembly the purpose for which they were
And princely counsel in his face yet shone,
He opposed immediate war; he opposed slothful peace; he opposed submission: his counsel was to follow out the idea that had already been mooted-to inquire into the nature and condition of the new world they had all heard of; to expel or seduce to revolt its inhabitants; and thus, obtaining a footing nearer their ancient seat, to have the chance of re-entering heaven, or at least of taking up their abode in some mild zone, not unvisited of heaven's fair light. This proposal received universal assent; and he went on to inquire what messenger should be sent on espial :—
But first, whom shall we send
In search of this new world? whom shall we find
The council heard the question in silence; till at length Satan offered himself for the adventure, and their dismay relieved—
at once with him they rose:
Their rising all at once was as the sound
The host celebrated the occasion with such enjoyments as may exist in hell; while some of them, dividing into squadrons, pursued the course of four infernal rivers that poured their streams into the burning lake.
Thus roving on,
In confused march forlorn, the adventurous bands,
Viewed first their lamentable lot, and found
Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens, and shades of death;
Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds,
Than fables yet have feigned, or fear conceived,
Satan meanwhile pursues his solitary flight towards the gates of hell; and these at length are reached by the flying fiend, who finds them thrice threefold-three of brass, three of iron, three of adamantine rock, and all encircled with unconsuming fire. Before the gates there sat two shapes one half-woman, half-serpent, armed with a mortal sting, and a girdle of hell-hounds round her waist barking incessantly.
The other shape,
Or substance might be called that shadow seemed,
And shook a dreadful dart: what seemed his head,
This latter answered the proud challenge of the fiend with equal pride, and menaces that might have stricken any spirit less undaunted.
So spake the grisly Terror, and in shape,
The two equally-matched champions prepared to encounter, and hell grew darker at their frown, when suddenly the snaky sorceress arose, and with terrible outcry rushed between them. She declared herself to be Sin, the miraculous offspring of Satan himself; and the other to be Death, the incestuous son of an incestuous father. On this the fiend, calming his wrath, informed her of the nature of his present errand, in the success of which he said they were themselves interested, as the new world would supply an abundant harvest for Sin and Death. The promised bribe