The council of Hell.

This is the end of book one of Paradise Lost. It is the council held in Hell, before Adam. Milton is speculating. But he has knowledge of myth and history, and melds the ancient gods with the ideas of Faerie.

To this puritan, all were hellish. Do not look at myths for spirituality, or take counsel from those who hold allegiance to what they think are Gods but are fallen.

A solemn Councel forthwith to be held [ 755 ]
At Pandæmonium, the high Capital
Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call’d
From every Band and squared Regiment
By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
With hunderds and with thousands trooping came [ 760 ]
Attended: all access was throng’d, the Gates
And Porches wide, but chief the spacious Hall
(Though like a cover’d field, where Champions bold
Wont ride in arm’d, and at the Soldans chair
Defi’d the best of Paynim chivalry [ 765 ]
To mortal combat or carreer with Lance)
Thick swarm’d, both on the ground and in the air,
Brusht with the hiss of russling wings. As Bees
In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides,
Pour forth thir populous youth about the Hive [ 770 ]
In clusters; they among fresh dews and flowers
Flie to and fro, or on the smoothed Plank,
The suburb of thir Straw-built Cittadel,
New rub’d with Baum, expatiate and confer
Thir State affairs. So thick the aerie crowd [ 775 ]
Swarm’d and were straitn’d; till the Signal giv’n.
Behold a wonder! they but now who seemd
In bigness to surpass Earths Giant Sons
Now less then smallest Dwarfs, in narrow room
Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race [ 780 ]
Beyond the Indian Mount, or Faerie Elves,
Whose midnight Revels, by a Forrest side
Or Fountain some belated Peasant sees,
Or dreams he sees, while over-head the Moon
Sits Arbitress, and neerer to the Earth [ 785 ]
Wheels her pale course, they on thir 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
Reduc’d thir shapes immense, and were at large, [ 790 ]
Though without number still amidst the Hall
Of that infernal Court. But far within
And in thir own dimensions like themselves
The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim
In close recess and secret conclave sat [ 795 ]
A thousand Demy-Gods on golden seats,
Frequent and full. After short silence then
And summons read, the great consult began.