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“ So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found The better fight, who single hast maintain'd Among the faithless, faithful only he;

Against revolted multitudes the cause Among innumerable false, unmov'd.

of truth, in word mightier than they in arms; Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrified,

And for the testimony of truth hast borne His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;

Universal reproach, far worse to bear Nor number, nor example, with him wrought Than violence; for this was all thy care To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind, To stand approv'd in sight of God, though world's Though single. From amidst them forth he pass'd, Judg'd thee perverse : the easier conquest now Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustain'd Remains thee, aided by this host of friends, Superior, nor of violence feared aught;

Back on thy foes more glorious to return. And, with retorted scorn, his back he turn'd Than scorn'd thou didst depart; and to subdue On those proud towers to swift destruction doom'd." By force, who reason for their law refuse,

Right reason for their law, and for their king

Messiah, who by right of merit reigns.
BOOK VI.

Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince,
THE ARGUMENT.

And thou, in military prowess next,

Gabriël, lead forth to battle these my sons Raphaël continues to relate how Michael and

"Invincible ; lead forth my armed saints, Gabriel were sent forth to batile against Satan!

By thousands and by millions, rang'd for fighi, and his angels. The first fight described : Satan

"Equal in number to that godless crew and his powers retire under night: he calls a

Rebellious: them with fire and hostile arms council; invents devilish engines, which, in the

Fearless assault; and, to the brow of Heaven second day's fight, put Michael and his angels to

Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss, some disorder; but they at length, pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the force and

Into their place of punishment, the gulf

Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide machines of Satan: yet, the tumult not so ending, God, on the third day, sends MESSIAH his Son,

His fiery Chaos to receive their falì.' for whom he had reserved the glory of that vic- l.

"So spake the Sovran Voice, and clouds began

|To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll tory: he, in the power of his father, coming to the place, and causing all his legions to stand

In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign still on either side, with his chariot and thunder

of wrath awak'd; nor with less dread tlie loud

Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow: driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues

At which command the powers militant them, unable to resist, towards the wall of Heaven; which opening, they leap down, with

That stood for Heaven, in mighty quadrate join'd

"Tor union irresistible, mov'd on horror and confusion, into the place of punish

"In silence their bright legions, to the sound ment prepared for them in the deep: Messiah

of instrumental harmony, that breath'd returns with triumph to his Father.

Heroic ardor to adventurous deeds " All night the dreadless angel, unpursued, Under their godlike leaders, in the cause Through Heaven's wide champain held his way; Or God and his Messiah. On they move, till Morn,

Indissolubly firm ; nor obvious hill,
Wak'd by the circling Hours with rosy hand Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream, di rides
Vi:'arr'd the gates of Light. There is a cave Their perfect ranks : for high above the ground

Vithin the mount of God, fast by his throne. Their march was, and the passive air upbore
Where Light and Darkness in perpetual round | Their nimble tread; as when the total kind
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Of birds, in orderly array on wing,
Heaven

Came summoned over Eden to receive
Grateful vicissitude, like day and night;

Their names of thee; so over many a tract Light issues forth, and at the other door

Of Heaven they march'd, and many a province wide Obsequious Darkness enters, till her hour

Tenfold the length of this terrene: at ladi, To veil the Heaven, though darkness there might Far in the horizon to the north appear'd well

From skirt to skirt a fiery region, stretch'd seem twilight here: and now went forth the Morn, In battailous aspect, and nearer view Such as in highest Heaven, array'd in gold

| Bristled with upright beams innumerable Empyreal; from before her vanish'd Night, of rigid spears, and helmets throng'd, and shiel's Shot throughı with orient beams; when all the plain, Various, with boastful argument portray'd, Cover'd with thick embattled squadrons bright, The banded powers of Satan hasting on Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds, With furious expedition ; for they ween'd Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view: That self-same day, by fight, or by surprise, War he perceiv'd, war in procinct; and found To win the mount of God, and on his throne Already known what he for news had thought To set the Envier of his state, the proud To have reported : gladly then he mix'd

Aspirer; but their thoughts prov'd fond and vaip Among those friendly powers, who him receiv'd In the midway: though strange to us it seems With joy and acclamations loud, that one,

At first, that angel should with angel war, That of so many myriads fall'n yet one,

And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet Return'd not lost. On to the sacred hill

So oft in festivals of joy and love They led him high applauded, and present Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire, Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice, Hymning the Eternal Father: but the shout from midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard. Of battle now began, and rushing sound “« Servant of God, well done; well hast thou of onset ended soon each milder thought fought

lligh in the midst exalted as a God.

The apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat,

Such hast thou arm'd, the minstrelsy of Heaven, Idol of majesty divine, inclos'd

Servility with freedom to contend, With faming cherubim, and golden shields; As both their deeds compar'd this day shall prove Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now "To whom in brief thus Abdiel steru replied. Twixt host and host but narrow space was left, • A postate! still thou err'st, nor end wilt find A dreadful interval, and front to front

Of erring, from the path of truth remote : Presented stood in terrible array

Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name Or hideous length: before the cloudy van, Of servitude, to serve whom God ordains, On the rough edge of battle ere it join'd,

Or nature: God and nature bid the same. Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanc'd, When he who rules is worthiest, and excels Came towering, arm'd in adamant and gold ; Them whom he governs. This is servitude, Abdiel that sight endur'd not, where he stood To serve the unwise, or him who hath rebellid Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds, Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, And thus his own undaunted heart explores. Thyself not free, but to thyself enthrall'd ; ** O Heaven! that such resemblance of the Yet lewdly darst our minist'ring upbraid. Highest

Reign thou in. Hell, thy kingdom; let me serve Should yet remain, where faith and reülty (might In Heaven God ever blest, and his divine kemain not: wherefore should not strength and Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd ; There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove Yet chains in Hell, not realms, expect: meanwhile Where boldest, though to sight unconquerable? From me return'd, as erst thou saidst, from flight, His puissance, trusting in the Almighty's aid, This greeting on thy impious crest receive.' I mean to try, whose reason I have tried

"So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high, L'asound and false : nor is it aught but just, Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell That he, who in debate of truth hath won, On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight, Should win in arms, in both disputes alike

Nor motion of swift .t.ought, less could his shield, Victor; though brutish that contést and soul, Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge When reason 'hath to deal with force, yet so He back recoil'd; the tenth on bended knee Most reason is that reason overcome.'

His massy spear upstaid ; as if on Earth "So pondering, and from his armed peers Winds under ground, or waters forcing way Forth-stepping opposite, half-way he met

Sidelong had push'd a mountain from his seat, His daring foe, at this prevention more

Half sunk with all his pines. Amazement seiz'd Incens'd, and thus securely him defied. [reach'd The rebel thrones, but greater rage, to see (shout,

«• Proud, art thou met ? thy hope was to have Thus foil'd their mightiest ; ours joy fill'd, and The height of thy aspiring unoppos'd,

Presage of victory, and fierce desire The throne of God unguarded, and his side Of battle: whereat Michaël bid sound Abandon'd, at the terror of thy power

The archangel trumpet; through the vast of Heaven Or potent tongue: fool! not to think how vain It sounded, and the faithful armies rung Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms;

Hosanna to the Highest : nor stood at gaze Who out of smallest things could, without end, The adverse legions, nor less hideous join'd Have rais d incessant armies to defeat

The horrid shock. Now storming fury rose, Thy folly; or with solitary hand

And clamor, such as heard in Heaven till now Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,

Was never; arms on armor clashing bray'd
Unaided, could have finish'd thee, and whelm'd Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Thy legions under darkness: but thou seest Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise
All are not of thy train there be, who faith Of conflict; over-head the dismal hiss
Prefer, and piety to Gou, though then

Of fiery darts in flaming volleys flew,
To thee not visible, when I alone

And flying vaulted either host with fire.
Seem'd in thy world erroneous to dissent

So under fiery cope together rush'd
From all: my sect thou seest; now learn too late Both battles main, with ruinous assault
How few sometimes may know, when thousands And inextinguishable rage. All Heaven
err.'

Resounded; and had Earth been then, all Earth
- Whom the grand foe, with scornful eye askance, Had to her centre shook. What wonder? where
Thus answered. • Ill for thee, but in wish'd hour Millions of fierce encountering angels fought
Of my revenge, first sought for, thou return'st On either side, the least of whom could wield
From flight, seditious angel! to receive

These elements, and arm him with the force Thy merited reward, the first assay

Of all their regions : how much more of power of this right hand provok'd since first that tongue,

numberless to raise Inspir'd with contradiction, durst oppose

Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb. A third part of the gods, in synod met

Though not destroy, their happy native seat; Their deities to assert; who, while they feel Had not the Eternal King Omnipotent, Vigor divine within them, can allow

From his strong hold of Heaven, high over-rul'd Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st And limited their might; though number'd such Before thy fellows, ambitious to win

As each divided legion might have seem'd From me some plume, that thy success may show A numerous host; in strength each armed hand Destruction to the rest : this pause between, A legion; led in fight, yet leader seem'd (Unanswer'd lest thou boast,) to let thee know, Each warrior single as in chief, expert At first I thought that liberty and Heaven

When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway To heavenly souls had been all one; but now Of battle, open when, and when to close I see that most through sloth had rather serve, The ridges of grim war: no thought of flight Minist'ring spirits, train'd up in feast and song! None of retreat, no unbecoming deed

Phat argued fear; each on himself relied, Where erst was thickest fight, the angelic throng, As only in his arm the moment lay

And left large field, unsafe within the wind Of victory : deeds of eternal fame

Of such commotion ; such as, to set forth Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread Great things by small, if, Nature's concord broke, That war, and various, sometimes on firm ground Among the constellations war were sprung, A standing fight, then, soaring on main wing, Two planets, rushing from aspéct malign Tormented all the air; all air seen. d then

Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky Conflicting fire. Long time in even scale

Should combat, and their jarring spheres confour) The battle hung; till Satan, who that day

Together both with next to Almighty arm Prodigious power had shown, and met in arms Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd No equal, ranging through the dire attack

That might determine, and not need repeat, of fighting seraphim coníus'd, at length

As not of power at once ; nor odds appear'd
Saw where the sword of Michaoi smo:e, and fella In might or swift prevention : but the sword
Squadrons at once; with huge izo-handed sway Of Michael from the armory of God
Brandish'd aloft, the horrid ecize came down Was given him temper'd so, that neither keen
Wide-wasting ; such destruction to withstand Nor solid might resist that edge: it met
He hasted, and oppos'd the rocky orb

The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite
Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield,

Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor staid, A vast circumference. At his approach

But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shar'd The great archangel from his warlike toil

All his right side: then Satan first knew pain, Surceas'd, and glad, as hoping here to end

And writh'd him to and fro convolv'd; so sore
Intestine war in Heaven, the arch-foe subdued The griding sword with discontinuous wound
Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile frown | Pass'd through him: but the ethereal substance clor'd.
And visage all inflam'd first thus began.

Not long divisible; and from the gash
* Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt, A stream of nectarous humor issuing flow'd
Unnam'd in Heaven, now plenteous, as thou seest Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed
These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all,

And all his armor stain'd, erewhile so bright
Though heaviest by just measure on thyself Forth with on all sides to his aid was run
And thy adherents : how hast thou disturb'd By angels many and strong, who interpos'd
Heaven's blessed peace, and into nature brought Defence, while others bore him on their shields
Misery, uncreated till the crime

Back to his chariot, where it stood retir'd Of thy rebellion! how hast thou instillid

From off the files of war: there they him laid Thy malice into thousands, once upright

Gnashing for anguish, and despite, and shame, And faithful, now proved false! But think not here To find himself not matchless, and his pride To trouble holy rest; Heaven casts thee out Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath From all her confines. Heaven, the seat of bliss, His confidence to equal God in power. Brooks not the works of violence and war. Yet soon he heal'd ; for spirits that live throughout Hence then, and evil go with thee along,

Vital in every part, not as frail man
Thy offspring, to the place of evil, Hell;

In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins,
Thou and thy wicked crew! there mingle broils, Cannot but by annihilating die;
Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom,

Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
Or some more sudden vengeance, wing'd from God, Receive, no more than can the fluid air:
Precipitate thee with augmented pain.'

All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear, "So spake the prince of angels; to whom thus | All intellect, all sense ; and, as they please, The adversary. Nor think thou with wind They limb themselves, and color, shape, or size of aery threats to awe whom yet with deeds Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare. 'Thou canst not. Hast thou lurn'd the least of these “Meanwhile in other parts like deeds deserv'd To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise

| Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, Unvanquish'd, easier to transact with me (threats And with fierce ensigns pierc'd the deep array That thou shonld'st hope, imperious, and with Of Moloch, furious king: who him defied, To chase me hence? err not, that so shall end And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound The strife which thou call'st evil, but we style Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of Heaven The strife of glory; which we mean to win, Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous ; but anon Or turn this Heaven itself into the Hell

Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms Thou fablest; here however to dwell free,

And uncouth pain fled bellowing On each wing If not to reign: meanwhile thy utmost force, Uriel and Raphaël, his vaunung foe, And join him nam'd Almighty to thy aid,

Though huge, and in a rock of diamond arm'd, I fly not, but have sought thee far and nigh. Vanquish'd Adramelech, and Asmadai,

“They ended parley, and huth address'd for fight Two potent thrones, that to be less than gods Unspeakable ; for who, though with the tongue Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learn'd in theu Of angels, can relate, or to what things

Might,

(mail. Liken on Earth conspicuous, that may lift

Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and Human imagination to such height

Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy
Of godlike power? for likest gods they seem'd, The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow
Stood they or m:v'd, in stature, motion, arms, Ariel, and Arioch, and the violence
Fit to decide the empire of great Heaven.

of Ramiel scorch'd and blasted, overthrew
Now wav'd thar fiery swords, and in the air | I might relate of thousands, and their names
Made horrid circles: two broad suns their shields Eternize here on Earth ; but those elect
Blaz'd opposite, while expectation stood

Angels, contented with their fame in Heaven, In horror: from each hand with speed retir'd, Seek not the praise of men: the other sort.

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la might though wond'rous and in acts of war, Nisroch, of principalities the prime ; Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom

As one he stood escap'd from cruel fight, (arcell'd from Heaven and sacred memory, Sore toil'd, his riven arms to havoc hewn, Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell. And cloudy in aspect thus answering spake For strength from truth divided, and from just, « • Deliverer from new lords, leader to frec laudable, nought merits but dispraise

Enjoyment of our right as gods; yet hard And ignominy: yet to glory aspires

For gods, and too unequal work we find, l'ain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame, Against unequal arms to fight in pain, Therefore eternal silence be their doom. (swery'd, Against unpain'd, impassive; from which evil

* And now, their rightiest quell'd, the battle Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails (pair. With many an inroad gor'd; deformed rout Valor or strength, though matchless, quell'd wit Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the grouna

Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands With shiver'd armor strown, and on a heap Of mightiest ? Sense of pleasure we may well Chariot and charioteer lay overturn'd,

Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine, And fiery-foaming steeds; what stood, recoil'd But live content, which is the calmest life: Oer-wearied, through the faint Satanic host | But pain is perfect misery, the worst Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surpris'd, of evils, and, excessive, overturns Then first with fear surpris'd, and sense of pain, All patience. He, who therefore can invent Fled ignominious, to such evil brought

I With what more forcible we may offend By sin of disobedience; till that hour

Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm Not liable to fear, or flight, or pain.

Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves Far otherwise the inviolable saints,

No less than for deliverance what we owe.' In cubic phalanx firm, advanc'd entire,

“Whereto with look compos'd Satan repl'o 1. Invulnerable, impenetrably arm'd;

• Not uninvented that, which thou aright Such high advantages their innocence

Believ'st so main to our success, I bring. Gave them above their foes ; not to have sinn'd, Which of us who beholds the bright surface Not to have disobey'd ; in fight they stood

of this ethereous mould whereon we stand, l'nwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd (mov'd. This continent of spacious Heaven, adorn'd By wound, though from their place by violence With plant, fruit, flower ambrosial, gens, and gold ,

*Now Night her course began, and, over Heaven Whose eye so superficially surveys Inducing darkness, grateful iruce impos’d, These things, as not to mind from whence they grow And silence on the odious din of war:

Deep under ground, materials dark and crude, Under her cloudy covert both retird,

Of spiritous and fiery spume, till, touch'd Victor and vanquish d: on the foughten field With Heaven's ray, and temper'd, they shoot forth Michael and his angels prevalent

So beauteous, opening to the ambient light? Encamping, plac'd in guard their watches round | These in their dark nativity the deep Cherubic waving fires : on the other part, Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flame; Satan with his rebellious disappear'd,

Which into hollow engines, long and round, Far in the dark dislodg'd; and, void of rest, | Thick ramm'd, at the other bore with touch of fire. His potentates to council callid by night;

Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth And in the midst thus undisraay'd began.

From far, with thundering noise, among our foes "O now in danger tried, now known in arms Such implemen's of mischief, as shall dash Not to be overpower'd, companions dear,

To pieces, and o'erwhelm whatever stands Found worthy not of liberty alone,

| Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarm'd Too mean pretence! but what we more affect, The Thunderer of his only dreaded bolt Honor, dominion, glory, and renown,

Nor long shall be our labor; yet ere dawn Who have sustain'd one day in doubtful fight Effect shall end our wish. Meanwhile revive; (And if one day, why not eternal days ?)

Abandon fear; to strength and counsel join'd What Heaven's Lord had powerfullest to sera | Think nothing hard, much less to be despair’d.' Against us from about his throne, and judg'd į "He ended, and his words their drooping cheer Sufficient to subdue us to his will,

Enlighten'd, are their languish'd hope reviv'd. But proves not so: then fallible, it seems, The inventior, all admir'd, and each, how he Ci' future we may deem him, thougļ till now To be tne in s entor miss d ; so easy it seem'd Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm'ı, Once found which yel unfound most would have Some disadvantage we endur'd and pain,

thought Till now not known, but, known, as soon contemn'u; Impossible: yet, haply, of thy race Since now we find this our empyreal form

in future days, if malice should abound, Incapable of mortal injury,

Some one intent on mischief, or inspir'd Imperishable, and though pierc'd with wound, With devilish machination, might devise Soon closing, and by native vigor heal'd.

Like instrument to plague the sons of men Of evil then so small, as easy think

For sin, on war and mutual slaughter bent. The remedy ; perhaps more valid arms,

Forth with from council to the work they flow; Weapons more violent, when next we meet, None arguing stood ; innumerable hands May serve to better us, and worse our foes, Were ready ; in a moment up they turn'd Or equal what between us made the odds, Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath In nature none: if other hidden cause

The originals of nature in their crude Left them superior, while we can preserve Conception; sulphurous and nitrous foam Inhurt our minds, and understanding sound, They found, they mingled, and, with subtle art Due search and consultation will disciose.' Concocted and adusted they reduc'd

* He sat; and in the assembly next upstood To blackest grain, and into store convey'd .

Part hidden veins digg'd up (nor hath this Earth With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame,
Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone,

But soon obscur'd with smoke, all Heaven appeard Whereof to found their engines and heir balls From those deep-throated engines belch'd, whose Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed

roar Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire.

Embowell'd with outrageous noise the air, So all ere day-spring, under conscious night, And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul Secret they finish'd, and in order set,

Their devilish glut, chain'd thunderbolts and hail With silent circumspection, unespied.

Of iron globes; which, on the victor host “ Now when fair morn orient in Heaven appear'd, Levell’d, with such impetuous fury smote, Up rose the victor-angels, and to arms

| That, whom they hit, none on their feet might stand The matin trumpet sung: in arras they stood Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell Of golden panoply, refulgent host,

By thonsands, angel on archangel rollid; Soon banded; others from the dawning hills The so mer for their arms; unarm'd, they might Look'd round, and scouts each coast light armed Have easily, a spirits, evaded swift scour,

By quick contraction or remove; but now Each quarter, to descry the distant foe,

Foul dissipation follow'd, and forc'd rout; Where lodg’d, or whither fled, or if for fight, Nor serv'd it to relax their serried files. In motion or in halt: him soon they met

What should they do? if on they rush'd, repulse Under spread ensigns moving nigh, in slow

Repeated, and indecent overthrow But firm battalion : back with speediest sail Doubled, would render them yet more despis'd, Zophiel, of cherubim the swiftest wing,

And to their foes a laughter; for in view Came flying, and in mid air aloud thus cried: Stood rank'd of seraphim another row,

“ • Arm, warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand, In posture to displode their second tire Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit of thunder: back defeated to return This day ; fear not his flight; so thick a cloud They worse abhorr'd. Satan beheld their plight, He comes, and settled in his face I see

And to his mates thus in derision callid. Sad resolution, and secure : let each

"O friends! why come not on these victors proud ? His adamantine coat gird well, and each

| Erewhile they fierce were coming; and when we, Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield, To entertain them fair with open front Borne even or high ; for this day will pour down, And breast (what could we more ?) propounded If I conjecture aught, no drizzling shower,

terms But rattling storm of arrows barb'd with fire.' Of composition, straight they chang'd their minds,

“ So warn'd he them, aware themselves, and soon Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell, In order, quit of all impediment;

As they would dance; yet for a dance they seem'd Instant without disturb they took alarm,

Somewhat extravagant and wild ; perhaps And onward mov'd embattled: when behold! For joy of offer'd peace: but I suppose, Not distant far with heavy pace the foe

If our proposals once again were heard, Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube We should compel them to a quick result.' Training his devilish enginery, impal'd

* To whom thus Belial, in like gamesome mood, On every side with shadowing squadrons deep, • Leader! the terms we sent were terins of weight, To hide the fraud. At interview both stood Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home; Awhile; but suddenly at head appear'd

Such as we might perceive amus'd them all, Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud. And stumbled many: who receives them right,

"• Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold; Had need from head to foot well understand; That all may see who hate us, how we seek Not understood, this gift they have besides, Peace and composure, and with open breast They show us when our foes walk not upright.' Stand ready to receive them, if they like

"So they among themselves in pleasant vein Our overture, and turn not back perverse :

Stood scoffing, heighten'd in their thoughts beyond But that I doubt; however witness Heaven! All doubt of victory: Eternal Might Heaven, witness thou anon! while we discharge To match with their inventions they presum'd Freely our part: ye, who appointed stand,

So easy, and of his thunder made a scorn, Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch

And all his host derided, while they stood What we propound, and loud that all may hear!" Awhile in trouble: but they stood not long;

“ So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce Rage prompted them at length, and found them arms Had ended; when to right and left the front Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose. Divided, and to either flank retir'd;

Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power, Which to our eyes discover'd, new and strange, Which God hath in his mighty angels placd!) A triple-mounted row of pillars laid

Their arms away they threw, and to the hills
On wheels, (for like to pillars most they seem'd, (For Earth hath this variety from Heaven
Or hollow'd bodies made of oak or fir,

Of pleasure situate in hill and dale.)
With branches lopt, in wood or ifountain felld.) Light as the lightning glimpse they ran, they flew ,
Brass, iron, stony mould, had not their mouths From their foundations loosening to and fro,
With hideous orifice gap'd on us wide,

They pluck'd the seated bills, with all their learl Portending hollow truce: at each behind

| Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tope A seraph stood, and in his hand a reed

Uplifting bore them in their hands : amaze, Stood waving tipt with fire; while we, suspense, Be sure, and terror, seiz'd the rebel host, Collected stood within our thoughts amusid, When coming towards them so dread they saw Not long; for sudden all at once their reeds The bottom of the mountains upward turn'd Put forth, and to a narrow vent applied

Till on those cursed engines' triple row

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