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“ So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found The better fight, who single hast maintain'd Among the faithless, faithfid 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 worlds Though single. From amidst them forth be pass’d, ; Judg’d thee perverse : the easier conquest now Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustain's Remains thee, aided by this host of friends, Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught;

Back on thy foes more glorious to return, And, with retorted scorn, his back he turn'd Than scom'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,

And thou, in military prowess next,
The Argument.

Gabriel, lead forth to battle these my sons

Invincible; lead forth my armed saints, Raphaël continues to relate how Michael and By thousands and by millions, rang’d for fight,

Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan Equal in number to that godless crew and his angels. The first fight described : Satan Rebellious: them with fire and hostile arms and his powers retire under night : he calls a Fearless assault ; and, to the brow of Heaven council; invents devilish engines, which, in the Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss, second day's fight, put Michael and his angels to Into their place of punishment, the gulf some disorder; but they at length, pulling up of Tartarus, which ready opens wide mountains, overwhelmed both the force and His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.' machines of Satan : yet, the tumult not so end “ So spake the Sovran Voice, and clouds began ing, God, on the third day, sends Messiah his To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll Sun, for whom he had reserved the glory of that In dusky wreaths, reluctant fames, the sign. victory: he, in the power of his father, coming Of wrath awak’d; nor with less dread the loud to the place, and causing all his legions to stand Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow : still on either side, with his chariot and thunder At which command the powers militant driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues That stood for Heaven, in mighty quadrate join'd them, unable to resist, towards the wall of Of union irresistible, mov'd on Heaven ; which opening, they leap down, with In silence their bright legions, to the sound horrour and confusion, into the place of punish-Of instrumental harmony, that breath'd ment prepared for them in the deep: Messiah Heroic ardour to adventurous deeds returns with triumph to his Father.

Under their God-like leaders, in the cause

Of God and his Messiah. On they move “ All night the dreadless angel, unpursued, Indissolubly firin; nor obvious hill, Through Heaven's wide champain held his way; Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream, divides till Morn,

Their perfect ranks : for high above the ground Wak'd by the circling Hours, with rosy hand Their march was, and the passive air upbore Unbarr'd the gates of Light. There is a cave Their nimble tread; as when the total kind Within the mount of God, fast by his throne, Of birds, in orderly array on wing, Where Light and Darkness in perpetual round Came summoned over Eden to receive Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Their names of thee ; so over many a tract (wide, Heaven

Of Heaven they march’d, and many a province Grateful vicissitude, like day and night;

Tenfold the length of this terrene : at last, Light issues forth, and at the other door

Far in the horizon to the north appear'd Obsequious Darkness enters, ull her hour (well From skirt to skirt a fiery region, stretch'd To veil the Heaven, through darkness there might In battailous aspect, and nearer view Seem twilight here: and now went forth the Morn, Bristled with upright beams innumerable Such as in highest Heaven, array'd in gold Of rigid spears, and helmets throng'd, and shields Empyreal ; from before her vanish'd Night, Various, with boastful argument pourtray'd, Shot through with orient beams; when all the plain The banded powers of Satan hasting on Cover'd with thick embattled squadrons bright, With furious expedition ; for they ween'd Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds, That self-same day, by fight, or by surprise, Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view : To win the mount of God, and on his throne War he perceiv’d, war in procinct ; and found To set the Envier of his state, the proud Already known what he for news had thought Aspirer; but their thoughts prov'd fond and vain To have reported : gladly then he mix'd

In the mid way: though strange to us it seem'd Among those friendly powers, who him receiv'd At first, that angel should with angel war, With joy and acclamations loud, that one

And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet That of so many myriads tall'n yet one,

So oft in festivals of joy and love Return'd not lost. On to the sacred hill

Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire, They led him high applauded, and present

Hymning the Eternal Father : but the shout Before the seat supreme ; from whence a voice, Of battle now began, and rushing sound From midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard. Of onset ended soon each milder thought. “ • Servant of God, well done;' well hast thou Uigli 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, enclos'd

Servility with freedom to contend, With flaming 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 stern replied. 'Twist host and host but narrow space was left, Apostate ! 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 Of 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, Abxtiel that sight endur'd not, where he stood To serve the unwise, or him who hath rebell'd 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; **0 Heaven! that such resemblance of the Yet lewdly dar’st our ministring upbraid. Highest

Reign thou in Hell, thy kingdom; let me serve Should yet remain, where faith and reälty [might In Heaven God ever blest, and his divine Renain not: wherefore should not strength and Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd ; [while Tiere fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove Yet chains in Hell, not realms, expect : meanWbere 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, Unsound and false : nor is it aught but just, Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell That be, 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 thought, less could his shield, Vietor ; though brutish that contést and foul, Such ruin intercept : ten paces huge When reason hath to deal with force, yet so

He back recoil'd; the tenth on bended knee Sfost 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 Footh stepping opposite, half-way he met

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

Half sunk with all his pines. Amazement seiz'd Incens’d, and thus securely him defied.


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 terrour of thy power

The arch-angel trumpet ; through the vast of Heaven Or potent tongue : fool! not to think how vain It sounded, and the faithfui 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 Hase rais'd incessant armies to defeat

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

And clamour, such as heard in Heaven till now Peaching beyond all limit, at one blow,

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

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

And flying vaulted either lost with fire.
Sen'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. AU Heaven

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 fight, seditious angel! to receive

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

Of all their regions : how much more of power Of this right hand provok'd since first that tongue, Army against army numberless to raise lo pir'd with contradiction, durst oppose

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

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

From his strong hold of Heaven, high over-ruld 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 ine 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
Cnanswer'd lest thou boast,) to let thee know, Each warriour 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 light,
Blinistring spirits, train’d up in feast and song! None of retreat, no unbecoming deed


That argued fear; each on himself relied,

Where erst was thickest fight, the angelic throng, As only in luis arm the moment lay

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

Of such cornmotion ; such as, to set forth Were done, but infinito; 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 seem'd then

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

Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound. 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 confus'd, at length

As not of power at once ; nor odds appear'd
Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and fellid In night or swift prevention : but the sword
Squadrons at once ; with huge two-handed sway Of Michael from the armoury of God
Brandish'd aloft, the horrid edge 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 arch-angel 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 drayg'd in chains, with hostile frown Pass'd through him: but the ethereal substance clos'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 humour 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 armour stain'd, ere while so bright.
Though heaviest by just measure on thyself Forthwith 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 instill'd

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 dic;
Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom, (God, Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
Or some more sudden rengeance, wing’d from 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 colour, shape, or size
Of acry threats to awe whom yet with deeds Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.
Thou canst not. Hast thou turn'd the least of these “ Meanwhile in other parts like deeds deserv'd
To fight, 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 should'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 vaunting foe, And join him nam'd Almighty to thy aid,

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

• They ended parle, and both 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 their Of angels, can relate, or to what things


[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 seemd, The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow
Stood they or mov’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 their 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 horrour: from each hand with speed retir'd, Seek not the praise of men: the other sort,

In 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,
Cancell'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 aspéct thus answering spake. For strength from truth divided, and from just,

Deliverer from new lords, leader to free Illaudable, 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, Vain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame : Against unequal arms to fight in pain, Therefore eternal silence be their doom. (swerv'd, Against unpain’d, impassive ; from which evil * And now, their mightiest quell'd, the battle Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails (pain With many an inroad gor'd; deformed rout Valour or strength, though matchless, quell’d with Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the ground

Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands With shiver'd armour 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:
0'er-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

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

Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm No: 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 firi, advanc'd entire,

“ Whereto with look compos'd Satan replied. 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 surfáce Not to have disobey'd; in fight they stood

Of this ethereous mould whereon we stand, Unwearied, 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, gems, and gold;

* Now Night her course began, and, over Heaven Whose eye so superficially surveys Inducing darkness, grateful truce 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 retir'd,

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
Michaël 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 call’d by night;

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

From far, with thundering noise, among our foes “O now in danger tried, now known in arms Such implements 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 Tou mean pretence! but what we more affect, The Thunderer of his only dreaded bolt. Honour, dominion, glory, and renown;

Nor long shall be our labour; 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 send Think nothing hard, much less to be despair’d. Against us from about his throne, and judg'd “ He ended, and his words their drooping cheer Sufficient to subdue us to his will,

Enlighten'd, and their languish'd hope reviv'd. But proves not so : then fallible, it seems,

The invention all admir'd, and each, how he Of future we may deem him, though till now To be the inventor miss'd; so easy it seem’d Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm’d, Once found, which yet unfound most would have Some disadvantage we endur'd and pain,

thought Till now not known, but, known, as soon contemn'd; 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 vigour heal'd.

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

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

Forthwith from council to the work they flew;' 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 Unburt our minds, and understanding sound, They found, they mingled, and, with subtle art, Due search and consultation will disclose.'

Concocted and adusted they reduc'd " He sat; and in the assembly next upstood To blackest grain, and into store convey'd :


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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 appear'd Whereof to found their engines and their balls From those deep-throated engines belch’d, whose Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed 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 arms they stood Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell Of golden panoply, refulgent host,

By thousands, angel on arch-angel rollid; Soon banded; others from the dawning hills The sooner for their arms; unarm'd, they might Look'd round, and scouts each coast light armed Have easily, as 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 fied, 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,

warriors, arm for fight; the foe at In posture to displode their second tire hand,

Of thunder : back defeated to return Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit They worse abhorr'd. Satan beheld their plight, This day ; fear not his flight; so thick a cloud And to his mates thus in derision call'd. (proud ? He comes, and settled in his face I see

“O friends! why come not on these victors Sad resolution, and secure: let each

Ere while they fierce were coming; and when we, His adamantine coat gird well, and each

To entertain them fair with open front Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield, And breast (what could we more ?) propounded Borne even or high ; for this day will pour down,

terms If I conjecture aught, no drizzling shower, 1 Of composition, straight they chang'd their minds, But rattling storm of arrows barb’d with fire.' Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell,

“ So warn’d he them, aware themselves, and soon As they would dance; yet for a dance they seem'd In order, quit of all impediment ;

Somewhat extravagant and wild: perhaps Instant without disturb they took alarm,

For joy of offer'd peace : but I suppose, And onward mov'd embattled: when behold! If our proposals once again were heard, Not distant far with heavy pace the foe

We should compel them to a quick result.' Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube “ To whom thus Belial, in like gamesome mood, Training his devilish enginery, impal'd

• Leader ! the terms we sent were terms of weight, On every side with shadowing squadrons deep, Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home; To hide the fraud. At interview both stood Such as we might perceive amus’d them all, A while ; but suddenly at head appear’d

And stumbled many: who receives them right, Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud. Had need from head to foot well understand;

“ Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold; Not understood, this gift they have besides, That all may see who hate us, how we seek They show us when our foes walk not upright.' Peace and composure, and with open breast “ So they among themselves in pleasant vein Stand ready to receive them, if they like

Stood scoffing, heighten'd in their thoughts beyond Our overture, and turn not back perverse :

All doubt of victory : Eternal Might But that I doubt; however witness Heaven! To match with their inventions they presum'd Heaven, witness thou anon! while we discharge So easy, and of his thunder made a scorn, Freely our part : ye, who appointed stand,

And all his host derided, while they stood Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch Awhile in trouble : but they stood not long; What we propound, and loud that all may hear! Rage prompted them at length, and found them

“ So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce 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 plac'd !) 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 mountain fell’d,) 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 hills, with all their load, Portending hollow truce : at each behind

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

Up-lifting bore them in their hands : amaze, Stood waving tipt with fire; while we, suspense, Be sure, and terrour, seiz'd the rebel host, Collected stood within our thoughts amus’d, 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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