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Instant without disturb they took alarm,
And onward move imbattled: when behold

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Not distant far with heavy pace the foe
Approaching grofs and huge, in hollow cube
Training his devilifh enginery, impal'd
On every side with shadowing squadrons deep,
To hide the fraud. At interview both stood 559
A while ; but suddenly at head appear'd
Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud.

Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold; That all may see who hate us, how we seek Peace and composure, and with open breast 560 Stand ready to receive them, if they like Our overture, and turn not back perverse : But that I doubt ; however, witness heaven, Heaven witness thou anon, while we difcharge Freely our part; ye who appointed stand, 565 Do as you have in charge, and briefly touchi What we propound, and loud that all may hear.

So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce Had ended; when to right and left the front Divided, and to either flank retir'd :

570 Which to our eyes discover'd, new and frange, A triple mounted row of pillars laid On wheels (for like to pillars most they feem'd, Or hollow'd bodies made of oak .or fir, With branches lopt, in wood or mountain felld) 575 Brass, iron, stony mould, had not their mouths With hideous orifice gap'd on us wide, Portending hollow truce : at each behind A Seraph stood, and in his hand a reed Stood waving tipt with fire; while we suspense, $80 Collected stood within our thoughts amus’d : Not long; for sudden all at once their reeds Put forth, and to a narrow vent apply'd

With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame,
But soon obfcur'd with smoke, all heaven appear’d,
From these deep-throated engines belch'd, whose roal
Imboweld with outrageous noise the air,
And all her intrails tore, disgorging foul
Their devilish glut, chain'd thunderbolts, and hail
Of iron globes ; which on the victor host 590
Leveld, with fuch impetuous fury smote,
That whom they hit, none on their feet might ftand,
Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell
By thoufands, angel on archangel rollid;
The sooner for their arms ; unarm’d they might 595
Have easily, as fpi'rits, evaded swift
By quick contraction or remove ; but now
Foul dislipation follow'd, and forc'd rout ;
Nor sery'd it to relax their ferried files.
What should they do? if on they rulhid, repulfe 600
Repeated, and indecent overthrow
Doubled, would render them yet more defpis'd,
And to their foes a laughter ; for in view
Stood rank'd of Seraphim another row,
In posture to displode their second tire

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Of thunder: back defeated to return
They worse abhorr'd. Satan beheld their plight,
And to his mates thus in derision callid,

O friends, why come not on these victors proud ? Ere while they fierce were coming; and when we, To entertain them fair with

open
front

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And breast, (what could we more ?'), propounded terms
Of composition, ftrait they chang'd their minds,
Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell,
As they would dance; yet for a dance they seem'd
Somewhat extravagant and wild, perhaps

616 For joy of offer'd peace : but I suppose, If our proposals once again were heard, ".

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We should compel them to a quick result.

To whom thus Belial, in like gamesome mood : 620 Leader, the terms we fent were terms of weight, Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home, Such as we might perceive amus'd them all, And stumbled many : who receives them right, Had need from head to foot well understand

; Not understood, this gift they have besides, They show us when our foes walk not upright.

So they among themselves in pleasant vein Stood scoffing, heighten'd in their thoughts beyond. All doubt of victory ; eternal might:

630 To match with their inventions they presum'd So easy', and of his thunder made a scorn, And all his host derided, while they stood. A while in trouble: but they stood not long; Rage prompted them at length, and found them arms Against such hellish mischief fit to' oppose. 636 Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power, Which God hath in his mighty angels plac’d) Their arms away they threw, and to the hills (For earth hath this variety from heaven 640 Of pleasure situate in hill and dale) Light as the light'ning glimpse they ran, they flew; From their foundations loos'ning to and fro, They pluck'd the feated hills, with all their load, Rocks, waters,, woods, and by the shaggy tops 645 Up-lifting bore them in their hands. 'Amaze, Be sure, and terrour, seiz'd the rebel-host, When coming towards them so dread they saw The bottom of the mountains upward turn'd; Till on those cursed engines triple-row

650 They saw them whelm'd, and all their confidence Under the weight of mountains buried deep; Themselves invaded next, and on their heads

Main promontories flung, which in the air 654
Came shadowing, and opprefs'd whole legions arm'd;
Their armour help their harm, crush'd in and bruis'd
Into their substance pent, which wrought them pain.
Implacable, and many a dolorous groan,
Long Itruggling underneath, ere they could wind
Out of such pris'on, though spi'rits of purest light,
Purelt at first, now grofs by finning grown. 661
The rest, in imitation, to like arms
Betook them, and the neighb'ring hills uptore :
So hills amid the air encounter'd hills
Hurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire,

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That under ground they fought in dismal shade;
Infernal noise ; war seem'd a civil game
To this uproar; horrid confusion heap'd
Upon confufion rose. And now all heaven
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread ;
Had not th' almighty Father, where he fits
Shrin'd in his fanctuary of heaven fecure;
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen
This tumult, and permitted all, advis'd :
That his great purpose he might fo fulfil,

675 To honour his Anointed Son aveng'd Upon his enemies, and to declare All power on him transferr’d: whence to his Son, Th' assessor of his throne, he thus began.

Effulgence of my glory, Son belov’d, 680 Son in whose face invisible is beheld Vilbly, what by deity I am, And in whose hand what by decree I do, Second Omnipotence, two days are past, Two days, as we compute the days of heaven, 685 Since Michael and his powers went forth to tame These disobedient: sore hath been their fight, As likeliest was, when two such foes met arm'd;

- For to themselves I left them; and thou know'st,

Equal in their creation they were form’d, 690
Save what sin hath impair'd; which yet hath wrought
Insensibly, for I suspend their doom ;
Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last
Endless, and no solution will be found :
War wearied hath perform'd what war can do, 695
And to disorder'd rage let loose the reins,
With mountains as with weapons arm’d; which makes
Wild work in heaven, and dange'rous to the main.
Two days are therefore past, the third is thine ;
For thee I have ordain'd it, and thus far

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Have suffer'd, that the glory may be thine
Of ending this great war, since none but thou
Can end it. Into thee such virtue' and

grace
Immense I have transfus'd, that all may know
In heav'n and hell thy power above

compare ; 705
And this perverse commotion govern’d thus,
To manifest thee worthiest to be Heir
Of all things, to be Heir, and to be King
By facred unction, thy deserved right.
Go then, thou Mightiest, in thy Father's might, 710
Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels
That shake heaven's bafis, bring forth all my war,
My bow and thunder, my almighty arms
Gird on, and sword upon thy puissant thigh;
Pursue these fons of darkness, drive them out 715
From all heaven's bounds into the utter deep:
There let them learn, as likes them, to defpise
God, and Mefliah his anointed King.

He said, and on his Son with
Shone full; he all his Father full express'd
Ineffably into his face receiv'd ;
And thus the Filial Godhead answ'ring spake.

O Father, O Supreme of heavenly Thrones,

rays direct

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