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Instant without disturb they took alarm,
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,
O friends, why come not on these victors proud ? Ere while they fierce were coming; and when we, To entertain them fair with
616 For joy of offer'd peace : but I suppose, If our proposals once again were heard, ".
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
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
compare ; 705
He said, and on his Son with
O Father, O Supreme of heavenly Thrones,