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520 54o. Of Dorie land, or who with Saturn old Fled over Adria to the Hesperian tields, And o'er the Celtic roam’d the utmost isles.
All these and more came flocking; but with looks Down-cast and damp; yet such wherein appear'd Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their Chief Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost In loss itself; which on his countenance cast Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore Semblance of worth, not substance, gently rais'd Their fainting courage, and dispell’d their fears. Then straight commands, that at the warlike sound Of trumpets loud and clarions, be uprear'd His mighty standard: that proud honour claim'd Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall : Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurld The imperial ensign, which, full high advanc'd, Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz’d, Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds; At which the universal host upsent A shout, that tore hell's concave, and beyond Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. All in a moment through the gloom were seen Ten thousand banners rise into the air, With orient colours waving : with them rose
A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms
606. Could merit more than that small infantry Warr'd on by cranes; though all the giant brood Of Phlegra with the heroic race were join'd That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side Mix'd with auxiliar Gods; and what resounds In fable or romance of Uther's son, Begirt with British and Armoric knights ; And all who since, baptis'd or infidel, Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban, Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond; Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore, When Charlemain with all his peerage fell By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd Their dread Commander: he, above the rest In shape and gesture proudly eminent, Stood like a tower; his form had not yet lost All her original brightness, nor appear’d Less than Arch-Angel ruin'd, and the excess Of Glory obscur'd: as when the sun, new risen, Looks through the horizontal misty air, Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon, In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds On half the nations, and with fear of change Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet shone Above them all the Arch-Angel; but his face Deep scars of thunder had entrench'd, and care Sat on bis faded cheek, but under brows
O myriads of immortal Spirits! O Powers
of mind Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth Of knowledge past or present, could have fear'd, How such united force of Gods, how such As stood like these, could ever know repulse ?
635662. For who can yet believe, though after loss, That all these puissant legions, whose exíle, Hath emptied Heaven, shall fail to re-ascend, Self-rais'd, and repossess their native seat? For me be witness all the host of heaven If counsels different, or dangers shunn'd By me, have lost our hopes. But he, who reigns Monarch in heaven, till then as one secure Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, Consent or custom, and his regal state Put forth at full, but still his strength conceal'd, Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. Henceforth his might we know, and know our own; So as not either to provoke, or dread New war, provok'd; our better part remains, To work in close design, by fraud or guile, What force effected not; that he no less At length from us may find, who overcomes By force, hath overcome but half his foe. Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife There went a fame in Heaven, that he ere long Intended to create, and therein plant A generation, whom his choice regard Should favour equal to the sons of Heaven: Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere : For this infernal pit shall never hold Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor the abyss