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Embowelled with outrageous noise the air,
"O friends, why come not on these victors proud ? Erewhile they fierce were coming ; and, when we, 610 To entertain them fair with open front And breast (what could we more ?), propounded terms Of composition, straight they changed their minds, Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell, As they would dance. Yet for a dance they seemed Somewhat extravagant and wild ; perhaps For joy of offered 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 :• Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight, 621 Of hard contents, and full of force urged home,
Such as we might perceive amused them all,
“So they among themselves in pleasant vein Stood scoffing, highthened in their thoughts beyond All doubt of victory ; Eternal Might
630 To match with their inventions they presumed 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. Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power, Which God hath in his mighty Angels placed !) 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 lightning-glimpse they ran, they flew; From their foundations, loosening to and fro, They plucked the seated hills, with all their load, Rocks, waters, woods, and, by the shaggy tops Uplifting, bore them in their hands. Be sure, and terror, seized the rebel host, When coming towards them so dread they saw The bottom of the mountains upward turned, Till on those cursed engines' triple row
650 They saw them whelmed, 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 Came shadowing, and oppressed whole legions armed. Their armour helped their harm, crushed in and bruised, Into their substance pent—which wrought them pain Implacable, and many
Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind
“ Effulgence of my glory, Son beloved, 680
War wearied hath performed what war can do,
700 Have suffered, 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 transfused, that all may know In Heaven and Hell thy power above compare, And this perverse commotion governed thus, To manifest thee worthiest to be Heir Of all things—to be Heir, and to be King By sacred 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 basis ; bring forth all my war; My bow and thunder, my almighty arms, Gird on, and sword upon thy puissant thigh ; Pursue these Sons of Darkness, drive them out From all Heaven's bounds into the utter Deep; There let them learn, as likes them, to despise God, and Messiah his anointed King.'
“He said, and on his Son with rays direct
“O Father, O Supreme of Heavenly Thrones,
Sceptre and power, thy giving, I assume, 730
“So said, he, o'er his sceptre bowing, rose
wind sound The chariot of Paternal Deity,
750 Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel ; undrawn, Itself instinct with spirit, but convoyed By four cherubic Shapes. Four faces each Had wondrous; as with stars, their bodies all And wings were set with eyes ; with eyes the wheels Of beryl, and careering fires between; Over their heads a crystal firmament, Whereon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure Amber and colours of the showery arch. He, in celestial panoply all armed Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought, Ascended ; at his right hand Victory Sat eagle-winged; beside him hung his bow, And quiver, with three-bolted thunder stored ;