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Some one intent on mischief, or inspir’d
With devilish machination, might devise
Like instrument to plague the fons of men 505
For sin, on war and mutual Naughter bent.
Forthwith from council to the work they few:
None arguing stood; innumerable hands
Were ready ; in a moment up they turn'd
Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath

510
Th' originals of nature in their crude
Conception; sulphurous and nitrous foam
They found, they mingled, and with subtle art,
Concocted and adufted they reduc'd
To blackest grain, and into store convey'd : 515
Part hidden veins digg'd up (nor hath this earth
Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone,
Whereof to found their engins and their balls
Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed
Provide, pernicious with one touch-to fire. 520
So all ere day-spring, under conscious night,
Secret they finish'd, and in order set,
With filent circumspection unespy'd.

Now when fair morn orient in Heav'n appear'd, Up rose the victor Angels, and to arms

525 The matin trumpet sung: in arms they stood Of golden panoply, refulgent hoft, Soon banded; others from the dawning hills Look'd round, and scouts each coast light-armed scour, Each quarter, to descry the distant foe,

530 Where lodg'd, or whither fled, or if for fight, In motion or in halt: him soon they met

Under

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Under spread ensigns moving nigh, in flow
But firm battalion ; back with speediest fail
Zophiel, of Cherubim the swiftest wing,

$35 Came fly'ing, and in mid air aloud thus cry'd.

Arm, Warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand,
Whom Aed we thought, will save us long pursuit
This day; fear not his flight; fo thick a cloud
He comes, and settled in his face I see
Sad resolution and secure : let each
His adamantin coat gird well, and each
Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed fhield,
Borne ev'n or high; for this day will pour down,
If I conjecture ought, no drizling fhower,
But rattling storm of arrows barb'd with fire.

So warn’d he them aware themfelves, and soon
In order, quit of all impediment;
Instant without disturb they took alarm,
And onward moy'd imbattel'd: when behold
Not distant far with heavy pace the foe
Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube
Training his devilish enginry, impal'd
On every side with shadowing squadrons deep,
To hide the Fraud. At interview both stood

555 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

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But that I doubt; however witness Heaven,
Heav’n witness thou anon, while we discharge
Freely our part; ye who appointed stand, 565
Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch
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 :

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Which to our eyes discover'd, new and strange,
A triple mounted row of pillars laid
On wheels (for like to pillars most they seem'd,
Or hollow'd bodies made of oak or fir,
With branches lopt, in wood or mountain fellid) 575
Brass, iron, stony mold, 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

380 Collected stood within our thoughts amus'd, Not long, for fudden all at once their reeds Put forth, and to a narrow vent apply'd With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame, But foon obfcur'd with smoke, all Heav'n appear’d, From those deep throated engins belch’d, whose roar Imboweld with outrageous noise the air, And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul Their devilish glut, chain'd thunderbolts and hail Of iron globes; which on the victor hoft

590 Leveld, with such impetuous fury smote, That whom they hit, none on their feet might stand,

Though

605

Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell
By thousands, Angel on Arch-Angel rollid;
The fooner for their arms; unarm’d they might 595
Have easily as Spi'rits evaded swift
By quick contraction or remove; but now
Foul dissipation follow'd and forc'd rout;
Nor serv'd it to relax their serried files.
What should they do ? if on they rulhid, repulse 600
Repeated, and indecent overthrow
Doubled, would render them yet more despis’d,
And to their foes a laughter; for in view
Stood rank'd of Seraphim another row,
In posture to displode their second tire
Of thunder : back defeated to return
They worse abhorr’d. Satan beheld their plight,
And to his mates thus in derision call’d.

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, strait they chang’d their minds, Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell, As they would dance ; yet for a dance they seem'd 615 Somewhat extravagant and wild, perhaps 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 sent were terms of weight, Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home, VOL. I.

o

Such

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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 fcoffing, hightend in their thoughts beyond
All doubt of victory; eternal might
To match with their inventions they presum'd
So easy', and of his thunder made a scorn,
And all his hoft derided, while they stood
A while in trouble: but they stood not long;
Rage prompted them at length, and found them arms 635
Against such hellish mischief fit to' oppose.
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
Of pleasure situate in hill and dale)
Light as the lightning glimpse they ran, they flew;
From their foundations loosning to and fro
They pluck'd the feated hills with all their load,
Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops
Up-lifting bore them in their hands : Amaze,
Be sure, and terror seis'd the rebel host,
When coming towards them so dread they saw
The bottom of the mountains upward turn'd;
Till on those cursed engins triple-row
They saw them whelm’d, and all their confidence
Under the weight of mountains buried deep;

Themselves

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