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They found, they mingled, and, with subtle art,
Concocted and adusted they reduc'd
To blackest grain, and into store convey'd:
Part hidden veins digg'd up (nor hath this earth
Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone,
Whereof to found their engines and their balls
Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed
Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire.
So all ere day-spring, under conscious night
Secret they finish'd, and in order set,
With silent circumspection, unespied.

Now when fair morn orient in Heaven appear'd,
Up rose the victor-Angels, and to arms
The matin trumpet sung : in arms they stood
Of golden panoply, refulgent hosty
Soon banded; others from the dawning hills
Look'd round, and scouts each coast light-armed

scour,
Each quarter, to descry the distant foe,
Where lodg’d or whither fled, or if for fight,
In motion or in halt: Him soon they met
Under spread ensigns moving nigh, in slow
But firm battalion; back with speediest sail
Zophiel, of Clierubim the swiftest wing,
Came flying, and in mid air aloud thus cried.

Arm, Warriours, arm for fight; the foe at hand, Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit This day; fear not his fight; so thick a cloud

He comes,

and settled in his face I see Sad resolution, and secure : Let each His adamantine coat yird well, and each, Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield, Borne even or high; for this day will pour down, If I conjecture aught, no drizzling shower, But rattling storm of arrows barb’d with fire.

So warn'd he them, aware themselves, and soon In order, quit of all impediment; Instant without disturb they took alarm, And onward mov'd embattled : When behold! Not distant far with heavy pace the foe Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube Training his devilish enginery, impal'd On every side with shadowing squadrons deep, To hide the fraud. At interview both stood 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 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 discharge Freely our part; ye, who appointed stand, 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 Aank retir'd: 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 fis, With branches lopt, in wood or mountain fell’d,) 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, Collected stood within our thoughts amus'd Not long; for sudden all at once their reeds Put forth, and to a narrow vent applied With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame, But soon obscur’d with smoke, all Heaven appear'd From those deep-throated engines belch’d, whose

roar

Embowell’d 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 host
Levell’d, with such impetuous fury smote,
That, whom they hit, none on their feet might stand,
Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell
By thousands, Angel on Arch-angel rolld;

The sooner for their arms; unarm’d, they might
Have easily, as Spirits, 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 rush'd, repulse
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,
To entertain them fair with open front
And breast, (what could we more ?) propounded

terms Of composition, straight 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 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. Leader ! the terms we sent were terms of weight,

Of hard contents, and full of foree 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 vietory; Eternal Might :
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.
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 loosening to and fro,
They pluck'd the seated hills, with all their load,
Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops
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

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