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With silent circumspection unespy'd.

Now when fair morn orient in heav'n appeard,
Up rose the victor Angels, and to arms
The matin trumpet sung: in arms they stood
of golden panoply, refulgent host,
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 firın battalion; back with speediest sail
Zophiel, of Cherubim the swiftest wing,
Came tiying, and in mid air aloud thus cry'd:

Arm, warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand,
Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit
This day; fear not his flight; so thick a cloud
He comes, and settled in his face I see
Sad resolution and secure: let each
His adamantine coat gird well, and each
Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield,
Borne ev'n on high; for this day will pour down,
If I conjecture ought, no drizzling show'r,
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 move 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
Awhile; 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,
Heav'n, 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 inay hear.

So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce
Had ended; when to right and left the front
Divided, and to either tank retird:
Which to our eyes discover'd, new and strange,
A triple mounted row of pillars laid
On wheels (for like to pillars mosi they seem’d,
Or hollow'd bodies made of oak or fir,
With branches lopt, in wood or mountain felld)
Brass, iron, stony mould, had oot 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 apply'd
With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame,
But soon obscur'd with smoke, all heav'n appear'd,
From those deep-throated engines belch'd, whose roar
Imbowel'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
Level'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 Archangel roll'd;
The sooner for their arms; unarm'd they might
Have easily, as sp'rits evaded swift
By quick contraction or remove; but now
Foui 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 despised,
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 abhorrd. Satan beheld their plight,
And to his mates thus in derision call'd:

O friends, why come not on these victors proud ?
Ere while 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 force urg'd home,
Such as we might perceive amus'di them all,
Ind 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 fues walk not upright.

So they among themselves in pleasant vein
Stood scoffing, heightend in their thoughts beyond
All doubt of victory; eternal might
To match with their inventions they presum'd
So easying 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 t'oppose.
Forthwith (behold: the excellence, the pow'r,
which God hath in his mighty Angels plaed)
Their arms away they threw, and to the hills
(For Earth hath this variety froin Ilessin

Of pleasure situate in hill and dale)
Light as the lightning glimpse they ran, they flew;
From their foundations loos’ning to and fro,
They pluck'd the seated hills, with all their load,
Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops
Uplifting bore them in their hands. Amaze,
Be sure, and terror, seiz'd the rebel host,
When coming towards them so dread' they saw
The bottom of the mountains upward turn'd;
Till on those cursert engines triple-row
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
Came shadowing, and oppress'd wliole legions arm'd;
Their armour help'd their harm,crush'd in and bruis'd
Into their substance pent, which wrought them pain
Implacable, and many a dolorous groan.
Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind
Out of such pris'n, though sp’rits of purest light,
Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown.
The rest in imitation, to like arms
Betook them, and the neighb'ring hills uptorc:
So hills amid the air encounter'd hills
Hurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire,
That under ground they fought in dismal shade;
Infernal noise; war secin'd a civil game
To this uproar: horrid confusion heap'd
Upon confusion rose. And now all heav'n
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread;
Had not th' almighty Father, where he sits
Shrin'd in his sanctuary of heav'n' secure,
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen
This tumult, and permittedall, antvis’d:
That his great purpose he might su fulál,
To honour his anointed Son aveng'd
Upon his enemies, and to declare
All pow'ron.him transferrd: whence to his Sop,
Th'assessor of his throne, he thus began?

Effulgence of my glory, Son belov'd, Son, in whose face invisible is beheld Visibly, 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 heav'n, Since Michael and his pow'rs 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, Save what sin hath impair’d; which yet hath wrought Insensibly, for I suspend their doom; Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last Endless, and no solution will be found: War wearied hath perform’d what war can do, And to disorder'd rage let loose the reins, With mountains as with weapons arm'd; which makes Wild work in heav'n, and dang’rous to the inain, Two days are therefore past, the third is thine; For thee I have ordain'd it, and thus far Have suffer'd, 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 transfus'd, that all may know In heav'n and hell thy pow'r above compare; And this perverse comınotion govern'd 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, Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels Thát shake heav'n'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 heav'n's bounds into the utter deep; There let them learn, as likes them, to despise God, and Messiah his anointed King.

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