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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, 585
From those deep-throated engines 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 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 rollid;
The sooner for their arnis; unarm’d they might
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 rush'd, 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 ? Ere while they fierce were comng; and when we 610



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 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,
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 victory ; 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
Awhile in trouble: but they stood not long;
Rage prompted them at length, and found them arms
Against such hellish mischief fit to' oppose.

636 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




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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 cursed 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 Aung, which in the air 654
Came shadowing, and oppress'd whole 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 prison, though Spi'rits of purest light, 660
Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown.
The rest in imitation to like arms
Betook them, and the neighb'ring hills uptore;
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 seem'd a civil game
To this uproar; horrid confusion heap'd
Upon confusion rose; and now all Heaven
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread;




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