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470

Whereto with look compos'd SATAN reply'd. Not uninvented that, which thou aright Believ't fo main to our fuccefs, I bring. Which of us who beholds the bright furface Of this ethereous mould, whereon we stand; This continent of fpacious Heav'n, adorn'd With plant, fruit, flow'r ambrofial, gems, and gold Whofe eye fo fuperficially furveys 476 These things, as not to mind from whence they grow Deep under ground; materials dark and crude, Of spiritous and fiery fpume, till touch'd

486

With heav'ns ray, and temper'd they fhoot forth 480
So beauteous, op'ning to the ambient light?
Thefe, in their dark nativity, the Deep
Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flathe:
Which into hollow engins, long and round,
Thick-ramm'd, at th' other bore with touch of fire
Dilated, and infuriate, fhall fend forth
From far, with thund'ring noife, among our foes
Such implements of mifchief, as fhall dash
To pieces, and o'erwhelm whatever ftands
Adverfe: that they fhall fear we have difarm'd 490
The Thunderer of his only dreaded bolt.
Nor long fhall be our labor; yet e're dawn,
Effect shall end our with. Mean while revive;
Abandon fear; to ftrength and counsel join'd
Think nothing hard, much lefs to be defpair'd. 495

499

He ended, and his words their drooping cheer Inlighten'd, and their languifh'd hope reviv'd. Th'invention all admir'd, and each, how he To be th' inventor mifs'd, fo eafy it feem'd Once found, which yet unfound most would have Impoffible. Yet haply of thy race In future days (if malice fhould abound) Some one intent on mifchief, or infpir'd With dev'lish machination, might devise Like inftrument, to plague the fons of men

[thought

505 For

For fin, on war and mutual flaughter bent.
Forthwith from Council to the work they flew,
None arguing flood: innumerable hands
Were ready; in a moment up they turn'd
Wide the coeleftial foil, and faw beneath
Th' originals of nature in their crude
Conception: fulphurous and nitrous foam
They found, they mingled, and with fubtile art,
Concocted and adufted they reduc'd

510

515

To blackeft grain, and into ftore convey'd.

Part, hidden veins digg'd up (nor hath this earth
Entrails unlike) of mineral and ftone;

Whereof to found their engins, and their balls

Of missive ruin: part, incentive reed

Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire.

520

So all e're day-fpring, under confcious night,

Secret they finish'd, and in order fet,

With filent circumfpection unespy'd.

Now when fair morn orient in, Heav'n appear'd,

Up rofe the victor Angels, and to arms

525

The matin trumpet fung: in arms they flood

Of golden panoply, refulgent hoft!

Soon banded: others from the dawning hills

Look'd round, and fcouts each coaft light-armed fcour Each quarter, to defcry the diftant foe,

Where lodg'd, or whither fled, or if for fight
In motion or in halt: him foon they met
Under fpread enfigns moving nigh, in flow
But firm battalion: back with speediest fail
ZOPHIEL, of Cherubim the fwifteft wing,
Came flying, and in mid-air aloud thus cry'd.

530

535

Arm, warriors, arm for fight! the foe at hand, Whom fled we thought, will fave us long perfuit This day; fear not his flight; fo thick a cloud He comes, and fettled in his face I fee Sad refolution, and fecure. Let each

540

His

His adamantine coat gird well, and each
Fit well his helm, gripe faft his orbed fhield,
Born ev'n or high; for this day will pour down,
If I conjecture ought, no drizling how'r,
But ratling form of arrows barb'd with fire.

*

545

So warn'd he them, aware themselves; and foon In order, quit of all impediment,

Inftant without difturb they took alarm,

And onward move embattell'd: when behold!
Not diftant far with heavy pace the Foe
Approaching grofs and huge; in hollow cube
Training his devilish enginry, impal'd
On every fide with fhadowing fquadrons deep,
To hide the fraud. At interview both flood
A-while; but fuddenly at head appear'd
SATAN; and thus was heard commanding loud.

Vanguard to right and left the Front unfold;
That all may fee who hate us, how we seek
Peace and compofure, and with open breast
Stand ready to receive them, if they like
Our overture, and turn not back perverfe;
But that I doubt: however witness Heav'n!
Heav'n witness thou anon! while we discharge
Freely our part: ye who appointed ftand,
Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch
What we propound, and loud that all may hear.

550

555

560

565

570

So fcoffing in ambiguous words, he fcarce Had ended; when to right and left the Front Divided, and to either Flank retir'd: Which to our eyes difcover'd, new and ftrange! A triple mounted row of pillars, laid On wheels (for like to pillars moft they feem'd, Or hollow'd bodies made of oak, or fir, With branches lop'd, in wood or mountain fell'd).

* Perhaps it should be, right.

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