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To hide the fraud. At interview both stood
A while, but suddenly at head appeer'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 composure, and with open breast
Stand readie to receive them, If they like
Our overture, and turn not back perverse ;
But that I doubt, however witness heav'n,
Heav'n witness thou anon, while we discharge
Freely our part; ye who appointed stand
Do as ye 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 moft they seem'd Or hollow'd bodies made of oak or fir With branches lopt, in wood or mountain felld.) Brass, iron, stonnie mould, had not their mouths With hideous orifice gap't 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 appli’d With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame, But soon obscur'd with {moak, all heav'n appeer'd.

From those deep-throated engines belcht, whose roar
Embowel'd with outragious noise the air,
And all her entrails tore, disgorging foule
Their devilish glut, chain’d thunder-bolts and hail
Of iron globes, which on the victor hoft
Leveld, with such impetuous furie smote,
That whom they hit, none on their feet might tand,
Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell
By thousands, angel on arch-angel rowl'd ;
The sooner for their arms, unarm'd they might
Have easily as spirits evaded swift
By quick contraction or remove; but now
Foule diffipation follow'd and forc't rout;
Nor serv'd it to relax their ferried files.
What Mould they do? if on they rulat, repulse
Repeated, and indecent overthrow
Doubl’d, would render them yet more defpisid,
And to their foes a laughter; for in view
Stood rankt of feraphim another row
In posture to displode their fecond tire
Of thunder : back defeated to return
They worse abhorr'd. Satan beheld their plight,
And to his mates thus in derifion call'd.

O friends, why come not on these vi&tors proud ?
Ere while they fierce were coming, and when we,
To entertain them fair with open front
And breft, (what could we more ?) propounded terms
Of composition, strait they chang'd their minds,
Flew off, and into ftrange ragaries fell,
As they would dance, yet for a dance they seems
Somewhat extravagant and wilde, perhaps

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For joy of offer'd peace : but I suppose
:If our proposals once again'were heard
We should compell them to a quick result.

To whom thus Belial in like gamesom mood;
Leader, the terms we fent were terms of weight,
Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home,
Such as we might perceive amus'd them all,
And stumblid many, who receives them right,
Had need from head to foot well understand ;
Not understood, this gift they have besides,
They shew us when our foes walk not upright.

So they among themselves in pleasant veine
Stood scoffing, highthn'd in their thoughts beyond
All doubt of victorie, eternal might
To match with their inventions they presum'd
So easie, 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 varietie from heav'n
Of pleasure situate in hill and dale)
Light as the lightning glimps, they ran, they flew,
From their foundations loosning to and fro
They pluckt the seated hills with all their load,
Rocks, waters, woods, and by the Maggie tops
Uplifting bore them in their hands : amaze,
Be sure, and terrour seis'd the rebel hoft,

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 invaded next, and on their heads
Main promontories-flung, which in the air
Came shadowing, and oppreft whole legions arm'd,
Their armor help'd their harm, crush't in and bruis'd
Into their fubftance pent, which wrought them pain
Implacable, and many a dolorous groan,
Long strugling underneath, ere they could wind
Out of such prison, though spirits of purest light,
Pureft at first, now gross by finning grown.
The reft in imitation to like arms
Betook them, and the neighbouring hill uptore ;
So hills amid the air' encounter'd hills
Hurld to and fro with jaculation dire,
That under ground, they fought in dismal Made ;
Infernal noise ; war seem'd a civil game
To this uproar ; horrid confusion heapt
Upon confusion rose ; and now all heav'n
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspred,
Had not' th'almightie father where he fits
Shrin'd in his fanétuarie of heav'n fecure,
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen
This tumult, and permitted all, advis'd :
That his great purpose he might fo fulfill,
To honour his anointed son aveng'd
Upon his enemies, and to declare
All power on him transferr'd: whence to his foo

Th'affeffor of his throne he thus began.

Effulgence of my glorie, fon belov'd, Son in whose face invisible is beheld Visibly, what by deitie I am, And in whofe hand what by decree I doe, Second omnipotence, two days are part, Two days, as we compute the days of heav'n, Since Michael and his powers went forth to tame These disobedient ; fore hath been their fight, As hkelieft was, when two such foes met arm'd ; For to themselves I left them, and thou knowit, Equal in their creation they were form’d, Save what fin bath impair'd, which yet hath wrought Insensibly, for I fuspend their doom; Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last Endless, and no folution will be found : War wearied hath performed what war can do, And to disorder'd rage let lose the reines, With mountains as with weapons arm'd, which makes Wild work in heav'n, and dangerous to the maine. Two days are therefore past, the third is thine ; For thee I have ordain'd it, and thus far Have suffer'd, that the glorie may be thine Of ending this great war, since none but thou Can end it. Into thee fuch virtue and grace Immense I have transfus'd, that all may know In heav'n and hell thy power above compare, And this perverse commotion govern’d thus, To manifest thee worthiest to be heir Of all things, to be heir and to be king By facred undion, thy deserved right.

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