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Victor and vanquish'd. On the foughten field
Michaël and his angels prevalent

Encamping, placed in guard their watches round,
Cherubic waving fires: on the other part,
Satan with his rebellious disappear'd,

Far in the dark dislodged; and, void of rest,
His potentates to council call'd by night;
And in the midst thus undismay'd began:

O now in danger tried, now known in arms
Not to be overpower'd, companions dear,
Found worthy not of liberty alone,
Too mean pretence! but what we more affect,
Honour, dominion, glory, and renown;
Who have sustain'd one day in doubtful fight,
(And if one day, why not eternal days?)
What heaven's Lord had powerfulest to send
Against us from about his throne, and judged
Sufficient to subdue us to his will,





But proves not so: then fallible, it seems,
Of future we may deem him, though till now

Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm'd,


Some disadvantage we endured, and pain

Till now not known, but, known, as soon contemn'd:

Since now we find this our empyreal form

Incapable of mortal injury,

Imperishable; and, though pierced with wound,


Soon closing, and by native vigour heal'd.
Of evil then so small, as easy think

The remedy; perhaps more valid arms,
Weapons more violent, when next we meet,
May serve to better us, and worse our foes;
Or equal what between us made the odds,
In nature none: if other hidden cause
Left them superiour, while we can preserve
Unhurt our minds, and understanding sound,
Due search and consultation will disclose.

He sat; and in the assembly next upstood
Nisroch, of principalities the prime:
As one he stood escaped from cruel fight,
Sore toil'd, his riven arms to havoc hewn;
And, cloudy in aspéct, thus answering spake:
Deliverer from new lords, leader to free
Enjoyment of our right as gods; yet hard
For gods, and too unequal work we find,

Against unequal arms to fight in pain,

Against unpain'd, impassive; from which evil
Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails





Valor or strength, though matchless, quell'd with pain
Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands

447. Nisroch. A god of the Assyrians, in whose temple Sennacherib was killed by his two sons. 2 Kings xix. 37.

Of mightiest? Sense of pleasure we may well
Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine,
But live content, which is the calmest life:
But pain is perfect misery, the worst
Of evils, and, excessive, overturns

All patience. He who therefore can invent
With what more forcible we may offend
Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm
Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves
No less than for deliverance what we owe.
Whereto with look composed Satan replied:
Not uninvented that, which thou aright
Believ'st so main to our success, bring.
Which of us, who beholds the bright surface
Of this ethereous mould whereon we stand,
This continent of spacious heaven, adorn'd
With plant, fruit, flower ambrosial, gems, and gold;
Whose eye so superficially surveys





These things, as not to mind from whence they grow
Deep under ground, materials dark and crude,
Of spirituous and fiery spume; till touch'd
With heaven's ray, and temper'd, they shoot forth
So beauteous, opening to the ambient light?
These in their dark nativity the deep


Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flame;
Which, into hollow engines long and round,

Thick-ramm'd, at the other bore with touch of fire
Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth


From far, with thundering noise, among our foes
Such implements of mischief, as shall dash
To pieces and o'erwhelm whatever stands
Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarm'd
The Thunderer of his only dreaded bolt.
Nor long shall be our labour; yet ere dawn
Effect shall end our wish. Meanwhile revive;
Abandon fear; to strength and counsel join'd
Think nothing hard, much less to be despair'd.

He ended; and his words their drooping cheer
Enlighten'd, and their languished hope revived:
The invention all admired, and each, how he
To be the inventor miss'd, so easy it seem'd



Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought 500
Impossible: yet, haply, of thy race

In future days, if malice should abound,
Some one, intent on mischief, or inspired
With devilish machination, might devise
Like instrument to plague the sons of men
For sin, on war and mutual slaughter bent.
Forthwith from council to the work they flew:

467. To me, that is, in my opinion. 484. Hollow engines. The first invention of cannon is here very appropri


ately ascribed to Satan; as is the mak ing of gunpowder (lines 512-515) to his hellish crew.

None arguing stood; innumerable hands
Were ready; in a moment up they turn'd
Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath
The originals of nature in their crude
Conception; sulphurous and nitrous foam
They found, they mingled, and, with subtle art,
Concocted and adusted they reduced

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 dayspring, 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 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 lodged, 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 cherubim 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 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 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 moved embattel'd; when, behold!
Not distant far with heavy pace the foe
Approaching gross and huge; in hollow cube
Training his devilish enginery, impaled

514. Adusted, dried by heat.

528. Dawning hills.

And jocund day Stands tip-toe on the misty mountains' tops.






548. Impediment. The carriages and baggage of the Roman legions were called impedimenta.

553. Training, drawing in train. Impaled, surrounded, encircled, as with 535. Zophiel, in Hebrew, the spy of God. palisades.

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;
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 flank retired:

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 fir

With branches lopp'd, in wood or mountain fell'd)
Brass, iron, stony mould, had not their mouths
With hideous orifice gaped on us wide,

Portending hollow truce: at each behind
A seraph stood, and in his hand a reed

Stood waving tipp'd with fire; while we, suspense,
Collected stood, within our thoughts amused;







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 obscured with smoke, all heaven appear'd,


From those deep-throated engines belch'd, whose roar
Embowel'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 archangel roll'd;

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 forced rout;
Nor served it to relax their serried files.


570. Divided. Nothing can be more distinct, picturesque, and grand, than this advance of Satan's army, with his masked artillery.-BRYDGES.

576. Brass. That is, pillars of brass, &c., on wheels.

578. Hollow truce. Here Raphael himself continues the pun, of which figure we have a specimen in the latter part of Satan's speech, (lines 564-568.)

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 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 changed 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 urged home;
Such as we might perceive amused them all,
And stumbled many: who receives them right,
Had need from head to foot well understand;
Not understood, this gift they had 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 presumed

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.
Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power,


Which God hath in his mighty angels placed!)

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
Uplifting, bore them in their hands. Amaze,
Be sure, and terrour, seized 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

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