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He scarce had ceas'd when the superior Fiend
Was moving tow'rd the shore; his pond'rous

shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round, 285
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands, 290
Rivers, or mountains, on her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand
He walk'd with, to support uneasy steps 295
Over the burning marle, not like those steps
On Heaven's azure, and the torrid clime
Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire:
Nathless he so endur'd, till on the beach
Of that inflamed sea he stood, and call'd

300
His legions, Angel forms, who lay entranc'd
Thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks
In Vallombrosa, where th’Etrurian shades
High over-arch'd imbow'r; or scatter'd sedge
Afloat, when with fierce winds Orion arm'd 305
Hath vex'd the Red Sea coast, whose waves

o'erthrew
Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursu'd
The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld
From the safe shore their floating carcases 310

And broken chariot-wheels : so thick bestrown,
Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood,
Under amazement of their hideous change.
He call’d so loud, that all the hollow deep
Of Hell resounded. Princes, Potentates, 315
Warriors, the flow'r of Heav'n, once yours,

now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal Sp'rits; or have ye chos’n this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find 320
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have

ye sworn T'adore the conqueror? who now beholds Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon 325 His swift pursuers from Heav'n gates discern Th’advantage, and descending tread us down Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf. Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n. They heard, and were abash'd, and up they

sprung Upon the wing, as when men wont to watch On duty, sleeping found by whom they dread, Rouse and bestir themselves ere well awake. Nor did they not perceive the evil plight 335 In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel ; Yet to their gen'ral's voice they soon obey'd Innumerable. As when the potent rod

330

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Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast, up call’d a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind, 341
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad Angels seen
Hov’ring on wing under the cope of Hell 345
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal giv'n, th' uplifted spear
Of their great Sultan waving to direct
Their course, in even balance down they light
On the firm brimstone, and fill all the plain; 350
A multitude, like which the pop'lous north
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Denaw, when her barb'rous sons
Came like a deluge on the south, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands. 355
Forth with from ev'ry squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
Theirgreatcommander; Godlike shapes and forms
Excelling human, princely dignities, 359
And Pow'rs that erst in Heay'n sat on thrones;
Though if their names in heav'nly records now
Be no memorial, blotted out and ras'd
By their rebellion from the books of life.
Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve 364
Got them new names, tillwand'ring o'er the earth,
Thro' God's high suff'rance for the trial of man,
By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted, to forsake

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and gold,

God their Creator, and th’invisible
Glory of him that made them to transform 370
Oft to the image of a brute, adorn'd
With gay religions full of pomp
And Devils to adore for Deities :
Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the Heathen world.375
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first,

who last,
Rous'd from the slumber, on that fiery couch,
At their great emp'ror's call, as next in worth
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof.380
The chief were those who from the pit of Hell
Roaming to seek their prey on earth, durst fix
Their seats long after next the seat of God,
Their altars by his altar, Gods ador'd
Among the nations round, and durst abide 385
Jehovah thund’ring out of Sion, thron'd
Between the Cherubim ; yea, often plac'd
Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profan’d, 390
And with their darkness durst affront his light.
First Moloch, horrid king, besmear’d with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears,
Though for the noise of drums and timbrels loud
Their childrens cries unheard, that pass'd thro' fire
To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite
Worshipp'd in Rabba and her wat’ry plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream

396

Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 400
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His temple right ’gainst the temple of God
On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove
The pleasant vale of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna call'd, the type of Hell. 405
Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons,
From Aroar to Nebo, and the wild
Of southmost Abarim ; in Hesebon
And Horonaim, Seon's realm, beyond
The flow'ry dale of Sibma clad with vines, 410
And Eleale to th’ Asphaltic pool.
Peor his other name, when he entic'd
Israel in Sittim on their march from Nile
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarg’d 415
E'en to that hill of scandal, by the grove
Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate;
Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
With thesecame they,who from the bord’ring flood
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts 420
Egypt from Syrian ground, had gen’ral names
Of Baalim and Ashtaroth ; those male,
These feminine. For Spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure, 425
Not ty'd or manacld with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Likecumbrousflesh; but in whatshape they choose

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