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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 have besides,
They show us when our foes walk not upright.

So they among themselves in pleasant vein Stood scoffing, heightend 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: Bat 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 terror, 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
Under the weight of mountains buried deep;
Themselves invaded next, and on their heads
Main promontories flung, which in the air
Came shadowing, and oppress'd whole legions arm’d;
Their armour help'd their harm,crush'd in and bruised
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 Spirits of purest light,
Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown.
The rest, in imitation, to like arms
Betook them, and the neighbouring hills uptore:
So hills amid the air encounter'd bills,
Hurld 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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Had not the Almighty Father, where he sits
Shrined in his sanctuary of Heaven secure,
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen
This tumult, and permitted all, advised:
That his great purpose he might so fulfil,
To honour his anointed Son avenged
Upon his enemies, and to declare
All power on him transferr’d: Whence to his Son,
The Assessor of his throne, he thus began.

Effulgence of my glory, Son beloved,
Son, in whose face invisible is beheld
Visibly, what by Deity I am;
And in whose land what by decree I do,
Second Omnipotence! two days are pass'd,
Two days, as we compute the days of Heaven,
Since Michael and his Powers went forth to tame
These disobedient: Sore hath been their fight,
As likeliest was, when two such foes met arm’d;
For to themselves I left them; and thou know'st,
Equal in their creation they were form’d,
Save what sin hath impair’d; which yet hath wrought
Insensibly, for I suspend their doom;
Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last
Endless, and no solution will be found:
War wearied hath perform'd what war can do,
And to disorder'd rage let loose the reins,
With mountains,as with weapons,arm’d;which makes
Wild work in Heaven, and dangerous to the main.
Two days are therefore pass'd, the third is thine;
For thee I have ordain'd it; and thus far

Gird on,

Have suffer'd, that the glory may be thine
Of ending this great war, since none but Thou
Can end it. Into thee such virtue and grace
Immense I have transfused, that all may know
In Heaven 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 sacred unction, thy deserved right.
Go then, Thou Mightiest, in thy Father's might;
Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels
That shake Heaven's basis, bring forth all my war,
My bow and thunder, my almighty arms

and sword upon thy puissant thigh;
Pursue these sons of darkness, drive them out
From all Heaven's bounds into the utter deep:
There let them learn, as likes them, to despise
God, and Messiah his anointed King.

He said, and on his Son with rays direct
Shone full; he all his father full express'd
Ineffably into his face received;
And thus the Filial Godhead answering spake.

O Father, O Supreme of heavenly Thrones,
First, Highest, Holiest, Best; thou always seek'st
To glorify thy Son, I always thee,
As is most just: This I my glory account,
My exaltation, and my whole delight,
That thou, in me well pleased, declarest thy will
Fulfill’d, which to fulfil is all my bliss.
Sceptre and power, thy giving, I assume,

And gladlier shall resign, when in the end
Thou shalt be all in all, and I in thee
For ever; and in me all whom thou lovest:
But whom thou hatest, I hate, and can put on
Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on,
Image of thee in all things; and shall soon,
Arm’d with thy might, rid Heaven of these rebell’d;
To their prepared ill mansion driven down,
To chains of darkness, and the undying worm;
That from thy just obedience could revolt,
Whom to obey is happiness entire.
Then shall thy Saints unmix'd, and from the impure
Far separate, circling thy holy mount,
Unfeigned Hallelujahs to thee sing,
Hymns of high praise, and I among them Chief.

So said, he, o'er his sceptre bowing, rose
From the right hand of Glory where he sat;
And the third sacred morn began to shine,
Dawning through Heaven. Forth rush'd with whirl-
The chariot of Paternal Deity, [wind sound
Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn,
Itself instinct with Spirit, but convoy'd
By four Cherubic shapes; four faces each
Had wondrous; as with stars, their bodies all
And wings were set with eyes; with eyes the wheels
Of beryl, and careering fires between;
Over their heads a crystal firmament,
Whereon'a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure
Amber, and colours of the showery arch.
He, in celestial panoply all arm’d

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