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Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults
Their surest signal, they will soon resume
New courage and revive, though now they lie
Groveling and prostrate on yon lake of fire, 280
As we ere while, astounded and amaz'd,
No wonder, fall’n such a pernicious height.

He scarce had ceas'd when the superior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore; his pond'rous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
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 Fesolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,

299 Rivers or mountains on her spotty globe. His

spear, to equal which the taliest 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 Over the burning marle, not like those steps On Heaven's azure, and the torrid clime Smote on him sore besides, vaulted with fire: Nathiess he so endur'd, till on the beach Of that inflamed sea he stood, and callid 300 His legions, Angel forms, who lay entranc'd Thick as autumnal leares that strow the brooks In Vallombrosa, wliere th’ Etrurian shades High over-arch'd imbow'r; or scatter'd sedge Atoat, when with fierce winds Orion arın'd Hath vex'd the Red-Sea coast, whose waves o’erthrew

320

Busiris and his Memphian chivalry,
While with perfidious hatred they pursued
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,
Warriors, the flow'r of Heav'n, once yours, now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal Spi'rits; cr have ye chos’n this place
After the toil of battle to repose
Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find
To slumber here, as in the vales of Heaven?
Or in this abject posture have ye sworn
To'adore the conqueror? who now beholds
Cherub and Seraph rolling in the flood
With scatter'd arms and ensigns, till anon
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.

330
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
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel;

1

Yet to their general's voice they soon obey'd
Innumerable. As when the potent rod
Of Amrani's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Way'd round the coast, up call'da pitchy cloud 340
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like eight, and darken'd all the land of Nile:
So numberless were those bad Angels seen
Hovering on wing under the cope of Hell
'Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires;
Till, as a signal giv’n, th’ up-lifted 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 populous north
Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass
Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons
Came like a deliige on the south, and spread
Beneath Gibraltar to the Lybian sands.
Forthwith from every squadron and each band
The heads and leaders thither haste where stood
Their great commander; Godlike shapes and forms
Excelling human, princely dignities,
And pow'rs that erst in Heaven sat on thrones; 360
Though of 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 anong the sons of Eve
Got them new names, till wand'ring o'er the earth,
Through God's high sufferance for the tri’al of man,

By falsities and lies the greatest part
Of mankind they corrupted to forsake
God their Creator, and the 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 gold,
And Devils to adore for Deities :
Then were they known to men by various names,
And various idols through the Heathen world.
Say, Muse, their names then known, who first,wholast,
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
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 through fire To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite

Worshipp'd in Rabba and her watry plain,
In Argob and in Basan, to the stream
Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart 400
Of Solomon he led by fraud to build
His temple right against the temple of God
On that opprobious hill, and made his grove
The pleasant valiey' of Hinnom, Tophet thence
And black Gehenna call'd, the type of Hell.
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 Eleälé 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
Ev'n to that hill of scandal, by the grove
Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate ;
Till good Josiah drove them thence to Hell.
With these came they, who from the bord'ring flood
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts 429
Egypt frɔm Syrian ground, had general names
Of Baälim and Ashtarot those male,
These feminine. For Spirits when they please
Can either sex assume, or both; so soft
And uncompounded is their essence pure,
Not tyd or manacled with joint or limb,

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