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By ancient Tarsus held, or that sea-beast 200
Sublim'd with mineral fury, aid the winds, 235
Is this the region, this the soil, the clime;
Regain'd. Regain’d in heav'n, or what niore lost in hell? 2;0
So Satan spake, and him Beëlzebub Thus answer'd. Leader of thofe armies bright, Which but th’Omnipotent none could have foil'd, If once they hear that voice, their liveliest pledge Of hope in fears and dangers, heard so oft 275 In worst extremes, and on the perilous edge Of battle when it rag'd, in all assaults Their fureft signal, they will soon resume New courage and revive, though now they lie Grov'ling and proftrate on yon lake of fire, 280 As we erewhile, 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 fhore; his pond'rous shield, Ethereal temper, maffy, large and round, 285 Behind hiin 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 Fefolé, Or in Valdarno, to defcry new lands,
290 Rivers or mountains in her spotty globe. His spear, to equal which the tallest pine Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the malt Of some great admiral, 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 fore besides, vaulted with fire: Natbless he so endur'd, till on the beach Of that inflamed fea he stood, and call'd
300 His legions, angel-forms, who lay intranc'd Thick as autunnal leaves that ftrow 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 cualt, whc: waves o’erthrew Busiris and his Memphian chivalry, While with perfidious hatred they purrid The sojourners of Goshen, who beheld From the safe shore their floating carcases. 310 And broken chariot wheels : So thick beltrown Abject and lost lay these, cov'ring the food, Under amazement of their hideous change. He calls fo lovd, 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 spi'rits ; or have ye chos'n this place After the toil of battle to repofe Your wearied virtue, for the ease you find 820 To flumber here, as in the vales of heav'n. ? Or in this abject polture have ye fworn To'adore the conqueror? who now beholds Cherub and seraph rolling in the flood With scatter'd arms and eosigns, till anon, 325 His swift pursuers from heav'n-gates discern Th’advantage, and defcending tread us down Thus drooping, or with linked thunder-bolts Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf. Awake, arise, or be for ever fall'n.
330 They heard, and were abalh’d, and up they sprung. Upon the wing; as when men wont to watch On duty, feeping 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 foon obey'd Innumerable. As when the potent rod Of Amram's son, in Egypt's evil day,
Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud 346
345 'Twixt upper, nether, and furrounding fires; Till, as a signal giv'ni, 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 populous porth Pour'd never from her frozen loins, to pass Rhene or the Danaw, when her barbarous fons Came like a deluge on the south, and fpread Beneath Gibraltar to the Libian fands.
355 Forth with from every squadron and each band The heads and leaders thither hafte where stood Their great commander; god-like fhapes and forms Excelling buman, princely dignities, And pow'rs that erst in heaven fat on thrones; 360 Tho' of their names in heav'nly records now Be no memorial, blotted out and raz'd By their rebellion from the books of life. Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve 364 Got their new names ; till wand'ring o'er the earth, Through God's high fofferanee for the trial of man, By falfities and lies the greatest part Of mankind they corrupted to forsake God their Creator, and th' invisible Glory of him that made them to transform 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 mén by various names,