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Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose. He through the armèd files
Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views, their order due,
Their visages and stature as of gods :

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Their number last he sums. And now his heart
Distends with pride, and, hardening in his strength,
Glories; for never, since created man,
Met such embodied force as, named with these,
Could merit more than that smallo infantry
Warrd on by cranes; though all the giant brood
Of Phlegra with the hercic race were joined
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
In fable or romance of Uther's sono
Begirt with British and Armoric knights;
And all who since, baptized or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban,
Damasco, or Morocco, or Trebizond,
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore
When Charlemaino with all his

peerage

fell By Fontarabbia. Thus far these beyond Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed Their dread commander. He, above the rest In shape and gesture proudly eminent,

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Stood like a tower. His form had yet not lost
All hero original brightness, nor appeared
Less than archangel ruined, and the excess
Of glory obscured: as when the sun, new-risen,
Looks through the horizontal misty air,
Shorn of his beams, or, from behind the moon,
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half the nations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs. Darkened so, yet shone
Above them all the archangel; but his face
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched; and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge. Cruel his eye, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion, to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
(Far other once beheld in bliss), condemned
Forever now to have their lot in pain;
Millions of spirits for his fault amerced
Of heaven, and from eternal splendors flung
For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory withered : as, when heaven's fire
Hath scathed the forest oaks or mountain pines,
With singèd top, their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared

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To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half inclose him round
With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
Tears, such as angels weep, burst forth: at last,
Words interwove with sighs found out their way.

“Oo myriads of immortal spirits! O powers
Matchless, but with the Almighty !--- and that strife
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire,
As this place testifies, and this dire change
Hateful to utter! But what power of mind,
Foreseeing or presaging, from the depth
Of knowledge past or present, could have feared
How such united force of gods, how such
As stood like these, could ever know repulse ? 630
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied heaven, shall fail to reascend,
Self-raised, and repossess their native seat?
For me, be witness all the host of heaven,
If counsels different, or danger shunned
By me, have lost our hopes. But he who reigns
Monarch in heaven, till then as once secure
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
Consent, or custom, and his regal state

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Put forth at full, but still his strength concealed;
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
Henceforth his might we know, and know our own,
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provoked: our better part remains
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force affected not; that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife
There went a fame in heaven that he ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation whom his choice regard
Should favor equal to the sons of heaven.
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
Our first eruption; thither, or elsewhere;
For this infernal pit shall never hold
Celestial spirits in bondage, nor the abyss
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature. Peace is despaired;
For who can think submission ? War, then, war,
Open or understood, must be resolved.”

He spake; and to confirm his words, out-flew
Millions of flaming swords, drawn from the thighs
Of mighty cherubim : the sudden blaze

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Far round illumined hell. Highly they raged
Against the highest, and fierce with grasped arms
Clashed on their sounding shields the din of war,
Hurling defiance toward the vault of heaven.

There stood a hill not far, whose grisly top 570
Belched fire and rolling smoke: the rest entire
Shone with a glossy scurf, undoubted sign
That in his womb was hid metallic ore,
The work of sulphur. Thither, winged with speed,
A numerous brigade hastened; as when bands
Of pioneers, with spade and pickaxe armed,
Forerun the royal camp, to trench a field,
Or cast a rampart. Mammono led them on,
Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell
From heaven; for even in heaven his looks and
thoughts

680 Were always downward bent, admiring more The riches of heaven's pavement, trodden gold, Than aught divine or boly else enjoyed In vision beatific. By him first Men also, and by his suggestion taught, Ransacked the center, and with impious hands Rifled the bowels of their mother Earth For treasures better hid. Soon had his crew Opened into the hill a spacious wound,

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