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He called so loud that all the hollow deep
Of hell resounded :-“Princes, Potentates,
Warriors, the flower of heaven - once yours; now lost,
If such astonishment as this can seize
Eternal spirits! Or have ye chosen 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
To adore the Conqueror, who now beholds
Cherubo and serapho rolling in the flood
With scattered arms and ensigns, till anon
His swift pursuers from heaven-gates discern
The advantage, and, descending, tread us down
Thus drooping, or with linked thunderbolts
Transfix us to the bottom of this gulf ? -
Awake, arise, or be forever fallen!”

330 They heard, and were abashed, 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 noto perceive the evil plight In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel; Yet to their general's voice they soon obeyed, Innumerable. As when the potent rodo

Of Amram’so son, in Egypt's evil day,
Waved round the coast, up-called a pitchy cloudo 340
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darkened 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 given, the 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 multitudeo like which the populous North Poured never from her frozen loins to pass Rheneo or the Danaw, when her barbarous sons Came like a deluge on the South, and spread Beneath Gibraltar to the Libyan 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 powers that erst in heaven sat on thrones, Though of their names in heavenly records now Be no memorial, blotted out and rased By their rebellion from the books of life.

360

Nor had they yet among the sons of Eve
Got them new names; till, wandering o'er the earth,
Through God's high sufferance for the trial 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, adorned
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, who

last,
Roused from the slumber on that fiery couch,
At their great emperor's call, as next in worth
Came singly where he stood on the bare strand,
While the promiscuous crowd stood yet aloof.

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 adored
Among the nations round; and durst abide
Jehovah thundering out of Sion, throned
Between the cherubimo; yea, often placed

380

Within his sanctuary itself their shrines,
Abominations; and with cursed things
His holy rites and solemn feasts profaned,

390 And with their darkness durst affront his light.

Firsto Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears, Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud, Their children's cries unheard, that passed through fire To his grim idol. Him the Ammonite Worshiped in Rabba and her watery plain, In Argob and in Basan, to the stream Of utmost Arnon. Nor content with such Audacious neighborhood, the wisest heart

400 Of Solomon he led by fraud to build His templeo right against the temple of God On that opprobrious hill, and made his grove The pleasant valley of Hinnom, Tophet thence And black Gehenna called, the type of hell. Next, Chemos, the 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 flowery dale of Sibma clad with vines, And Eleale to the Asphaltico pool; Peor his other dame, when he enticed

Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile,
To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged
Even 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 bordering flood
Of old Euphrates to the brook that parts

420
Egypt from Syrian ground, had general names
Of Baälimo 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,
Not tied or manacled with joint or limb,
Nor founded on the brittle strength of bones,
Like cumbrous flesh; but, in what shape they choose,
Dilated or condensed, bright or obscure,
Can execute their aery purposes,

430 And works of love or enmity fulfill. For those the race of Israel oft forsook Their Living Strength, and unfrequented left His righteous altar, bowing lowly down To bestial gods; for which their heads, as low Bowed down in battle, sunk before the spear Of despicable foes. With these in troop

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