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Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost

In loss itself; which on his countenance cast

Like doubtful hue; but he his wonted pride

Soon recollecting, with high words, that bore

Semblance of worth not substance, gently raised

Their fainting courage, and dispelled their fears.

Then straight commands that at the warlike sound

Of trumpets loud and clarions1 be upreared

His mighty standard; that proud honour claimed

Azazel,2 as his right, a cherub tall,

Who forthwith from the glittering staff unfurled

The imperial ensign, which, full high advanced,

Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind,

With gems and golden lustre rich emblazed,

Seraphic arms and trophies; all the while

Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds;

At which the universal host up sent

A shout, that tore Hell's concave, and beyond

Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.

All in a moment through the gloom were seen

Ten thousand hanners rise into the air

With orient colours waving; with them rose

A forest huge of spears,3 and thronging helms

Appeared, and serried4 shields in thick array

Of depth immeasurable; anon they move

In perfect phalanx to the Dorian5 mood

Of flutes and soft recorders; such as raised

To height of noblest temper heroes old

Arming to hattle, and instead of rage

Deliberate valour breathed, firm and unmoved

With dread of death to flight or foul retreat;

Nor wanting power to mitigate and 'suage

With solemn touches troubled thoughts, and chase

Anguish and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain,

1 Small, shrill, treble trumpets.

2 Not the scapegoat, but some demon.

3 So Tasso, describing the Christian and Pagan armies preparing to engage, Cant. 20, st. 28.

"Of dry-topped oaks they seemed two forests thick; So did each host with spears and pikes abound."

Fairfax. Thyer.

4 i. e. locked closely together.

1 i. e. grave or serious, such being the characteristic of Dorian harmony.

From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they,
Breathing united force, with fixed thought,
Moved on in silence to soft pipes, that charmed
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now
Advanced in view they stand, a horrid front
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise
Of warriors old with ordered spear and shield,
Awaiting what command their mighty chief
Had to impose. He through the armed files
Darts his experienced eye, and soon traverse
The whole battalion views, their order due,
Their visages and stature as of gods;
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 small infantry
Warred on by cranes;1 though all the giant brood

1 All the heroes and armies that ever were assembledwere no more than pigmies in comparison with these angels; "though all the giant brood of Phlegra," a city of Macedonia, where the giants fought with the gods, "with the heroic race were joined that fought at Thebes," a city of Boeotia, famous for the war between the sons of (Edipus, celebrated by Statius in his Thebaid, "and Ilium," made still more famous by Homer's Iliad, where "on each side" the heroes were assisted by the gods, therefore called " auxiliar gods; and what resounds" even "in fable or romance of Uther's son," king Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, whose exploits are romantically extolled by Geoffry of Monmouth, "begirt with British and Armoric knights," for he was often in alliance with the king of Armorica, since called Bretagne, of the Britons who settled there; " and all who since jousted in Aspramont, or Montalban," romantic names of places mentioned in Orlando Furioso, the latter, perhaps, Montauban in France, "Damasco or Marocco," Damascus or Morocco, but he calls them as they are called in romances; "or Trebisond," a city of Cappadocia, in the Lesser Asia; all these places are famous in romances, for joustings between the " baptized and infidels; or whom Biserta," formerly called Utica, "sent from Afric shore," that is, the Saracens who passed from Biserta, in Africa, to Spain, "when Charlemagne with all his peerage fell by Fontarabia," Charlemagne, king of France and emperor of Germany, about the year 800, undertook a war against the Saracens in Spain; and Mariana and the Spanish historians are Milton's authors for saying that he and his army were routed in this manner at Fontarabia (which is a strong town in Biscay at the very entrance into Spain, and esteemed the key of the kingdom) ; but Mezeray and the French writers give a quite different and more probable account of him, that he was at last victorious over his enemies and dUd in peace.—Newton.

Of Phlegra with the heroic race were joined
That fought at Thehes and Ilium, on each side
Mixed with auxiliar gods; and what resounds
In fahle or romance of Uther's son
Begirt with British and Armoric knights,
And all who since, baptized or infidel,
Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban,
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond,
Or whom Biserta sent from Afric shore,
When Charlemagne with all his peerage fell
By Fontarabia. Thus far these beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observed
Their dread commander; he above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent
Stood like a tower; his form had yet not lost
All its 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 entrenched, and care
Sat on his faded cheek, but under brows
Of dauntless courage, and considerate pride
Waiting revenge; cruel his eyes, but cast
Signs of remorse and passion to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather
(Far other once beheld in bliss) condemned
For ever now to have their lot in pain,
Millions of spirits for his fault amerced1
Of Heaven, and from eternal splendours flung
For his revolt; yet faithful how they stood,
Their glory withered: as when Heaven's fire
Hath scathed2 the forest oaks, or mountain pines,
With singed top their stately growth, though bare,
Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
To speak; whereat their doubled ranks they bend
From wing to wing, and half enclose him round

1 Deprived, robbed of, taken away from.

2 Hurt, injured.

With all his peers: attention held them mute.
Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn,
Tears, such as angels weep,1 burst forth: at last
Words interwove with sighs found out their way.

"O myriads of immortal spirits! O powers
Matchless but with the Almighty; and that strife
Was not inglorious, though the event was due,
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?
For who can yet believe, though after loss,
That all these puissant legions, whose exile
Hath emptied Heaven,2 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 one secure
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
Consent or custom, and his regal state
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 effected not: that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes

1 " Tears, such as angels weep," like Homer's ichor of the gods, which was different from the blood of mortals. This weeping of Satan on surveying his numerous host, and the thoughts of their wretched state, puts one in mind of the story of Xerxes weeping oa seeing his vast army, and reflecting that they were mortal, at the time that he was hastening them to their fate, and to the intended destruction of the greatest people in the world, to gratify his own vain glory.—Newton.

2 It is conceived that a third part of the angels fell with Satan, according to Rev. xii. 4.: " And his tail drew the third part of the stars of Heaven, and cast them to the earth;" and this opinion Milton has expressed in several places, ii. 692, v. 710, vi. 156; but Satan here talks big and magnifies their number, as if their " exile had emptied Heaven."

By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof to rise
There went a fame in Heaven that he ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour 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
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
Belched fire and rolling smoke; the rest entire
Shone with a glossy scurf, undoubted sign
That in his womb2 was hid metallic ore,
The work of sulphur.3 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. Mammon4 led them on,

1 The known custom of the Roman soldiers, when they applauded a speech of their general, was to smite their shields with their swords.—Bentley.

2 This word is constantly used in the masculine gender by Chaucer.

3 For metals are supposed to consist of two essential parts or principles; mercury, as the basis or metallic matter; and sulphur as the binder or cement, which fixes the fluid mercury into a coherent malleable mass. And so Ben Jonson in the "Alchemist," act. ii. scene 3.:—

"It turns to sulphur, or to quicksilver, Who are the parents of all other metals."—Newton. * This name is Syriac, and signifies riches. "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon," says our Saviour, Matt. vi. 24. and bids us "make to ourselves friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness," Luke xvi. 9.—Newton.

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