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All these and more came flocking ; but with looks Downcast and damp ; yet such wherein appeared
Obscure some glimpse of joy, to have found their Chief 525 Not in despair, to have found themselves not lost
In loss itself ; , which on his countenance cast
Semblance of worth, not substance, | gently raised 530 Their fainting courage,) and dispelled their fears.]
Then straight commands,] that at the warlike sound
Azazel as his right, a Cherub tall ; |
The imperial ensign ; | which, full high advanced,
Seraphick arms and trophies ; all the while 540 Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds : |
At which the universal host up-sent
All in a moment through the gloom were seen 545 Ten thousand banners rise into the air
With Orient colours waving :/ with them rose
a Trans. Verb, is more unusual than to range.
526. Understand : which circumstance did cast on Satan's countenance a like doubtful hue, viz., some obscure glimpse of joy.
539. Trophies.—Properly speaking, the devils could have none, for they had gained no victory.
540. Nom. Absol.
543. The reign.-A Latinism for realm. The realm of Chaos and Night fills up the space between Hell and Heaven, vi. 871, and the newly-created world. See ii. 932, ff.
545. Were seen rise. This is the Indirect Obj. with the passive verb. Gr. 77, Ex. 3.
546. Orient, originally eastern, is equivalent to splendid.
550 In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood
Of flutes and soft recorders ; such as raised
Deliberate valour breathed, firm and unmoved 555 With dread of death to flight or foul retreat ;
Nor wanting power to mitigate and swage,
From mortal or immortal minds.] Thus they, 560 Breathing united force, with fixëd thought,
Moved on in silence to soft pipes, that charmed
Of dreadful length and dazzling arms, in guise 565 Of warriours old with ordered spear and shield ;
Awaiting | what command their mighty Chief
The whole battalion views ;] their order due ; 570 Their visages and stature as of gods ;
Their number last he sums. And now his heart
Met such imbodied force, as named with these 575 Could merit more than that small infantry Warred on by cranes ; | though all the giant brood
550. Dorian mood, i.e., Dorian style of music.
551. Recorder a kind of flute.
555. Unmoved to flight or retreat by the dread of death.
572. Hardening in his strength glories.Milton uses his frequently for its. See Trench, English Past and Present.
573. Never since created man-A Latinisik for since the creation of man.
575. Small infantry - the Pygmics. Bentley remarks that the pyginies rode upon rams and goats. The term infantry is therefore inaccurate. Bentley corsequently rejects as spurious the words, from as named to cranes. A difficulty lies also in this word merit; but it is probably to be taken as equivalent to could be esteemed as anything more. Milton here again dwells upon the great number of devils. See i. 351.
That fought at Thebes and Ilium, on each side
Mixed with auxiliar gods : 1 and what resounds 580 In fable or romance of Uther's son
Begirt with British and Armorick knights :]
Damasco, or Marocco, or Trebisond, I 585 Or whom Biserta sent from Africk shore,
When Charlemain with all his peerage fell
Their dread Commander : / he, above the rest 590 In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tower : | his form had yet not lost
Of glory obscured :) as when the sun, new risen 595 Looks through the horizontal misty air
Shorn of his beams ; | or, from behind the moon,
Perplexes monarchs.] Darkened so, yet shone 600 Above them all, the Archangel : 1 but his face
579. Auxiliar- helping.
580 to 587. All nominative enlargements to the Subj. were joined.
580. Bentley remarks,-Milton, indeed, in his prose works tells us, that in his youth he was a great lover and re:der of romances ; but surely he had more judgment in his old age than to clog and sully his poem with such romantic trash, as even then, when he wrote, was obsolete and forgot. To stuff in here a heap of barbarous words, without any ornament or poetical colouring, serving only to make his own argument, which he takes from the Scripture, to be supposed to be equally fabulous, would be such pedantry, such a silly boast of useless reading, as I will not charge him with.” Bentley
accordingly considers the whole passage spurious.
580. Uther's son-King Arthur. Amorica, the ancient name of Brittany.
581. Begirt, in imitation of the Latin cinctus.
585. Or [those) whom, &c.
588. Observe, in the sense of the Latin observare, to respect.
590. In shape and gesture proudly eminent, stood like a tower.-- Bentley proposes to read stature for gesture, because the latter word does not apply to a tower.
598. And the excess of glory obscuredProbably a Latinism for obscured as to the excess of glory.
Deep scars of thunder had intrenched ;| and care
Waiting revenge :/ cruel his eye,] but cast 605 Signs of remorse and passion, to behold
The fellows of his crime, the followers rather,
Millions of Spirits for his fault amerced
For his revolt ;] yet faithful how they stood,
With singëd top their stately growth, though bare, 615 Stands on the blasted heath. He now prepared
To speak ;| whereat their doubled ranks they bend
Thrice he assayed, and thrice, in spite of scorn, 620 Tears, such) as Angels weep, | burst forth :) at last
Words, interwove with sighs, found out their way. I
[O myriads of immortal Spirits ! O Powers Matchless, but with the Almighty !] and that strife
Was not inglorious, though the event was dire, 1 625 As this place testifies, and this dire change
609. To amerce, to fine. Amerced=deprived of.
611. Connect the sentence thus :-To behold (605) his followers condemned (607), and from eternal splendours flung (610); yet (to behold) how they stood faithful, their glory being withered.
614. Growth.-The Abstract used instead of the Concrete, as i. 767. See Cowper, Task, i. 15, Note.
619. Comp. Ovid Metam., xi. 419.-Ter conata loqui, ter fletibus ora rigavit.
627. Foreseeing or presaging. The two words are complete synonyms.
628. Knowledge past or present, cannot mean past or present knowledge, but knowledge of the past and the present, whatever difficulties the grammatical structure may oppose.
628. Could have feared.-See 40, Note.
630 As stood like these, | could ever know repulse ?)
For who can yet believe, though after loss, |
Self-raised, and re-possess their native seat ?) 635 For me, be witness all the host of Heaven,
If counsels different, or dangers shunned
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute, 640 Consent or custom ;) and his regal state
Put forth at full,] but still his strength concealed,]
So as not either to provoke, or dread
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,|
By force, | hath overcome but half his foe.]
There went a fame in Heaven that he ere long
Should favour equal to the sons of Heaven : 1 655 Thither,) if but to pry,] shall be perhaps
Our first eruption ; thither or elsewhere :)
Long under darkness cover.] But these thoughts 660 Full counsel must mature : peace is despaired ; |
636. Counsels different, or dangers shunned. -A Latinism for the difference of counsels or the shunning of dangers. See 573, note.
647. No less has reference to 643, he, no less than we, bas to learn something
649. Has but half overcome his foe.
650. Whereof to create.- Whereof is used as a Partitive Pronoun, standing in place of an accusative, like the German deren.
651. Fame, report, fama