Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/393

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BOOK XI.

Said the Angel, "who should better hold his place,
By wisdom and superior gifts received.—
But now prepare thee for another scene."
He looked, and saw wide territory spread
Before him, towns, and rural works between,
Cities of men with lofty gates and towers,640
Concourse in arms, fierce faces threatening war,
Giants of mighty bone and bold emprise.
Part wield their arms, part curb the foaming steed,
Single or in array of battle ranged,
Both horse and foot, nor idly mustering stood.
One way a band select from forage drives
A herd of beeves, fair oxen and fair kine,
From a fat meadow ground, or fleecy flock,
Ewes and their bleating lambs, over the plain,
Their booty; scarce with life the shepherds fly,650
But call in aid, which makes a bloody fray.
With cruel tournament the squadrons join;
Where cattle pastured late, now scattered lies
With carcasses and arms the ensanguined field,
Deserted. Others to a city strong
Lay siege, encamped, by battery, scale and mine,
Assaulting; others from the wall defend
With dart and javelin, stones and sulphurous fire;
On each hand slaughter, and gigantic deeds.
In other part the sceptred haralds call660
To council, in the city-gates. Anon
Grey-headed men and grave, with warriors mixed,