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now rests

To intellectual ; give both life and sense,

Hath pass'd in Heaven, some doubts within me Fancy and understanding; whence the soul

move, Reason receives, and reason is her being,

But more desire to hear, if thou consent, Discursive, or intuitive ; discourse

The full relation, which must needs be strange, Is oftest yours, the latter most is ours,

Worthy of sacred silence to be heard ; Differing but in degree, of kind the same.

And we have yet large day, for scarce the Sun Wonder not then, what God for you saw good Hath finish'd half his journey, and scarce begins If I refuse not, but convert, as you,

His other half in the great zone of Heaven." To proper substance. Time may come, when men Thus Adam made request : and Raphaël, With angels may participate, and find

After short pause assenting, thus began. No inconvenient diet, nor too light fare ;

“ High matter thou enjoin'st ine, O prime of men, And from these corporal nutriments perhaps Sad task and hard : for how shall I relate Your bodies may at last turn all to spirit,

To human sense the invisible exploits Improv'd by tract of time, and, wing'd, ascend Of warring spirits ? how, without remorse, Ethereal, as we: or may, at choice,

The ruin of so many glorious once Here or in heavenly Paradises dwell;

And perfect while they stood ? how last unfold If ye be found obedient, and retain

The secrets of another world, perhaps Unalterably firm his love entire,

Not lawful to reveal ? yet for thy good Whose progeny you are.

Meanwhile enjoy This is dispens’d; and what surmounts the reach Your fill what happiness this happy state

Of human sense, I shall delineate so, Can comprehend, incapable of more.

By likening spiritual to corporal forms, To whom the patriarch of mankind replied. As may express them best; though what if Earth “ O favourable spirit, propitious guest,

Be but the shadow of Heaven, and things therein Well hast thou taught the way that might direct Each to other like, more than on Earth is thought? Our knowledge, and the scale of nature set

“ As yet this world was not, and Chaos wild From centre to circumference; whereon,

Reign'd where these Heavens now roll, where Earth In contemplation of created things, By steps we may ascend to God. But say, Upon her centre pois’d; when on a day What meant that caution join'd, If ye be found (For time, though in eternity, applied Obedient ? Can we want obedience then

To motion, measures all things durable To him, or possibly his love desert,

By present, past, and future,) on such day [host Who form'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here As Heaven's great year brings forth, the empyreal Full to the utmost measure of what bliss

Of angels by imperial summons call'd, Human desires can seek or apprehend ?”

Innumerable before the Almighty's throne To whom the angel. “Son of Heaven and Earth, Forthwith, from all the ends of Heaven, appear'd Attend: that thou art happy, owe to God; Under their hierarchs in orders bright : That thou continuest such, owe to thyself,

Ten thousand thousand ensigns high advanc'd, That is, to thy obedience ; therein stand.

Standards and gonfalons 'twixt van and rear This was that caution given thee, be advis'd. Stream in the air, and for distinction serve God made thee perfect, not immutable;

Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees ; And good he made thee; but to persevere

Or in their glittering tissues bear imblaz'd He left it in thy power; ordain'd thy will

Holy memorials, acts of zeal and love By nature free, not over-ruld by fate

Recorded eminent. Thus when in orbs Inextricable, or strict necessity :

Of circuit inexpressible they stood, Our voluntary service he requires,

Orb within orb, the Father Infinite, Not our necessitated; such with him

By whom in bliss imbosom'd sat the Son, Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how Amidst as from a flaming mount, whose top Can hearts, not free, be tried whether they serve Brightness had made invisible, thus spake. Willing or no, who will but what they must

" • Hear, all ye angels, progeny of light, By destiny, and can no other choose ?

Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers, Myself, and all the angelic host, that stand

Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand.
In sight of God enthron'd, our happy state This day I have begot whom I declare
Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds ; My only Son, and on this holy hill
On other surety none : freely we serve,

Him have anointed, whom ye now behold
Because we freely love, as in our will

At my right hand; your head I him appoint; To love or not; in this we stand or fall :

And by myself have sworn, to him shall bow And some are fall’n, to disobedience fall’n, All knees in Heaven, and shall confess him Lord : And so from Heaven to deepest Hell; O fall Under his great vice-gerent reign abide From what high state of bliss, into what woe !" United, as one individual soul,

To whom our great progenitor. “ Thy words For ever happy : him who disobeys, Attentive, and with more delighted ear,

Me disobeys, breaks union, and that day,
Divine instructer, I have heard, than when

Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
Cherubic songs by night from neighbouring hills Into utter darkness, deep ingulf'd, his place
Aëreal music
send : nor knew I not

Ordain'd without redemption, without end.'
To be both will and deed created free;

“ So spake the Omnipotent, and with his words Yet that we never shall forget to love

All seem'd well pleas'd. all seem'd, but were not Our Maker, and obey him whose command

all. Single is yet so just, my constant thoughts

That day, as other solemn days, they spent Assur’d me, and still assure : though what thou In song and dance about the sacred hill : tell'st

Mystical dance, which yonder starry sphere

Of planets, and of fix'd, in all her wheels

The quarters of the north ; there to prepare Resembles nearest, mazes intricate,

Fit entertainment to receive our King, Eccentric, intervolv'd, yet regular

The great Messiah, and his new commands, Then most, when most irregular they seem; Who speedily through all the hierarchies And in their motions Harmony divine

Intends to pass triumphant, and give laws.' So smooths ber charming tones, that God's own ear “ So spake the false arch-angel, and infus'd Listens delighted. Evening now approach'd, Bad influence into the unwary breast (For we have also our evening and our morn, Of his associate : he together calls, We ours for change delectable, not need ;)

Or several one by one, the regent powers, Forthwith from dance to sweet repast they turn Under him regent; tells, as he was taught, Desirous; all in circles as they stood,

That the Most High commanding, now ere night, Tables are set, and on a sudden pild

Now ere dim night had disencumber'd Heaven, With angel's food, and rubied nectar flows The great hierarchal standard was to move ; In pearl, in diamond, and massy gold,

Tells the suggested cause, and casts between Fruit of delicious vines, the growth of Heaven. Ambiguous words and jealousies, to sound On flowers repos'd, and with fresh flowerets crown'd, Or taint integrity : but all obey'd They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet The wonted signal, and superior voice Quaff immortality and joy, secure

Of their great potentate; for great indeed Of surfeit, where full measure only bounds His name, and high was his degree in Heaven; Excess, before the all-bounteous King, who shower'd His countenance, as the morning-star that guides With copious hand, rejoicing in their joy.

The starry flock, allur'd them, and with lies Now when ambrosial night with clouds exhal'd Drew after him the third part of Heaven's host. From that high mount of God, whence light and Meanwhile the Eternal Eye, whose sight discerns shade

(chang'd Abstrusest thoughts, from forth his holy mount, Spring both, the face of brightest Heaven had And from within the golden lamps that burn To grateful twilight, (for night comes not there Nightly before him, saw without their light In darker veil,) and roseat dews dispos’d

Rebellion rising ; saw in whom, how spread
All but the unsleeping eyes of God to rest ; Among the sons of morn, what multitudes
Wide over all the plain, and wider far

Were banded to oppose his high decree;
Than all this globous Earth in plain outspread, And, smiling, to his only Son thus said.
(Such are the courts of God,) the angelic throng “ • Son, thou in whom my glory I behold
Dispers'd in bands and files, their camp extend In full resplendence, heir of all iny might,
By living streams among the trecs of life,

Nearly it now concerns us to be sure
Pavilions numberless, and sudden rear'd,

Of our omnipotence, and with what arms
Celestial tabernacles, where they slept (course We mean to hold what anciently we claim
Fann'd with cool winds; save those, who, in their of deity or empire : such a foe
Melodious hymns about the sovran throne

Is rising, who intends to erect his throne Alternate all night long: but not so wak'd Equal to ours, throughout the spacious north : Satan ; so call him now, his former name

Nor so content, hath in his thought to try Is heard no more in Heaven; he of the first, In battle, what our power is, or our right. If not the first arch-angel, great in power,

Let us advise, and to this hazard draw In favour and pre-eminence, yet fraught

With speed what force is left, and all employ With envy against the Son of God, that day In our defence ; lest unawares we lose Honour'd by his great Father, and proclaim'd This our high place, our sanctuary, our hill. Messiah King anointed, could not bear (pair'd. “ To whom the Son with calm aspect and clear Through pride that sight, and thought himself im- Lightening divine, ineffable, serene, Deep malice thence conceiving and disdain,

Made answer.

Mighty Father, thou thy foes Soon as midnight brought on the dusky hour Justly hast in derision, and, secure, Friendliest to sleep and silence, he resolv'd Laugh'st at their vain designs and tumults vain, With all his legions to dislodge, and leave

Matter to me of glory, whom their hate Unworshipt, unobey'd, the throne supreme, Illustrates, when they see all regal power Contemptuous; and his next subordinate

Given me to quell their pride, and in event Awakening, thus to him in secret spake : (close Know whether I be dextrous to subdue

“ • Sleep'st thou, companion dear? What sleep can Thy rebels, or be found the worst in Heaven.' Thy eye-lids? and remember'st what decree

• So spake the Son; but Satan, with his powers, Of yesterday, so late hath pass'd the lips

Far was advanc'd on winged speed; an host Of Heaven's Almighty. Thou to me thy thoughts Innumerable as the stars of night, Wast wont, I mine to thee was wont to impart; Or stars of morning, dew-drops, which the Sun Both waking we were one : how then can now Impearls on every leaf and every flower. Thy sleep dissent? New laws thou seest impos'd; Regions they pass'd, the mighty regencies New laws from him who reigns, new minds may Of seraphim, and potentates, and thrones, raise

In their triple degrees ; regions to which In us who serve, new counsels, to debate

All thy dominion, Adam, is no more What doubtful may ensue : more in this place Than what this garden is to all the earth, To utter is not safe. Assemble thou

And all the sea, from one entire globose Of all those myriads which we lead the chief; Stretch'd into longitude ; which having pass'd, Tell them, that by command, ere yet dim night At length into the limits of the north Her shadowy cloud withdraws, I am to haste, They came ; and Satan to his royal seat And all who under me their banners wave,

High on a hill, far blazing, as a mount Homeward, with flying march, where we possess Rais'd on a mount, with pyramids and towers

From diamond quarries hewn, and rocks of gold; How provident he is; how far from thought
The palace of great Lucifer, (so call

To make us less, bent rather to exalt
That structure in the dialect of men

Our happy state, under one head more near Interpreted,) which not long after, he,

United. But to grant it thee unjust, Affecting all equality with God,

That equal over equals monarch reign : In imitation of that mount whereon

Thyself, though great and glorious, dost thou count, Messiahı was declar'd in sight of Heaven,

Or all angelic nature join'd in one,
The Mountain of the Congregation calld; Equal to him begotten son ? by whom,
For thither he assembled all his train,

As by his word, the Mighty Father made [Heaven Pretending, so commanded, to consult

All things, even thee ; and all the spirits of About the great reception of their king,

By him created in their bright degrees, Thither to come, and with calumnious art

Crown'd them with glory, and to their glory nam'd Of counterfeited truth thus held their ears :

Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers, “ • Thrones, dominations, princedoins, virtues, Essential powers; nor by his reign obscur'd, powers;

But more illustrious made ; since he the head If these magnific titles yet remain

One of our number thus reduc'd becomes; Not merely titular, since by decree

His laws our laws; all honour to him done Another now hath to himself ingross'd

Returns our own. Cease then this impious rage, AU power, and us eclips'd under the name

And tempt not these ; but hasten to appease Of King anointed, for whom all this haste

The incensed Father, and the incensed Son, Of midnight-march, and hurried meeting here, While pardon may be found in time besought.' This only to consult how we may best,

“ So spake the fervent angel ; but his zeal With what may be devis'd of honours new,

None seconded, as out of season judg'd, Receive him coming to receive from us

Or singular and rash : whereat rejoic'd Knee-tribute yet unpaid, prostration vile !

The apostate, and, more haughty, thus replied. Too much to one! but double how endur'd, • That we were form’d then, say'st thou ? and the To one, and to his image now proclaim'd ?

work But wbat if better counsels might erect

Of secondary hands, by task transferr'd Our minds, and teach us to cast off this yoke ? From Father to his Son? strange point and new! Will ye submit your necks, and choose to bend Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd: The supple knee? Ye will not, if I trust

who saw To know ye right, or if ye know yourselves

When this creation was? remember'st thou Natives and sons of Heaven possess'd before Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being ? By none; and if not equal all, yet free,

We know no time when we were not as now; Equally free; for orders and degrees

Know none before us, self-begot, self-rais'd Jar not with liberty, but well consist.

By our own quickening power, when fatal course Who can in reason then, or right, assume

Had circled his full orb, the birth mature Monarchy over such as live by right

Of this our native Heaven, ethereal sons. His equals, if in power and splendour less,

Our puissance is our own: our own right hand In freedoms equal? or can introduce

Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
Law and edíct on us, who without law

Who is our equal : then thou shalt behold
Err not? much less for this to be our lord, Whether by supplication we intend
And look for adoration, to the abuse

Address, and to begirt the almighty throne
Of those imperial titles, which assert

Beseeching or besieging. This report, Our being ordain'd to govern, not to serve.' These tidings carry to the anointed King;

“ Thus far his bold discourse without controul And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.' Had audience : when among the seraphim

“ He said ; and, as the sound of waters deep, Abdiel, than whom none with more zeal ador'd Hoarse murmur echo'd to his words applause The Deity, and divine commands obey'd,

Through the infinite host : nor less for that Stood up, and in a flame of zeal severe

The flaming seraph fearless, though alone The current of his fury thus oppos’d.

Encompass”d round with foes, thus answer'd bold. “O argument blasphémous, false and proud! “O alienate from God, O spirit accurs'd, Words which no ear ever to hear in Heaven Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall Expected, least of all from thee, ingrate,

Determin'd, and thy hapless crew involv'd In place thyself so high above thy peers.

In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread Canst thou with impious obloquy condemn Both of thy crime and punishment; henceforth The just decree of God, pronounc'd and sworn, No more be troubled how to quit the yoke That to his only Son, by right endued

Of God's Messiah ; those indulgent laws With regal sceptre, every soul in Heaven

Will not be now vouchsafd; other decrees Shall bend the knee, and in that honour due Against thee are gone forth without recall : Confess him rightful king? unjust, thou say'st, That golden sceptre, which thou didst reject, Flatly unjust, to bind with laws the free,

Is now an iron rod to bruise and break And equal over equals to let reign,

Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise ;
One over all with unsucceeded power.

Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly
Shalt thou give law to God ? shalt thou dispute These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath
With him the points of liberty, who made (Heaven Impendent, raging into sudden flame,
Thee what thou art, and form'd the powers of Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel
Such as he pleas'd, and circumscrib’d their being ? His thunder on thy head, devouring fire.
Yet, by experience taught, we know how good, Then who created thee lamenting learn,
And of our good and of our dignity

When wlw can uncreate thee thou shalt know.'

“ So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful found The better fight, who single hast maintain'd Among the faithless, faithful only he ;

Against revolted multitudes the cause Among innumerable false, unmov'd,

of truth, in word mightier than they'in arms; Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrified,

And for the testimony of truth hast borne His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal ;

Universal reproach, far worse to bear Nor number, nor example, with him wrought Than violence; for this was all thy care To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind, To stand approv'd in sight of God, though worlds Though single. From amidst them forth he pass’d, Judg'd thee perverse : the easier conquest now Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustain'd Remains thee, aided by this host of friends, Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught;

Back on thy foes more glorious to return,
And, with retorted scorn, his back he turn'd Than scorn'd thou didst depart; and to subdue
On those proud towers to gwift destruction doom'd." | By force, who reason for their law refuse,

Right reason for their law, and for their king
Messiah, who by right of merit reigns.

Go, Michacl, of celestial armies prince,
Book VI.

And thou, in military prowess next,
The Argument.

Gabriël, lead forth to battle these my sons

Invincible; lead forth my armed saints, Raphaël continues to relate how Michael and By thousands and by millions, rang’d for fight,

Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan Equal in number to that godless crew and his angels. The first fight described : Satan Rebellious: them with fire and hostile arms and his powers retire under night : he calls a Fearless assault; and, to the brow of Heaven council; invents devilish engines, which, in the Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss, second day's fight, put Michael and his angels to Into their place of punishment, the gulf some disorder; but they at length, pulling up Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide mountains, overwhelmed both the force and His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.' machines of Satan: yet, the tumult not so end “ So spake the Sovran Voice, and clouds began ing, God, on the third day, sends Messias his To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll Son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that In dusky wreaths, reluctant fames, the sign. victory : he, in the power of his Father, coming Of wrath awak'd; nor with less dread the loud to the place, and causing all his legions to stand Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow : still on either side, with his chariot and thunder At which command the powers militant driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues That stood for Heaven, in mighty quadrate join'd them, unable to resist, towards the wall of Of union irresistible, mov'd on Heaven ; which opening, they leap down, with In silence their bright legions, to the sound horrour and confusion, into the place of punish-i of instrumental harmony, that breath'd ment prepared for them in the deep : Messiah Heroic ardour to adventurous deeds returns with triumph to his Father.

Under their God-like leaders, in the cause

Of God and his Messiah. On they move “ All night the dreadless angel, unpursued, Indissolubly firm ; nor obvious hill, Through Heaven's wide champain held his way; Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream, divides till Morn,

Their perfect ranks : for high above the ground Wak'd by the circling Hours, with rosy hand Their march was, and the passive air upbore Unbarr'd the gates of Light. There is a cave Their nimble tread; as when the total kind Within the mount of God, fast by his throne, Of birds, in orderly array on wing, Where Light and Darkness in perpetual round Came summoned over Eden to receive Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Their names of thee ; so over many a tract [wide, Heaven

Of Heaven they march’d, and many a province Grateful vicissitude, like day and night;

Tenfold the length of this terrene : at last, Light issues forth, and at the other door

Far in the horizon to the north appear’d Obsequious Darkness enters, till her hour (well From skirt to skirt a fiery region, stretch'd To veil the Heaven, though darkness there might In battailous aspéct, and nearer view Seem twilight here: and now went forth the Morn, Bristled with upright beams innumerable Such as in highest Heaven, array'd in gold Of rigid spears, and helmets throng'd, and shields Empyreal ; from before her vanish'd Night, Various, with boastful argument pourtray'd, Shot through with orient beams; when all the plain The banded powers of Satan hasting on Cover'd with thick embattled squadrons bright, With furious expedition ; for they ween'd Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds, That self-same day, by fight, or by surprise, Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view : To win the mount of God, and on his throne War he perceiv'd, war in procinct; and found To set the Envier of his state, the proud Already known what he for news had thought Aspirer ; but their thoughts prov'd fond and vain To have reported : gladly then he mix'd

In the mid way: though strange to us it seem'd Among those friendly powers, who him receiv'd At first, that angel should with

angel war, With joy and acclamations loud, that one

And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet That of so many myriads tall’n yet one,

So oft in festivals of joy and love
Return'd not lost. On to the sacred hill

Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire,
They led him high applauded, and present Hymning the Eternal Father : but the shout
Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice, Of battle now began, and rushing sound
From midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard. Of onset ended soon each milder thought.

“ ' Servant of God, well done; well hast thou / High in the midst exalted as a God,

The apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat,

Such hast thou arm'd, the minstrelsy of Heaven, Idol of majesty divine, enclos'd

Servility with freedom to contend, With flaming cherubim, and golden shields ; As both their deeds compar'd this day shall prove.' Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now “ To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern replied. 'Twixt host and host but narrow space was left, • Apostate! still thou err’st, nor end wilt find A dreadful interval, and front to front

Of erring, from the path of truth remote: Presented stood in terrible array

Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name Of hideous length: before the cloudy van,

Of servitude, to serve whom God ordains, On the rough edge of battle ere it join'd,

Or nature: God and nature bid the same, Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanc'd, When he who rules is worthiest, and excels Came towering, arm'd in adamant and gold; Them whom he governs. This is servitude, Abdiel that sight endur'd not, where he stood To serve the unwise, or hîm who hrath rebella Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds, Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, And thus his own undaunted heart explores. Thyself not free, but to thyself enthrall’d; “ • O Heaven! that such resemblance of the Yet lewdly dar’st our ministring upbraid. Highest

Reign thou in Hell, thy kingdom ; let me serve Should yet remain, where faith and reälty [might In Heaven God ever blest, and his divine Remain not : wherefore should not strength and Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd ; (while There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove Yet chains in Hell, not realms, expect: meanWhere boldest, though to sight unconquerable ? From me return'd, as erst thou saidst, from flight, His puissance, trusting in the Almighty's aid, This greeting on thy impious crest receive.' I mean to try, whose reason I have tried

“ So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high, Unsound and false : nor is it aught but just, Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell That he, who in debate of truth hath won,

On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight, Should win in arms, in both disputes alike Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield, Victor ; though brutish that contést and foul, Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge When reason hath to deal with force, yet so

He back recoil'd; the tenth on bended knee Most reason is that reason overcome.'

His massy spear upstaid; as if on Earth “ So pondering, and from his armed peers Winds under ground, or waters forcing way Forth stepping opposite, half-way he met

Sidelong had push'd a mountain from his seat, His daring foe, at this prevention more

Half sunk with all his pines. Amazement seiz'd Incens'd, and thus securely himn defied. (reach'd The rebel thrones, but greater rage, to see (shout,

• Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have Thus foild their mightiest ; ours joy fill'd, and The height of thy aspiring unoppos'd,

Presage of victory, and fierce desire The throne of God unguarded, and his side

Of battle : whereat Michaël bid sound Abandon'd, at the terrour of thy power

The arch-angel trumpet ; through the vast of Heaven Or potent tongue : fool! not to think how vain It sounded, and the faithfui armies rung Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms;

Hosanna to the Highest : nor stood at gaze Who out of smallest things could, without end, The adverse legions, nor less hideous join'd Have rais'd incessant armies to defeat

The horrid shock. Now storming fury rose, Thy folly; or with solitary hand

And clamour, such as heard in Heaven till now Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,

Was never; arms on armour clashing bray'd Unaided, could have finish'd thee, and whelm'd Horrible discord, and the madding wheels Thy legions under darkness : but thou seest Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise All are not of thy train; there be, who faith Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss Prefer, and piety to God, though then

Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew, To thee not visible, when I alone

And flying vaulted either host with fire. Seem'd in thy world erroneous to dissent

So under fiery cope together rush'd From all : my sect thou seest ; now learn too late Both battles main, with ruinous assault llow few sometimes may know, when thousands And inextinguishable rage. All Heaven err.'

Resounded ; and had Earth been then, all Earth “ Whom the grand foe, with scornful

eye askance,

Had to her centre shook. What wonder? where Thus answered. • Ill for thee, but in wish'd hour Millions of fierce encountering angels fought Of my revenge, first sought for, thou returu'st On either side, the least of whom could wield From flight, seditious angel! to receive

These elements, and arm him with the force Thy merited reward, the first assay

Of all their regions : how much more of power of this right hand provok'd since first that tongue, Ariny against army numberless to raise Inspir'd with contradiction, durst oppose

Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, A third part of the gods, in synod met

Though not destroy, their happy native seat; Their deities to assert; who, while they feel Had not the Eternal King Omnipotent, Vigour divine within them, can allow

From his strong hold of Heaven, high over-rul'd Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st And limited their might; though number'd such Before thy fellows, ambitious to win

As each divided legion might have seem'd
From me some plume, that thy success may show A numerous host; in strength each armed hand
Destruction to the rest : this pause between, A legion ; led in fight, yet leader seem'd
(Unanswer'd lest thou boast,) to let thee know, Each warriour single as in chief, expert
At first I thought that liberty and Heaven

When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway
To heavenly souls had been all one ; but now Of battle, open when, and when to close
I see that most through sloth had rather serve, The ridges of grim war: no thought of fight,

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