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Search through this garden, leave unsearch'd no nook;
So saying, on he led his radiant files, Dazzling the moon; these to the bower direct, In search of whom they sought : him there they found, Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve, Essaying, by his devilish art, to reach The organs of her fancy; and with them, forge Illusion as he list, phantasms and dreams; Or, if inspiring venom, he might taint The animal spirits, that from pure blood arise, Like gentle breaths from rivers pure; thence raise, 805 At least, distemper'd, discontented thoughts, Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires, Blown up with high conceits, ingendering pride. Him thus intent, Ithuriel, with his spear, Touch'd lightly; for no falsehood can indure
810 T ch of celestial temper, but returns, Of force, to its own likeness : up he starts. Discover'd and surprised. As when a spark Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid Fit for the tun, some magazine to store,
815 Against a rumour'd war; the smutty grain, With sudden blaze diffused, inflames the air ; So started up, in his own shape, the fiend. Back stepp'd those two fair angels, half amazed So sudden to behold the grisly king;
820 Yet thus, unmoved with fear, accost him soon.
“ Which of those rebel spirits, adjudged to Hell,
“ Know ye not then, said Satan, fill'd with scorn,
830 Why ask ye, and superfluous begin Your message, like to end as much in vain ?"
To whom thus Zephon, answering scorn with scorn. “ Think not, revolted spirit, thy shape the same,
Or undiminish'd brightness to be known,
So spake the cherub; and his grave rebuke,
The fiend replied not, overcome with rage ;
He scarce had ended, when those two approach'd;
To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake.
Employ'd, it seems, to violate sleep, and those,
To whom thus Satan, with contemptuous brow.
890 Furthest from pain, where thou mightst hope to change Torment with ease, and soonest recompense Dole with delight, which in this place I sought : To thee no reason, who know'st only good, But evil has not try'd; and wilt object
895 His will, who bounds us ? Let bim surer bar His iron gates, if he intends our stay In that dark durance : thus much what was ask'd. The rest is true, they found me where they say; But that implies not violence, or harm."
900 Thus he in scorn. The warlike angel moved, Disdainfully, half smiling, thus replied. “O loss of one in heaven, to judge of wise, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew; And now returns him, from his prison 'scaped, 905 Gravely in doubt, whether to hold them wise Or not, who ask, what boldness brought him hither Unlicensed, from his bounds in Hell prescribed ; So wise he judges it, to fly from pain, However, and to 'scape his punishment !
910 So judge thou still, presumptuous; till the wrath, Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight Sevenfold; and scourge that wisdom back to Hell, Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain Can equal anger infinite provoked.
915 But wherefore thou alone ? wherefore, with thee, Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them Less pain, less to be fled; or thou than they Less hardy to endure? Courageous chief The first in fight from pain ; hadst thou alleged 920 To thy deserted host this cause of flight, Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive."
To which the fiend thus answer'd, frowning stern, “ Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain, Insulting angel; well thou know'st I stood
925 Thy fiercest, when in battle, to thy aid, The blasting volleyed thunder made all speed, And seconded, thy else not dreaded spear.
But still thy words at random, as before,
To whom the warrior-angel soon replied.
So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats
“Then, when I am thy captive, talk of chains,
While thus he spake, the angelic squadron bright
985 Like Teneriffe, or Atlas, unremoved : His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest Sat horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp, What seem’d, both
and shield. Now dreadful deeds Might have ensued, nor only Paradise,
990 In this commotion, but the starry cope Of Heaven, perhaps, or all the elements, At least, had gone to wrack, disturb’d and torn With violence of this conflict, had not soon The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray,
995 Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales; yet seen Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign; Wherein, all things created first he weigh'd, The pendulous round earth, with balanced air In counterpoise; now ponders all events,
1000 Battles and realms : in these he put two weights, The sequel each of parting and of fight; The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam : Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend.
"Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine, Neither our own, but given; what folly then To boast what arms can do? since thine, no more Than Heaven permits; nor mine, though doubled now, To trample thee as mire : for proof look up, And read thy lot, in yon celestial sign;
1019 Where thou art weigh’d, and shown how light, how weak, If thou resist.” The fiend look'd up, and knew His mounted scale aloft : nor more; but fled Murmuring; and with him fled the shades of night,
THE END OF BOOK IV.