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And left large field, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion; such as, to set forth

310
Great things by small, if nature's concord broke,
Among the constellations war were sprung,
Two planets, rushing from aspect malign
Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.
Together both with next to almighty arm

316 Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd That might determine, and not need repeat, As not of power at once; nor odds appear'd In might or swift prevention: But the sword 320 Of Michael from the armory of God Was given him temper’d so that neither keen Nor solid might resist that edge: it met The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor staid, 325 But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shared All his right side: Then Satan first knew pain, And writhed him to and fro convolved; so sore The griding sword with discontinuous wound Pass'd through him: But the ethereal substance closed, Not long divisible; and from the gash

331 A stream of nectarous humor issuing flow'd Sanguine, such as celestial Spirits may bleed, And all his armor stained, erewhile so bright. Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run

335 By Angels many and strong, who interposed Defence, while others bore him on their shields Back to his chariot, where it stood retired From off the files of war: There they him laid Gnashing for anguish and despite and shame, 340 To find himself not matchless, and his pride Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath His confidence to equal God in power. Yet soon he heal'd; for Spirits that live throughout

Vital in every part, not as frail man

345 In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins, Cannot but by annihilating die; Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound Receive, no more than can the fluid air; All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear, 350 All intellect, all sense; and, as they please, They limb themselves, and color, shape, or size Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.

Meanwhile in other parts like deeds deserved Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, 355 And with fierce ensigns pierced the deep array Of Moloch, furious king; who him defied, And at his chariot-wheels to drag him bound Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of Heaven Refrain’d his tongue blasphemous; but anon 360 Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each wing Uriel, and Raphael, his vaunting foe, Though huge, and in a rock of diamond arm’d, Vanquish'd Adramelech, and Asmadai,

365 Two potent Thrones, that to be less than Gods Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learn’d in their flight, Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and mail. Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow 370 Ariel, and Arioch, and the violence Of Ramiel scorch'd and blasted, overthrew. I might relate of thousands, and their names Eternize here on earth: but those elect Angels, contented with their fame in Heaven, 375 Seek not the praise of men: The other sort, In might though wondrous and in acts of war, Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom Cancel'd from Heaven and sacred memory, Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell.

380

For strength from truth divided, and from just,
Illaudable, nought merits but dispraise
And ignominy; yet to glory aspires
Vain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame:
Therefore eternal silence be their doom.

385
And now, their mightiest quell'd, the battle swerved,
With many an inroad gored; deformed rout
Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the ground
With shiver'd armor strown, and on a heap
Chariot and charioteer lay overturn’d,

390 And fiery-foaming steeds; what stood recoil'd O'er wearied, through the faint Satanic host Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surprised, Then first with fear surprised, and sense of pain, Fled ignominious, to such evil brought

395 By sin of disobedience; till that hour Not liable to fear or flight or pain. Far otherwise the inviolable Saints In cubic phalanx firm, advanced entire, Invulnerable, impenetrably arm’d;

400 Such high advantages their innocence Gave them above their foes; not to have sinn'd, Not to have disobey'd; in fight they stood Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain’d By wound, though from their place by violence moved.

Now night her course began, and, over Heaven 406 Inducing darkness, grateful truce imposed, And silence on the odious din of war: Under her cloudy covert both retired, Victor and vanquish'd; On the foughten field 410 Michael and his Angels prevalent Encamping, placed in guard their watches round Cherubic waving fires: On the other part Satan with his rebellious disappear’d, Far in the dark dislodged; and, void of rest, 415 His potentates tu council call’d by night;

And in the midst thus undismay'd began:

O now in danger tried, now known in arms Not to be overpower'd, Companions dear, Found worthy not of liberty alone,

420 Too mean pretence! but what we more affect, Honor, dominion, glory, and renown; Who have sustained one day in doubtful fight, (And if one day, why not eternal days?) What Heaven's Lord had powerfulest to send

425 Against us from about his throne, and judged Sufficient to subdue us to his will, But proves

not so: then fallible, it seems, Of future we may deem him, though till now Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm’d, 430 Some disadvantage we endured and pain, Till now not known, but, known, as soon contemn'd; Since now we find this our empyreal form Incapable of mortal injury, Imperishable and, though pierced with wound, 435 Soon closing, and by native vigor heal'd. Of evil then so small, as easy think The remedy; perhaps more valid arms, Weapons more violent, when next we meet, May serve to better us, and worse our foes 440 Or equal what between us made the odds, In nature none: if other hidden cause Left them superior, while we can preserve Unhurt our minds, and understanding sound, Due search and consultation will disclose.

445 He sat; and in the assembly next upstood Nisroch, of Principalities the prime; As one he stood escaped from cruel fight, Sore toil'd, his riven arms to havoc hewn, And cloudy in aspect thus answering spake: 450

Deliverer from new Lords, leader to free Enjoyment of our right as Gods: yet hard

For Gods, and two unequal work we find,
Against unequal arms to fight in pain,
Against unpain'd, impassive; from which evil 455
Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails
Valor or strength, though matchless, quell'd with pain,
Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands
Of mightiest? Sense of pleasure we may well
Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine, 460
But live content, which is the calmest life:
But pain is perfect misery, the worst
Of evils, and, excessive, overturns
All patience. He, who therefore can invent
With what more forcible we may offend

465
Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm
Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves
No less than for deliverance what we owe.

Whereto with look composed Satan replied: Not uninvented that, which thou aright

470 Believest so main to our success, I bring. Which of us who beholds the bright surface Of this ethereous mould whereon we stand, This continent of spacious Heaven, adorn'd With plant, fruit, flower ambrosial, gems, and gold; Whose eye so superficially surveys

476 These things, as not to mind from whence they grow Deep under ground, materials dark and crude, Of spirituous and fiery spume, till touch'd With Heaven's ray, and temper'd, they shoot forth 480 So beauteous, opening to the ambient light? These in their dark nativity the deep Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flame; Which, into hollow engines, long and round, Thick ramm'd, at the other bore with touch of fire 485 Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth From far, with thundering noise, among our foes Such implements of mischief as shall dash

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