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Less pain, less to be filed ? or thou than they
Less hardy to endure ? courageous chief,
The first in flight from pain, hadst thou alledg'd
To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Thou surely hadst not came sole fugitive.

To which the fiend thus answer'd frowning stem
Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,
Insuiting angel: well thou know'st I stood
Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid
The blasting vollied thunder made all speed,
And seconded by thy else not dreaded spear.
But still thy words at random as before,
Argue thy inexperience what behoves
From hard assays and ill successes past
A faithful leader, not to hazard all
Through ways of danger by himself untry'd :
I therefore, I alone first undertook
To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
This new created world, whereof in hell
Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
Better abode, and my


powers To settle here on earth, or in mid air; Though for possession put to try once more What thou and thy gay legions dare against ; Whose easier business were to serve the Lord High up in heav'n, with songs to hymn his throne And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight.

To whom the warrior angel soon reply'd : To say, and straight unsay, pretending first Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy, Argues no leader but a liar trac'd, Satan, and could'st thou faithful add ? U name, O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd! Faithful to whom? 10 thy rebeilious crew ? Army of fiends, fit body to fit head. Was this your discipline and faith engag’d, Your military obedience, to dissolve Allegiance to the acknowledg'd power supreme , And thou. sly hypocrite, who now wouidst seem

Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawn'd, and cring’d, and servilely ador'd
Heav'ns awful monarch? wherefore but in hope
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
But mark what I aread thee now, Avaunt;
Fly thither whence thou fledst : if from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chain’d,
And seal thee so, as henceforth. not to scorn
The facile gates of hell too slightly barr’d.

So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats
Gave heed, but waxing more in rage reply'd :

Then when I am thy captive talk of chains, Proud limitary cherub,* but ere then Far heavier load thyself expect to feel From my prevailing arm, though hear'ns King Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers. Us’d to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels In progress through the road of heav'n star-pav'd.

While thus he spake, th' angelic squadron bright Turn'd fiery red, sharp'ning in mooned børns Their phalanx, and began to hem him round With ported spears, as thick as when a field Of Ceres ripe for harvest, waving bends Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind Sways them; the careful ploughman doubting stand: Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan alarm’d Colli cting all his might dilated stood, Like Teneriffe or Atlas unrenov'd : His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest Sai horror plum’d: nor wanted in his grasp What seem'd both spear and shield : now dr-z

deeds Might have ensued, nor only Paradise In this commotion, but the starry cope

* “Proud liinitary cherub:" limitary means guarding the limits

Of heav'n perhaps, or all the elements
At least had gone to wreck, disturb’d and torn
With violence of this condict, had not soon
Th' eternal to prevent such horrid fray
Hung forth in heav'n his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh’d,
The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles and realms : in these he put two weights
The sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up few, 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 giv'n; what folly then
To boast what arms can do ? since thine no more
Than heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire : for proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon

celestial sign, Where thou art weigh’d, and shown how light, how

If thou resist. The fiend look'd up and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
Murm'ring, and with him fled the shades of night.






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