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Your message, like to end as much in vain ?
To whom thus Zephon, answ'ring scorn with scorn.
So spake the Cherub; and his grave rebuke,
The Fiend reply'd not, overcome with rage; But, like a proud steed rein'd, went haughty on, Champing his iron curb: to strive or fiy He held it vain; awe from above had quell'd 860 His heart, not else dismay’d. Now drew they nigh The western point, where thofe half-rounding guards VOL. I.
Just met, and closing stood in squadron join'd,
O friends, I hear the tread of nimble feet
He scarce had ended, when those two approach'd, And brief related whom they brought, where found, How busied, in what form and posture couch'd.
To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake. Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib’d To thy transgressions, and disturb’d the charge Of others, who approve not to transgress
880 By thy example, but have pow'r and right To question thy bold entrance on this place; Employ'd it seems to violate sleep, and those Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ?
To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow. 885 Gabriel, thou hadft in Heav'n th' esteem of wife, And such I held thee; but this question ask'd Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain ? Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell, Though thither doom’d? Thou wouldit thyself, 10 And boldly venture to whatever place [doubt, Fartheit from pain, where thou might'st hope to change
Torment with ease, and sooneft recompense
Thus he in scorn. The warlike Angel moy'd,
910 However, and to scape his punishment. So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrath, Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight Sev’nfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell, Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain
915 Can equal anger infinite provok’d. But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them Less pain, less to be fed? or thou than they Less hardy to indure? courageous Chief, The first in flight from pain, hadît thou alledg’d To thy deserted host this cause of Alight,
Thou surely hadft not come sole fugitive.
To which the Fiend thus answer'd frowning stern. Not that I less indure, or shrink from pain, 925 Insulting Angel; well thou know'st I stood Thy fiercest, when in battel to thy aid The blasting volied thunder made all speed, And seconded thy else not dreaded spear. But still thy words at random, as before,
930 Argue thy inexperience what behoves From hard assays and ill successes paft A faithful leader, not to hazard all Through ways of danger by himself untry'd : I therefore, I alone first undertook
935 To wing the defolate abyss, and spy This new created world, whereof in Hell Fame is not filent, here in hope to find Better abode, and my afflicted Powers To settle here on earth, or in mid air;
940 'Though for possession put to try once more What thou and thy gay legions dare against; Whose easier business were to serve their Lord High up in Heav'n, with songs to hymn his throne, And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight. 945
To whom the warrior Angel soon reply'd. To say and strait unfay, pretending firft Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy, Argues no leader but a liar trac'd, Satan, and couldst thou faithful add ? O name, 950 O sacred name of faithfulness profan’d! Faitiful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
Army of Fiends, fit body to fit head.
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, 970 Proud limitary Cherub, but ere then Far heavier load thyself expect to feel From my prevailing arm, though Heaven's king Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers, Us'd to the yoke, draw'ft his triumphant wheels 975 In progress through the road of Heav'n star-pav'd.
While thus he fpake, th' angelic squadron bright Turn'd fiery red, sharp'ning in mooned horns 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