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Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile frown, 260 And visage all inflam'd, first thus began.

6 * Author of' ev'il, unknown till thy revolt, Unnam'd in Heav'n, now plenteous as thou seest "These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all, Though heaviest by just measure on thyself 265 And thy adherents : how hast thou disturb’d Heav'n's blessed peace, and into nature brought Misery, uncreated till the crime Of thy rebellion ! how hast thou instillid Thy malice into thousands, once upright 270 And faithful, now prov'd false! But think not here To trouble holy rest; Heav'n casts thee out Froin all her confines : Heav'n, the seat of bliss, Brooks not the works of violence and war. Hence then, and evil go with thee along,

275 Thy offspring, to the place of evil, Hell, Thou and thy wicked crew! there mingle broils, Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom, Or some more sudden vengeance, wing'd from God, Precipitate thee with augmented pain!'

280 “So spake the prince of angels; to whom thus The adversary. "Nor think thou with wind Of airy threats to awe whom yet with deeds Thou canst not. Hast thou turn'd the least of these To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise

285 Unvanquish’d, easier to transact with me That thou shouldst hope, imperious! and with threats To chase me hence? err not that so shall end The strife which thou call'st evil, but we style The strife of glory; which we mean to win, 290 Or tum this Heav'n itself into the Hell Thou fablest; here however to dwell free, If not to reign: meanwhile thy utmost force, And join him nam'd Almighty to thy aid, I fly not, but have sought thee far and nigh.' 295

“ They ended parle, and both address'd for fight Unspeakable; for who, though with the tongue Of angels, can relate, or to what things

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Liken on earth conspicuous, that may

lift Human imagination to such height

300
Of godlike pow'r? for likest Gods they seem'd,
Stood they or mov’d, in stature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great Heav'n.
Now wav'd their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles; two broad suns their shields 305
Blaz'd opposite, while expectation stood
In horror; from each hand with speed retir'd,
Where erst was thickest fight, th' angelic throng,
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 aspéct malign
of fiercest opposition, in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.
Together both with next to' Almighty arm 316
Up-lifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd
That might determine, and not need repeat,
As not of pow'r at once; nor odds appear'd
In might or swift prevention : but the sword 3.20
Of Michael, from the armoury of God,
Was given him temperd 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 stay'd, 325
But with swift wheel reverse, deep entring, shar'd
All his right side: then Satan first knew pain,
And writh'd him to and fro convolv'd; so sore
The griding sword with discontinuous wound
Pass'd through him : but th'ethereal substance clos'd,
Not long divisible; and from the gash

331
A stream of necta'rous humour issuing flow'd
Sanguine, such as celestial spi'rits may bleed,
And all his armour stain'd, erewhile so bright.
Forth with on all sides to his aid was run

335
By angels many and strong, who interpos'd
Defence, while others bore him on their shields

all ear,

Back to his chariot, where it stood retir'd
From off the files of war: there they him laid
Gnashing for anguish, and despite, and shame, 340
To find himself kot matchless, and his pride
Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath
His confidence to equal God in pow'r.
Yet soon he heal’d; for spi'rits 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,

350 All intellect, all sense ; and as they please, They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.

“Meanwhile in other parts like deeds desery'd Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, 353 And with fierce ensigns pierc'd the deep array Of Moloch, furious king; who him defy'd, And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of Heav'n 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 Raphaël his vaunting foe, Though huge, and in a rock of diamond armid, 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 Heav'n, 375 Seek not the praise of nien: the other sort,

In might though wond'rous, and in acts of war,
Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom
Cancell'd from Heav'n 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 swerv’d, With many an inroad gor'd; deformed rout Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the ground With shiver'd armour strown, and on a heap Chariot and charioteer lay overturn'd,

330 And fiery foaming steeds; what stood, recoild O'er-wearied, through the faint satanic host Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surpris'd, Then first with fear surpris'd 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 th' inviolable saints, In cubic phalanx firm, advanc'd 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 moy'd,

“Now night her course began, and over Heav'n 406 Inducing darkness, grateful truce impos'd, And silence on the odious din of war: Under her cloudy covert both retird, Victor and vanquish’d: on the foughten field 410 Michaël and bis angels prevalent Encamping, plac'd in guard their watches round, Cherubic waving fires : on th' other part, Satan with his rebellious disappear'd, Far in the dark dislodg'd ; and, void of rest, 115

His poteptates to council call’d by night;
And in the midst thus undismay'd began,

"O now in danger try'd, now known in arms
Not to be overpow'r'd, companions dear,
Found worthy not of liberty alone,

420 Too mean pretence! but, what we more affect, Honour, dominion, glory, and renown; Who have sustain'd one day in doubtful fight (And if one day, why not eternal days ?) What Heaven's Lord had pow'rfullest to send 425 Against us from about his throne, and judg'd Sufficient to subdue us to his will, But proves not so: then fallible, it seerns, Of future we may deem him, though till now Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm'd, 430 Some disadvantage we endur'd and pain, Till now not known, but, known, as soon contema'd; Since now we find this our empyreal form Incapable of mortal injury, Imperishable, and, though pierc'd with wound, 435 Soon closing, and by native vigour 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, Or equal what between us made the odds, In nature none: if other hidden cause Left them superior, while we can preserve Unburt our minds and understanding sound, Due search and consultation will disclose.'

445 " He sat; and in th' assembly next upstood Nisroch, of principalities the prime: As one he stood escap'd from cruel fight, Sore toil, his riven arms to havoc hewn, And cloudy in aspéct thus answering spake. 450 *Deliverer from new lords, leader to free Enjoyment of our rights as Gods; yet hard For Gods, and too wnequal work we find, Against unequal arms to fight in pain,

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