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Of airy threats to awe whom yet with deeds
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 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 Heaven. 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
335 By Angels many' and strong, who interpos'd Defence, while others bore him on their shields 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 not matchless, and his pride Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath
His confidence to equal God in power.
ear, 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 deserv'd Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, 355 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 Heaven Refrain’d his tongue blasphemous; but anon 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 Asmaida,
365 Two potent thrones, that to be less than Gods Disdain'd, but mcaner thoughts learn'd in their light, 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
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,
390 And fiery foaming steeds; what stood, recoil'd 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 Alight, or pain. Far otherwise th' inviolable Saints In cubic phalanx firm advanc'd entire, Invulnerable, impenetrably arm’d; Such high advantages their innocence Gave them above their foes, not to have sinn'd,
Not to have disobey'd; in fight they stood
Now night her course began, and over Heav'n 406
danger try'd, not 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, Eut proves not so : then fallible, it seems, Of future we may deem him, though till now Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm’d, Some disadvantage we endur'd and pain, Till now not known, but kitown as soon contemn'd,