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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

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 turn 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 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
Of fiercest opposition in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.
Together both with next to' almighty arm
Uplifted 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
Of Michael from the armoury of God
Was giv’n 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 stay'd, 325
But with swift wheel reverse, deep ent’ring 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

A stream of necta'rous humour issuing flow'd
Sanguine, such as celestial Spi'rits may bleed,
And all his armour stain'd ere. while so bright.
Forthwith 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 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.
Yet soon he heald; for Spi'rits that live throughout
Vital in every part, not as frail man

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,


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
Eternize here on earth; but those elect
Angels, contented with their fame in Heaven,

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 Heav'n and sacred memory,
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell.
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 fanie:
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,

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
Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd
By wound, though from their place by violence mov'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 retir’d,
Victor and vanquish'd : on the foughten field
Michael and his Angels prevalent
Incamping, 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, 415
His potentates to council call’d by night;
And in the midst thus undismay'd began,

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,


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