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Servility with freedom to contend,
As both their deeds compared this day shall prove.

To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern replied:
Apostate, still thou err'st, nor end wilt find
Of erring, from the path of truth remote:
Unjustly thou depravest it with the name
Of servitude, to serve whom God ordains,
Or Nature: God and Nature bid the same,
When he who rules is worthiest, and excels
Them whom he governs. This is servitude,
To serve the unwise, or him who hath rebellid
Against his worthier, as thine now serve thec,
Thyself not free, but to thyself enthrall’d;
Yet lewdly darest our ministering upbraid.
Reign thou in hell, thy kingdom; let me serve
In heaven God ever bless'd, and his divine
Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd:
Yet chains in hell, not realms, expect: meanwhile
From me return’d, as erst thou saidst, from flight,
This greeting on thy impious crest receive.

So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high,
Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell
On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight,
Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield,
Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge
He back recoil'd; the tenth on bended knee
His massy spear upstay’d: as if on earth
Winds under ground, or waters forcing way,
Sidelong had push'd a mountain from his seat,
Half sunk with all his pines. Amazement seized
The rebel thrones, but greater rage, to see
Thus foild their mightiest; ours joy fillid, and shout,
Presage of victory, and fierce desire
Of battel: whereat Michaël bid sound
The archangel trumpet; through the vast of heaven
It sounded, and the faithful armies rung
Hosanna to the Highest; nor stood at gaze
The adverse legions, nor less hideous join'd
The horrid shock. Now storming fury rose,
And clamour such as heard in heaven till now
Was never; arms on armour clashing bray'd
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots raged: dire was the noise
Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss
Of fiery darts in flaming volleys flew,
And flying vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery cope together rush'd
Both battels main, with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage. All heaven






197. A MOUNTAIN FROM HIS SEAT. A more magnificent simile can hardly be conceived.-BRIDGES.






Resounded; and had earth been then, all earth
Had to her centre shook. What wonder? when
Millions of fierce encountering angels fought
On either side, the least of whom could wield
These elements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions: how much more of power
Army against army numberless to raise
Dreadful combustion warring; and disturb,
Though not destroy, their happy native seat:
Had not the eternal King omnipotent,
From his strong hold of heaven, high overruled
And limited their might; though number'd such,
As each divided legion might have seem'd
A numerous host; in strength each armed hand
A legion; led in fight, yet leader seem'd
Each warriour, single as in chief, expert
When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway
Of battel, open when, and when to close
The ridges of grim war: no thought of flight,
None of retreat, no unbecoming deed
That argued fear; each on himself relied,
As only in his arm the moment lay
Of victory: deeds of eternal fame
Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread
That war and various; sometimes on firm ground
A standing fight; then, soaring on main wing,
Tormented all the air: all air seem'd then
Conflicting fire. Long time in even scale
The battel hung; till Satan, who that day
Prodigious power had shown, and met in arms
No equal, ranging through the dire attack
Of fighting seraphim confused, at length
Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and fell’d
Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway
Brandish'd aloft, the horrid edge came down
Wide-wasting: such destruction to withstand
He hasted, and opposed the rocky orb
Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield,
A vast circumference. At his approach
The great archangel from his warlike toil
Surceased; and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in heaven, the arch-foe subdued
Or captive dragg’d in chains, with hostile frown
And visage all inflamed, first thus began:

Authour of evil, unknown till thy revolt,
Unnam'd in heaven; now plenteous as thou seest
These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all,





229. Though numbered, &c. Each legion 239. Moment, in the sense of the Latin was in number like an army; each sin momentum, "the weight that turns the gle warrior was in strength a legion; balance." and, though led in fight, was an expert As a commander-in-chief.-NEWTON.







Though heaviest by just measure on thyself
And thy adherents: how hast thou disturb'd
Heaven's blessed peace, and into nature brought
Misery, uncreated till the crime
Of thy rebellion! how hast thou instill’d
Thy malice into thousands, once upright
And faithful, now proved false! But think not here
To trouble holy rest; heaven casts thee out
From all her confines: heaven, the seat of bliss,
Brooks not the works of violence and war.
Hence then, and evil go with thee along,
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.

So spake the prince of angels; to whom thus
The adversary:-Nor think thou with wind
Of aery 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 throats
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,
Or turn this heaven itself into the hell
Thou fablest; here however to dwell free,
If not to reign: meanwhile thy utmost force,
And join him named Almighty to thy aid,
I fly not; but have sought thee far and nigh.

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 highth
Of godlike power? for likest gods they seem'd,
Stood they or moved, in stature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great heaven.
Now waved their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles; two broad suns their shields
Blazed opposite, while expectation stood
In horrour: from each hand with speed retired,
Where erst was thickest fight, the angelic throng,
And left large field, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion; such as, to set forth
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





315 320



Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd
That might determine, and not need repeat,
As not of power at once; nor odds appear'd
In might or swift prevention: but the sword
Of Michael from the armoury of God
Was given 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,
But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shared
All his right side. Then Satan first knew pain,
And writhed him to and fro convolved; so sore
The griding sword with discontinuous wound
Pass'd through him: but the ethereal substance closed, 330
Not long divisible; and from the gash
A stream of nectarous humour issuing flow'd
Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed,
And all his armour stain'd, erewhile so bright.
Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run
By angels many and strong, who interposed
Defence; while others bore him on their shields
Back to his chariot, where it stood retired
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
IIumbled by such rebuke; so far beneath
His confidence to equal God in power.
Yet soon he heal'd; for spirits 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,
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 deserved
Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought,
And with fierce ensigns pierced the deep array
Of Moloch, furious king; who him defied,
And at his chariot-wheels to drag him bound
Threaten’d, nor from the Holy One of heaven
Refrain’d his tongue blasphémous; 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,
Thongh huge, and in a rock of diamond arm’d,
Vanquish'd Adramelech and Asmadai,


all ear,





328. Griding: harshly cutting. Dis.

365. Adramelech: “The mighty, mag: continuous : separating the continuity nificent king,” (Hebrew.) Armadai: the of the parts.





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
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 heaven and sacred memory,
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell:
For strength from truth divided and from just,
Illaudable, naught merits but dispraise
And ignominy; yet to glory aspires
Vain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame:
Therefore eternal silence be their doom.

And now, their mightiest quell'd, the battel swerved,
With many an inroad gored; 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,
And fiery foaming steeds; what stood, recoil'd
O'erwearied, through the faint Satanic host
Defensive scarce; or with pale fear surprised,
Then first with fear surprised, and sense of pain,
Fled ignominious, to such evil brought
By sin of disobedience; till that hour
Not liable to fear, or flight, or pain.
Far otherwise the inviolable saints,
In cubic phalanx firm, advanced 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 moved. 405

Now Night her course began, and, over heaven
Inducing darkness, grateful truce imposed,
And silence on the odious din of war:
Under her cloudy covert both retired,




“lustful and destroying" angel Asmo- , recml'd, being o'erwraried, or, with pala deus, mentioned in Tobit iii. 8.

fear surprised, fed ignominious. 371. Ariel means " lion of God," or, "a 393. Defensive scarce. Scarcely in a strong lion.” Arioch: “a fierce and ter- state to defend themselves, rible lion." Ramiel: “ one that exalts 399. Cubic. Squared. himself against God."

407. Inducing. In the sense of the 391. What stood. That is, that part Latin inducere. which was not overturn'd, but kept on

Jam not inducere terris their feet and stood, either gave way and



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