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Such hast thou arm'd, the minstrelsy of Heav'n,
Servility with freedom to contend,
As both their deeds compared this day shall prove.

To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern reply'd: 171
Apostate, still thou erröst, nor end wiit find
Of erring, from the path of truth remote.
Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name
Of Servitude to serve whom God ordains, 175
Or Nature; Cod and Nature bid the same,
When he who rules is worthiest, and excels
Them whom he governs. This is servitude,
To serve th' unwise, or him who hath rebell'd
Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, 180
Thyself not free, but to thyself enthrallid;
Yet lewdly dar'st our minist'ring upbraid.
Reign thou in Hell, thy kingdom; let me serve
In Heav'n God ever blest, and his divine
Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd;

185 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 say'ng, a noble stroke he lifted high, Which hung not, but so swift with tempest tell 190 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

195 Winds under grouud, 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 fill'd and shout, Presage of victory and fierce desire

201 Of battle; whereat Michael bid sound Th’ Arch-Angel trumpet: through the vast of Heav'n It sounded, and the faithful armies rung Hosannah to the Highest : nor stood at gaze

205 The adverse legions, nor less hideous join'd The horrid shock. Now storming fury rose, And clamour such as heard in Heav'n till now

183. Said in anticipation.

Was never; arms on armour clasbing bray'd
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels 210
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 battles main, with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage. All Heav'n
Resounded; and had Earth been then, all Earth
Had to her centre shook. What wonder? when
Millions of fierce encount'ring Angels fought 220
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 pow'r
Army 'gainst army numberless, to raise
Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, 225
Though not destroy, their happy native seat;
Had not th’ Eternal King omnipotent
From his strong huld of Heav'n high over-ruled
And limited their might; though number'd such
As each divided legion might bave seem'd 230
A num'rous ho in strength each armed hand
A legion, led in fight yet leader seem'd
Each warrior single as in chief, expert
When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway
Of battle, open when, and when to close

236 The ridges of grim war: no thought of flight, None of retreat, no unbecoming deed That argued fear: each on himself rely'd, As only in his arm the moment lay Of victory: deeds of eternal fame

240 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 245 The battle hung; till Satan, who that day Prodigious pow'r had shone, and met in arms No equal, ranging through the dire attack Of fighting Seraphim confused, at length

249 236. Ficlde ploughed in ridges form the subject of this fine metaphor. 244. Tormented, as the Latics use vexare.


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 Arch-Angel from his warlike toil
Surceased, and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in heav'n, th' arch-foe subdued,
Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile frown 200
And visage all inflamed, first thus began :

Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt, Unnamed in Hear'n, now plenteous, as thou seest These acts of hateful strife, bateful 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 instill'd Thy malice into thousands, once upright

270 And faithful, now proved false? But think not here To trouble holy rest; Heav'n casts thee out From all her contines. 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 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

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 turn this Heav'n itself into the Hell

282. Adversary, the meaning of the Hebrew, Satan.

Thou fablest, here however to dwell free,
If not to reign. Mean while thy utmost force,
And join him named 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

Of Godlike pow'r? for likest Gods they seem'd,
Stood they or moved, in stature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great Heav'n.
Now waved their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles: two broad suns their shields
Blazed opposite, while expectation stood

306 In horror: from each hand with speed retired, Where erst was thickest fight, th' angelic throng, And left large field, unsafe within the wind Of such coinmotion : 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 aspect malign Of fiercest opposition in mid-sky Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound. Together both with next to' almighty arm 316 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 320 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 whecl reverse, deep ent'ring 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

208. Can relate or liken: the substantive fight before mentioned must be understood after these verbs.

312. Bentlev proposes to read warfare instead of war here.

321. So Virgil mentions the sword of Æneas; Homer and Tasso also are imitated in this passage.

325. Homer, Il. in. 363. Virgil, Æn. xii. 731. 329. Discontinuous, separating the parts.


Pass'd through him: but th'ethereal substance closed, Not long divisible; and from the gash

331 A stream of nect'rous humour issuing, flow'd Sanguine, such as celestial Spirits 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 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 Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath His confidence to equal God in pow'r. Yet soon he heal'd; for Spirits that live throughout Vital in ev'ry 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, all 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 deserved Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, 355 And with fierce ensigns pierced the deep array Of Moloch, furious king; who him defy'd, And at his cbariot-wheels to drag him bound Threatend; 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,

332. Homer calls the blood flowing from the gods ichor, that is, a pure fluid corresponding to the more refined substance of their bodies. Bentley reads ichorons instead of nect'rous, but this would be a tautology as sanguine follows. See Hom. II. v. 339. 335. Was run, a Latinism, ventum est.

355. The might of Gabriel fought, a Greek expression frequent In Homer.

362. So Mars is represented flying from battle in the liiad.

363. Raphael speaks here in the third person of himself, jis name being unknown to Adam.-Some critics propose to add cach after Raphael.

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