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The highth of thy aspiring unopposed-
The throne of God unguarded, and his side
Abandoned at the terror of thy power
Or potent tongue. Fool! not to think how vain err
Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms;
Who, out of smallest things, could without end
Have raised incessant armies to defeat
Thy folly; or with solitary hand,
Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,
Unaided could have finished thee, and whelmed
Thy legions under darkness! But thou seest
All are not of thy train; there be who faith
Prefer, and piety to God, though then
To thee not visible when I alone
Seemed in thy world erroneous to dissent
From all my Sect thou seest; now learn too late
How few sometimes may know when thousands

Whom the grand Foe, with scornful eye

Thus answered:-"Ill for thee, but in wished 150


Of my revenge, first sought for, thou return'st
From flight, seditious Angel, to receive
Thy merited reward, the first assay
Of this right hand provoked, since first that

Inspired with contradiction, durst oppose
A third part of the Gods, in synod met
Their deities to assert: who, while they feel
Vigour divine within them, can allow
Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st
Before thy fellows, ambitious to win
From me some plume, that thy success may show


Few may


when thousands


The first Destruction to the rest. This pause
blow (Unanswered lest thou boast) to let thee know.—
At first I thought that Liberty and Heaven
To heavenly souls had been all one; but now
I see that most through sloth had rather serve,
Ministering Spirits, trained up in feast and song:
Such hast thou armed, the minstrelsy of heaven-
Servility with freedom to contend,

As both their deeds compared this day shall


· 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 deprav'st 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 rebelled
Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, 180
Thyself not free, but to thyself enthralled;
Yet lewdly dar'st our ministering upbraid.
Reign thou in Hell, thy kingdom; let me serve
In Heaven God ever blest, and his divine
Behests obey, worthiest to be obeyed.
Yet chains in Hell, not realms, expect: mean-


From me returned, 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 recoiled; the tenth on bended knee
His massy spear upstayed: as if, on earth,
Winds under ground, or waters forcing way,
Sidelong had pushed a mountain from his seat,
Half-sunk with all his pines. Amazement seized
The rebel Thrones, but greater rage, to see
Thus foiled their mightiest; ours joy filled, and


Presage of victory, and fierce desire

Of battle: whereat Michaël bid sound
The Archangel trumpet. Through the vast of




ing fury


It sounded, and the faithful armies rung
Hosannah to the Highest; nor stood at gaze
The adverse legions, nor less hideous joined
The horrid shock. Now storming fury rose,
And clamour such as heard in Heaven till now
Was never; arms on armour clashing brayed
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots raged; dire was the noise
Of conflict; overhead the dismal hiss
Of fiery darts in flaming volleys flew,
And, flying, vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery cope together rushed
Both battles main with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage. All Heaven
Resounded; and, had Earth been then, all Earth
Had to her centre shook. What wonder, when
Millions of fierce encountering 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 power
Army against army numberless to raise


even scale the battle


Long Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, time in Though not destroy, their happy native seat ; Had not the Eternal King Omnipotent hung From his strong hold of Heaven high overruled And limited their might, though numbered such As each divided legion might have seemed A numerous host, in strength each armed hand A legion! Led in fight, yet leader seemed Each warrior single as in chief; expert When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway Of battle, 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 seemed then Conflicting fire. Long time in even scale The battle 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 felled



Squadrons at once: with huge two-handed sway
Brandished 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 A parle of Intestine war in Heaven, the Arch-foe subdued, Michael Or captive dragged in chains, with hostile Satan




And visage all inflamed, first thus began :-
"Author of Evil, unknown till thy revolt,
Unnamed in Heaven, now plenteous as thou


These acts of hateful strife-hateful to all,
Though heaviest, by just measure, on thyself
And thy adherents-how hast thou disturbed
Heaven's blessed peace, and into Nature brought
Misery, uncreated till the crime
Of thy rebellion! how hast thou instilled
Thy malice into thousands, once upright
And faithful, now proved false ! But think not



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


Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom,
Or some more sudden vengeance, winged from

Precipitate thee with augmented pain."


'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 turned the least of


To flight-or, if to fall, but that they rise

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