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Their Unvanquished-easier to transact with me terrific That thou shouldst hope, imperious, and with





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 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 addressed 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 seemed,
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


Blazed opposite, while Expectation stood
In horror; from each hand with speed retired,
Where erst was thickest fight, the Angelic


And left large field, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion: such as (to set forth
Great things by small) if, Nature's concord

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 aimed
That might determine, and not need repeat
As not of power, at once; nor odds appeared
In might or swift prevention. But the sword 320
Of Michael from the armoury of God

Was given him tempered 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 stayed,
But, with swift wheel reverse, deep entering,


All his right side. Then Satan first knew pain,
And writhed him to and fro convolved; so sore
The griding sword with discontinuous wound
Passed through him. But the ethereal substance


Not long divisible; and from the gash
A stream of nectarous humour issuing flowed
Sanguine, such as celestial Spirits may bleed,
And all his armour stained, 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
Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath
His confidence to equal God in power.
Yet soon he healed; for Spirits, that live

Vital in every part-not, as frail Man,

In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins

Satan's wound

Other Cannot but by annihilating die;
great Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
deeds 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 de-

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
Threatened, nor from the Holy One of Heaven
Refrained his tongue blasphemous, but anon, 360
Down cloven to the waist, with shattered arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each

Uriel and Raphaël his vaunting foe,

Though huge and in a rock of diamond armed,
Vanquished-Adramelech and Asmadai,
Two potent Thrones, that to be less than Gods
Disdained, but meaner thoughts learned in their


Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and


Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy

The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow 370
Ariel, and Arioch, and the violence
Of Ramiel, scorched 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
Cancelled from Heaven 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 fame :
Therefore eternal silence be their doom!

'And now, their mightiest quelled, the battle


With many an inroad gored; deformed rout
Entered, and foul disorder; all the ground
With shivered armour strown, and on a heap
Chariot and charioteer lay overturned,
And fiery foaming steeds; what stood recoiled,
O'er-wearied, 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 armed;
Such high advantages their innocence
Gave them above their foes-not to have sinned,
Not to have disobeyed; in fight they stood
Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pained

By wound, though from their place by violence


"Now Night her course began, and, over Heaven

Inducing darkness, grateful truce imposed,


The Satanic host gives


Satan en- And silence on the odious din of war.
courages Under her cloudy covert both retired,
his host Victor and vanquished. On the foughten field 410
Michaël and his Angels, prevalent

Encamping, placed in guard their watches round,
Cherubic waving fires: on the other part,
Satan with his rebellious disappeared,
Far in the dark dislodged, and, void of rest,
His potentates to council called by night,
And in the midst thus undismayed began :—


""O now in danger tried, now known in arms
Not to be overpowered, companions dear,
Found worthy not of liberty alone-
Too mean pretence-but, what we more affect,
Honour, dominion, glory, and renown;
Who have sustained one day in doubtful fight
(And, if one day, why not eternal days?)
What Heaven's Lord had powerfullest to send
Against us from about his throne, and judged
Sufficient to subdue us to his will,
But proves not so: then fallible, it seems,
Of future we may deem him, though till now
Omniscient thought! True is, less firmly


Some disadvantage we endured, and pain-
Till now not known, but, known, as soon con-

Since now we find this our empyreal form
Incapable of mortal injury,
Imperishable, and, though pierced with wound,
Soon closing, and by native vigour healed.
Of evil, then, so small, as easy think
The remedy: perhaps more valid arms,
Weapons more violent, when next we meet

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