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O alienate from God! O Spirit accursed,
Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall
Determined, and thy hapless crew involved
In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread
Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth
No more be troubled how to quit the yoke
Of God's Messiah: those indulgent laws
Will not be now vouchsafed: other decrees
Against thee are gone forth, without recall.
That golden sceptre, which thou didst reject,
Is now an iron rod to bruise and break
Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise :
Yet not for thy advice or threats, I fly
These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath
Impendent, raging into sudden flame,
Distinguish not: for soon expect to feel
His thunder on thy head, devouring fire.
Then who created thee lamenting learn,
When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.'
"So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he:
Among innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal :
Nor number, nor example, with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind,
Though single. From amidst them forth he pass'd,
Long way through hostile scorn; which he sustain'd
Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught;

And, with retorted scorn, his back he turn'd
On those proud towers to swift destruction doom'd,"



The Argument.

Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his Angels. The first fight described: Satan and his Powers retire under night : he calls a council; invents devilish engines, which, in the second day's fight, put Michael and his Angels to some disorder; but they at length, pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the force and machines of Satan: yet, the tumult not so ending, God, on the third day, sends MESSIAH his Son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that victory. He, in the power of his Father, coming to the place, and causing all his legions to stand still on either side, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to resist, towards the wall of heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prepared for them in the deep. MESSIAH returns with triumph to his Father.

"ALL night the dreadless angel, unpursued, Through heaven's wide champain held his way till Morn,

Waked by the circling Hours, with rosy hand Unbarr'd the gates of light. There is a cave Within the mount of God, fast by his throne, Where light and darkness in perpetual round Lodge and dislodge by turns; which makes through Grateful vicissitude, like day and night. [heaven Light issues forth, and at the other door Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour


To veil the heaven, though darkness there might

Seem twilight here: and now went forth the Morn Such as in highest heaven array'd in gold

Empyreal: from before her vanish'd Night,
Shot through with orient beams: when all the plain
Cover'd with thick-embattled squadrons bright,
Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds,
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view.
War he perceived, war in procinct; and found
Already known, what he for news had thought
To have reported: gladly then he mix'd
Among those friendly Powers; who him received
With joy and acclamations loud, that one,
That of so many myriads fallen, yet one,
Return'd, not lost. On to the sacred hill
They led him high applauded, and present
Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice,
From midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard :
'Servant of God! well done; well hast thou fought
The better fight, who single hast maintain'd
Against revolted multitudes the cause

Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms;
And for the testimony' of truth hast borne
Universal reproach, far worse to bear
Than violence: for this was all thy care

To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds
Judged thee perverse. The easier conquest now
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
Back on thy foes more glorious to return,
Than scorn'd thou didst depart; and to subdue
By force, who reason for their law refuse,
Right reason for their law, and for their King
Messiah; who by right of merit reigns.
Go, Michael! of celestial armies prince,
And thou, in military prowess next,
Gabriel! lead forth to battle these my sons,
Invincible: lead forth my armed saints,

By thousands and by millions, ranged for fight,
Equal in number to that godless crew
Rebellious: them with fire and hostile arms
Fearless assault; and, to the brow of heaven
Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss,
Into their place of punishment, the gulf
Of Tartarus; which ready opens wide
His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.'

"So spake the Sovran Voice, and clouds began
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll
In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign
Of wrath awaked: nor with less dread the loud
Etherial trumpet from on high 'gan blow:
At which command the Powers militant,
That stood for heaven, in mighty quadrate join'd
Of union irresistible, moved on

In silence their bright legions, to the sound
Of instrumental harmony, that breathed
Heroic ardor to adventurous deeds
Under their godlike leaders, in the cause
Of God and his Messiah. On they move
Indissolubly firm: nor obvious hill,

Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream, divides
Their perfect ranks; for high above the ground
Their march was, and the passive air upbore
Their nimble tread: as when the total kind
Of birds, in orderly array on wing,
Came summon'd over Eden to receive
Their names of thee: so over many a tract
Of heaven they march'd, and many a province wide,
Tenfold the length of this terrene: at last,
Far in the' horizon to the north appear'd
From skirt to skirt a fiery region, stretch'd
In battailous aspect; and nearer view,

Bristled with upright beams innumerable
Of rigid spears, and helmets throng'd, and shields
Various, with boastful argument portray'd,
The banded powers of Satan hasting on
With furious expedition: for they ween'd
That self-same day, by fight, or by surprise,
To win the mount of God; and on his throne
To set the envier of his state, the proud

Aspirer; but their thoughts proved fond and vain
In the mid way: though strange to us it seem'd
At first, that angel should with angel war,
And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet
So oft in festivals of joy and love
Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire,
Hymning the' Eternal Father: but the shout
Of battle now began, and rushing sound
Of onset ended soon each milder thought.
High in the midst, exalted as a god,
The' apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat,
Idol of majesty divine, inclosed

With flaming Cherubim, and golden shields:
Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now
"Twixt host and host but narrow space was left,
A dreadful interval, and front to front
Presented stood in terrible array

Of hideous length: before the cloudy van,
On the rough edge of battle ere it join'd,
Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced,
Came towering, arm'd in adamant and gold.
Abdiel that sight endured not, where he stood
Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds;
And thus his own undaunted heart explores :
'O Heaven! that such resemblance of the Highest
Should yet remain, where faith and reälty

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