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His will who bound us? Let him surer bar
In that dark durance: thus much what was ask'd.
Thus he in scorn. The warlike Angel moved Disdainfully, half smiling, thus reply'd:
O loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,
And now returns him from his prison 'scaped,
Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither,
Unlicensed from his bounds in Hell prescribed;
So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrath,
But wherefore thou alone? Wherefore with thee
Came not all Hell broke loose? Is pain to them
Less pain, less to be fled? or thou than they
Less hardy to endure? Courageous Chief,
The first in flight from pain, hadst thou alleged
To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.
To which the Fiend thus answer'd, frowning stern:
Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,
Insulting Angel: well thou know'st I stood
The blasting volley'd thunder made all speed,
Through ways of danger by himself untry'd:
What thou and thy gay legions dare against;
Whose easier bus'ness were to serve their Lord
High up in Heav'n, with songs to hymn his throne,
And practised distances to cringe, not fight.
To whom the warrior Angel soon reply'd:
To say and straight unsay, pretending first
Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy,
Argues no leader, but a liar traced,
Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name,
O sacred name of faithfulness profaned!
Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
Army of Fiends, fit body to fit head.
Was this your discipline and faith engaged,
Allegiance to th' acknowledged Pow'r Supreme?
Proud limitary Cherub; but ere then
From my prevailing arm, though Heav'n's King
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan, alarm'd,
His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dreadful deeds 990
In this commotion, but the starry cope
Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the elements
At least had gone to wrack, disturb'd and torn
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;
Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st mine;
Neither our own, but giv'n. What folly then
To boast what arms can do? since thine no more
Than Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now
Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how weak,
Morning approached, Eve relates to Adam her troublesome dream; he likes it not, yet comforts her: They come forth to their day labours: Their morning hymn at the door of their bower. God, to render man inexcusable, sends Raphael to admonish him of his obedience, of his free estate, of his enemy near at hand, who he is, and why his enemy, and whatever else may avail Adam to know. Raphael comes down to Paradise, his appearance described, his coming discerned by Adam afar off, sitting at the door of his bower; he goes out to meet him, brings him to his lodge, entertains him with the choicest fruits of Paradise got together by Eve; their discourse at table: Raphael performs his message, minds Adam of his state and of his enemy: relates, at Adam's request, who that enemy is, and how he came to be so, beginning from his first revolt in Heaven, and the occasion thereof; how he drew his legions after him to the parts of the north, and there incited them to rebel with him, persuading all but only Abdiel a Seraph; who in argument dissuades and opposes him, then forsakes him.
Now morn her rosy steps in th' eastern clime
And temp❜rate vapours bland, which th' only sound
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,
Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song
Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: Awake,