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His will who bound us? Let him surer bar
His iron gates, if he intends our stay

In that dark durance: thus much what was ask'd.
The rest is true, they found me where they say;
But that implies not violence or harm.


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 wise he judges it to fly from pain
However, and to 'scape his punishment.


So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrath,
Which thou incurr'st by flying, meet thy flight
Sev'nfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell
Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain
Can equal anger infinite provoked.


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
Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid

The blasting volley'd thunder made all speed,
And seconded thy else not dreaded spear.
But still thy words at random, as before,
Argue thy inexperience what behoves
From hard assays and ill successes past,
A faithful leader, not to hazard all


Through ways of danger by himself untry'd:
I therefore, I alone first undertook
To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
This new-created world, whereof in Hell
Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
Better abode, and my afflicted Pow'rs
To settle here on earth, or in mid-air;
Though for possession put to try once more



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,
Your military obedience, to dissolve


Allegiance to th' acknowledged Pow'r Supreme?
And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawn'd, and cringed, and servilely adored
Heav'n's awful Monarch? wherefore but in hope
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
But mark what I arreed thee now, Avaunt;
Fly thither whence thou fledst: if from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chain'd,
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn
The facile gates of Hell too slightly barr'd.
So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats
Gave heed, but, waxing more in rage, reply'd:
Then when I am thy captive, talk of chains,




Proud limitary Cherub; but ere then
Far heavier load thyself expect to feel

From my prevailing arm, though Heav'n's King
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers,
Used to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels
In progress through the road of Heav'n star-paved.
While thus he spake, th' angelic squadron bright
Turn'd fiery red, sharp'ning in mooned horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends



Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
Sways them; the careful plowman doubting stands,
Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves


Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan, alarm'd,
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,
Like Teneriff or Atlas, unremoved:

His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest
Sat horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp

What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dreadful deeds 990
Might have ensued, nor only Paradise

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
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray,
Hung forth in Heav'n his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh'd,
The pendulous round earth with balanced air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles, and realms: in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight;

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The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend:

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
To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,


Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how weak,
If thou resist. The Fiend look'd up, and knew
His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled
Murm'ring, and with him fled the shades of night.




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
Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam waked, so custom'd, for his sleep
Was aery light from pure digestion bred,

And temp❜rate vapours bland, which th' only sound


Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora's fan,

Lightly dispersed, and the shrill matin song
Of birds on ev'ry bough; so much the more
His wonder was to find unwaken'd Eve
With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek,
As through unquiet rest; he on his side
Leaning, half raised, with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamour'd, and beheld
Beauty, which whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces; then with voice
Mild, as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,



Her hand soft touching, whisper'd thus: Awake,

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