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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

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ουτε φοβου μεμνημένον, ουτ' αλε-

239. As only in his arm the mo-
ment lay

Of victory:] As if upon his single arm had depended the whole weight of the victory. The moment, the weight that turns the balance, as the word signifies in Latin, Ter. Andr. i. v. 31. Dum in dubio est animus, paulo momento huc vel illuc impellitur: and as he has employed here the metaphor of the weight, so of the scale a little afterwards-long time in even scale the battle hung -using as a metaphor what Homer makes a simile of, Iliad.

xii. 433.

Αλλ' εχον, ώστε ταλαντα γυνη

Ως μεν των επι ισα μαχη τετατο στο λεμος τε.

As when two scales are charg'd with doubtful loads-


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Tormented all the air; all air seem'd then

Conflicting fire!


and one may

would be entering into too minute a detail of criticism to mention every little circumstance and that is copied from Homer; where he does not directly copy from Homer, his style and colouring is still very much in Homer's see plainly that he has read him, even where he does not imitate him. Wonderful as his genius was, he could hardly have drawn the battles of the angels so well without first reading those in the Iliad; and Homer taught him to excel Homer.

242. That war and various, sometimes on firm ground A standing fight, then soaring &c.]

A standing fight, then soaring on main wing
Tormented all the air; all air seem'd then
Conflicting fire: long time in even scale
The battle hung; till Satan, who that day
Prodigious pow'r had shown, and met in arms
No equal, ranging through the dire attack

Of fighting seraphim confus'd, at length


Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and fell'd 250
Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway
Brandish'd aloft the horrid edge came down
Wide wasting; such destruction to withstand
He hasted, and oppos'd the rocky orb
Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield,

The syntax and sense is; The war was sometimes a standing fight on the ground, and sometimes the war soaring on main wing tormented all the air.

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by Abdiel in the beginning of the action: but I suppose the poet did not consider Abdiel as equal to Satan, though he gained that accidental advantage over him. Satan no doubt would have proved an overmatch for Abdiel, only for the general engagement which ensued, and broke off the combat between them.

251. with huge two-handed sway &c.] It shows how entirely the ideas of chivalry and romance had possessed him, to make Michael fight with a two-handed sword. The same idea occasioned his expressing himself very obscurely in the following lines of his Lycidas, v. 130.

But that two-handed engine at the

Stands ready to smite once, and

smite no more.


255. Of tenfold adamant,] In other poets the angels are armed

A vast circumference: At his approach
The great archangel from his warlike toil
Surceas'd, and glad as hoping here to end
Intestine war in heav'n, th' arch-foe subdued
Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile frown
And visage all inflam'd first thus began.

Author of ev'il, unknown till thy revolt,
Unnam'd in heav'n, now plenteous, as thou seest
These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all,
Though heaviest by just measure on thyself
And thy adherents: how hast thou disturb'd
Heav'n's blessed peace, and into nature brought
Misery, uncreated till the crime


Of thy rebellion? how hast thou instill'd
Thy malice into thousands, once upright

And faithful, now prov'd false? But think not here
To trouble holy rest; heav'n casts thee out
From all her confines. Heav'n the seat of bliss
Brooks not the works of violence and war.
Hence then, and evil go with thee along,

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Thy offspring, to the place of evil, hell,

Thou and thy wicked crew; there mingle broils,
Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom,

Or some more sudden vengeance wing'd from God
Precipitate thee with augmented pain.

So spake the prince of angels; to whom thus
The Adversary. Nor think thou with wind
Of aery threats to awe whom yet with deeds.
Thou canst not. Hast thou turn'd the least of these
To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise
Unvanquish'd, easier to transact with me



That thou should'st hope, imperious, and with threats
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,
Or turn this heav'n itself into the hell
Thou fablest, here however to dwell free,
If not to reign: mean while thy utmost force,
And join him nam'd Almighty to thy aid,

I fly not, but have sought thee far and nigh.
They ended parle, and both address'd for fight

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Thy legions und
All are not of th
Prefer, and piety
To thee not visi
Seem'd in thy w
From all: my s
How few somet
Whom the gr

Thus answer'd. Of my revenge, From flight, sed Thy merited re Of this right ha Inspir'd with co A third part of Their deities to Vigour divine Omnipotence to Before thy fello From me some

147. my sect th The use of the wo place seems a littl singular; and I thinking but Milto in in order to sneer of his time, who dissenters, of whom with the opprobi Sectaries. This for the word few in inasmuch as it su particular view be blish a general m apply it merely t case of Abdiel. T 161.that thy

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