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Of secondary hands, by task transferr'd
From Father to his Son? Strange point and


Doctrine which we would know whence learn'd: who saw

When this creation was? Remember'st thou
Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?
We know no time when we were not as now;
Know none before us, self-hegot, self-rais'd
By our own quick'ning pow'r, when fatal


Had circled his full orb, the birth mature
Of this our native Heav'n, ethereal sons.
Our puissance is our own; our own right

Both of thy crime and punishment: henceforth

Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
Who is our equal: then thou shalt behold
Whether by supplication we intend

Address, and to begirt th' almighty throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,
These tidings carry to th' anointed King:
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.

He said, and as the sound of waters deep Hoarse murmur echo'd to his words applause Through the infinite host; nor less for that The flaming seraph fearless, though alone Incompass'd round with foes, thus answer'd bold.

O alienate from God, O Spirit accurs'd, Forsaken of all good; I see thy fall Determin'd, and thy hapless crew involv'd In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread

No more be troubled how to quit the yoke
Of God's Messiah: those indulgent laws
Will not be now vouchsaf'd; other decrces
Against thee are gone forth without recal;
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, iest 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.

Spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, uninov`d,
Unshaken, unseduc'd, unterrify'd
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal ;
Nor number, nor example with him wrought
To swerve from truth, or change his constant

Though single. From amidst them forth he pass'd,

Long way through hostile scorn, which he sus tain'd

Superior, nor of violence fear'd ought;
And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd
On those proud tow'rs to swift destruction

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Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his Angels. The Arst 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 bis Angels to some disorder; but they at length pulling up mountains everwhelmed both the force and machines of Satan: yet the tumult not so ending, God on the third day sends Messiah his Sou, 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 heav'n's wide champain held his way; till Morn,

Wak'd 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 heav'n

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 rang'd 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 Tartarous, which ready opens wide
His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.

Grateful vicissitude, like day and night;
Light issues forth, and at the other door
Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour
To veil the heav'n, though darkuess there
might well
Seem twilight here: and now went forth the
Such as in highest heav'n, array'd in gold
Empyreal; from before her vanish'd Night,
Shot through with orient beams; when all the

Cover'd with thick embattl'd squadrons bright,
Chariots and flaming arms, and fiery steeds
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view:
War he perceiv'd, war in prociuct, and found
Already known what he for news had thought
To have reported: gladly then he mix'd
Among those friendly pow'rs, who him receiv'd
With joy and acclamations loud, that one,
That of so many myriads fall'n, 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

Servant of God, well done, well hast thou
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 approv'd in sight of God, though
Judg'd thee perverse: the easier conquest now
No. VII.-N. S. Continued from the Poetical part of No. VI. H

So spake the sov'reign voice, and clouds began
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll
In dusky wreathes, reluctant flames, the sign
Of wrath awak'd; nor with less dread the loud
Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow:
At which command the powers militaut,
That stood for Heav'n, in mighty quadrate

Of union irresistible mov'd on

In silence their bright legions, to the sound
Of instrumental harmony, that breath'd
Heroic ardour to advent'rous deeds
Under their God-like leaders, in the cause
Of God and his Messiah. On they move
Judissolubly firm: nor obvious hill,
Nor strait'ning vale, nor wood, nor stream
Their perfect ranks; for high above the
Their march was, and the passive air upborne
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 heav'n they march'd, and many a province

Tenfold the length of this terrene: at last
Far in th' 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


Various, with boastful argument portray'd,
The banded pow'rs of Satan hasting on
With furious expedition; for they ween'd
That self-same day by fight, or by surprize,
To win the mount of God, and on his throne
To set the envier of his state, the proud
Aspirer, but their thoughts prov'd fond and
In the mid way: though strange to us it
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 th' 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

Th' Apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat, Idol of majesty divine, inclos'd

With flaming cherubim and golden shields; Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for


'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 advanc'd
Came tow`ring, arm'd in adamant and gold:
Abdiel that sight indur'd not, where he stood
Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds,
And thus his own undaunted heart explores.

O Heav'n! that such resemblance of the

Should yet remain, where faith and realty Remain not: wherefore should not strength and might

There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove Where boldest, though to sight unconquerable? His puissance, trusting in th' Almighty's aid, I mean to try, whose reason I have try'd Unsound and false; nor is it ought but just, That he who in debate of truth hath won, Should win in arms, in both disputes alike Victor; though brutish that contest and foul, When reason hath to deal with force, yet so Most reason is that reason overcome.

Proud art thou met? thy hope was to have reach'd

So pondering, and from his armed peers Forth stepping opposite, half way he met His daring foe, at this prevention more Incens'd, and thus securely him defy'd,

The height of thy aspiring unoppos'd,
The throne of God unguarded, and his side
Abandon'd at the terror of thy power

Or potent tongue: fool, not to think how vain
Against th' Omnipotent to rise in arms;

Who out of smallest things could without


Have rais'd incessant armies to defeat
Thy folly; or with solitary hand
Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow
Unaided could have finish'd thee, and whelm'd
Thy legions under darkness: but thou seest
All are not of thy train; there be who faith
Prefer, and piety to God, though then

To thee not visible when I alone
Seem'd in thy world erroneous to dissent
From all my sect thou seest; now learn too
[sands err.
How few sometimes may know, when thou
Whom the grand foe with scornful eye ask-
Thus answer'd. Ill for thee, but in wish'd
Of my revenge, first sought for thou return'st
From flight, seditious angel, to receive
Thy merited reward, thy first assay


Of this right hand provok'd, since first that tongue

Inspir'd with contradiction durst oppose
A third part of the Gods, in synod met
Their deities to assert, who while they feel
Vigour divine within them, can allow
Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st
Before thy fellows, ambitions to win
From me some plume, that thy success may


Destruction to the rest: this pause between (Unanswer'd lest thou boast) to let thee know; At first I thought that liberty and heaven To heav'nly souls had been all one; but now I see that most through sloth had rather serve, Ministring Spirits, train'd up in feast and song;

Such hast thou arm'd the minstrelsy of Heaven, Servility with freedom to contend,

As both their deeds compar'd this day shall


To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern reply'd, Apostate, still thou err'st, nor end wilt find Of erring, from the path of truth remote: Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name Of servitude to serve whom God ordains, Or Nature; God and Nature bid the same, When he who rules is worthiest, and excels Them whom he governs. This is servitude, To serve th' unwise, or him who hath rebell'd Against his worthier, as thine own serve thee, Thyself not free, but to thyself inthrall'd;

Yet lewdly dar'st our minist'ring upbraid.
Reign thou in Hell thy kingdom; let me serve
In Heav'n God ever blest, and his divine
Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd;

Yet chains in Hell, not realms expect: mean

[flight, From me return'd, as erst thou saidst, from This greeting on thy impious crest receive.

So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high, Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight, Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield

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 power 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
Squadrons at once; with huge two-hauded
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, bis ample shield,
A vast circumference: at his approach

Th' Arch-angel trumpet; through the vast of The great Arch-angel from his warlike toil


Surceas'd, and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in Heav'n, th' Arch-foe subdu'd
Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile

Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge
He back recoil'd; the tenth on bended knee
His massy spear upstay'd; as if on earth
Winds under ground, or waters forcing way
Sidelong had push'd a mountain from his seat
Half sunk with all his pines. Amazement

When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway,
Of battle, open when, and when to close
The ridges of grim war: no thought of flight,
None of retreat, no unbecoming deed
That argued fear; each on himself rely'd,
As only in his arm the moment lay
Of victory: deeds of eternal faine
Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread
That war and various, sometimes on firm

The rebel thrones, but greater rage to see Thus foil'd their mightiest: ours joy fill'd and shout,

Presage of victory, and fierce desire

Of battle: whereat Michael bid sound

It sounded, and the faithful armies rung
Hosanna to the High'st: nor stood at gaze
The adverse legions, nor less hideous join'd
The horrid shock: now storming fury rose,
And clamour such as heard in Heav'n till now
Was never; arms on armour clashing bray'd
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise
Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss
Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew,
And flying vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery cope together rush'd
Both battles main, with ruinous assault
And in extinguishable rage; all Heav'n
Resounded, and had Earth been then, all
Had to her centre shook. What wonder?
Millions of fire-en count'ring angels fought
On either side, the least of whom could wield
These elements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions: how much more of power
Army against army numberless to raise
Dreadful combustion warring and disturb,
Though not destroy, their happy native seat;
Had not th' eternal King omnipotent
From his strong hold of Heav'n high over-
And limited their might; though number'd
As each divided legion might have seem'd
A numerous host, in strength each armed hand
A legion, led in fight yet leader seem'd
Each warrion single as in chief, expert

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Thou canst not. Hast thou turn'd the least | Sanguine, such as celestial Spirits may bleed,

of these

And all his armour stain'd cre while so bright..
Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run

To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise
Unvanquish'd, easier to transact with me
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 stile
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 parley, and both address'd for
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 height
Of Godlike pow'r? for likest Gods they seem'd,
Stood they or mov'd, in stature, motion,


Fit to decide the empire of great Heaven.
Now wav'd their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles; two broad suns their

Blaz'd opposite, while рес tion stood
In horror; from each hand with speed retir'd,
Where erst was thickest fight, th' 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 aspect maligu
Of fiercest opposition in mid-sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres con-

Together both with next to almighty arm
Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd
That might determine, and not need repeat,
As not of pow'r at once; nor odds appear'd
In might or swift prevention: but the sword
Of Michael from the armoury of God
Was giv'n him temper'd 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 stay'd,
But with swift wheel reverse, deep ent'ring

All his right side: then Satan first knew pain, And weith'd him to and fro convolv'd; so sore The griding sword with discontinuous wound Pass'd through him: but th’ethereal substance clos'd,

Not long divisible; and from the gash
A stream of necta'rous humour issuing flow'd

By Angels many and throng, who interpos'd
Defence, while others bore him on thier shields
Back to his chariot, where it stood retir'd
From off the files of war; there they him laid
Guashing for anguish and despite and shame,
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 heal'd; for Spirits that live throughout

Vital in every part, not as frail mau
In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins,
Cannot but by annihilating die;

Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
Receive, no more than can the fluid air:
All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear,
All intellect, all sense: and as they please,
They limb themselves, and colour, shape or

Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.

Mean while in other parts like deeds deserv'd
Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought,
And with fierce ensigns pierc'd the deep array
Of Moloch furious king; who him defy'd,
And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound
Threaten'd, not from the Holy One of Heaven
Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon
Down cloven to the waist with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each

Uriel and Raphael his vaunting foe,
Though huge, and in a rock of diamond arm'd
Vanquish'd Adramelech, and Asmaida,
Two potent thrones, that to be less than Gods
Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learn'd in
their flight,

Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and mail.

Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy
The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow
Ariel and Arioch, and the violence
Of Ramiel scorch'd and blasted overthrew.
I might relate of thousands, and their names
Eteruize 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 wond'rous and in acts of


Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom
Cancell'd from Heav'n 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.

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