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Though huge, and in a rock of diamond armi'd,
365 Two potent Thrones, that to be less than Gods Disdain'd, but meaner tboughts learn'd in their flight, Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy
[mail. The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow 370 Ariel and Arioch, and the violence Of Ramiel scorch'd and blasted overthrew. I might relate of thousands, and their names Eternize here on earth ; but those elect Angels, contented with their fame in Heaven, 375 Seek not the praise of men. The other sort In might though wondrous, and in acts of war, Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom Cancell'd from Heaven and sacred memory, Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell. 380 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.
385 And now their mightiest quell'd, the battle swerved, With many an inroad gored; deformed rout Enter'd, and foul disorder; ail the ground With shiver'd armour strewn, and on a heap Chariot and charioteer lay overturn'd,
390 And fiery foaming steeds : what stood, recoil'd O'erwearied, through the faint Satanic host Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surprised, Then first with fear surprised and sense of pain, Fled ignominious, to such evil brought
395 By sin of disobedience, till that hour Not liable to fear, or flight, or pain. Far atherwise th' inviolable Saints In cubic phalanx firm advanced entire, Invulnerable, impenetrably arm'd :
400 Such high advantages their innocence Gave them above their fues, not to have sinn'd,
363. Adramelech, afterwards one of the idols of Sepharvaim, 2 Kings xvii. 31. Asmadai, the same as Asmodeus, Tobit iii. 9.
371. Ariel, a name in Hebrew, meaning a strong lion: Arioch has a similar sense. Ramiel, one exalting himself against God.
391. What stood is the nominative to the verbs recoil'd and ned.
Not to have disobey'd: in fight they stood
404 By wound, tho’ from their place by violence moved.
Now Night her course began, and over Heaven Inducing darkness, grateful truce imposed, And silence on the odious din of war. Under her cloudy covert both retired, Victor and vanquish'd, on the foughten field 410 Michaël and his angels prevalent Encamping, placed in guard their watches round, Cherubic waving fires. On th' other part Satan with bis rebellious disappear'd, Far in the dark dislodged; and void of rest, 415 His potentates to council call’d by night; And in the midst thus undismay'd began :
O now in danger try'd, now known in arms, Not to be overpow'r'd, Companions dear, Found worthy not of liberty alone,
420 Too mean pretence, but what we more affect, Honour, dominion, glory, and renown; Who have sustain'd one day in doubtful fight (And if one day, why not eternal days ?) What Heaven's Lord had pow'rfullest to send 425 Against us from about his throne, and judged Sufficient to subdue us to his will, But proves not so : then fallible, it seems, Of future we may deem him, though till now Omniscient thought. Truc is, less firmly arm'd, 430 Some disadvantage we endured and pain, Till now not known; but known, as soon contemn'd; Since now we find this our empyreal form Incapable of mortal injury, Imperishable, and though pierced with wound, 435 Soon closing, and by native vigour heal'd. Of evil then so small, as easy think The remedy ; perhaps more valid arms, Weapons more violent, when next we'meet, May serve to better us, and worse our foes; 140 Or equal what between us made the odds, In nature none. If other hidden cause Left them superior, while we can preserve Unhurt our minds and understanding sound,
407. Inducing, bringing on.
Due search and consultation will disclose. 445
He sat; and in th' assembly next upstood Nisroch, of principalities the prime. As one he stood escaped from cruel fight, Sore toil'd, his riven arms to havoc hewn, And cloudy in aspect, thus answ'ring spake : 450
Deliverer from new Lords, leader to free Enjoyment of our right as Gods: yet hard For Gods, and too unequal work we find, Against unequal arms to fight in pain, Against unpain'd, impassive ; from which evil 455 Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails Valour or strength, though matchless, quell'd with
pain Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hards Of mightiest? Sense of pleasure we may well Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine, 460 But live content, which is the calmest life: But pain is perfect misery, the worst Of evils, and excessive, overturns All patience. He who therefore can invent With what more forcible we may offend
405 Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves No less than for deliverance what we owe.
Whereto, with look composed, Satan reply'd : Not uninvented that, which thou aright
470 Believ'st so main to our success, I bring: Which of us who beholds the bright surface Of this ethereous mould whereon we stand, This continent of spacious Heav'n, adorn'd With plant, fruit, flow'r ambrosial, gems, and gold ; Whose eye so superficially surveys
476 These things, as pot to mind from whence they grow Deep under ground, materials dark and crude, Of spirituous and fiery spume, till touch'd With Heaven's ray, and temper'd, they shoot forth So bounteous, op'ning to the ambient light? 481 These in their dark nativity the deep
447. Nisroch, god of the Assyrians, in whose temple Senna. cherib was slain. 2 Kings xix. 37. and Isa. xxvii. 37.
489. The deep, not hell, as is usually meant by ti is word, but the under parts of the ground.
Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flame;
He ended, and his words their drooping cheer
500 Impossible; yet haply of thy race In future days, if malice should abound, Some one intent on mischief, or inspired With dev'lish machination, might devise Like instrument to plague the sons of men 505 For sin, on war and mutual slaughter bent. Forthwith from council to the work they flew; None arguing stood ; innumerable hands Were ready; in a moment up they turn'd Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath
510 Th’originals of nature in their crude Conception; sulphurous and nitrous foam They found, they mingled, and with subtle art, Concocted and adjusted they reduced To blackest grain, and into store convey'd. 515 Part hidden veins digg'd up (nor hath this earth Entrails unlike) nf mineral and stone, Whereof to found their engines and their balls Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire. 520 So all ere day-spring, under conscious night, Secret they finish'd, and in order set,
20. Pernicious ; to be understood, it is probable, as the Latis. pornist, quick, speedy.
With silent circumspection unespy'd.
Now when fair morn orient in Heav'n appear'd, Up rose the victor Angels, and to arms
523 The matin-trumpet sung. In arms they stood Of golden panoply, refulgent host, Soon banded: others from the dawning hills Look'd round, and scouts each coast light-armed scour, Each quarter, to descry the distant foe,
530 Where lodged, or whither fled, or if for fight, In motion or in halt. Him soon they met Under spread ensigns moving nigh, in slow But firm battalion. Back with speediest sail Zophiel, of Cherubim the swiftest wing,
535 Came flying, and in mid-air aloud thus cry'd :
Arm, Warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand, Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit This day. Fear not his flight; so thick a cloud He comes, and settled in his face I see
540 Sad resolution and secure. Let each His adamantine coat gird well, and each Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield, Borne ev'n or high; for this day will pour down, If I conjecture aught, no drizzling show'r, 545 But rattling storm of arrows barb'd with fire.
So warn'd he them, aware themselves, and soon In order, quit of all impediment; Instant without disturb they took alarm, And onward moved embattled; when behold, 550 Not distant far with heavy pace the foe Approaching gross and huge, in hollow cube Training his devilish engin'ry, impaled On ev'ry side with shadowing squadrons deep, To hide the fraud. At interview both stood 555 A while; but suddenly at head appear'd Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud:
Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold, That all may see who hate us, how we seek Peace and composure, and with open breast 560
327. Panoply, complete armour.
535. Zophiel, the spy of God.
of an arny.