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النشر الإلكتروني

Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower
More sacred and sequester'd, though but feign'd,
Pan or Sylvanus never slept, nor nymph,
Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in close recess,
With flowers, garlands, and sweet smelling herbs,
Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed,
And heav'nly quires the hymenran sung,
What day the genial angel to our sire
Brought her, in naked beauty more adorn’d,
More lovely, than Pandora, whom the gods
Endow'd with all their gifts, and, 0! too like
In sad event, when to th’unwiser son
of Japhet brought by Hermes, she inspar'd
Mankind with her fair looks, to be aveng'd
On him who had stole Jove's authentic fire.

Thus at their shady lodge arriv'd, both stood,
Both turn’d, and under open sky ador'd
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaving
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole: Thou also mad'st the night,
Maker omnipotent, and thou the day,
Which we in our appointed work employ'd
Have finish'd happy in our mutual help,
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
Ordain'd by thee; and this delicious place,
For us too large, where thy abundance wants
Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.
But thou hast promis'd from us two a race
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.

This said unanimous, and other rites Observing none, but adoration pure, Which God likes best, into their inmost bower Handed they went; and easd the putting off These troublesome disguises which we wear, Straight side by side were laid; nor turn'd, I ween, Adam from his fair spouse, nor Eve the rites Mysterious of connubial love refus'di

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It sounded, and the faithful arınies rung
Hosanna to the highest: 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 Hying vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery cope together rush'd
Both battles main, with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage: all heav'n
Resounded; and had earth been then, all earth
Had to her centre shook. What wonder? when
Millions of tierce encount'ring angels fought
On either side, the least of whoin could wield
These elements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions: how much more of pow'r
Army against army numberless to save
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-ruld
And limited their might, though number'd such
As each divided legion mnight have seeind
A numerous host, in strength each armed hand
A legion, led in fight, yet leader seem'd,
Each warrior single as in chief, expert
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 flicht,
None of retreat, no unbecoming deed
That argu'd fear; each on himself rely'd,
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
A standing fight; then soaring on maid 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
Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway
Brandish'd aloft the horrid edge came down
Wide wasting; such destruction to withstand
Ile hasted, and oppos'd the rocky orb
Of ten-fold adamant, his ample shield,
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 subdu'd
Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile frown
And visage all inflam'd first thus began:

Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt,
Unnam'd in heav'll, now plenteous, as thou seest
These acts of hateful strife, bateful 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 rebeliiun? how hast thou instilld
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,
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 airy 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
Than thou shouldst 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: meanwhile 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 fight
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, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great Heav'n.
Now wav'd their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles; two broad suns their shields
Blaz’d opposite, while expectation stood
In horror: from each hand with speed retir'd
Where erst was thickest fight, tlı’angelic throng,
And lert large field, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion, such as, to set forth
Great things by small, if Nature's concord broke,
Among the constellations war were sprung,
Two planets rushing from aspect maliga
Of fiercest opposition in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound,
Together both with next to Alinighty 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 hiin temper'd so, that neither keen
Nor solid might resist that edge; it met

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