صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite
Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor stay'd,
But with swift wheel reverse, deep entring, shar'd
All his right side; then Satan first knew pain,
And writh'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 nect'rous humour issuing flowd
Sanguine, such as celestial sp'rits may bleed,
And all his armour stain'd ere while so bright.
Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run
By Angels many and strong, who interpos'd
Defence; while others bore him on their shields
Back to his chariot, where it stood retir'd
From off the files of war: there they him laid
Gnashing for anguish, and despite and shaine,
To find himself not matchless, and his pride
Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath
His confidence to equal God in pow'r.
Yet soon he heal'd; for sp'rits that live throughout
Vital in every part, not as frail man
In intrạils, 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 size
Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.

Meanwhile 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 defyd,
And at his chariot-wheels to drag him bound
Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of heav'n
Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon
Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each wing
Uriel and Raphael, his vaunting foe

Though huge, and in a rock of diamond arm’d,
Vanquish'd Adramelech, and Asmadai,
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
Eternize here on earth; but those elect
Angels, contented with their fame in heav'n,
Seek not the praise of men: the other sort,
In might though wond'rous, and in acts of war,
Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom
Cancel'd from heav'n and sacred memory,
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell.
For strength from truth divided, and from just
Illaudable, naught merics but dispraise
And ignominy; yet to glory aspires
Vain-glorious, and through infamy seeks fame
Therefore eternal silence be their doom.

And now their mightiest quell'd, the battle sweryd,
With many an inroad gor’d; deformed rout
Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the ground
With shiver'd armour strown, and on a heap
Chariot and charioteer lay overturn'd,
And fiery foaining steeds; what stood, recoil'd
O'er-wearied, through the faint Satanic host
Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surpris'd,
Then first with fear surpris'd and sense of pain
Fled ignominious, to such evil brought
By sin of disobedience, till that hour
Not liable to fear, or flight, or pain.
Far otherwise th' inviolable saints,
In cubic phalanx firm, advanc'd entire,
Invulnerable, impenetrably arm'd;
Such high advantages their innocence
Gave them above their foes, not to have sinnd,
Not to have disobey'd ; in fight they stood

Unwearied, unobnoxious to be paind
By wound, though from their place by violence mov'd.

Now night her course began, and over heav'n
Inducing darkness, grateful truce impos'd,
And silence on the odious din of war:
Under her cloudy covert both retird,
Victor and vanquish'd. On the foughten field
Michael and his Angels prevalent
Incamping, plac'd in guard their watches round,
Cherubic waving fires; on th’other part,
Satan with his rebellious disappeard,
Far in the dark dislodg’d; and void of rest,
Ilis potentates to council cah'd by night;
And in the midst thus undismay'd began:

o now in danger try'd, now known in arms
Not to be overpower'd, companions dear,
Found worthy not of liberty alone
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
Against us from about his throne, and judg'd
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. True is, less firmly arm’d,
Some disadvantage we endur'd, and pain
Till now not known, but known as soon contemnd;
Since now we find this our empyreal form
Incapable of mortal injury,
Imperishable, and though pierc'd with wound
Soon closing, and by native vigour beald.
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,
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,
Due search and consultation will disclose.

He sat; and in th'assembly next upstood
Nisroch, of principalities the prime;
As one he stood escap'd from cruel fight,
Sore toil'd, his riven arms to havoc hewn,
And cloudy in aspect thus answ'ring spake:

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
Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails
Valour or strength, though matchless, quell'd with pain
Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands
Of mightiest? Sense of pleasure we may well
Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine;
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
Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm
Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves
No less than for deliv'rance what we owe.

Whereto with look compos'd Satan reply'd: Not uninvented that, which thou aright Believ'st so mnain to our success, I bring. Which of us who beholds the bright surface Of this etherous 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 These things, as not to mind from whence they grow Deep under ground, materials dark and crude, of spiritous and fiery spume, till touch'd With heaven's ray, and temper'd, they shoot forth So beauteous, op'ning 10 the ainbient light? These in their dark nativity the deep Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flame:

Which into hollow engines, long and round,
Thick-ramm’d, at th' other bore with touch of fire
Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth
From far with thund'ring noise among our foes
Such implements of mischief, as shall dash
To pieces, and o'erwhelm whatever stands
Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarm'd
The Thund'rer of his only dreaded bolt.
Nor long shall be our labour; yet ere dawn,
Effect shall end our wish. Meanwhile revive;
Abandon fear; to strength and counsel join'd
Think nothing hard, inuch less to be despair’d.

He ended, and his words their drooping cheer
Enlighten'd, and their languish'd hope reviv'd.
Th'Invention all admir'd, and each, how he
To be th’ inventor miss'd; so easy it seem'd
Once found, which yet unfound most would have

Impossible. Yet haply of thy race
In future days, if malice should abound,
Some one intent on mischief, or inspird
With devilish machination, might devise
Like instrument to plague the sons of men
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 moinent up they turn'd
Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath
Th’originals of nature in their crude
Conception; sulphurous and nitrous foam
They found, they mingled, and with subtle art,
Concocted and adjusted they reduc'd
To blackest grain, and into store convey'd
Part hidden veins digg'd up (nor hath this eartla
Intrails unlike) of inineral and stone,
Whereof to found their engines and their balls
Of missive ruin; part incentive reed
Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire.
So al ere day-spring, under conscious night
Secret they finish'd, and in order set,

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