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النشر الإلكتروني

Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb,
Though not destroy, their happy native seat;
Had oot th' eternal King omnipotent
From his strong bold of heaven high overruld
And limited their might; though number'd such
As each divided legion might have seein'd
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 flight,
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
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 fellid
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,
A vast circumference. At bis approach
The great archangel, from his warlike toil
Surceas'd, and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in heaven, 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 heaven, 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 disturbid
Heaven'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 ; beaven casts thee out
From all her confines. Heaven, 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 arenging 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
Unvanquisb’d; easier to transact with me
That thou shouldst hope, imperious, and with threats
To chase me bence ? 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 heaven 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 fy not, but have sought thee far and nigh.'

They ended parle, aud 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 power? for likest gods they seem'd, Stood they or mov'd, in stature, motion, arms, 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 shields Biaz'd opposite, while expectation stood

In horror; from each hand with speed retird, Where erst was thickest fight, th' angelic throng, - And left large field, unsafe within the wind Or 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 malign Of fiercest opposition, in mid-sky Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound. Together both with next t’ almighty arm Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd That might determine, and not need repeat, As not of power at once ; nor odds appear'd In might or swift prevention : but the sword Of Michael, from the armoury of God, Was given bim temper'd so, that neither keen Nor solid migbt resist that edge : il met The sword of Satan with steep force to smite Descending, and in balf cut sheer; nor stay'd, But with swift wbeel reverse, deep entring shar'd All his right side: then Satan first knew pain, And writh'd bim to and fro convolv'd : so sore The griding sword with discontinuous wound Pass'd thro' him ; but th' éthereal substance clos'd, Not long divisible; and from the gash A stream of nect'rous humour issuing flow'd Sanguine, such as celestial spirits 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, wbile others bore him on their shields Back to his chariot, where it stood retir'd From off the files of war. There they bim laid Gnashing 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 heald; for spirits that live throughout Vital in every part, not as frail man 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 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 defied,
And at his chariot. wheels to drag him bound
Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of heaven
Refrain’d bis tongue blasphemous: but anon
Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain, fed 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,
Pwo potent thrones, that to be less than gods
Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learn'd in their flight,
Mangled with ghastly wounds thro' plate and mail.
Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy
The athiest crew, but with redoubled blow
Ariel and Arioch, and the violence
Of Ramiel, scorch'd and blasted, overtbrew.
I might relate of thousands, and their names
Eternize here on earth ; but those elect
Angels, contented with their fame in heaven,
Svek 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.
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.

“ And now their mightiest quell'd, the battle With many an inroad gor’d; deformed rout (swery'd, Enter'd, and foul disorder ; all the ground

With shiver'd armour strown, and on a heap
Chariot and cliarioteer lay overturn'd,
And fiery foaming steeds; what stood, recoild
O'erwearied, 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 Rigbt, 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 sinn'd,
Not to have disobey'd ; in fight they stood
Unwearied, udobnoxious to be pain'd
By wound, tho' from their place by violence mov'd.

“Now night her course began, and over heaven
Inducing darkness, grateful truce impos’d,
And silence on the odious din of war ;
Under her cloudy covert both retir’d,
Victor and vanquish’d. On the foughten field
Michael and his angels prevalent
Encamping, plac'd in guard their watches round
Cherubic waving fires: on th’ other part
Satan witis his rebellious disappear’d,
Far in the dark dislodg’d; and, void of rest,
His potentates to council call'd by night;
And in the midst thus undismay'd began :

“O now in danger tried, now known in arms Not to be overpower’d, companiosis 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 powerfullest to send Against us from about his throne, and judg'd Sufficient to subdue us to bis will, But proves not so : then fallible, it seems, Or future we may deein him, though till now

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