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Right reason for their law, and for their king The apostate in his sunbright chariot sat,
Messiah, who by right of merit reigns.

Idol of majesty divine, enclosed
Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince,

With flaming cherubim and golden shields; And thou, in military prowess next,

Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now Gabriel, lead forth to battle these my sons

'Twixt host and host but narrow space was left, Invincible; lead forth my armed saints,

A dreadful interval, and front to front
By thousands and by millions, ranged for fight, Presented stood in terrible array
Equal in number to that godless crew

Of hideous length: before the cloudy van, Rebellious; them with fire and hostile arms On the rough edge of battle ere it joined, Fearless assault; and, to the brow of Heaven Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss Came towering, armed in adamant and gold; Into their place of punishment, the gulf Abdiel that sight endured not, where he stood Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide

Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds, His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.'

And thus his own undaunted heart explores. "So spake the sovereign voice, and clouds began “O Heaven, that such resemblance of the To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll

Highest In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign Should yet remain, where faith and fealty Of wrath awaked; nor with less dread the loud Remain not: wherefore should not strength and Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow:

might At which command the powers militant,

There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove That stood for Heaven, in mighty quadrate joined Where boldest, though to sight unconquerable ? Of union irresistible, moved on

His puissance, trusting in th' Almighty's aid, In silence their bright legions, to the sound I mean to try, whose reason I have tried Of instrumental harmony, that breathed Unsound and false; nor is it aught but just, Heroic ardour to adventurous deeds

That he, who in debate of truth hath won, Under their godlike leaders, in the cause Should win in arms, in both disputes alike Of God and his Messiah. On they move, Victor; though brutish that contest and foul, Indissolubly firm, nor obvious hill,

When reason hath to deal with force, yet so Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream divides Most reason is that reason overcome.' Their perfect ranks; for high above the ground "So pondering, and from his armed peers Their march was, and the passive air upbore Forth stepping opposite, half-way he met Their nimble tread; as when the total kind His daring foe, at this prevention more Of birds, in orderly array on wing,

Incensed, and thus securely him defied. Came, summoned over Eden, to receive

“Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have Their names of thee; so over many a tract

reached Of Heaven they marched, and many a province The height of thy aspiring unopposed, wide

The throne of God unguarded, and his side Tenfold the length of this terrene: at last, Abandoned, at the terror of thy power Far in th' horizon to the north appeared Or potent tongue: fool! not to think how vain From skirt to skirt a fiery region, stretch Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms; In battailous aspect, and nearer view

Who out of smallest things could, without end, Bristled with upright beams innumerable Have raised incessant armies to defeat Of rigid spears, and helmets thronged, and shields Thy folly; or with solitary hand Various, with boastful argument portrayed, Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow, The landed powers of Satan, hasting on Unaided, could have finished thee, and whelmed With furious exhibition; for they weened Thy legions under darkness: but thou seest That self-same day, by fight or by surprise All are not of thy train; there be who faith To win the mount of God, and on his throne Prefer, and piety to God, though then To set the envier of his state, the proud

To thee not visible, when I alone Aspirer; but their thoughts proved fond and vain Seemed in thy world crroneous to dissent In the midway: though strange to us it seemed From all: my sect thou seest; now learn too late At first, that angel should with angel war, How few sometimes may know, when thousands And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet

err. So oft in festivals of joy and love

"Whom the grand foe, with scornful eye askance, Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire,

Thus answered. "I'll for thee, but in wished hour, Hymning the eternal Father: but the shout Of my revenge, first sought for, thou returnest Of battle now began, and rushing sound From flight, seditious angel! to receive Of onset ended soon each milder thought. Thy merited reward, the first assay High in the midst, exalted as a God,

Of this right hand provoked, since first that tongue

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Inspired with contradiction, durst oppose Of fiery darts in flaming volleys flew,
A third part of the Gods, in synod met And, flying, vaulted either host with fire.
Their deities to assert, who, while they feel So under fiery cope together rushed
Vigour divine within them, can allow

Both battles main, with ruinous assault
Omnipotence to none. But well thou comest And inextinguishable rage; all Heaven
Before thy fellows, ambitious to win

Resounded, and, had earth been then, all earth From me some plume, that thy success may show Had to her centre shook. What wonder, when Destruction to the rest: this pause between Millions of fierce encountering angels fought (Unanswered lest thou boast) to let thee know; On either side, the least of whom could wield At first I thought that liberty and Heaven These elements, and arm him with the force To heavenly souls had been all one; but now Of all their regions: how much more of power I see that most through sloth had rather serve, Army against army numberless to raise Ministering spirits, trained up in feast and song! Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, Such hast thou armed, the minstrelsy of Heaven, Though not destroy, their happy native seat; Servility with freedom to contend,

Had not the Eternal King omnipotent, As both their deeds compared this day shall prove. From his strong hold of Heaven, high overruled

To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern replied, And limited their might; though numbered such Apostate! still thou err'st, nor end wilt find As each divided legion might have seemed Of erring, from the path of truth remote: A numerous host; in strength each armed hand Unjustly thou depravest it with the name A legion; led in fight, yet leader seemed Of servitude, to serve whom God ordains, Each warrior single as in chief, expert Or nature: God and nature bid the same, When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway When he who rules is worthiest, and excels Of battle, open when, and when to close Them whom he governs. This is servitude, The ridges of grim war: no thought of flight, To serve the unwise, or him who hath rebelled None of retreat, no unbecoming deed Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, That argued fear; each on himself relied, Thyself not free, but to thyself inthralled; As only in his arm the moment lay Yet lewdly darest our ministering upbraid. Of victory: deeds of eternal fame Reign thou in hell thy kingdom; let me serve Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread In Heaven God ever blest, and his divine That war and various; sometimes on firm ground Behests obey, worthiest to be obeyed;

A standing fight, then, soaring on main wing, Yet chains in hell, not realms expect; meanwhile Tormented all the air; all air seemed then From me returned, as erst thou saidst, from flight, Conflicting fire. Long time in even scale This greeting on thy impious crest receive.' The battle hung; till Satan, who that day

“So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high, Prodigious power had shown, and met in arms Which hung not, but so swist with tempest fell No equal, ranging through the dire attack On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight, Of fighting seraphim confused, at length Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield, Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and felled Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge

Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway He back recoiled; the tenth on bended knee Brandished aloft, the horrid edge came down His massy spear upstayed; as if on earth Wide wasting; such destruction to withstand Winds under ground, or waters forcing way, He hasted, and opposed the rocky orb Sidelong had pushed a mountain from his seat, Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield, Half sunk with all his pines. Amazement seized A vast circumference. At his approach The rebel thrones, but greater rage, to see The great archangel from his warlike toil Thus foiled their mightiest; ours joy filled, and Surceased, and glad, as hoping here to end shout,

Intestine war in Heaven, the arch foe subdued, Presage of victory, and fierce desire

Or captive dragged in chains, with hostile frown, Of battle: whereat Michael bid sound

And visage all inflamed, first thus began. Th’archangel trumpet; through the vast of heaven ". Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt, It sounded, and the faithful armies rung Unnamed in Heaven, now plenteous as thou seest Hosanna to the Highest: nor stood at gaze

These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all,
The adverse legions, nor less hideous joined Though heaviest by just measure on thyself
The horrid shock. Now storining fury rose, And thy adherents: how hast thou disturbed
And clamour such as heard in Heaven till now Heaven's blessed peace, and into nature brought
Was

as never; arms on armour, clashing brayed Misery, uncreated till the crime
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels Of thy rebellion! how hast thou instilled
Of brazen chariots raged; dire was the noise Thy malice into thousands, once upright
Of conflict; over head the disinal hiss

And faithful, now proved false! But think not here

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To trouble holy rest; Heaven casts thee out Passed through him: but the ethereal substance
From all her confies: Heaven, the seat of bliss, closed,
Brooks not the works of violence and war. Not long divisible; and from the gash
Hence then, and evil go with thee along, A stream of nectarous humour issuing flowed
Thy offspring, to the place of evil, hell;

Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed,
Thou and thy wicked crew! there mingle broils, And all his armour stained, erewhile so bright.
Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom, Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run
Or some more sudden vengeance, winged from God, By angels many and strong, who interposed
Precipitate thee with augmented pain!'

Defence, while others bore him on their shields
"So spake the prince of angels; to whom thus Back to his chariot, where it stood retired
The adversary. "Nor think thou with wind From off the files of war; there they him laid
Of airy threats to awe whom yet with deeds Gnashing for anguish, and despite and shame,
Thou canst not. Hast thou turned the least of these To find himself not matchless, and his pride
To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath
Unvanquished, easier to transact with me His confidence to equal God in power.
That thou shouldst hope, imperious, and with Yet soon he healed; for spirits that live throughout
threats

Vital in every part, not as frail man
To chase me hence? err not, that so shall end In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins,
The strife which thou callest evil, but we style Can not but by annihilating die;
The strife of glory; which we mean to win, Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
Or turn this Heaven itself into the hell

Receive, no more than can the fluid air:
Thou fablest; here however to dwell free, All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear,
If not to reign: meanwhile thy utmost force, All intellect, all sense; and as they please,
And join him named Almighty to thy aid, They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size
I Hy not, but have sought thee far and nigh.' Assume as likes them best, condense or rare.

They ended parle, and both addressed for fight “Meanwhile in other parts like deeds deserved Unspeakable ; for who, though with the tongue Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, Of angels, can relate, or to what things

And with fierce ensigns pierced the deep array Liken on earth conspicuous, that may lift Of Moloch, furious king; who him defied, Human imagination to such height

And at his chariot wheels to him bound Of godlike power ? for likest gods they seemed, Threatened, nor from the Holy One of Heaven Stood they or moved, in stature, motion, arms, Refrained his tongue blasphemous; but anon, Fit to decide the empire of great Heaven. Down cloven to the waist, with shattered arms Now waved their fiery swords, and in the air And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each wing Made horrid circles; two broad suns their shields Uriel, and Raphael, his vaunting foe, Blazed opposite, while expectation stood Though huge, and in a rock of diamond armed In horror; from each hand with speed retired, Vanquished Adramelech and Asmadai, Where erst was thickest fight, the angelic throng, Two potent thrones, that to be less than Gods And left large field, unsafe within the wind Disdained, but meaner thoughts learned in their Of such commotion, such as, to set forth

flight, Great things by small

, if, nature's concord broke, Mangled with ghastly wounds through plate and Among the constellations war were sprung,

mail. Two planets, rushing from aspect malign Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky

The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound. Ariel, and Arioch, and the violence Together both with next to Almighty arm Of Ramiel, scorched and blasted, overthrew. Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aimed I might relate of thousands, and their names That might determine, and not need repeat, Eternize here on earth; but those elect As not of power at once; nor odds appeared Angels, contented with their fame in Heaven, In might or swift prevention ; but the sword Seek not the praise of men; the other sort, Of Michael, from the armoury of God,

In might though wondrous, and in acts of war, Was given him tempered so, that neither keen Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom Nor solid might resist that edge: it met

Cancelled from Heaven and sacred memory The sword of Satan, with steep force to smite Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell. Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor stayed, For strength, from truth divided and from just, But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shared Illaudable, naught merits but dispraise All his right side: then Satan first knew pain, And ignominy, yet to glory aspires And writhed him to and fro convolved; so sore Vain glorious, and through infamy seeks fame The griding sword with discontinuous wound Therefore eternal silence be their doom.

“And now, their mightiest quelled, the battle In nature none; if other hidden cause swerved,

Left them superior, while we can preserve With many an inroad gored; deformed rout Unhurt our minds and understanding sound, Entered, and foul disorder; all the ground

Due search and consultation will disclose.' With shivered armour strown, and on a heap

“He sat; and in the assembly next upstood Chariot and charioteer lay overturned,

Nisroch, of principalities the prime: And fiery foaining steeds; what stood recoiled As one he stood escaped from cruel fight, O'er wearied, through the faint satanic host Sore toiled, his riven arms to havoc hewn, Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surprised, And cloudy in aspect thus answering spake. Then first with fear surprised and sense of pain, · Deliverer from new lords, leader to free Fled ignominious, to such evil brought

Enjoyment of our rights as gods; yet hard By sin of disobedience; till that hour

For gods, and too unequal work we find, Not liable to fear, or flight, or pain.

Against unequal arms to fight in pain, Far otherwise the inviolable saints,

Against unpained, impassive; from which evil In cubic phalanx firm, advanced entire,

Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails Invulnerable, impenetrably armed;

Valour or strength, though matchless, quelled with Such high advantages their innocence

pain Gave them above their foes, not to have sinned, Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands Not to have disobeyed; in fight they stood Of mightiest ? Sense of pleasure we may well Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pained

Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine, By wound, though from their place by violence But live content, which is the calmest life: moved.

But pain is perfect misery, the worst "Now night her course began, and over Heaven Ofevils, and excessive, overturns Inducing darkness, grateful truce imposed, All patience. He who therefore can invent And silence on the odious din of war:

With what more forcible we may offend
Under her cloudy covert both retired,

Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm
Victor and vanquished: on the foughten field Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves
Michael and his angels prevalent

No less than for deliverance what we owe.' Encamping, placed in guard their watches round, “Whereto with look composed Satan replied. Cherubic waving fires: on the other part,

'Not uninvented that, which thou aright Satan with his rebellious disappeared,

Believest so main to our success, I bring. Far in the dark dislodged; and, void of rest,

Which of us who beholds the bright surface His potentates to council called by night;

Of this ethereous mould whereon we stand, And in the midst thus undismayed began.

This continent of spacious Heaven, adorned "O now in danger tried, now known in arms With plant, fruit, fiower, ambrosial, gems, and Not to be overpowered, companions dear,

gold; Found worthy not of liberty alone,

Whose eye so superficially surveys Too mean pretence! but, what we more affect,

These things as not to mind from whence they grow Honour, dominion, glory, and renown;

Deep under ground, materials dark and crude, Who have sustained one day in doubtful fight Of spirituous and fiery spume, till, touched (And if one day, why not eternal days?) With Heaven's ray, and tempered, they shoot forth What Heaven's Lord had power fullest to send So beauteous, opening to the ambient light? Against us from about his throne, and judged These in their dark nativity the deep Sufficient to subdue us to his will,

Shall yield us, pregnant with infernal flame; But proves not so: then fallible, it seems, Which into hollow engines long and round Of future we may deem him, though till now Thick rammed, at th' other bore with touch of fire Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly armed, Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth Some disadvantage we endured and pain, From far, with thundering noise, among our foes Till now not known, but, known, as soon con- Such implements of mischief, as shall dash temned;

To pieces, and o’erwhelm whatever stands Since now we find this our empyreal form Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarmed Incapable of mortal injury,

The Thunderer of his only dreaded bolt. Imperishable, and though pierced with wound, Nor long shall be our labour; yet cre dawn, Soon closing, and by native vigour healed. Effect shall end our wish. Meanwhile revive; Of evil then so small, as easy think

Abandon fear; to strength and council joined The remedy; perhaps more valid arms,

Think nothing hard, much less to be despaired.' Weapons more violent, when next we meet, “ He ended, and his words their drooping cheer May serve to better us, and worse our foes, Enlightened, and their languished hope revived. Or equal what between us made the odds, Th'invention all admired, and each, how he

To be the inventor missed; so easy it seemed On every side with shadowing squadrons deep, Once found, which, yet unfound, most would have To hide the fraud. At interview both stood thought

A while; but suddenly at head appeared Impossible: yet, haply, of thy race

Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud. In future days, if malice should abound,

Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold Some one, intent on mischief, or inspired That all may see who hate us, how we seek With devilish machination, might devise Peace and composure, and with open breast Like instrument to plague the sons of men Stand ready to receive them, if they like For sin, on war and mutual slaughter bent. Our overture, and turn not back perverse : Forthwith from council to the work they flew; But that I doubt; however, witness Heaven! None arguing stood: innumerable hands Heaven, witness thou anon! while we discharge Were ready; in a moment up they turned Freely our part: ye who appointed stand, Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch The originals of nature in their crude

What we propound, and loud that all may hear! Conception ; sulphurous and nitrous foam

“So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce They found, they mingled, and with subtle art, Had ended, when to right and left the front Concocted and adjusted, they reduced

Divided, and to either flank retired; To blackest grain, and into store conveyed : Which to our eyes discovered, new and strange, Part hidden veins digged up (nor hath this earth A triple mounted row of pillars laid Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone,

On wheels (for like to pillars most they seemed, Whereof to found their engines and their balls Or hollowed bodies made of oak or fir, Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed

With branches lopt, in wood or mountain felled) Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire. Brass, iron, stony mould, had not their mouths So all, ere dayspring, under conscious night, With hideous orifice gaped on us wide, Secret they finished, and in order set,

Portending hollow truce : at each behind With silent circumspection, unespied.

A seraph stood, and in his hand a reed * Now when fair morn orient in Heaven ap- Stood waving tipt with fire; while we, suspense, peared,

Collected stood within our thoughts amused, Up rose the victor angels, and to arms

Not long; for sudden all at once their reeds
The matin trumpet sung: in arms they stood Put forth, and to a narrow vent applied
Of golden panoply, refulgent host,

With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame,
Soon banded; others from the dawning hills But soon obscured with smoke, all Heaven ap-
Look round, and scouts each coast light armed peared,
SCOUT,

From those deep-throated engines belched, whose Each quarter to descry the distant foe,

roar
Where lodged, or whether fled, or if for fight, Embowelled with outrageous noise the air,
In motion or in halt: him soon they met And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul
Under spread ensigns moving nigb, in slow Their devilish glut, chained thunderbolts and hail
But firm battalion ; back with speediest sail Of iron globes; which on the victor host
Zophiel, of cherubim the swiftest wing, Levelled, with such impetuous fury smote,
Came flying, and in mid air aloud thus cried. That whom they hit, none on their feet might

“Arm, warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand, stand,
Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit Though standing else as rocks, but down they
This day; fear not his flight; so thick a cloud fell
He comes, and settled in his face I see By thousands, angel on archangel rolled;
Sad resolution and secure: let each

The sooner for their arms; unarmed, they might
His adamantine coat gird well, and each Have easily, as spirits, evaded swift
Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield, By quick contraction or remove; but now
Borne ev'n or high; for this day will pour down, Foul dissipation followed, and forced rout;
If I conjecture aught, no drizzling shower, Nor served it to relax their serried files.
But rattling storm of arrows barbed with fire.' What should they do? if on they rushed, repulse
"So warned he them, aware themselves, and Repeated, and indecent overthrow
soon

Doubled, would render them yet more despised, In order quit of all impediment;

And to their foes a laughter; for in view Instant without disturb they took alarm, Stood ranked of seraphim another row, And onward moved embattled; when, behold! In posture to displode their second tier Not distant far, with heavy pace the foe Of thunder: back defeated to return Approaching, gross and huge, in hollow cub They worse abhorred. Satan beheld their plight, Training his devilish enginery, impaled And to his mates thus in derision called.

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