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Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help
This said unanimous, and other rites
Of father, son, and brother, first were known.
Now had night measur'd with her shadowy cone
Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south With strictest watch; these other wheel the north; Our circuit meets full west. As flame they part, Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear. 785 From these, two strong and subtle Spi'rits he callid
That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge.
ITHURIEL and Zephon, with wing'd speed Search through this garden, leave unsearch'd no nook; But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge, 790 Now laid perhaps asleep secure of harm. This evening from the sun's decline arriv'd Who tells of some infernal Spirit seen Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escap'd The bars of Hell, on errạnd bad no doubt; 795 Such where ye find, seize fast, and hither bring.
So saying, on he led his radiant files, Dazzling the moon; these to the bow'r direct In search of whom they sought : him there they found Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve,
800 Assaying by his devilish art to reach The organs of her fancy', and with them forge Illusions as he list, phantasms and dreams, Or if, inspiring venom, he might raint Th' animal spirits that from pure blood arise Like gentle breaths from rivers pure, thence raise At least distemper'd, discontented thoughts, Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate desires, Blown up with high conceits ingend'ring pride. Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear Touch'd lightly; for no falsehood can endure Touch of celestial temper, but returns Of force to its own likeness : up he starts Discover'd and surpris’d. As when a spark Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid Fit for the tun some magazine to store
Against a rumour'd war, the smutty grain
Which of those rebel Spi'rits adjudg'd to Hell
825 Here watching at the head of these that sleep?
Know ye not then, said Satan fill'd with scorn, Know ye not me? Ye knew me once no mate For you, there sitting where ye durst not soar : Not to know me argues yourselves unknown, 830 The lowest of your throng; or if ye know, Why ask ye, and superfluous begin Your message, like to end as much in vain ?
To whom thus Zephon, answ'ring scorn with scorn. Think not, revolted Spi'rit, thy shape the same, 835 Or undiminish'd brightness to be known, As when thou stood'st in Heav'n upright and pure ; I hat glory then, when thou no more wast good, Departed from thee'; and thou resemblest now Thy sin and place of doom obscure and foul. 1 840 But come, for thou, be sure, shalt give account To him who sent us, whose charge is to keep This place inviolable, and these from harm.
So spake the Cherub; and his grave rebuke, Severe in youthful beauty, added grace Invincible : abash'd the Devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
The Fiend reply'd not, overcome with rage;
865 O FRIENDS, I hear the tread of nimble feet Hasting this way, and now by glimpse discern Ithuriel and Zephon through the shade, And with them comes a third of regal port, But faded splendour wan ; who by his gait 870 And fierce demeanour seems the prince of Hell, Not likely to part hence without contest; Stand firm, for in his look defiance low'rs.
He scarce had ended, when those two approach'd, And brief related whom they brought, where found, How busied, in what form and posture couch'd, 876