صور الصفحة
PDF

of airy threats to awe whom yet with deeds
'Thou canst not. Hast thou turn'd the least of these
To fight, or if to fall, but that they rise

285
Unvanquish'd, easier to transact with me
That 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, 290
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. 295

They ended parle, 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

300
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 Heaven.
Now way'd their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles ; two broad suns their shields 30;
Blaz’d opposite, while expectation stood
In horror ; from each hand with speed retir’d,
Where erst was thickest fight, th'angelic throng,
And left large field, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion ; such as, to set forth

316 Great things by small, if nature's concord broke, Among the constellations war were sprung,

[ocr errors]

Two planets rushing from aspéct malign
Of fiercest opposition in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.
Together both with next to' almighty arm

376
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 320
Of Michael from the armoury of God
Was giv'n him temper'd so, that neither keen
Nor solid might resist that edge: it met
The sword of Satan with steep force to smite
Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor stay'd, 325
But with swift wheel reverse, deep ent’ring 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

331 A stream of necta’rous humour issuing flow'd Sanguine, such as celestial Spi'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 shame, 340 To find himself not matchless, and his pride Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath

[ocr errors]

350

His confidence to equal God in power.
Yet soon he heald; for Spi'rits that live throughout
Vital in every part, not as frail man

345
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, 355 And with fierce ensigns pierc'd the deep array Of Moloch furious king; who him defy'd, And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of Heaven Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon 360 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 Asmaida, 1 365 Two potent thrones, that to be less than Gods Disdain'd, but mcaner thoughts learn'd in their light, 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.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I might relate of thousands, and their names
Eternize here on earth; but those elect
Angels, contented with their fame in Heaven, 375
Seek 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
Cancel'd from Heav'n and sacred memory,
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell. 380
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 fane:
Therefore eternal silence be their doom.

And now their mightiest quell'd, the battle swerv'd,
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,

390 And fiery foaming steeds; what stood, recoild 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

395 By sin of disobedience, till that hour Not liable to fear, or Alight, 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,

400

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Not to have disobey'd ; in fight they stood
Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd
By wound, though from their place by violence mov'd.

Now night her course began, and over Heav'n 406
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
Incamping, plac'd in guard their watches round,
Cherubic waving fires : on th’ other part
Satan with 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 try'd, not known in arms Not to be overpow'r'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 425 Against us from about his throne, and judg'd Sufficient to subdue us to his will, Eut proves not so : then fallible, it seems, Of future we may deem him, though till now Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arm’d, 430 Some disadvantage we endur'd and pain, Till now not known, but kitown as soon contenan'd,

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »