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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 Alignt,
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 fell’d
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 rast circumference. At his approach
The great Arch-Angel from his warlike toil
Surceas’d, and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in Heaven, the arch-foe subdued
Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile frown
Aud 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 disturb'd
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; Heaven 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 avenging 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

aery 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 Unvanquish’d, easier to transact with me That thou shouldst hope, imperious, and with threats To chase me hence ? érr not, that so shall end The strife of glory; which we mean to win,

VOL II.

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Or turn this Heaven itself into the Hell
Thou fablest; here however to dwell free,
If not to reign : Mean while thy utmost force,
And join him nam’d Almighty to thy aid,
I fly not, but have sought thee far and nigh.

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 highth
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 eircles; two broad suns their shields
Blaz'd opposite, while Expectation stood
In horrour : From each hand with speed retir'd
Where erst was thickest fight, the angelick throng,
And left large field, unsafe within the wind
Of 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 aspéct malign
Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound
Together both with next to almighty arm
Up-lifted 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 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 staid,
But with swift wheel reverse, deep entering, shar'd
All his right side : Then Satan first knew pain,
And writh'd him to and fro convolu'd : so sore
The griding sword with discontinuous wound
Pass’d through him: But the ethereal substance clos’d.
Not long divisible; and from the gash
A stream of nectarous 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, 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,
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.

Mean while 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 his tongue blasphemous; but anon
Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each wing
Uriel, and Raphaël, his vaunting foe,
Though huge, and in a rock of diamond arm'd,
Vanquishid 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 & 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

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