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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 argu'd fear; each on himself rely'd,
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 shewn, 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 vast circumference. At his approach

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235

244 Tormented] Tempested. Bentl. MS. Lod. Bryskett's M. Muse of Thestylis.

•Who, letting loose the winds,

Tost, and tormented the air. Newton. 245 even scale] v. Eurip. Suppl. v. 706. Tasso, G. Lib. cxx. st. 50. Spens. F. Qu. iv. iii. 37. Todd.

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270

The great arch-angel from his warlike toil
Surceas’d; and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in heaven, th’ arch-foe subdu'd
Or captive drag'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 thy self
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

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285 290

295

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,
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 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 circles; two broad suns their shields
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

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306

310

296 address’d] Spens. F. Qu. v. ii. 12.

• And straighte himselfe unto the fight addrest.' Todd. 306 expectation] So Shakesp. Hen. V.

• For now sits expectation in the air.' And Beaum. and Fletch. Boadicea, act iii. scene i.

• And erpectation like the Roman eagle
Took stand

Newton. Todd.

320

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. 315
Together both, with next to 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 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,
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 thro' him: but th’ ethereal substance clos'd,
Not long divisible, and from the gash
A stream of nectarous humor issuing flow'd
Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed,
And all his armour stain'd ere while so bright.

323

331

317 imminent] Virg. Æn. vi. 602.

Quos super atra silex, jam jam lapsura, cadentique
Imininet assimilis.'

Newton. 329 griding] Spens. F. Q. ii. viii. 36.

• That through his thigh the mortal steel did gride.' Newton. 32 discontinuous wound] Compare an expression of Horace, "Oceano dissociabili.? Ode iii. b. i. A. Dyce.

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VOL. 1.

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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.

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 Moloc furious king, who him defy'a,
And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound
Threaten’d, nor from the Holy One of heav'n
Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon,
Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each wing

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362 uncouth] Spen. F. Qu. i. xi. 20
“That with the uncouth smart the monster loudly cryde.'

Thyer.

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