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Unaided could have finish'd thee, and whelmid
Thy legions under darkness: but thou seest
All are not of thy train ; there be who faith
Prefer, and piety to God, though then
To thee not visible, when I alone

Seem'd in thy world erroneous to diffent
From all : my Sect thou seest; now learn too late
How few sometimes may know, when thousands erre.

Whom the grand foe, with scornful eye askance, Thus answerd. Ill for thee, but in wish'd hour 150 For my revenge, firft sought for thou return'It From flight, feditious Angel ! to receive Thy merited reward, the first assay Of this right hand provokd, since first that tongue, Inspir'd with contradiction, durft oppose A third part of the Gods, in synod met Their Deities t'affert : who while they feel Vigor divine within them, can allow Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'ft Before thy fellows, ambitious to win

160 From me some plume; that thy success may show Destruction to the rest : this pause between , (Unanswer'd left thou boast) to let thee know, At first I thought that liberty, and Heav'n, To heav'nly souls had been all one; but now

165 I see that molt through floth had rather serve, Miniftring spirits, train'd up in feast and fong! Such haft thou armid, the minstrelly of Heav'n, Servility with freedom to contend, As both their deeds compar'd this day shall prove. 179

To whom in brief thus ABDIEL ftern reply'd. Apoftate, still thou err'st, nor end wilt find Of erring, from the path of truth remote : Unjustly thou deprav st it with the name Of Servitude , to serve whom God ordains, 175 Or Nature; GoD and Nature bid the same,


When he who rules is worthieft, and excels
Them whom he governs. This is servitude,
To serve th' un wife, or him who hath rebell’d
Against his worthick, as thine now serve thee, 180
Thy self not free, but to thy self inthrallid;
Yet leudly, dar'it our ministring upbraid.
Reign thou in Hell thy kingdom, let me ferre
In Heav'n God ever bleft, and his divine
Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd ! 185
Yet chains in Hell, nat realms expe&: mean while
From me return'd, as erft thou saidst, from flight,
This greeting on thy impious creft receive.

So saying, a noble ftroke he lifted high,
Which hung not, but so swift with tempeft fall 199
On the proud crest of SATAN, that no fight,
Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield
Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge
He back recoil'd; the tenth, on hended knec,
His massy spear upstaid: as if on earth 195
Winds under ground, or waters, forcing way,
Sidelong had puth'd a mountain from his seat,
Half-funk with all his Pines. Amazement seis'd
The rebel thrones, but greater sage, to see
Thus foild their Mightiest: ours joy fill’d, and shoute.
Presage of victory and fierce delire
Of battel : whereat MICHAEL bid sound
Th' Arch-Angel trumpet; through the vast of Heav'n
It sounded, and the faithful armies rung
Hosanna to the Highest: nor stood at gaze 205
The adverse legions, nor less hideous jain'd
The horrid shock. Now storming fury rose,
And clamor, such as heard in Heav'n till now
Was never; arms on armor clashing bray'd
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots rag'd : dire was the noise
Of confli&! over head the dismal hiss
Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew;



And flying, vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery Cope together ruth'd

Both Barrels inain, with ruinous assault
And inextinguishable rage: all Heav'n
Refounded; and had earth been then, all earth
Had to her centre shook. What wonder ? when
Millions of fierce encountring Angels fought
On either side, the least of whom could wield
These elements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions: how much more of pow'r
Army against army, numberless, to raise
Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb,

225 Though not destroy, their happy native feat ! Had not th’Eternal King omnipotent, From his strong hold of Heav'n, high over-ruld And limited their might: though number'd fuch, As each divided legion might have seem'd 230 A numerous hoft; in strength, each armed hand, A legion ; led in fight, yet leader seem'd Each warrior; fingle, as in chief, expert When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway Of battle, open when, and when to close 23,5 The ridges of grim war : nọ 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

240 Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread That war, and various : sometimes on firm ground A ftanding fight; then, soaring on main wing, Tormented all the air; all air Jeem'd then Conflicting fire. Long time in even scale 245 The battle hung; till SATAN, (who that day Prodigious pow'r had thewn, and met in arms No equal) ranging through the dire attack Of fighting Seraphim confus’d, at length Saw where the sword of MICH A E L smote , & felld Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway 254


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