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Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to th' infernal pit I drag thee chain'd,
And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn
The facil gates of hell too slightly barr'd.

So threaten'd he: but Satan to no threats
Gare heed, but waxing more in rage reply'd.
Then when I am thy captive talk of chains, 970
Proud limitary Cherub; but ere then
Far heavier load thy self expect to feel
From my prevailing arm; though heaven's King
Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers,
Us'd to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels 975
In progress through the road of heav'n star-pav'd.
While thus he spake, th' angelic squadron bright
Turn'd fiery red, sharp'ning in mooned horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres, ripe for harvest, waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind
Sways them; the careful plowman doubting stands,
Lest on the threshing floor his hopeful sheaves
Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan alarm'd, 985
Collecting all his might, dilated stood,

Like Teneriff or Atlas unremoved :

His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest


966 And seal] See Northmore's note to Tryphiodorus, p. 88. 976 star-pav'd] Ashmore's Epigrams, 4to. p. 33.

'The casements large of Heaven have open set,
And from their star-pav'd floors have sent me down.'


Sat horror plum'd; nor wanted in his grasp What seem'd both spear and shield. Now dreadful Might have ensu'd, nor only paradise

n this commotion, but the starry cope

Of heav'n perhaps, or all the elements


At least had gone to wrack, disturb'd and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
Th' Eternal to prevent such horrid fray


Hung forth in heav'n his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the Scorpion sign,

Wherein all things created first he weigh'd,
The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air 1000
In counterpoise; now ponders all events,
Battels, and realms: in these he put two weights,
The sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up flew and kick'd the beam:
Which Gabriel spying thus bespake the fiend. 1005

Satan, I know thy strength, and thou know'st Neither our own but giv'n; what folly then [mine: To boast what arms can do, since thine no more Than heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now To trample thee as mire? for proof look up, 1010 And read thy lot in yon celestial sign, [weak, Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how If thou resist. The fiend look'd up, and knew His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but fled Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.

1008 Thine] Thine' and 'mine' refer to strength, ver. 006. not to arms. Newton.




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