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Brandish'd aloft', the horrid edge came down
Wide-wasting ! such destruction to withstand
He halted, and oppas'd the rocky orb
Of ten-fold adamant, his ample shield, 255
A vast circumference! At his approach
The great Arch-Angel from his warlike toil
Surceas'd ; and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in Heav'n, th’arch-foe subdu'd,
Or captive drag'd in chains, with hollile frown, 260
And visage all inflam'd, first thus began.

Author of evil! unknown till thy revolt, Unpam'd in Heav'n, now plenteous, (as thou feet) These acts of hateful ftrife; haieful to all, Though heaviest (by jutt measure) on thy felf, 265 And thy adherents : how halt thou disturbid Heav'n's blessed peace, and into nature brought Misery, uncreated till the crime Of thy rebellion! how hast thou instillid Thy malice into thousands, once upright 270 And faithful, now prov'd false! But think not here To trouble holy:reit; Heav'n cafts thee out From all her confines : Heav'n, the seat of bliss, Brooks not the works of violence and war. Hence then! and Evil go with thee along, 275 Thy offspring, to the place of evil, Hell;

Thou and thy wicked crew! there mingle broils; E’re this avenging sword begin thy doom', Or some more sudden vengeance, wing’d from GOD, Precipitate thee with augmented pain.

280 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 285 Unvanquish'd, easier to transact with me, That thou shouldst hope, imperious! and with threats


I 5

To chase me hence? Err not that so Thall end
The strife which thou call'lt evil, but we style
The strife of glory; which we mean to win 290
Or turn this Heav'n it self into the Hell
Thou fablest; here however to dwell free,
If not to reign: mcan while thy utmost force
(And join him nam'd ALMIGHTY to thy aid,)
I fly not; but have fought thee far and nigh. 295

They ended parle, and both addrest 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 fuch height

Of Godlike pow'r? For likest Gods they seem'd,
Stood they or mov'd, ip stature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great Heav'n.
Now wav'd their fiery swords, and in the air
Made ho çircles; two broad suns their shields 305,
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 310
Great things by finall) 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 sphears confound.
Together both, with next t'almighty arm
Up-lifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd
That might determine, and not need repeat ,
(As not of pow'r, at onçe) nor odds appear'd
In might or swift prevention : but the sword

320 OF MICHAEL from the armory of GOD. Was giv'n him temper'd so, that neither keen Nor folid might resist that edge: it met The Sword of SATAN, with steep force to smite



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