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But faded splendor wan; who by his gate
He scarce had ended when these two approach'd, And brief related whom they brought, where found, How busied, in what form and posture couch’d. 876
To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake. Why halt thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib'd To thy transgressions, and disturb'd the charge Of others, who approve not to transgress By thy example, but have power and right To question thy bold entrance on this place; Imploy'd it seems to violate sleep, and those Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ?
To whom thus Satan, with contemptuous brow. Gabriel, thou hadft in Heav’n th'esteem of wise, 886 And such I held thee ; but this question askt Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain? Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell, Tho'thither doom'd? Thou would thy self, no doubt, And boldly venture to whatever place
891 Farthest from pain, where thou might ft hope to change Torment with ease, and soonest recompence Dole with delight, which in this place I fought ; To thee no reason ; who knowst only good, 895. But evil haft not try'd : and wilt object His will who bound us : let him surer bar His Iron Gates, if he intends our stay In that dark durance: thus much what was askt
The rest is true, they found me where they say: 9co But that implies not violence or harm.
Thus he in scorn. The warlike Angel mov’d, Disdainfully half smiling thus reply'd. o loss of one in Heav'n to judge of wise, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew, 905 And now returns him from his prison scap'd, Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hit hee Unlicenc'd from his bounds in Hell prescrib’d; So wise he judges it to fly from pain
910 However, and to scape his punishment. So judge thou still, presumptuous, till the wrauth, Which thou incur'st by Aying, meet thy flight Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to Hell, Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain Can equal anger infinite provok’d. But wherefore thou alone ? wherefore with thee Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them Less pain, less to be Aed, or thou than they Less hardy to endure? courageous Chief, 92 The first in fight from pain, hadst thou alledg'd To thy deserted host this cause of Aight, Thou surely hadît not come sole fugitive.
To which the Fiend thus answer'd frowning stern, Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain, 925 Insulting Angel, well thou knowft I stood Thy fiercest, when in Battel to thy aide Thy blasting vollied Thunder made all speed And seconded thy else not dreaded Spear,
But still thy words at random, as before,
To whom the warriour Angel soon repły’d,
955 Allegcance to th’acknowledg’d Power supream ? And thou fly hypocrite, who now wouldft seem Patron of liberty, who more than thou Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilly ador'd
Heav'ns awful Monarch : wherefore but in hope
So threaten'd he, but Satan to no threats
Then when I am thy captive talk of chaines, Proud limitary Cherube, but e'er then
971 Far heavier load thy self expect to feel From my prevailing arm, though Heavens King Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy Compeers, Us'd to the yoak, draw'ft his triumphant wheels 975 In progress through the rode of Heav'n Star-par’d.
While thus he spake, th’Angelic Squadron bright Turn’d fiery red, sharpning in mooned horns Their Phalanx, and began to hem him round With ported Spears, as thick as when a field 986 Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends Her bearded Grove of ears, which way the wind Sways them ; the careful Plowman doubting Itands, Least on the threshing floore his hopeful theaves Prove chaff. On th’other side Satan alarm'd Collecting all his might dilated stood, Like Texerijf or Atlas unremov'd: His ftature reach'd the Sky, and on his Creft. Sat horror Plum'd; nor wanted in his graspe
What seem'd bothSpear and Shield: now dreadful deeds Might have ensu’d, not only Paradise
991 In this commotion, but the Starry Cope Of Heav'n perhaps, or all the Elements At least had gone to rack, disturb'd and torn With violence of this conflict, had not foon 995 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 ballanc'd Air 100W 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 few, and kickt the beam; Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the Fiend. 1005
Satan, I know thy strength, and thou knowst mine, Neither our own but giv'n; what folly then To boast what Arms can do, since thine no more Than Heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubi'd now To trample thee as mire : for proof look up, JCIO And read thy Lot in yon celestial Sign Where thou’art weigh'd, and shown how light, how If thou refift. The Fiend lookt up, and knew (weak, His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but Aled 2014 Murmuring, and with him Aed the shades of night
The End of the Fourth Book.