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Like gentle breathes from rivers pure, thence raise
At least distemper'd, discontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate defires,
Blown up with high conceits ingend'ring pride.
Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear

Touch'd lightly; for no falsehooù can endure..
Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likeness : up he starts
Discover'd and surpris'd. As when a spark
Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid

Eit for the tun somne magazine to store
Against a rumour'd war, the smutty grain
With sudden blaze diffus’d, inflames the air;
So farted up in his own shape the find.
Back stept those two fair angels, hali ainaz'd

So sudden to behold the grilly king;
Yet thus, unmou'd with fear, accost him soon.

Which of those rebel spirits adjudg'd-to hell-
Com'st thou, escap'd thy prison ? and transform'd
Why fat'st thou like an enemy in wait,

825 Here watching at the head of these that sleep?

Know ye not theri, said Satan, fill'd with scora,
Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate
For you, there fitting where ye durit not soar :
Not to know me argues yourselves unknown,
The lowest of your throng; or if ye know,
Why ask ye, and fuperfluous begin
Your message, like to end as much in vain?

To whom thus Zephon, answ'ring scorn with scorna-
Think not, revolted spi'rit, thy shape the same, 835
Or undiminish'd brightness to be known,
As when thou stood'it in heav'n upright and pure;-
That glory then, when thou no more wait good,
Departed from thee'; and thou resemblest now
Thy fin and place of doom obscure and foul. 840



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But come, for thou, be sure, shalt give account
To him who fent us, whose charge is to keep
This place inviolable, and these from harm.

So spake the cherub; and his grave rebuke,
Severe in youthful beauty, added grace
Invincible : abash'd the Devil stood,
And felt how awful goodness is, and faw
Virtue' in her shape how lovely; faw, and pin'd
His loss; but chiefly to find here observ'd
His luftre visibly impair'd, yet feem'd

Undaunted. If I must contend, said he,
Best with the best, the fender not the sent,
Or all at once ; more glory will be won,
Or less be lost. Thy fear, said Zephon bold,
Will fave us trial what the least can do

855 Single against thee wicked, and thence weak.

The fiend reply'd not, overcome with rage ; But like a proud steed reind, went haughty on, Champing his iron curb: to frive or fly He held it vain; awe from above had quellid 860 His heart, not else dismay'd. Now drew they nigh The western point, where those half-rounding guards Just met, and closing stood in squadron join'd, Awaiting next command. To whom their chief Gabriel from the front thus call'd aloud.

865 O friends, I hear the trade of nimble feet Hasting this way, and now by glimpse discern Ithuriel and Zephan through the thade; And with them comes a third of regal port, Buc faded splendour wan; who by his gait 870 And fierce demeanor seems the prince of hell, Not likely to part hence without contest; Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.

He scarce had ended ose two approach'd, And brief related, whom they brought, where found,


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How busied, in what form and posture couch'd.876

To whom, with itern regard, thus Gabriel spake. Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescrib'd To thy tranfgretions, and disturb'd the charge Of others, who approve not to transgress

880 By thy example, but have pow'r and right To question thy bold entrance on this place; Employ'd it seems to violate sleep, and those Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ?

To whom thus Satan with contempt'ous brow. 885 Gabriel, thou had'st in heav'n th'eleem of wise, And such I held thee; but this question ask'd 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'st thyself, no doubt, And boldly venture to whatever place

891 Farthest from pain, where thou might'st hope to change Torment with ease, and foonest recompence Dole with delight, which in this place I fought; To thee no reason, who know'it only good, 895 But evil halt 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 ask'd. The rest true, they found me where they say; 900 But that implies not violence or harm.

Thus he in fcorn. The warlike angel mov'd, Disdainfully half-smiling, thus reply'd. O lots of one in heav'n to judge of wife, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew, 905 And now returns him from his prison 'scap'd, Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wife Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither Unlicens'd from his bounds in hell prescrib'd ; So wise he judges it to fly from pain

210 However,

However, and to 'scape his punishmeat.
So judge thou Atill, presumptuous, till the wrath
Which thou incurr't by flying meet thy flight
Sev'nfold, and scourge that wisdom back to hell,
Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain 919
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 fied? or thou than they
Less hardy to endure ? courageous chief,

The first in fight from pain ; hadst thou alledg'd
To thy deserted host this cause of fight,
Thou surely hadft not come fole fugitive.

To which the fiend thus answer'd, frowning Itern. Not that I less endure, or fhrink from pain, 925 Jusulting angel; well thou know'ft I stood Thy fiercelt, when in battle to thy aid The blasting volied thunder made all speed, And seconded thy elle not dreaded fpear. But still thy words at random, as before,

930 Argue thy inexperience what behoves From hard essays and ill successes past A faithful leader, not to hazard all Through ways of danger by himself untry'd : I therefore, I alone, first undertook

935 To wing the defolate abyss, and spy This new created world, whereof in hell Fame is not filent, here in hope to find Better abode, and my afflicted pow'rs To settle here on earth, or in mid air ; Though for poiselion put to try once more What thou and thy gay legions dare against ; Whose eafier business were to serve their Lord High up in heav'n with fongs to hymn his throne, And practis’d distances to cringe, not fight. 945

To whom the warrior angel foon reply'd.





To say and strait unsay, pretending first
Wife to fly pain, profelling next the fpy,
Argues no leader, but a liar trac'd,
Satan, and couldlt thou faithful add?, 950
O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd!
Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew?
Army of fiends, fit body to fit head.
Was this your discipline and faith engag'd,
Your inilitary obedience, to diffolve..

Allegiance to the acknowledg'd Power supreme?
And thou, fly hyprocrite, who now would seem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servily ador'd
Heav'n's awful Monarch? wherefore, but in hope
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
But mark what I arreed thee now, Avant ;
Fly thither whence thou fledit: if from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to th’infernal pit I drag thee chain d,

965 And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn The facile gates of hell too flightly barr'd.

So threaten'd he; but Satan to no threats Gave heed, but waxing more in rage reply'd.

Then when I am thy captive talk of chains, 976 Proud limitary cherub, but ere then Far heavier load thyself expect to feel From my prevailing arm, tho' heaven's King Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers, Us'd to the yoke, drawit 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 bcarded grove of ears, which way the wind :



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