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LL night the dreadlefs angel, unpurfu'd,
Thro' heav'n's wide champain held his way;
till Morn,


Wak'd by the circling hours, with rofy hand
Unbarr'd the gates of light. There is a cave
Within the mount of God, faft by his throne,
Where light and darkness in perpetual round
Lodge and diflodge by turns, which makes thro' heav'n
Grateful viciffitude, like day and night;

Light iffues forth, and at the other door
Obfequious darkness enters, till her hour


To veil the heav'n, tho' darkness there might well
Seem twilight here: and now went forth the Morn
Such as in higheft heav'n, array'd in gold
Empyreal; from before her vanish'd Night,
Shot thro' with orient beams; when all the plain
Cover'd with thick embattled fquadrons bright,' 16
Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view:
War he perceiv'd, war in procinct, and found
Already known what he for news had thought
To have reported: gladly then he mix'd
Among those friendly pow'rs, who him receiv'd
With joy and acclamations loud, that one,

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That of fo many myriads fall'n, yet one
Return'd not loft. On to the facred hill
They led him high applauded, and present
Before the feat fupreme; from whence a voice,
From midft a golden cloud, thus mild was heard.
Servant of God, well done, well haft thou fought
The better fight, who fingle haft maintain'd
Against revolted multitudes the caufe

Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms;
And for the teftimony' of truth haft borne
Univerfal reproach, far worse to bear
Than violence; for this was all thy care,

To ftand approv'd in fight of God, though worlds
Judg'd thee perverse: the easier conqueft now
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
Back on thy foes more glorious to return,
Than fcorn'd thou didst depart, and to fubdue
By force, who reafon for their law refuse,
Right reafon for their law, and for their King
Melliah, who by right of merit reigns.
Go, Michael, of celeftial armies prince,
And thou in military prowefs next,

Gabriel, dead forth to battle these my fons
Invincible, lead forth my armed faints,
By thousands and by millions, rang'd for fight,
Equal in number to that godless crew
Rebellious; them with fire and hoftile arms
Fearless affault, and to the brow of heaven
Pursuing, drive them out from God and blifs,
Into their place of punishment, the gulf





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Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide

His fiery chaos to receive their fall.

To darken all the hill, and fmoke to roll

So fpake the fov'reign voice, and clouds began


In dufky wreaths, reluctant flames, the fign


Of wrath awak'd; nor with lefs dread the loud
Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow:
At which command the powers militant,

That stood for heaven, in mighty quadrate join'd
Of union irresistible, mov'd on

In filence their bright legions, to the found
Of inftrumental harmony, that breath'd
Heroic ardor to advent’rous deeds,

Under their godlike leaders, in the caufe
Of God and his Meffiah. On they move
Indiffolubly firm; nor obvious hill,



Nor ftrait'ning vale, nor wood, nor ftream divides 70 Their perfect ranks; for high above the ground


Their march was, and the paffive air upbore
Their nimble tread; as when the total kind
Of birds, in orderly array on wing,
Came fummon'd over Eden, to receive
Their names of thee; fo over many a tract
Of heav'n they march'd, and many a province wide,
Tenfold the length of this terrene: at last
Far in th' horizon to the north appear'd
From skirt to skirt a fiery region, ftretch'd
In battalious aspéct, and nearer view
Briftled with upright beams innumerable

Of rigid fpears, and helmets throng'd, and fhields
Various, with boaftful argument portray'd,
The banded powers of Satan hafting on



With furious expedition; for they ween'd

That felf-fame day, by fight, or by surprise,

To win the mount of God, and on his throne
To fet the envier of his ftate, the proud

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Afpirer; but their thoughts prov'd fond and vain 90 In the mid-way: though ftrange to us it feem'd

At first, that angel fhould with angel war,

And in fierce hofting meet, who wont to meet

So oft in feftivals of joy and love

Unanimous, as fons of one great Sire,
Hymning th' eternal Father: but the shout
Of battle now began, and rushing sound
Of onfet ended foon each milder thought.
High in the midst exalted as a god
Th' apoftate in his fun-bright chariot fat,
Idol of majesty divine, inclos'd

With flaming cherubim and golden shields;
Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now
'Twixt hoft and hoft but narrow fpace was left,
A dreadful interval, and front to front
Prefented stood in terrible array





Of hideous length: before the cloudy van,
On the rough edge of battle ere it join'd,
Satan with vaft and haughty frides advanc'd
Came tow'ring, arm'd in adamant and gold;
Abdiel that fight endur'd not, where he flood
Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds,
And thus his own undounted heart explores.
O Heaven! that fuch refemblance of the Highest
Should yet remain, where faith and reälty 115
Remain not: wherefore should not strength and might
There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove
Where boldeft, though to fight unconquerable?
His puiffance, trusting in th' Almighty's aid,
I mean to try, whofe, reafon I have try'd
Unfound and falfe; nor is it ought but just,
That he, who in debate of truth hath won,
Should win in arms, in both difputes alike.
Victor; though brutifb that contéft and foul,
When reafon hath to deal with force, yet fo
Moft reafon is that reafon overcome.

So pondering, and from his armed peers
Forth ftepping oppofite, half-way he met



His daring foe, at this prevention more
Incens'd, and thus fecurely him defy'd.


Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have reach'd The height of thy afpiring unoppos'd,

The throne of God unguarded, and his fide
Abandon'd at the terror of thy power

Or potent tongue: fool, not to think how vain 135
Against th' Omnipotent to rife in arms;

Who out of smallest things could, without end
Have rais'd inceffant armies to defeat
Thy folly; or with folitary hand

Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,

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

Seem'd in thy world erroneous to diffent



From all my fect thou feeft; now learn too late
How few fometimes may know, when thoufands err.
Whom the grand foe, with fcornful eye afkance,
Thus anfwer'd. Ill for thee, but in wifh'd hour 150
Of my revenge, first fought, for thou return'st
From flight, feditious angel, to receive

Thy merited reward, the first effay

Of this right hand provok'd; fince firft that tongue,
Infpir'd with contradiction, durft oppofe

A third part of the gods, in fynod met
Their deities to affert, who, while they feel


Vigour divine within them, can allow

Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'it

Before thy fellows, ambitious to win

From me fome plume, that thy fuccefs may fhow
Deftruction to the reft: this paufe between
(Unanfwer'd left theu boaft,) to let thee know;


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