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Like gentle breathes from rivers pure, thence raise
At least distemper'd, difcontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate defires,
Blown up with high conceits ingend'ring pride.
Him thus intent Ithuriel with his fpear
Touch'd lightly; for no falfehood can endure.
Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likenefs: up he starts
Difcover'd and furpris'd. As when a spark
Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid
Fit for the tun fome magazine to store
Against a rumour'd war, the finutty grain
With fudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the air;
So flarted up in his own fhape the find.
Back ftept those two fair angels, half amaz'd
So fudden to behold the grisly king;




Yet thus, unmov'd with fear, accoft him foon.
Which of thofe rebel fpi'rits adjudg'd to hell-
Com'ft thou, efcap'd thy prifon? and transform'd
Why fat't thou like an enemy in wait,
Here watching at the head of thefe that fleep?
Know ye not then, faid Satan, fill'd with fcorn,
Know ye not me? ye knew me once no mate
For you, there fitting where ye durft not foar :
Not to know me argues yourselves unknown,
The lowest of your throng; or if ye know,
Why afk ye, and fuperfluous begin:

Your meffage, like to end as much in vain?


To whom thus Zephon, anfw'ring fcorn with fcorn.Think not, revolted fpirit, thy fhape the fame, 835 Or undiminish'd brightness to be known,

As when thou ftood'ft in heav'n upright and pure;That glory then, when thou no more wast good, Departed from thee'; and thou resembleft now Thy fin and place of doom obfcure and foul.



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

So fpake the cherub; and his grave rebuke,
Severe in youthful beauty, added grace
Invincible: abafh'd the Devil stood,
And felt how awful goodnefs is, and faw
Virtue' in her shape how lovely; faw, and pin'd
His lofs; but chiefly to find here observ'd
His luftre visibly impair'd, yet feem'd
Undaunted. If I must contend, faid he,
Beft with the best, the fender not the fent,

Or all at once;

more glory will be won,
Or lefs be loft. Thy fear, faid Zephon bold,
Will fave us trial what the least can do
Single against thee wicked, and thence weak.





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

O friends, I hear the trade of nimble feet
Hafting this way, and now by glimpfe difcern
Ithuriel and Zephon through the thade;
And with them comes a third of regal port,
But faded fplendour wan; who by his gait
And fierce demeanor feems the prince of hell,
Not likely to part hence without conteft;
Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.



He fcarce had ended when thofe two approach'd, And brief related whom they brought, where found,



How bufied, in what form and posture couch'd. 876
To whom, with ftern regard, thus Gabriel spake.
Why haft thou, Satan, broke the bounds prefcrib'd
To thy tranfgreffions, and disturb'd the charge
Of others, who approve not to tranfgrefs
By thy example, but have pow'r and right
To question thy bold entrance on this place;
Employ'd it feems to violate fleep, and thofe
Whofe dwelling God hath planted here in blifs?
To whom thus Satan with contempt'ous brow. 885
Gabriel, thou had'ft in heav'n th' efteem of wise,
And fuch 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't thyself, no doubt,
And boldly venture to whatever place
Fartheft from pain, where thou might'ft hope to change
Torment with eafe, and foonest recompence
Dole with delight, which in this place I fought;
To thee no reason, who know'ft only good, ́
But evil haft not try'd and wilt object


His will who bound us? let him furer bar

His iron gates, if he intends our stay


In that dark durance: thus much what was afk'd. The rest is true, they found me where they fay; 900 But that implies not violence or harm.

Thus he in fcorn. The warlike angel mov'd, Difdainfully half-fmiling, thus reply'd.


O lofs of one in heav'n to judge of wife,
Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,
And now returns him from his prifon 'fcap'd,
Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wife
Or not, who afk what boldness brought him hither
Unlicens'd from his bounds in hell prefcrib'd;
So wife he judges it to fly from pain

910 However,

However, and to 'fcape his punishment.

So judge thou ftill, presumptuous, till the wrath
Which thou incurr'ft by flying meet thy flight
Sev'nfold, and fcourge that wisdom back to hell,
Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain 915
Can equal anger infinite provok'd.

But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee
Came not all hell broke loofe? is pain to them
Lefs pain, lefs to be fled? or thou than they
Lefs hardy to endure? courageous chief,


The first in flight from pain; hadit thou alledg'd
To thy deferted hoft this caufe of flight,

Thou furely hadft not come fole fugitive.

To which the fiend thus answer'd, frowning ftern.

Not that I lefs endure, or shrink from pain,
Jufulting angel; well thou know'ft I ftood
Thy fierceft, when in battle to thy aid
The blasting volied thunder made all speed,
And feconded thy elfe not dreaded fpear.
But ftill thy words at random, as before,
Argue thy inexperience what behoves
From hard effays and ill fucceffes paft
A faithful leader, not to hazard all



Through ways of danger by himself untry'd :
I therefore, I alone, first undertook



To wing the defolate abyfs, 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 fettle here on earth, or in mid air;
Though for poffeflion put to try once more
What thou and thy gay legions dare against ;
Whofe eafier bufinefs were to ferve their Lord
High up in heav'n with fongs to hymn his throne,
And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight.

To whom the warrior angel foon reply'd.



To fay and ftrait unfay, pretending first

Wife to fly pain, profeffing next the fpy,

Argues no leader, but a liar trac'd,

Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name, 950
O facred 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 military obedience, to diffolve.
Allegiance to the acknowledg'd Power fupreme?
And thou, fly hyprocrite, who now would feem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and fervily ador'd
Heav'n's awful Monarch? wherefore, but in hope
To difpoffefs him, and thy felf to reign?
But mark what I arreed thee now, Avant;
Fly thither whence thou fledst: if from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to th' infernal pit. I drag thee chain'd,
And feal thee fo, 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, 970 Proud limitary cherub, but ere then

Far heavier load thyfelf 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, draw't his triumphant wheels 975
In progress through the road of heav'n star-pav'd.
While thus he fpake, th' angelic squadron bright
Turn'd fiery red, tharp'ning in mooned horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported fpears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres ripe for harveft waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind



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