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In battle which the stronger proves ; they all,
Or I alone against then ; since by strength : 820
They measure all, of other excellence
Not emulous, nor care who them excels;
Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe.

So spake the Son, and into terror changed
His countenance too severe to be beheld,
And full of wrath bent on his enemies.
At once the Four spread out their starry wings
With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs
Of his fierce chariot rollid, as with the sound
Of torrent floods, or of a numerous host.

He on his impious foes right onward drove,
Gloomy as night; under his burning wheels
The steadfast empyréan shook throughout,
All but the throne itself of God. Full soon
Among them he arrived ; in his right hand 835
Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in their souls infix'd
Plagues : they, astonish'd, all resistance lost,
All courage; down their idle weapons dropp'd :
O'er shields and heims and helmed heads he rode 840
Of Thrones and mighty Seraphim prostrate,
That wish'd the mountains now might be again
Thrown on them, as a shelter from his ire
Nor less on either side tempestuous fell.
His arrows, from the fourfold-visaged Four 845
Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes;
One Spirit in them ruled; and every eye
Glared lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among the accursed, that wither'd all their strength,
And of their wonted vigour left them drain'd, 851
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
His thunder in mid volley; for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heaven: 855
The overthrown he raised; and, as a herd

Of goats or timorous flock together throng d,
Drove them before him thunderstruck, pursued
With terrors, and with furies, to the bounds
And crystal wall of Heaven: which, opening wide, 860
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclosed
Into the wasteful deep: the monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
Urged them behind: headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of Heaven; eternal wrath 865
Burn'd after them to the bottomless pit.

Hell heard the unsufferable noise, Hell saw
Heaven ruining from Heaven, and would have fled
Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. 870
Nine days they fell: confounded Chaos roard,
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall
Through his wild anarchy, so huge a rout
Encumber'd him with ruin: Hell at last
Yawning received them whole, and on them closed;
Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire 876
Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain.
Disburden'd Heaven rejoiced, and soon repair'd
Her mural breach, returning whence it rollid
Sole victor, from the expulsion of his foes,

880 Messiah his triumphal chariot turn'd: To meet him all his Saints, who silent stood Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts, With jubilee advanced ; and, as they went, Shaded with hranching palin, each Order bright 885 Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King, Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion given, Worthiest to reign: He, celebrated, rode Triumphant through mid Heaven, into the courts And temple of his Mighty Father throned 890 On high; who into glory him received, Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss. [Earth,

Thus, measuring things in Heaven by things on At thy request, and that thou mayst beware

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By what is pass'd, to thee I have reveal'd
What might have else to human race been hid;
The discord which befel, and war in Heaven
Among the angelic Powers, and the deep fall
Of those too high aspiring, who rebellid
With Satan; he who envies now thy state,
Who now is plotting how he may seduce
Thee also from obedience, that, with him
Bereaved of happiness, thou mayst partake
His punishment, eternal misery;
Which would be all his solace and revenge,
As a despite done against the Host High,
Thee once to gain companion of his woe.
But listen not to his temptations, warn
Thy weaker: let it profit thee to have heard,
By terrible example, the reward
Of disobedience ; firm they might have stood,
Yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress.

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Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this

world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his Angels out of Heaven, declared his pleasure to create another world, and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory, and attendance of Angels, to perform the work of Creation in six days: the Angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into Heaven.

DESCEND from Heaven, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art call’d, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegaséan wing!
The meaning, not the name, I call: for thou
Nor of the Muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwell'st ; but heavenly born,
Before the hills appear'd or fountain flow'd,
Thou with eternal Wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
With thy celestial song. Up led by thee
Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy tempering : with like safety guided down
Return me to my native element :
Lest from this flying steed unrein'd (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)
Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall,
Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.
Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible diurnal sphere;
Standing on earth, not wrapp'd above the pole,


More safe I sing with mortal voice, unchanged
To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days, 25
On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues;
In darkness, and with dangers compass'd round,
And solitude ; yet not alone, while thou
Visit’st my slumbers nightly, or when morn
Purples the east : still govern thou my song,
Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race
Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears 35
To rapture, till the savage clamour drown'd
Both harp and voice ; nor could the Muse úefend
Her son. So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream.

Say, Goddess, what ensued when Raphaël, 40
The affable Archangel, had forewarn'd
Adam, by dire example, to beware
Apostacy, by what befel in Heaven
To those apostates : lest the like befal
In Paradise to Adam or his race,

45 Charged not to touch the interdicted tree, If they transgress, and slight that sole command, So easily obey'd amid the choice Of all tastes else to please their appetite, Though wandering. He, with his consorted Eve, 50 The story heard attentive, and was fillid With admiration and deep muse, to hear Of things so high and strange; things, to their thought So unimaginable, as hate in Heaven, And war so near the peace of God in bliss, : 55 With such confusion : but the evil, soon Driven back, redounded as a flood on those From whom it sprang; impossible to mix With blessedness. Whence Adam soon repeal'd The doubts that in his heart arose : and now Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know

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