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The throne of God unguarded, and his side
140 Unaided could have finish'd thee, and whelm'd Thy legions under darkness : but thou seest All are not of thy train; there be who faith Prefer, and piety to God, though then To thce not visible, when I alone
145 Seem'd in thy world erroneous to dissent From all : my sect thou seest ; now learn too late How few sometimes may know, when thousands err.
Wuom the grand foe with scornful eye askance Thus answer'd. Ill for thee, but in wish'd hour
150 Of my revenge, first sought for thou return'st From flight, seditious Angel, to receive Thy merited reward, the first assay Of this right hand provok', since first that tongue. Inspir'd with contradiction durst oppose
155 A third part of the Gods, in synod met Their deities to assert, who while they feel Vigour divine within them, can allow Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st Before thy fellows, ambitious to win From me some plume, that thy success may show Destruction to the rest : this pause between
(Unanswer'd lest thou boast) to let thee know;
To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern reply'd,
185 Yet chains in Hell, not realms expect : meanwhile From me return’d, as erst thou saidst, from flight, This greeting on thy impious crest receive.
So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high, Which hung not, but so swift with tempest fell 190 On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight, Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield
Such ruin intercept : ten paces huge
205 Both battles main, with ruinous assault And inextinguishable rage ; all Heaven Resounded, and had Earth been then, all Earth Had to her centre shook. What wonder? when Millions of fierce encountring Angels fqught On either side, the least of whom could wield These clements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions : how much more of power
235 The ridges of grim war : no thought of light, None of retreat, no unbecoming deed That argued fear : each on himself rely'd, As only in his arm the moment lay Of victory : deeds of eternal fame
240 Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread That war and various, sometimes on firm ground A standing fight, then soaring on main wing Tormented all the air ; all air seem'd then Conflicting fire : long time in even scale
245 The battle hung ; till Satan, who that day Prodigious pow'r had shown, and met in arms No equal, ranging through the dire attack Of fighting Seraphim confus'd, at length Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and fellid 250 Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway Brandish'd aloft the horrid edge came down
Wide wasting : such destruction to withstand
260 And visage all inflam'd first thus began.
Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt, Unnam'd in Heav'n, now plenteous, as thou seest These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all, Though heaviest by just measure on thyself 265 And thy adherents : how hast thou disturb'd Heav'n's blessed peace, and into nature brought Misery, uncreated till the crime Of thy rebellion ? How hast thou instillid Thy malice into thousands, once upright
270 And faithful, now prov'd false ? But think not here To trouble holy rest ; Heav'n casts thee out From all her confines. Heav'n the seat of bliss Brooks not the works of violence and war. Hence then, and eyil go with thee along,
275 Thy offspring, to the place of evil, Hell, Thou and thy wicked crew; there mingle broils, Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom, Or some more sudden vengeance wing'd from God Precipitate thee with augmented pain.
280 So spake the prince of Angels; to whom thus The Adversary. Nor think thou with wind