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Resounded, and had earth been then, all earth
Had to her centre shook. What wonder? when
Millions of fierce encount'ring angels fought
On either side, the least of whom could wield
These elements, and arm him with the force
Of all their regions: how much more of power
Army against army numberless to raise
Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb,
Though not destroy, their happy native seat;
Had not the eternal King omnipotent
From his strong hold of heav'n high overruled
And limited their might; though number'd such,
As each divided legion might have seem'd
A numerous host; in strength each armèd hand
A legion; led in fight, yet leader seem'd
Each warrior single as in chief, expert
When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway
Of battle, open when, and when to close
The ridges of grim war; no thought of flight,
None of retreat, no unbecoming deed
That argued fear; each on himself relied,
As only in his arm the moment lay
Of victory : deeds of eternal fame
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
The battle hung; till Satan, who that day
Prodigious power had shown, and met in arms
No equal, ranging through the dire attack
Of fighting Seraphim confused, at length
Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and felld
Squadrons at once; with huge two-handed sway'
Brandish'd aloft the horrid edge came down
Wide wasting : such destruction to withstand
He hasted, and opposed the rocky orb
Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield,
A vast circumference. At his approach
The great arch-angel from his warlike toil

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Surceased; and glad, as hoping here to end
Intestine war in heav'n, th' arch-foe subdued
Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile frown
And visage all inflamed, first thus began.

Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt,
Unnamed in heav'n; now plenteous, as thou seest
These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all,
Though heaviest by just measure on thyself
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 instilld
Thy malice into thousands, once upright
And faithful, now proved 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 evil go with thee along,
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.

So spake the prince of angels; to whom thus The adversary. Nor think thou with wind Of aery threats to awe whom yet with deeds Thou canst not. Hast thou turn'd the least of these To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise Unvanquish'd, easier to transact with me That thou shouldst hope, imperious, and with threats To chase me hence ? err not that so shall end The strife which thou call'st evil, but we style The strife of glory: which we mean to win, Or turn this heav'n itself into the hell Thou fablest; here however to dwell free, If not to reign: meanwhile thy utmost force, And join Him named Almighty to thy aid, I fly not, but have sought thee far and nigh.

They ended parle, and both address’d for fight Unspeakable; for who, though with the tongue

Of angels, can relate, or to what things
Liken on earth conspicuous, that may lift
Human imagination to such highth
Of godlike power for likest gods they seem'd
Stood they or moved, in stature, motion, arms,
Fit to decide the empire of great hear'n,
Now waved their fiery swords, and in the air
Made horrid circles; two broad suns their shields
Blazed opposite, while expectation stood
In horror; from each hand with speed retired,
Where erst was thickest fight, th' angelic throng,
And left large field, unsafe within the wind
Of such commotion, such as, to set forth
Great things by small, if, nature's concord broke,
Among the constellations war were sprung,
Two planets, rushing from aspect malign
Of fiercest opposition, in mid sky
Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound.
Together both, with next to Almighty arm,
Uplifted imminent, one stroke they aim'd
That might determine, and not need repeat,
As not of power, at once; nor odds appear'a
In might or swift prevention; but the sword
Of Michael from the armoury of GOD
Was giv'n him temper'd so, that neither keen
Nor solid might resist that edge: it met
The sword of Satan with steep force to smite
Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor stay'd,
But with swift wheel reverse, deep ent’ring, shared
All his right side; then Satan first knew pain,
And writhed him to and fro convolved; so sore
The griding sword with discontinuous wound
Pass'd thro' him, but th' ethereal substance closed,
Not long divisible, and from the gash
A stream of nectarous humour issuing flow'd
Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed,
And all his armour stain'd ere while so bright:

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1 Homer calls the blood of the gods ichor, and describes it as differing from

buman blood, as Milton does that of Satan the Archangel.

Forthwith on all sides to his aid was run
By angels many and strong, who interposed
Defence, while others bore him on their shields
Back to his chariot; where it stood retired
From off the files of war: there they him laid
Gnaghing for anguish, and despite, and shame,
To find himself not matchless, and his pride
Humbled by such rebuke, go far beneath
His confidence to equal God in power.
Yet soon he heald; for spirits that live throughout
Vital in every part, not as frail man
In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins,
Cannot but by annihilating die;
Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
Receive, no more than can the fluid air:
All heart they live, all head, all eye, all eat,
All intellect, all sense, and as they please
They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size
Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare.

Meanwhile in other parts like deeds deserved
Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought,
And with fierce ensigns pierced the deep array
Of Moloch furious king, who him defied,
And at his chariot wheels to drag him bound
Threaten’d, nor from the Holy One of heav'n
Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon,
Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms
And uncouth pain fled bellowing. On each wing
Uriel and Raphael, his vaunting foe
Though huge, and in a rock of diamond arm'd,
Vanquish'd, Adramelecki and Asmadai,?
Two potent thrones, that to be less than Gods
Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learn’d in their flight,
Mangled with ghastly wounds thro' plate and mail
Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy
The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow
Ariel, and Arioc, and the violence

a

One of the idols of Sepharvaim; 2 Kings xvil, 31.

2 The same as Asmodeus; the persecutor of Sara in Tobit.

Of Ramiel scorch'd and blasted, overthrew.
I might relate of thousands, and their names
Eternize here on earth; but those elect
Angels, contented with their fame in heav'n,'
Seek not the praise of men: the other sort,
In might though wondrous and in acts of war,
Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom
Cancell'd from heay'n and sacred memory,
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell.
For strength from truth divided and from just,
Illaudable, naught merits but dispraise
And ignominy; yet to glory aspires
Vainglorious, and through infamy seeks fame:
Therefore eternal silence be their doom.

And now, their mightiest quell’d, the battle swerved,
With many an inroad gored ; deformed rout
Enter'd and foul disorder : all the ground
With shiver'd armour strown, and on a heap
Chariot and charioteer lay overturn'd,
And fiery foaming steeds; what stood, recoil'd
O’erwearied, through the faint Satanic host
Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surprized,
Then first with fear surprized and sense of pain
Fled ignominious, to such evil brought
By sin of disobedience, till that hour
Not liable to fear, or flight, or pain.
Far otherwise th' inviolable saints
In cubic phalanx firm advanced entire,
Invulnerable, impenetrably arm'd:
Sueh high advantages their innocence
Gave them above their foes, not to have sinn'd,
Not to have disobey'd; in fight they stood
Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd
By wound, tho' from their place by violence moved.

Now night her course began, and, over heav'n
Inducing darkness, grateful truce imposed,
And silence on the odious din of war:
Under her cloudy covert both retired,
Victor and vanquish'd. On the foughten field
Michael and his angels prevalent

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