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Like gentle breathes from rivers pure, thence raise
At leait distemper'd, discontented thoughts,
Vain hopes, vain aims, inordinate defires,
Blown up with high conceits ingend'ring pride.
Him thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
Touch'd lightly; for no falsehood can endure. ,
Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likeness : up he Itarts
Discover'd and surpris d. As when a spark
Lights on a heap of nitrous powder, laid
Eit for the tun some magazine to store
Against a rumour'd war, the fiuity grain
With sudden blaze diffus'd, inflames the air;
So farted up in his own shape the find.
Back stept those two fair angels, half ainaz’d 820
So fudden to behold the grilly king;
Yet thus, unmov'd with fear, accost him soon.
Which of those rebel spi'rits adjudg'd to hell-
Com'st thou, escap'd thy prison and transform'd
Why fat'lt thou like an enemy in wait,
Here watching at the head of these that sleep?
Know ye not then, said 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, 830
The lowest of your throng; or if ye know,
Why ask ye, and superfluous begin:
Your message, like to end as much in vain?
To whom thus Zephon, answ'ring fcorn with scorn.. Think not, revolted spi'rit, thy shape the same, 835 Or undiminish'd brightness to be known, As when thou stood'it in heav'n upright and pure;That glory then, when thou no more wait good, Departed from thee'; and thou resemblest now Thy fin and place of doom obscure and foul.
But come, for thou, be sure, fhalt give account
To him who fent us, whose 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 : abash'd the Devil (tood,
And felt how awful goodness is, and saw
Virtue' in her shape how lovely; faw, and pin'd
His loss; but chiefly to find here observ'd
His lustre visibly impair'd, yet feem'd
Undaunted. If I must contend, said he,
Best with the best, the fender not the fent,
Or all at once ; more glory will be won,
Or less be loft. Thy fear, said Zephon bold,
Will save 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 steed rein'd, went haughty on, Champing his iron curb: to strive or fly He held it vain; awe from above had quell'd 860 His heart, not else dismay'd. Now drew they nigh The western point, where those half-rounding guards Jalt met, and closing stood in squadron join'd, Awaiting next command. To whom their chief Gabriel from the front thus call'd aloud. 865
O friends, I hear the trade of ninable feet Hanting this way, and now hy glimpse discern Ithuriel and Zephan through the thade; And with them comes a third of regal port, Buc faded splendour wan ; who by his gait 870 And fierce demeanor seems the prince of hell, Not likely to part hence without contest; Stand firm, for in his look defiance lours.
He scarce had ended when those two approach’d, And brief related whom they brought, where found,
How busied, in what form and posture couch'd. 876
To whom, with itern regard, thus Gabriel spake. Why halt thou, Satan, broke the 'bounds prescrib'd To thy tranfgreffions, and disturb'd the charge Of others, who approve not to transgress 880 By thy example, but have pow'r and right To question thy bold entrance on this place; Employ'd it seems to violate sleep, and those Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ?
To whom thus Satan with contempt'ous brow. 885 Gabriel, thou had'st in heav'n th'eleem of wise, And such 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 bell, Tho'thither doom'd? Thou would'At thyself, no doubt, And boldly venture to whatever place
891 Fartheft from pain, where thou might'st hope to change Torment with ease, and soonest recompence Dole with delight, which in this place I fought; To thee no reason, who know'st only good,
But evil halt not try'd : and wilt object
His will who bound us ? let him surer bar
His iron gates, if he intends our stay
In that dark durance: thus much what was ask'd.
The rest is true, they found me where they say; 900
But that implies not violence or harm.
Thus he in fcorn. The warlike angel mov'd,
Disdainfully half-smiling, thus reply'd.
O loss of one in heav'n to judge of wise,
Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew,
And now returns him from his prison 'fcap'd,
Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise
Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither
Unlicens'd from his bounds in hell prescrib'd;
So wise he judges it to fly from pain
However, and to 'scape his punishment.
So judge thou fill, presumptuous, till the wrath
Which thou incurr'it by flying meet thy flight
Sev’nfold, and scourge that wisdom back to hell,
Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain 913
Can equal anger infinite provok'd.
But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee
Came not all hell broke loose? is pain to them
Less pain, less to be fled ? or thou than they
Less hardy to endure ? courageous chief, 920
The first in fight from pain ; hadít thou alledg'd
To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Thou surely had not come fole fugitive.
To which the fiend thus answer'd, frowning ftern.
Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain, 925
Jusulting angel; well thou know'ft I stood
Thy fiercelt, when in battle to thy aid
The blasting volied thunder made all speed,
And seconded thy else not dreaded fpear.
But still thy words at random, as before,
Argue thy inexperience what behoves
From hard efsays and ill successes past
A faithful leader, not to hazard all
Through ways of danger by himself untry'd :
I therefore, I alone, firft undertook
935 To wing the defolate abyss, and spy This new created world, whereof in hell Fame is not silent, here in hope to find Better abode, and my afflicted pow'rs To settle here on earth, or in mid air ; Though for poisellion put to try once more What thou and thy gay legions dare against; Whose eafier business were to serve their Lord High up in heav'n with songs to hymn his throne, And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight. 945 To whom the warrior angel foon reply'd.
To say and strait unsay, pretending first
Wife to fly pain, profelling next the fpy,
Argues no leader, but a liar trac'd,
Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name, 950
O sacred 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 supreme?
And thou, fly hyprocrite, who now would seem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servily ador'd
Heav'n's awful Monarch? wherefore, but in hope
To difpoffefs him, and thyself to reign? 96 ,
But mark what I arreed thee now, Avant ;
Fly thicher whence thou fledit: if from this hour
Within these hallow'd limits thou appear,
Back to th' infernal pit. I drag thee chain'd, 905
And seal thee so, 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 thyself 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, drawit 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, iharp’ning in mooned horns
Their phalanx, and began to hem him round
With ported spears, as thick as when a field
Of Ceres ripe for harvest waving bends
Her bearded grove of ears, which way the wind