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Less pain, less to be filed? or thou than they
Less hardy to endure ? courageous chief,
The first in flight from pain, hadst thou alledg'd
To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
Thou surely hadst not came sole fugitive.
To which the fiend thus answer'd frowning stern:
Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain, s .
Insulting angel: well thou know'st I stood
Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid
The blasting vollied thunder made all speed,
And seconded by thy else not dreaded spear.
But still thy words at random as before,
Argue thy inexperience what behoves
From hard assays and ill successes past.
A faithful leader, not to hazard all *:,'
Through ways of danger by himself untry'd:
I therefore, I alone first undertook . .
To wing the desolate abyss, and spy
This new created world, whereof in helt ;
Fame is not silent, here in hope to find
Better abode, and my afflicted powers .!. .
To settle here on earth, or in mid air;
Though for possession put to try once more - '
What thou and thy gay legions dare against; ..
Whose easier business were to serve the Lord
High up in heav'n, with songs to hymn his throne, .
And practis'd distances to cringe, not fight. ; '
To whom the warrior angel soon reply'd :... To say, and straight unsay, pretending first' Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy, is Argues no leader but a liar trac'd, .' Satan, and could'st thou faithful add ? O namre, - i, O sacred name of faithfulness profan'd! on oman Faithful to whom ? to thy rebellious crew ? Army of fiends, fit body to fit head. Was this your discipline and faith engag'd, i s Your military obedience, to dissolve Allegiance to the acknowledg’d power supreme ? . And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem
Patron of liberty, who more than thou
Once fawn'd, and cring'd, and servilely ador'd
Heav'ns awful monarch ? wherefore but in hope .
To dispossess him, and thyself to reign?
But mark what I aread thee now, Avaunt ;
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 seal thee so, as henceforth, not to scorn
The facile gates of hell too slightly 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,... Proud limitary cherub,* but ere then Far heavier load thyself expect to feel From my prevailing arm, though heav'ns King... Ride on thy wings, and thou with thy compeers, Us'd to the yoke, draw'st his triumphant wheels In progress through the road of heav'n star-pav'd..
While thus he spake, th' angelic squadron brightTurn'd fiery red, sharp'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 Sways them; the careful ploughman doubting stands," } Lest on the threshing-floor his hopeful sheaves Prove chaff. On th' other side Satan alarm'
d Collecting all his might dilated stood, i is Like Teneriffe or Atlas unremov'd: . His stature reach'd the sky, and on his crest ...?! Sat horror plum'd: nor wanted in his grasp What seem'd both spear and shield : now dres ?ful
deeds Might have ensued, nor only Paradise .. In this commotion, but the starry cope", "q" .
"Proud limitarý cherub:' limitary means guarding the limits.
Of heav'r. perhaps, or all the elements
At least had gone to wreck, disturb’d and torn
With violence of this conflict, had not soon
Th' eternal to prevent such horrid fray
Hung forth in heav'n his golden scales, yet seen
Betwixt Astrea and the scorpion sign,
Wherein all things created first he weigh’d,
The pendulous round earth with balanc'd air
In counterpoise, now ponders all events,
Battles and realms : in these he put two weights
Thé sequel each of parting and of fight;
The latter quick up flew, and kick'd the beam ;
Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend :
Satan, I know thy strength and thou know'st mine,
Neither our own but giv'n; what folly then
To boast what arms can do ? since thine no more
Than heav'n permits, nor mine, though doubled now
To trample thee as mire: for proof look up,
And read thy lot in yon celestial sign,
Where thou art weigh'd, and shown how light, how
weak, If thou resist. The fiend look'd up and knew His mounted scale aloft: nor more; but filed Murm'ring, and with him fled the shades of night.