Previous / Next

All night the dreadless Angel unpursu'd 
Through Heav'ns wide Champain held his way, till Morn, 
Wak't by the circling Hours, with rosie hand 
Unbarr'd the gates of Light.  There is a Cave 
Within the Mount of God, fast by his Throne, 
Where light and darkness in perpetual round 
Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heav'n 
Grateful vicissitude, like Day and Night; 
Light issues forth, and at the other dore 
Obsequious darkness enters, till her houre 
To veile the Heav'n, though darkness there might well 
Seem twilight here; and now went forth the Morn 
Such as in highest Heav'n, arrayd in Gold 
Empyreal, from before her vanisht Night, 
Shot through with orient Beams: when all the Plain 
Coverd with thick embatteld Squadrons bright, 
Chariots and flaming Armes, and fierie Steeds 
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view: 
Warr he perceav'd, warr in procinct, and found 
Already known what he for news had thought 
To have reported: gladly then he mixt 
Among those friendly Powers who him receav'd 
With joy and acclamations loud, that one 
That of so many Myriads fall'n, yet one 
Returnd not lost: On to the sacred hill 
They led him high applauded, and present 
Before the seat supream; from whence a voice 
From midst a Golden Cloud thus milde was heard. 
  Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought 
The better fight, who single hast maintaind 
Against revolted multitudes the Cause 
Of Truth, in word mightier then they in Armes; 
And for the testimonie of Truth hast born 
Universal reproach, far worse to beare 
Then violence: for this was all thy care 
To stand approv'd in sight of God, though Worlds 
Judg'd thee perverse: the easier conquest now 
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends, 
Back on thy foes more glorious to return 
Then scornd thou didst depart, and to subdue 
By force, who reason for thir Law refuse, 
Right reason for thir Law, and for thir King 
MESSIAH, who by right of merit Reigns. 
Goe MICHAEL of Celestial Armies Prince, 
And thou in Military prowess next 
GABRIEL, lead forth to Battel these my Sons 
Invincible, lead forth my armed Saints 
By Thousands and by Millions rang'd for fight; 
Equal in number to that Godless crew 
Rebellious, them with Fire and hostile Arms 
Fearless assault, and to the brow of Heav'n 
Pursuing drive them out from God and bliss, 
Into thir place of punishment, the Gulf 
Of TARTARUS, which ready opens wide 
His fiery CHAOS to receave thir fall. 
  So spake the Sovran voice, and Clouds began 
To darken all the Hill, and smoak to rowl 
In duskie wreathes, reluctant flames, the signe 
Of wrauth awak't: nor with less dread the loud 
Ethereal Trumpet from on high gan blow: 
At which command the Powers Militant, 
That stood for Heav'n, in mighty Quadrate joyn'd 
Of Union irresistible, mov'd on 
In silence thir bright Legions, to the sound 
Of instrumental Harmonie that breath'd 
Heroic Ardor to advent'rous deeds 
Under thir God-like Leaders, in the Cause 
Of God and his MESSIAH.  On they move 
Indissolubly firm; nor obvious Hill, 
Nor streit'ning Vale, nor Wood, nor Stream divides 
Thir perfet ranks; for high above the ground 
Thir march was, and the passive Air upbore 
Thir nimble tread; as when the total kind 
Of Birds in orderly array on wing 
Came summond over EDEN to receive 
Thir names of thee; so over many a tract 
Of Heav'n they march'd, and many a Province wide 
Tenfold the length of this terrene: at last 
Farr in th' Horizon to the North appeer'd 
From skirt to skirt a fierie Region, stretcht 
In battailous aspect, and neerer view 
Bristl'd with upright beams innumerable 
Of rigid Spears, and Helmets throng'd, and Shields 
Various, with boastful Argument portraid, 
The banded Powers of SATAN hasting on 
With furious expedition; for they weend 
That self same day by fight, or by surprize 
To win the Mount of God, and on his Throne 
To set the envier of his State, the proud 
Aspirer, but thir thoughts prov'd fond and vain 
In the mid way: though strange to us it seemd 
At first, that Angel should with Angel warr, 
And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet 
So oft in Festivals of joy and love 
Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire 
Hymning th' Eternal Father: but the shout 
Of Battel now began, and rushing sound 
Of onset ended soon each milder thought. 
High in the midst exalted as a God 
Th' Apostat in his Sun-bright Chariot sate 
Idol of Majestie Divine, enclos'd 
With Flaming Cherubim, and golden Shields; 
Then lighted from his gorgeous Throne, for now 
'Twixt Host and Host but narrow space was left, 
A dreadful interval, and Front to Front 
Presented stood in terrible array 
Of hideous length: before the cloudie Van, 
On the rough edge of battel ere it joyn'd, 
SATAN with vast and haughtie strides advanc't, 
Came towring, armd in Adamant and Gold; 
ABDIEL that sight endur'd not, where he stood 
Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds, 
And thus his own undaunted heart explores. 
  O Heav'n! that such resemblance of the Highest 
Should yet remain, where faith and realtie 
Remain not; wherfore should not strength & might 
There fail where Vertue fails, or weakest prove 
Where boldest; though to sight unconquerable? 
His puissance, trusting in th' Almightie's aide, 
I mean to try, whose Reason I have tri'd 
Unsound and false; nor is it aught but just, 
That he who in debate of Truth hath won, 
Should win in Arms, in both disputes alike 
Victor; though brutish that contest and foule, 
When Reason hath to deal with force, yet so 
Most reason is that Reason overcome. 
  So pondering, and from his armed Peers 
Forth stepping opposite, half way he met 
His daring foe, at this prevention more 
Incens't, and thus securely him defi'd. 
  Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have reacht 
The highth of thy aspiring unoppos'd, 
The Throne of God unguarded, and his side 
Abandond at the terror of thy Power 
Or potent tongue; fool, not to think how vain 
Against th' Omnipotent to rise in Arms; 
Who out of smallest things could without end 
Have rais'd incessant Armies to defeat 
Thy folly; or with solitarie hand 
Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow 
Unaided could have finisht thee, and whelmd 
Thy Legions under darkness; but thou seest 
All are not of thy Train; there be who Faith 
Prefer, and Pietie to God, though then 
To thee not visible, when I alone 
Seemd in thy World erroneous to dissent 
From all: my Sect thou seest, now learn too late 
How few somtimes may know, when thousands err. 
    Whom the grand foe with scornful eye askance 
Thus answerd.  Ill for thee, but in wisht houre 
Of my revenge, first sought for thou returnst 
From flight, seditious Angel, to receave 
Thy merited reward, the first assay 
Of this right hand provok't, since first that tongue 
Inspir'd with contradiction durst oppose 
A third part of the Gods, in Synod met 
Thir Deities to assert, who while they feel 
Vigour Divine within them, can allow 
Omnipotence to none.  But well thou comst 
Before thy fellows, ambitious to win 
From me som Plume, that thy success may show 
Destruction to the rest: this pause between 
(Unanswerd least thou boast) to let thee know; 
At first I thought that Libertie and Heav'n 
To heav'nly Soules had bin all one; but now 
I see that most through sloth had rather serve, 
Ministring Spirits, traind up in Feast and Song; 
Such hast thou arm'd, the Minstrelsie of Heav'n, 
Servilitie with freedom to contend, 
As both thir deeds compar'd this day shall prove. 
  To whom in brief thus ABDIEL stern repli'd. 
Apostat, still thou errst, nor end wilt find 
Of erring, from the path of truth remote: 
Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name 
Of SERVITUDE to serve whom God ordains, 
Or Nature; God and Nature bid the same, 
When he who rules is worthiest, and excells 
Them whom he governs.  This is servitude, 
To serve th' unwise, or him who hath rebelld 
Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, 
Thy self not free, but to thy self enthrall'd; 
Yet leudly dar'st our ministring upbraid. 
Reign thou in Hell thy Kingdom, let mee serve 
In Heav'n God ever blessed, and his Divine 
Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd, 
Yet Chains in Hell, not Realms expect: mean while 
From mee returnd, 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 
On the proud Crest of SATAN, that no sight, 
Nor motion of swift thought, less could his Shield 
Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge 
He back recoild; the tenth on bended knee 
His massie Spear upstaid; as if on Earth 
Winds under ground or waters forcing way 
Sidelong, had push't a Mountain from his seat 
Half sunk with all his Pines.  Amazement seis'd 
The Rebel Thrones, but greater rage to see 
Thus foil'd thir mightiest, ours joy filld, and shout, 
Presage of Victorie and fierce desire 
Of Battel: whereat MICHAEL bid sound 
Th' Arch-Angel trumpet; through the vast of Heav'n 
It sounded, and the faithful Armies rung 
HOSANNA to the Highest: nor stood at gaze 
The adverse Legions, nor less hideous joyn'd 
The horrid shock: now storming furie rose, 
And clamour such as heard in Heav'n till now 
Was never, Arms on Armour clashing bray'd 
Horrible discord, and the madding Wheeles 
Of brazen Chariots rag'd; dire was the noise 
Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss 
Of fiery Darts in flaming volies flew, 
And flying vaulted either Host with fire. 
Sounder fierie Cope together rush'd 
Both Battels maine, with ruinous assault 
And inextinguishable rage; all Heav'n 
Resounded, and had Earth bin then, all Earth 
Had to her Center shook.  What wonder? when 
Millions of fierce encountring Angels fought 
On either side, the least of whom could weild 
These Elements, and arm him with the force 
Of all thir Regions: how much more of Power 
Armie against Armie numberless to raise 
Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, 
Though not destroy, thir happie Native seat; 
Had not th' Eternal King Omnipotent 
From his strong hold of Heav'n high over-rul'd 
And limited thir might; though numberd such 
As each divided Legion might have seemd 
A numerous Host, in strength each armed hand 
A Legion; led in fight, yet Leader seemd 
Each Warriour single as in Chief, expert 
When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway 
Of Battel, open when, and when to close 
The ridges of grim Warr; no thought of flight, 
None of retreat, no unbecoming deed 
That argu'd fear; each on himself reli'd, 
As onely in his arm the moment lay 
Of victorie; deeds of eternal fame 
Were don, but infinite: for wide was spred 
That Warr and various; somtimes on firm ground 
A standing fight, then soaring on main wing 
Tormented all the Air; all Air seemd then 
Conflicting Fire: long time in eeven scale 
The Battel hung; till SATAN, who that day 
Prodigious power had shewn, and met in Armes 
No equal, raunging through the dire attack 
Of fighting Seraphim confus'd, at length 
Saw where the Sword of MICHAEL smote, and fell'd 
Squadrons at once, with huge two-handed sway 
Brandisht aloft the horrid edge came down 
Wide wasting; such destruction to withstand 
He hasted, and oppos'd the rockie Orb 
Of tenfold Adamant, his ample Shield 
A vast circumference: At his approach 
The great Arch-Angel from his warlike toile 
Surceas'd, and glad as hoping here to end 
Intestine War in Heav'n, the arch foe subdu'd 
Or Captive drag'd in Chains, with hostile frown 
And visage all enflam'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 thy self 
And thy adherents: how hast thou disturb'd 
Heav'ns blessed peace, and into Nature brought 
Miserie, uncreated till the crime 
Of thy Rebellion? how hast thou instill'd 
Thy malice into thousands, once upright 
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 Warr. 
Hence then, and evil go with thee along 
Thy ofspring, to the place of evil, Hell, 
Thou and thy wicked crew; there mingle broiles, 
Ere this avenging Sword begin thy doome, 
Or som more sudden vengeance wing'd from God 
Precipitate thee with augmented paine. 
  So spake the Prince of Angels; to whom thus 
The Adversarie.  Nor think thou with wind 
Of airie threats to aw whom yet with deeds 
Thou canst not.  Hast thou turnd the least of these 
To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise 
Unvanquisht, easier to transact with mee 
That thou shouldst hope, imperious, & with threats 
To chase me hence? erre not that so shall end 
The strife which thou call'st evil, but wee style 
The strife of Glorie: which we mean to win, 
Or turn this Heav'n it self into the Hell 
Thou fablest, here however to dwell free, 
If not to reign: mean while thy utmost force, 
And join him nam'd ALMIGHTIE to thy aid, 
I flie not, but have sought thee farr and nigh. 
  They ended parle, and both addrest 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 seemd, 
Stood they or mov'd, in stature, motion, arms 
Fit to decide the Empire of great Heav'n. 
Now wav'd thir fierie Swords, and in the Aire 
Made horrid Circles; two broad Suns thir Shields 
Blaz'd opposite, while expectation stood 
In horror; from each hand with speed retir'd 
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 Natures concord broke, 
Among the Constellations warr were sprung, 
Two Planets rushing from aspect maligne 
Of fiercest opposition in mid Skie, 
Should combat, and thir jarring Sphears confound. 
Together both with next to Almightie Arme, 
Uplifted imminent one stroke they aim'd 
That might determine, and not need repeate, 
As not of power, at once; nor odds appeerd 
In might or swift prevention; but the sword 
Of MICHAEL from the Armorie of God 
Was giv'n him temperd 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 sheere, nor staid, 
But with swift wheele reverse, deep entring shar'd 
All his right side; then SATAN first knew pain, 
And writh'd him to and fro convolv'd; so sore 
The griding sword with discontinuous wound 
Pass'd through him, but th' Ethereal substance clos'd 
Not long divisible, and from the gash 
A stream of Nectarous humor issuing flow'd 
Sanguin, such as Celestial Spirits may bleed, 
And all his Armour staind ere while so bright. 
Forthwith on all sides to his aide was run 
By Angels many and strong, who interpos'd 
Defence, while others bore him on thir Shields 
Back to his Chariot; where it stood retir'd 
From off the files of warr; there they him laid 
Gnashing for anguish and despite and shame 
To find himself not matchless, and his pride 
Humbl'd by such rebuke, so farr beneath 
His confidence to equal God in power. 
Yet soon he heal'd; for Spirits that live throughout 
Vital in every part, not as frail man 
In Entrailes, Heart or Head, Liver or Reines, 
Cannot but by annihilating die; 
Nor in thir liquid texture mortal wound 
Receive, no more then can the fluid Aire: 
All Heart they live, all Head, all Eye, all Eare, 
All Intellect, all Sense, and as they please, 
They Limb themselves, and colour, shape or size 
Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare. 
  Mean while in other parts like deeds deservd 
Memorial, where the might of GABRIEL fought, 
And with fierce Ensignes pierc'd the deep array 
Of MOLOC furious King, who him defi'd, 
And at his Chariot wheeles to drag him bound 
Threatn'd, nor from the Holie One of Heav'n 
Refrein'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon 
Down clov'n to the waste, with shatterd Armes 
And uncouth paine fled bellowing.  On each wing 
URIEL and RAPHAEL his vaunting foe, 
Though huge, and in a Rock of Diamond Armd, 
Vanquish'd ADRAMELEC, and ASMADAI, 
Two potent Thrones, that to be less then Gods 
Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learnd in thir flight, 
Mangl'd with gastly wounds through Plate and Maile. 
Nor stood unmindful ABDIEL to annoy 
The Atheist crew, but with redoubl'd blow 
ARIEL and ARIOC, and the violence 
Of RAMIEL scorcht and blasted overthrew. 
I might relate of thousands, and thir names 
Eternize here on Earth; but those elect 
Angels contented with thir fame in Heav'n 
Seek not the praise of men: the other sort 
In might though wondrous and in Acts of Warr, 
Nor of Renown less eager, yet by doome 
Canceld from Heav'n and sacred memorie, 
Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell. 
For strength from Truth divided and from Just, 
Illaudable, naught merits but dispraise 
And ignominie, yet to glorie aspires 
Vain glorious, and through infamie seeks fame: 
Therfore Eternal silence be thir doome. 
  And now thir mightiest quelld, the battel swerv'd, 
With many an inrode gor'd; deformed rout 
Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the ground 
With shiverd armour strow'n, and on a heap 
Chariot and Charioter lay overturnd 
And fierie foaming Steeds; what stood, recoyld 
Orewearied, through the faint Satanic Host 
Defensive scarse, or with pale fear surpris'd, 
Then first with fear surpris'd and sense of paine 
Fled ignominious, to such evil brought 
By sinne of disobedience, till that hour 
Not liable to fear or flight or paine. 
Far otherwise th' inviolable Saints 
In Cubic Phalanx firm advanc't entire, 
Invulnerable, impenitrably arm'd: 
Such high advantages thir innocence 
Gave them above thir foes, not to have sinnd, 
Not to have disobei'd; in fight they stood 
Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd 
By wound, though from thir place by violence mov'd. 
  Now Night her course began, and over Heav'n 
Inducing darkness, grateful truce impos'd, 
And silence on the odious dinn of Warr: 
Under her Cloudie covert both retir'd, 
Victor and Vanquisht: on the foughten field 
MICHAEL and his Angels prevalent 
Encamping, plac'd in Guard thir Watches round, 
Cherubic waving fires: on th' other part 
SATAN with his rebellious disappeerd, 
Far in the dark dislodg'd, and void of rest, 
His Potentates to Councel call'd by night; 
And in the midst thus undismai'd began. 
  O now in danger tri'd, now known in Armes 
Not to be overpowerd, Companions deare, 
Found worthy not of Libertie alone, 
Too mean pretense, but what we more affect, 
Honour, Dominion, Glorie, and renowne, 
Who have sustaind one day in doubtful fight, 
(And if one day, why not Eternal dayes?) 
What Heavens Lord had powerfullest to send 
Against us from about his Throne, and judg'd 
Sufficient to subdue us to his will, 
But proves not so: then fallible, it seems, 
Of future we may deem him, though till now 
Omniscient thought.  True is, less firmly arm'd, 
Some disadvantage we endur'd and paine, 
Till now not known, but known as soon contemnd, 
Since now we find this our Empyreal forme 
Incapable of mortal injurie 
Imperishable, and though peirc'd with wound, 
Soon closing, and by native vigour heal'd. 
Of evil then so small as easie think 
The remedie; perhaps more valid Armes, 
Weapons more violent, when next we meet, 
May serve to better us, and worse our foes, 
Or equal what between us made the odds, 
In Nature none: if other hidden cause 
Left them Superiour, while we can preserve 
Unhurt our mindes, and understanding sound, 
Due search and consultation will disclose. 
  He sat; and in th' assembly next upstood 
NISROC, of Principalities the prime; 
As one he stood escap't from cruel fight, 
Sore toild, his riv'n Armes to havoc hewn, 
And cloudie in aspect thus answering spake. 
Deliverer from new Lords, leader to free 
Enjoyment of our right as Gods; yet hard 
For Gods, and too unequal work we find 
Against unequal armes to fight in paine, 
Against unpaind, impassive; from which evil 
Ruin must needs ensue; for what availes 
Valour or strength, though matchless, quelld with pain 
Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands 
Of Mightiest.  Sense of pleasure we may well 
Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine, 
But live content, which is the calmest life: 
But pain is perfet miserie, the worst 
Of evils, and excessive, overturnes 
All patience.  He who therefore can invent 
With what more forcible we may offend 
Our yet unwounded Enemies, or arme 
Our selves with like defence, to mee deserves 
No less then for deliverance what we owe. 
  Whereto with look compos'd SATAN repli'd. 
Not uninvented that, which thou aright 
Beleivst so main to our success, I bring; 
Which of us who beholds the bright surface 
Of this Ethereous mould whereon we stand, 
This continent of spacious Heav'n, adornd 
With Plant, Fruit, Flour Ambrosial, Gemms & Gold, 
Whose Eye so superficially surveyes 
These things, as not to mind from whence they grow 
Deep under ground, materials dark and crude, 
Of spiritous and fierie spume, till toucht 
With Heav'ns ray, and temperd they shoot forth 
So beauteous, op'ning to the ambient light. 
These in thir dark Nativitie the Deep 
Shall yeild us, pregnant with infernal flame, 
Which into hallow Engins long and round 
Thick-rammd, at th' other bore with touch of fire 
Dilated and infuriate shall send forth 
From far with thundring noise among our foes 
Such implements of mischief as shall dash 
To pieces, and orewhelm whatever stands 
Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarmd 
The Thunderer of his only dreaded bolt. 
Nor long shall be our labour, yet ere dawne, 
Effect shall end our wish.  Mean while revive; 
Abandon fear; to strength and counsel joind 
Think nothing hard, much less to be despaird. 
He ended, and his words thir drooping chere 
Enlightn'd, and thir languisht hope reviv'd. 
Th' invention all admir'd, and each, how hee 
To be th' inventer miss'd, so easie it seemd 
Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought 
Impossible: yet haply of thy Race 
In future dayes, if Malice should abound, 
Some one intent on mischief, or inspir'd 
With dev'lish machination might devise 
Like instrument to plague the Sons of men 
For sin, on warr and mutual slaughter bent. 
Forthwith from Councel to the work they flew, 
None arguing stood, innumerable hands 
Were ready, in a moment up they turnd 
Wide the Celestial soile, and saw beneath 
Th' originals of Nature in thir crude 
Conception; Sulphurous and Nitrous Foame 
They found, they mingl'd, and with suttle Art, 
Concocted and adusted they reduc'd 
To blackest grain, and into store conveyd: 
Part hidd'n veins diggd up (nor hath this Earth 
Entrails unlike) of Mineral and Stone, 
Whereof to found thir Engins and thir Balls 
Of missive ruin; part incentive reed 
Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire. 
So all ere day spring, under conscious Night 
Secret they finish'd, and in order set, 
With silent circumspection unespi'd. 
Now when fair Morn Orient in Heav'n appeerd 
Up rose the Victor Angels, and to Arms 
The matin Trumpet Sung: in Arms they stood 
Of Golden Panoplie, refulgent Host, 
Soon banded; others from the dawning Hills 
Lookd round, and Scouts each Coast light-armed scoure, 
Each quarter, to descrie the distant foe, 
Where lodg'd, or whither fled, or if for fight, 
In motion or in alt: him soon they met 
Under spred Ensignes moving nigh, in slow 
But firm Battalion; back with speediest Sail 
ZEPHIEL, of Cherubim the swiftest wing, 
Came flying, and in mid Aire aloud thus cri'd. 
  Arme, Warriours, Arme for fight, the foe at hand, 
Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit 
This day, fear not his flight; so thick a Cloud 
He comes, and settl'd in his face I see 
Sad resolution and secure: let each 
His Adamantine coat gird well, and each 
Fit well his Helme, gripe fast his orbed Shield, 
Born eevn or high, for this day will pour down, 
If I conjecture aught, no drizling showr, 
But ratling storm of Arrows barbd with fire. 
So warnd he them aware themselves, and soon 
In order, quit of all impediment; 
Instant without disturb they took Allarm, 
And onward move Embattelld; when behold 
Not distant far with heavie pace the Foe 
Approaching gross and huge; in hollow Cube 
Training his devilish Enginrie, impal'd 
On every side with shaddowing Squadrons Deep, 
To hide the fraud.  At interview both stood 
A while, but suddenly at head appeerd 
SATAN: And thus was heard Commanding loud. 
  Vangard, to Right and Left the Front unfould; 
That all may see who hate us, how we seek 
Peace and composure, and with open brest 
Stand readie to receive them, if they like 
Our overture, and turn not back perverse; 
But that I doubt, however witness Heaven, 
Heav'n witness thou anon, while we discharge 
Freely our part: yee who appointed stand 
Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch 
What we propound, and loud that all may hear. 
  So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce 
Had ended; when to Right and Left the Front 
Divided, and to either Flank retir'd. 
Which to our eyes discoverd new and strange, 
A triple-mounted row of Pillars laid 
On Wheels (for like to Pillars most they seem'd 
Or hollow'd bodies made of Oak or Firr 
With branches lopt, in Wood or Mountain fell'd) 
Brass, Iron, Stonie mould, had not thir mouthes 
With hideous orifice gap't on us wide, 
Portending hollow truce; at each behind 
A Seraph stood, and in his hand a Reed 
Stood waving tipt with fire; while we suspense, 
Collected stood within our thoughts amus'd, 
Not long, for sudden all at once thir Reeds 
Put forth, and to a narrow vent appli'd 
With nicest touch.  Immediate in a flame, 
But soon obscur'd with smoak, all Heav'n appeerd, 
From those deep-throated Engins belcht, whose roar 
Emboweld with outragious noise the Air, 
And all her entrails tore, disgorging foule 
Thir devillish glut, chaind Thunderbolts and Hail 
Of Iron Globes, which on the Victor Host 
Level'd, with such impetuous furie smote, 
That whom they hit, none on thir feet might stand, 
Though standing else as Rocks, but down they fell 
By thousands, Angel on Arch-Angel rowl'd; 
The sooner for thir Arms, unarm'd they might 
Have easily as Spirits evaded swift 
By quick contraction or remove; but now 
Foule dissipation follow'd and forc't rout; 
Nor serv'd it to relax thir serried files. 
What should they do? if on they rusht, repulse 
Repeated, and indecent overthrow 
Doubl'd, would render them yet more despis'd, 
And to thir foes a laughter; for in view 
Stood rankt of Seraphim another row 
In posture to displode thir second tire 
Of Thunder: back defeated to return 
They worse abhorr'd.  SATAN beheld thir plight, 
And to his Mates thus in derision call'd. 
  O Friends, why come not on these Victors proud? 
Ere while they fierce were coming, and when wee, 
To entertain them fair with open Front 
And Brest, (what could we more?) propounded terms 
Of composition, strait they chang'd thir minds, 
Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell, 
As they would dance, yet for a dance they seemd 
Somwhat extravagant and wilde, perhaps 
For joy of offerd peace: but I suppose 
If our proposals once again were heard 
We should compel them to a quick result. 
  To whom thus BELIAL in like gamesom mood. 
Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight, 
Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home, 
Such as we might perceive amus'd them all, 
And stumbl'd many, who receives them right, 
Had need from head to foot well understand; 
Not understood, this gift they have besides, 
They shew us when our foes walk not upright. 
  So they among themselves in pleasant veine 
Stood scoffing, highthn'd in thir thoughts beyond 
All doubt of Victorie, eternal might 
To match with thir inventions they presum'd 
So easie, and of his Thunder made a scorn, 
And all his Host derided, while they stood 
A while in trouble; but they stood not long, 
Rage prompted them at length, & found them arms 
Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose. 
Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power 
Which God hath in his mighty Angels plac'd) 
Thir Arms away they threw, and to the Hills 
(For Earth hath this variety from Heav'n 
Of pleasure situate in Hill and Dale) 
Light as the Lightning glimps they ran, they flew, 
From thir foundations loosning to and fro 
They pluckt the seated Hills with all thir load, 
Rocks, Waters, Woods, and by the shaggie tops 
Up lifting bore them in thir hands: Amaze, 
Be sure, and terrour seis'd the rebel Host, 
When coming towards them so dread they saw 
The bottom of the Mountains upward turn'd, 
Till on those cursed Engins triple-row 
They saw them whelmd, and all thir confidence 
Under the weight of Mountains buried deep, 
Themselves invaded next, and on thir heads 
Main Promontories flung, which in the Air 
Came shadowing, and opprest whole Legions arm'd, 
Thir armor help'd thir harm, crush't in and brus'd 
Into thir substance pent, which wrought them pain 
Implacable, and many a dolorous groan, 
Long strugling underneath, ere they could wind 
Out of such prison, though Spirits of purest light, 
Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown. 
The rest in imitation to like Armes 
Betook them, and the neighbouring Hills uptore; 
So Hills amid the Air encounterd Hills 
Hurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire, 
That under ground they fought in dismal shade; 
Infernal noise; Warr seem'd a civil Game 
To this uproar; horrid confusion heapt 
Upon confusion rose: and now all Heav'n 
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspred, 
Had not th' Almightie Father where he sits 
Shrin'd in his Sanctuarie of Heav'n secure, 
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen 
This tumult, and permitted all, advis'd: 
That his great purpose he might so fulfill, 
To honour his Anointed Son aveng'd 
Upon his enemies, and to declare 
All power on him transferr'd: whence to his Son 
Th' Assessor of his Throne he thus began. 
  Effulgence of my Glorie, Son belov'd, 
Son in whose face invisible is beheld 
Visibly, what by Deitie I am, 
And in whose hand what by Decree I doe, 
Second Omnipotence, two dayes are past, 
Two dayes, as we compute the dayes of Heav'n, 
Since MICHAEL and his Powers went forth to tame 
These disobedient; sore hath been thir fight, 
As likeliest was, when two such Foes met arm'd; 
For to themselves I left them, and thou knowst, 
Equal in their Creation they were form'd, 
Save what sin hath impaird, which yet hath wrought 
Insensibly, for I suspend thir doom; 
Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last 
Endless, and no solution will be found: 
Warr wearied hath perform'd what Warr can do, 
And to disorder'd rage let loose the reines, 
With Mountains as with Weapons arm'd, which makes 
Wild work in Heav'n, and dangerous to the maine. 
Two dayes are therefore past, the third is thine; 
For thee I have ordain'd it, and thus farr 
Have sufferd, that the Glorie may be thine 
Of ending this great Warr, since none but Thou 
Can end it.  Into thee such Vertue and Grace 
Immense I have transfus'd, that all may know 
In Heav'n and Hell thy Power above compare, 
And this perverse Commotion governd thus, 
To manifest thee worthiest to be Heir 
Of all things, to be Heir and to be King 
By Sacred Unction, thy deserved right. 
Go then thou Mightiest in thy Fathers might, 
Ascend my Chariot, guide the rapid Wheeles 
That shake Heav'ns basis, bring forth all my Warr, 
My Bow and Thunder, my Almightie Arms 
Gird on, and Sword upon thy puissant Thigh; 
Pursue these sons of Darkness, drive them out 
From all Heav'ns bounds into the utter Deep: 
There let them learn, as likes them, to despise 
God and MESSIAH his anointed King. 
  He said, and on his Son with Rayes direct 
Shon full, he all his Father full exprest 
Ineffably into his face receiv'd, 
And thus the filial Godhead answering spake. 
  O Father, O Supream of heav'nly Thrones, 
First, Highest, Holiest, Best, thou alwayes seekst 
To glorifie thy Son, I alwayes thee, 
As is most just; this I my Glorie account, 
My exaltation, and my whole delight, 
That thou in me well pleas'd, declarst thy will 
Fulfill'd, which to fulfil is all my bliss. 
Scepter and Power, thy giving, I assume, 
And gladlier shall resign, when in the end 
Thou shalt be All in All, and I in thee 
For ever, and in mee all whom thou lov'st: 
But whom thou hat'st, I hate, and can put on 
Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on, 
Image of thee in all things; and shall soon, 
Armd with thy might, rid heav'n of these rebell'd, 
To thir prepar'd ill Mansion driven down 
To chains of Darkness, and th' undying Worm, 
That from thy just obedience could revolt, 
Whom to obey is happiness entire. 
Then shall thy Saints unmixt, and from th' impure 
Farr separate, circling thy holy Mount 
Unfained HALLELUIAHS to thee sing, 
Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief. 
So said, he o're his Scepter bowing, rose 
From the right hand of Glorie where he sate, 
And the third sacred Morn began to shine 
Dawning through Heav'n: forth rush'd with whirlwind sound 
The Chariot of Paternal Deitie, 
Flashing thick flames, Wheele within Wheele undrawn, 
It self instinct with Spirit, but convoyd 
By four Cherubic shapes, four Faces each 
Had wondrous, as with Starrs thir bodies all 
And Wings were set with Eyes, with Eyes the Wheels 
Of Beril, and careering Fires between; 
Over thir heads a chrystal Firmament, 
Whereon a Saphir Throne, inlaid with pure 
Amber, and colours of the showrie Arch. 
Hee in Celestial Panoplie all armd 
Of radiant URIM, work divinely wrought, 
Ascended, at his right hand Victorie 
Sate Eagle-wing'd, beside him hung his Bow 
And Quiver with three-bolted Thunder stor'd, 
And from about him fierce Effusion rowld 
Of smoak and bickering flame, and sparkles dire; 
Attended with ten thousand thousand Saints, 
He onward came, farr off his coming shon, 
And twentie thousand (I thir number heard) 
Chariots of God, half on each hand were seen: 
Hee on the wings of Cherub rode sublime 
On the Crystallin Skie, in Saphir Thron'd. 
Illustrious farr and wide, but by his own 
First seen, them unexpected joy surpriz'd, 
When the great Ensign of MESSIAH blaz'd 
Aloft by Angels born, his Sign in Heav'n: 
Under whose Conduct MICHAEL soon reduc'd 
His Armie, circumfus'd on either Wing, 
Under thir Head imbodied all in one. 
Before him Power Divine his way prepar'd; 
At his command the uprooted Hills retir'd 
Each to his place, they heard his voice and went 
Obsequious, Heav'n his wonted face renewd, 
And with fresh Flourets Hill and Valley smil'd. 
This saw his hapless Foes, but stood obdur'd, 
And to rebellious fight rallied thir Powers 
Insensate, hope conceiving from despair. 
In heav'nly Spirits could such perverseness dwell? 
But to convince the proud what Signs availe, 
Or Wonders move th' obdurate to relent? 
They hard'nd more by what might most reclame, 
Grieving to see his Glorie, at the sight 
Took envie, and aspiring to his highth, 
Stood reimbattell'd fierce, by force or fraud 
Weening to prosper, and at length prevaile 
Against God and MESSIAH, or to fall 
In universal ruin last, and now 
To final Battel drew, disdaining flight, 
Or faint retreat; when the great Son of God 
To all his Host on either hand thus spake. 
  Stand still in bright array ye Saints, here stand 
Ye Angels arm'd, this day from Battel rest; 
Faithful hath been your Warfare, and of God 
Accepted, fearless in his righteous Cause, 
And as ye have receivd, so have ye don 
Invincibly; but of this cursed crew 
The punishment to other hand belongs, 
Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints; 
Number to this dayes work is not ordain'd 
Nor multitude, stand onely and behold 
Gods indignation on these Godless pourd 
By mee; not you but mee they have despis'd, 
Yet envied; against mee is all thir rage, 
Because the Father, t' whom in Heav'n supream 
Kingdom and Power and Glorie appertains, 
Hath honourd me according to his will. 
Therefore to mee thir doom he hath assig'n'd; 
That they may have thir wish, to trie with mee 
In Battel which the stronger proves, they all, 
Or I alone against them, since by strength 
They measure all, of other excellence 
Not emulous, nor care who them excells; 
Nor other strife with them do I voutsafe. 
  So spake the Son, and into terrour chang'd 
His count'nance too severe to be beheld 
And full of wrauth bent on his Enemies. 
At once the Four spred out thir Starrie wings 
With dreadful shade contiguous, and the Orbes 
Of his fierce Chariot rowld, as with the sound 
Of torrent Floods, or of a numerous Host. 
Hee on his impious Foes right onward drove, 
Gloomie as Night; under his burning Wheeles 
The stedfast Empyrean shook throughout, 
All but the Throne it self of God.  Full soon 
Among them he arriv'd; in his right hand 
Grasping ten thousand Thunders, which he sent 
Before him, such as in thir Soules infix'd 
Plagues; they astonisht all resistance lost, 
All courage; down thir idle weapons drop'd; 
O're Shields and Helmes, and helmed heads he rode 
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-visag'd Foure, 
Distinct with eyes, and from the living Wheels, 
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes, 
One Spirit in them rul'd, and every eye 
Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire 
Among th' accurst, that witherd all thir strength, 
And of thir wonted vigour left them draind, 
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall'n. 
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd 
His Thunder in mid Volie, for he meant 
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heav'n: 
The overthrown he rais'd, and as a Heard 
Of Goats or timerous flock together throngd 
Drove them before him Thunder-struck, pursu'd 
With terrors and with furies to the bounds 
And Chrystall wall of Heav'n, which op'ning wide, 
Rowld inward, and a spacious Gap disclos'd 
Into the wastful Deep; the monstrous sight 
Strook them with horror backward, but far worse 
Urg'd them behind; headlong themselvs they threw 
Down from the verge of Heav'n, Eternal wrauth 
Burnt after them to the bottomless pit. 
  Hell heard th' unsufferable noise, Hell saw 
Heav'n ruining from Heav'n and would have fled 
Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep 
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. 
Nine dayes they fell; confounded CHAOS roard, 
And felt tenfold confusion in thir fall 
Through his wilde Anarchie, so huge a rout 
Incumberd him with ruin: Hell at last 
Yawning receavd them whole, and on them clos'd, 
Hell thir fit habitation fraught with fire 
Unquenchable, the house of woe and paine. 
Disburd'nd Heav'n rejoic'd, and soon repaird 
Her mural breach, returning whence it rowld. 
Sole Victor from th' expulsion of his Foes 
MESSIAH his triumphal Chariot turnd: 
To meet him all his Saints, who silent stood 
Eye witnesses of his Almightie Acts, 
With Jubilie advanc'd; and as they went, 
Shaded with branching Palme, each order bright, 
Sung Triumph, and him sung Victorious King, 
Son, Heire, and Lord, to him Dominion giv'n, 
Worthiest to Reign: he celebrated rode 
Triumphant through mid Heav'n, into the Courts 
And Temple of his mightie Father Thron'd 
On high; who into Glorie him receav'd, 
Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss. 
  Thus measuring things in Heav'n by things on Earth 
At thy request, and that thou maist beware 
By what is past, to thee I have reveal'd 
What might have else to human Race bin hid; 
The discord which befel, and Warr in Heav'n 
Among th' Angelic Powers, and the deep fall 
Of those too high aspiring, who rebelld 
With SATAN, hee who envies now thy state, 
Who now is plotting how he may seduce 
Thee also from obedience, that with him 
Bereavd of happiness thou maist partake 
His punishment, Eternal miserie; 
Which would be all his solace and revenge, 
As a despite don against the most High, 
Thee once to gaine Companion of his woe. 
But list'n not to his Temptations, warne 
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. 

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.