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This said unanimous, and other rites
Now had night measured with her shadowy cone
“ Uzziel, half these draw off, and coast the south With strictest watch ; these other wheel the north ; Our circuit meets full west.” As flame they part, Half wheeling to the shield, half to the spear. From these, two strong and subtle spirits he called 615 That near him stood, and gave them thus in charge :
“ Ithuriel and Zephon, with winged speed Search through this garden, leave unsearched no nook ; But chiefly where those two fair creatures lodge, Now laid perhaps asleep, secure of harm. This evening from the sun's decline arrived, Who tells of some infernal Spirit seen Hitherward bent (who could have thought?) escaped The bars of Hell, on errand bad no doubt: Such, where ye find, seize fast, and hither bring." 625
So saying, on he led his radiant files, Dazzling the moon ; these to the bower direct In search of whom they sought: Him there they found Squat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve, Assaying by his devilish art to reach
630 The organs of her fancy, and with them forge Illusions, as he list, phantasms and dreams.
Him, thus intent, Ithuriel with his spear
Against a rumoured war, the smutty grain,
SATAN. “Know ye not then, said Satan, filled with scorn, 650 Know ye not me?
knew me once no mate For
you, there sitting where ye durst not soar:
rebuke Severe in youthful beauty, added grace
665 Invincible: Abashed the Devil stood, And felt how awful goodness is, and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely ; saw, and pined His loss; but chiefly to find here observed His lustre visibly impaired; yet seemed
670 SATAN. Undaunted : “ If I must contend,” said he, “Best with the best, the sender, not the sent, Or all at once; more glory will be won, Or less be lost."- “ Thy fear,” said Zephon bold, 1 Dirty, black.-Germ. schmuzig.
% Ugly, hideous.
66 Will save us trial what the least can do
The Fiend replied not, overcome with rage;
“ O friends! I hear the tread of nimble feet
He scarce had ended, when those two approached,
To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake :
“Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds prescribed To thy transgressions, and disturbed the charge Of others, who approve not to transgress
700 By thy example, but have power and right To question thy bold entrance on this place ; Employed, it seems, to violate sleep, and those Whose dwelling God hath planted here in bliss ?
To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow :- 705
“ Gabriel ! thou hadst in Heaven the esteem of wise, And such I held thee ; but this question asked Puts me in doubt. Lives there who loves his pain? Who would not, finding way, break loose from Hell, Though thither doomed?- Let him surer bar
710 His iron gates, if he intends our stay
In that dark durance : Thus much what was asked.
“O loss of one in Heaven to judge of wise,
725 Came not all Hell broke loose? is pain to them Less pain, less to be filed; or thou than they Less hardy to endure? Courageous Chief The first in flight from pain! hadst thou alleged To thy deserted host this cause of flight,
730 Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.”
To which the Fiend thus answered, frowning stern:
“Not that I less endure, or shrink from pain,
To whom the warrior Angel soon replied:
“ To say and straight unsay, pretending first
765 Fly thither whence thou fledst! If from this hour Within these hallowed limits thou appear, Back to the infernal pit I drag thee chained, And seal thee so, as henceforth not to scorn The facile gates of Hell too slightly barred.”
So threatened he; but Satan to no threats
While thus he spake, the angelic squadron bright 780 Turned fiery red, sharpening in moonèd horns Their phalanx, and began to hem him round With ported spears.
On the other side, Satan, alarmed, Collecting all his might, dilated stood, Like Teneriffe or Atlas, unremoved: His stature reached the sky, and on his crest Sat Horror plumed; nor wanted in his grasp What seemed both spear and shield : Now dreadful deeds