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Or less be lost.”. “Thy fear,” said Zephon bold,
« O friends! I hear the tread of nimble feet
He scarce had ended, when those two approached, And brief related whom they brought, where found, How busied, in what form and posture couched.
To whom with stern regard thus Gabriel spake. “Why hast thou, Satan, broke the bounds pre
To whom thus Satan with contemptuous brow.
doubt, And boldly venture to whatever place
Farthest from pain, where thou might'st hope to
change Torment with ease, and soonest recompense Dole with delight, which in this place I sought; To thee no reason, who knowest only good, But evil hast not tried: 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 asked. The rest is true, they found me where they say, But that implies not violence or harm.'
Thus he in scorn. The warlike angel, moved, Disdainfully half smiling, thus replied.
"O loss of one in Heaven to judge of wise, Since Satan fell, whom folly overthrew, And now returns him from his prison 'scaped, Gravely in doubt whether to hold them wise Or not, who ask what boldness brought him hither, Unlicensed, from his hounds in hell prescribed; So wise he judges it to fly from pain, However, and to escape his punishment ! So judge thou still, presumptuous! till the wrath Which thou incurrest by flying, meet thy flight Sevenfold, and scourge that wisdom back to hell, Which taught thee yet no better, that no pain Can equal anger infinite provoked. But wherefore thou alone? wherefore with thee 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, Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.”
To which the fiend thus answered, frowning stern, “ Not that I less endure or shrink from pain, Insulting angel! well thou knowest I stood Thy fiercest, when in battle to thy aid The blasting vollied thunder made all speed, And seconded thy else not dreaded spear. But still thy words at random, as before, Argue thy inexperience what behooves,
From hard assays and ill successes past,
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 their Lord High up in Heaven, with songs to hymn his throne And practised distances to cringe, not fight."
To whom the warrior angel soon replied. “To say and straight unsay, pretending first Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy, . Argues no leader but a liar traced; Satan, and couldst thou faithful add? O name, O sacred name of faithfulness profaned! Faithful to whom? to thy rebellious crew? Army of fiends, fit body to fit head. Was this your discipline and faith engaged, Your military obedience, to dissolve Allegiance to the acknowledged Power supreme? And thou, sly hypocrite, who now wouldst seem Patron of liberty, who more than thou Once fawned, and cringed, and servilely adored Heaven's awful monarch? wherefore, but in hope To dispossess him, and thyself to reign? But mark what I arreed thee now, avaunt; 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 Gave heed, but waxing more in rage, replied.
“ 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 Heaven's King
While thus he spake, the argelic squadron bright
, Collecting all his might, dilated stood, Like Teneriff 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 Might have ensued, nor only Paradise In this commotion, but the starry cope Of Heaven perhaps, or all the elements At least had gone to wrack, disturbed and torn With violence of this conflict, had not soon The Eternal, to prevent such horrid fray, Hung forth in Heaven his golden scales, yet seen Betwixt Astrea and the scorpion sign, Wherein all things created first he weighed, The pendulous round earth with balanced air In counterpoise, now ponders all events, Battles and realms: in these he put two weights, The sequel each of parting and of fight; The latter quick up flew, and kicked the beam; Which Gabriel spying, thus bespake the fiend. “Satan I know thy strength, and thou knowest
mine, Neither our own, but given; what folly then To boast what arms can do! since thine no more Than Heaven 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 weighed, and shown how light, how
weak, If thou resist." The fiend looked up, and knew His mounted scale aloft; nor more; but fled Murmuring, and with him fled the shades of night.
THE WIFE'S ADIEU. I soar to the realms of the bright and the blest, Where the mourners are solaced, the weary at rest; I rise to my glories, while thou must remain In this dark vale of tears, to dejection and pain. And hence, though my heart thrubs exulting to die, And visions of glory expand to my eye, The bosom that struggles and pants to be free, Still beats with regret and affection for thee. I fear not another, more fond and more fair, When I am forgotten, thy fortunes should share; Oh! find but a bosom devoted aš mine And my heart's latest blessing forever be thine. I fear-lest the stroke that now rends us apart, From the faith of the Christian, should sever thy heart, Lest seeking in anguish, relief from despair, The vain world should lure thee to look for it there. But oh! should it tempt thee awhile to resign A treasure so precious, a hope so divine; Should the light of his glory be hidden from thee In the hour of darkness, oh! think upon me. Remember the hope that enlivens me now, Though the dews of the damp grave are cold on my
brow; The faith that has nerved me with transport to see The hour of my doom, though it bears me from thee.
CHARACTER OF CARDINAL WOLSEY.
SHAKSPEARE. Enter Katharine, dowager, sick; led between Griffith
and Patience. Grif. How does your grace?