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Came summon'd over Eden to receive,
Their names of thee; so over many a tract
or heaven they march'd, and many a province wide,
Tenfold the length of this terrene.

At last,
Far in the horizon to the north appear’d
From skirt to skirt a fiery region , stretch'd
In battailous aspect, and nearer view
Bristled with upright beams innumerable
of rigid spears, and helmets throng'd, and shields
Various, with boastful argument portray'd ,
The banded Powers of Satan hasting on
With furious expedition; for they ween'd
That self-same day, by fight, or by surprise,
To win the mount of God, and on his throne
To set the envier of his state, the proud
Aspirer; but their thoughts prov'd fond and vain
In the mid way: though strange to us it seem'd
At first, that Angel should with Angel war,
And in fierce hosting mect, who wont to meet
So oft in festivals of joy and love
Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire,
Hymning the Eternal Father: but the shout
Of battle now began, and rushing sound
Of onset ended soon cach milder thought.
High in the midst , cxalted as a God,
The Apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat,
Idol of majesly 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

Venner citate all'Eden i lor nomi
A udir da te; cosi per gli ampi tratti
Del ciel quelle marciaro e immensi regni ,
Decupli il lungo della terra.

Lungi, di borea all'orizzonte apparve
Da lembo a lembo ignea region distesa
In bellico apparato , e più vicino
Selva orrida d'crette punte innumere
Di rigide aste , elmetti densi e scudi
Varî, campati di gloriosi fatti.
Son l'empie squadre di Satan, veloci
A folle espedizion; chè già per pugna
Quel di stesso credcano o per sorpresa
Di Dio scalare il monte, e sul suo trono
Quell'invido locar rivale altiero.
Ma lor desii cader falliti e vani
A mezzo via. Ne parve strano in prima
Che angel contro angelo battagli e in fera
Lotta si affrontin chi si spesso adusi
Erano a feste di piacer, di amore
Concorde, quai d'un sol gran padre figli
Inneggianti all'Eterno: ma il clamore
Di guerra già comincia, e un suon repente
D'assalto tronca ogni pensier gentile.
Sublime in mezzo quale un dio levato,
Il fellon su lucente coccbio stà
Idol di diva macstade cinto
Da cherubi fiammanti ed aurei scudi;
Quando balzò dall'alto soglio, che ora
Infra oste cd oste breve spazio vive,
Terribile intervallo ! e fronte a fronte

Presented stood in terrible array
of hideous length: before the cloudy van,
On the rough edge of battle ere it join'd
Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanc'd,
Came towering, arm'd 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 heaven! that such resemblance of the Highest
Should yet remain, where faith and reality
Remain not : wherefore should not strength and might
There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove
Where boldest ? Though to sight unconquerable
His puissance, trusting in the Almighty's aid,
I mean to try, whose reason I have tried
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 foul,
When reason hath to deal with force, yet so
Most reason is that reason overcome.

So pondering, and from bis armed peers Forth stepping opposite, half-way he met His daring foe, at this prevention more Incens'd, and thus securely him defied:

« Proud! art thou met ? thy hope was to have reach'd The height of thy aspiring unoppos'd, The throne of God unguarded, and his side Abandon'd, at the terror of thy power Or potent tongue : fool! not to think how vain Against the Omnipotent to rise in arms; Who out of smallest things could, without end,

Stansi affacciale in formidate schiere
D'orrido sfondo: innanzi al fier. vanguardo
Non giunto ancor di pugna all' orlo crudo,
Torreggiando Salan con pie' minace
Inoltrò armato d' adamante e d'oro.
Fremè a tal vista Abdiel che stea
Tra suoi più grandi caldo a belle imprese ,
E si il suo core impavido misura :

« O cielo ! e tanta dell' Eccelso imago
Può ancor restare ú veritade e fede
Non è? Perchè, valore e forza dura
Ove mancò virtù, ned è più imbelle
Chi baldo è più ? Benchè già paia invitto,
Di Dio fidandomi all'aiuto io voglio
Saggiar che possa ei cui fallaci e vane
Sue ragioni provai; si ben conviene
Che chi del Ver campione ha vinto, in arme
Pur vinca, in ambo vincitor del pari :
Benchè brutal sia la tenzone e folle,
Quando ragion debbe* pugnar con forza ,
Pur giusto è ben che la ragion trionfi. »

Così pensando e da' suoi soci armati
Fuori traendo a mezza via il nemico
Suo baldo affronta più sdegnato a tanto
Ardir precoce, e si fidente il punge :

« Prode! di trovi tu ? toccar sperasti
Senza lottar de' tuoi desii la meta,
Inerme il divin soglio, ed il suo fianco
Deserto a tema di tua possa o nerbo
Di tuo parlar. Stolto! ignorar che è vano
Contro l'onnipossente stringer l'armi;
Ch'ei potria da infiniti e vili obbietti

Have rais'd incessant armies to defeat
Thy folly; or with solitary hand
Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow,
Unaided, could have finish'd thee, and whelm'd
Thy legions under darkness : but thou scest
All are not of thy train; there be who faith
Prefer and picty to God, though then
To thee not visible, when I alone
Scem'd in thy world erroneous to dissent
From all; my sect thou seest ; now learn too late
How few sometimes may know, when thousands err. •

Whom the grand foe, with scornful eye askance ,
Thus answered: « Ill for thee, but in wish'd hour
of my revenge , first sought for, thou return'st
From flight seditious angel! to receive
Thy merited reward, the first assay
Of this right hand provok'd, since first that tongue,
Inspir’d with contradiction, durst oppose
A third part of the Gods, in synod mo
Their deities to assert; who, while they feel
Vigour divine within them, can allow
Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st
Before thy fellows, ambitious to win
From me some plume, that thy success may show
Destruction to the rest : this pause between,
(Unanswer'd lest thou boast) to let thee know,
At first I thought that liberty and heaven
To heavenly souls had been all one; but now
I see that most through sloth had rather serve,
Ministring spirits, train'd up in feast and song!
Such hast thou arm’d, the minstrelsy of heaven,
Servility with freedom to contend,

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