Paradise Lost 5. 445-907 (Satan and Abdiel)


Yet not for thy advice or threats I fly

 These wicked tents devoted, lest the wrath

 Impendent, raging into sudden flame,

 Distinguish not: For soon expect to feel

 His thunder on thy head, devouring fire.

 Then who created thee lamenting learn,

 When who can uncreate thee thou shalt know.”

 So spake the Seraph Abdiel, faithful found

 Among the faithless, faithful only he;

 Among innumerable false, unmoved,

 Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,

 His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal;

 Nor number, nor example, with him wrought

 To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind,

 Though single. From amidst them forth he passed,

 Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustained

 Superiour, nor of violence feared aught;

 And, with retorted scorn, his back he turned

 On those proud towers to swift destruction doomed.


Text Box: Whether by supplication we intend 
 Address, and to begirt the almighty throne 
 Beseeching or besieging. This report, 
 These tidings carry to the anointed King; 
 And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.” 
 He said; and, as the sound of waters deep, 
 Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause 
 Through the infinite host; nor less for that 
 The flaming Seraph fearless, though alone 
 Encompassed round with foes, thus answered bold. 
 “O alienate from God, O Spirit accursed, 
 Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall 
 Determined, and thy hapless crew involved 
 In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread 
 Both of thy crime and punishment: Henceforth 
 No more be troubled how to quit the yoke 
 Of God's Messiah; those indulgent laws 
 Will not be now vouchsafed; other decrees 
 Against thee are gone forth without recall; 
 That golden scepter, which thou didst reject, 
 Is now an iron rod to bruise and break 
 Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise; 

                        “…Cease then this impious rage,

 And tempt not these; but hasten to appease

 The incensed Father, and the incensed Son,

 While pardon may be found in time besought.”

 So spake the fervent Angel; but his zeal

 None seconded, as out of season judged,

 Or singular and rash: Whereat rejoiced

 The Apostate, and, more haughty, thus replied.

 “That we were formed then sayest thou? and the work

 Of secondary hands, by task transferred

 From Father to his Son? strange point and new!

 Doctrine which we would know whence learned: who saw

 When this creation was? rememberest thou

 Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?

 We know no time when we were not as now;

 Know none before us, self-begot, self-raised

 By our own quickening power, when fatal course

 Had circled his full orb, the birth mature

 Of this our native Heaven, ethereal sons.

 Our puissance is our own; our own right hand

 Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try

 Who is our equal: Then thou shalt behold