Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/385

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379
BOOK XI.

Choicest and best; then sacrificing laid
The inwards and their fat, with incense strewed,
On the cleft wood, and all due rites performed.440
His offering soon propitious fire from heaven
Consumed, with nimble glance and grateful steam;
The other's not, for his was not sincere.
Whereat he inly raged, and, as they talked,
Smote him into the midriff with a stone
That beat out life; he fell, and deadly pale
Groaned out his soul, with gushing blood effused.
Much at that sight was Adam in his heart
Dismayed, and thus in haste to the Angel cried:
"0 Teacher, some great mischief hath befallen
To that meek man, who well had sacrificed.451
Is piety thus and pure devotion paid?"
To whom Michael thus, he also moved, replied:
"These are two brethren, Adam, and to come
Out of thy loins. The unjust the just hath slain,
For envy that his brother's offering found
From Heaven acceptance; but the bloody fact
Will be avenged, and the other's faith approved
Lose no reward, though here thou see him die,
Rolling in dust and gore."—To which our sire:460
"Alas, both for the deed and for the cause!
But have I now seen death? Is this the way
I must return to native dust? O sight