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Will not be now voùchsafed : other decrees
Against thee are gone forth, without recall;
That golden sceptre, which thou didst reject,
Is now an iron rod, to bruise and break
Thy disobedience. Well thou didst advise,
Yet, not for thy advice, or threats, I Ay
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 pass'd,
Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustain'd
Superior, nor of violence fear'd aught :
And, with retorted scorn, his back he turn'd
On those proud tow'rs, to swift destruction doom'd

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PARADISE LOST

BOOK VI

THE ARGUMENT

Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth

to battle against Satan and his angely. The first fight described. Satan and his powers retire under night. He calls a council, in. vents devilish engines, which in the second day's fight put Michael and his angels to some disorder; but they at length, pulling up mountains, overwhelmed Loth the force and machines of Satan. Yet the tumult not so ending, God, on the third day sends Messiah, his son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that victory: He, in the power of his Father, coming to the place, and causing all his legions to stand still on either side, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to resist, towards the wall of Heaven; which, opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prepared for them in the deep. Messiah returns with triumph to his Father.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK VI.

15

“All night the dreadless Angel, unpursued, Through Heaven's wide champaign held his way; till morn, Waked by the circling hours, with rosy hand, Unbarr'd the gates, of light. There is a cave, Within the mount of God, fast by his throne,

5 Where light and darkness, in perpetual round, Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Heaven Grateful vicissitude, like day and night: Light issues forth, and, at the other door, Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour

10 To veil the Heaven; though darkness there might well Seem twilight here. And now went forth the morn, Such as in highest Heaven array'd in gold Empyreal ; from before her vanish'd night, Shot through with orient beams; when all the plain, Cover'd with thick embattled squadrons bright, Chariots and flaming arms, and fiery steeds, Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view. War he perceived, war in procinct, and found Already known, what he for news had thought To have reported : gladly then he mix'd Among those friendly pow'rs, who him receiv'd With joy and acclamations loud, that one, That of so many myriads fall’n, yet one Return'd not lost. On to the sacred hill

25 They led him high applauded, and present Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice From midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard.

"Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought The better fight, who single hast maintain'd,

30 Against revolted multitudes, the cause Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms; And for the testimony of truth hast borne Universal reproach, far worse to bear Than violence; for this was all thy care,

35 To stand approved in sight of God, though worlds

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Judged thee perverse : the easier conquest now
Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,
Back on thy foes more glorious to return;
Than scorn'd thou didst depart, and to subdue
By force, who reason for their law refuse;
Right reason for their law, and for their king,
Messiah, who by right of merit reigns.
Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince,
And thou, in military prowess next,
Gabriel, lead forth to battle these
Invincible, lead forth thy armed saints,
By thousands and by millions ranged for fight;
Equal in number to that godless crew
Rebellious; them with fire and hostile arms
Fearless assault, and, to the brow of Heaven
Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss,
Into their place of punishment, the gulf
Of Tartarus; which ready opens wide
His fiery Chaos, to receive their fall.'

“So spake the sovereign voice; & clouds began
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll
In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign
Of wrath awaked; nor with less dread the loud
Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow :
At which command the powers militant,
That stood for Heaven, in mighty quadrate join'd
Of union irresistible, mov'd on
In silence their bright legions, to the sound
Of instrumental harmony, that breath'd
Heroic ardour to adventurous deeds,
Under their God-like leaders, in the cause
Of God and his Messiah. On they move,
Indissolubly firm; nor obvious hill,
Nor straitening vale, nor wood, nor stream divides
Their perfect ranks; for high above the ground
Their march was, and the passive air upbore
Their nimble tread: as when the total kind
Of birds, in orderly array on wing,
Came summon'd over Eden, to receive
Their names of thee: so over many a tract
Of 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

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