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So spake the fervent Angel ; but his zeal None seconded, as out of season judged,

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Or singular and rash. Whereat rejoiced
The Apostate, and, more haughty, thus replied :

“That we were formed, then, say'st 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? Remember'st 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

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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
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 -

«« 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

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Both of thy crime and punishment. Henceforth
No more be troubled how to quit the yoke

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Of God's Messiah. Those indulgent laws
Will not be now voutsafed ; 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 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 ;

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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
Superior, nor of violence feared aught;
And with retorted scorn his back he turned
On those proud towers, to swift destruction doomed."

THE END OF THE FIFTH BOOK

PARADISE LOST

BOOK VI

THE ARGUMENT

Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his Angels. The first fight described : Satan and his Powers retire under night. He calls a council ; invents 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 both 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.

“All night the dreadless Angel, unpursued,
Through Heaven's wide champaign held his way, till

Morn,
Waked by the circling Hours, with rosy hand
Unbarred the gates of Light. There is a cave
Within the Mount of God, fast by his throne,
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
To veil the Heaven, though darkness there might well

IO

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Seem twilight here. And now went forth the Morn,
Such as in highest Heaven, arrayed in gold
Empyreal ; from before her vanished Night,
Shot through with orient beams; when all the plain
Covered 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 mixed
Among those friendly Powers, who him received
With joy and acclamations loud, that one,
That of so many myriads fallen yet one,
Returned not lost. On to the sacred hill
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 maintained

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 careTo stand approved in sight of God, though worlds Judged thee perverse. The easier conquest now Remains thee-aided by this host of friends, Back on thy foes more glorious to return Than scorned thou didst depart; and to subdue By force who reason for their law refuseRight 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 my sons

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Invincible ; lead forth my armed Saints,
By thousands and by millions ranged for fight,
Equal in number to that godless crew
Rebellious. Them with fire and hostile arms

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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 Sovran Voice ; and 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 joined
Of union irresistible, moved on
In ilence their bright legions to the sound
Of instrumental harmony, that breathed
Heroic ardour to adventurous deeds
Under their godlike 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

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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 summoned over Eden to receive
Their names of thee; so over many a tract
Of Heaven they marched, and many a province wide,
Tenfold the length of this terrene. At last,
Far in the horizon, to the north, appeared
From skirt to skirt a fiery region, stretched

80 In battailous aspect; and, nearer view,

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