« PreviousContinue »
Both of thy crime and punishment: kenceforth
“ So spake the seraph Abdiel, faithful sound
905 And with retorted scorn his back he turn'd On those proud tow'rs to swift destruction doom'd.
THE END OF THE FIFTH BOOK,
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: Mes. siah returns with triumph to his Father.
"ALL night the dreadless angel, unpursued, Through Heav'n's wide champaign held his way; till
morn, Wak'd by the circling hours, with
25 They led him high applauded, and present
Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice
6 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 approv'd in sight of God, though worlds Judg‘d 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, o' celestial armies prince, And thou, in military prowess next,
45 Gabriel, lead forth to battle these my sons Invincible; lead forth my armed saints, By thousands and by millions, rang'd for fight, Equal in number to that godless crew Rebellious; them with fire and hostile arms 50 Fearless assault; and, to the brow of Heav'n 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.'
55 “ So spake the sov'reign voice, and clouds began To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign of wrath awak'd; nor with less dread the loud Ethereal trumpet from on high 'gan blow: 60 At which command the powers militant, That stood for Heav'n, in mighty quadrate joind of union irresistible, mov'd on In silence their bright legions, to the sound of instrumental harmony, that breath'd