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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 overwhelm 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.

PARADISE LOST.

BOOK VI.

“ All night the dreadless angel, unpursu'd, “ Through heaven's wide champaign held his way; till

“ Morn,

“Wak'd by the circling Hours, with rosy hand

“Unbarr'd the gates of light. There is a cave 5 “ 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 10 “Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour

“ 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, 15 “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 perceiv'd, war in procinct; and found 20 " Already known what he for news had thought

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To have reported: gladly then he mix’d
“ Among those friendly powers, who him receiv'd
“ With joy, and acclamations loud ; that one,

“ That of so many myriads fall'n, yet one 25 “ Return'd 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 maintain'd,

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, “. 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, 40 “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; 45 “ And thou in military prowess next,

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,
“• 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 55 ". 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

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“ Of wrath awak'd! Nor with less dread the loud 60 “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 65 “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, 70 “ 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,
75 “ 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
80 “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

“ Various, with boastful argument portray'd, 85 “ The banded powers of Satan, hasting on

With furious expedition: for they ween'd
“ That self-same day, by fight, or by surprise,
“ To win the mount of God, and on his throne
“ To set the envier of his state, the proud

Aspirer; but their thoughts prov'd fond and vain
“ In the mid way. Though strange to us it seem'd
At first, that angel should with angel war,
“ And in fierce hosting meet, who wont to meet

“So oft in festivals of joy, and love 95 “ Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire,

Hymning the Eternal Father. But the shout

90 "

“Of battle now began, and rushing sound
“Of onset ended soon each milder thought.

“ High in the midst, exalted as a god,
100 “ The apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat,

“ Idol of majesty divine ! enclos'd
“ With flaming Cherubim, and golden shields;
“ Then lighted from his gorgeous throne; for now

“ 'Twixt host and host but narrow space was left, 105 “A dreadful interval !-and front to front

Presented stood in terrible array
“Of hideous length: before the cloudy van,
“On the rough edge of battle ere it join'd,

Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanc'd, 110 “ Came towering, arm'd in adamant and gold.

Abdiel that sight endur'd not, where he stood

Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds ; “And thus his own undaunted heart explores :

«• O heaven! that such resemblance of the Highest 115 “. Should yet remain, where faith and reälty

" " Remain not: wherefore should not strength and might
“There fail, where virtue fails; or weakest prove,
«« Where boldest, though to sight unconquerable ?

“ His puissance, trusting in the Almighty's aid, 120 “I mean to try, whose reason I have tried

os. Unsound and false: nor is it aught but just
«« That he, who in debate of truth hath won,
“Should win in arms, in both disputes alike
. Victor ; though brutish that contést, and foul,
“• When reason hath to deal with force; yet so
Most reason is, that reason overcome.'

So pondering, and from his armed peers
“Forth stepping opposite, half-way he met

“ His daring foe, at this prevention more 130 “ Incens'd, and thus securely him defied :

“. Proud, art thou met? Thy hope was to have reach'd "The height of thy aspiring unoppos'd“ • The throne of God unguarded, and his side " • Abandon'd, at the terror of thy power,

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