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Stand still in bright array, ye Saints; here stand Ye Angels arm'd, this day from battle rest : Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause; And as ye have receiv’d, so have ye

done

805 Invincibly: but of this cursed crew The punishment to other hand belongs. Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints. Number to this day's work is not ordain'd, Nor multitude; stand only and behold 810 God's indignation on these Godless pour’d By me; not you, but me, they have despis’d, Yet envy'd. Against me is all their rage, Because the Father, t' whom in Heav'n supreme Kingdom, and pow'r, and glory appertains, 815 Hath honour'd me according to his will. Therefore to me their doom he hath assign'd; That they may have their wish, to try with me In battle which the stronger proves ; they all, Or I alone against them, since by strength 820 They measure all, of other excellence Not emulous, nor care who them excels; Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe.

So spake the Son, and into terror chang’d His count'nance, too severe to be beheld,

825 And full of wrath bent on his enemies. At once the Four spread out their starry wings With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs Of his fierce chariot roll’d, as with the sound Of torrent floods, or of a num'rous host.

830

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He on his impious foes right onward drove,
Gloomy as night: under his burning wheels
The stedfast empyrean shook throughout,
All but the throne itself of God. Full soon
Among them he arriv'd ; in his right hand 835
Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in their souls infix'd
Plagues. They astonish’d, all resistance lost, ,
All courage; down their idle weapons dropt.
O'er shields and helms and helmed heads he rode
Of Thrones and mighty Seraphim prostrate, 841
That wish'd the mountains now might be again
Thrown on them, as a shelter from his ire.
Nor less on either side tempestuous fell
His arrows, from the fourfold-visag'd Four 845
Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes;
One Spirit in them rul’d, and ev'ry eye
Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among th' accurs'd, that wither'd all their
strength,

850
And of their wonted vigour left them drain’d,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall’n.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
His thunder in mid volley; for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of Heav'n.
The overthrown he rais'd, and, as a herd 856
Of goats or tim'rous flock together throng’d,
Drove them before him thunder -struck, pursu'd
With terrors and with furies to the bounds

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And crystal wall of Heav'n; which op'ning wide, Roll’d inward, and a spacious gap

disclos'd 861 Into the wasteful deep. The monstrous sight Struck them with horror backward, but far worse Urg'd them behind : headlong themselves they

threw Down from the verge of Heav'n; eternal wrath Burnt after them to the bottomless pit. 866

Hell heard th’unsufferable noise ; Hell saw Heav'n ruining from Heav'n, and would have fled Affrighted'; but strict Fate had cast too deep Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound. Nine days they fell; confounded Chaos roar’d, And felt tenfold confusion in their fall Through his wild anarchy, so huge a rout Incumber'd him with ruin. Hell at last Yawning, receiv'd them whole, andon them clos'd: Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire 876 Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain. Disburden'd Heav'n rejoic'd, and soon repair’d Her mural breach, returning whence it roll’d. Sole Victor from th'expulsion of his foes, 880 Messiah his triumphal chariot turn'd. To meet him, all his Saints, who silent stood Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts, With jubilee advanc'd; and as they went, 884 Shaded with branching palm, each order bright, Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King, Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion giv'n, Worthiest to reign. He celebrated rode

Triumphant through mid Heav'n, into the courts
And temple of his Mighty Father thron'd 890
On high ; who into glory him receiv'd;
Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss.
Thus meas’ring things in Heav'n by things

on Earth,
At thy request, and that thou may’st beware
By what is past, to thee I have reveal'd 895
What might have else to human race been hid.
The discord which befel, and war in Heav'n
Among th’ Angelic Pow’rs, and the deep fall
Of those too high aspiring, who rebell'd
With Satan; he who envies now thy state, 900
Who now is plotting how he may

seduce Thee also from obedience, that with him Bereav’d of happiness thou may’st partake His punishment, eternal misery; Which would be all his solace and revenge, 905 As a despite done against the Most High, Thee once to gain companion of his woe. But listen not to his temptations, warn Thy weaker; let it profit thee to’ have heard, By terrible example, the reward

910 Of disobedience. Firm they might have stood, Yet fell : remember, and fear to transgress.

END OF THE SIXTH BOOK.

THE

SEVENTH BOOK

OF

PA R A DISE LOS T.

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