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ALL night the dreadless Angel unpursued
Through Heaven's wide champain held his way;


morn, Wak’d 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, 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
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 embattel'd squadrons bright,
Chariots and Alaming arms, and fiery steeds,
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view :
War he perceiv’d, war in procinct, and found
Already known what he for news had thought
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 fallen, yet one
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
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 battel 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
His fiery Chaos to receive their fall.

So spake the sovran voice, and clouds began
To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll


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