Paradise Lost highlights

Discussion in 'Books and Other Writings' started by Daniel L Newhouse, May 28, 2017.

  1. Daniel L Newhouse

    Daniel L Newhouse Member

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    Paradise Lost Book II

    Such applause was heard
    As Mammon ended, and his sentence pleased,
    Advising peace: for such another field
    They dreaded worse than Hell; so much the fear
    Of thunder and the sword of Michael
    Wrought still within them; and no less desire
    To found this nether empire, which might rise,
    By policy and long process of time,
    In emulation opposite to Heaven.
    Which when Beelzebub perceived--than whom,
    Satan except, none higher sat--with grave
    Aspect he rose, and in his rising seemed
    A pillar of state.


    Paradise Lost Book VI
    Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince,
    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, ranged 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
    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 silence their bright legions, to the sound
    Of instrumental harmony, that breathed
    Heroick 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,
    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,
    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
    In battailous aspect, and nearer view
    Bristled with upright beams innumerable
    Of rigid spears, and helmets thronged, and shields
    Various, with boastful argument portrayed,
    The banded Powers of Satan hasting on
    With furious expedition; for they weened
    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 proved fond and vain
    In the mid way: Though strange to us it seemed
    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
    Unanimous, as sons of one great Sire,
    Hymning the Eternal Father: But the shout
    Of battle now began, and rushing sound
    Of onset ended soon each milder thought.
    High in the midst, exalted as a God,
    The Apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat,
    Idol of majesty divine, enclosed
    With flaming Cherubim, and golden shields;

    Paradise Lost Book XI

    Michael, this my behest have thou in charge;
    Take to thee from among the Cherubim
    Thy choice of flaming warriours, lest the Fiend,
    Or in behalf of Man, or to invade
    Vacant possession, some new trouble raise:
    Haste thee, and from the Paradise of God
    Without remorse drive out the sinful pair;
    From hallowed ground the unholy; and denounce
    To them, and to their progeny, from thence
    Perpetual banishment. Yet, lest they faint
    At the sad sentence rigorously urged,
    (For I behold them softened, and with tears
    Bewailing their excess,) all terrour hide.
    If patiently thy bidding they obey,
    Dismiss them not disconsolate; reveal
    To Adam what shall come in future days,
    As I shall thee enlighten; intermix
    My covenant in the Woman's seed renewed;
    So send them forth, though sorrowing, yet in peace:
    And on the east side of the garden place,
    Where entrance up from Eden easiest climbs,
    Cherubick watch; and of a sword the flame
    Wide-waving; all approach far off to fright,
    And guard all passage to the tree of life:
    Lest Paradise a receptacle prove
    To Spirits foul, and all my trees their prey;
    With whose stolen fruit Man once more to delude.
    He ceased; and the arch-angelick Power prepared
    For swift descent; with him the cohort bright
    Of watchful Cherubim: four faces each
    Had, like a double Janus; all their shape
    Spangled with eyes more numerous than those
    Of Argus, and more wakeful than to drouse,

    Paradise Lost Book XII

    But this usurper his encroachment proud
    Stays not on Man; to God his tower intends
    Siege and defiance: Wretched man!what food
    Will he convey up thither, to sustain
    Himself and his rash army; where thin air
    Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross,
    And famish him of breath, if not of bread?
    To whom thus Michael. Justly thou abhorrest
    That son, who on the quiet state of men
    Such trouble brought, affecting to subdue
    Rational liberty; yet know withal,
    Since thy original lapse, true liberty
    Is lost, which always with right reason dwells
    Twinned, and from her hath no dividual being:
    Reason in man obscured, or not obeyed,
    Immediately inordinate desires,
    And upstart passions, catch the government
    From reason; and to servitude reduce
    Man, till then free. Therefore, since he permits
    Within himself unworthy powers to reign
    Over free reason, God, in judgement just,
    Subjects him from without to violent lords;
    Who oft as undeservedly enthrall
    His outward freedom: Tyranny must be;
    Though to the tyrant thereby no excuse.
     

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