Page:Paradise lost by Milton, John.djvu/196

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190
PARADISE LOST.

Various, with boastful argument portrayed,
The banded Powers of Satan hasting on
With furious expedition; for they weened
That selfsame 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 midway. 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;
Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now
'Twixt host and host but narrow space was left,
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 joined,
Satan, with vast and haughty strides advanced,
Came towering, armed in adamant and gold.