. © 1999 . Joseph Lanzara . All rights reserved

John Milton's Paradise Lost

VI-1. All night the dreadless Angel unpursu'd / Through Heav'ns wide Champain held his way, till Morn, / Wak't by the circling Hours, with rosie hand / Unbarr'd the gates of Light.

I-1. PLAIN ENGLISH VERSION VI-1. The brave angel traveled all night, till morning. Nobody chased after him.

VI-4. 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 Heav'n / Grateful vicissitude, like Day and Night; / Light issues forth, and at the other dore / Obsequious darkness enters, till her houre / To veile the Heav'n,

VI-4. In Heaven there's a cave near God's throne. Light and darkness take turns coming out of it and travel through Heaven, like day and night.

VI-11. though darkness there might well / Seem twilight here;

VI-11. Night there is like twilight on Earth.

VI-12. and now went forth the Morn / Such as in highest Heav'n, arrayd in Gold / Empyreal, from before her vanisht Night, / Shot through with orient Beams: when all the Plain / Coverd with thick embatteld Squadrons bright, / Chariots and flaming Armes, and fierie Steeds / Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his view:

VI-12. Abdiel saw the whole plain covered with squadrons of chariots, reflecting the morning light.

VI-19. Warr he perceav'd, warr in procinct, and found / Already known what he for news had thought / To have reported:

VI-19. He could see God's army was ready for war. Apparently they already knew what he was coming to report.

VI-21. gladly then he mixt / Among those friendly Powers who him receav'd / With joy and acclamations loud, that one / That of so many Myriads fall'n, yet one / Returnd not lost:

VI-21. He was happy to be home. They all greeted him and praised him for being the only one of all of Satan's followers who wouldn't rebel against God.

VI-25. On to the sacred hill / They led him high applauded, and present / Before the seat supream;

VI-25. They brought him before God's throne.

VI-28. from whence a voice / From midst a Golden Cloud thus milde was heard. / Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought / The better fight, who single hast maintaind / Against revolted multitudes

VI-28. God's gentle voice said, “Well done, Abdiel. You held your own against the pack.

VI-32. the Cause / Of Truth, in word mightier then they in Armes;

VI-32. The truth made you stronger than they were, with all their weapons.

VI-33. And for the testimonie of Truth hast born / Universal reproach, far worse to beare / Then violence: for this was all thy care / To stand approv'd in sight of God, though Worlds / Judg'd thee perverse:

VI-33. In return you were mocked, and had to face all their contempt. That can be tougher to take than violence. But you only cared about getting my approval.

VI-37. the easier conquest now / Remains thee, aided by this host of friends, / Back on thy foes more glorious to return / Then scornd thou didst depart,

VI-37. Your next victory will be much easier. You'll go back and fight them, backed up by my whole army. You left there being ridiculed, but you'll return in glory.

VI-40. and to subdue / By force, who reason for thir Law refuse, / Right reason for thir Law, and for thir King / Messiah, who by right of merit Reigns.

VI-40. We'll have to use force against those who reject their rightful King Messiah and his laws.

VI-44. 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,

VI-44. Michael, you are my highest military leader. And Gabriel, next in rank, both of you go lead my army in battle against the rebels. Take as many thousands as you need to equal theirs.

VI-50. them with Fire and hostile Arms / Fearless assault,

VI-50. Use whatever weapons you need.

VI-51. and to the brow of Heav'n / Pursuing drive them out from God and bliss, / Into thir place of punishment, the Gulf / Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide / His fiery Chaos to receave thir fall.

VI-51. Drive them right out of Heaven into their place of punishment. Hell is wide open and ready for them to fall into it.”

VI-56. So spake the Sovran voice, and Clouds began / To darken all the Hill, and smoak to rowl / In duskie wreathes, reluctant flames, the signe / Of wrauth awak't:

VI-56. Heaven got dark and fiery. It was a sign of God's anger.

VI-59. nor with less dread the loud / Ethereal Trumpet from on high gan blow:

VI-59. Equally scary was the trumpet that blew.

VI-61. At which command the Powers Militant, / That stood for Heav'n, in mighty Quadrate joyn'd / Of Union irresistible, mov'd on / In silence thir bright Legions, to the sound / Of instrumental Harmonie that breath'd / Heroic Ardor to advent'rous deeds / Under thir God-like Leaders, in the Cause / Of God and his Messiah.

VI-61. All of God's powerful army came out when they heard it. It motivated them to go fight.

VI-68. On they move / Indissolubly firm; nor obvious Hill / Nor streit'ning Vale, nor Wood, nor Stream divides / Thir perfet ranks; for high above the ground / Thir march was, and the passive Air upbore / Thir nimble tread,

VI-68. On they went. Hills and woods were no obstacle. They just flew over them.

VI-73. as when the total kind / Of Birds in orderly array on wing / Came summond over Eden to receive / Thir names of thee;

VI-73. It was like when all the different kinds of birds came to get their names from you, Adam, all perfectly lined up.

VI-76. so over many a tract / Of Heav'n they march'd, and many a Province wide / Tenfold the length of this terrene:

VI-76. They traveled a very long distance.

VI-79. at last / Farr in th' Horizon to the North appeer'd / From skirt to skirt a fierie Region, stretcht / In battailous aspect, and neerer view / Bristl'd with upright beams innumerable / Of rigid Spears, and Helmets throng'd, and Shields / Various, with boastful Argument portraid, / The banded Powers of Satan hasting on / With furious expedition;

VI-79. Finally they could begin to see shields and spears spread all across the horizon. It was Satan's army speedily advancing.

VI-86. for they weend / That self same day by fight, or by surprize / To win the Mount of God, and on his Throne / To set the envier of his State, the proud / Aspirer, but thir thoughts prov'd fond and vain / In the mid way:

VI-86. Satan's forces had planned to take God by surprise and take over his throne, but they could see that wasn't going to work.

VI-91. though strange to us it seemd / At first, that Angel should with Angel warr, / 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 th' Eternal Father: but the shout / Of Battel now began, and rushing sound / Of onset ended soon each milder thought.

VI-91. We may find it hard to imagine gentle creatures like angels fighting a war, but that's exactly what happened next.

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