English help?

Lines 627-32 contain a simile. How do you know it is a simile? What does it mean?

Th’ Arch-Angel stood, and from the other Hill

To their fixt Station, all in bright array

The Cherubim descended; on the ground

Gliding meteorous,55 as Ev’ning Mist

Ris’n from a River o’er the marish56 glides, 630

And gathers ground fast at the Laborer’s heel

Homeward returning. High in Front advanc’t,

1 Answer

  • The Cherubim descended, gliding over the ground; LIKE AN EVENING MIST RISEN FROM A RIVER, it glides over the marsh.

    It’s a simile because it is saying the movement of the cherubim IS SIMILAR TO/LIKE a mist hovering and moving across a marsh.

    ‘meterorous’ is a neologism (a word Milton invented from ‘meteor’), and has the sense of ‘aloft, above’, hence: gliding above the ground.

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