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Visibly, what by deity I am, And in whose hand by what decree I do, Second Omnipotence, two days are past, Two days, as we compute the days of heav'n, Since Michael and his pow’rs went forth to tame 'These disobedient: sore hath been their fight, As likeliest was, when two such foes met arm'd; For to themselves I left them, and thou know'st, Equal in their creation they were form’d, Save what sin hath impair’d, which yet hath wrought Insensible, for I suspend their doom; Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last Endless, and no solution will be found: War wearied hath perform'd what war can do, And to disorder'd rage let loose the reins, With mountains as with weapons arm’d, which makes Wild work in heav'n, and dang'rous to the main. Two days are therefore past, the third is thine ; For thee I have ordain'd it, and thus far Have suffer'd, that the glory may be thine Of ending this great war, since none but Thou Can end it. Into thee such virtue and grace Immense I have transfuz'd, that all may know In heav'n and hell thy pow'r above compare; And this perverse commotion govern'd, thus ... To manifest thee worthiest to be heir Of all things, to be heir, and to be King By sacred unction, thy deserved right. Go then thou mightiest in thy Father's might, Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels That shake heav'n's basis, bring forth all my war, My bow and thunder, my almighty arms Gird on; and sword upon thy puissant thigh, Pursue these sons of darkness, drive them out From all heav'n's bounds into the utter deep: There let them learn, as likes them, to despise God and Messiah his annointed King.
He said, and on his Son with rays direct Shone full: he all his Father full express'd
Ineffably into his face receiv'd;
And thus the filial Godhead answering spake :
O Father, O Supreme of heav'nly Thrones,
First, highest, holiest, best, thou always seek'st
To glorify thy Son, I always thee,
As is most just; this I my glory account,
My exaltation, and my whole delight,
That thou in me well pleas'd, declar'st thy will
Fulfill'd, which to fulfil is all my bliss.
Sceptre and pow'r, thy giving, I assume,
And gladlier shall resign, when in the end
Thou shalt be all in all, and I in thee
For ever, and in me all whom thou lov'st:
But whom thou hat'st, I hate, and can put on
Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on,
Image of thee in all things ; and shall soon,
Arm'd with thy might, rid heav'n of these rebellid,
To their prepar'd ill mansion driven down,
To chains of darkness, and th' undying worm,
That from thy just obedience could revolt,
Whom to obey is happiness entire.
Then shall thy saints unmix'd, and from th' impure
Far separate, circling thy holy mount
Unfeigned hallelujahs to thee sing,
Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief.
So said, he o'er his sceptre bowing, rose From the right hand of glory where he sat; And the third sacred morn began to shine, Dawning through heav'n : forth rush'd with whirl
wind sound The chariot of paternal Deity, Flashing thick fames, wheel within wheel undrawn, Itself instinct with spirit, but convoy'd By four cherubic shapes ; four faces each Had wondrous; as with stars their bodies all, And wings were set with eyes, with eyes the wheels Of beril, and careering fires between ; Over their heads a crystal firmament, Whereon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure
Amber, and colours of the show'ry arch. '
He in celestial panoply all arm'd
Of radiant urim, work divinely wrought,
Ascended; at his right hand victory
Sat eagle-wing'd : beside him hung his bow
And quiver with three-bolted thunder stor’d,
And from about him fierce effusion rollid
Of smoke and bickering flame and sparkles dire :
Attended with ten thousand thousand saints,
He onward came, far off his coming shone;
And twenty thousand (I their number heard)
Chariots of God, half on each hand were seen :
He on the wings of cherub rode sublime
On the crystaline sky, in sapphire thron'd
Illustrious far and wide, but by his own
First seen; then unexpected joy surpris'd
When the great ensign of Messiah blaz'd
Aloft by angels borne, his sign in heaven;
Under whose conduct Michael soon reduc'd
His army, circumfus'd on either wing,
Under their head embodied all one.
Before him pow'r divine his way prepar'd;
At his command th’ uprooted hills retir'd
Each to his place; they heard his voice, and went
Obsequious; heav'n his wonted face renew'd,
And with fresh flow'rets hill and valley smil'd.
This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdur'd,
And to rebellious fight rallied their powers
Insensate, hope conceiving from despair.
In heavenly spirits could such perverseness dwell ?
But to convince the proud what signs avail,
Or wonders move the obdurate to relent?
They harden'd more by what might most reclaim,
Grieving to see his glory, at the sight
Took envy: and aspiring to his height,
Stood re-embattled fierce, by force or fraud
Weening to prosper, and at length prevail
Against God and Messiah, or to fall
In universal ruin last; and now
To final battle drew, disdaining flight,
Or faint retreat; when the great Son of God
To all his host on either hand thus spake :
Stand still in bright array, ye saints, here stand
Ye angels arm'd, this day from battle rest;
Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God
Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause,
And as ye have receiv'd, so have ye done
Invincibly; but of this cursed crew
The punishment to other hand belongs;
Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints :
Number to this day's work is not ordain'd,
Nor multitude ; stand only and behold
God's indignation on these godless pour'd
By me; not you but me they have despis'd,
Yet envied ; against me is all their rage,
Because the Father, t' whom in heav'n supreme
Kingdom and pow'r and glory appertains,
Hath honour'd me according to his will.
Therefore to me their doom he hath assign'd
That they may have their wish, to try with me
In battle which the stronger proves, they all,
Or I alone against them, since by strength
They measure all, of other excellence
Not emulous, nor care who them excels ;
Nor other strife with them do I vouchsafe.
So spake the Son, and into terror chang'd His count'nance too severe to be beheld, And full of wrath bent on his enemies. At once the four spread out their starry wings With dreadful shade contiguous, and the orbs Of his fierce chariot roll’d, as with the sound Of torrent floods, or of a numerous host. He on his impious foes right onward drove, Gloomy as night; under his burning wheels The steadfast empyrean shook throughout, All but the throne itself of God. Full soon Among them he arriv'd, in his right hand Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in their souls infix'd
Plagues ; they astonish'd all resistance lost,
All courage : down their idle weapons dropt;
O'er shields and helms and helmed heads he rode
Of thrones and mighty seraphim prostrate,
That wish'd the mountains now might be again
Thrown on them as a shelter from his ire. '
Nor less on either side tempestuous fell .
His arrows, from the four-fold visag'd four
Distinct with eyes and from the living wheels
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes;
One spirit in them ruld, and every eye
Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among th' accurs'd, that wither'd all their strength,
And of their wonted vigour left them drain'd, ;
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall’n.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'
His thunder in mid volley : for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of heav'n:
The overthrown he rais'd, and as a herd -
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd',
Drove them before him thunderstruck, pursued
With terrors and with furies to the bounds :
And crystal wall of heav'n, which opening wide,
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclosd y
Into the wasteful deep; the monstrous sight on
Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
Urg'd them behind; headlong themselves they threw :
Down from the verge of heaven ; eternal wrath'.
Burnt after them to the bottomless pit.
Hell heard th' unsufferable noise, hell saw , Heav'n ruining from heavin, and would have fled Affrighted; but strict fate had cast too deep :* Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound... , Nine days they fell; confounded Chaos roard, And felt tenfold confusion in their fall; si Through his wild anarchy, so huge a rout Encumber'd him with ruin : hell at last Yawning receiv'd them whole, and on them clos'd;