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Till on those cursed engines' triple-row
They saw them whelm'd, and all their confidence
Under the weight of mountains buried deep;
Themselves invaded next, and on their heads
Main promontories flung, which in the air
Came shadowing, and oppress'd whole legions arm'd ;
Their armour help'd their harm, crush'd in and
bruis'd

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Into their substance pent, which wrought them pain
Implacable, and many a dolorous groan,
Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind
Out of such pris'n, though spirits of purest light, 660
Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown.
The rest, in imitation, to like arms

Betook them, and the neighb'ring hills uptore:
So hills amid the air encounter'd hills,
Hurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire,
That under ground they fought in dismal shade;
Infernal noise! war seem'd a civil game
To this uproar; horrid confusion heap'd
Upon confusion rose: and now all Heaven
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread,
IIad not th' almighty Father, where he sits
Shrin'd in his sanctuary of Heav'n secure,
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen
This tumult, and permitted all, advis'd:
That his great purpose he might so fulfil,
To honour his anointed Son, aveng'd
Upon his enemies, and to declare

All pow'r on him transferr'd: whence to his Son,
Th' assessor of his throne, he thus began.
"Effulgence of my glory, Son belov'd,
Son in whose face invisible is beheld,
Visibly, what by deity I am,
And in whose hand what by decree I do,
Second Omnipotence! two days are past,
Two days, as we compute the days of Heaven,
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;

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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
Insensibly, 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, 695
And to disorder'd rage let loose the reins,

With mountains as with weapons arm'd, which makes
Wild work in Heav'n, and dangerous 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 transfus'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

""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,

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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 anointed 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 answ'ring spake.

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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 rebell'd,
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 halleluiahs to thee sing,

Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief." 745 "So said, he, o'er his sceptre bowing, rose

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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

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 roll'd

The chariot of paternal Deity,

Flashing thick flames, 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

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And wings were set with eyes, with eyes the wheels
Of beril, and careering fires between;

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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 rođe sublime
On the crystalline sky, in sapphire thron'd,
Illustrious far and wide, but by his own
First seen them unexpected joy surpriz'd,
When the great ensign of Messiah blazed
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 in 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 heav'nly spi'rits could such perverseness dwell?
But to convince the proud what signs avail,
Or wonders ove th' 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 bis host on either hand thus spake.

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"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;

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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 ll'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 stedfast empyréan 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 840
Of thrones and mighty seraphim prostráte,
That wish'd the mountains now might be again
Thrown on them, as a shelter from his ire.

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