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Till on those cursed engines' triple-row

650 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

656 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 spi'rits of purest liglet, 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,

665 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,

670 Ilad 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,

675 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,

680 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, 685 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 arınd;

For to themselves I left them, and thou know'st,
Equal in their creation they were formid, 690
Save what sin bath 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 dange'rous to the main.
Two days are therefore past, the third is thine;
For thee I have ordaind it, and thus far

700
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;

705 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, 710 Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels That shake Heay'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

715 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 720 Ineffably into his face receiv'd; And thus the filial Godhead answ'ring spake.

"O Father, o Supreme of Heav'nly Thrones, First, highest, holiest, best, thou always seek'st To glorify thy Son, I always thee,

725 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, 730
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 lovost:
But whom thou hat'st, I hate, and can put on
Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on,

735
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, 740
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 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,

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

756 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

760 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 stord, And from about him fierce effusion roll'd

765

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: 770
He on the wings of cherub rode 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 775
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; 780
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, 785
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 move th' obdurate to relent?

790
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 795
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. 800

** 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 teous cause;

And as ye have receiv'd, so have ye done

805 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 ordaind, Nor multitude; stand only, and behold

810 God's indignation on these godless pour'd By me; not you, but me, they bave 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,

815 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 820 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,

825 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.

830 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. 835 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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