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O friends, why come not on these victors proud ? Ere while they fierce were coming, and when we, To entertain them fair with
front And breast (what could we more ?) propounded terms Of composition, straight they changed their minds, Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell, As they would dance : yet for a dance they seem'd Somewhat extravagant and wild, perhaps For joy of offer'd peace: but I suppose, If our proposals once again were heard, We should compel them to a quick result.
To whom thus Belial in like gamesome mood. Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight, Of hard contents, and full of force urged home; Such as we might perceive amused them all, And stumbled many; who receives them right, Had need from head to foot well understand; Not understood, this gift they have besides, They shew us when our foes walk not upright.
So they among themselves in pleasant vein Stood scoffing, heighten'd in their thoughts beyond All doubt of victory; eternal might To match with their inventions they presumed So easy, and of His thunder made a scorn, And all His host derided, while they stood Awhile in trouble; but they stood not long; Rage prompted them at length, and found them arms Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose. Forthwith, behold the excellence, the power Which God hath in his mighty angels placed ! Their arms away they threw, and to the hills, For earth hath this variety from heav'n Of pleasure situate in hill and dale, Light as the lightning glimpse they ran, they flow, From their foundations loos’ning to and fro They pluck'd the seated hills with all their load, Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops Up lifting bore in eir hands. Amaze, Be süre, and terror seized the rebel host, When coming towards them so dread they saw
The bottom of the mountains upward turn'd;
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 opprest whole legions arm'd;
Their armour help'd their harm, crush'd in and bruised
Into their substance pent, which wrought them pain
Implacable, and many a dolorous groan,
Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind
Out of such prison, though spirits of purest light,
Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown,
The rest in imitation to like arms
Betook them, and the neighbouring hills uptore;
So hills amid the air encounter'd hills,
Hurld 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 heav'n
Had.gone to wrack, with ruin overspread,
Had not th’ Almighty Father, where he sits
Shrined in his sanctuary of heav'n secure,
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen
This tumult, and permitted all, advised :
That his great purpose he might so fulfil,
To honour his anointed Son avenged
Upon his enemies, and to declare
All power on him transferr'd: whence to his Son
Th'assessor of his throne he thus began.
Effulgence of my glory, Son beloved,
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 heav'n,
Since Michael and his powers 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
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,
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 transfused, that all may
In heav'n and hell thy power 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 mighty.
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
Shone full, He all his Father full exprest
Ineffably into His face received,
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 pleased declar'st thy will
Fulfill’d, which to fulfill is all my bliss.
Sceptre, and power, 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 prepared 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
Unfainèd 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 whirlwind sound "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 And wings were set with eyes, with eyes the wheels Of beryl, and careering fires between ; 6 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
Sate eagle-winged, beside him hung his bow
And quiver with three-bolted thunder stored,
And from about him fierce effusion roll’d
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 crystalline sky, in sapphire throned.
Illustrious far and wide, but by his own
First seen, them unexpected joy surprised,
When the great ensign of Messiah blazed,
Aloft by angels borné, his sign in heav'n: 5
Under whose conduct Michael soon reduced
circumfused on either wing,
Under their Heado embodied all in one.
Before him power divine his way prepared.
At his command the uprooted hills retired
Each to his place, they heard his voice and went
Obsequious ! Heav'n his wonted face renew
w'd, And with fresh flow'rets hill and valley smiled.
This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdured, And to rebellious fight rallied their powers Insensate, hope conceiving from despair : In heav'nly 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 highth, Stood reimbattled 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,