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Implacable, and many a dolorous groan

Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind Out of such pris'n, tho' Sp'rits of purest light; Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown. 661 The rest in imitation to like arms

665

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 Heav'n
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread, 670
Had 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

675

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,

684

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, 690 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 weary'd 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

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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 transfus'd, that all may know
In Heav'n and Hell thy pow'r above compare;
And this perverse commotion govern'd thus, 706
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 711
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 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.

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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,

As is most just; this I my glory' account,
My exaltation, and my whole delight,

725

730

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,

735

Image of thee in all things; and shall soon, Arm'd with thy might, rid Heav'n of these re

bell'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. So said, he o'er his sceptre bowing, rose 746 From the right hand of glory where he sat ; And the third sacred morn began to shine, Dawning through Heav'n.

whirlwind sound

The chariot of paternal Deity,

Forth rush'd with

750

Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel un

drawn,

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 ;
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

755

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 stor'd;
And from about him fierce effusion roll'd
Of smoke and bick'ring flame and sparkles dire.

765

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

771

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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 blaz'd
Aloft, by Angels borne, his sign in Heav'n;
Under whose conduct Michael soon reduc'd
His army circumfus'd on either wing,
Under their Head embody'd 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 rally'd their Pow'rs
Insensate, hope conceiving from despair.
In heav'nly Sp'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 re

claim,

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 his host on either hand thus spake: 800

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