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Upon confusion rose: and now all Heaven
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread; 670
Had not the Almighty Father, where he sits
Shrined in his sanctuary of Heaven secure,
Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen
This tumult, and permitted all, advised:
That his great purpose he might so fulfil,

675
To honor his anointed Son avenged
Upon his enemies, and to declare
All power on him transferr’d: whence to his Son,
The Assessor of his throne, he thus began:
Effulgence of my glory, Son beloved,

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 pass’d, Two days, as we compute the days of Heaven, 685 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,

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 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 Heaven, and dangerous to the main. Two days are therefore pass'd, the third is thine; For thee I have ordain'd 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 transfused, that all may know

In Heaven and Hell thy power 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 Heaven'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 Heaven'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 received; And thus the Filial Godhead answering spake:

O Father, O Supreme of heavenly 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 pleased, declar’st thy will Fulfill’d, which to fulfil is all my bliss. Sceptre and power, 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 lovest: But whom thou hatest 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 Heaven of these rebell’d; To their prepared ill mansion driven down, To chains of darkness, and the undying worm; That from thy just abedience could revolt, 740

735

Whom to obey is happiness entire.
Then shall thy Saints unmix'd, and from the impure
Far separate, circling thy holy mount,
Unfeigned Hallelujahs 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 Heaven. Forth rush'd with whirl-
The chariot of Paternal Deity,

[wind sound, Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn, Itself instinct with Spirit, but convoy'd

752 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;

756 Over their heads a crystal firmament, Whereon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure Amber, and colors of the showery arch. He, in celestial panoply all arm’d

760 Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought, Ascended; at his right hand Victory Sat eagle-winged; beside him hung his bow And quiver with three-bolted thunder stored; And from about him fierce effusion roll'd

765 Of smoke and bickering flame and sparkles dire: Attended with ten 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 throned Illustrious far and wide; but by his own First seen; them unexpected joy surprised, When the great ensign of Messiah blazed 775 Aloft by angels borne, his sign in Heaven;

Under whose conduct Michael soon reduced
His army, circumfused on either wing,
Under their head embodied all in one.
Before him Power Divine his way prepared: 780
At his command the uprooted hills retired
Each to his place; they heard his voice, and went
Obsequious; Heaven his wonted face renew'd,

nd with fresh flowerets hill and valley smiled.
This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdured 785
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?

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 reembattled 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

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 received 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 ordain’d,
Nor multitude; stand only, and behold

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

Yet envied; against me is all their rage,
Because the Father, to whom in Heaven supreme
Kingdom and power and glory appertains, 815
Hath honor'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 changed
His countenance 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 steadfast empyrean shook throughout, All but the throne itself of God. Full soon Among them he arrived; 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 dropp'd: O’er shields and helms and helmed heads he rode 840 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 fourfold-visaged Four 845 Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels Distinct alike with multitude of eyes; One Spirit in them ruled; and every eye

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