Page images

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 oppress'd whole legions arm’d;
Their armour help'd their harm, crush'd in and

Into their substance pent, which wrought them pain
Implacable, and many a dolorous groan;
Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind
Out of such príson, 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 Heaven
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread;
Had not the Almighty Father, where he sits
Shrin'd in his sanctuary of Heaven 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 power on him transferr’d: whence to his Son,
The Assessour of his throne, he thus began.

Effulgenee 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 powers went forth to tame
These disobedient: Sore hath been their fight,
Aş 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 Heaven, 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 bnt Thou

Can end it. Into thee such virtue and grace
Immense I have transfus'd, that all may know
In Heaven 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 might;
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
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


Shone full; he all his Father full express'd
Ineffably into his face receiv'd;
And thus the Filial Godhead answering spake.

O Father, O Supreme of heavenly Thrones,
First, Highest, Holiest, Best; thou 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 pleas’d, declar'st thy will
Fulfill’d, which to fulfil is all my bliss.
Scepter and power, thy giving, I assume,



And gladlier shall resign, when in the end
Thou shalt be all in all and l in thee:
For ever; and, in me, all. whom thou lov’st:.
But whom thou hat’st, I hate and can put on.
Thy terrours, 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 prepar’d ill mansion driven down,
To chains of darkness, and the undying worm;
That from thy just obedience could revolt,
Whom to obey iş happiness, entire.
Then shall thy Saints unmix’d, and from the 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 scepter 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-

wind sound The chariot of Paternal Deity, Flashing, thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn; Itself instinct with Spirit, but convoy'd By four Cherubick shapes; four faces each Had wonderous; 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 cbrystal firmamento

Whereon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure
Amber, and colours of the showery 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
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 thron'd,
Illustrious far and wide; but by his own
First seen : Them unexpected joy surpris’d,
When the great ensign of Messiah blaz’d
Aloft by Angels borne, his sign in Heaven;
Under whose conduct Michael soon reducd
His army, circumfus’d on either wing,
Under their Head imbodied all in one.
Before him Power Divine his way prepar’d;
At his command the uprooted hills retir'd!
Each to his place; they heard his voice, and went
Obsequious ; Heaven his wonted face renew'd,
And with fresh flowerets hill and valley smil'd.
This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdur'd,

« PreviousContinue »