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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. 655
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, 660
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,
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 heaven
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread,
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,
To honour 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;
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,
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,
€61. Noro gross by sinning grown. forget the main end of all good writin, What a fine moral does Milton here in---the recommendation of virtue med reculeate, and indeed quite through this ligion.- THYER.-467. Advised, ad vinally. book, by showing that all the weakness 679, Assessor, i.e. seated with him ou the and pain of the rebel angels was the throne. natural consequence of their singing! 681. Inv'sible: see Col. j. 15. "The And. I believe, one may observe in gene- meaning is, Sm in whose fuce, what is ral of our author, that he is scarcely invisible is beheld visibly; namely, that ever so far hurried on by his muse as to Iam ly Deity.
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
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:
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
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
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,
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;
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 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 prepared ill mansion driven down,
To chains of darkness, and the undying worm;
That from thy just obedience could revolt,
Whom to obey is 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. 746 14. Gird on, &c. Ps. xlv. 3, 4, 5. 1 732. 1 Cor. xv. 24, 28; John xvii. 21, 23. 725. See John xvii. 1, and Matt. xvii. 5. 739. See Mark is. 44 and Jude 6.
So said, he, o'er his sceptre bowing, rose From the right hand of Glory where he sat; And the third sacred morn begin to shine Dawning through heaven: forth rush'd with whirlwind 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 755 Of beryl, and careering fires between; Over their heads a crystal firmament, Whereon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure Amber, and colours of the showery arch. He, in celestial panoply all arm'd
700 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 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 Aloft by angels borne, his sign in heaven; Under whose conduct Michael soon reduced His army, circumfused on either wing, Under their Head imbodied 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: heaven his wonted face renew'd,
And with fresh flowerets 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 heavenly spirits could such perverseness dwell?
But to convince the proud what signs avail,
Or wonders move the obdurate to relent?
They, harden's more by what might most reclaim,
Grieving to see his glory, at the sight
Took envy; and, aspiring to his highth,
Stood re-embattel'd 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 battel drew, disdaining flight,
Or faint retreat; when the great Son of God
To all his host on either hand thus spake:
Stand still in bright array, ye saints; here stand,
Ye angels arm’d; this day from battel rest:
Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God
Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause;
And as ye have received, so have ye done,
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
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,
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 battel which the stronger proves; they all,
Or I alone against them; since by strength
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 terrour changed
His countenance, too severe to be beheld,
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.
le on his impious foes right onward drove,
Gloomy as night; under his burning wheels
The steadfast empyréan shook throughout,
All but the throne itself of God. Full soon
Among them he arrived; in his right hand
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
Of thrones and mighty seraphim prostráte;
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,
Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes;
One Spirit in them ruled; and every eye
Glared lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among the accursed, that wither'd all their strength,
And of their wonted vigour left them drain'd,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
His thunder in mid volley; for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of heaven:
The overthrown he raised; and as a herd
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd
Drove them before him thunder-struck, pursued
With terrours and with furies to the bounds
And crystal wall of heaven; which, opening wide,
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclosed
Into the wasteful deep: the monstrous sight
Struck them with horrour backward, but far worse
Urged them behind: headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of heaven: eternal wrath
Burn'd after them to the bottomless pit.
Hell heard the unsufferable noise; hell saw
Heaven ruining from heaven, and would have fled
Affrighted; but strict fate had cast too deep
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound.
Nine days they fell; confounded Chaos roard,
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall
Through his wild anarchy; so huge a rout
Incumber'd him with ruin: hell at last
Yawning received them whole, and on them closed;
Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire
Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain.
Disburden'd heaven rejoiced, and soon repair'd
Her mural breach, returning whence it rollid.
Sole victor, from the expulsion of his foes,
Messiah his triumphal chariot turn’d:
To meet him all his saints, who silent stood.
Eye-witnesses of his almighty acts,
With jubilee advanced; and, as they went,
Shaded with branching palm, each order bright
Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King,
Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion given,
Worthiest to reign: he, celebrated, rode
Triumphant through mid heaven, into the courts
And temple of his mighty Father throned
On high; who into glory him received,
Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss.
$98. Heaven ruining. Falling down with precipitation and ruin.
890. See 1 Tim. iii. 16, and Heb. i. 3.