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And stumbl’d many; who receives them right,
Had need from head to foot well understand :
Not understood, this gift they have besides,
They show us when our foes walk not upright.”

"So they among themselves in pleasant vein
Stood scoffing, highth’nd in their thoughts beyond
All doubt of victory; Eternal Might
To match with their inventions they presum'd
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 635
Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose.
Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power
Which God hath in his mighty angels plac’d)
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 flew,
From their foundations loos'ning to and fro,
They pluckt the seated hills with all their load,
Rocks, waters, woods; and, by the shaggy tops
Uplifting bore them in their hands. Amaze,
Be sure, and terror seiz'd 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. 655
Their armour help'd their harm, crusht in and bruis'd
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,

667 Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown.

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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't,
Upon confusion rose : and now all Heav'n
Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread,
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
All power on him transferr'd: whence to his Son,
Th' assessor of his throne, he thus began.

66 Effulgence 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 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 dang'rous to the main.
Two days are therefore past, the third is thine ;

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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 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 Heav'ns 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'ns 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
Shon full, he all his Father full exprest
Ineffably into his face receiv’d,
And thus the filial Godhead answering spake.

660 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 pleas'd, 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 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,

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To their prepar'd 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 unmixt, and from th' impure
Far separate, circling thy holy mount
Unfeigned 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 sate,
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 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 showry arch,
He in celestial panoply all arm’d
Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought,
Ascended, at his right hand Victory
Sate 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 shon,
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 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


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Aloft by angels borne, his sign in Heaven;
Under whose conduct Michael soon reduc'd
His army, circumfus'd on either wing,
Under their Head embodied 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, 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,
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 th' obdurate to relent ?
They hard’nd more by what might most reclaim,
Grieving to see his glory, at the sight
Took envy: and aspiring to his highth,
Stood re-embattl'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 battle 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 battle rest:
Faithful hath been your warfare, and of God
Accepted, fearless in his righteous cause,
And as ye have receiv’d, 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 despis'd,
Yet envied ; against me is all their rage,

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