Page images




Raphael continues to relate how Michael and Gabriel were sent forth to battle against Satan and his angels.

The first fight described. Satan and his powers retire under night. He calls a council, inventa devilish engines, which in the second day's fight put Michael and his angels to some disorder ; but they at length, pulling up mountains, overwhelmed both the force and machines of Satan. Yet the tumult not so endling, God on the third day sends Messiah his Son, for whom he had reserved the glory of that victory: He, in the poner of his Father, coming to the place, and causing all his legions to stand still on either side, with his chariot and thunder driving into the midst of his enemies, pursues them, unable to resist, towards the wall of heaven; which opening, they leap down with horror and confusion into the place of punishment prepared for them in the deep. Messiah returns with triumph to his Father.

“ALL night the dreadless angel, unpursued, Equal in number to that godless crew Through heaven's wide champain held his way; Rebellious; then with fire and hostile arms 50 till morn,

Fearless assault, and to the brow of heaven Wak'd by the circling hours, with rosy hand Pursuing, drive them out from God and bliss Unbarr'd the gates of light. There is a cave Into their place of punishment, the gulf Within the mount of God, fast by his throne, 5 Of Tartarus, which ready opens wide Where light and darkness in perpetual round His fiery Chaos to receive their fall."

55 Lodge and dislodge by turns, which makes through Grateful vicissitude, like day and night; [heaven “So spake the Sovereign voice, and clouds began Light issues forth, and at the other door

9 To darken all the hill, and smoke to roll Obsequious darkness enters, till her hour (well In dusky wreaths, reluctant flames, the sign To veil the heaven, though darkness there might Of wrath awak'd, nor with less dread the loud Seem twilight here : and now went forth the morn, Ethereal trumpet from on liigh 'gan blow : 60 Such as in highest heaven, array'd in gold

At which command the powers militant, Empyreal; from before her vanish'd night,

That stood for beaven, in mighty quadrate join'd
Shot thro' with orient beams; when all the plain, Of union irresistible, mov'd on
Cover'd with thick embattled squadrons bright, 16 In silence their bright legions, to the sound
Chariots, and flaming arms, and fiery steeds, Of instrumental harmony, that breath'd 65
Reflecting blaze on blaze, first met his

view. Heroic ardour to advent'rous deeds,
War he perceiv'd, war in procinct, and found, Under their godlike leaders, in the cause
Already known, what he for news had thought 20 Of God and his Messiah. On they move
To have reported : gladly then he mix'd

Indissolubly firm; nor obvious hill,

69 Among those friendly powers, who him receiv'd Nor strait'ning vale, nor wood, nor stream divides With joy and acclamations loud, that one,

Their perfect ranks; for high above the ground That of so many myriads fallen, yet one

Their march was, and the passive air upbore Return'd not lost. On to the sacred hill 25 Their nimble tread; as when the total kind They led him high applauded, and present

Of birds, in orderly array, on wing, Before the seat supreme; from whence a voice, Came, summond over Eden, to receive 75 From midst a golden cloud, thus mild was heard : Their names of tiree ; so over many a tract

Of heaven they march'd, and many a province wide, **Servant of God! well done, well hast thou Tenfold the length of this terrene. At last, fought

Far in th' horizon, to the north, appear'd
The better fight, who single hast maintain'd 30 From skirt to skirt a fiery region, stretch'd SO
Against revolted multitudes the cause

In battailous aspect, and nearer view
Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms; Bristled with upright beams innumerable
And for the testimony of truth hast borne

Of rigid spears, and helmets throng'd, and shields Universal reproach, far worse to bear

Various, with boastful argument portray'd Than violence; for this was all thy care 35 The banded powers of Satan, hasiing on 85 To stand approv'd, in sight of God, though worlds With furious expedition ; for they ween'd Judg'd thee perverse: the easier conquest now That self-same day, by fight, or by surprise, Remains thee, aided by this host of friends,

To win the mount of God, and on his throne Back on thy foes more glorious to return,

To get the envier of his state, the proud Than scorn'd thou didst depart, and to subdue 40 Aspirer; but their thoughts prov'd fond and vain By force, who reason for their law refuse,

In the midway: though strange to us it seem'd 91 Right reason for their law, and for their king At first, that angel should with angel war, Messiah, who by right of merit reigns.

And in fierce hosüing meet, who wont to meet Go, Michael, of celestial armies prince,

So oft in festivals of joy and love And thou, in military prowess next,

45 Unanimous, as sons of one great sire, Gabriel, lead forth to battle these my sons

Hymning theternal Father. But the shout 95 Invincible; lead forth my armed saints,

of battle
now began, and rushing

sound By thousands and by millions rang'd for fight, Of onset ended soon each milder



High in the midst, exalted as a god,

Yet lewdly dar'st our minist'ring upbraid.
The apostate in his sun-bright chariot sat, 100 Reign thou in hell, thy kingdom; let me serve
Idol of majesty divine, enclos'd

In heaven God ever bless'd and his divine
With flaming cherubim and golden shields ; Behests obey, worthiest to be obey'd ;
Then lighted from his gorgeous throne, for now Yet chains in hell, not realms expect: meanwhile

Twixt host and host but narrow space was left, From me return'd, as erst thou saidst, from flight, A dreadful interval, and front to front

105 This greeting on thy impious crest receive.' Presented stood in terrible array Of hideous length : before the cloudy van,

“ So saying, a noble stroke he lifted high, On the rough edge of battle ere it join'd,

Which hung

not, but so swift with tempest fell 190 Satan, with vast and haughty strides, advanc'd, On the proud crest of Satan, that no sight, Came tow'ring, arm'd in adamant and gold. 110 Nor motion of swift thought, less could his shield, Abdiel that sight endur'd not, where he stood Such ruin intercept: ten paces huge Among the mightiest, bent on highest deeds, He back recoil'd; the tenth on bended knee And thus his own undaunted heart explores: His massy spear upstay'd; as if on earth


Winds under ground, or waters forcing way, ""O heaven! that such resemblance of the Sidelong had push'd a mountain from his seat, highest

Half sunk with all his pines. Amazement seiz'd Should yet remain, where faith and realty 115 The rebel thrones, but greater rage to see (shout, Remain not: wherefore should not strength and Thus foil'd their mightiest ; ours joy fill'd, and might Presage of victory, and fierce desire

201 There fail where virtue fails, or weakest prove Of battle: whereat Michael bid sound [heaven Where boldest, though to sight unconquerable ? Th' archangel trumpet : through the vast of His puissance, trusting in th' Almighty's aid, It sounded, and the faithful armies rung I mean to try, whose reason I have tried 120 Hosannah to th' Highest; nor stood at gaze 205 Unsound and false; nor is it ought but just, The adverse legions, nor less hideous join'd That he who in debate of truth hath won,

The horrid shock. Now storming fury rose, Should win in arms, in both disputes alike

And clamour such as heard in heaven till now Victor; though brutish that contest and foul, Was never; arms on armour clashing bray'd When reason hath to deal with force, yet so 125 Horrible discord, and the madding wheels 210 Most reason is that reason overcome.'

Of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise

Of conflict; over head the dismal hiss
“So pondering, and from his arm'd peers Of fiery darts in flaming vollies flew,
Forth stepping opposite, half way he met : And flying, vaulted either host with fire.
His daring foe, at this prevention more

So under fiery cope together rush'd

215 Incens'd, and thus securely him defied : 130 Both battles main, with ruinous assault

Aud inextinguishable rage; all heaven «Proud, art thou met? thy hope was to have Resounded, and had earth been then, all earth reach'd

Had to her centre shook. What wonder? when The height of thy aspiring unoppos'd,

Millions of fierce encount'ring angels fought 220 The throne of God unguarded, and his side

On either side, the least of whom could wield Abandon'd at the terror of thy power

These elements, and arm him with the force Or potent tongue : fool, not to think how vain 135 Of all their regions : how much more of power Against th' Omnipotent to rise in arms;

Army' against army numberless to raise Who out of smallest things could without end Dreadful combustion warring, and disturb, 225 Have rais'd incessant armies to defeat

Though not destroy, their happy native seat; Thy folly; or with solitary hand,

Had not th' eternal King omnipotent Reaching beyond all limit, at one blow 140 From his strong hold of heaven high overrul'd Unaided could have finish'd thee, and whelm'd And limited their might; though number'd such Thy legions under darkness. But thou seest As each divided legion might have seem'd

230 All are not of thy train; there be who faith A numerous host, in strength each armed hand Prefer, and piety to God, though then

A legion, led in fight, yet leader seem'd, To thee not visible, when I alone

145 Each warrior single as in chief, expert Seem'd in thy world erroneous to dissent

When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway From all : my sect thou seest; now learn too late Of battle, open when, and when to close 235 How few sometimes may know, when thousands The ridges of grim war: no thought of flight, err.'

None of retreat, no unbecoming deed

That argued fear; each on himself relied, “Whom the grand foe, with scornful eye askance, As only in his arm the moment lay Thus answer'd: Ill for thee, but in wish'd hour Of victory. Deeds of eternal fame

240 Of my revenge, first sought for, thou return'st 151 Were done, but infinite; for wide was spread From flight, seditious angel, to receive

That war and various, sometimes on firm ground Thy merited reward, the first assay

A standing fight, then, soaring on main wing, Of this right hand provok'd, since first that tongue, Tormented all the air; all air seem'd then Inspir'd with contradiction, durst oppose 155 Conflicting fire. Long time in even scale 245 A third part of the gods, in synod met

The battle hung; till Satan, who that day Their deities to assert, who, while they feel. Prodigious power had shown, and met in arms Vigour divine within them, can allow

No equal, ranging through the dire attack Omnipotence to none. But well thou com'st Of fighting seraphim confus'd, at length 249 Before thy fellows, ambitious to win

160 Saw where the sword of Michael smote, and fellid From me some plume, that thy success may show Squadrons at once : with huge two-handed sway, Destruction to the rest: this pause between

Brandish'd aloft, the horrid edge came down (Unanswer'd lest thou boast) to let thee know; Wide wasting; such destruction to withstand At first I thought that liberty and heaven

He hasted, and oppos'd the rocky orb To heavenly souls had been all one; but now 165 Of tenfold adamant, his ample shield,

255 I see that most through sloth had rather serve, A vast circumference. At his approach Minist'ring spirits, train'd up in feast and song; The great archangel froin his warlike toil Such hast thou arm'd, the minstrelsy of heaven, Surceas'd, and glad, as hoping here to end Servility with freedom to contend,

Intestine war in heaven, th' arch-foe subdu'd, As both their deeds compar'd this day shall prove.' Or captive dragg'd in chains, with hostile frown,

And visage all inflam'd, first thus began : 261 “ To whom in brief thus Abdiel stern replied: 'Apostate, still thou err'st, nor end wilt find “Author of evil, unknown till thy revolt, Of erring, from the path of truth remote:

Unnam'd in heaven, now plenteous, as thou seest Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name

These acts of hateful strife, hateful to all, Of servitude, to serve whom God ordains, 175 Though heaviest by just measure on thyself 285 Or Nature; God and Nature bid the same,

And thy adherents: how hast thou disturb'd When he who rules worthiest, and excels

Heaven's blessed peace, and into nature brougbt Them whom he governs. This is servitude, Misery, uncreated till the crime To serve th' unwise, or him who hath rebella Of thy rebellion? how hast thou instillid Against his worthier, as thine now serve thee, 180 Thy malice into thousands, once upright 270 Thyself not free, but to thyself inthral'd;

And faithful, now prov'd false? But think not here


To trouble holy rest; heaven casts thee out Down cloven to the waist, with shatter'd arms From all her confines. Heaven the seat of bliss, And unoouth pain, fled bellowing. On each wing Brooks not the works of violence and war :

Uriel and Raphael his vaunting foe, Hence then, and evil go with thee along, 275 Though huge, and in a rock of diamond armid, Thy offspring, to the place of evil, hell,

Vanquish'd Adramelech and Asmadai, 365 Thou and thy wicked crew; there mingle broils, Two potent

thrones, that to be less than gods Ere this avenging sword begin thy doom,

Disdain'd, but meaner thoughts learn'd in their Or some more sudden vengeance wing'd from God

flight, Precipitate thee with augmented pain!" 280 Mangled with ghastly wounds thro' plate and mai.

Nor stood unmindful Abdiel to annoy “ So spake the prince of angels; to whom thus The atheist crew, but with redoubled blow 370 The adversary: Nor think thou with wind Ariel and Arioch, and the violence Of airy threats to awe whom yet with deeds

Of Ramiel, scorch'd and blasted, overthrew. Thou canst not. Hast thou turn'd the least of these I might relate of thousands, and their names To flight, or if to fall, but that they rise 285 Eternize here on earth; but those elect Unvanquish'd, easier to transact with me (threats Angels, contented with their fame in heaven, 375 That thou shouldst hope, imperious, and with Seek not the praise of men : the other sort, To chase me hence ? err not that so shall end In might though wondrous, and in acts of war, The strife which thou call'st evil, but we style Nor of renown less eager, yet by doom The strife of glory; which we mean to win, 290 Cancel'd from heaven and sacred memory, Or turn this heaven itself into the hell

Nameless in dark oblivion let them dwell. Thou fablest, here however to dwell free,

For strength, from truth divided and from just, If not to reign : meanwhile thy utmost force, Illaudable, nought merits but dispraise And join him nam'd Almighty to thy aid,

And ignominy, yet to glory' aspires I fly not, but have sought thee far and nigh.' 295

Vain glorious, and through infamy seeks fame :

Therefore eternal silence be their doom. 885 “They ended parle, and both address'd for fight Unspeakable ; for whó, though with the tongue “ And now their mightiest quell'd, the battle Of angels, can relate, or to what things

swerv'd, Liken on earth conspicuous, that may lift

With many an inroad gor'd; deformed rout Human imagination to such height

300 Enter'd, and foul disorder; all the ground Of godlike power? for likest gods they seemid, With shiver'd armour strown, and on a heap Stood they or mov'd, in stature, motion, arms, Chariot and charioteer lay overturn'd, 390 Fit to decide the empire of great heaven.

And fiery foaming steeds; what stood, recoild, Now wav'd their fiery swords, and in the air O'erwearied, through the faint Satanic host Made horrid circles; two broad suns their shields' Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surpris'd, Blaz'd opposite, while expectation stood 306 Then first with fear surpris'd and sense of pain, In horror; from each hand with speed retir'd, Fled ignominious, to such evil brought 395 Where erst was thickest fight, th' angelic throng, By sin of disobedience, till that hour And left large fields, unsafe within the wind Not liable to fear, or flight, or pain. Of such commotion such as, to set forth 310 Far otherwise, th' inviolable saints Great things by small, if Nature's concord broke In cubic phalanx firm advanc'd entire, Among the constellations war were sprung, Invulnerable, impenetrably arm'd;

400 Two planets rushing from aspect malign

Such high advantages their innocence Of fiercest opposition in mid-sky

Gave them above their foes, not to have sinn'd, Should combat, and their jarring spheres confound Not to have disobey'd; in fight they stood Together both with next t Almighty arm 316 Unwearied, unobnoxious to be pain'd

404 Uplifted eminent, one stroke they aim'd

By wound, tho' from their place by violence mov'd. That might determine, and not need repeat, As not of power at once; nor odds appear'd

“Now night her course began, and over heaven In might or swift prevention: but the sword 320 Inducing darkness, grateful truce impos'd, Of Michael, from the armoury of God,

And silence on the odious din of war: Was given him temper'd so, that neither keen Under her cloudy covert both retird, Nor solid might resist that edge: it met

Victor and vanquish'd. On the foughten field 410 The sword of Satan with steep force to smite Michael and his angels prevalent Descending, and in half cut sheer; nor stay'd, 325 Incamping, plac'd in guard their watches round, But with swift wheel reverse, deep entring, shar'd Cherubic waving fires : on th' other part All his right side: then Satan first knew pain, Satan with his rebellious disappear'd, And writh'd him to and fro convolv'd; so sore Far in the dark dislodg'd; and, void of rest, 415 The griding sword with discontinuous wound His potentates to council call's by night; Pass thro' him; but th' ethereal substance clos'd. And in the midst thus undismay'd began. Not long divisible; and from the gash

331 A stream of nect'rous humour issuing flow'd

“O now in danger tried, now known in arms Sanguine, such as celestial spirits may bleed, Not to be overpower'd, companions dear, And all his armour stain'd ere while so bright. Found worthy not of liberty alone,

420 Forth with on all sides to his aid was run 335 Too mean pretence, but, what we more affect, By angels many' and strong, who interpos'd Honour, dominion, glory, and renown; Defence, while others bore him on their shields Who have sustain'd one day in doubtful fight Back to his chariot, where it stood retir'd

(And if one day, why not eternal days ?) Froin off the files of war; there they him laid What heaven's Lord had powerfullest to send 425 Gnashing for anguish, and despite, and shame, 340 Against us from about his throne, and judg'd To find himself not matchless, and his pride

Sufficient to subdue us to his will, Humbled by such rebuke, so far beneath

But proves not so: then fallible, it seems, His confidence to equal God in power.

Of future we may deem him, though till now Yet soon he heal'd; for spirits that live throughout Omniscient thought. True is, less firmly arni'd, Vital in every part, not as frail man

345 Some disadvantage we endur'd and pain, 451 In entrails, heart or head, liver or reins,

Till now not known, but known, as soon contemu'd; Cannot but by annihilating die;

Since now we find this our empyreal form Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound

Incapable of mortal injury, Receive, no more than can the fluid air:

Imperishable, and, though pierc'd with wound, 135
All heart they live, all head, all eye, all ear, 350 Soon closing, and by native vigour heal'd.
All intellect, all sense; and as they please,

Of evil then so small, as easy think
They limb themselves, and colour, shape, or size, The remedy; perhaps more valid arms,
Assume, as likes them best, condense or rare. Weapons more violent, when next we meet,

May serve to better us, and worse our foes, 440
“ Meanwhile in other parts like deeds deserv'd Or equal what between us made the odds,
Memorial, where the might of Gabriel fought, 355 In nature none: if other hidden cause
And with fierce ensigns pierc'd the deep array Ieft them superior, while we can preserve
Of Moloch, furious king; who him defied,

Unhurt our minds and understanding sound, And at his chariot-wheels to drag him bound Due search and consultation will disclose. Threaten'd, nor from the Holy One of heaven Refrain'd his tongue blasphemous; but anon, 360 “ He sat; and in th' assembly next upstood

Nisroch, of principalities the prime;

Zophiel, of cherubim the swiftest wing, 535 As one he stood escap'd from cruel fight,

Came flying, and in mid air aloud thus cried : Sore toil'd, his riven arms to havoc hewn, And cloudy in aspect thus answ'ring spake : 450 Arm, warriors, arm for fight; the foe at hand, Deliverer from new Lords, leader to free

Whom fled we thought, will save us long pursuit Enjoyment of our right as gods; yet hard

This day; fear not his flight; so thick a cloud For gods, and too unequal work we find,

He comes, and settled in his face I see

540 Against unequal arms to fight in pain,

Sad resolution and secure; let each Against unpain'd, impassive; from which evil 455 His adamantine coat gird well, and each Ruin must needs ensue; for what avails (pain Fit well his helm, gripe fast his orbed shield, Valour or strength, though matchless, quell'd with Borne even or high ; for this day will pour down, Which all subdues, and makes remiss the hands If I conjecture ought, no drizzling shower, 545 Of mightiest? Sense of pleasure we may well But rattling storm of arrows barb'd with fire." Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine, 460 But live content, which is the calmest life:

“So warn'd he them, aware themselves, and soon But pain is perfect misery, the worst

In order, quit of all impediment; Of evils, and excessive, overturns

Instant without disturb they took alarm, All patience. He who therefore can invent And onward move embattled : when behold 550 With what more forcible we may oftend 465 Not distant far with heavy pace the foe Our yet unwounded enemies, or arm

Approaching, gross and huge, in hollow cube Ourselves with like defence, to me deserves

Training his devilish enginry, impal'd No less than for deliverance what we owe.'

On every side with shadowing squadrons deep,

To hide the fraud. At interview both stood 555 “Whereto with look compos'd Satan replied: Awhile; but suddenly at head appear'd Not uninvented that, which thou aright 470

Satan, and thus was heard commanding loud: Believ'st so main to our success, I bring. Which of us who beholds the bright surface

“Vanguard, to right and left the front unfold ; Of this ethereous mould whereon we stand,

That all may see who hate us, how we seek This continent of spacious heaven, adorn'd 474 Peace and composure, and with open breast 560 With plant,

fruit, flower ambrosial, gems, and gold; Stand ready to receive them, if they like Whose eye so superficially surveys

(grow Our Overture, and turn not back perverse : These things, as not to mind from whence they But that I doubt ; however, witness heaven, Deep under ground, materials dark and crude, Heaven witness thou anon, while we discharge Of spiritous and fiery spume, till touch'd

Freely our part; ye who appointed stand, 565 With heaven's ray, and temper'd, they shoot forth Do as you have in charge, and briefly touch So beauteous, opening to the ambient light? 481 What we propound, and loud that all may hear.' These in their dark nativity the deep Shall yield us pregnant with infernal flame;

"So scoffing in ambiguous words, he scarce Which into hollow engines long and round

Had ended, when to right and left the front Thick-ramm'd, at th' other bore with touch of fire Divided, and to either flank retir'd;

570 Dilated and infuriate, shall send forth

486 Which to our eyes discover'd, new and strange, From far, with thund'ring noise, among our foes A triple mounted row of pillars laid Such implements of mischief, as shall dash

On wheels (for like to pillars most they seem'd, To pieces, and o'erwhelm whatever stands

Or hollow'd bodies made of oak or fir, Adverse, that they shall fear we have disarm'd 490 With branches lopt, in wood or mountain fell'd) 573 The Thund'rer of his only dreaded bolt.

Brass, iron, stony mould, had not their mouths Nor long shall be our labour; yet ere dawn With hideous orífice gap'd on us wide, Effect shall end our wish. Meanwhile revive ; Portending hollow

truce : at each behind Abandon fear; to strength and counsel join'd 494A seraph stood, and in his hand a reed Think nothing hard, much less to be despair'd.' Stood waving tipt with fire; while we suspense 58C

Collected stood within our thoughts amus'd; “ He ended, and his words their drooping cheer Not long, for sudden all at once their reeds Enlighten'd, and their languish'd hope reviv'd. Put forth, and to a narrow vent applied Th'invention all admir'd, and each how he

With nicest touch. Immediate in a flame, 584 To be th' inventor miss'd; so easy' it seem'd 499 But soon obscur'd with smoke, all heaven appear'd, Once found, which yet unfound, most would have From those deep-throated engines belch'd, whose Impossible: yet haply of thy race, (thought Embowel'd with outrageous noise the air, [roar In future days, if malice should abound,

And all her entrails tore, disgorging foul Some one, intent on mischief, or inspir'd

Their devilish glut, chain'd thunderbolts and hail With devilish machination, might devise

Of iron globes; which on the victor host 590 Like instrument to plague the sons of men 505 Levell'd, with such impeteous fury smote, For sin, on war and mutual slaughter bent. That whom they hit, none on their feet might Forthwith from council to the work they flew;

stand, None arguing stood; innumerable hands

Though standing else as rocks, but down they fell Were ready, in a moment up they turn'd

By thousands, angel on archangel rollid; Wide the celestial soil, and saw beneath

The sooner for their arms; unarm'd they might Th' originals of nature in their crude

Have easily as spirits evaded swift

596 Conception; sulphurous and nitrous foam

By quick contraction or remove ; but now They found, they mingled, and with subtle art, Foul dissipation follow'd and forc'd rout; Concocted and adusted, they reduc'd

Nor serv'd it to relax their serried files. To blackest grain, and into store convey'd : 515 What should they do? if on they rush'd, repulse Part hidden veins digg'd up (nor hath this earth Repeated, and indecent overthrow

601 Entrails unlike) of mineral and stone,

Doubled, would render them yet more despis'd, Whereof to found their engines and their balls And to their foes a laughter; for in view Of missive ruin ; part incentive reed

Stood rank'd of seraphim another row, Provide, pernicious with one touch to fire. 520 In posture to displode their second tire 605 So all ere day-spring, under conscious night,

Of thunder : back defeated to return Secret they finish'd and in order set,

They worse abhorr'd. Satan beheld their plight, With silent circumspection unespied.

And to his mates thus in derision call's : “Now when fair morn orient in heaven appear'd, “O friends! why come not on these victors Up rose the victor angels, and to arms


proud ? The matin trumpet sung: in arms they stood Ere while they fierce were coming; and when we 610 Of golden panoply, refulgent host,

To entertain them fair with open front [terms Soon banded; others from the dawning hills

And breast (what could we more?) propounded Look'd round, and scouts each coast light-arm'd Of composition, straight they chang'd their minds, scour,

Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell, 614 Each quarter, to descry the distant foe, 530 As they would dance ; yet for a dance they seem'd Where lodg'd, or whither fled, or if for fight, Somewhat extravagant and wild, perhaps In motion or in halt: him soon they met

For joy of offer'd peace: but I suppose, Under spread ensigns moving nigh, in slow

If our proposals once again were heard, But firm battalion ; back with speediest sail We should compel them to a quick result." 619


“ To whom thus Belial in like gamesome mood : By sacred unction, thy deserved right. • Leader! the terins we sent were terms of weight, Go then, thou Mightiest, in thy Father's might, 710 Of hard contents, and full of force urg'd home, Ascend my chariot, guide the

rapid wheels Such as we might perceive amus'd them all, That shake heaven's basis, bring forth all my war, And stumbled many; who receives them right, My bow and thunder, my almighty arms Had need from head to foot well understand; 625 Gird on, and sword upon thy puissant thigh; Not understood, this gift they have besides, Pursue these sons of darkness, drive them out 715 They show us when our foes walk not upright.' From all heaven's bounds into the utter deep:

There let them learn, as likes them, to despise “ So they among themselves in pleasant vein God, and Messiah his anointed King.' Stood scoffing, heightend in their thoughts beyond All doubt of victory; eternal might

630 “He said, and on his Son with rays direct To match with their inventions they presum'd Shone full; he all his father full expressid 720 So easy', and of his thunder made a scorn,

Ineffably into his face receiv'd; And all his host derided, while they stood

And thus the filial Godhead answ'ring spake : Awhile in trouble : but they stood not long; (arms Rage prompted them at length, and found them “O Father, O supreme of heav'nly thrones, Against such hellish mischief fit t'oppose. 636 First, highest, holiest, best ! thou always seek'st Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power, To glorify thy Son, I always thee,

723 Which God hath in his mighty angels plac'd) As is most just; this I my glory' account, Their arms away they threw, and to the hills My exaltation, and my whole delight, (For earth hath

this variety from heaven 640 That thou in me, well pleas'd, declar'st thy will Of pleasure situate in hill and dale,)

Fulfill'd, which to fulfil is all my bliss.
Light as the lightning glimpse they ran, they flew : Sceptre and power, thy giving, I assume, 730
From their foundations loos'ning to and fro

And gladlier shall resign, when in the end
They pluck'd the seated hills with all their load, Thou shalt be all in all, and I in thee
Rocks, waters, woods, and by the shaggy tops 645 For ever, and in me all whom thou lov'st:
C'plifting bore them in their hands. Amaze, But whom thou hat'st I hate, and can put on
Be sure, and terror seiz'd the rebel host,

Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on,

735 When coming towards them so dread they saw Image of thee in all things; and shall soon, The bottom of the mountains upward turn'd; Arm'd with thy might, rid heaven of these rebellid, Till on those cursed engines triple-row

650 To their prepar'd ill mansion driven down, They saw them whelm'd, and all their confidence To chains of darkness, and th' undying worm, Under the weight of mountains buried deep; That from thy just obedience could revolt, 740 Themselves in vaded next, and on their heads Whom to obey is happiness entire. Main promontories flung, which in the air 654 Then shall thy saints unmix'd, and from th'impure Came shadowing: and oppress'd whole legions Far separate, circling thy holy mount, arm'd;

[bruis'd Unfeigned hallelujahs to thee sing, Their armour help'd their harm, crush'd in and Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief.' Into their substance pent, which wrought them pain Implacable, and many a dolorous groan,

“ So said, he, o'er his sceptre bowing, rose 745 Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind From the right hand of glory where he sat; Out of such prison, though spirits of purest light, And the third sacred morn began to shine, Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown. 661 Dawning through heaven: forth rush'd with whirlThe rest, in imitation, to like arms

wind round Betook them, and the neighb'ring hills uptore; The chariot of paternal Deity,

750 So hills amid the air encounter'd hills,

Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel unHurl'd to and fro with jaculation dire, 665

drawn, That under ground they fought in dismal shade; Itself instinct with spirit, but convoy'd Infernal noise; war seem'd a civil game

By four cherubic shapes; four faces each To this uproar; horrid confusion heap'd

Had wondrous; as with stars their bodies all Upon confusion rose. And now all heaven

And wings were set with eyes, with eyes the wheels Had gone to wrack, with ruin overspread, 670 Of beryl, and careering fires between;

756 Had not th' almighty Father, where he sits Cver their heads a crystal firmament, Shrin'd in his sanctuary of heaven secure,

Whereon a sapphire throne inlaid with pure Consulting on the sum of things, foreseen

Amber, and colours of the showery arch. This tumult, and permitted all, advis'd;

He in celestial panoply all arm'd

760 That his great purpose he might so fulfil, 675 Of radiant Urim, work divinely wrought, To honour his anointed Son aveng'd

Ascended ; at his right hand victory Upon his enemies, and to declare

Sat eagle-wing'd; beside him hung his bow All power on him transferr'd: whence to his Son, And quiver with three-bolted thunder stor'd, Th' assessor of his throne, he thus began :

And from about him fierce effusion rollid 765

Of smoke and bickering flame and sparkles dire : “Effulgence of my glory, Son belov'd, 680 Attended with ten thousand thousand saints Son, in whose face invisible is beheld,

He onward camc, far off his coming shone; Visibly, what by deity I am,

And twenty thousand (I their number heard) And in whose hand what by decree I do,

Chariots of God, half on each hand were seen : 770 Second Omnipotence; two days are past,

He on the wings of cherub rode sublime Two days, as we compute the days of heaven, 685

On the crystalline sky, in sapphire thron'd, Since Michael and his powers went forth to tame Illustrious far and wide, but by his own These disobedient: sore hath been their fight,, First seen ; them unexpected joy surpris'd, As likeliest was, when two such foes met arm'd; When the great ensign of Messiah blaz'd 75 For to themselves I left them, and thou know'st, Aloft by angels borne, his sign in heaven; Equal in their creation they were form'd, 690 Under whose conduct Michael soon reduc'd Save what sin hath impair'd, which yet hath His army, circumfus'd on either wing, Lissensibly, for I suspend their doom ; [wrought Under their head embodied all in one. Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last Before him power divine his way prepard : 780 Endless, and no solution will be found.

At his command th' uprooted hills retir'd War wearied hath perform'd what war can do, 695 Each to his place; they heard his voice, and went And to disorder'd rage let loose the reins, (makes Obsequious; heaven his wonted face renew'd, With mountains as with weapons arm'd, which And with fresh flowerets hill and valley smil'd. Wild work in heaven, and dangerous to the main. This saw his hapless

foes, but stood obdur'd,

785 Two days are therefore pass'd, the third is thine; And to rebellious fight rallied their powers For thee I have ordain'd it, and thus far 700

Insensate, hope conceiving from despair. Have suffer'd, that the glory may be thine

In heavenly spirits could such perverseness dwell, Of ending this great war, since none but Thou But to convince the proud what signs avail, Can end it. Into thee such virtue and grace Or wonders move, th' obdurate to relent? 790 Immense I have transfus'd, that all may know They, harden'd more by what might most reclaim, In heaven and hell thy power above compare ; 705 Grieving to see his glory, at the sight And this perverse commotion govern'd thus, Took envy; and, aspiring to his height, To manifest thee worthiest to be Heir

Stood re-embattled fierce, by force or fraud Of all things, to be Heir, and to be King

Weening to prosper, and at length prevail 790

« PreviousContinue »