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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 saphire 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 heav'n :
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; Heaven his wonted face renew'd,
And with fresh flow'rets hill and valley smil'd.

This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdur'd, 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?
They harden'd more by what might most reclaim,
Grieving to see his glory, at the sight

787 hope] Virg. Æn. ii. 354.

'Una salus victis, nullam sperare salutem.' and Q. Curt. L. v. c. iv.

'Sæpe desperatio spei causa est.' Newton.





Took envy, and, aspiring to his highth,
Stood reimbattle'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, Because the Father, t' 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 battle which the stronger proves, they all, Or I alone against them; since by strength

797 last] Tickell and Bentley read 'lost.'






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 chang'd His count'nance, 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. 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 arriv'd, 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 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 visag'd Four, Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels






841 prostrate] Fairfax and Spenser accent this word on the last syllable. v. Tasso, c. i. 83;

'And lay his powers prostráte.' F. Qu. xii. 39.
'Before fair Britomart she fell prostráte.' Newton.

Distinct alike with multitude of eyes;
One spirit in them rul'd, and every eye
Glar'd light'ning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among th' accurst, that wither'd all their strength,
And of their wonted vigour left them drain❜d,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall'n.

Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
His thunder in mid volly, for he meant
Not to destroy, but root them out of heaven.
The overthrown he rais'd, and as a herd
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd
Drove them before him thunder-struck, pursu'd
With terrors and with furies to the bounds
And crystal wall of heaven; which op'ning wide 860
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd
Into the wasteful deep; the monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward; but far worse
Urg'd them behind; headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of heaven; eternal wrath 865
Burn'd after them to the bottomless pit.
Hell heard th' unsufferable noise, hell saw
Heaven ruining from heaven, and would have fled

858 thunder] See Beaumont's Psyche, c. xx. st. 102.
'Down plung'd this mixed rout which almost split
The greedy throat of the sulphureous deep,
Loud was the noise of this great fall, but yet
Far louder was their crie, who down the steep
Eternal precipice still tumbled, and

'Gli alberi intorno ruinando atterra.' Thyer.



No bottom saw, to bid their ruine stand.'

868 ruining] Falling down with ruin, from the Italian ruinando.

v. Tasso's Gier. Lib. ix. 39.

Affrighted; but strict fate had cast too deep
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound.
Nine days they fell; confounded Chaos roar'd,
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall

Through his wild anarchy; so huge a rout
Incumber'd him with ruin hell at last


Yawning receiv'd them whole, and on them clos'd;
Hell their fit habitation, fraught with fire
Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain.
Disburden'd heav'n rejoic'd, and soon repair'd
Her mural breach, returning whence it roll'd.
Sole victor from th' 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 advanc'd; and as they went,
Shaded with branching palm, each order bright 885
Sung triumph, and him sung victorious King,
Son, Heir, and Lord, to him dominion giv'n,
Worthiest to reign: he celebrated rode
Triumphant through mid heaven, into the courts
And temple of his mighty Father thron'd
On high; who into glory him receiv'd,
Where now he sits at the right hand of bliss.

877 house] Fairfax's Tasso, ix. st. 59.

Fit house for them, the house of grief and pain. Newton.




Thus measuring things in heaven by things on earth, At thy request, and that thou may'st beware By what is past, to thee I have reveal'd What might have else to human race been hid;


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