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"O friends! why come not on these victors | The rest, in imitation, to like arms


Erewhile they fierce were coming; and when we
To entertain them fair with open front

And breast (what could we more?) propounded


Betook them, and the neighbouring hills uptore;
So hills amid the air encountered hills,
Hurled to and fro with jaculation dire,

That under ground they fought in dismal shade;
Infernal noise! war seemed a civil game

Of composition, straight they changed their minds, To this uproar; horrid confusion heaped
Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell,

As they would dance; yet for a dance they seemed
Somewhat extravagant and wild, perhaps
For joy of offered peace: but I suppose,
If our proposals once again were heard,
We should compel them to a quick result.'

"To whom thus Belial, in like gamesome mood.
'Leader! the terms we sent were terms of weight,
Of hard contents, and full of force urged home,
Such as we might perceive amused them all,
And stumbled 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, heightened in their thoughts beyond
All doubt of victory: eternal might

To match with their inventions they presumed
So easy, and of his thunder made a scorn,
And all his host derided, while they stood
A while in trouble: but they stood not long;
Rage prompted them at length, and found them


Against such hellish mischief fit to oppose.
Forthwith (behold the excellence, the power,
Which God hath in his mighty angels placed!)
Their arms away they threw, and to the hills
(For earth hath this variety from Heaven
Of pleasure situate in hill and dale,)
Light as the lightning glimpse they ran, they flew;
From their foundations loosening to and fro,
They plucked 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, seized the rebel host,
When coming towards them so dread they saw
The bottom of the mountains upward turned;
Till on those cursed engines' triple row
They saw them whelmed, 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 oppressed whole legions

Upon confusion rose: and now all Heaven
Had gone to wreck, 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 transferred: whence to his Son,
Th' 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 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,
As likeliest was, when two such foes met armed;
For to themselves I left them, and thou knowest,
Equal in their creation they were formed,
Save what sin hath impaired, which yet hath

Insensibly, for I suspend their doom;

Whence in perpetual fight they needs must last
Endless, and no solution will be found:

War wearied hath performed what war can do,
And to disordered rage let loose the reins,
With mountains and with weapons armed, which

Wild work in Heaven, and dangerous to the main.
Two days are therefore past, the third is thine;
For thee I have ordained it, and thus far
Have suffered, 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 governed thus,
To manifest thee worthiest to be heir
Of all things; to be Heir and to be King
By sacred unction, by deserved right.
Go then, thou mightiest, in thy Father's might,

Their armour helped their harm, crushed in and Ascend my chariot, guide the rapid wheels

That shake Heaven's basis, bring forth all my war,

Into their substance pent, which wrought them My bow and thunder, my almighty arms

Implacable, and many a dolorous groan;
Long struggling underneath, ere they could wind
Out of such prison, though spirits of purest light,
Purest at first, now gross by sinning grown.

Gird on, and sword upon thy puissant thigh;
Pursue these sons of darkness, drive them out
From all Heaven's bounds into the upper 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 expressed 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 seekest
To glorify thy Son, I always thee,

As is most just; this I my glory account,
My exaltation, and my whole delight,

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 embodied all in one.
Before him power divine his way prepared;
At his command th' uprooted hills retired
Each to his place, they heard his voice, and went

That thou, in me well pleased, declarest thy will Obsequious; Heaven his wonted face renewed,

Fulfilled, 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 lovest;
But whom thou hatest, I hate, and can put on
Thy terrors, as I put thy mildness on,
Image of thee in all things; and shall soon,
Armed with thy might, rid Heaven of these re-

To their prepared 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.

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 th' obdurate to relent?
They, hardened more by what might most re-

Grieving to see his glory, at the sight
Took envy; and, aspiring to his height,
Stood re-embattled fierce, by force, or fraud
Weening to prosper, and at length prevail
Against God and Messiah, or to fall

Then shall thy saints unmixed, and from th' im- In universal ruin last; and now


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 sat; And the third sacred morn began to shine, Dawning through Heaven: forth rushed with whirlwind sound

The chariot of paternal Deity,

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

Ye angels armed, this day from battle 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

Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel un- The punishment to other hand belongs;


Itself instinct with spirit, but convoyed
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
Of berryl, 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 armed
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 rolled
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 throned,
Illustrious far and wide, but by his own

Vengeance is his, or whose he sole appoints:
Number to this day's work is not ordained,
Nor multitude; stand only, and behold
God's indignation on these godless poured
By me; not you, but me, they have despised,
Yet envied; against me is all their rage,
Because the Father, to whom in Heaven suprema
Kingdom, and power, and glory appertains,
Hath honoured me according to his will.
Therefore to me their doom he hath assigned
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
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 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 rolled, 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 arrived, in his right hand
Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in their souls infixed
Plagues: they, astonished, all resistance lost,
All courage; down their idle weapons drop;
O'er shields, and helms, and helmed heads he rode
Of thrones and mighty seraphim prostrate,
That wished 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 four-fold 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 th' accursed, that withered all their strength,

And of their wonted vigour left them drained,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen.

Yet half his strength he put not forth, but checked
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 tim'rous flock together thronged,
Drove them before him thunderstruck, pursued
With terrors, and with furies, to the bounds
And crystal wall of Heaven, which, opening wide,
Rolled inward, and a spacious gap disclosed
Into the wasteful deep: the monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward, but far worse
Urged them behind: headlong themselves they

Down from the verge of Heaven; eternal wrath
Burnt after them to the bottomless pit.
Hell heard the unsufferable noise, hell saw
Heaven running from Heaven, and would have

Affrighted; but strict fate had cast too deep
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound.
Nine days they fell: confounded Chaos roared,
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall
Through his wild anarchy, so huge a rout
Encumbered 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 wo and pain.
Disburdened Heaven rejoiced, and soon repaired
Her mural breach, returning whence it rolled.
Sole victor, from the expulsion of his foes
Messiah his triumphal chariot turned:
To meet him all his saints, who silent stood
Eyewitnesses 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.
"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 revealed
What might have else to human race been hid;
The discord which befell, and war in Heaven
Among the angelic powers, and the deep fall
Of those too high aspiring, who rebelled
With Satan; he who envies now thy state,
Who now is plotting how he may seduce
Thee also from obedience, that with him
Bereaved of happiness, thou may'st partake
His punishment, eternal misery;
Which would be all his solace and revenge,
As a despite done against the most High,
Thee once to gain companion of his wo.
But listen not to his temptations, warn
Thy weaker; let it profit thee to have heard,
By terrible example, the reward

Of disobedience; firm they might have stood,
Yet fell; remember, and fear to transgress."



Raphael, at the request of Adam, relates how and wherefore this world was first created; that God, after the expelling of Satan and his angels out of Heaven, declared his pleasure to create another world, and other creatures to dwell therein; sends his Son with glory, and attendance of angels, to perform the work of creation in six days; the angels celebrate with hymns the performance thereof, and his reascension into Heaven.

DESCEND from Heaven, Urania, by that name
If rightly thou art called, whose voice divine
Following, above the Olympian hill I soar,
Above the flight of Pegasean wing,

The meaning, not the name I call: for thou
Nor of the muses nine, nor on the top
Of old Olympus dwellest, but, heavenly-born,
Before the hills appeared, or fountain flowed,
Thou with eternal Wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom thy sister, and with her didst play
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
With thy celestial song. Up led by thee
Into the Heaven of Heavens I have presumed,
An earthly guest, and drawn empyreal air,
Thy tempering: with like safety, guided down
Return me to my native element:

Lest from this flying steed unreined (as once
Bellerophon, though from a lower clime,)
Dismounted, on the Aleian field I fall

Erroneous there to wander, and forlorn.
Half yet remains unsung, but narrower bound
Within the visible diurnal sphere;

Standing on earth, not rapt above the pole,
More safe I sing, with mortal voice unchanged
To hoarse or mute, though fallen on evil days,
On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues;
In darkness, and with dangers compassed round,
And solitude; yet not alone, while thou
Visitest my slumbers nightly, or when morn
Purples the east; still govern thou my song,
Urania, and fit audience find, though few.
But drive far off the barbarous dissonance
Of Bacchus and his revellers, the race

Of that wild rout that tore the Thracian bard
In Rhodope, where woods and rocks had ears
To rapture, till the savage clamour drowned
Both harp and voice; nor could the muse defend
Her son.
So fail not thou, who thee implores:
For thou art heavenly, she an empty dream.
Say, goddess, what ensued when Raphael
The affable archangel, had forewarned
Adam, by dire example, to beware
Apostacy, by what befell in Heaven
To those apostates, lest the like befall
In Paradise, to Adam or his race,
Charged not to touch the interdicted tree,

If they transgress and slight that sole command,
So easily obeyed amid the choice,

Of all tastes else to please their appetite,

Immortal thanks, and his admonishment
Receive, with solemn purpose to observe
Immutably his sovereign will, the end
Of what we are. But since thou hast vouchsafed
Gently, for our instruction, to impart

Things above earthly thought, which yet concerned
Our knowing, as to highest wisdom seemed,
Deign to descend now lower, and relate
What may no less, perhaps, avail us, known;
How first began this Heaven which we behold
Distant so high, with moving fires adorned
Innumerable; and this which yields or fills
All space, the ambient air wide interfused,
Embracing round this florid earth; what cause
Moved the Creator, in his holy rest
Through all eternity, so late to build
In Chaos, and the work begun, how soon
Absolved; if unforbid thou mayest unfold
What we, not to explore the secrets, ask
Of his eternal empire, but the more
To magnify his works, the more we know.
And the great light of day yet wants to run
Much of his race, though steep; suspense in Hea


Held by thy voice, thy potent voice, he hears,
And longer will delay to hear thee tell
His generation, and the rising birth

Of nature from the unapparent deep:
Or if the star of evening and the moon
Haste to thy audience, night with her will bring

Though wandering. He with his consorted Eve Silence; and sleep, listening to thee, will watch

The story heard attentive, and was filled
With admiration and deep muse, to hear

Of things so high and strange, things to their thought

So unimaginable as hate in Heaven,
And war so near the peace of God in bliss,
With such confusion: but the evil, soon
Driven back, redounded as a flood on those
From whom it sprung, impossible to mix
With blessedness. Whence Adam soon revealed
The doubts that in his heart arose: and now
Led on, yet sinless, with desire to know
What nearer might concern him; how this world
Of Heaven and earth conspicuous, first began;
When, and whereof created; for what cause;
What within Eden, or without, was done
Before his memory; as one whose drought,
Yet scarce allayed, still eyes the current stream,
Whose liquid murmur heard, new thirst excites,
Proceeded thus to ask his heavenly guest.
"Great things, and full of wonder in our cars,
Far differing from this world, thou hast revealed,
Divine interpreter! by favour sent
Down from the empyrean, to forewarn

Js timely, of what might else have been our loss,
Unknown, which human knowledge could not


For which to the infinitely good we owe

Or we can bid his absence, till thy song
End, and dismiss thee ere the morning shine."
Thus Adam his illustrious guest besought:
And thus the godlike angel answered mild.

"This also thy request, with caution asked
Obtain: though to recount almighty works,
What words or tongue of seraph can suffice,
Or heart of man suffice to comprehend?
Yet what thou canst attain, which best may serve
To glorify the Maker, and infer
Thee also happier, shall not be withheld
Thy hearing; such commission from above
I have received, to answer thy desire
Of knowledge within bounds; beyond, abstain
To ask, nor let thine own inventions hope
Things not revealed, which th' invisible King,
Only omniscient, hath suppressed in night,
To none communicable in earth or Heaven:
Enough is left besides to search and know.
But knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her temperance over appetite, to know
In measure what the mind may well contain;
Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns
Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind.

"Know then, that, after Lucifer from Heaven (So call him, brighter once amidst the host Of angels, than that star the stars among) Fell with his flaming legions through the deep

Into his place, and the great Son returned Victorious with his saints, the omnipotent, Eternal Father, from his throne beheld Their multitude, and to his Son thus spake. "At least our envious foe hath failed, who thought

All like himself rebellious, by whose aid

This inaccessible high strength, the seat

Of Deity supreme, us dispossessed,

He trusted to have seized, and into fraud

Into their vacant room, and thence diffuse
His good to worlds and ages infinite.

"So sang the hierarchies: meanwhile the Son
On his great expedition now appeared,
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crowned
Of majesty divine; sapience and love
Immense, and all his Father in him shone.
About his chariot numberless were poured
Cherub and seraph, potentates and thrones,
And virtues, winged spirits, and chariots winged

Drew many, whom their place knows here no From the armoury of God, where stand of old


Yet far the greater part have kept, I see,
Their station; Heaven, yet populous, retains
Number sufficient to possess her realms,
Though wide, and his highest temple to frequent
With ministeries due, and solemn rites:
But, lest his heart exalt him in the harm
Already done, to have dispeopled Heaven,
My damage fondly deemed, I can repair
That detriment, if such it be to lose
Self-lost, and in a moment will create
Another world, out of one man a race
Of men innumerable, there to dwell,
Not here, till, by degrees of merit raised,
They open to themselves at length the way
Up hither, under long obedience tried,

And earth be changed to Heaven, and Heaven to earth;

One kingdom, joy and union without end.
Meanwhile inhabit lax, ye powers of Heaven;
And thou my Word, begotten Son, by thee
This I perform; speak thou, and be it done!
My overshadowing spirit and might with thee
I send along; ride forth, and bid the deep
Within appointed bounds be Heaven and earth,
Boundless the deep, because I AM who fill
Infinitude, nor vacuous the space.
Though I, uncircumscribed myself, retire,
And put not forth my goodness, which is free
To act or not, necessity and chance
Approach not me, and what I will is fate.'
"So spake the Almighty, and to what he spake
His Word, the filial Godhead, gave effect.
Immediate are the acts of God, more swift
Than time or motion, but to human ears
Can not without process of speech be told,
So told as earthly notion can receive.
Great triumph and rejoicing was in Heaven,
When such was heard declared the Almighty's

Glory they sung to the Most High, good will
To future men, and in their dwellings peace.
Glory to him, whose just avenging ire
Had driven out the ungodly from his sight
And the habitations of the just: to him
Glory and praise, whose wisdom had ordained
Good out of evil to create; instead
Of spirits malign, a better race to bring

Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodged
Against a solemn day, harnessed at hand,
Celestial equipage; and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them spirit lived,
Attendant on their Lord: Heaven opened wide
Her ever during gates, harmonious sound,
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory, in his powerful Word
And spirit, coming to create new worlds.

On heavenly ground they stood: and from the

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Said then the omnific Word, 'your discord end!'
Nor stayed, but, on the wings of cherubim
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode

Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
For Chaos heard his voice: him all his train
Followed in bright procession, to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then stayed the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasses, prepared
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things:
One foot he centered, and the other turned
Round through the vast profundity obscure,
And said, 'Thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
This be thy just circumference, O world!'
Thus God the Heaven created, thus the earth,
Matter unformed and void: darkness profound
Covered the abyss; but on the watery calm
His brooding wings the spirit of God outspread,
And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth
Throughout the fluid mass, but downward purged
The black, tartareous, cold, infernal dregs,
Adverse to life: then founded, then conglobed
Like things to like, the rest to several place
Disparted, and between spun out the air;
And earth, self-balanced, on her centre hung
“Let there be light,' said God; and forthwith

Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
Sprung from the deep, and, from her native east,

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