صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Visibly, what by deity I am,
And in whose hand by what decree I do
Second Omnipotence, two days are past,
Two days, as we compute the days of heav'n,
Since Michael and his pow'rs went forth : 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 wrongh
Insensible, for I suspend their doom;
Whence in perpetual fight they neeils 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 ;
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


In heav'n and hell thy pow'r above compare;
And this perverse commotion govern'd, thus
To inanifest 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'n'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 heav'n's bounds into the utter deep:
There let them learn, as likes them, to despise
God and Messiah his annointed king.

He said, and on his Son with direct Shone full: he all his Father full express'd


Ineffably into his face receiv'd ;
And thus the filial Godhead answering spake :

O 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


bliss. Sceptre and pow'r, 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. 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 unmix’d, 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 sat ; And the third sacred morn began to shine, Dawning through heav'n : forth rush'd with whirl.

wind sound The chariot of paternal Deity, Flashing thick flames, wheel within wheel undrawn, lıself instinct with spirit, but convoy'd By four cherubic shapes; four faces each Had wondrous; 3.s with stars their bodies all, And wings were set with eyes,

the wheels Of beril, and careering fires between; Over their heads a crystal firmament, Whercon a sapphire throne, inlaid with pure

with eyes

Amber, and colours of the show'ry arch.
He in celestial panoply all arm’d
Of radiant urim, work divinely wrought,
Ascended; at his right hand victory
Sat eagle-wing'd : beside him hung his bow
And quiver with three-bolted thunder stor’d,
And from about him fierce effusion rollid
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 rede sublime
On the crystaline sky, in sapphire thron'd
Illustrious far and wide, but by his own
First seen; then unexpected joy surpris'd
When the great ensign of Messiah blaz'd
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 one.
Before him pow'r divine his way prepar'd;
At his command th’ uprooted hills retir'd
Each to his place; they heard his voice, and weni
Obsequious; heav'n his wonted face renew'd,
And with fresh flow'rets hill and valiey smild.
This saw his hapless foes, but stood obdur'd,
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
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
in universal ruin last: and now

[ocr errors]

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


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 heav'n supreme
Kingdom and pow'r 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
They measure all, of other excellence
Not umulous, 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 impio us 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 dropt;
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 four-fold visag'd four
Distinct with eyes and from the living wheels
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes ;
One spirit in them rul'd, and every eye
Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among th' accurs'd, that wither'd all their strength
And of their wonted vigour left them drain'.i,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall’n.
Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd
His thunder in mid volley : for he mean'.
Not to destroy, but root them out of her.v'n:
The overthrown he rais'd, and as a herd
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd
Drove them before him thunderstruck, pursued
With terrors and with furies to the bounds
And crystal wall of heav'n, which opening wide
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd
Into the wasteful deep; the monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward, but far woise
Urgʻd them behind; headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of heaven ; eternal wrath
Burnt after them to the bottomless pit.

Hell heard th' unsufferable noise, hell saw
Heav'n ruining from heav'n, and would have fled
Affrighted; but strict fate had cast ton 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
Encumber'd him with ruin : hell at last
Yawning receiv'd them whole, and on them clos'd

« السابقةمتابعة »