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First, Highest, Holiest, Best; thou always seek'st
To glorify thy Son, I always thee,

As is molt just; this I my glory' account,
My exaltation, and my whole delight,
That thou in me well pleas'd, declar'ít thy will
Fulfill'd, which to fulfil is all my bliss.
Sceptre and power, thy giving, I assume ; 730
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'it :
But whom thou hat'st, I hate, and can put on
Thy terrours, as I put thy mildness on,

735 Image of thee in all things ; and shall foon, Arm'd with thy might, rid heaven of these rebell’d, To their prepar’d ill mansion driven down, To chains of darkness, and th' undying worm, That from thy just obedience could revolt, 740 Whom to abey is happiness entire, Then shall thy faints unmix'd, and from th' impure Far separate, circling thy holy mount Unfeigned Hallelujahs to thee fing, Hymns of high praise, and I among them chief. 745

So faid, he o'er his fceptre bowing, rose From the right hand of Glory where he fat; And the third sacred morn began to shine, [found Dawning through heaven. Forth ruth'd with whirlwind 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


the wheels
Of beryl, and careering fires between ;
Over their heads a crystal firmament,
Whereon a saphire throne, inlaid with pure



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 viory
Sat eagle-wing’d; beside him hung his bow,
And quiver with three-bolted thunder stor'd;
And from about him fierce effufion roll'd 765
Of fmoke, and bick'ring flame, and sparkles dire.
Attended with ten thousand thousand faints,
He onward came, far off his coming shone ;
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 fapliir thron’d,
Illustrious far and wide; but by his own
First feen: them unexpected joy surpris’d,
When the great ensign of Meffiah blaz'd 775
Aloft by angels borne, his fign in heaven;
Under whose conduct Michael foon reduce'd
His army, circumfus’d on either wing,
Under their head imbodied all in one.
Before him power divine his way prepar'd ;

At his command th' uprooted hills retir'd
Each to his places they heard his voice, and went
Obsequious ; heav'n his wonted face renew'd,
And with fresh flow'rets hill and valley smild.

This faw his hapless foes, but stood obdur'd, 785 And to rebellious fight rallied their powers Insensate, hope conceiving from despair. In heavenly spi'rits could such perverseness dwell? But to convince the proud what figns avail, Or wonders more th' obdurate to relent?

790 They harden'd more by what might most reclaim, Grieving to see his glory, at the fight Took envy; and aspiring to his height,


Stood reimbattled fierce, by force or fraud
Teening to prosper, and at length prevail 795
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 (pake. 800

Stand still in bright array, ye faints, 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, fo have ye

done 805 Invincibly: but of this cursed crew The punishment to other hand belongs ; Vengeance is his, or whose he fole appoints : Number to this day's work is not ordain'd, Nor multitude; stand only, and behold

810 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, 815 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

820 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 terrour chang'd His count'nance too severe to be beheld,

825 And full of wrath bent on his enemies. At once the four spread out their starry wings With dreadful fh:1:e contiguous, and the orbs


Of his fierce chariot roll'd, as with the found
Of torrent floods, or of a numerous holt.

He on his impious foes right onward drove,
Gloomy as night ; under his burning wheels
The stedfast empyréan shook throughout,
All but the throne itself of God: Full soon is.
Among them he arriv’d, in his right hand :
Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in their souls ingi'd
Plagues: they astonish'd all resistence loft,
All courage ; down their idle weapons dropt:
O'er Thields, and helms, and helmed heads be rude 840
Of Thrones and mighty Seraphim prostráte,
That wilh'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-visay'd four

845 Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels Distinct alike with multitude of eyes; One spirit in them ruld, 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’d, 851 Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fallen. Yet half his strength he put not forth, but check'd His thunder in mid volley; for he meant Not to destroy, but root them out of heaven: 855 The overthrown he rais'd, and as a herd Of goats, or timorous flock together throng'd, Drove them before him thunder-ftruck, pursu'd With terrours and with furies to the bounds And crystal wall of heav'n; which op'ning wide, 860 Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd Into the wasteful deep : the monstrous sight Sruck them with horrour backward, but far worfe

Urg'd them behind: headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of heaven; eternal wrath 86.5
Burnt after them to the bottomless pit.

Hell heard th' unsufferable noise, hell faw
Heaven ruining from heaven, and would have fled
Affrighted; but strict Fate had cast too deep
Her dark foundations, and too fast had bound,

Nine days they fell : confounded Chaos roarid,
And felt tenfold confusion in their fall
Through his wild anarchy, fo huge a rout
Incumber'd him with ruin : hell at laste
Yawning receiv'd them whole, and on them clos'd;
Hell, their fit habitation, fraught with fire 876
Unquenchable, the house of woe and pain.
Disburden'd heaven rejoic'd, and foon repair'd
Her mural breach, returning whence it rolld.

Sole vi&tor from th' expulfion of his foes 880 Melliah his triumphal chariot turn'd : To meet hiin all his faints, 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, Worthielt to reign! He celebrated rode Triumphant through mid heav'n, into the courts And temple of his mighty Father thron'd 896 On high ; who into glory him receiv'd, Where now he fits at the right hand of Bliss.

Thus measuring things in heav'n by things on earth, At thy request, and that thou mayst beware By what is past, to thee I have reveal'd 895 What might have else to human race been hid; The discord which befel, and war in heaven Among th' angelic powers, and the deep fall

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